School to parents: a $100 donation gets your kids to the front of the lunch line

Parents of students enrolled in Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Polk County, Florida got an orientation package offering their kids the right to skip to the front of the lunch line in exchange for a $100 donation to the Parent-Teacher-Student Alliance. Read the rest

Blackwater founder and DeVos war-criminal sibling Trump should install merc-backed viceroy in Afghanistan

Erik Prince is the creepy-rich war criminal/ex-CIA agent who founded Blackwater and put John Ashcroft in charge of its ethics department (no, seriously), whose rap-sheet includes reckless, corrupt, murderous, genocidal violence, conducted with near-total impunity. Read the rest

Foxconn has a long history of lying about its plans to open plants and create jobs

Foxconn has wrung a promise of $3 billion in corporate welfare from the state of Wisconsin, but even that is no guarantee that it will open a factory there, even if it swears up and down that this is in the cards. Read the rest

Real-estate speculators bought the road and sidewalk in a gated wealthy San Francisco enclave

Presidio Terrace is a "block-long, private oval street lined by 35 megamillion-dollar mansions" dating to 1905, where the homeowners are obliged to pay the city $14/year for property tax on their sidewalk, road and traffic islands. Read the rest

Slashing taxes for the rich won't help America, and Trump probably can't do that anyway

Joseph Stiglitz, winner of a Nobel prize in economics, describes the foolishness of enacting further tax cuts for the wealthy in America, and the structural impediments that stand in the way of Trump's pursuit of this foolish goal. Read the rest

Desperate Nissan goes on an all-out dirty anti-union blitz in Mississippi

The workers at the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi are attempting to organize under the United Auto Workers, but Nissan is fighting the "nastiest anti-union campaign" in modern history, breaking the law so egregiously that even Trump's National Labor Relations Board has filed a series of complaints against the company. Read the rest

Leaked memo details Koch Bros' astroturf strategy to lower US corporate tax rate

A strategy memo circulated around the time of a Koch network retreat sets out a five-part plan to pressure the Trump regime to lower corporate taxes and pass other policies favorable to corporate elites and the investor class. Read the rest

The UK unemployment rate is at least three times the official rate

The UK -- like most countries -- excludes "inactive workers" (students, new parents, people who don't want a job) from its unemployment figures, but "inactive" is such a slippery concept that it can paper over huge cracks in the labor market. Read the rest

Idaho law lets your boss sue you if you get a better job

California says that non-compete agreements are unenforceable, and that's been a huge factor in the state's growth -- in particular, it's the most likely reason that California's tech economy zoomed past the Route 128 tech economy of Massachusetts -- the land where talent goes to die. Read the rest

Being poor in America means you get more mosquito bites

A team of public health researchers studies mosquito populations in neighborhoods in Baltimore, looking for correlation between socioeconomic status and mosquitoes. Read the rest

Trump's pick for federal wage watchdog stiffed her house-cleaners

The word on the Hill is that Trump will nominate Cheryl Stanton to head the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, a step up from her current job as head of the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, where her tenure has been marked by high-profile resignations over her plans to trump up claims against employees she disliked and wanted to fire, and (you can't make this stuff up) a lawsuit by the agency that cleans her house because she refused to pay them. Read the rest

Trucking company fires worker who spoke to reporter about working conditions, takes truck and $60,000 from him

Rene Flores is one of the truckers who spoke to USA Today for its excellent investigative piece on the use of debt and indenture to force truckers to work for literal pennies (or sometimes even pay for the privilege of working). Read the rest

Watch: Jeremy Corbyn addresses Glastonbury

The eminently electable Jeremy Corbyn, whose exemplary, inclusive election manifesto rescued the Labour Party (including its traitorous establishment Blairite wing) from history's dustbin and delivered a brutal blow to the nasty Tory party, the man who is arguably the UK's Prime Minister in waiting, addressed a roaring crowd at the Glastonbury Festival, damning war, Trump, austerity and the pitting of one generation against another. It's a hell of a speech. Read the rest

Truck-driving is a modern form of indentured slavery

USA Today undertook a year-long investigation into southern California truckers, so-called "independent contractors" who form a critical link from America's busiest port to the rest of the country, and found that drivers are sunk into deep pits of debt due to predatory contracts they signed under duress, debts that are used to force them to work unsafe hours, falsify their work records, and sometimes bring home literal pennies a week after working 80+ hours (some drivers even finish the week in deeper debt, owing money to the companies they "contract" for).

Read the rest

New media noncompetes are destroying the careers of young journalists

When Stephanie Russell-Kraft signed up to work for Law360, she naively entered into a probably unenforceable noncompete "agreement" that asserted that by looking at court filings for interesting news stories, she'd be privy to "critical and sensitive proprietary information" -- but she didn't really think about it until Law360 used her signature on the agreement to get her fired from her second industry job, with Reuters, costing her a generous compensation package that included overtime and health insurance. Read the rest

In Rhode Island, students and parents must let schools spy on them day and night through their laptops

A majority of the Rhode Island school districts with "1-1" programs where each student is issued a laptop have a blanket policy of spying on the students and everything they do on their laptops, during, before and after school hours, on or off school premises, without any evidence (or even suspicion ) of wrongdoing. Read the rest

Programmer pay and indent-style: tab-using coders earn less than space-using coders

David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay. Read the rest

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