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16 October 2018

US: Three Generations "Fearful" About Future of Democracy

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AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
New survey results find that a strong majority of Americans from three generations say the country is headed in the wrong direction and say they are "fearful" about the future of democracy in America. 
The poll from AARP and the Association for Young Americans (AYA) also found that Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers agree that the top issue facing the country is "honesty in government."
AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
The national survey of 4,862 adults representing three generations comes just weeks before the pivotal midterm elections when control of Congress and governorships in three dozen states are up for grabs. AARP has been mounting a major campaign called "Be the Difference. Vote," which is designed to drive voters to the polls on Election Day.
"These poll results show how concerned all Americans are with the current state of politics," said AARP's Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. "With the midterm elections just a few weeks away, voters will have the opportunity to hold candidates accountable and make them pay attention to the issues that matter to them and their families. People need to realize that their vote counts."
AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
Overall, 64 percent of those surveyed said the country is headed in the "wrong direction" and 62 percent said they are "fearful about the future of democracy in America." 
When asked to rank the importance of 18 issues facing the country, the No. 1 issue selected by each of the three generations was the same: honesty in government. It was ranked ahead of jobs, health care and access to education.
AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
While midterm elections often see low turnout, the AARP/AYA Three Generations poll found that strong majorities from across the age spectrum are planning to go to the polls on Nov. 6. Overall, 70 percent of those surveyed said they were "very likely" to vote in the midterm elections, including 55 percent of Millennials, 70 percent of Gen Xers and 83 percent of Baby Boomers.
Ben Brown, Founder of AYA, said, "We want Americans to really understand that their votes count. Association of Young Americans particularly wants to see more Millennials vote, but not just be politically active on Election Day, but every day, because the data shows that they're fearful for our democracy and find honesty in government the number one issue."  
The survey was the third in a series from AARP and AYA on a wide variety of issues facing Americans. Earlier results found shared concern across the generations about the level of student loan debt and anxiety about finances in the future. These survey results do not necessarily reflect the policy positions of AYA or AARP.
AARP's "Be the Difference. Vote" campaign is designed to encourage Americans to make their voices heard at the ballot box this fall. 

For more information on AARP's "Be The Difference. Vote" campaign and to pledge to vote in this year's elections, go to aarp.org/vote.
"Be The Difference. Vote" - Logo
"Be The Difference. Vote"
⏩ The poll was conducted by NORC's AmeriSpeak nationally representative online panel for AARP from July 10, 2018 to August 7, 2018, with 4,862 adults between the ages of 18 to 74 encompassing Millennial, Generation X, and Baby Boomer adults. 
  • The margin of error is +/- 2.01 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. 
  • The sample includes nationally representative samples of African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans.

 SOURCE: AARP

15 October 2018

Google, Facebook, and Twitter Release Data on Political Ads (More or Less)

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When it Comes to Political Ads, President Trump, Texas Senate Candidate Beto O'Rourke, and Senate Republican PAC are Big Spenders
When it Comes to Political Ads, President Trump, Texas Senate Candidate Beto O'Rourke, and Senate Republican PAC are Big Spenders (Image via LoupDargent.info)
Using cutting-edge machine learning and data scraping tools, computer scientists at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering today released the first database and analysis of political advertising based on more than 884,000 ads identified by Google, Twitter, and Facebook.
The team launched their user-friendly Online Political Ads Transparency Project in July with data from Facebook, which was the first company to provide it. But the researchers were forced to switch techniques when Facebook blocked their data collection two weeks later. 
Today's report is the first to include not only Facebook (including Instagram), but also data newly shared by Twitter and Google.
Although they found numerous roadblocks to meaningful transparency – ranging from faulty archives constructed in haste by the social media giants to varying definitions of "political advertising" and throttling of data collection by Facebook – NYU Tandon Computer Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Damon McCoy and his team nonetheless reported meaningful insights:
  • President Donald Trump and his PAC registered the largest number of ads of any candidate, due in large part to the preponderance of small, micro-targeted advertising. Virtually all were aimed at raising funds during the study period, September 9-22, 2018. The researchers found similar dominance by President Trump in their initial, Facebook-only, analysis. 
                                                   
