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FIP Year In Review

FIP Month in Review

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2014-07-09
R.I.P. William 'Bill' Herbert Kelder - Intellpuke

2013-11-28
Gamers Donate 37,500 Pounds Of Food To Needy

2013-09-30
Statement From The Whitehouse Regarding The Government Shutdown

2013-09-29
An Open Response To 'Organizing for Action'

2013-08-26
Bayou Corne: The Biggest Ongoing Disaster In The U.S. You Have Not Heard Of

2013-04-21
Boston Mayor Hopes Feds 'Throw the Book' at Marathon Bombing Suspect

2013-04-19
Boston Police Closing In On Suspects

2013-04-15
2 Explosions At Boston Marathon. 2 Dead, Many Injured.

2013-01-03
The Press vs Citizens Rights and Privacy - Act 3

2012-12-30
CBS News - Year In Review 2012

Nature.com - 366 Days: 2012 In Review

The Guardian - 2012 In Review: An Interactive Guide To The Year That Was

TruTV - The Biggest Conspiracy Theories of 2012

Colbert Nation: 2012: A Look Back

FIP Year In Review(s?)

2012-12-25
Happy Holidays

2012-12-21
Welcome To A New Era!

2012-12-16
An Open Letter To United Health Care, Medcom, And The Medical Insurance Industry In General

2012-11-17
Whitehouse Petition To Remove "Under God" and "In God" From Currency And The Pledge.

2012-11-15
December 21, 2012

2012-11-11
If Hillary Clinton Ran For President, She Would Probably Be The Best-prepared Candidate In American History

2012-11-10
CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns After FBI Investigation Uncovers Affair With High-Profile Journalist

FIP Format Update

2012-11-07
Thank you for voting.

2012-11-06
Live Election Results

2012-09-30
FIP In Hiatus

2012-09-18
U.S.-Afghan Military Operations Suspended After Attacks

Iran Nuclear Chief Says IAEA Might Be Infiltrated By 'Terrorists And Saboteurs'

Romney Stands By Gaffe

2012-09-17
President Obama Says China Trade Practices Harm American Auto Parts Workers



Free Internet Press - News Aggregator
Updated every 10 minutes.
Sandwiches Are a Major Contributor to Dietary Sodium Intake
2015-04-18 04:30:15 (7 minutes ago) 
Sandwiches account for one-fifth of total sodium intake, with nearly half of American adults consuming them on any given day, according to new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
 
Parents of 8-Year-Old Boy Killed in Marathon Bombings Don’t Want Tsarnaev to Get Death Penalty
2015-04-18 04:30:07 (7 minutes ago) 
The parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013 , wrote a plea to spare convcted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty.






 
Secret Teacher: why do some parents expect us to toilet train their children?
2015-04-18 04:29:01 (8 minutes ago) 

We can’t teach children properly unless parents send them to school with the basic life skills. We are teachers, not supernannies

• More from the Secret Teacher

Sitting in a family’s living room last September, I watched my school’s reception teacher force a smile. We were on a home visit for a soon-to-be student and the mother asked, “Is there anything I need to do before he starts?” A sensible question with an obvious answer as the child on her lap was wearing a nappy and drinking from a training cup.

This wasn’t the first home visit that had left us mentally replanning our early years curriculum. The day before, we’d helped one desperate mother rescue her child from climbing on top of the kitchen cupboards and conducted another meeting in whispers because the child was still having her afternoon nap. These represent part of a growing issue my primary school is contending with: an increasing number of children are not “school ready”.

We are teachers, not supernannies

Continue reading...
 
Yeah, because I'm totally going to spend $400 to look like a goddamn peasant
2015-04-18 04:27:30 (9 minutes ago) 
submitted by FancySkink to funny
[link] [282 comments]
 
Secret Teacher: why do some parents expect us to toilet train their children?
2015-04-18 04:24:17 (13 minutes ago) 

We can’t teach children properly unless parents send them to school with the basic life skills. We are teachers, not supernannies

• More from the Secret Teacher

Sitting in a family’s living room last September, I watched my school’s reception teacher force a smile. We were on a home visit for a soon-to-be student and the mother asked, “Is there anything I need to do before he starts?” A sensible question with an obvious answer as the child on her lap was wearing a nappy and drinking from a training cup.

This wasn’t the first home visit that had left us mentally replanning our early years curriculum. The day before, we’d helped one desperate mother rescue her child from climbing on top of the kitchen cupboards and conducted another meeting in whispers because the child was still having her afternoon nap. These represent part of a growing issue my primary school is contending with: an increasing number of children are not “school ready”.

We are teachers, not supernannies

Continue reading...
 
This Boston College Student is Collecting Your Empty Cans for His Marathon Fundraising Efforts
2015-04-18 04:21:04 (16 minutes ago) 
College student Brendon Anderson is raising money to run the Boston Marathon by recycling empty beer cans from his friends on campus.






 
Sandwiches Are a Major Contributor to Dietary Sodium Intake
2015-04-18 04:20:22 (16 minutes ago) 
Sandwiches account for one-fifth of total sodium intake, with nearly half of American adults consuming them on any given day, according to new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
 
Parents of 8-Year-Old Boy Killed in Marathon Bombings Don’t Want Tsarnaev to Get Death Penalty
2015-04-18 04:20:10 (17 minutes ago) 
The parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013 , wrote a plea to spare convcted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty.






 
Sandwiches Are a Major Contributor to Dietary Sodium Intake
2015-04-18 04:10:18 (27 minutes ago) 
Sandwiches account for one-fifth of total sodium intake, with nearly half of American adults consuming them on any given day, according to new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
 
Parents of 8-Year-Old Boy Killed in Marathon Bombings Don’t Want Tsarnaev to Get Death Penalty
2015-04-18 04:10:09 (27 minutes ago) 
The parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013 , wrote a plea to spare convcted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty.






 
Egypt Runners Defy Cairo Mayhem as Sport's Popularity Grows
2015-04-18 04:10:03 (27 minutes ago) 
Egyptians take to the chaotic streets of Cairo in increasingly popular running clubs
 
Breakfast of champions: Usain Bolt’s ackee and saltfish
2015-04-18 04:09:01 (28 minutes ago) 
 
Chicago police: Man shot, killed by officer after running from van, pointing gun at officers
2015-04-18 04:08:27 (28 minutes ago) 
 
Breakfast of champions: Usain Bolt’s ackee and saltfish
2015-04-18 04:04:24 (32 minutes ago) 
 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 04:01:15 (36 minutes ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
VIDEO: Italian PM warns over migrants
2015-04-18 04:00:56 (36 minutes ago) 
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has warned that thousands of Africans will continue to risk their lives trying to travel to Europe unless the civil war ends in Libya.
 
Egypt runners defy Cairo mayhem as sport's popularity grows
2015-04-18 04:00:33 (36 minutes ago) 
CAIRO (AP) - Young Egyptians are once again organizing on social media and taking to the streets of Cairo by the hundreds every Friday, not to protest injustice or clash with police, but to enjoy long runs through one of the world's most crowded and chaotic cities. On a recent Friday morning around 300 young people gathered at a central square, a small fraction of the 2,500 that had signed up for the event on Facebook, but a reasonable showing for an event held at 7:00 a.m. on a weekend....
 
Sandwiches Are a Major Contributor to Dietary Sodium Intake
2015-04-18 04:00:29 (36 minutes ago) 
Sandwiches account for one-fifth of total sodium intake, with nearly half of American adults consuming them on any given day, according to new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
 
This Boston College Student is Collecting Your Empty Cans for His Marathon Fundraising Efforts
2015-04-18 04:00:13 (37 minutes ago) 
College student Brendon Anderson is raising money to run the Boston Marathon by recycling empty beer cans from his friends on campus.






 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 03:50:18 (47 minutes ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
Crush of the week: Charlie Cox
2015-04-18 03:49:09 (48 minutes ago) 

In possibly his biggest part yet, the 32-year-old British actor’s lovely face is largely hidden from view. Which is a real shame

Charlie Cox has an undeniably cute face. If I had to describe it, I would go for boyishly handsome, lovely, appealing. It is open, and devoid of guile, which means you trust it – and whatever character he happens to be playing. His everyman appeal means you may not have realised how many times you’ve seen him on screen; in Sky Atlantic’s Boardwalk Empire, for example, playing Irish immigrant Owen Slater, and in The Theory Of Everything, playing Jonathan Hellyer Jones.

But now, in possibly his biggest part yet, the 32-year-old Brit actor’s lovely face is largely hidden from view. He is starring as Marvel’s blind and masked superhero, Daredevil (all 13 episodes are on Netflix). The decision to give the job to “some random English guy who didn’t grow up on comics is probably not ideal for many of the fans”, Cox has said, but he needn’t worry: he’s selling it utterly. US audiences are aflutter at the first non-American to play the role of the Man Without Fear.

Continue reading...
 
Men’s fashion jury: 'Never has a man fallen so fast and so far in the style stakes as Jared Leto'
2015-04-18 03:44:15 (53 minutes ago) 

Fashion hit or sartorial disaster? Our judges put Kanye West, Shia LaBeouf, Aidan Turner, Lewis Hamilton and Jared Leto under the style microscope

Helen Seamons Guardian men’s fashion editor; Ronnie O’Sullivan Five-time world snooker champion; Alan Johnson Former home secretary; Mark-Francis Vandelli Star of E4’s Made In Chelsea.

Continue reading...
 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 03:41:12 (56 minutes ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
Sandwiches Are a Major Contributor to Dietary Sodium Intake
2015-04-18 03:40:21 (57 minutes ago) 
Sandwiches account for one-fifth of total sodium intake, with nearly half of American adults consuming them on any given day, according to new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
 
Hunter says he'll help save black rhinos by killing one
2015-04-18 03:40:13 (57 minutes ago) 
The Texas hunter paid $350,000 for a license to hunt an endangered black rhino in Namibia. FULL STORY
 
Parents of 8-Year-Old Boy Killed in Marathon Bombings Don’t Want Tsarnaev to Get Death Penalty
2015-04-18 03:40:10 (57 minutes ago) 
The parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013 , wrote a plea to spare convcted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty.






 
This Boston College Student is Collecting Your Empty Cans for His Marathon Fundraising Efforts
2015-04-18 03:30:06 (1 hours ago) 
College student Brendon Anderson is raising money to run the Boston Marathon by recycling empty beer cans from his friends on campus.






 
Zayn Malik pays tribute to bandmates
2015-04-18 03:30:05 (1 hours ago) 
Zayn Malik pays tribute to his former bandmates at an award ceremony, where he made his first solo appearance since leaving One Direction.
 
LAUSD reaches deal, 10 percent pay raise for teachers
2015-04-18 03:27:49 (1 hours ago) 

Los Angeles Unified School District agreed to 10 percent pay raises for nearly 35,000 teachers in a deal reached with union leaders late Friday evening.

The agreement also provides for additional teachers, counseling services and "improvements to the teacher evaluation system," according to a joint statement released by United Teachers Los Angeles and LAUSD at 10:59 p.

 
Oklahoma's capital idea: No needle? Gas will do
2015-04-18 03:27:07 (1 hours ago) 
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma became the first U.S. state to approve nitrogen gas for executions under a measure Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law yesterday that provides an alternative death-penalty method if lethal injections aren't possible, either because of a court ruling or a drug shortage.
 
Obama lashes out on delayed Lynch vote
2015-04-18 03:27:06 (1 hours ago) 
WASHINGTON - President Obama on Friday said it was "crazy" and "embarrassing" the way the GOP-led Senate has held up confirmation of his attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch.
 
WASHINGTON STATE
2015-04-18 03:27:05 (1 hours ago) 
A truck carrying millions of honeybees to a blueberry farm overturned north of Seattle, scattering hives and sending beekeepers on a recovery mission.
 
Hey, Uncle Sam: Give 'em back the gold coins
2015-04-18 03:27:04 (1 hours ago) 
A FAMILY WAS awarded the rights to 10 rare gold coins possibly worth $80 million or more yesterday after a U.S. appeals court overturned a jury verdict.
 
In the Nation
2015-04-18 03:27:03 (1 hours ago) 
 
CHINA
2015-04-18 03:27:03 (1 hours ago) 
A Beijing court sentenced a veteran Chinese journalist to seven years in prison Friday on charges of leaking a document detailing the Communist Party leadership's resolve to aggressively target civil society and press freedom as a threat to its monopoly on power.
 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 03:21:17 (1 hours ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
Briefly... CITY/REGION
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
Cop wounds armed man A 24-year-old man was shot in the leg during an encounter with Philadelphia police late Thursday in Northeast Philadelphia.
 
Nutter picks police oversight squad
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
MAYOR NUTTER yesterday announced the formation of a Police Community Oversight Board, tasked with helping implement reforms recommended to the Police Department by the federal government.
 
Police arrest third suspect in Olney beating
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
Kaisha Duggins was taken into custody late Thursday, police said.
 
South Philly seniors make memory books, friendships
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
Moore College art students bond with bookmaking older adults
 
Dan Farrell | News photographer, 84
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
Dan Farrell, 84, whose photograph of a young John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting during the 1963 funeral ceremonies for his father became one of the most memorable images surrounding the Kennedy assassination, died Monday at a hospital in Rockville Centre, N.Y. The cause was pneumonia, said his son Daniel Farrell.
 
IronPigs to offer broccoli bites - filled with bacon
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
Coming soon to a minor-league ball game near you: Broccoli. Days after a national physicians group renewed its push to get the Phillies' triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, to include vegetables on its pork-laden stadium menu, the team has agreed to add the green stalk.
 
Francis George | Chicago cardinal, 78
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
Cardinal Francis George, 78, a vigorous defender of Roman Catholic orthodoxy, died Friday, according to the Archdiocese of Chicago.
 
