Author Archive

Facebook tells Catholic priest to lose his title onsite

August 20, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Monsignor Charles Pope has held his title in the Catholic Church for 10 years. 'More people call me 'Monsignor" than call me 'Charles,'' the soft-spoken Washington, D.C.-area priest told FoxNews.com on Thursday. So Pope was perplexed earlier this week when Facebook informed him, after six years using the social-networking service, that they didn't think he was using his real name. 'I thought it was a scam,' Pope said. It wasn't." (08/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oj2br9l  

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Corn wars

August 20, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Ted Genoways  

"On September 30, 2012, agents from the FBI contacted U.S. Customs and Border Protection at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago with an urgent request. They wanted bags from two passengers on an outbound flight to Beijing pulled for immediate inspection. The passengers didn’t track as dangerous criminals: Li Shaoming, president of Beijing Kings Nower Seed Science & Technology, a large Chinese agricultural company that develops corn, rice, cotton, and canola seeds, and Ye Jian, the company’s crop research manager. In Li’s luggage, agents found two large Pop Weaver microwave popcorn boxes. Buried under the bags of unpopped snack kernels were roughly 300 tiny manila envelopes, all cryptically numbered—2155, 2403, 20362. Inside each envelope was a single corn seed." (08/20/15)

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/122441/corn-wars  

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Sanders and Trump: The populist and the demagogue

August 20, 2015
posted by

Our Future
by Robert Borosage  

"Donald Trump is rocking. Polls show him consolidating his lead over Republican presidential rivals and closing in hypothetical run-offs with Hillary Clinton. He crows about crowds bigger and more raucous than his rivals can draw. He dominates the news in the dog days of August. When Trump released a racist, fantastical immigration posture, his rival scrambled to embrace one or more of its noxious elements: the wall, the armed border, the stripping of birthright citizenship. The Republican conservative establishment, sensibly concerned that Trump’s excesses will besmirch their 'brand,' is weighing in against him." (08/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nmz6pjx  

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Regal Cinemas introduces bag search after attacks

August 20, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"One of America's largest cinema chains, Regal, is now searching bags of film-goers following several attacks on movie theatres across the US. Regal's updated policy says it wants customers and staff 'to feel comfortable and safe' in its cinemas. It is not clear when it began, but reports say some people had their bags checked at some of the company's 570 cinemas this week. Earlier this month, a man attacked cinema-goers in Tennessee with an axe. He was shot dead by Nashville police, but no-one else was killed." [editor's note: Nor would they have been, since the only 'firearm' he had was pellet gun; "blue suicide" is the term for this one - SAT] (08/20/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34010790  

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Iran is not the greatest threat to world peace

August 20, 2015
posted by

Noam Chomsky The Nation
by Noam Chomsky  

"Throughout the world there is great relief and optimism about the nuclear deal reached in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 nations, the five veto-holding members of the UN Security Council and Germany. Most of the world apparently shares the assessment of the US Arms Control Association that 'the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action establishes a strong and effective formula for blocking all of the pathways by which Iran could acquire material for nuclear weapons for more than a generation and a verification system to promptly detect and deter possible efforts by Iran to covertly pursue nuclear weapons that will last indefinitely.' There are, however, striking exceptions to the general enthusiasm: the United States and its closest regional allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia." (08/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p93wbzf  

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Brazil: McDonald’s grilled over labor, tax practices at hearing

August 20, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"McDonald's Corp, the world's biggest fast-food chain, was accused of mistreating its employees and dodging taxes on Thursday during a Senate hearing in Brazil, where politicians, union leaders and workers from five continents voiced allegations. McDonald's has come under increasing scrutiny worldwide for allegations of labor abuses, health and safety violations, plus tax evasion in Europe, and Brazilian Senator Pablo Paim called a hearing to allow both sides to make their cases. McDonald's deferred comment to its regional operator." (08/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nkff5md  

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Nuclear attack? Duck & cover!

