JP124: Mother Jones

 

motherjones_march_colorado.jpg

Injustice boils in men’s hearts
as does steal in its cauldron
ready to pour forth, white hot, in the fullness of time.

Mother Jones

Mary Harris Jones was born in 1830 in County Cork, Ireland. Her family left the devastation brought by the Irish Potato Famine and emigrated westward, first to Canada and then to American. Tragedy befell Jones when she lost her family to a yellow fever outbreak and then her home in the great Chicago fire. She went on to become a labor activist and was given the nickname “Mother Jones.” A champion of the working class, Jones was a campaigner for the United Mine Workers Union, founded the Social Democratic Party and helped establish the Industrial Workers of the World. Jones died in 1930. . . . continue reading


Weekly Roundup

“I’ve seen Betty Shelby, the Killer Cop Who Was Found Not Guilty of Killing an Unarmed Black Man”, Lawrence Ware, The Root

I live in Oklahoma. I teach at a university less than an hour from Tulsa. Much of the trial happened during my finals week, so I made the trip to Tulsa so I could see Betty Shelby in person. I was able to get into the courthouse because I work in ministry in Oklahoma City, but really, I went because something inside me needed to lay eyes on her for myself. What I saw was unimpressive.

“Balch Springs man who was tased while handcuffed believes officer acted based on race”, Claire Z. Cardona and Jennifer Emily, Dallas News

Almost a year before a Balch Springs police officer fatally shot a 15-year-old leaving a party, a sergeant used a Taser on a handcuffed man, recently revealed body-camera footage shows.

“Immigration arrests up 40% since Trump took office”, Denis Slattery, New York Daily News

The Trump administration is following through on the President’s promise to crack down on undocumented immigrants, with arrests up nearly 40% since Jan. 22, officials said Wednesday.

“Sweden Withdraws Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange, but he Still Faces Serious Legal Jeopardy”, Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

Swedish prosecutors announced this morning that they were terminating their seven-year-old sex crimes investigation into Julian Assange and withdrawing their August 20, 2010, arrest warrant for him. The chief prosecutor, Marianne Ny, said at a news conference this morning (pictured below) that investigators had reached no conclusion about his guilt or innocence, but instead were withdrawing the warrant because “all prospects of pursuing the investigation under present circumstances are exhausted” and it is therefore “no longer proportionate to maintain the arrest of Julian Assange in his absence.”

“Trump Administration Rejected a Plan to Seize ISIS’s Capital That One of the Countries Paying Michael Flynn Didn’t Like”, Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate

One of Donald Trump’s main campaign themes was that, as president, he would quickly “bomb the shit out of,” “crush,” “destroy,” and “totally obliterate” ISIS. As it happens, before Trump took office, his predecessors in the Obama administration had spent months preparing plans to attack and seize ISIS’s capital—the Syrian city of Raqqa. All that Trump transition officials had to do to authorize the attack was approve the plan. But Trump’s team refused to do so and has not yet launched its own offensive. ISIS still holds Raqqa.

“Puerto Rico’s $123 Billion Bankruptcy is the Cost of U.S. Colonialism”, Juan González, The Intercept

Last week Puerto Rico officially became the largest bankruptcy case in the history of the American public bond market. On May 3, a fiscal control board imposed on the island’s government by Washington less than a year ago suddenly announced that Puerto Rico’s economic crisis had “reached a breaking point.” The board asked for the immediate appointment of a federal judge to decide how to deal with a staggering $123 billion debt the commonwealth government and its public corporations owe to both bondholders and public employee pension systems.

“Buffet is Voting All Shares in Favor of Wells Fargo’s Board”, Laura J Keller and Noah Buhayar, Bloomberg

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is voting all of its Wells Fargo & Co. shares to support the re-election of the bank’s board.

Berkshire, Wells Fargo’s largest investor with a stake of about 10 percent, has already voted most of the holding, Debbie Bosanek, an assistant to Buffett, said in an email Thursday. Buffett, 86, is also voting shares he personally owns, she said.


JPTV

Erdogan’s body guards attacking protesters. They were let off because diplomatic immunity… Another video has surfaced in which Erdogan sees this happening. It is unclear whether or not that attacks were by his order.

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! discusses one big failing of the media on AJ+

“We need a media that allows people to speak for themselves…When you hear someone speaking from their own experience, it changes you. I didn’t say you will agree with it. How often do we even agree with our family members? But you begin to understand where they’re coming from.”

Bernie Joins Rob Quist: Is the Political Revolution About to Sweep Montana?, The Young Turks


al-Baqia

This week I rented Swiss Army Man aka “the farty boner corpse movie” for 99 cents. It was worth every farting penny. This movie really satisfied my juvenile sense of humor and I laughed out loud at more than one fart. Paul Dano takes deranged eccentric  seriously and Daniel Radcliffe plays an astoundingly charismatic corpse. Fun fun, currently 99 cents on iTunes.

Swiss Army Man
Written and Directed by:
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
Staring:
Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe

JP124: May Day

Scroll against the machine…

HaymarketRiot-Harpers.jpg(The Haymarket Riot, Harper’s Weekly – http://www.chicago.org/hadc/visuals/59v0460v.jpg)

“Eight Hours for Work, Eight Hours for Rest,
Eight Hours for What We Will!”

“The Haymarket Affair”, William J. Adelman, Illinois Labor History Society

No single event has influenced the history of labor in Illinois, the United States, and even the world, more than the Chicago Haymarket Affair. It began with a rally on May 4, 1886, but the consequences are still being felt today. Although the rally is included in American history textbooks, very few present the event accurately or point out its significance”

William J. Adelman


The 124

There’s a famous curse, which Bobby Kennedy dubiously designated a “chinese curse”,  which condemns: May you live in interesting times. These are interesting times. The “elected” executive of the most powerful government in history is a buffoonish, talentless, heir and the opposition party, the Democratic Party, long in decline, is hindered by a rift between the empowered neoliberal faction and a leftist, new deal uprising. A rash and reckless Republican Party should be easily contestable, but may continue to gain power due to the Democratic Party’s inability to reconcile its contradictions.

By influence of political history scholar, Thomas Frank,  it is my view that the only way to change the reactionary tide is for an authentic people’s party to emerge — be it the Democratic Party or otherwise.

Perhaps revisiting this nation’s illustrious, but too often neglected labor history could be a source of inspiration. In honor of May Day, this month’s 124 will be dedicated to heroes of the labor movement.

Labor Hero of the Week: Lucy Gonzalez Parsons

Lucy_Parsons.1920.jpg
(Lucy Parsons 1920, wikipedia.org)

“Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth”
-Lucy Parsons (1853-1942)

“More Dangerous Thana Thousand Rioters: The Revolutionary Life of Lucy Parsons”, Kelly Gallagher, The Nation

There is one word we should all be thinking in these first days under president-elect Donald Trump. One word that we should be shouting as we begin the work of combating the racist and misogynist policies that will inevitably come. One word we should embody now more than ever: Organize. Under Trump, we will need to come together in radically new ways, ways we haven’t even envisioned yet. In moments like these, artists have an especially unique role, actively encouraging community and care, critiquing misogyny and white supremacy, and resurrecting important histories of resistance and rebellion.


