RSSCategory: American Culture

Is speeding dangerous?

January 9, 2014 | By | Reply More

The media often asks us to assume that the posted speed limits are reasonable. This well-crafted video challenges us to think further on this topic of speeding. Consider this bit of info near the end of the video: In some cases when the speed limit is increased, the number of crashes goes down. The take-home is that authorities should set speed limits that make sense. Well worth watching.

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Duck (And Cover…)

January 4, 2014 | By | Reply More
Duck (And Cover…)

By now those who don’t know about Phil Robertson and the debacle at A & E are most likely among those who have no access to any kind of media.  They have no idea what the world is doing, because they have no way of knowing what to pay attention to.  [More … ]

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Ten things Americans don’t understand

October 13, 2013 | By | Reply More

This article of 10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America was written back in 2012, but it is still highly relevant. Here are the headings:

1. Few People Are Impressed By Us

2. Few People Hate Us

3. We Know Nothing About The Rest Of The World

4. We Are Poor At Expressing Gratitude And Affection

5. The Quality of Life For The Average American Is Not That Great

6. The Rest Of The World Is Not A Slum-Ridden Shithole Compared To Us

7. We’re Paranoid

8. We’re Status-Obsessed And Seek Attention

9. We Are Very Unhealthy

10. We Mistake Comfort For Happiness

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Obama administration tries running Bush’s WMD play to beat war drums

August 31, 2013 | By | 3 Replies More
Obama administration tries running Bush’s WMD play to beat war drums

Continuing the many ways in which the Surveiller-in-Chief is resembling George W. Bush, Obama is now pushing for military action in Syria, using the retread justification of Weapons of Mass Destruction (gasp!). [More]

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Recurring haunting thought

August 16, 2013 | By | 5 Replies More

Recurring haunting thought: A formal democracy is not at all inconsistent with a country trending toward dictatorship. Given our bizarre national priorities (I’m referring to the various planet-destroying and hyper-xenophobic policies where the aims of the two major parties INTERSECT), one could meaningfully advocate today for a revolution by which the control of the United States government should be handed to the People. I can imagine people scoffing at this idea: “Isn’t that what we already HAVE?” Sure. On the books, that’s what we have.

How much things have changed in the U.S. that so many high-placed prominent government officials publicly construe common folks who want to be well-informed about government misconduct to be dangerous enemies. How far we’ve come, that a former President declares that “America has no functioning democracy at this moment.” How far we’ve come that it’s so difficult to get so many people to wrest themselves from their TV and sports obsessions in order that they can regain focus enough to see the danger of our policies divesting regular folks of any meaningful political power. If this seems like hyperbole, check out “Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America” by John Nichols and Robert McChesney.

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The story about small Kentucky towns and gays

August 15, 2013 | By | Reply More

Excellent work by Stephen Colbert:

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NeoAmerica as Moby Dick

July 8, 2013 | By | Reply More

Chris Hedges sees parallels between Captain Ahab and those who steer modern America.

In our decline, hatred becomes our primary lust, our highest form of patriotism and a form of eroticism. We are made supine by hatred and fear. We deploy vast resources to hunt down jihadists and terrorists, real and phantom. We destroy our civil society in the name of a war on terror. We persecute those, from Julian Assange to Bradley Manning to Edward Snowden, who expose the dark machinations of power. We believe, because we have externalized evil, that we can purify the earth. We are blind to the evil within us. Melville’s description of Ahab is a description of the bankers, corporate boards, politicians, television personalities and generals who through the power of propaganda fill our heads with seductive images of glory and lust for wealth and power. We are consumed with self-induced obsessions that spur us toward self-annihilation.

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Bernie Sanders sums up what we can learn from Denmark

May 27, 2013 | By | Reply More

At Reader Supported News, Bernie Sanders notes that Denmark and the United States are very different countries, but insists that there are lessons the U.S. can learn from Denmark:

While it is difficult to become very rich in Denmark no one is allowed to be poor.

Health care in Denmark is universal, free of charge and high quality. . . . They spend about 11 percent of their GDP on health care. We spend almost 18 percent.

Danes understand that the first few years of a person’s life are the most important in terms of intellectual and emotional development. . . [M]others get four weeks of paid leave before giving birth. They get another 14 weeks afterward. . . . [B]oth parents have the right to 32 more weeks of leave during the first nine years of a child’s life. The state covers three-quarters of the cost of child care, more for lower-income workers.

[V]irtually all higher education in Denmark is free.

In Denmark, adequate leisure and family time are considered an important part of having a good life. Every worker in Denmark is entitled to five weeks of paid vacation plus 11 paid holidays. The United States is the only major country that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation time. The result is that fewer than half of lower-paid hourly wage workers in our country receive any paid vacation days.

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A breast is a breast is a breast

May 17, 2013 | By | Reply More

According to PolicyMic,

Ladies of New York , you are free to walk bare-breasted through the city! New York City’s 34,000 police officers have been instructed that, should they encounter a woman in public who is shirtless but obeying the law, they should not arrest her. This is a good step towards gender parity in public spaces.

So, a woman’s bare breast should be treated no differently than a man’s breast under the law. Nonetheless, the fact that this NY law is so contentious (or at least newsworthy), means that a breast is not the same as an arm or a leg, especially a woman’s breast. I explore the existential connotations of breasts here.

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