While people do need to work, the idea that American companies are beneficent organizations helping out the world’s poor with the gift of a job in a sweatshop is ridiculous. A corporation can still save money on labor costs and workers don’t have to die on the job. They don’t have allow foremen to sexually harass women at work. They don’t have to contract with people who force women workers to undergo pregnancy tests to get hired. They don’t have to allow their products to be produced in factories that collapse. We can have a global economy that operates ethically and prosecutes those who violate standards. Walmart, Apple, Nike, and Target certainly don’t want that. But the workers of the world want it and we should too. We should be fighting with the leaders of Bangladeshi worker movements for ethical standards in corporate behavior and with Vietnamese workers in opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership, which are both real demands from these movements.

Title of Talk: From the Personal is Political to the Personal is Personal: Neo-liberalism and the Defanging of Feminism.

Gail Dines, PhD Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies, Wheelock College, Boston, MA. Author of Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality, July 2012.

the single biggest freedom we’ve slowly been winning back from empire is the freedom to love deeply and truly whomever we feel compelled to (and there’s still quite a ways to go for many folks);

so, forget, for a minute, your ‘freedom’ of consumer choice or to elect the next corporatized political puppet, and act love as freely as you can; it might not seem much next to ubiquitous social violence, but – unlike such forces – love is limitless

I think a lot of younger people especially are of two minds on issues of economic inequality, the decline of the middle class, and mythology about the American economic system. People are clearly worried about income inequality, student debt, and other economic problems they face. The brief, wondrous history of Occupy showed that clearly. And widespread support for the minimum wage hikes even in conservative states like Arkansas continues to demonstrate demands for more equality at the workplace. However, young people also really strongly believe in the myths of American capitalism. They believe that if they work hard, they really can be successful. And they often believe that those who fail do so because of their own personal failings. The embrace of the so-called sharing economy is a perfect example. People are happy to try and craft lives based on freelancing, Uber, and other jobs that effectively force all the responsibility for the job onto the individual employee while the corporation holds all the control. They are happy to be independent contractors in exchange for a vague notion of freedom on the job. They are voluntarily entering into an unequal employment situation because they think if they work hard, they can be successful. Well, mostly they can’t because the cards are stacked against us in 2015.

“Those of us who are saying these things are people who love our rivers and our mountains, and are fighting for… We love the music of the country that we come from. We love it. We don’t speak from a position of hate, we speak of a position of absolute love. And that is why we fight so hard, if there wasn’t beautify to preserve, if there wasn’t absolute adoration, we wouldn’t be there. One lives there because one loves it. And we fight to preserve the wilderness and beauty of the imagination that still exists, is still alive in India. 

[…] So please don’t give me lectures about hating my country. I don’t.”

Arundhati Roy in response to being told, “You need to take a more wholesome view of India. Allow your mind to list at least three good things of India.” [x]

Corporatization can have considerable influence in other ways. Corporate managers have a duty. They have to focus on profit making and seeking to convert as much of life as possible into commodities. It’s not because they’re bad people; it’s their task. Under Anglo-American law, it’s their legal obligation as well. There’s a lot to say about this topic, but one element of it concerns the universities and much else. One particular consequence is the focus on what’s called efficiency. It’s an interesting concept. It’s not strictly an economic concept. It has crucial ideological dimensions. If a business reduces personnel, it might become more efficient by standard measures with lower costs. Typically, that shifts the burden to the public, a very familiar phenomenon we see all the time. Costs to the public are not counted, and they’re colossal. That’s a choice that’s not based on economic theory. That’s based on an ideological decision, which applies directly to the “business models,” as they’re called, of the universities. Increasing class-size or employing cheap temporary labor, say graduate students instead of full-time faculty, may look good on a university budget, but there are significant costs. They’re transferred and not measured. They’re transferred to students and to the society generally as the quality of education, the quality of instruction is lowered.
—  Noam Chomsky

Public Education Fights for Its Life

Wednesday, 17 April 2013 16:46By Max EternityThe Eternity Group | News Analysis


Austerity measures are eroding America’s public school system.  With massive increases in school closures and class cancellations, advocates say educational opportunities for students of all ages are increasingly being diminished.

This is not a new problem, per se.  It is, however, an escalating one, and one that is being resisted.

