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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,622

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Fast-Food Workers Turn Up the Heat



[font size="1"]Fast-food workers rally at 87th street in Chicago as part of a nationwide action on September 4. (Amien Essif)[/font]

(In These Times) “Paddy wagon’s on its way,” announced a Chicago Police tactical officer over his radio early this morning. Shortly thereafter, a crowd of about 300 demonstrators—including over 100 striking fast food workers—began chanting “Take the street!” and proceeded to do just that. Marching between a McDonald’s on one side of the road and a Burger King on the other, the crowd blocked 87th street traffic on Chicago’s south side for about 20 minutes.

The action was the latest escalation in the fast-food workers’ campaign for a $15 minimum hourly wage and the right to form a union without retaliation. Two dozen workers proceeded to link arms and sit down in the road in an act of civil disobedience, prompting the police to take them away in handcuffs.

As Tyree Johnson awaited arrest by advancing police officers, he explained to Working In These Times why he was willing to go to jail.“I’m still living at the poverty level,” said Johnson, who has been employed by McDonald’s since 1992. “After 22 years, they refuse to pay me a decent living wage.” Johnson and his compatriates were taken to patrol cars, and 19 were cited and released this morning.

Later in the day, another two dozen protesters were arrested in a separate action on Chicago's West Side. By midday, arrests had taken place in cities including New York, Boston, Detroit and Las Vegas, with more actions planned later in the day in what organizers are calling the biggest fast-food workers' strike yet in the national push for "15 and a union," which began in November 2012. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/17139/fast_food_workers_turn_up_the_heat1


When Four Jobs Aren't Enough: Why We Need a Living Wage


When Four Jobs Aren't Enough: Why We Need a Living Wage

Tuesday, 02 September 2014 10:31
By Robin Marty, Care2 | Op-Ed


By all accounts, Maria Fernandes was a hard worker. A person would have to be, in order to keep up with four different jobs. It’s that hard work that killed the 32-year old-woman, according to news reports, as the exhausted low wage worker died of inhaling fumes while grabbing a short nap in her car between work shifts.

Fernades was juggling jobs, two of which were at local Dunkin Donuts businesses, and trying to sleep in parking lots in the moments between the end of one and the beginning of another. Her last attempt at rest was fatal, as officers report she must have succumbed to fumes of a gas can in her car that had tipped over, as well as carbon monoxide from the engine she kept running.

Fernades allegedly kept the can for emergencies because she had once run out of gas traveling between shifts.

“She used to work like three shifts every day,” one co-worker told the local news. “Sometimes she wouldn’t sleep for five days.”
Fernandes’s case of working to death may seem extreme, but, as NJ.com reports, it’s a situation that many could be facing as the economy recovers but high paying and full time work still has dwindled into nothing. Many are working multiple shifts at a variety of low wage, part time positions in an attempt to earn enough to survive, a problem that is increased by the lack of benefits like health care insurance and paid sick time that isn’t available unless you have full-time employment. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/25933-when-four-jobs-arent-enough-why-we-need-a-living-wage



Supremes Rely On Facts That 'Wouldn't Pass Muster In A High School Paper'


(NYT) WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court received more than 80 friend-of-the-court briefs in the Hobby Lobby case. Most of these filings, also called amicus briefs, were dull and repetitive recitations of familiar legal arguments.

Others stood out. They presented fresh, factual information that put the case in a broader context.

The justices are hungry for such data. Their opinions are increasingly studded with citations of facts they learned from amicus briefs.

But this is a perilous trend, said Allison Orr Larsen, a law professor at the College of William and Mary.

“The court is inundated with 11th-hour, untested, advocacy-motivated claims of factual expertise,” she wrote in an article to be published in The Virginia Law Review. .........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/02/us/politics/the-dubious-sources-of-some-supreme-court-facts.html



The Sky Is Falling on Chinese Corporations


The Sky Is Falling on Chinese Corporations
by Wolf Richter • September 2, 2014


The four largest banks in China, the banks that have to officially show big profits and profit growth no matter what because they’re an integral part not only of the government but also of China’s miraculous debt-driven expansion, are showing officially tolerated signs of increasing stress. For perspective, in 2009, following the Lehman moment, as other banks were collapsing and were bailed out, the profits of these four banks grew even then, if only by a combined 2.9%.