Weekly Roundup

“This May Day, Don’t Go to Work, Take to the Streets and Strike”, Michelle Chen, In These Times

From the Muslim ban to the border wall, President Donald Trump’s first 100 days have unleashed a blitzkrieg of terror. But on May 1, the communities he thought he’d backed into a corner will put him on the defensive with equal and opposite force.

Bernie Sanders with investigative journalist Jane Mayer, author of ‘Dark Money’, The Bernie Sanders Show

“‘Fear City’ Explores How Donald Trump Exploited The New York Debt Crisis to Boost His Own Fortune”, Naomi Klein, The Intercept

When I published “The Shock Doctrine” a decade ago, a few people told me that it was missing a key chapter in the evolution of the tactic I was reporting on. That tactic involved using periods of crisis to impose a radical pro-corporate agenda. They said that in the United States that story doesn’t start with Reagan in the 1980s, as I had told it, but rather in New York City in the mid-1970s. That’s when the city’s very near brush with all-out bankruptcy was used to dramatically remake the metropolis. Massive and brutal austerity, sweetheart deals for the rich, privatizations. In classic Shock Doctrine style, under cover of crisis, New York changed from being a place with some of the most generous public services in the country, engaged in some cutting-edge attempts at racial and economic integration, to the temple of nonstop commerce and gentrification that we all know and still love today.

“Black Politicians are Fighting a ‘Stand Your Ground’ Resurgence”, Mike Spies, The Trace

Soon after the start of his first term as a black lawmaker in the fifth-whitest state in the country, State Representative Ras Smith brought his hoodie to work. For the eleventh year in a row, elected officials in Iowa were going to take up a “stand your ground” proposal, authorizing residents to use lethal means to protect themselves in certain situations. In other states, similar laws have disproportionately justified the fatal shootings of African-Americans.

“Which Way to the Barricades?”, Steve Fraser and Nelson Lichtenstein, Jacobin

Rise, like lions after slumber,
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you-
Ye are many—they are few.

Shelly’s “Masque of Anarchy” has been a spectral presence for nearly two hundred years, summoned at climactic moments of civil warfare. Composed to memorialize the 1819 Peterloo massacre, the poem commemorates the sixty thousand people who gathered at the very dawn of the industrial revolution to demand a radical expansion of suffrage, especially to those laboring in England’s dark satanic mills. Dozens died, hundreds were wounded.

“Brazil on Strike”, Lucas Iberico Lozada, Dissent

As darkness fell in Rio de Janeiro’s historic center on Friday evening, the smell of tear gas hung heavy. It had been a day of mass mobilization across the country: more than a million Brazilians in at least 254 cities participated in a day-long general strike on Friday, according to organizers; more are taking to the streets today for May Day, a national holiday here. The strike, said to be the biggest in decades, was meant to rally opposition to an aggressive pension reform plan that would weaken labor laws and raise the retirement age by a decade—the centerpiece of an array of austerity measures put forth by President Michel Temer, whose approval rating sits at a dismal 4 percent.

“Why Muslims are marching for climate”, Nana Firman, CNN

From the cropless farmer to the beleaguered first responder to the person forced to evacuate their flooded home, we all have our reasons for caring about climate change. As an Indonesian-born Muslim living in California, it is my faith that compels me to protect our earth.

“Gods of War”, Siddhartha Deb, The Baffler

When the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore flew in 1932 from Calcutta to Bushehr in Iran, he made a brief stop in Baghdad. It was a long journey, and although Tagore was extremely well traveled, this was only his second time on an aircraft. Seventy-one years old, curious about the world but critical of the violence and rigidity of modernity, Tagore was mostly unimpressed by his experience of commercial aviation. It brought to mind the mythical account in the Mahabharata of the warrior Arjuna being taken up into the air, making him reflect that Arjuna had lost intimacy with the earth by flying, his physical distancing resulting inevitably in a moral distancing that would allow him to kill from the air with­out compunction.

“Basic Income in a Just Society”, Birshen Rogers, Boston Review

“Amazon needs only a minute of human labor to ship your next package,” read a CNN headline last October. The company has revolutionized its warehouse operations using an army of 45,000 robots and other technologies. Previously workers known as “pickers” would walk among shelves to find goods. Now robots bring the shelves to them; pickers select goods, scan them, and put them into bins; after robots whisk the shelves away. A network of automated conveyer belts then sends the bins to “packers,” who spend just fifteen seconds on each, sealing boxes with tape that is automatically dispensed at the perfect length. “By the time you take an Amazon delivery off your stoop, walk into your home, find a pair of scissors and open the brown box,” the story intoned, “you’ve already spent nearly as much time handling the package as Amazon’s employees.”


al-Baqia

Daniel Suhre, who writes the Unknown Minstrel section on this blarg has written some damn fine songs. No Minstrel this week, but y’all should check out the demos he has up on his bandcamp — special attention to the labor anthem, “May Day”, which has a verse for our Labor Hero of the Week Lucy Parsons.

“Ghost in the Shell”
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Cast: Atsuko Tanaka, Akio Otsuka, Koichi Yamadera

No real surprise that Rupert Sanders’  yellowfaced and superficial adaptation of “Ghost in the Shell” was a dud — good riddance. Let’s use this as an excuse to revisit Mamoru Oshii’s classic:

There are some complicated ideas explored in this film, here’s a great video from wisecrack to help out


…thank you for scrolling, comrades

Happy Day-After-Easter!

hoppy easter…

The 124 on break

for Easter. Yeah, sorry excuse, but it’s all I got. I’m taking the week off, but don’t look too sullen! In honor of tax season, I’m leaving you with distinguished professor of economics at The New School Dr. Richard Wolff and his monthly Global Capitalist Update from Democracy at Work, Left Forum, the judson memorial church, and this week’s sponsor John O’Sullivan.

And here’s a pretty interesting article for ya:

“Shadow Brokers hackers release NSA hacking tools to punish Trump for ‘abandoning’ his base”, Monika Skolimowska, RT

Hacking group Shadow Brokers has released the password to a trove of NSA exploits in what they say is a form of protest against President Donald Trump for going back on his campaign promises, and warning the president, “Don’t forget your base.”


see you next week…

February 25, 2017

This is the post excerpt…

 “When I Felt Like a Woman“, Rachel Siemens, Man Repeller

An old friend from Idaho, now living in Portland, writing about her experience in Chicago, had an essay on her experience with potent, defeating sexism posted to the online magazine Man Repeller. It is both powerful and awful. The first paragraph:

Modern womanhood as it is often depicted in the media — careers before marriage, IUDs for all, the triumphant call to arms regarding female nipple exposure — has lacked any semblance to my own experience. Perhaps this is because the landscape of my transformation took place beneath the bare-bulbed glare of Corporate America. And there, women are treated as burdens.


