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March 28, 2014

Michigan bans teaching students about Labor

It's almost refreshing when Republicans give the game away and flat out state that everything they do is to destroy unions and to oppress workers. MSU Isn't Allowed To Teach Labor Courses Anymore
A state Senate panel approved a measure Thursday banning courses at public universities that promote or discourage organizing efforts. It’s a reaction to MSU’s recent decision to take over some programs from the National Labor College. Republicans say those courses violate the proposed rule. “I believe in academic freedom, and you’re going to have difficult subjects that you’re going to cover at any university,” said state Rep. Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville, who chairs the panel that directs higher education funding in the House. “But this is a case where I think we’re almost encouraging labor disputes, and I don’t think that’s appropriate.”

November 06, 2013

MSNBC is now sponsored by the fossil fuel industry

MSNBC is printing bullshit PR from polluters as if it was news written by reporters. What You Read On MSNBC.com Might Be Written By The Fossil Fuel Industry | ThinkProgress
MSNBC relaunched on October 30 with a pretty new website, an impressive slate of newly-hired progressive reporters, plus a couple of questionable “launch partners,” corporate sponsors who will write content for the site. General Electric (GE) and America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) will contribute “native advertisements,” meaning ads branded as MSNBC stories, to the news site in exchange for sponsorship. ANGA is a natural gas industry group that promotes increased natural gas exploration and drilling and discourages regulation. An ANGA spokesperson recently told the Los Angeles Times that using more natural gas “can substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” which is not true over the long term. Natural gas does burn cleaner than coal and some see it as a bridge fuel to wide renewable energy adoption — though that bridge must be short to meet key climate goals. It is as yet unclear what America’s Natural Gas Alliance will cover, though it will be featured in sponsored polls housed in a section focused on facts about natural gas. It is unknown whether that entire section will be an advertisement. GE’s will focus on the “Industrial Internet,” the “Brilliant Machines Innovation,” and how they are impacting our world. A look at ANGA’s previous sponsored stories for other outlets can give a good idea of what they will write. The Huffington Post ran two stories “Presented by America’s Natural Gas Alliance” on September 10, entitled “8 Cities Embracing Natural Gas” (reposted on October 18 at “8 Greenest Cities Embracing Alternative Fuel”) and “The Quiet Revolution Behind Your Light Switch,” the latter authored by Marty Durbin, President and CEO of ANGA.

October 17, 2013

Amazon and Kobo blindly censor thousands of books after UK prudes freak out

This is a huge problem for indie authors right now. Only titles by indie authors are being censored. Apparently having the imprimatur of a publisher forgives any rape, incest, bestiality or other unpleasantness that occurs in fiction. Banning Indie Books | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe
It’s been a wild ride in indie publishing the last few days. A media attack on erotica quickly spun out of control, shutting down book stores and wiping some indie authors off the face of the internet. Below, we recount the sequence of events wreaking havoc across the publishing industry… On Wednesday October 9th, an article in UK ‘news publication’ Kernel Mag triggered a widespread banning and blocking of self-pubbed books. Action was taken across multiple booksellers, and, while the initial focus was on erotica, the problem soon spread to other genres…. The first flaw in Kernel Mag’s anti-porn campaign? The article portrayed the problem as (mostly self-pubbed) erotica and then featured books published primarily by internet marketers, not authors….Internet marketers routinely outsource story production to third world countries and are known to publish hundreds of stories at a time. The quality is low, the covers are in-your-face graphic and the titles are keyword stuffed to the point that even Google gags on all the search terms. It’s not an issue of genre, but a business model used by some marketers to extract profit with no concern for quality…. Other indie books originally targeted by Kernel Mag, ones written by actual authors, were wrongfully accused of bestiality and rape….Dog Gone It by Chelsea Fox was singled out because of a dog on the book cover, not because ‘journalists’ read the content to verify their assumptions. When asked for a quote, Miss Fox said, “This is crazy. There is barely any sex at all in Dog Gone It….” Multiple self-pubbed authors had books blocked because of the word ‘virgin’ in the blurb or title. Books that were unblocked on appeal were immediately blocked again. Covers featuring only faces were deemed to be offensive and blocked. Fully clothed people on covers, alone, not touching anyone, were blocked. Author Alexx Andria resorted to creating ‘brown paper wrapping’ covers for her books, which were eventually reinstated….