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Archives from 2013
Is South Sudan a Failed State?
SUFYAN bin UZAYR
Back in July 2011,after a long civil war, South Sudan split from Sudan to become an independent country. However, even though statehood was achieved and a new country was born, the efforts to transform South Sudan into a proper nation-state seem to have come to a standsti...
US Hypocrisy Over Diplomatic Immunity
DAVE LINDORFF
“There is a remarkable and almost charming egalitarianism in it. Everybody is treated in exactly the same disrespectful, casually brutal, and arrogant fashion.” –Defense Attorney Ron Kuby about how “standard procedure&#...
Is the FDA Really Phasing Antibiotics Out of Meat?
MARTHA ROSENBERG
This month’s FDA guidance for reducing livestock antibiotics will actually make things worse, animal welfare and food activist groups are saying. “The FDA is using a garden hose on a forest fire,” says Farm Sanctuary Senior Policy Director Bruce Friedric...
Canada, Inc.
YVES ENGLER
Should the primary purpose of Canadian foreign policy be the promotion of corporate interests? Canada’s business class certainly seems to think so. And with little political or ideological opposition to this naked self-interest, Harper’s Conservatives seem only...
The Spanish Teacher and the Radical, 2013
DAN HANRAHAN
Bracing moment when you realize the university where you work is the training ground for Empire. Students write of their goals of working for Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman – the goliath defense contractors who are bankrupting the nation and manufacturing tech...
Holiday in Peshawar
RON JACOBS
As a service brat, or military dependent in the official parlance, one grew up with an understanding that the winter holiday season might be missing a few ingredients. Those ingredients might include a fir tree, fresh milk, or even Dad. (In today’s military there mi...
Senator Kirk’s War Prayer
DAVID SWANSON
Senator Kirk was praying to Senators Schumer and Menendez, or rather to his god but for their benefit. He was praying in his office where the three were gathered late at night. He was praying for a chance to drop bombs on Iran. An aged stranger entered the office w...
The Last Chance for Peace in Syria?
SHAMUS COOKE
The war in Syria grinds on, an endless ...
The Anti-Gay Atmosphere in Figure Skating
M.G. PIETY
Figure skater Brian Boitano has “come out.” Come out of what, you may wonder? There hasn’t been much news about Boitano lately, so perhaps he’s been in seclusion. If you are a follower of his cooking show “...
Time to Make the Fed a Public Utility
ELLEN BROWN
December 23rd, 2013, marks the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve, warranting a review of its performance.  Has it achieved the purposes for which it was designed? The answer depends on whose purposes we are talking about.  For the banks, the Fe...
Yes, Virginia, There is a Police State
LYNN FITZ-HUGH
Hyperbole?  You decide if this is how you believe the police should behave when citizens are exercising their constitutional right to free speech. On Monday, December 16, 16 people were arrested at two different locations on Hwy 26 outside John Day, OR.  They wer...
Is MoveOn to the Right of the NYT Editorial Board?
NORMAN SOLOMON
The New York Times is hardly a progressive newspaper — but when it comes to the surveillance state and ongoing militarism of the Obama White House, the establishment’s “paper of record” puts ...
Obama Run Amok
NORMAN POLLACK
Comparative structural-political typologies are interesting to study, for in that way one learns modesty when the temptation arises to assert patriotic nobility and superiority over all others. Is drone murder more righteous than Gulag imprisonment? Is the CIA morally pre...
So This Is Christmas
JONATHAN CARP
Christmas is now a commercial frenzy, a profusion of overplayed songs and overwrought sentiment, mixed with pleading to remember “the reason for the season” and to “keep Christ in Christmas.” But there’s something else that’s being lost and perhaps was never e...
Overstanding Detroit
THOMAS STEPHENS
“Force them to expose their hand so bad that they lose even when they win.” – General Baker, 12/14/13 Detroit’s challenges have ...
Mandela and Vanunu
MAIREAD MAGUIRE
This week the World’s political leaders stood united in admiration at the Memorial service in South Africa to honour the memory of Nelson Mandela, Leader of his country, and a man of courage who gave inspiration to many  people around the world. Across the wor...
Obama and the Legacy of American Capitalism
CHARLES SULLIVAN
“You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you cannot face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says It.” –Malcolm X ...
Your Commie Horoscope
JOSHUA SPERBER and ELLIOT SPERBER
In “Stars Down to Earth” Theodor Adorno analyzes several years’ worth of 1950s Los Angeles Times astrology columns. Describing astrology’s distinctive blend of supranatural wisdom and banal advice, Adorno demonstrated how the column legitimized and dignifie...
Actually, Santa is Cajun and Puerto Rican
SAM SMITH
The current media driven controversy over the ethnicity of Santa Claus, reminds me that back in 2008, I annoyed some and amused others by claiming that Obama was white. After all, he was born of black and white parents, grew up in a white culture, had a white exten...
Ballin’ and Beatles
LEE BALLINGER
Tonight the Atlanta Falcons will play the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. It will be the last...
The Incredible, Shrinking Presidency of Barack Obama
MIKE WHITNEY
According to a new Washington Post-ABC poll, Barack Obama now ranks among the least popular presidents in the last century. In fact, his approval rating is lower than Bush’s was in his fifth year in office. Obama’s overall approval rating stands at a dismal 43...
The Myth of the Polygraph
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR and ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Even J. Edgar Hoover knew
that the polygraph wasn’t any good for detecting deception. He dropped the
test. The
polygraph was invented in 1915 by a Harvard man called William Moulton Marston,
 who claimed that his clunky little gizmo could detect lies by m...
Cancer, Nuclear Weapons and Dirty Tricks
CHRIS BUSBY
The United Kingdom Veterans of the Atomic Atmospheric Testing in the Pacific and Australia have always maintained that they suffered harm, including cancer and leukemia. The government has consistently denied this. Its argument is that except for very few of them, ...
Saving the World Obama-Style
ANDREW LEVINE
When it comes to spying and killing, Barack Obama is Mr. Malevolent. But every now and then, he gets a notion to go high-minded.  Words come first.  Sometimes he backs up his words with gestures; sometimes he even puts people on the case – feckless people like ...
The Strip Search of Devyani Khobragade
BINOY KAMPMARK
The servant or home helper is the fodder of gossip, a point of permanent distraction for their hirers.  A common assumption in those circles: When the help abscond or accuse, it must be because they have wronged their employers, rather than the other way around.  The ol...