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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come - NYTimes.com

YOKOHAMA, Japan — Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported Monday, and they warned that the problem is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that periodically summarizes climate science, concluded that ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are coming under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and fish and many other creatures are migrating toward the poles or in some cases going extinct.

The oceans are rising at a pace that threatens coastal communities and are becoming more acidic as they absorb some of the carbon dioxide given off by cars and power plants, which is killing some creatures or stunting their growth, the report found.



Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come - NYTimes.com

Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come - NYTimes.com

YOKOHAMA, Japan — Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported Monday, and they warned that the problem is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that periodically summarizes climate science, concluded that ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are coming under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and fish and many other creatures are migrating toward the poles or in some cases going extinct.

The oceans are rising at a pace that threatens coastal communities and are becoming more acidic as they absorb some of the carbon dioxide given off by cars and power plants, which is killing some creatures or stunting their growth, the report found.

Clinton Is Polling Like an Incumbent, And That Could Help Her in 2016 | FiveThirtyEight

We’re more than 20 months from the first Republican presidential primary, and the pool of candidates is inchoate. Pollsters are asking voters about 10 candidates, none of whom registers higher than 20 percent support in earlystate or national surveys. It’s the most divided GOP field at this point in the cycle since the parties reformed the nomination process in the 1970s.
But on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has the field pretty much to herself, and there’s little sign that party leaders are encouraging others to run (as they did in 2008). Despite the fact that she hasn’t declared her intention to run yet, she’s polling at 60 to 70 percent — the strongest position for any non-incumbent in the modern era and 30 points higher than at this point in the 2008 cycle.
Early polls often don’t foretell the eventual margins of the primaries, something that shouldn’t be surprising. But what if Clinton in fact wins the Democratic nomination in a landslide, while the Republican nominee does so only after a long and close race? As Karen Tumulty and Robert Costareported in The Washington Post, GOP elders believe that scenario would lead to problems for their eventual candidate. Are they right? Could a Democratic sweep and a drawn-out Republican contest offer insight into the outcome of the general election?


Clinton Is Polling Like an Incumbent, And That Could Help Her in 2016 | FiveThirtyEight

'Marry Smart' - Dewy Adorable Days Gone By - The Daily Show - Video Clip | Comedy Central

'Marry Smart' - Dewy Adorable Days Gone By - The Daily Show - Video Clip | Comedy Central

New G.O.P. Bid to Limit Voting in Swing States - NYTimes.com

" CINCINNATI — Pivotal swing states under Republican control are embracing significant new electoral restrictions on registering and voting that go beyond the voter identification requirements that have caused fierce partisan brawls.

The bills, laws and administrative rules — some of them tried before — shake up fundamental components of state election systems, including the days and times polls are open and the locations where people vote.

Republicans in Ohio and Wisconsin this winter pushed through measures limiting the time polls are open, in particular cutting into weekend voting favored by low-income voters and blacks, who sometimes caravan from churches to polls on the Sunday before election.

"Democrats in North Carolina are scrambling to fight back against the nation’s most restrictive voting laws, passed by Republicans there last year. The measures, taken together, sharply reduce the number of early voting days and establish rules that make it more difficult for people to register to vote, cast provisional ballots or, in a few cases, vote absentee."

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Paul Ryan still trying to convince us he doesn't have 'a racist bone in my body'

Rep. Paul Ryan continues to self-righteously push back against his racist dog whistles having been recognized for what they are. "I don't have a racist bone in my body," he told Bill O'Reilly. (Probably not! But then, racism tends to be carried more in the brain than the bones.



Paul Ryan still trying to convince us he doesn't have 'a racist bone in my body'

Paul Ryan still trying to convince us he doesn't have 'a racist bone in my body'

Rep. Paul Ryan continues to self-righteously push back against his racist dog whistles having been recognized for what they are. "I don't have a racist bone in my body," he told Bill O'Reilly. (Probably not! But then, racism tends to be carried more in the brain than the bones.



Paul Ryan still trying to convince us he doesn't have 'a racist bone in my body'

How Businesses Use Your SATs - NYTimes.com

It is scary enough that a high-pressure four-hour exam could dictate where you go to college, let alone that your score might clamp onto your ankle as you try to ascend the career ladder — and apparently for no good reason. Researchers have found that high-school grades, or even subject-specific tests like Advanced Placement exams, can be better predictors of college performance than the SAT, leading a growing number of colleges to rethink their emphasis on the test. So why, then, do elite employers like McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company and Goldman Sachs still want to know how you scored?





How Businesses Use Your SATs - NYTimes.com

Thursday, March 27, 2014

In Defense of Google Flu Trends - Alexis C. Madrigal - The Atlantic

" ALEXIS C. MADRIGAL

MAR 27 2014, 10:27 AM

"In 2008, Google released an experiment called Flu Trends, which attempted to predict the prevalence of the flu from searches that users made for about 40 flu-related queries.

