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Archives from 2012
American Power in Terminal Decline
DAVE LINDORFF
The US is on the way out as a hegemonic power. That is the primary conclusion of a new report out of the National Intelligence Council — a government organization that produces mid-term and long-range thinking for the US intelligence community. Titled ...
Punk, Politics and the 1980s
RON JACOBS
My introduction to punk rock shows was less than auspicious.  I did see the Clash on their first US tour in 1977, yet the venue for that show was a rock festival in Monterey that attempted to bring together punk, reggae and psychedelic music.  The endeavor failed financ...
The World Bank and Higher Education in Kazakhstan
ALLEN RUFF AND STEVE HORN
A year ago, on Dec. 15, 2011,  Kazakhstan state security forces ...
Medical Internationalism in Cuba
JOHN M. KIRK
“What is the secret of our approach? It lies in the fact that human capital can achieve far more than financial capital. Human capital implies not only knowledge but also-crucially important- political awarenes,. ethics, a sense of solidarity, truly human feelin...
Ripe for Reduction
MIRIAM PEMBERTON
Here we are on brink of a major historical moment. We’re beginning to wind down the longest period of war in our history. And we’re about to turn around a 13-year-long surge in Pentagon spending. It’s not just longtime advocates for such changes ...
Ideological Masturbation
JOHN BLAIR
Some right wingers seem so bent on personal greed and gratification while the nation gets hosed that they appear to engage in what I would call ideological masturbation. Fiscal cliff? Who cares? Lies to take us to war? Who cares? Depressed economy with millions suf...
The ACHIEVE Act Sham
AMALIA PALLARES AND TANYA GOLASH-BOZA
One of the supposed lessons of Obama’s electoral victory was that Republicans could no longer afford to advocate an enforcement-only position on immigration reform. So it says something that the party’s first nod in that direction was extraordinarily weak. At t...
Get Thee to a Nunnery!
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Get thee to a nunnery. — Shakespeare, Hamlet The Lord works in mysterious ways.  So does the Catholic Church and it is probably as confusing for the nuns as it is for the casual observer.  On the one hand nuns are in...
What Michigan Can Learn from Wisconsin
KEN KLIPPENSTEIN
The parallels between the assault on unions in Wisconsin and that of Michigan are striking: both were met with spontaneous protests in their state capitols, which were in turn met with large police responses; both were passed hastily by governors who did not campaign on c...
What Did Doha Do?
CURTIS FJ DOEBBLER
The latest round of global climate talks known as COP18 finally came to an acrimonious end on Saturday night, almost a day later than had been planned. It was a messy end and to many it was a very unsatisfactory one. States appeared more interested in not pleasing ...
Peace is Possible in Afghanistan
MAIREAD MAGUIRE
Kabul. I have come to Kabul to give my support to the campaign for 2 million friends of the Afghan people.  You have chosen to run this campaign because you remember that 2 million people from Afghanistan have died in violence under war, under killing....
Killing for Stuff
MISSY BEATTIE
The Oregon mall shooting’s been the “top” story most of the day (Wednesday) at Google News, dirty dancing and dipping with the fiscal cliffhanger. Steven Forsyth and Cindy Yuille are dead.  Kristina Shevchenko, a high school student, is hospitalized, in seri...
Observations on Work
DOUG ENAA GREENE
With the election cycle over, President Obama has promised to create one million manufacturing jobs. Obama has also promised to cut taxes for small businesses in order to spur job creation. Considering the depths of the recession, the call for the creation of jobs is on t...
The Achievements of Hugo Chavez
CARLES MUNTANER, JOAN BENACH, MARIA PAEZ VICTOR
While Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez is fighting for his life in Cuba, the liberal press of both sides of the Atlantic (e.g., El Pais”) has not stopped  trashing his government. The significance of his victory (12 points ahead of his contender) has yet to be anal...
The Heart of Darkness in Zero-Dark-Thirty
FAWZIA AFZAL-KHAN
That it is a tale grippingly told, which keeps you glued to the edge of your seat even as you know the outcome since its part of our collective history now—that I will cede to Zero Dark Thirty directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The film, which opened yesterday on a limited re...
