Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Flip Flop Op

"Hey, newspaper readers? Sorry about that whole suppression of dissent thing":
“I was way too fast on the draw on that, and sadly for a guy who writes for a living I frankly regret that that happened,” John L. Micek, editorial and opinion editor for PennLive and the Patriot-News, told TheBlaze. “It was never an intent on my part to restrict anyone’s speech.”

Micek said that his original language, which read, ”PennLive/The Patriot-News will no longer accept, nor will it print, op-eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage,” was “broad and imprecise” and that he could understand peoples’ frustrations.
Sounds like it was precise enough at the time...

New Court Rules

The Court tells the EPA to back off:
The rules curbing emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants began to take effect in April. But the court said by a 5-4 vote Monday that the EPA failed to take their cost into account when the agency first decided to regulate the toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired plants.

The challenge was brought by industry groups and 21 Republican-led states.

Writing for the court, Justice Antonin Scalia said it is not appropriate to impose billions of dollars of economic costs in return for a few dollars in health or environmental benefits.

"EPA must consider cost -- including cost of compliance -- before deciding whether regulation is appropriate and necessary," the court said.
Something government doesn't often do...

Big Man On The Campaign Trail

Chris Christie is in:
“I mean what I say and I say what I mean, and that’s what America needs right now,” Christie said, from a podium at Livingston High School, where he stood with his wife and children.

At times, Christie, who delivered his remarks in front of a large American flag and without a teleprompter, sharply criticized both Republicans and Democrats.

“Both parties have failed our country,” he said.

Christie, a former U.S. attorney who is serving his second term as governor of the Garden State, is the 14th Republican to enter the 2016 race.

Christie spent much of his 20-minute speech reintroducing himself to a national audience that’s seen him fade from favor among the GOP faithful. Days earlier, he launched a website under the campaign slogan, "Telling It Like It Is."
Watch your back, Donald Trump...

Monday, June 29, 2015

Who's Dues?

Can a teacher get to decide where her dues go? Apparently not:
The Pennsylvania State Education Association allows for non-members who file religious exemptions to designate their fair-share fee to non-religious causes that are agreed upon by both parties.

Misja filed that request in 2012, but the two charities that she suggested were reportedly rejected by the union; People Concerned for the Unborn Child, a pro-life group, and the National Rifle Association Foundation were both declined.

The union purportedly said that the money needs to go to a charity that gives women every option when it comes to pregnancy counseling, and the latter was rejected for its sponsorship of a political group, according to the Tribune-Review.

Misja, though, believes that the rejections were for purely “political reasons.”

“I was quite shocked. I had no idea that my choice would be turned down,” Misja told the outlet. “I should have the freedom to put my money to a cause that I have a personal connection to and to a cause I believe in.”
Only if they let you...

Trump's Next Card

Donald Trump fights back:
"We must have strong borders and not let illegal immigrants enter the United States. As has been stated continuously in the press, people are pouring across our borders unabated. Public reports routinely state great amounts of crime are being committed by illegal immigrants. This must be stopped and it must be stopped now. Long ago I told NBC that I would not being doing The Apprentice because I am running for President in order to Make our Country Great Again.

"If NBC is so weak and so foolish to not understand the serious illegal immigration problem in the United States, coupled with the horrendous and unfair trade deals we are making with Mexico, then their contract violating closure of Miss Universe/Miss USA will be determined in court. Furthermore, they will stand behind lying Brian Williams, but won't stand behind people that tell it like it is, as unpleasant as that may be."
The weaker they are, the harder they crack up...

It's Her Scandal Now

They're disgusted that emails were being deleted in their establishment:

Ghost State

What happened to the North Dakota oil boom?
North Dakota is coming off of a run where they had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation for seven straight years. (They’ve now dropped out of first place.) While the rest of the country was stagnating with at or above double digit joblessness, at the peak of the crash in early 2009 North Dakota topped out at barely 4%. It was an island of prosperity in the middle of a nation which was otherwise sinking like a stone. People flocked there in droves to restart their lives. But now that process is grinding to a halt, at least for the time being.
The government doesn't like good times it can't take credit for...

