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2014-07-09
R.I.P. William 'Bill' Herbert Kelder - Intellpuke

2013-11-28
Gamers Donate 37,500 Pounds Of Food To Needy

2013-09-30
Statement From The Whitehouse Regarding The Government Shutdown

2013-09-29
An Open Response To 'Organizing for Action'

2013-08-26
Bayou Corne: The Biggest Ongoing Disaster In The U.S. You Have Not Heard Of

2013-04-21
Boston Mayor Hopes Feds 'Throw the Book' at Marathon Bombing Suspect

2013-04-19
Boston Police Closing In On Suspects

2013-04-15
2 Explosions At Boston Marathon. 2 Dead, Many Injured.

2013-01-03
The Press vs Citizens Rights and Privacy - Act 3

2012-12-30
CBS News - Year In Review 2012

Nature.com - 366 Days: 2012 In Review

The Guardian - 2012 In Review: An Interactive Guide To The Year That Was

TruTV - The Biggest Conspiracy Theories of 2012

Colbert Nation: 2012: A Look Back

FIP Year In Review(s?)

2012-12-25
Happy Holidays

2012-12-21
Welcome To A New Era!

2012-12-16
An Open Letter To United Health Care, Medcom, And The Medical Insurance Industry In General

2012-11-17
Whitehouse Petition To Remove "Under God" and "In God" From Currency And The Pledge.

2012-11-15
December 21, 2012

2012-11-11
If Hillary Clinton Ran For President, She Would Probably Be The Best-prepared Candidate In American History

2012-11-10
CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns After FBI Investigation Uncovers Affair With High-Profile Journalist

FIP Format Update

2012-11-07
Thank you for voting.

2012-11-06
Live Election Results

2012-09-30
FIP In Hiatus

2012-09-18
U.S.-Afghan Military Operations Suspended After Attacks

Iran Nuclear Chief Says IAEA Might Be Infiltrated By 'Terrorists And Saboteurs'

Romney Stands By Gaffe

2012-09-17
President Obama Says China Trade Practices Harm American Auto Parts Workers



Free Internet Press - News Aggregator
Updated every 10 minutes.
Spirits of Oktoberfest: Go beyond the beer
2014-09-18 20:22:58 (13 weeks ago) 
Skip the beers and go for such German booze as apple schnapps and honey liqueur.
 
Kaepernick lands on 49ers’ injury report
2014-09-18 20:22:46 (13 weeks ago) 
The 49ers added quarterback Colin Kaepernick to their practice participation report today with a back injury. Kaepernick was not listed on Wednesday’s report and went through Thursday’s practice in full, signaling that the issue is unlikely to cause him to miss any of Sunday’s game.
 
CalPERS gets $88 million in Citi settlement
2014-09-18 20:22:46 (13 weeks ago) 
CalPERS said Thursday it has collected $88 million from a previously-announced settlement with Citigroup Inc. over toxic mortgage securities.
 
Friends Paint Different Portrait of Trooper Slaying Suspect
2014-09-18 20:22:00 (13 weeks ago) 
The suspect in the deadly ambush of Pennsylvania state police barracks was deeply involved in the military re-enactment community.






 
The Blurred L Home Screen
2014-09-18 20:21:56 (13 weeks ago) 

Android: While the styles have gotten closer together lately, Android and iOS are pretty distinct. This design bridges the gap, utilizing the frosted, layered themes of iOS, combined with Android's new material approach for a unique look.

Read more...








 
Two Adults, Six Children Dead in Florida Shooting
2014-09-18 20:21:32 (13 weeks ago) 

Two adults and six children were killed in a shooting in Bell, Fla. this evening, Gilchrist County police confirm. The town, about 30 miles west of Gainesville, Fox Orlando reports, is home to about 350 people.

Read more...








 
U.S. gives Poroshenko support, no arms
2014-09-18 20:20:35 (13 weeks ago) 
The White House on Thursday announced $46 million in security assistance to Ukraine that omitted any lethal aid. The package includes body armor, helmets, vehicles and night vision goggles.
 
Couple accused of Amish sisters' kidnap charged with child sex exploitation
2014-09-18 20:20:24 (13 weeks ago) 
The couple accused of kidnapping two Amish sisters in northern New York state in August were charged on Thursday in federal court in Syracuse with sexual exploitation of children and child pornography possession.
 
Wavelength selection and symmetry breaking in orbital wave ripples
2014-09-18 20:12:19 (13 weeks ago) 
Abstract

Sand ripples formed by waves have a uniform wavelength while at equilibrium, and develop defects while adjusting to changes in the flow. These patterns arise from the interaction of the flow with the bed topography, but the specific mechanisms have not been fully explained. We use numerical flow models and laboratory wave tank experiments to explore the origins of these patterns. The wavelength of “orbital” wave ripples (λ) is directly proportional to the oscillating flow's orbital diameter (d), with many experimental and field studies finding λ/d ≈ 0.65. We demonstrate a coupling that selects this ratio: the maximum length of the flow separation zone downstream of a ripple crest equals λ when λ/d ≈ 0.65. We show that this condition maximizes the growth rate of ripples. Ripples adjusting to changed flow conditions develop defects that break the bed's symmetry. When d is shortened sufficiently, two new incipient crests appear in every trough, but only one grows into a full-sized crest. Experiments have shown that the same side (right or left) wins in every trough. We find that this occurs because incipient secondary crests slow the flow and encourage the growth of crests on the next flank. Experiments have also shown that when d is lengthened, ripple crests become increasingly sinuous and eventually break up. We find that this occurs because crests migrate preferentially towards the nearest adjacent crest, amplifying any initial sinuosity. Our results reveal the mechanisms that form common wave ripple patterns and highlight interactions among unsteady flows, sediment transport, and bed topography.

 
Scottish referendum: poll suggests nation has voted against independence
2014-09-18 20:12:12 (13 weeks ago) 
 
End of era: Ellison steps aside as Oracle CEO
2014-09-18 20:10:12 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Gaga in Greece, Grande Combats Diva Rumors
2014-09-18 20:10:12 (13 weeks ago) 
Lady Gaga made a dramatic arrival to Greece. The pop star posed for fans lined up at Athens International Airport, wearing only two seashells and a transparent, fish net skirt. Gaga is scheduled to perform at Athens Olympic Stadium on Friday (September 19) as part of her international ARTPOP tour.






 
Riding a Bike "Side-Saddle"
2014-09-18 20:10:12 (13 weeks ago) 
At first glance, this biker in Paris looks like anyone else, going out for a spin near the Eiffel Tower. But if you look closely, you'll see this isn't an ordinary biker or an ordinary bike. It's a new invention - a bike that you sit on sideways. Its creator, Michael Killian of Ireland, says riding it is kind of like balancing on a snowboard.






 
HGTV's Dream Home 2015 Location Reveal - Martha's Vineyard
2014-09-18 20:10:12 (13 weeks ago) 
The location of HGTV Dream Home 2015 is revealed: Martha's Vineyard, MA.






 
Sierra Leone begins Ebola lockdown
2014-09-18 20:10:10 (13 weeks ago) 
A three-day curfew imposed by Sierra Leone to try to stop the spread of Ebola comes into effect, but critics say it will achieve little.
 
Pupils surprise security officers with gifts
2014-09-18 20:10:05 (13 weeks ago) 
Thu, 2014-09-18 22:00

High school students in Al-Yamama celebrated the National Day by honoring security personnel and surprised them with gifts in their work place.
Although, the National Day is still four days...

 
Teacher ‘whips student, breaks finger’
2014-09-18 20:10:05 (13 weeks ago) 
Fri, 2014-09-19 01:50

A teacher at a school in Khamis Mushayt has been accused of beating a 10-year-old elementary school student with his headband, breaking one of his fingers and bruising his back.
According to...

 
‘Deeper Saudi-US ties can counter Mideast volatility’
2014-09-18 20:10:05 (13 weeks ago) 
Fri, 2014-09-19 01:50

A senior American diplomat has called for a deepening of ties between Saudi Arabia and the United States to counter the continuing volatility in the Middle East, and for further mutual economic...

 
CalPERS gets $88 million in Citi settlement
2014-09-18 20:02:47 (13 weeks ago) 
CalPERS said Thursday it has collected $88 million from a previously-announced settlement with Citigroup Inc. over toxic mortgage securities.
 
Clinton Shifts to Domestic Issues, With a Focus on Women
2014-09-18 20:02:11 (13 weeks ago) 
Democrats have said the ability to mobilize women, particularly those struggling with minimum wage jobs, could determine whether the party holds the Senate
 
Tropical Storm POLO Graphics
2014-09-18 20:01:59 (13 weeks ago) 

5-Day Uncertainty Track last updated Thu, 18 Sep 2014 23:56:23 GMT


Wind Speed Probabilities last updated Thu, 18 Sep 2014 21:06:27 GMT
 
Scottish referendum: all over bar the smiling
2014-09-18 20:01:33 (13 weeks ago) 
 
U.S. Senate approves bill to arm moderate Syrian rebels
2014-09-18 20:00:23 (13 weeks ago) 
The U.S. Senate approved President Barack Obama's plan for training and arming moderate Syrian rebels to battle Islamic State militants on Thursday, a major part of his military campaign to "degrade and destroy" the radical group.
 
Largest U.S. police agency takes steps to police itself
2014-09-18 20:00:16 (13 weeks ago) 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection announces new steps as it reveals its agents have been arrested nearly 2,500 times in less than a decade
 
Obama hails Congress vote on Syria
2014-09-18 20:00:11 (13 weeks ago) 
President Obama says Congress's backing for his $500m plan to aid moderate Syrian rebels shows the world the US is united against Islamic State.
 
