29 February, 2016

Navy SEAL receives Medal of Honor at White House ceremony - The Washington Post

Navy SEAL receives Medal of Honor at White House ceremony - The Washington Post: "WASHINGTON — A Navy SEAL who helped rescue an American hostage in Afghanistan received the nation’s highest military honor Monday, hailed by President Barack Obama as “a special breed of warrior who so often serves in the shadows.”

"



'via Blog this'

28 February, 2016

A report on ISIS from 2013

Dining with Al Qaeda - The Daily Beast: "The four young men were members of a group called the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams—more commonly known as ISIS. It is an organization that has close ties to Al Qaeda. One of the quandaries for Washington as it approaches greater involvement in Syria is how to try to bring down the hated Assad government, accused of using chemical weapons on its own people, without handing power—and perhaps those weapons—to radical jihadists such as ISIS. For their part, these men wanted to convince me of the righteousness of their cause.
"



'via Blog this'

Head in the cloud

Head in the cloud: "In the late 1990s the philosopher David Chalmers coined the term “the extended mind” to describe how when we use pen and paper, calculators, or laptops to help us think or remember, these external objects are incorporated into our cognitive processes. “The technology we use becomes part of our minds, extending our minds and indeed our selves into the world,” Chalmers said in a 2011 Ted talk. Our iPhones have not been physically implanted into our brains, he explained, but it’s as if they have been."



'via Blog this'

Hillary Clinton, ‘Smart Power’ and a Dictator’s Fall - The New York Times

Hillary Clinton, ‘Smart Power’ and a Dictator’s Fall - The New York Times: "From the earliest days of the Libya debate, Mrs. Clinton was a diligent student and unrelenting inquisitor, absorbing fat briefing books, inviting dissenting views from subordinates, studying foreign counterparts to learn how to win them over. She was a pragmatist, willing to improvise — to try the bank-shot solution. But above all, in the view of many who have watched her up close, her record on Libya illustrates how, facing a national-security or foreign-policy quandary, she was inclined to act — in marked contrast to Mr. Obama’s more reticent approach.



Anne-Marie Slaughter, her director of policy planning at the State Department, notes that in conversation and in her memoir, Mrs. Clinton repeatedly speaks of wanting to be “caught trying.” In other words, she would rather be criticized for what she has done than for having done nothing at all."



'via Blog this'

I just binge-read eight books by Donald Trump. Here’s what I learned. - The Washington Post

I just binge-read eight books by Donald Trump. Here’s what I learned. - The Washington Post: "“I play to people’s fantasies,” Trump explains. “. . .­­ It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion.” Perception is reality, he writes, and achieving an “aura” (a recurring word in his writings) around his projects, his ideas and himself is essential.

"



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Right-Wing Extremists Are a Bigger Threat to America Than ISIS

Right-Wing Extremists Are a Bigger Threat to America Than ISIS:

The problem is getting worse, although few outside of law enforcement know it. Multiple confidential sources notified the FBI last year that militia members have been conducting surveillance on Muslim schools, community centers and mosques in nine states for what one informant described as “operational purposes.” Informants also notified federal law enforcement that Mississippi militia extremists discussed kidnapping and beheading a Muslim, then posting a video of the decapitation on the Internet. The FBI also learned that right-wing extremists have created bogus law enforcement and diplomatic identifications, not because these radicals want to pretend to be police and ambassadors, but because they believe they hold those positions in a government they have created within the United States. [I'm doubtful -WLS]



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How a Mechanical Failure Sparked 625 MTA Delays -- NYMag

How a Mechanical Failure Sparked 625 MTA Delays -- NYMag: "The subway is New York City’s pulmonary system; the great class-leveling engine of urban life; the main reason, perhaps, that such an extraordinary concentration of innovation and power and culture happened here and not somewhere else. Thirty-five percent of the metropolitan area’s workforce commutes via subway, bus, and commuter rail; the national average is 5 percent. Nearly half a million children use MetroCards to get to school, and 65 percent of international tourists use mass transit, contributing $18 billion to the local economy annually, which is why delays aren’t just a matter of inconvenience; they pose a fundamental threat to the functioning of the city. This new era of delays has already taken a toll, starting with people late for work: Last year, commuters asked for delay-verification slips more than 100,000 times.

