Archive | November, 2009

  • A Science Fiction Story

    How I regret having to criticize Obama, knowing that in that country there are other potential presidents worse than him. I understand that in the United States that office is currently a tremendous headache. Perhaps nothing could explain it better than the information in yesterday’s Granma that 237 members of the U.S. Congress; in other […]

  • Good Cop, Bad Cop Strategy? Clinton Appoints Former Embassy Hostage as Point Person on Iran

    When the Iranian Revolution exploded on the world scene three decades ago, John Limbert was a greenhorn diplomat assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.  After that station was taken over by revolutionary students, he spent 14 months as a political hostage in the building that came to be known as the “Nest of Spies.” […]

  • Academic Freedom in Name and Practice at Purdue

    If you were to wander about campus asking students at Purdue about the distinguished professor of education and senior university scholar at the University of Illinois in Chicago who was invited to speak at Purdue, or about the Cummings-Perrucci Annual Lecture on Class, Race, and Gender Inequality’s inaugural presentation on the challenges facing urban schools, […]

  • The Failure of Capitalism after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Interview with Victor Grossman

    Play now: “Not everybody is happy about what happened after the Wall went down.  In fact, it’s often referred to in East Germany not as German reunification but as West German annexation or even colonization, because the economy in East Germany took a nosedive after the two joined, the East and the West joined — […]

  • A Failed Economy

      Amandla: Early in 2009 you published your book The Great Financial Crisis (coauthored with Fred Magdoff).  Could you reflect now almost a year later on what made the current recession more severe than previous recessions?  Why has it been compared to the Great Depression and what type of recovery are we likely to see? […]

  • Obama’s Game

    . . . toward the Grand Prize This cartoon was published by Contra Ratón on 3 August 2009.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] | | Print

  • Women under Occupation

      “When you look at conflict zones, in all conflict zones, you see that the more militarized our spaces and our places, the more violence against women increases. . . .  This constant anxiety and uncertainty, living in constant uncertainty changes the entire life, especially of a woman. . . .  Domestic violence increases, patriarchal, […]

  • Green Shoots, Profits, and Great Depressions (or Recessions)

    In the months following the outbreak of the financial crisis in late 2007, the general climate among economists and economic commentators was kind of a stupor.  Mainstream economists and conservative politicians — who had clamored for decades for the government to keep its hands off the economy, for balanced budgets, and for taxes as low […]

  • Questioning Assumptions about Gender and the Legacy of the GDR

      If we examine the status of women strictly from the socioeconomic perspective, this portrayal of reunification [as the silencing in which traces of the East German social, cultural, and ideological framework were erased and replaced by the Western capitalist social, economic, and cultural framework] seems apt.  Indeed, scholars persistently describe the reunification as a […]

  • U.S. Public Diplomacy toward Iran: Structures, Actors, and Policy Communities

      Abstract: This dissertation is an in-depth study of the structures, actors, and policy communities associated with U.S. public diplomacy toward Iran.  Since 2006, the U.S. government has spent more than $200 million for its Iran-related public diplomacy via State Department “democracy promotion” programs, National Endowment for Democracy, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.  These […]

  • The Fall of the Wall

    I hate to sound like the grouchy Grinch.  Here in Berlin radio and TV are celebrating the Fall of the Wall twenty years ago so intensively there’s hardly a moment for the weather report, which, unfortunately for all the planned events, turned out nasty and rainy.  From my window I just watched the fireworks’ brave […]

  • Gay Muslims Need Support from Other Muslims

      Some religious communities are not reciprocating the tolerance and respect they insist on from others when it comes to gay rights, particularly in Muslim and some Christian communities.  That seemed to be the bleak message at the heart of To Be Straight with You, which was performed at the O’Reilly Theatre in Dublin last […]

  • Palestinians Mark the Fall of the Berlin Wall by Taking Down the Wall on Their Land

    “On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, hundreds of demonstrators from across the West Bank convened in Qalandiya to demand the immediate dismantling of Israel’s wall.  In a dramatic turn of events, protesters managed to tip over a section of the wall, opening a passage in this strategic and symbolic location […]

  • “Obama’s Foreign Policy Report Card”: Juan Cole Grades His President — and Very Positively 

    Juan Cole’s very positive report card for President Barack Obama’s foreign policy is a bit shocking, given his knowledge and frequent enlightening comments.  (“Obama’s Foreign Policy Report Card,” Salon, October 27, 2009.1)  “[Obama] receives his lowest grade for his failure to force America’s chattering classes to take notice,” Cole judges — policy issues resolve into […]

  • The Rescue of the “System”

    This cartoon was first published by Rebelión on 8 November 2009.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] | | Print

  • Counter-Intelligent Agents

    You may have heard that a Pennsylvania district attorney recently dropped all charges against two anarchists who were accused of using Twitter last September at the G-20 summit protests, to keep activists informed of police arrests and surveillance. But the federal government remains on this case, in the wake of an FBI search of the […]

  • Can Ahmadinejad End the Nuclear Dispute?

      The Iranian nuclear crisis has been on the international agenda for nearly eight years now.  At the heart of the matter is Iran’s insistence on its right under the IAEA protocols to uranium enrichment, and international concern lest the Islamic regime acquire the capability to develop nuclear weapons should it decide to embark on […]

  • Philadelphia Strikers and the Media

      In Philadelphia, thousands of striking SEPTA transportation workers and members of the Transport Workers Union Local 234 are facing persistent attacks by politicians and the media.  NPR’s initial coverage of the strike seemed largely aimed at inciting tension between commuters and the striking workers.  It even gave credence to Mayor Michael Nutter’s absurd criticism: […]

  • 21,000 Okinawans Protest US Bases

    Over 21,000 people in Okinawa protested on Sunday to demand the removal of the US bases from the prefecture, criticizing the plan to only relocate the Futenma US air base from its current location of Ginowan City to the Henoko district of Nago City, also in Okinawa.  US President Barack Obama is scheduled to arrive […]

  • Egypt: Nearly a Third of Children Malnourished

    Despite a number of positive economic indicators, Egypt has a hunger problem: Nearly a third of all children are malnourished, according to a new report compiled by the Ministry of Health and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The Egyptian Demographic Health Survey (EDHS) 2008, published in March 2009, recorded a 6 percent increase in undernourishment […]