August 20, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds  

"If you see an indescribably bright flash of light, drop immediately to the ground and get under whatever cover you can find. Once the blast has passed, find somewhere to shelter from the fallout for a few days. The more stuff between you and the outside, the safer you’ll be. Remember the Rule Of Seven: Seven hours after the nuclear explosion, the radiation will be 1/10 of its peak; seven times seven (49 hours, or two days) it will be 1/100, and seven times that (basically, two weeks) it will be 1/1000." (08/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nnk4aan  

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NJ: Supreme Court says leaving a child alone in a car not automatically abusive

August 20, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Leaving a young child alone in a vehicle is not automatically abuse or neglect, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday in the case of a New Jersey woman who was arrested for shopping while her 19-month-old daughter slept in her car. In a unanimous 7-0 decision, New Jersey's highest court reversed an appeals court ruling last year that found the woman guilty of child endangerment because even though her daughter wasn't harmed, simply leaving a child alone in a vehicle -- even briefly -- was enough to constitute abuse or neglect." (08/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ptx8sxn  

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Study: Humans now “super predators” and that’s a problem

August 20, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"If humans hope to fish the oceans more sustainably, they are going to have to start fishing like fish, a new study suggests. That means harvesting younger, smaller fish to leave more of their elders to continue maturing and reproducing. And it means fishing quotas that are more in line with what nonhuman predators consume. Humans have assumed 'super predator' status, note the researchers conducting the study. Population growth increases demand and technologies have increasingly reduced the personal risk involved in hunting animals on land or in the water. As 'super predators,' humans also have a penchant for killing adult animals in higher proportions than their nonhuman prey do." (08/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qc5e9fw  

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IRS: Cyberattacks more extensive than previously thought

August 18, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said Monday a hacking attack into one of its computer databases revealed in May was much more extensive than previously thought, with nearly three times as many taxpayers hit by data theft. The IRS said in late May the tax return information of about 114,000 U.S. taxpayers had been illegally accessed by cyber criminals over the preceding four months, with another 111,000 unsuccessful attempts made. A new review has identified 220,000 additional incidents where data was breached, the tax collection agency said. It identified another 170,000 suspected failed attempts by third parties to gain access to taxpayer data." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/orxlz5z  

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Shell gets final permit for Arctic oil drilling

August 18, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Oil and gas giant Shell has been granted the final permit it needs to begin drilling below the ocean floor for oil in the Arctic. Shell began work last month, but was allowed to drill just the top sections of two wells, off the coast of Alaska. Environmental campaigners are against the drilling which they say could harm the region. But the US government said it was monitoring Shell's work 'around the clock' to ensure the 'utmost safety.' ... 'Activities conducted offshore Alaska are being held to the highest safety, environmental protection, and emergency response standards,' added Brian Salerno, director of The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which issued the final permit." (08/17/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33968922  

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Trump is what you make of it

August 18, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Elspeth Reeve  

"Why am I here? That was the unescapable question facing me at 8 a.m. on Monday as I joined the dozens of reporters gathered at the New York State Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan to wait for Donald Trump, Republican presidential frontrunner, to report for jury duty. There was, of course, good money to be made on the presidential campaign that is the living breathing reductio ad absurdum of the idea that the American government should be run by a businessman and like a business. Paparazzi could sell photos. The coffee cart guy could sell more coffee. A man named Joe Lepore was there to support Trump and promote his own New York sightseeing bike tour. But there were costs." (08/17/15)

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/122556/trump-what-you-make-it  

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How to add politics to our protest

August 18, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Kate Aronoff & Max Berger  

"While the electorate is rarely excited for elections, the 2016 race takes place against the backdrop of a country on the brink of a crisis of democratic legitimacy. Congress, nominally the most important democratic institution in the country, has suffered from an approval rating averaging in the teens for more than four years. Facing a government held hostage by the 1 percent, many Americans are throwing up their hands: Turnout for the 2014 midterm elections dipped to a 72-year low. The sense that solutions won’t trickle down from Capitol Hill or the campaign trail has particular resonance with a younger generation." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o3g7fe2  

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US unveils $5 million drive to combat rise in heroin abuse

