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Holding doors open for men is likely to clash with their masculine identity and leave them deflated, psychologists claim.



If a man wants to bring a rival down a peg or two, he simply has to hold the   door open for him.

open door for man

While the gesture of goodwill might be seen as gentlemanly when it is done for a woman, psychologists claim it is likely to diminish a man’s self esteem.

Since it is unusual for men to hold open the door for men, it could be taken to imply that the recipient looks needy and vulnerable.

The act is likely to clash with their masculine identity and leave them deflated, Professor Janice Kelly and Megan McCarty, of Purdue University in Indiana, suggested.

Their study, published in the journal Social Influence, found no evidence that women were affected in a similar way when men held doors open for them.

“These results demonstrate negative consequences of seemingly innocuous… helping behaviour that violates gender norms,” the researchers said.


Facebook announced a few days ago that users in the US now have the ability to select a custom gender for their Timeline profile pages. Giving an additional option to the standard ’Male or Female’ Facebook now offers “Other,” a new setting that lets users choose between ten gender options such as “cisgender,” “transgender,” and “intersex,” and define which pronoun they’d like to be referred to as — he / his, she / her, or they / their. Furthermore, Facebook also now lets you define exactly who can see the Gender section on your profile. Facebook says it worked closely with LGBT activist groups to choose the new profile options. The social network hasn’t provided a timeline on when the new option will roll out to the rest of its users outside the US.

facebook intersex

To commemorate the landmark Facebook has hung rainbow-colored flags from a catwalk at its Menlo Park, CA headquarters. “We recognize that some people face challenges sharing their true gender identity with others, and this setting gives people the ability to express themselves in an authentic way,” Facebook wrote on its Diversity page.


A member of the White House review panel on NSA surveillance said he was “absolutely” surprised when he discovered the agency’s lack of evidence that the bulk collection of telephone call records had thwarted any terrorist attacks, said Geoffrey Stone, a University of Chicago law professor, in an interview with NBC News. “The results were very thin.”

While Stone said the mass collection of telephone call records was a “logical program” from the NSA’s perspective, one question the White House panel was seeking to answer was whether it had actually stopped “any [terror attacks] that might have been really big.”

“We found none,” said Stone.

Under the NSA program, first revealed by ex-contractor Edward Snowden, the agency collects en-masse the records of the time and duration of phone calls made by persons inside (and sometimes outside) the United States.

Stone was one of five members of the White House review panel – and the only one without any intelligence community experience – that this week produced a sweeping report recommending that the NSA’s collection of phone call records be terminated to protect Americans’ privacy rights.

The panel made that recommendation after concluding that the program was “not essential in preventing attacks.”

“That was stunning. That was the ballgame,” said one congressional intelligence official, who asked not to be publicly identified. “It flies in the face of everything that they have tossed at us.”

Despite the panel’s conclusions, Stone strongly  rejected the idea they justified Snowden’s actions in leaking the NSA documents about the phone collection. “Suppose someone decides we need gun control and they go out and kill 15  kids and  then a state enacts gun control?” Stone said, using an analogy he acknowledged was “somewhat inflammatory.” What Snowden did, Stone said, was put the country “at risk.”

“My emphatic view,” he said, “is that a person who has access to classified information — the revelation of which could damage national security — should never take it upon himself to reveal that information.”

Stone added, however, that he would not necessarily reject granting an  amnesty to Snowden in exchange for the return of all his documents, as was recently suggested by a top NSA official. “It’s a hostage situation,” said Stone. Deciding whether to negotiate with him to get all his documents back was a “pragmatic judgment. I see no principled reason not to do that.”

The conclusions of the panel’s reports were at direct odds with public statements by President Barack Obama and U.S. intelligence officials. “Lives have been saved,” Obama told reporters last June, referring to the bulk collection program and another program that intercepts communications overseas. “We know of at least 50 threats that have been averted because of this information.”

