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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

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'NY Times' Columnist Laments Woes of Rich Kids

Are you sick and tired of the poors getting all the attention and sympathy? Are you afraid you might end up living near scary, thuggish brown people? Then don't miss New York Times columnist Ron Lieber's work!
Let's start with the travails of those woebegone rich people and their kids, using the murder case of Thomas Gilbert, the 30-year-old trust-fund baby and Princeton grad who murdered his father when his father cut his allowance.

Twitter responded as Twitter does. He was a “trust fund kid.” The “most spoiled brat.” The whole affair was “morbidly disgusting.”
But at the same time, parents all over my own social media feeds and in out-loud discussions throughout the week were having a more searching conversation.

So uncouth Twitter was making fun of the situation, but his rich friends were like, "woah, that's just like us!"

Before you roll your eyes and mime the playing of violins, let us dispense with the nasty term “rich people problems.” The well-off are human, too, and if some of their children are hurting, it’s indecent to mock or ignore them.

Ha ha, no, it's not. When your 30-year-old Ivy-League grad is living off mommy and daddy and getting an allowance, that's perfectly mockable, no matter how much that asshole moocher and his idiot-enabling parents are "hurting." Ignoring them would be too kind.



"The Dream Of Reconciliation"- Next week's New Yorker Cover

Barry Blitt drew next week’s cover, inspired by the photographs of the Selma-to-Montgomery march that are everywhere again. “It struck me that King’s vision was both the empowerment of African-Americans, the insistence on civil rights, but also the reconciliation of people who seemed so hard to reconcile,” he said. “In New York and elsewhere, the tension between the police and the policed is at the center of things. Like Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, Martin Luther King was taken way too early. It is hard to believe things would have got as bad as they are if he was still around today.”


Hitting it out of the park again

BART protest in San Francisco closes stations, limits service

Source: SFGate

BART closed the Montgomery and Embarcadero stations in downtown San Francisco on Friday morning as activists swarmed the system to protest against police brutality. As of 8 a.m., trains were running through the two stations without stopping.

The Montgomery station reopened at one point before BART closed it again. BART police officers made at least two arrests.

Activists said they wanted to shut down the stations to call attention to what they believe is the unfair prosecution of 14 protesters who have been charged by Alameda County prosecutors for allegedly halting BART service by chaining themselves to trains and each other at the West Oakland station.

Friday’s protest began at 7 a.m. at the Montgomery station. Organizers encouraged people to bring metal spoons, and protesters were banging the spoons against walls as the demonstration kicked off. BART police were on the scene.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BART-girds-for-protest-at-Montgomery-Station-6020069.php

Friday TOON Roundup 3 - The Rest

Toons and Terror

“They Murdered My Idols”






Friday TOON Roundup 2 -Poisoned Party

Friday TOON Roundup 1 - Oh, No, Not Again!

Charles P Pierce - Congratulations to my new friend from Iowa

To hell with the Oscar nominations -- American Sniper? Really? -- this is the real announcement of the day.

Ernst, who beat Democrat Bruce Braley decisively in November, told reporters she is "humbled and honored" to have the opportunity to deliver the address. The announcement was made at a Republican legislative retreat in Hersey, Pennsylvania. She won national headlines during the campaign for her ad "Squeal," in which she noted that her upbringing on a hog farm offered her expertise in "how to cut pork."

My new friend Joni gets the big spotlight under which "Bobby" Jindal withered, and Marco Rubio was parched? This is beyond fab. Truly, it is. My guess is that we will hear very little about Agenda 21, the secret UN plan to steal all our golfs, and very little about nullification, and very little about those moochers on Medicaid, or very much of substance on any issue currently bedeviling the nation, because my new friend Joni doesn't do issues any more. Not since she realized that: a) she doesn't know a lot about most of them, and b) what she does know about them is generally both wrong and exceedingly unpopular, not to mention batty, but that she could get elected to the U.S. Senate regardless. But, make no mistake. She's not going to fall into the orchestra pit, the way Jindal and Rubio did. She is going to be prepped to the nines, and she is going to come across on TV because she comes across on TV. By the end of the speech, Bill Kristol is going to be taking Sarah Palin's photo out of that heart-shaped frame by his bed, and even the gang on MSNBC, led by L'il Russ, who's already half-gone on the woman, will be telling us what a "superstar" she is, and how charismatic, and, maybe by next Thursday, it will be noted by someone what a pile of weightless banality the whole speech was.

See, here's the thing. Joni Ernst is a box of rocks. She's a jumped-up state legislator whose worldview is that of somebody waiting on hold to speak to Steve Deace on the radio. This will be the case even if she manages to get through her "response" next Tuesday night with more aplomb than those old has-beens, Jindal and Rubio. Resist any attempt to make a star out of this woman. Believe your own lying eyes. It's very important.


