Dogfighting case triggers outrage

Why has the case resonated so strongly with the American public?

Published in: on July 28, 2007 at 3:36 pm  Comments (1)  

Racists & Robber Barons

David L. Kirp | Rather than build a unified culture in a diverse society, the conservative Gang of Five that now dominates the Supreme Court is polarizing the country.

Published in: on July 21, 2007 at 4:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Reality of Race: Is the Problem That White People Don’t Know or Don’t Care?

A recent study exploring white peoples’ understanding of the black experience in America reveals that whites still drastically underestimate the cost of being black because they don’t want to know or can’t face the consequences.

By Robert Jensen

Published in: on July 14, 2007 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

A gate-crasher’s change of heart

Gunman bursts into party, tastes cheese and wine, gets hug, then leaves

A friend sent this saying: “Strange but true…how’s this for the power of love…and the universal desire to share life.”

Imagine the possibilities if the tactics used by the people at the party were used by leaders of governments!

[Thx Whit]

Published in: on July 13, 2007 at 8:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Egalitarian Tall Tales

Basic Instincts
June 18, 2007, 6:16 pm

by Richard Conniff

A few weeks back a puff piece in a New Zealand newspaper extolled a trucking company that “has fostered an egalitarian culture … and does not believe in hierarchy, bureaucracy or superiority.” The same article also noted that company headquarters features this saying in bold text on a lobby wall:
“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”

Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 12:05 am  Comments (3)  

Carmela Got Gold Jewelry. Hillary Wants a White House.

It doesn’t bode well for the cultural health of the country that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton picked a song by Celine Dion as her campaign song.

June 20, 2007

Would Carmela, she of the pans of baked ziti and casseroles of veal parm, ever deny the omnivorous Tony onion rings?

Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 12:00 am  Comments (3)  

Welcome to the Summer of Hate

By Pepe Escobar

Forty years ago, the world seemed to be singing in tune. On June 1, 1967, in London, The Beatles released their eighth and arguably most influential album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It marked the beginning of the Summer of Love – which, apart from Jimi Hendrix mesmerizing flower-power children in Monterey, California, also had room for the escalation of the Vietnam War and Israel’s lightning victory in the Six-Day War.

Published in: on June 3, 2007 at 10:27 pm  Comments (4)  

Chain Reactions

Our Lives as Atoms

May 29, 2007, 6:32 pm

By Mark Buchanan

The political party that claimed it would restore “honor and dignity to the White House” has done nothing of the sort. Having on false pretenses led us into the disaster of Iraq, the administration and its supporters are now beginning – cravenly and shamefully – to shift blame onto the Iraqi people. The administration continues to hold hundreds of people without charges in secret prisons around the world, while arguing that torture is O.K. and that President Bush can disregard the laws he doesn’t like. I haven’t even mentioned illegal spying or efforts to keep scientists quiet if they’re saying the wrong thing.

Where’s the honor and dignity? (more…)

Published in: on May 31, 2007 at 12:09 am  Comments (1)  

Immigrants don’t destroy our national identity, they renew it.

The next Americans

By Tomás R. Jiménez, assistant professor of sociology and a visiting research fellow at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego.

Published in: on May 27, 2007 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Words That Wound the Working Mother

Judith Warner
Domestic Disturbances
May 24, 2007, 6:45 pm

The story of Madeleine McCann, the British three-year-old kidnapped from her resort apartment during a family vacation in Portugal, has obsessed the British public and media for the past three weeks. “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, Simon Cowell from “American Idol” and Virgin founder Richard Branson have offered rewards for her return; a Web site has received over 65 million hits; Madeleine’s aunt, Philomena McCann, has reported more than 2,000 responses to a chain e-mail appeal she sent out internationally in the hopes of increasing the odds of a chance sighting of her niece.


