It took me two hours to get my hands on an AK-47. Welcome to America
I wondered if people planning mass shootings found it just as easy to get their hands on illegal weapons on the black market
By Eric Rodriguez | The Guardian
FIREIt’s not hard to get your hands on illegal guns and rifles in America. It took me about two hours. I called a guy from the old neighborhood in LA, said something about a “piece”, and, hours later, I was staring at an AK-47 and an illegally modified AR-15, which were sitting on a kitchen table. Welcome to America.

Admittedly, he was surprised at my interest in being strapped since it’s been a good minute since I was about the life, but when I explained I was simply curious to see how long it’d take for me to get a gat, he agreed to the idea. He had some handguns, too, he said, although I didn’t see ‘em. I took his word for it after seeing the AK-47 and AR-15, because those weapons leave an impression. Read More
“Crazies have taken over the party”: Why even Republicans are worried about John Boehner’s ouster
John Boehner is on the way out, which means the extremist faction of the GOP is on the way up
By Bob Cesca | Salon
You're OUT!I’d love to hear a good explanation from jubilant liberals about why it’s such great news that John Boehner plans to not only step down as speaker of the House, but to entirely resign from Congress. I’ll offer one very remote option presently, but on the surface, it seems like horrendously bad news more than anything else. Sure, Boehner’s hardly been a ally of the Democratic Party during his tenure. Given who’s waiting in the on-deck circle, however, it might be smart to jam the corks back in the champagne bottles and hold off on the onslaught of celebratory Facebook memes. Read More
Time for vinyl to get back in its groove after pressing times
Cascade Record Pressing, near Portland, Oregon, is only the 21st pressing plant in the country after many closed with the advent of CDs and MP3s
By Melanie Sevcenko | The Guardian
Vinyl is itAs you might expect around a hipster haven like Portland, Oregon has its fair share of record stores – so many, in fact, that Mark Rainey, owner of TKO Records in Huntington Beach, California, quickly scratched the idea of opening another.

Rainey was looking for a new venture that would take him out of California, and after hearing the blues about supply and demand in the vinyl industry from his friends who ran labels, it was obvious that he needed to go to the source.

Cascade Record Pressing opened in May 2015, becoming the 21st vinyl pressing plant currently operating in the United States – there are only about 40 globally – and the first plant in the Pacific north-west. Read More
It can definitely happen here: Trump’s proto-fascist vision of America and Europe’s wrenching migrant crisis
Trump's Jorge Ramos comedy was darker than it looked -- and Europe's deepening crisis is closer than we think
By Andrew O'Hehir | Salon
The Amusing OneTwo seemingly unrelated incidents this week, thousands of miles apart, showed us different aspects of a moral and political crisis that has paralyzed and divided the Western world. A charismatic TV personality got kicked out of a press conference and, halfway around the world, a gruesome discovery was made inside an abandoned poultry truck. One event played out as comedy while the other was a tragedy that mortified an entire continent, but the threads of meaning connecting them are stronger than they appear. Read More
Reporters Shot On Live TV: Glenn Beck Says God Did It To Warn Him
By Mark NC | News Corpse
Mr. BeckToday another tragedy occurred when a gunman took the lives of two innocent people in the course of doing their jobs. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot by a former colleague, Vester Lee Flanagan (aka Bryce Williams), as they were conducting an interview. And predictably the media has sprung into action with blanket coverage that is mostly comprised of repetition, speculation, and sensationalism. Read More
These religious clowns should scare you: GOP candidates’ gullible, lunatic faith is a massive character flaw
Their deluded debate answers removed any remaining doubt: These kooks belong nowhere near the White House
By Jeffrey Tayler | Salon
Sweet Jesus!One of the most serious problems with religious faith is that it can afflict an otherwise intelligent person and incite her to utter arrant inanities with the gravitas of an old-time, Walter-Cronkite-style television newscaster. This problem is doubly striking when that intelligent person is herself a newscaster (of sorts). And triply striking when that newscaster (of sorts) is Megyn Kelly, the Fox News star who looks sane amid a roster of crazies headed by the faith-addled duo of Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. Kelly is purportedly a Roman Catholic, but judging by her racy photos, divorce, and remarriage outside the church, the Pope and his bull(s) don’t play much of a role in her life. All of which is good, in my view. Read More
The Miracle of SolarCity
Elon Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX are impressive. But the solar company he founded with his cousins could be transformational.
By Daniel Gross | Slate
There’s a huge, ongoing, and justifiable obsession with Elon Musk and his ventures—chieflypanels Tesla, the electric car manufacturer, and SpaceX, his private spacecraft business. It’s not surprising a biography of the man was a best-seller this year. But to my mind, the most important and interesting venture that the polymathic South African immigrant helped start is the one that gets the least press. That’s SolarCity, a company that aims to paper America’s rooftops with solar panels. Read More
9,000 Maine Residents Lose Food Stamps Under New Rules  
By Associated Press (AP)
MaineAUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — More than 9,000 Maine residents have been removed from the state's food stamp program since Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration began enforcing work and volunteer requirements late last year, officials said.