  • The Democratic candidate for Senate from TexasBeto O'Rourke, continued to be the apparent largest spender, mostly seeking small donations from outside his state via Facebook and Twitter. Although O'Rourke was the rare federal candidate unaffiliated with a PAC, he was like other candidates in using social media to raise funds outside their districts, McCoy noted.    
                                                
  • The Senate Leadership Fund, a Republican Super PAC, was the largest spender on Google and across all three platforms combined.
                                          
  • Priorities USA, a left-leaning PAC, was among the big spenders, but exact figures are not available because it collaborated on ad placements with other PACs. 
         
  • Left-leaning organizations are the big spenders on Facebook and Twitter; on Google, the trend is reversed. 
                                                      
  • Facebook apparently carries the most political ads, but Google apparently ranks higher in impressions and spending. This is due, in part, to the large number of small, micro-targeted ads on Facebook (60 percent) and because the majority of spending on Google (61 percent) is by PACs, which are more like to have large budgets. But analysis is muddied by the fact that both Google and Facebook disclose only ranges; only Twitter discloses exact spending and impressions. Each of the giants also defines "political advertising" differently. For example, Facebook alone includes non-media for-profit companies promoting slanted political content, companies selling merchandise with political messages, and solar panel firms with environmental messages. Google and Twitter, meanwhile, limited their reporting to only federal candidates, at least initially. 
                                                      
  • PACs accounted for 23 percent of the spending on Facebook during the study period. 
                                                   
  • The very top spenders during the study period on Facebook, though, were Facebook itself and its own Instagram – Facebook to publicize its responses to Russian election hacking and Instagram to spread a get-out-the-vote message. But the researchers pointed out that the company seemed to overcharge itself, based upon impressions.
Ads that appeared on Facebook and Twitter were more often left-leaning and those on Google right-leaning during the study period.
Ads that appeared on Facebook and Twitter were more often left-leaning and those on Google right-leaning during the study period. (Image via NYU Tandon School of Engineering)
Collaborators on the Online Political Ads Transparency Project are NYU Tandon doctoral student Laura Edelson, NYU Shanghai visiting undergraduate student Shikhar Sakhuja, and Ratan Dey, a former NYU doctoral student studying under Professor Keith Ross and now an assistant professor of practice in computer science at NYU Shanghai.
McCoy conceived the project to build easy-to-use tools to collect, archive, and analyze political advertising data. Although Facebook became the first major social media company to launch a searchable archive of political advertising, for both Facebook and Instagram, in May 2018, McCoy found the archive difficult to use, requiring time-consuming manual searches. He decided to apply versions of the data scraping techniques he had previously used against criminals, including human traffickers who advertised and used Bitcoin.
Despite the difficulty the team subsequently encountered accessing Facebook data, they report it has by far the most comprehensive political archive among the three social media companies. The report outlines problems with the API – an interface with other platforms – introduced in beta form by Facebook to allow researchers access to its archives.
Google's data is the easiest for the public to access, as a BigQuery dataset, available in its entirety via the Google Cloud service. But it is updated in real time, with no archiving, so the NYU researchers are capturing the data daily, to share and archive.
Twitter has no easily accessible political ad archive, so the NYU research team is scraping all political advertising data identified by Twitter and sharing and archiving for the public, as well.
Although the researchers used the September period for comparison purposes, they have now compiled data from late May through October 3, with a gap of about six weeks while Facebook blocked its data scraping. 
They praised the social media companies for implementing fixes they recommended and continue to work toward transparency.
NYU Tandon School of Engineering Logo (PRNewsFoto/NYU Tandon School of Engineering)
The work was funded in part by the National Science Foundation under a grant to McCoy for research that explores bias and the manipulation of online data.

Visit the project and download data at: online-pol-ads.github.io.
SOURCE: NYU Tandon School of Engineering

14 October 2018

First Man: A New Vision Of The Apollo 11 Mission To Set Foot On The Moon

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First Man: Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon
First Man: Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon. (Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures)
The Apollo 11 lunar landing was the first time humans stepped on another celestial body, and the events leading up to that historic moment – which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year – are depicted in the new movie First Man, out in cinemas now.

