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John Hummel has been at 1 events

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Ole Olson58,529It has come to light that Google has started funding and supporting some of the most vile right wing extremist collectives and corporate front groups in America. Join us by changing your avatar and boycotting every single Google service for one day in protest.  *On Wednesday, December 11th make a serious attempt to not use anything Google.* No Google Searches. No Google+. No gmail. No Youtube. No Google Calendar. No Blogger. No Google Maps. No Google Photos. No Google translate. No Google reverse image search. No Google Play. No Google Drive. No Google Books. No Google Shopping. Nothing.  (Android is immune since it is Open Source).  If nothing else, just think of this as a challenge to see if you are able to spend a day on the internet without using a single Google product or service or just take the day off and enjoy the real world for a change.  _Google, many of us are your most loyal users, and we love the technical direction everything is heading by rolling all services into Google+_ but it must be understood in no uncertain terms that we vehemently disagree with your decision to start to fund proto-fascist, right wing extremist, anti-environmental, anti-worker, and anti-science shock fronts like: •ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) •American Conservative Union •Americans for Tax Reform •CATO Institute •Federalist Society •George Mason University Law School Law and Economics Center •Heritage Action •Mercatus Center •National Taxpayers Union •R Street Institute •Texas Public Policy Foundation ________________________________________________ *More information:* Don’t Be Evil? Google Funding a Slew of Right-Wing Groups http://billmoyers.com/2013/12/04/dont-be-evil-google-funding-a-slew-of-right-wing-groups/ Tell Google CEO Larry Page to Cut Ties with ALEC http://org.salsalabs.com/o/632/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=14651 Tell Google: Don't Be Evil With ALEC http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=8648 #ShameOnGoogle  #Google    #DontBeEvil  One Day Boycott of ALL Google Products2013-12-11 07:00:00159  

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Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 256

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2016-05-16 20:38:27 (256 comments; 7 reshares; 29 +1s)Open 

Most reshares: 7

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2016-05-16 20:38:27 (256 comments; 7 reshares; 29 +1s)Open 

Most plusones: 30

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2016-05-21 03:13:55 (4 comments; 1 reshares; 30 +1s)Open 

Latest 50 posts

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2016-05-28 20:34:41 (1 comments; 1 reshares; 12 +1s)Open 

thanks, +Tina Vigilante 

(I resist sharing memes that say "share this", but this one is too important to pass by.)

___thanks, +Tina Vigilante 

(I resist sharing memes that say "share this", but this one is too important to pass by.)

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2016-05-28 20:28:39 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s)Open 

Texas getting a big taste of the spoils of fossil fuels

You can be sure it will continue to -- and the tastes will only get bigger. But as noted (not in these words) by a commenter on Paul Beard's original post of the article, we can count on the Texas government to take absolutely no notice.

thanks, +paul beard 

At some point after your 5th 100+ year rain event in one year, dim awareness may begin to arise that something has changed.___Texas getting a big taste of the spoils of fossil fuels

You can be sure it will continue to -- and the tastes will only get bigger. But as noted (not in these words) by a commenter on Paul Beard's original post of the article, we can count on the Texas government to take absolutely no notice.

thanks, +paul beard 

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2016-05-28 14:52:35 (24 comments; 1 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

A glimpse into the machinery of Oligarchy:

How the rich make sure they hold all the power but still leave you with the illusion that your vote counts. In this case:

How Clinton and the DNC use corporate influence to buy SuperDelegates and subvert the democratic process:

Information about how this works, its pernicious effects, and what you can do about it compiled by +Ole Olson.

Thanks, Ole

SuperDelegates 4 Sale: 82% voted for candidate who gave most money in 2008 http://theboard.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/superdelegates-for-sale

How the DNC Helps Clinton Buy Off Superdelegates. As floodgates open to donations from special interests, the future of the party is auctioned to the highest bidder
http://observer.com/2016/02/how-the-dnc-helps-clinton-buy-off-superdelegates/

Lobby Clinton Super Delegates to switch to Bernie Sanders
http://www.lobbydelegates.com/index.html


Contact your SuperDelegates, ask them to support Bernie Sanders http://hintit.com/super_for_bernie/index.php
Respectfully Tweet SuperDelegates in CO MN WA and WI to ask them to respect their states vote and support Bernie http://berniedirectory.com/flood-the-delegates/
Petition List to ask Superdelegates to support Bernie at the Democratic National Convention https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ecODb1x1r0VoOehBMjPIqKdZ7zBRCb5uubXFp-Faq-E/edit?pref=2&pli=1#gid=0
Hold Superdelegates accountable to our votes http://superdelegatelist.com/


#Superdelegates   #DNC   #PhillyTheBern   #Corruption   #WeThePeople   #FeelTheBern  ___A glimpse into the machinery of Oligarchy:

How the rich make sure they hold all the power but still leave you with the illusion that your vote counts. In this case:

How Clinton and the DNC use corporate influence to buy SuperDelegates and subvert the democratic process:

Information about how this works, its pernicious effects, and what you can do about it compiled by +Ole Olson.

