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Site Administrator: Brother, Can You Spare a Billion?

Sklar Being a billionaire used to be a really big deal. When Forbes magazine started its roll call of the 400 richest Americans in 1982, there were just 13 billionaires and 5 of them were oilman H. L. Hunt’s children. Now more than half the Forbes 400 are billionaires. The United States has 268 billionaires Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Online Trading

Norman Solomon If you’re watching much television these days, you’ve probably seen a lot of commercials for online investing. Many large brokerage firms are now urging people to play the stock market via the Internet. So, in routine fashion, TV spots dramatize cyber-trading as an activity that brings excitement, independence, financial security, and even self-realization. Read more…

Michael Steinberg: Genocide in East Timor

Michael Steinberg The U.S. role in the recent catalog of horrors in East Timor is deep and far reaching, the culmination of over three decades of nurturing the Indonesian fascist regime. Just as the U.S. mainstream media has attempted to suppress the clear connection between the Indonesian military and its militias in carrying out genocide Read more…

Keith Wright: Summit on Race at Ole Miss

Keith Wright In Oxford, Mississippi once again, racial stereotypes hurtled through the October air, and people were talking about James Meredith, the first black student to attend the University of Mississippi in 1962. He arrived at Ole Miss only after President Kennedy ordered Federal Marshals to escort him to campus. Angry segregationist whites rioted and Read more…

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Michael Albert: Summarizing Participatory Economics

For purposes of exploration and debate with Libertarian Municipalism’s Peter Staudenmaier. See whole debate here.   Since we have already had some exchange on Parecon and Libertarian Municipalism (see http://www.zcomm.org/znet/viewArticle/18571) I will keep these opening comments brief. The task of developing a vision for any sphere of social life is to set out the functions the Read more…

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Edward Herman: Questioning Henwood on Globalization

Richard Du Boff  and Edward Herman For some reason Doug Henwood feels called upon to play down globalization. Others on the left, some associated with MONTHLY REVIEW, have done the same, warning that any acceptance of the globalization thesis will discourage leftists and breed "defeatism." Henwood expresses no such fears; but his treatment of globalization, Read more…

Dorothy Guellec: Things Are Never As They Seem and yet They Are Always As They Seem

Dorothy Guellec What this title suggests is that we have to look between the lines and live between the lines. Life is almost always terribly complex. Readers of this commentary may feel convinced that the business model does not fit healthcare, so I need not preach to the converted. However, you may not be familiar Read more…

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Tim Wise: The Trouble With Tolerance

Tim Wise They came in the mail again, even though I never ordered them: those personal address labels that say "teach tolerance" -sent out by the Southern Poverty Law Center: America’s favorite civil rights group. The one run by Morris Dees: America’s favorite crusader for, well, "tolerance." You know, "tolerance" – America’s favorite word because Read more…

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Doug Henwood: What is Globalization, Anyway

Doug Henwood If there’s one thing that analysts and activists across the political spectrum agree on today it’s that we live in an era of economic globalization. This is taken by both critics and cheerleaders as self-evident and largely unprecedented. We should think twice about this consensus. The concept that has now entered daily speech Read more…

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Howard Zinn: On Rewarding People for Talents and Hard Work 

  There are two issues here: First, why should we accept our culture’s definition of those two factors? Why should we accept that the "talent" of someone who writes jingles for an Advertising agency advertising dog food and gets $100,000 a year is superior to the talent of an auto mechanic who makes $40,000 a Read more…

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Howard Zinn: On Rewarding People for Talents and Hard WorkÊ

Howard Zinn There are two issues here: First, why should we accept our culture’s definition of those two factors? Why should we accept that the "talent" of someone who writes jingles for an Advertising agency advertising dog food and gets $100,000 a year is superior to the talent of an auto mechanic who makes $40,000 Read more…

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Site Administrator: A Short Guide to the WTO

Elaine Bernard The World Trade Organization (WTO) is coming to Seattle at the end of November and tens of thousands of labor, environmental, and progressive activists are organizing to give them a hot reception. There are thousands and thousands of pages out there – on the net, in progressive journals, articles, even books, on the Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Nearing Global Summit, WTO On High Media Ground

