THE POLICY THINKSHOP "Think Together"

Public Policy is social agreement written down as a universal guide for social action. We at The Policy ThinkShop share information so others can think and act in the best possible understanding of "The Public Interest."

Thank You, Rolling Stone | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone

Matt Taibbi has been a loud and purposeful voice for Rolling Stone Magazine…  Think what you will of his ideological proclivities, the man is engaging, entertaining and has attitude.

The following is his farewell letter to the Rollig Stone family of readers, writers and all around rebel rousers.

“Today is my last day at Rolling Stone. As of this week, I’m leaving to work for First Look Media, the new organization that’s already home to reporters like Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras.”

More via Thank You, Rolling Stone | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, Culture Think, ideology, Pundits

The Policy ThinkShop Policy Team Comments on Health insurance: The Obamacare software mess | The Economist

Given today’s liberalization of news information, few bastions remain where one can sift through the cacophony of media bites and babble to form an educated

opinion or assess an educated risk. The Economist is failing in this regard on the American debate on healthcare reform–The Affordable Care Act.

Healthcare reform in America is a struggle for power and wealth at the increasingly small American top and a life and death struggle for most of the people below.

If we loose respected journals like the Economist in these times of mass information as intellectual fodder for the masses, we will be left without an intellectual meeting place where concerned minds can gather to contemplate benchmarks and directions. Regarding The Affordable Care Act debate in America, not only has the current president failed to sell and communicate the important of ACA implementation, he has once again betrayed the needs of the many for the expedient and self serving calculus of preserving power and status by appealing to an imaginary center–not too different here from the pragmatic Bill Clinton on Welfare Reform. But we digress.

The Economist has been a reliable source for decades as it has proven to be an \”objective\” source of information on the complex world stage. It\’s recent coverage of the American scene, however, requires vision and focus if it is going to support the journal\’s reputation as one of the few sources that our college professors respected that were not refereed journals.

The headline of the above story, \”The Obamacare sofware mess,\” is as semantically charged as it is irrelevant to any of the public policy issues raised by a serious American healthcare market debate addressing the important issue of how healthcare is distributed, facilitated or accessed by people in need of healthcare services.

Semantics: The term \”Obamacare\” plays directly into the divisive and charged narrative that portrays the healthcare debate in America as a tug of war between an \”evil and un-American\” president and American freedom. The framing of the current full court press, by conservatives, to obstruct the American president, at all at all costs, and the popular will of a democracy, is akin to saying that Churchill failed to stop Hitler sooner or to foresee the costs of settling with Stalin because of his neonatally determined speech impediment. It is academically irresponsible and intellectually dishonest, at least on the pages of this fine journal, to stain this usually intellectually rigorous space with narratives that are more appropriate in pop news sources that entertain people who are looking to reinforce their own deeply held biases and/or myopic political world views.

The Economics has been a leading world source of factual information relevant to the business of serious policy discourse and sober business leadership.

The foregoing comments are submitted on behalf of the Policy ThinkShop blogging team.

https://policyabcs.wordpress.com

As a not for profit, non partisan source of policy analysis and conversation, we rely heavily on sources like the Economist to promote reason and thoughtful

conversation on all things public policy….

Please reconsider your use of the American public policy discourse and reflect on your use of language to add to and further support our current cacophony of obstructionism and self promoting pragmatism in the pursuit of popular power and further public policy noise…

Regards,

The Policy ThinkShop Policy Team

via Comments on Health insurance: The Obamacare software mess | The Economist.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, European Alliances, Government Works?, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, ideology, Mass Media and Public Opinion, Medicaid Expansion, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Public Health, Public Policy, Social Media, Software and Hardware Change, symbolic uses of politics, symbols as swords, Technology and You, WeSeeReason

Texas Senate Approves Strict Abortion Measure – NYTimes.com

Are we really going to let the political barrens impoverish our political discourse yet again with another season of the “abortion debate”?