Welcome To Billionaire Camp

How to be a better rich person:
Here they are stripped of some of the trappings of the super-rich. No staff are allowed. Everyone stays in the same style of hotel room to “create a community”, so there are no suites, just regular rooms with large beds, two comfortable chairs, sleek en-suite bathrooms and local art on the wall.

The wealth management arm of UBS casts itself in the role of adviser and educator for the three-day camp, which the Swiss bank uses to deepen client relationships and entice new ones to its private bank, the group’s most important division. Outside speakers are also used.

Such families will already be surrounded by “myriad experts and professors and lawyers and all that”, says Joe Stadler, UBS’s head of ultra-high net worth business.
Roughing it, rich style...

Mini Cow

Worried about climate change? India has a solution:
A team of researchers from Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and the state government's Animal Husbandry Department are now promoting a switch to Vechur and Kasargod cattle, two local varieties known for being easy to raise, resistant to diseases and – most important – better at tolerating high temperatures than the more popular crossbred cattle.
"High-yielding crossbreed varieties of cattle can faint or even die during hot and humid summer days," said E.M. Muhammed, an expert on animal breeding and genetics at the university. "Our natural breeds can better withstand the effects of climate change."
Dwarf cows, on the other hand, appear to carry a "thermometer gene" that allows them to better tolerate high temperatures, researchers said.
How now, small cow...

Go Tell The Creditors

Greece is now broke:
The drastic move comes after people rushed to withdraw their cash amid panic ahead of the referendum on bailout terms.

Under the controls, there will be a daily €60 limit on withdrawals from cash machines, which will reopen on Tuesday.

The Foreign Office has warned British tourists to take enough cash to cover emergencies in case cash machines are emptied.

It said: "Visitors to Greece should be aware of the possibility that banking services - including credit card processing and servicing of ATMs - throughout Greece could potentially become limited at short notice."
Default lies not in Germany, but in yourselves...

They Cannot Tell A Lie From A Farce

They really are this stupid:
Given the fact that America’s Commander-in-Chief during the revolutionary war against the British and first President George Washington owned slaves his entire life and only emancipated them after his death, would UT students also support a move to wipe Washington from the pages of history?

The answer is yes, many of them would.

Several also agreed that demolishing the statues would be a fantastic way of controlling the future by re-writing history, a line lifted straight out of George Orwell’s 1984.

“It’s so bad it’s like as if you’re having a statue of maybe Hitler or someone like that,” said one trendy as he signed the petition.

Others were convinced to sign after being told that eradicating the statues was part of shifting the country towards socialism.
You get the future you deserve...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hold Your Breath

Don't breathe:
In a video released by The Watercooler, Bill Nye states that the over population of the planet is causing Climate Change:

“Hey, Hey! Bill Nye here for the Emoji Science Lab. This episode: Climate Change.

Climate Change is a real deal everybody and here’s why. If we had some extraordinary car on some extraordinary highway and we could drive, somehow, straight up. For an hour. At highway speed we would be in outer space. It’s right there. The atmosphere is really thin.

Now back in 1750 there were about one-and-a-half billion people in the world. Well today there is 7.2 going on 7.3 billion people.

Well that’s the problem. There’s billions of people breathing and burning the same thin atmosphere…”
Spoken like a true mouth-breather...

Silver Bullet Lining

A question for the Court:
If we take the SCOTUS at its word, then yes, 2nd Amendment rights are protected under the 14th Amendment. After all, it was by viewing 2nd Amendment rights as incorporated under the 14th Amendment that the SCOTUS struck down Chicago’s gun ban in McDonald v Chicago (2010).

Moreover, two years earlier–in District of Columbia v Heller (2008)–the SCOTUS ruled that the 2nd Amendment rights were “fundamental” in and of themselves as well as “fundamental to the Nation’s scheme of ordered liberty” (IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law)
Gay and gun rights for all?

The Laziness Ethic

Hard work is...racist?
It falls under the “Myth of meritocracy” theme (i.e., the myth that race doesn’t play a role in success). The statement is as follows: “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.”

The “message” this “mircoaggression” is sending?

“People of color are lazy and/or incompetent and need to work harder,” the chart noted.
Many white liberal students are way ahead of them in that regard...

