Into the Heart of Chilean Darkness (Nov. 18, 1998)

General Augusto Pinochet’s detention in England raises issues about the nature of modern evil. The late Hannah Arendt labeled the acts of Adolph Eichman as the banality of evil. Covering the trial of the man responsible for the slaughter of millions, mostly Jews, Arendt marveled at Eichman’s statement: “I was only following orders.” He bleated […]

When J. Edgar Hoover Tapped My Phone

As a kid I listened on the radio to “The FBI in Peace and War.” My parents had listened during the mid 1930s to “G-Men.” FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover helped produce those programs and, in Clint Eastwood’s new biopic film, “J. Edgar,” we learn that Hoover orchestrated several other radio and TV shows to […]

Bolivian Democracy and the US

The prospect of socialist peasant leader Evo Morales as Bolivia’s next president disturbed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Charles Shapiro. “It would not be welcome news in Washington to see the increasingly belligerent Cuban-Venezuelan combo become a trio,” he emailed on October 21, 2005 to the Miami Herald’s Andres Oppenheimer (Dec […]

Rush to Judgment

Was Rush Limbaugh high when he said, “There’s nothing good about drug use. It destroys individuals’ families, societies, some might say this country. And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought […]

Techno-Burger, Hold the Fries

I fell asleep reading an article in a magazine I grabbed in the hotel lobby. The author crowed about how successful we Americans have become in exporting our ways of life, our basic cultural values. I missed my dinner.  In the early morning, with raging hunger pains stabbing at my gut, I broke a vow. […]

The President and Corporate Fraud

I felt like blaming someone when, like millions of other Americans, I took a WorldCom bath. How, I asked my wife, could the company that owns MCI, one of the world’s telecommunication giants, declare bankruptcy? In today’s mail, MCI, owned by WorldCom, offers me thousands of frequent flyer miles if I switch to their phone […]

The Questions Not Asked as the Empire Strikes Back

Five days after the assault, Americans have ingested a TV, radio and print diet of bombast, hyperbole and sheer nonsense. The messages from our elected leaders, so-called experts and actors posing as TV anchors have stressed retaliation and prevention after the perpetrators have accomplished their mission. The bloody deed has been done. The wheels spinners […]

The World Has Gone Bananas

The US government wants Cuba to convert to capitalism. Cuba wants to stay socialist. Cuba accuses four dissidents of plotting to stop foreign investment from coming into Cuba; that is to stop capitalism from developing in Cuba. Cuban prosecutors allege that the US government paid these dissidents to plot against capitalism in Cuba. US officials […]

Cuba in the Global Era

As the Aerocaribe DC-9 began to descend into Havana, 45 minutes after it took off from Cancun, Mexico I read that Fidel Castro was preparing to leave Cuba for Venezuela to attend the inauguration of President Hugo Chavez, my plane arrived from Cancun. Almost 39 years since my first visit to revolutionary Cuba, I felt […]

Waiting for the House of Lords

I wait for the stodgy House of Lords to turn Augusto Pinochet over to the Spanish court to stand trial for crimes against humanity, international terrorism and genocide, or send him home to Chile. The Lords have a precedent for their decision: British law, they once declared, allowed for the detention of a foreign sovereign, […]