FINLAND: New Government Commits to a Basic Income Experiment - "The Finnish government of Juha Sipilä is considering a pilot project that would give everyone of working age a basic income."[1,2,3] (via) [more inside]
Supreme Court rules against gerrymandering - "Ginsburg's opinion is now the law, and I suspect that, in a few decades, this case will be considered one of the most important of the term. Thus far, only California has copied Arizona and created an independent redistricting commission. But with the court's blessing, more states are likely to follow suit. These commissions have been hugely successful thus far, a real boost for representative democracy and a cure for the notoriously stubborn problem of gerrymandering. Had Justice Anthony Kennedy swung away from Ginsburg and aligned with his fellow conservatives, America would be facing down a distressingly undemocratic future."
Shared Prosperity, Common Wealth, National Equity and a Citizen's Dividend: Nirit Peled takes a look at social experiments in basic incomes for VPRO Tegenlicht, a Dutch public television documentary series. Starting with a German crowdfunded UBI chosen by raffle -- kind of like the opposite of Le Guin's Omelas (or Shirley Jackson's Lottery in reverse) -- the focus moves on to Albert Wenger who wants to disconnect work from income not only as automation progresses but to accelerate the process. Then it's on to Guy Standing who has conducted basic income experiments in India and Namibia (pdf) and is trying to get one off the ground in Groningen (Utrecht apparently is also a go). Finally, a stop in Alaska to ask some of its residents about their views on the state-owned Permanent Fund. This last part brings to mind the question: just what is wealth anyway? [more inside]
China rates its own citizens - including online behaviour: "The Chinese government is currently implementing a nationwide electronic system, called the Social Credit System, attributing to each of its 1,3 billion citizens a score for his or her behavior. The system will be based on various criteria, ranging from financial credibility and criminal record to social media behavior. From 2020 onwards each adult citizen should, besides his identity card, have such a credit code." [more inside]
Déjà Lu republishes locally-selected scholarly articles from journals connected to regional anthropological associations around the world. The result is a PDF-heavy but fascinating collection of long reads on obscure topics. Via. [more inside]
Religion in China: Cracks in the atheist edifice - "Yang Fenggang of Purdue University, in Indiana, says the Christian church in China has grown by an average of 10% a year since 1980. He reckons that on current trends there will be 250m Christians by around 2030, making China's Christian population the largest in the world. Mr Yang says this speed of growth is similar to that seen in fourth-century Rome just before the conversion of Constantine, which paved the way for Christianity to become the religion of his empire." [more inside]
Let Us Face the Future - "All parties pay lip service to the idea of jobs for all. All parties are ready to promise to achieve that end by keeping up the national purchasing power and controlling changes in the national expenditure through Government action. Where agreement ceases is in the degree of control of private industry that is necessary to achieve the desired end. In hard fact, the success of a full employment programme will certainly turn upon the firmness and success with which the Government fits into that programme the investment and development policies of private as well as public industry." [more inside]
South Carolina saw its first same-sex marriages today, in Charleston. The first license was issued to Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley; the first ceremony saw Kayla Bennett and Kristin Anderson married (vine). Licenses were issued last month, but a stay was issued by the state Supreme Court after a move by the governor and attorney general. An order by 4th circuit judge Richard Gergel yesterday was not stayed. [more inside]
The Supreme Court has lifted the stay preventing same-sex marriage in Kansas; meantime, South Carolina is stayed until November 20th. [more inside]
The recent issue of the online Viewpoint Magazine (previously) contains a roundtable discussion on state power and revolutionary strategy featuring historian Geoff Eley, political theorist Jodi Dean and others. [more inside]
At 10AM Mountain Time on Tuesday, October 21, Wyoming began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The U.S. Supreme Court had announced its decision to "let stand appeals court rulings allowing same-sex marriage in five states," including Wyoming, on October 6—16 years since gay college student Matthew Shepard was abducted, tortured, and left to die outside Laramie, WY, in a homophobic attack that galvanized LGBT activism across the country. The Matthew Shepard Foundation posted today: "Congratulations, Wyoming. Thirty-two down, 18 to go." [Previously: The 10-year anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death.]
This morning, the Supreme Court denied cert petitions in all seven same-sex marriage cases that had been brought to the SCOTUS level. [more inside]
"Public attitude might be becoming more diverse, but any right to same-sex marriage is not yet so entrenched as to be fundamental." U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman posts a ruling that Louisiana’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages is constitutional. [more inside]
A federal judge has struck down Florida's state constitutional ban against gay marriage. Four state justices have previously struck down the ban, but U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle became the first federal judge to rule the Sunshine State's ban unconstitutional. [more inside]
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the decision overturning Virginia's ban on Same sex marriage:
"We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws. Civil marriage is one of the cornerstones of our way of life. It allows individuals to celebrate and publicly declare their intentions to form lifelong partnerships, which provide unparalleled intimacy, companionship, emotional support, and security. The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance."[more inside]
Monroe County Circuit Judge, Luis Garcia, has ruled that a provision in the Florida Constitution that outlaws same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. [more inside]
Clarity Campaign Labs invites you to use TargetSmart U.S. voter data to discover, via seven yes/no/don't care questions, What town matches my politics? Business Insider uses it to determine the most liberal and conservative towns in each state.
