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thinkahol *

Local police forces are now little armies. Why? - 0 views

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    More and more, in dealing with nonviolent political protesters police across America show up in battlefield dress with intimidating military gear supplied by the Pentagon and Homeland Security. Writer John Hanrahan says reporters, instead of ignoring this ominous development, should ask local, regional and national leaders: Do we need this crap?
thinkahol *

Video - Douglas Rushkoff on Why Jobs Are Obsolete - WSJ.com - 0 views

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    All the fixation on creating jobs in America is outdated and misguided, argues media theorist and author Douglas Rushkoff. He explains to WSJ's Dennis Berman his theory on new models that could actually increase productivity and make Americans more satisfied.

thinkahol *

Parsing the Data and Ideology of the We Are 99% Tumblr | Rortybomb - 0 views

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    One of the most fascinating things to come out of the current We Are 99%/Occupy Wall Street protests is the We Are 99% Tumblr.  At the site, people hold up signs that explain their current circumstances, and it tells the story of a whole range of Americans struggling in the Lesser Depression.  It is highly recommended.
    DATA
    The site features pictures of individuals holding their signs, and occasionally the tumblr reproduces the text of the signs themselves underneath the image as html text.  Sometimes the text under the image is blank, sometimes it is a different message, but often it is the sign itself.
    In order to get a slightly better empirical handle on this important tumblr, I created a script designed to read all of the pages and parse out the html text on the site.  It doesn't read the images (can anyone in the audience automate calls to an OCR?), just the html text.  After collecting all the text on all the pages, the code then goes through it to try to find interesting points.
    It's a fun exercise, pointing out things I wouldn't have seen otherwise.  For instance, I found this adorable little rascal, pictured below, mucking up the algorithm, as the first version of the code assumed all the ages would have two digits.  I found that he, and the sign his mom made for him as a confessional to her son, hit me a ton harder than any of the more direct signs of despair in this economy:
thinkahol *

Are jobs obsolete? - CNN.com - 0 views

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    According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, there is enough food produced to provide everyone in the world with 2,720 kilocalories per person per day. And that's even after America disposes of thousands of tons of crop and dairy just to keep market prices high. Meanwhile, American banks overloaded with foreclosed properties are demolishing vacant dwellings to get the empty houses off their books.
    Our problem is not that we don't have enough stuff -- it's that we don't have enough ways for people to work and prove that they deserve this stuff.
thinkahol *

Hello Wall Street - We Are Anonymous - YouTube - 0 views

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    Hello citizens of the internet. We are Anonymous.

    On September 17th, Anonymous will flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices.

    We want Freedom.

    This is a Non Violent protest, we do not encourage violence in any way.

    The abuse and corruption of corporations, Banks and Governments.

    ENDS HERE!!

    Join Us!

    We Are Anonymous.

    We Are Legion.

    We do not Forgive.

    We do not Forget.

    Wall Street, Expect Us!
thinkahol *

Elizabeth Warren - The Two Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going ... - 0 views

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    Elizabeth Warren discusses how the dreams of the middle class american family are being depleted by the dramatic increase in bankruptcies and foreclosures. Warren discusses the role that credit card companies and ballooning interests rates have played in rapidly increasing mortgage rates as well as the how the over consumption myth is clouding our understanding of the average middle class family, who is in fact experiencing a lower standard of living than their parents and still finding themselves one payment away from losing their home.

    Elizabeth Warren is the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and chaired the Congressional Oversight Panel created to investigate the U.S. banking bailout .

    This program originally aired in April 2004. it is being re-aired because Professor Warren's predictions of economic disasters and the reasons for them have proven correct, and she is a candidate to head a commission to guard against recurrence.

    The Massachusetts School of Law also presents information on important current affairs to the general public in television and radio broadcasts, an intellectual journal, conferences, author appearances, blogs and books. For more information visit http://www.mslaw.edu
thinkahol *

Anarchists are under attack because their ideas are gaining ground | openDemocracy - 0 views

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    The London Metropolitan Police have withdrawn an appeal to the public to report anyone with anarchist sympathies, admitting it was "badly worded". But the climb-down is telling in itself: they did not seek to "stigmatise those with genuine political beliefs", but to "gather information on criminal acts". The conflation of anarchism and criminality is a key tactic in the state offensive against anarchists, driven by the fear that anarchist ideas are gaining ground within a new politics that eschews parties and favours direct action. 

thinkahol *

US war laws explained, why Afghanistan and Iraq wars are unlawful, how to end them - Lo... - 0 views

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    The laws of war are essential for citizens and legislators to master if humanity is to evolve beyond our violent history of war to enjoy civil communities. To bring these basic laws to life, we'll touch on war's history, explain the letter of US war laws, explain the philosophy/spirit of US war laws, and make the obvious conclusion once the laws are clearly understood that current US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are unlawful orders that our military must refuse and stop as demanded in their oath to the protect and defend the US Constitution.
thinkahol *

American Democracy Beyond Casino Capitalism and the Torture State | Truthout - 0 views

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    With all due respect to Charles Dickens, it appears to be the worst of times for public and higher education in America, if not democracy itself; public schools are increasingly viewed as a business and are prized above all for customer satisfaction and efficiency, while largely judged through the narrow lens of empirical accountability measures. When not functioning as an adjunct of corporate value or a potentially lucrative for-profit investment, public schools are reduced to containment centers, holding institutions designed to largely punish young people marginalized by race and class.
thinkahol *

Nearly a billion people worldwide are starving, UN agency warns | World news | The Guar... - 0 views

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    * Rising prices mean 14% now under-nourished * Urgency over food crisis lost amid credit crunch
thinkahol *

Yes, There Are Ways to Reduce Unemployment and Revive the Economy | Op-Eds & Columns - 0 views

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    As President Obama begins the second half of his term with a campaign for "jobs and competitiveness," we would do well to consider how he might achieve these worthy goals. It is jobs that matter most to the vast majority of Americans, and unemployment remains at 9.4 percent - about double its pre-recession level. This is a terrible punishment to inflict on millions of Americans who did nothing to deserve it. It will cause long-term and even permanent damage to many of the unemployed and their children.
thinkahol *

Vision: Across the Country, People Are Rising Up to Fight for Change - 0 views

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    "Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power than can transform the world." -The late people's historian Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922 - January 27, 2010)

thinkahol *

YouTube - Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our decisions? - 0 views

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    http://www.ted.com Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we're not as rational as we think when we make decisions.
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