Shane Stone doesn’t go by his real name much any more. Instead, he promotes an alternative identity he calls Profit Mole. He’s gone so far into this role that he’s lost much of his ability to communicate in coherent sentences. “I tweet, sleep and breathe B2B Customer Acquisition strategy”, Shane says, speaking to anyone who will listen.
Imagine what it’s like to be around Shane, engaged in B2B customer acquisition strategy with every breath he takes, even in his sleep. Judging from his Twitter profile, he’s a new father. Will his baby ever discover any aspect of his father besides B2B customer acquisition? What is it like for his clients, when Shane tries to keep the B2B customer acquisition going during a diaper change? Does Shane simply not change the baby’s diapers, hoping for a B2B solution?
Shane isn’t alone in this problem. Social media reveal vast networks of marketing addicts, hooked on the promise of being always on, always hustling, never resting until they get their next hit: Sale.
Mike P. Weiss writes, with shaking hands, that, “Stories used to be told around campfires. Now we are telling stories 24/7.”
Gary Vaynerchuk tells his suppliers that, “Social marketing is now a 24/7 job.”
The Ketchum PR firm says, with more than a hint of desperation, “Marketing is not M-F 9-5 anymore. 24/7 has to be standard.”
Gianni CJ Valentino advises other addicts, “If you don’t want a 9-5, be prepared to hustle 24/7.”
24/7, apparently, is some kind of code in the marketing underground, used by addicts to indicate where they can get their next fix.
Identifying with the systems of marketing automation that they hope will deliver them the wealth they have long pursued, these addicts begin to look at themselves as similar to the machines that threaten to replace them, needing no rest, day after day, until their youth is spent, like meth heads, only with sagging eyes instead of oozing sores.
Please sponsor Shane, or one of our other compulsive professionals. Join our intervention network. With just a small donation, you can help them get off the treadmill to nowhere. In exchange for your help, you’ll receive a personal letter and a photograph of your recovering market addict. Don’t wait. Just $5 a month can get buy a market addict a walk down the street without a smartphone, or a novel to read that provides no insight whatsoever into the nature of leadership. Call now.
For decades now, nearly all federal campaign finance reports have been filed electronically so we can find out as soon as possible who’s been getting funded by whom. I say “nearly all” because there’s a lone holdout: the U.S. Senate. The United States Senate allows its members to file campaign finance reports on paper, which means that it takes months for staffers to type in all that data so that you and I can read it at the Federal Election Commission website. By the time we read about campaign contributions in a Senate race, chances are good the race will already be over, when we can’t change our votes. That’s just what some senators prefer.
For years now, the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act has been introduced to the Senate for consideration. It would end this antiquated practice and speed up campaign finance reporting for the Senate. But for years, a small cadre of senators has blocked the action by refusing to sign their names on in support. Every year, as a result, the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act has died.
We’re in the 2016 presidential campaign season now, and a good share of the candidates have served in the U.S. Senate. What is their record of support for the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act? Congressional database reports for this bill in the 110th, 111th, 112th, 113th and current 114th Congresses tell the tale. Candidates’ records are shared below for the time they were in office in the U.S. Senate.
Q: Did 2016 Presidential Candidates Cosponsor the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act?
Hillary Clinton (D): YES (110)
Ted Cruz (R): NO (113), NO (114)
Lindsey Graham (R): YES (110), YES (111), YES (112), YES (113), NO (114)
Rand Paul (R): NO (112), NO (113), NO (114)
Marco Rubio (R): NO (112), NO (113), NO (114)
Bernie Sanders (I): YES (110), NO (111), NO (112), YES (113), YES (114)
United States Constitution Article VI: “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
U.S. Senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, November 6 2015: “Any president who doesn’t begin every day on his knees isn’t fit to be commander-in-chief of this nation.”
2014 Religious Landscape Survey: 45% of American adults report that they do not pray every day.
It has long been acceptable in Republican political circles to call for the social shunning, political expulsion, personal persecution and even death of atheists. The question is, has Senator Ted Cruz crossed any line by holding a religious test for office that a full 45% of Americans would fail? Or is spitting on the irreligious still acceptable in America?
Watch for major media outlets to either pick up this news story… or just shrug it off as no big deal. That’s the religious test we really should be watching.
Yesterday, the United States Senate performed its officially-established ritual of Christian worship, led by the Christian priest Barry C. Black, who stood at the center of the floor of the Senate and invoked an invisible supernatural ruler, asking this being to take power over the United States. Black called out:
“Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were formed or the Earth received its frame, You are and have been without beginning or ending. Thank You for the heartbeats we borrow each day. May Your life-sustaining power inspire our lawmakers to trust Your sovereignty… Rule and reign in Your world in spite of the prevalence of pathology and sin.”
This kind of thing happens every day that the United States Senate is open for business.
According to the Pew Forum On Religion And Public Life:
– 33 percent of Americans are not affiliated with any religion
– Only 50 percent of Americans participate in religious rituals even once per month
– Only 53 percent of Americans say that religion is very important
Given these statistics, and the fact that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, why is the U.S. Congress opened with a Christian religious ritual every day?
Three weeks ago, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced that global warming couldn’t possibly be real, because New York City was about to receive a “major freeze” that would be “weeks ahead of normal”. Actually, a freeze would have been just about a week ahead of the average first freeze date for New York City, well within normal range. But, there was no freeze.
There hasn’t been any frost for New York City since, either, and it’s now 13 days after the date of the average first freeze. There isn’t any frost forecast for the next 9 days either, taking us to nearly a month after Donald Trump forecast that Frostageddon was about to devastate the Tri-State Area. For the foreseeable future, there won’t even be a temperature within less than 10 degrees of a mild frost.
While Donald Trump’s unscientific pronouncements of global cooling didn’t play out, two other announcements coming today from actual scientists tell a very different story from Trump’s – one more in accord with his city’s lack of frost. The World Meteorological Organization announced that greenhouse gases have hit a new all time high. The United Kingdom’s Met Office has also announced that the annual global temperature is 1 degree centigrade above the 1850 to 1900 average for the very first time in 2015, and with just a few weeks left in the year, that’s unlikely to change.
Donald Trump has moved on to more substantive issues, though. Currently, he’s bragging that his appearance on Saturday Night Live had higher reviews than when Miley Cyrus was on the show.
Republican politicians say that they want the federal government to cede powers to state governments, saying that state governments are more trustworthy because they are more closely accountable to “the people”. Just who the GOP is referring to when it talks about “the people” is strongly suggested by a new report by the Center for Public Integrity.
The Center assessed the quality of anticorruption laws and the practices of corporate lobbyists in each of the 50 states, and then issued each state a grade, indicating how well it is upholding basic standards of ethics in government. The highest grade any state received was a C, by Alaska. Only two other states, Connecticut and California, got better than a D, and they got C- grades. 11 states (Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Wyoming) received grades of F.
When politicians tell you that they “want the states to decide” on an issue, what they really mean is that they want the lobbyists to decide.
Total voters in Bangor, Maine on Election Day 2015: 10,873.
Bangor population: 33,000.
In his book “Gifted Hands”, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson tells the story of how he had his photograph taken for the Yale University newspaper after he won a test to determine “the most honest student” student in a psychology class called Perceptions 301.
The truth that’s emerged this weekend:
– Ben Carson never had his photograph published in the Yale University newspaper
– There was no such class as Perceptions 301
– There was no psychology class with the number 301 during any of the years Ben Carson was at Yale
– No one else but Ben Carson remembers anything about any honesty test given at Yale that year
In related news, it has been confirmed that Ben Carson’s pants are in flames.
The filing of campaign finance reports electronically instead of on paper may not seem like a big deal. Who cares about the format, as long as information is made available, right?
If you care about the influence of big money contributors on national politics, you should care about this issue. The United States Senate, unlike almost any other major institution in the nation, allows its members to file campaign finance reports on paper. The effect of this policy is one of delay. When senators file their campaign finance reports in paper form, it takes weeks to months for staffers to type the data in so that you and I can read all about the behavior influence peddlers at the website of the Federal Election Commission. Every time there’s an election, disclosure of the most important contributions of the last six months of a Senate race must wait until after Election Day because of the paper rule. That’s when it’s too late for such information to matter.
If passed, S. 366 would bring the Senate into the 21st Century and require electronic submission of campaign finance data like just about every other major political institution does. But the bill hasn’t passed, because S. 366 has only 40 supporters who have signed on as cosponsors. They are:
|Sen. Ayotte, Kelly
|Sen. Booker, Cory A.
|Sen. Boxer, Barbara
|Sen. Brown, Sherrod
|Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L.
|Sen. Cochran, Thad
|Sen. Collins, Susan M.
|Sen. Daines, Steve
|Sen. Donnelly, Joe
|Sen. Durbin, Richard
|Sen. Franken, Al
|Sen. Gardner, Cory
|Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E.
|Sen. Grassley, Chuck
|Sen. Heinrich, Martin
|Sen. Heitkamp, Heidi
|Sen. Hirono, Mazie K.
|Sen. Kaine, Tim
|Sen. King, Angus S., Jr.
|Sen. Klobuchar, Amy
|Sen. Leahy, Patrick J.
|Sen. Manchin, Joe, III
|Sen. McCaskill, Claire
|Sen. Menendez, Robert
|Sen. Merkley, Jeff
|Sen. Murkowski, Lisa
|Sen. Murphy, Christopher S.
|Sen. Peters, Gary C.
|Sen. Portman, Rob
|Sen. Reed, Jack
|Sen. Reid, Harry
|Sen. Sanders, Bernard
|Sen. Schumer, Charles E.
|Sen. Scott, Tim
|Sen. Tester, Jon
|Sen. Udall, Tom
|Sen. Warner, Mark R.
|Sen. Warren, Elizabeth
|Sen. Whitehouse, Sheldon
|Sen. Wicker, Roger F.
There are 10 Republican supporters of the bill, 1 Independent supporter and 29 Democratic supporters within the Senate. If one of your senators does not appear in the above list, she or he has not supported the bill to increase campaign finance disclosure and is instead acting to passively block constituents from finding out about campaign shenanigans in good time. A majority of senators — 60 out of 100, disproportionately but not entirely Republican — have been blocking this bill from moving forward.
When a fatcat is buying your senator, you should find out in time to change your vote. Barring that, at least you should know when your senator is acting to keep you from knowing that.
This week, a study of children’s behavior published in the journal Current Biology concludes that children who are raised by religious families are less compassionate than children who are raised in non-religious households. Specifically, children from Christian families were less likely to share with others and were more likely to be judgmental of other children, urging their punishment. What’s more, the longer children had been in Christian households, the greater their divergence from their more compassionate secular peers.
Medical Daily calls these findings “perhaps counterintuitive”, meaning that they are the opposite of the presumptions that most people prefer to make about the world. Of course, in the United States, the majority of the population is religious. To members of the non-religious minority, which is regularly subjected to the majority’s high handed attitude, the results posted in Current Biology aren’t so surprising.
No single scientific article delivers the final truth on any subject, of course. Studies can be flawed, and aren’t worshipped as infallible, the way that religious texts are. So, we should seek our alternative sets of data, to see whether the Current Biology study holds up to scrutiny.
As luck would have it, the recent Religious Landscape Survey from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life provides data that, when combined with data on state mental health spending, provides us with a good test of the hypothesis that religious influence leads to a decrease in compassion. The Pew Forum provides data on the portion of the population of each state in the USA that does not believe in God, rejecting the central pillar of our nation’s dominant Christian ideology.
If Christianity leads to an increase in compassion, we ought to see that states that have more Christians – and fewer atheists who reject belief in God – provide greater funding for services to people who have mental health problems. Mental illness isn’t something that people can be plausibly blamed for. People often claim that people wouldn’t be poor if they just tried harder, but few people assert that mental illness is just a luxury for the lazy. It’s widely recognized that people with mental health problems need help. Furthermore, the prevalence of mental illness is roughly equivalent from state to state. So, if a state is providing greater per capita funding for assistance to the mentally ill than its neighbors, it probably isn’t because there are more mentally ill people in that state. It’s because the state is showing more compassion for its citizens who are in need.
The chart below shows what these two sets of data look like when they are combined. Each dot represents one of the 50 states, and there’s an extra dot for the District of Columbia. The placement of each dot on vertical axis shows the percentage of people in each state that don’t believe in God. The placement of each dot on the horizontal axis shows the amount of annual spending per capita on mental health services in each state. Measuring spending per capita eliminates the skew created by big mental health budgets in states with big populations.
The pink line on the chart is the best fit line, showing the statistically-calculated relationship between the two variables. The line shows what the scatterplot of dots suggests: States that have larger portions of their populations that do not believe in God tend to show more compassion to their mentally ill citizens than states with higher rates of religiosity. All of the states that spend more on mental health services have a higher than average population of atheists.
This data doesn’t provide a replication of the study recently published in Current Biology. Instead, it looks at the larger question in a different way. The overall conclusion from these different sources is the same: Despite the bragging Christians do about their moral superiority, Christianity isn’t associated with a higher practice of compassion.