Author Archive

Egypt: Regime tries 237 activists for protests against Sisi

May 2, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Egypt put on trial 237 activists arrested for protesting against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, judicial sources said on Saturday, the first court cases after demonstrations this month. Thousands angered by Sisi's decision to hand over two islands to Saudi Arabia called on April 15 for his government to fall in the largest demonstration since the former army general took office in 2014. Security forces dispersed a second protest. Security forces had arrested at least 382 people, Human Rights Watch said in a report this week. The 237 appeared in four courts in Cairo and Giza suburb charged with demonstrating without permits, the sources said. The sessions were adjourned. They face jail terms of up to three years if convicted. Sisi faces criticism for a government accord putting the uninhabited Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir in Saudi waters." (04/30/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-protests-trial-idUSKCN0XR0KJ  

No Comments »

Donald Trump crosses a border

May 2, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"Donald Trump had to squeeze through a hole in a fence to speak at the California Republican Convention on Friday. He said it felt like 'crossing the border.' Meanwhile, his supporters swaggered into the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport banquet hall as if they owned the place. Maybe they know something I don't, I shuddered. Before Trump's talk, I spoke with many party workhorses -- the folks who have sustained the GOP in challenging times. They tended to be skeptical of Trump's credentials as a Republican and of his chance of winning in November. Trump fans, for their part, were in their glory. Their faces glowed with the flush of expected triumph." (05/01/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/05/01/donald-trump-crosses-a-border-n2155899  

No Comments »

Who’s afraid of communism?

May 2, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Malcolm Harris  

"With the Berlin Wall barely a memory and Airbnb in Havana, American anti-communism is probably at its historical nadir. Bernie Sanders has proven the word 'socialism' doesn’t scare the next generation; a lot of us even seem to like the idea. ... During the April Democratic primary debate, the candidates were asked about NATO, and a curious thing happened. Donald Trump had called for European nations to contribute more to the organization’s budget; Bernie Sanders more or less agreed. But when it came her turn, Hillary Clinton praised NATO, calling it 'the most successful military alliance in probably human history.' Neither the moderators or Sanders pressed her on this point, but it’s a bizarre assertion, on par with some of Trump’s goofier statements." (04/29/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/133132/whos-afraid-communism  

No Comments »

The protest generation wants its education back

May 2, 2016
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"Protests in North Carolina against HB2, the state’s infamous 'bathroom law,' limiting protections for LGBT people, have made national headlines recently. But there’s another wave of protest actions going on in the Tarheel State you should know about. This movement is indicative of a national-level fight for education justice and civil rights throughout all of public education. In Chapel Hill some 100 people, mostly students, shut down a meeting of the state university system’s board of governors. The board chairman had to adjourn the meeting when about 20 protesters took over the agenda as soon as newly appointed systemwide President Margaret Spellings began to speak." (04/29/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160429/the-protest-generation-wants-its-education-back  

1 Comment »

Trump isn’t always wrong on foreign policy

May 1, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Michael Harris & Kenneth Garner  

"One of the more unusual topics of this very unusual election year has been the hitherto uncontroversial issue of the U.S. commitment to NATO. Last month, in his characteristically blunt fashion, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump slammed NATO for being 'obsolete.' This week, as he swept closer to the GOP nomination, he softened that to 'outdated' but repeated his call for changes -- including making allies pay more. Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders similarly has argued that the United States should scale back its NATO commitments. These ideas have drawn ferocious criticism from the defense and foreign policy establishments, including the Pentagon and former secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Victor Davis Hanson, a historian at the Hoover Institute, acknowledged the salience of Trump’s argument but then backflipped to argue for the organization’s continued relevance anyway." (04/28/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/04/28/trump-sanders-nato-obsolete-column/83654614  

No Comments »

HI: Woody Harrelson’s pot shop plans rejected

May 1, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"The games were not in his favor. Actor Woody Harrelson has lost a big-money bid to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Hawaii, according to a Hawaii Department of Health announcement Friday. The certified celeb-stoner Harrelson was one of 66 groups applying for a permit to open a retail store that dispenses marijuana products to residents of The Aloha State this year. However, a four-member state committee elected to dole out 16 coveted permits to sell pot did not list Harrelson’s Single Organic Living business as one of the winners, according to the Friday announcement. The state of Hawaii said it based its selection on the amount of points each applicant scored, and those scores will be made public in the next two weeks." (04/30/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/04/30/woody-harrelsons-hawaii-pot-shop-plans-rejected  

No Comments »

Exxon Mobil reaches bottom of the oil barrel

May 1, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Kevin Allison  

"Exxon Mobil has reached the bottom of the oil barrel. The U.S. energy goliath reported a 63 pct fall in first-quarter profit on Friday. Rivals Chevron and ConocoPhillips were hurting, too, as crude fell below $30 in January before investment cuts helped ease the excess supply and push up the price of oil. Recovery will be slow and patchy, but the worst is probably past. Cost cuts helped Exxon surprise Wall Street, but the $1.8 billion in net earnings was the company’s lowest quarterly sum since 1999. Chevron, meanwhile, reported its second consecutive loss as crude prices averaged about $34 a barrel from the start of the year through the end of March. And Conoco’s net loss of $1.5 billion was twice as big as Chevron’s. There are reasons to start thinking the only direction from here is up. Brent crude already has recovered from its January nadir to $48 a barrel. What’s more, unlike last year’s brief surge back above $60, this latest uptick has a better chance of sticking." (04/29/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/04/29/exxon-mobil-reaches-bottom-of-the-oil-barrel  

No Comments »

Kenya: Government forces burn tons of ivory tusks to protest (sic) poaching

May 1, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Kenya's president set fire Saturday to 105 tons of elephant ivory and more than 1 ton of rhino horn, believed to be the largest stockpile ever destroyed, in a dramatic statement by this East African country against the trade in ivory and products from endangered species. Uhuru Kenyatta put a flame to the biggest of 11 pyres of ivory tusks and one of rhino horn in a chilly afternoon. Overnight torrential rains had threated to ruin the event but stopped midday leaving a mud field around the piles inside Nairobi National Park. 'A time has come when we must take a stand and the stand is clear ... Kenya is making a statement that for us ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants,' Kenyatta said. The stacks of tusks represent more than 8,000 elephants and some 343 rhinos slaughtered for their ivory and horns, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service." (05/01/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/05/01/kenya-burns-tons-ivory-tusks-to-protest-poaching.html  

No Comments »

AL: Bentley sued over law banning city minimum wage boosts

May 1, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Civil rights groups and fast-food workers in Birmingham, Alabama, filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday claiming a state law that prohibits cities from instituting higher minimum wages is racially discriminatory. The lawsuit, which names Governor Robert Bentley and state Attorney General Luther Strange as defendants, says the legislation is tainted by “racial animus” and violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. The city council in Birmingham, where three quarters of the approximately 210,000 residents are black, had passed an ordinance raising the minimum wage from the federal rate of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. Within weeks of the council’s formal adoption of the law in February, the state legislature approved a bill precluding municipalities from passing their own minimum wage laws, thus voiding the Birmingham statute." (04/30/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/04/alabama-gov-bentley-sued-over-law-banning-cities-from-raising-minimum-wages  

No Comments »

Astronomers discover bizarre asteroid-like tailless comet

May 1, 2016
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Is it an asteroid-like comet? A comet-like asteroid? A space rock with a bit of a split personality, born near Earth, has found its way back home, according to a new study published on Friday in the journal Science Advances. 'If you’d shown me the spectrum, I would have just said this is another stupid asteroid,' said paper co-author Olivier Hainaut to Gizmodo. 'If you showed me the orbit, I’d say yeah, it’s a standard long-period comet. But you don’t at all expect to find a rocky asteroid on an Oort cloud orbit. That’s wrong.' The confusion comes from the juxtaposition of a rocky composition, typical of an asteroid that has never wandered further than Jupiter, with the flight plan of a comet from out beyond Neptune. Unlike asteroids, comets aren't solid rocks, they're made almost entirely of ice, with just a smattering of dust and maybe a few pebbles. This combination has never been seen before." (04/30/16)

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0430/Astronomers-discover-bizarre-asteroid-like-tailless-comet  

No Comments »

Democracy’s fascism problem

May 1, 2016
posted by

In These Times The New Republic
by Malcolm Harris  

"The usual Left-liberal critique of the European Union is that it’s basically okay, just with a ‘democracy deficit.’ Sometimes faces become symbols of the anonymous forces behind them. Was not the stupidly smiling face of Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem the symbol of the European Union’s brutal pressure on Greece? Recently, the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) -- the European cousin of the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- acquired a new symbol: the cold face of E.U. trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström, who responded to massive public opposition to TTIP this way: 'I do not take my mandate from the European people.' Now a third such symbol has emerged: Frans Timmermans, the first vice president of the European Commission, who, on Dec. 23, 2015, scolded the Polish government for adopting a new law that subordinates Poland’s constitutional court to the authority of government." [editor's note: Once again, the attempt to make a poor methodology for decisionmaking into an ideal to which to aspire ... never works - SAT] (04/29/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/133132/whos-afraid-communism  

No Comments »

Iraq: Shia protesters camp out after storming parliament

May 1, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Hundreds of supporters of a powerful Shia Muslim cleric remain camped outside Iraq's parliament, a day after they stormed it. Supporters of cleric Moqtada Sadr say they are angry at delays in approving a new, non-partisan government of technocrats. They broke into the secure Green Zone, home to embassies and government buildings, after weeks of protests. A state of emergency has been declared. Iraq's system of sharing government jobs has long been criticised for promoting unqualified candidates and encouraging corruption. The government is carefully balanced between party and religious loyalties, but the country ranks 161st of 168 on Transparency International's corruption perceptions index." (05/01/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36180184  

No Comments »

US Senate releases final sentencing reform bill

April 28, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"A revised criminal justice reform bill moved closer to a full U.S. Senate vote on Thursday when it gained support from more Republicans after being stalled for months in Congress. In a legacy-shaping issue for President Barack Obama, the measure's sponsors announced four new Republican co-sponsor senators and a new version of the bill at a press conference in the Senate. The measure now has 37 co-sponsors, according to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley. Grassley said he had been waiting for the bill to be finalized before asking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring it up for a full Senate vote, but that 'it is time for those discussions to start right now.'" (04/28/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-justice-reform-idUSKCN0XP2PI  

1 Comment »

CA: Appeals court upholds teacher tenure

April 28, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"The tenure laws that provide job security for 277,000 California schoolteachers, and a target for opponents who claim they shield incompetent instructors and victimize low-income and minority students, were upheld Thursday by a state appeals court. In a resounding victory for teachers unions, the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles overturned a judge’s June 2014 ruling that the state’s tenure and job-security rules violated the right of students to an equal education. The court said the plaintiffs (nine students backed by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur) had failed to show any connection between the laws they challenged and the harm that some students are suffering. Some teachers protected by tenure and seniority may turn out to be ineffective, but school officials (not the laws challenged in the suit) determine where those teachers are assigned and whom they teach, the court said." (04/28/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/Appeals-court-reversed-ruling-that-struck-down-7249494.php  

No Comments »

College too pricey? Wait till it’s “free”

April 28, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"As he panders for the youth vote, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders promises free tuition at public colleges and universities because, he says, 'a college degree is the new high school diploma.' Rival Hillary Clinton supports President Barack Obama's plan to make community college tuition-free -- that is, publicly funded. Beware, America: Imagine how expensive college tuition will be if Democrats somehow manage to make more of it 'free.' As for value, if Sanders has his way, you can expect the college degree to be the new high school diploma." [editor's note: Yep, and more functional illiterates who can't balance a "swipe card" descend on the world with degrees and entitlements - SAT] (04/28/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/04/28/is-college-too-pricey-wait-till-its-free-n2154762  

