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Topics - ksen

2
https://www.texasobserver.org/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-freest-little-city-in-texas/

Quote
But it's probably safe to say that the vision of the city's founder, a libertarian lawyer whose family traces its roots in Von Ormy back six generations, has curdled into something that is part comedy, part tragedy.

Boy, who could have seen this coming?

eta: also just a reminder this is the GOP vision for the entire country
3
I guess typically it refers to jobs that get at or near minimum wage.  Including things like fast food workers, janitors, retail store workers, etc.

Neoliberals then make the jump from "not requiring much skill" to "not worth paying a living a wage too".  I contend the latter does not follow from the former.

Would businesses be able to function and turn a profit without people filling these "unskilled" jobs? No, of course they wouldn't be able to unless they figured out a way to automate the whole process. Therefore the jobs may be considered "unskilled" but at the same time they are also necessary for the survival and growth of the business.  And if they are necessary for the business to prosper then the people working in them ought to be paid at least a living wage.

If right now all McDonald's workers walked out of their stores and refused to work and McDonald's was not able to replace them McDonald's would be fucked as a business.

Or if janitors stopped cleaning the bathrooms and nobody else stepped up to do it how much repeat business would these places get? Probably not enough to stay in business.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here but I've been thinking about this and just needed to type it out and get it off my chest.

tl;dr - nice blog post bro
4
Politics and Current Events / Poor Che Guevara
http://www.salon.com/2017/07/25/che-guevara-image-is-used-as-an-advertisement-for-apartments-and-office-space/

Quote
In an effort to advertise apartments and office space, a company chose to use a massive version of an iconic image of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. Predictably, a Twitter users image of the building's advertisement went viral.

"A revolutionary place to live and work," the advertisement said under the picture of Guevara with an addition of aviator sunglasses and a cigar in Bristol.



viva la revelucion!
5
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/25/debbie-wasserman-schultz-aide-arrest-240960

Quote
Awan, a longtime IT staffer who worked for more than two dozen House Democrats, has been at the center of a criminal investigation on Capitol Hill for months related to procurement theft. Several of his family members, also IT staffers at the time, were implicated in the ongoing investigation.

Most Democratic lawmakers cut ties with Awan and his family after the criminal investigation came to light in early February. But Awan has continued to be employed by Wasserman Schultz, although it's unclear what his job duties are given he has been barred from accessing the House IT system for months.

Alvi, another House staff member involved in the Capitol Hill investigation, left the country with their three daughters, headed for Pakistan in March, according to an affidavit filed in the Awan case. Alvi had "numerous pieces of luggage" and more than $12,000 in cash, FBI agent Brandon Merriman wrote in the affidavit.

I am sure no hay will be made of this.
6
p sure it is but I need teeth's input to know for sure
7
Arts and Entertainment / Hugh Grant . . .
. . . not dead.

I watched About a Boy last night and I just wanted to say that I really like Hugh Grant in comedic roles.  I think he has great comedic timing and delivery.

There, I said it.

Carry on.
8
The Mystery of Why Japanese People Are Having So Few Babies

Of course the easy answer is Anime and mobile gaming.

Quote
But there's another, simpler explanation for the country's low birth rate, one that has implications for the U.S.: Japan's birth rate may be falling because there are fewer good opportunities for young people, and especially men, in the country's economy. In a country where men are still widely expected to be breadwinners and support families, a lack of good jobs may be creating a class of men who don't marry and have children because they--and their potential partners--know they can't afford to.

This guy was lucky enough to get a steady job but had to live through a nightmare that almost killed him.

Quote
At POSSE, I met a young man named Jou Matsubara, who graduated from Rikkyo Daigaku, a prestigious private college in Japan. Matsubara, who comes from a working-class family, thought he'd achieved the Japanese dream when he graduated from college and got a job at Daiwa House Group, a Japanese home builder.

