background preloader

Plain Talk

Facebook Twitter

Policing for Profit

The Wall is Killing People - by Stats. We Didn't Have to Drop the Bomb. Seventy years ago this week, the United States ushered in the age of nuclear terror by dropping atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing an estimated 200,000 and injuring another 100,000 who would eventually succumb to their wounds or radiation poisoning. At the time, the American public was led to believe that the bomb helped end the war and “saved lives.” This was never true. As commemorations occur around the world to reflect on the bomb and its centrality to our past and present lives, it is an appropriate time to ask, “Was the use of nuclear weapons against civilians necessary for victory in Japan?” There is a trove of information revealing that many senior U.S. military officials believed the bombs were not needed to end the war in the Pacific.

Suicide more prevalent than homicide in US, but most Americans don't know it. In the United States, suicide is twice as common as homicide -- and more often involves firearms -- but public perception is just the opposite.

Suicide more prevalent than homicide in US, but most Americans don't know it

News reports, movies and TV shows may contribute to the perception of a high risk of firearm homicide, authors of a new study say, leaving a substantial gap between ideas and reality and potentially leading to further danger. Now, first-of-its kind research, led by the University of Washington, Northeastern University and Harvard University, delves into public perceptions of gun violence and the leading causes of death in the U.S. The study, published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, seeks to facilitate national public discussions about firearm ownership and storage.

Ing Trump's Energy Boasts. At a meeting on hurricane preparedness, President Donald Trump took credit for U.S. energy production milestones that have been expected for years, and misstated the facts in the process: Trump said the U.S. is now “the largest energy producer in the world. Who would have thought?” The White House cited a January report by the International Energy Agency that said the U.S. could become the No. 1 crude oil producer this year.

That’s not new. Abusive Relationships: Why It's so hard to leave click 2x. “And so I stayed.”

Abusive Relationships: Why It's so hard to leave click 2x

In a widely read blog post, Jennifer Willoughby wrote this phrase after each of the many reasons she gave for enduring what she described as her abusive marriage to former White House aide Rob Porter. Willoughby’s reasons are consistent with those that hundreds of abused women report to researchers. These are women often caught in a web made from isolating, confidence-crushing abuse and by realistic fears of greater harm should they leave. They also can feel caught when they meet indifference from others or, worse, insults that add to their injuries. I am a social work scholar whose research focuses on the problems of dating and domestic violence. Not surprisingly, lack of material resources, such as not having a job or having limited income, is a strong factor. CDC: Half Of All Female Homicide Victims Are Killed By Intimate Partners. A lone bouquet of flowers stands in front of a home in Phoenix in 2013, after police said a man killed his wife, daughter and brother-in-law before killing himself.

CDC: Half Of All Female Homicide Victims Are Killed By Intimate Partners

A new CDC report sheds light on patterns in homicides of women. Ross D. Franklin/AP hide caption toggle caption. 7,000 + Nuns Lobby Against ACA Repeal. The Danger of President Pence. On September 14th, the right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, who last year published a book titled “In Trump We Trust,” expressed what a growing number of Americans, including conservatives, have been feeling since the 2016 election.

The Danger of President Pence

The previous day, President Trump had dined with Democratic leaders at the White House, and had impetuously agreed to a major policy reversal, granting provisional residency to undocumented immigrants who came to America as children. Republican legislators were blindsided.

How to suppress votes and gerrymander people

Houston Is Drowning—In Its Freedom From Regulations. We do value our freedom here in Texas.

Houston Is Drowning—In Its Freedom From Regulations

As I write from soggy Central Texas, the cable news is showing people floating down Buffalo Bayou on their principles, proud residents of the largest city in these United States that did not grow in accordance with zoning ordinances. Peasants for Plutocracy: How the Billionaires Brainwashed America (Mini-Documentary)

Why Virginia Disenfranchised Felons. Last Friday, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe restored voting rights to more than 200,000 people with previous felony convictions.

Why Virginia Disenfranchised Felons

It’s a momentous stroke in both scope and effect; with an eye towards the 2016 races, The New York Times estimated its electoral impact as “small but potentially decisive.” But the significance of McAuliffe’s efforts goes far beyond a single election. Is 2018 the Year the Internet Finally Died? The military gobbles your tax dollars. Photo Credit: Getmilitaryphotos / Shutterstock.