But in one little-noticed footnote in its report, the White House panel said the telephone records collection program – known as Section 215, based on the provision of the U.S. Patriot Act that provided the legal basis for it – had made “only a modest contribution to the nation’s security.” The report said that “there has been no instance in which NSA could say with confidence that the outcome [of a terror investigation] would have been any different” without the program.

The panel’s findings echoed that of U.S. Judge Richard Leon, who in a ruling this week found the bulk collection program to be unconstitutional. Leon said that government officials were unable to cite “a single instance in which analysis of the NSA’s bulk collection metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the Government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature.”

Stone declined to comment on the accuracy of public statements by U.S. intelligence officials about the telephone collection program, but said that when they referred to successes they seemed to be mixing the results of domestic metadata collection with the intelligence derived from the separate, and less controversial, NSA program, known as 702, to intercept communications overseas.

The comparison between 702 overseas interceptions and 215 bulk metadata collection was “night and day,” said Stone. “With 702, the record is very impressive. It’s no doubt the nation is safer and spared potential attacks because of 702. There was nothing like that for 215. We asked the question and they [the NSA] gave us the data. They were very straight about it.”

He also said one reason the telephone records program is not effective is because, contrary to the claims of critics, it actually does not collect a record of every American’s phone call. Although the NSA does collect metadata from major telecommunications carriers such as Verizon and AT&T, there are many smaller carriers from which it collects nothing. Asked if the NSA was collecting the records of 75 percent of phone calls, an estimate that has been used in briefings to Congress , Stone said the real number was classified but “not anything close to that” and far lower.

When panel members asked NSA officials why they didn’t expand the program to include smaller carriers, the answer they gave was “money,” Stone said. “They were setting financial priorities,” said Stone, and that was “really revealing” about how useful the bulk collection of telephone calls really was.

An NSA spokeswoman declined to comment on any aspect of the panel’s report, saying the agency was deferring to the White House. Asked Wednesday about the surveillance panel’s conclusions about telephone record collection, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that “the president does still believe and knows that this program is an important piece of the overall efforts that we engage in to combat threats against the lives of American citizens and threats to our overall national security.”

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A fine example of investigative journalism in the East Bay Express reviews internal communications and other public records from city staffers and Oakland PD bureaucrats discussing the Domain Awareness Center, a citywide surveillance hub that’s currently under construction in Oakland. Oakland is a city with a decades-long problem with gang violence and street violence, and the DAC is being touted as the solution to this serious problem.

Internal documents tell another story. Though the City of Oakland’s public-facing DAC message is all about crime fighting and anti-terror surveillance, the internal message is very different. City bureaucrats and law enforcement are excited about DAC because it will help them fight protests. Analysis of the internal documents found almost no mentions of “crime,” “rape,” “killings” — but city officials frequently and at length discussed the way the DAC could be used to thwart street protests, future Occupy movements, and trade union activity including strikes:

Other records echo this political mission. In meeting minutes from a January 2012 meeting of the San Francisco Maritime Exchange’s Northern California Maritime Area Security Committee, Domingo and Mike O’Brien, director of security for the Port of Oakland, described the DAC system as a tool that would help control labor strikes and community protests that threaten to slow business at the port. Following security reports from the US Border Patrol and the FBI, Domingo told the committee that Oakland law enforcement was “hoping that things would quiet down with the Occupy movement in the new year,” according to the official minutes. Domingo thanked the Maritime Exchange for its support of Oakland’s port security grant projects, which includes the DAC.

O’Brien went further, explaining that the port’s Emergency Operations Center (which now feeds into the DAC) “made use of seventy new security cameras” to track the protesters, and added that the system will ensure that “future actions [do] not scare labor away.”

Dan Siegel, a longtime civil and workers’ rights attorney in Oakland, said the city staffers’ focus on political unrest, even at the port, is disturbing. “There’s a huge difference in protecting the port from potential acts of terrorism than from spying on port workers and others who may have political or economic conflicts with port management and the companies that operate the terminals,” said Siegel. “What we see taking place is a complete blurring of that line where port security now includes tracking Occupy, longshore workers, and now recently the Port Truckers Association.”