Norman Solomon When thousands of protesters converge on Seattle at the end of this month to challenge the global summit of the World Trade Organization, they’re unlikely to get a fair hearing from America’s mass media. Consider how one of the nation’s most influential newspapers framed the upcoming confrontation as November began. The Washington Post Read more…

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Brian Dominick: Georgia On My Mind: Hard Thoughts on Closing the SOA

Brian Dominick It’s been a long time since I last wrote in depth about the US Army’s School of the Americas, and the movement to shut it down. But living in Syracuse, a major anti-SOA hotbed, this time of year it’s hard not to write or at least think about the training center located in Read more…

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Sonia Shah: Our Deeply Twisted Understanding of the World 

  "Do people in India leave their dead in the street?" This was the question posed to my family by a coworker invited for dinner. (She wasn’t invited back.) After the pop star Madonna’s first child was born, the new mom was noted for her new look-dyed black hair, bindi, sari-like wraps, mendhi. "Religious Hindus" Read more…

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Sonia Shah: Our Deeply Twisted Understanding of the WorldÊ

Sonia Shah "Do people in India leave their dead in the street?" This was the question posed to my family by a coworker invited for dinner. (She wasn’t invited back.) After the pop star Madonna’s first child was born, the new mom was noted for her new look-dyed black hair, bindi, sari-like wraps, mendhi. "Religious Read more…

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Jeremy Brecher: There’s An Alternative

Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith When world leaders meet in Seattle after Thanksgiving for the "pre-millennial" session of the World Trade Organization, many will sincerely believe that there is no alternative to the present direction of globalization. But all over the world, activists and scholars associated with environmental, religious, labor, and other social movements have Read more…

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Norman Solomon: The Twain Most Americans Never Meet

Norman Solomon With the start of 2000 less than two months away, I’ve been thinking about a beloved American writer who stuck his neck out the last time people went through a change of centuries. We revere Mark Twain as a superb storyteller who generates waves of laughter with powerful undertows of biting satire. One Read more…

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Saul Landau: The Old Populist Gag

Saul Landau Exciting! Pat Buchanan, presidential candidate, opposes corporate globalization which, he claims, benefits a handful of multi national giants and leaves crumbs for the poor. Buchanan says he stands for elementary justice for working people. He blasts the plutocracy that has stolen trillions from the pockets of the poor and the middle class. Shouldn’t Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: East Timor: Reparations and Responsibility

Cynthia Peters and  Stephen R. Shalom The New York Times reported on October 25 the claim that the United States had "poured billions" into East Timor. The next day the Times ran a "correction," saying that in fact "Washington’s foreign aid" to East Timor "has not amounted to billions." As far as we know, the Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: East Timor: Reparations and Responsibility

Cynthia Peters and  Stephen R. Shalom The New York Times reported on October 25 the claim that the United States had "poured billions" into East Timor. The next day the Times ran a "correction," saying that in fact "Washington’s foreign aid" to East Timor "has not amounted to billions." As far as we know, the Read more…

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Leslie Cagan: Some Thoughts on Hate Crimes

Leslie Cagan The brutal murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming a little more than a year ago focused national attention on a long-standing reality for many lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people: the widespread fear and hatred of people outside the so-called norms of sexual expression all too often explodes into acts of violence. Read more…

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Manning Marable: The KKK: From Greensboro to NYC

Manning Marable Twenty years ago, on November 3, 1979, five principled and dedicated activists for social justice-Cesar Cauce, Dr. Mike Nathan, Bill Sampson, Sandi Smith, and Dr. Jim Waller-were brutally murdered in Greensboro, North Carolina by the Ku Klux Klan. History has recorded this tragedy as the "Greensboro Massacre." These five anti-racist organizers and ten Read more…

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Brian Dominick: ParEcon, Anarchy and Politics

One of the most common questions posed by anarchists looking at the parecon model concerns the existence, or nonexistence, of a state in a society with a functioning participatory economy. What is the role, if any, of government in the maintenance of a parecon system? Further, what role, if any, might a state take in Read more…

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Edward Herman: The Times and East Timor

Edward Herman Seth Mydans’s October 31 piece on the Indonesian departure from East Timor, "A Calamitous Era Plays Out Quietly For East Timorese," with its admission that 200,000 had died in Indonesia’s 24 year failed pacification effort, including its final "rampage of destruction," might impress some people as an illustration of objective journalism. But they Read more…

