The news: 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.
An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.
For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.
It’s beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.
That might explain why mandatory background checks on gun sales supported by 83% to 91% of Americans aren’t in place, or why Congress has taken no action on greenhouse gas emissions even when such legislation is supported by the vast majority of citizens.
This problem has been steadily escalating for four decades. While there are some limitations to their data set, economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez constructed income statistics based on IRS data that go back to 1913. They found that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is much bigger than you would think…
My library card already gets me multiple “real” books, e-books, audiobooks, magazines and movies per month. For free.
Kindle Unlimited offers nothing from big presses, and no guarantee the authors will get paid fairly for their work. Libraries buy the book up front for a higher price (and a better binding). Kindle Unlimited offers the authors a variable percentage of a as-yet-undetermined-and-unannounced amount of money.
While Amazon touts Kindle Unlimited at “Netflix For Books!” the reality is Netflix signed contracts with everyone whose work they offer so that actors, screen writers, best boys, and the rest of those people get paid for the shows and movies you watch. Amazon does not.
That means your favorite author isn’t being compensated for their time or work. If you love a book series and want to see the next one get published: buy the book or hit the library. Starving authors quit writing because they like eating.
I couldn’t hit the reblog button fast enough.
Lord help my country..
Nigeria Quarantines Hospital as Ebola Spreads to Most Populous City
The death marks the first recorded case of the highly infectious disease in Africa’s most populous country
Nigeria has evacuated and quarantined a hospital in the city of Lagos after a patient died from Ebola, the first reported case to reach one of Africa’s most densely-populated countries.
Reuters reports that the patient, Patrick Sawyer, a consultant for Liberia’s finance ministry, collapsed shortly after his flight landed at Lagos airport on July 20. He died while in treatment at First Consultants Hospital. Health officials said that doctors and nurses who came into contact with Sawyer have been isolated and closely monitored.
“The private hospital was demobilized (evacuated) and the primary source of infection eliminated,” said Lagos state health commissioner Jide Idris, Reuters reports.
In Sierra Leone, a prominent doctor, Sheik Umar Khan, who was instrumental in the fight to contain the virus died on Tuesday, roughly one week after the government disclosed that he had contracted the virus, the BBC reports. The news comes after a Liberian doctor died of the virus over the weekend and two Americans, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, continued to struggle under intensive care in Monrovia, Liberia.
The number of Ebola cases continues to climb in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the virus has infected 1,201 people and claimed 672 lives since it was first reported in West Africa in February, according to the World Health Organization. But the emergence of the disease in Lagos, a city of 21 million people, has officials fearing a greater challenge to containment.
read (or listen) to more from Time
People still buy these ugly disgusting things. Even when I tell them about the animals that died for their ugly boots they don’t care.
I don’t agree with ugg boots but this is actually bullshit.
1. Lamb marking (cutting off tails) is done so that the sheep doesnt get flyblown when summer comes. Flyblown is where flies lay their eggs near the anus of a sheep, when they hatch maggots eat at the inside of the sheep colon, infesting it with bacteria which can eventually kill them, slowly and very painfully.
2. Shearing does not injure a sheep, I don’t know about other countries but I’m sure its the same as Australia when if you do not shear them, they DO eventually become flyblown.
3. You CANNOT use wool if it has been contaminated by BLOOD. It cannot be skirted out like poo and urine does by the roustabouts.
4. Once a sheep has had its ‘throat slit’ it cannot be sheared for the same reason as 3. It has no advantage for anyone by killing their livestock if they are in the wool industry.
I don’t care about your decision to hate ugg boots, you probably don’t give a flying shit about mine but DO NOT spread this bullshit information when the wool industry does not work that way.
Peta and their bullshit
You do not have to condone woollen clothing (if you’re vegan/simply disagree with animals being used by humans for clothing even if they are not harmed by the process) but for the love of god don’t resort to slinging misinformation around to get your point across, damn.
we used to take care of a herd of sheep on the farm when i was a kid and all of this is true i can’t tell you how many sheep i’ve seen being sheared like you don’t skin them to get the wool they’re still very much alive afterwards do not spread this ‘ruthless cruelty’ bullshit around please and thank you
Anonymous said: Shut the fuck up about vaccinations. Not everyone has to have them, not everyone believes in them. Uneducated fuck.
You know, my homie and secret best friend Neil deGrasse Tyson said it best….
This isn’t an issue of belief or should even be up for discussion. It’s not a debate- like gravity or that the Earth revolves around the Sun isn’t up for debate. It’s a fact, whether or not you like it. Sorry bro.
And any ‘educated fuck’ knows that vaccines are necessary and everyone who can have them should have them.
Have a lovely day, sugar.
Actually there’s a lot of research and knowledge supporting the fact that vaccines are NOT necessary. It is simply another thing that today’s health system is super big on, just like hospital births and c-sections. And a lot of people actually have long term and short term complications from getting vaccines. Ahem.
Dang guys, you thought I didn’t check my activity log every now and then? Because I knew shit like this would pop up. And, I just finished my block exam and am feeling fiesty.
Actually you’re wrong. That ‘research’ is either completely fabricated OR grossly misinterprets the data OR uses shitty research techniques to get the data they want- all which are grossly unethical, in case you’re curious. I’ve got slides from a recent lecture on vaccines (aka why I am so fired up about this nonsense). You can check out the citations on each slide if you don’t believe me… something unsurprisingly missing from literally every anti-vaccine comment I’ve gotten and website that I have visited. Show me your sources, honey, and if you do, I will blow them out of the water because not a single one stands up to current scientific research standards.
There are however tomes and tomes of research for the safety end efficacy of vaccines. Don’t believe me? Look at a simple google scholar search.
So! Here we go!
Holy shit, it’s almost like vaccines SAVE SOCIETY MONEY. In fact, they give money back to society, along with the other programs indicated by red arrows. Which would be really weird for something that is just a healthcare fad like c-sections and hospital births.
And most people have no complications for getting vaccines, and if they do, most of them are short term. In fact, it is devilishly hard to prove an adverse effect was because of a vaccine. Why? Because it’s how we’re wired. We falsely see connections and causes where there are none (called a type 1 error; you are rejecting a true null hypothesis). People are more likely to attribute an adverse health event to a shot- even if that shot is the placebo and the numbers are just the background rate for whatever health event in the population.
And here is a graph showing the sample sizes necessary to prove that an adverse event is caused or related to a vaccine.
You know what, it was a really good lecture and I’m going to share more more relevant slides in case any one else feels like contradicting me.
These slides show the public health impact of vaccines. Note the differences between the historical peak and post-vaccine era deaths columns. Because saving literally thousands of lives is totally a conspiracy you should beware of.
And this is why herd immunity is so important! See how high it has to be for measles? Guess what we’re seeing outbreaks of thanks to anti-vaxxers? Don’t forget that one of the deadly complications of measles is SSPE.
Look how Hepatitis A infections in older adults when down after kids started getting immunized. Shocking! Could vaccines be… good for …. everyone????