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Archives from June 2013
The Spy Who Wouldn’t Spy
TOM CLIFFORD
The  simplicity of the US constitution’s fourth amendment is as refreshing as it is clear. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons   houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and n...
The Climate in Obamaland
SASHA ROSS
To begin his speech on climate change at Georgetown, President Obama evoked the image of earth as seen from space in 1968. “[W]hile the sight of our planet from space might seem routine today, imagine what it looked like to those of us seeing our home, our planet, for t...
The New Wild West
GRAHAM PEEBLES
Dancing to the tune of their corporate benefactors, governments of the ruling G8 countries are enacting complex agriculture agreements delivering large tracts of prime cut African soil into the portfolios of their multinational bedmates. Desperate for foreign inves...
After DOMA, What?
CHARLES PIERSON
Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court decided two cases on same sex marriage.  United States v. Windsor struck down section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which limits the word “marriage” for federal purposes to one man and one wom...
Raising the Minimum Wage by Executive Order
RALPH NADER
Dear President Obama, June 25th marked the 75th anniversary of the federal minimum wage law in the United States, known as the Fair Labor Standards Act. When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed this legislation, his vision was to ensure a “fair day’s pay...
“Edward Who?” Said the Doctor
ALEXANDER REED KELLY
If you’re an American working in the service sector, you probably don’t have the luxury of expressing an opinion about Edward Snowden. Snowden, you may or may not know, is the former intelligence contractor and National Security Agency employee being pursued by...
Time for an Economy Of, By and For the People
KEVIN ZEESE & MARGARET FLOWERS
The reaction to Ben Bernanke suggestion that it may be time to wind down the easy money policies which have been injecting $85 billion into the hands of Wall Street each month show that the ‘recovery’ has been a fraud. In the weeks since the Fed chairman first ...
The Grassroots Battle to End the Drone War
DENNIS BERNSTEIN
Long time peace activist, Kathy Kelly, is co-coordinator of the Chicago-based Voices for Creative Nonviolence.  Kelly just returned from her twelfth trip to Afghanistan, and is now trekking 195 miles across Iowa, with other members of her group and other peace groups, t...
Why the Ruling Class is So Upset About Edward Snowden
GARY LEUPP
I don’t have a weak stomach, but I confess that watching TV news does get me nauseated. So I do so sparingly. I have of course been following the coverage of the Edward Snowden story, just to see how opinion is being shaped. In the days immediately after June 5, ...
Egypt’s Fateful Day
ESAM AL-AMIN
Egypt is imploding. The old revolutionary groups are at each other’s throats. The unity of purpose displayed during the incredible eighteen revolutionary days in early 2011 is not only long gone, but it has been replaced with mistrust, acrimony, and hostility. Al...
Obama in Africa
HORACE CAMPBELL
In recent years, the United States has increasingly been sidelined in areas of deep economic transformation in Africa because US engagement with Africa has been primarily through militarism and military relations. The visit of US President Barack Obama to Africa should be...
Global Bond Fire
MIKE WHITNEY
The stock market rout continued on Monday as shares dropped sharply in markets around the world. China’s Hang Seng was particularly hard hit (down 449 pts) following reports on state media of a “moratorium on transfers, online banking, and counters.”  T...
Everywhere is Taksim
AMY AUSTIN HOLMES
The everyday praxis of occupied Taksim was in some ways more radical than that of Occupy Wall Street or even Tahrir during the 2011 uprising – but their demands, so far, have not been. What started out as a protest tactic became an experiment in communal living. ...
Smearing Alice Walker
JEFFREY BLANKFORT
In the comments section of a recent online article in the right wing New York Jewish publication, Algemeiner, not to be confused with the Frankfurter Allgemeine but conceivably with Der Sturmer, there was an argument over whether or not the “Mossad ...
Bono’s Faith Offensive
HARRY BROWNE
When I was 18 and in my first year in college in Boston, a mutual friend helped me score a lunch date with a beautiful, sophisticated older woman. Since I was neither beautiful nor sophisticated, she suffered through our meal, until I revealed, in an unwise bout of autobi...
The Tal Kalakh Peace Deal
PATRICK COCKBURN
Damascus. Once a rebel stronghold, the town of Tal Kalakh on the Syrian side of the border with Lebanon changed sides at the week-end and is now controlled by the Syrian army. The switch in allegiance is the latest advance by government forces into areas w...