During construction of the first phase of the DAC, from roughly August 2012 to October 2013, city staffers repeatedly referred to political protests as a major reason for building the system. Emails to and from Lieutenant Christopher Shannon, Captain David Downing, and Lieutenant Nishant Joshi of OPD and Ahsan Baig, Oakland’s technical project leader on the DAC, show that OPD staffers were in the surveillance center during the Trayvon Martin protests this year, and that they may have been monitoring marches in Oakland. In the same chain of emails, Shannon asked if the Emergency Operations Center and the DAC control room’s layout had “changed much since May Day,” referring to yet another large political rally in Oakland when the DAC appears to have been used by OPD to monitor demonstrations.

The Real Purpose of Oakland’s Surveillance Center   [Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston/East Bay Express]


The president of a Kentucky creationist museum told Fox News on Monday that Christmas was a “time to take on the atheists” who used their free speech rights to doubt the existence of God.

“Well, it wouldn’t be Christmas without someone complaining about Christ,” Fox & Friends host Elisabeth Hasselbeck told Creation Museum President Ken Ham, noting that atheists had put up a billboard in Time Square which suggested that Christ was not needed during Christmas.

“You know, the atheist who are a very small minority in the population have been trying to impose their religion of atheism on the culture now for quite a while,” Ham explained. “You know, getting Bible, prayer out of schools. Christian symbols out of public places.”

“Because they’re becoming so aggressive, I just feel that it’s really time Christians really stood up in this culture to take on the atheists and to proclaim their message of hope,” he continued. “I mean, what’s the atheists’ message? There is no God? When you die that’s the end of you? So everything’s just meaningless and hopelessness?”

Ham said that his group, Answers in Genesis, had put up its own billboards in Time Square, including one that says, “To all our atheists friends: Thank God you’re wrong.”

“Our message to the atheists is, hey, we’re not attacking you personally but we want you to know the truth, that there is a God who created you and you are sinners as all of us are, but that God sent his son to become a babe in a manger,” he insisted.

Hasselbeck agreed that the American people “seemed to be with you” because a conservative polling organization had found that most people believed that Christmas should be more about Jesus Christ than Santa Claus.

“The atheists are only a small part of the population,” Hamm said. “And really, it’s that minority, less than 2 percent of the population, that seem to be having such say in our culture, in imposing their anti-God religion.”

“What they’re really doing, the atheists, they’re really wanting to impose their anti-God religion on us, on the culture. And so we need to stand up against that.”

Hasselbeck concluded by thanking Ham for “standing up for you faith.”


 

US Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) (second left) announcing new legislation to protect a woman's right to abortion during a news conference with (left-right), US Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), US Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) (C) and US Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill November 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. According to it's sponsors, the Women's Health Protection Act of 2013 would ‘protect a women's right to safe and legal abortion by pre-empting restrictive regulations and laws. A Chicago woman on December 2, 2013 sued the Catholic Church for imposing health care that bar termination of any pregnancy.

US Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) (second left) announcing new legislation to protect a woman’s right to abortion during a news conference with (left-right), US Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), US Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) (C) and US Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill November 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. According to it’s sponsors, the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013 would ‘protect a women’s right to safe and legal abortion by pre-empting restrictive regulations and laws. A Chicago woman on December 2, 2013 sued the Catholic Church for imposing health care that bar termination of any pregnancy.

A US woman that was twice sent home from a Catholic hospital during a painful miscarriage has sued the church’s hierarchy for imposing standards of care which bar termination of any pregnancy, her lawyers said yesterday.

The lawsuit argues that those rules — based on the belief that abortion is murder — stopped her doctors from providing medically appropriate care: terminating the failed pregnancy before it threatened the mother’s health.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops — which authored the ethical and religious directives and is the party being sued — declined to comment on the case.

