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Archives from June 2012
The Fukushima Gyre
SHEPHERD BLISS
“Nuclear Free Zone” reads the comforting, official sign at the corner of Highway 116 and Lynch. It welcomes people coming into Sebastopol from the south. “What’s a nuclear free zone?” 8-year-old William recently asked his mother, Lynda Williams, who teach...
Notes on Watergate at 40
JOHN DEAN
On Monday, June 11, 2012,The Washington Post held an event on the 11th floor of the Watergate Office Complex (the building is currently being renovated, with a change in ownership) to mark the 40th anniversary of the break-in at the Democ...
When Chomsky Wept
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The Nuclear Cult
KARL GROSSMAN
Nuclear scientists and engineers embrace nuclear power like a religion. The term “nuclear priesthood” was coined by Dr. Alvin Weinberg, long director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the ...
The Decline of Independent Weeklies
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Alternative weekly newspapers used to be crusading vehicles against corporate power and crime. The remaining ones now have morphed into consumer guides for the young corporate class answering such pressing questions as – W...
How a Dead Dog Came Back to Bite Richard Nixon’s Watergate Conspirators
CLANCY SIGAL
Copa de Oro, just off Sunset Boulevard, in LA, is a lovely evening’s drive in a Kappa Alpha Theta’s ragtop Buick convertible just around a leafy curve from the luxurious Bel Air hotel. It’s a mile or so up from the swanky East Gate, a few minutes fr...
Caution Wins the Day in Greece
PATRICK COCKBURN
The Greek election produced a knife-edge result yesterday, with the establishment parties snatching victory in a narrow race. “The Greek people voted today to stay on the European course and remain in the eurozone … there will be no more adventures, Greece&...
The Detritus of Globalization
VIJAY PRASHAD
On June 15, after eight hours of deliberation, the Jury in Manhattan’s federal court found Rajat Gupta, 63, guilty of four counts of insider trading. As the crimes and misdemeanors of Wall Street imploded over the past decade, many saw Gupta as one of the examples of pr...
History’s Revenge
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
The “global war on terror” started by President George W. Bush more than a decade ago has taken a new and more sinister turn. Now we know that Barack Obama, the current president, goes through the profiles of people he wants eliminated (...
Prometheus: the Tea Party in Space
JEFF SPARROW
In the late sixties and early seventies, the Swiss quack Erich von Daniken made a fortune peddling a hundred different iterations of his ‘...
Birth, Language and Citizenship
GYANENDRA PANDEY
The ‘birthing’ controversy is news again. Is the President really American? He doesn’t really look it! Or always act like he is: remember the Barrack-Michelle closed-fist salute? I moved to the US from India fourteen years ago, and am still struck by...
Slaves to the Internet
JOSHUA SPERBER
Jean Baudrillard’s posthumous Agony of Power begins with a discussion o...
The Torture Hypocrites
ED MOLONEY
March 2011 was a busy month at the Department of Justice’s International Affairs Office (IAO) in Washington D.C. The British Home Office had just started the process of serving subpoenas on Boston College’s Belfast Project archive and its officials had begun liaising ...
The Boy Who Shot the Queen of England
MICHAEL DICKINSON
It’s difficult to believe that the British Queen, Elizabeth, is 136 years old.  She was actually born in April 1926 and is physically only 86, but if you include the extra Official Royal Birthday she has celebrated every June since her Coronation in 1952, you’re look...
Stuxnet and the Bomb
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If the Greek Left Can Terrify the Eurocrats, What’s with the US Left and Obama?
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Regard the Greek political landscape and how dramatically it has changed from last November. On November 2, 2011,  Greek  prime minister George Papandreou flew to Cannes before a G20 meeting and received one of the most humiliating rebuffs in European history since Pope...
Romney’s Inane Campaign
RALPH NADER
Mitt Romney’s daily dittohead assertions make one wonder what he got out of the law and business degrees he received from Harvard University. One of his regular blasts blames Barack Obama for the daily reports of bad economic indicators. Unemployment increases – blame...
