A good part of the reason I started blogging was because I went to a history conference at a UT branch up between Dallas and Fort Worth and found that, contrary to belief, many well known academic historians have found community history projects to be invaluable because of their focus and details. Photos rated high. Photos with details rate high. Interviews with participants in events rated high. Interviews with older people rated high if you cover their experience and perspective.
- Prairie Weather


“Protest works. Just look at the proof”


The last place you will hear about the new American labor movement is in big American outlets.

Via lambert, via susie. See them, their blogrolls, Twitter hash tag #1u and just about any other outlet where citizens can get the word out.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)

The CIW is a community-based organization of mainly Latino, Mayan Indian and Haitian immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout the state of Florida. Via.


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« Partial transcript, Up with Chris Hayes - Sunday, Jan. 15 | Main | Is Gingrich taking Bain off the table for Romney? »

Weekend Wrapup

No Associated Press content was harmed in the writing of this post


Our image in the Muslim world would probably improve if we stopped killing so many Muslims.


Combat operations have concluded for:

  1. Army Pfc. Neil I. Turner, 21, of Tacoma, WA.
  2. Army Pfc. Michael W. Pyron, 30, of Hopewell, VA.
  3. Army Pfc. Dustin P. Napier, 20, of London, KY.
  4. Army Spc. Brian J. Leonhardt, 21, of Merrillville, IN.
  5. Army Spc. Christopher A. Patterson, 20, of Aurora, IL.
  6. Army Spc. Robert J. Tauteris Jr., 44, of Hamlet, IN.
  7. Army Staff Sgt. Jonathan M. Metzger, 32, of Indianapolis, IN.
Via.


Domestic use of drones being questioned.


Hannah pointed me to this story with this comment:

Just this month, Romney’s buddy down in Arkansas, Warren Stephens (erstwhile banker to Bushes and Clinton) acquired 16 regional newspapers from the New York Times (about $140 million) under the pseudonym “Halifax” (Stephens Media has acquired a bit of a bad odor since the Righthaven fiasco occasioned by the effort to sue bloggers for copy right infringements) and has put all the employees on notice that they must agree to be fired “at will” to keep their jobs initially.


What I learned from Corrente this week:


Also from Corrente, this from Mike Elk:

Yglesias does not provide any examples of how the so-called “destructive potential” of private equity firms leads to a company being successful over the long run. Unlike Creswell, Ygelsias does not interview economic experts or workers with varying or opposing views of the effects of private equity firm-ordered layoffs.

While they work at mainstream media outlets, wonk bloggers like Yglesias and Klein aren’t held to the same standards as the reporters working for the same outlets. Yet many young Americans view them as trusted sources of where to get news.

Like Klein, Yglesias has written on a wide range of healthcare, economic and foreign issues, despite not having done in-depth field reporting on these topics. Their stories are often centered on the debates of the day between other journalists and policy elites, and they don’t talk to workers or the general public.


Also affinis and lambert both highlighted this:

“Fuck the Police” can carry negative connotations, and sugar-coating the booming chants of “Kill Cops” and “Fuck the cops, We don’t need them, All we want is total freedom,” isn’t going to clear up those feelings. From the announcement of this action, the discussion from non-approvers of the march has centered around a “PR war” instead of focusing on what the police are actually doing. While public opinion is vital for Occupy Oakland, catering the message for approval by corporate media and bought politicians will not help the people of Oakland.

Going after banks, fighting against school closures, demanding jobs, calling for better public service, fighting for equality, stopping foreclosures…these are all areas that need addressing and are being addressed by Occupy Oakland. The violence oozing from Oakland Police Department is also issue. Discussing bank fraud on Monday and police brutality on Tuesday neither diminishes the weight of the topic nor its overall importance.
It’s possible to discuss bank fraud on Monday and police brutality on Tuesday without calling for violence. Violent confrontation gives authorities home field advantage.


