Monday, May 22, 2017

School of Life Monday: Karl Marx - Political Theory

Karl Marx remains deeply important today not as the man who told us what to replace capitalism with, but as someone who brilliantly pointed out certain of its problems.



BONUS:

Saturday, May 20, 2017

How the Professor Who Predicted Trump's Win is Making the Case for Impeachment

from Time Magazine:

When Allan Lichtman correctly predicted the widely unexpected outcome of the 2016 presidential election, he received a personal note of congratulations from Donald Trump. Months later, the President will soon receive a copy of a new book outlining Lichtman's next big prediction: impeachment.

Throughout his career, Trump has avoided accountability," Lichtman told TIME on Friday. "As president, though, you cannot walk away from accountability. You can’t declare bankruptcy, you can’t just abandon a deal. And the ultimate accountability is impeachment."

Lichtman, an American University history professor who has used a set of keysto correctly predict every presidential election since 1982, gained attention last year when he predicted that Trump would win the election and then be impeached.


His new book, The Case for Impeachment, outlines eight possible reasons to impeach Trump, including his business-related conflicts of interest, his team's connections to Russia and his involvement in previous legal disputes, such as lawsuits against Trump University. In his "most edgy" argument, Lichtman says Trump could be impeached for a "crime against humanity" based on his refusal to take action on climate change.

The book, which will be released Tuesday, draws comparisons between Trump and the two U.S. presidents who have been impeached — Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 — as well as Richard Nixon, who avoided inevitable impeachment when he resigned. Johnson and Clinton were both impeached by the House of Representatives but acquitted in the Senate.

"What might distinguish a Trump impeachment from that of Clinton and Johnson is that the transgressions could be more Nixonian — that is, more serious, more threatening to our constitutional order, our liberties, our freedoms and our national security," Lichtman said.

But impeachment is a difficult process, and the act of actually removing a president from office is even harder. That's especially true when the president's own party has control of Congress — as Republicans do now. But Lichtman believes enough Republicans would support impeachment if any concrete evidence surfaced to show Trump's campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the election.

“I think the Russian connection would be the most likely source of impeachment," Lichtman said. "There sure is a lot of smoke. And my own suspicion is there’s some kind of fire that’s producing this smoke. Whether it’s serious enough to warrant impeachment, we don’t know yet."

"If the investigations do turn up some serious wrongdoing, I think even Republicans in Congress are not going to overlook it," Lichtman added, while acknowledging "it's a steep hill to climb."

If a vote were to take place in the House today, all 193 Democrats and 23 Republicans would need to vote for impeachment in order for it to pass. In the Senate, 19 Republicans would have to side with all 46 Democrats and two independents in order to remove Trump from office

While making the case for impeachment, Lichtman's book also gives Trump a "blueprint for surviving as president" that includes fully divesting from his business interests, supporting measures to prevent climate change, hiring a fact-checker and firing chief strategist Steve Bannon.

"I hope he reads this book, and I hope he does change," Lichtman said. " I am rooting for Trump to some extent because I am a believer in American democracy, and I would much rather see our democracy cherished and protected than see President Trump being removed."

Thursday, May 18, 2017

"I'm Just a Lie," Jimmy Kimmel's modern day Schoolhouse Rock lesson

We live in a world of alternative “facts” where the President makes statements almost every day that aren’t always based in fact. We are raised to believe the President tells the truth, but since that isn’t necessarily the case anymore, and to bring children up to date on the new American way, we took a cue from Schoolhouse Rock to explain how it all works now.



Bonus:




original Bonus:



thanks Boing Boing

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

1981 Nightline interview with Steve Jobs

Ted Koppel, Bettina Gregory, and Ken Kashiwahara present news stories from 1981 on the relevancy of computers in every day life and how they will affect our future. Included are interviews with Apple Computer Chairman Steve Jobs and writer David Burnham.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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BONUS:

Monday, May 15, 2017

School of Life Monday:
Karl Marx - Political Theory



Karl Marx remains deeply important today not as the man who told us what to replace capitalism with, but as someone who brilliantly pointed out certain of its problems.



