My semi-regular Sunday piece of interesting, longer, deeper stories I found during the week. It’s also a chance for you to share what you found this week too. Those stimulating links you wanted to share, but just didn’t fit in anywhere (no linkwhoring). This week: Prism, sick leave, female voters, and weeing during a filibuster.
The BBC has a great glossary of everything to do with Edward Snowden and Prism, George Monbiot tells us that the dystopian future surveillance state is here, and the New Yorker looks at the history of privacy vs secrecy – in an age of publicity.
A battle brewing at a local level in the US is the rising demand for sick leave. Only 4 cities and 1 state (Connecticut) have sick leave required by businesses after New York’s recent addition to the club. A basic right across the rest of the western world, now 8 states in the last 2 years have pre-emptively banned cities from legislating for it. Pressure from the restaurant lobby is strong, and a right-wing think tank has been shopping legislation stopping sick leave. The think tank has been getting states to ban any exposures of bad farming practices (like those by PETA) – because whistle-blowers are the problem, obviously…
In other rights the rest of the western world has that the US doesn’t, they show up badly in the BBC’s Mapping Children’s Chances in such things as paid maternity leave. However, we show up badly as only Australia and us in the western world (or indeed most of the world) don’t ban 14 year-olds from working more than 8 hours per day. We have progress to make on looking after our children too.
Are our left-wing parties missing a trick? Research shows that our voters don’t have a gender split like most other places. Usually women – more connected into community – are more left-wing, but other than a dislike of NZ First, there is no great party skew here – nor has there been historically. Labour under Helen Clark got a boost among women, but with her moving on, we’ve gone back to no advantage. Are our parties of the left not targeting effectively?
Britain is having to plan for rolling blackouts as with their electricity market, the private power companies have shut down too many “unprofitable” energy plants. Now they’re having to consider giving manufacturers subsidies to not use power between 4 & 8pm, so the nation can go home and watch their telly. The Guardian asks if candles are Britain’s plan for the future?