A prominent barrister specialising in reproductive rights has called for the age of consent to be lowered to 13.
Barbara Hewson told online magazine Spiked that the move was necessary in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal to end the “persecution of old men”.
Oh, why didn’t we think of this? End the sexual exploitation of children by making it legal!
Given this history, being told by the IMF to go easy on austerity is like being told by the Spanish Inquisition to be more tolerant of heretics. The chancellor and his team should be worried.
If even the IMF doesn’t approve, why is the UK government persisting with a policy that is clearly not working? Or, for that matter, why is the same policy pushed through across Europe? A certain dead economist would have said it is because the government is “in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor”. Dead right.
What free-market economists are not telling us is that the politics they want to get rid of are none other than those of democracy itself. When they say we need to insulate economic policies from politics, they are in effect advocating the castration of democracy.
The conflict surrounding austerity policies in Europe is, then, not just about figures on budget, unemployment and growth rate. It is also about the meaning of democracy./blockquote>
Strange, isn’t it, that hunches and vague tips about potential marijuana growing (in a state that recently legalized the drug!) is motivation enough to send a SWAT team busting down a door? Compare that to recent reports that police in Cleveland, Ohio ignored years of tips and calls about strange things going on in the home of the three Cleveland men suspected of holding captive, brutally raping and beating three women for nearly a decade.
“The statistical demands of the drug war and the grants that come from the federal government — all they do is incentivize our local police to chase drugs and chase seizures so they can supplement their budgets,” Downing said. “We call that ‘policing for profit.’”
Perhaps the strongest example of how drug war policing can distract resources from more pressing problems is the use of department laboratories. In Ohio, police agencies across the state have sent more than 2,300 untested rape kits to a state crime lab for testing. Some of them are decades old, and could contain vital clues regarding suspects in rapes. But they’ve been backed up in police departments across the country.
“What they don’t talk about is why do they have that backlog in the first place?” said Downing. “The answer is that drugs take a priority because they often involve people in custody, and they’re going to be in court, so when they show up in court, they’re going to have those tests. Thousands and thousands of tests run through our police labs for drugs when most of the time it’s a personal use decision. Most of the time it’s a recreational use of drugs rather than an abuse of drugs. But our criminal justice system is completely involved in dealing with drug crime rather than dealing with crime that truly affects public safety, like property and crimes against persons.”
Doesn’t it bother you that your name is being used to peddle one of the worst anti-virus products on the market? Often it comes pre-installed on computers as a 30 day trial (crapware), with dire warnings flashed up in the event that the user fails to pay (scareware). The performance hit it brings is huge. Would you advise anyone else to name their product/company after themselves in this way?
McAfee: I haven’t been involved with McAfee Ant-virus for 21 years. When I ran the company the software was the best and least intrusive on the market, and in 1991 we had 87% of the world market. What happened after I left was none of my doing. As to name association, I am a master at sullying my own name and, all things considered, being associated with the worst software on the planet ranks way down the pole. It’s barely a blip in the ocean of associations – madman, paranoid, child molester, murderer, drug addict, unstable, liar, to name but a few.Thank god I’m 67 and will probably be too hard of hearing soon enough to have to listen to them rattling around wherever I go. Amy, thankfully, did half the job already by bursting my left eardrum when she tried to shoot me in the head while I slept back in 2011.
Footage of a shootout between police and an alleged drug trafficker in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has emerged.
In the short video, police can be seen firing from a helicopter at a car, as it speeds through the city.
The car eventually stops and is surrounded by people from the local area but the suspect flees the scene. The accused drug trafficker was found dead a day later in a parked car.
The chase happened last year and authorities have now launched an investigation into whether the officers involved used excessive force.
Quote (not recommended as the site is full of ads for sh*t ‘n’ paradise)
Many of our readers have urged Catholic Online to interview Dr. Roy Spencer as a leading, qualified skeptic on the issue of anthropogenic global warming.
blah…blah…blah (although the interviewer asks fairly sane questions)
COL: Let’s say tomorrow, evidence is found that proves to everyone that global warming as a result of human released emissions of CO2 and methane, is real. What would you suggest we do?
SPENCER: I would say we need to grow the economy as fast as possible, in order to afford the extra R&D necessary to develop new energy technologies. Current solar and wind technologies are too expensive, unreliable, and can only replace a small fraction of our energy needs. Since the economy runs on inexpensive energy, in order to grow the economy we will need to use fossil fuels to create that extra wealth. In other words, we will need to burn even more fossil fuels in order to find replacements for fossil fuels.
