Archive | September, 2008

  • Kangamba

    Kangamba is one of the most serious and dramatic films I have ever seen. I watched it on a small television screen but perhaps my judgment is influenced by cherished memories. Hundreds of thousands of Cuban compatriots will have the privilege of watching it on the big screen of movie theaters.

  • The United States and the World: Where Are We Headed?

    This paper was presented at the Alexandre de Gusmão Foundation and the International Relations Research Institute’s (IPRI) “Seminar on the United States” hosted by the Itamaraty Palace (Brazilian Foreign Ministry) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on September 29, 2008. Introduction The United States appears to be embarking on a transition on two major fronts: its […]

  • Congratulations, Corporate Crime Fighters!  Coup Averted for Three Days!

    Friends, Everyone said the bill would pass.  The masters of the universe were already making celebratory dinner reservations at Manhattan’s finest restaurants.  Personal shoppers in Dallas and Atlanta were dispatched to do the early Christmas gifting.  Mad Men of Chicago and Miami were popping corks and toasting each other long before the morning latte run. […]

  • An Alternative Bailout Plan

    Instead of giving a couple trillion dollars to the financial institutions, how about instituting a financial holiday — something like what FDR did — and using the trillions of dollars to create infrastructure and affordable housing? We could also raise some more money by ending the wars and cutting back military spending. Some of the […]

  • A Bailout We Don’t Need

    Now that all five big investment banks — Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — have disappeared or morphed into regular banks, a question arises. Is this bailout still necessary? The point of the bailout is to buy assets that are illiquid but not worthless.  But regular banks hold assets […]

  • Simple Solution to a Financial Crisis

      Seeing how the Democrats seem incapable of figuring out the boondoggle Bernake and Paulson are in the process of engineering, I thought I might outline a modest proposal for a fair resolution to the present financial crisis. Buy two trillion dollar toxic sub-prime at 40 cents on the dollar; disaggregate, repackage and sell back […]

  • Confessions of a Recovering Republican

    My name is Dan, and I’m a Republican.  Though it’s been almost eight years since I voted GOP, the shame and regret haunt me daily.  Just the sight of ‘W’ mugging for the cameras on the evening news is enough to fill me with despair. It all started innocently enough.  I tried my first shot […]

  • The Financial Crisis: Will the U.S. Nationalize the Banks?

    The political conflict over the Bush administration’s plan for a bailout of the banks, brought about both by differences with the Democrats and even more intensely with rightwing Republicans, makes it highly unlikely that Congress will be able to pass a bailout plan that can stabilize the financial situation along the lines that Secretary of […]

  • When the Doctor Is Forced to Decide Treatment Based on Cost, Not What’s Best for the Patient. . . .

      Ten years ago this month I was new doctor, an intern doing primary care.  It was a joy that fall to begin at an outstanding clinic in a rural village where I would learn to see both adults and children over the next 3 years. My first week at the clinic, an elderly patient, […]

  • The Heart Wants to Hope, But the Brain Cannot

    Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni eked out the narrowest of victories in the primary elections for the leadership of the Kadima party over her principal rival, über-hawk Minister of Transport Shaul Mofaz.  Livni won by 431 votes, or 1.1% of the 39,331 ballots cast.  Only a little more than half the eligible members of Kadima turned […]

  • “Just the Facts”: Interview with Norman G. Finkelstein

    Norman Finkelstein is one of the world’s most outspoken and tenacious scholars on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and a fierce critic of the way Israel’s supporters try to wield the memory of anti-Semitism as a baton to beat up on those who criticize the country’s well-documented atrocities. Author of Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism […]

  • The Great Wall of Boeing

    On September 10 the U.S. government acknowledged that its Secure Border Initiative (SBI) was behind schedule and over budget.  Promoted in 2005 as a new way to block unauthorized immigration, the $2.7 billion project was supposed to create a 670-mile physical and “virtual” fence by the end of this year along the 2,000-mile border with […]

  • Oaxaca: Justice for Our Sister Marcella Sali Grace!

    Justice for our sister Marcella Sali Grace! Brother and sisters, Our hearts are full of sadness and rage because our sister Sali was brutally raped and murdered 20 minutes from San Jose del Pacifico, and up to now the Oaxacan Attorney General’s Office, as is its custom, is not doing anything despite the fact that […]

  • War Must Nourish Itself

    Herbert Langer, The Thirty Years’ War, Trans.C. S. V. Salt, Blandford Press, 1980 The seventeenth century was ruled by an aristocratic caste that no longer exists, save in the minds of the credulous and easily-deceived.   It was an imaginary caste of devils, angels, and other powers now consigned to oblivion.  For peasant and prelate, soldier […]

  • Stand Up for the Freedom of Dr. Binayak Sen

    EVER QUESTIONED A REAL LIVE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATOR? We urge all friends of Monthly Review in the Bay Area to stand up for the freedom of our beloved friend Dr. Binayak Sen on Saturday, September 27th, when his jailer appears at Berkeley. This Saturday, September 27th, come question Vishwa Ranjan, the head police official in […]

  • The Democratic Socialism

    I did not want to write a third consecutive reflection, but I can not leave that for Monday.

    There is one accurate response to Bush’s “democratic capitalism”: Chavez’s democratic socialism. There wouldn’t be a more accurate way to express the big contradiction that exists between North and South in our hemisphere, between the ideas of Bolivar and those of Monroe.

  • Capitalist Crisis, Marx’s Shadow

    Capitalism happens.  When and where it does, capitalism casts its own special shadow: a self-critique of capitalism’s basic flaws that says modern society can do better by establishing very different, post-capitalist economic systems.  This critical shadow rises up to terrify capitalism when — in crisis periods such as now — capitalism hits the fan.  Karl […]

  • Apologizing Away Our Rights: An Open Letter to Planned Parenthood

    When did abortion become the health-care procedure whose name we dare not speak?  In the mass mailing Planned Parenthood sent out last week, the word “abortion” appears nowhere.  Not even the flaccid euphemism “pro-choice.” What’s going on here?  Why did Planned Parenthood opt to gag itself in its solicitation of funds for their services, at […]

  • The $700 Billion Bailout Plan’s Fine Print

      Treasury Sec. Hank Paulson’s $700 billion bailout plan now has a name: the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.  But even as Capitol Hill debates TARP, few seem to have noticed the proposal item that puts taxpayers on the hook for future bailouts.  It’s in Section 6, and the key phrase is this: “The […]

  • Iran, Israel, and the Looming Threat of War

    Friends, Enemies, and “Existential” Threats In the ceaseless and invariably bellicose calls for war (both open and clandestine) against Iran, perhaps one argument invoked by pro-war pundits and politicians stands out and takes pride of place above all others: Iran, it is claimed, “poses an existential threat to the state of Israel.”  It’s certainly been […]