Perturbation electric fields and disturbance currents investigated during the 25 September 1998 great storm
2014-09-18 19:52:29 (13 weeks ago) 
Abstract

This study investigates the ionosphere's response to the 25 September 1998 great storm, and utilizes multi-instrument observations covering the Australian (140°E; geographic) and Indian (75°E) longitude sectors. Results show the domination of eastward (westward) electrojet at 140°E (75°E). Its causative net eastward (westward) perturbation electric (E) field drove the forward (reverse) plasma fountain, caused the presence (absence) of the Equatorial Ionization Anomaly (EIA). These strong longitudinal differences were due to a combination of various LT dependent, E-field driven and competing mechanisms. Perturbation E-fields are identified as prompt penetration E-field (PPEF) and disturbance dynamo E-field (DDEF). Due to the later (earlier) local time at 140°E (75°E), the under-shielding PPEF was eastward (westward) directed early in the main phase. A series of periodic sub-storms occurred during the recovery phase. The sub-storm related eastward PPEFs became overpowered by westward DDEFs over India, but remained dominant in the Australian sector. Thus, eastward PPEFs (westward DDEFs) dominated at 140°E (75°E). At 140°E these eastward PPEFs exhibited a strong positive correlation with the variations of both the cross polar cap potential drop and the asymmetric ring current, significantly increased the net equatorial upward E × B drift and thus caused EIA development with plasma bubbles scintillating GPS signals. Based on the strong and independent correlation of these asymmetric ring current events with both the EIA development and the scintillation activity, we propose that the ASY-H index could provide a natural tool for modeling EIA development and scintillation episodes during severe storms characterized by periodic sub-storm-related eastward PPEFs.

 
Lorenzo Romar on Robert Upshaw, Ray Rice and starting Sept. 25
2014-09-18 19:52:18 (13 weeks ago) 
Had a chance to talk to Lorenzo Romar about several topics, including Robert Upshaw.
 
Family fundraises for Savannah's surgery
2014-09-18 19:52:10 (13 weeks ago) 
Three year-old Savannah Clark already has a goal she is determined to achieve.
 
Sears store at Bayshore will close at end of the year
2014-09-18 19:51:22 (13 weeks ago) 
Bayshore Town Center’s Sears department store will close at year’s end, opening up an opportunity for Bayshore’s owner to redevelop that lagging end of the mall.
 
Beatles' Eleanor Rigby made from £1m
2014-09-18 19:50:07 (13 weeks ago) 
A sculpture of The Beatles' song character Eleanor Rigby made from £1m of used bank notes is to go on show at the Museum of Liverpool.
 
New lawsuit filed in dispute in Kansas Senate race
2014-09-18 19:50:04 (13 weeks ago) 
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A registered Democratic voter has filed a new petition with the Kansas Supreme Court asking it to force the party to name a new nominee for the U.S. Senate....
 
Media outlets: Shooting in north Florida could involve multiple fatalities; details scarce
2014-09-18 19:42:48 (13 weeks ago) 
 
‘Happy in Tehran’ Dancers Are Given Suspended Sentences
2014-09-18 19:42:03 (13 weeks ago) 
Though the punishments — lashings and six-month prison terms — were suspended, they could be carried out if any of the six defendants commit further actions deemed illegal in Iran.
 
Alleged Shooter of Pennsylvania State Trooper Search Widens
2014-09-18 19:41:51 (13 weeks ago) 
The manhunt for Eric Frein continues as a community mourns the loss of an 'impeccable' man.






 
MarketWatch First Take: Alibaba shares not for the faint of heart
2014-09-18 19:41:49 (13 weeks ago) 
Alibaba has a complex ownership structure, and shareholders won’t even own shares in the actual Chinese company but in a holding company, writes Therese Poletti.
 
Brad Rock: LaVell, McBride not OK with Utah-BYU hiatus
2014-09-18 19:40:41 (13 weeks ago) 
On the bright side, fans of both teams can relax and enjoy the week without all the accompanying baloney.
 
Facebook CEO wants more students to explore tech
2014-09-18 19:40:07 (13 weeks ago) 
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to turn more American high school students into well-paid techies - and even hire some of them to work at his social-media company....
 
Rents rise to all-time average high of £761 a month in August
2014-09-18 19:32:29 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Swede acquitted of rape after 'sexsomnia'
2014-09-18 19:32:24 (13 weeks ago) 
A Swede who had sex with a woman while he was asleep was acquitted of rape because he suffers from "sexsomnia", according to a court ruling.
 
Divided Kingdom: Will Scotland and England part ways after 300 years?
2014-09-18 19:31:40 (13 weeks ago) 
The Scots are waiting to see if their three-century marriage to England will continue or end in a tartan-patterned divorce
 
Cancer test 'Jolie effect' found
2014-09-18 19:30:10 (13 weeks ago) 
Referrals to breast cancer clinics more than doubled in the UK after Angelina Jolie revealed last year she had had a double mastectomy, say scientists.
 
Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters 
2014-09-18 19:22:39 (13 weeks ago) 

DENVER—The Colorado referendum on women is just 47 days away. That’s not its official title. Most people here refer to it as the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Mark Udall and his Republican challenger, Cory Gardner. But the campaigns’ intense and protracted focus on women’s reproductive issues makes it seem like those issues are up for their own special vote.

 
UC regents approve new chancellor, raises for four others
2014-09-18 19:22:33 (13 weeks ago) 
 
500 Berkeley students missed sex abuse classes
2014-09-18 19:22:33 (13 weeks ago) 
The University of California, Berkeley says 500 incoming students have not taken a mandatory class on sexual violence.
 
Cat snake?
2014-09-18 19:22:32 (13 weeks ago) 
submitted by Ilikeitmetal to funny
[link] [101 comments]
 
Andy Reid's son settles in road-rage suit
2014-09-18 19:21:52 (13 weeks ago) 
The son of former Eagles coach Andy Reid has reached a settlement with a Delaware County man who sued him after a 2007 road-rage encounter.
 
Senate Approves U.S. Mission to Arm and Train Syrian Rebels
2014-09-18 19:21:46 (13 weeks ago) 
The green light comes as lawmakers leave Washington for good until after the November midterm elections.
 
Senate gives final passage to Obama's plan for arming Syrian rebels
2014-09-18 19:21:44 (13 weeks ago) 
The Senate gave final approval Thursday to President Obama's plan to arm Syrian opposition groups in the fight against Islamic State militants, a vote that upended party allegiances and hardened opposition to the administration's strategy.
 
Alex Salmond stays away from Scottish referendum count
2014-09-18 19:21:32 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Georgia police officer kills handcuffed man who had gun
2014-09-18 19:20:30 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Microsoft Lays Off 2,100, Axes Silicon Valley Research
2014-09-18 20:22:51 (13 weeks ago) 
walterbyrd writes with news of Microsoft layoffs. Microsoft Corp will close its Silicon Valley research-and-development operation as part of 2,100 layoffs announced on Thursday, as it moves toward its new CEO's goal of cutting 18,000 staff, or about 14 percent of its workforce. News of the closure of the Microsoft Research lab at the company's campus in Mountain View, California, was first made public on Twitter by employees. The company later confirmed the move and said it would involve the loss of 50 jobs.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








 
Overturned big rig closes northbound I-5 near Sutterville Road
2014-09-18 20:22:46 (13 weeks ago) 
The California Department of Transportation advises motorists that northbound I-5 just north of Sutterville Road is closed due to an overturned big rig.
 
Prosecutors offer Sen. Ben Hueso a plea deal
2014-09-18 20:22:46 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Adrian Peterson: 'I Still Have My Joy'
2014-09-18 20:22:00 (13 weeks ago) 
Deactivated Vikings player Adrian Peterson smiled as he was with a child outside his home.






 
Scottish referendum on TV: graphs and talky-talk can't hide a sense of occasion | Lucy Mangan
2014-09-18 20:21:36 (13 weeks ago) 
 
BYU defense, offense being noticed for physical, aggressive play
2014-09-18 20:20:44 (13 weeks ago) 
The Cougars are becoming known for — their physical brand of football.
 
'7th Heaven' stars reunite
2014-09-18 20:20:33 (13 weeks ago) 
"7th Heaven" ended its run seven years ago, but the show's stars are still like family.
 
Afghan nationals training under DEA disappear
2014-09-18 20:20:19 (13 weeks ago) 
The duo, part of a group of Afghan policeman taking part in a special group within the agency vanished during a weekend outing
 
Editorial: The Times recommends Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Reuven Carlyle and Gael Tarleton in the 36th District
2014-09-18 20:12:14 (13 weeks ago) 
In the 36th Legislative District, voters should re-elect Democrats Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Reuven Carlyle and Gael Tarleton.
 
Abbott calls for calm after terror raids
2014-09-18 20:12:09 (13 weeks ago) 
All that is needed for an Islamic State attack to occur in Australia is a "determined individual, a knife, an iPhone and a victim", Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday, adding that it was feared the alleged terrorist plot foiled in Sydney would have been carried out "within days".
 
Strong Senate vote for Obama on Syria rebel aid
2014-09-18 20:10:12 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Tense Clashes in Quito as Riot Police Quell Protest
2014-09-18 20:10:12 (13 weeks ago) 
A tense night in Quito's main square. Riot police in Ecuador scuffle with anti-government demonstrators protesting new labor laws and the rising cost of transportation. The protest had started peacefully enough. Hundreds of workers and students took to the streets earlier to protest President Rafael Correa. They're say they are angry that measures proposed by his government will cut their salaries and reduce their benefits.






 
Obama Hosts Ukraine's President at White House
2014-09-18 20:10:12 (13 weeks ago) 
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. President Barack Obama, in a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the White House on Thursday (September 18), said the United States






 
New Dog Comforts Victims in Suffolk DA’s Office
2014-09-18 20:10:12 (13 weeks ago) 
Indy, a golden retriever and golden lab mix, will be the first service canine working in a prosecutor’s office in New England, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley announced Thursday.






