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Irwin Schiff, RIP

October 17, 2015 in Economics

By David Gordon

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Irwin Schiff, RIP

October 17, 2015

Irwin Schiff, imprisoned for his resistance to the federal income tax, died yesterday. Efforts by his son, the noted financial commentator Peter Schiff, to secure his release from prison so that he could die with his family, were unsuccessful. Schiff's sad passing illustrates an essential truth about the state: if you resist its orders, you will be dealt with by force.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Papa John's Stores to Pay $500,000 Wage Theft Settlement

October 17, 2015 in Blogs

By Laura Clawson, Daily Kos

“At a certain point you see a pattern and start to think maybe the parent company has something to do with it.”


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman keeps cracking down on wage theft, and around 250 workers will be sharing in a nearly $500,000 settlement from four current and former Papa John's franchisees.

“Once again, we’ve found Papa John’s franchises in New York that are ripping off their workers and violating critical state and federal laws,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “Once again, I call on Papa John’s and other fast food companies to step up and stop the widespread lawlessness plaguing your businesses and harming the workers who make and deliver your food.”

Though it often isn't treated this way, it actually is illegal to fail to pay minimum wage or overtime, to make people work off the clock, to force workers being paid at the tipped worker subminimum wage to do non-tipped work, and a disturbing list of other ways businesses have found to keep money that workers have earned. And about that “once again”:

In July, the attorney general's office arrested Abdul Jamil Khokhar, owner of nine Papa John's stores in New York, accusing him of breaking minimum wage and overtime laws. According to his plea agreement, Khokhar could serve up to 60 days in jail. In another case, the attorney general's office secured a judgment of nearly $3 million against two other Papa John's franchisees.

So while the workers were technically employed by—and cheated by—the franchisees, at a certain point you see a pattern and start to think maybe the parent company has something to do with it. That's one of the reasons the National Labor Relations Board pushed to treat some fast food chains as joint employers responsible for working conditions in franchise restaurants.

In 2013, a report from Fast Food Forward found 84 percent of New York City fast food workers reporting that they'd been victims of wage theft. Fully 100 percent of fast food delivery workers said the same. Schneiderman's efforts to crack down have also led to settlements at franchises of other …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Ann Coulter Tries — and Fails, Spectacularly — to Defend Her White Privilege to the Women Of 'The View'

October 17, 2015 in Blogs

By Scott Eric Kaufman, Salon

What just happened?


Ann Coulter appeared on “The View” today to promote her new book, “Adios, America,” and to teach native Spanish speakers how to properly pronounce “adios” and declare that, as “a settler,” she’s a Native American.

The interview was hostile from the get-go, with Nicaraguan native Ana Navarro asking her to explain what the subtitle of her book — which bemoans the fact that immigrants are allegedly transforming America into “a Third World Hellhole” — actually means. Coulter ignored the question, preferring instead to correct Navarro on the American pronunciation of “adios.”

Lest you think that’s the most awful thing Coulter could say, Navarro asked Coulter whether her family immigrated to the United States or whether she was a Native American, and Coulter replied “I am — I’m a settler. I’m descended from settlers, not immigrants.”

Raven-Symoné asked her “why do you think your success” is based off of attacking non-white people with “words that cut the hearts of Americans,” and Coulter dodged that question too, saying that “at least I’m talking about policy, you insult people for their names.”

Coulter insisted, repeatedly, that the only reason immigration exists is because Democrats need votes and plutocrats need maids, and no matter how much the panelists — immigrants and the children of immigrants alike — protested, she never wavered. And why should she?

As Raven-Symoné pointed out, her career is predicated on her stubborn refusal to confront reality.

Watch the entire episode of “The View” via ABC.

 

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Source: ALTERNET

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5 Right-wing Absurdities this Week: Rand Paul Gets Unhinged About Bernie

October 17, 2015 in Blogs

By Janet Allon, AlterNet

Calm down, Rand. Time to fade away.


1. There’s a reason Rand Paul has become completely irrelevant.

The fact that Rand Paul was once touted as the savior of the Republican Party does not speak well of either of them. But just to drive the point home that Paul is definitely not suited to play the role of level-headed grown up in the room, the Kentucky libertarian got a little hysterical this week about Bernie Sanders.

Just a tad.

