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Archives from September 2013
The Iran End Game
BINOY KAMPMARK
The latest UN General Assembly gatherings have served to reiterate the grand spectacle of what is wrong, and in some ways right, about world politics. The usual players have turned up to make a scene. We have a vibrant Brazilian leader Dilma Roussef scolding the United St...
Dave Foreman and the First Green Scare Case
JOSHUA FRANK AND JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!, awoke at five in the morning on May 30, 1989 to the sound of three FBI agents shouting his name in his Tucson, Arizona home. Foreman’s wife Nancy answered the door frantically and was shoved aside by brawny FBI agen...
Internet Pet Sellers: Humane Groups Cave In
LEE HALL
The newest victory for the Humane Society of the United States—isn’t. Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail distributed this month from HSUS president & CEO Wayne Pacelle,  announcing it. Dear Friend, I have a huge ...
The Academy on Parade
DANIEL WHITE
No one in this country is commenting on how common subservience and deference to authority, to elite America, and to bureaucratic norms is nowadays.  It certainly didn’t used to be like this in my living memory and I see it getting worse as times proceed.  The scrap a...
Mohamed Nasheed’s Campaign to Restore Democracy to the Maldives
JOHN FORAN AND SUMMER GRAY
A visiting foreign journalist asked me two days ago if Nasheed can inspire people. Apparently, [former dictator] Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has expressed the opinion that Nasheed cannot be a proper leader because he cannot do so. To be inspired by...
The Trouble with High Burn-Up Nuclear Fuel
ACE HOFFMAN
Spent nuclear fuel is hot stuff.  It’s thermally hot — about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s not residual heat from when the fuel was in the reactor, it’s decay heat from fission products with relatively short half-lives – from days or weeks ...
Syria’s Secret Chemical Weapons Sources
M. KOOHZAD
A few retired American generals tell us, mainly on the 24-hour news channels, that possessing chemical weapons is illegal. This is true, according to the Geneva Convention of 1925. But, countries that have not signed this document are not obligated to follow the law. The ...
Obama and Rouhani at the UN
NORMAN POLLACK
Obama in his address to the United Nations, Sept. 24, treated the world to a display of “democratic” rhetorical flights which uncovered at the deepest levels America’s commitment to continued world hegemony and, related, the arrogance inhering in the ideology of exc...
The Pope, Iran and the Wall Street Journal
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal has a way of taking the fun out of lots of things. Two events occurred during the week of September 15th that caused me to think that in a world consumed by violence and hatred there might be modest cause for optimism. Thanks ...
Did God Get Things Terribly Wrong?
M.G. PIETY
Alvin Plantinga is one of the most prominent figures in a group of philosophers who work on what one could call religious epistemology. Plantinga has decided to take on the “new atheists” in his latest book ...
Canadian Impotence
YVES ENGLER
Once again Conservative ideology has trumped what’s right. Prominent Toronto filmmaker/professor John Greyson and London, Ontario, physician/professor Tarek Loubani have been locked up in an Egyptian jail for nearly 40 days. After a prosecutor recently extend...
Peace is Not Profitable
MISSY BEATTIE
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: Each year we come together to reaffirm the founding vision of this institution. For most of recorded history, individual aspirations were subject to the whims of tyrants and empires. For recent ...
Idle No More Protest at Shasta Dam
DAN BACHER
Over 30 people, including members of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, Hoopa Valley Tribe and their allies, protested government plans to raise Shasta Dam and build the peripheral tunnels under the Delta in front of the Visitors Center at the dam on Saturday, September 21 as the ...
Can You Imagine?
JOHN CARROLL, MD
Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Cite Soleil is an infamous slum in Port-au-Prince. It supposedly has hundreds of thousands of people…no one knows how many for sure or really cares. Can you imagine if Peoria and its surrounding communities with hundreds of ...
The HIV Crisis in the Porn Industry
GAIL DINES
The porn industry, using its sophisticated, well-resourced public relations machine, sells itself as an avant garde, progressive, counter-cultural force out to empower us all with exciting images of an edgy, fun, creative sexuality. In reality, it is a multi-billion-dolla...
Academia Deserves its Crisis
LOUIS YAKO
I was recently invited to be part of a student panel to welcome all new Ph.D. students to the large research university I am currently attending and to share with them my words of “wisdom,” so they can learn more about the upcoming challenges of graduate student life....
They Could Have Been Contenders
RODOLFO ACUÑA
Last July salsa singer Marc Anthony, responding to a question on television’s stereotyping of Latinos, answered that “the entertainment industry doesn’t owe us anything.” While Mr. Anthony is entitled to his opinion, he like all of us who are Mexican American ...
Garland Jeffreys’ Truth Serum
PETER STONE BROWN
For more than four decades Garland Jeffreys has been playing, writing, performing, always close to the top, but somehow remaining the invisible man who never gets inside, or when he does get inside, he remains invisible.  Maybe it’s because he’s half black and half b...
Liberace’s Prison
DAVID YEARSLEY
Last weekend Michael Douglas took home an Emmy for his performance as Liberace in the HBO bio-pic Behind the Candelabra; this accolade might in turn ignite renewed interest in the film that was released in movie theatres in Europe early last summer, but was confine...
The Dead Should Not Return
CHARLES R. LARSON
Balzac’s Colonel Chabert serves as the back story for Javier Marías’ profoundly wrenchi...
Ngengi, Kelly and Behroozian
POETS' BASEMENT
The Seeds of Freedom By G.G. NJUGUNA NGENGI   Freedom lovers are there. Many know the pain Freedom lovers get.   Freedom seed is there in all races. Doesn’t germinate, doesn’...
Some Facts You Should Know About Fukushima
TAKASHI HIROSE
On September 7, 2013 Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said to the 125th session of the International Olympic Committee, the following: Some may have concerns about Fukushima. Let me assure you, the situation is under control. It has never done and wi...
Fed Policy in Crisis
JACK RASMUS
This past week the US central bank, the Federal Reserve (Fed), opted not to change its current 3rd Quantitative Easing (QE) policy providing $85 billion a month in bond purchases from bankers and investors. The Fed’s QE3 policy has been in effect for about a ...
Bono: “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me”
HARRY BROWNE
The interview with Bono by Tim Adams published in the Observer last Sunday was blessed, or cursed, with interesting timing. Within a couple of days of the piece appearing, with its headline quoting Bono’s defensive “There’s a difference between cosying up to pow...
The Unsung Hero of the NSA Revelations
NOZOMI HAYASE
How many people can look back on their lives and say they have done something significant for the betterment of society? Oftentimes selfless and noble actions of individuals go unrecognized. There are always those who act quietly behind the scenes at crucial turning point...