Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Sign Of The Thumbs

Letting her fingers do the talking?
The hand signal is listed on the illuminati hand signs conspiracy theory website illuminatiRex and described as a 'Merkel-Raute'.

The 'Merkel-Raute' is a reverse variation of the first illuminati 'Roc Sign' - roughly in the shape of a diamond or pyramid - used by celebrities such as actors, Denzel Washington, Ben Stiller and Tom Cruise

Users of the 'Merkel-Raute', as it has become known due to the German's frequent use, have also included other European historical figures including Pope John Paul II and Adolf Hitler.

'The pyramid is an important Illuminati symbol showing their few ruling the many on the bottom type power structure,' the illuminatiRex website states.

'The symbol becomes more powerful when the sign is done over an eye, representing the All-Seeing eye in a capstone floating over an unfinished pyramid.'

'The pyramid sign is seen by many researchers to be THE sign of the Illuminati.'
Sometimes a pair of hands is just a pair of hands...

If You Like Your Scam

Unfortunately, the real thing isn't much better:
Esformes is charged with conspiring with Arnaldo Carmouze, 56, a Palmetto Bay physician’s assistant, and Odette Barcha, 49, a former longtime director of outreach programs at Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami. Authorities would not confirm whether that was the local hospital at the center of the alleged scheme.

Esformes is also accused of referring his own network of patients to other convicted healthcare fraud offenders, who swindled Medicare for mental health, prescription drug and home healthcare services and ultimately helped federal investigators target the Miami Beach business executive. According to the indictment, those kickbacks were “disguised” as payments for escort services for Esformes as well as related travel and hotel expenses.

Justice Department officials — along with South Florida’s U.S. attorney, the FBI and Health and Human Services agents — described the Esformes case as one for the record books in the nation’s long-standing battle against healthcare fraud. They noted that while his healthcare network billed $1 billion for fraudulent medical services, Medicare paid Esformes’ skilled-nursing and assisted-living facilities about $500 million since 2009.

“This is the largest single criminal healthcare fraud case ever brought against individuals by the Department of Justice,” the criminal division’s assistant attorney general, Leslie R. Caldwell, said Friday during a news conference at the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami.
Actually, I think Obamacare got there first...

The Rehab Dead

Well, even the dead might need treatment:
According to The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Lewis and Trice started running their fraudulent drug program in 2011—and by 2015, they’d allegedly defrauded the state of $60,000. Some of the drug rehab “clients’ listed by Lewis and Trice told police they’d never received treatment from the organization. Others would have been hard to reach in prison. Still others were dead.
The last publicly available tax form for the Mount Hopewell Community Development Corporation, the entity through which the addiction rehabilitation program was operated, dates from two years ago. (The form was marked as received by the IRS in 2015, despite covering the 2013 calendar year.)
In it, Lewis notes that since 2010, the Mount Hopewell Community Development Corporation has received $61,200 in grants for the drug recovery program. It received $14,400 a year from 2010 to 2012, and $18,000 in 2013.
Aside from rehab, group members are also eligible to vote...

The War On Coolants

John Kerry says the greater danger comes from...air conditioners:

True Blue History

How quickly they forget:

Revenge Of The Leakers

Debbie won't do Philly:
A Democratic insider told CNN that Schultz has been dropped from the lineup to “keep the peace” within the party, amid calls from Sanders’ campaign manager for someone at the DNC to be “held accountable” for the anti-Sanders collusion seen in the leaked emails.

That collusion included the leak of a Sanders campaign document to the Wall Street Journal as well as active attempts to harm Sanders’ image with Southern Baptist Democrats by drawing attention to his atheism.

The DNC, and Wasserman Schultz in particular, came under heavy criticism from Sanders during the primaries, during which he accused them of showing favouritism to Hillary Clinton. In this, the WikiLeaks revelations have wholly vindicated him.

According to CNN, Democrat insiders hope that the absence of Schultz will prevent “chaos on the convention floor” from angry Sanders supporters.
They should have thought about that before bad-mouthing them...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bring Out Your Selfies

If you can't trust paramedics:
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that 24-year old Kayla Renee Dubois was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of interception and disclosure of oral communications. Authorities have issued arrest warrants for 33-year old Christopher Wimmer on seven counts of the same charge. The release says Wimmer also faces a misdemeanor battery charge for holding open the eyelid of a sedated patient.

The release says the selfies included 41 patients, three of whom apparently agreed to the photos.

The sheriff’s office began investigating in May after complaints from three other emergency workers. Dubois was fired a week later, and Wimmer resigned the same day.
Patients aren't just there for their entertainment...

The Art Of Hoarding

One person's trash really is another's art:
With more than 4,000 objects from over two dozen collections, “The Keeper” is a sprawling, four-floor exhibit devoted to the art of collecting things, examining not just the method behind the keeper’s madness but the keeper himself.
What does the process of curating and cataloguing objects reveal about the individual collector? What do our collections say about love, loss, the passage of time, and the unpredictable variety of life?
These questions came to mind during the hour or so I spent looking at over 3,000 photographs—almost uniformly black and white—of people with teddy bears.
Collected by Canadian contemporary artist Ydessa Hendeles, most of the photographs hang on walls as part of a floor-to-ceiling installation that looks like a library, with spiral staircases leading up to a mezzanine. Visitors who want to survey every image will likely end up with their cheeks to the floor, scanning photos for harder-to-spot teddy bears as if scanning the pages of “Where’s Waldo.”
It's sort of like Pokemon for art snobs...

Weekend At Jack's

He was just resting:
The restaurant, Hungry Jack’s, issued a statement Saturday confirming the incident at a restaurant near Perth and expressing readiness to cooperate with the investigation. The body of the man, who has not been identified, was discovered Monday morning. He had entered the restaurant on Friday before entering the bathroom, where he was found dead in a stall, according to local media. A police spokesman said the death was not suspicious but police were looking into the circumstances of how the body went unnoticed for so long.
The dining dead?

More Emails, More Problems

Wiki Leaks does it again:
On its web page, Wikileaks said the new cache of emails came from the accounts of "seven key figures in the DNC" and warned that the release was "part one of our new Hillary Leaks series" - an indication that more material might be published soon. Among the officials whose emails were made public were DNC spokesman Luis Miranda, national finance director Jordon Kaplan and finance chief Scott Comer, but other DNC and media figures and even some White House officials communicated with them between January 2015 and last May, Wikileaks said.

The emails include several stinging denunciations of Sanders and his organization before and after the DNC briefly shut off his campaign's access to the party's key list of likely Democratic voters.

The DNC temporarily curtailed Sanders' access to the list in December 2015 because the organization accused the insurgent campaign of illegally tapping into confidential voter information compiled by the Clinton campaign. The Sanders campaign briefly sued the DNC but the party reached an accord with Sanders and the suit was dropped in April.
Team Clinton seems to have a history of email troubles...

Run For The Border

The exodus continues:
No exact figures are available, but the number of Venezuelans fleeing to Colombia is already "quite large," and Colombia should prepare itself for more, Gottwald told AFP in an interview.
"The avalanche is probably going to increase, with or without the reopening of the border," he said.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro closed the countries' border in August 2015 after an attack on an army patrol. He blamed right-wing paramilitaries from Colombia.
The leftist leader briefly reopened it last weekend to allow Venezuelans to stock up on food, medicine and other basic supplies amid severe shortages in Venezuela.
Will the last one to leave Venezuela please turn out the-oh, wait...

The City Of Brotherly Corruption

Hillary will feel right at home:
Philadelphia is no stranger to political malfeasance.

It's where congressmen and other elected officials were caught taking illicit cash payments in the Abscam sting operation in the 1970s. During that investigation, then-Rep. Michael "Ozzie" Myers was caught on tape, saying: "Money talks in this business and bull---- walks."

A state where the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were produced is now so rife with political scandal that it scored an F grade in the 2015 State Integrity Investigation.

Over the past decade, former state Sen. Vince Fumo, a Democrat, went to prison for defrauding the state Senate, a South Philadelphia nonprofit and a seaport museum of millions of dollars. Former City Councilman Rick Mariano got prison time for taking bribes.

Jubelier said that it may seem like political infractions are on the rise, but that's only because "everyone's a journalist. All the coverage and the videos and the bloggers." Still, he added, "when you have someone as high up as Chaka Fattah, that levels a boom."
Somebody has to keep them semi-honest...

Friday, July 22, 2016

Listening In

For those in need of a temporary husband:
"For me, the service is a hobby more than anything," says Nishimoto, who first came up with the concept four years ago and who now has a growing network of some 60 men across Japan.

"The initial idea was to improve the image of guys my age, people who might not be spring chickens anymore and not taken so seriously."

And while the 48-year-old professional fashion coordinator is used to renting himself out, he insists conversation is all he offers to between 30 and 40 clients a month, roughly 70 percent of whom are women.

"The people who rent me are just asking me to keep them company for an hour or two, mainly to listen to them," he tells AFP between sessions, giving the example of a woman in her 80s who would book him every week for a walk around the local park.

"I almost became like her son," he says.
No experience necessary...

Clap Off

Hold your applause:
Teachers will be the ones to initiate the silent cheer which is promoted as "a great way to expend children's energy and reduce fidgeting."

The newsletter goes on to explain that "this practice has been adopted to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise."

A spokesperson for the New South Wales Education Department points out that the new policy was instituted to "...minimise discomfort to a teacher with a hearing disability that causes acute sensitivity to loud noise."

He also says that the practice will be observed during occasional assemblies, but at other school events, there are no restrictions on clapping and cheering.
Jazz hands, anyone?

Trumping The Media

Naturally, they're not fans:
From Hollyweird:
As much as Hollywood hates Donald Trump, it’s amazing how many of them actually watched the nominee’s highly anticipated RNC speech last night. What’s less amazing were the typical cries of doom and gloom on their Twitter feeds in the wake of Trump’s remarks.

A lot of celebrities had a real problem with how long the speech, which clocked in at over an hour, lasted. Many took to Twitter to vent their frustration. Seinfeld and Veep actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus demanded to know "Is this speech going to end soon? I've had it. "Tremendous problem" #RNCinCLE."
And now the rest. MSNBC:
WILLIE GEIST: Donald Trump painted a picture of an almost dystopian, Mad Max America last night where there’s shoot outs in our streets, where there is terrorism arriving in our stores, where the bridges and roads are crumbling, where the schools have all gone to hell.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I think a lot of people feel that way and certainly the conversations we have had on this show over the past two years have been talking about the decline of America, the decline of our infrastructure.
Maybe because it's true? Finally, the NYT:
With dark imagery and an almost angry tone, Mr. Trump portrayed the United States as a diminished and even humiliated nation, and offered himself as an all-powerful savior who could resurrect the country’s standing in the eyes of both enemies and law-abiding Americans.

“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” an ominous-sounding Mr. Trump said, standing against a backdrop of American flags. “The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.”
The media can't seem to grasp this, either...

And Now, Germany

Not another one:
Munich police spokeswoman Claudia Kuenzel told The Associated Press there had been "several dead and wounded" in the shooting at Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall. She could not provide exact numbers.

"The shooter or shooters are still on the run" either in or around the mall, she said.

The Bavarian Interior Ministry confirmed at least one dead and multiple people hurt.

Munich police spokesman Thomas Baumann told German news agency dpa the attack started at a fast food restaurant in the mall shortly before 6 p.m. local time. He said police didn't know whether they were dealing with one or multiple shooters.

Public broadcaster Bayrischer Rundfunk reported that shops in the center of Munich had closed with customers inside. Munich police urged people to avoid public places. "The situation is still unclear," they said on Twitter.
The EU is being destroyed from without, while disintegrating from within...

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Vegan Vamping

What's happened to Italian cuisine?
Mayor Chiara Appendino of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement is advocating for plant-based foods as an alternative to the authentic meat dishes that have inspired cooking in northern Italy for centuries.

Appendino, 32, who was sworn into office last month, making her the 20th mayor of Turin, pledged this week that the promotion of a vegetarian and vegan diets will be a “priority” in her administration in an unprecedented move in Italian government.

“The promotion of vegan and vegetarian diets is a fundamental act in safeguarding our environment, the health of our citizens and the welfare of our animals,” the mayor’s five-year political manifesto stated, according to The Local.
This being the EU, she may get away with it...

An Ill Wind Out Of Ankara

Erdogan gets his dictatorship:
Parliament voted 346-115 to approve the national state of emergency, which will give Erdogan the authority to extend detention times for suspects and issue decrees that have the force of law without parliamentary approval, among other powers.

Erdogan, who had been accused of autocratic conduct even before this week's crackdown on alleged opponents, says the state of emergency will counter threats to Turkish democracy.

Even without the emergency measures, his government has already imposed a crackdown that has included mass arrests, mass firings and the closure of hundreds of schools. Erdogan said the new powers would allow the government to rid the military of the "virus" of subversion, blaming the coup attempt on a U.S.-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen. The cleric has strong denied any knowledge of the attempted coup.
You can't have an excuse for a new regime without a scapegoat...

Blogging In The Years: 1976

He may have lost the primary battle, but Ronald Reagan is supporting the Republican nominee to win the war:

Shadow Money

Who's paying Bill?
Government watchdogs say the practice is troubling from a transparency perspective, because it obscures the actual source of Clinton’s hefty payments. While the Free Beacon was able to track down information on the likely funders of several of these speeches, at least 30 of them remain a mystery.

Spokespersons for the Clinton campaign and Bill Clinton’s office declined to provide the names of any actual payment sources when contacted for this article.

Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group, said the way the Clintons have handled these paid speaking engagements “suggests secrecy and non-transparency.”

“While those paying the exorbitant fees have included special interests with lobbying efforts to influence federal policy, even more troubling is the fact that the true financial sponsors are sometimes hidden through cut-out middlemen or anonymous donors,” said Boehm. “The tens of millions in speaking fees going directly to the Clintons should be completely transparent. Anything less suggests unethical conduct.”

Senate ethics rules also frown on the practice.

“For payments which are received by an individual through a speaker’s bureau, list the actual payer as the source,” says a Senate advisory on federal disclosure filings.
Like everything else with the Clintons, ethics are for little people...

Cruz Crash And Burn

So, this happened:
On terror and trade, on education and employment, on immigration and the Internet, Cruz spelled out stark disagreements between Democrats and Republicans — focusing, interestingly, on Obama and not his would-be successor.

“Freedom means free speech, and not politically correct safe spaces,” Cruz added, nothing that the Bill of Rights applied equally to all, including “gay or straight.”

On abortion, Cruz said: “Freedom means that human life is precious and must be protected.” And he reminded the gathering: “Our party was founded to defeat slavery … Together, we passed the Civil Rights Act, and together we fought to eliminate Jim Crow laws. That’s our collective legacy — although the media will never share it with you.”

And then, Cruz delivered those fateful words: “Vote your conscience.”

The boos and interruptions never ceased after that, with chants of “We want Trump!”

He concluded with a call to unity: “The case we have to make to the American people … is to commit to each of them that we will defend freedom and be faithful to the Constitution.”

But Cruz left the stage having divided the party.
Burning his bridges behind him? Or just burying any chance at running again in 2020?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fatwa Them All

No Pokemon hunting allowed:
The kingdom’s Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta said in its latest announcement on its website that it has republished a 2001 edict on the game after “receiving many questions” on it from the public.

The 15-year-old fatwa said the game was too much like gambling and that the concept of its characters appeared to be based on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which is rejected by Islam.

It also said most cards on the game carried symbols of “deviant” religions and organisations, such as “international Zionism” and Israel, Christian crosses, Freemasonry, and symbols from Japan’s native Shinto religion.

The Pokemon game was un-Islamic as it contains polytheism, said the edict, without specifically referring to the popular smartphone app.
Saudis will have to get lost in the Sahara on their own...

Save Our Species

Is space the place for our DNA?
As it stands, experts neither have the technological capability or the knowledge of how to mass-transfer the human race to a nearby habitable planet – with the closest being 14 light years away (one light year is equal to 5,878,499,810,000 miles).

This is why some are looking at the possibility of using the Universe as a sort of ‘cosmic cloud’ to back up data of the human race for when we do meet our inevitable end.

A project called Voices of Humanity would send data, messages and even DNA into space using laser propelled spacecrafts where “Your data will live forever in the universe. You will be immortalized,” according to the KickStarter page.
In space, no one can hear you splice...

The Wolves Of Hollywood

The dirty money trail:
Federal officials announced that the Department filed a motion to seize the film’s rights after an investigation revealed that the film was financed by a Malaysian government fund established to spur local economic development through foreign direct investment in the beleaguered Asian nation. The DOJ wants to recover more than $1 billion and various assets allegedly obtained through the corruption.

The account, 1Malaysia Development Bhd.(1MDB), was established by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and administered by his stepson, Riza Aziz, who is the co-founder and chairman of Red Granite Pictures — the entertainment outfit that produced “Wolf of Wall Street.”

DOJ officials say that more than $100 million originating with 1MDB were laundered through shell corporations and offshore accounts in the British Virgin Islands with the assistance of a shady financier in Abu Dhabi named Mohamed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny.
Now, if they would only do the same thing to other crooks like the Clinton Foundation...

Bucking In Baltimore

Not all Democrats are on board:
“We cannot continue to try to lead the state in these fiscal times that we have in the city of Baltimore,” Young said, according to the Baltimore Business Journal. “I think this is the fairest way to do it.”

Baltimore wouldn’t be the first city to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Seattle became the first in the country to enact the policy in June 2014. New York and California both became the first and only states Apr. 4 to raise their minimum wages to $15 an hour. The Baltimore measure is designed to phase in the increase over the next few years.

“We just can’t do $15 … I think even $11.50 is a stretch, but I think it’s a compromise,” Young continued. “Anything other than that, I will not be voting for this bill.”
If you can't afford it, they won't come...

Food, Glorious Food

So that's what it looks like:
Tearful Venezuelans had gone weeks without basic food items like milk, flour and toilet paper. It's a sad but common part of daily life today in crisis-ridden Venezuela, a country that has the world's largest proven reserves of oil. Colombian officials estimate that about 100,000 Venezuelans crossed the border.
Venezuela is expected to dive deeper into the abyss this year, according to new projections published Wednesday by the International Monetary Fund.
The IMF forecasts Venezuela's economy will shrink 10% this year, worse than its previous estimate of 8%. It also estimates that inflation in Venezuela will catapult to 700% this year, up from the earlier guess of about 480%.
Starve a population, feed an exodus...

Wanted-A Coup

Trump is apparently so fascist, he needs to be replaced with...a military dictatorship:
Kirchick cites the example of the recent failed coup in Turkey as a source of inspiration:

Americans viewing the recent failed coup attempt in Turkey as some exotic foreign news story — the latest, violent yet hardly unusual political development to occur in a region constantly beset by turmoil — should pause to consider that the prospect of similar instability would not be unfathomable in this country if Donald Trump were to win the presidency.

Kirchick goes on to argue that Trump is a nascent authoritarian, whose illegal military orders — such as torturing terrorists — the military would be required to ignore, and then resist by force.

Curiously, Kirchick cannot fathom Hillary Clinton doing anything illegal with the military (despite her mis-handling of classified national security information, or her evident pride in the Libya war, which Congress never approved):

Needless to say, such dystopian situations are unimaginable under a President Hillary Clinton, who, whatever her faults, would never contemplate ordering a bombing run or — heaven forbid — a nuclear strike on a country just because its leader slighted her small hands at a summit.

Kirchick concludes that unless voters stop Trump from becoming president, a violent coup may be the only solution: “Trump is not only patently unfit to be president, but a danger to America and the world. Voters must stop him before the military has to.”
This is how democracy dies-with calls for a revolt by the media...

The Exile

Milo has been banned from Twitter:
The justification for the suspension is currently unknown, although it could be as a result of Milo’s run-in with Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones on the site. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey publicly reached out to Jones late on Monday evening after she complained about “abuse” on the platform. Milo was suspended despite the fact that he sent no abusive tweets to the actress.

BuzzFeed gleefully reported that the suspension is permanent, citing a statement from Twitter promising a clampdown on “targeted abuse.” Milo has also received a message from Twitter confirming that that his ban is permanent, copied below.

The statement also promises to tackle “hateful” conduct, in the wake of widespread media condemnation of racist tweets sent to Leslie Jones. However, it remains to be seen whether Twitter will take any action against Jones’ own racially hateful tweets, seen below and archived here.
Real bigots are more equal than nonexistent ones...

The Price Of Losing

They weren't worth it:
Bush, who ended his presidential campaign in February after a poor showing in South Carolina, had only three delegates vote for him at the Republicans' nominating convention Tuesday. His campaign and super PAC spent $46 million for each delegate, according to The Washington Post's Dave Weigel.
He was a favorite going into the primary season and had substantial financial backing from his family network, but he was unable to muster the enthusiasm his campaign needed.

Donald Trump's attacks on Bush as “low-energy” resonated with GOP voters and hurt the former Florida governor, who struggled to compete with the business mogul.

Bush has said he won't vote for either Trump or presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and has no plans to attend the Republican convention.
Sulking is its own reward...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

For Want Of A Sandwich

What hath Chick-fil-A wrought?
Chick-fil-A axed the popular, spicy breaded sandwich for the first addition to its breakfast menu in six years—the new Egg White Grill, which features grilled chicken breast, grilled egg whites, and American cheese served on a multigrain English muffin.

But is chicken breast really a breakfast meat? David Farmer, vice president of menu strategy and development, says the new menu item is part of the company’s effort to offer more healthy items.

“At Chick-fil-A, we’re constantly looking for innovative and delicious ways to meet the needs of our guests,” said Farmer.

“We understand the importance of breakfast and the impact it has throughout the day. We tested the Egg White Grill in select markets across the country, including our busiest restaurants in Manhattan, and our customers gave us great feedback. The Egg White Grill is the perfect solution for our health-conscious customers looking for a grab-and-go breakfast.”
Too bad the customers don't see it that way...

You Gotta Carry That Weight

Now you know:
There are roughly 28 grams in an ounce, meaning an ounce of weed should yield about 88 joints. The New York Times points out the question has been answered before, and those previous estimates have been higher: This 2011 study found the average to be 0.66 grams per joint (while noting blunts used even more, at 0.97 grams).

A government report went with 0.43 grams, and a press release notes the Office of National Drug Control Policy uses 0.5 grams as its baseline.

Two interesting sidenotes from the Times: First, the estimate isn't perfect—a point that researchers Greg Ridgeway and Beau Kilmer concede—because the data was sourced from a single group, those who have been arrested.

It also notes that weight is just one part of the equation: How much THC is in the pot used to make the joint matters, too, in terms of understanding the health implications for users—and today's pot is much stronger than 1995's.
But what is the rate of munchies to weed?

Crooked Number Two

One of Hillary Clinton's potential VP picks may be in trouble:
The seven-page report by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel concluded Castro violated the Hatch Act, which bars most Executive Branch officials from expressing their political views while on official business. According to the report, he crossed the line during an April 4 interview that mostly was about HUD’s plans to increase Internet access to children and other agency-related issues.

Castro, though, responded to a question during the Yahoo News interview about Clinton’s presidential bid.

“Taking off my HUD hat for a second and speaking individually,” Castro said, while going on to call Clinton the most experienced 2016 candidate and criticizing Republicans. BuzzFeed News first reported on the OSC findings.

“Castro’s statements during the interview impermissibly mixed his personal political views with official agency business, despite his efforts to clarify that some answers were being given in his personal capacity,” states the OSC report, which will now be referred to President Obama, who will decide on what if any action to take.
If he gets picked? Most likely, none...

Good Governance Grief

How to run a nonprofit long con:
The “good governance” movement in the nonprofit field has been gathering strength for two decades, but it clearly has yet to reach the Clinton Foundation. Most foundation boards have on average 15 members, according to a 2015 survey by Boardsource, a national organization working to strengthen nonprofit board leadership.

Good governance groups also encourage well-managed non-profits to create dedicated oversight committees for audits, donations, governance, executive compensation and whistle-blower policy. The Clinton Foundation has none of those committees, according to its Internal Revenue Service 990 tax filings.

Term-limits are also recommended for board members to encourage fresh thinking in non-profit management. Seventy-one percent of all public foundations today have term limits, according to Boardsource.

Most of the Clinton Foundation’s board members have occupied the same board seats for most of the controversial non-profit’s life.
Cronies have to work somewhere...

Copy This

Who copied whom?
Michelle Obama: “…the world as it should be.” In 2008, the aspiring First Lady was accused by bloggers of lifting lines for her DNC speech from Saul Alinsky. Alinsky wrote, in Rules for Radicals (emphasis added): “The standards of judgment must be rooted in the whys and wherefores of life as it is lived, the world as it is, not our wished-for fantasy of the world as it should be.” Michelle Obama said: “And Barack stood up that day, and he spoke words that have stayed with me ever since. He talked about ‘the world as it is‘ and ‘the world as it should be.'” (Perhaps Mr. Obama who left out the attribution.)

The Trump campaign denied it borrowed lines from Michelle Obama, including: “that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond…”.

Senior communications adviser Jason Miller said: “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking. Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.”
There are worse things than being less unoriginal than a Democrat...

Monday, July 18, 2016

Glorious Real Cheese

It's the real cheese revival:
Changing consumer concerns has led to more discriminatory tastes in cheese. America is experiencing a collective nostalgia for the cheeses of yesteryear—less processed, farmstead brands that hail from smaller-scale, pasture-based farms rather than the corporate behemoths of industrialized agriculture that currently dominate the market.

The popularity of books like Fast Food Nation and Omnivore’s Dilemma and documentary films like Food Inc. and Cowspiracy have raised public awareness about the environmental impact of large-scale animal agriculture, contributing to a backlash against the CAFO method of dairy farming. It has also fostered a second wave of interest in organic and local food production, where cheese reigns supreme and looks and tastes nothing like the hyper-processed cheeses of my childhood.

In 2012, 825 licensed, artisan cheese producers in the U.S. provided more than 300 varieties of cheese—more than doubling the figures from six years before. Sales in the natural and specialty cheese markets are expected to reach $19 billion in 2018. And small cheesemaking facilities accounted for 46 percent of all cheesemaking establishments, up five percent since 2007. Meanwhile, the USDA reports that consumption of processed cheeses has declined by four percent. Real cheese is back.
All well and good, but who decides what's good for you?

The Sanders Frankenstein

What hath Bernie Sanders wrought?
The surprise walk-out of protesters from a conference of US progressives in St Louis this weekend forced the cancellation of its panel on “translating millennial votes into power”. But here was more vivid testimony. Despite Sanders urging his supporters to back Hillary Clinton in an official endorsement a few days earlier, the energy once captured by his campaign – and beyond it, in the Black Lives Matter protests – appeared already to be slipping out of the hands of Democrats.

Hands Up United – a group born of anti-police violence protests in nearby Ferguson – brought both the Netroots convention and surrounding freeways to a standstill, accusing the largely white delegates of becoming “occupiers” in the “disunited States of America”. “Mic check, mic check,” they chanted, in an echo of the Occupy movement that used voices in the street to amplify its message.

Across the corridor in another unofficial Netroots spin-off, a different group of activists were plotting to do the same on a bigger stage in Philadelphia, where the Democratic party is holding its national convention in a week’s time. Democracy Spring is planning non-violent civil disobedience on a daily basis, scheduling sit-ins and mass arrests until the party promises to scrap the system of super-delegates that so enraged Sanders supporters during the long and bitter nomination contest.
Sanders may be gone, but his supporters are trying hard to make sure that they're not forgotten...

