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31May/130

The Coming of the Planet of the Apes

Posted by Nate

A new study from researchers in Europe claims that the average IQ in Western nations dropped by a staggering 14.1 points over the past century.

Humans are getting dumber.

Back to the future.

On average, the general intelligence of those populations measured dropped by 1.23 points per decade.  "These findings strongly indicate that with respect to general intelligence the Victorians were substantially cleverer than modern Western populations," the study says.

The study had other positive observations about the Victorian era, noting that economic efficiency began to flourish during the period and that the “height of the per capita numbers of significant innovations in science and technology, and also the per capita numbers of scientific geniuses,” occurred during that time, followed by a steady decline.

So why has there been such a steady drop?  As UPI notes, previous research studies have found that women of higher intelligence tend to have fewer children on average, meaning that population growth may be driven by those with a lower IQ.  And over time, the abundance of less intelligent offspring would affect the overall IQ average.

Another theory.

Intelligence and the capacity for abstract thought evolved in our prehistoric ancestors living in Africa between 50,000 and 500,000 years ago, who relied on their wits to build shelters and hunt prey.

People were smarter in the past

Our evolution

But in more civilized times where we no longer need to fight to survive, the selection process which favored the smartest of our ancestors and weeded out the dullards is no longer in force.

"A hunter-gatherer who did not correctly conceive of a solution to providing food or shelter probably died, along with his or her progeny, whereas a modern Wall Street executive that made a similar conceptual mistake would receive a substantial bonus and be a more attractive mate.  Clearly, extreme selection is a thing of the past." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9672790/Civilisation-is-making-humanity-less-intelligent-study-claims.html

So are humans getting dumber?  It depends.  The gap between the smartest 1% and the rest is widening and may create a situation where the gap will become unsustainable.

Uneven recovery

Are the 7% really smart?

In America the trend of wealth redistribution continues: “From the end of the recession in 2009 through 2011 (the last year for which Census Bureau wealth data is available), the 8 million households in the U.S. with a net worth above $836,033 saw their aggregate wealth rise by an estimated $5.6 trillion, while the 111 million households with a net worth at or below that level saw their aggregate wealth decline by an estimated $0.6 trillion." http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/04/23/a-rise-in-wealth-for-the-wealthydeclines-for-the-lower-93/

It has been widely observed that the birthrate of countries tends to fall as they become more wealthy.  Most countries in Western Europe now have birthrates below the replacement rate; in the absence of immigration, their populations can be expected to fall in the future.
Putting these two pieces of information together, one might expect that since low IQ countries tend to be less wealthy, they should also be expected to have higher birthrates than countries with a high IQ.  If population IQ and wealth remain constant, the average IQ of the world should then fall over time, since a larger portion of population growth will occur in low IQ countries. http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1867279/pg1

---the political backlash against income inequality, both in advanced and emerging economies, could widen. “Governments may use more taxation instruments and globally there may be a further attack on tax havens. Recent governmental and intergovernmental activity in these areas is not a passing phase,” he says.  “It’s going to be a tougher playing field for the rich.” http://thewealthreport.net/economic-trends/rise-of-the-new-rich.aspx

Humanity loosing smarts

Rich self destruction

Normally the most adaptive and successful deviations in species survive while the least successful perish.

There is an opposite trend with humans.  The most educated and the most successful have less kids than the poorest and less educated (with some religious exceptions).

Also the rich are getting richer and the poor multiply.

According to some researchers the IQ divide is growing in tune with the wealth distribution.

So my message to the rich.  If you continue on the path to more riches, the planet of the apes is coming.  And you will rule it...until the apes eat you.

29May/130

Twins

Posted by Horse

Ted Cruz second McCarthy

Brothers

Ted Cruz evil in senat

Daily wisdom

Just in the news!

Junior Senator Ted Cruz (McCruz real name) found a long lost twin brother!  Says delighted Cruz:  Now after I found Josef it seems so obvious that we are related.  The looks, the demeanor, politics!  His love of freedom, hatred of communists Muslims and Muslim communists!  I have been Josef's admirer for a long time, Cruz admitted.  Just like me he was prosecuting  communists and their sympathizers.  He is my inspiration.  His wisdom helped me in my fight with Muslim sympathizers like Chuck Hagel and John Kerry.  Brother McCarthy is a real patriot.  His example gave me strength to confront Kenyan Muslim Communist, B. Hussein Obama ("B" stands for black).  Says Ted:  I know my brother is watching me with approval.  And so is my close friend and mentor, Sarah Palin.  And I know with their help we will save America!

Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin

My mentor Sarah

In conclusion I just wanted to add that with Congress like this I am happy to be a horse.

23May/130

Skin in the Game and Golden parachutes

Posted by Nate

CEO compensation

Executive pay.

No worries! Golden parachute for C.E.O.

