Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


marmar's Journal
marmar's Journal
August 4, 2013

Professor Richard Wolff's Economic Update: What Capitalism Delivers (audio link)

Listen: http://rdwolff.com/content/economic-update-what-capitalism-delivers

by Richard Wolff.
Published on August 3, 2013

Updates on latest US GDP growth, corporate guilty pleas in Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, "economic insecurity" in US, Detroit's new sports arena and Prince William's paid paternity leave. Major discussions of US disposable income drop, banks deny 10 million checking accounts, and remarkably favorable polling numbers for labor unions. Response to listeners on sources of capital for worker coops.

August 3, 2013

So this shark walks into a bar........


NANTUCKET, Mass. — A cleaning crew has found an unexpected mess after arriving at Sea Dog Brew Pub on Nantucket: a 5-foot-long shark blocking the door.

Pub manager Jimmy Agnew says he doesn't know why anyone would have dumped the sea creature there.

Nantucket's public works department hauled the dead shark away after its discovery around 7 a.m. Thursday.

But Agnew said the pub fielded calls and questions all day long after word got out about the land shark. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/02/shark-found-pub-door-nantucket-sea-dog_n_3694596.html?utm_hp_ref=weird-news

August 3, 2013

Progressive Incoherence in “Radical” Berkeley

from Dissent magazine:

Progressive Incoherence in “Radical” Berkeley
By Zelda Bronstein - August 1, 2013

In the fall of 2011 Occupy caught the world by surprise, as tens of thousands of Americans, led by youth no less, took to the streets demanding economic justice. In Berkeley, California, Occupy upset expectations of a different sort. That city, my home for thirty-three of the past forty-six years, is widely regarded as a prime redoubt of the American left. But in the East Bay and, for a few weeks, the entire country, the epicenter of Occupy materialized in front of Oakland’s, not Berkeley’s, city hall.

To hear the media tell it, Berkeley’s default came out of the blue. “The Occupy movement,” wrote Carolyn Jones in the San Francisco Chronicle, “has been surprisingly quiet in Berkeley, which prides itself on a long history of rabble-rousing.” The quiescence surprised the alternative press as well. “Why,” wondered Zaineb Mohammed in a piece posted on the New America Media website, “is (sic) the city and college that ignited the mass protests of the ’60s barely a blip on the radar now?”

Media puzzlement at Berkeley’s truancy was predictable. For decades the press has disseminated the myth of radical—or leftist or liberal or progressive—Berkeley; take your pick, the terms are used interchangeably. With few exceptions, reporters cite sporadic “rabble-rousing” as evidence of a tenacious civic activism while disregarding numerous signs of a rightward turn within city hall, political disengagement outside it, and ideological disarray all around.

But Berkeley’s enduring radical image is not simply the creation of an unobservant media. It’s also the work of the city’s political class and its constituents. Not that twenty-first-century Berkeley politicos call themselves radical or leftist or even liberal; their label of choice is “progressive,” a contested term embraced by political actors with diametrically opposed views. ........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/progressive-incoherence-in-radical-berkeley

August 3, 2013

Chris Hedges: How War Seduces Societies and Creates Fictions the Public Believes (2004)

Published on Aug 1, 2013

Christopher Lynn "Chris" Hedges (born September 18, 1956) is an American journalist specializing in American politics and society. Hedges is also known as the best-selling author of several books including War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002)—a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction—Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009), Death of the Liberal Class (2010) and his most recent New York Times best seller, written with the cartoonist Joe Sacco, "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt" (2012).

Chris Hedges is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City. He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than fifty countries, and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News, and The New York Times, where he was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years (1990--2005).

In 2002, Hedges was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the paper's coverage of global terrorism. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and The University of Toronto. He writes a weekly column on Mondays for Truthdig and authored what The New York Times described as "a call to arms" for the first issue of The Occupied Wall Street Journal, the newspaper giving voice to the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park, New York City.

