Author Archive

Germany: Lufthansa cancels flights due to pilots’ strike

October 19, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"German airline Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) canceled 1,450 flights after a pilots union called for a strike on Monday and Tuesday, adding to travelers' misery after millions were left stranded by a weekend-long train drivers' stoppage. Lufthansa said late on Sunday more than 200,000 passengers and two thirds of its scheduled flights -- short and mid-length services, mostly within Europe -- would be affected by the strike. Both the pilots' and train drivers' strikes hit at the start of a week-long, half-term holidays in nearly half of Germany's 16 federal states." (10/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ncna4jv  

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Russia denies submarine incident off Sweden

October 19, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"The Russian defence ministry has denied reports that one of its submarines got into trouble in the waters off Sweden. The Swedish military has been searching the sea since Friday, following what the military said was foreign underwater activity. It has denied looking for a submarine, and said that it was conducting an intelligence operation. However, a local newspaper said Sweden had intercepted a distress signal in Russian." [editor's note: Repeat after me: "Emerghency, Emerghency, efrybody to get from street!" - SAT] (10/19/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29680960  

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The return of the “different kind of Republican”

October 19, 2014
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"There's always a market, particularly in the media, for the politician who can surprise by running counter to the stereotypes of his or her party. As the two parties become more ideologically unified, that figure becomes even more compelling. The trick is to do it without making your party's loyal supporters angry at you. Which brings us to Rand Paul, who has a plan to become 2016's 'Different kind of Republican,' the label that was placed on George W. Bush back in 2000." (10/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ksn5thw  

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Iraq: Could tribes provide the glue?

October 19, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"In recent weeks, the self-styled Islamic State has inched toward Baghdad, putting Iraq’s army and government under increasing pressure and challenging their ability to preserve any semblance of a cohesive Iraqi state. Backed by Western airpower, the Shiite-dominated security forces and the Kurdish peshmerga are fighting back against the Sunni jihadists. But when it comes to reversing the dramatic IS victories in Sunni areas, some leaders of Iraq’s influential tribes say they could prove a vital counterforce, at least until a proposed Iraqi national guard becomes a reality." (10/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n536hpb  

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Review: PonoPlayer could hit right note for audiophiles

October 19, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"One of the most contentious issues ... has to do with streaming music. While the audio quality of services such as Spotify, Google Play Music and Beats Music is obviously good enough for the masses, a significant number of listeners (judging from comments I received) can hear the difference between music streamed in MP3 format and the same music played on a CD or vinyl record. Streaming requires music files to be compressed, which results in a loss of sound quality. However, compression isn't necessary to download music, and we're beginning to see online services for downloading high-resolution music (lossless playback at up to 192 kHz/24-bit), as well as mobile devices that can play it." (10/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mldbhnf  

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One thing Hillary understands about politics in 2014

October 19, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by John Nichols  

"Hillary Clinton understands something important -- make that vital -- about the politics of 2014. She recognizes that the issue that matters in 2014 is the economy (number one in the latest Gallup Poll) and that voters want 'good jobs' that pay a family-supporting wage (number two in the latest Gallup survey). And Clinton knows that the clearest policy connection between where the economy is today and where it needs to be is made via support for a substantial hike in the minimum wage." (10/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nzwxn9h  

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Turkey loses out on UN Security Council seat

October 17, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Turkey failed to win a seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council after member states voted on Thursday. The five non-permanent seats were given to Venezuela, Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand and Spain, the latter two beating Turkey to represent the West. Turkey has been under international pressure to help combat Islamic State militants waging war along its border. The new members of the Security Council will begin their two-year appointment on 1 January 2015." (10/16/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29654003  

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Study: Big Government makes people happy

October 16, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Richard Eskow  

"Forget about feeling 'like a room without a roof,' or whatever that 'Happy' song says. If you want to know 'what happiness is to you,' try living in a social democracy. A recent study confirms something leftists have suspected for a long time: People are happier in countries with larger governments, a more generous 'welfare state' and more government intervention in the economy. Policies that depend on the so-called 'free market,' on the other hand, decrease personal satisfaction. This is not a matter of opinion, according to the data, but of fact. We interviewed political scientist Patrick Flavin of Baylor University, lead author of the study." [editor's note: The claim is that the study "had no political agenda"; yeah, right ... - SAT] (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l8rr9m8  

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WA: Woman fined $500 for feeding bears

October 16, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"A woman on trial for feeding bears in her neighborhood in Washington state has agreed to stop and pay a fine to settle the case. The Daily News reports Doris Berryhill Parks was the first person charged under a 2012 state law that makes it a misdemeanor to feed wild animals. Under the agreement, Berryhill Parks pays a $500 fine and promises not to leave food outside her Ilwaco home. That means no pet food or bird feeders and keeping garbage cans secure." (10/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mgsoc7d  

