Because of where the structurally unemployed live, what they’ve done, or the skills they lack, employers can’t or won’t hire them. The problems that keep today’s jobless stuck on the sidelines are different than those of past recoveries: a complex web of often interrelated issues from disability and drug use to criminal records.
When you read the stories carefully, they actually depict two overarching problems: discrimination and the far-ranging impact of the opioid epidemic.
The bigger point is that neoliberalism treats individuals as able to make their own way, when people are products of their families and communities. And we have entire sections of the country being laid waste by the combination of economic distress, poor education, weak social safety nets, and despair. And regulatory neglect made a bad situation vastly worse.
The richest newcomer to Forbes 2015 list of America’s Richest Families comes in at a stunning $14 billion. The Sackler family, which owns Stamford, Conn.-based Purdue Pharma, flew under the radar when Forbes launched its initial list of wealthiest families in July 2014, but this year they crack the top-20, edging out storied families like the Busches, Mellons and Rockefellers. How did the Sacklers build the 16th-largest fortune in the country? The short answer: making the most popular and controversial opioid of the 21st century — OxyContin.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump compared himself to “Abraham Lincoln and many of our greatest presidents”. On his inauguration, Trump chose to be sworn in on the so-called “Lincoln bible” – the same one Honest Abe was sworn in on – because he was “inspired by Lincoln’s words”,Quartz reported.
On Presidents Day, though, it’s worth remembering that Trump is the anti-Lincoln (and anti-Washington). Indeed, he is not just the demagogue Founding Fathers like Alexander Hamilton warned us about. He is exactly the demagogue Lincoln himself warned us about.
“You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden,” Trump said. “Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”
That appeared to confuse the Swedish government, which asked the U.S. State Department to explain what the new president meant.
“We are trying to get clarity,” Swedish Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson said.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom appeared to respond to Trump’s latest statement by posting on Twitter an excerpt of a recent speech in which she said democracy and diplomacy “require us to respect science, facts and the media.”
Her predecessor was less circumspect.
“Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound,” former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt wrote on Twitter.
Other Swedes mocked Trump’s remark on Twitter using the hashtag #LastNightInSweden, posting pictures of reindeer, Swedish meatballs and people assembling the country’s famous IKEA furniture.
“#lastnightinsweden my son dropped his hotdog in the campfire. So sad!” Twitter user Adam Bergsveen wrote.
President Donald Trump cited a nonexistent incident in Sweden while talking about the relationship between terror attacks and refugees around the world during a rally in Melbourne, Florida, on Saturday.
“You look at what’s happening in Germany. You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden … Sweden … who would believe this? Sweden, they took in large numbers, they are having problems like they never thought possible. You look at what’s happening Brussels, you look at what’s happening all over the world,” Trump said.
Yesterday, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a hearing all about “religious liberty.” At one point, however, a representative from conservative legal group Becket couldn’t answer a simple question about whether someone’s faith gave them the right to refuse service to an interracial couple.
Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen asked Becket’s Senior Counsel Hannah Smith if faith-based discrimination against interracial couples was ever permissible. The correct answer was “No.” Instead, she went on multiple lengthy monologues to avoid saying that one word.
Late last year, research indicated that certain toys may be collecting audio recording and personal information from children and sending that data to a company that used the information to improve the voice-recognition tools it sells to the military and law enforcement agencies. While consumer advocates quickly filed complaints with federal regulators in the U.S., across the pond, authorities in Germany are now directing parents to get rid of the “My Friend Cayla” doll.
Could Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s Siri be next in the Bundesnetzagentur crosshairs?
Mathematician Søren Eilers was intrigued by a LEGO-related math problem. Let’s say you have six “standard LEGO bricks” (the rectangular 4×2 bricks seen in the original LEGO patent). If you fit them together, how many possible structures can you make?
This question was first officially “answered” in 1974, and LEGO mathematicians arrived at the number 102,981,500. Eilers was curious about the mathematical methodology behind that number, and soon discovered that it only covered one kind of stacking—thus, it was dramatically low. So he wrote a computer program that modeled all the possible brick combinations. After running the program for a week, he ended up with a massive number: 915,103,765 combinations.
WASHINGTON—In an effort to respond to the vast and ever-changing dangers faced by the nation’s commander-in-chief, Secret Service administrators announced Wednesday the creation of an Emotional Protection Division to safeguard President Donald Trump’s psyche.