Published in: on May 24, 2007 at 11:57 pm  Comments (1)  

Dim Bulbs

Humans Are Part of the Environment, Too

By Ted Rall
March 27, 2007

Published in: on May 14, 2007 at 3:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Virginia Tech: Horror but no Shock

Jock Culture, Guns and Laws Set Stage for Violence

By Ted Rall
April 24, 2007



Published in: on May 14, 2007 at 3:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Helping Immigrants, and a Town, Move Ahead

May 10, 2007
Our Towns


The story has the makings of a suburban film noir: a homeless Guatemalan immigrant found unconscious and near death on a lonely stretch of wooded road; his death a few hours later was ruled a homicide and police officers were under investigation.

Published in: on May 9, 2007 at 11:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

When That Guy Died on My Show

May 3, 2007, 6:33 pm
Dick Cavett Speaks Again

“Hey, Dick, I’ll never forget the look on your face when that guy died on your show.”

I’d say I still get this about 20 times a year, a high number considering that the event referred to happened in 1971. (more…)

Published in: on May 4, 2007 at 1:08 am  Comments (5)  

The Power of Negative Thinking

May 1, 2007
Guest Columnist

We Americans believe instinctively in the power of positive thinking. Whether one is fighting a cancer, an insurgency or just an unyielding problem at work, the prevailing wisdom is that thinking positive is the key — The Secret, even — to success. But the key, it seems to me, is actually negative thinking: looking for, and sometimes expecting, failure. (more…)

Published in: on April 30, 2007 at 10:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Volatile Young Man, Humiliation and a Gun

April 19, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

“God I can’t wait till I can kill you people.”
— A message on the Web site of the Columbine killer Eric Harris.

In the predawn hours of Monday, Aug. 1, 1966, Charles Whitman, a former marine and Eagle Scout in Austin, Tex., stabbed his wife to death in their bed. The night before he had driven to his mother’s apartment in another part of town and killed her.

Later that Monday morning, Whitman gathered together food, water, a supply of ammunition, two rifles, a couple of pistols, a carbine and a shotgun and climbed the landmark 30-story tower on the campus of the University of Texas.

Beneath a blazing sun, with temperatures headed toward the mid-90s, Whitman opened fire. His first target was a pregnant teenager. Over the next 80 or so minutes he killed 14 people and wounded more than 30 others before being shot to death by the police.

Published in: on April 18, 2007 at 10:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Deep-rooted gun culture threatens to stifle calls for reform

They are calling it the “Bloomberg Gun GiveAway”. Tomorrow two gun shops in Virginia will stage a competition: anyone spending more than $100 (£50) in either Bob Moates’ stores or Old Dominion Guns and Tackle will be entered into a draw, first prize a free handgun or rifle worth $900.

Published in: on April 18, 2007 at 7:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Conrad Black is on trial in a nation that loathes its elites

The jury selection process shows how regular Americans now regard the wealthiest few not as heroes but as thieves.

Naomi Klein

Published in: on March 24, 2007 at 12:47 am  Comments (1)  

100 Years On, Auden Gets in the Subway

March 13, 2007

Wystan Hugh Auden had two Yorks in his life. The one in England is where he was born in 1907. This York, our York, is where he spent half his 66 years. “I adore New York,” Auden once wrote to a friend, “as it is the only city in which I can live and work quietly.” Presumably, he was not being ironic.

Published in: on March 16, 2007 at 12:43 am  Leave a Comment  

Food and Punishment

Colorado’s inmates-as-farmworkers plan says plenty about our food culture

Published in: on March 15, 2007 at 10:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

An Afghan Policy Built on Pipe Dreams

March 3, 2007
Guest Columnist

The international community’s policy in Afghanistan is based on the claim that Afghans are willing partners in the creation of a liberal democratic state. Senator John McCain finished a recent speech on Afghanistan by saying, “Billions of people around the world now embrace the ideals of political, economic and social liberty, conceived in the West, as their own.” (more…)

Published in: on March 3, 2007 at 1:43 pm  Comments (1)  

Rape Sells?

