|This year, Chhabra fulfilled a lifelong desire to attend film festivals around the world. Here is his list of the ten best international films released in theaters in the U.S.|
|Twenty-five of Guernica’s most popular pieces from 2010.|
|Juan Cole discusses the news that rabbis are issuing letters warning against interfaith marriage, and puts it in the context of the Middle East.|
|Twenty subscription-free favorites on South Asia, gender, and Islam in 2010.|
|Whether 2011 is a great year economically depends which economy you’re in—the one that’s rising with the profits of big business and Wall Street, or the one that will continue to struggle with few jobs and lousy wages.|
|Next week starts the new Congress, and with it the Tea Party conservatives. What’s their strategy? What will they rally around?|
|Sean Thomas-Breitfeld explains the paradox of job loss and record-breaking profits, and why we need a cooperative economy.|
|Portland’s success in promoting bicycling can be imitated in other U.S. cities—and perhaps surpassed.|
|On the Bowery does a piercing job of making the audience feel the misery of street life in nineteen fifties New York. Though the dehumanizing effects of homeless and poverty are no longer seen as frequently on today’s Bowery, the film still reminds us of all those who are left behind.|
|How can you creatively recycle unused items? ReUseConnection has an idea.|
|Photographer Michael Lanza interviews National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis about the greatest threat to the park system that we have ever faced.|
|“I get that discussing the nuances of consensual sex versus non-consensual sex might seem like a luxury, when every week brings its raft of gang rapes, call-center rapes, caste-conflict-inspired rapes, the casual rapes of sex workers, the routine rape of Dalit women, or women in conflict zones to our attention. But the right to give or withdraw one’s consent is not a small thing.”|
|The BP oil disaster of 2010 is far from being over, so let’s stop calling it a spill. We spill milk. When millions of barrels of oil pour into one of the world’s most unique ecosystems and pulls apart thousands of lives, it’s called a disaster. (Part 2)|
|Washington may be more “business friendly,” but there’s one problem. America’s big businesses are less and less American.|
|Rebecca Solnit acknowledges the activists and workers who work to ensure that another, better world is not just possible, but has been here all along.|
|For thirty-five years, editors from small lit mags and book presses have nominated six authors—be they poets, fiction writers, essayists, etc.—for the Pushcart Prize. We are one such lit mag, and we are thrilled to announce our nominees.|
|Now that DADT is repealed and fear-mongering on gays won’t win elections, Juan Cole argues that the shift will lead to hate-mongering against Muslims.|
|David Morris explains why this week could mark the beginning of the end of Social Security as we know it.|
|Why the new tax deal is a copy of Reagan’s notorious, and failed, “starve the beast” campaign.|
Assange: “I am mentioned in over one tenth of all the contexts of all the rapes that have ever happened that have been documented on the internet.”
|I do know the one place where the president’s reasonable compromises simply won’t work—a place where we have absolutely no choice but to steer by abstract ideals. That place is the climate.|
In its early days, WikiLeaks dropped leaks from around the world and helped Obama clear his name as he campaigned for president. Doesn’t this repudiate the notion that it is strictly an anti-U.S. outfit?.
