Michael Maiello's picture

    What Passes for Democratic Heroism in 2014

    Gina Raimondo, Governor of Rhode Island, says Frank Bruni of the New York Times.  As Treasurer of Rhode Island she addressed a public pension shortfall by completely suspending cost of living increases for already retired workers, in effect clawing back promised compensations from people who had already given their time and labor (commodities that, once given, can never be returned).  She was then elected Rhode Island's governor.

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    What's up with the white working class?

    There is a current meme in political commentary---can Hillary, Democrats, win back the white working class vote which was not particularly good in 2012, and seemed to deteriorate even more in 2014? My first response is, for a lot of reasons, I don't like the term "working class" because it is meant to describe whites---with little college education who work with their hands and who are in the lower half, or less, of the economic stratus---as less than or low than. This group describes a lot of friends, relatives and workers with whom I mostly interact. If I must categorize these folks analytically I would rather use a term like heartlander working stiff, or as a last resort, Walmart Mom. They run our infrastructure. And they are numerous. There are, for example, far more white working class folks than black working class folks---hang on, I want to google that---black working class....

    Ramona's picture

    The Jon Swift Memorial Roundup 2014

    Hey, Daggers, here is the link to the Jon Swift Roundup, 2014.  As Michael W. told us, this is an annual roundup of the best of the 2014 blogs, as chosen for the most part by the bloggers themselves.  We did things a little differently and held a contest, which Wattree won.  Both Wattree and Doc Cleveland are there representing dagblog. 

    I thought you all might enjoy reading some posts from an assemblage of a few bloggers you may or may not be acquainted with.  Good reading!

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Middle Class Struggles Are All In Your Head?

    Congratulations, members of the American middle class!  Robert Samuelson at The Washington Post says that the system is rigged in your favor by craven politicians hunting for votes.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    What If Jesus Was Just A Teacher and Philosopher?

    "Christ, not Christianity, is the power that has soothed and satisfied the spirit of the great multitude which no man can number." --CANON AINGER

    ​Why do we need religion in our post modern condition? This type of question turns off many believers, yet it's a question any person of faith will deal with--whether we want to or not. Our doubts and insecurities are real. The manner in which we deal with these doubts is what will build or crumble our faith. Christians around the world are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus, yet our influence on the world is lessening. We aren't as effective as many of us would like to be, and some of us won't even try to make a difference. How have we (Christians) become so impotent?

    Richard Day's picture

    A SEASON OF HOPE

    COLLEGE PARK, MD—Saying the money would help further researchers’ understanding of the awesome scientific phenomenon, representatives for the American Institute of Physics announced Tuesday that they had received a $10 million grant to melt stuff. “This funding will provide our researchers with the resources they need to put some junk over a really hot flame until it starts liquefying and gets all stretched out and stuff,” said AIP director James Griffith, adding that a portion of the grant would be allocated to making sure the flames were “real big” so that the research team could melt large items, such as desk chairs and lamps. “We already have a number of experiments lined up that will answer such questions as whether laboratory goggles or a digital thermometer melts first, and we’ve scheduled several trials to determine how fast we can melt a whole cafeteria tray. Pending our findings, my colleagues and I will then wait to see if all the melted stuff hardens up, at which point we intend to hold it over the flame and melt it again.” This research follows a $6 million study last year in which scientists were reportedly able to determine that dropping an electron microscope into a huge vat of acid is really fun.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/scientists-receive-10-million-grant-to-melt-stuff,37476/

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Sony Produces a Hologram of FDR To Reassure America

    Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

    Monday, December 1st, 2014 -- a date which will live in internet – a Japan-based multimedia entertainment conglomerate doing business in the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by hackers from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

    danielfaris's picture

    America's Drug Trade: Harm in Unexpected Places

    If you’ve been paying even a small amount of attention to current events lately, you know that drugs have entered the national conversation in a big way. Marijuana legalization has become a rallying cry for many of us, though even the states where it’s already legal may have a complicated battle ahead of them to keep that privilege.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Confidence, Rejection, and Criticism: Advice from Actors to Academics, Part Three

    Christmas week is especially hard for young academics trying to get a job, especially in literary studies. The annual rhythm of the job search means that most first-round interviews (the interviews that take place at major disciplinary conferences over the winter) get scheduled during the first half of December. By this time of year, grad students (and recent PhDs) looking for a job are counting the meager number of schools where their applications are still active; they may have applied to dozens of jobs and gotten one or two first-round interviews to show for it.
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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Police, Danger, and the Social Contract

    I was blogging about the police tonight, and about the responses to protests of police brutality. Then I heard about the shooting of two police officers in New York City,  so the rest of that post (and some of the others I have been working on) will have to wait.

