Saturday, December 14, 2013

Government of the Year: Nordic Social Democracy

Ironically, capitalism works best when accompanied by a little socialism.

The Nordic Model (developed by Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland & Denmark) consists of  "a universalist welfare state which is aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy, promoting social mobility and ensuring the universal provision of basic human rights, as well as for stabilizing the economy." And for some reason, when you give people all that freedom and safety, they are able to be reliable, informed consumers, and keep your market strong.

It really works. This year, The Economist declared that the Nordic countries are probably the best-governed in the world. Their report shows that the happiest nations of the world are concentrated in Northern Europe, with Denmark topping the list. Nordics beat out other countries on real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity.

And when less than 91% of the population isn't happy with their economic climate, they consider it news:

(Unlike America, where we think only 1% is happy with our economy.  And Congress has an approval rating of only 11% .)

Nordic democracies lift up their poor, redistribute a lot of money through taxes, and therefore everyone gets a living wage no matter what their employer pays them.  If you live in the country, you help support everyone in the country.

Meanwhile, Americans hate their poor so much, that we want to make it illegal to even FEED homeless people in public. Across 50 different cities!

But we're still the land of opportunity, right?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

UPDATE: All men have AIDS

UPitt warns us that any man you sleep with could have HIV--not just men who've slept with other
men!  In fact, bisexual men are no more likely to give HIV to their girlfriends than heterosexual men are, despite all the public hoopla regarding MSM (Men Sleeping With Men, this "handy" term coined by the CDC).

"The number of HIV positive men who have sex with both men and women is likely no higher than the number of HIV positive heterosexual men, according to a U.S.-based analysis by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health researchers. The finding challenges a popular assumption that bisexual men are responsible for significant HIV transmission to their female partners."

"The analysis also estimates that there are approximately 1.2 million bisexual men in the U.S., of whom 121,800 are HIV-positive. That estimate aligns with CDC estimates for HIV infection in male heterosexuals and intravenous drug users."

(more from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health)

> So, yes. Maybe now we can end this harmful stereotype that queer men give everyone AIDS, and stop wasting blood donations...?

"“The HIV infection risk that bisexual men pose to their female partners has likely been overstated,” said Dr. Friedman. “However, that doesn’t mean that HIV-prevention campaigns targeting bisexual men and their male and female partners aren’t needed. HIV does exist in the bisexual community, and national, bisexual-specific data collection, research, and HIV prevention and care delivery are necessary to ameliorate this population’s HIV burden.”"

Really? Why do we need targeted campaigns if all men who sleep with women are equally likely to have HIV?? Did I miss something??  It's not like reminding women that a subset of men are likely to have HIV with these "targeted campaigns" is especially stigmatizing, or anything...

For suggesting than we need HIV-prevention campaigns that "target" bisexual men, when we ALREADY HAVE THOSE, instead of suggesting that we need HIV-prevention campaigns that target straight men and their partners, you win a GOLD STAR AWARD, Dr. Mackey R. Friedman from the Pittsburgh School of Public Health.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Daily Show more real than New York Times

Thank you to Sam Bee at the Daily Show for reminding us that when "real" networks won't cover the important news, there's always YouTube:

Seriously, in an age when Facebook controls news viewers more than news networks themselves, why shouldn't the people decide what is UpWorthy?  Screw corporate sponsored media, it's clear they don't have our best interests at heart.  It might be time for a serious media revolution.

Thinking of starting a Kickstarter for real public news, with a kitten co-host...what do you think?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Career Women...So Scary!

Daily talks about women's rise in society and makes sure we all know what the word "purse-whipped" means. In case, you know, that other pu***-whipped insult wasn't bad enough...
"Women with money can go where they like and do what they please (economists call it the ‘independence effect’)." 
>Translation: OMG, is there anything scarier than a woman DOING WHAT SHE LIKES and GOING WHERE SHE PLEASES??! If that's not what they mean, then why do we even need to mention this "independence effect" like it's a thing to note?

"By the time these graduates reached the peak of their careers, ‘the entire management structure of Britain will have been transformed and feminised ...This thing is huge, and it is happening at every level, and no one seems to be thinking about the consequences’."
>Oh terrible that women will be able to influence their workplaces in a way that is beneficial to themselves! What the heck would a "feminized" work structure look like, anyway?...

