Full-time American workers labor the equivalent of nearly an additional day each week, averaging 47 hours instead of the standard 40, according to Gallup poll results released Friday.
Just 42% of full-time employees work 40 hours a week, the traditional total based on five 9 a.m.-to-5 p.m. workdays, Gallup said of findings it released ahead of the Labor Day weekend.
Nearly the same percentage — 39% — say they work at least 50 hours a week. And almost one in five Americans, or 18%, said their workweek stretched 60 hours or more.
“The 40-hour workweek is widely regarded as the standard for full-time employment, and many federal employment laws — including the Affordable Care Act, or ‘Obamacare’ — use this threshold to define what a full-time employee is,” Gallup said.
“However, barely four in 10 full-time workers in the U.S. indicate they work precisely this much,” Gallup said.
Salaried employees work an average of 49 hours a week, compared with 44 hours for people paid by the hour. A quarter of salaried workers said they spend 60 or more hours a week on the job.
116 million full-time employees times 7 hours per week over the 40-hour normal = 20,300,000 40-hour jobs. So, the 116-million full-time employees in America are now doing the work of 136 million people. There are 10.5 million people unemployed.
Do the math.
ection 215 of the Patriot Act is rather explicit:
the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or a designee of the Director (whose rank shall be no lower than Assistant Special Agent in Charge) may make an application for an order requiring the production of any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a United States person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution.
Seems clear, right? But, of course, what seems clear in the statute and how the intelligence community and the rubber-stamping FISA Court will view things often seem to differ by a wide margin. The FISA court has now released yet another heavily redacted opinion, given by Judge John Bates, concerning just such a request. You may recall Judge John Bates from his recent letters in which he pretends to represent the entire judiciary, in fighting back against any attempt to limit the NSA and the FISA Court’s ability to spy on American people. Bates seems absolutely sure that doing so will let the terrorists win, which gives you a glimpse into his mindset.
Thus, while depressing, it shouldn’t be too surprising to find out that when a Section 215 request came to him concerning activity of a US person that was entirely protected by the First Amendment, Bates figured out a way to give the FBI the go ahead to spy on the person anyway. Because terrorism.
What good are rights, especially those that allow you to be critical of your government, if they can be stripped away from you on a whim?
Not a US citizen? Rights don’t apply.
Within 100mi of the US Border? Rights don’t apply.
3 degrees of separation from someone who is a suspected terrorist? Rights don’t apply.
State of Emergency? Rights don’t apply.
Leak something that makes the government look bad? Rights don’t apply.
Cop on a bad day? Rights don’t apply.
Fasion a poptart in the shape of a weapon? Rights don’t apply.
Yell something that offends someone across a campus? Rights don’t apply.
Why even bother having rights if they’re such a joke.
The Tacoma Police Department apparently has bought — and quietly used for six years — controversial surveillance equipment that can sweep up records of every cellphone call, text message and data transfer up to a half a mile away.
You don’t have to be a criminal to be caught in this law enforcement snare. You just have to be near one and use a cellphone.
Known as Stingray, the device — small enough to be carried in a car — tricks cellphones into thinking it’s a cell tower and draws in their information.
If you want to build your own, it’s called an IMSI catcher.
Build your own for about $1500
This is the first time in three years that the level has been so high, just one notch below the top of the scale ['critical']. Prime Minister David Cameron said the decision was made by an independent government commission because the rise of the group in Iraq and Syria once called ISIL or ISIS, which now calls itself the Islamic State, poses a threat to Britain.
“What we’re facing in Iraq now with ISIL is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before,” said Cameron.
Those that forget history are condemned to look like dumb asses.
“When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.”
– Winston Churchill
Hundreds of mysterious engraved trails have been stumbled upon at the Racetrack Playa of Death Valley in California. There’s almost always a rock sitting at the end of the track, but no one has actually seen a rock — not a pebble nor a boulder — sliding on this nearly flat, dry mud surface. What gives? Several decades of speculation range from powerful winds and ice flotation to dust devils and slick films.
Now, for the first time ever, researchers have observed the sliding rocks in action. Finally! Under just the right conditions, thin sheets of ice blown by light winds push the rocks across the dry lake. The work, which turned out not to be “the most boring experiment ever,” was published in PLoS ONE this week.
It’s like you’re looking for John Coltrane and you get Kenny G in brown skin.
British actor and film director Richard Attenborough has died at the age of 90.
He died at lunchtime on Sunday, his son told BBC News.
Earlier this week, the Chicago Cubs grounds crew experienced a disaster. As rain poured onto Wrigley Field, they were unable to cover the playing surface with a tarp in time. They were booed. The game was called. Because of the mismanagement, their opponents, the San Francisco Giants, protested the game after it had been called as a win for the Cubs. They succeeded. It was the first successful protest in Major League Baseball in 28 years, according to Deadspin.
But the whole bizarre episode was cast in a new light Thursday when the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Cubs had slashed worker hours to keep them under 30 hours a week to avoid paying health benefits under Obamacare.
Citing “numerous sources with direct knowledge,” the Sun-Times reported that the Cubs had sent home 10 grounds crew workers early the night of the Tuesday game that ended in disaster. And at least part of the reason, per the newspaper’s sources, is that the team has been trying to keep seasonal workers under 30 hours per week as the Affordable Care Act takes effect.
This is a problem much bigger than Facebook. It reminded me of what can go wrong in society, and why we now often talk at each other instead of to each other. We set up our political and social filter bubbles and they reinforce themselves—the things we read and watch have become hyper-niche and cater to our specific interests. We go down rabbit holes of special interests until we’re lost in the queen’s garden, cursing everyone above ground.
But maybe worse than the fractious political tones my feed took on was how deeply stupid it became. I’m given the chance to like a Buzzfeed post of some guy dancing, and another that asks Which Titanic Character Are You? A third Buzzfeed post informs me that “Katy Perry’s Backup Dancer is the Mancandy You Deserve.” According to New York magazine, I am “officially old” because Malia Obama went to Lollapalooza (like!) and CNN tells me “Husband Explores His Man-ternal Instincts” alongside a photo of a shirtless man cupping his nipples. A cloud that looks like a penis. Stop what you’re doing and look at this baby that looks exactly like Jay-Z. My feed was showing almost only the worst kind of tripe that all of us in the media are complicit in churning out yet should also be deeply ashamed of. Sensational garbage. I liked it all.
And the opposite:
Give the Like a rest and see what happens. Choose to comment with words. Watch how your feed changes. I haven’t used the Like on Facebook since August 1st, and the changes in my feed have been so notably positive that I won’t be liking anything in the foreseeable future.
Researchers have pinpointed the environmental source of fungal infections that have been sickening HIV/AIDS patients in Southern California for decades. It literally grows on trees.
The discovery is based on the science project of a 13-year-old girl, who spent the summer gathering soil and tree samples from areas around Los Angeles hardest hit by infections of the fungus named Cryptococcus gattii (CRIP-to-cock-us GAT-ee-eye).
Cryptococcus, which encompasses a number of species including C. gattii, causes life-threatening infections of the lungs and brain and is responsible for one third of all AIDS-related deaths.
If a 13-year old can make basic discoveries like this…. we have plenty of things we still need to learn..
Comcast’s proposed $45.2-billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable has been criticized by angry customers, consumer advocacy groups, and even some members of Congress.
But Comcast has plenty of support, too, much of it from politicians and organizations that benefit from its political and charitable donations.
The struggles of the embattled Kurdish Peshmerga to repel Islamist insurgents have put the U.S. and Iran on the same side, with both rushing to reinforce a revered fighting force to defeat a common enemy.
U.S. airstrikes this week helped the Peshmerga retake two towns on the outskirts of Erbil that they had lost days earlier in a stunning defeat that put the radical Sunni group Islamic State 20 miles from the capital of the semiautonomous Kurdish region.
On Monday, as Peshmerga fighters basked in relief in one of those towns, Makhmour, a reporter witnessed senior Kurdish commanders meeting with Iranian advisers in the operations command center there.
On Aug. 21, Kurdish social media activists published pictures that appear to depict of elements of the Iranian 81st Armored Division entering southern Kurdistan via Khaneghein, north of Jalawla.
The 81st is a battle-hardened division that fought hard during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. And before that, it had fought Kurdish insurgents in Iran’s restive southern provinces. Today the 81st Division is fighting alongside the Kurds.
