Thursday morning, Steve Doocy interviewed members of the U.S. Navy Band about the band’s recent inclusion of women. Reacting to the segment, Brian Kilmeade remarked, “Women are everywhere. We’re letting them play golf and tennis now. It’s out of control.” Visibly upset, Gretchen Carlson, the only female host, walked off of the set. “You read the headlines. Since men are so great. Take them [women] away,” she said. Kilmeade responded, “All right. Finally.” Then, as she walked further off of the set, Kilmeade jeered, “Leaving an all male crew” and added “she needed a shower.”
“I love science, and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awed by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and reinvigorate it.”—Robert M. Sapolsky (via wonderwanderpolarbear)
A backlash against high-stakes standardized testing is sweeping through U.S. school districts as parents, teachers, and administrators protest that the exams are unfair, unreliable and unnecessarily punitive - and even some longtime advocates of testing call for changes.
The objections come even as federal and state authorities pour hundreds of millions of dollars into developing new tests, including some for children as young as 5.
In a growing number of states, scores on standardized tests weigh heavily in determining whether an 8-year-old advances to the next grade with her classmates; whether a teen can get his high school diploma; which teachers keep their jobs; how much those teachers are paid; and even which public schools are shut down or turned over to private management.
“There is an aggressiveness out there among the ruling class of this country, among the billionaires who are saying: ‘You know what? Ya, we got a whole lot now, but we want even more. And we don’t give a damn about the middle class. We don’t care about working families. We want it all. And now we can buy it.’”—
Referring to Wisconsin as a “testing ground” for the no-limits campaign spending that has been ushered in by the US Supreme Court’sCitizens Unitedruling, Sanders said, “I have a deep concern that what we saw in Wisconsin can happen in any state throughout this country and in the presidential election.”
“I think that people do not fully understand the disaster thatCitizens Unitedwas,” Sanders said of the 5–4 US Supreme Court decision in radio conversation withEd Schultz. “What that did is open the floodgates so that billionaires like the Koch brothers and others are now prepared to spend unbelievable sums of money to elect extreme right-wing candidates.”
I think it’s also important to note, that while unions also are able to donate unlimited funds to politicians through SuperPACs under Citizens United, their funds not only in general but for campaigning is much more limited than the big “employer” groups like the Chamber of Commerce or National Restaurant Association.
I mean, imagine opening The Sun every day and finding page three adorned with a photo of a pouting specimen of masculinity clad only in his Y-fronts. Imagine naked men sprawling sensuously on the bonnets of new model cars at the motor show. Imagine having to listen to some sweaty and repugnant female version of Bernard Manning telling an endless string of Father-in-Law jokes. Sure, it’s funny once. Maybe it would be funny twice. But three times? Four times? Five thousand times? Can you imagine having to live with something as insulting as that every day of your life? No wonder so many feminists are cranky.
And comics are, in their way, every bit as guilty as other media in presenting a distorted vision of women to their readers. Maybe more guilty in some respects. After all, comics tend to be aimed predominantly at a young audience, an audience that may very well be going through an impressionable stage of their lives and desperately trying to make sense of the world in which they find themselves.
White privilege is being the #1 consumers of welfare, food stamps, general government aid, and illegal drugs, but STILL blaming POC for all of those things as well as incarcerating them at an exponentially higher rate.
Fact: From 2002 to 2011, New York City recorded 400,000 low-level marijuana arrests, according to analysis. That represented more arrests than under Mr. Bloomberg’s three predecessors put together — a period of 24 years. Most of those arrested have been young black and Hispanic men, and most had no prior criminal convictions.
400,000 times the amount of dollars put into detaining and processing. What a waste of time, effort, and money that can be placed elsewhere.
The New York Times: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced legislation to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view.
The Times’ reports:
Advocates of such a change say the offense has ensnared tens of thousands of young black and Latino men who are stopped by the New York City police for other reasons but after being instructed to empty their pockets, find themselves charged with a crime.
More than one in 10 Marines who deployed overseas reported having suicidal thoughts or plans to attempt suicide, according to a study looking at suicidal predictors.
The anonymous study of 1,517 active-duty Marines and sailors was conducted in 2006-2007. A wide cross-section of the Corps was represented, including the infantry, aviation and combat support communities. Most participants were male (93 percent) and from the junior enlisted ranks (E-1 to E-4). Nearly half had done more than one overseas deployment, but 11 percent were not combat-related.
The “most potent combination” for predicting suicidal thoughts and behavior, Thomsen said, was seen in Marines who experienced a great deal of combat and suffered from PTSD, depression or drug use. And those who reported both severe PTSD and high depression were “the people most at-risk for suicidal behavior,” she said.
