GOP Bans On Teaching About Racism Drive Out Educators

Date on which the Florida Senate Education Committee gave initial approval along party lines to a bill sponsored by Republican state Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. and championed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis that would prohibit public schools and private businesses from making white people feel “discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress” when teaching about racism: 1/18/2022

Number of days later that a Florida school district canceled a college professor’s seminar for teachers on the history of the civil rights movement, citing in part concerns over critical race theory: 1

Month in which DeSantis held a campaign-style event in which he called critical race theory — a decades-old academic movement examining the intersection of race and law — “crap” and said he’d press for legislation banning it from being taught in his state’s schools: 12/2021

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Union Membership Resumes Its Fall

Union membership fell by almost 2% in 2021 as employment rose by over 3%. That took union density—the share of the workforce belonging to unions—down from 10.8% in 2020 to 10.3% last year, where it was in 2019. Density rose in 2020 because more nonunion workers lost their jobs in the covid crisis than their unionized counterparts, but 2021’s return to employment undid that.

For the private sector, just 6.1% of workers were unionized last year, down from 6.3% in 2020, an all-time low for a series that goes back to 1900. (Official numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics began in 1983; I’ve assembled figures for earlier years from various sources.) Public sector density also fell, from 34.8% to 33.9%, not quite a record low. But the number of government workers organized in unions fell by 2.7%, almost four times as much as private sector members. The full history is graphed below.

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How Kroger Is Using DC Spin Doctors To Fight Their Unionized Workers

In recent weeks, Kroger has faced a rash of negative news reports about its employees’ working and living conditions, drawn new scrutiny from lawmakers, and seen thousands of workers go on strike in Colorado — all as the company lobbies on union rights legislation, and bankrolls corporate trade associations trying to kill it.

Now amid the potential for congressional hearings and a federal crackdown, the grocery giant did what so many other corporate behemoths do when they’re feeling the heat: pay big bucks to run counter programming claiming it offers “great pay and great benefits” in a Beltway tip sheet read by Washington insiders.

The DC tip sheet industry, which includes daily email newsletters like Politico Playbook, Axios AM, and Punchbowl News, may seem obscure, but it serves a special purpose in media.

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Saving The World From Nuclear War

These are dark days for both our nation and the world. Climate change is wreaking havoc everywhere, a global pandemic continues its onslaught, our nation’s experiment in democracy is threatened by a slow-motion insurrection and, to top it all off, our nation has taken the lead in pushing Russia toward a war over Ukraine that is capable of going off the rails into a full-scale nuclear war (and that is not hyperbole!).

At least four or five U.S. OHIO Class “Trident” ballistic missile submarines are currently at sea on “hard alert” in their designated patrol areas—ready to launch any or all of their 20 Trident II D5 ballistic missiles, bristling with thermonuclear warheads, at the command of the President. 

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The Global Links Of The Recent Escalation In The Yemen Conflict

The last month has seen a drastic escalation in the war in Yemen. According to the UN, January will most likely be the month with the highest ever casualties reported since the war began in 2014. The January 21 strike on a prison in Sa’ada which killed 91 people marked the highest death toll in a single strike in the last three years. The number of airstrikes carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition last December was already the highest in years. In all likelihood, this figure will be even higher by the end of January.

On the other hand, the Houthis have demonstrated their capacity and willingness to retaliate against members of the Saudi-led coalition by sending drones and missiles hundreds of miles away to Abu Dhabi.

Exactly at a time when decisive international intervention to find a political solution to end the war is needed, the UN and the international community have shown their unwillingness to take the extra efforts required.

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Congress Launches New Pro-Israel ‘Cheerleading’ Caucus

Washington – Earlier this month, Congress launched the bicameral, bipartisan Abraham Accords Caucus to support normalization between Israel and Arab states. Backed by pro-Israel groups, this new political development can be interpreted as a way for the Israel lobby to regain its power over a U.S. Congress that is increasingly critical of Israel.

Described as a “cheerleading squad” in the Jewish Insider by its co-chair, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), the caucus’s stated goals include expanding the Abraham Accords agreements and fostering regional peace. The group’s other co-chairs are Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), David Trone (D-MD), Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Brad Schneider (D-IL).

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Venezuelan Coup Attempt Leader Might End Up In Prison Soon

As The Canary has consistently reported, the US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela has been degenerating into an increasingly pathetic and embarrassing spectacle. Now, in one final gasp of desperation, Juan Guaidó has called for a fresh round of protests next month. But it looks like he and his dwindling band of followers’ hopes of toppling the government will soon be dashed. Because there are now growing calls for his prosecution for crimes including treason.

Washington and its mouthpieces in the corporate-owned media will surely crow that this somehow constitutes ‘proof’ of the Venezuelan government’s authoritarian nature. But the reality is that the US is, if anything, even less tolerant of the kind of behavior that its proxies in Venezuela have engaged in as part of their attempt to seize power.