There's No Escape from Advertising
2015-04-18 03:20:24 (1 hours ago) 
We’re supposedly free to ignore all the ways companies try to sell us stuff, but our brains don’t work like that.

If, like me, you can’t bear those little TV screens in the backs of taxis, just be grateful that you don’t live in Seoul (unless you live in Seoul). There, a few years back, bus passengers were exposed to an even more invasive form of advertising: each time the bus approached a branch of Dunkin’ Donuts, an “aromatizer” device sprayed the scent of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee into the vehicle. The ad executives responsible for this received not lengthy prison sentences, as might have seemed appropriate, but an industry award for “best use of ambient media”.

This is one of countless examples in Matthew Crawford’s new book, The World Beyond Your Head, of the ways in which every last available scrap of our attention is gobbled up these days with ever-increasing efficiency, usually in an attempt to sell us things. He recounts trips through airports involving the relentless chatter of CNN in the departure lounge, ads on escalator handrails and even in the trays at the security checkpoint – culminating in one instance at a hotel where, sure enough, some bright spark had found space on the plastic key cards to squeeze in another ad.

There’s nothing new in the claim that we’re living through a crisis of attention, characterized by distraction, shrinking attention spans and an inability to resist checking your iPhone while eating dinner, crossing the road or having sex. (It sometimes feels as if all the articles and books bemoaning the situation do more to contribute to information overload than to alleviate it.) But Crawford makes the crucial point that this is a political problem.

It’s not merely that technology enables a myriad new stimuli, which we need self-discipline to master; rather, it’s that the creators of smartphones, social networks designed to hook us, the firms buying ads on escalator handrails and media organizations desperate for your clicks and shares are all helping themselves to something that’s ours – the limited resource of our attention – to try to turn a profit.

Crawford’s single most important idea may be that of an “attentional commons”:

There are some resources that we hold in common, such as the air we breathe and the water we drink. We take them for granted, but their widespread availability makes everything else we do possible… That is why we have regulations in place to protect these common resources. We recognize their importance and their fragility.

What if we thought of attention as something similar: a collective resource, on which everything else depends? And that, when commercial interests exploit our attention on an industrial scale, what’s happening is essentially a transfer of wealth from public to private, no less than if they dumped toxic chemicals in a reservoir?

You can, of course, defend against incursions on your attention by wearing earphones, reading a gripping book, moving to the mountains, staying home, or in some other way avoiding the public spaces where threats to your attention are greatest. But escaping from the attention-colonizers in these ways comes at a cost: the loss of a social existence in which we’re not bombarded by efforts to grab attention. “An airport lounge,” Crawford writes, “once felt rich with possibilities for spontaneous encounters. Even if we did not converse, our attention was free to alight upon one another and linger, or not. We encountered one another in person, even if in silence.”

These days, the easiest way to get this kind of silence is to be wealthy: in the airport business lounge, there’s no piped CNN, just the clink of glasses as your free drinks are mixed. In a world in which attention has been monetized, you must pay up if you want to be able to hear yourself think. And what are those people in the business lounge thinking about? Why, in some cases, anyway, it’s how to monetize other people’s attention. “Consider that it is those in the business lounge who make the decisions that determine the character of the peon lounge,” Crawford notes, “and we may start to see these things in a political light.”

Perhaps the most troubling implication of all this is what it suggests about human freedom. A central assumption of liberalism is that we’re free to ignore messages we don’t like; that’s why freedom of speech involves a right to offend but no right not to be offended. Yet what if, as a matter of empirical psychology, attention doesn’t work like that?

Our brains are built to attend to fast-changing aspects of our visual field, more than those that change slowly – so there’s a real sense in which the TV screens at the airport command our attention, instead of simply suggesting something we might like to do with it. As Natasha Dow Schull shows in her terrifying study of Las Vegas slot machines, Addiction By Design, the gambling industry likes to defend itself by appealing to the idea that people are free to play its machines or not – all the while designing devices explicitly calibrated to try to rob them of that choice.

This need not necessarily be an argument for draconian regulations on how companies advertise or otherwise seek our attention, and Crawford doesn’t propose any. (Much of his book is devoted to exploring other ways in which we might regain attentional sovereignty.) But he does direct a heartfelt plea to architects, interior designers, building managers, politicians and anyone else with influence over the design of public space:

Please don’t install speakers in every single corner of a shopping mall, even its outdoor spaces. Please don’t fill up every moment between innings in a lazy college baseball game with thundering excitement. Please give me a way to turn off the monitor in the back seat of a taxi. Please let there be one corner of the bar where the flickering delivery system for Bud Light commercials is deemed unnecessary, because I am already at the bar.

It’s all most depressing. And yet, in the days after finishing Crawford’s book, I found myself ironically cheered by noticing all the public spaces not yet claimed in an effort to consume my attention. The paving-stones and asphalt of my street are still a calming expanse of black and gray; the grass in the park doesn’t yet have corporate logos dyed into it; give or take the occasional skywriting plane, the skies are free of ads. We may have to fight hard to keep things that way, though.

 

 Related StoriesWhy So Many Celebrities Are ScientologistsHow YouTube, Big Data and Big Brands Mean Trouble For Kids and ParentsHere's What I Did When Online Targeted Ads Started Stalking Me
 
Imagine a World Where Borders Are Based on Nature and Culture, Not Politics and War
2015-04-18 03:20:24 (1 hours ago) 
Guided by watersheds, mountains and local knowledge, bioregionalism is a logical way to create boundaries.

There’s little natural about the boundaries that divide states and countries. They’re often imaginary lines that result from history, conflict, or negotiation. But imagine what the world would look like if borders were set according to ecological and cultural boundaries.

Bioregionalism says that’s the only logical way to divide up territory: Let watersheds, mountain ranges, microclimates, and the local knowledge and economies that exist in them guide the way we set boundaries. That way, life within those boundaries is tied together not by arbitrary decisions but by common interests. For instance, in the United States, there are many cases where ecologically and economically distinct areas are encompassed in one state, which makes for political difficulty.

Oftentimes, no matter who wins in elections or policy, someone is left out or disenfranchised. Governing ourselves in smaller, naturally-bounded regions might ease those tensions.

Bioregionalism was first advanced in the early 1970s by poet-ecologist Allen Van Newkirk and popularized by thinkers and activists, such as environmental advocate Peter Berg and conservation biologist Raymond Dasmann.

Today, bioregional thinking is expressed in the many climate justice groups that organize on a local or regional scale, such as Tar Sands Blockade and Rising Tide. These groups are community-based efforts that empower local residents to take action on the environmental issues that directly affect their lives. Big environmental nonprofits typically fight for laws to limit or mitigate environmental destruction, while treating our current political and economic systems as legitimate. But bioregional thinkers see those systems as part of the problem—and suggest that restructuring our society along smaller ecological lines will empower communities and help shift our relationship to the Earth to one that is sustainable.

One way to begin that shift involves recognizing the rights of nature. On August 30, 2012, the Whanganui River in New Zealand was granted legal standing as an entity with rights. New Zealand is only the third country in the world to grant rights to nature, after Bolivia and Ecuador. Under an agreement between the New Zealand government and Maori tribal groups, the Whanganui is recognized as “an indivisible and living whole, from the mountains to the sea, incorporating its tributaries and all its physical and metaphysical elements.”

The agreement is a step in ongoing negotiations between the Maori and the government to resolve longstanding grievances related to the Treaty of Waitangi. This treaty helped establish British control over New Zealand. But there is disagreement between the Maori and the British about the interpretation of the treaty, and many Maori have made claims for redress. The New Zealand government has gradually been addressing these claims.

The 2012 agreement also mandates the development of a “Whole of River Strategy” to integrate input from all of the groups that use the river, including the Maori, the local and federal governments, and recreational and commercial users. In a press release, New Zealand Attorney General Christopher Finlayson wrote that “the goal of the strategy will be to ensure the long-term environmental, social, cultural, and economic health and wellbeing of the river.”

Almost exactly two years later, on August 5, 2014, a second agreement was signed, reaffirming the first agreement and including a financial settlement of $80 million for the tribes and $30 million for improving the river’s health. In addition, the Maori and the government will each appoint an advocate for the river’s rights. James Christmas, senior advisor to the Attorney General, said in an email that legislation enacting the settlement is expected early in 2015.

The Whanganui settlement process reflects bioregionalism at work. In this agreement, the river is seen not as a natural resource to be apportioned among its various users, but as an integral part of both the cultural and material life of the communities that interact with it. Maori beliefs and lifeways figure prominently in the language of the agreement, which involved a high level of consultation with tribes.

There are signs of a shift toward bioregionalism in U.S. policy as well. In November 2012, the United States and Mexico signed an agreement aimed at changing how the two countries co-manage the Colorado River. The New York Times reported that “the two countries will share in both surpluses and water shortages.”

Most importantly, in a bioregional sense, the agreement mandates that the United States, Mexico, and participating environmental organizations will all set aside water to reconnect the river to the Gulf of California, which will help restore habitat for birds and native plants. Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, a nonprofit that works on water and sustainability issues, highlighted the many people and organizations who worked hard to make the agreement happen. Though it took 20 years of advocacy for the Colorado River, and though the agreement is only in effect for five years (after which it can be renewed), it is still a big step for two nations to manage a shared resource as a whole system, instead of dividing it up at a border.

Reorganizing our political structures around ecological regions and the cultures within them could enable us to live a more sustainable, decentralized lifestyle that prioritizes participatory democracy and local knowledge over corporate control and the exploitation inherent in multinational free trade agreements. Bioregionalism is one possible vision of a future that works for people and for the Earth.

 Related StoriesWhy Is Media Coverage of California Drought Omitting Biggest Culprit?How Elves and Dragons Are Doing a Fantastic Job of Protecting Iceland's EnvironmentPrepare for More Insect-Borne Diseases and Asthma from Climate Change, Obama Warns
 
Modern Life Is a Frightening Experiment in How Much Exposure We Can Take from Toxic Chemicals
2015-04-18 03:20:23 (1 hours ago) 
A new documentary reveals how the $770 billion chemical industry is pumping dangerous substances into our lives.

Back in 1974, the agricultural multinational Monsanto developed a class of herbicides using glyphosate as the key ingredient. By the 1990s, the company had created corn, soy and cotton seeds genetically altered to resist glyphosate herbicides, meaning farmers could kill weeds without fearing for the health of their crops. Today, Monsanto’s Roundup is the most widely used weed-killer in the world.

One problem: we now know with certainty that glyphosate is carcinogenic to humans and animals. Though Roundup has been plagued by controversy for years, a report released this March by scientists affiliated with the World Health Organization definitively linked the herbicide to increased risks for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, as well as DNA and chromosomal damage in mammals.

Roundup is only one of tens of thousands of chemicals we encounter every day in our food, clothing, furniture, electronics and cosmetics. Over 84,000 chemicals are used in U.S. commerce, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, most of which have never been tested for potentially toxic effects on human and wildlife health and the environment. The Human Experiment, a new documentary narrated by Sean Penn and directed by journalists Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, takes a wide-angle view on the health risks perpetuated by the chemical industry, and demonstrates how in their eyes we’re all just guinea pigs available for testing. 

The documentary uses three case studies to provide a sampling of the potential health consequences of sustained chemical exposure. Marika Holmgren is an active, non-smoking Bay Area woman with no family history of cancer who receives a diagnosis of advanced breast cancer at age 37; Jenn Canvasser is a healthy young woman who discovers she has polycystic ovarian syndrome and endures several difficult, expensive rounds of IVF treatments as she and her husband try to conceive; and Hannah Cary, whose brother is severely autistic, is an advocate at the Autism Society of America. The subjects and filmmakers make the case that chemicals in the environment are responsible for these health conditions, and there is plenty of unnerving science to back up their fears.

Many of the professors and scientists interviewed in the film point to rising rates of cancer, learning disorders and infertility that cannot be fully explained by genetic drift or changes in diagnostic criteria. Breast cancer rates have gone up more than 30 percent in both men and women since 1975. Rates of asthma have increased by 80 percent in the last 45 years, and ADHD has increased by 53 percent. As Sean Penn narrates, these conditions “are all on the rise since the dawn of the chemical revolution.”

But correlation and causation are not the same thing, as any scientist (or journalist) knows. In the case of women like Jenn Canvasser, there could be many other environmental and genetic factors at play. Like 6.5 million other women in the U.S., Canvasser has trouble conceiving. When she finally gives birth to twins after multiple rounds of IVF treatments, both are plagued by health problems and one eventually dies after a few short, hospital-ridden months. Her story is heartbreaking, but at no point is her or her sons’ condition explicitly linked to chemical exposure. Instead, the filmmakers say “Numerous studies associate adverse pregnancy outcomes with toxic chemicals including pesticides, DDT, PCBs and BPA.” Again and again, they hammer home the connection between rising rates of disease and chemical usage, but the strongest language they use is “linked to” or “associated with.”

Still, consumers and health advocates undoubtedly have cause for concern, as the Roundup controversy shows us. Over the past several decades, the chemical industry has repeatedly demonstrated a blatant disregard for public health. Existing and new chemicals are supposed to be monitored by a 1976 law known as the Toxic Substances Control Act. But loopholes in its language mean that companies don’t have to test chemicals before including them in consumer products and make it very difficult for the EPA to pull hazardous chemicals from the market. Sixty-two thousand chemicals, including toxic substances like asbestos, were grandfathered in under the law, assumed safe because they were already in use. Essentially, the TSCA functions as little more than a long list of known chemicals, and consumers have no way of knowing which products contain flame retardants, formaldehyde, cadmium, or other chemicals that can be toxic to humans and animals.

