Y’all haters corny with that Illuminati mess
Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh
I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin’)
I’m so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces
My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana
You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas bama
I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros
I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils
Earned all this money but they never take the country out me
I got a hot sauce in my bag, swag[Interlude: Messy Mya + Big Freedia]
Oh yeah, baby, oh yeah I, ohhhhh, oh, yes, I like that
I did not come to play with you hoes, haha
I came to slay, bitch
I like cornbreads and collard greens, bitch
Oh, yes, you besta believe it
* * via WonkBlog – by Danielle Paquett – Feb. 8th, 2016* * *
Since Texas slashed funding to Planned Parenthood in 2011, more than half the state’s abortion clinics have shuttered — and data show births among poor women have surged.
Researchers looked at fertility trends among women who qualified for birth control through the state’s public family planning programs in the two years before and after Texas lawmakers booted Planned Parenthood from its payroll. Each woman lived in a county that lost a Planned Parenthood clinic and had, at some point, received an injectable contraceptive from an affiliate before it closed.
The group’s birth rate shot up.
Between 2011 and 2014, the number of these births, covered by Medicaid, climbed 27 percent, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. (Medicaid coverage for healthy pregnancies — prenatal care, labor and delivery — typically costs at least $8,000 per baby.) Continue reading It is NOT an unexpected, or unintended consequence !
If you take into account all throwaway containers used in the United States on a daily basis, there are one billion containers that flow through the supply chain — and perhaps only 400-500 million or so of these materials are collected for recycling. Of these 400-500 million containers collected for recycling, perhaps 15-25 percent are thrown away before they are even reused, and of the balance, maybe half are reused for the same or a better purpose. That translates into 180 million of today’s beverage containers being reused can for can, bottle for bottle, or cup for cup. The rest are either thrown away or used for a lessor purpose, having to be replaced tomorrow with new natural resources of fossil fuels, paper, silicon, and aluminum.
So what’s the plan to address this problem of massive packaging waste and its impact to the environment? Most people believe this issue can be addressed simply by consumers doing their part through participation in a recycling program, like exists in the zero waste nations in Europe (Sweden, Germany) — but is this really the case? From my role as a consumer products leader in the United States and an environmental science/supply chain researcher in Sweden, I have found the use of recycling programs to be more of a mitigation technique than a solution to this problem of waste and environmental impact. Why? Not because the consumer shouldn’t recycle, but rather due to the scientific and economic evidence that most of our beverage containers were never designed to be recycled, and therefore, are easier and cheaper to throw into a landfill or be downcycled than to be reused like for like, or for a higher purpose. Continue reading Are recycling programs effective in managing damage to the environment?
In 1854, President Franklin Pierce made an offer for a large area of Indian land and promised a “reservation” for the Indian people. Chief Seattle’s reply, published below, has been described as the most beautiful and profound statement on the environment ever made.
By Chief Seattle
The Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land.
The Great Chief also sends us words of friendship and good will. This is kind of him, since we know he has little need of our friendship in return.
But we will consider your offer. for we know that if we do not sell, the white man may come with guns and take our land.
How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land ? This idea is strange to us.
If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water how can you buy them?
Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.
The white man’s dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of the earth and it is part of us.
The perfumed flowers
are our sisters;
the deer, the horse, the great eagle,
these are our brothers.
The rocky crests,
the juices in the meadows,
the body heat of the pony, and man all belong to the same family. Continue reading How can we buy the air?
If enforced, the regulation would bring the U.S. into conformity with European Union directives, which are similarly formulated. And, if enforced, food products, wines, and contentious Ahava beauty products, for example, produced in Israeli settlements could no longer be stamped “Made in Israel” without incurring a penalty equal to 10 percent of the value of those goods.
Currently, responsibility lies with the settlement business or the U.S. importer to ensure proper labeling.
Yet, as the Jewish Forward noted Thursday, these regulations and the 10-percent duty have been on the books since 1995; they’ve simply gone overlooked and unenforced.
“According to an April 1995 U.S. Customs and Border Protection notification, products made in the West Bank or Gaza ‘shall be marked as “West Bank,” “Gaza,” or “Gaza Strip”… and shall not contain the words “Israel,” “Made in Israel,” ”Occupied Territories-Israel” or words of similar meaning.”
Who hasn’t shared an amazing science fact only to feel embarrassed later on, when you find out the information was wrong?No more.
