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Archives from September 2011
The Republicans, Immigration and the Minimum Wage
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Consider the present dilemma of Texas governor Rick Perry, whose trajectory as the potential Republican presidential nominee now threatens to emulate the fate of the  Challenger spaceshuttle in 1986. What went wrong? The necessary political attributes appea...
The Myth of Bernie Sanders
THOMAS H. NAYLOR
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has recently been elevated to near godlike status by the political Left in the United States.  Some of his fans have even suggested that he should challenge Barack Obama in the Democratic Presidential Primary.  The more often he is accused...
Sitting In and Standing Up
MICHAEL JOHN COMO
For a brief time in December of 2008, just months after the mainstream press admitted that the US economy had been sustained by the dreams of bankers and traders, American progressives turned their eyes to Illinois to lead the way in what might become a template for a c...
Cracked China?
MIKE WHITNEY
The deepening debt crisis in the eurozone and increasingly poor economic data in the US, have overshadowed rapidly deteriorating conditions in the world’s second biggest economy. The China miracle is quickly becoming a nightmare as credit default swaps (CDS) spike p...
Mutiny on the Titanic
URI AVNERY
Here is a story that has never been told before: When the Titanic was well out into the Atlantic, its crew mutinied. They demanded higher wages, less cramped quarters, better food. They assembled on the lower decks and refused to budge from there. A f...
Jailing Doctors in Bahrain
PATRICK COCKBURN
Bahrain’s military court has sentenced 20 doctors, nurses and paramedics who treated protesters injured during pro-democracy rallies earlier in the year to up to 15 years in prison. The defendants say they were tortured during interrogation to extract false confessi...
American Reality Gaps
SAUL LANDAU
Now that the 9/11 celebrations of memories, oaths of determination, endless renditions of God Bless America and Nowhere else, and flying of flags have become old news, my wife and I take an overnight vacation. Driving north on scenic Highway 29 in Napa County, admiring th...
Talking With Alice Walker on Palestine
DENNIS BERNSTEIN
Alice Walker is Pulitzer Prize winning poet, author and activist. She participated recently in the U.S. Boat to Gaza, which was a part of the Freedom Flotilla, to break the Israeli embargo on the Gaza Strip. Last year, a flotilla was attacked by Israeli commandos a...
Iraq: 100 Days of Solidarity
MEDEA BENJAMIN
This week marks the beginning of what is supposed to be the final 100 days of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. But if U.S. troops are to leave Iraq at the end of this year as promised – repeatedly – it will take grassroots pressure to counter the growing “occupy-Iraq-fo...
American Vengeance
DAVID ROSEN
Over the last few months, the U.S. has witnessed repeated calls for vengeance, for revenge, punishment, retribution … for blood.   These calls express one of the most disturbing facets of the American “character,” the Old Testament call for an eye-for-an-eye, a to...
Big Government Breaks Bad in Drug War
TOM BARRY
Rick Perry and the other Republican presidential candidates are right. Americans are fed up, as Perry writes in his book Fed Up!, with “old guard politicians” dedicated to protecting the “establishment” and the federal government’s “culture of waste.” ...
Big Brother and the Banksters
LINH DINH
At the Wall Street protest, a young woman carried a sign, “REVOLUTION IS FUN,” and I don’t doubt that she was having a great time, because it can be exhilarating to engage in a just and noble fight, and to feel that you are an agent of change, a participant in histo...
Neoliberals on Bikes
OLIVIER CRYAN
Hamburg’s most fashionable district is also its greenest, though this is not immediately apparent from the foot of the Marco Polo Tower — 16 storeys of luxury apartments that look like a sliced loaf. (They cost an average €3.7m.) A love of nature isn’t obvio...
The Elites and the Pentagon Budget
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
The stench of elitism is permeating Washington, just as it did a decade ago when everyone of consequence bought the proposition that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction-and even if there was room for doubt, he was a threat and “had to go.”  Today,...
U.S. Lags Far Behind in Worker Protection
DAVID MACARAY
If you were wondering where the United States ranks, relative to the rest of the world, in the general category of “worker protection,” there is now a precise answer available—one supplied by Professor Kenneth Thomas of the University of Missouri (St. Louis), who ba...
The Legacy of Leonard Weinglass
MATTHEW REISS
North Africa erupted in the final days of the life of renowned movement attorney Leonard Weinglass. As images of men and women filling the streets of Cairo scrolled across the television monitor in his hospital room, he pointed out to Tom Hayden exactly how many square mi...
