Links 9/14/12

JFK airport workers accused of stealing $750,000 worth of mini liquor bottles, cigarettes Raw Story

Fukyu sushi bar in Côte des Neiges forced to change ‘inappropriate’ name Montreal Gazette

A 61-million-person experiment in social influence and political mobilization Nature

Study of Giant Viruses Shakes Up Tree of Life Science Daily (blintr)

Russia’s Vladimir Putin admits wildlife stunts are staged Reuters

GM wheat health dangers – full details GM Watch (furzy mouse)

Chinese ships enter Japanese waters Financial Times

Pettis: China headed for 3-4% growth MacroBusiness

Third of Britain’s elite universities still looking for students Telegraph

Catalonians vow to leave Spain MacroBusiness. Holy shit. 1.5 million people protesting?

Election Report: 2012 Netherlands Parliamentary Elections – An Unexpected Outcome MonkeyCage

Protests spread across the Muslim world Financial Times

Conspiracies of convenience: what’s behind the film fracas? Ahram Online

Vanity Fair gives quote approval power to White House for Obama profile Glenn Greenwald

As Chicago teachers strike enters fourth day, a new poll proves majority of parents and taxpayers approve of fair contract fight CTU Blog

Herding dual eligibles into low quality plans Physicians for a National Health Program

MTA vows “full recovery” of funds lost in LIBOR scandal New York World

5 Liberal Pundits Repeating Right-Wing Teacher-Bashing Talking Points Alternet. Neoliberal litmus test.

Sorkin’s AIG Tale Debunked by . . . Sorkin Barry Ritholtz

Middle Class Shrinks to ALL-TIME LOW George Washington

Manhattan Apartment Vacancies Climb as Rents Reach Record Bloomberg

Eminent Domain Furor Hits Capitol Hill WSJ Developments Blog. Not surprising. Starting by condemning performing mortgages, as opposed to delinquent/defaulted ones, was THE way to galvanize a backlash. But the promoters started here because it was the easiest and most profitable idea for them and if this bill goes forward, they will have screwed it up for everyone.

Citigroup Puts the Fun Back in Taking Huge Losses Jonathan Weil, Bloomberg

Special Report: Well-to-do get mortgage help from Uncle Sam Reuters (Mark Ames)

Crushing Debt Drove Me to Kosovo — And Then to Iraq The Billfold (Lambert)

PS Thanks for all of your concerned notes about my vision yesterday. I didn’t want to go on about it, but my eyes get fried when I get really tired (this would happen routinely when I was working on ECONNED, at about the same time my typing speed would decay too) but this time, I started having trouble with one eye after a few hours of wearing a physically uncomfortable and probably torn contact. It seems to have been the strain of trying to function with it fried the eye. Fortunately, a longer than usual night in bed cleared that up.

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 7 and counting*

“Good subjects must feel guilty. The guilt begins as a feeling of failure. The good autocrat provides many opportunities for failure in the populace.” –Frank Herbert, Children of Dune

Chicago teacher strike. Neoliberalism: “There is freedom in drawing a line in the sand. For too long now, teachers have known that they were participating in something cruel.” …. Deal tomorrow? “Under the [new] proposal, teacher raises would be structured differently, as requested by the union; evaluations of tenured teachers during the first year could not result in dismissal; later evaluations could be appealed; and health insurance rates would hold steady if the union agreed to take part in a wellness program. The new proposal also removes the district’s ability to rescind raises because of an economic crisis. The board stripped teachers of a 4 percent raise last year, sparking union distrust of the mayor.” … Deal: ” But given where the two sides started, it looks to me as though Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s team has moved further than the CTU.” … Testing: “These days it is unusual to find an editorial or opinion column asking whether the tests were designed to measure teacher quality. They were not. Frankly, the test publishers ought to be yelling bloody murder about the inappropriate use of the tests, but they are making so much money that it’s hard to hear their complaints or to expect them.” … Testing: “[T]here’s not a lot of research that says the key to better-educated students lies in holding teachers accountable for numbers that were never designed to judge their performance.” … Newark: “‘You have members who look at the news,” [Joe Del Grosso, the Newark Teachers Union president] said. ‘If the teachers there prevail in their way, the teachers here would want to prevail here, also. It’s just human nature.'”

AK. Climate: “King salmon fisheries in major Alaska watersheds have been declared failures by the U.S. Department of Commerce, making commercial fishermen eligible for disaster relief. The reason for the poor returns [from the ocean for spawning] remains unknown but researchers continue to suspect ocean factors.”

CO. Ban: “Residents of the region who oppose using hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas drilling say they will try to mount a ballot measure to ban fracking within the city limits of Colorado Springs. Ultra Resources of Houston wants to drill within the city limits on 18,000 acres it bought last year out of a developer’s bankruptcy.”

FL. Tinpot tyrants: “FL’s Department of Children and Families furthered its legal push for drug-testing welfare applicants this week, asking for a federal judge to grant a motion of summary judgment in favor of the program.” … Voting: “According to state elections officials, more than 367,000 people went to early voting centers, or about one of six voters who showed up. That compares with 363,000 in the 2010 primary and 240,000 in 2008. (Florida has had early voting since 2002.)”

IN. Teachers: “McCarty’s ruling makes permanent a preliminary injunction that barred the [contract] form from being used a year ago. He wrote that the form is “unconscionable in that it gives school corporations the authority to unilaterally modify the number of days and hours that a teacher must work, but it does not require the school corporation to pay for the additional labor or any other additional consideration.”

LA. Charters: “There is no possible way that Superintendent White or any other elected or appointed official can honestly argue that schools like New Living Word in Ruston or Cenla Christian Academy in Pineville, among others, offer a curriculum ‘as strong as the state’s’ [as guaranteed by the state Constitution].”

MD. Alternative currency: “For Frederick artist Robert Strasser, what began several years ago as making small pendants with children at a summer camp has become a project of creating alternative currency [from small pieces of ceramic art] for three downtown businesses.”

MO. Handmaid’s Tale: “MO lawmakers voted Wednesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto and allow employers to refuse to provide health insurance coverage for birth control if doing so violates their religious convictions. Almost immediately after the vote, a Kansas City firefighter and the Greater Kansas City Coalition of Labor Union Women filed a lawsuit asking a judge to throw the new law out.”

