Florida Woman Faces Fines Over $100,000 For Parking On Part Of Her Lawn
A Florida woman is facing fines and fees over $100,000 because her car's tires touched part of her lawn, according to the Institute of Justice (IJ).
Sandy Martinez said she lives with other family members at her home in Lantana, Florida. The homeowner said they all own cars and work hourly jobs, and they try their best to make their vehicles fit in the driveway. Because there's not enough room, Martinez said she chooses to park on her walkway and part of the grass of her property.
As a result, the city of Lantana has been penalizing her $250 a day.
"If I park over the sidewalk, then we’ll get a ticket. We can’t park on the street, because obviously it’s a roadway. We can park in the swell, but it’s very dangerous, so that leaves us no choice but to park in the driveway on my grass," she said in a IJ video. More
HSBC says customers who refuse to wear a face mask will have their accounts withdrawn
HSBC has issued a warning to customers as retailers step up coronavirus safety measures amid a further 1,243 deaths.
The lender - which also owns First Direct and Marks & Spencer bank - said customers who break the law could forfeit their bank account.
A spokesman said face masks are mandatory in all branches as per government guidelines. Those who refuse to comply will be refused service and could have their bank accounts withdrawn. More
Mr. Potato Head goes gender neutral, will now be called Potato Head; Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head will live on in some form
NEW YORK — Mr. Potato Head is no longer a mister.
Hasbro, the company that’s made the potato-shaped plastic toy for nearly 70 years, is giving the spud a gender neutral new name: Potato Head. The change will appear on boxes this year.
Many toymakers have been updating their classic brands in recent years, hoping to relate to today’s kids and reflect more modern families.
“It’s a potato,” said Ali Mierzejewski, editor in chief at toy review site The Toy Insider. “But kids like to see themselves in the toys they are playing with.” More
Vaccine Site Uses Credit History to Verify Patients’ Identities
When retired web developer Catherine Kunicki tried to sign up for her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in downtown Brooklyn, the AdvantageCare Physicians website rejected her.
She received an error message that her identity couldn't be verified through Experian, a credit monitoring company. She said she's felt "horrified" at the amount of info needed from vaccination scheduling sites before users can even see when there are open slots.
"This one wins, though," she said. More
After Coca-Cola Backlash, LinkedIn Removes Diversity Lesson Telling Employees to 'Be Less White'
After a whistleblower complained that Coca-Cola was asking its employees to engage in diversity training offered by LinkedIn Learning that encouraged them to "try to be less white," the social media firm has removed the program.
"The Confronting Racism course featuring Robin DiAngelo is no longer available in our course library, at the request of the 3rd party content provider we licensed this content from," LinkedIn vice president of corporate communications Nicole Leverich told Newsweek in an email on Monday.
"We provide a wide variety of learning content, including more than 270 courses on the topics of diversity, inclusion and belonging," Leverich said. "We will continue to add new courses to help people learn the skills they need to be more successful in their career, including the foundational skills we all need to be effective allies and help build a more equitable future.". More
Justice Department investigating Elon Musk’s SpaceX following complaint of hiring discrimination
The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating SpaceX over whether the company discriminates against non-U.S. citizens in its hiring practices and said Elon Musk’s company is stonewalling a subpoena for information, court documents revealed Thursday.
The DOJ’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section received a complaint of employment discrimination from a non-U.S. citizen claiming that the company discriminated against him based on his citizenship status.
“The charge alleges that on or about March 10, 2020, during the Charging Party’s interview for the position of Technology Strategy Associate, SpaceX made inquiries about his citizenship status and ultimately failed to hire him for the position because he is not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident,” DOJ attorney Lisa Sandoval wrote in a court document. More
More proof that the COVID vaccine rollout is a complete mess
The COVID-19 pandemic has reached such a dire stage in the US, that the incoming Biden administration has reportedly decided to take a dramatic step in response to it.