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Danny Schechter: The Media Channel

Danny Schechter An IPO a day seems to keep the market in play as Internet deals continue to hit the jackpot throwing up new e-commerce driven sites and throwing off a new crop of instant gazillionaires. Business schools across the world report their best students dropping out to join the gold rush. ABC’s Nightline recently Read more…

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Paul Burrows: Creating Alternative Institutions

This little ditty is written with the hopes of stimulating debate, and more importantly, action. Its language is meant to be mildly provocative in places, but not for its own sake. Criticisms, suggestions, additions, are always welcome… O.K., call me hasty, but it seems to me that there’s not a whole lot to disagree about Read more…

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Jim Hightower: Shorts

Jim Hightower Getting Away From It All In the roiling sea of communications technology that threatens to engulf us–phone calls, email, voice mail, faxes, the internet, laptops, etc.–it’s good to seek refuge every now and again in the tranquility of nature, where the chirping you hear is not an electronic device, but birds. AP writer Read more…

BlasŽ Bonpane: Wars No More

Blase Bonpane Just as a battered spouse who enables her partner to continue his abusive ways, so we, the people of Americas continue to enable the United States to be an incurable serial killer. The victims of the holocaust of the Third Reich have rightfully taken the position, "Never Again". Why cannot we, restrain the Read more…

Dorothy Guellec: Health Care Shouldn’t Be Commercial

Dorothy Guellec Certain things should be "off limits to commerce" Healthcare in my view can be compared to Education which, so far, has not been totally privatized. If shareholders must be satisfied, then patients’ interests will be compromised. The way managed care works is by rewarding investors, HMO CEO’s, and even doctors, while simultaneously holding Read more…

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Norman Solomon: When Online Trading Offers a Reason to Believe

Norman Solomon If you’re watching much television these days, you’ve probably seen a lot of commercials for online investing. Many large brokerage firms are now urging people to play the stock market via the Internet. So, in routine fashion, TV spots dramatize cyber-trading as an activity that brings excitement, independence, financial security and even self-realization. Read more…

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Saul Landau: More Nuclear Disasters

Saul Landau The Lesson Unlearned "We have contained the spread of radiation from last week’s nuclear accident," Japanese authorities assured their citizens. They blame the chain reaction on improper handling of materials by low level workers. As if that explanation will sedate the Japanese public! The Japanese know all too well the long term effects Read more…

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Nikos Raptis: The Pnyx

Nikos Raptis Pnyx is the name of a low (357 feet high) hill about 450 yards to the west of the Acropolis in Athens. The word "Pnyx" means "tightly crowded together." The "crowding" refers to the male citizens (also known and as "demos") of classical Athens, who assembled, in the open, on the northern side Read more…

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Robert Naiman: Clinton’s Debt Relief: Too Generous or Too Stingy

Robert Naiman After President Clinton announced that he supports 100% cancellation of the debts owed by the poorest countries to the United States, some poll data suggested that people thought Clinton was being too generous. They were probably reacting more to the soaring rhetoric of Clinton’s speech, than to any grasp of the impact of Read more…

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Scott Burchill: A Fresh Start

Scott Burchill Sometimes statistics tell a grim tale. In the first weeks of September this year, 70% of all public buildings and private residences in East Timor were destroyed. At least 75% of the population of the territory was displaced, with over 260,000 people being driven across the border into Indonesian West Timor. Even more Read more…

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Manning Marable: The Black Radical Congress: Moving On Up To Congress 2000

Manning Marable On June 19, 1998, over two thousand African Americans gathered in Chicago to participate in the founding conference of the Black Radical Congress (BRC). Despite the relative absence of media coverage and working with limited funds, people of African descent traveled across the country, some coming from as far away as the Caribbean, Read more…

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Vijay Prashad: I’m Part of Today’s Unions, Ask Me Why

Vijay Prashad Thanks to Elisabeth Armstrong and Brian Steinberg for discussions on this subject. In a somewhat recent issue of <Counterpunch> the editors quote a rather obscure AFL-CIO official who is said to have commented that ‘grassroots authenticity’ is overrated. The editors take this to mean that the ‘labor bureaucrats’ at 16th Street in Washington Read more…

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Marta Russell: The Private Health Care Juggernaut Needs Jilting

