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Good reads and essential traffic from June '22
We hate to say ICYMI, but we just did...
Maryland socialists begin building statewide formation
Though statewide organizing is still in its infancy, Maryland’s DSA formations have been conferring regularly about how to leverage our numbers and apply our analysis to the so-called Blue state’s political realities.
Leveling the playing field starts with a common language for improvement
How equitably can federal funds be released for infrastructure? It depends on how skilled local and state governments are at scooping up and managing those funds.
Book Review: Tom Standage's 'A Brief History of Motion'
An inventive new book uses a technology lens to show how the automobile took over culture, with capitalism guiding events at every turn
Winning a Green New Deal for Public Schools
Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s HR4442 is designed to return schools to their place as centers of community. If socialists act fast, we can make it a reality.
DSA launches the Green New Deal for Public Schools campaign
National DSA has kicked off the next phase of its Green New Deal campaign, encompassing labor and the PRO Act but moving into the highly unionized public school system.
Print versus speech in the info trade
An (admittedly old-fashioned) MDC DSA member outlines his skepticism about podcasts. Does the history of peasant rebellions in the 16th century provide clues to their value?
Reflections from 1997: Musings on meetings
A retrospective article republished from 1997 - this piece illustrates that the question of what to do about meetings transcends time, the size of the organization and the social and political context.
Kim Stanley Robinson’s “structure of feeling” that might save the planet
Kim Stanley Robinson's latest novel not only has the juice of a good sci-fi narrative, but provides strong insight into how an international plan for reversing climate change might be structured.
Improved Courts, Yes, But Improved Legislators As Well
Losing the ideological balance of the Supreme Court means sloppy legislation can no longer be saved from friendly justices. We will need smarter legislators and tighter legislation to reduce the risk of judicial interception.
Workers and work, before and after the pandemic
Observations on how the pandemic changed the relationship between labor and capital, today and perhaps into the future.
The Before Times Are Over. What Next?
Adapting to life in the time of permanent biohazard is going to require permanent lifestyle and behavior changes, and we really don’t know which changes will be more or less pleasant and which ones not.
Reflections from 1985: Race and the Left
Just as today, DSA 35 years ago was wrestling with how, as a predominately white organization, it could effectively work across racial lines and forge ties with communities of color.
Workers Blast Hogan for Disastrous Reponse to MD Unemployment Crisis
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has failed to meet the challenge of the COVID-19 virus in a state battered by skyrocketing unemployment.
A Soft Landing for the System Formerly Known as Capitalism
Automation provides the left an opportunity to mobilize socialism in the post-pandemic era.
The Tyrant Virus: Reconceiving the Right to Assembly
To what extent will the next future be a gradual reconstruction of the capitalist material structures of the past, and how much a palimpsest, erased and rewritten in a different idiom?
Jobs with meaning and hope are subtext of 2020 MD Assembly mandate
We look at the list of issues that many analysts say will top the agenda of this 2020 General Assembly session, and we get the itchy feeling that one sentence could clear away some of the confusion.
The myths that masked an imperialist war in Vietnam -- and how they were shaped
Chomsky's contributions trace the post-WW2 policy: corporate goals of commercial dominance and resource control in South and East Asia.
Panel to fight high drug prices in Maryland stalled by Hogan
The Assembly passed a bill creating a panel to examine and if necessarily lower prescription drug prices in Maryland. The GOP governor, whose veto of the bill was overriden, has refused to release the funds appropriated, kicking off a nasty fight.
How Dirty is Money? A Thought Experiment
Jeffrey Epstein made some contributions to the MIT Media Lab's work. Discovery! Shock! Horror! But was his money particularly dirty?
Hogan Stonewalling on Spending Riles Critics Across the Spectrum in MD
Hogan, as Treasurer Nancy Kopp acutely suggests, is becoming rapidly more Trump-like as he wallows in second-term freedom, acting out the Maryland equivalent of the Obama-obsessed Trump’s attempt to erase the work of his predecessor, in Hogan’s case Democrat Martin O’Malley.
For Dems, fracas over primary challenges obscures a critical component
The job of political figures who take their roles seriously has always been educational – to bring their electorate along as they illustrate and demonstrate the pathways to better lives for individuals and the community.
Maryland Assembly Session limps to close, faces big leadership decision
Sine Die was, to say the least, complicated by the death of House of Delegates Chair Mike Busch the weekend before, followed by a dismal and unseemly contest to succeed him.
