Archive | October, 2006

  • Dubya Writes to God

    Dear God, This is your beloved son, Dubya.  I decided to write to you because you have stopped talking to me (even though I still talk to you daily).  I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to assume you are unaware of my feelings, but let me say it anyway: I have been feeling miserable, my […]

  • Hell Is Rising in Oaxaca: An Interview with an Oaxacan Rebel

    When I lived in Washington state, some of my closest friends were from the Mexican state of Oaxaca.  I have kept in touch with a few of them, and they have kept me in touch with the rebellion unfolding in the streets of Oaxaca over the past few months.  After the escalation of the situation […]

  • A New World of Work

      Cornell Global Labor Institute Honors Oscar Olivera On October 5, 2006, the Cornell Global Labor Institute held a reception to celebrate its second anniversary.  The guest of honor was Oscar Olivera, the Executive Secretary of the Federation of Factory Workers from Cochabamba , Bolivia.  The Federation was key in the formation of the Coordinator […]

  • Homeless in America

      My first full realization of homelessness hit as I was waking up, shivering, one cold, damp, and foggy November morning in 1991.  The pain in my lower back was excruciating, not to mention the numbness in my legs and feet.  I was attempting to raise myself to a seated position in response to pleadings […]

  • U.S. Service Academy Graduates Unite against Illegal Iraq War

    The overwhelming response by alumni of United States service academies to the anti-war efforts of West Point Graduates Against the War ( has resulted in a combined arms organization of former and current land, sea, and air officers united against the war in Iraq.  The new organization, Service Academy Graduates Against the War (, was […]

  • Why Culture Matters [Qué importa la cultura]

    En setiembre del 2006, en Lewisburg, Tennessee, un grupo de vecinos protestó porque la dirección de la biblioteca pública estaba invirtiendo recursos en la compra de libros en español.  De los sesenta mil volúmenes, sólo mil pertenecen a alguna lengua diferente al inglés.  El presupuesto del presente año, calculado en trece mil dólares, destina la […]

  • In Support of Piracy: Up against Hollywood, Record Execs, and . . . Boy Scouts

    The “Scout Law” of the Boy Scouts of America reads “a scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.” And now they’ve apparently added “Paramount, Sony, EMI, Warner Brothers, and Walt Disney” to that list. An October 20th press release from the Motion Picture Association of America announced that it has […]

  • Catch a Fire: The Anatomy of Reluctant Insurgency

    In the modern world, where the state exercises the ultimate power over life and death, what would cause a common man or woman to join an insurgency against the powers that be? Not become a terrorist.  Terrorism is defined as the systematic use of terror as a means of coercion.  History shows that all too […]

  • Perpetual War for Peace?Tour for a Just Foreign Policy in Iran and Iraq

    What can we do to end one war and prevent another? Photo by Lynsey Addario The Tour for a Just Foreign Policy in Iran and Iraq is making its way across the Northeast in November with an amazing lineup of speakers and a photo exhibit by award winning photojournalists.  We invite you to join us […]

  • Storms over the Pacific

      Australian Prime Minister John Howard should get a hostile reception at the Pacific Islands Forum this week.  His in-your-face imperialism has provoked conflicts in three island nations. The Solomons and Papua New Guinea In the latest outrage, Aussie police have raided the office of Solomons PM Manasseh Sogavare.  Meanwhile a key report on the […]

  • James Baker, the Clark Clifford of the Iraq War

    In recent days, reports have begun to appear in mainstream US media sources such as Time magazine and the Los Angeles Times hinting at a new strategy on Iraq from Washington.  This strategy, which is scheduled to be officially made public after the November congressional elections, is the product of a so-called bipartisan commission headed […]

  • When Economists Didn’t Buy the Free Market. . . : An Interview with Michael Perelman

    RAILROADING ECONOMICS: The Creation of the Free Market Mythology by Michael PerelmanBUY THIS BOOKRead Michael Perelman’s blog: UNSETTLING ECONOMICS: A Progressive Look at Economics and the Rest of the Screwed Up World. Michael Perlman is a longtime professor of economics at California State University, Chico.  A prolific author, his newest book is titled Railroading Economics: […]

  • Globalization Risks and Costs

    Critics have exposed how globalization’s benefits have been unequally distributed around the world.  Many of the world’s poorer regions have become poorer still in relation to the regions that gained.  And within regions, it turns out that globalization often worsens wealth and income inequalities.  However, critics admit and defenders boast that at least for some […]

  • It Could Happen Here

    A deepening crisis pervades Pax Americana and with it a rising interest in fascism and the fear that it may be coming or is already here. While some observers are alarmed at the prospects of fascism, others dismiss the topic as conspiracy theory or just plain rubbish. In the most absurd recent use of the term, George W. Bush has declared America at war “with Islamic fascists seeking to destroy freedom loving societies.” It is hard here not to invoke Huey Long’s famous idea that fascism would come to America clothed as anti-fascism

  • Public Education and the Left

    The left does not address public education often enough.  When it does, the focus is on financial inequities, racial segregation, or the testing fetish.  These are critical issues, but there is another of even greater significance.  If tomorrow we were to abolish the tests, remove the inequities, and integrate the schools, the educational system itself […]

  • Faith in the “War with Islam”

    The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason by Sam Harris.  Norton, New York, 2004.  ISBN 0-393-03515-8. 336 pp.  Cloth $24.95. Sam Harris’ The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason is unusual among books recently issued by mainline publishers in that it begins by rejecting all religious faiths […]

  • A Marxist Poet: The Legacy of Gillo Pontecorvo

    Pauline Kael, the American film critic, once said that Gillo Pontecorvo was the most dangerous kind of Marxist: a Marxist poet.  When the Italian film director died last week at the age of 86, he had not made a full-length feature in over twenty-five years.  Yet the potency of Pontecorvo’s firebrand poetry can still be […]

  • How to Stay Out of Gitmo

    In case you’ve been too stunned by other newsworthy disasters to pay proper attention, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 was just signed into law.  This law gives the U.S. government legal permission to do things they’ve been doing sub-legally for years, such as: designate people as “unlawful enemy combatants”; deny these people the right […]

  • Current Challenges to Feminism: Theory and Practice

    For much of the period from the 70s through the 80s, I was quite concerned with the way in which Third World movements for national liberation were sidelining women’s issues and relegating these to the background.  In this piece I centerstage the Philippines which I believe may serve as an illustrative case.  Let me try […]

  • Gazing into the Future: Wal-Mart & the Unions

    What’s the wave of the future for the United States in the 21st century?  You couldn’t go far wrong by answering, “Wal-Mart.”  In the case of the giant chain store, it might be fair to say “tsunami of the future.” The United Food and Commercial Workers Union, together with the Teamsters Union, has lately been […]