Author Archive

Sandra Bland never should have been arrested

July 23, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jamil Smith  

"As the trooper’s cruiser makes a U-turn and pulls up behind Sandra Bland’s white car, you can almost hear the first notes of John Williams’ Jaws theme. ... The pace quickens when the light turns green and she pulls through the intersection, driving in the left lane, the cruiser following close behind. Seconds later, Bland pulls into the right lane. The theme’s bass notes are now beating a steadier tempo in your head. ... I have to wonder whether she took a look in her rear-view mirror and thought of a shark. If you’ve ever been followed closely by a police car, especially if you’re driving while black, you can understand why she did that. ... It’s something you seek to get rid of immediately. So much so, sometimes you don’t think to use your turn signal. You just need that shark to pass on by." [editor's note: Here in Tennessee, turn signals are optional at best, and only really used when making a left turn across an intersection with no light or stop sign, or entering from a side street and turning left. Near as I can tell, all she did was shift one lane to the right, to get out of the frickin' cop's way! - SAT] (07/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ocr5vvv  

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What we talk about when we shout about Iran

July 23, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Gershom Gorenberg  

"In the week since the Iran deal was announced, we’ve been watching the political theater of reactions to it. As with most theater, the first thing for the audience to remember is that the dialogue is deceptive. The characters skirt what's really on their minds. In the Iran drama, America and Israel have become virtually one stage. Ostensibly the argument in both countries and between them is whether the agreement is a success or a surrender. But if it were a real debate about the accord itself, there would have been a long silence after the Vienna press conference, as ex-diplomats, retired generals, and the Strangelove-ian community of nuclear arms experts pored over the dense 159-page text. Instead, a host of politicians, lobbyists, and talking heads responded almost immediately." (07/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nbc6zut  

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Stop knocking the euro

July 23, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Edward Hadas  

"Ben Bernanke is the latest prominent economist to pass negative judgment on the euro zone. Writing in his new capacity as Distinguished Fellow at the Brookings Institution, the former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman’s complaints are financial. He reckons the zone is suffering because its monetary and fiscal policies are too timid. Inadequate efforts, he says, are being made to restore confidence in the banking system. He is making too big a deal about some modest differences." (07/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nljvkwf  

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Baked in the cake: Legal battles follow gay marriage ruling

July 23, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Same-sex marriage is now the law of the land. But that doesn't mean the newlyweds always get their choice of wedding cakes. Or flowers. Or photographs. Or venues. Just ask Jack Phillips, a 'cake artist' who may represent the next legal hurdle for gay and lesbian couples on their way to wedded bliss. Phillips, 59, owns Masterpiece Cakeshop, a Lakewood, Colo., bakery that won't design desserts for same-sex weddings. His case was heard this month by the Colorado Court of Appeals. If he loses, he plans to keep appealing -- all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary." (07/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ogxd5lz  

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Mexico City: Free condoms or transportation for 10 squats

July 22, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News Latino    

"If there ever was an incentive to work out, Mexico City has probably hit the nail on the head. The Mexican capital is now offering free subway or bus tickets in exchange for 10 squats. And if the train ticket is not necessary, then the 10 squats can be exchanged for a pack of condoms. The new program is part of a broader effort to battle the growing obesity problem in the country. The squats are measured by machines that, once the workout is completed, shoot out a slip redeemable for a train or bus ticket -- or the condoms, Milenio newspaper reported. " (07/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qb2xl23  

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Reps ask DOJ to investigate Planned Parenthood smear

July 22, 2015
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future Blog
by Dave Johnson  

"Representatives Jan Schakowsky, Zoe Lofgren, Jerry Nadler, and Yvette Clarke sent a letter asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch and California Attorney General Kamala Harris asking them to investigate whether laws were broken by the Center for Medical Progress. This is the organization that released a selectively-edited video of a Planned Parenthood physician." [editor's note: Apparently, the fact that this "sting" was done without a uniformed thug from some gummint agency offends the hell out of these politicians; where were they on the blatant bankster fraud and their crimes? - SAT] (07/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pxjgqxb  

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Afghanistan: Will banning toy guns curb culture of violence?