"



'via Blog this'

27 February, 2016

We Are at War with Those Who Believe in Killing in the Name of Religion — Medium

We Are at War with Those Who Believe in Killing in the Name of Religion — Medium: "We are not at war with terrorism, which is just a tactic. We are not at war with some empty sociological label called extremism.



We are not even just at war with ISIS — though we’re obviously at war with ISIS — but there will be other enemies that will lift the black flag of death in the future even after ISIS has been routed in Syria and Iraq."



'via Blog this'

Buffett, in Annual Letter, Rejects Candidates’ Message of U.S. Decline - The New York Times

Buffett, in Annual Letter, Rejects Candidates’ Message of U.S. Decline - The New York Times:

“For 240 years it’s been a terrible mistake to bet against America, and now is no time to start,” he wrote. “America’s golden goose of commerce and innovation will continue to lay more and larger eggs.”
Mr. Buffett cautioned, though, that while the “pie to be shared by the next generation will be far larger than today’s,” the way it is divided will “remain fiercely contentious.” Many of the negative effects of innovation and greater efficiency tend to harm the worker, he said.


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Brutally Honest Response to Brutally Honest Oscar Voters: "Watch the F—king Movies" (Guest Column) - Hollywood Reporter

Brutally Honest Response to Brutally Honest Oscar Voters: "Watch the F—king Movies" (Guest Column) - Hollywood Reporter: "In the eyes of a film lover, your one job is one of the most amazing privileges on earth. And it’s your privilege to have a say in elevating and celebrating the work that moves us, the films that change our perspectives, the cinematography that takes us to new places, the performances that connect us, heal us, rip us apart — but you know, in a good way. It is a privilege to decide what has value, what has meaning and what matters — and pretty darn integral to that determination process is actually watching the thing.

"



'via Blog this'

26 February, 2016

The 199 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List - The New York Times

The 199 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List - The New York Times:



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The Governing Cancer of Our Time - NYTimes.com

The Governing Cancer of Our Time - NYTimes.com: "Over the past generation we have seen the rise of a group of people who are against politics. These groups — best exemplified by the Tea Party but not exclusive to the right — want to elect people who have no political experience. They want “outsiders.” They delegitimize compromise and deal-making. They’re willing to trample the customs and rules that give legitimacy to legislative decision-making if it helps them gain power.



 Ultimately, they don’t recognize other people. They suffer from a form of political narcissism, in which they don’t accept the legitimacy of other interests and opinions. They don’t recognize restraints. They want total victories for themselves and their doctrine."



'via Blog this'

Donald Trump just declared his intent to destroy American democracy - The Washington Post

Donald Trump just declared his intent to destroy American democracy - The Washington Post: "One of the things I’m going to do, and this is going to make it tougher for me…but one of the things I’m going to do if I win…is I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re going to open up those libel laws. So that when the New York Times writes a hit piece, which is a total disgrace, or when the Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.

"



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How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable --- He's no ordinary con man. He's way above average — and the American political system is his easiest mark ever : skeptic

How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable --- He's no ordinary con man. He's way above average — and the American political system is his easiest mark ever : skeptic: "This is not how politics is supposed to operate. This is not how we conceive of our civic culture, how we conduct opinion polling, how we talk about elections, or what we tell our children. Moreover, there's no silver-bullet solution here. Anything which would prevent qualified adults from voting is plainly a non-starter, and it's difficult to imagine any other way of addressing this issue. (Mandatory civics lessons for grown-ups? Don't be absurd.)
"



'via Blog this'

25 February, 2016

What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team - The New York Times

What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team - The New York Times: "What Project Aristotle has taught people within Google is that no one wants to put on a ‘‘work face’’ when they get to the office. No one wants to leave part of their personality and inner life at home. But to be fully present at work, to feel ‘‘psychologically safe,’’ we must know that we can be free enough, sometimes, to share the things that scare us without fear of recriminations. We must be able to talk about what is messy or sad, to have hard conversations with colleagues who are driving us crazy. We can’t be focused just on efficiency. Rather, when we start the morning by collaborating with a team of engineers and then send emails to our marketing colleagues and then jump on a conference call, we want to know that those people really hear us. We want to know that work is more than just labor.