Director Damien Chazelle has delivered an intense film about astronaut Neil Armstrong, who made those iconic first steps.

But this is no triumphant paean to the Cold War Space Race, and you’ll find no trite comparisons of Apollo technology to the computing power of today’s smart phones here.



Drawn from the official biography by James R Hansen, Armstrong is portrayed with muscular introversion by Ryan Gosling, grappling with Armstrong’s renowned discomfort with the public demands of the space program, his role of husband and father, the intellectual and physical challenges of the quest for the moon, and a series of deeply personal tragedies.

In other words, the First Man on the Moon is shown to be a fallible and complex human being.

The man and the Moon 
In a quiet opening scene, Armstrong sings a lullaby, I See the Moon, to his infant daughter, echoing the transcendental fascination with the Moon held by generations of sleepless parents and children over the course of our evolution.

Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong the father.
Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong the father. (Daniel McFadden)
Armstrong is haunted by the Moon and death throughout the film. His lunar quest is tied indelibly to his relationship with his daughter.

Shot often from Armstrong’s perspective, this film is an exploration of apparent emptiness – of space, the Moon, and a man in grief, accustomed to loss and most comfortable when cut off from those closest to him.

The Moon landing is the backdrop, the ultimate distraction from his world of pain, and Gosling plays it beautifully.

We’ve been there before, in film 
For almost as long as there have been moving pictures, we have had movies imagining space flight. In 1902 Georges Méliès directed and starred in what is considered the first science fiction film, the influential A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage Dans La Lune).

Space films developed a few recurring themes since then. There’s the heroic manly astronaut addicted to risking life and limb. With the notable exception of Hidden Figures, women tend to be shown marooned at home, anguished and accommodating of their physically and emotionally distant husbands. Then there’s the passionate flight director, swearing to all who will listen that he’ll get the astronauts home safe.

It’s a real triumph that First Man (mostly) avoids these cliches and genuinely gives us something new, and somehow more real.

The dangers of space were not exaggerated, and started with the terrestrial training. Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) ejected seconds before the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle crashed and burned at Ellington Air Force Base.
The dangers of space were not exaggerated, and started with the terrestrial training. Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) ejected seconds before the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle crashed and burned at Ellington Air Force Base.(Daniel McFadden)
There are a respectful number of references to other movies such as The Right Stuff, Apollo 13, and 2001 A Space Odyssey that embed First Man within the well-established tradition of cinematic space flight.

These references highlight this film’s differences, drawn from the well-grounded depictions of Armstrong and his wife Janet, played by Claire Foy. The sequences between husband and wife are emotionally charged, rather than sentimentalised. The scenes where she listens to the radio feed from the landing are riveting. It is hard to imagine more Oscar-worthy contenders.

An emotional time on Earth for Janet Armstrong (Claire Foy)
An emotional time on Earth for Janet Armstrong (Claire Foy). (Daniel McFadden)
Flagging outrage 
The film does not sanitise the space program. Embracing the politics of the day, Chazelle recreates the protests around the Apollo missions.

Many people are shown questioning its value. Journalists demand to know how much it is worth, in lives lost and in dollars.

But First Man refocuses the emphasis of the Apollo 11 mission from US nationalism to Armstrong’s personal journey, and this doesn’t sit well with the current far right in Trump’s America.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio is angry that the planting of the US flag – an action symbolising the colonisation of territory – is not shown (although the flag appears more than once).


Some are calling for a boycott over the flag issue. Armstrong’s colleague on the Apollo 11 mission, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, has also implied his dissatisfaction with the film in a tweet.


Chazelle, the Oscar-winning director of La La Land, said the omission was not political; instead he chose to focus on the “unfamous stuff” as well as Armstrong’s experience and character.

The flag was controversial even at the peak of the Cold War. The United Nations Outer Space Treaty, ratified by the US just two years before, forbids territorial claims in space. How could an American mission claim to represent humanity if it included a symbolic act of American colonialism?

Fortunately, the response of the international community was to celebrate the collective human achievement rather than the national one.

