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

E.g., 2015-02-28

Union Retirees Fear Dramatic Pension Cuts Under New Federal Law

February 17, 2015
Akron Beacon Journal
Karen Friedman, executive vice president and policy director at the nonprofit Pension Rights Center in Washington, is highly critical of the new law while acknowledging that pension reforms are needed. “We are not saying don’t fix multiemployer [plans],” Friedman said. But an act that allows plans to cut retiree pensions is “such a departure from current law,” she said. “It’s just such a buzz saw on retiree pensions.”

UMass Restrictions on Iranian Students Draw Fire from Rights Groups

February 17, 2015
Common Dreams
"Of all the people to hurt with sanctions, punishing students and undermining educational exchanges is a particularly damaging act," said Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian-American Council.

Why the Country Needs a Populist Challenger in the Democratic Primaries

February 17, 2015
Campaign for America's Future
There are two compelling reasons for a challenge in the Democratic primaries: We need a big debate about the direction of the country, and a growing populist movement would benefit from a populist challenge to Hillary. In fact, there are deep divides between the party establishment and the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. All affirm, finally, that this economy works only for the few and not the many. But after that, the differences are immense.

“Timbuktu”: A Timely African Film on Islam — and a Spectacular Breakthrough

February 17, 2015
[I wish those who complain about 'Muslim silence' would go see this film,] both because “Timbuktu” vividly depicts the courageous resistance of ordinary Muslims, especially Muslim women, to fundamentalist tyranny and because it makes the crucial but heretical point that Islamic militants are also human beings, and more likely to be driven by human motivations like greed or lust or power than by apocalyptic zealotry.

How Teachers Unions Must Change — by a Union Leader

February 17, 2015
The Washington Post, posted by Valerie Strauss
There is nothing new about Republican opposition to teachers unions, but in recent years, it has become increasingly clear that some Democrats have turned against them as well. In the following post we hear from a union leader, Bob Peterson, the president of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, about how he thinks teachers union must change to keep alive public education. This post first appeared in Rethinking Schools. Reprinted with permission of the author.

West Virginia Coal Mine Owners Have Blood on Their Hands

February 17, 2015
The Daily Beast
The bloody history of mine workers in West Virginia is truly as dark as any dungeon, but the recent indictment of a mine owner suggests that maybe the tide has turned.

Reflections in Black and White

February 16, 2015
Dr. Pop
With power and insight, long time organizer and popular educator Gilda Haas weaves several personal stories as mother, partner, tourist, friend and educator into the intersections of housing covenants, evolving neighborhoods, banking, economics, cops and racism realities of Los Angeles where organizing matters and black youth speak truth to power.

Power To The People, But Really: Participatory Democracy in El Salvador

February 16, 2015
Other Worlds
Estela Hernandez is both a member of the national assembly and a leader in the transformational social movement, La Coordinadora of the Lower Lempa and the Bay of Jiquilisco in rural El Salvador. Here, Hernandez talks about a radical vision and practice of direct, participatory democracy by the citizens in the government of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, or FMLN.

Remembering the Watts Rebellion, Operation Chaos and the Infectious Logic of National Security

February 16, 2015
Fifty years ago, Los Angeles erupted in a week long riot leaving dozens dead, 3,000 arrested and $40 million in property damage -- the 1965 Watts rebellion. This year also marks 40 years since the revelations of "official" investigations of US intelligence covert activity against US dissidents throughout the 1960s -- 1970s. Both events have something to teach us about the growth of the national security state and the criminalization of US dissent.

South's Unique Immigration Trends Shape Region's Response to Deportation Relief

February 16, 2015
The Institute for Southern Studies
With funding on the line for President Obama's deferred action programs for immigrants, recent trends in immigration are affecting the current national debates. While the immigrant population is relatively smaller in the South, changes are rapidly re-shaping communities in the region, fueling new opportunities for growth as well as anxiety and backlash over the changing complexion of towns and cities that is evident in the response from many Southern leaders.

The Spiritual in the Struggle: A Book Review

February 16, 2015
The Stansbury Forum
Living Peace: Connecting Your Spirituality with Your Work for Justice, by Victor Narro 2014, a new book on the spiritual side of organizing, is just over 100 pages long. This little volume is broaching a topic that might raise cynical eyebrows in certain quarters in our labor movement.

As Public Pensions Shift to Risky Wall Street, Local Politicians Rake in Political Cash

February 15, 2015
Democracy Now!
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who once served as President Obama’s chief of staff, received more than $600,000 in campaign contributions from executives at investment firms that manage Chicago pension funds. The head of a New Jersey board that determines how the state invests its $80 billion pension fund was in direct contact with top political and campaign fundraising aides for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during his re-election bid.

Can Tech Avert Climate Change?

February 15, 2015
Union of Concerned Scientists
The scientific body established by a law signed by President Lincoln released two groundbreaking reports today on geoengineering. The reports raise fundamental questions regarding efficacy, safety, economy and governance.

The Sharing Economy Must Share a Level Playing Field

February 15, 2015
Cato Unbound
Regulations serve a public purpose. It may not be necessary to maintain the same scope of regulation in all cases, and it certainly is not necessary to maintain the regulations in their current form, but it does not make sense to have one set of rules that apply to incumbent taxi services and a whole different set that applies to Uber. The appropriate policy going forward should be to modernize the regulatory structure and establish rules that apply equally ...