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Number of posts: 43,673
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Source: Bloomberg News
@BloombergNews: ALERT: U.S. Supreme Court refuses to rule on gay marriage, allowing same sex marriage in up 11 new states
@BloombergNews: Number of gay-marriage states now likely to rise to 30 plus the District of Columbia: http://t.co/4moWBXCmra/s/YshI http://t.co/D1VT2HXbFb/s/jdVQ
@SCOTUSblog: Appeals court decisions striking down SSM bans remain in effect. Other challenges continue. SCOTUS review waits for another day.
@SCOTUSblog: Practically, today SCOTUS recognized a right to SSM. Implausible that later it will undo marriages, absent a big change in Ct's membership.
U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Rule on Gay Marriage
By Greg Stohr
October 06, 2014 9:43 AM EDT
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected calls for a nationwide ruling on same-sex marriage, a rebuff that lets gays marry in as many as 11 new states and leaves legal uncertainty elsewhere.
The denial today of seven pending appeals defied predictions. Advocates on both sides had urged the justices to resolve the issue following a wave of lower court rulings that the Constitution guarantees same-sex marriage rights.
The rejection lets three federal appeals decisions take effect, legalizing same-sex marriage in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana. Six other states -- Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina -- will likely follow because they fall under the jurisdiction of those appellate courts.
Those additions will bring the number of gay-marriage states to 30, plus the District of Columbia.
Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-06/u-s-supreme-court-refuses-to-rule-on-gay-marriage.html
Posted by Hissyspit | Mon Oct 6, 2014, 09:52 AM (69 replies)
Source: CBS News
@CBSNews: A person with possible Ebola symptoms has been hospitalized in Washington, D.C., out of "an abundance of caution." http://t.co/Fhi77AsmFB/s/QF31
Patient hospitalized in D.C. with possible Ebola symptoms
Oct 3, 2014 12:05 PM EDT
A person with possible Ebola symptoms has been hospitalized in Washington, D.C. out of "an abundance of caution," the hospital confirmed in a statement.
The patient, who traveled to the U.S. from Nigeria, has been hospitalized at Howard University Hospital in Washington.
"We can confirm that a patient has been admitted to Howard University Hospital in stable condition, following travel to Nigeria and presenting with symptoms that could be associated with Ebola," hospital spokesperson Kerry-Ann Hamilton said in a statement Friday.
"In an abundance of caution, we have activated the appropriate infection control protocols, including isolating the patient. Our medical team continues to evaluate and monitor progress in close collaboration with the CDC and the Department of Health.
"For privacy reasons, we cannot share additional details about the case. We will continue to provide key updates as the situation warrants."
Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ebola-outbreak-patient-hospitalized-in-d-c-with-possible-ebola-symptoms/
Posted by Hissyspit | Fri Oct 3, 2014, 12:15 PM (20 replies)
Sweden to recognise state of Palestine
STOCKHOLM Fri Oct 3, 2014 8:50am EDT
(Reuters) - Sweden's new center-left government will recognise the state of Palestine in a move that will make it the first major European country to take the step, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Friday.
The U.N. General Assembly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine in 2012 but the European Union and most EU countries, have yet to give official recognition.
"The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law," Lofven said during his inaugural address in parliament.
"A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognise the state of Palestine."
For the Palestinians, Sweden's move will be a welcome boost for its ambitions.
Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/03/us-sweden-politics-palestinians-idUSKCN0HS0XN20141003
Posted by Hissyspit | Fri Oct 3, 2014, 10:35 AM (33 replies)
Source: Associated Press
@AP: BREAKING: Colorado school board approves review of U.S. history class changes that sparked protests
@AP: Correction: Colorado school board expands curriculum committees; history proposal still on the table: http://t.co/3UVIkLAieq/s/RhdT
Controversial Colorado history plan still alive
BY COLLEEN SLEVIN
OCT. 2, 2014 11:31 PM EDT
GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — A suburban Denver school board under fire for proposing a review of Advanced Placement U.S. history has voted to include students, parents and administrators in its curriculum reviews, but isn't backing off the original history proposal that has sent waves of students into the streets to protest.
