Blame The Recession is a look at how the world’s economy is affecting lives across the planet.
What’s awesome about SuperPACs (and a capital ‘S’ makes them look cooler) is that it ensures integrity. I mean, when a candidate receives millions and millions of dollars from a single benefactor, we can all agree that the candidate is beholden to no one.
Did you know you can buy big bags with dollar signs on them? Almost: You get the bag, but you’d have to draw the sign on them. I know, not very cool.
Update: After this went live, I discovered through Cartoon Movement that a similar (and better drawn) idea was made by Dan Piraro a couple years ago. Lesson learned: Google every idea before you draw it.
Syria, via Francisco Goya, at Cartoon Movement.
In America, a corporation has rights like a person, such as freedom of speech, but with the financial power of, say, Google. Logically,companies are also allowed to donate unlimited cash during elections too. In my latest for Cartoon Movement, I suggest a solution to this problem.
For my latest at Cartoon Movement, I follow up on a recent story on Free Speech Radio News, which reported that members of the Electronic Information Privacy Center released hundreds of pages of documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit describing a multi-million-dollar effort by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to monitor the comment boards of major websites and social media tools for breaking news, including any media reports that “reflect adversely” on the U.S. government.
According to a copy of the documents posted on the EPIC website, federal officials did not believe it was needed to notify web users that their comments could be monitored:
"There is no legal requirement to provide notice to individuals under the framework applied under this initiative. Information posed to social media approved for monitoring under this initiative is publicly accessible with a password and voluntarily generated. There is no reasonably (sic) expectation of privacy with such information."Meanwhile, a representative from EPIC told the radio network that people don’t generally believe their activities are being monitored online:"Obviously, if you put something on a comment board, you expect it to be public, but you don’t expect a government law enforcement agency to be doing the virtual equivalent of standing over your shoulder taking notes."
In my latest for Cartoon Movement, we can only wonder how Steve Jobs would’ve handled this.
Apple has been criticized for inaction when allegations that employees are abused, harassed and underpaid at Foxconn, which produces some of the company’s biggest sellers, including the iPhone, iPad and MacBook laptop computers.
Those allegations are joined by reports of child labor in building Apple products (Apple says it stops the practice when it discovers it ), as well as reports of workers driven to suicide. (There are macabre stories of Foxconn erecting nets to catch would-be suicide jumpers at their factories.)
Following the TAL report, Apple announced that it’s stepping up enforcement of its suppliers’ facilities to improve working conditions of factory workers, which has a demonstrable affect on the child labor issue, according to company CEO Tim Cook:
Thanks to our supplier responsibility program, we’ve seen dramatic improvements in hiring practices by our suppliers. To prevent the use of underage labor, our team interviews workers, checks employment records and audits the age verification systems our suppliers use. These efforts have been very successful and, as a result, cases of underage labor were down sharply from last year. We found no underage workers at our final assembly suppliers, and we will not rest until the number is zero everywhere.
But Apple’s own goals for supplier conduct aren’t exactly dream job-like; and media outlets report Foxconn employees working for $1 an hour for 48 hours a week (Apple caps the workweek for employees of its suppliers at 60 hours), and an explosion of “combustible dust” killed four workers and injured 18 at one plant in 2011, according to the 2012 audit report.
There is also the irony that many of these factory workers can’t afford to own the products they build for the rest of us.
Late last week, Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which pays for the nation’s military each year. But this year’s act included a provision that, according to the Associated Press, “would deny suspected terrorists, even U.S. citizens seized within the nation’s borders, the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention.”
Which is in so many ways awesome, because now all you need to avoid all that “due process” shit is accuse someone - anyone - of being a “terrorist.” Of course, I’m sure no one will ever abuse a law designed to sidestep basic civil rights. Ever.
Obama promised he wouldn’t though, so we’re cool.
Oh, and the American Civil Liberties Union is being predictably melodramatic about all this:
“President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director. “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield. The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally.”
Bitch, bitch, bitch. They’re missing the upside to more people held without trial: Less jury duty!
Over at Cartoon Movement, we take a look at a recent story about burnout among drone pilots in the Air Force and why it’s happening. According to US officials, the nation’s fleet of drone aircraft make it possible to target and kill someone from half a world away. It’s how we got Osama bin Laden, but their use hasn’t been without controversy, concern about their use or civilian casualties.