Tag: How We Live Now

Loneliness – Health Issue

Americans have become increasingly lonely and isolated, and this lack of social connection is having profound effects on our mental and physical health, the surgeon general warned in an advisory on Tuesday.

Advisories from America’s top doctor are typically reserved for public health challenges that require immediate attention. This is the first time one has been used to highlight the issue of loneliness.

More than half of Americans are lonely, according to a 2021 poll, which also found that young adults are almost twice as likely to report feeling lonely as those over age 65.

How to Feel Less Lonely, According to the Surgeon General
America’s top physician, Dr. Vivek Murthy, offers advice on how to build meaningful social connections in an increasingly lonely world.
Christina Caron

UPS Workers Win New Contract

The union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, reported in June that its UPS members had voted to authorize a strike, with 97 percent of those who took part in the vote endorsing the move. The tentative agreement will now go before the membership for ratification.

“We demanded the best contract in the history of UPS, and we got it,” the Teamsters president, Sean M. O’Brien, said in a statement. “UPS has put $30 billion in new money on the table as a direct result of these negotiations.”

UPS handles about one-quarter of the tens of millions of packages that are shipped daily in the United States, and a strike could dent economic activity, particularly the e-commerce industry.

UPS Reaches Tentative Deal With Teamsters to Head Off Strike
United Parcel Service faced a potential walkout by more than 325,000 union members after their five-year contract expires next week.

Paying for Someone’s Baby Formula

old lady got extremely pissed over me paying for a moms baby formula
by u/EstimateThese1815 in TrueOffMyChest

im 16 and work as a cashier for a grocery store. ive seen all kinda of depressing shit in my time working there but this has to top it.

last night a woman who didnt look older than 20 came in my line with a can of baby formula. she looked like she hadnt slept in days hadnt showered in days or even had time to properly care for herself, she just looked so worn out. i rung up the formula and it was like 40 bucks she put her card in and it wasnt going through. so i went through this process that i can do to see if she had any money on her card and she only had a few bucks. when i looked at her after saying that she looked like she was about to burst out crying i felt so sad and i understood what she was going through(my bsf was r worded and got pregnant at 15 and ive been buying formula so she doesn’t have to worry about my nephew going hungry). i told her its fine i got it and paid for it and she tearfully thanked me and left.

the person next in line came up which was a older lady i asked her how her day was(something i kinda have to do) and she started complaining about how new moms now in days have so much help from people how if people like me wanna help sluts that cant keep their legs closed im causing more and bigger issues and then out of nowhere started screaming at me. she got kicked out and im still in shock like why would you want a fucking baby to go hungry ? like you seriously have to be that low of a person to complain that someone else is helping out a mom buy food for her child.

Glad you helped this mom feed her baby. Monsters are real. it’s sad that you saw one up close and they spewed the venom that resides in their soul at you. I hope you continue being a kind and good person

Work Breaks in Texas – Dying from the Heat

As the heat index hit 115 degrees on Monday, Karla Perez took a five-minute water break at a construction site in Dallas. Such rest breaks are required by the city, as they are in Austin.

But a change in Texas state law, which goes into effect in September, will wipe away those local requirements, leaving workers like Ms. Perez to count on their employers to provide time to rest and rehydrate. Right now, she gets three breaks a day. She dreads what the change might bring.

“Workers are going to die,” she said. “There’s no way around it.”

The ordinance in Dallas passed after the death of a 25-year-old worker, Roendy Granillo, who was installing hardwood floors in a house without air conditioning when he began to feel sick and asked for a break. The request was denied. He kept working until he collapsed.

The medical examiner’s office said the cause was heat stroke. “My parents were told his organs were cooked from the inside,” said his sister, Jasmine Granillo.

In Battle Over Direction of Texas, an Unlikely Casualty: Water Breaks
A new law pre-empting local labor rules is part of an effort by Republicans in the Capitol to exert control over the state’s Democratic-led major cities.

Train Safety Inspections – Norfolk Southern Derailment Follow Up

Jason Cox with the Transportation Communications Union testified Friday during the second day of the NTSB hearing that the railcar that caused the derailment wasn’t inspected by Norfolk Southern even though it passed through three railyards where qualified inspectors were working.

Cox said the lack of inspections reflects changes Norfolk Southern has made since 2019 to slash the ranks of car inspectors and other employees, and that the company increasingly uses a loophole in federal regulations to rely on train crews to complete inspections instead of experts trained to do that work. He said train crews look at just 12 points on a rail car instead of the 90 to 105 points a carman checks.

Furthermore, Cox said, carmen are pushed to inspect a car in just one minute instead of the roughly three minutes they had before the railroad started making operational changes over the past four years. Norfolk Southern’s representative at the hearing, Jared Hopewell, denied the railroad has a time limit for inspections. Cox cited a deposition from a Norfolk Southern manager that confirmed a one-minute goal.

