Aseem Chhabra: 10 Best International Films of 2010

December 31, 2010
 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.

Angela Chen: Guernica’s Top 25 of 2010

December 31, 2010
 Twenty-five of Guernica’s most popular pieces from 2010.

Juan Cole: Racist Letters Roil Israel

December 30, 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.

Azmat Khan: A Year in Digital Discoveries

December 30, 2010
 Twenty subscription-free favorites on South Asia, gender, and Islam in 2010.

Robert Reich: New Year’s Prediction II: The U.S. Economy in 2011

December 29, 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.

Robert Reich: New Year’s Prediction I: The Tea Party Conservative Strategy for 2011

December 29, 2010
 Next week starts the new Congress, and with it the Tea Party conservatives. What’s their strategy? What will they rally around?

On the Commons: A Cooperative (Not Corporate) Economy

December 27, 2010
 Sean Thomas-Breitfeld explains the paradox of job loss and record-breaking profits, and why we need a cooperative economy.

Jay Walljasper: Portland Is Not a Different Planet

December 27, 2010
 Portland’s success in promoting bicycling can be imitated in other U.S. cities—and perhaps surpassed.

Rec Room: Patrick Burns: On the Bowery

December 27, 2010
 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.

Albert Leung: Online Community Inspiring Eco-Friendly Creativity

December 24, 2010
 How can you creatively recycle unused items? ReUseConnection has an idea.

Michael Lanza: Climate Change And Our National Parks

December 22, 2010
 Photographer Michael Lanza interviews National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis about the greatest threat to the park system that we have ever faced.

Nilanjana Roy: A Quiet Rant on the Assange Case, and a Response to Kavita Krishnan

December 22, 2010
 “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.”

Roshini Thinakaran: Film Expedition to the Bayou: Spill Vs. Disaster

December 22, 2010
 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)

Robert Reich: The Year Washington Became “Business Friendly”

December 22, 2010
 Washington may be more “business friendly,” but there’s one problem. America’s big businesses are less and less American.

Rebecca Solnit: Iceberg Economies and Shadow Selves

December 21, 2010
 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.

Guernica’s Pushcart Prize Nominees

December 21, 2010
 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.

Juan Cole: Senate Repeal of DADT in Modern Context

December 21, 2010
 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: Obama Undercuts the “Social” in Social Security

December 21, 2010
 David Morris explains why this week could mark the beginning of the end of Social Security as we know it.

Robert Reich: The New Tax Deal and Reaganomics Redux

December 20, 2010
 Why the new tax deal is a copy of Reagan’s notorious, and failed, “starve the beast” campaign.

Joel Whitney: Three Julian Assange Interviews

December 17, 2010 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.”

Bill McKibben: Why Obama and Cancún Miss the Point

December 16, 2010
 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.

Joel Whitney: WikiPhobia: Is WikiLeaks Against the U.S.?

December 16, 2010
Joel_Whitney-small.jpgIn 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?.

Roshini Thinakaran: Film Expedition to the Bayou

December 15, 2010
 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)

Robert Reich: America’s Two Economies Are Getting Wider Apart

December 14, 2010
 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?

Stephan Salisbury: Terrorama: The Next Congress Will See Terror in Everything

December 14, 2010
 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.

Shelina Zahra Janmohamed: Love: Good For the Gander, But Not For the Goose?

December 13, 2010
 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.”

Event: Haiti Benefit at The Living Room

December 10, 2010
 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.

Fatima Bhutto: A Flood of Drone Stikes

December 9, 2010
 What the Wikileaks revelations tell us about how Washington runs Pakistan.

Nancy D. Polikoff : LGBT Families Should Not Distance Themselves from Single Mothers

December 8, 2010
 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.

Tom Engelhardt: One November’s Dead: The American War Dead Disappear into the Darkness

December 8, 2010
 The true horror of the casualties of war may lie in the fact that Americans aren’t even calling for an explanation.

David Chura: Yes, Virginia, There Are Miracles in the Juvenile Justice System

December 7, 2010 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.

