Stealth Bananas!!!

So. Apparently it’s only religious freedom if the religious are free to impose their beliefs on others outside their relgion . .. .

…Psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and religious scholars … have long posited a link between religiosity, defined as the degree to which one is involved in religious activities (e.g., prayer, church attendance, etc.) and pro-social behavior (e.g., charitable giving, altruism, cooperation, helping, and volunteering). Consistent with this, empirical investigations have repeatedly demonstrated that religiosity is a key predictor of self-reported pro-social behavior …. However, when actual behavior (rather than self-reporting) is studied, the link between religiosity and pro-social behavior disappears, or becomes extremely tenuous …. Because self-reports are more likely than spontaneous behaviors to reflect a social desirability bias …, some have argued that religiosity is less linked to actual pro-social behaviors than it is to the desire to be seen by others (and to see oneself) as pro-social ….

…On Sundays, whereas religious bidders were 40% likely to re-bid in response to an appeal to charity, non-religious bidders were only 11.8% likely to re-bid in response to such appeals. Notably, on other days of the week, re-bidding in response to charity-appeals was almost identical among religious (25%) and non-religious bidders (27%), strongly suggesting that religious individuals are not more pro-social in general; they respond to appeals for help more so than non-religious individuals only when their religion is salient to them.

…Fred Rogers was fearless enough to be kind. Kinder in a single day than many of us can muster up in a week. He wasn’t embarrassed to be gentle; he was never too cool to be simply good. He championed “not buying things, but doing things.” He created the longest-running program in PBS history, and he didn’t do it with mocking or putdowns or smug superiority. He did it by being nice….

…What I have found is that people who really need the science education are the adults. Adults outnumber children. They’re in charge. They wield resources. They vote. All of the things that shape the society in which we live are conducted by adults.

Kids are born curious about the world. What adults primarily do in the presence of kids is unwittingly thwart the curiosity of children….

…All the adults are saying, ‘We need to improve science in the world. Let’s train the kids.’ … It’s the adults that need the science literacy….

"…."Many people don’t have training in science, and so they may very well misunderstand the science. But because they don’t have the knowledge to evaluate it, they don’t realize how off their evaluations might be."

"There is no obvious remedy for the one-two punch of widespread misinformation and a lack of mental tools for evaluating it…"

Um, yes, yes there is: education. It’s yet another argument for more education for more people, most especially science education. The US has been doing a terrible job of getting enough people into science, technology, engineering, & math careers; we could do much, much better . ..

…We are culturally created culture creators….
…The fact that, adjusted for inflation, wages still remain almost 14% below what they were 40 years ago, despite a doubling in productivity, is a national disgrace. It is one of the roots of the increase in multi-income households, in higher levels of indebtedness needed to maintain consumption levels, and of the sharp increase in inequality we have seen over recent decades.

Not that we’re that sensible:

"…Petrol prices in America are substantially below levels elsewhere in the rich world, and this is almost entirely due to the rock bottom level of petrol tax rates. The low cost of petrol encourages greater dependence; the average American uses much more oil per day than other rich world citizens. This dependence also impacts infrastructure investment choices, leading to substantially more spending on highways than transit alternatives. And this, in turn, reduces the ability of American households to substitute away from driving when oil prices rise.

"There are any number of good reasons to raise the petrol tax rate. The current rate no longer brings in enough money to cover current highway spending. Petrol taxes are an efficient way to raise revenue, and the government needs revenue; President Obama’s deficit commission recommended an increase in the federal petrol tax rate. Burning oil produces carbon emissions, and dearer fuel would reduce America’s sky-high per capita carbon footprint. But a higher tax rate would also diminish the possibility that a sudden rise in oil prices would throw the economy into recession. That would be a nice risk to minimise! And yes, higher tax rates would hit consumers just like rising oil prices. But those prices are rising anyway; better to capture the revenue and use it, all while improving behaviour…."

& not to mention that proactive weaning off of petroleum before post-peak declines force the issue is probably the less painful choice . … .

…The low price of natural gas also makes the cost of refining heavy oil less expensive in the United States than elsewhere, because natural gas is used by complex refineries that refine heavy oil, both as a feedstock, and to fire the furnace that heats the crude oil. This makes the United States a sought out destination for refining heavy crude oil, and helps add jobs to the US economy. For example, nearly half of crude oil imported from Mexico to the US is exported back to Mexico as oil products, according to EIA data. EIA data also shows that we import crude and export a smaller amount of products back to Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, and Venezuela. The low price of natural gas is thus a reason US product exports, such as diesel and gasoline, have been increasing recently, even though the United States continues to be a big importer of crude oil….
…A study published in 2010 showed that people who smoke strains of marijuana containing high concentrations of an ingredient called cannabidiol do not experience memory impairments….
…states that legalize medical marijuana have fewer fatal car crashes, largely because of a decline in drunk driving. In other words, people may be substituting marijuana for alcohol — and while it’s not advisable to drive under the influence of either — the net result, when it comes to traffic deaths, could be a reduction in harm because smoking pot raises the crash risk less than drinking does.

