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Gender: Female
Hometown: Wisconsin
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 12:44 PM
Number of posts: 28,339

About Me

You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one

Journal Archives

NYU ~ The Exploitation University ** SP Group **

The Exploitation University ~ New York University’s labor record epitomizes everything that’s wrong with the neoliberal university
by Jonah Walters 5-23-15

A report released last month describes repeated labor violations during the construction of New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus, including a de facto exemption policy that left roughly one-third of its builders unprotected from conditions of forced labor. And while the university denies any knowledge of the policy, one of its corporate architects is sitting on NYU’s Board of Trustees.

NYU commissioned the report last June in response to demands from campus groups and reports from international watchdog agencies, hiring the private investigation firm Nardello & Co. to examine alleged labor rights abuses during the construction of NYU facilities on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island.

Since reports of labor abuse first surfaced, NYU has repeatedly responded to student and faculty organizers by instructing them to await the results of the Nardello investigation, ignoring a February report from Human Rights Watch that reaffirmed the mistreatment of construction workers on NYU worksites.

Last month, long after its promised released date, the Nardello report was finally published. And try as it might to deflect responsibility away from NYU, its findings don’t look good for the university ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/05/nyu-abu-dhabi-forced-labor-report/

Neoliberal Train Wreck

Literally ... although I must use that phrase 20 times a day in ordinary terms. Here's the story from Socialist Worker:

A neoliberal train wreck?
May 20, 2015 ~ comment by Guy Miller

EVERY INDUSTRIAL accident is different in its details, but depressingly similar in the cover-up.

Before the dust settles and the debris is cleared away, the company spokesperson is busy framing the story and assigning blame. The media are quick to join the feeding frenzy--and the responsibility always stops at the employee farthest down the food chain. On the railroads, that employee is often the engineer.

On Amtrak run 188 on May 12, that engineer was named Brandon Bostian. Brandon's public trial began almost immediately. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter didn't have--or seem to care about--any evidence, but he knew where to point the finger: "Clearly, he was reckless and irresponsible in his actions. I don't know what was going on with him. I don't know what was going on in the cab. But there's really no excuse."

At this point, the engineer's safety record is usually trotted out. In the operating department, "safety violations" litter the records of even the most conscientious employees. Improper footwear, stepping on a rail, failure to ring the bell over one of the hundreds of grade crossings--all of these mean violations placed in a personnel file. Citations are easy to come by. Like a hound dog picks up fleas, conductors and engineers pick up safety violations.

The problem with Brandon Bostian is that his record was spotless. So something else had to be dragged into the equation. That something proved to be Brandon's sexual orientation, which conservative radio host Sandy Rios and later other right-wing media incredibly declared was a "factor" in the crash ...

Much more here: http://socialistworker.org/2015/05/20/a-neoliberal-train-wreck

Sanders Open to Legalizing Marijuana?

Bernie Sanders indicated an openness to legalizing recreational marijuana Tuesday afternoon during an online question and answer session with voters on reddit.

By Tim Devaney - 05/19/15 05:21 PM EDT

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders on Tuesday hinted at support for legalized marijuana, saying police did not focus on arresting people for the drug when he was mayor of Burlington, Vt.

The Vermont senator indicated an openness to legalizing recreational marijuana afternoon during an online question and answer session on Reddit, though he did not explicitly endorse doing so nationwide.

“I can tell you very few people were arrested for smoking marijuana ,” Sanders said. “Our police had more important things to do.”

Sanders, a self-described Socialist who is running for the Democratic nomination, said he supports decriminalizing recreational marijuana in Vermont, and is watching the situation in Colorado “very closely.”

More here: http://thehill.com/regulation/legislation/242569-bernie-sanders-talks-pot

He's Already Facebook Royalty

Bernie Sanders Wants to Be President, but He’s Already Facebook Royalty
By NICK CORASANITI MAY 18, 2015 (New York Times)

WASHINGTON — The quotes he posts are rarely pithy, and often sayings he thinks up in the shower. The photographs he puts up sometimes show him frowning, while others show him gazing oddly into the horizon. And he does not seem to care about the importance of videos.