|In October 2010, Thinakaran took a road trip from Washington, DC to a small town called Buras, sixty miles from where the BP Deepwater Horizon exploded in April. She wanted to document how this small town was coping. (Part 1)|
|Big Money is booming and Wall Street is back, but American workers are losing even more bargaining power as profit goes into software that can do what people used to do — but more cheaply. Why?|
|Welcome to Congress, 2011. Terrorists are Muslims, Muslims are immigrants, immigrants are residents. Anyone and everyone is a suspect. That is the reality played out at every airport; it is the narrative touched by every monitored email and tapped telephone call.|
|While hosting a radio show in the United Arab Emirates, the author of this post encounters a double standard about love marriages.|
Lewis Lapham: Domesticated Deities: About Messiahs Come to Redeem Our Country, Not Govern It (and Don’t Forget Marilyn and Elvis and Jackie O and Diana and Oprah and Brangelina and David Hasselhoff)December 13, 2010
|“On passing a newsstand these days I think of funeral parlors and Tutankhamen’s tomb. The celebrities pictured on the covers of the magazines line up as if in a row of ceremonial grave goods, exquisitely prepared for burial within the tomb of a democratic republic that died of eating disco balls.”|
|December 16th is the Haiti Benefit at The Living Room. The lineup includes Matt Singer, Great Elk, Casey Shea, Ryan Hobbler and Wynn Walent. Proceeds will go to Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos International.|
|What the Wikileaks revelations tell us about how Washington runs Pakistan.|
|All children need government policies that optimally serve their physical, emotional, and educational needs. That’s the gay rights position the author of this post champions.|
|The true horror of the casualties of war may lie in the fact that Americans aren’t even calling for an explanation.|
We all need to push to have exclusionary laws changed; to challenge our own and society’s attitudes about ex-offenders; and to take a chance in whatever way we can on some kid once locked-up now locked-out of the world.
|Evidence of the Obama administration’s “moral collapse” is profuse; the pattern is clear, the consequences already terrible.|
|The author and Burma scholar breaks down Burma’s recent elections, the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, and why Burma needs development and trade and not sanctions.|
Alfred W. McCoy: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire: Four Scenarios for the End of the American Century by 2025December 5, 2010
|A soft landing for America four years from now? Don’t bet on it. The demise of the United States as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagines.|
|A lot of the money that drives the Mexican drug trafficking that has led to the deaths of over twenty-eight thousand people since 2006 is in marijuana. Most of the marijuana grown in Mexico winds up in the United States.|
|James Franco’s Palo Alto is a good way to pass the time on that long stretch on the D train between 125th St. and Columbus Circle. But it’s probably not canon worthy.|
Andy Kroll: The New American Oligarchy: Creating a Country of the Rich, by the Rich, and for the RichDecember 3, 2010
|Until lawmakers cap the amount of money in politics, while forcing donors to reveal their identities and not hide in the shadows, the New Oligarchy will only grow in stature and influence. Never before has the United States looked so much like a country of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.|
|Unless the President and Democrats explain why the economy still stinks for most Americans and offer a plan to fix it, the Republican explanation and solution will prevail.|
A diverse group of activists from both sides of the Canadian-U.S. border declares the Great Lakes a common endowment.
|A 2007 cable shows that Israeli politicians fear that even if Iran never used a nuclear weapon, just for it to have one would doom Israel.|
Tom Engelhardt: The National Security State Cops a Feel: Taking Off the Gloves (and Then Everything Else)November 30, 2010
|As long as Americans don’t grasp the connections between our war state and our “safety,” things will only get worse|
|To understand just how bad the 112th Congress is likely to be for peace on Earth, one has to understand how incredibly awful the 110th and 111th Congresses were. Oddly enough, doing so brings some surprising silver linings into view.|
|In a democracy, people have a right to know what their government is actually doing. In a pseudo-democracy, a bunch of fairy tales from high places will do the trick. What kind of “national security” can be built on duplicity from a government that is discredited and refuted by its own documents?|
Robert Reich: Why the Lame Duck Congress Must Extend Jobless Benefits For Hard-Hit Families But Not Tax Cuts For the RichNovember 28, 2010
|As jobless benefits begin to lapse in two weeks, we must ask ourselves why reward the people at the top with an extension of the Bush tax cut that will blow a hole in the budget deficit? And why fail to extend jobless benefits to hardworking Americans who got the boot?|