NY. Pipelines: “A group known as Occupy the Pipeline temporarily blocked construction this afternoon of the massive, new natural gas pipeline that will run between New Jersey and New York, shutting down the build-out site for more than one hour near Gansvoort Street and the Hudson Parkway in New York.” … Fracking: “Though at first glance, hydro-fracked gas seems like an easy choice, a local resource, easily obtained, though upon examination, the process is a false friend,” said [J Henry Fair]. “The promise of money for troubled farmers and homeowners is poison; what good is a home or farm if the water is contaminated?”

OH. Charters: “K-12, Inc. is utterly dependent upon OH’s Charter School funding system to prop up its operations. That is because Ohio’s Charter School system pays virtual schools, like OHVA, as if they had brick-and-mortar expenses, when they do not.”

OR. Police state: “The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday announced the results of an investigation into the Portland Police Department, saying officers use excessive force against mentally ill people — violations that include frequently discharging stun guns without justification.”

PA. Fracking: “A new series of anonymous billboards on the PA Turnpike describes critics of natural gas drilling as ‘Green Slime’ who use ‘Lies’ to discredit the industry. But after AP began making inquiries, the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association [(724) 933-7306] took credit.” … Fracking: “The Delaware River Basin Com­mis­sion con­tin­ues to remain silent on new drilling reg­u­la­tions for the water­shed.” … Privatizing: “Gov. Corbett says privatizing the state liquor stores is going to be held off until 2013. (And at that point, who knows, maybe 2014!) Since this is the single bipartisan issue in Harrisburg, it makes sense to continue milking the hope out of it for many years.” … Alternative currency: “The Pennsylvania Department of Banking says they want Ethan Clay to shut down the community bank he’s set up at Oh Yeah! ice cream and coffee shop. Clay [says] he’s not subject to the usual banking rules because his ‘bank’ is actually a gift card program that pays out its 5.5 percent monthly interest in a made-up currency that can be used at his store.”

TN. Police state: “Lawmakers said they were astounded that three pacifists, including an 82-year-old nun, managed to cut through several layers of fencing and spray-paint messages, hang banners and pour human blood on the [Oak Ridge] site.” … Charters: “School board members said they were concerned that a Great Hearts Academy would draw from affluent white families, rather than bringing in students from other parts of the city to create a more diverse student body. [Matt Throckmorton of The Tennessee Charter School Association] said the group may propose legislation in the upcoming General Assembly that will allow charter applicants to work with local boards of education during the application process without the intrusion of politics.” Ha ha.

TX. Open records: “A civil rights group is protesting a new $30 fee for submitting comments on some pending open-records requests to the state attorney general’s office. The group also wants to know where the money generated from the fee goes.”

VA. UVa putsch: “‘You’re trying to dig up things, and you’re trying to get answers and, in my opinion, you won’t get them,’ [a senior adviser to the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors] told Faculty Senate Chairman George Cohen. ‘And the more you dig, the more you make the university look bad.'” (Oh?)

VT. Ballout access: “The VT SoS’s office has ruled that Jill Stein, Green Party presidential nominee, will not be on the Vermont ballot. The office ruled that the court victory won by Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party only applies to Anderson, and the principles set forth in that decision will not be extended to other presidential candidates who were in a similar situation.” Good for one time only, like Bush v. Gore!

WA. Coal: “D candidate Noel Frame, who wants to be the next state legislator from Seattle’s 36th District, is charging that her opponent, D Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton, is soft on coal trains.

WI. Police state: “Capitol Police [(608) 266-8797] are actively filming people in the Capitol each day, in efforts that seem designed to intimidate protesters and the general public from being in the space. [B]ut two Isthmus employees were warned this week that they were ‘obstructing’ police officers while taking pictures in the public space.” … Police state: “Police officers showed up twice at [Capitol singer] Bart Munger’s workplace at UW-Madison to serve him with tickets. Munger: ‘I don’t feel easily intimidated but I’m certain that was their intent. Why not just send it certified mail rather than waste an officer’s time?'”

Outside baseball. Drones: ” The bill (see the [text]) would prohibit the FAA from approving drone use by law enforcement “including by any State or local government, except pursuant to warrant and in the investigation of a felony.” The bill would also prohibit drone use by ‘any private person to conduct surveillance on any other private person without the consent of that other private person or the owner of any real property on which that other private person is present.'” … Online learning: “Just as film enabled people all over the world to access movies, the Internet will democratize education, which today reaches a tiny fraction of those who yearn to learn, [Sebastian Thrun, a Google vice president and Stanford research professor] says. His vision of the future, he says, offers ‘a message of hope, of aspiration — not of destruction.'” … Voter rolls: “Jim Gilliam [of NationBuilder] has wrangled more than 170 million voter-registration records from all 50 states, cleaned them up and updated them. And he’s giving all that data away for free to candidates and Web developers.” … “The taxpayers, Charles Pierce: “It is an undeniable fact of history that the people who have profited most from the “taxpayer revolts” of the past 40 years — from Howard Jarvis to the Tea Party — are the people who have profited most from the upward transfer of wealth during that same period. Odd how that worked out, isn’t it?”

Grand Bargain™-brand cat food watch. Ice floes: “[Obama’s] Health and Human Services Department is launching a pilot program that would shift up to 2 million of the poorest and most-vulnerable seniors out of the federal Medicare program and into private health insurance plans overseen by the states. The administration has accepted applications from 18 states to participate in the program, which would give states money to purchase managed-care plans for people who are either disabled or poor enough to qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.” What could go wrong?

Fracking. Chesapeake: “Chesapeake Energy CEO McClendon said the energy giant plans to get out of the red by changing its strategy from one of “asset capture to a strategy of asset harvest,” meaning the company will slow a formerly breakneck pace of lease acquisition on oil and gas-rich land. Instead, the company will focus on developing the land it already has under lease.” Hmm.

The trail. Bill Clinton: “Monica Lewinsky is shopping a top-secret book project. The former White House intern kept a very low profile since leaving for England in 2005 for the London School of Economics.”

DNCon. Corruption: “Charlotte’s host committee paid for one of the biggest Democratic convention expenses — $5 million for use of Time Warner Cable Arena — from a fund that accepted cash from corporations.”

Ron Paul. Electoral College: ” At least three [Paul-supporting] R electors say they may not support their party’s presidential ticket when the Electoral College meets in December to formally elect the next president” (one resigns).

