“What better way to eliminate the infinitesimal amount of voter fraud in the United States than by disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of people? That is basically what the Republican craze of “voter ID” laws will do. These laws will overwhelmingly impact students, minorities and the poor— interestingly-enough, all reliable Democratic voters. Funny how the statehouses and governors who back voter ID laws are all Republican. Go figure.”—
In the words of Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals:
“There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud, if there is no actual danger of such fraud, and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens.”
The truth is, in terms of virology, Ebola should not be a threat to American citizens. We have clean water. We have information. We have the means to educate ourselves, practice proper hand-washing procedures, protect ourselves with hazmat suits. The CDC Disease Detectives were dispatched to Dallas almost immediately to work on the front lines to identify those who might be at risk, who could have been exposed. We have the technology, and we certainly have the money to keep Ebola at bay. What we don’t have is communication. What we don’t have is a health care system that values preventative care. What we don’t have is an equal playing field between nurses and physicians and allied health professionals and patients. What we don’t have is a culture of health where we work symbiotically with one another and with the technology that was created specifically to bridge communication gaps, but has in so many ways failed. What we don’t have is the social culture of transparency, what we don’t have is a stopgap against mounting hysteria and hypochondria, what we don’t have is nation of health literate individuals. We don’t even have health-literate professionals. Most doctors are specialists and are well versed only in their field. Ask your orthopedist a general question about your health — see if they can comfortably answer it.
If we were serious about health care in this country, we’d be serious about public health as a public, not private, good. Yet we are so self-centered and individualistic that even public health must be couched in personal terms, in terms of health insurance policies and not the benefits of health care availability to society at large. Aspects digitizing and sharing medical data, promoting preventative care, etc., were downplayed because of fears of “socialism” accusations. So even as we improved our health care infrastructure, we could not do enough to centralize and rationalize information and authority, to coordinate a unified response to hazards and crises, because of a paranoid anti-intellectual, anti-government attitude fostered by those would simply make more money without government oversight, regardless of the ramifications for the nation.
“As long as supernatural beliefs persist, men can be exploited by cunning priests and oligarchs, and the technical progress which is the prerequisite of a just society cannot be achieved…”—George Orwell (via azspot)
“What I remember most about emotional abuse is that it’s like being put in a box. How you end up in there is the biggest trick – I never managed to work that one out. Maybe you think it’s a treasure box at first: you’re in there because you’re special. Soon the box starts to shrink. Every time you touch the edges there is an “argument”. So you try to make yourself fit. You curl up, become smaller, quieter, remove the excessive, offensive parts of your personality – you begin to notice lots of these. You eliminate people and interests, change your behaviour. But still the box gets smaller. You think it’s your fault. The terrible, unforgivable too-muchness of you is to blame. You don’t realise that the box is shrinking, or who is making it smaller. You don’t yet understand that you will never, ever be tiny enough to fit, or silent enough to avoid a row”—It’s time to make emotional abuse a crime - Lauren Laverne (via koyyuh)
The basic premise of any story that Fox News features is the government under President Obama lacks ‘leadership.’ When the U.S. economy was hemorrhaging 700,000 jobs per month, no one questioned the leadership capabilities of the Cheney/Bush Administration, they just blamed Wall Street and not the blatant absence of regulations to prevent corruption. But now that the economy is growing, unemployment is down significantly and jobs are being added every month for the last three years, President Obama isn’t a real leader.
Paul Ryan, the Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver is considered one of the architects of the brilliant plan to save our economy, which would include the exact same ill-conceived tactics of the last GOP president. When you have a House filled with geniuses like Blake Farenholtz and Louis Gohmert, the bar in the GOP is so low that Ryan is considered the modern-day Albert Einstein.
The only response dictatorships tend to have for popular discontent, social tension or ethnic conflict is repression. The rigidity of these systems of rule makes them unable to smooth out conflicts within society, which means that, although social or political conflicts can be repressed for lengthy periods of times, these problems have the capacity to destabilize the entire state in the long term.
There is no such thing as a benevolent dictator. In authoritarian systems, the regime, military and economy usually combine to form a power-clique that, in turn, fosters cronyism and corruption. If nothing else, these Mafia-like conditions among the leadership are what lead many citizens to revolt. Even in supposedly well-functioning China, these side-effects represent an inside threat to the Communist Party’s system of rule.
Oh, one of the things that I am most proud of is that people can say, “I am an atheist,” in the United States today….
What we are interested in is moving out, in order to see that there is a more viable life cycle for all people, and that the human condition can be ameliorated somewhat by human beings working in concert to do something. We must do something about the pollution. We must do something about the waste. We have to do something about the greed. We must stop war.
And we’re not going to do any of those things as long as we feel the solution is to go to church on Sunday, or funnel our energy into prayer or religious solutions. Everybody has to get mixed up in the problems to try to solve them.
”—Madalyn Murray O’Hair, best known for the Murray v. Curlett lawsuit, which led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling ending official Bible-reading in American public schools in 1963; she was referred to as 'The most hated woman in America' by Life magazine in 1964 (via whats-out-there)