For posts before June 2012, please follow these links to our archives.

E.g., 2015-09-02

Still an Equal Opportunity Employer? Public Sector Employment Inequality after the Great Recession

Jennifer Laird
University of Washington
Historically, the public sector has served as an equalizing institution through the expansion of job opportunities for minority workers. This study examines whether the public sector continues to serve as an equalizing institution in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Results point to a post-recession double disadvantage for Black women: they are concentrated in a shrinking sector of the economy, and they are substantially more likely be without work.

Can We Trust Crime Forensics?

Michael Shermer
Scientific American
No one knows how many innocent people have been convicted based on junk forensic science, but the National Research Council report recommends substantial funding increases to enable labs to conduct experiments to improve the validity and reliability of the many forensic subfields.

How the Ruling Class Remade New Orleans

Thomas Jessen Adams
The language of social justice has been used to sell intensified neoliberalism in post-Katrina New Orleans. On the tenth anniversary of the failure of the federally maintained levees, the keynote speaker at the annual Rising Tide Conference on the Future of New Orleans was DeRay Mckesson, a standard-bearer for Teach For America and the New Teacher Project — education “reform” organizations that played a crucial role in the destruction of the black middle class.

Review: Narcos is the Next Great Netflix Show

Kwame Opam
The Verge
Led by executive producer and director José Padilha (2014's RoboCop), the series tracks the rise and fall of "King of Cocaine" Pablo Escobar, and the bloody drug war between the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Colombia’s notorious Medellín Cartel. A well-crafted blend of The Wire and Goodfellas, Narcos takes an unflinching look at one of the War on Drugs’ single most violent conflicts.

The Virginia Killings and the Unrelenting Toll of Gun Violence

Nicholas Krisof
New York Times
The slaying of two journalists Wednesday presents us with a moment to mourn but also a moment to learn lessons and demand action. The horror isn’t just one macabre double-murder, but the unrelenting toll of gun violence that claims one life every 16 minutes in the United States. It is time we address gun deaths as a public health crisis, and move from our passive horror to take steps to reduce the 92 lives claimed by gun violence in the United States daily.

North Dakota First State to Legalize Taser Drones for Cops

Justin Glawe
The Daily Beast
With all the concern over the militarization of police in the past year, few noticed that the state of North Dakota became the first state in the country to allow police to equip drones with so-called “less than lethal” weapons such as rubber bullets, sound cannons, pepper spray, Tasers and tear gas. North Dakota House Bill 1328 wasn’t drafted that way, but then a law enforcement lobbyist with close ties to the drone industry got his hands on it.

Los Angeles County: 13,000 Become Homeless Every Month

Haya El Nasser
Al Jazeera America
According to a new study released August 25th, chronic homelessness in Los Angeles County, especially among children and youth, overwhelms the dwindling supply of affordable housing there. The report by the Economic Roundtable, a Los Angeles research organization, says, chronic homelessness is such a daunting problem in Los Angeles County that about 13,000 people on public assistance slip into homelessness every month, one half of whom are children.

If You Don’t Share This Immediately the World Will Explode

James Turner
Is there too much hyperbole in digital activism? Should activists really follow the rules of modern marketing in online movements? James Turner, a senior strategist for Greenpeace International, asks whether all the online "urgency" risks damaging public trust at a time when activists have an opportunity to build a new model of participation. He argues activists should replace the cynical tricks of commerce with appeals that are more honest and participatory.

The Case for Pragmatism in International Affairs

Robert Parry
America’s neoconservatives and their liberal interventionist sidekicks have pushed an aggressive “regime change” strategy that has left bloody chaos in their wake. The cumulative impact, including Mideast refugees flooding Europe and overuse of sanctions, is now contributing to a global economic crisis. According to columnist Robert Parry, international pragmatism, including working with adversaries, may be the only way to prevent a devastating financial crash.

Friday Nite Videos -- August 28, 2015

Videos: John Oliver: Washington DC Statehood. We Need Truth and Reconciliation. Bob Dylan -- Desolation Row at 50. Affordable Housing Crisis. Pastor Dewey Smith: Homosexuality.

Cornel West Talks Sanders, Trump and Black Lives Matter

Zeeshan Aleem
"Bernie Sanders and other progressive politicians need to hit issues of police murder and police terror... But it's very important never to downplay the critique of Wall Street domination or downplay the critique of capitalism as a whole. In that sense, indeed, Bernie Sanders is a prophetic politician."

Republicans Against Retirement

Paul Krugman
New York Times
It’s remarkable that most of the Republicans who would be president are declaring that the retirement age — which has already been pushed up from 65 to 66, and is scheduled to rise to 67 — should go up even further. Americans love Social Security, so why aren’t the candidates at least pretending to share that sentiment? The answer is about Big Money.