Hey!

International Developments

❖ “Egypt Leaders’ Transition Plan Meets With Swift Criticism”–”from civilian leaders across the political spectrum.”  Update:  “Egypt’s state prosecutor has issued an arrest warrant for the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, and at least nine other senior figures.”  100s of warrants supposedly issued.  Update:  US “Will Honor Delivery Of 4 Fighter Jets To Egypt”.

The Lac-Mégantic, Quebec tragedy continues as “Rail World boss Edward Burkhardt [says] he did not believe the last engineer had set a series of hand brakes, despite the engineer’s protestations.”  Townspeople heckled Burkhardt.  60 classified ”dead or missing”.

They’ve been recognized by the UK since 1677, but the Chickahominy tribe of VA’s quest to be recognized by the US government continues.

❖ “US navy makes history by landing unmanned drone on aircraft carrier . . . but navy has no plans to add this particular drone to its airfleet.”  It has others in mind.

International Finance

❖ “The European Commission has outlined plans for a single authority . . . responsible for winding down eurozone banks that get into trouble.”  Germany’s cool to the idea.

❖ Could you use a large laugh? “New York Stock Exchange to Take Over Libor:  And That’s Supposed to Instill Confidence?”

❖ “The Big Problems in Obama’s Big Trade Deals“, as illustrated by what happened to Ecuador under the US- Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty, Peru under the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement and Quebec under NAFTA.

❖ Results from a survey about global corruption:  over half think “graft has worsened over the past two years, and a quarter reported having paid officials a bribe in the last 12 months.”

With exports falling 3.1% last month, “China has warned of a grim outlook for trade”.

Money Matters USA

❖ “NY Judge:  Apple Conspired To Raise E-Book Prices“, thereby breaking anti-trust laws. Apple was among six publishers sued; the others settled.

❖ “Wal-Mart says it will pull out of D.C. plans should city mandate ‘living wage’.”

❖ “Widows of coal miners who developed the black lung are eligible for survivors’ benefits under changes enacted by health care reform”.  (They were originally denied benefits.)

❖ OK, so what was the IQ of the person(s) who thought this up?  An applicant to be a New York City police officer was turned down because he “scored too high on an intelligence test”.

In Hot Pursuit

The Organization of American States has “expressed solidarity with President of Bolivia Evo Morales” whose return flight from Moscow was interrupted on suspicion that Edward Snowden might be on board.  The OAS also “urges EU countries involved to apologize.”

Edward Snowden: “I never gave any information to Chinese or Russian governments” and neither of those governments drained “the contents of his laptops”.

Surveillance Planet

❖ “Luxembourg will hold new elections after the junior coalition partner in Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker’s government said he should take political responsibility for failing to curb abuse of power by the secret service.”

One Brazilian politician says US spying, while unacceptable, won’t affect “the good relations we have with the United States”.  Meanwhile, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff met with government ministers about US spying on Brazilian citizens.  They’re appealing to the UN General Assembly. [Google translation]

Not too far from the NSA’s huge new building in UT is Xmission, “Utah’s first independent and oldest internet service provider [which] has spent the past 15 years resolutely shielding customers’ privacy from government snoops”.

Leaking how-tos/how-not-tos.

What the government pays technology and phone companies for our data!

A “federal judge in New York approved a subpoena by Chevron to obtain any . . . Microsoft documents related to the identify of 30 anonymous individuals allegedly [involved in Chevron's environmental contamination lawsuit in Ecuador], including every IP address over a period of nine years.”

President Obama “has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work”.  It’s the Insider Threat Program. BTW, a “desire to help the ‘underdog’” is a big clue to the FBI.

Politics USA

❖ “US diplomats cry foul as Obama donors take over top embassy jobs: Former ambassador likens practice to ‘selling of public office’ as figures show average amount of cash raised is $1.8m per post.”

A couple of popular US entertainers visited Cuban recently with sufficient press coverage to attract Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee who’ve attached a provision to a spending bill “that seeks to tighten travel restrictions to Cuba”.  Land of the Free!

Those battle-equipped mercenaries at the Gogebic Taconite mine site in WI were employees of Bulletproof Securities, which is owned by AZ businessman Tom Parrella.  Interesting dude, interesting doings.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleads “not guilty” (Boston Marathon Bombing).

Gun Corner

❖ Outrageous!  It’ll cost you $89.95 to “shoot Virginia Tech shooting victim-turned-anti-gun violence advocate Colin Goddard in the face.” It’s Zombie Industries’ latest target-practice product aimed at gun idiots.

The “Ohio School Board Says We Have to Get Rid of Gun Free Zones and Allows Teachers to Carry.”  Guess they’re unaware of what happened in KS.

Gun activitist Adam Kokesh has been busted in VA.  Guns and drugs.

Always Johnny-on-the-Spot with inanities or insults, Republicans have a bill in the House “that would block federal dollars from . . . schools that prohibit students from playing with imaginary weapons.”

Health, Homelessness & Hunger

❖ “House Republican leaders have opted to drop food stamps from the massive, half-trillion-dollar farm bill”.

Education Directions

❖  Lying close to “the epicenter of” (Rahmbo’s war on Chicago public education) is the Joyce Foundation.  President Obama and his advisor Valerie Jarrett served on Joyce Foundation’s Board of Directors.  And it gets much more interesting from there.

Planet Earth News

❖ “How Unchecked Capitalism Has Brought the World to the Brink of Apocalypse–and What We Must Do Now”.

❖ After 7 years of study:  “Wind power does not strongly affect greater prairie chickens”.

Mixed Bag

This wonderful thing is making the rounds again.

Break Time

The Lone Ranger Story