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The Gun Report: May 9, 2014

The Gun Report: May 9, 2014 | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
A day in the life of armed America.
Greg Russak's insight:

Then there's this....

 

The Safe Carry Protection Act, Georgia’s so-called “guns-everywhere bill,” which was signed into law last month and allows those with concealed carry permits to bring guns into churches that give express permission, is not going over well with some clergy. Last week, Robert Wright, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, issued a directive to its 56,000 members banning guns in their churches.


“Jesus did not preach a gospel of self-protection, a gospel of live by the sword, die by the sword,” Wright wrote. “Quite the opposite.”

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Republican Data Firms Agree to Voter-Data Swap | Campaign Trail - Advertising Age

Greg Russak's insight:

These Republican firms look at have leap-frogged the Democratic firms, at least when it comes to integration.

 

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Celebrate Labor on Labor Day - YouTube

Published on Aug 29, 2013

Robert Reich, the Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration and the subject of the upcoming documentary "Inequality for All," shares a Labor Day message about how we can do better by workers. In the video, he announces a petition campaign to pressure McDonald's' and Walmart's CEOs to pay their workers a fair wage of $15/hour.

 

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/mcdonalds-and-walmart.fb48?source=s.fb&r_by=48422

Greg Russak's insight:

Celebrate labor on Labor Day and everyday. It's time more of us stood up for labor and stopped allowing the lie of trickle down economics to go unchallenged.


It was labor and the middle class who made this country great. It was not capital, it was not Wall Street and it was not and never will be the wealthy. They are nothing without the rest of us.

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10 States With Lowest Uninsured Rates Post-ACA

While the uninsured rate has dropped to a record low of 13.4% nationwide, according to Gallup figures, rates differ dramatically across states. Here are the top 10 states with the best uninsured rates in the aftermath of health care reform implementation, according to Wallethub.
Greg Russak's insight:

What's one of the things all 10 states have in common?

 

They've all expanded Medicaid. 

http://familiesusa.org/product/50-state-look-medicaid-expansion-2014

 

See how that works?

 

Medicaid is expanded (almost entirely with the feds picking up the tab), and poor people get health insurance.

 

Where's the bad news?

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Study Finds Social Media Users Actually Less Likely to Share their Opinions, Online and Off

People who use Facebook and Twitter are less likely than others to share their opinions on hot-button issues, even when they are offline, according to a surprising new survey by the Pew Research...
Greg Russak's insight:

I also agree with this:

 

"While many people might be relieved and say keeping political debate off Facebook is a matter of tact, Hampton said there is a concern that fear of offending someone on social media is stifling debate, adding, "A society where people aren't able to share their opinions openly and gain from understanding alternative perspectives is a polarized society."


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What Does Earth Look Like?


Via Seth Dixon
Greg Russak's insight:

Fellow map lovers will LOVE this!!!

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Ann-Laure Liéval's curator insight, August 27, 10:24 AM

Des cartes pour comprendre le monde.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, August 27, 12:37 PM

Unit 1

MsPerry's curator insight, September 1, 9:51 AM

APHG-Unit 1

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Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters: Why moral perversity of U.S. position in Gaza is stunning

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters: Why moral perversity of U.S. position in Gaza is stunning | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
I think it's safe to say that if U.S. neighborhoods were living under siege, folks like Rand Paul wouldn't take it
Greg Russak's insight:

You won't want to miss Roger's poem at the end.

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Cornel West: “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency”

Cornel West: “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency” | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Exclusive: Cornel West talks Ferguson, Hillary, MSNBC -- and unloads on the failed promise of Barack Obama

Via Jocelyn Stoller
Greg Russak's insight:

I am in complete agreement with Dr. West, especially on these points:

"...the thing is he posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency. The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free."

....and....

"He was chosen because he always occupied the middle ground. He doesn’t realize that a great leader, a statesperson, doesn’t just occupy middle ground. They occupy higher ground or the moral ground or even sometimes the holy ground. But the middle ground is not the place to go if you’re going to show courage and vision."

For all the wailing and gnashing of teeth and hand-wringing that happens on the right about Obama, all I have to say is this. 

"I only wish you were half right."

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How Morally Bankrupt Do You Have to Be to Criticize the #IceBucketChallenge

How Morally Bankrupt Do You Have to Be to Criticize the #IceBucketChallenge | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
I've been doing some reading today thanks to TWO Ice Bucket challenges I received almost simultaneously last night. I accepted them both! One of the first pieces I came across was, "Five myths abou...
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Wouldn’t it be great if next year and in years to come more and more people abandoned their selfishness and their self-destructive belief in cold, heartless, and morally bankrupt ideologies and replaced them with support for people, policies, and ideologies (not always a bad word, btw) that strive to make life better for more people?

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Oracle Sues Oregon for $23 Million Over Health Exchange Site

Oracle Sues Oregon for $23 Million Over Health Exchange Site | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
The lawsuit escalates a dispute with Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber.
Greg Russak's insight:

Oracle fails to deliver a working system and now has the temerity to sue Oregon. Notice how this industry publication frames the issue.

 

This article uses phraseology like, "....Kitzhaber, a 67-year-old Democrat who has come under political attack on the issue as he seeks a fourth term," and, "Technical flaws in the Cover Oregon website, the portal to a $305 million state-run insuranceexchange, caused thousands of consumers to file paper applications until the state gave up in April and directed enrollees to the federal website."


"...under political attack" by whom?


"Technical flaws..." in whose work?

 

Even more curious, what does the Fresh Unlimited religious objection issue have to do with the Oracle/Oregon dispute, and why is it inserted seemingly out of the blue into the middle of this article?

 

One need not look too far or too hard for clues to a media outlet's ideology and agenda. All one needs to do is read (listen and/or watch) with a clear and open mind that cannot be duped or fooled and that agenda will be revealed.

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Proof the GOP’s newfound “libertarianism” is a big ol’ sham

Proof the GOP’s newfound “libertarianism” is a big ol’ sham | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
How the Koch brothers and their conservative allies are using the "L" word to disguise their latest schemes
Greg Russak's insight:

Libertarianism always has been and always will be a total sham. It only works for the rich and powerful, so it's no surprise it's an ideology that finds perfect bedfellows in the GOP.

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You Could Say That a Vote for Republicans is a Vote For More Guns

You Could Say That a Vote for Republicans is a Vote For More Guns | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Statistically, you're most likely to be a gun owner if you're an older, white, conservative, married, Southern man. Know what else you're more likely to be? Republican, especially a conservative Re...
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Have We Not Learned That Bigger Is Not Better When It Comes to Banking?

Have We Not Learned That Bigger Is Not Better When It Comes to Banking? | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it

How can this be a good thing? The very people who legally crashed our economy - and those who did it illegally and still haven't gone to jail - and have kept their bonuses are now even bigger than before

Greg Russak's insight:

There can’t be opportunity and protection without a balance between the private sector and the government. There is no balance today. The scales have been tipping for far too long toward Big Money. This is why it’s so important that we strike at the root of all of our problems – money in politics.

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Children have been coming to America alone since Ellis Island

Children have been coming to America alone since Ellis Island | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
And no, we didn't just send them packing.
Greg Russak's insight:

Truth and history cannot be denied, they can only be ignored. Every generation has its haters. Ours is no different. They will be pushed to the dustheap of history again just as they always have been. It will take time, but it will happen, and history will, once again, be the judge.

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Politicians are cowards. More than that, they are cowardly followers. So are we.

Politicians are cowards. More than that, they are cowardly followers. So are we. | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
I recently received this in an email from a friend. Brilliant! Anger is the only way. You have won me over.  This is America.  American’s respond emotionally.  We have to rile them up against the r...
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Mystery of Death Valley's 'Sailing' Stones Solved

Mystery of Death Valley's 'Sailing' Stones Solved | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
There's a place in Death Valley National Park where a mystery that has puzzled scientists and park visitors for decades finally has been solved.

Via Seth Dixon
Greg Russak's insight:

It's probably not what you think. It wasn't what I thought.....then again, I had no idea what was happening.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 28, 9:51 PM

The video in this article (weather.com) nicely explains how the non-aerodynamic rocks of Death Valley's Racetrack Playa move, leaving behind their trail in the hot desert.  Numerous attempts using GPS receivers (NatGeo.com) and good ol' fashioned observations have been made, but observing ice in Death Valley is so rare that no one had ever seen it until now (phys.org).  On very rare occasions, when it rains in the region, water will accumulate in the playa (discovermagazine.com).  If the wind is powerful and consistent enough, the wind will push the panels of ice against these rocks and over time, the ice floes will push these rocks, leaving behind distinctive trails (latimes.com). This perfect combination of water, wind, ice and heat creates a remarkable signature on the landscape (livescience.com).


Tags: physical, geomorphology, landforms, deserterosion, weather and climate, landscape.

