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Posts tagged politics

157 notes

86% of Americans say they do not want “political advertising tailored to your interests.” 85% agreed “If I found out that Facebook was sending me ads for political candidates based on my profile information that I had set to private, I would be angry.”

That’s according to a recent Annenberg survey on political advertising // Will Online Political Targeting Generate a Voter Backlash? (via amzam)

I don’t think these people understand how the Internet works.

(via npr)

Filed under targeted advertising Facebook politics

1,780 notes

What the Death of the Canadian Penny Says about the U.S.

It’s great everyone’s so excited about Canada ditching the penny. Will the US? Probably not. John explains why…

fishingboatproceeds:

tiredandinspird:

“Canada is scrapping the penny, ending production of the country’s smallest unit of currency this spring.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, whose department described the penny as a “nuisance” in budget documents, said the coin is now more trouble than it’s worth.

The Royal Canadian Mint will stop distributing pennies to financial institutions in the fall of 2012 and the government will work to withdraw one-cent coins from circulation.

The Harper government said the production cost of each penny exceeds its face value. “It costs taxpayers a penny-and-a-half every time we make one,” Mr. Flaherty told the Commons. “Therefore we will stop making them.”

In the United States, you never hear politicians or members of the cabinet saying things like, “It costs taxpayers a penny-and-a-half every time we make one. Therefore we will stop making them.” We don’t make politically neutral, factual statements.

This is why we still have pennies. It’s also why we can’t make sensible reform to medicare*, or end tax subsidies to oil companies**, or even agree to a long-term road building budget***.

Our government is so paralyzed by mutual distrust and ideological rigidity that it can’t implement even the most obvious long-term policies, which is a huge drag on our economy.

Anyway, congratulations on getting rid of your penny, Canada. Even though ours cost our taxpayers far more each year, it looks like we’ll be keeping ours indefinitely.

* The current Republican budget does pretty much dismantle medicare, the American program to get health care to seniors. But in the past few years, Republicans have proposed some sensible reforms to medicare. Medicare is far more efficient in some states than others, often while getting better health care outcomes. But the Democrats refuse to talk about it, because it would “hurt seniors.” (The President is an exception here.)

** I know of no economist who thinks ending these tax subsidies would result in the price of gasoline going up. It is insane to offer billions of dollars of tax breaks to oil companies that already have billions of dollars in profits; it does not incentivize them to do business in the US, and it does not affect the price of gasoline, and it is just insane. And yet Republicans refuse to act because it would mean “raising taxes.”

*** By far the most insane thing the US government is doing these days is refusing to agree to a long-term highway budget. Instead, they’re sending it out piecemeal. This means that states building roads must make short-term contracts, which cost much more per mile of road than long-term contracts. But if we agreed to a long-term roads package, it would mean agreeing to some huge number—400 billion dollars or whatever—and then one’s political opponents would be like, “S/he voted for 400 billion in GOVERNMENT SPENDING,” and … yeah. So we end up spending much more on roads than we need to so that it will SEEM like we are spending very much. That basically sums up the whole affair.

Filed under politics governance pennies canada economics

23 notes

They showed me on Channel 1 and said I was an opposition leader, which is already a breakthrough. They’re already calling me from Washington and asking what’s going on.
Former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Y. Nemtsov • Discussing how, in a fairly abrupt about-face on Saturday, Russian television started straightforwardly covering the protests against the recent Russian parliamentary elections — including showing Nemtsov (who has since become a major opposition figure and a noted critic of Vladimir Putin) in a relatively neutral light, something which hasn’t happened in roughly a decade. Here’s how one TV anchor, Rossia 1’s Andrei Medvedev, put the events: “Today’s protest was a lesson for everyone. It turns out that, to express your dissatisfaction with the authorities, it is possible to gather on a square after getting permission from those same authorities. And to keep order, all you really have to do is give a polite admonition.” Is it possible that the protests were hard for state-funded Russian television to avoid, since they were so heavily covered on the Internet? A fascinating twist. source (viafollow)

(Source: shortformblog)

Filed under news Russia politics democracy media

10 notes

In the American evangelical community, no shame or scandal or disapproval comes from bearing false witness against one’s neighbor — provided one targets the right neighbors. Such outright lies do not create controversy, but a refusal to lie is seen as making waves. Refusing to bear false witness against certain neighbors can put your job in jeopardy. How did evangelicalism reach this point? How did it come to be that bearing false witness against certain of our neighbors isn’t just tolerated, but required? The answer, I think, is that for all the talk of Jesus’ “sacrificial atonement,” evangelicals do not rely on Christ for their justification or vindication. They seek that justification elsewhere — from the sacrifice of scapegoats. Foremost among those scapegoats are GLBT people and women who have abortions. The vilification of these scapegoats is of paramount importance in evangelicalism. It is more important than any belief in vindication through Christ. And this new core doctrine reshapes evangelical ethics to such an extent that bearing false witness against those scapegoats is mandatory.

from the Slacktivist

I should probably point out again that Fred Clark (the author) is an evangelical Christian, one who recognizes the destructive tendencies within the movement—tendencies that are decidedly non-Christian and non-evangelical.

