Marc Dion: The Opioid Crisis Is Crap (Creators Syndicate)
As we subtly shift the idea of addiction from being an internal problem to a disease we caught from someone else, the newspaper editorial writers and the state reps. find more reasons to use the word "victim." They are happy. And it's crap.
Susan Estrich: Why We Do It This Way (Creators Syndicate)
When I was younger, I was determined to ensure that insurgent candidates had a chance to get their messages out and see if they could light a fire rather than be squashed at the outset in regional primaries that would inevitably be dominated by well-funded establishment candidates. After a few losing campaigns, I came to believe that maybe being able to win in November should have more to do with this process than it does. We are, for better and worse, a divided country. A landslide is proof that one party picked the wrong candidate. The danger this year is that both could.
Susan Estrich: Why Women Should Be for Hillary (Creators Syndicate)
There is one reason young women should support Hillary Clinton for president. It happens to be, in my judgment anyway, precisely the same reason men should support her: because she is, by leaps and bounds, the only candidate in the race with the experience necessary to lead this country. Indeed, The New York Times, in endorsing her candidacy, noted that she was among the most experienced people ever to seek the presidency.
Rebecca Schuman: Tenure Protects Nothing (Slate)
And Bunnygate proves it.
AARON GORDON: "Killing Pigs and Weed Maps: The Mostly Unread World of Academic Papers"(Pacific Standard)
According to one study, which was presumably read by more than three people, half of all academic papers are read by no more than three people.
Clive James: How did the BBC's War And Peace measure up? (The Guardian)
Our columnist has been reading Tolstoy's masterpiece for half his life, and seen every major adaptation: did the BBC do it justice?
Clive James: 'My granddaughter's school was connected by video to the International Space Station' (The Guardian)
Now when she and I ask each other questions, both of us pause before answering. It's a space conversation.
Sigourney Weaver in "Alienses" (Video Dailymotion)
Sigourney Weaver in "Alienses" comedy sketch from 1986 [SNL]. VHS transfer. Sorry for the low quality.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
"Doug's Most Shared Facebook Post" Today
Michelle in AZ
Having come of age in the era of Ford's Presidential Pardon of Nixon, thereby utterly destroying entirely any faith I may have ever had in the American Political System (and Jesus, don't even MENTION the Reagan years), I have strove throughout my life to remain neutral when it came to politics. I have always voted for the lesser evil, and never gotten excited about ANY candidate, with the possible exception of a brief moment of arousal at the prospect of a Ross Perot presidency, but nevermind. I was at the brink of abandoning the whole endeavour when Mr. Obama got the nomination, so I once again took up the mantel of responsibility and voted! When war criminals went unpunished, "Gitmo" remained in business, and drones continued to deliver their payloads of death with impunity, I thought "fuck it". I'm done. It just doesn't matter WHO the fuck gets to wear the tiara, we are ALL well and truly screwed, and I'm not gonna worry about it anymore. Where's the beer?
Then came Bernie.
Suddenly, for the first time in my LIFE, I am EXCITED about an election. I sent MONEY to a politician. Put a bumper sticker on my car. Holy shit, this is not something I ever saw myself doing! I actually CARE. Yeah, it might be for nothing. It COULD be a scam. But deep down in my gut, I really don't think so. I really think Bernie cares, really believe he is a GOOD MAN who wants to help this country. For the first time, in a long time, somebody cares. It feels...good. Optimism. It is a difficult concept, but I'm gonna enjoy this as long as I can.
Lois Of Oregon
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
THE KING OF THE CREEPS AND HIS ENABLERS.
"A LADY WITH A SMILE"
LOOKING AT THE BRIGHT SIDE OF TRUMP.
WHY DOES GOD ALLOW EVIL TO EXIST?
6 COMPANIES OWN 90% OF THE MEDIA.
REPUBLICANS ARE EGG SUCKING DOGS!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Normally not much of a drinker, but popped open a nice Prosecco.
Jennifer Lawrence is giving back in a big way.
The Joy leading lady, who is nominated for a best actress Oscar, announced Friday that she is donating $2 million to the Kosair Children's Hospital in her home state of Kentucky.
