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Retailers That Forced Employees To Work Thanksgiving Experienced Disappointing Sales

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The data confirms that brands don’t need to have employees show up to stores to generate holiday sales on Thanksgiving Day — they can simply offer discounts online. Stores can also generate good will by staying closed on the holiday, preserving their employees’ ability to spend it with family and friends.

Bryce Covert, Think Progress

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http://cdn.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/30100749/AP_544443124445-1024x683.jpg Customers lined up outside a Chicago Kmart on Thanksgiving

Nov 30, 2015 | Eleven brands opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day this year, requiring millions of employees to report to work on the national holiday. Many businesses believe that opening on Thanksgiving will boost overall holiday sales by getting shoppers in ahead of the official start to Black Friday.

 

But this year’s sales data show it was mostly a dud. The number of customers in stores on Thanksgiving stayed flat as compared to last year, when shoppers who went to stores on the holiday didn’t show up on Black Friday. Meanwhile, sales data from ShopperTrak showed that Thanksgiving itself only generated $1.8 billion, compared to $10.4 billion on Black Friday. Even more disappointing was that the total for both days was depressed compared to last year: RetailNext data showed overall sales for the two days fell 1.5 percent and average spending per shopper also declined 1.4 percent.

Bryce Covert is the Economic Policy Editor for ThinkProgress. She was previously editor of the Roosevelt Institute’s Next New Deal blog and a senior communications officer. She is also a contributor for the Nation.

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Section(s): 

Read the CIA’s Simple Sabotage Field Manual: A Timeless, Kafkaesque Guide to Subverting Any Organization with “Purposeful Stupidity” (1944)

You can read and download the full document here. To get a sense of just how “timeless”—according to the CIA itselfsuch instructions remain, see the abridged list below, courtesy of Business Insider. You will laugh ruefully, then maybe shudder a little as you recognize how much your own workplace, and many others, resemble the kind of dysfunctional mess the OSS meticulously planned during World War II.

Josh Jones, Open Culture

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor James Fuller.

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http://cdn8.openculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/01000328/Simple-Sabotage-Manual.pngDecember 1st, 2015 | I’ve always admired people who can successfully navigate what I refer to as “Kafka’s Castle,” a term of dread for the many government and corporate agencies that have an inordinate amount of power over our permanent records, and that seem as inscrutable and chillingly absurd as the labyrinth the character K navigates in Kafka’s last allegorical novel. Even if you haven’t read The Castle, if you work for such an entity—or like all of us have regular dealings with the IRS, the healthcare and banking system, etc.—you’re well aware of the devilish incompetence that masquerades as due diligence and ties us all in knots. Why do multi-million and billion dollar agencies seem unable, or unwilling, to accomplish the simplest of tasks? Why do so many of us spend our lives in the real-life bureaucratic nightmares satirized in the The Office and Office Space?

 

One answer comes via Laurence J. Peter’s 1969 satire The Peter Principle—which offers the theory that managers and executives get promoted to the level of their incompetence—then, David Brent-like, go on to ruin their respective departments. The Harvard Business Review summed up disturbing recent research confirming and supplementing Peter’s insights into the narcissism, overconfidence, or actual sociopathy of many a government and business leader. But in addition to human failings, there’s another possible reason for bureaucratic disorder; the conspiracy-minded among us may be forgiven for assuming that in many cases, institutional incompetence is the result of deliberate sabotage from both above and below. The ridiculous inner workings of most organizations certainly make a lot more sense when viewed in the light of one set of instructions for “purposeful stupidity,” namely the once top-secret Simple Sabotage Field Manual, written in 1944 by the CIA’s precursor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC.

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WTF America? 2015 Black Friday Videos Show How the US Has Lost Its Humanity

  • Just as we started regaining faith in humanity, after last year's Black Friday idiocy, here it comes again.
  • If we take a step back to observe this downright insanity, it is getting difficult to differentiate between Frank Darabont’s Walking Dead and Black Friday shoppers.
  • The Rise Of The Inhumanes

Matt Agorist, Free Thought Project

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Black%20Friday%20Shopping%20Mob.jpgBlack Friday: police shut down Tesco after shopper scuffles - video

November 27, 2015 | Before their Thanksgiving dinners could settle, many Americans left their family atmospheres and descended upon department stores and big box retailers across the country to partake in rampant and apparently violent consumerism.

