Archive | February, 2010

  • Tehran Has No More Pomegranates

    Anyone who has lived in Tehran knows how rapidly it morphs and expands.  One can hardly keep track of the establishments opening or being shut down in a given week or of the buildings being erected in this neighborhood or that.  It is no wonder, then, that Masoud Bakhshi chose in Tehran Has No More […]

  • Housing Market: Tax Credit and Price Trends

    The seasonally adjusted Case-Shiller 20-city index again showed a modest 0.3 percent rise in December.  This index has risen at a 3.2 percent annual rate over the last quarter, although it is down by 3.1 percent over the last year.  There appears to be a growing divergence in price trends in recent data with the […]

  • Why Iran?

    Iran continues to be the privileged member of the “Axis of Evil,” a notion formally but not really abandoned by the United States.  It is accompanied by Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador, in addition to North Korea, among others. Why Iran?  The criteria mentioned by Hillary Clinton make no sense.  Risk of possessing conditions to manufacture […]

  • Science Fiction as a Terrain of Struggle:  A Review of Red Planets

    Mark Bould and China Mieville, editors, Red Planets:  Marxism and Science Fiction (Middletown, CT:  Wesleyan University Press, 2009), 293 pages, $27.95, paperback. Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction is a fascinating book of literary/cinematic criticism and political theory.  It was not, however, the book that I thought it would be.  Red Planets is a collection […]

  • Indigenous Struggles in the Americas: Interview with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, a writer, teacher, historian, and social activist, is Professor Emeritus of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies at California State University. You have been deeply involved in Indigenous peoples’ activism in the United States.  What is the current situation of Indigenous people in the US economically and politically? Decolonization is a difficult and long-term […]

  • Great Britain’s Oil Colonialism in the Malvinas Islands of Argentina

      Great Britain has known about the Malvinas’ hydrocarbon wealth for decades.  The reserves may be worth half a billion dollars. Great Britain’s interest in the Malvinas’ oil dates back to at least 35 years ago.  In 1975, the Crown initiated surveys.  Two exploratory missions between 1998 and 2009 eventually demonstrated its potential. The inclusion […]

  • A Socialist View of Sexuality and Liberation?

    Sherry Wolf.  Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics, and Theory of LGBT Liberation.  Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2009.  333 pp.  $12. The cover photo on Sherry Wolf’s book shows a protest rally with a woman holding a highlighted rainbow flag.  Radical gay and lesbian activists, one assumes.  Look closely, though, and you’ll see that the woman is […]

  • No Tutu Is Big Enough to Cover Up War Crimes

      Burlington, VT, February 19, 2010 — Human rights activists from Vermont, New York and Israel interrupted a performance of the Israel Ballet at the Flynn Theater in Burlington, VT calling attention to the dance company’s complicity in Israeli war crimes. Using two banners that read “No Tutu Is Big Enough to Cover Up War […]

  • Venezuela’s Revolution Faces Crucial Battles

    Decisive battles between the forces of revolution and counter-revolution loom on the horizon in Venezuela. The campaign for the September 26 National Assembly elections will be a crucial battle between the supporters of socialist President Hugo Chavez and the US-backed right-wing opposition. But these battles, part of the class struggle between the poor majority and […]

  • Greenspan Wins Dynamite Prize in Economics

    Alan Greenspan has been judged the economist most responsible for causing the Global Financial Crisis.  He and 2nd and 3rd place finishers, Milton Friedman and Larry Summers, have won the first — and hopefully last — Dynamite Prize in Economics. In awarding the Prize, Edward Fullbrook, editor of the Real World Economics Review, noted that […]

  • Colonialism and Homosexuality

      Robert Aldrich.  Colonialism and Homosexuality.  London and New York: Routledge, 2003.  xii + 436 pp.  Maps, notes, bibliography, and index.  $104.95 US (cl.).  ISBN 0-415-19615-9.  $32.95 (pb.).  ISBN 0-415-19616-7. It is generally seen as a sign of maturity when gay scholarship moves beyond a mere self-affirmative search for “ancestry” and develops a critical and […]

  • Labor Voices for Single Payer: Interview with Jerry Tucker

    Union members who support single-payer health care have a message for Barack Obama: Ditch the compromised health care legislation that congressional Democrats cooked up and take another look at a Medicare-for-all system. When Obama used his State of the Union address to tell people to “let him know” if there’s a better approach that “will […]

  • Divided over the Afghan Issue, the Dutch Government Resigns

      After fourteen hours of negotiations, the Jan Peter Balkenende government failed, on Saturday, 20 February, to agree on whether to maintain the Dutch contingent in Afghanistan.  The Prime Minister announced, in the middle of the night, the resignation of his coalition, which included his party the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), the (social democrat) Labor […]

  • Letter from Ofer Military Prison: “Missing the Five-year Anniversary of Our Struggle in Bil’in Will Be Like Missing the Birthday of One of My Children”

    It has been two months now since I was handcuffed, blindfolded and taken from my home. Today news has reached Ofer Military Prison that the apartheid wall on Bil’in’s land will finally be moved and construction has begun on the new route. This will return half of the land that was stolen from our village. For those of us in Ofer, imprisoned for our protest against the wall, this victory makes the suffering of being here easier to bear. After actively resisting the theft of our land by the Israeli apartheid wall and settlements every week for five years now, we long to be standing alongside our brothers and sisters to mark this victory and the fifth anniversary of our struggle.

  • Dead Aid: A Critical Reading

    Dambisa Moyo was no doubt an excellent student.  Unfortunately, she is a product of the conventional economics curriculum, which is great if one is to embark on a career at the World Bank or Goldman Sachs.  She attempts a radical critique of ‘aid’ but sadly she is not up to the task, her noble intentions […]

  • Flying with a Foreign Language

      College student Nick George was handcuffed, interrogated, and jailed for hours at the airport when he tried to bring English-Arabic flash cards on the plane to study on his flight back to school.  Now he is an ACLU plaintiff. “First she asked me about how I felt about 911. . . . I thought […]

  • Core Prices Fall for the First Time in 27 Years

    The consumer price index rose 0.2 percent in January as energy prices continue to drive a wedge between the overall and core rates.  Energy prices jumped 2.8 percent (a 40 percent annualized rate) in January.  The core index of inflation, however, fell 0.1 percent in the month — the first such fall in 27 years. […]

  • The Greek External Debt and Imperialist Rivalries: “One Thief Stealing from Another”

      The current Greek economic crisis has an aspect of ancient tragedy (for the Greek people) mixed with a bad theatrical farce (staged on behalf of the European and the Greek bourgeoisie). The farce comes first.  Till very recently the two establishment parties (the center-left PASOK and the center-right ND) preached that their economic policies […]

  • Chutzpah, Inc.: “The Brave People of Iran” (versus the Disappeared People of Palestine, Honduras, Afghanistan, Etc.)

    It is almost a commonplace, at least for the real — as opposed to the cruise-missile — left, that the flow of information, opinion, and moral indignation in the United States adapts well to the demands of state policy.  If the state is hostile to Iran, even openly trying to engage in “regime change,” and […]

  • How Wars Are Made

    In a visit to Qatar and Saudi Arabia this week, Hillary Clinton said that Iran “is moving toward a military dictatorship” and continued the Administration’s campaign for tougher sanctions against that country. What could America’s top diplomat hope to accomplish with this kind of inflammatory rhetoric?  It seems unlikely that the goal was to support […]