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  • Bank of America is attempting to outsource bank tellers to ATMs with video machines, and the labor community is fighting back:
    Outside of the Bank of America branch at 95 Wall Street, a man in a robot costume did the Robot during yesterday's lunch hour. He danced along to the chants of the protesters walking in a circle outside of the branch. They were there to protest the new video teller ATMs that the company started rolling out this fall, which the new 95 Wall Street branch has recently installed.

    As they sang, “Outsourcing ain't the way, community tellers are here to stay,” an employee who'd been hovering in the lobby with a tablet computer on his arm joined several more bankers in suits and a burly security guard.

    The group of 30 or so protesters was from the Committee for Better Banks, a labor-community coalition that includes the Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN), Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change (NYCC) and the Communications Workers of America union (CWA).

    The idea of having to do banking with an outsourced video camera at an ATM machine is frightening. Good on the movement for fighting back.
  • A group of community activists in Washington, DC wrote a letter to a local bar critiquing the fact that it had posted a tweet opposing a proposed minimum-wage ordinance for tipped workers. Because, you know, guaranteeing a minimum income for tipped workers is a good thing. And the local right-wing press decided to declare that the entire thing is a giant conspiracy of big labor, regardless of evidence:
    *Crockett works for a pro-abortion news outlet. I couldn’t find any direct links between big labor and her news outlet, but, you know, they’re probably there.
    Because, evidence! VLWC!
  • And speaking of that particular usage of "because," my little linguist heart is tickled by this article on the new "prepositional because":
    The word "because," in standard English usage, is a subordinating conjunction, which means that it connects two parts of a sentence in which one (the subordinate) explains the other. In that capacity, "because" has two distinct forms. It can be followed either by a finite clause (I'm reading this because [I saw it on the web]) or by a prepositional phrase (I'm reading this because [of the web]). These two forms are, traditionally, the only ones to which "because" lends itself.

    I mention all that ... because language. Because evolution. Because there is another way to use "because." Linguists are calling it the "prepositional-because." Or the "because-noun."

    You probably know it better, however, as explanation by way of Internet—explanation that maximizes efficiency and irony in equal measure. I'm late because YouTube. You're reading this because procrastination. As the language writer Stan Carey delightfully sums it up: "'Because' has become a preposition, because grammar."

    The whole thing is a fun read. Go and do likewise.
  • Football is broken. There are way too many stories, over and over again, of women and girls being assaulted by football players only to watch the community and law enforcement rally around their assailants. The sport, and our society, need a massive culture shift.
  • I don't know if it should, but pet shaming always makes me laugh.
  • 50 years ago yesterday: Here's how the Washington Post reacted to the assassination of JFK.
  • Ezra Klein with an important piece on the Affordable Care Act and why Republicans should actually want it to work. In part:
    The Republican proposal tried to put this insight into policy by ending the huge tax break given to employer-based plans and replacing it with a $2,300 tax rebate for individuals and a $5,700 rebate for families. This change would have made it much more costly for employers to offer health insurance. As a result, many would have ended or downgraded the policies they provided. Tens of millions of Americans would have lost their insurance plans, whether they liked them or not.

    The rollout of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been an utter and complete disaster, leading to a flowering of schadenfreude among Republicans who predicted Obamacare would be an utter and complete disaster. But the failure of the federal exchange Web site, and widespread confusion among consumers, isn’t the particular disaster Republicans had predicted. And it’s not a particularly auspicious one for Republican policy interests.

    Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, for instance, is going perfectly well in states that chose to accept it. Take Oregon, which has emerged as perhaps the worst disaster zone in Obamacare’s implementation: Oregon’s state-run exchange is simply broken. More than six weeks after it was supposed to open, not a single person has successfully enrolled for insurance through it. Yet at the same time, the state has signed up more than 70,000 people for Medicaid -- reducing Oregon’s uninsured population by more than 12 percent.