It’s time to put an end to the most alluring science myths, misconceptions, and inaccuracies passed down through the ages.
To help the cause we’ve rounded up and corrected dozens of the most shocking science “facts” that are bizarrely wrong about food, animals, the Earth, biology, space, alcohol, and health. (Click a link to skip to that section.)
The President and the Press: Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, April 27, 1961
Listen to speech here:View related documents here:
President John F. Kennedy
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City
April 27, 1961Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:I appreciate very much your generous invitation to be here tonight.You bear heavy responsibilities these days and an article I read some time ago reminded me of how particularly heavily the burdens of present day events bear upon your profession.
You may remember that in 1851 the New York Herald Tribune under the sponsorship and publishing of Horace Greeley, employed as its London correspondent an obscure journalist by the name of Karl Marx.
We are told that foreign correspondent Marx, stone broke, and with a family ill and undernourished, constantly appealed to Greeley and managing editor Charles Dana for an increase in his munificent salary of $5 per installment, a salary which he and Engels ungratefully labeled as the “lousiest petty bourgeois cheating.”
But when all his financial appeals were refused, Marx looked around for other means of livelihood and fame, eventually terminating his relationship with the Tribune and devoting his talents full time to the cause that would bequeath the world the seeds of Leninism, Stalinism, revolution and the cold war.
If only this capitalistic New York newspaper had treated him more kindly; if only Marx had remained a foreign correspondent, history might have been different. And I hope all publishers will bear this lesson in mind the next time they receive a poverty-stricken appeal for a small increase in the expense account from an obscure newspaper man.
I have selected as the title of my remarks tonight “The President and the Press.” Some may suggest that this would be more naturally worded “The President Versus the Press.” But those are not my sentiments tonight.
It is true, however, that when a well-known diplomat from another country demanded recently that our State Department repudiate certain newspaper attacks on his colleague it was unnecessary for us to reply that this Administration was not responsible for the press, for the press had already made it clear that it was not responsible for this Administration.
Nevertheless, my purpose here tonight is not to deliver the usual assault on the so-called one party press. On the contrary, in recent months I have rarely heard any complaints about political bias in the press except from a few Republicans. Nor is it my purpose tonight to discuss or defend the televising of Presidential press conferences. I think it is highly beneficial to have some 20,000,000 Americans regularly sit in on these conferences to observe, if I may say so, the incisive, the intelligent and the courteous qualities displayed by your Washington correspondents.
Nor, finally, are these remarks intended to examine the proper degree of privacy which the press should allow to any President and his family.
If in the last few months your White House reporters and photographers have been attending church services with regularity, that has surely done them no harm.
On the other hand, I realize that your staff and wire service photographers may be complaining that they do not enjoy the same green privileges at the local golf courses that they once did.
It is true that my predecessor did not object as I do to pictures of one’s golfing skill in action. But neither on the other hand did he ever bean a Secret Service man.
My topic tonight is a more sober one of concern to publishers as well as editors.
I want to talk about our common responsibilities in the face of a common danger. The events of recent weeks may have helped to illuminate that challenge for some; but the dimensions of its threat have loomed large on the horizon for many years. Whatever our hopes may be for the future–for reducing this threat or living with it–there is no escaping either the gravity or the totality of its challenge to our survival and to our security–a challenge that confronts us in unaccustomed ways in every sphere of human activity.
This deadly challenge imposes upon our society two requirements of direct concern both to the press and to the President–two requirements that may seem almost contradictory in tone, but which must be reconciled and fulfilled if we are to meet this national peril. I refer, first, to the need for a far greater public information; and, second, to the need for far greater official secrecy. Continue reading JFK Speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Assoc Meeting: April 1961
The Pilgrim;Chapter 33 Lyrics from the album: “The Silver Tongued Devil and I”
by Kris Kristofferson
* * * *
See him wasted on the sidewalk in his jacket and his jeans
Wearin’ yesterday’s misfortunes like a smile
Once he had a future full of money, love, and dreams
Which he spent like they was goin’ outta style
And he keeps right on a-changin’ for the better or the worse
Searchin’ for a shrine, he’s never found
Never knowin’ if believin’ is a blessin’ or a curse
Or if the goin’ up was worth the comin’ down
He’s a poet and he’s a picker, he’s a prophet and he’s a pusher
He’s a pilgrim and a preacher and a problem when he’s stoned
He’s a walkin’ contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction
Takin’ every wrong direction on his lonely way back home
He has tasted good and evil in your bedrooms and your bars
And he’s traded in tomorrow for today
Runnin’ from his devils, Lord, and reachin’ for the stars
And losin’ all he’s loved along the way
But if this world keeps right on turnin’ for the better or the worse
And all he ever gets is older and around
From the rockin’ of the cradle to the rollin’ of the hearse
The goin’ up was worth the comin’ down
He’s a poet and he’s a picker, he’s a prophet, he’s a pusher
He’s a pilgrim and a preacher and a problem when he’s stoned
He’s a walkin’ contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction
Takin’ every wrong direction on his lonely way back home
There’s a lotta wrong directions on that lonely way back home
By some estimates there could be more than 100 billion potentially habitable planets in our galaxy alone. While “potentially habitable” does not mean a planet is inhabited, if life arose on even a fraction of those worlds there should be millions if not billions of inhabited planets in the Milky Way. So why haven’t we seen evidence of them?
