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Archives from January 2013
An Irish Engagement with the Greek Crisis and the Greek Left
HELENA SHEEHAN
A Greek Tragedy A monumental drama is playing out before our eyes. It is a true Greek tragedy.  The plot: A society is being pushed to its limits. The denouement is not yet determined, but survival is at stake and prospects are precarious. Greece...
The Fed’s Plan B
MIKE WHITNEY
“How do you solve a problem when you’re running a 10% fiscal budget deficit? You are not going to get growth without private sector credit demand. The government’s idea right now is that we’re going to export our way out of this, and when I asked a...
Obama, Round Two
NORMAN POLLACK
I have written comments to the New York Times for several years, prompted to bear down in a sustained way in the lead-up to Obama’s First Term, when it appeared obvious that early that–especially with the announcement of  his appointments—he would betray...
The Framing of Chavelo Morales
GREG McCAIN
The 3 hour bus ride to El  Porvenir is relatively cheap at 140 lempiras or $7.14, but the trip there and back is more time and expense than Ramona Morales can afford. And yet, Doña Moncha, as her family and friends call her, averages two visits a month to see her son, J...
There is No Hope for Change
DEAN BAKER
There have been two momentous events in the last week. Of course President Obama’s swearing in for a second term is a big deal, even if somewhat less historic than his inauguration back in 2009. The other big event was the release of the Federal Reserve Board’s ...
The Elephant in the Boiler Room
MICHAEL DONNELLY
All left-wing parties in the highly industrialized countries are at bottom a sham, because they make it their business to fight against something which they do not really wish to destroy. They have internationalist aims, and at the same time they struggle to k...
The Next Stage of Gun Control
BINOY KAMPMARK
Yes, civil discourse can be uncivil.  But don’t let internet trolls and television zealots stop you from participating in this vital discussion. -Terri Francis, CNN Wire, Jan 17, 2013 This is a war waged at hi...
One Tiny State’s Movement to Ban Private Prisons
JONATHAN LEAVITT
Vermont, the most progressive state in America, spent over $14 million last year to lock up Vermonters in for-profit prisons like Lee Adjustment Center, located in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest. Private prisons like Correctional Corporation of America (CCA)’...
Is the “Democracy Initiative” What We Need?
MARK VORPAHL
Last December, at the National Education Association headquarters in Washington, DC, leaders from a variety of progressive organizations such as Greenpeace, the NAACP and the Communication Workers of America met with the intention of beginning a national campaign to, in t...
Embattled Roe v. Wade Turns 40
DENNIS BERNSTEIN
Today, Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, will lead a candlelight vigil to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that recognized women’s fundamental right to an abortion. In a recent s...
On Obama’s Second Inauguration
DAVE LINDORFF
There were no memorable lines in President Obama’s second inaugural address. Certainly nothing like Franklin Roosevelt’s “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” which was in his first inaugural, or like John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can...
NRA President Says Obama’s Children Shouldn’t Live in the White House
CHARLES R. LARSON
On the day of Barack Obama’s second inauguration, David Keene, President of the National Rifle Association, continued his attack on the President by airing another infomercial.  “Are the President’s children better than your children?” the TV advertisement asks....
The Fire Down Below
JEFF SPARROW
What if we had an apocalypse and no one noticed? Over the last weeks Australia has been burning. ...
The Mali Trap
PATRICK COCKBURN
It was always probable that French military intervention in Mali would have explosive consequences in other parts of the region. Even so, it is surprising that a splinter group from al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) should have been able to react so quickly by...
MLK Injustice Index 2013
BILL QUIGLEY JR.
“We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values…when machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” Martin...
The Return of COINTELPRO?
TOM MCNAMARA
“Democracies die behind closed doors” – Judge Damon J. Keith For 15 years (1956-1971) the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ran a broad and highly coordinated domestic intelligence / counterintelligence program know...
Did the Government Drive Aaron Swartz to Suicide?
