Archive | April, 2009

  • The Global Financial Community

    Lenin in Imperialism had talked about a financial oligarchy presiding over vast amounts of money capital through its control over banks and using this capital for diverse purposes, such as industry; speculation; real estate business; and buying bonds, including of foreign governments.  The finance capital that Lenin was talking about belonged to particular powerful nations; […]

  • The Case of Dr. Binayak Sen: “Punishment by Trial” Threatens Democracy

    The text of a letter written by the venerable Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, former Supreme Court Judge, to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, dated April 17, 2009: I would like to bring to your attention a case of grave injustice which is a cause of much shame to Indian democracy: that of Dr. Binayak Sen, […]

  • Wretched Conditions of Syrian Workers in Lebanon

    Rights and labor groups say almost all the estimated 300,000 Syrians working in Lebanon have no official status, often endure dangerous conditions, and earn about US$300 a month doing jobs shunned by most Lebanese. In 2006, the Labor Ministry issued just 471 work permits to Syrian nationals, meaning the remainder worked unregistered.  According to 2008 […]

  • Obama and the Blockade

    Yesterday I referred to what was funny about the “Declaration of Commitment of Port of Spain”.

  • Trade Union Leader Bala Tampoe on the Sri Lankan War

    Al Jazeera reports today that “the Sri Lankan government has given them [Tamil Tigers] till noon on Tuesday to surrender or face further military action. . . .  It’s not known how many civilians are trapped inside the Tamil Tigers’ last stronghold.  The government here in Colombo put it at around 60,000.  The United Nations […]

  • How to Disappear Completely

      “We know today is an important day in Argentina, which marks the 33rd anniversary of the military coup d’état.  We’d like to dedicate the following song to all the victims who suffered, to those who lost their loved ones, to those who were imprisoned and tortured, to those who were disappeared. . . .  […]

  • Excessive Liquidity Preference

    Any recession by definition is associated with an excessive liquidity preference.  An ex ante excess supply of goods and services, i.e. the demand for goods and services falling short of the base output at the base prices corresponding to that output, which is what a recession is, must be associated with an ex ante excess […]

  • Philippines: Illegal Abortions — the Risks and the Misery

    MANILA, 21 April 2009 (IRIN) – When Jocelyn Cruz, 36, fell pregnant with her seventh child she decided the family could not afford another baby and tried to induce an abortion by jumping up and down. “When nothing happened, I started banging my stomach against the window.  It was painful,” she recalled.  Finally, Jocelyn lost […]

  • Argentina Remembers: Mobilizations Mark 33rd Anniversary of Military Coup

    The weekend that the hemisphere’s Presidents met in Trinidad at the Summit of the Americas marked the same weekend that Cuba defeated the US in the Bay of Pigs invasion 48 years ago.  At the Summit, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega recalled the invasion in a speech that rightly criticized US imperialism throughout the 20th century.  […]

  • Feverish Dreams

    I could find no explanation for the euphoria expressed by some of the participants at the Port of Spain Summit.

  • Civilians Suffer in Sri Lanka Conflict

      Lucy Keating: “This video sent to Al Jazeera by Tamil sources shows what is supposed to be a no-fire zone, an area to keep civilians safe as war rages around them, but the war is here, too — it’s everywhere.  Medics say that in the last two days 28 civilians have been killed and […]

  • Homage to Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

      A great American theorist and intellectual Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, one of the founders of queer theory and the author of Epistemology of the Closet, Between Men, and Tendencies among other books and articles, died on the night of Sunday, 12 April 2009.  To pay homage to her, I posed questions to two of her […]

  • Israel Forcefully Condemned at UN Conference against Racism

      The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attended the conference to condemn the Israeli government’s brutal and repressive policy against the Palestinians.  The European delegates walked out when he called the government of Israel “racist,” but the Latin Americans stayed.  The United States and eight other countries boycotted the event. The Israeli government’s stance against […]

  • Humanitarian Blues

      Conor Foley, The Thin Blue Line: How Humanitarianism Went to War, Verso, 2008. All is not well within the world of humanitarian aid organisations.  In his new book, The Thin Blue Line, Conor Foley, an experienced aid worker, discusses many of the problems associated with the burgeoning relationship between contemporary aid organisations and recent […]

  • In Memory of Victims of State Violence

    “Do you still maintain your story that the death of Ian Tomlinson was due to natural causes?” “Of course!  Isn’t it natural that you die when your get beaten and get your guts busted?” “God save the Banks!” This cartoon was published by Rebelión on 20 April 2009.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi […]

  • The Secret Summit

    While neither represented at nor excommunicated from the Port of Spain Summit we were able to find out what has been discussed there up until today. We were led to fully expect that the meeting would not be private, but the stage managers deprived us of that highly interesting intellectual exercise. We would be informed of the essence, but not the tone of voice, nor the eyes, nor the faces which so much reflect people’s ideas, ethics and characters. A Secret Summit is worse than the silent movies. To Obama’s left was a man whom I could not identify very well when he placed his hand on Obama’s shoulder, like an eight-year-old school student to a compañero in the first row. Beside him, standing, another member of the retinue who interrupted him to talk with the president of the United States; I could see in those persons importuning him the stamp of an oligarchy that has never experienced hunger and which, in the powerful nation of Obama, expect to have the shield to protect the system from the feared social changes.

  • “What about Cuba, Mr. Obama?”

    Barack Obama hopes to be received differently at the summit in Trinidad and Tobago: he can talk about the crisis, his administration’s new positions on Iraq and Iran, and any number of other things, but he can’t escape the fact that what matters most is his position on Cuba. The imperial vision of the United […]

  • Fifth Summit of the Americas

    Fifth Summit of the Americas “Grandpa, doesn’t Cuba belong to the Americas?” “Yes, sonny, it does, but not to the Americans.” Pedro Méndez Suárez is a Cuban cartoonist.  The cartoon was published by Rebelión.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at]

  • Eduardo Galeano’s Book Soars to No. 1 after Being Gifted to Obama by Chávez

    The Best Seller in a Matter of Hours Open Veins of Latin America, a book by Eduardo Galeano, soared from No. 54,295 to No.1 once the Venezuelan leader gave a copy of it to his US counterpart at the Fifth Summit of the Americas. The sales rank of the English version of Las venas […]

  • Debt and Drought Drive Indian Farmers to Mass Suicide

      See, also, Shubhranshu Choudhary, “‘All Idiot Farmers Commit Suicide’” (Down to Earth, 15 April 2009). This program was broadcast by Press TV on 16 April 2009.