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liberal N proud

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Member since: Sun Aug 8, 2004, 01:54 PM
Number of posts: 47,997

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After Plant Explosion, Texas Remains Wary of Regulation



WEST, Tex. — Five days after an explosion at a fertilizer plant leveled a wide swath of this town, Gov. Rick Perry tried to woo Illinois business officials by trumpeting his state’s low taxes and limited regulations. Asked about the disaster, Mr. Perry responded that more government intervention and increased spending on safety inspections would not have prevented what has become one of the nation’s worst industrial accidents in decades.

“Through their elected officials,” he said, Texans “clearly send the message of their comfort with the amount of oversight.”

This antipathy toward regulations is shared by many residents here. Politicians and economists credit the stance with helping attract jobs and investment to Texas, which has one of the fastest-growing economies in the country, and with winning the state a year-after-year ranking as the nation’s most business friendly.

Even in West, last month’s devastating blast did little to shake local skepticism of government regulations. Tommy Muska, the mayor, echoed Governor Perry in the view that tougher zoning or fire safety rules would not have saved his town. “Monday morning quarterbacking,” he said.




http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/10/us/after-plant-explosion-texas-remains-wary-of-regulation.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130510&_r=0#h[]




What does it take to convice people that regulations are necessary for safety? How many towns must be blown from the map?




Posted by liberal N proud | Fri May 10, 2013, 06:58 AM (5 replies)

You can kiss Overtime goodbye

Yesterday the Working Families Flexibility Act passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 223 to 204. The bill allows employers to offer compensatory time off (comp time) to employees who work overtime, instead of paying time-and-a-half when a worker's weekly hours exceed forty.

Representative Martha Roby (R-AL), who introduced the bill, suggests the legislation would relieve work-family pressures parents--especially moms--feel, by letting them potentially take more time off in lieu of overtime pay they would otherwise collect. Stating that the comp time off could be used "to spend more time with their children, attend parent-teacher conferences, or care for an aging relative," the bill sounds like a step toward a family-friendly America, especially at a time when the U.S. ranks only a poor 30th on the just-released "Best Place to be a Mother" list. Yet opponents say it's the wrong approach. Low wage workers, in particular, need schedule predictability and consistency, to plan their household budgets and child care. They need the overtime dollars, not a promise of time off later--time that may not coincide anyway with their family's routine or emergency needs.


http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/05/congresss-doomed-misguided-attempt-to-help-working-families/275718/

Fortunately, it may not pass the Senate and if it does, Obama threatens to veto.

If this does pass, it will allow employers to work people endless hours at peak times and virtually lay them off at times of lower needs, all without paying for the extra hours or the trouble of actually laying them off. The American worker gets screwed again!



Posted by liberal N proud | Thu May 9, 2013, 01:59 PM (17 replies)

The Global Youth Jobless Crisis:

A Tragic Mess That Is Not Getting Any Better

Europe's unemployment inequality is simply astonishing. Germany's jobless rate for young people is 8.2 percent. In Greece, it's 54.2 percent.

Elevated and lasting unemployment is an awful thing, anywhere, and for anyone. But it is awful in a special way for young people, cutting them off from networks and starting salaries at the moment they need to forge connections and begin to cobble together a career.

A new study from the International Labor Organization takes a global tour of youth joblessness and finds that what's gone up won't come down in the next five years. The youth unemployment rate* among the richest countries is projected to flat-line, rather than fall, before 2018. As a result, the global Millennial generation could be uniquely scarred by the economic downturn. Research by Lisa Kahn has showed that people graduating into a recession have typically faced a lifetime of lower wages.





http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/05/the-global-youth-jobless-crisis-a-tragic-mess-that-is-not-getting-any-better/275696/

Posted by liberal N proud | Thu May 9, 2013, 10:24 AM (0 replies)

Three Ohio women found alive after being missing for a decade; 3 men arrested

By Andrew Rafferty, Staff Writer, NBC News

Three brothers have been arrested after three women who disappeared in separate incidents about a decade ago were found alive in a house in Ohio, police said.

