“People say slavery is done… [but] it’s still there – in the corner,” says Gulnahar Alam, a domestic worker who, like many others, suffered workplace abuses. To combat this exploitation, often hidden away in employers’ homes, Alam began organizing. “People feel very powerful and so much more confident when they see that they are not alone. They no longer feel ashamed.”
Alam’s story is one of 18 brought to life in Shifting the Universe: Spoken Histories of Work & Resistance by first-time author Candace Wolf.
Professionally, Wolf is a storyteller; she’s also a keen listener. And from 2010-2015 she carved out time to hear the stories of regular people – from different walks of life and parts of the globe – who, despite serious challenges, evolve into troublemakers of the best kind.
The book couldn’t come at a better time. Amidst today’s political chaos, as President Trump stumbles towards possible impeachment, Wolf’s book offers a longer view.
“The long memory is the most radical idea in America. That long memory has been taken away from us,” said the late folk singer Utah Phillips, who Wolf quotes. “We’re being leapfrogged from one crisis to the next. You can’t remember what happened last week because you’re locked into this week’s crisis.”
Screen shot from trailer for “Requiem for the American Dream”
Hopefully we’ll make it out the other side of Trump’s presidency, but it’s by no means a sure thing. The risks are hard to overstate.
While many books attempt to explain how we got to this political moment (somesuccessfully), Noam Chomsky’s latest, Requiem for the American Dream, provides necessary historical context.
Zooming in on ten ways that government and corporate interests have kept the American people down, Chomsky offers a compelling history that explains today’s economic and political landscape.
At 157 pages, it’s a short, beautifully put together book. Based on a 2015 documentary of the same name, the book was created and edited by the team behind the film (which is widely available, including on Netflix).
If the corporations that own the media profit from war, we’re unlikely to see peace.
That’s what Lewis Hill foresaw. It’s what led him to create the independent, listener-sponsored Pacifica Radio.
Almost 70 years later, the corporate media is still busy selling war, at times to an embarrassing degree. This can be seen in the fawning coverage of the recent U.S. attack on Syria, which came in response to the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may be responsible for the recent and gruesome chemical attack in his country. That may be what a thorough investigation concludes.
Until then, asking the tough questions seems wise, even as cruise missiles have already fallen on Syria.
But reporters, even prior to Thursday’s U.S. missile attack on Syria, weren’t entertaining such questions. That was visible in a contentious exchange Wednesday between CNN host Kate Bolduan and Rep. Thomas Massie, who questioned what Assad’s motive for launching the chemical attack would be.
Netanyahu and Trump at a joint news conference Wednesday
The bullying and boasting that brought electoral success to Donald Trump may prove disastrous for the Middle East.
Emboldened by Trump’s victory, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is dramatically expanding settlements in occupied territory, in defiance of international law.
Until recently, the U.S. and Israel’s long-stated goal was having Jewish and Palestinian states existing side-by-side. But at a joint news conference at the White House Wednesday, Trump and Netanyahu changed course.
Trump was nonchalant about a two-state versus one-state solution. “I like the one that both parties like,” he said. “If Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”
“He has no idea what’s going on,” Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour said at a protest outside the White House Wednesday evening.
It’s going to be a long night for Senate Democrats.
Responding to a growing number of Americans upset at Trump’s pick for education secretary, Democrats are holding the Senate floor throughout the night and into the morning, as they try to convince one more Republican to switch their vote. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a shockingly close confirmation vote for Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos.
Already two Republican senators have bucked President Trump and their party to say they’ll vote against DeVos. The defections – the first for a Trump nominee – come as Senate offices are deluged with calls, emails and visits, overwhelmingly in opposition to DeVos.