Author Archive

Does Hillary really believe in the Hillary Doctrine?

June 24, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jordan Michael Smith  

"In the run-up to her official 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton spoke at the Women in the World Summit in New York City in April. Some interpreted Clinton’s remarks as evidence of her commitment to feminism. 'The choice of the location in itself sends a strong signal,' wrote Slate’s Amanda Marcotte; 'If there was any doubt that Clinton intends to run a woman-centric campaign, her speech erased it.' Others viewed the speech as just another calculated exercise. 'Hillary Unveils Her Plan to Advance Women’s Rights (and Her Own Campaign)' read the headline of an article on New York magazine’s website. Such is the ambiguous nature of Clinton’s image: Even more than most politicians, she inspires contrasting views about her authenticity. Does she really mean what she says?" (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ncwcua7  

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Venezuela: Vet held over “drugs implanted into puppies”

June 24, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Spanish police have arrested a Venezuelan vet who allegedly tried to smuggle drugs from Colombia to the US by implanting them into puppies. The veterinarian, on the run for 10 years, is wanted by US authorities for extradition on drugs charges. He had been in charge of a veterinary clinic in the Colombian city of Medellin in which police found a number of puppies with bags of liquid heroin implanted into their stomachs. He was detained in north-western Spain. Colombian police found the Labrador and Rottweiler puppies with the drug implants in 2005 in a Medellin veterinary clinic." [editor's note: Drugs stuffed into puppies? Labs and Rotties? The death penalty is far too kind for this asshole - SAT] (06/23/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-33237391  

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Time to take down a symbol of white supremacy

June 24, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Peniel E. Joseph  

"The removal of the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds, as Republican Governor Nikki Haley called for on Monday, would be a major victory for racial justice -- though it required the blood of nine black innocents martyrs whose senseless murder at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church has galvanized the nation. Surrounded by an interracial group of SC's elected legislators (most notably Representative James Clyburn [D] and Senators Tim Scott [R] and Lindsey Graham [R]) Haley announced the bipartisan decision on Monday afternoon. ... [Her] words were culled from the mass carnage allegedly committed by Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist whose online posting of blood-soaked fantasies of race war have spurred a week of national mourning, political outrage and community organizing." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ppn4ct8  

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MA: Boston’s faltering bid for 2024 Summer Games a warning for Olympics

June 24, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Boston’s faltering bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics is in danger of becoming a cautionary tale -- both for cities bidding to host the games and for the entire Olympic movement. Even when the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) selected Boston as its bid city in January, only 51 percent of Boston-area voters supported the idea. By the end of March, that number had sunk to less than 40 percent, where it remains. The tepid support throws Boston’s bid into doubt, since it is subject to a statewide public referendum. Indeed, the USOC could drop the city's bid, according to a document obtained by Boston.com, and choose a different city before Sept. 15. Paris’s decision Tuesday to throw its hat in the ring for 2024 raises the stakes." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nqunqzc  

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Christians forgive the unspeakable

June 24, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Kirsten Powers  

"When Christians are in the news, it's usually because they have done something wrong: they've gotten on the wrong side of a culture war or cheated on their wife, or worse. What the world rarely gets to see is the powerful grace that flows from a deep faith predicated on the belief that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness. The family members of those slain at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church bore witness to this central tenet of Christianity last week as the nation gasped in awe. 'I forgive you,' one after another told the stone-faced and unrepentant alleged killer, Dylann Roof, at his bond hearing." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p235dsz  

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Dad & daughter: 39 random acts of kindness to celebrate birthdays

June 24, 2015
posted by

AOL News    

"Birthdays are the one day of the year that you can be the center of attention and be showered with gifts from friends and family. But for one daddy-daughter duo, their birthdays were the perfect occasion to give back. Lee Beck and his daughter Amelie of Oxford, England decided they'd celebrate their May birthdays, his 32nd and her 7th, doing random acts of kindness -- 39 in total. For two weeks, the pair performed the 39 random acts all over Oxford, and Beck posted the video of their good deeds on his YouTube page last week. Highlights from their 39 acts included leaving money on some vending machines, writing a letter to a restaurant manager to compliment their server, leaving a $20 Toys R Us gift card in the mailbox of someone who they thought could use it, donating books to the Oxford Children's Hospital, and even leaving pennies at their favorite wishing bridge for people to enjoy. Beck also became an organ donor." (06/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pfgqoh3  