CEOs are getting huge bonuses for figuring out ways to cut the paychecks to workers, and by doing so improving their company's bottom line. An amazing fact is that these superhumans (who else deserves hundreds of millions for screwing the company's employees) at the same time managed to contribute to the decline in company's performance. So a company hires the latest and greatest superhuman CEO and signs a contract that in case the CEO screws up he (or she) will get a golden parachute filled with millions of dollars taken from company employees.

Isn't it great? These executives know that no matter what they will get their millions. And I have been wondering: if a McDonald's employee will screw up - let's say forget to flip the hamburger and gets fired. What kind of parachute will he (she) get? Not even a hamburger, probably. "Pay gap between top CEO and average Joe continues to widen."  http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/top-ceo-average-joe-pay-gap-continues-to-widen-683621/#ixzz2T0QdyjzU

CEO golden parachutes

Ready to cut

CEO paid for layoffs.

No golden parachute

It says that "...CEOs of the largest U.S. companies were paid an average of $12.3 million last year -- 354 times more than the average U.S. worker who made $34,645, according to a study released Monday by the AFL-CIO.

That works out to a weekly paycheck of $236,538 for the average top executive compared with $666 for the average worker. Put another way, it took the average CEO roughly six hours to make what the average worker made working all year. That was by far the widest pay gap in the world, the Washington, D.C.-based labor group said."

J.C. Penny Ronald Johnson* General Merchandise Stores got $1.9 million after he was fired plus $53.3 M in 2011. Average employee compensation at J.C. Penny is $29,688. "Johnson received a compensation package worth $53.3 million for 2011, $52.7 million of which came in a special stock award. He earned $1.9 million in 2012, receiving only 44% of his target cash compensation in view of the company's poor results, and did not get a stock award."

Poor guy. Please feel sorry for him and all these people who get millions regardless of their performance. He has been punished. Severely! He received just 1.9 million in 2012 and did not get a stock award! Wow. And he got to feed his family!
Ron. why don't you go and complain to J.C. Penny and complain to your former employees about this injustice!
I am sure they will understand.

14May/130

Lazy Conscience.

Posted by Nate

Don't look for excuses.

Speak up!

If we want to make a difference in this society and if we really care, then we shouldn't speak up only when we have nothing better to do. Don’t wait until you “ find the time for it.” If you really care, you will find the time to fight for what you know is right and not just if a policy directly affects you. 

There is such a human trait as compassion...kindness...a desire to help.  When you look at a kid who is hungry, for you it is your child.  Not somebody's poor kid.  You don't think “my kids are fine” and go about doing your “important” things.

If you really care, if you feel strongly about any issue like guns or student loans or hunger or poverty you need to speak up. You don't look for an excuse as why you are not doing it.  No.  You do it, you let Compassion and actions.your voice be heard because you feel that you have to.  You want to scream.  You want to fight.  Because you have to. You fight against greed and hatred and stupidity.  You fight because indifference, violence and bigotry goes against the very fabric of your being.  You raise your voice because that is who you are. It is like water and air.  You feel poisoned seeing all the injustice in our country, in the world.

People who act because they cannot be quiet do not need “motivation”.  People who speak up against injustice,

Be honest with yourself

Be honest

against stupidity and racism feel hurt when somebody else is hurting.  They don't do it for a reward or for recognition.

So silent majority, please be honest with yourselves and admit that you don't really care...as long as it does not affect you directly.  Don't look for a “good” excuse to quiet your conscience.  Just look at yourself in the mirror while nobody is watching and admit to your image that you don't really care enough.  And by doing so you, at last, will be honest.

8May/131

Memories of my Mother

Posted by Nate

 

The Kagan family

1950

When I was 3 or 4 I would wake up at night crying and mom would pick me up

And the bad dream would go away

I was 4 and my sister was 16 when my father was arrested and mom was left with two of us.

On just mom's salary, we struggled to survive

Our vegetable garden helped give us fresh food.

Mom made clothes for us.

Many of our relatives were afraid to stay near the family of the “Enemy of the people”

We were basically alone.

My sister went to college far away because mom feared for her safety as the daughter of the “Enemy of the people”

I remember crying when mom left to visit father in Siberia.

Not sure why I was crying so hard.

It must have broken her heart.

Mom was 40 or 41.

She traveled for a week in a freight train carrying criminals to jail

My grandmother took care of me when mom was away.

Grandma could hardly walk so I was doing whatever I wanted to do, spending most of the time on the street.

Only when I grew up did I understand how hard it had been for mom to raise two kids alone.

It did not help that I was not well-behaved.

But I knew mom would take care of me when I came home dirty and bleeding. She always did.

Father was rehabilitated after Stalin died and came home when I was 8.

I remember bottles covering the floor for weeks.

All of a sudden we had a lot of friends.

