Archive | February, 2006

  • Cartoon-Krieg: Politics as War by Other Means

    Jyllands-Posten stood Clausewitz on his head.  Its now infamous cartoons of Mohammed are not so much speech as acts.  Acts of provocation and belligerence.  They are the latest round of politics as war by other means. Make no mistake.  Jyllands-Posten is not in the business of promoting the freedom of speech.  Nor are the European […]

  • Open Letter to Iran’s Nobel Laureate

    Dear Ms. Shirin Ebadi: The appeal you and Mohammad Sahimi addressed to “Western democracies” in the International Herald Tribune on January 19 disappointed this former admirer of yours.  Your invitation to the current and previous imperial powers to intervene for human rights in Iran fails precisely on grounds of the noble principles you invoked to […]

  • Iraqopoly!

      At last, you can now have your own Deluxe 2006 Edition of Iraqopoly! Click on the image for a larger view. “Iraqopoly: The Deluxe 2006 Stay the Course Edition” Rules: There Are No Rules — Only Ideology Get to Baghdad, and then Spin for an Exit Strategy. Bush Makes Axis of Evil Speech — […]

  • The Big Lie: Tasers Save Lives

    Click on the image for a larger view. Doug Minkler is a San Francisco Bay Area artist specializing in fundraising, outreach, and educational posters. Minkler has collaborated with ILWU, Rainforest Action Network, SF Mime Troupe, ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, CISPES, United Auto Workers, Africa Information Network, ADAPT, Cop Watch, Street Sheet, and Veterans for […]

  • Empire against Itself

    “Third-rate men, of course, exist in all countries, but it is only here that they are in full control of the state, and with it of all the national standards.” — H. L. Mencken Hard on the heels of the Cheney hunt for Republican lawyers, we now have the Great DP-World Port Controversy. Democrats like […]

  • Left-Activist Work Can Be Liberating

    William Morris said, in an article that appeared in The Commonweal on 21 June 1889, “[I]t cannot be too often repeated that the true incentive to useful and happy labour is and must be pleasure in the work itself.”  Morris’s remark pertained to a debate at the end of the nineteenth century on the nature […]

  • The Muslim in the Mirror

    Few things are more frustrating than the doxa to which a hybrid and multifarious object such as “Islam” is all too readily reduced by formulaic provocation and paranoiac reaction.  The current “cartoon war” between “militant” Muslims and “militant” liberals in the “West” is a case in point.  Once again, people are led to view themselves […]

  • Call It Love or Call It Reason, But I Ain’t Marchin’ Anymore

    Click on the image to watch a preview of “Soldiers & Students” One of the largest youth antiwar organizations — the Campus Antiwar Network — is calling for a week of actions against military recruitment on March 13-19, 2006.  Pepperspray Productions of Seattle recently released a DVD titled “Soldiers & Students” that features counter-recruitment actions […]

  • There Are Lives in the Balance

    Washington – 2/22/06.  Today is Day Eight of our 34-day fast for peace at the U.S. Capitol, the Washington component of the Winter of Our Discontent campaign organized by Voices for Creative Nonviolence ( The four of us in D.C., Maureen Foltz, Jeff Leys, Ed Kinane, and I are doing a liquids-only fast.  Maureen and […]

  • The Architecture of Dreamworld 4: What Are Dreams Made of?

    Michael Steinberg, “The Architecture of Dreamworld 1: Like a Sex Machine” (31 October 2005); “The Architecture of Dreamworld 2: The Disarming Reflex” (17 November 2005); “The Architecture of Dreamworld 3: Going Postal” (28 December 2005) There’s probably no way to make critical generalizations about popular culture without sounding like a curmudgeon.  As I look over […]

  • Danish Cartoons: Racism Has No Place on the Left

    I’ve just about had it.  I cannot watch one more episode of the Daily Show which makes racist jokes about Arabs and Muslims.  I am sick and tired of people who see themselves as part of the left writing articles that put a liberal gloss over what is, in essence, a right-wing “clash of civilizations” […]

  • “How Can You Do That to a Community?”: Locked Out by Celanese in Illinois

    Nestled on the bank of the Illinois River, the small community of Meredosia, Illinois sits sixty-five miles west of the state capitol.  In 1955, National Starch and Chemical built a plant there and has been a key employer for this community of about a thousand people.  A producer of adhesives, National Starch was generally considered […]

  • Bubblicious: Looking at the U.S. Real Estate Market

    Many eyes are on the U.S. real estate market.  “During the past five years, home prices have risen at an annual rate of 9.2 percent,” according to the 2006 Economic Report of the President released on February 13. Was this growth normal?  We need the historical context of home price increases to answer this question. […]

  • “Development” Aggression against the Indigenous in India

      The death of twelve persons on January 2 in Kalinga Nagar of Jajpur district in Orissa, when the police fired on adivasis (adi = original, vasi = inhabitants) protesting against state-directed displacement and demanding adequate compensation, once again demonstrates the impact of escalating “development” aggression on India’s aboriginal communities. According to the official version, […]

  • The Second Founding of Bolivia [La segunda fundación de Bolivia]

    El 22 de enero del año 2002, Evo fue expulsado del Paraíso.  O sea: el diputado Morales fue echado del Parlamento. El 22 de enero del año 2006, en ese mismo lugar de pomposo aspecto, Evo Morales fue consagrado presidente de Bolivia. O sea: Bolivia empieza a enterarse de que es un país de mayoría […]

  • “At Some Point We Have to Take Seriously the Idea of Putting a Very Large Wrench into the Gears of This War Machine”: An Interview with Mike Ferner

    On Wednesday, February 15, 2006, a group of war resisters began a 34 day liquids-only fast in Washington, DC.  The fast is sponsored by the Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV) — a nonviolent action group made up of regular citizens who are fed up with the direction of the US government, especially as regards its […]

  • A Track Runs through It:Why Railroad Workers and Trackside Communities Should Fight for Jobs and Environmental Justice Together

    The United Transportation Union, which represents railroad conductors and some engineers, reports that negotiations with the railroad corporations had broken down over the issue of crew reduction.  The carriers are demanding the implementation of one-person train crews for many routes on the US freight rail system.  The current standard train crew is two, an engineer […]

  • Homo Economicus vs. Aam Aadmi: Crisis of Democracy

      During the twentieth century, there were two major shifts in mainstream economic thinking.  These two major changes were the Keynesian revolution of the 1930s and the return of orthodoxy on the back of the Rational Expectation and Monetarist school in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Each of the shifts was preceded by a […]

  • Venezuela Leads the Way: Welfare Mothers and Grassroots Women Are the Workers for Social Change!

    There is screaming, hugging, chanting, and many shhhs; the group takes a momentary pause in their celebration to hear the news.  A delegation of 70 women from all over the world, including, India, Uganda, Guyana, the UK, and the US, stand together in the community of La Padera, Venezuela, awaiting the details. Juanita Romero, also […]

  • The Palestinian Elections: View from the Diaspora

      Oslo is dead.  This is not much of a scoop, as analysts and pundits have been saying and writing these words for many years, at least since the Intifada of September 2000 began.  But now that the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections of January 25th, 2006, are over, we can officially turn off the […]