Archive | November, 2010

  • Certified Right-Wing Extremists Set to Take Control of House Foreign Affairs Panels

    In the early years of the past decade, two hard-line Cold Warriors, closely associated with radical right-wing Cuban exile groups in Florida, occupied strategic positions in the U.S. foreign policy machine.  Otto Reich, former head of the Reagan administration’s “black propaganda” operations in Central America, and Roger Noriega, co-author of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, took […]

  • Santiago Sierra Says No

    Santiago Sierra (Madrid, 1966), an internationally recognized Spanish artist, has just rejected the “Spanish National Prize for Visual Arts,” writing a letter to Culture Minister Ángeles González-Sinde, who, in the Rodríguez Zapatero administration, represents the interests of media magnates.  See below Sierra’s original letter to the minister, dated “Madrid, Brumaire 2010” (the month straddling October […]

  • Economy Adds 151,000 Jobs In October, But Employment Rate Falls

    Nominal wages have risen at a 2.2 percent annual rate over the last quarter. The establishment survey showed the economy adding 151,000 jobs in October, the biggest rise since May.  The 159,000 increase in private sector employment was the second-largest monthly rise of the recovery.  Although the rate of job growth is about 50,000 more […]

  • A Modest Proposal for Overcoming the Euro Crisis

    It is now abundantly clear that each and every response by the eurozone (EZ) to the galloping sovereign debt crisis has been consistently underwhelming.  This includes the joint EZ-IMF operation, back in May, to “rescue” Greece and, in short order, the quite remarkable overnight formation of a so-called “special vehicle” (officially the European Financial Stability […]

  • The US to Gaza Initiative and the Hillel Controversy at Rutgers

    Last night I attended a fundraiser for the US to Gaza mission that intends to bring humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.  It was an incredible success.  About 350 mostly young people had crowded the hall, most of whom stayed on past 10 pm to listen to the invited speakers. The presence of so […]

  • The Tea Party

    The Tea Party: The Atavistic Wing of the Republican Party Eneko Las Heras, born in Caracas in 1963, is a cartoonist based in Spain.  This cartoon was first published on his blog . . . Y sin embargo se mueve on 5 November 2010. | Print

  • Taking the Measure of Rot

    I gave this talk at a very good conference, New Deal/No Deal, at Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, on October 29.  The panel chair was Michael Reich, who was the main organizer of the conference along with Richard Walker of the geography department.  The dual themes were reflecting on the New Deal […]

  • Crisis: With a Little Help

    Directed by João Fazenda; Script by Spam Cartoon; Animation by Ana Nunes; Sound Design by José Condeixa; Produced by João Paulo Cotrim and André Carrilho. | Print

  • Strong Unions Are the Best Hope inside Capitalism: Interview with Michael D. Yates

    The San Jose Mine incident in Chile has brought back old questions about labor and capital.  About those questions, raised by the 33 miners’ struggle to survive, I interviewed Michael D. Yates, Associate Editor of Monthly Review.  Yates was for many years professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, USA.  He is […]

  • Freedom Restored: “We’ve Come to Take Our Country Back”

    The Republican and Tea Party counter-revolution is on the march.  Faced with a major voter rebellion against his hard socialist agenda yesterday, the Marxist-Leninist United States president Barack Obama has met with Tea Party icons Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, and Glenn Beck and “FreedomWorks” chief Dick Armey.  Obama has agreed to significantly roll back the […]

  • Reading Badiou

    Alain Badiou.  The Communist Hypothesis.  Verso, 2010. Alain Badiou: Key Concepts.  Eds. A.J. Bartlett & Justin Clemens.  Acumen Publishing, 2010. Christopher Norris.  Badiou’s Being and Event.  Continuum, 2009. Alain Badiou could be the most important philosopher alive today — time will tell — and his work is gradually reaching English-speaking readers.  His magnum opus, Being […]

  • U.S. Reverses Course and Designates Anti-Iranian Jundallah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization

    In a notable turn-around, the U.S. Department of State today designated Jundallah as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO).  In early 2009, shortly after President Obama came into office, the United States considered designating Jundallah as an FTO, as a conciliatory message to the Islamic Republic of Iran.  In March 2009, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali […]

  • Wages and Deflation in Japan

      Wages and Depressions Sooner or later any bubble bursts, leading to falling asset prices as investors flee to safe liquidity.  Distress selling and debt liquidation by the market participants follow.  For Irving Fisher (1933), it is of key importance that an asset price deflation leads — via falling asset prices and a distorted financial […]

  • Deficit Commission Plots to Overhaul Social Security Behind Voters’ Backs

    That is what the New York Times reported today, although it used somewhat different language.  It told readers that: The group, which has a Dec. 1 deadline for recommending how to reduce the annual deficits swelling the federal debt, purposely has done little to date beyond five public hearings, and it has decided nothing lest […]

  • An Uprising at the United Nations (Part 2)

    When Bruno concluded his speech around midday last October 26, as is the norm, it was then time for the explanations of vote prior to the resolution being submitted to the vote. First to speak was U.S. ambassador Ronald D. Godard, senior area advisor for western hemisphere affairs and head of his country’s delegation. His […]

  • Dilma’s Victory in Brazil

    Like the rally led by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central that brought hundreds of thousands of people into the streets of Washington DC on Saturday, Brazil’s election on Sunday was a contest of “Restore Sanity” versus “Keep Fear Alive.” Dilma Rousseff of the governing Worker’s Party coasted to victory against the opposition […]

  • The Currency War

    Everyone is talking now of the “currency war” that seems to be breaking out among the world’s leading economies, each working for a depreciation of its currency vis-à-vis the others.  The effect of a currency depreciation is to enlarge the exports of the country undertaking such a depreciation and to reduce its imports, since its […]

  • An Ambivalent Reading of Marxism and Utopianism

      Vincent Geoghegan.  Utopianism and Marxism.  Oxford et al: Peter Lang, 2008.  pp. 189.  ISBN: 3039101374. In his contribution to Lenin Reloaded: Toward a Politics of Truth, Alain Badiou forcefully argues that the century, “between 1917 and the end of the 1970s, is not at all a century of ideologies, or the imaginary or of […]

  • David Broder Calls for War with Iran to Boost the Economy

    This is not a joke (at least not on my part).  David Broder, the longtime columnist and reporter at a formerly respectable newspaper, quite explicitly suggested that fighting a war with Iran could be an effective way to boost the economy.  Ignoring the idea that anyone should undertake war as an economic policy, Broder’s economics […]