Archive | June, 2011

  • The NRC in Action at Fort Calhoun

    The Union of Concerned Scientists often complains about Nuclear Regulatory Commission inaction — the agency’s failure to enforce its regulations prohibiting unmonitored and uncontrolled releases of radioactively contaminated water, the agency’s tolerance of four dozen reactors operating in violation of fire protection regulations, and so on. Today, we commend the NRC in action. Flood waters […]

  • Work Till You Drop: Who Benefits from the End of Retirement?

    During the last century, the establishment of Social Security and the tax-favored employer pension plans that followed transformed and improved the lives of American workers.  Combined with economic growth, these institutions meant that both the rich and the poor lived longer and every worker became entitled to pensions at the end of their working lives. […]

  • Revisiting Alleged 30 Million Famine Deaths during China’s Great Leap

    Thirty years ago, a highly successful vilification campaign was launched against Mao Zedong, saying that a massive famine in which 27 to 30 million people died in China took place during the Great Leap period, 1958 to 1961, which marked the formation of the people’s communes under his leadership.  The main basis of this assertion […]

  • The Road to Syrian Democracy: A New Political Party Law to End One-Party Rule

    A new political party law has been drafted in Syria and is now posted online for public debate.  It is due for ratification by parliament next August.  If it passes, the law would effectively end one-party rule in Syria, which started when the Baathists came to power, through military coup, back in March 1963.  In […]

  • Is the U.S. Government Prepared for a Greek Debt Default?

    The European authorities are playing a dangerous game of “chicken” with Greece right now.  It is overdue for U.S. members of Congress to exercise some oversight as to what our government’s role is in this process, and how we might be preparing for a Greek debt default.  Depending on how it happens, this default could […]

  • Stop Digging: The Case against Jobs

      Much of the left has, mostly without debating it, coalesced around “jobs” as a unifying political demand.  The motivation for this is clear: one of the biggest problems the country faces is that there are 20 million people who are unsuccessfully seeking full time employment.  But while it may seem obvious that the solution […]

  • US and Syrian Muslim Brotherhood

      I can report to you that the US government has been in contact with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.  In a recent conference held in London, US and British official representatives met with the former (and still actual) leader of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, ‘Ali Al-Bayanuni. As’ad AbuKhalil is a professor of political science at […]

  • Libya News Roundup

    Libyan Rebel Propaganda Exposed Patrick Cockburn (The Independent, 24 June 2011): “Nato leaders, opposition groups and the media have produced a stream of stories since the start of the insurrection on 15 February, claiming the Gaddafi regime has ordered mass rapes, used foreign mercenaries and employed helicopters against civilian protesters.  An investigation by Amnesty International […]

  • The Right to Be Lazy

    Instead of taking advantage of periods of crisis, for a general distribution of their products and a universal holiday, the laborers, perishing with hunger, go and beat their heads against the doors of the workshops.  With pale faces, emaciated bodies, pitiful speeches they assail the manufacturers: “Good M. Chagot, sweet M. Schneider, give us work, […]

  • Work Sharing: The Quick Route Back to Full Employment

    Excerpt: There are two basic ways to increase employment: increasing output and thereby increasing the demand for labor, or dividing up the existing work among more workers. . . .  Work sharing is not a new idea.  The idea of shortening work time to create more work has a long history. . . .  [I]n […]

  • After the “West”

    The notion of the “west”, like any such construct, has various associations depending on who is using it, where and in what circumstances.  Many people (especially in other parts of the world) tend to associate the “west” with military campaigns and foreign interventions by Nato and its leading states, the United States and Britain.  More […]

  • June 27: Demonstrate against US/NATO Attacks on Libya

      The United National Antiwar Committee (UNAC) calls for demonstrations on June 27 against the US/NATO attacks on Libya.  June 27 is the date that the NATO mandate expires and their new mandate comes into effect. The United National Antiwar Committee was founded at a conference of 800 in Albany, NY in July 2010.  For […]

  • The People’s Parade: Celebrate Successful Signature Collection for SB5 Repeal Referendum Campaign

    Let’s celebrate.  Due to your hard work, We Are Ohio has already collected at least 714,137 signatures with thousands more coming in every day.  We Are Ohio will deliver the signatures to the Secretary of State on Wednesday, June 29th, one day prior to the deadline. To mark this historic movement, We Are Ohio is […]

  • Michigan Citizens Take Emergency Manager Law to Court, Citing Unconstitutional Power Grab

      June 22, 2011 Citizens from across Michigan today announced they are taking Michigan’s controversial emergency manager law to court, filing a lawsuit that charges Gov. Rick Snyder and the Legislature with implementing an unconstitutional power grab that effectively silences citizens. “The emergency manager law is a shameless power grab by Lansing politicians and their […]

  • Turkey Cools Down Tempers over Syria

    As Monday dawned, Turkey kept its fingers crossed in keen anticipation of the nationwide address by President Bashar al-Assad on the situation in Syria.  Ankara sent an open message ahead of Assad’s speech that if he failed to announce reforms even in a third attempt, he would “miss a big chance” to preserve power. Turkey […]

  • Beyond the Crisis: Markets, Planning, and a Utopian Vision Inspired by the American National Football League

    The Crisis, especially in Europe, is all-consuming.  Every day our minds are hijacked by its latest twist.  Here in Athens, a general strike almost brought the government to its knees and has kick-started a process that will, inevitably, lead to what can only be described as regime change. While history is preparing the next regime […]

  • Second Class Citizens: Gender, Energy and Climate Change in South Africa

      Excerpt: Forty percent of South Africa’s 48 million people are poor, and more than half of poor people are female.  Official unemployment figures hover at around 25%, but since this statistics does not count those who have given up looking for work, real unemployment may be double this.  South Africa is, by world standards, […]

  • Syria: Democracy and the Future of Article 8

    Last week, stories surfaced in the Lebanese and Arabic press, saying that Syria was about to do away with Article 8 of the constitution that designates the Ba’ath Party as “leader of state and society.”  This of course was before President Bashar al-Assad gave a speech on Monday, hinting to the possibility of either doing […]

  • Iran: Subsidy Reform, “Stagflation,” and the Need for Industrial Policy

    Iran’s biggest economic problem is the growing production slump at its factories and workshops.  For both workers and the business elite, Iran’s domestic industrial troubles are far more pressing — and generating far more public anxiety — than international sanctions. The biggest danger for Iran in 2011 is the combination of higher unemployment and inflation […]

  • Tell NPR: The Fed Has Many More Bullets

    In its top of the hour news segment NPR told listeners that there is little else that the Fed can do to boost the economy.  This is very seriously wrong. The Fed could do more quantitative easing, it could target a long-term interest rate, for example targeting a 2.5 percent 10-year government bond rate, or […]