After the Iran-Iraq War, the division reorganized and re-armed. As other units gained Russian T-72 tanks, the 81st gathered up all the leftover, American-made M-60s and M-48s. More recently, the 81st broke into three largely independent brigades—the 181st and 281st Armored Brigades and the 72nd Mechanized Brigade.
The units the activists spotted in Kurdistan most likely are elements of the 181st, as it’s responsible for defending the Sar-e-Pole Zahab border town near Khaneghein. Previously, there had been a build-up of armored units on the Iranian side of the border.
The violence that turns a small-town protest into a fiery national spectacle like the one that has played out this month in Missouri is often unwittingly provoked by police, according to researchers at UC Berkeley.
The research team, which studied clashes between police and activists during the Occupy movement three years ago, found that protests tend to turn violent when officers use aggressive tactics, such as approaching demonstrators in riot gear or lining up in military-like formations.
Recent events in Ferguson, Mo., are a good example, the study’s lead researcher said. For nearly two weeks, activists angered by a white police officer’s fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager have ratcheted up their protests when confronted by heavily armed police forces.
“Everything starts to turn bad when you see a police officer come out of an SUV and he’s carrying an AR-15,” said Nick Adams, a sociologist and fellow at UC Berkeley’s Institute for Data Science who leads the Deciding Force Project. “It just upsets the crowd.”
I think she misunderstood the phrase ‘rollin in dough’.
Bodies are not left in the streets of the leafy suburbs. The bodies of dogs and cats, or squirrels and raccoons, let alone the bodies of children, are not left in the streets of the leafy suburbs. No bodies are left in the streets of the financial districts. Freeze to death on a bench in the financial districts and you are whisked away before your inconvenient body can disturb the folks in line at the Starbucks across the street. But the body of a boy can be left in the street for four hours in a place like Ferguson, Missouri, and who knows whether it was because people wanted to make a point, or because nobody gave a damn whether he was there or not. Ferguson, Missouri was a place where they left a body in the street. For four hours. And the rage rose, and the backlash built, and the cameras arrived, and so did the cops, and the thing became something beyond what it was in the first place. And, in a very real way, in the streets of Ferguson, the body was still in the street.
In 2002 E.I. du Pont de Nemours announced plans to turn some of its operations into a separate subsidiary. Most of the affected employees were under a union agreement that gave them the right to transfer within DuPont if they preferred, a decision which would have cost the company an enormous amount of money to retrain the transfers and hire their replacements.
The employees were worried that if DuPont sold the new subsidiary it would hurt both their pay and retirement funds. To convince them to work in the subsidiary instead of transferring within the company, DuPont assured its employees that it had absolutely no plans to sell the spin-off. Based on this promise almost everyone moved to the subsidiary, which a few weeks later DuPont sold to Koch Industries. Koch cut both salaries and retirement packages. DuPont had, as it turns out, been negotiating this deal the entire time.
The Texas Supreme Court sees no problem with any of this.
Newly released video from NYC Housing Authority security cameras in Queensbridge appears to show that the NYPD is lying about a fatal crash that killed a Japanese student last year and may have tried to cover up the incident by discarding further video evidence. Although the NYPD has refused to release any video—which they previously claimed shows the NYPD vehicle with its flashing lights engaged—attorney Steve Vaccaro has obtained video from NYCHA through a Freedom of Information Law request.
“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” -Charles de Montesquieu
Responding to a shoplifting call just a few miles from the unrest in Ferguson yesterday afternoon, two St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department fired a dozen shots in all at 25-year-old Kajieme Powell, killing him instantly. Described by neighbors as mentally ill, Powell was carrying a knife and shouting, “Shoot me! Shoot me! Shoot me! Shoot me now, motherfucker!” as he approached the officers. Today, the department released a cell phone video of the shooting, which a rep for the police union called “exculpatory.”
No attempt to assess the actual situation. Just charge in and shoot….
The UK Parliament passed the first Metropolitan Police Act in 1829. The act was introduced by Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, who undertook a study of crime and policing, which resulted in his belief that the keys to building an effective police force were to 1) make it professional (most prior policing had been volunteer in nature); 2) organize as a civilian force, not as a paramilitary force; and 3) make the police accountable to the public. The Metropolitan Police, whose officers were referred to as “bobbies” after Peel, was extremely successful and became the model for the modern urban police force, both in the UK and around the world, including in the United States.
