The Monmouth University survey shows that 60 percent of the public is not sure about the effect of the free-trade deal brokered between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations.
Email from 12 Million Member AFL-CIO, asking me to sign petition so that "TPP is as good for working people as President Obama has said it is". That'll strike fear into the heart of the plutocracy!
Actually, no it won't. We need credible electoral threats, in the form of credible masses of voters circling primaries, like sharks about to engage in a feeding frenzy. We need a massive public education program (ya know, one that actually educates if not most of the electorate, than a large enough percentage of them to actually make a difference. I.e., the exact opposite of the massive FAIL we can readily observe, for ourselves, if we just devote a few hours to engaging our clueless neighbors.) Read more about Email from 12 Million Member AFL-CIO, asking me to sign petition so that "TPP is as good for working people as President Obama has said it is". That'll strike fear into the heart of the plutocracy!
Wondering what the 350.org folks are doing to abort TPA, I checked out their website, after ascertaining that they signed onto the the anti-TPP letter that has 2009 group signatories. Read more about 350.org signs anti-TPP letter, threatens to hold its breath until it turns blue
WeAreChange.org: non-camping, Occupy-like movement in Europe ramps up to 100 cities, in over 2 months. Lawrence Lessig, take note!
WeAreChange.org is the best thing to come out of the 911 movement, IMO, and they've continued their fearless (and occasionally foolish, IMO) work as 911 fades from our collective memory. Luke Rudkowski founded We Are Change, and I first became aware of this new movement about 2 days ago, as he was interviewed by Max Keiser on RT television. Read more about WeAreChange.org: non-camping, Occupy-like movement in Europe ramps up to 100 cities, in over 2 months. Lawrence Lessig, take note!
Some prefer to treat political reality as a large and fixed quantity, but that ignores what can happen at a smaller scale.
Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read more about 18th century political thinking in the 21st
With two days of training on the weekend and a rally on Monday, Ohioans are gathering to protest fracking.
Cross posted from Pruning Shears.
Activists across Ohio are preparing for a weekend of activities in the northeast part of the state. On Saturday and Sunday, July 27th and 28th, at the First Congregational Church in Ravenna, there will be two days of trainings designed to give us the tools we can use to build a powerful movement that will achieve our right to clean air and water and democracy. At the "Don't Frack Ohio 2" Rally in Warren on July 29th we will tell our policymakers that we do not want to be a fracking wasteland. Music and info at 11:30 and the rally starts at 1:30 at the Trumbull County Courthouse in Warren.
The post below was originally submitted as a leeter to the editor of the Record Courier. Read more about Don't Frack Ohio starting this weekend: three days of education and activism
One of the under appreciated hazards of fracking is its effect on democracy. Fracking is a big, intrusive process - one that sucks up lots of water, creates enormous amounts of traffic and an ungodly amount of noise, etc. Setting aside the environmental dangers and health effects (!), the heavy industrialization involved in fracking guarantees that communities will be abundantly aware of it. Read more about "You quickly realize that no one is there for you but you know who? You. That's all you have."
On Wednesday communities held Freedom From Toxic Fracking Waste rallies to raise awareness on one of the largest environmental risks from fracking: dealing with the waste it produces. Read more about Communities rally against toxic fracking waste
One of the biggest threats fracking poses to the environment is the way it endangers the water supply. It does so in several ways, one of which has large-scale implications. Global impact like that is a little unusual; environmental issues are more likely to be local. Whether it's fracking, lead paint/asbestos in old buildings, or a Superfund site, once you get a few miles away from it the greatest hazard is usually mitigated.
Fracking permanently removes water from the hydrological cycle, though, at which point it may as well be on the far side of the moon for as much use as it is. This goes beyond competition for scarce resources during a dry season, though the oil and gas industry is well positioned to elbow everyone else aside (via) if it comes to that. It is about the slow draining of the amount of water available for human use. Read more about Fighting fracking: introverts edition
Thursday's post on Hiram's public fracking meeting mainly covered residents' interaction with local officials. The bigger part of the meeting, though, featured two speakers with ties to the oil and gas industry. Read more about Hiram residents attempt to ask questions about fracking
On June 17th the Catholic social justice lobbying group NETWORK launched a 15 day Nuns on the Bus tour. (As befits their budding rock star status, they are selling a tour shirt as well.) They are speaking out against the House Republican budget because, as they write: "When the federal government cuts funding to programs that serve people in poverty, we see the effects in our daily work. Simply put, real people suffer. That is immoral." Read more about 'Nuns on the Bus' passes through Cleveland
Yesterday I looked at Bruce Murphy's article about the Wisconsin recall, and how Murphy thought Democrats and unions brought defeat on themselves. There is one point he made that fits in with a purely political analysis, which is what I'm focusing on today. He writes: "Had Tom Barrett — or any Democrat — offered an alternative, some approach that would eliminate the abuse of public benefits without crushing unions, while protecting the many public workers who are not overpaid, this could have carried the day against Walker." Read more about The Wisconsin recall: myths and talking points
Since the recall was run as a conventional political campaign, instead of one grounded in the turmoil of last year, it's fair to ask how the latter might have looked. Doug Henwood offered these thoughts:
Suppose instead that the unions had supported a popular campaign - media, door knocking, phone calling - to agitate, educate, and organize on the importance of the labor movement to the maintenance of living standards? If they'd made an argument, broadly and repeatedly, that Walker's agenda was an attack on the wages and benefits of the majority of the population? That it was designed to remove organized opposition to the power of right-wing money in politics? That would have been more fruitful than this major defeat.
It seemed like the Barrett campaign never bothered to make the case for unions in general or collective bargaining in particular. I kept thinking, did last winter just go down the memory hole? Why isn't anyone bringing up the unjust law that was the catalyst for all this? Read more about The Wisconsin recall: how the movement could have helped