HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Sam1 » Journal
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next »

Sam1

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: fly over country
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2005, 08:23 AM
Number of posts: 420

Journal Archives

German wage repression getting to the roots of the eurozone crisis

This is a very good article on the causes of the Euro crisis and the part that Germany has played."


Ben Bernanke not only supports recent German wage increases, he also thinks further wage increases for German workers are “warranted and a win-win proposition for Germany and its trade partners”?

Now that’s a jaw-dropper. Has the former head of the Federal Reserve Board—the guardian of “price stability,” which makes policy designed to keep U.S. wages in check—switched sides in the class war, now that he is retired?

Hardly. Rather, it’s that catering to the demands of German high finance and other elites has been so disastrous that even the former chair of the Fed cannot deny the undeniable: unless Germany changes course and boosts workers’ wages, the euro crisis will only worsen.

Let’s look more closely at just how German wage repression and currency manipulation pushed the eurozone into crisis, ignited a conflict between northern and southern eurozone countries (with Germany as the enforcer of austerity), and left Greece teetering on the edge of collapse.

From “Sick Man” to Export Bully

Obama: Lost Down the Rabbit Hole to the Middle East Wonderland

Alice may have survived her trip down the rabbit hole to Wonderland, but it is an unseemly place for the president of a powerful but feckless nation to venture. Nor is it likely that Obama will emerge unscathed – or further enlightened.

How so? President Obama seems to have cut a deal with President Erdogan of Turkey to allow U.S. military aircraft to use Turkish airbases to launch attacks against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Initial mainstream media reports announced this as a great move on the part of the administration. Turkey, in concert with the Gulf Sunni monarchies has, in the past, resisted entering the fight against ISIS and has allowed thousands of foreign men and women to enter ISIS-held territory as recruits. Their military intelligence agency has also been suspected of aiding ISIS alongside the Persian Gulf monarchies.



http://contraryperspective.com/2015/07/27/obama-lost-down-the-rabbit-hole-to-the-middle-east-wonderland

Real problems with outsourcing IT who does the contractor work for?

While the U.S. Government has been remarkably opaque about the recently discovered security breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), we know that personal information on at least 21.5 million present, former, and prospective federal employees was lost. The Feds claim Chinese hackers are at the bottom of it, which is disputed by the Chinese government. This, to me, raises a number of questions, especially about the possible role of IT outsourcing firms and implications for organizations beyond OPM. Does IT outsourcing make your data more vulnerable? Yes, I believe it does.

It’s easy to blame the Office of Personnel Management for its own troubles. Oversight was lax. The agency failed a security audit and didn’t seem to do much in response. When shit hit the fan and it became clear that the identity of almost every living person associated in any way with Federal employment had been compromised, the agency lamely offered 18 months of identity theft screening but then didn’t have the money to pay for it. Pathetic. Both the Obama Administration and Congress are to blame, the former for mismanagement and the latter for “starving the beast” by limiting the OPM budget, pushing the agency toward cost-saving decisions that at least to some extent led to the current crisis.


http://www.cringely.com/2015/07/30/who-is-your-it-outsourcing-firm-working-for/

Decriminalization doesn’t address marijuana’s standing as a drug of the poor

Massachusetts just opened its first marijuana dispensary, with many applauding the move. And as more and more states decriminalize the drug, polls show that most Americans believe that the costs of marijuana prohibition outweigh its benefits.

There are surely social benefits to legalization. For one, fewer marijuana-related arrests should slow spending on the war on drugs, which has been astronomically expensive and unsuccessful.

And fewer arrests should benefit minority communities that have experienced racially biased drug-law enforcement. Blacks, for instance, face nearly four times the rate of marijuana arrests as whites, despite similar rates of marijuana use and overall drug use between the two racial groups
Massachusetts just opened its first marijuana dispensary, with many applauding the move. And as more and more states decriminalize the drug, polls show that most Americans believe that the costs of marijuana prohibition outweigh its benefits.

There are surely social benefits to legalization. For one, fewer marijuana-related arrests should slow spending on the war on drugs, which has been astronomically expensive and unsuccessful.

And fewer arrests should benefit minority communities that have experienced racially biased drug-law enforcement. Blacks, for instance, face nearly four times the rate of marijuana arrests as whites, despite similar rates of marijuana use and overall drug use between the two racial groups



http://theconversation.com/decriminalization-doesnt-address-marijuanas-standing-as-a-drug-of-the-poor-42345

Tomgram: Michael Klare, A Future in Arms

Imagine for a moment that in 2010, China’s leaders had announced a long-term, up to $60 billion arms deal with an extreme Islamic fundamentalist regime in the Middle East, one that was notoriously repressive to women and a well-known supporter of the Taliban. Imagine as well that the first $30 billion part of that deal, involving 84 advanced jet fighters, was sealed in 2011, and that, since then, the sales have never stopped: several kinds of helicopters, artillery, armored personnel carriers, upgraded tanks, surface-to-air missile systems, even possibly a litoral combat vessel, among other purchases. Then include one more piece of information in the mix. In 2013, China added in “an advanced class of precision ‘standoff munitions’” -- missiles that could be fired from those previously purchased advanced jet fighters.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175705/

Tomgram: Steve Fraser, Mongrel Firebugs and Men of Property


Plutocracy The First Time Around
Revisiting the Great Upheaval and the First Gilded Age
By Steve Fraser



Part 1: The Great Upheaval

What came to be known as the Great Upheaval, the movement for the eight-hour day, elicited what one historian has called “a strange enthusiasm.” The normal trade union strike is a finite event joining two parties contesting over limited, if sometimes intractable, issues. The mass strike in 1886 or before that in 1877 -- all the many localized mass strikes that erupted in towns and small industrial cities after the Civil War and into the new century -- was open-ended and ecumenical in reach.