The company advertised itself as a great place to work, but Matsubara, who was a wrestler in college, told me it soon became evident that it was anything but. Though company employees left work at 7 p.m. on paper, Matsubara said he was required to work until late at night almost every day. Employees were required to sign off at 7 p.m., even if they were still working, and were given iPads so that they could do so even if they were out of the office at meetings. If they didn't sign off, they'd get a call on their cellphones brusquely asking them to sign off immediately but keep working, he said. "The amount of time you're actually working and the amount of time that is recorded you're working have absolutely no relation to each other," he said. Matsubara got almost no time off, and was required to take classes to receive real-estate certifications on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which were days he was told he'd have free. This lifestyle made dating impossible. The closest he got to women, he said, was when his boss would drag him to cabaret clubs, and then make him pick up the tab.

After a year, the long hours and stress started to affect his health. Matsubara had trouble sleeping, and started hearing voices. He fell into a depression, he said, because the experience he had expected from a regular job and his own experience were so different. Matsubara told me he was taken to the hospital multiple times in an ambulance because he couldn't breathe. Eventually, he suffered a nervous breakdown. He said the company forced him to resign, and then made him pay back the money he'd saved from living in a company dormitory. (Daiwa House did not return a request for comment.) Matsubara is now living on welfare. "My life that was going smoothly and systematically was destroyed by Daiwa House," he said. He estimated that out of the 800 people who started with him at Daiwa House, 600 have quit.

At what point can these companies and the politicians that enable be charged with crimes against humanity? Surely there's an enterprising group of young lawyers that are creative enough to build such a case.

When government and corporate policy allow such horrible practices that the population growth of the entire country is adversely affected how does that not rise to the level of criminality?
9
http://www.salon.com/2017/07/20/cecil-the-lion-son-xanda-killed/

Quote
One of Cecil the lion's sons, Xanda, was killed by trophy hunters in Zimbabwe after wandering just outside the protected Hwange National Park, according to the Guardian.

Six years old and reportedly a father to cubs himself, Xanda was killed in similar fashion to his father was in 2015 -- a event that caused a global stir. The trophy hunt had been put together by private hunter Richard Cooke, the Guardian reported. However, the names of his clients, who could have paid tens of thousands of dollars to participate, have not yet been released.

I don't know who Cecil pissed off but I hear an expedition is being assembled for next summer to go into the park and salt Cecil the Lion's lands.
10
http://www.salon.com/2017/07/20/star-wars-monopoly-finally-finally-adds-demanded-rey-figure/

How do you ship a Force Awakens monopoly game without a token for the main character?

Nah, I know . . . because chicks aren't good with money.
11
I know that normally the presidential election is considered started right after the mid-terms are over.  However, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, the start date keeps creeping earlier and earlier on the calendar.  Apparently the presidential election now starts 7 months into the new president's term.

Poll: Trump trails Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris, Booker in matchups

Quote
President Trump trails former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and three Democratic senators in a new poll from a Democratic firm testing possible 2020 matchups.

The survey of registered voters, conducted by Public Policy Polling, found Trump trailing by wide margins against Sanders -- 52 percent to 39 percent -- and Biden -- 54 percent to 39 percent.

The poll also found Trump losing in hypothetical matchups against Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), although by smaller margins.

Trump trails Warren by 42 percent to 49 percent, Booker by 40 percent to 45 percent and Harris by 40 percent to 41 percent.

In a hypothetical race against Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Trump would see a tie, 40 percent to 40 percent.
The poll surveyed 836 registered voters between July 14 and 17 and has a plus or minus 3.4 percent margin of error.

So right now the fake polls say that pretty much any democrat would beat Trump.
12
. . . a feminism thread.

I'm Done Pretending Men Are Safe (Even My Sons)

Quote
I know I'm not supposed to cast an entire sex with a single paint brush -- not all men, I'm sure some readers are thinking and preparing to type or tweet. But if it's impossible for a white person to grow up without adopting racist ideas, simply because of the environment in which they live, how can I expect men not to subconsciously absorb at least some degree of sexism? White people aren't safe, and men aren't safe, no matter how much I'd like to assure myself that these things aren't true.

My sons won't rape unconscious women behind a dumpster, and neither will most of the progressive men I know. But what all of these men share in common, even my sons, is a relentless questioning and disbelief of the female experience. I do not want to prove my pain, or provide enough evidence to convince anyone that my trauma is merited. I'm through wasting my time on people who are more interested in ideas than feelings, and I'm through pretending these people, these men, are safe.

