Caitlin MacNeal: The Conservative Ideas The Koch Brothers Want To Sneak Into Schools (Talking Points Memo)
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction last week encouraged high school teachers to use a history curriculum drafted by a group funded by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers. The state legislature passed a law in 2011 requiring public schools in the state to offer a history course on the "Founding Principles," which was based on model legislation from the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Paul Krugman: American Evil (NY Times)
About George W. Bush administration: "And it was an administration under which America became a torturer, with the enthusiastic approval of top officials.
This wasn't normal. And if it's going be normal from now on, all the more reason to remember the Bush years with horror."
Jack Monroe: Poverty has left me unable to open my own front door (Guardian)
When I gave evidence about my time on the breadline to the parliamentary inquiry on hunger and food poverty, I was unprepared for the trauma of reliving it, says Jack Monroe.
Joe Queenan: Out of the Furnace and the return of the gangster (Guardian)
In the very first scene in the harrowing new film Out of the Furnace, Woody Harrelson swings opens the car door, tumbles out of the driver's seat and pukes his guts out. He then forces his gabby consort to swallow whole what appears to be a revolting hot dog, beats senseless a well-meaning but overmatched Sir Galahad who unwisely comes to her rescue, and …
Joe Queenan: "Seeing double: are Side Effects and Silver Linings Playbook the same film?" (Guardian)
And what about Argo and Zero Dark Thirty? Joe Queenan on why Hollywood keeps making the same films twice.
Tom Danehy: Danehy's Short Opinions (Tucson Weekly)
Kim Kardashian: Do you have any talent at all? And no, that thing you can do doesn't qualify as a talent. At best, it's a skill.
Chérmelle Edwards: Starbucks wants to be the next fancy hipster coffee shop. And that could be a good thing (Guardian)
Independent speciality coffee purveyors have nudged the biggest player in the industry to rethink its practices.
What are the aliases that Tom Hanks, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jessica Alba and Daniel Craig use to book into hotels? (Guardian)
Computer hackers have broken into Sony's servers and revealed the undercover names that Hollywood stars use to sign into their suites.
"Frozen Christmas Lights (Let It Go) 2014" (YouTube)
This ultra green light display only costs $6 in electricity to run for the entire season.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has approximately 50 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
"Doug's Most Shared Facebook Post" Today
Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
from Marc Perkel
Hello Bartcop fans,
As you all know the untimely passing of Terry was unexpected, even by him. We all knew he had cancer but we all thought he had some years left. So some of us who have worked closely with him over the years are scrambling around trying to figure out what to do. My job, among other things, is to establish communications with the Bartcop community and provide email lists and groups for those who might put something together. Those who want to play an active roll in something coming from this, or if you are one of Bart's pillars, should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bart's final wish was to pay off the house mortgage for Mrs. Bart who is overwhelmed and so very grateful for the support she has received. Anyone wanting to make a donation can click on this the yellow donate button on bartcop.com
But - I need you all to help keep this going. This note isn't going to directly reach all of Bart's fans. So if you can repost it on blogs and discussion boards so people can sign up then when we figure out what's next we can let more people know. This list is just over 600 but like to get it up to at least 10,000 pretty quick. So here's the signup link for this email list.
( mailman.bartcop.com/listinfo/bartnews )
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Wind followed by rain around 2:30am - it's really mucking with the TV reception.
Internet Is Not A 'CIA Project'
The inventor of the World Wide Web said on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was incorrect when he alleged the Internet was a project created by U.S. spies in the Central Intelligence Agency.
Putin, a former KGB spy who does not use email, has said he will not restrict Internet access for Russians, but in April he stoked concerns that the Kremlin might seek to crackdown by saying the Internet was born out of a "CIA project".
"The Internet is not a CIA creation," Tim Berners-Lee, a London-born computer scientist who invented the Web in 1989 - the year that the Berlin Wall collapsed - told Reuters when asked about Putin's CIA comment.
Berners-Lee said the Internet was invented with the help of U.S. state funding, but was spread by academics.
"It was the academic community who wired up their universities so it was put together by smart, well-meaning people who thought it was a good idea," he said.
13 Years Later...
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee released new information on Thursday that he claims is evidence that the Bush administration misled the nation in the run-up to the war in Iraq.
In a speech on the Senate floor, retiring Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat, outlined a 2003 CIA cable that warns George W. Bush administration officials against making references to claims that Mohammad Atta - the man who led the Sept. 11 hijackers - met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in the Czech Republic before the Sept. 11, 2011, attacks. Levin claims Bush officials used the unconfirmed meeting to link Iraq to Sept. 11 to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
"There was a concerted campaign on the part of the Bush administration to connect Iraq in the public mind with the horror of the Sept. 11 attacks. That campaign succeeded," said Levin, who cited opinion polls from that time showing many Americans believed former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks. "Of course, connections between Saddam and 9/11 or al-Qaida were fiction."
He referenced a Dec. 9, 2001, appearance by Vice President Dick Cheney on "Meet the Press." Cheney said: "It's been pretty well confirmed that he (Atta) did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack."
"Far from 'pretty well confirmed,' there was almost no evidence that such a meeting took place," Levin said. "Just a single, unsubstantiated report, from a single source, and a mountain of information indicating there was no such meeting. ... Travel and other records indicated that Atta was almost certainly in the United States at the time of the purported meeting in Prague."
New Family Tree
Scientists have produced a new family tree for nearly all species of birds alive today, drawing on a massive DNA analysis to gain insights into evolutionary history.
The tree was built by comparing the complete DNA codes, or genomes, of 48 species as varied as the bald eagle, the common cuckoo, two kinds of penguin, the downy woodpecker and the Anna's hummingbird. They were chosen to represent branches that lead to most of the more than 10,000 living species.
Only three of those genomes had been decoded before, so 45 of the DNA codes were new.
Experts cautioned that with just 48 genomes so far, the tree is not complete and that further research could change what it indicates about the history of birds.
Sells For $365,000 At Auction
Original Apple Computer
A fully operational Apple computer that company co-founder Steve Jobs sold out of his parents' garage in 1976 for $600 sold for $365,000 at Christie's on Thursday.
The Ricketts Apple-1 Personal Computer, named after its original owner Charles Ricketts, is the only known surviving Apple-1 documented as having been sold directly by Jobs to an individual from the Los Altos, California family home, according to the auction house.
The price fell shy of Christie's estimate of $400,000 to $600,000 and was far less than the $905,000 paid by the Henry Ford organization in October for one of the computers. Fewer than 50 original Apple-1s are believed to be in existence of the few hundred originally produced
Also at the sale, Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, with the help of various foundations and private donors, bought a Bacchic figure supporting the globe by 17th-century artist Adrien de Vries for $27.9 million, well in excess of the sculpture's pre-sale estimate of $15 million to $25 million.
Original Apple Computer
Letter Auction Suspended
The scheduled auction of an 18-page letter written by Beat-era icon Neal Cassady that transformed Jack Kerouac's writing style has been indefinitely suspended, according to the auction house.
The 16,000-word, stream-of-consciousness missive was set to be sold off by the auction house Profiles in History on Dec. 17, but spokeswoman Sabrina Propper said the sale would be held off indefinitely "until the ownership of the letter has been worked out."
The letter was missing for decades until it was found among several unopened boxes in a garage in Northern California a few years ago.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Kerouac and Cassady estates have feuded over the ownership of the letter, citing an attorney for Kerouac's camp and Cassady's daughter.
Time Capsule Removed From Statehouse
Crews removed a time capsule dating back to 1795 on Thursday from the granite cornerstone of the Massachusetts Statehouse, where historians believe it was originally placed by Revolutionary War luminaries Samuel Adams and Paul Revere among others.
Official plan to X-ray the capsule on Sunday at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts to get some idea of the contents and possibly details on their condition, then open it next week.
Originally made of cowhide, the time capsule was believed to have been embedded in the cornerstone when construction on the state Capitol began in 1795. Adams was governor of Massachusetts at the time.
The time capsule was removed in the mid-19th century and its contents transferred to a copper box, Galvin said. Its removal Thursday was due to an ongoing water filtration project at the building. Galvin said the plan is to return it to the site sometime next year.
Jethro Files Lawsuit
Max Baer Jr.
The actor who played Jethro Bodine in the 1960s television series "The Beverly Hillbillies" is suing CBS, arguing the broadcaster made inappropriate deals with an Iowa restaurant chain to use the character's name.
Max Baer Jr. filed a lawsuit Tuesday arguing that he had reached a deal with CBS in 1991 giving him rights to use the TV character to establish a chain of restaurants, hotels and casinos.
The lawsuit contends Baer's rights to the character have been undermined by the Jethro's BBQ restaurant chain, which is based in Des Moines.
Under the agreement between Baer and CBS, the actor has spent up to $1 million in efforts to develop his business, the lawsuit states. Baer also has paid royalties to CBS for merchandise, including revenue from themed slot machines and a brand of BBQ sauce.
Jethro's BBQ opened in 2008. CBS contacted Gerleman saying it owned the rights to the TV character and other themes from the show. The parties reached an out-of-court agreement, and Jethro's BBQ changed certain features of restaurants, including food dishes named after some characters.
Max Baer Jr.
Apologizes For Nazca Lines Stunt
Greenpeace said Wednesday that its executive director will travel to Peru to personally apologize for the environmental group's stunt at the world-famous Nazca lines, which Peruvian authorities say harmed the archaeological marvel.
The group said it was willing to accept the consequences. A senior Peruvian official told The Associated Press on Tuesday evening that his government would seek criminal charges against Greenpeace activists who allegedly damaged the lines by leaving footprints in the adjacent desert.
In the stunt at the U.N. World Heritage site in Peru's coastal desert, activists laid a message promoting clean energy beside the famed figure of a hummingbird comprised of black rocks on a white background.
The activists entered a "strictly prohibited" area where they laid big yellow cloth letters reading: "Time for Change; The Future is Renewable." They said after initial criticism that they were "absolutely careful" not to disturb anything.
No Tax Breaks For Noah's Ark Project
Kentucky has withdrawn its offer of tax breaks for a religious-themed park that would feature a 500-foot-long wooden ark because its organizers plan to screen park employees based on religion.
The planned Ark Encounter park has evolved from a tourism attraction into an outreach for the Christian ministry that is building it, state Tourism Secretary Bob Stewart said in a letter to the group's lawyer on Wednesday.
"Certainly, Ark Encounter has every right to change the nature of the project from a tourism attraction to a ministry," Stewart wrote in the letter. "However, state tourism tax incentives cannot be used to fund religious indoctrination or otherwise be used to advance religion."
The long-planned attraction is being built by a nonprofit subsidiary of Answers in Genesis, the Kentucky-based Christian ministry that operates the popular and controversial Creation Museum. Foundation work and earth-moving are underway at the site in Grant County near Williamstown.
Closing Spain's Google News, Blocking Spanish News
Google News in Spain will shut down on Dec. 16 - several weeks before a new Spanish intellectual property law takes effect Jan. 1 requiring news publishers to be paid.
That means people in Latin America, where Spanish news organizations have sought to boost their audiences, won't see news from Spain via Google News in Mexico or elsewhere. Also set to disappear are reports in English from Spanish publishers like Madrid's leading El Pais newspaper.
People who use Google's standard search in Spain and anywhere else around the world will still be able to find articles on their own from Spanish publications, because the law applies only to aggregators and not to individuals who do their own searches outside of Google News.
'Molotov', 'Mazel Tov', What's The Difference...
Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday that he doesn't remember sending a letter about a menorah that is signed, "Thank you and Molotov."
"My guess is it was a typo," Walker said when asked about the slip-up by reporters at the governor's mansion.
Walker presumably meant to write "mazel tov" in the undated letter that was addressed to prominent Milwaukee attorney Franklyn Gimbel. The letter was written when Walker was Milwaukee County executive and was first reported on Wednesday by the Cap Times.
The governor, the son of a Baptist preacher, was re-elected to a second term last month and is considering running for president in 2016. Walker met privately Tuesday with GOP mega-donor and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson in Las Vegas. He said Adelson talked with him about issues related to Israel, but did not offer any commitments should Walker run for president.
Harvard Professor Apologizes
A Harvard Business School instructor who blasted a Boston-area Chinese restaurant for overcharging him by $4 on a takeout order apologized Wednesday for a lengthy and widely publicized email exchange with restaurant management.
Associate professor Benjamin Edelman had threatened legal action and demanded the Sichuan Garden in Brookline compensate all other customers who might have been similarly overcharged after he said it charged him $1 more on each of the four items he ordered for takeout last week.
But after facing wide criticism, Edelman posted a brief message on his personal website saying he has reached out to apologize to Ran Duan, who helps manage his parent's restaurant business: "Having reflected on my interaction with Ran, including what I said and how I said it, it's clear that I was very much out of line. I aspire to act with great respect and humility in dealing with others, no matter what the situation. Clearly I failed to do so. I am sorry, and I intend to do better in the future."
A group of Harvard Business School students even sought to "flip the script" and tamp down on what they saw as "negative stereotypes" being generated about Harvard and its elite business school.
The students launched an online campaign asking donors to give $4 to the Greater Boston Food Bank - the amount Edelman was apparently overcharged. As of Wednesday evening, the campaign had raised over $3,300.
The Top 20 Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows in North America. The previous week's ranking is in parentheses. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.
1. (1) One Direction; $4,893,871; $82.46.
2. (3) Katy Perry; $1,701,152; $100.05.
3. (4) Britney Spears; $1,414,701; $147.05.
4. (5) Luke Bryan; $1,208,556; $46.83.
5. (6) Enrique Iglesias/Pitbull; $1,198,905; $83.87.
6. (7) Marc Anthony; $1,170,987; $104.43.
7. (8) Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers; $1,030,048; $89.45.
8. (9) Zac Brown Band; $828,619; $47.82.
9. (10) Motley Crue; $820,432; $63.37.
10. (11) Linkin Park/Thirty Seconds To Mars; $783,955; $57.13.
11. (12) Jason Aldean; $752,222; $41.59.
12. (13) Blake Shelton; $742,548; $44.96.
13. (14) Alejandro Fernandez; $654,611; $74.26.
14. (15) Eric Church; $643,138; $50.17.
15. (16) The Black Keys; $571,322; $60.69.
16. (New) Bob Dylan; $504,903; $98.46.
17. (17) Miranda Lambert; $504,214; $35.47.
18. (19) Rascal Flatts; $482,033; $33.45.
19. (18) James Taylor; $480,395; $76.54.
20. (20) Brad Paisley; $468,563; $40.69.