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Our Phony Economy.

Our Phony Economy. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Aug 12, 2008 - 102 comments

People Power

It was a mass protest held outside the halls of Washington. Led, or at least it was supposed to be, by Martin Luther King Jr. (before he was assassinated) it was going to show the world the glaring divide that existed between the Rich and the Poor of America. Black, White, Red, Yellow--they all gathered from all over the US, to stay together for six weeks, outside the Capitol, and inform the public about what life in America could sometimes mean, if you were not considered economically, socially or racially acceptable. Unfortunately, the problem still persists, even today.
posted by hadjiboy on Aug 10, 2008 - 8 comments

Has the US peaked and is in decline?

Some books you might want to read about the US and recent political developments in the world. [more inside]
posted by yoyo_nyc on Aug 8, 2008 - 18 comments

Doesn't everyone exaggerate the size of Lake Ontario?

Humorist and candidate for the US Senate for Minnesota Al Franken draws a map of the United States from memory.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 5, 2008 - 83 comments

Electing a US President in Plain English

A three-and-a-half minute video explaining the American electoral process. As a Canadian, I've also found the American electoral system a little baffling. Electoral colleges? Maine and Nebraska do it differently? I thought this video by the smart folks at Common Craft did an excellent job of explaining how somebody gets to the White House.
posted by dbarefoot on Jul 30, 2008 - 88 comments

Former United States Senator Jesse Helms, 1921 - 2008.

Fmr. US Senator Jesse Helms, 1921 - 2008. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jul 4, 2008 - 315 comments

Taking Affirmative Action Against Crime and For Economic Reconstruction

The black backs by and on which the fortunes of the New South were built:
On March 30, 1908, Green Cottenham was arrested by the sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama, and charged with “vagrancy.”... Cottenham’s offense was blackness.... [After a brief trial] Cottenham... was sold. Under a standing arrangement between the county and a vast subsidiary of the industrial titan of the North — U.S. Steel Corporation — the sheriff turned the young man over to the company for the duration of his sentence.... he was chained inside a long wooden barrack at night and required to spend nearly every waking hour digging and loading coal. His required daily “task” was to remove eight tons of coal from the mine. Cottenham was subject to the whip for failure to dig the requisite amount, at risk of physical torture for disobedience, and vulnerable to the sexual predations of other miners.... Forty-five years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freeing American slaves, Green Cottenham and more than a thousand other black men toiled under the lash at Slope 12.
— from the Introduction to Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II. The book's website includes reviews of the book, an excerpt of the Introduction, and an extensive photo gallery that includes disturbing images of enslaved and tortured prisoners. [more inside]
posted by orthogonality on Jun 21, 2008 - 94 comments

copyrite more like copyrong

"Happy Birthday to You" is the best-known and most frequently sung song in the world. Many - including Justice Breyer in his dissent in Eldred v. Ashcroft - have portrayed it as an unoriginal work that is hardly worthy of copyright protection, but nonetheless remains under copyright. Yet close historical scrutiny reveals both of those assumptions to be false. [Full pdf here.] [via] [more inside]
posted by dersins on Jun 19, 2008 - 57 comments

Under His Robes

U.S. 9th District Court of Appeals Chief Justice Alex Kozinski [wiki] is currently adjudicating a remarkably hardcore obscenity case.  He is currently facing his own obscenity case as well, having allowed public access to NSFW or illegal-for-minor-viewing material posted on his own vanity website, as reported in the LA Times.  Although he maintains that the material's posting was just innocent fun, he clearly knows his way around the internets.  Kozinski is a prolific and well-regarded essayist, and is occasionally mentioned as a potential Supreme Court nominee.
posted by rzklkng on Jun 11, 2008 - 96 comments

Are Americans leaving the US?

While Gerorge Soros and Jim Rodgers predict one of the worst recessions for the US, Americans seem to look for exit options in form of a second citizenship. [more inside]
posted by yoyo_nyc on Jun 10, 2008 - 128 comments

HeroWorship Filter

Is Barack Obama the Messiah? After all, it may explain the logo. Maybe he's just a light-worker, "who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet." This could just be all hootenany from the press, like Chris Matthews, who called BO the "New Testament." But, as always, there are unbelievers.
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jun 9, 2008 - 126 comments

Another Report Which The President Won't Read

The U.S. Climate Change Science Program has just released "Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3: The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity in the United States." It makes for pretty interesting reading. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Jun 2, 2008 - 6 comments

"NIXON-AGNEW", in red and in blue.

