HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » marmar » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 21 Next »


Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,621

Journal Archives

Comment Card Scolds National Park For Failing To Train Bears Better

from HuffPost:

For some people, the problem with the great outdoors is ... it's outdoors.

Take this visitor to Yellowstone National Park, for instance, who failed to see any bears and recommended lodge employees train them better. The unidentified guest left a comment card at the front desk of the hotel, requesting that staffers "please train your bears to be where guests can see them."

A photo of the card was shared Wednesday on Reddit:

The comment card further scolds, "This was an expensive trip to not get to see bears."

A spokesperson for Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the company that manages Yellowstone's lodges, couldn't speak to the authenticity of the comment card. However, a spokeswoman from the Yellowstone National Park Public Affairs Office did confirm to The Huffington Post that these types of comment cards are available in the park. Judging from some of the one-star ratings the national park has received, it's not too much of a stretch to think it's real. .................(more)


Serena Williams' Grand Slam quest sees women's final sell out first

ESPN -- Serena Williams going for the single-season Grand Slam has tennis fans so excited that, for what is believed to be the first time in US Open history, the women's singles final sold out before the men's single final.

USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said ticket records, as with anything, are less reliable over time, but the organization is confident that this is the first time the ticket demand was greater for a women's final.

In fact, in some years, the women's final has not even sold out.

Widmaier said that USTA data suggests that seats are trading at three times the value they usually do.

Ticket resale market tracker TiqIQ says the average listed price on the resale market for the women's final is now $859, versus a men's final average resale ticket price of $897. That $38 difference in resale prices is remarkable considering TiqIQ says the smallest difference in price between the men's and women's finals was in 2012, when the average ticket price for the men's final was $150 more than for the women's final. ...............(more)


The Way GCHQ Obliterated The Guardian’s Laptops May Have Revealed More Than It Intended

(The Intercept) In July 2013, GCHQ, Britain’s equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency, forced journalists at the London headquarters of The Guardian to completely obliterate the memory of the computers on which they kept copies of top-secret documents provided to them by former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden.

However, in its attempt to destroy information, GCHQ also revealed intriguing details about what it did and why.

Two technologists, Mustafa Al-Bassam and Richard Tynan, visited Guardian headquarters last year to examine the remnants of the devices. Al-Bassam is an ex-hacker who two years ago pleaded guilty to joining attacks on Sony, Nintendo, and other companies, and now studies computer science at King’s College; Tynan is a technologist at Privacy International with a PhD in computer science. The pair concluded, first, that GCHQ wanted The Guardian to completely destroy every possible bit of information the news outlet might retain; and second, that GCHQ’s instructions may have inadvertently revealed all the locations in your computer where information may be covertly stored.

Editors of The Guardian chose to destroy the files and the devices they lived on after the British government threatened to sue them and halt further reporting on the issue, including stories on how GCHQ utilized data collected by the NSA on communications from many major Internet companies.

Footage of Guardian editors physically destroying their MacBooks and USB drives, taken by Guardian executive Sheila Fitzsimons, wasn’t released until months later, in January 2014. The GCHQ agents who supervised the destruction of the devices also insisted on recording it all on their own iPhones. ................(more)


Political Operatives Abandon Koch Network For Donald Trump

(The Intercept) After investing a sizable fortune into building a political machine that now rivals the size and budgets of both major political parties, the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are seeing some of their top operatives take jobs with the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.

The fact that many of Trump’s political positions are at odds with those of the Koch brothers does not seem to be a factor.

Take Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, who spent many years of his career working for the Koch political network, first as an assistant at the Koch-led group Citizens for a Sound Economy in 1997 and from 2008 through earlier this year as a senior staff member to the Koch’s primary grassroots group, Americans for Prosperity. Over the last seven years, Lewandowski helped the Koch network organize Tea Party events and get-out-the-vote efforts for Republican candidates for office.

Alan Cobb, a strategic consultant for Trump, is the former director of Kansas public affairs for Koch Industries and also worked for years as a vice president at Americans for Prosperity.

Trump is being counseled by lawyer Donald F. McGahn, the former Federal Election Commission chair who just months ago represented the Koch political network during hearings with the FEC. McGahn is listed as affiliated with Freedom Partners Action Fund, the Super PAC set up by the Koch brothers and their lobbyists. ..................(more)


10 Years After Katrina, New Orleans’ All-Charter District Has Proven a Failure

10 Years After Katrina, New Orleans’ All-Charter District Has Proven a Failure
Test scores tell one story, and residents tell another. A three-month investigation by In These Times reveals the cracks in the education reform narrative.