 
Call for more local council powers
2014-09-18 20:10:10 (13 weeks ago) 
Councils in England are calling for an urgent meeting of a constitutional convention to consider the wider impact of the Scottish referendum.
 
Two students deface teacher’s car
2014-09-18 20:10:05 (13 weeks ago) 
Fri, 2014-09-19 01:49

Two students who had a dispute with a teacher have been found guilty of defacing his new car by splashing paint on its right side.
The teacher filed a complaint at Nira police station in Al-...

 
Bangladeshi workers burn to death
2014-09-18 20:10:05 (13 weeks ago) 
Thu, 2014-09-18 22:00

Two Bangladeshi workers were killed in a fire that engulfed a factory in the Sulay district in the capital, said M. Mizanur Rahman, a spokesman at the Bangladesh Embassy.
The massive fire,...

 
Home of golf to admit women members
2014-09-18 20:02:56 (13 weeks ago) 
THE Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in Scotland has voted to allow women members for the first time in its 260-year history.
 
Assembly candidates weigh in on BOE headquarters
2014-09-18 20:02:46 (13 weeks ago) 
Come January, either Kevin McCarty or Steve Cohn will represent California’s 7th Assembly District, which includes the state’s defective Board of Equalization headquarters in downtown Sacramento.
 
Art Review: ‘Assyria to Iberia,’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
2014-09-18 20:02:11 (13 weeks ago) 
“Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age,” at the Met, is a display of imperial might, and a roll call of states and kingdoms gone.
 
Summary for Tropical Storm POLO (EP2/EP172014)
2014-09-18 20:01:59 (13 weeks ago) 
...POLO CONTINUES MOVING SLOWLY NORTHWESTWARD OFF THE SOUTHWEST COAST OF MEXICO... As of 5:00 PM PDT Thu Sep 18 the center of POLO was located near 18.0, -106.1 with movement NW at 8 mph. The minimum central pressure was 981 mb with maximum sustained winds of about 70 mph.
 
Papa Roach Frontman: I Kissed My Uncle and He Gave Me Herpes
2014-09-18 20:01:30 (13 weeks ago) 

Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix told Hit the Floor magazine a bunch of his "firsts": his first pet (Banooch, who ran out into the road and was hit by a car and died), when he first felt his band had "made it," and most importantly, his first kiss.

Read more...








 
Multiple victims, including children, reported in rural North Florida shooting
2014-09-18 20:00:23 (13 weeks ago) 
A shooting involving multiple victims, including children, was being investigated by police in the north Florida town of Bell on Thursday evening, according to local media reports.
 
Record number of sockeye salmon survive spawning odyssey
2014-09-18 20:00:16 (13 weeks ago) 
More endangered sockeye salmon have made the 900-mile journey from the Pacific Ocean to central Idaho's high-elevation Redfish Lake this fall than in any previous year going back nearly six decades
 
Suspect in Pennsylvania police ambush put on FBI wanted list
2014-09-18 20:00:10 (13 weeks ago) 
The FBI on Thursday added the name of the suspect in last week's ambush of two Pennsylvania troopers to its list of the 10 most wanted fugitives, almost a week after a manhunt began for the person who killed one officer and wounded another.






 
Large-Amplitude Electric Fields Associated with Bursty Bulk Flow Braking in the Earth's Plasma Sheet
2014-09-18 19:52:29 (13 weeks ago) 
Abstract

We report observations of large-amplitude (>50 mV/m) electric fields primarily associated with bursty bulk flow events. These electric fields reach ~500 mV/m, which are some of the largest electric fields (E) observed in the magnetotail. E not only has a larger than expected component perpendicular to the magnetic field, but often has an intense parallel component. High-time resolution waveforms reveal nonlinear structures such as electron phase-space holes and double layers, which suggest strong field-aligned currents or electron beams. Further examination shows that these large-amplitude electric fields are almost always accompanied by enhanced magnetic field fluctuations. The electric fields are enhanced both above and below the ion cyclotron frequency, whereas the magnetic field fluctuations (δB) are mostly below the ion cyclotron frequency. Analysis of the wave spectra and the Poynting flux suggest that shear Alfvén waves are participating in these events. The Alfvén waves are revealed through the |δE|/|δB| ratio and strong field-aligned Poynting flux, sometimes reaching nearly 1 mW/m2. This value, when mapped to the low-altitude auroral region, exceeds 1 W/m2, which is an extreme value for that region. This Alfvénic activity is accompanied by evidence of compressional modes. These observations support a hypothesis whereby intense currents or electron beams, generated by kinetic Alfvénic waves that result from a turbulent cascade in BBF braking region, may be an energy source for large-amplitude electric fields. The large-amplitude electric fields may act as a dissipation mechanism and relax the highly tangled magnetic fields that result from the turbulence. Furthermore, these observations offer strong support that Alfvénic Poynting flux from the BBF braking region can be the energy source for Alfvénic aurora.

 
Ig Nobels: British researchers take coveted science humour prize
2014-09-18 19:52:16 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Dan Walters: Bill would expand courts’ authority over local government districts
2014-09-18 19:52:05 (13 weeks ago) 
Legislation to expand California’s voting rights law would empower judges to draw district lines.
 
Quantum Energy (link) [vtolled]
2014-09-18 19:51:17 (13 weeks ago) 
 
University approves £150,000 chairs
2014-09-18 19:50:07 (13 weeks ago) 
Plymouth University agrees to spend £150,000 on seven chairs for graduation ceremonies.
 
New Marijuana PSA Mocks Maureen Dowd’s Pot Freakout
2014-09-18 19:50:03 (13 weeks ago) 
"Don't let a candy bar ruin your vacation."

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd traveled to Colorado for some marijuana tourism this June. Then she penned a panicked writeup describing a petrifying psychological breakdown that kept her trapped inside her hotel room after munching too much of a pot-laced candy bar.

In the column, she describes herself lying there in a “hallucinatory state” for eight hours and agonizes over the fact that Colorado is "unleashing a drug as potent as marijuana on a horde of tourists of all ages and tolerance levels seeking a mellow buzz.” She claims she wasn’t warned not to eat as much of the candy bar as she did (though Matt Brown, who took Dowd on a four-hour, behind-the-scenes tour of a cannabis factory prior to her edibles experience, claims to have given her plenty of warning).

Like Reefer Madness, the 1936 anti-pot propaganda film-turned-cult classic, Dowd's freakout over the experience was so full of hyperbole and panic that it was funny. Twitter users and Times commenters alike took merciless cracks at her over-the-top lament, berating her for not doing her research before trying a drug for the first time.

“Oh, goodness. You went all the way to Colorado to try pot and didn't do your homework on how to consume your pot candy? Wow!” wrote one Times commenter.

This week the Marijuana Policy Project launched a public service announcement that takes its own jab at Dowd, as part of an educational “Consume Responsibly” campaign aimed at teaching tourists how to consume edibles safely. In a statement, Mason Tvert, director of communications for MPP said, “Like most Americans, Ms. Dowd has probably seen countless silly anti-marijuana ads on TV, but she has never seen one that highlights the need to ‘start low and go slow’ when choosing to consume marijuana edibles.”

 

 Related StoriesNew Marijuana PSA Mocks Maureen Dowd’s Pot Freak-OutOne in 10 Americans Come to Work StonedAre Women More Sensitive to Cannabis?
 
2014 Ig Nobel Awards: Banana skins, nosebleed-curing pork, Jesus in toast inspire winners
2014-09-18 19:42:48 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Feedback: Ig Nobel prize for watching dogs urinate
2014-09-18 19:41:58 (13 weeks ago) 
The prizewinning science of banana-skin slips, seeing Jesus in toast and dogs aligning themselves with magnetic fields lines when relieving themselves






 
'Everything Down Here Is Burning,' Fire Triples In Size Overnight
2014-09-18 19:41:51 (13 weeks ago) 
A state of emergency in California as 3600 firefighters battle the 'King' fire outside Sacramento.






 
Scottish referendum: all over bar the smiling
2014-09-18 19:41:33 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Hollywood seeks probe of 'million-dollar mistake'
2014-09-18 19:40:14 (13 weeks ago) 
City manager stands up to critics, says 'I'm not leaving'

Commissioners were split on whether to fire the city manager, but unanimously agreed to ask the Broward inspector general to investigate City Hall's "million-dollar mistake."
 
Multiple Shooting Deaths Reported in North Fla.
2014-09-18 19:40:02 (13 weeks ago) 
Media outlets: Shooting in north Florida could involve multiple fatalities; details scarce
 
Senate approves Obama's plan to arm and train Syrian rebels
2014-09-18 19:32:29 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Key confronted by angry protests
2014-09-18 19:32:24 (13 weeks ago) 
An angry protest has cut short a Rotorua mall visit by National leader John Key.
 
