Showing posts from August 10, 2015

Hillary Clinton readies student loan reform rollout

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[An excellent comment from Naked Capitalism: "Students don’t need a 'bill of rights', they need bankruptcy and/or debt cancellations. Additionally, 'risk sharing' with colleges pushes for more tuition increases on new students, punishes schools for a bad economy and incentivizes them to shrink certain majors seen as 'unprofitable'. Fear democrats bearing solutions." *RON*]
By Annie Karni and Allie Grasgreen, Politico, 7 August 2015
“This will be the big ticket item,” a source with knowledge of her rollout says.

After the dust settles from the Republican debate and before she breaks from the campaign trail for her Hamptons vacation, Hillary Clinton on Monday will roll out what is expected to be the most detailed and costly plank of her campaign: her policy proposals for student loan reform.

“This will be the big ticket item,” a source with knowledge of her rollout said, noti…

This man commutes from Barcelona to London — and saves money doing it

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[On the cost of living in London, England. *RON*]

Graham Rapier, Business Insider, 19 August 2015

Like most Londoners, Sam Cookney was fed up with apartment prices in the capital. So the 32-year-old social-media manager began to look beyond the North Sea for an affordable apartment.

Cookney now gets on a plane in Spain and is seated at his desk in London by 9:30 a.m. He has tweeted and blogged his big move, which has gone viral as he begins his new commute.

Done the sums. Would actually be cheaper for me to rent 2 bed flat in Barcelona+commute to London, than get 1 bed here. Genuinely. Blog it?— Sam Cookney (@Sam_Cookney) October 24, 2013

In Ferguson and beyond, police militarization may be declining

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[Well, there's this at least. During the protests that followed the shooting death of Michael Brown, the spectacle of Ferguson police patrolling the streets in combat gear sparked another conversation about the militarization of police. Matt Apuzzo, a reporter for The New York Times, joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss. *RON*]

Hari Sreenivasan, Matt Apuzzo, PBS News Hour, 9 August 2015


HARI SREENIVASAN: During the protests that followed the extrajudicial shooting of Michael Brown, the spectacle of Ferguson police patrolling the streets in combat gear with machine guns and armored vehicles sparked another conversation.

Like a lot of police departments, Ferguson’s had been equipped with military surplus provided by the Pentagon and gear purchased with Department of Homeland Security grants. But, this year, the Obama administration has curtailed those military supplies.

New York Times reporter Matt Apuzzo has covered this issue, joins me n…

Psychologist Openly Admits He Trains Police Officers to Shoot First and Ask Questions Later

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[Follow the money. Dr. Lewinski is training police to shoot before making a full assessment of the true threat. See also: 5 Times the Media Has Smeared Black Victims of Police Killings Since Michael Brown. *RON*]

By Shaun KingDaily Kos / AlterNet, 9 August 2015

For years, to any observer of police brutality, the idea that officers were shooting people first and asking questions later was a foregone conclusion. Such a practice, while blatantly obvious, seemed too unethical, too harsh for police to ever admit.

Well, here it is. All of the proof we ever needed. Not only are American police, from coast to coast, shooting first and asking questions later, they are being trained to do so in seminars by a psychologist who openly promises them that he'll testify on their behalf if anything ever goes wrong. He's already done it nearly 200 times.

Meet Dr. William J. Lewinski.

No matter what the circumstances are in a police shooting, he's th…

Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets

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[More scientists for rent by the corporatocracy. *RON*]
By Anahad O’Connor, New York Times, 9 August 2015

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, is backing a new “science-based” solution to the obesity crisis: To maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories.

The beverage giant has teamed up with influential scientists who are advancing this message in medical journals, at conferences and through social media. To help the scientists get the word out, Coke has provided financial and logistical support to a new nonprofit organization called the Global Energy Balance Network, which promotes the argument that weight-conscious Americans are overly fixated on how much they eat and drink while not paying enough attention to exercise.

“Most of the focus in the popular media and in the scientific press is, ‘Oh they’re eating too much, eating too much, eating too much’ — blaming fast food, blaming su…

Standard Chartered quits controversial Queensland coal mining project

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[Important because a normally utterly shameless bank acknowledges that involvement with the mine, which critics say threatens endangered species, was exposing their company to reputational damage. *RON*]

Jennifer Rankin, The Guardian, 10 August 2015

Standard Chartered bank is pulling out of a vast coal mining project in Australia that critics say threatens endangered species and could wreck international efforts to contain global warming.

The London-based bank revealed on Monday it was giving up its role advising the Indian conglomerate, Adani, on building one of the world’s biggest coal mines in Queensland and expanding a port on the Great Barrier Reef.

The decision to pull out of the A$16bn (£7.8bn) Carmichael mine and port throws the project into doubt, after Australia’s Commonwealth bank gave up its advisory role last week, following a ruling by an Australian court overturning federal government approval for the mine.

What The Ad Blocker Debate Reveals

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[The Internet as corporatocracy. Lately I've been getting a lot of finger-wagging notices from news websites because I use AdBlock. I think this article gets to the heart of the matter: "...we understand that we’re not really entitled to free browsing; we pay our bills with our selves: When The Product Is Free, We Are the Product. The problem is that we feel betrayed when we find out we’ve been overpaying." *RON*]

By Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note, 3 August 2015

iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 (“El Capitan”) carry ad-blocking technology that delivers an experience that stands in stark contrast to current advertising and tracking practices. Users are beginning to notice…and advertisers aren’t happy about it.

On the last day of the June 2015 Developers’ Conference, Apple held a session (videohere) to announce its “Content Blocking” feature:

Observers weren’t fooled by the last-day session placement and careful euphemism (“Content” means “Ads”). Tr…

How strategic voting might play out in October

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[I believe strategic voting will be essential if Harper is to be defeated in the upcoming election, though I know that people can honestly disagree on this matter. It does require that voters be sufficiently well informed about their local progressive candidates to have an idea of which one is most likely to defeat the local Conservative candidate. See also: *RON*]

Jeffrey Simpson, Globe and Mail, 9 August, 2015

At least three-fifths, and possibly two-thirds, of voters will not support the Conservatives in the Oct. 19 election. How this large majority distributes its votes will determine the outcome.
If the majority coalesces around either the New Democratic Party or the Liberals, that party will win the most seats in Parliament. If, as is more likely, the majority fragments, then the Conservatives could win the largest number of seats with 30 per cent to 35 per cent of the vote.

A pollster calls the non-Conservative…