June 29, 2013
Wal-Mart, Snowden.Inequality website, job flexibility, journalism and Egypt

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REWIND - A Week of Quotes and Cartoons


Quote of the Day
June 23, 2013

'Just last week, news agency Reuters reported that at a time when our country needs all the solid, stable jobs it can produce, the non-union retail giant Wal-Mart (with $443 billion in net sales in 2012, the largest private employer in the United States) "has in recent months been only hiring temporary workers."

'Wal-Mart U.S. Chief Executive William Simon, whose total compensation in 2011 was a staggering $14,054,824, put his spin on the company's move: "(Workers') hours flex by the needs of the business from time to time," he told reporters the day before Wal-Mart's annual meeting, making clear that his top priority is widening the profit margin. Strengthening the working and lower-middle class is not the Wal-Mart way. "The needs of the business" are the Wal-Mart way.

'As if to nail down that point, Reuters observed that Wal-Mart's embrace of an unstable temporary workforce could set an example for some other companies as they look for ways to cushion themselves from a potential rise in health care costs next year." Is it any surprise the company that refuses to sign a legally binding agreement ensuring worker safety in Bangladesh is perplexed by the prospect of paying more to provide health care to its U.S. employees?'

Lee A. Saunders, president, American
Federation of  State, County, and
Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO
Huffington Post
June 19, 2013

Toon of the Day

21st Century Bridge
Steve Sack


Quote of the Day

'Snowden will be hunted relentlessly and, when finally found, with glee, brought back to the US in handcuffs and severely punished. (If Private Bradley Manning's obscene conditions while incarcerated are any indication, it won't be pleasant for Snowden either, even while awaiting trial.) Snowden has already been the object of scorn and derision from the Washington establishment and mainstream media, but, once again, the focus is misplaced on the transiently shiny object. The relevant issue should be: what exactly is the US government doing in the people's name to "keep us safe" from terrorists?

'Prism and other NSA data-mining programs might indeed be very effective in hunting and capturing actual terrorists, but we don't have enough information as a society to make that decision. Despite laudable efforts led by Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall to bring this to the public's attention that were continually thwarted by the administration because everything about this program was deemed "too secret", Congress could not even exercise its oversight responsibilities. The intelligence community and their friends on the Hill do not have a right to interpret our rights absent such a discussion.'

Valerie Plame Wilson, Joe Wilson
The Guardian (UK)
June 23, 2013

Toon of the Day

Miami Sea Level
Jim Morin - Miami Herald


Quote of the Day

'"Even before the Great Recession, working Americans faced stagnant wages and were not benefiting from economic growth-the result of widening income inequality. What's more, there's growing evidence, including research by EPI, that income inequality is not the result of abstract, unstoppable economic trends. Instead, inequality was created by government policies supported by, and to the benefit of, those with the most power and wealth. The upshot of this is that people, together, can reverse these trends by mobilizing around policies that generate shared prosperity.'

Economic Policy Institute President
Lawrence Mishel, announcing the
start of website:


June 24, 2013

Toon of the Day

Jen Sorenson


Quote of the Day

''It’s true that we are in the middle of a seismic shift in the way we structure our work lives. Both workers and employers want more flexibility. But that similarity of interests shouldn’t mask the fact that employers will always have more power than their employees, and that it’s in their interests to make those employees work as long and as cheaply as possible.'

Jefferson Cowie,
professor of labor history at Cornell,
author of “Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s
and the Last Days of the Working Class.”

'The Future of Fair Labor'
New York Times
June 25, 2013

Toon of the Day

Jen Sorenson


Quote of the Day

'Five years since the 'great recession" started, the failed policy of austerity has left a legacy of extreme levels of unemployment, rising inequality, the marginalisation of a generation of young people and the desperation of a growing informal sector where rules simply don`t apply.

'International institutions did not prevent the economic crisis; they are now failing to regulate the greed and destruction of speculative capital and prevent the next banking crisis. They are doing nothing to rethink the economic and trade model, which has caused unparalleled inequality. The global economy is no more secure today than it was five years ago.'

'Collective bargaining, a cornerstone of the relationship between a worker and employer is threatened with elimination. A fundamental global right, set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), is being violated. Social unrest and impoverishment are seen as mere collateral damage in this attack on workers` rights, an attack which is undertaken without economic evidence that stands up to scrutiny.'

International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
Frontlines 2013 Report, quoted in 'Futures
commission on alternatives to neoliberalism,'
address by Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of the
South Africa Congress of South African Trade
Unions (COSATU)

June 26, 2013

Toon of the Day

Jim Crow
Clay Bennett - Chattanooga Times Free Press


Quote of the Day

'All journalism is advocacy journalism. No matter how it's presented, every report by every reporter advances someone's point of view. The advocacy can be hidden, as it is in the monotone narration of a news anchor for a big network like CBS or NBC (where the biases of advertisers and corporate backers like GE are disguised in a thousand subtle ways), or it can be out in the open, as it proudly is with Greenwald, or graspingly with Sorkin, or institutionally with a company like Fox.

'But to pretend there's such a thing as journalism without advocacy is just silly; nobody in this business really takes that concept seriously. "Objectivity" is a fairy tale invented purely for the consumption of the credulous public, sort of like the Santa Claus myth. Obviously, journalists can strive to be balanced and objective, but that's all it is, striving.'

Columnist Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stone
June 27, 2013

Toon of the Day

Ballot Box
David Horsey - Los Angeles Times


Quote of the Day

'In Egypt, President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Sunni Islamist party from which he hails, have failed to unite the overwhelmingly Sunni country and its Christian and Shiite minorities around a centrist agenda in the post- Mubarak era. Instead, they have solidified ties with Salafist hard-liners in the Islamist camp; derided opponents, including many secularists, as "enemies of Egypt"; and demonized Shiite and Coptic Christian minorities.'

New York Times
June 29, 2013

Toon of the Day

The Fed
John Darkow




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