Where there's a Will...

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SNL 2nd debate skit

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Is This Election Making You Confuse Fact with Fiction? Google Can Help

by Alyssa Newcomb

Get ready for a reality check, courtesy of Google.

google icon.jpg

Get ready for a reality check, courtesy of Google.

The search giant is launching a new label in Google News, letting readers know if the story they're clicking on contains fact checks.
Image: Google logo
Google is adding "fact check" tags to its news articles, introducing the feature amid a U.S. presidential race roiled by heated disputes over the accuracy of information.

Get ready for a reality check, courtesy of Google.

The search giant is launching a new label in Google News, letting readers know if the story they're clicking on contains fact checks.
Image: Google logo
Google is adding "fact check" tags to its news articles, introducing the feature amid a U.S. presidential race roiled by heated disputes over the accuracy of information.

Get ready for a reality check, courtesy of Google.

The search giant is launching a new label in Google News, letting readers know if the story they're clicking on contains fact checks.
Image: Google logo
Google is adding "fact check" tags to its news articles, introducing the feature amid a U.S. presidential race roiled by heated disputes over the accuracy of information.

The search giant is launching a new label in Google News, letting readers know if the story they're clicking on contains fact checks.

The fact check label was already hard at work on Friday, with politics perched in the top spot on Google News.

Under a story about Hillary Clinton saying Donald Trump "stalked" her around the debate stage, Google included a link to a FactCheck.org article called "Trump's Misguided Debate Bias Claim."

Although the new feature doesn't explicitly tell you whether or not the information is indeed fact or fiction, it does at least help users follow a trail to the heart of the matter, thereby arming users (i.e., voters) with actual truths.

Richard Gingras, head of news at Google, said an algorithm determines whether an article fits the model for fact checking and it must also contain special markup language before it earns the "fact check" label.

"We've heard that many readers enjoy having easy access to a diverse range of content types," he wrote in a blog post.

The fact check feature is available in the expanded story box on news.google.com, iOS and Android apps.

Perhaps this gift from Google is what America needs most in this final run-up to Election Day.

Michelle Obama Exposes Trump

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Ken Thompson: Legal Hero Passes

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Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson's Death Leaves Exoneration Movement Mourning

by Jon Schuppe

Not long after he was elected district attorney for Brooklyn, New York, in 2013, Kenneth Thompson cold-called a Harvard law professor and former public defender to ask for help digging through old cases for people who had been wrongly convicted.

At first, the professor thought Thompson had made a mistake: Why would a prosecutor want to hire someone who made a living exposing the justice system's flaws?


But Professor Ronald Sullivan quickly realized that Thompson was not a typical DA. He wanted his Conviction Review Unit to find true justice, even if it meant unraveling old guilty verdicts, or exposing wrongdoing. That meant having an outsider run it.

Related: Jailed but Innocent: Record Number of People Exonerated in 2015

"It's the right thing to do, and I'm committed to doing it the right way," Sullivan recalled Thompson telling him before he took the job.

Sullivan recalled that conversation Monday as a sort of requiem.

The night before, Thompson had died of cancer, five days after announcing he was ill.

The prosecutor's rapid demise shocked the small community of lawyers, advocates and law enforcement officials who work to free the wrongly convicted in America, a movement in which Thompson had become a hero.

In fewer than three years in office, Thompson built his Conviction Review Unit into one of the country's best, focusing not on DNA cases but on decades-old killings that relied less on forensic testing than on shoe-leather investigative work: reading through old records, re-interviewing witnesses, looking for slip-ups or outright misconduct.

Thompson inherited the Conviction Review Unit (CRU) from Charles Hynes, who'd led the office for more than two decades and left under suspicion that he'd overseen a wave of negligent prosecutions. Much of that cloud related to work by a former homicide detective, Louis Scarcella.

Thompson, who campaigned as a reformer, took as his model a conviction integrity unit in Dallas led by a public defender. That successful unit focused on old DNA cases. Thompson went further, turning to cases from New York's most violent era, the 1980s and 1990s -- when drug-related killings overwhelmed authorities, who cleared many cases with single witnesses and obtained confessions from unaccompanied juveniles.

As Thompson's unit, led by Sullivan, began examining those cases, a bunch stood out as deeply flawed. The investigators uncovered evidence that undermined convictions of defendants who'd been sitting in prison for decades.

"That staunch focus on integrity even where there was no CSI silver bullet set Thompson apart as a national figure," said Brandon Garrett, a University of Virginia School of Law professor and author of "Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong."
Ken Thompson, Cyrus Vance Jr., Bill deBlasio
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson addresses a news conference on gun-related violence in New York's City Hall, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. He is accompanied by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., left, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

In his first year in office, Thompson's unit exonerated 10 people who'd been wrongly convicted of murder. In 2015, they freed another seven innocent people, six of whom had been convicted of murder. And in the first eight months of 2016, the unit cleared six more, including three convicted of murder.

During that span, the CRU became the largest of its kind in the country, with 10 investigators and a million-dollar budget, and its record helped push the number of exonerations nationwide to record levels in 2015.

Conviction integrity units made a record 58 exonerations in 2015, more than a third of the 158 total exonerations that year, according to The National Registry of Exonerations.

Rosetta Spacecraft Takes It's Final Bow

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Mission Accomplished: Rosetta Probe Crash-Lands on Comet

by Alyssa Newcomb


Cheers erupted at the European Space Agency on Friday as the Rosetta spacecraft -- which traveled 4 billion miles over the course of a decade -- made a crash-landing onto the icy comet it has been orbiting for the past two years.

After catching up to Comet 67P and conducting scientific measurements of the rubber-duck shaped ball -- bringing back important data to Earth -- the probe fired its thrusters into the comet for the final time to get close-up measurements. It also ended Rosetta's run as an orbiter.

Catching up to a Speeding Comet

Rosetta made history when it reached Comet 67P on August 6, 2015, marking the culmination of a 10-year, four-billion-mile journey. Its Philae landed on Comet 67P on November 12, 2014.

While the event was historic, Philae had a bouncy landing, coming to rest in a position that obscured some of its solar panels. The landing spot led to Philae having intermittent contact with Rosetta, which was its line of communication back to Earth.

This Comet Sings

Scientists were expecting to see a lot on Comet 67P, but they never expected it would greet them with a song. It's believed the song comes from oscillations in the comet's magnetic field, according to the ESA.

This story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

We've all heard it before: "Yeah, but the climate has ALWAYS changed."

Oh, really? Well, this timeline of Earth's average temperature shows just how much we've influenced the climate. This epic webcomic was created by Randall Munroe, the artist behind xkcd, one of our favorite places for simplifying complicated scientific concepts.

It's pretty long, but bear with us.


You made it! Of course the climate has always changed, but we're now seeing temperatures never experienced before.

Rule 41

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Now the Government Wants to Hack Cybercrime Victims


Kim Zetter

Three new changes in federal court rules have vastly expanded law enforcement's ability to hack into computers around the world.

The changes, to a federal court procedure known as Rule 41, were announced last week by the Supreme Court. They would let magistrate judges routinely issue search warrants to hack into computers outside their jurisdiction. The changes would also let magistrates issue a single search warrant for numerous computers in multiple jurisdictions, saving law enforcement the burden of having to obtain a separate warrant for each computer. This means a judge in Virginia could issue a single warrant for computers in California, Florida, Illinois and even overseas.

The government says the changes are minor but necessary to keep pace with cross-border internet crime and anonymizing software like Tor that hides the real IP address and location of computers. But civil liberties groups say the amendments let authorities conduct expansive hacking operations with little oversight, potentially threatening the security and privacy of innocent parties. They're also alarmed that the changes suggest the government aims to hack the computers of crime victims--not just perpetrators.

One senator, Ron Wyden (D--Oregon), has already promised to introduce legislation that would halt the changes to Rule 41, but he only has seven months to get it passed.

Here's a breakdown of the three changes and why they're so controversial.

Radioctive Water Where I live

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Great!! This about 20 miles from where I live.

Massive sinkhole drains radioactive contaminated water into Floridan aquifer


POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) -- A massive sinkhole on top of a Mosaic gypsum stack near Mulberry allowed millions of gallons of contaminated water to flow into the Floridan Aquifer.

Eagle 8 flew over the huge chasm in the earth and spotted a cascading waterfall in the middle of what looks like a moonscape. The is happening in the New Wales plant off Highway 640, south of Mulberry.

The sinkhole opened up almost three weeks ago. Since then, about 215 million gallons of contaminated water have drained into the aquifer. The sinkhole is about 40 feet across. It's depth is unknown.

It sits right in the middle of a massive gypsum stack. Gypsum comes out of the plant after the company produces phosphate fertilizers and animal feed ingredients.

On Aug. 27 workers monitoring water levels discovered a drop. "When it was first noticed, we installed pumping systems to move water out of that compartment on the gypsum stack, to recover the water," said David Jellerson, Mosaic's director of environment and phosphate projects.

The water is contaminated with phosphoric acid and is slightly radioactive. Not all of it is being caught by pumps.

You wouldn't want to drink it, but so far, Mosaic engineers don't believe the water is making it to private wells.

Near the gypsum stack, Mosaic has monitoring wells. "We're confident that the wells we started up are capturing that water pulling it back," Jellerosn said.

He said the closest homeowners, who are all several miles away, can still use their water without worry, but if they have concerns, Mosaic will test it.

So far, the company maintains, everything is OK.

"We continue to monitor the stack, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to insure that there's no safety or environmental concern on top of the gypsum stack itself, as well as around the rest of the property," plant assistant general manager Chris Hagemo said.

It took a week for Mosaic workers to figure out where all that water was going.

The next step is to repair the hole in the gypsum stack and continue monitoring to make sure the contaminated water is not getting into drinking water. Representatives from the Department of Environmental Protection are at the plant and have been here every day since the sinkhole was discovered.

T.I. - Warzone

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Kida Wins SYTYCD

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He was my favorite all along....but check out how good his choreography skills are to boot:

He was fantasitic with Fik-Shun, but check out how eel he did outside of his normal genre

Tate & Kida's Paso Doble Performance

This kid has a great future.

And so does 2nd place, 10 yr old JT

J.T. & Marko's Bollywood Performance

This one was fantastic

J.T. & Robert's Contemporary Dance "The Mirror"


Re-thinking How the Moon Came To Be

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Moon's Birth May Have Vaporized Most of Earth


The massive collision that created the moon may have vaporized most of the early Earth, according to a new analysis of samples collected during the Apollo moon missions.

In the early days of planet formation, a grazing collision between the newborn Earth and a Mars-size rock named Theia (named after the mother of the moon in Greek myth) may have led to the birth of the moon, according to a prevailing hypothesis. Debris from the impact later coalesced into the moon.

This "giant-impact hypothesis" seemed to explain many details about Earth and the moon, such as the large size of the moon compared with Earth and the rotation rates of the two bodies. But in the last 15 years, evidence has arisen that has challenged scientists to alter the details of this hypothesis. [How the Moon Evolved: A Timeline in Images]
Forming the moon

In 2001, scientists began discovering that terrestrial and lunar rocks had a lot in common: the two bodies possess many of the same chemical isotopes. (Isotopes of an element have different numbers of neutrons from each other. These subvarieties are identified by different numbers; for example, potassium-39 or potassium-40). Isotopes can act as geologic fingerprints, because prior work has suggested that planetary bodies that formed in different parts of the solar system generally have different isotopic compositions.

These discoveries threw the giant-impact hypothesis into crisis because previous computer simulations of the collision predicted that 60 to 80 percent of the material that coalesced into the moon came from Theia rather than Earth. The likelihood that Theia happened to have virtually the same isotopic composition as Earth seemed extremely unlikely.

At first, scientists thought more precise isotopic analyses might help resolve this "isotopic crisis." However, more accurate measurements of oxygen isotopes reported in 2016 only helped confirm this problem, said study lead author Kun Wang, a geochemist now at Washington University in St. Louis.

"Now we need to rethink the ideas that we had about the giant impact," Wang told

New models of the giant impact seek to explain how the moon could have formed from mostly the same material that makes up the Earth, rather than mostly from Theia.

"There are many new models -- everyone is trying to come up with one -- but two have been very influential," Wang said in a statement. [How the Moon Formed: 5 Wild Lunar Theories]

The original giant-impact model suggested that a relatively low-energy collision melted part of Earth and the whole of Theia, flinging some of the molten debris outward. One relatively new model, proposed in 2007, starts with a low-energy impact just like the original model, but adds an atmosphere of silicate vapor around Earth and the disk of debris that ends up forming the moon. This model suggests that this vapor shroud helps Earth and the disk exchange material before the moon emerges from the debris.

One drawback of this low-energy impact model is that it would take a long time to exchange material through an atmosphere, Wang said. This scenario would make it difficult to achieve the mix of material seen in terrestrial and lunar rocks, he said.

Another model, proposed in 2015, suggests that a high-energy impact created the moon, one so violent that it vaporized Theia as well as most of Earth, including the young planet's mantle region (the layer just above the core). This dense vapor then formed an atmosphere that filled a space more than 500 times bigger than today's Earth. Much of this material would fall back onto the Earth as it cooled, but in addition, some of the debris formed the moon.

In this high-energy model, the atmosphere would behave like a "supercritical fluid," without a distinct separation between liquids and gases. Material could mix thoroughly in such an atmosphere, which could help explain the identical isotopic compositions of Earth and the moon, Wang said.

To see which model might best explain how the moon formed, Wang and his colleague Stein Jacobsen at Harvard University focused on potassium isotope data from terrestrial rocks and lunar samples gathered during the Apollo missions. Potassium is volatile, or easy to evaporate, and previous research suggested that analyzing potassium isotopes could shed light on the conditions during the event that formed the moon.

The scientists analyzed seven moon rocks collected during the Apollo 11, 12, 14 and 16 missions. They compared their potassium isotope ratios with those of eight rocks representative of Earth's mantle.

The researchers developed a method to analyze potassium isotopes with a level of precision 10 times better than the best previous technique. Potassium has three stable isotopes, but only two of them, potassium-39 and potassium-41, are abundant enough to be measured with sufficient precision for this research.

The scientists discovered that lunar rocks were richer by about 0.4 parts per thousand compared with Earth rocks when it came to potassium-41, the heavier stable isotope of potassium.

These findings support the high-energy impact model, which predicted that lunar rocks would possess more of the heavier isotope than terrestrial rocks. In contrast, the low-energy impact model suggested that lunar rocks would contain less of the heavier isotope.

The best explanation for how the heavier isotope came to dominate was that the moon condensed in a cloud with a pressure of more than 10 bar, or about 10 times the atmospheric pressure on Earth at sea level.

"I'm kind of surprised that the new model fits the data the best," Wang said. Still, "we had no expectation which model we were going to support," he said.

Future research should conduct follow-up studies to test these new findings. "We're definitely hoping more people will follow up and try to confirm our results," Wang said.

Wang and Jacobsen detailed their findings online Sept. 12 in the journal Nature.

Olbermann is back!!!

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Now You Know #45

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Why Pretzels and Gunshot Wounds Make Us Thirsty

I re-watched one of my all-time favorite movies the other night: Unforgiven. After William Munney (Clint Eastwood) shoots his first victim, the camera zooms in on the fallen cowboy as he begins complaining about how thirsty he is, begging his companions for water. In a moment of compassion, Munney agrees to put down his gun to allow the cowboy's friends to bring him a canteen.

You've probably all seen a similar scene before in another movie, if not this one (hopefully you've never seen it in person). Victims of gunshot wounds, or other wounds that involve a drastic loss of blood, are often portrayed as being very thirsty. I'm not sure if the reason why this occurs is common knowledge, but in case it's not, I thought I would write a quick explanation.

First, a little about water in the body. The cells in our body not only contain water, but also are surrounded by what is called interstitial fluid. This fluid bathes the cells in a "seawater" type solution that contains water, sodium (Na), amino acids, sugars, neurotransmitters, hormones, etc. The cell is normally in an isotonic, or balanced, state in relation to its extracellular environment, meaning water doesn't generally leave or enter the cell at large rates.

Water is also an important constituent of blood. It is essential for keeping blood volume at a level that allows for proper functioning of the heart. If volume gets too low, the atria of the heart don't fill completely, and the heart cannot pump properly.

The need to keep the fluid balance in the body at a regular level results in the occurrence of two types of thirst that affect us when that equilibrium is disturbed: osmometric thirst and volumetric thirst. Osmometric thirst occurs when the osmotic balance between the amount of water in the cells and the water outside the cells becomes disturbed. This is what happens when we eat salty pretzels. The Na is absorbed into the blood plasma, which disrupts the osmotic balance between the blood plasma and the interstitial fluid. This draws water out of the interstitial fluid and into the plasma, now upsetting the balance between the cells and the interstitial fluid. The result is water leaving the cells to restore the balance.

The disruption in the interstitial solution is recognized by neurons called osmoreceptors, located in the region of the anterior hypothalamus. They send signals that cause us to drink more water, in order to restore the osmotic balance between the cells and the surrounding fluid. In the case of pretzel eating, if we don't drink more water, eventually the excess Na is simply excreted by the kidneys.

Now, to the graver situation of a gunshot wound, and the other type of thirst: volumetric. Volumetric refers to the volume of the blood plasma, which is highly dependent upon water content of the body. As mentioned above, maintaining an adequate blood plasma volume is essential to proper functioning of the heart. If it gets too low, the heart can't pump effectively.

When someone is injured and loses a lot of blood volume (known as hypovolaemia), less blood reaches the kidneys. This causes the kidneys to secrete an enzyme called renin, which enters the blood and catalyzes a hormone called angiotensinogen to convert it into a hormone called angiotensin. One form of angiotensin (angiotensin II) causes the pituitary gland and adrenal cortex to secrete hormones that prompt the kidneys to conserve water as a protective measure. Angiotensin II also affects the subfornical organ (SFO), an organ that lies just outside the blood-brain barrier. Through the SFO angiotensin II stimulates thirst.

There are also receptors in the heart that recognize decreases in blood plasma. Known as atrial baroreceptors, they detect reductions in blood plasma volume and subsequently stimulate thirst by signaling neurons in the medulla. So, when someone is shot and losing a lot of blood, it is because of the decrease in blood plasma volume that brain regions are stimulated through both of the above pathways to stimulate thirst.

Processes that stimulate thirst are really much more complicated than this brief explanation. But, I thought this was enough to give a general idea of why salty foods and gunshot wounds have similar effects on our desire to drink water.

Quote du jour #877

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"Objective truths are established by evidence. Personal truths by faith. Political truths by incessant repetition."
- Neil De Grasse Tyson

Just Deserts

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A good move that needs repeating across the country.

South Carolina Cop Who Killed Unarmed Teen Is Fired

The South Carolina police officer who fatally shot unarmed 19-year-old Zachary Hammond during a drug sting last year has been fired, Seneca Police Chief John Covington said.

In a statement to NBC News, Covington said Officer Mark Tiller's last day on the payroll will be Friday.

Hammond was on a first date on July 26, 2015, when Tiller shot him twice. Hammond's date, Tori Morton, was the subject of the sting, and an undercover officer was waiting for her at a Hardee's when Hammond pulled into the restaurant's parking lot.

Authorities said Hammond tried to run Tiller over when he saw police lights -- an assertion the teen's family lawyer called "ridiculous" and "offensive."

Morton, who was not injured, was charged with simple possession of marijuana.

No criminal charges were filed against Tiller, but in April, a judge approved a $2.1 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Hammond's family, NBC station WYFF of Greenville reported.

In a statement, a Hammond family lawyer called the decision to fire Tiller "admirable."

"We want to let Chief Covington know that we appreciate his decision," the statement said, according to WYFF.

"After Zachary's death, the Hammonds placed their faith in the justice system and were hoping that Lt. Tiller was going to have to answer for his actions and the decisions he made which resulted in such a senseless death," it said. "With each passing day the Hammonds never lost hope that Lt. Tiller would in the future never again have the highest honor of serving the public as a police officer, wear the uniform and carry a weapon. It appears that today is such a day."

Do the right thing, Mr. Speaker...

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Speaker Ryan:

This presidential campaign has raised a few crucial questions, ones you are uniquely qualified to answer: What does the Republican Party stand for? And how much damage is it willing to inflict on itself--and the country--to put Donald Trump in the White House?


Let's start with the reality that has led the GOP to the crisis it now faces: Trump is not a Republican. Sure, he appears on the ballot with an R next to his name, but you are supporting a candidate who has hijacked your party. This is my fourth open letter urging you to withdraw your endorsement of Trump, and at no point have I suggested that my efforts are in support of Hillary Clinton; instead, these missives were written to preserve the two-party system and to save the GOP and its rational supporters from the toxin of Trumpism. I have already written to you about my experiences with Trump, dating back decades, that convinced me he will govern as recklessly as he has campaigned; I have also reviewed for you his repeated lies under oath and discussed the disturbing ruse of his "religious commitment." Now I will address what, for you, Mr. Speaker, may be the most important point here: Trump will poison the Republican brand for decades because he embodies the racist, xenophobic, angry faction your party has exploited for the past eight years.

The high point for the modern Republican Party may have been the 1984 GOP convention. Ronald Reagan was riding toward his 49-state romp over former Vice President Walter Mondale, and the mood at the convention was upbeat, with party leaders looking to expand what was being called "Big Tent Republicanism" to make the GOP appealing to all Americans. That message was hit throughout the GOP gathering in Dallas, perhaps with the strongest moment coming during the keynote address by Reagan's U.S. treasurer, Katherine Ortega, who spoke to voters outside the party by saying, "Nuestra casa es su casa."

Related: Donald Trump's History of Lying Under Oath

Our house is your house--a powerful message for Hispanics and all nonwhite voters, as well as others who previously might not have felt welcomed by the party.

The GOP's low point is now. In the eight years building up to this election cycle, the party has made foolish, self-destructive decisions that showed contempt for voters who are not traditional Republicans. The birther nonsense--contending that Barack Obama is not an American--was subtly, and sometimes explicitly, encouraged by Republican politicians. Conservatives are now acknowledging that the effort was, as Republican Senator Jeff Flake said, "a fantasy."

Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak was more blunt in a series of tweets. He bemoaned the rise of Trump and tied it to the birthers. "We knew Obama wasn't born in Kenya. But for some conservatives, we liked seeing Obama being forced to answer questions and provide documentation.... Republicans had a chance to do the right thing, and many passed. Many Republicans didn't want to offend their base, which despised Obama for taking the country far left. But the base was wrong."

The enterprise was built on racism, and minorities throughout the country know it. Add to that the GOP's refusal to fix the Voting Rights Act to address concerns raised by the Supreme Court, its grotesque efforts to gerrymander congressional districts on what the courts have found to be intentionally racial lines, and its pumping up of another fantasy of your base--voter fraud--that courts have also found is designed to make it harder for minorities to vote, and the message is clear: People in the fastest-growing demographics are not welcome in the Republican Party. In fact, they are an enemy that must be stopped.

There is no "Nuestra casa es su casa" message anymore. Instead, phrases like "Fuck that nigger!" are yelled (on camera) at Trump rallies. Hispanic citizens of the U.S. are regularly confronted with screams of "Build the wall!" A dark-skinned Trump supporter was escorted out of a rally for fear he was a protester. Sean Jackson, the head of the Black Republican Caucus of Florida, was also evicted from a rally and now says the Trump campaign doesn't care about minorities. When Senator Tim Kaine, the Democrats' vice presidential nominee, spoke Spanish in his speech at the convention (just as Ortega did at the Republican convention more than three decades ago), ├╝ber-preppy conservative Tucker Carlson on Fox News saw this as ominous, warning that it had "deeper implications for the country."

I do not believe the Republican Party is racist, but racism is a slow-growing cancer within it that metastasized during the Obama administration. Trump is the ultimate (and predictable) outcome of the GOP's pandering to bigots. He has been sued by the government for refusing to rent apartments in his buildings to black people. His casinos were fined for removing black card dealers. He was one of the leaders of the birther movement. He attacks a judge as biased merely because he's of Mexican descent. He does not condemn the many white supremacists campaigning for him. He refers to "the blacks" as some monolithic group that is universally poor and uneducated. His attacks on Muslim-Americans have been reprehensible.

Trump's appeals to hatred are having a huge effect, even on children, according to 5,000 teachers polled by the Southern Poverty Law Center about the state of racism in schools. Read these quotes: "My students are terrified of Donald Trump," says one teacher from a middle school with a large population of African-American Muslims. "They think that if he's elected, all black people will get sent back to Africa." In Oregon, an elementary school teacher says her black students are "concerned for their safety because of what they see on TV at Trump rallies." In Tennessee, a kindergarten teacher says a Latino child, who has been bullied by classmates telling him he will be deported, asks every day, "Is the wall here yet?"

If the leaders of the Republican Party continue to support this hateful, lying demagogue, it will rightfully be pushed into irrelevance as these children grow up and America's old, white racists die off.

And why, Mr. Speaker, should you allow your party to be brought down by a man who doesn't stand for Republican beliefs? Compare Trump's policies with the long-standing principles of the Republican Party. In the 1980s, Reagan was clear about the party's commitment to free trade. "Protectionism is destructionism,'' he said in his 1988 State of the Union address. "Our goal must be a day when the free flow of trade, from the tip of Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic Circle, unites the people of the Western Hemisphere in a bond of mutually beneficial exchange.''

Trump constantly declares that many of the free trade agreements vigorously supported by Republicans have led to the "rape" of the United States. He wants only "good deals," while attacking Republican bastions like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for "selling out Americans." What are those good deals? How will he achieve them? What pixie dust does he have that the rest of the Republican Party has chosen not to use for decades? He has often vowed to impose high tariffs to bully American companies into keeping jobs in the United States. Experts in both parties say that would lead to a ruinous trade war.

Now consider Trump's many harangues against the immigration of Muslims and people from many Muslim countries. I don't need to make an argument here, Mr. Speaker, because you've already done it for me. "This is not conservatism," you said in May. "[It] is not what this party stands for, and more importantly, it's not what this country stands for." Yet it is a primary message of the Trump campaign.

What about Trump and the military? Reagan said, "Use of force is always and only a last resort." Compare this with Trump, whose strategy for dealing with the Islamic State militant group includes attacking both allied and non-allied nations in the Middle East to "bomb the shit out" of refineries and pipelines "until there was nothing left." Then he would lead some sort of invasion (Syria? Iraq?) while ignoring the sovereignty of those countries, to force them to bring in Exxon Mobil to rebuild. How can any responsible adult support such a dangerous, ignorant plan, one that would violate international law? Trump can do it because he thinks experts are stupid. "I know more about ISIS than the generals do,'' he proclaimed during the campaign.

A lot of Trump's military strategy is based on war crimes. Regarding terrorists, for example, he said that "you have to take out their families." How will he force the U.S. military personnel to intentionally murder innocents and risk ending up in the dock at The Hague? When told that the military would refuse to carry out an illegal order, Trump harrumphed, "They won't refuse. They're not going to refuse me. If I say do it, they're going to do it."

His love of torture suggests more war crimes. He doesn't even use the phrase "enhanced interrogation," which the Bush administration coined to represent a torture-light that didn't cross the lines of legality (an argument now dismissed by almost every legal expert). Trump just flat out declares, "Torture works," and he vows to use it extensively, despite the fact that it violates both international and federal law and has been proven to not work. Even the authors of the Bush administration's interrogation policy oppose Trump.

There are so many more profound differences between Trumpism and Republicanism: taxes, Social Security, Cuba, eminent domain, Medicare drug negotiations and so on. He has suggested America should abandon military agreements with Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia and push each of those nations to develop nuclear weapons. He has denigrated America's commitment to NATO and waffled on whether the U.S. would meet its obligations for a joint defense. He has insulted major U.S. allies, including the former British prime minister and the German chancellor; he snubbed the Israeli prime minister after he criticized a Trump policy and even threatened the mayor of London. It seems the only major international figure Trump has not insulted or appalled is Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he has repeatedly praised.

Which leads back to my original question, Mr. Speaker: What is the Republican Party today? What is it you're endorsing in this campaign? If you believe the GOP stands for racism, xenophobia, protectionism, nuclear proliferation, torture, war crimes, the reckless use of military force and fanboy support for a powerful and conniving dictator who threatens America, then please proceed. But I am sure you support none of that.

Do the right thing, Mr. Speaker. Withdraw your endorsement of this dangerous man. Do not put the futures of my children and yours at risk. Stand up for what the Republican Party has historically believed and condemn Donald Trump.

and as a result, the reason Blacks do not thrive...

culheath 21 hours ago #1.15

In reply to: john-737278 #1.6

....didn't destroy black families and communities, welfare did.

Slavery is exactly what destroyed Black families. How can you possibly be that out of touch with the history? The emasculating of Black males was a primary feature of slavery and it was implemented intentionally and sometimes literally over generations. The male Black body is still feared and made mythical even to this day. Your premise is false in that you assume a modern cause.

culheath21 hours ago #1.18

In reply to: Goalone #1.8

The Democrat party is the home of institutionalized black racism.

No, you and your assumptions and refusal to take personal responsibility for your part in what maintains misconceptions about White privilege and Black oppression is the real home of racism. Racism is not partisan, it is ignorance and that knows no particular politic.

sawyer-267399021 hours ago #1.19

In reply to: culheath #1.15

On when the Black family deteriorated you really need to educate yourself. Check out the facts in this link

In fact, "when blacks were just one generation out of slavery, the census data of that era showed that slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than had white adults."

In 1950, 72 percent of all black men and 81 percent of black women had been married.

In 1965, 76.4 percent of black children were born to married women

In 2009, 73% of black children were born to unmarried mothers.

Up until the Great Society welfare push by LBJ and well intended liberals, the black family was very stable and blacks were making gains to close the gaps on income with whites and there employment figures were as good as whites. Welfare is not bad in itself, but when it is tied to rules which incentivize negative cultural choices it can potentially destroy that culture. It puts me in mind of well intended missionaries, that destroyed tribes of indigenous peoples just by their presence (bringing in diseases to which they had no resistance).

Everyone keeps saying they want details on how Trump will help the black community. His main thrust is that he is going to create a better economy and more opportunity and jobs by adjusting trade deals and priorities in terms of taxes and onerous regulations. He will also create more demand of labor and increase pressure to increase wages by stemming illegal immigration.

If you don't believe in demand and supply, just look at how the price of oil plunged after the development of the fracking technology which allowed the USA to once again become one of the top producers in the world. The democrats will have you believe only illegal immigrants will do some jobs. The problem is they do the jobs for very low wages and often off books so that employers avoid social security and other proper taxes. Meanwhile their children and other family members have access to welfare and schools. So their true wages are much higher (they are subsidized the hell out of).

If you imagine that pool of labor gone, the jobs will still be there, but the employers will have to pay competitive wages to attract the (American citizen) labor to do them. Also the schools will have fewer (subsidized illegal immigrant) children to deal with and so one can expect higher quality of education for those that remain (legally).

culheath17 hours ago #1.26

In reply to: sawyer-2673990 #1.19

Your assumptions and data is flawed. Single parent household can be tracked back to the mid 1800's. There have been many studies done on this matter and perspectives of Daniel Moynihan and his reports on the effects of welfare as the causative reason has been laid to rest.


The most perplexing question abut American slavery, which has never been altogether explained, and which indeed most Americans hardly know exists, has been stated by Nathan Glazer as follows: "Why was American slavery the most awful the world has ever known?"The only thing that can be said with certainty is that this is true: it was.

American slavery was profoundly different from, and in its lasting effects on individuals and their children, indescribably worse than, any recorded servitude, ancient or modern. The peculiar nature of American slavery was noted by Alexis de Tocqueville and others, but it was not until 1948 that Frank Tannenbaum, a South American specialist, pointed to the striking differences between Brazilian and American slavery. The feudal, Catholic society of Brazil had a legal and religious tradition which accorded the slave a place as a human being in the hierarchy of society -- a luckless, miserable place, to be sure, but a place withal. In contrast, there was nothing in the tradition of English law or Protestant theology which could accommodate to the fact of human bondage -- the slaves were therefore reduced to the status of chattels -- often, no doubt, well cared for, even privileged chattels, but chattels nevertheless.

Glazer, also focusing on the Brazil-United States comparison, continues.
"In Brazil, the slave had many more rights than in the United States: he could legally marry, he could, indeed had to, be baptized and become a member of the Catholic Church, his family could not be broken up for sale, and he had many days on which he could either rest or earn money to buy his freedom. The Government encouraged manumission, and the freedom of infants could often be purchased for a small sum at the baptismal font. In short: the Brazilian slave knew he was a man, and that he differed in degree, not in kind, from his master."13

"[In the United States,] the slave was totally removed from the protection of organized society (compare the elaborate provisions for the protection of slaves in the Bible), his existence as a human being was given no recognition by any religious or secular agency, he was totally ignorant of and completely cut off from his past, and he was offered absolutely no hope for the future. His children could be sold, his marriage was not recognized, his wife could be violated or sold (there was something comic about calling the woman with whom the master permitted him to live a 'wife'), and he could also be subject, without redress, to frightful barbarities -- there were presumably as many sadists among slaveowners, men and women, as there are in other groups. The slave could not, by law, be taught to read or write; he could not practice any religion without the permission of his master, and could never meet with his fellows, for religious or any other purposes, except in the presence of a white; and finally, if a master wished to free him, every legal obstacle was used to thwart such action. This was not what slavery meant in the ancient world, in medieval and early modern Europe, or in Brazil and the West Indies.

"More important, American slavery was also awful in its effects. If we compared the present situation of the American Negro with that of, let us say, Brazilian Negroes (who were slaves 20 years longer), we begin to suspect that the differences are the result of very different patterns of slavery. Today the Brazilian Negroes are Brazilians; though most are poor and do the hard and dirty work of the country, as Negroes do in the United States, they are not cut off from society. They reach into its highest strata, merging there -- in smaller and smaller numbers, it is true, but with complete acceptance -- with other Brazilians of all kinds. The relations between Negroes and whites in Brazil show nothing of the mass irrationality that prevails in this country."
Stanley M. Elkins, drawing on the aberrant behavior of the prisoners in Nazi concentration camps, drew an elaborate parallel between the two institutions. This thesis has been summarized as follows by Thomas Pettigrew:

"Both were closed systems, with little chance of manumission, emphasis on survival, and a single, omnipresent authority. The profound personality change created by Nazi internment, as independently reported by a number of psychologists and psychiatrists who survived, was toward childishness and total acceptance of the SS guards as father-figures -- a syndrome strikingly similar to the 'Sambo' caricature of the Southern slave. Nineteenth-century racists readily believed that the 'Sambo' personality was simply an inborn racial type. Yet no African anthropological data have ever shown any personality type resembling Sambo; and the concentration camps molded the equivalent personality pattern in a wide variety of Caucasian prisoners. Nor was Sambo merely a product of 'slavery' in the abstract, for the less devastating Latin American system never developed such a type.

"Extending this line of reasoning, psychologists point out that slavery in all its forms sharply lowered the need for achievement in slaves... Negroes in bondage, stripped of their African heritage, were placed in a completely dependent role. All of their rewards came, not from individual initiative and enterprise, but from absolute obedience -- a situation that severely depresses the need for achievement among all peoples. Most important of all, slavery vitiated family life... Since many slaveowners neither fostered Christian marriage among their slave couples nor hesitated to separate them on the auction block, the slave household often developed a fatherless matrifocal (mother-centered) pattern."

- See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/primary/moynihan-report-1965#chapter3

Four Things You Can't Recover

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  1. The stone after it's thrown.

  2. The word after it's said.

  3. The occasion after it's missed.

  4. The time after it's passed.


Typical SNAFU

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Freaking ridiculous amount of corruption:

Today, "no one knows where many of the weapons are, until they turn up on social media or announce themselves in combat or crime with the crack of incoming fire, a reminder of tens of billions of dollars gone into nations where violence and terrorism continue apace," Chivers wrote.

"What to do?" the Times reporter wondered. "If past is precedent, given enough time one of the United States' solutions will be, once again, to ship in more guns."


Pentagon Has No Clue Where Hundreds of Thousands of Weapons Went

The U.S. government has shipped over 1.4 million guns to Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11, according a new analysis by the U.K.-based watchdog Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), but the Pentagon is only able to account for fewer than half of them.

AOAV released its analysis of publicly available data on U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contracts on Wednesday, and added that when requested to provide its own accounting for the small arms provided to the war-torn nations, "the DoD data shows that over 700,000 small arms were sent from the U.S. to Iraq and Afghanistan within these periods. However, this amount only accounts for 48 percent of the total small arms supplied by the U.S. government that can be found in open source government reports."

AOAV also noted that the total number of small weapons the U.S. provided to Iraq and Afghanistan is likely to be far higher than even the group's count, as the Pentagon kept such shoddy records of the planeloads of weapons it dispatched to those countries--if it kept any records at all.

"Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks," observed C.J. Chivers in the New York Times Magazine, "the United States has handed out a vast but persistently uncountable quantity of military firearms to its many battlefield partners in Afghanistan and Iraq. Today the Pentagon has only a partial idea of how many weapons it issued, much less where these weapons are. Meanwhile, the effectively bottomless abundance of black-market weapons from American sources is one reason Iraq will not recover from its post-invasion woes anytime soon."

"This failure shows the lack of accountability, transparency and joined up data that exists at the very heart of the U.S. government's weapon procurement and distribution systems," AOAV wrote.

Chivers added:

All together, the sheer size of the expenditures, the sustained confusion about totals and the multiple pressures eroding the stock combine to create a portrait of the Pentagon's bungling the already-awkward role it chose for itself--that of state-building arms dealer, a role that routinely led to missions in clear opposition to each other. While fighting two rapidly evolving wars, the American military tried to create and bolster new democracies, governments and political classes; recruit, train and equip security and intelligence forces on short schedule and at outsize scale; repair and secure transportation infrastructure; encourage the spread or restoration of the legal industry and public services; and leave behind something more palatable and sturdy than rule by thugs.

Any one of these efforts would be difficult on its own. But the United States was trying all these things at once while buying and flying into both countries a prodigious quantity of light military weapons and handing them out to local people and outfits it barely knew. The recipients were often manifestly corrupt and sometimes had close ties to the same militias and insurgents who were trying to drive out the United States and make sure its entire nation-building project did not stand. It should not have been a surprise that American units in disaffected provinces and neighborhoods, and their partners, could encounter gunfire at every turn.

Love make the World Go Round

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Defining a Movement

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blm standoff.jpg

It's the image that is defining a protest movement.

A woman in an elegant summer dress is photographed standing defiantly against a line of Baton Rouge police officers.

Taken by Jonathan Bachman for Reuters, the photo was being hailed Monday as one of the most significant news images of recent times, capturing a powerful moment that illustrates America's racial fault lines.

The woman in the picture is reportedly Ieshia Evans, a 28-year-old nurse from New York.

Quote de jour #458

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Family is the tie that binds, but while one end under girds human civilization, the other is a noose choking away our individuation
Sherlock to Joan - from Elementary

Vine comment #21,870

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In regard to the recent Orlando massacre:

Filibuster Ends After GOP Agrees to Allow Gun Control Votes: Senator

Comment section :

Misscreant19 hours ago #1

Well, I was going to write,"So, this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause," but I'm thinking that liberty actually died some time ago.
92 replies

culheath #1.1

In reply to: Misscreant #1

Liberty died for 49 people in Orlando just a few days ago to a thunderous sound, but it wasn't applause.

That will arrive from a vast majority of the American people when these common sense bills are passed, signalling the end of the NRA choke hold we've so deeply despised.

Thank you Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy for your lengthy filibuster and courageous stand against the insanity.

John Oliver Forgiving Debt

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Dirtbag Politics

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Clinton and Obama Team Up Against Trump

Speaking 250 miles apart Tuesday, but as if reading from the same hymnal, President Barack Obama and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton delivered simultaneous withering critiques of Donald Trump's response to the Orlando terror attack.

The seemingly coordinated salvo from the Democratic Party's two biggest heavyweights is a preview of the months to come, when Clinton will have at her disposal at least two popular presidents, the vice president, her Democratic primary opponent, and a slew of other high-profile Democrats.

Clinton's campaign would not comment specifically on whether the two speeches were coordinated, but spokesperson Nick Merrill said, "Obviously we speak regularly with the White House."

As the Clinton campaign musters a coordinated communications strategy, Trump has been left more or less to defend himself, with few high-profile surrogates to back him up.

"At this point, Trump is like an army column advancing with no armor on either side of him," said Robert Shrum, a former top strategist to two Democratic presidential campaigns. "He put himself in a very vulnerable position."

Related: Angry President Tears into Trump Like Never Before

In its response to Obama's evisceration Tuesday, the Republican National Committee, which Trump has leaned on to supplement his under-developed campaign, made no effort to defend its presumptive nominee. The committee's press release criticized Obama's terror strategy and linked it to Clinton without even mentioning Trump.

The disparity between the two sides has been especially noteworthy since the Orlando mass shooting upended the campaign script.

During Trump's speech in New Hampshire on Monday, when he expanded his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S., the state's top Republican officials did not attend -- the audience was filled instead with people invited by Republican operatives.

None of the North Carolina GOP congressional delegation was expected to attend Trump's campaign event Tuesday night in Greensboro, NC, either, citing congressional business, according to an NBC News survey.

The tandem rebuke of the Republican on Tuesday by former rivals Obama and Clinton, regardless of whether the White House and the campaign coordinated directly, worked together to reinforce the party line.

Obama in Washington, mocked Trump's fixation with Democrats' refusal to say the words "radical Islam," which has become a key argument against Obama and Clinton in their approach to terrorism.

"There's no magic to the phrase 'radical Islam.' It's a political talking point," Obama said. "Not once has an advisor said, 'Man, if we only used that phrase, we'd really turn this thing around.' "

Related: Republicans Run From Donald Trump's Orlando Response

Clinton, at a union hall in Pittsburgh, echoed the sentiment. "Is Donald Trump saying that somehow there are magic words that once uttered will stop terrorists from coming after us?" she asked.

Obama also knocked "yapping" from "politicians who tweet" -- Twitter being one of Trump's primary means of communication -- adding that "loose talk and sloppiness" is dangerous.

Clinton, for her part, slammed Trump's response to the Orlando shooting as reckless and lacking substance. "He went on TV and suggested that President Obama is on the side of the terrorists. Now just think about that for a second," she said. "Even in a time of divided politics, this is way beyond anything that should be said by someone running for President of the United States."

Fallon Obama Slow Jam news

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What other prez could pull this off?

a day to feel alive

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Finally found the original tune and performer to a tune that instantly grabbed me

Great tune

Well done Mrs C


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