Empty Lectures About the Sanctity of the ‘Rule of Law’
DAVE LINDORFF
The spectacle of the US threatening Hong Kong, China, Russia and now little Ecuador with all manner of reprisals if they don’t respect the “rule of law” and hand over whistleblower Edward Snowden to the tender mercies of the US national security apparatus is delicio...
An Anti-Immigrant Bill Masked as Reform
JUSTIN FELDMAN
On Monday, 67 senators voted for cloture on Hoeven-Corker, a “border security” amendment to the immigration reform bill. The vote virtually guarantees that immigration reform will pass in the Senate. At the same time, it also guarantees the bill’s costs ...
Obama’s Love Affair With Fracking
STEVE HORN
Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced his administration’s “...
The Vacant Climate Plan
ANNE PETERMANN
Yesterday, President Obama announced his new Climate Action Plan in a nationally televised speech. He described the emerging climate crisis and its impacts–both past, present and future, while be suffered the heat of an abnormally warm June day in Washington, DC....
It Isn’t Snowden Who Needs Clemency
THOMAS KNAPP
A White House petition asking US president Barack Obama to pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has passed the 100,000-signature mark, theoretically compelling a response from the Obama administration (I say “theoretically” because the finish line on these petition...
Obama’s Informants
MELVIN A. GOODMAN
President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address more than 50 years ago is famous for its warning about the military-industrial complex, but he also warned that permanent war and a “permanent arms industry” would do great harm to American rights and liberties.  Over the pas...
Brazil 2013: Mass Demonstrations, the World Cup, and 500 Years of Oppression
TOMAS ROTTA
Brazil has a long history of top-down reforms that have inadequately addressed the profound inequality that divides the country. The mass demonstrations, provoked by public transportation fare increases and World Cup costs, are finally calling attention to issues that can...
Rafael Correa, the Press, and Whistleblowers
ADAM CHIMIENTI
Once again, we are witnessing a growing frustration with “tiny” Ecuador. The United States government is clearly not happy with what would be the latest diplomatic slap in the face coming from the South American country, i.e. the pending arrival of NSA whistleblower E...
One Death Among 93,000
PATRICK COCKBURN
Damascus. The second of two mortar bombs killed Ghassan al-Khouly as he stood guard last Thursday at an ancient gate into the Christian quarter of the Old City of Damascus. It exploded right beside him killing him instantly, dark bloodstains and a small he...
Edward J. Snowden and the Exposure of Voyeuristic Fascism
NORMAN POLLACK
One person can make a difference in the affairs of state.  21st century political civilization has become habituated to international relations as the province of mega-units in something akin to an uneasy, disturbed condition of equipoise, in which underlying ...
Wrecking the Welfare State in Secret
DAVID CRONIN
A golden staircase greets guests to De Warande, an exclusive club in central Brussels.  Built in the late eighteenth century, this mansion was acquired in 1907 by François Empain, a banker who helped his royal chum Leopold II loot the Congo.  With its historical associ...
Iranian Elections and American Enemies
TED SNIDER
To the surprise of the Western media, Hassan Rouhani, considered a reformer by the West, and not one of the slate of apparently identical Supreme Leader selected conservatives, has won the Iranian election. So now that Ahmadinejad is gone and a moderate is in office, what...
Duke Study Links Fracking to Water Contamination as EPA Drops Study on Fracking Water Contamination
STEVE HORN
Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) kicked the can down the road on a key study designated to examine the connection between ...
The Prairie Fire That Swept Brazil
LAURA CARLSEN
With a million people demonstrating in the streets of cities throughout Brazil, everyone’s scrambling to understand how a twenty-cent bus fare hike turned into a social revolt. Government officials are the most surprised. President Dilma Rousseff hastily cancelle...
Can Wikileaks Save Snowden?
PAUL GOTTINGER
On Sunday, June 23 Edward Snowden left Hong Kong on a commercial flight to Moscow.  He was thought to be planning to leave Russia for Cuba on Monday, June 24, however Snowden never appeared for his flight. Snowden’s current whereabouts are unknown, but Julian Assange...
When Education is a Business
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER
To what extent is education corrupted when it becomes intertwined with profit-making businesses? This question becomes increasingly relevant as corporations move into key roles at American universities. In late June of this year, New York State Governor Andrew Cuom...
