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French Anti-Pass Demonstrations on the Eve of the Presidential Election

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 17/09/2021 - 11:15am in

The fragmentation of the left has led to an almost certain second-round dual between Macron and Le Pen in 2022, with grave implications for the future of an explicitly left mass movement.

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The post French Anti-Pass Demonstrations on the Eve of the Presidential Election appeared first on New Politics.

Millions Lose Government Assistance and Protection; Biden Mandates Vaccination

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 11:03am in

This month millions of Americans lost government unemployment benefits and millions more are losing protection from eviction.

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The post Millions Lose Government Assistance and Protection; Biden Mandates Vaccination appeared first on New Politics.

Texas Anti-Abortion Law Upheld by Supreme Court—And Met with Resistance

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/09/2021 - 12:29pm in

The Texas law will not only affect the seven million women of childbearing age in Texas, but could also become a model for other states. It could also spark a new women’s movement, letting people know that Women’s Lives Matter.

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The post Texas Anti-Abortion Law Upheld by Supreme Court—And Met with Resistance appeared first on New Politics.

University to Faculty Concerned about Covid: “Beg”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 28/08/2021 - 8:19am in

“We are discouraged from “sharing Covid data that is not related to the course.” Presumably, nattering on about the state’s overburdened hospitals, worn-down physicians, and increasing death counts might constitute “pressure,” and faculty “should not pressure students to get vaccinated or wear a mask.” The most we can do is “encourage.” In practice, these guidelines have left faculty proffering details of their personal lives to crowds of unmasked students. We have become beggars and supplicants, hoping for mercy.”

Those are the words of Amy Olberding, Presidential Professor of Philosophy at University of Oklahoma, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education about the University of Oklahoma‘s complete and utter failure to take even minimal precautions to protect its faculty, staff, and students from COVID-19.

She says:

This first week of fall semester, my colleagues are out making the rounds, meeting their classes for the first time and, this year, telling stories about their own lives. One professor speaks of her baby, too young to vaccinate. Another mentions an immunocompromised spouse at home. Still another tells of a sibling, lately deceased from Covid. Though each tale has its own rhythm and tone, they tend to end alike: Faculty nervously offer masks to their bare-faced students, who mostly decline to take them. Some look away sheepishly, some placidly stare, some sneer. Then class as we used to know it must begin, with introductory tours through syllabi, requirements, and course aims…

At the University of Oklahoma, located in a “high risk state“:

  • Students are not required to wear masks in classrooms or other indoor spaces
  • There are no signs encouraging students to wear masks
  • Faculty are prohibited from providing incentives to students to wear masks
  • Faculty are officially discouraged from structuring in-class group work in a way that attends to who is or is not wearing masks
  • Students are not required to get vaccinated
  • Students are not required to notify their professors when they contract COVID-19
  • Free on-campus COVID-19 testing has been eliminated
  • There apparently is no “surveillance testing” of students for COVID-19
  • “The university holds public events where unmasked administrators lead hundreds of unmasked freshmen in yelling out the school’s spirit chants”

University of Oklahoma President Joseph Harroz, Jr. refuses to do the bare minimum for public health in regard to COVID-19

Professor Olberding writes:

Our stories do not yield fully masked classes. In a small classroom stuffed with 40 or 50 students, just a handful will wear a mask. Classes packing in hundreds may have fewer than half masked. Some faculty post online about their successes in getting students to wear masks. I read these posts closely because I want to know if there is some magic key, a particular appeal or strategy that could reliably work. I am a moral philosopher by trade, so I am also natively interested in how to morally motivate people to do what they’d rather not. So far, I have not uncovered any secrets…

We offer up our vulnerable loved ones, our bereavements, or our own medical histories like sacrifices before fickle gods — gods who, it turns out, are mostly teenagers vested with powers divine by our administration. We beg teenagers to think of our babies, to feel for our dead, and please not to kill us. Some of them oblige. Some do not — an alarming number do not. The university’s response so far amounts to: Beg better.

You can read the whole essay here.

Philosophy Professor Resigns to Protest University’s COVID-19 Plan

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 17/08/2021 - 4:00pm in

Jeremy Fischer, who until yesterday was a tenured associate professor of philosophy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), resigned from his position to protest his university’s COVID-19 policies for the coming term.

Writing to his university president, provost, college dean, and department chair, he said:

We know what it takes to protect community health and very likely save lives, and we have the ability to do it; what is lacking is the collective willingness to do so. And I find myself compelled to consider whether my continued relationship with UAH might render me complicit in a moral atrocity.

Therefore, I have decided to resign my position as associate professor of philosophy, effective immediately.