August 18, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The U.S. government is launching a $5 million initiative to combat the use and trafficking of heroin, with a focus on prioritising treatment rather than punishment. Half of the money is to be designated for police to work side-by-side with public health officials. Fifteen states on the east coast will be targeted. The move comes in response to a sharp increase in the number of heroin cases in the US over the last decade. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported last month a rise in the number of users by 63% between 2002 and 2013. Experts say the spike is due to people using opioid painkillers who are increasingly turning to heroin as a cheaper high." [editor's note: Or, how about (1) people got hooked on Big Pharma poisons and went to heroin for withdrawal without the side effects; and/or (2) Pharma is trying to stomp out the competition from a lesser-side-effects painkiller! - SAT] (08/17/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33964832  

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The future of Europe

August 18, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by James Galbraith  

"On June 8th, I had the honor of accompanying then-Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, to a private meeting in Berlin with the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble. The meeting began with good-humored gesture, as Herr Schäuble presented to his colleague a handful of chocolate Euros, 'for your nerves.' Yanis shared these around, and two weeks later I had a second honor, which was to give my coin to a third (ex-)finance minister, Professor Giuseppe Guarino, dean of constitutional scholars and the author of a striking small book on the European treaties and the Euro." (08/14/15)

http://prospect.org/article/future-europe  

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Report: Saturn’s “F-Ring” likely formed after “mini-moon” collision

August 18, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"An enigmatic ring of icy particles circling Saturn, herded into a narrow ribbon by two tiny moons, was probably born of a cosmic collision, according to a study published Monday. The so-called 'F ring,' some 140,000 kilometres (87,000 miles) beyond the sixth planet from the Sun, orbits at the border between Saturn’s other rings and several moons. Further toward Saturn, millions of ice blocks populating the planet’s haunting halos are prevented from cohering into moons by its powerful tidal forces. Further out are Saturn’s main moons, distant enough to have cohered into spheres with their own gravity: Mimas, Enceladus and Titan, which is the only moon in our Solar System with a substantial atmosphere." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pktr6jj  

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How to win gay rights with grace

August 18, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Tom Krattenmaker  

"The gay rights movement and those of us who support it have a decision to make now that the Supreme Court has ruled and same-sex marriage is the law of the land.​ One possible course of action: a mop-up operation whereby the victorious forces seek out and eliminate the holdouts, such as conservative Christian bakers who refuse to bake for wedding-bound gay people. Another course of action -- call it 'live and let live' -- suggests a more finessed approach, one by which same-sex couples take their business elsewhere when that is a practical option, as it so often is. Here’s a vote for the latter." [editor's note: Good for him for saying it out loud and on paper - SAT] (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o3xa8jh  

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Medical scope makers cited for safety lapses

August 18, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Federal regulators have found safety violations in the manufacturing practices of all three companies producing a specialized medical scope that has been linked to deadly superbug outbreaks at U.S. hospitals -- a precursor to possible legal action against the firms. The Food and Drug Administration revealed Monday that it issued warning letters Aug. 12 to Olympus, Pentax and FujiFilm for violating an array of manufacturing and quality control standards meant to ensure the safety of their duodenoscopes. The FDA also cited Olympus and Pentax for failing to properly notify the agency after the companies learned that infections had been linked to their scopes. Additionally, the agency raised concerns that FujiFilm and Pentax may not have obtained proper regulatory clearance for their duodenoscopes before putting them on the market -- a problem for which Olympus, which makes about 85% of the duodenoscopes on the U.S. market, already has been cited." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qxyqghr  

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Researchers wrong about private guns, police deaths

August 18, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News Forum
by John R Lott  

"Between 1996 and 2013, 991 police officers have been killed in the line of duty. These public servants put their lives on the line to protect Americans. Their deaths should concern everyone, including public health researchers. But researchers’ dislike of guns may be clouding their judgment, and a new study, which claims that more police were feloniously killed in states with more guns, mistakenly concludes that private gun ownership causes police deaths. The study, which was announced last week and is forthcoming in the American Journal of Public Health, received extensive national and international news coverage. But if the researchers hadn’t left out controls used by everyone else for this type of empirical work, they would have gotten the opposite results from what they claimed. Previous research has done just that. And it has found that concealed handgun permits lead to fewer police deaths. The authors offered no explanation for the new study’s unorthodox approach." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q5ouejr  

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California measure fails to create green jobs

August 18, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Three years after California voters passed a ballot measure to raise taxes on corporations and generate clean-energy jobs by funding energy-efficiency projects in schools, barely one-tenth of the promised jobs have been created, and the state has no comprehensive list to show how much work has been done or how much energy has been saved. Money is trickling in at a slower-than-anticipated rate, and more than half of the $297 million given to schools so far has gone to consultants and energy auditors. The board created to oversee the project and submit annual progress reports to the Legislature has never met, according to a review by The Associated Press. Voters in 2012 approved the Clean Energy Jobs Act by a large margin, closing a tax loophole for multistate corporations. The Legislature decided to send half the money to fund clean energy projects in schools, promising to generate more than 11,000 jobs each year." (08/07/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qcap3en  

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The fraud of the new “family-friendly” work

August 18, 2015
posted by

Robert Reich Our Future
by Robert Reich  

"Netflix just announced it’s offering paid leave to new mothers and fathers for the first year after the birth of adoption of a child. Other high-tech firms are close behind. Some big law firms are also getting into the act. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe is offering 22 paid weeks off for both male and female attorneys. Even Wall Street is taking baby steps in the direction of family-friendly work. Goldman Sachs just doubled paid parental leave to four weeks. All this should be welcome news. Millennials now constitute the largest segment of the American work force. Many are just forming families, so the new family-friendly policies seem ideally timed. But before we celebrate the dawn of a new era, keep two basic truths in mind." [editor's note: Read on to see what those "two basic truths" are, but not with a liquid in your mouth - SAT] (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o6zmlsq  

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How can we fight currency manipulation to regain jobs?

August 17, 2015
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"China had been setting a too-low exchange rate for their currency, thereby exporting unemployment. Then early this week their bank made a move and the currency plunged. The next day another plunge, then another. China declared this was because they are allowing their currency to move toward market rates. Others said this was evidence of manipulation because a 'weak' currency makes goods from China cost less in world markets. China then raised the 'reference rate,' stopping the plunge (for now). So is China setting the rate or are they letting 'the market' set the rate? And since a low Chinese currency rate takes business away from the United States, what can we do about it?" (08/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p4hul79  

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Why we disagree with Chuck Schumer on the Iran deal

August 17, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Richard Lugar & J Bennett Johnston  

"Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a key voice in the Democratic Party leadership, has announced that he will not support the international agreement designed to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. We realize that all senators must balance their concerns about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action against the consequences for the United States if Washington rejects it. We just do not agree with how the senator balances up the account. Here’s why: Schumer’s explanation did not go into his views on the consequences of rejection." (08/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/otodyly  

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“Yes means yes” rape policy under fire from judges

August 17, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Judges across the country are saying 'no' to the 'yes means yes' standard of affirmative consent for date rape. The legality of the standard (adopted on California and New York campuses by state legislatures and in effect on numerous other colleges throughout the country) is in question following a series of recent rulings that cite a lack of due process. 'These decisions are harbingers,' said John Banzhaf, a professor at George Washington University Law School and a public interest lawyer. 'It does take time for new ideas to percolate through the system.' Under the standard, the accused, typically a male, has to prove he obtained consent, even if neither party remembers what happened. The standard forces the accused to prove his innocence, rather than be proven guilty." [editor's note: Is the NFL aware of this? - SAT] (08/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qdsew7p  

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Huckabee: Ten-year-old rape victim must to carry rapist’s baby

August 17, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee argued over the weekend that a 10-year-old girl should have been forced to carry her pregnancy to term after she was raped. During an interview on Sunday, CNN host Dana Bash asked the GOP candidate if he would refuse an abortion to a 10-year-old girl in Paraguay, who was allegedly raped by her stepfather. 'Creating one problem that is horrible -- let nobody be misled, a 10-year-old girl being raped is horrible,' Huckabee said, 'but does it solve a problem by taking the life of an innocent child?'" [editor's note: Is he really this stupid? - SAT] [additional editor's note: I resent the implication that the non-aggression principle is stupid - TLK] (08/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pghhjro  

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