Posts categorised ‘News and Politics’

The Victorian Liberals must be real nervous about the polling in their “blue-ribbon” seats in the lead-up to next month’s state election. My absolute dipshit of a local MP sent me a birthday card with my name hand-written in texta at the top! My birthday’s not even for three weeks… and I don’t vote for people just because they send me birthday cards 🤣

Link: “The Queen is dead, but her colonial legacy lives on in Israel-Palestine”

Original post found at: https://www.972mag.com/queen-colonial-legacy-israel-palestine/

Queen Elizabeth II’s legacy is not only seen in Israel’s emergency regulations. It looms large over the Israeli regime’s obsession with separation and segregation of communities and its racial discrimination against native and “uncultured” groups living between the river and sea under a single government, without fixed borders of sovereignty. In that sense, even in her passing, the empire she represented is still very much with us.

Link: “A belief in meritocracy is not only false: it’s bad for you”

Original post found at: https://aeon.co/ideas/a-belief-in-meritocracy-is-not-only-false-its-bad-for-you

Meritocracy is the most self-congratulatory of distribution principles. Its ideological alchemy transmutes property into praise, material inequality into personal superiority. It licenses the rich and powerful to view themselves as productive geniuses. While this effect is most spectacular among the elite, nearly any accomplishment can be viewed through meritocratic eyes. Graduating from high school, artistic success or simply having money can all be seen as evidence of talent and effort. By the same token, worldly failures becomes signs of personal defects, providing a reason why those at the bottom of the social hierarchy deserve to remain there.

Link: “Hawthorn racism review to allege that former coaches separated First Nations players from families and demanded a pregnancy termination”

Original post found at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-09-21/alastair-clarkson-and-chris-fagan-named-in-hawks-review/101452320

The sheer callousness of Hawthorn FC, as described in this article, has genuinely shocked me. Apparently Hawthorn’s senior coaching staff has been forcing their way into Aboriginal players’ relationships – forcibly ending them on the player’s behalf and denying the partner’s right to even speak to him, forcing players to hand over their phones to swap in new SIM cards, forcing players to move house to a coach’s spare room effective immediately, bullying players’ pregnant girlfriends into unwanted abortions (and in one case succeeded)… just absolute crazy shit. Like holy fuck, this is unfathomably evil.

Article is obviously very heavy – content warnings for racism, reproductive coercion, pregnancy loss, suicide attempts, and not just as passing references but in detail. Fuck Hawthorn.

Link: “The Case for Degrowth”

Original post found at: https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/5417-the-case-for-degrowth

‘Degrowth’ is a term that is increasingly mobilized by scholars and activists to criticize the hegemony of growth – and a proposal for a radical reorganization of society that leads to a drastic reduction in the use of energy and resources and that is deemed necessary, desirable, and possible. Degrowth starts from the fact – demonstrated by an increasing number of studies – that further economic growth in industrialized countries is unsustainable.

Link: “I think flouting the Joker’s copyright is funny, and I’m tired of pretending it isn’t”

Original post found at: https://www.theverge.com/2022/9/16/23354819/the-peoples-joker-copyright-dc-tiff

I liked this piece about the stifling nature of our copyright laws. For most of human history, people were free to riff on pre-existing, well-known stories – a tradition still upheld today in modern fanfic culture, however “not totally legal” that may be – and I feel like that was better and healthier. Creatives have to make a living, sure, but that’s because we live under capitalism and dare I suggest that the capitalist system is designed to crush human creativity in this, and basically all other, regards.

Link: “The Border Patrol Has Vast, Largely Unchecked Powers That Are Expanding”

Original post found at: https://jacobin.com/2022/09/border-patrol-immigration-constitution-supreme-court/

Border Patrol has all of this sophisticated military gear and almost 20,000 agents in the field, but it has relatively little work to do when it comes to immigration. This makes it available to be deployed for other purposes.

During the protests, Donald Trump’s administration decided to use a “war on terror”–era law that says that the secretary of homeland security could assign federal officers to protect federal buildings. But the regulation is actually quite broad, because it says they can do investigations on-site and off-site for any felony cognizable under the law. This allowed the agents to police social justice protests and also grab people off the street in the middle of the night in unmarked vans in things that have nothing to do with immigration work.

The major concern then is that these laws are still on the books. And the Border Patrol is eager to do this kind of work. One of the alarms I’m trying to raise in my book is that these laws need to be fixed before a future authoritarian president comes into power and uses them even more expansively.

Link: “Imagining COVID is ‘like the flu’ is cutting thousands of lives short. It’s time to wake up”

Original post found at: https://theconversation.com/imagining-covid-is-like-the-flu-is-cutting-thousands-of-lives-short-its-time-to-wake-up-190545

This is a disease so significant it has reduced global life expectancy, one of the best measures of human development.

No other war or disease has done that in more than 65 years, not even the HIV pandemic. The global estimates have been reinforced in several countries, including the United States, where life expectancy has fallen by almost three years since 2019.

Changes in life expectancy only happen when very large numbers of people die “before their time”.

Link: “The 1929 Loray Mill Strike Was a Landmark Working-Class Struggle in the US South”

Original post found at: https://jacobin.com/2022/09/the-1929-loray-mill-strike-was-a-landmark-working-class-struggle-in-the-us-south/

An article about a huge (but ultimately unsuccessful) strike in North Carolina. It’s somewhat well-remembered because one of its leading organisers, pregnant mother of five Ella May Wiggins, was murdered in an ambush by thugs hired to violently crush the trade union (none of which were ever prosecuted, and nor were the mill owners who hired them). Another example of how the US – and even the US South – isn’t innately right-wing and reactionary; violent force has been used repeatedly to make it that way.

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.