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BeckyDem

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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Feb 9, 2017, 01:31 PM
Number of posts: 7,582

Journal Archives

Symposium: What would US intervention in Ukraine really look like?

Scholars, journalists, former military and intel officers weigh in on the wide-ranging costs of military aid and a clash with Russia.

January 24, 2022

Excerpt:

A New York Times article late Sunday reports that the Pentagon has handed Biden several options that would shift American military assets much closer to Mr. Putin’s doorstep, including troops and warships and other military assets to allied countries in the region.

Responsible Statecraft asked a host of military and international relations scholars and journalists, as well as former military and intelligence officers, what it would look like if the United States decided to intervene to defend Ukraine. We asked them to answer the following prompt:

“Many in Washington, including media pundits, are saying the U.S. may have to get involved militarily— directly or indirectly — to defend Ukraine should Russia invade. Yet they do not expand on what that would actually mean in practice, or in costs. Based on your experience and expertise, if Washington decides to defend Ukraine against a Russian invasion, what kind of costs and repercussions would such a conflict incur (long and short-term), for the United States and for the region?”

Respondents:
https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2022/01/24/symposium-what-would-us-intervention-over-ukraine-really-look-like/

A Free South : The Black Arts Movement and the politics of emancipation.


By Elias Rodriques
January 10, 2022


In the 1960s, the Free Southern Theater, an organization founded by a group of activists with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), traveled to a church in a predominantly Black, rural corner of Mississippi. There they staged Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, an absurdist drama about characters conversing as they wait for someone who never arrives. The play may have seemed like a strange choice—who would imagine that Beckett might connect with rural Black Americans in the throes of the civil rights movement?—but it found at least one admirer in civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer. “I guess we know something about waiting, don’t we?” Hamer said from the audience.


Everyone agreed, and as they discussed the play, the conversation eventually turned to slavery and prisons. “We had this incredible discussion with people who barely had a sixth-grade education,” Denise Nicholas, an actress in the Free Southern Theater, said later. And drama—even high-modernist, experimental drama—functioned as political education.

This was the Free Southern Theater’s goal. As cofounder John O’Neal recalled of its creation:

https://www.thenation.com/article/society/james-smethurst-black-arts-movement/

(Tweet) Be A King @BerniceKing: I want to encourage us today concerning voting rights legislation

https://twitter.com/BerniceKing/status/1482023617420537868











( Is she awesome or what? The fight continues. )

Joint Statement of the Five Nuclear-Weapon States on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races

January 14, 2022

The People’s Republic of China, the French Republic, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America consider the avoidance of war between Nuclear-Weapon States and the reduction of strategic risks as our foremost responsibilities.

We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. As nuclear use would have far-reaching consequences, we also affirm that nuclear weapons—for as long as they continue to exist—should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression and prevent war. We believe strongly that the further spread of such weapons must be prevented.

We reaffirm the importance of addressing nuclear threats and emphasize the importance of preserving and complying with our bilateral and multilateral non-proliferation, disarmament and arms control agreements and commitments. We remain committed to our Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations, including our Article VI obligation “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.

https://www.worldtribune.org/2022/01/joint-statement-of-the-five-nuclear-weapon-states-on-preventing-nuclear-war-and-avoiding-arms-races/


Excerpt:

In wondrous synchronicity, on Sept. 8, 2022, we will be commemorating the 65th anniversary of second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda’s Declaration for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. On Sept. 8, 1957, in front of the 50,000 youth members in attendance at a Soka Gakkai youth festival, Mr. Toda entrusted all Soka Gakkai youth with the mission to abolish nuclear weapons. He famously declared: “We, the citizens of the world, have an inviolable right to live. Anyone who jeopardizes that right is a devil incarnate, a fiend, a monster.”[2]

https://www.worldtribune.org/2022/01/a-nuclear-war-cannot-be-won/

Unions are not only good for workers, they're good for communities and for democracy

High unionization levels are associated with positive outcomes across multiple indicators of economic, personal, and democratic well-being

Report • By Asha Banerjee, Margaret Poydock, Celine McNicholas, Ihna Mangundayao, and Ali Sait • December 15, 2021

We know that unions promote economic equality and build worker power, helping workers to win increases in pay, better benefits, and safer working conditions.

But that’s not all unions do. Unions also have powerful effects on workers’ lives outside of work.

In this report, we document the correlation between higher levels of unionization in states and a range of economic, personal, and democratic well-being measures. In the same way unions give workers a voice at work, with a direct impact on wages and working conditions, the data suggest that unions also give workers a voice in shaping their communities. Where workers have this power, states have more equitable economic structures, social structures, and democracies.
Income and economic protections

https://www.epi.org/publication/unions-and-well-being/

The "War" on the War on Corporate Crime

After FTC Pledges to Fight Corporate Crime, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Accuses Agency of "Going Rogue"

Rick Claypool
Dec 2, 2021


One day after the FTC announced it is launching a criminal referral program to combat corporate crime, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce accused the agency of “going rogue.”