Rather than continue the practice of the Trump administration, of holding back enough coronavirus vaccine to guarantee the second “booster” shot to everyone who got the first vaccine dose, the Biden team plans to just release as much coronavirus vaccine as possible to everyone. The thinking is that it doesn’t make sense, to use a military analogy, to worry about conserving ammunition in this war, at a time when more people than ever are dying from the COVID-19 virus. More
Student 'Suspended' For Carrying Classmate Suffering Asthma Attack To Nurse's Office
Mandy Cortes, the mother of a 15-year-old boy who was suspended for helping a friend in class, stated that she would not be taking her son back to the school. She vowed to home-school him rather than have him attend Gateway Middle School again.
Anthony Ruelas, Cortes’ son, was suspended for disobeying his teacher. He had chosen to help a classmate who was having an asthma attack by carrying out of the class and into the nurse’s office. Ruelas stated that it seemed like he had spent an eternity watching his classmate wheeze and gag as she struggled to breathe. More
Schererville, Indiana Family Is Poised To Be Evicted For Having Too Many Children
SCHERERVILLE, Ind. — With so many jobs lost amid the coronavirus pandemic, eviction is a real concern.
But as CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported Tuesday night, one family in Schererville, Indiana is in fear of losing their home – even though they can pay their rent.
Comforting her 18-month-old while holding her 9-month-old, Julius, is routine for Deborah Rangel. All four of Rangel’s children keep her busy these days, yet keeping a roof over their heads worries the mother most. More
‘Climate Czar’ John Kerry Owns an $12 Million Beachfront Home
John Kerry, the failed 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, has been named by Joe Biden to serve as a special envoy focused on climate change.
“Former Secretary of State John Kerry will fight climate change full-time as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and will sit on the National Security Council,” the Biden-Harris transition team announced on Monday on its website.
“This marks the first time that the NSC will include an official dedicated to climate change, reflecting the president-elect’s commitment to addressing climate change as an urgent national security issue.”
A major tenet of the climate changers is that sea levels are going to rise dramatically, with one estimate saying the levels will jump by six feet or more by 2100. More
Oregon health official dressed as clown while announcing coronavirus deaths
A senior Oregon health official has gone viral after dressing as a clown during the state’s latest coronavirus announcement.
Doctor Claire Poche, a senior health adviser for the Oregon Health Authority, donned white and red clown makeup and a red tie with a polka dot shirt in the sombre clip.
In the bizarre video, Dr Poche announces statistics on recorded cases of the virus and deaths while wearing the costume and maintaining a straight face. “As of today, there have been 38,160 cases of Covid-19 in Oregon, with 390 new cases being reported today,” she said. More
Nurse placed on leave for bragging on TikTok she doesn’t wear a mask
An Oregon nurse is placed on administrative leave after she posted a TikTok video shunning basic COVID-19 measures.
The since-deleted post from user @Loveiskind05 showed the nurse wearing scrubs and a stethoscope, with the caption, “When my coworkers find out I still travel, don’t wear a mask when I’m out and let my kids have play dates.” A “duet” of the original TikTok remains online.
Users apparently identified the nurse and then alerted her employer, Salem Health.
In a Facebook post Saturday, the hospital thanked community members for reaching out and announced that she had been “placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.” More
Deep Run High School student suspended after protesting against social injustice during virtual class
The slides, flickering silently over Kenton Vizdos’ corner of the virtual classroom the morning after Election Day, wouldn’t result in his suspension. At least, not if the 17-year-old student stopped substituting his face on the screen with photos showing the words “BLACK LIVES MATTER” and images calling modern-day policemen former “slave catchers.”
He saw the ultimatum as “good trouble,” a nod to civil rights pioneer and Rep. John Lewis, who died in July. The administration called his 55-page slideshow a disruption.