Not counting the (slim) chance of an alien megastructure around KIC 8462852, the galaxy seems remarkably quiet. Projects such as SETI have scanned the heavens for radio signals, and found none thus far. Infrared sky surveys haven’t found thermal signatures of any alien civilization. This apparent silence given that extraterrestrial life should be common is often referred to as Fermi’s paradox. Lots of solutions have been proposed to address the paradox: perhaps they are intentionally being quiet; perhaps we just happen to live in a particularly barren corner of the galaxy; perhaps they lost interest space exploration and instead watch reality television.
An alternative explanation is that life may be far more rare than we think. Perhaps the odds of life arising on a planet are so unusual that out of 100 billion possible worlds, only one has given rise to life. The problem with this idea is that we know life arose quite early on Earth. On a geologic scale, as soon as Earth cooled enough to be potentially habitable we starting seeing life. We also know that the building blocks of life such as amino acids are found in comets and asteroids. That would seem to imply that life forms readily on habitable worlds. On Earth life eventually gave rise to a technological civilization, so why wouldn’t that happen on some other worlds as well? Continue reading Fermi’s paradox and the Gaian bottleneck
“I can’t decipher what your comments are about, and just listening to them sapped ten points off my IQ.” –Anon.
“I don’t want to hear all this talk about dying for your country. You’re supposed to make the sons of bitches on the other side die for their country!” –Gen. George Patton
“I can’t really pronounce that word so I refuse to solve for those.”
“He’s a bloodsucking leftist…I mean, you gotta put a stake through his heart to stop this guy.” –Lou Dobbs
“The average is a 37 out of 90, which is a little low.”
“If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.” –Sarah Palin
“Apparently there were lots of women who would marry a millionaire sight-unseen but would not appear on national TV in a swimsuit.” .
“The white Christian heterosexual married male is the epitome of everything right with America”—Michael Savage
“If you’re unhappy about it, don’t ask me, just be unhappy.”
“John McCain and I, we love you and thank you for spending a few minutes to talk to me.” –Sarah Palin
“I would get rid of this variable Va that I don’t give a rat’s ass about.”
“Teen Sex: The New “Midnight Basketball”?” –Anon
“Only dead fish go with the flow.” –Sarah Palin
”Life’s tough…..it’s even tougher if you’re stupid.” — John Wayne
“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. In recent years we have seen angry minds at work mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated in the Goldwater movement how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority. But behind this I believe there is a style of mind that is far from new and that is not necessarily right-wing.
I call it the paranoid style simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind. In using the expression “paranoid style” I am not speaking in a clinical sense, but borrowing a clinical term for other purposes. I have neither the competence nor the desire to classify any figures of the past or present as certifiable lunatics. In fact, the idea of the paranoid style as a force in politics would have little contemporary relevance or historical value if it were applied only to men with profoundly disturbed minds. It is the use of paranoid modes of expression by more or less normal people that makes the phenomenon significant.
Of course this term is pejorative, and it is meant to be; the paranoid style has a greater affinity for bad causes than good. But nothing really prevents a sound program or demand from being advocated in the paranoid style. Style has more to do with the way in which ideas are believed than with the truth or falsity of their content. I am interested here in getting at our political psychology through our political rhetoric. The paranoid style is an old and recurrent phenomenon in our public life which has been frequently linked with movements of suspicious discontent.
