Tag Archives: jobs

Occupy Cardiff (with image, tweet) foomandoonian Storify

For many in Wales this winter will be grim, 10,000 people working in the public sector have already lost their jobs this year and another 21,000 job cuts are predicted, and while politicians fiddle expenses on their second homes, it is predicted that 36 people will lose their only home every day from now until Christmas.

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Occupy Cardiff (with image, tweet) foomandoonian Storify

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MAX KEISER ON STEVE JOBS OCT 7 11 videos.. Please click here to subscribe to my channel.. Max Keiser on Al Jazeera English discussing Steve Jobs' death. Pres…

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La Cima housing development touted as Live-Work-Play

A Live-Work-Play community is coming to San Marcos at the intersection of Ranch Road (RR) 12 and Wonder World Drive. La Cima, a 2,050-acre project anchored by up to 800 acres of greenspace, will preserve habitat land and will represent a significant addition to the Hays County park system. The project is being led by La Cima Developers, a local firm with long ties to Hays County and the San Marcos community.

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La Cima housing development touted as Live-Work-Play

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Gay marriage in Little Rock 40 years ago

Throwback Thursday Gay marriage in Little Rock 40 years ago Posted by Lindsey Millar on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 4:45 PM For Throwback Thursday, here’sa wide-eyed, occasionally cringeworthy profile of a gay couplein Hillcrest from 1974, our first year inpublication. There was a party in Little Rock Saturday night for a couple celebrating their fifteenth anniversary. They are buying a house on Kavanaugh Boulevard, where they live in middleclass comfort and nurture the fragile organism known as a happy marriage. They are both men.

The enduring homosexual relationship usually is thought to be a rarity, but the couple on Kavanaugh said they know of twenty to twenty-five gay relationships of long standing in Little Rock.

Perhaps it is because their lives lack the glitter of the drag crowd or the blatancy of the militants that the gay married have remained comparatively anonymous while homosexuality itself has been gaining public attention and a degree of acceptance. All that effectively sets this middle-aged couple apart from others is that they are of the same sex. Their house is ornately but tastefully decorated. Each has a life insurance policy naming the other as beneficiary. Each works hard, attends church regularly and supports the local police. Their social altitudes are conservative enough to approach a gay puritan ethic.

Roy and David, both in their forties, devote considerable effort to their jobs and to their relationship. They regard their success as the reward of hard work. “We have stayed at home and worked and have been able to accomplish and acquire some things,” David said.

Although Roy and David think of themselves as being married, their relationship has not been formalized in a ceremony. “We’ve never felt any need to,” Roy said. “We know how we feel about each other and that’s all that’s important.”

Tags: same-sex marriage, Throwback Thursday, Image

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Gay marriage in Little Rock 40 years ago

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'We need 1,000 SodaStreams around here'

However, Ms Johannson, 29, who has a Jewish mother and hails from a Left-wing New York family, offered a different vision of the factory. Pointing out that it employed both Palestinian and Israeli workers on equal pay, the star of The Avengers described it as a rare opportunity to build a bridge to peace between the communities.

So which is it? A symbol of repression, as Oxfam suggests, or a conduit for peace, as Ms Johansson argues? The Telegraph paid a visit to find out.

The plant employs roughly 500 Palestinians from the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as 450 Arab Israelis and 350 Jewish Israelis. It makes gadgets for creating home-made fizzy drinks.

For many of the Palestinians, working there involves negotiating a series of complex and time-consuming checkpoints between the factory and their homes in nearby Nablus and Hebron. But the high rates of unemployment in the West Bank made it worth it, they said.

We have no problems working here, said one Palestinian employee, as others nodded in agreement. The relations with the others are good, the pay is fine. But the way home is sometimes very long.

One outside contractor who regularly visited the plant added: Its rare to see a company like this. Everyone sits together, works together. If you ask me, there should be a thousand SodaStreams in this area.

Two key factors drive around 25,000 Palestinians employees to work in the settlements. The average daily wage earned by Palestinian workers in Israel and the settlements was more than double that of the West Bank private sector in 2012, according to a report by the International Labour Organisation. Unemployment rises to over 40 percent amongst 20-24 year olds in the West Bank.

However, critics say the jobs generated do not justify the settlement itself at Maale Adumim, which they say was created in the 1970s as an outpost into Palestinian territory to ensure access from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley.

Earlier this week, SodaStreams chief executive, Daniel Birnbaum, said he would never have built the plant there in the first place had he known the controversy it might attract. But despite it being a pain the ass, he said he had no intentions to shut it.