When a young women agonizes about being pregnant or we, as a society, have to deal with the horror of a baby not being born because the women carrying it chooses not to do so, must we take sides and make a spectacle out of that perinatal situation?  

Those weeks prior to a baby’s birth and the first few weeks of their lives are magical.  But we are not talking here about having a baby or planning to have one.  We are talking about, for whatever reason, an unwanted pregnancy.  To be sure, the abortion debate is more about a women’s choice whether to reach the perinatal period in the first place.  Being pregnant in the early stages is greatly defined by why you are pregnant.  It just is.

But abortion, like so many semantically charged issues, has become a political boogyman in our society that is pulled out in the battle of women’s liberation vs. the self proclaimed “moral majority”.  Imagine that–intelligent people on both sides let the boogyman out.  Today’s media circus allows the few to speak for the many.  In this way, an artificial discourse develops and is seen as real and scientific regarding public opinion.  Public media becomes public opinion.  

Abortion is a sad and horrible fact.  The use of the issue as political fodder is wrong.  The less sexy issue is the feminization of poverty, for example–how so many women are uneducated, disempowered and abused.  Abortion further demonizes these women and their circumstances.  Perhaps people of means who have internal demons are more comfortable with boogymen and as such summon them or at least willingly join the party.  That women get pregnant in circumstances that are not optimal for the commitment to the growth and birth of the fetus is a fact of life that is not likely to go away.  What we do about it as families, neighborhoods and communities to support women’s sexual health is the real issue.  Politicians rallying masses of voters will not help solve the central question. Women’s sexual health is often compromised and the outcome of child birth is too often a big problem.

Smart powerful women, or conservative ladies who have their husband’s power behind them, have the time and wherewithal to go on these intellectual and perhaps spiritual pony rides.  On the other hand you have the women who do not have the means.  Most of these anguishing women  and the fetuses which define their predicament are canon fodder in the “good fight”.  There are four kinds of people in this struggle.  There are the good people fighting the evil people.  There are the people who are considered the evil people by the good.  There are the people who are considered crazy by most bystanders who have to endure the charade.  It’s really difficult to tell who is who–it depends where one is standing.

Abortion has never been a problem for those who have the means to deal with it.  That is, to avoid it and have the baby put up for adoption as many did in before the 1970s when the choice became endorsed and supported–liberating young women seemingly everywhere.    Today, it is still being dealt with by those of means.  That is, conservative politicians looking to drum up support from the believing masses and women’s rights groups who have the wherewithal to define the fight, educate the soldiers, and speak in one voice for such a cacophony of human suffering and hope.   This sanguine struggle pales in comparison to any other civil rights issue because it is so private and at its center is not baby killing but a single women’s choice about her body, her psyche and perhaps her soul.  How many issues involve sex, blood, shame, hell and even death?  But poverty has seized to be the issue of the day and sexuality and babies make for better television.  Long gone are the poor welfare mothers who were the demons of yesterday for some and the soldiers in the minds of liberal causes.  Bill Clinton had his way with so many women, not to mention the million he kicked off of welfare with his Welfare Act.  At last, irony forces all of us to open our eyes and think.  Who is really the friend of these women in their darkest hour?

The truth may be that abortion has become an ideological scapegoat, a powerful political tool and a cattle call. Instead of really coming together and fixing the problems that divide us as a nation and impoverish us as communities, abortion as a maternal and child health perspective divides us, brings out the worst in many, and does not solve the ageless problem of child birth as a challenge that overcomes some.  But abortion is good politics because it gets folks riled up, to dig in their pockets and to pound the pavement for a cause.  Right or wrong–right or left…  It all depends where you stand…  It rarely depends on where the most disempowered young and scared women stand.  The choice is personal, spiritual and perhaps mostly economic.  It’s not about women’s liberation… It’s more about having the means–and in politics having the means means getting votes… Abortion moves people.

