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The Future of Left Turn: We have some major news about the future of Left Turn. We have published the final issue of our print publication. This decision did not come easily, but in the end we felt we had no choice. This is not, however, the end of Left Turn...Read more


November 23, 2011

Melanie Cervantes & Chris Crass-www.dignidadrebelde.comMelanie Cervantes & Chris Crass-www.dignidadrebelde.comMy heart makes my head swim - Franz Fanon, "Black Skin, White Masks"

Part I: Bare Life

Reports and rumors filter out of government documents and family distress signals to locate precisely the ongoing devastation of social life in the United States. Unemployment rates linger at perilously high levels, with the effective rate in some cities, such as Detroit, stumbling on with half the population without waged work. Home foreclosures fail to slow-down, and sheriffs and debt-recovery paramilitaries scour the landscape for the delinquents. Personal debt has escalated as ordinary people with uneven means of earning livings turn to banks and to the shady world of personal loan agencies to take them to the other side of starvation. Researchers at the RAND Corporation tell us that absent family support, poverty rates among the elderly will be about double what they are now. In other words, economist Nancy Folbre’s “invisible heart” is trying its best to hold back the noxious effects of the “invisible hand.”

November 4, 2011

A REVIEW OF RAD DAD: DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONTIERS OF FATHERHOOD
EDITED BY TOMAS MONIZ AND JEREMY ADAM SMITH

PM Press, 2011

“The other day someone asked why I keep doing Rad Dad even though my kids are teenagers. I smiled and said, 'I do it because I'm a father, and I know I'm a better father when I have community…'” - Tomas Moniz, co-editor, with Jeremy Adam Smith, of Rad Dad: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Fatherhood.

When I was asked to write a review of Rad Dad, I was like, “Oh yeah, I love that book!” Oddly that love has made this a real challenge. Over the last four weeks of fits and starts I began having the sinking feeling that I was not nearly rad enough of a dad to do the book justice. For a variety of reasons, mostly related to my son’s adoption but then I suppose to habit, I stopped going to protests in 2007. I really stopped being any kind of organizer a year and half later when I moved to Houston with my wife. And though I recently got refocused on organizing, my work has been submerged under a barrage of institutional crises that are far from exciting. At the same time, the Occupy movement has taken off across the country. And though it reached Houston a couple of week ago, surgery and the new job (ironically) have mostly kept me away from the parks and stuck in the house.  

October 4, 2011

I first went down to Occupy Wall Street last Sunday, almost a week after it had started. I didn't go down before because I, like many of my other brown friends, was wary of what we had heard or just intuited that it was mostly a young, white male scene. When I asked friends about it they said different things: that it was really white; that it was all people they didn't know; and that they weren't sure what was going on. But after hearing about the arrests and police brutality on Saturday, September 24th and after hearing that thousands of people had turned up for their march I decided I needed to see this thing for myself. 

So I went down for the first time on Sunday, September 25th with my friend Sam. At first we couldn't even find Occupy Wall Street. We biked over the Brooklyn Bridge around noon on Sunday, dodging the tourists and then the cars on Chambers Street. We ended up at Ground Zero and I felt the deep sense of sadness that that place now gives me: sadness over how, what is now in essence just a construction site, changed the world so much for the worse.

October 2, 2011

Editor’s Note: What follows is an account of the unfolding Yemeni revolution by Safa Ahmed, a Middle East based journalist who travelled to Yemen in June and July of 2011. At the time, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh barely survived an assassination attempt and fled to Saudi Arabia for treatment. On September 23, Saleh managed to return to the capitol San’a. The United States and the Saudi governments immediately criticized his return, yet, clearly, he would not have been able to return without their consent. Within only a few days of his return, more than 100 Yemenis, mostly democracy protestors, were dead.

September 21, 2011

Victory: On September 20, 2011, the DC city council voted to increase taxes on residents making over $350,000 a year by approximately .5%.  By finally creating a new tax bracket targeting high-income earners the council acceded to the demand of Save Our Safety Net, DC! (SOS) and other local advocates who together have been fighting for a more progressive tax system in the district.  It was a strange victory for the coalition as there was no grassroots mobilization in the days leading up to the surprise vote.  Nor was there any guarantee that the more than $100 million in new revenue over the next four years would go towards rebuilding the city’s safety net.  Still, there’s no doubt that the groundwork for the vote was laid by the SOS campaigns over the past two and a half years.  Perhaps most pleasing was the sight of the most conservative, anti-tax members of the council squirming and bitterly whining as the proposal they had fought so hard to avert was finally put into law.