Paul Krugman: Trade and Tribulation (NY Times Column)
… anyone ragging on about those past [trade] deals, like Mr. Trump or Mr. Sanders, should be asked what, exactly, he proposes doing now. Are they saying that we should rip up America's international agreements? Have they thought about what that would do to our credibility and standing in the world?
Paul Krugman: Fundamentals, Polls, and the Primary (NY Times Blog)
… this could go on for a long, long time. And people who say that it's good for the Democratic party might want to look at the Sanders Twitter feed, which is, if you ask me, getting pretty ugly in a way the Clinton feed hasn't.
Nicholas Barber: The film Star Wars stole from (BBC)
"The one thing that really struck me about The Hidden Fortress," [George Lucas, the writer-director of Star Wars] said in 2001, "was the fact that the story was told from the [perspective of] the two lowest characters. I decided that would be a nice way to tell the Star Wars story, which was to take the two lowest characters, as Kurosawa did, and tell the story from their point of view, which in the Star Wars case is the two droids."
Andrew Tobias: Mars!
What a time to be alive. How important that we elect truly thoughtful leaders . . . who "believe in" science . . . and not just someone we'd like to have a beer with.
Laura Bradley: Thanks to Basic Cable, The Walking Dead Hasn't Become a Zombified Game of Thrones. Good. (Slate)
The Walking Dead is aesthetically very different from Game of Thrones: The former show trudges through a dilapidated, sweaty post-apocalyptic U.S., while the latter plunges us centuries back in time into a brutal, often frigid, fantasy world.
Stephen Holden: For the Stranded Yoga Faithful, the Zen Is Gone With the Electricity (NY Times)
When "First Winter" was introduced this year at the Tribeca Film Festival, there were complaints that its characters were dislikable and paper thin, its momentum plodding and its theme a cliché. But "First Winter" knows what it is: a stark metaphysical parable that contemplates the superficiality and fragility of modern civilization. It haunted me the first time I saw it and even more so the second time. Considering Hurricane Sandy's devastation, it has an extra resonance.
Patrick Coyne: 5 Hilarious Ways Women Got Revenge On Creepy Guys (Cracked)
Women are constantly being harassed by creepy dudes who have greasy mustaches growing right on their very souls. We're not sure how the ideal scenario plays out in those perverts' heads. "If I show this random girl my dick for no reason, she'll fall in love with it. I've got a very lovable dick!" Oh, but sometimes that story plays out in a hilariously different fashion than the pervert intended …
Ian Fortey: 8 Awesome Cases of Internet Vigilantism (Cracked)
Yet another unintended side effect of the web has been the birth of the Internet lynch mob. Now, everything from child abuse to bad customer service can get the online masses whipped into a frenzy of Old Testament-style vengeance.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
David Bruce's Smashwords Page
David Bruce's Blog
David Bruce's Lulu Storefront
David Bruce's Apple iBookstore
David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
Time warp approaching Sun 2am
Remember the old saying "spring back and fall forward"
gary in pa (at least that's how i think it goes)
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
GET A LIFE REPUGS!
WHAT A BUNCH OF ASSHOLES!
"TILL IT HAPPENS TO YOU"
MAKE THE COAL CRIMINALS PAY!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Rainy, windy day.
Campaign To Protest
AdBlock is hoping you'll let at least one message through on Saturday (March 12) as it teams up with Amnesty International for the World Day against Cyber Censorship. Throughout the day, AdBlock's 40 million users will be asked to see messages about censorship from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Russian punk activists Pussy Riot, as well as North Korean dissidents.
"Authorities don't just use handcuffs and arrests, but also media attacks," says Pussy Riot in their message.
"Even if you're not doing anything wrong, you're being watched and recorded," Snowden warns.
"Without freedom of speech there is no modern world, just a barbaric one," says Weiwei.
Amnesty announced the campaign on its website, saying that many governments are "avidly seeking the power to control" online communication.
Academy Insists Payment On The Way
Girl Scout Cookies
Despite an online report, the Girl Scouts will indeed receive the $65,000 pledged during the Feb. 28 Oscar ceremony - scout's honor.
"Of course we have every intention of honoring our commitment to the Girl Scouts," said a spokesperson at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. "They were such a highlight, and we were happy to have them."
Billing and payments on a complicated telecast like the Academy Awards take time, and it's been less than two weeks since the broadcast. But the Academy rep assures that the payment will come as soon as possible.
In a comedy bit, Chris Rock introduced members of Girl Scout Troop 5215, who went into the audience at the Dolby Theatre to sell cookies. Rock announced later that the group had raised $65,000.
TMZ posted a story on March 11 saying, "We've learned the money is nowhere to be found." TMZ said the money in theory would be paid to the Greater L.A. Council, and the Inglewood troop would receive $1,000, thanks to the organization's rules. But the mother of one troop member said no money so far had been received by the troop, the L.A. group or the National Girl Scout Council. The headline was "The $65,000 lie." But apparently it's not a lie - just a delay.
Girl Scout Cookies
Egypt Customs Deface Guitar
A run-in with customs at Cairo airport has left Grammy Award winning rock musician Bryan Adams annoyed, after a border agent scrawled a number on the Canadian's prize guitar in paint marker.
Adams, who was in Cairo for a concert at the Giza Pyramids on March 8, posted a picture of the vintage Martin acoustic guitar on his Instagram account.
A number and an illegible word in Arabic had been scrawled in green ink on the guitar's mahogany side.
"Airport customs graffiti on my 1957 Martin D-18 from Egypt. Back to the luthier #bryanadamsgetup," Adam's wrote on Instagram, referring to his latest album Get Up!.
Adams, best known for his hits "18 Till I Die," "(Everything I Do) I Do it For You," and "Please Forgive Me", said his problems with customs had begun on his arrival at Cairo airport.
'Clash Of Civilizations'
A top security official in Dubai warned Friday of a "clash of civilizations" if U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump becomes president, the latest sign of disquiet across the Middle East over the businessman's comments about Muslims.
Trump refused to back away from his recent statement that "Islam hates the West" during a Republican debate Thursday night in Miami, which came after he called in December for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.
Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, the deputy chairman of police and general security in Dubai, took to Twitter to respond. Referencing political scientist Samuel P. Huntington's theory that future wars would be fought between cultures, Tamim warned that a Trump win could see him face Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
In Lebanon, Abdelsalam Shalash, a resident of the capital, Beirut, said Trump is trying to win by playing on people's fears.
"He is using propaganda to convince people that our enemy is either the Muslims or the Mexicans, and it's rallying up a lot of people because people are afraid," Shalash said. "And fear is one of the easiest concepts to make use of."
Tarnished Report Card
Many words, little action: three years after Pope Francis's election, victims of priest sex abuse are bitter and disappointed, accusing the Church of having failed to punish guilty clerics and end a culture of complacency on the issue.
The recent Australian Royal Commission hearings of Vatican number three George Pell and a preliminary criminal probe into accusations that Lyon's archbishop, Philippe Barbarin, covered up for a paedophile priest have reopened old wounds, with Francis perceived as having stood by both senior clerics.
The Argentinian pontiff came to power promising a crackdown on cover-ups and a zero tolerance approach to abuse itself.
But victims feel they are not been listened to, that bishops are still failing to hand criminal priests over to the appropriate authorities and that a conspiracy of silence remains the order of the day, right up to the top of the Vatican hierarchy.
The growing discontent with Francis's record on ridding the Church of the taint of paedophilia is in sharp contrast with how he has performed in other areas.
No Place For Man Or Robot
The robots sent in to find highly radioactive fuel at Fukushima's nuclear reactors have "died"; a subterranean "ice wall" around the crippled plant meant to stop groundwater from becoming contaminated has yet to be finished. And authorities still don't know how to dispose of highly radioactive water stored in an ever mounting number of tanks around the site.
Five years ago, one of the worst earthquakes in history triggered a 10-meter high tsunami that crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station causing multiple meltdowns. Nearly 19,000 people were killed or left missing and 160,000 lost their homes and livelihoods in the quake and tsunami.
Today, the radiation at the Fukushima plant is still so powerful it has proven impossible to get into its bowels to find and remove the extremely dangerous blobs of melted fuel rods, weighing hundreds of tonnes. Five robots sent into the reactors have failed to return.
The fuel rods melted through their containment vessels in the reactors, and no one knows exactly where they are now. This part of the plant is so dangerous to humans, Tepco has been developing robots, which can swim under water and negotiate obstacles in damaged tunnels and piping to search for the melted fuel rods.
Tepco, which was fiercely criticized for its handling of the disaster, says conditions at the Fukushima power station, site of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in Ukraine 30 years ago, have improved dramatically. Radiation levels in many places at the site are now as low as those in Tokyo.
North Carolina can issue specialty license plates with an anti-abortion slogan but reject alternatives supporting abortion rights without running afoul of the U.S. Constitution, a federal appeals court said on Thursday in reversing its earlier opinion.
The 2-1 ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals clears the way for the state to offer the "Choose Life" plate approved by its Republican-led legislature in 2011.
The appeals court previously had blocked the anti-abortion plate, ruling the state's refusal to also offer a plate with an abortion rights slogan such as "Respect Choice" constituted "viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment."
But the court reversed itself in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year in a case involving specialty license plates in Texas. Justices ruled Texas had not violated free speech rights by rejecting a proposed license plate featuring the Confederate flag because state-issued plates are government speech, not private speech.
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, which sued the state over the plates, urged state lawmakers to reconsider allowing slogans supporting both sides of the abortion debate to be purchased.
Los Angeles Zoo
A well-known mountain lion that prowls a sprawling Los Angeles park may have made a meal of a koala found mauled to death at the city's zoo.
Los Angeles Zoo officials say the koala went missing on March 3 and its bloody, partially eaten remains were found a short time later found outside the zoo.
The night before the koala was found, a 7-year-old male puma known as P-22 was seen on black and white surveillance video near the zoo inside Griffith Park, the sprawling urban wilderness that he calls home.
The big cat may have managed to leap a 9-foot-high fence to reach the koala enclosure and snatch Killarney, a 14-year-old female that was the oldest koala in the exhibit.
However, the evidence is circumstantial, zoo director John Lewis and other officials acknowledged Thursday.
Global Concert Tours
The Top 20 Global Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows Worldwide. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.
1. Madonna; $2,666,481; $117.85.
2. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band; $2,211,710; $127.57.
3. The Weeknd; $1,368,999; $77.08.
4. Muse; $1,110,686; $57.42.
5. Dead & Company; $1,073,079; $82.58.
6. Juan Gabriel; $1,005,016; $114.42.
7. "The Illusionists"; $786,549; $86.44.
8. Andre Rieu; $780,905; $100.58.
9. Motley Crue; $774,144; $71.67.
10. Trans-Siberian Orchestra; $743,372; $56.05.
11. Simply Red; $734,868; $68.06.
12. Jerry Seinfeld; $530,670; $96.49.
13. The Prodigy; $427,304; $55.14.
14. Scorpions; $410,115; $60.45.
15. Brad Paisley; $408,326; $49.65.
16. Jeff Dunham; $365,343; $48.36.
17. Nightwish; $279,930; $45.58.
18. Widespread Panic; $246,237; $56.00.
19. Shinedown / Breaking Benjamin (15 co-bills); $231,544; $42.01.
20. The Beach Boys; $196,480; $87.53.
Global Concert Tours
Keith Emerson, founder and keyboardist of the progressive-rock band Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died, his longtime partner announced Friday. He was 71.
Mari Kawaguchi said she found Emerson dead at around 1:30 a.m. at their condominium in the coastal suburb of Santa Monica, California but he could have died Thursday evening or night. She declined to disclose the cause of his death.
Emerson, Carl Palmer and vocalist/guitarist Greg Lake were giants of progressive rock in the 1970s, recording six platinum-selling albums. They and other hit groups such as Pink Floyd, the Moody Blues and Genesis stepped away from rock's emphasis on short songs with dance beats, instead creating albums with ornate pieces full of complicated rhythms, intricate chords and time signature changes. The orchestrations drew on classical and jazz styles and sometimes wedded traditional rock instruments with full orchestras.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer's 1973 album "Brain Salad Surgery" included a nearly 30-minute composition called "Karn Evil 9" that featured a Moog synthesizer and the eerie, carnival-like lyric: "Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends."
A musical prodigy, Emerson was born in Todmorden, Yorkshire in England. By his late teens, he was playing in blues and jazz clubs in London. He helped form one of the first progressive rock groups, the Nice, before hooking up with Lake and Palmer in 1970 and debuting with them at the Isle of Wight Festival, shows that also featured Jimi Hendrix and the Who.
ELP broke up in 1979, reunited in 1991, later disbanded again and reunited one last time for a 2010 tour.
Throughout, Emerson continued to compose and perform, sometimes solo and other times with various musicians, including Lake.
Emerson had been composing and working with internationally known symphonies, including two in Germany and Japan, and was about to embark on a short tour in Japan starting on April 14 with his band, Kawaguchi said. His work included a classical piano concerto.