Paul Krugman: Schroedinger's Tax Hike (NY Times Column)
Now, Republicans are arguing that those tax breaks won't actually be temporary, that future Congresses will extend them. But they also need to assume that those tax breaks really will expire in order to meet their budget numbers. So the temporary tax breaks need, for political purposes, to be both alive and dead.
Marc Dion: Coffee, Cultural Shifts and Sadness (Creators Syndicate)
Coffee is what the cigarette used to be. In 1963, if you asked a guy, "You want a cigarette?" he said, "Yes." Now, if you ask a fellow co-worker, "You want some coffee?" she says, "Yes." In fact, because it is a stimulant and comes from South America, coffee is pretty close to being what cocaine used to be.
Ted Rall: Sexual Harassment And The End Of Team Politics (Creators Syndicate)
Until the 1990s, American electoral politics were divided ideologically, between the opposing ideas of liberalism and conservatism. Now we have Team Politics: Democrat versus Republican, my party right or wrong.
Froma Harrop: Must We 'Believe' Juanita Broaddrick? No. (Creators Syndicate)
The demand that any woman's claim of rape be automatically believed can have tragic consequences. How many black men have been lynched on false charges of raping white women? Make no mistake. Any charge of rape must be seriously investigated. Prosecuting sex crimes does pose a special set of difficulties. It doesn't follow, however, that the woman's statement is beyond scrutiny.
Froma Harrop: GOP Tax Plan Would Hurt Homeowners Everywhere (Creators Syndicate)
The story making the rounds is that the Republican tax plan targets homeowners only in expensive blue states - people who tend to vote for the other party. That's only partly true. Homeowners everywhere would get hit. The reasons will follow. As a whole, the "reforms" are an abomination. Through some tricks to hide its effects early on, the plan would move more of the nation's tax burden down to the middle class and lower. Some 13 million could lose their health coverage.
Lenore Skenazy: OMG, It's a Man! (Creators Syndicate)
"Being around kids while male" is becoming the new "driving while black" - a normal activity that excites all sorts of fear and conjecture in some folks, including the authorities. And the only way to fight it is by remembering that prejudice and hate don't make anyone any safer.
Lenore Skenazy: Always Helping Kids Isn't Helping Any Kids (Creators Syndicate)
The antidote is simple: Make it easier for adults to give kids back their freedom. Don't arrest or shame parents who let their kids do things on their own. Don't exaggerate the dangers and difficulties of childhood. Don't say "What if something bad happens?" and then use that made-up, what-if, unlikely scenario as if it were a real, immediate and probable risk. Put simply: Don't step in when you can step back and let your kids go ... and grow.
Mark Shields: 'Punching Up' Is American; 'Punching Down' Is Not (Creators Syndicate)
Americans have traditionally responded more positively to humor that "punches up" rather than "punches down." To "punch up" means to make a joke at the expense of those who have more power, privilege or property than the audience or the humorist. "Punching down" is the opposite - mocking or disparaging someone or some group that is less influential, privileged or affluent than are the mocker and his audience.
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"Doug's Most Shared Facebook Post" Today
Michelle in AZ
If Predator doesn't get selected as Man of the Year, maybe he'll be content with the attached cover. (The only Time cover of Predator I want to see is a real life picture of him behind bars!)
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
Marc's Guide to Curing Cancer
So far so good on beating cancer for now. I'm doing fine. At the end of the month I'll be 16 months into an 8 month mean lifespan. And yesterday I went on a 7 mile hike and managed to keep up with the hiking group I was with. So, doing something right.
Still waiting for future test results and should see things headed in the right direction. I can say that it's not likely that anything dire happens in the short term so that means that I should have time to make several more attempts at this. So even if it doesn't work the first time there are a lot of variations to try. So if there's bad news it will help me pick the next radiation target.
I have written a "how to" guide for oncologists to perform the treatment that I got. I'm convinced that I'm definitely onto something and whether it works for me or not isn't the definitive test. I know if other people tried this that it would work for some of them, and if they improve it that it will work for a lot of them.
The guide is quite detailed and any doctor reading this can understand the procedure at every level. I also go into detail as to how it works, how I figured it out, and variations and improvements that could be tried to enhance it. I also introduce new ways to look at the problem. There is a lot of room for improvement and I think that doctors reading it will see what I'm talking about and want to build on it. And it's written so that if you're not a doctor you can still follow it. It also has a personal story revealing that I'm the class clown of cancer support group. I give great interviews and I look pretty hot in a lab coat.
So, feel free to read this and see what I'm talking about. But if any of you want to help then pass this around to both doctors and cancer patients. I need some media coverage. I'm looking for as many eyeballs as possible to read these ideas. Even if this isn't the solution, it's definitely on the right track. After all, I did hike 7 miles yesterday. And this hiking group wasn't moving slow. So if this isn't working then, why am I still here?
I also see curing cancer as more of an engineering problem that a medical problem. So if you are good at solving problems and most of what you know about medicine was watching the Dr. House MD TV show, then you're at the level I was at when I started. So anyone can jump in and be part of the solution.
Here is a link to my guide: Oncologists Guide to Curing Cancer using Abscopal Effect
from that Mad Cat, JD
EVERYONE LIKES A GOOD WAR STORY.
WAKE UP AND PEE! THE WORLD'S ON FIRE!
"I'M THE ONLY ONE THAT MATTERS."
"INACTION IS NO LONGER AN OPTION."
"SO WHERE ARE WE?"
ARE YOU A FRIEND OF THE EARTH?
STICK A FORK IN THIS TURKEY. HE'S DONE!
PAPA IS PISSED!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Very foggy night.
Faces Advertiser Boycott
Google's YouTube is engulfed in a new brand-safety crisis: Several major advertisers froze spending on YouTube after an investigation revealed their spots were running against videos featuring kids in states of undress and other situations that had drawn comments from pedophiles.
Brands including Adidas, Deutsche Bank, Mars, HP, Diageo, Cadbury and Lidl pulled ads from YouTube over the issue, according to a report Friday by the Times of London. That came after the newspaper discovered the marketers' ads had run in videos with young girls in underwear, doing the splits, and rolling around in bed - which included sexually inappropriate comments posted by viewers. According to the report, the videos themselves appeared to be uploaded by kids with no intent to appeal to sexual predators.
In response to the report, YouTube said in a statement, "There shouldn't be any ads running on this content, and we are working urgently to fix this."
The boycott is a replay of the global advertiser backlash in early 2017 after ads were discovered showing up in terrorism and hate speech videos in a previous investigation by the Times. YouTube has repeatedly vowed to do better, including implementing new screening processes to filter out offensive content from the site, hiring additional staff, and rolling out tools designed to give advertisers better controls and tracking of their ads.
YouTube in recent weeks has said it's cracking down on content featuring themes and characters that appeal to children but include violent, sexual or otherwise inappropriate themes.
'White Rabbit' Conspiracy Theory
If you want proof we're living in a golden age of conspiracy theories, the latest offering of fake news doing the rounds among hard-right Trump supporters is really pushing the envelope.
On social media networks such as Twitter, a significant number of posts are being hashtagged with the term #followthewhiterabbit - some garnering thousands of shares.
It's a line from the Lewis Carroll novel 'Alice in Wonderland' and references a belief that there are hidden truths being concealed by a global elite heavily involved in a paedophile network - which Donald Trump (R-Buffoon) is trying to bring to justice.
Most recently, it was invoked when the US President struggled to drink Fiji water recently. He was, according to the white rabbit theory at least, sending a secret signal to his faithful followers.
Fiji, you see, is a source for the child-sex industry, according to believers, and Trump took power specifically to take on an elite conspiracy of paedophiles involving Clinton, the Rothschilds and other classic conspiracy targets.
'White Rabbit' Conspiracy Theory
LGBT Community Marches For Equality
Rainbow flags flowed through the streets of Hong Kong Saturday during the city's annual pride parade, as LGBT activists criticised authorities for lagging behind on equal rights.
This year Hong Kong was picked as the first Asian city to host the Gay Games, while a landmark court decision granted a British lesbian the right to live and work in Hong Kong with her partner.
But authorities' reaction to the winning bid for the 2022 Gay Games was lukewarm and the city's immigration department has announced it will appeal the case.
Despite the festive atmosphere, many participants said they thought Hong Kong was not ready to accept equal rights and that it was up to the LGBT community to change attitudes.
The parade also follows a May court decision in Taiwan that paved the way to allowing gay marriage by ruling that laws preventing same-sex unions violate the guarantee of freedom of marriage.
Church Pressured To End Meals For Homeless
A church in upmarket Malibu has decided to stop providing free meals for those in need after claiming they were told by officials they were attracting too many homeless people.
The United Methodist Church, one of many churches that provides food and help, has been offering free meals twice a week. But it said it was going to stop after being told the meal service was luring too many homeless people.
Dawn Randall, a member of the church, said it recently received an email from city officials. "Very succinctly, they claimed we are increasing homelessness," she told CBS.
The Los Angeles Times said the city, which has a population of 13,000, has roughly 180 homeless residents, but no shelter or housing for poor people.
Pressed Charges To Hurt Jeff Flake Politically
Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R-Pink Panties) has been hit with a lawsuit claiming he maliciously pressed charges against a member of Jeff Flake's family to hurt the Republican Arizona senator politically.
President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Crooked) pardoned Arpaio in August after the former sheriff was convicted of criminal contempt for willfully violating a federal judge's order and unlawfully detaining individuals solely based on suspicions about their legal status.
Flake is a harsh critic of Trump. When the senator announced in October he would not seek re-election in 2019, he warned of the Trump administration: "We must never regard as normal the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals."
Flake's son Austin Flake is bringing a malicious-prosecution lawsuit against Arpaio for pursuing felony animal cruelty charges against him and his then-wife, Logan Flake. The couple had been watching dogs at a Phoenix kennel operated by Logan's parents in the summer of 2014 when an air conditioner failed and more than 20 dogs died of heat exhaustion.
Logan Flake's parents were ultimately convicted of animal cruelty after an expert testified that the air conditioner had not been properly maintained, The Associated Press reports, and charges against Austin and Logan Flake were dismissed at the request of prosecutors.
Drops Sister City
The mayor of Japan's second city of Osaka said Friday he would end sister-city relations with San Francisco after the US city decided to accept a donated memorial to wartime sex slaves.
Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura said trust between the two, which have been "sister" cities for 60 years, had been "completely destroyed" by the incident.
Japan's national government has stepped in to urge San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee to reject the memorial, as Tokyo struggles to explain its position to the international community.
Lee signed a document Wednesday formalising the city's acceptance of the memorial, according to Kyodo News.
Mainstream historians say up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea but also other parts of Asia including China, were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War II as so-called "comfort women".
Off Central America
Floating masses of garbage off some of the Caribbean's pristine beaches offer grim evidence of a vast and growing problem of plastic waste heedlessly dumped in the ocean, local residents, activists and experts say.
These "trash islands" have been captured in images by photographer Caroline Power, who lives on Honduran island of Roatan.
The problem shows that trash "continues to enter our oceans that leads to the formation of these trash patches," she told AFP by email.
Some of the detritus clumped together in the waves that she documented was being deposited on beaches around Omoa, a seaside town in northern Honduras.
It included hospital waste and plastic containers of all types.
Creates Pacific Marine Park
Mexico's government has created a marine park the size of Illinois in the Pacific, the largest ocean reserve in North America for the conservation of giant rays, whales and turtles, including dozens of species endemic to the area.
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto designated on Friday the Revillagigedo Archipelago, located some 390 km (242 miles) southeast of the Baja California peninsula, as a national park.
The four volcanic islands that make up the Revillagigedo Archipelago and the surrounding waters are home to hundreds of species of animals and plants, including rays, humpback whales, sea turtles, lizards and migratory birds.
The archipelago is sometimes known as the Galapagos of North America, in reference to the volcanic Ecuadorean islands whose abundance of endemic species inspired biologist Charles Darwin.
Now all fishing activities will be prohibited, as well as the construction of hotel infrastructure on the islands.
2 Billion Year Old Microfossils
A geologist in India found "prokaryotic" microfossils that are considered to be 2 billion years old. Microfossils are a group of small fossil remains that can only be studied microscopically. It can either be a part of a larger organism or a whole minute organism. Microfossils are said to be the most important group of fossils.
Naresh Ghose, a Bengaluru-based geologist, first discovered the microfossils in a carbonaceous shale in central India. Ghose, who is also a former geology professor at Patna University, reported his findings at the Indian Geological Congress in Nagpur, an annual convention for Indian scientific discoveries.
"The present study reports for the first time the presence of "organogenic" microfossils-derived from living organisms-in black shale immediately underlying the volcanic rock of the Gwalior basin," Ghose said at the convention, according to Doonwire. "Therefore, the microfossils (Prokaryotic-RNA cell) in the Gwalior basin may be regarded as the confirmed oldest existence of life dated about 2,000 million years ago ever to be recorded from the Indian subcontinent."
Prokaryotic microfossils consist of the remains of bacteria, fungi, plants, planktons and animals. They are considered to be the earliest indicator of life's existence on the planet. The small fossil, which is smaller than one millimeter in length, are comprised of carbonates and a combination of iron-bearing material.
In May, the world's oldest microfossil was previously found in Quebec, Canada, by a group of researchers from the University College London. The research team initially considered the microfossils to be about 4.3 billion years old. The microfossil would have emerged more than 200 millions years ahead of when the earth first formed.