Tamesha Means was just 18 weeks pregnant when her water broke in December 2010. She rushed to the only hospital in her rural Michigan county — Mercy Health Partners.

“They never offered me any options,” Means said in a statement.

“They didn’t tell me what was happening to my body. Whatever was going on with me, they discussed it amongst themselves. I was just left to wonder, what’s going to happen to me?”

Despite the fact that there was little chance her foetus could survive, the lawsuit alleges that hospital workers sent her home with no warning of the risk that she could develop a serious infection if the pregnancy were to continue.

She was instead given pain medication and told to come back in a week for her regularly scheduled doctor’s visit. This “misled” the mother of three to believe “the foetus would become viable and she would deliver a healthy baby,” the lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union said.

Means rushed back to the hospital early the next morning when she began bleeding and experiencing painful contractions, but was sent home as soon as her feverish temperature went down.

She returned again that night, “in pain, in distress and with signs of an infection” and was once again told there was nothing to be done. But as the discharge papers were being processed, the feet of the foetus breached her cervix.

The baby died less than three hours after it was delivered. Her case came to light after a public health surveillance project discovered the hospital had not induced labour in “at least five instances where the pregnant woman miscarried before the foetus was viable and was diagnosed with preterm premature rupture of membrane.”

The lawsuit alleges that the hospital administration reviewed the case this year and determined that the decision not to induce labour to terminate the pregnancy was “proper” because the religious and ethical directives prohibit inducing labour prior to fetal viability.

Those standards of care also prohibit termination of ectopic pregnancies — when the egg implants outside the uterus — despite the fact that it can cause death or infertility by rupturing a fallopian tube.

“A pregnant woman who goes to the hospital seeking medical care has the right to expect that the hospital’s first priority will be to provide her appropriate care,” said Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the ACLU.

Medical decisions should not be hamstrung by religious directives.”


A computer programming student was undergoing surgery in Costa Rica, when she died, experienced the afterlife, then returned to her body—in the morgue.

Graciela H. shares her story on the Near Death Experience Research Foundation website. This story has not been independently verified.

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I saw doctors working fast on me. … They were agitated. They took my VS [vital signs], did CPR. Everybody began to leave the room slowly. I didn’t understand why they were acting like that.

Everything was quiet. I decided to get up. Only my doctor stood in the same place, looking at my body. I decided to get closer, I was standing near him, I could feel he was sad and his soul was in pain. I remember touching his shoulder, then he left. …

My body began to elevate and elevate, I can say taken by a strange force.

It was great, my body was getting lighter and lighter. While going through the roof of the surgery room, I [discovered] I could move anywhere I [wanted].

I was pulled to a place where … [the] clouds [were] bright, a room or space. … All around me was light, very bright, and filling my body with energy, filling my chest with happiness. …

[I looked] at my arms, [and they were the] same shape as human [arms], but different material. The material was as white gas mixed with [a] white glow, silver glow, pearl glow around my body.

I was beautiful. I had no mirror to see my face, but I … [could] feel my face was pretty, I saw my arms and my legs had a white, simple, long dress of light. … My voice was as a teenager mixed with [the] tone of voice as a child. …

angel

Suddenly a light brighter than my body [approached] me. … His light was making me blind. …

He said in a very … fine voice, “You are not going to be able to continue.” …

I remember talking his same language with my mind, he spoke with his mind too.

[As I cried because I didn’t want to go back,] he picked me up, held me. … He was quiet the whole time, gave me strength. I felt love and energy. [There] Is no love and strength in this world [to] compare to that. …

[He said:] “You were sent here by mistake, somebody’s mistake. You need to go back. … To come here, you need to accomplish many things. … Try to help several people.” …

In the Morgue

I opened my eyes, everything around was metal doors, people on metal tables, one body had another body on top. I recognized the place: I was in the morgue.

I felt ice on my eyelashes, my body was cold. [I] could not feel anything. … [I wasn’t] even able to move my neck or talk.