Top Stories

Truth to Power: Fifty years ago today, Noam Chomsky published his landmark antiwar essay, “The Responsibility of Intellectuals.“, Daniel Geary, Jacobin

In “The Responsibility of Intellectuals,” Chomsky’s main target is not policymakers but intellectual apologists for America’s Vietnam policy such as the liberal historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. Chomsky criticizes Schlesinger and others for opposing the war for the wrong reason: not because it was morally abhorrent but because it was simply a mistake, a war the United States could not win at an acceptable cost. To Chomsky, Schlesinger and others pretended to be hard-headed realists in analyzing world politics but took it as an “article of faith that American motives are pure and not subject to analysis.” Two years later, in his first and best book, American Power and the New Mandarins, Chomsky would label these intellectuals the “new mandarins” because of their subservience to state power.

The Responsibility of Intellectuals“, Noam Chomsky, The New York Review of Books

Let me finally return to Dwight Macdonald and the responsibility of intellectuals. Macdonald quotes an interview with a death-camp paymaster who burst into tears when told that the Russians would hang him. “Why should they? What have I done?” he asked. Macdonald concludes: “Only those who are willing to resist authority themselves when it conflicts too intolerably with their personal moral code, only they have the right to condemn the death-camp paymaster.” The question, “What have I done?” is one that we may well ask ourselves, as we read each day of fresh atrocities in Vietnam—as we create, or mouth, or tolerate the deceptions that will be used to justify the next defense of freedom.


Weekly Update

Another Indigenous Leader Assassinated in Honduras“, teleSUR

Sevilla, who was also a teacher, was attacked and in his home early Friday morning by five heavily armed men, according to local media.

Mayor Rodriguez said that while no motive or suspects have yet been identified, police have launched a full investigation.

Same-sex marriage laws helped reduce suicie attempts by gay, lesbian and bisexual teens, study says“, Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times

In short, the research suggests, the effect of state marriage equality laws passed between 1999 and 2015 extended far beyond gay men and lesbians intent on marrying: For high schoolers coming to terms with their “sexual minority” status, their state’s adoption of a marriage equality law appeared to ease a stigma that drives many to consider suicide

Bodies of 74 Migrants Wash Ashore in Libya“, Don Melvin, NBC News

Migrant deaths have risen to record levels on the Libya-to-Italy smuggling route across the Mediterranean Sea. They generally attempt the crossing in flimsy inflatable craft loaded with small amounts of fuel which are intended to get them only as far as European rescue vessels stationed in international waters.

Libyan coast guard spokesman Ayoub Gassim said more than 500 migrants were rescued at sea on Friday and Saturday. The migrants’ boats were 5-7 miles from the coast of Libya.

1.4 million children could die from famine this year, says UNICEF“, hindustantimes

Almost 1.4 million children suffering from severe malnutrition could die this year from famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, the UN children’s agency said Monday.


Odd and Ends

SOCIOLOGY – Alexis De Tocqueville” Alain de Botton, The School of Life

Alexis de Tocqueville was a 19th century French aristocrat with some crucial things to tell us about strengths and weaknesses of that once-new and now widespread political system: democracy.

“Nina Tuner on whether the Dems can be saved, Melissa Byrne on why she’s running for #DNCViceChair”, Katie Halper, The Katie Halper Show

“[No Music] How to make Pad Thai”, Peaceful Cuisine

I have recently discovered this youtube channel of dialog-free cooking videos. Beautifully shot and excellent sound design, I find these videos to be very relaxing and I’ve been enticed to try the kimchi recipe this week. Some of the videos have music, but I much prefer the [no music] set. Here’s his video on pad thai:


Nations (Additions in BOLD)
Rachael and I have embarked on a years-long ambition to memorize all the nations and capitals. I’m adding 10-15 each week and posting it here so you can join us and/or help us by throwing us a pop quiz from time to time!

South America
Argentina — Buenos Aires
Bolivia — La Paz
Brazil — Brasilia
Chile — Santiago
Colombia — Bogota
Ecuador — Quito
French Guiana — Cayenne
Guyana — Georgetown
Paraguay — Asuncion
Peru — Lima
Suriname — Paramaribo
Uruguay — Montevideo
Venezuela — Caracas

North America
Belize — Belmopan
Canada — Ottawa
Costa Rica — San Jose
Cuba — Havana
Dominican Republic — Santo Domingo
El Salvador — San Salvador
Guatemala — Guatemala City
Haiti — Port-au-Prince
Honduras — Tegucigalpa
Jamaica — Kingston
Mexico — Mexico DF
Nicaragua — Managua
Panama — Panama City
Puerto Rico — San Juan

Europe
Belarus — Minsk
Bulgaria — Sofia
Czech Republic — Prague
Hungary — Budapest
Moldova — Chisinau
Poland — Warsaw
Romania — Bucharest
Russia — Moscow
Slovakia — Bratislava
Ukraine — Kiev
Albania — Tirana
Bosnia and Herzegovina — Sarajevo
Croatia — Zagreb
Cyprus — Nicosia
Estonia — Tallinn
Latvia — Riga
Lithuania — Vilnius
Macedonia — Skopje
Montenegro — Podgorica
Serbia — Belgrade
Slovenia — Ljubljana
Turkey — Ankara
Belgium — Brussels
Denmark — Copenhagen
Finland — Helsinki
Austria — Vienna
Greece — Athens
Kosovo — Pristina
Netherlands — Amsterdam
Norway — Oslo
Sweden — Stockholm
Andorra — Andorra la Vella
Malta — Valetta
Monaco — Monaco
Switzerland — Bern
UK — London
France — Paris
Germany — Berlin
Iceland — Reykjavik
Ireland — Dublin
Italy — Rome
Liechtenstein — Vaduz
Luxembourg — Luxembourg
Portugal — Lisbon
San Marino — San Marino
Spain — Madrid
Vatican City — Vatican City