    NYC Cop Shootings: What We Won't Hear

    Two NYC cops, and their killer, joined an average of 82 Americans killed today, and every day, by guns. Brinsley apparently also shot his girlfriend before departing Baltimore for NYC. She survived. If you have seen some web comments you have probably seen the wingnuts of the right are out in force. In interviews on TV they are implying and/or blaming this tragic crime on, Obama, Al Sharpton, Democrat Mayor deBlasio, blacks in general, and of course 'liberals'.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Best o' Dag - Vote for your favorite blog post

    An Armed Society Is a Bloody Society by Doctor Cleveland - 2/18
    15% (2 votes)
    0% (0 votes)
    Ask Me About Shakespeare by Doctor Cleveland - 2/21
    0% (0 votes)
    Generation Wuss by Michael Maiello - 2/23
    0% (0 votes)
    Bad History Month by Richard Day - 2/26
    15% (2 votes)
    0% (0 votes)
    Freedom to Defend by Michael Maiello - 4/17
    0% (0 votes)
    31% (4 votes)
    0% (0 votes)
    When Society is Insane by Elusive Trope - 6/4
    8% (1 vote)
    The Valkyrie's Lament by Michael Wolraich - 6/23
    0% (0 votes)
    Personnel File by Barefooted - 7/2
    0% (0 votes)
    Religious Freedom vs. Religious Privlege by Doctor Cleveland - 7/3
    8% (1 vote)
    True Personhood by William K. Wolfrum - 7/7
    0% (0 votes)
    Footing the Bill for Assisted Suicide by Elusive Trope - 7/17
    0% (0 votes)
    0% (0 votes)
    8% (1 vote)
    8% (1 vote)
    Mort, George and Robin by Richard Day - 8/15
    0% (0 votes)
    0% (0 votes)
    8% (1 vote)
    0% (0 votes)
    0% (0 votes)
    Columbus Discovered America by Richard Day - 10/9
    0% (0 votes)
    0% (0 votes)
    Don't Sell. Buy! by Hal Ginsberg - 10/12
    0% (0 votes)
    0% (0 votes)
    0% (0 votes)
    0% (0 votes)
    0% (0 votes)
    Total votes: 13
    Ramona's picture

    It's Hard to Be Merry At Christmas When It's "Merry Christmas" Or Else

    The last time I wrote about Christmas I thought I was being pretty polite, considering the message I was getting from my friends and relatives and neighbors at the height of the War on Christmas.  To wit:  How DARE you even THINK about not wishing me a Merry Christmas!  Which, of course, led me to respond by pleading "not guilty"--which caused me to tell a lie at Christmas since I didn't feel the least bit guilty. Why would I?

    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Big Hollywood Crack Up

    Initially, when Sony announced it was yanking the premiere of the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy The Interview I thought that Sony's marketing people had come up with a way to make lemonade out of the hacking situation.  The media giant could easily cut deals with Amazon, Netflix and the larger cable companies to stream the movie so great that North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un sent terrorists to stop you from seeing it.  

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    Fracking bans widen, N.Y. joins Denton, Texas.

    New York joins a small but growing conglomeration of states and cities which have instituted bans on fracking, including an astounding decision by the city of Denton, in North Texas, about fifty miles from where I live. The bans are highly significant and give me a shot of optimism here at year end especially because citizen activism has played such a huge roll in these bans. I can remember watching Mark Ruffalo on T.V. a few years back elucidating the health dangers of fracking in his native upstate New York, and truthfully, I thought he was a voice in the wilderness---but his involvement changed things.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Best o' Dag 2014 - Seeking Nominations

    Hello folks. Our old friend Wolfrum passed on a splendid invitation to me yesterday. In the early-ish days of the blogosphere, a writer named Al Weisel launched a faux-conservative blog under the pseudonym Jon Swift. His hilarious, award-winning satire quickly propelled him to the top ranks of the blog community, but he generously supported smaller bloggers struggling to gain an audience. One of his outreach projects was an annual competition called, "Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves."

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    Ramona's picture

    Say What You Will About Torture, It's Still Torture

     

    Last week the Senate Intelligence Committee released their report on the CIA's detention and interrogation program, and, while much of it had already been hashed over soon after the events at Abu Ghraib, there are enough new revelations within the report's 525 page summary to cause us to get stirred up all over again.

    Contrarian's picture

    Women in STEM + Men in Nursing & Teaching?

    There's been a ton of ink spilled recently about the dearth of women in STEM fields and there's no shortage of people advocating strategies for significantly increasing the number of women who enter these fields. I was thinking about this yesterday while reading Jeff Guo's Washington Post article about the expanding gender gap in the attainment of college degrees and the theory that it's due to career choice. He mentions the speculation (from Goldin, Katz, and Kuziemko) that this is just a result of natural differences making themselves evident. However, like those who discount the idea that the STEM gap is attributable just to 'boys are better at math,' I've always considered it highly doubtful that this is what is really driving the disparity.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Torture Report Open Thread

    Honestly, I don't know what to say.  Would be very interested in hearing from all of you.

    Full report, via Mother Jones

    Great Annotation of Top Findings by WaPo

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    It's A Hard Knock Life (For Cops)

    Today, David Brooks gives us the requisite "police officers have hard jobs" column.  Whenever we discuss police brutality, somebody says this and in the most recent discussions, it's been said quite often,  Police officers have hard jobs.  Very few of us non-police officers envy their professions.  It has few reliable perks.  You can use a siren to run red lights.

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