A Heartwarming start to the weekend:Link
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said he plans to re-introduce the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) with Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) this year.
Ruppersberger said his staff is currently working with the White House to smooth over the concerns it had with the bill last year. The White House issued a veto threat against CISPA last spring, saying the president’s top advisers would recommend that he veto the bill if it came to his desk.
“We’re working on some things…working with the White House to make sure that hopefully they can be more supportive of our bill than they were the last time,” Ruppersberger said.
So far, the Maryland Democrat said the discussions with the White House have been positive and “working pretty well.”
Civil liberties groups and privacy advocates launched online protests against the bill because they argued that it lacked sufficient privacy protections and would increase the pool of people’s electronic communications flowing to the intelligence community and the secretive National Security Agency (NSA). The White House shared similar concerns about the privacy protections in the bill and whether it would protect people’s personal information when companies share cyber threat data with the government.
Rogers and Ruppersberger argued that CISPA had sufficient privacy protections and even modified the bill to address some of the concerns from privacy advocates, who ultimately were not won over by the changes.
(Reuters) - The Syrian opposition leader met Russia’s foreign minister on Saturday and a diplomatic source said he would also see Iran’s foreign minister, opening a window to a possible breakthrough in efforts to broker an end to Syria’s civil war.
Russia and Iran have been the staunchest allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout an armed uprising against his rule, and any understandings they might reach with Assad’s foes could help overcome the two sides’ refusal to negotiate.
At an annual international security conference in Munich, Syrian National Coalition leader Moaz Alkhatib had talks with Russia’s Sergei Lavrov that may have been made possible by Alkhatib signaling readiness to talk to Damascus.
He also met separately with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.N. special envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.
“Russia has a certain vision but we welcome negotiations to alleviate the crisis and there are lots of details that need to be discussed,” Alkhatib said after the meeting.
A diplomatic source said the Alkhatib would also meet Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, who was attending the Munich security conference on Saturday, but this could not be independently confirmed.
Russia has blocked three U.N. Security Council resolutions aimed at pushing out Assad out or pressuring him to end the civil war, in which more than 60,000 people have died. But Moscow has also tried to distance itself from Assad by saying it is not trying to prop him up and will not offer him asylum.
When Connie Spears arrived at a Christus Santa Rosa hospital emergency room in 2010 with severe leg pain, she told medical staff members about her history of blood clots. Doctors sent her home with a far less serious diagnosis.
Nearly three years later, Ms. Spears contends that she is a victim not only of a medical mistake but also of Texas’ tort reform laws.
The huge tort reform package that Texas lawmakers approved in 2003 capped noneconomic damages that a plaintiff could receive for medical malpractice at $250,000 and set a ‘willful and wanton’ negligence standard — interpreted as intentionally harming the patient — for emergency care. It also required plaintiffs to find a practicing or teaching physician in the same specialty as the defendant to serve as an expert witness and to demonstrate evidence of negligence before a trial. Under the strengthened rules, if plaintiffs fail to produce adequate expert reports within 120 days of filing their cases, they are liable for defendants’ legal fees.
The stuff writes itself.
As gun rights activists celebrated the turnout at gun shows for national Gun Appreciation Day Saturday, police responded to at least thee accidental shootings that left five people injured at shows across the country.
Surveying the wreckage of a neighbor’s bungalow hit by a Palestinian rocket, retired Israeli official Avner Cohen traces the missile’s trajectory back to an “enormous, stupid mistake” made 30 years ago.
“Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” says Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Responsible for religious affairs in the region until 1994, Mr. Cohen watched the Islamist movement take shape, muscle aside secular Palestinian rivals and then morph into what is today Hamas, a militant group that is sworn to Israel’s destruction.
Instead of trying to curb Gaza’s Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah. Israel cooperated with a crippled, half-blind cleric named Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, even as he was laying the foundations for what would become Hamas. Sheikh Yassin continues to inspire militants today; during the recent war in Gaza, Hamas fighters confronted Israeli troops with “Yassins,” primitive rocket-propelled grenades named in honor of the cleric.
If anything, the recent conflict shows that while citizens may have a sense of history, their governments necessarily don’t. And now, in the case of Israel and in Gaza, they have to relive a deadly history.
Hear now the words of Rabbi Yeshua Ben Yosef:
Use well your talents for some good purpose. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, and if you use your talents well:
the LORD will say unto you: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy LORD.”
In honor of the Parable of the Talents, for the 24 hours starting at noon PST November 11, 2012, the DeLong-Marciarille household will match all donations made online to Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren at:
Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren is 48 Luo grandmothers and great-grandmothers raising 150 AIDS-orphaned grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Ahero, in western Kenya, funded through this one-woman zero-overhead NGO who is our neighbor Bee Sjostrum, who spent two years in Ahero as the oldest Peace Corps volunteer in East Africa.
Yes, we are giving of our surplus only.
But just because you don’t want to give of your substance is no reason to be a #%^%€>¥ and not to give at all:
For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents , to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying: “Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.”
His lord said unto him: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
He also that had received two talents came and said: “Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.”
His lord said unto him: “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Then he which had received the one talent came and said: “Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed. And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.”
His lord answered and said unto him: “Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed. Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
“For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
It’s your choice:
Buy a basket and so send a little money at zero overhead to AIDS orphans in Kenya, and know that your contribution has done double work at the margin; or…
Get cast into the outer darkness, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, and—even worse—where you shall have the company of all the other unprofitable servants…
I donated a goat-in honor of Mitt Romney.
Republicans around the country are responding to President Obama’s reelection in a variety of ways — among them: anger, depression, finger-pointing. But nobody had the same reaction as Eric Dondero, a former Ron Paul aide who blogs at LibertarianRepublican.net. In a post yesterday, Dondero, reasoning that the only recourse to Obama’s victory is “outright revolt,” laid out the terms of the “personal boycott” against Democrats which he plans to maintain for the rest of his life and that he hopes his followers will as well. What does the boycott entail? Cutting all ties with Democratic family members, friends, and lovers; refusing to work for a Democratic boss; spitting on the ground when a Democrat talks to you; and possibly shitting on your Democratic neighbor’s lawn, among other things:
All family and friends, even close family and friends, who I know to be Democrats are hereby dead to me. I vow never to speak to them again for the rest of my life, or have any communications with them. They are in short, the enemies of liberty. They deserve nothing less than hatred and utter contempt.
I strongly urge all other libertarians to do the same. Are you married to someone who voted for Obama, have a girlfriend who voted ‘O’. Divorce them. Break up with them without haste. Vow not to attend family functions, Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas for example, if there will be any family members in attendance who are Democrats.
Do you work for someone who voted for Obama? Quit your job. Co-workers who voted for Obama. Simply don’t talk to them in the workplace, unless your boss instructs you too for work-related only purposes. Have clients who voted Democrat? Call them up this morning and tell them to take their business elsewhere.
Have a neighbor who votes for Obama? You could take a crap on their lawn. Then again, probably not a good idea since it would be technically illegal to do this. But you could have your dog take care of business. Not your fault if he just happens to choose that particular spot.
NYMAG contacted Dondero-his first response: ‘Fuck Off’.