Currently in Chicago—under the auspices of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, the former chief of staff for President Obama—it was announced in March that 54 public schools will be closed, with 61 schools scheduled to be closed before the 2013–2014 school year begins.  Emmanuel says that the closings are a “done deal.” Not everyone agrees with Emmanuel, and countering his assertion Karen Lewis says ‘it’s pretty much indicative that he [Emmanuel] has no respect for the law.”  Lewis is president of the Chicago Teachers Union, and says that there are supposed to be hearings for each school, and that Emmanuel’s unilateral actions show “the depth of his contempt for people” in the community, especially those who are not “wealthy” and well-connected.

Right now in California, City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is on the verge of losing its accreditation as a direct consequence of a $53 million dollar loss in state funding.  Because of this, many classes are no longer being offered.  Additionally, the cost of [in-state] tuition at CCSF has risen 25% in the last 2 years, and to boot, student enrollment is way down.

KQED reports that California’s community colleges have dropped to a 20-year enrollment low, and in a video report at the Real News Network, Alisa Messer, President of CCSF Faculty Union, says that “what happened in California in the last several years is that we’ve pushed a half million students out of the community college system.”  And though the faculty had agreed last year to a voluntary 2.8% pay cut towards assisting in alleviating budget woes, the district cut faculty wages by nearly 9%.

Elsewhere, like in Michigan, for instance, the Public Schools Emergency Manager,Roy Roberts, announced last year that “underperforming” schools will be targeted for closure, with 130 schools having been closed there since 2005.

In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg is attempting to close 17 schools, which are said to be low-performing.  However, the Urban Youth Collaborative and the Coalition for Educational Justice have filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education alleging the city’s school closures disproportionately affect “students of color and students with disabilities.”

Author and activist, Tolu Orlorunda, shared his findings on how race factors in on public school closings in an article entitled “Journey for Justice: Mass School Closings and the Death of Communities,” stating that:

From 2003-2012, in New York City, 117 schools were closed. Twenty-five more closings are scheduled for 2013. Sixty-three percent of the students affected are black.

Since 2001, in Chicago, 72 schools have been closed or phased out. Ninety percent of the students affected are black.

In 2008, 23 schools were closed in Washington, DC. Ninety-nine percent of the students affected were black or brown.

Since 2005, in Detroit, 130 schools have been closed. Ninety-three percent of the students affected are black.

Curiously, while public schools are rapidly closing, charter schools—using public funding for privately-operated schools—have sprouted and expanded to take their share of budget dollars.

Many find this educational shift troubling, including a public school teacher of 30 years, Stan Karp, who is director of the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey’s Education Law Center, and the editor to Rethinking Schools.  Karp wrote in a March 8th commentary about charter schools, saying “nearly every teacher dreams of starting a school…[b]ut the current push for deregulated charters and privatization is doing nothing to reduce the concentrations of 70, 80, and 90 percent poverty that remain the central problem in our urban schools.”  He says a more “equitable” approach to school reform can be seen in Raleigh, North Carolina, where efforts “were made to improve theme-based and magnet programs at all schools, and the concentration of free/reduced lunch students at any one school was limited to 40 percent or less.”  That simple plan, Karp says, resulted in “some of the nation’s best progress on closing gaps in achievement and opportunity.”

Further making his case in the article, Karp says:

  • Significant evidence suggests that charters are part of a market-driven plan to create a less stable, less secure and less expensive teaching staff…working to privatize everything from curriculum to professional development to the making of education policy.
  • [C]harter school teachers are, on average, less experienced, less unionized and less likely to hold state certification than teachers in traditional public schools.
  • As many as one in four charter school teachers leave every year, about double the turnover rate in traditional public schools.
  • Charter schools typically pay less for longer hours. But charter school administrators often earn more than their school-district counterparts.

It’s past time to refocus public policy on providing a deserved quality education for all Americans, says  Shawn Fremstad, an attorney and Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).Because inevitably, he believes, a good education leads to a good career and thus economic security. Fremstad says that actually the funding issue “goes to the larger issue of are we creating good jobs, and what happens when you don’t do that.”  Fremstad says there “are all sorts of people who want to start a career, but if there aren’t good paths—what’s available for you—then I think that lacking those resources, the criminal justice system ends up trapping a lot of people in its net.”  More and more, he says “the criminal justice system has become the dragnet that is replacing our safety net.”  This trend, he says “is a failure to invest in people,” causing undue harm to students, teachers, local economies and communities.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Michigan Court Rules That State Has No Obligation To Provide Children With Education

Michigan Court Rules That State Has No Obligation To Provide Children With Education

Many days, it seems that all the advances our country has made are being dismantled one court decision at a time. A recent decision in Michigan, which has largely flown under the radar, should it hold up on a national level, could mean that poor children will have no access to education.