If, after our historically discontinuous examples of the paranoid style, we now take the long jump to the contemporary right wing, we find some rather important differences from the nineteenth-century movements. The spokesmen of those earlier movements felt that they stood for causes and personal types that were still in possession of their country–that they were fending off threats to a still established way of life.
But the modern right wing, as Daniel Bell has put it, feels dispossessed: America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion. The old American virtues have already been eaten away by cosmopolitans and intellectuals; the old competitive capitalism has been gradually undermined by socialistic and communistic schemers; the old national security and independence have been destroyed by treasonous plots, having as their most powerful agents not merely outsiders and foreigners as of old but major statesmen who are at the very centers of American power. Their predecessors had discovered conspiracies; the modern radical right finds conspiracy to be betrayal from on high. Continue reading The angry-white-man syndrome explained
Stepdads are often ignored in the literature because so much of the focus is on stepmothers. Since June is the time to honor dads, I want to focus this article on stepdads.
Men who marry women with children take on a role that not many could possibly be prepared for. While you most likely come into this with all good intentions to be the man of the household, you might wonder why you feel left out and why your stepchildren and wife are often upset with you or siding against you. This is very hurtful and perplexing for many stepdads.
When I talk with stepdads, I generally find men who want to have some role in the lives of their stepchildren. They want a male role in the household, but, like all of us, those roles are based on either what we imagine the father role in a family should be or what we had growing up. When we take those ideas with us into a marriage where children already exist, stepdads are often left confused and hurt.
If you are a stepfather, here are some things that may help you to know and understand:
1. Don’t expect to be the disciplinarian of the family. You might expect that your wife and her kids will put you on even footing now that you have moved in together. You expect that they welcome your ideas about disciplining and about how a family should function. But, be careful. You can find yourself resented for the very role that you thought you were to fulfill.
Research tells us that a stepparent should not be the primary disciplinarian until he has built a level of trust, love, and care with the children. That may not be for several years if the children are young, and it may never happen if the children are older.
Instead, work with your wife to develop household rules with consequences. These rules should include what everyone in the house needs to do (i.e., keep the living room clean and clean up the dishes after eating) and rules for each child. Keep in mind that living together may represent changes children were never ready to make, so changing how they do things might be met with resistance.
Be sure to meet as a family and talk about the rules, and include the kids in the discussion so they can participate. When a rule is broken, you can then talk to the child about breaking a rule instead of disciplining him. As one adult stepchild shared with me, “I could have followed the rules of the house, I just couldn’t follow his rules.”
2. Don’t take it personally if your stepkids act out. It is likely, at some point, you will feel like your stepkids are rallying against you. It could be when you move in, when you try to take on the role of the dad, when you appear “better than” their bio dad, when they assume you hate their bio dad, or when they come back from a visit with their dad and feel loyalty binds.
They may act out when you get married because then they will know for certain that their fantasy of their parents ever getting back together will never happen (and, remember, deep down all kids have this fantasy). Turbulence between you and your stepkids can come in the forms of acting out, defiance, talking back, and not adhering to rules. Rarely is a child evolved or mature enough to handle the complex feelings that come from being in a stepfamily.
Of course you are going to feel your feelings of hurt and anger. And when the kids act out, you are going to feel a loss of control – and no one likes to lose control. I cannot tell you how many times anyone in the role of stepparent will throw their hands up in the air and say, “I cannot take this one more day!”
But take a deep breath, and then take a step back and breathe again. Rather than saying to yourself, “What an ingrate,” just think about what might be going on for the child at this time. Is what appears to be resistance an expectation that he or she will just accept all the changes in family roles and not have a chance to be heard? If you can talk to your stepkid without being accusing, you might be very surprised with what you end up hearing.
3. Don’t take on the role of the bad guy, even if your wife wants to put you there. Some women want to be the good parent and don’t want to be the heavy with disciplining, and will put you in the role of the bad guy. You may come in and take that role as a stepdad, but more than likely it will backfire on you, and either your spouse or your stepkids will hate you for it.
If you feel like you are the bad guy and really don’t want that role, talk to your wife about the problem without criticizing her or accusing her of being a “bad” parent. Talk about how you are going to handle this “together.” The strongest parenting happens when there is a team in the household.
If you and your partner develop the rules and the consequences when those rules are broken, then you can support one another to implement the consequences. You certainly get to have a say in what goes on because you live there, too. Your wife needs to know that if she leaves you alone in implementing the rules and consequences, it can only hurt your relationship.