1 Comment »

German nuclear plant hit by computer viruses

April 28, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Computer viruses have infected PCs used at a German nuclear power plant. The viruses were found on office computers and in a system used to model the movement of nuclear fuel rods. Power firm RWE said the infection posed no threat to the plant because its control systems were not linked to the internet, so the viruses could not activate. German federal cyber investigators are now analysing how the Gundremmingen plant became infected. The viruses were found on the fuel rod modelling system and on 18 USB sticks used as removable data stores on office computers. Staff found the viruses as they prepared to upgrade the computerised control systems for the plant's Block B, which is currently not producing power while it undergoes scheduled maintenance." (04/28/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36158606  

No Comments »

WA: Judge rules Seattle trash inspections are unconstitutional

April 28, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A controversial Seattle ordinance that allowed city workers to inspect people's trash -- as part of an effort to stop residents from throwing food scraps in the wrong pile -- was ruled unconstitutional on Wednesday. King County Superior Court Judge Beth Andrus said sanitation works and other city collectors poking through everyday garbage violates privacy rights and voided the ordinance. 'I’m thrilled as can be,' Ethan Blevins, attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of eight Seattle residents, told The Seattle Times. He added, 'We have been vindicated.' The rule first went into effect last year, and was meant to compel residents to put food scraps in the same bins as yard waste, so all could be composted." [editor's note: The writers at CSI, NCIS, et al will not be happy to see this - SAT] (04/28/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/04/28/judge-rules-seattle-trash-inspections-unconstitutional.html  

No Comments »

The imaginary predator in America’s transgender bathroom war

April 28, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Alia E Dastagir  

"You have to pee. If you're like 99% of America, you look at pictograms, predictable gender binaries, to guide you toward the appropriate toilet. A person in pants on the left. A person in a dress on the right. If you're a woman, it's irrelevant that you have a vagina, are wearing jeans and can't recall the last time you donned a triangle dress to a dinner party. You know to hang a right, while men go left. The signage isn't literal, it reveals how our culture wants your gender to look. It reveals what door it wants you to walk through. The bathroom is a bastion of segregation. It's where we sort people." [editor's note: One big room, lots of stalls with doors & locks on inside, sinks on one wall, a trough on the other ... pick your spot, do your business and leave -- end of problem - SAT] (04/28/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/04/28/transgender-bathroom-bills-discrimination/32594395  

No Comments »

The next Chernobyl may be intentional

April 28, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Bennett Ramberg  

"Chernobyl’s 30th anniversary on April 26 comes against the backdrop of growing apprehension that nuclear reactors may become a terrorist target. Serious concern arose during the recent Islamic State attacks in Brussels. Evidence suggested that the assailants were considering a nuclear-related incident. The terrorists had a senior Belgian nuclear official under surveillance, and two former nuclear power-plant employees were reported to have joined Islamic State. This may help explain why Belgian authorities rushed military forces to protect its nuclear plants. The scare provided a reminder that nuclear reactors are radiological mines that terrorists could exploit. Destruction of a plant would mark a zenith of terrorist violence." (04/27/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/04/25/the-next-chernobyl-may-be-intentional  

No Comments »

Keyes: Obama “anti-black” for honoring Tubman with the twenty

April 28, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Failed presidential candidate Dr. Alan Keyes blasted Pat Buchanan for his racist rant excoriating the 'Obama administration’s' recent decision to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the new $20 bills. But that doesn’t mean that Keyes, who, while serving in the Reagan State Department, defended South Africa’s policy of apartheid, thinks that Tubman should be honored with the currency. He thinks that Obama is actively denigrating her with the honor. According to Keyes, Pat Buchanan is a “purblind wordling” who fails to understand the definition of “great.” ... But one of the criteria that Buchanan missed, according to Keyes, was that he failed to take into account that Tubman had no access to power; thus her ability to guide slaves to freedom makes her actions many times greater than actions conducted with the power of an army or the state that one might have." [editor's notye: SO how does this "denigrate" her? She just jumped another notch up in my book - SAT] (04/28/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/04/conservative-obama-is-anti-black-for-honoring-harriet-tubman-with-the-20-bill  

No Comments »

Does the First Amendment justify corruption?

