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'Dirty War' editorial shocks Argentines, including paper's own reporters

Source: Washington Post

The first news cycle after the election of Mauricio Macri as president of Argentina included an unusual contribution from La Nacion, one of the country's top newspapers: an editorial headlined "No More Vengeance."

The gist of the instantly controversial piece was that the time had come to forget about the crimes committed during Argentina's 1976-1983 military dictatorship. The editorial argued that the old regime's leftist opponents were "ideologically committed to terrorist groups" and acted in a way "no different" from the militants who attacked Paris earlier this month. It also bemoaned the "shameful" treatment of regime officials imprisoned for human rights crimes despite their "old age."


The piece provoked swift condemnation by many Argentines, including many of the newspaper's own reporters. They took to social media to disavow the unsigned opinion piece, and the newspaper published a photo of dozens in the newsroom holding up signs that said, "I condemn the editorial."


The editorial waded into especially sensitive territory — the legacy of the "Dirty War," in which tens of thousands of people were killed or made to "disappear" by government forces, and ongoing human rights trials against the perpetrators.

Part of the concern was the timing, as it prompted fears that the newly elected Macri government might be more open to forgiving these crimes than voters had been led to believe. As Jonathan Watts and Uki Gońi wrote in Britain's Guardian newspaper, "Many middle- and upper-class Macri supporters want the trials to end. They prefer to speak of 'reconciliation', a catchword for amnesty, now that hundreds of former officers have been convicted — many of so advanced an age that about 300 are estimated to have died so far in jail, either serving their sentences or pending trial."


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/11/24/dirty-war-editorial-shocks-argentines-including-papers-own-reporters/

Experts say it's only a matter of time before the "big one" shakes Oklahoma

Source: KFOR TV News

Oklahoma is no longer known as the state where the wind comes sweeping down the plains. Now, the Sooner State also leads the world in seismic activity.

This year, more than 5, 000 earthquakes have been recorded and studied in our state. Residents have become accustomed to the little shaking, rattling and rolling.

However, experts say earthquakes in Oklahoma will likely increase in magnitude over time.

Now, research said it's only a matter of time before we get a big one that will change life for those of us living here.


Read more: http://kfor.com/2015/11/23/only-a-matter-of-time-before-the-big-one-shakes-oklahoma/

Yoga class cancelled at University of Ottawa over 'cultural issues'

Source: CBC

A yoga instructor who says her free class at the University of Ottawa was cancelled because of concerns over cultural appropriation believes the student union's issues are misplaced.

Jen Scharf said she's been teaching a free yoga class for the university's Centre for Students with Disabilities, which is run by the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, for the last seven years.


"I guess it was this cultural appropriation issue because yoga originally comes from India," she said on Sunday. "I told them, 'Why don't we just change the name of the course?' It's simple enough, just call it mindful stretching.… We're not going through the finer points of scripture. We're talking about basic physical awareness and how to stretch so that you feel good.

"That went back and forth… The higher-ups at the student federation got involved, finally we got an email routed through the student federation basically saying they couldn't get a French name and nobody wants to do it, so we're going to cancel it for now."


Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/university-ottawa-yoga-cultural-sensitivity-1.3330441

US and China set up 'space hotline'


US and China set up ‘space hotline’
Sam Jones, Defence and Security Editor
November 20, 2015 6:23 pm

Washington and Beijing have established an emergency “space hotline” to reduce the risk of accidental conflict.

As fears grow of an orbital arms race, the new communications channel between the US and China — like the nuclear hotlines of the cold war — will serve as a diplomatic safety valve. By sharing technical information, officials hope that misunderstandings can be avoided and problems quickly resolved.

Washington already has a space hotline with Moscow as a legacy of the cold war.

China has ramped up the testing of weapons designed to knock out almost all US high-tech military capabilities by targeting the orbital networks they depend on.


Iran Guard simulates capture of Al-Aqsa Mosque

Source: Associated Press

Thousands of paramilitary forces from Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard have held a war game simulating the capture of Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque from Israeli control, state media reported Saturday.

It said forces stormed and "liberated" a replica of the mosque in the exercise. They say that 120 brigades from the Basij, the paramilitary unit of the Guard, participated in Friday's exercise outside the holy city of Qom in central Iran.

The symbolic operations were backed up by Guard helicopters, drones and Tucano planes that bombed hypothetical enemy positions before ground troops captured the replica of the mosque set up at the top of a mountain.

In a common mistake, the Guard set up a replica of the gold-topped Dome of the Rock mosque instead of the nearby gray-domed Al-Aqsa mosque. Official photos showed one of the troops going to the top of the dome and waving an Iranian flag and a red flag, a symbol of martyrdom.


Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/iran-guard-simulates-capture-al-aqsa-mosque-072202482.html

The Big Bang Theory - Pumpkin Pie With Elon Musk

Elon Musk and Wolowitz washing dishes at the soup kitchen on "The Big Bang Theory" Thanksgiving episode.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

NASA Orders SpaceX Crew Mission to International Space Station

Source: SpaceRef

NASA took a significant step Friday toward expanding research opportunities aboard the International Space Station with its first mission order from Hawthorne, California based-company SpaceX to launch astronauts from U.S. soil.

This is the second in a series of four guaranteed orders NASA will make under the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts. The Boeing Company of Houston received its first crew mission order in May.

"It's really exciting to see SpaceX and Boeing with hardware in flow for their first crew rotation missions," said Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. "It is important to have at least two healthy and robust capabilities from U.S. companies to deliver crew and critical scientific experiments from American soil to the space station throughout its lifespan."

