Archive | April, 2009

  • The Day for the Poor of the World

    Tomorrow is International Workers’ Day.

    Karl Marx called to unity: “Workers of the world unite”, although many of the poor were not workers. Lenin, who was even more far-reaching, made a call to the peasants and the colonized peoples for them to struggle together under the leadership of the proletariat.

  • Re-visiting Race and Class in “The Age of Obama”

      Remarks delivered at the Thomas Foley Institute, Washington State University,, Pullman, Washington, April 18, 2009 Recently appointed Attorney General Eric Holder, whose parents hail from the Barbados, aroused instant ire when he remarked last February 18 that the U.S. remains a “nation of cowards” for not talking enough about things racial.  But is this […]

  • DHS Issues “New” Worksite Enforcement Guidelines That Are Simply More of the Same

    The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is disappointed at the so-called new directive on worksite enforcement issued by Sec. Napolitano today and announced by a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) press release.  The directive itself has not been made public. The press release announces a new emphasis on criminal prosecutions of employers and expanding coverage […]

  • Gaza Citizens at Risk from Rubbish, Rubble, Unexploded Ordnance

    GAZA CITY, 30 April 2009 (IRIN) — Unexploded ordnance (UXO) and the uncontrolled dumping of rubbish pose the greatest environmental and public health risks to residents of the Gaza Strip, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP).  A further study is planned by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Increased discharges of raw sewage, the contamination […]


    The religious struggle in Berlin which ended Sunday with joy for some and great disappointment for others was primarily a political battle, even though it dealt with schools and religious lessons.  Many Berliners never did understand the complicated issue.  For an outsider to even try, a few German peculiarities need explaining. First of all, church […]

  • The Return of the Shadow

    A talk given at a Left Forum panel, April 2009. It’s spring and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about reincarnation.  If I’m a good adjunct can I come back as a tenured professor?  If I stay a loyal Cub fan, can I come back as a Yankee fan?  Actually, it’s political reincarnation that I’ve […]

  • Roxana Saberi’s Case: How Should the U.S. Respond?

      Q.: Iran is urging President Obama not to comment on Roxana Saberi’s case.  How should the Obama administration proceed at this point? “To be honest with you, as of right now, I think the best thing is just to wait.  President Ahmadinejad announced that they’re gonna give her a fair shot, and I think […]

  • Single Payer: Vast Savings on Bureaucracy and Profits

    Testimony of David U. Himmelstein, M.D. before the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee, at the hearing on “Ways to Reduce the Cost of Health Insurance for Employers, Employees, and Their Families,” 23 April 2009 Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee.  My name is David Himmelstein.  I am a primary care doctor in Cambridge, Massachusetts […]

  • The McCarthyism That Horowitz Built: The Cases of Margo Ramlal Nankoe, William Robinson, Nagesh Rao, and Loretta Capeheart

      Earlier this month, the jury in Ward Churchill‘s civil trial against the University of Colorado found, in his favor, that the university had fired him because of critical remarks he made after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  While Churchill awaits a hearing on his ongoing employment at the university, this victory is […]

  • Chrysler’s Plan?  Send Pay and Standards Down the Drain

      The media consensus is that union auto workers escaped the government-imposed restructuring of their industry basically unharmed, exchanging a few dings for control of the companies.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Chrysler retirees — like me — were assured in 2007 that our retiree health care benefits, funded through the Voluntary Employee […]

  • Horses, Stocks, and Booze: Calculating the Losses of the Financial Crisis

    Kate’s is a local bar in a far northeast corner of the Bronx.  During the day, elderly patrons wash away their remaining years in a sea of booze-inspired camaraderie.  I peek in sometimes as much from curiosity as to remind myself of a future I hope to avoid.  A few years back someone changed the […]

  • Troubled Assets: The IMF’s Latest Projections for Economic Growth in the Western Hemisphere

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published its latest projections for economic growth around the world.1  At first glance, the IMF projections for Latin America seem unlikely.  The IMF has a lengthy record of biased projections of growth in the region2 and has been consistently underestimating growth in countries such as Argentina and Venezuela, which […]

  • Israel, Palestine, and Queers

      On January 28, little more than a week after Israel concluded its brutal military campaign against the Gaza Strip, James Kirchick published the latest installment ( in his growing corpus of articles about tolerant, gay-friendly Israel and homophobic, “Islamofascist” Palestine.  Although Kirchick has published essentially the same article under different titles — “Palestine and […]

  • Lighter Moment: Pushing the Boundaries of Public Awareness

    I thought I should share some of the more amusing efforts at promoting public awareness (in America) about human rights issues.  This was sparked by the ‘Save Darfur petfood bowl’ which has the slogan, ‘If we don’t speak up we become accomplices.’  Are dogs and cats part of the caring public?  And what, one wonders, […]

  • How Can We Raise Awareness in Darfur of How Much We’re Doing for Them?

      This video was first released by The Onion in 2007, but, as Mia Farrow, who wants Blackwater in Darfur, goes on a hunger strike for Darfur, it is worth watching it again.  See, also, “African Children Given 30,000 Unused ‘Save Darfur’ T-Shirts” (The Onion, 17 November 2006); and “Aid Workers Stealing Children” (The Onion, […]

  • The Immigration System: Maybe Not So Broken

    David Bacon, Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants, Beacon Press, 2008.  Hardcover, 261 pages, $26.95. With the Obama administration reportedly set to push for immigration reform this year, the debate on immigration seems likely to start up again.  If it’s anything like the debate we got from the mainstream media in previous […]

  • What Would You Do If the Government Confiscated Your Computer?

    Let me cut down to the chase.  We have just learned that a number of Israeli peace activists have had their computers confiscated, have been called for interrogations, and have only been released upon signing agreements not to contact their political friends for 30 days.  We are asking you to contact the Israeli Attorney General […]

  • Economy Blameless!  No. 1 Cause of Layoffs: Employees!

    Washington and Wall Street breathed a sigh of relief today at news that the economic downturn is not, in fact, responsible for a record 5.1 million job losses and an unemployment rate of 8.5%.  According to a report just released by the Institute for the Advancement of Middle Management and Human Resource Depletion, a bipartisan […]

  • AFL-CIO Excludes Single Payer from Its Health Care Survey

    In an attempt to find out what union members think about the health care crisis and its solution, the AFL-CIO recently asked union members and supporters to complete a health care survey: . The problem with the survey is that it does not present the full range of opinions union members have, and nowhere in […]

  • Deepening Crisis, Growing Resistance: Workers in Turkey

    When the global crisis of capitalism first broke out in 2008, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said: “Hopefully, this crisis will touch Turkey like a tangent line.”  Touched by the crisis, Turkey’s unemployment rate is already 15.5%, the highest in the history of the republic, the highest in Europe, and among the highest in the world.  […]