Pink Bismuth

politicalprof:

That self-important blowhards who can’t stop talking because they can’t shut up about how wonderful and interesting they are actually aren’t all that wonderful and interesting?

Every time I hear a candidate say something to the effect of “America is the greatest country on earth that has ever…

liberalsarecool:

A little step has a huge positive impact.

liberalsarecool:

A little step has a huge positive impact.

Kids play T-ball, then baseball; they play games and have practice every week and, if they’re serious about it, pre-season and post-season too. We never think, “Let’s have kids play baseball for eight weeks in seventh grade,” and then expect that in five years they can join the majors or even be on a college team. But for some reason we do this with civics. We say, “We’re going to have you do a penny harvest in fifth grade and a service learning project in tenth grade, and then we’ll teach you abstractly about government for a semester in twelfth grade.” Then our students enter the major leagues of citizenship, and we give them the vote and expect them to keep our country going. And that’s just crazy!

Meira Levinson talking about her new book No Citizen Left Behind. (via bostonreview)

Wow. Just, wow. Quote of the week.

(via motherjones)

wisconsinforward:

John Dean served in the Nixon administration as Counsel to the President from 1970-1973.  He has studied authoritarian personality types in politics (along with Robert Altemeyer) and authored the book Conservatives Without Conscience.  And in his column for Justia this week (linked above) he assessed whether Gov. Scott Walker displays authoritarian personality traits.  

For some background: Dean explained here that authoritarian leaders are typically dominating, oppose equality, desire personal power, and may be vengeful, dishonest, and manipulative in dealing with other people.  Authoritarian followers tend to be uncritical toward chosen authority figures, conventional, narrow-minded, and highly punitive. “Double High” refers to people who garner high scores on assessments of both authoritarian leader and authoritarian follower qualities.

Double Highs are endowed with a host of negative personality traits, and, it seems such traits, in Double Highs, are always present in excess.  For example, Double Highs are not merely prejudiced, they are doubly so.  Their orders are to be followed, but not by them.  They are not merely dogmatic, but defiantly insistent upon their dogmas.  They are not only manipulative of others, but talented at their manipulation.  

juspostbellum:

We’re playing a CMJ showcase hosted by SPIN Magazine and The Press House! You should be there shouldn’t you? https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=204806609587675

wish I could be there!

juspostbellum:

We’re playing a CMJ showcase hosted by SPIN Magazine and The Press House! You should be there shouldn’t you? https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=204806609587675

wish I could be there!

juspostbellum:

Rockwood Music Hall 9-30-11
photo: Sarah Anne Ward

Beautiful ….

juspostbellum:

Rockwood Music Hall 9-30-11

photo: Sarah Anne Ward

Beautiful ….

50 plays

juspostbellum:

“Stonewall Jackson”

Recorded by Brent Sigmeth at Little Big Studio

Cannon Falls, Minnesota

So Good …. no words …

s4xton:

swirlspice:ironshirt:steampoweredmedia:langer:inky:ripperdoc
Now that the USA is no longer a AAA country, all countries with AAA ratings have socialized medicine.

reagan-was-a-horrible-president:

kateoplis:

30 Years Ago: The Day the Middle Class Died

On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired every member [11,345] of the air traffic controllers union (PATCO) who’d defied his order to return to work and declared their union illegal. They had been on strike for just two days. […]

Reagan had been backed by Wall Street in his run for the White House and they, along with right-wing Christians, wanted to restructure America and turn back the tide that President Franklin D. Roosevelt started — a tide that was intended to make life better for the average working person. […]

But Reagan could not have pulled this off by himself in 1981. He had some big help: The AFL-CIO.

The biggest organization of unions in America told its members to cross the picket lines of the air traffic controllers and go to work. And that’s just what these union members did. Union pilots, flight attendants, delivery truck drivers, baggage handlers — they all crossed the line and helped to break the strike. And union members of all stripes crossed the picket lines and continued to fly.

Reagan and Wall Street could not believe their eyes! Hundreds of thousands of working people and union members endorsing the firing of fellow union members. It was Christmas in August for Corporate America.

And that was the beginning of the end. Reagan and the Republicans knew they could get away with anything — and they did. They slashed taxes on the rich. They made it harder for you to start a union at your workplace. They eliminated safety regulations on the job. They ignored the monopoly laws and allowed thousands of companies to merge or be bought out and closed down. Corporations froze wages and threatened to move overseas if the workers didn’t accept lower pay and less benefits. And when the workers agreed to work for less, they moved the jobs overseas anyway.

And at every step along the way, the majority of Americans went along with this.

Read on

The majority of the things that are really wrong with modern American life, can be traced back to Ronald Reagan. 

theswingingsixties:

Jimi Hendrix in Rotterdam, November 1967.

America spends $30 billion a year fixing medical errors – the worst rate among advanced countries. Why? Among other reasons because we keep patient records on computers that can’t share the data. Patient records are continuously re-written on pieces of paper, and then re-entered into different computers. That spells error.

Meanwhile, administrative costs eat up 15 to 30 percent of all healthcare spending in the United States. That’s twice the rate of most other advanced nations. Where does this money go? Mainly into collecting money: Doctors collect from hospitals and insurers, hospitals collect from insurers, insurers collect from companies or from policy holders.

A major occupational category at most hospitals is “billing clerk.” A third of nursing hours are devoted to documenting what’s happened so insurers have proof.

Trying to slow the rise in Medicare costs doesn’t deal with any of this. It will just limit the amounts seniors can spend, which means less care. As a practical matter it means more political battles, as seniors – whose clout will grow as boomers are added to the ranks – demand the limits be increased. (If you thought the demagoguery over “death panels” was bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.)

During the “Great Stability” — that period from the 1935 onset of the New Deal and the beginning of its end with Reagan’s massive tax cuts of 1981 and 1986, leading directly to the stock market crash of 1987 and the S&L debacle — banking was, as Paul Krugman noted in a recent column, “boring.” Credit and currency were considered part of the commons, not something off which a small elite should profit. Like the utilities in the game Monopoly, banks provided a predictable but relatively low profit. Nobody got rich, but nobody lost anything, either.

Bankers were the safe and predictable guys who wore green eyeshades at work and pocket protectors in their shirts. The nation’s main products were goods and services; nobody “made money with money” in any big way.

Since the serial deregulations of the financial services sector brought on by Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush, however, bankers became fabulously rich. They called themselves the “Masters of the Universe.” They came to dominate contributions to politicians, and facilitated the takeover of most major US newspapers, all the while using debt as their mail tool to make money (burdening those newspapers with such debt that many are now going out of business because they can’t repay it).

By 2005, fully 40 percent of all corporate profits in the US came from the financial services sector — a group of people who didn’t produce anything at all of value, nothing edible or usable, nothing that would survive into future generations. They invented fancy derivative “products” that they “sold” at high commission rates around the world so others could “make money with money.” In fact, they weren’t making money — they were taking money. Behavior that would have been criminal during the Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations became “normal” and was even encouraged: more than half of all the graduates from many of America’s top colleges and universities went into finance so they could get in on the very lucrative scam.

The fundamental matter is equality of vision. For 6,000 years, civilizations were hierarchical pyramids with a few on top hoarding not only wealth, power and access to weapons but also information. It’s very human—you and I would do it—and ethics never prevented it. One thing does: Light. The Enlightenment’s great innovation wasn’t sweetness or morality—it was reciprocal accountability, empowering many groups to hold each other accountable. Instead of being appalled that some oligarchs obey human nature and abuse power, we should focus on how they were caught. Can we make the Enlightenment’s immune system work even better, next time?
David Brin (via azspot)