American. A term best avoided, according to the guide. “North Americans often use ‘American’ which usually, depending on the context, fails to recognize South America,” it helpfully explains. Prefer: US citizen or Resident of the US. Or – if they are an “illegal” (which is a word you shouldn’t use by the way because it implies they are “an object”) an “undocumented immigrant or worker”.God Bless our nondescript continent?
Friday, July 31, 2015
Don't say the "A" word:
The Devil made them do it?
Exorcism: Live! will air October 30 on Destination America, reports Deadline. The cast of DA’s Ghost Asylum, along with medium Chip Coffey, will perform an exorcism on the original St. Louis house featured in William Friedkin’s 1973 film The Exorcist.The power of Christ compels you to watch?
The crew will reportedly undertake daytime and nighttime investigations to “rid the lurking spirits and demons that inhabit” the iconic home.
The Exorcist House was the site of exorcisms performed on Roland Doe in 1949.
“As we step into one of the most haunted and well-known spirit destinations in America, Exorcism: Live! will show exactly what is inside this infamous, highly dangerous and possessed home,” Destination America general manager Marc Etkind said in a statement. “By actually exorcising this iconic house live, Destination America will do what it does best bringing never before seen experience to television.”
Thursday, July 30, 2015
If you get Social Security, you may want to check twice:
Clearly, in 2009, the government’s prediction — that Social Security would have to be cut to 78 percent of benefits come 2041 — was overly optimistic.You were warned...
Now, in 2015, they are projecting 2033, eight years earlier, with one percentage point less of my projected benefits. The projections have steadily worsened over the past few years, helped by a much weaker economy than the federal government expected. Does anyone really expect these numbers to get better?
What couldgo wrong?
President Xi Jinping—with the help of conservatives in government, academia, military and the technology industry—is moving to exert influence over virtually every part of the digital world in China, from semiconductors to social media. In doing so, Mr. Xi is trying to fracture the international system that makes the Internet basically the same everywhere, and is pressuring foreign companies to help.All the easier to hack with...
On July 1, China’s legislature passed a new security law asserting the nation’s sovereignty extends into cyberspace and calling for network technology to be “controllable.” A week later, China released a draft law to tighten controls over the domestic Internet, including codifying the power to cut access during public-security emergencies.
Other draft laws under consideration would encourage Chinese companies to find local replacements for technology equipment purchased abroad and force foreign vendors to give local authorities encryption keys that would let them control the equipment.
Well, okay, then:
FedEx’s refusal to transport these kinds of specimens is drawing concern among officials at major laboratories, who say it was the primary way they sent and received critical samples used to diagnose diseases and for the development of vaccines, treatments, tests and detection equipment. Neither UPS nor the U.S. Postal Service will transport the specimens.Apparently they've never actually dealt with FedEx...
“It potentially is a devastating blow,” said James Le Duc, director of the Galveston National Laboratory in Texas, a major high-containment research facility that has two to three shipments a month. Le Duc said much of infectious-disease research involves pathogens found in the wild in other parts of the world, which requires the shipment of specimens.
“Everybody is kind of dumbfounded that this has happened,” Le Duc said Wednesday.
Rolling Stone continues to face the consequences of its actions:
Three graduates of the University of Virginia have filed a defamation suit against Rolling Stone in a case related to a controversial story that the magazine wrote about rape, according to various reports."Journalists" get put on notice: You can't just make stuff up and get away with it after all...
The lawsuit filed by the three men also names Wenner Media, publisher of Rolling Stone, and journalist Sabrina Ruden Erdely, who wrote the piece, titled, “A Rape on Campus.” The men claim they suffered “emotional turmoil” and were unable to focus at work or school after the story appeared.
The November 2014 piece offered details of an alleged 2012 gang rape on campus that a freshman experienced at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house.
The three plaintiffs are seeking damages for emotional distress and defamation, according to ABC News.