Mindless shoppers aren’t even getting the great discounts they cherish since retailers artificially inflate prices of goods in the months before the sales in order to make the subsequent discounts look good in comparison. Also, even if shoppers do manage to grab some genuine discounts, they will invariably buy another product that has a 98 percent markup value.

Matt Agorist is a contributor to Free Thought Project

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Related:

 

The Rise Of The Inhumanes, Paul Craig Roberts, paulcraigroberts.org 

  • Welcome to America today. It is a land in which facts have been redefined as enemy propaganda, a land in which legally protected whistleblowers are redefined as “fifth columns” or foreign agents subject to extermination, a land in which America is immune from criticism and all crimes are blamed on those whom Washington intends to rule.
  • Barron, Bybee, Yoo, and Bradford are members of a new species—the Inhumanes—that has risen from the poisonous American environment of arrogance, hubris, and paranoia.

In Arbitration, a 'Privatization of the Justice System'

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Over the last 10 years, thousands of businesses across the country -- from big corporations to storefront shops -- have used arbitration to create an alternate system of justice. There, rules tend to favor businesses, and judges and juries have been replaced by arbitrators who commonly consider the companies their clients, The Times found.

Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Michael Corkery, New York (NY) Times

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Debbie%20Brenner.jpgDebbie Brenner, whose fraud case against a for-profit school chain was forced into arbitration and left her nearly bankrupt.

November 1, 2015 | Deborah L. Pierce, an emergency room doctor in Philadelphia, was optimistic when she brought a sex discrimination claim against the medical group that had dismissed her. Respected by colleagues, she said she had a stack of glowing evaluations and evidence that the practice had a pattern of denying women partnerships.

She began to worry, though, once she was blocked from court and forced into private arbitration.

Presiding over the case was not a judge but a corporate lawyer, Vasilios J. Kalogredis, who also handled arbitrations. When Dr. Pierce showed up one day for a hearing, she said she noticed Mr. Kalogredis having a friendly coffee with the head of the medical group she was suing.

Jessica Silver-Greenberg is a reporter at the New York Times covering banking and consumer finance. 

Michael Corkery is a Reporter at The New York Times. covering banking and finance. 

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A Guide to Intelligent, Thoughtful Giving

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Part 1: Charity Navigator | Your Guide to Intelligent Giving

 

Charity Navigator works to guide intelligent giving.

 

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jim Fuller

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http://www.charitynavigator.org/_gfx_/home/donor_advisories.gif November 11, 2015 | Charity Navigator works to guide intelligent giving. By guiding intelligent giving, we aim to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace, in which givers and the charities they support work in tandem to overcome our nation’s and the world’s most persistent challenges.

Charity Navigator is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization under the Internal Revenue Code and does not accept any contributions from any charities we evaluate.

Charity Navigator selected as Best Charity Review Site in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine’s “The Best List 2011.” 

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Part 2: Worst Charities

Notice how many of these FAKE "charities" are related to Veterans, Police, & Cancer

Jerry McGovern,  <jerrymcgovern@netzero.net>

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editors Jim Fuller and Lydia Howell <>

November 10, 2015 | The worst charities, ranked by money blown on soliciting costs.

Totals from the latest 10 years of available federal tax filings.

Data updated in December 2014.

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TPP Text Has Been Released ... Now What?

  • Come on people. We have 90 days to tear this agreement apart. You don't have to read it and understand it to know it's simply horrible for us. Contact your Reps and Senators and tell them to vote down the TPP. We need to tell Obama, "You wanted the TPP to go up or down? Well, here it is: down!"
  • TPP: It’s Not a Deal, It’s Not a Trade Deal, and It’s Not a Done Deal

Paola Casale, OpEdNews

http://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadnic/16466471030_e95ed826f0_m-jpg_502550_20151105-379.jpgRolling Rebellion Sparks in Seattle to Defend Internet & Stop the TPP (image by Backbone Campaign)

11/6/2015 | The cat in the bag is finally out. The notorious Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) text has officially been released. Scholars, lawyers, the media and the general public has been tearing apart the 30 chapters and the several dozen "side letters." The text is very dense and difficult to understand, however, to many its very clear: the TPP is worse than what people previously predicted.