I was feeling sleepy. … [Two or three hours] later, I heard voices, [and I] opened my eyes again. I saw two male nurses. … I knew I had to make … eye contact with one of them. I barely had strength to blink my eyes again and again, but I did. [It] took a lot of energy.

[One of the nurses looked] at me, scared, … [telling] his partner: “Look, look, she is moving her eyes!” Laughing, [he] said, “Let’s go, this place is scary.”

Inside of me, I was screaming, “Please, don’t leave!”

I didn’t close my eyes until the nurses came, and doctors. All I heard is [someone say], “Who did this? Who sent this patient to the morgue? The doctors were mad. I closed my eyes until was sure I was far away from that place. I didn’t wake up until three or four days later.

I had episodes of sleeping for long periods of time. … I could not talk. [On] day five, I began to move [my] arms and legs … again. …

Doctors [explained] to me that I was sent there [to the morgue] by mistake. … They helped me to walk again, with therapy.

One of the things I learned is [there] is no time to waste doing the wrong things, we need to do everything good for our sake … [on] the other side. [It] is like a bank; you save that much, you will get that much at the end.


The hemispheres of women’s brains are more interconnected.

By analyzing the MRIs of 949 people aged 8 to 22, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania found that male brains have more connections within each hemisphere, while female brains are more interconnected between hemispheres.

Yes, take that, Mike from IT! It, like, so explains why you just dropped the eggnog while attempting to make flirty conversation with Janet from Accounting.

Just kidding; we still have no idea why men or women do anything in particular. But the study, released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is interesting because it is one of the first to discover differences in the brain’s structural connectivity in a large sample size of people from a variety of age groups.


Male (upper) and female (lower) brain connections (PNAS)

By analyzing the subjects’ MRIs using diffusion imaging, the scientists explored the brains’ fiber pathways, the bundles of axons that act as highways routing information from one part of the mind to the other. After grouping the image by sex and inspecting the differences between the two aggregate “male” and “female” pictures, the researchers found that in men, fiber pathways run back and forth within each hemisphere, while in women they tend to zig-zag between the left, or “logical,” and right, or “creative,” sides of the brain.

Because female brains seem to have a stronger connections between their logical and intuitive parts, “when women are asked to do particularly hard tasks, they might engage very different parts of the brain,” said Ragini Verma, an associate professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the authors of the report. “Men might over-engage just one part of the brain.”

This could mean, for example, that men tend to see issues and resolve them directly, due to the strong connections between the “perception” and “action” areas of their brains, while women might be more inclined to combine logic and intuition when solving a problem.

Their less-interconnected hemispheres might prompt men, for example, to be, “going along, executing things very skillfully and maybe not taking into account that someone didn’t [do something] because they were having a bad day,” Verma explained. Meanwhile, “gut feelings, trying to join the dots together … women are known to be very strong in that.”

The differences were less evident in young children, but they became prominent in the scans of the adolescents.

Child (B), adolescent (C), and adult (D) brains (PNAS)

Scientists have long known that male and female brains are distinct, but the degree of these differences, and whether they impact behavior, is still somewhat of a mystery. The field has repeatedly unearthed seemingly solid clues that turned out to be red herrings. In August, for example, a study in the journal PLoS One challenged the long-held idea that male and female brains exhibit differences in “lateralization,” or strengths in one half of the brain or another. And past books on the “male” and “female” styles of thinking have been criticized for only including studies that reinforce well-known gender stereotypes.

At the same time, there’s plenty of evidence that male brains are from Mars and female brains are, well, from a different neighborhood on Mars. Researchers already know, for example, that men’s brains are slightly bigger than women’s (because men’s bodies also tend to be bigger). Male and female rats navigate space differently. Women taking birth control pills, which alter estrogen and progesterone levels, have been shown to remember emotionally charged events more like men do in small studies. Migraines not only strike women more frequently, but they impact different parts of their brains, too.