The number of people that have been dropped from the program has exceeded even the administration's expectations. Read More
Would You Like Some Oil Wastewater With Your Produce?
The practice is gaining popularity in drought-plaged California, but is it safe?
By Josh Harkinson | MotherJones
Was your California orange irrigated with wastewater from oil wells? Quite possibly yes.Oil water

Under a 20-year-old water recycling program, wastewater that is generated as a byproduct from oil extraction is treated and sold to some 90 Southern California landowners—including one with certified organic operations—which use it to grow crops such as citrus, almonds, apples, peaches, grapes, and blueberries sold in major grocery chains around the country. Read More
This GOP Presidential Candidate Actually Believes in Climate Change. But He Doesn't Want to Fix It.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich doesn't "want to overreact" to global warming.
By Tim McDonnell | MotherJones
It's our planet?John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, is announcing his bid for the presidency Tuesday. Unlike most of his GOP opponents, Kasich actually believes that climate change is real.

"I happen to believe there is a problem with climate change," he told the Hill in 2012. "I don't want to overreact to it, I can't measure it all, but I respect the creation that the Lord has given us and I want to make sure we protect it." He made a similar statement in the video above, taken at a conference last month, but he added that the environment shouldn't be "worshipped," because that would be "pantheism."  Read More
Mr. President, on behalf of an ungrateful nation, thank you
Some points to ponder about Obama's record
By Dick Meyer | The Denver Channel
WASHINGTON, D.C. - I’ve never written a column like this. Readers rarely believe it, but IPOTUS am not on any political team. Generosity toward the high and mighty isn’t among my few virtues. But this needs to be said: Americans are lucky to have Barack Obama as president and we should wake up and appreciate it while we can.

President Obama will go down in history as an extraordinary president, probably a great one. He will have done this in era that doesn’t aggrandize leaders and presidents, but shrinks them. All presidents have had profound opposition, vicious enemies and colossal failures. A few were beloved and others deeply respected in their day, but none in the modern era and certainly not Obama. Read More
Fox News built a f**ked-up Frankenstein, dumb, angry and divorced from facts. Now Donald Trump will devour them 
Conservative media destroyed conservative politics. The right's impossible to take seriously. Then came Trump!
By Sean Illing | Salon
BozoFox News –and the conservative media-industrial complex – have created a Frankenstein. His name is Donald Trump, and his political success is now a huge problem for the Republican Party. In so many ways, Trump’s political existence was inevitable. For years, Fox News and the conservative talk radio machine have played to the populist Tea Party id: fomenting fear, demonizing immigrants, and enabling every nativist anxiety imaginable. Now they’re paying the price. Read More
We pledge allegiance to the United States of Inc.: Corporations become nation-states in Silicon Valley’s latest utopian management scheme
In Holacracy's vision, workers are citizens of the companies that will one day rule the world
By Laura Miller | Salon
They pledgeDuring my desultory post-graduation years in San Francisco, I lived in a big duplex with three roommates. We had bands, fledging writing gigs and other financially unpromising passions, until one of us threw over la vie bohème to work at a consulting firm. We teased him mercilessly for using nonsensical catchphrases like “think outside the box” and for getting a job telling other people how better to run their companies when he’d never actually run a company himself. In the years since, he started an airline in a foreign country, and everyone else began talking about thinking outside the box, too. Read More
God is not on our side: The religious right’s big lie about the founding of America
Reagan and others pushed the idea that we're a Christian nation chosen by divine providence. That's not the case
By Steven K. Green | Salon
Excerpted from "Inventing a Christian America: The Myth of the Religious Founding"

Mr. DisasterOne of the more popular and enduring accounts of America’s past is that of its religious founding. Belief that the British-American colonies were settled largely by religiously devout people in search of spiritual freedom, that the United States government was founded in part on religious principles, that the Founders intended to create a “Christian nation,” and that America is a specially chosen nation whose success has been directed by divine providence has resonated in the national psyche for generations. Versions of this account have existed since the founding era and have persisted through times of national distress, trial, and triumph. They represent a leading theme in our nation’s historical narrative, frequently intertwined with expressions of patriotism and American exceptionalism. Read More
The Charleston Tipping Point For White America
By Rev. Dr. Martin Otto Zimmann | Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
If you have yet to see Jon Stewart’s opening monologue on June 18 th , please do so now. Our nation’s court jester is the one who managed to place the Charleston terrorist attack in proper perspective, and I applaud him for it. We white Americans should be deeply troubled by his words.

