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Archive | September, 2009

Private Health Care Lobby Dictates Terms in Health Care Reform

The frequently imbibing comedian W. C. Fields once proudly declared: “Everything I do is either illegal, immoral, or fattening.”  The adjectives used by Fields perfectly characterize the role of the private health insurance industry in the debate about health care reform.  As the debate intensifies more and more private health care profits are being recycled […]

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Notes on the Status of Health Reform

The election of Obama raised expectations for sweeping health reform sky high.  But in spite of several self-imposed deadlines, Senate and House health reform bills were not ready by the time of the August Congressional recess, when passionate local debate erupted at Congressional home district town hall meetings.  The Onion pierced the din with truth: […]

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Beirut: City of Projected Fantasies

  Beirut has been labelled the Paris, sometimes the Switzerland, of the Middle East.  According to one recent New York Times article, it is now the region’s Provincetown (the Cape Cod resort favoured by gay visitors).  This ever-changing city seems to have become a mirror where people project their own fantasies. Comparing Beirut with another […]

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Honduras: the National Front’s Position on the Elections of 2009

NEITHER CAMPAIGN NOR ELECTIONS LEGITIMATE IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE COUP The general elections without the restitution of the constitutional order would be the legalization of the military violence against the State and, as such, unacceptable.  In light of this, the National Front of Resistance against the Coup d’Etat declares: 1. We do not recognize […]

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Prison Poems

  A Comrade’s Paper Blanket New books, old books, the leaves all piled together. A paper blanket is better than no blanket. You who sleep like princes, sheltered from the cold, Do you know how many men in prison cannot sleep all night? Autumn Night Before the gate, a guard with a rifle on his […]

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The Mythology of Imperialism

Speaking Truth to Power: The Mythology of Imperialism

  When I decided to teach Joseph Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness at Berkeley High School, it had been out of favor as an appropriate text because it was considered too controversial.  I wanted to do a whole unit on Africa and the Congo, including African authors, journalism, and history, and I figured we could start […]

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Sale

Sale

“For the time being, it’s only 7 bases, but, if it were up to me, I would sell them the whole country.” Alfredo Martirena Hernández was born in 1965 in Santa Clara, Cuba.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] gmail.com).

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 Bholar Basti, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Cost of Climate Change Adaptation Underestimated

Bholar Basti, a water-logged slum in Dhaka city, accommodates more than 30,000 people, most of them victims of river erosion, floods, and other natural disasters.  ©Shamsuddin Ahmed/IRIN DAKAR, 1 September 2009 (IRIN) – Current UN cost estimates for climate change adaptation are too low and this could thwart climate treaty negotiations set for December in […]

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Max Elbaum

Long Peace Movement Needs a Noisy Next Phase

As the peace movement digs in for long-haul opposition to continuing U.S. wars, we simultaneously face urgent immediate challenges.  Policy fights that may well determine Washington’s course for many years ahead regarding Afghanistan, Israel-Palestine, and Honduras (and Latin America in general) are at important junctures.  It will take more noise — in the streets and […]

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