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List of Demonstration Sites for the National Day of Protest Against Mass Incarceration, October 22 2014

The United States is a nation that massively incarcerates its inhabitants, far beyond the scale of every other nation on Earth.

On October 22, the United States is a nation that protests this fact. Yellow dots on the map below indicate places where there will be demonstrations on the National Day of Protest Against Mass [...]

Federal Contracts: Concentrated? Yes. Increasingly Concentrated? No.

A lot of information about the United States government hides in plain sight, shared in reports that few people know about and that the news media ignore (as they’re too busy covering the switch in directors for an Ant Man movie). Every spring, the federal government releases a report describing trends in its private contracting. [...]

Guess What? That “Cold” Winter 2013-2014 Showed (Yes!) Global Warming

“What global warming?”

If you live in the United States, you probably heard this sarcastic phrase last winter, uttered by people who noticed that in the United States, this winter was pretty cold:

Minority Report: Conservative News and Opinions:

“As I write this entry, it is 1 degree Fahrenheit in Morton Grove, Illinois, below zero [...]

Fact Check: Malcolm Gladwell’s Mythic South

As I’ve been reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers over the last few days, I’ve been accumulating a sense of hokum as Gladwell tells stories and spins out anecdotes. My B.S. detector finally hit the limit with this claim (p. 169):

The triumph of a culture of honor helps to explain why the pattern of criminality [...]

Isolation: Where in America Do They Want You to Just Go Home?

A few days ago, I saw a bumper sticker in Central Maine that read, “Welcome to Maine… Now Go Home!” It didn’t take me too long to react emotionally to that statement; I hear some version of that sentiment almost every day living here in Maine. Whether it’s someone talking about what “real Mainers” would [...]

Those Poor Socialist Countries

Gene Berkman writes:

Rather than screw the poor, capitalism has created the most prosperous societies in human history. The socialist regimes are all charactized by depravation and loss of liberty. When government grows, it takes resources from the civilian economy, and makes everyone poorer.

From Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Statistics:

Life expectancy:

France [...]

Restore The Fourth Protests around the United States, July 4 2013

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

This [...]

Armed Guards in School? Fact Check: Kids are Safer in School than out of School

In the Bangor Daily News of December 20 2012, Daniel Patterson of Presque Isle Maine writes that armed guards should be posted in all public schools:

“We need armed guards where masses of people, especially children, gather because crazed gunmen target masses of people. I know we might not like the image of soldiers at [...]

Majority of Americans embrace the strongest Religious Freedom: Non-Affiliation

Bloggers like PatriotFreedom may insist that “America is a Religious Nation,” but the bare facts suggest otherwise. According to data collected by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, from 2000 to 2010 the number of congregants affiliated with American churches, mosques, synagogues and temples declined by 2,870,973. During the same period, the size [...]

Governments Request More User Data from Google in 2011. Which Countries are the Biggest Culprits?

Earlier this month, I shared with you a map showing results from Google’s report on the number of requests for user data from the governments of the world, current through December 2010:

Google has just updated its report to include a new six-month period, January to June of 2011. The most acquisitive governments of [...]

Between May and July, Americans Elect Restricted Who May Run for President

When the corporation/political party called Americans Elect publicly rolled out its 2012 presidential effort at the end of July 2011, its method for nominating a presidential candidate contained a restriction:

As explained to Thomas Friedman:

Any presidential nominee must conform to all the Constitutional requirements, as well as be considered someone of similar stature to [...]