Archive | July, 2011

  • Revolt in the Arab World, But Not in Iran — Why?

    Iran is a different case because the country already had a revolution in 1979.  Even those Iranians who are in the opposition called for reform within the system rather than revolution.  It is not a climate of fear that explains the survival of the Islamic Republic but the absence of revolutionary fervour.  No state can […]

  • US Embassy at Work in Syria

    “Conspirators Wanted” Victor Nieto is a cartoonist in Venezuela.  His cartoons frequently appear in Aporrea and Rebelión among other sites.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at]  Cf. Fayez Nahabieh, “Réflexion sur les origines de la crise syrienne et les moyens d’en sortir” (InfoSyrie, 15 July 2011); Alastair Crooke, “Unfolding the Syrian Paradox” […]

  • Price Formation in Financialized Commodity Markets: The Role of Information

      Excerpt: The mid-2000s marked the start of a trend of steeply rising commodity prices, accompanied by increasing volatility.  The prices of a wide range of commodities reached historic highs in nominal terms in 2008 before falling sharply in the wake of the financial and economic crisis.  Since mid-2009, and especially since the summer of […]

  • What Happened at Fukushima and Why It Can Happen Here

      “The primary cause is an extended loss of power at the power plant, as ironic as that might be.  When the earthquake occurred, the normal grid was lost, and the plant’s own in-plant power from the generators was also lost because of the result of the earthquake. . . .  The tsunami came in […]

  • The Gang of Six Plan: Tax Cuts for the Wealthy, and Social Security Cuts for Ordinary Workers

    The budget plan produced by the Senate’s “Gang of Six” offers the promise of huge tax breaks for some of the wealthiest people in the country, while lowering Social Security benefits for retirees and the disabled.  Despite claiming that they will “reform” Social Security on a “separate track, isolated from deficit reduction,” the plan includes […]

  • Bahrain: Wa’d on National Dialogue

    My chief Bahrain correspondent: “Waad just released a statement on the National Dialogue.  They are joined by Al Minbar Al Demoqrati and Al Tajamou’ Al Qawmi Al-Dimoqrati (different than Al Tajamou’ Al Watani Al Dimoqrati which is boycotting the dialogue).  The bad news is, they still seem to be part of the dialogue.  However, by […]

  • Electricity Privatization in Brazil

    Privatized electricity distribution companies, strangling working people with high electric bills . . . Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian cartoonist.  Cf. “On one hand, daily productivity gains made by professionals working in the electricity sector are not reflected in their salaries.  On the other hand, consumers are already paying high costs at the end of […]

  • Global Oil Prices

    There was a time when global oil prices reflected changes in the real demand and supply of crude petroleum.  Of course, as with many other primary commodities, the changes in the market could be volatile, and so prices also fluctuated, sometimes sharply.  More than anything else, the global oil market was seen to reflect not […]

  • Prisoners Strike against Torture in California Prisons

    The torture of prisoners in U.S. custody isn’t confined to foreign countries.  For more than two weeks, inmates at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison have been on a hunger strike to protest torturous conditions in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) there.  Prisoners have been held for years in solitary confinement, which can amount to torture.  […]

  • Raising Prices to Curb Inflation

    The deputy chairman of the Planning Commission made an extraordinary statement the other day, namely that the oil-price increase, which everybody opposes for adding to inflation, was really an anti-inflationary measure; it would reduce inflation.  The deputy chairman’s is an exalted position; and the current incumbent is an economist of repute.  There is a danger […]

  • Malaysia: Fight to Free the PSM 6

    Activists fight to free the six Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members — Choo Chon Kai, Sarat Babu, Sarasvathy Muthu, Sukumaran A/L Munisamy, A. Letchumanan, and Dr. Jeyakumar Devaraj — detained under the Emergency Ordinance (EO). Cf. Peter Boyle, “Huge Rally in Malaysia, Free PSM 6 Campaign Grows” (Green Left Weekly, 17 July 2011); <>; <>; […]

  • Still Trying to Detonate a War against Syria

    Still lacking a fire starter called diplomacy, Uncle Sam fails to detonate a war against Syria. Hamid Karout is a Syrian cartoonist.  This cartoon was first published in Tishreen on 14 July 2011; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes.  Cf. “‘The OIC has a strong desire to build national dialogue between governments and […]

  • The Mad Activist Ponders Marrying for Money

    Dear Queer Diary — Should I get married? I mean, now that the state of New York has passed the gay marriage bill, should my girlfriend and I get really and miraculously and legally married? Or.  Should I, as a queer, reclaim my right to legal ostracism, grab my lesbo luv-muffin, and take her underground […]

  • Let’s Join TEPCO!

      東電に入ろう(倒電に廃炉) Among you, gentlemen, here Anyone wants to join Tokyo Electric? Anyone wants to make a name for himself? TEPCO is looking for talent Let’s join TEPCO, TEPCO, TEPCO Join TEPCO, a heaven on earth All the men’s men are joining TEPCO Ready to die a hero’s death Anyone dying for thrills? Come join […]

  • Greece

    Eneko Las Heras, born in Caracas in 1963, is a cartoonist based in Spain.  The cartoon above was first published on his blog . . . Y sin embargo se mueve on 29 June 2011. | Print

  • Elections versus Democracy

    Insignificant changes to the constitution (still in force!), proposed by a committee made up exclusively of Islamists chosen by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces and hastily adopted in April by referendum (a 23% “no” vote, a majority “yes” vote, however, imposed through fraud and heavy blackmail by the mosques),* obviously left Article 2 [whish […]

  • You Can’t See It, and You Can’t Smell It Either 2011

      It’s safe!  It’s safe!  It’s safe!  It’s safe!  Nuclear!  It’s safe!  It’s safe!  It’s safe . . . until there’s a screw-up!  It’s safe!  It’s safe!  It’s safe!  It’s safe!  Nuclear!  It’s safe!  It’s safe!  It’s safe . . . until it’s not! 誰にも見えない、匂いもない 2011 Music and Lyrics by Rankin Taxi.  Performed by Rankin […]

  • Falling Energy Prices Push Overall Inflation Below Zero in June

    Weak growth in hourly wages leaves little optimism for economic recovery. The Consumer Price Index declined 0.2 percent in June — the first fall in the broad measure since a 0.2 percent drop in June of last year.  The headline rate of inflation has declined steadily since peaking in March, but the decline is driven […]

  • “Bringing Back” Black Money

    There have been periodic demands, the latest being from Baba Ramdev, that “black money” from India which is stashed in Swiss banks should be “brought back” and used for development purposes.  This money of course does not have to be physically brought back; all that is required is a nationalisation of those deposits, ie, a […]

  • Egypt: Islamists, Which Side Are You On?

    The Islamist forces, without exception, are now against the sit-ins in Tahrir, Suez, Alexandria, and elsewhere in the country.  And I mean here the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafis, Gamaa Islamiya, and even the pathetic intellectuals of the “moderate” Wassat Party.  All are singing praise of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (read: Mubarak’s army generals), […]