Taking The Cake

Walmart goes there:
“Alright, Walmart, you’ve got some explaining to do,” Netzhammer said on camera. He added in his YouTube summary that the Islamic State “is beheading Christians, selling little girls into slavery and is currently a terrorist org at war with the United States — but you can’t buy the General Lee toy car …? It’s a damn shame.”

Netzhammer showed the Islamic State flag cake on camera, as well as the rejection notice he said he received from Walmart for the confederate flag cake.
Some flags are more equal than others...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Burning Bathrooms

No civilization for you:
This year, the bureau asked for a so-called Blue Pit lodging facility that would have restroom trailers with flushable toilets, a washer and dryer room for laundry, and VIP accommodations in so-called "container apartment" units, according to documents seen by Reuters.
They also made specific food requests, including 24-hour access to Chobani Greek Yogurt and a standalone freezer with Drumstick and Choco Taco ice cream, the documents said.
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, in a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, criticized what he called "outlandishly unnecessary facilities."
"Part of Burning Man's philosophy is self-reliance and living with the elements is part of the experience," Reid wrote. "Flush toilets and laundry facilities can be found about 10 miles (16 km) away in Gerlach, Nevada, if BLM’s employees need such amenities."
Why give the hippies taxpayer-funded items they don't use otherwise?

Take Two Climate Changes And Call Me In The Morning

Don't feel well? Call a climatologist:
The Obama administration has been hard at work trying to draw a link between global warming and public health issues. The summit included the U.S. Surgeon General, top administration officials, and public health experts from around the country telling doctors, nurses and other conference goers how to talk about global warming with their patients.

The central message: doctors should warn their patients that global warming could make their health worse.

“I know we have people all around the country, in all of the regions, who are also listening to this conversation, and like all of you in the room, I hope will go out and continue to talk and educate,” echoed Nicole Lurie, assistant secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Health Department.

“We need to engage medical students themselves,” said Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General, “to demand the curriculum change” to prepare them for a warmer future.
There is no cure for propaganda...

Life After Oppression

"We won...now what?"
The Supreme Court on Friday expanded same-sex marriage rights across the country, a crowning achievement but also a confounding challenge to a group that has often prided itself on being different. The more victories that accumulate for gay rights, the faster some gay institutions, rituals and markers are fading out. And so just as the gay marriage movement peaks, so does a debate about whether gay identity is dimming, overtaken by its own success.

“What do gay men have in common when they don’t have oppression?” asked Andrew Sullivan, one of the intellectual architects of the marriage movement. “I don’t know the answer to that yet.”
Good fashion sense? But the fact is that acceptance for gay rights has been growing for far longer than it took the law to catch up. The decision, agree or not, was largely a formality at this point.

Trumped At The Golf Course

Don't make The Donald mad:
In a letter Friday to Randy Falco, Trump advised the Univision CEO that “under no circumstances is any officer or representative of Univision allowed to use Trump National Doral, Miami – its golf courses or any of its facilities.”

Trump also demanded that Falco, whose company’s Miami office is next door to Trump National Doral, “immediately stop work and close the gate which is being constructed between our respective properties.” Trump gave Falco one week to take care of that matter, or “we will close it.”

The letter was dispatched a day after Univision declared it was canceling its coverage of the Miss USA pageant July 12 on its UniMas network as well as the Miss Universe pageant, which had been scheduled to air on the flagship Univision channel next January, and was severing its business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization, which produces both pageants. The reason: what Univision called “insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants” recently voiced by Trump, a part owner of Miss Universe.
And he is now owning Univision, too...

Northern Southern Man

So Al Sharpton has a new target:
Rev. Al Sharpton quickly joined critics of the Confederate flag flying outside the South Carolina Statehouse, but the civil rights leader is going one step further and plans to denounce Robert E. Lee Street and a Confederate flag painting in the New York State Capitol Building on Saturday.

In a tweet posted Friday, Sharpton’s National Action Network promoted the Saturday event as a “vigil for the victims lost to violence and to denounce Robert E. Lee Street and Confederate Flag Painting in New York State Capitol Building.”
Well, those Democrats do have a history of racism...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ape Cops

It's a jungle out there:
High-ranking chimpanzees 'police' disputes between other members of their group, research has found.

Anthropologists at the University of Zurich found chimpanzees mediate conflicts not for their own benefit but to preserve the peace within the group.

Not every chimpanzee makes a suitable arbitrator. It is primarily high-ranking males or females or animals that are highly respected in the group that intervene in a conflict.

Other lower ranking arbitrators were found to be less capable of ending the conflict successfully.
Those were the ones that could be bribed with bananas...

Constitutionally Approved

Gay marriage is a right:
The decision, which was the culmination of decades of litigation and activism, set off celebrations across the country and the first same-sex marriages in several states. It came against the backdrop of fast-moving changes in public opinion, with polls indicating that most Americans now approve of the unions.

The court’s four more liberal justices joined Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion. Each member of the court’s conservative wing filed a separate dissent, in tones ranging from resigned dismay to bitter scorn.

In dissent, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the Constitution had nothing to say on the subject of same-sex marriage.

“If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote. “Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
Personally, I don't disagree with the ruling. This, however, is another matter.

Robot Chicken

What happens when two self-driving cars dislike each other:
Absmeier was a passenger in a prototype Audi Q5 crossover vehicle equipped with lasers, radar, cameras and special computer software designed to enable the vehicle to drive itself, with a person at the wheel as a backup.

As the Delphi vehicle prepared to change lanes, a Google self-driving prototype - a Lexus RX400h crossover fitted with similar hardware and software - cut off the Audi, forcing it to abort the lane change, Absmeier said.

The Delphi car "took appropriate action," according to Absmeier.

Delphi's Silicon Valley lab is based in Mountain View, not far from Google headquarters. While Delphi is running two Audi prototypes in California, Google has been testing more than 20 Lexus prototypes.
The first incident of car rage?

Old Men Of Washington

The Senate is old:
...people of their age are not at all unusual in a Senate where 23 members are products of the Silent Generation, those too young to have fought in World War II but born before that war ended. California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, whose 82nd birthday was Monday, is the oldest in this cohort, which has a ratio of 13 Republicans to 10 Democrats that almost exactly mirrors the partisan divide in the whole Senate.

The eldest group far outnumbers the 17 senators belonging to Generation X, into which most demographers would place those born between President John F. Kennedy’s death in 1963 and President Ronald Reagan’s inaugural in 1981. Having recently turned 38, just eight years older than the constitutional floor, Arkansas freshman Tom Cotton is the youngest of these younger senators, who skew 2-to-1 Republican.

The other 60 senators all were born during the Baby Boom.
Which makes you wonder what they're going to do when they discover we're running out of Social Security money...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

What About Bob?

The big man is out:
TV Newser reported in April that Beckel had been admitted to a rehabilitation facility to treat an addiction to pain medication.

“His relapse developed over the last several months as he tried to cope with extensive back pain before and after he underwent major back surgery,” the representative said at the time.

After months of being absent, Fox News announced Thursday that Beckel would not be returning as an employee of the network. Bill Shine, Fox News executive vice president of programming, said in a blunt statement about his departure: “We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold The Five hostage to one man’s personal issues. He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him.”
Everyone has their limits...

CC Runner

Chris Christie is adding his name to the list:
Christie has made a name for himself as a straight-talking politician and won the favor of conservatives in his first term. He was widely considered a top vice presidential pick for 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Many conservatives found fault with Christie for being too chummy with President Barack Obama after Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast just before the 2012 election, devastating much of New Jersey.

In 2013, Christie won a resounding re-eletion victory in a blue state, catapulting him as the prospective frontrunner status for 2016. However, he hit a setback with questions about his administration’s actions in closing the George Washington Bridge in what’s come to be known as “Bridgegate.”
Which turned out to be...not much about him and more about local political idiocy. Will the last person to enter please turn out the lights?

Our Bad, Tea Party

It was just a mistake:
IRS workers erased 422 computer backup tapes that "most likely" contained as many as 24,000 emails to and from former IRS official Lois Lerner, who has emerged as a central figure in congressional investigations, according to IRS's inspector general.
The workers erased the tapes a month after IRS officials discovered that an untold number of Lerner's emails were lost. The IG says the workers were unaware of a year-old directive not to destroy email backup tapes.
J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, is scheduled to testify Thursday before the House Oversight Committee about his investigation into the emails. The Associated Press obtained a copy of his prepared testimony.
George says his investigation "did not uncover evidence that the erasure was done in furtherance of an effort to destroy evidence or conceal information from Congress and/or law enforcement."
That's his story, and he's sticking to it...

