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Member since: Sat Jun 23, 2012, 05:03 PM
Number of posts: 3,183

Journal Archives

Kids Being Interviewed About the Holocaust

Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu Aug 13, 2015, 01:18 PM (30 replies)

Donald Trump Is Never Going To Be President

Trump’s antics in the race for the Republican presidential nomination may make for great entertainment, but he still is never going to be president.

Here’s a question that seems to be rolling around in the back of the heads of pundits and political observers: could Donald Trump be the next Republican nominee for the White House? He is after all leading the polls right now and clearly has enough money to self-finance a White House run.

To be sure there is nothing in the laws of physics that prevents the possibility of a president Trump. But everything we know about the nominations process tells us that he simply isn’t going to win. Simply put his “strengths” don’t really mean much at all.

Look: we’re in the silly season right now. It’s August. Congress is about to go into recess. We still have six months before anyone actually votes. Nobody’s paying much attention to the Republican race except political junkies. News is in short supply. And whatever else you can say about him, Donald Trump makes good copy. For now, everyone’s got the popcorn out and they’re enjoying the show, right along with Ant-Man and Mission Impossible."

Having said that though we probably shouldn’t ignore Trump entirely, after all it is pretty interesting that one of America’s two great political parties can have it’s internal debate take over for a few months by a loud mouth bellowing blatantly racist things. But he’ll be off the national stage soon enough."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Wed Aug 12, 2015, 07:20 PM (7 replies)

Damon Wayans Jr. Won’t Star In ‘Let’s Be Cops 2’ Until Something Is Done About Police Brutality

If you stand for nothing, you fall for anything, and Damon Wayans, Jr. doesn’t believe the hype. He starred in the 2014 film Let’s Be Cops, and that proved to be a little ill-timed, as it was released around the same time Michael Brown was shot by office Darren Wilson. Despite that, the movie grossed over $80 million at the box office. The sequel may be in talks, but Wayans won’t be a part of it until something is done about police brutality in America.

In an interview with Sway in the Morning, Wayans said that he wouldn’t want to betray the black community by starring in a comedy about zany police antics.

I don’t think we’re going to make another one until they stop smoking black dudes. You know with all the police brutality. I personally don’t want to make one because I feel like I would be betraying my people."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Tue Aug 11, 2015, 09:03 PM (4 replies)

Meet the (Potential) Democratic Candidate Who Thinks Bernie Sanders Isn't Liberal Enough

An outspoken Cantabrigian is launching an exploratory committee for president on a platform of breaking a "rigged system" that's fueling runaway inequality. Unfortunately for progressive activists, it's Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig, not Elizabeth Warren.

Lessig, who says he'll jump into the race if he can raise $1 million by Labor Day, has spent much of the last four years fighting what he considers the pernicious influence of money in politics ushered in by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case. The two leading candidates for the Democratic nomination, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, have both promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who oppose Citizens United. But Lessig thinks Sanders et al. aren't going far enough. His platform consists of one item—the "Citizens Equality Act of 2017," which is sort of an omnibus bill of progressive wish-list items.


Posted by damnedifIknow | Tue Aug 11, 2015, 01:04 PM (8 replies)

Conservatives Go Mad Because Netflix Announces A Year’s Unlimited Paid Maternity Leave

If one listens to Republicans, and their Chamber of Commerce directors, the reason there is not full employment and why every working American is not a millionaire is because the poor beleaguered business community is too burdened with an outlandishly high minimum wage and profit-crushing employee benefits. Interestingly, most developed nations pay higher wages than American companies and provide employee benefits that most Americans can only dream about receiving in a nation that “family values” Republicans continue claiming is exceedingly exceptional.

