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  • Today's comic by Jen Sorensen is Cartoon: Ignoring the warnings:
    Cartoon by Jen Sorensen - Ignore the warnings
  • Unhappy birthday: Citizens United turns four.
  • Couples taking Florida to suit over marriage equality ban:
    Today, six same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute filed a lawsuit in Florida state court in Miami seeking the freedom to marry. The lawsuit argues that Florida’s laws barring same-sex couples from marriage violate the United States Constitution by denying them the legal protections and equal dignity that having the freedom to marry provides.

    The couples are from Miami and the surrounding area. Four of the couples are raising children, and another couple has an adult child and two grandchildren.

  • Kiev protesters fire catapult against riot police.
  • NYT intern creates paper's most visited post in 2013:
    When The New York Times released its list of most-visited articles for 2013 a few days ago, the Atlantic spotted that the article leading the pack was actually a dialect quiz, one you will know as “that thing every single person on your Facebook wall posted with comments like ‘I Got Cleveland!’” The quiz was so popular that it eclipsed the traffic of every other article on the Times’ website for 2013 despite going live on December 21—in other words, it took only ten days to beat the rest of the year.

    It turns out the writer responsible for the app was an intern. While a graduate student in statistics at North Carolina State University, Josh Katz posted some heat maps he’d made based off a 10-year-old Harvard dialect survey. The maps caught the eye of the Gray Lady, who invited him for a fall internship, during which Katz crafted, along with the paper’s graphics department, the dialect quiz god and everybody took last month. [...]

    Oh, and in case you’re wondering what kind of reward an intern gets for crafting the most popular post of the year, the answer is a staff editor position.

  • Yale study finds 23% of Americans are climate change deniers.
  • Mother Jones: Behind the sometimes fabricated scenes of Animal Planet—death, drugs and neglect:
    By the time three orphaned raccoons arrived for emergency care at the Kentucky Wildlife Center in April 2012, "they were emaciated," says Karen Bailey, who runs the nonprofit rehab clinic set in the sunny thoroughbred country just outside of Georgetown, in central Kentucky. "They were almost dead." [...]

    These weren't just any raccoons. They were the stars of one of the highest-rating episodes of Call of the Wildman, the hit Animal Planet reality TV show.

  • President Obama and Pope Francis will meet in March.
  • Oxford study: The robots are coming for half our jobs:
    As more and more automated machinery (robots, if you like) are brought in to generate efficiency gains for companies, more and more jobs will be displaced, and more and more income will accumulate higher up the corporate ladder. The inequality gulf will widen as jobs grow permanently scarce—there are only so many service sector jobs to replace manufacturing ones as it is—and the latest wave of automation will hijack not just factory workers but accountants, telemarketers, and real estate agents.

    That's according to a 2013 Oxford study, which was highlighted in this week's Economist cover story. That study attempted to tally up the number of jobs that were susceptible to automization, and, surprise, a huge number were. Creative and skilled jobs done by humans were the most secure—think pastors, editors, and dentists—but just about any rote task at all is now up for automation. Machinists, typists, even retail jobs, are predicted to disappear.

    And, as is historically the case, the capitalists eat the benefits.

  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show, it's yet another snow day. And with a special election going on to determine control of the VA senate, at that. Fox's Andrea Tantaros scolds Americans for not knowing their history, then Palins her way through a mangled Boston Tea Party story. Armando recapped the Christie news, and we segue (via would-be NJ pol Carl Lewis) to the weekend's big sports outrage story, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman. We read Ta-Nehisi Coates (twice) on the subject, and wondered what, if anything, made his boastfulness different from that of outspoken billionaires and their "prosperity gospel."

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well, what we can't outsource, let's robotize. (10+ / 0-)

    Jobs, jobs, jobs. For robots.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:05:34 PM PST

    •  We need to start reading 'em Ayn Rand. (6+ / 0-)

      They'll get so outraged at being makers in a land of takers they'll go Galt.

      I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

      by Crashing Vor on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:20:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The robots are coming alright (6+ / 0-)

      This is making me rethink the ownership of "means of production".

