Author Archive

The truth is, you’ve never had the “right to be forgotten”

July 17, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Jack Shafer  

"A recent ruling by Europe’s top court has given its people a 'right to be forgotten.' Google and other search engines must now delete 'inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant, or excessive' information from search queries when a European individual requests it, even when the info is true. This isn’t a classic case of censorship: the 'offending' pages produced by newspapers and other websites will go untouched. Google and the other search engines just won’t be allowed to link to them." (07/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p37ht7z  

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Federal judge: California death penalty unconstitutional

July 17, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"A federal judge declared California's death penalty unconstitutional Wednesday, saying delays of 25 years or more in deciding appeals and carrying out occasional executions have created an arbitrary and irrational system that serves no legitimate purpose. For most of the 748 current Death Row inmates, 'systemic delay has made their execution so unlikely that the death sentence carefully and deliberately imposed by the jury has been quietly transformed into one no rational jury or legislature cold ever impose: life in prison, with the remote possibility of death,' said U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney of Santa Ana." (07/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/no4fxmz  

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Congressional staff finds 40 minutes of poor in America exhausting

July 17, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Emily DiVito  

"Working in Congress might be hard -- but being poor is so much harder. That’s the lesson several members of Congress and congressional staff members were able to learn in a poverty simulation held on Capitol Hill Tuesday, put together by Catholic Charities USA with the support of the Entergy Corporation. Catholic Charities has done these simulations elsewhere to give people insight into the total stress, confusion, and backbreaking toughness of being poor in America. With Congress responsible for dictating the legislation that can help, or hurt, poor and working families, this experience could not come at a better time. At the start of the event, about 50 participants took on different identities and were told of their financial and familial circumstances before being thrust into the difficulties of life below the poverty line. During the course of each of four 10-minute 'weeks,' they were responsible for paying rent, buying food, taking the children to school, and either working full-time jobs or applying to them." (07/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nb2s88q  

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CA: Drought-hit state to fine water wasters

July 17, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Officials in California have approved fines of up to $500 (£292) a day for residents who waste water, as the state faces its worst drought in nearly four decades. The measures have been introduced to stop water being wasted on lawns, landscaping and car washing. Water consumption rose by 1% in the year up to May, despite an appeal for people to make a 20% reduction. About 75% of water used in California is for agricultural purposes." (07/16/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-28323539  

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The neverending syndrome: From Vietnam to Iraq

July 17, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Joel Bleifuss  

"The disintegration of Iraq into warring ethnic and religious factions has become an occasion for the neocons to resume their campaign for endless empire. On June 17, on CNN, Paul Wolfowitz, Bush’s deputy secretary of defense and one of the architects of the Iraq War, said that if President Obama would only admit his mistakes in Iraq, 'the blame game would stop immediately.' But should it? Wars reverberate throughout history. A failure to remember how wars were started leaves the door open for similar misadventures in the future." (07/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nnk7yhf  

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Report: Military ramps up use of underwater drones

July 17, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"They can range from a svelte 100 pounds to several thousand. They can be snub-nosed, bullet shaped brutes that can dive six miles deep or buoyancy-propelled machines that can gracefully glide for several months at a time. And they can perform a myriad of tasks ranging from tracking pollution to mapping terrain for oil and gas exploration. They are autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), the aquatic answer to the airborne drones that track terrorists in Yemen and, if Amazon has its way, could be delivering DVDs and dog food to your back patio." (07/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/muudob8  

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#Not all conservative white guys

July 16, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle
by Mark Morford  

"Now here’s a cherished lament, a shockingly obvious statement that, nevertheless, most liberal writers like me apparently fail to acknowledge whenever I decry the latest moral or social abomination from the right, or the church, or the NRA, or Texas, or Koch Industries or Monsanto or crazed fans of Doritos Locos Tacos, et al. Do you recognize it? 'We’re not all like that,' certain piqued members of these very groups will quickly exclaim, in response to articles/charts/facts throwing a harsh light on their concomitant dogma, or hate speech, or homophobia, or tacit acceptance of racism, violence, social regression, mistreatment of women and trees and dogs. As if this makes a difference. As if this changes everything." (07/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pellcdw  

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CDC chief pressured over “dangerous pattern” of lapses

July 16, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday faulted a 'dangerous pattern' of safety lapses at government laboratories handling deadly pathogens such as anthrax and avian flu, calling for an overhaul of controls at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Members of a House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee cited new information on breaches previously unreported by CDC, which is under scrutiny for the potential exposure of more than 80 lab workers to live anthrax bacteria in June. No one has fallen sick due to the lapses." (07/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mhkk56g  

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Is Canada’s new anti–sexwork bill unconstitutional?