Union official says safety of railroads has been compromised by job cuts and time constraints

Goodbye Hampden Regal

They took a big hit during the covid era. I would go sometimes and I might be the only person at a show, in a theater that seated 100 people.

The cinema and it’s parking lot take up a good chuck of valuable real estate – it’s near the Southmoor light rail station for one thing. We’ll see what comes next.

Protest in France

Today’s political moment feels very similar to the early phases of the Yellow Vest movement in 2018, when a proposed hike in the fuel tax unleashed weeks of demonstrations. Then, too, there was simmering anger from households struggling to make ends meet, widespread support for disruptive protest and a stunning aloofness from the people in charge. As in the early days of that conflict, Mr. Macron went weeks without publicly addressing the pension battle at length, forcing his prime minister to take the heat instead. His first major address on the topic since protests began was panned by critics as tone-deaf and condescending.

“There’s a form of disconnect,” Laurent Berger, the general secretary of the country’s largest labor confederation, the C.F.D.T., which prides itself on its ability to negotiate and compromise, told me. “There needs to be an end to this verticality where only a precious few are right and everybody else is wrong.” That obstinacy has pushed France into a political crisis — one that raises questions over the very architecture of the Fifth Republic and the extensive power it hands the head of state. How is it possible for a president without a parliamentary majority to ram through such an unpopular policy?

France Is Furious
Mr. Stangler is a journalist based in France who writes about the country’s politics and culture.

Also following the news at Reddit r/france

Réforme des retraites – les slogans des manifs – Difficile de faire un choix… Au début, ça me faisait sourire. Au final, j’ai juste le seum.
by u/artsnumeriques in france

Losing Your Job Because You’re Sick Then Losing Your Insurance Because You’re Unemployed

There are plenty of cases in this book where you find just frustration with the way our health care system works or does not work. You know, one interesting story you tell is of a woman who comes into the emergency room. This is not during the COVID days. She comes into the emergency room, and she wants chemotherapy treatments, and she knows she has cancer. And in fact, she has detailed instructions from the oncologist who has been treating her. Why was she coming to the emergency room?

NAHVI: Well, she came to the emergency room because her oncologist had stopped treating her. So what her story was – she was a young lady. She was diagnosed with cancer. And then she started getting treatment for her cancer with an oncologist at a private – not-for-profit but private institution. And then what happened was that because of her chemotherapy and her cancer treatments, she took too many sick days from her job. So she ended up losing her job. Then she lost her health insurance because of losing her job.

So her chemo – her oncologist wasn’t able to see her anymore because she didn’t have insurance anymore. So he or she referred this patient to our hospital, which was a public hospital where I was working at the time. She didn’t understand that she had to go see an oncologist. So she just came to the emergency room. And I thought there was a misunderstanding.

I saw her, and I said, you know, I’m an ER doctor. I – if I could treat you, I absolutely would. I just don’t have these tools. I don’t have that capability. And then we ended up kind of going from there. But that’s how she ended up in the emergency room with me.

DAVIES: But it’s interesting – I mean, it would take her, I think she said, weeks or months to get an appointment with an oncologist. And she knew that if you come to the ER, they have to treat you, right? I mean, so she figured, hey, you can’t send me away.

NAHVI: That was what she told us, yes. She said that she was familiar, that there was some law out there, that if you are uninsured under any circumstances, you come to an emergency room, we have to treat you. And she’s right. Except the caveat to that, which kind of is what made me so uncomfortable at that time, was that she had a great understanding of the situation, except that what we have to do in the ER is stabilize you, not necessarily treat you. So you have to be evaluated by law. And whatever we can do to stabilize you, we have to do.

In the eyes of this legislation, she was stable. So she had cancer, and she was dying, but she was dying slowly. She wasn’t dying quickly. So she was technically stable. And it became this kind of horrible thing that I had to explain to her that, yes, you’re protected by this law and yes, you have cancer and yes, you’re dying, but I can’t help you.

An ER doc reflects on life, death and uncertainty in the early days of COVID-19
Fresh Air

Ohio Train Disaster

Car inspections have experienced some of the biggest cuts. Norfolk Southern management has gradually reduced the amount of time workers are allowed to spend inspecting trains for defects before they leave rail yards. About seven years ago, according to Motherboard’s previous reporting and confirmed by Whitaker, management set a recommendation that workers spend no more than two and a half minutes per car. In recent years, that time limit has dwindled to less than 90 seconds per car—not enough time, workers say, to actually inspect anything, when cars can be up to 100 feet in length. Norfolk Southern did not answer Motherboard’s question about the issue of car inspections in its response.

