Wait, Privacy Is Cool Again?

Oversharing is over, as signs indicate the “Age of Narcissism” is coming to a close. A widely circulated story about some nameless Austrian teenager’s lawsuit against her parents for posting 18 years’ worth of embarrassing photos on social media captured the attention of dozens of news outlets last month, because it told us what the young web editors on these papers want to hear — that the Age of Narcissism is coming to a close. “They knew no shame and no limits,” she reportedly told Austria’s Heute newspaper, or maybe it was Die ganze Woche magazine, accounts vary. But there’s no denying our teen’s outrage over her parents’ predilection for posting her images on Facebook.  “They didn’t care if I was sitting on the toilet or lying naked in the cot, every moment was photographed and made public.” I feel her pain. I didn’t see her photos, of course, despite the […] Read More

Countdown to the Dying Culture: Can You Name 10 Reasons Why It’s Going, Gone-Gone?

“You’re retired, aren’t you?” the 29 year old says to me today, while I am with a friend, 62, who used to be my board president over at United Cerebral Palsy, just one of several jobs I’ve been sacked from by the Controllers – this time, unfortunately, by two insecure, anti-male-in-the-workplace self-described Jewish women who could not square that I was smarter than they were-are and that I had a passion for representing my people, clients living with severe disabilities, developmental and intellectual and psychological. I’ve written about that work here and here! The 29 year old was flabbergasted that I was out looking for work, that I have no 401 k and that people my age – 58 – with the shitload of degrees and a million dreams realized in life and work and travel have to work at fastfood joints and two other jobs to survive. It’s […] Read More

Mother in Law: USA

The United States has embarked on a headlong rush into matriarchy, something never before attempted in a major country. Men remain numerically dominant in positions of power, yes, but their behavior and freedom are ever more constrained by the wishes of hostile women. The effects have been disastrous. They are likely to be more so. The control, or near control, extends all through society. Politicians are terrified of women. The president of an Ivy university is fired, and replaced by a woman, if he makes the obvious observation that women are not much good at mathematics. Women dominate the schools and universities. A Nobelist in biology has to apologize profusely for having said that in laboratories women cry when criticized. Women have forced the lowering of standards for hiring police and firemen, for the military. They have made life miserable for small boys. The beat goes on. The pathological […] Read More

The Murderous Scam White Elites Have Perpetrated on Blacks and Whites for at Least 4 Centuries

Decade after decade in America — including today — white elites get away with murder by turning blacks and whites against each other. The idea of “whiteness” as a strict racial category superior to others is an invention of Europeans, who needed to legitimate and normalize a system of white on black chattel slavery, global empire, and colonialism as being preordained by nature and God. Yet the “common sense” belief that the racial ideology known as Whiteness has always existed is one of the greatest tricks in human history. In all, Whiteness is a new invention. The ways in which it has been naturalized signals to its powerful role in an American society that was built upon a foundation of white supremacy, and that continues to maintain institutionalized systems of white advantage over people of color in the 21st century. Of course, all white people do not benefit in the […] Read More

Imagine a World Where Borders Are Based on Nature and Culture, Not Politics and War

Guided by watersheds, mountains and local knowledge, bioregionalism is a logical way to create boundaries.> There’s little natural about the boundaries that divide states and countries. They’re often imaginary lines that result from history, conflict, or negotiation. But imagine what the world would look like if borders were set according to ecological and cultural boundaries. Bioregionalism says that’s the only logical way to divide up territory: Let watersheds, mountain ranges, microclimates, and the local knowledge and economies that exist in them guide the way we set boundaries. That way, life within those boundaries is tied together not by arbitrary decisions but by common interests. For instance, in the United States, there are many cases where ecologically and economically distinct areas are encompassed in one state, which makes for political difficulty. Oftentimes, no matter who wins in elections or policy, someone is left out or disenfranchised. Governing ourselves in smaller, […] Read More

You Cannot Be a Republican and a Christian

The modern Republican Party’s hell-bent embodiment of nearly everything Christ warned against has become so serious that we have to call it out. No one in American life today proclaims their allegiance to Christ more conspicuously than those who have rejected most of what Christ actually taught: Republicans. The modern Republican Party’s hell-bent embodiment of nearly everything Christ warned against has become so serious that we have to call it out. You cannot be a Republican and a Christian. Of course, it wasn’t always this way. There was a time, maybe even as recently as the early 1990s, when to support the Republican Party was not altogether evil. And further back, of course, things were even more different. As Garrison Keillor once reminisced, Republicans used to be: moderate, business-minded civic boosters and unapologetic patriots who were the linchpins and bulwarks of small towns across the Midwest, the enthusiastic backers […] Read More

Making Babies Scared of Bunnies: The Roots of Fear in Advertising

The long tail of John B. Watson‘s experiments in fear are omnipresent in today’s scare-mongering advertising. The following is the latest in a new series of articles on AlterNet called Fear in America that launched this March. Read the introduction to the series. “Fear is as primal a factor as love in influencing personality,” wrote psychologists John B. Watson and Rosalie Rayner in 1920. “Fear does not gather its potency in any derived manner from love. It belongs to the original and inherited nature of man.” The names of Watson and Rayner may have fallen into obscurity, but Professor Watson’s influence has been profound. He founded the school of psychology known as Behaviorism, which focused on observable expressed behaviors instead of introspective conditions of the mind, and he argued that human behavior was susceptible to training, as with any other mammal. Watson and Rayner’s experiments with manipulating the fear responses of a baby boy remain one of the most infamous […] Read More