Yes, Obamacare Still Lives

The Court strikes again:
At the court, Chief Justice John Roberts again voted with his liberal colleagues in support of the law. Roberts also was the key vote to uphold it in 2012. Justice Anthony Kennedy, a dissenter in 2012, was part of the majority on Thursday.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," Roberts declared in the majority opinion.

Limiting the subsidies only to individuals in states with their own exchanges could well push insurance markets in the other states "into a death spiral," Roberts wrote.

Justice Antonin Scalia, in a dissent he summarized from the bench, strongly disagreed. "We should start calling this law SCOTUScare," he said, using an acronym for the Supreme Court and suggesting his colleagues' ownership by virtue of their twice stepping in to save the law from what he considered worthy challenges.
And there will be more to come, but what now for the GOP?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This Is Your Hoverboard

Eat your heart out, Marty McFly:
The board uses liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and magnets, according to the Lexus website. The technology is already zooming around Toyota’s home country. A Japanese railway company last year set a new world speed record using a magnetic-levitation train. Toyota tipped its hand a year ago that it’s been experimenting with this for cars.
Where we're going we don't need roads...

The New Abnormal

The EPA says there's something wrong with all you climate change skeptics:
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy made the comments while addressing a climate change summit at the White House Tuesday to frame the effects of global warming on public health.

McCarthy said a report her agency released Monday makes the case for taking action against climate change by calculating the price Americans will pay for not taking action, including the thousands of lives lost due to global warming and the impact felt on the economy.

She said the EPA put out the report "not to push back against climate deniers," but to help "normal people" make a decision about the kind of world they and their children want to live in.
Because they obviously know a lot of normal people...

Core Of Dissent

A California school backpedals on Common Core testing:
“I have spoken to a small number of students and parents that ‘pushed back’ against the decision to withhold special extracurricular activities based on participation in the California testing program,” Foss said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “In the past, we have required participation in the test for various activities. However, after talking with the students and staff, I realized that before the test this year we did not communicate the importance of participating in the test, so we will not withhold participation in the activities.”

When asked if the policy would be permanently changed, Foss said that it would have to be decided at a later date.

“We will have to work with our district office to determine the answer to that question.”
Bad policies tend to provoke such responses when challenged...

Mother's Work

Get back to work, Mum:
A new report from the EU Council described the high numbers of mothers working part time or not at all as a “social challenge” requiring urgent attention.

It called on the government to provide more public-funded childcare to help them back into employment as a first step.

The Brussels directive came in an annual assessment of the British economy that was presented to Chancellor George Osborne last Friday. It said the UK labour market “has performed well in recent years and is set to remain strong” but raised concerns about the number of mothers not in unemployment.
You will work for the state...

Rainbow Nation

Britain goes gay:
There were reports Monday of a split in the government between the Foreign Office – who have declined the fly the flag this year – and the Cabinet Office who tweeted that they will proudly display it.

Now two more government departments have confirmed to Breitbart London that they will be flying the flag. The Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will join the Cabinet Office in displaying the LGBT flag on Saturday.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has also tweeted its support for “all our LGBT staff and those at Pride in London this weekend”, although it did not confirm whether it will display the flag.
The Marriage Registry Office had no comment:

Coin Of Fear

The Islamic State has its own currency:
Isil announced last November that it would start producing their own currency in areas under its control, in an effort to “emancipate itself from the satanic global economic system”.
The currency, based on the original dinar coins used during the Caliphate of Uthman in 634 CE, was set to include seven minted coins: two gold, three silver and two copper.
Designs due to be embossed on the gold coins included a symbol of seven wheat stalks - a Quranic reference - and a world map.
Every delusion starts small...

Black Market Lunch

Wanna buy some sugar?
During a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, chaired by Rep. Todd Rokita (R., Ind.), a school administrator told Congress of the “unintended consequences” of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

“Perhaps the most colorful example in my district is that students have been caught bringing–and even selling–salt, pepper, and sugar in school to add taste to perceived bland and tasteless cafeteria food,” said John S. Payne, the president of Blackford County School Board of Trustees in Hartford City, Indiana.
Welcome to cafeteria prohibition...