24 November, 2017

Who Are Sufi Muslims and Why Do Some Extremists Hate Them? - The New York Times

Who Are Sufi Muslims and Why Do Some Extremists Hate Them? - The New York Times:

Sufism is a mystical form of Islam, a school of practice that emphasizes the inward search for God and shuns materialism. It has produced some of the world’s most beloved literature, like the love poems of the 13th century Iranian jurist Rumi. Its modern-day adherents cherish tolerance and pluralism, qualities that in many religions unsettle extremists.
But Sufism, often known as Islamic mysticism, has come under violent attack in recent years. On Friday, militants stormed a Sufi mosque on the Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 235 people in what officials are calling the worst terrorist attack in Egypt’s modern history. The attack followed several assaults on Sufi shrines in Pakistan over the past year carried out by Sunni extremists. (The vast majority of Sufis are Sunni, though some are Shiite.)


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Militants Kill 235 at Sufi Mosque in Egypt’s Deadliest Terrorist Attack - The New York Times

Militants Kill 235 at Sufi Mosque in Egypt’s Deadliest Terrorist Attack - The New York Times: "CAIRO — Militants detonated a bomb inside a crowded mosque in the Sinai Peninsula on Friday and then sprayed gunfire on panicked worshipers as they fled, killing at least 235 people and wounding at least 109 others. Officials called it the deadliest terrorist attack in Egypt’s modern history.

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For North Korean soldier’s recovery, South Koreans are pinning their hopes on this doctor - The Washington Post

For North Korean soldier’s recovery, South Koreans are pinning their hopes on this doctor - The Washington Post:

 No medical drama is complete without a bold-yet-sensitive heartthrob doctor in a leading role. The incredible tale of a North Korean soldier’s escape across the demilitarized zone last week is no exception.
The McDreamy in this case is Lee Cook-jong, the trauma surgeon who has operated on the soldier several times and provided updates along the way — including a video showing Lee picking 10-inch-long parasitic worms out of the man’s intestines and his declaration Wednesday that the defector will survive.


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23 November, 2017

Thanksgiving Ten Years Ago: David French Remembers Iraq Deployment & Daughter’s Birth | National Review

Thanksgiving Ten Years Ago: David French Remembers Iraq Deployment & Daughter’s Birth | National Review: "My friend was right. The almost-year I spent in Iraq was the most important time of my life. I gained brothers. I lost brothers. I saw things I’d never imagined and pray that I’ll never see again. I experienced stress and fear at levels I didn’t know I could take, and I served with heroes who did things that ordinary Americans can’t comprehend.



That year changed me. The man who came home was substantially different from the man who left. I was better in some ways, worse in others, and I was on the beginning of a road that so many veterans walk. How do you become the best version of your new self? How do you live with grief without letting it consume you? How do you deal with the loneliness — yes, loneliness — of separation from your brothers, the men who served beside you?"



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More than a Million Pro-Repeal Net Neutrality Comments were Likely Faked

More than a Million Pro-Repeal Net Neutrality Comments were Likely Faked: "One pro-repeal spam campaign used mail-merge to disguise 1.3 million comments as unique grassroots submissions.
"



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(1) Mega Medley that was supposed to be 5 minutes but wasn't - YouTube

(1) Mega Medley that was supposed to be 5 minutes but wasn't - YouTube:

Song list




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To Hell With the Witch-Hunt Debate - The Atlantic

To Hell With the Witch-Hunt Debate - The Atlantic: "You learn early on, if you’re female, that your body mostly belongs to you. But if you are going to make a big fuss every time a hand grabs you on a crowded bus or train, every time a man forces a wet, unwanted kiss on you, you’re going to become something men really don’t like: bitter. And so you come to accept that for the most part your body belongs to you. But in a small way a little bit of it belongs to the men of the world. And I am reminded of the ancient words that washed over me in the churches of my childhood and the college chapels of my late adolescence, in the cathedrals and outdoor masses of my early life on my own: This is my body, which is given up for you.

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22 November, 2017

290 coaches, officials tied to U.S. Olympic groups have been accused of sexual misconduct since 1982 - Orlando Sentinel

290 coaches, officials tied to U.S. Olympic groups have been accused of sexual misconduct since 1982 - Orlando Sentinel: "More than 290 coaches and officials associated with America's Olympic sports organizations have been publicly accused of sexual misconduct since 1982, according to a Washington Post review of sport governing body banned lists, news clips, and court records in several states. The figure spans parts of 15 sports and amounts to an average of eight adults connected to an Olympic organization accused of sexual misconduct every year - or about one every six weeks - for more than 36 years.

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Sexual Harassment Allegations -- It Will Get Uglier | National Review

Sexual Harassment Allegations -- It Will Get Uglier | National Review:

As much as I dislike Franken, making a gross pass at an adult woman is different than molesting a 14-year-old girl. Groping a woman’s backside is not the same thing as raping a woman. And yet Franken’s name is routinely listed alongside Moore’s and Weinstein’s. Some of this leveling is simply journalistic laziness. But a lot of it is partisan demagoguery and opportunism. Partisanship also leads to what you might call anti-leveling: people who ignore wrongdoing on “their side” even as they attack their enemies.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453974/sexual-harassment-allegations-will-get-uglier



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20 November, 2017

The Truth About Sex Differences | Psychology Today

The Truth About Sex Differences | Psychology Today: "If you were to line up 100 women and 100 men and peruse the heights of the two groups, you would easily notice differences in their group distributions of heights. In the United States, the average adult woman is only about as tall as the average 14-year-old boy. Too often, when scientists claim that there exists a sex difference in height, it gets translated by others as meaning that the feature of height is biologically essential to being a man (taller) or a woman (shorter). The tendency to misconstrue as a necessary difference what shows up only as a group difference is a huge barrier to respectful and productive conversations about sex differences. 

"



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Roy Moore allegations place uneasy spotlight on Gadsden | AL.com

Roy Moore allegations place uneasy spotlight on Gadsden | AL.com:

In 1960, Gadsden had almost 60,000 residents. In those days, it was an industrial town bookended by the Goodyear tire plant and a steel plant. Now, it has about 36,000 residents, but maintains a vibrant downtown life and local business culture.
Curlie DeRamus, a 70-year-old who said he has lived in Gadsden his whole life, didn't approach the mike but grew animated when he talked about his hometown. He said Gadsden is full of people who are in low wage jobs, trying to make a better life for themselves.


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19 November, 2017

JoshRushing comments on [AMA Request] Anyone that has witnessed a death sentenced carried out

JoshRushing comments on [AMA Request] Anyone that has witnessed a death sentenced carried out: "I wrote the following description of having just witnessed an execution while in the passenger seat of a car driving away from the prison. I wanted it to be as accurate and detailed as possible...
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18 November, 2017

Kim Jong Un’s North Korea: Life inside the totalitarian state - Washington Post

Kim Jong Un’s North Korea: Life inside the totalitarian state - Washington Post: "Escapees from North Korea’s gruesome political prisons have recounted brutal treatment over the years, including medieval torture with shackles and fire and being forced to undergo abortions by the crudest methods. Human rights activists say that this appears to have lessened slightly under Kim. But severe beatings and certain kinds of torture — including being forced to remain in stress positions for crippling lengths of time — are commonplace throughout North Korea’s detention systems, as are public executions.

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The First Victory Over ISIS | commentary

The First Victory Over ISIS | commentary: "While the U.S. has had military success against some terrorist groups—we tend to focus on one group at a time, first al-Qaeda, then ISIS—they have shown a worrisome tendency to either make good their losses or else be superseded by other groups that may turn out to be even more vicious. Put another way, the pathologies of the Muslim world have proven stronger than our ability or will to overcome them. What, then, should we do in the future in what has been variously known as the “Global War on Terror,” the “Struggle Against Violent Extremism,” and now the war on “radical Islamic terrorism”? The answer to that question begins with an honest assessment of what has gone right—and wrong—to date."



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17 November, 2017

Ric_Adbur comments on The FCC just repealed a 42-year-old rule blocking broadcast media mergers

Ric_Adbur comments on The FCC just repealed a 42-year-old rule blocking broadcast media mergers: "Everyone feels powerless to stop it. Every week there's a new story or several about how corruption is spreading further and further and becoming more and more blatant with little to no opposition. Couple that with the constant barrage of news about terrorism, hostile foreign powers, and the never-ending partisan blame-game, and nobody knows what direction to move in much less what they'd even do if they got there.

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US Navy: Penis in sky drawn by jet trail was 'unacceptable' : news

US Navy: Penis in sky drawn by jet trail was 'unacceptable' : news:

If he was in my command I would have simply called it a asymmetrical combat orbit pattern practice run that occurred during a unique atmospheric condition that allowed a jet trail to develop. Unfortunately certain more basers members of the general public interpreted these jet trails as a penis. Since the Navy is not in the business of enforcing morality among the general public there is nothing the Navy can do about it.
Then once the press dies away I would give the pilot a toothbrush and tell clean the runway with it.
First rule of command is you have protect your men no matter what dumbass thing they do.


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83-year-old retired Marine keeps promise made in bunker in Vietnam | WFAA.com

83-year-old retired Marine keeps promise made in bunker in Vietnam | WFAA.com: "For nearly five decades, Cox, who lives in Piedmont, and Hollingsworth, whose nickname was Hollie, kept their promise to each other.

And earlier this year, Cox kept another promise: He stood guard at Hollingsworth’s casket and then delivered the eulogy at his funeral.

Standing guard, without the cane that the 83-year-old normally uses, Cox was paying tribute, one Marine to another."



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16 November, 2017

benzosareawful comments on This pill popping culture needs to end now. We don’t need to Loose anybody else.

benzosareawful comments on This pill popping culture needs to end now. We don’t need to Loose anybody else.:

Benzos and alcohol are the only two classes of drugs that can kill you when withdrawing from them.
I'll try to keep it simple. Benzos (and alcohol) work by making a neurotransmitter, GABA, more effective when it binds to the brain. GABA basically reduces how strong/powerful nerve impulses are, so when you're anxious and on edge, these drugs will sedate and chill you out by reducing the excitability of the brain cells associated with anxiety, muscle stiffness, etc.


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14 November, 2017

The Terminal Rot At The GOP’s Core – Rantt

The Terminal Rot At The GOP’s Core – Rantt: "A while ago, I warned that the GOP was rapidly becoming unmoored from conservatism and embracing angry, tribal populism at epidemic levels. At one point, I implied it was trying to change the country from a shining city on a hill into an old hoarder’s decrepit mansion filled with nostalgic symbols of greatness long passed. I’ll still stand by this metaphor but say that it’s incomplete. That mansion also has a nasty termite infestation, dry rot behind the walls, and sewage pipes in the living room and master bedroom have sprung leaks the occupant refuses to fix despite the stench and squishy floors. It’s no longer just a fixer-upper. It’s a total teardown with few salvageable parts.
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People who used to work in Gadsden Mall share stories, concerns about Roy Moore | WBMA

People who used to work in Gadsden Mall share stories, concerns about Roy Moore | WBMA: "“We knew, that Roy was, we considered him as teenagers the creepy old man that roamed the mall, trying to talk to the young girls,” Reeves remembered. “He kind of stood out from everyone else because we was always wearing dress clothes, dress slacks, a button down shirt, nice shoes.”
"



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Was the Democratic primary rigged? - Vox

Was the Democratic primary rigged? - Vox: "The irony is that Sanders was a prime beneficiary of this bias, not a victim of it. The losers were potential candidates like Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Warren, or Gov. John Hickenlooper — and, thus, Democratic primary voters, who ended up with few choices in 2016. To the extent Democratic primary voters feel like they were denied a broad range of candidates in 2016, and that party officials tried to clear the field to coronate Clinton, well, they’re right.

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Moroccan–American Treaty of Friendship - Wikipedia

Moroccan–American Treaty of Friendship - Wikipedia: "It has withstood transatlantic stresses and strains for more than 239 years, making it the longest unbroken treaty relationship in United States history.[6]"



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Russian Defense Ministry’s ‘Evidence’ of U.S. Aid to ISIS Shows Video-Game Footage - The Daily Beast

Russian Defense Ministry’s ‘Evidence’ of U.S. Aid to ISIS Shows Video-Game Footage - The Daily Beast:

In a sign of how lazy some propagandists can be, on Tuesday the official Russian-language Twitter account for the country’s defense ministry tweeted a selection of photos, claiming the images were irrefutable evidence that the U.S. was helping ISIS terrorists. However, one of the photos the Ministry of Defense tweeted (and later deleted) appears to be from the video game AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron, a clip of which is available on YouTube.



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13 November, 2017

(2) Our Biggest Economic, Social, and Political Issue | LinkedIn

(2) Our Biggest Economic, Social, and Political Issue | LinkedIn: "There has been no growth in earned income, and income and wealth gaps have grown and are enormous. Since 1980, median household real incomes have been about flat, and the average household in the top 40% earns four times more than the average household in the bottom 60%. While they’ve experienced some growth recently, real incomes have been flat to down slightly for the average household in the bottom 60% since 1980 (while they have been up for the top 40%). Those in the top 40% now have on average 10 times as much wealth as those in the bottom 60%. That is up from six times as much in 1980."



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12 November, 2017

Fake News and Fake Innocence

Fake News and Fake Innocence: "I was a journalist at CBS News for 28 years and during that time I witnessed liberal bias; I witnessed liberal elitism; and I witnessed a few mistakes. But I never saw anything resembling the fake news the president is constantly wailing about. I never saw any journalist just make something up out of nothing.

"



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On Veterans Day, a lost battalion. A war hero. And a heartbreaking suicide. - The Washington Post

On Veterans Day, a lost battalion. A war hero. And a heartbreaking suicide. - The Washington Post:

Three thousand people crowded into the State Armory in Pittsfield, Mass., on Dec. 11, 1921, to mourn Lt. Col. Charles W. Whittlesey, famed leader of World War I‘s “lost battalion.”
Now he too was lost.
A century ago, every newspaper reader in America knew the story. Whittlesey, a tall, bookish soldier, had led 554 men of the 308th Infantry up a thickly wooded French ravine early on Oct. 2, 1918, then became trapped and isolated.
When relief finally came, just 194 soldiers could get to their feet; 107 were dead, 63 missing. And of those able to walk, only a half dozen were deemed fit to continue the advance.
The war would be over in a month. But not for Whittlesey.


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In Alabama, Republican Voters Stand by Roy Moore - NBC News

In Alabama, Republican Voters Stand by Roy Moore - NBC News:

Cox, of the Greenwood Baptist Church, said as long as Moore is on the ballot, the GOP candidate would have his support.
"Everything else," Cox said, "is for the Lord to sort out."


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Why Won’t TV Show People Who Aren’t Rich? - POLITICO Magazine

Why Won’t TV Show People Who Aren’t Rich? - POLITICO Magazine: "And why doesn’t television better reflect our reality? It could be that TV producers and executives live in an affluent Hollywood bubble of their own, with the same narrow pool of kitchen contractors and narrow expectations for how the world actually looks. Or it could be that they imagine that economic stress would add an undue layer of complexity to high-concept stories about Other Things. Maybe they think no viewers want to wallow in a subject so prosaic and depressing. “The Middle,” beloved by some critics, never broke through to be an unqualified hit.

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(1) Mapping the Las Vegas Massacre - YouTube

(1) Mapping the Las Vegas Massacre - YouTube: "The shots began at 10:05pm. Twelve bursts of gunfire later, the police broke down Stephen Paddock’s door at the Mandalay Bay. The Times mapped 30 videos to draw perhaps the most complete picture to date of what happened.
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11 November, 2017

The Noise | By Stephen Curry

The Noise | By Stephen Curry:

But when someone tells me that my stances, or athlete stances in general, are “disrespecting the military” — which has become a popular thing to accuse peaceful protestors of — it’s something that I’m going to take very, very seriously. One of the beliefs that I hold most dear is how proud I am to be an American — and how incredibly thankful I am for our troops. I know how fortunate I am to live in this country, and to do what I do for a living, and to raise my daughters in peace and prosperity. But I also hear from plenty of people who don’t have it nearly as good as I do. Plenty of people who are genuinely struggling in this country. Especially our veterans.
And every single veteran I’ve spoken to, they’ve all said pretty much the exact same thing: That this conversation we’ve started to have in the world of sports … whether it’s been Colin kneeling, or entire NFL teams finding their own ways to show unity, or me saying that I didn’t want to go to the White House — it’s the opposite of disrespectful to them.


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(1) Chris Fowler talks about 2007 GameDay Experience at Williams College - YouTube

(1) Chris Fowler talks about 2007 GameDay Experience at Williams College - YouTube: "Longtime ESPN College Football GameDay host Chris Fowler talks about his trip to Williams College for GameDay in 2007. ESPN's first and still only DIII site for GameDay.
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thisonewasnotaken comments on ELI5: what is it about electricity that makes it so dangerous to the human body?

thisonewasnotaken comments on ELI5: what is it about electricity that makes it so dangerous to the human body?: "You remember that scene in Kindergarten Cop when all those kids are running around, screaming, throwing glue and shit on each other, one fat kid is eating everyone’s lunch while another looks up the girls’ skirts? They’re all doing their own thing, not what they’re supposed to be doing; that’s fibrillation. Then Arnold Schwarzenegger comes in and yells “SHUUUUUUUT UUUUUUUUPPP” at the top of his lungs and all the kids stop being rowdy, that’s defibrillation. Then they all start crying in unison. That’s sinus rhythm.
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Where the Small-Town American Dream Lives On | The New Yorker

Where the Small-Town American Dream Lives On | The New Yorker:

In his 1970 book, “Exit, Voice, and Loyalty,” the economist Albert O. Hirschman described different ways of expressing discontent. You can exit—stop buying a product, leave town. Or you can use voice—complain to the manufacturer, stay and try to change the place you live in. The easier it is to exit, the less likely it is that a problem will be fixed. That’s why the centripetal pull of Orange City was not just a conservative force; it could be a powerfully dynamic one as well. After all, it wasn’t those who fled the town who would push it onward, politically or economically—it was the ones who loved it enough to stay, or to come back.



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Where the Small-Town American Dream Lives On | The New Yorker

Where the Small-Town American Dream Lives On | The New Yorker: "The town was founded, in 1870, by immigrants from Holland looking for farmland, and until recently almost everyone who lived there was Dutch. Many of the stores on Central Avenue still bear Dutch names: Bomgaars farm-supply store, Van Maanen’s Radio Shack, Van Rooyen Financial Group, DeJong Chiropractic and Acupuncture, Woudstra Meat Market. The town’s police force consists of Jim Pottebaum, Duane Hulstein, Audley DeJong, Bruce Jacobsma, Chad Van Ravenswaay, Wes Van Voorst, and Bob Van Zee. When an Orange City teacher wants to divide her class in half, she will say, “A”s through “U”s to one side, “V”s through “Z”s to the other. Once, many years ago, an actual Dutch woman, from Rotterdam, moved to town with her American husband. She found the Dutchness of Orange City peculiar—the way that most people didn’t speak Dutch anymore but sprinkled their English with phrases that nobody had used in the Netherlands for a hundred years.
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Diana Nyad: My Life After Sexual Assault - NYTimes.com

Diana Nyad: My Life After Sexual Assault - NYTimes.com: "My particular case mirrors countless others. I was 14. A na├»ve 14, in 1964. I don’t think I could have given you a definition of intercourse.



 My swimming coach was in many ways the father I had always yearned for. I met him when I was 10, and those first four years were marked by a strong mentor-student bond. He repeatedly told me I had all the talents to one day rock the world. I worshiped my coach. His word was The Word. I built a pedestal for him and gazed up at the center of my universe.

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10 November, 2017

On Rumors

On Rumors: "The revelation in Thursday’s New York Times that comedian Louis CK acted sexually inappropriate with women comedians was not a revelation to us here at Jezebel. In 2012, Jezebel’s sibling site, Gawker, ran a blind item about a “critically cherished sitcom auteur” who masturbated in front of “a female comedy duo” at the Aspen Comedy Festival. In May 2015, Gawker’s Jordan Sargent talked to a guy who’d had a baffling conversation with CK about the persistent rumor that CK masturbated in front of non-consenting women comedians. At the time, these were rumors, but rumors of great importance to Jezebel and Gawker. We did not view these rumors as smut, and we investigated them with the rigor we felt they demanded. Here’s the story of how that went for us.

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Fearlessleader85 comments on Louis C.K. statement released

Fearlessleader85 comments on Louis C.K. statement released: "And part of it comes down to the fact that when you're in a position of soft power, there's often an urge to disregard it, and just talk to people as peers. This is actually one of the issues with humility. Often, humble people in positions of soft power try to dispel the power structure to put others at ease, but really it only puts themselves a ease. They then try to have a conversation with someone as equals, and they will say things that equals say, ask things that equals ask, and do things that equals do, but on the other side of the conversation, the power structure still exists. The person without soft power feels an obligation to defer, acquiesce, or accommodate when they would not do so with a true peer.
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Roy Benavidez - Wikipedia

Roy Benavidez - Wikipedia: "On May 2, 1968, a 12-man Special Forces patrol, which included nine Montagnard tribesmen, was surrounded by an NVA infantry battalion of about 1,000 men. Benavidez heard the radio appeal for help and boarded a helicopter to respond. Armed only with a knife, he jumped from the helicopter carrying his medical bag and ran to help the trapped patrol. Benavidez "distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions... and because of his gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men." At one point in the battle an NVA soldier accosted him and stabbed him with his bayonet. Benavidez pulled it out, yanked out his own knife, killed him and kept going, leaving his knife in the NVA soldier's body. After the battle, he was evacuated to the base camp, examined, and thought to be dead. As he was placed in a body bag among the other dead in body bags, he was suddenly recognized by a friend who called for help. A doctor came and examined him but believed Benavidez was dead. The doctor was about to zip up the body bag when Benavidez managed to spit in his face, alerting the doctor that he was alive.[3](see medal citation below)

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ftxs comments on After New York attack, is Uzbekistan a threat?

ftxs comments on After New York attack, is Uzbekistan a threat?: "So you have a festering jihadist problem created under the guise of national security and combine that with what’s happening to Uzbekistan’s economy and social state. High unemployment rates and population density are creating a distinct lack of opportunity for young Uzbek men. Many of these Uzbeks (some estimates ranging up to 2,000,000) are living abroad for work or to look for work. Keep in mind that half of Uzbekistan’s population is below the age of twenty-five. That’s a lot of unemployed young people looking at a (corrupt and authoritarian) system and feeling angry and disempowered and the only alternative to that system is jihad because there is no realistic political opposition left.
"



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Please, Big Media, come visit us in Trump country - The Washington Post

Please, Big Media, come visit us in Trump country - The Washington Post: "Familiarity breeds contempt, the saying goes, but I think it is truer that familiarity leads to understanding and even friendship, if not agreement. Please, Big Media, continue to explore Hillsboro and other such communities around the nation — communities that seldom were on anyone’s radar, until they decided a presidential election.

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Ellen Page on abuse in Hollywood

(1) Ellen Page - Posts: "I have been a professional actor since the age of ten. I’ve had the good fortune to work with many honorable and respectful collaborators both behind and in front of the camera. But the behavior I’m describing is ubiquitous. They (abusers), want you to feel small, to make you insecure, to make you feel like you are indebted to them, or that your actions are to blame for their unwelcome advances.
"



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What it’s like to watch men like Roy Moore as a conservative and as a sex abuse survivor - The Washington Post

What it’s like to watch men like Roy Moore as a conservative and as a sex abuse survivor - The Washington Post:

“I’m not an angel,” Corfman pointed out. Moore, on the other hand, repeatedly claimed to be God’s warrior. However, the scripture he really needed to read wasn’t one of the Ten Commandments he so desperately wanted to hang in the state courthouse. It was Luke 17:2, which warns, “it would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.”
The great thing about 2017 is seeing these victims standing up straight, no longer stumbling. May we also see justice prevail for the predators, this side of heaven.


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Soldiers Are More Than Just Symbols | Literary Hub

Soldiers Are More Than Just Symbols | Literary Hub: "In short, my Army contained multitudes. We were the good, the bad, and the mild median. We were snowflakes in the proper sense of the word before it was corrupted by the alt-right: no two of us were alike.

"



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09 November, 2017

Many older Americans are living a desperate, nomadic life - MarketWatch

Many older Americans are living a desperate, nomadic life - MarketWatch: "I started doing some research and learned there was a whole spectrum of thousands of employers hiring people in similar situations — in oil fields, harvesting sugar beets and helping out at amusement parks. These are not easy jobs or the kind typically associated with people in older stages. But nobody had been looking at it in context of the retirement crisis in the wake of the Great Recession. And a lot of the recruiting materials for these jobs made them look like summer camps. Some for Amazon’s CamperForce said if you come, you’ll make friends. It felt so strange to me, so I started talking to RV’ers outside Amazon warehouses in Nevada and Kansas. Some lost their savings; some thought they would retire on the equity in their homes, but their homes dropped in value dramatically, while the cost of traditional housing kept going up. A lot of them were living hand to mouth; it was hard for them to save for tomorrow.

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GOP scrambles to respond to Moore allegations | TheHill

GOP scrambles to respond to Moore allegations | TheHill: "“My gosh, it's The Washington Post. If I’ve got a choice of putting my welfare into the hands of Putin or The Washington Post, Putin wins every time,” he said.

"



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The Whisper Network After Harvey Weinstein and “Shitty Media Men” | The New Yorker

The Whisper Network After Harvey Weinstein and “Shitty Media Men” | The New Yorker: "Three years ago, shortly after I moved to the city, I was introduced to the whisper network—the unofficial information channel that women use to warn each other about men whose sexual behavior falls on the spectrum from creepy to criminal—for New York media. I had encountered these networks before, in college and grad school and in the Peace Corps. Over time, in my experience, the whisper network always proves reasonably accurate: firings and settlements and investigations accrue to the names you’ve been hearing in different anecdotes for years. Gossip distorts details, but there are ways to test the information. Women ask for and examine sourcing; you know whether the story is firsthand or thirdhand."



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Man obsessed with cranes gets guard of honour by crane hire company | Metro News

Man obsessed with cranes gets guard of honour by crane hire company | Metro News: "‘He was a lovely young man, he was very happy. He found it difficult in social situations, but if he did get to know someone, he had deep feelings for them.

‘I knew he used to go up to ABA but I wasn’t aware how strong the relationship was. I didn’t know how fond they were of Ben, it blew me away really, it’s incredible.

‘My neighbour told them Ben had passed away and they came around here and was crying in my front room.’

Anne Baggott, director of ABA, said: ‘Ben would be there day after day. He knew every crane, knew all the drivers, he knew the different engine noises. He even had his bike painted in our green colours.

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08 November, 2017

Robert Gates: Ending DACA Will Hurt Immigrant Troops - The New York Times

Robert Gates: Ending DACA Will Hurt Immigrant Troops - The New York Times: "Being an American is more than just passing an exam about United States history and the Constitution. It is more than one’s knowledge and beliefs. Being an American is also about a willingness to put oneself in harm’s way to defend the country. It is about honor and duty. As we observe Veterans Day, we remember with reverence the extraordinary debt we owe to those who have served in uniform and sacrificed, even unto death, for their fellow Americans. This includes the more than 109,000 immigrants who, since Sept. 11, 2001, have become citizens while wearing the uniform of the United States military. They have been part of a rarefied group: the 1 percent of Americans — native-born, naturalized and undocumented immigrants alike — who constitute our military.

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07 November, 2017

(1) Halladay throws perfect game - YouTube

(1) Halladay throws perfect game - YouTube: "5/29/10: Roy Halladay throws the 20th perfect game in Major League history
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06 November, 2017

I’m Elizabeth Smart, Abduction Survivor and Advocate, Ask Me Anything : IAmA

I’m Elizabeth Smart, Abduction Survivor and Advocate, Ask Me Anything : IAmA:

  1. Make sure your child knows that they are loved unconditionally, and make sure your child knows what unconditionally means.
  2. Make sure that your child understands that no one has the right to hurt them or scare them in any way. It doesn’t matter what that person may be: family, friend, religious leader, community leader, it doesn’t matter.
  3. Should anyone hurt your child or threaten them in anyway, they need to tell you.


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PTSD--throwaway comments on Witnesses: Several people shot at church in Sutherland Springs

PTSD--throwaway comments on Witnesses: Several people shot at church in Sutherland Springs:

After I got shot, I stalked news coverage of my shooting and read every comment. I kept hoping someone would just tell me what to do. On the very slim chance you, person who is reading this right now, was at the scene or knows someone who was:
Whoever you are, I remember what today feels like, and how alone and overwhelmed you must feel. You are not alone. There are--sadly--thousands of us shooting survivors around, and we are all rooting for you to get through this. You're going to have a tough one to six months, but I promise you, it will get better.
On to a little bit of advice.


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04 November, 2017

“Hiding the Tears in My Eyes – BOYS DON’T CRY – A Legacy” by Jack Halberstam | Bully Bloggers

“Hiding the Tears in My Eyes – BOYS DON’T CRY – A Legacy” by Jack Halberstam | Bully Bloggers: "These posters voiced a range of responses to the film including: “You don’t fucking get it!” and “Fuck Your Transphobia!” as well as “Trans Lives Do Not Equal $$” and to cap it all, the sign hung on the podium read: “Fuck this cis white bitch”!! The protestors waited until after the film had screened at Peirce’s request and then entered the auditorium while shouting “Fuck your respectability politics” and yelling over her commentary until Peirce left the room. After establishing some ground rules for a discussion, Peirce came back into the room but the conversation again got out of hand and finally a student yelled at Peirce: “Fuck you scared bitch.” At which point the protestors filed out and Peirce left campus."



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The First Woman to Translate the ‘Odyssey’ Into English - The New York Times

The First Woman to Translate the ‘Odyssey’ Into English - The New York Times:

Tell me about a complicated man.

Muse, tell me how he wandered and was lost

when he had wrecked the holy town of Troy,

and where he went, and who he met, the pain

he suffered in the storms at sea, and how

he worked to save his life and bring his men

back home. He failed to keep them safe; poor fools,

they ate the Sun God’s cattle, and the god

kept them from home. Now goddess, child of Zeus,

tell the old story for our modern times.

Find the beginning.



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01 November, 2017

A Very Old Man for a Wolf | Outside Online

A Very Old Man for a Wolf | Outside Online: "He was the alpha male of the first pack to live in Oregon since 1947. For years, a state biologist tracked him, collared him, counted his pups, weighed him, photographed him, and protected him. But then the animal known as OR4 broke one too many rules.

"



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31 October, 2017

Extremely rare case in US as woman gets pregnant while already pregnant - ScienceAlert

Extremely rare case in US as woman gets pregnant while already pregnant - ScienceAlert: "An extremely rare case of a woman becoming pregnant while already pregnant has occurred in the US, with a mother unwittingly giving birth to 'twins' who were not conceived at the same time.

"



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����Ban PC-❌��to CA on Twitter: "@wslack @lifeandliberty3 Muslims are not compatible with the foundations that America was built on. Freedoms, Constitution & Christian principles. #10Commandments"

����Ban PC-❌��to CA on Twitter: "@wslack @lifeandliberty3 Muslims are not compatible with the foundations that America was built on. Freedoms, Constitution & Christian principles. #10Commandments": "Muslims are not compatible with the foundations that America was built on. Freedoms, Constitution & Christian principles. #10Commandments"



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Guyinapeacoat comments on [Image] It's not happening as fast as you'd like...

Guyinapeacoat comments on [Image] It's not happening as fast as you'd like...: "With the internet, we have the ability to witness every tragedy that is happening on a daily basis. We also can see the collective happiness, art and music of humanity as well.



We can choose people we loathe and scream out to them half a planet away, and then instantly surround ourselves with people who share our hate. We also can seek motivation and wisdom from the majority of great souls dead or alive.
This is a privilege given to no one else in the history of mankind.



We can either choose to focus on the destruction, or the happiness, or go our own way while ignoring it. But in the end, you choose what you want to focus on. And you can choose anywhere between nihilism or enlightenment. It's up to you."



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30 October, 2017

How to Be a C.E.O., From a Decade’s Worth of Them - The New York Times

How to Be a C.E.O., From a Decade’s Worth of Them - The New York Times:

First, they share a habit of mind that is best described as “applied curiosity.” They tend to question everything. They want to know how things work, and wonder how they can be made to work better. They’re curious about people and their back stories.
And rather than wondering if they are on the right career path, they make the most of whatever path they’re on, wringing lessons from all their experiences.
“I can find interest in a lot of different things and try to put that to work in a positive way, connecting the dots and considering how the pieces fit together,” said Gregory Maffei, whose background includes a college degree in religious studies, and is now the chief executive of Liberty Media, the giant company with interests in everything from SiriusXM to Formula One racing.
Second, C.E.O.s seem to love a challenge. Discomfort is their comfort zone.
“Usually, I really like whatever the problem is. I like to get close to the fire,” said Arkadi Kuhlmann, a veteran banking chief. “Some people have a desire for that, I’ve noticed, and some people don’t. I just naturally gravitate to the fire. So I think that’s a characteristic that you have, that’s in your DNA.”
The third theme is how they managed their own careers on their way to the top. They focus on doing their current job well, and that earns them promotions.
That may sound obvious. But many people can seem more concerned about the job they want than the job they’re doing.


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29 October, 2017

KEILLOR: A man walks into a bar in Oregon | Columnists | rockdalenewtoncitizen.com

KEILLOR: A man walks into a bar in Oregon | Columnists | rockdalenewtoncitizen.com:

I hung out in Eugene last week where it rains every day so the air is fresh and clean. Old people my age don’t care for rain so Eugene is not a retirement mecca — more of a youth mecca, a real Alt sort of town for hikers and bikers and vegans and people with multicolored hair. A lifestyle town, with not so many suit-and-tie guys like me. That’s fine. My former father-in-law was named Eugene and so the town feels friendly to me. And the university is there, so there’s plenty of ambition in the air.
Sat in a bar Friday night with Meiko, Christopher and Keely, talking about barred owls, aging, Ireland, limericks, everything other than what’s been in the news lately, and I asked Meiko about her Japanese ancestry, and out came a wonderful story.


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John Boehner Unchained - POLITICO Magazine

John Boehner Unchained - POLITICO Magazine: "After railing against the defund strategy, however, Boehner surveyed his conference and realized it was a fight many members wanted—and some needed. Yielding, he joined them in the trenches, abandoning his obligations of governance in hopes of strengthening his standing in the party. But the 17-day shutdown proved costly. Watching as Republicans got butchered in nationwide polling, the speaker finally called a meeting to inform members that they would vote to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. “I get a standing ovation,” Boehner says. “I’m thinking, ‘This place is irrational.’”

"



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28 October, 2017

Puerto Rico's Government Just Admitted 911 People Died After The Hurricane — Of "Natural Causes"

Puerto Rico's Government Just Admitted 911 People Died After The Hurricane — Of "Natural Causes": "The Puerto Rican government told BuzzFeed News Friday that it allowed 911 bodies to be cremated since Hurricane Maria made landfall, and that not one of them were physically examined by a government medical examiner to determine if it should be included in the official death toll.

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27 October, 2017

The war against Pope Francis | News | The Guardian

The war against Pope Francis | News | The Guardian:

To accuse a sitting pope of heresy is the nuclear option in Catholic arguments. Doctrine holds that the pope cannot be wrong when he speaks on the central questions of the faith; so if he is wrong, he can’t be pope. On the other hand, if this pope is right, all his predecessors must have been wrong.
The question is particularly poisonous because it is almost entirely theoretical. In practice, in most of the world, divorced and remarried couples are routinely offered communion. Pope Francis is not proposing a revolution, but the bureaucratic recognition of a system that already exists, and might even be essential to the survival of the church. If the rules were literally applied, no one whose marriage had failed could ever have sex again. This is not a practical way to ensure there are future generations of Catholics.


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26 October, 2017

David Schwimmer praised in wake of Harvey Weinstein scandal for offering female film critic a chaperone

David Schwimmer praised in wake of Harvey Weinstein scandal for offering female film critic a chaperone:

But Nell Minow, in response to the disgust felt at Hollywood behaviour, has spoken of her meeting with the Friends actor in 2011, when he was promoting Trust – the film he directed, telling the real life story of a young girl preyed upon by an online abuser.
The restaurant they were due to speak in proved noisy, and so the Friends star hesitantly broached the notion of going up to his room. Schwimmer said he could ask a third person to be present in the room.
"I haven’t thought of that since it happened but the Weinstein stories made me not just remember it but remember it in an entirely different context as an indicator of the prevalence of predatory behaviour and as an indicator of Schwimmer’s integrity and sensitivity," she said.


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Even Nazi prisoners of war in Texas were shocked at how black people were treated in the South

Even Nazi prisoners of war in Texas were shocked at how black people were treated in the South: "Erichsen also moved to the United States after the war, eventually becoming a citizen and settling in Texas. He’s lived here most of his life. Yet he can’t shake what he learned as a young person. He still remembers the songs he had to memorize as a young man in Nazi Germany. He offered a few lines to a reporter reluctantly, at his wife’s urging: “Sharpen the long knives on the lantern post. See the Jewish blood flow.” He doesn’t want to think about what he learned as a child, but he has acknowledged it is a part of him, and he can never relax his vigilance against the hateful indoctrination of his youth.
"



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Former Braves employee comes to defense of John Coppolella | Atlanta Braves blog

Former Braves employee comes to defense of John Coppolella | Atlanta Braves blog:

My name is (name omitted by request)…. Just something I wanted to get off my chest about Coppy that hasn’t been mentioned by anyone’s sources, as it doesn’t relate to his firing.
In all of the criticism he has received for his conduct, which I won’t try to defend or even address as I don’t know nearly enough about them to have an opinion, I thought people should know how good Coppy was to people like me. There are hundreds of people out there who have wanted to get into baseball operations and sent emails to Coppy asking for advice, and each one has a thorough reply from him, with specific suggestions tailored to that person’s background, along inspirational words of encouragement. He took the time to send me an email that was over two full pages long that addressed every little question I had. I’ve run into several other people with similar stories, and am sure there are plenty others who have had email exchanges similar to ours. When I was scouting for the Braves, we had to send an email report to (various Braves officials) after finishing our coverage of a given affiliate, with a one sentence blurb on each player from that team who we thought could play in the MLB. Without fail, within an hour of sending that email, Coppy sent an email back saying thanks, asking about your family, making the extra effort to know how appreciative he was of your hard work.
Fairly or unfairly, the coverage of the scandal has painted Coppy as this heartless cheater, but to kids like me who just loved the game and wanted more than anything to be a part of it, he was a godsend. I don’t know if this info has any utility to you whatsoever, but I just wanted someone in the media to know that as much turmoil there may have been in the front office, as much as he may have pissed off other GM’s, and as egregious as his violations may have been, there is not a doubt in my mind that he is a genuinely good person, and I am confident there are plenty of others out there who would say the same thing.


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25 October, 2017

FCC Eliminates Rule That Required Stations to Have a Main Studio in Local Coverage Area – Variety

FCC Eliminates Rule That Required Stations to Have a Main Studio in Local Coverage Area – Variety: "The FCC on Tuesday voted to eliminate a rule that required broadcast station groups to maintain a physical presence in the community of their primary local coverage area"



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Joseph McCarthy - Wikipedia

Joseph McCarthy - Wikipedia:

No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one, and the junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between the internal and the external threats of Communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men—not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.
This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy's methods to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn't create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it—and rather successfully. Cassius was right: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."


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24 October, 2017

America Has a Monopoly Problem—and It’s Huge | The Nation

America Has a Monopoly Problem—and It’s Huge | The Nation: "There is a widespread sense of powerlessness, both in our economic and political life. We seem no longer to control our own destinies. If we don’t like our Internet company or our cable TV, we either have no place to turn, or the alternative is no better. Monopoly corporations are the primary reason that drug prices in the United States are higher than anywhere else in the world. Whether we like it or not, a company like Equifax can gather data about us, and then blithely take insufficient cybersecurity measures, exposing half the country to the risk of identity fraud, and then charge us for but a partial restoration of the security that we had before a major breach.

"



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Georgetown pro-marriage group faces sanctions after students complain :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Georgetown pro-marriage group faces sanctions after students complain :: Catholic News Agency (CNA):

.- A pro-marriage student group at Georgetown University is in danger of being defunded and barred from campus facilities, after fellow students have petitioned that it be recognized as a “hate group.”
The Hoya, Georgetown’s student newspaper, reported on Oct. 20 that Love Saxa, a student organization promoting Catholic doctrine regarding marriage, will undergo a Student Activities Commission hearing on Oct. 23, to defend itself against charges that the group fosters hatred and intolerance. The hearing is a response to a petition filed by a student-senator in the Georgetown University Student Association, and supported by leaders of gay pride student organizations at Georgetown.


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New Research by Common Sense Finds Major Spike in Mobile Media Use and Device Ownership by Children Age 0 to 8

42 Percent of Children Age 0 to 8 Have Their Own Tablet Device, Up from Less than 1 Percent in 2011

| Common Sense Media

New Research by Common Sense Finds Major Spike in Mobile Media Use and Device Ownership by Children Age 0 to 8<h4>42 Percent of Children Age 0 to 8 Have Their Own Tablet Device, Up from Less than 1 Percent in 2011</h4> | Common Sense Media: "SAN FRANCISCO—Common Sense today announced the release of The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Kids Age Zero to Eight, the third installment in an ongoing series of national surveys tracking the use of media and technology among U.S. children from birth to age 8. Among the key findings is the spike in the number of young children who have their own tablet device (now 42 percent, up from 1 percent in 2011) and the amount of time children age 0 to 8 are spending with mobile devices (48 minutes, up from just five minutes in 2011).

"



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23 October, 2017

On Safari in Trump's America - The Atlantic

On Safari in Trump's America - The Atlantic: "In Wisconsin, I had seen and heard everything the Third Way researchers did—and eaten at the same restaurants, and slept at the same Hampton Inn in Eau Claire, and watched the same landscape roll by the windows of the same SUV. I heard all the optimism they did, but I also heard its opposite: that one side was right and that the other was the enemy; that other Americans, not just the government, were to blame for the country’s problems. There’s plenty of fellow-feeling in the heartland for those who want to see it, but there’s plenty of division, too. And not every problem can be solved in a way that splits the difference.

"



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22 October, 2017

Florida private schools get nearly $1 billion in state scholarships with little oversight, Sentinel finds - Orlando Sentinel

Florida private schools get nearly $1 billion in state scholarships with little oversight, Sentinel finds - Orlando Sentinel:

Private schools in Florida will collect nearly $1 billion in state-backed scholarships this year through a system so weakly regulated that some schools hire teachers without college degrees, hold classes in aging strip malls and falsify fire-safety and health records.
The limited oversight of Florida’s scholarship programs allowed a principal under investigation for molesting a student at his Brevard County school to open another school under a new name and still receive the money, an Orlando Sentinel investigation found.
Another Central Florida school received millions of dollars in scholarships, sometimes called school vouchers, for nearly a decade even though it repeatedly violated program rules, including hiring staff with criminal convictions.


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21 October, 2017

Why do women still earn a lot less than men?

Why do women still earn a lot less than men?: "The main reason why women are less likely than men to reach higher-level positions is that they are their children’s primary carers. In eight countries polled by The Economist and YouGov earlier this year, 44-75% of women with children living at home said they had scaled back at work after becoming mothers—by working fewer hours or by switching to a less demanding job, such as one requiring less travel or overtime. Only 13-37% of fathers said they had done so, and more than half of those men said their partner had also scaled back. This pattern means that men get a better shot at a pay rise or a promotion than their female colleagues, and are less likely to be in jobs for which they are overqualified. A recent study estimated that in America women’s future wages fall, on average, by 4% per child, and by 10% per child in the case of the highest-earning, most skilled white women. In Britain, a mother’s wages fall by 2% for each year she is out of the workforce, and by twice as much if she has good school-leaving qualifications.
"



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Sworn Again America

Sworn Again America:

I pledge to be an active American

to show up for others

to govern my self

to help govern my community

I recommit myself to my country’s creed

to cherish liberty

as a responsibility
I pledge to serve

and to push my country:

when right, to be kept right;

when wrong, to be set right

Wherever my ancestors and I were born,

I claim America

and I pledge to live like a citizen


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20 October, 2017

How I Socially Engineer Myself Into High Security Facilities - Motherboard

How I Socially Engineer Myself Into High Security Facilities - Motherboard:

Hello! My name is Sophie and I break into buildings. I get paid to think like a criminal.
Organizations hire me to evaluate their security, which I do by seeing if I can bypass it. During tests I get to do some lockpicking, climb over walls or hop barbed wire fences. I get to go dumpster diving and play with all sorts of cool gadgets that Q would be proud of.
But usually, I use what is called social engineering to convince the employees to let me in. Sometimes I use email or phone calls to pretend to be someone I am not. Most often I get to approach people in-person and give them the confidence to let me in.
My frequently asked questions include:
What break-in are you most proud of? 
What have you done for a test that you were the most ashamed of?
What follows is the answer to both of these questions.


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I’m a Conservative Who Was Roofied By a Stranger. Here’s What I Think of the Me, Too Hashtag.

I’m a Conservative Who Was Roofied By a Stranger. Here’s What I Think of the Me, Too Hashtag.:

It will speak because this week I have seen too many ignorant comments, authored by too many people with too many opinions and too little compassion. People who, if they will listen at all, will only listen to a gun-owning, beer-drinking, God-fearing conservative woman whose disdain for modern militant feminism is well-known and unwavering.
Sometimes, we need to hear it from our own. Today, hear it from me.
There are a disconcerting number of people who, while ferociously and rightfully tearing apart the likes of Harvey Weinstein and his enablers, simultaneously denigrate the experiences of victims in the name of “confronting the lies of leftist feminism.”


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Dahhhkness comments on Donald Trump suggests Russia, FBI and Democrats colluded to pay for dossier on his Kremlin links - but provides no evidence

Dahhhkness comments on Donald Trump suggests Russia, FBI and Democrats colluded to pay for dossier on his Kremlin links - but provides no evidence: "A short list of some of the unforgivable things that dreadful black man did:
"



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Dollar General Hits a Gold Mine in Rural America - Bloomberg

Dollar General Hits a Gold Mine in Rural America - Bloomberg: "In the poorest towns, where even Wal-Mart failed, the little-box player is turning a profit.
"



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Cale Weatherly - I had some time to kill at work today, so I wrote...

Cale Weatherly - I had some time to kill at work today, so I wrote...:

My official title is Senior Research Chemist, Process Chemistry. I work for a company that partners with other pharmaceutical and biotech companies in bringing drugs to market. Discovering and testing drugs is a long and expensive process – 12-15 years, about a billion dollars.
Suppose a company want to develop a drug to treat a disease. Initially, they examine millions of molecules in basic biological tests. The results of these tests show whether a molecule affects part of a biological process involved in the disease. Building on these results, chemists design and make new molecules that may perform better in these initial tests. Several rounds of chemistry and biology provide more and more information about potential drug molecules. Eventually, a select few of these molecules are administered to animals. The animals are observed, then killed and autopsied. This informs more rounds of synthesis and testing go on.
It’s estimated that 90% of drug projects fail somewhere in these early stages. The 10% of successful projects will undergo clinical trials, the careful administration of drugs to humans and the observation of their effects. Three major phases of clinical trials are required to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of drugs before they can be considered for market. This is an expensive, risky, and highly regulated process, culminating in the submission of library-sized bodies of documentation to the FDA. The FDA reviews the material and provides a final verdict on whether or not a drug may be sold in the US. About 10% of drug candidates that enter the clinic will eventual be approved. Undertaking a drug discovery project means a 1% chance of success and lots of capital at risk.
In the early stages of drug research, where the focus is on basic biology, you can do most of the experimentation with 5-10 mg of the drug molecule. Figuring out how to make a molecule that’s never been made before is hard. This is the domain of a medicinal chemist. A medicinal chemist must first choose an appropriate starting material, a widely available molecule that usually bears some resemblance to the target product. The chemist will then design a series of chemical reactions that she anticipates will, step-by-step, turn the starting material into the target. A reaction is performed, the material is purified, the next reaction is tested. Medicinal chemists use general patterns of chemical reactivity to design a series of reactions – however, sometimes these reactions don’t work very well, or at all. Tweaks need to be made alternatives need to be tried. A skilled medicinal chemist may spend 30 minutes designing a way to make a molecule on paper, then take two months to make the planned chemistry work in the lab. Still, making 5-10 mg of a druglike molecule is usually achievable in that time frame. At this stage of things, how the molecule is made is not important. It is enough simply to make it.
Much further along in the discovery process, when doses of the compound are going to be administered to animals or humans (and maybe before), 5-10 mg of compound isn’t sufficient. You need grams of material, then kilograms. This is where a team of process chemists (like me!) comes in. The “how” of making the compound is now very important. Why not just do what the medicinal chemist did, only bigger? Many reasons. The medicinal chemist may have used ten reactions to make a molecule that could be made in five. These extra reactions generate lots of waste and cost money to run. Some of the reactions may have used expensive or toxic chemicals that we want to avoid. Sometimes chemical reactions that work well on small scales do not work as well with more material. Purifications that work well on a small scale may be impractical on large scales.
My goal as a process chemist is to figure out ways to make potential drug molecules with as little chemical material, time, effort, cost, and waste as possible. Often, this means designing and executing a scheme of chemical reactions completely different from what the medicinal chemist used. On a daily basis, my job centers on running and analyzing individual chemical reactions. I test different chemical reagents and their relative amounts, temperatures, concentrations, rates of addition, and many other variables. I use sophisticated instrumentation to analyze the individual components of a reaction. I strive to make individual reactions as high-yielding (yield = amount of material actually made/amount of material theoretically possible) as possible, with products as pure as possible. If I’m lucky, I get to think about how green and easy to perform a reaction is, but most of the time, it’s very hard even to get good yield and purity. Since the material from one reaction is used in the next, I typically work on two reactions at a time. Poor performance in one reaction can upset an overall scheme for making amolecule. Recently, my colleague and I have developed a route of making a molecule using four total reactions that previously required eight reactions to make. It is very satisfying to make large quantities of pure white powder!
The chemistry we develop may be passed along to engineers for further refinement. While I am an expert in what reactions to use and in what order, engineers are experts in chemical equipment and in the numerical details of, for example, heat transfer, filtration, and crystal growth. They work to develop chemical processes that can reliably be executed by medium-skilled technicians. Ultimately, the chemistry we develop may be used to manufacture pure drug products for market.


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