>Daily Mail also warns us that in this new nightmare world of the future, women will not need men and so will never settle down:
"Social life: With more women being self-sufficient, increased numbers will choose to remain single"
>Yep.  Thanks for that handy bullet point, Daily Mail!  Women who have good jobs don't need or want husbands, in fact career women are 80% more likely to become lesbians, right? And not the fun kind like Katy Perry, either!

"Men may find they need marriage more than women, and start to panic if they haven’t found a partner by a certain age."
>I don't think so, especially since men still earn more $ then women on average, and women overwhelmingly outnumber men as single parents.  Still, the image of a man panicking if he's still single before he becomes an "old maid" is kind of cute.  Cause we all know that's what women do nowadays, right?

"Man caves will become a thing of the past because the whole house will become a man cave, with men dominating kitchens: furnishing them, equipping them with blow torches and Japanese sushi knives in the effort to find something new to bring to the table."
>Ah, men must have blowtorches and sushi knives to cook dinner, I see.

"For the under-30s, there is nothing futuristic about this: the fairer sex is becoming the richer sex. More than ever, this is becoming a woman’s world."
>Hmm, I guess I didn't get my "woman's world" raise yet. And it would be nice if we could also end violence against women and stuff, but as long as the Daily Mail says it's a woman's world...guess we're all right!

So seriously, there are some HUGE PROBLEMS with the way this article is framed:
1. 46-58% women in the workforce is not "A woman's world." Statistically significantly that's just about as equal as numbers get.

2. More than a bit alarmist: "All this is especially alarming to men when you think how things were just a few generations ago." Why should it be alarming at all? If this really was as huge a social change as the article says, then men should be celebrating that the women in their lives now have new ways to be successful & fair chances at achieving their dreams, and men have more freedom to take roles in family life & less pressure to always be the family breadwinner. It's only alarming to men if they can't compete in a world where women have a fair chance, and that's NOT how all men are. Men can be happy for women's success too, rather than worried and full of erectile dysfunction, which is how this article makes it sound.

3. On the erectile dysfunction note, this article subtly BLAMES WOMEN for marital problems arising from their own success: "the world is changing, but attitudes need to change with it. And the problem may well not be with old-fashioned male chauvinism. but with female atavism." This is even after they talk about the term "purse-whipped," women having to lie about their success to get dates, and men who have ED because their spouses earn more then them. None of these problems are women's fault. And what popular journalist uses the term "atavism," really? It doesn't even make sense here as a thing to blame.

4. It's hard to keep funding affirmative action for women when you read things like "‘College is built for the female brain,’ she says. ‘What do you do in college? You sit. You read. You write and you talk.’"

Yep, clearly women are DOMINATING college with 58% attendance rates, and this has nothing to do with the huge social pushes to support women's advancement, nope it's only because college is FEMINIZED because apparently we don't spend enough time shooting lasers and hitting things with sticks.

Sigh...I'm happy that women are getting more freedom and are no longer outnumbered by men in the workforce, but we should celebrate that responsibly and in a positive way, instead of calling red alert and acting like women are all uber-successful dominatrixes.

Similar to the "affluent gay guy" stereotype, This kind of propaganda does the same harm. People don't try as hard to look out for oppressed groups when you make people think they are rich and successful.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Snapchat: Live your Life in Real Time

Snapchat is trying to bring social media to a healthier place:

"The social media profile attempts to convince us that life, in all its ephemeral flow, should also be its simulation; the ephemeral flow of lived experience is to be hacked into a collection of separate, discrete, objects to be shoved into the profile containers. The logic of the profile is that life should be captured, preserved, and put behind glass. It asks us to be collectors of our lives, to create a museum of our self. Moments are chunked off, put in a grid, quantified, and ranked. Permanent social media are based on such profiles, with each being more or less constraining and grid-like. Rethinking permanence means rethinking this kind of social media profile, and it introduces the possibility of a profile not as a collection preserved behind glass but something more living, fluid, and always changing."

