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Current Topic: Society

YouTube - RSA Animate - The Empathic Civilisation
Topic: Society 11:44 pm EDT, Sep  6, 2010

Bestselling author, political adviser and social and ethical prophet Jeremy Rifkin investigates the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development and our society.

Yep. Worth paying attention to.

YouTube - RSA Animate - The Empathic Civilisation

Screw Philadelphia
Topic: Society 11:18 pm EDT, Aug 25, 2010

Well, this is simply the biggest pile of crap I've seen from any gov't in a few days at least.

Philadelphia has decided that bloggers must pay for a $300 licence.

WTF. Since when did free speech so decidedly turn into "fee speech"?

If Nashville tries this, I'll send them a picture of my "special" finger.

Screw Philadelphia

The Lecture Warner Music Doesn't Want You To See
Topic: Society 12:57 am EDT, Apr 30, 2009

Many of you've already heard/seen this, and by now some of you have probably heard about the eff-up of epic proportions that Warner Music has made by issuing a DMCA takedown request of one of, get this, Lawrence Lessig's presentations about copyright and copyright law.

Well, if you haven't yet seen the lecture, now is as good a time as any. In fact, go ahead and forward it to your non-technical friends and relatives as payback for all those dancing hamsters. If you're lucky they'll watch it and they might learn something.

Notably, they might learn that this "copyright war" is seriously mucking up the human experience as a whole, and it's not the "pirates" who are exactly at fault. They might think about a few points like that the unwholesome arrangement we have at present is teaching children beyond a doubt that the rule of law is not to be respected, it's to be skirted around as long as no one important notices them. It's teaching them that they have no actual rights to anything at all, and that they can't usefully contribute to culture so they might as well just sit back and consume what they're given.

They might for a moment consider the effect these factors are going to have twenty years down the line, and whether or not they're going to want to be a part of that future at all.

The Lecture Warner Music Doesn't Want You To See

Topic: Society 9:21 pm EDT, Oct 22, 2008

This is almost as good as Cute Overload.


Annals of National Security: Preparing the Battlefield
Topic: Society 4:21 pm EDT, Jun 30, 2008

“The Finding was focussed on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,” a person familiar with its contents said, and involved “working with opposition groups and passing money.” The Finding provided for a whole new range of activities in southern Iran and in the areas, in the east, where Baluchi political opposition is strong, he said.

The upshot? We've covertly invaded Iran. Oops part deux.

Annals of National Security: Preparing the Battlefield

Supreme Court upholds 2nd Amendment [PDF]
Topic: Society 10:16 pm EDT, Jun 26, 2008

Unfortunately its a narrow margin.

It doesn't matter. The ruling came down. "We the people" won. This should put us a step closer back to the "right" way of things--the government afraid of it's people, instead of the other way around.

The argument that was being made by pro-gun-elimination advocates was that the Constitution supposedly meant that a militia had the right to bear arms, but "the people" didn't. The problem there is that militias are usually controlled by the local governments (or they're declared terrorists and infiltrated and destroyed), which are controlled by the etc etc. Being that this section was put in there specifically because we'd just shed the British from our soil--and needed a lot of guns to do it--their "people shouldn't have guns" viewpoint would make the 2nd Amendment less than useless.

The Supreme Court very rightly decided that the only sane interpretation of the 2nd Amendment was that it was there to make sure that individuals could bear arms in order to be able to fight back against their government, should circumstances make this necessary.

This is especially important stuff since we've got King George in the White House. I'm still not wholly convinced he's actually letting go in November. I certainly don't want to see anyone get shot, but a few hundred thousand people showing up in DC asking politely with guns for him to leave office would probably not be such a bad thing.

Gosh, guess which area has a strict "you can't have a gun" policy.

Supreme Court upholds 2nd Amendment [PDF]

The cops came, searched and left a mess for puzzled homeowner | Philadelphia Daily News | 06/17/2008
Topic: Society 1:08 pm EDT, Jun 18, 2008

Un-freaking-believable. Who is it we call to ask why that police captain still has a job?

The cops came, searched and left a mess for puzzled homeowner | Philadelphia Daily News | 06/17/2008

Al Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize 2007
Topic: Society 7:52 am EDT, Oct 14, 2007

For their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr.


Al Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize 2007

Bill Moyers Journal - Chris Jordan
Topic: Society 7:50 am EDT, Oct 14, 2007

Photographic Artist Chris Jordan turns the statistics of consumerism into palpable images in his new photo series.

Please watch this video. From an artistic standpoint, it's irrelevant and the quality of the video belies what the actual work must provoke in person. The statement that it is making, which is what art is really for, is what is important. The last 60 seconds of the video is the most profound, but the whole thing must be watched in order for that last bit to resonate roundly.

Bill Moyers Journal - Chris Jordan

Gay Rights Backers Split on Bias Bill
Topic: Society 7:45 am EDT, Oct 14, 2007

Associated Press Writer
AP - Friday, October 12

WASHINGTON - Rep. Barney Frank, a leading gay rights champion in Congress, on Thursday urged fellow gay rights advocates not to let their dispute over protecting transgender workers doom a job discrimination ban that could mark a major civil rights advance for gays in the workplace.

The debate over including transgender people has sharply divided gay rights activists, many of whom are trying to kill a stripped-down bill without protections for transgender workers that Frank and Democratic leaders hope will win House passage this year.

"We're not going to be split off this way," said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "We're driven by principle. No civil rights movement has ever left a part of its community behind - and we're not about to be the first."

Frank, D-Mass., one of two openly gay members of Congress, supports transgender protections, but said they don't have the votes.

"Politically, the notion that you don't do anything until you can do everything is self-defeating," he said.

Frank said the public has more awareness because gay activists began educating people about the unfairness of prejudice based on sexual orientation a long time ago.

"These things take awhile," Frank said. "The transgender issue is of relatively recent vintage."

Legislation banning workplace discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals _ but not those who have had sex-change surgery or cross-dressers _ has stalled after an outcry from the transgender community and its allies, including many gay rights organizations.

"Transgender" is an umbrella term that covers transsexuals, cross-dressers and others whose outward appearance doesn't match their gender at birth.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would make it illegal for employers to make decisions about hiring, firing, promoting or paying an employee based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Churches and the military would be exempt.

But when Democrats took vote counts and realized the measure would fail, they substituted a new scaled-back version dropping transgender people from the bill. A second bill to ban workplace discrimination against transgenders was also drafted.

Gay rights groups that oppose a ban that leaves out transgender people have waged an aggressive lobbying campaign.

"Fighting your friends can sometimes be difficult," said Frank.

Foreman agreed.

"I never thought in a million years we would be on the opposite side of Barney Frank and it is painful," he said.

Federal law bans job discrimination based on factors such as race, gender and religion. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have laws against sexual orientation discrimination.

However, only nine states specifically protect transgender people from discrimination: New Jersey, Minnesota, Rhod... [ Read More (0.4k in body) ]

Gay Rights Backers Split on Bias Bill

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