      Why You Should Revolt Against the 'Robot Uprising'

      According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the manufacturing industry lost 2.3 million jobs in the most recent recession. Since then, factories have only regained 526,000 jobs, a sad sign of Jobs' visionary nature. A promotional video on the Mac Pro's assembly clearly shows what led Apple to produce the new computers in the U.S.: robots, not people.
      Unfortunately, not everyone is as interested in giving their company a human touch. The Economist reported as far back as 2011 that Foxconn had planned to "hire" 1 million robots for it factory floors. But the Chinese company has also invested in a manufacturing facility in Harrisburg, Pa., upping the staff from 30 to 500 people. Located near Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute, the factory is building -- you guessed it -- more robots.
      The Player Piano world is upon us.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:48:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The genie is already out of the bottle. Instead... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, Shockwave

        ... we need a new sort of economics to deal with it. Part of the good news is that it's possible that manufacturing may become less centralized over the upcoming decades as 3 D printers and robots become more personalized and ubiquitous just as computers have become. Large centralized corporations may be on the way out over the next couple of decades as people begin producing more goods for themselves.

        I've also felt for years that products which can be digitalized such as music, books, and soon physical objects become commoditized and there may be an overwhelming need for original authorship and ownership of design to be accounted for much better. We need an economy which tracks and pays in some fashion for such goods and services to the originator who needs to have certain rights not now in place. Perhaps money as we know it may become only one of many different forms of legal (and extralegal) tender.

    •  Labor-saving devices (8+ / 0-)

      So, how 'bout that 4-day workweek, eh?

      Also, how 'bout not automating things that don't improve people's lives, especially those that involve human interaction? Went to the train "station" where there's no station but a platform, a ticket machine, and a bunch of security cameras. The experience would be a lot more enjoyable without the cameras and with a couple of railroad workers there to staff the place.

      Instead we get things like Sen. Schumer proposing to address the problem of a train engineer dozing off with more cameras, rather than with a second engineer.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:52:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  4 day work-week absolutely. 1/2 of us = no jobs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        pretty soon.  We need to rethink much of our economic paradigm.  

        Not only must we accept a government provided guaranteed annual income - with a job of some kind attached, not as a sop to the rightwing but bc ofrced non-productiveness is de-humanizing.  But also, new ways to fund small business start-ups, bc they will increasingly be the only way to be 'employed' that 'grows' the 'private sector'.  

        Its not like the top of pyramid will not have the $$ to fund the rest of us.  When 20% get 1/2 the income, and 50% of us fight over the bottom 20% of the pie, there's a lot of 'fat' to tax there.  And its in the tops best interest to be taxed for these purposes.  Indeed, that is increasingly going to be the only way they are going to have consumers for the stuff they need to sell to remain the top.  

        And its not as if there isn't a shiteton of work for the government to pay people to do.  The roads and bridges, the railroads, the airports, the ports the top 20% use to move the goods they make their $$ off of desperately need repair and modernizing.  Just to mention one need. All of which would make the top 20% even more $$.   Heck, they'd benefit even if we were just paying to clean trash from the highways.

        But, what's that?  Its soschillizam!? Well, nevermind then.  Let all us well-armed unemployed just stew until we decide to kill the frakking rich and take their stuff.  

        It'll make for some nice movies anyway.  Robocop, anyone?

  •  pastors' jobs are safe? (6+ / 0-)

    surely there's some faith-based automation out there...

    the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity

    by mailman27 on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:11:33 PM PST

  •  The cartoon and that Yale study are sad news (6+ / 0-)

    for the humans on the planet. Only 63% are "believers" (I hate that term) that means in addition to the 23% of out right deniers there are plenty of skeptics and delayers. And even then only 5% think we can actually do anything about it. So 95% are basically saying, "We're fucked". Which is perhaps the clearest example of a self-fulfilling prophecy I've ever seen. :(

    There are lies, damn lies, and statistics but they all pale in comparison to conservative talking points.

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:12:33 PM PST

    •  They need to be put to the end of the line when... (0+ / 0-)

      ... they are shown to be wrong and goods become scarce. They need to put their livelihoods on the line if they are so certain and perhaps we need to start identifying them and let them know it. If they won't be part of the solution then they are part of the problem. And if the problem gets bad enough there won't be enough for everyone.

  •  Think How Well We'll All be Doing When the (6+ / 0-)

    capitalists have ALL the nation's money to trickle down to us!!

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:17:30 PM PST

  •  TV creature abuse; 'Monster Bug Wars' (6+ / 0-)

    This is a show aired on the Science Channel in the US, which whole premise was basically two different types of large, carnivorous insects (arachnids too) put into an 'arena', and videotaped as they fought to the death, with announcers giving commentary during the battle.