The Romney. Taking a dive? “Sure, Bush’s operation was evil, but they took it seriously. They didn’t faff around. Their campaign show was the Death Star. Romney’s is turning into an Ewok add-on movie George Lucas crapped out to buy himself a new boat.” … Taking a dive? “‘You are left scratching your head wondering ‘what is the strategy’?” said one senior Republican strategist who asked not to be identified. ‘Literally every single day matters.'” Because I thought the message was the economy. So what’s with Benghazi?

The Obama. 3AM: “In 2008, candidate Hillary Clinton questioned candidate Barack Obama’s ability to handle that 3 AM phone call that would inevitably come. What we didn’t know then is that Barack Obama would be the man who — with Hillary Clinton’s assistance — would make the call to take out Osama bin Laden.” True, but not in the way this D loyalist thinks. … Money: “[Obama’s] big-dollar fund-raising has become more dependent than it was four years ago on a smaller number of large-dollar donors and fund-raisers. Obama’s top “bundlers” raised or gave at least $200 million for Mr. Obama’s re-election bid and the Democratic National Committee through the end of May, close to half of the total up to that point.” … Less than ideal headline: “After disappointing jobs numbers, Obama says U.S. not in decline” … Less than ideal headline: “White House clarifies Obama’s statement that Egypt is not an ‘ally’.” Imagine if The Romney had said that…

* Slogan of the day: Work and live with the mind and spirit of The Romney!

* * *

Antidote du jour (martha r):

And an amusement: The Puss In Boat (furzy mouse)

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  1. Goin' South

    Re: Catalan separatism–

    Time to read George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia that recounts his experiences after the 1936 Anarchist Revolution in Catalonia and the following Civil War.

    Spoiler: he loved it despite the miseries of war.

    1. Richard Kline

      Re: Catalunya, separatism is the future within the larger picture—but this too has been baked in, for forty years and more. ‘Regions’ will be splitting off from formerly sovereign ‘nations’ within the EU, but remain _in the EU themselves._ Catalonia and Scotland are near certainties to do so over the next generation. Belgium is already on teh way to divorce, and the Czechs and Slovaks have already done so. Italy may well split. There is every reason to do so. Full voting powers in the EU rather than dilution through much disliked (and larger) neighbors. Just as much money. Full control of local fiscal policy. It’s important to recall that many, indeed most, of the former sovereigns of Europe were in fact locally ‘imperial states’ forcibly conquering neighbors like Catalunya and so on. Once broad sovereignty was abandoned for cantonal federalism, the surface tension of ideologically imposed ‘nationalisms’ was certaint to erode. As we now see.

      And on Orwell: He was shot through the throat and thereby found his philosophical voice. There’s a lesson in learning by doing, sort of.

      1. Garrett Pace

        He was shot through the throat in an unguarded moment at the front, but was never in so much danger there as he was back in Barcelona among “friends” and political allies.

        I think his “philosophical voice” relies a lot more on those experiences than they did in a fair fight with fascists where the battle lines were clear and a certain honor and decorum were observed.

        1. Garrett Pace

          From Orwell’s book. Prescient:

          “It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a front-line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda-tours. Sometimes it is a comfort to me to think that the aeroplane is altering the conditions of war. Perhaps when the next great war comes we may see that sight unprecedented in all history, a jingo with a bullet-hole in him.”

        2. Richard Kline

          So Garrett, I’m aware of the conditions to which you refer, but didn’t have time to develop any of that in a passing comment. By ‘found his voice’ my meaning was more that Orwell’s experiences left him with a profound distrust of political ideologies _of any kind_ as a mobilizing force. He volunteered impulsively (and entirely romantically) into a not appropriate faction, fought scrappy actions on a strategically inconsequential sector, observed as political feuds shredded his nominal coalition, and was left trusting no one (with good reason) and getting out of ‘fighting the good fight’ believing in it more than in most any nominally on his side. Orwell’s sense of the absurd and of the self-corrosive impacts of ideology were crystallized than and permeated all his later and best known work, though his earlier writings were already quite good.

      2. lambert strether

        Speaking of regionalism, I’ve always wondered about marketing the Great State of Maine as “The World’s Largest Stationary Aircraft Carrier” to, oh, some political conglomeration or confederancy with single payer health care and a stable currency… But maybe the moment has passed…

        If we could seal the border, we’d stop protect our water and land from that pesky interstate commerce clause, under which we have become a dumping for out-of-state solid waste.

        1. Jim

          What about defense? Where would its inhabitants generate the resources to enable them to defend themselves?

          Singapore is a strategically located trade outpost.

          Maine isn’t.

          That’s the same problem Thiel would face off the coast of San Francisco. One thousand Seals would not be enough against a Chinese-trained covert operation.

    2. Lambert Strether

      It’s a wonderful book, and IIRC Catalonia is the region where the anarchists… Do whatever it is they do instead of seizing state power. And IIRC the Communists and the Fascists combined to destroy them. Perhaps my memory of reading the book long ago is too schematic, however…

      1. Goin' South

        Your recollections are accurate.

        Orwell was fighting with POUM, a Leftist group accused by the Stalinist Communists of being Trotskyist. POUM and the anarchist CNT/FAI (who had actually defeated the Fascists in Barcelona when the Francoites had attempted a coup), were disarmed by the Communists working with the “liberals” in the Republic. That doomed the revolution, something that probably made Stalin happy since he was trying to win the favor of the Capitalist democracies in anticipation of a war with Hitler.

        A few other media sources about Catalonia:

        “Libertarias”–a movie about the women of the CNT in the revolution (Spanish with subtitles);

        “Land and Freedom”– a Ken Loach movie about an Englishman who fights with POUM, though not strictly about Orwell

        Murray Bookchin’s histories of Spain and the CNT:

        The Spanish Anarchists: the Heroic Years
        To Remember Spain: the Anarchist and Syndicalist Revolution of 1936

        Any of Abel Paz’s books about the Revolution and Durruti

  2. Diego Méndez

    Re: Catalonia

    There is a long tradition in Spain of million+ demonstrations. It’s a combination of democracy not doing its job, hence the huge turnaround, and mass media inflating numbers.

    The increase in Catalan nationalism is due to the widespread opinion there that Catalans would be richer if independent. So it’s “the fault lies on the Southerners” all over again, just on a national scale instead of a European one. I am not sure if this could be called nationalism at all, since it’s mostly based on economic matters, and they would not want independence if they could get better economic terms.

    Anyway, Catalan independence is very unlikely at this point. No one in Europe would want to re-draw borders inside the EU. Catalans are divided by half regarding independence. And declaring independent unilaterally would be illegal under Spanish law, and thus subject to jail.

