Elites, War Profiteers Take Aim at Syria’s Economic Future

Elites, War Profiteers Take Aim at Syria’s Economic Future

DAMASCUS – According to the Syrian government, the worst of the war is over. New businesses are opening, domestic tourism is booming and investors are slowly trickling back into the country. More»

The Abyss Stares Back

The Abyss Stares Back

Out of respect for the editors of this fine publication, I will resist the temptation to make some joke about spending a relaxing morning sipping fine Namibian #covfefe. The Internet has been ablaze with humor on this theme, but at this point it is a matter of liberals (mostly) laughing to keep from crying. More»

The Schröder Effect

The Schröder Effect

Going into the German elections the consensus is that Angela Merkel will once again be reinstated and the grand coalition reconstituted. Many people are taking refuge in the status quo given the instability in the world today. But this election result didn’t look so certain at the start of 2017. More»

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Everyone's a Critic

Everyone’s a Critic

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has long epitomized the liberal, pro-Israel pundit. So, it was no surprise that his latest column was an assault on Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s foreign policy. More»

Effects of Occupation

Effects of Occupation

When it was clear that the Mubarak government was on its last legs, and the Egyptian revolt was succeeding, I estimated that Sadat’s peace treaty with Israel would last only two or three years.  I was wrong. It will probably be abrogated even more quickly.  The consequences will prove a disaster for Israel, Palestine, the Middle East and the world. More»

Enter the Guelaguetza

Enter the Guelaguetza

Besides mole and embroidery, Oaxaca is known for the Guelaguetza, an annual dance festival sponsored by the state and federal governments. The festival takes place in an enormous glaring white pavilion on the green hillside overlooking the city. The odd structure looks like a giant nun’s wimple fluttering in an updraft. It’s strangely menacing, as if just descended from the heavens, waiting to conquer the city. More»

Willard Avenue

Willard Avenue

Part of my daily routine includes a walk to and from a subway station located at Bloor and Jane, one of the streets I walk almost every day. This route has become almost second nature to me. I can almost walk it with my eyes closed. In fact I often do, trying to find my footing, one step in front of the other, by listening. More»

Introducing Missed the Gig

Introducing Missed the Gig

You can’t get to know a place without knowing what the folks in town listen to. The best way to do that is to keep your eye out for gig flyers. In all likelihood, the shows have already taken place. Still, what you’re left with is, at best, a testimony to local music, at worst, the work of an overzealous label intern. More»

The Lure of the Canon

The Lure of the Canon

Six months ago, when Phil Dellio and Jeff Pike asked me to join a Facebook group where we would list and discuss our fifty favorite movies, I responded with a question: would this be a list of our favorites, or a list of the best? While they sympathized with my frustration to varying degrees, they didn’t feel this distinction would be a problem for them. But I was worried. More»

Crazy For Palestine

Crazy For Palestine

Next week, the Palestinians will get the United Nations General Assembly to endorse their right to an independent state, and possibly to grant them non-member observer status in their global body. This proposal has become a virtual obsession in both Jerusalem and Washington. As the date approaches, the hysteria is reaching a fever pitch. More»

Rick Perry's Sodom

Rick Perry’s Sodom

Campaigns to reinforce public morality solidify weakening structures of oppression. Their existence is sufficient evidence of this point. Were public morals to meet the approbation of of the so-called authorities, there would be no need for such corrective efforts. But prescriptive morality is by nature a political tool, meaning that supposed general moral inadequacy is a function of its usefulness. More»

Trouble en Paraíso

Trouble en Paraíso

Spending time in the center of town, it’s easy to believe that Oaxaca de Juarez is a thriving, middle class city. However, if you pay attention to the details, even the most ignorant visitor can notice signs of discontent. Besides the street art, there’s the political banners hung in the zocalo, and the posters pasted on public phones and the ancient stone walls of the city. Street vendors are often as young as six-years-old. More»

Spectacular Bondage

Spectacular Bondage

Because we didn’t want our two-year-old daughter’s head to be filled with disturbing images, we had avoided them ourselves. When I headed out to pick up a video for her to watch, it had been hours since the first attack. Walking into Blockbuster, I expected to see what I always saw, with new movie releases playing on its many television screens. But every single one of them was tuned to CNN. They were showing the footage of the second plane’s strike that had just become available. More»

Miracle Valley

Miracle Valley

We were stopped at a rundown liquor store, only a few miles from the Mexican border, when I saw it. My son and I had been driving a lonely stretch of Arizona Highway 92, with little to see except dry grasslands stretching in all directions towards distant broken mountains on the horizon. He was thirsty. This was the only place to get a drink. And yet there, in the distance, was the tattered dome of a church rising from the desolate landscape. I pointed to the complex and told my son, “We’re going in.” More»

Dead Rivers

Dead Rivers

Arizona murdered its rivers and poured the remains onto cotton fields and golf courses.  Some of the largest water engineering projects on the planet have gone into producing suburban swimming pools and green lawns. Today’s Arizona could not exist without the diversion and destruction of its river system.  Over 90 percent of the state’s river system has disappeared. More»