First becoming popular in September, CNN already predicts Snapchat is here to stay.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How the USA Shutdown Effects Food Safety

Warning! You will probably need to check your groceries extra-carefully before purchasing and eating for the next month or so.  And forget about eating in restaurants where you can't see the rare food before they cook it.  Since the FDA shutdown, no one is checking imported food, to turn away the "filthy, putrid, or decomposed substances" in food imports that normally get rejected hundreds of times per month!

The situation is "pretty bleak for consumers, most of whom aren’t in the habit of asking questions about where their food comes from and don’t realize that they might suddenly need to start self-regulating their groceries when the government stops doing it for them."

Normally, only 1% of incoming food is inspected (at random) but that check means any importer risks losing product if they send something unacceptable.  Now that news of our shutdown has had plenty of time to spread around the globe, I can only imagine how food exporters are responding.

Safety Tips:
  • avoid imported seafood, leafy greens, tomatoes, and cantaloupe, as these are the most likely to be contaminated. 
  • Thinking of eating local produce instead ? Check this guide out: 

  • And DON'T read THIS, unless you want to hear about even more nightmarish USA food problems. 
  • And look out for the Food Safety Modernization Act, which will impose more proactive food safety checks for imported foods. This will start in November, if our government can get its act back together.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Lobster Economics: It used to be cheap

Did you know that before 1950, lobster was considered "trash food" for the impoverished, so undesirable that prisoners and military troops were forced to eat it, while regular citizens had job contracts making their employers promise not to serve them lobster more than 3 times a week?

Yep, according to Pacific Standard: "Lobsters were so abundant in the early days—residents in the Massachusetts Bay Colony found they washed up on the beach in two-foot-high piles—that people thought of them as trash food. It was fit only for the poor and served to servants or prisoners."

And you can thank railroads for making lobsters expensive: "when the railways started to spread through America, transportation managers realized something interesting: If no one knew what lobster was, trains could serve it to passengers as if it were a rare, exotic item, even thought it was very cheap for those running the railroad to procure it. Inland passengers were intrigued. This lobster was delicious. Passengers, who didn’t know lobster was considered trash food on the coast, started to love it and began to ask for it even after they left the train."

Chefs started to realize that lobster was tastier if cooked alive at this time, and from there prices really took off.  Prices rose and lobster populations dwindled until the Great Depression, when no one could afford to buy lobster in restaurants anymore and it went back to being cheaply canned and served to military troops for World War I and WWII.  But as food grew short in WWII, Lobster wasn't rationed, so it became popular again, and prices went back up.

So, there you have it.  A cheap abundant food, that people thought was gross because it resembled giant insects, became expensive because of railroad marketing and war-induced rationing!   Funny how economics can change things like that.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How the USA Shutdown Killed Science

An anonymous scientist talking to Wired tells us how shutting down the United States government even for 1 day destroys most live biomedical research experiments:

"Scientists are hardworking people. They work long hours, on weekends, and they do that because it’s necessary. The schedules they follow aren’t like an industrial plant’s. If you interrupt them, they can’t pick up and start again. It’s an enormous waste of money and resources to interrupt this and have it abandoned."

Then he goes on to talk about "mercy killing"  their lab animals and it gets a bit creepy, but he ends with this gem:

"It’s ironic that factions with names like Tea Party and Patriot engage in anti-American behavior: shutting down the government because they don’t agree with a vote passed by the majority."

Ironic?  I'm not sure that's the right word.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Media Education

Just read about a great kids program being run in Washington, DC:

It's called the Kids World Film Festival, and it teaches kids to become thoughtful consumers of media and resist oppressive thinking: "The media literacy sessions help teach the students to utilize their critical thinking skills in order to understand how messages are created through film. The program is also designed to demonstrate the value of becoming savvy media consumers."

"The Kids World Film Festival exposes elementary-aged children to short films that promote cultural understanding, tolerance, reconciliation, unity and peace. "

It's only in DC now, but I wish this was a part of elementary schools everywhere.  As my friend said this morning, "Maybe the members of Congress can watch this while they're on their collective vacation."

Some films they feature:


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Walmart? More like Wal-NOT!

WAL-NOT--as in, Not In My Backyard!

Walmart has become the new NIMBY as Washington DC residents organized to prevent 3 Walmarts from being built in their city last July:

"Walmart is becoming more of a cancer everyday," says angry Huffington Post user Bigodiddy.

