did anyone else see the edward snowden interview in the guardian about two days ago where he said that most of the NSA agents doing checks through people’s data are men aged 18-22 and that when they access photographs of attractive women naked they all send them to each other for reasons that are 100% not professional
like, if you have naked selfies on your phone, even if you have never sent them to anyone or moved them anywhere, these fucking mouthbreathers could be downloading them and sending them to all their friends
The Four Biggest Right-Wing Lies About Inequality
Even though French economist Thomas Piketty has made an air-tight case that we’re heading toward levels of inequality not seen since the days of the nineteenth-century robber barons, right-wing conservatives haven’t stopped lying about what’s happening and what to do about it.
Herewith, the four biggest right-wing lies about inequality, followed by the truth.
Lie number one: The rich and CEOs are America’s job creators. So we dare not tax them.
The truth is the middle class and poor are the job-creators through their purchases of goods and services. If they don’t have enough purchasing power because they’re not paid enough, companies won’t create more jobs and economy won’t grow.
We’ve endured the most anemic recovery on record because most Americans don’t have enough money to get the economy out of first gear. The economy is barely growing and real wages continue to drop.
We keep having false dawns. An average of 200,000 jobs were created in the United States over the last three months, but huge numbers of Americans continue to drop out of the labor force.
Lie number two: People are paid what they’re worth in the market. So we shouldn’t tamper with pay.
The facts contradict this. CEOs who got 30 times the pay of typical workers forty years ago now get 300 times their pay not because they’ve done such a great job but because they control their compensation committees and their stock options have ballooned.
Meanwhile, most American workers earn less today than they did forty years ago, adjusted for inflation, not because they’re working less hard now but because they don’t have strong unions bargaining for them.
More than a third of all workers in the private sector were unionized forty years ago; now, fewer than 7 percent belong to a union.
Lie number three: Anyone can make it in America with enough guts, gumption, and intelligence. So we don’t need to do anything for poor and lower-middle class kids.
The truth is we do less than nothing for poor and lower-middle class kids. Their schools don’t have enough teachers or staff, their textbooks are outdated, they lack science labs, their school buildings are falling apart.
We’re the only rich nation to spend less educating poor kids than we do educating kids from wealthy families.
All told, 42 percent of children born to poor families will still be in poverty as adults – a higher percent than in any other advanced nation.
Lie number four: Increasing the minimum wage will result in fewer jobs. So we shouldn’t raise it.
In fact, studies show that increases in the minimum wage put more money in the pockets of people who will spend it – resulting in more jobs, and counteracting any negative employment effects of an increase in the minimum.
Three of my colleagues here at the University of California at Berkeley — Arindrajit Dube, T. William Lester, and Michael Reich – have compared adjacent counties and communities across the United States, some with higher minimum wages than others but similar in every other way.
They found no loss of jobs in those with the higher minimums.
The truth is, America’s lurch toward widening inequality can be reversed. But doing so will require bold political steps.
At the least, the rich must pay higher taxes in order to pay for better-quality education for kids from poor and middle-class families. Labor unions must be strengthened, especially in lower-wage occupations, in order to give workers the bargaining power they need to get better pay. And the minimum wage must be raised.
Don’t listen to the right-wing lies about inequality. Know the truth, and act on it.
That was actually a combination of me and the visual effects supervisor and the production designer sitting down and sort of coming up with the biological growth that’s growing all over the cars and what that looks like and the color palette. And we started to look at the nuclear test films from the 1940s of the nuclear blasts and just decided that it would be great if the landscape was not only violent with these creatures, but also the atmosphere. So we decided that it was kind of an eternal nuclear blast except nothing ever really gets obliterated because it’s eternal and it’s constantly going. - director Francis Lawrence on the appearance of Hell; P.D. by Naomi Shohan
By now I hope at least some of you have heard of Javier Payne, a 14-year-old black boy from the Bronx who was attacked by the NYPD last weekend as he was walking home from a hookah shop in his neighborhood.
Cops said he was fighting with another boy, a 13-year-old neighbor in the area.
So what do you do when two boys are fighting?
Well, if you’re the NYPD, and the boys in question are black, you throw one of them through a window, puncturing his lung. As he lies there with blood filling his lungs, you handcuff him and refuse to call an ambulance. When you do call an ambulance, you enter the protocol for an adult drunk, instead of a dying child. When the ambulance comes, you refuse to let the paramedics uncuff him. Even as the paramedics explain that this boy is dying, you argue that he’s faking it and that he deserves to die there on the street for fighting with another boy. When you finally do let the paramedics uncuff him and take him to the hospital, you fail to report that you threw him through a glass window despite dozens of eye-witnesses reporting the opposite. When you are called upon by the community to account for your actions, you decide to do an “internal investigation” - therefore being accountable to no one outside your division. You encourage the deregulation of police conduct and refuse to let outsiders investigate how you train your officers.
And what do you do, if you’re a concerned citizen who is tired of seeing this? You write Bill de Blasio and you ask him to start an outside investigation into police brutality. Or at least that’s what I did. And if you want to cosign what I wrote him, you can do that here. And if you want to signal boost that for Javier Payne, you can do that too. You can sign my petition letter here.