Reykjavik Mayor Dons Dress, Balaclava to Support Pussy Riot

From Moscow Times:

August 13, 2012

Reykjavik Mayor Jon Gnarr rode through the streets of the Icelandic capital in a bright pink dress and matching balaclava to add his voice to calls to free three Pussy Riot rockers facing seven years in a Russian jail for an anti-government performance.

In a brief video posted on YouTube, Gnarr is seen waving his arms atop a van decorated with the words “Free Pussy Riot.” One of the group’s songs, “Clear the Cobblestones,” a likely reference to Red Square, can be heard playing from speakers mounted on the van.

Gnarr, formerly an actor and comedian, made the gesture Saturday during Rekyavik’s yearly gay-pride festival, which ran Aug. 7 to 12.

Read more:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Reykjavik Mayor Dons Dress, Balaclava to Support Pussy Riot

Why Don’t You Know About Women’s Rights Protests in the U.S.?

From Huffington Post:


Chances are that you did not hear about the 47 UniteWomen rallies in defense of women’s rights, simultaneously held in more than 50 cities, on April 28 this year. What about the upcoming national rally being held by We Are Woman on August 18? Have you donated in support of the rally? Are you going? Hard to do either if you hadn’t heard about it via some kind of kooky xx-psychic osmosis.

Does it sound old-fashioned to you? This marching for women? You know, of course, that the Constitution does not actually ensure equal rights for women? Aren’t we “equal enough” yet? I mean, even if you didn’t know about it, a possible 40,000 marchers must have had some effect on women’s rights in April, right? Are you inclined to think it’s not necessary or that “social issues” don’t really matter?

I think differently (guess THAT’s obvious). I think indifference creates a petri dish for the influence of radicals and causes great harm that we all risk paying a high price for. Indifference is what makes it possible that at least four out of five Republican candidates for president would cheerfully consign us to theocracy.

Indifference assumes that our rights are secure and that others will remember that we have a right to have rights. What seem like radical outliers, people who, for example, seriously think women should not be allowed to vote or to be paid equally for work, reflect a wider, more general backlash that makes it culturally and politically acceptable to say women shouldn’t vote and be paid equally and be taken seriously. Indifference is what enables our rightward drift attempting to legislate our economy and health care into a mythological happy-land of father knows best — for you, your body, your family, your money, your government.

I wouldn’t have heard of either events beforehand if I hadn’t gone out of my way to find the information. Hundreds spoke, as I and a dozen others did at the D.C. rally, and tens of thousands marched to protest anti-gender equality initiatives around the country on the 28th of April. The next few days my local news was dominated by the information that Kim Khardasian, though not an experienced professional journalist herself, was at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. She looked incredibly hot. Despite the fact that these organic, rapidly organized events generated attendance in estimated excess of 45,000 people, there was virtually no media coverage before, during or after. That number is a rough total after aggregating local counts. Let’s say, for the benefit of the doubt, that it’s 20% too high. That’s still more than 35,000 people.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Why Don’t You Know About Women’s Rights Protests in the U.S.?

Conversations with Great Minds with Morris Berman: Why America Failed

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Conversations with Great Minds with Morris Berman: Why America Failed

‘I’m sick to my stomach’: anger grows in Illinois at Bain’s latest outsourcing plan

From The Guardian UK:

The Sensata plant in Freeport is profitable and competitive, but its majority owner, Bain Capital, has decided to ship jobs to China – and forced workers to train their overseas replacements

in Freeport, Friday 10 August 2012

The shock of losing a precious job in a town afflicted by high unemployment is always hard. A foundation for a stable family life and secure home instantly disappears, replaced with a future filled with fears over health insurance, missed mortgage payments and the potential for a slip below the breadline.

But for Bonnie Borman – and 170 other men and women in Freeport, Illinois – there is a brutal twist to the torture. Borman, 52, and the other workers of a soon-to-be-shuttered car parts plant are personally training the Chinese workers who will replace them.

It’s a surreal experience, they say. For months they have watched their plant being dismantled and shipped to China, piece by piece, as they show teams of Chinese workers how to do the jobs they have dedicated their lives to.

“It’s not easy to get up in the morning, training them to do your job so that you can be made unemployed,” said Borman, pictured, a mother of three who has worked for 23 years at the Sensata auto sensors plant.

Borman knows her eventual fate in the stricken economy that surrounds Freeport. “I am going to be competing for minimum wage jobs with my own daughter,” she said.

Such scenes have been common in America as manufacturing has fled abroad in search of cheaper wages.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on ‘I’m sick to my stomach’: anger grows in Illinois at Bain’s latest outsourcing plan

Victory for Anti-Nuclear Power Movement in the U.S.