    Basically, yes. The irony behind conservative attacks on the ACA is this: the private sector component is actually the one that is falling down on the job, while the public sector aspect is humming along beautifully.
  • Walmart caught redhanded engaging in internet astroturfing. Webstroturfing? Can that be a thing?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Something uplifting: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, nellgwen, PSzymeczek

    ''I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep on the soil of a friend.'' - George W. Bush

    by ScottyUrb on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 12:08:23 PM PST

  •  What about outsourcing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    So you can do some banking with video tellers from the comfort of your own home outside of normal business hours?  It seems like the natural extension to being able to scan checks for deposit with your cell phone.

  •  It isn't just football, but any high level sport (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, PSzymeczek

    That makes a lot of money for some evil really rich men & keeps the masses soothed.

    The professional unpaid athletes who play football & basketball in college come to mind. This is part of some perverse sports culture that says that "boys will be boys" is okay as long as you perform on the field of play for the masses & make lots of money for someone else (NCAA).

    This is America where people were owned by others; it's the same thing where human beings have no value unless they make a pile of money.

    This is about money & that money is more important than people.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 12:21:58 PM PST

  •  Don't Protest BofA, Close your accounts (10+ / 0-)

    move to a credit union.

    I've been banking with a credit union since 1985.

    Why?

    I like my money used locally.

    My credit union issues 70% of their mortgages within 90 miles of HQ.

  •  Link for because article? (Nt) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marleycat, Inland Jim, commonmass

    "Where some see a system for encouraging discussion . . . others see an echo chamber of bad grammar, unchecked stupidity, and constructive interference . . . " -- Ars Technica

    by Rikon Snow on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 12:22:42 PM PST

  •  For those interested, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rikon Snow, marleycat, commonmass

    the full "because, internet" link is here.

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 12:22:42 PM PST

  •  I've severed my long time relationship ... (5+ / 0-)

    with Bank of America for a local credit union. I'm quite satisfied with my decision.

    As far as the technology being deployed by Bank of America, that technology will be making its way into your children's classrooms in the future; a teacher in some remote location teleconferencing to a class full of students. Teachers will be outsourced.


    I'm enrolled in the ACA. I'd rather be enrolled in Medicare For All.

    by glb3 on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 12:25:58 PM PST

  •  Hertz Has Already Put Clerks in ATMs. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Simplify, commonmass, Yo Bubba, Errol, viral

    Not ATMs but the next thing to it. Last summer we vacationed in the Mountain States and reserved a car from Hertz in Lax Vegas. When picking it up, we were directed to an ATM like machine with a video screen and a keyboard. On the screen appeared a cheery but incomprehensible clerk to "check us in" from some remote location. The experience was bizarre. She was all but inaudible to me and I to her, and no amount of yelling could fix that. I had to show her my license through the camera, which I thought would be ripe for fraud. Given the quality of the video I could see, how the hell could she tell if my license was valid? In any event after the check-in took at least double the time a live clerk would have taken, I got my contract and marching instructions for where to pick up the car, but I was fuming.

    She wasn't to blame. We were both victims of some middle management bozo promoting a hare-brained scheme to reduce the number of clerks required to handle check-ins. It was frustrating, annoying, maddening, and insane—and not the way to start a vacation.  

  •  On that last point, perhaps when upper (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, commonmass, PSzymeczek

    management does it all by their little selves, it should be called bosstroturfing...

  •  Automated Teller Machine machine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 12:46:58 PM PST

  •  our song (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 12:58:11 PM PST

  •  Labor? Let me tell you a little story... (9+ / 0-)

    I just got back from the supermarket, a chain called "Shaws" which is pretty much everywhere in New England, but owned by Alberstons (again), a pretty nasty company. So I'm at the checkout, and the bagger, who I think is actually the assistant manager, and my checker are having a conversation about how she hasn't had a break or lunch yet, and let it slip in front of a customer (me) that their lunch is not paid.

    "You know, you guys could unionize." I said.

    "The only Shaw's stores that are union are in MA" said the bagboy/manager.

    "That doesn't stop you. There is no law in Maine that stops you from unionizing" I replied.