Norman Solomon: A Hollow Bomber Jacket

December 6, 2010
 Evidence of the Obama administration’s “moral collapse” is profuse; the pattern is clear, the consequences already terrible.

Thant Myint-U: End Burma’s Isolation

December 6, 2010
 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 2025

December 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.

Suzanne Menghraj: Where There’s Smoke

December 3, 2010
 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.

Rebecca Bates: On James Franco’s Palo Alto

December 3, 2010
 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 Rich

December 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.

Robert Reich: The Big Economic Story, and Why Obama Isn’t Telling It

December 2, 2010
 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.

On the Commons: The Great Lakes Are a Commons

December 1, 2010 A diverse group of activists from both sides of the Canadian-U.S. border declares the Great Lakes a common endowment.

Juan Cole: WikiLeaks on Israel, Iraq, and the Iranian Specter

December 1, 2010
 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

David Swanson: The New War Congress: An Obama-Republican War Alliance?

November 29, 2010
 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.

Norman Solomon: WikiLeaks: Demystifying “Diplomacy”

November 29, 2010
 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 Rich

November 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?

Tom Engelhardt: How to Schedule a War: The Incredible Shrinking Withdrawal Date

November 24, 2010
 “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.”

Eboo Patel: Excerpt From Acts of Faith: The Struggle Against Our Lower Selves

November 22, 2010
 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.

Rebecca Bates: Q&A with Wuer Kaixi

November 22, 2010
 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.

Norman Solomon: Obama Wooing “Economic Royalists”

November 21, 2010
 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.

Karen Greenberg: Guilty Until Proven Guilty: Threatening the Presumption of Innocence

November 19, 2010
 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.

Maura R. O’Connor: Further Reading

November 18, 2010 Maura R. O’Connor’s “The Toad,” featured this month, exposes the rapid disappearance of a species of toad along a dammed-up river in Tanzania. Here she lists books she considers essential for environmental writers to know.

Dan Margolis: From Fatwa to Jihad

November 17, 2010
 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 East

November 17, 2010
 While American infrastructure crumbles at home, new construction continues in oil-rich kingdoms, sultanates, and emirates there, courtesy of the Pentagon.

Fatima Bhutto: The Death Sentence the World Is Ignoring

November 15, 2010
 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.

Matt Kailey: Kye Allums, Trans Athletes, and a Modest Proposal for Inclusive Sports

November 15, 2010
 Transgender athletes make a good case for why sports should be inclusive—regardless of gender—in the U.S.

Robert Reich: The Failure of the G-20 Summit

November 15, 2010
 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.

Juan Cole: Obama in Asia: Meeting American Decline Face to Face

November 11, 2010
 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.

David Bacon: Public Workers: A Visual Reality Check

November 10, 2010 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?

Robert Reich: America’s Two Economies and Why One is Recovering While the Other Isn’t

November 10, 2010
 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.

Ira Chernus: Will the GOP’s Victory Energize Mideast Doves?: Every Action Provokes a Reaction

November 9, 2010
 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?

John Feffer: The Lies of Islamophobia: The Three Unfinished Wars of the West against the Rest

November 8, 2010
 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.

Rec Room: Eline Gordts: The Tillman Story

November 8, 2010 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.

Wuer Kaixi: A Prize for all Chinese in the Struggle

November 7, 2010
 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.

Journalists from Forty Countries Join in Support of Wikileaks

November 7, 2010 152 journalists declare their loyalty to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in an open letter.

Event: Turning Tides: A Symposium on Diasporic Literatures

November 5, 2010
 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.

Kelie Montalvo: Liu Xiaobo’s Legal Team Files Petition to United Nations

November 4, 2010
 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.

William Easterly: In Politics, as in Development, Success is Feetingly Fleeting

November 4, 2010
 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?

Irena Gross: The Morning After

November 4, 2010
 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.”

Peter Boyer: Australia’s Hazardous Road to Climate Action

November 4, 2010 When it comes to climate change, Australia’s political track record, while bumpy, provides the kind of example the United States should follow.

Norman Solomon: After the Election Disaster: Back to Basics

November 3, 2010
 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.

Tom Engelhardt: Ballot Box Blues: The Most Dispiriting Election of a Lifetime (Mine)

November 3, 2010
 “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.

You’re Invited: E.C. Osondu’s Book Party on November 2

November 2, 2010
 This election night, please join Guernica in celebrating the launch of fiction writer E.C. Osondu’s debut collection, Voice of America.

Rebecca Bates: How Diverse is Guernica?

November 1, 2010 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.

Robert Reich: The Real Center of American Politics: A Reflection on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

November 1, 2010
 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 Realities

November 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.

Aseem Chhabra: Return of Parallel Cinema

November 1, 2010
 The road may be bumpy, but unlike the new wave movement of the eighties, today’s indie films are here to stay.

Ann Jones: Big Men, Big Money, Big Voting Scam

October 28, 2010 The American midterm election—in Afghanistan.

Rafia Zakaria: A Dangerous Narrative

October 28, 2010
 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.

Okey Ndibe: My Debt to Nigeria’s Two Literary Giants

October 27, 2010
 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.

Tom Engelhardt: Handicapping the Global Midterms

October 27, 2010
 In the midst of American election frenzy, a one-man tip sheet on the “global midterms”—prospective winners, losers, and those “on the cusp.”

Suzanne Menghraj: Teardrops in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

October 26, 2010
 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.

Rebecca Solnit: Jurassic Ballot: When Corporations Ruled the Earth

October 25, 2010
 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.

Robert Reich: The Fed’s New Bubble (Masquerading as a Jobs Program)

October 24, 2010
 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.

Jay Wexler: Christine O’Donnell, Have We Got a Book For You…

October 24, 2010 An opportunity for the non-witch to brush up on her knowledge of the Constitution.

Joel Whitney: WikiLeaks Iraq File Reveals Torture

October 22, 2010 A video released on Al Jazeera reveals US complicity in torture in Iraq.

Russ Baker: Woodward Update: The Post and the Generals

October 22, 2010 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.

Nick Turse: Digging in for the Long Haul in Afghanistan

October 22, 2010
 How the proliferation of forward operating bases in Afghanistan signal no end in sight for the nine-year-long war.

Jay Walljasper: A Small Change Could Boost Everyone’s Access to Information

October 20, 2010 If professors published their work for the public, everyone would have access to better, more reliable information.

Robert Lipsyte: Leave ‘Em in the Locker Room: Pro Athletes Make Lousy Public Officials

October 19, 2010 Why the pro-athlete-turned-politician tends to strike out.

Robert Reich: The Perfect Storm

October 18, 2010 “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.”

Linda F. Nathan: Waiting for Superman?

October 18, 2010 In the wake of the newly-released documentary Waiting for Superman, are charter schools really the logical alternative to public school systems?

Rec Room: Kelie Montalvo: Work of Art in the The Age of HyperReality Television

October 18, 2010 Bravo’s reality show Work of Art highlights the performative nature of not just reality television or art, but of our very culture.

Tom Engelhardt: A World Made by War: How Old Will You Be When the American War State Goes Down?

October 17, 2010 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?

Nick Turse: Publish or Perish: Getting a Read on American War

October 15, 2010 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.

Norman Solomon: Progressive Canaries in a Political Mine

October 15, 2010 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.

Guernica Celebrates 6!

October 14, 2010
 Join Guernica for an evening filled with food, drinks, music, readings, auctions, celebrities, honorees, and more fun than should be allowed at a benefit.

Sherrilyn Ifill: SCOTUS, Prosecutorial Misconduct, and Public Confidence in the Justice System

October 14, 2010 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.

Two Stories from Xiaoda Xiao’s The Visiting Suit Available for Free Download

October 13, 2010 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.

Pepe Escobar: China’s Pipelineistan “War”: Anteing Up, Betting, and Bluffing in the New Great Game

October 12, 2010 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.