Ninth grade was nothing like what Darrius Jones expected. Jones imagined that with high school would come more independence. Instead, he felt like he was being treated like a kid. “You had to sit a certain way,” he recalls. “You couldn’t lean, or have your chair back.” Jones says he stepped out of line once—an actual line on the floor of the hallway, which students were supposed to follow—and was sent to detention.

It was the beginning of the 2012 school year, and Jones, 14, was in the first class of students at Carver Collegiate Academy, a brand-new charter school in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. Like a public school, it is funded by taxpayers and open to anyone. But as a charter, it is managed independently by a board of directors that can do its own hiring and firing, write its own policies and teach according to its own philosophy. In the case of Carver Collegiate, that philosophy is one of “no excuses”—strict rules and swift discipline.

Carver is part of New Orleans’ Recovery School District (RSD), the first all-charter school district in the nation. In the chaos after Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana opted to completely overhaul the city’s failing public schools by putting them on the open market. Ten years later, cities and states around the country have embarked on their own charter-school experiments and are watching New Orleans closely, laser-focused on outcomes.

Test scores have improved, according to two major reports that examine academic achievement over the past nine years. On Katrina’s 10th anniversary, RSD is being held up as a national model. The graduation rate has risen from 56 percent to 73 percent. Last year, 63 percent of students in grades 3-8 scored basic or above on state standardized tests, up from 33 percent.

But by other measures, the RSD suffers. In These Times received an advance copy of research conducted for the Network for Public Education (NPE) by University of Arizona researchers Francesca López and Amy Olson. The study compared charters in Louisiana, the majority of which are in New Orleans, to Louisiana public schools, controlling for factors like race, ethnicity, poverty and whether students qualified for special education. On eighth-grade reading and math tests, charter-school students performed worse than their public-school counterparts by enormous margins—2 to 3 standard deviations. .............(more)


Foes Dive for Discarded Records in Abortion Clinic Dumpsters

from ProPublica:

This story was co-published with NPR's Shots blog.

The scene in front of abortion clinics is often tense, with clinic workers escorting patients past activists waving signs and taking photographs.

But increasingly, another drama is unfolding out back. There, abortion opponents dig through the trash in search of patient information.

Using garbage as their ammunition, anti-abortion activists – who have sometimes been accused of violating abortion seekers’ privacy – are turning the tables. They claim it’s the clinics that are violating patients’ privacy by discarding medical records in unsecured ways.

“Everybody acts like the abortion clinics are this bastion of protection for women’s privacy, and they’re like the chief offenders of just dumping this stuff willy-nilly,” said Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy advisor at Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group based in Wichita, Kansas. “It’s so hypocritical.”

Abortion rights groups counter that while a small number of clinics have improperly disposed of records, the vast majority take strict precautions to protect patient privacy. It’s far more common, they say, for abortion opponents to trespass on private property or try to break into locked dumpsters. .....................(more)


The Hypocrisy of the US Promoting the "Rule of Law" in Africa

The Hypocrisy of the US Promoting the "Rule of Law" in Africa

Thursday, 27 August 2015 00:00
By Adjoa Agyeiwaa, Truthout | Op-Ed

"There's a lot that I'd like to do to keep America moving. But the law is the law, and no person is above the law, not even the president," said President Obama in a speech to the African Union in July, in which he also quipped that he could "probably" win a third term if the US Constitution allowed it. However, the irony behind Obama's bleeding-heart speech about democracy in Africa is that in many African countries, Western backing is the only thing keeping kleptocrats in the presidential palace.

Obama's empty rhetoric offers an interesting contrast to a reality in which many African countries are racing to remove the pesky two term-limit in their constitutions, as the continent braces itself for its own 2016 election fever. Indeed, no fewer than 13 African countries will have their presidential elections next year - and some leaders have taken steps to make sure their hold on power will not be weakened by something as trivial as the rule of law. While the West airs bland platitudes about respecting the rule of law, African leaders are snuffing democracy with impunity.

