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Archives from January 2013
The Great White Camel
RANDY SHIELDS
Probably many people have read the informed and thoughtful commentary on the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” by ...
A Simple Story About Two Fucked Up People
KIM NICOLINI
David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook may very well be the Feel Good Movie of the Year even if we ultimately end up feeling good by accepting our imperfections and embracing how dysfunctional we are as people. Playing on classic Hollywood screwball comedies ...
Hijacking Education’s Sanctuary
CHARLES R. LARSON
Two incidents in Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s richly moving account of his years during secondary school in Kenya, ...
Painful Paeans to America
DAVID YEARSLEY
Panic set in not for the obvious reasons: the blinding white stone of the Capitol dome, ramparts and columns resembling nothing so much as Albert Speer’s ...
Dorbin, DeWald and Ford
POETS' BASEMENT
A Soviet of Sound, 1986 by SANFORD DORBIN   Here’s Sviatoslav Richter scouting the steppes by train. Stops ad lib in some unpromising village & his aides have a concert organized in an hour. A t...
Saudi Arabia v. Qatar on Syria
PETER LEE
With all the reams of reporting on Syria, I am surprised that relatively little is written, in English anyway, about the divergence of aims between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Qatar backs the Muslim Brotherhood and, it appears, would not object to a brokered deal to en...
Tortured at the Movies
MICHAEL BRENNER
Zero Dark Thirty is writing our collective history for us – engraving it on the American psyche. The graphic images of who we are and the deeds we have done are intended to inspire confidence and to soothe qualms – now and in the future. We are a Resourceful pe...
The Open-Ended Global War on Terrorism
PEPE ESCOBAR
And the winner of the Oscar for Best Sequel of 2013 goes to… The Global War on Terror (GWOT), a Pentagon production. Abandon all hope those who thought the whole thing was over with the cinematographic snuffing out of “Geronimo”, aka Osama bin Laden, fur...
Five Ways of Looking at the New Knesset
NEVE GORDON
This is the way the results of the elections are being presented in the Israeli press: Centre Left Bloc                               Right Bloc ...
Trade Unions and the Strike in Britain
JOSEPH RICHARDSON
London. Two events from 2010 abundantly illustrate the unfair double-standard to which Trade Unions are subjected. In May, cabin crew at British Airways prepared to go on a series of 5 day strikes to protest management’s victimisation of workers w...
The Real Reason for the Decline of American Labor Unions
KRIS WARNER
Earlier this week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual summary of unionization in the U.S. It reports that in 2012, the union-membership rate of wage and salary workers was 11.3 percent, compared with 11.8 percent in 2011. The trend has been downward for so...
Who Profits from Climate Catastrophism?
DAVID CORREIA
Environmental determinism is the theory that the physical environment, including the climate, sets hard limits on human society. Scholars and authors who subscribe to this theory, most notoriously Jeffrey Sachs and Jared Diamond (more on them later), argue that we can loo...
The Impossible Discourse of the ‘Arab Spring’
RAMZY BAROUD
A reductionist discourse is one that selectively tailors its reading of subject matters in such a way as to only yield desired outcomes, leaving little or no room for other inquiries, no matter how appropriate or relevant. The so-called Arab Spring, although now far remov...
Islamic Law, Adoptions and Kafalah
FAISAL KUTTY
“There hasn’t been a concerted push to open doors for Muslim orphans because the expectation would be that those efforts would fall flat…” — ...
Kennedy’s Reefer Madness
SIA HENRY
Back in November 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first political jurisdictions anywhere in the world to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults. These bold statements by the voters of Colorado and Washington have incited unexpected push back, most n...
You Can Never Go Home Again
RAOUF J. HALABY
People woke up on the second of January and found the whole world about them altogether changed. … For in the night it had snowed. In the dark hours after midnight the dim flakes started falling softly over the town....
Illegal Pot Farms Are Destroying Public Lands
JOSHUA FRANK
It was the largest pot bust in one of the most weed-friendly states in the country. In the spring of 2011 a SWAT team, with National Guard choppers hovering overhead, broke up a mammoth grow operation and confiscated 91,000 marijuana plants in Eastern Oregon. In total, th...
Nuclear Weapons Waste in Your Water Bottle, Hip Replacement, Baby’s Toys, Jungle Gym?
JOHN LaFORGE
Even the deregulation-happy Wall St. Journal sounded shocked: “The Department of Energy is proposing to allow the sale of tons of scrap metal from government nuclear sites — an attempt to reduce waste that critics say could lead to radiation-tainted belt buckles, surg...
The Asian Pivot as a New Form of Warfare
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
It’s old, and likely thoroughly forgotten now, but last summer the Washington...
The US / Qatar Alliance
NICOLA NASSER
In his inaugural address on January 21, U.S. President Barak Obama made the historic announcement that “a decade of war is ending” and declared his country’s determination to “show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully,” bu...
Neoliberalism Can’t Die Soon Enough
RAJESH MAKWANA
Last year alone, the world’s 100 richest people earned a combined additional income of $241 billion. According to new calculations, redistributing just a quarter of this vast quantity of money would enable governments to wipe out extreme poverty for an entire year. ...
Obama Endorses Stonewall?
GARY LEUPP
At first I wasn’t sure I had heard right. “…Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.” Does Obama, I wondered, mean that Stonewall? Or is there some battle by that name I’ve never learned about? It soon became clear, that yes, he was referri...
Vietnam: Déjà Vu All Over Again
MICHAEL UHL
Jonathan Schell‘s probing review of Nick Turse’s Kill Anything That Moves...
Yes, There is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch
MARK WEISBROT
Economists like to say there’s no such thing as a free lunch – this was even the title of a 1975 ...