Filed under slacktivist Fred Clark evangelicals Christians ethics politics

175 notes

Via the Bad Astronomer: “Study after study has shown that the Earth is warming, that the past decade has been the hottest on record, and that the rise in temperature has been about a degree. So what’s the big deal here?
The big deal is that this was an independent team of researchers who conducted the study (including, interestingly, Saul Perlmutter, who just won the Nobel Prize for co-discovering the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe, and knows a thing or two about data analysis), and whose funding was overwhelmingly donated by the private sector and not from any government. The study was initiated by Berkeley physicist Richard Muller, who was concerned that government researchers weren’t being as open as possible with their methods. He gathered together a team of scientists, and they used data from 39,000 temperature stations around the world, far more than the previous studies. They have put all their data and methodology online for anyone to investigate.
And if you’re wondering who these private groups were, they’re listed on the BEP website. The largest single donor? Why, it’s the Koch brothers, über-conservatives who have pumped millions of dollars into climate change denial. I find that… interesting.
Anyone claiming that climate scientists are alarmists only trying to protect their grant money will have to think about that one for a while.”

Via the Bad Astronomer: “Study after study has shown that the Earth is warming, that the past decade has been the hottest on record, and that the rise in temperature has been about a degree. So what’s the big deal here?

The big deal is that this was an independent team of researchers who conducted the study (including, interestingly, Saul Perlmutter, who just won the Nobel Prize for co-discovering the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe, and knows a thing or two about data analysis), and whose funding was overwhelmingly donated by the private sector and not from any government. The study was initiated by Berkeley physicist Richard Muller, who was concerned that government researchers weren’t being as open as possible with their methods. He gathered together a team of scientists, and they used data from 39,000 temperature stations around the world, far more than the previous studies. They have put all their data and methodology online for anyone to investigate.

And if you’re wondering who these private groups were, they’re listed on the BEP website. The largest single donor? Why, it’s the Koch brothers, über-conservatives who have pumped millions of dollars into climate change denial. I find that… interesting.

Anyone claiming that climate scientists are alarmists only trying to protect their grant money will have to think about that one for a while.”

Filed under astronomy climate politics Phil Plait Bad Astronomy

6 notes

Creationism is indefensible on the evidence. The facts are against it. That leaves its proponents with no option except to go meta, attacking the very idea of “evidence” and “facts” by following Pilate’s example and shrugging off the evidence by asking “What is ‘truth’?” Opposed and refuted by overwhelming scientific evidence, they are forced to attack science itself, suggesting that the whole endeavor and the very possibility of learning about the natural world is somehow illegitimate.


Once you’ve taken that leap and made that ideological claim, there’s no reason not to apply the same no-standards standard to sexuality, medicine, climate science or economics. You’re no longer bound by science, by facts, by reality, by what is. And once that’s the case, you’re free to assert whatever foolish absurdities you calculate will be most politically expedient. You can say that you chose to be heterosexual. You can say that vaccines cause autism. You can say that carbon doesn’t trap heat. You can say that reducing demand leads to economic growth.


And since hermeneutics is also a kind of science — a way of seeking after the truth and determining, as best as possible, the facts and reality of the matter — embracing the ideology of anti-science also means you’re free to say that any text means anything you want it to say. To be unbound by facts is to be unbound by texts as well.


Again, the issue here is not questions of belief in things which simply have not been proved. It’s perfectly reasonable to believe in something despite a lack of compelling proof or evidence that it is certainly true. But it is not reasonable to believe in something in spite of compelling proof and evidence that it is certainly not true. To do that is to say that reality itself does not matter.

from The Slacktivist, in part as a response to the NYT Op-ed "The Evangelical Rejection of Reason"

Filed under science politics Christians

237,196 notes

Saw pics of the sign and thought it was clever. The continued rewriting of lyrics is stunning, however.
badwolfcomplex:

sweetandlovelygirl7:

carrieisreborn:

weasleykingofthebr0zone:

weierd:

gemeaux:


chic-chibi-chica:

wethinktherefore:

didyoudance:

homemadedarkmark | devonwood:


MY ANACONDA DON’T WANT NONE if you say no, because I respect your boundaries.

