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Archives from February 2013
What Kind of Unions Will We Have?
CAL WINSLOW
In April, 43,000 Kaiser Permanente workers in California will vote, again, to decide which union will represent them, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) or the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), the latter now allied with the California Nurs...
The Emperor’s New Pipeline
DAVID LILLARD
I often learn more from answering my 6-year-old son’s endless questions than he does. Usually we make it a game, searching out answers together to queries like, “How many stars are there?” or, “What is in our air?” (it’s almost 80 percent nitrogen)....
Dream of the Drones
MISSY BEATTIE
Was running through the Kingdom Tuesday morning when I glimpsed Monday night’s dream:  Sen. John McCain—in church, wearing a brown business suit, holding a cane, and seated on a folding chair. While trying to stand, he coughed phlegm to the wooden floor. Then droppin...
Top 10 Users of H-1B Guest Worker Program are Offshore Outsourcing Firms
RON HIRA
The H-1B ‘non-immigrant’ temporary foreign guest worker program is called a valuable tool for employers to attract and retain the “best and brightest” immigrants in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Because employers may petition for pe...
Roth IRAs Pushing Up the Deficit
GERALD E. SCORSE
Saving for retirement is good for individuals and good for the country—but Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are costing America dearly. They’ll add to the deficit far into the future, and the amount they add is set to explode. Let’s discover why, and look ...
Bondage
MARK EPSTEIN
Writing about the latest Bond movie may seem like an exercise in futility to many, but having read many positive reviews in the corporate mass-media and a couple of negative ones in CP (Paul Carline has intelligent and detailed comments about the franchise and the ...
What Happened to Bill McKibben?
SUZANNA JONES
Walden, Vermont In his 2008 book Deep Economy, Bill McKibben conclude...
The Suicide of Ben Zygier
BINOY KAMPMARK
For those of you thinking of taking out Australian citizenship, a word of friendly advice: don’t.  It doesn’t matter that you have no aspirations of going in the footsteps of David Hicks, who became the unshakeable totem of paranoia and vengeance on the part of the A...
Hollywood and the Past
GILAD ATZMON
History is commonly regarded as an attempt to produce a structured account of the past. It proclaims to tell us what really happened, but in most cases it fails to do that. Instead it is set to conceal our shame, to hide those various elements, events, incidents and occur...
You Know You Have Lived in America Too Long When…
GAIL DINES
When I get together with my ex pat friends, we often play a game called “you know you have lived in America too long when ….”. The possibilities are endless, from yearning for good telly to dreaming about fish and chips straight from the local chippy. I had one of t...
Engulfed in British Prejudice
CHARLES R. LARSON
Though Kamala Markandaya (1924-2004) spent most of her life as a writer in England, her eleven novels (beginning with Nectar in a Sieve, 1954), were set almost exclusively in India, typically depicting traditional life and values and the ways they came into conflic...
The Whitey Report
MICHAEL MCDAETH
Don’t get me wrong I like whitey. They are fun to hang with at a barbecue. They can grill a steak I’ll give them that but beyond running the grill or picking out jewelry I wouldn’t put them in charge of anything. They are way to overconfident about everything they...
Jazz in the Hayloft
DAVID YEARSLEY
Pianist Donald Vega and guitarist Peter Bernstein played as a duo for the first time last night, not in the capital of jazz connections, New York City, where unexpected, even unprecedented, pairings are commonplace features of the clubscape, but in distant Ithaca in the F...
Three Poems by Isoje Chou
POETS' BASEMENT
The Separation Glut, Part I by ISOJE CHOU If thoughts are rivers running through the mind What is meant by the separation we speak, Is a river separate from its bottom? There is a separation affected When the body ...
Remember Growth?
MIKE WHITNEY
One thing you can say about Obama; he never fails to disappoint. Last night’s State of the Union Speech is a perfect example. In his typical lofty rhetoric, the president promised to continue to implement his regressive social and economic policies without pause pro...
Burning Down the House
DAVE LINDORFF
“Burn that fuckin’ house down…Fucking burn this motherfucker!!” –Voices ...
