Paul Krugman: Destructive Long-Termism (NY Times Blog)
One of my long-running gripes about much discussion of current economic issues is about what I consider the long-run dodge. By this I mean the attempt to change the subject away from unemployment and inadequate demand toward supposedly more fundamental issues of education and structural reform. Such efforts to change the subject seem to me to be both wrong and, to some extent, cowardly.
Andrew Tobias: Three Birds with One Stone
Ronald Reagan and the Republicans have demonized taxes and spending on anything but war - and they didn't even tax us to pay for war, as throughout history used to be the custom. Instead, they slashed tax rates on the rich and borrowed to make up the difference, ballooning our National Debt, even as they let our infrastructure slowly decay. Now they want to eliminate the estate tax on billionheirs, decreasing the funds available to invest in infrastructure while increasing inequality.
Austin Allen: "Iffy: Behind the mask of Rudyard Kipling's confidence" (Poetry Foundation)
And so, in its dark-glass way, "If-" reflects modern uncertainty after all. It's a masterpiece of timing, of structure, of rhetoric (the genre that Yeats pointedly contrasted with poetry). But the more you read it, the more you hear a countersong beneath the assurance. In that long series of perfectly balanced clauses, you hear a mounting fear that the child won't succeed. The sentence keeps building; the number of required conditions keeps growing. Maturity starts to seem like a very big "if."
Peter, Paul and Mary were an American folk-singing trio whose nearly 50-year career began with their rise to become a paradigm for 1960s folk music. The trio was composed of folk songwriter Peter Yarrow, (Noel) Paul Stookey and Mary Travers. After the death of Travers in 2009, Yarrow and Stookey continued to perform as a duo under their individual names.
"Leaving on a Jet Plane" became their only No. 1 single (as well as their final top 40 pop hit), in December 1969, and was written by the group's friend John Denver. It was the group's sixth million-selling gold single. The track first appeared on their million-selling platinum certified Album 1700, in 1967 (which also contained their No. 9 hit "I Dig Rock and Roll Music"). "Day Is Done", a No. 21 hit in June 1969 from the trio's Grammy-award winning Peter, Paul and Mommy album, was the last hot 100 hit that the trio recorded.
Alan J was first and correct with:
Leavin' on a Jet Plane.
Jim from CA, retired to ID, wrote:
Leaving on a Jet Plane
something about flying I think
I'm just going to guess 'Puff, The Magic Dragon'. I'm probably wrong, but it's the only thing I remotely know about them.
In light of my recent Gmail frustrations, I purposely didn't answer Monday's TQ. Nor did I know the answer.
I can remember hearing 2 PP&M songs on pop radio: "Puff the Magic Dragon" and "If I Had a Hammer." My vote goes to Puff - such a whimsical song.
Leaving on a Jet Plane
Elevated Lois Of Oregon said:
Damn. Seems the answer is "Leaving On A Jet Plane", a sappy song written by guy who met his death falling out of the sky. I was hoping it was "Puff The Magic Dragon", a sappy song about a totally stoned child, who shacked up with a lizard out in the wild. Or something. I didn't really listen to it.
Dale of Diamondy Sprungs replied:
"Leaving on a Jet Plane" written by that hypocritical pussy mouthed motherfucker John Denver was PP&M's only numero uno song. By the way, I hate Denver, anything Denver!
I came across this on Snopes about the Ted Yoho gif you had posted. Since I live in the FLA I keep up with the crazies in politics we have here. It seems he didn't actually say this about the 3/5ths voters, but more or less agreed with the person who did say it. You can make your own determination. Here is the link:
Patriot Act NSA Spying Unconstitutional Section 215 National Security Letters Must End
My name is Marc Perkel and I have decided to announce that I will not comply with the so called "Patriot Act" laws requiring me to disclose information about my customers. If I receive a national security letter I will immediately photograph it, post it online everywhere I can, and then make a video of me burning it. I will then await my arrest. If you want to put me in jail then come get me mother fucker.
CBS starts the night with the FRESH'I Get That A Lot', followed by a RERUN'Code Black', then a RERUN'Criminal Minds'.
On a RERUNStephen Colbert (from 12/9/15) are Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Allen Leech, Adam McKay, and Kurt Vile.
