new site graphic2

Archives from June 2013
GCHQ, Tempora and Global Surveillance
BINOY KAMPMARK
The relationship between Britain (or the UK, if you wish to be properly official) and the United States has always been peculiar. Accents are mocked, styles of language derided and the occasional library burned (oh, to remember 1812 again). The older party is often treate...
Things Fall Apart
ROB URIE
The conspicuously nonsensical efforts by President Barack Obama and NSA spy chief Alexander to assure Americans massive corporate-government spy operations had prevented terrorist attacks were supported by only a few easily disproved ...
The Big Plunge
MIKE WHITNEY
Normally, stocks don’t fall off a cliff unless the economic data suddenly turns south or there are signs of an emerging crisis, like a run on the shadow banking system or threat to Middle East oil supplies. But neither of these played a part in this week’s equ...
Bono: Sacred Cow or Sad Clown?
HARRY BROWNE
How the mighty have fallen. Eight years ago, the last time the UK hosted the G8, Bono had a podium position in Scotland beside Tony Blair and Bob Geldof, and his embrace of the summit document on global poverty was greeted, according to the New York Times, “with a solem...
How Israeli Apartheid is Coming Unstuck
JONATHAN COOK
One incident of racism, though small in relation to the decades of massive, institutionalised discrimination exercised by Israel against its Palestinian Arab citizens, has triggered an uncharacteristic bout of Israeli soul-searching. Superland, a large amusement pa...
War Fatigue Grips Syria
PATRICK COCKBURN
Damascus. The boom of outgoing artillery fire no longer makes people in Damascus glance up from their work or interrupt their conversation even for a moment. After a year of fighting, it is a background noise so familiar that nobody refers to the thunderou...
A Cowboy in Caracas
DANIEL KOVALIK
I met Charlie Hardy, a former Mary Knoll priest and missionary, in Caracas, Venezuela when I was there as an international accompanier of the Venezuelan elections in April.   When I told my colleague Alex Main that I was going to go with Charlie to see the new socialist...
Edward Snowden and America’s Moral Complacency
DREUX RICHARD
Today, Edward Snowden is my hero. More importantly, he is my father’s hero. And he speaks for us both, among others. In 1976, my father was appointed to the Church Committee, which had been convened to review (and rein in) US intelligence gathering practices. Its...
PRISM and the Rise of a New Fascism
JOHN PILGER
In his book Propaganda, published in 1928, Edward Bernays wrote: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. “Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of ...
The Myth of the Rational Market
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
One of the myths of economics is that markets are rational. Theories are based on this assumption, and the belief that markets are rational fuels the argument against regulation.  The market response to the Federal Reserve’s June 19 statement that it will taper off its...
When the Gods Laugh
URI AVNERY
If the life of Shimon Peres was a play, it would be difficult to classify. A tragedy? A comedy? A tragicomedy? For sixty years it looked as if he was under a curse of the Gods, much like the curse of Sisyphus, who was condemned to roll an immense boulder up a hill,...
How David Slew a Nuclear Goliath
ACE HOFFMAN
“Oh no, it wasn’t the airplanes.  It was beauty killed the beast.” The glitter of gold attracted the operators of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.  It did them in. Faced with the need to upgrade an old de...
Voices of Divided Venezuela
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Red color, red paint splashed over white background, against which is a photo of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Underneath it says: “Chavez from his heart.” “Chavez died, had fallen…” A man, an acquaintance, who is driving me around Caracas, tells m...
Corporatizing National Security
RALPH NADER
Privacy is a sacred word to many Americans, as demonstrated by the recent uproar over the brazen invasion of it by the Patriot Act-enabled National Security Agency (NSA). The information about dragnet data-collecting of telephone and internet records leaked by Edward Snow...
7 Things Major League Baseball Needs To Do
DAVID MACARAY
Let’s be clear. We’re not stubborn or deluded or cantankerous enough to waste time ranting against the obvious culprits—e.g., the designated hitter rule, double-knit uniforms (as opposed to flannel), inter-league play, and doing away with Sunday double-headers. ...
Prisons Full of Innocents
DAVID SWANSON
There are probably more innocent men and women in prison in the United States now than there were people in prison here total — innocent and guilty — 30 years ago, or than there are total people in prison (proportionately or as an absolute number) in most nati...
