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Archives from 2011
The Duke of Nablus
URI AVNERY
THE NAME of Munib al-Masri has recently come up as a possible candidate for Prime Minister of a Palestinian national unity government. Not being a member of either Fatah or Hamas, he is acceptable to both. Al-Masri himself denies any such ambition. He says that he ...
Draghi’s Real Goal in the Eurozone
MIKE WHITNEY
Imagine if your banker offered to lend you a $150,000 to make up for the money that you’d lost on your home since the housing bubble burst in 2006. And, let’s say, he agreed to lend you this money for 3 years at rock-bottom rates of 1 percent provided that you...
Albert Camus, the Guillotine’s Relentless Foe
ROBERT ZARETSKY
A man woke before dawn, dressed quietly so as not to disturb his wife, and rode into town to watch a man be put to death. It was neither fascination nor bloodlust that pushed him to attend the public execution but a sense of outraged justice: the condemned man had, in a m...
The Everardo Torres Police Killing in Madera
SAL SANDOVAL
Not a single person’s eyes were dry when Melchor Torres of Madera , California recounted the story of his son’s murder while in police custody on the night of October 22, 2002. Melchor was an invited guest to the Merced-based October 7, 2011 meeting of the ...
Ten Small Green Groups That Make a Big Difference
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
It’s been a triumphant month for Big Oil. First, the Obama administration teamed with the Chinese delegation to scuttle the timid climate agenda at the Durban summit. Then recidivist offender British Petroleum won the rights to drill once again in the perilous depths of...
The Thirty Percent
ANDREW LEVINE
As long as our elections pass for “free and fair,” there is always a chance that one or another of Donald Rumsfeld’s “unknown unknowns” will make them interesting.  Who, after all, would have predicted Bush v Gore? But barring what we cannot foresee, it ...
Sexual Violence in America
DAVID ROSEN
Many sex-related stories captured popular attention in 2011.  Most upsetting, many of the incidents involved sexual violence.  Taken together, they indicate something bigger, deeper, taking place in America, a social crisis.  It’s as if the body politic is moaning, d...
Following Yonder Star
KATHY KELLY
Kabul Beneath our flat, here in Kabul, wedding guests crowded into a restaurant and celebrated throughout the night. Guests sounded joyful and the music, mostly disco, thumped loudly. When the regular call to prayer sounded out at 5:20 a.m., the sounds see...
Class Conflict in Mendocino County
WILL PARRISH
Menodcino County denizens have organized several different projects as part of the Occupy Movement, the most innovative being Occupy Hendy Woods and the Occupy Mendocino County Food Initiative, each of which dovetails nicely with a prominent aspect of regional culture (re...
Embellishing the Iraq War
RAMZY BAROUD
Someone ought to let mainstream news producers know that the nearly 4,500 US soldiers killed in the Iraq war were not the only victims. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have also been killed as a result of the unwarranted US invasion, and many more have been wounded and/or...
12 Great Books
RALPH NADER
1. America Beyond Capitalism by Gar Alperovitz (Democracy Collaborative Press and Dollars and Sense...
A Holiday Visit to Gerardo’s Hell
DANNY GLOVER and SAUL LANDAU
2:30 PM, departure time the most excruciating part of visiting Gerardo Hernandez. A prison guard announced: “Visiting hours are over.” Gerardo lined up against the wall with the other inmates. We stood with wives, children and mothers. Finally, the electronically cont...
Merry Christmas, Corporate America
MICHAEL WINSHIP
In the spirit of the season, I’d like to file a complaint – about complaints. Corporate America just doesn’t handle them the way they used to. As in, at all. I grew up in retail. My father owned a drugstore in upstate New York and was as old fashioned as the ...
Cannibal Farm
FARZANA VERSEY
Two suited guys at a candle-light dinner nibbling on each other’s flesh for a television show does not denote cannibalism. If placed in a larger landscape, it could be seen as a microcosmic interpretation of contemporary socio-political mores. The ‘noble savage’ tra...
The Real Christmas Story
Rev. JESSE L. JACKSON
This Christmas, times continue to be hard for many. And that — amid all the presents, parties and holiday gaiety — is the real story of this mass we celebrate on the birth of Christ. As I’ve reminded throughout the years, the real story isn’t about a holida...
Occupy Gets Booked
RON JACOBS
Occupy!...
The NLRB Scores a Win
DAVID MACARAY
On December 21, the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) approved rule changes that will help streamline the union election process.  Historically, one of the biggest hurdles facing membership drives has been management’s use of stalling tactics.  Management knows th...
Nobody for President
MISSY BEATTIE
You’re a mean one, Mr. Gingrich. You really are a heel. You’re as cuddly as a nervous twitch, And as charming as an eel, Mr. Gingrich! You...
In a Country of Mothers
CHARLES R. LARSON
Hurricane Katrina lands full force in Jesmyn Ward’s probing novel,Salvage the Bones, win...
Secrets of the Dussmann Basement
DAVID YEARSLEY
Berlin Opened in 1997, Dussmann’s Kulturkaufhaus occupies a stone and glass building of four stories—plus a crucial basement dedicated to classical music—in Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse halfway between the Strasse unter den Linden and the Friedrichstr...
Poets’ Basement
HEATHCOTE WILLIAMS
Shelley in Oxford Blasphemy, Bedlam, and Bookburning by HEATHCOTE WILLIAMS In Oxford High Street, in 1810, Slatter & Munday’s Bookshop Had a large, bow-fronted window ...
Hitchens vs. Higher Power?
NORMAN FINKELSTEIN
Even some of the critical commentary on Hitchens’s passing pays tribute to his atheism, which no doubt shocked readers of Vanity Fair. But the ultimate irony seems to have gone over everyone’s head. When I first learned that Hitchens was diagnos...
The National Defense Authorization Act Explained
JOANNE MARINER
Passed by the House and Senate last week, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) now awaits the president’s signature.  Because of its controversial provisions on indefinite detention, President Obama had threatened to veto the bill back in May, when the House p...
To the Radiation Zone
CHRIS WILLIAMS
So said 64 year old Chieko Shiina, a member of the group Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation and a traditional farmer from Miyagi Prefecture, as I sat inside the tent on the floor across from her on Da...