4. Don’t expect that your stepchildren will like or appreciate everything you do for them. Kids are usually disrespectful anyway. They may learn to say “please” and “thank you,” but most are ruder to their own parents. Once you move from the role of being the new guy or the boyfriend into the step position, guess what? There’s a good chance they’ll be rude to you, too! Congratulations! You’re now in real life with kids.
What you have to remember is that most kids didn’t want their parents to divorce because it makes life much harder on them in ways you probably don’t even think about. Research shows that most kids wish their parents stayed together so they don’t have to live in two different households, so they don’t have to feel split and loyalty binds that are uncomfortable, and so they don’t have to “hear” one parent (or stepparent) talk badly about their other parent. These pressures are often far too difficult for children.
Also remember a golden rule of parenting, and especially of stepparenting: don’t take things too personally. If this were that easy, I wouldn’t have to say it. I’ve said it to myself as a mantra many times. It’s hard but, trust me, it helps. So bite your tongue, click your heels together, and say your mantra (“I won’t take it personally, I won’t take it personally”) over and over until you calm down.
When you are calm, you and your partner can talk (either alone or together) with the kids about respect. Say something along the lines of, “I treat you with respect. I wouldn’t be rude to you or not thank you. And I would like you to treat me the same way.”
5. Don’t live in the fantasy that you will have the role of the dad like you expect. Your expectations will often be unrealized, and you will be unhappy. Kids in stepfamilies who have a dad around will often feel disloyal if they love you. Kids think in very black and white terms — “If I like Jack, then that means I don’t love dad.” It becomes uncomfortable and confusing for them. This is often an intolerable position, and you may be trying to develop a relationship only to find you are being rejected. While this hurts, and I know it does, it often isn’t personal.
Instead of trying to be or compete with their actual dad, keep trying to develop a friendship with your stepkid. If your stepkid goes to ballgames with his dad, you can develop something else to do with him – something that can be just about you two. This may take your stepkid out of a loyalty bind because kids can handle other relationships, they just can’t handle the ones that cause them to feel disloyal.
6. Don’t let your stepkids feel rejected by you. Try to consider that when you are upset at the behavior of your stepkids, they feel your dislike far stronger than they will feel the same anger from their own parents. This is because you don’t have the history or the bond with them that tells them, deep down, that you love and care for them.
Kids don’t like to not feel loved and cared about, and they are always ready to feel rejected. None of us like to feel rejected – in fact, it’s often why we, as the adults, become angry in a stepfamily system. But, really, we cannot expect a mere child to figure this out and do the right thing.
Just for a second, imagine that when you were a child you were living with an adult who you knew didn’t really love you. Then imagine how it would feel if that adult was angry at you or gave you the “glare” we give when we’re mad at someone. When our parents are angry with us or give us the “look,” we at least know they love us. The parent-child bond goes a long way. But this bond doesn’t extend to you and your stepkids, and can leave them feeling rejected. Try to talk with your stepchildren about their behavior in a way that makes them feel heard and understood. When you can talk to your stepchild from a place of understanding, it can go a long way to developing a bond between you.
Remember, raising someone else’s kids is very, very hard. What is most important is that you can talk with your partner and express your hurt and frustration. Be sure to do that in a way where you aren’t blaming her, but so you can problem solve together. I know you could not have known how hard the role of stepfather would be. But you got involved because you love your partner, and this is the most precarious and important connection.
So take the time to remember why you love her and recommit to one another. The stronger the love, the more you can survive any turbulence with your stepkids. With enough patience and time, a relationship with your stepkids will follow. Just don’t give up!
– See more at: http://stepfamilycenter.com/the-6-donts-of-being-a-stepdad/#sthash.w0XzR38w.dpuf
Last year was a memorable one for the global economy. Not only was overall performance disappointing, but profound changes – both for better and for worse – occurred in the global economic system.
Most notable was the Paris climate agreement reached last month. By itself, the agreement is far from enough to limit the increase in global warming to the target of 2º Celsius above the pre-industrial level. But it did put everyone on notice: The world is moving, inexorably, toward a green economy. One day not too far off, fossil fuels will be largely a thing of the past. So anyone who invests in coal now does so at his or her peril. With more green investments coming to the fore, those financing them will, we should hope, counterbalance powerful lobbying by the coal industry, which is willing to put the world at risk to advance its shortsighted interests.