Dolce & Gabbana plans to pull an advertisement following complaints from consumers’ groups.

The ad shows a man holding a woman to the ground by her wrists while a group of men look on.

Published in: on March 1, 2007 at 11:46 am  Leave a Comment  

The Secret of Mass Delusion

by Barbara Ehrenreich
The leaders of Delta Zeta – the sorority which just made national news by expelling all overweight and nonwhite members from its Depauw University chapter – must have read The Secret. In this runaway self-help bestseller, author Rhonda Byrne advises that you can keep your weight down by avoiding the sight of fat people.

Published in: on February 28, 2007 at 5:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

‘Terrorist’ Remark Puts Outdoorsman’s Career in Jeopardy

Zumbo’s Criticism of Hunters Who Use Assault Rifles Brings Unforgiving Response From U.S. Gun Culture

Published in: on February 24, 2007 at 2:14 pm  Comments (1)  

The Weapon of Mass Change

One of the uglier paradoxes of our time is that, as the world becomes vastly more complicated, the punditocracy becomes more simplistic.

Published in: on February 22, 2007 at 8:52 am  Leave a Comment  

From Anna to Britney to Zawahri

February 22, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

Have they buried Anna Nicole Smith yet?

Published in: on February 22, 2007 at 12:22 am  Comments (1)  


How America Marginalizes Millions

by Ted Rall

Published in: on February 19, 2007 at 1:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Get Promoted with a YES! Attitude?


Published in: on February 17, 2007 at 6:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Call for an Open Discussion of Mass-Marketed Pornography

The fear of anything resembling censorship prevents us from confronting what pornography tells us about the cruelty of our culture, and the white supremacy and misogyny that abounds in America.

Published in: on February 17, 2007 at 6:51 pm  Comments (2)  

Let’s Respect the Constitution

Runaway American Brainwashing

Published in: on February 17, 2007 at 11:23 am  Leave a Comment  

All that Jazz

Thoughts on race, culture, and our abandonment of New Orleans.

Published in: on February 17, 2007 at 10:21 am  Leave a Comment  

The 21st Century Sucks

It took an astonishingly stupid bomb scare in my town last week to really make me feel old for the first time.

By William Rivers Pitt

Published in: on February 10, 2007 at 11:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

David Simon: “We’re Headed Towards Separate Americas!”

The award-winning author of the acclaimed HBO program, “The Wire,” painted a grim picture of this country. David Simon said: “We’re headed [towards] separate Americas.” Speaking at Loyola College, in Baltimore, MD, on Feb. 6, 2007, he said that “unencumbered Capitalism has become our God.” In our greedy society, Simon underscored: “Human are worth less, not more: less.” He said America is going to be a “more brutish, cynical and divided place.”

Published in: on February 10, 2007 at 11:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Heels Over Hemingway

February 10, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist


I was cruising through Borders, looking for a copy of “Nostromo.”

Suddenly I was swimming in pink. (more…)

Published in: on February 10, 2007 at 1:15 am  Leave a Comment  

My Big Bad Mouth

IT has become a Hollywood cliché: Utter bigoted language in anger. Issue a carefully fashioned apology. Announce “I need help.” Meet with civil rights leaders for support. Set out on the path to salvation.

Published in: on February 8, 2007 at 1:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

New Orleans of Future May Stay Half Its Old Size

“Culture is people,” said Richard Campanella, a Tulane geographer who has written extensively about the city’s neighborhoods. “If half the local people are dispersed and no longer living cohesively in those social networks, then half of local culture is gone.”

Published in: on January 20, 2007 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lessons Never Learned

December 28, 2006


It would not be easy to find two men more different than Gerald Ford and James Brown. But I had a similar reaction to each of their deaths — a feeling of disappointment at some of the routes the nation has traveled since their days of greatest prominence.

Published in: on December 28, 2006 at 12:49 am  Comments (1)