“I’ve been at Deep Run for three years and I’ve seen all of the issues there. How administrators just completely ignore racism and write it off as instances that are untrue,” said Vizdos, who is white. “Or, [they] don’t even follow up at all.” More
Pennsylvania Democrats caught on hot mic laughing about wearing masks as 'political theater'
A Pennsylvania state representative was caught on a hot microphone joking about how she would keep her mask on during a press conference as a bit of "political theater."
Rep. Wendy Ullman and Gov. Tom Wolf, both Democrats, held a press conference on Tuesday to discuss the future of the Affordable Care Act as the Supreme Court is poised to take up a legal challenge to the healthcare law later this fall. Before the event began, a livestream caught Ullman and Wolf discussing their plans for wearing masks.
"So Wendy, I'm going to take, I'm going to take my mask off when I speak," Wolf said. "I will as well. I'm waiting so that we can do a little political theater," Ullman said as the two laughed. "So that it's on camera." More
Colorado town threatens a year in jail for residents who refuse to wear masks
The city of Englewood, Colorado, just south of Denver, is requiring all of its residents to wear face masks amid a spike in coronavirus cases — and violators could face up to a year behind bars, coupled with a hefty fine.
The emergency order, issued by City Manager J. Shawn Lewis and approved by the city council Monday, went into effect Thursday. It states that everyone over the age of 6 will be required to wear a mask while outside their homes.
Face masks must be worn inside any retail or commercial business, governmental office, or health care facility, including veterinary offices, officials say. More
Parents upset over survey given to students at a Las Vegas high school
LAS VEGAS — A survey given to some high school students in Las Vegas is sparking outrage from parents.
Parents say students at West Technical and Career Academy were asked to answer some pretty controversial questions while in class.
The principal at West Tech in Summerlin says they’re making changes to prevent this type of content from being used in the classroom again.
Some of the questions of concern including how warm or cold the student felt about white people, and if the student would be willing to have a sexual relationship with a black person. More
An Online Student Attended a Rooftop Party. He Was Reported to NYU and Suspended Indefinitely
It was a gorgeous August weekend in New York City, and Andy—a college senior at New York University (NYU)—decided to attend a rooftop social gathering with his roommates.
The party was consistent with New York City's Phase 4 COVID-19 guidelines, which allow events of up to 50 people. Many attendees went mask-less, but Andy says he didn't stand in close proximity to anyone other than his roommates—who are also students—and they left after a short while.
But unbeknownst to Andy—whose name has been changed for this article to protect his privacy—someone at the party posted a video of the event on social media. Andy never saw this video, but he knows that he was visible in it. The video was reported to NYU administrators via the university's COVID-19 compliance system. More
Harvard professor wants to ban homeschooling because it’s ‘authoritarian’
A Harvard University law professor has sparked controversy after calling for a ban on homeschooling.
Elizabeth Bartholet told Harvard Magazine that it gives parents “authoritarian” control over their kids — and can even expose them to white supremacy and misogyny.
“The issue is, do we think that parents should have 24/7, essentially authoritarian control over their children from ages zero to 18? I think that’s dangerous,” Bartholet said. “I think it’s always dangerous to put powerful people in charge of the powerless, and to give the powerful ones total authority.” More
Shelby County woman who passed away 6 months ago gets letter saying she is COVID-19 positive
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Shelby County man questions what is going on at the Shelby County Health Department.
His mother died six months ago, but the health department just sent her a letter saying she is COVID-19 positive. Troy Whittington said he was surprised when he opened the letter this week from the Shelby County Health Department. He knew what was in that letter was false.
"I'm just having a hard time understanding how they can say someone has COVID-19 when they are not even alive," said Whittington. Whittington said a letter arrived from the Shelby County Health Department for his mother, Sandra Whittington. The letter says she has been diagnosed as COVID positive and needed to isolate. More
Hair salon banned from advertising job for 'happy' stylist - because it 'discriminates against unhappy people'
A hair salon says it was told by a job centre it couldn't run an advert recruiting a 'happy' stylist because the word is 'discriminatory' - against unhappy people.
Alison Birch listed a job ad looking for a part-time qualified hairdresser at her AJ's Unisex Hair Salon in Stroud, Glos.
The position called for someone with five years experience of working in a salon, who is "confident in barbering as well as all aspects of hairdressing".
And the advert stated: "This is a busy, friendly, small salon, so only happy, friendly stylist need apply." But yesterday (Weds) Alison says she received a call her local job centre informing her they could not run her advert - because the word 'happy' is considered 'discriminatory'. More
Parler, the "free speech" alternative to Twitter, keeps banning people
Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz encouraged his conservative followers to help “end the Silicon Valley censorship” by joining him on Parler, a “non-biased free speech driven entity” that really “gets what free speech is all about.”
Parler began banning people almost immediately.
“If you can say it on the street of New York, you can say it on Parler,” CEO John Matze told CNBC last week, just days before declaring that you can’t repeatedly say “fuck you” to people or threaten to kill them, two things that happen daily on the streets of New York City. Other stuff that can get you banned: Pornography, obscene usernames like “CumDumpster,” and “pictures of your fecal matter.” More
12-year-old suspended over toy gun seen in virtual class
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A 12-year-old boy has been suspended for having a toy gun he never brought to school.
Isaiah Elliott attends Grand Mountain, a K-8 grade school in the Widefield District #3, just south of Colorado Springs.
On Thursday, Aug. 27, the seventh grader was attending on online art class when a teacher saw Isaiah flash a toy gun across his computer screen. The toy in question is a neon green and black handgun with an orange tip with the words “Zombie Hunter” printed on the side. The teacher notified the school principal who suspended Isaiah for five days and called the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a welfare check on the boy without calling his parents first. More
Employees need masks even for at-home Zoom calls, Wisconsin agency says.
Some Wisconsin state officials aren’t fooling around when it comes to the spread of COVID-19.
In an email to employees sent out on July 31, the head of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources not only reminded employees of Gov. Tony Evers’ mask order going into effect on Aug. 1, he also said that every DNR employee must wear a mask ... even while on a teleconference.
“Also, wear your mask, even if you are home, to participate in a virtual meeting that involves being seen — such as on Zoom or another video-conferencing platform — by non-DNR staff,” Preston Cole said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Set the safety example which shows you as a DNR public service employee care about the safety and health of others.” More
Louisiana man serving life for $30 marijuana sale set to be released under deal with DA
An Abbeville man who was serving a life prison sentence as a habitual offender over a $30 marijuana sale is getting out.
Prosecutors in Vermilion Parish on Thursday agreed to cut Derek Harris loose after nine years, following a decision last month by the Louisiana Supreme Court to grant him a new hearing over his sentence.
Cormac Boyle, an attorney with the Promise of Justice Initiative who represents Harris, said 15th Judicial District Attorney Keith Stutes’ office agreed that Harris had received ineffective assistance of counsel at his sentencing hearing. More
Remote learning dress code has some parents frustrated
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Springfield School District has a dress code for students who are doing remote learning. There’s one specific rule that has made some parents upset.
The handbook says kids are not allowed to wear pajamas while doing classes online at home. Some parents are angry saying the district shouldn’t be telling them what they can’t do in their own homes.
Elizabeth Ballinger says, “I made the decision for my kids to be at home and I don’t really see how any district can come in and say what my kid can’t wear in my house. I don’t think they have any right to say what happens in my house. I think they have enough to worry about as opposed to what the kids are wearing. They need to make sure they’re getting educated.” More
Destruction of ancient Aboriginal site sparks calls for reform in Australia
SYDNEY, - It stood for over 46,000 years, but in a matter of seconds a site of major significance to the world's oldest living culture was destroyed by a global mining giant.
Caves used as Aboriginal shelters in Western Australia's Pilbara region were legally demolished by Rio Tinto on Sunday, prompting outcry and reigniting national debate on the protection of indigenous heritage sites.