BONUS:

Sunday, May 14, 2017

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BONUS:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

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BONUS:

Friday, May 12, 2017

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BONUS:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

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BONUS:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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BONUS:

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

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BONUS:

Monday, May 8, 2017

School of Life Monday:
POLITICAL THEORY - Karl Marx


Karl Marx remains deeply important today not as the man who told us what to replace capitalism with, but as someone who brilliantly pointed out certain of its problems.



BONUS:

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Donald Trump has 'dangerous mental illness', say psychiatry experts at Yale conference

from the INDEPENDENT:

Mental health experts say President is 'paranoid and delusional'
Donald Trump has a “dangerous mental illness” and is not fit to lead the US, a group of psychiatrists has warned during a conference at Yale University.

Mental health experts claimed the President was “paranoid and delusional”, and said it was their “ethical responsibility” to warn the American public about the “dangers” Mr Trump’s psychological state poses to the country.

Speaking at the conference at Yale’s School of Medicine on Thursday, one of the mental health professionals, Dr John Gartner, a practising psychotherapist who advised psychiatric residents at Johns Hopkins University Medical School until 2015, said: “We have an ethical responsibility to warn the public about Donald Trump's dangerous mental illness.”
 Dr Gartner, who is also a founding member of Duty to Warn, an organisation of several dozen mental health professionals who think Mr Trump is mentally unfit to be president, said the President's statement about having the largest crowd at an inauguration was just one of many that served as warnings of a larger problem.
“Worse than just being a liar or a narcissist, in addition he is paranoid, delusional and grandiose thinking and he proved that to the country the first day he was President. If Donald Trump really believes he had the largest crowd size in history, that’s delusional,” he added.
Chairing the event, Dr Bandy Lee, assistant clinical professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, said: “As some prominent psychiatrists have noted, [Trump’s mental health] is the elephant in the room. I think the public is really starting to catch on and widely talk about this now.”
James Gilligan, a psychiatrist and professor at New York University, told the conference he had worked some of the “most dangerous people in society”, including murderers and rapists — but that he was convinced by the “dangerousness” of Mr Trump.
“I’ve worked with some of the most dangerous people our society produces, directing mental health programmes in prisons,” he said.
“I’ve worked with murderers and rapists. I can recognise dangerousness from a mile away. You don’t have to be an expert on dangerousness or spend fifty years studying it like I have in order to know how dangerous this man is.” 
Dr Gartner started an online petition earlier this year on calling for Mr Trump to be removed from office, which claims that he is “psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President”. The petition has so far garnered more than 41,000 signatures.
It states: “We, the undersigned mental health professionals (please state your degree), believe in our professional judgment that Donald Trump manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States. 
“And we respectfully request he be removed from office, according to article 4 of the 25th amendment to the Constitution, which states that the president will be replaced if he is 'unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office'."
The claims made in the conference have drawn criticism from some in the psychiatric establishment, who say they violate the American Psychiatric Association’s “Goldwater rule,” which states psychiatrists are not to give professional opinions on people they have not personally examined.
They have also been condemned by Republicans, including Connecticut Republican Party Chairman JR Romano, who accused the group of “throwing ethical standards out the window because they cannot accept the election results.”
Responding to the criticism, Dr Gartner said: “This notion that you need to personally interview someone to form a diagnosis actually doesn’t make a whole lotta sense. For one thing, research shows that the psychiatric interview is the least statistical reliable way to make a diagnosis.”
A spokesperson for Yale University told The Independent the panel at the conference abided by the Goldwater rule during the discussions, but that the organiser was "troubled" by the "silencing of debate".



Saturday, May 6, 2017

An Accidental Discovery Could Solve Earth's Plastic Waste Problem

from Big Think:




Scientists might have stumbled upon an unexpected way to solve pollution from plastics. A caterpillar bred to be fishing bait is apparently able to biodegrade polyethylene - a commonly used plastic found in shopping bags. With people using around a trillion plastic bags every year, and with up to 40% of them ending up in landfills, this could be a very significant discovery.
The wax worm caterpillar that eats plastic is the larvae of the common insect Galleria mellonella, aka greater wax moth.
The team working on the studypublished in the journal Current Biology,included Federica Bertocchini from the Spanish Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria, and biochemists Paolo Bombelli and Christopher Howe from the University of Cambridge in the UK.
The discovery was made by sheer chance when Bertocchini, who is an amateur beekeeper, removed the worms living in a beehive as parasites - a common problem across Europe. She collected them in a plastic bag and soon noticed holes throughout the bag. The worms ate their way out! 
This prompted a timed experiment by her team, who placed about a hundred such worms in a plastic bag from a UK supermarket. They realized that the holes started to materialize just after 40 minutes, continuing to develop at a very fast rate compared to other attempts to biodegrade plastics. The worms reduced the plastic mass by 92 mg in 12 hours, in contrast to the rate of 0.13 mg per day maintained by bacteria, recently utilized in a similar effort.
Here's a video of the worms in action:
After digesting the plastic, the worms left behind ethylene glycol, the key ingredient in antifreeze 
Plastic is hard to break down, taking from 100 to 400 years to degrade naturally, and has been blamed for adversely affecting the environment. The scientists propose that digesting beeswax requires the worms to break down chemical bonds in a process similar to breaking down polyethylene.
"The caterpillars are not just eating the plastic without modifying its chemical make-up. We showed that the polymer chains in polyethylene plastic are actually broken by the wax worms,“ said the study’s first author Paolo Bombelli. "The caterpillar produces something that breaks the chemical bond, perhaps in its salivary glands or a symbiotic bacteria in its gut. The next steps for us will be to try and identify the molecular processes in this reaction and see if we can isolate the enzyme responsible," he added.
closeup of caterpillar
Wax worm next to biodegraded holes in a UK plastic bag used in the experiment. Credit: Paolo Bombelli.

If the scientists can isolate the enzyme used by the worms to break down plastic, they will look to turn their findings into an industrial-scale solution for polyethylene waste. 
"If a single enzyme is responsible for this chemical process, its reproduction on a large scale using biotechnological methods should be achievable,” said Bombelli. “This discovery could be an important tool for helping to get rid of the polyethylene plastic waste accumulated in landfill sites and oceans.” 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Elect Joe Keithley a.k.a. Joey Shithead of DOA
and the Green Party in Canada B.C.

from Dangerous Minds:
West Coast punk legend Joey “Shithead” Keithley of D.O.A. is running for office in Burnaby, B.C. Keithley will stand as Green Party candidate for Member of the Legislative Assembly in the May 9 election. His promise:
If I am elected I will be a strong voice for regular folks, the same way I have been in DOA. These are some of the issues I will fight for: affordable housing, creation of jobs through green technology and alternative energy, lower cost daycare, affordable post-secondary education and income equality. I will also stand against the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline that threatens BC’s beautiful coast with potential spills of dirty tar sands oil from Alberta. I will also work towards making the 1% pay their fair share.
Below is the “elevator pitch” from Keithley’s GoFundMe page.



My Photograph of Joey Spithead, as frontman of the group D.O.A.
at the Starwood in West Hollywood circa 1980:



Go Get'em Joey!

from Joey:
Most folks don’t know this, but I went to university to become a civil rights lawyer, but I soon started D.O.A. That act turned me into an informal politician my entire adult life, now I am working on becoming an elected politician. I am running for the BC Green Party in my hometown of Burnaby, BC this May 9th for the office of MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly), basically the equivalent of a state congressperson.

If I am elected I will be a strong voice for regular folks, the same way I have been in DOA. These are some of the issues I will fight for: affordable housing, creation of jobs through green technology and alternative energy, lower cost daycare, affordable post-secondary education and income equality. I will also stand against the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline that threatens BC’s beautiful coast with potential spills of dirty tar sands oil from Alberta. I will also work towards making the 1% pay their fair share.

I will fight against the corruption in our political system that has become standard fare from the NDP and the BC Liberals. I want your vote, my vote, everybody’s vote to count, so we have real democracy.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

We Do It For The Kids ....
Burning Flags Press is for the Children




Opening Day Ceremony at Greenwich Village Little League with the team I sponsor.

Monday, May 1, 2017

School of Life Monday:
SOCIOLOGY - Émile Durkheim

Emile Durkheim was a French 19th century sociologist who focused on what modern capitalism does to our minds - and concluded that it might, quite literally, be driving us to an early grave.