Author Archive

Can Assange and Denton revive the Wikileaks-Gawker revolution?

August 29, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by John Lloyd  

"Two of journalism’s most radical figures are now silenced, or shunned. Nick Denton, the Brit whose Gawker website has whipped away the lace curtains that covered (mainly) sexual privacy since 2002, has been bankrupted by vengeful and wealthy men. Julian Assange, the Australian whose Wikileaks organization has revealed (mainly) U.S. secrets, has been left alone and friendless. dropped even by one-time allies after dumping troves of unredacted information taken from the files of U.S. and Turkish political parties. Both men tried to create new standards for investigative journalism; both have failed so far." (08/26/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-commentary-wikileaks-lloyd-idUSKCN11106B  

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Gary Johnson: Election cycle so “crazy” he might win

August 29, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson has his sights set on qualifying for the first presidential debate on Sept. 26 in Hempstead, N.Y., but in an interview with Fox News Sunday, he made clear he thinks he can do much more than that in this unpredictable campaign. As his interview wrapped up, Johnson told host Chris Wallace: 'You know how crazy this election cycle is. I might be the next president. You know that, right?' Few would argue with the former New Mexico governor's assessment of the election, but his path to the White House is a steep one, nonetheless -- to say the least. In the most recent rolling average of polls from RealClearPolitics, Johnson is at 8%, well behind Democrat Hillary Clinton at 42% and Republican Donald Trump at 38%. Green Party candidate Jill Stein is at 3%." (08/28/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/08/28/gary-johnson-election-fox-news-sunday/89508628  

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Right to protest also means freedom from militarized police

August 28, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Lindsey Allen, Annie Leonard & Erich Pica  

"On Aug. 1, the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of more than 50 groups, released a sweeping and comprehensive platform that many news organizations and policy networks are still digesting. This Vision For Black Lives arrived almost two years to the day that a police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., sparked a newly framed national conversation about race and police-community relations in America. One of the earliest policy impacts of that movement was a May 2015 federal ban on transferring certain militarized equipment to local police departments. The ban largely began in response to startling images of police officers with weapons raised confronting unarmed protesters. Those images shocked not only the general public but military experts as well." (08/25/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/policing/2016/08/25/right-protest-also-means-freedom-militarized-police-column/89365026  

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Court: Cops can’t pull over cars licensed from legal cannabis states

August 28, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"Cops are not allowed to pull over out-of-state motorists from states with legal weed, a federal appeals court rules. In a 2-1 decision, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled that it’s unconstitutional for law enforcement officials to profile motorists based on their license plates, reports the Associated Press. The ruling was handed in a case dealing with a lawsuit filed by Colorado resident Peter Vasquez, who was detained by two Kansas Highway Patrol officers while driving on Interstate 70." (08/25/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/08/25/cops-cant-pull-over-cars-licensed-from-legal-marijuana-states-court-rules  

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France: Paris restaurant “refuses to serve Muslim women”

August 28, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"A video showing a restaurateur in a Paris suburb apparently refusing to serve two Muslim women has sparked anger in France and calls for protest. In the video, widely shared on social media, the man tells the hijab-wearing women: 'Terrorists are Muslims and all Muslims are terrorists.' The incident took place at Le Cenacle restaurant in Tremblay-en-France on Saturday night. On Sunday, the man apologised to a group who had gathered outside. He said he had 'got out of hand' due to the current tensions around the issue of wearing burkinis on French beaches, but also because he had a friend who had died at the Bataclan concert centre attack last November, Le Parisien reported (in French). The local prosecutors' office told the paper that it had opened an investigation into racial discrimination." (08/28/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37209605  

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You used to be able to take them to court

August 28, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"If a company does something bad to you, you can sue them, right? Actually, thinking that is so 1970s. These days, gimmicks called 'arbitration clauses' in contracts you are forced to sign basically let companies do what they want and keep you from taking them to court. But the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed a new rule to protect us from forced arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts. These days, before you can use an electronic device or software, get a loan or credit card, or do so many other basic things of modern life, you are handed (or have to click on) what seems like a 300-page contract. You have to because if you don’t agree to the terms (written in incomprehensible language that no one has time to read) you can’t get the loan, download the software or use the product." [editor's note: The concept of "forced arbitration" can be a good thing, IF you have as say in who the arbitrator is - SAT] (08/26/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160826/you-used-to-be-able-to-take-them-to-court  

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Poll: Half of Germany against Merkel serving fourth term

