Today’s post is bringing you a mixture of different links, a potpourri if you will…
But before we get to the bowl of fragrant, colorful, natural, synthetic, faded, smelly, moldy, dried, limp, withered reads, let us touch on something that I find hilariously ironic.
Look at this headline:
I don’t think there is anything else to say about that. Except maybe add this nugget of news from TPM:
It seems that the Obama kids are not protected by armed guards at the Sidwell Friends School.
I would not go so far as to say that the NRA are big liars, cough, but you decide.
Another headline for you:
Personally, I think that there should be mandatory full-time armed police person inside schools…and that they should be paid from a tax on ammunition. But I feel strongly, and passionately, that these armed individuals should not be volunteers, teachers, janitors and/or any vigilante obsessed gun-toting “concerned” citizens.
Okay then, moving right along, the links today are going to be in link dump fashion, since my head is killing me and this computer screen is burning my eyes.
The first couple of links I have for you are chilling and extremely disturbing. Be sure to read them in full.
After reading Mac’s article, I think it is fair to say…yes, PTSD is contagious.
Coupled with these infographics that tell a sad story: Charts: Suicide, PTSD and the Psychological Toll on America’s Vets | Mother Jones
Another post that is related to traumatic experiences: Can Eye Movements Treat Trauma?: Scientific American
Studies are showing that moving your eyes back and forth like a ping-pong ball can help deal with PTSD. The technique is called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
This next article discusses Afghanistan: The 13-Year War- As we draw closer to the withdrawal in Afghanistan promised at the close of 2014, a look back at America’s longest war.
Emptywheel takes a look at the connection between Adam Swartz and the government’s investigation into Wikileaks. The Fishing Expedition into WikiLeaks
Here is an update on the ongoing hunt for pythons in Florida’s Everglades: Florida’s python update: 21 caught so far in Everglades hunt
And another update on the story we’ve followed about those possible Spitfires in Burma: No ‘lost Spitfires’ buried in Burma-Dig near Rangoon International Airport proves fruitless but Lincolnshire farmer insists search will continue elsewhere in the country
Want to see a list of Representatives who did not vote for Sandy aid? MAP: In These 22 States, Every House Republican Voted Against Sandy Aid
Take a look at this photo, it is still a messy situation.
Almost three months after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast, the GOP-controlled House approved a bill that provides $50.7 billion in disaster relief for the storm’s victims. While passage of the bill is being hailed as a bipartisan success by some (the vote was 241-180), a closer look at how the parties voted by state lines indicates otherwise. GOPers overwhelmingly voted against funding—unless, of course, their state was hard hit.
In 22 states, every last Republican representative voted against HR 152 or abstained on the bill, which includes $17 billion for immediate repair and an amendment introduced by a Republican, New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, that tacks on another $33.7 billion for long-term recovery and prevention. These included Maryland and the Carolinas (remember Hugo and Floyd?), states that are vulnerable to seasonal hurricanes but were largely spared by Sandy.
And…in the plastic yuk department: Plastics Suck Up Other Toxins: Double Whammy for Marine Life, Gross for Seafood
Combine that with the yuk from Coke’s sugary drinks: Coke: Wait, People Thought Vitaminwater Was Good for You?
Makes you think, what the hell are we doing to ourselves?
If it doesn’t make you question our self-destructive actions, this next link will…Labiaplasty: An investigation of the most popular trend in the field of ‘vaginal rejuvenation’ surgery.
You may need some eye bleach and a break from reading after that article. Ooof!
Why would any woman do that to herself? I mean, that is just fucked-up.
Couldn’t they just “think” about it and get the same benefit, if you could call it that. Check this out: AsapSCIENCE Demonstrates The Power Of Imagination- Thinking About Doing Something Is Pretty Much The Same As Doing It [Video] | Geekosystem
Ready for a strange and uncomfortable fact to start your Friday morning? Sure you are, and here it is, courtesy of the fine cartoonists and deep thinkers over at AsapSCIENCE: when you think deeply about a thing — seeing the letter ‘B,’ for example, or fixing a sandwich — the same parts of your brain involved in performing that action light up. Some studies even suggest that you can improve your piano skills just by thinking diligently about playing while not actually touching a piano. Check out AsapSCIENCE’s latest video below and learn more about how your brain is just weird sometimes.
Well, I guess all of us procrastinators will appreciate that video. (I won’t even begin to try and fix the f’d up grammar in that sentence.)
I’ve got another video for you: The deer that thinks it’s a sheep | Earth | EarthSky
You will love this video. The deer attached himself to the sheep in early December 2012. He shows no sign of leaving.
Have you all seen this bit of twisted news in the world of ballet?
Bolshoi artistic director Sergei Filin ‘blinded’ by acid attack that left him with chemical burns- The former ballet star had acid thrown in his face by a man – it is thought the attack is linked to his position
Wow, this post is getting long, and I am very late in getting it posted. Quickly…here are the rest of the links I have saved to share with you today.
