Koch-Fueled Americans For Prosperity Plans Protest Against 'Extremist' Kids Flying Kites In Support Of Wind Americans for Prosperity now sees children flying kites as a major threat to society. Earlier today, I opened my email box to find an uproarious AFP promotion for a protest in Asbury Park and Ocean City, New Jersey this Friday. What are they so upset about? An event so dastardly and maniacal, it has the potential to tear down everything we love about our freedoms as Americans. I almost couldn’t stomach it when I found out more. Yes, it’s “extremist” kids from the Boys and Girls Club and local schools flying kites in support of offshore wind energy. Don’t worry, AFP is on the case (as explained on their website , accompanied by the smoking wind turbine): You heard that right! Yes, that’s right. Here’s how the Sierra Club describes the event in support of Global Wind Day: “We’ll be gathering at a beach near you for a kite-flying rally and celebration of NJ’s offshore wind potential. The horror! How will this battle unfold?
The Hidden Message in Pixar’s Films | Science Not Fiction I love Pixar. Who doesn’t? The stories are magnificently crafted, the characters are rich, hilarious, and unique, and the images are lovingly rendered. Without fail, John Ratzenberger’s iconic voice makes a cameo in some boisterous character. Even if you haven’t seen every film they’ve made (I refuse to watch Cars or its preposterous sequel), there is a consistency and quality to Pixar’s productions that is hard to deny. Popular culture is often dismissed as empty “popcorn” fare. Buried within that constant and complex goodness is a hidden message. Now, this is not your standard “Disney movies hide double-entendres and sex imagery in every film” hidden message. What if I told you they were preparing us for the future? Before we begin, I ask you to watch the video below. People love these films. To understand Pixar films, one must first to go back to Disney before Toy Story was released – to be precise, The Lion King. The Lion King gives us a clean slate. Non-humans are sentient beings.
The 70 Online Databases that Define Our Planet Back in April, we looked at an ambitious European plan to simulate the entire planet. The idea is to exploit the huge amounts of data generated by financial markets, health records, social media and climate monitoring to model the planet’s climate, societies and economy. The vision is that a system like this can help to understand and predict crises before they occur so that governments can take appropriate measures in advance. There are numerous challenges here. Nobody yet has the computing power necessary for such a task, neither are there models that will can accurately model even much smaller systems. But before any of that is possible, researchers must gather the economic, social and technological data needed to feed this machine. Today, we get a grand tour of this challenge from Dirk Helbing and Stefano Balietti at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. These and other pursuits are now producing massive amounts of data, many of which are freely available on the web.
Obama Trade Document Leaked, Revealing New Corporate Powers And Broken Campaign Promises WASHINGTON -- A critical document from President Barack Obama's free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations was leaked online early Wednesday morning, revealing that the administration intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations, contradicting prior promises. The leaked document has been posted on the website of Citizens Trade Campaign, a long-time critic of the administration's trade objectives. The new leak follows substantial controversy surrounding the secrecy of the talks, in which some members of Congress have complained they are not being given the same access to trade documents that corporate officials receive. "The outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why U.S. trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of [trade] negotiations," said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch in a written statement. Sen. In a statement provided to HuffPost, the Office of the U.S.
What You Can't Say January 2004 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. 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. 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? It's tantalizing to think we believe things that people in the future will find ridiculous. The Conformist Test Let's start with a test: Do you have any opinions that you would be reluctant to express in front of a group of your peers? Trouble What can't we say? Heresy Prigs Why
Occupy first. Demands come later | Slavoj Žižek What to do after the occupations of Wall Street and beyond – the protests that started far away, reached the centre and are now, reinforced, rolling back around the world? One of the great dangers the protesters face is that they will fall in love with themselves. In a San Francisco echo of the Wall Street occupation this week, a man addressed the crowd with an invitation to participate as if it was a happening in the hippy style of the 60s: "They are asking us what is our programme. We have no programme. Carnivals come cheap – the true test of their worth is what remains the day after, how our normal daily life will be changed. In a kind of Hegelian triad, the western left has come full circle: after abandoning the so-called "class struggle essentialism" for the plurality of anti-racist, feminist, and other struggles, capitalism is now clearly re-emerging as the name of the problem. The direct conservative attacks are easy to answer. Are the protesters violent? This is the easy part.
Should Christians be Anarchists? In The Kingdom of God is Within You, Leo Tolstoy wrote that: “Christianity in its true sense puts an end to the State. It was so understood from its very beginning, and for that Christ was crucified.” This illustrates the main idea behind Christian anarchism, which is that when it comes to politics, “anarchism” is what follows (or is supposed to follow) from “Christianity”. “Anarchism” here can mean, for example, a denunciation of the state (because through it we are violent, we commit idolatry, and so on), the envisioning of a stateless society, and/or the enacting of an inclusive, bottom-up kind of community life. And “Christianity” can be understood, for example, in the very rationalistic way Leo Tolstoy interprets it, through the Catholic framework Dorothy Day approaches it, or through the various Protestant eyes of people like Jacques Ellul, Vernard Eller, Dave Andrews or Michael Elliott. Notes
How to create a self-fulfilling prophesy. (article) THERE IS A CIRCULAR, self-feeding loop in many aspects of human nature, and you can use them to your advantage — or disadvantage. In many of these self-feeding loops, your thoughts play a major role. For example, a person with indigestion (caused by stress) notices a pain in his stomach, and then worries that maybe something is seriously wrong with him. The worry increases his level of stress, which increases the pain in his stomach, which makes him worry all the more, etc. Now at first, there was nothing wrong with him. His thoughts have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. A few years ago, I was talking with a client named Stacy. When I was in high school, I had to take a speech class. By the time I was in high school, I was so afraid I might look like a fool that when I gave my first speech, I did look like a fool. "I'm really afraid to give speeches," I said. "But in my class last semester you had no problem at all speaking up." I knew he was right. I agree wholeheartedly.
