Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Daylight Saving Time

March 8, 2019

Daylight Saving Time

At 2:00 AM this Sunday morning people in most of the United States will set their clocks ahead one hour as we begin Daylight Saving Time. Many households will also change the batteries in their smoke detectors. In Arizona, where they don’t believe in Daylight Saving Time, people mark the day by putting fresh ammunition in their handguns.

The continental United States observes DST beginning on the second Sunday in March; the European Union on the last Sunday in March. Tunisia, Bangladesh, and Fiji have joined Arizona and no longer observe Daylight Saving Time. We do not know if these counties also concur with Arizona’s denial of Climate ChangeWater FluoridationInternational Law, and Evolution.

Why does Arizona reject Daylight Saving Time? Perhaps the state’s many retirees can’t figure out how to change the time settings on their old VHS machines.

So “Spring Ahead,” even if Spring won’t actually be here until March 20th. And your lost hour of sleep? You’ll get it back on November 3rd.

More on Daylight Saving Time here. And change your batteries and stuff.

More:

“Daylight saving time begins Sunday: 8 things to know about ‘springing forward,’” Brian Resnick, Vox

“Five reasons why the US should stay on daylight saving time permanently,” Steve Calandrillo, Quartz

“With clocks springing ahead, lawmakers want more sunshine,” Niels Lesniewski, Roll Call

(more…)

Purdue Pharma: OxyContin Poisoning

March 6, 2019

Purdue Pharma: OxyContin Poisoning

The pill pushing firm behind the opioid epidemic is ODing on lawsuits.

“OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP is exploring filing for bankruptcy to address potentially significant liabilities from roughly 2,000 lawsuits alleging the drugmaker contributed to the deadly opioid crisis sweeping the United States, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.”

— “OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma exploring bankruptcy -sources,” Mike Spector, Jessica DiNapoli, Nate Raymond, Reuters

More:

“Report: Purdue Pharma exploring Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing,” Alaric DeArment, MedCityNews

“One of America’s richest families is accused of profiting from the nation’s opioid crisis,” Tony Marco, CNN

“Allegations Against the Maker of OxyContin Are Piling Up. Here’s What They Could Mean for the Billionaire Family Behind Purdue Pharma,” Jamie Ducharme, Time

Update:

“Oklahoma judge refuses to delay first trial of responsibility for opioid crisis,” Lenny Bernstein, Washington Post

Related:

“Doctor Who Wrote 1980 Letter On Painkillers Regrets That It Fed The Opioid Crisis,” Taylor Haney and Andrea Hsu, NPR

“Purdue Pharma taps a Gilded Age history of pharmaceutical fraud,” Jonathan S. Jones, The Conversation

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Puerto Rico Is Not a State. Why Not?

March 5, 2019

Nearly half of Americans don’t know that Puerto Ricans are US citizens. But they are, and have been since 1917. A Vox video by Christina Thornell.

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Food Will Win the War

March 2, 2019

“Food Will Win the War,” a Walt Disney Studios production for the USDA, 1942. Directed by Hamilton Luske, and narrated by Fred Shields. This WWII theatrical cartoon was for the home front, but Disney produced or contributed to hundreds of military training and propaganda films during World War II.

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Uber Ahoy!

February 25, 2019

Uber Boat has launched in Mumbai. It’s a splashy way to avoid the city’s horrible traffic jams. Uber Boat already operates in Istanbul and Croatia.

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Seattle: View from the Space Needle

February 8, 2019

A 3-year time-lapse video from the Space Needle shows the scale of new development in Seattle. No wonder Amazon needed to expand to other cities.

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Trump’s Consumer Watchdog: $1 Fine for Swindling Veterans

January 28, 2019

Trump's Consumer Watchdog: $1 Fine for Swindling Veterans

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau penalized a man $1 this week, for illegally exchanging veterans’ pensions for high-interest “cash advances.” Mark Corbett claimed in sworn statements to the bureau that he had an inability to pay any fine of greater value, and the bureau accepted $1 as payment for making illegal, high-cost loans to former members of the armed forces.”

“This is not the first time during the Trump administration that CFPB has taken an inability to pay into account to reduce a fine for violations of consumer protection law. Under the previous acting director, current acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, this type of reduction was so widespread that it came to be known as the ‘Mulvaney discount.’ The American justice system rarely treats impoverished defendants with such mercy.

Mulvaney has since been replaced by a confirmed director, his former aide Kathy Kraninger. The discount, however, has remained.”

—  “Trump’s CFPB Fines a Man $1 For Swindling Veterans, Orders Him Not to Do It Again,” David Dayen, The Intercept

More:

“Trump Appointee Issues One Dollar Fine for Scamming Veterans,” Will Corbett, Center For Responsible Lending

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Auld Lang Syne

January 1, 2019

“Auld Lang Syne,” lyrics written by Robert Burns in 1788, set to a traditional tune, rendered by The Real McKenzies, a Canadian Celtic Punk band, with Gord Taylor on the highland pipes.

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Petulant President’s Resignation Response

December 23, 2018

Petulant President's Resignation Response
On Thursday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigned as Secretary of Defense after President Trump precipitously ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria without Pentagon consultation. His letter of resignation is a clear-eyed, well-reasoned, stinging rebuke to Mr. Trump’s chaotic decision-making and leadership. Secretary Mattis said he would resign at the end of February to allow for a smooth transition of Defense Department leadership. President Trump responded with the  thoughtfulness and grace that has characterized his administration, posting a Tweet announcing that General Mattis will be gone by January 1st. His successor, a Trump appointee, was a Boeing executive for 30 years and, like the Commander-In-Chief, has no military experience.

More:

“Trump, Angry Over Mattis’s Rebuke, Removes Him 2 Months Early,” Helene Cooper, New York Times

Related:

“Mattis is out, and Blackwater is back: ‘We are coming,’” Tara Copp, Military Times

“John McCain Once Called Trump’s New Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan a ‘Fox in the Henhouse’ Over Ties to Boeing,” Ramsey Touchberry, Newsweek

“Someone please get President Trump on the golf course,” Dallas Morning News editorial

Update:

“Trump is now saying he ‘fired’ James Mattis,” Kathryn Krawczyk, The Week

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The President was elected In the checkout aisle.

December 18, 2018

The President was elected In the checkout aisle.

National Enquirer publisher David Pecker admitted to felony campaign law violations in the “trap and kill” hush money operation to silence Donald Trump’s mistresses, but his other undeclared contribution to the Trump campaign, worth millions, reached the candidate’s low-information supporters close to home, at the checkout counter magazine rack.

“It was the real-world embodiment of the fantasy online world of trolls, Russian and domestic, who polluted the political discourse. From its perches at Publix and Safeway, it was often doing the same job as Alex Jones, of the conspiracy site Infowars, and the more strident Trump campaign surrogates on Twitter and Facebook.

The Enquirer spread false stories about Hillary Clinton — illnesses concealed, child prostitution, bribery, treason. Each cover trumpeting these tales was arguably more powerful than a tweet from an account with millions of followers.”

“‘Wondering what The Enquirer’s covers were worth to the Trump campaign, I called Regis Maher, a co-founder of Do It Outdoors, the national mobile and digital billboard company. He said a campaign with that level of national prominence would cost $2.5 million to $3 million a month. ‘It’s such a powerful placement,’ Mr. Maher said. ‘Everybody’s gotta go to the grocery store.’”

“More Powerful Than a Russian Troll Army: The National Enquirer,” Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

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2016 Photo (“Quality Journalism Means an Informed Citizenry”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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