Africa

Morocco — Rabat
Algeria — Algiers
Tunisia — Tunis
Libya — Tripoli
Egypt — Cairo
Mauritania — Nouakchott
Mali — Bamako
Niger — Niamey
Chad — N’Djamena
Sudan — Khartoum
South Sudan — Juba
Eritrea — Asmara
Djibouti — Djibouti
Senegal — Dakar
Gambia — Banjul
Guinea-Bissau — Bissau
Guinea — Conakry
Sierra Leone — Freetown
Liberia — Monrovia
Cote D’Ivoire — Yamoussoukro
Burkina Faso — Ouagadougou
Ghana — Accra
Togo — Lome
Benin — Porto Novo
Nigeria — Abuja
Cameroon    Yaoundé
Central African Republic — Bangui
Ethiopia — Addis Ababa
Somalia — Mogadishu
Kenya — Nairobi
Uganda — Kampala
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) — Kinshasa
Congo — Brazzaville
Gabon — Libreville
Equatorial Guinea — Malabo
Rwanda — Kigali
Angola — Luanda
Malawi — Lilongwe
Mozambique — Maputo
Madagascar — Antananarivo
Zambia — Lusaka
Zimbabwe — Harare
South Africa — Pretoria
Tanzania — Dodoma
Botswana — Gaborone
Burundi — Bujumbura
Cape Verde — Praia
Comoros — Moroni
Lesotho — Maseru
Mauritius — Port Louis
Namibia — Windhoek
Sao Tome and Principe — Sao Tome
Seychelles — Victoria
Swaziland — Mbabane

February 20, 2017

This is the post excerpt…

‘Blood in the Water,’ a Gripping Account of the Attica Prison Uprising”, Mark Oppenheimer, The New York Times

I recently attended a lecture at the university given by history professor Heather Ann Thompson who is currently touring her book, “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy”. I had heard of the Attica prison uprising, but just the simple fact that it had happened. I never knew the actual story and it is quite a story indeed. The book itself is 20% about the events of that day and 80% about the cover up that came after. Dr. Thompson’s research met many peculiar dead ends and even came up against massive destruction of documents. A lot of her sources were only obtained due to a mismanagement of documents after a building flooded and a good deal sleuthing.

To Dr. Thompson, this story deserves to be told because of the grave injustices that were carried out by the state against both the prisoners, prison staff, and survivors of  prisoners and prison staff killed (Many of whom were persuaded to accept small checks for workers’ compensation, giving up their right to sue for damages), but Maybe more important is the role this story played in American mass incarceration, which she calls “the civil rights issue of our time”.

She correlates misleading press coverage of the uprising with a gradual, but marked shift in public support for punitive justice and incarceration, which was at an all-time low in the 70s, but has since been on the rise. From the book review:

Ms. Thompson’s sympathies are with the prisoners. In her epilogue, she draws a straight line from the trauma of Attica to the Rockefeller drug laws, whose sentencing guidelines have caused the prison population to mushroom up to the present. But she is just as concerned with the undertrained, overworked guards. They knew what had caused Attica. After the uprising, Jerry Wurf, president of the correction officers’ union, called for more “secure and humane penal facilities” rather than the “decaying relics of penal theories discarded long ago.”

And yet in 1971 the State of New York had only 12,500 prisoners, a number that grew, by 2000, to almost 74,000. None of them can vote. But they can still strike or riot, and it’s Ms. Thompson’s achievement, in this remarkable book, to make us understand why this one group of prisoners did, and how many others shared the cost.

Top Stories
Immigrants Do Not Increase Crime, Research Shows: A group of criminologists show the claim of a link is false”, Chris Kubrin, Graham C. Ousey, Lesley Reid, Robert Adelman, Scientific American

In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Trump named victims who were reportedly killed by undocumented immigrants and said:

“They are being released by the tens of thousands into our communities with no regard for the impact on public safety or resources…We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities.”

But, what does research say about how immigration impacts crime in U.S. communities? We turned to our experts for answers.

Author Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor speaks at MU about black liberation”, Blare Roth, The Maneater

Taylor: “We must be clear about how we got to this point. And in doing so, it is critical to remember that embedded inside of every right-wing backlash is the failure of the liberal establishment to provide a better way.”

Weekly Update:

Antarctic sea ice shrinks to smallest ever extent: Data contradicts climate change sceptics, who have pointed to earlier increases in areas of sea ice to support their views”, Reuters in Oslo

World average temperatures climbed to a record high in 2016 for the third year in a row. Climate scientists say warming is causing more extreme days of heat, downpours and is nudging up global sea levels

Thousands Protest Aluminum Plant in Chinese Oil City of Daqing”, Yang Fan, Radio Free Asia

Thousands of people took to the streets of northeastern China’s Heilongjiang province on Tuesday in protest over plans to build an aluminum plant near their home, protesters told RFA. . . Protesters said the demonstrations will likely continue until there is clear evidence that the project has been halted.
Universities Oppose Paying Their Postdocs Overtime, but Will Pay Football Coaches Millions of Dollars: At a salary of $42,000 a year, these postdocs are being paid about $13.50 an hour”, Ross Eisenbrey, Alternet

Colleges and universities have made the indefensible argument that they can’t afford to pay their low-level salaried employees for their overtimeunder the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule. Universities have singled out postdoctoral researchers, many of whom spend 60 hours a week or more running the labs that turn out the nation’s most important scientific advances, as a group of employees that would just cost too much if they had to be paid for the extra hours they work each week.

Climate Change Predictions: What Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking and Noam Chomsky Are Saying About Future of Global Warming”, Pranshu Rathi, International Business Times

“The question that was left was whether it would be possible to carry forward this global effort to deal with the highly critical problem of environmental catastrophe, if the leader of the free world, the richest and most powerful country in history, would pull out completely, as appeared to be the case,” Chomsky said. “That’s the stated goal of the president-elect, who regards climate change as a hoax and whose policy, if he pursues it, is to maximise the use of fossil fuels, end environmental regulations, dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency—established by Richard Nixon, which is a measure of where politics has shifted to the right in the past generation—and, in other ways, accelerate the race to destruction.”

This week in the executive: Gateway Pundit

Gateway Pundit: Pro-Donald Trump blog granted White House press credentials”, The Independent

Donald Trump’s administration has granted press credentials to an outspoken conservative news site that has promoted false rumors about Hillary Clinton’s health and voter fraud.

Odds and Ends

Video of the Week:
“Who is the Nigger?”, James Baldwin

A clip from, “Take this Hammer”…
KQED’s mobile film unit follows author and activist James Baldwin in the spring of 1963, as he’s driven around San Francisco to meet with members of the local African-American community.
Baldwin reflects on the racial inequality that African-Americans are forced to confront and at one point tries to lift the morale of a young man by expressing his conviction that: “There will be a Negro president of this country but it will not be the country that we are sitting in now.”

Tonight I’m going to go see the James Baldwin documentary, here’s the trailer. It starts with a brilliant quote:

“IF any white man in the world says ‘give me liberty or give me death’ the entire white world applauds; when black man says exactly the same thing, he is judged a criminal and treated like one and everything possible is done to make an example of this bad nigger so there won’t be anymore like him”

whoa.
“I Am Not Your Negro”, James Baldwin
Director: Raoul Peck
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson
Producers: Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety, Hébert Peck

School of Life:
“Why We Look Down on Low Wage Earners”

Earning little money is a sure route to being neglected and patronised in modern societies. But why is this, and what can we realistically do to counteract the psychological humiliation this causes?