July 22, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"In Afghanistan, children often buy toy guns with the pocket money they receive during Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of Ramadan. But that could soon change. After toy guns caused eye injuries among more than 100 children and teens during Eid al-Fitr in Afghanistan, the country’s interior ministry banned the sale of toy guns. 'Interior minister Noor-ul Haq Uloomi has ordered police to confiscate all toy guns which can lead to physical and psychological damage,' a ministry statement announced Tuesday." [editor's note: Aside from the silliness of this idea, my internal grammar-checker can read this last "statement" in at least three ways: ALL toy guns do that; only those that do this are being confiscated; or (with the proper comma inserted before "which") the confiscation itself would lead to this damage. HUH? - SAT] (07/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q69kufn  

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Report: Rate of teens having sex has dropped since 1990

July 22, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"The percentage of U.S. teenagers who have had sex has dropped significantly over the past quarter-century, with less than half of 15-to 19-year-olds reporting they had a sexual experience, according to U.S. data released on Wednesday. Some 44 percent of never-married females in that age group reported having had sex at least once, down from 58 percent who said they had done so in a survey released in 1988, according to data by the National Center for Health Statistics. The prevalence of sexual activity among teen males also dropped to 47 percent from 69 percent over the same period." (07/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/puoj2sy  

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Guantanamo Bay: Closure plan “in final stages”

July 22, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The White House is in the 'final stages' of drafting a plan to close the controversial US military prison Guantanamo Bay, a spokesman has said. Josh Earnest said the closure of the Cuban detention camp was a national security interest. It was one of the first directives President Barack Obama ordered two months after he was elected in 2008. Inmates have slowly been transferred out and at the start of the year, 122 men were left. The peak population in 2003 was 684." [editor's note: Let's see now, that campaign promise was made almost eight years ago, then repeated about four years later... - SAT] (07/22/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33626398  

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Kropotkin on the Hudson

July 22, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Polly Howells  

"On a spring day, Chase and Frank, men in their late 20s, sit between a vegetable garden and the trailer where Chase grew up in the Hudson River town of Saugerties, New York. They are discussing their vision of creating a self-supporting community that uses minimal fossil fuels and little money. Frank says proudly that they already 'have young people who are really willing to walk their talk, have a huge vision and have the boots on the ground to carry it out in incremental ways.' Two years ago, Chase and Frank joined with other local residents (millenials and boomers alike) to form the Long Spoon Collective, a loosely connected network that is conducting an audacious experiment. Their goal: buck the dominant competitive and individualistic culture by spreading the area’s natural wealth and goodwill." [editor's note: Who'da thunk it? "Voluntaryist" experiments in TWO different northeastern states? - SAT] (07/22/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18159/kropotkin-on-the-hudson  

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ND: Court agrees with tossing strict state abortion law

July 22, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"A federal appeals court agreed Wednesday that one of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws -- a North Dakota statute banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy -- is unconstitutional. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a decision last year from U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland, who ruled the law unconstitutional. The law was approved by the Republican-dominated Legislature in 2013, though it was quickly put on hold after the state's lone abortion clinic filed a lawsuit that July." (07/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ojhx75p  

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Donald Trump is Fox News incarnate

July 22, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Elspeth Reeve  

"Several media companies are struggling with how to deal with Donald Trump. He can’t be ignored on ideological grounds—many actual elected Republicans have said far worse things about undocumented immigrants. He can’t be ignored because of paperwork, because for once he filed with the Federal Elections Commission. So now some news outlets, from The Huffington Post to The Wall Street Journal, are trying to disqualify him on the basis of style. This is the silliest excuse of all." (07/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pmblmza  

