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East Coast Pirate

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Member since: Tue May 15, 2012, 02:33 PM
Number of posts: 775

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Obama toasts Bush: 'We are surely a kinder and gentler nation because of you'

Source: NBC News

In a rare and warm appearance, former President George H.W. Bush returned to the White House on Monday. The 89-year-old was there to hand out the 5,000th award from his "Points of Light" Foundation, but the celebration also recognized the 41st president’s legacy of charity and altruism.

In brief remarks, Bush, who suffered from a protracted hospital stay late last year and was confined to a wheelchair, thanked Obama for his hospitality: "It's like coming home for Barbara and me."

President Barack Obama credited the 89-year-old Bush with sparking a "national movement" to advance volunteerism and community service as the 41st president of the United States, joined Obama onstage.

"You've described for us those thousand points of light -- all the people and organizations spread out all across the country who are like stars brightening the lives of those around them," Obama said at the White House. "But given the humility that's defined your life, I suspect it's harder for you to see something that's clear to everybody else around you, and that's how bright a light you shine."

"On behalf of all of us, let me just say that we are surely a kinder and gentler nation because of you, and we can't thank you enough," Obama added.

Read more: http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/15/19487988-obama-toasts-bush-we-are-surely-a-kinder-and-gentler-nation-because-of-you
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Mon Jul 15, 2013, 04:13 PM (97 replies)

Tough guy takes on bull, bull wins

PAMPLONA, Spain (AP) — An American college student and two Spaniards were gored Friday during a danger-filled sixth bull run of Spain's San Fermin festival, with one loose bull causing panic in the packed streets of the city of Pamplona.

Tension soared when one of the animals charged a 31-year-old Spaniard, Diego Miralles, and tossed him on the ground with its horns for almost 30 seconds as fellow runners tried to pull it away by its tail. The man clung to one of the horns as screams were heard all around.

Helpers eventually dragged the victim to safety by his feet.

The regional government of Navarra said one American and two Spaniards were gored in the run, while another American and two Spaniards were also taken to city hospitals for other injuries suffered in falls and trampling during the frenzied event.

More: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/07/13/first-3-gorings-in-spains-san-fermin-bull-runs/2514075/
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Sat Jul 13, 2013, 06:52 AM (17 replies)

Pic your favorite Snowden flight plan

Posted by East Coast Pirate | Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:23 PM (38 replies)

Snowden Seen as Whistle-Blower by Majority in New Poll

A majority of U.S. registered voters consider Edward Snowden a whistle-blower, not a traitor, and a plurality says government anti-terrorism efforts have gone too far in restricting civil liberties, a poll released today shows.

Fifty-five percent said Snowden was a whistle-blower in leaking details about top-secret U.S. programs that collect telephone and Internet data, in the survey from Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University. Thirty-four percent said he’s a traitor. Snowden, 30, worked for McLean, Virginia-based federal contractor Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp.

The poll also showed that by 45 percent to 40 percent, respondents said the government goes too far in restricting civil liberties as part of the war on terrorism. That was a reversal from January 2010, when in a similar survey 63 percent said anti-terrorism activities didn’t go far enough to protect the U.S. from attacks, compared with 25 percent who disagreed.

“The massive swing in public opinion about civil liberties and governmental anti-terrorism efforts, and the public view that Edward Snowden is more whistle-blower than traitor, are the public reaction and apparent shock at the extent to which the government has gone in trying to prevent future terrorist incidents,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac’s polling institute.

More: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-10/snowden-seen-as-whistlebloweer-by-majority-in-new-poll.html
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:14 PM (1 replies)

Sudden Improvements in Egypt Suggest a Campaign to Undermine Morsi

CAIRO —The streets seethe with protests and government ministers are on the run or in jail, but since the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi, life has somehow gotten better for many people across Egypt: Gas lines have disappeared, power cuts have stopped and the police have returned to the street.

The apparently miraculous end to the crippling energy shortages, and the re-emergence of the police, seems to show that the legions of personnel left in place after former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011 played a significant role —intentionally or not —in undermining the overall quality of life under the Islamist administration of Mr. Morsi.

