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Member since: Tue Apr 5, 2005, 09:55 AM
Number of posts: 6,721

Journal Archives

What cities need: More festivals, fewer stadiums and museums

By Jonathan Wynn

Last year the Institute of Museum and Library Services offered a catchy statistic: the United States has more museums than all the Starbucks and McDonald’s combined.

It’s easy to understand why cities will leap at the opportunity to invest in new structures: “Starchitect”-designed buildings, from the Santiago Calatrava-designed Milwaukee Art Museum to Brooklyn’s undulating Barclays Center, could add an iconic image to the cityscape and garner positive media buzz.

However, such massive public investments in permanent structures (what I’ve dubbed “concrete culture”) are bad deals and bad policy for urban economic development. Once the hoopla fades, cities can be saddled with millions in debt and mixed results. Take, for example, Charlotte’s NASCAR museum. Built in 2010 at a cost of US$160 million, the facility has not met attendance projections and, according to the Charlotte Observer, is losing $1 million a year.

Given the economic costs and risks, why do museums, stadiums and other “concrete culture” receive such a privileged place in urban development? After spending the past 10 years conducting research on the topic, I’ve found that this privilege should end; as an alternative, cities should champion music festivals as a cheaper, adaptable way to bolster urban communities.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/more-festivals-fewer-stadiums-and-museums2/

We know the US is ‘dropping cyberbombs.’ But how do they work?

Recently, United States Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work publicly confirmed that the Pentagon’s Cyber Command was “dropping cyberbombs,” taking its ongoing battle against the Islamic State group into the online world. Other American officials, including President Barack Obama, have discussed offensive cyber activities, too.

The American public has only glimpsed the country’s alleged cyberattack abilities. In 2012 The New York Times revealed the first digital weapon, the Stuxnet attack against Iran’s nuclear program. In 2013, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden released a classified presidential directive outlining America’s approach to conducting Internet-based warfare.

The terms “cyberbomb” and “cyberweapon” create a simplistic, if not also sensational, frame of reference for the public. Real military or intelligence cyber activities are less exaggerated but much more complex. The most basic types are off-the-shelf commercial products used by companies and security consultants to test system and network security. The most advanced are specialized proprietary systems made for exclusive – and often classified – use by the defense, intelligence and law enforcement communities.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/cyberbombs-how-do-they-workwork/

The attack on Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan is ridiculous

By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein

The Urban Institute and the Tax Policy Center today released analyses of the costs of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ domestic policy proposals, including single-payer national health insurance. They claim that Sanders’ proposals would raise the federal deficit by $18 trillion over the next decade.
We won’t address all of the issues covered in these analyses, just single-payer Medicare for all. To put it bluntly, the estimates (which were prepared by John Holahan and colleagues) are ridiculous. They project outlandish increases in the utilization of medical care, ignore vast savings under single-payer reform, and ignore the extensive and well-documented experience with single-payer systems in other nations – which all spend far less per person on health care than we do.

The authors’ anti-single-payer bias is also evident from their incredible claims that physicians’ incomes would be squeezed (which contradicts their own estimates positing a sharp rise in spending on physician services), and that patients would suffer huge disruptions, despite the fact that the implementation of single-payer systems elsewhere, as well as the start-up of Medicare, were disruption-free.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/attack-sanders-plan-ridiculous/

Should the US provide reparations for slavery and Jim Crow?

By Carlton Mark Waterhouse

The debate over reparations in the United States began even before slavery ended in 1865.

It continues today. The overwhelming majority of academics studying the issue have supported the calls for compensating black Americans for the centuries of chattel slavery and the 100 years of lynching, mob violence and open exclusion from public and private benefits like housing, health care, voting, political office and education that occurred during the Jim Crow era.

Despite this academic support, the nation is arguably no closer to consensus on this issue than it was 150 years ago. Not surprisingly, my research has shown that the idea remains widely unpopular with white Americans and overwhelmingly supported by African-Americans.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/us-provide-reparations-slavery-jim-crow2/

Sanders’ next fight: A more liberal Democratic Party platform

With his prospects of becoming the Democratic nominee for president fading, Bernie Sanders is pushing hard for what he thinks is the next best thing: the party platform.