|“In my nineteen fifties childhood, there was a cheesy (if thrilling) sci-fi flick, The Incredible Shrinking Man…In recent weeks, without a radioactive cloud in sight, the date for serious drawdowns of American troops in Afghanistan has followed a similar path toward the vanishing point.”|
|In this excerpt from Eboo Patel’s acclaimed memoir, Acts of Faith, Patel shares a story of pilgrimage, cultural and religious diversity, and compromise from the life of the Prophet.|
|When Wuer Kaixi was twenty-one years old, he became known the world over as the student who scolded Premier Li Peng while wearing a hospital gown in Tiananmen Square. Here, he speaks about the Chinese government’s treatment of Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize and the mode of appeasement that has dictated the international community’s relationship with China since Tiananmen.|
|The best way to defeat right-wing xenophobic “populism” is to build genuine progressive populism. In the process, we can draw on the spirit of the New Deal.|
|The deepest principle of American justice is being tested in the wake of the Ghailani verdict. With terrorism trials, the more serious they get, the more the presumption of innocence seems to lie at the mercy of politics.|
|The political right are not the only ones to embrace the “clash of civilizations” between the West and the Islamic world—the left has done so as well through it’s doctrine of multiculturalism.|
Nick Turse: Twenty-First Century Blowback?: As Prospects Dim in Iraq, the Pentagon Digs in Deeper Around the Middle EastNovember 17, 2010
|While American infrastructure crumbles at home, new construction continues in oil-rich kingdoms, sultanates, and emirates there, courtesy of the Pentagon.|
|A year ago, Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi was arrested on blasphemy charges in the conservative Punjab province. This past week she was sentenced to death. The specifics of her crime? Publicly stating her religion.|
|Transgender athletes make a good case for why sports should be inclusive—regardless of gender—in the U.S.|
|It’s always nice to talk about international cooperation, but the truth is much more needs to be done to ease tensions that are moving the global economy closer to the brink of outright protectionism. The key responsibility falls to China and America—both internationally and domestically.|
Tom Engelhardt: The Stimulus Package in Kabul: (I Was Delusional—I Thought One Monster “Embassy” Was the End of It)November 15, 2010
|You must have had a moment when you thought to yourself: It really isn’t going to end, is it? For the author of this post, the U.S. military’s $511 million plan for a massive expansion of the U.S. embassy in Kabul inspired one of those moments of hopelessness.|
|How and why President Obama is in danger of losing control of his South Asian foreign policy agenda to India, its Republican supporters in the House, and the military-industrial complex.|
In California cities like San Jose, voters this election passed ballot measures to weaken the retirement system for public workers. These photographs in this post are meant to inspire some obvious questions. Can people do this work, if they’re then cast adrift once they’re too old? What would happen to all of us if they didn’t do these jobs?
|While the economy of Wall Street big-wigs and corporate execs is recovering nicely, the economy of the average American worker continues to plummet. Here’s why.|
|Is Palestine America’s next Vietnam? Like all historical analogies, it’s far from perfect. But where else in the world is American weaponry and political power so obviously used to suppress a Viet Cong-like movement of national liberation?|
|As long as our unfinished wars still burn in the collective consciousness—and still rage in Kabul, Baghdad, Sana’a, and the Tribal Areas of Pakistan—Islamophobia will make its impact felt in our media, politics, and daily life.|
Pat Tillman refused to be a one-dimensional icon, and yet even after his death, that’s exactly what the American army tried to use him for.
|For too long, appeasement has been the name of the game when it comes to dealing with China. The Norwegians changed that on Friday by saluting Liu Xiaobo with the Nobel Peace Prize, which has eluded everyone engaged in the struggle for a less repressive China.|
152 journalists declare their loyalty to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in an open letter.
|Tomorrow, November 6th, Fordham University at Lincoln Center is hosting Turning Tides: A Symposium on Diasporic Literatures, a creative and scholarly conference that will highlight three different legacies of diaspora in the United States: Haiti, The Philippines and Puerto Rico.|
|Freedom Now, the international legal group that represents 2010 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo, filed a petition with the United Nations that aims to prove that the Nobel Laureate and his wife’s respective detentions violate international law.|
|Would the behavior of political actors be different if both sides fully realized that an electoral “mandate” is a very frail and short-lived creature?|
|The morning of Wednesday, November 3rd was a sad one for this author. So, she went for a jog in Prospect Park, a space that she calls “an image of democracy.”|
When it comes to climate change, Australia’s political track record, while bumpy, provides the kind of example the United States should follow.