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Elites still don’t understand white supremacy

June 24, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Chris Lehmann  

"The thwarted talk of race in America is testimony to the myth of progress. When those in the white citadels of cultural power aren’t declaring racism dead, they are, with a stunning lack of self-awareness, perpetuating the crudest kinds of racial reaction. In the immediate wake of the anti-police brutality protests in Baltimore in April, when Michelle Obama delivered a relatively anodyne commencement speech at Tuskegee University (pointing out the countless ways she and her husband had been perceived throughout their lives as reflexively angry, dangerously uppity ... or just plain dangerous) she was greeted by a deafening chorus of chidings from the pundit caste, declaring how sadly counterproductive her dour observations were. Not since Dan Quayle tried to tie the depiction of single motherhood in a Candice Bergen sitcom to the root causes of the 1992 Rodney King riots, had the American political establishment so concertedly and grandiosely missed the fucking point." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qfzbc93  

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Cannabis is medicine, JAMA concludes

June 24, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"Marijuana [sic] is 100% a form of medicine, researchers conclude in a bombshell series of reports released today by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Cannabis (which has been used medicinally for thousands of years) reduces nausea, vomiting and pain, as well as spasticity, a panel of researchers have concluded, after reviewing a total of 79 trials. 'Use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is supported by high-quality evidence,' one of the reports found. Researchers bemoan the lack of high-quality trials of marijuana, which can be laid at the feet of cannabis prohibition. ... Researchers must cut through more red tape to research a pot plant than any other substance on the planet, doctors say." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oshhpb4  

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Blackness as being, whiteness as nothingness

June 24, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation Blog
by Greg Grandin  

"Last week, in the aftermath of the Rachel Dolezal revelations and the Charleston massacre (the trivial and tragic, a very American dialectic) the historian Nell Irvin Painter, professor emerita at Princeton University and author of a great many great books, wrote an essay in The New York Times, “What is Whiteness?” In it, Painter defined 'whiteness' as an existential choice: 'Whiteness,' Painter writes, 'is on a toggle switch between "bland nothingness" and "racist hatred"'To back up that point, Painter runs through the social history of the emergence of whiteness, by now a familiar story (among academics if not the broader public)." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/orsstpt  

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Whose race (and gender) is it, anyway?

June 22, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Marilyn Katz  

"So much has been said in the past week about Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal and the porous boundaries of gender and race. But neither the questions nor answers are definitive. As most everyone who is digitally aware knows, Jenner says she is a woman. Former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal says she 'identif[ies] as black.' However, while Jenner’s self-identification as a woman is being widely praised, Dolezal’s self-identification as black is being widely condemned. Dolezal, who has lived as a black woman for many years (with two black sons), has been denounced as a fraud. Jenner, who says that she felt like a fraud while living as a man, is now lauded for finding her true voice as a woman. Still, their choices open up a long overdue conversation concerning race and gender: are these categories natural occurrences or just useful ways of seeing and understanding who people are?" [editor's note: This is a very provocative, yet perceptive, column - SAT] (06/19/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18090/whose-race-and-gender  

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Exposing the college accreditation ripoff

June 22, 2015
posted by

Our Future
by Emily Foster  

"Colleges and universities depend on positive ratings from private accrediting organizations to not only attract students but to be eligible for the federal loans and grants those students receive. But too often, those ratings don’t reflect reality; top ratings go to schools that are actively ripping off taxpayers, and leaving students with worthless degrees and mounds of debt. That prompted Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Wednesday to ask sharp questions of a representative of the college accreditation business about the shady practices of the accreditors and their private interests." (06/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oejpxtf  

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Give the dying one last shot at life

June 22, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Jonathan Johnson  

"For years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has had a 'compassionate use' application process meant to provide patients expanded access to investigational medical products not yet approved by the FDA. However, for the terminally ill this process is impractical and has denied them access to potentially life-saving treatments and devices. I know this from personal experience." (06/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n9heg69  