The Standing Man of Turkey
T. SABRI ÖNCÜ
On 16 June 2013, after describing the brutal events that took place in Istanbul on the evening of 15 June, which were covered extensively by the international media, Taksim Solidarity—the umbrella group that initiated the Taksim Gezi Park protest on 27 May—said on its...
Militarizing Capitalism
NORMAN POLLACK
America is going through the worst of days under the fiction (aka false consciousness) of these being the best of days.  We learn only today, all part of the Snowden revelations about government surveillance, that the National Security Agency (the world’s largest spyin...
Bill Maher, Worse than Glenn Beck
BEN NORTON
Watching Real Time with Bill Maher is a truly painful experience. In just a few tortuous minutes of the program, its hallmarks become clear: an endless barrage of jokes made unabashedly at the expense of the oppressed, justified as critiques of “political correctedness,...
Our Immature Leaders
MICHAEL BRENNER
The American polity is showing growing signs of a lapse into immaturity. Sobriety, accountability, responsible custodianship of the public good are the earmarks of serious leadership in a healthy democracy. Their common denominator is honesty – intellectual, political,...
The Emperor’s New Penis
LIERRE KEITH and DERRICK JENSEN
Men have been silencing women for ten thousand years and it’s happening still. At the “Law and Disorder Conference” in Portland, OR, on May 11-12, two women were peacefully tabling, handing out literature, and selling books from our organization, ...
Surviving in a Nuclear Armed World
ROBERT F. DODGE, MD and IRA HELFAND
President Obama speaking in Berlin on Wednesday took the first step in his 2nd term to address the world’s nuclear arsenals. He proposed negotiating the reduction of strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third of its current levels of 1722 as of September 2012 and redu...
Identity, Consciousness and the Global War on Terror
HAMDAN AZHAR
There’s a riveting moment in Dirty Wars – the new documentary about the War on Terror by investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill – that calls to mind glimpses of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Charlie Kaufman’s masterful reflection on memory,...
On Obama and the Syrian Rebels
RON JACOBS
The world waits. Washington and other western capitals ponder war. Tehran and Moscow assume their positions, wary of their flanks and the rear. Syria suffers. Groups within and without Syria’s borders position themselves as representatives of the Syrian people, almo...
Somebody’s Watching You
WALTER BRASCH
It makes no difference if Edward Snowden, who had fled to Hong Kong and revealed that the American government was spying upon American citizens, is a traitor or a hero. Intelligence agencies from China, Russia, England, Israel, and maybe even Lichtenstein, pro...
Inflicting Death While Avoiding Taxes
BINOY KAMPMARK
For some time it has been a gathering that seemed to be more floral than substantive, a matter of chit chat, sometimes serious, over issues of the day.  General guidelines are proposed.  Bland suggestions are made. Declarations are always filled with well meaning sugges...
Is There a Future for the German Left?
TOM GILL
London. Die Linke’s Congress last weekend was an important one. It is election year, with Federal polls due in the autumn. And it has been facing pressure over its position on Europe, with a minority challenging the party’s strong support for t...
Cranking Up the Washington Lie Machine
DAVE LINDORFF
Just for the sake of argument, let’s suspend our disbelief for a moment and pretend (I know it’s a stretch) that the Obama administration and the apologists for the nation’s spy apparatus in Congress, Democratic and Republican, are telling us the gods...
Hezbollah’s Palestinian Problem
FRANKLIN LAMB
Many Lebanese and Syrian supporters of this regions Resistance culture, increasingly led by Hezbollah, are chastising, for a number of reasons, their former Islamist ally Hamas. Pillorying them with accusations that the latter are ingrates who are creating a host of probl...
What’s the Sexual Health of the Nation?
DAVID ROSEN
What is the best way to determine the true pulse of the nation?  How are we to measure the “recovery” from the Great Recession of 2007-2009?  Is it the New York Stock Market’s new highs, now well over 15,000 from a low of 6,547 in March ‘09?  Is it the unemploy...
Reinventing Progressive Politics in Canada
MURRAY DOBBIN
We are so accustomed to the connection between political parties and democracy that to question the relationship between the two might seem absurd. But for those who recognize the multiple crises faced by humanity — the destruction of our environment, climate change, th...
