Dancing with Dynamite is a daring, you could say “explosive,” little book, and it stands out in a big way from other volumes on the subject. It offers a glimpse of what we might find beyond the crisis that has paralyzed us.
Abel Lopez was a busy man. The El Paso resident’s job with Family Dollar, Inc. averaged 60-80 hours a week. A former graphic designer and ad man from neighboring Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Lopez spent his days unloading trucks, processing freight, scouring toilets, running cash registers, cleaning, shelving, changing prices, doing inventory, and covering for other employees. As a bonus, he was even held up by armed robbers.
Like others at Family Dollar who wind up spending most of their time doing grunt work, Lopez bore the title of manager. He contends that the company routinely classifies regular workers as managers in order to categorize them as exempt employees and in doing so ensure they are not subject to the overtime provisions of the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). (See box.)
When the Iraqi army fell before invading US and British troops in 2003, the latter’s mission seemed to be accomplished. But nearly eight years after the start of a war intended to shock and awe a whole population into submission, the Iraqi people continue to stand tall.
Source: Foreign Policy in Focus
Thanks to the hard work of the U.S. Farm Lobby, America’s love of cheap food has stretched more than an engorged waistline. It now stretches the limits of American foreign policy.
Over the past century, the Farm Lobby’s influence on the U.S. government has increased alongside the consolidation and growth of U.S. agribusinesses, the principle recipients of federal farm subsidies. The redistribution of taxpayer dollars to American agribusinesses not only creates artificially cheap global prices, it also continues to undermine the development of agrarian-oriented economies throughout the world.
Cyberwar. A conflict without footsoldiers, guns, or missiles.
Instead the attacks are launched by computer hackers. Digital spy rings. Information thieves. Cyberarmies of kids, criminals, terrorists – some backed by nation states.
In the US there is a growing fear that they pose a massive threat to national security, and a conviction that the world’s military superpower must prepare for the fight ahead.
At stake: Crucial national infrastructure, high value commercial secrets, tens of billions of dollars in defence contracts, as well as values like privacy and freedom of expression.
The U.S. social and economic landscape is rapidly changing. Inequalities in wealth, which began an upward ascent back in the 1980s, accelerated in the 1990s. Now they are flying off the charts.