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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 45,110

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There’s a moment here – about a minute in – when you see chimps who have lived almost all their lives in research cages finally see the world God made them for – either again or for the first time. Some are as old as 50. The look on their faces is simply one of awe. Andri Antoniades sets the scene:

The United States remains one of the only two nations in the world that still uses chimpanzees for biomedical research purposes. Kept in laboratory cages, these animals are never given the chance to see the outside world, let alone touch it with their own hands. But that is (slowly) changing. Recently a small group of federally owned laboratory chimpanzees were retired to the Chimp Haven sanctuary in Keithville, LA. The Humane Society posted this clip of some of those animals and their first foray into a natural habitat. For the elderly chimps that were originally caught in the wild, it had been decades since they experienced life outside of a cage. And for the younger chimps that had been bred in captivity, this was their first time ever stepping onto soil or feeling the embrace of others in their group unobstructed by cage bars.


still crying, kpete

Walmart shopper exercises her 2nd Amendement rights after her coupon is rejected

Woman arrested following gun altercation at Wal-Mart

On March 1, Mary Frances Alday, 61, of Crawfordville was arrested for four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of battery following an altercation at Wal-Mart that included four store employees.

Alday became verbally abusive toward a 48-year-old female employee when the employee explained that she could not use an Internet coupon. Alday struck the assistant manager with a shopping cart and was escorted out of the store. Alday went to her vehicle and retrieved a firearm in a holster. She removed the firearm from the holster and began waving it at the victim and three other store employees who had joined the investigation.


Guns are just so passé

Drones used by militaries around the world come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For instance:


76 countries have UAVs of some kind, up from 41 countries in 2005. Here's a map and list from the 58-page document:


KRUGMAN: I should have been ready to see this zombie attack me during the debate, but I wasn’t.

March 5, 2013, 9:46 am11 Comments
The Life Expectancy Zombie

So, one of the moments in my debate with JoScar — which wasn’t as bad as I felt, but should have gone much better — was my “wow” when JS raised the old line that life expectancy was 62 when Social Security started, so the program was no big deal.

Well, that’s still a “wow” thing: it’s incredible that people are still making that argument; when someone says something like that, he’s just proved himself ignorant, disingenuous, or both.

Let me just turn this over to the Social Security administration’s post on the issue:

If we look at life expectancy statistics from the 1930s we might come to the conclusion that the Social Security program was designed in such a way that people would work for many years paying in taxes, but would not live long enough to collect benefits. Life expectancy at birth in 1930 was indeed only 58 for men and 62 for women, and the retirement age was 65. But life expectancy at birth in the early decades of the 20th century was low due mainly to high infant mortality, and someone who died as a child would never have worked and paid into Social Security. A more appropriate measure is probably life expectancy after attainment of adulthood.

As Table 1 shows, the majority of Americans who made it to adulthood could expect to live to 65, and those who did live to 65 could look forward to collecting benefits for many years into the future. So we can observe that for men, for example, almost 54% of the them could expect to live to age 65 if they survived to age 21, and men who attained age 65 could expect to collect Social Security benefits for almost 13 years (and the numbers are even higher for women).

Also, it should be noted that there were already 7.8 million Americans age 65 or older in 1935 (cf. Table 2), so there was a large and growing population of people who could receive Social Security. Indeed, the actuarial estimates used by the Committee on Economic Security (CES) in designing the Social Security program projected that there would be 8.3 million Americans age 65 or older by 1940 (when monthly benefits started). So Social Security was not designed in such a way that few people would collect the benefits.

I should have been ready to see this zombie attack me during the debate, but I wasn’t. Silly me. Well, as a friend used to say, none of us are human.


John Kerry sets a pick on Dennis Rodman

Source: Politico

Secretary of State John Kerry - who’s 6’ 4” tall - could hold his own against former NBA great Dennis Rodman better than your average diplomat.

But Kerry says he would prefer that Rodman — who recently took a trip to North Korea and asked President Barack Obama to call that country’s dictator, Kim Jong Un — stay on the bench.

“You know what?” Kerry said in an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “Dennis Rodman was a great basketball player, and as a diplomat, he was a great basketball player. And that’s where we’ll leave it.”
(PHOTOS: Dennis Rodman, Kim Jong Un in North Korea)

The flamboyant onetime NBA star - who has come under fire for the visit and calling Kim his “friend” - has defended his trip to the hermetic and impoverished nation by saying he was “not apologizing” for the dictator,

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/john-kerry-sets-a-pick-on-rodman-88421.html#ixzz2MgAkbuWp

“BP prolonged Gulf of Mexico oil spill by 2 months by concealing the rate of oil flowing from well"

Transocean Turns on BP With Scorching Oil-Spill Document

NEW ORLEANS (CN) - BP prolonged the Gulf of Mexico oil spill by two months by concealing the rate of oil flowing from the broken Macondo well, Transocean claims in a document filed in the damages trial.

A bench trial to apportion damages is being held before U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier. Penalties for Clean Water Act violations alone could range from $4 billion to $17 billion.

Transocean wrote in a heavily redacted "supplemental answer and affirmative defenses" that "BP's fraud was the proximate, intervening and superseding cause of the well continuing to flow until mid-July 2010. BP's misrepresentation and concealment of material information about the flow rate caused source control decision-makers to approve proceeding with the top kill over the BOP-on-BOP strategy in mid-May 2010. Because of that, a well that could have been capped in early May 2010 emitted tens of thousands of barrels per day for another two months causing significant environmental pollution."


Transocean claims that BP's motive was to keep the true flow rate hidden, to minimize environmental fines, which are assessed by the barrel.


Scalia Fails "Literacy Test"

Corporate Super Model

Your moment of zen - Papal Conclave edition

Your moment of zen
by digby

Papal Conclave edition:

An Australian man dressed as a bishop sneaked into the meeting of more than 100 cardinals at the Vatican Monday, managing to commiserate with the Catholic princes before being thrown out by Swiss Guards.

The man, identified as Ralph Napierski, donned a short cassock, “an unusual” cross necklace, and a purple Episcopal sash that was actually a scarf, according to Italy’s Gazzetta del Sud.

He told reporters his name was “Basilius,” and a member of the "Italian Orthodox Church,” which does not appear to exist.

Before being found out, the faux-bishop told reporters the church “made a mistake by moving priests” who were accused of pedophilia around to different parishes, according to Agence France-Presse...

"All I can say is that everyone seated for the congregation is a real cardinal," Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said after Napierski was busted, according to AFP.



Reuters: Great Betrayal Is In Play; Obama Puts Medicare & Soc Sec "Compromises" On Table

Reuters: Great Betrayal Is In Play; Obama Puts Medicare and Soc Sec "Compromises" On Table:

Obama renews budget offer to cut social safety nets
By Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON | Sun Mar 3, 2013 10:48pm EST

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama raised anew the issue of cutting entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security as a way out of damaging budget cuts, a White House official said on Sunday, as both sides in Washington tried to limit a fiscal crisis that may soon hit millions of Americans.

Signaling he might be ready to explore a compromise to end automatic spending cuts that began late Friday, Obama mentioned reforming these entitlement programs in calls with lawmakers from both parties on Saturday afternoon.

"He's reaching out to Democrats who understand we have to make serious progress on long-term entitlement reform and Republicans who realize that if we had that type of entitlement reform, they'd be willing to have tax reform that raises revenues to lower the deficit," White House senior economic official Gene Sperling said on Sunday on the CNN program "State of the Union."...

...Neither Sperling nor White House spokesmen would provide further details on Obama's conversations on Saturday with members of Congress, and they did not identify the lawmakers to whom the president spoke...

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