    Of course, if they were really nationalistic, they would find a means to get independent. But they just want to get some 5% richer. No one is killing or getting jailed for that.

    1. Jim

      Diego, if what you’re saying is true, how can Spain remain within the EZ?

      Will Spaniards tolerate cheering for a team from the US of Europe in the 2018 World Cup, with two or theree players from the state of Spain?

    2. gordon

      Is there such a person as a “Catalonian”? I thought they were Catalans. Or is that just an Americonian usage?

  3. LeeAnne

    “Here we report results from a randomized controlled trial of political mobilization messages delivered to 61 million Facebook users during the 2010 US congressional elections.”

  4. David Lentini

    About the Romney, thinking about the conclusion of the blog post:

    Just like during the RNC, I’m honestly getting offended at how inept the Romney campaign is, and here’s why: Running for president isn’t something you should do as a joke. It’s not a stunt show. Sure, Bush’s operation was evil, but they took it seriously. They didn’t faff around. Their campaign show was the Death Star. Romney’s is turning into an Ewok add-on movie George Lucas crapped out to buy himself a new boat.

    I’m still no so sure how stupid these guys are. If you start with the assumption that both parties have decided on campaigns that rely solely on fighting over a few swing votes–thereby having to avoid facing up to the true stupidity and venality of the elites left and right over the past 30 years–then Romney’s strategy may still make sense. A key factor in the GOP’s victories is the nutty Tea Party, Know-Nothing, John Bircher, Christian Fundamentalist, you-name-just-about-any-cryptofascist movement, who thrives on the stuff Romney’s campaign spews.

    Romney’s problem perhaps has been that he can’t assume the character the way “W” could, likely because he has no feeling for these positions at all unlike “W”. In this scenario, bringing on Ryan makes a lot of sense, because Ryan is a true believer and will become the icon of the nut bags (or show it’s hoped). Of course, how all of this lying will affect a Romney administration will be horrifying to watch; they may end up hating him more than Obama. Just think: An brither movement against Romney that may have some factual basis! ;-)

    1. TK421

      Romney can’t attack Obama because they agree on virtually everything. And a sitting president gets a 10% or so advantage in votes just for showing up. So, Romney has a tough row to hoe while Obama can more or less just sit back and play defense.

  5. ralo

    Or maybe, just maybe, teachers unions have pushed the city’s back up against the wall in republican AND democratic cities, and there is no other alternative other than to regain control of the situation. If the union way was so great for education, then why are they afraid of the results of charter schools? If the union way produces results, then it would become apparent in comparing their outcomes with the vastly underpaid charter school systems, wouldn’t they?
    Then, again, emotion trumps logic every time.

    1. Middle Seaman

      Charter schools don’t work any better than regular school. That’s a fact.

      Teachers cannot work miracles. If you have poor neighborhoods, schools that get half the resources of schools in wealthier neighborhoods and substantial unemployment, teachers cannot do the work you and me and our FU leaders refuse to do. If Arne Duncan success is a mirage, don’t expect teachers to rescue his non existent reputation and stupid reform ideas.

      The US has an uneven educational system. Well off areas have good schools. After all, the Harvards, Berkeleys, Stanfords and Michigans are full of our very well educated kids. We also don’t give a f… for the poor schools.

      But, isn’t it soooo easyyyy to blame the teachers?

      1. robert157

        You mean… replacing professional teachers with service workers, and giving the extra money to skimmers and middlemen of various types, doesn’t magically improve outcomes in education?

        I am shocked! Shocked I tell you!

    2. TK421

      “If the union way was so great for education, then why are they afraid of the results of charter schools?”

      Pretty much every nation that outperforms the USA in education has teachers that are even more unionized than American teachers.

      1. LucyLulu

        They aren’t afraid of the educational outcomes of charters, unions are afraid of the wages, benefits, and working conditions of teachers at charters bringing down those at public schools.

        I’m as sympathetic to unions as the next guy, and worry about their decline. However, they need to figure out some fair way to assess teacher performance. I understand the problem with using standardized tests. My childrens’ schools had testing every spring used to determine the school’s funding the next year. ‘Taking the test’ was taught most of the year.

        Yeah, yeah, I know that poverty is a huge issue in Chicago, I’ve argued the same point myself. Kids who are stressed, hungry, tired are poor learners. However, having been in classrooms, there are some really bad teachers who need to go and principals can’t get rid of them due to tenure. That’s not fair to our kids.

        How many jobs don’t rely on performance evaluations? Promising young teachers should be retained. Dead wood should be cleared out. Tenure is also the unions’ biggest PR problem with both political parties. Insisting on tenure is sealing their fate. How about using observation for evaluations, or at least part of the criteria? It’s easy to see how well teachers interact with children and communicate ideas. Subjective? Yes. But job evaluations, IME, invariably have been.

        1. robert157

          How do you plan on retaining this “promising young teacher?” By removing their benefits and right to collective bargaining, and cutting the salary in half? Good plan. I’m sure the promising young teachers will just be beating down the door of the local charter school with that arrangement.

          You don’t understand. They want to kill teaching as a profession. This “promising young teacher” is a problem for the privatizers. They don’t want to retain him/her, they want to push them out, replace them with a service worker, and make off with the (public) money.

          1. LucyLulu

            I didn’t say anything about taking away the right to collective bargaining or cutting salaries or benefits. I said that retaining teachers and giving raises based solely on tenure was a problem. Period.

      1. DANNYBOY


        What has been your experience with those progressives? Left enough?

        Really now, when you look down when wearing the progressive lenses, isn’t everything blurry? That is my reason for keeping near-sighted and far-sighted corrective lenses separate. My reading glasses are strong enough to make everything blurry, if I look up from the page. Couldn’t imaging walking around with that lens on bottom.

        Perhaps the trifocals?

        1. LeeAnne

          I’ve been using disposable contacts for about 10 years: one calibrated for the left eye reading; the other for distance -the right eye.

          The eyes quickly adjust.

          The right eye (distance) became normal; no longer needing a lens. Continuing with the reading lens for the left eye only works full time.

          Just as Yves experienced, its time to throw it away when it hurts because of a tear that’s visible once you know what to look for.

        2. lambert strether

          No, nothing blurry. Trifocals for the computer, the near distance, and the far distance.

          Because they are “progressive” (I wish that word had not been pre-empted) there is no visible transition between the three states, no ugly and blurry line between the lenses.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks but no. I use them for the computer, my eyes get tired after a while even so. Or more accurately I get tired, and my eyes and ability to type decay. I uses reading glasses for the computer and don’t bother with any correction otherwise even though I need it.

