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Archives from January 2012
Banks Weren’t Meant to Be Like This
MICHAEL HUDSON
In medieval times, wealthy bankers lent to kings and princes as their major customers. But now it is the banks that are needy, relying on governments for funding – capped by the post-2008 bailouts to save them from going bankrupt from their bad private-sector loans and ...
Montana Supreme Court Flouts Citizens United
JOHN DEAN
On December 30, 2011, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that the state’s one-hundred-year-old ban on corporate political contributions should remain in full force and effect, notwithstanding the January 21, 2010 ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in ...
Tough Days Ahead in Egypt
CARL FINAMORE
Cairo The most populated country in the Arab world took the day off on Wednesday, January 25. Tahrir Square was overloaded with people stretching and squeezing into every nook and cranny on adjacent streets, storefront alcoves and building doorways...
Draghi’s 489 Billion Euro Fakery
MIKE WHITNEY
ECB president Mario Draghi’s new lending facility–the Long-Term Refinancing Operation–has helped to pull the financial system back from the brink of another Lehman-type catastrophe, but it doesn’t address the fundamental problems that created the c...
Hurrah for Egypt!
URI AVNERY
THE IMPOSSIBLE has happened. The Egyptian parliament, democratically elected by a free people, has convened for its first session. For me this is a wonderful, a joyful occasion. For many Israelis, this is a worrisome, a threatening sight. I CANNOT but...
Walking Through Shatila
MALINI JOHAR SCHUELLER
Far from the opulent Golden Tulip hotel where I was staying in Beirut and a world away from the glittering shopping district of Hamra is Shatila, the Palestinian refugee camp where in 1982, Christian Phalangalists, with the tacit approval of Israeli forces who were then o...
Tunisia and Egypt One Year On
ESAM AL-AMIN
January 25 marked the one-year anniversary of the inception of Egypt’s revolution against the dictatorship of the Mubarak regime, eleven days after the success of the Tunisian revolution, when its former president Ben Ali fled the country. Within weeks of the brisk succ...
Chronicle of a Revolution-in-Progress
AMIRA HOWEIDY
1 January : Egypt wakes to news of the attack on the Two Saints Church in Alexandria on New Year’s Eve. Twenty Copts are killed as well as the church’s Muslim police guard. More than 100 are injured. No group claims responsibility. ...
Why Do “True Believers” Hate Mormons So Much?
ANDREW LEVINE
Before his 2008 campaign began, merely selling his soul – figuratively, of course – to the usual suspects hardly looked like it would be enough to put Barack Hussein Obama in the White House.  With dark skin, an African surname, and a middle name conjuring up memorie...
Cuba: Looking Back and Ahead
SAUL LANDAU and NELSON P. VALDES
In 2012, the White House will focus on the most important of international and national issues: the re-election of the President. US-Cuba policy will fall into “Next Year’s” box – or the year after that. The National Security staff reverts to its familiar position...
The Mass Psychology of Newt Gingrich
DAVID ROSEN
Are hypocrites born or made?  Is false consciousness a social disease?  These are among the unasked questions haunting the 2012 Republican presidential race. The four surviving candidates are hypocrites.  Mitt Romney is the guy-next-door everyman with a quarter-...
Health Care, Sex and the Church
CHRISTOPER BRAUCHLI
Health care coverage is one horse that the Church has chosen to ride in order to protect its belief in the sanctity of its beliefs.  Sex, rather than God, is its focus. If God’s perceived commandments on how one deals with one’s fellow man come into conflict wit...
Doing Afghan Drugs
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
Drug addicts are pathetic but sometimes happy people.  They are pitiable in their hopeless enslavement to something that dominates and will probably kill them, but seem content in a warped sort of way because they can be taken out of their bleak and dismal lives into who...
Violence Sweeps Central America
PAUL IMISON
Mexico City While Mexico grabs the headlines of soaring murder rates and rampaging drug gangs, the really heavy bloodshed is taking place to the south. The much smaller nations of Guatemala and El Salvador are seeing their worst violence since the civil wa...
Turks Fume at Sarkozy and France
PATRICK COCKBURN
Istanbul Turkey warned yesterday that it would impose permanent sanctions on France if a bill being discussed by the French Senate, which would punish with prison and a fine anybody denying that the killing of over one million Armenians by Ottoman Turks in...
A Pipeline Splits the Party
GEORGE OCHENSKI
The Keystone XL pipeline has been a hot topic of debate since it was first proposed by the Canadian oil giant TransCanada last year. More than 1,200 people who oppose the massive, 1,700-mile pipeline were arrested in demonstrations in Washington, D.C. last fall, including...
Israel, Settlements and Democracy
ROBERT FANTINA
As Israel continues to defy international law, including countless United Nations resolutions, and builds more and more settlement on land stolen from the Palestinians, its reputation as a model democracy is taking a well-deserved beating. Last year, Israel took a ...
Stephen Harper and the Big Oil Party of Canada
MURRAY DOBBIN
Where will you be and what will you be doing when the first giant oil tanker (there will be two plying the waters every three days), carrying over 200,000 gallons of tar sands goop diluted with solvent, spills its load into the waters of northern B.C? We often reme...
What About the State of Our Planet, Mr. President?
WILL ALLEN and RONNIE CUMMINS
In his state of the union address this week, President Obama talked about the American promise –  the promise that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement. ...
The US vs. Genuine Reforms at the UN
RAMZY BAROUD
The country that has long been known to abuse its powers and privileges in the United Nations is now leading a campaign to reform the same organization. While UN reforms are welcomed, if not demanded, by many of its member states, there is little reason to believe the rec...
We are the Champions … of the World?
DAVE LINDORFF
Say it loud and say it proud: We’re Number 47! We’re Number 47!  Boo-yah! If you want to know why the US — beacon of freedom, land of the First Amendment —  is now ranked number 47th (out of 179) in terms of freedom of the press in the ...
Revolution as Assisted Suicide
ROB URIE
Last Fall New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, apparently fearing the early demise of New York’s number one tourist attraction and occasional pain-in-the-ass Occupy Wall Street, set up a series of meetings called “court dates” where we could come together to discu...
A New Chile is Possible
RAÚL ZIBECHI
Chilean students question the education system as commercial and elitist because it reproduces existing social inequities and makes them worse. But they are not just asking questions: They are practicing the kind of education they have spent years dreaming about and strug...
Still Waters Run Deep
MISSY BEATTIE
Go with the flow at the drop of a hat: Since Erma doesn’t have invasive Big C, the four of us, including the kitten, left Baltimore’s cold for Georgia’s warmth last Sunday.  Sister Laura, the navigator, shut her eyes for a few minutes.  I’m the driver wit...
The Article I Was Telling You About
DAVID KER THOMSON
Is there anything more revealing of a certain witlessness of supporters of leaderville than the word “the” they use to describe a government that happens to be theirs?  “The government.” And by “the government” they don’t always even mean just some p...