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Member since: Tue Apr 5, 2005, 09:55 AM
Number of posts: 6,837

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Inequality will get worse unless we make dramatic changes

By Bob Lord

Imagine, after a deep sleep, you suffered the fate of Rip Van Winkle and woke in the spring of 2040. What might you find?

Among other things, maybe a presidential candidate railing against America’s concentration of wealth. Except this time, it’s not the 1 percent that owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent — it’s the top hundredth of a percent.

Could it get that bad? Yes, quite easily. In fact, that nightmare is already on the way.

To see this better, take a step back in time. If you woke up 24 years ago, you could hear candidate Bill Clinton lamenting the fact that the top 1 percent owned as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.

Today, as anyone who’s heard Bernie Sanders give his stump speech knows, it’s the top tenth of 1 percent who owns that much. That’s 10 times more concentrated — and it’s happened over just six presidential cycles. If the trend continues, the scenario I presented at the outset will be a reality.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/inequality-will-get-worse-unless-we-make-changes/

Not just a dreamer: The pragmatic impacts of Bernie Sanders’ big ideas

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination has pitted a dreamer against a realist, right? Bernie Sanders is the unrealistic one, and Hillary Clinton, the pragmatist, is the candidate who can get things done.

That’s what many pundits say. But, even with Tuesday’s setbacks to the Sanders campaign, it’s worth examining which is actually unrealistic – Bernie’s pledge to make the country more equitable and sustainable? Or Hillary’s progressive talking points, given her deep ties to corporate power players?

One way to see if Sanders really is a dreamer is to look at his record as mayor of the city of Burlington, Vt.

As a candidate for mayor in 1980, Sanders focused on economic fairness just as he does today, and then, too, he was dismissed as a fringe candidate. He squeaked into office, winning by just 10 votes. But he was re-elected three times, each time by a larger margin. His accomplishments won over even many of his early opponents, according to professors and authors Peter Dreier and Pierre Clavel, writing in The Nation. And six years into his term, U.S. News and World Report named him one of the top mayors in the country.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/the-pragmatic-impacts-of-bernie-sanders-big-dreams/

How limiting women’s access to birth control and abortions hurts the economy

By Michele Gilman

Reproductive health isn’t just about abortions, despite all the attention they get. It’s also about access to family planning services, contraception, sex education and much else.

Such access lets women control the timing and size of their families so they have children when they are financially secure and emotionally ready and can finish their education and advance in the workplace. After all, having children is expensive, costing US$9,000 to $25,000 a year.

And that’s why providing women with a full range of reproductive health options is good for the economy at the same time as being essential to the financial security of women and their families. Doing the opposite threatens not only the physical health of women but their economic well-being too.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/limiting-access-to-birth-control-hurts-economy/

Why the ‘stop Trump’ movement isn’t working

By Anthony J. Gaughan

Donald Trump is the Republican establishment’s worst nightmare, but the GOP leadership can’t find a way to stop him.

Tuesday night provided the latest example. The New York billionaire swept all five of the GOP primaries, winning Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island.

Trump’s victory margins were particularly telling. Until lately, he had only managed to win primaries with a plurality of the vote. For example, he won New Hampshire with 35 percent of the vote, South Carolina with 32 percent, Michigan with 36 percent, and Illinois with 38 percent. Even in Florida, Trump’s home away from home, he was held under 50 percent.

Trump’s inability to win a majority of the vote in the early primaries gave the Republican establishment hope. The idea was that if they could find an anti-Trump candidate to coalesce around, they could block his path to the nomination.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/stop-trump-movement-isnt-working/

Insurrectionists cry ‘tyranny,’ but the US has become more – not less – free

By Charles Hammer:

My mother, now dearly missed, had a tender spot for the South as do many Americans. That's why the Confederate battle flag is displayed at tea party gatherings, Donald Trump's Republican rallies, the recent insurgent takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon and — most tragically — from the hand of 21-year-old Dylann Roof last year shortly before he shot to death nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C. We must assume "rebels" display that flag because they believe the Confederate cause was admirable.

Was it really? For that we have to ask why the Confederacy in 1861 started the Civil War, or at least fired the first shots as they cannoned Charleston's Fort Sumter into surrender. That war killed in battle 720,000 Americans, more than died in all our other wars combined. So, why the Civil War?