United States election logos, 2008-1960.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on May 15, 2008 - 84 comments

Robert Rauschenberg, dead at 82.

Robert Rauschenberg (previously), painter, sculptor, perfomance artist, printmaker, photographer, theater designer, technologist, dead at 82. [more inside]
posted by krautland on May 13, 2008 - 59 comments

The story of the Democratic primaries so far, boiled down to seven minutes.

The Democratic Primary Season in 7 Minutes.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on May 6, 2008 - 63 comments

The Rise of the Rest

The Rise of the Rest. Fareed Zakaria's Newsweek article about a "post-American" world.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on May 5, 2008 - 42 comments

Will They Make The World An Offer It Can't Refuse?

Pax Corleone Americana? "Can any of the candidates vying to become the next president of the United States match Michael’s cool, dispassionate courage in the face of epochal change? Will they avoid living in the comforting embrace of the past, from which both Tom and Sonny ultimately could not escape? Or will they emulate Michael’s flexibility—to preserve America’s position in a dangerous world?" The Godfather as metaphor.
posted by amyms on Apr 28, 2008 - 36 comments

Free Range Kids

Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone (via). More From America's Worst Mom: 9-Year-Old On The Subway, Continued. [more inside]
posted by blasdelf on Apr 11, 2008 - 201 comments

"[P]ropaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state...."

Need money? Have a blog? Well, your troubles may be over: "Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering." Of course, if you don't want to play along, there are other ways to make your blog useful:
Hacking the site and subtly changing the messages and data—merely a few words or phrases—may be sufficient to begin destroying the blogger’s credibility with the audience.... If the messages are subtly tweaked and the data corrupted in the right way, the enemy may reason that the blogger in question has betrayed them and... take down the site (and the blogger) themselves....
Who might you be interested in "clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers"? Oh, the US military.
posted by orthogonality on Apr 5, 2008 - 20 comments

The Audacity of Government

A very special 'This American Life' about an administration with the endemic belief that laws only apply to the little people, and a limitless refusal to concede on even petty issues, no matter the costs. The highlight is about immigrant widows of US citizens (30:50). The program also discusses the constitutional beliefs of the presidential candidates. [more inside]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 2, 2008 - 43 comments

Why the US is collapsing

The leader of the Swedish Pirate Party explaining how the US went bankrupt in 1971, and has been covering it up through an accelerating whack-a-mole borrowing frenzy that is bursting right now. [more inside]
posted by blasdelf on Mar 22, 2008 - 121 comments

When Men Wear Nail Polish, the Terrorists Win

"I'm not a politician, I'm an artist. Depravity is part of the job description," says self-styled dandy, former drug addict, and controversial British author Sebastian Horsely, who was denied entrance to the US by customs officials at Newark Airport on the grounds of "moral turpitude," a wide net that encompasses everything from fornication to being a "nuisance." Shades of Oscar Wilde.
posted by digaman on Mar 21, 2008 - 42 comments

SCOTUS Hears Oral Arguments On Case Determining Whether American Citizens Have the Right to Carry Hanguns under the Second Amendment

Oral arguments were heard today in District of Columbia v. Heller, the first occasion in almost 70 years for the Supreme Court to decide the question, "Just what does the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution mean?"
posted by Law Talkin' Guy on Mar 18, 2008 - 104 comments

Brok en Pip e l ine

An unprecedented five consecutive years of stagnant funding for the National Institutes of Health is putting America at risk - a few prominent research institutions get together to voice their concern over flat funding of the National Institutes of Health over the past 5 years, in their report The Broken Pipeline (pdf). Bloggers comment [1, 2, 3].
posted by Gyan on Mar 14, 2008 - 40 comments

US Presidential Greatness as a Function of Experience

Is an Experienced President a Good President?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 10, 2008 - 92 comments

Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different?

