artistic rendering of an avocado-themed train

The Wednesday Politics Thread Parks Its Caboose

This is Biden’s moment; what he’s trained his entire life for — railroad politics! Will his affection for the locomotive help to resolve the crisis, or is Dark Brandon come to launch an early salvo in the War on Christmas, tearing supply chains asunder and breaking the will to consume goods among the American public? Only time (and a Gina Carano movie, no doubt) will tell.

Freight rail strike threatens supply chains, prompting White House planning

At issue is a dispute between railway carriers and two unions, representing 57,000 conductors and engineers, over attendance policies. A federally mandated cooling-off period ends Friday, which opens the possibility of a strike, if employees refuse to go to work, or a lockout, if the carriers refuse to let workers do their jobs.

In the meantime, some freight carriers have begun limiting services, suspending hazmat shipments and parking trains in what appears to be preparation for a lockout, according to union officials and labor experts.

The Washington Post [archive]

Could the Internet Archive Go Out Like Napster?

Two and a half years ago, the Internet Archive made a decision that pissed off a lot of writers—and embroiled it in a lawsuit that many netizens fear could weaken the archive, its finances, and its services long into the future.

Since the suit was filed, many of the authors who’d protested the archive have deleted their tweets or released statements explaining they’ve changed their minds.

If even authors themselves appear to be backing away from the battle, why are publishers continuing the suit—and what could it really mean for the internet and its most comprehensive archive?

Slate [archive]

Oakland Plans To Return Land To Indigenous Group

The parcel of land, called Sequoia Point, is located within the city-operated Joaquin Miller Park. If approved by city council, the plan would see the property transferred into the hands of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, an Indigenous women-led nonprofit leading land “rematriation” projects, as well as the Confederated Villages of Lisjan Nation, an East Bay Ohlone Tribe.

The Land Trust has big plans for the easement. The Chochenyo-speaking Ohlone people will immediately begin working to address environmental needs, cleaning up the land and restoring habitats. In the long term, the tribe hopes it becomes a ceremonial space, complete with a gathering structure – shaped like an Ohlone basket – where they can continue to educate and recreate.

Next City [archive]

In Africa, not everyone mourns Queen Elizabeth II

When Elizabeth was born in 1926, the British Empire spanned six continents. During her reign, which began in 1952, most of the 56 countries that make up the Commonwealth gained their independence, including many nations on the African continent such as Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta were among those who expressed condolences for the loss of an “icon,” but many Africans also spoke of the tragedies of the colonial era of [her] rule.

“The Queen leaves a mixed legacy of brutal repression of Kenyans in their own country and mutually beneficial relations,” wrote The Daily Nation, Kenya’s leading newspaper, in a weekend editorial.

Africa News [archive]

How I Feel About Queen Elizabeth’s Death as a Black Briton and the Child of Caribbean Immigrants

Beautiful and majestic in period dramas, British colonialism was ugly for millions of Black, brown and working-class white people who faced poverty and prejudice.

Yet, as a Black British American of Afro-Caribbean descent, I’m still saddened by Queen Elizabeth’s death. I can experience those two feelings at once.

But what I find remarkable about the Queen — her life and her reign — was her devotion to service. Strip away the ills of colonialism, the pomp and ceremony of royalty. This woman’s life was irreparably changed when she was just 10. Whether or not we believe in monarchy, she believed her future was set in stone from that age onwards.

People [archive]

As I write this it has been several hours since being assertively jabbed with the updated COVID-19 booster. If it kicks my ass bad as the last I’ll probably miss most of your comments today, but will rest easy with (fever) dreams of Politicados respectfully discoursing on the issues of the day. Let’s play it safe and assume it’s my dying wish that you don’t violate The McSquirrel Rule.

While I have your pity, I’d also ask that you treat each other with kindness, which might entail some clarifying commentary when posting hot Twitter takes. The tone of discourse on social media often trends toxic, is carried along with the post, and it’s not always simple to get the right read on the reason something was posted without additional context. Complementing that is a willingness to offer the benefit of the doubt to fellow ‘cados, and try not to default to the worst reading of a post’s intentions when it’s unclear.

OK, that’s enough out of me. I blame all the mushy stuff on the vaccine ( •̀ – •́ )