As David Rosner, a professor at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, says in the film, there have been “real mistakes, major mistakes where we allowed these industries to get away with murder.”

The lack of available information about the linkages between chemicals and disease is partly the design of the $770 billion chemical industry. Dow, Exxon and other major firms spend millions each year lobbying Washington for favorable legislation and funding the campaigns of industry-friendly representatives. In the late 1990s, bisphenol A, an endocrine-disrupting chemical that mimics estrogen and can lead to health problems ranging from obesity to infertility, was discovered to be in many hard plastics. These everyday products included everything from baby bottles to Tupperware. During the ensuing public outcry, chemical industry trade groups released a rash of bunk studies, insisting that BPA is safe for humans at the levels to which we’re exposed. 

A great deal of work needs to be done to combat the industry’s influence, and The Human Experiment tracks the difficult, mundane efforts being made by health advocates, families and legislators to obtain stricter consumer protection laws. But this is only one angle pursued in the sprawling film, which tries to cover far more ground than its hour-and-a-half run time allows. By taking on the "chemical industry” as a whole, the filmmakers can only spend a few minutes discussing a particular chemical, or case study, before moving on to the next. This overly sweeping approach, paired with a lack of hard research connecting specific chemicals to specific health problems, can make the film somewhat juvenile at times, a documentary that basically boils down to the thesis “chemicals are dangerous.”

Yet despite this broad focus, there are notable absences in the film. With the exception of Maria Cruz, a housecleaner who immigrated from Mexico with her two children, almost all of the interview subjects are middle-class white people who have the financial resources to afford needed medical care and combat ineffective legislation. Little mention is made of the disproportionate effects of toxic chemicals on minorities and the working class, or of heavily polluted areas like Louisiana’s Cancer Alley, where the wastes pumped out by surrounding petrochemical refineries have caused high rates of miscarriages, cancer and other diseases.

The real takeaway of the film is one that aligns quite closely with the values of middle-class white America: learning how to be a better consumer. Jenn Canvasser and Marika Holmgren now both work as consumer protection advocates, warning people of the dangers of toxic chemicals in their makeup and home furnishings. Consumer protection efforts are certainly admirable, but after gaining even a cursory understanding of the public health risks perpetuated by the chemical industry, learning how to make more educated decisions about which bar of soap to purchase isn’t exactly an inspiring rallying cry.

 Related StoriesFrom Monsanto to Everyday Plastics, We're All Guinea Pigs in a Giant Chemical Experiment5 Toxic, Dangerous Chemicals in the Products You Use Every Day (and Some Easy Alternatives)Memo to Anti-Vaxxer Jenny McCarthy: Research Points to a Very Different Culprit for Autism
 
Goopy jellyfish fill Oregon, Washington beaches
2015-04-18 03:20:18 (1 hours ago) 
 
Parents of 8-Year-Old Boy Killed in Marathon Bombings Don’t Want Tsarnaev to Get Death Penalty
2015-04-18 03:20:12 (1 hours ago) 
The parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013 , wrote a plea to spare convcted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty.






 
NT Labor leader Delia Lawrie referred to police by attorney general
2015-04-18 03:10:32 (1 hours ago) 

Lawrie rejects findings former Labor government bypassed the usual open tenders process to hand historic Darwin site to unions on 10-year lease for no rent

The Northern Territory’s embattled Labor opposition leader, Delia Lawrie, has been referred to police for possible breaches of criminal law as she fights to retain leadership of her party.

Police said on Saturday that the NT attorney general referred to them the recent judgment of Lawrie v Lawler, which will be investigated by commander Peter Bravos of a new specialised investigative unit.

Continue reading...
 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 03:10:18 (1 hours ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 04:30:07 (7 minutes ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
Swedish study explains coffee cancer link
2015-04-18 04:29:09 (8 minutes ago) 
Swedish researchers have explained why drinking coffee is thought to lower the risk of contracting breast and other cancers.
 
In the cafe where you can pay what you want, what would you choose?
2015-04-18 04:28:57 (8 minutes ago) 
Cafes serving meals made with ‘intercepted’ ingredients that were destined for landfill are opening up across the UK. You simply add up your own bill

How much would you pay for food in a cafe which does not have any prices on the menu? And how would you decide what the price should be, if you knew the food you were going to be served was originally destined for the bin? That’s the dilemma facing customers of a new wave of cafes opening around the country.

There are at least 10 “waste not, want not” cafes, from Skipchen in Bristol and the Real Junk Food Project in Leeds to Save the Date in London; they operate on the principle of using “intercepted food” – food that would otherwise be thrown away by supermarkets and wholesalers – on their menus, while letting customers pay what they feel their meal is worth.

Customers order … and at the end of the meal are invited to put a donation in an envelope. There's no obligation to pay

Continue reading...
 
Sustainable development must prioritise women's sexual health
2015-04-18 04:24:38 (12 minutes ago) 

As the Commission on Population and Development comes to an end, it’s vital we focus on targets for sexual and reproductive healthcare and empowerment

Continue reading...
 
In the cafe where you can pay what you want, what would you choose?
2015-04-18 04:24:13 (13 minutes ago) 
Cafes serving meals made with ‘intercepted’ ingredients that were destined for landfill are opening up across the UK. You simply add up your own bill

How much would you pay for food in a cafe which does not have any prices on the menu? And how would you decide what the price should be, if you knew the food you were going to be served was originally destined for the bin? That’s the dilemma facing customers of a new wave of cafes opening around the country.

There are at least 10 “waste not, want not” cafes, from Skipchen in Bristol and the Real Junk Food Project in Leeds to Save the Date in London; they operate on the principle of using “intercepted food” – food that would otherwise be thrown away by supermarkets and wholesalers – on their menus, while letting customers pay what they feel their meal is worth.

Customers order … and at the end of the meal are invited to put a donation in an envelope. There's no obligation to pay

Continue reading...
 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 04:21:04 (16 minutes ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 04:20:11 (17 minutes ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
French Replica of Revolutionary Frigate Sets Sail for Boston
2015-04-18 04:20:05 (17 minutes ago) 
Replica of French frigate sent to help American revolutionaries setting sail for Boston
 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 04:10:10 (27 minutes ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
French replica of revolutionary frigate sets sail for Boston
2015-04-18 04:10:07 (27 minutes ago) 
FOURAS, France (AP) -- With champagne, fireworks and a presidential blessing, a painstakingly built replica of the frigate once used to bring French troops and funds to American revolutionaries is setting sail for Boston....
 
Words Without Music, Love, Sex and Other Foreign Policy Goals and more
2015-04-18 04:09:13 (28 minutes ago) 
 
If only the sci-fi writers who hijacked the Hugo awards had the wit to imagine a world beyond the Good Old Days
2015-04-18 04:08:59 (28 minutes ago) 

A culture war in a universe populated with orcs and busty maidens might seem absurd. But just like Gamergate, this storm in a dragon-shaped teacup is a vital sign that opponents of cultural diversity are still determined to preserve their grip on power

If you were going to build a world, there are a million ways you could make it strange and captivating. Throw in some elves, a mermaid, a few robot monks; dream up a land where dinosaurs still exist or the Nazis won the second world war.

But for some science fiction and fantasy fans, none of these riches of the imagination are enough: the alternate universe they most crave is the Good Old Days. SFF is in the grip of its own culture war, with a group of authors suggesting that the recent success of female and non-white writers is proof that political correctness has spread its tentacles so far that it is now ruining stories that include actual tentacles. Like many culture wars, the specific details – orcs! busty maidens! angry bloggers with baroque facial hair! – make it seem faintly absurd, but the underlying arguments are vital. We shape our culture and it shapes us, and the struggle for an artistic voice is part of the struggle to be seen as fully human.

Continue reading...
 
San Fernando Valley weather forecast: Sunny, breezy for Saturday
2015-04-18 04:07:39 (29 minutes ago) 

The San Fernando Valley on Saturday will see sunny skies with 15 mph south winds in the afternoon. Highs will be in the mid 70s to low 80s.

Saturday night will be clear with 15 mph southwest winds in the evening. Lows will be in the mid 40s to mid 50s.

The outlook for the next few days will see mostly sunny skies with a gradual cooling trend and morning and night low clouds and fog.

 
‘Reading lists, outfits, even salads are curated – it’s absurd’
2015-04-18 04:04:21 (33 minutes ago) 
Everyone is a curator these days, but what does curationism tell us about our society? And does the process of selection and arrangement add any value?

Contemporary curating has become an absurdity. Outfits are curated. Salads are curated. Twitter feeds are curated. Bennington College in Vermont invites prospective students to curate their applications. Lorde was appointed “sole curator” of the most recent Hunger Games film’s soundtrack. Everyone is a curator these days. Lakehead Superior State University in Michigan has placed “curator”, “curated” and “to curate” on its 2015 list of banished words. “Since when does one ‘curate’ a list of wine or a selection of salami?” asks StiperGuy on the message board of popular foodie site Chowhound.com. “You curate a museum, or perhaps the art collection of a billionaire.”

Yet to examine the etymology and history of the word “curate” is to find a direct, fascinating link between the professional curator and her pop culture counterpart, engaged in the activity of selecting and displaying. It is also to discover important, perhaps unsettling things about how we currently understand value, and ourselves.

Continue reading...
 
This Boston College Student is Collecting Your Empty Cans for His Marathon Fundraising Efforts
2015-04-18 04:01:07 (36 minutes ago) 
College student Brendon Anderson is raising money to run the Boston Marathon by recycling empty beer cans from his friends on campus.






 
Dozens Die When Bomb Hits Afghans Waiting to be Paid
2015-04-18 04:00:55 (36 minutes ago) 
At least 36 people were killed and more than 110 injured after a suicide attacker detonated near a crowd of Afghans waiting to withdraw their salaries.






 
Egypt runners defy Cairo mayhem as sport's popularity grows
2015-04-18 04:00:31 (36 minutes ago) 
CAIRO (AP) -- Young Egyptians are once again organizing on social media and taking to the streets of Cairo by the hundreds every Friday, not to protest injustice or clash with police, but to enjoy long runs through one of the world's most crowded and chaotic cities....
 
Egypt runners defy Cairo mayhem as sport's popularity grows
2015-04-18 04:00:28 (36 minutes ago) 
CAIRO (AP) -- Young Egyptians are once again organizing on social media and taking to the streets of Cairo by the hundreds every Friday, not to protest injustice or clash with police, but to enjoy long runs through one of the world's most crowded and chaotic cities....
 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 04:00:13 (37 minutes ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
This Boston College Student is Collecting Your Empty Cans for His Marathon Fundraising Efforts
2015-04-18 03:50:17 (47 minutes ago) 
College student Brendon Anderson is raising money to run the Boston Marathon by recycling empty beer cans from his friends on campus.






 
Men’s fashion jury: 'Never has a man fallen so fast and so far in the style stakes as Jared Leto'
2015-04-18 03:48:59 (48 minutes ago) 

Fashion hit or sartorial disaster? Our judges put Kanye West, Shia LaBeouf, Aidan Turner, Lewis Hamilton and Jared Leto under the style microscope

Helen Seamons Guardian men’s fashion editor; Ronnie O’Sullivan Five-time world snooker champion; Alan Johnson Former home secretary; Mark-Francis Vandelli Star of E4’s Made In Chelsea.

Continue reading...
 
Sandwiches Are a Major Contributor to Dietary Sodium Intake
2015-04-18 03:43:20 (54 minutes ago) 
Sandwiches account for one-fifth of total sodium intake, with nearly half of American adults consuming them on any given day, according to new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
 
Suicide attack in Afghanistan kills at least 30 people
2015-04-18 03:41:12 (56 minutes ago) 

An explosive-laden motorcycle was used in a crowd of military personnel and civilians.

        
 
Gorilla cracks zoo window, sends family running
2015-04-18 03:40:13 (57 minutes ago) 
A family trip to a Nebraska zoo turned terrifying for one family after the gorilla they were looking at leaped toward the exhibit window, cracking it.
 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 03:40:11 (57 minutes ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
Sandwiches Are a Major Contributor to Dietary Sodium Intake
2015-04-18 03:30:14 (1 hours ago) 
Sandwiches account for one-fifth of total sodium intake, with nearly half of American adults consuming them on any given day, according to new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 03:30:06 (1 hours ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
Suicide attack in Afghanistan kills at least 30 people
2015-04-18 03:29:41 (1 hours ago) 

An explosive-laden motorcycle was used in a crowd of military personnel and civilians.

       
 
LAUSD reaches deal, 10 percent pay raise for teachers
2015-04-18 03:27:48 (1 hours ago) 

Los Angeles Unified School District agreed to 10 percent pay raises over the next two years for nearly 35,000 teachers in a deal reached with union leaders late Friday evening.

The agreement also provides for additional teachers, counseling services and "improvements to the teacher evaluation system," according to a joint statement released by United Teachers Los Angeles and LAUSD at 10:59 p.

 
Hey, Uncle Sam: Give 'em back the gold coins
2015-04-18 03:27:06 (1 hours ago) 
A FAMILY WAS awarded the rights to 10 rare gold coins possibly worth $80 million or more yesterday after a U.S. appeals court overturned a jury verdict.
 
In the Nation
2015-04-18 03:27:06 (1 hours ago) 
 
CHINA
2015-04-18 03:27:05 (1 hours ago) 
A Beijing court sentenced a veteran Chinese journalist to seven years in prison Friday on charges of leaking a document detailing the Communist Party leadership's resolve to aggressively target civil society and press freedom as a threat to its monopoly on power.
 
Immigration appeal goes to tough panel
2015-04-18 03:27:03 (1 hours ago) 
NEW ORLEANS - President Obama's efforts to let almost five million undocumented immigrants stay in the U.S. may languish as his second term winds down unless he can win over one of the nation's most conservative appeals courts.
 