“An Important Irritant”
JEREMY SALT
Ankara. In September 2010, the UN General Assembly’s Human Rights Council issued a report on the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara. It concluded that the blockade of the Gaza Strip was unlawful; that the blockade constituted collective punishment of...
The Nuts and Bolts of Occupy Wall Street
PHAM BINH
On day 12 of Occupy Wall Street (OWS), I helped moderate a meeting of the “open source” OWS working group by keeping a list of speakers and co-chairing. I am not sure what the open source group is supposed to do exactly, but I decided to attend this meeting af...
Agent Orange on Okinawa
JON MITCHELL
“Without Okinawa, we cannot carry on the Vietnam war.” – Admiral Ulysses Sharp, Commander of U.S. Pacific Forces, December 1965. During the 1960s and ‘70s, the United States military transformed Okinawa into a f...
The Metamorphosis of the NYPD
DAVE LINDORFF
Probably the biggest accomplishment of the Occupy Wall Street movement to date has not been the light these courageous and indomitable young activists have shined on the gangsters of Wall Street, as important as that has been. Rather it has been how they have exposed the ...
Is Capitalism Preparing to Bury Itself?
MURRAY DOBBIN
Where is Henry Ford when you need him? You may remember Henry — the ruthless industrialist who nonetheless refused to be hobbled by suicidal ideology when it came to doing business. He realized as his workers cranked thousands of new cars off the assembly lin...
The Odyssey of Otis Rush
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
In 1969, after nearly 14 years of constant gigging in small blues clubs and cutting scorching singles for obscure labels, songs that received limited radio play but were greedily snatched up by young white rockers desperate to learn the rudiments of the Chicago blues, it ...
Wall Street as Gated Community
MISSY BEATTIE
My sister Laura and I took the train to Manhattan on Wednesday to participate in the occupation of Wall Street.  But Wall Street is barricaded.  Yes, pedestrians move on the sidewalks, but police and metal prevent anyone from walking or entering the street. The ...
Indians’ Flight From Agriculture
P. SAINATH
Mumbai Is distress migration on a massive scale responsible for one of the most striking findings of Census 2011: that for the first time since 1921, urban India added more numbers to its population in a decade than rural India did? At 833.1 million...
Obama’s Supervised Shame
FIDEL CASTRO
Not because it was brutal or clumsy or anticipated was there any less indignation about the Yankee judge from the South Florida District denying René González, the Cuban anti-terrorist hero, the right to return to the heart of his family in Cuba after having served the ...
Tanzania and Illusions of Economic Sovereignty
ROBERT GORDON
In 1968, Julius Nyerere, the first President of the emerging Tanzanian state, wrote a series of essays entitled Uhuru na Ujamaa or Freedom and Socialism that articulated a distinct vision of African socialism. He believed that even though Tanzania an...
The Heart of Resistance
KATHLEEN PEINE
It didn’t take long for Russian Geneticist Dmitry Belyaev to start producing tame, domesticated silver foxes. He simply allowed the less aggressive to breed, and over a very short period of time, the formerly wild creatures started to retain juvenile, dependant traits....
Coastal Toronto
DAVID Ker THOMSON
The problem with getting a job, I’ve always admonished myself sternly, is you have to work.  Plus in order to count for cultural capital—not to mention real capital—jobs have to come in integers.  What’s with that?  Who wants a whole job?  I noticed a politica...
Congress at Recess
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
The worst part of it, of course, is that they can’t go out on recess.  They have to stay in the room until they have finished their assigned tasks.  Children in grade school know that that is a fairly severe penalty for failing to complete the assigned task on time. ...
The Mascots Who Shall Not be Named
TOM SEMIOLI
As a teen growing up in a white working class suburban neighborhood during the 1970s, I distinctly recall that most of my high-school friends with older siblings who had departed town for college left behind worn copies of Sly and the Family Stone’s most popular album...
The Key to Sussex?
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
Shortly after news of (the former Nawab of) Pataudi’s death, a friend of mine sent me the following one-line email: “Who was the other cricketer with one eye?……..Ranjitsinhji.” I thought this didn’t make any sense. I had r...
Thoughts on the Current Art Market
GALERIE ST. ETIENNE
In the movie The Social Network, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg must choose between building a steady revenue stream via ad sales or going for a potentially much larger payoff by using venture capital to boost his startup’s reach and thereby its valuation...
