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G_j's Journal
G_j's Journal
July 24, 2012

Being in Awe Can Expand Time and Enhance Well-Being


Being in Awe Can Expand Time and Enhance Well-Being

ScienceDaily (July 19, 2012) — It doesn't matter what we've experienced -- whether it's the breathtaking scope of the Grand Canyon, the ethereal beauty of the Aurora Borealis, or the exhilarating view from the top of the Eiffel Tower -- at some point in our lives we've all had the feeling of being in a complete and overwhelming sense of awe.

Awe seems to be a universal emotion, but it has been largely neglected by scientists -- until now.

Psychological scientists Melanie Rudd and Jennifer Aaker of Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management devised a way to study this feeling of awe in the laboratory. Across three different experiments, they found that jaw-dropping moments made participants feel like they had more time available and made them more patient, less materialistic, and more willing to volunteer time to help others.

The researchers found that the effects that awe has on decision-making and well-being can be explained by awe's ability to actually change our subjective experience of time by slowing it down. Experiences of awe help to brings us into the present moment which, in turn, adjusts our perception of time, influences our decisions, and makes life feel more satisfying than it would otherwise.
July 17, 2012

Presto! The DISCLOSE Act Disappears, by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship


Presto! The DISCLOSE Act Disappears

July 17, 2012

by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Ask any magician and they’ll tell you that the secret to a successful magic trick is misdirection — distracting the crowd so they don’t realize how they’re being fooled. Get them watching your left hand while your right hand palms the silver dollar: “Now you see it, now you don’t.” The purloined coin now belongs to the magician.

Just like democracy. Once upon a time conservatives supported the full disclosure of campaign contributors. Now they oppose it with their might — and magic, especially when it comes to unlimited cash from corporations. My goodness, they say, with a semantic wave of the wand, what’s the big deal?: nary a single Fortune 500 company had given a dime to the super PACs. (Even that’s not entirely true, by the way.)

Meanwhile the other hand is poking around for loopholes, stuffing millions of secret corporate dollars into non-profit, tax-exempt organizations called 501(c)s that funnel the money into advertising on behalf of candidates or causes. Legally, in part because the Federal Election Commission does not consider them political committees, they can keep it all nice and anonymous, never revealing who’s really behind the donations or the political ads they buy. This is especially handy for corporations — why risk offending customers by revealing your politics or letting them know how much you’re willing to shell out for a permanent piece of an obliging politician?

That’s why passing a piece of legislation called the DISCLOSE Act is so important and that’s why on Monday, Republicans in the Senate killed it. Again.

July 16, 2012

Affordable Care Act: What’s Changing and When


What’s Changing and When

View items by selecting blocks on the timeline, or click the arrows.
You can also see all of the timeline items on one page in printable format.
Read the Affordable Care Act in full or browse it section by section.
July 12, 2012

Time-line on the Affordable Care Act (great resource)


What’s Changing and When

View items by selecting blocks on the timeline, or click the arrows.
You can also see all of the timeline items on one page in printable format.
Read the Affordable Care Act in full or browse it section by section.
July 9, 2012

Euro crisis: Another day, another flirtation with disaster


Euro crisis: Another day, another flirtation with disaster

Rising yields, rising ire in the world's largest trading bloc. It must be Monday in Europe.

Thomas MuchaJuly 9, 2012 14:09

For those with the stomach to watch it unfold, Europe's debt crisis has assumed a sickeningly familiar pattern.

It goes like this:

European leaders talk.

The markets force government borrowing costs higher.

European leaders talk again.


That scenario played out yet again today as 10-year yields on both Spanish and Italian bonds rose to dangerously high levels. Meanwhile, European finance ministers prepared to meet again to discuss the latest problems.

Spanish debt costs topped 7 percent Monday, while Italian yields rose to more than 6 percent, after falling to about 5 percent last week.

July 9, 2012

Bill Moyers explains: Super PACs have some terrifying plans for the United States


Jul 9 2012

'Poor People Haven't Lost Their Voice — They Can't Afford A Voice'

Super PACs have some terrifying plans for the United States. Bill Moyers explains.

For a quick refresher on what super PACs are and how much money they throw around, check out the excellent work of the Center for Responsive Politics here,

July 6, 2012

The firefighters trying to save Colorado homes don't have health insurance


Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:00 AM PDT.

The firefighters trying to save Colorado homes don't have health insurance

by Joan McCarterFollow .

While Colorado goes up in flames, and the Republican wing of the Supreme Court writes the dismantling of Obamacare, the men and women hired by the federal government to fight wildfire are risking life and limb. Many of them are doing it without health insurance.

Of all the jobs where you might want health insurance, firefighting near certainly ranks near the top of the list. Firefighters spend two-week shifts working 18 hour days in dangerous conditions. Some develop breathing problems due to smoke inhalation.
But many federal firefighters are temporary employees, who only work six months out of the year. [...] Under federal regulations, temporary employees of the Forest Service do not receive benefits. That means no health care and no retirement pension.

“A lot of them are not making a lot,” says Bill Dougan, president of the National Federal of Federal Employees. “The only way they can afford insurance is if they have a spouse that might be able to get coverage under an employer. In some places that’s not an option.”
This is the status quo Republicans have been fighting for for the past two years. If the Affordable Care Act survives the Supreme Court Republican five tomorrow, it could help. Many of the firefighters make little enough to qualify for the subsidies to purchase insurance, making the premiums in reach. They'd also be guaranteed access to affordable health insurance, something that can be a problem for people in high-risk jobs.
If the Supreme Court five make the ACA go away tomorrow, nothing changes for these wildfire fighters in the immediate term, but they'll be denied those near-future benefits and the hope that they could continue to do this critical job and protect themselves a little bit. Their hopes go up in smoke, and Republicans will cheer.

Please sign this petition demanding that Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid introduce legislation to make these and other wildfire fighters eligible for federal health insurance.


To Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

It is outrageous that firefighters battling the blazes in Colorado and around the country are not eligible for federal health insurance. Pass legislation to rectify this immediately.
July 5, 2012

Stop the killing of 1,800 whales and dolphins and the deafening of 15,900 more

(Dear MoveOn member,)

According to the U.S. Navy's own estimates, the use of high-frequency underwater sound for testing in Hawaii, off the California and Atlantic Coasts, and in the Gulf of Mexico will deafen 15,900 whales and dolphins and kill 1,800 more over the next five years.

Whales and dolphins depend on sound to navigate and live. The Navy is required to include comments from the public on their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), so your signature and comment on my SignOn.org petition could help stop this naval program and save the lives of these ocean creatures.

My petition says:

Stop the killing of 1,800 whales and dolphins and the deafening of 15,900 more by ceasing the operation of the Navy's underwater sound system in the Hawaiian Islands, the California and Atlantic Coasts, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Will you sign the petition? Click here to add your name, and then pass it along to your friends:


Thanks for your help.

–Lyndia Storey

PS: The comments must be in by July 10, 2012, so please sign my petition today.

This petition was created on SignOn.org, the progressive, nonprofit petition site that will never sell your email address and will never promote a petition because someone paid us to. SignOn.org is sponsored by MoveOn Civic Action, which is not responsible for the contents of this or other petitions posted on the site.

July 2, 2012

Declaration of Internet Freedom


When millions of Internet users unite, big things happen.

Earlier this year, we stopped SOPA and fought the powerful interests that sought to limit online innovation and free speech. And for years we’ve worked together to protect Net Neutrality and fight for universal access to an affordable, high-speed and open Internet.

These battles remind us how fragile the free and open Internet is — and make it clear that if we don’t fight to protect it, no one will.

Something big is happening again. Today Free Press and a coalition of more than 100 organizations, academics, startup founders and tech innovators are launching a Declaration of Internet Freedom — five principles outlining the basic freedoms that all Internet users should enjoy.

The Declaration is meant to spark a passionate, global discussion among Internet users and communities about the Internet and our role in protecting it.

Please take a moment to read the Declaration of Internet Freedom, sign it and add your comments.

The release of this document is just the beginning of a movement to secure these five principles — Expression, Access, Openness, Innovation and Privacy — all over the world. We encourage you to respond to this document — you can agree or disagree with it, debate it, translate it, make it your own and broaden the discussion. No platform other than a free and open Internet allows this kind of interaction.

sign: http://act.freepress.net/sign/internetdeclaration/?source=website_sti_front

Declaration of Internet Freedom

Tired of fighting bad bills like SOPA, PIPA and CISPA? Want to stand up against those who are trying to control what we do and say online? Let's do something different. Add your name below and join the global movement for Internet freedom.

We stand for a free and open Internet.

We support transparent and participatory processes for making Internet policy and the establishment of five basic principles:

Expression: Don't censor the Internet.

Access: Promote universal access to fast and affordable networks.

Openness: Keep the Internet an open network where everyone is free to connect, communicate, write, read, watch, speak, listen, learn, create and innovate.

Innovation: Protect the freedom to innovate and create without permission. Don’t block new technologies, and don’t punish innovators for their users' actions.

Privacy: Protect privacy and defend everyone’s ability to control how their data and devices are used.

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