Other findings include:
• Higher levels of combat exposure led to more PTSD symptoms and alcohol use, and these individuals reported they had less social support.
• Marines and sailors suffering from PTSD, depression and substance abuse “were more likely to report suicidal thoughts or plans,” she said.
• Those with strong social support “were less likely” to report suicidal thoughts or plans, she said.
• Deployment stressors, which can include worries about spouses and personal finances at home, or dangers such as heat and bugs in the war zone, were “significantly related,” Thomsen said.
• Pre-deployment trauma was a significant factor for those suffering from PTSD, depression, alcohol use or reporting poor social support, she said, but it wasn’t linked to those who used illegal drugs.
• One surprise was “alcohol problems did not emerge as a predictor of suicidal behavior,” Thomsen said. “This is really at odds with a lot of what we hear.”
• Another surprising finding: Lack of social support was “not a strong predictor,” she said, which is at odds with conventional thinking.
It’s no surprise that women (at least those in the US and Europe) have it much better now than ever before. The question is what to make out of the current backward rush toward the “good old days” when, for example, a husband could never be accused of raping his wife. Are the proponents of the hundreds of bills affecting women’s health and sexuality just crackpots? Or are they following deeply held, legitimate beliefs that the freedom of women to direct their own sexual lives destabilizes society?
There is no doubt that the beliefs of Anthony Comstock or Sen. Rick Santorum, for that matter, can be genuine. Judging by the examples above, they also can lay claim to historical precedent. But the fact that something was done before does not make it legitimate. The “good old days” never existed. In fact, it is the fear-driven desire of men to control female sexuality and reproduction that should be corralled by the law, not reproductive choices.
Forty-six million white adults today can trace the origins of their family wealth to the Homestead Act of 1862. This bill gave away valuable acres of land for free to white families, but expressly precluded participation by Blacks.
“Why should the public believe what the Obama administration says about the people being assassinated by drones? Especially since, as we learn in the New York Times, the administration came up with a semantic solution to keep the civilian death toll to a minimum: simply count all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants. The rationale, reminiscent of George Zimmerman’s justification for shooting Trayvon Martin, is that “people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good.” Talk about profiling! At least when George Bush threw suspected militants into Guantanamo their lives were spared.”—Will Americans Speak Out Against Obama’s Drone Warfare? by Medea Benjamin
“When women and children in Waziristan are killed with Hellfire missiles, Pakistanis believe this is what the American people want. I would like to ask Americans, ‘Do you?’
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee.
Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.”
But a document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and made public by victims’ advocates reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll.
A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed on Wednesday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to “a handful” of accused priests “as a motivation” not to contest being defrocked. The process, known as “laicization,” is a formal church juridical procedure that requires Vatican approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects.
“It was a way to provide an incentive to go the voluntary route and make it happen quickly, and ultimately cost less,” said Jerry Topczewski, the spokesman for the archdiocese. “Their cooperation made the process a lot more expeditious.”
Cardinal Dolan, who is president of the national bishops’ conference and fast becoming the nation’s most high-profile Roman Catholic cleric, did not respond to several requests for comment.
A victims advocacy group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, sent a letter of protest to the current archbishop of Milwaukee on Wednesday asking, “In what other occupation, especially one working with families and operating schools and youth programs, is an employee given a cash bonus for raping and sexually assaulting children?”
About half of our world-leading prison population is in jail for non-violent drug offenses. Americans have also been arrested for handing out free food in a park. Mothers in Ohio and Connecticut were jailed for enrolling their kids in out-of-district schools. As of 2003 in California there were 344 individuals serving sentences of 25 years or more for shoplifting as a third offense, in many cases after two non-violent offenses.
How does the market deal with this steady tide of petty crime? It strives for more. The new trend of private prisons is dependent on maintaining a sizable prison population to guarantee profits, with no incentive for rehabilitation.
As the number of inmates has surged, the people who devastated countless American lives “get out of jail free.” The savings and loan fraud cost the nation between $300 billion and $500 billion, about 100 times more than the total cost of burglaries in 2010. The financial system bailout has already cost the country $3 trillion. Goldman Sachs packaged bad debt, sold it under a different name, persuaded ratings services to label it AAA, and then bet against their own financial creation by selling it short. Other firms accused of fraud and insider trading were Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns, Bank of America, Countrywide Financial, and Wells Fargo. The New York Times reported in 2008 that the Justice Department had postponed the bribery or fraud prosecutions of over 50 corporations, choosing instead to enter into agreements involving fines and ‘monitoring’ periods.