This week has seen a lot of discussion of the American criminal justice system and its failings, and a lot of concern about what can be done to fix it. In 1947, a working class black man looked like he was about to have the full weight of the system brought down on him for taking justice into his own hands. But after Chicago leftists - including labor unions, religious leaders, artists, civil rights activists & others - launched a movement, James Hickman was set free after an all-white jury, in a trial presided over by a white judge, failed to convict, and the DA chose not to re-try because of the magnitude of public support for Hickman. According to a review in The Nation, a new book tells the story in a way that turns the typical right-wing biases of the true crime genre on their head. [more inside]
SEIU President Andy Stern says unions should be less like unions. He recently teamed up with Wal-Mart to call for incremental healthcare reform, and has said that unions should assist employers in outsourcing their employees. His union once teamed up with CA nursing home operators to limit the rights of abused patients. This is the same union that promoted this insipid PR campaign.