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Jesus

On a sock.

Reminder

Strengthen Social Security is organizing folks to stop an increase in the retirement age. Go sign the petition or click here to find a rally near you on April 27th and 28th. If there isn’t one close by, join the Virtual Rally by taking a picture of yourself with a sign saying “Don’t Make Us Work Until We Die” and email it to: virtualrally@socialsecurity-works.org with your city and state in the subject line.

Geek alert

Go for it, dudes and dudettes!

A month’s supply of pizza and Mountain Dew. A 15″-screen MacBook Pro. A 27″ Apple LED video display. An iPad 2. A $300 Amazon.com gift card. That’s the top prize a group of Philadelphia software developers are offering for the best Linux, Python, Nginx, Memcache, Django, and other open-source application submitted by developers living within 60 miles of Philadelphia City Hall .

Monetate, the Center City website traffic-tracking site, is sponsoring the contest, and Monetate engineering boss Tom Janofsky and architecture director Jeffrey Persch have recurited DuckDuckGo.com founder Gabe Weinberg, Digg turned SimpleGeo ceo Jay Adelson, Chariot Solutions consulting boss Don Coleman, Algorithmics software chief Aaron Feng, Facebook apps specialist Alexey Komissarouk, BankSimple co-founder Alex Payne as judges.

Yes, all those guys have local ties; and yes, software is a Made in Philadelphia product; and there will be more; and that’s the point. It’s part of Philly Tech Week. More at http://opensource.monetate.com

Hmm

If Scott Walker is going to claim he needs to take over towns because of the budget crisis, why was he talking about this back in 2009? And why he is denying that he has such plans in the works?

Republicans really don’t like democracy, because it leaves them less money for tax cuts for the rich!

Think Progress:

…..in a new video of Walker addressing the Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC) in 2009, it appears that Walker, who was then a county executive, may have been insinuating that he supports such a plan under which the state would radically restructure local government finances. He told the GMC that if county boards do not “act on major reforms,” then it’s worth looking into “the possibility of eliminating county government”:

WALKER: For us, we’ve been looking for almost two years at an alternative for county government. Here’s the tease. We’ve looked extensively. I know many others have looked at this. We believe if they don’t — they being the county board, the state legislature, the governor — give us the tools to act on those major reforms, it’s probably time for us to seriously consider looking at the possibility of eliminating county government, and replacing it with something better. That’s a combination of moving assets to the state, moving to municipal governments, doing it other way, that’s totally different.

Melanoma

Promising new treatment…

Canceled

I guess he wasn’t told yet how Homeland Security wanted him to rule:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A court hearing challenging the government’s tactics in a criminal investigation of the WikiLeaks website has been canceled.

Three Twitter users are challenging the government’s attempts to obtain some of their account information as part of a wider probe into WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.

A federal magistrate in Alexandria has already ruled in favor of the government, and prosecutors say the Twitter users’ appeal is delaying their investigation.

U.S. District Court Judge Liam O’Grady had been scheduled to hold a hearing Friday on the Twitter users’ appeal, which is backed by the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. But the judge canceled the hearing and will instead issue a ruling after reading both sides’ written briefs.

Ingratitude

The politicians who demanded this are truly beneath contempt:

WASHINGTON — A provision in the new 9/11 health bill may be adding insult to injury for people who fell sick after their service in the aftermath of the 2001 Al Qaeda attacks, The Huffington Post has learned.

The tens of thousands of cops, firefighters, construction workers and others who survived the worst terrorist assault in U.S. history and risked their lives in its wake will soon be informed that their names must be run through the FBI’s terrorism watch list, according to a letter obtained by HuffPost.

Any of the responders who are not compared to the database of suspected terrorists would be barred from getting treatment for the numerous, worsening ailments that the James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Law was passed to address.

It’s a requirement that was tacked onto the law during the bitter debates over it last year.

The letter from Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, informs medical providers and administrators that they should begin letting patients know before the new program kicks in this July.

“This is absurd,” said Glen Kline, a former NYPD emergency services officer. “It’s silly. It’s stupid. It’s asinine.”

“It’s comical at best, and I think it’s an insult to everyone who worked on The Pile and is sick and suffering from 9/11,” said John Feal, a former construction worker who lost half a foot at Ground Zero and runs the advocacy group Fealgood Foundation.

Mal-employed

“Mal-employed.” Yeah, that’s a good way to put it. Don’t expect that to change anytime soon, either. After all, as GE CEO Jeffrey Imwalt recently said, companies are no longer moving companies overseas chasing cheap labor. They’re moving to China, India, Korea and Brazil because that’s where the emerging markets are.

These corporate parasites bought themselves giant subsidies and offshored their jobs. In other words, they sucked us dry and left us to rot. Maybe it’s time we stopped encouraging kids to go deeply in debt to get college degrees:

These three Chicago women share more than just scraping by with low-paying jobs: They all have master’s degrees and are unable to find work in their specialty areas.

There’s even a name for their situation. They are referred to as mal-employed, a term coined in the ’70s for college graduates who could not find jobs that require a degree. Instead, they settle for low-skilled jobs.

Even in rosier economic times, people with college degrees sometimes can’t find jobs in their fields. But their numbers and the trend show no sign of easing during the slow and bumpy recovery from the recession.

Nationwide, about 1.94 million graduates under age 30 were mal-employed between September and January, according data compiled by Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.

Sum said mal-employment has significantly increased in the past decade, making it the biggest challenge facing college graduates today. In 2000, Sum said, about 75 percent of college graduates held a job that required a college degree. Today that’s closer to 60 percent.

Though the economy is growing and new jobs are being created, Sum said, those graduating in June are not likely to see major improvements. About 1.7 million students are projected to graduate this spring with a bachelor’s degree and 687,000 with a master’s, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

“We are doing a great disservice by not admitting how bad it is for young people (to get a job),” Sum said.

And the longer college graduates go without working in their field, the harder it is to land interviews for jobs where they would use their degree.

Taking it to the streets

People keep asking me what we should do. Go read the rest of this:

Corporations are creating an environment that is favorable to them but harmful to most Americans. Our job is to figure out how to turn this scenario on its head, to decrease their security so we can win greater opportunity and security for the rest of us, lifting the bottom, growing the middle and holding the top in check–just as we did for most of the 20th century.

Creating massive insecurity for Wall Street, corporations and the super-rich is a precondition for fixing the economy and country. There can be no new “social contract,” no “new New Deal,” no comprehensive legislation that allows workers to organize and no limits to corporate power as long as corporate CEOs feel insulated from the suffering they cause.

At first blush this sounds a little crazy. It runs counter to the message many economists and politicians bombard us with every day in the media. Their claim is that businesses aren’t investing, jobs aren’t being created and the housing market isn’t stabilizing because the corporate community needs greater certainty and predictability. These same people would argue that Obama and the Democrats need to be more business-friendly. Yet, Corporate America already has record profits and cash on hand. In short: the best of all worlds.

They know far better than we do that their hold on power is dependent on our acquiescence to their false premises and pseudo-free market ideology. Therefore we must directly challenge them in the streets so that they have more to lose by ignoring the public interest than by accepting real change.

Go on, read it.

You and your sister

Chris Bell:

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