Send 'em all to jail:
Sullivan warned that the failure to follow his order was serious and the IRS and Justice Department’s excuses for not following his July 1 order were “indefensible, ridiculous, and absurd.” He asked the IRS’ Justice Department lawyer Geoffrey Klimas, “Why didn’t the IRS comply” with his court order and “why shouldn’t the Court hold the Commissioner of the IRS in contempt.” Judge Sullivan referenced his contempt findings against Justice Department prosecutors in the prosecution of late Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) and reminded the Justice Department attorney he had the ability to detain him for contempt. Warning he would tolerate no further disregard of his orders, Judge Sullivan said, “I will haul into court the IRS Commissioner to hold him personally into contempt.”It's only fair. The IRS has been holding the taxpayers in contempt for a long time...
You're not just hearing things:
Glen White, a science instructor at Columbia College in Sonora, California, told KBET-TV that the sounds people keep hearing are actually coming from more than 100 miles away at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Hawthorne, Nevada, where obsolete munitions are destroyed every weekday during the very same hours in which Sonora residents have reported hearing them.I knew there was an echo out there...
But White pointed out another part of the story that seems even more strange: He said that while residents of California’s gold country can hear the booms clearly, residents who live near the site of the explosions don’t hear them at all — because the sound travels over them.
“I can’t explain all the physics involved, but the atmosphere is bouncing in response to the energy and it’s reflecting and bouncing [the sound] back down,” White said. “The really odd part is people fairly close to the source of the energy, the explosions, aren’t hearing it. The sound goes over them.”
I'm sure a lot of truck driver would appreciate this:
“Drivers experience multiple roadblocks to health, including laws permitting long work hours and an isolating job structure that restricts physical activity and dietary choices,” according to the NIH grant. “Despite the growing health crisis, there is a lack of effective weight loss and health promotion interventions for truck drivers.”Because a call from a government health representative is something that a truck driver will want to hear at two in the morning...
“To address this research gap we developed an innovative intervention that is integrated with the job structure and modern technologies of truck driving,” the grant said. “Our approach uses mobile computing technologies to provide training and feedback during a weight loss competition, and delivers motivational interviewing on cell phones.”
Well, I'm still not giving it up entirely:
Maybe you sip it and it’s gone in 20 minutes, or maybe you were thirsty and downed it in just a few glugs.Unfortunately some peoples' brains only process propaganda...
Either way, 39 grams of sugar, 45 grams of sodium, in addition to some phosphoric acid, caffeine and other ingredients, from a 12-ounce serving are now in your system. And while you might not be actively thinking about it at the time, your body is hard at work processing the beverage.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
“He has a blonde, busty mistress, and she’s been code named Energizer by agents. This is unofficially, but that is what they call her…She comes in to the Chappaqua [NY] home whenever Hillary leaves. The details coordinate to make sure they don’t cross paths. She, unlike Hillary, is very nice to the agents. She’ll bring cookies.”Bill keeps going and going and going...
Is it time for a coup against John Boehner?
“It’s really more about trying to have a conversation about making this place work,” Meadows said. “Hopefully we’ll have some discussions about that in the days and weeks to come. It’s more about having an inclusive process where you have debate on a regular basis, where you have open dialogue and an exchange of ideas. That’s what this is all about. This body is driven on debate and on the work on committees … and those bills or legislations should be debated based on the merit.”Why can't they talk about both? Do they really need to save Boehner in order to save themselves?
Meadows’ move will undoubtedly force Republican lawmakers over the recess to answer questions about Boehner’s political problems, and possibly shift attention away from their opposition to the Iran nuclear deal and other priorities.
The rape culture that wasn't:
The most widely quoted figures—that 90 percent of campus rapes are committed by serial offenders and that they average six rapes each—were calculated on a total of 76 non-traditional students who were not living on a college campus, and whose offenses may or may not have happened on or near a college campus, may or may not have been perpetrated on other students, and may have happened at any time in the survey respondents’ adult lives.Fanaticism doesn't require facts...
In March, when I pointed to the differences between the men in Lisak’s paper and the student population on which his popular campus presentations focus, Lisak responded: “Are you asking if there are comprehensive studies about sexual offenders on traditional college campuses? No, there aren’t.” Yet this is exactly how Lisak’s work has been treated.
Even the serial nature of the assaults reported in Lisak’s paper is speculation, since he did not distinguish between multiple offenses committed against multiple victims and multiple offenses committed against one victim. In fact, when asked about the high number of assaults by individuals who allegedly remained “undetected” by law enforcement, Lisak stated that “a number of these cases were domestic violence,” i.e., ongoing abuse in intimate partnerships, including marriages.
This is an important revelation. Even a single rape is abhorrent. Even one woman, victimized multiple times, endures trauma. But campus training and government policy, citing Lisak, are being built around presumptions of serial, predatory behavior from most campus rapists, a fact not established in the data and potentially contradicted by Lisak’s own characterization of the men included in his paper.
Lois Lerner's emails miraculously return:
Judicial Watch released 906 pages of newly recovered Lois Lerner emails from the IRS that are believed to recently have been recovered by the IRS’ internal watchdog – the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The IRS released the emails under a court order by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan. The new documents show that Lois Lerner and other top officials in the Exempt Organizations Unit of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including soon-to-be Acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller, closely monitored and approved the controversial handling of tax-exempt applications by Tea Party organizations. The documents also show that at least one group received an inquiry from the IRS in order to buy time and keep the organization from contacting Congress.It's amazing how you can find something if you really look hard enough...
At July 1, 2015, status conference, Judge Sullivan ordered the IRS to begin producing, every week, the nearly 1,800 newly recovered Lois Lerner emails responsive to Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Despite the court order, the IRS did not produce any Lois Lerner emails until July 15. The IRS also failed to provide Judicial Watch a status report of the Lois Lerner email production issues, as also ordered by Judge Sullivan. Last week, Judge Sullivan ordered sua sponte the parties to appear for a status hearing for tomorrow (July 29) shortly after Judicial Watch raised concerns about the IRS’ failure to comply with his orders to release the newly discovered Lerner emails and status updates on its production of previously “missing” documents.
The developments come in Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit seeking documents about the Obama IRS’ targeting and harassment of Tea Party and conservative opponents of President Obama (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)). Judicial Watch’s litigation forced the IRS first to admit that Lerner’s emails were supposedly missing and, then, that the emails were on IRS’ back-up systems.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
They just won't quit:
Three public workers’ pension funds are suing New Jersey for billions in damages, claiming the state government breached contracts when it contributed less than planned.That won't stop state Democrats from trying...
The filing Friday is the latest volley in a more than yearlong dispute over pension contributions. They stem from Gov. Chris Christie’s decision last year amid a budget shortfall to veer from a pension funding plan he signed into law in 2011…
Last year, New Jersey had a surprise revenue shortfall and Christie balanced the books almost entirely by reducing pension contributions. Unions sued, arguing the state had a contract with them to pay up. In June, the state Supreme Court ruled on the issue. It found that it could not order the administration to make the full pension payments, largely because doing so would violate a provision of the state constitution that blocks the current Legislature from saddling future ones with debt.
It's literally a gamer's dream:
The device, which comes as part of Nintendo’s “quality of life” initiative, is designed to monitor people in their sleep and it comes equipped with a ceiling projector, IGN reports.Are you the dream, or the dreamer?
The recently filed patent, which was was reportedly unearthed by a NeoGAF user, offers a glimpse into what the company has planned for the future and it is, without doubt, an odd future at that, as the English part of the patent application, the abstract, indicates that the “portable terminal” will “assess a user’s emotions.”
Air conditioning is...sexist:
“Air conditioning is another big, sexist plot,” revealed WaPo local writer Petula Dvorak in a Thursday column.If you can't stand the cold, get out of the cubicle?
Then, on Friday, Dvorak claimed one man wants to hold menopausal women responsible for cold offices but he is wrong, see, because the real problem is men who dress in suits.
“Every single woman I talked to in downtown Washington on a hot, humid July afternoon was thawing out,” Dvorak initially explained after her investigation into sexist air conditioning which involved speaking randomly to some people at lunch.
Somewhere, Ted Cruz is smiling:
On Tuesday, leaders in both chambers got behind the stop-gap bill and said they plan to work on long-term highway funding legislation this fall, downplaying the significance of once again passing a short-term reauthorization.So they can apparently work together, if they have to...
“The House wants to produce a long term highway bill,” House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters. “And so we’ve got work to do, and we’ve got to buy some time to get that work done.”
McConnell said the Senate will complete work this week on his three-year plan but will then take up the House authored three-month extension to prevent highway funding from expiring at the end of the month.
House Republicans plan to vote Wednesday and the bill will then go to the Senate where it is expected to be cleared for the president’s signature.
He literally feels your pain:
Dr. Joel Salinas is not your average doctor.Jerry Lewis already covered this:
“When I see people, I have the sensation of whatever touches their body on my own body as well and it’s kind of reflected as a mirror,” he told WBZ-TV.
It’s called mirror touch synesthesia.
He’s had this trait for as long as he can remember. In fact, he thought everyone had it.
“When I was a kid, having these experiences where if I would see someone hug I would feel the hug on myself or if I would see someone get hit, I felt the sensation on me as well,” explains Dr. Salinas.
When high prices are good:
For American consumers who have become used to flat or even falling prices for several years, an unfamiliar sight has emerged in many corners of the economy: Inflation is ticking up.The problem is when they can't...
The price increases remain modest. And in many cases, they're canceled out by price declines for other items that are keeping overall inflation historically low.
Yet the stepped-up price tags for a range of consumer items are the largest since the Great Recession ended six years ago. They actually reflect a healthier economy: Many businesses have finally grown confident enough to pass their own higher costs on to consumers without fear of losing customers. Employers have added nearly 5.6 million jobs the past two years, allowing more people to absorb higher prices.
Climate "experts" are engaging in massive fraud:
They accomplish this through a spectacular hockey stick of data tampering, which corrupts the US temperature trend by almost two degrees.The fake science is settled?
The biggest component of this fraud is making up data. Almost half of all reported US temperature data is now fake. They fill in missing rural data with urban data to create the appearance of non-existent US warming.
Monday, July 27, 2015
Voters don't want more corn in their cars:
“Voters across party lines express grave concerns for the impacts of the corn ethanol mandate from the Renewable Fuel Standard that touch many parts of their lives from the cars they drive to the food they buy,” said Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners. “They strongly support bi-partisan proposals that would reduce the impact of corn ethanol, and particularly support the EPA reducing the amount of corn ethanol required by law.”Corn is for dinner, not driving...
Watch out for...wind?
According to the ordinance, “commercial barbecue cookers are not exempt from causing a nuisance odor. If a sufficient number of complaints, representing different households, are reported and an Inspector witnesses the problem, they can issue a Warning Letter.”Unfortunately, some local bureaucrats think they are God...
The two men continue to laugh in disbelief and explain that other neighbors routinely cook out but no one appears to issuing warnings to them.
“So everyone in the whole world can cook out except me," Jordan can he heard saying.
Graham also says that in order to avoid a warning, the men should first check wind patterns before starting to barbecue—or upgrade their equipment to a newer model designed to curtail smoke and odors.
Graham's friend, who videoed the entire scene says, "We can't control the wind, God does that."
The Employee Rights Act, introduced Monday by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah., and Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., would allow union members to tell their bosses they don't want their share of dues going to certain candidates or causes, without fear of retaliation.It's your money, but it's their party...
It also would seek to stop intimidation tactics by requiring secret ballots for employee elections regarding issues like unionizing or striking.
Any bid to restrict union political donations could have a big impact on Democrats, who get the lion's share of union campaign money. According to the Center for Union Facts, unions in 2012 contributed nearly $90 million to Democratic Party and aligned organizations.
"Forty percent of the union members are Republicans, yet virtually 100 percent of money that they've raised, and it's considerable money, goes to elect Democrats," Hatch told Fox News.
The Clintons will not be pleased:
The website, “A Scandal a Day,” currently only asks viewers: “Are you being harassed, stalked, intimidated or persecuted by a person in position of power or public trust?”The past is always there...
However, according to WND, she plans to add more specific wording on Bill Clinton.
“In light of what’s happened with Bill Cosby, I thought I’m going to add to that,” Willey reportedly told radio host Aaron Klein. “‘If you or any one you know has been harassed, sexually harassed, assaulted or intimidated by Bill Clinton please send your name and email address and you can be assured that your anonymity will be ensured and it will be honored and you will be safe and we will make sure that you are safe.’”
As they should:
After the tough-on-crime 90s, the conservative side of the political spectrum has often been presumed to be more friendly to law enforcement. With a proliferation of groups like the Institute for Justice and Right on Crime, and the launch of criminal justice reform projects at conservative mainstays like the Heritage Foundation and FreedomWorks, that tide has turned.Due process is for everybody...
"It's a civil liberties issue, it's a due process issue, but first and foremost, it's a property rights issue," Jason Pye, director of justice reform for FreedomWorks, said. "This is legal plunder. What they're doing is wrong, and we need to fix this... I've been surprised at how activists have embraced this issue."
About that highway/bank bill:
“We’re not taking up the Senate bill,” McCarthy declared to a roomful of reporters in his office.Leadership? Never mind...
Instead, McCarthy urged the Senate to take up a short-term House-passed bill which extends federal highway funding for five months, without renewing the Ex-Im Bank charter. He called the House bill the “best option” for Congress before money for highways, bridges and mass transit runs out on Friday.
McCarthy’s declaration is a blow not only to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) had teamed up to craft the bipartisan, long-term highway bill.
It’s also a blow to backers of the Ex-Im Bank, who had hoped the 81-year-old institution would be revived by catching a ride on the back of the Senate transportation bill. The charter for the bank, which provides loan guarantees to help U.S. corporations sell goods overseas, expired on June 30.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Ted Cruz isn't done yet:
Cruz explained that the “Washington cartel,” which he said is behind such deals that ultimately benefit “a handful of giant corporations” and drain taxpayers’ pockets, is an ugly outgrowth of establishment politics on both sides of the aisle.Sounds like someone who's gearing up for a long fight...
“It’s career politicians in both parties who get in bed with lobbyists and special interests,” Cruz said. “It’s why we’re bankrupting our kids and grandkids.”
The senator noted as much in an email blast to supporters Saturday, saying that “today we have government of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists, and for the lobbyists.”
Cruz told Limbaugh there’s mounting frustration among voters — particularly those who put their trust in GOP office holders — because the Republican majority is looking nothing like one.
“We see so many campaign conservatives that pretend to be conservative on the campaign trail but they don’t govern according to what they promised us on the campaign trail,” he added.
What could go wrong?
“The atmosphere is a little similar to the time after 1968 in Europe. I can feel, maybe not a revolutionary mood, but something like widespread impatience”.Historically speaking, European countries have not fared well when their people become "impatient..."
These were the words of European council president Donald Tusk, 48 hours after Greece’s paymasters imposed the most punishing bail-out measures ever forced on a debtor nation in the eurozone’s 15-year history.
A former Polish prime minister and a politician not prone to hyperbole, Tusk’s comments revealed Brussels’ fears of a bubbling rebellion across the continent.
“When impatience becomes not an individual but a social experience of feeling, this is the introduction for revolutions” said Tusk.
“I am really afraid of this ideological or political contagion.”
President Obama learns that not everyone in other countries agree with him
Mr Obama said that as an African-American, he was “painfully aware” of what it was like to be treated as a lesser citizen in law in his own country and that such discriminatory policies ended up on the wrong side of history.Maybe it should be, but was it really Obama's place to lecture the president of Kenya when he was standing right there?
"When you start treating people differently, not because of any harm they’re doing anybody but because they’re doing different, that’s the path whereby freedoms begin to erode, and bad things happen,” Mr Obama told reporters at State House in Nairobi.
“And when government gets in the habit of treating people differently, those habits start to spread. I am unequivocal on this. The idea they are going to be treated differently or abused because of who they love is wrong, full stop.”
But Mr Kenyatta, who was warned by senior members of his party not to comment on the issue in the run-up to Mr Obama’s historic visit, insisted gay rights in conservative Kenya was a “non-issue”.
“We share so many values, our common love for democracy, entrepreneurship, value for families. But there are some things we must admit we don't share, our culture, our societies don't accept,” he told a frowning Mr Obama.
“It’s very difficult to impose that on people that which they themselves do not accept. For Kenyans today the issue of gay rights is really a non-issue. We want to focus on other areas that are day-to-day living for people.”
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Professor Peter Wadhams said he feared being labelled a “looney” over his suspicion that the deaths of the scientists were more than just an ‘extraordinary’ coincidence.Obviously God hates environmentalists...
But he insisted the trio could have been murdered and hinted that the oil industry or else sinister government forces might be implicated.
The three scientists he identified - Seymour Laxon and Katherine Giles, both climate change scientists at University College London, and Tim Boyd of the Scottish Association for marine Science - all died within the space of a few months in early 2013.
Professor laxon fell down a flight of stairs at a New year’s Eve party at a house in Essex while Dr Giles died when she was in collision with a lorry when cycling to work in London. Dr Boyd is thought to have been struck by lightning while walking in Scotland.
A liberal discovers Mel Brooks:
“I understand the intent is satire,” says Jeffrey Imm, who is organizing the demonstration through his anti-discrimination group, Responsible for Equality And Liberty. “This is the point of morality: some things we have to recognize as absolute evil. When 6 million people are murdered, we don’t view it with knee-slapping, we view it with reverence.”But he was a better dancer than Churchill...
In The Producers, which is adapted from Brooks’s Oscar-winning 1968 film of the same name, two crooked Broadway producers endeavor to profit off a critical and commercial flop, which they believe they find in Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden, which portrays Hitler as a flamboyant dandy.
At long last:
These whistleblowers have now been exonerated by the office that investigates claims of retaliation against federal employees. The Office of Special Counsel announced this week that it has smoothed the way for the Department of Veterans Affairs to make amends to Thompson, Christensen and Honl with monetary settlements, reinstatements to their jobs and by purging their records of negative claims.Telling the truth should be rewarded, even if it is better late than never...
“Rather than silencing the messenger, supervisors can use disclosures as opportunities to address problems,” Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner said in a statement. “It’s an important sign of progress that the VA settled these cases and provided relief to the employees who suffered retaliation.”
War of the lobstermen:
The northeastern-most part of the US — on the coast where Maine meets New Brunswick — there are two tiny, uninhabited islands in a political gray area. It isn’t because anyone wants the islands — instead, they want the lobster surrounding the islands, and it’s disputed which country has the fishing rights.We cannot afford a lobster gap...
During normal times, the dispute seems to be little more than an annoyance. But apparently this year, there are real problems because the price of lobster is so high ($5.50 a pound in that area, compared to $4 the previous year), according to Zane Schwartz in Maclean’s.
The fateful four?
At least four emails from the private email account that former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used while in office contained classified information, according to a government inspector’s letter that has deepened the email controversy dogging Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.It depends on what the meaning of "classified" is...
The inspector general who oversees U.S. intelligence agencies wrote in a letter to members of Congress on Thursday that a sampling of 40 of about 30,000 emails sent or received by Clinton found at least four that contained information the government had classified as secret.
The information was classified at the time the emails were sent, according to the inspector general, Charles McCullough.
“This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system,” McCullough said in a joint statement on Friday along with his equivalent at the State Department, Steve Linick.
So Hillary Clinton is ready to take on her friends:
Hillary Rodham Clinton made a case on Friday for weaning Wall Street from an addiction to profits, calling for a change to the capital gains taxes for the highest earners and a string of measures to adjust the balance of power between corporate titans and their employees.Don't want to rattle it too much, after all...
She also supported raising the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 in New York, where a wage board this week suggested such an increase, but she also insisted such a rise is not a one-size-fits-all approach for the whole country.
Amid pressure from the left to take a more aggressive approach toward the financial industry, Mrs. Clinton presented her proposals in a speech at New York University, the second major address of her campaign that focused on economic issues. Her approach — suggesting, among other things, increasing transparency involving stock buybacks and executive compensation — marks the first efforts to take on Wall Street, without the gate-rattling that some more liberal elements of the Democratic Party have called for.