Iran talks may get creative
2015-04-18 03:27:03 (1 hours ago) 
WASHINGTON - President Obama on Friday left open the door to "creative negotiations" in response to Iran's demand that punishing sanctions be immediately lifted as part of a nuclear deal, even though the initial agreement calls for the penalties to be removed over time.
 
Iraqis say Hussein aide has been killed
2015-04-18 03:27:02 (1 hours ago) 
IRBIL, Iraq - Iraqi security forces on Friday killed Izzat Ibrahim al Douri, the highest-ranking member of the late Saddam Hussein's regime to escape the U.S.-led invasion and occupation, Iraqi officials said.
 
This Boston College Student is Collecting Your Empty Cans for His Marathon Fundraising Efforts
2015-04-18 03:21:09 (1 hours ago) 
College student Brendon Anderson is raising money to run the Boston Marathon by recycling empty beer cans from his friends on campus.






 
Look who's back in the local aria!
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
HAILED IN Europe and the U.S., Mount Airy's homegrown opera star Eric Owens returns to the Philly stage on Friday, singing in Opera Philadelphia's "Don Carlo" at the Academy of Music.
 
PSSA opt-outs see huge jump in Philly
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
More than 500 students in the city school district have been excused from taking the PSSA test, up from 20 last year, officials said.
 
Feud over man lead to violent hit-run in Nicetown
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
Beatrice Spence lost her leg, and ultimately her home, Friday when another woman ran her down in Nicetown.
 
Report: Regulators lean toward blocking Comcast deal
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
WASHINGTON - Comcast critics cautiously cheered Friday after a report that federal antitrust lawyers may soon recommend blocking the Philadelphia company's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable.
 
Robert Griffin | Ex-senator, 91
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
Former Sen. Robert Griffin, 91, a Michigan Republican whose withdrawal of support hastened President Richard Nixon's resignation during the Watergate scandal, died Thursday, according to a family statement released Friday.
 
Pa. high court candidate gets big backing from a friend
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
In 15 years, Gary Lowenthal has donated to one candidate - and only twice. He gave a friend, Michael George, $500 in a 2001 race for Adams County Court judge.
 
Anne Wood, 88, educator
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
Life celebration services are to be held Saturday, April 18, and Sunday, April 19, for Anne Wood, 88, of Medford, who died of a heart attack last Nov. 24 soon after arriving in Portland, Maine, to visit family.
 
School Cop Whose Job was to “Protect” Students Repeatedly Raped 22 Boys
2015-04-18 03:20:24 (1 hours ago) 
“Not a single teacher reported him, or even questioned him."

Pittsburgh, PA — When famous football coach, Jerry Sandusky raped multiple young boys it was a worldwide scandal. However, when a public servant whose job was to “protect” school children, instead commits dozens and dozens of rapes on a school campus, no one bats an eye.

Twenty-two victims in total are mentioned in a lawsuit against former school resource officer, Robert Lellock.

The lawsuit details how this serial child rapist would repeatedly walk into classrooms and remove his victims one by one. He would then lock himself and the young boys in the janitor’s closet where the sexual assaults would take place.

“They were charged with the welfare and protection of the children entrusted to them, and they failed these children repeatedly and systematically by turning a blind eye to the obvious signs of abuse being perpetrated by defendant Lellock,” the lawsuit says.

The anonymous man spearheading the lawsuit is now 29-years-old. The victim details within the lawsuit how Lellock took him out of class dozens of times during his stay at Arthur J. Rooney Middle School from 1998-99. He did the same with 21 other boys.

The victim notes how teachers blindly trusted this authority figure. None of the staff ever question why a cop would be interrupting class to remove the same boys over and over again.

“Not a single teacher reported him, or even questioned him. Not a single teacher made an inquiry to the office,” the lawsuit says. “This speaks of a failure of training and policy of an unbelievable and conscience-shocking level.”

Lellock worked in the district from 1990 until the school board suspended him with pay in July 2012 and accepted his resignation two months later, according to Triblive.com.

Who knows how many untold children were made victims of this sicko cop during those 22 years?

In 2013, Lellock was convicted on 13 charges including endangering the welfare of children, corrupting minors and indecent assault.

Named in the lawsuit are Lellock, the school district, former superintendent Dale Frederick, and former principal, Ronald Zangaro.

To those who think that this incident is somehow isolated, it is not. A shocking scroll through this link will show how child molestation is not only a systemic problem within law enforcement, but is also rarely punished.

 Related StoriesMajor Showdown for $15 Minimum Wage Against the Big Corporations in AtlantaHillary Clinton Offers Little To Make New Impression in IowaPhony Liberal Alec Baldwin Complains That Fast Food Workers Protesting for Higher Wages Created a Traffic Jam
 
Scott Walker's New Budget Is So Brutal Even Republicans Are Afraid Of It
2015-04-18 03:20:23 (1 hours ago) 
The governor is proposing massive cuts to programs that are crucial for seniors and the disabled.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's new budget has such major slashes that even the GOP is getting nervous about it. Of course it does sport a number of characteristics one would expect Republicans to champion, like cuts to environmental programs and schools, but with the first votes looming on Walker's two-year plan, it seems that local Republicans think he's finally pushed too far when it comes to the disabled and the elderly. 

The budget hacks away at some of Wisconsin's most important programs for seniors. Walker is looking to cut $15 million from SeniorCare, a prescription drug assistance program for residents who are 65 and older. The program assists over 85,000 Wisconsin residents at low cost, but Walker wants to shift pharmaceutical costs to Medicare Part D, which would be more costly for those enrolled in the program.

Walker has accepted federal money to help fund Medicare Part D, but has refused to take money to fund Medicaid. 

"The hypocrisy is piping hot on this one," Rep. Andy Jorgensen told a local media outlet. That same story quoted 73-year-old Judith Joslin-Crary, whose household has to pay for six separate prescriptions for her and her husband. The couple have already sold their house in an effort to free up more money for medicine. "They talk about going from steak to hamburger, but at this age most of us are already at hamburger and we're looking at going without," she said, "You jump for joy when you have a program like SeniorCare come along and you just cross your fingers and you hope that they don't mess with it."

Walker is also taking aim at a Wisconsin program called IRIS, which is an option for Wisconsin residents with long-term needs that allows the disabled to select their own caregivers and provides them with a budget for support services. Walker wants to cut $19 million from the program, which according to a story in the Wisconsin Gazette, adds up to about one million fewer hours of personal care. IRIS provides a safety net for many of Wisconsin's most vulnerable citizens. "I don't like to be controlled," Kelley Santi, an IRIS recipient with cerebral palsy told the Wisconsin-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I'm not totally independent, but I like to make my own decisions. I'm 46 years old. I don't need somebody to direct me. If I lose IRIS, it would be a really big chunk of my life."

According to a recent Public Policy Polling survey, Walker's approval rating is as low as it has been since the massive protests of 2011. This means that Republicans who back the budget without caveats are exposing themselves to a potential backlash from voters. As a result, local conservatives are working to scale back the extent of the cuts. However, Republicans who criticize Walker too harshly could inadvertently put themselves outside the governor's Koch-backed circle and face political repercussions when election season rolls around.

It remains to be seen whether resistance to the budget will culminate in something like the protests of 2011 or whether he'll be allowed to make Wisconsin an even scarier place for the economically disadvantaged.

 Related StoriesThe Insidious Way Corporate Thieves Are Stealing Workman's CompFight for $15 Swells Into Largest Protest by Low-Wage Workers in U.S. HistoryThe High Cost of Fighting For the $15/Hr Minimum Wage
 
U.S. Is Helping Commit Atrocities in Yemen--And Pretends Its Iran's Fault
2015-04-18 03:20:23 (1 hours ago) 
The powerful Saudi regime has long meddled in Yemen.

In an April interview with PBS Newshour, Secretary of State John Kerry was asked about Iran’s involvement in the escalating war in Yemen. His response was astounding and revealing.

“Iran needs to recognize that the United States is not going to stand by while the region is destabilized or while people engage in overt warfare across lines — international boundaries — in other countries,” Kerry said.

The quip was astounding because Iran is not bombing Yemen or engaged in “overt warfare” there, though it has given some support to one side. The culprit on the overt warfare front is Saudi Arabia.

It was revealing that Kerry ignored the Saudi and Gulf Arab role in the catastrophe unfolding in Yemen. The silence on their bombing campaign, which has lead to civilian deaths, a flow of refugees and the destabilization of the poorest country in the Arab world, is effectively a show of support for the Saudi war. And that support extends far beyond mere words, or the lack of them.

In late March, Saudi warplanes, alongside Gulf allies like the United Arab Emirates, commenced an intense bombing campaign in Yemen. The muscular move was launched in response to rapid gains by Yemeni Houthi rebels, who were sweeping across the country and capturing territory as the Saudi-backed president’s regime crumbled. Yemen quickly became the hottest front in the proxy war between the Saudis and Iran, which the Gulf says is backing the Houthi rebels, a claim that is overblown. While Iran has hosted Houthi leaders and reportedly supplied them with weapons and training, the support does not mean Houthis are controlled by Iran, which is what the Gulf states say. In March, Reuters reported that U.S. officials had concluded that “Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps personnel were training and equipping Houthi units.” But some U.S. officials said they thought the Iranian backing is “largely opportunistic and not a top priority for Tehran.”

The U.S. government has been engaged in its own war in Yemen by using drones to attack Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, attacks that frequently kill civilians. The Obama administration is now fully backing the Saudis with intelligence and equipment as the Gulf Arab powerhouse rains bombs down on Yemen. At a time when the Gulf states are concerned with the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration is showing the Saudis that it will still back them in a chaotic Middle East, no matter how flawed and brutal their military adventure is. And Yemeni civilians are paying the price.

UN officials estimate that 650 civilians have died. At least 100,000 civilians have been internally displaced. Residents in the the city of Aden, which has seen intense fighting, say the area is in ruins and that there are shortages of electricity and water.

The Saudi-led campaign in Yemen is the latest example of the state’s involvement in Yemen, its southern neighbor. The powerful Saudi regime has long meddled in the poor country. The roots of this crisis lie in the 2011 Arab revolts, which deeply impacted Yemen.

Yemen’s democratic uprising was massive, touching on every social sector in the country. It sparked a schism in the Yemeni military which lead to gun fights between pro-regime and anti-regime factions of the armed forces. To stave off a prolonged crisis and civil war, the United States and its oil-rich Gulf Arab allies brokered a compromise to ease Yemen’s long-standing president, Ali Abdallah Saleh, out of office. They installed Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi in his place. A national dialogue with many of Yemen’s groups ensued. The end goal was to recommend a path forward for the country after the revolt.

But a powerful group, the Zaydi revivalist Houthis, felt they were left out. Some Southern Yemenis, who have been discriminated against by Northern Yemen (North and South Yemen unified in 1990), were also angry at the national dialogue process. But the Houthis, who espouse anti-imperialist, pro-Islamist politics, took the most decisive action, sparking the current war in Yemen.

Founded in 2004, the Houthis have capitalized on grievances that stem from Saudi-backed Wahhabist proselytizing in traditional Zaydi strongholds. Wahhabism is an extremist form of Sunni Islam which derides other sects of Islam. The Zaydis are an offhoot of Shia Islam, though they share much in common with Sunni schools of Islam, making claims that the current conflict is only a sectarian war specious.

In recent months, the Houthis, based in the north of the country, have captured territory throughout Yemen. This deeply worried Saudi Arabia. Since the 2011 Arab revolts, the Saudis have used their money—and sometimes, as in Bahrain, weapons—to suppress political Islamist movements that want to use the ballot box to gain power. Saudi Arabia wants to be the paragon of political Islam in the region. The Muslim Brotherhood threatens that place, and also threatens to upend the regional order of which Saudi Arabia is an integral part. The Houthis are a political Islamist force that rails against the prevailing American-backed system in the Middle East.

The Saudis and the Yemeni president they back have cast the Houthis as direct Iranian proxies. That’s the main justification for the brutal bombing campaign. In doing so, they have internationalized what is a local conflict and imposed a sectarian overtone on Yemen, a dangerous move that could spark tensions that go out of control. The Obama administration, despite its apparent moves toward detente with Iran, remains a strong backer of the Saudis.

U.S. support for the Saudi campaign is no surprise. The advent of the oil age meant the U.S. needed to secure a steady supply to pump up its own economy, and the Saudis were their guys. While Saudi Arabia did eventually take control of its own oil reserves, it remained a key ally of the U.S., big players in the oil market and in the region—a counterweight against the Arab nationalist tide. Even though that tide eased, the U.S. remains a key ally of Saudi Arabia, a pole of oil-wealth, Gulf capitalism and a counter-weight against Iran.

The Saudis have spent some of their oil wealth on American weapons. And the Obama administration has been all too willing to supply them. President Obama has authorized arms sales for the Saudis to the tune of $46 billion, a record. The Saudis have bought warplanes and attack helicopters, and they’re now using those weapons to wage war in Yemen. In addition, the U.S. has “increased intelligence-sharing with the Saudis, providing them with direct targeting support for sites the kingdom wants to bomb,” according to anApril 12 Wall Street Journal report.

Iran has demanded that the Saudi Arabian campaign stop and that peace talks between the warring factions commence. But Saudi Arabia has so far rejected those pleas.

The bombing campaign has no end in sight. That means that the Saudi military, with the full backing of the U.S., will continue to cause deep suffering among Yemeni civilians.