    Whether you like insects or are repulsed or frightened by them, it still matters that there is entertainment based on living creatures fighting to the death to amuse us. I found it despicable.

    "Do you suppose actually SEEING the candidate eat the rat could cost us the election?" - Republican campaign manager

    by Fordmandalay on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:20:11 PM PST

  •  Danger Will Robinson. (7+ / 0-)

    Only Punxsutawney Phil can save us now.

    by jwinIL14 on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:20:33 PM PST

  •  Congrats to the NYT intern. However, (4+ / 0-)

    God help us if viral-readiness or link-bait-itude become primary news judgment criteria for the flagship US daily. That's what HuffPo is for.

    You won't believe what this gay dolphin said to a homeless child. First you'll be angry, but then at the 1:34 mark your nose will bleed tears of joy.

    by cardinal on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:22:03 PM PST

  •  So, 23% are climate change deniers. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, Stude Dude, HeyMikey

    Yet, probably 90% of the GOP in the Senate and House are deniers.


    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:22:54 PM PST

  •  Animal planet used to be good when there were (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, DrTerwilliker, HeyMikey

    Fewer humans. It's crap like most less -scripted TV.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:24:09 PM PST

  •  Catapults in Kiev. A for ingenuity. A for moxy. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, HeyMikey

    C for aim.
    OCCUPY take note.

  •  2° at noon today... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    belinda ridgewood, HeyMikey

    so I went walking out on Lake Winnebago before going into work today, should be a photodiary eventually.

    No one knows what it's like, To be the bad man, To be the sad man, behind blue eyes....

    by blueyedace2 on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:26:36 PM PST

  •  and retail robot dental machinists, well.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, HeyMikey
    That's according to a 2013 Oxford study, which was highlighted in this week's Economist cover story. That study attempted to tally up the number of jobs that were susceptible to automization, and, surprise, a huge number were. Creative and skilled jobs done by humans were the most secure—think pastors, editors, and dentists—but just about any rote task at all is now up for automation. Machinists, typists, even retail jobs, are predicted to disappear.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:28:23 PM PST

  •  One for the DFHs... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The carcass of Ken Kesey's Technicolor motorhome, "The Furthur", is going to be restored.

    Here's it being reference somewhere in this Steely Dan song.

    BTW: I'm sketching fanart of an extra-zaftig Evil Lyn, but that's not politically correct, is it?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:35:16 PM PST

  •  Any update on the explosion in Omaha? nt (0+ / 0-)

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:41:10 PM PST

  •  It is an open thread right? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    I think the American Winter Olympians should boycott the Winter Games in Russia.  Two good reasons.  Russian laws and statements made with regard to gays would be one.  A very active terrorist threat there would be two.

    I know that these Olympians work very hard all their lives to get to the point they are at.  So, I realize that what I am saying is not going to happen.  But, it sure would send one hell of a message.

  •  So ANIMAL PLANET blames 'subcontractors' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radical Moderate

    they paid and think that lets just them off the hook? Just like the US in the Iraq war?

    The money quote from AP ""We're not looking to be a natural history channel," Animal Planet group president Marjorie Kaplan told the New York Times in 2008. "We're looking to be an entertainment destination."

    Thanks for the clarification, Madge.
    To sum up -
    Natural History = David Attenborough
    Geek shows = ANIMAL PLANET

  •  Breaking: indictment for ex-Gov. McDonnell, wife (5+ / 0-)

    I assume one of our Virginia diarists will do a full report -- Washington Post reports both were indicted by a grand jury for accepting bribes.

    Wheels of justice grind slowly, but they do grind.

  •  Rev. Barber in Charlotte Tonight & Asheville Wed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Rev. Dr. William J. Barber Jr. (president of the NC NAACP) is traveling the state talking about the Feb. 8th Moral March on Raleigh.

    He could be coming to a city near you if you are in NC.

    For the past seven years, a fusion movement has been growing in North Carolina. In 2006, the Historic Thousands on Jones St. (HKonJ) People's Assembly Coalition was formed under the leadership of Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and the North Carolina NAACP. It has grown to include over 150 coalition partners. Each year this fusion movement comes together on the second Saturday in February to hold a mass people's assembly to reaffirm its commitment to the 14 Point People's Agenda and to hold lawmakers accountable to the people of North Carolina.

