The passing scene – August 31, 2015

Here are some links to article I found interesting, and perhaps you will, too.

How Close Was Donald Trump to the Mob? by David Marcus for The Federalist.

Maybe there are innocent explanations tof Donald Trump’s business connections with known Mafia bosses in New York City and Atlantic City.  If such exist, we the voting public deserve to hear them.

Katrina Washed Away New Orleans Black Middle Class by Ben Casselman for FiveThirtyEight.

Black homeowners and business owners lost the most in Hurricane Katrina.  Black professionals such as physicians and lawyers have moved on.  And black school teachers are losing their jobs to supposed school “reform.”


Hat tip for the following to Bill Harvey—

The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor? by Alan Nasser for Counterpunch.

The United States was the first country in which a majority of the people were taught to think of themselves as middle class.  In Victorian English novels, the middle class are the doctors, lawyers and other professionals who aren’t working class, but not truly upper class.

I’d argue that mass prosperity has been less of a myth than Alan Nasser thinks, especially during the period following World War Two when the U.S. labor movement was at its peak.   But he is right to point out that, in an economy based on debt, you can have a lot of stuff (for a while) without much income or wealth.

The real reasons behind the U.S. teacher shortage by Valerie Strauss for The Washington Post.

‘The Teacher Shortage’ Is Not a Shortage—It’s the Result of Corporate Education Reform Policies by Kevin Prosen for In These Times.

I would call it “corporate education policies” because they are not reforms in any meaningful sense of the word.  The corporate model, which is being applied to education, is to have poorly paid and easily replaceable minions who need do more than follow the direction of highly-paid administrators and consultants.

Underlining Strikers’ Point, Court Fines State of Washington for Underfunding Schools by Samantha Winslow and Alexandra Bradbury for Labor Notes.

UE Organizing Director Bob Kingsley Prepares to Step Down, But Left Union Shows No Sign of Slowing by Bruce Vail for In These Times.

Republicans Against Retirement by Paul Krugman for The New York Times.

The hate next door: Unexpected faces of the Neo-Confederacy by DocDawg for Daily Kos.

The New Colonialism — Greece and Ukraine by Jack Rasmus.


Hat tip to my expatriate pen pal Jack for the following—

Deconstructing death by Christopher Belshaw for the Times Literary Supplement of London.

The “sanctity of life” is in conflict with the “right to die with dignity.”

What WikiLeaks Teaches Us About How the US Operates by Julian Assange for Newsweek.

And on the lighter side—

Mumpsimus on World Wide Words.

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