August 28, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel's domestic popularity has declined, a poll showed on Sunday, with 50 percent of Germans against her serving a fourth term in office after a federal election next year. Support for Merkel has weakened after a string of violent attacks on civilians in July, three of which were carried out by asylum seekers. Of those, two were claimed by Islamic State. This has raised opposition to Merkel's open-door migrant policy, which allowed hundreds of thousands from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere into Germany last year. Half of the 501 people questioned in the Emnid poll for the Bild am Sonntag newspaper were against Merkel staying in office beyond the 2017 election, with 42 percent wanting her to remain. In November, the last time Bild am Sonntag commissioned a survey on the issue, 45 percent had been in favor of Merkel serving a fourth term, with 48 percent against." (08/28/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-merkel-idUSKCN11306L?il=0  

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CA: USPS employees accused of hoarding parcels, stealing veterans’ medication

August 28, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Several authorities have charged dozens of Southern California postal workers and their associates with mail theft, embezzlement and an array of other crimes as part of a sweeping investigation into criminal activity at the U.S. Postal Service. A total of 33 defendants were charged in 28 cases, including one individual who was found to have had had tens of thousands of pieces of mail in her possession, according to a statement released Friday by the United States attorney's office for the Central District of California. Arrest warrants were issued for six of the 33 defendants, officials said. In addition to mail theft and embezzlement by postal workers and contractors, some of the cases involve bank fraud and false statements; a few allege crimes by people who are not USPS employees." (08/28/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/08/usps-employees-accused-of-hoarding-parcels-and-stealing-veterans-medication  

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New study should have Coke and Pepsi terrified

August 28, 2016
posted by

Fox News AOL News    

"People in Berkeley, California significantly cut back on soda after the city introduced a tax on sugary beverages. That's according to a study of two low-income neighborhoods that was published in the American Journal of Public Health on Tuesday. The study found that soda consumption dropped an impressive 22% after Berkeley imposed a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. The city's tax passed in 2014 and went into effect in May 2015. The new tax made a 20-ounce bottle of Coke 20 cents more expensive for distributors, or stores. This extra cost is passed on to consumers. Researchers tracked changes in soda consumption after the tax went into effect, comparing surveys of Berkeley residents' reported beverage consumption from April to July of 2014 against survey results from April to August of 2015." (08/28/16)

http://www.aol.com/article/2016/08/25/a-new-study-should-have-coke-and-pepsi-terrified/21458776  

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Don’t kill the death penalty in California

August 28, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra . Saunders  

"Opponents of California's death penalty have been highly successful at thwarting executions since the state resumed executions in 1992 after a 20-year hiatus. Their latest ploy is Proposition 62, which would repeal the death penalty and resentence death row inmates to life without parole. Measure sponsors argue that capital punishment presents the risk of executing an innocent person, but also state that California's death penalty is 'simply unworkable.' That's a cheeky stand, coming from the corner that has been throwing monkey wrenches into the criminal justice system to subvert death penalty law. Over the years, appellate attorneys have introduced endless time-sucking, frivolous appeals that have jammed the courts, largely on technical grounds that have nothing to do with guilt or innocence (e.g., the trial lawyer wasn't top-drawer; the defendant's parents were abusive; lethal injection may not be painless, etc.)." [editor's note: Ms. Saunders might consider some of the many times convicted criminals have later been found not guilty via forensic or DNA evidence; the State is notorious for these "errors" - SAT] (08/28/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/08/28/dont-kill-the-death-penalty-in-california-n2210701  

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As central bankers gather, some at Fed make rate hike case

August 25, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"As central bankers converge on this mountain resort Thursday for an annual conference on monetary policy, a couple of top Federal Reserve officials took the chance to renew a push for interest-rate hikes, citing improvement in employment and inflation. 'The case is strengthening' for a rate hike, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan told CNBC, whose open-air studio here overlooks the craggy peaks of the Grand Teton National Park. 'And you should conclude from that in the not-too-distant future ... I think we're moving toward being able to take another step.' Kansas City Fed President Esther George, whose bank has hosted the conference here since 1978, had an even stronger message. 'I think it's time to move,' she told Bloomberg TV." (08/25/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-fiscal-idUSKCN1100BJ  

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Start Making Sense, 08/24/16

August 25, 2016
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by  

"Amnesty for Edward Snowden. ACLU attorney Ben Wizner argues that President Obama should do the right thing in view of the NSA whistle-blower's contributions to freedom and democracy." [various formats] (08/25/16)

https://www.thenation.com/article/why-wont-the-us-grant-edward-snowden-amnesty  

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Walking while black: Encounters with police in New York City

August 25, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Garnette Cadogan  

"My love for walking started in childhood, out of necessity. No thanks to a stepfather with heavy hands, I found every reason to stay away from home and was usually out (at some friend’s house or at a street party where no minor should be) until it was too late to get public transportation. So I walked. The streets of Kingston, Jamaica, in the 1980s were often terrifying; you could, for instance, get killed if a political henchman thought you came from the wrong neighborhood, or even if you wore the wrong color. Wearing orange showed affiliation with one political party and green with the other. No wonder, then, that my friends and the rare nocturnal passerby declared me crazy for my long late-night treks that traversed warring political zones." (08/25/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19352/walking-while-black  

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The forgotten Millennials

August 25, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Rebecca Nelson  

"At a Democratic primary debate in January, a 23-year-old voter named Connor Franta posed a question to the candidates via YouTube. 'Getting my generation’s vote should be a priority for any presidential candidate,' he said. 'How are all of you planning on engaging us further in this election?' Hillary Clinton went in for what should have been an easy layup. 'Look,' she began, 'this election is mostly about the future. And therefore it is of greatest urgency for young people.' But then, instead of talking about all 'young people' -- the 75 million Americans aged 18 to 35 -- she narrowed her focus. ... When Clinton talks about millennials, she tends to use the word interchangeably with 'college students.' But millennials with university degrees don’t represent their entire generation, just those with the greatest economic and educational advantages. A full 40 percent of young people never made it past high school." [editor's note: Don't any progressive pundits read oout side their cocooons? Polls already show Millennials planning to vote for neither war party wing - SAT] (08/25/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/135729/forgotten-millennials  

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South Africa: Archbishop Desmond Tutu admitted to hospital

August 25, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"South African anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has admitted himself to a Cape Town hospital for treatment of a recurring infection, according to his family foundation. The 84-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner is expected to remain in the hospital for a week or two, said the statement issued by the foundation late Wednesday. Tutu underwent similar treatment last year, when he was hospitalized several times." (08/25/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/08/25/south-african-archbishop-desmond-tutu-admitted-to-hospital.html  

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Why Syria’s war may be about to get even worse

August 25, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Colin P. Clarke & Chad C Serena  

"How important is a name to a terrorist group’s identity? When the militant organization Nusra Front announced recently that it was calling itself something else, analysts had good reason to be skeptical about whether the new label really did signal a genuine break from its parent organization al Qaeda. In fact, it probably doesn’t matter. Even if symbolic, the mere rebranding of Nusra could be enough to prolong Syria’s civil war. The worst-case scenario is that the group, now known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), or Front for the Conquest of the Levant, could embed itself within the Syrian rebel opposition and emulate the staying power that Hezbollah has demonstrated in neighboring Lebanon. The likely motive behind JFS announcing such a split, whether real or simply a feint, is an attempt to unite the disparate Syrian rebel groups into a more coherent force and allow JFS to further ingratiate itself within the broader rebel movement." (08/25/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/commentary-nusra-clarke-idUSKCN1101UX  

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MN: GOP in “total confusion” after Trump left off state ballot

August 25, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story
by  

"Donald Trump is reportedly not on the Minnesota state ballot. So, as of today, the GOP doesn't have a presidential candidate on the state's ballot at all, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's site. It's unclear if there was an accident on the part of the state or a catastrophic misstep on behalf of the campaign, but it will cause an electoral crisis if nothing can be done. ... According to Minnesota PR and communications guru Michael Brodkorb, a former Republican operative, the process for a candidate to be on the ballot isn't complicated." [editor's note: - SAT] (08/25/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/08/minnesota-gop-descends-into-total-confusion-after-trump-left-off-state-ballot  

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John Oliver slams charter schools, critics totally miss the point

August 25, 2016
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"Sometimes it takes a funnyman to make sense. Earlier this week, British comedian John Oliver devoted a 'Back to School' segment on his HBO program 'Last Week Tonight' to examining the rapidly growing charter school industry and what these schools are doing with our tax dollars. The Washington Post's education blogger Valerie Strauss watched the segment and reports that while Oliver declined to address whether or not charters provide high quality education, he focused mostly on how often these schools are 'terribly (and sometimes criminally) operated.' ... Editors at Rolling Stone watched Oliver’s broadcast as well and reported Oliver focused much of his attention on three states (Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio) that have 'especially depressing charter track records -- including negligence in the approval process and school executives embezzling funds.'" [editor's note: I saw the Oliver piece, and was alternately amused and disgusted; most of his challenges were quite legit - SAT] (08/25/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160825/john-oliver-slams-charter-schools-and-his-critics-totally-miss-the-point  

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Trump is a vanity project run amok

August 25, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Paul Brandus  

"The dust of history takes many years to settle, but if he loses in November, here is how Donald Trump will likely be remembered 50 or 100 years from now. He’ll be seen by historians as a vanity project run amok; an outlier nominee, an old man with a lifelong flair for hucksterism and unparalleled conceit. Dropped into a vat of bubbling economic and cultural uncertainty and stirred by ratings-starved television executives, the result was a noxious stew that sickened much of the country. He’ll be remembered as having less in common with earlier Republican nominees who fell short, like John McCain and Bob Dole (war heroes who devoted themselves to a lifetime of public service) than with flat-out eccentrics who wormed their way into the system." (08/23/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/08/22/trump-donald-legacy-fame-reality-tv-entertainment-republican-history-column/89082144  

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Ex-pharma CEO Martin Shkreli defends EpiPen price increase

August 25, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Pharmaceutical firebrand Martin Shkreli has injected himself into the debate over the skyrocketing price of a life-saving allergy treatment, arguing that the manufacturer of EpiPen doesn't make much money and instead blaming insurers for not covering the tab. Shkreli -- who famously insulted members of Congress earlier this year but refused to testify officially over his own decision to increase the price of a life-saving pill -- is now hopping at the chance to defend generic drug manufacturer Mylan." (08/25/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/08/25/martin-shkreli-heather-bresch-mylan-epipen/89334136  

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Election Demons

August 25, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Ani Kokobobo  

"As a professor of Russian literature, I’ve come to realize that it’s never a good sign when real life resembles a Fyodor Dostoevsky novel. Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, with its riotous rhetoric and steady stream of scandals, calls to mind Dostoevsky’s most political novel, Demons

https://newrepublic.com/article/136237/election-demons  

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New Yorker: President Obama should declare end to “War on Drugs”

August 25, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"President Obama should formally declare an end to the $55 billion per year war on drugs as a coda to late-term efforts to reverse one of America’s most disastrous domestic policies, says The New Yorker contributor Jelani Cobb in this weekend’s issue. 'The armchair forecast holds that the President’s legacy will be anchored by his handling of two wars abroad. But history may have equal regard for the means by which he handles the one he inherited at home,' Cobb writes. He notes that -- unlike America’s 'wars' on cancer, pornography or terror -- the War on Drugs included 'military-style armaments, random violence, and significant numbers of people taken prisoner. It has been prosecuted throughout eight Administrations and has had the type of social and cultural impact that few things short of real warfare do.'" (08/24/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/08/24/new-yorker-president-obama-should-declare-end-to-war-on-drugs  

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France: Court to decide on “burkini ban” beach fines

August 25, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"France's highest administrative court is being asked to overturn beach bans imposed by 26 towns on women in full-body swimsuits known as 'burkinis.' A human rights group and an anti-Islamophobia association argue the bans are in breach of French law. Mayors, particularly on the Riviera, say the bans are protecting public order and rules on secularism. Opinion polls suggest most French people back the bans but Muslims warn they are being targeted unfairly. According to an Ifop survey, 64% of French people are in favour of the bans while another 30% are indifferent. The bans appeared to have split senior members of the French government." (08/25/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37183083  

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On feeling the Johnson

August 25, 2016
posted by

Steve Trinward Steemit
by Steve Trinward  

"As a longtime, fairly hardcore libertarian, this year I have felt like I'm stuck between Scylla and Charybdis. On the one hand, I am supposed to be horrified that once again the Libertarian Party has picked an ex-Republican (and this time, another one as his running mate) to represent to the public what libertarianism means. On the other hand, I feel like promoting this ticket to my progressive friends, as a clear alternative to the presumed 'choice' between a neocon warmonger and a raving-lunatic crony corporatist! (I also expect to be accused of attempting to 'polish a turd' -- a metaphor all too familiar to my fellow songwriters. Oh well ... !)" (08/24/16)

https://steemit.com/libertarian/@wordmaker7/on-feeling-the-johnson  

1 Comment »

North Korea test fires missile toward Japan

August 25, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"North Korea fired a submarine-based missile toward Japan Wednesday, CNN, Reuters and other news organizations are reporting, attributing the word to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff and its Defense Ministry. The missile was fired at around 5:30 a.m. local time from the city of Sinpo on North Korea's east coast, Reuters reported. The act is one of a series of launches conducted by the country in defiance of United Nations sanctions. The launch comes during an annual drill between the United States and South Korea that involves 25,000 U.S. troops, CNN reported. North Korea has called the exercises preparation for invasion and has threatened retaliation, according to Reuters. The missile traveled more than 300 miles toward Japan and U.S. Pacific Command tracked it into the Sea of Japan, CNN reported." (08/24/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/08/23/reports-north-korea-test-fires-missile-toward-japan/89238360  

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