From The Progressive:

By Matthew Rothschild
August 10, 2012 

Score two for the movement against nuclear power in this country.

In June, the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was in violation of the law for failing to adequately assess the environmental hazards involved in the storage of nuclear waste, a point that anti-nuke activists have been making for years and years.

In response to that court ruling, the NRC this week issued a statement that it was stopping the issuing of permits for new nuclear power construction, as well as for life extensions on old existing plants, until it satisfies the court’s concerns.

The NRC’s decision puts the breaks on new construction permits for 16 reactors, and renewal permits for 14 more.

That’s a welcome move.

Still, it’s not a permanent solution because the NRC is likely to go back to the court sometime in the not too distant future to try to convince the judges that its waste storage plans are somehow adequate.

Good luck with that!

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Victory for Anti-Nuclear Power Movement in the U.S.

America is a ‘Banana Republic’ —- Senator Bernie Sanders Aug 2012

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on America is a ‘Banana Republic’ —- Senator Bernie Sanders Aug 2012

It’s Just Business: How Corporate America Made Slaves of the Young

From Truth Dig:

By Christian Neumeister
Aug 9, 2012

Companies across the nation are gleefully denying interns fair wages for their work, in flagrant violation of long-standing labor law, and have the nerve to tell the world they are doing these people a favor.

Huge numbers of college students and recent graduates in a tight labor market are too scared to ask for compensation. Consequently, many interns must work for years in unpaid positions to build their résumés while depending on their parents for financial support. Not only do unpaid internships stop some from paying down a collectively exploding student debt, they compound the economical class differences between those who can afford to work for free and those who can’t.

This exploitative practice has evolved over the generations since the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 and a 1947 Supreme Court ruling about railroad trainees that officially defined unpaid internships; that ruling was mostly ignored by businesses, and today’s systemic abuse of interns eventually developed.

Now, a disturbing percentage of U.S. companies accepts as routine the illegal work of unpaid interns. One of the legal challenges to the abuse is a class-action lawsuit against the Hearst Corp. being pressed by the New York employment law firm Outten & Golden on behalf of interns who claim they were improperly denied wages and benefits at 19 of Hearst’s magazines. The law firm is pursuing two other corporations on similar grounds, Fox Searchlight and television’s “The Charlie Rose Show.”

In the suit against Hearst, the principal complainant, a former intern at Harper’s Bazaar, says she often worked 40 hours a week without pay or benefits. Hearst’s lawyers maintain that the corporation can lose in the proceeding only if the court reads the law in “a novel and rigid way.”

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on It’s Just Business: How Corporate America Made Slaves of the Young

“Path to Prosperity?” For Many Senior Citizens, VP Pick Ryan’s Plan Would Be Path to the Poorhouse

From Huffington Post:


If Americans who are embracing Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” — and that now includes Mitt Romney — spent a few minutes reviewing a few recent research reports, they just might conclude that the Wisconsin Republican’s plan to reduce the deficit might better be renamed the “Path to the Poorhouse” because of what it would mean to the Medicare program and many senior citizens.

Ryan’s proposal, which will get new scrutiny now that Romney has made him his running mate, would end the current Medicare program for everyone born after 1956. It would replace Medicare with a system in which beneficiaries would receive a set amount of money from the government every year to buy coverage from private insurers. That money would go straight into insurance companies’ bank accounts, which would make them far richer and even more in control of our health care system than they already are.

While the amount of money beneficiaries would receive would depend on their health status, the average 65-year-old would get $8,000 under the Ryan plan in 2022, the year it would take effect. That’s the amount the current Medicare program is expected to spend on the average 65-year-old that year. After 2022, the annual increase in the “premium support” payments would be based on the consumer price index (CPI). And therein lies one of the biggest problems for anyone hoping to live long enough to enroll in Medicare and stay alive for a few years.

Last month the government reported that the consumer price index had increased 1.7 percent between June 2011 and June 2012, meaning we’ve been paying on average 1.7 percent more this year than last year for goods and services. The cost of medical care, however, shot up 4.3 percent — more than two and a half times the CPI. And that was not an aberration. The cost of medical care has been rising faster than the cost of just about everything else in this country for years. That’s one of the reasons why private health insurance premiums have been increasing so rapidly. That and the fact that insurance corporations have to report a big enough profit every quarter to satisfy their shareholders and Wall Street analysts.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on “Path to Prosperity?” For Many Senior Citizens, VP Pick Ryan’s Plan Would Be Path to the Poorhouse