With blatant disregard for the popular mood, many African presidents have rid themselves of term limits. From Mozambique's former leader and respected elder, Joaquim Chissano, who quipped that two terms are "not enough" for African leaders, to Rwanda's Paul Kagame, who argues that his country is not stable enough to go on without him at the helm, 11 African leaders have altered their constitutions in the past 15 years alone. Some, like Uganda's Yoweri Museveni or Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, have been their countries' leaders since the days of the Cold War. Others, like Djibouti's Ismail Omar Guelleh, Burundi's Pierre Nkurunziza and Rwanda's Kagame, are aspiring autocrats who have only recently solidified their hold on power by removing constitutional obstacles. "African leaders don't hold elections to lose them," said David Zenmenou of the Institute for Security Studies.

Leapfrogging to Democracy

A recent survey by Afrobarometer, a nonpartisan, pan-African research organization, of 51,600 citizens in 34 countries shows that three-quarters of Africans polled support term limits. Educated Africans, the young and those who are more exposed to the media overwhelmingly reject these autocrats and their systems of patronage. ....................(more)


Too Warm, Too Few Fish: Health Warning for World’s Oceans

By Kieran Cooke, Climate News Network

LONDON—The world’s oceans—covering nearly two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, and on which much of human life depends—are under severe pressure, a report says.

Over-fishing has dramatically reduced fish stocks. The thousands of tonnes of rubbish dumped in the oceans wreak havoc on marine life, while climate change is warming and acidifying them, putting them under further stress.

These are the sobering conclusions of a wide-ranging study of the Earth’s ecosystems by the Worldwatch Institute, a US-based organisation widely rated as one of the world’s foremost environmental think-tanks.

“Our sense of the ocean’s power and omnipotence—combined with scientific ignorance—contributed to an assumption that nothing we did could ever possibly impact it”, says Katie Auth, a researcher at Worldwatch and one of the authors of the report.

“Over the years, scientists and environmental leaders have worked tirelessly to demonstrate and communicate the fallacy of such arrogance.” .....................(more)


Chris Hedges w/Eddie Conway and Ojore Lutalo: State Violence and Counter Violence

Published on Aug 25, 2015
Further videos from Chris and about topics addressed are available in Recent Activities, Favorites, Play Lists on my channels. Mirrored and published with the permission of: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheRealNews In this episode of Days of Revolt, host Chris Hedges sits down with former Black Panther Eddie Conway and former member of the Black Liberation Army Ojore Lutalo to discuss their roles in the radical movements in the 1960s and early 1970s, and the state's use of violence to crush them.

Amazon Offers Free Delivery of Workplace Hell

from truthdig:

Amazon Offers Free Delivery of Workplace Hell

Posted on Aug 26, 2015
By Sonali Kolhatkar

A lengthy exposé by The New York Times about Amazon’s work environment recently revealed the depths to which American workplace culture has plummeted, particularly for white-collar workers. Journalists Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld interviewed more than 100 current and former Amazon employees and concluded, “The company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions.”

“Amazonians,” as employees are referred to, are constantly monitored by their higher-ups and their time micromanaged ruthlessly. They are encouraged to engage in a brutal “Hunger Games”-style practice of snitching on one another to management. Those struggling with unexpected illnesses, caregiving needs or even childbirth are often pushed out for supposedly not being committed enough to their jobs. Regular performance evaluations are designed to weed out employees who don’t meet Amazon “standards,” and reasonable interpretations of work-life balance are frowned upon. One former worker told the Times, “Amazon is where overachievers go to feel bad about themselves.”

But it’s not just office workers at Amazon. The company’s poor treatment of its lower-paid warehouse workers has been well documented. Author Simon Head, in his 2014 book, “Mindless: Smarter Machines Are Making Dumber Humans,” wrote, “Amazon’s system of employee monitoring is the most oppressive I have ever come across,” and its management model is based on “pushing up employee productivity while keeping hourly wages at or near poverty levels.” Head described a level of brutality analogous to the barbarism of upper-level jobs that The New York Times found later.

Head told me in a recent interview on “Uprising” that what the Times described at Amazon “crossed serious moral frontiers.” He added, “There is a broad ethical question: Is it justified in pushing human beings and undermining their dignity for such utterly trivial reasons ... as getting a doll to someone in New York City 23 minutes faster?” Head went as far as to compare Amazon’s Anytime Feedback Tool, which managers use to bad-mouth their colleagues, to the methods of the Stasi, the East German secret police. ................(more)


Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 21 Next »