Why the War on Terror Endures
STEVE BREYMAN
Believe the War on Terror has been an unmitigated disaster? Find it difficult to wrap your head around the Long War’s long list of horrors? Think the Obama administration and Congress’s willingness to wage the War indefinitely is murderous myopia? Think again: the War...
The Empire’s Shill
JASON HIRTHLER
A cursory glance at The New York Times is enough to unsettle an otherwise tepid Tuesday. One recalls the story of Noam Chomsky’s doctor telling him he ground his teeth, which Chomsky ...
Empire of Madness
RITT GOLDSTEIN
It was 1998 when I read Zbigniew Brzezinski’s ‘The Grand Chessboard’, and while much of what I read troubled me, I seem to recall both the effective acknowledgement of American Empire and what I interpreted as an observation suggesting that democracy made it difficu...
What Will Lew Do?
DEAN BAKER
It has been more than five years since the onset of the financial crisis. It will be at least several more years before the economy recovers fully. And the too-big-to-fail banks are ...
The Horse in the Lasagna
BINOY KAMPMARK
I’ll never send my horse through those gates. He won’t end up in a pie in England. – Ion Hampu, Romanian labourer, The Sun, Feb 12, 2013 Shorts cuts are irresis...
Afghanistan: Disengagement and Dishonor
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
The Taliban-led insurgency remains adaptive and determined, and retains the capability to emplace substantial numbers of IEDs and to conduct isolated high-profile attacks. The insurgency also retains a significant regenerative capacity. — US Defen...
No More Truthless Heroes
JOSHUA BROLLIER
On February 11, 2013, the New York Times reported about the funeral of retired Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle, portraying him as a “warrior and family man.” The highly politicized and massive public funeral, held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, points to the seve...
VAWA Must Pass to Protect All Women, Regardless of Race
RUTH HOPKINS
I am a Dakota and Lakota Sioux Native American woman who was born and raised on the reservation. As a girl I was raped; yet I overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to become an attorney and later, a tri...
Twenty Eight Days of Inspiration
Faisal Kutty
“I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history,” Morgan Freeman says. Over the next few weeks, you will see no shortage of functions organized by historical societies, libraries, and schools. You may even catch the corporate giants spo...
The Execution of Christopher Dorner
GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER and MIKE KING
If the murder of Oscar Grant on an Oakland transit platform marked the dawn of the Obama era, the cold-blooded murder of former Naval reservist and Los Angeles Police officer Christopher Dorner might just mark the end of whatever optimistic hope people can muster in his a...
Walmart Bares Its Fangs
DAVID MACARAY
By now, everyone knows that the AFL-CIO has spent tens of millions of dollars and thousands of hours trying to get Walmart’s hourly employees to join the union (some union, any union).  Their organizing drive was smart, well-conceived, and timely.  Seemi...
Making Sense of Yair Lapid and the Israeli Center
NEVE GORDON
Former anchorman and middle-class darling Yair Lapid stunned the Israeli political scene in the recent elections. His party, Yesh Atid (There is a Future) won 19 seats, second in size only to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Lik...
Are They Just Waiting for Samer Issawi to Die?
ALISON WEIR
Samer Issawi has lived for 33 years, 1 mo...
Bread and Circuses at the State of the Union
NORMAN POLLACK
The 2008 hoax has been repeated, successfully it would appear (given the sanctification bestowed on Obama’s performance last night by the New York Times), despite a four-year record, ranging from zero to absolute negation, on every policy approach raised by the s...
Harper and Idle No More
MURRAY DOBBIN
The Brazeau affair — sad, repugnant and bizarre all at the same time — shines a light on two aspects of Canadian politics that desperately need some exposure. One is what it reveals about the state of “official” aboriginal politics and its r...
The Conservatives’ Latest Salvo Against Hezbollah
YVES ENGLER
In response to hotly contested claims that Hezbollah was responsible for bombing Israeli citizens in Bulgaria last July, immigration minister Jason Kenney called the Lebanese group a “vile anti-Semitic terrorist organization” and urged the European Union to “fol...
Breeding Immorality
JP SOTTILE
Once again this year, the Westminster Dog Show attracted millions of viewers eager to see which dog will garner the bluest of ribbons. Also once again this year, millions of discarded and unwanted dogs will be executed in overcrowded shelters, far away from the gla...
