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grahamhgreen's Journal
grahamhgreen's Journal
May 30, 2013

"I was a liberal mole at Fox News: From Bill O’Reilly to Roger Ailes, here’s all the inside dope"

For example, some unlucky guests were banned for life from every show on the network, a result of a diktat from the Second Floor. Comedian Bill Maher, once a semi-regular guest on “The Factor” and some other Fox shows, made too many cracks about Sarah Palin over the years, raising the ire of a powerful female VP who banned him from our air and demanded that all Fox-affiliated websites refer to him only as “Pig Maher.”

Sometimes entire organizations were given lifetime bans. The website Politico wrote something a few years back that rubbed Roger the wrong way (we were never told what exactly the transgression was) and word went out to all the shows: No more Politico reporters as guests. Also, any anchors who mentioned the site on air had to use the phrase “left-wing Politico” — an absurd designation for a publication that usually played it down the middle.

May 28, 2013

Chicago’s Choice: Closing 50 Schools But Spending $100 Million On Basketball Arena

As we wrote in March, the city of Chicago unveiled plans two months ago to close over 50 schools, mostly in the poorest areas.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan has sparked fierce protests, with thousands of protesters hitting the streets last weekend to oppose the school closures –arguing that they would put children at risk by having to travel further to overcrowded schools.

But while the city insists it must close these schools to close budget gaps, it has just announced that it will be dedicated as much as $100 million in public funds for the construction of a new basketball arena at DePaul University — which is about a third of the cost of the project. http://thecontributor.com/chicago%E2%80%99s-choice-closing-50-schools-spending-100-million-basketball-arena-0

Can you spell "morally bankrupt"?
May 13, 2013

The Lethality of Loneliness We now know how it can ravage our body and brain

As W. H. Auden put it, “We must love one another or die.”

At a deeper level, though, loneliness research forces us to acknowledge our own extraordinary malleability in the face of social forces. This susceptibility is both terrifying and exhilarating. On the terrifying side is the unhappy fact that isolation, especially when it stems from the disenfranchisement of the underprivileged, creates a bodily limitation all too easily reproduced in each successive generation. Given that we have been scaling back the kinds of programs that could help people overcome such disadvantages and that many in Congress, mostly Republicans, have been trying to defund exactly the kind of behavioral science research that could yield even better programs, we have reason to be afraid. But there’s something awe-inspiring about our resilience, too. Put an orphan in foster care, and his brain will repair its missing connections. Teach a lonely person to respond to others without fear and paranoia, and over time, her body will make fewer stress hormones and get less sick from them. Care for a pet or start believing in a supernatural being and your score on the UCLA Loneliness Scale will go down. Even an act as simple as joining an athletic team or a church can lead to what Cole calls “molecular remodeling.” “One message I take away from this is, ‘Hey, it’s not just early life that counts,’ ” he says. “We have to choose our life well.”http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113176/science-loneliness-how-isolation-can-kill-you#

May 13, 2013

US drone strikes condemned as illegal by Pakistan's highest court

Source: The Verge

A decision from Pakistan's highest court in Peshawar has ruled that US drone strikes on tribal lands have taken place illegally and in violation of human rights.

The court found that the strikes constitute war crimes, and occur without the consent of the Pakistani government, leaving a secret deal forged by the CIA and Pakistani military as the only possible hint of cooperation between the two nations. The decision cites recent estimates that the strikes have caused "at least 400" civilian casualties since 2004, a number supported by previous reporting from public interest groups such as the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the New America Foundation. The case was originally filed by a charity representing the families of 17 people killed during a US drone strike, which occurred during a communal meeting in one of Pakistan's tribal areas in March of 2011.

The court ruled that the Pakistani government "must ensure that no drone strike takes place in the future," and has drawn up a resolution against the strikes for the Foreign Ministry to present at the UN. It added that if the US tries to block the resolution, Pakistan "should think about breaking diplomatic ties with the US." Pakistan's newly-elected Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has also vowed to end the drone attacks, saying they are "against the national sovereignty and a challenge for the country's autonomy and independence.”

Read more: http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/13/4325344/pakistan-court-rules-us-drone-strikes-are-illegal

"The court found that the strikes constitute war crimes..."

Stop it, you're killing me.
May 13, 2013

Anyone who refuses to prosecute somebody who tortured innocent people is sick, IMHO. WARNING GRAPHIC

The recent Cleveland house of horrors story has just brought this up for me again.... the fact that innocent people were tortured in the Bush years and nothing is being done about...

After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.

—Maj. General Antonio M. Taguba (USA-Ret.), preface to Broken Laws, Broken Lives

"I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture..."

- George W. Bush, June 2003
May 10, 2013

Infographic: Is Your State's Highest-Paid Employee A Coach? (Probably)

There are at least three problems.

Coaches don't generate revenue on their own; you could make the exact same case for the student-athletes who actually play the game and score the points and fracture their legs.

It can be tough to attribute this revenue directly to the performance of the head coach. In 2011-2012, Mack Brown was paid $5 million to lead a mediocre 8-5 Texas team to the Holiday Bowl. The team still generated $103.8 million in revenue, the most in college football. You don't have to pay someone $5 million to make college football profitable in Texas.

This revenue rarely makes its way back to the general funds of these universities. Looking at data from 2011-2012, athletic departments at 99 major schools lost an average of $5 million once you take out revenue generated from "student fees" and "university subsidies." If you take out "contributions and donations"—some of which might have gone to the universities had they not been lavished on the athletic departments—this drops to an average loss of $17 million, with just one school (Army) in the black. All this football/basketball revenue is sucked up by coach and AD salaries, by administrative and facility costs, and by the athletic department's non-revenue generating sports; it's not like it's going to microscopes and Bunsen burners.

May 8, 2013

None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use


By David Roberts

The notion of “externalities” has become familiar in environmental circles. It refers to costs imposed by businesses that are not paid for by those businesses. For instance, industrial processes can put pollutants in the air that increase public health costs, but the public, not the polluting businesses, picks up the tab. In this way, businesses privatize profits and publicize costs....

So how much is that costing us? Trucost’s headline results are fairly stunning.

First, the total unpriced natural capital consumed by the more than 1,000 “global primary production and primary processing region-sectors” amounts to $7.3 trillion a year — 13 percent of 2009 global GDP.... Second, surprising no one, coal is the enemy of the human race. Trucost compiled rankings, both of the top environmental impacts and of the top industrial culprits.

Trucost’s third big finding is the coup de grace. Of the top 20 region-sectors ranked by environmental impacts, none would be profitable if environmental costs were fully integrated. Ponder that for a moment: None of the world’s top industrial sectors would be profitable if they were paying their full freight. Zero. That amounts to an global industrial system built on sleight of hand. As Paul Hawken likes to put it, we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it GDP.

May 8, 2013

Updated map gay marriage equality in the US

Note how Colorado goes from nothing to legal ban to constitutional ban to civil unions, as well as Wisconsin and a few others....!
May 8, 2013

Singer of Christian Metal Band Arrested for Hiring Hitman to Kill Wife

On Tuesday, Tim Lambesis, the singer for Christian heavy metal band As I Lay Dying, was arrested for allegedly attempting to hire a hitman to murder his estranged wife.

As it turns out, the “hitman” he tried to hire was actually an undercover detective, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Police were reportedly tipped off last Thursday.

"The information came to us late last week. We acted quickly on it. I believe that we averted a great tragedy," San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell told Reuters.

Lambesis was taken into custody from an Oceanside, California business without incident and was booked into Vista Jail on suspicion of solicitation of murder.


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