SHELDON RICHMAN
In Les Misérables, an obsessed French police officer, Javert, relentlessly pursues Jean Valjean, a man who represents no danger to society but whose minor infraction brought down the wrath of the brutal government, including 19 years of hard labor and...
A (Brief) People’s History of Gun Control
KEVIN CARSON
From its very beginning, gun control — the attempt to regulate the possession of means of self-defense by the ordinary populace — has been closely associated with class rule and the class state. In early modern England, regulation of firearm ownership was close...
More of the Same at Treasury
DEAN BAKER
Last week President Obama announced his intention to replace retiring Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner with Jack Lew, who currently serves as his chief of staff. This pick indicates that there will be little change in President Obama’s economic agenda in his second t...
The Institutionalization of Tyranny
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Republicans and conservative Americans are still fighting Big Government in its welfare state form. Apparently, they have never heard of the militarized police state form of Big Government, or, if they have, they are comfortable with it and have no objection. ...
ExxonMobil Donates $260,000 to Obama Inauguration
STEVE HORN
President Barack Obama will be publicly sworn in today – on Martin Luther King Jr. Day – to serve his second t...
Are the Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation Targeting Syrians?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus One powerful image from Damascus that has become seared into this observers mind these days is when I walk by a Western Union office. Most of them remain open despite the brutal US-led sanctions which in their pervasive effects target almost entirel...
The Descent: From Dr. King to Barack Obama
AJAMU BARAKA
Last year, as part of the annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, one of President Obama’s top advisors paid a visit to Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the church of Dr. Martin Luther King. The advisor, Valerie Jarrett, received a standing ovat...
What Hagel and Kerry Really Learned in Vietnam
MICHAEL ARRIA
A piece from ...
Dr. King Had Other Dreams
TOM and JUDY TURNIPSEED
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was 26 years old; Coretta had just given birth to their first child. E D. Dixon, another Montgomery pastor, asked to host a meeting in Ki...
Lupe Fiasco v. Obama
Website of the Day
Lupe Fiasco v. Obama ...
The Parable of the Frogs
MORRIS BERMAN
One who knows “enough is enough” always has enough. –Tao Te Ching  What does it take to produce large-scale social change?  Most histo...
The Trillion Dollar Cat Shit Coin
ROB URIE
Some fair proportion of readers are already aware of the proposal to have the U.S. Mint produce a $1 trillion face amount coin to be deposited at the Federal Reserve and credited to the account of the Treasury Department to pay Federal bills. The $1 trillion would render ...
Downton Abbey and the Servant Question
VERONICA HORWELL
British baby-boomers used to be puzzled by books written in or about eras before 1939, as people in them, and in old Brit movies shown on television, so often had servants. They might accept the presence of domestic help in pre-20th century literature as ancient social hi...
The Tragedy-Cum-Farce in Algeria
AFSHIN RATTANSI
The end of the Gaddafi regime in Libya was celebrated with breath-taking idiocy by European leaders and a genuflecting corporate media. Fifteen months later, the media is reporting on neighbouring Algeria, the largest country in Africa – and one where a hostage-re...
French Austerity and the New Les Misérables
TOM GILL
French employers have called for ...
France’s Mali Debacle
BARRY LANDO
Paris. Within the next few days, France will have deployed some 2,500 troops to Mali. That’s as large a commitment as France made to what became a profoundly unpopular war in Afghanistan. No one knows how long the troops will be there, but the price tag ...
Health Insurance is Not Healthcare
JP SOTTILE
Insurance companies make a simple wager with you each time you sign a policy. They are betting that, over the life of the policy, they will pay out less to you and your beneficiaries than you will pay them. Insurance companies of all kinds make tidy profits on this...
War in the East China Sea?
PETER LEE
China’s PRC regime has been preparing for escalating confrontation with Japan if Tokyo decided it really wanted to test the commitment of the United States to back it in the crisis over the Senkaku/Daioyutai Islands. Showing Japan the undesirability of openly...
