All Further Articles

Sunday, April 19, 2009
The Oldest Professions, Even in Baghdad
Glad proof of the resilience of the human spirit comes in battered Iraq, where the usual vices – liquor, gambling, women – are making a comeback . As to drugs: most popular is Valium. “If I had my way, I’d destroy all the mosques and spread the whores around a little more,” said a police detective. “At least they’re not sectarian.”
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Saturday, April 18, 2009
Pondering The Rare Pleasures (and Frequent Perils) of Capitalist Culture
Go figure. The book Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave President Obama – Eduardo Galeano's "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent" – was ranked No. 60,280 on Amazon a few days ago, and on Saturday hit No. 14, a jump of 466,378 percent. Now, some of us read that book years ago, and it was great. We're happy so many people are buying it, and we hope they read it. Still, in this lemming-like mass culture, we have to wonder: what if he'd given "The Fountainhead" instead?
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When The Revolution Comes, Your Dad Will Show Up for Your Birthday
"When Skateboards Will be Free," a new book by Said Sayrafiezadeh, describes growing up with left-wing parents – Iranian dad and Jewish-American mom – who are big on revolutionary zeal but short on loving presence. Reviewed by Chesa Boudin, who knows whereof he speaks but had a better time of it. “Alas, we who wished to lay the foundations of kindness could not ourselves be kind.”
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Torture Memos: Leaving The Door Open?
Think Progress suggests Obama’s carefully worded “those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice” leaves open the possibility of prosecuting top Bush officials who gave out that advice. ACLU's Jameel Jaffer, talking to Glenn Greenwald, agrees; now, says Greenwald,"The burden is on us to demand that something be done."
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Information Is Power, Or At Least A Start
In the worthy name of education, Progressive Democrats of America have compiled a helpful economic reading list – mostly articles, not books – from the likes of Krugman, Baker, Hedges, Greenwald et al. For more go here "While it is important to understand the economic machinations that have brought us to our knees, it is equally important to acknowledge that an opportunity to fully restore the middle class and help alleviate poverty is available to us, if we organize..."
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Friday, April 17, 2009
The Lonely Soldier
The numbers are horrific. In a new book about the sexual violence confronting female soldiers in the US military, mostly in Iraq, Helen Benedict finds that 28 of 40 women she interviews have been sexually harassed, assaulted or raped...
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"An Alternative Protocol"
In today's Wall Street Journal, former CIA director Michael Hayden and former attorney general Michael Mukasey explain why the release of the torture memos "was unnecessary as a legal matter, and is unsound as a matter of policy." Its effect will be to invite the kind of institutional timidity and fear of recrimination that weakened intelligence gathering in the past, and that we came sorely to regret on Sept. 11, 2001... Disclosure of the techniques is likely to be met by faux outrage, and is perfectly packaged for media consumption.
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Brother Poets
In his recent extended interview, Bob Dylan on John Prine, who we hope is writing these days. Prine's stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs...All that stuff about "Sam Stone" the soldier junky daddy and "Donald and Lydia," where people make love from ten miles away. Nobody but Prine could write like that.
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What Would We Do Without These Guys?
Thank God for Stewart and Colbert. Spoofing an ad by the National Organization for Marriage, last night's Colbert Report gave us a priceless look at "the giant gay storm coming." This, on the heels of Colbert's unsparing take on "Bill of Rights lovers" and Obama's decision to deny habeas corpus to Bagram detainees, based on "a longstanding principle of American justice – you're guilty until proven forgotten about." Bagram prisoners, he argues, "must have done something really unforgiveable, like remind Obama he was once a professor of constitutional law."
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Between Hope and A Hard Place
In the face of the Obama decision to let torture pass, Naomi Klein offers solace and direction here If the superfan culture that brought Obama to power is going to transform itself into an independent political movement...we are all going to have to stop hoping and start demanding.
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