Voyage of a Lifetime
CHARLES R. LARSON
It’s easy to conclude that Michael Ondaatje’s new novel, The Cat’s Table, is autobi...
Nothing is More Powerful Than a Face
DAVID YEARSLEY
The results of one of the most important recent discoveries in Bach research are currently hanging on the walls of the renovated Bach Archive and Museum in Leipzig, Germany, the city where J. S. Bach lived with his family from 1723-1750. Unearthed musical manuscripts of p...
Poets’ Basement
JOANN ANNSFIRE
Anniversary by JOAN ANNSFIRE On the tenth anniversary some firms from the upper floors of the World Trade Center advertised their losses with a list of the dead. Names catalogued alphabetically:...
The Reign of the One-Percenters
Website of the Weekend
The Reign of the One-Percenters ...
Europe Blinking Red
MIKE WHITNEY
German parliamentarians reaffirmed their commitment to the Euro-project on Thursday by approving an expansion of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). The balloting provided the landslide victory (523 to 85) that German Chancellor Angela Merkel needed to reest...
Ireland’s Bread and Circuses
HARRY BROWNE
Dublin. Last Monday, the Irish state paid €1.465 billion (about $2 billion) to senior unsecured boldholders in Bank of Ireland, as part of its obligation under the blanket guarantee of Irish banks issued by the government three years ago this week. This ...
The Latest Crackdown in Iraq
PATRICK COCKBURN
The Iraqi government is seeking to silence critics who accuse it of rampant corruption by removing officials who try to prosecute racketeers and intimidating politicians and journalists who support them. This month alone it has forced the head of its anti-corruptio...
The Resurgence of Military Trials
JOANNE MARINER
Congressional Republicans have won a string of victories in their fight to preserve the Bush Administration’s harmful “war on terror” policies. They blocked the transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo to the United States, keeping the military prison at Guantan...
The History of the Haqqanis
SHAUKAT QADIR
Islamabad. When the US suffers a defeat in Afghanistan, it will need another scapegoat. I stated this nine years ago; I give you one guess which country is a made-to-order scapegoat here? Neither history, nor truth, nor realities are of any significance. A...
Is the US a Police State?
JOHN GRANT
Honorable people like to debate whether the United States of America is a “police state,” but when it comes to shutting down the expression of ideas on the political left, there’s little room for argument. We are inundated in this country wi...
Return of the Book Banners
WALTER BRASCH
Parents demanded it be banned. School superintendents placed it in restricted sections of their libraries. It is the most challenged book four of the past five years, according to the American Library Association (ALA). “It” is a 32-page illustrat...
13 Ways to Look at the Occupation of Wall Street
CHARLES M. YOUNG
1) I had brunch on Sunday in Chinatown with a friend who works in local television news. He complained that the Occupy Wall Street people had sent over video that they said showed demonstrators getting maced. It didn’t show any such thing, my friend insisted. After brun...
The US Position in the Middle is Disintegrating
MICHAEL BRENNER
The United States’ strategic position in the greater Middle East is disintegrating. The repercussions of the Arab Spring have undercut the tacit alliance among Washington, Cairo, Riyadh, Amman and Jerusalem with auxi...
War on the Monuments
GEORGE WUERTHNER
Congressman Denny Rehberg’s legislation “The Montana Land Sovereignty Act”, as well as similar legislation with identical goals introduced by Utah and Idaho representatives, is a cynical attempt to shackle the President’s prerogative to create national monuments. ...
Observations of a Jailed Journalist
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Observations of a Jailed Journalist ...
The Dangerous Cult of the Guardian
JONATHAN COOK
There could be no better proof of the revolution – care of the internet – occurring in the accessibility of information and informed commentary than the reaction of our mainstream, corporate media. For the first time, Western publics – or at least those who c...
The State of the Anti-War Movement
C. G. Estabrook
Ten years after the US invaded Afghanistan, the anti-war movement in America looks remarkably similar to what it was in 1972 – ten years after the US invaded South Vietnam. In each case, more than two-thirds of the American public oppose the war, but th...
The Hidden Costs of the Death Penalty
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
The controversial execution of Troy Davis last week in Georgia ignited outrage around the world while injecting renewed attention across America into the propriety of the death penalty, particularly in Davis-like cases where there is evidence of innocence or serious reaso...