Hundreds of students, teachers and parents packed the Thursday evening school board meeting and watched live video on a screen set up outside.
Some in the audience yelled "resign" and "recall, recall" as the board voted 3-2 to expand the membership on two existing curriculum review committees. They will now include students, parents and administrators and their meetings will have to be held in public.
It's not immediately clear whether the committees will review the history course.
Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/5638f9e60740470db9db30b204b33a1a/history-fight-coming-head-suburban-denver
Posted by Hissyspit | Thu Oct 2, 2014, 11:33 PM (43 replies)
Ten percent of female University of Oregon students raped: survey
By Lee van der Voo
Wed Oct 1, 2014 10:09pm EDT
PORTLAND Ore. (Reuters) - About 10 percent of female University of Oregon students surveyed have been raped while attending the school and the vast majority of those sexual assault cases were never reported to campus officials, school researchers found.
The findings come after the school faced criticism over its handling of an alleged rape involving three basketball players that preceded the resignation of former university president Michael Gottfredson.
University researchers said 35 percent of students - and 14 percent of men - had at least one forcible sexual encounter and about 90 percent of students assaulted never told of the violence.
"We think it's terrible," said interim president and provost of the school Scott Coltrane.
He said the findings "reflect the incidence rates that we're hearing from across the country, so that is not a surprise, but there are pieces there that are alarming," chiefly the low number of students who report the crimes.
Posted by Hissyspit | Wed Oct 1, 2014, 10:40 PM (1 replies)
Source: Bloomberg News
@BreakingNews: CDC confirms 1st Ebola case diagnosed in US; press conference at 5:30 pm ET - @CNBC, @Reuters http://t.co/LVo0v4ptr1/s/Y1yP
First Ebola Case Is Diagnosed in the U.S., CDC Reports
By Kelly Gilblom
September 30, 2014 4:50 PM EDT
The first Ebola case has been diagnosed in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control said today in a statement.
A hospital in Dallas had been testing a person based on their travel history and symptoms, said in a statement earlier today. Another patient was being evaluated at a National Institutes of Health facility. It’s not clear if either patient is the one referred to in the CDC’s initial report.
Read more: http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-30/first-ebola-case-is-diagnosed-in-the-u-s-cdc-reports.html
Posted by Hissyspit | Tue Sep 30, 2014, 04:54 PM (96 replies)
MUST-READ: "If Regular Americans Acted Like the Moneyed Class, Our Country Would Collapse in a Week"
"If regular Americans acted like corporations and the moneyed class, our country would collapse in a week from systemic theft, corruption and greed..."
MONDAY, SEP 29, 2014 07:00 AM EDT
The big “middle class” rip-off: How a short sale taught me rich people’s ethics
So many of us are clueless about business and finance. Here's why that's just the way the investment class likes it
“Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” – Honoré de Balzac.
The closest I ever came to acting like a rich person was two years ago when I short-sold my primary residence. I might have been able to keep it but strategic default made life easier. I owed about $400,000 on a house that short-sold for $150K. The bank lost more than a quarter of a million dollars, and I lost at least $80K in down payment and property improvements. In a short sale the bank agrees to settle debt for the lesser amount and the seller gets nothing but is “punished” by not being able to finance another house for at least two years (rules vary). My moment of acting rich was when I bought a second house before short-selling the first to skirt around the repercussions of my own bad luck.
When the housing market tanked a few years ago, the government rescued every bank and business (even a damned insurance company), while ignoring everyone else. I realized that the game was fatally lopsided, so I didn’t just walk away in middle-class shame, but rather I employed all my (extremely limited) cunning and deviousness to get a similar home before ditching the old one. I was able to cash in on low housing prices from a couple of years ago, coupled with low interest rates, to come out on top. The biggest barrier to getting a great deal was an almost overpowering need to behave like a middle-class sucker.
