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Here’s your austerity, pal

Now that’s the way to do it!

Britain is on the brink of a series of crippling co-ordinated strikes, with more than a million union members planning to bring the country to a standstill.

Key workers, ranging from teachers to tax officials, university lecturers and coastguard controllers, will walk out on June 30.

Other strikes are likely to follow over the coming months as unions vent their fury at the Government’s programme of spending cuts.

The country’s biggest civil servant union, the Public and Commercial Services Union, is today expected to vote overwhelmingly to ballot for a national strike.

To add to the problems facing the country, it is planning to co-ordinate with other unions to ensure that the walk-outs have the maximum impact.

It has already persuaded teaching unions to join its strike plan, and is continuing to try to persuade other unions to sign up. Speaking on the eve of today’s PCS conference in Brighton, the militant general secretary of the union, Mark Serwotka, said: ‘Together we can win.’

Around 1,050,000 State workers are expected to take part in the national strike next month, which could lead to widespread closures of key government services. Mr Serwotka said he was ‘inspired’ by last year’s student protests, which led to violent scenes in central London.
The unprecedented action by around 680,000 teachers will close almost every school in England.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1388155/Unions-plan-million-strong-strike-bring-UK-standstill-summer.html#ixzz1P45eVELe


The AFL-CIO has it, and they’re threatening to use it if CEO pay goes unchecked. Here’s hoping they follow through:

WASHINGTON — The nation’s largest labor union on Friday threatened to challenge the powerful chairman of the Senate Banking Committee in the 2014 elections, if he allows a key set of new executive pay regulations be weakened.

The surprising remark occurred during a panel discussion moderated by The Huffington Post atSocial Investment Forum Conference. The summit was attended by hundreds of socially conscious investors ranging from religious groups like the Unitarian Church to high-profile investment houses like Mesirow Financial.

During the panel, a top technocrat on the Banking Committee, General Counsel Dean Shahinhian warned that investors may have to accept a weaker-than-anticipated version of new disclosures on CEO pay mandated by last year’s Wall Street reform bill. Shahinian also acknowledged that his boss, committee chairman Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), would be willing to re-open last year’s landmark legislation and rewrite some aspects of the law if bipartisan political consensus about some measures could be established.
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Hey Google

Don’t be evil!

The militarization of law enforcement

A special forces officer notes the change, and is worried about the malignant effect.

Perceiving yourself as an operator plasters over the difference between a law enforcement officer serving a warrant and a commando in a war zone. The former Mirandizes, the latter vaporizes, as the saying goes — and as the recent Osama bin Laden raid vividly illustrated.

Targeted killing is legal in a war zone but not on the streets of Anytown, USA. The war on drugs has done incalculable damage to the character of law enforcement by encouraging police officers to forget they are civilians.

True, they are civilians charged with enforcing the law and are empowered to use force to do so — but they are civilians nonetheless. When police officers refer to their fellow citizens as civilians and mean to exclude themselves from that category, they’ve mentally leapt from enforcing the law to destroying the enemies of the state. That’s incompatible with a free society.

Harvest moon

I remember one of my kids getting me this CD for Christmas one year and I still love it. Neil Young:

What the world needs now

Jackie DeShannon:

The girl from Ipanema

Astrudo Gilberto and Stan Getz:

Six months, three days

So Avedon linked to this story, which was recommended by Susie Bright. And all I can say is, wow.

Many years ago, I went to the crowded office of an HMO therapist and tried to discuss this very problem, which is that I frequently know how things will turn out (yes, I’m occasionally wrong but I never know in advance which things those are) and I wanted to emotionally detach from them. Instead, she decided I was schizophrenic and wanted to medicate me.

She was a little older than me, and looking at her, I blurted out: “Look, your kids are grown, you went back to grad school and now you’re doing your clinical practice. But if you don’t know by now that not everything in the universe is contained in the DSM IV, this isn’t going to work out.” I got up to leave and she tried to block the doorway.

“Listen, I can help you,” she pleaded. “I don’t think so,” I said, and I pushed past her. When I got home, I called one of my friends, a psychiatrist, and told her what happened. She was laughing so hard, she could hardly talk. “What, you don’t think I’m a schizophrenic?” I said.

“Now Susan, you really should know better,” she said. “Someone like you isn’t going to get much help from anyone who isn’t a Jungian.” Which, as it turned out, was mostly true but not always.

Anyway, so now you know why this story really, really resonated with me.

Dancing in the light

If you’re in traffic next to me and see me drumming on the steering wheel, I’m usually listening to this Entrain song:

One bourbon, one scotch, one beer

George Thoroughgood and the Destroyers:

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