Nationwide oil plant worker strike spreads in its fourth week, now including 6,500 workers at 15 plants. The core grievance? Workplace safety, which includes issues like forced overtime, since overtime tends to tire you out and make you a less effective worker, and in the oil industry, that could make you a dead worker. And here you thought overtime was an incentive to hire more workers! Not for some greedy executives, apparently.
Consumer Reports provides a handy guide to the GMO foods issue. Unlike National Geographic and Scientific American, they don't come down solidly on the side of GMO safety: "The contention that GMOs pose no risks to human health can’t be supported by studies that have measured a time frame that is too short to determine the effects of exposure over a lifetime," they quote the head of Physicians for Social Responsibility. And they also note that, ironically enough, the absence of a strong GMO labeling regimen actually reduces the possibility that we'll get good science.
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reveals that Starz has claimed a federal manufacturing tax deduction because it says it's "manufactured" programs like Spartacus and Outlander. The definition of "manufacturing" has been degraded in plenty of other ways over the years, but news of Starz's, shall we say, outlandish claim might well anger enough people to demand a change. Some of those might even be Spartacus fans.
Ho hum, Michigan state House passes so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act allowing public servants to refuse service to folks because of their "conscience." What manner of "conscience" leads folks to serve only those members of the public they want to serve, I wonder? And there is a difference between practicing your faith and using your faith to steamroll over other people's rights. Yes, I'm going to repeat these things ad nauseam until the other side finally shuts their yaps in shame.
Finally, Christopher Ingraham at the Washington Post puts up a simple chart that will completely explain gerrymandering, or the practice of redrawing legislative districts to your own benefit. It really is marvelously simple, and it really will explain everything -- well, except for how Democrats didn't seem to anticipate that reaching out to Republicans in 2009 would result in getting little of consequence done, which would result in Democrats losing elections at federal and state levels, which would result in Republicans controlling state legislatures, which would result in Republicans redrawing districts to their own benefit.