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Dispatches From the Culture Wars - December 7, 2021

Open season on protesters, but the fight to defend rights is on

Starbuck Workers Confident About Union Vote

The workers in upstate New York are confident that come Thursday, they will have the first unionized Starbucks out of almost 9,000 in the United States.

Grab and GoTo IPOs Have One Problem: Angry Gig Workers

Grab driver loading a cardboard box onto their bike.
With Singapore and Indonesia's superapps finally in reach of U.S. listings, union trouble brews at home.

Brazil's Pioneering Solution to Vaccine Shortages

A proposal for the WTO to waive intellectual-property rights on pandemic-related pharmaceuticals is still languishing due rich countries companies reaping monopoly profits. A public-health bill in Brazil points to a promising bottom-up solution.

US Military and Civilian Deaths

Facing little opposition from either Republicans or Democrats, the U.S. military is almost never held accountable for killing civilians during airstrikes.

Novelist Almudena Grandes Told the Truth About Spain

Spanish author Almudena Grandes, who died last week, was famed for her novels portraying ordinary Spaniards’ experience of civil war and dictatorship. She insisted that unearthing historical memory was fundamental to building a democratic Spain.

Pathogen’s Genome Yields Clues/Hints about Past/Future

Small errors incorporated into the genome when a pathogen copies itself offer clues to reconstruct chains of transmission and learn about epidemic dynamics along the way.

Unemployment Falls to 4.2% Economy Adds 210,000 Jobs

The rise in the index of aggregate hours would be equivalent to more than 630,000 jobs with no changes in workweeks. Drop in unemployment in Novembers were largest for the groups that face labor market discrimination.

Can Seattle’s Minimum Wage Crusader Survive Her Recall?

Kshama Sawant brought an uncommon passion to a successful stint on the City Council. It may now be her undoing.

Congress Eyes Changes to Electoral Count Law

Members of the special House committee investigating the Capitol riot are among those arguing for an overhaul of a more than century-old statute enacted to address disputed elections.
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Culture

Our Vision for 2022 - A Portside Message

Portside
The threat to the survival of our democracy is clear: a would-be dictator and a cultist political party. A truly multiracial, inclusive, radical democratic movement that has a vision beyond capitalism is key. You can help.

poetry

Classmates

Jodi Hottel Voyeur
California poet Jodi Hottel discovered her changing identity after her Japanese American family was shipped to an internment camp during World War II.

books

Utopia’s Settler Colonialism Problem

Jessica Namakkal Los Angeles Review of Books
Whatever their promises, one problem with Utopias is that the creators of such communities tend to bring with them the values and habits they thought they were leaving behind. Reviewer Namakkal discusses a book about one such settlement.

Labor

labor

Claiming Our Right to Study: Building Working-Class Intellectualism in the Struggles for Health Care and Education

A conversation between Karim Sariahmed and Ellen Schwartz, with an introduction by Karim University of the Poor Journal
There are good reasons for working class people to distrust formal education systems and scientific research but we can't fall into anti-intellectualism. The University of the Poor's “struggle as a school” is a way to organize in response.

labor

Hospitals Are Using the Nursing Shortage to Stiff Health Care Workers

Heather Rust Jacobin
Rather than materially address the underlying issues of the nursing shortage crisis, health care providers are exploiting it in order to further consolidate power at the top of industry hierarchies — and break the power of organized labor below.

labor

Class Struggle Unionism

Alex Riccio Organizing Work
Alex Riccio argues Joe Burns’ latest book is powerfully inspiring but short on details.

Friday nite video

video

West Side Story | Steven Spielberg

Directed by Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Tony Kushner, “West Side Story” tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City.

video

Dopesick | Hulu Trailer

From Executive Producer Danny Strong and starring and executive produced by Michael Keaton, “Dopesick” examines how one company triggered the worst drug epidemic in American history.

video

Jeanine Pirro Cold Open | SNL

Jeanine Pirro (Cecily Strong) discusses the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict and welcomes Donald Trump (James Austin Johnson) to discuss Biden’s Build Back Better infrastructure bill.

video

Bolivian Andean Music | KAMAQ

Live music from the heights of Bolivia. Tupac Katari nation interpretation by the Bolivian group KAMAQ.