More than a national effort: (left to right) Buzz Aldrin (Corey Stoll), Mike Collins (Lukas Haas) and Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) head for the Moon.
More than a national effort: (left to right) Buzz Aldrin (Corey Stoll), Mike Collins (Lukas Haas) and Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) head for the Moon. (Daniel McFadden)
There were numerous international contributions made to the Apollo missions. Australia provided tracking stations – famously, Armstrong’s first footfalls on the Moon were transmitted through the Honeysuckle Creek station, outside Canberra.

Australian space scientist Professor Brian O'Brien, then at Rice University in Texas, designed a dust-detecting experiment that was left on the surface of the Moon.

When the Moon is not enough 
There is an element of anti-climax about the film’s conclusion. As with Apollo 13, we know how it’s going to end.

But First Man does so on a carefully crafted note, a plausible hypothesis suggested by biographer Hansen that may have been designed to further humanise the inscrutable astronaut. The scene implies that the emotional distances he has to travel on Earth are greater than those which he crossed to the Moon.

Where we go from here is the question. Do we show the moral courage to take on the difficult tasks and solve the earthbound crises facing us today, or do we channel our energies and enterprise into becoming a multi-planet species?

Now that we have “conquered” the Moon, perhaps the only mission worthy of Armstrong’s legacy is to be humble, thoughtful and inspired about our place in the universe, while we still have one.The Conversation

About Today's Contributors:
Alice Gorman, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology and Space Studies, Flinders University and Heather L. Robinson, Research Associate & PhD Candidate, College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, Flinders University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

13 October 2018

Museum of Science, Boston Celebrates the Charles Hayden Planetarium's 60th Anniversary with the Release of New Film

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Destination Mars: The New Frontier
Destination Mars: The New Frontier
Since 1958, the Museum of Science's Charles Hayden Planetarium has dazzled and immersed visitors in the wonders of the night sky and the universe. 
Premiering on October 20th and created in-house by the award-winning Planetarium staff of producers and artists, and with funding support from NASA's Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums Plus NASA Visitor Centers, the newest Planetarium show, Destination Mars: The New Frontier celebrates the persistent curiosity that drives us to explore the future of human spaceflight to Mars. 
The Planetarium, which has impressed visitors since its installation, has welcomed more than 13 million visitors to more than 400 original show titles over its sixty-year history.
Destination Mars: The New Frontier will examine the human desire to travel to Mars and give audiences an up-close look at this epic endeavor. 

The newest Charles Hayden Planetarium show will answer such questions as: What is it about Mars that captures our interest and imagination? What steps have been taken to advance our journey to the Red Planet? What might a trip to Mars look like for the first astronauts to make the trek?  

The film features narration from Hollywood actor, Keith David and includes an original orchestral score by Grammy Award winner and professor at Berklee College of MusicClaudio Ragazzi.
"This is our team's fourth full-length feature production for the Planetarium, and our second working closely with our partners and supporters at NASA.  We're thrilled to use our immersive, 57-foot dome to showcase the incredible technology that NASA and others are working on right now— at the Kennedy Space Center and all over the world— to make our dream of one day transporting humans to Mars a reality," said Dani LeBlanc, Director of the Charles Hayden Planetarium.
Over the course of the month of October, the Museum of Science will feature a variety of programming to celebrate the Planetarium’s 60th anniversary and its technology.
Over the course of the month of October, the Museum of Science will feature a variety of programming to celebrate the Planetarium’s 60th anniversary and its technology. Everything from special Planetarium presentations exploring galaxies to an ImprovBoston show, The Big Quiz Thing, Boston’s Best Drag Queens, and a concert from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys.
Over its sixty years, the Charles Hayden Planetarium has brilliantly showcased a wide variety of original programming, including both live and pre-recorded presentations. 
Today the theater serves as everything from a unique venue for music and visual arts, to a spaceship transporting viewers through the universe.
Built in 1958, the Planetarium has utilized three projectors since its opening. The current projector, the Zeiss Starmaster, projects over 9,000 stars as naturally as they appear to twinkle in the cosmos.  

The projector, coupled with the Planetarium's state-of-the-art digital system, which can access the latest astronomical databases from researchers around the world, make the Planetarium the most technologically advanced digital dome in New England.
For more details, visit mos.org/planetarium60  

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11 October 2018

Scriptation Launches #PledgePaperless Campaign At The Vancouver International Film Festival

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"The Magicians" actress Jade Tailor takes a #PledgePaperless selfie with attendees of the Sustainable Production Forum at the Vancouver International Film Festival
"The Magicians" actress Jade Tailor takes a #PledgePaperless selfie with attendees of the Sustainable Production Forum at the Vancouver International Film Festival
Scriptation launched a global campaign, #PledgePaperless, during the Sustainable Production Forum at the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) on Saturday. Industry participants commit to going paperless on set.
Scriptation, the script reading and annotation app used on thousands of film and television productions worldwide, teamed up with environmentally-conscious companies in the entertainment industry to promote the paper-free initiative, including Green Spark Group, Creative BC, Reel Green, AdGreen, Earth Angel, Wrapal, and Studio Binder.
"I've been making movies and TV shows for over 25 years, and on some shows we've used a million sheets of paper in a year," said Billions actor Rob Morrow in a video to promote the campaign. "I've gone paperless and it's more convenient and so much better for the environment."
The promotional video, which challenges those working in the film and television industry to #PledgePaperless, includes Eye Rise Movement founder and actress Jade Tailor ("The Magicians"), actor Jason Maybaum ("Raven's Home"), writer Jessica Poter ("Modern Family"), cinematographer Darren Lew("Maniac"), and director Michael Spiller ("Good Girls"), among others.
"It takes over 50 thousand gallons of water and produces over 20 tons of CO2 to create the paper used on a single show," said Scriptation founder and CEO, Steven Vitolo. "Multiply that by the thousands of movies and television shows currently in production, and the environmental impact is devastating. The good news is this problem is completely avoidable as long as we take action."
#PledgePaperless global campaign to go paperless on film and television productions
#PledgePaperless - Logo
The campaign's goal is to establish a digital standard on set and encourage policies where receiving scripts electronically is the default option. #PledgePaperless aims to eliminate the use of 10 million sheets of paper by the end of 2018.
⏩ For additional information on the #PledgePaperless campaign or to participate in the pledge, visit pledgepaperless.com.
SOURCE: Scriptation LLC
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We Asked The British Public What Kind Of #Brexit They Want – And The Norway Model Is The Clear Winner

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Brexit: A local shop, for local people?
Brexit: A local shop, for local people? (Image via LoupDargent.info)
It is now more than two years since Britons voted to leave the EU. But what has been learned in that time about what British people want for their future relationship with the EU? Those on the hard right argue that Britons voted to sever existing treaties with the EU. Others argue that leaving the single market was never part of the plan. The referendum outcome tells us very little about what people actually wanted.

But our study of what people value about the EU does tell us. And we find that their priorities map most squarely onto a Norway-style model for future relations with the EU.

People place a high value on having access to the EU markets for trade in goods and services. They like the option for the UK to be able to make its own trade deals. They also value that the UK is able to make its own laws, but not as much as access to the single market or the ability to make trade deals. They worry about freedom of movement, but mostly because of concerns about demand for public services. They strongly dislike the idea of having to get a visa to travel for their holidays.

Netting out positives and negatives, we found that Britons place the most value on a Norway-like deal. In fact, support for this kind of deal – which is based on membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) – has increased in the past year, up from 38% in 2017 to 43% in 2018. Norway is part of the EEA but is not a member of the customs union and can therefore make its own trade deals. We found people value the Norway model more than the current relationship with the EU, in part because Norway is free to make trade deals with non-EU countries. And while a “no-deal” is less popular than remaining, it is considered preferable to a customs union arrangement.

These findings have their roots in a 2017 study we undertook to better understand what people thought about Britain’s relationship with the EU. The study incorporated a survey with nearly 1,000 respondents using a “stated preference discrete choice experiment”. The idea is that it is better to ascertain people’s preferences by examining the choices they make rather than asking them to try to estimate the value that they attach to things directly, because people are much better at making choices – something they probably do every day – than providing abstract valuations. Also, using choices forces people to make trade-offs, which helps identify what is most important to them.