The 10 Smartest (and the Dumbest) Presidents in America’s History

It is not unreasonable to expect the “Leader of the Free World” to be a pretty smart cookie. After all, as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, with codes to fire nuclear armaments, the ability to make life-and-death decisions, policy making, and just general 24/7 responsibility for the lives of 300 million American citizens, certain things like intelligence should be something we can take for granted. Right? Yet, just like the general population, there is big a disparity of intelligence among the elite group of men who have held the office of President. Some were brilliant, some were very dim bulbs. If we were to judge by the size of their vocabulary alone, it would seem that our Presidents are getting dumber as the centuries roll by. An interesting study by the Guardian newspaper graded presidential speeches by education level using the commonly-used Flesch-Kincaid readability test. George Washington and his fellow Founding […] Read More

No Charges For New Jersey Cop’s Daughter After She Dressed As Hitler And Threatened To Kill Jews

Are Cops’ Families Exempt From Prosecution Too? The teenage daughter of a New Jersey state trooper will not be charged with any crimes after posting and sharing online threats against Jews with her friends –including threatening to bomb a popular gathering place for Orthodox Jews — reports the Asbury Park Press. The unidentified teen, who has posted multiple pictures of her herself on Twitter dressed as Adolf Hitler, tweeted a photo of young Orthodox families  sitting outside an Italian ice shop in Jackson, New Jersey with a caption reading: “perfect bombing time.” In another photo, the young woman is wearing a makeshift Nazi uniform — incorporating a New Jersey state trooper uniform hat — giving a ‘Heil Hitler’ salute, with a caption reading,  “1944: crematorium crew.” Another tweet re-posted by the young woman reads, “I really wanna drive around Lakewood and run over every Jew with my car.” According to Ocean […] Read More

Tired of Being Judged for the Way You Raise Your Kids? Some Moms Are Pushing Back

After years of public shaming for less-than-perfect parenting, moms are finally pushing back. Parents may not agree on many things, but there’s little argument that the job of modern parenting is a tough one. From complex monitoring of children’s online lives, to navigating this age of constant information, it’s almost impossible to be a laissez-faire parent these days without criticism. While Boomers get credit for being the first official helicopter parents (birthing those pesky Millennials), because they could financially afford to be, Gen-X perfected the art (though fewer of us have children than previous generations), driven by the conviction that we could do a better job than our parents. Generation X is also, as Allison Slater Tate points out in the Washington Post, “among the first of the truly high-tech parents.” High-tech, unfortunately, equates with high scrutiny and pressure. Thanks to a constant stream of social media feeds, parenting in the public eye has […] Read More

The Ugly Conservative Tactic of Brutally Attacking Individuals, Even Kids, Instead of Ideas

Conservatives attack and smear individuals to silence them and discredit popular ideas. One of the more unfortunate trends of the 21st century is the increasingly ugly right-wing strategy of singling out individuals—usually those who have somehow offended them by having liberal opinions—and subjecting them to grotesque smear campaigns and a deluge of abuse. Recent examples include Michelle Malkin‘s smear campaign against a 12-year-old who testified in favor of SCHIP; the bizarre multi-year campaign to discredit climate scientist Michael Mann; and the relentless haranguing of feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesian. The goal often seems to be to “take out” the target by making the price of continuing to speak out in public so high that they quit entirely. These kinds of harassment campaigns aren’t just immoral, but illogical. For one, the targets seem to be chosen almost at random. Plenty of people agree with Sarkeesian about video games, but she gets exponentially more abuse for it than […] Read More

The Sex Trafficking Sham: No, There’s No Uptick of Sexual Slavery Around the Super Bowl

We need to stop propagating myths about sex trafficking and fund services for the victims who actually exist and want help. The Super Bowl is right around the corner and moral panic about child sex slaves who will supposedly be trafficked there is spreading through the news again. Despite years of annual panic, these claims are entirely unsupported. In 2011, the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women released a report titled “What’s the Cost Of A Rumor?” which explained that “there is no empirical evidence that trafficking for prostitution increases around major sporting events.” Kate Mogulescu, who is the founding and supervising attorney at the Trafficking Victims Advocacy Project, said in a 2014 opinion piece for the New York Times that “the actual number of traffickers investigated or prosecuted [during the Super Bowls] hovers around zero.” In 2014, the Super Bowl sex trafficking myth was debunked in the New York […] Read More

The Killing of America’s Creative Class

A review of Scott Timberg’s fascinating new book, ‘Culture Crash.’ Some of my friends became artists, writers, and musicians to rebel against their practical parents. I went into a creative field with encouragement from my folks. It’s not too rare for Millennials to have their bohemian dreams blessed by their parents, because, as progeny of the Boomers, we were mentored by aging rebels who idolized rogue poets, iconoclast cartoonists, and scrappy musicians. The problem, warns Scott Timberg in his new book Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class, is that if parents are basing their advice on how the economy used to support creativity – record deals for musicians, book contracts for writers, staff positions for journalists – then they might be surprised when their YouTube-famous daughter still needs help paying off her student loans. A mix of economic, cultural, and technological changes emanating from a neoliberal agenda, writes […] Read More