You are browsing the archive for 2015 August 04.

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Bylund: Robots Will Take Many of Our Jobs – and That's Good

August 4, 2015 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

Blog

Bylund: Robots Will Take Many of Our Jobs – and That’s Good

August 4, 2015

Yes, jobs will be destroyed by innovation, as they’ve always been, but it doesn’t mean we’ll run out of jobs. New ones will be created as new technologies are developed, engineered and maintained. And, overall, these will be better, more high-skilled jobs. The agriculture industry…

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Joe Salerno with his Students

August 4, 2015 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

Blog

Joe Salerno with his Students

August 4, 2015

I thought this photo (below) from July 2015 did an especially good job of capturing the camaraderie between Joe and his Summer Fellowship students at the Mises Institute. Summer Fellows arrive in May each year and stay through…

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Gay Couple Teaches Violent Homophobe a Brilliant—Though Bloody—Lesson

August 4, 2015 in Blogs

By Janet Allon, AlterNet

The first gay-married couple from West Point fought back after attack in New York City.


A violent homophobe in New York City was made to seriously regret his choice of targets, the New York Daily News reports.

Daniel Lennox-Choate, 30, and his husband, Larry Lennox-Choate, made history when they became the first same-sex couple to marry at West Point in 2013. On Sunday, they were just picking up a few items in a SoHo bodega when a 40-year-old man came up to them and began yelling at the couple, police said, and then punched Daniel.

His husband, Larry, immediately came to his defense. Later, Larry recounted in Facebook: “He left covered in his own blood with his tail between his legs after I handled the situation and tossed him in the street like the coward loser he is.”

The attacker is still at large, and police are reportedly investigating the incident as a hate crime.

“We refuse to be victims and are thankful we can defend ourselves, but are saddened by the fact that idiots like this guy might not pick two guys who went through Plebe Boxing next time,” Larry Lennox-Choate said.

  

 

 

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Source: ALTERNET

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Dear White America: Your Toxic Masculinity Is Killing You

August 4, 2015 in Blogs

By Chauncey DeVega, Salon

Toxic white masculinity, and the right-wing politics which nurture and protect it, are hurting millions every year.


Dear White America,

I am your friend. I have written several letters of this type to you before. It pains me to have to do so again. What I am going to share in this letter may be commonsense for many white brothers and sisters. Other White Americans may be surprised. Because our society is so segregated, people of color often do not have many opportunities to talk with white people in a direct way regarding our sincere worries about the problems in your community. I hope that this open letter can be part of a broader conversation in that regard.

When a person suffers from chronic pain they often find ways to compensate for it. Some people self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Others develop the mental discipline necessary to compartmentalize their physical suffering. Others cocoon themselves in a bubble of denial. Because I am your friend, I am going to be honest with you. White America is suffering from a type of cancer. It is hurting you; it is killing your children; it is damaging families; it hurls shrapnel in many directions, maiming and otherwise bringing an end to the lives of those people who are unfortunate enough to be in its blast radius. If you want the truth, this is it: toxic white masculinity, and the backward right-wing politics which nurture and protect it, are hurting millions of you every year.

I know that is hard to digest. But, because I care about you White America, I am obligated to tell you the truth, even at the risk of your discomfort.

For many of you, the very idea that there is such a thing as toxic white masculinity is both surprising and enraging. Denial and anger are a very normal reaction when an uncomfortable truth is called to account. But it is the truth. Toxic white masculinity is a fear of the world changing to the disadvantage of white men, and where what too many white men take as natural rights are …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Alabama Police Officer Kept His Job After Proposal to Murder Black Man and Hide Evidence

August 4, 2015 in Blogs

By Jon Swaine, The Guardian

A secret recording played for local officials resulted in a $35,000 payout to prevent a lawsuit.


A police officer in Alabama proposed murdering a black resident and creating bogus evidence to suggest the killing was in self-defence, the Guardian has learned.

Officer Troy Middlebrooks kept his job and continues to patrol Alexander City after authorities there paid the man $35,000 to avoid being publicly sued over the incident. Middlebrooks, a veteran of the US marines, said the man “needs a god damn bullet” and allegedly referred to him as “that nigger”, after becoming frustrated that the man was not punished more harshly over a prior run-in.The payment was made to the black resident, Vincent Bias, after a secret recording of Middlebrooks’s remarks was played to police chiefs and the mayor. Elected city councillors said they were not consulted. A copy of the recording was obtained by the Guardian.

“This town is ridiculous,” Bias, 49, said in an interview. “The police here feel they can do what they want, and often they do.” Alexander City police chief Willie Robinson defended Middlebrooks. “He was just talking. He didn’t really mean that,” he said in an interview.

Within months of the recording, Middlebrooks was the first officer to respond to a controversial fatal shooting by a colleague of an unarmed black man in the city. He was closely involved in handling the scene and gave a key account of what happened to state investigators. His fellow officer was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing and both men continue to police the city of about 15,000 people about 55 miles north-east of Montgomery.

Middlebrooks, 33, made the threatening comments to Bias’s brother-in-law during a May 2013 encounter at his home, which Bias was visiting. Police came to the home after they discovered an unleashed dog.

A lawsuit from Bias that the city paid to settle before it reached court stated that while Bias remained inside the house and out of earshot, the officer remarked to Bias’s brother-in-law, who is white, that he was tired of “that nigger” being released from jail.

Middlebrooks had arrested Bias on drug charges …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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How Washington Has Inflated the Iran Threat

August 4, 2015 in Economics

By Justin Logan

Justin Logan

American and Israeli opponents of the agreement between the six major powers and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program have come up with dozens of arguments why the deal is bad. Many of them emerged before the deal existed. But of these reasons, a few have gained wide currency. One of these is the idea that Iran is poised to dominate the Middle East. In remarkably similar language, Israeli government officials, Republican congressmen and presidential candidates, and hawkish pundits all argue that détente on the nuclear issue will turn the region over to Tehran.

