Thursday, May 16, 2013

Today's Lesson: Bloomberg's education reforms are failing

If you like Michael Bloomberg's ideas about reforming education, prepare to get schooled:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Oh yeah: Bradley Manning

Remember the guy who's accused of sending Wikileaks the 'treasure-trove' of information from 'the field' in Iraq and Afghanistan? Much of what the world saw is evidence of war crimes. Here's his status--first through F.A.I.R.'s report on the corporate-media-cold-treatment of the story, then from Democracy Now! (exclamation theirs!) DN! has some more recent updates, too.

(To be clear: Our editors like the "!" at DemocracyNow!)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Economic STRESS: Americans working harder and earning less--economist Richard Wolff

If you have had the feeling that Americans are stressed out, working harder and earning less, or if you disagree with these notions, you might find these links valuable:

Economist Richard Wolff talks about Americans working WAY harder, and earning the same or less since 1978. If you don't want to watch the whole video, then I suggest zooming up to about 22:00, where Wolff gets into the American economy working well (for most) from the late 1940's until 1978--but not since. He talks about what the drop in compensation has meant to people: less time away from work, more stress, more divorces, more "fast-food", poorer health, more medications, etc. (For this segment, zoom to 22:00 - 35:00.)

FYI: I think American capitalism needs to be heavily regulated, not abandoned; and I don't know what Wolff thinks about this, because as he goes on, he doesn't actually get to that subject, at least not specifically. His analysis of workers' reality, however, seems to me to be right on target, and has been very helpful to my thinking.

Wolff does talk about other models of business that may be preferable to the dominant American workplace model, and his ideas here are extremely interesting; but again, he's not exactly clear about how or whether these models would replace "capitalism" writ large. I find this avoidance fairly common among those who condemn capitalism generally; I also find it somewhat annoying, since key questions remain. For example: Can any companies or corporate investment practices be smart, sustainable, and fair to workers, consumers and the public? Can individuals and entities like pension funds participate--and earn money--in our economy by helping businesses grow in such a responsible manner?

--For some hard data (a reference text) on productivity vs. wages, etc, here's a page with some helpful graphs. (It also includes a few very busy, confusing graphs--you'll know 'em when you see 'em--which I suggest SKIPPING!) Mother Jones is known as a liberal-progressive enterprise, but I find them to be highly credible and responsible journalists--please let me know, and provide examples and explanations, if you find otherwise:

--BTW, the NY Times has reported on similar data, even before the $#!% hit the fan in 2008. Witness this report from the summer of 2006:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Want to geek out on some Presidential Election polling?  I suggest Nate Silver's blog, FiveThirtyEight, at the NY Times site.  Silver was the one voice I remember correctly predicting the outcome of the 2008 election, among almost total agreement in the corporate press that the election was basically a toss-up. Hopefully working in the belly of the beast doesn't skew Silver's responsible, thorough, very shrewd perspective.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Good take on Occupy Oakland from--surprise!--the SFMOMA blogosphere!

"...There is a reason Occupy Wall Street advocates nonviolence: it works... Black bloc is black bloc, not Occupy Wall Street. Two different groups... So, on one hand we have Cops Gone Wild, and on the other hand we have Black Bloc Gone Wild. Why don’t they get together and do a reality TV show and leave the Occupy movement out of it so Occupy can get some work done?"  --I couldn't agree more, although I don't like the article's title much:

Thursday, May 17, 2012