Facebook Cock Up
MICHAEL DICKINSON
Clad in a pink houscoat and fluffy slippers, one foot stretched out on a pouffe, Queen Elizabeth sat slouched in an armchair with a glossy magazine open on her lap showing the face of a triumphantly smiling Princess Diana. The Queen’s face, on the other hand, expressed ...
Graphic Stories Within Multi-stories
CHARLES R. LARSON
First, the box containing Chris Ware’s fascinating graphic novel—or, perhaps more accurately, graphic stories: 11 ½” x 16 ½” and 2” thick, lavishly decorated with images from the contents.  The timing of the release of Building Stories was obvious...
A Bachian Christmas
DAVID YEARSLEY
Last year during the crux of pre-Christmas consumption, I ventured into the greatest musical basement east of the Village Vanguard: the classical CD section of Dussman’s Cultural Departm...
Prejbisz and Orloski
POETS' BASEMENT
Stop Giving War a Meaning by MAYA PREJBISZ   This was not your holocaust, Jews            My grandfather was in a labor camp in Poland during world war II   ...
Franco’s Dictatorship and the Holocaust
VINCENT NAVARRO
There is not full awareness in the international community of the degree of influence that fascist forces still have over the apparatus of the current Spanish state and related associations. The Spanish Royal Academy of History for example has just published a Historical ...
A New Obama?
ANDREW LEVINE
As President Obama negotiates with House Speaker John Boehner and other leading Republicans on avoiding the “fiscal cliff” and addressing the ballyhooed  “deficit problem,” he is adamant on one point – that marginal tax rates on the top two percent of earners b...
The World Bank Brings Nazarbayev University to Kazakhstan
ALLEN RUFF AND STEVE HORN
A year ago, on Dec. 15, 2011,  Kazakhstan state security forces...
Unmasking the Muslim Brotherhood
ERIC DRAITSER
The complexities of the Arab Spring and the struggle for political freedom throughout the Arab world should not obscure what has now become an absolutely essential understanding for all anti-imperialists: the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the most powerful weapons of the W...
Knee Deep in the Egyptian Counter-Revolution
MAYSSOUN SUKARIEH
Cairo. At Tuesday’s protests by the Muslim Brotherhood, defiance is in the air. The Brotherhood’s political vehicle, the Freedom and Justice Party, was out on the streets alongside the Jama’at al-Islamiya and the Salafi Dawah – core elements of the...
The Beginning of the End for Mindless America Support for Israel?
JOHN GRANT
The legacy of the Zionist revolutionaries who once enraptured the parlors of Europe and America with talk of a Jewish homeland as a moral beacon in a benighted region has instead bequeathed to the Jewish world and the West a highly militarized dependency &...
Defending Public Healthcare in Madrid
ANDREW D. COATES, MD
Madrid’s physicians, nurses and other health professionals have been marching in the streets with their patients for over a month, protesting the government’s plan to privatize and sharply reduce public health services. Spain’s National Health System (SNS...
Defeating “Right-to-Work”
MARK VORPAHL
The passage in Michigan of the anti-worker legislation grotesquely misnamed “Right to Work” (RTW) should be putting the entire nation on red alert. The downward pressure on the standard of living such bills unleash on the vast majority extend well beyond the u...
Paid to Whine About the Deficit
DEAN BAKER
The government has implemented a wide array of policies over the last three decades that have led to a massive upward redistribution of income. As a result, most workers have seen little benefit from the economic growth over this period. Not surprisingly, the wealt...
Abolish the Monarchy
JOSEPH RICHARDSON
London. I understand the objections to the monarchy’s existence, but the arguments for reforming rather than abolishing it have always seemed to me to be based on dubious grounds. In the last few years, the royal family has been the subject of a number o...
Conservatism’s Yellow Brick Road
JAMES KEYE
For all the folderol about the conservative and liberal minds, we can say without contention that there are certainly differences in the underlying history or biology of people who end up manifesting quite different reactions to the world around them, many of these differ...
Haiti’s Worsening Water Crisis
MARK WEISBROT
More than two years and nearly 7,800 deaths after U.N. troops brought the dread disease of cholera to Haiti, a plan has finally been put forward to do something to get rid of it.  While we are still a long way from implementation, there are important lessons to be learne...
Losing Michigan
DAVID MACARAY
When you examine the history of organized labor—the birth, growth, trajectory—you have to be shocked and mortified by what just happened to the great state of Michigan.  They went from being one of the strongest, most celebrated union bastions in the country (the UAW...
