Marketplace Notices The Big Mo in Fight for $15 Movement

Good news everybody! The MSM have noticed the fight to raise the minimum wage and they think it’s working!

“I almost feel that the minimum wage movement is sort of where gay marriage was 8 months ago. There is just… there just feels to be this momentum.”  —
–Leigh Gallagher, on . May 22, 2015  .  Link to full episode ) Link to minimum wage segment.

I have friends in the Fight for $15 movement. I know how hard they have worked on multiple fronts. So when the popular business media acknowledges its momentum–that deserves some serious kudos.

The acknowledgement of the Big Mo came not only on the super popular radio show Marketplace, which is:

“…the most widely heard program on business and the economy – radio or television, commercial or public broadcasting – in the country.”

The comment is also interesting because it came from a mainstream business magazine editor, Leigh Gallagher, who is assistant managing editor at Fortune.

 Lots of people made that momentum that she is seeing and feeling. Take a bow folks.

On the show the two guests were talking about the minimum wage. One guest, Sudeep Reddy, from the Wall Street Journal needed to bring up possible gloom and doom from the movement, but even then he thinks it will be “only around the edges.”

Gallagher also talked about the innovations that LA is doing with the minimum wage, like publishing a list of employers with more than 100 employees on Medicaid.  She notes that:

“The thing that hasn’t been talked about is how much employers have been relying on taxpayer money for public help for people who are not making a living wage.”

I almost had to laugh when I heard that. I’ve heard it talked about, but I run in dirty hippie circles. (Nice visual, eh?)

 I’m glad she made that last comment because it represents a mind-shift taking place.
Corporations have figured out how to shift costs to the public without paying into the same public system for a long time.

Think about how much has shifted when the idea that that corporations should pay for the services they use, instead funneling the profits to a small group of people, seems radical.  And health care for employees is just part of the shift, they also use roads, water, sewage, infrastructure, a court system, police and fire. They should pay for these, it’s pretty amazing PR work that they have convinced people they shouldn’t.

Soon you will be hearing the screaming of victim hood when these lists come out.  They will bitch about having to report at all, talk about how they will go broke if they have to pay a living wage to everyone.  They will also probably suddenly be very concerned about employee privacy.

They will compare themselves to small businesses, as if they had the same resources,  “Small business don’t have to do this!!! Why are you picking on us for our success!”

They will threaten to move to Texas, China or some other third world country that does the crappy jobs with employees who don’t demand things like health care. Or who think safety regulations are for wimps. (“Texas welcomes your explosives business within our city limits.”  )

Instead of raising the wages they will fire everyone who was on Medicaid, just so they aren’t on the list again. “It’s not our fault the workers can’t manage their money, we were doing them a favor by hiring them! Not anymore, THIS is the thanks we get? Public humiliation and forced to pay more money to fewer people who might not manage their money well either!”

They will say it’s our fault, “Ya happy now Liberals, see what you made me do!? I had to fire the very people you wanted to help!”

Of course the real cost savings could be in outsourcing their own jobs, but that won’t happen. Yes, the Board of Director folks could find someone to do their jobs for less, but the real benefit the CEO whiners provide to their shareholders is their professional whining about regulations and committeemen to lobbying politicians for more tax breaks. Lobbying is where they want to do all their work, it has the best ROI.

But enough about my predicting gloomy futures! This comment and the work that inspired it is good news! Sure it was buried on a Friday before a Memorial Day weekend., but it’s there and it calls for some acknowledgement, optimism and celebration!


How to Snowboard with Kids

Looks like fun.

And, before you call child protection services, please note that during certain tricks they are using a doll.

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Espresso in Space Becomes Reality, Captain Janeway Will Be Pleased

“There’s coffee in that nebula”… ehm, I mean… in that #Dragon.

— Sam Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) April 17, 2015


In season one of Star Trek Voyager Captain Janeway needed to conserve replicator power so couldn’t use it for real coffee.   They approach a nebula hoping to collect enough energy to use for luxuries necessities like coffee.

Captain Janeway: There’s coffee in that nebula.

In the photo Cristoforetti, the first Italian woman in space, is wearing Janeway’s uniform while waiting for the Dragon module to bring them a custom made espresso machine, dubbed the ISSpresso.

The company that made the machine, Argotec, explains the development process here. What I’m curious about is who came up with the idea for the photo. Lavazza, the coffee supplier? Argotec? The Italian Space Agency? Cristoforetti? Someone on the ISS social media team?

Cristoforetti already has an amazing resume, and starting this week she will officially be the first to have the job I’ve read about in science fiction for decades, space barista.   


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Indiegogo Removes All Fundraisers Supporting Officer Slager

Last week I wrote about the fund raisers that popped up for Officer Slager after shooting Scott Walker. 

