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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,622

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Jedi Master Worm

from the Guardian UK:

[font size="1"]The lips on either side of the acorn worm's head reminded scientists of Yoda's floppy ears. Photograph: Allstar/David Shale[/font]

A worm from an ecosystem far, far away has been named after the Star Wars character Yoda.

Yoda purpurata is one of three new species of deep-sea acorn worms discovered 1.5 miles beneath the Atlantic.

Scientists coined the genus name because the large lips on either side of the creature's head reminded them of the Jedi master's floppy ears. The creature is a dark reddish-purple – hence the other part of the worm's name, which is Latin for purple.

The Yoda worm, technically known as an enteropneust, is described in the latest issue of the journal Invertebrate Biology. ........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/oct/05/yoda-worm-star-wars

No Income? No Problem! How the Gov’t Is Saddling Parents with College Loans They Can’t Afford

By Marian Wang, ProPublica, Beckie Supiano and Andrea Fuller, The Chronicle of Higher Education Oct. 4, 2012, 9:22 p.m.

More than a decade after Aurora Almendral first set foot on her dream college campus, she and her mother still shoulder the cost of that choice.

Almendral had been accepted to New York University in 1998, but even after adding up scholarships, grants, and the max she could take out in federal student loans, the private university — among nation's costliest — still seemed out of reach. One program filled the gap: Aurora's mother, Gemma Nemenzo, was eligible for a different federal loan meant to help parents finance their children's college costs. Despite her mother's modest income at the time — about $25,000 a year as a freelance writer, she estimates — the government quickly approved her for the loan. There was a simple credit check, but no check of income or whether Nemenzo, a single mom, could afford to repay the loans.

Nemenzo took out $17,000 in federal parent loans for the first two years her daughter attended NYU. But the burden soon became too much. With financial strains mounting, Almendral — who had promised to repay the loans herself —withdrew after her sophomore year. She later finished her degree at the far less expensive Hunter College, part of the public City University of New York, and went on to earn a Fulbright scholarship.

Today, a dozen years on, Nemenzo's debt not only remains, it's also nearly doubled with fees and interest to $33,000. Though Almendral is paying on the loans herself, her mother continues to pay the price for loans she couldn't afford: Falling into delinquency on the loans had damaged her credit, making her ineligible to borrow more when it came time for Aurora's sister to go to college. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-govt-is-saddling-parents-with-college-loans-they-cant-afford

Dark Money Group Told IRS It Wouldn’t Be Political—Then Spent $1 Million on Campaign Ads

Dark Money Group Told IRS It Wouldn’t Be Political—Then Spent $1 Million on Campaign Ads

by Justin Elliott
ProPublica, Oct. 4, 2012, 12:17 p.m.

A dark money nonprofit group that has run more than $1 million in ads in the Ohio race for U.S. Senate told the IRS last year it did not plan to spend any money to influence elections when it applied for recognition of its tax-exempt status.

ProPublica first reported on the group, the Government Integrity Fund, after information from television station political ad files became available online, showing extensive spending by the Fund.

The group’s filings with the IRS illustrate how “social welfare” nonprofits, also known as 501(c)(4)s, are playing an aggressive role in this election, pouring tens of millions of dollars into races around the country, while taking advantage of the donor anonymity their tax status provides.

The Fund applied for IRS recognition last December and received the IRS’ approval less than two months later. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.propublica.org/article/dark-money-group-told-IRS-wouldnt-be-political-spent-million-on-ads/single#republish

How Do We Build the New, Democratic Economy We Need? - Gar Alperovitz

Published on Oct 2, 2012 by SOCAPmarkets

Gar Alperovitz, Co-Founder, The Democracy Collaborative
How do we align natural systems, human organizations, and economic design in order to create a resilient and equitable economy and society? One key is democratizing ownership at sophisticated levels, which could be the next major advance in social investing.

Keiser Report: Cadavers Collateralized Debt

Published on Oct 4, 2012 by RussiaToday

In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert bring a bankster rat onto set to discuss the civil suit against JP Morgan's mortgage fraud. We revisit episode 97 of the Keiser Report on which journalist Teri Buhl had first warned you about the residential mortgage back security fraud issue on JP Morgan's balance sheet - thanks to their purchase of Bear Stearns. In the second half of the show, Max Keiser talks to Dr. Michael Hudson, author of The Bubble and Beyond: Fictitious Capital, Debt Deflation and Global Crisis, about Timothy Geithner's role in facilitating the takeover of the banking system by the Wall Street mafia and about the oligarchic counter revolution against democracy in Europe.

How Do We Build the New, Democratic Economy We Need? - Gar Alperovitz

Published on Oct 2, 2012 by SOCAPmarkets

Gar Alperovitz, Co-Founder, The Democracy Collaborative
How do we align natural systems, human organizations, and economic design in order to create a resilient and equitable economy and society? One key is democratizing ownership at sophisticated levels, which could be the next major advance in social investing.

Welcome to Planet A-Hole

from In These Times:

Welcome to Planet A-Hole
In case being a 7th-grade girl wasn’t traumatic enough, now there’s a ‘12-year-old sluts’ Facebook page.

BY Sady Doyle

The thing to know about being a 12-year-old girl is this: You live with the awareness that other people's eyes are always trained on you. The moment you pass from childhood into young womanhood, someone is always looking. You are subject to a massive amount of conflicting social pressure—you know you must sexualize yourself to be deemed worthwhile, but the burden is also on you avoid unwanted attention from the creeps who are suddenly cat-calling you, the nasty kids who sit atop the social hierarchy or, worse yet, the predators who may be trolling your social media profiles. And you know that if those gazes fix on you, single you out, your whole existence will become a barrage of insults and a daily gauntlet of intense emotional pain.

What I'm trying to convey here is that, although the Facebook page for “12-Year Old Slut Meme's” has recently been tagged “Controversial Humor” in lieu of taking it down, the children whose names and images are culled for mockery are very, very unlikely to see it as a joke. Instead, it's likely their worst nightmares come to life.

The posts are from various sources around the Internet, including Facebook; the “humor” is entirely based on the idea that child abuse is hilarious. Under the picture of a 15-year-old who said she had sex for a can of soda, for example, we get knee-slappers such as “she is soooooooooooo FUCKING UGLY HIDEOUS BITCH,” from Joules Bryce of New York Mills, New York. Or there's the high road, taken by Damien Arvidson: “Do people really have so few morals as to prostitute themselves for a drink? Bitch needs a bullet.” You know what your mother always told you; sex is for someone you love, but death threats are a sweet gesture on any occasion.

Violence is an underpinning of the page—and its perverse stance as an arbiter of public morality. James Silverwood and Dom Terry, the men who run the page, have a very clear idea of parental responsibility: “Honestly, ask yourself, if you had a daughter and she was dressed like a 2 cent, cock thirty whore, would it make an ounce of difference whether or not she was 12 or 14? No, you'd be ashamed to the point of beating her regardless,” reads one post. Shawn Smith, a supporter of the page, notes in a BuzzFeed comment that “until the people as parents step up and smack the shit out of their slutty daughters instead of letting them get away with whoreish (sic) 'Jersey Shore' behavior then things ike (sic) this will never go away.” .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/13949/welcome_to_planet_a_hole

David Sirota: Debating Social Security: If Not Now, When?

from truthdig:

Debating Social Security: If Not Now, When?

Posted on Oct 4, 2012
By David Sirota

Many centuries ago, the Jewish scholar Hillel posed a question that is as prescient as any Nostradamus prophecy: “If not now,” he asked, “when?” It’s a rhetorical query many of us contemplate during the high holy days, which concluded last month. And after a revealing comment by President Obama’s top political aide, it’s a question that now haunts Social Security.

The remark in question came during last week’s debate about fiscal issues on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” In an otherwise forgettable conversation, things became newsworthy when the conversation turned to Obama’s position on Social Security reforms. At that point, the president’s consigliere, David Axelrod, responded not with a clear position, but instead by trying to halt the conversation.

“I’ll tell you what, when you get elected to the United States Senate and sit at that table, we’ll have that discussion,” he told the panel.

When pressed, Axelrod insisted that the election season meant no debate should proceed. “This is not the time, he said. “We’re not going to have that discussion right now.” ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/debating_social_security_if_not_now_when_20121004/

I've heard of jump seats on an airplane, but this is ridiculous.....

American Airlines on Thursday said it is taking preventative measures to ensure seats on its Boeing 757 aircraft remain attached to the floor.

"American has instructed mechanics to pay particular attention to the seat lock plunger mechanism that secures the seat to the aircraft floor," airline spokesperson Andrea Huguely said in a statement. "Mechanics have begun taking steps necessary to ensure that no seat can become dislodged from its track."

Select flights could be delayed or canceled while mechanics complete the work, which is expected to be finished by Saturday, Huguely said.

American has been working with the Federal Aviation Administration after passenger seats on three separate flights became dislodged in recent days. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nbcnews.com/travel/american-airlines-flights-could-be-delayed-canceled-over-loose-seats-6289090

The New “Golden Age of Oil” That Wasn’t: Forecasts of Abundance Collide with Planetary Realities

from TomDispatch:

The New “Golden Age of Oil” That Wasn’t
Forecasts of Abundance Collide with Planetary Realities

By Michael T. Klare

Last winter, fossil-fuel enthusiasts began trumpeting the dawn of a new “golden age of oil” that would kick-start the American economy, generate millions of new jobs, and free this country from its dependence on imported petroleum. Ed Morse, head commodities analyst at Citibank, was typical. In the Wall Street Journal he crowed, “The United States has become the fastest-growing oil and gas producer in the world, and is likely to remain so for the rest of this decade and into the 2020s.”

Once this surge in U.S. energy production was linked to a predicted boom in energy from Canada’s tar sands reserves, the results seemed obvious and uncontestable. “North America,” he announced, “is becoming the new Middle East.” Many other analysts have elaborated similarly on this rosy scenario, which now provides the foundation for Mitt Romney’s plan to achieve “energy independence” by 2020.

By employing impressive new technologies -- notably deepwater drilling and hydraulic fracturing (or hydro-fracking) -- energy companies were said to be on the verge of unlocking vast new stores of oil in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and shale formations across the United States. “A ‘Great Revival’ in U.S. oil production is taking shape -- a major break from the near 40-year trend of falling output,” James Burkhard of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in January 2012.

Increased output was also predicted elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere, especially Canada and Brazil. “The outline of a new world oil map is emerging, and it is centered not on the Middle East but on the Western Hemisphere,” Daniel Yergin, chairman of CERA, wrote in the Washington Post. “The new energy axis runs from Alberta, Canada, down through North Dakota and South Texas... to huge offshore oil deposits found near Brazil.” .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175601/tomgram%3A_michael_klare%2C_extreme_energy_means_an_extreme_planet/

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