Author Archive

Report: Ukraine deal aims at de-escalation

April 18, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"Nations involved in the Ukraine crisis pledged an easing of tensions Thursday, opening a possible path toward resolving Ukraine’s future without further Russian military intervention. US Secretary of State John Kerry and the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, and the European Union issued a joint declaration after hours of talks Thursday in Geneva, agreeing on the need to end violence, to disband 'illegal armed groups,' and for Ukraine to undertake sweeping constitutional reforms. Secretary Kerry framed the deal as a start down the path of de-escalation, but said the test will be whether the 'words on a paper' are matched promptly by deeds on the ground." (04/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p4sdc4c  

No Comments »

TX: State steals polygamist group’s secluded ranch

April 18, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"The secluded Texas ranch where followers of imprisoned polygamist Warren Jeffs lived in near isolation was seized by state agents on Thursday, nearly six years after FBI agents raided the property and removed hundreds of children amid child sex abuse allegations. The Texas Department of Public Safety said its agents took possession of the Yearning For Zion Ranch near Eldorado. In a statement, DPS said only eight adults were still living on the West Texas property and agreed to leave after meeting with agents. DPS said authorities helped them vacate the ranch and take an inventory." (04/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n9ba9aq  

1 Comment »

IAEA: Iran’s higher-enriched uranium stock “cut by half”

April 18, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Iran has neutralised half of its higher-enriched uranium stockpile, as per a deal agreed earlier this year, the world's nuclear watchdog says. The International Atomic Energy Agency has been checking Iran's adherence to the deal, struck with six world powers. The US has authorized the release of $450m (£270m) in frozen Iranian funds following the IAEA's latest findings. Iran agreed to curb its uranium enrichment in return for partial sanctions relief in November." (04/17/14)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-27065532  

No Comments »

The middle class is not “normal”

April 18, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Thom Hartmann  

"There’s nothing 'normal' about having a middle class. Having a middle class is a choice that a society has to make, and it’s a choice we need to make again in this generation, if we want to stop the destruction of the remnants of the last generation’s middle class. Despite what you might read in the Wall Street Journal or see on Fox News, capitalism is not an economic system that produces a middle class. In fact, if left to its own devices, capitalism tends towards vast levels of inequality and monopoly. The natural and most stable state of capitalism actually looks a lot like the Victorian England depicted in Charles Dickens’ novels." [editor's note: He's not far from wrong about "capitalism"; he just doesn't know squat about "free markets" - SAT] (04/17/14)

http://ourfuture.org/20140417/the-middle-class-is-not-normal  

No Comments »

Why I’m cheering for fossil fuels this Earth Day

April 18, 2014
posted by

John Stossel Fox News Forum
by John Stossel  

""The heavens reek, the waters below are foul ... we are in a crisis of survival." That's how Walter Cronkite and CBS hyped the first Earth Day, back in 1970. Somehow we've survived since then, and most of life got better, although I never hear that from the worrywarts. Of course, some things got better because of government: We passed environmental rules that got most of the filth out of the air and sewage out of lakes and rivers. Great -- but now we're told that we're in big trouble because greenhouse gases cause global warming. I mean, climate change." (04/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qftvf68  

No Comments »

Scientists create stem cells from adults

April 18, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Scientists have moved a step closer to the goal of creating stem cells perfectly matched to a patient's DNA in order to treat diseases, they announced on Thursday, creating patient-specific cell lines out of the skin cells of two adult men. The advance, described online in the journal Cell Stem Cell, is the first time researchers have achieved 'therapeutic cloning' of adults. Technically called somatic-cell nuclear transfer, therapeutic cloning means producing embryonic cells genetically identical to a donor, usually for the purpose of using those cells to treat disease." (04/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o9cplqd  

No Comments »

Can National Popular Vote end the voting wars?

April 18, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Rob Richie  

"One of the most pernicious outcomes of the intense political struggle between Democrats and Republicans is the parties’ breathtaking capacity to game our voting rules. Nothing makes voters more cynical than seeing political leaders seemingly supporting or opposing election laws based solely on their partisan impact -- from redistricting reform to fights over whether to allow early voting. But a reform win in New York could foreshadow a cease-fire in the voting wars. On April 15, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation making New York the 10th state to pass the National Popular Vote (NPV) interstate compact for president." [editor's note: Short answer? Umm, no? - SAT] (04/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/prdx6vs  

No Comments »

The saddest job in the world

April 18, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle
by Mark Morford  

"Were you thinking parenting? Compost truck driver? Michele Bachmann’s twitchy left eyelid? Close. ... You might be right. Or rather, you might be almost right. But I tend to think there’s a job that’s even worse, given how it’s an even more boring form of halfhearted evil, a laborious orientation so numbing and heartless that it’s regularly applauded by the jaded minions of the Devil himself, albeit indifferently. Which, of course, makes it even worse. Indeed, I believe there’s a special place in purgatory reserved for people who create, track, heartily defend and then barely enjoy the sidelong profits from the dregs of American fast food." (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nok9rp2  

No Comments »

White noise, black politics

April 18, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Melissa Harris-Perry  

"This year, Harvard admitted a record number of black students, and it boasts the highest black graduation rate in the Ivy League. The faculty, facilities and programming budget at Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute make it the envy of the American academy. There is an active, thirty-seven-year-old Black Students Association on campus. The Hutchins Center houses a hip-hop archive and publishes the well-regarded Du Bois Review. The president and first lady of the United States are both graduates of Harvard Law School." (04/17/14)

http://www.thenation.com/article/179380/white-noise-black-politics  

No Comments »

PA: HS principal allegedly faked class, grades

April 18, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"The former principal of a prestigious performing arts high school that turned out Grammy Award winners Boyz II Men hit a sour note in October -- when he was accused of passing out fake grades for a concocted history class. John Dunphy Jr., who was named principal of Philadelphia’s High School for the Creative and Performing Arts in July, was removed by the district in October for allegedly creating a phony world history course and then doling out fake grades to 18 juniors at the school, the Philadelphia Daily News reports." (04/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nadxhbo  

No Comments »

A cubicle of one’s own

April 18, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Chris Lehmann  

"It’s odd to come to the end of a sprightly historical tour of the vexed, overplanned world of the modern workplace and realize that the emerging trends are represented by, well, you. Let me explain. In Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace, Nikil Saval plumbs the management theories and competing design philosophies that produced, in high modernism’s mid-20th century heyday, the arid, soul-crushing, dubiously efficient built environment known as the information workplace. Saval, an editor with n+1, speculates that the lovingly choreographed cubicle-and-corridor organization of work may be consigned to history’s dustbin by today’s knowledge workers. " (04/17/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/16562/a_cubicle_of_ones_own  

No Comments »

Hagel: “Non-lethal” military aid for Ukraine

April 18, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"The United States will send helmets, medical supplies and other non-lethal military aid to Ukraine amid fears of another Russian incursion there, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday. Hagel said he had informed Kiev that President Barack Obama 'has approved additional non-lethal military assistance for health and welfare items and other supplies.' The aid includes medical supplies, helmets, sleeping mats and water purification units for Ukrainian troops, as well as shelters, small power generators and hand fuel pumps for Ukraine’s border security force. But it does not appear to contain any combat equipment, such as bulletproof vests or night-vision goggles." (04/17/24)

http://tinyurl.com/p5almql  

No Comments »

Judging Obama’s “evolution” on marriage equality

April 18, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"Years from now, Barack Obama will almost certainly be seen as the most significant American president in the history of the gay rights movement. Under his watch, the military ended its policy of discrimination against gay service-members, the Defense of Marriage Act was abandoned by the administration and then overturned by the Supreme Court, and a majority of Americans came to embrace marriage equality -- not least, the president himself. But there's another way to look at that story, which is that on marriage, at least, Obama had to be dragged to the position he eventually took." (04/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oulzeg7  

No Comments »

WI: New law curbs private custody transfers of children

April 17, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Wisconsin has adopted a law to limit private custody transfers of children, the first law of its kind in the United States, responding to a Reuters investigation that exposed the dangers of the unregulated practice. Reuters reported in September that parents were transferring custody of their unwanted adopted children to strangers met on the Internet, often with no government oversight and sometimes illegally. No state or federal laws specifically prohibit the practice, which is known as 're-homing.' And state laws that restrict the advertising and custody transfers of children are often confusing, and rarely spell out criminal sanctions." [editor's note: Because of course, bureaucrats know more than parents about where children belong - TLK] (04/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p9axpvo  

1 Comment »

District of compensation, just and otherwise

April 17, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"Pete Stark's name didn't come up Tuesday night at the Castro Valley Library candidates forum for the congressional district Stark represented from 1972 to 2012. The fact that nobody seemed to miss Stark should serve as a warning to politicians who think they own their seats. So thought Stark, until Democrat Eric Swalwell knocked him off his perch in 2012, thanks in part to California's top-two primary election." (04/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/phdupgu  

No Comments »

CA: Brown plans changes to stabilize state rainy-day fund

April 17, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"Saying the state's budget surplus should be used to pay down debt, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday called a special session of the Legislature to make changes to a rainy-day fund measure on the November ballot. He wants to replace the current ballot measure, which seeks to divert more state revenue into the rainy-day fund and make it harder to tap the money except in case of emergencies such as wildfires or earthquakes. Instead, Brown wants a new constitutional amendment that will focus on stabilizing the fund and allow future governors and legislatures more flexibility in using it." (04/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/npkoewz  

No Comments »

Cuomo’s wedge

April 17, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Harold Meyerson  

"On Monday, Mary Fallin, Oklahoma’s Republican governor, signed legislation forbidding her state’s cities from enacting ordinances that set their own minimum wage standards or that entitle workers to paid sick days. Even in hard-right Oklahoma, citizens were collecting signatures to put initiatives raising the minimum wage and mandating sick-day on the Oklahoma City ballot. Fallin has now put an unceremonious end to such egalitarian frippery. As an increasing number of cities have considered setting their minimum wages higher than those of their states, conservatives in state government have moved to strip them of that power." (04/16/14)

http://prospect.org/article/cuomos-wedge  

No Comments »

Study: Internet makes global economy vulnerable to crash

April 17, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"The global economy is entering phase of heightened vulnerability to digital disruption -- a threat likened to the US mortgage crisis, which was largely hidden until its dramatic collapse in 2008, a new report warns. The report suggests larger dangers are lurking beyond headlines of cyber-espionage, crime, and cyber-weapons development. For one, the fast-rising dependence on outsourcing key operations to cloud Internet Service Providers could result in cascading problems that cause a far broader or longer-lasting crash." (04/16/

http://tinyurl.com/npkwlq9  

No Comments »

How should Obama respond to Putin’s Ukraine provocations?

April 17, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Bob Dreyfuss  

"Unless you’re deaf, dumb and blind, it’s obvious that Vladimir Putin, Russia’s obstreperous president, is running a major covert operation in eastern Ukraine, including the dispatch of a limited number of Russian special forces and support for pro-Russian militias there. It isn’t quite clear yet whether Putin is (a) preparing the ground for a Crimea-style takeover of part or all of Ukraine (unlikely), (b) trying to destabilize Ukraine so that it, and its Western allies, agree to the radical decentralization and federalization plan that Russia has demanded, or (c) making it clear that Ukraine ought not to link its political and economic future with the West, or else. But whichever it is, it’s a dangerous game. So how should President Obama respond?" (04/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pnwzeyb  

No Comments »

College Board announces changes to SAT

April 17, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"Getting into college in the United States will no longer hinge so much on a high school student’s grasp of arcane vocabulary or obtuse mathematical formulas. Changes to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) unveiled Wednesday are intended to breathe new vigor into the 88-year-old college entrance exam at a time when some critics are challenging its value. 'The changes to the SAT will distinguish it from any current admission exam,' said the College Board, the New York-based non-profit that oversees the test." (04/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pcgq7eo  

No Comments »

Can Scott Walker be defeated?

April 17, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Roger Bybee  

"Three years ago, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker first dropped what he called a 'bomb,' one that suddenly and swiftly decimated the union rights of public employees. Walker’s legislation, Act 10, ignited outrage from unions and their allies, fueling a massive effort to recall the governor, which came to fruition with a recall vote in June 2012. Walker prevailed in the recall, but the process left behind a resentful segment of the public. Today, the fight against Walker and his anti-worker policies is picking up steam with an electoral challenge from Democratic businesswoman Mary Burke, and a labor campaign to support Burke and highlight Wisconsin workers’ lagging wages." (04/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pj9r83y  

No Comments »

Report: New oral drug can stop measles infection

April 17, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"Measles -- the virus once thought to be eradicated in many developed countries -- is on the rise once again. Although the MMR vaccine has significantly reduced measles cases around the world, many people still remain unvaccinated -- leading to an increase of sporadic outbreaks of this highly infectious virus in densely populated areas. In an attempt to help quell these measles surges, researchers from Georgia State University and the Paul-Ehrlich Institute in Langen, Germany have created an oral drug termed ERDRP-0519 that can block a measles-like virus in ferrets." (04/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nvf5bmh  

1 Comment »

Populism? Where are the pitchforks?

April 17, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Robert L. Borosage  

"Americans are in a surly mood, confronting rules they feel are rigged against them. President Barack Obama captured this populist temper in his re-election campaign. He then launched his second term declaring that inequality is the 'most pressing challenge of our time,' and laying out a popular agenda to raise the federal minimum wage, provide pay equity for women, establish universal pre-school and other initiatives that polls show the public strongly supports. Republican obstruction has blocked progress on all these ... Yet it is the president’s popularity that has cratered." [editor's note: Could that have anything to with Obombya having campaigned on "hope," "open doors" and "new ideas"? Nobody sane ever expected the GOPers to make such changes, but they believed it when BHO said he would! - SAT](04/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nk2nzt9  

No Comments »

India election: Voting starts on biggest polling day

April 17, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Indians are voting in the biggest day of the general election pitting the ruling Congress party against the main opposition BJP. Polling takes place in 121 seats in 12 states, including the key states of Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and West Bengal. The nine-phase vote began on 7 April and will conclude on 12 May. Votes will be counted on 16 May. More than 814 million Indians are eligible to vote in the polls." (04/16/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-27045770  

No Comments »

Teacher evaluations: Education “reform”’s biggest bust?

April 17, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"Would you like your job performance judged by a 5-year-old? That’s a relevant question for public school teachers in Hawaii, where the state’s new teacher evaluation system attributes 10 percent of their job performance rating on what children as young as 5 years old think. Although 10 percent may not seem like a whole lot, in a metric based evaluation system where harsh judgments of 'effective' versus 'needs improvement' can swing either way based on a point or two, 100 percent can be 100 percent of the reason for a bad grade." (04/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/omk4rcf  

No Comments »

Our Sponsors

Making a living off your Drupal site?

Drupal Managed Hosting

Fed up with Maintenance and Hosting companies?





HEALTH-OF-THE-STATE-O-METER

Iraq Deaths Estimator

US Deaths in Afghanistan: Obama vs Bush. Click here to learn more.