France Might Have An Idea To Break European Gridlock On New Climate Change Targets...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Jeff Spross CLIMATE PROGRESS The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. CREDIT: Shutterstock The European Union has been gridlocked over new targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But on Friday, Reuters got a look at a new position paper from the French government that could provide a way out. At issue is a recently proposed EU deal to cut the greenhouse gas emissions from that group of countries 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The target was put forward by the European Commission — the EU’s executive body — as the offer the EU nations should bring to a new international summit on climate change in Paris next year. But the deal must still be ratified by the EU’s member nations. Poland, which gets over 90 percent of its energy from coal,...

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How A Massive Oil Spill In 1969 Changed Everything...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Ari Phillips CLIMATE PROGRESS Music echoed around the world in 1969 during Woodstock. The world watched with captivated eyes as Neil Armstrong touched down on the moon. And in southern California — on the same stretch of coastline where offshore oil drilling first took place at the turn of the 20th century — an oil spill forever changed the way we view the environment. The Santa Barbara oil spill that began on the morning of January 28, 1969 had many lasting impacts. In the immediate aftermath, thousands of seabirds died, seals and dolphins were poisoned, and kelp forests were devastated as oil up to six inches thick coated 35 miles of coastline along the idyllic, Mediterranean shores of Santa Barbara County. The oil muted the sound of the waves on the beach...

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The Victory of Popular Resistance In Occupied Iraq...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   World   AlterNet / By Nicolas J.S. Davies A history of what happens when the U.S. destroys an entire society–which decides to fight back. A large crowd of demonstrators protesting against the occupation of Iraq face a U.S. tank. Photo Credit: Marcus J. Quarterman/US Army/Wikimedia Commons June 30, 2014  | Tom Hayden has described the public debate in the United States over the popular uprising in Iraq as a “battle over memory.”  But few Americans have ever accepted the enormity of U.S. aggression and other war crimes in Iraq, so this debate is largely taking place in a parallel universe, divorced from the reality of what our government and our armed forces have done to the people of Iraq.  For the second time in just over a decade, Iraqis find themselves abandoned...

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10 Big Fat Lies and the Liars Who Told Them...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] BillMoyers.com From Joseph Macarthy’s red scare to Reagan’s big scandal,these whoppers have affected millions. Photo Credit: spirit of america / Shutterstock.com June 29, 2014  | This story originally appeared at BillMoyers.com. Investigative journalist Chuck Lewis joined Bill this week to discuss his new book, 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity, that looks at the history of government officials and media pundits speaking and repeating (and repeating and repeating) untruths to shape public opinion and policy. The title of the book refers to the number of times President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other top administration officials made false statements in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But the book has a far greater scope, looking at how lies have shaped American policy over several decades....

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Big Fracking Victory: New York’s Top Court Rules That Towns Have the Right to Ban Natural Gas Drilling...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] AlterNet / By Cliff Weathers Energy companies hint they may not bother fracking with New York after the ruling. Photo Credit: A Katz/Shutterstock June 30, 2014  | New York’s highest court ruled today that municipalities can ban hydrofracking operations within their territorial boundaries. The state’s Court of Appeals said the towns of  Dryden and Middlefield can write zoning laws to ban specific heavy industries, including oil and gas production. “Today the Court stood with the people of Dryden and the people of New York to protect their right to self determination. It is clear that people, not corporations, have the right to decide how their community develops,” said Deputy Supervisor Jason Leifer of Dryden, which is located in New York’s Upstate Finger Lakes region. “Today’s ruling shows all of America that a committed group of...

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The secret to richer, carbon-capturing soil? Treat your microbes well...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Nathanael Johnson Kelsey Amelia Bates Imagine if someone invented machines to suck carbon out of the atmosphere — machines that were absurdly cheap, autonomous, and solar powered, too. Wouldn’t that be great? But we already have these gadgets! They’re called plants. The problem is, plants die. So there’s one hurdle remaining: We have to figure out how to lock away the carbon in dead plants so that it doesn’t just return to the atmosphere. The obvious place to put that carbon is into the ground. And so, for years, scientists and governments have been urging farmers to leave their crop residue — the stalks and leaves — on the ground, so it would be incorporated into the soil. The trouble is, sometimes this doesn’t work: Farmers will leave residues on a field and they...