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Google tests waters for potential ultra-fast wireless service

October 16, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Google Inc is preparing to test new technology that may provide the foundation for a wireless version of its high-speed 'Fiber' Internet service, according to telecommunication experts who scrutinized the company's regulatory filings. In a public but little-noticed application with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Monday, Google asked the agency for permission to conduct tests in California across different wireless spectrums, including a rarely-used millimeter-wave frequency capable of transmitting large amounts of data." (10/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kr5bxo3  

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Hillary Clinton’s soft sales job at Salesforce.com

October 16, 2014
posted by

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

"How does Hillary Rodham Clinton, the queen of old-school Democratic partisan politics and bane of the 'vast right-wing conspiracy,' woo movers in the be-nice and collaborate-on-a-couch tech economy? During her speech at Salesforce.com’s San Francisco Dreamforce mega-convention Tuesday, the former U.S. secretary of state showed a softer side to the beanbag workforce. To those of us who have been following politics for years, La Hil is the consummate pol. At Moscone Center, she shed her old brand to become, as she was billed, a 'visionary.'" (10/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lwmosk7  

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VA: Richmond puts brewery on public tab

October 16, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"Thirsty for jobs and good times, the city of Richmond is vowing to build a brewery on the James River. The estimated $36 million tab includes $5 million from Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s 'Opportunity Fund.' If approved by the City Council, most of the money will be raised with a general revenue bond, which puts the city’s taxpayers on the hook if the Stone Brewing Co. venture goes bust." (10/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lr5rf3o  

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When the workday never really ends

October 16, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Michelle Chen  

"Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day. And for working people who have to juggle family and work, locked into a rough schedule and the stress of poverty, there really aren’t enough. The 'new economy' of twenty-four-hour online shopping, global markets and just-in-time inventory churning, have created a demand for 'flexible' labor: rapid-fire changes in schedules, shift-swapping, on-call staff. In a new book, Unequal Time, sociologists Dan Clawson and Naomi Gerstel survey how time is distributed across this new economic landscape, and finds that flexibility (and its evil twin, unpredictability) is creating a new social order that brings chaos to the workplace and the home." [editor's note: Time to consider the world of "self employment" (where your "boss" demands this of you constantly)? - SAT] (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kuw8bf6  

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Rand Paul’s 2020 Vision

October 16, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Adele M. Stan  

"No one in the political establishment seems to know quite what to make of Rand Paul, the United States senator from Kentucky and son of Ron, the three-time quixotic presidential candidate with a libertarian bent. In 2012, Ron Paul, the former congressman from Texas, said good-bye to all that, retiring his House seat and forswearing another presidential run, having prepared the ground for his progeny, who hopes to inherit the throngs of young followers nurtured by his father. By turns quirky and cunning, rumpled and slick, Rand Paul, at this writing, is running neck and neck in the polls with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the undeclared establishment candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination." [editor's note: The teaser on the main page tries to label RP as "the GOP's next Goldwater;" yeesh! - SAT] (10/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n432jmh  

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New Deal, same spiel

October 16, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Chris Lehmann  

"This fall, Ken Burns (the nation’s director laureate of all things sepia-toned) offered an epic, exhaustive documentary that served to rebuke just about every feature of our postliberal political order. 'The Roosevelts: An Intimate History' blanketed the PBS airwaves for 14 hours, summoning the viewing public back to the halcyon days of the Fair and New Deals, and thus making a powerful de facto case for liberal rule by enlightened patrician overseers. But that, of course, is just the problem." (10/16/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17247/new_deal_same_spiel  

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Joining IS about sex & aggression, not religion

October 16, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Arie W. Kruglanski  

"It is easy to look to religion for an explanation of why young men (and some women) become radicalized. But it is psychology, not theology, that offers the best tools for understanding radicalization -- and how best to undo it. The appeal of Islamic State rests on individuals’ quest for what psychologists call 'personal significance,' which the militant group’s extremist propaganda cleverly exploits. The quest for significance is the desire to matter, to be respected, to be somebody in one’s own eyes and in the eyes of others." (10/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k5x9jqb  

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MI: Settlement puts Detroit closer to escaping bankruptcy

October 16, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"Detroit announced on Thursday a last-minute settlement with its final major holdout creditor, Financial Guaranty Insurance Co, as it edged closer to exiting the biggest-ever municipal bankruptcy. The settlement includes an option for FGIC to develop the Joe Louis Arena and parking garage for a mixed-use project, primarily a hotel serving the nearby Cobo convention center, according to Corinne Ball, an attorney at law firm Jones Day which represents Detroit in the case. The bond insurer will also receive about $152 million in city notes, part of which will be backed by public parking revenue, as well as $19.7 million in credits it can apply for purchasing city parking assets or real estate." (10/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kjzdbfq  

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Hong Kong leader confesses: Real democracy is “impossible”