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How Politicians Are Papering Over Social Problems Caused By Capitalism

The declines of U.S. capitalism and of its imperial position provoke fear among its mainstream politicians. Their response, in large part, has been to deny that any such decline is happening. These politicians do this partly by acting as though the U.S. remains in the globally dominant position it occupied in the second half of the 20th century. Thus, to maintain this illusion, they start wars in the Middle East, maintain military bases in dozens of countries, intervene in other countries at will and describe the U.S. as the global guarantor of peace, security, and democracy.

Yet these U.S. politicians also sense what the population feels: that decline of capitalism and U.S. hegemony is actually happening. So repeated denials, while comforting the citizens of the country, do not suffice to control popular opinion and thereby common sense.

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The Pressure Campaign On Spotify To Remove Joe Rogan

American liberals are obsessed with finding ways to silence and censor their adversaries. Every week, if not every day, they have new targets they want de-platformed, banned, silenced, and otherwise prevented from speaking or being heard (by “liberals,” I mean the term of self-description used by the dominant wing of the Democratic Party).

For years, their preferred censorship tactic was to expand and distort the concept of “hate speech” to mean “views that make us uncomfortable,” and then demand that such “hateful” views be prohibited on that basis. For that reason, it is now common to hear Democrats assert, falsely, that the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech does not protect “hate speech.”

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Endless War Is The Empire’s Last Dance

This moment of history will be remembered for the massive shift in global relations currently underway. On one side stands the forces of peace and multipolarity led by China, Russia, and their allies in the Global South. On the other is the forces of empire and conquest spearheaded by the U.S. and its allies. The conflict between these two “camps” is about much more than competing visions for planetary development. World politics have transitioned from a war between socialism and capitalism to a protracted struggle for the survival of humanity itself.

The forces of Empire have reached the following conclusion: the preservation of imperialism requires endless war, no matter how counterproductive.

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A War Only America And Britain Seem To Want

The telephone call between U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenensky on Thursday was said to have not “gone well,” according to a senior Ukrainian official.

The official said Zelensky urged Biden to “calm down the messaging” on the situation in Ukraine and that Ukrainian intelligence did not see a Russian threat the same way the U.S. did, according to a report on CNN.  It is  “dangerous but ambiguous,” the official quoted Zelensky as telling Biden, and that “it is not certain that an attack will take place.”

At a news conference on Friday, Zelensky said: “They keep supporting this theme, this topic.And they make it as acute and burning as possible. In my opinion, this is a mistake.”

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Financial Superbubble Meets Political Dystopia

Because only fools believe they can predict the short-term fluctuations of the economy, let’s follow in the style of Descartes and just retreat to the most basic possible prediction that we are certain will come true. Which is: The current boom in asset prices — high prices not just in one asset, but in stocks, financial assets, real estate, luxury goods, crypto, NFTs and any other hastily invented place where money can flow — will come to an end. Whether that end comes tomorrow or in six months or in a year or in five years is impossible to know for sure, but we do know that the economy moves in cycles, and the current cycle is (very far) on the upside. And what goes up will, inevitably, come down.

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So Much For Transparency: Navy Unwilling To Release Report On Red Hill

The slow roll has begun.  With transparency thrown out the window,  the Navy’s announced on January 26 that it would release only the summary of the report on how jet fuel got into the water supply.  “When the review is complete, we expect the Navy to provide a summary of the conclusions in a public release,” the chief of information for the Navy declared. The Navy has released full reports of previous leaks from the Red Hill tanks.

The full report was given to the Commander of the US Navy’s Pacific Command, 12 days ago on January 14 and the completed report was only acknowledged on January 24.  The Sierra Club’s attorney David Kimo Frankel said, “The Navy continues to stonewall the public.”

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Michael Ratner Was A Revolutionary Lawyer Like No Other

When Michael Ratner died in 2016, the world lost one of the great human rights lawyers of the past century. A descendant of holocaust survivors, Ratner embodied the courage and integrity that is often sorely lacking among his peers in the legal field, taking on cases that seemed impossible to win, but were always essential to protecting human rights. He served as president of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) as well as the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and spent much of his life advocating for the protection of civil liberties and civil rights.

One of his greatest achievements was winning the case Rasul v. Bush, which set the legal precedent for hundreds of detainees held in Guantanamo Bay to be able challenge their detention in U.S. courts.

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Legal Cannabis Opens A Pandora’s Box Of Equity Issues

Gunn leads a congregation at Clearwater Missionary Baptist Church in Ocklawaha. A retired teacher, he served as president of the Florida chapter of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association (BFAA) from 2009, when he co-founded the organization, until 2018.

And this 61-year-old has been the face of growers grappling with the Sunshine State for its first and only license to cultivate and sell medical marijuana. Until recently the $1 billion Florida market has been in the clutches of a half-dozen companies, essentially an oligopoly.

But Gunn’s father was part of the billion-dollar settlements in Pigford v. Glickman and In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation (the so-called Pigford II), the landmark class-action suits against the U.S. Department of Agriculture in which it was established that systemic harm had been done to Black growers through federal loan discrimination.

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