The world runs a little bit more smoothly without troublesome humans mucking up the works. Consider the least sexy sex scandal of all time, 60-year-old David Patraeus and his various middle-aged twin Florida gal pals and wives and shirtless old FBI agents trying to figure out this whole "sexting" business. Why not just have drones do the war fightin', right? OH WAIT THIS IS OBAMA'S PLAN.
Meanwhile, in China, there is trouble at the factories that produce our beloved iPhones and iPads and those iDevices currently manufactured in a compromise size between that of the iPhone and the iPad. The workers want the jobs, because of the [...]
Last night Philip Glass told this story about how John Cage once emptied the house during a performance. Cage had gotten it into his head to do a spoken performance where he made a cut-up poem out of syllables or something? Man, it sounds like the worst thing ever, just being trapped in a room with John Cage endlessly making vowel noises at you, and so he achieved a 100% audience walkout. Glass' point was that there has to be a place to try and make things and achieve failure along the way (typical Buddhist!) and he was telling this story because this was at the 40th anniversary dinner for [...]
Most news coming out of the American labor movement can be categorized as "depressing." The news of Service Employees International Union president Andy Stern's impending resignation is no exception. It means that Stern's aggressive, and often sloppy, campaign to rehabilitate labor of its unhealthy tendencies-turf wars, stagnation, bankrolling of weak Democrats-was a failure. Throughout his 15-year tenure, Stern has gotten it from all sides. Within the left, the attack most often levied against Stern was that he has been a ruthless union boss, bent on consolidating his own power. In this version of events, Stern squelched union democracy by cobbling together local union chapters, deposing local leadership, turning rank [...]
Blanca, a 50-something nursing assistant, was sitting across from me at the nurses' station at the Intensive Care Unit inside of a Tenet Healthcare Corporation-owned hospital in downtown Los Angeles. It was midnight, and this was 2004. Blanca's patients were gurgling, asleep or comatose. I was there talking to Blanca on behalf of workers at Kaiser, who were bargaining away benefits because Tenet, the for-profit, non-union hospital chain was driving down wages in the county. The argument was that every one would be better off, Blanca and Kaiser workers, if they were all in one union.
During advanced pneumonia the lungs fill with fluid so there's a wet gurgling [...]
You are probably unaware that workers at the Stella D'Oro Biscuit factory in the Bronx have been on strike since August, when the private equity firm that purchased the company in 2006 refused to bargain with their union on a new contract. Yesterday, an administrative law judge with the National Labor Relations Board ordered their reinstatement, plus payment of back wages.