I was taught growing up to “keep my word” and that your handshake “meant something.” Yet businessmen and individual wealthy people make decisions that are far less moral than a short sale. People “incorporate” so they can avoid legal responsibility for individual actions. It works great. You can stiff creditors, declare bankruptcy, pollute daily and raid pensions to enrich individual executives. If it all goes wrong, like it has so often for Donald Trump, you can keep your mansions and individual fortunes. It is no accident that the best-paid CEO in America has never made a dime for the company. If regular Americans acted like corporations and the moneyed class, our country would collapse in a week from systemic theft, corruption and greed.
I always knew business was getting over on me, but I had no idea the extent until I started looking to short-sell. I first learned all I could about private home financing. I called up some shady investment groups around town and questioned them at length. I didn’t end up using them, but they were frank, informative and unashamed.
“Who would pay 11 percent on a home loan?” I asked.
“Rich people,” said “Bill” from the legal loan-sharking company. “The rich have terrible credit.”
Rich people = bad credit: Just let that sink in.
- snip -
Living a middle-class life is an impediment to meaningful change. We are taught that we have everything we should dare to expect and capitalism has “worked” for us. Middle-class people are also urged to hate poor people, and those who cannot or will not work. They are the “other,” the moocher class. Poor people are the reason you haven’t gotten a raise in five years or that your house is worthless or that your company only gives you one week off a year. Those who have something detest those with nothing. We’re letting rich people get away with fleecing America, while turning our rage on poor people.
When you examine it, you cannot blame the rich for the oligarchy we’ve become or for what looks more and more like the return of Dark Age feudalism. Rather, the blame lies with my fellow work-a-day slobs who vote for politicians and policies that favor investment and wealth over the work of regular people. Middle-class Americans are self-flagellating and dispirited over their own lack of wealth, as if it were a character flaw. At the same time, they fall for the deception that everyone can be rich when, of course, most people lack the connections, education and plain old luck to even get close.
I can uncover an individual’s actual potential for wealth with one easy test: If you equate business opportunity with a multilevel marketing scheme, like Amway, you will never be rich. If that doesn’t work, just ask yourself if you think you’ve got a shot at winning the lottery. If the answer is “yes,” you will most assuredly die poorer than you are now.
Posted by Hissyspit | Mon Sep 29, 2014, 10:21 AM (58 replies)
SUNDAY, SEP 28, 2014 10:00 AM EDT
You don’t “have nothing to hide”: How privacy breaches are quietly controlling you
Government data collection is scary for many reasons. But least understood: what it does to our personal creativity
FALGUNI A. SHETH
Edward Snowden’s leaks reminded us about the extent to which the notion of privacy is no longer our own. The last few years have brought home the fact that between the telecommunication companies, street surveillance cameras, tollbooth cameras and EZ-pass, and corporations such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook, virtually no aspect of our lives is immune from the intrusive watch of some agency of the state.
- snip -
Another reason why privacy is important, as Greenwald and many others, including the philosopher Hannah Arendt, have argued, is that privacy is crucial to personal exploration, creativity, dissent — those interests and thoughts that reflect the complexity of human beings and their ability to flourish and lead meaningful lives. But as we also know, creativity and dissent can be disruptive to the smooth functioning of society — making the lives of bureaucrats and autocratic politicians much harder because their authority would be constantly challenged. As Professor Roger Berkowitz, Director of Bard College’s Hannah Arendt Center, suggests in an excellent post on the importance of privacy for Hannah Arendt,
- snip -
Leading a meaningful life also, and often, means leading a complicated, unpredictable, undecipherable — but not necessarily a criminal or immoral life. I may be having an affair outside of my marriage — but why should this fact be up for scrutiny by the state or even my neighbors? Why should anyone else judge those actions except for myself and my marital partner (and maybe it’s OK with him/her). How does my calling someone on the Pakistan/India border tell the NSA anything interesting about me — unless they are also making huge, overgeneralized judgments based on my ethnic and religious identity? Not only independent thinking, but unruly (read: brown, black, Muslim) appearances are also enough to rouse suspicion. Recently we saw this through the Intercept’s story about the FBI and NSA surveillance of five prominent Muslims, from professors to Republican Party members, to the head of the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR).
