November 2010

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U.S. Facing Global Diplomatic Crisis Following Massive WikiLeaks Release of Secret Diplomatic Cables

Video The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has begun releasing a giant trove of confidential U.S. diplomatic cables that is sending shockwaves through the global diplomatic establishment. Among the findings: Arab leaders are urging the United States to attack Iran; Washington and Yemen agreed to cover up the use of U.S. warplanes to bomb Yemen; the United States is using its embassies around the world as part of a global spy network and asking diplomats to gather intelligence; and much more....

Ireland and the House of Cards

Picture: Russia Today Harry Browne - The Chains of Capital are Only as Strong as the Weakest Link Around here lately there’s been much talk about the Easter Rising. It’s nothing particularly interesting: just the “Men of 1916” turning up as the stars of a series of rhetorical questions that boil down to: “Was it for this that they gave their lives?” The Irish Times, bitter enemy of those rebels 94 years ago and rarely friendly toward them since, bundled the refrain into an editorial last...

Trapped by Guantanamo

Picture: Banksy Frida Berrigan - Remember way back when President Barack Obama promised to close Guantanamo, restore the United States' moral standing and end the practice of torture? It wasn’t that long ago -- January 2009. As one of his first acts as president, Obama signed the executive order committing to closing the prison within a year and ending the practice of torture. He knew the importance of this principled stance. In a major address on national security later that same year, President Obama held forth on...

Who Really Edits Wikipedia Articles?

Video Wikipedia is the 7th most visited website in the world. The user-edited online encyclopaedia is not without controversy. Many academic institutions question the integrity of the information on the website. But that hasn’t stopped 78 million people around the world from visiting it on a monthly basis and using it as an information source. So, who really edits Wikipedia articles?  Danese Cooper from Wikimedia describes the demographic that contributes to Wikipedia articles as...

Houses for All: A Concept in Crisis

Picture: Michelle Solomon Glenn Ashton - Owning property in the form of a home is the basis for family and community stability. Homes are usually an individual’s single most valuable economic asset and ownership is a traditional entry point into the formal economy. Homeowners are also able to leverage social security by accessing formal, stable community structures. A primary demand of the Freedom Charter was for “houses, security and comfort.” This call was realised through the government’s...

The National Democratic Revolution is a Fantasy

Picture: United Nations Richard Pithouse - These men… at the head of a team of administrators…. proclaim that the vocation of their people is to obey, to go on obeying and to be obedient till the end of time (Frantz Fanon, 1961). Gwede Mantashe and Jeremy Cronin have both recently taken the view that the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) needs to be defended against attempts to organise outside of direct party control. We shouldn’t be particularly surprised by this development given the long history of...