Morning Links for August 17, 2014.

I have been busy with conference papers and such, which is why you have not seen a Morning Links for a few days. But I am back, and so are the links. Also….

Just a thought.

The South.

  1. al.com reports that 21 black women will join previously all-white sororities in the fall. I am so happy that racism is so thoroughly defeated that the do-gooders can focus on what really matters: helping Black women from the one percent join their white one percenter counterparts in completely closed and exclusive social circles. Well done, Tuscaloosa liberals. Well done.
  2. If you needed any more evidence that the Alabama Democratic Party is dead from the inside out, al.com reports that Nancy Worley was re-elected as chair.
  3. Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) was indicted by a Travis County grand jury this week, and The Texas Tribune reports on efforts from Democrats to make corruption a campaign issue for the fall. Well, that is except for one candidate: “But state Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, treaded lightly in her statement in response to Perry’s indictment. ‘These allegations are troubling,’ Davis said. ‘And I have confidence in our justice system to do its job.’”
  4. Republicans with the surname of Perry have had a lot of legal trouble lately. Ryan Brown at Cottonmouth reports on the legal travails of Hinds County GOP chair Pete Perry, who is now in the spotlight for not paying the taxes on his cabin at the Neshoba County Fairgrounds in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
  5. The UAW is drawing closer to a majority at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to Reuters. This would allow VW to recognize it as the bargaining agent for the workers at the plant. To be honest, I am still skeptical of the works council model, but since it looks likely that one will happen in Chattanooga, let’s see how it shakes out.

Labor.

  1. KWCH in Wichita reports that Kansas teachers have filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the state’s tenure law. If there was ever a labor dystopia in the United States, I would have to think that it would look a lot like Kansas at the moment.
  2. The State in Columbia, South Carolina reports on the recent National Labor Relations Board ruling that fast-food companies are considered to be “joint employers”, meaning that a union could organize all the restaurants at once, rather than having to go one franchise at a time. The article in The State examines it from the restaurants’ point of view, but it is undeniable that this is a potentially game-changing victory for the Fight for 15 movement.
  3. Labor In These Times discusses the recent deal that allows freight trains to be manned by only one person, and the rank-and-file rebellion to stop the secret deal between union leadership and the railroad companies. How quickly the 47 dead at Lac-Mégantic are forgotten.
  4. Marx talks a lot about the ways in which technology is used to trap the working class in a capitalistic system rather than freeing them from it. If this story in The New York Times on workplace scheduling technology ain’t an example of that, then I do not know what is. In response to the article, Starbucks has decided to curb the practice of clopening, where workers close and then return to open the store just a few hours later. How liberal of them.

America.

  1. Ferguson. Ferguson. Ferguson. Ferguson. Ferguson. Ferguson.

Canada.

  1. I am Facebook friends with an “economic wunderkind”. Who knew?
  2. I am also Facebook friends with someone leading a community-based charge against the disgusting anti-choice protesters that have descended on her city. Apparently, it is an exciting time to be a left-leaning Canadian.
  3. All Fired Up In The Big Smoke has a post on bicycling in urban areas, and why it is important to include them in an urban transportation infrastructure. Living in Alabama, where there is no real biking culture to speak of, I can attest to the importance of this: “If people aren’t convinced that there’s a safe, easy way to get around the city by bike, they simply won’t try.”
  4. Joe Fantauzzi writes at NinetyTwoPointEight about neoliberal paternalism and how it has manifested itself in the relationship between the city of Toronto and the Ontario provincial government, specifically in the inability of cities to have any significant powers of taxation in the Constitution of Canada.

A song by Canadian rapper Abdominal, one of my favorites:

The World.

  1. The Ukraine is heating up, as rebels shoot down a Ukrainian military plane and ten people die in Ukrainian shelling of rebel positions in Donetsk, according to The Guardian.
  2. The Guardian reports that the rightist United Kingdom Independence Party has surged in polls for the 2015 general election as leader Nigel Farage declares for the South Thanet seat in Kent. UKIP is now on 21 percent, putting it in third behind the Conservatives and leading Labour. The polls will not be borne out in the number of seats won in the general election, however, as the Lib Dems found out in 2010. The best I think that UKIP can hope for is a third-place showing, a collapse in the Lib Dems vote, and no overall majority. Who could have even imagined that such a scenario was even possible 12 months ago?
  3. The Irish Times reports on a woman who was denied abortion care despite declaring that she was suicidal, which is the threshold for receiving abortion care in Ireland (elective abortions are otherwise illegal in the Republic). Could America be heading down this path?
  4. Al Jazeera English reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not agree to any deal that would end the deadly Israeli assault on Gaza without “security needs are met”. These demands apparently include the scuttling of plans to construct a seaport in Gaza. Because, you know, cutting people off from any kind of economic development or freedom of movement is a great way to ensure the reduction of resentment and tension.
  5. The BBC reports on protests at Ebola treatment camps in Liberia that forced 20 patients to flee and potentially exposed additional people to the virus that has killed over 1,000 people in West Africa. The anger is building, and folks have to ask themselves: does the international community bear a measure of responsibility for that?