      And I do NOT like progressive lenses. Where they put the band for reading is too low for where I like to read computers. I have to cock my head too far back, which screws up my neck and upper back. Not worth it.

      The monovision thingie that Lambert described does not work that well for me (and I don’t have binocular vision to begin with). I’m so right eye dominant that I use it for distance even when I have a contact in for a reading correction (as in I don’t use one eye for reading and the other for distance as intended). I can still see at a distance w/o blurriness, except for really far vistas, and we don’t have really far vistas in NYC. But having my distance vision effectively so amped up is kinda weird.

      So basically I don’t have a very good solution. The other idea my eye doctor suggested, distance contacts + reading glasses, just gives me headaches.

      And I don’t like using a larger font on my computer. That leads to having to load a ton more pages and just kills my productivity.

      1. Bert_S

        Get a 52 inch LCD TV and use it as a computer monitor. Works for me.

        And I don’t even feel guilty about power usage because it uses 300W which is about the same as my old 21 inch CRT. Then I make up for it in my T’stat settings anyway. In the wintertime it’s home heating and during summertime days the T’stat stays set at 90F.

  6. CB

    Middle class shrinks to an all time low – teacher strikes and right wing teacher bashing at an all time high? As private sector income and benefits have stagnated or declined for 10-20 years, what was once considered relatively meager teacher compensation with regular cost of living increases now seems like a pretty good deal in comparison. Global labor arbitrage seems the main cause as we don’t outsource teaching – yet.

  7. JTFaraday

    re: IN. Teachers… “the form is “unconscionable in that it gives school corporations the authority to unilaterally modify the number of days and hours that a teacher must work, but it does not require the school corporation to pay for the additional labor or any other additional consideration.”

    This is why private sector employees have no sympathy. Such workers operate under these conditions all the time, and don’t tell me that non-managerial hourly employees in white collar corporate environments get paid for “overtime,” (not that such an abuse is unknown at Walmart either).

    And if such overtime were actually career building, it might be a fine trade off, but the real truth is that a lot if not most employees work under conditions in which they are already written off as permanent subordinates, and they are not going to evade the predominant caste thinking.

    They always think they will, but they’re deluded. Younger people are a little more hip to this than previous generations, they are quicker to leave. I’m not convinced they actually get anywhere by doing that but hey, hope springs eternal.

    So, in the end, many people conclude that employees with active unions, as opposed to sweetheart unions (which is usually the case today anyway) really do make up a “labor aristocracy,” to be attacked with gusto.

    I think this is a self defeating conclusion, but that’s where we are. I mean, OMG. They want you to work overtime. They want to take your holidays away. This is not exactly a screaming headline in 21st century America.

    1. JTFaraday

      And before you True Believers and “arbiet macht frei”-ers jump up out of the woodwork at me, I’ve been in environments where was written off as a permanent subordinate and environments where I wasn’t written off as a permanent subordinate, so I’m not just being an ideological leftist and defeatist when I say caste thinking is alive and well in our glorious free market in labor and that you have to be nuts to work overtime for it.

    2. Neo-Realist

      Re: permanent subordinates–Older people in many cases are hip to the permanent caste status and would be quick to leave as well, but are less desired by employers than younger workers.

      1. JTFaraday

        Really? Because to hear many of them tell it, they are not sought after employees because they have “no work experience” and they can’t get it, so they work for free.

        Did you work for free just for the privilege of working?

  8. kevinearick

    You ever have a hummingbird fly up and look at you straight in the eye?

    When income streams reverse polarity, you will be looking at a bigger “devil” than the one you are looking at now; it will traumatize you emotionally and intellectually, if you let it. remember that story about the kid in the concentration camp? be the kid. birthing a new economy is not for the weak of heart.

    ever notice critters setting their distance, acceleration, and tragectory to just open the window for eye contact, recognition? ever have a grizzly bear shadow you in the woods? Himans are anything but masters of the universe. largely, we are cavedwellers, seeking data to confirm that we are not insecure, fooling only ourselves.

    1. skippy

      Funny you should say that “income streams reversing polarity thingo”. Its kinda like a magnetic field shift with some MF’ing crazy feed back resonance effecting the circuity board.

      skippy… always like your elevator metaphors…

      1. kevinearick

        Funny, my german brothers are not amused, now that they, rather than their customers, have to pay for all of the equipment failures, and they find themselves locked in, following their customers into bankruptcy.

        and they just can’t bring themselves to dilute their homogenized false assumptions, limiting exposure to the reality of labor. oh well, another pyramid scheme bytes the dust.

        got mbs?

        1. kevinearick

          They are employing their remaining pension cash to corner the bomb.

          we offered to dismantle it at every turn, but they said they knew what they were doing.

          hey, have a nice day; labor has much better things to do. funny, they think they are going to blow up labor by blowing themselves up.

          1. skippy

            Who would have known that manufacturing defective equipment and factoring in extended maintenance as an asset… would blow up so spectacularly.

            MBS? I knew from the get go, that Forced Participation Pension extraction was a scam, electrons of price are everywhere at the same time, yet have little mass. My plans have nothing to do with any of it, and that plans are just mental expectations, my needs are few.

            skippy… Grandfather was bailing hay in his 80s, I’d like to give him a run for his effort. BTW politicians and generals should wear nondescript T shirts, shorts and flip flops… more realistic.

          2. kevinearick

            The laborers union brought me inon the b, vt hospital job, after it had ballooned from 100m to 500m, and the ba, nice guy, misdirected, gets us together and tells us we all have to go out and vote D. naturally, everyone else agrees and i am silent…you ca imagine the fireworks when they tried to apply peer pressure.

            not the first or last time the big bosses heard my name…

  9. LeeAnne

    GM wheat health dangers – full details GM Watch (furzy mouse) the NC link isn’t working. it should be

    I read the headline with great interest without reading the article because although having suffered allergic reactions to wheat, I can safely assume this article would not add to my own experience with wheat-related allergies.

    My symptoms have become more painful over the years -primarily leg pains, but also fatigue that are easily avoided now that I have the knowledge. It was a mystery to me most of my adult life. Complaints to doctors came to nothing; tests and all.

    I had been plagued with eye fatique since my teens that was serious enough to make my feel sleepy after reading just a few pages. An avid reader since early childhood; that’s a serious disability.