Indeed, the move away from a high-carbon economy, where coal, gas, and oil interests often dominate, is just one of several major changes in the global geo-economic order. Many others are inevitable, given China’s soaring share of global output and demand. The New Development Bank, established by the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), was launched during the year, becoming the first major international financial institution led by emerging countries. And, despite US President Barack Obama’s resistance, the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was established as well, and is to start operation this month. Continue reading Nobel Laureate In Economics Joseph Stiglitz: The New Geo-Economics
Earley, who served as Flint’s emergency manager from September 2013 until January 2015, said in an email to The Flint Journal-MLive on Tuesday, Oct. 13, that the water source decision was made months before he was appointed to run the city by Gov. Rick Snyder.
The Michigan Democratic Party called Tuesday on Snyder to fire Earley from his current position as emergency manager of Detroit Public Schools based on his position in charge in Flint when the switch in water source was made.
Earley said he had no reason at the time to second-guess what appeared to have been a consensus decision.
“The decision to separate from (the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department) and go with the Karegnondi Water Authority, including the decision to pump Flint River water in the interim, were both a part of a long-term plan that was approved by Flint’s mayor, and confirmed by a City Council vote of 7-1 in March of 2013 — a full seven months before I began my term as emergency manager,” Earley’s email says.
Although the Flint City Council voted in March 2013 in support of moving to the KWA pipeline — a new pipeline that would serve the region with Lake Huron water — there is no record that the council voted to use the Flint River as a short-term drinking water source.
Earley, who toasted the switch to the river with city leaders in a ceremony in April 2014, said it was his “responsibility to implement the previously accepted and approved plan” since the city’s contract with the Detroit water system expired during his term as emergency manager.
“It did not fall to me to second guess or to invalidate the actions that were taken prior to my appointment,” his statement says.
The state Democrats said in a news release that Earley was in charge of Flint “when the decision was made to switch the city to unsafe drinking water.”
While Earley oversaw the switch, the decision to switch was signed by Flint’s previous state-appointed emergency manager, Ed Kurtz.
Sara Wurfel, a spokeswoman for Snyder, said in a statement Tuesday, Oct. 13, the decision to use the Flint River “was pushed or supported by the city and community” and said the city had no choice but to find another source of water after the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department terminated Flint’s contract to continue purchasing water under the terms of its expired contract. Continue reading Cries for Gov. Snyder’s head appear to be based on nebulous factoids
The U.S. Constitution spells out the process by which formal changes can be made to it via amendments, and at least two have been proposed since the last, the 27th was ratified in 1992. Many commentators have suggested specific changes that are necessary to keep the Constitution up to date with modern and future conditions. The following are fifteen more or less common elements mentioned, in loose rank order.
Campaign finance changes – (lots of different options suggested)
Abolish the electoral college, and make the popular vote the final determinate
Independently created congressional districts – ban gerrymandering practices
Apply strict term limits for all political positions, and mandate inactivity period for those seeking to become lobbyists
House of Representative term to increase to four years congruent with Presidential terms
National, Primary, and General Elections to be held on Saturdays
Presidential appointments must be voted up or down within 60 days
All citizens duly registered with the Federal Government are automatically qualified to vote
No person, or State can argue for exemption from Federal laws
There is a right of all citizens to basic universal health care
There can be no secret courts in any dominion. All judicial hearings must be open to public inspection.
Legal personhood is reserved for individual human beings, no artificially created entity can be held to be a person in law
Second amendment must be changed to add “…when serving in the militia” to the phrasing
Eliminate filibusters, or at minimum requires actor to “hold the floor” during entire period the filibuster is active
Require minimum participation performance activity by all office holders
Strengthen laws and rules regarding bribery, extortion, libel, and false testimony by office holders
According to a variety of projections, data from previous elections, and existing trends it is safe to assert the 2016 General Election will feature the following:
Total voting age population: 240,000,000
Anticipated voters participating: 132,000,000 or 55% of available voting age citizens
Anticipated votes by party: 48% Republican, 52% Democratic
Thus in any discussion about favorite candidates one comes to a few realizations:
Most candidates as of Jan. 2016 have at most 40% of their respective party’s approval, thus 132 million voters, half of which are from the opposite party, and thus 66,000,000 times 40% equals 26,400,000 voters prefer a specific candidate from each party. Converting this to representational numbers, that means 8.5% of the population would choose that candidate, 91.5% wanted someone else.