"



'via Blog this'

24 February, 2016

Ben Carson Wonders If His Campaign Was a Scam - The Atlantic

Ben Carson Wonders If His Campaign Was a Scam - The Atlantic: "“We had people who didn't really seem to understand finances," a laughing Carson told CNN's Poppy Harlow on "CNN Newsroom," adding, "or maybe they did—maybe they were doing it on purpose."
"



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21 February, 2016

As publishers lose control, are newspaper websites a dead parrot? | Media | The Guardian

As publishers lose control, are newspaper websites a dead parrot? | Media | The Guardian: "As the pipes of distribution have merged with the advertising sales functions, the publishing tools and even the customer relations and data, the best a traditional publisher can hope for is that they will be favoured by the distributors or that they can build value separately. This is most likely to be through relationships with either advertisers or their own customers, hence the most closely watched models are those based on becoming a new type of advertising agency (BuzzFeed and Vice) or subscriptions based on brand loyalty (the New York Times).

"



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Why This Radical Leftist is Disillusioned by Leftist Culture — Medium

Why This Radical Leftist is Disillusioned by Leftist Culture — Medium: "I’m tired of the cliques, the hierarchies, the policing of others, and the power imbalances that exist between people who claim to be friends and comrades. I am exhausted and saddened by the fact that any type of disagreement or difference of opinion in an activist circle will lead to a fight, which sometimes includes abandonment of certain people, deeming them “unsafe” as well as public shaming and slander. It is disgusting that we claim to be building a new world, a new society, a better way of dealing with social problems — but if a person makes a mistake, says and/or does something wrong, they are not even given a chance to explain their side of what happened because the process of conflict resolution is in itself driven by ideology rather than a willingness to understand facts. Actually, in today’s activist circles one is lucky to be given any sort of due process at all, while everyone is put under social pressure to believe everything they are told regardless of what actually occurred in a given situation. This is not freedom. This is not social justice. There is nothing “progressive” or “radical” about it, unless you are referring to fascism."



'via Blog this'

Police stop man 258 times, charge him with trespassing at work - NY Daily News

Police stop man 258 times, charge him with trespassing at work - NY Daily News: "In the last four years Earl Sampson, 28, has been questioned by police 258 times, searched more than 100 times, jailed 56 times, and arrested for trespassing 62 times. The majority of these citations occurred at his place of work, a Miami Gardens convenience store where the owner says police are racially profiling.
"



'via Blog this'

20 February, 2016

In Conversation With Antonin Scalia -- New York Magazine

In Conversation With Antonin Scalia -- New York Magazine: "What, and Congress is? I mean, they’re all human beings. Power tends to corrupt. But the power in Washington resides in Congress, if it wants to use it. It can do anything—it can stop the Vietnam War, it can make its will felt, if it can ever get its act together to do anything.

"



'via Blog this'

Trump’s America - WSJ

Trump’s America - WSJ: "But the central truth of Trumpism as a phenomenon is that the entire American working class has legitimate reasons to be angry at the ruling class. During the past half-century of economic growth, virtually none of the rewards have gone to the working class. The economists can supply caveats and refinements to that statement, but the bottom line is stark: The real family income of people in the bottom half of the income distribution hasn’t increased since the late 1960s.

"



'via Blog this'

The exclusive story of how the feds took down FIFA

The exclusive story of how the feds took down FIFA: "The exclusive account of how a small band of federal agents and an outsized corrupt official brought down the sports world's biggest governing body.
"



'via Blog this'

Charles Koch: This is the one issue where Bernie Sanders is right - The Washington Post

Charles Koch: This is the one issue where Bernie Sanders is right - The Washington Post: "Consider the regulations, handouts, mandates, subsidies and other forms of largesse our elected officials dole out to the wealthy and well-connected. The tax code alone contains $1.5 trillion in exemptions and special-interest carve-outs. Anti-competitive regulations cost businesses an additional $1.9 trillion every year. Perversely, this regulatory burden falls hardest on small companies, innovators and the poor, while benefitting many large companies like ours. This unfairly benefits established firms and penalizes new entrants, contributing to a two-tiered society.

"



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19 February, 2016

How to Break a Party - The New York Times

How to Break a Party - The New York Times:

The 2005 Pew typology also suggested a useful way of looking at that coalition as a whole — not as a simple establishment-plus-base pyramid, but as a complicated partnership among business-friendly conservatives, social conservatives and a more inchoate populist cohort, for whom liberalism seems like an enemy but “big government” is not necessarily a dirty word.
In this alliance, most observers of the Republican Party would agree, the business-friendly conservatives (Pew’s Enterprisers) are clearly the senior partners, religious conservatives are the junior partners and the pro-government populists get deficit-funded spending in boom times and table scraps when things get tight.


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Making Charcoal - YouTube

Making Charcoal - YouTube: "I made a batch of charcoal using the mound method then stored it in baskets for later use. Charcoal is a fuel that burns hotter than the wood it's made from. This is because the initial energy consuming steps of combustion have taken place while making the charcoal driving off the volatile components of the wood (such as water and sap). The result is a nearly pure carbon fuel that burns hotter than wood without smoke and with less flame. Charcoal was primarily a metallurgical fuel in ancient times but was sometimes used for cooking too.
"



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18 February, 2016

Martin Luther King Jr.: A Candid Conversation With the Nobel Prize-Winning Civil Rights Leader

Martin Luther King Jr.: A Candid Conversation With the Nobel Prize-Winning Civil Rights Leader: "King: I mean to say that a strong man must be militant as well as moderate. He must be a realist as well as an idealist. If I am to merit the trust invested in me by some of my race, I must be both of these things. This is why nonviolence is a powerful as well as a just weapon. If you confront a man who has long been cruelly misusing you, and say, "Punish me, if you will; I do not deserve it, but I will accept it, so that the world will know I am right and you are wrong," then you wield a powerful and a just weapon. This man, your oppressor, is automatically morally defeated, and if he has any conscience, he is ashamed. Wherever this weapon is used in a manner that stirs a community's, or a nation's, anguished conscience, then the pressure of public opinion becomes an ally in your just cause.

"



'via Blog this'

Martin Luther King Jr.: A Candid Conversation With the Nobel Prize-Winning Civil Rights Leader

Martin Luther King Jr.: A Candid Conversation With the Nobel Prize-Winning Civil Rights Leader: "King: Well, the most pervasive mistake I have made was in believing that because our cause was just, we could be sure that the white ministers of the South, once their Christian consciences were challenged, would rise to our aid. I felt that white ministers would take our cause to the white power structures. I ended up, of course, chastened and disillusioned. As our movement unfolded, and direct appeals were made to white ministers, most folded their hands—and some even took stands against us.

"



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17 February, 2016

America's unlearned lesson: the forgotten truth about why we invaded Iraq - Vox

America's unlearned lesson: the forgotten truth about why we invaded Iraq - Vox: "The lesson, which extends to both parties, is that a potential president's ideological views are just as important to examine and vet as are his or her policy proposals; that the line between obscure policy journals and American military action can be much shorter than we'd like to think.



 That is true of any ideology, but it is especially true of neoconservatism, which we have still not chosen to vet, remarkably, even after we invested billions of dollars and thousands of lives in testing it directly in Iraq, to results apparently so damning we have still not fully absorbed them."



'via Blog this'

Robert Caro Wonders What New York Is Going To Become: Gothamist

Robert Caro Wonders What New York Is Going To Become: Gothamist:

I remember his aide, Sid Shapiro, who I spent a lot of time getting to talk to me, he finally talked to me. And he had this quote that I’ve never forgotten. He said Moses didn’t want poor people, particularly poor people of color, to use Jones Beach, so they had legislation passed forbidding the use of buses on parkways.
Then he had this quote, and I can still he him saying it to me. “Legislation can always be changed. It’s very hard to tear down a bridge once it’s up.” So he built 180 or 170 bridges too low for buses.


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Customer Letter - Apple

Customer Letter - Apple: "
We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.

While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect."



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16 February, 2016

The real story behind NFL owners' battle to bring football back to Los Angeles

The real story behind NFL owners' battle to bring football back to Los Angeles: "One NFL owner called the meeting a "s--- show." A "nightmare," another said. Yet another described it as "the most contentious and polarizing" in decades. On Dec. 2 at the Four Seasons in Irving, Texas, the owners-only meeting had a single agenda item: Which team or teams should be allowed to relocate to Los Angeles?

"



'via Blog this'

Is Humanity Getting Better? - The New York Times

Is Humanity Getting Better? - The New York Times: "We can’t relax; the upward trends in time’s graphs may crest at any point. Yet batting away the positive facts is lazy, and requires only a lower form of intelligence. There are immense challenges: climate change, resource scarcity, overpopulation, and more. Still, these are the follow-on problems of species achievement, as the world gets more crowded and productivity grows. These are the burdens of our success. Something is happening — especially since World War II — as we add more energy to our species. What future generations might marvel at most will be if we, in the midst of it, do not see it.

"



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How One American Diplomat Solved the Case of the Murdered Churchwomen in El Salvador - The Atlantic

How One American Diplomat Solved the Case of the Murdered Churchwomen in El Salvador - The Atlantic: "On December 1, 1980, two American Catholic churchwomen—an Ursuline nun and a lay missionary—sat down to dinner with Robert White, the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador. They worked in rural areas ministering to El Salvador’s desperately impoverished peasants, and White admired their commitment and courage. The talk turned to the government’s brutal tactics for fighting the country’s left-wing guerrillas, in a dirty war waged by death squads that dumped bodies in the streets and an army that massacred civilians. The women were alarmed by the incoming Reagan administration’s plans for a closer relationship with the military-led government. Because of a curfew, the women spent the night at the ambassador’s residence. The next day, after breakfast with the ambassador’s wife, they drove to San Salvador’s international airport to pick up two colleagues who were flying back from a conference in Nicaragua. Within hours, all four women would be dead.

"



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15 February, 2016

My son, the Columbine high school shooter: ‘a mother is supposed to know’ | US news | The Guardian

My son, the Columbine high school shooter: ‘a mother is supposed to know’ | US news | The Guardian: "When Dylan Klebold left the house that morning, he yelled goodbye in a tone that gave his mother pause. It had a “flat, nasty” ring to it, she says, which she has since “analysed like a Rubik’s cube; I have turned it every which way. Was he saying to me, you were a bad mother?” He had left the house early to attend a bowling class; the school permitted students to take bowling as an elective PE module, hence the title of the Michael Moore documentary about Columbine, Bowling For Columbine. But Dylan never showed up. Instead, he met Eric Harris and the two of them made their way to the school carrying guns and explosives.

"



'via Blog this'

'Dylan had killed children in cold blood': life after the Columbine massacre | US news | The Guardian

'Dylan had killed children in cold blood': life after the Columbine massacre | US news | The Guardian: "At first, Sue Klebold was in denial about her son’s role in the Columbine high school killings. But, as she recalls in this extract from her book, A Mother’s Reckoning, she soon had to face the horrific truth
"



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14 February, 2016

David Axelrod: A surprise request from Justice Scalia - CNN.com

David Axelrod: A surprise request from Justice Scalia - CNN.com: "
"Let me put a finer point on it," the justice said, in a lower, purposeful tone of voice, his eyes fixed on mine. "I hope he sends us Elena Kagan."

I was surprised that a member of the court would so bluntly propose a nominee, and intrigued that it was Kagan, the former Harvard Law School dean who was appointed solicitor general by Obama to represent the government before the Supreme Court.



Though she had worked on policy in the Clinton administration and had a reputation for pragmatism, Kagan plainly would be a liberal in the context of the court."



'via Blog this'

Love in translation: He spoke French. I spoke English. Google to the rescue. - The Washington Post

Love in translation: He spoke French. I spoke English. Google to the rescue. - The Washington Post: "
‘You met, and then?” people say when they ask how my husband, Nico, and I got together.

“And then,” Nico says, somewhat embarrassed: “Google Translate.”"



'via Blog this'

13 February, 2016

The Sexual Misery of the Arab World - The New York Times

The Sexual Misery of the Arab World - The New York Times: "What long seemed like the foreign spectacles of faraway places now feels like a clash of cultures playing out on the West’s very soil. Differences once defused by distance and a sense of superiority have become an imminent threat. People in the West are discovering, with anxiety and fear, that sex in the Muslim world is sick, and that the disease is spreading to their own lands.

"



'via Blog this'

The Dangerous Ratio : nrich.maths.org

The Dangerous Ratio : nrich.maths.org: "
How is it possible to prove that there is no ratio making √2?

The logic is a little fiddly, but not too heavy."



'via Blog this'

Obama chooses to fight over Court

Obama chooses to fight over Court: "
He really still is the president for the next 11 months, with all of the Constitutional rights and centrality to politics that come with the job.

Citing Scalia's devotion to "the rule of law," and "the institution to which Justice Scalia devoted his life," Obama framed his decision to go forward with the nomination as doing exactly what the late jurist would have wanted."