Determination of which company will fly its mission to the station first will be made at a later time. The contracts call for orders to take place prior to certification to support the lead time necessary for missions in late 2017, provided the contractors meet readiness conditions.


Read more: http://spaceref.biz/company/nasa-orders-spacex-crew-mission-to-international-space-station.html

TPP's Orwellian Definition of "Science" in its Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Chapter


TPP’s Orwellian Definition of “Science” in its Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Chapter

Posted on November 19, 2015 by Lambert Strether


But what does Graiber really mean by science? And what does TPP mean? Not — hold onto your hats here, folks — what scientists mean. Or you.

Science vs. The Precautionary Principle

“Science,” as one might expect, is a loaded word in trade policy. For example, here’s Democratic Senator Max Baucus questioning a previous USTR, Ron Kirk. From the Eyes on Trade live blog:

Baucus : SPS?

Kirk: We will press EU to get SPS measures based on sound science, and not fear.

“Sound science” is, of course, a phrase invented by the public relations business as part of the tobacco industry’s campaign against second-hand smoke regulation. So what Kirk is really saying is that trade in cancer sticks is jake with the angels, especially when tobacco-industry funded shell groups say that smoking cancer sticks is jake with the angels. Consider rereading the lofty wording of the USTR FAQ with that perspective, and keep this in mind as we look at SPS in more detail.


“Science” Based on “Confidential Information”

Most of us think that the essence of science is the free interchange of information; that is, after all, how scientists check each other’s work. (Imagine that Newton had written Principia Mathematica, and then treated it as confidential and proprietary information. The court alchemists of Newton’s day did just that; but not scientists.) The drafters of the TPP do not take this view. From Article 17.6 of Chapter 7:


“Science” Based on “Economic Feasibility”

Most of us also think that the practice of science doesn’t take feasibility into account. For example, Watson and Crick (and Franklin) didn’t say to themselves: “Well, let’s forget this double helix thing; we don’t have any DNA machines to decode it anyhow, so proceeding further would violate the scientific method.” The TPP drafters disagree. From Article 17.9 of Chapter 7:


“Science” Assumes an Infrastructure for Doing Science

Most insidiously, the practice of science depends on an infrastructure: Laboratories, scientists, trained technicians, a budget. But the infrastructure of science is under assault. The IATP once more:

For example, since the Congress refuses to fund the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), including its import provisions, inadequately funded and staffed SPS measures of the FSMA are not “economically feasible” to implement and enforce. Because the food and agribusiness industry does not want to pay the fees to expedite trade under the FSMA, they appeal to the presidential Office of Management and Budget to do a “cost-benefit” analysis to delay levying of fees.



My watchword is always that corrupt language signals corruption. The language of TPP, and the language of TPP advocates, is as corrupt as it can be; the word “science,” to them,” means something completely different from what it means to dull normals like us. Orwell would be proud. You eat food, hence you’re a buyer. Beware!


Bernie Sanders puts Wall Street on notice: "On day one, I am appointing a special committee to inves

Source: Salon

...investigate the crimes on Wall Street"

Bernie Sanders has long described himself as a democratic socialist and has found himself fending off mischaracterizations of his political ideology quite often on the campaign trail, so much so that he plans to hold a major address on Thursday explicitly detailing what it means to be a democratic socialist. Ahead of Sanders’ big speech, Rolling Stone is out with its new cover feature on his political revolution and as an interview with the candidate while he was on the campaign trail back in May reveals, the populist seems just as committed to major reform as ever — starting with Wall Street.

The Vermont senator told Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson that his first course of action upon entering the White House would be to go after the Wall Street executives responsible for the 2008 global financial collapse. Not one Wall Street executive has ever been held criminally liable for the rampant financial malfeasance that dove the world markets into a tailspin.

Sanders described to Rolling Stone exactly how such inaction came about and why he thinks President Obama “blew it” on holding Wall Street executives accountable:

About a half-dozen of us went to visit the president, I’m guessing six months into his term. And we went into the White House, and Larry Summers was there and Geithner was there. We had all their money people, all their financial people. That was the issue.

I like the president very much, and I have supported him. We’ve worked together. But these are some of the disagreements we have. The American people were crushed by the greed and illegal behavior on Wall Street, right? And the American people wanted justice.

And we said to the president – I wasn’t alone on this – we said, “Mr. President, you gotta do something. You gotta be tough on this issue.” The end result was seven years have come and gone and there are still no high-ranking CEOs who are in jail. There are kids who smoke marijuana who have criminal records, but not CEOs of large corporations. No matter what kind of crimes and illegal activity, these guys are too big to jail?

That is one of the reasons why people become alienated from the political process. They just don’t see justice. From a public-policy point of view, in terms of holding people accountable for serious crimes, the Obama administration blew it. From a political point of view, in giving people confidence that we have a criminal-justice system that works for all, regardless of their wealth or power, it blew it.

“Now what do you think a president should have done,” Sanders offered, “on day one, I am appointing a special committee to investigate the crimes on Wall Street.”

“We’re gonna move this quickly,” Sanders promised. “And if these people are found guilty, they will be in jail. Nobody in America is above the law,” Sanders declared, arguing that many Wall Street executives had “committed some very serious crimes.”


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2015/11/18/bernie_sanders_puts_wall_street_on_notice_on_day_one_i_am_appointing_a_special_committee_to_investigate_the_crimes_on_wall_street/

Two new Syfy shows: "The Expanse" and "Childood's End"

Both start soon on the Syfy channel.
Just found about them.

The Expanse starts on Nov 23:



Childhood's End starts Dec 14:



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