Showing posts from June 25, 2015

I Am an Adjunct Professor Who Teaches Five Classes -- and I Earn Less Than a Pet-Sitter

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[76% of instructional staff appointments in U.S. higher education are now not even full-time jobs. *RON*]
By Lee Hall / The Guardian / AlterNet, 23 June 2015

Like most university teachers today, I am a low-paid contract worker. Now and then, a friend will ask: “Have you tried dog-walking on the side?” I have. Pet care, I can reveal, takes massive attention, energy and driving time. I’m friends with a full-time, professionally employed pet-sitter who’s done it for years, never topping $26,000 annually and never receiving health or other benefits.

The reason I field such questions is that, as an adjunct professor, whether teaching undergraduate or law-school courses, I make much less than a pet-sitter earns. This year I’m teaching five classes (15 credit hours, roughly comparable to the teaching loads of some tenure-track law or business school instructors). At $3,000 per course, I’ll pull in $15,000 for the year. I work year-round, 20 to 30 hours we…

In Historic Ruling, Dutch Court Says: Climate Action is a Human Right

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[Although the story's from yesterday, so far I don't see this being reported anywhere other than here at Common Dreams. Hague District Court says Dutch government has a legal duty to reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2020. *RON*]
By Lauren McCauleyCommon Dreams, 24 June 2015

In a landmark ruling that many hope establishes a new global precedent for a state's obligation to its citizens in the face of the growing climate crisis, a Dutch court on Wednesday said that the government has a legal duty to reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2020.

The decision came in response to a lawsuit, launched in November 2013 by the Amsterdam-based environmental nonprofit Urgenda Foundation along with 600 Dutch citizens, which argued that the government was violating international human rights law by failing to take sufficient measures to combat rising greenhouse gas emissions.

"The state must do more to avert the imminent danger caused…

CEO pay at US’s largest companies up 54% since recovery began in 2009

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[The corporatocrats continue winning their hard-waged class war. While America’s CEOs have seen their compensation soar in the past six years, the average annual earnings of employees haven’t budged (in fact it shrunk in inflation-adjusted terms). *RON*]
Suzanne McGee, The Guardian, 25 June 2015

Psst … want to earn a CEO’s hourly wage? You can. You’ll just have to toil for about five weeks to do it, without a single day off.

According to the latest annual survey by the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank, CEOs at the 350 largest companies in the country pocketed an average of $16.3m in compensation each last year. That’s up 3.9% from 2013, and a whopping gain of 54.3% since the recovery began in 2009.

The average annual earnings of employees at those companies? Well, that was only $53,200. And in 2009, when the recovery began? Well, that was $53,200, too. In other words, while the CEOs have seen their compensation soar by 54%, the t…

The solidarity fridge: Spanish town's cool way to cut food waste

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[The next thing after community libraries? Everyone from vulnerable families to peckish builders are taking leftover goods left dropped off by local people in Galdakao. See also the link, below, to the story France to force big supermarkets to give unsold food to charities. *RON*]
Ashifa Kassam, The Guardian, 25 June 2015
The large white fridge sits prominently on a pavement in Galdakao, a small city on the outskirts of Bilbao.

A wooden fence has been built around it, in the hope of conveying the idea that this is not an abandoned appliance, but a pioneering project aimed at tackling food wastage.

For the past seven weeks, Galdakao, population 29,000, has been home to Spain’s first “solidarity fridge”, in which residents and restaurants can drop off leftover or unused food otherwise destined for the bin. Anything left in the fridge can be picked up by anyone who wants it. “I would guess we’ve saved between 200 and 300kg from the rubbish bin,” said …

John Baird Hired As Strategic Adviser To Canadian Global Engineering Firm Hatch

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[On top of their extremely healthy severance and pensions, the rats, having abandoned the Harper ship, are now cashing in with the corporatocracy, tit for tat. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 24 June 2015

TORONTO - Former federal cabinet minister John Baird has been hired as a strategic adviser to Hatch, an engineering and consulting firm for resource companies.

Hatch has its global head office in Mississauga, Ont., and operates in 150 countries around the world.

The company says Baird's experience in international affairs will help Hatch as it expands in the energy, mining and infrastructure sectors.

Baird presided over a number of federal portfolios, including foreign affairs, environment and transport and infrastructure.

It's the latest corporate appointment for Baird since he announced in February that he was leaving Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet and resigned his seat in the riding of Ottawa West-Nepean.


Access-To-Information Requests Of Feds Stretch Back To 2009

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[Information+transparency=democracy. "...information delayed is information denied.... Combined with rampant redactions of material when it is finally released, the system is being used to suppress information rather than access it." *RON*]
By Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 25 June 2015

OTTAWA - It's been said the wheels of justice turn slowly, and a new look at Canada's creaky access-to-information system appears to bear that out.

According to data collected as part of a Liberal question in the House of Commons, Justice Canada is the federal department with the longest running, active access-to-information request — an unfulfilled inquiry that dates back more than six years.

Under the Access to Information Act passed by Parliament, departments are supposed to respond to requests for government records within 30 days, although in practice long delays have become routine.

Liberal MP David McGuinty placed a ques…

Last-ditch Greek rescue hopes dashed as Alexis Tsipras faces austerity ultimatum

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[From the Bound To End Horribly department, Dreams of Empire division. I think this is the third, final last-ditch talks that have been abandoned. It's not just - as the Telegraph puts it - there are fundamental differences between these groups. Creditors are constantly adding demands. They now want more cuts from the cash-strapped country and they want direct control over what gets cut! See also: Greece Gives Europe What It Wants, Europe Says No Anyway. *RON*]

By Mehreen Khan, and Matthew Holehouse, The Telegraph, 24 Jun 2015
Greece's eurozone future was thrown into fresh turmoil on Wednesday night as talks broke down after creditor powers demanded further austerity measures to release the funds the country needs to avoid a debt default.

Dashing tentative hopes that an agreement could be struck at European Union leaders summit on Thursday, a meeting of finance ministers was suspended after only an hour as Prime Minister Tsipras was summ…

Tech Company Finds Stolen Government Log-Ins All Over Web

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[Our supposed experts and protectors. *RON*]
By Ken Dilanian, AP, 24 June 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A CIA-backed technology company has found logins and passwords for 47 government agencies strewn across the Web - available for hackers, spies and thieves.

Recorded Future, a social media data mining firm backed by the CIA's venture capital arm, says in a report that login credentials for nearly every federal agency have been posted on open Internet sites for those who know where to look.

According to the company, at least 12 agencies don't require authentication beyond passwords to access their networks, so those agencies are vulnerable to espionage and cyberattacks.

The company says logins and passwords were found connected with the departments of Defense, Justice, Treasury and Energy, as well as the CIA and the Director of National Intelligence.