A study published last month in the journal Nature Communications found that genes are expressed differently in men and women throughout the brain. One reason autism rates are higher among males, the researchers suggest, could be because a form of the gene NRXN3 is produced at higher levels in male brains.

And past research has shown that, across cultures, women’s brains are more functionally interconnected when at rest than men’s are, on average. This and similar findings have been used to support the idea that women are “better at multitasking.” And indeed, a study released late last month by researchers at the University of Glasgow in Scotland found that women do have an edge when it comes to switching between tasks rapidly, ostensibly because, back in the cave, we had to keep an eye on the kids while we … did whatever else it is that cave housewives did.

But examining the brain differences between the sexes also has an ugly past, since such findings have historically been used to paint women as less rational or intelligent.

The 19th-century French anthropologist Paul Broca, who lends his name to the area of the brain responsible for speech, once said, “We are therefore permitted to suppose that the relatively small size of the female brain depends in part upon her physical inferiority and in part upon her intellectual inferiority.”

At the same time, though, modern medicine can’t afford to ignore these variations. Just as with any disease, understanding sex differences in brains might help neuroscientists better diagnose and treat disorders.

“We see these differences everywhere, and we started to realize, damn, we simply assume they aren’t there,” Larry Cahill, a neuroscientist at the University of California at Irvine, told the Orange County Register. “And these sex differences have implications for how the brain works and how to fix brains.”

Even pain medications don’t take male and female pain perception differences into account, Cahill points out. Countless medical fields have long been treating women by pretending “they are simply men with pesky sex hormones.”

The most uncomfortable aspect of such findings is that they can be—and often are—twisted to prop up stereotypes and prejudices. Studies like the PNAS one might offer fodder for those who wish to explain away female underrepresentation in fields like engineering with factoids about brain “wiring.” (Something former Harvard president Larry Summers essentially once suggested.)

But of course, that kind of thinking leaves out culture, which plays a big role not only in shaping how we think—both inside and outside of MRI machines—but also in determining what we do with our brains, however they’re structured. Verma emphasized that there’s a great deal of variation between individuals. Different fiber-pathway configurations don’t necessarily predestine someone to behave or think a certain way.

“There is a lot to be said about the structural wiring of the brain,” Verma said, “but it’s what you use the wiring for that changes the person that you are.”

Or as Anke Ehrhardt, a psychiatry professor at Columbia University Medical Center cautioned during a recent panel on neuroscience and gender, “Acknowledging brain effects by gender does not mean these are immutable, permanent determinants of behavior, but rather they may play a part within a multitude of factors and certainly can be shaped by social and environmental influences.”

Spoken like someone who has her intuition wired firmly to her logic.


The other morning, while perusing the UK’s Guardian, the following headline caught my attention: “Detroit accused of exaggerating $18bn debts in push for bankruptcy”

Digging in, I read that Detroit pensioners, whose benefits ballooned to a $3.5 billion liability could be cut down to 16 cents on the dollar. Go figure, the report said pensioners don’t like that very much. They argue that yes, $3.5 billion is a tidy sum of debt to pay off… but it’s only bad because the city’s income is so low.

“The real issue for Detroit” according to Walter Turberville from the Demos think tank, “is not its debts but declining revenues as a result of its rapidly falling population. The city’s had close to 2 million residents in 1950 and 714,000 in 2010. During the recession, unemployment and the property crash exacerbated Detroit’s revenue woes. Since 2008 the city’s revenues have fallen by over 20%. This year it will have a budget shortfall of $198 million.”

If there’s a budget shortfall, it isn’t for lack of city hall trying to increase revenue. In fact, it may have been revenue grabbing that was the culprit for budget shortfalls in the first place.

As I wrote in The Daily Reckoning pages back in July, when Detroit first declared bankruptcy:

Detroit was the fourth-largest city in the nation. As people left, the tax base shrunk. To keep revenue up, taxes were raised on things that couldn’t be moved out of the city limits, like property.

