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Archives from March 2012
The Conflict in Syria
NASEER ARURI
On March 21, 2012, the fifteen-member UN Security Council voted unanimously, for the first time, to push the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, towards a diplomatic settlement, by ordering it to comply with the Six Point plan presented by Kofi Anan, the former UN Secretary...
The Myth of Peak Oil
GEORGE WUERTHNER
Each time there is a short-term shortage of oil or the price begins to rise, there is talk of running out of affordable oil, an idea captured by the concept of Peak Oil. Peak Oil is the theoretical point when the maximum rate of oil production is reached and after that ti...
The Affordable Care Act: an Allegorical Perspective
RAVI KATARI
Let’s imagine ourselves as belonging to a remote valley population that survives on water supplied by groundwater reserves.  As a society we have collectively decided to send the best and brightest to use their ingenuity to find the reserves and dig efficient wells tha...
The NDP’s Awful New Leader
MURRAY DOBBIN
There will be lots of soul searching and head scratching going on this week about what happened with the NDP leadership race. The mechanics of the convention, the interesting lack of deal-making, and how the balloting progressed are all fodder for those who enjoy going th...
Catching Up With the Republican Primaries
WALTER BRASCH
It’s the beginning of April, and that means I just finished celebrating New Year’s Eve, and will soon begin shopping for Valentine’s gifts. In a month or two, I may even get around to toasting St. Patrick. It’s not procrastination, it’s just that I’m a ...
Golf is a Pussy Game
DAVID MACARAY
By all accounts, the most difficult thing to do in sports is hit a moving baseball.  Virtually every sports writer who ever lived agrees with that observation.  The ball is traveling at upwards of 95 mph.  You’re standing approximately 60 feet away.  The 5.25 ounce ...
Leon Uris Taught Me About Sex
LINDA UEKI ABSHER
Leon Uris taught me about sex.  In sixth grade, no less. I wasn’t a particularly precocious or debauched child, though I did have an unhealthy attachment to Almond Joys.  I was what sociologists have come to identify as “bookworm”.  But not by choice. ...
Adrienne Rich: “What Kind of Times are These?”
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Adrienne Rich: “What Kind of Times are These?” ...
Transition From the Sweatshop of the World
BEHZAD YAGHMAIAN
For many the Retraction of the Apple story by This American Life turned Apple from a labor abuser into a corporation with best practices. Others saw this as a proof of yet another corporate cover-up and PR campaign by Apple. Meanwhile, American involvement in workplace...
The Perils of Civilian Policing
BINOY KAMPMARK
A hundred years of lynching, justifiable homicide.  Same thing. Protester’s sign, Sanford, Mar 21, 2012 ‘We report all suspicious persons and acti...
Nuking Canyonlands?
JOHN WEISHEIT
A coalition of private citizens and activist groups filed suit in the Utah court ...
The Lies of So Cal Edison
RUSSELL D. HOFFMAN
The most amazing pump in the universe — the most amazing machine in the universe — is the main pump inside your chest, the human heart. When your main pump fails, you’re in BIG trouble — unless it’s recognized in time, of course.  The...
Aggravated Pimping and the Global Elite: From DSK to the Emir of Kuwait
SUZAN MAZUR
The current woes of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn relea...
Security for the One-Percent
WILLEM de LINT
Over the past several years, but now with more intensity, domestic security measures are being mooted, planned, and carried out with a purposefulness that appears to take as a given that what is good for the 1% is good for the rest of us. Moreover, they appear to be devel...
Three Killings
JOHN FEFFER
The note left next to the bloodied body of Shaima Alawadi read “go back to your country, you terrorist.” Alawadi, who died on Saturday after being taken off life support, was an Iraqi-born mother of five living outside of San Diego. Someone had delivered a similar not...
The Leftist Spy Who Came in From Cold Pretoria
PATRICK BOND
‘I don’t have the stomach or the taste to serve any more at this level,’ said the normally ebullient Minister of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils, as he quit after fourteen years of service to the South African government. It was late September 2008, just after Thabo Mbe...
A New Start for the World Bank?
MARK WEISBROT
The opening up of the contest for World Bank president is a historic change whose significance has not been fully appreciated. This is not surprising, given the widespread misunderstanding of the Bretton Woods institutions (the IMF and World Bank). The IMF’s ...
A Big Fight Over Israel at a Small Food Co-op
ARI PAUL
On Tuesday night, members of the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn voted against having a referendum on whether to boycott Israeli products, a largely symbolic move that would have taken a few items like hummus and paprika off the shelves if enacted. The debate pitted the...
Yes, There is a War on Religion in America
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Yes, There is a War on Religion in America ...
The Second Killing of Trayvon Martin
JOHN ESKOW
The cowardly police in Sanford, Florida, who sanctioned the murder of an unarmed black teenager by a racist vigilante named George Zimmerman, have now assassinated Trayvon Martin a second time, by leaking  scurrilous and irrelevant “news” about him.  This age-old di...
Ratzinger in Mexico
PAUL IMISON
Mexico City When John Paul II used to swing by Mexico – the first Pope to do so in 1979 – he went straight to Mexico City, the country’s throbbing spiritual heart; as well as the site of its most important Catholic shrine, the Basilica of Guadalupe. ...
How the New American Empire Really Works
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Great empires, such as the Roman and British, were extractive. The empires succeeded, because the value of the resources and wealth extracted from conquered lands exceeded the value of conquest and governance. The reason Rome did not extend its empire east into Germany wa...
A Visit to Syria
WALDEN BELLO
The sound of what seems like thunder wakes me up at 3 am, Monday, a few hours after I arrived in Damascus. Storm coming, I think, and my jetlagged brain plunges back to sleep. When I go down to jog at six, the side streets around the Hotel Arjaan are blocked ...
The Hybrid Rules of Drone Warfare
JOANNE MARINER
I don’t think there’s any question but that we are at war,” said then-Attorney-General designate Eric Holder at his ...