A neighbor told how he came to the women’s rescue after hearing screams coming from the house in Cleveland.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight went missing between 2000 and 2004 when they were aged between 14 and 20. Berry's mother died in 2006, not knowing whether her daughter was alive or dead.

Three male suspects, including a 52-year-old man, were arrested, Cleveland Police said in a statement. Reuters reported they were brothers, citing police.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/06/18091211-three-ohio-women-found-alive-after-being-missing-for-a-decade-3-men-arrested?lite



UPDATE: Adding local link for this story: http://www.newsnet5.com/generic/news/local_news/amanda-berry-gina-dejesus

Posted by liberal N proud | Tue May 7, 2013, 06:43 AM (4 replies)

Third attempted repeal of the “Louisiana Science Education Act”


In 2008, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed the “Louisiana Science Education Act” into law. This Orwellian-named bit of legislation was an outrageous attempt to allow creationism to be taught in schools. Jindal has essentially admitted as much.



Outrageous, yes. Damaging to the state, yes. Unconstitutional, absolutely. But it passed.


Since then, Zack Kopplin (a 19-year-old Rice University student) has been fighting to get it repealed. He’s had a lot of help: Louisiana State Senator Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans), 78 Nobel laureates, the city council of New Orleans, and Slate magazine. And many more, including me (many many many times). Even the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute thinks it’s a terrible law. Because it is.



Why one legislator voted against the repeal:



Sen. Elbert Guillory, D-Opelousas, said he had reservations with repealing the act after a spiritual healer correctly diagnosed a specific medical ailment he had. He said he thought repealing the act could "lock the door on being able to view ideas from many places, concepts from many cultures."


“Yet if I closed my mind when I saw this man—in the dust, throwing some bones on the ground, semi-clothed—if I had closed him off and just said, ‘That's not science. I'm not going to see this doctor,’ I would have shut off a very good experience for myself,” Guillory said.




http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/05/05/louisiana_and_creationism_law_allowing_religion_to_be_taught_in_school_survives.html
Posted by liberal N proud | Mon May 6, 2013, 09:43 AM (5 replies)

Radioactive goldfish

FirstEnergy finds goldfish in Perry nuclear plant, NRC investigating
A pair of radioactive goldfish has been found swimming in a lemonade pitcher in the bowels of the Perry nuclear power plant.

Their presence in a steam tunnel after a 43-day plant maintenance shutdown has led reactor owner FirstEnergy Corp. on a hunt to find the owner.

The fishy tale has prompted federal regulators to ask a lot of new questions about morale at Perry and whether plant operators can control access to radioactive areas as required by regulation.

"Clearly somebody brought the two goldfish into the plant. They did not swim into the plant," said Perry spokeswoman Jennifer Young.

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2013/05/firstenergy_finds_goldfish_in.html
Posted by liberal N proud | Fri May 3, 2013, 07:26 AM (0 replies)

Frontier 'enhances service' with new carry-on bag fee

There’s a new front in the battle over space in the overhead bins — and for the hearts and minds of fliers. On Wednesday, Frontier Airlines announced it will begin charging passengers a fee of $25 to $100 for using the overhead bin if they book their tickets anywhere other than the airline’s website.

“Frontier’s most loyal customers have made it very clear that finding overhead bin space for carry-on bags has become unacceptably difficult,” said the airline in a statement. “In response, Frontier will be introducing a charge for carry-on bags for customers buying Basic fares through third party sites.”

Conversely, those who book at FlyFrontier.com will be able to use the overhead bins at no charge, as they always have. How that constitutes a “service enhancement” is unclear. (Bags that fit under the seat will continue to be allowed at no charge, regardless of where tickets are booked.)

“What they’re saying is if you work with us, we’ll work with you,” said Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst with Hudson Crossing. That, he says, should help the airline differentiate itself from other low-cost carriers, such as Spirit and Allegiant, both of which charge for bin-bound carry-on bags regardless of where passengers buy their tickets.

http://www.nbcnews.com/travel#/travel/frontier-enhances-service-new-carry-bag-fee-6C9719235

Next they will charge for breathing
Posted by liberal N proud | Wed May 1, 2013, 06:17 PM (2 replies)
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