I was not used to having a father. Life changed.

Mom was happy. It lasted 3 years

One evening my father was in a bed. He called out to me and asked for mom.

He had a heart attack.

Bypass surgery was not an option in those years. Father was at home.

I slept in the same room.

Every night I listened to his breathing, afraid to fall asleep.

He passed away on the fourth night.

I was 11, mom was 45.

She never remarried out of concern for us, her kids.

Mom worked in a kindergarten, then in a boarding school.

Money was tight but mom made sure that her kids are OK.

I remember working in our vegetable garden.

Grandma could hardly walk so she was sitting on the ground weeding the garden.

We all knew our survival depended on our garden.

I left for the technical school in Minsk after 8th grade.

Only now I realize how hard it must have been for mom to send me away.

We did not have a phone in the dorm and I was pretty bad at writing letters on time

So I would get a telegram from mom saying, “Are you all right? Please call”

Then I would go to the post office and call. I still feel guilty about it.

Shortly after I was drafted into the Army, the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia.

Reservists were called and our unit was next to go to Czechoslovakia.

All communication with our families stopped. Later mom told me how scared she was for me.

There is so much that we kids do not understand. So much that we do not appreciate about what our mothers are going through, worrying for us. Many of us start to understand when we become parents.

But sometimes it is too late.

I cannot go back in time.

Mom was so happy when I got married, finally.

And she was devastated when we told her about our plans to emigrate.

Especially because our daughter, Inna, was born.

Mom was sure she will never see us again.

Mom used to write to relatives in Chicago but she burned all the letters and addresses after father was arrested. But she gave us the only connection that was left – my aunt in Israel

That is how we found our relatives in Chicago.

And Esther Ecker was like a mom to us.

After 10 years in America, I went back to visit.

When mom saw me she could not stop crying.

I think that is when she decided to visit us. Mom was 78.

Soon after, mom and my sister with her family came to America.

We were all together again.

I think these were the happiest years in mom's life.

Our American family loved her.

By that time I got better and called her every day.

Mom was 89 when she went to the hospital complaining about pain in her back.

I think all the tests and tubes and more tests really affected her.

After two days, mom came home feeling very weak.

 

Baba Riva

Mom

I visited her that evening.

When I was leaving and said goodbye, she looked at me.

I remember her eyes.

Later, I realized that she knew.

Mom knew.

She passed away that night.

What I realized that through all these hard times she was never angry or bitter.

Her smile was special and her life an inspiration.

8May/130

Thanks Mom, for life!

Posted by Lou

 

Thank you mom

Lou

Sophe Maschebet Greenwald.  Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother of 6 children, (I found this out when I was 50 years old, she had a still birth child and always remembered the baby that died).  My mother was quiet, beautiful (she had been asked to go to Hollywood as a teenager, but her father said 'no way"), expert Jeopardy player while sitting at home watching TV, and good cook:  roast Chicken with French dressing was her specialty.  I never saw my Mom get angry.  But she had trouble making up her mind, to my benefit as I will tell.  My mom was easy fertile, easy to get pregnant, she had been pregnant 20 times, and had abortions now and then.  Yes.  One day in 1943, while lying on the doctor's table, she couldn't decide if she wanted an abortion or another child.  Minutes went by, she said maybe she already had enough kids, maybe she didn't.  I remember when we would all go out to dinner, she would change her mind, yes, no, yes, no, maybe, no....can you wait a few minutes while I put on my make-up.  We waited and then she made her entrance, always beautiful.  Back to 1943, Sophie decided she wanted another, she climbed off the doctor's table in Miami Beach, got dressed and went home.  That was the true beginning of my life, in 1944 I was born.  Thanks Mom, for life, for roast Chicken, for being decisive at an indecisive time.  Without you, I would have never known Susie, Jerome, Alisa, Beth, Darius, Bella or Anni.  What a great decision!

Louis
7May/130

To my mother, Maria Stamm, because she is helpful, cheerful, optimistic, adventurous, brave, concerned for others, treasured by her coworkers and friends.

Posted by Nate

By Lina Kotlyar

My mother was born in the city of Nikolaev in Ukraine on July 12, 1932.  Her parents Lubov and Danil Varshavsky had three children.  She had an older and a younger brother.

The first nine years of her life she spend in Nikolaev.  As a little girl she wanted to become a ballerina.

June 22nd of 1941 changed her life forever.  The German Army invaded the Soviet Union and the Great Patriotic War started.

My grandfather was drafted to the Army.  My grandmother made a decision to evacuate to the city of Tashkent in Central Asia that was 2000 miles away.

On the way to Tashkent their train was bombed, but they survived and continued the journey.  At one of the stops, my grandmother went to get some hot water.  When she came back, the train with her three children was gone.  The youngest child was two and a half years old.  My mother was 9 and her older brother was 11.

