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

E.g., 2015-03-31

Halt and Catch Fire’s Surprising Finale: The Show Was the Opposite of What We Thought

Willa Paskin
With AMC's Halt and Catch Fire's second season arriving soon, a reflection on the first. Halt and Catch Fire's finale reveals it was anti-capitalist all along. For all the early technical bells and whistles, Halt has a straightforward, pleasing story arc—a ragtag team that against long odds and many obstacles does the near impossible—that toward the season’s end ran into a genuinely thought-provoking hurdle: capitalism.

Wall Street Bonuses Twice Earnings of All Minimum Wage Earners

Sarah Anderson
Institute for Policy Studies
Wall Street banks handed out $28.5 billion in bonuses last year, on top of base salaries, which averaged $190,970 in 2013. Those bonuses are double the annual pay for all 1,007,000 Americans who work full-time at the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour; enough to lift all 2.9 million restaurant servers and bartenders, all 1.5 million home health and personal care aides, or all 2.2 million fast food preparation and serving workers up to $15 per hour.

The Republican Plan to Shred the Social Safety Net in 2016

Susan Greenbaum
AlJazeera America
The Republic majorities in both chambers of Congress have crafted their 2016 budget proposals. In the near term, the proposed cuts would hurt millions of poor people, a large share of them veterans, children and the elderly. Two other factors guarantee the pain could get much worse over the next five years: the sequester caps on spending and a plan to convert Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) into state block grants.

Why Are White People "Expats" When the Rest of Us Are Immigrants?

Mawuna Remarque Koutonin
The Guardian
In the Western lexicon of human migration there are still lot of remnants of a white supremacist ideology, with hierarchical classes of words created to differentiate white people from the rest of humanity, with the purpose of putting white people above everyone else. One of those remnants is the word “expat.” What is an expat? And who is an expat? Expat is a term reserved exclusively for western white people who go to work abroad.

Israel’s Left Must Grab the Outstretched Hand of Its Arab Citizens

Haggai Matar and Yael Marom
+972 Magazine
With 14 seats, the Arab Joint List became the third-largest party in the next Israeli Knesset. But Israel’s Jewish majority, disdaining the outstretched hand of the Arab minority, soundly rejected the Joint List’s message against racism and division and for equality and democracy. Consequently, in the election aftermath the Israeli Left must prioritize the Jewish-Arab partnership as it confronts a wave of racist legislation and policies.

The U.S. in the Middle East: A Remarkably Rich Menu of Foreign-Policy Failures

Charles Freeman, Jr.,
Middle East Policy Council
In a recent speech, noted retired U.S. diplomat, Charles Freeman Jr., offers a frank assessment of the “remarkably rich menu of U.S. foreign-policy failures” in the Middle East. Most, he says, are due to America’s noisy but strategy-free approach, adding, “don’t just sit there, bomb something” isn’t much of a strategy. But, to cure the dysfunction in U.S. Middle East policy, Freeman says, we must cure the dysfunction and venality of our politics.

Friday Nite Videos -- March 20, 2015

Where Right Wing Conspiracies Come From. Burned at McDonald's. Documentary: Peace Officer. Buffett's $1B March Madness Bet. LBJ & the Voting Rights Act.

Pentagon Admits Israel Has Nukes, Too

William Greider
The Nation
Early last month the Department of Defense released a secret report done in 1987 by the Pentagon-funded Institute for Defense Analysis that essentially confirms the existence of Israel’s nukes. The confirmation of this poorly kept secret opens a troublesome can of worms for both the US government and our closest ally in the Middle East.

A Platform for People and the Planet

Isaiah J. Poole
Campaign for America's Future
The Populism 2015 platform is a set of principles; the Progressive Caucus budget shows how those principles can be translated into government policy.

LBJ's Voting Rights Speech Shows the Power of Grassroots Activism

Julian E. Zelizer
The Atlantic
Johnson gave full credit to the movement. “The real hero of this struggle is the American Negro. His actions and protests, his courage to risk safety and even to risk his life, have awakened the conscience of this nation. His demonstrations have been designed to call attention to injustice, designed to provoke change, designed to stir reform. He has called upon us to make good the promise of America.”

Scientists Call for Halt to Human Genome Tinkering

Tabitha M. Powledge
Public Library of Science Blogs
It's now possible to modify the human germ line, and the rules haven't caught up with the science. The best way to respond to concerns created by emerging knowledge or early-stage technologies is for scientists from publicly-funded institutions to find common cause with the wider public about the best way to regulate — as early as possible. Once scientists from corporations begin to dominate the research enterprise, it will simply be too late.

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

henry 7. reneau jr.
mandala journal
Fifty years after his assassination, this poem honors El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (aka Malcolm X)

Against Type

Lucy McKeon
Boston Review
Popular culture may be getting more diverse in terms of gender and skin color, but it's still mostly flat in presenting diverse human qualities and differences. Few characters play against type, which makes the exceptions all the more remarkable. Part of the power of characters playing against type is simply their insistence, humorous and without qualified explanation, of their existence.

Right Wing Nation - A View from Jerusalem; Israelis Must Seize the Chance to Recover Quickly

Jeremiah (Jerry) Haber; Ari Shavit
Israel is not a liberal democracy that supports the flourishing of its citizenry. Democracy requires consent of the governed, and Israel controls, directly and indirectly, millions of Palestinians without their consent. There is a progressive, liberal, civil rights movement in Israel - the third largest list in the Knesset. The awful crisis of the right's victory is an unprecedented opportunity for us to learn from our mistakes and create a new mass movement.