The Case of the Gun That Wasn’t Used
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Although the NRA seems to be fairly capable of looking out for its own interests, from time to time it seems to overlook a stone in the legislative landscape (filled with constitutionally protected guns) that needs to be overturned.  This stone is one it has never focuse...
“God” Who?
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
It is assumed that everyone knows what one means when one speaks or writes about “God.” As if one is referring to a commonly understood, supreme, morally absolute, all powerful, good, merciful, just, loving, ...
Making Green A Threat Again
SCOTT PARKIN
“The climate movement needs to have one hell of a comeback.” –Naomi Klein The energy was there. It was an overcast spring morning in April 2011 in the nation’s capita1. Thousands had shown up to take ac...
Yoga and the Picket Line
CARL FINAMORE
Each year some 2000 yoga enthusiasts assemble at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco, California for “a great convergence of yogis of all ages and backgrounds” states convention sponsor Yoga Journal. The extremely liberal and tolerant “city by the bay...
The Presleying of Abstract Art
CARLA BLANK
Elvis Presley borrowed so much from James Brown that when James Brown saw him perform he said, “That’s me up there.”  Like music critics who give credit to Elvis Presley for the creation of rock ‘n roll, ignoring Ike Turner or Chuck Berry, the same kind of chauvi...
Open Letter to Mike Duke, CEO of Walmart
RALPH NADER
Dear Mr. Duke, Walmart, your gigantic company, is increasingly being challenged by your workers, government prosecutors, civil lawsuits, communities (that do not want a Walmart), taxpayers learning about your drain on government services and corporate welfare, and ...
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Intifada
RAMZY BAROUD
If Palestinian leaders only knew how extraneous their endless rounds of “unity” talks have become, they might cease their enthusiastic declarations to world media about yet another scheduled meeting or another. At this point, few Palestinians have hope that their “l...
Australia’s Adam Complex
BINOY KAMPMARK
Race, ethnicity and origins are always up for political grabs.  No one really wants to know that they were preceded by someone else, that they were not the first ones there.  This is the Adam complex, and no culture is immune from it. A study published in the ...
Ethiopian Regime on Life Support
THOMAS MOUNTAIN
“Soon come” as Jamaica’s Rastafarians say. In this case it applies to the end of the Ethiopian regime which is now in its terminal stage, in intensive care on life support and being kept alive only by an intravenous infusion of over $20 million a day in western “a...
American Media Ignore Major Murdoch News Corp Scandal
LINN WASHINGTON JR.
America’s corporate news media love highlighting David-besting-Goliath stories…except apparently, when the fallen Goliath is major media mogul Rupert Murdoch – the billionaire owner of America’s caustic FOX News and other entities. Arguably the biggest Goli...
The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman
ALAN WIEDER
“Every good person deep down is an anarchist,” said Paul Avrich, who died in 2006 after spending his academic life at Queens College and writing 10 books on anarchism that included The Haymarket Tragedy, Sacco and Vanzetti, and two oral histories – ...
Torture: A Practice Which Is Always Wrong
RON JACOBS
In 1960, when I was a first grader at a Catholic school near Washington DC, my teacher regaled us with horror stories about torture administered to Christians by the Maoist government in China.  Reading from a conservative Catholic newspaper, she told my classmates and m...
The Real Obama Emerges (Again)
JILL STEIN
If you’re having political déjà vu as Obama’s second term in the White House gets underway, you’re not alone. The supposedly populist candidate — who won re-election promising to tax the rich, protect Social Security, and make the econom...
Hate Drugs? You Should Want to End the Drug War
TONY NEWMAN
Many people hate drugs. It is easy to see why. Most families have had a loved one with a problematic relationship to alcohol or other drugs.  People who struggle with drug problems can cause incredible pain to themselves and their loved ones. Broken marriages, loss of ...
Immunity for Genocide and Other War Crimes?
ANNIE BIRD
On December 28, 2012 the President of Guatemala, former General Otto Perez Molina, issued a presidential decree establishing that the Government of Guatemala will not abide by rulings of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights relating to crimes that occurred prior to 1...