Early last week, one American company announced that it would increase its employees’ benefits to keep pace with the rest of the developed industrialized world. In announcing that, as a company, Netflix would join all but 3 countries on Earth in demonstrating what a nation’s true support for family values looks like

After an initial, and very, very brief, bit of praise for Netflix and its devotion to its valued employees and family values, it took less than a day for the praise to turn to criticism and typical conservative fear-mongering. A few of the headlines condemning a for-profit company’s dedication to its valued employees and families were: “Why Netflix’s unlimited parental leave is a bad idea for your company;” “Why Netflix’s ‘unlimited’ maternity leave policy won’t work;” and “Netflix’s New Parental Leave Policy Could Make Things Worse for Women.” The last title was featured in Time no less, and argued that giving women paid ‘family leave time” was not only bad for the mother, the father, and the whole family, it was dangerously harmful to the baby. The conservative attacks on Netflix appear to be a typical Chamber of Commerce, ALEC, and Americans for Prosperity effort to maintain the status quo and keep America’s labor force lagging the rest of the world in every category except productivity."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Aug 10, 2015, 08:17 PM (15 replies)

Police killings since Ferguson, in one map

Samuel DuBose, Freddie Gray, and Jessica Hernandez are just three of at least 1,091 people killed by police since August 9, 2014, the day of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

Fatal Encounters, a nonprofit, has tracked these killings by collecting reports from the media, public, and law enforcement and verifying them through news reports. Some of the data is incomplete, with details about a victim’s race, age, and other factors sometimes missing. It also includes killings that were potentially legally justified, and is likely missing some killings entirely.

Vox’s Soo Oh created an interactive map with data from Fatal Encounters. It shows some of the killings by law enforcement since the Brown shooting:

A huge majority of the 1,091 deaths on the map are from gunshots, which is hardly surprising given that guns are so deadly compared with other tools used by police. There are also a lot of noticeable fatalities from vehicle crashes, stun guns, and asphyxiations. In some cases, people died from stab wounds, medical emergencies, and what’s called “suicide by cop,” when people kill themselves by baiting a police officer into using deadly force.

The FBI already collects some of this data from local and state agencies, but as Vox’s Dara Lind explained, that data is very limited. Reporting homicides for participating agencies is mandatory, but reporting the circumstances of homicides is not. So we might know that thousands of people die in a certain state, but we won’t always know why those homicides happened and whether they involved police. Participation in the FBI reporting programs is also voluntary, making the number of reported homicides in the federal data at best a minimum of what’s going on across the country."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Aug 10, 2015, 04:33 PM (11 replies)

Here’s Why Republicans Are Dooming Themselves With Millennial Voters

Millennials understand that the economy is not meant to work for us. We see a system that exclusively serves a tiny number of individuals at the top. These lucky few amass extraordinary amounts of wealth while a vast majority of us struggle to get by, as median wages have barely risen and almost all of the post-recovery gains have gone to the 1 percent. As Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren likes to say, the game is rigged, and it’s time to fix it.

*There is absolutely no recognition – not even a hint! – of the role that uninhibited markets and the super rich have played in creating and perpetuating this current crisis, nor any willingness to take actions that compromise the power of the wealthiest individuals. To me, this is perhaps the most disappointing, and frankly terrifying, aspect of contemporary conservative ideology, and something that I doubt my generation will tolerate for much longer.

We understand that the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage, and that left to their own devices, private corporations would pay their workers even less in their never-ending quest for greater profits. Meanwhile, Republicans lament that American businesses are not “more competitive” globally, opposing any efforts to lend American workers a hand.

*Those of us who have come of age in the past 15 years have seen the consequences of a capitalist society run amok. We understand that the problem is not the government giving too much aid to the poor or spending too much on education, but being too acquiescent to the interests of the rich and big business. They can hide their true intentions behind vague policy proposals and dishonest rhetoric, but my generation won’t buy the nonsense narrative Republicans are selling. "

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Aug 10, 2015, 11:45 AM (0 replies)

The Film Donald Trump Does Not Want You to See

Nobody took Donald Trump’s run seriously until they started seeing the poll numbers. Despite gaffe after gaffe after gaffe and zero political experience, he has surged ahead in the polls with support from 24 percent of Republican primary voters.

The next most popular Republican candidate is Jeb Bush with 13 percent. With the first GOP primary debate having taken place this week, filmmaker Anthony Baxter has a movie he thinks everyone should see about the real estate tycoon who is running for president. For a limited time leading up to the debate, you can watch the film for free on Hulu.

