Guardian.UK: Native American groups request federal inquiry into adoption services.
“Although these civil rights violations are well-known and commonplace, they continue to go unchecked and unexamined.” They even get portrayed in TV shows, and *still* nothing happens.
NY Times: An Open Letter From Dylan Farrow.
“These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal.” That sentence, by itself, proves to me the truth of her story. It always ‘seems normal’ … all the while feeling soul-grindingly evil … but everyone else turns a blind eye, everyone finds excuses to ignore it. Why ‘normal’? Because a child has *nothing* to compare the behavior to.
Guardian.UK: Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito lose Meredith Kercher murder appeal.
“As is standard practice in Italy, the Florence court gave no explanation for its verdict and now has up to 90 days to publish its reasoning.” Might as well shut up and wait, people.
Guardian.UK: San Francisco officials contradict coroner on Asiana crash victim’s death.
“The city also said that NTSB investigators found she had not buckled her seatbelt for the landing, based on interviews with survivors and an inspection that found her seatbelt attached and unbuckled.” This seatbelt BS comes across as a blatant attempt to blame the victim. Pretty low, IMHO.
The Guardian: The return of the firing squad? US states reconsider execution methods.
Credit Slips: Debt Collection Industry Poised for Changes.
Badly in need of better regulation.
Guardian.UK: Texas hospital acknowledges brain-dead status of pregnant woman.
Terrible tragedy, made exponentially worse by bad laws.
Pacific Standard: Poor People Judge Harm-Doers More Harshly.
“Moral transgressions don’t seem quite so bad if we’re in a financial position to easily deal with their consequences.” It would be interesting to see the percentage dollar threshold trigger for both poor and rich, to see if there’s a common amount.
SF New Mexican: Mora County faces new lawsuit over drilling ban.
“The recent lawsuit was filed by Shell Western E&P Inc., or SWEPI Limited Partnership. It asks the court not only to overturn the ordinance, but to award the company damages.” My italics. They’re out for blood.
ArtDaily: Thieves try to steal Sigmund Freud’s ashes from Golders Green crematorium.
Then again, Freud might be titillated at the attempt and want to delve deeper into the perpetrator’s psyche ...
Reuters: Blogger gets same speech protections as traditional press - U.S. court.
“A blogger is entitled to the same free speech protections as a traditional journalist and cannot be liable for defamation unless she acted negligently, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.” An important case. Bloggers, take note.
Ars Technica: Rewinding to Betamax - The path to consumers’ “right to record”.
Blast from the past. Just that page from TV Guide will take you back. Irony is, Sony did all the fighting, VHS made all the money.
kottke: Frere-Jones sues Hoefler.
Gird with pixel rulers at 10 yards? Alas, but it’s no joke.
Guardian.UK: Civil war silver jug among 990 treasures unearthed in 2012.
“The jug was in such immaculate condition, shining as if newly polished, that they reported it to the police as well as the archaeologists, in case it had been stolen recently. In fact, as far as anyone can tell, it has lain just below the hooves of the grazing cattle in the field at Kingston Russell, west of Dorchester, for almost 400 years.” Cool.
ProPublica: Over-The-Counter Pills Left Out of FDA Acetaminophen Limits.
“Tuesday’s recommendation only applies to prescription drugs, not the over-the-counter products that make up about 80 percent of the market, according to the FDA. That means that you will still be able to walk into a gas station or grocery store and buy pills with up to 650 milligrams of acetaminophen, while your pharmacist is now discouraged from dispensing any product with more than half that amount.”
NewsObserver: NC fracking panel passes chemical disclosure rule.
“Fracking companies won the right to keep secret the chemical cocktails they pump underground during shale gas drilling in North Carolina under a chemical disclosure rule approved Tuesday by the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission.” This frustrates the hell out of me. We live in a nation with hundreds, thousands of media sources … and when industry interests are in play, NONE disseminate needed information. This question of fracking chemicals has come up an untold number of times, and each time, in each ‘new’ region for frackers, it’s treated as if noone’s ever considered the question before. The purposeful ignorance makes me want to bash my head against a brick wall. I point you to the Durango oil worker and hospital staff incident. Keeping these chemicals secret KILLS people.
Guardian.UK: West Virginia chemical spill leaves thousands with exposure symptoms.
“The facility is strictly a storage facility, with storage tanks. There is nothing made there. There is nothing processed there. [snip] We don’t inspect that.” Perhaps you might want to start. This is why lined containment pits need to be mandatory.
General Gov. Christie scandal comment.
He’s been celebrated for too long, I guess. The downside, post-hurricane, had to come. Getting close to election season.
When we hire people, we hire them not only for their skills, but for their character. Without solid documentary proof of his knowledge, I will not accuse the Governor. Nor will I add more noise to the metacosm.
However, the character issue sticks out like a sore thumb. As well as the smoothness with which this petty little drama was implemented.
The Economist explains: What exactly is the “quenelle”?
Noted. A gesture I hadn’t heard of or seen.
WaPo: Koch-backed political network, built to shield donors, raised $400 million.
You know, in this age of internet interconnectedness, I had thought networks of much greater complexity (extremely large, with a diaphanous fragility allowing for significant attrition while still leveraging the power of sheer numbers) were being built. This makes me believe the Republicans are still tech-Luddites.
Asian Correspondent: Selling social media clicks becomes big business.
“Italian security researchers and bloggers Andrea Stroppa and Carla De Micheli estimated in 2013 that sales of fake Twitter followers have the potential to bring in $40 million to $360 million to date, and that fake Facebook activities bring in $200 million a year.” Pays to be fake.
CNN: Coroner - Paul Walker car going 100-plus mph.
“The Porsche carrying actor Paul Walker was going 100-plus miles per hour when it crashed in November, according to the final coroner’s report on the deaths of Walker and Roger Rodas.” We all pretty much knew this had to be the case. So can media stop blaming the Porsche now? As Sir Stirling Moss has said many times, any racing you do on public roadways is absolutely not translatable to the racetrack - so there’s no point in doing it. You simply endanger yourself and others. Terrible shame.
Bloomberg/Businessweek: The FBI Warns Retailers About Thieves Armed With Foil.
Ingenious. Retail always seems to be the butt of the most creative theft schemes.
Web.Law.Duke.Edu: What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2014?
“These works are famous, so we’re not likely to lose them entirely – the true tragedy is that of forgotten films that are literally disintegrating while preservationists wait for their copyright terms to expire.” I take their warning; many works won’t be preserved until they enter the public domain.
SF New Mexican: New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage legal.
“… civil marriage ‘shall be construed to mean the voluntary union of two persons to the exclusion of all others. In addition, all rights, protections, and responsibilities that result from the marital relationship shall apply equally to both same-gender and opposite-gender married couples. Therefore, whether they are contained in [state laws], rules, regulations or the common law, whenever reference is made to marriage, husband, wife, spouse, family, immediate family, dependent, next of kin, widow, widower or any other word, which, in context, denotes a marital relationship, the same shall apply to same-gender couples who choose to marry.’” Welcome the 21st Century.