Author Archive

Chinese, Russian navies to hold joint drills in South China Sea

July 28, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"China says it is to hold joint military exercises with Russia in the South China Sea, amid heightened tensions over the disputed waters. The announcement follows a ruling by an international tribunal earlier this month that rejected China's claims in the region. The Chinese government has vowed to ignore the ruling. China's defence ministry said September's drills would be 'routine' and would not 'target any third party.' Spokesman Yang Yujun said the exercises would be carried out in the 'relevant sea and air of the South China Sea,' but did not give exact locations." (07/28/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36917084  

No Comments »

Report: Washingtonians spending as much on legal cannabis as on alcohol

July 28, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"Americans are now lighting up joints as much as they are cracking open beers, a new report finds. An analysis of Washington’s legal marijuana market has found that the typical male customer spends about $647 annually on cannabis products compared to an average of $645 a year on alcohol, reports Market Watch. The survey conducted by Headset, a marijuana sales tracking company, examined 40,000 consumers based in Washington and their expense trends at local dispensaries. Males are the overwhelming majority of pot buyers, who make up 70 percent of dispensary loyalty club members. While 36 percent of those members are between the ages of 21 and 29, male cannabis consumers are also becoming much older, as the average age of loyalty club members is 37." (07/27/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/07/27/americans-spend-as-much-money-on-legal-cannabis-as-alcohol  

No Comments »

After DNC hack, the case for paper ballots

July 28, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds  

"Somebody (probably, though not certainly, Vladimir Putin’s intelligence apparatus) has hacked the Democratic Committee's email servers and released some of what it found via the Wikileaks site. As Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith notes, this is something new: Although meddling in foreign elections is old stuff for intelligence agencies (including our own), this sort of email release is unprecedented. As disruptive as the DNC email release has been, there's room for something much worse: A foreign government could hack voting machines, shut down election computers, or delete or alter voter registration information, turning Election Day into a snarled mess and calling the results into question regardless of who wins. Worse yet, hackers are already working on this." [editor's note: Still a diversion from the real issue this time, but at least it's about privacy instead of foreign policy - SAT] (07/28/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/07/28/dnc-emails-wikileaks-paper-ballots-election-rigging-hack-russia-putin-column/87617928  

6 Comments »

Boeing considers ending 747 production

July 28, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Boeing has hinted it may be forced to end production of its iconic 747 jumbo jet amid a prolonged sales slump. 'If we are unable to obtain sufficient orders and/or market, production and other risks cannot be mitigated, ... it is reasonably possible that we could decide to end production of the 747,' Boeing said in a regulatory filing quoted by Reuters. With its signature hump that houses a second deck, Boeing’s 747 is perhaps the world’s most-recognizable jet -- and one that’s beloved by fliers." (07/28/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2016/07/28/boeing-considers-ending-747-production/87660254  

No Comments »

Is Vladimir Putin deliberately destabilizing US politics?

July 28, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Peter Apps  

"When WikiLeaks dumped tens of thousands of often embarrassing internal Democratic Party emails, it didn’t take long for the finger to be pointed at Moscow. In many ways, that should hardly be surprising. The distinctly idiosyncratic dynamic between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin has long been a topic of fascination for pundits. Some of the Republican presidential candidate’s approaches and statements (particularly questioning the U.S. commitment to NATO) are almost certainly appealing to Moscow. The Russian intelligence services have a largely deserved reputation for excellence when it comes to cyber-spying, not to mention dirty political tricks. And, perhaps most importantly of all, a growing number of Western officials and security experts are increasingly convinced that Russia is doing everything it can to politically destabilize the West. Getting through the smoke and mirrors to work out to what extent that is actually happening, however, is another matter entirely." (07/28/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-putin-politics-commentary-idUSKCN1072WE  

1 Comment »

Repent in prison, Leslie Van Houten

July 28, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"'If the word 'Manson' was not attached to Leslie, she would have been out 20 years ago,' attorney Richard Pfeiffer told me about his client, convicted Manson 'family' killer Leslie Van Houten, who is serving a life sentence for her role in two 1969 murders. On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown reversed a parole board recommendation to parole Van Houten, 66, because she is remorseful, has accepted responsibility for her crimes and no longer poses a danger to society. 'As our Supreme Court has acknowledged,' Brown wrote, 'in rare circumstances a crime is so atrocious that it provides evidence of current dangerousness by itself.'" (07/28/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/07/28/repent-in-prison-leslie-van-houten-n2198965  

3 Comments »

FDA orders blood collection halt in Florida counties amid Zika probe

July 28, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ordered all blood collection centers in Florida's Miami-Dade and Broward counties to stop collecting blood as state health department officials continue to investigate four possible cases of local transmission of the Zika virus. In a statement posted on its website on Wednesday, the FDA said blood centers should stop collecting blood in the two counties until they can implement testing for the Zika virus in each unit of blood collected, or until they can put in place technology that can kill pathogens in collected blood. The FDA also recommends that nearby counties implement the same measures to maintain the safety of the U.S. blood supply." (07/28/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/07/fda-takes-steps-to-protect-blood-supply-in-florida-amid-zika-probe  

No Comments »

The science behind Hillary Clinton’s trust deficit

July 28, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by David Rand & Jillian Jordan  

"Large swaths of the American public want Donald J. Trump to be their president – maybe even a majority, according to an analysis from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight in late July. Many people (Democrats and Republicans alike) find this shocking. Trump made his name as the 'You’re fired' guy. He has never held political office, has arguably failed to generate concrete or realistic policy proposals, regularly changes his positions on issues and consistently gets the facts wrong. This stands in sharp contrast to Hillary Clinton, who has served as secretary of state, senator from New York and first lady of the United States. In his endorsement of her, Barack Obama described Clinton as the most qualified presidential nominee in U.S. history. Presumably experience with, and knowledge of, the system and issues are qualities that make for a good president; so why is this race even close? Research, including new work from our Human Cooperation Laboratory at Yale, suggests Trump may be successful precisely because of his hotheadedness and lack of carefully thought-out proposals. Being seen as uncalculating can make people trust you." (07/28/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/135569/science-behind-hillary-clintons-trust-deficit  

1 Comment »

New discovery: Ants that look like the dragons in “Game of Thrones”

July 28, 2016
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Sometimes reality is more imaginative than fiction. Itty-bitty versions of two of Daenerys Targaryen's dragons actually exist outside of the 'Game of Thrones' TV series in a more mundane form: They're ants. With spikes poking up from their backs, the scientists thought the insects resembled the TV dragons, so the two new species have been dubbed Pheidole drogon and Pheidole viserion in a paper published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE. But these spines aren't just dragon-like. What's inside them might dramatically change what scientists think they're for." (07/28/16)

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0727/Stranger-than-fiction-ants-that-look-like-the-dragons-in-Game-of-Thrones  

No Comments »

Hillary Clinton’s one-percent dilemma gets more awkward

July 28, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Gina Chon  

"Hillary Clinton’s 1 percent dilemma just got more awkward. Progressive Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts kicked off the Democratic convention on Monday in Philadelphia blasting the rich. With inequality atop the party platform, they told a cheering crowd that they expect the former secretary of state to rein in millionaires. Yet, they are her biggest donors." (07/26/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/07/26/hillary-clintons-1-pct-dilemma-gets-more-awkward  

No Comments »

New threat in fight against overdoses: Elephant sedative

July 28, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A drug used to sedate elephants and other large animals, 100 times as potent as the fentanyl already escalating the country's heroin troubles, is suspected in spates of overdoses in several states, where authorities say they've found it mixed with or passed off as heroin. The appearance of carfentanil, one of the most potent opioids known to investigators, adds another twist to the fight against opioid painkillers in a country already awash in heroin and fentanyl cases. 'It certainly is a very disturbing trend,' Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. A man suspected of selling carfentanil as heroin was indicted this week in central Ohio on 20 counts, including murder, in connection with a July 10 death and nine other overdoses that happened within hours of one another. Some of the surviving users told investigators they thought they were buying heroin, but testing found none," [editor's note: Seems like this threat is not so "new;" anyone remember back when they mistakenly labeled PCP as "elephant tranquilizers"? - SAT] (07/28/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/07/28/new-threat-in-fight-against-overdoses-elephant-sedative.html  

No Comments »

A turn in European terror

July 28, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Arthur Goldhammer  

"Terror attacks in Europe have taken an ominous new turn. On July 26, while America was distracted by the nomination of Hillary Clinton and the continuing disgruntlement of the Bernie-or-Bust faction, terror in Europe took an ominous new turn. An 85-year-old Catholic priest was murdered in front of his altar and members of his congregation by two young terrorists whom ISIS immediately claimed as its 'soldiers.' One of the attackers, 18-year-old Adel Kermiche, had reportedly attempted on two occasions to join ISIS forces in Syria, for which he was arrested and placed under electronic surveillance by French security forces. Why his electronic bracelet failed to prevent the attack will surely be a matter of great concern to investigators." (07/27/16)

http://prospect.org/article/turn-european-terror  

No Comments »

The DNC is one big corporate bribe

July 28, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by David Dayen  

"To get to the Democratic National Convention, you take the subway to the AT&T Station and walk to the Wells Fargo Center. Along the way, you’ll stroll by the Comcast Xfinity Live complex, where delegates and honored guests can booze it up. You’ll also see the 'Cars Move America' exhibit, an actual showroom sponsored by Ford, GM, Toyota, and others. Finally, you’ll reach your seat and watch Democrats explain why we have to reduce the power of big corporations in America. Party conventions have always been collection points for big money. But many major corporations sat out last week’s Republican gathering for fear of Trump contamination. There’s no such reticence here in Philadelphia; in fact, it feels like they’re making up for that lack of investment." [editor's note: Given how obvious this all is, I continue to chuckle at the "progressive" Dems who think their party will change things - SAT] (07/27/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/135564/dnc-one-big-corporate-bribe  

No Comments »

Will this be the year Latino votes make the difference?

July 28, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Andres Martinez  

"You could have made a successful career in American politics warning, or promising, that the Latino vote is about to become the deciding factor in presidential elections. For decades. In the aftermath of the 2012 race the Republican Party establishment itself highlighted the importance of Latino voters. Bemoaning the fact that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney received only 27 percent of the Latino vote, an autopsy by the party of its defeat noted that by 2050 nearly 30 percent of all Americans will be of Hispanic origin. This made the party’s inability to connect with Latino voters all the more alarming: 'If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence.'" (07/27/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-election-voters-latino-commentary-idUSKCN1062O9  

No Comments »

In Brazil, a pre-Olympics folly

July 27, 2016
posted by

Sam Pizzigati Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati  

"Hardly anything about the Olympic dream these days is feeling particularly dreamy. The Rio de Janeiro games, some are charging, have already turned into 'a large-scale catastrophe,' with everything from massive evictions and expenditures billions over budget to doping scandals and degraded environments. Have the Olympics become, asks veteran sportswriter Sally Jenkins, anything more than 'an unwieldy cash-and-corruption-engorged monster that descends on the host country with a ravenous maw and leaves a swath of human and economic casualties in its wake'? My, how things have changed since 2009, the year Rio celebrated winning the hosting rights for this summer’s games. The 2016 Olympics, Brazil’s proud leaders figured, would amount to a spectacular 'coming out party' for the world’s newest economic powerhouse." (07/27/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160727/in-brazil-a-pre-olympics-folly  

No Comments »

IRS looking into Clinton Foundation “pay-to-play” claims

July 27, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"The IRS confirmed in a letter it is looking into claims of 'pay-to-play' practices at the Clinton Foundation, after dozens of Republican lawmakers requested a review of potential 'criminal conduct' at the organization founded by the family at the center of this week's Democratic National Convention. Commissioner John Koskinen wrote in a July 22 letter to Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn that the issue has been 'forwarded' to the IRS 'Exempt Organizations Examinations' program in Dallas. 'This program considers all referrals and will send you a separate acknowledgement letter when it receives your information,' he wrote, in a letter first reported by The Daily Caller." [editor's note: I'm all for actually investigating the Clintons, but this story is a bait and switch. The IRS response specifically says that there will be no comment whatsoever on what actions may or may not be being taken; all it is is a "we received your letter and forwarded it to the relevant department" response - TLK] (07/27/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/07/27/irs-reviewing-clinton-foundation-pay-to-play-claims.html  

No Comments »

Scientists find potential new antibiotic, right under their noses

July 27, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Scientists in Germany have discovered a bacteria hiding out in peoples’ noses that produces an antibiotic compound that can kill several dangerous pathogens, including the superbug MRSA. The early-stage finding, reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday, could one day lead to a whole new class of antibiotic medicines being developed to fight drug-resistant bacterial infections, the researchers said. As well as being a focal point for many viral infections, the nasal cavity is also a rich ecosystem of 50 or so different species of bacteria, lead researcher Andreas Peschel of the University of Tuebingen told reporters in a telephone briefing." [editor's note: No, I was NOT picking my nose; I was harvesting antibiotics! - SAT] (07/27/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/07/scientists-find-potential-new-antibiotic-right-under-their-noses  

No Comments »

Hillary haters’ fixation on Saul Alinsky

July 27, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Peter Dreier  

"Forty-seven years after she graduated from Wellesley College, Hillary Clinton is still having to defend her senior thesis. That’s because right-wing activists and their media allies are assailing Clinton’s research paper on Saul Alinsky, a key figure in the world of community organizing whom conservatives have labeled a dangerous radical and a diabolical influence on both Barack Obama and Clinton. Ben Carson kicked off the Saul Alinsky hatefest on the second night of this year’s Republican convention in Cleveland, declaring during his primetime speech: 'Now, one of the things that I have learned about Hillary Clinton is that one of her heroes, her mentors, was Saul Alinsky. And her senior thesis was about Saul Alinsky. This was someone she greatly admired and let me tell you something about Saul Alinsky.'" [editor's note: I feel so righteous; my "senior thesis" was on "The Ethics of Individualism" - SAT] (07/26/16)

http://prospect.org/article/hillary-haters%E2%80%99-fixation-saul-alinsky  

No Comments »

States move to keep noncompete agreements from shackling workers to jobs

July 27, 2016
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Brian Connolly had his career sidelined in the aftermath of the Great Recession, but not for the reason you think. A veteran of the medical devices industry, with degrees in physics and computer engineering, Mr. Connolly’s skills and experience are valuable in Boston’s bustling biotechnology sector. 'In 2008 I joined a startup,' he says. 'By 2010, the funding went south and they laid off everyone' but the founders. He was soon in discussions for a position at another company. But in looking over his employment contract, he found a clause prohibiting him from working in his area of expertise (medical device development) for at least a year. Both an employment lawyer and the new company’s recruiters advised him not to take the new position." [editor's note: An agreement like this should become null and void if the company goes belly-up! - SAT] (07/27/16)

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2016/0727/States-move-to-keep-noncompete-agreements-from-shackling-workers-to-jobs  

3 Comments »

Syria: Fighters battling Islamic State gather trove of documents

July 27, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"U.S.-backed forces fighting to drive Islamic State out of northern Syria have gathered a massive trove of documents and data belonging to the militant group, potentially shedding more light on its operations, a U.S. military official said on Wednesday. The material, gathered as fighters moved from village to village surrounding the town of Manbij, includes notebooks, laptops, USB drives, and even advanced math and science textbooks rewritten with pro-Islamic State word problems, Colonel Chris Garver, the U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said in a news briefing. The U.S.-backed fighters (an alliance of Kurdish and Arab forces) have gathered more than 4 terabytes of digital information, and the material, most of it in Arabic, is now being analyzed by the U.S-led coalition fighting the militant group." (07/27/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-islamic-state-idUSKCN107268  

No Comments »

Inside the corporate utopias: Capitalism [sic] rules, labor laws don’t apply

July 27, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Matt Kennard & Claire Provost  

"Under Cambodian law, the right to organize is supposed to be ironclad. No employer, government agent or citizen may impede union activity. Inside the walls of Cambodia’s largest special economic zones (SEZs), however, In These Times’ reporters saw a system designed to tightly control the workforce by keeping workers fenced in and unions out. More than a dozen workers and labor activists confirmed that, while it's not easy to independently organize anywhere in Cambodia, the law is flagrantly violated in SEZs. The result is seething discontent. Over the past 50 years, more than half of the world’s countries have carved out pieces of their territories to hand over to foreign investors as SEZs. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that more than 66 million people (most of them young migrant women) work in the world’s more than 3,000 SEZs." [editor's note: Those who would defend true free markets cannot possibly endorse this bastardization of the concept - SAT] (07/25/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/features/special-economic-zones-corporate-utopia-capitalism.html  

1 Comment »

Turkey coup attempt: Regime says nearly 9,000 soldiers joined plot

July 27, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Turkey says 8,651 members, or 1.5%, of the nation's armed forces took part in the failed coup on 15 July. Military officials also revealed that the plotters had 35 planes, 37 helicopters, 74 tanks and three ships. Meanwhile, detention warrants have been issued for 47 journalists as part of a crackdown that has already resulted in detentions of nearly 16,000 people. The government says US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the army-led attempted coup - a claim he denies." (07/27/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36906724  

No Comments »

Money, influence are here to stay

July 27, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by David Keating  

"Winston Churchill said, 'It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.' The leaked DNC emails shed light on some sausage making going on in campaigns. But is anyone surprised that fame, wealth or influence gets you access to top officials? The Obamas are much more likely to give an interview to USA TODAY than the Billings Gazette. Money and influence are never going to disappear from campaigns, and shouldn’t. Even if people couldn’t give to campaigns, big employers, big labor, celebrities and big media would all gain influence. Those with money would just find another way to influence government." [editor's note: As long as Congress & Co. can grant favorable treatment to the rich and powerful, votes will continue to be bought by some means - SAT] (07/26/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/07/26/dnc-emails-campaign-finance-center-for-competitive-politics-editorials-debates/87584546  

No Comments »

Groups sue over Navy’s plan for war games on Pacific islands

July 27, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Community members and an environmental group sued the U.S. Navy, the Department of Defense and the secretary of defense Wednesday over a plan to turn two Pacific islands into live-fire testing sites. The plan calls for using the islands of Tinian and Pagan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for military war games. Earthjustice attorneys, who are representing complainants including the Center for Biological Diversity and local community organizations, argue the training would disrupt Tinian communities and prevent Pagan's native people from returning to their home island, which was evacuated 35 years ago after a volcanic eruption. The groups filed the lawsuit in federal court in Saipan." (07/27/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/US-Navy-sued-over-live-fire-training-plan-in-8438503.php  

No Comments »

South Sudan: UN warns president over replacement of rival

July 27, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"The United Nations warned South Sudan's President Salva Kiir on Tuesday that any political appointments must be consistent with a peace deal that ended nearly two years of civil war after Kiir replaced his vice president and rival Riek Machar. Machar left the South Sudanese capital Juba earlier this month after an eruption of violence in the city when forces loyal to Kiir and Machar battled each other for several days with tanks, helicopters and other heavy weapons. An August peace agreement states that the vice president must be chosen by the South Sudan Armed Opposition. However, Kiir replaced Machar on Monday with General Tabal Deng Gai, a former chief opposition negotiator who has broken ranks with Machar. 'Any political appointments need to be consistent with the provisions outlined in the peace agreement,' U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters in New York on Tuesday." (07/26/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southsudan-security-un-idUSKCN1062F6?il=0  

No Comments »

Our Sponsors