Tag Archives | Alternatives

Solyndra Redux: Anatomy of a Political Hit Job

John Atcheson writes at Common Dreams:
Republicans have launched a full-scale attack on clean energy, and Solyndra always seems to be exhibit A in their assault. Recently, Romney went so far as to fabricate tales of Obama showing favoritism in this Bush-initiated loan – a whopper even by Romney’s record of complete disregard for the truth. It’s worth reexamining this whole thing, because Solyndra is actually exhibit A in how the Republican Party manufactures failure out of whole cloth, and what it costs us when they aren’t confronted by Democrats or held accountable by the media. To understand the full treachery of Republican attacks on Solyndra funding, it’s necessary to understand a little about venture capital investments...
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Peter Thiel Will Pay You $100,000 To Drop Out Of College (If You Have An Idea He Likes)

Considering student loan debt is now a trillion-dollar industry, maybe this PayPal co-founder is on to something. Via 60 Minutes:
One of the wealthiest, best-educated American entrepreneurs, Peter Thiel, isn't convinced college is worth the cost. With only half of recent U.S. college graduates in full-time jobs, and student loans now at $1 trillion, Thiel has come up with his own small-scale solution: pay a couple dozen of the nation's most promising students $100,000 to walk away from college and pursue their passions. Morley Safer takes a look at Thiel's critique of college.
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(Anonymous) Engineer Proposes A Full-Scale “USS Enterprise” That Can Be Built For $1 Trillion

OV-101Well, live long and prosper, then. As far as I know, there is only one space-faring vessel (yet) with the designation Enterprise. As James Holloway writes on GizMag:

An anonymous electrical and systems engineer going only by the moniker BTE-Dan has posted surprisingly detailed plans for a full-scale, functioning Starship Enterprise that he claims could be built in 20 years. Though it may be tempting to scoff at such lofty ambition, the Build the Enterprise website (up all of one week) includes specifications, costs, mission plan and funding strategies, all suggesting that a serious amount of thought has gone into creating a real world counterpart to the icon spaceship of the TV and movie series, Star Trek.

The project appears to be born of Dan’s frustration with humankind’s present spacefaring efforts. Dan more or less dismisses the International Space Station for its lack of gravity and cramped quarters, describing its toilet facilities as “comical and primitive,” and musing how the money may have been better spent.

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Chris Hayes: Glamorizing and Justifying War with the Term ‘Hero’

Decoration DayVia Alternet:
It's sure to be a little bit controversial but it's an extremely salient point: Chris Hayes, when discussing the meaning of Memorial Day, admitted that he feels "uncomfortable" calling deceased soldiers heroes. Not because they're not heroes, but because the term lionizes and glamorizes war. Hayes discussed how he feels "uncomfortable" with the term: I feel … uncomfortable, about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers, and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that.
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A Paean to Masochism: A New Philosophy of Life

Painful PleasuresVia Adequacy:

First of all, let us ask “What is masochism?”

Many people seem to think masochism is just a desire for pain. But it is so much more than that. Certainly pain is a large part of it – whether it be emotional or physical. Pain is inflicted through domination. The whip doesn’t just lash you, it dominates you, and brings a new awareness. Thigh high leather boots grinding into your face don’t merely inflict pain, but a value system too. Pain is the grease that lubricates the passage of higher types of civilized behaviour, values and ideas. I would define as masochistic any person, body, institution, country, whatever, that welcomes being dominated and taken over by another, and even seeks it out.

Why would a body want such a thing? Well, if one accepts that it is impossible to get anywhere in life without learning from another, we can see that already our culture is quite masochistic—we regularly herd the youngest into “schools” where they have their minds invaded and shaped.

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Ron Paul Going Full Force to Republican National Convention (Video)

Via RT:
Ron Paul is the candidate that continues to be ignored by the mainstream media, but he is still in the game. The Texas congressman and his supporters continue to push towards the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, but many doubt Paul's delegate strategy will give him the GOP nod. So what can we expect from Paul at the RNC? Brian Doherty, senior editor at Reason.com, joins us with more on Paul's new strategy heading to the RNC.
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Legal Highs Making The Drug War Obsolete

Abnormal Cannabidiol StructureVia Mind Hacks:
If you want any evidence that drugs have won the drug war, you just need to read the scientific studies on legal highs. If you’re not keeping track of the ‘legal high’ scene it’s important to remember that the first examples, synthetic cannabinoids sold as ‘Spice’ and ‘K2′ incense, were only detected in 2009. Shortly after amphetamine-a-like stimulant drugs, largely based on variations on pipradrol and the cathinones appeared, and now ketamine-like drugs such as methoxetamine have become widespread. Since 1997, 150 new psychoactive substances were reported. Almost a third of those appeared in 2010. Last year, the US government banned several of these drugs although the effect has been minimal as the legal high laboratories have over-run the trenches of the drug warriors...
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