 Related StoriesSaudi Airstrikes in Yemen Fuel the Fire in the GulfSaudis Pledge to Continue Yemen Bombing CampaignFormer Iranian Ambassador: Historic Nuclear Deal Has Prevented a New War in the Middle East
 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 03:20:13 (1 hours ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
5 things from former Bush press secretary Perino's book
2015-04-18 03:20:08 (1 hours ago) 
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Dana Perino, President George W. Bush's spokeswoman at the end of his presidency, is out with a book that is part memoir, part career advice. Perino is the only Republican woman ever to serve as White House press secretary and is now a co-cost of "The Five" on Fox News Channel....
 
Sandwiches Are a Major Contributor to Dietary Sodium Intake
2015-04-18 03:10:26 (1 hours ago) 
Sandwiches account for one-fifth of total sodium intake, with nearly half of American adults consuming them on any given day, according to new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
 
This Boston College Student is Collecting Your Empty Cans for His Marathon Fundraising Efforts
2015-04-18 03:10:17 (1 hours ago) 
College student Brendon Anderson is raising money to run the Boston Marathon by recycling empty beer cans from his friends on campus.






 
This Boston College Student is Collecting Your Empty Cans for His Marathon Fundraising Efforts
2015-04-18 04:30:07 (7 minutes ago) 
College student Brendon Anderson is raising money to run the Boston Marathon by recycling empty beer cans from his friends on campus.






 
Dahling, you were divine: religion on the stage
2015-04-18 04:29:04 (8 minutes ago) 
As Stoppard and Shaw plays at the National debate the likelihood of God, Shakespeare’s King John is revived in a church and the St Paul’s Occupy protests are staged, Mark Lawson asks why the Bible is box office

Theatre-goers using online searches this spring risk religious confusion because the same biblical word is the name both of a new play and a new theatrical venue. Temple by Steve Waters opens next month at the Donmar Warehouse in London, with Simon Russell Beale playing a dean of St Paul’s in a fictionalised version of the clash between clergy and anti-capitalist protesters during the occupation of the piazza outside St Paul’s in 2011-12.

Related: Occupy London: my nights with the St Paul's protesters

Related: Perseverance Drive review – first-rate family drama tackles modern religion

Continue reading...
 
Gas-line explosion at Central California sheriff's shooting range leaves 11 injured
2015-04-18 04:28:25 (8 minutes ago) 
 
Dahling, you were divine: religion on the stage
2015-04-18 04:24:20 (13 minutes ago) 
As Stoppard and Shaw plays at the National debate the likelihood of God, Shakespeare’s King John is revived in a church and the St Paul’s Occupy protests are staged, Mark Lawson asks why the Bible is box office

Theatre-goers using online searches this spring risk religious confusion because the same biblical word is the name both of a new play and a new theatrical venue. Temple by Steve Waters opens next month at the Donmar Warehouse in London, with Simon Russell Beale playing a dean of St Paul’s in a fictionalised version of the clash between clergy and anti-capitalist protesters during the occupation of the piazza outside St Paul’s in 2011-12.

Related: Occupy London: my nights with the St Paul's protesters

Related: Perseverance Drive review – first-rate family drama tackles modern religion

Continue reading...
 
Sandwiches Are a Major Contributor to Dietary Sodium Intake
2015-04-18 04:23:18 (14 minutes ago) 
Sandwiches account for one-fifth of total sodium intake, with nearly half of American adults consuming them on any given day, according to new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
 
Parents of 8-Year-Old Boy Killed in Marathon Bombings Don’t Want Tsarnaev to Get Death Penalty
2015-04-18 04:21:03 (16 minutes ago) 
The parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013 , wrote a plea to spare convcted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty.






 
This Boston College Student is Collecting Your Empty Cans for His Marathon Fundraising Efforts
2015-04-18 04:20:10 (17 minutes ago) 
College student Brendon Anderson is raising money to run the Boston Marathon by recycling empty beer cans from his friends on campus.






 
If I were prime minister for a day, I’d make paying tax a joy
2015-04-18 04:10:23 (26 minutes ago) 
And because everyone would pay it, Britain would have a library on every street corner. Then the Queen could go in and borrow a copy of Rights of Man. Joy! Continue reading...
 
This Boston College Student is Collecting Your Empty Cans for His Marathon Fundraising Efforts
2015-04-18 04:10:09 (27 minutes ago) 
College student Brendon Anderson is raising money to run the Boston Marathon by recycling empty beer cans from his friends on campus.






 
French replica of revolutionary frigate sets sail for Boston
2015-04-18 04:10:07 (27 minutes ago) 
FOURAS, France (AP) -- With champagne, fireworks and a presidential blessing, a painstakingly built replica of the frigate once used to bring French troops and funds to American revolutionaries is setting sail for Boston....
 
Words Without Music, Love, Sex and Other Foreign Policy Goals and more
2015-04-18 04:09:09 (28 minutes ago) 
Plus: Lovelace and Babbage in comic form

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston chews through the latest literary treats with a fascinating autobiography from composer Philip Glass. Jesse Armstrong of Peep Show fame has a debut novel and for comic novel fans we've a curious take on the development of the first computer from Sydney Padua…

 
‘Reading lists, outfits, even salads are curated – it’s absurd’
2015-04-18 04:08:59 (28 minutes ago) 
Everyone is a curator these days, but what does curationism tell us about our society? And does the process of selection and arrangement add any value?

Contemporary curating has become an absurdity. Outfits are curated. Salads are curated. Twitter feeds are curated. Bennington College in Vermont invites prospective students to curate their applications. Lorde was appointed “sole curator” of the most recent Hunger Games film’s soundtrack. Everyone is a curator these days. Lakehead Superior State University in Michigan has placed “curator”, “curated” and “to curate” on its 2015 list of banished words. “Since when does one ‘curate’ a list of wine or a selection of salami?” asks StiperGuy on the message board of popular foodie site Chowhound.com. “You curate a museum, or perhaps the art collection of a billionaire.”

Yet to examine the etymology and history of the word “curate” is to find a direct, fascinating link between the professional curator and her pop culture counterpart, engaged in the activity of selecting and displaying. It is also to discover important, perhaps unsettling things about how we currently understand value, and ourselves.

Continue reading...
 
Coachella 2015: Alesso brings out Tove Lo during weekend two
2015-04-18 04:07:38 (29 minutes ago) 
 
Refugees don’t need our tears. They need us to stop making them refugees
2015-04-18 04:04:21 (33 minutes ago) 
The EU’s de facto policy is to let migrants drown to stop others coming. How many more deaths can we stomach?

In the desert, the smugglers lace their water with petrol so the smuggled won’t gulp it down and cost more. Sometimes the trucks they’re packed into stall crossing the Sahara; they have to jump out to push, and some are left behind when the trucks drive off again. In transit camps in Libya before the perilous venture across the Blue Desert, they play football, fight, and pool their scanty resources so an even poorer friend can pay his way. One man says his tiny wooden boat was flanked by dolphins as they made the journey, three on each side, like guardian angels, and this was what gave him hope.

These are the people we are allowing to die in the Mediterranean. The EU’s de facto policy is to let migrants drown to stop others coming. Last year nearly four thousand bodies were recovered from the Med. Those are just the ones we found. The total number of arrivals in Italy in 2014 went up over 300% from the year before, to more than 170,000. And the EU’s response, driven by the cruellest British government in living memory, was to cut the main rescue operation, Mare Nostrum.

Related: Italian authorities rescue over 4,000 would-be migrants at sea in four days

Migration illustrates one of the signal features of modern life: malice by proxy

Continue reading...
 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 04:01:07 (36 minutes ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
VIDEO: Italian PM warns over migrants
2015-04-18 04:00:50 (36 minutes ago) 
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has warned that thousands of Africans will continue to risk their lives trying to travel to Europe unless the civil war ends in Libya.
 
Egypt runners defy Cairo mayhem as sport's popularity grows
2015-04-18 04:00:30 (36 minutes ago) 
CAIRO (AP) -- Young Egyptians are once again organizing on social media and taking to the streets of Cairo by the hundreds every Friday, not to protest injustice or clash with police, but to enjoy long runs through one of the world's most crowded and chaotic cities....
 
LA Kings player arrested for drug possession in Vegas
2015-04-18 04:00:20 (37 minutes ago) 
 
Parents of 8-Year-Old Boy Killed in Marathon Bombings Don’t Want Tsarnaev to Get Death Penalty
2015-04-18 04:00:13 (37 minutes ago) 
The parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013 , wrote a plea to spare convcted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty.






 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 03:50:17 (47 minutes ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
​The Girl Who Would Live Forever - This year, Matheryn Novaratpong became the youngest person to be cryogenically frozen and preserved for future revival. [x-post /r/InterestingArticle]
2015-04-18 03:47:35 (49 minutes ago) 
submitted by iStealthshot to Futurology
[link] [155 comments]
 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 03:41:20 (56 minutes ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
Parents of 8-Year-Old Boy Killed in Marathon Bombings Don’t Want Tsarnaev to Get Death Penalty
2015-04-18 03:41:11 (56 minutes ago) 
The parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013 , wrote a plea to spare convcted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty.






 
Millions of jellyfish invade Northwest
2015-04-18 03:40:13 (57 minutes ago) 
Otherworldly goo lumps in blue and purple speckled beaches in Oregon and Washington states this week, after strong wind got caught in their sails.
 
This Boston College Student is Collecting Your Empty Cans for His Marathon Fundraising Efforts
2015-04-18 03:40:10 (57 minutes ago) 
College student Brendon Anderson is raising money to run the Boston Marathon by recycling empty beer cans from his friends on campus.






 
Fiorina says she'd neutralize Clinton's gender arguments
2015-04-18 03:30:08 (1 hours ago) 
 
Parents of 8-Year-Old Boy Killed in Marathon Bombings Don’t Want Tsarnaev to Get Death Penalty
2015-04-18 03:30:06 (1 hours ago) 
The parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013 , wrote a plea to spare convcted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty.






 
General election 2015: Voters' intentions start to become clear
2015-04-18 03:29:04 (1 hours ago) 

Halfway there: The rise of the smaller parties means the 2015 election will be decided in complex multi-party battles. The Guardian’s Battleground Britain project is following 60 voters in five key constituencies throughout the campaign, to act as a gauge on the public mood. Halfway through, opinions are starting to shift

It’s midway through General Election 2015 and – while still as frustrated as they were at the outset with modern British politics and politicians – the voting intentions of participants in the Guardian/BritainThinks focus groups in a series of “battleground seats” are beginning to crystallise.

Trends emerging after three weeks include (very tentative) signs that Ed Miliband is finally beginning to win over some who were initially hostile towards him, as well as indications that would-be Green, Ukip and SNP voters are the most sure of who they intend to vote for.

Related: Battleground Britain: getting inside the minds of the UK’s undecided voters

Continue reading...
 
Coachella 2015: DMX surprises fans during DJ Snake's set
2015-04-18 03:27:48 (1 hours ago) 
 
Immigration appeal goes to tough panel
2015-04-18 03:27:06 (1 hours ago) 
NEW ORLEANS - President Obama's efforts to let almost five million undocumented immigrants stay in the U.S. may languish as his second term winds down unless he can win over one of the nation's most conservative appeals courts.
 
Iran talks may get creative
2015-04-18 03:27:06 (1 hours ago) 
WASHINGTON - President Obama on Friday left open the door to "creative negotiations" in response to Iran's demand that punishing sanctions be immediately lifted as part of a nuclear deal, even though the initial agreement calls for the penalties to be removed over time.
 
Iraqis say Hussein aide has been killed
2015-04-18 03:27:05 (1 hours ago) 
IRBIL, Iraq - Iraqi security forces on Friday killed Izzat Ibrahim al Douri, the highest-ranking member of the late Saddam Hussein's regime to escape the U.S.-led invasion and occupation, Iraqi officials said.
 
In the World
2015-04-18 03:27:03 (1 hours ago) 
 
Parents of victim want death penalty off table
2015-04-18 03:27:03 (1 hours ago) 
Days before a jury is scheduled to begin deciding whether to execute Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the parents of the youngest person to die in the Boston Marathon bombing urged federal authorities to consider taking the death penalty off the table.
 
General election 2015: Voters' intentions start to become clear
2015-04-18 03:24:20 (1 hours ago) 

Halfway there: The rise of the smaller parties means the 2015 election will be decided in complex multi-party battles. The Guardian’s Battleground Britain project is following 60 voters in five key constituencies throughout the campaign, to act as a gauge on the public mood. Halfway through, opinions are starting to shift

It’s midway through General Election 2015 and – while still as frustrated as they were at the outset with modern British politics and politicians – the voting intentions of participants in the Guardian/BritainThinks focus groups in a series of “battleground seats” are beginning to crystallise.

Trends emerging after three weeks include (very tentative) signs that Ed Miliband is finally beginning to win over some who were initially hostile towards him, as well as indications that would-be Green, Ukip and SNP voters are the most sure of who they intend to vote for.

Related: Battleground Britain: getting inside the minds of the UK’s undecided voters

Continue reading...
 
U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 03:21:09 (1 hours ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
Judge rejects Ironworkers business agent's plea deal
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
A federal judge set a May 5 hearing date for Christopher Prophet to announce if he still wants to plead guilty or face trial.
 
The kids are all right
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
How independent do we want our kids to be? And when should we begin letting them leave the nest without us?
 
Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board reverses decision to dismiss convention center labor unions
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
PLRB examiner Jack E. Marino will be scheduling hearings to decide whether union carpenters will be allowed to return.
 
New app for Phila. foreclosure sales
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
In what is described as an effort to be as transparent as possible, the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office has unveiled a Web app offering detailed information on properties scheduled for mortgage foreclosure sale.
 
Yet another ratings downgrade for N.J. debt
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
Analysts at Moody's Investors Service have again downgraded New Jersey's general obligation bonds, marking the third time the ratings agency has taken such action since Gov. Christie took office in 2010.
 
