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Day 17

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Archives from June 2012
The Man Who Seeks Transparency
B. J. SACHS
Ecuador. When I was an activist in the anti-Vietnam war movement and a budding civil liberties attorney, I remember getting really stumped by the following: Only congress has the power to declare war. Wow, I thought. While civil libertarians and conserva...
The Trojan Horse and the Golden Calf
ELLIOT SPERBER
The prevailing opinion concerning the release of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the constitutionality of Obama’s health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, was that the court’s upholding of the law would amount to a powerful victory for Obama. The reas...
Can Rapping be a Crime?
JULIE HILDEN
Earlier this month, the D.C. Court of Appeals—the highest court in the District of Columbia, and thus D.C.’s equivalent of a state supreme court—...
Memo to the J14 Movement
PATRICK O. STRICKLAND
JERUSALEM. The organizers of Israel’s J14 movement demand social justice. Outraged by the increasing concentration of wealth and the soaring cost of living, many Israelis have stood up and called for cheaper housing, food, education, and taxes, among oth...
The Kind of Person She Was
MISSY BEATTIE
A garden table and two chairs decorate the sidewalk in front of one of the clothing stores here in the center of the Kingdom of Cross Purposes.   Annie, who worked in this shop, often sat outside, a cigarette hanging from her mouth.  Her little dog hovered nearby.  I ...
A Vermont No-Fly Zone?
THOMAS H. NAYLOR
For months the debate has raged in Vermont over the possible replacement by the Air Force of the Vermont Air National Guard’s aging fleet of F-16 fighter jets with state-of-the-art F-35 jets. Not only will the controversial new fighters cost $115 million a piece, but th...
Not Dark Yet
PHIL ROCKSTROH
Almost exactly ten years ago, in June of 2002, my wife and I were driving through Colorado, on our way from Los Angeles to New York City. In the early afternoon, while paused to tank-up our Toyota Corolla, at a massive convenience store/self-service gas island that boaste...
Anger: Its Uses and Limitations
WINDY COOLER
The subject this hour is my blog. In addition to someone being obsessed with the search term “Windy Cooler and divorc...
On the Fringes in Djibouti and Soweto
CHARLES R. LARSON
In Passage of Tears, twenty-nine-year-old Djibril (or “Djib” in the shortened version)...
Double Header Under the Failing Sun
DAVID YEARSLEY
Copenhagen With alcohol, song, and fire, the celebration of Midsummer in Scandinavia tries to ward off the melancholy that can haunt the occasion. The beauty of the seemingly endless twilight marks a climax—the longest day of the year, but also an end. F...
Jared Carter and Charles Orloski
POETS' BASEMENT
Moment of Silence by JARED CARTER We went back to the old fieldhouse. The band still plays the National Anthem before the tip-off, but no Baptist minister takes the mike to call for a moment of silence –...
Things You Could Buy Instead of Health Insurance
WEBSITE OF THE WEEKEND
Things You Could Buy Instead of Health Insurance ...
What the Market Does to Our Souls
ALAN NASSER
We live in new times. For about thirty years American capitalism featured a small but not insignificant concession to social democracy, what we are taught to call “the welfare state”, in which government contributed to the provision of a degree of material security wh...
Obamacare Wins, We Lose
JOHN STAUBER
It was a brilliant move by far Right (but oh so likable) Chief Justice Roberts to side with the Dem-appointed Justices and uphold ObamaCare.  After all, this is a massive victory for corporate power, forcing citizens to buy an expensive insurance product that won’t...
What’s It Going to Be: Chinatown or Wal-Mart?
ROBERT HUNZIKER
On June 26th, 2012 the Wal-Mart PR team drove home the point of their plans to open a new store in Chinatown (Los Angeles) with a special cultural touch, a traditional Lion Dance, using dancers from the East Wind Youth Foundation, to ward off bad luck because o...
What’s Really Happened to America’s Soldiers?
NAN LEVINSON
“PTSD is going to color everything you write,” came the warning from a stepmother of a Marine, a woman who keeps track of such things.  That was in 2005, when post-traumatic stress disorder, a.k.a. PTSD, wasn’t getting much attention, but soon it was pr...
Giving Juvie Lifers a Chance
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
Anita Colon was crying when she received the telephone call, but the caller knew hers were tears of joy. The caller was her brother dialing her from a prison in Pennsylvania, where he is one of 480 persons serving a life-without-parole sentence for a crime ending i...
Taxing Financial Transactions
SARAH ANDERSON
The leaders of France and Germany may have their differences on the big question of the day — stimulus versus austerity. But they do agree on one thing — taxing financial transactions. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was hot on the idea of a sma...
10 Sure Signs America Is in Decline
DAVID MACARAY
Now that it’s painfully clear the U.S. is on a downward slide, the only question worth asking is when, precisely, did everything start to fall apart.  At what point in time did the pendulum begin swinging the other way?  Accordingly, history buffs, philosophers, and a...
Fail Better
MARC ESTRIN
In his penultimate novella, “Worstward Ho” (1983), Samuel Beckett writes “...
Once Upon a Bayou
JORDAN FLAHERTY
Days before the wide release of “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” the filmmakers returned to Montegut to sho...
Don’t Cry for Us, Arizona
ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ
If Gov. Jan Brewer and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio are cheering and excited about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s SB 1070, then you know something is wrong. And when both promise that there will be no racial profiling, that’s akin to the...
The Art of Getting Money
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
The Art of Getting Money ...
Syria and the Phantom
CONN HALLINAN
What was that Turkish F-4 Phantom II up to when the Syrians shot it down? Ankara said the plane strayed into Syrian airspace, but quickly left and was over international waters when it was attacked, a simple case of carelessness on the part of the Turkish pilot tha...
An Interview With Freeman Dyson on the Origins of Life on Earth
SUZAN MAZUR
“Then after that came us — stage six. That’s the end of the Darwinian era, when cultural evolution replaces biological evolution as the main driving force. “Cultural” means that the big changes in living conditions are driven by h...