In These Times

Magazine focusing on movements for social, economic, and environmental justice.

Articles from Vol. 32, No. 5, May

A Boon for T. Boone
T BOONE PICKENS, ONCE known as a corporate raider, is now a billionaire hedge fund investor-and one of the funders of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign that attacked Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004. Currently, Pickens is trying to build a...
Appall-O-Meter
5.3 Pistols for EverybodyEric Thompson of Green Bay, Wis., has achieved something that his colleagues in the gun industry can only dream of. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, his company, TGSCOM Inc., armed not only the kid who shot 33 people...
As Hunger Rises, Chew on This
A DIET OF BREAD and water used to be emblematic of poverty. Now a global food crisis is transforming that meager meal into a luxury for much of the world.The prices of the world's three main grains-corn, rice and wheat-more than doubled last year. The...
A Speech Even Condi Could Love
SECRETARY OF STATE Condoleezza Rice recently called racebased slavery a "birth defect" that still troubles our nation. Her words were notable-not just for their metaphorical precision, but that she uttered them at all.Conservatives usually are mute on...
As Unions Fall, Lawsuits Rise
As Unions Fall, Lawsuits RiseTHOMAS GEOGHEGAN ADMITS he's biased.The labor lawyer writes in the opening pages of his fourth book, see You in Court: How the Right Made America a Lawsuit Nation (New Press, 2007), that his background colors his observations...
Big Trucking Deal
A diverse coalition wins a battle to regulate air pollution at California portsSANDWICHED BETWEEN THREE FREEWAYS and the fourth-largest container port in the country lies the neighborhood of West Oakland, Calif. Its residents often choke down the exhaust...
Book Club of Champions
CUIZHOU UNIVERSITY SITS ON the outskirts of Guiyang City, the sleepy capital of China's poorest province. Undergraduate tuition is the equivalent of $250 per term, books and housing included. A meal of pulled noodles, hot pot or sweet and sour pork runs...
Collapse of the Fourth Estate
Collapse of the Fourth EstateIN MARCH, ON the five-year anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the nation's major news outlets reflected on the war and what led us to the half-decade mark. But few evaluated their own roles in the disaster that...
Comcast: Worst. Company. Ever
INSPIRED BY MARCH Madness, the folks at the Consumerist blog recently set up brackets to determine America's worst company. The tournament was still going on as this column went to press, but I'm not afraid to predict the winner.It will be Comcast-in...
Connecticut's Immigration Duel
TWO CONNECTICUT CITIES have taken opposite approaches to dealing with undocumented immigrants. Last summer, New Haven became the first city in the country to issue municipal IDs regardless of immigration status. (See "Despite Raids, IDs For All," August...
Dawn of the Cathode Ray Tube
From A Word from our Viewers: Reflection from Early Television Audiences (Praeger, 2008), by Ray Barfield, an English professor at Clemson University. The following recollection is from Jack French, whom Barfield calls a "prominent figure in 'golden...
Dirty Smoke Signals
Navajo Nation weighs costs and benefits of coal mining on its landAS A CHILD, BONNIE Wethington remembers hunting for "star-crossed fairy rocks" and catching lizards in thigh-high grass below the majestic Ship Rock and Church Rock on the Navajo Nation,...
Dissent in the Ranks
SEIU IS THE NATION'S FASTEST GROWING UNION-BUT AT WHAT COST?NO AMERICAN UNION TODAY exercises more influence than the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a leader in both organizing and political action. And no union leader gets more-or more...
Junot Díaz Redefines Macho
Junot Díaz, who immigrated with his family to the United States from the Dominican Republic when he was 6, teaches creative writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His new novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, winner of the National...
Letters
Our man NaderLaura S. Washington's "The Nadir of Nader" (April 2008) indicates In These Times is going the way of American corporate media, covering elections as horse races instead of sticking to the issues.Compare Ralph Nader's stances on American...
Louisville Schools Class-Ify Brown
LAST JUNE, THE eulogizing came quickly after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to strike down the race-based integration plans at two public school districts. "Bye-bye, Brown" was University of Louisville education professor Skip Kifer's succinct response...
News You Can Lose
BRACE YOURSELVES. THE real presidential campaign-the kind the news media have forced us to get used to-has begun, with the twin uproars over remarks by Geraldine Ferraro and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as the inaugural moments. The way the talking heads...
Political Vice Squad
IN OCTOBER 2001, when Congress passed the Patriot Act-and again when it reauthorized it in 2006-the Bush administration assured nervous but compliant members of Congress that these expanded domestic surveillance tools were needed to protect the homeland.Bush...
Putin Is Gone! Long Rule Putin!
With new president, Russians continue to forgo political voice for economic securityMOSCOW-EVEN BEFORE THE ELECTION night returns came in on March 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin was introducing his successor to a select crowd at a Red Square rock...
Rap the Casbah
FOR MORE THAN a generation, hiphop has drawn kids from neighborhoods around the world into the musical intersection of street culture and political consciousness. Now that common ground is making a mark in one of the globe's most conflict-ridden areas:...
Strikebreaker vs. Muckraker
Strikebreaker vs. MuckrakerHow can two Americans, sharing the same classically American virtue of hard work, affect their country in such profoundly different ways? Steve Weinberg's Taking on the Trust: The Epic Battle of Ida Tarbell and John D. Rockefeller(Norton,...
The Clinton Firewall
The Race Chasm and the trampling of democracyGOOGLE THE PHRASE "CLINTON firewall" and you will come up with an ever-lengthening list of scenarios that Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has said will stop Sen. Barack Obama's candidacy. The...
They Can't Go Home Again
With their country ravaged by Bush's war, Iraqi refugees find the United States indifferent to their plightON A RAINY MARCH morning, in a drab office complex off one of Metro Detroit's many expressways, I met Mona and Fadi Rabban.In broken English, they...
Unlocking Bush's Chastity Belt
FOR ALL ITS fumbling, the Bush administration has one achievement of note: it has persuaded the American public that premarital sex is a risky behavior for teens, akin to smoking or gang activity.Given the intensity of the administration's abstinence-until-marriage...
Who Would Ida B. Wells Vote For?
RACISM OR SEXISM-WHICH IS worse? Take your pick. Paula Giddings' new biography, Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching, offers both options.The always compelling, at times calamitous, life of this underappreciated black...