Respondents were asked to make choices between options that described the UK’s relationship with the EU. These options included freedom of movement for holidays and working, access to the single market, ability to make free trade deals, contribution to the EU and sovereignty.
Theresa May claims to be enacting the will of the people.
Theresa May claims to be enacting the will of the people. (PA)
Now, more than a year on and as negotiations continue between the UK government and the EU, we decided to revisit this study to see whether people’s priorities have changed. We approached the same people that we surveyed in February 2017 to repeat the experiments, managing to repeat the survey with more than 80% of them. We also added new respondents so we again had a sample of nearly 1,000 respondents. Our study revealed that people’s priorities had changed little over the past year, which is somewhat surprising given the rhetoric about Brexit during that time.

Other options 
The status quo, or remaining in the EU, was the second preferred option – further evidence that people valued access to the single market and were willing to trade restraints on freedom of movement and sovereignty for this access.

The third preferred outcome was a “no-deal” Brexit, relying on World Trade Organisation rules. This was valued less positively than remaining in the EU because of the need for visas for holiday travel and lack of access to the single market, although there are some positive aspects in terms of being able to make free trade deals with countries outside of the EU, increased sovereignty and savings made by ending EU contributions.

Of all the relationships we examined, participating in the customs union was valued the least. It was considered worse than not getting a deal because of restrictions on making free trade deals, even though the costs that businesses would face to participate in the single market for trading of goods are not as high as for the “no deal” situation. It was considered worse than remaining in the EU because of the need for visas (and health insurance) for travel and loss of access to the EU market for services and increased costs for goods. These aspects were not outweighed by the positive benefits of constraining freedom of movement for working and living (requiring work permits for people working in the UK), increased sovereignty and savings.

Will of the people? 
It’s very difficult to quantify the value of what the UK government is proposing as its Brexit model in the Chequers plan because it is relatively ambiguous. We have therefore calculated values for the most optimistic and pessimistic interpretations.

In the most optimistic view, a certain number of “ifs” would value the Chequers plan as highly as the EEA (Norway) option. This would be the case if it allows a reciprocal deal for truly visa-free travel for tourists, including continued reciprocal health insurance arrangements; if the UK is able to make trade deals with countries outside the EU on its own terms and is not constrained by the “common rule book”; and if the UK is able to sell goods with no additional costs. However, at the other extreme, if these conditions are not met then Chequers is valued much more negatively than a customs union arrangement.

Politicians who were keen to follow the “will of the people” have been curiously silent on what is the most popular option among the British population – the Norway-type deal. More attention could be given to accessing the single market, rather than focusing on stemming the freedom of movement of people and increasing sovereignty.The Conversation

About Today's Contributors:
Charlene Rohr, Senior Research Fellow, King's College London; David Howarth, Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of Cambridge, and Jonathan Grant, Vice President/Vice Principal (Service), King's College London


This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

More Brexit Related Stories:
Brexit Related Stories on LoupDargent.info
⏩ For more Brexit related stories, click here...

10 October 2018

Hippie-Child, Cult Survivor Rachel Israel Releases 'Counterculture Crossover' - a Tell-All Untold Story of the Love Israel Family

