A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.
But what about the opinions so many citizens express on tumblr (and elsewhere online)? Do they have no influence on policy? Because I feel like they really, really do.
“It was a daunting task to remove SS agents, because they couldn’t be murdered. The organization raised a lice colony—carrying typhus—in the hospital laboratory to infect SS agents. Several of them died that way.”—From VICE’s The Polish Soldier Who Snuck Into Auschwitz.
“This form, this face, this life
Living to live in a world of time beyond me; let me
Resign my life for this life, my speech for that unspoken,
The awakened, lips parted, the hope, the new ships.”—From T.S. Eliot’s Marina.
“Victims of foreclosure are literally renting back their own houses, notes Rob Call, an organizer with Occupy Our Homes in Atlanta. “If Blackstone buys a house at an auction, they may show up pretty much the next day,” he says. “They’ll knock on the door and say, ‘You can either rent the home you used to own, or we’ll evict you.’””—The dawn of the “rentership” society. Investors owning homes to rent to those who cannot afford to own, even though rent is higher than a mortgage would be.
“And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.”—
Public trust in the government, already quite low, has edged even lower. Explore this interactive timeline.
When it only serves the interests of a narrow minority, this is what you would expect to happen. Government should serve the majority of its citizenry but policy has tilted in favor of corporations and the wealthy since Reagan. And further depressed public trust.
“AMERICA could do better by its mothers. The federal government does not mandate paid maternity leave and leave is job-protected for only twelve weeks. American moms look enviously north of the border, where Canadians can receive nearly a year’s leave at about $500 a week.”—Paying new mothers to take time off will take away their incentive to get back into the workforce. How important is early bonding anyway? Actually, what they’re saying above applies to paternity leave as well.
The last known native speaker of the Klallam language, which the U.S. government once sought to phase out before funding an effort to preserve it, died in Washington state on Tuesday at age 103, friends and tribal leaders said.
The death of Hazel Sampson, who was taught the Klallam language by her parents before learning English, marks the end of an era, said Ron Allen, chairman of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. Sampson died at a hospital in Port Angeles, Washington.
Klallam belongs to the Salish family of Native American languages, spoken in the Pacific Northwest and southwestern Canada.
"It’s the final chapter of one of our tribal citizens who grew up in the culture before we were exposed extensively to the non-Indian culture and language," Allen said. "We lost an elder who kept the culture and language of the S’Klallam people fresh in the younger generation."
Language is essential to culture so it is no surprise that the U.S. government sought to eradicate (“phase out”?) the Klallam language, in addition to many other indigenous languages and peoples. Amazing how the language of a nation dies with a single individual.
"Speaking to us from Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud tells us that death isn’t just the end of life but a force that gives life its shape and texture. Regarding the physical world, Freud’s observation shows merit. Take the cemeteries in the centers of Paris, London, New York and Rome, for example, each an emblem of the way cultures grow out of shared responses to death. When applied to the world online, however, Freud’s argument seems to miss. Internet culture is the one exception—that is, the richest and most expansive culture in history is the only culture not founded by death.
As Facebook ages rapidly, we can expect it to be still more difficult for it to find young users to replace the dying ones. And if it can’t, Facebook will stagnate very quickly into a book of the dead. Facebook, whose product is your own identity, deals in an individualized item that’s nontransferable after death. A Facebook profile is like nothing else but a tomb—except that tombs are created with death in mind.
Europe’s highest courts are currently hearing important cases regarding le droit à l’oubli—or the “right of oblivion”—that will decide the extent to which individuals determine the fate of their online identities.”