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Clear it with SidneyHow our blog got its name >

 
Notes on journalism for the common good
by Lindsay Beyerstein

How our blog got its name

Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”

Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.

It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.

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If You're White and Well-Armed, You Don't Have to Pay Taxes

The Bureau of Land Management backed down from an armed standoff with militiamen on a Nevada ranch Saturday and returned over 300 head of cattle seized for non-payment of grazing fees, thereby setting the precedent that if you're white and well-armed, you can steal from the government with impunity. Just in time for Tax Day! Continue reading...

Soul Searching at Patrick Henry College

In February, Kiera Feldman exposed a culture of sexual misconduct and official indifference at Patrick Henry College, the elite evangelical school known as "God's Harvard." Feldman found that, when it comes to protecting students from rape, the college promises much more and delivers less than your average secular institution. Continue reading...

Sidney's Picks: Opera, Sweatshops, and Tom Lehrer

The Best of the Week's NewsContinue reading...

Miami Herald Wins April Sidney for "Innocents Lost"

Carol Marbin Miller and Audra D.S. Burch of the Miami Herald win the April Sidney Award for "Innocents Lost", an investigative multi-media package profiling some 477 Florida children who died after the state’s child protection authorities investigated their families for abuse or neglect but failed to take them into care.Continue reading...

Judge Dismisses Murder Charge in Stillbirth Case

A judge dismissed a "depraved heart" murder charge against a Mississippi woman who delivered a stillborn baby and positive for a metabolite of cocaine. Rennie Gibbs was 16 years old when she delivered her stillborn child in 2006. There was never any evidence that drugs caused the demise of the fetus, which was born with the cord wrapped around its neck. 

The judge dismissed the case on a legal technicality:Continue reading...

Hobby Lobby Invested in the Manufacturers of Contraceptives it Claims to Oppose

A great scoop from Molly Reden of Mother Jones:Continue reading...

Northwestern Football Players One Step Closer to a Union

A ruling by the director of the NLRB's Chicago office puts the football team at Northwestern one step closer to unionization, Dave Jamieson reports. The regional director of the Chicago office ruled that the players are employees and are therefore eligible to vote on whether to have a union. 

 

 Continue reading...

Video: 103rd Commemoration of the Triangle Factory Fire

As part of the 103rd Commemoration of the Triangle Factory Fire in Manhattan, yesterday, a fire truck demonstrated how a ladder couldn't reach the upper floors of the burning factory, forcing workers to jump to their deaths. One hundred and forty-six workers died that day. The outrage over the Triangle Fire helped usher in a new era of workers' rights and occupational health and safety.

Video by Alexandra Lescaze.  

 
 

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