Podcast:

The Confusion Candidate: The Democrats’ central weakness comes from being a party of business but having to pretend otherwise”, Katie Halper and Doug Henwood, The Katie Halper Show and Jacobin

I think the destructive thing would be to continue on the same course of raising lots of money from rich people and Wall Street. Hillary did that. She spent the month of August talking to billionaires instead of going to Wisconsin. It’s very funny to watch Obama trolling her now about what a miserable campaign she ran.

But what they would have to do — and I doubt that they would do this, given the structure of American politics and the Democratic Party, specifically — is wean themselves from elite funding and adopt a Sanders model of small contributions. He raised a ton of money in a short amount of time. He came out of nowhere and ended up running a very credible campaign based on grassroots funding because he was very appealing. He was saying things that people wanted to hear. So, that’s one thing. You need to break away from the elite funders and recast the funding — something like a membership organization — a real political party in the sense that it is in other parts of the world.

Track of the Week:
“”بتي سهرانة “Betti Sahranah”, Mina

Nations (Additions in BOLD)
Rachael and I have embarked on a years-long ambition to memorize all the nations and capitals. I’m adding 10-15 each week and posting it here so you can join us and/or help us by throwing us a pop quiz from time to time!

South America
Argentina — Buenos Aires
Bolivia — La Paz
Brazil — Brasilia
Chile — Santiago
Colombia — Bogota
Ecuador — Quito
French Guiana — Cayenne
Guyana — Georgetown
Paraguay — Asuncion
Peru — Lima
Suriname — Paramaribo
Uruguay — Montevideo
Venezuela — Caracas

North America
Belize — Belmopan
Canada — Ottawa
Costa Rica — San Jose
Cuba — Havana
Dominican Republic — Santo Domingo
El Salvador — San Salvador
Guatemala — Guatemala City
Haiti — Port-au-Prince
Honduras — Tegucigalpa
Jamaica — Kingston
Mexico — Mexico DF
Nicaragua — Managua
Panama — Panama City
Puerto Rico — San Juan

Europe
Belarus — Minsk
Bulgaria — Sofia
Czech Republic — Prague
Hungary — Budapest
Moldova — Chisinau
Poland — Warsaw
Romania — Bucharest
Russia — Moscow
Slovakia — Bratislava
Ukraine — Kiev
Albania — Tirana
Bosnia and Herzegovina — Sarajevo
Croatia — Zagreb
Cyprus — Nicosia
Estonia — Tallinn
Latvia — Riga
Lithuania — Vilnius
Macedonia — Skopje
Montenegro — Podgorica
Serbia — Belgrade
Slovenia — Ljubljana
Turkey — Ankara
Belgium — Brussels
Denmark — Copenhagen
Finland — Helsinki
Austria — Vienna
Greece — Athens
Kosovo — Pristina
Netherlands — Amsterdam
Norway — Oslo
Sweden — Stockholm
Andorra — Andorra la Vella
Malta — Valetta
Monaco — Monaco
Switzerland — Bern
UK — London
France — Paris
Germany — Berlin
Iceland — Reykjavik
Ireland — Dublin
Italy — Rome
Liechtenstein — Vaduz
Luxembourg — Luxembourg
Portugal — Lisbon
San Marino — San Marino
Spain — Madrid
Vatican City — Vatican City

Africa

Morocco — Rabat
Algeria — Algiers
Tunisia — Tunis
Libya — Tripoli
Egypt — Cairo
Mauritania — Nouakchott
Mali — Bamako
Niger — Niamey
Chad — N’Djamena
Sudan — Khartoum
South Sudan — Juba
Eritrea — Asmara
Djibouti — Djibouti
Senegal — Dakar
Gambia — Banjul
Guinea-Bissau — Bissau
Guinea — Conakry
Sierra Leone — Freetown
Liberia — Monrovia
Cote D’Ivoire — Yamoussoukro
Burkina Faso — Ouagadougou
Ghana — Accra
Togo — Lome
Benin — Porto Novo
Nigeria — Abuja
Cameroon    Yaoundé
Central African Republic — Bangui
Ethiopia — Addis Ababa
Somalia — Mogadishu
Kenya — Nairobi
Uganda — Kampala
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) — Kinshasa
Congo — Brazzaville
Gabon — Libreville
Equatorial Guinea — Malabo
Rwanda — Kigali
Angola — Luanda
Malawi — Lilongwe
Mozambique — Maputo
Madagascar — Antananarivo
Zambia — Lusaka
Zimbabwe — Harare
South Africa — Pretoria
Tanzania — Dodoma

February 11, 2017

This is the post excerpt…

Seattle Symphony’s “Music Beyond Borders: Voices From the Seven”
The Seattle Symphony performed a free concert featuring the music of the countries whose citizens were denied entry to the U.S. under the recent executive order (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen). They write, “During the last week, the arts community across the country has been coming together in meaningful ways following the recent executive order restricting travel and immigration from certain countries. At the Seattle Symphony, we are inspired to add our voice, with the hope that we can bring together our community to celebrate the freedom of expression and open exchange of ideas which the arts have always stood for, especially in times of division and conflict.” The free tickets sold out within hours of announcement, but the concert was streamed live on Facebook. (via The Stranger)

Let me tell you. It’s exquisite. Best watched, but also beautiful listened to.

Midway through the director of the symphony reads this:

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

– Rumi

Top Stories
What Social Democracy Delivers: Ted Cruz is Wrong. Workers in social-democratic countries are richer and freer than in the US.” Josh Mound, Jacobin

Josh Mound is currently a postdoctoral fellow in political economy at Miami University of Ohio.

“The per capita income in America is over five times the average per capita income in this world. It’s 50 percent more than the per capita income in Europe,” Cruz claimed. “This is a land of opportunity, because there’s social mobility. . . . The advantage of this country is someone can start out a dishwasher like my dad did, and the free enterprise system in this country let’s people rise.”

Sanders simply responded, “Denmark and Sweden and Finland . . . do pretty well.” (Cruz waxed patriotic: “I choose to live in America.”)

Unfortunately, Sanders’s rejoinder let the elisions and misdirection in Cruz’s comments go unanswered. Cruz’s claims notwithstanding, most Americans have lower incomes and less mobility than their counterparts in more social-democratic countries.

Christ, Not America, First” Stephen Mattson, Sojourners

Through his entire life and ministry, Jesus was notably absent from involving himself in the political systems of his day. Why? Because the Kingdom of Heaven was his priority, and living out the divine ideals of that kingdom would be contrary to those of any worldly kingdom or system of power.

