February 19th is the anniversary of Executive Order 9066, FDR's order to put Japanese Americans into concentration camps. At this time when anti-immigrant sentiment is rising and we are preparing for the US Census, it is worth pausing to remember how census information was used in this state kidnapping of our fellow Americans, to consider how it could be so used again, and to resolve to answer the census only with a count of people and not with any further information, in accordance with the Constitution's provision for an "enumeration", not an interrogation.
Incarceration is a racket. We've heard a lot the past few years about how awful privately owned prisons are, but an underexplored issue is the profiteering of vendors of inmate services. From telecommunication companies that charge outrageous fees to let inmates speak to their families (or lawyers!), to charging inmates by the minute to read books, it's a wealth transfer from the bottom to the top. Capitalism at its finest.
New polls show that:
African-American soldiers who fought Nazis were not in the mood to come home and deal with white folks racism. And they'd learned that racist could be beaten. They not only helped liberate Europe, they helped set the stage for the liberation of the US.
Virginia was one of the first sates to enact a so-called "right to work" law, undermining unions by allowing workers to enjoy the benefits of unionized bargaining without paying their fair dues.
The General Assembly was considering a bill to repeal the "right-to-work" law, but it turns out the Democrat's bosses were not happy with that:
At Jacobin, Ross Barkan details the awfulness of Michael Bloomberg: authoritarian crack-downs on protestors (the 2004 Republican convention, Occupy Wall Street), racist stop-and-frisk and surveillance of Muslim communities, support for the criminal invasion of Iraq, apologetics for China and Saudi Arabia, and policies that increased inequality and economic injustice.
It is shameful that the Democrats are even considering this guy.
The purpose of bail is to help ensure that a defendant shows up for trial. But in a bold new way to wring money out of poor defendants, Davidson County, Tennessee (the county corresponding to the city of Nashville), the courts are taking that money as a down payment on fines the defendant may owe if convicted. This means that if family or friends help someone make bail, they're not just putting their money on their relative or friend showing up for their day court, they are gambling against conviction.
A whole lot of Democrats seem to have forgotten -- or, hypocritically to their protests against Trump's "Muslim ban", not care -- that under Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg's administration, the New York Police Department sent undercover informants into Muslim communities, and engaged in video surveillance and recorded license plate numbers of mosque attendees, for no reason other than these these folks were Muslims.
That Sanders's surge is discomfiting the MSNBC crowd is a pleasant thing to contemplate, but in practical terms it may end up a significant obstacle.
Sanders has framed himself as an outsider, taking on the political establishment as a democratic socialist. But as he has surged in the polls—he now leads Biden with all voters—he is increasingly running up against another establishment: the media, and particularly cable news.
On the one hand we have "open carry" protestors who think it's cool to walk around with uncovered rifles on city streets as if they were on a battlefield; on their other we have hoplophobes so panicked by the dread image of The Gun that they will call the police on a kindergartner -- a kindergartner with Down Syndrome, yet. Laws aside, maybe -- just maybe -- we could find a sweet spot in between these extremes in our social attitude towards firearms.