Carmen Reinhart of the University of Maryland and Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University have compared the recent US subprime mortgage crisis with five downturns in industrialized economies in the past 30 years in their brief paper, Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? (pdf). Their conclusion: “given the severity of most crisis indicators in the run-up to its 2007 financial crisis, the United States should consider itself quite fortunate if its downturn ends up being a relatively short and mild one.” Summarized, with some data and charts, here. Via.
posted by ibmcginty on Feb 9, 2008 - 19 comments

Once, sure. Twice, Maybe. Three? Four!?!

Much of the Middle East has been without reliable internet access recently due to the somewhat suspicious cutting of four seperate underwater cables, in seperate locations, within a few days of each other. The problem has been alleviated by re-routing of traffic until ships can reach the cables to repair them, a process which may take several weeks. The problem was initially believed to be caused by anchors of passing ships, but that has since been retracted and deals have already been signed by several companies for new cables. [more inside]
posted by Dillonlikescookies on Feb 5, 2008 - 68 comments

Doing less with more

Bush requests $515.4 billion in funds for the defense budget from congress. So what do those numbers mean? The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments states the DoD’s base budget will grow to record (or near-record) levels and will require even greater increases in the coming years. The troops wouldn’t mind the planned pay raises commensurate with the private sector, housing that doesn’t smell like bug powder and mold, and chow that doesn’t turn your stomach. But according to the CSBA’s analysis ( here * caution PDF) , it’s doubtful that even an ideological Bush clone would be able to implement those increases given the economic realities. Some vets blame the silence of the generals. Should everything have changed post 9/11?(*PDF)
posted by Smedleyman on Feb 5, 2008 - 74 comments

Character. Integrity. Do.

20 minutes or so on why I am 4Barack. A very thoughtful and eloquent comparison (transcript) of the core differences between Obama and Clinton - by Creative Commons CEO and Professor Lawrence Lessig.
posted by zenzizi on Feb 5, 2008 - 490 comments

"Many-Rule" is kind of vague.

ResetDOC asks: "What is democracy?" [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea on Jan 16, 2008 - 8 comments

"You will explode after two minutes".

"Video of Iran ‘attack’ on three US warships released by Pentagon"
posted by nthdegx on Jan 9, 2008 - 125 comments

US Census Bureau's DataWeb

TheDataWeb - a network of online data libraries on topics including census data, economic data, health data, income and unemployment data, population data, labor data, cancer data, crime and transportation data, family dynamics, vital statistics data
posted by Gyan on Dec 26, 2007 - 10 comments

Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online Act

Yesterday, the US House passed the SAFE Act. No, not that one. Points of note:
- If signed into law, the SAFE Act will require people offering WiFi at their cafe, library, or even allowing their neighbours to use it, who notice that someone appears to have viewed certain dirty cartoons, or pictures of fully-clothed children looking sexy, to immediately make a comprehensive report to John Walsh's CyberTipLine, and retain the images, or face a fine of up to $150,000.
- ISPs or email services have the same obligations, and must store all data relating to the user's account, to be handed over to the authorities.
- The Democrats rushed the legislation through using a mechanism intended for non-controversial legislation. There was no hearing or committee vote. The legislation changed significantly before the vote and was not available for public review.
- The bill passed 409-2. Opposed were Paul Broun (R-Georgia) and Ron Paul (R-Texas). The Senate is next, so consider telling them what you think.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Dec 6, 2007 - 98 comments

US to allies: "Suck it, haterz!"

US has right to kidnap any defendant, anywhere, anytime, says it's UK lawyer. Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects. The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington. [more inside]
posted by dash_slot- on Dec 1, 2007 - 75 comments

Infringement Nation

Infringement Nation: Copyright Reform and the Law/Norm Gap. [pdf] [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Nov 26, 2007 - 22 comments

Abu Ghraib Interrogator Becomes Conscientious Objector

A riveting ten-minute interview with playwright and former US Army interrogator Joshua Casteel. He discusses how a particular interrogation with an Iraqi prisoner--and an exchange of views on Islam and Christianity--motivated him to leave the armed forces and become a conscientious objector.
posted by dbarefoot on Nov 14, 2007 - 42 comments

In the Shadow of Lal Masjid

The China Factor in Pakistani Politics "Pakistan’s alliance with China, which supports Islamabad’s confrontation with India and underpins its hopes for economic growth in its populous heartland, is probably a lot more important to Islamabad than the dangerous, destabilizing, and thankless task of pursuing Islamic extremists on its remote and impoverished frontiers at Washington’s behest."
posted by Abiezer on Nov 8, 2007 - 12 comments

All is forgiven, tout est oublie.

