Archives

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

E.g., 2015-03-30

Groundbreakers: How Obama's 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America

Andrew Mayersohn
Boston Review
It's clear that President Obama out-organized his opponents in both of his runs for president. But how did he do it? Elizabeth McKenna and Hahrie Han, in Groundbreakers, shows us how. As Andrew Mayersohn notes in this review, "giving people meaningful responsibilities is a powerful way to engage them and keep them engaged." This is a vital lesson in politics, one that Team Obama, in two national campaigns, realized with spectacular results.

Adjuncts Struggle to Unionize at a Liberal College

Michelle M. Tokarczyk
Working Class Perspectives
Adjuncts make up about 70% of the American professoriate. Adjuncts usually make $20,000–$25,000 a year, often by teaching courses at various institutions each semester. They have no job security, and frequently receive no health or retirement benefits. But they have begun fighting to improve their lot. SEIU is organizing in several states.

Film Review: "Taxi" – A Ridealong Career Selfie From Banned Iranian Director, Jafar Panahi, Takes Top Prize at Berlin

Peter Bradshaw
The Guardian
“Taxi” is Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s third film since he was arrested in 2010 and charged with making anti-government propaganda. He was barred from making films for 20 years, from leaving the country and from speaking to the foreign media. He got around some of these restrictions this time by filming inside a taxi driving through the streets of Tehran, producing a beautifully humane fable. "Taxi" took the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival.

Volkswagen in Tennessee: Productivity’s Price

Chris Brooks
Labor Notes
Company documents show VW’s management method is modeled on “lean production,” the philosophy created at Toyota, then popularized across the auto industry and beyond. In fact, VW is trying to out-Toyota Toyota. The German company aims to overtake its Japanese competitor and become the world’s most profitable automobile manufacturer by 2018. So the Chattanooga plant provides a window into the state of the art of brutal productivity-maximizing management schemes.

US Accuses Israel of Spying on Nuclear Talks with Iran

Julian Borger, Mairav Zonszein, Sabrina Siddiquiin
The Guardian
“It is one thing for the US and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal US secrets and play them back to US legislators to undermine US diplomacy,” the Wall Street Journal quoted a senior US official as saying.

Seven Questions for Benjamin Schwarz

Jeremy Beer
The American Conservative
In an interview with Benjamin Schwarz, the editor of The American Conservative, and an ex Rand Corporation consultant, in which he is critical of the US hegemonic role in world affairs from a conservative, not a "right" point of view. So interesting that he uses Marx to describe the actions of US Foreign Policy to dominate the world for what we call neo-liberal economic domination.

Solidarity Not Fear: World Social Forum Opens in Tunisia

Sarah Lazare
Common Dreams
Under the slogan, "Together to pursue the revolution of rights and dignity," over 4,000 organizations from 120 countries are attending the international gathering, which takes place from March 24 to 28. Groups range a wide breadth of nations and causes, from the global peasant movement La Via Campesina to the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women to the international feminist action movement World March of Women.

PHOTOS: Israeli Women Who Have Stood Up to the Occupation for 26 Years

Keren Manor & Shiraz Grinbaum
+972
In honor of International Women’s Day, Activestills (http://activestills.org/) paid tribute to more than a quarter century of anti-occupation activism by the ‘Women in Black’ group in Israel. Every Friday since 1988, the women have stood in the main squares of cities or at highway junctions with signs calling to end the Israeli occupation. Often spat at, cursed or violently harassed by passersby, they have become a symbol of persistence.

Banking on Slavery

Gilda Haas
Dr. Pop
Edward E. Baptist’s The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism details how financial speculation is baked into the American economy. Baptist explains 185 years ago, acquisition of slaves, like other "property", could be financed by mortgages; that bonds were sold to investors based on the value of those mortgages; and, securities based on enslaved human beings produced a “slave asset bubble” not unlike the 2008 financial crisis.

Bangladesh: Business as Usual as Garment Brands Stall Progress

INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION
INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION
International and European trade union bodies are calling on the European Union to bolster action on workers’ rights and safety in Bangladesh’s garment industry. The Bangladesh government has failed to implement vital labour law reforms, and a compensation fund for victims of the Rana Plaza disaster still remains US$ 9 million short of the target.

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