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ConAgra’s smorgasbord is ready to carve

June 21, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"ConAgra Foods’ smorgasbord is ready to carve. The Hunt’s-to-Swiss Miss conglomerate’s $6.8 billion acquisition of Ralcorp in 2013 has left a bad taste for shareholders. Pushy investor Jana Partners is ready to shake up the board. ConAgra’s myriad brands probably fit better elsewhere. The question is how to slice it. The $17 billion packaged-food group’s shares jumped 10 percent after Barry Rosenstein’s hedge fund on Thursday disclosed a 7.2 percent stake and that it was prepared to nominate three new directors. Jana hasn’t said what more should be done but reckons ConAgra has inadequately addressed the failure of its deal for the maker of white-label goods." (06/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ogkkkm4  

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NJ: School bans Harvard-bound valedictorian from graduation for “aggression” [sic]

June 21, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A suburban New Jersey high school is holding its graduation Tuesday, but the big day’s pomp and circumstance won’t include a speech by the Harvard-bound valedictorian. Devan Solanki, 18, an honors student at Lodi High School, has been told to stay home on graduation day despite his 4.3032 grade-point average and No. 1 class ranking. He was suspended for five days after allegedly threatening a guidance counselor. The incident also led the school to order the teen to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. 'Not only did they take this away from me, they took it away from my family,' Solanki told NBC 4 New York Saturday." [editor's note: Read this story to the end, then tell me how this student did anything "aggressive" given the circumstances - SAT] (06/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q8br9nm  

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Study: Repealing ObamaCare adds $353 billion to federal deficit

June 21, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis found that repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare or the ACA, would likely leave 19 million Americans uninsured by 2016 and add some $353 billion to the federal deficit over ten years. This analysis (the first such study since the major provisions of Obamacare came into effect in 2014) complicates Republican efforts to roll back the president's landmark healthcare reforms. The last time the nonpartisan CBO considered the effects of the ACA's repeal, in 2012, it estimated added deficits of $109 billion. Congressional Republicans complained previously about the way the CBO came to these numbers. Earlier this year, Republicans named Keith Hall to run the CBO and called for a different methodology of computing budget impact. Known as dynamic scoring, the computation takes into account macroeconomic effects stemming from policy changes." (06/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/osy27n9  

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Pentagon chief to allies: “Ditch the Cold War playbook”

June 21, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter will urge NATO allies to 'dispose of the Cold War playbook' during a trip to Europe this week, as the alliance adapts to a new kind of threat from Russia in the east and Islamic State to the south, U.S. officials said. Carter heads first to Berlin, where he is expected to call for a more muscular global security role from Germany, Europe's largest economy. Germany remains hesitant to deploy troops abroad, seven decades after the end of World War Two. ... Relations between Moscow and the West have plunged to a post-Cold War low since Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea region. NATO says Russian is still actively providing military support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, despite Moscow's denials." [editor's note: Next step would be getting the USA Inc empire to "ditch it" - SAT] (06/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p4z2xjq  

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A big test for Janet Yellen

June 21, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Peter Dreier  

"A coalition of California community groups and a local legal aid agency have come up with a novel way to hold a major L.A. area bank accountable for the devastation it has caused Southern California communities as a result of its risky and predatory practices. The California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC) and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA) have asked Janet Yellen (chair of the Federal Reserve, the country’s top bank regulator) to halt a planned takeover of Pasadena-based OneWest Bank by the New Jersey-based CIT Group until these banks pay reparations for the damage they caused." (06/18/15)

http://prospect.org/article/big-test-janet-yellen  

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UK to adopt Hague Convention to protect war zone artifacts

June 21, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"A major international agreement designed to protect cultural property during military conflict is to be finally ratified by the UK. The 1954 Hague Convention was set up after World War Two but has never been adopted into law by the government. Culture Secretary John Whittingdale says destruction and looting in Syria and Iraq by Islamic State militants shows it is now essential. The UK is the only major nation not to have endorsed the convention." (06/21/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-33213911  