Thanks, Ole

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2016-05-27 16:22:03 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 16 +1s)Open 

Reagan's "trickle-down economics" was actually Herbert Hoover's idea

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x4222823

(And probably some other despot's idea before Hoover.)

We all know how it turned out when Hoover tried it: The Great Depression; Hoover-villes, etc.

And we have been witnessing its effects again since the 1980s.

Those who cannot learn from history...

thanks, +CLureCo and +Victor H 

Certain aspects of human behavior are just a given.
#BananaRepublicans ___Reagan's "trickle-down economics" was actually Herbert Hoover's idea

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x4222823

(And probably some other despot's idea before Hoover.)

We all know how it turned out when Hoover tried it: The Great Depression; Hoover-villes, etc.

And we have been witnessing its effects again since the 1980s.

Those who cannot learn from history...

thanks, +CLureCo and +Victor H 

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2016-05-26 21:43:08 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s)Open 

American south takes another step toward Sharia law

American south takes another step toward Sharia law___

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2016-05-26 00:37:29 (0 comments; 3 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

thanks, +Armando Lioss 

___thanks, +Armando Lioss 

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2016-05-25 15:43:43 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s)Open 

thanks, +Matt Hall 

"A study of DNA from ancient human bones has helped unlock the secrets of Europe's Ice Age inhabitants."___thanks, +Matt Hall 

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2016-05-24 01:24:41 (37 comments; 1 reshares; 13 +1s)Open 

thanks, +Valkyrie 

___thanks, +Valkyrie 

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2016-05-23 16:18:37 (2 comments; 0 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

Whom do you admire?

thanks, +Valkyrie 

#hillno___Whom do you admire?

thanks, +Valkyrie 

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2016-05-23 16:03:48 (5 comments; 2 reshares; 23 +1s)Open 

Americans' fears are carefully misplaced

thanks (again) +Armando Lioss 

___Americans' fears are carefully misplaced

thanks (again) +Armando Lioss 

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2016-05-23 16:00:40 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 11 +1s)Open 

thanks, +Armando Lioss 

___thanks, +Armando Lioss 

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2016-05-23 03:59:42 (18 comments; 1 reshares; 12 +1s)Open 

Bad cognitive science

So, this is making the rounds.

Which implies it has a kind of popularity/appeal.

Please allow me to add my two cents before this gets accepted as the popular new bullshit wisdom...

For what it's worth, here's my take:

The author says, "But here is what we are not born with: information, data, rules, software, knowledge, lexicons, representations, algorithms, programs, models, memories, images, processors, subroutines, encoders, decoders, symbols, or buffers – design elements that allow digital computers to behave somewhat intelligently. Not only are we not born with such things, we also don’t develop them – ever."

The paragraphs that follow are equally vacuous. His understanding of the issue and the metaphor are incredibly -- even inexcusably -- shallow.

He seems tomista... more »

___Bad cognitive science

So, this is making the rounds.

Which implies it has a kind of popularity/appeal.

Please allow me to add my two cents before this gets accepted as the popular new bullshit wisdom...

For what it's worth, here's my take:

The author says, "But here is what we are not born with: information, data, rules, software, knowledge, lexicons, representations, algorithms, programs, models, memories, images, processors, subroutines, encoders, decoders, symbols, or buffers – design elements that allow digital computers to behave somewhat intelligently. Not only are we not born with such things, we also don’t develop them – ever."

The paragraphs that follow are equally vacuous. His understanding of the issue and the metaphor are incredibly -- even inexcusably -- shallow.

He seems to mistake the architecture of the modern digital computer for the nature of computation and information writ large. Again, inexcusable.

Let me tell you about the ganglion cells in your retina. Your retina is the layers of neurons at the back of your eye (we're not even in the brain yet; we're still in the eye). There are light-sensitive neurons (color-blind rods and color-sensitive cones) that pass information through horizontal and bipolar neurons to the ganglion cells.

The axons of the ganglion cells form your optic nerves. It is this information -- what the ganglion cells compute -- that your eyes pass to your brain.

The ganglion cells compute contrast -- basically, differences (specifically, nonlinear differences) between light and dark or between opponent colors (blue vs. yellow or red vs. green) at tiny little locations on the retina, that is, in the visual image.

They do this by an operation that can be described quite accurately as a convolution of the raw retinal image with a Gaussian-Laplacian operator (or, equivalently, a difference-of-Gaussians operator) at multiple locations and scales over the retina. Again, tt is the result of this computation -- not the raw retinal image -- that your eyes send your brain.

In what sense is this not computation? In what sense is the information sent to your brain by your eyes not information? This article is fluffy bullshit bordering on mysticism, motivated (I can only hope) by a deep misunderstanding of the nature and meaning of information and computation, rather than by something more nefarious or mystical.


thanks, +Alex Grossman 

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2016-05-21 15:31:57 (15 comments; 2 reshares; 17 +1s)Open 

thanks, +Tim Elkins 

___thanks, +Tim Elkins 

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2016-05-21 03:13:55 (4 comments; 1 reshares; 30 +1s)Open 

Why is there so much idiocy in charge in the US?