Today I heard good news from my friends at Color Change. The fundraising platforms, Indiegogo, has taken down all the fundraisers in support of Michael Slager. (Disclosure, I’ve been an adviser of Color of Change.)

They, along with others, had already convinced Gofundme to remove this kind of fundraiser. Now Color of Change has asked the CEO of Indiegogo to change their policy, and to remove these kinds of fundraisers immediately.

Social media is great for informing business of how their products or services are being used or misused. (Here was a San Francisco Chronicle story Joe Garofoli wrote about how we used social media to inform advertisers of brand-damaging right wing talk, Rush Limbaugh ad fight shows power of social media.)

This CoC campaign is a smart use of social media power. It not only addressed the instant news issue, but extended thanks to the business after they acted and suggested they make policy changes so their tools can’t be used in this brand-damaging fashion in the future.

Most companies won’t come out and say they believe in racism. They will dance around . . . → Read More: Indiegogo Removes All Fundraisers Supporting Officer Slager

Indiana Jones: 1, Rolling Ball: 9

If your system can handle it, watch in 4k. This looks like a fun thing to do in New Zealand after visiting all the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit locations.

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Why Rand Paul’s Libertarian-ish Anti-tax Ideas Are Like Boner Pills

I can barely wait for the Rand Paul announcement for President. It’s perfect timing. I know he will be talking about his views on taxes. It would be interesting if someone dug into where some of the craziness comes from.

Tax time makes right wingers crazy. Especially men. The thing is, even though I’m only half human male, I get freaked out around tax time too. I wonder how much of this is traditional guy stuff? Or white guy stuff?

You know the lines you hear from rich male jerks? “Money is just a way of keeping score.” and “He who dies with the most toys wins.” There is still a part of me that buys that and it takes a Vulcalean effort to look at it rationally.

At this time of year in the male money world of “Keeping score” guys ask themselves, “What have I accomplished?”

First, there is the “I never get enough.”feeling.That’s because it’s always a moving goal post. Then I focus on what is “taken away.” (Never on what I got in services, always what is taken.) This focus on what is taken diminishes my self image, which I correlate with self worth. When I . . . → Read More: Why Rand Paul’s Libertarian-ish Anti-tax Ideas Are Like Boner Pills

Watch This Guy’s Brilliant Anti-fraking Demo

This is the most straight-forward and powerful video I’ve seen in awhile. It’s from a hearing on shipping fracking wastewater to a well in Sioux County Nebraska.

The lack of slickness helps. The crappy camerawork adds to the authenticity. I’d like my friends at various non-profits and activists to watch this to see what was done right.

The speaker knew his audience. Not only the commissioners, but the people in the room and in the community. He was not an outsider. He looked like them, dressed like them and talked like them. He addressed the concerns of both sides before his demo He made a powerful visual case with common items people knew He made an emotional appeal and had an intellectual back up. This is for the people who say they only decide based on “facts,” to rationalize their emotional decision.

So many great things in one short video, and I’m glad that Bold Nebraska used it to get people to sign their petition, Don’t Frak our Water.

After I watched the video, I read some comments at Reddit and in the YouTube section. I searched Google News to see how the story got picked up by the local . . . → Read More: Watch This Guy’s Brilliant Anti-fraking Demo

Dancing Fun Video. Watch. Smile. Repeat.

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New Happy Mutant Hairstyles From Yukon

The hairdos in this winning photo from the annual hair freezing contest at Takhini Hot Pools in Yukon reminded me of Xeni’s hair at Boing Boing. I like that they are all happy with their mutant hairstyles.

Canada for the win!

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Asking if House of Cards is Realistic Is the Wrong Question.

Sunday Night on Virtually Speaking Digby and I talked about the Leonard Nimoy’s passing and how fiction and fictional characters can shape people’s attitudes.  (podcast link here.)

Today some friends who work in the world of politics were discussing House of Cards. Some loved it, some hated it.  I don’t really move in those specific circles so before the discussion I wanted to know, “Is it realistic?” A professional musician friend asked,

Does anyone really expect a TV show about politics to be a more realistic representation of that life and that process than the Monkees represented a life of trying to make it as a young band in theirs?

This seems like such an obvious point I realized that I was NOT asking the question that the producers and writers of the show were asking themselves, which is, “Is it entertaining?”

Last night I watched a movie called “Harmontown” about the creator of Community, Dan Harmon. He talked about his deep desire to entertain people. He craved the satisfaction he got knowing his writing made people laugh, smile or feel better.

I watch a lot of fiction on tv. I also read a lot of fiction. I . . . → Read More: Asking if House of Cards is Realistic Is the Wrong Question.