Birds at feeders in New York winter

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video from New York state in the USA says about itself:

Snowy Morning Brings Plenty Of Visitors To Cornell Feeders – Jan. 18, 2019

Snowy days tend to bring a variety of species to the Cornell FeederWatch cam. As the snow covers up their natural food sources, the birds of Sapsucker Woods know where they can find an easy meal!

Watch LIVE at for news, updates, and more information about the pond and its surroundings.

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Millions of Indian workers hold two-day general strike against Modi government

Journal of People| January 09, 2019

Over 180 million workers began a two-day general strike across India yesterday in protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s big business assault on the working class. Tens of thousands of workers defied threats of sacking and pay cut by state governments to join the national walkout.

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Replaceable workers or productive workers?

Phil Ebersole's Blog

CEOs of American companies complain of a lack of skilled workers and the lack of job training.

But if you look at what most of them do, and not what they say, they don’t really want productive workers.  They want replaceable workers.

only_one_thing_can_save_us_finalSo argues Thomas Geoghegan, a Chicago labor lawyer, in his outstanding new book, ONLY ONE THING CAN SAVE US: Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement.

One obvious example of this is Boeing’s decision to have its new Dreamliner made by inexperienced, low-paid workers in South Carolina rather than members of the International Association of Machinists in Seattle.   They had production and quality problems in South Carolina, but their priority evidently was to get away from the union.

Now the same management philosophy is being applied to public schools, universities and hospitals.   Well-trained, well-paid professionals are harassed, laid off and replaced with inexperienced newcomers.

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On the dynamics of “puppet master” bullying at work

Minding the Workplace

image courtesy of

In 2012 I proposed a type of work abuse that fits somewhere between workplace bullying and workplace mobbing. I called it “puppet master” bullying and described it as a form of “multiple-aggressor abuse at work that may stand at the fault lines between common conceptions of bullying and mobbing.” Here’s more:

In these situations, a chief aggressor’s power and influence over a group of subordinates may be sufficient to enlist their participation in mistreating a target, creating what looks and feels like a mob. For example, if the aggressor is a mid-level manager, he may recruit HR to help out with the dirty work and encourage the target’s peers to shun or bully her.

Even in cases of peer bullying, one aggressor can use intimidation and persuasion to turn others against a peer-level target.

One of the key indicators of puppet master bullying, all too infrequently realized, is…

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BBC reports: Do-nothing self-promoters still get ahead at work

Minding the Workplace

A study by researchers at the Hult International Business School in the U.K. has identified a certain type of self-promoter at work who doesn’t do much but manages to get ahead while dragging down the morale of others. The BBC’s Sean Coughlan reports:

You might have seen their strategically self-regarding emails or watched their self-inflating egos in work meetings.

But business school researchers have identified a type of employee who manages to look busy and successful, without actually doing anything useful.

The productivity study examined 28 UK workplaces and found staff who appeared to be “highly engaged”.

But on closer inspection they were found to be “self-promoters” whose lack of effort pushed down overall output.

The research, from the Ashridge at Hult International Business School, examined the engagement levels of teams of workers, across seven different employment sectors, such as health, government, transport and not-for-profits.

It found some very…

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MAKING WORK PAY! 4 million UK workers live in poverty

Govt Newspeak

Remember the Tory rhetoric “we are going to make work pay”, how they banged on and on about how much better-off we were all going to be in work!
Like all the Tory lies, we’re now suffering the fallout of their lies and intense hatred of the working-class poor.Now look at the reality below.

Four million British workers live in poverty, charity says

Number of workers entering poverty rising faster than employment, says Joseph Roundtree Foundation

 The number of children in poverty reached 4.1 million last year

More than 500,000 British workers have been swept into working poverty over the past five years, according to a report that shows the number of people with a job but living below the breadline has risen faster…

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Novel on nazi Germany published

Dear Kitty. Some blog

Polish Jewish deportees expelled from Germany on October 27-28, 1938, in Zbąszyń © Yad Vashem Photo ArchivesBy Clara Weiss in Germany:

“Life is forbidden to us … do you want to comply with that?”: The rediscovery of Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz’s The Traveler in Germany

Der Reisende, by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz, edited by Peter Grad. Klett-Cotta 2018. 303 pages. All translations from the German are by the reviewer.

In early 2018, the German publisher Klett-Cotta released, for the first time in the original German, The Traveler (Der Reisende), by the writer Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz (1915-1942), who was driven into exile by the Hitler regime.

The novel was written over the course of a few weeks in November 1938. It is a remarkable literary work treating the situation in Nazi Germany in the wake of the so-called Kristallnacht (The Night of the Broken Glass), the murderous anti-Semitic pogrom of November 9-10, 1938. The book resonates powerfully today amid a global refugee crisis and resurgence of…

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Citizenfour documents the monitoring and curbing of dissent

That's How The Light Gets In

I’ve come to this late, but I must salute one of the finest documentaries I’ve seen in recent years.  Filmed in real time, Citizenfour documents the tense negotiations leading up to whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the massive state surveillance of British and American citizens.  The film appeared last autumn, and I have just caught up with a recording of its Channel 4 broadcast some weeks back.

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