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Showing posts from August 3, 2015

Extreme working hours have radically increased in many western European countries since the start of the 1990s

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[Welcome to the Class Wars. See also: Job insecurity is the new normal. Here's how it's affecting your family life. *RON*]

Anna Sara Burger, London School of Economics, 2 August 2015

The length of the working week has traditionally been a key issue for social democratic and labour movements, but how have European working patterns changed in recent decades? Anna S. Burger presents findings from a recent study on working hours. She writes that in many western European countries the frequency of individuals working ‘extreme hours’ of more than 50 hours per week has increased substantially, particularly among high skilled male workers. She notes that some of this may be attributable to the effects of globalisation, but that national labour regulations and welfare reforms also play a role in working hour trends.

With the recent debates over the reform of the EU’s Working Time Directive, the topic of working time has received renewed interest in …

How To Be Filmed Murdering a Man, Cover It Up, Be Free On Bail, And Ask For Your Job Back

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[Privilege at a whole new level. *RON*]
By Shaun KingDaily Kos, AlterNet, 2 August 2015
How to achieve what's posed in the headline? Be a police officer.

Only in America could a man do what Officer Ray Tensing did—be filmed blowing a man's head off, be filmed telling at least 21 lies about what led to him blowing said man's head off, be charged with murder, strongly condemned by the prosecutor, and then be free in a few hoursto ask for his job back. Yes, he asked for his job back.

That's exactly what has happened in this case.

Because it is incredibly gruesome, the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office chose not to release, at first, the full video of the murder of Sam Dubose by Officer Ray Tensing. I understand that, but by ending the video after the fatal shot was fired, we were all deprived of the opportunity to see something truly heinous—the outrageous fictional story concocted by Ray Tensing to justify a completely a…

Journalists Agree to Keep Mum on Conservative Donors at Koch Brothers Event

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[The media are the 1%. Major media outlets granted access to Koch Brothers' affair in exchange for their silence. This comes hot on the heels of the noble Koch Brothers telling 450 followers they are "seeking to right injustices" to create "a truly free society" that will no longer "enrich the haves at the expense of the have nots," so please help them "save our country" by adding to the $900 million they've spent to screw the poor and make the rich richer and kill the planet. See also: Kochs Rebrand Themselves As Champions Of Poor, Fight To Slash Wages And Eliminate Their Health Care. *RON*]

by Sarah LazareCommon Dreams, 2 August 2015

In a rare move, journalists from a handful of major media outlets were granted access this weekend to a private and well-heeled gathering of Republican benefactors, sponsored by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, on one condition: that they do not nam…

Black Lives Matter Organizers Labeled as "Threat Actors" by Cybersecurity Firm

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["It confirms that us telling the truth about police violence is seen as a threat." See also: Donald Trump On Black Lives Matter: ‘We Have To Give Power Back To The Police’. *RON*]

By Brandon Ellington Patterson, Mother Jones, 3 August 2015

Documents from a "crisis management" report produced by the cybersecurity firm ZeroFox indicate that the firm monitored Black Lives Matter protesters during the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore earlier this year. The documents, which surfaced online last Wednesday, also state that the firm "protected" the online accounts of Maryland and Baltimore officials and members of the Baltimore Police Department and Maryland National Guard.

The report identifies DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie, two prominent Black Lives Matter organizers who took part in the Baltimore protests, as "threat actors" for whom "immediate response is recommended." It describes McKesson an…

The Revolt Against the Ruling Class

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[Trump and Sanders. A substantial segment of voters are sick and tired of the post-Reagan overlords and will support anyone who promises to throw sand in their gears. *RON*]

by Robert Reich, Moyers & Company, 3 August 2015

This post first appeared at Robert Reich’s blog.

“He can’t possibly win the nomination,” is the phrase heard most often when Washington insiders mention either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders.

Yet as enthusiasm for the bombastic billionaire and the socialist senior continues to build within each party, the political establishment is mystified.
Political insiders don’t see that the biggest political phenomenon in America today is a revolt against the “ruling class” of insiders that have dominated Washington for more than three decades.

What’s new is the degree of anger now focused on those who have had power over our economic and political system since the start of the 1980s.In two very different ways, Trump and Sanders are agen…

As 'Do-Or-Die' Talks End In Failure, Could TPP Be Derailed for Good?

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["Only the beleaguered negotiators and most of the 600 official U.S. trade advisers representing corporate interests wanted this deal, which recent polling shows is unpopular in most of the countries involved." — Lori Wallach, Public Citizen. "This stall in talks could mean the death of the deal, and a win for the public interest all over the world." — Sujata Dey, Council of Canadians. See also: Corporate Tribunals Pose Biggest Hurdle to Europe's Vote on Transatlantic Trade Pact. *RON*]

By Sarah LazareCommon Dreams, 1 August 2015

This week's closed-door Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in Maui, which President Barack Obama hoped would be the last round, ended Friday in failure to reach a final agreement, thereby pushing a U.S. ratification fight into the tumultuous 2016 presidential election cycle at the earliest—and raising hopes that the corporate-friendly accord could be derailed for good.

Global just…

Nanos poll: 66 per cent of voters want change

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[Don Martin on CTV News is calling this a 'jaw dropping statistic' but in truth it's hard to know what this means. Under our first past the post election system, in the last election, Harper won a solid 'majority' government with 39% of the vote. In this poll, 65.8% say it's time for a change, meaning that 34.2% either think things are swell or don't know (plus or minus a 3.1% error). It's a bit early in the game to call this a resounding defeat. To me, the most shocking thing is Harper's continued refusal to join the leaders' debates - I think this should, somehow, automatically get him dropped as leader. *RON*]

Josh Dehaas, CTVNews.ca, 30 July 2015

An exclusive poll commissioned for CTV News appears to contain bad news for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

Nanos Research surveyed 1,000 adult Canadians and found the following:

Two in three respondents agree it is “time for a change in government.”Harper’s …

Stephen Harper: a smart tactician or a graceless narcissist?

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[An oldie but a goodie, as we settle in for an endless election campaign. *RON*]
By Michael Harris, iPolitics.ca, 30 Mary 2014


Someone described Stephen Harper as a Sphinx without a riddle.

Sphinx or not, as he moves government in Canada towards something that is plainly tyrannical, there is no mystery about his increasingly dictatorial nature.

“You have to appreciate Orwell to get a feel for Harper,” former Liberal interim leader Bob Rae told me. “His government doesn’t like alternate sources of information. It likes to be the sole source of information.”

Bad news, Stephen. Democracy is always a choir, never a soloist.

NDP Thomas Mulcair met Harper in 2007, and was struck by the “strange” character of the man who has made his party “smug, smart-ass, and full of half lies.” His utter dismissiveness of opponents was striking to Mulcair: “He never looks at his adversaries. There is no eye contact. It’s robotic. He pivots when he rises and looks at the S…