Based on the data up to that point in time, Flu Trends worked really well. The Centers for Disease Control, which had been involved in shaping how it functioned, liked the data that it produced. 

Even the reliable pro-nerd hangout Slashdot headlined their thread 'Google Flu Trends Suggests Limits of Crowdsourcing.'

"We really are excited about the future of using different technologies, including technology like this, in trying to figure out if there's better ways to do surveillance for outbreaks of influenza or any other diseases in the United States," Joseph Bresee, the chief of the epidemiology and prevention branch in the CDC's influenza division, said at the time.

And so, aside from some misplaced nagging about privacy, the new tool was celebrated in the news media. All the big outlets covered it:CNNThe New York Timesthe Wall Street Journal, and many, many more.

Flu Trends fit the golden image of Google, circa 2008: a company that did gee-whiz things just because they were good ideas.

This was the era of Google.org, formed under a guy named Larry Brilliant, who said things like, "I envision a kid (in Africa) getting online and finding that there is an outbreak of cholera down the street. I envision someone in Cambodia finding out that there is leprosy across the street." As the global economy collapsed, Google gleamed among the ruins. 

This was all years before people started even talking about "big data."

 But times have changed. Now, data talk is everywhere, and people are more worried than excited. The NSA looms over every tech discussion.

An Atlantic Special Report

Google Flu Trends Gets It Wrong Three Years Running
Why Google Flu Is a Failure
A Case of Good Data Gone Bad
Data Fail! How Google Flu Trends Fell Way Short
Google Flu Trends Failure Shows Drawbacks of Big Data

Even the reliable pro-nerd hangout Slashdot headlined their thread on the story, "Google Flu Trends Suggests Limits of Crowdsourcing."

A skim of the headlines and most of the stories would lead you to believe that Google Flu Trends had gone horribly wrong. Here, this thing was nominally supposed to predict future CDC reports—and it wasn't even as good as simple extrapolations from past CDC reports.

How you like them apples, Google/Big Data! 

But lurking in the Lazer paper was an interesting fact about the Google Flu Trends data: when you combined it with the CDC's standard monitoring, you actually got abetter result than either could provide alone. "Greater value can be obtained by combining GFT with other near–real time health data," Lazer wrote. "For example, by combining GFT and lagged CDC data."

If that was true, and the CDC was aware of it, couldn't they simply combine the data on their own and have a better epidemiological understanding of the country? And if that was true, wasn't Flu Trends a success, at least according to the standards laid out in theNature paper describing it in 2009?"

Corporate America's Long, Dark History Of Evangelizing At Work

REPORT: Nearly 50,000 Russian Troops Amassing Near Ukraine

"WASHINGTON—Russian troops massing near Ukraine are actively concealing their positions and establishing supply lines that could be used in a prolonged deployment, ratcheting up concerns that Moscow is preparing for another major incursion and not conducting exercises as it claims, U.S. officials said.

Such an incursion could take place without warning because Russia has already deployed the array of military forces needed for such an operation, say officials briefed on the latest U.S. intelligence."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Geopolitical Rivalries Color an Extraordinary Joint Effort to Find Missing Jet - NYTimes.com

" For example, Indian officials were reluctant to discuss radar data from the Bay of Bengal, along one of the plane’s most likely paths. That turned out to be because there was not much data — the area was a weak spot in the country’s radar coverage. In an interview, a senior Indian military official said India did not keep “heavy surveillance” capabilities there because it was not a tense area, unlike the country’s northern border with Pakistan.

Some of the sharpest tensions have risen between China and Malaysia. Chinese officials have denounced Malaysia for its reluctance to share information about the search. Most of the 239 people on board the flight are Chinese.

At the same time, China has also been unwilling to share with other nations its raw military radar data, even it might have helped investigators pin down whether the plane had flown north, toward Central Asia. Instead, China, like several other countries, simply told Malaysian officials that its radars had not spotted the plane.

“They won’t share radar data,” said one Western official here who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicate diplomatic issues. “They’ve told us and everybody else, ‘We didn’t see it, period.’ They’re not willing to share the data.”

One possible explanation is that China wants to not only hide its technological capabilities, but also the limits of that technology, even as it hasgrown bolder in asserting itself as a military power, analysts say."

Sunday, March 23, 2014

N.S.A. Breached Chinese Servers Seen as Security Threat - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — American officials have long considered Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, a security threat, blocking it from business deals in the United States for fear that the company would create “back doors” in its equipment that could allow the Chinese military or Beijing-backed hackers to steal corporate and government secrets.
But even as the United States made a public case about the dangers of buying from Huawei, classified documents show that the National Security Agency was creating its own back doors — directly into Huawei’s networks.


N.S.A. Breached Chinese Servers Seen as Security Threat - NYTimes.com

Top 5 Lies About Obamacare

Watch Jon Stewart Eviscerate Fox's Poor-Shaming | Blog | Media Matters for America

Watch Jon Stewart Eviscerate Fox's Poor-Shaming | Blog | Media Matters for America

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Franklin Graham: Putin is better than Obama on gay rights

"A top evangelical leader in the United States has some supportive words for Russian President Vladimir Putin -- at least when it comes to his crackdown on gays and lesbians in Russia."