On a RERUNJames Corden, OBE, (from 11/12/15) are Melissa Benoist, Olivia Wilde, and Saoirse Ronan.
NBC opens the night with a RERUN'L&O: SVU', followed by another (R) 'L&O: SVU', then a RERUN'Chicago PD'.
On a RERUNJimmy Fallon (from 12/16/15) are Will Ferrell, Alicia Vikander, and Twenty One Pilots.
On a RERUNSeth Meyers (from 11/25/15) are Matthew Morrison, Uzo Aduba, and A Great Big World.
On a RERUNCarson 'The Scab' Daly (from 11/5/15) are Michaela Watkins, Metz, and Lightning Bolt.
ABC begins the night with a RERUN'The Middle', followed by a RERUN'The Goldbergs', then a RERUN'Modern Family', followed by a RERUN'black-ish', then a RERUN'The Goldbergs', followed by a RERUN'black-ish'.
On a RERUNJimmy Kimmel (from 12/17/15) are Ryan Seacrest, Giada De Laurentiis, and Gavin James.
The CW offers the RERUN'iHeartRadio (formerly Clear Channel) Jingle Bell 2015'.
Faux has a RERUN'Empire', followed by a RERUN'Rosewood'.
MY has 'TMZ (Not So) Live', followed by 'Hollywood (Not So) Live'.
[6:00AM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 10 - Inheritance
[7:00AM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 11 - Parallels
[8:00AM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 12 - The Pegasus
[9:00AM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 13 - Homeward
[10:00AM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 14 - Sub Rosa
[11:00AM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 15 - Lower Decks
[12:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 16 - Thine Own Self
[1:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 17 - Masks
[2:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 18 - Eye of the Beholder
[3:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 19 - Genesis
[4:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 20 - Journey's End
[5:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 21 - Firstborn
[6:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 22 - Bloodlines
[7:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 23 - Emergence
[8:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 24 - Preemptive Strike
[9:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 25 - All Good Things... (Part 1)
[10:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 26 - All Good Things... (Part 2)
[11:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 10 - Inheritance
[12:00AM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 11 - Parallels
[1:00AM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 12 - The Pegasus
[2:00AM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 13 - Homeward
[3:00AM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 14 - Sub Rosa
[4:00AM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 15 - Lower Decks
[5:00AM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7, Ep 16 - Thine Own Self (ALL TIMES EST)
Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of BH', 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', another 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', and still another 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta'.
FX has the movie 'Total Recall', followed by the movie 'Transformers: Dark Of The Moon'.
History has 3 hours of old 'American Pickers', 'Pawn Stars', and another 'Pawn Stars'.
[6:00AM] COMEDY BANG! BANG!-Lil John
[6:15AM] BENDERS-Secrets and Lies
[6:45AM] BENDERS-The Sport of Kings
[7:15AM] STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE
[10:15AM] STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN
[12:45PM] STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK
[3:00PM] STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER
[5:30PM] END OF WATCH
[8:00PM] THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
[10:30PM] END OF WATCH
[1:00AM] END OF WATCH
[3:30AM] THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (ALL TIMES EST)
[6:15AM] The Conspirator
[11AM] Donnie Brasco
[2:00PM] The Warriors
[4:00PM] Saving Private Ryan
[8:00PM] The Perfect Storm
[11:00PM] Donnie Brasco
[2:00AM] Young Frankenstein
[4:30AM] Stand by Me (ALL TIMES EST)
Peruvian shamans holding posters of Cuba's President Raul Castro, U.S. President Barack Obama and Argentinian President Mauricio Macri perform a ritual of predictions for the new year at Morro Solar hill in Chorrillos, Lima, Peru, December 29, 2015. The ritual is an end-of-the-year tradition and the shamans called for world peace and wished good luck for the upcoming elections in Peru and the U.S.
Photo by Mariana Bazo
The heirs to a New Hampshire teacher who wrote a poem about a "soft kitty" eight decades ago said in a lawsuit Monday that TV's "The Big Bang Theory" is violating their copyrights.
Edith Newlin's daughters sued CBS and other media-related companies over the copyright to a song the lawsuit says has repeatedly been used on the hit sitcom.
According to the lawsuit, "The Big Bang Theory," one of the highest-rated shows on television, used lyrics written by Newlin in the 1930s without buying the rights. The lyrics begin: "Soft kitty, warm kitty."
"The Big Bang Theory" characters have periodically sung a lullaby involving that phrase, often to comfort theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper, played by Jim Parsons.
Edith Newlin died in 2004. She had worked as a nursery school teacher in Alstead, New Hampshire, for about 35 years. Her daughters still live in the small town.
With two new films, German cinema has rediscovered the country's fiercest Nazi hunter, former prosecutor Fritz Bauer, honouring a man who fought against post-war amnesia about the Holocaust.
A Jewish atheist and Social Democrat who spent time in a Nazi concentration camp before going into war-time exile, Bauer became "the most hated lawyer in Germany" after World War II, one of his biographers, Ronen Steinke, told AFP.
Honouring him on the big screen with the stories of his two biggest battles places him "finally back where he belongs: in the collective consciousness," said Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
Bauer "wanted to break the silence on the Nazi crimes" at a time when West German society during its economic miracle years "preferred to turn the page" on the horrors of the Holocaust, said Steinke.
The researchers sequenced the genome of an early farmer woman who lived near Belfast some 5,200 years ago and the genomes of three men from a later period, around 4,000 years ago in the Bronze Age, after the introduction of metalworking, according to a statement on the Trinity College Dublin website.
"There was a great wave of genome change that swept into Europe from above the Black Sea into Bronze Age Europe and we now know it washed all the way to the shores of its most westerly island," Professor Dan Bradley of Trinity College Dublin, who led the study, said.
The study revealed that the Neolithic woman farmer's ancestry originated in the Middle East, where agriculture was invented. The woman was similar to modern people from Spain and the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, and had black hair and brown eyes.
In contrast, the three Bronze Age men from Rathlin Island had at least a third of their ancestry from the Pontic Steppe, a region north of the Black Sea now spread across present-day Russia and Ukraine. They had a gene component that is responsible for blue eyes and an important chromosome variant that causes the genetic disease haemochromatosis, which causes the body to retain a higher content of iron than normal.
Many of the country's most prominent national parks, including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Zion, set new visitation records in 2015 and are bracing for what could be an even busier new year.
The National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday in 2016 and has been urging Americans to rediscover the country's scenic wonders or find new parks to visit through marketing campaigns that include giving free passes to every fourth-grader and their families.
So the attendance records could be short lived, with even bigger crowds expected next year.
Overall visitation to national parks is on track to hit 300 million in 2015, besting last year's all-time high of nearly 293 million. Absent December totals, Grand Canyon in northern Arizona hit almost 5.3 million visits. Zion in Utah is over 3.5 million. Yellowstone, which stretches into Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, is nearing 4.1 million. Yosemite in California is about 220,000 visits shy of the 1996 record_4.2 million - with November and December still left to count.
The past year has meant some adjusting for parks as they manage the crowds. Yosemite lowered the entrance fees during the late fall and winter partly to encourage visitors to consider times other than the busy summer. Zion extended its shuttle bus service when the parking lots became too full for people to access the canyon. It also brought in interns to help study peak times.
When the state deemed Leighton Pang Kee ineligible for one of the most valuable benefits available to Native Hawaiians - land at almost no cost - because he couldn't show that he was at least 50 percent Hawaiian, he sued.
Pang Kee knew he was, and needed to figure out a way to prove it. According to his lawsuit, his mother was at least 81.25 percent Native Hawaiian, but his birth certificate didn't list his biological father.
But he knew who his father was. Pang Kee, who was adopted, found his late father's brother, got a DNA sample that showed there was a 96.35 percent probability that Pang Kee and the man were related, the lawsuit said.
While that initially wasn't enough for the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the agency eventually settled, and has proposed rules that would allow the use of DNA evidence to prove ancestry.
One of the only times blood quantum is relevant is for applying for a homestead lease. Those with at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood quantum can apply for a 99-year lease for $1 a year.
A polar bear painted onto the side of an animal hospital at Hennepin Ave. S. and 26th St. S. hovers over a pedestrian walking past Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, in Minneapolis. What could have been a big, frightful snow storm turned out to be about five inches or less in the metro by Tuesday morning. A potentially large snow dump turned out to be about fives inches or less in the metro as a major winter stormed dumped much more snow in southern Minnesota and elsewhere.
Photo by David Joles
As many as 58 million large trees in California are threatened by record drought afflicting the state since 2011, says a study.
Even if the weather phenomenon called El Nino produces more precipitation, California's forests could suffer irreversible change, the report said.
Besides the lack of water, high temperatures and a destructive insect called the bark beetle also raise the risk of forest mortality, said the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers found that some 10.6 million hectares (41,000 square miles) of forest with up to 888 million large trees, including the famed sequoias, have endured major water shortages from 2011 to 2015.
Of these, up to 58 million trees have suffered a water deficit classified as extremely threatening to long-term forest health.
Legendary Crimean winemaker Massandra, once a supplier to Russia's Tsar Nicolas II, has provoked the ire of Kiev by putting 13,000 vintage bottles up for auction on Tuesday.
Massandra described the wines, some dating back to 1935, as "pearls that have endured heavy ordeals including during the war".
The Massandra region, which belonged to the Ukrainian state until the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia, is now under Moscow's control with the rest of the peninsula.
Kiev immediately reacted to the sale, threatening a criminal probe over "squandering Ukrainian heritage", said Olexandre Liev, a Ukrainian agriculture ministry official.
Massandra was already at the centre of a scandal in September when Russian President Vladimir Putin and ex-Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi reportedly enjoyed a $100,000 bottle of 240-year-old sherry.
The profile of Milan's Duomo cathedral, Italy, is seen through the smog that hovers over the city, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015. The lack of rain and winds has brought pollution levels in Italyâs business capital to exceed levels considered healthy for more than 30 straight days, prompting officials to ban private cars from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. from Monday, Dec. 28 through Wednesday Dec. 30.
Photo by Antonio Calanni
A second type of transmissible cancer has been discovered among Tasmanian devils, with eight cases currently documented among the endangered marsupial carnivores. Scientists from the University of Cambridge and the University of Tasmania say their discovery could indicate the emergence of transmissible cancers is not as rare an event in nature as previously thought.
Tasmanian devil numbers plummeted in the late 1990s and 2000s. It was discovered the species was suffering from a transmissible form of cancer that affects the face and mouth, with the disease being spread by biting. The cancer - Devil Facial Tumour Disease - spreads rapidly through the creature's body and they normally die within months of symptoms appearing. Conservation efforts are currently under way to save the species from extinction.
However, a second type of transmissible cancer has now been found - although outward symptoms appear much like Devil Facial Tumour Disease, the cancer is genetically distinct. The first case was identified in 2014 - analysis of the Tasmanian devil's cancer showed it had different chromosomal rearrangements to the first. Since then eight more cases have been found in the same area of south-east Tasmania. Researchers published their findings in the journal PNAS.
Other than Devil Facial Tumour Disease, there are only two other cases of transmissible cancer documented - one in dogs and one in soft shell clams - leading scientists to believe they are extremely rare in nature.
For more than 100 years, the cloistered nuns known as the Pink Sisters have worked in shifts to ensure nonstop prayer in Philadelphia's Chapel of Divine Love.
Now, to address their shrinking numbers and ensure their prayers continue for another century, the Roman Catholic Holy Spirit Adoration sisters have begun quietly reaching out, seeking to grow their order while carefully maintaining their secluded life.
In the last year, they hung a banner outside their chapel and convent as a way to let other people know about their daily public Masses. They've granted more interviews with news reporters. And they have begun inviting Catholic women's organizations and schools to speak to the sisters - with all conversations taking place through the grille in the convent visiting room, of course.
There's even a subtle recruitment flier hanging just inside the front door of the chapel. It encourages visitors to ask themselves three questions: Do you love Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? Do you realize the power of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament? Is Jesus calling you to say 'yes' to a life of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament?
There were once as many as 40 nuns living in the Philadelphia convent. Now, there are 20: The youngest is 52, and the oldest is 90.
A white lion named Brutus is seen at the Drakenstein Lion Park near Cape Town December 29, 2015. Brutus, who fathered three "miracle" cubs despite having had a vasectomy in his youth, is going back to the vet to have the operation a second time. Brutus and his partner Nala, who live at the Drakenstein Lion Park, stunned staff at the sanctuary when she gave birth to the cubs just before Christmas.
Photo by Mark Wessels
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