Ousted Convention Center unions to get hearing
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
Reversing his earlier decision, a Pennsylvania labor relations hearing examiner has set in motion the possibility that union carpenters, barred from work at the Convention Center, may be allowed to return.
 
Millennials seem indifferent about Phila. primary
2015-04-18 03:20:47 (1 hours ago) 
Jay Turner, 32, has been registered to vote since he was 18. Not only does he not know when the next city election is, he has no idea who the candidates are, either.
 
Sandwiches Are a Major Contributor to Dietary Sodium Intake
2015-04-18 03:20:24 (1 hours ago) 
Sandwiches account for one-fifth of total sodium intake, with nearly half of American adults consuming them on any given day, according to new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
 
5 Outrageous Cases of Drug War Police Corruption This Week
2015-04-18 03:20:23 (1 hours ago) 
Like a buddy movie gone bad, tarnished tandems of cops were doing dirty deeds from Brooklyn to Lafayette, and there were a pair of singletons, too.

In this week's installment of drug war-related police corruption, dirty cop tag teams are the theme:

               1.      In New York City, two Brooklyn narcotics officers were under investigation last Thursday after a video taken during a                             raid on a bodega appeared to show one of them pocketing $4,000 in cash. Detective Ian Cyrus, 49, from the Brooklyn                           North Narcotics Squad has been suspended, and Sergeant Fritz Glemaud, 44, has been placed on modified                                           assignment. The investigation continues.

2.      In Detroit, two Detroit police officers were arrested last Thursday on charges they robbed drug dealers and stole drugs and money during police raids. Lt. David Hansberry, 34, and Officer Bryan Watson, 46, allegedly identified themselves as police officers to scare their victims into complying with their demands, then stealing their cash, drugs, and personal property. They had been members of the now-disbanded Detroit Police Narcotics Section, but had been suspended since last October. They are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute narcotics, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, multiple counts of interference with commerce by robbery and extortion, possession with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine and two counts of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and drug trafficking crime.

3.      In Lafayette, Louisiana, a state trooper and a Lafayette Parish sheriff's deputy were arrested over the weekend on charges they conspired with a local businessman to plant drugs in his brother's car and have him arrested. Bryan Knight, the brother of businessman Mark Knight, was arrested in June 2014 after a Mark Knight employee planted drugs in his car and the two cops then showed up to bust him. Evidence on the cell phone of a Mark Knight employee implicated Trooper Corey Jackson and Lafayette Parish deputy Jason Kinch, who was assigned to the narcotics task force. The two cops and the employee were allegedly paid $100,000 for setting up the brother. Both cops are now charged with racketeering in the case.

And we had a pair of lone bad apples, too:

4.      In San Francisco, a San Pablo police officer was arrested last Wednesday after police who were monitoring him saw him make what appeared to be a drug sale. Officer Kenneth White, 32, had a two-year-old child in his back seat when the deal went down. Police suspect he was dealing heroin and cocaine, and he's now being held on suspicion of narcotics violations, weapons violations, and child endangerment.

5.       In Chicago, a Melrose Park Police detective was arrested last Thursday on charges he stole cocaine from the evidence room, plotted to steal drugs from the state lab, and agreed to transport a load of drugs in his unmarked squad car. Detective Gregory Salvi, an 18-year veteran, went down in a sting. He was arrested at a storage facility where he'd gone to pick up a 5-kilogram load of cocaine that he thought he was delivering to another drug dealer. But the dealer was actually a federal informant.  He's charged with possessing 5 kilos of coke or more with intent to distribute and is looking at a mandatory minimum 15-year sentence if convicted. He's also charged with using a firearm in furtherance of crime, which is good for another five years.

 

Just another week's worth of drug war-related police corruption...

 

 Related Stories5 Outrageous Cases of Drug War Police Corruption This Week: Dirty Duo EditionDebunking 5 Biggest Myths About PotThe Clinton Dynasty's Horrific Legacy: More Drug War, More Prisons
 
10 Myths Many Religious People Hold About Atheists, Debunked
2015-04-18 03:20:23 (1 hours ago) 
Atheists are moral, loving and multicultural.

In a regular poll conducted by political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell on American political attitudes, atheists recently lost their spot as as the most disliked group in America to the Tea Party. Still, number two is simply way too high in the unpopularity rankings for a group of people who just happen to spend Sunday mornings in bed instead of in church. Polling data shows that nearly half of Americans would disapprove if their child married an atheist and nearly 40 percent of Americans don’t see atheists as sharing their vision of American society, numbers that outstripped similar prejudices toward Muslims and African Americans.

Of course, the real reason atheists are so hated has little to do with jealousy for all their free time, but largely because most Americans are better acquainted with myths than with the realities of atheists' lives. Unfortunately, atheists often have these myths tossed in their faces, usually by believers who would rather talk about what they heard atheists are like rather than uncomfortable subjects such as the lack of proof for any gods.

These myths do more than hurt atheists. They also harm the basic religious freedoms of all Americans, regardless of their beliefs. Religious freedom and tolerance don’t mean much if they can’t be expanded to include those without religion. With that in mind, here’s 10 of the ugliest myths about atheists, debunked:

1) There are no atheists in foxholes. There are many variations on this myth, but the basic idea behind it is that atheism is a luxury of the problem-free, and as soon as they feel fear or weakness, atheists will run straight into the arms of religion. This myth irritates atheists, because it tries to make a virtue out of preying on people’s weaknesses in order to sell them a lie. If you heard a marketer brag that he targets people who’ve been diagnosed with terminal illnesses because they’re easier targets, or a guy say he likes to cruise funerals because grieving women are easier to pick up, you’d think that person had no morals at all. But targeting people in moments of weakness to sell them religion is regarded as a normal and even virtuous strategy for proselytizing.

Beyond concerns about manipulation are the concerns about accuracy. Believers argue religion offers unique comforts to people in fear or pain, but what many atheists realize is that religion often provokes more anxiety and fear than it soothes. If we accept that God is all-powerful, as many religions claim, then it’s like being in an abusive relationship that can’t be escaped for eternity; a relationship with a God who will throw us into hell for not fearing him and who allows horrors like the Holocaust to happen. Many religious teachings aren’t actually thatsoothing at all if you take a step back and look at them clearly. For atheists, believing that evil is more an accident of nature than something imposed on us by an inscrutable supernatural being is the far greater comfort than any prayer could be.

2) Atheists are just angry with God. Atheists often point out the logical inconsistencies of many religious beliefs---such as the belief both that God is all-good and all-powerful, but he somehow also allows evil to exist---and believers use that to conclude that atheists are angry with God. We aren’t. You can’t be angry with a being that you don’t believe exists. I’m no angrier with God than I am angry with Zeus or the aliens that keep kidnapping drunks sleeping in their cars. Anger with religions for promoting false beliefs isn’t the same thing as being angry at the being that believers invented.

But I also have to quarrel with the very notion that a person’s arguments can be dismissed because of anger. Smugly accusing someone of anger doesn’t do anything to discount the content of the argument. I’d argue that people who see vile behavior in the name of religion and don’t get angry are the ones who have something wrong with them.

3) Atheists are aggressive and rude. This myth has been around in various forms for a long time, but it really took off after the rise of “New Atheism,” which focuses its energy on disproving religious claims instead of merely pleading for tolerance of atheists. This myth only persists because belief is unconsciously privileged over atheism, causing people to believe it’s somehow ruder for an atheist to say, “I don’t believe in God and here’s why” than for a believer to intrude in your personal space with pamphlets, attack people when they’re feeling low with religious claims, knock on your door to proselytize, or force your children to recite religious language in school. Objectively speaking, believers commit transgressions against good manners far more than atheists. But atheist arguments tend to disturb believers more than arguments for God disturb atheists, so atheists get an unfair reputation for being rude, even when they are merely outspoken or unapologetic.

4) Atheism is a white dude thing. It’s easy if atheism makes you uncomfortable to write off atheism as the hobbyhorse of a tiny minority of men with overly high opinions of their own intelligence. That men such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins get most of the media attention devoted to atheism only reinforces this myth. If you scratch the surface, however, you’ll see that the ranks of outspoken atheists have far more women that the media would let on. Atheist blogger Jen McCreight grew so tired of this myth that she compiled an extensive list of prominent female atheists such as Susan Jacoby, Rebecca Watson and Lori Lipman Brown. Greta Christina followed up with a list of prominent atheists of color, such as Debbie Goddard, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Hemant Mehta. Women are specially targeted for religious oppression around the world, so of course, many of us will be open to arguments against the legitimacy of religion.

5) Atheism is just a faith like any other. You occasionally see agnostics trot this one out, as well. The idea is that arguments for and against the existence of any gods have equal value, but it’s simply not true. The logical position toward an extraordinary, supernatural claim is skepticism until proof is offered, and so far none of the thousands of gods that have been claimed to exist throughout history have lifted a finger to prove themselves. In fact, most believers grasp this for themselves; they automatically disbelieve all religious claims except their own, barring actual proof that never produces itself. Atheists just do religious people one better, and make no exceptions for a religion because it happens to be the one we were raised in or convinced by friends to convert to.

I always flinch in embarrassment for the believer who trots out, “Atheism is just another kind of faith,” because it’s a tacit admission that taking claims on faith is a silly thing to do. When you’ve succumbed to arguing that the opposition is just as misguided as you are, it’s time to take a step back and rethink your attitudes.

6) Atheists don’t have a moral code. Atheist are routinely asked how people will know not to rape and murder without religion telling them not to do it, especially a religion that backs up the orders with threats of hell. Believers, listen to me carefully when I say this: When you use this argument, you terrify atheists. We hear you saying that the only thing standing between you and Ted Bundy is a flimsy belief in a supernatural being made up by pre-literate people trying to figure out where the rain came from. This is not very reassuring if you’re trying to argue from a position of moral superiority.

If anything, atheism correlates to better behavior on average. Atheists are under-represented in prison, for instance, and more religious nations have higher rates of violent crime,teen pregnancy, early adult mortality and even abortion. But setting the numbers aside, we can see that even religious people generally believe that morality exists outside of religion. After all, most religious people condemn people who commit acts of evil in the name of religion. If religiosity were the measure of morality, terrorists who murder in the name of God would be more moral than atheists who pay their taxes and give to charity. You’ll find few believers agreeing that a murderous terrorist for God is a better person than a nonviolent atheist, showing that believers grasp that morality doesn’t come from religion, but that we can measure religious claims against our pre-existing understanding of morality.

7) Atheist lives are bleak and lack meaning. Those in the atheist activist community find this one particularly insipid, because we so often deal with people who suffered religious abuse and were only able to find peace by abandoning religion. There’s really no reason to believe that happiness and fulfillment come from a supernatural place, or else believers would have no need for fulfilling work, loving families, friends, and hobbies, since their spiritual beliefs would suffice. Most atheists actually find our lack of belief in a supernatural being makes it easier to fill our lives with meaning and joy. Since we don’t believe in an afterlife, many of us find ourselves more motivated to make the most out of the time we do have instead of looking to the next life to make us happy.

8) Atheists are hedonists who don’t understand the true meaning of love. As an open reproductive rights supporter, I’ve certainly faced my share of believers accusing me of being an atheist so I can simply indulge my sexual appetites and avoid some abstract true meaning of love. It is true that one of the benefits of being an atheist is that you’re no longer crippled by religious phobias that assume that sexual fulfillment and real love are mutually exclusive, but that certainly doesn’t mean atheists don’t feel genuine love. I suspect some Christians enjoy making high-minded claims about feeling deeper love because they know there’s no way to measure their claims. But the higher divorce rates in more religious states don’t bode well for claims that sexual purity and Christianity make love deeper and truer.

9) Atheists have no way to cope after losing loved ones without the belief in an afterlife. The belief that religion has sole ownership over death is so ingrained that it often causes believers to behave in inappropriate ways toward grieving atheists, using the occasion of a loved one’s death to try to coax us into taking up religion. Some believers who do this are openly predatory, but some mean well, and simply can’t imagine how atheists cope without telling ourselves pretty stories about an afterlife. Atheists have every right to be skeptical of the argument that belief in the afterlife quiets the pain of grief. After all, many religions teach that the dead person could be burning forever in hell, which can cause far more anxiety than relief.

I imagine the nothingness of death is much like the nothingness that existed before birth. Believing in the afterlife seems to have more to do with the egos of the living than concerns about the dead, and by letting go of the need to make the end of someone else’s life about your own fears of death, many atheists can focus on working through the grief in a healthy way. So please, believers, don’t use the death of loved ones as an opportunity to proselytize.

10) Atheists are out to destroy Christmas. It’s September and so this myth is relatively quiet, but it tends to come out every year after Halloween, to accompany Christmas decorations going up. For Fox News, ratcheting fears about a “war on Christmas” has replaced caroling as the annual holiday ritual. It’s all very silly. Atheists don’t oppose ritual or holidays. Most atheists in America tend to see Christmas as a mostly secular holiday celebrating family that can be turned into a completely secular holiday with a few minor tweaks. Even the few atheists who don’t celebrate Christmas at all certainly have no plan to make war on the holiday, beyond simply requesting that the government obey the First Amendment by not promoting Christianity above other beliefs, no matter what time of year.

In my experience, non-believers have some of the best Christmas celebrations around. You can get a tree and decorate it in punk rock style, or put up a pro-atheist sign in your yard surrounded by festive Christmas decorations. My family tends to prefer all-night poker games for Christmas instead of going to Christmas mass--all the family togetherness, but with less boredom. Or you can choose to have “Christmas” in July and save yourself the expense and headaches of holiday travel.