Massacres Under the Looking Glass
DANIEL KOVALIK
The International Criminal Court (ICC) just published its Interim Report on Colombia (1).   It is an interesting read, revealing as much about the ICC itself as it does about Colombia.   In the Report, the ICC explains that Colombia has been under preliminary examinat...
An Interview With Noam Chomsky on Obama’s Human Rights Record
ERIC BAILEY
Professor Noam Chomsky is an Institute Professor and Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and at Harvard University as a Harvard Junior ...
Who’s to Blame for Michigan’s Right-to-Work Debacle?
JANE SLAUGHTER
Union protesters in front of the Michigan Capitol today knocked down an enormous tent erected by Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-brothers-funded group that helped bring right to work to the state. State troopers arriving on horseback were helpless, br...
Obdurate Washington
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
With its power declining, Washington was not able any longer to keep Russia out of the World Trade Organization.  Congress showed its spite over its impotence by hooking the normalizing of trade with Russia to what is called the “...
How Private Prisons Profit From the Criminalization of Immigrants
LAURA CARLSEN
How a nation uses its power to deny a person’s freedom has always been a critical measure of authoritarian rule. Massive incarceration based on race, ethnic origin or nationality, political beliefs, class, sexual orientation, age or other inherent characteristics is a f...
Does Islam Need Reform?
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Ziauddin Sardar is a London-based scholar and writer. Born in Pakistan, Sardar has written for Nature, the New Scientist and the New Statesman. His books include: ...
The Hidden Costs of Nuclear Power
RUSSELL D. HOFFMAN
A few weeks ago Southern California Edison (SCE) was given several billion dollars by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in a General Rate Case (GRC).  The timing was perfect for SCE.  The Order Initiating Investigation (OII) regarding San Onofre’s ...
“Progressive” Prison Profiteer
NATHAN GOODMAN
Last Saturday, members of the Salt Lake City Prison Divestment Campaign told Utah’s Democratic Party the truth about Jane Marquardt, who sought a position as vice chair of the Utah Democratic Party’s Central Committee. You see, Jane holds another vice chair position: ...
Rockets and Pyongyang
BINOY KAMPMARK
There is a lot of noise at the moment on the Korean Peninsula.  One might argue that there always is, but on this occasion, interest is centred on whether the DPRK will test a new disguised ballistic missile, ostensibly to launch satellite into space sometime this month....
A Life Sentence for a Qatari Poet
CAROL POLSGROVE
The life sentence handed out to a poet in Qatar is an unsettling reminder to me of the last time I tried to speak up for a writer in prison. That was in 1995, when Ken Saro-Wiwa was being held by the government of Nigeria for his advocacy on behalf of his people in the oi...
Crashing the Bond Market
MIKE WHITNEY
Ben Bernanke has made a serious mistake and the country is going to pay dearly for it. Since 2009, the Fed Chairman has launched 3 rounds of his bond buying program called quantitative easing or QE. He also initiated a similar program called Operation Twist in whic...
A Brief History of Superpowers
WILLIAM BLUM
From the Congress of Vienna of 1815 to the Congress of Berlin in 1878 to the “Allies” invasion of Russia in 1918 to the formation of what became the European Union in the 1950s, the great powers of Europe and the world have gotten together in grand meeting hal...
Looking at Anti-Iran Propaganda
JEFF NYGAARD
USA Today cautioned recently that “War with Iran won’t be a quick affair.”  A Pittsburgh newspaper plaintively wonders whether “War with Iran” is a  “Necessity or Folly.”  Talk of war is in the air.  What many in this country don’t realize is that ...
Gazan Farmers at Work in Kuzaa
JOSHUA BROLLIER
Today, Gazan farmers from Kuzaa, a small village near Khan Younis, worked on their land in defiance of Israeli military harassment. Farmers ploughed approximately seven dunams and then sewed wheat in a plot that they had previously been denied access to before the Novembe...
The Vertical Farming Scam
STAN COX
Why, after more than a decade, does the idea of “vertical farming” keep gathering momentum? Why hasn’t it collapsed under its own weight of illogic? And why is media coverage of vertical farming almost universally positive, often enthusiastically so?...