The military gobbles your tax dollars

We Need to Change How We Bury Our Dead. Zurawik: How Sinclair compromised the news on an Alabama station it owns to support Roy Moore. I have been writing a lot lately about the way Sinclair Broadcast Group has become a leading player in the right-wing echo chamber that includes Fox News and Breitbart.

Zurawik: How Sinclair compromised the news on an Alabama station it owns to support Roy Moore

This is a dangerous development, as all three have used their news platforms as political weapons. A clinical psychologist explains how Ayn Rand seduced young minds and helped turn the US into a selfish nation. The ‘Atlas Shrugged’ author made selfishness heroic and caring about others weakness.

A clinical psychologist explains how Ayn Rand seduced young minds and helped turn the US into a selfish nation

Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society….To justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil.— Gore Vidal, 1961 Only rarely in U.S. history do writers transform us to become a more caring or less caring nation. In the 1850s, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was a strong force in making the United States a more humane nation, one that would abolish slavery of African Americans.

A century later, Ayn Rand (1905-1982) helped make the United States into one of the most uncaring nations in the industrialized world, a neo-Dickensian society where healthcare is only for those who can afford it, and where young people are coerced into huge student-loan debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Survivors of 9/11 attack urge Theresa May to release Saudi Arabia terror report she suppressed. 1/92 18 July 2017 Giant pandas lie beside ice blocks at Yangjiaping Zoo in Chongqing, China.

Survivors of 9/11 attack urge Theresa May to release Saudi Arabia terror report she suppressed

Yangjiaping Zoo provided huge ice blocks for giant pandas to help them remove summer heat Getty Images 2/92 18 July 2017 People ride camels in the desert in Dunhuang, China, as stage 10 of The Silkway Rally continues AFP/Getty Images 3/92 18 July 2017 17th FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Why you should be friends with people who swear a lot click 2x. Who Controls Our Schools? How Billionaire-Sponsored Privatization Is Destroying Democracy and Enriching the Charter School Industry. Photo Credit: Governments have to invest in the fourth industrial revolution. Prepare for the age of the driverless car and the robot that does the housework. That was the message from the World Economic Forum earlier this year as it hailed the start of a new industrial revolution.

According to the WEF, the fourth big structural change in the past 250 years is upon us. The first industrial revolution was about water and steam. The second was about electricity and mass production. The third harnessed electronics and information technology to automate production. Trump's New Project: Legalizing Discrimination Under the Guise of Religious Freedom. With the election of Donald Trump came sweeping fear amongst the LGBT activist community that the President would act against their interests, and that America would quickly witness regressive reforms in the wake of Obama’s progressive administration.

It seems that the fears of LGBT activists and their allies across the United States may soon be realized, with President Trump signing last week an executive order regarding religious liberty that could see discriminative acts against members of the LGBT community legalized. Violence a chief cause of poverty - Gary Haugen TED talk. Has Donald Trump never 'promoted or encouraged violence,' as Sarah Huckabee Sanders said? Has President Donald Trump promoted violence? At a White House briefing, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders answered with a definitive no. Donald Trump says he would like to 'hit' DNC speakers who disparaged him HE IS UNFIT! They hate the US government, and they're multiplying: the terrifying rise of 'sovereign citizens' This is what emboldened white supremacists look like.

Donald Trump’s Populism Decoded: How a Billionaire Became the Voice of the “Little People” These For-Profit Schools Are ‘Like a Prison’ This story was co-published with Slate. How the U.S. Triggered a Massacre in Mexico. Raul Labrador's claim that no one dies from lack of health care access: Pants on Fire. What Rep. Fact Check: Trump's Shaky Claims on Climate Accord. Want Your Daughter to Succeed? Ban This Word in Your House. Sheryl Sandberg has toured the country speaking on women and leadership.

The Comey Letter Probably Cost Clinton The Election. Clinton Email Scandal Falls Apart As State Dept. Says There Was No Policy Against Private Email. Former ‘First Grandma’ Marian Robinson caught up in another fake news hoax. All Health Care statements that are False. The complete list of all 33 false things Donald Trump has said as president so far. Trump "Considering" Intriguing New Way to Lie With Statistics. Ambiguity and self censorship.