‘CAUSE I’M LONG, AND STRONGAND I’M DOWN TO GET THE FRICTION ON as long as it’s okay with you. otherwise I’m good with a movie and some tea.

SO LADIES, LADIES, IF YOU WANNA ROLL IN MY MERCEDES please let me know ahead of time so that I can plan accordingly

BABY GOT self-respect

OOH BABY I WANNA GET WIT YA, AND TAKE YO PICTURE because you really have lovely eyes

EVEN WHITE BOYS GOT TO SHOUT I love spending time with you.

I’M TIRED OF MAGAZINES SAYIN FLAT BUTTS ARE THE THING because I don’t appreciate mainstream media dictating standards of beauty and desire

SHAKE IT, SHAKE IT, SHAKE THAT HEALTHY BUTT unless you’d rather just shake hands and say goodnight.

BABY GOT BACK and other nice features, which I will be sure to compliment her on when the next date rolls around.

I WANNA GET YOU HOME AND cuddle with you and watch some Disney movies. 

THE COMMENTARY.

Reblogging again because EPIC.

Saw pics of the sign and thought it was clever. The continued rewriting of lyrics is stunning, however.

badwolfcomplex:

sweetandlovelygirl7:

carrieisreborn:

weasleykingofthebr0zone:

weierd:

gemeaux:

chic-chibi-chica:

wethinktherefore:

didyoudance:

homemadedarkmark | devonwood:

MY ANACONDA DON’T WANT NONE if you say no, because I respect your boundaries.

‘CAUSE I’M LONG, AND STRONG
AND I’M DOWN TO GET THE FRICTION ON as long as it’s okay with you. otherwise I’m good with a movie and some tea.

SO LADIES, LADIES, IF YOU WANNA ROLL IN MY MERCEDES please let me know ahead of time so that I can plan accordingly

BABY GOT self-respect

OOH BABY I WANNA GET WIT YA, AND TAKE YO PICTURE because you really have lovely eyes

EVEN WHITE BOYS GOT TO SHOUT I love spending time with you.

I’M TIRED OF MAGAZINES SAYIN FLAT BUTTS ARE THE THING because I don’t appreciate mainstream media dictating standards of beauty and desire

SHAKE IT, SHAKE IT, SHAKE THAT HEALTHY BUTT unless you’d rather just shake hands and say goodnight.

BABY GOT BACK and other nice features, which I will be sure to compliment her on when the next date rolls around.

I WANNA GET YOU HOME AND cuddle with you and watch some Disney movies. 

THE COMMENTARY.

Reblogging again because EPIC.

(Source: feminist-blackboard, via heartlessmuffineater)

Filed under signs funny politics parody feminism

29 notes

The phrase you most often hear from Tea Party activists is, “we are losing our country.” And you know what? They have a point. A Tea Party activist in her early 60s grew up in an America run by and for its middle class. As compared with that country, the America of the 2010s is much more dominated by the ultrarich, and is home to many more very poor. People at the middle have seen their incomes stagnate and then decline. They have seen immigration change the ethnic balance of the country, push the old white majority into minority status in many parts of the country, and fill the nation with a new class of poor. People in the middle have seen government act to save the banks that wrote bad mortgages — and then shrug off the borrowers ruined by those same toxic loans. The Tea Party offered a story about the disaster, and an array of villains to blame, headed by the egghead president with the foreign name.
David Frum, in The Week

Filed under politics change rich poor David Frum Tea Party

1 note

If you believe that God made this world, then love of God ought to entail a corresponding love for the world that God made. To be disdainful of creation is to show disdain for the Creator. It’s right there in American evangelical Christianity’s favorite Bible verse, “For God so loved the world.” The original word there in John’s Gospel was “cosmos” — a word that was, for John, as vast and comprehensive as it would be centuries later for Carl Sagan. John 3:16 isn’t mainly about God as Creator, but about God as Redeemer, which only intensifies the point about God’s passionate love for the cosmos. God created the world and declared it good. Then God redeemed the world, thus dispelling any doubt about the Creator’s enduring love for the creation.

If you love the Creator, you must love the creation. And caring for creation must also mean caring about creation. And that means wanting to know more about it — wanting to learn as much as you can learn about every facet and aspect, every realm and region, nook and cranny, quark and quasar.

To all the many practical and pleasurable reasons anyone has to explore the sciences and to be excited and enthralled by science, evangelical Christians can add one more: It’s God’s world, God’s cosmos. God made it. God is redeeming it. God loves it. Anyone who loves God ought to love the world as well — and to love learning about the world.

Selected from The Slacktivist.

Unfortunately, he’s writing about how badly Christians, especially American evangelicals, especially American evangelical politicians, fail to do this.

Filed under Fred Clark science Christians politics