Paul Krugman: Who Hates Obamacare? (NY Times Column)
Left-wing attacks on an imperfect program could undermine progressives' interests.
Oliver Burkemann: Too busy to focus? Try this (The Guardian)
Few people need convincing that intense focus is a good thing, constantly threatened by email and social media. The real challenge is achieving it.
Nick Hussey: Why my cycling clothing company uses models without helmets (The Guardian)
The debate about helmet use is too often toxic, puts off new riders and obscures more important issues, argues the founder of Vulpine.
Alison Flood: Ebook sales falling for the first time, finds new report (The Guardian)
Research by the Bookseller shows that sales for the 'big five' UK publishers dropped in 2015.
Michele Hanson: Ageing brings unexpected malfunctions - but is it just a headache, or a lurch downwards? (The Guardian)
I always tend the think the worst if I get a chance, and dreaming that I've got Trump-hair is not helping matters.
Jonathan Jones: Andy Warhol may be in heaven but his art has a hellish darkness (The Guardian)
A new Norman Rosenthal-curated exhibition at the Ashmolean is a haunting collection of the artist's work across a range of techniques and subjects.
Jonathan Jones: "'Fake Rothko' trial reduces tragic art to farce" (The Guardian)
Mark Rothko railed against the money-obsessed art world; now one of New York's oldest dealers is accused of knowingly selling copies of his work.
Suzanne Moore: "Banksy's refugee piece shows us how to protest - and grieve" (The Guardian)
Stik and Stewy are other street artists addressing issues such as housing and the migration crisis. This isn't antisocial - it's deeply social.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
Hi, Marty & everyone!
Well, I'm writing to state my predictions concerning the upcoming elections.
First, let me say that the Democrats should be HOPING that Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination - ANY Democratic nominee would beat him, let's face it (hell, I could probably beat him, and that's saying something)! Alas, however, Donald will not win the nomination...he is such an obvious 'dark horse' candidate, in place to make any other Repub hopeful look great by comparison! I even have come to believe, watching Donald these last few months, and knowing just how much he LOVES money, that he probably has received a huge amount of money to declare his candidacy, then make a complete and total ASS of himself, so that some other lame-ass loser could sneak in, winning the nomination by default. Donald might have gotten tens of millions of dollars (maybe even hundreds of millions...he does play in the big bucks) to put on such a show of who America does not want as our next leader. He says such stupid, idiotic things, that he simply cannot taken seriously, in my book - can anyone really be that dumb?
I can only speculate who might have that kind of money, or such a penis-complex need to be president, but I'm thinking perhaps the Bushes might. What a sweet family legacy it would be for them, after all, to have not just a father and son as prez, but then a 3rd member - the brother. Jeb is getting very little media coverage, and so isn't ruffling too many people's feathers up to this point. He seems fairly invisible, and if the Repubs are indifferent to him, then he could easily slip in as their candidate against the evil Donald Trump. Folks, might even wipe their brows in relief, thinking how lucky they were to have dodged the "Donald Bullet" (ANYONE but Trump, right?).
I could be wrong (most likely about who paid the Donald off), but I don't think I am. Trump is exactly the type who would do anything for money, so I don't think this idea is really that far removed from the truth. Please think about this idea, and if Jeb wins the nomination, remember...you heard it here first!
I'm still following (& loving) your site every day, Marty...keep it up!
Great to hear from you again!
You make a lot of sense with your prediction.
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
HOPE FOR DESPISED PEOPLE EVERYWHERE
WHEN POLITICIANS HAVE LIED ABOUT HISTORY.
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BUT HE GOT HIS ICE CREAM CONE!
PICK UP YOUR GARBAGE REPUGS!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
New kitty was dumped in the front yard - an "intact" male. Ain't gonna be that way for long.
Appearing On SNL Tonight
Saturday Night Live viewers may be seeing double the Sanders this weekend.
Bernie Sanders' senior advisor Tad Devine hinted that the presidential candidate will make an appearance on the Larry David-hosted episode of SNL. "We'll be live in New York," Devine told CNN, a not-subtle wink at the sketch comedy show's iconic catchphrase.
If Sanders does indeed appear, he'll be the third 2016 presidential hopeful to grace the stage of Studio 8H this season. Hillary Clinton appeared in a skit opposite Kate McKinnon portraying her in October, and Donald Trump (R-Pendejo) hosted an episode in November. Larry David kicked off SNL's 41st season with his Bernie Sanders impression, and it quickly became very popular. Sanders himself has responded with his own impression of David, so perhaps we'll see the two men try on each other's remarkably similar personas for a sketch.
NBC declined to comment on rumors of Sanders' appearance.
A U.S. judge on Friday granted a preliminary injunction stopping the distribution of
surreptitious doctored videos taken by anti-abortion activists fanatics who alleged Planned Parenthood staff discussed the illegal sale of aborted fetal tissue.
The National Abortion Federation (NAF), a nonprofit representing abortion providers, accused the Center for Medical Progress and its founder, David Daleiden, in a lawsuit last year of illegally infiltrating and recording its private meetings.
San Francisco federal judge William Orrick last year issued a temporary order prohibiting the distribution of the videos, which he extended on Friday until the litigation is over. Orrick said he reviewed the videos and found no evidence of criminal activity by NAF members.
The doctored videos released last summer purported to show Planned Parenthood officials trying to negotiate prices for aborted fetal tissue. Under federal law, donated human fetal tissue may be used for research, but profiting from its sale is prohibited.
Daleiden was indicted last month by a Houston-area grand jury on a charge of tampering with a governmental record. He was offered a probation deal, but Daleiden's lawyers said he planned to reject it.
Applies For Hawaii Marijuana Dispensary
Actor and marijuana advocate Woody Harrelson was one of nearly 60 applicants to apply to open one of Hawaii's first medical marijuana dispensaries.
Harrelson applied for a license in Honolulu County under his company, Simple Organic Living.
The Hawaii Department of Health posted the list of 66 applications on its website Friday. The state is now reviewing applications for dispensary permits, which they will award in April.
Under a law passed in 2015, the state will grant eight licenses for marijuana business owners across the islands. The law allows medical marijuana businesses to have two production centers and two retail dispensaries, for a total of 16 dispensaries statewide. Dispensaries are scheduled to open in July.
Legislators Declare Porn A Health Crisis
A state senator in Utah wants to declare pornography a public health crisis, echoing an argument being made around the U.S. by conservative religious groups as porn becomes more accessible on smartphones and tablets.
Republican Sen. Todd Weiler, a Mormon, contends children are being exposed at young ages to pornography, leading them to engage in riskier sexual behavior. He has said recent research from the United Kingdom found that people who compulsively view porn showed similar brain activity as seen in drug addicts.
Weiler's proposal wouldn't regulate or ban anything, but it has attracted attention, including being debated on talk show "The View." He said he's been "mocked internationally" but feels it's triggered an important conversation.
"We are on fire with this problem," said Sen. Kevin Van Tassell, R-Vernal. "It is becoming a terrible scourge in our society today."
Republican Gov. Gary Herbert supports Weiler's resolution. This week he suggested it may be worth developing a 12-step program for porn addicts.
UN Panel Bombshell
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was thrust into the global spotlight Friday with its finding that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been "arbitrarily detained" by Sweden and Britain.
But while few may until now have been aware of the existence of the obscure panel of independent human rights experts, Friday was not the first time the group has made headlines, having addressed the cases of other prominent figures including Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi and former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed.
"Each year, thousands of people are arbitrarily detained," according to the panel, which is flooded with thousands of requests annually to examine the cases of people deprived of their liberty.
Made up of only five independent experts, who serve three-year mandates on a voluntary basis and meet just three times a year, the panel issues decisions on just a few dozen cases each year.
Set up in 1991 by the UN Human Rights Commission, which has since been replaced by the Human Rights Council, the working group says it has issued more than 1,000 opinions concerning more than 130 countries.
Right about now, Arctic sea ice should be building up toward its annual maximum, making most of the region impenetrable to all but the most hardened icebreakers. Instead, January and indeed much of the winter so far has been unusually mild throughout large parts of the Arctic.
A freak storm brought temperatures to near the freezing point, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit, near the North Pole for a short time in late December and early January, and other storms have repeatedly acted like space heaters plopped on top of the globe, turning nascent sea ice to slush and eventually, to open water.
Nothing is as it should be for this time of year across a wide swath of the Arctic. Alaska has had not yet had a winter, with record warmth enveloping much of the state along with anemic snow depth.
Sea ice is virtually absent from the Barents and Kara Seas, which constitute a large swath of the Atlantic Arctic, located northeast of Scandinavia and north of the Russian mainland.
For example, New York City received more snow on Friday morning alone - 2.5 inches - than Fairbanks, Alaska, which set a record for the lowest amount of snow between Dec. 1 and Jan. 31 since records began there in 1915.
Missing Booksellers Held In China
Chinese police have said for the first time that they are holding three Hong Kong booksellers who went missing on the mainland last year, sparking accusations that Beijing has "total contempt" for the law.
The admission confirms what many in the quasi-independent territory have suspected, and will reinforce fears that rights guaranteed under the principle of "One Country, Two Systems" are being eroded.
The three men all work for the Mighty Current publishing house, based in Hong Kong and known for salacious titles critical of the Chinese government.
Five booksellers from the firm have disappeared since October. All have now turned up in China, drawing international criticism.
Campaign group Amnesty International said Friday Chinese authorities had "total contempt for due process and the rule of law".
96-Year-Old Birth Mother Found
82 Years Later
Eighty-two years after she was born to a teenage girl and put up for adoption, Betty Morrell finally has met her 96-year-old birth mother, thanks to the dogged persistence of her granddaughter during 20 years of searching.
And as a bonus, she has forged a close friendship with a sister she never knew she had.
"After my adoptive parents died, that's when I started looking," Betty Morrell said Thursday by phone from her home in Spring Hill, Florida. "Being that it was a closed adoption, it's like hitting a brick wall because you can't get any information."
Morrell was born in 1933 in the central New York town of Utica to Lena Pierce, who named her Eva May. Social welfare officials took the baby away because Pierce, then 13, was herself a ward of the state. Eva May was adopted by a family on Long Island and grew up as Betty Morrell, an only child.
She was in her early 30s when she started looking for information about her birth family. She had been told her birth mother had died during childbirth and was shocked when she eventually learned she was still alive.
82 Years Later
Historic Ocean Liner
SS United States
The SS United States, an ocean liner bigger than the Titanic that once carried celebrities across the Atlantic at record speeds, may one day sail again.
Crystal Cruises luxury travel company announced plans Thursday to overhaul the ship at a cost of at least $700 million. The massive steamship has been docked in Philadelphia for two decades, gutted and rusting at an unused wharf on the Delaware River.
In its glory days in the 1950s, the ship carried everyone from royalty to immigrants across the Atlantic Ocean, accompanied by three on-board orchestras. At the time, it was the biggest and fastest ocean liner that had ever been built in the United States - at 990 feet, 108 feet longer than the Titanic.
On its maiden voyage in 1952, the liner's 268,000-horsepower engines propelled it across the Atlantic in three days, 10 hours, 42 minutes. That record stood until 1990. The ship was decommissioned in 1969.
The SS United States is now owned by a conservation group, with a purchase option signed by Crystal Cruises.
SS United States
Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who became the sixth man on the moon when he and Alan Shepard helped NASA recover from Apollo 13's "successful failure" and later devoted his life to exploring physics, the mind, and unexplained phenomena such as psychics and aliens, has died in Florida. He was 85.
Mitchell died Thursday night at a West Palm Beach hospice after a short illness, his daughter, Kimberly Mitchell, said. Mitchell's passing coincides with the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 14 mission from Jan. 31-Feb. 9, 1971.
Mitchell, one of only 12 humans to set foot on the moon, was not a typical strait-laced astronaut: In later years, he said aliens visited Earth and faith healers were legit. He attempted to communicate telepathically with friends at home during his Apollo mission. He had an "epiphany" in space that focused him on studying physics and mysteries such as consciousness.
"What I experienced during that three-day trip home was nothing short of an overwhelming sense of universal connectedness," Mitchell wrote in his 1996 autobiography. "It occurred to me that the molecules of my body and the molecules of the spacecraft itself were manufactured long ago in the furnace of one of the ancient stars that burned in the heavens about me."
Mitchell's passion for exploration led him to become an astronaut, and he joined NASA in 1966. He helped design and test the lunar modules that first reached the moon in 1969 with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
Shepard, the first American in space in 1961, picked Mitchell to be on Apollo 13's three-person crew. But they were bumped to the next mission so Shepard would have more time to train.
Apollo 13's astronauts were nearly killed when an oxygen tank exploded as they neared the moon in 1970. They made it home safely, but never set foot on the moon. A year later, Shepard, Mitchell and Stu Roosa were the first crew to try again amid falling support for the moon missions from President Nixon, Congress and the public.
It was the telepathy experiment on the ride home that would give Mitchell notoriety. Even before he left, he told The Associated Press about his fascination with psychic phenomena and extrasensory perception and that he thought humans weren't the only intelligent life in the universe.
Those interests almost got him removed from the mission, said Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon and backup commander for Apollo 14. Cernan wrote in his autobiography that despite Mitchell's impeccable skills and vast intelligence, flight crew director Deke Slayton and Shepard were bothered with the fascination.
Mitchell claimed the experiment was a success, but most press reports dismissed him and some colleagues shunned him.
Edgar Dean Mitchell was born Sept. 17, 1930, in Hereford, Texas, and grew up working on his father's cattle ranch in New Mexico. He joined the Navy and got a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining NASA.
He left NASA in 1972 and founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which is dedicated to exploring the mysteries of the human mind and the universe. He also searched for ways to link the spirituality of religion with the hard facts of science.