Some Americans today whose ancestors gallantly fought for the Confederacy (perhaps including my great grandfather) understandably say it was not for slavery. It was for the South's honor and liberty, to defend states rights and oppose an intrusive central government. But Southern leaders in 1861 — those who ordered the cannons fired — spoke more bluntly.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/insurrectionists-cry-tyranny-but-the-us-has-become-more-free/

Why robots need the ability to say ‘no’

There are plenty of benign cases where robots receive commands that ideally should not be carried out because they lead to unwanted outcomes. But not all cases will be that innocuous, even if their commands initially appear to be.

Consider a robot car instructed to back up while the dog is sleeping in the driveway behind it, or a kitchen aid robot instructed to lift a knife and walk forward when positioned behind a human chef. The commands are simple, but the outcomes are significantly worse.

How can we humans avoid such harmful results of robot obedience? If driving around the dog were not possible, the car would have to refuse to drive at all. And similarly, if avoiding stabbing the chef were not possible, the robot would have to either stop walking forward or not pick up the knife in the first place.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/robots-need-ability-say-no/

Poll: Millennials reject Trump, begrudgingly back Clinton

At the same time young voters are feeling the Bern, they're also really rejecting Donald Trump. The leading GOP presidential candidate was seen as unfavorable by 74 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds polled in a survey released Monday by the Institute of Politics at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And that, combined that with the fact that more millennials were identifying as Democratic instead of independent for the first time in five years, indicated the youth vote in November could be an anti-Trump one.

"I do think that Donald Trump is doing as much for the prospect of the Democratic nominee as George W. Bush did in 2008," polling director John Della Volpe said on a conference call with reporters Monday, referencing a surge in youth engagement that propelled then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama to the presidency years ago. "I don't think there's a question about that."

To be fair, young voters don't love Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, either. She had a net favorable rating of -16 percentage points in the Harvard poll. Only Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders inspired good feelings among millennials, with a 23 percent net favorable rating.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/poll-millennials-reject-trump-begrudgingly-back-clinton/

How Prince’s quest for complete artistic control changed the music industry forever

The death of Prince marks the end of a brilliant music career by one of pop music’s most talented and eclectic artists. A virtuoso on any number of instruments, a master arranger and producer, and a preeminent showman, Prince’s music was as diverse and versatile as his elaborate outfits.

But it was his pursuit of complete artistic freedom – and legal protections for that freedom – that will make up a significant portion of his legacy. His several notable confrontations with record companies, streaming services, and social media users inspired other artists to both demand artistic freedom and earn their fair share of profits.


As Prince grew increasingly frustrated that he had surrendered the rights to his music, the artist began to rebel by publicly appearing with “Slave” written on his cheek. He also changed his name to a symbol, which occurred after the artist declared his former artistic self dead.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/princes-quest-complete-artistic-control-changed-music-industry-forever/

Joe Conason: On Israel, Bernie Sanders is right (and Hillary Clinton knows it)

Asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer about his judgment that Israel's military response to attacks from Gaza in 2014 was "disproportionate and led to the unnecessary loss of innocent life," the Vermont Senator answered firmly: "Yeah, I do believe that." He mentioned that many other nations, including longtime allies of Israel, had denounced the atrocities in Gaza, along with human rights organizations around the world.

Having reiterated that he supports Israel as our ally - with every right to self-defense - Sanders said that "in the long run, if we are ever going to bring peace to that region which has seen so much hatred and so much war, we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity."

That should be blindingly obvious, especially to Clinton, who has worked alongside President Clinton and President Obama toward a decent two-state solution for almost a quarter century. Her disappointing reply to Sanders reflected her political priorities in the New York primary, rather than her commitment to human rights or her assessment of American diplomatic interests.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/israel-bernie-sanders-right-hillary-clinton-knows/

Arabic-speaking passenger ‘humiliated’ when thrown off plane

Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, a 26-year-old from Iraq, was removed from a Southwest Airlines this month after he spoke to his uncle on the phone in Arabic.

Makhzoomi, who moved to the US as a refugee, said he called his uncle in Baghdad after taking his seat when he noticed a fellow passenger staring at him.

Makhzoomi was excited after attending an international affairs conference that included a speech by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, so as soon as he got on the plane, he made the call to talk about him.

"I was speaking Arabic with him. Explaining the details about the event," Makhzoomi told Al Jazeera. "All of a sudden lady in front of me started staring at me and I got off phone. My uncle told me to call him when I land and I said, inshallah, inshallah, I will call you'."

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/arabic-speaking-passenger-humiliated/

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