These four mastodons – Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of China – admitted to 384.7 billion yuan ($62.6 billion) of bad loans on their book at the end of June, a 13.2% jump from just six months earlier. The jump in bad loans ranged from 11% at Agricultural Bank of China to 17% at Bank of China.

If we suspend our disbelief in Chinese numbers, bank numbers in general, and Chinese bank numbers in particular, for a very brief moment and accept them temporarily as if these bad-loan numbers were actually something close to reality, rather than something ludicrously beautified, they would amount to about 1% of total lending by these banks. And it’s gnawing at their profits: their relentless state-mandated rise slowed to 9.6% over prior year.

Culprit? Struggling companies in the manufacturing, wholesale, and retail sectors, particularly those involved in the now curdling property market. Marine shipping companies have been slammed. Overcapacity in manufacturing, which has been hounding China for years, has caused prices to plunge. And the real estate sector has begun to quake at its foundation, after years of overbuilding, which goosed GDP in the government-mandated manner by creating a breath-taking amount of oversupply including entire ghost cities. To round out the scenery, companies selling luxury goods or services have gotten hit by a crackdown on corruption – politically motivated or not; conspicuous consumption, the erstwhile hallmark of officials now deemed corrupt, has become unpopular.

It all has turned into a reeking mix of teetering companies and banks that lent these companies regardless of realities on the ground because it was the government’s way to push the economy forward, no matter what. And these companies are now getting crushed. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://wolfstreet.com/2014/09/02/the-sky-is-falling-on-chinese-corporations/



Mexican Judge Departs From Script, Turns Monsanto’s Mexican Dream Into Legal Nightmare


Mexican Judge Departs From Script, Turns Monsanto’s Mexican Dream Into Legal Nightmare
by Don Quijones • September 1, 2014

By Don Quijones, freelance writer, translator in Barcelona, Spain, but currently in Mexico. Raging Bull-Shit is his modest attempt to challenge the wishful thinking and scrub away the lathers of soft soap peddled by political and business leaders and their loyal mainstream media. This article is a Wolf Street exclusive.


The U.S. agribusiness giant Monsanto is long accustomed to getting its own way. Through a combination of back-channel lobbying, opaque political funding and revolving-door politics, the multinational agrochemical and biotechnology corporation has subverted, corrupted and infiltrated the elected governments of countries around the world, from the smallest and poorest to the biggest and richest.

However, if recent events in Europe and Latin America are any indication, the tide may well be subtly turning against the interests of Monsanto and its fellow GMO oligopolies and in the favor of independent food growers and consumers. Despite their tireless lobbying efforts in Brussels, the “Big Six” (Monsanto, Du Pont Pioneer, Syngenta, Vilmorin, Winfield and KWS) continue to hit a brick wall of resistance in many of Europe’s biggest markets, including Germany and France. As I reported in April this year, popular resistance is on the rise across Latin America, as indigenous and peasant communities rise up against government legislation that would apply brutally rigid intellectual copyright laws to the crop seeds they are able to grow.

The latest country to put a spanner in the works is Mexico. This past week the country’s Federal Court voted to uphold Judge Marroquín Zaleta’s 2013 ruling to suspend the granting of licenses for GMO field trials sought by Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, Pionner-Dupont and Mexico’s SEMARNAT (Environment and Natural Resources Ministry). Zaleta’s ruling was in response to a suit brought by a collective of 53 scientists and 22 civil rights organizations and NGOs.

In defending his ruling, Zaleta cited the potential risks to the environment posed by GMO corn. If the biotech industry got its way, he argued, more than 7000 years of indigenous maize cultivation in Mexico would be endangered, with the country’s 60 varieties of corn directly threatened by cross-pollination from transgenic strands. Monsanto’s response was as swift as it was brutal: not only did it – and its lackeys in the Mexican government – appeal Zaleta’s ruling, it also demanded his removal from the bench on the grounds that he had already stated his opinion on the case before sentencing.

