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Archives from July 2012
Kosher Baseball?
IRA GLUNTS
Are the Jews a nation?  Can they hit a curveball breaking low and away?  Major League Baseball (MLB) says yes to both.  And Commissioner Bud Selig will prove it by allowing a team comprised solely of Jewish ballplayers to compete in the 2013 ...
The Self-Identity of a Sex Offender
SONIA VAN DEN BROECK
Attitude, far from being “everything”, is simply an offshoot of the self-identity. People are constantly changing their self-identities, either to project the desired image or to gain personal growth. How do you perceive yourself? How much do you accept what other peo...
Why are Women Devouring Fifty Shades of Grey?
GAIL DINES
The porn industry must be throwing a fit right now. The adult book Fifty Shades of Grey has sold over twenty million copies in record time, and sales are still going strong. How did E.L. James, a first-time author who was a television executive, manage to pull of...
Mike Bartlett’s Chariots of Fire
CHARLES R. LARSON
If you enjoyed the 1981 movie, Chariots of Fire, you’re going to love the stage version, recently opened in London—obviously with an eye for the summer Olympics.  Remarkably, the new version (adapted by Mike Bartlett) stays close to the original film.  I sa...
Held and Ramsey
POETS' BASEMENT
For Hamza Ali al-Khatib by PELEG HELD               A thirteen-year old boy tortured and killed in Syria. He kept homing pigeons.   From my father’s roof I rise, circl...
Edward Said: Alexander the Brilliant
WEBSITE OF THE WEEKEND
Edward Said: Alexander the Brilliant ...
The Real Crime in Anaheim
GARY LEUPP
“He was a documented gang member,” say the Anaheim police of Manuel Diaz, a 25 year old unarmed man they shot dead  around 4:00 pm Sunday. They shot him in the buttocks as he ran, and as he stooped to his knees in someone’s yard they followed up by a bullet to the ...
The Senator Without Shame
JAMES ABOUREZK
A few days after the announcement of Alexander Cockburn’s death from a cancer affliction, former U.S. Senator Larry Pressler (R-SD) told the Rapid City, South Dakota Journal that he had obtained a “huge libel settlement f...
When Will the New York Times Show Some Spine?
STEVE BREYMAN
I just stumbled across this headline: “McClatchy’s Washington Bureau Establishes No-Alter Quote Policy” (July 20). Sounds weird, no? Let me explain: I’m currently teaching my summer course “How to Read the New York Times.” Yes, it’s as fun as it sou...
Palestinian Refugees in Syria
RAMZY BAROUD
“The flames are quickly approaching Yarmouk (as) someone is trying to drag the Palestinians into the fire,” reported Palestinian commentator Rashad Abu Shawar (as cited in Israeli Jerusalem Post, July 20). Yarmouk is the largest Palestinian refugee cam...
The Trouble With Bubbles
DEAN BAKER
The United States has more than 20 million people unemployed, underemployed or out of the workforce altogether because of a burst housing bubble. We also have more than 10 million homeowners who are underwater in their mortgages. And, we have tens of millions of people ap...
The ANC’s “London Recruits”
JEFF KLEIN
There was a reunion of sorts in South Africa last month. A group of white-haired visitors, mostly Brits with a scattering of other nationalities, were gathered at the University of Johannesburg along with veteran leaders of the African National Congress, former und...
The Strange Battle Over Eva Peron’s Corpse
TOM CLIFFORD
The battle over Eva Peron´s final resting place remains as uncertain as her political career was controversial. Her mausoleum, ironically for a champion of the poor situated in an upmarket area of Buenos Aires, draws thousands of visitors daily. She is surrounded ...
NAFTA on Steroids
MANU PEREZ-ROCHA and STUART TREW
The United States recently announced that Canada and Mexico will join negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—a secretive U.S.-led multinational ...
Inside the Houston Janitors Strike
MARK VORPAHL
Echoing the story of David vs. Goliath, janitors in Houston are on strike and taking on such corporate giants as JPMorgan, Chase and Exxon Mobile in an effort to pressure the janitorial companies they employ to agree to the workers’ modest demands. It is these big b...
Drop the Case Against Activist Jazz Hayden
ANTHONY PAPA
Joseph “Jazz:” Hayden is a community activist from Harlem whose main goal was to expose the ...