I live in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. My wife works and teaches at the Lutheran seminary here.We moved here after serving a Lutheran church in Jerusalem. The parallels between what I witnessed in Jerusalem and what I see here are astonishing. Read More
How Supercharged Blue Heroin Ravaged This Small Town In Ohio
By Mitch Stacy | AP
Heroin in Marion, OhioMARION, Ohio (AP) — The usual handwringing over the heroin problem turned into panic in this small city in May when a supercharged blue-tinted batch from Chicago sent more than 30 overdose victims to the hospital and two to the morgue in a 12-day stretch.

Like many places in America, Marion — an hour's drive north of the capital, Columbus — has gotten used to heroin. Emergency crews in the city of 37,000 have become accustomed to treating an overdose patient about once a day for the past year or so. But they were stunned when the unprecedented onslaught began on May 20.

They say if it hadn't been for naloxone, an antidote carried by paramedics, most of the survivors probably would have died, too. They ranged in age from their late teens to early 60s. Read More
Against his better judgment
In the meth corridor of Iowa, a federal judge comes face to face with the reality of congressionally mandated sentencing
By Eli Saslow | The Washington Post
They filtered into the courtroom and waited for the arrival of the judge, anxious to hear what he would decide. The defendant’s family knelt in the gallery to pray for a lenient sentence. A lawyer paced the entryway and rehearsed his final argument. The defendant reached into the pocket of his orange jumpsuit and pulled out a crumpled note he had written to the judge the night before: “Please, you have all the power,” it read. “Just try and be merciful.

U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett entered and everyone stood. He sat and then they sat. “Another hard one,” he said, and the room fell silent. He was one of 670 federal district judges in the United States, appointed for life by a president and confirmed by the Senate, and he had taken an oath to “administer justice” in each case he heard. Now he read the sentencing documents at his bench and punched numbers into an oversize calculator. When he finally looked up, he raised his hands together in the air as if his wrists were handcuffed, and then he repeated the conclusion that had come to define so much about his career. Read More
“It’s not the MSNBC, Fox BS — f*** this red/blue paradigm”: John Cusack unloads on the media, the right and corporate Democrats
The iconic actor hammers the New York Times, praises Snowden, doubts Obama (oh, and talks his new Beach Boys movie)
By Mark Guarino | Salon
John CusackBrian Wilson is revered for “Pet Sounds,” the 1966 Beach Boys album he produced, arranged and largely composed that influenced generations of songwriters and that today remains the gold standard of pop music confectionary.

As perfect as that album is, Wilson’s life has been much less so. Following a descent into drugs and mental illness, the fracture of the Beach Boys, years of complex legal wrangling, and, later, more years under the rigid control of psychologist-caretaker Dr. Eugene Landy, Wilson has emerged over the last decade with an incredibly active recording and touring schedule. A new album, “No Pier Pressure,” has him on the road this summer. He is also out promoting “Love and Mercy,” a new biopic of his life, in theaters June 5, that focuses on a formidable high — the making of “Pet Sounds” — and a defining low — his time with Landy. Read More
America will die old and broke: The systematic right-wing plot to ransack the middle-class nest egg
Despite what conservatives say, the safety net works—which is why the 1 percent wants to stage a hostile takeover
By Edwin Lyngar | Salon
Fear thes guysThrough a quirk in state term limits combined with a terrible midterm election, the Nevada legislature has been taken over by amateurs and extremists. The legislature is now debating whether to dismantle the Nevada public employee pension system (PERS), a system that has gotten consistently high marks for transparency, responsibility and stewardship.