The new unit’s three dozen agents, who have undergone rigorous training to prepare for their challenging role, will be charged with defending the 45th president’s psychological well-being around the clock, investigating foreign and domestic threats to his self-esteem and quickly intercepting any spoken or written criticisms before they can harm his pride.
“After conducting a full review of the operational procedures available to us, it became clear that adding this new division was the only way to meet President Trump’s emotional security needs,” said Secret Service director Joseph Clancy, noting that the president’s detail is specially trained in assessing risks and minimizing any opportunity for him to feel insecure or belittled. “His psyche could be put in grave danger from unfavorable poll numbers or suddenly come under attack from a White House press corps heavily armed with uncomfortable questions.”
“All of our agents stand ready to lay down their lives to ensure nothing can hurt President Trump’s feelings,” he added.
The potential for research that can overcome existing constraints can be seen in recent advances in understanding violent extremism and, partly, in interdiction and prevention. Most notable is waning interest in simplistic root-cause explanations of why individuals become violent extremists (e.g., poverty, lack of education, marginalization, foreign occupation, and religious fervor), which cannot accommodate the richness and diversity of situations that breed terrorism or support meaningful interventions. A more tractable line of inquiry is how people actually become involved in terror networks (e.g., how they radicalize and are recruited, move to action, or come to abandon cause and comrades).
Reports from the The Soufan Group, International Center for the Study of Radicalisation (King’s College London), and the Combating Terrorism Center (U.S. Military Academy) indicate that approximately three-fourths of those who join the Islamic State or al-Qaeda do so in groups. These groups often involve preexisting social networks and typically cluster in particular towns and neighborhoods.. This suggests that much recruitment does not need direct personal appeals by organization agents or individual exposure to social media (which would entail a more dispersed recruitment pattern). Fieldwork is needed to identify the specific conditions under which these processes play out. Natural growth models of terrorist networks then might be based on an epidemiology of radical ideas in host social networks rather than built in the abstract then fitted to data and would allow for a public health, rather than strictly criminal, approach to violent extremism.
Such considerations have implications for countering terrorist recruitment. The present USG focus is on “counternarratives,” intended as alternative to the “ideologies” held to motivate terrorists. This strategy treats ideas as disembodied from the human conditions in which they are embedded and given life as animators of social groups. In their stead, research and policy might better focus on personalized “counterengagement,” addressing and harnessing the fellowship, passion, and purpose of people within specific social contexts, as ISIS and al-Qaeda often do. This focus stands in sharp contrast to reliance on negative mass messaging and sting operations to dissuade young people in doubt through entrapment and punishment (the most common practice used in U.S. law enforcement) rather than through positive persuasion and channeling into productive life paths. At the very least, we need field research in communities that is capable of capturing evidence to reveal which strategies are working, failing, or backfiring.
Our 2017 annual letter is addressed to our dear friend Warren Buffett, who in 2006 donated the bulk of his fortune to our foundation to fight disease and reduce inequity. A few months ago, Warren asked us to reflect on what impact his gift has had on the world.
Millions upon millions of lives saved with $40 billion. And yet the US priority is to spend nearly that much on a wall. It is practically criminal.
Living in The Netherlands, I know my country is a crowded one. I typically can’t leave a town for a couple of steps before arriving in the next one. So I was wondering,
Where in The Netherlands am I furthest away from any city or town?
I know that the Wadden Islands group of Rottum is a pretty good contender, but I want to limit this to the main land, where you could actually walk for a mile or so — neither of the islands is big enough for more than a stroll.
Also, there’s of course a difference between the built-up area of a town (“bebouwde kom”in Dutch), and other buildings such as farms. Ideally, I’d like to see both points of view addressed: where am I farthest away from regular towns, and where am I farthest away from any building it all?
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that the most significant question posed by the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn is why intelligence officials eavesdropped on his calls with the Russian ambassador and later leaked information on those calls to the press.
“I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is conducting a review of Russian activities to influence the election. “The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.”
I feel so sorry for all satire writers these days…
Researchers have recently developed the first reliable technique for websites to track visitors even when they use two or more different browsers. This shatters a key defense against sites that identify visitors based on the digital fingerprint their browsers leave behind.
A US-born NASA scientist said he was detained by customs officials and not permitted to enter the country unless he unlocked his PIN-protected work phone.
Sidd Bikkannavar, who works in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), was detained by US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) on January 30, upon returning to the United States from Santiago, Chile.
Mr Bikkannavar is a natural-born US citizen enrolled in CBP’s Global Entry programme, which allows participants who have undergone a background check to speed up their entry into the US. He had not visited any of the countries mentioned in Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban, but Mr Bikkannavar told The Verge that agents may be become suspicious about his family name, which is southern Indian.
