“Nestride Yumga experienced real corruption and civil rights abuses in Africa. Then she came to America, the land of opportunity, education, and freedom. So when Black Lives Matter protests declared America guilty of systemic racism and injustice, she knew she had to defend her adoptive country.”
“It sounds like Disney and the other theme parks in California have had enough. It sounds like they are starting to put some pressure on the state to get some REAL guidelines for reopening parks. CAPA, an organization representing California theme parks, has sent a formal request for these guidelines so that Disneyland and other parks can prepare for reopening...like nearly everything else in the country.”
“A huge amount of progress has taken place that a lot of people just don't take into account, especially smart people who are attending to the real problems of the world," says Ronald Bailey, Reason's science correspondent and the coauthor, with Marian Tupy of HumanProgress.org, of Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: And Many Others You Will Find Interesting.For instance: In 1990, the World Bank estimated that about 1.9 billion people lived in "absolute poverty," defined as surviving on the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $1.90 a day. By 2018, the number had dropped to 650 million, even as global population increased. If current trends continue, less than 5 percent of the planet's population will be in absolute poverty by 2030.Despite ongoing problems in the Amazon and elsewhere, forests are expanding on net across the planet. "If you look broadly across the entire globe," says Bailey, "what you find is forests have expanded since the 1980s to an area that's about the size of Alaska and Montana combined, basically 800,000 square miles of land." And the world is getting safer, too, especially for poor people. "The chance of a person dying from a natural catastrophe—earthquake, flood, drought, storm, wildfire, landslide, or epidemic—has declined by nearly 99 percent since the 1920s and 1930s," write Bailey and Tupy.Other positive trends include continuing economic growth and rising living standards around the globe, far fewer food shortages and famines, a decline in the number of autocratic regimes, and a reduction in major armed conflicts.Bailey tells Reason that this massive ongoing progress is largely ignored because politicians and the media have an interest in foregrounding bad news—and because human beings, at least in the past 200 years, tend to take progress for granted. He says that's a mistake. Progress is the result of implementing better ideas for organizing society. "Basically," he says, "the Enlightenment happened." With that came the rise of representative government, property rights and markets, and especially the free speech and open inquiry that are essential for technological and social innovation.
“Bridget Phetasy on why Trump and Biden fail to inspire and how new media are reshaping politics.Until the Republicans and Democrats start appealing to voters like her, they will have to eke out tighter and tighter victories by scaring partisans with insane claims. Despite that, Phetasy is optimistic because she thinks new media are staging a conversation that speaks to politically homeless independents.”
“It's a scary time in America. In the last few weeks, we've seen police violence, protests, riots, snitch lines... all framed by the backdrop of a viral pandemic. It's not hard to see that a lot of people are hurting and angry. It's also not hard to understand why.
“Oprah Winfrey is a self-made African American woman with a net worth of over $2 billion USD, and she has now taken the opinion that America is best viewed through the lens of a racial caste system. In this understand of America, even the poorest white still has innate white privilege and an advantage over other groups. But is her own success story possible in such an imagined world?”
“The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2020, also known as the EARN IT Act, is a dangerous bill introduced by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. If it becomes law, it will end private communication on the internet.The EARN IT Act is part of a long history of using sex panics to expand state power. If we fall for it this time we may effectively end freedom of expression and open communication on the internet as we know it.EARN IT threatens website providers’ and other intermediaries’ ability to provide end-to-end encrypted services. End-to-end encryption is critical to ensuring private communication and often personal safety.Like so many of the save-the-children bills before it, EARN IT will not combat child sexual exploitation, but it will be the largest expansion of state surveillance powers in recent history, eliminating private communication on the internet."Tip of the hat to The Honest Courtesan.
Judge releases Utahn charged in U.S. Capitol riot despite objections
“Restrictions ordered for John Sullivan, who prosecutors say ‘thrives at inciting chaos’”
Democratic politicians shift positions on lockdowns as Biden inauguration looms
“After months of vigorously imposing lockdown measures across the country, high profile Democratic politicians have begun shifting their positions on lockdowns as Biden's inauguration approaches.”
‘We Just Wanted Our Voices To Be Heard.’ Capitol Protesters Speak Out
“In the wake of the U.S. Capitol riot during a Donald Trump rally, corporate media won’t talk to the protesters or try to understand their point of view. So I did.”
Facebook’s Sandberg deflected blame for Capitol riot, but new evidence shows how platform played role
“Fliers and hashtags promoting the pro-Trump rally circulated on Facebook and Instagram in the days and weeks beforehand”
"We did it!"
“To make this clear. CNN was embedded with BLM/Antifa pretending to be Trump supporters videoing them incite a riot. This is freaking huge. If CNN is allowed to maintain its press access anywhere in DC there needs to be a serious overhaul of our entire system.”
Feel Good Now—Pay Later
“The Biden stimulus is crammed with goodies but makes no economic sense.”
COVID Lockdowns May Have No Clear Benefit vs Other Voluntary Measures, International Study ShowsNW adds: Interesting timing here. Especially since people were raising questions eight and nine months ago.
After Capitol riot, Biden backs domestic terror law. It's a predictably misguided response.
“Even if aimed at white supremacists, new legal powers will inevitably be used in the same way existing ones are: against Black and brown people.”
Trump declassifying trove of FBI memos exposing Steele's motivations, ties to impeachment witness
“Once-secret documents will show Steele told FBI he leaked Russia collusion narrative to counteract Clinton email scandal.”