"We all subsidize WalMart's poverty-level wages!" cried lightnessandjoy.

"Walmart is big enough we don't need new Walmart stores anywhere...Walmart is evil and unless they step up and show us otherwise we will continue believing it is evil," explains Zachary Carder.

See, no one wants a Walmart in their neighborhood anymore.  And it's easy to get rid of them, too!  How did DC save itself from having unsightly Walmarts decimate their community?

They simply required that Walmart pay all its workers a minimum wage of $12.50 an hour.  This would require the impossible price raise of 1.1% for its stores in the DC area.  Now, 1.1% might not sound like a lot, but you know who that would really piss off?

Mr. Smiley.  When he says "Low Prices, Every Day," he really means it!  How else are Walmart's execs supposed to "Save Money. Live Better?"

Fun Fact: With over 2 million employees and 8,500 stores, Walmart is the largest private employer in the world. (source)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back to School, Back to Debt

Ah, back to school. Fall air, cozy sweaters, and crippling student loan debt. Last year we talked about how USA colleges are actually increasing the income gap, and higher education is losing most rights to call itself a stepping stone. brings us more detail on this problem:
Since 1980, the cost of a college education in the U.S. has risen 900%, many times higher than inflation. Over the same period, federal student aid programs, such as Pell Grants, have shrunk from covering approximately 70% of total public college costs to only 34%. As a result, more and more students have been forced to take out loans to pay for school, loans that have become much harder, if not impossible, to pay back. The average student today graduates with $25,000 of debt, and default rates are as high as one in three.
How has it gotten so out of control?  Well it seems our economic incentives are misaligned: "Private lending corporations have turned higher education financing into a predatory lending system where they—and the government—make more money when a borrower defaults."  1/3 students are defaulting, and when you default you can end up paying back way more then the original amount of your loan, over 50% more than the balance of your original loan!  And if you don't pay voluntarily, collectors can garnish your wages, social security and disability benefits, and tax returns.  You can't even declare bankruptcy to avoid student loan debt.  Most students who default DO pay back their loan eventually (85%), but their credit rating, job prospects and housing situation may be far pushed into poverty by that time.

What can we do? Well, we could just stop going to college.  Most high school diplomas don't grant a livable wage, but there's always technical school or online universities.  Some students are also protesting for tuition freezes or returning bankruptcy protections to student borrowers. Most drastic, we could consider moving the USA to a public university system like Canada.  They still have plenty of schools in the Global Top 300 (while USA school rankings have been declining since 2003):

However, USA colleges still dominate the top 100, so even at our worst, we're still pretty good.  The bigger question is, what's best for the students?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Life Advice for Young Adults

Written specifically for the 22- year olds who are struggling to find jobs and a meaningful existence in our current climate (from Neal Wu at Quora):

  1. Make friends as opposed to networking. Your friends will go a lot further than the professional contacts you make, especially since only one of the two groups is invested in your personal happiness.
  2. Become an expert by learning as much as you can and deeply seeking out the things you are curious about. Find the things you enjoy and practice the skills you want to develop. If you can achieve expertise then it will be easy to obtain an audience.
  3. Volunteer to help out those less fortunate than you. In the process you will gain a ton of new perspective and will better understand other people's real problems. In a society that always looks upward, those can be easy to forget.
  4. Become as independent as possible. Even if you work at a big company, constantly make small steps to reduce your dependence on your job. Write a book, build an app, or start a small business on the side. Release your inner entrepreneur.
  5. Don't spend too much time worrying about your personal brand. Accomplish things, and the recognition will follow.
  6. Stop treating life as a competition and do things for their own sake. Genuine interest should be what drives you to improve yourself, rather than simply a desire to beat others. Find a community of people who are interested in the things you are, and drive each other to be the best you can be.

This was in response to some more traditional advice given by Robert Wagner.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ethics? Not Here!

House leader Eric Cantor just said we could solve the USA deficit problem if only we could cut those icky "entitlement programs."  You know, like Social Security and Medicaid, which are "unfunded liabilities" leaving a burden on "this generation and the next." Screw public entitlement (which used to be called social support and benefits, by the way), we need to save that money for more important things, like corporate wealthcare!