August 3, 2013

Keiser Report: KoolAid Bubble Mentality

Published on Aug 1, 2013

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert drink the KoolAid in order to get into the minds of the cult members climbing the suicidal property ladders in the US and UK. In the second half, Max talks to journalist and author, Dominic Frisby, about the cult of housing and how it is that Margaret Thatcher's Right to Buy scheme inspired the Conservative party to introduce Help to Buy for purely vote buying reasons.

August 3, 2013

Teach for America’s Mission to Displace Rank-and-File Educators in Chicago

Teach for America’s Mission to Displace Rank-and-File Educators in Chicago
Why are thousands of experienced educators being replaced by new college graduates?

BY Kenzo Shibata

First appeared at Jacobin.

Teach for America has come under heavy scrutiny in recent months. The organization was imagined over twenty years ago by Princeton undergraduate Wendy Kopp to combat the teacher shortage in urban and rural communities. TFA was to bring recent graduates from elite universities to teach in needy schools.

The idea was pretty simple. TFA was not better for students; it was better than nothing. Providing staff in these schools alleviated overcrowding and research shows that class size does matter in a child’s education.

Twenty years later, school districts are firing huge swaths of educators due to budget cuts. These dedicated teachers lose their jobs through no fault of their own, but find themselves competing for a dwindling number of open teaching slots. One would think that at this point, TFA is no longer necessary. We have a surplus of teachers and until politicians make education a priority and fund more teaching positions, this trend will continue.

Yet in Chicago

The district has committed to more than doubling its investment in the TFA program that trains college graduates for five weeks then sends them into schools for two years at a time. The Board of Education voted to increase its payment to TFA from $600,000 to nearly $1.6 million, and to add up to 325 new TFA recruits to CPS classrooms, in addition to 270 second year “teacher interns.”

This information was revealed after Chicago Public Schools announced layoffs of over 3,000 school personnel due to budget cuts. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://inthesetimes.com/article/15367/teach_for_americas_mission_to_displace_rank_and_file_educators_in_chicago

August 3, 2013

Slave and Slaveholder Descendents Break Free of History's Trauma—Together

from YES! Magazine:

Slave and Slaveholder Descendents Break Free of History's Trauma—Together
Responding to past traumas like slavery and acts of terrorism can heal us—and future generations.

by Lisa Gale Garrigues
posted Aug 02, 2013

In Berkeley, Calif., Palestinians and Israelis in a workshop circle pass around an invisible object called “hope.” In Atlanta, Ga., healers and activists of color make a recording that celebrates local healing traditions. In the remote villages of Alaska, a native health educator creates culture-specific programs for people recovering from alcoholism and depression. All of these people are working with collective trauma to create a clearer and more compassionate paradigm of how we view ourselves, each other, and the world.

“Collective trauma” happens to large groups of people—attempted genocide, war, disease, a terrorist attack. Its effects are specific: fear, rage, depression, survivor guilt, and physical responses in the brain and body that can lead to illness and a sense of disconnection or detachment. Collective trauma can be transmitted down generations and throughout communities.

It is further described as historical, transgenerational, cultural, or ancestral. “Each of these terms has its own nuances,” says Sousan Abadian, a former fellow at the MIT Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformational Studies, who wrote her doctoral thesis on collective trauma and international development work. For example, she says the term “cultural trauma” reflects that “trauma is not just at the level of the individual, it’s at the level of culture—that culture has been damaged, meaning institutions, cultural practices, values, and beliefs.”

Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart is one of the pioneers of applying the concept of historical trauma to native people in the Americas. For them, she writes, “Genocide, imprisonment, forced assimilation, and misguided governance have resulted in the loss of culture and identity, alcoholism, poverty, and despair.” She says she was looking at native historical photos at one point in the late 1970s when “It was almost like a light bulb went off in my head, like some kind of spiritual transformation.” She began making connections between indigenous people and Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. Historical trauma, she says, “is cumulative emotional and psychological wounding across generations, including one’s own lifespan, because everything up to a minute ago is history.” .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/love-and-the-apocalypse/free-yourself-from-the-past

August 3, 2013

The Scott Walker Generation

The Scott Walker Generation

Thursday, 01 August 2013 16:45
By James Cersonsky, Truthout | Report

[font size="1"]Protesters rally against the anti-immigrant HR 4437, 2006. (Photo: Voces de la Frontera)[/font]

Wisconsin's Student Bill of Rights is a 43-point program written by high schoolers. Similar to the National Student Bill of Rights, it calls for student input in school decision-making; support for technology, arts, music and bilingual education; freedom from discrimination; culturally relevant learning; restorative justice in school discipline; and college counseling - and access - for all. Points 6 and 7 bring a Wisconsinite twist: "Students have a right to a school environment where all teachers and staff have the right to collectively bargain" as well as "a desegregated public education system that is not undermined by privatization."

