“Labor Day” Links: Rand Wilson, Steve Early, Jeannette Wicks-Lim

by Chris Sturr | September 01, 2014

(1) Jeannette Wicks-Lim on the Real News Network.  Frequent D&S author and staff economist at the Political Economy Research Institute, Jeannette Wicks-Lim, in an interview back in 2009 about the coming low-wage future. The email today from TRNN linking to the piece was entitled “Labor Day: The Less-Radical Alternative to May Day.” I consider this witty understatement. If you do a Google Images search for “Labor Day” (or click this link) you get lots of American flag waving, and the slogan: “Labor Day: Celebrating the Achievements of America’s Workforce.”

(2) Rand Wilson on “Just Cause” and Job Insecurity.  The first article we’re posting from our Annual Labor Issue (we are still in layout).  Rand argues that far from being obsolete (as the New York Times recently claimed), teacher tenure is the kind of policy that should be extended to all workers, as it is in other industrialized countries (vs. workers being “at will”).

(3) Steve Early in Counterpunch.  This piece by our pal Steve, “Organizing the Organized,” pairs nicely with Rand’s.  With more states becoming “right-to-work” states and given the recent Harris v. Quinn ruling (which Rand also talks about), it’s becoming more important than ever to have unions where workers are not just “organized” (in the sense of being union members) but actually organized, in the sense of being engaged and politically activated, whether or not they are in collective bargaining units.

(4) Steven Greenhouse, More Workers Are Claiming ‘Wage Theft’From today’s New York Times; hat-tip to TM.  Good piece; the comments section is especially heartening–90% or more of the comments condemn wage theft, many with personal anecdotes. The dissenters look ridiculous.

That’s it for now.

–Chris Sturr 

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Thursday Links: Boots, Salaita, Kalamazoo, etc.

by Chris Sturr | August 28, 2014

(1) Boots Riley talks communism on Fox:  See what happens when someone criticizes capitalism on an Ohio Fox affiliate.  The story at the Plain Dealer website is great; the comment section is hilarious. See also the original story at the Lakewood Citizen website.

(2) Holding Bankers Accountable, New York Times Room for DebateLisa Gilbert and Bartlett Naylor of Public Citizen have a piece in this forum, as does Lynn Stout.

(3) NYT endorses Tim Wu for NYS lt. gov., a day after failing to endorse Wu’s running mate, Zephyr Teachout, for governor, which many commenters at the NYT website found strange. Better than no endorsement for either of them, I guess, and Cuomo’s pick for his running mate sounds like a piece of work.

(4) Phan Nguyen on the firing of Steven Salaita:  At Mondoweiss, an excellent two-part take-down of Cary Nelson, the U. of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign English professor and former president of the AAUP, who has defended the university’s firing (which is what it is when you withdraw a job offer that has been accepted, and the candidate and his spouse have resigned their positions to move to the new job) of Steven Salaita, a Palestinian-American scholar for tweets critical of Israel’s assault on Gaza. It appears that there was a coordinated campaign of right-wing bloggers to target Salaita. I’m proud my philosopher friends Jason Stanley (of Yale) and Ralph Wedgwood (of USC) have written strong letters in support of Salaita and publicized his firing on Facebook. Here’s what Ralph said, with characteristic flair, on FB when the UIUC trustees upheld Salaita’s firing: “In view of the statements that have been released today by the administration of the University of Illinois, I’m perfectly happy to boycott their university until such time as either (a) they convince me that they have ceased to be the enemies of academic freedom, or (b) I draw my dying breath (whichever is sooner).”  Also check out political theorist Bonnie Honig’s letter to UIUC chancellor Phyllis Wise, posted at the website of political scientist Corey Robin, who has been publicizing the Salaita affair; and finally, see an analysis of the legal issues by Michael C. Dorf at Justia.com’s Verdict site.

(5) With/Out-Borders Conference in Kalamazoo:  Hat-tip to HIllary Rettig, who sent this:

Kalamazoo Conference Features International Activists, Artists, and Scholars

Next month, we’re having an amazing activist/arts/scholarship conference right here in Kalamazoo! The With/Out-Borders conference will include timely events on racism and urban unrest, the Israel-BDS (boycott, divest, sanction) movement, the prison-industrial complex, youth immigration/undocumented youth, and much more. Here are some of the presenters:

  • Angela Y. Davis, Civil Rights Icon
  • Nikky Finney, National Book Award Winner
  • Willie Kgositsile, South African Poet Laureate
  • Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Performance Artist and MacArthur Fellow
  • Gloria Rolando, Filmmaker
  • Radmilla Cody, NAMMY winner and former Miss Navaho

It’s literally a unique opportunity to see international leaders in many activist fields all gathered in one place and talking intersections.

September 25-28 at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College
Please check out the full program here:

 That’s it for now.

–Chris Sturr

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