This is disgusting but typical of evangelical beliefs.

Franklin Graham: Putin is better than Obama on gay rights

Student Suspended For Taking Razor Away From Classmate Who Was Cutting Himself



Student Suspended For Taking Razor Away From Classmate Who Was Cutting Himself

Paul Ryan, Culture and Poverty - NYTimes.com

" Representative Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, said in a statement, “Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.’ ”

Ryan has agreed to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus, of which Lee’s a member and which found his remarks “highly offensive.”

But at a town hall meeting on Wednesday, Ryan was rebuked by one of his own constituents, a black man from Mount Pleasant, Wis., named Alfonso Gardner.

Gardner told Ryan, “The bottom line is this: Your statement was not true.” He continued, “That’s a code word for ‘black.’ ”

But instead of cushioning his comments, Ryan shot back, “There was nothing whatsoever about race in my comments at all — it had nothing to do with race.”

That would have been more believable if Ryan hadn’t prefaced his original comments by citing Charles Murray, who has essentially argued that blacks are genetically inferior to whites and whom the Southern Poverty Law Center labels a “white nationalist.” (The center’s definition: “White nationalist groups espouse white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of nonwhites.”)

Whatever Ryan meant by men “in our inner cities” and their culture, the comment obscures the vast dimension of poverty in America and seeks an easy scapegoat for it.

According to the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (in Ryan’s home state), the gap between the poverty rate in inner cities and that in rural areas and small towns is not as great as one might suspect. The inner city poverty rate is 19.7 percent, and the poverty rate in rural areas and small towns is 16.5 percent.

Furthermore, as Mark R. Rank, a professor of social welfare at Washington University, argued several months ago in The New York Times:

“Few topics in American society have more myths and stereotypes surrounding them than poverty, misconceptions that distort both our politics and our domestic policy making. They include the notion that poverty affects a relatively small number of Americans, that the poor are impoverished for years at a time, that most of those in poverty live in inner cities, that too much welfare assistance is provided and that poverty is ultimately a result of not working hard enough. Although pervasive, each assumption is flat-out wrong.”

His research, he noted, indicates that “40 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 60 will experience at least one year below the official poverty line during that period” and “54 percent will spend a year in poverty or near poverty.” Rank concluded, “Put simply, poverty is a mainstream event experienced by a majority of Americans.”

By suggesting that laziness is more concentrated among the poor, inner city or not, we shift our moral obligation to deal forthrightly with poverty. When we insinuate that poverty is the outgrowth of stunted culture, that it is almost always invited and never inflicted, we avert the gaze from the structural features that help maintain and perpetuate poverty — discrimination, mass incarceration, low wages, educational inequities — while simultaneously degrading and dehumanizing those who find themselves trapped by it.

Other parts of Ryan’s original interview were on target, when he talked about the value and dignity of work and the way that work builds character. Work doesn’t always alleviate poverty, in part because some people are forced to work for less than a living wage, though work does bring dignity."

CNN - First on CNN: Intelligence from field has White House 'very concerned' about Russia invading more of Ukraine – possibly soon

"(CNN) - Based on intelligence, Obama administration officials are very concerned the Russians are not being truthful when they say their forces near Ukraine's eastern and southern borders are merely there for training exercises, sources tell CNN.

Officials assess that Russia – as early as coming days - could use any number of pretexts to justify further military incursions into Ukraine."

Friday, March 21, 2014

Chick-Fil-A CEO Accused Of 'Selling Out' After Backtracking On Anti-Gay Remarks

Did you expect anything less from this bigot?   Boycott Chick Filet.  

8 Ancient Beliefs Now Backed By Modern Science

Fallout From Snowden Hurting Bottom Line of Tech Companies - NYTimes.com

"SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft has lost customers, including the government of Brazil.

IBM is spending more than a billion dollars to build data centers overseas to reassure foreign customers that their information is safe from prying eyes in the United States government."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The politics of flight 370 | MSNBC

While Malaysia was formally considered a democratic nation, power has been concentrated in the hands of a few. The ruling coalition held onto power in the most recent election, but lost the popular vote, sparking rumors of fraud. Stoking that claim was opposition leader AnwarIbrahim, a former finance minister and deputy prime minister who clashed with the ruling party and charged the government with cronyism.

Peter Chong, a friend of Flight 370 pilot Shah and a member of the opposition party himself, has said that Shah was a supporter ofIbrahim’s, and the pilot’s digital footprint revealed that he watched a lot of videos about the opposition leader.


The politics of flight 370 | MSNBC

Outcry as state Georgia GOP moves 'bad Samaritan' bill | MSNBC



Outcry as state GOP moves 'bad Samaritan' bill | MSNBC

A state gun bill the NRA applauds | MSNBC - Rural Georgia have a sick and perverted fetish with guns. This dead;y perversion is costing lives here and in other states every day due to it's pre Wyatt Earp's day gun laws.



