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

E.g., 2015-10-07

The Surprising Things Seattle Teachers Won for Students by Striking

Valerie Strauss
Washington Post
Seattle teachers went on strike for a week this month with a list of goals for a new contract. By the time the strike officially ended this week, teachers had won some of the usual stuff of contract negotiations — for example, the first cost-of-living raises in six years — but also less standard objectives.

U.S. Trained “Moderate” Rebels Give Weapons to Al-Qaeda

Nabih Bulos
The Telegraph
In the second such episode in recent months, U.S.-trained Syrian rebels are reported to have handed over their weapons to al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra. The supposedly well-vetted fighters of Division 30, the “moderate” U.S.-backed rebel division, surrendered to Jabhat al-Nusra immediately after entering Syria on Monday. Last July, Jabhat al-Nusra routed the first group of Division 30 fighters to re-enter Syria, seizing their weapons and their commander.

New Housing Report Points to a Bleak Future for Renters

Gillian B. White
The Atlantic
America’s rental housing crisis will worsen over the next decade with millions more struggling to make their monthly payments. According to a new study by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and Enterprise Community Partners, the rental population in the U.S. will climb by 4 million over the next 10 years, and the percentage of Americans who are severely rent-burdened (paying 50 percent or more) will increase by 11 percent, to 13 million people by 2025.

Billionaire’s Secret Plan: A ‘Hostile Takeover’ of LA Public Schools

Deirdre Fulton
Common Dreams
Last week the Los Angeles Times obtained a secret 44-page proposal drafted by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and other charter advocates, that according to one critic would "do away with democratically controlled, publicly accountable education in LA." With the aid of a billionaires’ club of supporters, the plan is designed to charterize 50% of LA public schools.

The VW ‘Dieselgate’ Scandal: New Low in Corporate Malfeasance

Kevin Roose
What is notable about the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal is not that corporate executives lie and cheat, but its environmental scope. By rigging the emissions tests, Volkswagen cars may have added nearly a million tons of air pollution to the atmosphere annually – roughly the same as combined annual emissions for all power stations, vehicles, industry and agriculture in England. And, according to the New York Times, VW executives might not face any U.S. criminal charges.

South African Miners Could Lose HIV Treatment Due to Job Cuts

Katie McQue
This is Africa
As commodity prices tumble, thousands of South African miners with HIV stand to lose access to treatment if the mining companies’ proposed 11,700 in job cuts go through. While HIV treatment is technically free in South Africa, according to the National Union of Mineworkers many of the workers who lose their jobs could lose access to antiretroviral therapy when they return to their rural communities that may not have adequate healthcare systems in place.

Friday Nite Videos -- September 25, 2015

Donald Trump Has Nothing To Apologize For. John Oliver: Public Defenders. Brutally Honest NFL Theme Song with Bonnie McKee. Interview: From Freedom Fighter to President. 2-Million-Year-Old Fossils Reveal Hearing Abilities of Early Humans.

Indigenous Leaders Want Pope Francis To Rescind Bull Justifying Imperialism

Julian Brave NoiseCat
Huffington Post
Pope Francis has apologized for the "grave sins" committed "against the native peoples of America in the name of God." And he voiced his support for indigenous rights during his speech to Congress. But some indigenous leaders are asking the pope to take actions to rescind and repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery, which provided religious justification for European colonial conquest.

Constitutionally, Slavery Is Indeed a National Institution

Lawrence Goldstone
The New Republic
Whether or not the words “slave” or “slavery” appear in the text of the Constitution, they dominate its spirit. Slavery profoundly altered the four months of Constitutional debate with respect to how slaves would be counted for apportionment, how often the census would be taken, how a president would be elected. By the time the Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787, slavery had indeed become a national institution.

VW’s Cheating Proves We Must Open Up the Internet of Things

Klint Finley
As the Volkswagen case shows, the more trouble caused by closed-off code embedded in an ever-increasing number of physical objects, the more the makers of those objects will struggle to shield themselves from calls for transparency. When code inflicts real harm, such as Volkswagen’s polluting cars, the creators of that code must be held accountable. It’s time to start demanding that smart things open up.

96% of NFL Players Have Brain Damage

Linday Gibbs
Think Progress
New evidence confirms brain disease is widespread among former NFL players. But so far, the increased awareness and concern about concussions hasn’t impacted the NFL’s bottom line. In fact, the NFL is more popular than ever — the opening weekend of the 2015 season was the most-watched ever.

Is Solidarity Forever ? Proposed UAW Contract Fails to Meet Worker Expectations

Dianne Feeley
Autoworker expectations for the 2015 UAW/Big Three contracts were to end the lower-tier wage that the union agreed first agreed to in 2007, at the time of the economic crisis. Over the last decade the higher-tier workers lost four dollars an hour to inflation and have been looking for a raise, and perhaps a restoration of the Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) that had been suspended.


January Gill O'Neil
Green Mountains Review
A gray hoodie will not protect her son from rain or cold, writes Massachusetts poet January Gill O'Neil, but a mother's fears for "the darkest child/ on our street" express a deeper threat from the outside as color and race threaten the safety of the young.

US Labor Law at 80: The Enduring Relevance of Class Struggle Unionism

Immanuel Ness
At the center of the liberal democratic system, workers have fiercely resisted exploitation through the development of worker-based organizations rooted in the ideal of paving the road to a classless and democratic society. All those seeking greater labor militancy must recognize that traditional unions are unable to escape the trap set in the 1930s through fidelity to the collective bargaining agreement. [An earlier version was published by CounterPunch.]