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Will Anyone Stop Charter School Corruption?...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Jeff Bryant, Campaign For America’s Future | Op-Ed When politicians and pundits take to the barricades to defend “wonderful charter schools,” is this what they’re thinking of? A recent article in a Minnesota newspaper reported about a change in state law that could imperil the existence of a charter school that serves a student body sorely in need of heroic efforts. According to the reporter, “Nine out of 10 of the school’s 275 high schoolers meet the legal definition of ‘highly mobile,’ meaning they do not have stable housing; 109 are flat-out homeless. Some couch-surf. Some sleep in cars, some in bus stations. Often they spend the night in small groups, for safety. Poverty – a given – is usually the least of their worries. To teens forced to support themselves,...

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Supreme Court Backs Hobby Lobby – and Corporate Personhood...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report US Supreme Court building. (Photo: kenudigit)   Dealing a significant blow to the Obama administration, women’s health advocates and critics of “corporate personhood,” the Supreme Court sided with evangelical business owners on Monday and ruled that the government may not require closely held businesses to provide their employees with health insurance that covers types of birth control that offend the owner’s religious beliefs. The 5-4 decision along ideological lines in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby establishes for the first time that a private corporation – at least one with a limited number of shareholders – can declare a religious belief and be granted exemptions under federal law. The case is rooted in the objections of two religious, business-owning families to a small portion of the Affordable Care...

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147 TIPS TO AVOID WASTING TIME ON LINE...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] There you are, doing something worthwhile online–researching, reading the news, connecting with people on Facebook. Then you see a link. “This kitten has a special trick that’ll leave you speechless.” You click through to a web page with a Youtube video of a kitten smoking a cigarette and doing shots of Jaegermeister. You chuckle. You try hard to return to what you were doing. You add four minutes to your life’s clock of time ill used. We don’t want to suggest that recreational activity–online or otherwise–is intrinsically time misspent, but if we saw our lives as balance sheets divided between time spent on activity that enriches and activity that distracts, chances are much of the viral media that’s out there is basically a waste of time. A study released last year reported that Americans aged 18-64 who use social networks...

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THE SECOND SMARTEST SPACE IN SAN FRANCISCO...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] inShare14 David Friedlander Architecture A while ago we checked out San Francisco’s SMARTSPACE Harriet (i.e. the first smartest space in San Francisco), a four story, 23-unit building made up of prefab micro-apartments. SMARTSPACE Harriet was and is significant as it, along with Vancouver’s Micro Lofts, was one of the first true micro-apartment buildings in the modern sense of the term. The vigorously designed 295 sq ft apartments employed numerous transforming elements that made them perform like much larger spaces. The inclusion of things like a building car-share, communal spaces and solar hot water made them all the sweeter. Now (well, for a while actually) SMARTSPACE developer Panoramic Interests is building on its initial project. “The Panoramic” is a 160 unit, 11-story building going up in San Francisco’s SoMa District and it represents a lot of big ideas in small building and living....

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Pittsburgh’s Mellon Square Is Restored to Its Modern Glory...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] by The Dirt Contributor Pittsburgh’s Mellon Square, an icon of mid-century Modern design,  has been finally restored after a six-year process. A precursor to today’s trendy green roof movement, the plaza was the first in the nation built over a subterranean parking garage. Today, Mellon Square is a showcase for urban revitalization through historic preservation, with a contemporary sensibility and the latest technologies. Upon its initial completion in 1955, Mellon Square unified Pittsburgh’s central business district and “typified the spirit” of the city, post World War II. Locally-based architects Mitchell & Ritchey brought in landscape architect John Ormsbee Simonds, Simonds & Simonds and author of the seminal textbook, Landscape Architecture, to collaborate on the public space. The square features a majestic central fountain comprised of nine cast-bronze basins; a distinctive triangle-patterned “Rustic Venetian...

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An Oasis Restored

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]  The Dirt Contributor The Modernist design of Mellon Square is a product of the Pittsburgh’s first renaissance, beginning in the late 1940s. The plaza was a focal point in the re-imagining of what was a gritty city. Positioned above streets, storefronts, and a subterranean parking garage, the space ascended above the hustle and bustle, forming an oasis. I gathered a wealth of documentation, observing use, studying context, and investigating details. All of this led to an analysis of the plaza’s original design and built character. What emerged was a clear picture of the original design team’s masterful manipulation of the urban fabric to revitalize this area of the central business district. Although this was a Mitchell & Ritchey and Simonds & Simonds collaboration, documents pointed to John Simonds as the author of sketches...

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Mission Impossible?

