BBC: US judge strikes out Prince Andrew sex claims.
“BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said Judge Marra had expressed no opinion as to the “validity or veracity” of the allegations against Prince Andrew.” Certainly not exoneration; just ‘impertinence.’ I wonder at that very curious, specific choice of word.
Photo Attorney: Federal Lands Photography Rules.
FYI. A bookmark is definitely in order.
New Economic Perspectives: We Send Teachers to Prison for Rigging the Numbers, Why Not Bankers?
“Wow, a newspaper did a series of articles, and documented a scandal built on deceit. Imagine if the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal were to do an ‘unsparing’ investigation into banking fraud – and into Attorney General Eric Holder’s refusal to prosecute. What if they actually looked at culpability in the C-suites?” Hear, hear.
BBC: Indiana lawmakers unveil proposed changes to religious law.
What I don’t get, is why these kinds of ideas get so far when they should be shot down immediately by the Establishment Clause. The law is clearly intended to aid certain religions. Entanglement? Seen the news in the last few days? FAIL.
BBC: Eleven Atlanta teachers teachers in mass cheating scandal.
“She insisted that she was innocent, but many accused her of pressuring the teachers to show improvements in scores which would unlock greater federal funding.” You know, I’ve wondered how prevalent this behavior is, given the linking of funds to performance. Checks and balances? Are there any?
KRQE: *Seven* fires sparked in the Albuquerque Bosque in two days.
TG’s Political Wire: Are Republicans Losing Big Business?
Sigh of relief. Republicans, when in power, can’t resist going after social issues. Noone will remember any detail of Benghazi; everyone will remember the folks who support Indiana - and negatively.
ars technica: Energy companies around the world infected by newly discovered malware.
The Atlantic: U.S. Supreme Court - GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure.
“If the government puts a GPS tracker on you, your car, or any of your personal effects, it counts as a search—and is therefore protected by the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court clarified and affirmed that law on Monday ...” Good.
Guardian.UK: Deepwater oil spill - BP steps up PR effort to insist all is well in the Gulf.
“This year, the NWF found that higher-than-normal rates of death for many species continued, and are likely linked to the disaster: dolphins along Louisiana’s coastline were found dead at four times historic rates last year, and research has shown the deaths of 12% of brown pelicans and 32% of a species of gull can be linked to the spill. The NWF report also says the eggs of many animals – from trout in the Gulf to pelicans nesting as far away as Minnesota – have been found to contain oil and the dispersant used by BP in the wake of the spill.”
NakedCap: Fracking’s New Nemesis - Earthquake Lawsuits.
“Indeed, some of the bigger players appear to have decided it’s best to keep these cases out of the press if possible. BHP Billiton and Chesapeake Energy settled a 2013 case lodged by five homeowners for a confidential amount.” Industries prefer to minimize case law on the books. Swift gag settlements are the first line of defense.
In These Times: Is There Anything Wrong with GMOs?
“Everybody thinks patenting plant materials happened with GMOs, but it didn’t. It goes back to the 1930s. Farmers in the developed world have been buying seeds from companies for many, many years.” And, indeed, it is true. Other interesting tidbits within.
NY Times: Islamic State Destruction Renews Debate Over Repatriation of Antiquities.
I used to be pro-repatriation. I suppose Zahi Hawass made such a strong case for Egyptian artifacts to be best appreciated in their country of origin, I was convinced. The Bamiyan Buddhas, Arab Spring, etc. have convinced me otherwise now. Spread cultural treasures widely throughout the world - with liberal travel/touring displays. Humanity’s art and history belong to no individual nation, region or political system.
BBC: Italian court acquits Knox and Sollecito of Kercher murder.
Circumstantial evidence cases are notoriously difficult. From my reading, the Knox guilt was threadbare.
Guardian.UK: High time Lance Armstrong realised that only humility earns redemption.
He must accept his scarlet letter at some point, and act accordingly. Showing up in France just prior to the TdF, will do nothing to help his reputation. Notoriety, yes. Reputation, no. Notoriety will not boost rehabilitation.
Guardian.UK: Mystery around Jeb Bush’s ‘unknown’ private email account.
“Others reached Bush simply through the gencom account — writing to him on a range of issues from judicial appointments to the federal raid that captured the Cuban child Elian Gonzalez to state labor and literacy issues.” Color me unsurprised.
AP: Police find no evidence of gang rape at U of V.
“In interviews with The Associated Press, however, the same friends said the opposite was true: They said they insisted Jackie contact police, but she refused. The friends said the article didn’t match what Jackie had told them that night, and that she didn’t appear physically injured at the time.”
Guardian.UK: ‘Kidnapped’ victims of Chicago police detail ordeal in federal civil-rights suit.
Keep a weather eye open on this one.
Paris Review: The Gruesome Case That Made Voltaire a Crusader for the Innocent.
A more entertaining read than you might think, given the title. “Waterboarding has not gone away. What has changed is the euphemism, from question extraordinaire to enhanced interrogation.”
Motherboard: The FAA Says You Can’t Post Drone Videos on YouTube.
Must’ve been one of those Washington folk who’ve only sent two emails in their lives ...
Vox: No, Tom Cotton did not commit treason.
I suppose we’re not talking even Lindbergh or the Duke of Windsor. But we are talking of an attempt to cut our President’s foreign policy off at the knees. A Senatorial censure should at least come up for a vote, symbolically. This behavior cannot be allowed to stand without a single response. Ignoring the ‘slippery slope’ is how we got here in the first place [the ‘94 reframing of opposition as ‘traitorous’, etc.]. We out in the wider US despair of Washington ever being able to control its own wilful tendencies.
The Nation: A Broken Compensation System Is Leaving the Most Vulnerable Workers in Pain.
“The double injustice of paying for the physical suffering imposed by your employer is no accident; it’s calculated cruelty. The Workers’ Compensation system has been gradually eroded to limit employer liability, while disenfranchised, precarious workers often have little choice but to accept an inadequate award or none at all.” My italics.
Guardian.UK: ‘Middle-aged businessmen are winning amateur cycling races on EPO’.
Dazed: India’s NDTV stages poignant protest of rape documentary ban.
“A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy.” My first thought, besides rage, was “how or why does he believe this is so?” The details are much more nefarious, the reasons for rape culture within the country.
Later, related: UN finds ‘alarmingly high’ levels of violence against women.
Even later, related: “A recent interview between Karaki and Hani al-Seba’i, a Muslim scholar, is gaining international attention after Karaki cut the segment short following al-Seba’i’s sexist remarks, including telling Karaki to “shut up” and that it was “beneath” him to be interviewed by her.”
The Mischiefs of Faction: The Obamacare Case - How We Got Here, and Why It Matters.
Yes, well ... many of the Republican/Conservative thinktanks got their start in the post-Nixon years, during the Carter Administration. They’ve been playing the ‘long game’ ... something Dems haven’t been particularly good with (having enjoyed long majorities in the last century).