think on this.

Aug 16

every year when the students come back to campus, the local target is overrun with families buying everything to stock a dorm room or a first apartment. (there are SO MANY over-the-door full-length mirrors and tiny microwaves being sold. so many.) it is invariably packed - the staff say it is a far busier time for them than christmas.

i thought i could make it in today before the worst of it. i should have been warned by the number of cars in the parking lot, but ventured in anyway. and then i found myself standing in the middle of chaotic hell. people blocking the aisles, towing three shopping carts filled with stuff, having arguments about whether a shower curtain accurately represented their personality.

what was worst was i had gone in to get a cast iron skillet, so i found myself in the middle of all of this, hating everyone around me, and holding a very heavy and very weapon-like skillet. i did not hit anyone, i did not even threaten anyone. i would like a gold star, please.

Aug 15

Working Anything but 9 to 5 -

jakke:

But Ms. Navarro’s fluctuating hours, combined with her limited resources, had also turned their lives into a chronic crisis over the clock. She rarely learned her schedule more than three days before the start of a workweek, plunging her into urgent logistical puzzles over who would watch the boy. Months after starting the job she moved out of her aunt’s home, in part because of mounting friction over the erratic schedule, which the aunt felt was also holding her family captive. Ms. Navarro’s degree was on indefinite pause because her shifting hours left her unable to commit to classes. She needed to work all she could, sometimes counting on dimes from the tip jar to make the bus fare home. If she dared ask for more stable hours, she feared, she would get fewer work hours over all.

“You’re waiting on your job to control your life,” she said, with the scheduling software used by her employer dictating everything from “how much sleep Gavin will get to what groceries I’ll be able to buy this month.”

Last month, she was scheduled to work until 11 p.m. on Friday, July 4; report again just hours later, at 4 a.m. on Saturday; and start again at 5 a.m. on Sunday. She braced herself to ask her aunt, Karina Rivera, to watch Gavin, hoping she would not explode in annoyance, or worse, refuse. She vowed to somehow practice for the driving test that she had promised her boyfriend she would pass by the previous month. To stay awake, she would formulate her own behind-the-counter coffee concoctions, pumping in extra shots of espresso.

Hey so this whole article is incredibly bleak but also this is an increasingly common strategy from big employers. They know your outside options with no educational credentials are pretty minimal, and they don’t want to have to pay you for the full eight-hour shift unless it’s incredibly busy, so they hire you based on the ability to make any four-hour block at any point in the week or year when they might conceivably need the extra staff and your willingness to go home two hours into a shift if it’s not as busy as expected. The article focuses on a 22-year-old woman who works at a single Starbucks location, but many chain restaurants and retailers expect employees to be able to fill scheduling gaps at any store in the metro area at any time.

The article focuses on social safety net type issues and how it’s impossible to, e.g., schedule daycare when you don’t know how many hours you’ll be working until you’re actually at work. But I think it’s possibly more helpful to think about how employers can be better regulated to provide employees with preset schedules. Pretty sure the most straightforward strategy would be requiring employers to pay some fraction of regular wages for all “on-call” type hours as well as for hours after employees are dismissed mid-shift - although also raising minimum wage would be super helpful in terms of giving employees the capacity to deal with an irregular schedule.

Note that absolutely no one discusses unionization as a possible strategy here, even though this is precisely about a ton of workers at a big profitable employer getting treated incredibly poorly. Unions in North America have become mostly an option for people with degrees and stable jobs and above-median salaries - especially in education and healthcare and police forces and government services. And while I’m not saying that unions haven’t been great for those of us fortunate enough to work in those sectors under those unions, it’s worth noting that very little effort gets directed towards supporting unions for less socially-prestigious sectors like food and beverage service.

for me, the most interesting/bleak aspect of the story was the effect on the employee’s child. it was hard for her to keep her son’s preschool placement with her fluctuating hours and schedule, and the child was significantly emotionally affected by the lack of stability resulting from the employment structure. so not only are these schedules affecting a certain group and class of people who have these kind of service jobs, they have predictable and foreseeable effects on their children, as well. 

[video]

Aug 14

i have badly mismanaged my library books - i have read them all, the library near me has closed their fiction section for construction, the library i’m using in the interim is far away and i won’t be there again until monday. DISASTER.

vickyj is the best and now i can represent in pride.

vickyj is the best and now i can represent in pride.

[video]

this is what happens

tw: violence, domestic violence, police brutality

1. in 2000, the democratic national convention was in downtown los angeles. i went down to participate in the immigration rights march. it was permitted, it was official, it was peaceful. at the time, i was working at a legal organization where an arrest would likely have cost me my job and a civil disobedience arrest would definitely have gotten me fired for violating the funding restrictions on the grant that paid my salary. which is to say - i was extremely motivated to be peaceful, to be compliant, to do literally whatever the cops told me to do.

near the end of the march, the cops entered the crowd. i do not know if there was a triggering event. i certainly never saw anything happen and then suddenly, there was a group of them in the march crowd, feet away from me. they were not in full riot gear, but they had their batons out and raised and were wearing visors to cover their faces. they directed us to change direction and head down another street. i immediately complied, as did everyone around me. but at the end of that street, we found ourselves trapped - on three sides there were 20’ chain link fences, and on the fourth side was a line of police.

the police then instructed us to “disperse immediately.” there was nowhere we could go unless we climbed the fences. several people put their arms out to touch the fences and were immediately instructed to step away from the fences. we turned around in confusion, asking for clarification about where they wanted us to go.

then they fired rubber bullets and bean bag rounds at us. i was struck in the back and the thighs. i saw people struck in the head. it was immediate chaos and a number of us managed to get around the line of police - which required running towards the bullets - and escape around the side. i remember sprinting as fast as i could.

this was in broad daylight, in downtown los angeles, with media on every side, with powerful politicians less than half a block away.