FTC chair Khan’s statement announcing the program accurately observes, “Research shows that corporate actors can treat even seemingly high penalties as a cost of doing business, and the stock market price of defendant corporations generally rise in response to the announcement of a fine – suggesting that underenforcement and a lack of deterrence may be pervasive,” citing research by Public Citizen and others.

Chamber president and chief executive Suzanne Clark told The Wall Street Journal, “It feels to the business community that the FTC has gone to war against us, and we have to go to war back.”

FTC spokesperson Peter Kaplan made clear the agency does not intend to back down:

https://bigbusinessblotter.substack.com/p/the-war-on-the-war-on-corporate-crime



( Are we in any way surprised? No.You can read more details about these "lovely" people at the link. )


The Nonprofit College That Spends More on Marketing Than Financial Aid


Baker College graduate Bart Bechtel holds his diploma at his home in Essex, Maryland. Credit: Mary F. Calvert, special to ProPublica

by Anna Clark, ProPublica, and David Jesse
Detroit Free Press
Jan. 12, 2022

Baker College promises students a better life. But few ever graduate, and even those who do often leave with crushing debt and useless degrees. No one — not the board, nor the accreditors, nor the federal government — has intervened.

Excerpt:

From humble beginnings as a small business school in Flint, Baker rose to become the largest private college in Michigan, forging a presence in online learning and in Michigan towns where many students thought a college degree was beyond their grasp. For decades, the school’s marketing touted low costs and employment rates of nearly 100% for job-seeking graduates — making the dream seem both affordable and achievable.

But for many, the Baker reality is neither, an investigation by the Detroit Free Press and ProPublica found.

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-nonprofit-college-that-spends-more-on-marketing-than-financial-aid


( Astonishing level of fraud. )

Regulation: The Low-and-Slow Approach to Food Safety Reform Keeps Going Up in Smoke

December 23, 2021

( Full disclosure, this story is NOT an easy read. Be aware before you read more at the link: This story discusses a child’s fatal case of food poisoning. )


The U.S. has one agency that regulates cheese pizza and another that oversees pepperoni pizza. Efforts to fix the food safety system have stalled again and again.

For Nancy Donley, the fight for safer food started one agonizing summer night in 1993. She and her family had hamburgers for dinner, and soon after, her 6-year-old son Alex complained of a stomachache. Within hours, he had curled himself into a ball and was begging his mother for comfort.

Excerpt: And over the last two decades, legislators have introduced 10 bills that proposed creating a single agency. But none of them stood a chance.

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-low-and-slow-approach-to-food-safety-reform-keeps-going-up-in-smoke?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

Uber CEO Admits Company Can Afford Labor Protections for Drivers

Dara Khosrowshahi told investors that Uber “can make any model work” in response to new EU regulations — a departure from the gig employer’s public stance.

Lee Fang


January 7, 2022

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi reassured investors concerned about new European Union regulations in December, telling a group of bankers that his company can continue to thrive even under rules that would force it to hire drivers as employees.

“We can make any model work,” Khosrowshahi said when asked about potential EU legislation that would require Uber to designate drivers as employees or provide additional rights such as vacation time and a pension.

Speaking by video at a December 14 “fireside chat” hosted by the Swiss bank UBS, Khosrowshahi told investors that recent decisions in Spain and the United Kingdom have not drastically harmed the company. In the past year, both countries have enacted rules compelling gig companies to provide more worker protections to drivers.

“Spain business is up close to 40 percent on a year-on-year basis, and Spain EBITDA margins are very close to our overall long-term margins as well,” noted Khosrowshahi, referencing the company’s cash flow before taxes and interest.

https://theintercept.com/2022/01/07/uber-drivers-labor-protections-dara-khosrowshahi-european-union/

Democrats propose California universal healthcare, funded by new income, business taxes


By John Myers Sacramento Bureau Chief
Jan. 6, 2022 12:32 PM PT
SACRAMENTO —

California would enact a sweeping, first-in-the-nation universal healthcare plan under a proposal unveiled Thursday by a group of state Democratic lawmakers, providing health services to every resident and financed by a broad array of new taxes on individuals and businesses.

Though some of the policy details of the ambitious plan were laid out last year, the way to fund it had not been determined. The proposal, now laid out in separate pieces of legislation, faces significant hurdles in the coming months — first at the state Capitol, with opposition from groups representing doctors and insurance companies, and then possibly at the ballot box, as voters would have to approve the taxes in an amendment to the California Constitution.

“There are countless studies that tell us a single-payer healthcare system is the fiscally sound thing to do, the smarter healthcare policy to follow, and a moral imperative if we care about human life,” Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), the proposal’s author, said Thursday.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-01-06/democrats-propose-california-universal-healthcare-funded-by-new-income-and-business-taxes


Yep.
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