Showing posts from April 7, 2014

Only 28 Percent of Fox News Climate Segments Are Accurate

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[The report finds that MSNBC was the most accurate cable network in 2013, and CNN could be a lot more accurate if it would stop hosting "debates" about climate science. *RON*]

—By Chris Mooney, Mother Jones, Mon Apr. 7, 2014

According to a Pew study released last year, 38 percent of US adults watch cable news. So if you want to know why so many Americans deny or doubt the established science of climate change, the content they're receiving on cable news may well point the way.

Victims Bill Of Rights: MacKay Defends Forcing Spouses To Testify

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[Vengeance is mine, saith the Justice Minister. Canada's Grand Inquisitor, Peter MacKay, also has no problem with denunciations made in secret: "Not if it prevents further victimization." *RON*]

By Terry Pedwell, CP / Huffington Post, 04/07/2014

OTTAWA - Allowing people to refuse to testify against their spouses is an "obstacle" to getting at the truth in a court of law, says Justice Minister Peter MacKay.

Currently, under the Canada Evidence Act, spouses can refuse to testify against their partners except in certain specific cases such as sexual assaults or those involving children.

Legislation introduced last week by the Harper government would remove that right.

MacKay defended the move Monday at a victims of crime conference in Ottawa, calling the provision outdated.

He said courts need to compel testimony from all witnesses of crime, including spouses.

"We do not feel that spousal immunity should present an obstacle to…

The Financial Vulnerability of Americans

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[On the indebtedness of the average American, a direct result of easy money policies meant to stimulate the economy. See also the informative and moving documentary Maxed Out. *RON*]
By Atif Mian and Amir Sufi, House of Debt, April 7, 2014

Excessive household debt was crucial in explaining the severity of the Great Recession. So where are we now? Have households strengthened their financial position since 2009? Are household balance sheets strong enough to prevent another massive pull back in spending if there are significant job losses?

To answer to these questions, we look at evidence from the 2012 National Financial Capability Study by FINRA. (We are grateful to Annamaria Lusardi, an expert on financial literacy, for pointing us to the data used in this post.) This survey is a representative sample of 25,000 individuals who were asked mostly qualitative questions about their finances. The survey was put into the field three years after the wors…

How Many Watch Lists Fit on the Head of a Pin? -- Post-Constitutional America, Where Innocence is a Poor Defense

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[In the US it is no longer true that, if you are innocent, you have nothing to fear. *RON*]

By Peter Van Buren, TomGram, April 6, 2014

Rahinah Ibrahim is a slight Malaysian woman who attended Stanford University on a U.S. student visa, majoring in architecture. She was not a political person. Despite this, as part of a post-9/11 sweep directed against Muslims, she was investigated by the FBI. In 2004, while she was still in the U.S. but unbeknownst to her, the FBI sent her name to the no-fly list.

Ibrahim was no threat to anyone, innocent of everything, and ended up on that list only due to a government mistake. Nonetheless, she was not allowed to reenter the U.S. to finish her studies or even attend her trial and speak in her own defense. Her life was derailed by the tangle of national security bureaucracy and pointless “anti-terror” measures that have come to define post-Constitutional America. Here's what happened, and why it may matter to y…