More: Dark Bits - the Mispers
Most members and staffers of the US House of Representatives won’t be able to edit pages on Wikipedia for more than a week. Administrators of the popular Web encyclopedia have imposed a 10-day ban on the IP address connected to Congress’ lower house.
The ban comes after a series of wild “disruptive” edits that appeared following the creation of @congressedits, a bot that monitors anonymous edits from congressional IP addresses and announces them to the world via Twitter. The account was created just over two weeks ago and already has more than 23,000 followers.
Wikipedia editors explained their castigation for the IP address 220.127.116.11 on the user talk page. The 10-day edit ban follows a one-day ban imposed earlier this month, which apparently didn’t do the trick.
“Checked the tax code,” wrote a friend who’s engaged to a woman from a low-tax country. “Unfortunately, marrying [my fiancee] does not entitle me to a tax inversion like the big US companies are getting. Thanks for nothing IRS.”
That got me thinking. Maybe we’ve been looking at this whole corporations-are-people-too foofaraw the wrong way. Critics complained when the Supreme Court granted companies rights to freedom of speech and religion under the legal fiction that corporations are people. But perhaps this precedent is good news for flesh-and-blood people like you and me (a.k.a. People ClassicTM).
If companies are claiming the rights and privileges of people, maybe people should start claiming the rights and privileges of corporations. Rights harmonization, in other words, should flow in both directions, since we’re now all indistinguishable, equally protected “persons” — in the court’s eyes, anyway.
An evangelical Christian group is trying to convert children as young as five at Portland apartment pools, public parks and dozens of other gathering spots this summer — a campaign that’s got hundreds of parents upset.
They’ve banded together in recent weeks to warn parents about the Child Evangelism Fellowship’s Good News Club, buying a full-page ad in the local alternative weekly to highlight the group’s tactics.
“They pretend to be a mainstream Christian Bible study when in fact they’re a very old school fundamentalist sect,” said Kaye Schmitt, an organizer with Protect Portland Children, which takes issue with the group’s message and the way it’s delivering it.
“Parents should know that out-of-state evangelical fundamentalists are in the Portland area this week, trying to convert children as young as five-years-old, using misleading tactics,” said Stacey Jochimsen, another Protect Portland Children member.
GOP Bill Creates Tax Break for Americans Making Six Figures, Ignores Expiring Tax Credit for Low-Income Families
Lynn “great white hope” Jenkins from Kansas has introduced another wild west libertarian bill that will benefit rich families at the expense of poor ones.
On Friday, the House will vote on a Republican bill that ignores an expiring tax credit for millions of low-income families, while handing one to better-off Americans.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Ks.), changes the way the federal child tax credit works by raising the eligibility cap for married couples. At the same time, the legislation would allow a 2009 child tax credit increase for low-income families to expire at the end of 2017. Here’s how that would play out in the coming years. A married couple with two children that bring in $160,000 a year would get a new annual tax cut of $2,200, according to an analysis by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). A single mother with two kids who makes $14,500 a year would lose $1,725 annually.
“The big winners would be the more-affluent families who would become newly eligible for the [child tax credit],” tax experts at the CBPP noted Tuesday. “The losers would be millions of low-income families who are doing exactly what policymakers often say they want these people to do—working, even at low-wage jobs.”
President Obama on Thursday called for Congress to strip away tax advantages that have encouraged a rush of mergers and acquisitions that give companies an overseas base while they maintain their presence in the United States.
In an appearance at a technical college that was intended to focus on job training, the president used unusually harsh language to describe American companies that acquire overseas companies to relocate for tax reasons, known as inversions. He said they were renouncing their American citizenship by “cherry-picking” the nation’s tax laws at the expense of ordinary taxpayers.
“These companies are cherry-picking the rules, and it damages the country’s finances,” Mr. Obama said. “It adds to the deficit. It sticks you with the tab to make up for what they are stashing offshore.”
Democrats were thrilled when John Walsh of Montana was appointed to the United States Senate in February. A decorated veteran of the Iraq war and former adjutant general of his state’s National Guard, Mr. Walsh offered the Democratic Party something it frequently lacks: a seasoned military man.
On the campaign trail this year, Mr. Walsh, 53, has made his military service a main selling point. Still wearing his hair close-cropped, he notes he was targeted for killing by Iraqi militants and says his time in uniform informs his views on a range of issues.
But one of the highest-profile credentials of Mr. Walsh’s 33-year military career appears to have been improperly attained. An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.
When will NPR interview Zack Jud to clear the air? There’s a lot of bad science reporting going on here. See the updates: appears that the Dad, and bad science reporting are the real culprits here.
News item number one: Lauren Arrington, a Florida sixth grader, was featured on NPR, CBS, and many other media outlets for her science report on Indo-Pacific lionfish, a predatory reef fish species that has invaded ocean waters along the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean. The NPR story, “Sixth Grader’s Science Fair Finding Shocks Ecologists,” quotes Lauren on the line of thinking that led to her discovery:
“Scientists were doing plenty of tests on them, but they just always assumed they were in the ocean,” Lauren, now 13, tells NPR’s Kelly McEvers. “So I was like, ‘Well, hey guys, what about the river?’ “
Unfortunately, the finding indicated in the headline—that lionfish can thrive in low-salinity estuaries—was was not a new discovery, nor was it Lauren’s. Zack Jud had reported these same findings as a Ph.D. candidate at Florida International University in 2011, three years before Arrington first presented her science fair project, in a paper titled “Recent invasion of a Florida (USA) estuarine system.” That paper lists Lauren’s father, D. Albrey Arrington, as a courtesy author, and as such, one can assume that he was aware of Jud’s discovery of lionfish in low-salinity environments well before his daughter embarked on a national media tour claiming the discovery as her own.
UPDATE: There’s a bit of twitterversy about this, some are tweeting that it’s not truly “Plagiarism” since she didn’t lift text from Jud’s paper, however at the very minimum it is stealing credit.
Update 2: Here’s a pretty definitive timeline. blogs.discovermagazine.com
The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in several other places in the restive east.
Ukrainian forces are trying to close in on the rebels, cutting them off from the border with Russia which Kyiv believes is the source of arms and reinforcement. Moscow has vehemently denied a role in the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and government troops which has left more than 400 people dead and displaced tens of thousands.
In a statement on Friday, the headquarters of the government’s military operation in the east listed at least seven locations where rebels attacked Ukrainian troops. They also claimed that attacks on two locations including a border crossing were supported by artillery fire from Russia.