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Archives from May 2012
The Elevation of Jeffrey Feltman
VIJAY PRASHAD
A blog visited mainly by UN insiders announces that US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman is up for a very important UN job. Former UN Assistant Secretary General for Public Information Samir Sanbar’s blog, UN Forum, notes that UN Secr...
Black Bloc Anarchists and State Terrorism
ROB URIE
Renewed criticism of Black Bloc anarchists (link) ties in a tangential way to the arrest on terrorism charges of t...
Bankers and Forgiveness
ANN ROBERTSON and BILL LEUMER
When homeowners have fallen behind in their mortgage payments, whether because of a job loss or because the interest rates just shot up, the bankers have responded coldly. Led by their economic interests, they set their robo-signers working overtime on foreclosures, forci...
The Poverty of Nations
ROBERT HUNZIKER
There is plenty of wealth to go around in the world, but it’s tied up in too few hands for democratic capitalism to operate efficiently for society at large. Thus, in order to maintain civil order, totalitarianism increasingly becomes a byproduct of this conundrum. ...
Do Reporters Read?
SAUL LANDAU
Less than 3 years ago, Cuban authorities arrested Alan Gross, who had an almost $600,000 contract with DIA.Inc., to carry out a USAID program in Cuba. At his Havana trial, Gross heard Cuban authorities present his trip reports in which he revealed how he supplied a...
Hard Line Failure in Nuke Talks
GARETH PORTER
Negotiations between Iran and the United States and other members of the P5+1 group in Baghdad ended in fundamental disagreement Thursday over the position of the P5+1 offering no relief from sanctions against Iran. The two sides agreed to meet again in Moscow Jun....
Book Critic Censored by San Diego Newspaper
THOMAS LARSON
Buy a newspaper and censor its content. This seems to be the policy of San Diego developer and multimillionaire Doug Manchester, who last November purchased the city’s largest newspaper and rechristened it, the UT-San Diego. His...
Libya, Africa and Africom
DAN GLAZEBROOK
The scale of the ongoing tragedy visited on Libya by NATO and its allies is becoming horribly clearer with each passing day. Estimates of those killed so far vary, but 50,000 seems like a low estimate; indeed the British Ministry of Defence was boasting that the onslaught...
The Mind Druggers
MARTHA ROSENBERG
The first week in May brought a new leader in France and new prospects for same sex couples seeking marriage. But at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting in Philadelphia, attended by 11,000 psychiatrists, it was the same old same old. Instead of lis...
Papers, Please
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Two bits of bad news to dampen any cheer earlier reports might have warranted.  It is accompanied by one bit of good news.  The bad news comes from Alabama and Iowa.  The good news comes from Arizona, a state normally known as a bellwether for bad news. Early...
A Natural Eye
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
On his 80th birthday, Brett Weston fed sixty years worth of his negatives into the large fireplace in his home on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Some of the negatives didn’t burn immediately. So Weston doused them with kerosene. Yes, he was something of a pyro. Ov...
Why Corporate Capitalism is Unsustainable
KEVIN CARSON
I’m not a Marxist, but I find a lot of Marx’s ideas useful. Old Karl certainly had a gift for turning a phrase. Nobody who could come up with something as Proudhonian as “the associated producers” could be all bad. One of his best in my opinion was...
Strip Your Rights
LINH DINH
Whatever crimes, violations or discretions anyone admits to, he or she likely has done, is doing and will do worse. This is also true of governments. Washington can now snoop on your international emails and phone calls, without warrants, but do you seriously think they...
The Tentacles of Empire
RON JACOBS
This past week the world watched while Chicago police and their allies militarized the city of Chicago as part of what was primarily a show of force.  The only “terrorists” arrested in the entire operation were three men who had filmed police harassing them earlier i...
It Wouldn’t Kill Me to Die
MISSY BEATTIE
A year and three months after the death of my husband Charles, I took a trip with Laura, my sister. Seated aboard a propeller plane and flying over water, we locked eyes.  She said, “I really don’t like this.” “It wouldn’t kill me to die,” I said.  We...
Living in Sweden, Thinking of the Holocaust
RITT GOLDSTEIN
FALUN, Sweden. It was December when neo-Nazis marched through the streets of Stockholm, parading by the Jewish Community’s headquarters, their protest against a perceived ‘Jewish conspiracy’ too historically familiar.  On 13 May, Swedish media repor...
Hope Reborn at the Antifest
ERIC TOUSSAINT
Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a country ravaged by a war that between 1992 and the beginning of 1996 caused 100.000 deaths (exact figures are unavailable), is certainly looking a lot better but the social situation is dramatic. One statistic says it all: ...
Two Days in a Forbidden City
JULIA Von STADEN
Frankfurt, Germany. It almost seemed as if the City of Frankfurt, Hessian Police and, after all, any court up to the Federal Constitutional Court (in German: Bundesverfassungsgericht, BverfG) went paranoid and hysterical all together and at once. What seem...
The Electoral Tunnel
JACK A. SMITH
Less than six months before the November presidential elections in an exceptionally distressed United States the narrow, unpleasant parameters of political possibility are emerging. Two alternatives confront the American people, both to the right of center. 1. If P...
Defending Montana Forests From Lawless Logging
MIKE GARRITY
A handful of timber corporations recently took out full-page ads statewide to criticize the Alliance for the Wild Rockie...
NASA and Private Enterprise
BINOY KAMPMARK
Space has become an extension of the capitalist project.  Not that it should surprise anybody. The market, when allowed, has a tendency to be all-consuming, and allowing the Russians the sole means of supplying the international space station was not a situation those at...
Rebel Music
KIM NICOLINI
Following the trajectory of a cinematic biopic, the new documentary Marley is organized as a straightforward biography, starting with Bob’s birth and ending with his death. But the movie is so much more than a linear story of one man’s life and music. Its 144...
The Madwoman in the Leprosarium
CHARLES R. LARSON
In an astonishing scene in Kei Miller’s amazing novel, The Last Warner Woman, seventeen-...
Opening Obama Video of the Campaign
DAVID YEARSLEY
Berlin Just as wallpaper sometimes tells you almost everything you need to know about the people who live in the house it decorates, so too can even the most banal soundtrack to a political ad reveal far more about the candidate than word and image. So it ...
The Lord of the Drones by Heathcote Williams
POETS' BASEMENT
The Lord of the Drones: The President and the White House Fly By HEATHCOTE WILLIAMS “Events of great consequence often spring from trifling circumstances.”  (Ex parvis saepe magnarum momenta...