Archive | August, 2009

  • Barrels of Crude and the Price of Pollutants: Power, Environment, and the Petroleum Complex in America’s Energy Capital

      Martin V. Melosi, Joseph A. Pratt, eds.  Energy Metropolis: An Environmental History of Houston and the Gulf Coast.  Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007.  vii + 344 pp.  $27.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-8229-5963-2; $60.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8229-4335-8. Much of the American past is connected to the growth of cities.  Throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth […]

  • The Japanese Elections and the Left

    Decades of increasing poverty, inequality, and insecurity created a powerful backlash against the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito in the 30 August 2009 elections, finally putting an end to Japan’s de facto one-party state.  But the backlash only benefited the social liberal Democratic Party of Japan, which increased its seats from […]

  • Socialism and Welfarism

    Socialism consists not just in building a humane society; it consists not just in the maintenance of full employment (or near full employment together with sufficient unemployment benefits); it consists not just in the creation of a Welfare State, even one that takes care of its citizens “from the cradle to the grave”; it consists […]

  • About No Sex in the City

      Suad Amiry Presents No Sex in the City, 10 October 2007 Suad Amiry Speaks at the Casa Internazionale delle Donne, Roma. January 2009 Suad Amiry, Public Lecture, UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, 8 April 2008 Play now: Excerpt from Ines Gramigna and Virginia Fiume, “Portrait of a Lady: Encounter with Suad Amiry” (Alternative […]

  • Embedded with Organized Labor: An Interview with Steve Early

      Steve Early is a 25-year veteran of the labor movement, journalist, and author of the new book Embedded with Organized Labor (Monthly Review Press, 2009).  His is a voice for a more militant rank-and-file democratic form of trade unionism which attempts to challenge the bosses by re-energizing a mostly dormant labor movement. Kristin Schall: […]

  • American Public Still Ahead of Its Leaders on Foreign Policy

    Americans are famous for not paying much attention to the rest of the world, and it is often said that foreign wars are the way that we learn geography.  But most often it is not the people who have little direct experience outside their own country that are the problem, but rather the experts. The […]

  • Fruits in Our Backyard

    Click to enlarge. Hillary, another fruit has already fallen in our “backyard”! Allan McDonald is a Honduran cartoonist.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at]

  • It is the Time of Mobilization, of Marching Together

    This Reflection is not addressed to the governments but to the fraternal peoples of Latin America.

  • Money

      “Children are dying, spies and spying, Refugees are fleeing, politicians are lying, And deals are done and webs are spun, Laws keep the third world on the run.” Click here to download “Money” in MP3. Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah, born and raised in Birmingham, England, is a poet.  Rejecting the appointment as an officer […]

  • The Reality Behind Economic “Recovery”

    Mid-August, 2009, was a peculiar time in the US economy.   Wall Street, big banks, and the media were mostly celebrating “economic recovery.”  Meanwhile, average Americans were suffering record levels of unemployment, job insecurities, home foreclosures, personal debt anxieties, and the upsets, tensions, and angers that inevitably result.  One economist referred to the US as “one […]

  • Immigration Past, Immigration Present: Confronting the Internal “Other” in Europe

      Oliver Grant.  Migration and Inequality in Germany.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005.  416 pp.  $190.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-19-927656-1. Leo Lucassen.  The Immigrant Threat: The Integration of Old and New Migrants in Western Europe since 1850.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005.  296 pp.  $25.00 (paper), ISBN 978-0-252-07294-9. Elia Morandi.  Italiener in Hamburg: Migration, Arbeit und […]

  • The Soldier and the Road

      Nahid Ghobadi has directed five short films (Closed Circle, First Journey, Build Our Homeland, Last Fever, and A Simple Excuse for Happiness).  She was Script Supervisor of Turtles Can Fly, Assistant Director of Marooned in Iraq, and Co-editor of Half Moon.  She is also a published poet.  This film, released in 2008, was written, […]

  • The Gay Electronic Intifada of Lebanon

    “Intifada” is Arabic for uprising.  People of the Lebanese gay community and their supporters are working very hard on their own intifada of supporting LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexual, and Queer) people and defeating homophobia.  A lot of this work is being done by Helem and Meem.  I personally work with Helem (“Dream” in […]

  • Abd el-Hadi Fights a Superpower

      In his life he neither wrote nor read. In his life he didn’t cut down a single tree, didn’t slit the throat of a single calf. In his life he did not speak of the New York Times behind its back, didn’t raise his voice to a soul except in his saying: “Come in, […]

  • Decentralized Despotism and Its Discontents

      Lungisile Ntsebeza.  Democracy Compromised: Chiefs and the Politics of the Land in South Africa.  Leiden: Brill, 2005.  300 pp.  $38.00 (paper), ISBN 978-90-04-14482-8. One central question forms the backbone for this local study of governance in a rural district of the Eastern Cape: how is it that the chiefs and headmen, many of whom […]

  • U.S. Continues to Provide Honduran Regime with MCC Aid Money, Despite Having Cut Off Other Countries Following Coups

    The U.S. continues to provide the coup regime in Honduras with tens of millions of dollars in aid money through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), despite having cut off MCC assistance to Mauritania and Madagascar following coups d’etat in those countries, the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) describes in a new issue brief. […]

  • Stop the Shutdown: UAW NUMMI Toyota Fremont Workers Speak Out

    Hundreds of UAW Local 2244 NUMMI Toyota auto and truck workers and their families on 20 August 2009 protested the possible closure of their plant in Fremont, California.  Over 4,600 plant workers would lose their jobs, and so would 35,000 other workers throughout California, including many parts workers as well as ILWU members and Teamsters.  […]

  • The “Cosmopolitan Century”: European Re-Membering

      Natan Sznaider.  Gedächtnisraum Europa: Die Visionen des europäischen Kosmopolitismus; eine jüdische Perspektive.   Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2008.  153 pp.  EUR 16.90 (paper), ISBN 978-3-89942-692-2. As Europe moves into the twenty-first century, its search for a shared identity continues to occupy academic journals, the feuilleton pages, and Eurocrats eager to underwrite a by-and-large successful administrative […]

  • What Is Cosmopolitanism?

      Chris Rumford, ed. Cosmopolitanism and Europe.  Studies in Social and Political Thought.  Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2007.  272 pp.  $85.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-84631-046-1; $30.00 (paper), ISBN 978-1-84631-047-8. Rebecca L. Walkowitz.  Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation.  New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.  248 pp.  $45.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-231-13750-8. These two explorations of cosmopolitanism from quite […]

  • Muslim in America: Identity and Isolation

    An early morning flight to D.C., day-long conference and empty cityscape drained me of energy. Exhausted, I stepped out of my nondescript hotel into the street and felt a heavy air pregnant with moisture.  Heading down the sidewalk to find dinner, I came across the shadow of a man who had the unmistakable gait of […]