I’ve got Clutch Magazine in my RSS feed (RSS is a great and underrated technology, by the way) and Britni Danielle seems to pick a lot of issues I enjoy reading about. Here’s one on how the recovery, such as it is, is not reaching the black community. (Or the public sector.) Then this on what colorblind might really mean. I grew up in a largely white suburb and thought I was colorblind. Then I went to college and realized how aware I was of the different races and cultures represented. Then, since I was a theater major, I did a part in Day of Absence with the university’s African theater and holy shit was I aware of race once I was the only white person in the room. (Also see this and the responses to it. “Their race and nationality doesn’t matter to me” certainly came off differently to the responders than to the commenter.)


Paul Campos on the function of a gadfly.


I’d say as a general rule of thumb a column devoted to unsolicited advice runs a higher than usual likelihood of producing dumb and offensive commentary.


Two from Charles Pierce. This:

This guy was the budget director for George W. Bush, who fought two off-the-books wars, cut taxes while doing so, and pushed through a Medicare adjustment without the slightest idea how anyone was going to pay for it. The nation did not “plunge” into a recession, Mitch. You clowns pushed it off a cliff. Nobody “called off the prom.” You kidnapped all the class officers, poisoned the canapes, shot the band, and burned down the fking banquet hall. You’re the Carrie White of our national economic prom, Mitch.
And this:
Leave aside the fact that the whole column - if, by column, you mean mewling litany of Hallmark banalities better stitched on a pillow in your maiden aunt’s parlor - is hung on the notion that, by taking Tim Tebow’s ruptured duck 80 yards to the house, Demaryius Thomas - who grew up impoverished in Georgia, with a mother and grandmother presently doing hard time because our drug laws are insane - did not justify his own upward struggle against impossible odds but, rather, it is “really about faith.”
And John Cole:
it really is kind of amusing watching our nation’s elite journalists have a very public Admiral Stockdale moment - ‘Who am I and what am I doing here?’


ECONNED EXCERPT from p. 214: In fairness, the idea that high levels of international funds flows produce financial instability is still hotly debated among economists. Yet another approach suggests that a high level of borrowing, which generally goes hand in hand with high capital mobility (the destination country too often winds up having a debt party), can put a modern economy on tilt when debt levels get too high. Physicist Mark Buchanan describes the work of Yale economist John Genakopolous, and physicists Doyne Farmer and Stephan Thurner:

In the model, market participants, especially hedge funds, do what they do in real life - seeking profits by aiming for ever higher leverage, borrowing money to amplify potential gains from their investments. More leverage tends to tie market actors into tight chains of financial interdependence, and the simulations show how this effect can push the market toward instability by making it more likely that trouble in one place - the failure of one investor to cover a position - will spread more easily everywhere.

That’s not really surprising, of course. But the model also shows something that is not at all obvious. The instability doesn’t grow in the market gradually, but arrives suddenly. Beyond a certain threshold the virtual market loses its stability in a “phase transition” akin to the way ice abruptly melts into liquid water. Beyond this point, collective financial meltdown becomes effectively certain. This is the kind of possibility that equilibrium thinking cannot even entertain.
This model highlights a tradeoff ignored (at least until recently) by most economists. All the arguments for deregulation were those of greater efficiency, that less government intervention would lower costs and spur innovation. We’ll put aside the question of whether any gains would in fact be shared or would simply accrue to the financier class. Regardless, risks to stability never entered into these recommendations. But if we put on our systems engineering hat, stability is always a first order design requirement and efficiency is secondary.

More tightly integrated systems, such as the one produced by trade and capital markets internationalization, are less stable. And as ugly as the idea of capital controls sounds to those trained to believe that more open markets (that is, efficiency) should prevail, the fact is that buffers are precisely the sort of remedy called for to reduce the speed of transmission of shocks to the system. They do reduce efficiency and increase costs. Measures to engineer in stability are a form of insurance. Effective insurance is not free.

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