Because of high property taxes, people stopped improving buildings. Eventually, it wasn’t worth it to pay the property taxes. So people just left for greener pastures in taxpayer-friendly jurisdictions. (As I look out the window of my office here in Baltimore… I can’t help but see the same thing happening.)

It was a Pyrrhic victory. City hall continued to keep up revenues by raising taxes. People continued to leave with their money and businesses. Basic services like police and fire safety suffered heavy cuts — much like my mother-of-all financial bubbles scenario.

The city’s prosperity languished:

Capital

Here’s a comparison of the effective property tax rates in Detroit versus the average across 50 U.S. cities.

Expropriate

France, like Detroit also has the problem of not enough revenue. “French farmers snarled traffic into Paris as they drove tractors onto highways to protest against taxes and new regulations” wrote Bloomberg’s Gregory Viscusi earlier this week. “The action is the latest in tax revolts in France, which in recent weeks has seen horse-riding clubs, truckers and small retail outlets protesting against increased levies by President Francois Hollande’s government.”

I recall when I lived in France that the politics of debt and taxes was so ingrained in their society that there was a general strike or greve generale what seemed like every other day.

These things were so common that kids used to actually look forward to them. They didn’t even understand the issues. To them, it was an opportunity grill chorizo in the back of their trucks while blasting technopop right outside of my office on the rue Rivoli. The strikers were happy to not be working even if their strikes didn’t work. And everyone else? They were more or less annoyed that they could travel on the rue Rivoli because of it. Seems like not much has changed.

In France, the top tax rate is 75%. Back in 2011, nearly 12,000 families paid that rate… another 8,000 families paid more than 100% of their income in taxes because of a one-time levy. Maybe that explains the riots. It might also explain why in 2011, there were 10,456 Frenchmen registered as residents of Hong Kong. It used to be that the French headed westward when they wanted to escape taxes. Now, apparently Asia is increasingly becoming the preferred destination.

According to the French Consulate in Shanghai, 40% of their expatriates were working under a local contract in 2008; they were 55% in 2012. Local contracts allowed the expat to stay in the country after their work contract was up.

The larger lesson I’ve taken away from it all? Whether it’s Detroit’s population decline or French expatriation, if you expropriate them… they will go (and those left will riot). As the debt piles higher… I expect that expropriation will be the go to strategy for cash-strapped governments. Luckily for innovators, attracting capital even if the owners of it have been driven out of town.

This article originally appeared in The Daily Reckoning

“I reached out to Rep. Bachmann to ask her to add language supporting all adoptive families, including families with two dads or two moms. … She refused.” Update: “The focus of the resolution is on helping vulnerable children,” Bachmann spokesman says.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney


New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney — the gay father of three — said in an email to supporters Thursday that Rep. Michele Bachmann is “intentionally excluding families like [his]” from an adoption resolution she introduced.

sean maloney

In a message sent to supporters Thursday, Maloney says Bachman is excluding families with gay or lesbian parents by declining to include LGBT-inclusive language in the resolution.

When he found out that Bachmann and Rep. Karen Bass would be introducing a resolution for National Adoption Month and Day, he asked the pair to include language supportive of LGBT parenting in the resolution:

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Bass, a Democrat from California, said she was receptive to the language. Writing of the children he is raising with his partner, Randy, Maloney sent a letter to Bachmann, asking her “to recognize the contributions of LGBT families with adoptive children” in the resolution by including the language. Bachmann’s office said the congresswoman would not support the language’s addition, according to Maloney’s office.

Bachmann’s office did not immediately respond to a question Thursday about her views on LGBT parenting or adoption, or about the resolution itself.

Rep. Michele Bachmann spokesman Dan Kotman told BuzzFeed, “The resolution honoring National Adoption Month is a bipartisan effort sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans. The focus of the resolution is on helping vulnerable children, as has always been the case when we have introduced it in previous years.”