April 28, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Brent Ferguson  

"A decade ago, if a politician had argued before the Supreme Court that he had a First Amendment right to trade political favors for a Rolex watch, his lawyers may have feared for their professional reputations. But that argument is one basis for ex-Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s appeal of his eleven-count corruption conviction in McDonnell v. United States, which the Court hears in oral arguments on Wednesday. The case demonstrates how the First Amendment has begun to evolve from a tool to protect Americans with unpopular beliefs into a shield used by corporations and political donors to justify rules-free policymaking and electioneering." (04/27/16)

http://prospect.org/article/does-first-amendment-justify-corruption  

1 Comment »

Why Hillary Clinton should fear Donald Trump

April 28, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jeet Heer  

"With Hillary Clinton’s strong performance on Tuesday night, the Democratic primaries are effectively over. Barring an unforeseen catastrophe, Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. And it’s increasingly likely that her opponent will be Donald Trump, who won a clean sweep of five states on Tuesday and only seems to be getting stronger. Both parties must now gear themselves for a Clinton-Trump match-up in the fall. ... If winning the presidential election were all that mattered, Trump would be Clinton’s dream opponent. The Democratic front-runner struggles with poor approval ratings (55.6 percent unfavorable, according to Huffington Post’s aggregation of the polls), which means she needs to compete against someone who is even less popular than her. Trump fits that bill handsomely, standing at 63.6 percent unfavorability. Furthermore, Trump’s racism and misogyny are likely to motivate the very voters that Clinton most needs to attract: people of color, single women, and young people. " (04/27/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/133050/hillary-clinton-fear-donald-trump  

No Comments »

Greece: Athens finding vibrancy can revive before economy does

April 28, 2016
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"By almost every measure, Athens is a city of deprivation. Rates of homelessness, poverty, bankruptcy (even suicide) have steadily increased across the Greek capital since the country needed its first bailout in 2010. But as storefronts shuttered and those Greeks who could left for opportunity abroad, Greek architect Haris Biskos returned home. He describes a scene in 2012 of physical deterioration. 'You walked around the city and saw total emptiness. Nothing was happening in the public space,' says Mr. Biskos. 'As an architect it is nice to have a new challenge, Greece was in that moment.' Today, he says, from his sunny, central office with dirt-cheap rent: 'It’s an exciting time to be in Athens.'" (04/28/16)

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2016/0428/Athens-finds-vibrancy-can-revive-before-economy-does  

No Comments »

Warning: TPP rearing its ugly head

April 28, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) went dormant in Congress after election season began. It became clear that the public despises our country’s corporate-dominated 'trade deals' that let companies just lay people off and close factories here to take advantage of conditions in countries that allow people and the environment to be exploited. Candidates who could sense which way the wind was blowing told voters they oppose TPP, and Congress dropped it -- for now. But now people who follow these things are hearing more and more talk behind the scenes that indicate corporate America is going to try to push TPP through in the 'lame duck' Congressional session after the elections. This is a session in which the old Congress consisting of the ones who might have gotten voted out minus new ones who just got voted in, and the re-elected incumbents who won’t be up for re-election for two more years can sneak things past the public with little or no accountability.(04/26/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160426/warning-tpp-rearing-its-ugly-head  

No Comments »

AL: City makes bathroom access by gender identity a crime

April 28, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"An Alabama city appears to be the first in the country to specify criminal penalties for violators of an ordinance requiring people to use bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates, civil rights groups said on Wednesday. The law passed on Tuesday by the city council in Oxford, located about 60 miles east of Birmingham, carries a possible punishment of a $500 fine or six months in jail. The measure raises the stakes in the U.S. bathroom wars that have caused fierce debate among state lawmakers, school officials and Republican presidential candidates. It goes further than a law enacted last month in North Carolina ... North Carolina's law applies to restrooms and locker rooms in government-owned facilities and schools. The Oxford ordinance also includes bathrooms in private businesses and explicitly makes violating the provision a crime, the Human Rights Campaign said." (04/27/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-alabama-lgbt-idUSKCN0XO2H6  

No Comments »

Our Sponsors