Today I direct your attention to this video that explains why it seems barristas have trouble spelling your name. Is it that they are just dumb? No. Did they mishear you? Apparently not! Well, what the heck is going on, you might wonder? … Read the rest
Geoff shares this op ed by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times:
If we had the same auto fatality rate today that we had in 1921, by my calculations we would have 715,000 Americans dying annually in vehicle accidents.
Instead, we’ve reduced the fatality rate by more than 95 percent — not by confiscating cars, but by regulating them and their drivers sensibly.… Read the rest
Are you worried about civil rights and the evil eyes of Big Brother? Check out The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties organization committed to protecting the constitutional freedoms and the integral human rights of all people. The Institute provides legal services at no charge to those whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated. … Read the rest
Remember, jobless workers are not counted as being part of the labor force unless they are actively looking for work, and the decline in the unemployment rate since its peak has mostly been the result of workers dropping out of — or not entering — the labor force.… Read the rest
According to I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society Party, the super rich like to put on dresses and then dis the masses. It’s all in a night’s fun according to these bankster types. “Young Money” is Kevin Roose’s Wall Street exposé and truly bizarre tale of crashing the annual induction ceremony of the uber-secret Wall Street fraternity Kappa Beta Phi.… Read the rest
Dean Baker says “People who like the market to determine outcomes should be happy with the idea of having the government compete on a level playing field with private sector firms.
If private firms offer a lower price or a better product, the government will be driven from the market with little harm done.… Read the rest
When you think things are bad,
when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad…
you should do what I do!
Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you’re really quite lucky!
Some people are much more…
oh, ever so much more…
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!… Read the rest
Wow! If you are working on a Saturday, you might want to take a break and read Lauren Davidson’s Case for a Six-Hour Workday. She notes “Kellogg’s introduced the six-hour workday, which proved to be immensely popular with staff members and lasted until 1985″ and gives psychological and social arguments for a shorter work day and week. … Read the rest
Wow! Talk about telling the truth where it really matters. The Yes Men aren’t really pranksters so much as whistleblowers. Dressing up as VIPs and crashing press conferences and meetings, they actually tell the truth about starving children, toxic waste and the general rape of planet Earth, nature and humanity by the insatiable devouring of everything in sight to maximize profits for shareholders as required by law. … Read the rest
With a tanking economy, out of control spending and utter disregard for the future one might expect social concerns to drive people to the streets in protest. So where are they? Robert Reich says three reasons stand out. First, the working class is terrified of losing what little they have left; second, students are afraid of ruining chances for a job; third, Americans are just cynical and have given up on meaningful change. … Read the rest
When asked to edit an issue of the New Statesman, Russel Brand posited
Total revolution of consciousness and our entire social, political and economic system is what interests me, but that’s not on the ballot. Is utopian revolution possible? The freethinking social architect Buckminster Fuller said humanity now faces a choice: oblivion or utopia.… Read the rest
I love Tim Minchin as a clever social commentator. He reminds me of a modern, foul-mouthed Tom Lehrer with his witty ball-busting ballads. But clearly this song came out before the latest pope started showing a different sort of compassion. But does the new pope really represent “no more business as usual?” Watch this interview on ABC news wherein a victim of church abuse expresses hopes that the new pope’s choice of names and his history of humility will work to repair hundreds of years of damage, the clear inspiration for Mr.… Read the rest
Soapbox Saturday: David Harvey’s new book is The Seventeen Contradictions of Capitalism. Why focus on its contradictions? Harvey says “The analysis of capitalism suggests that there are significant and foundational contradictions. Periodically those contradictions get out of hand and they generate a crisis.… Read the rest
Soapbox Saturday: A few Nelson Mandela quotes which you might have missed:
“A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials.… Read the rest
Geoff introduced me to Tim Minchin, the Australian comedian’s delightful address to graduates and notes “I looked Minchin up on Wikipedia and near the end of the article found this. Wonderful!”
… Read the rest
In his beat poem Storm, which centres on Minchin having an argument with a “hippie” who believes in various New Age alternatives in lieu of actual medicine, he states: “Science adjusts its views based on what’s observed.
Trickling down the pipe from our local County Clerk of the Circuit Court of Pinellas County Ken Burk is this lovely petition for the permanence of paper. Your pad may be nice for some things, but for some things you might still want to fall back on old, faithful dried out tree pulp. … Read the rest
It seems McDonald’s accidentally served up a Minimum Wage “McManifesto” in the form of a financial advice website for employees. “Every dollar makes a difference,” McDonald’s lectures its struggling and often impoverished workers. The new employee website, co-created with Visa, helpfully suggests that people who work for this Fortune 500 corporation begin the financial planning process by taking a second job.… Read the rest
Do you feel overwhelmed by the troubles in this world? Read this Call to Apocalypse by Robert Jensen, who says that like “Bidder 70″ Tim DeChristopher, we must turn frustration into creative solutions. But first we must face the truth.
… Read the rest
Some stories we have told ourselves—claims by white people, men, or U.S.
The Center for Responsive Politics keeps an eye out for bad eggs in Congress, and who keeps them rotten with cash. Now they have a new tool to help citizens and voters keep an eye on that basket.… Read the rest
Now here is a guy who is making a statement and helping the homeless at the same time! Together, says Greg Karber, we can remake the snooty A&F brand … by donating their clothing to the needy. Watch this video wherein he collects AF apparel and gives it away on Skid Row. … Read the rest
Big media seems to always whitewash the sins of recent leaders upon their death, as of Margaret Thatcher on April 8. Even this story about how the BBC refused to play the #1 top selling iTunes song as they did every single week because it demonstrated insensitivity to the “illiberal” politician. … Read the rest
Grandma called to tell me she killed a spider, because she knows I would have put it outside. I am that kind of live and let live kind of guy. So I am no fan of guns. But as this video on 3D printing shows, there is really no way to keep people away from weapons.… Read the rest
Reader Geoff write in, on the effort to curb gun violence.
… Read the rest
As you may know, the Obama people have continued their effective online website which helped him win re-election. Now its focus is organizing public opinion to counterbalance the power of the big money lobbyists and special interests who dominate Washington politics.