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Right-Wing Urban Outfitters Now Asking Employees to Work for Free

October 8, 2015 in Blogs

By Kali Holloway, AlterNet

The clothier steps in it yet again by asking staff to “volunteer” their time…at work.


Over the last few years, Urban Outfitters has become known for three things (outside of carrying overpriced clothes that fall apart the first time you wash them): 1) Offending every possible marginalized group under the sun with apparel that features really tasteless messages; 2) allegedly stealing designs from up-and-coming artists and selling them as their own; and 3) having a president and CEO, Richard Hayne, who has given money to anti-gay marriage crusader Rick Santorum and other Republican politicians. Now the company is making news for its boldest action yet: asking employees to work for free!

Gawker got hold of an email sent to salaried employees of URBN, which is the company that owns Urban Outfitters, on Tuesday. Note how it suggests that taking part will help build camaraderie:

From: URBNcommunity

Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2015 12:01 PM

Subject: A Call For URBN Volunteers!

A Call for URBN Volunteers!

URBN is seeking weekend volunteers to help out at our fulfillment center in Gap, PA. October will be the busiest month yet for the center, and we need additional helping hands to ensure the timely shipment of orders. As a volunteer, you will work side by side with your GFC colleagues to help pick, pack and ship orders for our wholesale and direct customers.

In addition to servicing the needs of our customers, it’s a great way to experience our fulfillment operations first hand. Get your co-workers together for a team building activity!

The Details:

Who: Home Office URBN salaried employees

Where: URBN’s Fulfilment Center – 766 Brackbill Road, Gap, Pennsylvania 17527

What You’ll Be Doing: Pick, pack and prepare packages for shipment(please wear sneakers and comfortable clothing)

When: October 17, 18, 24, 25, and 31 Lunch will be provided

Two shifts each day: 9:00 AM – 3:00PM or 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

(you can volunteer for one or multiple days)

Transportation: If needed, URBN will provide transportation to and from GFC (details provided after sign up)

HowSign up using this link and we will be in touch with more details. Please do not show up without signing up.

That’s …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Woman Flipped Off the Mayor, So He Had a SWAT Team Raid Her House

October 8, 2015 in Blogs

By John Vibes, The Free Thought Project

Her feud with the city began last year when she lost water service for nearly a week and was treated rudely by the mayor.


Piedmont, MO – Tina Warren has been fighting her local government over rising water bills, leaving her at odds with the town’s mayor, Bill Kirkpatrick. Warren has been running a number of campaigns against his policies, and she has even been flipping the mayor the middle finger every time she sees him.

Tina’s local activism made her a target for the local police, who pulled her over several times, reportedly demanding that she stop a petition drive that she was organizing about water bills.

According to Warren, her house was also raided and searched for drugs on Kirkpatrick’s orders. Now she is filing a harassment lawsuit against the city, stating that the mayor and the local police colluded to intimidate her and prevent her activism.

Warren’s feud with the city began last year when she lost water service for nearly a week and was treated rudely by Kirkpatrick when attempting to get answers about the lack of service. She later randomly had her water meter removed by the city and wasn’t given any explanation. The encounter where her water meter was removed can be seen in the video below.

Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri, has pointed out that the mayor was using the police to prevent Warren from speaking freely.

“The mayor and police cannot use their power to intimidate individuals who communicate in ways that some may find offensive,Rothert said.

“They have been harassed repeatedly by government officials since Ms. Warren began expressing her disgust with the mayor by flipping him her middle finger,” the ACLU said in a later statement.

 

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Source: ALTERNET

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Murdoch's Insanely Racist Obama Comment

October 8, 2015 in Blogs

By Kali Holloway, AlterNet

Rupert Murdoch tweets dumb things.


Rupert Murdoch, the 84-year-old white Australian billionaire who owns pretty much every awful major right-wing media outlet you can think of, is on Twitter. And he has a lot to say! Yesterday, for example, he sent a tweet in which he suggested that President Obama isn’t a “real black president” – not like Ben Carson would be, anyway. See for yourself below:

As you might expect, Twitter was fast and furious in its negative response, suggesting that maybe a 84-year-old white Australian billionaire should not be deciding who is and isn’t “really black.” Murdoch’s response? To push the blame onto a New York Magazine article in which African-Americans leaders discussed Obama’s effectiveness for the black community.