When Hearts and Minds are War-Torn
TOM H. HASTINGS
The Taliban is finally making another try at initiating peace talks. Who is listening and who cares? Afghans care. Their hearts are in pieces like the rubble that is strewn wherever the US-led NATO/Karzai forces have bombed from the air, or where the Taliban has cr...
Congratulations! You’re Being Watched
RANDALL AMSTER
With revelations (yet again) that we are all essentially being watched virtually all the time, we might expect a popular backlash against such a massive and unprecedented intrusion on privacy. Americans may differ on a plethora of political issues, but there’s a common ...
Homeless Plan Has Good Ideas (And Scary Ones)
TOM & JUDY TURNIPSEED
Homelessness is finally catching the attention of the media, everyday people and even politicians in the Midlands of South Carolina. We’ve heard much about compassion, humanity, respect and some sensible approaches to ending homelessness. A community approach t...
The Art of the Soulless Ripoff
KIM NICOLINI
After reading all the hoopla about Paul McCarthy’s latest installation WS ( “White Snow” – McCarthy’s take on Snow White) which opened at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan this week, I think it’s...
The Needs of Others
MISSY BEATTIE
I ran out of my kingdom this morning, past businesses and houses with flowering lawns. Hearing music, I felt that ancient call of divinity and watched a perfect American family (wife, husband, son, and daughter) enter a place of worship, a sanctuary for some, a Sunday mor...
Stalled Negotiations Have a Cost in the Middle East
DR. CESAR CHELALA
A group of Israeli businessmen has warned Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu that failure to reach peace with Palestinians has a high economic cost for Israel. The businessmen, who were invited to the meeting by Netanyahu himself, told him that unless there is diplomatic pr...
Postcard from the End of America: Philadelphia
LINH DINH
John is 46 but looks twenty years younger, with not a single white hair or whisker. His grungy style also suspends him in early adulthood. His mom was a registered nurse, then secretary at a garage. His dad sold car parts and drove a mail truck from Philly to Harrisburg i...
Pre-Teen Revolutionaries
CHARLES R. LARSON
It’s difficult to remember when I last read a novel as chilling as Giorgio Vasta’s Time on My Hands.  The writer, who is Italian, frames his story in 1978, when Italy was politically unstable (more than typical for the time).  Aldo Moro, the former Italian pr...
Imperial Pomp & Circumstance
DAVID YEARSLEY
No work of music has a greater lock on a single ritual than Edward Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance March no. 1 does on American graduations. Cock an ear in the direction of high school and university campuses across this country in May or June and its impossible...
Three Poems by Kevin LeMaster
POETS' BASEMENT
The Silence of Hummingbirds by KEVIN LeMASTER   The only sound is an audible whisper her heart held closely within tiny ribs the beaten wing produces waves of fresh soun...
Yemenis in Gitmo Limbo
MEDEA BENJAMIN
“In Yemen we are close to the bottom in all kinds of measures like income and education, but there’s one statistic where we come out on top: the number of prisoners in Guantanamo,” laughed Mohammad Naji Allaw, a successful Yemeni lawyer who ploughs his firm’s prof...
Spying by the Numbers
BILL QUIGLEY
Thanks to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden many more people in the US and world-wide are learning about extensive US government surveillance and spying.  There are publicly available numbers which show the reality of these problems are bigger than most think and most of ...
A Psychologist’s Guantanamo Nightmare
ROY EIDELSON
Although psychologists are better known for interpreting the dreams of others, sometimes we have nightmares of our own. The one recounted here took shape after I read the ...
Your TV is Killing the Planet
JOSHUA FRANK
Note to TV-loving couch potatoes: That little box sitting atop your television set that transforms a signal into your favorite show is likely the largest single source of electrical waste in your entire household. These so-called set-top boxes are bigger electrical sucker...
Why Stiglitz is Wrong About Abenomics
MIKE WHITNEY
Liberal economists in the US are absolutely ga-ga about Abenomics, and for good reason. Under Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s leadership the Bank of Japan (BoJ) has flooded financial markets with money pushing stocks up nearly 80 percent in a matter of months,...