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Archives from April 2012
The Calculus of Egypt’s Presidential Race
ESAM AL-AMIN
“President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from his position as president of the republic.” Uttered by former Vice President Omar Suleiman on the evening of February 11, 2011, these words set in motion jubilations by millions of Egyptians celebrating the ultima...
The Housing Market Doldrums
MIKE WHITNEY
The housing market is in terrible shape. Prices have dropped 35 percent from their peak, 1 in 5 mortgage holders is underwater, and another 2 million people will face foreclosure this year. And, as bad as things are now, they’re going to get a whole lot worse if th...
Youth of Color: Watched and Shot
MARK LEWIS TAYLOR
Trayvon Martin and Mumia Abu-Jamal. One is dead. One languished on death row for thirty years. They are separated in age by a generation, separated by different locations and different life-histories, but their stories of being under surveillance, watched and shot, inters...
The Le Pen Factor
BINOY KAMPMARK
As with every election, the readers of the tea leaves often have a habit of misreading the signs. Confusion becomes its own most valued currency.  The first round of the French presidential elections revealed that Marine Le Pen has achieved formidable gains – somewhere...
The Obama / Netanyahu Rift
GARY LEUPP
There are some indications of a widening split between top officials over the way to engage Iran within the framework of the 5+1 talks. On the one hand, there are those, echoed by Obama himself, who argue that a deal over the Iranian nuclear program is possible. On the ot...
What Should People Fight For?
ROBERT JENSEN
After an engaging half-hour interview with India’s pre-eminent Marxist economist during a conference at New York University, I told a friend about my one-on-one time with Prabhat Patnaik. “There are Marxists in India?” came the bemused response. “I thought ...
Connecting the Dots of Prejudice Through Prose and Plays
JOSEPH P. BLAKE
I believe that absolutely nothing happens in a vacuum. There is always a connection between why things happen and the something (or someone) that made it happen. All too frequently that connection is not easily apparent, and that creates problems. I’m conv...
Democracy in the Streets
HOWARD LISNOFF
Several months before the 2008 general election, I stood with two other antiwar demonstrators outside of the town hall of a small town in Massachusetts. One of the other two demonstrators had demonstrated for peace there each Saturday at noon since just prior to the incep...
Milan’s Missing Trees
FRANCESCO DONATI
Milan. In major European cities, policy makers and civil servants often boast about taking actions to advance environmental protection: cleaning the air, supporting sustainable development, aiding conservation networks, and avoiding sanctions by the Europe...
The Philanthropic Complex
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
The Philanthropic Complex ...
At the Pearly Gates
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
On April 20 there’s a memorial for Christopher Hitchens at the Cooper Union in Manhattan. There’s a PEN tribute, also in Manhattan, on April 30.  Here’s my own little envoi. The regular Diary, tumbrils and all, will resume next week. SCENE ONE ...
The World’s Largest Open-Air Gulag
RALPH NADER
Have you heard much lately about the 1.5 million Palestinians illegally imprisoned by the Israeli government in the world’s largest open-air Gulag? Their dire living conditions, worsened by a selective Israeli siege limiting the importation of necessities of life – me...
Bernanke’s Plan for the Middle Class
MIKE WHITNEY
Do you want to understand what the Fed is doing, but don’t have time to wade through volumes of tedious economics writing? Well, now the pros at dshort.com have made all that possible. They’ve reduced 4 years of monetary policy into one chart that ill...
Foundations and American Power
JOAN ROELOFS
Zbigniew Brzezinski in The Grand Chessboard (1997) noted that “Cultural domination has been an underappreciated fac...
Will Iran War be Another October Surprise?
ANDREW LEVINE
Will Mitt Romney and Benjamin Netanyahu concoct a war with Iran?  Not if they have a tenth of the sense they were born with.  But that’s not much consolation when we’re dealing, on the one hand, with a vulture capitalist and one time Mormon bishop whose flip floppin...
In Camus’ Image
THOMAS H. NAYLOR
When I first read Albert Camus’s The Stranger as a college student in 1957, it went righ...
Afghan Screams Aren’t Heard
KATHY KELLY and HAKIM
Last weekend, in Kabul, Afghan Peace Volunteer friends huddled in the back room of their simple home. With a digital camera, glimpses and sounds of their experiences were captured, as warfare erupted three blocks away. ...
Chinese Melamine or American Vioxx: Half a million dead and no questions asked
RON UNZ
In contrasting China and America, pundits often cite our free and independent media as one of our greatest strengths, together with the tremendous importance which our society places upon individual American lives. For us, a single wrongful death can sometimes provoke...
Unplugging Americans From The Matrix
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Americans, the British, and Western Europeans are accustomed to thinking of themselves as the representatives of freedom, democracy, and morality in the world. The West passes judgment on the rest of the world as if the West is God and the rest of the world are barbarians...
The Aftermath of Deepwater Horizon
JORDAN FLAHERTY
On April 20, 2010, a reckless attitude towards the safety of the Gulf Coast by BP, as well as ...
Getting Serious About Syria
SAUL LANDAU
The Syrian conflict continued to boil — or boil over — when Syrian troops fired across the Turkish border on April 9, apparently killing either fleeing refugees or armed combatants. Then the UN team entered and began monitoring a shaky ceasefire – sha...
Bahrain: Formula None
RANNIE AMIRI
Bahrain’s royal family hopes you too will believe the 14-month uprising that began (or more properly stated, resumed) last February in the tiny Gulf nation, is now over. Order, peace, tranquility and the legitimacy of monarchal rule are what they despera...
Incomes, Not Taxes, are the Real Issue
ROBERT URIE
Every year Tax Day, the income tax-filing deadline in the U.S., brings out the usual assortment of right wing cranks and pleading liberals who agree in principal that capitalism, such as it is, is the greatest economic system among the one that they know of but differ on ...
The Unlearned Lessons of the BP Oil Spill
ROBERT WEISSMAN
The BP disaster taught us many things: Giant corporations cannot be trusted to behave responsibly, and have the ability to inflict massive damage on people and the environment. We need strong regulatory controls to curb corporate wrongdoing. We need tough penalties to pun...
Son of the Housing Bubble
DEAN BAKER
It’s often said that the difference between the powerful and the powerless is that the powerful get to walk away from their mistakes while the powerless suffer the consequences. The first-time homebuyers’ tax credit provides an excellent example of the privile...