The Dow of the G20
VIJAY PRASHAD
In quick succession, the World Leaders shall gather, first at Los Cabos (Mexico) for the G20 summit and then at Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. Frantic discussions are being held by the sherpas, the bureaucrats whose task...
Housing Market Smackdown
MIKE WHITNEY
There’s no question that Canada’s gigantic housing bubble is going to burst. It’s just a matter of when. Housing prices in Canada have more than doubled in the last 10 years, and in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, prices are up more than 140 pe...
The True Face of Egypt’s Military
ESAM AL-AMIN
The masks dropped. The cards are shown. For over a year, Egyptians have wondered who was leading the efforts to frustrate and obliterate their nascent revolution, or what was dubbed in the local media as the “third party” or the “hidden bandit.” But...
Vietnam, the US and China
GABRIEL KOLKO
If history proves anything, it is that nothing can be taken for granted.   Men and parties that rule nations fall all the time—as witnessed today in much of the Middle East, a region that was once considered stable.  The American Central Intelligence Agency, a huge, ...
Anti-African Hysteria Sweeps Israel
URI AVNERY
“We shall not be a normal people, until we have Jewish whores and Jewish thieves in the Land of Israel,” our national poet, Haim Nahman Bialik, said some 80 years ago. This dream has come true. We have Jewish murderers, Jewish robbers and Jewish whores (though ...
Trying to Kill Social Security
RON JACOBS
It seems like every few months alarms are sounded warning US workers that Social Security is going bankrupt.  Oftentimes, the follow up to these alarms includes a warning that the only way to save the system is by turning all or part of the funds involved over to Wall St...
Left Threat Terrifies Bankers: Out of the Eurozone, Into Bankruptcy?
PATRICK COCKBURN
Athens As Greeks prepare to vote in the most important election in their history on Sunday, people in Athens fear they are facing a future full of uncertainty, poverty and violence. Well-publicized crimes help create an atmosphere of violence as the wealth...
The Syrian Stalemate
PETER LEE
Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao had an interesting question to discuss during their summit in Beijing.  Is it good business and good geopolitics to acquiesce to a Sunni Arab triumph in Syria?  Or is Syria the place to hold the line against a destabilizing and counterproduc...
The DEA and the Return of the Death Squads
GREG McCAIN
The US is once again hell bent on establishing death squads in its militarization of Central America. This is a stark reminder of the 1980s when Ronald Reagan and Ollie North were funding the contras with drug money, but now it is reinforced with lessons learned in terror...
Greed and the Pain in Spain
CONN HALLINAN
Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz characterizes the Spanish bank bailout as “voodoo economics” that is certain “to fail.” New York Times economic analyst Andrew Ross Sorkin agrees: “By now it should be apparent that the bailout has failed—or at le...
Imam Musa Sadr’s Remains Discovered in Libya; Battle Over DNA use; Sheikh Yaacoub Alive or Dead?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut In early spring 1983, shortly before her death, the American journalist Janet Lee Stevens urged this observer to visit Libya and meet some friends of hers who were active in the Palestine armed resistance.  In those days, thanks to Yasser ...
Occupy in History
ROB URIE
It has been said by some of the original Black Panthers that, in their view, it wasn’t their armed self-defense against police violence that brought the full weight of state repression down on them. What brought it was their establishment of alternative institutions—s...
The Legacy of the Nuclear Freeze Movement
HOWARD LISNOFF
Marching in midtown Manhattan on June 12, 1982 was quite an experience. One million people were on the streets of the city, the largest anti-nuclear demonstration in history. Whenever the north/south line of march approached a major intersection, other protesters could be...
American Disconnect
SAUL LANDAU
New York City’s wealth stands in stark contrast to the countless people begging on its streets. New York is different of course, but not for the 1% who live well across the country; the rest of the population less or far less well. That’s America in 2012, where...
The Other Sex War
DAVID ROSEN
The U.S. is witness to three overlapping yet distinct fronts in the ongoing sex wars.  The main front involves battles over abortion, same-sex marriage, birth control, consensual teen sex and sexting, the practice by which teens exchange often sexually explicit photos vi...