I love my sons, and I love some individual men. It pains me to say that I don't feel emotionally safe with them, and perhaps never have with a man, but it needs to be said because far too often we are afraid to say it. This is not a reflection of something broken or damaged in me; it is a reflection of the systems we build and our boys absorb. Those little boys grow into men who know the value of women, the value that's been ascribed to us by a broken system, and it seeps out from them in a million tiny, toxic ways.

I'm not sure I understand her complaint.  Is it that no men are safe from being taken in by red-pill culture (even just parts of it), including her own sons?
13
Arts and Entertainment / Martin Landau: dead
I remember watching him in Space: 1999.
14
Arts and Entertainment / George Romero: Dead
Reports are George Romero died yesterday and as far as we know his corpse hasn't reanimated yet.
16
Arts and Entertainment / Whatcha playing'?
Just picked up the Necromancer addition to Diablo 3.

Running around with a skellie army is p. fun.

Picked up a lot of stuff on the steam summer sale that I'll probably never finish.

Rolled a character on The Secret World: Legends a fun Lovecraftian "shared" world.

Also working on finishing the FFXIV Heavensward expansion so I can get into the new Stormblood content.
19
http://thehill.com/homenews/house/339570-chaffetz-calls-for-2500-legislator-housing-stipend

Quote
Just days before he resigns from Congress, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Monday that House and Senate lawmakers should receive a $2,500 per month housing allowance -- something he explained would help ease housing costs for members who can't afford two mortgages or rents.

Wants to slash housing funding for poor people that can't afford even one mortgage or rent.

Wants to raise housing funding for millionaires allegedly having trouble affording two mortgages or rents.

May I present: your modern-day conservative.
21
http://www.salon.com/2017/06/26/gop-donors-threaten-to-withhold-funds-unless-their-agenda-is-passed/

Quote
"Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed," Texas-based donor Doug Deason said, calling his donations a "Dallas piggy bank."

"You control the Senate. You control the House. You have the presidency. There's no reason you can't get this done. Get it done and we'll open it back up," he said.

ex·tor·tion
ikˈstôrSH(ə)n
noun
the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats.
22
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/26/534411641/pharma-bro-martin-shkreli-goes-on-trial-on-securities-fraud-charges?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=news

Quote
Martin Shkreli is known for a number of things. Jacking up the cost of a life-saving drug for AIDS patients by 5,000 percent. Grinning his way through a House hearing as he pleaded the Fifth. Spending millions to buy the only copy of a Wu-Tang album and then being in no hurry to listen to it. Badgering a journalist on Twitter until his account was suspended.

But today, jury selection begins in federal court as 34-year-old Shkreli goes on trial for something else entirely: securities fraud charges. Prosecutors say he was swindling investors in his hedge fund well before he became "the most hated man in America."

Federal agents arrested Shkreli in December 2015, and the SEC charged him with committing "a series of frauds" between October 2009 and March 2014[.

Rip off patients that need your drug in order to survive? You get a little public shaming.

Rip off some Wall Street investors with losses that wouldn't come close to effecting their lifestyles? You get arrested and put on trial and will probably spend time in jail.

Working as intended.
23
http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/336374-trump-unveils-plan-to-separate-air-traffic-control-from-government

Quote
"For too many years our country has tolerated delays at the airport, long wait times on the tarmac, and a slowing of commerce and travel that costs billion and billions of dollars," Trump said.

"Today we're proposing to take American air travel into the future, finally. We will launch this air travel revolution by modernizing the outdated system of air traffic control. It's about time."

Trump's proposal would transfer the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) air traffic control operations to an independent outside agency over three years "at no charge," removing 30,000 FAA employees from the federal payroll. The FAA would still maintain safety oversight, however.

ugh
24
http://abcnews.go.com/US/disgruntled-employee-kills-workplace-orlando-police/story?id=47838338

Looks like it was just a disgruntled employee that shot and killed 5 people this morning.  Nothing to see here.

We should probably start dating these in the title so that we can tell them apart.
25
Politics and Current Events / My Family’s Slave
Anyone else been following this?

My Family's Slave

I've been seeing a lot about this story and reactions to it over the past few days.