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Archives from January 2012
Here He Comes Again!
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Newt Gingrich is a one-man, made-in-America melting pot. Here’s a committed devotee of tooth-and-claw capitalism, vultures perched on both shoulders, advocate of 8-year old black children working as janitors – campaigning with a pro-worker film of which John Reed or K...
The CIA’s Cassandras
GABRIEL KOLKO
At no time has the U.S. based its foreign policies on facts — as opposed to its conceptions reliant on sheer wishes, interests, or pretensions, (its ambitions are often a mixture of all of these). Nor has it had fears that are warranted by reality. It has needs, whe...
The Blockbusters
URI AVNERY
“ISRAEL HAS no foreign policy, only a domestic policy,” Henry Kissinger once remarked. This has probably been more or less true of every country since the advent of democracy. Yet in Israel, this seems even truer. (Ironically, it could almost be said that the U...
The Jobless Recovery
MARK WEISBROT
The U.S. recession officially ended in June of 2009, but most Americans don’t feel like we are in a recovery. That’s because it’s been a weak recovery, with the ...
Britain Bans Press TV
AFSHIN RATTANSI
For the first time, British government censors have banned a 24-hour news channel from British viewers. As of the afternoon, UK-time, 20th January 2012, viewers of Press TV, an avowedly anti-imperialist TV channel headquartered in Tehran and featuring many of ...
Sin, Sex and South Carolina
DAVID ROSEN
The South Carolina (SC) primary takes place on Saturday, January 21st and, as expected, Mitt Romney will likely pull off another victory, as he did in New Hampshire but (as the recount showed) not in Iowa.  Nevertheless, with a SC victory, the game’s over!...
Occupy Wall Street at the Crossroads
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
Power concedes nothing without a demand — Frederick Douglass Occupy Wall Street (OWS), giving vent to the pent up anger of the 99%, has inspired the people in the United States and other parts of the world to expose capitalis...
Seven Truths Inconvenient to U.S. Foreign Policy
DAN KOVALIK
As George Orwell so eloquently stated, “Truth is the first casualty of war.”  Indeed, lying is absolutely necessary to the ability of countries such as the U.S. aiming to wage unprovoked war upon other countries – the worst form of human rights crime as recognized ...
The Radioactive Waste Crisis
LINDA PENTZ GUNTER
Before the month of January is out, the US Department of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future will unveil the result of its two year-long investigation into what to do with the accumulated radioactive waste at the country’s nuclear power plant...
Ron Paul’s Anti-Imperialism
ANDREW LEVINE
Ron Paul is the only anti-war candidate running for president.  More than that: he wants to do away with overseas bases and reduce the military to the strictly defensive force envisioned in the Constitution; one that only wages wars Congress declares.  He also wants to ...
Moronic Marine Killers
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
The Pentagon has quietly shifted combat troops and warships to the Middle East after the top American commander in the region warned that he needed additional forces to deal with Iran and other potential threats, U.S. officials said.  Marine Corps Gen. James...
Can Politico Sink Any Lower?
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Politico is out this morning with a ...
Hollywood’s Two Biggest Unions Set to Merge
DAVID MACARAY
After lengthy negotiations, Hollywood’s two biggest actors unions have agreed to a merger.  The parties reached a tentative pact on Monday, January 16, after being holed up for nine days at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.  A vote by SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and AFTR...
DNR
MISSY BEATTIE
It’s been over two hours since I emailed one of my sons with the subject line:  Seriously, I’m getting a tattoo.  I’ve heard nothing from him. Of course, my mother will speak from her urn, in an attempt to dissuade.  She stalks, you know.  But if she says...
The Oys Have It
SAUL LANDAU
“Oy,” sobs the old woman. “Oy! Oy!” “What’s the matter, grandma?” asks a man passing by. “Oy, I’m so thirsty!” He returns with a glass of water. She drinks it and ...