Really: If these people were our parents, they'd be in prison for child endangerment. And yet some of us elect them?

We need to take them out, put them away and keep them safe from themselves and us.

But whatever we do with them, we sure as hell can't let them remain in charge.

thanks, +Matt Sharpey 

___Why is there so much idiocy in charge in the US?

Really: If these people were our parents, they'd be in prison for child endangerment. And yet some of us elect them?

We need to take them out, put them away and keep them safe from themselves and us.

But whatever we do with them, we sure as hell can't let them remain in charge.

thanks, +Matt Sharpey 

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2016-05-20 21:44:54 (10 comments; 4 reshares; 26 +1s)Open 

In case you wonder why conservatives cut funding for education...

thanks, +Craig Froehle 

___In case you wonder why conservatives cut funding for education...

thanks, +Craig Froehle 

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2016-05-20 21:31:18 (1 comments; 3 reshares; 11 +1s)Open 

The manipulated American populace

thanks, +Icarus Anne Riley 

___The manipulated American populace

thanks, +Icarus Anne Riley 

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2016-05-20 20:59:34 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 7 +1s)Open 

A glimpse at our future...

A day old but still relevant.

thanks, +paul beard 

The mammoth inferno devastating northern Alberta has now destroyed more than 877,000 acres — more than four times the size of New York City.
Well over 1,700 firefighters are trying to get a grip on the blaze, which started May 1 near Fort McMurray.
But as of Wednesday, the fire is still 0% contained, the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry department said.

But once winter comes, that's it, right?

The inferno could actually burn through the winter and into next year, University of Alberta wildfire professor Mike Flannigan said

It's happened plenty of times before. In mid-2014, seven fires in Canada's Northwest Territories ducked underground and resurfaced in 2015, Flannigan said.

also: http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/11/americas/wildfire-resurrections/___A glimpse at our future...

A day old but still relevant.

thanks, +paul beard 

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2016-05-20 20:55:29 (6 comments; 0 reshares; 11 +1s)Open 

The American Way

This needs to change.

thanks, +Valkyrie 

___The American Way

This needs to change.

thanks, +Valkyrie 

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2016-05-20 20:35:00 (8 comments; 0 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

Progressives waking up to the fact that DNC doesn't represent them; "Oh shit!" says DNC

Split on the left could have the ironic effect of electing America's first overtly fascist president [footnote].

We live in interesting times.

thanks, +Arthur Walsh and +G. Gibson 

Footnote: Although Trump wouldn't call himself that: "Fascist" has more syllables than are allowed in his vocabulary.

"Panties are wadding up among the Democrats, for whom power is the real object...As the GOP unifies behind Trump, the Democrats have got a mess on their hands. And boy, do they deserve it...The Democrat establishment is waking up to the awful truth on Bernie Sanders: he is a mortal danger to not only the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, but the continued viability of the party’s strategy of mouthing populist rhetoric while practicing crony capitalism. Too late, they now realize he actually means what he says about a “political revolution,” and bringing him back into the fold by the time of the Philadelphia convention will be a problem. Sanders is not just a candidate; he is a movement. And movements don’t compromise, fall in line, kiss and make up, and follow orders. They agitate until they get satisfaction."___Progressives waking up to the fact that DNC doesn't represent them; "Oh shit!" says DNC

Split on the left could have the ironic effect of electing America's first overtly fascist president [footnote].

We live in interesting times.

thanks, +Arthur Walsh and +G. Gibson 

Footnote: Although Trump wouldn't call himself that: "Fascist" has more syllables than are allowed in his vocabulary.

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2016-05-20 16:44:42 (1 comments; 2 reshares; 13 +1s)Open 

thanks (again) +Valkyrie and +Tina Vigilante 

___thanks (again) +Valkyrie and +Tina Vigilante 

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2016-05-20 16:41:49 (9 comments; 0 reshares; 18 +1s)Open 

thanks, +Valkyrie and +Tina Vigilante 

___thanks, +Valkyrie and +Tina Vigilante 

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2016-05-20 16:35:54 (13 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s)Open 

The repubs are fractured thanks to the tea party; the dems therefore had a chance. They blew it

Both parties should be sent packing.

thanks, +David Bee 

Here's my complete rundown of the lies spread by the media and the Democratic establishment about the Nevada caucus. #FireDebbie___The repubs are fractured thanks to the tea party; the dems therefore had a chance. They blew it

Both parties should be sent packing.

thanks, +David Bee 

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2016-05-20 01:51:15 (4 comments; 1 reshares; 26 +1s)Open 

thanks, +Pamela Zuppo 

___thanks, +Pamela Zuppo 

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2016-05-19 21:14:01 (12 comments; 4 reshares; 9 +1s)Open 

___

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2016-05-19 15:46:58 (1 comments; 1 reshares; 11 +1s)Open 

The economic issue of our times

In the words of +Woozle Hypertwin, I don't think I could say it any better than this.

