Showing posts from August 21, 2015

Detroit-area mayor seeks ban on personal flamethrowers

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[This would have been considered laughably impossible how many years ago? *RON*]
By Associated Press, Chattanooga Times Free Press, 20 August 2015
DETROIT -- A suburban Detroit official is trying to extinguish the use of personal flamethrowers, which are being sold online by two Midwest companies, in his city.

The companies, located in the Detroit area and Cleveland, claim their devices can be used for recreation or to control weeds and insect hives, clear snow and ice, clear brush and start a bonfire.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts calls the proposed uses "pretty specious" and "silly," the Detroit Free Press reported. Fouts wants to ban the storage, use and possession of flamethrowers in Warren because he believes the devices are dangerous and could damage property and cause house fires, injury or death.

"You know something like this will be used by bad people for bad things," Fouts said, adding that he thought it was "un…

Bees but not bodies: Insufficient data on deaths in custody

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[America does a better job of tracking bee deaths than deaths in police custody. *RON*]
by Shawn Musgrave, MuckRock, 20 August 2015

Every year, a certain number of bees die. And every year, a certain number of people die while in police custody. We have a solid figure for one of these death tolls.

At present, it’s not the human body count.

As with deaths in custody, the issue of honeybee deaths is not new. Colony collapse disorder — the generic term for mass exodus of adult worker bees from a given colony — is nearly vernacular, and wonks routinely debate the scale of the problem and its long-term consequences.

Such debates hinge on quantitative modeling, on forecasts that correlate honeybee population against crop yields or ecosystem resilience. Ask any beekeeper: the only way to know how many bees are around is to count them.

Word of the Day: Trumpery

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[ *RON*]

By Kevin Drum, Mother Jones, 21 August 2015

This may be the greatest, classiest entry in any dictionary ever. Yes, it's real.

To Prevent Police Brutality, Overhaul Police Culture: Report

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[They talk in this article about police officers needing training in 'emotional intelligence' but they do not talk about how police culture is fostered from the top - from police chiefs. Racism is mentioned once, briefly, near the end, in reference to a different report put out by the UN. *RON*]
Nadia PrupisCommon Dreams, 20 August 2015

Many high-profile instances of police brutality over the past year could have been avoided by addressing law enforcement culture, training, and supervision—and an overhaul of police institutions is crucial to prevent more of those cases, a new study released Thursday concluded.

The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a nonprofit policy organization based in Washington, D.C., analyzed a number of cases in which officers used excessive force as a first-resort means of addressing situations and found that, in departments throughout the country, police do not receive ad…

Josh Duggar admits to being 'biggest hypocrite' for using Ashley Madison

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[Not a very good article. They bury his Republican Party connections deep in the text, and likewise identify him up front as a former reality-TV star, burying his connection as an employee of the family values lobbying group, the Family Research Council, at a similar depth. They also do not point out that the original posting also contained a statement about Duggar being addicted to pornography, which was later edited out of the entry on the family website. They also do not point out that three of the four young girls Duggar molested were his own sisters. *RON*]
Guardian staff, The Guardian, 21 August 2015
Former reality TV star Josh Duggar has admitted to being “the biggest hypocrite ever” in being unfaithful to his wife, Anna, a day after he was revealed to have allegedly held an account on the Ashley Madison spousal cheating site.

Duggar and his family rose to fame as the stars of the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting, which was taken off the air …

Extreme violence 'blighting a generation' in Central African Republic

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[I came across this one by clicking through from an article from today, Central African Republic still a powder keg, warn clerics awarded peace prize. Two years of conflict have left more than 90% of children fearing they will be killed or injured, warns Save the Children. The statistics cited here are almost unbelievably bad. *RON*]
Sam Jones, The Guardian, 26 May 2015
Almost two-thirds of school-aged children in the Central African Republic are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of the violence they have seen or experienced during the country’s two-year conflict, according to Save the Children.

A new study from the international children’s NGO suggests that more than 60% of CAR’s children have witnessed or been subjected to acts of extreme violence since March 2013, when the mainly Muslim rebels of the Seleka alliance seized the capital Bangui and installed the country’s first Muslim president, Michel Djotodia.

The Selek…

Dismaland: Ticket and queue misery at Banksy show

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[I tried the site to check out the prices and the list of shows, but indeed it has crashed. Try it yourself to see if it has resurrected.Here are a few pictures from Dismaland.And some more. *RON*]

BBC News, 21 August 2015
Thousands of people have struggled to buy tickets online for a Banksy show in Weston-super-Mare - as hundreds queued to get in to a "locals only" day.

Dismaland, a dark theme park, will run for six weeks at the seaside resort.

A thousand people received free tickets, but as the remaining tickets went on general sale, the website crashed.

Banksy's spokeswoman said the site had received more than six million hits by Friday.

Some suspected the technical problems were part of the show.

Phil Cross tweeted: "If you are searching for #Dismaland tickets you are very much part of the exhibition already," while Stacy Bias wrote: "I'm guessing the comically terrible experience of trying to get tickets for #Disma…

Forest stewardship plans failing

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[BC has a resource-based economy and this shows how resources are being mismanaged. It gives one little hope for Liquid Natural Gas. "The B.C. government's forest stewardship plans for Crown land are unenforceable, lack measurable results and are not producing innovative forest management, according to an investigation by the Forest Practices Board." *RON*]

Tri City News, 20 August 2015

The B.C. government's forest stewardship plans for Crown land are unenforceable, lack measurable results and are not producing innovative forest management, according to an investigation by the Forest Practices Board.

The board reviewed 43 stewardship plans from all regions of B.C., prepared under provincial law by tenure holders including forest companies and communities.

There has been "no improvement" in problems identified by a similar review in 2006, said Forest Practices Board chair Tim Ryan.

"We are recommending that government …