And as the interim government struggles to unite a divided nation, the Muslim Brotherhood and Mr. Morsi’s supporters say the sudden turnaround proves that their opponents conspired to make Mr. Morsi fail. Not only did police officers seem to disappear, but the state agencies responsible for providing electricity and ensuring gas supplies failed so fundamentally that gas lines and rolling blackouts fed widespread anger and frustration.

“This was preparing for the coup,” said Naser el-Farash, who served as the spokesman for the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade under Mr. Morsi. “Different circles in the state, from the storage facilities to the cars that transport petrol products to the gas stations, all participated in creating the crisis.”

More: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/world/middleeast/improvements-in-egypt-suggest-a-campaign-that-undermined-morsi.html
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:56 PM (1 replies)

The Horrible Psychology of Solitary Confinement

At left, a photograph of Ronnie Dewberry, a prisoner in solitary confinement at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison. The photo was received by his sister Marie Levin in 2012, after a rule change allowed prisoners in solitary to be photographed for the first time in more than 20 years. At right is Dewberry’s next-most-recent photo, taken in 1988.

In the largest prison protest in California’s history, nearly 30,000 inmates have gone on hunger strike. Their main grievance: the state’s use of solitary confinement, in which prisoners are held for years or decades with almost no social contact and the barest of sensory stimuli.

The human brain is ill-adapted to such conditions, and activists and some psychologists equate it to torture. Solitary confinement isn’t merely uncomfortable, they say, but such an anathema to human needs that it often drives prisoners mad.

In isolation, people become anxious and angry, prone to hallucinations and wild mood swings, and unable to control their impulses. The problems are even worse in people predisposed to mental illness, and can wreak long-lasting changes in prisoners’ minds.

“What we’ve found is that a series of symptoms occur almost universally. They are so common that it’s something of a syndrome,” said psychiatrist Terry Kupers of the Wright Institute, a prominent critic of solitary confinement. “I’m afraid we’re talking about permanent damage.”

California holds some 4,500 inmates in solitary confinement, making it emblematic of the United States as a whole: More than 80,000 U.S. prisoners are housed this way, more than in any other democratic nation.

More: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/07/solitary-confinement-2/
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:46 AM (1 replies)

Egypt unrest: US to go ahead with F-16 jets delivery

Source: BBC News

US officials say Washington will deliver four F-16 fighter jets in the next few weeks.

They are part of an already agreed bigger order of 20 planes - eight of which were sent to Egypt in January. The final eight are expected to be shipped later this year.

White House spokesman Jay Carney on Wednesday reiterated that it would not be "in the best interests of the United States to make immediate changes to our assistance programmes".

He added that the administration would take its time to consider the implications of removing Mr Morsi from power.

US military aid to Egypt is estimated to be $1.3bn (£860m) each year.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23265632
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:36 AM (9 replies)

Democrat on Democrat: Warren spars with Manchin on student loan proposal

Liberal firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) blasted a fellow Democratic senator Tuesday as a dispute over student loan rates escalated divisions within the party.

The clash, which is highly unusual among party colleagues in the upper chamber, came at a private caucus meeting about a subject that is helping Republicans land blows against their Democratic opponents.

“Elizabeth came out very strong against Manchin,” said a Democratic senator who requested anonymity to discuss the exchange. “She said, ‘They’re already making money off the backs of students, and this adds another $1 billion.’”

Warren was referring to a deal Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and two other members of the caucus, Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Angus King (I-Maine), struck with Republicans to peg student-lending rates to the 10-year Treasury notes.

More: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/309953-warren-rips-manchin-on-student-loan-proposal
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Wed Jul 10, 2013, 08:06 PM (7 replies)



Posted by East Coast Pirate | Wed Jul 10, 2013, 05:30 PM (1 replies)

Do online petitions do any good?

Do the people they're directed at even care?
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Wed Jul 10, 2013, 09:16 AM (20 replies)
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