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

Colombian Labor Protest Challenges President

Dan MolinskiI The Wall Street Journal
Tens of thousands of miners began their strike nearly a month ago, but it wasn't until this week that other sectors, including health workers, joined in. Also participating were some workers from Colombia's three most powerful labor federations, whose members oversee such unions as teachers and oil workers.

Movements Without Leaders

Bill McKibben TomDispatch
In recent months -- and it’s the curse of an author that sometimes you change your mind after your book is in type -- I’ve come to like the idea of capital L leaders less and less. It seems to me to miss the particular promise of this moment: that we could conceive of, and pursue, movements in new ways.

Supreme Error

Richard L. Hasen Slate
The conservative justices’ decision this past June in Shelby County v. Holder, striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, has already unleashed in North Carolina the most restrictive voting law we’ve seen since the 1965 enactment of the VRA. Texas is restoring its voter ID law which had been blocked (pursuant to the VRA) by the federal government. And more is to come in other states dominated by Republican legislatures.

How to Keep the NSA Out of Your Computer

Clive Thompson Mother Jones
Scores of communities worldwide have been building these roll-your-own networks—often because a mesh can also be used as a cheap way to access the regular internet. But along the way people are discovering an intriguing upside: Their new digital spaces are autonomous and relatively safe from outside meddling.

How False History Props Up the Right

Robert Parry
The Right’s policy nostrums are failing across the board – from free-market extremism to austerity as a cure for recession to continuing the old health-care dysfunction – leaving only an ideological faith that this is what the Framers wanted. But that right-wing “history” is just one more illusion, writes Robert Parry.

Book Review - Fighting the Landlords from Stuy-Town to Detroit

Michael Hirsch The Indypendent (Issue #189)
Other People's Money: Inside the Housing Crisis and the Demise of the Greatest Real Estate Deal Ever Made was what the trade calls OPM, or other's people's money, that was lost, mostly in investments from pension funds that were then bundled and sold as mortgage-linked securities. With many mortgages shaky, these securities made for a toxic stew, and that practice nationwide fed the housing collapse and the onset of the Great Recession in late 2007.

Despite Closings And Budget Cuts, CPS Calls For New Charter Schools

Lauren Fitzpatrick Chicago Sun-Times
Kelly, the district’s largest school, also took the biggest budget hit for what CPS called a projected enrollment drop of 200-250 students, though CPS still considers it overcrowded as well. The school has laid off 23 teachers, 10 support staff and will also lose seven security guards, as well.“Our enrollment is supposedly down, which is why they explained the $4 million in cuts, but apparently we need new schools,” said Carolyn Brown, one of the teacher representatives.

Darwin did not cheat Wallace out of his rightful place in history

John van Wyhe The Guardian
The myth: Darwin's friends cooked up a scheme to rob the working-class Wallace of his priority and instead put their friend Darwin first. The fact: every substantive claim in the popular narrative about Wallace turns out to be incorrect. As Wallace himself wrote: "this vast, this totally unprecedented change in public opinion has been the result of the work of one man, and was brought about in the short space of twenty years!"

The AFL-CIO Is Exploring New Investments in Alt-Labor and Texas Organizing

Josh Eidelson The Nation
The AFL-CIO is discussing “the next stage” in alternate formations and there “will be some limited, thoughtful experiments in different places through various affiliates.” The AFL-CIO also plans to support an ambitious multi-union effort to organize in Texas. “The AFT has come to us and said, ‘We want you to convene other unions to make a long-term investment in Texas and we’re going to do it.”