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Why liberals have to be radicals

July 22, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"Just about nothing being proposed in mainstream politics is radical enough to fix what ails the economy. Consider everything that is destroying the life chances of ordinary people: Young adults are staggered by $1.3 trillion in student debt. Yet even those with college degrees are losing ground in terms of incomes. The economy of regular payroll jobs and career paths has given way to a gig economy of short-term employment that will soon hit four workers in 10. The income distribution has become so extreme, with the one percent capturing such a large share of the pie, that even a $15/hour national minimum wage would not be sufficient to restore anything like the more equal economy of three decades ago." [editor's note: Substitute "tarian" for "al" and shift a few agenda items, and this could speak to us as well - SAT] (07/21/15)

http://prospect.org/article/why-liberals-have-be-radicals  

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Is there room for women workers under capitalism?

July 22, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Bryce Covert  

"Women and their role in the workplace are set to be a constant drumbeat in this presidential campaign. In Hillary Clinton’s first major policy speech on the economy, she called for the need to 'break…down barriers so more Americans participate more fully in the workforce, especially women.' Leaving 'talent on the sidelines,' and in particular female talent, she argued, is a drag on the economy. This represents, in Clinton’s parlance, 'unused potential' in our capitalist society. But feminists and capitalism sometimes have an uneasy relationship. In 1971, Betty MacMorran Gray wrote in the pages of this magazine that capitalism makes an odd bedfellow for those seeking women’s liberation." (07/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o79eybv  

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Does the Bank of England really follow the Fed?

July 22, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Andy Bruce  

“'Daft' is how outgoing Bank of England policymaker David Miles described the idea that Britain’s central bank would have to wait for the U.S. Federal Reserve before hiking interest rates. Central bankers are always keen to stress their independence. But has the BoE tended to be a Fed follower or driver? Economists are sceptical that the BoE will move first. That’s mainly on the grounds it probably doesn’t want a further rise in sterling, which is already at a 7-1/2 year high on trade-weighted basis in anticipation of higher rates." (07/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nj3fmvg  

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RI: Providence considering ban on downtown smoking

July 22, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A new law being mulled in Providence would tell smokers to butt out. Rhode Island's capital city is considering an ordinance that would prohibit smoking throughout the downtown, a ban that an advocacy group says is the most wide-reaching one it's seen. The ban would improve the quality of life for residents and visitors, according to proponents, but some business owners are concerned it could actually drive away customers." (07/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nkysh62  

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Congress inches toward functionality [sic]

July 22, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"You may not have noticed, but Congress is inching its way toward functionality. Passage of fast-track trade legislation. Agreement on how Congress will review the Iran nuclear deal. Education reform in the works. Those are just the more recent developments in a GOP-controlled Congress whose leaders want to prove they can govern. Bit by bit, the gears are moving more smoothly, according to the 'Healthy Congress Index,' compiled by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington think tank." [editor's note: For most of us, the only "functional" times for Congress are recess and gridlock, but .. consider the source - SAT] (07/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ng2b8ra  

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Not nuclear, but no matter

July 21, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by David A Andelman  

"Lost in the debate over the fine print of the Iran nuclear agreement is another, potentially more destabilizing near-term consequence: a newly energized conventional arms race in the Middle East. The United States and our allies could halt or slow this quiet race by countries in the region to arm themselves to the hilt. But for reasons of guilt, political expediency or simply wanting to win friends, we risk abrogating our responsibilities and touching off a new spiral of lethal firepower." [editor's note: This is my token warmonger-neocon post for the season - SAT] (07/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ok9nyf5  

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Ceasefire brings limited respite for DPR residents

