A study, to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy…The authors of this historically important study are Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, and their article is titled “Testing Theories of American Politics.” The authors clarify that the data available are probably under-representing the actual extent of control of the U.S. by the super-rich…

1 note

Battle Gear and Dress Gear

Battle Gear and Dress Gear

Is it political if I tell you that if we burn coal, you’re going to warm the atmosphere? Or is that a statement of fact that you’ve made political? It’s a scientific statement. The fact that there are elements of society that have made it political, that’s a whole other thing.
Neil deGrasse Tyson

(Source: alwaysmoneyinthebnanastand)

6,606 notes

A study, to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy, meaning profoundly corrupt, so that the answer to the study’s opening question, “Who governs? Who really rules?” in this country, is:
 
“Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But, …” and then they go on to say, it’s not true, and that, “America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened” by the findings in this, the first-ever comprehensive scientific study of the subject, which shows that there is instead “the nearly total failure of ‘median voter’ and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
 
To put it short: The United States is no democracy, but actually an oligarchy.

US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study | Common Dreams

If we had a truly independent and adversarial press in my country, this would be a big news story, but they still haven’t found that plane, so … whaddayagonnado right?

(via wilwheaton)

3,222 notes

Washington Post and Guardian Win Pulitzer For Snowden ReportsqThe Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for Public Service was awarded to the Washington Post and Guardian jointly for their Snowden reports.Snowden’s lawyer, Jesselyn Radack, notes it’s “bittersweet” that the Pulitzer went to the “safe choice” of the two publications, rather than the individuals that were responsible for the stories. Meanwhile, a statement from Edward Snowden was posted by the Freedom of Press Foundation:
I am grateful to the committee for their recognition of the efforts of those involved in the last year’s reporting, and join others around the world in congratulating Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Barton Gellman, Ewen MacAskill, and all of the others at the Guardian and Washington Post on winning the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.Today’s decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognizes was work of vital public importance.This decision reminds us that what no individual conscience can change, a free press can. My efforts would have been meaningless without the dedication, passion, and skill of these newspapers, and they have my gratitude and respect for their extraordinary service to our society. Their work has given us a better future and a more accountable democracy.

Washington Post and Guardian Win Pulitzer For Snowden ReportsqThe Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for Public Service was awarded to the Washington Post and Guardian jointly for their Snowden reports.

Snowden’s lawyer, Jesselyn Radack, notes it’s “bittersweet” that the Pulitzer went to the “safe choice” of the two publications, rather than the individuals that were responsible for the stories.

Meanwhile, a statement from Edward Snowden was posted by the Freedom of Press Foundation:

I am grateful to the committee for their recognition of the efforts of those involved in the last year’s reporting, and join others around the world in congratulating Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Barton Gellman, Ewen MacAskill, and all of the others at the Guardian and Washington Post on winning the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Today’s decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognizes was work of vital public importance.

This decision reminds us that what no individual conscience can change, a free press can. My efforts would have been meaningless without the dedication, passion, and skill of these newspapers, and they have my gratitude and respect for their extraordinary service to our society. Their work has given us a better future and a more accountable democracy.

61 notes

New Banksy art showing government agents spying on a phone box appears on side of Cheltenham house near to GCHQ.

New Banksy art showing government agents spying on a phone box appears on side of Cheltenham house near to GCHQ.

1,279 notes

Lawn Vegetable Farmers Fight the Law and Win!!!

Published on Apr 9, 2014

Grow Food Not Laws. In this video Luke Rudkowksi of WeAreChange speaks with Jason and Jennifer Helvenston, gardeners who were targeted by the state. Are Americans losing their right to grow their own food peacefully on private property? The U.S. and Florida constitutions protect property rights from arbitrary invasions. After taking the fight to the government and winning the city has withdrawn their demands to tear up a beautiful garden. These peaceful vegetable farmers are sharing their knowledge with others, for more information visit http://patriot-gardens.com/ 

(Source: sustainableprosperity)

131 notes

"Blood Moon" Lunar Eclipse Can Be Seen This Week, First Time in 2 Years
A dusty red moon known as a “blood moon” will be visible throughout the Western Hemisphere early Tuesday morning, the first of four such lunar eclipses over the next year and a half.
The blood moon will appear during what is the first total lunar eclipse in two years.
A lunar eclipse comes only when a full moon aligns perfectly with the sun and Earth. During the eclipse, the Earth’s shadow is cast across the moon, blocking the rays from the sun.
The moon turns red during an eclipse because the sunlight is refracted, similar to the way it is bent during a sunset.
Scientists say the eclipse will first appear dark gray and then turn red-orange.
For those in the tri-state area, the eclipse will begin at 1:58 a.m. Tuesday, and last for more than three hours. The best viewing time will be when everything is perfectly aligned, starting at 3:07 a.m., lasting 78 minutes.
Three other blood moons will be visible Oct. 8, April 4, 2015 and Sept. 28, 2015.
http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Blood-Moon-Lunar-Eclipse-Tuesday-Where-to-See-When-to-See-255078771.html

"Blood Moon" Lunar Eclipse Can Be Seen This Week, First Time in 2 Years

A dusty red moon known as a “blood moon” will be visible throughout the Western Hemisphere early Tuesday morning, the first of four such lunar eclipses over the next year and a half.

The blood moon will appear during what is the first total lunar eclipse in two years.

A lunar eclipse comes only when a full moon aligns perfectly with the sun and Earth. During the eclipse, the Earth’s shadow is cast across the moon, blocking the rays from the sun.

The moon turns red during an eclipse because the sunlight is refracted, similar to the way it is bent during a sunset.

Scientists say the eclipse will first appear dark gray and then turn red-orange.

For those in the tri-state area, the eclipse will begin at 1:58 a.m. Tuesday, and last for more than three hours. The best viewing time will be when everything is perfectly aligned, starting at 3:07 a.m., lasting 78 minutes.

Three other blood moons will be visible Oct. 8, April 4, 2015 and Sept. 28, 2015.

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Blood-Moon-Lunar-Eclipse-Tuesday-Where-to-See-When-to-See-255078771.html

(Source: astrodidact)

256 notes

List of sites affected by the heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability.

2 notes

How to avoid the second coming of the Dark Ages.

How to avoid the second coming of the Dark Ages.

9 notes

The Supreme Court’s decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission was not about aggregate limits on individual campaign donations to candidates in federal elections. The case was about what constitutes a bribe, how big that bribe has to be, and whether an electoral system can be corrupt even in the absence of a legally demonstrable cash payment to an office holder or candidate for an explicitly specified favor. The Roberts court, or five of its nine members, adopted the misanthrope’s faux-naïve pose in ruling that private money in politics, far from promoting corruption, causes democracy to thrive because, money being speech, the more speech, the freer the politics. Anatole France mocked this kind of legal casuistry by saying “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

(Source: azspot)

37 notes

Jon Stewart and Matt Taibbi discuss the different treatment afforded to ‘street’ based drug users and white-collar criminals profiting from the drug trade.

(Source: sandandglass)

16,732 notes