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Archive | May, 2014

Venezuela: Questions about Democracy and a Free Press

First question: Why? If Venezuela’s government is a dictatorship, why have there been 18 elections in 15 years under the late president Hugo Chávez Frías (d. 2013) and his democratically elected successor Nicolás Maduro?  Why is it that according to many international observers Venezuela’s democratic elections are, in the words of ex-president Jimmy Carter, “the […]

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Fall Delegation to Bolivia: Presidential Election, Food Sovereignty, and Indigenous Resistance!

Bolivia is the first country in the hemisphere to be governed by an indigenous president. Learn about indigenous struggles for sovereignty over food, land, and water. Meet with farmers, community leaders, government leaders, and others. Experience the rich culture of the Andes and soak in the sights, sounds, people, and politics in this historic moment […]

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Notes Toward a New American Marxism

  When I first read Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, it was 1967 and I was doing my last book report for the nuns at Holy Family High.  I would graduate in June but not without making some kind of statement about how angry I was to have been forced to attend this school.  I was […]

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Gujarat 2002, India 2014: ‘Numbers Sanctify’

“Numbers sanctify”.  The context is very different, but I couldn’t keep my mind off that quote from Charlie Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux.  After all, the alleged mastermind of the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat will soon be sworn in as India’s prime minister, at the head of a government in which his party, the BJP, will […]

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Germany’s Left Party on the EU and NATO

Running up a down escalator is itself mighty difficult.  Trying to keep your footing both on an up and a down escalator at the same time is simply hard to imagine.  Yet it gives an idea of Germany’s present Ukrainian policy. Soon after Soviet soldiers left East Germany between 1989 and 1994, the newly-unified country […]

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Marking Nakba, Marching to Return

For 66 years Israel’s founding generation has lived with a guilty secret, one it successfully concealed from the generations that followed.  Forests were planted to hide war crimes.  School textbooks mythologized the events surrounding Israel’s creation.  The army was blindly venerated as the most moral in the world. Once, “Nakba” — Arabic for “Catastrophe”, referring […]

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The White Supremacist’s Guide to Social Inclusion

Are you anti-Semitic?  Hate black people?  Detest queers?  Do you feel there are too many “mongrels” in today’s society?  Dread the time when your race will no longer be in the majority?  When inferior, sub-human hordes desecrate the genteel values of Western Civilization and force you into the swamp to dig cinder-block bunkers?  Does your […]

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A Farage Farrago: Contradictions at the Heart of the UK Independence Party

In Westminster, the drip-drip of financial corruption — expense account abuse, the flipping of houses — is supplemented by a spectacle of “on-message” politicians whose speeches are slick with the shiny artificiality of well-oiled PR productions.  A never-ending parade of besuited, perfectly manicured politicians, staring out at the camera, eyes glazed with faux sincerity, features […]

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