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Dallas’s local architecture critic leads a campaign to tear down a highway in the autocentric city. Mark Lamster Courtesy Oscar Erik Slotboom A couple of months ago, an editor pulled me into an office at the Dallas Morning News, anxious to show me his latest find on eBay. For a pittance, he had acquired a few minutes of film shot in downtown Dallas in 1939. Here was the city, in the glorious saturation of Kodachrome, as I had not seen it before: streets crammed with men and women going about their business, streetcars jockeying for space, blinking neon theater marquees, vistas so dense with buildings they could easily be mistaken for Manhattan. Dallas doesn’t look like that anymore. In the postwar years, those crowds seemed less a sign of urban vitality than a...

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Former NASA Chief Scientist: “We’re Effectively Taking a Sledgehammer to the Climate System”...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]  By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Interview Dr. Waleed Abdalati. (Photo: CU Boulder)“You really have to work to not believe it,” Dr. Waleed Abdalati says of anthropomorphic climate disruption (ACD, also known as climate change). He should know: More than 20 years ago, Abdalati began observing ACD firsthand in Greenland, as a scientist working on his doctoral thesis, for which he created an algorithm used to remotely detect changes in the spatial extent of the Greenland ice sheet experiencing melt each year. Abdalati, previously NASA’s chief scientist,is now an associate professor of geography, director of the Earth Science and Observation Center, and a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado in Boulder. His research interests are in the use of satellite and airborne remote sensing...

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Paul Krugman on the Deplorable Reason Bad Ideas Just Refuse to Die and the Secretive Group Behind Them...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   Economy   AlterNet / By Janet Allon   As Kansas disastrous tax cut shows, it depends on whose interests are being served. Photo Credit: via youtube/Moyers June 30, 2014  | In Monday’s column, Paul Krugman gets to the bottom of the question of why terrible ideas, like the canard about how tax cuts fuel economic growth, live on in the manner of zombies in the American landscape. Take Kansas, which is what the Nobel-prize-award-winning economist opens with. Kansas sharply slashed its taxes two years ago without having any plan for replacing the revenue for the state. Big surprise! writes Krugman. “Kansas  isn’t booming — in fact, its  economy is lagging both neighboring states and America as a whole. Meanwhile, the state’s budget has plunged deep into deficit, provoking a Moody’s downgrade of its debt.”...

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Is Veganism Child Abuse?

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Salon / By Mary Elizabeth Williams A mother is arrested for infant neglect after a hospital crisis that began with her veganism. Sarah Anne Markham Photo Credit: Courtesy Casselberry Police Department June 27, 2014  | In a case likely to kick up — yet again – the debate over parental responsibility regarding how children are fed, a Florida mother was arrested Tuesday for child neglect and her newborn was admitted to the hospital in a crisis that started over vegan beliefs. Local news station WESH reports that Sarah Anne Markham’s pediatrician alerted authorities after the woman’s 12-day-old baby appeared dehydrated during a doctor visit. The doctor said that Markham refused the medical advice to admit the child to the hospital or take the medicine offered, on the grounds that “it contained ingredients that came...

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IT’S URGENT THAT WE FIND A WAY TO TRANSITION TO RENEWABLE ENERGY...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] New CO2 Milestone: 3 Months Above 400 PPM By Andrea Thompson HUFFINGTON POST April fell first. It lasted through May. Now June will be the third month in a row with average carbon dioxide levels above 400 parts per million. Atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gas, which helps drive global warming, haven’t been this high in somewhere between 800,000 and 15 million years. Click image to enlarge. And while the 400 ppm mark is somewhat symbolic (as the increase in warming between 399 ppm and 400 ppm is small), it serves to show how much carbon dioxide has been put into the atmosphere since preindustrial times, when concentrations were around 280 ppm. The increase in this and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has warmed Earth’s average temperature by 1.6°F since the beginning...

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Hacking the climate: The search for solutions to the world’s greatest challenge...

Jun 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Hallie Bateman In recent years, weather patterns around the world have grown fiercer than ever. Blizzards paralyze daily life across large areas of the nation, while intense heat waves and enduring droughts cripple food production in the West. Huge storms threaten to sweep away coastal communities. These, and other symptoms of climate disruption, have led to growing recognition that something must be done. Yet few know what to do about climate change. Even some who do know don’t act for fear of the consequences of weaning humanity off of fossil fuels. Politicians and vested interests have bombarded the public with the myth that slowing or halting climate change will lead to devastating effects on people, jobs, and nation’s economies. It’s time to bust that myth. In 2006, I co-taught a graduate-level journalism coursewith...

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The Arab Millennials Will Be Back...