The Politics of Tar Sands
BRIAN J. HOREJSI
Issues such as proposals to build the Keystone and Enbridge “Gateway” Pipelines, intended to carry Tarsands oil out of Canada, are receiving growing public scrutiny, and that often exposes bias or applies public pressure on isolated elitists, as some of our Federal, P...
The Politics of Upton Sinclair
RON JACOBS
I’ve always been a fan of the novelist Upton Sinclair.  From the day in junior high that I finished his classic about the US meatpacking industry, ...
Poverty as Photo-Op
FARZANA VERSEY
Oprah Winfrey walking the seedy bylanes of Mumbai on a work assignment in India, Jeremy Clarkson dropping his pants for a reality show, and tourists paying to watch naked Jarawa tribals dance are part of the same deal: Branding Blahdcasting Corporation. Should outs...
Obama’s War on Medical Marijuana
NORM KENT
In the past few months, the Obama Administration has defrauded medical cannabis advocates by launching a full scale, ‘shock and awe’ attack against dispensaries in California. The legal actions constitute a complete reversal of the position Attorney General Holder had...
Battling the Prohibitionists
JOHN SINCLAIR
Amsterdam. The excellent reporting in the Metro Times by my colleagues Larry Gabriel and Curt Guyette has kept me up to date o...
The University of Vermont’s Culture of Violence
THOMAS H. NAYLOR
“If you could rape someone, who would it be?” That was the question which appeared on a survey circulated by members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at the University of Vermont recently which went viral on the Internet.  UVM had once again lived up to its...
Occupy Spadina
DAVID KER THOMSON
I can’t really afford public transportation in Toronto after the fare hikes of the last few years.  And I’ve been pretty close to abandoning routine travel on the TTC for reasons that aren’t just about money, despite the quaint charm of its nineteenth-century-style...
Kodak’s Last Snap
BINOY KAMPMARK
It went into popular circulation as a term: the Kodak moment.  The captured snap to be preserved, be it for posterity, or some other inconsequential reason.  The Eastman Kodak Company is seemingly destined to become another parceled bit of posterity. The undertakers at ...
Bring Democracy Back to the Democratic Party
JONATHAN M. FELDMAN
Hi Steve, I am a bit confused by these email messages I keep getting about the Democratic convention.  Could you please clarify them? First, I heard basically nothing from the administration in terms of direct email contact for a few years. Now, yo...
Growing Up With Drugs and Sex
CHARLES R. LARSON
How about this for an end to one’s future medical career? “Brain surgery had been the life plan, inspired in grade school by the Time Life books.  Oh sure, when I brought the cow’s brain home from the meatpacking plant to dissect for my seventh g...
Amazing Monuments of Modern Berlin
DAVID YEARSLEY
Berlin is extremely proud of being a showplace for the prestige buildings of today’s international star architects. These trophies, from embassies to executive towers to museums, have reclaimed many of the bare spots left by the city’s Cold War divisions. Nor does Ber...
3 by Paul Lojeski
POETS' BASEMENT
Lament by PAUL LOJESKI   The boss man cracked the whip and we jumped. Nothing unusual about that, except I jumped higher than...
RIP Etta James
WEBSITE OF THE WEEKEND
RIP Etta James ...
The Great Pipeline Scam
MICHAEL LEONARDI
In another ridiculous moment of political trickery, Obama managed to dupe a major chunk of the American environmental movement yesterday by refusing to authorize the construction of the Keystone Pipeline now. The keyword in that sentence which seems like it is being large...
Congress Needs to Get to Work
RALPH NADER
The editor of “The Hill”, a newspaper exclusively covering Congress, said that Congress was not going to do very much in 2012, except for “the big bill” which is extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment compensation, which expire in late February. Th...
Working and Poor in the USA
BILL QUIGLEY
“Our nation, so richly endowed with natural resources and with a capable and industrious population, should be able to devise ways and means of insuring to all our able-bodied men and women, a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.” — Frank...
