Author Archive

How disability law went nuts

July 28, 2015
posted by

James Bovard USA Today
by James Bovard  

"Good intentions are no excuse for perpetual legal chaos. The Americans with Disabilities Act promised a bright new era of equality and freedom. Instead, it has spawned endless lawsuits and absurd federal decrees while harming some of the people it sought to relieve. The 1990 ADA defined disability as 'a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities' -- a far broader definition that what previously prevailed in the statute book. In 2008, Congress vastly expanded that definition to include people with diabetes, depression, heart disease, or cancer, as well as people who have significant troubles standing, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, thinking and communicating." (07/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nj2trwt  

No Comments »

Real nightmare for Republicans: Third-party Trump

July 28, 2015
posted by

John Nichols The Nation
by John Nichols  

"It is no easy task to chair a political party that is in opposition. Even when the chair of the national committee of one of the two major parties navigates the partisans into position to elect a president (as did DNC chair Paul Butler did in the turbulent 1950s, RNC chair Ray Bliss after the 1964 defeat of Barry Goldwater, and DNC chair Howard Dean with his 50-state strategy) credit invariably goes to the winning candidate. But people who understand politics know that party chairs are the ones who must keep things together in order for presidential nominees to win November elections. Reince Priebus understands politics." [editor's note: I'd call this a "real nightmare" for anyone without a certain warped sense of humor! - SAT] (07/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q8xqk6b  

No Comments »

Cultures of impunity

July 28, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Paul Starr  

"It is sometimes hard for us to recognize problems in our own society that we can readily identify abroad. International human-rights and anti-corruption reformers talk about 'cultures of impunity' in Third World countries where murder, the looting of economic resources, and other crimes by the powerful regularly go unpunished. The police, high government officials, and their cronies in the private sector not only abuse their power; they do so knowing that they will never be held to account and that their victims know that, too. ... One of the themes running through our own recent history is that cultures of impunity are also an American problem." (07/24/15)

http://prospect.org/article/cultures-impunity  

No Comments »

Donald Trump a superhero, but not in a good way

July 28, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Neal Gabler  

"Hovering above all the brouhaha about Donald Trump’s bizarre presidential candidacy floats one critical question: Are we an electorate or are we an audience? Trump has bet on the latter, while his competitors, even one like Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has positions close to Trump on many issues, bet on the former. Trump has received a lot of opprobrium for his antics, but it isn’t clear that he is wrong. Even if much of the establishment and leading political analysts have already rendered their verdicts." (07/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qe5d2x5  

No Comments »

Koch-backed political group struggles in conservative Alaska

July 27, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"When it comes to influencing politics, few billionaires are more effective than the industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch. Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the nonprofit organization they founded and continue to support, achieved a 95 percent success rate in the 2014 election races where it spent money. But in Alaska, a state that could be pivotal in the 2016 elections, the group’s reception has been surprisingly chilly. ... The conservative AFP’s message of free markets and limited government, along with its strong support for oil industry interests, resonates here. But the same independent spirit that defines Alaskans also makes them bristle at attempts by outsiders to shape their thinking, political analysts say, and the Kochs are viewed as outsiders here by many Democrats and Republicans alike." (07/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/olsklfw  

No Comments »

Study: Cannabis can help treat opioid addiction

July 27, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"Researchers believe that smoking marijuana could help rehab patients to kick their painkiller addiction. A Columbia University study published earlier this month took a group of 60 patients dependent on opiates and placed them in a clinic to detoxify. 32 percent of the patients were given 30 milligrams daily of dronabinol (a form of THC) during treatment, and was found to drastically reduce the severity of withdrawal, and patients were more likely to complete the 8-week program. A further analysis showed that the percentage of patients who smoked cannabis regularly during the outpatient phase also showed significantly lower ratings of bad health symptoms as well." [editor's note: Uh oh, it helps people kick drugs AND that means Big Pharma poisons? Shhh! - SAT] (07/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nnu5zn7  

No Comments »

