Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.
Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.
It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.
When journalist Chai Jing released her documentary on China’s air pollution, she probably could not have dreamed that her message would resonate so widely while boosting the share prices of so many “environmentally friendly” companies.
On Monday, more than a dozen stocks in the fields of pollutant treatment, air quality monitoring and green technology saw huge gains, with several rising 10% and reaching the daily trading limit.
Among the biggest winners were Sail Hero, a producer of pollutant monitors, Top Resource Conservation Engineering, a renewable energy equipment provider, LongKing Environmental, a maker of desulfurization facilities for boilers and furnaces, and Create Technology & Science, a producer of industrial and corporate air purifiers.
The catalyst for the buying frenzy was a 104-minute long documentary going into details of the history, causes and impact of China’s smog. An independent production by well-known reporter Chai Jing, “Beneath the Dome” was released online over the weekend, and by Monday morning had more than 100 million cumulative views.
More at forbes.com
Chai is a former news reporter and anchor for China Central Television (CCTV). Believing her daughter’s benign tumor (in utero) was caused by China’s pollution, she spent more than 1 million RMB ($167,000) of her own money to produce a low key, but powerful documentary called “Beneath the Dome” (穹顶之下). *
In one segment, Chai asks a little girl in Shanxi province — probably the most polluted of China’s 23 provinces — if she had ever seen stars in the sky. The girl said no. Blue sky? Maybe once, sort of blue. White clouds? Never.
Chai ran the documentary past government officials in Beijing before releasing it on China’s versions of YouTube for free viewing over the weekend. On youku.com alone, it’s been viewed more than 3 million times
Environmentalists hope that public pressure resulting from the film will induce local regulators to enforce China’s existing anti-pollution laws, rather than ignore them to promote faster economic development.
* The Chinese title can also be translated as “Under the Dome,” which is also the title of a science fiction TV series in the USA.
I went out to the post box and found the latest issue of Nat Geo, March 2015, there with this cover photo:
And the headlines:
THE WAR ON SCIENCE:
Climate Change does not exist
Evolution never happened
The Mood Landing was fake
Vaccinations can lead to autism
Genetically Modified Food is evil
It was a relief to see that this old, respected & sometimes stodgy journal take a strong stand against the deniers & other idiocies of our day. Even better was the discussion of why people doubt and deny what science tells them. It starts with the classic comedic example that has come full circle of late:
There’s a scene in Stanley Kubrick’s comic masterpiece Dr. Strangelove in which Jack D. Ripper, an American general who’s gone rogue and ordered a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, unspools his paranoid worldview—and the explanation for why he drinks “only distilled water, or rainwater, and only pure grain alcohol”—to Lionel Mandrake, a dizzy-with-anxiety group captain in the Royal Air Force.
Ripper: Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation? Fluoridation of water?
Mandrake: Ah, yes, I have heard of that, Jack. Yes, yes.
Ripper: Well, do you know what it is?
Mandrake: No. No, I don’t know what it is. No.
Ripper: Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?
The movie came out in 1964, by which time the health benefits of fluoridation had been thoroughly established, and antifluoridation conspiracy theories could be the stuff of comedy. So you might be surprised to learn that, half a century later, fluoridation continues to incite fear and paranoia. In 2013 citizens in Portland, Oregon, one of only a few major American cities that don’t fluoridate their water, blocked a plan by local officials to do so. Opponents didn’t like the idea of the government adding “chemicals” to their water. They claimed that fluoride could be harmful to human health.
Actually fluoride is a natural mineral that, in the weak concentrations used in public drinking water systems, hardens tooth enamel and prevents tooth decay—a cheap and safe way to improve dental health for everyone, rich or poor, conscientious brusher or not. That’s the scientific and medical consensus.
To which some people in Portland, echoing antifluoridation activists around the world, reply: We don’t believe you.
The article goes on from there and talks about the whole range of denial on the Right & Left wings - from evolution to GMO’s. It’s a good cross section of the crazy that has infected the majority of the nation.
You can read the whole text online at the link above. I would, however, suggest finding the magazine at your favorite retailer as they deserve the support for taking this stand.
Over the next several months, the Supreme Court will decide whether state restrictions on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. As the court considers that momentous question, the Department of Justice will make clear that our answer is an unequivocal “yes.”
This week, the Justice Department will file a brief setting forth our position that state bans on same-sex marriage violate the fundamental constitutional guarantee of “equal protection of the laws.” It is clear that the time has come to recognize that gay and lesbian people deserve robust protection from discrimination.
Nothing justifies excluding same-sex couples from the institution of marriage. Denying them the right to marry serves only to demean them and their children, to degrade the dignity of their families and to deny them the full, free and equal participation in American life to which every citizen is entitled.
Curt Schilling showed a young punk you don’t mess with his daughter on twitter.
Schilling’s fond paternal congratulations were met with “tweets with the word rape, bloody underwear and pretty much every other vulgar and defiling word you could likely fathom,
Schilling outed those responsible for the most heinous social media abuses.
‘“The Sports Guru”? Ya he’s a DJ named Adam Nagel (DJ is a bit strong since he’s on the air for 1 hour a week) on Brookdale Student Radio at Brookdale Community College. How do you think that place feels about this stud representing their school? You don’t think this isn’t going to be a nice compilation that will show up every single time this idiot is googled the rest of his life? What happens when a potential woman he’s after googles and reads this?
The student has since been suspended.
In this era of raw nerves, protests and increased tensions, Americans really want leadership. It’s natural for the public and the media to desperately seek out examples that appear to affirm that our nation is changing for the better.
But if our desire for quick answers, accessible leaders and hashtag activism takes the place of real investigation and substantive change, the nation is done a disservice. Is it really considered speaking out against racism when the police chief protects violent cops over innocent citizens?
Can he be called an example of good policing when he backs down to a bullying union and supports long-debunked policing strategies that disproportionately harm people of color?
Or does a viral picture taken with a bunch of activists in a coffee shop outweigh the actual actions and policies on the ground? It’s important as this national dialogue continues that we remember it is policies and commitment that matter, not just photo ops and hashtags.
While a picture can be worth a thousand words, if it gives us a distorted image, the picture isn’t worth much at all.
The other day we were speculating about B-52s being used against ISIS, the context being RWNJ demands that the heavy bombers be so employed. It turns out that the B-52’s heavy partner, the B-1 (aka “Bone) is being used against the terrorist movement, with over 100 sorties so far. The B-1 can potentially carry a heavier bombload that the ‘52 but normally operates with a smaller load of guided weapons, especially the JDAM..
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar — Carrying the largest payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1B Lancer is the backbone of America’s long-range bomber force and is a key resource for strike operations throughout the Central Command Area of Responsibility.
As a unit, the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., replaced the 9th EBS just shy of a month ago and in that time they have flown just under 100 sorties.
“We continue to employ combat air power in support of the Combined Forces Air Component Commander’s objectives,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Kramer, 34th EBS commander. “We’ve dropped approximately 250 munitions on both deliberate targets, which are targets assigned prior to take off, and dynamic targets, which are targets passed to our Airmen while they are airborne.”
B-1s based here are capable of supporting operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, or anywhere else they are needed. In recent months, the bombers have played a major role in helping Iraqi and Kurdish forces hold or retake key territory in Iraq and Syria, as well as destroying facilities and assets used by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The bomber’s range and payload let it conduct multiple strikes with a large number of precision-guided munitions, which would require multiple combat sorties from other aircraft.
“We have accomplished a lot here so far, and we’re definitely up for the challenge that supporting these missions require,” said Hobbs. “We are supporting multiple mission sets across two operations and those mission sets include close air support, armed overwatch and several deliberate targeting missions that are assigned via the air tasking order.”
Operations in Iraq and Syria have provided new mission challenges for veteran B-1 aircrews in the theater. For some, this is their first experience in a combat zone.
On Sunday night, three Senate Republicans — Lamar Alexander, John Barrasso and Orrin Hatch — published a Washington Post op-ed promising that if the Supreme Court rules against Obamacare and rips subsidies out of federal exchanges, “Republicans have a plan to protect Americans harmed by the administration’s actions.”
The problem is they don’t have a plan. And Republicans spent the last week showing that even if they did have a plan, there’s no way the House would pass it.
There’s a game behind the game here: Republicans want to persuade five members of the Supreme Court that it’s safe to rule against Obamacare — they want the Justices to feel secure that Republicans will fix the mess, rather than letting it become a sucking wound that turns the country against both the GOP and the Roberts Court.
But they can’t actually promise that. They don’t have a plan to fix Obamacare, and they don’t have a plan to pass the plan they don’t have to fix Obamacare.
It turns out that Hovind is very anti-government, which tends to go with bible literalism these days.
ury selection will begin Monday in the trial of Kent Hovind, a polarizing Pensacola evangelist facing federal charges of fraud and contempt.
Hovind, known as Doctor Dino for his views on history and creation, could spend more than 20 years in prison if convicted of charges that he filed documents disputing the government’s right to sell his forfeited property.
North Carolina resident Alan Hoyle is in Pensacola to protest the Federal Court ruling against Kent Hovind. Hovind, the Pensacola based creationist is current in prison on federal tax charges.
Those aren’t the type of charges that normally make headlines, but depending on who you ask this case was never about the charges anyway. A man with unconventional views and a degree of national celebrity, Hovind has drawn a dedicated base of supporters, detractors and interested observers with differing views on whether the case is about tax laws, religion, government oppression, constitutional rights, all or none of the above.
Chris looks at the results of a new study - and as usual multiple factors contribute towards how you view science, whether it should be used when shaping policy, and how much it should be funded.
“The ‘direct effect’ of liberal-conservative orientation is spurious once the distinct belief systems that underlie those identifications are accounted for,” wrote Gauchat.
Which belief systems? In particular, being a biblical literalist — endorsing the statement, “The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word” — was a much bigger factor than liberalism or conservatism in explaining why some people disagreed with the use of science in “concrete government policy decisions,” and also why they were against federal science funding.
Meanwhile, several other factors also leaped out as being more important than simple left-right orientation. A politico-psychological trait called authoritarianism — often described as a tendency to see issues in sharply black-and white terms — was also tied to distrusting the use of science for policy. Meanwhile, distrust of government itself was (not surprisingly) linked to not wanting science to receive government funding.