Don’t use Staples.

Fred Klonsky

staples-dont-buy

As a state-wide elected delegate to the NEA RA I get reimbursed for most of my expenses. I have to fill out forms and provide receipts as it is carefully monitored by the IRS.

And who knows? Maybe the NSA too.

Rather than make copies of the forms at home, I normally go to the neighborhood Staples.

But not this time.

I am boycotting Staples. And so should you.

The United States Postal Service and Staples have teamed up to place mini-post offices in Staples stores. But not pay union wages to the employees that work in these USPS outlets, employees will be paid minimum wage.

The American Postal Workers Union is saying hell no.

They are asking us to boycott Staples.

Last weekend the American Federation of Teachers voted to support the boycott.

Then the USPS and Staples pulled a sneaky bit of bait and switch.

They issued a…

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The Worthlessness of Psychological Testing

Market Failure

So, the Myers-Briggs psychological profile test is worthless.  You’ve probably encountered this before: take a bunch of profiling questions and it’ll spit out whether you’re Introverted/Extroverted, Intuitive/Sensing, Thinking/Feeling, and Perceiving/Judging (16 total profiles).  It’s plagued by measurement issues, including the fact that the constituent categories are based on nothing at all and the fact that measurement error is remarkably high – as many as 50% of people get different results when they take the test multiple times.  Furthermore, and this is the real kicker, it has zero predictive power in predicting people’s happiness, situational comfort, job success, or any other tangible outcomes.

So measuring latent variables is hard, and it’s actually particularly difficult in psychology.  A latent variable is one that can’t be observed, but can be inferred from other things.  A simple example is generosity – you can’t exactly measure how charitable a person or society is in their…

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Trying to Read Michael Ledeen’s Seriously Diseased and Dangerously Desperate Mind

American Everyman

by Scott Creighton

Why so “serious”?

When shills advocate their positions on anything, especially when they don’t have a leg to stand on or they are really advocating for something else they can’t mention in public, they often refer to their opinion as the “serious” one.

History is replete with examples.

  • Back in 2002 and 2003 during the run-up to the illegal invasion of Iraq, the “serious” analysts were those who claimed there were WMDs and Yellow Cake from Niger in Saddam’s secretive underground fortresses.
  • During the Clinton years, the “serious” economists were the ones saying NAFTA was going to create a boom for our economy and a utopia for the American working man.
  • In 2008 it was the “serious” advisers who told us our entire way of life would crumble and fall if we didn’t get behind the banker bailouts.
  • Since WWII every nation we have overthrown has been…

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Paul Thomas: The U.S. Needs a New Mythology to Stop Blaming Victims

Diane Ravitch's blog

Paul Thomas uses “Hamlet” and allegory to make the point that the myth of rugged individualism is over, that we are ruled by an oligarchy, and that we must redirect our belief system to recognize reality.

He writes:

“The U.S. is trapped in our false myths—the rugged individual, pulling one’s self up by the bootstraps—and as a result, we persist in blaming the poor for being poor, women for being the victims of sexism and rape, African Americans for being subject to racism. Our pervasive cultural ethos is that all failures lie within each person’s own moral frailties, and thus within each person’s ability to overcome. We misread the success of the privileged as effort and the struggles of the impoverished as sloth—and then shame those in poverty by demanding that they behave in ways that the privilege are never required to assume.

“We refuse to step away from the…

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A Sea of Prozac – This is Your Water on Drugs

Small crustaceans, such as this spot prawn, exhibit side effects when exposed to trace amounts of antidepressants. Small crustaceans, such as this spot prawn, exhibit side effects when exposed to trace amounts of antidepressants.

The rapid growth of the psychopharmaceutical industry is no secret, and the cause is no mystery. Our high stress lifestyles and environments are making us sick, both physically and mentally. According to a report by the CDC, at least 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 12 are taking antidepressant medication. These antidepressants are the third most common prescription drug in the United States. It’s a staggering number, but regardless of implications on human mental health, the side effects of prescription drug use spread much further than ourselves.

Our ingestion of prescription medication is the beginning of an interesting chain of events: after the medication passes through our body and some of it is excreted in urine, all that waste then enters the water treatment plants. These treatment plants are not…

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Teaching ethics, from a former student

Arthurdobrin's Weblog

It’s wonderful to hear from former students, especially when they validate what you’ve been trying to do in the classroom. Here is an excerpt from an email from one of my students who now works in the Attorney General’s office in Washington, D.C. (with his permission):

“The Business Ethics class and my Legal Ethics class at Hofstra Law with former dean Monroe Freedman – between the two of you – were such wonderful training for spotting issues and analyzing them, and reflecting upon them, in real life applications. I think being forced to only “learn the rules” is the least effective way to learn ethics — especially the more I see how the “recognize an ethics issue when it is before you” approach actually is the more essential tool in the quote “real world”. The only way you can do that is to be forced to think through difficult questions…

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Catching Hell

I watched the ESPN documentary about scapegoating through the example of Steve Bartman. I was surprised at how interesting the program was, since I am barely aware of sports, baseball, in particular.
James Pilant

Garibaldi’s Lovers

The film for the day was Garibaldi’s Lovers. This was an Italian example of Magical Realism.

I had to fight with myself to get through it.

It had some nice moments but you had to endure to get to them.

James Pilant

Statistics 6 29 2014

Blood pressure 122/86

Heart rate 83

6 30 2014

Blood Pressure 126/80.

Heart Rate 87

7 01 2014

Blood Pressure 117/79

Heart Rate 99

Weight 173

7 02 2014

Blood Pressure 127/80

Heart Rate 93

7 06 2014

128/84

Heart Rate 96

7 07 2014

129/78

Heart Rage 82

7 08 2014

128/74

Heart Rate 81

7 10 2014

106/73

Heart Rate 85

116/78

Heart Rate 88