|The election of 2010 is now grim history. It’s time for progressives to go back to the grassroots and organize with renewed, deepened commitment to changing the direction of this country.|
|“Whether the country I once wanted to represent was ever there in the form I imagined is a question I’ll leave to the historians…What remains, angry or depressed, has made for a toxic brew as well as the most dispiriting election of my life.”—Tom Engelhardt’s ballot box blues for November 2010.|
|This election night, please join Guernica in celebrating the launch of fiction writer E.C. Osondu’s debut collection, Voice of America.|
After the success of our post on gender diversity here at Guernica Mag, we thought it only fitting to inspect where we stand on other forms of diversity.
|The political center isn’t about what we decide. It’s about how we decide.|
William J. Astore: The New American Isolationism: The Cost of Turning Away from War’s Horrific RealitiesNovember 1, 2010
Old-style American isolationism had everything to do with avoiding “entangling alliances” and conflicts abroad. Today, Americans are once again an isolationist people, but with a twist. To end our wars, we must first endure their Gorgon stare.
|The road may be bumpy, but unlike the new wave movement of the eighties, today’s indie films are here to stay.|
The American midterm election—in Afghanistan.
|This is the central contradiction that remains invisible to the American public: While the U.S. engages in talks and deals with the same Taliban that Pakistan is accused of canoodling with, the facts are never allowed to impact the narrative of the Af-Pak war.|
|For Okey Ndibe, two of Nigeria’s most well-known authors, Chinua Achebe and Wole Sonyinka, are personal saviors. First of Ndibe’s career, and then of Christmas 1997.|
|In the midst of American election frenzy, a one-man tip sheet on the “global midterms”—prospective winners, losers, and those “on the cusp.”|
|No matter how overwhelmed by the tyranny of emblems and dentist office walls, aura persists. Under the right circumstances, it is perceivable to even the most desensitized eye.|
|This country is run for the benefit of alien life forms. They’ve invaded; they’ve infiltrated; they’ve conquered; and a lot of the most powerful people on Earth do their bidding.|
|When our elected representatives can’t and won’t come up with a real jobs program, the Fed feels pressed to come up with a fake one that blows another financial bubble.|
An opportunity for the non-witch to brush up on her knowledge of the Constitution.
A video released on Al Jazeera reveals US complicity in torture in Iraq.
Bob Woodward claims that he is no more than a passive chronicler of events. Yet he has played a significant role in the unfolding history he reports. Whether that benefits the public is something else entirely.
|How the proliferation of forward operating bases in Afghanistan signal no end in sight for the nine-year-long war.|
If professors published their work for the public, everyone would have access to better, more reliable information.
Why the pro-athlete-turned-politician tends to strike out.
“It’s a perfect storm. And I’m not talking about the impending dangers facing Democrats. I’m talking about the dangers facing our democracy.”
In the wake of the newly-released documentary Waiting for Superman, are charter schools really the logical alternative to public school systems?
Bravo’s reality show Work of Art highlights the performative nature of not just reality television or art, but of our very culture.
Whatever skills we may lack when it comes to predicting the future, all things must end, including the American war state and our strange state of war. The question is: Can our over-armed global mission be radically downsized before it downsizes us?
War-fighting handbooks are in. Gimmick covers designed for the warzone are in. Analysis about whether to fight such wars, investigation of the true costs of war to those most affected, plans to end bloody costly wars: all definitely out.
After more than twenty months of White House insistence that the only useful role for progressive canaries is to keep singing the president’s tune, the electoral coal mine is filled with the political equivalent of carbon monoxide and methane.
|Join Guernica for an evening filled with food, drinks, music, readings, auctions, celebrities, honorees, and more fun than should be allowed at a benefit.|
We cannot decry the state of criminal violence in our cities, without acknowledging how corruption in the justice system prevents us from cooperating with and supporting the efforts of the thousands of honest cops and prosecutors.
By making part of Xiao’s work readily available in Chinese, Two Dollar Radio hopes to expose those living under the censorship of Beijing’s heavy hand to Xiao’s story.
A pipeline connecting Turkmenistan and China is the “Silk Road” of the twenty first century, and suggests that the race for natural resources might define a new global order.