July 16, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Michelle Chen  

"If Canada’s Conservative government gets its way, the country could soon get slapped with a new anti-prostitution bill that -- while promising to rescue sex workers from harm -- might end up hurting far more than it would help. In a landmark decision last year, the Canadian Supreme Court struck down many of the country’s major statutes against prostitution -- a ruling that could have effectively decriminalized sex work. In response, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is now pushing C-36, a bill that would once again broadly criminalize the buying of sex, largely restoring a regime of anti-prostitution enforcement that the high court already deemed unconstitutional." (07/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pfsedxb  

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SC: Recruiting candy from KKK?

July 16, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"Some residents in northwestern South Carolina say they found bags of candy on their street containing a piece of paper asking them to join the Ku Klux Klan. Residents in an Oconee County subdivision found the bags Saturday night or Sunday morning. The paper said 'Save Our Land, Join the Klan.' It had a phone number that led to an automated message discussing KKK efforts against illegal immigration." (07/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qce4gp9  

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TN: Memphis task force set to bust Uber & Lyft drivers

July 16, 2014
posted by

Ben Swann    

"The popular rideshare companies Uber and Lyft have been forced to do battle for the right to do business against overzealous bureaucrats and antiquated livery regulations in cities, counties, and states across the US. ... However, WREG-TV is reporting that Memphis city officials, responding to complaints by local taxi drivers, are focusing their energies on enforcing out-of-date livery regulations that were designed long before the innovative technology behind Uber and Lyft existed, rather than trimming regulations to fit with modern business models." (07/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n2zzv59  

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Why America can’t disown the children at our border

July 16, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Jim Gaines  

"It only seems like the latest immigration crisis hit by surprise, turning up suddenly on the U.S. border from someplace deep in the jungles of somewhere else. In fact, the children’s exodus from Central America has been in the making for decades. It is coming from a region where the United States has been a major political and military player for more than half a century, and it has roots in U.S. streets and prisons. If these kids weren’t the ones suffering the worst of it, you might call them payback." [editor's note: And if you were honest, you'd lay it squarely at the feet of the War on (some) Drugs! - SAT] (07/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q6n887s  

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Seven reasons consumers won’t love the Citigroup deal

July 16, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Richard Eskow  

"The Justice Department’s settlement with Citigroup was finally announced Monday. A $7 billion settlement against a too-big-to-fail bank? What’s not to love? We’ll answer that with another question: If the settlement that the Justice Department just negotiated with Citigroup is as punitive, why did Citigroup’s stock go up when the deal was announced? Reasons for the rise include the report of a good second quarter -- a report that just happened to be released on the same day this deal was announced. Not bad for a bank that just settled fraud charges, recently failed a Federal Reserve stress test, and wouldn’t even exist if the American people hadn’t bailed it out." [editor's note: When they're not ranting about corporations paying more taxes (only creating higher prices on their goods?), these CAF folks do have a clue sometimes - SAT] (07/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o2gmedf  

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Welcome to Cleveland, GOP! Here’s where to go

July 16, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Clare Malone  

"You’ll be forgiven if, what with all the prodigal-son-pardoning that Cleveland was doing at the end of last week, you’ve already forgotten that the city also locked down the 2016 Republican National Convention. Come that far-off summer, the streets of this jewel of the Rust Belt Riviera will be awash in power ties and quaint ideologies and social mores; the GOP’s glitterati, coiffed, gusseted, and ready for battle, will be busy appropriating Cleveland’s blue collar culture. While only fools and state party chairs ever believe a convention location will swing a state, it’s a clever bit of marketing by the Republicans to throw their prom in a stronghold of Democrats and labor unions." [editor's note: This is a pretty clever analysis of where the GOP emperor-wannabes might find solace & support - SAT] (07/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n9kzak6  

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Alabama’s anti-abortion architects

July 16, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Robin Marty  

"Early this summer, the eyes of the nation’s abortion-rights supporters and opponents were locked on Montgomery, Alabama. The ACLU of Alabama and clinic owners were attempting to persuade a federal judge that a new requirement that abortion clinics have admitting privileges at local hospitals was a naked attempt to shut down most of the clinics in the state. We won’t learn until the end of July whether the judge will uphold the lower court’s block on that rule. If it is allowed to go into effect, only two of Alabama’s five abortion clinics will remain operational. Or maybe just one." (07/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qbb72e3  

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Court: TX can’t prohibit “offensive” Confederate flag license plates

July 15, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday ruled that Texas could not prohibit a group that celebrates the Confederacy from having their own specialty license plates. The federal appeals panel ruled 2-1 that the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board engaged in 'viewpoint discrimination' and violated the First Amendment by rejecting the Sons of Confederate Veterans application for license plates featuring the Confederate battle flag. The board [had] rejected the proposed plate by an 8-0 vote in 2011, saying that members of the public found the Confederate imagery to be offensive. ... But the federal appeals court said the board could not discriminate against particular viewpoints because the public deemed them to be offensive." (07/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k9fmaeg  

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CA: Billionaire in push to split into six states

