Mother Jones

6 Years Ago, North Carolina Chose to Ignore Rising Sea Levels. This Week It Braces for Disaster.


In 2012, North Carolina legislators passed a bill that barred policymakers and developers from using up-to-date climate science to plan for rising sea levels on the state’s coast. Now Hurricane Florence threatens to cause a devastating storm surge that could put thousands of lives in danger and cost the state billions of dollars worth of damage.
via 6 Years Ago, North Carolina Chose to Ignore Rising Sea Levels. This Week It Braces for Disaster.
Reality is that which continues to exist even if you cease believing in it.

What Made Marxism So Deadly?


Because autocrats desire centralized control, and Marxism delivers by insisting that the state should own the means of productions. Autocrats also like to pose as populists, and Marxism delivers there too. Even more conveniently, Marx himself said that full communism would take a long time to develop, which provides an endless series of excuses for underachievement. Also conveniently, Marxism contrasts itself explicitly to market capitalism, which provides autocrats in poor countries with an automatic enemy in the capitalist West to keep the masses enthralled. All in all, if I were an autocrat, I’d probably find Marxism pretty congenial. Would I care about what Marx actually wrote or what his economic ideas really were? Not really. Every autocrat has his own national version of Marxism anyway.
via What Made Marxism So Deadly?
Good point.

Giant Hog Farms Are Fighting for the Right to Keep Polluting. The Trump Administration Is on Their Side.


If you enjoy bacon or ham, chances are you’ve eaten pork from North Carolina, where about 16 million hogs—10 percent of the US total—are raised each year.
via Giant Hog Farms Are Fighting for the Right to Keep Polluting. The Trump Administration Is on Their Side.
If you insist we need deregulation to create jobs, please let me know how much pig shit you’re willing to have in your water.

Yogurt is not white enough for these white nationalists

Yogurt is not white enough for these white nationalists:

According to the New York Times, the company’s founder, Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish immigrant of Kurdish descent, “has stepped up his advocacy” for the rights of immigrants and refugees, by “employing more than 300 refugees in his factories, starting a foundation to help migrants, and traveling to the Greek island of Lesbos to witness the crisis firsthand.”

For his trouble, Ulukaya has inspired death threats…

Mitt Romney Admits Obamacare Was Based on Romneycare—and That It Worked

Mitt Romney Admits Obamacare Was Based on Romneycare—and That It Worked:

At some point Obamacare is doomed talk will start being treated as conspiracy theory and GOP will demand that it be called the ACA act and argue that Obama actually had very little to do with the ACA and it works because it’s actually very conservative. No one reversing their position will be called out on it. And we will see people with Keep government out of my ACA signs.

There Are 10 Times More Mentally Ill People Behind Bars Than in State Hospitals

There Are 10 Times More Mentally Ill People Behind Bars Than in State Hospitals:

Putting the mentally ill in jails instead of hospitals isn’t saving the government any money. … The average stay for an inmate at Rikers is 42 days. Mentally ill inmates get stuck there for an average of 215 days.

The stigma of mental illness isn’t helping anyone. It costs us more, it puts us in danger and it creates really dangerous conditions for people who need help.

1.8 Million Definite Militia Members to March on DC, Install New Government #MotherJones

1.8 Million Definite Militia Members to March on DC, Install New Government #MotherJones:

Harry Riley has a dream. On the morning of May 16, somewhere between 10 and 30 million (estimates vary) God-fearing patriots will assemble in Washington, DC, for what Riley, a retired Army colonel from the Florida panhandle, is calling “Operation American Spring.” They’ll protest outside the White House by day and set up in campgrounds and RV parks outside the city by night. They won’t leave until President Barack Obama, along with Attorney General Eric Holder and congressional leaders of both parties, resign and appear before a specially convened investigative tribunal for further disciplinary action—a polite version of a tea party coup. It’s not likely to happen—but two former Fox News personalities have endorsed the endeavor.

I doubt its more than a few hundred.

If conservative billionaires are looking for something else to be mad about, I'd recommend the Romney campaign's apparent habit of paying about 50 percent more for TV spots than the Obama campaign. That helped line the pockets of the consultants who both recommended the buys and got the commissions for placing the spots, but it didn't do much to win the election.

If conservative billionaires are looking for something else to be mad about, I’d recommend the Romney campaign’s apparent habit of paying about 50 percent more for TV spots than the Obama campaign. That helped line the pockets of the consultants who both recommended the buys and got the commissions for placing the spots, but it didn’t do much to win the election.
America’s Billionaires are Pissed Off at Karl Rove

House GOP Blocking Abortion Access for Raped Soldiers

House GOP Blocking Abortion Access for Raped Soldiers

if an Army medic serving in Afghanistan is raped and becomes pregnant, she can’t use her military health plan to pay for an abortion. If she does decide to get an abortion, she will have to pay for it with her own money. And if she can’t prove she was raped-which is difficult before an investigation is completed-she may have to look for services off base, which can be dangerous or impossible in many parts of the world.

Wow. This is just cruel.

On average, contractors may be billing the government approximately 1.83 times what the government pays federal employees to perform similar work. When the average annual contractor billing rates were compared with the average annual full compensation paid to private sector employees in the open market, POGO found that in all occupational classifications studied, the contractor billing rates were, on average, more than twice the costs incurred by private sector employers for the same services.

On average, contractors may be billing the government approximately 1.83 times what the government pays federal employees to perform similar work. When the average annual contractor billing rates were compared with the average annual full compensation paid to private sector employees in the open market, POGO found that in all occupational classifications studied, the contractor billing rates were, on average, more than twice the costs incurred by private sector employers for the same services.
Overpaid in D.C. | Mother Jones

Motivated Reasoning : The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science

The theory of motivated reasoning builds on a key insight of modern neuroscience [7] (PDF): Reasoning is actually suffused with emotion (or what researchers often call “affect”). Not only are the two inseparable, but our positive or negative feelings about people, things, and ideas arise much more rapidly than our conscious thoughts, in a matter of milliseconds-fast enough to detect with an EEG device, but long before we’re aware of it. That shouldn’t be surprising: Evolution required us to react very quickly to stimuli in our environment. It’s a “basic human survival skill,” explains political scientist Arthur Lupia [8] of the University of Michigan. We push threatening information away; we pull friendly information close. We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.

We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.

We’re not driven only by emotions, of course-we also reason, deliberate. But reasoning comes later, works slower-and even then, it doesn’t take place in an emotional vacuum. Rather, our quick-fire emotions can set us on a course of thinking that’s highly biased, especially on topics we care a great deal about.

From The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science

Feynman summed this up as his first principal, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”