A state gun bill the NRA applauds | MSNBC

Gun violence as a public health issue | MSNBC



Gun violence as a public health issue | MSNBC

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Christie's Stronger than the Storm Jersey Shore post-Sandy ad cover up | New Republic

"As you may recall, Christie came under criticism during his reelection campaign last summer for having inserted himself and his family into the rousing “Stronger than the Storm” ads encouraging tourists to come back to the Jersey Shore. The ads had been funded by federal Sandy recovery aid, and it seemed eyebrow-raising, at the least, for them to feature beaming pictures of a governor in the middle of a reelection campaign, rather than just your average smiling New Jerseyans."

NYTimes: Putin Declares Crimea Is a Part of Russia.  Russian Imperialism is back,  Czar Vladimir the First

Monday, March 17, 2014

A big-bang theory gets a big boost: Evidence that vast cosmos were created in split second - The Washington Post

In the beginning, the universe got very big very fast, transforming itself in a fraction of an instant from something almost infinitesimally small to something imponderably vast, a cosmos so huge that no one will ever be able to see it all.
This is the premise of an idea called cosmic inflation — a powerful twist on the big-bang theory — and Monday it received a major boost from an experiment at the South Pole called BICEP2. A team of astronomers led by John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced that it had detected ripples from gravitational waves created in a violent inflationary event at the dawn of time.


A big-bang theory gets a big boost: Evidence that vast cosmos were created in split second - The Washington Post

That Old-Time Whistle - NYTimes.com

"So it’s comical, in a way, to see Mr. Ryan trying to explain away some recent remarks in which he attributed persistent poverty to a “culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working.” He was, he says, simply being “inarticulate.” How could anyone suggest that it was a racial dog-whistle? Why, he even cited the work of serious scholars — people like Charles Murray, most famous for arguing that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. Oh, wait.

Just to be clear, there’s no evidence that Mr. Ryan is personally a racist, and his dog-whistle may not even have been deliberate. But it doesn’t matter. He said what he said because that’s the kind of thing conservatives say to each other all the time. And why do they say such things? Because American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People.

Indeed, race is the Rosetta Stone that makes sense of many otherwise incomprehensible aspects of U.S. politics.

We are told, for example, that conservatives are against big government and high spending. Yet even as Republican governors and state legislatures block the expansion of Medicaid, the G.O.P. angrily denounces modest cost-saving measures for Medicare. How can this contradiction be explained? Well, what do many Medicaid recipients look like — and I’m talking about the color of their skin, not the content of their character — and how does that compare with the typical Medicare beneficiary? Mystery solved.

Or we’re told that conservatives, the Tea Party in particular, oppose handouts because they believe in personal responsibility, in a society in which people must bear the consequences of their actions. Yet it’s hard to find angry Tea Party denunciations of huge Wall Street bailouts, of huge bonuses paid to executives who were saved from disaster by government backing and guarantees. Instead, all the movement’s passion, starting with Rick Santelli’s famous rant on CNBC, has been directed against any hint of financial relief for low-income borrowers. And what is it about these borrowers that makes them such targets of ire? You know the answer."

List of missing Flight 370 theories grows | MSNBC







List of missing Flight 370 theories grows | MSNBC

Sunday, March 16, 2014

BBC News - Missing Malaysia plane: MH370 and the military gaps

The latest information in the riddle of flight MH370 has not only dramatically refocused the investigation and search.
It has also revived questions about why the Malaysian military did not immediately notice what was happening, and what gaps there might be more generally in military air defences in a region where the defence and security temperature is high at the moment.
It has now emerged that Malaysian primary military radar tracked an unidentified contact that flew right across the country's air space, now confirmed to be MH370. But no action, it seems, was taken.

Start Quote

This is an unprecedented case. It may change aviation history”
Hishammuddin HusseinMalaysian acting transport minister
"Where was the Malaysian air force in all this?" says former RAF pilot and aerospace analyst Andrew Brookes.


BBC News - Missing Malaysia plane: MH370 and the military gaps

Paul Ryan’s Irish Amnesia - NYTimes.com

" A great debate raged in London: Would it be wrong to feed the starving Irish with free food, thereby setting up a “culture of dependency”? Certainly England’s man in charge of easing the famine, Sir Charles Trevelyan, thought so. “Dependence on charity,” he declared, “is not to be made an agreeable mode of life.”

And there I ran into Paul Ryan. His great-great-grandfather had fled to America. But the Republican congressman was very much in evidence, wagging his finger at the famished. His oft-stated “culture of dependency” is a safety net that becomes a lazy-day hammock. But it was also England’s excuse for lethal negligence.

There is no comparison, of course, between the de facto genocide that resulted from British policy, and conservative criticism of modern American poverty programs.