Occupy the Dam!
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Occupy the Dam! ...
Paraguay’s Bitter Harvest
BENJAMIN DANGL
In a July 22nd speech marking the one month anniversary of the parliamentary coup that overthrow left-leaning Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, the former leader denounced that a motivating interest among the coup-plotters was a sought-after deal between Paraguay and ...
Slouching Towards Nuremberg?
MORRIS BERMAN
Strange things are happening in the United States these days, and every day seems to bring additional scary news.  The similarity to the erosion of civil liberties in Germany during the 1930s is a bit too close for comfort. Many will regard this statement as hyperbole, a...
Prisons as Growth Industry
RALPH NADER
Ever visit a major prison? The vast majority of Americans have not, despite our country having by far a higher incarceration rate per capita than China or Iran. Out of sight is out of mind. Imagine the benefits of the average taxpayer touring a prison. The lucrativ...
Victory in Longview, A Year On
CAL WINSLOW
It is a year now since all hell broke loose in Longview, Washington, an industrial town on the Columbia River, 45 miles downstream from Portland, Oregon. On Monday, July 11, 2011, more than 100 dock workers, including the leaders of Local 21, International Longshore and W...
Ponce in the Gulf
VIJAY PRASHAD
In early July, the United States Navy moved a converted transport ship, USS Ponce, into the Persian Gulf to its temporary home off Bahrain’s waters. The Ponce is a floating forward base for military operations in the region. This ship, originally built in 1966 but now r...
The Predictable “Scandal” at the FDA
KEVIN CARSON
It’s gradually emerged in recent months that the Food and Drug Administration not only spied on its employees, but did so on a massive scale — collecting tens of thousands of employee emails to one another, as well as to journalists, members of Congress and co...
Cockburn at the Village Voice
SYLVIA PLACHY
These photographs were taken at the Village Voice in the late 70s. In every picture he is present and at the same time, you can almost hear him think. There is one talking with Marianne Partridge, who was the editor then. There is an editorial meeting when he ...
Is Libya the Next Somalia?
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
Libya seems well on its way to becoming the next Somalia, with much of the country already ruled by tribal/clan based armed militias. As was the case in Somalia, Libya is in the process of separation, with the eastern, oil rich, Cyrenica region having issued a de facto de...
An Irreplaceable Man
FRED GARDNER
The most incisive political journalist of our time, Alexander Cockburn, died on Friday, July 19. We were friends for many years. Shellacked on a file cabinet in the garage is a photo of Alex in the summer of 1990 taking a picture of a gravestone in Trinidad, CA. ...
Reagan: the Real Story
MICHAEL K. SMITH
He had but the foggiest idea what the policies of his own administration were. When not programmed by his staff he talked nonstop about Hollywood or whiled away the hours watching T.V. Bored with his duties, he came to work reluctantly, amusing himself doodling and noddin...
The Delegation From Nowhere
PETER CERTO
The Olympic Games can draw unexpected visitors. Remember the Jamaican bobsled team? This year, it’s the delegation from nowhere. Beginning in the games’ opening week, residents along the rocky coast of southwest England will meet Nowhereisland. N...
Another Bland Stump Speech
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Another Bland Stump Speech ...
The End of Rupert Murdoch?
JEFF SPARROW
When word broke of his resignation from the News International board, Rupert Murdoch was faffing about on Twitter. ‘Britain more an entitlement state,’ he explained to his 300, 000 or so followers. ‘Bigger than ever with growing debts. Is it too late to chang...
Rich Man, Poor Man Long Island-Style
KARL GROSSMAN
Poverty and extreme wealth on Long Island, where I live, have been in the national spotlight in recent days. HBO this month broadcast a powerful documentary “Hard Times: Lost on Long Island.” Filmmaker Marc Levin followed four Long Island families who suddenly became ...
Mexico’s Summer of Resistance
PAUL IMISON
Mexico City. The #YoSoy132 pro-democracy movement that emerged in the weeks leading up to the Mexican election can already boast a handful of victories – having three of the four candidates appear in a third TV debate hosted by students; persuading thous...
