Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Essentially, many economic aspects decried as socialism help the modern developed countries function and function better, i.e., big government, social security, universal healthcare, progressive taxation, financial regulation, income equality (low GINI coefficient), worker involvement/reward from production. My own private research - I was interested in publishing, and one idea was the relationship between economic outcomes and social factors - has shown me that although GDP might be higher in the right-wing states, quality of life for people is in substantial ways lower.
The problem is that the fall of Russian authoritarianism has left no counterweight, so we are now subject to one-sided beliefs supported by plutocrats, politicians, and the press, many of whom benefit from the lopsided system and capitalize on the destruction of social welfare.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
Wars tend to redistribute income, such that profiteers make huge sums of money, and this war is no different, except that more of the populous realizes that this war is mass murder for profit. Most Americans believe they vote on values, but they are deluded, conservatives anyway, if they think they are voting for much more than corporate welfare and plutocracy, a new military-industrial-complex, although the principals now include hedge funds and security firms.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
There is an unquestioned belief that charity s good, so while America as a whole gives away enormous amounts of money, it is also one of the most grotesquely unequal, with a significant portion of its population living in poverty, and with the worst social outcomes in the developed world. My belief is that charity is linked hand-in-hand with the grotesque inequities of our current political/economic system. The solution to our current set of social ills would be a responsive government, one that fostered the welfare of its citizens, not just its corporations. It's absurd to think that giving to most charities will change much of anything.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Looking over the legitimate material, not the propaganda put about in newspapers or by the NRA, one finds an elemental truth: gun control could save many lives, as well as reduce crime.
Guns correlate with increases in homicides and suicides, between counties, between countries, etc. This is has been found repeatedly true. There is no debate.
1% of gun shops are responsible for 49% of all illegal handguns used in crime, and this is not a matter of the big shops selling more guns. Some shops have bad background check procedures, and enforcing policies of adequate background checks on the small number of shops at fault could go a long way. That, and simply having background checks...
The debate over the 2nd amendment bears little resemblance to the debate at the time of the constitution. At that time, the debate centered around whether the states could have military operations, partially to quell rebellion. The concern about individual rights to own guns is a modern construction.
There are many more guns in circulation than reported, since within households men control ownership 80% of the time, and women often are misinformed by their partners about guns in the house, either the actual number in the house, or how they are stored.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
I enter comments on forums, but I generally recognize that only inflammatory posts gets responses, and the more [choose your adjective: absurd, harsh, stupid, hostile, etc.] the more responses.
Clear, socially progressive, and subtle commentary rarely get much response.
As for dealing with it, creating awareness of the problem might be one part of the solution. More analysis of what kind of, and in what situations, people (men) write in inappropriate ways, along with increased awareness of the problem, as well as social shaming in the media and in public forums, might be another part of the solution. Granted, it will always occur to some degree, but shaming and analyzing the behavior would be the first steps.
One writer on the Kathy Sierra incident noted that many, if not most, of the hostilities came from readers of a right-wing news blog; I believe it was Free Republic. My own sense is that conservative hostility isn't typically directed at women's abilities, but at women's anatomy, sexual orientation, or 'femininity'. Even then, it can be an attack on her for being too feminine, as with the jibes at the outed CIA agent, Valerie Plame, for CNN/CNBC for wearing pink.
Anyone remember liberals attacking Laura Bush? Not that I know of, other than attacks at her for being married to the chimpanzee in power, or supporting it in public events. Although Hillary Clinton was lauded in the press, she is often the butt of conservative male attack.
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