City of Angels rushes to save dog hit in car chase
2014-09-18 19:31:39 (13 weeks ago) 
When a car fleeing police hit Gordo, a one-year-old poodle mix, it struck a nerve in a city that otherwise might have just changed the channel
 
Backup dancers sue Cher for alleged race discrimination, retaliation; singer denies wrongdoing
2014-09-18 19:22:42 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Mystery Signal Could Be Dark Matter Hint In ISS Detector
2014-09-18 19:22:38 (13 weeks ago) 
astroengine writes Analysis of 41 billion cosmic rays striking the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer particle detector aboard the International Space Station shows an unknown phenomena that is "consistent with a dark matter particle" known as a neutralino, researchers announced Thursday. Key to the hunt is the ratio of positrons to electrons and so far the evidence from AMS points in the direction of dark matter. The smoking gun scientists look for is a rise in the ratio of positrons to electrons, followed by a dramatic fall — the telltale sign of dark matter annihilating the Milky Way's halo, which lies beyond its central disk of stars and dust. However, "we have not found the definitive proof of dark matter," AMS lead researcher Samuel Ting, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and CERN in Switzerland, wrote in an email to Discovery News. "Whereas all the AMS results point in the right direction, we still need to measure how quickly the positron fraction falls off at the highest energies in order to rule out astrophysical sources such as pulsars." But still, this new finding is a tantalizing step in the dark matter direction.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








 
End of era: Ellison steps asides as Oracle CEO
2014-09-18 19:22:33 (13 weeks ago) 
 
If Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Arnold ran for president, it would be Arnold/Schwarzenegger 2020. If they went by their first names, it would be Tom/Arnold 2020.
2014-09-18 19:22:32 (13 weeks ago) 
submitted by notseansaccount to Showerthoughts
[link] [59 comments]
 
JEFFREY FORD HANSON
2014-09-18 19:21:58 (13 weeks ago) 


Status: n/a
Crime Category: N/A


 
Woman stabbed at S. Phila. temp agency
2014-09-18 19:21:52 (13 weeks ago) 
A 54-year-old woman was in critical condition after being stabbed Thursday morning by a man asking for work at a temp agency in South Philadelphia, police said.
 
Senate Approves ISIS Bill to Arm Syrian Rebels
2014-09-18 19:21:46 (13 weeks ago) 
The green light comes as lawmakers leave Washington for good until after the November midterm elections.
 
Senate gives final passage to Obama's plan for arming Syrian rebels
2014-09-18 19:21:43 (13 weeks ago) 
The Senate gave final approval Thursday to President Obama's plan to arm Syrian opposition groups in the fight against Islamic State militants, a vote that upended party allegiances and hardened opposition to the administration's strategy.
 
Rents rise to all-time average high of £761 a month in August
2014-09-18 19:21:31 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Watch Friday's show!
2014-09-18 19:20:29 (13 weeks ago) 
September 19, 2014
 
Dealership Commentator: Tesla's Going To Win In Every State
2014-09-18 20:22:50 (13 weeks ago) 
cartechboy writes Unless you've been in a coma for a while you're aware that many dealer associations have been causing headaches for Tesla in multiple states. The reason? They are scared. Tesla's new, different, and shaking up the ridiculously old way of doing things. But the thing is, Tesla keeps winning. Now Ward's commenter Jim Ziegler, president of Ziegler Supersystems in Atlanta, wrote an opinion piece that basically says Tesla's going to prevail in every state against dealer lawsuits. He says Tesla's basically busy defending what are nuisance suits. This leads to the question of whether there will be some sort of sweeping federal action in Tesla's favor.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








 
British hostage John Cantlie, seized by Islamic State with James Foley, appears in new video
2014-09-18 20:22:46 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Ebola Presents Challenge, and an Opportunity, for U.N. Leader
2014-09-18 20:22:11 (13 weeks ago) 
For Ban Ki-moon, in his seventh year leading the United Nations, Ebola represents a crucial test — but also an opportunity to lead the global response in fighting the outbreak.
 
Obama Details Campaign to 'Destroy' ISIS
2014-09-18 20:22:00 (13 weeks ago) 
President Obama details the campaign to destroy ISIS and praises congress for bipartisan action.






 
Scottish referendum: poll suggests nation has voted against independence
2014-09-18 20:21:35 (13 weeks ago) 
 
'7th Heaven' stars reunite
2014-09-18 20:20:35 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Al Qaeda targets U.S. flights?
2014-09-18 20:20:33 (13 weeks ago) 
An al Qaeda cell operating in Syria is posing a new threat to the U.S. CNN's Pamela Brown has the details.
 
Police Investigating Apparent Murder-Suicide in Florida Town
2014-09-18 20:20:02 (13 weeks ago) 
The incident took place in the family's home in Gilchrist County.
 
Anheuser-Busch bombshell no doubt sent chills down NFL’s spine
2014-09-18 20:12:14 (13 weeks ago) 
What happens if those sponsors find a backbone and tell the NFL it must take more seriously the actions of its players when they beat women and children? writes syndicated columnist
 
Fall fashion must-haves by The Wandering Wardrobe: Kristel's CLE
2014-09-18 20:12:03 (13 weeks ago) 
The Wandering Wardrobe founder Caroline Dengel shares five of her must-have outfits for the fall season.
 
Assurances for Poroshenko in Washington
2014-09-18 20:10:12 (13 weeks ago) 
A round of applause as Petro Poroshenko enters the U.S. Congress Thursday. As he is speaking, the White House pledges $53 million in aid, most of it security-related, but no weapons. The Ukrainian President says Ukraine's fight is everyone's fight.






 
Armed Shi'ite Rebels Push Into Yemen's Capital
2014-09-18 20:10:12 (13 weeks ago) 
After weeks of fighting and protests armed Shi'ite rebels push into Yemen's capital Sanaa after clashing with the army on the outskirts of the city. Residents say Shi'ite Houthi gunmen are now advancing along a major route into the western edge of the city. At least 42 people have also been killed in clashes involving Houthi fighters in different parts of the country since Tuesday. A military source said Houthi gunmen had also attacked an army camp, but soldiers repelled the assault.






 
British Journalist John Cantlie Shown in Islamic State Video
2014-09-18 20:10:12 (13 weeks ago) 
Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria released a video on Thursday that they said shows British journalist John Cantlie in captivity. In the video, Cantlie says he will soon reveal "facts" about the group to counter its portrayal in Western media. The Islamic State, which controls territory in Syria and Iraq, has already beheaded two American journalists and one British aid worker in recent weeks in what it said was reprisal for U.S. air strikes against it in Iraq.






 
How real is The Riot Club?
2014-09-18 20:10:10 (13 weeks ago) 
How real is the Riot Club?
 
Obama hails Congress vote on Syria
2014-09-18 20:10:10 (13 weeks ago) 
President Obama says Congress's backing for his $500m plan to aid moderate Syrian rebels shows the world the US is united against Islamic State.
 
Untrained female staff irk customers
2014-09-18 20:10:05 (13 weeks ago) 
Fri, 2014-09-19 01:49

Several customers have complained that the newly appointed female work force, which was hired in a bid to reduce dependency on expat male employees and to check a soaring 34 percent unemployment...

 
Wife, lover to die for husband’s murder
2014-09-18 20:10:05 (13 weeks ago) 
Thu, 2014-09-18 22:00

A court in Riyadh has sentenced two Syrians to death for murdering a Saudi citizen in the outskirts of Riyadh last year, local media said.
The Syrian woman had reportedly agreed with her...

 
Apple revamps data security
2014-09-18 20:02:56 (13 weeks ago) 
JUST as Australians finally get their hands on iPhone 6 models, Apple is rolling out new privacy protections that will stop even the police accessing users’ data.
 
Twitter’s CEO Will Respond To Whether He’s High Once He Finishes These Doritos
2014-09-18 20:02:45 (13 weeks ago) 
submitted by TheTriggerOfSol to nottheonion
[link] [124 comments]
 
Under Premier’s Plan, Iraq’s Fight Against ISIS May Fall to Its Provinces
2014-09-18 20:02:11 (13 weeks ago) 
Separate plans promoted by the Iraqi government and by a provincial leader stem from the same conviction: that insurgents are best fought with homegrown troops.
 
Sheriff's Deputy Missing as Texas Capital Flooded
2014-09-18 20:01:57 (13 weeks ago) 
Scores of officers will resume searching Friday morning for the seven-year veteran of the Travis County Sheriff's Office.






 
FBI Seeks Missing Child Billy Hanson
2014-09-18 20:00:35 (13 weeks ago) 
— Seattle
 
U.S. Senate approves bill to arm moderate Syrian rebels
2014-09-18 20:00:22 (13 weeks ago) 
The U.S. Senate approved President Barack Obama's plan for training and arming moderate Syrian rebels to battle Islamic State militants on Thursday, a major part of his military campaign to "degrade and destroy" the radical group.
 
VIDEO: Life in an iconic US resort town
2014-09-18 20:00:11 (13 weeks ago) 
Is the American Dream alive in Palm Springs?
 
Giant MQ-4C Triton surveillance drone flies across the United States
2014-09-18 20:00:07 (13 weeks ago) 
Kelly Schindler/US Navy

This morning, a giant Navy surveillance drone landed at Patuxent River base in Maryland after flying over the Gulf of Mexico and the American southwest from an airfield owned by Northrup Grumman in Palmdale, CA. The test flight represented the first cross-country flight for the MQ-4C Triton drone after 15 previous test flights.

The drone flew 3,290 nautical miles over 11 hours, a Navy press release said. “Operators navigated the aircraft up the Atlantic Coast and Chesapeake Bay at altitudes in excess of 50,000 feet to ensure there were no conflicts with civilian air traffic,” the release noted.

The drone is just the first piece in what the Navy calls Broad Area Maritime Surveillance, or BAMS. The MQ-4C Triton will be used to keep tabs on a wide area using “radar, infrared sensors and advanced cameras to provide full-motion video and photographs to the military,” according to the Washington Post. Eventually, a network of these drones could be deployed to fly around the world and provide 24-hour, 7-day a week coverage of a given area.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

 
Multiple shooting deaths reported in north Fla.
2014-09-18 19:52:19 (13 weeks ago) 
Media outlets are reporting that a shooting in north Florida could involve multiple fatalities.
 
Scottish referendum: all over bar the smiling
2014-09-18 19:52:15 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Assembly candidates weigh in on BOE headquarters
2014-09-18 19:52:05 (13 weeks ago) 
Come January, either Kevin McCarty or Steve Cohn will represent California’s 7th Assembly District, which includes the state’s defective Board of Equalization headquarters in downtown Sacramento.
 
Walmart finds a new way to exploit workers with a new dress code
2014-09-18 19:50:23 (13 weeks ago) 
Walmart may have stirred up a little more publicity than it expected when it changed its "dress code" for employees recently. The low-paid workers are not happy that they'll be expected to buy the new clothes they're required to wear to work, and they've been making themselves heard. But wait. Federal law says that employers have to provide workers with required uniforms, right? Bryce Covert explains how Walmart is getting away with making workers pay:
But, under the language used by the company, the new clothes aren’t “uniforms.” Instead, they’re part of a new “dress code.”

As Reuel Schiller, a law professor at UC Hastings, told NPR’s Marketplace, “There’s a legal difference between a uniform and a dress code.” Walmart skirts the regulation about uniforms and is able to pass the cost on to workers by calling it a dress code rather than a uniform. It also gets around it by making employees buy clothes that they could conceivably wear elsewhere, not ones branded with a logo, for which it would otherwise be legally required to pay.

Although, if workers don't already have the required clothes, Walmart has helpfully marked the tags on items that pass muster in case workers want to buy those clothes from Walmart. Isn't that thoughtful? Worker group OUR Walmart estimates that the company stands to make $51 million or more in sales to workers buying the new not-quite-uniforms.

Walmart will also be supplying workers with a vest they're required to wear—a vest that, for all the company's big talk about American-made products, is currently being made in Jordan. They promise that soon, the vests will be made in the U.S., but:

Michelle Gloeckler, executive vice president of consumables and U.S. manufacturing at Wal-Mart, confirmed the vests were made in Jordan, explaining the retailer made this decision because it couldn't find a supplier in the U.S. to churn out 1.4 million vests under such a quick time crunch.

"The sheer number of vests that we ordered for our associates is the reason that we utilized a current apparel supplier in that location," she said. "Our intent is to replenish the vests as needed through a U.S. supplier."

What was so urgent about putting workers in new clothes that they couldn't wait long enough to get 1.4 million vests made here? And if it was hard for Walmart, with its massive profits, to get vests quickly enough, think about the strain for its workers, many of who are forced by their low wages and part-time hours to rely on food stamps and Medicaid, and are now required to quickly come up with the money to buy new work outfits.
 
Quiz of the week's news
2014-09-18 19:50:07 (13 weeks ago) 
The Magazine's weekly quiz of the news, 7 days 7 questions.
 
How We Can Rescue a World That's Going Up in Flames
2014-09-18 19:50:03 (13 weeks ago) 
Personal changes aren't enough; only great movements and collective action can save us now.

This story originally appeared at TomDispatch.com.

There have undoubtedly been stable periods in human history, but you and your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents never lived through one, and neither will any children or grandchildren you may have or come to have. Everything has been changing continuously, profoundly, from the role of women to the nature of agriculture. For the past couple of hundred years, change has been accelerating in both magnificent and nightmarish ways.

Yet when we argue for change, notably changing our ways in response to climate change, we’re arguing against people who claim we’re disrupting a stable system. They insist that we’re rocking the boat unnecessarily.

I say: rock that boat. It’s a lifeboat; maybe the people in it will wake up and start rowing. Those who think they’re hanging onto a stable order are actually clinging to the wreckage of the old order, a ship already sinking, that we need to leave behind.

As you probably know, the actual oceans are rising—almost eight inches since 1880, and that’s only going to accelerate. They’re also acidifying, because they’re absorbing significant amounts of the carbon we continue to pump into the atmosphere at record levels. The ice that covers the polar seas is shrinking, while the ice shields that cover Antarctica and Greenland are melting. The water locked up in all the polar ice, as it’s unlocked by heat, is going to raise sea levels staggeringly, possibly by as much as 200 feet at some point in the future, how distant we do not know. In the temperate latitudes, warming seas breed fiercer hurricanes. The oceans are changing fast, and for the worse. Fish stocks are dying off, as are shellfish. In many acidified oceanic regions, their shells are actually dissolving or failing to form, which is one of the scariest, most nightmarish things I’ve ever heard. 

So don’t tell me that we’re rocking a stable boat on calm seas. The glorious 10,000-year period of stable climate in which humanity flourished and then exploded to overrun the Earth and all its ecosystems is over.

But responding to these current cataclysmic changes means taking on people who believe, or at least assert, that those of us who want to react and act are gratuitously disrupting a stable system that’s working fine. It isn’t stable. It is working fine—in the short term and the most limited sense—for oil companies and the people who profit from them and for some of us in the particularly cushy parts of the world who haven’t been impacted yet by weather events like, say, the recent torrential floods in Japan or southern Nevada and Arizona, or the monsoon versions of the same that have devastated parts of India and Pakistan, or the drought that has mummified my beloved California, or the wildfires of Australia.

The problem, of course, is that the people who most benefit from the current arrangements have effectively purchased a lot of politicians, and that a great many of the rest of them are either hopelessly dim or amazingly timid. Most of the Democrats recognize the reality of climate change but not the urgency of doing something about it. Many of the Republicans used to—John McCain has done an amazing about-face from being a sane voice on climate to a shrill denier—and they present a horrific obstacle to any international treaties.

Put it this way: in one country, one party holding 45 out of 100 seats in one legislative house, while serving a minority of the very rich, can basically block what quite a lot of the other seven billion people on Earth want and need, because a two-thirds majority in the Senate must consent to any international treaty the U.S. signs. Which is not to say much for the president, whose drill-baby-drill administration only looks good compared to the petroleum servants he faces, when he bothers to face them and isn’t just one of them. History will despise them all and much of the world does now, but as my mother would have said, they know which side their bread is buttered on.

As it happens, the butter is melting and the bread is getting more expensive. Global grain production is already down several percent thanks to climate change, says a terrifying new United Nations report. Declining crops cause food shortages and rising food prices, creating hunger and even famine for the poorest on Earth, and also sometimes cause massive unrest. Rising bread prices were one factor that helped spark the Arab Spring in 2011. Anyone who argues that doing something about global warming will be too expensive is dodging just how expensive unmitigated climate change is already proving to be.

It’s only a question of whether the very wealthy or the very poor will pay. Putting it that way, however, devalues all the nonmonetary things at stake, from the survival of myriad species to our confidence in the future. And yes, climate change is here, now. We’ve already lost a lot and we’re going to lose more, but there’s a difference between terrible and apocalyptic. We still have some control over how extreme it gets. That’s not a great choice, but it’s the choice we have. There’s still a window open for action, but it’s closing. As Michel Jarraud, the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Society, put it recently, "We are running out of time." 

New and Renewable Energies

The future is not yet written. Look at the world we’re in at this very moment. The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was supposed to be built years ago, but activists catalyzed by the rural and indigenous communities across whose land it would go have stopped it so far, and made what was supposed to be a done deal a contentious issue. Activists changed the outcome.

Fracking has been challenged on the state level, and banned in townships and counties from upstate New York to central California. (It has also been banned in two Canadian provinces, France, and Bulgaria.) The fossil-fuel divestment movement has achieved a number of remarkable victories in its few years of existence and more are on the way. The actual divestments and commitments to divest fossil fuel stocks by various institutions ranging from the city of Seattle to the British Medical Association are striking. But the real power of the movement lies in the way it has called into question the wisdom of investing in fossil fuel corporations. Even mainstream voices like the British Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee and publications like Forbes are now beginning to question whether they are safe places to put money. That’s a sea change.

Renewable energy has become more efficient, technologically sophisticated, and cheaper—the price of solar power in relation to the energy it generates has plummeted astonishingly over the past three decades and wind technology keeps getting better. While Americans overall are not yet curtailing their fossil-fuel habits, many individuals and communities are choosing other options, and those options are becoming increasingly viable. A Stanford University scientist has proposed a plan to allow each of the 50 states to run on 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Since, according to the latest report of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, fossil fuel reserves still in the ground are “at least four times larger than could safely be burned if global warming is to be kept to a tolerable level,” it couldn’t be more important to reach global agreements to do things differently on a planetary scale. Notably, most of those carbon reserves must be left untapped and the modest steps already taken locally and ad hoc show that such changes are indeed possible and that an encouraging number of us want to pursue them.

We can do it. And we is the key word here. The world is not going to be saved by individual acts of virtue; if it is to be saved it will by collective acts of social and political change. That’s why I’m marching this Sunday with tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of others in New York City—to pressure the United Nations as it meets to address climate change. That’s why people who care about the future state of our planet will also be marching and demonstrating in New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Berlin, Melbourne, Kathmandu, Dublin, Manila, Seoul, Mumbai, Istanbul, and so many smaller places.

Mass movements work. Unarmed citizens have changed the course of history countless times in the modern era. When we come together as civil society, we have the capacity to transform policies, change old ways of doing things, and sometimes even topple regimes. And it is about governments. Like it or not, the global treaties, compacts, and agreements we need can only be made by governments, and governments will make those agreements when the pressure to do so is greater than the pressure not to. We can and must be that pressure.

The Long View from One Window

I lived in the same apartment for 25 years, moving into a poor but thriving black community in 1981 and out of the far more affluent, paler, and less neighborly place it had become in 2006. A lot of people moved in and out in that period, many of them staying only a year or two. Those transients always seemed to believe that the neighborhood they were passing through was a stable one. You had to be slower than change and stick around to see it. I saw it and it helped me learn how to take a historical view of things.

It’s crazy that anyone speaks as if our world is not undergoing rapid change, when the view from the window called history shows nothing but transformation, both incremental and dramatic. Exactly 25 years ago this month, Eastern Europe was astir. Remember that back then there was still a Soviet bloc, and a Soviet Union, and an Iron Curtain, and a Berlin Wall, and a Cold War. Most people thought those were permanent fixtures, but in the summer of 1989, Hungary decided to let East Germans (who were permitted to travel freely to that communist country) stream over to the West.

Thousands of people, tired of life in the totalitarian east, fled. Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, as well as East Germany, were already electrified by a resurgent civil society and activist communities that had dared to organize in the face of repression. At the time, politicians and pundits in the West were making careers out of explaining, among so many other things, why German reunification wasn’t going to happen in anyone’s lifetime. And they probably would have been proven right if people had stayed home and done nothing, if they hadn't begun to hope and acted on that hope.

The bureaucrats on both sides of the Berlin Wall were still talking about the possibility of demilitarizing it when citizens showed up en masse and the guards began abandoning their posts. On that epochal night of November 9, 1989, the people made whole what had been broken. The lesson: showing up is half the battle.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had been so unnerved by developments in the Soviet Union’s Eastern European holdings that she went to Moscow, two months before the fall of the wall, to implore Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to prevent any such thing. That was early September 1989. “No dramatic change in the situation in Czechoslovakia can be expected,” predicted a Czech official two months before a glorious popular uprising, remembered as the Velvet Revolution, erupted and abolished the government in which he was an official.

There are three things to note about those changes in 1989. First, most people in power dismissed the possibility that such extraordinary change could happen or deplored what it might bring. They were comfortable enough with things as they were, even though the status quo was several kinds of scary and awful. In other words, the status quo likes the status quo and dislikes change. Second, everything changed despite them, thanks to grassroots organizing and civil society, forces that, we are now regularly assured, are pointless and irrelevant. Third, the world that existed then has been largely swept away: the Soviet Union, the global alignments of that time, the idea of a binary world of communism and capitalism, and the policies that had kept us on the brink of nuclear annihilation for decades. We live in a very different world now (though nuclear weapons are still a terrible problem). Things do change.

Maybe, in fact, there’s a fourth point to note as well. That, important as they were, the front-page stories about the liberation of Eastern Europe weren’t what mattered most all those years ago. After all, hidden away deep inside the New York Times that autumn, you can find a dozen or so articles about global warming, as the newly recognized phenomenon was then called. And small as they were, anyone reading them now can see that so long ago the essential problem and peril to our world was already clear.

The thought of what might have been accomplished, had a people’s movement arisen then to face global warming, could break your heart. That, after all, was still a time when the Earth’s atmosphere held just above 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide, the maximum safe level for a sustainable survivable planet, not the 400 parts per million of the present moment (“142% of the pre-industrial era” level of carbon, the World Meteorological Organization notes). In other words, we’ve been steadily filling the atmosphere with greenhouse gases and so imperiling the planet and humanity since we knew what we were doing.

The Great Smog and the Big Wind

In that fall a quarter of a century ago, the world changed profoundly right before our eyes. Then we settled back into the short-term, ahistorical view that things are really pretty stable, that ordinary people have no power, and that the world can’t be changed. With that in mind, it’s worth looking at Germany today. Maybe because Germans know better than us that things can change for the worse or the better fast, that the world is not a stable and settled place, and that we do shape it, they have been willing to change.

At one point last spring, cold, cloudy Germany managed to get almost 75% of its electricity from renewable sources. Cold, gray, oil-rich Scotland is on track to achieve 100% renewable electrical generation by 2020 and has already hit the 40% mark. Spain now generates about half its electricity through clean and renewable sources. Other European countries have similar accomplishments. In fact, many of the changes that we in the United States will be marching for this Sunday have already begun happening, sometimes on a significant scale, elsewhere.

To remember how radical this new Europe is, recall that most of these places were burning coal not just in power plants or factories but in homes, too, not so many decades ago. Everyone deplores the horrific air of Beijing and other Chinese cities now, but few remember that many European cities were similarly foul with smoke and smog from the industrial revolution into the postwar era. In December 1952, for instance, the “Great Smog” of London reduced daytime visibility to a few yards and killed about 4,000 people in three days.

A decade before that, in response to the war Germany started, North Americans radically reduced their use of private vehicles and gasoline and planted more than 20 million victory gardens, producing vast quantities of food by non-industrial means. We have done that; we could (and must) do it again.

At least, we don’t burn coal in our homes any more, and in the U.S. we’ve retired 178 coal-fired power plants, phasing out many more, and prevented many new ones from being built. The renewable energy sources that were, people insisted, too minor or unreliable or expensive or new are now beginning to work well, and the price to produce energy in such a fashion is dropping rapidly. UBS, the European investment giant, recently counseled that power plants and centralized power generation are no longer good investments, since decentralized renewables are likely to replace them.

Of course, Germany and Britain are still burning coal, and Poland remains a giant coal mine. Europe is not a perfect renewable energy paradise, just a part of the world that demonstrates the viability of changing how we produce and consume energy. We are already changing, even if not fast enough, not by a long shot, at least not yet. The same goes for divesting from fossil-fuel investments, even though dozens of universities, cities, religious institutions, and foundations have already committed to doing so, and some have by now actually purged their portfolios. The excuse that change is impossible is no longer available, because many places and entities have already changed.

Last Glimmers

If you want to know how potentially powerful you are, ask your enemies. The misogynists who attack feminism and try to intimidate feminists into silence only demonstrate in a roundabout way that feminism really is changing the world; they are the furious backlash and so the proof that something meaningful is at stake. The climate movement is similarly upsetting a lot of powerful people and institutions; to grasp that, you just have to look at the tsunamis of money spent opposing specific measures and misinforming the public. The carbon barons are demonstrating that we could change the world and that they don’t want us to.

We are powerful and need to become more so in the next year as a major conference in Paris approaches in December 2015 where the climate agreements we need could be hammered out. Or not. This is, after all, a sequel to the Copenhagen conference of 2009, where representatives of many smaller and more vulnerable nations, as well as citizens’ groups, were eager for a treaty that took on climate change in significant ways, only to have their hopes crushed by the recalcitrant governments of the United States and China.

Right now, we are in a churning sea of change, of climate change, of subtle changes in everyday life, of powerful efforts by elites to serve themselves and damn the rest of us, and of increasingly powerful activist and social-movement campaigns to make a world that benefits more beings, human and otherwise, in the longer term. Every choice you make aligns you with one set of these forces or another. That includes doing nothing, which means aligning yourself with the worst of the status quo dragging us down in that ocean of carbon and consumption.

To make personal changes is to do too little. Only great movements, only collective action can save us now. Only is a scary word, but when the ship is sinking, it can be an encouraging one as well. It can hold out hope. The world has changed again and again in ways that, until they happened, would have been considered improbable by just about everyone on the planet. It is changing now and the direction is up to us.

There will be another story to be told about what we did a quarter century after civil society toppled the East Bloc regimes, what we did in the pivotal years of 2014 and 2015. All we know now is that it is not yet written, and that we who live at this very moment have the power to write it with our lives and acts.

 Related StoriesHow Can We Rescue a World That Is Going Up in Flames?Lord Stern Report: Transform Global Economy to Fight Climate ChangeTexas Proposes Rewriting School Books to Deny Manmade Climate Change
 
This year's Ig Nobel winners: Pork as way to stop nosebleeds, banana peel slipperiness
2014-09-18 19:42:48 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Brandon Marshall Urges Caution on NFL Violence Cases
2014-09-18 19:41:51 (13 weeks ago) 
Brandon Marshall, who turned his own life around, said domestic violence is a broad societal problem for which the NFL isn't responsible.






 
Explosion Causes JetBlue Flight to Make Emergency Landing
2014-09-18 19:41:51 (13 weeks ago) 
Passengers take video and tweet after scary moments aboard flight to Texas.






 
Ig Nobels: British researchers take coveted science humour prize
2014-09-18 19:41:32 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Absurd and brilliant comics designed to be read right-side-up as well as upside-down
2014-09-18 19:40:10 (13 weeks ago) 

From 1903-1905, a Japanese-born, Dutch artist named Gustave Verbeek turned America’s Sunday funny papers on their collective head. That’s when Verbeek drew 65 episodes of “The Upside Downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo” for the New York Herald, all of which are reproduced in their full size and original colors in The Upside-Down World of Gustave Verbeek.

Read the rest
 
Seahawks perspective? CBS’s Jim Nantz brings plenty to Broncos showdown
2014-09-18 19:32:31 (13 weeks ago) 
Jim Nantz, CBS’s longtime announcer, has plenty of Seahawks and Seattle sports history, thanks to being Fred Couples’ former college roommate.
 
Disgraced jockey Walker gets seven-year ban
2014-09-18 19:32:24 (13 weeks ago) 
Central Districts jockey David Walker was on Friday disqualified for seven years for pulling up a mount and betting on a rival horse, by far the heaviest penalty handed down in recent New Zealand history.
 
Whangarei police force teen to cancel party
2014-09-18 19:32:24 (13 weeks ago) 
The fun police have thwarted a party with 500 planned attendees. 
 
Seriously? Republicans accuse Mark Begich of not really riding a snowmobile
2014-09-18 19:30:26 (13 weeks ago) 
Alaska's Senate race has produced a contender for stupidest political attack of the campaign cycle: Republicans are suggesting that Begich didn't really ride a snowmobile (or "snow machine," as Alaskans insist on calling them) in a campaign ad:
“I’m Cory Davis. As a four time X-Games medalist, I know something about snow machines,” Mr. Davis says in the ad. “That’s why I had a good laugh when I saw Mark Begich pretending to ride one.” [...]

It’s not the first time Republicans have launched accusations that Mr. Begich needed a stunt double for his TV ads. A super PAC backing Mr. Sullivan called Alaska’s Energy, America’s Values suggested it wasn’t Begich in the snowmobile ad in an April radio message. The super PAC’s ad said then that it was time to replace Mr. Begich, “or whoever plays him on TV.”

Begich's response is basically, "Ha ha ha, tell it to my ear":
In an interview, Begich described the lengths to which he went to shoot the spot.

“One guy for example, wore an AR-15 around his shoulders because the area we were going to is where polar bears are, and he wanted to make sure we weren’t going to be attacked,” Begich said. “To say that I wasn’t on that snow machine riding it? I rode it for a long time out there and in weather that was very cold that day to the point where I frostbit part of my ear.”

You don't have to be a hardened cynic to suspect that maybe Republicans are coming up with these "Begich didn't really ride that very common-in-Alaska vehicle" attacks because the majority of polls, including the most recent, show Begich leading Sullivan.
 
Forensic pathologist who did Michael Brown autopsy to review autopsy of NYC chokehold victim
2014-09-18 19:22:42 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Marcos Breton: How the River Cats gambled to become the Giants’ AAA team
2014-09-18 19:22:34 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Marcos Breton: How the River Cats gambled to become the Giants’ AAA team
2014-09-18 19:22:33 (13 weeks ago) 
 
This NFL player was cut from his NFL team, the Cincinnati Bengals, but the Bengals signed him to the practice squad so that he could have insurance to cover the costs of his daughter's fight with pediatric cancer
2014-09-18 19:22:32 (13 weeks ago) 
submitted by gigemags111 to videos
[link] [174 comments]
 
Federal Judge Accused of Assaulting Wife Is Urged to Resign
2014-09-18 19:21:57 (13 weeks ago) 
Alabama’s two United States senators called on Judge Mark E. Fuller of Federal District Court to step down from the bench.
 
Video: Scotland to Secede from U.K.? Millions Show Up to Vote
2014-09-18 19:21:51 (13 weeks ago) 

The people of Scotland put everything else on hold on Thursday to decide their future. (Nightly News)


 
Watch Live: Obama Speaks From the White House
2014-09-18 19:21:46 (13 weeks ago) 
President Barack Obama is expected to make a statement about Congress approving a bill to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels.






 
The Three Most Important Factors to Maintaining Work Motivation
2014-09-18 19:21:42 (13 weeks ago) 

Work shouldn't always feel like a burden, but keeping your motivation can be a constant struggle. Here are three factors that can help you understand and upkeep your motivation.

Read more...








 
Senate approves Obama's plan to arm and train Syrian rebels
2014-09-18 19:21:31 (13 weeks ago) 
 
It's time to get your flu shot
2014-09-18 19:20:28 (13 weeks ago) 
Flu season is about to begin: Get your flu shot now.
 
Overturned big rig closes northbound I-5 near Sutterville Road
2014-09-18 20:22:47 (13 weeks ago) 
The California Department of Transportation advises motorists that northbound I-5 just north of Sutterville Road is closed due to an overturned big rig.
 
Police: Woman grabbed gun at McDonald’s house in May
2014-09-18 20:22:46 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Investigators Find No Evidence Christie Knew Of Bridge Closing
2014-09-18 20:22:00 (13 weeks ago) 
NBC News has learned that federal investigators have found no evidence Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge of George Washington Bridge closing.






 
Investigators Find No Evidence Christie Knew Of Bridge Closing
2014-09-18 20:22:00 (13 weeks ago) 
NBC News has learned that federal investigators have found no evidence Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge of George Washington Bridge closing.






 
Project Runway Open Thread, Week 9
2014-09-18 20:21:32 (13 weeks ago) 

The hell with maturity. You've been behaving like an adult all day, and what has it got you? A headache, probably. So tonight, I suggest you release your inner child and live-chat tonight's Project Runway episode with us instead. Nothing like a little joint juvenility to improve the old mood, I always say!

Read more...


 
Hostage used by ISIS to send message
2014-09-18 20:20:35 (13 weeks ago) 
British journalist John Cantlie hadn't been seen in nearly two years. Now, he's the latest hostage to be paraded out by ISIS -- forced to deliver the group's message.
 
Couple accused of Amish sisters' kidnap charged with child sex exploitation
2014-09-18 20:20:24 (13 weeks ago) 
The couple accused of kidnapping two Amish sisters in northern New York state in August were charged on Thursday in federal court in Syracuse with sexual exploitation of children and child pornography possession.
 
Equipment, electronics stolen from band's van downtown
2014-09-18 20:20:02 (13 weeks ago) 
Members of the indie rock band Mineral performed here Tuesday night; items stolen outside Flamingo Bowl 
 
Multiple shooting deaths reported in north Fla.
2014-09-18 20:12:14 (13 weeks ago) 
Media outlets are reporting that a shooting in north Florida could involve multiple fatalities.
 
The Shortwave Report 09/19/14 Listen Globally!
2014-09-18 20:11:21 (13 weeks ago) 
A weekly 30 minute review of international news and opinion, recorded from a shortwave radio and the internet. With times, frequencies, and websites for listening at home. 3 files- Highest quality broadcast, regular broadcast, and slow-modem streaming. Radio Deutsche-Welle, Radio Havana Cuba, Spanish National Radio, and NHK Japan.
 
Sierra Leone Stocks Up for Ebola Lockdown
2014-09-18 20:10:12 (13 weeks ago) 
Sierra Leone's bustling markets have been busier than usual in recent days. With a nationwide, stay-at-home lockdown down about to come in to effect, the nation has been stocking up.






 
Waterlogged in Serbia
2014-09-18 20:10:12 (13 weeks ago) 
On patrol in Serbia. A police vehicle makes it way through the flood waters, making its way to villages and towns that have been flooded for days. In parts of the country streets have literally become rivers. Houses have been hit. At least one person has died. Rescue teams do what they can to reach those in need. The government has declared a state of emergency in three eastern municipalities. Those who have been hit say they have never seen anything like it.






 
Archbishop of Canterbury: 'I Doubt'
2014-09-18 20:10:12 (13 weeks ago) 
In an interview with BBC Bristol presenter Lucy Tegg, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, admits he sometimes has doubts about God.






 
Just what exactly is Freudian?
2014-09-18 20:10:10 (13 weeks ago) 
Just what exactly does the term Freudian mean?
 
SCTA urged to curb high accommodation prices
2014-09-18 20:10:05 (13 weeks ago) 
Fri, 2014-09-19 01:48

Visitors to the holy city of Madinah have expressed anger over the skyrocketing prices of hotels and furnished apartments, especially in the area immediately surrounding the Prophet’s Mosque, and...

 
Saudi alleges university favors expats
2014-09-18 20:10:05 (13 weeks ago) 
Thu, 2014-09-18 22:00

A Saudi student here claims that her former university favors expatriates as lecturers in its Arabic department.
The female graduate of the university, about 190 km northwest of Riyadh, said...

 
Bodies of two expats found in flood-hit areas
2014-09-18 20:10:05 (13 weeks ago) 
Thu, 2014-09-18 23:50

The Civil Defense has recovered the bodies of two expatriates swept away by floods in two separate incidents in the country.
The body of a Pakistani expatriate was discovered on Wednesday...

 
Apple's "Warrant Canary" Has Died
2014-09-18 20:02:50 (13 weeks ago) 
HughPickens.com writes When Apple published its first Transparency Report on government activity in late 2013, the document contained an important footnote that stated: "Apple has never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. We would expect to challenge such an order if served on us." Now Jeff John Roberts writes at Gigaom that Apple's warrant canary has disappeared. A review of the company's last two Transparency Reports, covering the second half of 2013 and the first six months of 2014, shows that the "canary" language is no longer there suggesting that Apple is now part of FISA or PRISM proceedings. Warrant canaries are a tool used by companies and publishers to signify to their users that, so far, they have not been subject to a given type of law enforcement request such as a secret subpoena. If the canary disappears, then it is likely the situation has changed — and the company has been subject to such request. This may also give some insight into Apple's recent decision to rework its latest encryption in a way that makes it almost impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








 
What is the most private thing you're willing to admit on Reddit without creating a throwaway account?
2014-09-18 20:02:45 (13 weeks ago) 
submitted by cellocaster to AskReddit
[link] [2339 comments]
 
‘Happy in Tehran’ Dancers Are Given Suspended Sentences
2014-09-18 20:02:11 (13 weeks ago) 
Though the punishments — lashings and six-month prison terms — were suspended, they could be carried out if any of the six defendants commit further actions deemed illegal in Iran.






 
Mutual Funds Weekly: ETFs take center stage at Morningstar conference
2014-09-18 20:01:55 (13 weeks ago) 
Exchange-traded funds have captured the minds and wallets of investors, but the industry now is looking to meet investors’ changing needs.
 
Dancers claim Cher fired them for reporting sex assault
2014-09-18 20:00:34 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Multiple victims, including children, reported in rural North Florida shooting
2014-09-18 20:00:22 (13 weeks ago) 
A shooting involving multiple victims, including children, was being investigated by police in the north Florida town of Bell on Thursday evening, according to local media reports.
 
Obama praises 'excellent' Poroshenko
2014-09-18 20:00:11 (13 weeks ago) 
President Barack Obama has given his support to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, describing himself as a "strong friend" to the leader.
 
Watch: President Obama Announces Plan to Train Opposition in Syria
2014-09-18 20:00:02 (13 weeks ago) 
The new effort will provide training and equipment to help opposition take on the terror group within Syria.
 
SAP will buy Concur Technologies for $7.36 billion
2014-09-18 19:52:18 (13 weeks ago) 
German business software maker SAP said it will buy travel and expense management software company Concur Technologies for $129 per share, or about $7.36 billion.
 
U2's album giveaway a 'punk rock thing'
2014-09-18 19:52:10 (13 weeks ago) 
U2 is defending its album giveaway with Apple, saying 38 million people have listened to "Songs of Innocence". 
 
Pa. suspect had history with guns, mistrust of police
2014-09-18 19:51:26 (13 weeks ago) 
Eric Frein's neighbors described him as eccentric, while his sister defended him online
 
WBZ AccuWeather Evening Forecast For Sept. 18
2014-09-18 19:50:09 (13 weeks ago) 
;Eric Fisher has your latest weather forecast.






 
MP Hancock resigns from Lib Dems
2014-09-18 19:50:07 (13 weeks ago) 
Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock, who had faced allegations he sexually assaulted a constituent, resigns from the party.
 
World Population Could Hit 12.3 Billion by 2100
2014-09-18 19:42:55 (13 weeks ago) 
A
 
Democratic voter files petition with Kansas court to force party to pick new Senate nominee
2014-09-18 19:42:48 (13 weeks ago) 
 
'Bridgegate' Investigators Find No Link to Chris Christie
2014-09-18 19:41:51 (13 weeks ago) 
Investigators said on Thursday that there is no evidence of Governor Chris Christie’s advance knowledge of the George Washington Bridge traffic jam.






 
Potential ISIS Attack In Australia Prevented by Massive Raids
2014-09-18 19:41:51 (13 weeks ago) 
After Australia’s biggest counter-terrorism operation ever, U.S. officials are stepping up vigilance after new propaganda.






 
Shurtleff wants specifics from accusers, says charges leave him guessing
2014-09-18 19:40:41 (13 weeks ago) 
Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says the criminal charges against him are so vague.
 
Home Depot estimates data on 56 million cards stolen by cybercrimnals
2014-09-18 19:40:08 (13 weeks ago) 

The cybercriminals that compromised Home Depot's network and installed malware on the home-supply company's point-of-sale systems likely stole information on 56 million payment cards, the company stated on Thursday.

In the first details revealed in its investigation of the breach, the company said the malicious software that compromised those payment systems had been custom-built to avoid triggering security software. The breach included stores in the United States and Canada and appears to have compromised transactions that occurred between April and September 2014.

"To protect customer data until the malware was eliminated, any terminals identified with malware were taken of out service, and the company quickly put in place other security enhancements," Home Depot said in its statement. "The hacker's method of entry has been closed off, the malware has been eliminated from the company's systems, and the company has rolled out enhanced encryption of payment data to all U.S. stores."

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

 
Cantwell offers bill to strip NFL's nonprofit status
2014-09-18 19:32:31 (13 weeks ago) 
WASHINGTON -- Making good on her threat Tuesday, Sen. Maria Cantwell has introduced a bill to deny tax-exempt status to sports leagues that allow its franchise teams to use the term "redskins."
 
Vote counting begins on Scotland independence
2014-09-18 19:32:24 (13 weeks ago) 
Vote counting has begun in an epic independence referendum that could break up the centuries-old United Kingdom and create Europe's newest state since the collapse of Yugoslavia
 
Jerry Brown signs massage regulation, Armenian genocide instruction bills
2014-09-18 19:32:19 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Things to know about Scotland's vote for independence
2014-09-18 19:30:13 (13 weeks ago) 
null






 
Obama says Senate vote authorizing arms for Syria rebels shows US united against Islamic State
2014-09-18 19:22:42 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Despite King fire, Tahoe air show will go on – with free admission
2014-09-18 19:22:33 (13 weeks ago) 
Lake in the Sky Air Show officials are offering free admission to attract people to Saturday’s 25th annual event as smoke from the King fire invades the Tahoe Basin.
 
Jerry Brown signs massage regulation, Armenian genocide instruction bills
2014-09-18 19:22:33 (13 weeks ago) 
 
Two Simple Goals
2014-09-18 19:22:32 (13 weeks ago) 
submitted by j0lte0n to gaming
[link] [283 comments]
 
On Road to Scotland’s Referendum, Big Gambles and Fateful Steps
2014-09-18 19:21:57 (13 weeks ago) 
In the mid-1990s one in four Scots voted for the nationalists, compared with more than 40 percent who supported Labour. Today the referendum on independence is too close to call.
 
Bloom in the Bering Sea
2014-09-18 19:21:48 (13 weeks ago) 


Changing conditions in the waters near Alaska promotes late summer phytoplankton growth.

 
Personal Finance Daily: College football towns and big-shots who lie on their resumes
2014-09-18 19:21:44 (13 weeks ago) 
How to find deals when traveling to football games, and people who got caught lying on their resumes.
 
Senate approves Obama's plan to arm and train Syrian rebels
2014-09-18 19:21:33 (13 weeks ago) 
 
13 Principles Week of Action: The World Needs More Whistleblowers
2014-09-18 19:20:38 (13 weeks ago) 

This is a guest post from Sana Saleem, Advisory Board Member, Courage Foundation. If you have comments on this post, you can contact Sana on Twitter.

In the week leading up the first year aniversary of the 13 Necessary and Proportionate Principles, EFF and the coalition behind the 13 Principles will be conducting a Week of Action explaining some of the key guiding principles for surveillance law reform. Every day, we'll take on a different part of the principles, exploring what’s at stake and what we need to do to bring intelligence agencies and the police back under the rule of law. You can read the complete set of posts at: https://necessaryandproportionate.org/anniversary. Let's send a message to Member States at the United Nations and wherever else folks are tackling surveillance law reform: surveillance law can no longer ignore our human rights. Follow our discussion on twitter with the hashtag: #privacyisaright

The World Needs More Whistleblowers

During the Stockholm Internet Forum this year, a State Department representative was quick to flaunt reforms put in place by the US Government to ‘counter US mass surveillance programmes.’ However, he was unwilling to respond when faced with the simple question “If you are willing to reform laws and mend things, why not honor the man who triggered it, why not bring Edward Snowden home?”

Too often, whistleblowers aren’t valued for the reforms they instigate. Even as government worldwide are considering new ways to limit mass surveillance, there is scant discussion about the need to honor and protect whisteblowers.

The world needs more whistleblowers because those in positions of power are often expert as hiding corruption from the public. People with integrity and a desire for truth and justice within the political system are often our best hope for bringing light to this corruption.

But as much of the world’s press extensively reports on Wikileaks and the Snowden revelations, we must not dismiss the trepidation that comes with reporting the truth and exposing misuse of power. This trepidation will not dissipate unless there is a collective effort to protect and defend whistleblowers, and reform laws that allow for prosecuting them.

There’s also the pressing need to keep using the information provided by whistleblowers to push for necessary reforms and protections. Today is Day 4 of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) ‘Necessary and Proportionate’ week of action. The EFF is calling on governments to ensure surveillance law reform is guided by key principles. Today we focus on principle 4: the ‘Integrity of Communications and Systems, Safeguards Against Illegitimate Access, Protection on Whistleblowers, and Right to An Effective Remedy’.

What is meant by the ‘Integrity of Communications and Systems’ in practice? The NSA, or any other government for that matter, should not be able to compel service providers or hardware or software vendors to build surveillance or backdoors into their systems. These companies also should not collect or retain particular information purely for state surveillance purposes.

We now have confirmation that governments are going above and beyond compelling companies to build backdoors into their services. In an article posted on The Intercept this week journalist, documentary maker and Intercept co-founder Laura Poitras documents how the NSA is tapping into Germany’s largest telecommunications providers by accessing the passwords of the system administrators. This revelation was greeted with both shock and deep anger by the telco engineers. Governments need to go beyond merely not forcing companies to comply with backdoor requests, they must put an immediate stop to the accessing whole systems covertly. This point addresses the second element of principle 4, when state authorities illegitimately access personal data.

There is no possibility of protecting against this when it’s happening behind the backs of service providers and hardware and software vendors. This leaves the onus on governments, who, in democratic societies, are accountable to their citizens. The third part of this is an onus on government to protect their whistleblowers. The Obama administration, in what the Nieman Reports has labeled the “Big Chill”, is operating amid unprecedented secrecy—while attacking journalists trying to tell the public what they need to know

Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson:

“Several reporters who have covered national security in Washington for decades tell me that the environment has never been tougher or information harder to dislodge,"

Abramson said

"One Times reporter told me the environment in Washington has never been more hostile to reporting."

Protection of whistleblowers is critically important for the protection of a just society. But it’s not just whistleblowers under attack: it is also increasingly difficult to advocate for whistleblowers given the government and the media’s treatment of those who seek to protect whistleblowers.

The Courage Foundation was set up to provide legal and policy support for those who have made a decision to stand up to the abuse of power, risk their career and, in some cases, family life, so that our liberties are protected. It is for this reason that the need to provide stronger protections for whistleblowers, in such a difficult climate, is incredibly important.

Finally, what happens when the state conducts illegal and warrantless surveillance against its citizens? Snowden’s revelations have revealed state intrusion into the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans and citizens around the world, without proof for suspicion. Does the legal system allow us to challenge such surveillance in court? If it does, what would happen to the US government if they were found guilty of illegally surveilling you or me? The Necessary and Proportionate principles argue for civil and criminal penalties imposed on any party responsible for illegal electronic surveillance and those affected by surveillance must have access to legal mechanisms necessary for effective redress.

Tomorrow is Friday, day 5, in which the EFF and its supporters around the world will call on governments to improve safeguards for International Cooperation and Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Law. The Courage Foundation stands beside the EFF’s campaign and calls on all rights groups and activists seeking to preserve an Internet free from surveillance to support this campaign.

It was little over a year ago when Edward Snowden performed an act of remarkable conscience. Snowden’s actions have empowered a generation of us to stand up to abuses and to do the right thing, even when it’s not convenient. With the increasing power and resources of state surveillance programs, the world is in dire need of more whistleblowers to continue this fight.

Related Issues: InternationalSurveillance and Human Rights
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Europe in the New Middle East: Opportunity or Exclusion
2014-09-18 19:20:16 (13 weeks ago) 
How far has EU foreign policy succeeded in meeting the challenge of the Arab spring?
 
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