Racially white voters split 60/40 Republican, Latinos split 70/30 Democratic, Blacks split 90/10 Democratic. As a percentage of the total population whites are 77.4%, Hispanic are 17.4%, and Blacks are 13.2%
Toss up States include: Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. In the 2008 General Election the Democratic candidate won all these States, and in 2012 the Democratic candidate won all but North Carolina.
And thus, the winner of the 2016 General Election for President will be the Democratic candidate.
Bills Passed by the 114th Congress Jan 20015 – Jan 2016 and enacted into law.
For a rough idea of what actually happens in Washington, a simple declining balance perspective might help in evaluating the performance of Congress. The 114th Congress considered a total of 7,993 bills. Of these 6,732 were referred to committee, 418 were reported back from committee, 350 were agreed to with a simple resolution, 254 passed the House, 62 passed the Senate, and a total of 115 bills were approved and signed by the President. The 115 bills enacted into law represent one percent of what was considered during the term.
Now let’s look at what the legislators spent their efforts on…the largest group, 28 bills, consisted of simply changing the name of something! Ok…so we collectively pay out about $125 Million in direct salaries to these ‘legislators’ for the few dozen bills that had real substance to them, while an even greater number are of questionable merit, while 99% were trashed. Ok, so how many laws did Congress repeal? Zero ! What was the ratio of bills passed that were designed to directly benefit a selected group vs bills benefiting all citizens? Twelve to one.
And some assert this is reasonable, that all we need are a few minor adjustments to the systems. Ok…please review the legislation listed below for your own detailed evaluation.
Have you ever seen an old photo of yourself and been embarrassed at the way you looked? Did we actually dress like that? We did. And we had no idea how silly we looked. It’s the nature of fashion to be invisible, in the same way the movement of the earth is invisible to all of us riding on it.
What scares me is that there are moral fashions too. They’re just as arbitrary, and just as invisible to most people. But they’re much more dangerous. Fashion is mistaken for good design; moral fashion is mistaken for good. Dressing oddly gets you laughed at. Violating moral fashions can get you fired, ostracized, imprisoned, or even killed.
If you could travel back in a time machine, one thing would be true no matter where you went: you’d have to watch what you said. Opinions we consider harmless could have gotten you in big trouble. I’ve already said at least one thing that would have gotten me in big trouble in most of Europe in the seventeenth century, and did get Galileo in big trouble when he said it—that the earth moves.
It seems to be a constant throughout history: In every period, people believed things that were just ridiculous, and believed them so strongly that you would have gotten in terrible trouble for saying otherwise. Is our time any different? To anyone who has read any amount of history, the answer is almost certainly no. It would be a remarkable coincidence if ours were the first era to get everything just right.
It’s tantalizing to think we believe things that people in the future will find ridiculous. What would someone coming back to visit us in a time machine have to be careful not to say? That’s what I want to study here. But I want to do more than just shock everyone with the heresy du jour. I want to find general recipes for discovering what you can’t say, in any era. Continue reading What you can’t say?
Note: Please review the above chart to see when these mergers/acquisitions got going…1998…so what happened then…see my earlier post about GLBA, and the demise of Glass-Steagall. It is also instructive to see what happened to community banks following the 2008-2009 Depression -a large percentage basically disappeared to be replaced by one of the four behemoths.
Here’s a statistic that ought to alarm anyone interested in rebuilding local economies and redirecting the flow of capital away from Wall Street and toward more productive ends: Over the last seven years, one of every four community banks has disappeared. We have 1,971 fewer of these small, local financial institutions today than at the beginning of 2008. Some 500 failed outright, with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) stepping in to pay their depositors. Most of the rest were acquired and absorbed into bigger banks.
To illustrate this disturbing trend and highlight a few of the reasons we should treat it as a national crisis, we’ve published a trove of new graphs. These provide a startling look at the pace of change and its implications. In 1995, megabanks — giant banks with more than $100 billion in assets (in 2010 dollars) — controlled 17 percent of all banking assets. By 2005, their share had reached 41 percent. Today, it is a staggering 59 percent. Meanwhile, the share of the market held by community banks and credit unions — local institutions with less than $1 billion in assets — plummeted from 27 percent to 11 percent. You can watch this transformation unfold in our 90-second video, which shows how four massive banks — Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo — have come to dominate the sector, each growing larger than all of the nation’s community banks put together.