The Public Eye: Roll Over, Karl Marx

By Bob Burnett
Wednesday June 15, 2011 - 11:26:00 AM

In 1883, Karl Marx died as an obscure philosopher, but since then he’s become notorious. A 1999 BBC poll judged Marx “the thinker of the millennium” but for the last 60 years he’s been infamous in America, where being called a Marxist is equivalent to being labeled a terrorist or pedophile. Despite the controversy, Marx’s analysis was correct on many issues and his insights help explain America’s growing economic and political divide. -more-

Dispatches From the Edge: Iran’s Turmoil: Through A Glass Darkly

By Conn Hallinan
Wednesday June 15, 2011 - 11:34:00 AM

On the surface, the recent turmoil in Teheran looks like a case of the clerical elite, led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, slapping down an independent minded President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, though the battle is couched in vocabulary that does more to obscure than to reveal: accusations of “sorcery” and “witchcraft” get equal billing with charges of corruption and violations of the constitution. But if the language can at times seem odd, the players and the stakes are hardy abstruse. -more-

Eclectic Rant: Congress Should Reject the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

By Ralph E. Stone
Tuesday June 14, 2011 - 09:58:00 PM

Last month, the Obama administration announced that it would not seek Congressional approval of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Colombia until Republicans agree to expand assistance to American workers who might lose jobs as a result. The U.S.-Colombia FTA was negotiated under U.S. Trade Promotion Authority, which means that it can be approved or disapproved by Congress, but Congress cannot amend it. FTAs are nothing more than dollar imperialism. That is, a major economic power—the U.S— taking unfair advantage of a revocering economy. Congress should reject the U.S.-Colombia FTA. -more-

Senior Power: This Will Be on the Final ...

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Wednesday June 15, 2011 - 11:45:00 AM

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is being observed today, Wednesday, June 15, 2011. This week’s Senior Power column is the second of two devoted to this subject. Possibly, by the time you read it, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day will have come and gone without great notice. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Nature Says "Back Off"

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday June 14, 2011 - 10:17:00 PM
Striped skunks: truth in advertising.

Readers who are old enough to remember Gary Larson may recall a cartoon captioned “How Nature says, ‘Do not touch.’” It depicts a rattling rattlesnake, a fully inflated porcupinefish, a hissing cat with its back arched, and a guy in an overcoat standing on a street corner with a shoe on his head, a bazooka under one arm, and one of those horse-headed plastic flotation devices around his waist. I hope you’re also old enough to remember horse-headed plastic flotation devices. -more-

On Mental Illness: The Sickness of Being Overly Compliant

By Jack Bragen
Wednesday June 15, 2011 - 11:35:00 AM

When I discovered myself getting excessively sweet, nice, and perhaps obedient toward someone in my life who likes me that way, I realized, at some point, that I felt very sick. Then, the anger came, and I left that person an angry voicemail. Of course, that person said that they were unhappy with the disrespect I had shown. And I replied that respect needs to be mutual. Regardless, I realize now that I was in a twisted frame of mind in which I conceded too much. -more-

Pepper Spray Times

Grace Underpressure
Friday June 17, 2011 - 12:18:00 PM

Editor's Note: The latest issue of the Pepper Spray Times is now available. -more-