The Limits of US Power
BINOY KAMPMARK
By trying to crush these young whistleblowers with espionage charges, the U.S. government is taking on a generation, and that is a battle it is going to lose. – Julia...
Not What Thomas Jefferson Had in Mind
FRED REED
How does one tell whether one is living in a dictatorship, or almost? The signs need not be so obvious as having a squat little man raving from balconies. Methinks the following indicators serve. In a dictatorship: (1) Sweeping laws are made without reference to th...
Welcome Back “Double Standards,” TV’s Best
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
Award winning producer Afshin Rattansi has returned to the airwaves with his cutting edge poli-tricks and comedy program “Double Standards” after a three month hiatus from Press TV. Afshin is one of the young lions of alternative reality, resistance media, genu...
Snowden’s Escape
DAVE LINDORFF
Now that Edward Snowden is safely away out of the clutches of the US police state, at least for now, let’s take a moment to contemplate how this one brave man’s principled confrontation with the Orwellian US government has damaged our national security state. F...
An Age of Democratic Ferment?
NORMAN POLLACK
Egypt, Turkey, Brazil, a slowly awakening realization that the contemporary political-social order, even allowing for specific national differences of history, structure, and population composition, has not been responsive to peoples’ needs and inmost aspirations (which...
Is “Lebanon” the Tea Party Utopia?
JEFF KLEIN
Tensions are very high in Lebanon right now, as the tiny country teeters on the verge of being swept into the of civil war in neighboring Syria.  The fighting across the border – and spilling at times into Lebanon itself — has polarized the already fractious popu...
Crush Your Citizens By Spying on Them
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
Voutenay sur Cure, France. In some of Shakespeare’s plays there was ambivalence about spying on people, but in one instance there has been an obvious follow-on to modern times, when in Hamlet he has Polonius  demand of his servant Reynaldo that ...
Stasi in the White House
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
On June 19, 2013, US President Obama, hoping to raise himself above the developing National Security Agency (NSA) spy scandals, sought to associate himself with two iconic speeches made at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy p...
How to Answer the Dumb Things Climate Change Skeptics Say
JOSHUA FRANK
If you are like me you probably have encountered a few people that do not believe global warming exists, or if they do, they are not always convinced that humans are contributing to the problem. There are usually a range of issues these skeptics raise in an attempt to cas...
Obama’s Faltering Legacy
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
President Obama’s disputed pronouncement that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons and thus crossed his “red line” is significant in several respects, not least because what follows in Syria and the wider Middle East will determine how the Obama ...
Notes From Ankara
TARIQ ALI
Ankara, Turkey. How it changes. When I was in Istanbul last April the mood was sombre. Even the most ebullient of friends were downcast. The latent hostility to the regime was always present, but the AKP’s hegemony, I was told many times, went deep. Erdo...
Cry, Cry, Cry
DAVE MARSH
Bobby Bland was, in his prime, the most powerful blues shouter of all time, though capable as well of a caressing tenderness. “Turn On Your Lovelight” is what the rock world knows, I guess, but the man’s legacy is also in “Ain’t Nothing You C...
The ISO, Caterpillar and Democratic Accountability
PHAM BINH
I was dismayed to see a spat over Angelina Jolie’s sur...
The Message From the Battle of Qusayr
PATRICK COCKBURN
Damascus. As representatives of 11 countries supporting the Syrian rebels met in Qatar over the weekend pledging to supply them with arms, Syrian military officers in the recaptured town of Qusayr expressed confidence that rebels will never be able to reta...
Lessons for Brazil From South Africa
PATRICK BOND
Durban. Over the last fortnight, Brazil’s two million street protesters in 80 cities supporting the Free Fare Movement have declared how fed up they are with making multiple sacrifices to Brazilian neoliberalism as revitalized by one Sepp Blatter, the Sw...
Rural Definitions: You’re O-U-T!
CAROL MILLER
The squabble over how to define rural diverts us from the real problem: Support for vital rural development programs has been decimated. Maybe it’s time for a new take on an old idea. The emerging fight in Washington over how to define “rural” for some federa...
Global Rescue Plan
DAVID SWANSON
When the wealthy nations of the world meet as the G8 or in any other gathering, it’s interesting to imagine what they would do if they followed the golden rule, valued grandchildren, disliked unnecessary suffering, or wished to outgrow ancient forms of barbarism, or...