So, for example, in Baltimore when the skilled and better-paid railroad brakemen on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad first struck in 1877 so, too, did less well off “box-makers, sawyers, and can-makers, engaged in the shops and factories of that city, abandoned their places and swarmed into the streets.” This in turn “stimulated the railroad men to commit bolder acts.” When the governor of West Virginia sent out the Berkeley Light Guard and Infantry to confront the strikers at Martinsburg at the request of the railroad’s vice president, the militia retreated and “the citizens of the town, the disbanded militia, and the rural population of the surrounding country fraternized,” encouraging the strikers.

The centrifugal dynamic of the mass strike was characteristic of this extraordinary phenomenon. By the third day in Martinsburg the strikers had been “reinforced during the night at all points by accessions of working men engaged in other avocations than railroading,” which, by the way, made it virtually impossible for federal troops by then on the scene to recruit scabs to run the trains.


http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175976/tomgram%3A_steve_fraser%2C_mongrel_firebugs_and_men_of_property/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tomdispatch%2FesUU+%28TomDispatch%3A+The+latest+Tomgram%29

Charlie Hebdo & French ‘Secularism': Does it really just privilege White Christians?

This is a rather interesting and thought provoking essay on the understanding of secularism.

Commentators in France and elsewhere have taken the recent terrorist attacks in Paris as an occasion to reflect more broadly about Muslims in France. Many read the attacks as a sign of French Muslims’ refusal to integrate. They’ve asked whether Muslims can be fully secular and expressed doubt as whether one can be both Muslim and French.

Even as we try to make sense of what happened, however, we should be wary of myths about French secularism (laďcité) and French citizenship being spun in the aftermath of the attacks.

France understands itself and is often accepted as a preeminent secular nation that fully separates church and state and restricts religion to the private sphere.

The reality is more complicated, as more than 10 years of research on this issue have taught me.


http://www.juancole.com/2015/01/secularism-privilege-christians.html

What Charlie Hebdo says about laughter, violence, and free speech

But comedy – especially satire – has historically been used by the socially marginalized and powerless to deftly critique, deflate, and humanize those in power. Every royal court had its jester. Jonathan Swift made a modest proposal. Cartoonist Thomas Nast challenged the corruption of Tammany Hall. And nightly, many tune in to The Daily Show.

Laughter, therefore, is most effective when it comes from below to mock and diminish the powerful. Yet when laughter comes from above (the powerful) – and is aimed at the powerless – it often comes across as mean-spirited bullying. In this respect, the description of Charlie Hebdo as a bunch of “white men punching down” is an accurate characterization of the periodical’s cartoons – along with the anti-Irish, anti-black, and anti-women editorial cartoons we’ve seen throughout history.


This however is what lead me to post the essay.

Recently I was teasing my eight-year-old daughter, thinking I was being playful and celebrating what she had gotten wrong in an adorable way. She hit me in the leg and I reminded her that in our house “we use words, not hands.” She said she didn’t know what to say. Unable to carry on the conversation, she responded with a different language: violence.


http://theconversation.com/what-charlie-hebdo-says-about-laughter-violence-and-free-speech-36057

An interesting article on Henry Ford and the 5 dollar wage

This Day in Labor History: January 5, 1914

January 5, 2015 | Erik Loomis

On January 5, 1914, Henry Ford announced his famous $5 a day wage to his workers. Ford is often lauded for his efforts here and he was surely forward-thinking in creating this salary. But this post will also challenge his reputation as a good employer, for Ford expected plenty in return from those employees, far more than any employee should have to accept.



http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2015/01/day-labor-history-january-5-1914

Book Review: Gregory Wood: Retiring Men: Manhood, Labor, and Growing Old In America, 1900-1960


December 21, 2014 | Erik Loomis

Gregory Wood’s Retiring Men examines the intersection between masculinity, work, and retirement in the first six decades of the twentieth century. He argues that the crisis over retirement in a changing economy shaped connections between manhood and work during these years, an issue of real importance in the unstable economy of the New Gilded Age.

At the core of Wood’s book is the desperation of older workers in the American workplace of the early twentieth century. Work has long been at the center of identity for American men. Men have long held the single-income household dear, however fleeting in reality. Even more dear is the ability to support oneself and not have to rely on family or charity. But as industrialization became more intensive and mechanized in the early twentieth century, with faster machines and larger factories requiring hordes of young, strong workers, older men found themselves out of work. That included men as young as 40. And there was simply nowhere for many of them to go. Wood’s book is filled with the words of desperate men, despairing over their economic plight. With work considered the proper state for men, the lack of work meant the lack of manhood. The many letters and statements Wood quotes from the aging and unemployed are heartbreaking. Railroad conductor MS Thornton was finished at 47. He told a reporter, “Premature white hair told heavily against me. At 35 I was gray and at 40 I suppose I looked like a man of fifty.” His boss fired him and gave his job to a younger man. Some men dyed their mustaches and hair, but in this period, the quality of dyes were so bad that they could damage the skin or poison you. In 1902, the Los Angeles Times published a letter on a hair dye ingredient. It included “sugar of lead,” “tincture of cantharides,” “lac sulphur,” ammonia, and other fun things.

Go to Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next »