When that failed, Murdoch again took to Twitter today and apologized with a tweet pretending he had no idea his message might upset some people. For the record, CNN tried to clarify Murdoch’s statement but was told by a spokesperson for 21st Century Fox: “We don't comment on his tweets.” 

 

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Source: ALTERNET

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Ben Carson Appears to Have No Idea What the Debt Limit Is

October 8, 2015 in Blogs

By Zaid Jilani, AlterNet

He was asked four times what he thinks about the debt limit.


A group of Republicans continue to threaten to use the U.S. Debt limit – the ability for the federal government to basically pay for debt that has already been created and allowing for the Treasury to make its already made financial obligations – as a bargaining chip for various policy asks. They did so before to force a significant cut to social spending.

Dr. Ben Carson, who is running a strong second for the Republican nomination for the presidency, was on the Marketplace radio show and was asked four times what he thinks about the debt limit. All four times, Carson appeared to not even know what it was, confusing it with balancing the budget, which actually has nothing to do with whether the federal government can borrow to meet obligations it has already made:

Ryssdal:All right, so let's talk about debt then and the budget. As you know, Treasury Secretary Lew has come out in the last couple of days and said, “We're gonna run out of money, we're gonna run out of borrowing authority, on the fifth of November.” Should the Congress then and the president not raise the debt limit? Should we default on our debt?

Carson:Let me put it this way: if I were the president, I would not sign an increased budget. Absolutely would not do it. They would have to find a place to cut.

Ryssdal:To be clear, it's increasing the debt limit, not the budget, but I want to make sure I understand you. You'd let the United States default rather than raise the debt limit.

Carson:No, I would provide the kind of leadership that says, “Get on the stick guys, and stop messing around, and cut where you need to cut, because we're not raising any spending limits, period.”

Ryssdal:I'm gonna try one more time, sir. This is debt that's already obligated. Would you not favor increasing the debt limit to pay the debts already incurred?

Carson:What I'm saying is what we have to do is restructure the way that we create debt. I …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Rockwell: The Menace of Egalitarianism

October 8, 2015 in Economics

By Mises Institute

The Menace of Egalitarianism
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Rockwell: The Menace of Egalitarianism

October 8, 2015

Mises Daily Thursday: Adapted from his Dallas-Ft. Worth Mises Circle talk, Lew Rockwell writes:

[T]he reason the state holds up equality as a moral ideal is precisely that it is unattainable. We may forever strive for it, but we can never reach it. What ideology could be better, from the state’s point of view? The state can portray itself as the indispensable agent of justice, while at the same time drawing ever more power and resources to itself — over education, employment, wealth redistribution, and practically any area of social life or the economy you can name — in the course of pursuing the unattainable egalitarian program. “Equality cannot be imagined outside of tyranny,” said Montalembert. It was, he said, “nothing but the canonization of envy, [and it] was never anything but a mask which could not become reality without the abolition of all merit and virtue.”

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The Big Father Figure Lie: Race, the Kardashians and the Latest War on Black Moms

October 8, 2015 in Blogs

By Brittney Cooper, Salon

America celebrates the Kardashians' female-centered family — but pathologizes Black matriarchs.


Cosmopolitan magazine has declared the Kardashians America’s new first family. Certainly, this symbolic dethroning of the Obamas is shot through with every kind of upsetting racial implication, a point Black Twitter has been swift to point out. Apparently now that the official first family is African-American, achievement of a nuclear family is no longer a mainstream cultural aspiration. While Black families continue to labor under the burden of being exceptionally normal like the Obamas or escaping the supposedly normal “pathology” of the non-nuclear Black family, Cosmopolitan is now giving white Americans an opportunity to visually revel in and experiment with embracing a white female-centered family structure. The cover image for Cosmopolitan’s November issue features America’s new chosen “first family” consisting of six white women, including Kris Jenner and her five daughters, three by her first husband, and two by her former husband Bruce Jenner, who has now transitioned into Caitlyn Jenner.

