Showing posts from November 29, 2014

'Being homeless is better than working for Amazon'

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[The corporatocracy in full stride. Circulate this one widely if you have the opportunity. Nichole Gracely has a master’s degree and was one of Amazon’s best order pickers. Now, after protesting the company, she’s homeless. *RON*]

Nichole Gracely, The Guardian, 28 November 2014

I am homeless. My worst days now are better than my best days working at Amazon.

According to Amazon’s metrics, I was one of their most productive order pickers – I was a machine, and my pace would accelerate throughout the course of a shift. What they didn’t know was that I stayed fast because if I slowed down for even a minute, I’d collapse from boredom and exhaustion.

During peak season, I trained incoming temps regularly. When that was over, I’d be an ordinary order picker once again, toiling in some remote corner of the warehouse, alone for 10 hours, with my every move being monitored by management on a computer screen.

Superb performance did not guarantee job security. …

Working for Walmart Is Even Worse Than You Think

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By Alyssa FigueroaAlterNet, 26 November 2014

[Life for the 99%: Victoria Alvarez explains why she and other Walmart workers nationwide are striking today, despite Walmart's attempts at silencing them. *RON*]

When I met Victoria Alvarez, 50, at a café after her shift at Walmart, I didn’t notice her knee brace. Instead I noticed her dark eyes and glittery nail polish, which in some ways is a great metaphor for Alvarez. She’s hurting, but her bold personality still dominates.

Within seconds of meeting her, you can tell she’s the type of person who's fun to be around; she talks with her hands, speaks her mind and doesn’t take anyone’s shit. Alvarez was born and raised in Mexico and immigrated to the United States more than 20 years ago. Her heavily accented voice is confident and captivating, and she had a lot to say.

She applied to work at Walmart during the 2009 recession. After a few months of work in Arizona, she transferred to a store i…

11 Stupid Reasons That White People Have Rioted

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[Lest we forget: White people riot all the time. Here's a look at some of the dumbest reasons. *RON*]

By Kali HollowayAlterNet, 27 November 2014

There is a long and storied history of behaviors being depicted through the prism of people's skin color. During Hurricane Katrina, as people of all races desperately searched for provisions, the media reported that white people “found” food, while black people “looted.”

A similar phenomenon can be seen in the response to protests sparked by the murder of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown and a grand jury’s recent decision not to indict his killer, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. In discussing riots that occurred in the aftermath of both events, the media and conservative pundits have displayed far too great a willingness to chalk up the destruction to black pathology without looking at longstanding policies that support and maintain white supremacy in the U.S. What’s more, they also c…

Gun Sales Spike During Black Friday

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[The corporatocracy and violence: "The FBI processed three background checks for gun purchases every second on Friday.... in the U.S., there are already nine guns for every 10 people, and someone is killed with a firearm every 16 minutes." *RON*]

By Igor Volsky, Think Progress, 29 November 2014

The FBI processed three background checks for gun purchases every second on Friday, as more than 144,000 shoppers were expected to buy firearms on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, an FBI spokesperson told CNN that the agency had already processed “more than 94,000 transactions, on pace to surpass last year’s 144,758.” Approximately 3,000 checks or 2 percent will not be completed as a result of insufficient information, 71 receive instant approvals, and approximately 1.1 percent of purchasers fail the check. If the government cannot complete the background check in three business days, the buyer is allowed to purch…

Tories Slammed Over Report Stating $200 Million For Veterans To Be Spread Over 50 Years

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[Deceitful, manipulative, pathological liars who repeatedly fail to learn from experience: they just met about half the diagnostic criteria for psychopaths. "the immediate $19.1-million investment will actually be spread out over the next six years and... the remaining $140.1 million will be paid out as needed until the last veteran who is currently in an operational stress-injury program no longer needs funding. With many Afghanistan vets in their 20s, she reports, the last of funding might not be spent for another five decades." *RON*]
By Ryan Maloney, The Huffington Post Canada, 28 November 2014

Opposition MPs are accusing Conservatives of deceiving Canadians by not disclosing that a $200-million investment to help veterans deal with mental health issues will reportedly be paid out over 50 years, not six.

On Friday, New Democrats and Liberals hammered Tories in question period after astory from The Globe and Mail's Gloria Galloway

The Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

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[Obama has caved in to high tech corporate bosses, maintaining their access to temporary foreign workers simply to help them keep costs down - not because of any mythical worker shortage. "They may not be able to find them at the price they want. But I’m not sure that qualifies as a shortage, any more than my not being able to find a half-priced TV." *RON*]
By Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 24 November 2014
Along with temporary deportation relief for millions, President Obama’s executive action will increase the number of U.S. college graduates from abroad who can temporarily be hired by U.S. corporations. That hasn’t satisfied tech companies and trade groups, which contend more green cards or guest worker visas are needed to keep tech industries growing because of a shortage of qualified American workers. But scholars say there’s a problem with that argument: The tech worker shortage doesn’t actually exist.

“There’s no evidence …

Argentina charges HSBC with aiding tax evasion via Swiss accounts

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[Pretty clearly, until some bankers go to jail nothing about their behaviour will change. *RON*]
Maximiliano Rizzi, Walter Bianchi, Sarah Marsh, Reuters, 27 November 2014

(Reuters) - Argentina has charged HSBC with aiding more than 4,000 clients to evade taxes by stashing their money in secret Swiss bank accounts, the country's AFIP tax authority said on Thursday.

AFIP said it received the information on the secret accounts from France, which last week placed HSBC's Swiss private banking arm under formal investigation for possibly aiding tax evasion.

"We denounce the existence of an illegal platform created by three banking entities (of HSBC) that are operating in Argentina," Ricardo Echegaray, the head of Argentina's AFIP tax agency, told a news conference.

"Its managers have intervened actively with the sole aim of helping Argentine citizens avoid paying their taxes."

HSBC Argentina rejected the charges in an emailed…