This attack on retirement benefits follows a very familiar pattern of fabricating data to destroy retirements that work and that people really like. It’s the same nonsense and lies used to destroy private pensions two decades ago, but this time it’s being done as part of a partisan wet dream of “limited government.” It’s a strategy as American as fast food and crumbling infrastructure. Read More
Was the Iraq War a Crime or a Mistake? Yes.
By Jonathon Chait
GWPretty much everybody in American politics now agrees that the Iraq War was not a great idea. The source of disagreement has moved, instead, to a different question: Was it a failure, or a crime? Republicans insist the Bush administration was merely the victim of bad intelligence. “I still say it was not a mistake,” says Marco Rubio, “because the president was presented with intelligence that said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.” Read More
Stephen Hawking Predicts Humans Won't Last Another 1,000 Years On Earth
By James Gerken | The Huffington Post
Boom!Renowned British physicist and author Stephen Hawking has a dire prediction for humanity: We will not survive another millennium unless we colonize another planet.

"I don't think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet," Hawking said in remarks delivered at Sydney's Opera House last weekend. His addresses on Saturday and Sunday were his first in Australia, but were delivered via hologram from his office in Britain. Read More
The Tea Party will never understand the Constitution: What the right misses about its favorite document
GOP candidates constantly invoke the Constitution. A Yale Law professor reveals what they all fail to understand
By Elias Isquith | Salon
TempleWith the 2016 election cycle having kicked into first-gear already, any American who hasn’t inured themselves to the monotonous (and often ultimately meaningless) repetition of the word “Constitution” is advised to get to self-desensitizing — and quick.

Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have already made a fetishized version of the U.S.’s supreme governing document central to their campaign rhetoric; and even politicians less beloved by the supposedly Constitution-crazy Tea Party, like Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton, are likely to soon follow suit. That’s how American politics functions now, in the era of the NSA, Guantanamo Bay, lethal drone strikes and endless war. Read More
A gun lover sees the evils of gun culture: White supremacists, Obama haters, and me
When I went to sell the pistol I once loved, I came face to face with a black hole of potential human destruction
By Matt Lallo | Salon
In my 20s, I used to spend autumn Sundays with my future wife at a gun club near our home in Philadelphia. She was a good shot whose father had been an inveterate hunter, and though she and I were animals lovers, we enjoyed the recreational aspect: Trap shooting and ripping paper targets apart with the pistol. Read More
Spain wants to ban drunk walking. What next for pedestrians?
The Spanish proposal to crack down on dangerous walking by reclassifying pedestrians as ‘users of the road’ is the latest salvo in an old turf war between cars and the people they hit
By Feargus O'Sullivan | the guardian
Dead drunkDrunk tourists staggering down Spanish streets at night might need to pay more attention this summer. In a crackdown on dangerous walking, Spain’s Directorate General of Traffic plans to introduce breathalyser tests for pedestrians. They also suggest introducing an off-road speed limit for joggers. The proposals, buried among other road safety suggestions, would give pedestrians responsibilities akin to drivers – and ought to inspire other new laws in their footsteps. Read More
Requiem for a Golf Course
by Fred Altvater | B9R Lessons
HGGCThe Golf economy today is a mixed bag, while some areas of the golf business are very strong, other parts are suffering.

Part of the reason is that young people do not seem to be taking to the game as the older generation did. With the variety of activities available to the X and Y Generations, other sports seem to be more attractive.

A slow walk around a golf course can’t compete with mountain biking or zip-lines. Read More
White America’s moral disaster: From Eric Garner to Mike Brown, a destructive view of “justice”
Eric Garner is just one example of black life devalued. Here's how white victimization is tearing the nation apart
By Heather Digby Parton | Salon
devaluedRecently a New York police officer named Daniel Pantoleo who was videotaped killing a man named Eric Garner using an unauthorized choke hold was found by a grand jury to have been justified in his actions. No charges will be filed. Garner was unarmed and his suspected crime was selling single cigarettes on the sidewalk. He never threatened the officers. His mistake, apparently, was in not realizing that failing to instantly capitulate in an appropriately servile manner would result in summary execution. He did not get a chance to live and learn. Read More
Ten Facts You May Not Know About The Federal Budget
The fiscal year for 2014 ended on September 30th. With the release of the end-of-year totals for fiscal year 2014, below are 10 facts you may not know about the federal budget.
By Senate Budget Committee; Patty Murray, Chairman
1) Overall federal spending has been flat for five straight years, for the first time since the end of World War II.

When measured in simple, raw dollars, spending has historically risen year to year. This is not surprising given that the size of the population and the cost of living (inflation) both increase from year to year. However, from 2009 to 2014, spending was largely unchanged at $3.5 trillion per year. The last time spending did not rise over a five year period, even in nominal dollars, was during the post-World War II phase down from 1946 to 1951. Read More
What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
What are we seeing here? Fun answer: No one knows.
By Phil Plait | Slate
One of the biggest discoveries made by the Cassini spacecraft is that Titan — the mammoth moon of Saturn — has lakes of liquid methane and ethane on its surface. Radar maps of the surface of Titan confirmed that the north pole is dotted with them, and combined cover far more of the surface of that moon than the Great Lakes do the Earth. Read More
Why Is Cable Television So Afraid of Admitting That Many of America's Terror Attacks Are 'Right Wing?'
CNN has been afraid calling a major social threat by its real name.
By C.J. Werlman | Alternet
CNN CableIn the aftermath of the deadly Las Vegas shooting rampage, which left two police officers, a shopper, and the shooters dead, one can expect all the usual talking points that follow an all too regular and familiar massacre – mental health, access to guns, the killer’s motives, and so forth. But here’s another one: the intellectual cowardice of cable news giant CNN, when it comes to reporting right wing terrorism. Read More
This Fish Crawled Out of the Water…and Into Creationists' Nightmares
Some 375 million years ago, Tiktaalik emerged onto land. Today, explains paleontologist Neil Shubin, we're all walking around in modified fish bodies.
By Chris Mooney | Mother Jones
We all know the Darwin fish, the car-bumper send-up of the Christian "ichthys" symbol, or Jesus fish. Unlike the Christian symbol, the Darwin fish has, you know, legs. Har har. Read More
Misinformed USA: Why average Americans vote for Republicans
By Robert Sobel | Orlando Liberal Examiner
God NO!One can only wonder why average working class Americans would vote for a party that is so obvious in their bias towards the wealthy. It would make sense that someone in the top 1 percent of the income bracket would vote for the Republican party since they have the wealthiest American's best interest at heart. You could even make the case that highly religious Christians would vote for Republicans even though, at times, they vote against their own best economic interests. So the question remains, while scratching your head, why do working class Americans vote for Republican candidates? Read More
Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'?
Natural and social scientists develop new model of how 'perfect storm' of crises could unravel global system
By Nafeez Ahmed | The Guardian
TerraA new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."  Read More
Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us."
-Abraham Lincoln, addressing the Southern people in his Cooper Union Address, February 27, 1860.
One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork.
- Mark Twain
Don't forget - it's all Obama's fault.
- Fox News
Lead, follow or get out of the way.
- Thomas Paine

It's not 1955 anymore and it never will be again. Get your heads out of the sand and let's move forward!
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The GOP’s Make-Believe Foreign Policy World
The Republican Party’s presidential contenders offered fictions and fantasies at the second primary debate.
By Fred Kaplan | Slate
Liberal?It’s a strange debate where Sen. Rand Paul comes off as the most sensible contender on the stage.

The shockwaves sounded three times during the GOP debate’s testy phase on foreign policy Wednesday night. First, after Carly Fiorina said she wouldn’t so much as meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the evils he’s committed, Paul noted that Ronald Reagan—in whose library the candidates and their audience were gathered—talked with the Russians throughout the Cold War, to the world’s benefit.

Second, after hearing his rivals blast President Obama for not bombing Syria two years ago after pledging that he would if President Bashar al-Assad crossed the “red line” of using chemical weapons, Paul said, “If we’d bombed Syria, ISIS would be in Damascus today,” adding, “Sometimes intervention makes us less safe.” The specific claim is debatable (though no one debated it), but the broad point is indisputably true. Read More
The neo-Nazi next door: In “Welcome to Leith,” the deeply strange saga of a tiny town, a white supremacist and a crazy dream unfolds
An infamous white racist tried to conquer a farm town — and the locals fought back. But that's not the whole story
Andrew O'Hehir | Salon
Neo NutsYou might go into “Welcome to Leith,” the widely praised Sundance documentary about a white supremacist who tries to take over an infinitesimal town on the North Dakota prairie, with certain expectations. Even the reviews I have glanced at — I try to read few or none before writing my own — seem to respond to those expectations or assumptions at least as much as to Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker’s film.  Read More
GOP to attack climate pact at home and abroad
An aide to Mitch McConnell has been informing foreign embassies about GOP plans to oppose Obama's strategy on global warming.
By Andrew Restuccia | Politico
HotTop Republican lawmakers are planning a wide-ranging offensive — including outreach to foreign officials by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office — to undermine President Barack Obama's hopes of reaching an international climate change agreement that would cement his environmental legacy.

The GOP strategy, emerging after months of quiet discussions, includes sowing doubts about Obama's climate policies at home and abroad, trying to block key environmental regulations in Congress, and challenging the legitimacy of the president's attempts to craft a global agreement without submitting a treaty to the Senate. Read More
In Defense of Obama
The Nobel Prize-winning economist, once one of the president’s most notable critics, on why Obama is a historic success
By Paul Krugman | Rolling Stone
When it comes to Barack Obama, I've always been out of sync. Back in 2008, when many liberals were wildly enthusiastic about his candidacy and his press was strongly favorable, I was skeptical. I worried that he was naive, that his talk about transcending the political divide was a dangerous illusion given the unyielding extremism of the modern American right. Furthermore, it seemed clear to me that, far from being the transformational figure his supporters imagined, he was rather conventional-minded: Even before taking office, he showed signs of paying far too much attention to what some of us would later take to calling Very Serious People, people who regarded cutting budget deficits and a willingness to slash Social Security as the very essence of political virtue. Read More
Results Of AZ Welfare Recipient Drug Testing: 1 Out Of The 87,000 Tested Were Positive
An examination of Arizona's experiment reveals a flawed policy that has failed to accomplish its stated goal of saving the state money, and has instead done little more than further stigmatize poverty and marginalize the poor.
By Gregory Krieg | Policy.Mic
Jan BrewerWhen Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on July 13, he peppered his 34-minute speech with a laundry list of deeply conservative policy prescriptions. Among them was a requirement — much like the one in the state budget he signed less than 24 hours before the event — that welfare recipients pass a drug test before collecting public assistance benefits.

“In Wisconsin, we enacted a program that says that adults who are able to work must be enrolled in one of our job training programs before they can get a welfare check,” he said. “Now, as of the budget I just signed, we are also making sure they can take a drug test.” Read More
Black South Carolina Trooper Explains Why He Embraced a White Supremacist
By Dan Barry | NY Times
COLUMBIA, S.C. — What the black state trooper saw was a civilian in distress. Yes, this was a white man, attending a white supremacist rally in front of the South Carolina State House. And yes, he was wearing a black T-shirt emblazoned with a swastika.

But the trooper concentrated only on this: an older civilian, spent on the granite steps. Overcome, it appeared, by an unforgiving July sun and the recent, permanent removal of a Confederate flag from state capitol display. Read More
Ted Cruz Wants to Be Able to Oust Supreme Court Justices
By Pema Levy | MotherJones
My favorite CubanTed Cruz is plowing ahead with an effort to subject Supreme Court justices to elections, tapping into conservative anger toward the court after last month's rulings preserving the Affordable Care Act and making same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

After calling publicly for retention elections for the justices, the senator from Texas and Republican presidential candidate convened a Senate hearing on Wednesday to discuss "possible solutions" to the Supreme Court's "activism." Read More
At the Door of the Loony Gas Building
The only way to start this story is by opening a door – the door leading into the Loony Gas building.
By Deborah Blum
The workers at the Standard Oil Refinery in New Jersey, gave the building that name,Standard Oil Looney Building waving goodbye to their colleagues when they entered the shadowed opening, promising to have undertakers waiting when they came out. The building was only one year old, that fall of 1924, but it had earned the nickname.

It looked harmless enough from the outside, the usual style of factory buildings on the New Jersey site, the familiar rectangle of neat red brick with narrow windows set in stone. Inside, the first impression was also of routine, noise and heat, the hiss and clank of the pipes, the grumble and clatter of the retorts. And then the unfamiliar, a smell carried by vapors rising from the machinery, not the usual odor of gasoline, but the dull musty scent of tetraethyl lead. Read More
Scott Walker Strips Wisconsin Workers Of 'Living Wage' In New State Budget
By Janie Velencia | Huffington Post
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed the new state budget into law on Sunday with a last-minute change that strips the words "living wage" from state laws and replaces it with "minimum wage." Read More
Your Wi-Fi Network’s Soft Underbelly
You probably don’t even think about this easy way for hackers to sneak in.
By Josephine Wolff | Slate
You probably don’t spend much time thinking about your wireless router—until it stops working, that is. Our inattention to routers has been a security problem for years, most recently last week when Brian Krebs reported that researchers at the Fujitsu Security Operations Center had discovered hundreds of routers were being used to spread a financial fraud malware called Dyre.  Read More
Fast times: what will it take to run the marathon in under two hours?
The world’s best marathon runners are just 177 seconds from breaking the two-hour barrier: what will it take to get there (apart from drugs)?
By Ed Caesar | The Guardian
World classShortly before nine on a bright autumn morning in Berlin, Geoffrey Kiprono Mutai prepared to run a marathon faster than any human being – even he – had run before. It was a wild, audacious proposition, to propel one’s body to such a ragged extreme, and he felt the walls of his quest closing in on him.

Mutai is 170cm tall and weighs 57kg. He has a wide, expressive face, with a high forehead, elfin ears and long, gleaming teeth. Most often, you find him amiable, amused, desirous of news and gossip, a flashy smile close by. But now he looked as vulnerable as a foundling. Read More
You won’t steal our music anymore: The fraction of a cent that saved the major labels
Watching rap videos with his grandson, a vilified music executive had an aha moment that changed everything
By Stephen Witt | Salon
Excerpted from "How Music Got Free"

The latest thingAmerican music executive Doug Morris was the target of satirical cartoons and a great deal of vicious Internet flaming. The website Gawker, reblogging other people’s work with characteristic restraint, called him the “World’s Stupidest Recording Executive.” The anger was shared by many of his employees, some of whom in fact were gifted technologists who had passed up jobs in Silicon Valley to work for him. “He made the company look ridiculous,” Larry Kenswil, the chief of Universal’s digital strategy at the time, would later say. “That was insulting to a lot of people inside the business.”  Read More
Just Wait Until Next Year!
LeBron tranformed into "LeBrick" and the rise of increasingly familiar Cleveland War Cry
By Larry Laird | lairdslair
TMr LeBrickuesday June 16, 2015 marked the end of my first full season following the Cleveland Cavaliers. I've never been much of a fan of the NBA and have watched little pro basketball in my lifetime. I do follow Cleveland sports in general so it's natural that the Cavs would be my NBA favorite. And, there was a time when Mark Price was playing for the Clevelanders out of the old Richfield Coliseum that I did pay quite a bit of attention to them and actually attended a few games in person. When LeBron James was drafted out of high school I watched him on occasion but I certainly wasn't a devotee.  Read More
How did classical vinyl make an improbable return?
By Jeremy Eichler | The Boston Globe
ReturnOn a recent night, strewn across my living room carpet was an array of audio parts of a rather historic nature: a platter, a drive belt, a tone arm and cartridge, a counterweight, and an anti-skating weight. As I surveyed the spread, slightly daunted, I wondered whether this is how it might have felt to enter a blacksmith’s workshop, or perhaps the chambers of an ancient alchemist.

I was, it’s true, assembling a newly acquired turntable, and savoring the ironies, in 2015, of the entire exercise. A box of old LPs, retrieved from an unholy corner of my basement, sat nearby. Also nearby was a Mac that I have sedulously loaded over the years with many gigabytes of digital music. Was it me, or did the computer’s sleep light seem to be pulsing above the entire scene with a vague air of suspicion? Read More
Your Winter Vegetables: Brought to You by California's Very Last Drops of Water
 By Tom Philpott | MotherJones
California's drought-plagued Central Valley hogs the headlines, but two-thirds of your winterBroccoli vegetables come from a different part of the state. Occupying a land mass a mere eighth the size of metro Los Angeles, the Imperial Valley churns out about two-thirds of the vegetables eaten by Americans during the winter. Major crops include broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, and, most famously, lettuce and salad mix.

Two-thirds of winter broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, and salad mix come from the desperately dry Imperial Valley.  Read More
Suckling On The Government Teat
By the Conceptual Guerilla
Every stretch of coast in Florida has a name. The Emerald Coast is around Pensacola. The Sun Coast is around St. Petersburg. The Treasure Coast is Palm Beach. I grew up in Brevard County. Brevard County is the Space Coast. Read More
Tea Party Patriots Are John Birch Society Clones
"I have a message from the Tea Party . . . We’ve come to take our government back.- Rand Paul, R, KY, 2010
By Claire Conner
Patriot?Starting in 2009, Americans were presented with a mob of “patriots” ranting about debt, deficits, socialism, and healthcare reform. They waved their copies of the US Constitution, hoisted the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, called the President a traitor, and vowed to take America back. In all of the chaos, many people, including most of the corporate media, neglected to ask two essential questions:

Who are these people?

What does taking America back mean? Read More
The month that killed the middle class: How October 1973 slammed America
From the Arab oil embargo to the auto workers strike, one month more than 40 years ago changed this nation forever
By Edward McClelland | Salon
Impeach Nixon!Early in 1974, Don Cooper, an autoworker at an Oldsmobile plant in Lansing, Michigan, was demoted from his coveted job in the crankshaft department to the final assembly line, where he had started out as a rookie nine years earlier. Cooper hadn’t done anything wrong. Rather, he was a victim of events 6,000 miles away.

The previous October, Egypt had invaded Israel. When the United States provided military aid to the Jewish state, Saudi Arabia retaliated by cutting off oil exports to Western nations. The Arab Oil Embargo raised the price of gasoline from 36 to 53 cents a gallon — when drivers could get it. To prevent hours-long lines, filling stations sold to cars with odd-numbered license plates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, even plates on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Read More
Is It Time To Kill The K-Cup, Before It Kills Our Planet?
By Nick Visser | The Huffington Post
Your Keurig coffee pods have a dirty little secret. Actually, make that a big secret. Read More
The way we use antibiotics is broken. Blame nearly a century of drug marketing.
By Danielle Paquette | The Washington Post
abuseWhen our throats burn, we’re conditioned to reach for antibiotics. When our noses run, we hound doctors for antibiotics. When we’re too groggy to drive to the doctor, we search our medicine cabinets for leftover antibiotics.

Four out of five Americans are prescribed the drugs every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Up to half of the estimated 258 million prescriptions are unnecessary, the agency reports. Read More
Is Depression a Kind of Allergic Reaction?
By Caroline Williams | The Guardian
In the dumpBarely a week goes by without a celebrity “opening up” about their “battle with depression”. This, apparently, is a brave thing to do because, despite all efforts to get rid of the stigma around depression, it is still seen as some kind of mental and emotional weakness.

But what if was nothing of the sort? What if it was a physical illness that just happens to make people feel pretty lousy? Would that make it less of a big deal to admit to? Could it even put a final nail in the coffin of the idea that depression is all in the mind? Read More
The right’s sham Christianity: How an attack on John Kasich exposes the fraud
Ohio's GOP governor was the darling of the right -- until he sought to help poor people, in the name of Christ
By Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig | Salon
Johnny KCould Republican Gov. John Kasich run for president? According to the Washington Post, he’s poised to, and he certainly seems to be among the better options out there, with the other obvious choices either clearly deranged (Ted Cruz) or totally uninterested (Mitt Romney). But conservatives have not been roundly pleased with Kasich, in part because he is evidently something of a committed Christian.

Last year, Kasich fought doggedly to expand Medicaid coverage in Ohio, extending healthcare to some 275,000 poor people. When queried as to why a conservative would push for expanded coverage, Kasich explained his reasoning thus:    Read More
"There are no silver bullets”: Humanity’s incredible run of luck might be coming to an end
Humans have overcome plenty of natural crises before, Ruth DeFries tells Salon. Will we be able to do so again?
By Lindsay Abrams | Salon
PolluteHere’s the long view of human history, as Ruth DeFries sees it: An ingenious species, we keep finding new ways to “hijack nature” and better feed ourselves. Each newfound system for producing food is a game changer, allowing our numbers to grow, only to be halted in our upward trajectory by some new problem that we must innovate our way out of again. Europe adopts the potato, people live longer and have more children, then the Great Irish Famine hits. A million people die, but humanity perseveres, developing new potato varieties and agriculture practices that keep the blight from causing another disaster. Read More
Activists began campaigning to change the understanding of the 2nd Amendment in the late 20th century
By Larry Laird | lairdslair
One of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat theMy Right word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I’ve ever seen in my life time. The real purpose of the Second was to ensure that state armies—the militias—would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires.”
---- Chief Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

Justice Burger said in no uncertain terms, before gun lobbyists and activists began campaigning to change the understanding of the 2nd Amendment in the late 20th century, nobody considered it to be an individual right.

In 2008, the right wing contingent on the most recent Supreme Court (the same people who said that corporations are people) decided to throw away centuries of juris prudence and extend the 2ndAmendment as an individual protection for gun owners’ right to bear arms. During the case, United States v. Emerson, the Supreme Court decided that the 2nd Amendment is not a collective protection for gun ownership in militias, but rather a protection for individuals to own and operate weapons. This decision flies in the face of centuries of settled law and, like Citizens United v. FEC is just another case where right wing extremist wearing robes have perverted our country’s longstanding understanding of our laws.”
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