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Dispatches From the Culture Wars

Portside
White nash fash in Houston; World Social Forum in Montreal; Indian eco power in Cannon Ball; Armed sisters in Rojava; New debtors’ prison

In Ixcanul, Guatemala’s First-Ever Oscar Entry

Nikola Grozdanovic
Indiewire
Jayro Bustamante‘s debut feature “Ixcanul” generates its power from an intimate observance of the quotidian. As such, its titular volcano — the translation of Ixcanul in the Mayan K’iche’ dialect spoken in Guatemala — is the least volcanic thing in it. Steeped in a culture rarely observed on screen and filmed entirely in Kaqchikel, Bustamante’s film explores a clash between reproductive rights and tradition.

California’s $15 Minimum Wage Earthquake!

Martin J. Bennett
BeyondChron
The California minimum wage earthquake is shaking up state and national politics. There is a powerful lesson from the $15 minimum-wage campaign: only a grassroots movement from below based upon a bold vision for structural reform can change public opinion and pressure government to act.

US Targeted Killing Rules Conflate Legality and Politics

Marjorie Cohn
Truthout
Under the guise of increased transparency, the administration has revealed partial information about its targeted killing program. But much remains classified. And what we do know does not comply with the law.

Our Revolution is Just Getting Started

Peter Olney and Rand Wilson
The Stansbury Forum
Now that the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia has ended with Hillary Clinton as the party’s nominee, Bernie Sanders’ campaign for “political revolution” moves to its next phase.

Mass Surveillance Isn’t Colorblind

Sandra Fulton
Foreign Policy in Focus
Government spying is a problem for everyone. But people of color, religious minorities, and political dissidents are far more likely to be victims of unwarranted monitoring.

Jammed Cells Expose the Physics of Cancer

Gabriel Popkin
Quanta
The subtle mechanics of densely packed cells may help explain why some cancerous tumors stay put while others break off and spread through the body.

Nuclear Power Plant? Or Storage Dump for Hot Radioactive Waste?

Robert Alvarez
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
The basic approach undertaken in this country for the storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel needs to be fundamentally revamped. Instead of waiting for problems to arise, the NRC and the Energy Department need to develop a transparent and comprehensive road map identifying the key elements of—and especially the unknowns associated with—interim storage, transportation, repackaging, and final disposal of all nuclear fuel.

Domestic Workers in Ill. Win Bill of Rights: “Years of Organizing Have Finally Paid Off”

Parker Asmann
In These Times
Worldwide, 90 percent of domestic workers—the vast majority of whom are women—do not have access to any kind of social security coverage, according to the International Labour Organization. In the United States, an estimated 95 percent of domestic workers are female, foreign born and/ or persons of color. They frequently lack protections and face near constant adversity.

The Significance of Simone Manuel's Swim is Clear if You Know Jim Crow

Kevin B. Blackistone
Washington Post
There is a reason why 70 percent of black teenagers, like those who died in Shreveport, and 60 percent of Hispanic teenagers can’t swim. But it isn’t due to some genetic disorder, as some actually believe. It is because of abject irrational racism and Jim Crow and its vestiges.

Workers School Lifts Up Southern Organizing

Dante Strobino
Workers World
The Southern Workers Assembly has been building the Southern Workers School as an important institution to train and develop rank-and-file workers to organize the South. The school has held eight sessions since March tackling issues and basic organizing skills such as learning how to map your workplace and tips for one-on-one discussions with co-workers.

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