Archive | April, 2010

  • Fund Public Education through Corporate Taxation

      The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is facing a $30 million shortfall for the 2010-11 budget.  To add to the bad news, an assessment prepared by Durrant Engineering indicates that the district faces approximately $86 million in “pressing maintenance needs.”1  According to the budget summary, Since 1993, the Madison School District has created efficiencies […]

  • “It’s All about Reconciliation”

      I had the opportunity to sit for a conversation with the Swiss philosopher Tariq Ramadan at the end of the 2009 meeting of the American Academy of Religion in Montreal.  Ramadan is a public intellectual who has been a figure of both much praise and much condemnation, occasioned by controversial statements and positions that […]

  • Israel’s Shock Doctrine

      Shlomo Swirski, Economist, Adva Center: The government cut its yearly budget for four consecutive years.  The cuts were very severe.  They hit the school system, universities, the health system, and, more than anything else, the social security system.  So, within two years the level of the poverty rate for families jumped from 17 to […]

  • What Is Normal?

    Danny Postel quotes journalist Afshin Molavi: “Iranian youth largely dismiss the radical ideas of their parents’ generation, full of half-baked leftism, Marxist economics, Third-World anti-imperialism, Islamist radicalism and varying shades of utopian totalitarianism.  ‘We just want to be normal,’ is typical of what hundreds of students have told me.  ‘We are tired of radicalism.’” . […]

  • Birth of a Nation

      Martin Axmann.  Back to the Future: The Khanate of Kalat and the Genesis of Baloch Nationalism 1915-1955.  Oxford University Press, 2009. In a country where nationality is defined in terms of religion and religion alone, “the Baloch nation” can hardly find a legitimate space, even as a term of reference.  There is no notion […]

  • Thai Royalist Tyrants Use Violence to Cling to Power

    The gang of royalist tyrants: Abhisit’s Democrat Party, the military, the palace, and the bureaucratic elites can cling to power only through violence and lies.  As they use armed troops and tanks against pro-democracy demonstrators in Bangkok for the fifth time in forty years, the tyrants hope that a blanket of censorship throughout Thailand will […]

  • How Far Would the Western Media Go for Their Love of Cuban Criminals?

    Journalist: “What is the name of your husband who you say is a political prisoner?” Lady in White: “Jack the Ripper.” Tomás Rafael Rodríguez Zayas (Tomy) is a Cuban cartoonist. This cartoon was published by Cambios en Cuba on 25 March 2010.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] | | Print

  • Asia-Pacific Socialists Show Solidarity with Thailand’s Red Shirts

      Thailand: Resolve the Crisis through Democracy, Not Crackdown 10 April 2010 We are deeply concerned over the current situation in Thailand where military-backed Prime Minister Ahbisit Vejjajiva has declared a state of emergency and started a bloody crackdown amidst escalating protests calling for fresh election. The situation is worrying as the Thai government closes […]

  • Comrade Jarrar: Palestinian Political Strategy Must Support Our People’s Resistance

    Comrade Khalida Jarrar, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, called for the development of a united Palestinian strategy that strengthens Palestinian resistance and rejects the failed and dangerous path of negotiations with the occupation. In an interview on April 8, 2010 with Jerusalem News Net, Comrade Jarrar […]

  • Why Are American Jewish Groups So Intent on Defending Illegal Israeli Settlements and Other Human Rights Violations?

      A coalition of nearly 20 Jewish groups, ranging from the right-wing David Project and the Jewish National Fund to the liberal J Street, is distributing a misleading statement condemning a Student Senate bill at UC Berkeley.  The ground-breaking bill calls for divestment from companies that profit from the perpetuation of the Israeli military occupation […]

  • Open Letter to German Left Party (Die Linke)

    Dear Friends, This letter is being sent to you by citizens of the state of Israel who are active in various Left groups and on a variety of topics throughout Israel/Palestine, including human rights, ecology, peace, support for refugees, social justice, workers’ rights, feminism, and queer struggles.  We are struggling within our country and our […]

  • U.S. Covering Up Reality in Honduras

    Jesse Freeston, Producer, The Real News Network: Since the inauguration of Pepe Lobo as the president of Honduras on January 27, the US State Department has been the new government’s most vocal supporter, urging the region to follow the US lead in restoring relations with the Honduran government, relations that were largely cut after the […]

  • The 9th Congress of the Young Communist League of Cuba

    I had the privilege of following directly the voices, images, ideas, arguments, faces, reactions and applause of the delegates taking part in the final session of the 9th Congress of the Young Communist League of Cuba held at the Convention Center last Sunday, April 4. The TV cameras show details from much better angles and […]

  • U.S. Fighting Losing Battles Against National Self-Determination

    Of all the misunderstandings that guide U.S. foreign policy — including foreign commercial policy — perhaps the most important and long-lasting is the failure to recognize or understand what national self-determination means to most people in the world.  Or why it might be important to them.  Our leaders seem to have learned very little since […]

  • Thailand: Time for Fresh Elections

    After the military-backed Democrat Party government of Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency and issued arrest warrants for pro-democracy Red Shirt leaders, the government has attempted to close down all internet and satellite media or websites which don’t tow the government line. Since late March the Red Shirts have been holding peaceful and disciplined […]

  • Media Manipulation

    “Teacher, what does ‘media manipulation’ mean?” “For example: five journalists are murdered in Honduras, and transnational media corporations report: ‘Calm in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans’; a common prisoner commits suicide in Cuba, and they say: ‘Tsunami in the Caribbean!’” Tomás Rafael Rodríguez Zayas (Tomy) is a Cuban cartoonist. This cartoon was published by Cambios en […]

  • “Whatever You Want”

      This past July in Tehran, I went to see Tehran Has No More Pomegranates at Azadi Cinema, which was excellent.  As I walked out of the theater, I realized that my cellphone had dropped out of my pocket.  When I went back inside to find it, the ticket collector had me sit in the […]

  • In Paris, the Turkish Prime Minister Holds Fast to His Positions on Iran and Israel

      Turkey has its own vision on the issues of international security.  On Iran, the Middle East, and nuclear proliferation, it has made itself the voice of the Muslim opinion which sees Israel as the chief troublemaker.  A member of the NATO and candidate for the European Union, led since 2002 by the “moderate Islamists” […]

  • Tony Judt and the Limits of Social Democracy

    Tony Judt.  Ill Fares the Land.  The Penguin Press, 2010.  237 pp.  $25.95. In December, the New York Review of Books transcribed an October 2009 speech delivered by the eminent historian Tony Judt at New York University under the title “What Is Living and What Is Dead in Social Democracy?”  A major address by Judt […]

  • Russia’s Limits on Iran Sanctions

    Obama Administration officials have been touting for some time that they have Russia “on board” for a new United Nations Security Council resolution imposing sanctions against Iran over the nuclear issue.  We, of course, have been arguing for months that, while Russia would probably end up supporting a new sanctions resolution, Moscow would not support […]