…Stahl recalled one of her most famous stories for “60 Minutes” — an expose on the 1984 Reagan re-election campaign that aired the night before the election. In a blitz of images showing a benevolent Reagan appearing at nursing home openings and hospitals, Stahl narrated that Reagan had, in fact, cut the budget for such projects. Stahl feared the backlash of the White House the next day; instead, phone calls of praise began to pour in from Reagan’s administration thanking her for the “positive” newscast and free advertising the night before. Stahl was befuddled. Her broadcast was obviously meant to question Reagan’s budget cuts.

It was then that she was told a stark reality that the news media had not been aware of before: “No one heard what you had to say in that piece,” Reagan’s staffer told her. “They just saw the pictures.”

It was then that Stahl realized the pure power of pictures. “Pictures drowned out my words,” she said. “Pictures are emotional and passionate and are capable of influencing viewers much more than mere words. We form judgments about what we see, and our leaders are aware of this. Visual images are much more powerful and remain with us longer.”…

…Despite manufacturers’ coded claims that multivitamins ward off chronic illness…a large 2009 study of postmenopausal women published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that multis didn’t protect against any of the diseases studied, including heart disease and lung, breast, and colon cancer. A 2011 study involving nearly 39,000 women reached similar conclusions.

What’s more, if you’re the kind of person who takes a multi you may literally be pissing away your hard-earned dollars. According to another oft-cited study, typical vitamin users are more likely than nonusers to get their quota from food alone. And with so many fortified products crowding supermarket shelves, it’s not hard to exceed recommended daily limits for certain vitamins and minerals. In some cases, that can be dangerous. Several studies link excessive folic acid intake—the amount you might get from popping a multi and eating two bowls of Total—with lesions that can lead to colorectal cancers. For seniors, who usually get all the iron they need from fortified rice, cereals, and sliced breads, a multi with iron can increase the risk of heart disease. And pregnant women who pop standard multis containing the retinol form of vitamin A may boost the likelihood of birth defects. (Prenatal vitamins are formulated to be very low in retinol.)…

…there are about 144,000 brine disposal wells in the U.S., into which about two billion gallons of fracking brine are injected daily….In addition to the earthquake hazard, though, well injection is emerging as a contamination issue for wells and aquifers….
sinshine:


Map of US Military and CIA Interventions since World War II
mohandasgandhi:


“We came, We saw, We destroyed, We forgot” by William Blum
An updated summary of the charming record of US foreign policy. Since the end of the Second World War, the United States of America has …
1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of which were democratically-elected.2. Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.3. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.4. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.5. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
In total: Since 1945, the United States has carried out one or more of the above actions, on one or more occasions, in the following 69 countries (more than one-third of the countries of the world):
Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Angola
Australia
Bolivia
Bosnia
Brazil
British Guiana (now Guyana)
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Chad
Chile
China
Colombia
Congo (also as Zaire)
Costa Rica
Cuba
Dominican Republic
East Timor
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Fiji
France
Germany (plus East Germany)
Ghana
Greece
Grenada
Guatemala
Honduras
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Kuwait
Laos
Lebanon
Libya
Mongolia
Morocco
Nepal
Nicaragua
North Korea
Pakistan
Palestine
Panama
Peru
Philippines
Portugal
Russia
Seychelles
Slovakia
Somalia
South Africa
Soviet Union
Sudan
Suriname
Syria
Thailand
Uruguay
Venezuela
Vietnam (plus North Vietnam)
Yemen (plus South Yemen)
Yugoslavia

The first democratically elected government the CIA overthrew was actually Iran’s in 1953 through Operation Ajax. Democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadiq and his National Front Party planned on nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now known as BP). To protect British interests, the CIA and MI6 overthrew Mossadiq, reinstalled the Shah, and set up a secret police known as SAVAK. Until the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Shah and SAVAK killed over 20,000 Iranians.

sinshine:

Map of US Military and CIA Interventions since World War II

mohandasgandhi:

“We came, We saw, We destroyed, We forgot” by William Blum

An updated summary of the charming record of US foreign policy. Since the end of the Second World War, the United States of America has …

1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
2. Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
3. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.
4. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
5. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.

In total: Since 1945, the United States has carried out one or more of the above actions, on one or more occasions, in the following 69 countries (more than one-third of the countries of the world):

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Australia
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia
  • Brazil
  • British Guiana (now Guyana)
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Congo (also as Zaire)
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • East Timor
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Fiji
  • France
  • Germany (plus East Germany)
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Seychelles
  • Slovakia
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Soviet Union
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Syria
  • Thailand
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam (plus North Vietnam)
  • Yemen (plus South Yemen)
  • Yugoslavia

The first democratically elected government the CIA overthrew was actually Iran’s in 1953 through Operation Ajax. Democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadiq and his National Front Party planned on nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now known as BP). To protect British interests, the CIA and MI6 overthrew Mossadiq, reinstalled the Shah, and set up a secret police known as SAVAK. Until the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Shah and SAVAK killed over 20,000 Iranians.