    I learned in my late 40s that I am allergic to WHEAT and carbos generally. It had been my eyes (that I was aware of) and cotton head, (I thank God I’ve never suffered headaches more than a few times in my life) but grew to include serious leg pain. I learned about the allergy when I was dating a celebrity doctor who is famous for his books on food and nutrition. I mention his celebrity because of the strange uniqueness required for me to acquiring information about my health that should be available at all times to everyone, and should have resulted in the end of GMO decades ago.

    Instead we have a wannabe dictator in New York City going after portions on the retail level without so much as a nod toward official policy on all things agriculture.

    This particular ‘diet’ doctor was plagued by the AMA his entire career in spite of having been a heart specialist prior to the diet practice.

    You can complain to MDs about these symptoms ’til the cows come home with no response. Amazing. And sad. So, over the decades, food has become sickening; the most common and enjoyable -BREAD FOR GOD’S SAKE. The bread of life. Who would have suspected.

    I am not allergic to sugar per se. Nothing has ever shown up on glucose tests -I am neither hyperglycemic nor diabetic although I assume pre-diabetic danger signals. And, furthermore, if the specialists can get away with it, some of them will find an ‘allergy’ to put you on expensive weekly or monthly shots.

    I have quantities of honey with my coffee, love chocolate -no problem. Although it is beginning to bother me. With age, I’m experiencing more symptoms; but consider that normal. The leg pains are more intense -but disappear when I’m responsible about food. All I have to do, now that I have the knowledge, is to go easy or eliminate certain foods. The list is growing but there’s still lots left to enjoy.

    Restaurants are out except for special occasions -its very hard to avoid this stuff when you’re eating out.

    When I saw young people having pizza for lunch or late nights at the office complaining about having a virus or sinus problems in the morning, I suspected it was the wheat (never mind the fake cheese) that was giving them sinus problems. These symptoms can be delayed; the morning after or even a couple of days later -sometimes with depression.

    Recently, I learned that most wheat is GMO. That explains it -for me. They’re poisoning us; the corporations with their control of media.

    I’m allergic to bread no matter how fine, Eli’s, whatever -and baked goods (although I can have a few bites of any of these things with no apparent ill effects -not an entire slice), starchy vegetables like potatoes and carrots, rice, spaghetti -even the gluton-free products.

    I think of this account as a service to NC readers. I’m not at all comfortable with being so personal on a blog. But too little is being said about this and too few are aware of it. People who feel fatigued or sleepy after lunch -pay attention!

    BREAD is a huge culprit -pizza a sub set. Potatoes -french fries come to mind. There’s a long list -some starchy vegetables, etc.

    I’m not an expert by any stretch, but I have learned that we have to self diagnose when tests don’t reveal anything and symptoms persist and self treat when the medical tests come up zero. Having the knowledge is crucial.

    Its really daunting, that not only are our institutions too corrupt for our own good, but we don’t seem to be open to information that doesn’t come from the ‘experts’ which just helps reinforce the corruption. Its as if those who decided to brainwash the public have succeeded -almost totally on a grand scale. We trust only ‘experts’ who are responsible for most of the misery in the world.

    I confess that I had to hear it from an expert; but its doubtful that the information, if not available from my doctors, was available in any other forum either.

    The person who taught me how and what to eat in restaurants was subjected to AMA harrassment his entire career for his research and teachings on nutrition, although before specializing in diet and nutrition, even though he was a Cornell educated heart specialist.

    Be a conspiracy theorist -look on the dark side, listen to those who resist authority of all kinds -it will enlighten you. All you have to lose is your ignorance; gain your health, happiness, and life and that of your children’s.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Good comment LeeAnne. I too have gone wheat-free recently and have been following a paleo/primal diet (basically Mark Sisson’s approach) and I haven’t felt this good in years. Cutting sugar was huge as well.

      Haven’t read “Wheat Belly” yet but the book has popularized the idea that modern wheat is dangerous. This “Bitter Truth” lecture on sugar is also good:

      Also agree with you re “conspiracy” theories, for lack of a better word. I’ve learned to rely on my own logic and abilities and I don’t trust anyone anymore. I especially don’t trust our fascist corporate and government masters and their media lackeys (including the blog world).

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Oh, and btw, both of these doctors subscribe to “conspiracy” theories about wheat and sugar. Dr. Lustig is much more explicit that food and beverage companies (and the government) knew what they were doing when they put sugar in everything.

    2. Ed

      My advice is to go on an exrteme, no starch or no sugar diet for a couple of months and take lots of anti-toxicants to flush out your symptom. After that you can relax a bit, but follow Michael Pollan’s advice about avoiding anything with long lists of ingredients. Get in the habit of eating fewer, but more expensive (better ingredients and preparation) food. It should be well known now that the standard nutritional advice issued in the last few decades re cards and starches was incorrect, so its best to overcompensate and stay away from them. Eating out should be for special occasions (this applies more for families than for people living alone), but more because most people are getting poorer than the nutritional stuff.

    3. JerseyJeffersonian

      I had been suffering from periodic disabling migraine headaches, along with some respiratory issues, when I went to my father’s allergy/asthma specialist. After some diagnostic work, it was learned that I had several food allergies that were responsible for the killer headaches. Specifically, I was allergic to soy, and to certain fermented foods, along with some preservatives. I had been eating yogurt almost every day, and had recently taken to drinking soy milk fairly frequently. It appeared that when I had crossed some sort of threshold level, wham, a life-sapping migraine was the result. The treatment consisted of avoidance, or at least a severe reduction in the consumption of these foods. I can still eat a bit of yogurt, soy is always a bit iffy (tofu can set me off), and I have to watch it in drinking particularly white wines which sometimes contain the preservative that gives me trouble. A miraculous cure was effected.

      Unfortunately, I also learned that I had been living for years with an undiagnosed case of asthma. This explained the respiratory infections that lasted somtimes for a month or more. With controlling medication, and a rescue inhaler for when I have an acute episode, and life is better, though not without its challenges. I always get a flu shot to prevent serious respiratory collapse; I’ve had pneumonia, and it took me literally months to get my mojo workin’ after that. I’m also embarked on a course of allergy shots for my worst environmental triggers. It’s worth it.

      Bottom line: think of allergies as a potential root cause for a recurrent malady. Had I gone to a regular GP or headache specialist, I might have been prescribed antimigraine pills that were entirely unnecessary since my problem was not a product of my own body, but an outside agent. People do not know that this avoidance can be the cure. So far, I have no hesitation in embracing my asthma controlling meds, as they have made my life a lot easier, and me a lot safer. Sometimes the drugs really work, sometimes there are other methods for relief.

