A Muslim Iraqi immigrant was shot and killed by an unknown gunman in Dallas, Texas, as he watched his first snowfall.
Ahmed Al-Jumaili, 36, and his brother are reported to have run outside of their apartment after midnight on Thursday to look at the snow, while his wife Zahraa took pictures. He was then shot in a hail of gunfire that left eight bullets lodged in a parked truck at the scene.
“The Internet Freedom Act” is a House bill intended to destroy newly instituted Net Neutrality rights. And of the bill’s 31 co-sponsors, all but two of them received money from a major telecom or its lobby in 2014 alone.
The 29 co-sponsors received over $800,000 from AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and their lobby, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA).
The legislation would invalidate rules instituted by the FCC last week that declared the Internet a public utility and disallowed telecoms from forcibly slowing or blocking Web traffic to competitors, or separating the Web into artificial, cable package-like tiers for lower-paying users.
The bill was brought to the House floor by Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and 30 Republican colleagues. In the last year, Blackburn received $87,000 from those Internet service providers, or ISPs, and their lobby, through her campaign committee and her political action committee, MARSHA PAC. This included a maximum $25,000 donation from AT&T.
Five other co-sponsors received $50,000 or more in the same cycle. An FEC mandate caps donations at $10,000 per candidate for each company (or $25,000 for those with PACs).
The NCTA spent $196,500—or 28 percent of its total Republican House spending budget—funding just 23 co-sponsors of this bill. There are 245 Republicans in the House, and the NCTA donated campaign money to 126 in the 2014 election cycle.
Still, the NCTA says that the Internet Freedom Act “isn’t a bill that we are promoting.” When asked if the lobbying group agrees with the premise of the bill, NCTA VP of Communications and Digital Strategy Brian Dietz replied, “Essentially, yes.”
My name is Murica Commieslayer McFreedom and I’m here to run for office. Those of you who don’t support me are commies and can get the hell out of this great nation of people. Of course, if it were up to me, I would let you stay, but the people have spoken, and I must serve the will of the people.
And by people, I mean corporations. If two heads are better than one, then imagine how much greater a corporation is than an individual. Don’t believe me? How about these famous quotes or phrases regarding corporations:
United Airlines we stand, divided we fall.
Give me Liberty Mutual, or give me death.
Bank of America the Beautiful.
A government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations.
And of course, my favorite by Darwin himself regarding healthcare:
Survival of the richest.
People have written songs about me. I’d provide a sample, but then I would have to issue a DMCA takedown to Reddit.
Remember, a vote for me is a vote for America Works.
He’s been a U.S. senator for 12 years, and was a Congressman for eight more before that, but South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham says he has never sent an email.
In a discussion on NBC’s Meet the Press about the controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s use of a home-based email server while she was secretary of state, moderate Chuck Todd asked Graham, “Do you have a private e-mail address?”
Graham’s surprising answer: “I don’t email. No, you can have every email I’ve ever sent. I’ve never sent one.”
In a sane world, this would make him ineligible to be on the Privacy, Technology, and Law subcommittee.
“I feel it’s kind of one sided,” Cormier said about the policy. “I feel like I am the one who is being punished.”
Oh you poor, poor bigot.
One user told me that they nearly “stopped” using their phone during the day; they used to have it out and now they don’t, period. That’s insane when you think about how much the blue glow of smartphone screens has dominated our social interactions over the past decade.
An Egyptian-born imam who in 2007 said that Somali-born activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali should receive the death penalty for her criticism of Islam is now a Department of Justice contractor hired to teach classes to Muslims who are in federal prison.
According to federal spending records, Fouad ElBayly, the imam at Islamic Center of Johnstown in Pennsylvania, was contracted by the DOJ’s Bureau of Prisons beginning last year to teach the classes to Muslim inmates at Cumberland Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md.
The records show that ElBayly has two contracts worth $12,900 to teach the classes and to provide the inmates “leadership and guidance.” One of the contracts is dated Feb. 20, 2014, and the other is dated Dec. 8, 2014.
I’m sure this will end well…
“It is very disappointing that not a single Republican leader sees the value in participating in this 50th commemoration of the signing of the Voting Rights Act. I had hoped that some of the leadership would attend, but apparently none of them will,” said Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina. “The Republicans always talk about trying to change their brand and be more appealing to minority folks and be in touch with the interests of African-Americans. This is very disappointing.”
Former CBC Chair Marsha Fudge (D-Ohio) agreed.
“Not only do they have an opportunity to participate in something that is historic in this country, but certainly they’ve lost an opportunity to show the American people that they care,” she said. “Their loss.”
“No one doubts the political and economic justifications that people give for their behavior. When someone says, ‘Listen, I murdered my rich neighbor because I knew he kept a pile of money in a safe. I wanted that money, and I didn’t want to leave a witness,’ nobody looks for an ulterior explanation for that behavior,” he said.
“But when someone says, ‘I think infidels and apostates deserve to burn in hell, and I know for a fact that I’ll go to paradise if I die while waging jihad against them,’ many academics refuse to accept this rationale at face value and begin looking for the political or economic reasons that they imagine lie beneath it. So the game is rigged.”
The reason those academics refuse to believe the statements of a believer is that they are too committed to their secular understanding of the world to fully comprehend the power of belief.
But “once you imagine what it would be like to actually believe in paradise, and in martyrdom as the surest way of getting there, it becomes obvious why someone would want to join the Islamic State. If a person truly believes that the Creator of the universe wants him to wage war against the evil of unbelief and that the Islamic State is the very tip of His spear, he has to be insane not to join the cause.”
“I see no reason to think that most jihadis are psychologically abnormal,” Harris said. “The truth is far more depressing: These are mostly normal people — fully capable of love, empathy, altruism, and so forth — who simply believe what they say they believe.”
“The fact that most jihadis are generally rational, even psychologically normal, and merely in the grip of a dangerous belief system is, in my view, the most important point to get across.”
“It is amazing how resolutely people will ignore the evidence of this,” he concluded. “Justin Bieber could convert to Islam tomorrow, spend a full hour on 60 Minutes confessing his hopes for martyrdom and his certainty of paradise, and then join the Islamic State — and Glenn Greenwald would still say his actions had nothing to do with the doctrine of Islam and everything to do with U.S. foreign policy.”
One of the world’s leading Catholics has said he sees a close parallel between Islamic State and the IRA.
Well, if there’s one organization that knows a lot about religious perverts, it’s the Catholic Church..
With Tuesday’s opinion, the Alabama justices did not just overrule a federal district judge; they attempted to openly defy the Supreme Court. This is no longer a case about just marriage equality; it is a case about the power to say what the law is. The Alabama Supreme Court wants to claim that power for itself. And it’s daring the U.S. Supreme Court to call its bluff.
Today, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division released its report on the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department, whose officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed Michael Brown in August 2014, prompting large-scale, nationwide protests, which only increased following a grand jury’s choice not to indict Wilson for the killing.
According to the DOJ, “This investigation has revealed a pattern or practice of unlawful conduct within the Ferguson Police Department that violates the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and federal statutory law,” including finding that “Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices both reflect and exacerbate existing racial bias, including racial stereotypes;” “Ferguson’s own data establish clear racial disparities that adversely impact African Americans” and are motivated at least in part by “discriminatory intent;” “Officers expect and demand compliance even when they lack legal authority,” going so far as to “interpret the exercise of free-speech rights as unlawful disobedience, innocent movements as physical threats, [and] indications of mental or physical illness as belligerence;” and “Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices have sown deep mistrust between parts of the community and the police department, undermining law enforcement legitimacy among African Americans in particular.” “Police and City officials, as well as some Ferguson residents, have insisted  that the public outcry is attributable to ‘outside agitators’ who do not reflect the opinions of ‘real Ferguson residents,'” and “City officials have frequently asserted that the harsh and disparate results of Ferguson’s law enforcement system do not indicate problems with police or court practices, but instead reflect a pervasive lack of ‘personal responsibility’ among ‘certain segments’ of the community” — a “refrain” that “reflects many of the same racial stereotypes found in the emails between police and court supervisors.”
The Washington Post details seven racist emails sent and/or received by employees of the Ferguson PD. All of the employees involved in sending and/or receiving the emails are still employed by the Ferguson PD.
The DOJ report states that “Addressing the deeply embedded constitutional deficiencies we found demands an entire reorientation of law enforcement in Ferguson.”
From the PDF:
Together, these court practices exacerbate the harm of Ferguson’s unconstitutional police practices. They impose a particular hardship upon Ferguson’s most vulnerable residents, especially upon those living in or near poverty. Minor offenses can generate crippling debts, result in jail time because of an inability to pay, and result in the loss of a driver’s license, employment, or housing.
We spoke, for example, with an African-American woman who has a still-pending case stemming from 2007, when, on a single occasion, she parked her car illegally. She received two citations and a $151 fine, plus fees. The woman, who experienced financial difficulties and periods of homelessness over several years, was charged with seven Failure to Appear offenses for missing court dates or fine payments on her parking tickets between 2007 and 2010. For each Failure to Appear, the court issued an arrest warrant and imposed new fines and fees. From 2007 to 2014, the woman was arrested twice, spent six days in jail, and paid $550 to the court for the events stemming from this single instance of illegal parking. Court records show that she twice attempted to make partial payments of $25 and $50, but the court returned those payments, refusing to accept anything less than payment in full. One of those payments was later accepted, but only after the court’s letter rejecting payment by money order was returned as undeliverable. This woman is now making regular payments on the fine. As of December 2014, over seven years later, despite initially owing a $151 fine and having already paid $550, she still owed $541.
The Muslim Action Forum (MAF), which staged a protest outside Downing Street against Charlie Hebdo in February, has launched a “legal strategy” to stop insults against Mohammed.
The organisation is also asking supporters to “lobby your MP” to make “Islamophobia” a criminal offence.
They state that they intend “to launch a series of legal challenges in the English Court system” because “depictions of our Holy Prophet peace be upon Him is the worst kind of ‘Hate Crime’ that can be perpetrated on the 3 million Muslims in the UK and 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide.”
So they are using your fairy tales to kill women, atheists, gays, and who knows what else in about half the countries where that filth has taken root, and the DARE claim that silly pictures of their precious pedophile are the worst kind of hate crime?
Go fuck yourselves.
“These false, ideologically-driven programs are turning out sexually illiterate young people whose lives and health are put in literal danger by ‘educators’ handing out false information. All this, just so your teenager might be scared straight enough to forgo sex for a few extra months,” columnist Jessica Valenti wrote in The Guardian in July 2014. “Students need sexual education that’s comprehensive, medically accurate, and free from shame and ideology. Not just because sexuality is an integral part of our humanity, but because when you withhold medical information about sexuality from children and teens, you are endangering health and lives.”
President Barack Obama on Monday sharply criticized China’s plans for new rules on U.S. tech companies, urging Beijing to change the policy if it wants to do business with the United States and saying he had raised it with President Xi Jinping.
In an interview with Reuters, Obama said he was concerned about Beijing’s plans for a far-reaching counterterrorism law that would require technology firms to hand over encryption keys, the passcodes that help protect data, and install security “backdoors” in their systems to give Chinese authorities surveillance access.
“This is something that I’ve raised directly with President Xi,” Obama said. “We have made it very clear to them that this is something they are going to have to change if they are to do business with the United States.”
But, of course, if American law enforcement wants the passwords, it’s OK. Here’s Obama last week:
Obama: … the company says “sorry, we just can’t pull it. It’s so sealed and tight that even though the government has a legitimate request, technologically we cannot do it.”
Swisher: Is what they’re doing wrong?
Obama: No. I think they are properly responding to a market demand. All of us are really concerned about making sure our…
Swisher: So what are you going to do?
Obama: Well, what we’re going to try to do is see if there’s a way for us to narrow this gap. Ultimately, everybody — and certainly this is true for me and my family — we all want to know if we’re using a smartphone for transactions, sending messages, having private conversations, we don’t have a bunch of people compromising that process. There’s no scenario in which we don’t want really strong encryption.
The narrow question is going to be: if there is a proper request for — this isn’t bulk collection, this isn’t fishing expeditions by government — where there’s a situation in which we’re trying to get a specific case of a possible national security threat, is there a way of accessing it? If it turns out there’s not, then we’re really going to have to have a public debate. And, I think some in Silicon Valley would make the argument — which is a fair argument, and I get — that the harms done by having any kind of compromised encryption are far greater than…
Swisher: That’s an argument you used to make, you would have made. Has something changed?
Obama: No, I still make it. It’s just that I’m sympathetic to law enforcement…
Automotive executives are taking seriously the prospect that Apple Inc. and Google Inc. will emerge as competitors even as they consider partnering with the two.
“If these two companies intend to solely produce electric vehicles, it could go fast,” Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said at the Geneva International Motor Show. “We are also very interested in the technologies of Google and Apple, and I think that we, as the Volkswagen company, can bring together the digital and mobile world.”
Apple has been working on an electric auto and is pushing to begin production as early as 2020, people with knowledge of the matter said last month. Google said in January it aims to have a self-driving car on the road within five years.
The timeframe — automakers typically need at least five years to develop a car — underscores the aggressive goals of the two technology companies and could set the stage for a battle for customers. The market for connected cars may surge to 170 billion euros ($190 billion) by 2020 from 30 billion euros now, according to a German government policy paper obtained by Bloomberg News.
An amateur photographer captured the incredible moment a woodpecker fought for its life after being mounted by a baby weasel in an east London park on Monday afternoon.
Martin Le-May had taken his wife, Ann, for a walk in Hornchurch Country Park hoping to see a green woodpecker. When the couple spotted a bird “unnaturally hopping about like it was treading on a hot surface” they knew something was amiss.
“Just after I switched from my binoculars to my camera the bird flew across us and slightly in our direction; suddenly it was obvious it had a small mammal on its back and this was a struggle for life.”
Wells Fargo, one of the largest subprime car lenders, is pulling back from that roaring market, a move that is being felt throughout the broader auto industry.
The giant San Francisco bank, known for its stagecoach logo and its steady profits, has been at the center of the boom in making loans to people with tarnished credit scores. Wall Street, meanwhile, has been bundling and selling such loans as securities to investors, reaping big profits while allowing millions of financially troubled borrowers to buy cars.
Now where did I hear this thing before….
They are people like Zheng Hui Dong, a Chinese immigrant who bought a 2010 Honda Civic from a dealership in Queens for a total cost over the life of the loan of $42,000 — or nearly four times the resale value of the car, according to court records. And Beatriz Rodriguez of Queens, who filed for bankruptcy last year, but still tries to keep up with her $900 monthly payments on the Honda she uses to take care of her grandchildren.
“Let that sink in,” he told the audience. “That means it is not uncommon today for a family with subprime credit to take a loan at 110 percent of a used car’s value that they will be paying off for seven years.”
Nope. No clue. Anybody?
Whether Apple is actually building a car, or it’s just a controlled leak to show that the company has more planned after the Apple Watch, isn’t known yet. What is sure, though, is that Apple is now legally covered if it wants to slap its name and logo onto an automobile.
Using its regular law firm Baker & McKenzie in Zurich, Apple recently expanded its corporate description to not just include the current array of watches, smartphones, tablets and computers, but vehicles, too. And Apple’s lawyers aren’t taking any chances, either. Apple aircraft, anyone?
Utah is considering a bill that would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to be treated with edible forms of marijuana. If the bill passes, the state’s wildlife may “cultivate a taste” for the plant, lose their fear of humans, and basically be high all the time. That’s according to testimony presented to a Utah Senate panel (time stamp 58:00) last week by an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“I deal in facts. I deal in science,” said special agent Matt Fairbanks, who’s been working in the state for a decade. He is member of the “marijuana eradication” team in Utah. Some of his colleagues in Georgia recently achieved notoriety by raiding a retiree’s garden and seizing a number of okra plants.
Quantum mechanics tells us that light can behave simultaneously as a particle or a wave. However, there has never been an experiment able to capture both natures of light at the same time; the closest we have come is seeing either wave or particle, but always at different times. Taking a radically different experimental approach, EPFL scientists have now been able to take the first ever snapshot of light behaving both as a wave and as a particle. The breakthrough work is published in Nature Communications.
Fewer large companies are run by women than by men named John, a sure indicator that the glass ceiling remains firmly in place in corporate America.
Among chief executives of S.&P. 1500 firms, for each woman, there are four men named John, Robert, William or James. We’re calling this ratio the Glass Ceiling Index, and an index value above one means that Jims, Bobs, Jacks and Bills — combined — outnumber the total number of women, including every women’s name, from Abby to Zara. Thus we score chief executive officers of large firms as having an index score of 4.0.