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Archives from 2013
Noël Coward at the End
CHARLES R. LARSON
When I was still a teenager and interested in all things theatrical, I had an LP of Noël Coward in Concert that included “Mad Dogs and Englishmen,” perhaps the signature song of the British entertainer, playwright, and composer, who would shortly reach the end of...
Kafka in America
WILLIAM MANSON
In his novel The Trial, Franz Kafka conjured up the nightmarish, surreal yet strangely familiar world of an ordinary person trapped in a web of bewildering government interventions. Inexplicably, the eponymous protagonist “Joseph K” suddenly finds himself under relent...
The NSA Paid to Steal Your Private Data
ALFREDO LOPEZ
As the people of this country, and much of the world, observe the year-end holidays, we can look back on 2013 as the year when any illusion of genuine democracy was dashed by the remarkable revelations about the police-state surveillance that watches us. Last week, we saw...
Who is the Middle East Leader of the Year?
PATRICK COCKBURN
Who was the most successful leader in the Middle East in 2013? It is a hoary tradition of newspapers and magazines to produce end-of-year league tables listing the successful and the unsuccessful. The results are often anodyne or quirky, but in the Middle East over the pa...
The Limits of Electoral Politics
ZHANDARKA KURTI
In late October, I was walking out from the local C-Town supermarket to my parents’ apartment building, carrying groceries with both hands when two women working for Bill De Blasio’s campaign attempted to hand me pamphlets, urging me to vote. In the week leading up to...
2013: Assessing the Conflict in Syria and Egypt
RAMZY BAROUD
2013 has expectedly been a terrible year for several Arab nations. It has been terrible because the promise of greater freedoms and political reforms has been reversed, most violently in some instances, by taking a few countries down the path of anarchy and complete chaos...
Socialism, Then and Now
MARK T. HARRIS
Not long ago I watched an online video segment from conservative writer William F. Buckley, Jr.’s old TV public affairs program, ...
When Privacy is Treason
EVAN YOES
The word does not occur in our Constitution.  It is a Judicial Construct by Extension from the British custom of granting privilege to an Englishman’s Private Property. Privacy rode into our Bill of Rights on the Fourth Amendment, as authored by James Madiso...
10 Good Things About 2013
MEDEA BENJAMIN
It would be easy to make a list of 10 bad things—wars, government shut-down, drone attacks, lack of progress on immigrant rights, lousy health-care reform.  But it’s also been a year of extraordinary activism: whistleblowers, DREAMers, Walmart workers, peacemakers, g...
Schindler’s List and the False God
RAYMOND GUSTAVSON
December 5 of 2013 marked the twentieth anniversary of the release of Schindler’s List, a movie that generated a feeling of hope for mankind. Unfortunately, what followed the movie’s premier was a series of disastrous events that resulted in the current state of affai...
Looming Danger of Abrupt Climate Change
ROBERT HUNZIKER
The National Research Council of the National Academies (NRCNA) has pre-published (available to the public as of Dec. 2013), an extensive 200-pg study: “Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change, Anticipating Surprises.” The goal of the report is to prepare society to a...
New Pope, Old Doctrine
GEOFFREY MacDONALD
After approximately 1600 years of the Catholic Church, the Pope is suddenly a hot topic again. The high priest has infatuated the public and won a lot of praise in the secular media for bringing new popularity to an institution long plagued by scandals and out-of-date dog...
John Stauber on Wall Street’s Political Monopoly
JOSLYN STEVENS
This week I spoke with John Stauber, an investigative journalist, author, founder of Center f...
Yoga’s Christian Army
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
“Christian” Yoga?  It seems, at first blush, like a contradiction in terms. Don’t Christians believe that the body — the “flesh,” as it were — is contrary to man’s spiritual nature, while for yoga it is the seat of his soul and the...
The Messiah Awaits Our Coming
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
There is good news and bad news.  The good news: a biblical angel said, “’Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  . . . G...
Korean Conspiracy Trial
GREGORY ELICH
It made worldwide news when Lee Seok-ki, representative in the South Korean National Assembly, was arrested on charges of treason. South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) fed media outlets with a transcript of a meeting that Lee attended, which appeared to rev...
The Virtues of Mutiny and Desertion
CLANCY SIGAL
Yesterday was the date in 1945 General Eisenhower authorized the execution of Pvt. Eddie Slovik the only American GI ever  shot for desertion in World War Two.   Tonight’s Christmas Eve also marks the famous 1914 “Christmas truce”  when British and German soldie...
Abandoned in the Cold and Dark
DYLAN MURPHY
“The world has forgotten Gaza, its women and children. The blockade is as bad as the war; it’s like a slow death for everyone in Gaza. We are paying the price for disputes between different powers. Isn’t that shameful? The world has lost its humanity,...
Cultivating the ‘Entrepreneurial Spirit’ at America’s Largest University
Dr. LAWRENCE WITTNER
The State University of New York (SUNY) — 64 higher education campuses with nearly half a million students — is the largest university system in the United States. Therefore, when university administrators join the state’s governor in turning SUNY into a...
A Season for Caring and Humility
JESSE JACKSON
The holiday is upon us. The streets and stores are gaily decorated; music is in the air. There’s a scurry for cards and presents; an expectation of families gathering. Politically,argument over whether Santa is black or white, and what color Jesus was. All of thi...
Conditions of Apartheid
MARIA C. KHOURY
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) It is under unimaginable conditions of Apartheid that Christians in Bethlehem continue to share the Good News. Christ is Born! Glorify Him! The Orthod...
Mother Nature Intensifies the Gaza Siege
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
Gaza was recently hit by a severe winter storm, and it lacks the electricity, water, and sewage infrastructure to deal with the crisis. ...
Where No Google Buses Go
DARWIN BOND-GRAHAM
For every word written about the gentrification and displacement that is tearing San Francisco apart, there should be ten words written about the the poverty, environmental racism, and financial predation battering the smaller industrial cities of Contra Costa and Alameda...
The Goldman Sachs 2013 Christmas Story
BILL QUIGLEY
Swaddled in Baby Gap, little Jesus appears to be crying.  Mary tries to gently rock him in her hands, certainly a great moment to remind viewers that you are in good hands with Allstate.    The carpenter Joseph is trying to protect Mary and Jesus, he could certainly us...