Weekly Update:

Trump Signs Memorandum Shelving Fiduciary Standard for Financial Advisors”, Jamie Hopkins, Forbes

Why does this matter? Simply put, the DOL fiduciary rule was designed to make sure that, if you hired a financial advisor to help with your retirement planning and assets, the financial advisor acted in your best interest, avoided conflicts of interest when possible, and was transparent with you about his or her compensation and fees. Many people are surprised to learn that such a rule does not already exist for financial advisors since financial advice, at its core, would appear only to be needed precisely to ensure the best interests of the consumer. While the fiduciary rule was not supported by everyone in the financial services industry, it has been hailed as a workable rule that is a step in the right direction for financial services, and the delay in implementation is expected to be the first step in terminating the rule as it exists today.

The FBI is Building a National Watchlist that Gives Companies Real-Time Updates on Employees” Ava Kofman, The Intercept

The FBI’s Rap Back program is quietly transforming the way employers conduct background checks. While routine background checks provide employers with a one-time “snapshot” of their employee’s past criminal history, employers enrolled in federal and state Rap Back programs receive ongoing, real-time notifications and updates about their employees’ run-ins with law enforcement, including arrests at protests and charges that do not end up in convictions. (“Rap” is an acronym for Record of Arrest and Prosecution; “Back” is short for background.)

Louisiana Pipleine Explodes, Injuring 2 Workers and Leaving 1 Missing: Nearby, activists and residents are fighting to stop construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline” Yessenia Funes, Colorlines

The 20-inch high-pressure pipeline is run by Phillips 66, a company which is invested in the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. The cause of the explosion is not yet known, but it resulted in the hospitalization of two workers—one of whom was transported to a burn center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Another three who were on-site suffered minor or no injuries. One worker, however, remains missing. St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne told The Advocate that they hoped the worker had “wandered off.” There is an ongoing search for him in the nearby area.

A drug company hiked the price of a lifesaving opioid overdoes antidote by 500 percent: Where’s the outrage?” Julia Belluz, Vox

Kaleo, the drug company behind Evzio, says the price increases are justified because of its easy-to-use and life-saving delivery system, as Shefali Luthra at Kaiser Health News reports. But, Luthra adds, the jump in price is “way out of step with production costs.”

In reality, Kaleo — like the EpiPen makers who hiked the price of their injectable by 400 percent since 2007 — increased its cost because it can.

Yemen: Jeremy Scahill & Advocates Question” Success” of Trump Raid that Killed 24 Civilians”, Democracy Now!

Questions are mounting about the first covert counterterrorism operation approved by President Donald Trump. Authorities say it was a success. The Pentagon now acknowledges that civilians were killed Sunday when members of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 joined with commandos from the United Arab Emirates to raid a Yemeni village where members of al-Qaeda were said to live. But human rights groups say up to 24 civilians were killed, including a newborn baby and an American 8-year-old girl, Nawar al-Awlaki, the daughter of the U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in Yemen by a U.S. drone strike in 2011. The U.S. suffered one fatality: William “Ryan” Owens, a veteran member of SEAL Team 6. We get response from Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept, who has extensively covered Yemen; Pardiss Kebriaei, staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights; and Baraa Shiban, the Yemen project coordinator and caseworker with Reprieve.

 

Michael Bennet explains why he refuses to go to Israel as ‘an ambassador of good will’”, Alysha Tsuji, USA Today

 

Bennett wrote that he decided not to go when he first found out his “itinerary was being constructed by the Israeli government for the purposes of making me, in the words of a government official, an ‘influencer and opinion-former’ who would then be ‘an ambassador of good will.’”

“I will not be used in such a manner,” Bennett continued. “When I go to Israel — and I do plan to go — it will be to see not only Israel but also the West Bank and Gaza so I can see how the Palestinians, who have called this land home for thousands of years, live their lives.”

 

This week in the executive: Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon harnessed the spirit of revolt that the Democrats gave up” Thomas Frank, The Guardian

So our billionaire president hangs a portrait of Andrew Jackson on his wall, spits on his hands, and takes a sledgehammer to the Dodd–Frank Act. The portrait is of the banks’ all-time arch-enemy; the reality is that the banks are going to be deregulated yet again. And in that insane juxtaposition we can grasp rightwing populism almost in its entirety: fiery verbal hostility to elites, combined with generous government favours for those same elites.

The World According to Bannon: Steve Bannon’s vision of civilizational crisis and violent renewal has deep roots in the American political tradition” Alexander Livingston, Jacobin

A saeculum begins in the wake of a great crisis. Conformity and self-denial reign, and energy is channeled into building and protecting stable institutions. This first generation, or “turning,” eventually gives way to a subsequent generation where the social order begins to erode. Stultifying conformity is thrown off in pursuit of spiritual discovery and individual freedom.

The second turning leads to a third, where corroding skepticism unravels stable institutions and social trust breaks down. Society atomizes and identities fracture, while speculation and elite power break free of traditional constraints. This cycle of unraveling is followed by a cataclysmic “fourth turning” into the new saeculum. The complete collapse of social institutions plunges society into chaos, and individuals are forced to embrace a common purpose in order to rebuild society. As Howe explains in Bannon’s Generation Zero, fourth turnings are tragic but necessary stages in the consolidation of national unity.

 

Odds and Ends
Video of the Week:
“Global Capitalism: Nationalism and Scapegoating Foreigners”, Dr. Richard Wolff, Democracy at Work

School of Life:
“Literature – Marcel Proust” Alain de Botton, The School of Life

Marcel Proust was an early 20th-century French writer whose seminal text ‘A la recherche du temps Perdu’ (In search of Lost Time) matters above all because it contains a philosophy of how we should live.

Podcast:
Trump’s Cabinet of Killers and Why Orange is the New Anti-Black”, Jeremy Scahill, The Intercept

Less than a month into the new administration and not even a presidential bath robe can protect President Trump’s orange from becoming the new anti-black. This week on Intercepted we sit down with intrepid investigative reporter Allan Nairn, who breaks down Trump’s relationship with the CIA, the president’s murderous affection for Vladimir Putin, and the killer assembly of establishment neocons and right-wing conspiracists running the U.S. war machine. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Princeton professor and author of “From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation,” dismantles Obama’s problematic legacy, offers strategic advice for resisting Trump, and shares her scorecard on Nazi punching. The Intercept’s own distinguished alt-historian, Jon Schwarz, offers a (morbid) lesson on the origins of presidential executive orders. And singer-songwriter Kimya Dawson of The Moldy Peaches performs a powerful song about racism and the police state.

Track of the Week:
“Love me, I’m a liberal” Phil Ochs

İ cried when they shot Medgar Evers
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
As though I’d lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
He got what he asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

I go to civil rights rallies
And I put down the old D.A.R.
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every colored boy becomes a star
But don’t talk about revolution
That’s going a little bit too far
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I’m glad the commies were thrown out
of the A.F.L. C.I.O. board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
as long as they don’t move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

The people of old Mississippi
Should all hang their heads in shame
I can’t understand how their minds work
What’s the matter don’t they watch Les Crain?
But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

I read New republic and Nation
I’ve learned to take every view
You know, I’ve memorized Lerner and Golden
I feel like I’m almost a Jew
But when it comes to times like Korea
There’s no one more red, white and blue
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

I vote for the democratic party
They want the U.N. to be strong
I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I’ll send all the money you ask for
But don’t ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I’ve grown older and wiser
And that’s why I’m turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal
Nations (Additions in BOLD)
Rachael and I have embarked on a years-long ambition to memorize all the nations and capitals. I’m adding 10-15 each week and posting it here so you can join us and/or help us by throwing us a pop quiz from time to time!

