July 2, 2020
Wondering What White Supremacy Looks Like? (click on image to download the report) The Boston Globe reported on July 1, 2020 on the results of a study by Suffolk University Law School, “Qualified Renters Need Not Apply” (link downloads the PDF of the study) from the Globe report: An undercover investigation released Wednesday found that Black people posing as prospective tenants in Greater Boston were shown fewer apartments than whites and offered fewer incentives to —>> read more –>>
healthcare, political system, politics
June 30, 2020
It is absolutely clear that Trump and Republicans (Trumplicans) are to blame for the state we find ourselves in. Trump and Republicans can talk all they want about “Wuhan virus” and other racist slurs. There is no other explanation for the tremendous surge in COVID-19 cases across the southern belt of the US. It is their policies that have created this monster. There has been no coherent Federal policy to drive an effective response to —>> read more –>>
inequality, political system, politics, racism
June 25, 2020
Monetary reparations for African Americans may accomplish very little to drive basic changes in the five pillars of the system of white supremacy: housing, education, healthcare, employment, and the judicial system.
political system, politics
June 15, 2020
Anonymity is a plague in our lives, public and private. The web is filled with anonymous material authored by anonymous creators. Facebook is filled with millions of anonymous fake people who are really, it frequently turns out, paid actors for various political and economic actors. Our local web-based social platforms are filled with people saying all sorts of stuff, much interesting and much also annoying, lacking in factual content, and sometimes downright vicious. Here in —>> read more –>>
economy, education, inequality, justice/jails, racism, recently noted, video-movies-podcasts
June 7, 2020
If you are struggling to get your head around how racism works you will probably find it helpful to have a general framework as a guide. This one hour lecture from 2017 features an overview by Brown University Professor Tricia Rose of the structure of racism and how it works in the US (approx. 29 minutes). Then follows a case study by Samuel Rosen, senior researcher, How Structural Racism Works Project at Brown, of how —>> read more –>>
political system, racism, recently noted
May 21, 2020
The May 21, 2020 Issue of the London Review of Books contains a review article, “The Corrupt Bargain” by Columbia U. Professor Eric Foner1. It is a wonderful review of the history of this peculiar institution, The Electoral College. In the midst of his survey of the history of the electoral college system he notes: A candidate can carry a dozen or so large states by small margins and capture the presidency while trailing far —>> read more –>>
books, economy, education, family, healthcare, inequality, justice/jails, politics
May 1, 2020
Tightrope provides a well-written description of the American crisis through personal stories and hard data. Unfortunately it falls flat in its call for action.
economy, free-market ideology, inequality, politics
May 1, 2020
The rich and corporations win even during a global pandemic.
environment, free-market ideology, political system, video-movies-podcasts
March 1, 2020
Back in the early and mid ‘70s both Karen and I worked in various machine shops and other industrial locations. Trichloroethylene (TCE) was used on a daily basis to clean metals parts and other materials. I remember a large tank of slowly roiling hot TCE at Stevens Arnold, Inc. in South Boston. I would use it several times a day to clean parts. Every week or so I would be detailed to drain the tank, —>> read more –>>
February 14, 2020
Perhaps the ceaseless clamoring for our attention by marketers is reaching its final stage of saturation in which our brains simply shut down and go on attention strike.
economy, family, inequality, recently noted
January 17, 2020
Essay explores the grim reality of life in one small corner of America within the broader landscape of the bottom 90%.
economy, free-market ideology
December 16, 2019
In an area with dozens of empty store fronts and several hundred thousand sq ft of empty space, a new strip mall is approved for construction. A rational market??
empire, politics, security state
December 13, 2019
How America Tortures by M. P. Denbeaux, & Seton Hall University. (2019) This report includes eight drawings by Abu Zubaydah, a Guantanamo detainee, illustrating his experiences during torture sessions. Abu Zubaydah is also a figure in the movie discussed below. This report is really a short book, some 95 pages including extensive notes, that covers all aspects of the CIA torture program. Download the report here>>>>. Here are screen grabs of the Abu Zubaydah drawings —>> read more –>>
environment, recently noted, video-movies-podcasts
December 9, 2019
Over 90% of plastic materials in consumer items and packaging end up in landfill dumps. Time for industry to take responsibility for their waste.
November 20, 2019
It is a continuing source of amazement and consternation that most conservatives and evangelical Christians support Trump. So many of his character features would seem to be inimical to both of these groups. We won’t list them here since that is hardly necessary. Trump demonstrates them on a daily if not hourly basis. Thankfully there are a few conservatives who have retained enough common sense and morality to oppose Trump and Trump Republicanism. A major —>> read more –>>
economy, free-market ideology, politics
October 27, 2019
Nobel Prize winners Duflo and Bannerjee take on idealized views of markets. They target the role of financial incentives, markets as self-correcting, efficient and ethically sound.
free-market ideology, racism, recently noted
October 15, 2019
A challenging take on the state of racism in the US. Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson reviews books on Clarence Thomas and his views on countering intractable white racism.
environment, recently noted
October 4, 2019
The New Yorker published “Value Meal: Impossible Foods wants to save the world by inventing a better burger” by Tad Friend in the 9/30/2019 issue. During the introductory paragraphs the following statistic was cited: Every four pounds of beef you eat contributes to as much global warming as flying from New York to London—and the average American eats that much each month.
September 14, 2019
9/12/2019 A lecture at the Hudson Area Library tonight, Slavery and Dutch-Palatine Farmers: How did middle class farmers in Colonial New York interact with slavery?’ by Travis M. Bowman. The lecture began with the note that slavery in NY state lasted for over 200 years – from 1625 when the Dutch East India Company began the import and sale of slaves in New York City ending with its outlawing in 1827. Mr. Bowman brought new —>> read more –>>