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
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
Recently Noted – challenging views of Justice Clarence Thomas – the intractable nature of white racismOctober 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.
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 –>>
environment, project blog
September 6, 2019
Friday 9/6/2019 Over the last several months I have been working on a restatement of the fundamental characteristics of the capitalist system. In doing this I have been thinking afresh about the current crisis of global warming and the surrounding environmental disasters of species extinction and the general defacement of the earth. I will complete this restatement shortly. Meanwhile I have rearranged the section of the website devoted to the environment to a more prominent —>> read more –>>
empire, recently noted, video-movies-podcasts
Recently Noted – Overthrow: 100 Years of US Meddling & Regime Change, from Iran to Nicaragua to Hawaii to CubaAugust 22, 2019
We’ve written quite a bit about the US Empire. A key component of this US foreign policy is regime change. Here is a list of the posts here on this topic. Recently Democracy Now! ran a 22 minute discussion of the history of US regime change actions over the last 100 years plus. It features discussion with Stephen Kinzer the author of many books on the history of American foreign policy.
other, political system
…nations are based as much on what people collectively agree to forget as what they wish to remember. In a visit in February 2019 to a photography exhibit, Imagined Communities by Mila Teshaieva, at the MIT Museum I came across this paraphrase from the late 19th century French historian Ernest Renan: …nations are based as much on what people collectively agree to forget as what they wish to remember. In the present moment we might revise —>> read more –>>
education, inequality, racism, recently noted
The recent controversies surrounding Joe Biden’s anti- school busing collaborations with racist politicians from the south has for the moment aroused new comment on segregated America. The New York Times published an excellent review of the history of school desegregation by Nikole Hannah-Jones, “It Was Never About Busing: Court-ordered desegregation worked. But white racism made it hard to accept.” As the article notes the yellow school bus has been in use for almost a hundred years. —>> read more –>>
economy, free-market ideology
June 26, 2019
Robert Reich is continuing his series of brief YouTube videos on progressive view of the economy. This is a good introduction to the arguments for re-invigorating our protections against monopolies. However, the problem is much more widespread than just the high tech industry. We’ve written about this broader phenomenon in The Monopolization of America. Here is one chart from that post. Dominance of Corporate Behemoths – NYTimes – 11/25/2108 The concentration of market power is —>> read more –>>
economy, free-market ideology
May 9, 2019
It’s Time to Break Up Facebook, by Chris Hughes, the co-founder of Facebook is very thorough in describing the current monopoly behavior of Facebook, the deleterious effects on competition and vigor in the economy of monopolies, and a great introduction to the history of anti-trust movements and legislation in the US.
Prompted by President Jimmy Carter, here is a list, self-described to “not pretend to be definitive or absolutely complete.”, of some of our adventures to bring democratic values to others in need.
Once again we return to our comedians for information about what is going on in the world. This time more on the fraud that is our judicial system.
economy, free-market ideology, politics, recently noted, video-movies-podcasts
Recently Noted – Robert Reich: Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for the Rest – a new video presentation
April 8, 2019
Robert Reich provides us with an accessible, brief analysis of why the rich and corporations are feasting while the rest of us experience the rigors, oppression, and discipline of the capitalist marketplace. Only a bit over 4 minutes long.
family, inequality, justice/jails, racism, video-movies-podcasts
April 3, 2019
Eviction from home is a regular feature of life for the poor and working class, more so for black and brown people. The civil justice system works with the same imbalance of power as the criminal system. Based on the book Evicted by Matthew Desmond.
economy, free-market ideology, healthcare, video-movies-podcasts
March 18, 2019
In our continuing effort to find varied sources to illustrate the power of marketing and the costs of unregulated capitalism we return to John Oliver’s show Last Week Tonight for his segment on sugar in food. The food industry continues to put sugar in nearly every processed food and fights efforts to reveal how much of this dangerous additive is in each bite.
March 14, 2019
If one is interested in helping people develop new understandings of how their society works the question of how adults learn and engage is critical. Clearly standard pedagogical approaches are inappropriate because our readers are adults not the ages typical for K-12 and college instruction. Further, standard pedagogy is top-down and largely devoted to supporting current cultural, political and economic regimes. So, I have been digging into adult learning models. Beginning with Knowles 1970s and —>> read more –>>
- Knowles, M. (1975) Self-directed learning: A guide for learners and teachers, New York: Cambridge Books. p.18
- O'Sullivan, E. (1999) Transformative Learning: Educational vision for the 21st century. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press Inc.
- Transformative Learning in Practice: Insights from Community, Workplace and Education, Jossey-Bass Inc 2009
March 8, 2019
Discrimination Against Women Continues – Lots of Outright Oppression Too In the NYTimes today is an article, “Why International Women’s Day Isn’t Going Away – For all the progress women have made, they are still a long way from true equality.” by Iliana Magra. Here are a few data points from the article: 200 million That’s the minimum number of women and girls on the planet who have undergone female genital mutilation, the United Nations says. —>> read more –>>
economy, free-market ideology, video-movies-podcasts
March 7, 2019
We have written earlier (for example our article The Monopolization of America) about the increasing concentration of market power In the hands of just a few corporations. This is a phenomenon occurring throughout the US economy (really more broadly across the globe). Here is an 11 minute review of the history and current state of monopolies in our economy.