The Ecological Costs of Environmentalist Collaboration
MIKE GARRITY and CAROLE KING
If history has taught us anything, it’s that America is a much better place when environmental laws are enforced.   We need to make sure that people and organizations whose stated mission is to protect and enforce such laws remain fully committed to that mission.  Bu...
The Wisconsin Wake-Up Call
STEVE EARLY
Tuesday, June 5, was a disastrous day for public workers from the west coast to the mid-west. Voters in San Diego and San Jose approved retirement benefit cuts for their city employees, which led major newspapers to proclaim (accurately) that more “pension reform” of ...
Colorado’s War on Medical Marijuana
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
[A] drug which takes away grief and passion and brings a forgetfulness of all ills. — Homer, The Iliad Two events took place in June that suggested a primer on how medical marijuana laws are working in Colorado might b...
Supreme Insult
PAUL STREET
As the United States Supreme Court prepares to release its ruling for or against the corporatist “health insurance reform” Barack Obama and the Democrats passed in early 2010 (the so-called Affordable Health care Act), let us pause briefly to consider what a hot pluto...
The Spanish Hurricane
ERIC TOUSSAINT
All eyes are turned toward Spain and its banking sector. After Greece, Ireland, and Portugal, we may ask ourselves if the bailout plans are behind us or whether we are simply in the eye of the cyclone? We must remain lucid and recognize that the financial and banking cris...
Mexican American Studies: a Pedagogy Not Sociology
RODOLFO ACUÑA
We have allowed the uninformed and ignorant to define what Mexican American Studies is. Every time I discuss the subject I feel as frustrated as a scientist trying to explain science to a creationist. No matter how well you know the field those who do not want to believe ...
I’d Like to Thank the Academy
MISSY BEATTIE
The antidepressants, samples of 30 and 60 mgs, provided by my doctor, are on the countertop. “I’ve never seen you cry,” he said.  I told him it’s because I’ve been such an amazing actor these last four years.  And that I’d like to thank the Academy. ...
Supply-Side Mayhem
ROBERT HUNZIKER
Supply-side economics is front-and-center this political year. Every presidential candidate who participated in the Republican primary debates preached the gospel of Supply-side economics, prompting this article, inquiring about its efficacy. Supply-side economics ...
Eight Miles High
JEFFREY SOMMERS
Overnighted in the land of taciturn blonds and backlit June skies, Tallinn. En route from Astana to visit friends for the night before returning to Chicago. Flight from Tallinn to Munich was delayed. Given my First Class ticket (provided by a 3rd party), I was ...
Not Your Grandmother’s Typical Journey
CHARLES R. LARSON
How delicious—a novel you want to eat.  That’s the way I feel about Suzanne Joinson’s travel adventure of lost souls, ...
Feeding in Brecht’s Soup Kitchen
DAVID YEARSLEY
Berlin The current Berlin State Opera’s workshop production of the rarely-staged Lehrstück of Bertold Brecht and Paul Hindemith isn’t something you’d want to see everyday: it is strident, raucous, ungainly. But it grabs you by the throat an...
Old White Party
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The Real Retirement Crisis
ERIC LAURSEN
“The lifespan of any civilization can be measured by the respect and care that is given to its elderly citizens, and those societies which treat their elderly with contempt have the seeds of their own destruction within them.” ...
The Unseen Wound
JERRY LEMBCKE
The headline was alarming: “Almost half of New Vets seek Disability.” According to the May 28 Associated Press story, 45% of the 1.6 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are seeking some kind of compensation for war injuries, more than dou...
Life Under the Radioactive Cloud
LINDA PENTZ GUNTHER
Mothers in Fukushima, Japan, worry that the food and milk that they must feed daily to their infants and children may one day kill them. Is that a fear that an American parent can even begin to fathom? That because of the secrecy, the intransigence and, ultimately, the cr...
Children in US Warzones
DANIEL KOVALIK
The UN just released its annual report on “Children and Armed Conflict.”  A number of states, as wel...
The Sweet Stink of Charity
AFSHIN RATTANSI
If we can forget, for a moment, the hundreds of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis who have been killed, and the suicide-a-day in 2012 for U.S. servicemen and women, let’s turn to one NATO ally – the UK. This week, in the unlikely setting of a London room, off Pic...