How big is this movie? So big that Trump threatened to sue the BBC when it announced it was showing the film on television. The BBC aired it anyway, and after the screening, Trump’s popularity in the United Kingdom plummeted and the film was briefly the highest-rated British film of all time on IMDb.

Michael Moore said this about Baxter’s film, “It blew me away.” The New York Times called it “a riveting exposé.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer said, “This indispensable portrait of greed gone wild will make you so angry, you’ll want to picket Trump Tower.” Donald Trump, who claims not to have seen the movie, called it “a failure.” Baxter has also made a follow up to the film, A Dangerous Game, which shows how communities are fighting Trump and other developers all over the world who are willing to risk our fragile natural world for a game of golf."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Sun Aug 9, 2015, 10:14 PM (2 replies)

Caveman Instincts' May Favor Deep-Voiced Politicians

Deep voices, which are tied to higher levels of testosterone, may trigger our “caveman instincts,” according to the authors of the study, which is published in PLOS ONE. These instincts associate leadership ability with physical prowess, as opposed to wisdom and experience.

“Modern-day political leadership is more about competing ideologies than brute force,” co-author Casey Klofstad of the University of Miami said in a press release. “But at some earlier time in human history it probably paid off to have a literally strong leader.”

Building on earlier research regarding CEO’s, Klofstad and biologists Rindy Anderson and Steve Nowicki of Duke University first surveyed 800 volunteers. Participants completed an online questionnaire with information about the age and sex of two hypothetical candidates, and indicated whom they would vote for in an election. The candidates ranged in age from 30 to 70.

Those who were surveyed overwhelmingly supported candidates in their 40s and 50s.

“That’s when leaders are not so young that they’re too inexperienced, but not so old that their health is starting to decline or they’re no longer capable of active leadership,” Klofstad said.

“Low and behold, it also happens to be the time in life when people’s voices reach their lowest pitch,” he added.

For the second part of the study, the researchers asked another group of volunteers, consisting of 400 men and 403 women, to listen to pairs of male and female recorded voices saying, “I urge you to vote for me this November.” Each paired recording was based on one person whose voice pitch had been altered up and down with computer software.

Once again, the volunteers were asked to select their favorite candidates. They were also asked which voice seemed stronger to them.

The deeper-voiced candidates won 60 to 76 percent of the votes, but when the researchers analyzed the voters’ perceptions of the candidates, they were surprised to find that strength and competence mattered more than age.

Finally, Klofstad and his colleagues calculated the mean voice pitch of the actual candidates from the 2012 U.S. House of Representatives elections. As predicted, they found that candidates with lower-pitched voices were more likely to win."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Aug 7, 2015, 08:46 PM (2 replies)

Why ‘Do What You Love’ Is Pernicious Advice

Miya Tokumitsu, a contributing editor at Jacobin magazine and author of the new book Do What You Love And Other Lies About Success and Happiness, criticizes the pervasiveness of this idea in American work culture. She argues that “doing what you love” has been co-opted by corporate interests, giving employers more power to exploit their workers.

I’ve noticed in other mainstream outlets that there’s been a lot more writing about work and work culture, particularly professional work. I think there really had been a kind of simmering widespread frustration with the state of work. American wages have been pretty flat since the 1970s, Americans are working longer, they’re more productive than ever, and they don’t seem to be getting much more in return for all of that.

At the same time there are these cultural icons that project these pictures of work through media and social media as this blissful thing. In the old-media case it’s Oprah, and in newer media it’s Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop.

* I think this idea that work somehow makes you a good person is something that is very American to me. There’s this idea that it has something to do with your character as a person. I feel that it’s very ingrained and I don’t completely disavow it, too. Work is held up as something that is more revelatory about your character than the interests you have or the way you care about other people or care for other people. I feel like it comes from people who are earnest in their striving and want to do good things and want to be good people, but it leads to this culture where people are just working all the time.

*I think work is where we spend a lot of our lives. And we wed our identities so tightly to our job titles in the U.S. You don't want your identity to be someone who just puts in eight hours and checks out.

I’ve tried this little experiment when I meet people in non-work situations and try to see how long I can talk to them without asking about their work or have them ask me about my work. It's actually really hard to last longer than four minutes. "


Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Aug 7, 2015, 11:45 AM (5 replies)
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