Jun 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   Posted on Jun 29, 2014 Photo by Denis Bocquet (CC BY 2.0) By Juan Cole, TomDispatch This piece first appeared at TomDispatch. Read Tom Engelhardt’s introduction here. Three and a half years ago, the world was riveted by the massive crowds of youths mobilizing in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand an end to Egypt’s dreary police state.  We stared in horror as, at one point, the Interior Ministry mobilized camel drivers to attack the demonstrators.   We watched transfixed as the protests spread from one part of Egypt to another and then from country to country across the region.  Before it was over, four presidents-for-life would be toppled and others besieged in their palaces. Some 42 months later, in most of the Middle East and North Africa,  the bright hopes for more personal liberties and...

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Obama Administration Seeks New Deportation Powers...

Jun 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Posted on Jun 29, 2014 Photo by Neon Tommy (CC BY-SA 2.0) The White House will ask Congress for greater power to conduct “fast-track” deportation of tens of thousands of parent-less children from Central America who are crossing the U.S. border illegally. The Guardian reports: President Barack Obama has called the surge of minors pouring across Mexico border and into the Rio Grande Valley a “humanitarian crisis” and has ordered officials to open emergency shelters on military bases and increase the number of border agents. But in a significant toughening of the president’s stance, to be announced formally on Monday, the administration will request the authority to immediately repatriate children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – the Central American countries from which most of the child migrants are travelling A White House official told...

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HERE’S HOW TO GO GREEN WITH A BRAND NEW BABY...

Jun 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Yoli Ouiya Become a fan yoli@yoliouiya.com Green Living Tips For New Parents Are you a new mom or dad searching for some eco-friendly living baby steps? With mixed feelings of excitement, trepidation, and plenty of questions of the who, how, what, and where you’ve completed the most extensive part of the journey of having the baby. You may already have started or have considered some things. Being green simply means getting as close to nature as possible, while minimizing waste, living consciously, and being gentle to yourself and the environment. Below are an array of easy and simple tidbits to support you: Breastfeeding If breastfeeding is an option, you will not only be giving your baby the best nutrients, but you will also be saving a lot of waste from formula containers, bags...

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What Will The World Look Like 50 Years From Now? (LIVESTREAM)...

Jun 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Posted: 06/29/2014 4:23 pm EDT Updated: 1 hour ago Confronting Climate Change – Climate Change and the Fate of our Forests Watch Live at 4:00 pm – 4:50 pm MDT (6:00 pm – 6:50 pm EDT) on Sunday, June 29, 2014. Dr. Brian Enquist, an expert in ecology and evolutionary biology, brings to life a geographic inventory of forest assets for western North America. When coupled with the latest climate models, a high-resolution picture emerges of the health of our future forests. New advances in bioinformatics and mathematical modeling enable us, for the first time, to answer the question ‘what will the forest in my backyard look like?’ This presentation, produced in concert with the local Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, is cutting edge both in analyses and technological interface, and will demonstrate...

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‘ANOTHER ATTEMPT BY BP TO BACK OUT OF THE COMMITMENT IT MADE TO THE GULF’...

Jun 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   BP Seeks Return Of Oil Spill Claim ‘Overpayments’  | By By KEVIN McGILL NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP wants a federal judge to order restitution — plus interest — of what it says are hundreds of millions of dollars in overpayments to some businesses that claimed losses due to the 2010 Gulf oil spill.   In a Friday court filing, BP points to a revised policy for calculating losses that was approved by the court in May.   The company says the court should order recalculation of awards paid prior to that change.   Meanwhile, BP continues its legal fight on a related issue: whether businesses have to prove they were directly harmed by the spill to collect money. A district court and an appeals court have ruled that, under the settlement BP...

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FCC Internet Proposal: The Contemporary Pillage of the Commons...

Jun 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Rivera Sun, Truthout | Op-Ed Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, speaks during an open meeting in Washington, Dec. 12, 2013. (Photo: Daniel Rosenbaum / The New York Times) Seething below the surface of citizens’ outrage at the FCC proposal to create a tiered, pay-to-play internet structure lays a story people know so well, it could be encoded in our DNA. The rich and powerful are stealing the commons of the people. Comcast, Verizon and other telecom giants are the new Lairds of the Highlands, the Marie Antoinettes, the Robber Barons of the 1890s. The Commons are no longer large tracks of land or public grazing grounds or local self-governance – those have already been stolen. The Commons under assault is the internet. As with every achievement of...

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The Fight to Ban Gold Mining and Save El Salvador’s Water Supply...

