Portland, OR plans to build tiny houses for homeless folks on government-owned land. Perhaps they, too, have read studies finding it cheaper to put the homeless in homes than to provide services on a continual-emergency basis. In any case, the 16-by-12 homes would cost about $20,000 and serve two homeless folks each, and Portland's efforts follow in the footsteps of the cities of Austin, TX and Charlotte, NC, as well as the state of Utah.
Online retailer Accessory Outlet apparently charges customers $250 if they complain or even threaten to complain about the service they receive. Read the article to see how much worse it gets; their terms of service, naturally, also provide (if that's the word) for forced arbitration of disputes. In an economy that no longer rewards work, I can see how the provide-bad-service-then-collect-fees-for-breach-of-terms-of-sale model would have struck someone as a winning idea. Someone utterly without morals or ethics, that is.
FAIR asks the right question when you read about how social media "silence" debate boo hoo: "if social media silence debate, what do corporate media do?" And yes, MSNBC firing Phil Donahue over his anti-Iraq war views does considerably more to "silence debate" than liberals deciding not to talk to their right-wing friends about politics anymore, which latter item is what the "liberal" media means, apparently, by "silencing debate." And gosh, how did people of opposing political views ever negotiate their differences before Facebook came along?
Australian model Meaghan Kausman lashes out at "crazy" modeling industry after discovering one of her employers had photoshopped an image of her in a swimsuit to make her look a lot thinner. "Crazy" is the right word for how it looks to reasonable people, at least, people who are acquainted with how women's bodies actually look. But I shudder to think what the haters are writing about Ms. Kausman.
California state legislature passes bill giving temporary workers some protections from injuries and lost wages. The California Chamber of Commerce opposed the bill, of course, saying it would "discourage further growth" yadda yadda yadda, but the bill has a slew of exclusions, not just for businesses with fewer than 25 employees, but also for "trucking and cable companies in most circumstances," per ProPublica. For big corporate lobbies, one must ask: how much is enough?
Finally, Thom Hartmann asks how BMW and Mercedes could be doing so well if paying workers more will destroy all businesses, as right-wingers are constantly saying. German autoworkers, it turns out, are all unionized -- there's no "right-to-work" state within Germany to which big auto corporations might retreat -- and the German constitution also mandates worker participation in a corporation's operations via works councils. And how has Germany's economy weathered Our Ongoing Economic Armageddon again?