Monday, December 10, 2018

Union Power

Those charter school teachers in Chicago who went on strike have reached a tentative agreement with their school. Theirs was the first strike of charter school teachers in the country. Hopefully this sets a precedent.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

16 Shots and a Cover Up

Was doing a lot of crying this morning educating myself on the shooting of Laquan McDonald. Among other things, I came across this podcast series. Anyone who knows me knows I don't listen to podcasts, but this one actually held my attention. Check it out here.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Conquest of Bread

I finally got around to reading the bread book. It was okay. I prefer Mutual Aid. The basic premise of The Conquest of Bread is to map out necessary conditions for what Kropotkin calls Social Revolution. In such a revolution, the manner in which production is carried out, as well as the ownership structures governing it, must be overhauled. For Kropotkin, revolution is all or nothing. If any vestiges of liberal capitalism remain, the revolution is doomed to failure.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

It's Like Angela Nagle Read Settlers and Sided with the White People

Angela Nagle pulls at our collective memory of decommunization by invoking Reagan's Berlin Wall speech in the lede of her latest for American Affairs Journal. In keeping with her steady slide into Strasserism, we find her parroting some of Tom Metzger's favorite talking points by positing unchecked immigration as inherently anti-working class (and the reverse position as the True Left).

Monday, November 19, 2018

Does Neo-Nazi Gang Sting Violate Freedom of Speech? [SATIRE]

Chastity McBride said she was just trying to make a point about the natural human drive for dominance. “By selling crystal meth for a white nationalist gang, I was demonstrating the hypocrisy of our national drug laws,” said McBride while filing a toothbrush into a shank to represent the death of innocence.

McBride was one of almost forty neo-Nazis affiliated with the Unforgiven and Aryan Brotherhood gangs swept up in a sting operation on Thursday. But the defendants and advocacy groups argue the arrests were a violation of their civil rights.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Facebook's Hellmachine Playbook

Wow.

In a bombshell exposé in the New York Times, a team of journalists uncovered Facebook's campaign to avoid accountability the use of its platform. A sample:

While Mr. Zuckerberg has conducted a public apology tour in the last year, Ms. Sandberg has overseen an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat Facebook’s critics, shift public anger toward rival companies and ward off damaging regulation. Facebook employed a Republican opposition-research firm to discredit activist protesters, in part by linking them to the liberal financier George Soros. It also tapped its business relationships, lobbying a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic.
In all, the article, which relies on the anonymous testimony of over 50 people, shows how at every step of the way, Facebook was aware of the problems with their platform, and their dire consequences, well in advance of admitting them publicly. It also shows that Facebook has built a machine that might very well be beyond its control.

Wow.

Monday, November 12, 2018

All the Power, None of the Responsibility

In a move that's sure to please Michael Rectenwald, an international group of academics is launching a Journal of Controversial Ideas which promises to publish authors pseudonymously. The journal, one of its founders Jeff McMahon told the BBC, "would enable people whose ideas might get them in trouble either with the left or with the right or with their own university administration, to publish under a pseudonym."

Academic researchers are already looking askance at the journal, and for good reason. Part of academic research is being intimately familiar with who it is you are citing. A literature review, done well, gives a sense not only of what has been said in the literature, but the kinds of people saying it. With the advent of pseudonymous publication, this becomes difficult.