We will not throw our employees under the bus to promote anyones political agenda, he said.

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'We need 1,000 SodaStreams around here'

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MANDRYK: Trudeau Senate ploy won't fly

The kindest thing one can say about Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s Senate reform initiative is that change has to start somewhere.

As is the case in the revolt by Conservative federal caucus backbenchers, any suggested improvement to our ailing parliamentary democracy should be encouraged. After all, is Saskatoon Humboldt MP Brad Trost’s motion for “electronic” petitions – a move that would allow average Canadians to have a direct say on which issues MPs debate – a bad thing? Even if special interests like the anti-abortionists that Trost supports would be able to occasionally hijack a parliamentary debate, is that so bad? Democracy is always a bit messy.

Similarly, no one should suggest that separating the partisan Liberals hacks in the Senate from the partisan Liberal MPs in House of Commons (who may very well be hacks too, but at least at the decency to run for office and get elected) is a bad thing, either. And if this was simply limited to Trudeau’s decision to “boot” his senators from the caucus as an opening salvo to end Senate partisanship, it would be a good first step.

But what Trudeau is doing hardly fits the criteria of political altruism – giving up something of value for the love of democratic fairness. Instead, it’s seems to be pretty much as Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his designated Conservative attack dog Pierre Poilievre described it – a clumsy, preemptive attempt to distance the Liberal caucus from the pending Liberal senators’ expenses mess that Auditor General Michael Ferguson might soon unveil.

The first problem with what Trudeau proposes is that it’s unlikely to go beyond what it now is – a meaningless and insincere gesture.

Were he actually the prime minister kicking senators out of caucus and demanding they actually do their jobs of applying non-partisan, sober-second thought to the laws of our land, it would obviously mean more. But Trudeau is a third-party leader whose power is limited what he did – telling his Liberal senators to go play elsewhere for now. He hasn’t given up anything.

These new “Senate Liberals” (as opposed to Liberal senators) will still hold their partisan views, still likely campaign for the party that appointed them and will evidently still function as a “Liberal” caucus in the Senate with a leader and a party whip. If you are truly independent, why do you need a whip to tell you how to vote? Really, what has now changed for the Liberals other than the fact their senators now have one less caucus meeting each week?

Admittedly, there is a bit of validity in the Liberal talking points that suggest Trudeau (who cannot actually fire the existing Liberal senators from their jobs) is simply doing, for now, what he can do in the name of democratic reform. If and when he becomes prime minister, he will be able to distance politics from Senate appointments by handing the task over to some non-partisan committee. But won’t we still have nonelected people overseeing our laws? And who is to say that nonpartisans will not get appointed under the new system?

Besides the little matter of whether Trudeau will ever become prime minister, will he follow through? Opposition leaders often don’t. See: Stephen Harper, who once vowed not to appoint senators and has now appointed more than any other prime minister. Given past Liberal government history of exceedingly partisan appointments – one of its last Saskatchewan Senate appointments was Tony Merchant’s wife, Pana Merchant, for heaven’s sake – should we really take Trudeau’s commitment seriously?

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MANDRYK: Trudeau Senate ploy won't fly

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ScarJo quits Oxfam over Israel critics

Scarlett Johansson quit as celebrity ambassador of an international charity in a political dispute over her work for an Israeli company.

Oxfam accepted her resignation Thursday, saying her role in promoting SodaStream was incompatible with her being an Oxfam global ambassador.

Johansson had been associated with the charity for seven years but ran afoul of the organization earlier this month when she also became a brand ambassador for the soda company. Johansson, 29, who has been nominated for four Golden Globes, will appear in an ad (above) airing during the Super Bowl for SodaStream, which makes water-carbonation machines in a West Bank factory.

The actress had been reluctantly drawn into an escalating dispute about Mideast politics. Her spokesman said she quit her Oxfam role because of a fundamental difference of opinion.

Even though the factory employs 500 Palestinians, Oxfam said the firm and other businesses operating in settlements contribute to the denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support.

Groups on opposite sides of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute quickly took sides.

The World Jewish Congress praised Johansson for her forthright defense of economic cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians, and for standing up to international bullies.

But Omar Barghouti, leader of a Palestinian activist organization, said Johansson reminds us of the few unprincipled artists who, during the struggle against South African apartheid, sold their souls and stood on the wrong side of history.

SodaStreams chief executive, Dan Birnbaum, said he does not want to sacrifice the jobs of his Palestinian employees for some political cause.