Marta Russell Presidential hopeful Bill Bradley has placed health care reform on the national agenda as well it should be. However, the Bradley plan does not go far enough to resolve real need and it protects the insurance industry – the very culprit which is undermining access to quality health care in the nation. Bradley’s Read more…

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Russell Mokhiber: The Criminal Element

Russell Mikhiber and Robert Weissman The criminal element has seeped deep into every nook and cranny of American society. Forget about the underworld — these crooks dominate every aspect of our market, culture, and politics. They cast a deep dark shadow over life in turn of the century America. We buy gas from them (Exxon, Read more…

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Michael Bronski: Wag the Dogma

"Catholic Bashing." The charge is a bold one and the images it conjures up are unpleasant: nuns being harassed on the street; churches being burned, cute parochial school kids being tormented for being Irish or Italian. This is America and prejudice is an ugly word. But recently the accusation of "Catholic bashing" (as well as Read more…

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John Pilger: Hidden Agendas

Pilger NY: New Press, 1999, pbk. 424 pp. Review by Anthony Arnove John Pilger is perhaps best known in the United States for his documentary Death of a Nation, a stunning expose on the genocide in East Timor. He has written numerous books and articles and is currently working on a documentary for ITV in Read more…

Dennis bernstein and leslie Kean: title(“Henry Hyde’s Moral Universe: Where More Than Time and Space Are Warped”)

Common Courage Press Review by Larry Everest  The New York Times (8/31/99) reports that "in the early campaign for the 2000 elections, the rite of political piety has moved far beyond the sacramental photo opportunity. The candidates are engaging in ‘God talk’ that is more explicit, more intimate and more pervasive than at any time Read more…

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Robin Hahnel: Going To Greet The WTO In Seattle

Almost every day since I bought my plane ticket to Seattle to protest the November 29 through December 3 meetings of the World Trade Organization I have read something in the mainstream press that stirs an adrenaline rush. In the Seattle Weekly I read: "It’s historic. The confrontations in Seattle will define how the bridge Read more…

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Michael Albert: Assessing Libertarian Municipalism

On a recent speaking tour to Montreal (1999) a number of folks asked me my reactions to Libertarian Municipalism-a vision for politics emanating from the "School of Social Ecology." Others put it to me more specifically: How did I react to the rejection of Participatory Economics by Social Ecologists? I was unable to reply. I Read more…

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Mark Weisbrot: Time to End Debt Slavery

Mark Weisbrot It has become a truism that "there are no easy answers" to the world’s most pressing economic and social problems. The phrase is often repeated by academics, policy wonks, and others whose occupation immerses them in the details of real or imagined solutions. It is worth remembering that the abolitionists who fought against Read more…

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Nikos Raptis: The Harvard Lady

Nikos Raptis The U.S. (corporate or state) institutions that dominate the life of ordinary people in almost all countries, though impersonal, need some individuals who as part of a local elite promote the ideology and the goals of these institutions. The portrait of such an individual, a lady, as it appears through a recent interview Read more…

Clark Kissenger: Update on Mumia

Clark Kissinger Mumia’s legal team and the attorneys for the state of Pennsylvania were asked to a meeting this past Tuesday morning with federal judge William Yohn in his chambers to "get acquainted." This was expected and is usually the way a major case like this begins. When they arrived at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Read more…

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Saul Landau: Will it Be NATO or the UN

Saul Landau In 1945, the UN was established to help bring the world community to peace.. NATO was invented four years later to defend against a supposed Soviet threat to conquer Western Europe. NATO has outlived the Soviet Union, but its leaders didn’t dissolve their outmoded structure after it lacked a raison d’etre. Instead, they Read more…

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Russell Mokhiber: Keep the Public in Public Health

Russell Mokhiber  and Robert Weissman The great thing about the American Public Health Association (APHA) is in its name — it’s about public health — what we as a society do to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy. If we were to choose a steward for the public health, we would, without Read more…

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Edward Herman: Missing Bodies

Edward S. Herman A Reuters news dispatch of October 13 bylined Pristina, Kosovo, is entitled " Absolutely No Bodies Found in Supposed Mine Shaft Mass Grave in Kosovo." This follows an earlier report by a Spanish forensic team that went into a part of Kosovo allegedly rich in killing fields, where instead of the predicted Read more…

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