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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,636

Journal Archives

Australian Field Hockey Player Dies From Snakebite During Practice

from SportsGrid:

One reason I have never visited Australia is that almost every animal and insect there can kill you. (Also I have visa issues). For instance, did you know that Australia is home to 20 of the world’s top 25 most venomous snakes? All of the sports teams over there are named for deadly spiders, scorpions or reptiles, and if they don’t get you, the climate will.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck the Commerce-Pints Hockey Club A-grade team on Thursday when captain Karl Berry, 26, died after he was bitten by a snake during practice. Berry was working out with the team at Marrara Stadium when he spotted what he thought was a small python, according to NT News. Pythons are not venomous. Berry picked up the snake and tossed it into the bushes, not realizing he had been bitten.

It turned out, however, to be a western brown snake, which is venomous. Berry then went on a training run and collapsed. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.sportsgrid.com/olympic-sports/australian-field-hockey-player-dies-from-snakebite-during-practice/

Where is the Scrutiny of Crop Insurance Fraud?

from Civil Eats:

Minnesota Congressman Colin Peterson (D-Minn.) struck a nerve this month when he said that “there is five times as much fraud” in the federal crop insurance program as there is the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.

“There is less fraud in food stamps than in any government program,” Peterson told the National Journal on April 10. “There is five times as much fraud in crop insurance than in food stamps.”

The senior Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee captured the exasperation that many feel when legislators attack SNAP even though the feeding assistance program has the lowest error rate of any government program.

Last week, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack weighed in as well.

There’s also an issue we’re taking very seriously on crop insurance – because the percentage of error and fraud rate is higher in crop insurance than it is in SNAP,” Vilsack said. “Obviously those programs are different in terms of size – but even if you reduce the error rate in crop insurance, you’re talking about tens of millions, and potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in savings as well.

In recent years, the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have dedicated hours of hearings to alleged cases of SNAP fraud. .........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://civileats.com/2013/04/25/where-is-the-scrutiny-of-crop-insurance-fraud/

Lakers Star Steve Nash In Dogfight Over Child Support

L.A. Lakers star Steve Nash thinks he has a good reason NOT to pay child support -- if he does, he thinks his ex-wife will spoil the kids with limos and other luxuries.

Nash is locked in a legal war with Alejandra Nash over their 3 kids. She currently lives in Arizona, where a judge handled their divorce and ruled she was not entitled to child support. She's appealing the ruling and we now know what they're arguing over.

Steve convinced the divorce judge -- Alejandra doesn't need child support because he made her a millionaire 5 times over in the divorce settlement. On top of that, she pulls in more than $30k a month. ..................(more)

Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2013/04/27/steve-nash-lakers-child-support-arizona-california-alejandra/#ixzz2Rr88YxWg

US Rep. Barbara Lee: Repeal AUMF to stop ‘this state of perpetual war’

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) on Wednesday called for the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to be repealed.

“I’m convinced that if we do not repeal this authorization to use force that I voted against in 2001, we are going to see this state of perpetual war forever,” she told Current TV’s John Fugelsang.

Congress approved the AUMF just days after the September 11 terrorist attacks, giving the President authority to wage war “against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks.” Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against it, describing it as a “blank check” for war. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/24/rep-barbara-lee-repeal-aumf-to-stop-this-state-of-perpetual-war/

Weeding Corporate Power Out of Agricultural Policies: Communities Mobilize for Food and Farm Justice

Weeding Corporate Power Out of Agricultural Policies: Communities Mobilize for Food and Farm Justice

Sunday, 28 April 2013 09:48
By Tory Field and Beverly Bell, Other Worlds | Harvesting Justice Series

From the school cafeteria to rural tomato farms, and all the way to pickets at the White House, people are challenging the ways in which government programs benefit big agribusiness to the detriment of small- and mid-sized farmers. Urban gardeners, PTA parents, ranchers, food coops, and a host of others are organizing to make the policies that govern our food and agricultural systems more just, accountable, and transparent. They are spearheading alternative policies on the local, state, national, and international levels. Some advances include the following:

* The National Family Farm Coalition is educating and lobbying to restructure the subsidy system so that it benefits small farmers instead of agribusiness. Together with other groups like Food and Water Watch, Food First, and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, they are engaging in research, education, and strategies to help turn us all into effective policy-change advocates.

* People from all walks are becoming more involved in the US Farm Bill. Up for renewal every five to seven years, this hugely influential legislation lays out the framework for national food and farming policy. It regulates agricultural subsidies, food stamps, school lunch programs, rural conservation, and much more. Given the heavy impact this set of laws has on our daily lives, more and more people are asserting the need for public participation in crafting the legislation.

In preparation for the 2012 Farm Bill, for example, the Community Food Security Coalition, a group of nearly 300 organizations, helped the public learn about and lobby for the issues, and drafted a platform of top priorities. This built on coalition’s history of successful grassroots lobbying for Community Food Projects in the 1996 Farm Bill, wherein government grants go to food projects supporting lower-income communities. During the lead-up to the Farm Bill vote in 2008, community food, family farm, and farm-to-school organizations helped secure vital policy changes. These included placing a moratorium on land foreclosures under certain conditions, prioritizing socially disadvantaged farmers for federal loans and grants, and promoting locally grown produce in food stamp and school-lunch programs. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/news/item/16042-weeding-corporate-power-out-of-agricultural-policies

Norman Solomon: Time to Renounce the "War on Terror"

Time to Renounce the "War on Terror"

Sunday, 28 April 2013 11:07
By Norman Solomon, Norman Solomon's Website | Op-Ed

As a perpetual emotion machine -- producing and guzzling its own political fuel -- the “war on terror” continues to normalize itself as a thoroughly American way of life and death. Ongoing warfare has become a matter of default routine, pushed along by mainline media and the leadership of both parties in Washington. Without a clear and effective upsurge of opposition from the grassroots, Americans can expect to remain citizens of a war-driven country for the rest of their lives.

Across the United States, many thousands of peeling bumper stickers on the road say: “End this Endless War.” They got mass distribution from MoveOn.org back in 2007, when a Republican was in the White House. Now, a thorough search of the MoveOn website might leave the impression that endless war ended with the end of the George W. Bush presidency.

MoveOn is very big as online groups go, but it is symptomatic of a widespread problem among an array of left-leaning organizations that have made their peace with the warfare state. Such silence assists the Obama administration as it makes the “war on terror” even more resolutely bipartisan and further embedded in the nation’s political structures -- while doing immense damage to our economy, siphoning off resources that should go to meet human needs, further militarizing society and undermining civil liberties.

Now, on Capitol Hill, the most overt attempt to call a halt to the “war on terror” is coming from Rep. Barbara Lee, whose bill H.R. 198 would revoke the Authorization for Use of Military Force that Congress approved three days after 9/11. Several months since it was introduced, H.R. 198 only has a dozen co-sponsors. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/16045-time-to-renounce-the-war-on-terror

Shoppers Turn Blind Eye to Bangladesh in $6 Bikini Hunt

(Bloomberg) In the wake of disasters in Bangladesh garment factories that have claimed hundreds of lives in recent months, shoppers in the west have shown growing concern about worker safety in developing countries. As long as it doesn’t mean an end to bargains.

“It bothers me, but a lot of retailers are getting their clothes from these places and I can’t see how I can change anything,” 21-year-old university student Elizabeth McNail said, clutching a brown paper bag from clothier Primark the day after a building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh, killed at least 362 people. “They definitely need to improve, but I’ll still shop here. It’s so cheap.”

Both of Primark’s stores on Oxford Street in central London heaved with crowds sorting through clothing under neon signs heralding “Amazing Fashion Amazing Prices” last week. The floors were littered with crumpled t-shirts, jeans, and sundresses, while shoppers waited in queues 50-deep to pay for summer wear like a 1.50-pound ($2.32) fluorescent sun visor and 7-pound cut-off denim shorts.

Primark, a unit of Associated British Foods Plc, is one of at least five retailers whose products were made in the eight- story building that collapsed. Loblaw Cos.’ brand Joe Fresh, U.K. budget retailer Matalan Ltd., plus-size womenswear seller Bonmarche Ltd. and Spanish department store El Corte Ingles have also said they had suppliers in the building. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-28/shoppers-turn-blind-eye-to-bangladesh-in-6-bikini-hunt.html

Umm, just give me a bogey and let me move to the next hole.....

Retired Winnipeg cop wants to see drugs legalized and regulated

A retired 29-year veteran of the Winnipeg Police Service told Vice magazine that he wants to see all drugs legalized and regulated by the government.

“When I started in the police department in ’72, the War on Drugs was just starting, and I quickly recognized that there was something wrong with it,” William VanderGraaf, a member of the Canadian chapter of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, told the magazine in an interview. “We were harassing people for their own vices, so to speak, not for crimes they were committing against other people.”

“Police involvement in those situations is accomplishing nothing,” he continued. “We’re filling up our jails with non-violent people, and to what end? Every time you take a drug trafficker, whether it’s heroin or marijuana, off the streets, there’s another one or two or three or ten around the corner waiting to take over. The whole thing was essentially a big waste of time. All we did was hurt a lot of families, a lot of poor families, whose fathers and husbands now were going to jail for committing a non-violent act. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/canadas_law_enforcement_against_prohibition_20130427/?ln

How Bradley Manning Disappeared From the SF Pride Parade

via truthdig:

How Bradley Manning Disappeared From the SF Pride Parade
Posted on Apr 27, 2013

The stern rejection of Army whistle-blower Bradley Manning as a grand marshal of the San Francisco Pride Parade combined with the event’s uncritical embrace of sponsorship by law-breaking corporations reveals how liberal causes can be corrupted by business-backed authoritarianism, writes Glenn Greenwald.

In a letter from Lisa L. Williams, president of the board of SF Pride, we learn that Manning was prematurely announced as a grand marshal by a renegade “staff person” and that the culprit “has been disciplined.” She then accuses Manning of “actions which placed in harms way the lives of our men and women in uniform,” a false claim that was spread by top U.S. military officials and that has since been extensively debunked. Finally, she announces in draconian tones, that “even the hint of support” for Manning’s action “will not be tolerated by the leadership of San Francisco Pride.”

Greenwald points out that the parade is sponsored by numerous corporations that have broken the law and either are or were being pursued by the criminal justice system. Backers AT&T and Verizon enabled illegal spying on U.S. citizens by the Bush administration in the mid-2000s and were shielded from the consequences upon being retroactively immunized by Congress. Bank of America is being sued for $1 billion by the U.S. government for allegedly engaging in a systematic scheme of mortgage fraud. And Clear Channel, the media company owned by Bain Capital, a finance firm founded by Republican Mitt Romney, broadcasts the radio programs of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck—men who are not friends to the LGBT community. ............................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/how_bradley_manning_disappeared_from_the_sf_pride_parade_20130427/

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