Scandal and hypocrisy British-style: A tale of two speakers

July 27, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"British politicians are fond of holding up their gothic riverside parliament as a model of how democratic politics should be done, but two high-profile scandals have exposed hypocrisy at its core, placing its reputation in peril. In the first, John Sewel, a lord and the deputy speaker of the House of Lords, the upper chamber, was filmed snorting what The Sun on Sunday newspaper said was cocaine with two prostitutes. In the second, a freedom of information request showed that John Bercow, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, the House of Commons, had made a series of startling expenses claims that raised questions about his use of public funds. Hypocrisy appeared to loom large in both episodes." (07/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qzdwcsw  

No Comments »

Even if Sandra Bland did commit suicide …

July 27, 2015
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future Blog
by Dave Johnson  

"We don’t know what the evidence will show happened to Sandra Bland in that jail cell. It shouldn’t matter. Does it really matter if Sandra Bland committed suicide while in police custody or was murdered? Does a suicide under police watch in any way absolve the police of responsibility? Why was she in a jail cell in the first place, and why was she able to commit suicide in that cell? Look how she got there in the first place: A person is pulled over for changing lanes without first signaling, apparently thinking she was getting out of the way as a police car came speeding up behind her. The driver is threatened with a Taser, pushed to the ground, taken to jail. Would she have been pulled over if she was driving a Mercedes? Would she have been pulled over if her skin was a difference color? Most of us can safely bet the answer is no." [editor's note: I've been in an argument with some Facebookers about this issue; some folks just don't get it! - SAT] (07/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p78o3p5  

No Comments »

House leader rules out Senate version of highway bill

July 27, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Monday that the House will not consider the Senate version of a long-term, must-pass highway bill, setting up an apparent impasse as Congress faces a Friday deadline. The Senate's version of the highway bill, which is on track to pass later in the week, sets policy and authorizes transportation programs for six years, though with funding for only three of those years. The Senate also is moving toward reviving the federal Export-Import Bank and adding it to the bill." [editor's note: Ex-Im revival tacked onto a highway bill? Show me a more blatant example of abusing the legislative process - SAT] (07/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q6kyquk  

No Comments »

UK: Key suspect in Litvinenko inquiry “‘cannot testify”

July 27, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"A suspect in the inquiry into the death of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko has told the BBC he has not obtained permission to give evidence. UK officials believe Dmitry Kovtun and another man, Andrei Lugovoi, poisoned Mr Litvinenko in 2006, which they deny. Mr Kovtun had been due to appear by videolink from Moscow on Monday, but said he had been unable to get permission from Russian authorities. Mr Litvinenko's family lawyer said it seemed the case was being manipulated. Sir Robert Owen, the chair of the inquiry, gave Mr Kovtun a deadline of 09:00 BST on Tuesday to begin giving evidence." (07/27/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-33674469  

No Comments »

Boston out as US bid city to host 2024 Olympics

July 27, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Boston will not vie for the 2024 Olympics, a decision ends the beleaguered bid after seven months in which it struggled to gain support. According to a press release, U.S. Olympic Committee and Boston 2024 organizers said they jointly decided to end the bid. The decision came hours after Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that he could not support the city’s bid of the 2024 Olympic Games if that meant signing a host city contract now, as he has been asked to do by the USOC." [editor's note: Sanity prevails - SAT] (07/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qe5d2x5  

No Comments »

What Flint, MI & Salem, MA have in common

July 27, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Daniel Hertz  

"Once upon a time, there was a town. For a while, it existed more or less peacefully. But one day, the residents of an outlying neighborhood decided to secede. Their prospects for economic growth depended on acquiring more land and establishing their own government to look out for their interests. The campaign for suburbanization made many townspeople angry. Finally, a few secessionists accused several secession opponents of being tools of Satan and, after a series of show trials, condemned them to death by hanging or being crushed under rocks. Perhaps the only way to make a witch trial dull is to frame it as a dispute over municipal boundaries, but the historical evidence suggests that just such a dispute was a key part of the context in Salem, Mass., 300 years ago." (07/27/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18162/under-the-wrecking-ball  

No Comments »