Johansson was one of 17 Oxfam ambassadors, including singer Annie Lennox and Sex and the City actress Kristin Davis.

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Gay marriage finds friendly home at Sundance, but only part of the story told

Tony Milner, left, Matthew Barraza, center, are shown with their son Jesse. The couple and their son attended a reception Saturday 18, 2014, in celebration of the HBO Documentary “The Case Against 8.” The reception also feted several Utah couples like Milner and Barraza who got married late last year after a federal court ruled the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

Nekesa Mumbi Moody, Associated Press

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PARK CITY – Advocates of same-sex marriage came to the Sundance Film Festival Saturday afternoon in support of the estimated 1,300 gay and lesbian couples married in Utah, and to fete a film that promotes their cause.

In one of the many receptions on the crowded main street of this city swamped by the Sundance Film Festival, these supporters found a welcome audience advocating one perspective of a hotly contested national issue. In the same-sex marriage debate, culture, law and democracy are each having their impact.

At Saturday’s gathering, billed as a wedding reception for those gay couples newly married and sponsored by HBO and by the Human Rights Campaign, a group which advocates for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered individuals, the message was: same-sex marriage is a fundamental right.

“This is what we are about as Americans, said Ted Olson, the solicitor general under George W. Bush, one of the legal team to challenge Californias Proposition 8 in court. He spoke on the stage with co-counsel David Boies, also part of the team to challenge the California law.

We have the same aspirations, the same fears, the same right to be treated decently and with respect in our neighborhoods and our jobs, he said, to sustained applause from more than a hundred individuals in the packed bistro.

Hollywood may be contributing to a change in national attitudes toward gays, lesbians and marriage. Yet according to other national legal experts not present here at Sundance, neither law nor democracy currently favor the same-sex marriage cause.

“States have always had the primary role on families and on matters concerning husbands and wives,” said Ed Meese, the Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, in a telephone interview. “In no way do I think Proposition 8 violates the Constitution.”

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Gay marriage finds friendly home at Sundance, but only part of the story told

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Captive Goodyear bosses freed in French

Two Goodyear managers held captive by angry French workers have been freed after police intervened, ending a two-day standoff over the factory’s bleak future. The release outraged union members, who made a bonfire of tyres in front of the plant

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Captive Goodyear bosses freed in French

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What Has NAFTA Meant For Workers? That Debate’s Still Raging

hide captionAn auto worker tightens bolts on a Focus at a Ford plant in Michigan in October. Labor unions predicted in 1993 that NAFTA would send many U.S. manufacturing jobs to Mexico, and they continue to argue that the pact prompted a race to the bottom for workers.

An auto worker tightens bolts on a Focus at a Ford plant in Michigan in October. Labor unions predicted in 1993 that NAFTA would send many U.S. manufacturing jobs to Mexico, and they continue to argue that the pact prompted a race to the bottom for workers.

Two decades ago, the strongest critics of the North American Free Trade Agreement were members of labor unions. They warned that the trade deal would mean the loss of manufacturing jobs to Mexico and lower wages for U.S. workers.

Today, 20 years since NAFTA’s passage, unions feel as strongly as ever that the deal was a bad idea.

Back in 1993, the labor movement was mobilized against the creation of a massive free-trade zone including the U.S., Canada and Mexico. There were union-backed protests around the U.S. at the Capitol in Washington and especially in the industrial Midwest and in big manufacturing states.

That fall in Lansing, Mich., Ruben Burks of the United Auto Workers addressed a big crowd. “Do we care about our jobs?” he said to cheers. “Do we care about our brothers and sisters in Mexico and Canada? Brothers and sisters, we’re going to stop this NAFTA you’re darn right we are.”

Except they didn’t. President Clinton was in his first year in the White House, having been elected with help from traditional Democrats including union members. But he disagreed with labor on NAFTA.

Unions predicted disaster for U.S. workers: a flood of high-wage American factory jobs moving to Mexico. In a radio address that fall, Clinton spoke to that worry.

“Well, if we don’t pass NAFTA, that could still be true. The lower wages and the lower cost of production will still be there,” he said. “But if we do pass it, it means dramatically increased sales of American products made right here in America.”

So during the NAFTA debate, labor unions squared off against a Democratic president. That wasn’t necessarily a rare thing, but Harley Shaiken, a labor analyst at the University of California, Berkeley, notes that the reach of the controversy made it unusual.

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What Has NAFTA Meant For Workers? That Debate’s Still Raging

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