Riaz Ahmad Baboojee's curator insight, August 29, 12:59 AM

Think

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Study Finds 'De Facto' Segregation Among PA Charter Schools

Charter schools in Pennsylvania are defined by their flexibility and freedom from many state regulations.A new study shows they’re also marked by their
Greg Russak's insight:

The only form of education I oppose more than charter schools is home schooling.

 

Now, it seems, the numbers are starting to come in on charters. 

 

Not everything should be privatized.

 

Public education needs to be properly funded and supported to work properly. Abandoning it isn't the answer, and making education of our children a for-profit endeavor might produce well-trained employees, but it won't produce well-rounded and thoughtful citizens.

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When it comes to Facebook, we all just want to be popular, study finds | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour

When it comes to Facebook, we all just want to be popular, study finds | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
If you think your Facebook NewsFeed or Twitter timeline is becoming an echo chamber of the same material, you’re right. According to a new Pew Research Center report on the role of social media in civil discourse, Facebook might not be the best place to have a lively debate on a difficult topic. Continue reading →
Greg Russak's insight:

I guess I never got the memo about the "silence" part, and I do agree that democracy is better when practiced in-person.

 

"But the problem with the “spiral of silence” is that it confirms the worst of conversing via social media — that it’s all talk and less walk. The study showed that while Facebook and Twitter might be useful for participating in political issues or social campaigns like the ice bucket challenge, they aren’t providing a forum for true deliberation, an activity Hampton and Rainie believe is necessary for a healthy democracy."

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U.S. $2 a Day Poverty in a Global Context: Five Questions Answered

U.S. $2 a Day Poverty in a Global Context: Five Questions Answered | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Recent studies by Thomas Piketty and others have told us a lot more about income among the richest 1 percent in America. But doing the same for America’s poorest is a much murkier proposition. Laurence Chandy and Cory Smith weigh in on five key questions raised by his latest research.
Greg Russak's insight:

I don't know precisely when it happened, but it feels to me like the raging vilification of the poor we're seeing these days is a fairly recent phenomenon. 

 

It, for sure, feels like it comes from one side and only one side of the socio-political spectrum.

 

I don't understand how some people think cutting back on social programs is supposed to miraculously make conditions better. Do we really think there are millions and millions of Americans who "like" being poor; who "choose" to be poor; who would rather live on 2 dollars or even a whopping 16 dollars a day, then to have an opportunity to learn a skill or to work for living wages so they can have some small taste of something better for themselves and their loved ones?

 

When I start seeing corporations sending their human resource recruiters and hiring managers out into the street to hire and train homeless and impoverished people to work living wage jobs.....

 

When what we call a minimum wage actually becomes a living wage even if that means - EGAD!! - the owners, executives, and shareholders make a little less money.....

 

When there's even the tiniest bit of empirical evidence that trickle-down economics is anything but the greatest lie ever perpetrated on a gullible society, then I might start accepting that tax cuts for the wealthy coupled with cuts to social programs work for anyone but the rich.

 

Until that day comes, how about we stop blaming the poor and the working poor and start electing people who will, yes, take from the rich and give to the poor.

 

I suspect there are libertarian and conservative narratives out there to dispute this, but as far as the rest of us are concerned, Robin Hood, while mythical, was and still is a hero to the rest of us.

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Stop Beating a Dead Fox

Stop Beating a Dead Fox | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
The conservative news channel’s only real power is in riling up liberals, who by this point should know better.
Greg Russak's insight:

I missed this in January. I'm so glad I found it. 

Thanks to the facts presented here, I'm going to be making a concerted effort to do what everyone but the 68-and-over-all-white crowd is doing - ignore Fox. This is a must-read for everyone not fitting the aforementioned group. Everyone is, of course, welcome and encouraged to read i,t but as Frank Rich puts it so perfectly...

"The million or so viewers who remain fiercely loyal to the network are not, for the most part, and as some liberals still imagine, naïve swing voters who stumble onto Fox News under the delusion it’s a bona fide news channel and then are brainwashed by Ailes’s talking points into becoming climate-change deniers. They arrive at the channel as proud, self-selected citizens of Fox Nation and are unlikely to defect from the channel or its politics until death do them part. (As Sherman writes, “Ailes’s audience seldom watches anything” on television but Fox News.)

"The Fox News membership is more than happy to be cocooned in an echo chamber where its own hopes and fears will be reinforced by other old white “people like us.”

"Rather than waste time bemoaning Fox’s bogus journalism, liberals should encourage it. The more that Fox News viewers are duped into believing that the misinformation they are fed by Ailes is fair and balanced, the more easily they can be ambushed by reality as they were on Election Night 2012."

