Recent Articles

The tragedy of LaVena Johnson 

On watching The General’s Daughter, a tragically brilliant account of a high-ranking U.S. Army officer’s complicity in silencing his own daughter, herself an army captain, about her sexual assault to further his career, I found it a monstrous, wholly plausible story I had to be grateful was a work of fiction. On learning what in reality happened to Private First Class LaVena Johnson, there wasn’t a damned thing for which to be grateful. You can find the facts in full, appalling detail in LaVena Johnson: The Silent Truth (2010 Midtown Films). This man’s army is, in this day and age, still exactly that — a place of male privilege where the more attractive and independent a woman is, the greater risk she runs that a fellow solider or fellow soldiers will rape her and, quite possibly, murder her to cover their tracks. In 2005, 19-year-old PFC Johnson’ body was discovered on a military base in Balad, Iraq. She’d sustained a broken nose, black eye, loosened teeth, chemical burns on her private parts, and a gunshot wound to the head. U.S. Army’s finding: suicide. In other words, she beat herself half to death, poured acid between her legs, and then blew her brains out. They had the gall to deliver that finding to her family with a straight face. Continue Reading →

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Crocodile tears for Kenyans just that — crocodile tears

The mall bombing/attack in Kenya is not just frightening and alarming because of its apparent senselessness. It’s also alarming because it will give an opening to U.S. and European anti-Muslim — and to some extent anti-African — propaganda, which will in turn cause folks to turn a blind eye to U.S. and European meddling in African affairs. Don’t, if tempted to, write off the attack on the Nairobi, Kenya mall by Al Shabaab as just another fanatical instance of terrorism. While it is an insane and almost hapless effort to get revenge or make a political point, the attack on the mall was motivated by past events. Kenya did in fact invade Somalia in 2011 and kicked Al Shabaab out of southern Somalia with the help of the U.S. and France. Continue Reading →

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Hurricane Sandy: Slow response reveals the government’s priorities


Our country has a strange way of showing love to its citizens and especially certain segments of the population, especially in times of crisis. In fact, in times of crisis, such as the damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast, we get to see what’s really important to those in power. We also get to see how the point-one percent — the ruling class — really think. Incidentally, when the flag is waved we don’t wave just a certain section of the flag; we wave the whole flag. We don’t emphasize just the red or the blue parts. Continue Reading →

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