But you can’t help noticing the deep historic irony that finds a Tea Party favorite and descendant of famine Irish using the same language that English Tories used to justify indifference to an epic tragedy."

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pakistan is clearly not our ally.

Sentence Cut for Bin Laden Figure - NYTimes.com

" ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A Pakistani official reduced by 10 years the 33-year sentence of a Pakistani medical doctor who had helped the C.I.A. track down Osama bin Laden, local news media reported Saturday.

The doctor, Shakil Afridi, was arrested in 2011 after members of an American Navy SEAL unit killed Bin Laden in his Abbottabad compound. The raid caused the tumultuous relationship between United States and Pakistan to plummet to a new low as Pakistan called it a violation of the country’s territorial sovereignty.

In 2012, Dr. Afridi was convicted of treason and sentenced to 33 years in prison. On Saturday, the judicial official, Munir Azam, the commissioner of Frontier Crimes Regulation in Peshawar, reduced Dr. Afridi’s sentence to 23 years. Dr. Afridi earned the wrath of Pakistani officials after he helped pin down Bin Laden’s location under the cover of a vaccination campaign in Abbottabad. But the charges against him in a tribal court accused him of aiding a banned militant group. Dr. Afridi denies the charges.

Last August, Pakistani officials set aside the earlier conviction and ordered a retrial. But the decision on Saturday took the lawyers and family of Dr. Afridi by surprise. Samiullah Afridi, a lawyer for Dr. Afridi, was quoted by local news media outlets as saying that his client wanted a retrial and not a review of the earlier case. “We are not satisfied with the decision,” the lawyer was quoted as saying.

The arrest of Dr. Afridi was a point of contention between Pakistan and the United States, and Americans officials have repeatedly urged the Pakistanis to release him. While the Americans portray Dr. Afridi as a hero, Pakistani officials and much of the local media have portrayed him as a traitor."

Friday, March 14, 2014

2014: A Waste Odyssey - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - 03/13/14 -2014: A Waste Odyssey Fox News holds America's poor and its corporations to different standards, and JPMorgan Chase makes a quick buck in the food stamp debit card business

2014: A Waste Odyssey - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - 03/13/14 - Video Clip | Comedy Central

Fox News Welfare Academy - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart -Fox News resorts to hyperbole and anecdotal evidence to make a point about public assistance abuse and food stamps fraud. 03/13/14 -

Fox News Welfare Academy - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - 03/13/14 - Video Clip | Comedy Central

Democrats confront House on Issa disrespect | MSNBC



Democrats confront House on Issa disrespect | MSNBC

Stories from the field: Alabama city operates modern-day 'debtors' prison' | Southern Poverty Law Center

Stories from the field: Alabama city operates modern-day 'debtors' prison' | Southern Poverty Law Center

Racists to Party Tonight at CPAC | Hatewatch

White nationalists attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) are planning to gather discreetly this evening at a steak house in the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center near Washington, DC, which is playing host to the conference. The gathering is sponsored by  the National Policy Institute (NPI), a white nationalist “think tank” whose mission is to “elevate the consciousness of whites, ensure our biological and cultural continuity, and protect our civil rights.” The institute studies the so-called “consequences of the ongoing influx that non-Western populations pose to our national identity.”



Racists to Party Tonight at CPAC | Hatewatch

NYTimes: In 2 East Harlem Buildings Leveled by Explosion, Lives Entwined as in Bygone Era

A very sad tale of sudden death in the wonderful cultural mix that makes New York the world's finest city.

Yes, It Is About Race | Lisa Bloom

We're in the midst of a series of high-profile trials of white Americans who fatally shot unarmed African Americans, which we are constantly told are not about race. Not only is this a losing strategy for the prosecution, but it's dishonest.
Michael Dunn, a 47-year-old software developer, shot and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis, a black teenager he'd argued with about loud music emanating from Davis' car, parked in front of a Jacksonville, Fla., convenience store. Last month the jury hung on the top charge of murder for that killing (while convicting Dunn of attempted murder for firing into the fleeing vehicle). Dunn's retrial is set for May.
Interracial killings aren't necessarily racially motivated, but in this case Dunn, who is white, began the altercation by complaining about Davis' loud "rap crap," "thug" music. Are we to imagine that he would have had the same reaction to high-decibel Taylor Swift tunes? If any doubt remained, Dunn's series of letters from jail clarified his disturbing mindset.


Yes, It Is About Race | Lisa Bloom

Thursday, March 13, 2014

303 Deaths Seen in G.M. Cars With Failed Air Bags - NYTimes.com

As lawmakers press General Motors and regulators over their decade-long
failure to correct a defective ignition switch, a new review of federal crash
data shows that 303 people died after the air bags failed to deploy on two
of the models that were recalled last month.
The review of the air bag failures from 2003 to 2012, by the Friedman
Research Corporation, adds to the mounting reports of problems that went
unheeded before General Motors announced last month that it was
recalling more than 1.6 million cars worldwide because of the defective
switch. G.M. has linked 12 deaths to the faulty switch in the two models
analyzed, the 2005-7 Chevrolet Cobalts and 2003-7 Saturn Ions, as well as
four other models.