...aside from the fact that there's absolutely no evidence that reasonable raises in the minimum wage harm the economy in any way.

How long are we gonna put up with this, and what is it gonna look like when we stop putting up with it?

___The economic issue of our times

In the words of +Woozle Hypertwin, I don't think I could say it any better than this.

...aside from the fact that there's absolutely no evidence that reasonable raises in the minimum wage harm the economy in any way.

How long are we gonna put up with this, and what is it gonna look like when we stop putting up with it?

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2016-05-18 16:55:23 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 9 +1s)Open 

The death of capitalism and the return to feudalism

This article presents a very interesting (and mostly very black) view of our collective economic future.

It does offer one glimmer of hope, however, that I am here to shatter.

The hope : "... I think we can make it through this restlessness by acknowledging that it’s real, naming the architecture of wealth extraction that created these systemic harms, and dismantling this globalized system to release vital monetary resources for the emergence of a new, life-affirming paradigm for economic development."

My black reassessment (bear in mind that I am neither an economist nor an optimist): The problem is that those in charge -- i.e., the 62 who control half the resources -- have no motivation to change the system. In fact, they have less than no motivation; they have positivem... more »

There will be people who tell you it’s your fault. That you aren’t trying hard enough. But those people are culprits in perpetuating a great lie of this period in history. The standard assumptions for how to be successful in life a few decades ago simply do not apply anymore.___The death of capitalism and the return to feudalism

This article presents a very interesting (and mostly very black) view of our collective economic future.

It does offer one glimmer of hope, however, that I am here to shatter.

The hope : "... I think we can make it through this restlessness by acknowledging that it’s real, naming the architecture of wealth extraction that created these systemic harms, and dismantling this globalized system to release vital monetary resources for the emergence of a new, life-affirming paradigm for economic development."

My black reassessment (bear in mind that I am neither an economist nor an optimist): The problem is that those in charge -- i.e., the 62 who control half the resources -- have no motivation to change the system. In fact, they have less than no motivation; they have positive motivation to keep it just as it is. Expecting our Dear Leaders to dismantle the existing system in favor of something else is a bit like expecting a King to simply say, "You know, guys, this monarchy thing isn't working out for most of you, so I'm just gonna give you all my stuff and turn the power over to you."

I think a more realistic expectation is a continued return to feudalism, perhaps eventually followed by a very bloody revolution. Or if not a revolution, then simply the mass starvation of most of the 7+ billion who aren't among the wealthy 62... followed, most likely, by the starvation of the 62, themselves, who will find themselves without people to produce their food, etc.

I would be grateful to anyone who can convince me that the most likely future is any rosier than this.

thanks, +paul beard 

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2016-05-18 14:43:13 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 3 +1s)Open 

Senate passes funds to fight Zika; guess what the House is doing

No surprises here (House republicans demanding cuts elsewhere [I'll leave it to you to guess where] to support Zika funding; generally dragging their prosimian heels), save for this one:

"We see the people of this country facing a public health threat," said Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who supports the full Obama request. "Our response should be 'Let's deal with it the way that medical experts are saying we need to deal with it.' "

Whaaat?? Is this the same Rubio who was not long ago running for the repub. POTUS nomination on a deeply religious, far-right campaign? Suddenly a turn toward reason? It's telling that he felt the need to appear much more unreasonable than this in order to secure the GOP nomination.

Senate passes funds to fight Zika; guess what the House is doing

No surprises here (House republicans demanding cuts elsewhere [I'll leave it to you to guess where] to support Zika funding; generally dragging their prosimian heels), save for this one:

"We see the people of this country facing a public health threat," said Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who supports the full Obama request. "Our response should be 'Let's deal with it the way that medical experts are saying we need to deal with it.' "

Whaaat?? Is this the same Rubio who was not long ago running for the repub. POTUS nomination on a deeply religious, far-right campaign? Suddenly a turn toward reason? It's telling that he felt the need to appear much more unreasonable than this in order to secure the GOP nomination.___

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2016-05-17 15:07:33 (10 comments; 1 reshares; 19 +1s)Open 

Distraction is a central part of propaganda -- and therefore control

While you are distracted, you are under their control.

thanks, +Valkyrie 

___Distraction is a central part of propaganda -- and therefore control

While you are distracted, you are under their control.

thanks, +Valkyrie 

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2016-05-17 15:04:09 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 12 +1s)Open 

thanks, +Woozle Hypertwin 

via https://www.facebook.com/riseagainstbullyingtogether/photos/a.257793380990070.39059.257789617657113/723652837737453/?type=3&theater via private share___thanks, +Woozle Hypertwin 

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2016-05-17 14:56:25 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 6 +1s)Open 

Samantha Bee on the Trump/Evangelical/Republican love-triangle

What happens when three kinds of idiotic douche bags compete -- in their bumbling, drooling, inarticulate and overtly racist/sexist/generally-anti-humanist fashion -- for one another's affections?