In the chaos of evacuation, my grandmother was frantically looking for her children.  After two months of search, she found one child in a hospital and two others in two different orphanages.  They were all sick from malnutrition.

After three months of traveling they arrived to Tashkent without any personal items, money, or food.  Luckily, my grandmother’s sister lived in Tashkent.  The family shared their small house for one year.  Later, my grandmother rebuilt a small hut nearby, and the family lived there for 18 more years until the earthquake destroyed it in 1966.

From 1947 till 1954 the family shared these accommodations with a cow.  The left wing was occupied by a cow, and the right wing by the family.  Although, after I was born my mother had to go back to work after 3 months of maternity leave and the cow was sold because my grandmother had to take care of me.

My mother started to work when she was 13-years old in a factory that was sewing women’s underwear.  She worked during the day, but attended evening classes in school.  Since that time she never stopped working.  Even now, at 80 she still works part time.

In our family, my mother was always a breadwinner. Wherever she worked, her peers and management always respected her.  Eventually, she was able to build a relatively comfortable life in Tashkent.  After the earthquake, she received a state apartment and bought modern furniture.  Later, she even bought a car, which was very unusual in the Soviet Union during those days.

At the age of 47, my mother abandoned her comfortable, by Soviet standards, life and came to USA to start over.  I think that it was very brave and adventurous for her to do that, but she believed for better life for her children and grandchildren.

She studied English, worked in a hotel as a housekeeper, and in an alteration shop as a tailor.  Two years after arrival, she was able to start her own cleaning and alteration business.

She is very optimistic. She believes she could do anything.  At the age of 45 she decided to learn driving. In the Soviet society, very few women dared to drive.

The word “Yes” has always been her favorite word.  She would not hurt anyone’s feeling with a negative reply.  She gladly agrees to do anything people ask.  Moreover, she would say “Yes” even if she did not understand the question.

It seems to me that the main focus of her life is to help people.  She has been actively participating in upbringing her 6 grandchildren.  She helped distant and close relatives, friends, acquaintances, and numerous strangers.  In the early 90s, the emigration from the Soviet Union increased.  She helped her numerous relatives and other newcomers with food, clothes, transportation, and encouragements.

My daughter, Lisa wrote a tribute to her grandmother on her 70th b-day celebration.  Lisa listed the top 10 reasons for being a Grandchild of Maria Stamm.  Here are few of them.

  • You have the best rate in town to get your clothes mended or altered.
  • You know who to ask if you need any empty bottles or jars to store food in.
  • Within 5 minutes of her visiting your home, she starts cleaning or cooking something.
  • She is always eager to give you fashion and hair advice.
  • She can teach you how to parallel park because of her expertise from her city lifestyle.
  • You can always recognize her car from afar because of the unusually large amount of pillows and other unidentifiable objects in it.
  • She is the only person (I know at least) who can mistakenly drive to the wrong city, hundreds of miles away from her destination, when going on vacation, and still somehow unite with the cruise ship, already charting its course.
  • Her response to any request is always “yes”, even if she does not know what the request is.  “No” is not a part of her vocabulary.

My mother is an inspiration to me because she is compassionate, tireless, and optimistic.

Lina Kotlyar

7May/131

As long as I can remember, my mother dreamed of leaving the Soviet Union.

Posted by Annakagan

My mom

Anna

When I introduced Nathan to my parents, my mom's first question was if Nathan would be open to the idea of leaving the Soviet Union. Only after receiving a positive answer from him did she give her blessing for us to marry. In 1977, the borders opened up and Jews were allowed to leave the Soviet Union. Although my parents could not leave, my mother insisted on Nathan and I applying to leave with our newborn, Inna; she didn’t want us to miss this opportunity. What struck me was the courage my mother had to push her only child and only grandchild (and of course her only son-in-law) out of the country. She did not know if and when there would be another chance and if they would be able to join us later. But the dream of a better life for her children prevailed over any argument as to why now might be a wrong time to leave.

me and mom 1967

Me and mom 1967

I do not remember lots of hugs and kisses from my mother. I do not remember conversations praising me on my achievements. I do not remember my mom saying, "I love you." But I do remember the sacrifices she made to feed my sick dad and I at a time when food was scarce and their paychecks were not enough. I do remember the efforts my mother made to get us out of the country despite every obstacle. I do remember her enormous help around the house despite her dislike of housekeeping when she and my father came to this country. I do remember her learning English at the age of 56. She was in a new country with a new language and she wanted to be able to talk to her grandchildren. She did not want to depend on her children if she needed to make a phone call, fill out an application, etc.

She still does not like to trouble us if she needs something. The only thing she asks is for us to call once a day. I love my mom because she does not wait for my call - she calls us every day.

(I would have said “she calls once a day” but this is a massive understatement according to Nathan)

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