Clinton denies sending classified information from private email server

July 27, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Hillary Clinton told reporters Saturday that she never sent or received classified information using her private e-mail server when she served as secretary of state, and that the facts on the issue 'are pretty clear.' The Democratic presidential hopeful spoke briefly about the growing controversy surrounding her use of the server after a Democratic gathering at the Madison County Historical Complex in Iowa. Reporters raised the issue during a news conference that followed the event." (07/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nj5xodd  

No Comments »

Bobby Jindal’s opiate for the masses

July 27, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jamil Smith  

"Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, back in late January, hosted a prayer rally on the LSU campus. There was a considerable amount of scrutiny on the event, entitled 'The Response: A Call To Prayer For a Nation In Crisis,' due to the anti-gay, anti-abortion dominion theologians who organized and paid for it. The event’s leaders insisted that it wasn’t about elevating elected officials or candidates. Jindal, in inviting the 49 other governors to the event, bought into the organizers’ 'non-political' framework. In the letter he wrote to every one of them, even those who aren’t Christian: 'There will only be one name lifted up that day: Jesus!' This was false." (07/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/no3jn5x  

No Comments »

New rule hurts US economy

July 27, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Debbie Hoffman  

"As bankers, financial experts and regulators sifted through the financial rubble in 2009, many came away with the conclusion that banks were under-capitalized, and lacked the equity to back up their assets. Last week, the Federal Reserve approved a rule requiring eight systemically important banks to hold additional capital. Its purpose is to retain financial stability in the United States in the event of a bank failure. But it may not be doing enough to facilitate lending and stimulate economic growth." (07/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/onugm2c  

No Comments »

Get ready for the next wave of education “reform”

July 27, 2015
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"Education activists are rejoicing that the latest versions of No Child Left Behind reauthorization coursing through Congress may give struggling schools a way to have more control over their own governance and destiny. NCLB originally mandated such unreal expectations on schools the vast majority of them would be branded 'failed.' New legislation, as currently written, would change that. Prominent education groups representing teachers and administrators like this turn of events and want bills from the House and the Senate to quickly proceed to conference. Should the onerous provisions imposed on schools by NCLB indeed be lifted, lots of struggling schools will breathe easier without the 'failed' brand looming over their buildings." (07/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ofvxzub  

No Comments »

Bringing labor rights back to Bangladesh

July 27, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert JS Ross  

"Two years after the April 24, 2013, collapse of the Rana Plaza building, Bangladesh has become a laboratory to test whether pressure from worldwide labor unions and NGOs in support of local unions and labor activists can improve life in the world’s sweatshops. The Rana Plaza disaster capped a series of fires and other fatal collapses in Bangladesh garment factories. Its death toll was at least 1,130. Another 2,500 workers or more were injured, many crippled for life and deeply traumatized. The survivors’ terrible stories include on-site amputations and workers being trapped underground for days. Some can no longer enter tall buildings without uncontrollable trembling and crying. One woman described attempting to go to work on 19 occasions but failing each time to overcome her anxiety. Thousands of livelihoods have been crushed." (07/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q7bcqmp  

No Comments »

Scotland: Second independence referendum “inevitable,” says Salmond

July 27, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"A second referendum on Scottish independence is inevitable, according to former first minister Alex Salmond. Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr programme, he said the question was over the timing which was 'in the hands of Nicola Sturgeon.' The SNP MP argued there were three things driving the issue forward. He said these were a failure to deliver on the so-called 'vow,' the possible outcome of the EU referendum and 'divergent views' over austerity cuts." (07/26/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-33668002  

No Comments »

FBI mined secrets from George McGovern’s past

July 27, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"On April 16, 1975, two FBI inspectors met with Sen. George McGovern in Washington. A month earlier, McGovern had written a letter to FBI Director Clarence Kelley asking for a copy of any file that the FBI kept on ... McGovern, according to an FBI account of the meeting, was agreeable to a compromise. There was a chance, he told the inspectors, that he might be on the national ticket in the next presidential race in 1976. He ... he wanted to be able to tell any potential running mate if the FBI possessed derogatory information about him. Specifically, he wanted to know if the FBI had information about a child he had fathered as a young man." (07/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qbpv3xy  

No Comments »