American families are changing, and we should celebrate the fact that the two-parent, nuclear family ideal has gone the way of the floppy disk. But the terms upon which we come to celebrate this family structure are deeply problematic. Why is it appropriate to celebrate Kris Jenner’s new status as the matriarch of a family of daughters, when we have pathologized Black mother-led families unrelentingly since 1965? Just last month, the Atlantic ran a photograph featuring a downtrodden-looking Black woman surrounded by several young men, women and babies, with no father-figure, to accompany Ta-Nehisi Coates’ cover story, “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” Fifty years ago, after Daniel Moynihan’s infamous report on “The Negro Family,” the absence of a father figure in Black households became a mark of cultural pathology. Black mothers bore the cultural refuse of this structural shaming of Black families.

The Moynihan Report induced a deep kind of cultural anxiety and shame about the failure of Black mothers and fathers to get married and stay married. The only balm that seemed to soothe this wound was the fictional Cosby family in …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Rubio Misses Cutting Susides for Student Loans

October 8, 2015 in Economics

By Neal McCluskey

Neal McCluskey

I know that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is running for President, and the natural inclination is to speak as if he will personally transform things. But the higher education reforms laid out in his recent Des Moines Register op-ed — not just his repeated use of “I” to say who will make the reforms — lend credence to the concern that, rather than getting government out of college funding and out of the way, he will retain, even if in some possibly improved form, federal control.

Rubio starts off on a good note, saying that, “I will reform our accreditation system to welcome low-cost, innovative higher education providers, which are currently being blocked by the existing institutions that control accreditation.” That’s a fine inclination, but keep in mind that the accreditation clot is primarily a symptom or an insidious root disease: federal student aid. The main reason accreditation is de facto required is that it is needed to get access to Pell Grants, federal student loans, etc. And, of course, the price of not having access to those things is a gigantic competitive disadvantage.

It is the next two paragraphs that really fire my fear neurons, both with how autocratic they sound, and more importantly, what Rubio proposes to do…or not do:

Next, I will help students and families earn the right degree at the right price from the right institution for them. I’ll require schools to tell students how much they can expect to earn with a given degree before they take out the loans to pay for it. I will open financial aid programs that allow working students to go to school at night, online, and on weekends. I will make career and vocational education more widespread, even allowing high school students like those President Obama will be speaking to today to graduate with a certification to instantly enter a good-paying career.

I will create new alternatives to student loans. I will also tie traditional loan repayment to each graduate’s income, enabling those who earn more to pay back their loans faster and those who earn less to make smaller payments over a longer period of time. This will dramatically reduce the financial risks of earning a degree.

The constant use of “I” belies the fact that a president is not given the power to do any of these things unilaterally. (Of course, the Constitution doesn’t empower the feds to do any of …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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In Policy Debates, Can Economics Trump Ethics?

October 8, 2015 in Economics

By Matt McCaffrey

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In Policy Debates, Can Economics Trump Ethics?

October 8, 2015

To support free markets is to invite criticism on virtually every policy issue. Whether it’s the minimum wage, gun control, or a hundred other topics, markets are constantly under attack, and the burden of proof always seems to fall on advocates of free choice to show that it’s superior to coercion.

This can be exasperating; after all, a passing acquaintance with economics or history is enough to show that the body of theory and evidence—sometimes going back millennia—is on the side of peaceful cooperation and markets. So what gives? Why are the institutions of a free society constantly on the defensive?

There are many reasons, but I want to mention a specific strategic problem that’s common in public policy. That is, when defending markets, we’re often denied the chance to make an economic case against government restrictions, regulations, and privileges. Instead, the opponents of free choice manage to frame arguments to their own advantage, usually by excluding economics altogether.

This happens in several ways, but one that’s increasingly troublesome is the rhetorical trick of defining policy debates only in terms of ethical questions, especially questions of rights.

Take gun control, for example. Its proponents market it as a way to make society safer from violent crime. Further, according to these advocates, the case against gun control is based on claims about individual property rights (for instance, the rights supposedly enshrined in the Second Amendment). Debating gun control therefore consists in weighing these rights against the need for a safer society, and to oppose gun control is to believe that increased gun violence is a regrettable but necessary evil. In other words, increased violence is the price we pay for the right to own firearms.

Admiral Ackbar would immediately recognize this kind of argument for what it is: a trap.

One problem is that framing arguments in terms of rights alone makes it easier to claim that any disagreement is between heartless, individualist devotion to abstract principles on one side, and compassionate, practical care for humanity on the other.

However, there’s also a hidden assumption behind the framing device: …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE