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USA & WORLD NEWS

USA & WORLD NEWS affecting all of us on Earth with an emphasis on the influence of religion and stupidity.

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The IPA and the Heartland Institute

Started by Davy Mar 31. 0 Replies

Institute of Public Affairs.And Heartland Institute Link.From the AU's ABC.Last week's revelations about the Heartland Institute, probably the most…Continue

Tags: Institute, Heartland, IPA, Climate, Denial

The Proceeds of Corruption

Started by Davy. Last reply by Stephen Brodie Mar 2. 17 Replies

This is inside the former President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovich's residence.Here is another link to it from Lvivcafe.com  here …Continue

Tags: residency, opulence, Ukraine, President

China Launches Hypersonic Missile Test, Downplays Fears

Started by Davy. Last reply by Lester Unega Waya Jan 19. 1 Reply

China's recent test of a hypersonic vehicle should not unduly alarm the United States or any other nation, Chinese military officials say.The test of China's new "…Continue

Michigan Senators Write God Resolution

Started by Neal. Last reply by archaeopteryx Jan 10. 5 Replies

Ah, MI, so disappointing. My state has been hijacked by the reality challenged.Posted on January 8, 2014 by admin They’re back. All rested-up and ready to enact critical new laws and measures — Michigan legislators are raring to get down to the…Continue

Tags: senators, michigan, resolution, god, the

False News about Saudi Arabia & GCC

Started by Ali. Last reply by Chris Dec 18, 2013. 10 Replies

This Thread will be like filter for the news & videos about Saudi Arabia & GCC because there are a lot of false news about Saudi Arabia & GCC lately. I think this thread will help clarify many things ...Continue

Finally - Paul Ryan’s Worst Nightmare Comes True as Bernie Sanders Is On The Budget Committee

Started by Neal Oct 19, 2013. 0 Replies

Democrats finally getting a little feisty. This should send a message to the tea party crazies, "you bitches are done."By: Jason EasleyFriday, October 18th, 2013, 3:28 pmmore from Jason Easley…Continue

Tags: budget, committee, the, on, sanders

Meet the Republican who is demanding that the government let poor people starve

Started by Neal. Last reply by Neal Sep 8, 2013. 2 Replies

The usual suspects.byJustin DoolittleFollow Stephen Fincher, a deranged Republican…Continue

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Photo goes viral after Trayvon Martin verdict. 1973 kids in Macomb MI

Started by Neal. Last reply by Marianne Jul 22, 2013. 1 Reply

Update: Viral Photo of 1973 Kids in Macomb Spurs Wider Dialogue on RaceColumnist_tn_alan_stamm_head_shot Alan Stamm alan@astamm.com July 16th, 2013, 6:50 PM…Continue

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Comment by doone on March 18, 2014 at 8:43pm

Faces Of The Day

MAR 18 2014 @ 7:12PM
by Chris Bodenner

Ami-Vitale_02

Yusuf, a keeper, sleeps with three orphaned baby rhinos at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya. The youngest rhino on the right was orphaned when poachers killed his mother on Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The largest rhino, Nicky, is not an orphan but is being hand-raised because her mother is partially blind. On the woman who took the photo:

Montana-based photographer and filmmaker Ami Vitale is shedding some much-needed light on the illegal wildlife trade and poaching of animals taking place in northern Kenya. She recently launched a crowdfunding campaign in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy and the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), using photography as a platform to show how local communities are working to protect their wildlife from the heavily armed criminal networks of poachers that are devastating to the rhinos, elephants and many other plains animals of Africa. … While her initial goal has just been reached, she has now turned her sights on to other related and achievable goals, like providing educational, visual storytelling initiatives for the NRT—a collective of 26 indigenous groups in northern Kenya.

In addition to Vitale’s website, you can follow her work on TwitterFacebookInstagram,Nikon, her Montana workshops, and her storytelling seminars with NatGeo. Previous Dish on animal poaching hereherehereherehere, and here.

Comment by doone on March 4, 2014 at 2:35pm
Comment by doone on March 2, 2014 at 8:06pm
Comment by doone on March 1, 2014 at 10:30pm

A Wee Prediction About Ukraine

| Sat Mar. 1, 2014 3:59 PM GMT

Following up on the previous post, if you do want to fret about Ukraine, I have just the thing for you. I'm going to tell you how this will all unfold:

  1. Vladimir Putin will do something belligerent. (Already done.)
  2. Republicans will demand that we show strength in the face of Putin's provocation. Whatever it is that we're doing, we should do more.
  3. President Obama will denounce whatever it is that Putin does. But regardless of how unequivocal his condemnation is, Bill Kristol will insist that he's failing to support the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people.
  4. Journalists will write a variety of thumbsuckers pointing out that our options are extremely limited, what with Ukraine being 5,000 miles away and all.
  5. John McCain will appear on a bunch of Sunday chat shows to bemoan the fact that Obama is weak and no one fears America anymore.
  6. Having written all the "options are limited" thumbsuckers, journalists and columnists will follow McCain's lead and start declaring that the crisis in Ukraine is the greatest foreign policy test of Obama's presidency. It will thus supplant Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iran, and North Korea for this honor.
  7. In spite of all the trees felled and words spoken about this, nobody will have any good ideas about what kind of action might actually make a difference. There will be scattered calls to impose a few sanctions here and there, introduce a ban on Russian vodka imports, convene NATO, demand a UN Security Council vote, etc. None of this will have any material effect.
  8. Obama will continue to denounce Putin. Perhaps he will convene NATO. For their part, Republicans will continue to insist that he's showing weakness and needs to get serious.
  9. This will all continue for a while.
  10. In the end, it will all settle down into a stalemate, with Russia having thrown its weight around in its near abroad—just like it always has—and the West not having the leverage to do much about it.
  11. Ukraine will....

Actually, there's no telling about #11. Maybe Ukraine will choose (or have foisted on them) a pro-Russian leader that Putin is happy with. Maybe east and west will split apart. Maybe a nominally pro-Western leader will emerge. Who knows? What we do know is that (a) the United States will play only a modest role in all this, and (b) conservative hawks will continue to think that if only we'd done just a little bit more, Putin would have blinked and Ukraine would be free.

You may now go about your regular weekend business.

Comment by doone on February 19, 2014 at 9:21pm

The Tech Revolution Might Kill Economic Growth But Make Us All Happ...

| Wed Feb. 19, 2014 9:30 AM GMT

Matt Yglesias makes a point worth sharing about technology and economic growth:

It seems entirely conceivable to me that future technological progress simply won't lead to that much economic growth. If we become much more efficient at building houses, that will increase GDP, because the output of the housing sector is selling housing. But the output of the health care sector is selling health care services, not curing illnesses, and sick people already buy a lot of health care services. People with cancer tend to buy cancer treatments. If those treatments become more effective at curing cancer, that'd be great for patients and their families but it's not obvious that it would raise "productivity" in the economic sense.

Yglesias provides a couple of example of this ambiguity. The printing press didn't do much for GDP growth, because books just aren't a big segment of the economy and never have been. But that doesn't mean the printing press wasn't a revolutionary invention. Likewise, if someone invented a pill that cured cancer, that might actually reduce GDP by eliminating all the money we spend on cancer care. But it would still be a huge contribution to human welfare.

This is a point that plenty of economists have made, but it's worth repeating. Facebook is a big deal, but it hasn't added an awful lot to measured GDP. In terms of the market economy, it employs a few thousand people, owns some buildings, and operates some large server farms. That's not a huge contribution. On the flip side, if 100 million people spend more time on Facebook and less time going to the movies or reading books, it could actually be a net GDP loser. Ditto for video games, which might reduce economic output if the time and energy spent buying games and game consoles is less than what people used to spend all those hours on.

This isn't a bulletproof case. It's just meant to illustrate a point. If, in the future, we spend a lot more time on activities that are relatively cheap to produce—social networking, video games, virtual reality, etc.—we could end up in a world where people are as happy as they are now (or happier) with far less in the way of the traditional production of market goods. I doubt that this dynamic has had much effect on growth yet, but it's quite possible it will in the future. Living in the Matrix is pretty cheap, after all.

Comment by doone on February 18, 2014 at 9:55am

There were between 350 and 750 distinct Australian Aboriginal languages at the time of first European contact.

There were between 350 and 750 distinct Australian Aboriginal languages at the time of first European contact.
David R Horton / Aboriginal Studies Press / AIATSIS / Via abc.net.au

The most linguistically diverse regions were across Australia’s north.

The most linguistically diverse regions were across Australia's north.
David R Horton / Aboriginal Studies Press / AIATSIS / Via abc.net.au

Today’s heavily populated south east also contained dozens of dialects.

Today's heavily populated south east also contained dozens of dialects.
David R Horton / Aboriginal Studies Press / AIATSIS / Via abc.net.auvia http://www.buzzfeed.com/simoncrerar/this-real-australian-language-m...
Comment by doone on February 6, 2014 at 11:06am

Hop On The Bus, Gus

FEB 6 2014 @ 10:02AM

Bus Travel

Eric Holthaus, who has vowed never to fly again so as to reduce his carbon footprint, took a bus from Wisconsin to Georgia in order to attend a conference. Why he thinks buses are the way to go:

From both a climate and financial standpoint, there’s a clear case to take the bus. From a butt-numbness standard, the bus isn’t quite there yet in the United States. However, the rise of limited-stop intercity operators like Megabus is helping the United States to quickly catch up to the rest of the world in terms of frequency and comfort on long-haul bus rides. In Chile, a spread-out country that has embraced long-distance buses, you can easily and cheaply snag a first-class quality experience with meals, Internet, live TV, and a lay-flat bed in every seat.

Buses are the most climate-friendly mode of transportation per passenger mile next to walking or riding a bike. This makes sense: There’s no need to accelerate hundreds of tons of aluminum to nearly the speed of sound, or to push thousands of tons of steel along 19th-century rail routes. Even a Prius is dragging along lots of extra weight just to move you down the road, especially if you’re solo, as most car trips are.

Comment by doone on February 3, 2014 at 1:50pm

Contraception Defeats Abortion

FEB 3 2014 @ 12:43PM

That’s the take from the Guttmacher Institute on the fantastic news that under Obama, abortion rates have fallen yet again. They attribute the decline in abortion rates to newly effective contraception methods such as the IUD as well as the recession. Some pro-lifers are crediting w-Abortion-02the wave of restrictive legislation passed since 2011, but the data only go up to 2011! And besides, the drop has been going on for more than twenty years now, in a huge success for the pro-life movement, and for the pro-choice movement.

Which makes this moment such a telling one. The rate is now roughly where it was in 1973, when Roe went into effect. So without getting rid of the legal regime for abortion, rates are now almost where they were before it came into effect. It seems to me that this somewhat brutally undermines the case for a policy of coercion and criminality going forward. If we can halve the rate of abortion under Roe, and effectively make its impact neutral on abortion rates, without criminalizing abortion, don’t we have a win-win?

And this is surely where the Catholic Church in particular needs to make a choice, it seems to me. If abortion is by far a worse evil than contraception, and if contraception clearly dramatically reduces the chances of abortion, then there is a moral imperative to end the regime ofHumanae Vitae (the papal ruling that rendered all sexual activity outside marital, unprotected sex a terrible sin).

The argument of Humanae Vitae made no sense at the time and still doesn’t (and was imposed by Pope Paul VI over the objections of his own commission into the subject). But rigidly sticking to an unpersuasive rule when it may be leading to the far worse evil of abortion, is a function of fundamentalist perversity.

We now have the evidence to support the contraception-vs-abortion argument. Why cannot the church or the religious right (which has historically had no problem with contraception) seize on the near-halving of abortion rates in twenty years and aggressively redouble the contraceptive strategy that has been so successful? Or is their obsession with criminal prohibition related to issues other than the saving of potential human life?

Comment by doone on January 31, 2014 at 6:30pm

Chart of the Day: Everyone Agrees That Iraq Was a Disaster

| Fri Jan. 31, 2014 11:44 AM GMT

A new Pew poll shows that there's no longer any difference between Democrats and Republicans on Iraq:huge majorities agree that the war was a failure.

What's interesting is the inflection point in 2008: Democrats became suddenly more optimistic about Iraq and Republicans became more pessimistic. This was before Barack Obama won the election, so it's not directly because of that. But by mid-2008, negotiations over withdrawal had stalled and it was clear that the end of the US troop presence was near. It was also increasingly clear that Obama was likely to win the presidency. Those two things combined might account for the partisan differences.

By 2012, with US troops gone, those partisan differences started to disappear. By 2014, they were gone. Hardly anyone could fool themselves into thinking that the Iraq War had succeeded in any way: there were no WMDs; there wasn't much oil flowing; Iran's influence had increased; and sectarian violence was once more on the rise. A third of the country can still be described as dead-enders on this score, but that's it. Everyone else has finally faced the facts.

Comment by doone on January 27, 2014 at 10:44pm

A Linguistic Rift

JAN 27 2014 @ 7:14PM

In 2010, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych won all of the country’s Russian-speaking provinces and lost all the others. The recent protests have intensified this split:

ukraine-protests-map-by-language-k

Fisher explains:

Ukraine’s ethno-lingistic political division is sort of like the United States’ “red America” and “blue America” divide, but in many ways much deeper — imagine if red and blue America literally spoke different languages. The current political conflict, which at its most basic level is over whether the country will lean toward Europe or toward Russia, is part of a long-running and unresolved national identity crisis. Yes, it’s also about Yanukovych’s failures to fix the economy and his draconian restrictions against basic freedoms. But there’s so much more to it than that, which helps make the crisis so intractable.

 
 
 

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