Gov. Hogan's Maryland Budget Doesn't Stand Up to Analysis for Social Needs
The ostensibly sunny-day Hogan budget puts a heavy load on the General Assembly to adapt it to what Marylanders actually need.
Hogan Administration Drops Transit Options from Scheme for Privatized Toll Lanes on Beltway, I-270
On February 14 an advocacy transportation group denounced a quiet move by Hogan’s ethically compromised transportation agency (MDOT) to formally drop all mass transit options from his big plan to add toll lanes to the I-495 Beltway and to I-270.
Political Events Around Assembly Session Sketch a Divided Debate
As political Maryland swings into another General Assembly session where Democrats face a second-term GOP governor, the shape of things political in a divided state is sketched by a variety of examples.
Multistate decarbonization compact offers window for ecosocialist activism
Environmental activism has been hampered by political boundaries in the DMV. A singular, multi-state public initiative could allow DMV socialists to engage in cross-jurisdictional ecosocialist work.
Why is it so easy to say the media is the enemy?
We may take a long look at our information habits and practices and realize that we may be just as impervious to new, mind-changing information as those self-identified “deplorables.”
Larry Hogan's Racist Transportation Scheme - playing to his base
In Places Journal, Alex MacGillis writes about the legacy of highway-fueled white flight in Baltimore, and the sheer resentment suburban residents feel toward transit serving the city (‘loot train’).
Hogan's Stealth "Centrism" Cloaks an Easily Exposed Pro-Corporate Agenda
Woody Woodruff analyzes the duplicitous stealth-centrist posture of GOP Gov. Larry Hogan as he seeks a second term in November – and the conservative and pro-corporate administration he leads.
Failure to fix Metrorail could hammer local economy, report finds
A dedicated-tax source for the funds is still necessary, despite the artful dodging of tax-shy local governments.
What to do about the social network we built?
How do we escape the pervasive capitalism spread through tech contagion?
MD general assembly enters final two weeks in a hyper-political year
The Democratic-controlled Assembly and Gov. Larry Hogan are squaring off in a political year, with payback on everyone's mind.
How US officials, on capitalist principles, assured racial segregation by law
Rothstein relentlessly provides evidence that the segregation of African Americans in the US is not the “white conceit” of personal preference across the color line—de facto segregation—but de jure, the result of state action done under the color of law.
How Maryland systematically criminalizes poverty - Summary from the Jobs Opportunity Task Force
This report reveals that many of Maryland’s current laws, enforcement schemes, monetary penalties and related policies and practices disproportionately criminalize the poor, with disproportionate impact on communities of color.
How an academic economist in Northern Virginia fueled the Koch Brothers’ plan to undo democracy
Historian Nancy MacLean brings to the AFL-CIO book talk her account of the way the Koch Bros. anti-democratic project got its intellectual underpinning.
Maglev? Hyperloop? Maryland should fix what it's got
A useful intercity rail system is in reach for Maryland if it defers the maglev and hyperloop dreams in favor of the needs of today's travelers.
2018: Assembly Session and Elections Intertwine in Maryland
Democrats hone their strategy for sending Governor Larry Hogan back to private life while Hogan postures for his base.
Pushback comes quickly to Trump's exit from Paris climate accord
Every level of economic and political society in the US -- except the GOP's federal monopoly -- expressed immediate and constructive pushback to Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord.
Paid sick leave veto may backfire on Hogan
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan delivered his long-threatened veto of HB1 -- it must be used against him.
Inside, outside: communicating our socialism
Instead of consciously projecting socialism to a tier of potential activists, socialists should learn to communicate their philosophy in transactional terms.
MD Assembly's jockeying with Hogan for advantages in 2018 election
In this year before the 2018 gubernatorial election -- when Maryland Democrats will pull out all the stops to oust Republican Governor Larry Hogan -- legislation and progressive activism are showing many convergences.
Origins of social anger at bureaucratic government
The Federal Communications Commission in Trumpland is allowing big telcom companies to sell more of your personal data.
Legislative process: a model of capitalist distraction
The big problems that plague our society can only be solved with an effort that matches the size of their danger.
Progressive activists face wily, popular GOP Governor as Assembly Session proceeds
As Metro DC DSA's reach expands - policywise - into suburban Maryland, left allies offer ample opportunities to take Maryland in a new direction.
A sometimes lyrical analysis of the future of work
Should socialists glorify labor? Or instead emphasize the possibility of a world without it?
State and Municipal Governments Emerging as Focus of Trump Resistance
In fighting Trump, socialists should look to build power in small pockets of power.