The Jennifer Lawrence Foundation Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) and a renovation of the existing "Just for Kids" Critical Care Center are anticipated to cost nearly $25 million. When completed, the CICU "will feature private rooms dedicated to children recovering from heart procedures, open heart surgery including heart transplant, heart failure and other conditions requiring intensive care" in the 14-bed unit that "will offer space for families to stay with their children," according to a press release from Children's Hospital Foundation.
The hospital's heart center is the only pediatric cardiovascular program in Kentucky, where more than 5,000 children visit each year and more than 17,500 procedures are performed annually.
Forget Diamonds: Try Ichnusaite
Far rarer than diamonds or emeralds, some minerals on Earth are known only from thimbleful samples, according to a first list of 2,550 obscure minerals on Friday that could have future uses, ranging from industry to exotic Valentine's Day gifts.
Ichnusaite, fingerite, amicite and nevadaite are among truly rare minerals - defined as those known to come from five or fewer places worldwide - and form only under extremely unusual conditions, the scientists wrote.
"Diamond, ruby, emerald, and other precious gems are found at numerous localities and are sold in commercial quantities, and thus are not rare" alongside those in the study, they wrote in the journal American Mineralogist.
Of 5,090 minerals known worldwide, fewer than 100 make up 99 percent of the Earth's crust. Most are from common elements such as oxygen, silicon and aluminum.
The authors estimated 1,500 types of mineral were still to be found on Earth. "There are some master jewelers who would love to work with the rare minerals tiara of the 21st century," he said.
Third-Strongest Earthquake Ever
Oklahoma was struck by a magnitude 5.1 earthquake on Saturday morning, the third-strongest quake ever recorded in the state, which has experienced a surge in seismic activity in recent years, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
The quake at 11:07 a.m. local time (1707 GMT) was followed by several aftershocks in the next 90 minutes, including one with a magnitude of 3.9, the USGS said. The first quake was felt from Kansas City, Missouri, to Dallas, Texas, but no damages or injuries were reported.
Oil fields have boomed in Oklahoma over the past decade thanks to advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, and seismologists have said the state's frequent earthquakes may be linked to disposal wells that inject saltwater, a natural byproduct of oil and gas work, into deep underground caverns.
Saturday's quake was centered about 95 miles (153 km) northwest of Oklahoma City, and at an estimated depth of 4 miles (7 km), the USGS said.
The state has been recording about two-and-a-half earthquakes a day of a magnitude 3 or greater, a rate 600 times greater than observed before 2008, the Oklahoma Geological Survey said in a report last year.
100 Million Years
A new comprehensive study of ancient ant fossils suggests the triumphant insect has been socializing and sparring with enemies for at least 100 million years.
The study, published in the journal Current Biology, is based on two main amber fossils -- one which trapped two fighting ants and another that captured 21 ants working in unison.
Scientists say the first is proof that ants have been warring since at least the Cretaceous period, 99 million years ago.
Both intra- and inter-species competition for resources is common in the insect world -- as it is in the animal world. But many scientists say the greatest evolutionary asset of the ant is its tendency toward socialization and cooperation.
Governor Overhauls Civil Service Laws
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Koch Sucker) signed a sweeping bill Friday that reworks Wisconsin's hiring and firing practices, brushing aside Democrats' complaints that the measure will lead to cronyism in state agencies.
The Republican-backed legislation dramatically rewrites the state's 110-year-old civil service system by eliminating job applicant exams, centralizing hiring decisions within the governor's administration and tossing so-called bumping rights, which protect more senior employees from losing their jobs during layoffs.
The new law also creates merit bonuses, allows state agencies to extend probation periods from the current six months to two years and specifies that layoffs will be based on job performance rather than seniority. The changes, most of which will take effect July 1, are expected to affect about 30,000 state workers.
The governor - who made a national name for himself among conservatives by redefining Wisconsin's labor landscape - stripped almost all public workers of their collective bargaining rights in 2011, and later helped erase local prevailing wages.
Church Lifts Ban Of Convicted Priest
Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul
The Roman Catholic church in southern India has lifted the suspension of a priest convicted last year of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in the United States more than a decade ago, a spokesman said Saturday.
The suspension of the Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul was lifted last month after the bishop of the Ootacamund Diocese in India's Tamil Nadu state consulted with church authorities at the Vatican, said the Rev. Sebastian Selvanathan, a spokesman for the diocese.
Bishop Arulappan Amalraj of Ootacamund had referred Jeyapaul's case to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the suspension was lifted on the church body's advice, Selvanathan said.
"After Jeyapaul's release from the United States and his return to India, this matter was referred to Rome, and according to the guidelines of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the suspension against Jeyapaul was removed," Selvanathan said.
He was suspended in 2010 after being charged with sexually assaulting two girls who were both 14 at the time of the alleged abuse.
Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul
Doesn't Change Ban On Contraception
As the Zika virus spreads in Latin America, Roman Catholic leaders are warning women against using contraceptives or having abortions, even as health officials in some countries are advising women not to get pregnant because of the risk of birth defects.
The challenge posed by Zika for the Catholic Church comes as Pope Francis is making his first trip to Mexico, where the virus appears to be spreading.
After a period of saying little, bishops in Latin America are beginning to speak up and reassert the church's opposition to birth control and abortion, positions that in Latin America are unpopular and often disregarded, even among Catholics.
"Contraceptives are not a solution," said Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, secretary-general of the National Council of Bishops of Brazil, and an auxiliary bishop of Brasília, in an interview. "There is not a single change in the church's position."
South America is the continent with the highest proportion of Catholics who already disagree with the church on abortion and birth control, according to a large international poll commissioned by Univision in 2014. Seventy-three percent of Catholics in Latin America said abortion should be allowed in some or all cases, and 91 percent supported the use of contraceptives, a higher percentage even than in Europe or the United States.
An estimated 150,000 Adelie penguins living in Antarctica have died after a huge iceberg the size of Luxemburg became lodged near their colony. The grounding of the colossal iceberg in Cape Denison in Commonwealth Bay left the colony effectively landlocked.
This meant the mid-sized penguins, that range from 46cm-71 cm (18in-28in), had to trek 60km to the sea to feed on their favoured krill. Their habitat used to sit on the edge of a large expanse of open water but in 2010 a massive iceberg measuring 2,900km sq became lodged in the bay, rendering the colony of Penguins landlocked.
In the last five years the colony was dwindled in size, as the perilous journey has claimed the lives of 150,000 of the penguins, according to research carried out by the Climate Change Research Centre at Australia's University of New South Wales. And scientists warned that the colony is set to disappear in just 20 years unless the sea ice breaks up or the iceberg, named B09B, becomes dislodged.
"The Cape Denison population could be extirpated within 20 years unless B09B relocates or the now perennial fast ice within the bay breaks out. This has provided a natural experiment to investigate the impact of iceberg stranding events and sea ice expansion along the East Antarctic coast."
But all is not lost, a study of another colony of Adelie penguins located just 8km from the coast of Commonwealth Bay is thriving, the researchers said. And new findings from other studies suggest that between the last ice age through to 1,000 years ago, some species of penguins have benefited from climate warming and retreating ice.
Fear Of Punitive Gods
Co-operation is a key component in human interaction and also, according to new research from the University of British Columbia, the spread of civilisation. Not because for any altruistic reason, though; instead it might be directly down to a fear of a vengeful god.
In a study published by Nature, a team from the university found that it wasn't a belief in divine reward that promoted co-operation, but a fear of punishment.
Researchers found that the higher subjects rated their gods as moralistic and punitive, the more likely they were to give coins to strangers -- those who believed their gods punished bad behaviour gave on average two more coins to others than those who did not believe their gods were all-powerful and judgemental. Beliefs in gods that reward good behaviour made no difference on the results.
The team suggest that belief in punishment promoted good behaviour -- that is, behaviour that promoted trust, co-operation and fairness. Because religions such as Christianity, Islam and Hinduism spread globally, worshippers in far and disparate lands had similar beliefs about how to act towards others of the same religion.
Antonin "Nino" Scalia
Supreme Court Justice Antonin "Nino" Scalia, a tart-tongued champion of conservative misinterpretation of the Constitution, has died at a West Texas ranch resort, government officials said Saturday. He was 79.
Antonin "Nino" Scalia