Archive | January, 2011

  • Washington and Paris Ratchet Up Pressure on Haiti, in Godfather Style

    As the infamous dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier returns to Haiti after 25 years in exile in the south of France, the U.S. State Department and the French Foreign Ministry have been ratcheting up the pressure on the impoverished, earthquake-destroyed, and cholera-stricken country of Haiti. The pressure is not to prosecute the dictator for his […]

  • Tunisia: Notes on the Army

      Saturday, January 15, 2011 On the way downtown our cab had to stop.  The army and police were both outside the town liquor store arresting looters. The army was arguing with the police and eventually made them leave.  Then this happened. . . I wrote in the last page that, despite what I would […]

  • Interview with Sandy Pope, Candidate for General President of the Teamsters Union

    Sandy Pope: For twelve years Hoffa has promised to restore the power of the union, and we have done nothing but go backwards.  We have lost thousands of members, thousands of good union jobs.  We’re not organizing [non-union] companies that are going up against our union competition. The members don’t have faith that the union […]

  • A Welcome Prison Victory at Youngstown

      Three death-sentenced men went on hunger strike in Ohio State Penitentiary on January 3 to win the same rights as others on death row in the state.  On Saturday January 15, the twelfth day of their protest, a crowd of supporters gathered in the parking lot by the tiny evangelical church at the entrance […]

  • The Diary of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Former Tunisian President

      Mubarak to Ben Ali: “I’m coming to stay with you in a few days.  Get me reservations at a good place.” Le journal du ZABA / يوميات زين العابدين بن علي The videos above were released by Kharabeesh on 19 January 2011, 27 January 2011, and 3 February 2011.  For more information about Kharabeesh, […]

  • Tunisia: For a Constitutional Assembly to Lay the Foundations of a Democratic Republic

      1. The success achieved so far is only half the way, and the other half is achieving the desired democratic change and implementing it on the ground. 2. Democratic change cannot spring from the same party, figures, institutions, apparatuses, and legislations that maintained the dictatorship and deprived the people of basic rights for more […]

  • Analysis of the OAS Mission’s Draft Final Report on Haiti’s Election

    A draft copy of the Organization of American States (OAS) Report on Haiti’s election, “Organization of American States Expert Verification Mission, President Election — First Round 2010 — Final Report,”1 was leaked to the press last week, and the Center for Economic and Policy Research posted a copy on its website after receiving it from […]

  • Tunisia: The Question That Arises Now Is . . .

    “Ben Ali left our place; has Sarkozy left yours?” Karak is a cartoonist based in Montpellier, France, who blogs at .  This cartoon was published in his blog on 16 January 2011; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] | Print

  • Tunisia: A Revolution That Goes All the Way?

    The regime is playing its last card today in Tunisia.  That last Card is the RCD (the party of the former dictator).  After the formation of a so-called “National Unity Government ” yesterday, and after the UGTT (the largest trade union in the country) supported and even participated in it with three ministers, alongside three […]

  • The New Luther? Marx and the Reformation as Revolution

    Towards the close to what is arguably Karl Marx’s most well-known treatment of religion appears the following sentence: Germany’s revolutionary past is theoretical, it is the Reformation.  As the revolution then began in the brain of the monk, so now it begins in the brain of the philosopher . . . But if Protestantism was […]

  • Deepening Economic Divisions

    One aspect of “American exceptionalism” was always economic.  US workers, so the story went, enjoyed a rising level of real wages that afforded their families a rising standard of living.  Ever harder work paid off in rising consumption.  The rich got richer faster than the rest, but almost no one got poorer.  Nearly all citizens […]

  • The Lesson of the Tunisian Revolution

    “Saad Hariri went to the United States and had meetings there.  Right after that, the Saudis contacted the Syrians to tell them that they could no longer continue this initiative [of Syria and Saudi Arabia to broker a deal between Hezbollah and Hariri on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon]. . . .  The Americans and […]

  • Why Is Dr. Binayak Sen Being Jailed?

      On December 24, 2010, Dr. Binayak Sen was convicted of conspiring to commit sedition and other charges and sentenced to life in prison.  What is the evidence against Dr. Sen?  In this video, based on previously published analyses of the judgement and a 2008 People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) report, we dissect the […]

  • YouTube Censors CubaDebate

      No more censorship on YouTube! Restore CubaDebate! Iván Lira is a Venezuelan artist.  This cartoon was published in Rebelión on 16 January 2011.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at]  Cf. Javier Rodríguez, “Censura de Youtube a Cubadebate desató movimiento solidario” (CubaDebate, 13 January 2011); Ellery Biddle, “Cuba: Cubadebate’s YouTube Channel Taken […]

  • Tunisia: The Struggle for Legitimacy

    In Tunisia, a new government is being formed under the leadership of the RCD (the party of the fallen dictator) and with the participation of some legalized opposition parties.  All parties that were illegal under the old regimes are being excluded, however, and this is stirring up a lot of controversy among parts of the […]

  • State of the Dream 2011: Austerity for Whom?

      The attack on the public sector through pay freezes, furloughs, layoffs, and proposed cuts is also an attack on Black and Latino workers. Cuts to social safety nets hit Blacks and Latinos hardest. Video by United for a Fair Economy. Read United for a Fair Economy, “State of the Dream 2011: Austerity for Whom?,” […]

  • The Criminalization of Dissent

    While there will be general agreement that the judgement in Binayak Sen‘s case represents a gross miscarriage of justice, most people will attribute it to the overzealousness of a lower judicial functionary, or, at the most, to the prevailing atmosphere in the state of Chhattisgarh.  If the trial had been held elsewhere, they would argue, […]

  • Tunisia: The Logic of Revolution

    The Tunisian revolution continues to dictate its own logic on all levels. . . .  After attempts by regime leftovers to spread chaos by several techniques (cars driving through the streets shooting at people and houses randomly, destroying infrastructure, etc.), the Tunisian people organized itself in committees that spread all across the country, in every […]

  • 30,000 March in Tel Aviv against McCarthyism in Israel

    30,000 activists, Jews and Arabs, from left-wing parties, movements, and human rights organizations marched in Tel Aviv on Saturday, 15 January 2011, in protest of the Knesset’s decision to set up a committee of inquiry to probe the funding sources of organizations that rightists allege “participate in delegitimization campaigns against Israel Defense Forces soldiers.” “Demonstration […]

  • Why Take an Ax to the Safety Net?

    Comments made at the Brookings Institution Forum titled “Should the Disadvantaged Be Spared From the Budget Axe? A Look at the President’s Budget Commission Findings and How They Could Impact the Poor,” December 16, 2010 I am about to make comments that will likely place me seriously at odds with the other members of this […]