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Author: Syndicated

Inequality sustains the social hierarchy of America’s caste system

In the United States, inequality tends to be framed as an issue of either class, race or both. Consider the criticism that the new Republican tax plan is a weapon of “class warfare,” or accusations that the recent U.S. government shutdown was racist. As an India-born novelist and scholar who teaches in the United States, I have come to see America’s stratified society through a different lens: caste. Many Americans would be appalled to think that anything like caste could exist in a country allegedly founded on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. After all, India’s atrocious caste...

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Timeline: A brief history of the opioid epidemic

From OxyContin coupons to fentanyl-laced heroin, this is how the crisis unfolded. The scale of the overdose epidemic is hard to fathom. In 2016, overdoses claimed 64,000 lives, more than the US military casualties in Vietnam and Iraq combined. The origins of today’s crisis, a perfect storm of potent, easily accessible opioids, trace back to aggressive pharmaceutical marketing and liberal painkiller prescribing in the 1990s and 2000s. = 1970's Percocet and Vicodin are introduced, but physicians are wary of prescribing them because of their addictive qualities. = 1995 The American Pain Society promotes the “Pain Is the Fifth Vital...

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Walmart cuts Milwaukee jobs after pay raise promise from Trump tax breaks

After the promise of giving workers a pay bonus when the Trump tax plan was pushed through Congress, Walmart is laying off thousands of workers across the country without prior notice as it abruptly closes Sam’s Club locations. Included is the West Allis location which will put 165 employees out of work. The Walmart corporation announced that it will increase its minimum wage to $11 an hour, in a move that the company attributed to the major corporate tax cut signed into law by President Trump last month. The $300 million the company will spend on the wage boost...

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Haiti became an independent nation when enslaved Blacks defeated Napoleon

The Haitian Revolution is a defining moment in Black history. When the small group of Haitian freedom fighters defeated Napoleon, this colossal victory shifted the world’s scales from Europe’s colonial rule to Haiti’s Black power and dominance. Under Napoleon’s military leadership, France became a ruthless powerhouse that destroyed virtually every opponent they faced. His mighty army effortlessly won 52 battles and incited fear in all potential enemies. For a group of enslaved folks to consider taking on Napoleon’s forces was literally like David challenging Goliath. But the people had been pushed to the breaking point. During the 1700s, France...

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Bias toward older workers on the rise as age discrimination goes online

50 years after the landmark legislation to protect older workers, recent studies show age discrimination still exists in hiring and in the workplace, and fighting against it can be an expensive long-shot. Age discrimination is alive and well in the digital age, despite 50 years of laws intended to protect older Americans’ right to work. In fact, it’s thriving, with 20,857 such complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2016 alone. As more jobs are advertised and applied for online, evidence is mounting that it is easier to discriminate against older workers. In one recent...

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Kohler launches connected bathroom fixtures for Milwaukee smart homes

Kitchen and bathroom fixture producer Kohler has created its own smart home platform, Kohler Konnect, which allows some of its products to communicate with HomeKit and other smart home frameworks, as well as offering control via an iPhone app and through voice commands. The new line of connected devices using Kohler Konnect mostly centers around the bathroom experience, with each including some element that users can fine tune to their preference. The Kohler Konnect companion app can be used to alter presets, such as temperatures and lighting, and in some cases, to remotely turn on elements. A key aspect...

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