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

E.g., 2015-07-28

Urban Renewal, Public Space, and the Growing Social Divide

Michael Kimmelman
New York Times
Eric Garner died after being put in a chokehold by the police on the sidewalk outside a shop a year ago this Friday. The battle over his death isn’t only about policing, but about public space. It’s about real estate and urban renewal, lines that should not be crossed, and places that are off limits to certain people. And it’s about public places where African-Americans and others are supposed to be invisible, without access to their infrastructure and amenities.

Arizona Private Prison Riot Raises Some Big Questions

Donald Cohen
Capital and Main
The recent riots at the for-profit Kingman Prison in Arizona are focusing renewed attention on that state legislature’s long, cozy relationship with the private prison industry. Prisoner unrest the July 4th weekend left 15 wounded and forced the transfer of 1,000 inmates to other facilities. The same facility, run by Management Training Corporation, suffered a major riot in 2010. The repeated failings of for-profit prisons have led Arizonans to ask some big questions.

Rigged Settlement Could Give BP Billions in Tax Breaks

Jennifer Larino
On July 2, the states attorneys general in Louisiana and four other Gulf Coast states celebrated an $18.7 billion settlement with BP over claims from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. But, according to the Public Interest Research Group, at least $13.2 billion in the settlement is not defined as a penalty, meaning BP could potentially get billions in tax breaks, even on payments it made to restore natural resources damaged by the spill.

The BDS Movement at 10: An Interview with Omar Barghouti

Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss co-editors Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss talk with Palestinian human rights activist Omar Barghouti, on the 10th anniversary of the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement. Barghouti is co-founder of the movement, which, he says, has played a critical role in changing the discourse on the question of Palestine after more than two decades of a “fraudulent peace process” that undermined Palestinian rights and served as a fig leaf for Israeli expansion.

Little Confidence in Plan to Save World Health Organization

Lancet Editorial Board
The Lancet
The Lancet, one of the world’s most respected medical journals, comments on the final report on the World Health Organization’s handling of the Ebola crisis, a devastating critique of the WHO and its member states, which “fatally let down the people of West Africa.” It criticizes the report for not addressing lack of accountability and chronic underinvestment in the WHO, the need to create resilient health systems, and the need for universal health coverage.

Friday Nite Videos -- July 17, 2015

Ninth Rock From the Sun. War / No More Trouble. Elizabeth Warren Keynotes Netroots Nation. Film: Do I Sound Gay? "Our Selma!" March for Voting Rights

How Goldman Sachs Profited From the Greek Debt Crisis

Robert Reich
Robert Reich blog
Just as with the American subprime crisis, and the current plight of many American cities, Wall Street’s predatory lending played an important although little-recognized role. Undoubtedly, Greece suffers from years of corruption and tax avoidance by its wealthy. But Goldman wasn’t an innocent bystander: It padded its profits by leveraging Greece to the hilt—along with much of the rest of the global economy.

Women of Pluto and Other Amazing Plutobits

Tabitha M. Powledge
“The New Horizons mission is a stunning validation of not only astronomy and physics, but of science itself. ... No astrologer could have given us this information. Alchemy could not have powered the rockets so powerfully and precisely ... This will be remembered as an achievement of our species, of our civilization, and of the power of science.”

FBI Joins Investigation Into 'Unfathomable' Death of Sandra Bland

Nadia Prupis
Common Dreams
Sandra Bland died in police custody in a Texas jail after a traffic stop. In a video shot by a passer-by, Bland protests that her head is being slammed to the ground during her arrest. Local authorities are calling her death a suicide, but friends and family do not believe that explanation. Twitter users have launched the hashtag #IfIDieInPoliceCustody to counter the narratives that often follow the deaths of unarmed black men and women in police custody.

Calm Down: SCOTUS's 'Friedrichs' Case Won't Mean the End of the American Labor Movement

David Moberg
Working In These Times
Unions have discovered that there are other ways to deal with workers who are not on their membership rolls. For example, for the first half of last year, AFSCME set out to organize as full members 50,000 of the fair share payers or other non-members in workplaces where they had contracts. They organized 90,000.

Thirty-Two in a Different Country; Invented Mothers

Zeina Hashem Beck
A Lebanese poet from Dubai, Zeina Hashem Beck offers two poems, Thirty-Two and in a Different Country and The Invented Mothers, both touching the deep trauma of warfare on civilians.

The Euro-Summit `Agreement' on Greece - Annotated by Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis
Yanis Varoufakis - thoughts for the post-2008 world
The Euro Summit statement (or Terms of Greece's Surrender - as it will go down in history) follows, annotated by yours truly. The original text is untouched with my notes confined to square brackets (and in red). Read and weep.

The Sanders Campaign and the Revival of Socialism in the United States

Joseph M. Schwartz
teleSur, updated for Portside
Bernie Sanders is campaigning on behalf of the 99 percent against the 1 percent. And, he is getting lots of supports, drawing thousands to his campaign rallies. Sanders is not running an explicit socialist campaign for public or worker ownership of major firms. Sanders's socialist values underpin his argument that the economy should serve the needs of the people and be governed not by corporate oligarchs, but by democratic means.

Hillary Clinton's New Paleoliberalism; Sizing Up Clinton's Plans to Help the Middle Class - Here's the Rub: It Isn't Enough

Matthew Yglesias; Eduardo Porter
Hillary Clinton's record in office suggests that she is more liberal than either her husband or Barack Obama, and in a Monday speech outlining her economic vision she set out to confirm that. However, still lacking is much policy detail as to how this difference might look in practice. A future Clinton administration might help change the norms of corporate governance to foster the kind of labor relations that everyday workers have not experienced in decades.