Frito-Lay workers in Topeka (KS) enter their second week on strike over forced 7-day, 12-hour workweeks and minuscule or nonexistent wage hikes. Frito-Lay used to attract workers in Topeka, but not for the last two decades now, which roughly coincides with the period where accumulating wealth became the only motivation behind any decisions CEOs made (versus the major motivation). But despite empty buses not bringing scab workers and empty trailers not bringing supplies, both cheap ways of trying to intimidate striking workers, strikers report that the good citizens of Topeka have been very supportive. I wish them the best in their drive to make sure their 40-hour work week only has 40 hours in it.
Hey, guess who else avoids a crap-ton of taxes? That's right, big sports team owners, who generally pay a lower tax rate than, you guessed it, their players, and in some cases even stadium workers. So the next time some right-winger whines about some (probably Black!) millionaire athlete and how he shouldn't complain about anything, just remind them that the owner is the real rich man here, and almost certainly the real tax evader. (I wasn't surprised to learn that LeBron James paid almost 36% in federal taxes on nearly $125 million in income in 2018. Obviously I'd subject him to the 91% rate on millionaire income like all the rest of them, but I've always thought him a good egg. I was equally unsurprised, however, to learn that the notorious Bill Veeck came up with "depreciation" as a "gimmick," his word.)
Adele M. Stan at Right Wing Watch writes about "The Cops Who Joined the Insurrection." But someone who, ah, says people complain about racism too much won't like this article. I myself am a little ashamed that I haven't regarded the Big Lie (i.e., that the election was "stolen" from Trump) as a racist notion (i.e., that Black and Brown folks did all the stealing!). I also haven't really regarded the police as a racist institution before, even as I've accepted that police departments have more Nazi wannabes among their numbers than, say, your local Home Depot. (Anyone else feel a decided lack of compassion for Graydon Young, who's now cooperating with authorities and saying the Oath Keepers "duped" him? Sure, we often learn the truth only when the lies bite us in the ass, but I bet he snaps back into Nazi wannabe-mode as soon as he's in the clear. I hope I'm wrong!)
Shara Tibken at CNet informs us of "The broadband gap's dirty secret: Redlining still exists in digital form." Redlining, of course, wasn't just about "not letting black folks buy in this neighborhood," but also about insurers refusing to insure poor neighborhoods and supermarkets and hospitals refusing to build there -- and now big telecoms refusing to provide service there. Of course I don't like hearing that "fiber connections are expensive," like the biggest expense a big telecom has isn't the executive who gilds the plumbing on his 19th vacation home while trying to pay his workers in dung pellets. The article, at least, quotes more than a few observers who'll say the refusal to invest in broadband infrastructure is short-term thinking, and that most corporations would rather make more money faster than invest in something that'll last.
When I read that "Generation Z" could "Free the World From E-mail," I asked why on Earth would we do that? Yes, I also have friends who can't confront the thousands of unread messages in their inboxes (I get about 100 emails a day myself), and I occasionally find necessary stuff in the spam folder, too, but that doesn't mean "email sucks" -- it means the way bosses use email sucks, and bosses who try to get answers over email they should be getting over the phone suck, too. Want to use email better? Use it for necessary communication that doesn't demand an immediate reply and doesn't require immediate action, like policy/procedure changes. Email is best when you get to choose how you use it, and that doesn't exactly argue for its extermination -- particularly when the other choices (texting, handing out your personal phone number) bring other, bigger problems.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has been in a Twitter spat with Tennessee native/pop music star/general good egg Taylor Swift, lately opining that "a socialistic government" "would have to approve your music" and would "not allow women to dress or sing or be on stage or to entertain." She's confusing "socialistic" with "totalitarian," and on purpose, I would presume. One can tell stories about big telecoms stamping out "edgy" content, I suppose, but the idea that the American people would even tolerate such heavy-handed censorship from a liberal government rather underestimates us -- and on purpose, I would presume. And never mind that Ms. Blackburn has herself been a proponent of policing content on social media -- what of her lifelong commitment to a "limited" government that can't do anything for you but can do anything to you?