MR Daily Review
1. Idaho Supreme Court approves state’s near total abortion ban.
The Idaho Supreme Court ended a stay of the state’s near total abortion ban, allowing it to go into effect August 25th. The trigger law was set to go into place shortly after Dobbs but a local planned parenthood chapter and a donor sought an injunction and temporarily stopped the ban until the court gave it the go ahead. Idaho’s ban has carve outs for rape, incest, and the life of the mother but activists are already questioning what exactly those mean. Around the country people are making headlines when forced to carry dead fetuses or their life otherwise put at risk due to forced pregnancy. Idaho will be no exception to the inherent difficulty in answering where those lines are drawn and who should draw them. The unfortunate reality is that it’s no longer a hypothetical or theoretical matter and it has real life or death consequences for millions of people in Idaho and all the other states with similar bans.
2. Former mining regulators claim strip mining could have worsened already devastating floods in Kentucky.
Two former state and federal mining regulators are calling for the state of Kentucky to investigate whether strip mining worsened recent flooding that killed at least 37 people. Strip mining refers to a broad category of surface mining (as opposed to underground mining), and depends on stripping the land of any foliage, generally leaving a giant pit in its wake. The regulators point to a number of studies that indicate former strip mining locations reduce water retention, potentially leading to flooding and landslides. One problem with many of these studies is they project using average rainfall so these areas are even more at risk than it seems when subjected to once in a lifetime rain events, sometimes multiple times in one week or month.
3. Israel’s 3-day brutal bombing campaign killed 49 Palestinians including 17 children, targeted refugee camps in Gaza.
Reports announced that Egypt brokered a “ceasefire;” however, such an agreement implies a two-sided conflict, and even an end to violence – neither of which are present here. The reality is that Israel is a one-sided aggressor that has used an unlimited military capacity against a civilian population that is trapped inside. Moreover, the ceasefire is a temporary end to an active and illegal bombing campaign – and does nothing to end the daily violence for those living in the occupied territories under the Israeli apartheid. Due to the ongoing 15-year blockade, Israel has blocked Palestinians from accessing basic medical supplies, not to mention sufficient clean water. Prior to the unprovoked bombings, Israel closed border crossings with Gaza – not only trapping the future victims inside the territory, but also interrupting its fuel supply and forcing one of the only power plant to shut down, reducing the already low power supply. Now, Israel’s bombs leave Palestinians to try to care for the hundreds injured with scarce hospital capacity that are now facing a potential system-wide shut down due to Israel’s policies that have left the a near total lack of fuel. Among those being cared for are a severely wounded eleven year old girl who lost her hand and both of her legs. After the attack, the young girl told the media that she dreams of being an artist or a doctor, and now fears she will be able to do neither. These are outrageous war crimes perpetrated against a civilian population who have no choice but to continue to live in unlivable conditions. On Monday, reports indicated that Israeli forces have confiscated a water pipeline in the West Bank despite the already severe water crisis while they continue to invade homes, and attack civilians and children.
4. Google threatens employees with layoffs for not being productive, while CEO rakes in $1 billion per year, and the company’s ‘visionary’ strategy is basically just enriching shareholders with more billions via stock buybacks.
In an email viewed by Business Insider, Google ‘leadership’ threatened employees that there would be “blood on the streets” if their sales performance didn’t improve. This comes in the wake of a supposedly temporary hiring freeze that the company has yet to lift, leading employee to worry they will be forced to work longer hours as recently empty roles seem unlikely to be back filled, and comments from CEO Sundar Pichai that the company’s “headcount doesn’t match its productivity.” Meanwhile, few of the reports reiterating Google leadership’s accusations about their lazy staff fail to mention that that Pichai’s compensation is somewhere near 3000 times that of his average employee, and so far this year alone Google has repurchased over $25 billion of its own stock as part of its business strategy. Stock buybacks used to be illegal as they amount to pure enrichment of shareholders and provide absolutely no productive value to the business or economy.
5. ICE detainees strike after being paid $1/day
Detainees at two ICE facilities in Bakersfield and MacFarland, CA are on strike for paltry wages while their employer rakes in billions of dollars in profit. GEO Group, the private entity that runs the prison, has coerced detainees into performing necessary work like cleaning the prison, in exchange for $1/day – this helps GEO maximize profits by laying off the other workers that used to perform these jobs and were covered by employment laws. GEO group has violated minimum wage laws in the past, and as Labor Notes reports, has engaged in retaliation against the detainees on strike, while also ridiculously maintaining that a strike is not possible since the work is ‘volunteer’ based. If you are getting put in solitary confinement for not participating in a ‘volunteer’ program, its hard to see how they can say that it is not an attempt to coerce these employees into near free labor. We talked about it on the MR Sunday stream