This week, Silicon Valley is poaching talent from Wall Street—and trying to import it, on the cheap, from abroad. Meanwhile, Canada's crown corporations are undergoing a Tory-style makeover, Texas is killing its own children (that is, its ideas for testing them) and Seattle May Dayers are on the loose. How much does your Yelp vote count?
— Alleen Brown focuses on education.
“Crash Test,” by Nate Blakeslee. Texas Monthly, May 2013.
Followers of the "education reform" movement's twists and turns would be wise to turn their attention to Texas, the state where George W. Bush's brand of ed reform was born, and the state where it is now being dismantled. Nate Blakeslee lays it all out in long piece for the Texas Monthly: from the rise of Bush advisor Sandy Kress and the "Texas Miracle" to today's uprising of Texas parents and Republican politicians' 180 degree turn against testing.
— James Cersonsky focuses on labor and education.
“Mark Zuckerberg's Self-Serving Immigration Crusade,” by Adrian Chen. Gawker, April 30, 2013.
The same Mark Zuckerberg who screwed over upstartish Ivy League comrades, and who oversees the largest extra-state fiefdom in the world, is now leading the charge to exploit the global techno-proletariat. That's the upshot of his push for streamlined Silicon Valley visas, which, wrought large, promise to make high tech labor much cheaper. Adrian Chen's gloves-off polemic makes this worth a read—but the sliminess of Zuckerberg's new lobbying group, FWD.us, speaks for itself. In one letter to supporters, they write, "We control massive distribution channels, both as companies and individuals. We saw the tip of the iceberg with SOPA/PIPA." Paging the robber barons of an earlier era.
— Catherine Defontaine focuses on war, security and peace-related issues, African and French politics, peacekeeping and the link between conflicts and natural resources.
“France's Forgotten War,” by Robert Zaretsky. Foreign Policy, April 30, 2013.
Three months after the French government launched a military intervention in Mali, it seems that the French population has all but forgotten about France’s presence in Africa—despite the death of six French soldiers in Mali and the recent attack on the French embassy in Libya. The French are more worried about France’s internal situation—rising unemployment and a stalling economy. Only one quarter of the French population is satisfied with President Hollande, who appears helpless and unable to find solutions, and nearly 90 percent of the French told pollsters that France “needed a true leader to reestablish order.” Meanwhile, though the intervention in Mali has succeeded in dispersing the Islamists, it has failed to achieve a clear victory and put an end to the rebellion. The UN and the local population fear that if French troops leave the country, it will create a political and security vacuum in Mali, destabilizing an already fragile region.