Schadenfreude of the most delightful kind!

thanks to +Cass Morrison for the heads-up

Samantha Bee on the Trump/Evangelical/Republican love-triangle

What happens when three kinds of idiotic douche bags compete -- in their bumbling, drooling, inarticulate and overtly racist/sexist/generally-anti-humanist fashion -- for one another's affections?

Schadenfreude of the most delightful kind!

thanks to +Cass Morrison for the heads-up___

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2016-05-16 22:41:15 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 4 +1s)Open 

Why we don't seem to mind that almost nothing Trump says is true

(and that the few truths he does speak are probably by accident, and are typically "corrected" only moments later).

In brief: There are multiple factors -- some about Trump, some about human psychology -- but perhaps the most important is that the American media deliver entertainment (in the form of fiction or, more often, propaganda) when they should be delivering news.

Why we don't seem to mind that almost nothing Trump says is true

(and that the few truths he does speak are probably by accident, and are typically "corrected" only moments later).

In brief: There are multiple factors -- some about Trump, some about human psychology -- but perhaps the most important is that the American media deliver entertainment (in the form of fiction or, more often, propaganda) when they should be delivering news.___

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2016-05-16 22:22:22 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 22 +1s)Open 

thanks, +Lawrence McNaughton and +Herwin Torres 

___thanks, +Lawrence McNaughton and +Herwin Torres 

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2016-05-16 20:38:27 (256 comments; 7 reshares; 29 +1s)Open 

A woman of and for the people

(Remember: Thanks to Citizens United, corporations are now people.)

thanks, +Valkyrie 

___A woman of and for the people

(Remember: Thanks to Citizens United, corporations are now people.)

thanks, +Valkyrie 

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2016-05-16 18:36:06 (1 comments; 1 reshares; 5 +1s)Open 

They force us to pay their underpaid employees (with welfare, food stamps, etc.). Why not force us to pay for their security as well?

Why do they make us pay all their bills (and all their taxes)? Because they can.

It is time to tell them they can't.

Now, the oligarchs aren't going to tell them this because -- guess what -- they are (or at least own) the oligarchs.

On whom does it fall to send them the message?

thanks, +Tom Cobert 

The poor are demonized as worthless takers while the real bloodsuckers, the rich, drain us dry.  Time to pull your head out of where the sun don't shine, America.___They force us to pay their underpaid employees (with welfare, food stamps, etc.). Why not force us to pay for their security as well?

Why do they make us pay all their bills (and all their taxes)? Because they can.

It is time to tell them they can't.

Now, the oligarchs aren't going to tell them this because -- guess what -- they are (or at least own) the oligarchs.

On whom does it fall to send them the message?

thanks, +Tom Cobert 

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2016-05-16 16:34:53 (27 comments; 4 reshares; 6 +1s)Open 

What’s at stake in the coming election

… this is no ordinary election year; *political, financial, and ecological systems are all in various stages of crisis and collapse*… [emphasis mine]

The violence I'm speaking of here is the "normal" violence of mainstream American institutions… It kills swiftly and through the systemic diminution of life chances for Black, Indigenous, and Latino/a communities, and for working class and poor people of all races. (My own aside: It’s worth noting that it is systematically killing the entire American middle class as well, regardless of race, although its impact is disproportionately on the poor and minorities.)

The engineered mechanism of the violence: Rooted in ideologies that are, interdependently, white supremacist, patriarchal and capitalist, this violence is a predictable structural feature, notan aberrat... more »

What’s at stake in the coming election

… this is no ordinary election year; *political, financial, and ecological systems are all in various stages of crisis and collapse*… [emphasis mine]

The violence I'm speaking of here is the "normal" violence of mainstream American institutions… It kills swiftly and through the systemic diminution of life chances for Black, Indigenous, and Latino/a communities, and for working class and poor people of all races. (My own aside: It’s worth noting that it is systematically killing the entire American middle class as well, regardless of race, although its impact is disproportionately on the poor and minorities.)

The engineered mechanism of the violence: Rooted in ideologies that are, interdependently, white supremacist, patriarchal and capitalist, this violence is a predictable structural feature, not an aberration, of the entire criminal legal system, including prisons and policing. It is a feature of many forms of custodial care. It is found within public and private educational institutions; the health care system; corporations and many workplaces; the military. This violence usually gets little attention; when it does come into public view, usually as the result of crisis and the accompanying sensationalized media coverage, there is a flurry of activity to produce cosmetic public ceremonies, commissions, or even token policy reforms that do little or nothing to get at its root causes. A designated "bad apple," disciplined or prosecuted, often serves as the scapegoat for systemic harm.

The “choice” we are presented in this election is a false one:

The conservative fascist, who openly embraces these forms of violence and would only magnify them. (In a recent interview about his tax returns, Trump proudly announced that he “works very hard to pay as little tax as possible”: That’s right, he is proud to contribute as little as possible to the country/society he hopes to run. And this is among the least frightening things about him.)

Or we have the neoliberal, who quietly embraces these forms of violence and who would also magnify them, while mollifying us, as her husband did, with well-formed sentences speaking words designed to convince us that she is pushing for “real change”.

