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Employers to Women: Could You Be Any Dumber (Please)?

March 25, 2018 in Blogs

By Kali Holloway, AlterNet

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Women are penalized for being smart.

In yet more evidence that oppression is the business model and the entire economy is based on fuckery, a new study finds that being an academic superstar might actually hurt women’s job prospects. (Breaking news: Men, not so much.) The study also found that while men’s employability is determined by their level of capability and dedication, women were judged on their “likeability.”

The conclusions of the study from Ohio State University suggest that companies are responsive to women who do well, as long as they don’t do too well. Ohio State sociologist Natasha Quadlin created resumes for 2,106 recent college graduates. Using an online employment database, Quadlin sent “two applications—one from a man and one from a woman”—to entry-level job listings. An Ohio State article about the study notes that “both applications included similar cover letters, academic history and participation in gender-neutral extracurricular activities.”

Quadlin found that fictional male applicants received responses expressing interest at the same rate across GPA levels. But as the pretend women’s GPAs increased, there was a correlating drop-off in the number of callbacks they received. In fact, high-grade-scoring men were 50 percent more likely to get a response from a potential employer than high-scoring women.

“We like to think that we’ve progressed past gender inequality, but it’s still there,” Quadlin said in a statement. “The study suggests that women who didn’t spend a lot of time on academics but are ‘intelligent enough’ have an advantage over women who excel in school.”

For women in science, technology, engineering and math fields, good grades were particularly harmful to post-collegiate career success. Men with high GPAs in those fields were three times as likely to get a response than their female academic peers.

“There’s a particularly strong bias against …read more


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Science Has Moved Past Worship of the 'Selfish' Gene: Why Can't We?

March 25, 2018 in Blogs

By Jeremy Lent, Open Democracy

Humanity is defined by cooperation, group identity and a sense of fair play.

What do all these ideas have in common—a tax on carbon, big investments in renewable energy, a livable minimum wage, and freely accessible healthcare? The answer is that we need all of them, but even taken together they’re utterly insufficient to redirect humanity away from impending catastrophe and toward a truly flourishing future.

That’s because the problems these ideas are designed to solve, critical as they are, are symptoms of an even more profound problem: the implicit values of a global economic and political system that is driving civilization toward a precipice.

Even with the best of intentions, those actively working to reform the current system are a bit like software engineers valiantly trying to fix multiple bugs in a faulty software program: each fix complicates the code, leading inevitably to a new set of bugs that require even more heroic workarounds. Ultimately, it becomes clear that the problem isn’t just the software: an entirely new operating system is required to get where we need to go.

Searching for a foundation of meaning

This realization dawned on me gradually over the years I spent researching my book, The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning. My research began as a personal search for meaning. I’d been through a personal crisis when the certainties on which I’d built my early life came crashing down around me. I wanted my life going forward to be truly meaningful—but based on what foundation? I was determined to sort through the received narratives of meaning until I came across a foundation I could really believe in.

My drive to answer these questions led me to explore the patterns of meaning that different cultures throughout history have constructed. Just like peeling an onion, I realized that one layer of meaning frequently covered deeper layers that structure the daily thoughts and values that most people take for granted. It was a journey of nearly ten years, during which I dedicated myself to deep research in disciplines such as …read more


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6 of the Most Historic Moments from Yesterday's March for Our Lives

March 25, 2018 in Blogs

By April M. Short, AlterNet

Millions marched to protest gun violence and demand reform.

Across the world Saturday, March for Our Lives brought millions of people out to the streets in protest of gun violence, school shootings and the lack of U.S. gun regulations. At the main event in Washington D.C, organizers estimated 850,000 people or more attended the event.

The D.C. crowd was visible from space, as shown here:
Photo via People for Bernie Sanders (Facebook).

The demonstration, organized by the high school student survivors of the February 14 Parkland shooting, memorialized the 17 people killed by a single shooter with an AR-15 assault rifle, as well as the countless other people who have died from gun violence in the U.S. and worldwide. Attendees of the March for Our Lives called on politicians to respond with more than their thoughts and prayers, and do something concrete about America’s out-of-control gun violence nightmare.

Here are six of the most powerful moments captured at the historic March for Our Lives:


1. Yolanda Renee King

One of the many powerful speeches came from Martin Luther King Jr.’s 9-year-old granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, who said, “I have a dream that enough is enough and that this should be a gun-free world, period.” She called on her generation of kids to be “a great generation.”