MyMy asks a good question; "what is government for except for 'promoting the general welfare' rather than protecting blind and stupid private interests?"

Well, besides ensuring the rich stay rich, it's also important to have government around to keep the trouble makers down.  Like these two woman in Texas, who desperately needed to be assaulted by two cops (for littering) and have dirty rubber gloves shoved inside their private orifices.

We might as well be ruled by Cthulhu...

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism.”
--Franklin D. Roosevelt

Monday, August 5, 2013

On female authors

Sci-fi author Maureen Johnson tells us why more books written by women have "girly covers":

"A man and a woman can write books about the same subject matter, at the same level of quality, and that woman is simply more likely to get the soft-sell cover with the warm glow and the feeling of smooth jazz blowing off of it. This idea that there are ‘girl books’ and ‘boy books’… gives credit to absolutely no one, especially not the boys who will happily read stories by women, about women. As a lover of books and someone who supports readers and writers of both sexes, I would love a world in which books are freed from some of these constraints.”

See her Cover Challenge: more popular novels with the covers given this "girly cover" treatment: @the Mary Sue.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Spies & Socialists

Spies and Socialists-- all the fun things that start with S!  Read up on the latest:

1. USA wiretapping and internet spying by the NSA will not end anytime soon.  Because big surprise, the same people who made this law, just voted to keep it going full force.

2. Did you know the USA has a Socialist Workers party? Apparently no one else, did either.  The Federal Election Commission says the Socialist Workers Party doesn't need regulation like other political parties because they're "largely irrelevant."

Why so irrelevant?  Perhaps it's like the New York Times said, "it [already] succeeded, even in the United States. Socialism meant the emancipation of the working class and its transformation into the middle class; it championed social justice and a progressive tax system, and in that sense has largely done its job."

Yep...because the working class in the USA is doing just fine, and the middle class is secure and stable!  It's not like we have an increased income gap for the last 20 years, or sharply declining taxes on our wealthy.

3. Meanwhile, France is winning all the socialism, because last year they elected the first Socialist Party President since 1988.  François Hollande's catchphrase is  "I want to put the magic back in the French dream," and he plans to do this by enacting a 75% tax on France's most wealthy!  But don't tell his PR team, he got in trouble for making that comment last year! He just didn't know any better, because he's never held a national government office before.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ecuador more Democratic than USA

Ecuador's capital city has built a sustainable, eco-friendly city that puts most USA cities to shame:
Most taxis and many of the buses in Quito are operated by cooperatives, part of the booming solidarity sector made up of tens of thousands of community banks and credit unions and worker owned enterprises in the manufacturing, housing, agriculture and transport industries. It's important to note that this sector has grown along side, rather than instead of the traditional private and public sectors which have also seen healthy expansion.
People often ride the shared bikes provided by the city, use of which is available for a tiny yearly fee. Every Sunday a north south route through the city, including Avenue Amazonas, one of the city's main arteries, is given over entirely to cyclists and pedestrians, who come out in the thousands. The old airport, having been engulfed by urban expansion and replaced earlier this year, has also been turned over to the public as a park, and is already in use. 
Of course, everything is not perfect outside the city (violence, crime and poverty abound), but Ecuador is still moving in the right direction, expanding opportunities and safe, healthy, affordable living spaces for it's citizens rather than crying "austerity! cut everything!" like most "first world" democracies today:
Almost all this progress has occurred under the leadership of President Rafael Correa, a former economics professor who was made finance minister in 2005 during one of Ecuador's recurrent economic crises, running for the presidency the following year, assuming the office in 2007, and quickly bringing an era of unprecedented stability and prosperity. By the end of of 2012, unemployment had fallen to 4.1 percent, its lowest level on record and the poverty rate to 27.3 percent - that's 27 percent below what it was when Correa took power.
So, USA, care to take some notes?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Goodbye Right to Remain Silent

And today's episode of "Which USA Right is Dying Now?" is...

The right against self-incrimination! (5th Amendment to the US Constitution)

 In this case, Salinas v. Texas, Salinas remained silent when questioned and the judge used that as evidence of his guilt: "He had remained silent, and the Supreme Court had previously made clear that prosecutors can’t bring up a defendant’s refusal to answer the state’s questions. This time around, however, Justice Samuel Alito blithely responded that Salinas was “free to leave” and did not assert his right to remain silent." 

