Jake Adelstein has previously written about the yakuza’s involvement in supplying workers at Fukushima, how a top entertainer’s involvement with organized crime forced him from the industry, and their presence in the broader Japanese entertainment industry. Today, he writes about the new laws that Japan has adopted to press the yakuza out of society.
In the early years of his political career, Rick Perry began hosting fellow lawmakers, friends and supporters at his family’s secluded West Texas hunting camp, a place known by the name painted in block letters across a large, flat rock standing upright at its gated entrance.
“Niggerhead,” it read.
Ranchers who once grazed cattle on the 1,070-acre parcel on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River called it by that name well before Perry and his father, Ray, began hunting there in the early 1980s. There is no definitive account of when the rock first appeared on the property. In an earlier time, the name on the rock was often given to mountains and creeks and rock outcroppings across the country. Over the years, civil rights groups and government agencies have had some success changing those and other racially offensive names that dotted the nation’s maps.
Scott Timberg’s provocative essay for Salon suggests that the rise of the Internet, in conjunction with a continuing recession, has helped to gut the very sectors of society it was once thought to be strengthening like never before. Little attention is being paid to the way our continuing economic crisis is hitting artists, intellectuals, musicians, and writers, Timberg argues. And he suggests that the way those livings are collapsing has put the lie to the idea that the 21st century American economy would be pleasantly post-industrial, an interchange of valuable information by individuals set free by computers and technology to gather in cool places. Reality is harder, and poorer, he writes.
Hooters, the restaurant chain famous for its scantily clad Hooters Girls, sued the partner of an upstart rival in Georgia federal court this week, accusing the company developing Twin Peaks restaurants and a former Hooters executive of stealing trade secrets in their bid to take on the “delightfully tacky yet unrefined” restaurant chain.
Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.
Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America’s nuclear power plants.
Will this bold move lead to a revitalization of Digg’s slowly declining traffic and a sea change in how news is shared on the web? Or does the ongoing exodus of longtime users to Reddit and other rivals signal the demise of a site trying too hard to ape Twitter and Facebook?
If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.
The problem the New Class faces at this point is the psychological and social self-perceptions of a status group that is alienated (as we marxists say) from traditional labor by its semi-privileged upbringing. It is, for the moment, insistent not just on white-collar work as its birthright and unable to conceive of much else. It does not celebrate the dignity of labor; it conceived of itself as existing to regulate labor. So it has purified itself to the point that not just any white-collar work will do. It has to be, as Michelle Obama instructed people in what now has to be seen as another era, virtuous non-profit or government work. Those attitudes are changing, but only slowly; the university pipelines are still full of people who cannot imagine themselves in any other kind of work, unless it means working for Apple or Google.