It’s sad how necessary this comic is. (xkcd)
My name is Kurt and this is my Tumblr. Try /Ask to ask questions or /Submit or to submit posts, Or, you know, don't do any of that.
I am a Ph.D student in Salt Lake City who studies the modern Middle East and generally isn't super creative outside of writing or talking. If you see an image on this site, odds are good I didn't create it. I will try to give credit to the owner when I can, but sometimes images are hard to track down. Also, sorry if I get too liberal. I find myself drifting farther and farther left every day as I read/write more about race, identity, and power. This is where I got the name for my blog, and this is a picture of me and my dad (I'm on the right). I don't photograph well (read: funny looking), but I like that one quite a bit.
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It’s sad how necessary this comic is. (xkcd)
As you deliberate the #KeystoneXL tar sands pipeline, you are poised to make a decision that will signal either a dangerous commitment to the status quo, or bold leadership that will inspire millions counting on you to do the right thing for our shared climate.
You are among the first generation of leaders that knows better — leaders that have the knowledge, tools, and opportunity to pivot our societies away from fossil fuels and towards smarter, safer and cleaner energy. History will reflect on this moment and it will be clear to our children and grandchildren if you made the right choice….A rejection would signal a new course for the world’s largest economy. You know as well as we do the powerful precedent that this would set. This leadership by example would usher in a new era where climate change and pollution is given the urgent attention and focus it deserves in a world where the climate crisis is already a daily struggle for so many"
A letter signed by (former President) Carter and nine other former recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize (via CBS News)
"Malcolm [X] was one of the most beautiful and one of the most gentle men I met in all my life. He asked the boy a question which I now present to you: If you are a citizen, why do you have to fight for your civil rights? If you’re fighting for your civil rights, that means you’re not a citizen. In fact, the legality of this country has never had anything to do with its former slaves. We are still governed by the slave codes."
James Baldwin on Malcolm X, 1979. (via floricanto-desnuda)
"Where national memories are concerned, griefs are of more value than triumphs, for they impose duties and require a common effort."
This is something that I find to more accurate every day. Shared trauma within a collective memory allows for shared pain and empathy while creating a villain or an “other” at the same time. If you want to unite a population and legitimize your rule, this is the most efficient way to do so.
Turns out that /r/mensrights survey I posted yesterday was rigged, and the person who set it up has withdrawn the whole thing. So … now you know.
Good to know! Though it did FEEL right now didn’t it?
A new religious statue in the town of Davidson, N.C., is unlike anything you might see in church.
The statue depicts Jesus as a vagrant sleeping on a park bench. St. Alban’s Episcopal Church installed the homeless Jesus statue on its property in the middle of an upscale neighborhood filled with well-kept townhomes.
Jesus is huddled under a blanket with his face and hands obscured; only the crucifixion wounds on his uncovered feet give him away.
The reaction was immediate. Some loved it; some didn’t.
"One woman from the neighborhood actually called police the first time she drove by," says David Boraks, editor of DavidsonNews.net. "She thought it was an actual homeless person."
That’s right. Somebody called the cops on Jesus.
"ooh! a poor person in need of help! i better make sure they get arrested!" to me, that’s the issue that’s most troubling. Apart from that, the statue, and the idea behind it, is one of the parts of Christianity that even a grouchy atheist like me has to admire…
"… society is devoting an ever-growing share of its resources to financial wheeling and dealing, while getting little or nothing in return…. There is a clear correlation between the rise of modern finance and America’s return to Gilded Age levels of inequality. So never mind the debate about exactly how much damage high-frequency trading does. It’s the whole financial industry, not just that piece, that’s undermining our economy and our society"
Example: infrastructure projects like rail and transit are routinely turned down yet the Spread Networks tunnel was built in PA for high-speed trading:
“a fiber-optic cable that would shave three milliseconds — three-thousandths of a second — off communication time between the futures markets of Chicago and the stock markets of New York. And the fact that this tunnel was built while the rail tunnel wasn’t tells you a lot about what’s wrong with America today.”
So what can we do to make flash-trading work for all of America?
Annual trades on Wall Street approach three times the GDP, which defines them as mostly unproductive; flash trading can only increase this ratio. Regulators may or may not find ways to bring put the brakes on, but in the meantime, the ill-gotten gains could be harnessed for the national good by the imposition of a transaction tax. A fraction of 1% would do wonders for the national treasury.