October 16, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"Hong Kong’s chief executive CY Leung broke a long silence today, saying he is happy to talk with student protest leaders next week, but that they may not be happy with his bottom line position: No real democracy is possible in Hong Kong. Mr. Leung spoke to reporters today after refusing to appear before the city's 70-member legislative body amid roiling passions on the streets, where Occupy-style protesters have set up small tent areas to continue to press for free and fair elections in 2017." [editor's note: As if that were the real issue - SAT] (10/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lyooc8w  

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Not your Senator’s job to stop Ebola

October 16, 2014
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"To the endless list of inane things candidates accuse one another of, we can now add this: My opponent has not done enough to stop Ebola! Or actually, in this case it's local media, and the politician in question is Pat Roberts; but Roberts' opponent is picking up on it (and may have been the source of the story, since a nearly identical report appeared on a second local news station). ... If only Pat Roberts had been at that hearing, we'd all be safe. There are few criticisms more meaningless and yet more persistent than 'you didn't attend enough hearings.' ... [E]verybody cooperates in creating the fiction that attending a hearing is 'doing' something, when it really isn't." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/obfl8pz  

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Hong Kong: Top pol cancels public meeting, citing danger

October 16, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"Hong Kong protesters in their 19th day of civil disobedience have repeatedly called for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to resign. So far, the city’s Beijing-approved leader has remained largely invisible during a tumultuous sit-in in Asia's financial hub. Now amid clashes between protesters and riot police (and a filmed beating by police of an unarmed protester) Leung has postponed a public question time with Hong Kong lawmakers set for Thursday, saying the atmosphere is 'dangerous.'" (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k6qrwrg  

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TN: Woman gets jail time for overgrown yard

October 16, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"A woman in Lenoir City, Tennessee is headed to jail because of her messy, overgrown yard. According to Knoxville’s WVLT, Karen Holloway was cited by the city last summer for her failure to maintain a neat and orderly yard. She received a citation in the mail, but was too consumed with other things to pay it much mind. ... The working mom said that she would be the first to admit that the yard around their house could use some maintenance, but she was utterly shocked on Monday when Judge Terry Vann handed down a five-day jail sentence. 'It’s not right,' Holloway said. 'Why would you put me in jail with child molesters and people who’ve done real crimes, because I haven’t maintained my yard?" (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k4qhks7  

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Jim Webb: Hillary’s worst nightmare?

October 16, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by William Greider  

"Instead of becoming more hawkish as defense intellectuals often do when they acquire status and influence, Jim Webb has become more skeptical and critical of how US military force is being used and misused. His biography is what gives his candidacy potential significance. It is not that he has much likelihood of winning the nomination, but Webb has a chance to do something far greater for the country. Given his resume and valor in war, Webb has the authority (and the guts) to provoke a profound national debate about the nature of US militarism." [editor's note: I'm imagining a 2016 race with at least two anti-imperialist Dems (Sanders & this guy?), and at least ONE on the GOP side (Paul?), making this issue a big part of the battle, right to the final round! (I can dream, can't I?) - SAT] (10/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/npfov22  

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MA: Contents of Boston time capsule from 1901 revealed

October 16, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"A Boston time capsule dating to 1901 contained letters, photographs, newspaper clippings and the book Foreign Relations of the United States, 1896. The capsule was removed last week from the head of lion statue that has long stood guard over the Old State House. The Bostonian Society, which oversees the historic building, released an inventory of the items Wednesday. The red hardcover book had been a mystery when the capsule was opened, because it did not have a visible title. Bostonian Society archivist Elizabeth Roscio said the contents were in remarkably good overall condition." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q27q7e8  

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So many candidates, so few choices

October 16, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle
by Jon Carroll  

"I live in a safe district. Most people live in a safe district; it was planned by state legislatures to be that way. The legislatures were dominated by either Democrats or Republicans. Whichever party held power drew districts that would favor their side. Since people of similar political persuasions tend to live near each other (the farm belt is different from the inner city) it’s easy to draw districts that will favor one side or the other. Well, perhaps not easy, as some of the tortured results show. But doable -- and so it’s done. And I’m part of the problem. I agree with the argument that one problem with the House of Representatives is its unchanging nature -- and yet I keep sending Barbara Lee back to office." [editor's note: A nice, honest confession? - SAT] (10/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/octgnd5  

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Lockheed claims breakthrough on fusion energy project

October 16, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready for use in a decade. Tom McGuire, who heads the project, said he and a small team had been working on fusion energy at Lockheed's secretive Skunk Works for about four years, but were now going public to find potential partners in industry and government for their work. Initial work demonstrated the feasibility of building a 100-megawatt reactor measuring seven feet by 10 feet, which could fit on the back of a large truck, and is about 10 times smaller than current reactors, McGuire told reporters." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o42qhgy  

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