South America
Argentina — Buenos Aires
Bolivia — La Paz
Brazil — Brasilia
Chile — Santiago
Colombia — Bogota
Ecuador — Quito
French Guiana — Cayenne
Guyana — Georgetown
Paraguay — Asuncion
Peru — Lima
Suriname — Paramaribo
Uruguay — Montevideo
Venezuela — Caracas

North America
Belize — Belmopan
Canada — Ottawa
Costa Rica — San Jose
Cuba — Havana
Dominican Republic — Santo Domingo
El Salvador — San Salvador
Guatemala — Guatemala City
Haiti — Port-au-Prince
Honduras — Tegucigalpa
Jamaica — Kingston
Mexico — Mexico DF
Nicaragua — Managua
Panama — Panama City
Puerto Rico — San Juan

Europe
Belarus — Minsk
Bulgaria — Sofia
Czech Republic — Prague
Hungary — Budapest
Moldova — Chisinau
Poland — Warsaw
Romania — Bucharest
Russia — Moscow
Slovakia — Bratislava
Ukraine — Kiev
Albania — Tirana
Bosnia and Herzegovina — Sarajevo
Croatia — Zagreb
Cyprus — Nicosia
Estonia — Tallinn
Latvia — Riga
Lithuania — Vilnius
Macedonia — Skopje
Montenegro — Podgorica
Serbia — Belgrade
Slovenia — Ljubljana
Turkey — Ankara
Belgium — Brussels
Denmark — Copenhagen
Finland — Helsinki
Austria — Vienna
Greece — Athens
Kosovo — Pristina
Netherlands — Amsterdam
Norway — Oslo
Sweden — Stockholm
Andorra — Andorra la Vella
Malta — Valetta
Monaco — Monaco
Switzerland — Bern
UK — London
France — Paris
Germany — Berlin
Iceland — Reykjavik
Ireland — Dublin
Italy — Rome
Liechtenstein — Vaduz
Luxembourg — Luxembourg
Portugal — Lisbon
San Marino — San Marino
Spain — Madrid
Vatican City — Vatican City

Africa

Morocco — Rabat
Algeria — Algiers
Tunisia — Tunis
Libya — Tripoli
Egypt — Cairo
Mauritania — Nouakchott
Mali — Bamako
Niger — Niamey
Chad — N’Djamena
Sudan — Khartoum
South Sudan — Juba
Eritrea — Asmara
Djibouti — Djibouti
Senegal — Dakar
Gambia — Banjul
Guinea-Bissau — Bissau
Guinea — Conakry
Sierra Leone — Freetown
Liberia — Monrovia
Cote D’Ivoire — Yamoussoukro
Burkina Faso — Ouagadougou
Ghana — Accra
Togo — Lome
Benin — Porto Novo
Nigeria — Abuja
Cameroon    Yaoundé
Central African Republic — Bangui
Ethiopia — Addis Ababa
Somalia — Mogadishu
Kenya — Nairobi
Uganda — Kampala
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) — Kinshasa
Congo — Brazzaville
Gabon — Libreville
Equatorial Guinea — Malabo
Rwanda — Kigali

February 4, 2017

This is the post exceprt…

Personal Anecdote:

I was chatting with a guy today and my studying Arabic came up. He cautiously asked me about my opinions of Islam. I told him that I’ve never met a Muslim that I didn’t like (not totally true, I’ve met A FEW Muslims I didn’t like) and gave my fair opinion, ya know, that they’re people. He seemed relieved. He told me that his wife is Muslim and that he was asking because his boss “doesn’t trust Islam” and “thinks Muslims are dangerous.” Though not too surprising, this is always disheartening to hear. What really struck me though, was that he had a lot of compassionate understanding for his boss. More than the boss deserves. He told me that this guy was “just shell-shocked” after being a marine for XX years.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this sort of compassion from Muslims and their community. They’re so mistreated here. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to the cruelty, fear, and disregard for Muslims in this country and the west in general. There’s a lot of kindness and solidarity, but too much callousness. Despite all this, despite being the victims of a long lists of western and American injustice, so often the cruelty is met with compassion — a lot of sadness and confusion too — but real compassion and mercy. It really moves me. Almost to tears. It also makes me angry. Furious at anyone who express enmity to the people of this faith. And that, in turn, embarrasses me. These Muslim victims of oppression respond with powerful compassion, but this little privileged man gets furious. What a mess.

Top Stories
The intolerance of the left: Trump’s win as seen from Walt Disney’s hometown: Ivy League graduates micromanaging the country – that’s how some in Marceline, Missouri saw the status quo. In his native midwest, Thomas Frank ivestigates how the president won support despite local misgivings” Thomas Frank, The Guardian

This right-to-obnoxiousness raises a fascinating point: these men saw liberals as loudmouthed Pharisees, intolerant moralists who demanded that the rest of the nation snap into line – an exact reverse of the John Ashcroft stereotype liberals used to hold of conservatives.

Everyone I spoke to that morning seemed to take for granted that liberals held some kind of unfair moral- or decibel-based advantage over conservatives. Hillary voters were “the vocal ones”, a man told me. “Conservatives were afraid to speak up because of criticism from liberals,” he continued, “and by God, we showed them.”

And then a curious note: this same individual described how, as a boy, he once shook the hand of Harry S Truman. He had gone on an elementary school field trip to Kansas City in the 1950s, and the ex-president, then in retirement, met with his class. I asked his opinion of the Democratic president who – as he acknowledged – infuriated the right by firing Gen Douglas MacArthur.

“One of the best presidents we ever had,” came the reply.

Two Very Different National Prayer Breakfasts”, Wes Granberg-Michaelson, Sojourners

Ever since President Dwight Eisenhower’s administration, each president has attended the annual National Prayer Breakfast, drawing about 3,500 invited guests including members of Congress and government officials. There are readings, prayers, a main speaker, and remarks by the president. In 1973, as the nation was exiting the agony of the Vietnam War, and President Richard Nixon was just re-elected by a landslide — before Watergate unfolded — Sen. Mark O. Hatfield was invited to give some remarks. I served on his staff at the time. We consulted about what to say with Jim Wallis, a new friend in Chicago, publishing a small, upstart magazine called The Post-American. After a lot of thought and prayer, Mark Hatfield rose to the podium, with President Nixon on his right and Billy Graham on his left, and delivered these words:

Weekly Update:
When Residents Take Ownership, A Mobile Home Community Thrives” Daniel Zwerdling, All Things Considered

That letter spotlights the main legal and financial drawback to living in most manufactured housing communities. When you buy a home there, you own the walls, roof and floor, but a private company or investor owns all the land under and around the house. Homeowners pay rent to keep their homes there. The company can sell the land and kick out the residents and their houses whenever it wants, except in a few states that have given residents legal rights to resist.