Because of staff cuts, workers who used to inspect hundreds of cars a day now have to inspect a thousand or more, according to multiple Norfolk Southern employees Motherboard interviewed in 2021. They said that managers will pressure workers not to report safety defects they discover, because fixing them will hurt PSR metrics such as the amount of time trains spend in the terminal, which, under PSR’s philosophy, is supposed to be as little as possible. But, if they don’t report a defect and something catastrophic happens on the rails, workers feel vulnerable, believing the company will try to pin responsibility on individual workers not following official protocol. As a result, workers feel they operate under two different, often contradictory rulebooks, one official to maintain a pretense of safety and one unofficial intended to keep trains moving. In this sense, one mechanic who worked for Norfolk Southern for 13 years, told Motherboard that workers can “kind of be screwed one way or the other.”

‘32 Nasty:’ Rail Workers Say They Knew the Train That Derailed in East Palestine Was Dangerous
A freight train carrying toxic chemicals derailed 50 miles outside Pittsburgh, forced thousands to evacuate, and created a toxic cloud. Workers knew the train had safety issues.
Aaron Gordon

Homelessness and the Cost of Housing – The New York Times

Advocates say Phoenix’s streets are increasingly filled with people who simply could not afford an increasingly pricey Arizona: Average rent in the Phoenix area has risen by about 70 percent over the past five years, and the number of people in shelters or living on the street has gone up by 60 percent.

“The cost of housing is the biggest thing we see,” said Kenn Weise, the mayor of the suburban city Avondale, Ariz., and chairman of the Maricopa Association of Governments, which runs the Point-in-Time Count.

The path that brought Mr. Greene to a park in downtown Phoenix, repairing a beater bicycle, began, he said, when he fell from a scaffold at his carpentry job a few years ago. Work was impossible after he crushed his leg, but he said he survived on monthly disability checks.

The rent on his apartment near the palms of Encanto Park crept up from $525 to $700 before doubling in December, part of the disappearance of modestly priced rentals around Phoenix. A decade ago, almost 90 percent of apartments around Phoenix rented for $1,000 or less. Now, just 10 percent do.

582,462 and Counting
To fix a problem like homelessness in America, you need to know its scope. To do that, you need sheriffs, social workers, volunteers, flashlights and 10 days in January.

God Wants Me to Have the Women and the Air Conditioner

The first thing he claimed — even though he already had a wife, a 14-year-old girl, pushing legal limits in Texas, but she had her parents permission so the marriage was legal — he announced that God now wanted him to have wives, multiple wives. He pointed out some scriptural passages that he said backed this up, and he claimed that he needed multiple wives because it was his job to sire 24 children who would become elders and help rule after the kingdom of God’s reestablished, at the end times. Then he further announces that among all the women at Mount Carmel, every woman of childbearing age — and that would be, say, from 12 up — were now his wives and could have sex only with him for procreation purposes. The husbands of these women were forbidden to have sex at all anymore. And Koresh said this was a blessing to them because now they could focus their energies on studying the Bible more and becoming more worthy of the Lord. So it was sex. It was everyone else’s wives. And he even decided God wanted him to have the only unit air conditioning in Mount Carmel.

30 years after the siege, ‘Waco’ examines what led to the catastrophe

Interview was regarding:
Waco: David Koresh, The Branch Davidians and a Legacy of Rage
Jeff Guinn

Some Random Facts

Over the past decade, California has added a little over three times as many people as housing units, driving its median home price over $800,000, which is more than twice the national figure.

Legislators Find Way to Let U.C. Berkeley Increase Its Enrollment

The richest 20 percent of people worldwide take 80 percent of all flights, according to estimates by the International Council on Clean Transportation.

Nations Agree to Curb Emissions From Flying by 2050

Since there is only one active official cemetery in Manhattan, the borough’s most popular final resting place may be Central Park — a legal site for the scattering of human ashes.

Where the Bodies Are Buried

Nearly half of all millennials have tattoos, compared with 13 percent of the baby boomer generation, according to a 2015 survey by the Harris Poll.

A 10-Year-Old Got a Tattoo. His Mother Was Arrested.

71 of Our Favorite Facts of 2022
Each day, Times Insider editors scour the newspaper for the most interesting facts to appear in articles. Here are facts that surprised, enlightened or entertained us this year.

Software Problems and Flight Delays

Southwest’s Debacle, Which Stranded Thousands, to Be Felt for Days
Bad winter weather led the company to cancel more than 60 percent of its flights for Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving many travelers frustrated.

Union leaders said a main cause of Southwest’s problems was inadequate computer systems that they said had failed to efficiently match crews with flights when cancellations started to accumulate. “They had committed to us that they have spent time and money on the infrastructure, but it has not been enough,” said Ms. Montgomery, the union leader. “The house of cards has fallen.”

Analysts also said Southwest had been slow to introduce new systems that would help it run its business. “Southwest has never viewed technology as a strategic priority,” Mr. Harteveldt said.

from reddit:
What software does SWA scheduling use? CrewTrac?

Apparently it’s a single excel sheet on a Windows 95 pc.

Have they tried rebooting it?

By shutting down 90% of the flights for two days, that is essentially what they are doing.