Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when
we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.
Breakfast Tune: Dave Hum – Cold Frosty Morning
Today in History
An accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant; Former President Dwight Eisenhower dies; The Spanish Civil War ends; Maria von Trapp of ‘Sound of Music’ fame dies; Singer Reba McEntire born. (March 28)
Breakfast News & Blogs Below
Amid rampant waste, Fukushima’s frozen wall up in smoke
Gregg Levine, The Scrutineer
More than a half-billion dollars of Japanese taxpayer money has been wasted in the struggle to contain and cleanup the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster, according to a government audit.
Japan’s Board of Audit reported that TEPCO, the company nominally in charge of the crippled facility, along with other construction and utility giants, had operated an insular and insufficiently transparent process that resulted in a lengthy list of massive expenditures on untested tactics and shoddy equipment.
The biggest ticket failure was apparently a $270 million water decontamination system from French nuclear behemoth Areva. Designed to remove radioactive cesium from water gushing from Fukushima Daiichi’s three destroyed reactors, the machine was never fully operational, functioned only three months, and processed only 77,000 tons of liquid – in total – a minute fraction of the 300,000 tons of contaminated water flowing from the site (and into the sea) each day. …
Google has failed in its attempt in the court of appeal to prevent British consumers having the right to sue the internet firm in the UK.
A group known as Safari Users Against Google’s Secret Tracking wants to take legal action in the English courts over what it says is Google’s tracking of Apple’s Safari internet browser.
It has accused Google of bypassing security settings in order to track users’ online browsing and to target them with personalised advertisements. …
Ellen Pao loses landmark sexual discrimination lawsuit
Rupert Neate and agencies, The Guardian
Former technology venture capitalist Ellen Pao has lost a landmark sexual discrimination lawsuit that shone a light on long-complained about ill-treatment of women in Silicon Valley.
After a four-week trial, which gripped the west coast tech scene by revealing the inner workings of such a secretive industry, the jury found that venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) did not discriminate against Pao – now interim CEO of Reddit.
Pao’s lawyer, Alan Exelrod, had argued Kleiner was a “boys’ club” whose ingrained culture discriminated against a talented woman. …
Amazon to remove non-compete clause from contracts for hourly workers
Jana Kasperkevic, The Guardian
Amazon is to remove a “non-compete” clause from its employment contracts for US workers paid by the hour after criticism that it is unreasonable to prevent such employees from finding other work.
In the past, Amazon has required its US employees, including seasonal workers, to sign non-compete contracts which cover a period of more than 18 months after the employee has separated with the company, the Verge reported on Thursday.
According to a contract obtained by the Verge, Amazon workers that signed it pledged not to “engage in or support the development, manufacture, marketing, or sale of any product or service that competes or is intended to compete with any product or service sold, offered, or otherwise provided by Amazon (or intended to be sold, offered, or otherwise provided by Amazon in the future) that employee worked on or supported, or about which employee obtained or received confidential information”. …
Dirty power: Sweden wants your garbage for energy
Elisabeth Braw, Al Jazeera
Every day, some 300 trucks arrive at a plant outside the city of Göteborg on the west coast of Sweden. They carry garbage, but they are not there to dump the cargo. Instead, they deliver it to the plant’s special ovens, which burn it, providing heat to thousands of local homes.
With Swedes recycling almost half (47 percent) of their waste and using 52 percent to generate heat, less than 1 percent of garbage now ends up in the dump. “Sweden has the world’s best network of district heating plants” – essentially large ovens that use a variety of fuels to generate heat, which is then transported to consumers’ homes through a network of underground pipes – “and they’re well-suited for use of garbage,” says Adis Dzebo, an energy expert at the Stockholm Environment Institute. “By contrast, in many other countries the heat and electricity infrastructure is based on gas or other fossil fuels, so it’s not economical to start building plants that utilize garbage.”
Here’s the problem: Swedes (as well as Germans, Danes, the Dutch and Belgians) have become so good at recycling that there’s no longer enough garbage to meet the heating plants’ needs. Sweden now has to import the trash that most other countries are trying to dispose of – some 800,000 tons in 2014, up from 550,000 tons in 2010, according to Avfall Sverige. …
- The Warren Effect: Here Is A Bluff That Needs To Be Called
Charles Pierce, Esquire
- Always Remember, the NY Times Pushed, Hard, for War in Iraq
- Body Count Report Reveals At Least 1.3 Million Lives Lost to US-Led War on Terror
Sarah Lazare, Common Dreams
- Court Accepts DOJ’s ‘State Secrets’ Claim to Protect Shadowy Neocons: a New Low
Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept
- This Cop Got a First Hand Taste of Police Brutality and His Violent Arrest was Also Caught on Video
Cassandra Fairbanks, The Free Thought Project
- Iceland’s Police Are Not Our Police
Abby Zimet, Common Dreams
Something to Think about over
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
Dwight D. Eisenhower