“Québec has long been a holdout, but that era’s over. Which makes the students indisputedly right about one thing: the problem with ‘reforms’ like these is that they constitute an abandonment of that old saw, the projet de société.”...more
Posts Tagged: politics
Harriet, the Poetry Foundation blog, reports that poet Joshua Clover and 11 students at UC Davis are potentially facing a $1 million fine and up to 11 years each in prison. Their crime? Peaceful protest.
A petition is circulating which demands that UC Davis drop all charges, and if I hear about any other plans to pressure the UC Davis administration, I’ll update this post to reflect them....more
“Just as women don’t hate Samantha Brick for being beautiful, and feminism hasn’t ruined anyone’s chances to be married, and no one thinks mothers don’t work, and there is no argument between working and stay-at-home mothers, there is no contradiction between the sexual imagination of some and sexual politics for all.”
At The Guardian, Hadley Freeman skewers the strategy–at play in both politics and media–that seeks to inspire in-fighting amongst women thereby distracting from actual policies or content....more
In the fall of 2008 I was chatting with a woman I know about the upcoming presidential election. She was in her 60s, single, a funky dresser, world traveler, and amateur artist—what my mom would have called a “free-spirited Auntie Mame type”— so I was surprised by what she had to say: She was voting Republican....more
The Nation explains how the GOP is resegregating the South with its infuriating redistricting campaign.
“The GOP’s long-term goal is to enshrine a system of racially polarized voting that will make it harder for Democrats to win races on local, state, federal and presidential levels....more
While a 2003 report announced progress in the reduction of poverty, a new Brookings report has found that “between 2000 and 2005-09, the population in extremely poor neighborhoods climbed by more than one-third, from 6.6 million to 8.7 million.” The Atlantic breaks it down with maps revealing the concentration of poverty and analysis of the main trends that have contributed to the reversal....more
“…Substantial wealth inequality is so embedded in American political culture that, standing alone, it would not be sufficient to trigger citizen rage of the type we are finally witnessing.”
At Mother Jones, Glenn Greenwald looks back at the history of inequality, examining the founding fathers’ view of inequality as “not merely inevitable, but desirable,” as well as its lasting pervasiveness and acceptance....more
“The stimulus failed.” “The deficit is our biggest problem right now.” “Lower taxes are the best way to grow the economy.” “Regulatory uncertainty is clogging the economy.” “If you unshackle the rich, they’ll rev up the economy.”
According to Mother Jones, those are the six myths that “that must die for our economy to live.”...more
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the British phone hacking scandal is the lack of coverage in the US press.
Among the US newspapers, the NY Times is the only one I can find which has done significant reporting on the story, though the best work on the story comes from (no surprise) the Guardian....more
Al-Jazeera has started a new project–an online dictionary of words and phrases the mainstream media (which I–though not everyone–would argue they’re a part of) uses when writing/talking about whatever the news story of the day happens to be. It’s either darkly funny or painfully true, or perhaps a combination of both....more
There’s an awesome Mother Jones article on how we intake our science like lawyers and how our reasoning is inextricably linked to our emotional centers. We’re used to scientific evidence and opinion-based beliefs competing or being on opposite sides of our reality spectrum, but they do, indeed, inform each other....more
The founding editor of Bookslut offers an eclectic selection of books that might help us confront our own deeply American sense of political alienation.
One of them I especially want to read: Avoiding Politics: How Americans Produce Apathy in Everyday Life by Nina Eliasoph, a book title that speaks to the person inside of me who would prefer to stay home all day, read books and update my Facebook account instead of having to confront the brutalities that my privileged repose rests upon....more
This last year Ishmael Reed published a book of satirical essays targeting the current American media: Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media: The Return of the Nigger Breakers.
Despite being a MacArthur Fellow, a critically-acclaimed author of nine novels and numerous other volumes of poetry, essays and criticism, Reed, a long-time resident of Oakland, CA had to go to a Canadian publisher to publish this book. This morning I discovered a recent interview with him that was at once insightful and provocative....more
In 1968, the year I was born, Ronald Reagan was considered too extreme to be the Republican nominee for the presidency. Richard Nixon was the nominee and served a term and a half before resigning under threat of impeachment.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan won the presidency and subsequently became a god in conservative circles, even though his policies mostly didn’t match the rhetoric....more
“My parents, with admirable foresight, had their first child while they were on fellowships in the United States. My mother was in public health, and my father in a library-science program. Having an American baby was, my mother once said, like putting money in the bank.”
So begins Daniel Alarcón (who is reading at the next Monthly Rumpus)’s recently published short story “Second Lives,” whose narrator is a Latin American man with a potent longing for a First World life....more
Joe Lieberman is introducing something he calls the Terrorist Expatriation Act–TEA Act for short, though the redundancy seems lost on them–which would make it possible for the State Department to strip the citizenship from anyone they determine is “involved with terrorist activities.”
Lieberman claims that he’s simply trying to update existing law....more
“Over the last decade Hispanic immigrants have become the main focus of American hate groups. According to Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, after September 11, 2001, the conservative media began discussing immigration as a national security issue, often using terms like “illegals,” “invaders,” even “potential terrorists” to describe undocumented immigrants....more
“It is the official art of authoritarian governments, aimed at extending state control through propaganda. Totalitarian kitsch exists to glorify the state, foster a personality cult surrounding the dictator and celebrate ceaseless and irrevocable social and economic progress through images of churning factories and happy, exultant workers.”...more
Desperate to save their businesses, the private companies who sell loans to college students have been heavily lobbying the government to keep subsidizing their loan programs. A bill that will overhaul the private loan industry recently passed in Congress with clear support from President Obama, who stated in his recent State of the Union Address “no one should go broke because they chose to go to college.”
The new proposal would retract government subsidies to private lending companies and cap the amount students have to pay back every month to 10% of their salary if they make more than $16,245 a year, reports Bryan Gerhart in his article for the California News Service. Loans that hadn’t been paid back after 10 years would even be forgiven if that student worked for a nonprofit or government organization....more
Wired on why mold is as efficient as Japanese urban planners.
Instead of changing the electoral college or senate systems, let’s just remake the states!
Look, everyone, I’m really sorry but I can’t not link to this cat with cat-shaped spots....more
“Fear, on one side, of watching Europe turn into “Eurabia“ —even if the demographics don’t justify such worries—and, on the other, of seeing centuries’ worth of social liberalization—including women’s suffrage and gay rights—fall apart in the face of religious conservatism, has led to the illegalization of an architectural form....more
Time Magazine has already called it “The Decade From Hell.”
(Couldn’t have been worse than the 1940′s?! Could it? I mean the 40′s had Hitler AND Stalin.)
And if you have survived the “aughts” reasonably intact as we caterwaul our way into 2010 with a health care package being vigorously stripped of all its progressive promises, an escalating war(s) and the seemingly insurmountable problems of mass poverty, financial instability and ecological meltdown, you might find yourself like me going head to head with an even heartier enemy: belief....more