Jeremy Fischer

Dr. Fischer had described UAH’s pandemic plans last month in a guest post here, “Sounding the Alarm: 2021-2022 COVID Risks at Unprotected Colleges and Universities” and launched a petition to urge the University of Alabama system to strengthen its COVID-19 safety protocols. In that earlier post, he wrote about the implications for his university of Alabama SB 267, signed into law on May 24th of this year, which prohibits state-funded schools from requiring students to be COVID-vaccinated.

While UAH reformed some of the policies discussed in that earlier post and has now implemented an indoor mask mandate,* Dr. Fischer wrote, in an email:

I remain concerned about my former institution’s (1) lack of vaccine mandate (and its unreported, but likely low, student vaccination rate), (2) lack of re-entry COVID testing at the start of the semester, and (3) lack of regular COVID-testing of the unvaccinated throughout the semester; as well as (4) its refusal to implement social distancing indoors in accordance with C.D.C. recommendations for universities where not everyone is fully vaccinated, and also (5) its refusal to move substantial numbers of classes, especially large lecture classes, online, even when the instructor would prefer such a move.

Dr. Fischer, who specializes in moral psychology, ethics, and the emotions, voiced concerns about faculty complicity in a public health crisis, asked about whether instructors at unprotected institutions are morally permitted “to risk the public health in order to convene philosophy classes,” and suggested that faculty might consider resigning in protest.

Yesterday, he did just that. He announced his resignation on Twitter. His resignation letter is reposted below in its entirety:

You can view UAH’s current COVID policies here.

In response to follow-up questions, he emailed:

Perhaps you might direct sympathetic readers to support the email campaign I have been urging. People can email the leadership of my former institution, UAH, and of the UA System more generally, and urge them to adopt the sensible COVID policy of our neighboring university, Alabama A&M: among other things, (1) moving courses online for the first two weeks of the semester and (2) mandating weekly random-sample (“sentinel”) testing of the unvaccinated thereafter. We also urge the adoption of (3) universal social distancing mandates that accord with C.D.C. recommendations for institutions of higher educations where not everyone is fully vaccinated. 

Here are a few key decision-makers (and their public email addresses):

Darren Dawson, President,
Robert (Bob) Lindquist, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs,
Kristi Motter, Vice President for Student Affairs,
Finis St. John IV, Chancellor,
Members of the Board of Trustees,

He also encouraged faculty—especially senior faculty—to form “local ad hoc COVID-policy committees” on their own campuses with their colleagues and to reach out to university unions, faculty senate committees, and school administrations with their concerns. He warned, “what is happening in the Deep South may well be coming soon to a town near you!”

* The original version of this post did not mention this update to UAH’s policies.

What’s Happening in France?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 15/08/2021 - 7:57am in

The French collective Aplusoc (Arguments for the Social Struggle) argues that recent protests in France do not represent a reactionary wave.

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The post What’s Happening in France? appeared first on New Politics.

It’s been seven

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 14/08/2021 - 9:45am in

It’s been seven weeks since they closed the pubs for only the second time since the 1919 Spanish Flu Pandemic, with Sydney in a city-wide lockdown as the current outbreak of the Coronavirus Delta mutant continues. The scandalous clusterfuck that has been the Federal Government’s “stroll out” of limited vaccine supplies has left us dangerously exposed, with just 24.4% of the over-16’s fully inoculated, and the mad scramble on to find a shot in a city of five million. Guessing this will now become a regular Inner West random street scene. Campsie.

DSA’s Flawed International Outlook: The Appeal of the Mass Party and its Contradictions

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 28/07/2021 - 8:11am in

There’s something contradictory in this position that needs to be pointed out. The parties that DSA has focused on weren’t always mass parties. Often, they began as just the kind of plebeian networks or far left grouplets that DSA eschews as irrelevant.

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The post DSA’s Flawed International Outlook: The Appeal of the Mass Party and its Contradictions appeared first on New Politics.

Social Explosion in Cuba: The Ignored Signals

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 22/07/2021 - 1:39am in

In my opinion, there are two determining factors that have led to this moment of malaise. On the one hand, the inability of our rulers to channel a successful reform path...On the other hand, there is the ability of citizens to submit this incapacity to public judgment, which is something new.

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The post Social Explosion in Cuba: The Ignored Signals appeared first on New Politics.

Cuban Protests and the American Reaction

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 22/07/2021 - 1:18am in

The moment that thousands took to the streets in unprecedented national demonstrations in Cuba on July 11 demanding “freedom,” everyone in Cuba and in the United States recognized that we are at a critical moment.

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The post Cuban Protests and the American Reaction appeared first on New Politics.