The U.S. economy has continued to add jobs during the last few years, driving down unemployment rate to levels which would normally be indicative of a robust economy. We'll see another indicator of our progress tomorrow with the November employment report. The consecutive monthly run in employment gains is one of the longest on record. That's what makes the tepid recovery in the real economy so difficult for some to grasp. The rate of homeownership in the U.S. has continued to decline during the last few years, and wage growth has continued to falter as [...]
While Netflix may be busy removing a number of great films from their streaming content, this weekend I discovered that Amazon has a rather extensive library of great documentaries included with Prime membership. Two titles that I particularly enjoyed are "The Lottery of Birth" and "Fresh". The first provides a number of important insights into the current landscape we find ourselves in, particularly as it relates to the social and economic inequalities supported by the status quo. There are some great quotes from George Orwell in the film, and a wonderful reminder from Vendana Shiva [...]
Say what you want about Denmark, but they seem to understand the concepts of population growth and fertility rates. They also seem to have decent commercials. Spies Travel released this ad encouraging Danes to have sex on vacation... Do it for Denmark!
Speaking to a packed Sydney Opera House, David Simon provides a lively discussion surrounding the two Americas. Simon, the creator of The Wire, suggest that capitalism is destroying itself from within as it detaches from the social contract. Simon suggests that America is now a "horror show" as the divide between the rich and poor grows wider. The theme of this year's Sidney festival is 'Some People Are More Equal Than Others', a fitting title as America and its trading partners are looking to grant even more special deals to wealthy corporate interests as part of the [...]
Bruce Sterling and the Geek Empire revisit the revelations of Wikileaks back in 2010. As Sterling revisits his essay "The Blast Shack", he remarks on how things have evolved since that essay was originally published. The remarks on the NSA and the current mess are a great read. As he noted back in 2010: One minute’s thought would reveal that a vast, opaque electronic spy outfit like the National Security Agency is exceedingly dangerous to democracy. Really, it is. The NSA clearly violates all kinds of elementary principles of constitutional design. The NSA is the [...]
Obama was out on the legacy-building tour this week, touting his many failures achievements on bolstering the American middle class. You know, the stuff like taking millions of full-time jobs and re-packaging them into more part time jobs, helping to whitewash mounds of white-collar fraud, and essentially handing over the economy to a corrupt corporate and financial sector. Apparently Michael Hudson was not too impressed with Obama's latest pile of scatology. He takes a few minutes to breakdown Obama's latest dose of obfuscation of history and sets the record straight. On a related note, the video below is [...]
Robert Jensen is a professor at the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. He's also the author of a new book, We Are All Apocalyptic Now: On the Responsibilities of Teaching, Preaching, Reporting, Writing, and Speaking Out. As a self-professed out-of-the-box thinker, I like the message Jensen offers. This is an excerpt from his new book on the failures of the American intellectual class, many of whom seem to have pledged their support to an entrenched status quo: "In the contemporary United States, we are trapped in a similar delusion. We are [...]
For all of our intellectual prowess, humans sometimes display an amazing sense of ignorance and herd mentality. This video displays how even Capuchin monkeys realize when they are getting unfair treatment. It appears we can indeed learn something by watching our primate friends.