Cole Stangler

Cole Stangler is a Prospect fall 2012 intern.

Recent Articles

Wal-Mart: Always Low Wages

Employees are planning a walkout on Black Friday, and that's only the beginning.

(Elise Amendola/AP)
(AP Photo) I n the last few months, an unprecedented wave of labor unrest has shaken the retail giant Wal-Mart and its far-reaching supply chain. While the number of employees taking part in walkouts has been limited to the low hundreds , workers and labor activists are mounting pressure and threatening to stage a company-wide strike on Black Friday—the busiest shopping day of the year. The Black Friday walkout is being organized by the Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart (OUR Walmart), a group of Wal-Mart employees formed last year that works closely with the United Food and Commercial Workers union, or UFCW. OUR Walmart, which organized walkouts in October, is pushing for better working conditions, benefits, and an end to alleged retaliation by management. The Black Friday strike would add yet another chapter to a wave of worker protests across Wal-Mart’s supply chain. It all began in June when a group of immigrant guest workers at a Wal-Mart seafood supplier in Louisiana...

"This Civil War, This Complicated Civil War"

A look at the ongoing conflict in Syria, and whether it's too late for a swift resolution to the growing tensions in the Middle East.

(AP Photo/ Manu Brabo)
(AP Photo/ Manu Brabo) Free Syrian Army fighters are seen in a storage room in the Karmal Jabl district of Aleppo Syria, Sunday, October 14, 2012. Rolls of fabric are seen on the ground. T he conflict in Syria has escalated significantly in recent weeks. After months of mounting tension between Turkey and the Assad regime, the Turkish parliament took the step of authorizing cross-border military operations into Syria. Both sides have since exchanged artillery fire. As the political and military crisis deepens, The Prospect spoke with Steven Cook , Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, about the nature of the conflict and the possibility of its resolution. Why has the Turkish government decided to escalate the conflict to this point? The question is whether the Turks have escalated or the Syrians have escalated. This all started when Syrian shells fell on the Turkish side of the border, killing Turkish civilians. The Turks had...

Stuck in Second-Class Debate Gear

(AP Photo/Laura-Chase McGehee)
The 2012 election is the fifth straight presidential election to feature no third-party candidates in the debates—and as a result, there's also a lack of engagement with issues that the two major-party candidates don’t want to discuss. The debates are organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates, a 501(c)(3) organization created by the Democratic and Republican national committees and funded by corporate sponsors. This year, as usual, the commission extended invitations to only the Democratic and Republican candidates—much to the chagrin of third-party candidates and the handful of nonprofit organizations committed to including more voices in the debates. “The commission survives on deception. ... It sounds like a government agency, but of course, it’s not,” said George Farah, executive director of Open Debates, a group leading the charge to include third-party candidates in the presidential debates. “Every four years, it allows negotiators, the Republican and Democratic...

Why We Strike

The Prospect talks to one of the thousands of teachers at the picket line in Chicago.

Flickr
Frank Menzies started working in Chicago public schools in 2000 and is now the director of instrumental music at Jones College Prep, where he oversees the orchestra, concert band, and jazz group. He’s also the school’s head bowling coach. Menzies is a member of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and one of the roughly 29,000 Chicago public school teachers that have been on strike since Monday. Why did you vote to go on strike? Many of the members in the CTU didn’t really want to do it, but we have understood that this is one of the mechanisms that is in place for union membership to try to bargain for a better deal. We are definitely in favor and desirous of a fair contract. The bottom line is the teachers did not really want to do it, but that [a strike] seemed to be one of the only avenues left to us to be able to try to get what’s necessary for us to have a fair contract. That’s the bottom line. The strike was brought about simply because teachers that love their students had no...

On Strike in the Windy City

Pictures from the brewing standoff between Chicago teachers and Rahm Emanuel.

Flickr
Slideshow On Strike in the Windy City Twenty-nine thousand Chicago public school teachers walked off their jobs on Monday, after contract negotiations between the teachers union and the school board failed to produce an agreement. The Chicago Teachers Union is asking for a salary increase to compensate teachers for the city's newly implemented longer school day, smaller class sizes, and a de-emphasis on standardized testing.