On November 7, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that one poverty-stricken school district didn’t have to…

View On WordPress

Our national conversation on race and crime is based on a fiction. It is the fiction that the organs of internal security, especially the judiciary and the police, can be adjusted, modernized or professionalized to make possible a post-racial America. We discuss issues of race while ignoring the economic, bureaucratic and political systems of exploitation—all of it legal and built into the ruling apparatus—that are the true engines of racism and white supremacy. No discussion of race is possible without a discussion of capitalism and class. And until that discussion takes place, despite all the proposed reforms to the criminal justice system, the state will continue to murder and imprison poor people of color with impunity.
  • me:Fuck capitalism
  • someone:why do you hate capitalism
  • me:well, as we learned from Spongebob Squarepants Season 4, Episode 4; "Selling Out" we can see the disastrous effects that corporatism has on the product quality of the food as well as how bad they treat the employees who don't act like mindless drones slaving for the bottom line.
Democracy is dead. It’s been ‘corporatized’ and now it’s only a brand concept that’s been co-opted by big business as a way to get people over extended on predatory pay-day loans, GMO food, sugary food substitutes, compromised technology products that act as spy instruments for these same kleptocrats and movies made in Hollywood pushing “freedom’ and “democracy” while the prison population in America sets new all-time highs every year.
—  Max Keiser, ‘Exclusive: George Galloway will fund his London mayoral campaign using crowdfunding’, Russia Today
This is not actually a corporate-friendly message any longer. News Corp, parent of Fox News, has been offering same-sex partner benefits since 1999. By 2013, 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies offered the same. This year’s gay pride events saw floats and sponsors from the likes of Coca Cola, McDonalds, Walmart, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Gap, JCPenney, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Bank Of America, Chase, TD Bank, HSBC, Citibank, Capital One, US Bank, Mastercard, State Farm, Allstate and Metlife. That’s just to name a few. The SCOTUS decision prompted companies like Facebook, AT&T, American Airlines and Nike to launch ads celebrating equality. Oreo pictured their iconic sandwich cookie with rainbow-stacked filling. Jell-O, Kellogg’s, Target and Visa briefly included the colors of marriage equality in their logos.  Corporate America, it seems, has become more liberal and progressive on gay marriage than anyone running for president on the Republican ticket. For a party that likes to think of itself as listening to business leaders, they’re tone deaf when it comes to equal rights.
Boston Pride 2015

Pride started off amazing and quickly became horrifying. I started off the day excited to march with BAGLY and join my first pride parade. I felt like a Disney princess waving and cheering to the crowd.
However, when the parade was interrupted by Black Lives Matter, you really saw the day for what it was. BLM brought attention to problems facing the QTPOC community including criminalization, poor education, predatory banks and their policies, segregation of white and POC communities in Boston, and especially the eleven trans women of color who had been murdered this year.
The BLM protesters took eleven minutes out of the parade’s time in order to highlight the eleven women who lost their lives. It was really telling with how angry the white people in the crowd got. They told the protesters they were disrupting the parade, and started a counter chant ordering them to march. Shout out to garnetsgauntlets for speaking up and shouting back what I couldn’t say at the time.
The police also got in the face of the protesters and almost attempted to arrest them, almost arresting minors in the process if they were “with them”.
After that it was like the spell was broken and the magic was gone. The truth was they would allow us to chant Black Lives Matter as long as we kept marching. As long as we didn’t stay long enough for the message to sink in. So it could in one ear and out the other. So they could see us sing and dance and didn’t have to take notice of our pain. They couldn’t stand eleven minutes of their time being taken away, because the truth was they’d rather give us none of it at all.


The Indiana Toll Road is more than a highway. It is an infinite loop through the neoliberal world order, the mirror of a recursive economy in which every step toward corporatization creates more hardship – and every increase in hardship calls for more corporatization. Indiana is winning headlines today for enshrining bigotry into law in the name of religious freedom. But its toll road fiasco deserves a headline of its own.

“Religious freedom” isn’t the only Indiana horror show. Here’s how big business gets richer at everyone’s expense

Democrats Prove They're The REAL 'Family Values' Party With Latest Senate Proposal

Democrats Prove They’re The REAL ‘Family Values’ Party With Latest Senate Proposal

A major liberal idea gaining steam with Senate Democrats is universal childcare – specifically, pre-K childcare. Greg Sargent, at the Washington Post, says that universal childcare is becoming a central pillar of the liberal movement, as liberals work to make life better for everyone, and not just a wealthy few. This proposal would be a federal-state joint venture, in which the federal government…

View On WordPress