Here we go again.  The bread and butter issues were not good enough to rabble up the masses.  It is insane.  It is hardly believable and definitely more difficult to fully comprehend.  We are all getting riled up again about the “A” word.  Never mind that it mostly happens as a consequence of a very private act, without much public notice and with our most private parts.   No… that does not matter to the ideological gladiators right and left who have a ticket to ride because they perceive that their bodies are being controlled or that they must intervene in the most personal and spiritual moment of a women’s life–to help or to judge–to help her make a choice or to make communion with a political church that is pushing popular and political orthodoxy.

“The Texas Senate gave final passage on Friday to one of the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country, legislation championed by Gov. Rick Perry, who rallied the Republican-controlled Legislature late last month after a Democratic filibuster blocked the bill and intensified already passionate resistance by …”

via Texas Senate Approves Strict Abortion Measure – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Abortion, Blogosphere, ethics, faith-based, Feminization of Poverty, Gender, Gender Policy, ideology, Maternal and Child Health, News, Parenting

Income-Based Diversity Lags at Many Public Universities – NYTimes.com

Why do we so vigorously debate affirmative action?   Truth be told, policies purported to address inequality in our society are neither affirmative nor very “active.”

The value of the idea that underrepresented groups within mainstream institutions is a problem greatly relies on who is defining and  how these groups are defined.  The following article in the NYTs raises some interesting issues in this area which show that many in our society are beginning to question how and why we quantify and measure representation within our learning communities.

“Opponents of race-based affirmative action in college admissions urge that colleges use a different tool to encourage diversity: giving a leg up to poor students. But many educators see real limits to how eager colleges are to enroll more poor students, no matter how qualified — and the reason is …”

via Income-Based Diversity Lags at Many Public Universities – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, consumers, Culture Think, Demographic Change, Discrimination, Education Policy, Education Reform, ethnicity in politics, ideology,

Mountain of Petroleum Coke From Oil Sands Rises in Detroit – NYTimes.com

There may be no more important singular idea than the notion that corporations are persons.  Indeed, they are.

The Koch brothers continue to be the target of media attention and this time they are not strategizing or paying for it.  They are getting a freebee.  It appears that an environmental secretion from their pursuit of wealth function has piled up higher and deeper in the  eye of the media and in the middle of the “pristine” great lakes region.  Oil… of course.  Texas gold, or US black mud… or whatever earth exploiters and investors call it these days.  Environmentalists and world builders are colliding once again as they accuse one another about tree hugging the world on the one hand and exploiting it for  greed on the other.  In the meantime the real lesson at hand here goes unnoticed.

The key and central problem we see on the horizon today is not piles of environmental waste but the proverbial “free rider problem” which is as old as cave metaphors and necessary untruths.   It is big corporate money (to be sure corporate profits in the hands of ideologues) applied to our political discourse.  The NYTs points it out… but what are we to do?

“Assumption Park gives residents of this city lovely views of the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit skyline. Lately they’ve been treated to another sight: a three-story pile of petroleum coke covering an entire city block on the other side of the …”

via Mountain of Petroleum Coke From Oil Sands Rises in Detroit – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, consumers, ideology, lobbying, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, political corruption, Political Economy, profit motive and carcinogens, propaganda and spin, Public Health, Public Policy, regulations, , , , ,

Heritage Foundation Cuts Ties to Jason Richwine – from The Atlantic Wire

What do barbie dolls and the Heritage Foundation have in common?  Barbie dolls are to sexism as the heritage foundation is to racism —  they both used to be bastions of each ideology but today they appear increasingly useless and irrelevant.

The Atlantic Wire reports that the Heritage Foundation is running for cover as the facts come out about one Jason Richwine, a former Harvard student who wrote his Ph.D. thesis exploring the presumed intellectual inferiority of Hispanics in America.  The Heritage Foundation used the controversial Harvard former student to publish a recent report arguing about the so called costs of immigration for America.

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank born in the aftermath of the Nixon era when America saw itself through the eyes of a popular media, government and academia largely of European ancestry and xenophobia towards all things not “White” or of European origin.  This world view was forged at a time when civil rights at home and Vietnam abroad crushed the former American dream which was forged in a 1950s America which was being torn asunder by hippie kids and non-White civil rights marchers.

Today the modern expression of these reactionary movements are anti immigration, states rights and anti affirmative action diatribes that fly in the face of the facts of an America that needs every once of talent and muscle from its growing “brown majority.”

Recent demographic reports show that Rodriguez is now the most numerous last name held by new born babies in our country.  Tomorrow is here and the Heritage Foundation seems to be trying to cover the overwhelming historical truth with an increasingly ineffective ideological argument about the size of a broken barbie doll umbrella.

 

“Jason Richwine, co-author of a controversial report from the Heritage Foundation that criticized the potential cost of immigration reform, has resigned from the organization. The resignation follows revelations that Richwine’s college dissertation argued that …”

via Heritage Foundation Cuts Ties to Jason Richwine – Philip Bump – The Atlantic Wire.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Demographic Change, Discrimination, ethnicity in politics, ideology, Immigration, Intolerance, Latinos, New Electorate, News, propaganda and spin, symbolic uses of politics, symbols as swords, WeSeeReason, , , ,

Most Muslims in Region Reject Violence Against Civilians – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

The Pew Forum on Religion continues to bring us facts and figures to enlighten our view of the religious world which is often clouded by a sensationalist media and the rose colored lenses of young ambitious journalists trying to move up the career ladder or older ones stuck in yesterday’s phobias and mired in a short and myopic view of a changing modern world where the acts of the few motivate and move the masses through the loud megaphone that is our entertainment driven media establishment…. Read the Pew article and tell us what you think…

“A new Pew Research Center survey report finds high levels of concern about religious extremism among Muslims in the North Caucasus area of Russia and the neighboring Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The survey also finds that few Muslims across the region support the use of violence against civilians in the name of Islam, though there is somewhat more support for suicide bombing and similar violence among Muslims in Kyrgyzstan than in Russia or Kazakhstan.”

via Most Muslims in Region Reject Violence Against Civilians – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, Culture Think, Discrimination, ethnicity in politics, faith-based, ideology, International Relations, Intolerance, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, propaganda and spin, Pundits, Racism, Religion, symbolic uses of politics, WeSeeReason, , , , , , ,

Equating Islam with terrorism – chicagotribune.com

When the media feeds xenophobia, sensationalism, ethnocentrism and religious bigotry, the crazies and the extremists win.  The crazies and the extremists are such a minute minority but their acts are so big and their intentions are to cloud our judgement and make us crazy.  The media’s handling of these acts magnifies them and makes these pitiful bigots super heroes, if evil ones.  They become larger than life and feed our need to catch and conquer the proverbial boogyman.  Read the following article by a Chicago journalist for some clarity and what is happening to us every time we over state the role of religion in violent acts that are perpetrated by people who in the end are not very religious at all…

“Before we knew anything about the dead Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, we knew that he “recently became a devout Muslim who prayed five times a day.” This piece of information was placed in the lead of an Associated Press article published as the police were still on the hunt for Tsarnaev’s younger brother and alleged accomplice, Dzhokhar.

As the day went on with increasing panic and an intensifying sense of terror emanating from television and computer screens across America, and news outlets scrambled to release sound bites and tweetable articles with any information they could scrounge up on …”

More via Equating Islam with terrorism – chicagotribune.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, Community Tragedy, consumers, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Death and Dying, Demographic Change, Discrimination, ethnicity in politics, faith-based, ideology, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Political Violence, propaganda and spin, Pundits, Religion, symbolic uses of politics, symbols as swords, WeSeeReason, , , , , , ,

Social policies: Time to scrap affirmative action | The Economist

Affirmative action rears its ugly head once again as the usually intellectually rigorous London Economist magazine publishes an article (link below) making an argument on the deleterious effects of affirmative action policies for beneficiaries, institutions and societies in general.

