Archive | July, 2009

  • Iran’s Green Protesters: “Death to China!  Death to Russia!”

    Mousavi, Rafsanjani, and their supporters get an F in foreign policy: “‘Death to China!’ and ‘Death to Russia!’ chanted supporters of presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi during a sermon by influential former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, according to news reports” (Kristen Chick, Christian Science Monitor, 17 July 2009). “Death to China!  Death to Russia!” […]

  • Not Your Grandfather’s Labor History

      Robert Cassanello, Melanie Shell-Weiss, eds.  Florida’s Working-Class Past: Current Perspectives on Labor, Race, and Gender from Spanish Florida to the New Immigration.  Working in the Americas Series.  Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2008.  320 pp.  $69.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8130-3283-2. Once upon a time, but within this reviewer’s scholarly lifetime, the primary focus of labor […]

  • Honduran Coup — Made in Washington

    15 July 2009 The Department of State had prior knowledge of the coup. The Department of State and the US Congress funded and advised the actors and organizations in Honduras that participated in the coup. The Pentagon trained, schooled, commanded, funded, and armed the Honduran armed forces that perpetrated the coup and that continue to […]

  • June Price Data Sends Mixed Signals on Inflation

    The jump in prices, combined with flat nominal wages, means real wages are falling. The overall CPI rose by 0.7 percent in June, driven by a 7.4 percent jump in energy prices.  It has now risen at a 3.3 percent annual rate over the last quarter, compared with a decline of 1.4 percent over the […]

  • The PRI’s Election Victory: A New Political Era in Mexico

    Back to the past — and with a landslide.  The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) which for 70 years, from 1928 to 2000, ruled Mexico as a one-party state won a decisive victory in the mid-term elections on July 5.  The PRI’s victory represented a defeat both for the conservative economic and social policies of President […]

  • Pro-War Left in Germany?

      Klaus Lederer, leader of the Left Party in Germany, at an 11 January 2009 pro-Israel demonstration titled “Solidarity with Israel — Against the Terrorism of Hamas” On this coming Thursday (16 July 2009), the leader of the left-wing party in Berlin, Klaus Lederer, will speak at the offices of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in […]

  • Homeownership: The Fast Path to Poverty

    Price declines have been sharpest at the bottom end of the market. The collapse of the housing bubble has put downward pressure on house prices in all segments of the housing market, but the more moderate end has been by far the hardest hit.  In former bubble markets, houses in the bottom third of the […]

  • Who Needs an Islamic State?

    Abdelwahab El-Affendi is a well-known Islamic scholar and political philosopher from Sudan, presently based in London.  Author of numerous works, his latest book, provocatively titled Who Needs an Islamic State? discusses what he regards as the serious lacunae in contemporary Islamist political thought, which, in his view, have caused Islamist movements to reach a virtual […]

  • On the Increasingly Complex Relationship between Immigration Policy and (Inter)national Security

    Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia, Simon Reich, eds.  Immigration, Integration, and Security: America and Europe in Comparative Perspective.   The Security Continuum: Global Politics in the Modern Age.  Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008.  xi + 480 pp.  $65.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8229-4344-0; $27.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-8229-5984-7. Migration and security have always been linked, but, as Ariane Chebel […]

  • Honduras: Coup Leaders Hire Top Democrat Lobbyists to Justify Their De Facto Government

    July 13, 2009 Things are getting worse each day inside Honduras.  Over the weekend, two well-known social leaders were assassinated by the coup forces.  Roger Bados leader of the Bloque Popular & the National Resistance Front against the coup d’etat, was killed in the northern city of San Pedro Sula.  Approximately at 8pm on Saturday […]

  • Iran, O House of Hope

      ایران ای سرای امید On 17 June 2009, Mehr News reported that Mohammad Reza Shajarian wrote a letter to Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Managing Director Ezzatollah Zarghami, objecting to the airing of his works on Iranian state TV and radio: “As you know, IRIB repeatedly airs my epic songs particularly ‘O Iran, O […]

  • U.S. Press Falsely Claims Honduran Plurality for Coup

    Did a CID-Gallup poll last week indicate that a plurality of Hondurans support the military coup against democratically elected President Zelaya?  Yes, according to the Washington Post (July 9), the Wall Street Journal (July 10), the Christian Science Monitor (July 11), and Reuters (July 9), which all reported that the poll showed 41% in favor […]

  • Against Tolerance: Islam, Sexuality, and the Politics of Belonging in the Netherlands

      The Slovenian philosopher and sociologist Slavoj Zizek argues that tolerance constitutes a mystifying discourse veiling what is really at the heart of political and social struggle.  There is good reason, Zizek argues, that someone like Martin Luther King didn’t make use of the concept.  The struggle against racism is not a struggle for tolerance, […]

  • Recapturing the Middle Ground: “Reasonable Belief” in the European Enlightenment

      David Jan Sorkin.  The Religious Enlightenment: Protestants, Jews, and Catholics from London to Vienna.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008.  xv + 339 pp.  $35.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-691-13502-1. On January 14, 1791, the Comte de Mirabeau delivered a speech to the National Assembly in defense of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, the controversial project […]

  • Artists in Resistance: For the Defense of Democracy in Honduras

    Artists mobilize again to repudiate the coup d’état and the de facto government in Honduras, in what we shall call the Plaza of Resistance, where Isis Obed Murillo was murdered on the 5th of July. 11 July 2009 Red Lésbica Cattrachas is a lesbian feminist group.  For more information, contact Cattrachas general coordinator Indyra M. […]

  • “Iranian-Americans” Rally (with Tom Tancredo) in Front of White House to Demand “Complete Sanctions” on Iran

    These protesters that the Associated Press chose to label just “Iranian-Americans” (see below) are the Mojahedin (one of whose front groups the “National Coalition of Pro-Democracy Advocates” is as you can plainly see from its Web site promoting the cause of “Iranian Opposition Members in Camp Ashraf, Iraq“), Republicans, and their “useful idiots” who have […]

  • Welfare Reform (the Wisconsin Plan) in Israel

    Since 2005, Israel has implemented a “welfare to work” program (dubbed the Wisconsin Plan) that serves primarily to punish and further impoverish the country’s most vulnerable residents, particularly Palestinians, Mizrahis, and ultra-orthodox Jewish religious families. This video was brought online by the Alternative Information Center on 1 July 2009.

  • After the Iranian Uprising

    Even before the crisis over the election outcome broke, the prognosis for Iran in the coming year was not good.  Back in October oil prices had started to fall and the contractionary measures taken by the Central Bank several months earlier to rein in inflation had slowed the economy.  Last year, Iran’s imports had soared […]

  • Interview with Argentine Economist Claudio Katz: “The Solution to the Crisis of Capitalism Has to Be Political”

      The exit from the systemic crisis of capitalism needs to be political, and “a socialist project can mature in this turbulence.”  So says the Argentine economist, philosopher, and sociologist Claudio Katz, who also warns that the “global economic situation is very serious and is going to have to hit bottom, and now we are […]

  • Anatomy of the Golpe in Honduras: Interview with Manuel Antonio Villa

    On my last day in Tegucigalpa, I conducted an interview with writer/documentarian Manuel Antonio Villa, 37, who for the last seven years has traveled through his country studying the economic circumstances of the peasantry and the workers.  For Villa, Honduras has entered a new, revolutionary era, while the golpe against Mel Zelaya has commenced a […]