Air France execs' clothes torn off by protesters after layoff announcement


Protesters angry over proposed layoffs stormed an Air France executive meeting and cornered Director Pierre Plissonnier and Resources Director Xavier Broseta, tearing off the men's jackets and ripping their shirts off, forcing them to scale a fence to get free. Read the rest

Now that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is finalized, the real fight starts


For most of a decade, government negotiators from around the Pacific Rim have met in utmost secrecy to negotiate a "trade deal" that was kept secret from legislatures, though executives from the world's biggest corporations were allowed in the room and even got to draft parts of the treaty. Read the rest

The story old people tell young people about getting a job


An excerpt from Monical Helsey's new book I Can't Believe it's Not Better: A Woman's Guide to Coping With Life called "Getting a Job, a Short Story by Your Parents" shows off both Helsey's razor wit and the generational unfairness captured so well by Old Economy Steve. Read the rest

UK Chancellor: I must cut tax benefits for working poor to help them

ca. 1870 --- An illustration from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

George Osborne, born to a titled millionaire, has explained that he is cutting the tax-credits that let the working poor survive, despite the Tory party's election promise not to do any such thing -- because it will reduce the deficit and therefore save them from the cuts that the country would have to pay in the future in order to pay down those debts. Read the rest

Arbitration: how America's corporations got their own private legal system


In 1925, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations of similar size and bargaining power could use arbitration, rather than courts, to settle their differences; today, corporations demand that customers and employees agree to use the arbitration system for redress of any grievances, while reserving the right to use the courts to attack humans who offend them. Read the rest

Fuerdai: Paris Hilton with Chinese characteristics


China's hereditary oligarchy is in its second generation, and the fuerdai -- rich kids born to rich kids -- are a national symbol for corruption and excess, splashing social media with evidence of their debauchery. Read the rest

Tube-map labelled with one-bedroom flat rental rates


Since the crisis, the number of people renting in the UK has sharply increased, but the number of landlords has decreased, as a smaller and smaller number of richer and richer people control the destiny of more and more Britons. Read the rest

Tomorrow's Catalan elections are a referendum on independence


The Catalan independence movement is a perennial factor in Spanish politics, but it's had a new lease on life since the financial crisis and the imposition of brutal austerity by the country's banker-friendly, authoritarian government. Read the rest

Kentucky Republican state Senator: the First Amendment protects my right to receive bribes


Republican Kentucky state Sen. John Schickel is suing to overturn the state's ethics laws so that he can accept gifts worth more than $1,000 from lobbyists without reporting them, because he thinks the current ethics rules violate his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Read the rest

Ian McDonald's "Luna: New Moon" - the moon is a much, much harsher mistress

We've projected our political and spiritual longings on the Moon since antiquity, and it's been a talismanic home to science fiction's most ambitious dreams for generations. But no one writes like Ian McDonald, and no one's Moon is nearly so beautiful and terrible as Luna: New Moon.

Kickstarter re-incorporates as a "public benefit corporation"


By reforming as a special purpose company, they are able to escape the cult of fiduciary duty that insists that management must screw people over whenever it will enhance shareholder value; they are legally able to put people before profits. Read the rest

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future

Economist Paul Mason's blockbuster manifesto Postcapitalism suggests that markets just can't organize products whose major input isn't labor or material, but information, and that means that, for the first time in history, it's conceivable that we can have a society based on abundance.

Interactive map of the swathes of England owned by offshore tax-dodgers

Whole regions of England are now owned by holding companies in tax-havens "from Panama to Luxembourg, and from Liechtenstein to the South Pacific island of Niue." Read the rest

My novel "Utopia" will hit shelves in 2017

My biggest (and, IMO, best) adult novel has just sold to Tor for a very pleasing sum of money; it will hit shelves in 2017. Read the rest

UK Labour Party elects its first left-wing leader in more than 20 years

After decades of Blairite, New Labour politics that catered to banks, built out mass surveillance and attacked unions and the working poor, the UK Labour Party has elected a genuine left-wing leader, by a landslide: democratic socialist Jeremy Corbyn. Read the rest

DoJ says it will consider jailing executives who order corporate crimes

The doctrine under former AG Eric Holder (documented in Matt Taibbi's brilliant The Divide) was to allow executives to pay fines that were less than the profits from their crimes. Read the rest

Dear Internet of Things: human beings are not things

My new Locus column is What If People Were Sensors, Not Things to be Sensed? Read the rest

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