    Check out this beautiful new promo and consider posting it on Facebook and Twitter
    From Selma to Raleigh | 2014 Moral March on Raleigh Promo - YouTube

  •  Bored Martian punks toss a rock at our rover (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for a cheap laugh.
    Think thats snark?
    See for yourself

  •  "President Obama and Pope Francis will meet in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Cue the attacks on the Pope for helping get Obama re-elected.

    Will they label him a PINO ?

  •  The "robots" arrived in accounting with the first (0+ / 0-)

    electronic spreadsheet.  Then came accounting software to automate most of the bookkeeping.  Once upon a time there were thousands of people working in the back offices of businesses handing the bookkeeping.

    Most transactions these days are electronic and are captured by accounting systems involving very little human intervention and runs in the cloud.  Payroll used to require clerks calculating taxes and preparing checks.  Total payroll is a cloud app that after initial set up handles 99% of the job.  You can even have your employees set up their own files and enter their own hours for approval and the payment is by direct deposit.

    Auditing uses software applications that will take care of a great deal of the grunt work of a financial statement audit, and for all of you QuickBooks users, the IRS has developed an app that they can set to work on a digital copy of your company file and give you an audit like you won't believe.  

    •  There used to be (0+ / 0-)

      draftsmen.  Lots of 'em.
      There used to be bank tellers.
      There used to be farmers.

      Anybody who says we don't need a minimum national income is a fool from another century.

      "Our problem is not that the glass is half empty or half full, but that the 1% claims that it is their glass." ---Stolen from a post on Daily Kos

      by jestbill on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 03:25:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another day, another campus Shooting.This time its (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    too close to home,

    Shooting at Purdue University took place in the Electrical Engineering Building about noon today --- one man is dead and the shooter was taken into custody.

    Initial response from Purdue was, "Shooter captured ---  resume as you were --- continue classes this afternoon."  Tonight the response has been changed to two days without classes to allow students to grieve, recover and rethink campus procedures. My response to Purdue's first response is, "Have colleges become so callused to Campus Shootings that students can't even allow processing theie emotions."  

  •  irony alert! christie: you have to pay to play! (0+ / 0-)
    Today, I thank all those who have once again placed their faith and trust in me and I make this promise: I will not let up, I will insist we work together and I will make this government truly work for those who pay for it.

    I am tired of laughing at the irony of their stupidity.

    by stagemom on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 03:29:08 PM PST

  •  Question: Who? Capitalists or Owners of Capital? (0+ / 0-)

    If capitalists benefit from robots replacing human jobs. . . . . I'm not sure any more who capitalists are.

    1.A supporter of capitalism.
    2.An investor of capital in business, especially one having a major financial interest in an important enterprise.
    3.A person of great wealth.
    Now I'm worried about how they might not mean us, the traditional middle class, but only their wealthy cohorts:
    1.A person belonging to the middle class.
    2.A person whose attitudes and behavior are marked by conformity to the standards and conventions of the middle class.
    3.In Marxist theory, a member of the property-owning class; a capitalist.


    1.    Of, relating to, or typical of the middle class.
    2.    Held to be preoccupied with respectability and material values.

    Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V., further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

    Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company

    capitalist (noun)

    director: employer, capitalist, boss, master
    master: employer, captain of industry, capitalist, boss, governor, manager
    minter: financier, capitalist, profiteer, entrepreneur
    rich person: moneymaker, money-spinner, fat cat, capitalist, plutocrat, bloated plutocrat

    The Original Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases (Americanized Version) is licensed from Longman Group UK Limited. Copyright © 1994 by Longman Group UK Limited. All rights reserved.

    While we are at it. . . .Some quotations:

    The genius of capitalism consists precisely in its lack of morality. Unless he is rich enough to hire his own choir, a capitalist is a fellow who, by definition, can ill afford to believe in anything other than the doctrine of the bottom line. Deprive a capitalist of his God-given right to lie and cheat and steal, and the poor sap stands a better than even chance of becoming one of the abominable wards of the state from whose grimy fingers the Reagan Administration hopes to snatch the ark of democracy.

    Lewis H. Lapham (b. 1935), U.S. essayist and editor. “Moral Dandyism,” in Harper’s (New York, July 1985).


    By bourgeoisie is meant the class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labor. By proletariat, the class of modern wage laborers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live.

    Friedrich Engels (1820–95), German social philosopher. Manifesto of the Communist Party, Footnote (1848), written in collaboration with Karl Marx.

    The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations is licensed from Columbia University Press. Copyright © 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998 by Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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