Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a frequent foe of Google, is demanding to know why the giant Internet company was fumbling the search results for DineshD’Souza’s movie America for nearly three weeks.
Shortly after the movie opened wide on July 2, the filmmakers complained to Google that Internet users looking for showtimes and locations were sometimes misdirected to the wrong movie. On other occasions, an image of the film’s poster was incorrect or a description of the movie was wrong.
Rohrabacher tells The Hollywood Reporter that he’s so disturbed by Google’s behavior he intends on discussing it Wednesday during the House Republican Conference, which is the party caucus for Republicans in the House of Representatives.
America is awash in conspiratorial stupidity.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 45% of American Adults reject as false the theory that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by more than one shooter. Thirty-two percent (32%) believe more than one shooter was involved in the 1963 assassination in Dallas, and another 23% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Last November, on the 50th anniversary of the assassination, 36% of adults said Kennedy was the victim of a lone gunman, but just as many (37%) said he was the victim of a larger conspiracy.
One-in-four adults (24%) are convinced that the U.S. government knew in advance about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and did nothing to stop them, and 19% more are not sure. Only 57% say that conspiracy theory is false.
Just as many (23%) say the theory that Obama is not an American citizen is true, with another 17% who aren’t sure. Sixty percent (60%) reject that theory as false.
I hope you’re sitting down for this one, because it’s a real jaw dropper:
Forty-one percent (41%) of Republicans believe Obama is not an American citizen, compared to 21% of unaffiliateds and 11% of Democrats. Just over 20% of Republicans and unaffiliated adults also are not sure, but only seven percent (7%) of those in the president’s party share that doubt.
By analogy it’s like an angry child finding daddy’s gun and taking it to school. Or perhaps as if daddy gave him the gun to take to school. Thing to remember is military equipment is designed to be easy to use at least in a relative sense.
The training required to properly operate the system can take weeks or months, which may explain why the Malaysia plane was destroyed in the first place. The problem with the SA-11 is that it’s difficult to properly identify and track targets, but easy to fire missiles. “The skill comes in knowing what you want to shoot at,” says Cordes. That’s because the SA-11’s radar system shows the same “blip” for all different targets. The operator sees an aircraft’s altitude, air speed, and vector, but not it’s size or type, says Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Airliners broadcast a four-digit transponder known as an IFF code that identifies them as civilian aircraft, and the SA-11 system is capable of picking up that information. But the training that goes into properly identifying aircraft takes months, especially since the window for acquiring and firing on targets is just a few minutes.
“You can’t take a crew, stick ‘em inside the cabin, and say here’s the on switch, and here’s the button you hit,” and expect them to operate it properly, says Wesley Paul, a former intelligence research analyst for the Air Force.
“Ready” and “aim” are difficult. “Fire” is easy.
But say someone dropped off the SA-11 and did all the basic work of getting it up and running, another complicated task. And say you decided on a target that popped up on your radar, whether or not you knew what it was. In that case, destruction comes easy. It would take three to four days at most to teach someone to use the system well enough to shoot down a 777, Cordesman says. That’s partly because passenger planes fly at steady speeds and altitudes, and have no defense systems. They cruise higher than fighter jets do, at heights where they’re more easily picked up by radar.
WAY TO GO AL!!!
“Weird Al” Yankovic’s new album, Mandatory Fun, is set to take the number one spot on the music charts, making it his first number one of his career. Take that Internet parody creators!
It’s fitting that “Weird Al” would claim his first number one album on the Billboard 200 here and now. Not only is his popularity booming thanks to last week’s onslaught of media coverage, but it is also the 25th anniversary of UHF (something we will be celebrating tomorrow).
Leading by example as individuals. Way to go!
As clashes between Hamas and the Israeli armed forces escalate and the death toll climbs with heartbreaking consistency, a photograph of an Arab-American journalist and her Israeli-American boyfriend kissing has gone viral, sparked a Twitter movement, and become a symbol of peace.
In the age of social media, it no longer has to be a photojournalist’s camera that captures the photo that will come to define a particular conflict. In 1967, the photo that became a symbol of peace and ‘flower power’ at the height of the Vietnam War was taken by French photographer Marc Riboud.
In 2014, the world has changed, and the photo quickly becoming a symbol of peace in the Middle East is actually a selfie:
A fascinating science article by Paul Raeburn at Discovery Magazine.
