News organizations cultivate a reputation for demanding transparency, whether by suing for access to government documents, dispatching camera crews to the doorsteps of recalcitrant politicians, or editorializing in favor of open government.
But now many of the country’s biggest media companies, which own dozens of newspapers and TV news operations, are flexing their muscle in Washington in a fight against a government initiative to increase transparency of political spending.
The corporate owners or sister companies of some of the biggest names in journalism — NBC News, ABC News, Fox News, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Politico, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and dozens of local TV news outlets — are lobbying against a Federal Communications Commission measure that would require broadcasters to post political ad data on the Internet.
They’re all for transparency except when it comes to their own income.
So according to the Test Development Center, it appears that it is acceptable to use scientifically correct answers for wrong responses on the Science FCAT as long as FLDOE does not expect a fifth grader to be educated enough to realize that the wrong answers are scientifically correct.
I wonder how many students got “wrong” answers on the FCAT because their teachers taught them too much. How many “F” schools would have higher grades if those scientifically correct “wrong” answers were counted as correct answers. How many “B” schools would get the extra funding that “A” schools get, if those scientifically correct “wrong” answers were counted as correct answers?
Last week a large, profitable company sued a small start-up business for patent infringement. As a non-legal person, I can only guess that this sort of thing must happen fairly often. I would also guess that the large companies, which have the means to hire crackerjack legal teams and drag cases out, must often win. And while I guess I feel bad for the small businesses, I’ve never really cared before now.
Because this time, the stakes are high.
This time, it’s my daughter’s voice on the line. Literally.
A casual text message to work colleagues encouraging them to "blow away" the competition at a trade show allegedly plunged a Muslim man into a terrorism probe.Telecommunications sales manager Saad Allami says the innocent message, aimed at pumping up his staff, has had devastating consequences on his life.The Quebec man says he was arrested by provincial police while picking up his seven-year-old son at school. A team of police officers stormed into his home, telling his wife she was married to a terrorist. And his work colleagues were detained for hours at the U.S. border because of their connection to him.
It’s getting safer in Canada, too.
While campaigning yesterday in Woodland Park, Colorado, GOP contender Rick Santorum told a sick child and his mother that they shouldn’t complain about the exorbitant cost of his medication because some people spend $900 on iPads. He appeared unmoved by the plight of the family, staunchly defending drug companies’ right to charge whatever they want.
The candidate also said that the parent and child unjustly felt entitled to get life-saving care at an affordable rate
According to Senator Dodd, "technology business interests" are resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into corporate pawns rather than coming to the table to find solutions. "It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services," he writes. "It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today."
"It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests," he writes.
"A so-called ‘blackout’ is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals," the Senator continues. "It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this ‘blackout’ to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy."
Shame on those evil piracy-promoting people at Wikipedia putting their business interests ahead of… wait, what? Wait, no, it’s DANGEROUS to black out those websites. Be careful out there today.
Smith, a 29-year-old lawmaker from Columbus, was pulled over after leaving Hal’s restaurant on Old Ivy Road and allegedly running a red light while traveling southbound on Peachtree Road, the police report said.
Efforts to contact Smith were unsuccessful Friday night.
Atlanta police Officer Z.A. Kramer, who was following the lawmaker’s 1998 gold four-door Jaguar XJ8, said the traffic light had just turned red when Smith went through the intersection at Pharr Road.
Kramer said he informed Smith, who was traveling alone, why he was stopped, and the lawmaker told him he didn’t realize the light was red.
“I observed the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Mr. Smith’s breath,” Kramer said in his report. “He advised me he was a state representative and gave the name ‘Kip Smith.’”
Smith, whose given name is John Andrew Smith, first told the officer he had not consumed any alcoholic beverages.
“I asked him again, and he stated he had consumed a single beer at Hal’s. I noticed also that Mr. Smith’s eyes were watery, and I asked him to exit the vehicle, which he did,” Kramer said in the report.
Smith told the officer he’d had the beer 45 minutes earlier, and the officer asked him to blow into a hand-held “intoximeter”. The officer said the lawmaker refused, stating he would prefer to go to a clinic or the hospital to get tested.
The officer told Smith that was done only after an arrest, and that Smith had not been placed under arrest, but Smith “seemed to be having a difficult time understanding what I was trying to explain to him,” the officer said in the report.
The officer said Smith finally agreed to blow into the device. The report stated that Smith blew a .091., which is above the legal limit of .08.
Kip Smith co-sponsored HB 464, which is one of the many bills that would require drug testing for public assistance. I guess he knows from personal experience why testing for any intoxication is a good thing…
I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.
No. Instead they should:
1) boil every nuanced issue down to two diametrically-opposed sides
2) give each side equal reporting time even if the one side represents a fringe opinion not shared by most people qualified to discuss the issue
3) assume a kind of faux “objectivity” in which news reporters are not allowed to describe actual facts but only to present the “competing theories” of the two sides
4) if by accident a news story should suggest that a fact presented by one individual might be false, immediately correct for this by pointing out that individuals on the opposing team also sometimes present false facts. Bonus points if these counterexample facts have nothing to do with the issue under discussion and serve only to stretch the human capacity for metaphorical thinking to its breaking point.
You’ve probably seen those headlines about Tim Cook making $378 million in Apple stock last year. Those articles are mostly a bit confused. He was awarded restricted stock, to vest over the next 10 years. Apple is just reporting the whole grant to the SEC in the year it was made.
OK, that seems a bit more reasonable than a $378 million payday, right?
Well, let’s do a thought experiment to see how much Cook actually might make with those 900,000 shares he will receive if he doesn’t get fired or leave before then.
I’m sure Apple’s Board would be happy if Cook kept Apple growing as much as it has the last 10 years. That seems like a good benchmark.
From Fall of 2001 to Fall of 2011), Apple stock increased from about $9 to $378, or 42x.
If Cook is successful and the stock tracks along, then in the Fall of 2021 his stock price will be 42 * $378, and Cook was not given options (where you only make money if the stock goes up) but actual stock, so he makes the full value, or 42 * $378 * 900k.
Per year Cook would make 1.4 billion dollars.
(He only has to do roughly 1/4th as well as the past 10 years to make roughly $378 million per year.)
Sometimes I lose my faith in humanity…
Note how the 8.6 percent unemployment rate in November looks higher than March’s 8.8 percent rate, and about the same as the 9 percent unemployment rate in October.
The US Air Force dumped the cremated, partial remains of at least 274 troops in a landfill before halting the secretive practice in 2008, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
The procedure was never formally authorized or disclosed to senior Pentagon officials, who conducted a review of the cremation policies of Dover Air Base — the main point of entry for US war dead — in 2008, the Post said.
Nor was the dumping ever disclosed to the families of the fallen troops, who had authorized the military to dispose of the remains in a respectful and dignified manner, the Post said, citing Air Force officials.
Honoring the fallen….
Naomi Wolf’s feverish article charging that the crackdowns of occupy locations were being coordinated by federal law enforcement agencies has captured the #OWS collective consciousness.
And, as it turns out, the sole basis for her article — Rick Ellis’s article in Examiner.com — was debunked by Ellis himself nine days before Wolf decided to feed her feverish fact-free article to the frenzied masses.
The Naomi Wolf article in question is the one that was posted here.
[edited to fix link]
WISC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Madison, reports that Grant County, Wisconsin, District Attorney Lisa Riniker, who charged a 6-year-old boy with first-degree sexual assault becaused he played doctor with a 5-year-old girl, has obtained a gag order that prohibits his parents, who have sued Riniker and two other county officials, from talking about the case. Iowa County Judge Bill Dyke issued the order last Monday, forcing the boy’s parents to cancel a planned interview with WISC.
Britain’s jobless young people are being sent to work for supermarkets and budget stores for up to two months for no pay and no guarantee of a job, the Guardian can reveal.
Under the government’s work experience programme young jobseekers are exempted from national minimum wage laws for up to eight weeks and are being offered placements in Tesco, Poundland, Argos, Sainsbury’s and a multitude of other big-name businesses.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says that if jobseekers "express an interest" in an offer of work experience they must continue to work without pay, after a one-week cooling-off period or face having their benefits docked.
Young people have told the Guardian that they are doing up to 30 hours a week of unpaid labour and have to be available from 9am to 10pm.
Which leaves them no time at all to look for real jobs. But then again, why would any company hire an employee if the government provides them for free?
Anybody want to bet these “apprenticeships” count as employment in government stats? In a few months there will be proud claims unemployment went down despite the economy in the shitter.
Who needs leafy greens and carrots when pizza and french fries will do?
In an effort many 9-year-olds will cheer, Congress wants pizza and french fries to stay on school lunch lines and is fighting the Obama administration’s efforts to take unhealthy foods out of schools.
This time around, food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools, the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes and lobbied Congress.
Well, it could be worse – the US has a history of calling people who give out free breakfast to kids communist outlaws bent on overthrowing the U.S. government.
Virginia Republicans were in apology mode Monday over a Halloween-themed email that depicted a zombie-like President Obama with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.
The northern Virginia-based Too Conservative blog first flagged the mailer from the local Republicans in Loudon County promoting a local holiday parade. It also offers a ghoulish caricature of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi D-San Francisco).
“I am no fan of Barack Obama, but putting up a photo of him as a zombie with a bullet hole in his head?” the blog stated. “Someone should send this to the US Secret Service.”
Our commitment to a balanced approach to drug control is real
No, not really. Because if the rest of the answer to the petition was real, you’d immediately make alcohol and tobacco illegal.
For example, how can you say, with dry eyes, that “marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions” and two paragraphs later that “we are improving our criminal justice system to divert non-violent offenders into treatment”
Ever heard of “self-fulfilling prophecies”?
Oh, and read the response to the “Under God” petition as well. So it’s official, whitehouse.gov petitions are nothing but mental masturbation. Pricks pretending to care.
Earlier this week, U.K. tabloids such as The Times and The Daily Mail suggested that London’s Occupy LSX protest was left largely empty at night, and used pictures taken by thermal imaging cameras as evidence. With only one or two ‘hot’ tents glowing in a field of darkness, it looked like the campsite was a fraud.
A visit to the camp already proved it plenty full, but
after renting the same model of camera and shooting the above video, however, activists also proved that tents remain “cold” to the cameras even when occupied. This insulating effect is the purpose of tents, whose heat-reflectivity is marketed by the companies that make them.
Moreover, the footage shows that activity in and around camp is still apparent at night, despite the insulating effect of the material. Presumably, those taking the original thermal images could observe the camp and assess the occupation level with their own eyes, too.
Only in carefully-selected thermal stills would the protest camp appear empty, leaving the impression the reporters must have known the story spun from the thermal images wasn’t true.
Established by Congress to investigate and expose government waste, the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan has decided to not reveal its volumes of materials to the public for another two decades.
After three years of work, the commission officially shut down last week, having concluded that the U.S. misspent between $31 billion and $60 billion in contracting for services in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But it won’t allow its records to be opened for public review at the National Archives until 2031, because some of the documents contain “sensitive information,” according to one official.
So they know who stole the money, and whoever did it is important enough to get protection..
We’ve seen before that organizations don’t seem to react well to outside security folks pointing out vulnerabilities in their systems. They very often take a “blame the messenger” approach — as if pointing out a flaw suddenly makes that flaw come into existence. But one company seems to be taking it to another level. That Anonymous Coward points us to a story in which a security professional found a big and ridiculously obvious bug in the website of an Australian investment fund, First State Superannuation. Apparently you could see other people’s accounts by merely changing the account numbers in the URL. Increase the number by one, and see the next user in line. This is the kind of extraordinarily basic mistake that I thought had been eradicated a decade ago. Apparently not.
But the company that runs the fund, Pillar, went quite crazy about this. While the company did fix the security hole, it also sent the police to interrogate the security researcher, Patrick Webster. Pillar also sent a letter to customers (pdf) in which it suggests that Webster created this massive security flaw, rather than their own dreadful programming:
It has come to our attention that a member of First State Super, who has online access to their account, devised a way to view an image of your statement.
And then, to add insult to injury, Pillar sent Webster a letter saying he broke the law, they were closing his account, and may seek money from him to fix the vulnerability
STATE Parliament is set to pass new legislation making it a criminal offence to "insult" Gaming Minister Michael O’Brien.
Fines of up to $11,945 will be given to anyone found guilty of upsetting the minister and his staff under the extraordinary new offence.
The Baillieu Government is seeking changes to the Gaming Regulation Act which it says are "reasonably necessary to respect the rights and reputation of the minister and authorised persons". If passed, the ruling will become law.
The amendment proposed to the Act will make it an offence to "assault, obstruct, hinder, threaten, abuse, insult or intimidate" the minister or authorised persons exercising "due diligence" in monitoring gambling systems such as pokies.
State Labor has seized on the extraordinary amendment, with Opposition gaming spokesman Martin Pakula branding the minister "Windscreens O’Brien – because this proves he’s got a glass jaw".
"Is the minister so precious that he now needs legislation to protect him from insults?" he said.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, risks an explosive rift inside the Coalition with an explicit call for the scrapping of the Human Rights Act.
“I’d personally like to see the Human Rights Act go because I think we have had some problems with it,” she says.
So, I am gravely serious when I write this – if I catch someone not replacing the milk, or at least, in the case where the downstairs store has close already, not sending an email to the office so the first person that arrives (usually Christa or me) can pick one up upon arrival – then I am going to fire you. Im not joking. You will be fired for not replacing the milk, and have fun explaining that one to your next employer. This is not a empty threat so PLEASE don’t test me.
Even after a teen-ager tragically committed suicide in suburban Buffalo this month in the wake of constant harassment, the bullying allegedly did not stop with his death.
The parents of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, who was found dead at their home on Sept. 18, indicated in an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Ann Curry on Tuesday that their daughter endured further taunts at a school function immediately after Jamey’s wake. At a homecoming dance she attended shortly after her brother’s death, a potentially poignant moment turned ugly after a song by Lady Gaga, Jamey’s favorite artist, who recently dedicated a song at a concert in his memory.
“She was having a great time, and all of a sudden a Lady Gaga song came on, and they all started chanting for Jamey, all of his friends,’’ Jamey’s mother, Tracy, told Curry. “Then the bullies that put him into this situation started chanting, ‘You’re better off dead!’ and ‘We’re glad you’re dead!’ and things like that.
"A substantial number of scientists [have] manipulated data to keep the money rolling in," New Hampshire Union Leader editorial page editor Drew Cline quoted Perry saying on the stump in a tweet. Before that, Cline quoted Perry saying, "I do believe the issue of global warming has been politicized."
Let’s talk about money rolling in, shall we?
Perry has also shown an eagerness to do the bidding of his major supporters. Most notably, his second-biggest all-time donor, Harold Simmons, owns a nuclear waste dump. Perry led the charge in 2010, while Simmons gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Perry’s re-election campaign, to allow Simmons to import nuclear waste from thirty-eight states. On June 27 of this year, ten days after Perry signed the legislation, Simmons gave $100,000 to Americans for Rick Perry. Tom Smith, director of Public Citizen’s Texas office, estimates that the rule change will bring upward of $2 billion for Simmons. “If you put money in Perry’s purse, he’ll create policies you need,” says Smith.
How’s that for a pot calling a kettle black?
The patriots at Free Republic know a fellow traveler when they see one:
I’ve seen the video based on the Berwick manifesto and I have to agree with almost all of it. I’m starting to read the manifesto and so far, it is dead on.
He was right about the stifling of speech by the MSM. Perhaps that is where we need to direct our efforts. It is my feeling that the MSM is somewhat culpable because they do try to stifle speech. Perhaps this wouldn’t have happened if he felt his voice was being heard seriously, rather than ridiculed.
The thing is that much of the writing in the manifesto is spot on in its analysis of Islam, the threat posed to Western culture and democratic systems of government by multiculturalism and by Marxism and their sympathizers. There is little evidence in the first 800 or so pages that this is guy who would become so radicalized he would shoot up and blow up innocent people.
He strongly defends and argues in favor of the constitutional rights we enjoy in the United States. He rejects Nazism and other “hateful” ideologies. He shows understandable alarm at the loss of freedoms in the name of tolerance. None of these would be foreign to conservative philosophy. You can tell he researched his subject very well and the argument he presents in favor of protecting Western culture is one I would not fault.
On Saturday, an 8-inch pipeline in BP’s Lisburne oil field — near Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay — was being pressure-tested when the pipe burst, releasing crude oil, methanol, and water across a gravel pad and into a small pond. Buildings nearby shook from the force of the rupture, and heavy winds blew the oily mixture across roughly 7,000 square feet of tundra and gravel.
There’s some compelling evidence that this was a preventable spill. A 2010 investigation by ProPublica revealed that 148 sections of BP pipeline in Alaska (including the one that burst) were so corroded that they were in imminent danger of rupture. Internal records showed that these pipelines had worn so thin — in some cases as thin as a few thousandths of an inch — that they should be operated only under reduced pressure. The investigation also found that regular maintenance of BP’s pipelines and facilities throughout Alaska had been neglected for more than a decade, due to a company-wide effort to reduce operating costs.
To the good: they treat hacking as a problem and scandal. To the incredible/bad: they present their (now closed) UK sister publication News of the World as a victim of the hacking problem, rather than as a perpetrator.
Watch, if you can stand to.