Bradley Manning, Washington and Civilian Deaths
CHASE MADAR
Who in their right mind wants to talk about, think about, or read a short essay about… civilian war casualties?  What a bummer, this topic, especially since our Afghan, Iraq, and other ongoing wars were advertised as uplifting acts of philanthropy: wars t...
The Use and Abuses of Terrorism
JEFF HOWISON
Istanbul For countless reasons, it is not too difficult–particularly for Counterpunchers–to formulate criticisms of the Republican candidates in the run-up to this year’s presidential election; I’ll forgo those criticisms here. Without the farcical...
Follies at the Fed
DEAN BAKER
In keeping with its policy of releasing transcripts with a five-year lag, the Federal Reserve Board just released the ...
The Case of Marian Price
EAMONN McCANN
Derry Parole Commissioners in Northern Ireland failed to reach a decision on Wednesday, January 18) on whether to order the release of Marian Price, 57, from Maghaberry prison in Co. Antrim, where she has been held since last May when the NI Secretary of S...
Bone-Scan Mania
MARTHA ROSENBERG
Where did the medical establishment get the idea that women are in such danger of osteoporosis they need regular bone scans? An idea debunked in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine? In 1994, a year before Fosamax, Merck’s block...
The Wikipedia Blackout
BINOY KAMPMARK
Could it be possible?  A world without the trawling, pervasive influence of Wikipedia?  Or the vast quarries of information that can be gathered from a search on Google?  The scene has been set by the latest Wikipedia advertisement.  The language is pitched on a bibli...
Childhood Leukemia Rates Double Near French Nuclear Reactors
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Childhood Leukemia Rates Double Near ...
Neo-Racism in the Southwest
JORGE MARISCAL
The surge of neo-racism in Arizona, especially racism directed at people of Mexican descent, has received sporadic media coverage over the past year.  But for the most part news about the economy and presidential politics has pushed off the front page Arizona’s attack ...
Welcome to the World’s First Bunker State
JONATHAN COOK
The wheel is turning full circle. Last week the Israeli parliament updated a 59-year-old law originally intended to prevent hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from returning to the homes and lands from which they had been expelled as Israel was established....
Sadism in the Cell
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
Those intent on tormenting now ex-death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal have done it again, this time perhaps even exceeding their past efforts to painfully harass this man widely perceived as a political prisoner. The latest punitive slap involves Pennsylvania prison a...
GMO’s Move Out
IGNACIO CHAPELA
This week BASF announced that it is moving its GMOs out of Europe. Will the English-speaking media lose its nerve and write about it? Based on past experience, my wager goes to the habitual policy of silence, and I expect that the news will continue all but unrecorded in ...
The Media Blackout on Third Parties
STEVEN HIGGS
Watching Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift confront the question “Are most political reporters simply insiders?” is a discomfiting experience. Her struggle to defend the indefensible unavoidably inspires compassion for her uneasy predicament. But the cas...
Banking on Sanctions
PEPE ESCOBAR
Let’s start with red lines. Here it is, Washington’s ultimate red line, straight from the lion’s mouth.  Only last week Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said of the Iranians, “Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they’re ...
Pressure Israel, Not Iran
MARJORIE COHN
Neocons in Israel and the United States are escalating their rhetoric to prepare us for war with Iran. Even the infamous John Yoo, architect of George W. Bush’s illegal torture and spying programs, is calling on the Republican presidential candidates to “begin prepari...
Why the NDAA is Unconstitutional
BRIAN J. TRAUTMAN
Each year, Congress authorizes the budget of the Department of Defense through a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA of 2012, however, is unlike any previous ones. This year’s legislation contains highly controversial provisions that empower the Armed Fo...
Flags of Convenience
KARL GROSSMAN
The disdain of much of the cruise ship industry for safety (as well as labor and environmental) laws is signaled by flags that fly on the stern of more than half of cruise ships. They are called “flags of convenience.” Some 60 percent of cruise ships are now re...
No Guarantees in the Goldilocks Zone
HOWARD LISNOFF
In the opening lines of H.G. Wells’ science fiction classic War of the Worlds (1898), ...