'via Blog this'

Justice Antonin Scalia, Who Led a Conservative Renaissance on the Supreme Court, Is Dead at 79 - The New York Times

Justice Antonin Scalia, Who Led a Conservative Renaissance on the Supreme Court, Is Dead at 79 - The New York Times: "He was, Judge Richard A. Posner wrote in The New Republic in 2011, “the most influential justice of the last quarter century.” Justice Scalia was a champion of originalism, the theory of constitutional interpretation that seeks to apply the understanding of those who drafted and ratified the Constitution. In Justice Scalia’s hands, originalism generally led to outcomes that pleased political conservatives, but not always. His approach was helpful to criminal defendants in cases involving sentencing and the cross-examination of witnesses.

"



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Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me - The New York Times

Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me - The New York Times: "CANCER has kicked down the walls of my life. I cannot be certain I will walk my son to his elementary school someday or subject his love interests to cheerful scrutiny. I struggle to buy books for academic projects I fear I can’t finish for a perfect job I may be unable to keep. I have surrendered my favorite manifestoes about having it all, managing work-life balance and maximizing my potential. I cannot help but remind my best friend that if my husband remarries everyone will need to simmer down on talking about how special I was in front of her. (And then I go on and on about how this is an impossible task given my many delightful qualities. Let’s list them. …) Cancer requires that I stumble around in the debris of dreams I thought I was entitled to and plans I didn’t realize I had made.

"



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12 February, 2016

The Full Text of Gov. Edwards Remarks - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

The Full Text of Gov. Edwards Remarks - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette:



This year's $940 million budget deficit is made up of two different categories:
First, the Revenue Estimating Conference - the panel of economists and financial experts our legislature relies on - met yesterday and told us that we are $570 million short of the revenue we originally expected for the year. That's the first part of the problem. This is due, in part, to the drop in oil prices and a slowdown in sales and corporate tax collections. In fact, we're paying out more in credits and refunds to corporations this year than we are collecting from them in taxes. This is not sound financial policy.
The other part of our $940 million budget problem this year is $370 million dollars in commitments we made that we don't have the funds to pay for. This is partly due to irresponsible budgeting by the previous administration. They failed to account for how many people would need access to public health care, how many students would qualify for TOPS, how many people would enroll in our public schools, and how many state inmates would be housed by our sheriffs, among other failures. Now the money is not there to pay those bills.



'via Blog this'

The Full Text of Gov. Edwards Remarks - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

The Full Text of Gov. Edwards Remarks - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette: "As I sit here with you tonight, we now have a more than $940 million budget deficit for this current fiscal year, ending June 30. In the year that starts July 1, we are facing a $2 billion budget deficit. And because the Louisiana Constitution does not allow us to fix either of these budget deficits in the regular legislative session this year, we have just three weeks, starting this Sunday, to make the changes we need.

We will not be paralyzed in fear by the size of this challenge, nor would we falsely claim "the sky is falling," but this is a historic fiscal crisis, the likes of which our state has never seen and absolute candor is required."



'via Blog this'

Madeleine Albright: My Undiplomatic Moment - The New York Times

Madeleine Albright: My Undiplomatic Moment - The New York Times: "I absolutely believe what I said, that women should help one another, but this was the wrong context and the wrong time to use that line. I did not mean to argue that women should support a particular candidate based solely on gender. But I understand that I came across as condemning those who disagree with my political preferences. If heaven were open only to those who agreed on politics, I imagine it would be largely unoccupied.

"



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11 February, 2016

The rise of Donald Trump is a terrifying moment in American politics - Vox

The rise of Donald Trump is a terrifying moment in American politics - Vox: "Trump's other gift — the one that gets less attention but is perhaps more important — is his complete lack of shame. It's easy to underestimate how important shame is in American politics. But shame is our most powerful restraint on politicians who would find success through demagoguery. Most people feel shame when they're exposed as liars, when they're seen as uninformed, when their behavior is thought cruel, when respected figures in their party condemn their actions, when experts dismiss their proposals, when they are mocked and booed and protested.

"



'via Blog this'

10 February, 2016

Warner Pays $14 Million For Illegitimate "Happy Birthday" Claims - TorrentFreak

Warner Pays $14 Million For Illegitimate "Happy Birthday" Claims - TorrentFreak: "The settlement marks the end of one of the most prominent copyright disputes in recent history. It also means that everyone is free to sing Happy Birthday in public, without having to look over their shoulders.

