SUNDAY NEWS PATROL – May 11, 2014

ImageA new report published by the London School of Economics states quite clearly that several decades of the militarized War On Drugs has failed spectacularly. Here’s a quick read on the subject. The report cites the steady trend in decreasing prices and increasing purity of illicit drugs during this enforcement boondoggle, as well as sprawling collateral damage, as evidence that this policy has utterly failed. This policy has spent vast sums for no public health benefits, imprisoned millions worldwide at taxpayer expense, and helped embiggen brutal drug cartels (who only sometimes get help from banks).

Global protest actions are being planned for May 15 to support living wages for fast-food workers. Did you know you can make $21/hour at a McDonald’s in Denmark?

Slate has an article entitled Jobless in Seattle.Jordan Weissman addresses the newly, or at least newly and officially proposed increase in Seattle’s minimum wage to $15/hour. Weissman says that this may be “misbegotten,” but only because nobody knows what will happen if an increase this large is actually made. True, most minimum wage increases have been small and gradual, while the Seattle proposal is large and gradual (phased in over 3 to seven years). This may not be gradual enough, but it is not overnight. Of particular concern is that the proposal would mostly affect restaurant workers, who can, apparently, be easily replaced by “automation.” Hey, everybody’s getting replaced by a robot someday, right? Here’s the brave first step.

Even if Seattle’s $15/hour minimum wage is still in dispute, it turns out millionaires support raising the minimum wage (even this guy!) and raising taxes on the rich. No word on the billionaires yet, but we won’t have to wait long to hear all about what the world’s first trillionaires think about every goddamned thing.

An interesting look at the fluctuations in the wealth and fortunes of the American household.

A former New York Jets cheerleader has filed a lawsuit alleging she and her fellow cheerleaders were paid below the minimum wage. $3.77 an hour? Well, what do you want from an outfit that’s parent organization is a non-profit?

The FCC is expected to release a draft of proposed rules governing internet service providers and net neutrality sometime this week. Although I thought the public comment period was over, the page still seems to be up at fcc.gov, where you can write your letter to, supposedly, chairman Tom Wheeler, who has assured me that he is a strong supporter of a free and open internet. I submitted my comment to openinternet@fcc.gov and got a couple responses from the mail server on his behalf, so that’s something, I guess. Enjoy the last months of the internet, everyone! Its been fun! One piece of good news, though: some public servants seem interested in serving the public interest on this issue. That’s right! Senators! Now, if only there was an executive who was sympathetic (and willing to do something.) Well, failing that, here’s Senator Al Franken. He explains why constant mergers and restriction of free speech are actually bad. But honestly, I might shop at BP-Halliburton-Walmart-Fox-Dominos Pizza. I mean, they have everything!

And finally, science once again proves what we all knew all along: Being rich does, in fact, make you (more of) a jerk.

And that’s the Sunday News Patrol.

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