However, Monsanto’s bullying tactics failed to impress the Mexican judges. On August 15, the court convened to review Zaleta’s alleged bias ruled against the U.S. corporation’s legal suit. Also spurned by the Mexican courts was the world’s third largest GMO seed manufacturer, Syngenta, whose reapplication for a license to run test trials of its maize crops was rejected this week by the Federal Court. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://wolfstreet.com/2014/09/01/mexican-judge-departs-from-script-turns-monsantos-mexican-dream-into-legal-nightmare/



Chris Hedges: The Last Gasp of Climate Change Liberals


from truthdig:


The Last Gasp of Climate Change Liberals

Posted on Aug 31, 2014
By Chris Hedges


The climate change march in New York on Sept. 21, expected to draw as many as 200,000 people, is one of the last gasps of conventional liberalism’s response to the climate crisis. It will take place two days before the actual gathering of world leaders in New York called by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the November 2015 U.N. Climate Conference in Paris. The marchers will dutifully follow the route laid down by the New York City police. They will leave Columbus Circle, on West 59th Street and Eighth Avenue, at 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday and conclude on 11th Avenue between West 34th and 38th streets. No one will reach the United Nations, which is located on the other side of Manhattan, on the East River beyond First Avenue—at least legally. There will be no speeches. There is no list of demands. It will be a climate-themed street fair.

The march, because its demands are amorphous, can be joined by anyone. This is intentional. But as activist Anne Petermann has pointed out, this also means some of the groups backing the march are little more than corporate fronts. The Climate Group, for example, which endorses the march, includes among its members and sponsors BP, China Mobile, Dow Chemical Co., Duke Energy, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Greenstone. The Environmental Defense Fund, which says it “work[s] with companies rather than against them” and which is calling on its members to join the march, has funding from the oil and gas industry and supports fracking as a form of alternative energy. These faux environmental organizations are designed to neutralize resistance. And their presence exposes the march’s failure to adopt a meaningful agenda or pose a genuine threat to power.

Our only hope comes from radical groups descending on New York to carry out direct action, including Global Climate Convergence and Popular Resistance. March if you want. But it should be the warm-up. The real fight will come once people disperse on 11th Avenue.

“The march is symbolic,” said Kevin Zeese of Popular Resistance when I reached him by phone, “but we are past the time of symbolism. What we need is direct action against the United Nations during the meeting. This should include blockades and disruption of the meeting itself. We need to highlight the fact that the United Nations has sold out to corporate interests. At U.N. meetings on climate change you see corporate logos on display. During the last meeting on climate change in Poland, the U.N. held a simultaneous conference to promote coal as a clean energy source. These U.N. meetings have become corporate trade shows where discussions on climate are hijacked to promote corporate interests. Barack Obama has announced he will continue the U.S. stance of only calling for voluntary climate goals in advance of the upcoming climate summit in Paris next year.” ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_last_gasp_of_climate_change_liberals_20140831



The ISIS boogeyman is gonna get ya........


I briefly tried tuning in to MSNBC and CNN this morning for a quick news synopsis, and got a whole lot of ISIS scaremongering. They're serving up a buffet of bullshit.
Fool me once (and many of us weren't even fooled once), shame on you........



From NY to Texas, KKK recruits with candies and fliers


(CNN) -- Carlos Enrique Londoño laughs at the Ku Klux Klan recruitment flier recently left on the driveway of his suburban New York home. It's unlikely the group would accept him.

"I'm Colombian and dark-skinned," said Londoño, a painter and construction worker who has lived in Hampton Bays on Long Island for 30 years.

The flier was tucked into a plastic bag along with a membership application, the address for the KKK national office in North Carolina, a list of beliefs and three Jolly Rancher candies.

The packages appear to be part of a wider recruitment effort by the Klan across the country, Ryan Lenz, senior writer for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told CNN on Saturday. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/31/us/new-york-kkk-recruitment/index.html?hpt=hp_t1



Driverless Cars (cartoon)




http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/driverless_cars_20140830



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