Rotten Ronnie
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
Paul Craig Roberts is in terminal denial. The entire basis of his defense of the Reagan Administration rests on the need to preserve his source belief: it had to be good, I was in it. I un...
Cockburn the Fighter
JAMES RIDGEWAY
I did not know Alex Cockburn was at the end of the line. While he is now being widely remembered as an iconoclast and a raconteur, what’s said less often is that he was also a person of great courage and dignity, and the way he met death was true to himself and to h...
The West in Flames
WILLIAM DEBUYS
Dire fire conditions, like the inferno of heat, turbulence, and fuel that recently turned 346 homes in Colorad...
The Mechanics of Alex Cockburn
ROBERT POLLIN
Alex Cockburn and I became close friends in the mid-1980s, when my family and I were living in Riverside, CA and I was teaching at UC-Riverside.  The location is important, because one of the main reasons I got to know Alex so well was because he loved coming to Riversid...
A Possible Strategy for Organized Labor
DAVID MACARAY
Which of the following scenarios would be “most beneficial” to a society?  Scenario A,  where $100 million is spent by randomly mailing 100 million people a check for $1.00, or Scenario B, where that $100 million is spent to build a brand new modern library in a cit...
The Unbearable Waves of Heat
SHAMUS COOKE
The U.S. heat wave is slowly shaking the foundations of American politics. It may take years for the deep rumble to evolve into an above ground, institution-shattering earthquake, but U.S. society has changed for good. The heat wave has helped convince tens of mill...
The Sky as It Falls
KATHY KELLY
Kabul. For the Afghan Peace Volunteers, living in a working class area of Kabul’s “Karte Seh” district, daily problem-solving requires a triage process. Last week, upon arrival, I looked at the sagging ceilings over the kitchen, living room an...
Confronting American Chauvinism
LARRY EVEREST
Don’t get me wrong, I love most sports. But I’m going to have my TV remote (with mute!) at the ready for the upcoming summer Olympics. You know the drill—soaring, beautiful feats of heart, talent and skill by athletes from around the world will be twisted in...
Shoot to Kill
CHARLES R. LARSON
So let’s take the NRA argument.  If everyone in the Colorado movie theater had had a gun, this wouldn’t have happened.  The crazed shooter would have been shot.  Except that that wouldn’t have happened.  There would have been a general shoot-out in the theater, ...
In Depth: With Alexander Cockburn
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
In Depth: With Alexander Cockburn ...
Shrinking Wall Street
MOSHE ADLER
If you want to make Adam Smith, the founder of economics, and George Stigler, the Nobel Prize winning economist, spin in their graves, say the words “LIBOR scandal.”  LIBOR — London Interbank Offered Rate — is, as everyone learned this past week...
The Logic of Limiting Violence
M.G. PIETY
The issue of gun control is once again in the news, thanks to the mass shooting in Colorado last week. All the putatively-lefty pundits in the main-stream media are trotting out their tired arguments in favor of stricter gun control laws in what ought to be clear to anyon...
Three Big Lies of the Super-Rich
PAUL BUCHHEIT
When it comes to the economy, too many Americans continue to be numbed by the soothing sounds of conservative spin in the media. Here are three of their more inventive claims: 1. Higher taxes on the rich will hurt small businesses and discourage job creator...
False Indicators From Buenos Aires Bombing
GARETH PORTER
Immediately after the terror bombing of a busload of Israeli youth in Burgas, Bulgaria, both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ...
The Irreverent Sting of Alexander Cockburn
DAVID PRICE
I started reading Alexander Cockburn during the early 1980s while in college, mining The Evergreen State College library’s back issues of The Village Voice.  In the present, it is easy to lose sight of how sharp and unique his early critiques of the media ...
The Privatization From Hell
EVAN JONES
On 11 September 2009, A France Telecom employee threw herself out of the office window to her death. Hers was the 23rd suicide in the company since early 2008. There was another France Telecom suicide only several days previously. There were suicides before 200...
No RIP for Alexander Cockburn
DAVE LINDORFF
ThisCantBeHappening! lost a valued friend Friday night with the death, from cancer, of Alexander Cockburn, 71. Alex and his comrade-in-arms Jeffrey St. Clair at Counterpunch magazine have helped our struggling little online left alternative newspaper mightily by running m...