303 Deaths Seen in G.M. Cars With Failed Air Bags - NYTimes.com

Huckabee Jokes About War Of Northern Aggression

No one should be surprised that Southern Baptist minister,  Republican Presidential Candidate and Fox TV host would make an extreme statement like this.   This support of the Confederacy is embedded in the faith 9f the Southern Baptist Convention which was founded on it's rebellion from mainstream Baptists who opposed slavery.   As the Bible says how can a bad tree produce good fruit".   The evangelical tradition is in large part based on the elitist, racist writings of John Calvin who simply took Plato's concept of the finite Cosmos and superimposed it on the teachings of Martin Luther.  He developed the heretical concept of Biblical inerrancy which did not exist in Christianity before him.   He praised well and treated the poor as those with moral failings because they were not blessed by God.  This perverted theology is at the root of evangelical Christianity and Presbyterian theology.   It makes racism and gay bashing easy.   I know of some well meaning unsophisticated  Christians who were initially fooled by Huckabee' profession of Christian faith when they should have been  as was put off by it.    His particular evangelical branch of Christianity is dominant in the South and has been spread noxiously to the developing world capturing many naive people in Africa,  Asia and South America.   They reject science.  Claim evolution is not real,  deny global warming and ha even sponsored groups who have advicated the death penalty for gassing Uganda and only back tracked and lied about their previous support when the American and British m3dia shone a light on their horrific activities.  They have supported similar hate legislation in Kenya.   Huckabee is who he is.   He is a representative of an heretical strain of Christianity that is based in racism,  male hegemony over women and gay bashing.   

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bernice King turns over Nobel Prize and Bible to court | www.ajc.com

Bernice King, the one member of Martin Luther King Jr.’s direct family who does not want to sell his Nobel Peace Prize and Bible, turned the items over today to be watched over by the Fulton County Superior Court. An attorney involved in the case said that about 2 p.m., Bernice King appeared at an undisclosed bank and handed the items to her brother, Martin Luther King III, who placed them inside a safety deposit box. The keys to the box will be controlled by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney. King III and Dexter King, took their sister to court last month over the possession of the items, which they intend to sell through the King Estate. Bernice King voted against the sale and refused to turn over the items. Judge McBurney ordered her to hand over the items until the court case is heard on Sept. 29. A motion hearing is scheduled for this Friday as both sides are asking for the dismissal of opposing lawyers.
 
Bernice King turns over Nobel Prize and Bible to court | www.ajc.com

Sunday, March 09, 2014

The children of Japan's Fukushima battle an invisible enemy | Reuters

(Reuters) - Some of the smallest children in Koriyama, a short drive from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, barely know what it's like to play outside -- fear of radiation has kept them in doors for much of their short lives.
Though the strict safety limits for outdoor activity set after multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in 2011 have now been eased, parental worries and ingrained habit mean many children still stay inside.


And the impact is now starting to show, with children experiencing falling strength, lack of coordination, some cannot even ride a bicycle, and emotional issues like shorter tempers, officials and educators say.
The children of Japan's Fukushima battle an invisible enemy | Reuters

Rula Jebreal Interview | 20to30 A Sense of Purpose

I have always liked and respected this woman's understanding of the politics of the "so called middle east". As an American that name always has been kind of ridiculous. It is so Eurocentric. Geographically it is Southwest Asia and North Africa but we live in a strange world.





Rula Jebreal Interview | 20to30

Auto Regulators Dismissed Defect Tied to 13 Deaths - NYTimes.com

The small government chorus on the right does not realize that they are putting their safety into the hands of corporations whose interest may include a utilitarian calculus to sacrifice the few, who may be injured by a defective product because they do not want to expend the cost of investigation and repair.  We must make sure our federal regulators are vigilant.  Obviously in this instance they were not..  



Auto Regulators Dismissed Defect Tied to 13 Deaths - NYTimes.com

Rio’s Race to Future Intersects Slave Past - NYTimes.com

Rio is believed to have imported more slaves than any other city in the
Americas, outranking places like Charleston, S.C.; Kingston, Jamaica; and
Salvador in northeast Brazil. Altogether, Rio received more than 1.8 million African slaves, or 21.5 percent of all slaves who landed in the
Americas, said Mariana P. Candido, a historian at the University of
Kansas.



Slavery’s legacy is clear across Brazil, where more than half of its 200
million people define themselves as black or mixed race, giving the nation
more people of African descent than any other country outside Africa. In
Rio, the large majority of slaves came from what is now Angola, said
Walter Hawthorne, a historian at Michigan State University.
“Rio was a culturally vibrant African city,” Dr. Hawthorne said. “The
foods people ate, the way they worshiped, how they dressed and more were
to a large extent influenced by Angolan cultural norms.”