Debunking these myths about atheists in print can only do so much to quell believer fears about the supposed atheist menace. Even better would be for believers to find themselves an atheist, and instead of simply attacking them with these myths in an effort to frustrate them into submission, instead get to know them better. You might find they’re basically like everyone else, except more rested on Sundays and less afraid that invisible beings are judging them for masturbating.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2011.

 Related Stories5 Things Atheists Have Wrong About Religion6 Unlikely Developments That Could Convince This Atheist to Believe in GodReligion Across the Globe is Changing, But Not the Way You think.
 
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Weekend Escapes with Warwick Davis review – vaccum cleaner museums and mountain rescue
2015-04-18 04:29:03 (8 minutes ago) 
Need some inspiration on where to take your family on holiday? Look no further – Warwick Davis is here to test climbing giant bird tables and being rescued from a mountainside on your behalf

I’m taking my family to the Isle of Wight next weekend. Again. And I’m sensing a certain reluctance, bordering on revolution. Maybe, next time, we can do something different and I can get some inspiration from Weekend Escapes with Warwick Davis (ITV).

Warwick is taking his family to … The Midlands! What? Isn’t that somewhere you go on holiday from, not to? Not at all, as it happens. At an outdoor adventure centre, Warwick and his daughter climb a tall pole with a platform at the top, a bit like a bird table, as Warwick says. They make a Jacobean stew in a 17th-century manor house and visit the vacuum cleaner museum at Heanor (more for Warwick than the rest of his family to be honest, he’s an enthusiast). They also live history at the Black Country Living Museum, which looks brilliant – it’s a lot more entertaining for kids than your average (dead) museum is.

Continue reading...
 
My cat realizing she's a mother
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Weekend Escapes with Warwick Davis review – vaccum cleaner museums and mountain rescue
2015-04-18 04:24:19 (13 minutes ago) 
Need some inspiration on where to take your family on holiday? Look no further – Warwick Davis is here to test climbing giant bird tables and being rescued from a mountainside on your behalf

I’m taking my family to the Isle of Wight next weekend. Again. And I’m sensing a certain reluctance, bordering on revolution. Maybe, next time, we can do something different and I can get some inspiration from Weekend Escapes with Warwick Davis (ITV).

Warwick is taking his family to … The Midlands! What? Isn’t that somewhere you go on holiday from, not to? Not at all, as it happens. At an outdoor adventure centre, Warwick and his daughter climb a tall pole with a platform at the top, a bit like a bird table, as Warwick says. They make a Jacobean stew in a 17th-century manor house and visit the vacuum cleaner museum at Heanor (more for Warwick than the rest of his family to be honest, he’s an enthusiast). They also live history at the Black Country Living Museum, which looks brilliant – it’s a lot more entertaining for kids than your average (dead) museum is.

Continue reading...
 
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If only the sci-fi writers who hijacked the Hugo awards had the wit to imagine a world beyond the Good Old Days
2015-04-18 04:10:22 (26 minutes ago) 

A culture war in a universe populated with orcs and busty maidens might seem absurd. But just like Gamergate, this storm in a dragon-shaped teacup is a vital sign that opponents of cultural diversity are still determined to preserve their grip on power

If you were going to build a world, there are a million ways you could make it strange and captivating. Throw in some elves, a mermaid, a few robot monks; dream up a land where dinosaurs still exist or the Nazis won the second world war.

But for some science fiction and fantasy fans, none of these riches of the imagination are enough: the alternate universe they most crave is the Good Old Days. SFF is in the grip of its own culture war, with a group of authors suggesting that the recent success of female and non-white writers is proof that political correctness has spread its tentacles so far that it is now ruining stories that include actual tentacles. Like many culture wars, the specific details – orcs! busty maidens! angry bloggers with baroque facial hair! – make it seem faintly absurd, but the underlying arguments are vital. We shape our culture and it shapes us, and the struggle for an artistic voice is part of the struggle to be seen as fully human.

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French replica of revolutionary frigate sets sail for Boston
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Windfarm wars: are they a majestic man-made wonder – or a blight on the countryside?
2015-04-18 04:09:02 (28 minutes ago) 

The Conservatives have promised to give people living near proposed windfarms the final say on applications. Will the future of renewable energy in the UK come down to a matter of taste?

The village of Redwick lies on the outskirts of Newport, a small, pretty run of houses whose position on the Caldicot and Wentloog Levels serves as a reminder of the force of both humans and environment: on the horizon lies the city’s docks, while a scratchpost at the ancient parish church is marked with a reminder of just how high the waters rose in the Bristol Channel flood of 1607.

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Refugees don’t need our tears. They need us to stop making them refugees
2015-04-18 04:08:58 (28 minutes ago) 
The EU’s de facto policy is to let migrants drown to stop others coming. How many more deaths can we stomach?

In the desert, the smugglers lace their water with petrol so the smuggled won’t gulp it down and cost more. Sometimes the trucks they’re packed into stall crossing the Sahara; they have to jump out to push, and some are left behind when the trucks drive off again. In transit camps in Libya before the perilous venture across the Blue Desert, they play football, fight, and pool their scanty resources so an even poorer friend can pay his way. One man says his tiny wooden boat was flanked by dolphins as they made the journey, three on each side, like guardian angels, and this was what gave him hope.

These are the people we are allowing to die in the Mediterranean. The EU’s de facto policy is to let migrants drown to stop others coming. Last year nearly four thousand bodies were recovered from the Med. Those are just the ones we found. The total number of arrivals in Italy in 2014 went up over 300% from the year before, to more than 170,000. And the EU’s response, driven by the cruellest British government in living memory, was to cut the main rescue operation, Mare Nostrum.

Related: Italian authorities rescue over 4,000 would-be migrants at sea in four days

Migration illustrates one of the signal features of modern life: malice by proxy

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Windfarm wars: are they a majestic man-made wonder – or a blight on the countryside?
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The Conservatives have promised to give people living near proposed windfarms the final say on applications. Will the future of renewable energy in the UK come down to a matter of taste?

The village of Redwick lies on the outskirts of Newport, a small, pretty run of houses whose position on the Caldicot and Wentloog Levels serves as a reminder of the force of both humans and environment: on the horizon lies the city’s docks, while a scratchpost at the ancient parish church is marked with a reminder of just how high the waters rose in the Bristol Channel flood of 1607.

A year and a half ago, the village’s skyline shifted once again, when Newport council granted permission to Renewable Energy Systems (RES) to construct a wind turbine about 1.5km north-west of Redwick – an addition to the two turbines installed in 2011 at the nearby Tesco distribution centre. The Longlands Lane wind turbine was erected on 29 November last year, and generated its first electricity within a month. It is hoped it will be capable of providing enough electricity to meet the needs of around 800 homes.

Related: Restricting onshore windfarms would be a costly policy decision

Related: Texas city opts for 100% renewable energy – to save cash, not the planet

Continue reading...
 
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CAIRO (AP) -- Young Egyptians are once again organizing on social media and taking to the streets of Cairo by the hundreds every Friday, not to protest injustice or clash with police, but to enjoy long runs through one of the world's most crowded and chaotic cities....
 
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Crush of the week: Charlie Cox
2015-04-18 03:44:25 (52 minutes ago) 

In possibly his biggest part yet, the 32-year-old British actor’s lovely face is largely hidden from view. Which is a real shame

Charlie Cox has an undeniably cute face. If I had to describe it, I would go for boyishly handsome, lovely, appealing. It is open, and devoid of guile, which means you trust it – and whatever character he happens to be playing. His everyman appeal means you may not have realised how many times you’ve seen him on screen; in Sky Atlantic’s Boardwalk Empire, for example, playing Irish immigrant Owen Slater, and in The Theory Of Everything, playing Jonathan Hellyer Jones.

But now, in possibly his biggest part yet, the 32-year-old Brit actor’s lovely face is largely hidden from view. He is starring as Marvel’s blind and masked superhero, Daredevil (all 13 episodes are on Netflix). The decision to give the job to “some random English guy who didn’t grow up on comics is probably not ideal for many of the fans”, Cox has said, but he needn’t worry: he’s selling it utterly. US audiences are aflutter at the first non-American to play the role of the Man Without Fear.

Continue reading...
 
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Take a Look at How One Factory 'Maximizes Production' from Workers -- It's Brutal and Beyond Inhumane
2015-04-18 03:20:24 (1 hours ago) 
VW's Chattanooga plant provides a window into productivity-maximizing management schemes.

Amanda (not her real name) was hired fresh out of high school to work on the Volkswagen assembly line. But after two years in the Chattanooga plant, she had to go on leave to protect her health.

“I had a boss who would yell at me every day until I cried,” she said. “I talked to H.R. about it. They would not help me at all. They would not bring witnesses in even though I had witnesses, and I kept a notebook and they wouldn’t look at the notebook.”

Amanda says her floor supervisor, a former Toyota group leader, publicly humiliated her until she finally broke down. “One day while he was yelling at me, I told him that I am going to kill myself if you keep talking to me like this. He sent me to the medical bay. The medical bay put me on short-term disability.

“I saw a therapist who said I was fine as long as I was moved to another line. The Volkswagen doctor refused to clear me.” Amanda never returned to work at VW, believing it easier to find another job than to fight the company.

Her story is no anomaly. It shows the system is working as intended.

Company documents show VW’s management method is modeled on “lean production,” the philosophy created at Toyota, then popularized across the auto industry and beyond.

In fact, VW is trying to out-Toyota Toyota. The German company aims to overtake its Japanese competitor and become the world’s most profitable automobile manufacturer by 2018.

So the Chattanooga plant provides a window into the state of the art of brutal productivity-maximizing management schemes.

EFFICIENT RUTHLESSNESS

One of VW’s core lean tactics is “workforce flexibility”: competitive pressure from temps or part-timers.

At the Chattanooga plant, permanent employees work alongside “temporary” workers, some of whom have actually worked there for years. Pitted against one another, both groups fear to speak up.

Workers are routinely pushed to their physical and emotional breaking points. From management’s point of view, this maximizes productivity.

“Every employee there busts their ass and is injured and is working through the pain because they don’t want their job taken by a temp,” Amanda says. “It is made clear to all of us that we are easy to replace.”

That’s lean production in a nutshell: ruthless efficiency, produced by a system of efficient ruthlessness. Workers are deliberately stretched to their limits, by a combination of competitive pressure, inadequate training, repetitive stress, and rotating shifts—so that the weakest links can be identified and eliminated.

Another central component is the “team model.” Plant workers are grouped into teams of six and expected to work with management to continually find new ways to increase their team’s productivity. The “team” aspect encourages peer pressure.

It’s a never-ending loop. If you break down from stress, you’re out the door—but if no one on your team is breaking down, then the team’s load should be increased, for instance by removing a worker.

All the pressure to boost production means safety and training get short shrift. Much of the onsite training falls informally to team leaders or other assembly line workers—already overburdened by their own workloads.

“Assembly line work is very nuanced and complicated,” said one VW team leader I spoke with. “It has to be practiced to be understood.” When a worker who hasn’t been properly trained is pushed to pick up the pace, the results can be catastrophic.

That’s what Amanda believes happened when a friend on her line had two fingers ripped off while installing a seatbelt with a torque gun.

STRESS ON THE BODY

The danger is compounded by constant fatigue, due to rotating weekly shifts.

Chattanooga assembly line workers are required to work 10-hour shifts, four days a week: 6 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. one week, then 6 p.m. to 4:45 a.m. the next. Multiple workers told me this is the top work-related issue in the plant.

“It was a big reason why I quit,” said Lauren Feinauer. “I spent three years being tired. Never feeling rested. I was having mental health issues, gaining weight, having digestive problems.” Workers described having to take sleep aids routinely, and never feeling like their bodies could adequately heal from the stress.

But the resulting rate of injury is hard to determine, because VW has its own private medical clinic and emergency response team inside the Chattanooga factory. While the company presents in-house medical access as a perk of employment, some workers see it as another level of control.

Workers are required to report their pain levels every shift when entering and leaving the factory. Health contractors walk the line and interview employees about work-related soreness and injuries.

“They are definitely there to control the situation,” said Feinauer. “I felt that as soon as I reported an injury and they came to talk to me, that they were fishing into my past to find a way to blame it on me. They asked as much about jobs I did in the past as they did about what I am doing on the line.”

GLOBAL PLAN LOOMS

The pressure is only likely to get worse as VW workers are subjected to an increasingly globalized form of lean production.

In July the company announced plans to expand its Chattanooga factory to produce a new sport utility vehicle for the North American market. With the plant expansion will come the introduction of the modular transverse toolkit, or “MQB platform.”

The MQB platform will standardize key sections of VW cars, allowing workers to manufacture diverse models in the same factory. The result is that any plant in VW’s global network could manufacture models from any of the Volkswagen Group’s 12 brands. Assembly lines could even be rapidly switched from car to car, in “just-in-time” fashion.

This will create competitive pressure among all the VW assembly lines in the world—including a recently opened plant in China.

No wonder the company predicts the new system will increase worker “efficiency” and “flexibility.”

Like many of her former co-workers, Amanda supported the United Auto Workers organizing efforts in Chattanooga last year because she believed unionizing would improve working conditions. “If we had had a union, [what happened to me] would never have happened,” she said.

UAW Local 42, a minority union, has recently been meeting with management under VW’s new “Community Organization Engagement” policy. Workers report that nothing has changed so far, but some are openly calling for direct action over the rotating shift schedules.

“It is imperative,” one member told me, “that we take action as a unit of workers to change our shift model to something that is much healthier for the workforce and will lead to a much higher likelihood of long-term employment at VW.”

 
How People Plot Their Escapes from Sexless Marriages
2015-04-18 03:20:23 (1 hours ago) 
“I feel like I die more every day."

“The mistake was getting married.” That’s how the post begins. Under the handle forever monkey, the 40-year-old woman continues, “It took almost a month to consummate the marriage,” she writes. “We went from twice a month, to once a month, to twice a year, to once a year.” Eventually, she resorted to an affair. “We’ve had sex maybe 4 times since then, over a year and a half ago,” she says. “Here’s the thing: we are close. He holds my hand, he loves me, he does nice things for me. We have the same interests, we talk all the time. But i’m just sad, there’s this huge part that’s missing. The kids are almost grown. What do I do?”

All over the Internet, there are thousands of posts just like this from men and women in sexless marriages. Generally, a sexless marriage is defined as one in which sex happens 10 or fewer times a year, which applies to a whopping 15 to 20 percent of married couples, according to a Newsweek estimate. Despite the popular mythology around “lesbian bed death,” it’s predominantly heterosexual couples that are flocking online to count the days, months and years since they last had sex.

The social networking site Yuku has a popular sexless marriage community. There’s a section to rant, to talk divorce, to get advice on finding romance outside of marriage (that particular board comes with the caveat, “REMINDER: THIS IS NOT A DATING SERVICE SITE”) and to share fantasies. There’s even a forum for users to arrange to meet in person to talk about their sexless marriages. Reddit, of course, has a thriving community, DeadBedrooms, with more than 24,000 subscribers. As with most Reddit communities, it has its own language and shorthand. There’s “DB,” short for dead bedroom, “LL” for low libido and HL for high libido. Even general relationship forums, like LoveShack.org, are filled with threads on sexless marriages. Subject lines are fraught with desperation and resignation: “Sexless marriage driving me crazy!!!,” “So sad – sexless marriage” and “Yet another guy stuck in a sexless marriage,” for example.

That’s to say nothing of the angst found in the posts themselves. Consider this one from a Yuku community board: “”I feel … like I die more everyday. I have so much love and real passion to give and it’s not wanted, appreciated, or returned. …The man that loved me is dead. He is like a zombie. … I know my husband is a porn addict and is on sex hook up sites yet doesn’t want me. I have men flirt with me everywhere. He makes me feel like an ugly old woman just sitting out in the country waiting to die.” Rejection is a common theme: “But even when I think the mood is right and I try to initiate, she just brushes me off like I’m a dog trying to hump her leg,” writes one man. So too is low self-esteem as a result of the rejection: “I guess since I have gained a few stretch marks and dimples along with my pudginess, I am no longer attractive to him.” Some admit to turning to infidelity: “I have sought the physical and emotional intimacy I require outside of my marriage. Please do not condemn me for this.”

Most posters describe a relationship that started out with a healthy sex life.  ”In the start, sex was ok,” writes one woman. “After two years or so, things dwindled and died away.” Often, things take a turn after the relationship reaches a cozier stage: “Once the honeymoon phase ended (basically right after she moved in) sex went from a couple times a week to once every other month,” writes a 27-year-old man. Often, it seems to come out of the blue: “Early in our relationship the sex was passionate and amazing so I really didn’t see this coming.”

Typically, there’s a desire differential in these relationships and it’s the partner who wants more sex who is posting about it. That’s generally the case with the sexless couples that New York therapist Ian Kerner sees. “If they’re both content with not having sex, they’re less likely to see a therapist to deal with it,” he points out. That’s true for sexless message boards too: If someone’s content with having sex 10 times or less a year, they’re not going to be posting to the Internet about it. Kerner says it’s not uncommon for him to see couples in truly sexless marriages, but more common are general issues around desire. “As a sex therapist, desire is certainly the number one issue that I deal with.” So where do these desire differentials come from, anyway? It’s notoriously hard to diagnose, because there are so many potential factors — environmental, relational, medical, you name it. But Kerner has identified some common causes. “When couples get together, there is that infatuation phase where there’s a neuro-chemical cocktail stoking feelings of desire. As couples move into a long-term relationship and into the attachment phase, the neurochemistry starts to change,” he explains. “A lot of couples no longer know how to manufacture desire, because they’ve been relying on infatuation hormones.”

A major cause of bed death is simply too much stress. “Whether it’s parenting issues, work issues, family obligations, financial stressors, most couples that I work with that aren’t having sex are not in theory against the idea of having sex,” he said. “They’re too tired to have sex. They don’t have the time to have sex.” Indeed, in a post titled, “Not sure if my relationship is slowly descending into DB. How can I tell? How can I fix it?,” a woman writes, “I feel like my SO has been rejecting me more and more, the classic I’m too tired or not in the mood. We both have busy and stressful schedules but not more or less than the start of the relationship.”

Another factor is the responsiveness of female desire, meaning the tendency for women’s desire to arise in response to sexual activity rather than to precipitate it. “Male desire tends to be more spontaneous and female desire tends to be more responsive,” he says. “Very often in a relationship there isn’t a context for female sexual responsiveness. Men will tend to respond to a single sexual cue. For women, there needs to be a context of multiple sexual cues.” Sometimes, he’ll see “a guy who at one time was always experiencing spontaneous desire, but his desire has begun to change and wane and now you have a couple where both experience responsive desire.” Again, if neither partner knows how to deal with responsive desire, the bed death begins.

All that said, one cool thing about these online communities is that they quickly disabuse you of the stereotype that it’s only women who are withholding sex. They do, to be sure, but so too do men. Bed death simply isn’t the gendered phenomenon that our culture would have you think. Indeed, there are women who, after soliciting advice from the community, post an update with subject lines like “Mental high-fives” to announce, “I totally got laid.” That woman in particular is struggling with a husband who has withdrawn from sex following the devastation of a miscarriage. There are ladies lamenting that their husbands frequently beg out of sex because of a “headache.” Role reversals like whoa! There are the predictable bits, though: Plenty of women lament that the hubs watches porn but shows no interest in having sex.

Kerner says it’s “absolutely a toss of the coin as to who’s going to have the lower libido” in a heterosexual relationship. “I meet many, many men with low desire, whether they are bored in their relationships or not attracted to their partners or stressed out at work or insecure about their position in the world.” Research is increasingly showing that men who have low desire in their relationships don’t necessarily have low desire outside of the context of their relationship, he says. “They still have desire that leads to masturbation or that may lead to sex with other people, but many men actually have low desire for their partners,” he says.

Many message board posters are already to the point of considering divorce. “Do I end 5 year marriage with a person who really is my best friend, or do I accept that I may live my life only having sex a couple of times a year,” writes a 32-year-old woman. Kerner sees lots of couples move beyond sex ruts with the help of therapy and what he calls “behavioral homework,” but these message board conversations tend to encourage posters to get out of their sexless marriages. As a Yulu poster writes, “Other than those members who have moved on and out of their marriages, there are very few success stories.”  Another poster, who recently filed for divorce, writes, “I’ve browsed this subreddit for a while … by and large, it seems the answer is to, ‘Get out.’”

But there is the occasional happy ending. After posting to DeadBedrooms, a woman with the handle whinebitchwhine decided to try something simple: Explicitly asking her husband for sex, rather than waiting for him to catch on to her attempts at seduction. “Each time has gotten better,” she writes. “It was rigid, mechanical, but slowly we’re cuddling again. It’s been a long time since I could just melt in a man’s arms, in his arms, and lose myself in a moment of kissing.” She continues, “The solution was communicating verbally and directly. Maybe one day we’ll sync up again. Maybe one day I’ll have more self confidence and not have to psyche myself out to get into it. That’d be nice.”

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How Starbucks Can Help Prevent Thousands of Deaths and Millions of Sick People
2015-04-18 03:20:23 (1 hours ago) 
The cost per cup of coffee amounts to pennies

More than 60 million customers visit Starbucks retail stores every week. While many of them are concerned about their health, the environment and animal welfare, they may not realize all the negative effects caused by the factory-farmed milk that Starbucks purchases each year.

By switching from conventional to organic milk, Starbucks can make a huge positive impact in several critical areas, from improving the lives of cows at factory farms to slowing the rise of superbugs to maintaining the health of oceans, pollinators and many generations of humans to come.

The impact of sourcing industrial conventional milk. Photo Credit: gmoinside.org

There are two ways to get milk: the bad way and the better way. The bad way is the conventional way: milk from cows who are suffering and mistreated in huge factory farms that overuse antibiotics and pollute waterways. The better way is the organic, sustainable way, using cows who are treated better and fed no antibiotics.

Every year, Starbucks purchases 140 million gallons of ill-gotten milk from factory farms.

I had a chance to ask Nicole McCann, director of food campaigns at Green America, a nonprofit consumer organization that promotes environmental sustainability and social justice, about their campaign to get Starbucks to switch from conventional to organic milk.

Reynard Loki: In your new infographic (click on infographic above or click here) and report, "Starbucks: From Crop to Cup - The Impact of Sourcing Industrial Conventional Milk," Green America makes a compelling case for Starbucks to make the switch to organic. Why are you targeting Starbucks specifically? What about Dunkin' Donuts, McDonald's or even the U.S. military?

Nicole McCann: All of those entities would have a big impact on the market if they adopted organic milk, including the National School Lunch Program (part of U.S. government procurement). But we chose Starbucks because it is the most ubiquitous coffee shop in the world. Particularly in the U.S. there are Starbucks all over, while Dunkin' Donuts is mainly in the east. In the infographic we even show how there are nine Starbucks per square mile in Manhattan. Starbucks is the McDonald's of coffee. It is nearly impossible to find such proprietary sales info, like the breakdown of how many lattes (cups that are filled with mostly milk) it sells, but if you've ever been in one, you know they serve a lot of lattes. That's not the case for McDonald's.

RL: Should I still care about this issue even if I don't shop at Starbucks or even drink milk?

NM: Even if you don't drink dairy milk or frequent your neighborhood Starbucks, if you care about the state of animal welfare and environmental and human health, then you should care about industrialized conventional dairy served in lattes at Starbucks.

RL: Will a switch to organic milk affect the price of a Starbucks latte?

NM: Not if Starbucks makes a smart transition to organic. Looking at current wholesale prices and comparing organic to conventional at this exact point in time misses the picture of food systems change that we're hoping to make. Making a public commitment that Starbucks wants to transition to organic milk, along with collaboration with the dairy farmers it uses, will signal to the farmers that they will have secure contracts. They need the security of knowing they will have the contracts if they take the risk of transitioning to organic. This will take time. Developing an orderly transition, such as by particular regions, state by state, or flagship stores in certain areas, starting out with organic milk as an option (there a lot of ways Starbucks could go about implementing an orderly transition), allows the market time to adjust accordingly and not send prices upward.

RL: Do you have any price examples from coffee sellers who use organic milk?

NM: Starbucks owns a coffee café based in the Bay Area called La Boulange which serves organic coffee and organic milk. A large latte there costs $3.75 (again, it's both organic coffee and milk), and a grande latte at Starbucks costs $3.45 for neither organic coffee nor organic milk. The organic milk at La Boulange is sourced from Straus Family Creamery which has some of the highest animal welfare and environmental standards, to boot. Additionally, an East Coast and Midwest chain that was started in the United Kingdom, Pret A Manger (which actually serves grass-fed organic milk, organic and fair trade coffee, and organic soy milk) also has a lower cost per latte than Starbucks. See our side by side comparison here.

RL: Is there any indication that Starbucks will make the switch?

NM: Starbucks is a company that prides itself on giving its customers what they want. We chose it because it is a leader in its industry and has the purchasing power to ensure contracts for farmers and move the entire market toward organic milk. The company listened to its customers in 2008 when it decided to stop sourcing milk from cows given artificial growth hormones, so this campaign builds on that one.

RL: How important is it for Starbucks to make the switch and what are the challenges in making that switch?

NM: The environmental and animal welfare benefits are huge. The challenges to making the switch can be addressed by phasing organic milk in. There is a current strain on organic milk supply in the U.S. right now, with demand exceeding supply. We know that. There has been a soaring demand for organic milk. Customers want it. Demand begets supply, but it takes time to adjust. It is essential that Starbucks transitions to organic milk. By setting the standard, Starbucks can demonstrate a serious commitment to providing environmentally and socially conscious products and set a tidal wave of change within the dairy industry. We are realistic and don't expect Starbucks to transition overnight. It will take time for an orderly transition. But it's time Starbucks addresses the many negative impacts of industrial conventional dairy, throughout the supply chain from feed crop to cup, on animal welfare and human and environmental health.

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U.S. Attorney Has No Plans to Change Course After Anti-Death Penalty Plea from Marathon Bombing Victim’s Family
2015-04-18 03:20:12 (1 hours ago) 
A statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says she is “aware” of the anti-death penalty views of the parents of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, but that “many have strong views” on how best to move forward.






 
How many dead hookers does it take to change a lightbulb?
2015-04-18 03:10:45 (1 hours ago) 

Apparently not three because my basement is still dark.

submitted by Meatwise to Jokes
[link] [36 comments]
 
Spring-Cleaning Moon
2015-04-18 03:10:18 (1 hours ago) 

This new moon is a spring-cleaning heyday. It isn't just about the expiration date of pantry items, the dust on floorboards or the mystery grime inside of the microwave. It's also about your soul. Your internal environment will be renewed by refreshing your external environment, and vice versa. So start anywhere — the stars are rooting for you!

ARIES (March 21-April 19). You like to be around the kind of people who know what they want, and you don't mind if what they want is you. But you prefer a direct approach. You'll be skeptical of roundabout communication.

 
Parents of 8-Year-Old Boy Killed in Marathon Bombings Don’t Want Tsarnaev to Get Death Penalty
2015-04-18 03:10:17 (1 hours ago) 
The parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013 , wrote a plea to spare convcted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty.






 
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