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Standoff in Chiapas (3/98)

Esperanza Aguilar Jimenez is a skinny seven-year-old, all legs and arms in a well-worn, carefully patched, poofy-skirt dress. She sits next to me on a dusty rock at the side of the road leading into Morelia, her village in the southernmost Mexican state of Chiapas. It’s mid-morning, and Esperanza ought to be in school. But all her teachers are gone. Fearing the imminent advance of the Mexican military, they packed themselves tightly into a little pickup and drove as quickly as they could down the deeply rutted road out of town. I know this because I watched them go. read more

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Dellinger: Remembering a Nonviolent Warrior (6/04)


Dave Dellinger’s father was a well-connected Massachusetts lawyer and friend of Republican   Governor Calvin Coolidge. One of his grandmothers was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and his father’s ancestors went back to North Carolina — before the Revolution. In fact, Benjamin Franklin was a direct ancestor, by way of a grandnephew and a full-blooded Cherokee Indian.


With such a pedigree, it was hard to see why Dave would become an all-American radical, an internationally respected nonviolent activist and a leader of peace and justice movements for more than 60 years. But the young man from the Boston suburb of Wakefield took a less traveled path from the start, living with the poor, attending seminary, and refusing to register for the draft at the brink of World War II. Then and later, he went to jail for his beliefs. By the 1960s, he was a legendary figure, able to forge an alliance between anti-war activists and civil rights leaders. He was America’s Gandhi, advancing the theory of pacifist resistance through his words and deeds. read more

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Bush: campaign to advance reactionary Right (12/02)

When almost-elected President George W. Bush announced his “war on terrorism” in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, he also launched a campaign to advance the agenda of the reactionary Right at home and abroad. This includes rolling back an already mangled federal human services sector, reverting to deficit spending for the benefit of a wealthy creditor class, increasing the repression of dissent, and further expanding the budgets and global reach of the US military and other components of the national security state. read more

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Enron’s Global Game (12/01)

Until it imploded last October, Enron — long known as End-Run by its critics — was often described as just another aggressive corporation eager to expand its portfolio and open routes into new markets, albeit sometimes with "strong arm" tactics. The implication in most press reports was that, so long as consumers and shareholders came out on top, how it operated was a matter of little public concern.

But Enron was never just another company. It was a major architect and proponent of utility deregulation, with close friends in both the Clinton and two Bush Administrations. Headquartered in Houston, TX, it was also the largest contributor to George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, giving at least $550,000 to Bush himself and an estimated $1.8 million to the Republican Party during the 2000 elections. Since then, however, it has also emerged as one of the biggest corporate rip offs in history. Early evidence indicates that its executives hid at least half a billion in debt while enriching themselves through insider trading and financial gimmicks. In the end, they ran the company into the ground. Citgroup, J.P. Morgan and other banking houses were either hoodwinked or accomplices. In either case, they lured in shareholders with empty promises. read more

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Maverick: More Reasons to Apologize (9/98)

Since the president is in the mood to confess and atone, here’s a suggestion: ‘fess up to the wrongdoing, hypocrisy. and misleading statements at the heart of US foreign policy. For starters, he could admit that the year-long campaign to scare the world about VX gas has gone drastically off-track. In August, for example, it provided the excuse to bomb a factory in the Sudan that was actually producing antibiotics and medicines for malaria, rheumatism, tuberculosis, and diabetes, all desperately needed by Africans. read more

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Conspiracies Unlimited (2/98)

Uncovering a secret plot can quickly become a dead-end trip, guided by the researcher’s paranoid half-fantasies and the eerie vibration that everything is under hidden control. Yet you don’t have to be paranoid to realize that history isn’t only what scholars write, and that newspapers often edit — and sometimes even alter — the facts that they report.

Secret societies do exist, conspiracies both above and below ground; so do groups with manipulative and often deadly game plans. But not all of them are bent on control: some are aimed at altruistic goals, and others are just plain stupid. No one group as yet has humanity under its thumb. On the other hand, conspiracies are quite real and not to be underestimated. read more