Uber. Toilet. Flush.

Gig economy

Bullshit:

“Our hope with these changes is to reset and improve how we work day to day — ruthlessly prioritizing, and always holding ourselves accountable to a high bar of performance and agility,” an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch. “While certainly painful in the moment, especially for those directly affected, we believe that this will result in a much stronger technical organization, which going forward will continue to hire some of the very best talent around the world.”[1]

For crying out loud, it even sounds like bullshit. And that’s exactly what it is.

What’s worse, it’s neoliberal bullshit, the bullshit that, among other things, asserts the problem of profitability is never with the company itself, never with its business plan, and certainly never with management, but always with the workers. Efficiency here is always defined in terms of cutting labor costs. Drivers have borne the brunt of this from the beginning (and California, at least, is finally calling bullshit[2]); that failed (and still fails), so now Uber lays off employees.

Megan Rose Dickey, “Uber lays off 435 people across engineering and product teams,” TechCrunch, September 10, 2019, https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/10/uber-lays-off-435-people-across-engineering-and-product-teams/

Heather Somerville and Mark Maurer, “Uber Cuts More Than 400 Technical Jobs,” Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-cuts-more-than-400-technical-jobs-11568144111

Sophia Bollag, “California Uber, Lyft drivers to become employees under measure Gov. Gavin Newsom says he’ll sign,” Sacramento Bee, September 11, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article234973107.html

Kate Conger, “Uber Says It Will Not Change Driver Status Under California Gig-Worker Law,” New York Times, September 11, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/11/business/economy/uber-california-bill.html

Alejandro Lazo, “California Passes Landmark Bill Requiring Contract Workers to Be Labeled as Employees,” Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/california-governor-still-in-talks-with-uber-lyft-over-gig-workers-law-11568212014


Brexit

This is what Boris Johnson’s government has denied,[3] cannot admit, and why:

The Court of Session said that the decision was invalid because it was “motivated by the improper purpose of stymieing parliament” in an excoriating judgment that effectively accused the prime minister of misleading the Queen to make her act unlawfully.[4]

Chris Smyth, Kieran Andrews, and Jonathan Ames, “Parliament suspension ‘unlawful,’” Times, September 11, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/scottish-court-rules-parliament-suspension-unlawful-xdzj2c6kk

Griff Witte and Karla Adam, “Scottish court rules Johnson’s suspension of Britain’s Parliament was illegal,” Washington Post, September 11, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/scottish-court-rules-johnsons-suspension-of-britains-parliament-was-illegal/2019/09/11/84265a36-d40a-11e9-8924-1db7dac797fb_story.html


Palestine

In a previous installment,[5] Binyamin Netanyahu had promised to annex almost all of the West Bank.[6] He might not be getting the reaction he hoped for:

Yamina, a coalition of right-wing religious parties, also dismissed Netanyahu’s statement as “spin” and said only it would ensure that large swaths of the West Bank currently under Israeli control are retained.

“With regards to the Jordan Valley, we call on Netanyahu to pass a cabinet decision already this evening as was done when sovereignty was applied over Jerusalem. There is no need for legislation. We will stand behind him immediately,” it said in a statement.

“Otherwise, the entire nation of Israel will know that this was a cheap political spin meant to snarf up votes and nothing more,” the statement added. . . .

On the left-side of the political map, Labor MK Itzik Shmuli linked the announcement to Netanyahu’s efforts to avoid prosecution in a series of graft probes.

“In order to obtain enough mandates for immunity from prison Netanyahu will even promise to annex the moon,” Shmuli tweeted.[7]

I have little doubt Binyamin Netanyahu is desperately attempting to avoid prosecution, but I fear Ayman Odeh gets it right:

However, Ayman Odeh, who heads the Joint List alliance of Arab majority parties, warned Netanyahu’s vow was no mere campaign promise.

“This isn’t only election spin,” Odeh wrote on Twitter, claiming the annexation of areas of the West Bank was part of the Israel right’s “vision of apartheid.

“They don’t want to make the [West] Bank part of Israel, they want to make Israel an extension of the West Bank. A minority of Jewish citizens ruling a majority of Palestinian subjects without rights,” Odeh added.[8]

Israel already engages in ethnic cleansing and operates an apartheid system, preferring Jews to those it calls “Arabs,” seeking to erase Palestinian identity (a genocidal act).

Times of Israel, “Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley sovereignty vow widely panned by politicians as ‘spin,’” Times of Israel, September 11, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahus-jordan-valley-vow-widely-panned-by-politicians-as-spin/


  1. [1]Megan Rose Dickey, “Uber lays off 435 people across engineering and product teams,” TechCrunch, September 10, 2019, https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/10/uber-lays-off-435-people-across-engineering-and-product-teams/
  2. [2]Sophia Bollag, “California Uber, Lyft drivers to become employees under measure Gov. Gavin Newsom says he’ll sign,” Sacramento Bee, September 11, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article234973107.html; Alejandro Lazo, “California Passes Landmark Bill Requiring Contract Workers to Be Labeled as Employees,” Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/california-governor-still-in-talks-with-uber-lyft-over-gig-workers-law-11568212014
  3. [3]Karla Adam and Michael Birnbaum, “Allies of British prime minister resign amid outrage over Parliament suspension,” Washington Post, August 29, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/british-leaders-backers-dismiss-outrage-over-parliament-suspension-as-candyfloss/2019/08/29/fa1e2c96-ca3c-11e9-a4f3-c081a126de70_story.html
  4. [4]Chris Smyth, Kieran Andrews, and Jonathan Ames, “Parliament suspension ‘unlawful,’” Times, September 11, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/scottish-court-rules-parliament-suspension-unlawful-xdzj2c6kk
  5. [5]David Benfell, “The U.S. is now a little less likely to invade Iran,” Irregular Bullshit, September 10, 2019, https://disunitedstates.com/2019/09/10/the-u-s-is-now-a-little-less-likely-to-invade-iran/
  6. [6]Oliver Holmes, “Netanyahu vows to annex large parts of occupied West Bank,” Guardian, September 10, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/10/netanyahu-vows-annex-large-parts-occupied-west-bank-trump
  7. [7]Times of Israel, “Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley sovereignty vow widely panned by politicians as ‘spin,’” Times of Israel, September 11, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahus-jordan-valley-vow-widely-panned-by-politicians-as-spin/
  8. [8]Times of Israel, “Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley sovereignty vow widely panned by politicians as ‘spin,’” Times of Israel, September 11, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahus-jordan-valley-vow-widely-panned-by-politicians-as-spin/

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