Thursday, August 29, 2013

fast food workers protest today

"Fast food workers today plan to mount one-day walkouts against nearly a thousand stores in over fifty cities — the largest-ever mobilization against their growing, low-wage, non-union industry, which until last fall had never faced a substantial U.S. strike. The work stoppage comes four weeks after a four-day, seven-city strike wave in which organizers say thousands walked off the job.
Today, the strikes – which started with a single-city November work stoppage in New York — are expected to hit several cities. In each city – from Los Angeles to Peoria – workers are demanding a raise to $15 an hour, and the chance to form a union without intimidation by their boss."

Minimum wage if kept up to inflation should be $10.74 today;

It's impossible to pay for rent, food, and other essentials on the current minimum wage. That means for those who don't have family support, they must rely on government support.  And that means you and I are paying for the right of businesses to sluff off their actual costs to us, the tax payers.

McDonald's seems to manage higher minimum wages in other countries just fine.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Whistleblowers. We need them.

There's the prominent whistleblowers in the news lately, like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden.  But years ago some of the former students at Dozier School in Florida tried to tell what was going on there.  Nobody paid attention.  Many children died.  We need to listen to whistleblowers.

Tiny home supplier

I think one person could liver comfortably in 400 square feet, provided you also have some sort of separate storage unit as well.  LOW mortgage :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Yeah, we need water; some cities with potential shortage

"A 2012 study conducted at the University of Florida rated water availability and vulnerability for 225 urban areas nationwide, based on available fresh water per person. Miami ranks near the bottom of the list for water availability, and scores high on vulnerability.
Unlike many other analysis, this study incorporated both local rainfall and the availability of stored and imported water – what the authors called 'hydraulic' sources. These sources include man-made reservoirs and aqueducts that can transport water from one drainage basin to another. The study also accounted for natural variability in rainfall and water availability to classify each urban area as low, medium, or high in vulnerability."

We really need drinking water.  We don't need to pollute it, then inject it deep underground where it can never be used again (aka fracking).  We don't really need green lawns for every home.  There are a lot of ways we waste clean water, and soon that luxury is going away.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

This is what democracy looks like?

"Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian, wrote Monday that two British 'security agents' affiliated with the U.K.'s intelligence agency entered the newspaper's office and destroyed hard drives in an effort to thwart reporting on surveillance programs disclosed by former government contractor Edward Snowden.
Rusbridger recalled that a little more than two months ago he received a phone call from a 'very senior government official' who claimed to be serving as a proxy for British Prime Minister David Cameron. The call led to a pair of meetings during which the official demanded the return or destruction of the Snowden material. Then, a little more than a month ago, Rusbridger said he received a phone call 'from the centre of government.'"

Journalism is known as the "4th Estate" in the US.  It is mentioned in our Constitution so it can remain free from governmental interference.  Thus did our Founding Fathers proclaim the importance of a free press.

But in the name of security, governments around the world are pushing against freedom of the press, including our own.  Without a free press, there is no voice of dissension available.  Without a free press, there is no outlet for exposing wrongs in the government.  We need a free press.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Micro-homes for the homeless. Can't we do better than that?

"Gary Pickering has developed several portable 'micro-houses' to help Utah's homeless survive harsh conditions such as winter weather. He plans to donate some of these low-cost "survival pods" to a Utah County homelessness charity, KSL Utah reports.
Pickering told KSL in an interview that he is not looking to profit off of the shelters. Instead, he is trying to help the homeless and promote awareness so that others will follow his example."

I dunno. Maybe it's me, but I think we can do a tad better than this.  Like, maybe, a tiny apartment with a bathroom?  Maybe tax the rich .001% to pay for it?  We seem to be going back to the day that the poor have no option but to live in the streets and beg for pennies.  I don't like it.