But how can you justify enriching the already wealthy while making life harder for those struggling to get by? The answer is, you need an economic theory claiming that such a policy is the key to prosperity for all. So supply-side economics fills a need backed by lots of money, and the fact that it keeps failing doesn’t matter.
And the Kansas debacle won’t matter either. Oh, it will briefly give states considering similar policies pause. But the effect won’t last long, because faith in tax-cut magic isn’t about evidence; it’s about finding reasons to give powerful interests what they want.
It’s like hearing someone in church boasting about not leaving anything in the collection plate.
Pay your taxes you crybabies!
The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception under the Affordable Care Act violated a federal law protecting religious freedom.
The 5-to-4 decision, which applied to two companies owned by Christian families, opened the door to challenges from other corporations to many laws that may be said to violate their religious liberty.
Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the court’s five more conservative justices, said a federal religious-freedom law applied to for-profit corporations controlled by religious families. He added that the requirement that the companies provide contraception coverage imposed a substantial burden on the companies’ religious liberty.
a company can now have religious liberty. Can they also play Mario Kart?
And since previously they did not allow religious objections to things like blood transfusions, can we safely assume it mattered this was dealing with ladies fucking?
Weirdly narrow, pretty much blatantly misogynistic, and still kicks the door wide open. Not good.
I’d like to congratulate Hillary Clinton on winning the 2016 Presidential Election today.
This kid is too cool for school.
When David Yearsley, 11, was taking his fifth-grade school photo, he’d thought he’d jazz things up a bit – with a knitted beard hat, no less.
“I had no idea he was going to do it,” his mom, Sonja Yearsley, of West Richland, Washington, told ABC News. “It was all his idea.”
This kid is going places!
Some other parents, however, not so much:
Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.
Though it is far too early to make any definitive declarations about emerging social trends, there are some promising indications that things are moving in the right direction here in Colorado:
- According to Uniform Crime Reporting data for Denver, there has been a 10.1% decrease in overall crime from this time last year and a 5.2% drop in violent crime.
- The state has garnered over 10 million in taxes from retail sales in the first 4 months. The first 40 million of this tax revenue is earmarked for public schools and infrastructure, as well as for youth educational campaigns about substance use.
- There are renewed efforts to study the medical efficacy of marijuana within the state, making Colorado an epicenter for marijuana research.
- The marijuana industry has developed quickly, generating thousands of new jobs. It is estimated there are currently about 10,000 people directly involved with this industry, with 1,000 to 2,000 gaining employment in the past few months alone.
- Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who opposed Amendment 64, recently compared Colorado’s economy since legalization to that of other states by noting, “While the rest of the country’s economy is slowly picking back up, we’re thriving here in Colorado.” For example, the demand for commercial real estate has increased drastically, with houses in the state appreciating up to 8.7 percent in the past year alone.
- The voters of Colorado retain an overall positive view of the regulated marijuana market, with 54% of Colorado voters still supporting marijuana legalization and regulation, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.
- By removing criminal penalties for certain marijuana-related offenses, thousands of individuals will avoid the collateral consequences associated with a criminal record. The state is estimated to potentially save $12-40 million over the span of a year simply by ending arrests for marijuana possession.
In Sachen Ausspähen scheint die NSA wieder einen Schritt voraus zu sein: Medienberichten zufolge belauscht der amerikanische Geheimdienst auch das neue Krypto-Handy der Kanzlerin.
Nach Bekanntwerden des NSA-Lauschangriffs auf die Bundesregierung sollten neue Verschlüsselungs-Smartphones des Typs BlackBerry 10 die Gespräche der Kanzlerin und ihres Kabinetts vor unbefugtem Mithören schützen. Doch der amerikanische Geheimdienst hat auch die neuen Krypto-Telefone bereits entschlüsselt, berichtet die “Bild am Sonntag”. Ein ranghoher Mitarbeiter des US-Geheimdienstes in Deutschland habe das bestätigt. “Die technischen Veränderungen beeinträchtigen unsere Arbeit nicht” sagte der Abhör-Spezialist der Bild.
The million dollar question is now how the nsa got access to the new blackberry+secusmart…
And to go above the million dollar prize… I find it hard to believe the german government is stupid enough to buy an enhanced version of an insecure and subverted platform. If I were Merkel I would wonder who gave me this advice. Why not follow the same path as the French did – have a local defense contractor do a limited edition modification of the german cryptophone.
And for us peons, it’s safe to assume our smartphone usage is unsecurable and act accordingly.
The cybersecurity bill making its way through the Senate right now is so broad that it could allow ISPs to classify Netflix as a “cyber threat,” which would allow them to throttle the streaming service’s delivery to customers.
It would be a backdoor way for ISPs to undermine net neutrality, and it’s one of the reasons why the Cybersecurity Information Protection Act of 2014—modeled on the CISPA bill that the internet has rallied against twice already—is so terrible for consumers (the other is the unfettered ferry of information between companies and the federal government, but that’s another story).
In the United States, most government aid takes the form of in-kind transfers: that is, the government gives you stuff, or a voucher to buy specific stuff, rather than just cash to buy whatever you like. That has led to a panoply of programs — food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid, insurance subsidies — that are each focused on a particular purpose. But there’s only value in giving people, say, food rather than money if they wouldn’t have used the money to buy food anyway. And a new study suggests that when people in Mexico got cash rather than food aid, they spent it on… food.
A candidate who was soundly defeated in Tuesday’s Republican primary by U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas says he will contest the election because the incumbent congressman is dead and an imposter is filling his shoes.
Timothy Ray Murray garnered 5.2 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s three-candidate Republican primary, which Lucas won outright with 82.8 percent.
On Wednesday, Murray, who listed his residence as Moore on his declaration of candidacy, announced he would contest the election.
In a press release posted on his campaign website, he alleges “it is widely known Rep. Frank D. Lucas is no longer alive and has been displayed (sic) by a look alike. Rep. Lucas was depicted as being executed along with others on a white stage in southern Ukraine on or about Jan. 11, 2011.”
Lucas could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Vatican has said it will restrict the movements of its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic after the senior papal representative, who was accused of sex abuse, was found guilty by a church court and defrocked.
In a statement on Friday the Vatican said Józef Wesołowski, who was recalled to Rome by Pope Francis last August amid allegations that he had paid for sex with minors, had in recent days been given a first-grade conviction in a canonical trial and sentenced to laicisation – a very rare step for such a senior official.
The Polish ex-nuncio, or ambassador, now has two months to appeal against the verdict of the Congregation of the Faith, said the statement. Criminal proceedings by judicial authorities in the Vatican City state would go ahead after the conviction was made definitive, it added.
And he’ll be convicted to spend time in a cozy Vatican City “restricted movement” instead of a Dominican cell. And they’re saying this with a straight face:
A month after his return, the Vatican said it would cooperate with Dominican authorities, and denied accusations that it was trying to shield him from investigations in the Caribbean , saying it was “in no way an attempt to help him avoid responsibility for whatever is eventually ascertained”
Cheese be upon you after sundown!
Scientists at Facebook have published a paper showing that they manipulated the content seen by more than 600,000 users in an attempt to determine whether this would affect their emotional state. The paper, “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks,” was published in The Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences. It shows how Facebook data scientists tweaked the algorithm that determines which posts appear on users’ news feeds—specifically, researchers skewed the number of positive or negative terms seen by randomly selected users. Facebook then analyzed the future postings of those users over the course of a week to see if people responded with increased positivity or negativity of their own, thus answering the question of whether emotional states can be transmitted across a social network. Result: They can! Which is great news for Facebook data scientists hoping to prove a point about modern psychology. It’s less great for the people having their emotions secretly manipulated.
In order to sign up for Facebook, users must click a box saying they agree to the Facebook Data Use Policy, giving the company the right to access and use the information posted on the site. The policy lists a variety of potential uses for your data, most of them related to advertising, but there’s also a bit about “internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.”
So by not reading 100 pages of legal crap about terms and conditions you become a valid research subject?
And this is considered ethical?
Did I somehow miss the part where Freud took money and power for offering his services to the purveyors of war and cigarettes?
If only the people working on the Stanford prison experiment had known…
As part of the American Civil Liberties Union’s recent report on police militarization, the Massachusetts chapter of the organization sent open records requests to SWAT teams across that state. It received an interesting response.
In other words, where violent, volatile SWAT tactics were once used only in limited situations where someone was in the process of or about to commit a violent crime — where the police were using violence only to defuse an already violent situation — SWAT teams today are overwhelmingly used to investigate people who are still only suspected of committing nonviolent consensual crimes. And because these raids often involve forced entry into homes, often at night, they’re actually creating violence and confrontation where there was none before.
The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously rejected a Massachusetts law that created 35-foot buffer zones around entrances to abortion clinics.
The law was prompted by a history of violence, including 1994 shootings at two facilities.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the state claimed “undeniably significant interests in maintaining public safety on streets and sidewalks, as well as in preserving access to adjacent health care facilities.”
But it took an “extreme step” in shutting portions of public sidewalks to protesters exercising their free speech rights, he wrote in a decision that suggested the state could pursue the same goals in other ways.
“The Attorney General alluded to the fact that the Supreme Court has its own buffer zone,” said Walz. “It was silent today about the constitutionality of its own buffer zone. It side-stepped the issue of whether or not its own buffer zone is constitutional, but the rationale expressed in the decision today certainly calls into question the constitutionality of the [court's] buffer zone, so it will be interesting to see going forward how they address the applicability of today’s decision to what they get the benefit of each and every day that the women in our healthcare centers will no longer get the benefit of.”
In the latest gaffe to demonstrate the privacy perils of anonymized data, New York City officials have inadvertently revealed the detailed comings and goings of individual taxi drivers over more than 173 million trips.
City officials released the data in response to a public records request and specifically obscured the drivers’ hack license numbers and medallion numbers. Rather than including those numbers in plaintext, the 20 gigabyte file contained one-way cryptographic hashes using the MD5 algorithm. Instead of a record showing medallion number 9Y99 or hack number 5296319, for example, those numbers were converted to 71b9c3f3ee5efb81ca05e9b90c91c88f and 98c2b1aeb8d40ff826c6f1580a600853, respectively. Because they’re one-way hashes, they can’t be mathematically converted back into their original values. Presumably, officials used the hashes to preserve the privacy of individual drivers since the records provide a detailed view of their locations and work performance over an extended period of time.
It turns out there’s a significant flaw in the approach. Because both the medallion and hack numbers are structured in predictable patterns, it was trivial to run all possible iterations through the same MD5 algorithm and then compare the output to the data contained in the 20GB file. Software developer Vijay Pandurangan did just that, and in less than two hours he had completely de-anonymized all 173 million entries.
The Obama administration has caved in to pressure from the European Union in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations on surveillance by promising to pass legislation granting European citizens many of the privacy protection rights enjoyed by US citizens.
The proposed law would apply to data on European citizens being transferred to the US for what Washington says is law enforcement purposes.
So they are going to lie to us in the exact same way they lie to their own citizens. Not much of an improvement.
Holder said: “The Obama administration is committed to seeking legislation that would ensure that … EU citizens would have the same right to seek judicial redress for intentional or wilful disclosures of protected information and for refusal to grant access or to rectify any errors in that information, as would a US citizen under the Privacy Act.
So, in practice, none at all.
In a major statement on privacy rights in the digital age, the Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled that the police need warrants to search the cellphones of people they arrest.
Next time there’s a Mormon at your door, just quote these ironic parts from their letter to Kate Kelly:
In his letter Monday to Kelly, Harrison said it had been his greatest desire to persuade Kelly to “desist from the course on which you have embarked” to keep her in the faith and to protect the “integrity of the church and its doctrine.”
“The difficulty, Sister Kelly, is not that you say you have questions or even that you believe that women should receive the priesthood. The problem is that you have persisted in an aggressive effort to persuade other church members to your point of view and that your course of action has threatened to erode the faith of others,” Harrison wrote. “You are entitled to your views, but you are not entitled to promote them and proselyte others to them while remaining in full fellowship in the church.”
Assalam Alaikum. The Imam Of The Sunnah, Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah swt have mercy on him and grant him the highest of Jannah) said in his Haadi al-Arwaah describing Jannah – about the Hoor :
“And if you ask about their brides and wives, then they are young and full-breasted and have had the liquid of youth flow through their limbs; the Sun runs along the beauty of her face if she shows it, light shines from between her teeth if she smiles; if you meet her love, then say whatever you want regarding the joining of two lights; he sees his face in the roundness of her cheek as if he is looking into a polished mirror, and he sees the brightness from behind her muscles and bones; if she were to be unleashed upon the World, she would fill what is between the Heavens and the Earth with a beautiful wind, and the mouths of the creation would glorifiy, praise, and exclaim greatness, and everything between the East and the West would be adorned for her, and every eye would be shut from everthing but her, and the light of the Sun would be outshone just as the light of the Sun outshines the light of the stars, and everyone on the face of the Earth would believe in the Ever-Living, the One who Sustains and Protects all the exists.”
“And the covering on her head is better than the World and all that is in it, and she does not increase with age except in beauty; free from an umbilical cord, childbirth and menses, and pure of mucous, saliva, urine and other filthy things; her youth never fades, her clothing is never worn out, no garment can be created that matches her beauty, and no one who is with her can ever become bored; her attention is restricted to her husband, so she desires none but him, just as his attention is restricted to her so she is the sole object of his desire, and he is with her in utmost safety and security, as none has touched her before of either humans or Jinn.”
The U.S. government’s no-fly list banning people accused of links to terrorism from commercial flights violates their constitutional rights because it gives them no meaningful way to contest that decision, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Anna Brown, ruling on a lawsuit filed in federal court in Oregon by 13 Muslim Americans who were branded with the no-fly status, ordered the government to come up with new procedures that allow people on the no-fly list to challenge that designation.
“The court concludes international travel is not a mere convenience or luxury in this modern world. Indeed, for many international travel is a necessary aspect of liberties sacred to members of a free society,” Brown wrote in her 65-page ruling.