Starlette partorisce davanti alle tv E per lei si blocca l'intero ospedale Clausia Losito in sala parto, cortile e corridoi occupati dalle troupe di Mediaset Starlette partorisce davanti alle tvE per lei si blocca l'intero ospedale Sconcerto tra pazienti e personale sanitario del Santo Spirito: perché si è permessa una cosa del genere? ROMA - Ospedale in tilt per una giornata intera a causa di un parto in diretta. Sono state dodici ore di passione per i pazienti e per il personale sanitario del Santo Spirito in Saxia, l'ospedale romano sul Lungotevere vicino a San Pietro, a causa di troupe televisive di Mediaset che hanno letteralmente invaso il nosocomio per trasmettere in diretta il parto cesareo di Claudia Losito, presenza fissa in molti programmi televisivi e compagna di Remo Nicolini, già fidanzato di un'altra starlette, la concorrente del Grande Fratello 2011, Guendalina Tavassi. TROUPE INVADENTI - Nonostante i tagli al personale, la situazione di disagio di medici e operatori, l'ospedale più antico d'Europa ha dovuto ospitare l'evento televisivo. Paola84
How Bryan Fischer is Making Mitt Romney More Conservative Tupelo, Mississippi, is best known as the birthplace of Elvis Presley, and his childhood home remains the town’s top attraction. Another local performer, however, has recently garnered national attention. For two hours every weekday, a broadcaster named Bryan Fischer hosts “Focal Point,” a popular Christian radio talk show. He is one of the country’s most vocal opponents of what he calls “the homosexual-rights movement.” As he puts it, “A rational culture that cares about its people will, in fact, discriminate against adultery, pedophilia, rape, bestiality, and, yes, homosexual behavior.” In April, Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, hired an openly gay man, Richard Grenell, to serve as his campaign’s national-security spokesman.
The parable of the ox In 1906, the great statistician Francis Galton observed a competition to guess the weight of an ox at a country fair. Eight hundred people entered. Galton, being the kind of man he was, ran statistical tests on the numbers. He discovered that the average guess (1,197lb) was extremely close to the actual weight (1,198lb) of the ox. Not many people know the events that followed. A new problem emerged, however. Strict regulatory rules were introduced. Professional analysts scrutinised the contents of these regulatory announcements and advised their clients on their implications. Some brighter analysts realised that understanding the nutrition and health of the ox was not that useful anyway. Some, such as old Farmer Buffett, claimed that the results of this process were more and more divorced from the realities of ox-rearing. International bodies were established to define the rules for assessing the weight of the ox. And then the ox died.
Stop-and-Frisk and New York’s Freedom Deficit | uscop.org Jateik Reed, a 19 year old African-American male, was violently assaulted during a NYPD stop-and-frisk in the Bronx earlier this year. Reed was arrested but the Bronx DA dropped all charges against him. The NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program has created two very distinct sets of experiences for the residents of New York City. One portion of the population’s experience embodies relative freedom as we legally and culturally understand it. However, for minority residents of the city, the experience is part of a larger ongoing relationship to the state as potential crime-suspects and targets of surveillance and harassment. One city, two radically different experiences. For those of you who have never had the displeasure of experiencing the city as a potential crime-suspect, stop-and-frisk is a tactic that essentially allows police to conduct a search of any person of their choosing at any time. 2011 Racial Breakdown of Stop-and-Frisks in New York City (NYCLU.org)
OPINION: Will censoring the Internet stop child exploitation? NOTE: I got to put my thoughts to John Carr directly when I was invited to debate the issues raised on the JVS Show on BBC Three Counties radio on Monday morning. Here is the link to listen again. We come on at the 1 hour mark… I think the link is only live for seven days so grab it while it’s hot! Yesterday government advisor on child Internet safety, John Carr, called for search engines like Google to do more to restrict access to online pornography. But would censoring searches really stop paedophiles accessing child sex abuse images? I think this is a very naïve proposition. First of all there are over 17 billion pages on the indexed web and Google alone handled 1.2 trillion search queries in 2012. I know of at least one social site aimed at children that blocks the words rape, kill and cum – which of course are inappropriate words for minors to be using – but the filter also stops them using words like grape, skills and cucumber. We need to rely on education instead of prohibition.
Why working-class people vote conservative | Society Why on Earth would a working-class person ever vote for a conservative candidate? This question has obsessed the American left since Ronald Reagan first captured the votes of so many union members, farmers, urban Catholics and other relatively powerless people – the so-called "Reagan Democrats". Isn't the Republican party the party of big business? Don't the Democrats stand up for the little guy, and try to redistribute the wealth downwards? Many commentators on the left have embraced some version of the duping hypothesis: the Republican party dupes people into voting against their economic interests by triggering outrage on cultural issues. One of the most robust findings in social psychology is that people find ways to believe whatever they want to believe. Here's a more painful but ultimately constructive diagnosis, from the point of view of moral psychology: politics at the national level is more like religion than it is like shopping. Similarly for liberty.