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Archive for November 25th, 2011

Investing in Mars

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

Investing in Mars
The credit agencies have been busy with a new round of threats.

pic via andy z at flickr.com

The credit agencies have been busy with a new round of threats. Here’s one:

Standard & Poor’s said Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s administration hasn’t made progress in tackling the public debt burden, an indication it may be preparing to lower the nation’s sovereign grade.

And another:

Portugal suffered a double blow Thursday after Fitch Ratings downgraded its debt to junk

And yet another:

Moody’s Investors Services warns it could downgrade the U.S. government’s top credit rating if Congress backs off $1.2 trillion US in automatic deficit cuts scheduled over the next decade.

I do believe the world’s credit agencies are readying their escape pods and are preparing to escape the gravity of the Earth they’ve helped create.


Behold the Cyborg Spy Bugs of the Future

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Behold the Cyborg Spy Bugs of the Future
As if our current surveillance society wasn’t creepy enough, the wave of the spying future may come on the backs of creepy-crawlies. No joke—in tiny “backpacks” or perhaps hitched around their wing muscles. Read it and get skeeved out.  —KA BBC: The University of Michigan team of engineers published their study in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. The report noted that, despite major advances in micro-air-vehicle technology, no-one had been able to match the aerodynamic performance and manoeuvring capability of insects. However, it said that if insects were to be equipped with control mechanisms and other add-on kit, the equipment would require a power source. The team rejected the idea of using miniature solar panels because they would be dependent on available light. So the group decided to develop a vibration energy collector. The resulting device consists of a tiny three-layered spiral generator. Read more  

As if our current surveillance society wasn’t creepy enough, the wave of the spying future may come on the backs of creepy-crawlies. No joke—in tiny “backpacks” or perhaps hitched around their wing muscles. Read it and get skeeved out.? —KA

BBC:

The University of Michigan team of engineers published their study in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.

The report noted that, despite major advances in micro-air-vehicle technology, no-one had been able to match the aerodynamic performance and manoeuvring capability of insects.

However, it said that if insects were to be equipped with control mechanisms and other add-on kit, the equipment would require a power source.

The team rejected the idea of using miniature solar panels because they would be dependent on available light. So the group decided to develop a vibration energy collector.

The resulting device consists of a tiny three-layered spiral generator.

Read more

?

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Obama’s Catholic Friends and Enemies
Any time the Obama administration touches issues related to the Roman Catholic Church, it seems to get itself caught in a rhetorical and moral crossfire that leaves all involved wounded and angry.

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

Any time the Obama administration touches issues related to the Roman Catholic Church, it seems to get itself caught in a rhetorical and moral crossfire that leaves all involved wounded and angry.


Related Entries



Arizona Mounts New Push To Fence Entire Southern Border

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

Arizona Mounts New Push To Fence Entire Southern Border
By AMANDA LEE MYERS and JACQUES BILLEAUD, The Associated Press PHOENIX — Arizona is taking on immigration once again, with state lawmakers collecting donations from…

Typo Leads To Wrong Candidate’s Election
DERBY, Conn. — A typo has led to the election of the wrong man to a finance board in Derby, Conn. James J. Butler was…

Gabrielle Giffords Serves Thanksgiving Meal At Arizona Air Base
TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords helped serve a Thanksgiving meal to service members and retirees at a military base in her hometown. Giffords…


Feds Recommend Significant Sentence In Jack Johnson Corruption Case

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2011 5:41 am by HL

Feds Recommend Significant Sentence In Jack Johnson Corruption Case
Former Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson (D) should get a significant jail of up to 14 years in prison for his “audacious behavior” which “understandably captured the public’s attention and harmed the reputation of Maryland’s second-largest county and its 850,000 residents,” federal prosecutors said in a sentencing memo this week.


This Thanksgiving, Beware The Sharia Turkey
You may think that when you buy a Butterball turkey this Thanksgiving you’re as American as apple pie. But, you’d be wrong. In fact, you’re the victim of a “stealth halal” conspiracy….


Glenn Beck’s Network Attempts Conservative Daily Show Knock-Off
Glenn Beck, comedy entrepreneur, is trying to tap into the market for a “nonpartisan” alternative to The Daily Show with a fake news show on his GBTV network, called The B.S. of A..



Talking Turkey (Happy Thanksgiving!)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Talking Turkey (Happy Thanksgiving!)


Last Chance for Justice: Will Khmer Rouge Leaders Finally Face Consequences for the Killing Fields?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Last Chance for Justice: Will Khmer Rouge Leaders Finally Face Consequences for the Killing Fields?
Three senior Khmer Rouge leaders are on trial in what may be the last major legal case against the group’s leaders, but many call the trial a sham.

Occupy Toronto Evicted; Police Show Protesters Respect
What Occupy Toronto protesters and police learned from each other when the encampment was shut down.


Big Oil Doesn’t Need Handouts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

Big Oil Doesn’t Need Handouts
Here’s a scary fact: Last year, the biggest five oil companies alone scored $76 billion in profits. And here’s an even scarier fact: Last year, the oil industry received more than $4 billion in tax breaks. These numbers don’t lie…

David Brooks Smackdown
I always love it when David Brooks and Paul Krugman tussle on the pages of the New York Times. On Monday, Brooks wrote a column called The Wrong Inequality, arguing that the Occupy Movement was wrong to target the 1%…

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Extreme Thanksgiving

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2011 5:36 am by HL

Extreme Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving dinner battled the elements in 2011. Scientists tell us that these sorts of extreme weather events are exactly what we’d expect to see in a changing climate. Here’s the graphic from Resource Media [click to enlarge]:


Thanksgiving dinner battled the elements in 2011. Scientists tell us that these sorts of extreme weather events are exactly what we’d expect to see in a changing climate.

Here’s the graphic from Resource Media [click to enlarge]:


Moderate Americans Elect group hoping to add third candidate to 2012 election ballot

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2011 5:35 am by HL

Moderate Americans Elect group hoping to add third candidate to 2012 election ballot

The restless political middle — emboldened by the recent inability of a special congressional committee to agree on a debt-reduction deal — is staking out a controversial plan to insert itself into the 2012 election.

A bipartisan group of political strategists and donors known as Americans Elect has raised $22 million and is likely to place a third presidential candidate on the ballot in every state next year. The goal is to provide an alternative to President Obama and the GOP nominee and break the tradition of a Democrat-vs.-Republican lineup.

Read full article >>

Tricare military beneficiaries being informed of stolen personal data

The letter that arrived Saturday at the home of Fred MacLean in Fayetteville, N.C., held alarming news: Computer backup tapes containing the retired Army chaplain’s personal information with the military’s Tricare health system had been stolen.

MacLean is hardly the only one receiving bad news. Letters are being sent this month and next to the homes of all 4.9 million Tricare military beneficiaries whose personal data has been stolen in one of the largest health-data breaches ever reported.

Read full article >>

Obama’s Chicago campaign staff living good life — away from Washington

CHICAGO — Since May, a steady trickle of aides has left the White House for a more blustery climate, temporary apartments and minimal presidential perks. They are now reassembled here in President Obama’s home town as his 2012 campaign staff, facing a grim political environment shaped by the worst economic outlook in decades and a dismal job-approval rating for the commander in chief.

Read full article >>

States expect budgetary fallout from ‘supercommittee’ failure

Funding cuts for school lunches, home energy assistance, child support enforcement, HIV care, Race to the Top grants and other government programs will come quicker than advertised following the failure this week of the congressional “supercommittee.”

In the malleable world of federal budgeting, members of Congress cast the breakdown as likely having little to no effect on federal spending over the coming year. The deadline for cuts, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle noted, is in 2013, and the two sides could agree before then to a new mix of cuts.

Read full article >>

Maggie Daley dies; wife of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley had long bout with cancer

CHICAGO — Maggie Daley, the wife of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and a gracious promoter of the city’s cultural and educational programs, has died. She was 68.

The former Chicago first lady, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, died Thursday night, family spokeswoman Jacquelyn Heard told The Associated Press. Daley had been a reserved and dignified presence at her husband’s side during his 22 eventful years as mayor.

Read full article >>


Romney’s Craven Equivocations on Immigration

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2011 5:31 am by HL

Romney’s Craven Equivocations on Immigration
Greg Sargent, Wash Post
If the Dem strategy against Mitt Romney will be to paint him as someone with no core beliefs and principles who will say and do anything to win, this remarkable episode seems like another key data point.Yesterday at the GOP debate, Newt Gingrich said he would not be in favor of kicking illegal aliens out of the country who have been here a long time, because it risked destroying “families who have been here a quarter century.” This was a major gamble in a GOP primary, and Mitt Romney’s campaign immediately pounced on Gingrich, claiming he believes in…

Newt’s Right: Put the Kids To Work
Kevin Williamson, National Review
From Williamson’s Political Dictionary, Vol. 1: newt, [noot; nyoot] v., to put one’s foot in it while putting one’s finger on it.The usual half-wits (and quarter-wits, and hemidemisemi-wits) are having a great deal of fun with Newt Gingrich’s characterization of child-labor laws as “truly stupid,” a comment that launched a thousand Dickensian exaggerations. Never mind that Newt Gingrich was undeniably correct, even if he does have a knack for saying the right thing in a way that makes it sound wrong.

Obama’s Catholic Friends and Enemies
E.J. Dionne, Washington Post
WASHINGTON – Any time the Obama administration touches issues related to the Roman Catholic Church, it seems to get itself caught in a rhetorical and moral crossfire that leaves all involved wounded and angry. This is what's happening in the battle over how contraception should be covered under the new health care law.Partly because it mishandled the issue at the outset, the Obama team seems destined either to leave supporters in the reproductive rights community irate, or to put the president's Catholic sympathizers in a much weakened position.When Congress enacted health reform,…

DC’s Corrupt Culture: Throw Them All Out
Jim Antle, Washington Times
Three years ago, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband, Paul, made Hillary Rodham Clinton’s success with cattle futures look like a child’s lemonade stand. The credit card giant Visa was holding an initial public offering, among the most lucrative ever seen. The Pelosis were granted early access to the IPO as “special customers” who received their shares at the opening price, $44. The lucky investors turned in a 50 percent profit in just two days.Starting on March 18, the speaker and her husband made the first of three Visa stock buys,…