Youth Empowered in the Struggle

"I've gotten a lot of comments saying it was the teachers making the students write it," says Karla De Jesús,17, from Milwaukee. "There's a lot of discrimination. It's so hard to believe that students are doing something."

As students in Racine tried to get the bill encoded in district policy last year, the school board resisted. "They didn't approve of it, because we were too political," says Berenice Beltrán, 17, a Racine student "They said we were brainwashed."

Wisconsin's collective memory suggests otherwise. As the governor maneuvered to squash organized labor, the conversation percolated from news outlets to dinner gatherings to math and social studies lessons. "If you were in Milwaukee when Scott Walker was going into office," says Kika Meráz, 19, a Milwaukee native who now attends Marquette University, "everyone knew what collective bargaining is, what privatization is." ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/news/item/17941-the-scott-walker-generation

August 3, 2013

Gar Alperovitz: Political System Incapable of Meeting Social, Economic, Environmental Challenges

Current Political System Incapable of Meeting Social, Economic, Environmental Challenges

Friday, 02 August 2013 10:24
By Gar Alperovitz, Truthout | Op-Ed

It's a commonplace sentiment that politics in America is broken. Each week brings more evidence of deadlock in Washington, of social and economic decay and of disillusionment. The debased nature of politics, however, is only the most superficial symptom of our problems. Beneath the surface-level partisan bickering, much deeper currents have begun to shift.

Recent polls, for instance, show that roughly 80 percent of Americans believe their Congressional representatives to be "more interested in serving the needs of special interests groups" than "the people they represent." Almost four out of five believe a few rich people and corporations have much too much power. And only 37 percent - not much more than a third of the population - have confidence in the most solemn and august of American institutions, the Supreme Court.

It is clear that something different is going on - both with the economy and, more fundamentally, with democracy itself. The data on long-running trends are clear:

Real wages for roughly 80 percent of American workers have not gone up more than a trivial amount for at least three decades. At the same time, income for the top 1 percent has jumped from 10 percent of all income to roughly 20 percent. Put another way: Virtually all the gains of the entire economic system have gone to a tiny, tiny group at the top - for at least three decades. ...........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/17799-five-possible-paths-to-political-economic-change-in-the-era-of-stalemate-stagnation-and-decay

August 2, 2013

Noam Chomsky: Is Edward J. Snowden Aboard This Plane?

Is Edward J. Snowden Aboard This Plane?

Thursday, 01 August 2013 09:08
By Noam Chomsky, Truthout | Op-Ed

On July 9, the Organization of American States held a special session to discuss the shocking behavior of the European states that had refused to allow the government plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales to enter their airspace.

Morales was flying home from a Moscow summit on July 3. In an interview there he had said he was open to offering political asylum to Edward J. Snowden, the former U.S. spy-agency contractor wanted by Washington on espionage charges, who was in the Moscow airport.

The OAS expressed its solidarity with Morales, condemned “actions that violate the basic rules and principles of international law such as the inviolability of Heads of State,” and “firmly” called on the European governments - France, Italy, Portugal and Spain - to explain their actions and issue apologies.


Like Snowden, Manning committed the crime of revealing to Americans - and others - what their government is doing. That is a severe breach of “security” in the operative meaning of the term, familiar to anyone who has pored over declassified documents. Typically “security” means security of government officials from the prying eyes of the public to whom they are answerable - in theory. .........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/17923-is-edward-j-snowden-aboard-this-plane

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 76,581

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»marmar's Journal