At the heart of the Metropolitan Police’s charter were a set of rules either written by Peel or drawn up at some later date by the two founding Commissioners: The Nine Principles of Policing. They are as follows:
1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.
In a letter sent Wednesday, the ACLU called on the Missouri Highway Patrol to “identify and remove” an officer featured in the video below. In the video, the officer points a gun protesters and says he’ll “fucking kill” one man. When asked what his name is, he replies “Go fuck yourself.” While Ferguson protests have had “tense moments,” the ACLU argues that the officer’s behavior was “from start to finish wholly unacceptable.”
In a statement, the St. Louis County Police Department said the officer was with the St. Ann Police Department, and had been relieved of duty and suspended “indefinitely”:
Funny how a camera can help. With all the news coverage saying the cops are out of control, this first public reprimand for one of the cops involved comes only after a video capturing his actions was released and viral.
Maybe it doesn’t mean much to you that the average black family has eight-cents of wealth for every dollar of wealth owned by whites, that the the ongoing recession has doubled the wealth gap between blacks and whites, or that the unemployment rate of blacks is edging up on twice as high as the white rate – easily surpassing it when you count incarcerated blacks. After all, a black child in American is nine-times more likely than a white child to have a parent who’s locked up.
But let’s look into the data and the implications a little bit more.
The precise era that saw a drug-law fueled explosion in our prison population, the early 1970s, are the exact same years that the economic situation of blacks began to starkly worsen and that the gap between rich and poor is wrenched wide open. Beginning in those years and continuing into today, “the economic status of black compared to that of whites has, on average, stagnated or deteriorated.”
Up until 1973, the precise year the Rockefeller Drug Laws were passed, the difference between black and white median income had been closing. But then that year it changed course, and in “an ominous bellwether… the gap between black and white incomes started to grow wider again, in both absolute and relative terms.” Direct empirical research into incarceration’s economic effects weren’t done until recently, when a Pew Charitable Trusts research paper showed that prior to imprisonment two-thirds of male inmates were employed and half were their family’s primary source of income. Additionally, upon release an ex-con’s annual earnings were reduced by 40%
In the nearly forty years since America’s modern drug laws were passed, there has been a massive increase in economic inequality by any measure. In the early 1970′s not only did the income gap between black and white begin to widen again, it also becomes much more top-heavily favored to the very rich – who happen to be almost exclusively white as well.
The company’s choice to transform what is traditionally a non-revenue-generating area—customer service—into a revenue-generating one is playing out with almost hilariously Kafkaesque consequences. It is the nature of large corporations like Comcast to have dozens of layers of management through which leadership instructions and directives are filtered. The bigger the company, the more likely that members of senior leadership (like Tom Karinshak) typically make broad policy and leave specific implementations to lower levels. Here, what was likely praised in the boardroom as an “innovative” strategy to raise revenue is instead doing much to alienate customers and employees alike. Karinshak’s assurances that he doesn’t want employees to feel pressured to sell in spite of hard evidence that Comcast demands just that are hard to square with the content of the document.
“We are an Islamic army, an estate that has been accepted by a number of Muslims worldwide. So, effectifvely, any agression towards the Islamic State is an aggression towards Muslims of all walks of life who have accepted the Islamic Caliphate as their leadership.
“So, any attempt by you, Obama, to deny the Muslims their rights of living in safety under the Islamic Caliphate, will result in the bloodshed of your people.”
The fucker is lying. What they want more than anything else is for their war to become “ISIS vs. USA”, instead of “ISIS vs. Other Arabs” as it is now. Much easier recruiting that way.
Above you’ll see a picture of Scott Olson, the Getty photographer who’s brought us many of the most striking images of protests and police crackdown that followed the shooting of Michael Brown.
The other two men in the photograph, despite presumably being police officers, are not identifiable at this time. Unlike normal police officers, they are not wearing name tags or badges with visible numbers on them. When police arrested the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery and the Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly, they weren’t wearing badges or nametags either. Reasonable people can disagree about when, exactly, it’s appropriate for cops to fire tear gas into crowds. But there’s really no room for disagreement about when it’s reasonable for officers of the law to take off their badges and start policing anonymously.
There’s only one reason to do this: to evade accountability for your actions.