But spying isn’t necessarily just about obtaining information. Surveillance is about gaining control. Collecting information on you — whether by the NSA, health insurance companies, the NYPD or a hacker — is an effort to predict your behavior and then to take steps to box it in, to stop you from acting in ways that are nonconforming (but not necessarily criminal), or to profit from your wayward behavior. We see this constantly: Credit reporting agencies collect all sorts of data about you — your spending habits, how many credit cards you have, how prompt you are in paying those bills, how many times you’ve been late, what kind of disputes you’ve had with other parties to whom you owe money. The official story for this kind of data accumulation is that they are attempting to assess what kind of credit risk you are. The problem with this is that their inferences about your behavior are often just plain wrong, if not dumb; having had a credit card dispute because I’ve refused to pay a certain charge does not necessarily make me irresponsible. It might instead mean that I’m likely to challenge charges that I think are unfair or wrong — which of course is a negative behavior in the eyes of a mortgage company or an employer (since we now know that employers regularly collect credit information about prospective employees) — the idea that I might challenge inaccuracies or unfairness might mean that I have an obstreperous personality that isn’t actually conducive to the “go along and get along” personalities that employers and mortgage companies value. So that means a higher mortgage interest rate for me.
Similarly, the NSA’s collection of information about my online life — whether I’m visiting the sites of fundamentalist imams or calling someone monthly who lives near the Pakistan/India border, is also an attempt to assess my politics and what kind of company I keep — in order to decide whether I am a so-called “threat” to the national security of the United States. But surfing those websites or calling someone near the Pakistan/India border tells the NSA very little about my thinking process: For one thing, it’s often difficult to know exactly why someone is doing something unless you can actually get inside their heads (Shhh, don’t give the NSA any ideas). Maybe I’m visiting the site because I’m doing a report about Islam, or because I’m skeptical about the news stories I come across that tell me that the imam whose sermons are on that site is a terrorist, or because I’m looking for spiritual meaning. None of these mean that I will or want to become a terrorist — but they do mean that I am doing something that the state finds suspicious, or that they don’t want me to do.
- snip -
And here is where it gets interesting: When someone says “I have nothing to hide,” this is another way of saying, “I am not the kind of person that the government is looking for. I am neither suspicious nor a criminal. I am not someone who breaks the law.”
But that translation only works if you have never been the object of false suspicion...
Posted by Hissyspit | Sun Sep 28, 2014, 07:39 PM (17 replies)
Source: NBC News / Raw Story
@BreakingNews: Grand jury issues no indictments of Beavercreek, Ohio, police officers in fatal shooting of Wal-Mart shopper John Crawford III - @NBCNews
Grand jury declines to charge two officers involved in fatal Walmart shooting
24 SEP 2014
grand jury declined to indict two police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a black man carrying a toy gun at an Ohio Walmart store.
One of the officers shot 22-year-old John Crawford at the store Aug. 5 after a 911 caller reported he was pointing what appeared to be an assault rifle at other shoppers at the Beavercreek retailer.
Grand jurors heard evidence from 18 witnesses Wednesday in the special hearing convened by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who refused to release surveillance video from the incident prior to the hearing.
Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/09/grand-jury-declines-to-charge-two-officers-involved-in-fatal-walmart-shooting
Posted by Hissyspit | Wed Sep 24, 2014, 11:51 AM (116 replies)
@RichardEngel: Syrian rebels angry airstrikes against isis also hit fighters opposing assad. Frustration and confusion, And this is only day two
Posted by Hissyspit | Tue Sep 23, 2014, 08:09 PM (10 replies)