When David Haig finished college in Australia with a degree in biology, he found a job in a New South Wales government office rubber-stamping documents to record mortgage tax payments and property transfers. His tour in the bureaucracy lasted two years. “I decided there was more to life than rubber stamps,” he says, reminiscing in his office at Harvard University’s Botanical Museum. Haig returned to his biology studies at Macquarie University in Sydney, earning his doctorate in 1989.
While he was there, he became absorbed in the study of an unsolved problem in evolutionary biology. Researchers were learning that the process of conceiving a child is not nearly the tender, rhapsodic intertwining of the mother’s and father’s genes that one might imagine. Instead, it’s the start of a survival-of-the-fittest struggle that begins inside a fertilized egg and continues throughout pregnancy.
Natural selection usually had been thought of as a competition among species in the wild. Now it appeared that natural selection was operating within each fertilized human egg, as each parent’s DNA competed for control of the developing offspring, each with a different evolutionary goal.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) plans to announce Wednesday that it has reached agreements with the owners and managers of two Berlin, N.H., properties, to settle allegations that they engaged in housing discrimination for refusing to rent to a woman who was a victim of domestic violence.
Although most know that the Fair Housing Act from 1968, and the amendments and executive orders that followed, protect against discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability, it may come as a surprise that victims of domestic violence are covered as well. It is a violation of the act to treat victims of domestic violence differently than victims of any other crime.
“These individuals are being victimized twice,” Gustavo Velasquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity told She the People — first by the aggressor and then by a landlord who is refusing to renew a lease or threatening to evict. He called the situation both “immoral and illegal,” and said that “HUD remains committed to ensuring and promoting fair housing opportunities for women and men alike.”
He advised those who believe they have experienced discrimination to file a complaint at HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at[no phone numbers allowed] (voice) or[no phone numbers allowed] (TTY), or to go to hud.gov. Other options include a local, private or nonprofit fair housing agency.
Lately, it seems like David Gregory spends as much time trying to shoot down rumors that he’s going to be yanked from his job hosting “Meet the Press” as he does actually hosting “Meet the Press.” On Wednesday, Gregory and NBC got another chance when Page Six reported that he could be taken off the Sunday show after the midterm elections. The gossip column pointed to Chuck Todd as the mostly likely person to replace Gregory.
NBC called the rumors “false,” adding to a long line of similar denials and pledges of support for Gregory from the network. But what is undeniable is that “MTP” has been in a deep hole for months. The show has been stuck in third place in the ratings for so long that it’s hardly newsworthy anymore. Gregory has had to personally deny reports that NBC hired a psychological consultant to analyze him.
An appellate court ruling issued Tuesday would be very bad news for the Affordable Care Act if it became the law of the land. But it’s still a long way from a settled issue, as a second appellate decision, issued a few hours later, highlighted.
In the first ruling, Halbig v. Burwell, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found that federal dollars used to make health insurance more affordable for middle-income Americans can be used only in the handful of states that created their own insurance marketplaces. The subsidies, which come in the form of tax credits, could not be used in the 36 states that use the federal insurance exchange, it said. Then the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, another federal court overseeing a different region of the country, found the exact opposite in King v. Burwell, ruling that the tax credits could be offered in every state of the country.
The disagreement, called a circuit split, means that we are still a long way from any possible concrete actions. The cases will be appealed further, either for reconsideration by the appeals courts that issued the ruling, or go to the Supreme Court. The Obama administration will not reconsider its regulations, which interpreted the law to say that tax credits could be offered in every state, until the case is final. Because of the time involved, the approximately 5 million people in those states who have already signed up for insurance using the subsidies will almost certainly continue to receive them this year, although it is theoretically possible that they could be pulled back by the courts.
Upon hearing that CNN might be up for sale soon, Jon Stewart announced on Tuesday night’s Daily Show a Kickstarter to raise $10 billion in order to buy CNN and do… something with it. Not quite sure what yet.
Stewart reacted to the news that Rupert Murdoch attempted to buy Time Warner, CNN’s corporate owner, and noted the air of passive-aggressiveness at CNN in reaction to the news. And while Murdoch failed in his efforts, he’s not giving up so easily.
The Daily Show even set up a website for the fake Kickstarter page, letsbuycnn.com, with the following pitch to any interested backers: