Monthly Archives: July 2011

Crime, punishment, and protest

Tim DeChristopher has been sentenced to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine.  About 2 1/2 years ago, after Barack Obama had been elected president, partly by promising to protect the environment more aggressively than President George W. Bush … Continue reading

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Will parents protest education cutbacks?: The organizational deficit

Sandy Banks, is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and the parent of two daughters studying in the California State University system.  She’s frustrated that it’s costing her so much more to help her kids out, and angry that … Continue reading

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Is there still a Tea Party movement?

If a political movement doesn’t mobilize, is it still a movement?  Although the term “Tea Party” is thrown about a lot these days, particularly in reference to the hard-line anti-debt faction of Republicans in the House, it’s not clear that … Continue reading

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The debt debate: Can the Republican Party sell out the Tea Party?

Political parties have to sell out the movements that support them.  First, they exploit the energy, incorporate new activists and ideas, and then find some watered down way to soften the rough edges. Parties that can’t tame the movements that … Continue reading

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Prisoners continue to fast, apparently

News about the ongoing hunger strike in Pelican Bay’s “supermax” prison is leaking out slowly and unreliably.  (We’ve covered the hunger strike a few days ago, as well as the hunger strike as a tactic more generally.) While there’s little … Continue reading

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Who’s to blame for increased California university tuition?

Tuition at the public universities in California, including the University of California, Irvine, which pays my salary, continues to skyrocket, even as operating budgets in the University of California and California State Universities erode.  The president of the University of … Continue reading

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Unemployment politics and the organizational deficit

Slid into the Business section of Sunday’s NY Times, Catherine Rampell notes that the number of unemployed in the United States has climbed over 14 million, but that the unemployed are politically invisible: In some ways, this boils down to … Continue reading

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Prisoners protest by fasting

What are we to make of the hunger strikes spreading through California’s prison population?  Starting in Pelican Bay, a “supermax” prison for inmates convicted of the worst of crimes, it has reportedly spread to thirteen prisons; at least 6,600 prisoners … Continue reading

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The end of nuclear power in Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government announced late last month that it would phase out nuclear power by the end of 2021.  The last few months had seen several shifts in policy, as well as a great deal of public outcry. … Continue reading

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Breaking up the Tea Party: Raising the debt ceiling.

The unfolding debt ceiling standoff is exacerbating divisions within the Tea Party movement that have been visible from the outset.  (Confession: I started writing about this end of the Tea Party on election day, 2010.) The United States has to … Continue reading

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