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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 34,532

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Dallas Newspaper Picks the Wrong Week for its "Taste of Africa Comes to Dallas!" Cover



Dallas Weekly, one of the city's main black-owned newspapers, just published its latest issue online. The issue date suggests the cover was designed pre-ebola, but the timing of the email blast they just put out is ... unfortunate.

http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2014/10/dallas_newspaper_may_want_to_rethink_its_taste_of_africa_comes_to_dallas_cover.php

Putin Among The Surprises On Nobel Peace Prize List

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced October 11. 2014's been a tough year for peace, with so many places in the world embroiled in war, suffering and ferment. But there are a few names that seem to keep coming up for the prize. Pope Francis has been nominated and Malala Yousafzai, the 17-year-old advocate for education and women's rights. Then there are few names that may be surprises - Edward Snowden, the former national security agency contractor who revealed a lot of agency secrets, Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. soldier known as Bradley Manning, who's serving a 35-year sentence for disclosing classified information through WikiLeaks, and Vladimir Putin. The International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World nominated the president of Russia for his efforts to prevent the U.S. from launching airstrikes on the Assad regime. Putin's been nominated despite Ukraine and Chechnya and Georgia and supplying arms to the Assad regime in Syria. The group said that Mr. Putin is a promoter of peace.

http://www.npr.org/2014/10/04/353679002/putin-among-the-surprises-on-nobel-peace-prize-list

5.8 million Americans can't vote because of their criminal records

Most states prohibit people from voting while in prison for a felony. Even if someone isn't physically incarcerated, if they're serving a criminal sentence for a felony conviction, they're probably not allowed to vote. Twelve states make it illegal for some people with felony convictions to vote even after they've finished their sentences.

As a result, according to the Sentencing Project, 5.8 million American citizens have lost their voting rights through the criminal-justice system. And one in every thirteen African-American citizens has lost his or her right to vote this way.

This map, compiled by the Sentencing Project based on 2012 data, shows which states have disenfranchised the biggest shares of their electorates:

The map shows that just disenfranchising people who are currently serving sentences for felonies doesn't have nearly as much of an effect on the electorate as disenfranchising people after they've finished their sentences. All but two states — Maine and Vermont — make it illegal for people to vote from prison if they've been convicted of felonies. Thirty-five states prohibit people from voting if they're on parole after being released from prison, and 31 make it illegal for people to vote who are on probation for a crime (even though they may not have gone to prison at all).


map at link, plus more:
http://www.vox.com/2014/10/5/6906875/state-prisoner-voting-law-felon-disenfranchisement-map-virginia

Woman caught burglarizing cars said she was was looking for members of ISIS

BY ROBIN FITZGERALD

JACKSON COUNTY -- Sheriff's officials said a woman caught burglarizing students' cars at East Central High School claimed she was looking for members of ISIS, the world's deadliest terrorist group.

Investigators believe there is no merit to the woman's claim, spokeswoman Cherie Ward said.

Deputies arrested Lisa Carol Roche, 41, of Hurley, Friday afternoon.

Officials said her children attend classes at the school.

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2014/10/03/5835544_sheriff-hurley-woman-caught-burglarizing.html

Toon: Worse than Molotov Cocktails!

Toon: Julia Pierson's Looking For Work

Why war? It's a question Americans should be asking.

By GREGORY A. DADDIS

As the United States charges once more into war, little debate has centered on the actual utility of war. Instead, policymakers and pundits have focused their comments on combating the latest danger to our nation and its interests as posed by Islamic State militants.

In late August, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel claimed Islamic State was an “imminent threat to every interest we have” and that the sophisticated group was “beyond anything we've seen.” With few dissenting voices, either in Congress or in the American media, U.S. air forces plunged again into the unstable region of the Middle East. The only remaining deliberation, it seemed, was whether “boots on the ground” were necessary to dismantle and defeat this new threat to democracy and freedom.

For well over a decade — one might suggest over multiple decades — the United States has been engaged in war, yet so few in the public sphere seem willing to ask, as a Vietnam-era hit song did: “War, what is it good for?”

It seems plausible to argue that war is a phenomenon increasingly serving itself rather than any durable political goals. Military theorists from an earlier age sought to place war firmly in its political context. In the early 1800s, Carl von Clausewitz, while acknowledging that war's results should never be regarded as final, still spoke of war performing a political purpose. A century later, Britain's Basil Liddell Hart suggested that strategists should look beyond war to the “subsequent peace.”

But what if peace never comes? What if war only engenders new enemies and new threats?

more

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-1005-daddis-utility-of-war-20141005-story.html

Can you imagine the ecstasy of the media had Rmoney won in 2012?

If Mittens were in office, and we had the exact same economic recovery that Obama has overseen, is there any doubt that the media would all be screaming about the "Mitt Miracle"? Mittens promised that he would take 4 years to get unemployment down to 6%. Obama, since 2012, has done it in 2, with no help from Congress. One can argue that it has been mainly due to natural rebound and the Fed's actions, but the President has supported the Fed (as opposed to Mittens' party, who wanted all economic supporting actions killed and rates raised).

Of course, had Mittens gotten elected, his austerity policies would have sent us into a new depression, and we would have a ton of troops fighting a 3 front war in Iraq (Iran, Syria, Iraq resistance).

Facebook plots first steps into healthcare

BY CHRISTINA FARR AND ALEXEI ORESKOVIC

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc (FB.O) already knows who your friends are and the kind of things that grab your attention. Soon, it could also know the state of your health.

On the heels of fellow Silicon Valley technology companies Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Google Inc (GOOGL.O), Facebook is plotting its first steps into the fertile field of healthcare, said three people familiar with the matter. The people requested anonymity as the plans are still in development.

The company is exploring creating online "support communities" that would connect Facebook users suffering from various ailments. A small team is also considering new "preventative care" applications that would help people improve their lifestyles.


In recent months, the sources said, the social networking giant has been holding meetings with medical industry experts and entrepreneurs, and is setting up a research and development unit to test new health apps. Facebook is still in the idea-gathering stage, the people said.

more
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/03/us-facebook-health-idUSKCN0HS09720141003

The Most Ambitious Environmental Lawsuit Ever

By NATHANIEL RICH

In Louisiana, the most common way to visualize the state’s existential crisis is through the metaphor of football fields. The formulation, repeated in nearly every local newspaper article about the subject, goes like this: Each hour, Louisiana loses about a football field’s worth of land. Each day, the state loses nearly the accumulated acreage of every football stadium in the N.F.L. Were this rate of land loss applied to New York, Central Park would disappear in a month. Manhattan would vanish within a year and a half. The last of Brooklyn would dissolve four years later. New Yorkers would notice this kind of land loss. The world would notice this kind of land loss. But the hemorrhaging of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands has gone largely unremarked upon beyond state borders. This is surprising, because the wetlands, apart from their unique ecological significance and astounding beauty, buffer the impact of hurricanes that threaten not just New Orleans but also the port of South Louisiana, the nation’s largest; just under 10 percent of the country’s oil reserves; a quarter of its natural-gas supply; a fifth of its oil-refining capacity; and the gateway to its internal waterway system. The attenuation of Louisiana, like any environmental disaster carried beyond a certain point, is a national-security threat.

Where does it go, this vanishing land? It sinks into the sea. The Gulf of Mexico is encroaching northward, while the marshes are deteriorating from within, starved by a lack of river sediment and poisoned by seawater. Since 2011, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has delisted more than 30 place names from Plaquemines Parish alone. English Bay, Bay Jacquin, Cyprien Bay, Skipjack Bay and Bay Crapaud have merged like soap bubbles into a single amorphous body of water. The lowest section of the Mississippi River Delta looks like a maple leaf that has been devoured down to its veins by insects. The sea is rising along the southeast coast of Louisiana faster than it is anywhere else in the world.

The land loss is swiftly reversing the process by which the state was built. As the Mississippi shifted its course over the millenniums, spraying like a loose garden hose, it deposited sand and silt in a wide arc. This sediment first settled into marsh and later thickened into solid land. But what took 7,000 years to create has been nearly destroyed in the last 85. Dams built on the tributaries of the Mississippi, as far north as Montana, have reduced the sediment load by half. Levees penned the river in place, preventing the floods that are necessary to disperse sediment across the delta. The dredging of two major shipping routes, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, invited saltwater into the wetlands’ atrophied heart.

more

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/02/magazine/mag-oil-lawsuit.html
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