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"Counterculture Crossover" - Front Cover
"Counterculture Crossover" - Front Cover
Life Story Press has published "Counterculture Crossover," a tell-all memoir of what it was like to survive growing up in one of the most unconventional, controversial, communal groups in recent time. 
The author Rachel Israel says, "This will be like a bomb going off among ex-Love Family members. The hidden truth is now out there."
"Counterculture Crossover" is a remarkable memoir that tells the story of Israel's childhood growing up in the Love Israel Family. Israel's mother Karen was a free-spirited idealist who wanted nothing to do with conventional, mainstream society. 
She "dropped-out" and lived off-the-grid, which led Israel to a variety of places, including Alaska and Hawaii. Mother and daughter ended up at the doorstep of the Love Family, where Israel spent eight years of her childhood.
The Love Family was an isolated, patriarchal, religious community that did not go by the rules or laws of modern society. Members sought to live the utopian dream but ended up living without their rights and without autonomy. 
In "Counterculture Crossover," Israel exposes the darkest secrets that have never been revealed about the community, including group marriage, polygamy, sacrament rituals, and animal sacrifice. Israel covers everything from what it was like to live in Army tents and yurts on the communal farm to answering other questions on controversial topics such as the trouble the group had with cult deprogrammers kidnapping their members.
Rob Balch, retired professor emeritus in the department of sociology at the University of Montana, says in part of his review of the memoir, "Among the thousands of communal experiments of the late 1960s and early '70s, the Love Family was one of the biggest and most successful, as well one of the most controversial. Opponents accused it of brainwashing and child abuse, whereas supporters saw it as an admirable social experiment and a welcome addition to Seattle's diverse cultural scene. Yet, surprisingly little has been written about the Love Family, and, until now, nothing at all from the perspective of a second-generation member."
"Hippie-Child" Rachel Israel
"Hippie-Child" Rachel Israel
Israel has pursued a career working in the field of psychology to help those in need fight for personal transformation and justice. Her memoir is a similar pursuit, an attempt to give voice to the voiceless - children raised in alternative communal groups or cults. Israel has a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in psychology. She continues to live with her family in the Northwest in the country outside of Seattle.
Given the current state of society and answers people are seeking, Israel, through her memoir, seeks to explore what happens when people are desperate for change. Israel explores those ideas based on her observations and memories of being raised communally by those at the creative tip of society. 
⏩ "Counterculture Crossover" is now available on Amazon.

9 October 2018

"Enemy of the Human Race" Highly Explosive, Revealing and Thought-provoking Book by Henry I. Balogun

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"Enemy of the human race" - Book Cover
"Enemy of the human race" - Book Cover
The root of hate runs deep says Henry I. Balogun author of "Enemy of the human race." This new book provides the strongest, most damning and unambiguous response to the demeaning and insulting derogatory "shithole" remark allegedly made by Donald J. Trump about Africa
It also highlights resentment for the revival of hate orchestrated by Trump supporters in response to his presidency. The President's inability to condemn hate gave new credence to the idea of "us versus them" along with the false and delusional hope of creating isolated enclave exclusively for "us" because this is "our world," "our cities" and "our streets." 
The President's inability to condemn hate is now providing unhealthy platform for "left" against "right" and "conservative" against "liberal" all around the world.
Henry Balogun, in this eye-opening piece of excellent literary work entitled "Enemy of the human race," went deeper to expose and unearth hidden root of division and unprecedented discord that has turned the human family against one another. 
Those who believe that they are completely unaffected by the unfortunate stories of the past need to realize that "the bell tolls" for them as well.
Balogun's desire to agitate the sleep of evil led him to look into histories that are historically false, and poke into legislation written, passed, adopted, signed into law and acted upon but intentionally ignored, tramped over and pushed into oblivion by historians and legal scholars in the interest of making human tragedy and the shameful story of the past look like something unique to the only vulnerable segment of the human family.
There is also a candid look at the new United States in the age of Donald J. Trump known as "United States 2.0." The need to understand the person at the Oval Office led Henry Balogun to carefully examine the life and personality of Donald J. Trump.
"Enemy of the human race" started by uncovering the only engine running and keeping division alive – hate. The footprint of hate is everywhere. Open the book and read about concealed and gratuitous hate historically inscribed in religion, politics, news media, educational institutions, history, government, business, law and every aspect of human existence. Balogun, in this incredible work did not shy away from providing full analysis with regard to series of induced behaviors as well as many unhealthy expectations responsible for the exponential growth of hate..
Finally, "Enemy of the human race" opened the curtain to show us the ever glowing work of those agents of light whose courageous life and work helped those affected by hate to find credible, civilized and peaceful way to resist, thereby regain lost glory and pride in a non-passive but serene way of invoking civility.
Dr. Henry I. Balogun
Dr. Henry I. Balogun
Published by New York City-based Page Publishing, "Enemy of the human race" is expected to be available on Oct. 12, 2018 on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Google Play. 

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SOURCE: Dr. Henry I. Balogun

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