Fake news is “killing people’s minds”, Tim Cook, the head of Apple, has said. The technology boss said firms such as his own needed to create tools that would help stem the spread of falsehoods, without impinging on freedom of speech.
Cook also called for governments to lead information campaigns to crack down on fake news in an interview with a British national newspaper. The scourge of falsehoods in mainstream political discourse came to the fore during recent campaigns, during which supporters of each side were accused of promoting misinformation for political gain.
“We are going through this period of time right here where unfortunately some of the people that are winning are the people that spend their time trying to get the most clicks, not tell the most truth,” Cook told the Daily Telegraph. “It’s killing people’s minds, in a way.”
One hour into a loud, contentious town hall meeting in his home state of Utah, Congressman Jason Chaffetz was asked two simple questions by a young girl named Hannah Bradshaw. The first was about the environment: “What are you doing to help protect our water and air for our generations and my kids’ generations?” The second was just a bit more broad: “Do you believe in science?”
So it’s not surprising that, instead of saying anything remotely resembling the words “I believe in science,” Chaffetz deflected hard enough to cause whiplash. Luckily, the crowd wasn’t having it. One woman in particular can be heard loudly repeating the words “ANSWER THE QUESTION,” and so Chaffetz was goaded into responding to Bradshaw.
The report said his frustrations stemmed from the slow realisation of the challenges of governing, to delays over his cabinet choices, and even the infighting between his senior officials. He is also said to be upset about the steady flow of negative leaks, one of which, perhaps apocryphally, told how officials were meeting in dark rooms because they could not locate the light switches.
Speaking after Mr Trump’s election victory, Barack Obama told reporters: “This office has a way of waking you up. Those aspects of his positions or his predispositions that don’t match up with reality, he will find shaken up pretty quick because reality has a way of asserting itself.”
Well, he obviously is running the country like he runs his businesses, straight into the ground.
When we worry and wonder about authoritarian regimes that inflict cruelty on civilians, we often imagine tyrannical despots unilaterally advancing their sinister agendas. But no would-be autocrat can act alone. As a practical matter, he needs subordinates willing to carry out orders. Of course, neither Donald Trump nor Steve Bannon personally detained any of the more than 100 people held at airports over the weekend pursuant to the administration’s executive order on immigration, visitation and travel to the United States. They relied on assistance.
The men and women who reportedly handcuffed small children and the elderly, separated a child from his mother and held others without food for 20 hours, are undoubtedly “ordinary” people. What I mean by that, is that these are, in normal circumstances, people who likely treat their neighbors and co-workers with kindness and do not intentionally seek to harm others. That is chilling, as it is a reminder that authoritarians have no trouble finding the people they need to carry out their acts of cruelty. They do not need special monsters; they can issue orders to otherwise unexceptional people who will carry them out dutifully.
VIZIO, Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers and sellers of internet-connected “smart” televisions, has agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General that it installed software on its TVs to collect viewing data on 11 million consumer TVs without consumers’ knowledge or consent.
The stipulated federal court order requires VIZIO to prominently disclose and obtain affirmative express consent for its data collection and sharing practices, and prohibits misrepresentations about the privacy, security, or confidentiality of consumer information they collect. It also requires the company to delete data collected before March 1, 2016, and to implement a comprehensive data privacy program and biennial assessments of that program.
According to the agencies’ complaint, starting in February 2014, VIZIO, Inc. and an affiliated company have manufactured VIZIO smart TVs that capture second-by-second information about video displayed on the smart TV, including video from consumer cable, broadband, set-top box, DVD, over-the-air broadcasts, and streaming devices.
That’s about 20 cents per offense. I’m sure that will deter them!
WASHINGTON—Saying he would surely rise to the occasion if tasked by the Almighty with the ultimate test of faith, Vice President Mike Pence said Monday that he was disappointed that God has never called upon him to kill one of his own children. “It’s just heartbreaking that the Lord hasn’t summoned me once to show my dedication to Him by sacrificing one of my precious kids,” said Pence, telling reporters that he has spent years waiting for any sign at all from the Heavenly Father that he should ritually slaughter one of his three children. “They’re grown now, so I’m starting to think I’ll never get the chance to offer the blood of any of them to prove my unshakable devotion. Heck, I’d put all three on an altar if that’s what He wanted.” Pence added that he would nevertheless keep a sharp dagger at the ready in the unlikely event God someday asks him to kill one of his grandchildren.