The economy, the poor, the middle class and the planet itself cannot survive the violence either of these candidates would commit. The choice between Trump and Clinton is no choice at all.

So the all-important question is how. How do we work to stop Trump without succumbing to the simplistic, and false, belief that by defeating him, we have somehow saved the nation? And while his campaign constitutes a unique threat, Trump and his followers are only a particularly visible and virulent symptom of a much deeper iceberg of everyday racism, misogyny, and economic violence. We might defeat Trump during this election cycle -- or the Republicans might have a trick or two up their sleeves yet before the race begins in earnest. But keeping him out of the White House doesn't address the reasons so many people have found his campaign so compelling. And it doesn't address the real sources of their fear and anger, which they are violently displacing onto people of color…

Can you discern a compelling Democratic Party/Clinton campaign message and justice vision? I can’t.

The 2016 vision pretty much boils down to this: "We're Not the Republicans" (an arguable assertion in a neoliberal era), "Stop Trump," "This is the best we can do under the circumstances," "Be worried about presidential cabinet and U.S. Supreme Court appointments," "Continue the Obama legacy (especially the Affordable Care Act") and "Elect the first woman president.”
In other words: don't expect much, but be terribly afraid of what more can be lost. And seriously: don't piss us off.

The future under Hillary (or any other neoliberal): It may be useful to sum up the overarching trends of the present time. Since the 1970s, but in accelerated ways since the 1980s and 1990s -- and with the considerable participation of a growing number of Democrats -- the United States has been choosing a neoliberal future. Key elements of this future include the central role of the state in guaranteeing corporate prerogatives over the public interest and unfettered free markets; deregulation of public and private institutions; privatization of once public services and resources, including utilities, education, and public lands and spaces; and a belief in the entrepreneurial self as the source of civic innovation and goodness. The idea of a social contract in which we assume collective responsibility for community well being is replaced with a contemporary iteration of individualism. Everything -- water, land, plant life, education -- and everyone is commodified. There is a progressive shrinking of the concept of the public good and shredding of the social safety net. Civic infrastructure -- transit, education, water and other utilities -- has been crumbling for decades; as scholar Ellen Dannin suggests, crumbling infrastructure also means crumbling democracy.

This is a global politics of austerity -- which means austerity for anyone who isn't already wealthy. Its architects demand widening structural economic inequality and exploitation in pursuit of those "free markets." This politics is generally willing to tolerate some social liberalism -- the right of same-sex couples to marry, for example, the rights of transgender people to use the bathrooms of their choice, and the right of women to have abortions -- so long as there is no structural economic interference with market-based freedoms and there is perceived economic benefit to doing so. (Obviously there are also many on the right who, despite agreement with the principles of neoliberalism will not tolerate social liberalism.) <— Did you catch that? That is the neoliberal game: Give the plebes some (much-needed) social liberties, but always ensure that the money and power stay where they are, and continue to accrue there. Throw them the occasional bone and they won’t notice they’re eating slop.

Will we continue in this direction? Clinton's campaign suggests that we will. For example, the candidate and her surrogates often denounce Sander's proposals for things like "free college tuition" or single payer health care as "unrealistic" and "idealistic." Never mind that number crunchers show that these are eminently possible. It's really a question of a society's priorities. The money is there, or can easily be there. But right now, most of it is going to tax breaks for the wealthy, corporations, militarization, policing, punishment, and other social control/surveillance expenditures…

I have said before: the choice between Trump and a neoliberal/austerity/privatization future is a choice between methods of execution. I'm not going into the chamber voluntarily.___

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2016-05-16 14:14:59 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

Why Leoliberal is Newspeak for Conservative

And what that means about what we should expect from another Clinton presidency.

When I was young(ish), my father, a conservative, hated President (Bill) Clinton because he was “too liberal”. I loved him because (a) all I really had to compare him to was Reagan and G. H.W. Bush, (b) I was even more naive than I am now and (c) I really had no idea what was going on behind the scenes.

It is tempting to admire Hillary Clinton for the same reasons I admired her husband — especially when you replace “Reagan and Bush” with “Trump” in part (a) of the calculus above.

But my father was wrong: The Clintons are not liberals, they are neoliberals. They had fooled him into hating them just as they had fooled me into liking them. Had he known what was going on behind the scenes — behind theminor social ga... more »

Why Leoliberal is Newspeak for Conservative

And what that means about what we should expect from another Clinton presidency.

When I was young(ish), my father, a conservative, hated President (Bill) Clinton because he was “too liberal”. I loved him because (a) all I really had to compare him to was Reagan and G. H.W. Bush, (b) I was even more naive than I am now and (c) I really had no idea what was going on behind the scenes.

It is tempting to admire Hillary Clinton for the same reasons I admired her husband — especially when you replace “Reagan and Bush” with “Trump” in part (a) of the calculus above.

But my father was wrong: The Clintons are not liberals, they are neoliberals. They had fooled him into hating them just as they had fooled me into liking them. Had he known what was going on behind the scenes — behind the minor social gains under the first Clinton presidency — he, an avowed “capitalist” would have loved them; and had I known, I hope I would have had the sense to hate them.