Twin Brothers Film Themselves Coming Out to Their Dad in Emotional Video

Twin brothers Aaron and Austin Rhodes had come out to everyone in their family except for their father. But as rising YouTube stars, known as the Rhodes Bros, they decided they needed to tell him before he learned the news from their videos.

As the camera is rolling, they are both so nervous (“I think I’m going to pass out,” said one), crying a little bit as they struggle to get the words out.

“I just don’t want you to not love us anymore,”Austin says.

But the father reassures them that he will still be there for them. “Oh stop it,” he says, “It’s the way things are. You know I love you both. That will never change. You have to live your lives.”


How Plastics From Your Clothes Can End Up in Your Fish

The key remains in your washing machine

You wouldn’t eat the tiny plastic fibers that come off your fleece jacket, would you? Research released last week suggests we might be eating the fish that do. This study—the first of its kind—found that Great Lakes fish are swallowing micro-plastic fibers that have found their way into the waste stream from washing machines. And the fish that ingest them include species sought after by Great Lakes anglers, among them: brown trout, cisco—also known as “lake herring”—and perch.

“Every one of the 18 species we sampled showed some plastic and the majority of this was fibers,” explained Sherri Mason, professor of chemistry and environmental sciences program coordinator at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Mason and Laura Kammin, pollution prevention program specialist with the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, sampled 17 different southern Lake Michigan fish species for the presence of microplastics. None of the species they examined were free of contamination.

The fibers, they explained, get sluiced down the drain when synthetic fabrics, often made up of plastic, go through the wash. Washing machines don’t typically have filter traps and the tiny fibers also slip through wastewater treatment. Because they are made of plastic polymers designed to resist environmental degradation, they do just that—persist in the environment rather than degrading quickly as might bio-based fibers, like cotton or wool. Fish then ingest the fibers when they feed. When we eat those fish, we’ll be eating those fibers too.



How Elizabeth Warren Is Yanking Hillary Clinton to the Left

She may not run, but she’s already exerting a gravitational pull

Elizabeth Warren, the famously anti–Wall Street Senator from Massachusetts, has become the lunar goddess of liberal politics. Just as the moon pulls the tides, Warren is slowly but steadily towing the economic conversation in the Democratic Party to the left. Witness the barn-burning speech she gave on the Senate floor in December, railing against the fact that lobbyists from Citigroup and other big banks had been allowed to squeeze a rider into the latest congressional budget bill that would make it easier for federally insured banks to keep trading derivatives, which Warren Buffett once described as the “financial weapons of mass destruction” that sparked the 2008 crisis. Then there was her opposition to President Obama’s most recent Treasury nominee, Antonio Weiss, a banker who Warren told me “has no background to justify his nomination other than working for a big Wall Street firm.” (Weiss dropped out shortly after Warren began denouncing him.) Couple that with her continued calls to break up the big banks and criticism of policies espoused by longtime Democratic economic advisers like Bob Rubin and Larry Summers, and you’ve the makings of a consequential gravitational pull.

Warren is more than just a dogged critic. The former Harvard law professor’s influence comes in large part because she’s tapped into an existential crisis on the left: namely, liberals’ belated anxiety over the capture of the Democratic Party by high finance, which began two decades ago. Ronald Reagan might be the President most closely associated with laissez-faire economics, but both Republicans and Democrats have frequently turned to finance to generate quick-hit growth in tough times, deregulating markets or loosening monetary policy rather than focusing on underlying fixes for the real economy. Shrugging and citing a market-knows-best philosophy to avoid difficult political decisions has been a bipartisan exercise for quite a long time now.

And the anxiety is deepened because democrats, like Republicans, bear blame for the financial crisis of 2008. Jimmy Carter deregulated interest rates in 1980, a move that pacified consumers and financiers grappling with stagflation but also helped set the stage for the home-mortgage implosion. In 1999, as President Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Rubin signed off on the Glass-Steagall banking-regulation death certificate, a move that many, Warren included, believe was a key factor in worsening the crisis. Loose accounting standards supported by many Democrats during the Clinton years also encouraged the growth of stock options as the main form of corporate compensation, a trend that French academic Thomas Piketty, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and many other economists believe exacerbated the staggering gap between rich and poor in the U.S. today. I asked Warren whether she blamed such policies for our current wage stagnation, which has persisted despite robust economic growth. “I’d lay it right at the feet of trickle-down economics, yes,” she says. “We’ve tried that experiment for 35 years, and it hasn’t worked.”

Speculation has been rife that Warren might consider a presidential run of her own, taking on front runner Hillary Clinton just to make sure the same trickle-down team doesn’t end up in office again. When I ask her flatly if she’d run if she thought a Rubin or Summers would be making economic policy for the next four years, she paused. “I tell you … I’m going to do everything I can. I’m going to fight as hard as I have to. This has to change.”


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