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Friday, October 31, 2014

America's Midterm Indifference - George Takei - The Colbert Report - Video Clip | Comedy Central

America's Midterm Indifference - George Takei - The Colbert Report - Video Clip | Comedy Central

Democalypse 2014 - South by South Mess: Blueless - The Daily Show - Video Clip | Comedy Central

Democalypse 2014 - South by South Mess: Blueless - The Daily Show - Video Clip | Comedy Central

Why Republicans Keep Telling Everyone They’re Not Scientists -

"WASHINGTON — Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, a Republican who is fighting a Democratic challenge from former Gov. Charlie Crist, was asked by The Miami Herald if he believes climate change is significantly affecting the weather. “Well, I’m not a scientist,” he said."

Georgia governor’s corruption shocker: Right-winger’s shady get-rich scheme could be wildest GOP scandal -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Why Reverse Racism Isn't Real

"I spend a lot of time on the internet. I write in various places on the internet, I interact in lively and active commenting communities at different websites, and I partake in a multitude of online forums that have an ongoing and pretty continuous stream of communication between the contributors. Ya know what I’ve noticed? Any time a PoC starts to talk about their experiences with racism, a white person chimes in to derail the conversation and talk about their own experiences with ‘reverse racism.’ And yes, I’m going to say ‘any time’ and not ‘sometimes’ because I have never once been in an internet dialogue amongst commenters and observed a PoC bring up their experience with real, actual, systemic or overt racism and not encountered a white person trying to make it all about their experiences with perceived racism. Not once. It happens every time. Ya know what else? That shit is tired, played out, and incorrect. So let’s talk about why reverse racism isn’t real and why white people need to let that one go."

Future of Ferguson police dept. is in question | MSNBC

Future of Ferguson police dept. is in question | MSNBC

Democalypse 2014 - South by South Mess: Ad of Brothers - The Daily Show - Video Clip | Comedy Central

Democalypse 2014 - South by South Mess: Ad of Brothers - The Daily Show - Video Clip | Comedy Central

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Vote, Vote, Vote. Vote for Furgeson, Vote to control rogue cops. Vote for YOUR lives.

Black Vote Seen as Last Hope for Democrats to Hold Senate -

"WASHINGTON — The confidential memo from a former pollster for President Obama contained a blunt warning for Democrats. Written this month with an eye toward Election Day, it predicted “crushing Democratic losses across the country” if the party did not do more to get black voters to the polls."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A letter to Gov. Nikki Haley: Time to take down the confederate flag in South Carolina | MSNBC

A letter to Gov. Nikki Haley: Time to take down the confederate flag in South Carolina | MSNBC

How is Ebola treated? | MSNBC

How is Ebola treated? | MSNBC

How Ebola could trigger famine in West Africa | MSNBC

How Ebola could trigger famine in West Africa | MSNBC

MHP: We have two standards for health care in America | MSNBC

MHP: We have two standards for health care in America | MSNBC

Health Scare in Texas Also Sends Political Ripples -

"DALLAS — Along with dramas of disease transmission, treatment protocols and personal safety, one story line about the Ebola cases here has concerned the man who wasn’t there, sort of.

Gov. Rick Perry.

As national attention has obsessively focused on the three Ebola cases diagnosed here, Mr. Perry has been somewhat removed and, for a time, even absent, after he went ahead with a planned international trip as events were still playing out. Not surprisingly, Democrats have largely been critical and Republicans largely supportive. But with Mr. Perry on the verge of a potential presidential run, his low profile has been a subject of discussion in Texas and beyond."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Supreme Court Stops Parts Of Texas Abortion Law

"The justices largely granted the request of abortion providers Tuesday. With three dissenting votes, the court suspended a ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed Texas to enforce a rule making abortion clinics statewide spend millions of dollars on hospital-level upgrades.

The appeals court's ruling suspended an August decision by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, who found that such upgrades were less about safety than making access to abortion difficult."

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ebola Puts Nina Pham, a Nurse Unaccustomed to the Spotlight, in Its Glare -

"Ms. Joseph called Ms. Pham, 26, a conscientious and careful nurse who double-checked her charts and never seemed to make a mistake, a description that deepens the mystery of how a nurse garbed in gloves, mask and other protective gear contracted the disease from a Liberian man who died last week of Ebola. On Monday, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that Ms. Pham’s positive test for Ebola over the weekend had prompted the agency to “substantially” rethink how it approaches infection control for health officials."

Recommended read from Noam Chomsky: Corporate business models are hurting American universities

" That’s part of the business model. It’s the same as hiring temps in industry or what they call “associates” at Walmart, employees that aren’t owed benefits. It’s a part of a corporate business model designed to reduce labor costs and to increase labor servility. When universities become corporatized, as has been happening quite systematically over the last generation as part of the general neoliberal assault on the population, their business model means that what matters is the bottom line.

