Ramona's picture

    Monica, Bill and the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

     

    Monica Lewinsky is now 40 years old.  In the late 1990s, when she was barely into her twenties, she met Bill Clinton, flirted a bit and caught his attention.  Before long she was having an affair with the President of the United States.  Heady stuff for a bedazzled young girl and of course she had to tell somebody.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    What Would Teddy Do? Theodore Roosevelt on Net Neutrality

    “Above all else,” President Theodore Roosevelt admonished Congress in 1905, “we must strive to keep the highways of commerce open to all on equal terms.”

    Roosevelt could not have imagined digital computers and fiber-optic cables. He was talking about railroads, the highways of commerce in his day. But though the technology has changed, the principle TR expressed remains as essential as it was a century ago. We ignore it at our peril.

    Until now, our digital highways of commerce have been open to all on equal terms. Media conglomerates and big-box retailers transmit information through the same pipes as bloggers, startups and boutiques. This principle of equality, known as net neutrality, has stimulated competition and spurred innovation since the Internet began.

    But it might not last much longer.

    Read the full article at Reuters

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Why Colleges Mishandle Sexual Assault

    My first week of college, someone passed along some time-honored undergrad wisdom: "If you're going to get arrested," we were told, "and you see a campus cop coming one way and a city cop coming the other, run to the campus cop." I've been thinking about that advice lately, as the news brings more scandals about sexual assault at American colleges.

    Ramona's picture

    Derange Wars: The Cliven Bundy Story

     

    There is a rancher out in Nevada named Cliven Bundy who has been using government land to graze his cattle. His family has been doing it for what seems like ages, always paying their grazing fees to the Federal government, but some 20 years ago the Feds told him he had to move his cattle off a section that was protected.  He quit paying his fees in protest but he didn't move his cattle.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    What Kind Of Country Is This?

    Where they can make you sell your own professional basketball team?

    When I was a kid, a man's professional basketball team was a man's professional basketball team and no other man could come take it away for gobs of money.

    This is like armed robbery except instead of a gun the robber is using between half a billion  and a billion dollars to get what he wants.

    What are you going to do when they come for your basketball team?  Or yours?  Or yours?

    Well, I'll tell you this -- when it happens, don't go crying to Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy for help.

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    Ramona's picture

    But we don't need no gov'mint interference

    Hey all you smarties (and you know who you are), how about chewing on this for a while?  There was a time when we built things and got things done.  We did it as a nation, with national pride and national inclusion.  It felt like we were a real country.  What happened?

    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Conspiracy Against The Middle Class

    There's a kind of New York Times story that Atrios likes to mock where somewhat wealthy New Yorkers complain about the massive inflation of prices for certain goods in the city, particularly real estate and private school tuition.  Real estate is probably the biggest issue as anyone who wants to buy in the city has to compete not only with ultra high net worth locals but with wealthy buyers from abroad.  So you get stories of people who have managed to save a million dollars and try to buy an apartment with all cash only to be outbid and forced into a mortgage.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Corporations Are Oligarchs, My Friend

    There is the Princeton oligarchy study and there is Thomas Picketty and now you really have to check out what Daniel Denvir has to say about Comcast, coming soon to the Time Warner Cable dominated market near you.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Bloomberg's Gun-Control Campaign: Right Idea, Wrong Guy

    Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg has a bold plan. He hopes to single-handedly revive America's comatose gun-control movement with a $50 million cash infusion and a fresh political strategy. He has money, connections, and an astute appreciation for what it will take to counter the gun-rights mania that has hijacked national politics. Too bad he's not the guy to pull it off.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Freedom to Defend...

    I had high hopes for this op-ed called "Freedom to Offend Everyone" but Nesrine Malik has completely confirmed my otherwise irrational belief that non-Americans don't understand how freedom of expression works at all, ever, in any context. Malik concludes, wrongly:

    "Those who fancy themselves defenders of free speech must be consistent in their absolutism, and stand up for offensive speech no matter who is the target."

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Your Charming Tax Receipt

    If you'd like to see where your tax dollars are going, the White House will show you. When I entered the median income of $50,000 for a filer with one child, that the filer paid $1,776 in income tax, assuming non-itemized filing. What an auspicious number.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How To Misread Flash Boys

    Be David Brooks

    One lesson of this tale is that capitalism doesn’t really work when it relies on the profit motive alone. If everybody is just chasing material self-interest, the invisible hand won’t lead to well-functioning markets. It will just lead to arrangements in which market insiders take advantage of everybody else. Capitalism requires the full range of motivation, including the intrinsic drive for knowledge and fairness.

    This is the reasonable sounding "just getting started" paragraph, but you no doubt see the problem...

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Copyright vs. Truth

    The family of the poet Ted Hughes has just "withdrawn permission" for Hughes's biographer to quote from his papers and letters, including papers and letters that the family has already sold to the British Library. The biographer, who's been working on this book for years, has already read those papers. He knows what's in them. But he is no longer allowed to tell us what he knows. How can this be? Copyright law.
     

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Conservatives Should Be Angry At Brendan Eich

    Brendan Eich was appointed CEO of Mozilla, his donation in support of Prop 8, a proposed anti-same sex marriage in California came to light, many Mozilla employees and users loudly objected to the boss's politics and Eich stepped down.

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    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Welcome to the Age of Narcissism

    Humans have always been an extremely narcissistic bunch. Look at religion. A large swathe of humanity believes that there is a God - an actual God - who knows their name, address and Social Security number. And this God - with all the options of a God open - chooses to spend its time thinking about them.

     

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Crowdrobbing

    Today, Mark Zuckerberg took some of the money raised in Facebook's IPO and used it to buy the immersive experience of Oculus, something of an iPad that you jam onto your face so that you can wander around in your own personal Holodeck.  That's right, I'm old and this technology scares me. What's next, laser swords?

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    Ramona's picture

    Ye Auld New America: Didn't We Go Down This Road Before?

     
    Working for someone else, fingers to the bone with no expectation of decent wages or a foothold on the ladder, is back in vogue here in America.   Even your big deal congresspersons will tell you that.  There are no greater patriots than the country's laborers, and the very, very finest--the finest patriots of all--are those who have no use for unions. The best patriot/workers understand that in America it's All for One and None for All.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Data Haunted World

    The one somewhat decent idea I had during theatre history class many years ago was that Aristotle's Poetics had managed to identify nothing more than a Tragic Mean and that if a writer followed Aristotle's rules perfectly they were more likely to write something average than remarkable.  Around this time I was also taking a lot of writing classes and reading books by people who offered structural advice for writers -- it was all based on Aristotle, though updated.  Aristotle told us what all the memorable Greek tragedies had in common.  Syd Field told us what all of the Hollywood b

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Titus on Wall Street

    A couple of years back I started writing a bunch of short sketches where old stories, with some of the old tropes, found themselves recast in modern times.  It all ended with Troy! Troy! Troy! a retelling of the Trojan War with the twist that faulty intelligence led the Greeks to invade Troy only to wind up in a quagmire after learning that Helen was never there.  As it turns out, Euripides beat me to this premise by a rather long margin.

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