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October 24, 2005 | The Nation

In the Magazine

October 24, 2005

Cover: Cover art from "Line Up," an installation by Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, cover design by Gene Case & Stephen Kling/Avenging Angels

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In a photo-essay, David Bacon explores the impact of
guest-worker programs on indigenous peoples of Central America, Michael
Klare warns of a new cold war with China and Stuart Klawans reviews
A History of Violence and Good Night, and Good Luck.

Letters

MS. OLDS REGRETS

Editorials

Corporate power and money control our lives and our
politics as never before. As the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares for Harriet Miers's
nomination hearings, here are ten legal questions worth pondering about
corporations, individuals and the law.

Conservatives have undermined the credibility of the United Nations by
exposing corruption in its oil-for-food program. But the inquiry led by
Paul Volcker didn't look at the mishandling of billions of dollars in
oil-for-food surpluses given to US occupation forces or the alleged
looting of such funds by US companies.

Recent rulings upholding the right of the executive branch to jail and try terror suspects in military tribunals raise questions about whether the judiciary can keep presidential powers in check. Will a realigned Supreme Court give Bush a
blank check to rise above the law?

War hero and former NFL star Pat Tillman was not the GI Joe icon
created by Pentagon spinmeisters. He was a fiercely independent thinker
convinced that the war in Iraq was illegal. Bereaved military families,
also angered at Pentagon exploitation of their loved ones, are joining
the critical chorus.

Tom DeLay's indictments open the door for Congress to overhaul current
lobbying laws and fix the broken system of campaign finance,
redistricting and electoral laws that foster misconduct on both sides
of the aisle.

Democrats have a chance to stand up for competence, civil liberties and
the integrity of the Supreme Court by challenging Harriet Miers's lack
of credentials and blocking Bush from using the Supreme Court to expand
presidential powers.

Columns

Column Left

An endorsement from James Dobson is scary enough, but the vituperative attack on Harriet Miers by the right raises other questions about why some conservatives are agitated about her nomination.

As the Bush Administration's incompetence turns Iraq into a terrorist
training camp, Americans should look to FDR, who waged war for
unavoidable threats, not ideology, while still fostering good will
among US allies.

The Wicked Witch stomps in his defense and the wise old tortoise
explains his reasoning. But Mother Courage knows the truth behind
William Bennett's racist comments.

For working in the shadows of K Street pay-to-play, here's to The
Hammer getting the slammer.

Articles

From the beginning, the Iraq War has been driven by perceptions. Why do mainstream media continue to avoid reporting that a majority of Iraqis want US occupation forces to leave?

Geophysicists are debating whether recent catastrophic storms signal an
abrupt climate change that will trigger seasons of permanent
icelessness in the Atlantic and return the earth to the torrid chaos of
an earlier era.

When the FBI hunted down and killed one of its most wanted fugitives in September, outrage over the botched operation may have energized the Puerto Rican independence movement.

The Bush Administration's stance on China has gone from worry about
their economic strength and oil consumption to full-on preparation for
a new cold war.

People of the Gulf Coast should build community networks to ensure they
have a voice in rebuilding discussions usually limited to real-estate
developers and government officials.

The Gulf Coast hurricanes could dislodge decades-long conservative
domination of US politics, but only if Democrats offer an alternative
vision of government and society to voters.

Guest worker programs are a threat to the communities Central American
migrants forge as they sweep across the US. These programs undermine
the economic rights of immigrants and natives alike.

Stocks crash and housing prices tend to go down with a whisper. But a disturbing number of signs now point to a sudden burst of the real estate bubble.

Books & the Arts

Film

A History of Violence examines one man's attempt to protect his family from the murderers drifting into his small Indiana town. Good Night, and Good Luck presents a portrait of Senator Joseph McCarthy to a generation that
knows him only as the front end of an "ism."

Book

For prose scholar Viktor Shklovsky, who lived by the
code of style and studied its depths, an unhappy love affair can be as
much a personal tragedy as a plot device for more writing.

Book

Critics have been trumpeting Benjamin Kunkel as the
voice of his generation. But his first novel, Indecision, about
a 28-year-old empty vessel, is little more than an empty vessel itself.

Book

As Asian countries grow in economic power, Africa lags behind the developed world. Can it ever catch up? Will corruption, geography and disease continue to hold it back?