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DE: Legislature signs bill to decriminalize marijuana

June 21, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"Delaware just became the 20th state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Gov. Jack Markell signed House Bill 39 on Thursday night -- shortly after the Senate approved the bill by a 12-9 vote, reports the Huffington Post. The measure effectively removes criminal penalties for adult possession of up to one ounce for personal use. Possession will now be considered a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine. The bill was approved with absolutely no support from Republican Senate or House members." (06/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ndrq5r5  

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Mozambique: Construction boom bulldozes history

June 21, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Walter Tembe, a Maputo architect, was leading his weekly building tour this past February when he was startled to find one of the city’s treasures had disappeared. Other than a curved archway, little remained of what had, just a week before, been a rare example of the Tropical Modern style, a style of architecture similar to Art Deco, that was popular in Maputo in the decade before independence in 1975. Designed in the 1960s by Pancho Guedes (in his day one of the lusophone world’s most famous architects) the building was razed to make way for one of the luxury condominiums popping up throughout the city. Mr. Tembe, whose been leading architectural tours for five years, sees the destruction of the house as the latest example of misguided real-estate development trampling his city's history." (06/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nu64sel  

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Ready for Warren becomes Ready to Fight & backs Bernie Sanders

June 21, 2015
posted by

John Nichols The Nation Blog
by John Nichols  

"In another indication of the appeal of the insurgent presidential candidacy launched by Bernie Sanders, a grassroots group that had been organized to draft Elizabeth Warren into the race for the Democratic nomination has transformed into a new organization and endorsed the Vermont senator’s campaign. 'Inspired by Elizabeth Warren’s message that we need to fight, and fight hard, to win the progress we want to see, Ready to Fight is a grassroots group that’s standing with Warren in the fights she’s leading, and backing Bernie Sanders for president in 2016,' declares the website launched by organizers of the Ready for Warren campaign that had been one of several efforts to draft the senator from Massachusetts." (06/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nbdkfjp  

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Ruling curtails free speech rights

June 19, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Tom Brejcha  

"Today, by the slimmest of margins, the Supreme Court dealt a body blow to the cause of free speech in our contentious, increasingly polarized, purportedly 'self-governing democracy.' Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans establishes what may well become a major precedent that gives government officials both the power and the right to shut down a vital public forum (in this case, specialty license plates) where citizens engage in advocacy on public issues, including issues of the utmost gravity." (06/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nkvnpy3  

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How Obamacare prevents Americans from escaping poverty

June 19, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Darlena Cunha  

"Obamacare is leaving the middle class behind. Not the living-in-suburbia, driving-an-SUV-to-soccer-practice middle-class dream (although it affects people living that dream negatively, too), but the new middle class of America: the ones struggling to pull themselves out of the hole after the economic crash. ... The crux of the problem is this: As soon as an individual or family finally moves above the federal poverty line, their insurance premiums and deductibles can skyrocket into the tens of thousands -- meaning if they make use of this plan, they may well end up worse off financially than they were when considered impoverished." (06/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pv8xxzc  

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Secret Service thug involved in Ulbricht abduction to plead guilty to Bitcoin theft

June 19, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"A Secret Service agent who took part in the investigation of the drug-dealing website Silk Road has agreed to plead guilty to charges that he used his insider’s role to pilfer hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of digital currency. Papers filed Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco, and signed by both prosecution and defense lawyers, said Shaun Bridges would admit to felony charges of money-laundering and obstruction of justice at a hearing tentatively scheduled for Aug. 31." (06/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q3h3cje  

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New data reveals which approach to helping poor actually works

June 19, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Dean Karlan  

"For years, policymakers have debated different approaches to helping the poor -- everything from building schools, to delivering soccer balls that produce electricity. But new data, published in May after a nine-year, six-country study, offers resounding evidence for a strategy that works. A group of my economist colleagues and I, together with the research and policy non-profit Innovations for Poverty Action, and MIT’s J-PAL, tested an approach known as a 'Graduation' program. The program is designed to boost the livelihoods of the 'ultra-poor': the 1 billion people worldwide who live on less than $1.25 per day." (06/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/okksq9v  

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