The word “socialist” can do that to right-wing libertarian types—sending them into paroxysms of wild-eyed terror. On a conservative South Carolina radio show, Paul suggested that a Bernie Sanders presidency might set off “mass genocide.” In his view, that’s what happens when you try socialism. Apparently, he has never heard of Scandinavia, where genocide really hasn’t been a thing.

“It amazes me and it actually kind of scares me,” Paul told radio host Vince Coakley. “I think it’s not an accident of history that most of the times when socialism has been tried that attendant with that has been mass genocide of people or any of those who object to it. Stalin killed tens of millions of people. Mao killed tens of millions of people. Pol Pot killed tens of millions of people.”

Granted, Paul is not the only Republican who is confused about Sanders’ use of the word socialism, and certainly not the only one using ridiculous rhetoric to scare people to death. Texas state Rep. Jason Villalba,

Villalba compared him to Hitler on Tuesday, later backing off, and going the other way to Stalin.a

So clearly, we can expect a lot more of this nonsense.

2. Trump tries to have it both ways with healthcare.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump (yes still) is working on a healthcare plan to replace Obamacare and it’s the most beautiful, wonderful healthcare plan every, because it is Donald Trump’s. It just is. Believe him. It’s a “great plan.” He was discussing this proposal in his usual vague, word-salady way this week with talk radio host Simon Conway, saying he would cut “great deals” with health care providers, because that is what he …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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WATCH: Bernie Sanders Confronts Bill Maher, Explains Why Socialism Is a Good Thing

October 17, 2015 in Blogs

By Adam Johnson, AlterNet

“We win when voter turnout is high.”


Senator Sanders was on Bill Maher's Real Time Friday night to defend his plan to create universal healthcare, paid leave and free public college for everyone. Though Maher said he was “a fan” and supported Sanders, he pushed back on a few points, namely how Sanders would pay for his programs and whether or not Americans could actually embrace a “socialist.”

“What we have got to do,” Sanders told Maher, “Is remind fellow Americans that every other country on earth guarantees healthcare as a right — and they do it more cost-effectively.” After enthusiastic applause, Maher pushed back. 

“I still don't think we're 'un-demonizing' the word socialism,” the Real Time host said. “This is my big thing, to get you to 'un-demonize' this word.” Maher went on to cite surveys showing only half of the country would vote for a socialist, well below every other group including Muslims, atheists and Jews. Sanders, for his part, kept insisting it was necessary to educate people about what it means to be a socialist. 

“What people have to understand,” Sanders said, “is that people can't afford to send their kids to college. People are deeply in debt. Do I think we should join Germany and many other countries and encourage young people to get education they need to make our country stronger? I do. I sure do.”

Watch the clip below:

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Source: ALTERNET

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Florida Sheriff Furious Obama Took His Military Tank Away

October 17, 2015 in Blogs

By Bethania Palma Markus, Raw Story

“People will die because of this decision.”


Police in Florida are complaining that the Obama Administration is recalling military-style tanks that many have complained made American city streets look like foreign war zones during unrest in places like Ferguson, Missouri last year.

Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said losing an M113 — an armored personnel carrier — will result in some of his officers going on “suicide missions,” the Orlando Sentinel reports.

“People will die because of this decision,” Johnson told the paper.

Volusia County still has another tank, an MRAP — Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. But the difference is the M113 has tracks instead of wheels that allow it to travel in terrains wheels won’t go.

“The idea that our president will take this stuff away from us, the M113 (armored personnel carrier), puts not only our deputies in harm’s way but the citizens in harm’s way,” Johnson fumed to the News-Journal. “It’s obvious from some of the decisions he’s made that he really doesn’t care a whole lot about law enforcement officers.”

The federal government’s program of selling excess military hardware to local police departments at deep discounts has faced growing criticism. Volusia County’s M113, for example, was purchased 11 years ago for $1,500, the News-Journal reports. A total of 126 similar tanks have been recalled.

Scrutiny of the program intensified after images from the unrest in Ferguson showed local police decked out in desert military camouflage, pointing assault weapons at unarmed civilians and rolling around in tanks. Many pointed out that the gear was not only further inflaming the situation, but that the police weren’t trained in how to properly use them.

After Ferguson, President Obama said the federal government would no longer provide military hardware like tanks and grenade launchers to police departments, NBC News reported. Police will have to submit to stringent federal oversight if they want less heavy-handed military gear.

Watch the report, via Fox35, here:

 

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