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Archive | March, 2010

Hollywood’s Predatory Altruism

The unusually lengthy list of nominees for this year’s Best Picture Oscar features a slew of do-gooder films about the suffering of others.  Most are about people who’re at a considerable cultural distance from the white, middle-class Americans who are the primary consumers of these films. Lee Daniel’s Precious transports us to Harlem, to the […]

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An Appeal to Anti-war Organizations and Activists to Oppose the Increasing Threats against Iran

Around the world, anti-war activists are preparing for major protests this spring to oppose the continuing U.S.-led occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.  Meanwhile, a storm of developments is dramatically increasing tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran.  In response, the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) is issuing […]

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Israeli Apartheid Week: Beirut

Israeli Apartheid Week: Beirut

Two months ago a few students got together at the American University of Beirut and started planning a week of conferences, workshops, and actions based on the model offered by Israeli Apartheid Week which started six years ago in Toronto.  A list of speakers was drawn up, and with nothing much to offer except the […]

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Labor Union Favorability

Public to Unions: Drop Dead

For years, the AFL-CIO has touted a 2006 survey in which almost 60 million unorganized workers said they would join a union if they could.  These positive numbers were supported by other polls that showed that solid majorities of the U.S. population had a favorable view of labor unions and saw them as necessary to […]

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Syria’s Strategic Ties to the Islamic Republic: Diplomacy in the Post-Iraq/Post-Peace Process Middle East

Last week, just after we had completed our regional tour to Beirut, Damascus, and Tehran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his own journey to Damascus, for highly publicized meetings with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, HAMAS Political Bureau chief Khalid Mishal, and a “resistance” summit with Assad and Hizballah Secretary General Shaykh Hassan Nasrallah.  Ahmadinejad’s trip […]

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All Out March 4 in Defense of Public Education!

The U.S. ruling class and its political representatives at all levels have launched an all-out assault on public education.  While disparate elements of this campaign have been in place for the past three or four decades, we are today seeing a confluence and culmination of these trends, orchestrated by President Obama and his Education secretary […]

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Feminism, Capitalism, and the Cunning of History

This is an exercise in historicization.  This lecture concerns the relation between feminism, the movements of second-wave feminism, and the recent history of capitalism.  My aim is to try to shed some light on where the feminist movement stands today in the current crisis of capitalism. So, I want to tell a story that has […]

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Sexuality and the Law: An Uneasy Marriage

  Matthew Waites.  The Age of Consent: Young People, Sexuality, and Citizenship.  Houndmills and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.  viii + 285 pp.  $95.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-4039-2173-4.  $29.00 (paper), ISBN 978-0-230-23718-6. There are many “ages of consent.”  But in common parlance, age of consent laws define the age at which a person can legally consent […]

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An AfPak Star over Central Asia

United States AfPak special representative Richard Holbrooke enjoys a fabulous reputation, no matter the current prospects of the Afghan war.  The Eurasian space knew him as a potential Nobel winner who evicted Russia from the Balkans.  The world at large expects him to take over if and when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton steps down […]

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Lessons from the Housing Disaster

Of the roughly 56 million homes in the US today with mortgages, one in seven is “delinquent.”  That is over 7 million homes more than 30 days behind in mortgage payments.  Those homeowners face foreclosure procedures likely leading to evictions.  Very high (and still rising) unemployment levels guarantee rising mortgage delinquencies. Mass media and political […]

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Theism and Atheism

  Even though Catholics and Protestants are nowadays both on the defensive, theism is again becoming an actual force in the period of its decline.  This follows from the very meaning of “atheism.”  Only those who used “atheism” as a term of abuse meant by it the exact opposite of religion.  Those who professed themselves […]

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Food Rebellions

A Conversation with Eric Holt-Giménez

Join Eric Holt-Giménez, author and Executive Director of Food First, for a stimulating discussion of his latest book (co-authored with Raj Patel) Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice.  Learn about the root causes driving the food crisis and the powerful movements that have risen in response. When: Friday, March 5, 2010 at 7:30 […]

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Obama’s Greening of Plutonium

(PU) The White House moved today to protect Americans from nuclear accidents and attack by buying up rights to alarming facts pertaining to those subjects.  Speaking to an enthusiastic audience of the unemployed, President Obama announced that, in the wake of federal approval of $8.3 billion in loan guarantees to build two new nuclear reactors, […]

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Pederasts and Others

  William A. Peniston, Pederasts and Others: Urban Culture and Sexual Identity in Nineteenth-Century Paris.  New York: Harrington Park, 2004.  xii + 258.  Maps, tables, notes, bibliography, index.  $49.95 US (hb).  ISBN 1-56023-485-7; $24.95 U.S. (pb).  ISBN 1-506023-486-5. As part of the burgeoning of the history of gender and sexuality, recent years have seen several […]

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