It's a document of policy positions and goals few are likely to read and the White House will barely notice. But Sanders hopes it will enable him to put his imprint on the broader party brand and influence what it stands for beyond Election Day.

He wants it to include "Medicare for all," free tuition at public colleges and universities, aggressive efforts to ease income inequality and end the role of big money in political campaigns. Likely nominee Hillary Clinton won't necessarily go along, and will find Sanders and his passionate supporters ready to fight.

"Bernie doesn't want to be secretary of state. Bernie wants to lead a movement," said Roger Hickey, co-director of Campaign for America's Future, a liberal group sympathetic to the Vermont senator.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/sanders-next-fight-more-liberal-democratic-platform/

Class of 2016 faces record levels of debt

College students graduating this month across the United States can expect to feel nostalgic, field questions about their futures and owe a lot for the education they just received. Student financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz recently calculated that student borrowers in the class of 2016 are set to have the highest level of debt yet, at $37,172, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. This is up from about $35,000 last year.

“It’s unfortunate that college costs are going up and the student aid, the grants, are not going up at the same rate on a per student basis,” Kantrowitz, publisher and vice president of strategy at scholarship site Cappex, told the Journal last year. “College is becoming less and less affordable, though it’s still just as necessary.”

For the 2015-16 school year, the College Board estimated the average tuition and fees to be about $9,410 at four-year, in-state public institutions. Room and board were about $10,140 annually. To afford this, millennials have taken out loans that often leave them delaying buying houses or getting married.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/2016-graduates-deep-debt2/

Robot revolution: Rise of the intelligent automated workforce (Yes, robots will be taking our jobs)

Losing jobs to technology is nothing new. Since the industrial revolution, roles that were once exclusively performed by humans have been slowly but steadily replaced by some form of automated machinery. Even in cases where the human worker is not completely replaced by a machine, humans have learnt to rely on a battery of machinery to be more efficient and accurate.

A report from the Oxford Martin School’s Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology said that 47 percent of all jobs in the US are likely to be replaced by automated systems. Among the jobs soon to be replaced by machines are real estate brokers, animal breeders, tax advisers, data entry workers, receptionists, and various personal assistants.

But you won’t need to pack up your desk and hand over to a computer just yet, and in fact jobs that require a certain level of social intelligence and creativity such as in education, healthcare, the arts and media are likely to remain in demand from humans, because such tasks remain difficult to be computerised.

Like it or not, we now live in an era dominated by artificial intelligence (AI). AI can be seen as a collection of technologies that can be used to imitate or even to outperform tasks performed by humans using machines.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/robot-revolution-rise-intelligent-automated-workforce3/

President Trump? History and demographics make it unlikely

By Anthony J. Gaughan

The GOP nomination is within Donald Trump’s grasp.

Trump’s decisive victory in the Indiana primary on Tuesday night drove his two final challengers to withdraw from the race. Whatever hopes the GOP establishment still harbored of a brokered convention ended when Ted Cruz dropped out of the race on Tuesday night and John Kasich dropped out on Wednesday. Trump will be the Republican nominee for president in 2016.

Trump’s march to the nomination has shocked the GOP establishment and defied conventional wisdom. Could he pull off an even bigger upset by winning the White House in November?

If history, polling data and demographics are any guide, the answer is no. The evidence suggests that Trump will likely suffer a crushing defeat in the general election.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/president-trump-history-and-demographics-make-it-unlikely/

To me, this 9-second YouTube clip captures the logic of the Trump campaign

Really sums it all up nicely, IMHO.

The Trump nightmare is real. Clinton could lose this.

In May of 1988 Gov. Michael Dukakis had a 10-point lead over his Republican rival, the same margin that Hillary Clinton has today.

He lost. And she could, too.

Don't comfort yourself too much by looking at the horse race polls. Those are about Donald Trump's weakness, not Clinton's strength. A fresh Washington Post poll shows that only 37 percent of American voters trust her, and the number is dropping -- even before her well-fed opponents have begun to pound the airwaves with slimy attacks adds on her.

And let's face it: It is not beyond the imagination to think that a fresh scandal could emerge.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/trump-nightmare-real-clinton-lose/

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