Category Archives: OPINION

America’s Disappeared

By Chris Hedges/truthdig

Dr. Silvia Quintela was “disappeared” by the death squads in Argentina in 1977 when she was four months pregnant with her first child. She reportedly was kept alive at a military base until she gave birth to her son and then, like other victims of the military junta, most probably was drugged, stripped naked, chained to other unconscious victims and piled onto a cargo plane that was part of the “death flights” that disposed of the estimated 20,000 disappeared. The military planes with their inert human cargo would fly over the Atlantic at night and the chained bodies would be pushed out the door into the ocean. Quintela, who had worked as a doctor in the city’s slums, was 28 when she was murdered. Continue reading

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The New Sputnik

*By Juan Cole/truthdig

In 1957, a United States shocked by the Soviet launch of the Sputnik 1 satellite bounced into action to compete on the world stage. More than 50 years later, in May of 2011, the U.S. is facing a new challenge. The Chinese Communist Party has decided to launch a crash program to produce green energy, a field where it already has a commanding lead over the U.S. The difference between 1957 and 2011 is that American politics in the meantime have been captured by parasitic or corrupt industries such as high finance and big oil and gas. The Green Gap produced by China’s increasing lead in the technologies of the future is not even headlined in America’s corporate mass media, much less galvanizing a nation of gas guzzlers and coal junkies. Continue reading

‘Entitlement’ Is a Republican Word

By Bill Boyarsky

At his news conference this week, President Barack Obama seized on a misleading Washington word—“entitlements”—to describe the badly needed aid programs that are likely to be cut because of his compromises with the Republicans.

“Entitlement” is a misleading word because it masks the ugly reality of reducing medical aid for the poor, the disabled and anyone over 65 as well as cutting Social Security. Calling such programs entitlements is much more comfortable than describing them as what they are—Medicare, Social Security and money for good schools, unemployment insurance, medical research and public works construction that would put many thousands to work. Continue reading

New China Will Be Red and Expert

By Dan Siegel

China may be returning to the days when its ideal communist was both “Red and expert,” and The Wall Street Journal is worried. In a recent article, the newspaper profiled one of China’s rising new leaders, Bo Xilai, Communist Party chief of Chongqing and a likely candidate next year for a position on the party’s Politburo Standing Committee. If chosen, Bo may help bring about a new synthesis of the political trends that have shaped China for the past six decades. The Journal is concerned that the ascendancy of new leadership may retard what it describes as the liberal economic policies that have fueled China’s growth since the end of the Cultural Revolution and the ascendancy of Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s. Continue reading

The rise of ‘Toxic Tom’ Corbett

By Betsey Piette/Philadelphia

Gov. Tom Corbett’s first state budget, with its massive draconian cuts in programs that have benefitted working and poor families in Pennsylvania, leaves little doubt: The corporations that poured millions of dollars into his campaign coffers got their money’s worth.

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THE MAIN PROBLEM WITH GLOBALISATION IS TOO LITTLE GOVERNANCE

By Pascal Lamy (*)

GENEVA, Jul (IPS) Globalisation dominates our era, but it is an increasingly fragile dominance. Even as global integration delivers enormous benefits -growing wealth, spreading technology, the rise of billions of people in the developing world- it also creates new risks -financial instability, economic imbalances, environmental stresses, growing inequalities, cyber penetration- that we seem to have difficulty managing. Continue reading

The Huge, Inhuman Power of The Real ‘War Lords’

By Baher Kamal | Human Wrongs Watch

Politicians in rich countries use to cry to the sky and tear their hair out, warning against migrants and refugees’ alleged extraordinary threats and exceptional danger, while blaming them for all the troubles that their obedience to the “market lords” and the “war lords” has been causing. Continue reading