But somehow, Bernie Sanders, the 73-year-old senator from Vermont, has emerged as a king of social media early in the 2016 presidential campaign, amid a field of tech-savvy contenders.

His Facebook posts attract tens of thousands of likes and shares, and threads about him often break through to the home page of Reddit, where the cluster of topics rarely focuses on presidential election politics.

< snip >

Mr. Sanders’s prominence online is all the more improbable given that he does not do many things the way social media experts say they should be done ...

Much more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/19/us/politics/bernie-sanders-wants-to-be-president-but-hes-already-facebook-royalty.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=photo-spot-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

Path to Victory

just posted on Bernie's facebook page: Watch my interview with CNN on our path to victory in 2016


Making the World Safe for Big Business

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is about expanding US hegemony in East Asia.
by Sean Starrs ~ 5.13.15

(Yesterday the Senate voted 52–45 against giving President Obama “fast track” authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The details of the accord have been shrouded in secrecy. Today Jacobin is publishing two comprehensive pieces on the trade deal.)

After five years of intense negotiations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may come to fruition by the end of this year. Much has been written (and rightly so) about the negative consequences of the TPP for American labor. But what are the international implications of the TPP, and in a world awash with bilateral and multilateral trade and investment treaties (there are over 3,200 international investment treaties alone), how is this one different?

And when the future of global capitalism seems to hinge on the relations between China and the United States, why is the US not allowing the world’s largest exporter, China (which has expressed interest), to join the TPP negotiations?

< snip >

On the one hand, the transformation of China from being one of the twentieth century’s leading anticapitalist and anti-Western imperialist nations to, by the twenty-first century, being one of the nations most eager to integrate with global capitalism — has been surprising to say the least, and certainly a boon for American capital.

On the other hand, China, a paradoxical bastion of illiberal/liberal state capitalism, remains relatively geopolitically independent from the United States. Of all the large economies, China is at once one of the most open and closed to foreign capital on Earth. Many sectors related to the commanding heights — such as banking, energy, telecommunications, and utilities — are totally closed to foreign capital. Many other sectors, however, are relatively open, and foreign investment has penetrated China more deeply than most other large economies (like Japan), especially those at similar levels of development ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/05/trans-pacific-parternship-china-united-states-asia/

Thought for the day ~

The Building Blocks of Deprivation

Ruling elites in Baltimore and cities like it have pushed a development model that enriches the few and marginalizes the many.
by Daniel Pasciuti & Isaac Jilbert 5-11-15

he protests, anger, and violence that have fixed the eyes of the world on Baltimore over the past couple weeks are easily attributable to systemic inequality and poverty.

But concepts like inequality and poverty are rarely unpacked, and use of these broad terms often ignores, or glosses over, the mechanisms and processes that propagate inequality over time. No credit is done to the concerns and demands of Baltimoreans who struggle every day under systemic constraints if we fail to understand how the inequality they face is replicated.

To understand the building blocks of deprivation in Baltimore, it is necessary to examine both the historical legacy of city planning and the “comeback” of America’s old industrial centers.

The engineering projects of Robert Moses and others in mid-century cities created a legacy of physical and social divisions that continue to edit the lived landscape of Baltimore. Today, new economic and social development projects — the “Urban Renaissance” — are creating new divides in which there has been astounding success for some, built on the premise of excluding others, and creating new contradictions that are becoming impossible to ignore ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/05/baltmore-freddie-gray-protests-poverty-inequality/

Happy Mother's Day ~

Left Forum Registration (NYC - May 29)


A unique phenomenon in the U.S. and the world, Left Forum convenes the largest annual conference of a broad spectrum of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and the interested public. Conference participants come together to engage a wide range of critical perspectives on the world, to discuss differences, commonalities, and alternatives to current predicaments, and to share ideas for understanding and transforming the world. The conference is held each year in New York City.

More here: http://www.leftforum.org/
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