    "What's a Union?" asked my 20 something checker.

    Everyone laughed; neighboring checkers, people in line, even the manager--and then I told her.

    "Oh, THAT" she said. "I checked the box on my application that I would never join one".

    I think I"m done shopping at Shaws, or otherwise, I'm going to organize the place myself.

  •  How much does it sux to be useless? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, PSzymeczek

    Ask Senate Republicans who can't do anything except looking around and watching the country being run right.

    Expect the unexpected - specifically, a rash of GOP retirements.  Obi Wan John Boehner Kenobi now represents the Republicans' only hope in DC.  In 2014, Republicans are down to 113 days on which to hope - and that's if John isn't meeting with lobbyists, tanning, golfing or otherwise drinking merlot on one of those rare days on the Hill next year.

    I don't negotiate with terrorists. I don't vote for them, either.

    by thenekkidtruth on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 01:08:31 PM PST

  •  $3.00 if you use the teller (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Yo Bubba, Errol, viral

    Banks have been "innovating" at destroying the teller position for a long, long, long time.

    When the ATM came out, it was a free thing and an attraction. However, in the 1990's, retail banks began adding fees to "free" checking accounts for any use of the teller. I made sure, as I always have, to use the teller with every deposit.

    I make sure, with every visit to the grocery store, to avoid the self-service check out.

    I make sure, wherever there is a chance, to engage with workers, because the elimination of those positions will mean a bonus to the "innovator," not a reduction of fees or a competitive stance for the bank. The bank will not try to win me as a customer. There will be no free toaster. There will be, instead, a fee for me to pay so the bank will hold my money and charge me money.

    Everyone's innocent of some crime.

    by The Geogre on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 01:24:35 PM PST

  •  Corliss-Reynolds (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    Well, the Spam here inspired a the title of a comic inside of the Comic for Sci Fi Guy! It's called Corliss-Reynolds and it's by some of the future versions of Junior Gustafson. The name is in-jokey because it’s set in a retro Skiffy steam powered universe. The two title characters are a couple of husky busty planet hopping babes.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 01:31:03 PM PST

  •  Pet Shaming... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yo Bubba, viral

    There is water inexplicably flying from the corners of my eyes.

    "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." --Townes Van Zandt

    by Bisbonian on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 01:49:40 PM PST

  •  Dear Son and I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSzymeczek

    discussed the "because" article. We do not approve! :)

  •  preposition, because grammar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSzymeczek

    Would you believe that this very afternoon I was in the process of preparing a lesson plan for my ESL students about prepositions and the ones that are also coordinating conjunctions?  but, an, or, yet, for, etc.

    If you think I'm adding "because" to that list, you're nuts!  Teaching prepositions to the ESL crowd causes enough groans as it is.

  •  Hmmmm.... (0+ / 0-)

    If you were a Republican, and if you were a conspiracy theorist, then:

    The irony behind conservative attacks on the ACA is this: the private sector component is actually the one that is falling down on the job, while the public sector aspect is humming along beautifully.
    should strike you as quite apropos.

    The Affordable Care Act is a marriage of a Democratic goal (universal health coverage) with a Republican means (the Frankenstein's monster of required coverage plus private insurance companies).

    The truly Democratic approach would have been Medicare for all (the Socialist approach would have been Government run hospitals plus employed Physicians-- the British or VA approach).

    The problems of the ACA should make rational people say "huh; why don't we just replace this with Medicare for all". And that's what should be scaring the you-know-what out of Republicans.

    So... if you were a Republican conspiracist, you would think that the Obama administration was tanking the ACA roll out in order to force the country to embrace Medicare for all.

    And, when put that way, maybe that's what should be happening...

  •  I would agree with the explanation of because. (0+ / 0-)

    Except it is also used as one of two word in a complete sentence, without the usual subject and verb.

    I'm not sure what the linguistic term would be but it is a colonialism caused or necessitaited by Twitter.  Or call it a Twitterism, Also, too.

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