2. Edna Chávez

Another powerful moment came from a 17-year-old named Edna Chávez from South Los Angeles, who spoke out about the normalization of gun violence in minority communities like hers, the loss of her brother to gun violence, and the need for action.



3. Naomi Wadler

Eleven-year-old Naomi Wadler, who co-organized a walk-out at her elementary school earlier this month, gave a speech on African American girls “whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don't lead on the evening news. I represent the African American women who are victims of gun violence who are simply statistics,” she said.



4. Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney gave a brief interview on why he was attending …read more


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Afghan President to Offer Taliban Second Olive Branch

March 25, 2018 in Economics

By Sahar Khan

Sahar Khan

World leaders will gather in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, tomorrow
to discuss the prospects for peace in Afghanistan. The two-day
conference will be attended by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani,
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, representatives from the UN and
EU and high-ranking officials from 25 other countries, including
Pakistan and the U.S.

Why it matters: This summit offers a real chance for the Taliban to become part of the peace process instead of
remaining on the fringes.

The Tashkent conference follows a February meeting in Kabul
prompted by an open letter to the U.S. from Taliban leadership
proposing a renewed dialogue. President Ghani extended the Tailban
an olive branch, offering to hold peace talks without preconditions and to grant a ceasefire, prisoner swap, and even passports.

While 20 countries, including the U.S., support Afghanistan’s offer, the Taliban have
remained silent, which might indicate internal divisions on how
best to approach the peace process.

What’s next: The latest reports indicate that
the Taliban will sit out the conference. But now that the
Afghan government has made its generous offer twice, the Taliban would be wise to accept

Sahar Khan is
a visiting research fellow in the Cato Institute’s Defense and
Foreign Policy Department. …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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The Real Problem with Gina Haspel's CIA Nomination

March 25, 2018 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

An especially insidious snare for a liberal democracy in the
conduct of its foreign policy is the temptation to adopt the
strategies and tactics of one’s adversaries. President Donald
Trump’s appointment of Gina Haspel as the new director of the
Central Intelligence Agency highlights that problem. A longtime CIA
veteran, Haspel ran one of the Agency’s infamous “
black sites ” (in Thailand) during George
W. Bush’s administration. Those sites specialized in
conducting “enhanced interrogation” (torture) of Al
Qaeda suspects. Such techniques included subjecting prisoners to
sleep deprivation lasting for days, hanging them in stress
positions for hours at a time, and most controversial of all,
waterboarding—repeated simulated drowning—of suspects.
Haspel apparently not only presided over such misdeeds; there is
evidence that she played a leading role in covering them up .

Officials established black sites outside the United States to
avoid running afoul of constitutional and statutory prohibitions
against torture and the pervasive deprivations of due process. The
government sent prisoners to Guantanamo for the same cynical
reason. But the black sites and Guantanamo were not the only
examples of how U.S. leaders avoided those strictures. So too was
the practice of rendition , whereby the United States sent
accused terrorists to “friendly dictatorships” renowned
for using torture techniques that made even American conduct look
mild. Those governments included Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship
in Egypt, and in an example of supreme irony given
Washington’s current policy, Bashar al-Assad’s regime
in Syria.

The United States trashed fundamental American values—and
basic standards of human rights—in waging the war on terror.
Because the country faced a ruthless and brutal adversary, U.S.
leaders apparently concluded that it was appropriate, indeed
necessary, to adopt merciless and unethical tactics to defeat that

The war on terror is not the first time that the U.S. government
succumbed to obliterating the nation’s professed moral principles.
Even the wars against Native American tribes during the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries exhibited a similar tendency. Civilian
leaders, military commanders and white civilians alike routinely
cited atrocities that Native American fighters committed as a
justification for using equally vicious measures.

During World War II, U.S. and Allied leaders approved blatant
war crimes in the campaign against the Axis powers because those
regimes were so irredeemably evil. That perception was true, but in
the name of combatting that evil, the Allies committed atrocities
of their own against innocent people. The massive civilian
casualties inflicted during the bombing attacks on such cities as
Dresden and Tokyo are ample testimony to the callousness
that became the new norm. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, sites …read more

Source: OP-EDS