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Tidbits - May 14, 2015 - TPP; Stop-and-Frisk; White Americans and Police Accountability; Vietnam ,Debating the War; Remembering Jackson State Murders; more...

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Reader Comments - Obama and the TPP; Stop-and-Frisk; White Americans and Police Accountability; Vietnam and Anti-War History and the Ongoing Debate; Remembering Jackson State Murders; Greece, Organizing New York; Those Who Work in Customer Call Centers; Announcements - Immigration, Work and Wages - Washington - May 21; Film Showing and Discussion - Blood Fruit - New York - May 22

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Does Fox's 'Empire' Break Or Bolster Black Stereotypes?

Eric Deggans NPR
Anchored by powerful performances from Oscar nominees Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, Empire features unapologetically black characters operating in a mostly black world. Nielsen says 7.5 million of them are African-American.But that's where the other controversy about Empire emerges. Because some critics say the show has earned its success by trafficking in "badly written dialogue and ham-fisted stereotypes."

Tidbits - April 16, 2015 - Chicago election; Police Killings; Prisons; Jewish Anti-Zionism; Charter Schools; Cuba; Culture...more

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Reader Comments - Chicago election; Police Killings; Reparations; Prisons; Jewish Anti-Zionism; Charter Schools vs. Public Schools; Cuba; Latin America; Iran; Burkina Faso; Guatemala; Scientologists; Game of Thrones; Science Fiction and the Hugo Awards; San Francisco and Labor History; April 26 - Peace and Planet for nuclear abolition; Remembering Jim Knutson

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The Troubling, Subversive Promise of the New Show Outlander

Laura Hudson Wired
Outlander returns on April 4, 2015 with new episodes to finish out its inaugural season. While it’s difficult to label neatly, there’s much to both enjoy and analyze in the complexity of Outlander, even as that very quality is likely to earn it foes. Its feminine focus and occasionally disconcerting sexual politics may earn it rejection from both sides of the gender discussion—some because it is “too feminist,” others because it’s not feminist enough.

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

Willa Paskin Slate
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.

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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. In other words, like most of comedy, its power is better experienced, not explained

Tidbits - March 19, 2015 - Lessons from Syriza and Podemos; 2016 elections; Prison Reform, Israel; Culture; and more...

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Reader Comments - Lessons from Syriza and Podemos; Kshama Sawant; 2016 elections; Prison Reform, Israel, Gaza, Palestine, Israeli elections; Venezuela, Greece, Ukraine; Measles; Culture - music, television, films; Franz Fanon; Roger Burbach - Presente! Announcements - Break the Cuba Blockade - Venceremos Brigade; WRL new "Pie Chart"; Mondragon and Workers Cooperatives; Fighting Inequality Conference

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Communists for Austerity

John Carl Baker Jacobin
In criticizing capitalism for mass consumption instead of exploitation, The Americans uses Soviet characters to valorize austerity.

Tidbits - March 12, 2015 - Ferguson, Selma, Voting Suppression, Racism, Venezuela, Netanyahu, Israel, Iran, Palestine and more...

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Reader Comments - Ferguson and Racism; Venezuela - New Coup, Made in USA; Selma, Voting Rights and Today; International Women's Day, Wonder Woman; Netanyahu, Israel, GOP and Iran; Wisconsin Attack on Unions; Ukraine; Death Penalty, 'Justice', Incarceration; Leonard Nimoy; Books on Upton Sinclair, Michael Harrington; Announcement - Triangle Shirtwaist Fire commemoration; Today in History
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