  10. Optimader

    Re: CRU Why should k-12 teachers have tenure??? Are they working on potentially heretical intellectual theories that may not comport with popular school system politics??? Pffft. It would be much more revealing to briefly outline the negotiation issues In play, and clarify current range of remuneration/ annualized days worked and retirement benefits. Compare to private sector and tell me who is pushing the stone ball up the steeper grade. When private sector employees can game the last three years salary to influence tife time retirement benefits , hey wait a minute?? retirement benefits!?!

    1. Guy Fawkes


      That is when the shit will really hit the fan….when the pensioners understand that Wall Street made off with their pension.

      My county investment fund is invested 50% into MBS….I just laugh when I think that the county leaders will be strung up. I have tried to explain it to them. Tried to get their help in our state legislature. And the county leaders are silent.

      There are NO PENSION FUNDS. Wall Street’s got ’em.

      1. Bert_S

        Had a funny conversation with a state employee a while back. Somehow we got into a conversation about the markets (a mistake – I always get tongue tied when talking to someone that has never experienced one) and he told me about his wife who is a nurse making pretty good money and how she had a sizeable 401K and how it got nailed big time.

        He was having a good chuckle to himself about how superior his “guaranteed” state pension was.

        I said something like “where do you think that is invested?”

        He got a look on his face like he just swallowed a raw carp whole, and I realized he never thought about that before.

        1. Jim

          Well, in California, the folks at Calpers maintain that the pensions are sacrosanct, ranking above General Obligation bondholders.

    2. TK421

      “Why should k-12 teachers have tenure??? Are they working on potentially heretical intellectual theories that may not comport with popular school system politics???”


      Besides, it’s the trend lately for parents to blame the teacher when their budding sociopath spends more time stealing other kids’ lunch money than doing homework. Teachers need a little protection.

  11. Valissa

    For today’s Pirate News, the theme is pirates in pop culture…

    There are 2 upcoming pirate series on television: Crossbones and Black Sail.

    Crossbones: The True Legend of Blackbeard
    Production begins this fall, so probably won’t be on TV until 2013

    Then there’s “Black Sails” on Starz, which looks to be coming out in 2014
    Toby Stephens Will Play A Pirate In New Starz Series Black Sails

    From New Zealand, this story of the pirate beginnings of an Auckland radio station…
    Pirate radio film heads to Cannes

    In Minneapolis, The Children’s Theater Company is putting on a pirate production (through 10/21).
    Young girl takes on pirates, fosters democracy in ‘Buccaneers’

    It’s only 5 days ‘til Talk Like A Pirate Day – Wednesday, September 19th !

  12. Brent Musburger, Jr (news anchor)

    Breaking News! This Just In!

    As the Republican method of shooting people in burial pits has proved logistically and psychologically inefficient, Democrats are calling for a method that is less evil, specifically, mass extermination via gas chambers.

    Story developing….

  13. Valissa

    Given recent news and collective angst, I’ve been thinking a lot about this classic rock song by the Allman Brothers…

    “Sometimes I feel… Sometimes I feel…
    Like I been Tied to the whippin’ post” … Tied to the whippin’ post…
    Good Lord, I feel like I’m dyin’”

    This particular YouTube version is a fascinating artistically political slideshow in black & white – highly recommended…
    Whipping Post – the Allman Brothers Band (~5 min.)

    An antidote to THAT is this hilarious piece from The Onion…

    New Zipcarp Service Offers Short-Term Carp Rentals,29494/

  14. LeeAnne

    We could do with fewer links and better ones. The commentary on the official story is never worthwhile in a terrorist event such as this stuff:

    My first suggestion in this respect is that the makers of the film had deliberately set out to goad Muslims into just such violent and irrational reactions as we have seen in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere.

    There is evidence that the film was doctored in its Mohammed aspects and that warnings about attacks were issued days prior the event.

    That information is readily available on the net.

    1. Chris A

      Why on earth is it never worthwhile? It sure seems to me that it is, where the commentary is thoughtful and asks as many questions as the piece I assume you’re referring to. And just because certain information is readily available on the net doesn’t mean it’s accessed by many. Personally, I don’t have all day.

      1. LeeAnne

        they never ask eye witnesses to these these staged events and TPTB are never available for tough questioning. The official narrative never changes while clues to a contradictory story abound.

        1. LeeAnne

          we’re living in an ocean of propaganda -it comes with the air we breath and has been for decades. the criminals in charge rely on propaganda to exist. That’s why its so important to demand FREE PRESS, FREE SPEECH, and an end to corporate ownership of anything called THE NEWS.

        2. Walter Wit Man

          I totally agree LeeAnne.

          It’s all fake.

          I’m also cynical about why so many of those that appear to be criticizing the official story accept the shaky premises and use the official sources to form their opinions. They’re garbage. One should only look to the sources with the assumption they are lying and complicit in the crimes.

          How can anyone trust the MSM?

          For instance, some lefties and “alternative” blogs are pushing the theory that Al Qaeda is planning these attacks.

          Al CIAda is run by the West. Period. How can seemingly reasonable people forget this lesson?

          We had a similar Islamic movie psy op 7 weeks before the last election:

          My working assumption is Western *intelligence* planned both the movie and the “attacks” on embassies, etc. The media is complicit and there are large forces that include media and bloggers in pushing out these psy ops.

          This psy op is aimed at justifying our imperial policies and illegal wars. Obama has killed up to 100,000 people in Libya by agreeing to wage a secret and not secret war there. I suspect the war never ended in Libya and we were never given the full story. They made fake news in Libya like they are doing in Syria and now all over the world.

          Trust no one.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            In the Fall of 2008, in the leadup to the Presidential election, approximately 100 newspapers and magazines in the U.S., including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer, and St. Petersburg Times, distributed millions of DVDs of the anti-Islam documentary, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.” Altogether, including a separate direct mail campaign, 28 million DVDs flooded into swing voter states.


            We saw the same things earlier this year in Afghanistan after Afghani workers allegedly discovered half-burned Korans. I made some comments about it here at NC:

            This has all the hallmarks of a U.S. psy operation. Notice the lack of detail and the excuse for the lack of details (i.e. that the facts may spark further outrage).