July 15, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"A billionaire tech investor says he has enough backing to put on the ballot a plan to split California into six states. Timothy Draper, a venture capitalist founder of a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that has invested in such tech companies as Twitter, HotMail, Skype and Tesla, told Reuters he has the 808,000 signatures needed on a petition to force the measure onto a public referendum in November 2016. Under the far-fetched plan, one state would be called 'Silicon Valley' and would include the tech mecca, as well as San Francisco." (07/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qgng9qm  

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Amid media tightening, Thailand scoops up Facebook data

July 15, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"Thailand's Facebook users may be wanting to 'un-friend' their government right now. A fake Facebook application that asked users to part with personal details such as their date of birth and email address has turned out to be part of a government program to monitor anyone who tries to access blocked websites. Since seizing power in May, Thailand's military junta has blocked hundreds of websites deemed a threat to stability. The bogus app gave the impression that users were merely logging into a website via Facebook." (07/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oawharz  

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Ivory Coast blocks refugees amid Ebola fears

July 15, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Ivory Coast has blocked 400 refugees who fled to Liberia from returning home because of fears they could spread the Ebola virus, a UN official has said. The decision violated domestic and international law, the official added. Ivory Coast said it could not allow the refugees in because of the Ebola 'pandemic' in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The virus has now killed 603 people in the three states, with 68 deaths reported in the last week, WHO said. This is the worst outbreak the world has ever seen. " (07/15/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28313888  

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California’s no-win “money talks” recount

July 15, 2014
posted by

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

"California is in the midst of a sort-of statewide election recount. Will it be like Florida in 2000? Hardly. This isn't a heated national contest to see which party occupies the Oval Office. It's about the unsexy state controller's office and which Democrat -- former Assembly Speaker John Pérez or Board of Equalization member Betty Yee -- will run in November against top vote-getter Ashley Swearengin, Fresno's Republican mayor. Yee garnered 481 more votes than Pérez, so Pérez wants a recount. But just as the Florida recount did little for the Sunshine State's image, a recount under California election rules does not make the Golden State appear golden." (07/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/noegs2v  

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TX: Pulitzer-winning reporter detained at border

July 15, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"Jose Antonio Vargas, the former Bay Area journalist who has become a prominent advocate for unauthorized immigrants, was detained at McAllen-Miller International Airport on Tuesday while trying to leave Texas for Los Angeles, according to friends and colleagues. Filipino-born Vargas is living in the United States without legal permission and famously outed himself in 2011. The disclosure by the Pulitzer-prize winning reporter appeared in a Time magazine cover story and made him one of the most high-profile immigrants advocating for legal status in the country." (07/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/odlv4qj  

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FCC extends comment DL on net neutrality

July 15, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday pushed back to July 18 the first deadline to submit comments on the agency's proposed new Internet traffic rules after a surge in traffic overwhelmed its online filing system. Companies, consumer advocates, lawmakers and citizens had sent nearly 680,000 comments on the FCC's proposed so-called net neutrality rules -- which guide how Internet service providers (ISPs) manage web traffic on their networks -- as the deadline for first comments approached on Tuesday." (07/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n9dugxf  

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Palestinians must put an end to suicidal Hamas

July 15, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Bob Dreyfuss  

"One message from the current crisis over Gaza is clear: the Palestinians have to get rid of Hamas. No one else can do it: the Israelis, vastly superior in military terms, only strengthen Hamas politically by wantonly raining death and destruction on Gaza. But the fanatics of Hamas, who seem to believe that they can resist Israel militarily (along with the even more radical Islamist groups that run around in Gaza) do incalculable damage to the Palestinian cause. In this case, I agree with Bret Stephens, who wrote today in The Wall Street Journal, concerning Israel and Hamas, 'If you must have a nemesis, better it be a stupid one.' Stephens, a neocon hawk and blind supporter of Israel, certainly doesn’t qualify as sympathetic to the Palestinian plight. But he’s right here: Israel has no stupider enemy than Hamas." (07/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n7kztnz  

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UN pulls staff out of Libya

July 15, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"The United Nations on Monday pulled its staff out of Libya where at least 13 people have been killed in fighting in the eastern city of Benghazi and in Tripoli, forcing the closure of the international airport. Security and medical sources said at least six people had been killed and 25 wounded in Benghazi in heavy fighting between security forces and rival militias since late Sunday." (07/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nyatnh3  

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What does FFUC stand for?

July 15, 2014
posted by

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

"Fossil Free UC is a group that wants UC to divest its endowment fund of fossil fuel investments. Ophir Bruck from the group sent me this article to explain his group’s thinking. The author explains that fossil fuel investments aren’t really money makers in the long haul, so there’s no real sacrifice from staying out of that market. Nice try, but the real reason that students are pushing UC to divest in fossil fuels is apparent: UC is an easy target. UC will not fight back. The worst thing that could happen to these activists is that administrators will pat them on the head and praise them for caring so much. The worst outcome for students, however, would be less money for the endowment. Past disinvestment decisions (for tobacco and Sudan) have cost the endowment $471 million and $6 million respectively." (07/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mjch9l6  

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