The effective owners are the trustees (or the legislature, in the case of state universities), and they want to keep costs down and make sure that labor is docile and obedient. The way to do that is, essentially, temps. Just as the hiring of temps has gone way up in the neoliberal period, you’re getting the same phenomenon in the universities.

The idea is to divide society into two groups. One group is sometimes called the “plutonomy” (a term used by Citibank when they were advising their investors on where to invest their funds), the top sector of wealth, globally but concentrated mostly in places like the United States. The other group, the rest of the population, is a “precariat,” living a precarious existence.

This idea is sometimes made quite overt. So when Alan Greenspan was testifying before Congress in 1997 on the marvels of the economy he was running, he said straight out that one of the bases for its economic success was imposing what he called “greater worker insecurity.” If workers are more insecure, that’s very “healthy” for the society, because if workers are insecure they won’t ask for wages, they won’t go on strike, they won’t call for benefits; they’ll serve the masters gladly and passively. And that’s optimal for corporations’ economic health."

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Sunday, October 05, 2014

VP Biden Apologizes for Telling Truth About Turkey, Saudi and ISIS - The Daily Beast

" Vice President Joe Biden is apologizing again for speaking the truth. After talking for an hour and a half at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy Forum last Thursday, he took a question from a student who asked a wise question: “In retrospect do you believe the United States should have acted earlier in Syria, and if not, why is now the right moment?"

Biden, predictably, said “the answer is ‘no’ for two reasons.” The first being the unreliability, incompetence and radicalism of the forces the United States would have been supporting on the ground. No real surprise there. But then he said what everyone in the region knows and The Daily Beast has reported extensively:

“My constant cry was that our biggest problem is our allies — our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria,” Biden told his listeners in remarks subsequently posted on the White House YouTube channel (go to 1:32:00 if you want to skip the earlier speech). 

“The Turks were great friends,” he notes, adding that he recently spent considerable time with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and they have “a great relationship.” Ditto the Saudis and the Emiratis. But when it came to Syria and the effort to bring down President Bashar Assad there, those allies’ policies wound up helping to arm and build allies of al Qaeda and eventually the terrorist “Islamic State.”

“What were they doing?” Biden asked rhetorically. “They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad — except that the people who were being supplied were al Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

Note that Biden did not say the intent of any of these allies was to supply terrorists, only that a hell of a lot of the arms and the money wound up in the hands of people who are sworn enemies of the West as well as of Assad."

NYTimes: Protesters in Hong Kong Ease Sit-In at Government Headquarters
This is sad. At some point democracy demonstrators mutual confront the Chinese government and risk another June 6th 1989 massacre.

Bill and Melinda Gates top Forbes list as most philanthropic Americans - CNET

"Bill and Melinda Gates have taken the No. 1 spot on Forbes' list of the 50 top givers in America.

Ranking the most philanthropic people across the country, Forbes singled out the Gates couple, who donated $2.65 billion last year toward fighting disease and reforming education, among other initiatives. One notable gift cited by Forbes was $50 million dollars given by the pair to the International Aids Vaccine Initiative. Over their lifetime, the two have given out $30.2 billion, about 37 percent of their net worth.

The couple coordinate their efforts through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which works with other people to donate money and resources on trying to solve a select number of global problems and concerns."

Saturday, October 04, 2014

BBC News - World wildlife populations halved in 40 years - report

"The global loss of species is even worse than previously thought, the London Zoological Society (ZSL) says in its new Living Planet Index.

The report suggests populations have halved in 40 years, as new methodology gives more alarming results than in a report two years ago.

The report says populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by an average of 52%.

Populations of freshwater species have suffered an even worse fall of 76%."

An Inconvenient Protest for Both China and the U.S. -

We must have the courage to do what is right and speak out.

" WASHINGTON — President Obama is scheduled to visit China next month, and with tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters on the streets of Hong Kong, human rights could force itself onto the agenda between the United States and the Chinese in a way not seen in many years.

A major caveat, of course, is that the fervent crowds in Hong Kong could be long gone by Nov. 10, when Mr. Obama and 20 Pacific Rim leaders gather in Beijing for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting. That would certainly be a relief to the Chinese host, President Xi Jinping, and perhaps to Mr. Obama, too.

Human rights have not been a major topic of discussion between the two countries since the aftermath of China’s bloody crackdown in Tiananmen Square 25 years ago. With Washington eager to work with Beijing on a list of priorities — from climate change to curbing Iran’s nuclear program — officials in both countries are eager to keep it that way.