This article presents a summary of of the ways in which the Clintons — neoliberals — are just conservatives in sheep's clothing.

In brief: President Bill Clinton's major achievements actually enacted conservative goals, and ultimately hurt working people.

The Hillary Doctrine was Clinton's understanding of American national interest when she served as Obama's secretary of state. The idea was that the US would henceforth be the world's defender of women and girls.

Hey, I can get behind that! (This is the kind of thing that made me love Clinton I.)

Hillary didn't mean this in a general sense, however. The kind of women we were committing ourselves to specifically were female entrepreneurs.

Oh…

The source of this notion of liberation through female entrepreneurship is the microlending movement, in which Hillary has been an enthusiastic participant for many decades. It arose as part of neoliberalism in the 1990s: The IMF [International Monetary Fund] and World Bank would "structurally reform" a country's economy, and to help out with the human dislocation that resulted, they would give microloans to small entrepreneurs, who were encouraged to start tiny businesses like gardening or handicrafts. Over the years, the microlending movement accreted all these details: The entrepreneurs had to be women. They had to be hooked up to a bank. They had to have a Western mentor. They had to have smartphones. And so on.

You can see the appeal of this movement: It's telling you that the solution to poverty is… to extend the reach of Western financial institutions to every village on the planet. A pure win-win.

Oh. That sounds like the kind of thing a Koch brother would say.

… Except for the people who live in those countries, of course, because they know it doesn't work… All these people have to show for this strategy is debt. Some empowerment.

A total win! (a Koch brother would say.)

… [Bill] Clinton never had a really great relationship with workers' organizations, but the worst thing Clinton he did to them was NAFTA… it was the first one and because labor put everything into stopping it. Indeed labor had stopped it when George H. W. Bush tried to get it through Congress. Clinton got it done, however, with a little muscle and a vast fog of preposterous claims about how NAFTA would increase exports and manufacturing employment.

His admirers saw NAFTA as his "finest hour," because he had stood up to a traditional Democratic constituency. What an achievement. NAFTA handed employers all over America the ultimate weapon against workers: They could now credibly threaten to pick up and leave at the slightest show of worker backbone -- and they make such threats all the time now.

“A brilliant move! A huge win (for us),” exclaim the captains of industry.

On the wedding of the Clintons to Wall Street: In 1992, Clinton ran as a populist, deploring income inequality, but that was just an act. As president he seems immediately to have decided to cast his fortunes -- and those of his party -- with Wall Street. Bank deregulation was a persistent policy of his from the very beginning -- he signed the Riegle-Neal Act in 1994, for example, and the Mexican bailout (a big favor to Wall Street) came shortly thereafter. Along the way, he helped bail out a too-big-to-fail hedge fund, he twice appointed Alan Greenspan to run the Federal Reserve and he ensured that certain derivative securities would not have any kind of federal supervision at all.

And the summary point not to miss:

Clinton had five major achievements as president: NAFTA, the Crime Bill of 1994, welfare reform, the deregulation of banks and telecoms, and the balanced budget. All of them -- every single one -- were longstanding Republican objectives. His smaller achievements were more traditionally Democratic (he raised the earned-income tax credit and the minimum wage), but his big accomplishments all enacted conservative wishes, and then all of them ended in disaster.

And here’s another wee taste of the Clinton sense of class distinction. (I didn’t even know of the existence of this train; I’ll be you didn’t either.):

The Acela runs between Washington and New York just a little bit faster than the ordinary Amtrak train. It costs much, much more, however. Because once you're on that Acela train, you're instantly in the secured precincts of the tidy and prosperous professional class. All these nicely dressed people typing away on their keyboards. People looking over spreadsheets. People reading management books and talking management talk. People flattering each other. People shushing each other in the quiet car. Shushing each other so vehemently I once saw a quiet car dispute almost turn into a fistfight. It is literally the express train of the class war. Every sort of narcissism and upper-class social pathology is on full display.___

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2016-05-11 21:26:36 (4 comments; 2 reshares; 15 +1s)Open 

thanks, +David Bee 

Bernie Gets It Done
Don't believe the pundits who say Bernie won't be able to get anything done because congress will fight him. He has a proven record of getting things done. It's not an accident that he has recently been voted the most popular Senator in the country, for the second time in a row.

We, the voters have power! Let's vote out the uncooperative congress, and bring in new progressive voices. Then this country can really start turning for the better!

(Click for a list of politicians running for office that support Bernie:)
http://berniecrats.net/

#Vote   #BernieSanders   #NotMeUs   #FeelTheBern   #mydailybernie  ___thanks, +David Bee 

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2016-05-11 21:08:12 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s)Open 

Did Plato predict Trump?

Plato's predictions about the course, and the demise, of democracies.

thanks, +Sakari Maaranen 

A must read - "What the 21st century added to this picture, it’s now blindingly obvious, was media democracy — in a truly revolutionary form."___Did Plato predict Trump?