            There is no plausible story for how this happened. Are Afghan laborers just wandering around one of the most secure military bases in the world? Did they run up to the U.S. guys and rescue the Koran’s mid burning? Why would U.S. troops let Afghanis remove half burned Korans? It looks like a number of Korans so wouldn’t it be unlikely they snuck them off the base? Certainly even though the U.S. troops are suppossedly not culturally aware they are aware that Muslims would be upset if they saw U.S. troops burning Korans.

            No way this was an accident.

            And did you notice the coup de grace? The U.S. MAY HAVE TO STAY IN AFGHANISTAN longer because those silly natives went crazy and Uncle Sam has to stay and baby sit a bit longer.

  15. LeeAnne

    the above quote is from the article linked here “Conspiracies of convenience: what’s behind the film fracas?” at Ahram Online

  16. Susan the other

    I always get waylayed by the first science link I read. Today: Science Daily: Study of Giant Viruses Shakes Up the Tree of Life. Shades of Lives of a Cell (Lewis Thomas c. 1970). Re 3-D protein folds being very ancient evolutionary markers. Now they say there are 4 branches in the tree of life and one is viruses; the most ancient branch. Makes sense to me. “Viruses are key spreaders of information.” Well, yes, just look at 1917 and the Spanish Flu and expect more. We are colonies of bacteria and colonies of bacteria are colonies of viruses.

    1. BostonBill

      Yeah, an interest story about how we’re all connected. The ‘decline’ of viruses this article discusses reminds one of the purported ‘decline’ of the y chromosome — [[‘Male Chromosome May Evolve Fastest’ – ]] In both cases, ‘decline’ really translates into ‘intensive, fast-evolving
      minimalization’ in service you could say to ‘spread of information’.

  17. René

    Re: Election Report: 2012 Netherlands Parliamentary Elections – An Unexpected Outcome

    ‘Unexpectedly, the two largest parties – the Liberals and Labour – received about a quarter of the seats and increased their seat share by respectively 6% and 5%.’

    Unexpected? The only thing I picked up last week when carelessly scanning the headlines in the MSM papers, as in barely looking, was Rutte vs Samson, Rutte vs Samson, Rutte vs Samson… Really??? And now they will govern together? Huh?

    Article underneath more accurate about what we have in the low lands as of late; ‘Elections and “Democracy” in the Netherlands’

    Re: The Puss In Boat: The girl in the ‘Poes’ shirt used to be my colleague. Very funny and sensitive woman. The thing we have in common is, we are both born in The Hague, raised in Zoetermeer and now we are both living in Amsterdam. Picture is taken in the Hortus Botanicus, which is located in my area.

    Re: Antidote: the only time I saw a hummingbird in nature was in Canada. I lived there for a couple of months and to my astonishment, hummingbirds were flying all over the place. I thought they were tropical, which they are, but they are migrating birds also. And they are relatively tiny…

  18. rich

    Katrina vanden Heuvel and Jamie Raskin on the Pro-Corporate Supreme Court
    September 14, 2012

    The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel and Jamie Raskin, constitutional law professor and Maryland state senator, join Bill to discuss how the uncontested power of the Supreme Court is changing our elections, our country, and our lives. The two joined forces for a special upcoming issue of The Nation entitled “The One Percent Court.”

    “We wanted to bring attention to how this court has empowered the 1% at the expense of the 99%,” says vanden Heuvel. “How it is now working for big business, for corporate power against the interests of ordinary citizens in this country.”

  19. kevinearick

    Funny, they made me ramod to completion, thinking the peer pressure of 800 souls would crush me…crack me up. they lose either way. they beat up an old man that the kids love, or they get their asses kicked by an old man…i threw their gang boxes in the trash.

  20. kevinearick

    Labor, you know f-ing labor-god, family…they pulled that family common law bs on my dad, you know, union steel, 7 kids. i have never voted, nor so much as pledged allegiance to the state. with few exceptions, my teachers hated me. i’m used to it. that is normal in my wprld.

  21. kevinearick

    When my old lady finally pulled the trigger on me, in neighborhood full of hedgies, with peer pressure from her masonic family to buy sh- on credit, the cops, their supervisor, the firefighters, their supervisor, and the emts, with all the gumball lights showed up. they spent 4 hours trying to figure out how they were going to charge me with something. in the end, they all left, including the wife and her family.

    i am not alone, ever. you are not alone. the empire is alone. robots don’t count.

    1. skippy

      Please tell me it all went down whilst you were in your jocks.

      skippy… personally I would scratch my back side a few times and then use it to shake hands, bid them adu…

      1. kevinearick

        Actually, i was in the sunroom/library having a spot of tea in my favorite chair, with an extremely loyal german shep, when big, dumb, full of cum white boy barges in, thinking he and his posse are going to intimidate a seasoned laborer.

        1. kevinearick

          Funny, how you are always alone when there is real work to be done, and everyone shows up to split the spoils, at variable angles of incidence, self-serving perceptions built on a foundation of false assumptions. Money is not power, except from the perspective of the black hole.

  22. LucyLulu

    This came in late this afternoon from Dane Co. Circuit Court in Wisconsin:

    ” A county judge in Wisconsin on Friday struck down much of the 2011 state law pushed through by Gov. Scott Walker that severely restricts the ability of public employees to bargain collectively.

    Judge Juan B. Colás of Dane County Circuit Court overturned the law with regard to city, county and school district workers — although not state employees — ruling that it violated the federal and state Constitutions.

    Judge Colás said the Republican-backed measure, which led to huge union protests, violated union members’ freedom of speech and association as well as the equal protection of the laws by subjecting them to penalties not faced by nonunion public employees. “

    Last March, a different court overturned the provisions banning collection of union dues from paychecks, and the requirement to have annual vote to reaffirm members desire to continue to be represented by union.

    Walker’s union legislation is getting trounced in the courts. He plans to appeal.

  23. p78

    Cheeky capitalism:

    Unhappy at Work? Blame Your DNA
    Stressed-out workers who blame their employer for their anxiety should think again, a new study shows.
    Research by Timothy Judge, a professor of management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, found that work stress, job satisfaction and health problems due to high stress have more to do with genes. (…) The study, “Genetic Influences on Core Self-Evaluations, Job Satisfaction, Work Stress, and Employee Health: A Behavioral Genetics Mediated Model,” was recently published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    1. Ms G

      “It’s all in your DNA” — an update on “It’s all in your mind.” But still the same old beating up on the “human resources.” It is the way of the plutocracy in which the imbalance between capital and labor is extreme.

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