Sarko l'Americain addresses US Congress. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has told the US Congress it can count on France's support against terrorism in Afghanistan and Iran's nuclear plan. [Full Text here PDF]. Here also, is a recent take on Franco-American relations [more inside]
posted by psmealey on Nov 7, 2007 - 32 comments

Top 101 Cities Lists

Top 101 Cities Lists (in the US)
posted by graventy on Nov 6, 2007 - 48 comments

Your Bottom Dollar

The pound has hit its highest level against the dollar in 26 years.
posted by chuckdarwin on Oct 30, 2007 - 75 comments

MRSA... the global medical communities dirty little secret.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. In 2005, invasive MRSA infections were estimated to have killed 18,650 in the United States alone. This may be a conservative estimate. It is going global. It is changing politics. It may become pandemic. [more inside]
posted by PROD_TPSL on Oct 17, 2007 - 113 comments

You and I were/weren't meant to fly....

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is proposing new rules regarding passenger pre-screening both domestically and internationally. Interestingly, this includes flights that overfly the continental US without ever touching the ground. [more inside]
posted by never used baby shoes on Oct 12, 2007 - 40 comments

Allí, ese 16 de marzo, Bush, Blair y Aznar decidieron sustituir al Consejo de Seguridad de Naciones Unidas y usurparon sus funciones para declarar por su cuenta y riesgo la guerra contra Irak.

Bush and Aznar pre-Iraq Invasion-- Transcript of their private conversations in Crawford, Feb 22, 2003: "Quedan dos semanas. En dos semanas estaremos militarmente listos. Estaremos en Bagdad a finales de marzo", le dijo a Aznar. ("2 weeks. In 2 weeks we will be ready militarily. We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March", he told Aznar.) Consider this historical documentation. Full transcript here, and audio clips in first link. [more inside]
posted by amberglow on Sep 25, 2007 - 46 comments

Going after Gore

Going After Gore "Al Gore couldn't believe his eyes: as the 2000 election heated up, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other top news outlets kept going after him, with misquotes ("I invented the Internet"), distortions (that he lied about being the inspiration for Love Story), and strangely off-the-mark needling, while pundits such as Maureen Dowd appeared to be charmed by his rival, George W. Bush. For the first time, Gore and his family talk about the effect of the press attacks on his campaign—and about his future plans—to the author, who finds that many in the media are re-assessing their 2000 coverage."
posted by chunking express on Sep 4, 2007 - 168 comments

The downside of living longer

Animated population pyramids project a steady increase in the median age. England and Wales. United States. Canada. China. Japan. "The number of older persons has tripled over the last 50 years; it will more than triple again over the next 50 years." [pdf] There will be a shortage of workers to support the retired and disabled. The looming crisis has been predicted for years. Proposed solutions include robots and immigration. [previously, previously]
posted by desjardins on Aug 29, 2007 - 39 comments

The state of technological labor resources

Where the Engineers Are - "To guide education policy and maintain its innovation leadership, the United States must acquire an accurate understanding of the quantity and quality of engineering graduates in India and China."
posted by Gyan on Aug 24, 2007 - 39 comments

Mo' money, mo' legislation

Is there a link between donations given and bills passed? MAPLight.org aims to help you find out, giving you the ability to compare contributions with how legislators voted. [Via]
posted by djgh on Aug 15, 2007 - 38 comments

The internet: taking the personality out of politics

Don't know which candidate to support in the 2008 election? Let a web script match a candidate to your views!
posted by nthdegx on Aug 9, 2007 - 181 comments

Turns out Turkey is the cornerstone of Europe.

Statetris is Tetris with European countries or American states as blocks.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 7, 2007 - 28 comments

Save Me!

Top 10 rescue videos from the US Coastguard, which celebrated its birthday by announcing it has saved 1,109,310 lives in its 217-year existence.
posted by dersins on Aug 5, 2007 - 7 comments

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