There, right there, is the problem. Telling everyone we can do whatever we like and everything will be A-OK. “Party on! Guilt-free futures for everyone! Everything will work out for the best!”
1. What has this got to do with Catholics? Why is anyone pressing to have this person interviewed?
2. I’m a qualified skeptic. He’s not. This person is, in my opinion, either mad, bad or sad.
Sometimes I feel like the NRA is actively just trying to lose all the credibility it has left in this world.
Just when you thought the NRA’s annual convention in Houston this weekend couldn’t draw any more negative attention, it goes out and casually promotes a company selling a product that can help you practice shooting your ex-girlfriend. You know, in case you need that to defend yourself one day from your ex-girlfriend. We all know them ex-honeys can be crazzzzy.
The target, which is delightfully called “the ex,” is sold by a vendor who was present at the annual convention. Although it’s unclear if they displayed the mannequin or not, it was included in the pamphlet they displayed at their booth. The company goes by the name of Zombie Industries and markets itself as the maker of “life-sized tactical mannequin targets.” After you shoot directly at it, the target will bleed and eventually look like this.
A newly declassified CIA document suggests members of the US agency did help to shape the narrative of Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow‘s recent film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.In January the US Senate intelligence committee launched an investigation into whether Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were granted “inappropriate access” to classified CIA material following concern from high-profile members over the film’s depiction of torture in the search for the al-Qaida chief. The probe was dropped in February after Zero Dark Thirty, which had initially been tipped as an Oscars frontrunner, left the world’s most famous film ceremony with just a single award for sound editing.However according to Gawker it has now emerged that the CIA did successfully pressure Boal to remove certain scenes from the Zero Dark Thirty script, some of which might have cast the agency in a negative light. Details emerged in a memo released under a US Freedom of Information Act request. It summarises five conference calls held in late 2011 for staff in the agency’s Office of Public Affairs “to help promote an appropriate portrayal of the agency and the Bin Laden operation”.
Several elements of the draft screenplay for Zero Dark Thirty were changed for the final film upon agency request, according to the memo. Jessica Chastain’s Maya, the film’s main protagonist, was originally seen participating in an early water-boarding torture scene, but in the final film she is only an observer. A scene in which a dog is used to interrogate a suspect was also excised from the shooting script. Finally a segue in which agents party on a rooftop in Islamabad, drinking and shooting off an AK47 in celebration, was also removed upon CIA insistence. This was agreed to despite the documented use of aggressive dogs in US interrogations of terror suspects at Guantánamo Bay in the early days of George W Bush’s war on terror, and despite some of the photographs from the later Abu Ghraib scandal featuring dogs menacing naked prisoners.
The memo appears to confirm suspicions of a cosy relationship between the CIA and Boal, with the agency confident it would be portrayed positively due to the level of help it had provided to the film-makers. “As an agency, we’ve been pretty forward-leaning with Boal,” a CIA staff member wrote to colleagues in documents released last year. “He’s agreed to share scripts and details about the movie with us so we’re absolutely comfortable with what he will be showing.”
In an emailed response to Gawker’s piece, Boal denied allowing the CIA to influence creative film-making decisions on Zero Dark Thirty. “We honoured certain requests to keep operational details and the identity of the participants confidential,” he wrote. “But as with any publication or work of art, the final decisions as to the content were made by the film-makers.”
A fully fledged federal Europe may seem like “political science fiction” today but will soon become reality for all European Union countries whether inside or outside the euro, Jose Manuel Barroso has said.
The president of the European Commission has fanned the flames of British debate over EU membership by insisting that fiscal union in the eurozone will lead to “intensified political union” for all 27 member states.
“This is about the economic and monetary union but for the EU as a whole,” he said.
“The commission will, therefore, set out its views and explicit ideas for treaty change in order for them to be debated before the European elections.”
“We want to put all the elements on the table, in a clear and consistent way, even if some of them may sound like political science fiction today. They will be reality in a few years’ time.”
Mr Barroso’s announcement that he will set out plans for a European federation next spring, before elections to the European Parliament in May 2014, will further deepen Conservative divisions over the EU.
Australian scientists have found a way of hugely increasing the efficiency of solar panels while substantially reducing their cost.
The University of NSW researchers have come up with improvements in photovoltaic panel design that had not been expected for another decade.
The breakthrough involves using hydrogen atoms to counter defects in silicon cells used in solar panels. As a consequence, poor quality silicon can be made to perform like high quality wafers.
The process makes cheap silicon “actually better than the best-quality material people are using at the moment”, the head of the university’s photovoltaics centre of excellence, Professor Stuart Wenham, said.
Silicon wafers account for more than half the cost of making a solar cell. “By using lower-quality silicon, you can drastically reduce that cost,” he said.
“We’ve been able to figure out what the secret is that enables hydrogen to sometimes work the way people want it to, and sometimes doesn’t.”
At present, the best commercial solar cells convert between 17 per cent and 19 per cent of the sun’s energy into electricity. UNSW’s technique, patented this year, should produce efficiencies of between 21 per cent and 23 per cent.
Pueblo Soberano-leider Helmin Wiels is zojuist geliquideerd bij de Pier in Marie Pompoen. Dr. Mozes heeft de dood van de politicus bevestigd en lijkschouwers zijn begonnen met een onderzoek. Volgens geruchten zijn de schoten gelost vanuit een goudkleurige auto.
Buurtbewoners hoorden wel een aantal vreemde geluiden, maar dachten niet gelijk aan schoten. Een van de buurtbewoners vertelt dat hij mensen zag rennen en is toen zelf gaan kijken. “Toen zag ik ineens politie en ambulances en wat er was gebeurd.”
De omgeving bij Marei Pompoen is afgezet door de politie. Omstanders kijken geschrokken naar wat er is gebeurd. Volgens geruchten is er een dader gepakt en zou deze van Colombiaanse afkomst zijn. De politie heeft deze geruchten echter nog niet bevestigt. De technische dienst is ook ter plaatse voor onderzoek. Wiels is de eerste politicus op Curaçao die is geliquideerd.
Short version: Helmin Wiels, big politician here on Curacao, was liquidated 2 hours ago. The first English news report doesn’t say much more than that.
In my experience, kids were homeschooled for one of two reasons: for my brother and me, it was a means of avoiding an awful public school system without going to private school, which our family couldn’t really afford anyway. For some other kids, though, it was a means of escaping the evil, secularist curriculum of public school. The Earth is 6,000 years old, global warming is a myth, Satan buried dinosaur bones in the ground to trick us, and these children must not be taught otherwise, lest the fiery lakes of hell burn the flesh from their little limbs.
These two sets of kids were rounded up once or twice a week for a day of “cooperative learning,” and it was always easy to tell which group each child was coming from. There were kids like me—kids whose parents played the Beatles in the house, who watched Nickelodeon, who had friends who weren’t homeschooled, who had seen Jurassic Park.
Police are appealing for witnesses after thieves were spotted taking lead off the roof of Hawick town hall in the early hours of Friday morning.
So lead theft leads police to ask for leads?
Sun News Network made its final pitch to the federal telecommunications regulator on Thursday, saying anything short of a guaranteed spot on the dial would spell the end of the channel.
The Quebecor-owned network is seeking what is known as mandatory carriage from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
The CRTC is holding eight days of hearings in Gatineau, Que., to examine 22 applications for mandatory carriage from new and existing channels, as well as channels that want to renew their mandatory distribution status.
If the CRTC grants Sun News’ application for mandatory carriage, cable and satellite providers would have to include the channel on their basic TV packages.
aka Fox News North. They can’t make it on their own, (only “14,000 viewers a night in prime time”), so they are asking the regulator to give them customers. Sounds like they want a handout.
After being accused of shoplifting from a Derry, N.H., thrift store called Finders Keepers, Ruben Pavon is arguing that he was simply confused by the store’s name.
They should teach him the dutch word “steelpan”…
A teensy skeleton with a squashed alien-like head may have earthly origins, but the remains, found in the Atacama Desert a decade ago, do make for quite a medical mystery.
Apparently when the mummified specimen was discovered, some had suggested the possibility it was an alien that had somehow landed on Earth, though the researchers involved never suggested this otherworldly origin.
Now, DNA and other tests suggest the individual was a human and was 6 to 8 years of age when he or she died. Even so, the remains were just 6 inches (15 centimeters) long. (See Images of the Alien-Looking Human Remains)
“While the jury is out regarding the mutations that cause the deformity, and there is a real discrepancy in how we account for the apparent age of the bones … every nucleotide I’ve been able to look at is human,” researcher Garry Nolan, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford School of Medicine, told LiveScience. “I’ve only scratched the surface in the analysis. But there is nothing that jumps out so far as to scream ‘nonhuman.’”
Analyzing the tiny human
Nolan and his colleagues analyzed the specimen in the fall of 2012 with high-resolution photography, X-rays and computed tomography scans, as well as DNA sequencing. The researchers wanted to find out whether some rare disorder could explain the anomalous skeleton — for instance it had just 10 ribs as opposed to 12 in a healthy human — the age the organism died, as its size suggested a preterm fetus, stillborn or a deformed child, and whether it was human or perhaps a South American nonhuman primate.
The remains also showed skull deformities and mild underdevelopment of the mid-face and jaw, the researchers found. The skull also showed signs of turricephaly, or high-head syndrome, a birth defect in which the top of the skull is cone-shaped.
The genome sequencing suggested the creature was human, though 9 percent of the genes didn’t match up with the reference human genome; the mismatches may be due to various factors, including degradation, artifacts from lab preparation of the specimen or insufficient data.
‘Well, could we get some respirators or something, because that s–t is bad.’ He said, ‘No, that wouldn’t look good to the media.’ Last month, BP CEO Dudley told the annual BP shareholders meeting in London that Corexit “is effectively … dishwashing soap.” But the Louisiana Environmental Action Network‘s scientific adviser, Wilma Subra, a chemist whose work on environmental pollution had won her a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation, told state and federal authorities at the time that she was especially concerned about the mixture of crude and Corexit. Flashforward to 2013, the civil trial against BP is underway, and an investigative reporter talks about the cover-up in a long article at Newsweek. (Previously, previouslier, more previouslier)
The federal government needs to do better at tracking and evaluating some of its program spending to ensure taxpayer dollars are being well-spent, Auditor General Michael Ferguson found in his spring report released today, and one of the most striking examples is that it can’t account for $3.1 billion in anti-terrorism funding.
Out of $12 billion, $3.1 billion can’t be accounted for. Not exactly missing, we just can’t say what we did with it.
People who spend time on the water in and around Newfoundland and Labrador say they have been talking for years about the problems with search and rescue identified by the federal auditor general.
In his report to Parliament on Tuesday, Michael Ferguson found glaring problems, from not enough or outdated military aircraft, to a shortage of personnel for both the Canadian military and coast guard…The auditor general also said the hours that search and rescue operates at full staff should be reconsidered.
Currently, it has full staff between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. But the report pointed out that most commercial fishing and recreational boating activity takes place outside those hours, and that shifting its staffing by as little as one hour could improve coverage.
People have died because these air force personnel work 8am-4pm. Emergencies outside these times have 2 hour response times.
I have spent the better part of four years trying, with little success, to raise awareness aboutforeclosure fraud, the largest consumer fraud in the history of the United States. In fact, there’s a whole little band of us writers and activists and foreclosure fighters. We have provided multitudes of evidence about fake documents, forged documents, illegal foreclosures, foreclosures on military members while they served overseas, foreclosures on homes with no mortgages, breaking and entering into the wrong homes, suicides by foreclosure victims, and above all the complete lack of accountability for these crimes and abuses.
But instead of giving voice to thousands upon thousands of victims of illegal foreclosures, instead of documenting the banks’ criminal practices, maybe what we all should have done is simply let the Office of Comptroller of the Currency – part of the Treasury Department — and the Federal Reserve construct their own settlement with the banks. Then, when it utterly unraveled — as it has over the past couple of months — the unimaginable fraud heaped upon homeowners would get more attention than ever before, particularly from a frustrated and angry Congress led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The Obama administration moved Wednesday to keep girls under 15 from having over-the-counter access to morning-after pills, as the Justice Department filed a notice to appeal a judge’s order that would make the drug available without a prescription for girls and women of all ages.
The Justice Department’s decision to appeal is in line with the views of dozens of conservative, anti-abortion groups who do not want contraceptives made available to young girls. But the decision was criticized by advocates for women’s reproductive health and abortion rights who cite years of scientific research saying the drug is safe and effective for all ages.
“Age barriers to emergency contraception are not supported by science, and they should be eliminated,” Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement on Wednesday.
At the flight school people always ask me:
“Can I land a plane? I have X years of flight simulator experience.”
Short answer is: history shows you will probably die. Probably not because it is difficult but because you don’t know what you don’t know. Flight simulators distort important aspects of landing airplanes: your awesome 200 degrees/3D vision, the muscle mechanics of flying and the notion of distance. In fact, flight simulators are harder than the real thing. Yet, many in the flight school I teach landed without the need for intervention in their first flight. I landed an airplane for the first time when I was 11 years old. With a bit of luck you can do this by yourself. So, in case of an emergency, this is what you could do…
Austerity is a seductive idea because of the simplicity of its core claim — that you can’t cure debt with more debt. This is true as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. Three less obvious factors undermine the simple argument that countries in the red need to stop spending. The first factor is distributional, since the effects of austerity are felt differently across different levels of society. Those at the bottom of the income distribution lose proportionately more than those at the top, because they rely far more on government services and have little wealth with which to cushion the blows. The 400 richest Americans own more assets than the poorest 150 million; the bottom 15 percent, some 46 million people, live in households earning less than $22,050 per year. Trying to get the lower end of the income distribution to pay the price of austerity through cuts in public spending is both cruel and mathematically difficult. Those who can pay won’t, while those who can’t pay are being asked to do so.
The second factor is compositional; everybody cannot cut their way to growth at the same time. To put this in the European context, although it makes sense for any one state to reduce its debt, if all states in the currency union, which are one another’s major trading partners, cut their spending simultaneously, the result can only be a contraction of the regional economy as a whole. Proponents of austerity are blind to this danger because they get the relationship between saving and spending backward. They think that public frugality will eventually promote private spending. But someone has to spend for someone else to save, or else the saver will have no income to hold on to. Similarly, for a country to benefit from a reduction in its domestic wages, thus becoming more competitive on costs, there must be another country willing to spend its money on what the first country produces. If all states try to cut or save at once, as is the case in the eurozone today, then no one is left to do the necessary spending to drive growth.
The third factor is logical; the notion that slashing government spending boosts investor confidence does not stand up to scrutiny. As the economist Paul Krugman and others have argued, this claim assumes that consumers anticipate and incorporate all government policy changes into their lifetime budget calculations. When the government signals that it plans to cut its expenditures dramatically, the argument goes, consumers realize that their future tax burdens will decrease. This leads them to spend more today than they would have done without the cuts, thereby ending the recession despite the collapse of the economy going on all around them. The assumption that this behavior will actually be exhibited by financially illiterate, real-world consumers who are terrified of losing their jobs in the midst of a policy-induced recession is heroic at best and foolish at worst.
Austerity, then, is a dangerous idea, because it ignores the externalities it generates, the impact of one person’s choices on another’s, and the low probability that people will actually behave in the way that the theory requires
A Boy and His Atom is less than 90 seconds long. It doesn’t have much of a plot, or any big laughs. And the animation is rudimentary — it’s monochromatic, blocky and generally reminiscent of the graphics I programmed on my Radio Shack TRS-80 computer in 1978, only not quite as fancy.
And yet IBM’s new cartoon — yes, IBM made a cartoon — is remarkable. It was produced at IBM Research’s Almaden Research Center in Northern California, by a bunch of scientists who used a scanning tunneling microscope as their animation tool. The pixels are individual atoms, nudged into place to form a picture. (The Guinness folks have certified this as the smallest movie ever made.)
For nearly 11 years, Mohamedou Ould Slahi has been a prisoner in Guantánamo. In 2005, he began to write his memoirs of his time in captivity. His handwritten 466-page manuscript is a harrowing account of his detention, interrogation, and abuse. Although his abuse has been corroborated by U.S. government officials, declassified documents, and independent investigators, Slahi tells his story with the detail and perspective that could only be known by himself and the people who have kept him captive. It is impossible for us to meet with him or independently verify his account. Until now, it has been impossible for him to tell his story.This week, Slate is publishing a three-part series of excerpts from Slahi’s declassified memoirs.
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins believes that tablets will be dead within the next five years.
“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” he told an interviewer at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles, according to Bloomberg. “Maybe a big screen in your workplace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”
RIM has – as we all know – an excellent track record when it comes to predicting what kind of devices people want..