"



'via Blog this'

I sold beer and hot dogs at the Super Bowl and got paid a pittance.

I sold beer and hot dogs at the Super Bowl and got paid a pittance.: "I had wondered why I needed to be at the stadium so early—two hours before the doors opened. With so little prep work to do, the start time made even less sense. But I soon learned the reason: The no-show rate for these jobs is so high that managers need the extra time to figure out how many temporary workers they should call up. (During orientation, we were told that 400 temps were on call for each game.) The difference between temp and nontemp could be hard to discern: While I was a regular hire, the most knowledgeable cook in our kitchen was a temp. Two years ago, when job openings inside the stadium were first announced, Steve Van Dorn, then head of Santa Clara’s Chamber of Commerce, was exuberant. “I mean, who wouldn’t want to work inside the stadium during a game or special event?” he asked. Quite a few people, it turned out, if the work was as low-paid and sporadic as this.

"



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First Black NASA Administrator Charles Bolden 'Pleaded' To Get Into Naval Academy : The Two-Way : NPR

First Black NASA Administrator Charles Bolden 'Pleaded' To Get Into Naval Academy : The Two-Way : NPR:



But that first critical step of attending the Naval Academy almost didn't happen, Bolden says, when his state representatives would not nominate him for consideration because he was black. One of South Carolina's senators at the time, Strom Thurmond, flatly rejected Bolden's request.



 "[He] told me, 'No way are you going to get an appointment from me to go to the Naval Academy,'" Bolden says. "It was clear why they were not supporting me and it was because of the times. They were just not about to appoint a black to the Naval Academy or to any Academy."



 But Bolden had a backup plan.
'via Blog this'

07 February, 2016

My Wife and I Are (Both) Pregnant -- The Cut

My Wife and I Are (Both) Pregnant -- The Cut: "Your maternal instinct is to take care of the baby you gave birth to. It’s definitely a challenge to bond with them both. Intellectually, we have to remind ourselves that there’s another baby. Of course I love Reid, but I’m getting a lot more time with Eddie because I’m breast-feeding him. So what happens is you’re bonding with the baby you delivered because you have to, and then you look over and remember that there’s another one. You have to remind yourself this is your son, too. That was always my fear. Because having a baby at the same time was not going to allow for the same bonding time for both parents with each baby. I think we expected to have a month to spend with Reid and then by the time mine came we’d spend time with Eddie. I do hope that this dissipates but you have to fight against the favoritism that you start to feel. Actually, that’s not the right word. It’s not a favorite. You are just partial to one because your job was to carry it for nine months. For me personally it’s really hard taking care of two babies. So I don’t get enough time with Reid."



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Why We Keep Playing the Lottery - Issue 4: The Unlikely - Nautilus

Why We Keep Playing the Lottery - Issue 4: The Unlikely - Nautilus: "It may seem easy to understand why we keep playing. As one trademarked lottery slogan goes, “Hey, you never know.” Somebody has to win. But to really understand why hundreds of millions of people play a game they will never win, a game with serious social consequences, you have to suspend logic and consider it through an alternate set of rules—rules written by neuroscientists, social psychologists, and economists. When the odds are so small that they are difficult to conceptualize, the risk we perceive has less to do with outcomes than with how much fear or hope we are feeling when we make a decision, how we “frame” and organize sets of logical facts, and even how we perceive ourselves in relation to others. Once you know the alternate set of rules, plumb the literature, and speak to the experts, the popularity of the lottery suddenly makes a lot more sense. It’s a game where reason and logic are rendered obsolete, and hope and dreams are on sale. And nobody knows how to sell hope and dreams better than Rebecca Paul Hargrove.