Plato's predictions about the course, and the demise, of democracies.

thanks, +Sakari Maaranen 

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2016-05-10 22:55:11 (6 comments; 1 reshares; 22 +1s)Open 

Twisted American values

The fact stated below is true. Imagine it were the conclusion of a novel or a movie. What kind of novel/movie would that be? What does that tell you about our nation?

Yes: You are living in a dystopia dark enough to serve as the stuff of fiction.

thanks, +J Berg and +Armando Lioss 

___Twisted American values

The fact stated below is true. Imagine it were the conclusion of a novel or a movie. What kind of novel/movie would that be? What does that tell you about our nation?

Yes: You are living in a dystopia dark enough to serve as the stuff of fiction.

thanks, +J Berg and +Armando Lioss 

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2016-05-10 22:42:32 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

In the US, we are gradually (and sometimes not so gradually) returning to the Inquisition.

The Academy is being starved (at least public schools and universities, as well as publicly-funded science). Meanwhile troglodytes like those who run states in the south are passing laws to prevent people from using restrooms.

The American experiment is a failure. Extra points to anyone who can tell me why it failed. (Hint: Compare the US to successful states in Europe.)

thanks, +Adamlee Borchardt 

___In the US, we are gradually (and sometimes not so gradually) returning to the Inquisition.

The Academy is being starved (at least public schools and universities, as well as publicly-funded science). Meanwhile troglodytes like those who run states in the south are passing laws to prevent people from using restrooms.

The American experiment is a failure. Extra points to anyone who can tell me why it failed. (Hint: Compare the US to successful states in Europe.)

thanks, +Adamlee Borchardt 

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2016-05-10 20:55:56 (6 comments; 0 reshares; 9 +1s)Open 

A lesson in the power of propaganda (especially when combined with "education," republican-style)

Those who most benefit from welfare are also those who complain most loudly about it.

Joseph Goebbels could have profited from a lesson from the American republican party.

thanks, +Arthur Walsh 

___A lesson in the power of propaganda (especially when combined with "education," republican-style)

Those who most benefit from welfare are also those who complain most loudly about it.

Joseph Goebbels could have profited from a lesson from the American republican party.

thanks, +Arthur Walsh 

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2016-05-10 20:37:30 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

A Trump presidency might destroy the US...

(and, possibly the world, depending on his actions vis war, fossil fuels, global warming, etc.) but it would almost certainly destroy the GOP.

It is a gamble I am still debating with myself about whether to take. The GOP gone? Awesome! The world gone along with it? Not so great.

A Clinton presidency, by contrast, would not kill the US in any quick fashion. Instead, it would merely allow the cancer of Oligarchy to metastasize. (That's why she's a republican.)

Slow death by the cancer of Oligarchy or relatively quick death, perhaps by thermonuclear holocaust -- with the bonus of potentially seeing the GOP go down as I take my dying breath? Choices, choices.

thanks, +Clarence C. 

Oooooh, the WSJ burned donnie!

I sure got my Schadenfreude on right now!

HAAAAAAAAAAA!

#VoteBlue___A Trump presidency might destroy the US...

(and, possibly the world, depending on his actions vis war, fossil fuels, global warming, etc.) but it would almost certainly destroy the GOP.

It is a gamble I am still debating with myself about whether to take. The GOP gone? Awesome! The world gone along with it? Not so great.

A Clinton presidency, by contrast, would not kill the US in any quick fashion. Instead, it would merely allow the cancer of Oligarchy to metastasize. (That's why she's a republican.)

Slow death by the cancer of Oligarchy or relatively quick death, perhaps by thermonuclear holocaust -- with the bonus of potentially seeing the GOP go down as I take my dying breath? Choices, choices.

thanks, +Clarence C. 

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2016-05-10 20:06:20 (4 comments; 1 reshares; 9 +1s)Open 

The Christian definition of marriage

If you’re a Christian who uses the bible to legislate the behavior of others, then you must take the bible literally for yourself as well.

Study up, Christians!

thanks, +Garritt VS 

The Christian definition of marriage

If you’re a Christian who uses the bible to legislate the behavior of others, then you must take the bible literally for yourself as well.

Study up, Christians!

thanks, +Garritt VS ___

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2016-05-09 21:08:18 (8 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s)Open 

We have come to this

But how? Does Game Theory have an explanation for this debacle, or should we simply declare the American people insane and unfit to cast a ballot? (Or should we seek an explanation in the American electoral system, itself? I feel like I'm starting to get warmer with this last guess...)

thanks, +Tim Elkins 

FTA: “In the history of polling, we’ve basically never had a candidate viewed negatively by half of the electorate,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) wrote in a widely shared note that asked someone, anyone, to mount a third-party run. “There are dumpster fires in my town more popular than these two ‘leaders.’”___We have come to this

But how? Does Game Theory have an explanation for this debacle, or should we simply declare the American people insane and unfit to cast a ballot? (Or should we seek an explanation in the American electoral system, itself? I feel like I'm starting to get warmer with this last guess...)

thanks, +Tim Elkins 

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