Return to Prudent Banking Act: Bill to Reign in Predatory Banks Introduced” Rob Cotton, Inquisitr

The legislation has 26 Republican and Democrat co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, including Democrat Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Republican Walter B. Jones of North Carolina, and Democrat Marcy Kaptur of Ohio. Tulsi Gabbard explains the reasoning behind her support for the Return to Prudent Banking Act on her official congressional web page.

After String of Defeats, Workers Win Union at Baltimore Gas & Electric” Bruce Vail, In These Times

IBEW’s success in the National Labor Relations Board-supervised election last month breaks a long string of defeats for the union, which ran four unsuccessful organizing campaigns at BGE, stretching back to 1996. The final vote, 741-610, is strong enough to deter any legal challenge from BGE, according to union organizer Troy Johnson. Both sides expect to move quickly to negotiate a first contract.

Varona is one of scores of women who have been separated from their children both legally and physically after being deported from the United States. But she has bonded with others facing a similar plight through the activist organization Dreamers Moms. Though their stories vary, the women share a similar fate: They wait in Tijuana, often for years, for a chance to see their families. Some women have lost contact, while others find ways to connect with their children from afar.

A Federal Judge has blocked Texas Law Requiring Women to Cremate and Bury Their Aborted Fetuses”, Jordan Smith, The Intercept

For 28 years the state of Texas had on the books regulations for the disposal of all medical waste that would allow the tissue to be incinerated and disposed of in a sanitary landfill. Last year state officials suddenly decided that in order to improve public health and safety it would define “fetal tissue” as a separate and distinct category of medical waste and would eliminate the option that this tissue be disposed of along with everything else, instead requiring separate cremation and burial.

This week in the executive:

The Petrostate Secretary” David S. Painter, Dissent

While Tillerson’s appointment marks the first time the head of a major oil company has directly taken one of the highest offices in the U.S. government, the policy goals he is likely to pursue are hardly unprecedented. The history of U.S. foreign oil policy shows that whatever big oil wants, it usually gets.

Odds and Ends
Video of the Week:
“Thomas Frank on the State of the Democratic Party”, The Big Picture, RT

School of Life:
“In Praise of the Quiet Life” Alain de Botton, The School of Life

Free E-Book:
The Anti-Inauguration: Building Resistance in the Trump Era ”, Naomi Klein, Jeremy Scahill, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Anand Gopal, and Owen Jones, Jacobin, Verso Books, Haymarket Books

I’m in love with the speeches that were given at this event. The link above has an embedded recording of the event, but you can also get the text version in this free e-book!

“It’s not enough to simply say ‘No’ to attacks [from the Trump administration]. It’s not enough because we know that where we are now, before the attacks come, is entirely unacceptable. The levels of inequality, the levels of racism―and the planet chaos that we have unleashed. We need radical system change.”
—Naomi Klein

Track of the Week:
“(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano” Sampha, Process

(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano

No one knows me like the piano in my mother’s home
You would show me I had something some people call a soul
And you dropped out the sky, oh you arrived when I was three years old
No one knows me like the piano in my mother’s home

You know I left, I flew the nest
And you know I won’t be long
And in my chest you know me best
And you know I’ll be back home

An angel by her side, all the times I knew we couldn’t cope
They said that it’s her time, no tears in sight, I kept the feelings close
And you took hold of me and never, never, never let me go
‘Cause no one knows me like the piano in my mother’s home
In my mother’s home

Nations (Additions in BOLD)
Rachael and I have embarked on a years-long ambition to memorize all the nations and capitals. I’m adding 10-15 each week and posting it here so you can join us and/or help us by throwing us a pop quiz from time to time!

South America
Argentina — Buenos Aires
Bolivia — La Paz
Brazil — Brasilia
Chile — Santiago
Colombia — Bogota
Ecuador — Quito
French Guiana — Cayenne
Guyana — Georgetown
Paraguay — Asuncion
Peru — Lima
Suriname — Paramaribo
Uruguay — Montevideo
Venezuela — Caracas

North America
Belize — Belmopan
Canada — Ottawa
Costa Rica — San Jose
Cuba — Havana
Dominican Republic — Santo Domingo
El Salvador — San Salvador
Guatemala — Guatemala City
Haiti — Port-au-Prince
Honduras — Tegucigalpa
Jamaica — Kingston
Mexico — Mexico DF
Nicaragua — Managua
Panama — Panama City
Puerto Rico — San Juan

Europe
Belarus — Minsk
Bulgaria — Sofia
Czech Republic — Prague
Hungary — Budapest
Moldova — Chisinau
Poland — Warsaw
Romania — Bucharest
Russia — Moscow
Slovakia — Bratislava
Ukraine — Kiev
Albania — Tirana
Bosnia and Herzegovina — Sarajevo
Croatia — Zagreb
Cyprus — Nicosia
Estonia — Tallinn
Latvia — Riga
Lithuania — Vilnius
Macedonia — Skopje
Montenegro — Podgorica
Serbia — Belgrade
Slovenia — Ljubljana
Turkey — Ankara
Belgium — Brussels
Denmark — Copenhagen
Finland — Helsinki
Austria — Vienna
Greece — Athens
Kosovo — Pristina
Netherlands — Amsterdam
Norway — Oslo
Sweden — Stockholm
Andorra — Andorra la Vella
Malta — Valetta
Monaco — Monaco
Switzerland — Bern
UK — London
France — Paris
Germany — Berlin
Iceland — Reykjavik
Ireland — Dublin
Italy — Rome
Liechtenstein — Vaduz
Luxembourg — Luxembourg
Portugal — Lisbon
San Marino — San Marino
Spain — Madrid
Vatican City — Vatican City

Africa

Morocco — Rabat
Algeria — Algiers
Tunisia — Tunis
Libya — Tripoli
Egypt — Cairo
Mauritania — Nouakchott
Mali — Bamako
Niger — Niamey
Chad — N’Djamena
Sudan — Khartoum
South Sudan — Juba
Eritrea — Asmara
Djibouti — Djibouti
Senegal — Dakar
Gambia — Banjul
Guinea-Bissau — Bissau
Guinea — Conakry
Sierra Leone — Freetown
Liberia — Monrovia
Cote D’Ivoire — Yamoussoukro
Burkina Faso — Ouagadougou
Ghana — Accra
Togo — Lome
Benin — Porto Novo
Nigeria — Abuja