The first recent enunciation came from freshman Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., in a March Senate speech, in which he warned of Iran’s “drive for regional hegemony.” One month later, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warned that Iran’s “violent pursuit of regional hegemony represents a grave, grave threat … to the entire world.” Michael Doran, who helped design Middle East policy for the George W. Bush administration, warned a debate audience in May that “with this [nuclear] deal, we are turning Iran into the regional hegemon in the Middle East, all right?” The Wall Street Journal’s editors termed Iran an “emerging regional hegemon” in a May editorial. And finally, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told the Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth in June that there is a real danger Iran could “gain hegemony in the region by being active in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Wherever this line of argument originated, and even given the Beltway tendency to threat inflation, it is ridiculous. Iran cannot attain regional hegemony in the Middle East in the policy-relevant future. It could not do so with an extra $100 billion, or even with nuclear weapons. To argue that it could both misconstrues regional hegemony and mischaracterizes the balance of power in the Middle East. There are plenty of reasons to oppose an Iranian nuclear weapons capability, and it is possible to mount a defensible argument against the nuclear agreement. The specter of Iranian regional hegemony however, is a bizarre fantasy that only reveals confusion.

Defining terms and measuring power

Claims that Iran is poised to achieve regional hegemony in the Middle East should be evaluated in light of what the term means.”

“Regional hegemony” is a term in international relations popularized by the University of Chicago’s John J. Mearsheimer. (The term hegemon draws etymologically from the Greek word meaning “to lead.”) Mearsheimer …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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AlterNet Comics: Jen Sorensen on the Real Villains of Tissue-gate

August 4, 2015 in Blogs

By Jen Sorensen, AlterNet

'This is an affront to basic human decency!'


 

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Source: ALTERNET

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Mainstream Media Won't Name Koch Donors, But We Will

August 4, 2015 in Blogs

By Lauren Windsor, AlterNet

Journalists were allowed access to the Kochs' retreat but only if they did not identify who was in attendance.


Nine news outlets, including Politico and the Washington Post, have been given access to the Koch brothers donor fest on the condition that they not report on the identities of donors without their permission.

Notes Huffington Post's Michael Calderone:

The problem is that the ground rules could restrict journalists from reporting what's right in front of their eyes. If, say, Rupert Murdoch, or even a lesser-known billionaire, walked by, they couldn't report the person's attendance without permission. So it's possible journalists end up reporting largely what the event sponsors want, such as fiery speeches and candidate remarks criticizing Democrats, but less on the power brokers attending who play key behind-the-scenes roles in the 2016 election.

Calderone is on-the-money, but there is a further, perhaps bigger danger. The presence of major media companies at the retreat lends the Koch operation the appearance of transparency, essentially white-washing activities that are corrosive to American democracy.

The Undercurrent has been on-the-ground in Dana Point covering the retreat, and was not granted any special access. In fact, this reporter was stalked by the Koch security team and manhandled by top Koch operative Kevin Gentry. (More on that debacle to come.) Additionally, one of Undercurrent's photographers was threatened by a guest who did not like having his picture taken. This man got out of his car and shouted angrily, “You don't know who you're f*cking with!”

To his point, no, we don't, and we need your help. The Undercurrent and its sponsor, American Family Voices, are committed to doing what the mainstream media won't: exposing Koch donors. If you know the identity of the aforementioned man below, please let us know in the comments section, and stay tuned for more — we have well over 1,000 pictures to mine, so it will take some time to identify everyone. Subscribe to The Undercurrent on YouTube for more independent, on-the-ground political reporting from Lauren Windsor.

<Img align="left" border="0" height="1" width="1" alt="" style="border:0;float:left;margin:0;padding:0" …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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The Trouble with Obama's Clean Power Plan

August 4, 2015 in Economics

By Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger

Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger

In unveiling the final details of his Clean Power Plan on Monday, President Barack Obama laid out the three main objectives of this federal action: Mitigate dangerous climate change, protect the public health, and provide international leadership. For good measure, he also threw in a fourth aspiration: Protect the planet for our children.

Unfortunately, upon close inspection, the plan’s actual impact on climate turns out to be largely undetectable and the public health benefits tenuous, at best. It’s tough to leave the world better for future generations by deliberately slowing the rate of human development, which is what this plan unfortunately calls for.

When it comes to future climate change, mainstream scientific projections, which appear to be running to hot, predict about 2.5°C of warming by the end of the century as a result of carbon dioxide emitted from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas). Nearly 90% of this warming is expected to come from developing nations such as China, India, and countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Of the remaining warming, amounting to about 0.3°C, about half will come from U.S. emissions.

Ultimately, and looked at with a critical eye, the Clean Power Plan will be ineffective at mitigating climate change and improving public health.”

This means, that if we in the United States were to cease emitting all carbon dioxide from this day forward, future global warming would only be reduced by about 0.15°C by the end of the century. That’s all. This is why incremental actions like the Clean Power plan, which only seeks a 10% reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030, will have no appreciable impact on the future course of climate, only around 0.02°C. Put simply, when it comes to mitigating climate change, the U.S. has little role to play.

Meanwhile, the human health benefits of the President’s plan do not largely stem from the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. After all, carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is not dangerous to breathe. Instead, they are to come from the “co-benefits” of reducing some forms of air pollution that are emitted when fossil fuels are burned. But these by-product emissions are already subject to existing regulations and are being double-counted by the President. Further, direct health impacts from climate change are difficult to pin down — and ethereal — as adaptive measures can more than …read more

Source: OP-EDS