Rio’s Race to Future Intersects Slave Past - NYTimes.com

Rio’s Race to Future Intersects Slave Past - NYTimes.com

Slavery’s legacy is clear across Brazil, where more than half of its 200
million people define themselves as black or mixed race, giving the nation
more people of African descent than any other country outside Africa. In
Rio, the large majority of slaves came from what is now Angola, said
Walter Hawthorne, a historian at Michigan State University.
“Rio was a culturally vibrant African city,” Dr. Hawthorne said. “The
foods people ate, the way they worshiped, how they dressed and more were
to a large extent influenced by Angolan cultural norms.”
Brazil abolished slavery in 1888, making it the last country in the
Americas to do so.

Rio’s Race to Future Intersects Slave Past - NYTimes.com

Friday, March 07, 2014

Ex-Christie Aide Fights Order To Give Up Records

"TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A former aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says in legal papers that there's a "real and substantial threat" of self-incrimination if she gives state lawmakers records they have requested from her as they look into a political payback scandal involving Christie's office.

In a court filing made public Friday, Bridget Anne Kelly's lawyers say federal authorities have requested interviews with Kelly, her parents, her ex-husband and former in-laws. The lawyers say none of them has been willing to talk.

Christie fired Kelly in January after her text message saying "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" was made public."

Who’s the Villain Here? - NYTimes.com

Oh, come on! The villain here is named Putin, not Obama, and we

should have learned to feel nervous when hawks jump up and down and

say “do something!” We tried that in Iraq. When there are no good

options, a flexing of muscles by NATO or by American warships in the

Black Sea would only reinforce President Vladimir Putin’s narrative to his

home audience while raising the risk of conflict by accident or

miscalculation



Who’s the Villain Here? - NYTimes.com

Black Caucus calls for Issa’s Gavel Chris Hayes talks with a member of the Congressional Black Caucus about calling for Issa to be removed as chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.



All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

Thursday, March 06, 2014

NPR Faces Listener Backlash After Scott Lively Interview | Hatewatch

Evangelical crusader Scott Lively, who is credited with inspiring anti-gay legislation in both Uganda and Russia, was interviewed last week on National Public Radio’s “Tell Me More” program by host Michel Martin to discuss Uganda’s harsh new statute outlawing homosexuality. The interview, which lasted over 10 minutes, included the usual doses of Lively’s incendiary rhetoric, including his assertion that “sodomy is not a human right.”
Lively also justified anti-gay discrimination by comparing it to other forms of bigotry: “Gender, race, ethnicity – these are all morally neutral. But homosexuality is – involves voluntary sexual conduct with serious public health, social, sociological implications. It’s not irrational to discriminate on that basis.”
The interview sparked a strong negative reaction from NPR listeners, who took to social media such as Facebook and Twitter to chastise the network and Martin for broadcasting the interview. Among them was Ted Allen of the Food Network, who commented: “Can’t believe ears: Why is @NPR legitimizing anti-gay Scott Lively on @TellMeMoreNPR?!”

NPR Faces Listener Backlash After Scott Lively Interview | Hatewatch

Oh, Really, Bill? Once Again, O’Reilly Can’t Admit a Mistake | Hatewatch

The AP story reporting the results was headlined, “The Big Story: AP Poll: Majority harbor prejudice against blacks.” And here’s the bottom line under that unambiguous headline: “In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election.”



I wrote O’Reilly and Factor producer Nick Robertson early this week, asking sweetly if they might put me on to defend myself and show that what I said was based on real data. Today, in an E-mail from Robertson, they refused.
Although O’Reilly never made this point on air, Robertson also said via E-mail that the AP poll “did not specifically break out anti-black attitudes among WHITES. The poll was about anti-black attitudes among ALL Americans.” I had merely made an “unproven assumption,” he charged, that most whites had anti-black attitudes.
In fact, the study, if you bother to look into it, found that implicit anti-black attitudes among whites went from 49% in 2008 to 59% in 2012, a shift of 10 percentage points. And explicit anti-black attitudesamong whites went from 57% in 2008 to 60% in 2012. In other words, the change was more marked among whites than the population as a whole. (And by the way, I didn’t say more than half of whites were “racists,” as O’Reilly claimed; I said, as you can see above, that they had “anti-black attitudes.”) In addition, I spoke today to Josh Pasek, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of communications studies at the University of Michigan, who said that while some of the underlying numbers were sometimes fuzzy, any change among whites clearly had been “in a basic anti-black direction. There’s nothing significantly trending in a pro-black direction, “ he added.
In other words, O’Reilly was totally wrong. It wasn’t the first time.


Oh, Really, Bill? Once Again, O’Reilly Can’t Admit a Mistake | Hatewatch

'Stand your Ground' could expand in Florida | MSNBC



'Stand your Ground' could expand in Florida | MSNBC

Florida poised to expand 'Stand Your Ground?' | MSNBC



Florida poised to expand 'Stand Your Ground?' | MSNBC

Why didn’t Debo Adegbile get confirmed? The Senate failed to confirm President Obama’s nominee Debo Adegbile to head the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.