July 21, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Natalya Brazhnikova goes to sell bread each day at a badly charred market on the outskirts of Donetsk in [Donetsk People's Republic] despite the risk of shelling and gunfire. Since her husband lost his job when the local coalmine closed because of fighting between [invading Ukrainian] forces and [DPR troops], their family has depended on the money she makes to survive. Many other residents of the Oktyabrsky district on the northwestern edge of ... Donetsk have fled. Those who remain face a struggle to survive even though a ceasefire was agreed in [DPR] in February. Brazhnikova, who is in her 40s, counts herself lucky that her stand near a bus stop was not destroyed when the market was hit by shelling and caught fire." (07/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/omdar7q  

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Germanwings crash parents decry Lufthansa response and payout

July 21, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The relatives of children killed in the Germanwings plane crash have demanded an apology from the airline's parent firm, Lufthansa, saying it ignored them and offered an 'insulting' payout. The letter from parents in Haltern, Germany, said Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr prioritised customers over them. The airline said Mr Spohr had spoken with families. It has pledged to pay them up to €85,000 ($93,000). A Germanwings co-pilot is suspected of deliberately crashing the plane." (07/21/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33613680  

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Euro court: Italy’s gay marriage ban “breaches human rights”

July 21, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"A European court ruled Tuesday that Italy breached the human rights of three gay couples by refusing them marriage or any other recognised form of union. 'The legal protection currently available to same-sex couples in Italy ... did not only fail to provide for the core needs relevant to a couple in a stable committed relationship, but it was also not sufficiently reliable,' the European Court of Human Rights said in its judgement. Italy is alone among major western European states in having no provisions for the official recognition of homosexual couples. Draft legislation that would authorise civil unions for them is currently blocked in the Senate." (07/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/obodu3o  

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What you need to know about … John Kasich

July 21, 2015
posted by

Our Future
by Terrance Heath  

"Ohio governor John Kasich, the 16th candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, is neither the moderate Republican nor the 'compassionate conservative' he pretends to be, but he still won’t get the Republican nomination. This isn’t Kasich’s first time at the rodeo. He served nine terms in the House of Representatives, rising to prominence as chair of the House Budget Committee in 1997. He made a bid for the White House in 2000, after brokering a deal that balanced the federal budget for the first time since 1969, but dropped out. In 2001, Kasich left Washington for New York City, where he spent a decade working as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers. In 2010, he staged a political comeback, by defeating incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland." (07/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pezqexx  

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DC: State fair now has cannabis-growing contest

July 21, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"This year’s state fair in D.C. will feature some of their newly legalized weed to pair with deep-fried candy bars and funnel cakes. The D.C. State Fair recently announced the addition of a marijuana growing competition to this year’s lineup, reports the Washington Post. The 'Best Buds' category now joins a list of contests that include awards for best honey, homebrews, and pickled foods. The competition forms point out that marijuana will be judged on four categories: appearance, odor, touch, and cultivation method." [editor's note: This is good news, I'm just trying to figure out what a district is doing with a "state fair" - SAT] (07/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nzq2s3t  

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Obamaites: On Social Security? No guns for you

July 21, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"The Obama administration wants to keep people collecting Social Security benefits from owning guns if it is determined they are unable to manage their own affairs, the Los Angeles Times reported. The push, which could potentially affect millions whose monthly disability payments are handled by others, is intended to bring the Social Security Administration in line with laws that prevent gun sales to felons, drug addicts, immigrants in the United States illegally, and others, according to the paper." (07/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pveclm4  

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GOP finally finds the courage to attack Donald Trump

July 21, 2015
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"The GOP may finally have found the means to rid itself of that meddlesome real estate tycoon. And it's fitting (and really, should have been predictable) that what is uniting Republicans against Donald Trump is his own big mouth. It's one thing to call Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers; that caused some agita, but not enough to rid Trump's GOP opponents of their visceral fear of alienating his supporters. But insulting John McCain's war record? That's something everyone can agree on, and thus gives the other candidates just the excuse they've been waiting for to bring out the knives for Trump." [editor's note: The irony is, once you examine Old John's record closely, it's open to more than a little criticism - SAT] (07/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oapqcyv  

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