—-

2. for over a year, i worked on a legal project about domestic violence in officer families. in CA, a domestic violence conviction would automatically prevent the abuser from legally carrying a gun, so a conviction would also end the officer’s career. this - as well as the usually existing factors - meant that officers did everything they could to protect each other from domestic violence accusations. i listened to hours of tape of women begging officers for help and protection, only to be told the guy was having a bad day, that she needed to calm down, that it wasn’t a big deal, that if she would just be nicer this wouldn’t happen. i listened to a officer drive over his wife’s arm with his police cruiser. i listened to his partner explain why it was her fault.

—-

3. i worked legal clinics in homeless youth shelters in hollywood. the most common request for help was tickets they’d been issued by the police. not only were they issued tickets for things that non-homeless folks would never be ticketed for - jaywalking, throwing a cigarette butt on the ground - but a significant percentage of the tickets i saw were not real. they were not valid tickets. they were fake tickets on carbon paper made to look official, but with no legal citations. they were designed to intimidate and to trick people into paying fines - children so destitute they were sleeping on the street.

—-

4. i had a client who was unable to access the mental health care she was desperately seeking for a variety of meaningless bureaucratic reasons. she was shot and killed by the police during a period of severe hallucinations. she was black.

—-

5. i used to work a legal clinic in a traumatic brain injury clinic at LA County hospital. there was a Latino patient with severe brain trauma, blurred vision, ongoing vertigo. the doctor asked him how he’d incurred the injury. he told us about walking from the bus stop to his house at the end of a 14 hour day of construction work. he’d walked past a house with a group of people outside, a house he’d long suspected was the site of a drug operation. the people outside told him to lie down on the sidewalk. he kept walking. they threw him to the ground. one of them placed his head on the concrete curb and stomped on it with a booted foot, fracturing his skull. he believed they were criminals associated with the drug operation while he lay there until, 45 minutes later, they placed him in a police car and told him they were undercover cops. they had not previously identified themselves. he was taken to jail - charged with god knows what - and left there, without medical attention, for over 3 days. he was bleeding in his brain the whole time.

the doctor asked him if he had reported it, if he had talked to the ACLU, if he had filed charges. he looked at the doctor with confusion and said, “of course not. this is what happens to people like me.”

actual question

is there a single police department in the united states from which this behavior would surprise you? 

Aug 13

three's a trend -

maura:

• “#feministsareugly” response rests in the idea of women who fit conventional ideas of beauty tweeting selfies with their hashtag

• alyssa rosenberg writes about online feminists who are defended by their husbands, with the following quote: “If her trolls started to think of… our relationship…

Research uncovers inequities in zoning rules, health impacts of pot shops Colorado -

Far more land is available for pot shops in Denver’s low-income, minority areas than in wealthier, whiter parts of the city under current zoning rules, according to a new study by two planning professors at the University of Colorado Denver. “Regardless of what we do, under current rules, we will locate these businesses disproportionately in poor areas,” said Jeremy Nemeth, the chair of the Department of Planning and Design at CU Denver, who co-authored the study with CU Denver lecturer and mapping specialist Eric Ross. Nemeth noted that although he and Ross looked only at the rules for medical marijuana dispensaries, the same zoning and buffer requirements apply to Denver’s recreational pot shops.

another way to think about who benefits from and who is negatively affected by legal marijuana.

i refuse to believe that summer is ending. i just got the hang of it! i just figured out good food i can make with summer produce and without heating up the house! i just made my list of summer outdoor activities i want to do! i just got excited about going to the pool! i just got the stupid stitches out of my hand!

Glitches aside, boards of law examiners still depend on ExamSoft -

Last Tuesday, thousands of budding lawyers feared they would have to put their careers on hold as ExamSoft experienced a major slowdown, in some cases not processing the students’ uploaded bar exams until hours after submission deadlines. The company is still investigating what caused the technical issues, according to a spokesman.
For some, last week brought back memories of last fall, when a slew of glitches crippled a new version of the Common Application. The bugs caused hundreds of students to miss early decision deadlines, and eventually led to a leadership change at the organization.
“It is sort of mind-blowing, but a real situation,” Phil Hill, a higher education consultant, said in an email. “[W]ith many online tools we’re moving past institutional effects to system- or nationwide effects…. Now, with ExamSoft, Common App and others, we are opening up new situations where multiple states are all subject to single points of failure.”
It is likely a risk boards of law examiners and test-takers will have to endure. The boards — whose members can sometimes be counted on one hand — often need to outsource exam services to third parties to manage hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants.

Aug 12

@SorahyaM - I have a question for the “men’s rights activists”, are y’all protesting Black men being murdered by the police or nah?

@SorahyaM - I have a question for the “men’s rights activists”, are y’all protesting Black men being murdered by the police or nah?

(Source: unite4humanity, via chismosa-morenita)

how can i stay awake until it is time to go to bed if a) i am by myself 2) i don’t drink caffeine 3) my cat is not help?

rebellingintherustbelt:

PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST

sessionable:

This is a bail and legal fund set up to assist our brothers and sisters arrested last night for taking direct action against the murderous Ferguson Police Department. Two days ago, Michael “Mike Mike” Brown was gunned down by police after eyewitnesses stated he had thrown his…