Other candidates saying things basically as crazy as Trump

July 26, 2015
posted by

David Sirota In These Times
by David Sirota  

"Since announcing his 2016 White House bid, Donald Trump has been the central focus of the campaign; by one estimate, he has garnered almost 40 percent of all election coverage on the network newscasts. Clearly, The Donald’s attempt to turn 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. into Trump White House has attracted so much attention because the candidate is seen as a Bulworthesque carnival barker who will say anything, no matter how hypocritical, factually unsubstantiated or absurd. Yet for all the hype he’s generated, Trump is not the only presidential hopeful willing to make utterly mind-boggling statements." (07/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qjt66cv  

No Comments »

New car seat reminds you not to leave kid in car

July 26, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"A new car seat with the potential to save lives is now available for purchase. The Evenflo Advanced Embrace with SensorSafe infant car seat, available at Wal-Mart, aims to cut down on the number of deaths resulting from children being left in hot cars. An average of 38 children die from being trapped inside cars every year, according to the nonprofit KidsAndCars.org. Many of these deaths occur when parents forget to drop their child off at daycare before work." (07/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o8geb2m  

No Comments »

Uber wins a battle with New York, now it’s war

July 26, 2015
posted by

Michelle Chen The Nation
by Michelle Chen  

"When New York Mayor Bill De Blasio talked of a Tale of Two Cities on the campaign trail, promising to address an epidemic of social inequality, he probably wasn’t expecting a viral app to drive a multibillion-dollar wedge through Gotham’s fault-lines of race and class. But now De Blasio and city lawmakers have been blindsided by Uber’s corporate surge, forced to stall an attempt to cap the company’s expansion. The City Council has reportedly shelved for at least four months a proposal to limit Uber’s rate of growth (that is, slowing, not stopping, the expansion) for an assessment of its environmental and traffic impacts. Now the smartphone ridesharing app that traditional cabbies deem an 'existential threat' will keep pouring thousands more cars and part-time drivers onto the streets, angling for digital ride-hailers." (07/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/obwjq5c  

No Comments »

Greece: Banks reopen, cash limits remain & taxes soar

July 26, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Greek banks reopened Monday for the first time in three weeks, but strict limits on cash withdrawals and higher taxes on everything from coffee to diapers meant the economic outlook for the recession-battered country was far from back to normal. There were hopeful developments: The cash-strapped nation got a short-term loan from European creditors to pay more than 6 billion euros ($6.5 billion) owed to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. Non-payment of either would have derailed Greece's latest bailout request. But for most Greeks, already buffeted by six years of recession, Monday was all about rising prices as tax hikes demanded by creditors took effect." (07/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p5hk27l  

No Comments »

NASA may use wind-powered robots to explore Jupiter surface

July 26, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Engineers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California are reportedly in the process of developing 'windbots' -- robotic probes that could stay aloft in the clouds of a distant world -- and these probes may eventually be used to explore Jupiter or other gas giants. According to Mashable and Engadget, the project would ideally remain aloft without the need for wings or hot-air balloons, and could be used to study planets where there is no solid surface to support a lander or rover. These theoretical spacecraft could investigate the atmospheres of Jupiter or Saturn while remaining airborne for a considerable amount of time." (07/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nj38clb  

No Comments »

Breaking down the legal issues in Sandra Bland’s arrest

July 24, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Helen Coster  

"On July 10 Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African-American woman, was pulled over by a state trooper in Prairie View, Texas, after allegedly failing to use a turn signal. The confrontation turned violent, and Bland was arrested and charged with assaulting an officer. She died three days later in her jail cell, after hanging herself. On Tuesday authorities in Texas released dashboard camera footage showing the arrest. The video shows how the traffic stop quickly escalated. After pulling Bland over, the state trooper, Brian Encinia, who is white, wrote up a ticket and returned to Bland’s car. He then asked Bland to put out her cigarette." [editor's note: This is a very good overview of your rights when a cop stops you, for ANY reason (hint: he has to begin by telling you why) - SAT] (07/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q5rlml7  

No Comments »

Our Sponsors



Making a living off your Drupal site?

Drupal Managed Hosting

Fed up with Maintenance and Hosting companies?