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July 31, 2006 | The Nation

In the Magazine

July 31, 2006

Cover: Cover by Gene Case & Stephen Kling/Avenging Angels

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The Editors call for a recount in Mexico, Patricia Williams explores the faux community of Facebook and MySpace, Stuart Klawans reviews Pirates of the Caribbean and five other films.

Letters

Readers write back about Ari Berman's coverage of the Democratic National Committee, Eugene Richards' photojournalism and William Johnson's coverage of the Teamsters.

Editorials

The spreading violence in Lebanon and Gaza demonstrate that the
collective punishment of the Palestinian and Lebanese people is not only inhumane and should be condemned but also leads to more
radicalization and to more chaos.

The latest bloodshed in Gaza and Lebanon demonstrates that there
will be no end of violence until Israel agrees to negotiate with the
democratically elected Palestinian leadership.

Citizens, lawyers and constitutional scholars of all political stripes
have reason to be concerned about President Bush's use of "signing
statements," which assert his right to ignore a law and threaten the
central tenet of America's system of constrained government.

By casting the decisive vote in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and other
contentious disputes, Justice Anthony Kennedy plays a crucial role in a
Supreme Court that may soon veer off in an extreme rightward direction.

David "Duff" Dretzin had a big heart, a social conscience and a keen
sense of humor. He will be missed.

A recount of disputed ballots in the contested presidential election is
the surest way to strengthen Mexico's fledgling democratic institutions
and forestall potential political and social conflagration.

Columns

TruthDig

By saying that the Israel-Lebanon crisis simply represents the "birth pangs of a new Middle East," Condoleezza Rice underscored the Bush Administration's blindness to the disastrous effects its foreign policy has wrought.

Howl

The targeting of civilians in Gaza and Lebanon summons the image of Picasso's wrenching mural that memorialized innocents
caught in the crossfire.

TruthDig

Bush's boorish comments at the G-8 summit revealed more than his
ignorance of the Mideast: His policies have made the US a helpless
bystander as the entire region burns.

After pressure from the local newspaper and the City Council
questioning the use of sweatshop labor to create Pittsburgh Pirates regalia, Major League Baseball seems willing to listen to activists' complaints.

In wartime, you lose the luxury of choosing your allies: The Bush
Administration's attacks on the New York Times are attacks on us
all.

The digital environs of Facebook and MySpace are ruled by assortive
principles and the misplaced faith that an actuarial table is any kind
of community--beloved, political or otherwise.

Articles

As progressive bloggers seek the ouster of Joe Lieberman, they have recruited "Reagan Democrat" Jim Webb to challenge George
Allen in Virginia. What does this say about netroots Democrats'
emerging electoral strategy--if there is one?

Why go to a real college? Enroll in Donald Trump's virtual university
and you'll learn all you need to know for $29 or your money back!

Fighting words from a 98-year-old activist about the power of the
people to demand peace and achieve peace justice in these troubled
times.

To some observers, the attacks orchestrated by Sheik Sayed Hassan
Nasrallah that detonated Israel's ruthless assault on Lebanon look
like a death wish--but it's almost impossible to defeat someone who
has no fear of death.

The United Nations can be a useful tool in settling the current crisis
in Lebanon and Gaza, but only with US support. It is up to President
Bush to get on the phone to Ehud Olmert and tell him to stop.

One week after bombs ripped through commuter trains in India's financial capital of Mumbai, the carnage has finally been tallied: 182 people killed and 900 injured.

As Vladimir Putin played host to the G-8 summit, opposition groups from
the right and left staged events that challenged Putin's authority and
paraded their grievances to Western media. It was not their finest hour.

As Lebanon braces for a descent into an all-too-familiar chaos, anger and the quest for comfort have sent people to the streets in search of bread and someone to blame. Anna Ciezadlo reports from Beirut that when Iraqis are text-messaging from Baghdad to see if you're OK, you know it's not good.

Katha Pollitt answers questions about feminism, politics and her new book, Virginity or Death! And Other Pressing Social Issues of Our Times.

As leaders of the world's richest nations gather in St. Petersburg to craft a global energy security strategy, they're poised to endorse a major expansion of nuclear power. Bad idea.

As the Bush Administration continues to exercise an inordinate amount of
power, will the Supreme Court's Hamdan v. Rumsfeld ruling become
a guidepost for future government or a last lonely relic of a proud
lost era?

The former Treasury Secretary speaks candidly on the inherent
inequities of globalization and the political, social and economic
challenges that lie ahead.

The Yearly Kos Convention revealed a blogosphere whose media critique
is hampered by its political ambitions. Why can't progressives repair
the press, not dismantle it?

The crises faced by Bush signal not only the errors of his
Administration but the end of imperialism itself--and the emergence of
new, more dangerous forces.

In the ultimate swing district of the ultimate swing state, Patricia
Madrid is trying to unseat New Mexico Representative "Leather" Heather
Wilson. Is her Mountain State liberalism potent enough to win?

Is Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin's new "conceptual
framework" of economic reform an acknowledgment of neoliberalism's
failures or simply a repackaged version of Clintonomics?

In the Bush era, the green movement has become a paper tiger. It must
regroup, reframe and reach out across the lines of race and class that
have kept environmental issues at the political fringe.

Books & the Arts

Film

Reviews of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest,
Edmond, The Motel, Gabrielle, Time to Leave
and The Blood of My Brother.

Book

Stick Out Your Tongue.
By Ma Jian. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 93 pp. $16.

Book

Two new histories of British imperial rule in India take the narrow
view. In fact, the scandal of empire can be isolated neither to Europe
nor to the past.

Book

International law offers protection to the oppressed. In Are Women
Human?
, feminist legal scholar Catharine A. MacKinnon exposes the
hypocrisy of not extending the same protection to women.