Look, we didn't need to see the text to know that it was a horrible deal. It was negotiated over the past 10 years in complete secret and was modeled after the job-killing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA has destroyed our manufacturing industry as well as our auto sector.

Paola Casale is a graduate of Otterbein University. She works for 

 http://peoplesworld.org/assets/Uploads/stopp-tppa.jpgThe Coalition for a Prosperous America as the Media Director who is in charge of overseeing that hidden news is uncovered.

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Related:

TPP: It’s Not a Deal, It’s Not a Trade Deal, and It’s Not a Done Deal, Lambert Strether, Corrente / Naked Capitalism

Despite the success of the negotiations, the deal still has to be ratified by lawmakers in each country.

 

Postal Banks Are People’s Banks

6 Things You Need To Know About Postal Banking

Matt Stannard, Occupy.com

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http://www.occupy.com/sites/default/files/medialibrary/postal-savings-system-200-note-series-of-1917-9.gif.jpeg  Tue, 10/27/2015 | It’s being called “Bernie’s Brilliant Idea,”, and Bernie Sanders’s embrace of postal banking is indeed brilliant, both in timing and substance. But while his insurgent presidential campaign may give a credible boost to USPS financial services, Sanders’s endorsement is far from sufficient. To make postal banking happen requires a broad, mass coalition willing to keep pushing the issue regardless of the outcome of the 2016 elections. If you want to be part of that movement, or already are, keep these six things in mind:

1. Postal banking has a long, strong history.

Nations all over the world have postal savings banks, and the United States had a successful postal bank from 1911 to 1967. At one time, as many as 10% of Americans used postal banks; unsurprisingly, it was lobbying from big banks that shut the program down by urging Congress to stop allowing postal banks to offer competitive interest rates. The emergence of postal banking as a 2016 electoral issue stems from a campaign that began early last year with a short, persuasive piece written by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who cited a report by the Postal Inspector General recommending that the USPS offer financial services – from check cashing and small loans to financial counseling and bill paying – as both a public service and business opportunity for the U.S. Post Office. Soon after, a large coalition of unions and economic justice groups – including the organization I co-founded, Commonomics USA – coalesced around the demand for postal banking. We strategized, pushed the message, hosted conference calls, forums and Q&As on postal banking, and waited.

Matt Stannard is policy director at Commonomics USA and a member of the board of the Public Banking Institute.

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Pharma Biggie Hit With $125M Penalty For Illegal Kickbacks To Doctors, Falsified Insurance Forms

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  • While the company won’t be going to jail, former Warner Chilcott President W. Carl Reichel might be. The erstwhile exec was arrested today in Boston, and according to a newly unsealed indictment [PDF] has been charged with conspiring to pay kickbacks to physicians.
  • From the Archives | Chris Hedges: The Real Health Care Debate

Chris Morran, Consumerist

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Your%20Health%20Insurance%20Company.jpg  October 29, 2015 | A subsidiary of multibillion-dollar international pharmaceuticals company Allergan has agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge of healthcare fraud and pay $125 million to close the books on criminal and civil liability claims tied to the subsidiary’s illegal marketing activities for seven different name-brand prescription drugs.

Warner Chilcott USA Sales LLC (whose connection to Allergen we’ll get to later) has agreed to plead guilty in federal court to felony criminal charges of paying kickbacks to physicians to get them to prescribe the company’s drugs. Warner Chilcott was also caught manipulating prior authorizations to induce insurance companies to pay for prescriptions of osteoporosis drug Atelvia that the insurers may not have otherwise paid for. To top it all of, the company also made unsubstantiated marketing claims on another osteo med, Actonel.

Chris Morran is the Deputy Executive Editor of Consumerist

Related:

From the Archives | Chris Hedges: The Real Health Care Debate, Chris Hedges, Truthdig

“It is not necessary to force Americans to buy private health insurance to achieve universal coverage,” said Russell Mokhiber of Single Payer Action. “There is a proven alternative that Congress didn’t seriously consider, and that alternative is a single payer national health insurance system. Congress could have taken seriously evidence presented by these single payer medical doctors that a single payer system is the only way to both control costs and cover everyone.”

 

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