A federal judge in Oregon has overturned that state's ban on same sex marriage, opening the door for couples to begin getting married immediately. (PDF) [more inside]
Arkansas Judge strikes down gay marriage ban. And in a surprising move, didn't put the order on hold so people could appeal. [more inside]
The Supreme Court ruled (PDF) this morning that the town of Greece, New York did not violate the Constitution by starting its public meetings with a prayer from a “chaplain of the month." [more inside]
A federal judge in Indiana has ordered that the state recognize the marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney. [more inside]
Somaliland is an odd land. In global limbo since its birth, it continues to develop economically and socially in a reasonably stable and secure environment. Recently, the British town of Sheffield was the first to recognize its very existence as an independent country. In the meantime, the capital Hargeisa city, which has only one paved road, recently installed streetlights for the first time, and an enterprising entrepreneur returned home from Australia to start a familiar city service - the yellow cab. Investors and businesses have started paying attention while the major powers still prefer to pretend it doesn't exist. Even while experts debate whether their model can be utilized in far more volatile Somalia, Hargeisa's residents want you to know they are Happy.
Following the state Supreme Court's decision in Griego v. Oliver [pdf], New Mexico has become the 17th U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. [more inside]
With the bill approved by the Illinois House of Representatives, Illinois will become the 15th marriage equality state. [more inside]
New Jersey court to allow same-sex marriages. A stay was not granted to an earlier ruling allowing gay people to marry in New Jersey. Asbury Park and Newark are already issuing marriage licenses for couples to marry at the first possible time on Monday. This defeats a long-term move by governor Christie and conservatives to push a statewide referendum rather than go ahead with the court's ruling. New Jersey is now the fourteenth state to allow gay marriage.
Marriage equality comes to Minnesota and Rhode Island at midnight, August 1, and the Minnesota DFL state senators wanted to congratulate their same-sex newlywed constituents. [more inside]
Iowa State Fair officials have announced 10 new food options for the 2013 fair, in addition to the eight announced earlier this month. These include maple bacon funnel cake and deep fried prairie oysters, and join old favorites including deep fried butter on a stick, pork chop on a stick, and over 60 other foods (on a stick). [more inside]
Utah State Sen. Aaron Osmond (R-South Jordan) has introduced a proposal to abolish compulsory education for children in his home state. [more inside]
our highly speculative proposal for the reconfiguration of the political geography of the United States to better conform to the spatial distribution of various water resources, such as rivers, aquifers, and man-made infrastructures.[more inside]
Today, at noon (central daylight time) the Minnesota Senate will begin debate on a bill to legalize same sex marriages. The bill already passed the Minnesota House. As Reuters reports, the Senate will likely pass the bill, and Governor Mark Dayton has promised to sign it into law. [more inside]
"Them and Them." "Rockland County, New York's East Ramapo school district is a taxpayer-funded system fighting financial insolvency. It is also bitterly divided between the mostly black and Hispanic children and families who use the schools and the Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish majority who run the Board of Education and send their children to private, religious schools." Also see: A District Divided. [more inside]
The state of Washington has filed suit against Arlene's Flowers, whose owner, Barronelle Stutzman, refused to provide flowers for the wedding of regular customers Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed. [more inside]
Economists and the theory of politics - "why unions were often well worth any deadweight cost" [more inside]
Georgia Senate passes resolution to move state line, claim Tennessee River water. A TPM reader provides interesting background.
Santa Fe officials are encouraging same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses, pointing out that the state doesn't need to pass a marriage equality law because New Mexico law already allows same-sex marriage.
A new report, the National Intelligence Estimate, released by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence "represents the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community, describes a wide range of sectors that have been the focus of [China-based] hacking over the past five years, including energy, finance, information technology, aerospace and automotive." One face of Chinese state-sponsored hackers profiled by Bloomberg Business Week is Zhang Changhe, an instructor at the People's Liberation Army Information Engineering University in Zhengzhou. [more inside]
It is June 2, 2010 and Mark Zuckerberg is sweating. He’s wearing his hoodie—he’s always wearing his hoodie—and he’s on stage and either the lights or the questions are too hot. … “Do you want to take off the hoodie?” asks Kara Swisher.The varied cultural resonances of an unassuming garment.
“I never take off the hoodie.”
What Susan Rice Has Meant for U.S. Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa Right now, Africa is changing with extraordinary speed and in surprising ways, but American policy there remains stale and stuck in the past: unambitious, underinvested and conceptually outdated.
Paul Harris is the head of the Marriage License Department for Clark County, in the American state of Washington. Today, after 40 years with the same man, he can finally apply for his own marriage license. [more inside]
Former MTV State member Ken Marino will make you fall in love with him all over again! Did you love The State on MTV? More recent collaborations like Reno 911? The Ten? Party Down? Adult Swim's Children's Hospital? You may enjoy the Yahoo web series Burning Love, a pitch-perfect parody of reality shows like The Bachelor, but with so much more DRAMA! Narcissism! Alcoholism! Sexuality! Crazy eyes! Homelessness! Pantslessness! [more inside]
Empire State of Pen — 80 second timelapse video of artist Patrick Vale drawing the view of the Manhattan skyline from the Empire State Building.
In school, most grades have a favorite teacher. For Rockport-Fulton Middle School's seventh grade, it's Bobby Jackson. He teaches Texas History. (Via) [more inside]
Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report (pdf) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis with a pdf of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside]
Propaganda - A film alledged to be from North Korea about the excess of Western decadance and public relations propaganda - hits Youtube (1:35:52)