Scotland: one prediction right

Originally posted on Michael Roberts Blog:

Back last June, I made some rash predictions about the UK and globally (

The first was that “the Scots will narrowly vote no to independence, reducing the uncertainty about the break-up of the UK for another decade. This will be a relief for British big business. Alex Salmond and the Scottish Nationalists will use the narrow defeat to get more concessions on tax-raising powers (already promised by the Conservatives) and will look for another vote down the road.”

The vote NO was decisive on a large turnout, but Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, voted YES to independence.  That suggests a significant anti-Tory and anti-political elite vote, probably from the younger voters.  The economic case for an independent Scottish capitalist state  that would benefit working people compared to the Union was weak at best (see my post, .
But the mood of opposition and disgust at the UK’s…

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Gerald Horne interview. Author of “The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America” [Video]

LA Times Again Defends Deasy, Accuses Critics of Fronting for Union

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

In an editorial, the Los Angeles Times again defended Superintendent John Deasy from critics who were appalled by the appearance of rigged bidding on a $1.3 billion tech contract.

The editorial shifts the debate, saying that somehow the disgruntled members of the school board are actually stooges for the teachers’ union, which the editorial writer obviously despises.

“At L.A. Unified, tensions are high and crisis is in the air. The relationship between Supt. John Deasy and the school board that oversees him is at what is perhaps an all-time low. Deasy is again muttering about quitting; others are grumbling that he should be fired.

“Not surprisingly, United Teachers Los Angeles, the teachers union, is practically giddy. The union has regularly lambasted the superintendent, calling his performance “anything but satisfactory,” suggesting he be placed in “teacher jail” like a teacher accused of misconduct would be, and making it clear that it…

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Maelström — Harry Clarke

Originally posted on Biblioklept:


Looking about me upon the wide waste of liquid ebony on which we were thus borne, I perceived that our boat was not the only object in the embrace of the whirl. Both above and below us were visible fragments of vessels, large masses of building timber and trunks of trees, with many smaller articles, such as pieces of house furniture, broken boxes, barrels and staves. I have already described the unnatural curiosity which had taken the place of my original terrors. It appeared to grow upon me as I drew nearer and nearer to my dreadful doom. I now began to watch, with a strange interest, the numerous things that floated in our company. I must have been delirious—for I even sought amusement in speculating upon the relative velocities of their several descents toward the foam below. ‘This fir tree,’ I found myself at one time saying, ‘will certainly…

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Chicago: Guess Who Endorsed the Privatization of Custodian Jobs?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Mike Klonsky reports on the deal that preceded the privatization of the jobs of custodians in Chicago. It’s a shocker.

“It was SEIU Local 73 leader Christine Boardman who first signed onto Rahm’s $340 million sub-contracting deal with Aramark and SodexoMagic (magic, my ass) in the first place. These two contracts combined make it one of the largest privatization moves of any school district in the nation. Under the agreements, SodexoMAGIC oversees 33 schools, while Aramark oversees the remaining 500-some district-run schools.

“Boardman then put icing on her sell-out with a $25,000 contribution to Rahm’s campaign war chest. Ugh! She’s dirtier than a a CPS bathroom.

“But what about progressive SEIU Local 1 Pres. Tom Balanoff? Why so quiet, Tom?”

The privatization has produced dirty schools, rats, roaches, and the layoff of nearly 500 custodians.

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Ai-jen Poo National Domestic Workers Alliance wins McArthur Genius Award for 2014.

Originally posted on Talking Union:

Ai-Jen Poo

Ai-jen Poo is a labor organizer whose compelling vision of the value of home-based care work is transforming the landscape of working conditions and labor standards for domestic or private-household workers. The estimated 1–2 million domestic workers—housekeepers, nannies, caregivers for the elderly or disabled—in the United States today are excluded from most federal and state labor laws, including collective bargaining; occupational safety and health protections; sick and vacation pay; and protection from discrimination and sexual harassment.

Combining a deep understanding of the complex tangle of human relations around domestic work with keen strategic skills, Poo has created a vibrant, worker-led labor movement and spearheaded successful legislative campaigns at the national and international levels. As lead organizer of the New York City–based Domestic Workers United (2000–2009), she spent countless hours in parks, buses, and other gathering places for domestic workers, creating opportunities for these largely isolated women to share their experiences…

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Peter Brown: U.N. slams Minnesota for racial injustice

Originally posted on Rise Up Times:

 The Minnesota statewide Shadow Report, “A Human Rights Perspective on The Land of 10,000 Lakes Disparities,” focuses on the economic and cultural dispossession of people of color and American Indians in Minnesota, documenting several of Minnesota’s racial disparities in several key areas (health, employment, housing, income, food security and access to nutritious food, juvenile and adult incarceration rates) and cites total failure of the federal government to make the racial justice treaty known at the state and local levels of government, nearly 20 years after ratifying it…



Geneva, Switzerland — On Aug. 29, 2014, a U.N. human rights committee composed of human rights laws experts from 18 countries issued a report critical of U.S. racial injustice in general and Minnesota racial injustice in particular.

Despite a vigorous defense by a high-level…

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