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How the Chess Set Got Its Look and Feel

Jimmy Stamp
Smithsonian Magazine
Conceived of as a field of battle, the symbolic meaning of the game changed as it gained popularity. The original chessmen, known as counselor, infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariots, became the queen, pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively. By the 19th century, chess clubs and competitions began to appear all around the world, it became necessary to use a standardized set that would enable players from different cultures to compete without getting confused.

State Supreme Court Limits Union Rights In Texas

Chuck Lindell
Austin American-Statesman
Unionized government workers in Texas — including firefighters, police and teachers — don’t have the right to be accompanied by a union representative while being questioned during internal investigations, a divided Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday. Such representation is a basic right for unionized private sector and federal government employees.

Labor Party Time? Not Yet.

Mark Dudzic and Katherine Isaac
Labor Party
The US working class has not succeeded in developing a class-based political party to contend for political power, making working people particularly vulnerable. Wealth and power are concentrated increasingly in the hands of a globalized elite. It's hard to identify a period of US history where the need for a labor-based political party was greater than now.

What Immigration Reform Could Mean for American Workers, and Why the AFL-CIO Is Embracing It

Robert Reich
Robert Reich's Blog
Employers hope the guest-worker program will prevent low-wage Americans from getting a raise. With any increase in demand, employers can claim a "labor shortage" allowing in more guest workers, driving wages down. Because some 11 million undocumented workers are here, doing much of this work, the only way these undocumented workers can become organized -- and not undercut attempts to unionize legal workers -- is if the undocumented workers also become legal.

Why Unemployment Has Hit Black Households the Hardest

Emily Badger
The Atlantic Cities
The average black household that experienced unemployment had zero cash to fall back on. The history of our latest economic recession is full of stories of families who had to cash out their retirement accounts or savings for a child's education to make regular payments on rent and bills. But what about families that didn't even have those options?

50,000 Gather in Tunisia to Plan People-Powered Economy

Signe Predmore and Medea Benjamin
Portside
It came at a time when the world has been rocked by grassroots uprisings in the Arab world, but also increasing mobilizations to counter the climate crisis, and massive economic protests from southern Europe to “Occupy” groups in the United States to student movements from Quebec to Chile.

Friday Nite Videos -- April 5, 2013

Portside
Abuse and Basketball at Rutgers. Pat Nichols Plays Delta Blues in KC. Koko the Gorilla and Jeremy Irons on Gay Marriage. The Hunted and the Hated: Stop and Frisk in NYC. Fast Food Workers Open a New Front. 'Chained CPI' Would Cut Social Security.

Vermont's Health Care Reform Has Lessons for Other States

Science News Daily
Vermont's aggressive health care reform initiatives can serve as a roadmap for other states, according to Laura Grubb, a Master of Public Health candidate at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). "Vermont is progressive," said Grubb, also a fellow in adolescent medicine at the UTHealth Medical School. "They didn't wait until each step of the Affordable Care Act had to be implemented.

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