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Robert Reich (BREAK THE KOCH MACHINE A number of billionaires...)

Robert Reich (BREAK THE KOCH MACHINE A number of billionaires...) | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
BREAK THE KOCH MACHINE
A number of billionaires are flooding our democracy with their money, drowning out the voices of the rest of us. But Charles and David Koch are in a class by themselves. They’re...
Greg Russak's insight:

The problem isn’t that the Kochs are so rich, or their political views are so regressive. The problem is they’re using their exorbitant wealth to impose those views on the rest of us, undermining our democracy.

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How Many Sharks Can the #GOP Jump Before the Party's Over?

How Many Sharks Can the #GOP Jump Before the Party's Over? | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Josh Gerstein's piece, "5 questions about John Boehner's lawsuit against Barack Obama," in Politico is a frank and candid examination of the pros and cons, both short- and long-term, to both sides ...
Greg Russak's insight:

Is it any wonder that when thinking of the future of the GOP I’m reminded of the days when Don Meredith would sing to us on Monday nights?

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Is there enough empathy in Israel and in Gaza to save them both?

Is there enough empathy in Israel and in Gaza to save them both? | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
I'm no expert by a long shot, but no one of clear thinking that I'm aware of is suggesting that tunnels and rocket attacks are justified. As Sam Harris pointed out recently, only one side - Hamas -...
Greg Russak's insight:

What I would do – what would you do – had we been born to parents living in Gaza or the West Bank?

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Let's Not Get Too Crazy About #GMOs and Neil deGrasse Tyson

Let's Not Get Too Crazy About #GMOs and Neil deGrasse Tyson | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
I admire and respect Neil deGrasse Tyson a great deal. We need more people like him telling all the science deniers that science is a real thing. It's why I found his comments about GMOs and people...
Greg Russak's insight:

Yes, I believe there are ways to feed the human race without GMOs. Notice I’m not saying without scientific measures, or without controlled breeding, or without even some level of plant and animal engineering. What I am saying is this. Modifying organisms so they can be drowned in poison without full disclosure is wrong and dangerous.

 

The discussion about GMOs must include the motives behind the science. Questions needs to be answered about who actually benefits. People deserve to know the dangers to us and to our environment.

 

I look forward to hearing more from people like Dr. deGrasse Tyson about all of that."

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You Could Say That a Vote for Republicans is a Vote Against American Jobs

You Could Say That a Vote for Republicans is a Vote Against American Jobs | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
If you're like me, you may have little to no understanding or appreciation for something called the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. The Pittsburgh Business Times published a good article today titled, ...
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How the U.S. Ex-Im Bank Landed on Republicans’ Death Row

How the U.S. Ex-Im Bank Landed on Republicans’ Death Row | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it

"A day before U.S. House Republicans were to vote on a new majority leader, lawmakers aligned with the limited-government Tea Party movement delivered a message to the leading candidate, Kevin McCarthy of California."

 

 

Greg Russak's insight:

"The bank helps foreign companies buy U.S. goods by providing loans, guarantees and insurance. It was established in 1934 under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and initially focused more on advancing U.S. foreign policy than aiding the economy. It financed the Pan American Highway, authorized $2 billion for European reconstruction under the Marshall Plan and approved $100 million in credits for Israel in 1948. The bank also issued $5.6 million in guarantees to post-Soviet nations.


"To its backers, the bank’s primary benefit these days is to protect manufacturing jobs and counter the advantages of competitors in other countries backed by their government subsidies, including Airbus Group NV (AIR) in France, and Mitsubishi Corp. (8058) in Tokyo. The bank says that its financing has created or maintained an average of 231,000 U.S. jobs every year since 2009, though a Government Accountability Office report last year said the calculation has limitations."

 

...

 

"At least five groups opposing the bank’s renewal, including Concerned Veterans for America and the 60 Plus Association, received nearly all of their funding over an 18-month period ending in December 2012 from the Kochs’ political network -- a total of $47.4 million, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics researcher Robert Maguire. Another group, Americans for Prosperity, founded by the Kochs in 2004, is also lobbying against the bank.

 

"For the Tea Party, which has come up short in fights over higher-profile issues such as eliminating Obama’s health care law and ousting House Speaker Boehner, the bank presents the chance to chalk up a win going into the November elections.

 

“Its demise would clearly be one of the few achievable victories for the Main Street competitive economy left in this Congress,” Hensarling said in a May 20 speech at the Heritage Foundation."

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