Here's something I hadn't considered before: David Swanson, in discussing a recent ethics book written for popular consumption, says ethicists constantly ask the wrong questions -- "How should I drive? How should I shop? How should I tell my friend his hat is ugly? Who the fuck cares? Are you or are you not helping to build effective movements to decarbonize, demilitarize, and deplutocratize?" And my memory of classical philosophy is that no, these questions rarely-if-ever come up, for a lot of reasons you can imagine. Even questions like "should I eat this veggie burger if it comes from across the country and therefore contributes to climate change?" only deal with the very, very smallest of choices we make -- it seems ethicists never consider "should I pressure my Congressdolt to stop blocking climate change legislation?" And that's much closer to the beginning of activism than its end.
Amazon's had a rough news week, and deservedly so: an ITEP report found that Amazon dodged over $5 billion in taxes just last year, while a Good Jobs First/UNI Global Union report finds that Amazon has extracted another $4.7 billion in corporate welfare globally over the last decade -- I know they call them "subsidies" or "tax breaks" or even "tax incentives," but corporate welfare is the best term for them, and maybe only because "money they stole from our future" is a little unwieldy. It gets better: Amazon execs worry that they go through warehouse employees so quickly they'll eventually run out of people to hire. I was going to say it's like they're a 17th century sugar plantation, but those workers generally lasted a couple of years, where Amazon workers all too frequently last only a few weeks, so I guess Amazon is more like the Omicron variant than a sugar plantation.
Those completely apolitical Supreme Court Justices of ours just voted, by a 5-4 margin, to let an Alabama racial gerrymander stand until they can hear the appeal, which will almost certainly be long after the 2022 election. Sad that it's left to Chief Justice Roberts, who's done as much to injure voting rights as anyone, to reason for the minority that the three-judge panel from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama had struck down the gerrymander according to already-existing law "with no apparent errors for our correction." Justice Kavanaugh, of course, said it was too "(l)ate" to indulge in "judicial tinkering." "Late? It's February! Primaries aren't until May! They can redraw the maps in a week! And when Republicans challenge the New York gerrymander, it'll suddenly be a matter of extreme urgency for Justice Kavanaugh no matter where on the calendar it is by then.
Democratic Senate candidate Gary Chambers burns a Confederate flag in a new political ad, not long after smoking a doob in a previous ad. OK, those are pat descriptions of two ads you really, really need to see (and which you can see, at the link above); after that, check out his January Senate announcement video -- yes, I easily predicted which phrase got turned on its head by the end, but I was no less thrilled. That's about four minutes of video total, after which you might well start to hope this Baton Rouge-based community organizer crushes John Kennedy against all odds in 2022. Unfortunately, he'll first have to get past the former soldier/moderate the party no doubt prefers in the primary.
You may have noticed that right-wingers use the word "woke" a lot more than liberals do; hence it should be no surprise that someone has made a list of all the things Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says are "woke," a list so expansive that "at this rate, Ron DeSantis will have trouble defeating wokeness. To him, it seems to be nearly everything." This should be a campaign ad against him! Have him saying the word "woke" over and over and over again, list all the things he says are "woke" (your education, your job, your computer, maybe even your roads) and close with a scene of Mr. DeSantis getting cornered by ghosts chanting the word "woke" until he loses his mind! Nah, Democrats will never run that; after all, it might work, and then they'll have to do something with their mandate.
Finally, Starbucks fires seven workers who were trying to organize a union at a Memphis cafe, ostensibly for "violating several safety and security policies," including at least one policy that may not exist. I guess the only surprise is that this didn't happen sooner; how strange that calling in workers on their day off to propagandize them about unions didn't work! My days off are sacred, and I bet most folks feel the same way. Reminds me of the two Madison, WI Whole Foods workers fired in 2002 for "improper disposal of a latte," who just so happened to be trying to organize a union there! (This story has a happy ending: that store did ultimately unionize. I hope this one has a happy ending, too.)