“This Call May be Recorded for Quality Assurance”


How many times have you heard that spiel when you call a company’s customer ‘service’ number?

Well, guess what?  They don’t want YOU to record THEM, it appears:

“The breezy @verizon guy then asks me whether I’m ok with being recorded. I tell him I am, because I am also recording the call,” Olivier writes as part of a series of Tweets recounting his experience. “There’s a pause. Then breezy @verizon guy tells me Verizon DOES NOT ALLOW THEIR REPS TO BE RECORDED so he has to hang up.”

The Consumerist

Republicanomics: West Virginia Republicans About to Drive State Over Cliff


West Virginia’s state budget is in a shambles.  Coal mines (a major source of revenue) are shutting down.  There’s a $270 million deficit in the 2016-2017 budget.  The governor has proposed raising taxes on cigarettes, maybe booze, and some have suggested reinstating the tax on groceries.

Never mind that Democrats, in a Republican-like mindset, cut corporate taxes some years ago.  They bought into the Republican mantra that that would bring corporations, jobs, and taxes. Nope (as has been amply demonstrated in numerous Republican-led states).

While the Republican-controlled WV legislature worked on such pressing items as cutting wages (“right to work for less” law, elimination of prevailing wage standards), promoting religion (religious freedom restoration act), and raw milk, they ignored the budget.

The governor had to call a special session of the legislature–at a cost to taxpayers of millions of dollars.

The result: Republicans split and couldn’t come to an agreement on the budget.

The people of West Virginia are sure to suffer as they endure the chaotic catastrophe wrought on them by the very Republicans they chose to govern them.

Serves them right.


Will The Clinton Foundation be Taken Down?


Charles Ortel has his sights set on the charity operations of Hillary and Bill Clinton, known as the Clinton Foundation and its myriad tentacles. Ortel’s actions come just as Hillary Clinton makes her final sprint for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States with Bill in tow as her economic czar. Charles Ortel does not mince words.

In a 9-page letter dated yesterday and posted to his blog, Ortel calls the Clintons’ charity the “largest unprosecuted charity fraud ever attempted,” adding for good measure that the Clinton Foundation is part of an “international charity fraud network whose entire cumulative scale (counting inflows and outflows) approaches and may even exceed $100 billion, measured from 1997 forward.” Ortel lists 40 potential areas of fraud or wrongdoing that he plans to expose over the coming days.

Wall Street on Parade

Free Trade, Abusing Workers, and Nike Shoes


Do you own Nike shoes?  If so, you may be part of the problem.

This is what happens when “free trade” meets capitalistic greed:

In spite of Nike’s refusal to assist the WRC, the organization has obtained initial findings through interviews with Hansae employees. These findings, described in further detail in the new report, are, frankly, quite damning. The labor rights violations—all violations of university codes of conduct—identified at the factory include:

Reckless management practices that endanger workers’ health, including extremely high production quotas, forced overtime, and insufficient rest breaks

Excessive heat on factory floors, which has led to many workers fainting from exhaustion at their work stations

Verbal harassment of workers, including yelling, swearing, and profane insults

Degrading restrictions on workers’ use of the factory’s toilets

Denial of legally-guaranteed sick leave

Firing of pregnant workers

Draconian and abusive restrictions such as forbidding workers from yawning

These findings are a stark contrast to Nike’s claim that the October strike was over a “miscommunication.” The gap between the reassuring portrait Nike has painted of this factory and the harsh reality revealed through worker interviews underscores the importance of independent monitors such as the WRC. Nike must be pressed to allow the WRC to conduct an onsite inspection of the factory so that its investigation can be complete and that our universities can obtain full knowledge of the working conditions at this collegiate supplier.

Lawyers, Guns & Money

Hey! A NEW Way to Track You Online!


Researchers have discovered there’s a new way to track you online: Sound.

Apparently, each computer’s innards generate sounds (sounds you cannot hear but which software can pick up).  A nefarious company (LiveRail) has devised a means of injecting an added sound into your computer, then using that new sound to track you.

The nefarious company, LiveRail?  It’s owned by facebook.

What could possibly go wrong?


AI will create ‘useless class’ of human, predicts bestselling historian


Are you ready to be replaced by a robot?

The doomsday story of an evil AI has been told a thousand times. But our fate at the hand of clever cloggs robots may in fact be worse – to summon a class of eternally useless human beings.

At least that is the future predicted by Yuval Noah Harari, a lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, whose new book says more of us will be pushed out of employment by intelligent robots and on to the economic scrap heap.

The Guardian

Imagine the day when 5 billionaires (The Koch brothers, Bill Gates, Waren Buffet, and  Mark Zuckerberg) own most of the AI robots.

They will own all the land, have all the money, and the rest of us will be rummaging for food in dumpsters.  ALL the rest of us. Capitalism taken to its logical conclusion.