Hypocrisy never goes out of style, but, even so, 2010 was something special. For it was the year of budget doubletalk — the year of arsonists posing as firemen, of people railing against deficits while doing everything they could to make those deficits bigger.
And I don’t just mean politicians. Did you notice the U-turn many political commentators and other Serious People made when the Obama-McConnell tax-cut deal was announced? One day deficits were the great evil and we needed fiscal austerity now now now, never mind the state of the economy. The next day $800 billion in debt-financed tax cuts, with the prospect of more to come, was the greatest thing since sliced bread, a triumph of bipartisanship.
Isaiah J. Poole | Campaign for America’s Future | 27 Dec 10
Conservatives have a legislative agenda for 2011 that will hurt your ability to get or keep a job, your neighborhood’s ability to recover from the recession and this country’s ability to regain its footing in the global economy.
Photo: Rhys's Piece Is; Edited: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t
My daughter will tell you, I have been railing on for years about the scourge of “uptalking.” Our culture has been overtaken by a disease afflicting young people everywhere. They all speak in an endless chain of questions. It’s as though one of them discovered Australia and came back speaking with an affected “up-turn” at the end of every sentence. And the problem is not limited to teens, for whom a certain “license” might be allowed. This linguistic “tic” lingers on into college and beyond. I hear it all the time. So this poetic admonition to speak with conviction is well worth hearing and heeding. Ya dig?
Speak With Conviction
Taylor Mali | YouTube
_______________________________________________________________________________ Taylor Mali is a vocal advocate of teachers and the nobility of teaching, having himself spent nine years in the classroom teaching everything from English and history to math and S.A.T. test preparation. He has performed and lectured for teachers all over the world, and his New Teacher Project has a goal of creating 1,000 new teachers through “poetry, persuasion, and perseverance.”
When historians look back at 2008-10, what will puzzle them most, I believe, is the strange triumph of failed ideas. Free-market fundamentalists have been wrong about everything — yet they now dominate the political scene more thoroughly than ever.
How did that happen? How, after runaway banks brought the economy to its knees, did we end up with Ron Paul, who says “I don’t think we need regulators,” about to take over a key House panel overseeing the Fed? How, after the experiences of the Clinton and Bush administrations — the first raised taxes and presided over spectacular job growth; the second cut taxes and presided over anemic growth even before the crisis — did we end up with bipartisan agreement on even more tax cuts?
The answer from the right is that the economic failures of the Obama administration show that big-government policies don’t work. But the response should be, what big-government policies?
The subject of this TED video is the frenetic pace of life in our generation. Being of an advanced age I am in a position to notice how that pace has changed over the years. My reference is the speed of TV commercials. Used to be you watched a commercial and you could actually understand what the speaker was saying. Nowadays commercials are a series of mini-blips followed by a logo. While this is an irritant to folks like me, it has more ominous consequences to those like my grandson who will grow up in a world where there is no time to enjoy the wonder of the place he lives in. We have created a world where time is the enemy and productivity is progress. Is this really the way we want to live? Is this what it all boils down to? Soundbites and video clips? Instant whatever?
Carl Honore | TED | Feb 2007
_______________________________________________________________________________ Canadian-born journalist Carl Honore has written for The Economist, the Houston Chronicle, the Observer, and the National Post, but he is best known for his advocacy of the Slow Movement. A loose and international effort by the harried and haggard to decelerate the pace of their lives, the Slow Movement spans everything from telecommunications (slow email) and health care (slow medicine) to diet (slow food) and public space (slow cities).
Next time you get flustered by reality remember, it’s all in your head…
Stephen Hawking’s Radical Philosophy of Science
Is Hawking right to claim that reality is dependent on the model used to describe it?
Michael Shermer | Big Questions Online | 23 Nov 10
Do you think that there is a computer screen sitting in front of you right now?
It would certainly seem so if you are reading these words online, but in fact you are not actually “seeing” the computer screen in front of you. What you see are photons of light bouncing off the screen (and generated by the internal electronics of the screen itself), which pass through the hole in the iris of your eye, through the liquid medium inside your eye, wending their way through the bipolar and ganglion cells to strike the rods and cones at the back of your retina. These photons of light carry just enough energy to bend the molecules inside the rods and cones to change the electrochemical balance inside these cells, causing them to fire, or have what neuroscientists call an “action potential.”
This is a powerful discussion about successful parenting. I realize that may sound like an oxymoron to some but listen to these two and you’ll see what I mean…
Babble.com publishers Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman, in a lively tag-team, expose four facts that parents never, ever admit — and why they should. Funny and honest, for parents and nonparents alike.
_______________________________________________________________________________ Alisa Volkman co-founded Babble with her husband, Rufus Griscom, in December 2006, and has spent the past four years growing the site to attract more than 4 million parents a month.