This week, articles critique the spotty broadband coverage in the United States, our complacent foreign policy in the Middle East, the idealistic education proposals in Barack Obama's State of the Union address and the role of police abuse in creating vigilantes like Christopher Dorner.
— Alleen Brown focuses on education.
“Behind Obama's SOTU Remarks on Vocational Education, Germany, and American High Schools,” by Dana Goldstein. DanaGoldstein.net, February 12, 2013.
Dana Goldstein unpacks some of Obama's State of the Union education proposals, asking how he will pay for expensive high school vocational training and universal preschool. She calls out Obama's anomalous highlighting of the "radically different" German education system, which she said puts only one-third of the country's students on track to attend a liberal arts college.
— James Cersonsky focuses on labor and education.
“Demand Rights, Don’t Ask Nicely,” by Michelle Chen. CultureStrike (via Cuéntame), February 11, 2013.
What would immigration reform look like if it were actually driven by immigrant justice? Here, Cuéntame puts aside the "lawyerly squabble" and demands real talk.
— Catherine Defontaine focuses on war, security and peace-related issues, African and French politics, peacekeeping and the link between conflicts and natural resources.
“UN condemns North Korea nuclear test.” Al Jazeera, February 13, 2013.
North Korea’s underground nuclear test has sparked off international anger and worldwide condemnation. This third nuclear test involved a new “miniaturized” device and the explosion was significantly larger than North Korea’s previous tests in 2006 and 2009. The UN Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea’s test, which was in violation of Security Council resolutions. Even China, North Korea’s staunchest ally, has asked the country to cease its bellicosity as China intends to improve its relationship with the United States.
— Andrew Epstein focuses on social history, colonialism and indigenous rights.
“American Blowback,” by George Ciccariello-Maher and Mike King. CounterPunch, February 8-10, 2013.
Few would try to excuse the actions of Christopher Dorner, the ex-police officer and NAVY reservist whom the LAPD likely burned to death Tuesday night after he allegedly killed at least four people. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to understand the context in which they occurred. From repressing the urban movements of the 1960s to this year's "Jump Out Boys," the LAPD "has long played a vanguard role in white supremacist policing in the United States," as the authors put it. If Dorner's manifesto is to be believed—and the LAPD's sordid history certainly makes it plausible—he witnessed and was targeted by years of systemic racism, violence and corruption. Instead of investigating his claims, they fired him. Meanwhile, one of Rodney King's assailants remains a police captain. As occupations grind on both at home and abroad, expect more Christopher Dorners.