The main problem with the article is that it sees people of color (or ethnic minorities) as both the “weak classes” and the beneficiaries of these policies.  The article writer fails to understand that a good number of people belonging to the so called “majority” or “white” as the article calls them, are also tremendously disadvantaged and cyclically in poverty by region and sometimes by religious group or region of the country (Catholics compared to Episcopalians and people from the Appalachia region compared to New Yorkers).

The overwhelming majority of people in America are so called “White.”   Poverty is not simply a skin color problem.  Affirmative action is not perfect and plenty of examples can be found of cases in which it is abused or inappropriately taken advantage of.  This does not mean that there’s no need to address historical differences between groups that have experienced circumstances which precluded their development in the educational and business fields, for example.

When  society invests in the children of the poor to ensure that future generations can continue to prosper and contribute to society in greater ways we all benefit.

When specific groups have been locked out for so long that lack of education, sophistication or opportunity defines their relationship to society, then society has a responsibility to address that condition.  Whether we see that “responsibility” as a moral or as a self interested proposition, does not really matter.  The fact is that when societies invest in their citizens they benefit all of society and improve their lot vis a vis other societies who experience the drag and social dislocation caused by an underclass.  The following article in the Economist fails to understand this simple logic.  Read it and tell us what you think?

“ABOVE the entrance to America’s Supreme Court four words are carved: “Equal justice under law”. The court is pondering whether affirmative action breaks that promise. The justices recently accepted a case concerning a vote in Michigan that banned it, and will …”

via Social policies: Time to scrap affirmative action | The Economist.

Filed under: African American, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, Culture Think, Demographic Change, Discrimination, Education Policy, ethnicity in politics, Feminization of Poverty, Gender, Gender Policy, ideology, Intolerance, Latinos, Minority Males, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, , ,

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,253 other followers

ThePolicyThinkShop @Twitter

Health Alert!

Patriotic Clean, we're headed for deep waters!  It's your choice ...
Conflict at work: Stick to your principles

Conflict at work: Stick to your principles and they will take you far ...

Resources and Latests News: Top Clicks

  • None

Who we are:


Public Policy for the rest of us...

Provided by: PolicyABCs

Moderated by: The Policy Think Shop

Categories

We are on Twitter too!

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Recent Posts from our new PolicyABCs Blog: PolicyABCs ... "Thinks with us ..."

We cannot load blog data at this time.

Thank you for visiting. Here are ways you can stay connected to us.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,253 other followers

Goodreads

The ThinkShop promotes connections to all forms of social media to bring you resources beyond what you’ll find in your daily routine…

How Hispanics Describe Themselves

How Hispanics Describe Themselves

Poli Thinkshop

Create Your Badge

Take a "Brain Break" and visit this "fun link" by clicking this image now...

Break for Fun… click video below or have more fun by clicking the pic above…

Policy ThinkShop: Relax, we did the research for you…

Welcome to Policy ABC's ThinkShop, where getting news and public policy analysis is as easy as "A B C."

"The Policy ThinkShop team works hard researching the latests and most interesting news and reports. The resulting links will point you to the original sources so that you can spend as little time as possible getting the most news possible."

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,253 other followers

The Policy ThinkShop

ThinkShop Wordle

The Policy ThinkShop

Public Policy and Culture

CultureWebs and Policy

Policy ThinkShop Resources

Policy ThinkShop Resources for your policy work

Our experts do the searching and serve up the best resources to help you stay on top of key public policy issues.

Featured Twitter Friend: Health Literacy ABCs

Health Literacy

Twitter Friend: MigrationPundit

Open door policy?

Policy ThinkShop: “THINK TOGETHER”

"Policy is codified knowledge that stands as a universal guide for social action. Public policy is shaped by those who know and who act on that knowledge. We at The Policy ThinkShop share information so others can think and act in the best possible understanding of "The Public Interest."
%d bloggers like this: