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The Word That Makes Brutal Budgets Sound “Truly Evil”

Austerity was once a conservative rationale for cutting spending. Now, it’s an explanation of the consequences.

Santiago Declaration Envisions End of Neoliberalism

A new manifesto calls for building "a sustainable social pact for the 21st century" in which "our rights are guaranteed, not based on our ability to pay, or on whether a system produces profit, but on whether it enables all of us to live well together in peace and equality."

What Should Rent Control Accomplish?

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is backing a return of rent control, decades after it was banned in a state referendum. But disappointment among tenant activists raises questions about what rent control is supposed to achieve.

Systemic Racism Is the Death of Us All.

We live in a country where recognizing Black humanity has always been a fight.

Dispatches From the Culture Wars – January 31, 2023

A reign of terror from coast to coast

We Don’t Believe in Last Chances. Except This Time.

Thank you if you responded to our fund appeal. If not, this is our last ask and your last chance. Either way, this message is for you.

Louisville Trader Joe’s Employees Voted To Unionize

The first Trader Joe’s location in the South affiliated with Trader Joe"s United.

The Police Folklore That Helped Kill Tyre Nichols

A 1992 study claims that officers who show weakness are more likely to be killed. Law-enforcement culture has never recovered.

When Ilhan Omar Asks, Her Colleagues Should Listen

She doesn’t oppose an active U.S. foreign policy. She opposes the myth — which frames so much official discourse in Washington — that American foreign policy is intrinsically moral.

Progressive Democrats in Congress Play Offense

A successful strategy for progressive party-building in the House requires a dedicated inside-outside strategy—and the Congressional Progressive Caucus is growing its capacity on the inside.
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Culture

books

Making Sense of the Ukraine War

Eric Draitser Tempest
In a critical assessment of this new book, reviewer Draitser challenges some widely-held views and assumptions about the Russia-Ukraine war.

film

The Responsibility of Watching

A.O. Scott The New York Times
The Responsibility of Watching the video of Memphis police beating Tyre Nichols challenges public complacency — and complicity. What are our duties as citizens and as human beings?

food

Cacao Makes a Comeback in Puerto Rico

Jen Ruiz Modern Farmer
In the 1900s, tax incentives lured major pharmaceutical corporations to the island. Puerto Ricans left the land for the office. But gourmet crops like cacao have enticed islanders to return to agriculture, building a burgeoning chocolate hot spot.

tv

‘Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches’ Will Ask ‘How Should Women Use Power?’

Danielle Turchiano Metacritic
Spaulding noted that there are two clear paths someone could take: finding new ways to wield the power or modeling the patriarchy. The central question of the show, which she added will get "answered in various ways over the course of each episode and this season and beyond" is, "As female power emerges, how should a women use power?"

poetry

Big Bird Died for Your Sins

Martín Espada Virginia Quarterly Review
The poet Martín Espada recounts a childhood encounter of death, mourning the loss of baseball’s Puerto Rican star, Roberto Clemente.

books

The Problem of Democracy

Jonathan Freedland The Guardian
In this book, author Hamid writes about what he calls a "democratic dilemma" facing U.S. policymakers, who, he says, "want democracy in theory but do not necessarily want its outcomes in practice.”

Labor

labor

Picket Crosses Worker Lines

Hanna Raskin The Food Section
Workers on picket line. The newly formed Union of Southern Service Workers holds its first strike.

labor

How We Began To Bring the Mail Back

Jamie Partridge Labor Notes
In the 1980s and 1990s, after we secured local contract language against delivery in the dark (“both inefficient and unsafe”), carriers in Portland would bring the mail back, instead of delivering in the dark.

Friday nite video

video

When Culture Changes Our DNA

Thanks to our ability to develop and share complex learned behaviors across generations - a thing we sometimes call culture - we have become the ultimate niche builders.

video

Life And Death 3,000,000 Years Ago

What was life and death like for some of our earliest ancestors, like famed australopith  Lucy, who lived almost three million years ago?