The Unabated Scourge of Child Trafficking
Dr. CESAR CHELALA
Recent unconfirmed reports that Sen. Bob Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat, hired prostitutes, one of them underage, in the Dominican Republic and other places, brings to light the worldwide phenomenon of children trafficking and abuse. In the book ‘Little Prince...
Time to Drop Money From Helicopters
KEVIN ZEESE and Dr. MARGARET FLOWERS
Milton Friedman of the Chicago School of Economics suggested in 1969 that dro...
Last Sparks From Tahrir Square
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Cairo. Tahrir Square is dark, and all of a sudden endlessly sad. There are still countless tents in the middle of the roundabout, banners carried by the wind, even a small and provisory ‘Museum of Revolution’. From time to time one can hear, as if some...
The Blood Spat President
NORMAN POLLACK
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides a window into the Obama mindset, as though hurtling down a laundary chute to the bowels of the earth—his one-way passage to a moral void, as in every avenue of policymaking to which he puts his hand.  The familiar refra...
Throwing Light on the Dark Side of Dorner’s Rampage
LINN WASHINGTON, JR.
On September 10, 2012 the Los Angeles Times published an article with the headline: “LAPD to hold meetings on use of force policies.” Top Los Angeles police officials announced those community meetings to counter growing criticism about videoed brutali...
Ted Nugent’s State of Disunion
DAVE MARSH
Ted Nugent is slated to make a live appearance tonight at the State of the Union speech, arriving as a guest of his Congressman, Steve Stockman, who recently announced he was pursuing impeachment of the President. Presuming Ted shows, and presuming the Secret Service lets...
Fix the Debt’s Blind Spot
DEAN BAKER
At this point everyone knows about Fix the Debt. It is a collection of corporate CEOs put together by Peter Peterson, the Wall Street private equity mogul. Ostensibly they want to reduce budget deficits and the national debt, but for some reason their attention always see...
We Already Know “Zero Dark Thirty’s” Evil, But Is It Any Good?
UNCLE RAY BIRNEY
Okay movie fans, you’ve all heard about Zero Dark Thirty’s blasé attitude toward torture, blah, blah, blah, but what the hell?  Enough already, with the depressing shit—let’s talk about what you GET when you buy your ticket and a box of popcorn....
Out with God’s Rottweiler
BINOY KAMPMARK
The Pope, formerly known as Joseph Ratzinger, just wants to get back to his first love: zinging rats. John Moe, tweet on 11 Feb 2012 “There is not, and there never was on this earth, a work of human policy so w...
America’s Expanding Kill List
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Prosecutors always expand laws far beyond their intent. Attorneys in civil cases do the same. For example, the 1970 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act was passed in order to make it easier for the government to convict members of the Mafia. ...
Correa and Ecuador’s Indigenous Left
PAUL GOTTINGER
Marc Becker is an associate professor of Latin American Studies at Truman State University.  He has worked with indigenous movements and has written widely on social and indigenous movements in Latin America.   He is the cofounder of Nativeweb, an educational orga...
Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden Come Clean on Iran?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Tehran Azadeh, a graduate law student from Tehran University, on the sidelines of Iran’s Third Annual Hollywood is...
New York’s Fracking Scandal
STEVE HORN
New York could soon become the newest state in the union to allow hydraulic fracturing (fra...
Common Sense Latest Victim of Colombia Peace Talks
CHRIS GILBERT
Caracas, Venezuela. The most recent victim in Colombia’s conflict, in spite of ongoing conversations between the government and the FARC-EP guerrilla that began last year, seems to be common sense itself. With the government declining to enter a two-...
Mapping the Biomass Racket
JOSH SCHLOSSBERG
The first and only electronic map tracking logging sites sourcing wood to a biomass energy facility has been released by Ene...
Death of a Priest
MICHAEL DICKINSON
So, with the surprising resignation of Pope Benedict, and the Throne of Saint Peter suddenly up for grabs, I find myself a possible contendor for the vacancy.  Theoretically, it’s possible.  Any male adult baptized as a Roman Catholic is eligible, although long-st...