Black Harvest to showcase new films

CHICAGO – Five Chicago-based movies are part of this year’s Black Harvest Film Festival scheduled here Aug. 7-19 at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Of the 18 features and six shorts, all but one will be Chicago premieres.

Prescription for a sick health care system

Book Review Health Care Meltdown: Confronting the Myths and Fixing Our Failing System By Robert H. LeBow, M.D. Alan C. Hood Co., 2004 Softcover, 304 pp., $15.00 “America is the only developed nation that fails to guarantee access to needed care for all its citizens and the only advanced country that permits someone to go bankrupt because of poor health.”

McCarthyism rears its ugly head

Back in the 1950s, the House Un-American Activities Committee was running wild. It was blacklisting journalists, militant unionists, authors, playwrights and anyone who opposed the Korean War or signed the Stockholm Peace Pledge to outlaw the atomic bomb.

Attention must be paid

In Arthur Miller’s classic play, “Death of a Salesman,” aging traveling salesman Willy Loman pleads for his job with the son of the man who hired him and is about to fire him. Exasperated and fearful, Willy shouts that “promises were made across this desk!”

Lies, videotape, and democracy

I want to point out how two pieces of popular technology have contributed to the exposure of the lies and attempted cover-up of the misdeeds of two U.S. presidents, and to urge you to use your vote to oust Bush in 2004.

Two scenarios. Which one is more believable?

Of these two hypothetical scenarios, which seems more believable? Offhand you might feel that number two rings the credibility bell. After all, number one is simply outrageous: a team of gung-ho guys establishing their own prison in Kabul for no other reason than to help fight terrorism. With no resources other than their own. And no profit to boot. But when you think about it, if number one comes after number two, they’re both believable!

Questions on 9/11 refuse to go away

The final report of the bipartisan national 9/11 commission is unlikely to stamp out questions about the Bush administration’s handling of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, its Iraq war, or its overall foreign policy.

The German Peasant War: A Panoramic Legacy of the German Democratic Republic

While on a visit to the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) 21 years ago, at the time of the great peace demonstrations against U.S. cruise and Pershing missiles, I learned that an East German painter would soon begin a vast panorama on the subject of the German Peasant War of the 1520s.