The Russians Aren't Coming?

It's doping all the way down?
WADA issued a seven-point list of requests after it published a report which confirmed claims of state-backed Russian cheating at the Sochi Olympics and beyond.

WADA also wants Russian government officials to be denied access to international competitions, including the upcoming Olympics. The anti-doping watchdog also calls on world governing bodies of sports implicated in the inquiry report to consider action against Russia.

CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Travis Tygart described the accusations as "a mind-blowing level of corruption within both Russian sport and government."

The practice lasted at least four years, covered 28 Olympic sports and the Paralympics and involved at least 312 positive tests that went unreported at the behest of higher-ups in the country's sports ministry, according to a 97-page report issued Monday.
Dopes are everywhere these days...

Secret Union

Where do unions get their members? Do they even know?
Minnesota lawmakers allowed the union to organize all home health care workers as a single bargaining unit by passing a law dictating they are state employees simply because they collect Medicaid funds. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton tried to do the same in 2011 through an executive order, but it failed in the courts. The Center for Worker Freedom (CWF) is assisting with the effort to decertify.

“They declared these home health care workers to be public employees by an act of legislation and its only in regards to collective bargaining,” CWF Executive Director Matt Patterson told TheDCNF. “Its a perversion of Democracy and we suspect there are a lot of these PCAs that don’t even realize they are unionized.”

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt with a similar situation out of Illinois during the 2014 case Harris v. Quinn. The SEIU has been unable to collect mandatory dues because of the case, but critics warn it has only posed a minor setback. The home health care workers are still subjected to the labor agreement and it’s often a difficult logistical mess of paperwork to get out of paying dues.

“We believe a lot of PCAs who are paying dues don’t realize they don’t have to,” Patterson continued. “We don’t know what they have been told by the union. Obviously the government and state is not going to tell them all the facts. The legislature and governor are totally in the pocket of the union. So we are going to make sure they know they don’t have to pay dues.”
Knowing is half the battle. The other half is being able to do something about it...


Um, okay:
Artist Spencer Tunick stands on a ladder holding the camera focused on the women, wiping sweat off his brow. He shouts, “We love you all! This is beautiful,” as he takes photos for his art installation, “Everything She Says Means Everything…”
Since Tunick put out his casting call for the event in May, 1,800 women signed up to participate… Some are here to send a message to Donald Trump and others just wanted to take the opportunity to proudly show their bodies publicly…
At 6:53 a.m., Tunick gathers the crowd. “The Republican party has given an excuse to hate. We have daughters and we want them to grow up in a society where they have equal rights for women,” he says. “The sun is coming up. Now, when I say three, let’s get naked!”
Well, they wanted to show him...

Harping On Warming

It's a conspiracy, you know:
“The US has developed a type of weapon called High Frequency Active Auroral Research Programme (HAARP). It strikes the upper atmosphere with a focussed and steerable electromagnetic beam,” Anil Madhav Dave, India’s Environmental Minister, told Business Standard Monday. “HAARP is an advanced model of a super powerful ionospheric heater which may cause the globe to warm and have global warming effect.”
Dave was replying to a question on whether the government is aware of HAARP.
HAARP is a regular target of conspiracy theorists, who claim that it was capable of modifying weather, disable satellites and control people’s brains. Conspiracy theorists have blamed HAARP for causing earthquakes, droughts, floods, the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 the 2003 destruction of the space shuttle Columbia and Hurricane Sandy.
The alien overlords know, but they won't say anything...

Presidential Lies Matter

Obama tells the police it's their fault:
"There are legitimate issues that have been raised, and there’s data and evidence to back up the concerns that are being expressed by these protesters.

"And if police organizations and departments acknowledge that there’s a problem and there’s an issue, then that, too, is going to contribute to real solutions. And, as I said yesterday, that is what’s going to ultimately help make the job of being a cop a lot safer. It is in the interest of police officers that their communities trust them and that the kind of rancor and suspicion that exists right now is alleviated."
Trust goes both ways, and right now it seems that the President doesn't have a whole lot of it...