All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

Cummings responds to latest dustup with Issa Rep. Elijah Cummings joins Hardball to discuss his clash of words with House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa Wednesday morning during a hearing about the IRS investigation.



Hardball with Chris Matthews on msnbc

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The surprising truth about drug addiction 03/05/14 07:20PM Columbia Scientist Dr. Carl Hart tells us why he thinks everything we thought we knew about drug addiction is wrong.







All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

The journey from inner-city Miami to Columbia | MSNBC



The journey from inner-city Miami to Columbia | MSNBC

KKK Marches In Front Of Georgia State Capitol In Atlanta March 1, 2014. The South Is Still The South



Florida poised to expand ‘Stand Your Ground?’ Florida be preparing to expand “Stand your Ground” laws to include the “warning shot” bill. Find out how.



All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

Does the GOP have ‘Putin envy?’ While the GOP condemns Putin and sees him as a foe, that condemnation sometimes sounds a bit more like “admiration.”




All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

Putin breaks silence on crisis in Crimea Shots ring out in Crimea as Ukrainian soldiers confront the Russians still deployed in their country. Chris Hayes discusses.



All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

Shots ring out over Crimea Russian soldiers fire warning shots at defiant and unarmed Ukrainian forces upset over occupation. Learn about the latest here.



All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc

Monday, March 03, 2014

Marissa Alexander could face 60 years | MSNBC

Marissa Alexander may face 60 years in prison for firing what she says was a “warning shot” at her abusive estranged husband, as the Florida State Attorney’s office prepares to retry her on three counts of aggravated assault.
Alexander had been serving a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault when a judge ordered she receive a new trial, finding that the jury instructions in her original trial were erroneous. Many of her supporters cheered the announcement, believing that the mandatory minimum 20-year sentence was overly harsh for Alexander, who tried unsuccessfully to use Florida’s Stand-Your-Ground law in her defense. 
But Office of State Attorney Angela Corey confirmed it will seek to put Marissa Alexander in prison for 60 years as they pursue her conviction on three charges of aggravated assault after Alexander fired what she calls a warning shot in the direction of her estranged husband and two of his children.


Marissa Alexander could face 60 years | MSNBC

The Overrating of Rand Paul 2016.

But I vividly remember a moment from that interview, and how it revealed something about Paul that pundits don't cover unless they're forced to. At the end of a short and friendly interview, I asked Paul whether the darker associations of Ron Paul, his father, could be used against him. If Republicans were looking to tar him, couldn't they bring up the racist newsletters published under Ron's name, or the donations from white supremacists that Paul never solicited but declined to give back?
It was like an arctic blast came through my receiver. I don't see how anyone could think that, Rand Paul said. That has nothing to do with this campaign.
In the short term, absolutely, Paul was right. He ran a brilliant primary campaign and a steady general election campaign, in exactly the right year. He only stumbled in a post-victory appearance on Rachel Maddow's show, in which the host socratically wore Paul down on whether he'd have backed the Civil Rights Act. Paul never forgave Maddow for that interview, and for years since then he's attacked the "mischaracterizations" inspired by it. 
In August 2013, after reluctantly parting with his aide Jack Hunter, Paul sat for an interview with John Harwood. He bristled at questions about Hunter's days as a neo-Confederate radio shock jock. "Don't you have something better to read than a bunch of crap from people who don't like me?" he said. "I'm not going to go through an interview responding to every yahoo in the world who wants to say a canard."
These were isolated events in the rise of Rand Paul. Like his father, Paul is a happy mystery for the mainstream media—a libertarian who allies with the left on a few important, newsy topics. As long as he's in the Senate, there's little interest in taking him down over some old nasty associations. The same was true with his father—in the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, the media only remembered that Paul's name appeared on racist newsletters when the candidate 1) broke fundraising records and 2) drew close to winning the Iowa caucuses. Ron Paul grew so irritated at newsletter questions that he curtly ended a CNN interview, removing his mic while the cameras rolled.


The Overrating of Rand Paul 2016.

New audio tapes reveal ‘Bridgegate’ chaos | MSNBC



New audio tapes reveal ‘Bridgegate’ chaos | MSNBC

George W. Bush must have missed something when he saw Putin's Soul. "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. "I was able to get a sense of his soul."

"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue.

"I was able to get a sense of his soul."


George W. Bush must have missed something when he saw Putin's Soul

Sunday, March 02, 2014

America Doesn't Read Much, Says Map

"Congrats, America, we're all illiterate assholes. Or at least, according to this map, we read a hell of a lot less than the rest of the world.

The data comes by way of the NOP World Culture Score Index, and the map comes from @Amazing_Maps. It puts India at number one, reading 10 hours and 42 minutes each week, and the U.S. is eating its dust all the way down at number 22 with a paltry five hours and 42 minutes each week. Here's the full list:"