Jun 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Julia Paley, Foreign Policy in Focus | Report and Video] SALON.COM Gold-digging multinationals are fueling political violence and environmental devastation in El Salvador, but communities are fighting back. “For us, the mine is death.” Those words, spoken by the president of a rural grassroots organization, capture the intensity and urgency of the struggle against mining in El Salvador. Mining has reaped devastating consequences in El Salvador. Toxins from mining operations have made 90 percent of El Salvador’s water undrinkable. Lung and kidney diseases run rampant among miners. Community leaders and activists who resist are hounded and cut down. The 15-minute documentary Gold or Water: The Struggle Against Metallic Mining in El Salvador dramatically illustrates Salvadorans’ passionate efforts to ward off mining from aggressive multinational firms. You can watch it in full...

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What They Died For

Jun 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]  By Peter Van Buren, Truthout | News Analysis   US soldiers provided security at the refinery in Baiji, northwest of Baghdad, in 2008. The facility at Baiji, Iraq’s biggest oil refinery, fell to Islamic extremists Wednesday morning, June 18, 2014. (Photo: Eros Hoagland / The New York Times)Of the 4,486 American military deaths in Iraq, 911 were considered “non-combat related,” that is, non-accidents, suicides. In some years, more soldiers died by their own hand than in combat. They died of the war, but not in the war. What for? I think of it now all the time as I see the images of Iraq’s unfolding civil war. Sometimes, I think I even recognize a place I had been, having spent a year in the midst of the United States’ occupation there, 2009 to...

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Free markets killed capitalism: Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan, Wal-Mart, Amazon and the 1 percent’s sick triumph over us all...

Jun 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Monopoly is back: Barry Lynn on the concentration of American economic power — and how we can restore fairness Thomas Frank SALON.COM Ayn Rand, Jeff Bezos, Ronald Reagan (Credit: AP/Reed Saxon/Salon) Barry C. Lynn is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of two important books, “End of the Line” and ”Cornered,” the latter of which describes the dramatic return of monopoly to the American landscape. Both books had a big effect on me when they appeared, as did Lynn’s periodic articles in Harper’s Magazine describing the concentration of economic power in all sorts of different industries. One of the reasons his books startled me is the weird silence of virtually all our other popular economic writers on the subject. Monopoly is back, in a massive way, and yet it seems...

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Bringing pleasure back to New England’s Detroit: Can a ghost town in Long Island Sound be revived from the dead?...

Jun 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Corruption and then heroism in this amazing race to return an urban waterfront jewel to a city in need of a break Andrea Powell A view of the abandoned carousel in the ghost town of Pleasure Beach in Connecticut. (Credit: Wikimedia/flickr/Logan) On a windy, damp morning in early April, Steve Hladun  stands in front of the gate that protects the tiny island of Pleasure Beach, Connecticut, from unwanted trespassers. His neon yellow raincoat stands out against the grey of the sea and sky around him. Pausing mid-sentence, the city official pats his pockets looking for the keys to the gate. Not finding them, he pulls out a credit card and swiftly picks the lock. Behind him, the city’s harbormaster looks on curiously from the dock. Steve flashes him a nervous smile and pushes...

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The Supreme Court’s baffling tech illiteracy is becoming a big problem...

Jun 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] If one thing was clear from decisions handed down this week, it’s that SCOTUS is clueless on technology Selina MacLaren  SALON.COM Supreme Court Chief Justices Antonin Scalia, John Roberts (Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid/AP/Larry Downing/photo collage by Salon) This week was a huge one for technology at the Supreme Court. The Court issued three opinions — Riley v. California, United States v. Wurie, and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo — that taken together served as an endorsement of cell phone privacy and a condemnation of the online retransmission of TV shows to paid subscribers. The months leading up to the decisions had been a rough ride for the justices. Following oral arguments for these cases, they were called “black-robed techno-fogeys.” They were ranked based on technological incompetence. Their discussions of “the cloud” became the soundtrack for a comical YouTube...

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A left-wing Tea Party may be closer than you think...

Jun 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] A few liberal pols get all the press, but the real work of movement-building is happening in the states Elias Isquith  Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Bill de Blasio (Credit: AP/Susan Walsh/Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/AP/Jason DeCrow) Correction: This article originally described McCray as running as a Maryland Working Families candidate, which is incorrect. McCray is a Democrat who is being supported by the grass-roots organization Maryland Working Families. We regret the error. After supposed RINO Thad Cochran relied in part on African-American voters to defeat Tea Party favorite Chris McDaniel and win the Mississippi GOP’s nomination to the Senate, FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe was very upset. Kibbe was so angry, in fact, that he was moved to petulantly declare, “If the only way the K Street wing of the GOP establishment can win is by courting Democrats...

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