A study, to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy, meaning profoundly corrupt, so that the answer to the study’s opening question, “Who governs? Who really rules?” in this country, is:
 
“Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But, …” and then they go on to say, it’s not true, and that, “America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened” by the findings in this, the first-ever comprehensive scientific study of the subject, which shows that there is instead “the nearly total failure of ‘median voter’ and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
 
To put it short: The United States is no democracy, but actually an oligarchy.

US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study | Common Dreams

If we had a truly independent and adversarial press in my country, this would be a big news story, but they still haven’t found that plane, so … whaddayagonnado right?

(via wilwheaton)

(via wilwheaton)

blondebarbells:

politicsprepandpearls:

Feminist-a person who supports feminism.

Feminism-the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

Can I tell this to every woman I’ve ever met who says that she isn’t a feminist, but supports equality?

Ladies, don’t be afraid to call yourself a feminist. If someone judges you off of that alone, they are a person of poor character.

(via skepticalavenger)

afterellen:

The AfterEllen.com Field Guide to Recruiting Lesbians

Oh, South Carolina, bless your little soul for consistently producing some of the most truly head-scratching stories of ignorance in the country. The most recent example? The University of South Carolina Upstate is canceling a performance called How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less, because, apparently, no one has a sense of humor. State Senator Mike Fair seems to believe that the show is a “recruiting” event and, to be honest, I actually have no words to respond to that.

Senator Fair, I hate to break it to you, but we don’t actually recruit. If we did, however, I think our field guide might look something like this.

(via hands0fate)

death-limes:

venipede:

osteophagy:

endcetaceanexploitation:

Washoe was a chimp who was taught sign language.
One of Washoe’s caretakers was pregnant and missed work for many weeks after she miscarried. Roger Fouts recounts the following situation:
"People who should be there for her and aren’t are often given the cold shoulder—her way of informing them that she’s miffed at them. Washoe greeted Kat [the caretaker] in just this way when she finally returned to work with the chimps. Kat made her apologies to Washoe, then decided to tell her the truth, signing "MY BABY DIED." Washoe stared at her, then looked down. She finally peered into Kat’s eyes again and carefully signed "CRY", touching her cheek and drawing her finger down the path a tear would make on a human (Chimpanzees don’t shed tears). Kat later remarked that one sign told her more about Washoe and her mental capabilities than all her longer, grammatically perfect sentences." [23]
Washoe herself lost two children; one baby died shortly after birth of a heart defect, the other baby, Sequoyah, died of a staph infection at two months of age.

more about Washoe:
after the death of her children, researchers were determined to have Washoe raise a baby and brought in a ten month chimpanzee named Loulis. one of the caretakers went to Washoe’s enclosure and signed “i have a baby for you.” Washoe became incredibly excited, yelling and swaying from side to side, signing “baby” over and over again. then she signed “my baby.”
the caretaker came back with Loulis, and Washoe’s excitement disappeared entirely. she refused to pick Loulis up, instead signing “baby” apathetically; it was clear that the baby she thought she was getting was going to be Sequoyah. eventually Washoe did approach Loulis, and by the next day the two had bonded and from then on she was utterly devoted to him.
*information shamelessly paraphrased from When Elephants Weep by Jeffrey Masson.

Even more interestingly, after Washoe and Loulis bonded, she started teaching him American Sign Language the same way that human parents teach their children language. It only took Loulis eight days to learn his first sign from Washoe, and aside from the seven that his human handlers learned around him, he learned to speak in ASL just as fluently as Washoe and was able to communicate with humans in the same way she could.

now if y’all don’t think this is the tightest shit you can get outta my face

death-limes:

venipede:

osteophagy:

endcetaceanexploitation:

Washoe was a chimp who was taught sign language.

One of Washoe’s caretakers was pregnant and missed work for many weeks after she miscarried. Roger Fouts recounts the following situation:

"People who should be there for her and aren’t are often given the cold shoulder—her way of informing them that she’s miffed at them. Washoe greeted Kat [the caretaker] in just this way when she finally returned to work with the chimps. Kat made her apologies to Washoe, then decided to tell her the truth, signing "MY BABY DIED." Washoe stared at her, then looked down. She finally peered into Kat’s eyes again and carefully signed "CRY", touching her cheek and drawing her finger down the path a tear would make on a human (Chimpanzees don’t shed tears). Kat later remarked that one sign told her more about Washoe and her mental capabilities than all her longer, grammatically perfect sentences." [23]

Washoe herself lost two children; one baby died shortly after birth of a heart defect, the other baby, Sequoyah, died of a staph infection at two months of age.

more about Washoe:

after the death of her children, researchers were determined to have Washoe raise a baby and brought in a ten month chimpanzee named Loulis. one of the caretakers went to Washoe’s enclosure and signed “i have a baby for you.” Washoe became incredibly excited, yelling and swaying from side to side, signing “baby” over and over again. then she signed “my baby.”

the caretaker came back with Loulis, and Washoe’s excitement disappeared entirely. she refused to pick Loulis up, instead signing “baby” apathetically; it was clear that the baby she thought she was getting was going to be Sequoyah. eventually Washoe did approach Loulis, and by the next day the two had bonded and from then on she was utterly devoted to him.

*information shamelessly paraphrased from When Elephants Weep by Jeffrey Masson.

Even more interestingly, after Washoe and Loulis bonded, she started teaching him American Sign Language the same way that human parents teach their children language. It only took Loulis eight days to learn his first sign from Washoe, and aside from the seven that his human handlers learned around him, he learned to speak in ASL just as fluently as Washoe and was able to communicate with humans in the same way she could.

now if y’all don’t think this is the tightest shit you can get outta my face

(via skepticalavenger)