Why? Because Salinas didn't use the correct legal term when deciding to remain silent: "He was silent. But somehow, without a lawyer, and without being told his rights, he should have affirmatively “invoked” his right to not answer questions." 

 And that's not even the worst part..." Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Antonin Scalia joined the judgment, but for a different reason; they think Salinas had no rights at all to invoke before his arrest (they also object to Miranda itself)."

I thought the courts were supposed to enforce the US Constitution...not destroy it?

Monday, May 27, 2013

CISPA Ends Internet Privacy in USA

Passed just last April: "CISPA is an extreme proposal that allows companies that hold our very sensitive information to share it with any company or government entity they choose, even directly with military agencies like the NSA, without first stripping out personally identifiable information," said Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel at the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office.

House Representative Alan Grayson (Florida), tried to introduce a tiny amendment to make sure a warrant was required before companies had to hand over info. But "The Rules Committee wouldn’t even allow debate on requiring a warrant before a search."

Why would the House rush through such a controversial bill?  Well, interest groups in support of the bill spent $605 MILLION DOLLARS lobbying Congress since 2011. That's 140 times as much as those who opposed the bill, who only spent $4.3m!  Why count since 2011?  Well that's when lobbying was allowed to get bigger than ever, because Citizens United vs. FCC had just taken off.  (The ironically named Citizens United* was a conservative group who sued the Federal Election Comission to allow corporations political "rights" to bribe--I mean, lobby--Congress unlimited amounts of money for the first time in US history.)

* ironic because it should have been named Corporations United.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Healthcare Update

ACTUAL Liberal Propaganda: "Huge profits and the high administrative and marketing costs associated with a for-profit health insurance industry (31 cents out of every dollar!!!) make privatized health care in the U.S. the most expensive health care system in the world."

From, a "non-profit" making educational materials to support the Occupy Movement.

And they even have a SOLUTION: "A solution to this problem is a universal health care system that eliminates the private insurance industry entirely (often referred to as a “single-payer” system). “By replacing the private insurers with a streamlined system of public financing,” writes PNHP, “our nation could save $400 billion annually in unnecessary, wasteful administrative costs. That’s enough to cover all the uninsured and to upgrade everyone else’s coverage without having to increase overall U.S. health spending.” Single-payer health care is supported by over 60% of the American people—including a majority of physicians—yet President Obama and the congressional leadership are silent on the issue, and the corporate media ignores or ridicules single-payer advocates."

Still not sure? "The United States is the only industrialized country in the world that does not provide universal health care for all of its citizens. Despite this, Americans pay on average twice as much for health care ($7,129 per capita annually) as do citizens of other industrialized nations, and tax-financed health spending is higher in the U.S. than any other country."

So, not only would it be cheaper on a personal level to get healthcare if we had single-payer, we'd also save on taxes.  What's to lose by switching?  Only tons and tons of paid lobbyists and for-profit business leaders would lose their income...and that's nothing to sneeze at.  Especially when you can't afford to get that sneeze checked out by a doctor!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Just Saying

Two of these are true, one is false. Check your guesses here.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bradley Manning not "in" this year, says SF Pride

Bradley Manning, the brave soldier who exposed US war crimes to Wikileaks, just had his honored hero status revoked by San Francisco Pride. In 2011, many marched in the SF parade showing support for Manning, and demanding that he be freed. But this year, it seems he has been rejected as "too-controversial," and marchers are carrying Verizon and Bank of America banners instead.

"I and many other LGBT Manning supporters are deeply disappointed by this sudden change in position on the part of the committee," supporter Rainey Reitman said. "Bradley is a gay American hero who sacrificed a great deal so we could learn the truth about our government, and he was fairly elected to serve as grand marshal in the parade."

Manning, who is still in custody at a military prison in Kansas, was notified of his selection earlier this week. It was only an honorary distinction, since he would not be released from prison in time to appear in the parade on June 30. However, SF Pride President Lisa Williams revoked that honor from Manning, saying the nomination was "a mistake" and "as an organization with a responsibility to serve the broader community, SF Pride repudiates this vote." She gave no specific reason why, but SF Pride's partnerships with wiretapping giant Verizon and Rush Limbaugh's radio station Clear Channel might give us some insight which "broader community" Lisa was talking about.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Considering gun control...

"The American murder rate is roughly 15 times that of other wealthy countries, which have much tougher laws controlling private ownership of guns."

As Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “We are the only industrialized country that has this problem. In the whole world, the only one.”

As the prime minister of Australia said, “We do not want the American disease imported into Australia.”

Read more at the New York Times.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Daylight Slavings Time

Do you hate waking up in the dark even when the days start getting longer, or do you just dread that lost Sunday hour when you're forced to turn your clocks forward every year? Either way, you'll probably appreciate these facts about Daylight Savings Time:

1. The Germans in World War I were the first to use Daylight Savings Time. Pushing daylight hours forward meant more hours that working troops didn't need lights, so the army saved on energy costs. After Germany enacted it, Britain and other European nations quickly followed suit.

2. Car accidents and heart attacks increase the Monday after DST goes into effect. Scientists explain that "the sleep deprivation on the Monday following the shift to daylight saving time in the spring results in a small increase in fatal accidents."

3. Even though DST is supposed to save energy, it no longer seems to do so. A 2008 paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the time switch actually increases electricity usage. "Consistent with Benjamin Franklin's original conjecture, DST is found to save on electricity used for illumination, but there are increases in electricity used for heating and cooling."

4. So if it doesn't actually save energy, why do it? Daylight savings supports capitalism. Longer light in the evening hours encourages people to shop and spend money after work, and was estimated to boost the European leisure economy by as much as 3%.

5.  A better alternative might be permanent DST, increasing daylight hours without causing heart attacks and car crashes...Check out this radical proposal and write your senators if you like it.

Until then, you can blame German soldiers and capitalism for messing with your clocks. And in case you still doubted that imperialist capitalist powers were the main force behind DST, check out this map of who's using it today:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fish Fraud

Fish is commonly mislabeled in the USA, sometimes more than 50% of the time!

Fish is mislabeled so that unhealthy fish sells as healthier types...or threatened fish species are sold under the name of a sustainable fish species.  This means people trying to make purchasing choices based on their health or environmental concerns are not able to make accurate choices and fish sellers are profiting from trickery.

A group of 500 professional chefs has petitioned the federal government to enact stricter labeling rules so that they can actually buy the fish that they want.  Apparently the free market needs a bit of regulation;  consumer choice kinda fails to regulate things when people can't make accurate choices!  Remember this, the next time someone tells you that government regulation hurts the "free" market.

These results were found by Oceana, an international ocean advocacy group, who tested fish in stores and restauraunts across the nation from 2010 to 2012.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Propaganda

Happy Valentine's Day, from Liberal Propaganda! Remember to celebrate in a safe and socially responsible manner!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Toy Drones: Ages 3+

Look what's for sale at

"This is the best toy ever. Finally, I can pretend that I'm a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize!

It's like I'm sitting right there in the White House with my very own kill list!"

Ah, yes.  Teach your child how to do an airstrike by age 3, and then by the time he's 18 he can be moving onto bigger and better things, like holding up 5 billion in relief funds to HaitiYes, along with the United Nations and good old World Bank, "relief" workers there have managed to build toxic school trailers, infect the water supply with cholera, and put a military dictator in power by banning the most popular party and 13 others from the last democratic elections in 2010. 

Why is this the kind of relief that Haiti gets after the earthquake that left 300,000 homeless and destroyed infrastructure across the nation? Well, the new president's "pledge to make Haiti business friendly made him the clear choice for U.S. interests."  And those school trailers weren't meant to poison the children, they were probably just cheaper since their producer got terrible press after using formaldehyde-laden trailers in United States relief efforts after hurricane Katrina.  Clearly Bill Clinton, President Bush and the United Nations are just worried about economic efficiency here.

Why, their economic efforts have been so efficient that the relief team built an amazing luxury hotel.  At this Royal Oasis Hotel it costs $142-$342 for a night's stay, far more than any of the hotel employees earn in a whole month!  Now that's the kind of luxury that could only be brought to you by professionals like the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund!