Showing posts from February 16, 2015

Lawmaker Opposes Education Funding Because It Would Go To ‘Blacks’ Who Get ‘Welfare Crazy Checks’

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[As bad as Canadian politics gets, the US has us beat hands-down for day-to-day repulsive craziness. *RON*]

By Kay Steiger, Think Progress, 15 February 2015

A Mississippi state lawmaker said he opposed putting more money into elementary schools because he came from a town where “all the blacks are getting food stamps and what I call ‘welfare crazy checks.’ They don’t work.”

In an interview with the Clarion-Ledger regarding education funding, state Rep. Gene Alday (R) stated his opposition to a push to increase funding to improve elementary school reading scores. Alday implied that increasing education funding for children in black families would be pointless.

Alday continued, saying that when he was mayor of Walls, MS, that the times he’d gone to the emergency room had taken a long time. “I laid in there for hours because they (blacks) were in there being treated for gunshots,” he told the newspaper.

At issue is something called Mississippi’s “third…

Republican lawmaker: Childbirth resulting from rape is "beautiful"

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[No comment. The original article also has a video. *RON*]
CBS News, 7 February 2015

A Republican state legislator from West Virginia said Thursday that women should not be allowed to abort pregnancies resulting from rape because the child that could result from it is "beautiful."

"For somebody to take advantage of somebody else in such a horrible and terrifying and brutal way is absolutely disgusting," said West Virginia Del. Brian Kurcaba during a hearing on proposed new abortion restrictions, CBS Charleston affiliate WOWK-TV reports. "But what is beautiful is the child that could come as a production of this."

Kurcaba later said in a statement that his comments didn't fully represent his views, WOWK-TV reports.

"I apologize to anyone who took my comments about the sanctity of human life to mean anything other than that all children are precious regardless of circumstances," he said in the statement.

The b…

Tiny Quakes Linked to Fracking Raise Risks, Geophysicist Says

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[The evidence connecting fracking to earthquakes continues to mount. *RON*]
Associated Press / NBC News, 15 February 2015

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Small earthquakes shaking Oklahoma and southern Kansas daily and linked to energy drilling are dramatically increasing the chance of bigger and dangerous quakes, federal research indicates.

This once-stable region is now just as likely to see serious damaging and potentially harmful earthquakes as the highest-risk places east of the Rockies, such as New Madrid in Missouri, and Charleston in South Carolina, which had major quakes in the past two centuries.

Still it's a low risk, about a 1 in 2,500 years' chance of happening, according to geophysicist William Ellsworth of the U.S. Geological Survey.

"To some degree we've dodged a bullet in Oklahoma," Ellsworth said after a presentation to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. But, he added, "This is not to say we expec…

Why A Fake Article Title "Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?" Was Accepted by 17 Medical Journals

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[A caveat emptor for modern science. A Harvard scientist wanted to see exactly how easy it is to get medical research published. In some cases, $500 is pretty much all it takes. Is it any wonder that arguments about factual matters are never resolved nowadays? "...when Shrime looked up the physical locations of these publications, he discovered that many had very suspicious addresses; one was actually inside a strip club." *RON*]

By Elizabeth Segran, Fast Company, 27 January 2015

As a medical researcher at Harvard, Mark Shrime gets a very special kind of spam in his inbox: every day, he receives at least one request from an open-access medical journal promising to publish his research if he would only pay $500.
"You block one of them with your spam filter and immediately another one pops up," Shrime, an MD who is pursuing a PhD in health policy, tells me.

These emails are annoying, for sure, but Shrime was worried that there mig…

Harper Government Aims To End CP Rail Strike With Legislation, Says Source

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[From the front line of the class war in Canada. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 16 February 2015

OTTAWA - The federal government is poised to get the Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) back on track.

A government source tells The Canadian Press that legislation will be tabled today to end the strike by 3,300 locomotive engineers and other CP train workers.

A notice to allow the bill to be introduced was placed on the Commons order paper late Friday afternoon.

The Harper government has never been shy about using a legislative hammer to stop or prevent strikes that it feels could pose a threat to the economy.

The rail workers, represented by the Teamsters, walked off the job Sunday morning after contract talks failed to produce an agreement.

Teamsters President Douglas Finnson says the government's intervention is disappointing and premature, but CP Rail supports the move.

No new contract talks are scheduled.

UDI/Vancity Housing Affordability Index: Metro housing affordability takes a hit in Q4 of 2014

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[This information should be provided though our lame-duck Statistics Canada. International economic experts keep saying that we still have a big housing bubble in Canada. In the city of Vancouver, "For a single-family home, the minimum required annual income is $168,852, up $8,000 from last quarter, to buy the median priced single-family home, which costs $1.56 million, also up from last quarter." Is this sustainable? *RON*]

By Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver Sun 13 February 2015

Affordability is down across Metro Vancouver as prices rose and some of the major banks increased their five-year interest rates during the fourth quarter of 2014, the UDI/Vancity Housing Affordability Index shows.

The hike in interest rates was only temporary, since the Bank of Canada suddenly dropped its overnight rate by 0.25 per cent in January and banks have followed suit, dropping their five-year rates by about 0.15 per cent.

But during the fourth quarter of last…