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Geography Archives: Americas

South America, Central America, United States & Canada

Rowboat Federalism: The Politics of U.S. Disaster Relief

Michael Hoover, “Rowboat Federalism: The Politics of U.S. Disaster Relief; Part 1: History: The Problems Are Inherent,” 28 November 2005 Part 2: Politics: The Electoral Connection and Beyond The U.S. government’s role in disaster relief began expanding in the 1930s when President Franklin Roosevelt authorized Depression-era federal agencies to repair flood-damaged roads and bridges in […]

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Why Marketing Always Grows, and Why That Matters

As a rule, corporate advertising expenditure in the United States at least keeps pace with the growth rate of the U.S. economy.  This explains why ads are constantly grabbing more space and appearing in new places, such as the fronts of grocery-store shopping-carts, above men’s urinals, at the bottoms of golf holes, and inside movie […]

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The Failure of Liberal Journalism on Abu Ghraib

Will the full story of Abu Ghraib come to light this year? Government documents acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request have turned up a mountain of evidence proving that what happened really was torture, that it was widespread, and that it was authorized from above.1 Torture is once again serious business. But with […]

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Rowboat Federalism: The Politics of U.S. Disaster Relief

[All figures below are in current dollars.] Part 1: History: The Problems Are Inherent The U.S. constitution established a federal system of “dual authority” incorporating both national and state sovereignty. The product of a series of political accommodations made at the 1787 Constitutional Convention, federalism was designed as an opportunistic political battlefield with ambiguous boundaries, […]

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The Genocidal Imagination of Christopher Hitchens

The Lighter Side of Mass Murder Picture a necrotic, sinister, burned-out wasteland — a vast, dull mound of rubble punctuated by moments of bleak emptiness and, occasionally, smoking. Those of you whose imaginations alighted instantly on the Late Christopher Hitchens have only yourselves to blame, for I was referring to Fallujah.  The “city of mosques” […]

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Meeting Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution

Chávez, Venezuela, and the New Latin America is a modest documentary directed by Che Guevara‘s daughter, Aleida Guevara. Through extensive interviews with Hugo Chávez Frías, president of Venezuela, the film chronicles the coming to consciousness of the Latin American leader, describes the U.S.-backed attempt to topple his government, and raises the question of what a […]

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Wal-Mart Bashing: ‘Tis the Season

The premiere of Robert Greenwald‘s new film, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, drew a crowd of nearly two hundred people, far exceeding the expectations of the event’s organizers, who were compelled to run simultaneous showings in two separate rooms. Screenings have taken place at thousands of similar […]

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An Interview with David Roediger

WORKING TOWARD WHITENESS: How America’s Immigrants Became White: The Strange Journey from Ellis Island to the Suburbs by David R. RoedigerBUY THIS BOOK David Roediger, professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a scholar of critical whiteness studies, delivered a talk titled “The Dilemmas of Popular Front Antiracism: Looking at The […]

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A Hike in Sedona

  Sedona is a small town about twenty-five miles south of Flagstaff in north central Arizona. USA Weekend recently voted it the “most beautiful place in America.” Sedona’s setting is stunning. To get there from Flagstaff, you drive down Oak Creek Canyon on a steep and heavily switch-backed road. As the canyon deepens, you are […]

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Lost Lives and Impoverished Souls:The Failure of the Church in Latin America

When the conservative Catholic cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI, many observers saw this as the beginning of a reactionary period for the Catholic Church with the Cardinal’s well-known opposition to female clergy, gay unions, cloning, freedom of choice, ecumenical movements, use of contraceptives to prevent AIDS, liberation theology, community organization of lay […]

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An Occupation Worth Applauding: Celebrate Un-Thanksgiving

Until the federal penitentiary was closed in 1963, Alcatraz Island was a place most folks tried to leave. On November 20, 1969, the island’s image underwent a drastic makeover. That was the day thousands of American Indians began an occupation that would last until June 11, 1971. The 1973 armed occupation of Wounded Knee along […]

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Cuba and the Lessons of Katrina

  What explains why the “dictatorial regime” of Fidel Castro can do a vastly better job of saving the lives of its citizens from hurricanes while the “democratic” government in Washington has proven to be so apparently inept? In 2004, Hurricane Ivan, a category five storm, slammed Cuba with devastating force. Yet there was not […]

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