Today it is the 100th birthday of Danny Kaye. From MovieMorlocks.com – Happy 100th, Danny!
Also from Movie Morlocks, some wonderful photography: William Edward Cronenweth: A Legacy in Photos
More science links:
And finally, a travel piece: Swept away by a Sicilian symphony
Have a great day…and enjoy those links!
In the May edition of Vanity Fair, Joseph Stiglitz [economist and professor at Columbia University and recipient of the Nobel prize in economic sciences, 2001] wrote a prescient essay entitled, “Of the 1%, For the 1% and By the 1%.”
In a strange way, the piece voiced what would months later become the rallying cry of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, a foreshadowing of the public’s growing discontent with high unemployment, rising poverty and income disparity as well as the social damage resulting from Government failure to address the problems: the distortion it creates, how income disparities breed a climate of imbalance and lack of restraint, encouraging:
. . . no limit to the adventures we can undertake; corporations and contractors stand only to gain. The rules of economic globalization are likewise designed to benefit the rich: they encourage competition among countries for business, which drives down taxes on corporations, weakens health and environmental protections, and undermines what used to be viewed as the “core” labor rights, which include the right to collective bargaining.
In addition, Stiglitz underscored how inequality erodes our national identity–the sense of fairness, equal opportunity, our sense of community–the very elements we consider American staples. In fact, while listening to the GOPs’ endless political debates these past months, I’ve felt like a stranger in a strange land. Abandon child labor laws? Let the uninsured die? Begin massive deportations?
In any case, Stiglitz was the first to sound the warning in clear, concise and effective prose.
Which is why I found Stiglitz’s recent VF piece, ‘The Book of Jobs,’ required reading. Great title, btw. Even better is the comparison made between the Great Depression of the 1930s and the present downturn. Or as Stiglitz refers to our current dilemma: the Great Slump. An interesting aside, Paul Krugman pulled out all the stops over the weekend and called our economic crisis a depression, period. Hardly a surprise for the underwater homeowner, the long-term unemployed or those juggling multiple part-time positions to make ends meet.
I’d encourage readers to take a few minutes and read Stiglitz’s recent essay. It’s amazingly concise and clear, even for non-economic types [like myself]. But here’s the gist: Ben Bernanke, a self-proclaimed scholar of the Great Depression, turned on the money spigots in response to the 2008-2009 meltdown because traditional wisdom said the Great Depression was the result of excessive money tightening by the Federal Reserve. So, doing the opposite would be the charm, right?
Not quite. As Stiglitz notes, this time we have proof that monetary manipulations were neither the cause nor the answer.
Because despite the flood of money, we’re still in the crapper. Consider this an Advanced Economics Lab experiment, playing out before your eyes.
So what is the root problem?
The economy itself, Stiglitz contends, a structural dislocation, a weak economy disguised by whopping bubbles in the real estate and financial markets, the easy, even crazy availability of credit, but basically a shift in the jobs we have to the jobs we need.
This is eerily similar to the precursor of the Great Depression. Then, massive unemployment resulted as the country moved from agriculture to industry. The cause? Increased agricultural productivity. What was once done by 20% of the population would be accomplished [with surplus] by 2%. Currently, the economy is moving from industry to service. Again, this shift has been provoked by increased productivity.
What is old is new again. With a twist, of course: the impact of globalization.
Industry to service? you say. Most Americans wince at the prospect of ‘service’ jobs—low skills, lower pay, 8 hours of mindless burger flipping.
For instance, addressing our energy needs alone will require an abundance of high tech skills [and commensurate wages] to develop cleaner, more efficient fuels. Support of basic research work is critical in this and other areas and leads to increased innovation and economic growth. Examples are plentiful—research produced the Internet and biotech industry, spawning huge upticks in economic growth. And this is something Americans excel at—thinking outside the box. Education will be required to retrain the work force and prepare and encourage our children with requisite skills and creative know how. In addition, infrastructure, a growing national concern, offers years of labor for out-of-work construction crews. We certainly don’t need an American version of ‘London Bridge is falling down.’ The Minneapolis bridge collapse in March was one too many.
Yes, Stiglitz says, we will need to rein in the banks, turn them back into the boring businesses they once were [they’re suppose to be serving us, not the other way around]. And we will need to seriously re-evaluate our tax policies, most of which favor the rich. But to solve the most critical problem—structural change—will require investing in our future, our own people. Private enterprise will not and cannot do that on a massive scale [I can hear Republicans wailing in unison].
FDR had World War II, spurring the necessary investment [spending] that launched the US into an unparalleled cycle of growth and prosperity. We are now faced with another war, a battle of ideology and political one-upmanship. Yet the solutions are real and within our grasp, Stiglitz suggests. I, for one, believe him.
Now it’s a matter of mustering the national will. We employed that fierce will during the Second World War; our survival and ultimate victory depended on it.
As it does once again.