"



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Why We Keep Playing the Lottery - Issue 4: The Unlikely - Nautilus

Why We Keep Playing the Lottery - Issue 4: The Unlikely - Nautilus: "It may seem easy to understand why we keep playing. As one trademarked lottery slogan goes, “Hey, you never know.” Somebody has to win. But to really understand why hundreds of millions of people play a game they will never win, a game with serious social consequences, you have to suspend logic and consider it through an alternate set of rules—rules written by neuroscientists, social psychologists, and economists. When the odds are so small that they are difficult to conceptualize, the risk we perceive has less to do with outcomes than with how much fear or hope we are feeling when we make a decision, how we “frame” and organize sets of logical facts, and even how we perceive ourselves in relation to others. Once you know the alternate set of rules, plumb the literature, and speak to the experts, the popularity of the lottery suddenly makes a lot more sense. It’s a game where reason and logic are rendered obsolete, and hope and dreams are on sale. And nobody knows how to sell hope and dreams better than Rebecca Paul Hargrove.

"



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06 February, 2016

Military Strategist Explains Why Trump Leads—And Will Fail

Military Strategist Explains Why Trump Leads—And Will Fail: "The signs we have seen so far of Trump suggest that, while he’s very shrewd and swift in observing, orienting, deciding, and acting when he’s on familiar terrain, he draws information from a fairly closed loop, and is not well-suited to expanding to a broader, less familiar battlefield. Therein lies his vulnerability in a primary or general election, as well as his deficiency as a potential commander-in-chief despite his natural grasp of the basic precepts of strategy, tactics, leverage, speed, and ambiguity.

"

Record Missouri flooding was manmade calamity, scientist says

Record Missouri flooding was manmade calamity, scientist says: "The prior flood of record in most of the lower Meramec Basin occurred on Dec. 6, 1982, Criss said. Given that the 1982 flood, like the 2015 flood, was a winter flood during an El NiƱo event, they should have been similar. Criss thought it would be revealing to compare them.
When he did this, he discovered that the peak flood stage at Valley Park in 2015 was three-feet higher than it would have been had the river responded as it had in 1982, and more than a foot higher upstream from Valley Park at Eureka in 2015 than in 1982.
What had happened at Valley Park between 1982 and 2015? A three-mile-long levee had been built next to the river; a landfill partly in the river's floodway (as defined in 1995) had expanded; parts of the floodplain had been built up with construction fill; and development along three small tributaries of the Meramec had destroyed riparian borders, so that they became torrents after a rain but no longer flowed continuously."



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Why is Verizon letting rural broadband decay? | … My heart’s in Accra

Why is Verizon letting rural broadband decay? | … My heart’s in Accra:

At a moment when President Obama is promoting rural broadband, Verizon is deciding not to maintain their rural networks and let them degrade. While Republican governor Charlie Baker is investing state money in plans to provide broadband to businesses and homes in my community, Verizon has decided it is profitable to underserve their customers and invite them to quit if they don’t like the situation.


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ELI5: Why do we want to drink milk or water when we eat something "rich" like chocolate? : explainlikeimfive

ELI5: Why do we want to drink milk or water when we eat something "rich" like chocolate? : explainlikeimfive: "Hardly anyone eats pure, bitter chocolate. They eat chocolate that's been modified in flavor and texture by fats (butter, coconut oil, etc) and sugar, which result in a coating throughout your mouth which leaves you a bit thirsty. Water works to "cut the coating", but acidic and fatty fluids help more, because the fats that are coating your mouth are very soluble in both. Milk contains enough fat to wash away most of the coating. That coupled with the fact that things like orange juice with chocolate are distasteful to most palates leaves water and milk (with milk being preferable for most people) as the "solution". (ha ha)



All of that said, the more advanced palate may enjoy something like port wine with chocolate, because it's acidic and contains alcohol, both of which are champion for washing the gunk out of your mouth, adding a wonderful complementary flavor, and preparing your mouth for the next bite of chocolate. I would suggest a tawny port in this endeavor, should one be so bold.



Drinking wine with fatty meats and fish serves exactly the same purpose of palate cleansing and flavor enhancement between bites."



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02 February, 2016

The surprising success of Bernie Sanders's insurgency should be a wake-up call to the Democratic establishment - Vox

The surprising success of Bernie Sanders's insurgency should be a wake-up call to the Democratic establishment - Vox:

This is a party that has no viable plan for winning the House of Representatives, that's been pushed to a historic low point in terms of state legislative seats, and that somehow lost the governor's mansions in New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois.
It's a party, in other words, that was clearly in need of some dialogue, debate, and contestation over what went wrong and how to fix it. But instead of encouraging such a dialogue, the party tried to cut it off. That leaves them with Sanders's political revolution theory. It doesn't seem very plausible to me, but at least it's something.


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