The blast came days before Australia's national Reconciliation Week, which aims to strengthen relationships between First Nations people and non-indigenous people. More
Top L.A. Democrat Pushed To Cut LAPD Funding While Having Private LAPD Detail At Her Home Since April
Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez, a Democrat, pushed to make drastic cuts to the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) funding amid a nationwide campaign by the far-left to defund police departments — a move she made while having an LAPD unit stationed outside her private home since April.
Spectrum News 1 journalist Natalie Brunell reported that the unit, which guards Martinez’s home, usually includes two police officers and has been in place for the last two months. More
Woman Set Up a Little Free Pantry Without a Permit, County Threatened Criminal Charges
It started with a bowl of chicken noodle soup and a desire to help the community. It ended with the government threatening criminal charges.
"For 16 years, our family struggled with food and security, and a lot of people don't understand how hard it is if they don't struggle with that," says Kathy Hay, who notes she is in a much better financial place now. "I'm always looking for ways to help people that are having a hard time."
Inspired by the leftovers from a pot of chicken soup she'd made, Hay started researching ways to start a little free pantry in her Asotin County, Washington, neighborhood. In December she set one up in her backyard, replete with refrigerated food, canned goods, and produce—all available for free to those struggling to make ends meet. More
State investigates dozens of car dealerships for possibly violating stay-home order
SEATTLE -- The state is investigating dozens of car dealerships for possibly violating the governor's stay-home order in April, according to documents obtained.
Most vehicle dealerships across the state have been collecting dust the past six weeks to comply with the stay-home order, with some reporting its sales have dropped more than 90 percent. Dealerships were allowed to sell vehicles on a very limited basis during this time.
But the Department of Licensing confirmed it is looking into about 25 dealerships where the number of title transfers raised red flags. Those dealerships processed more than 100 vehicle title applications between April 1 and April 16. More
Tanzania president angry as pawpaw and goat test positive for coronavirus
Speaking at an event in Chato in northwestern Tanzania on Sunday, Magufuli alleged there were "technical errors" with the tests, hence he had instructed Tanzanian security forces to check the quality of the kits.
Reports say the country’s health officials had randomly obtained several non-human samples, including from pawpaw, a goat and a sheep, but had assigned them human names and ages before submitting them to Tanzania's laboratory to test for the coronavirus.
Interestingly, the lab technicians had not had any clue about the origins of the samples submitted to them for testing. To the surprise of the government, samples from the pawpaw and the goat tested positive for COVID-19, making the president suspect that some people who were being tested positive for the deadly virus may not have been infected after all. More
Baltimore boy's BB guns seen during virtual class sparks police visit
A Baltimore mother is outraged after she says police showed up at her home last week to investigate a complaint from her son’s school over BB guns that were seen during a virtual learning lesson.
Courtney Lancaster, a Navy veteran, told a local Fox affiliate that her 11-year-old son, a fifth-grader at Seneca Elementary School, is a Boy Scout who is trained in archery and firearm safety and owns several BB guns.
Ms. Lancaster said her son keeps his bow and BB guns displayed on a wall in his bedroom, which was apparently within view during a recent Google Meet class, in which he had been enrolled since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. More
Cuomo gave immunity to nursing home executives after big campaign donations
As Governor Andrew Cuomo faced a spirited challenge in his bid to win New York’s 2018 Democratic primary, his political apparatus got a last-minute boost: a powerful healthcare industry group suddenly poured more than $1m into a Democratic committee backing his campaign.
Less than two years after that flood of cash from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), Cuomo signed legislation last month quietly shielding hospital and nursing home executives from the threat of lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. The provision, inserted into an annual budget bill by Cuomo’s aides, created one of the nation’s most explicit immunity protections for healthcare industry officials, according to legal experts. More
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Warns Stay-At-Home Violators: 'We Will Take You To Jail, Period'
Following reports of half a dozen parties being held around the Chicago area this weekend, Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a sinister warning to stay-at-home violators: "We will take you to jail, period."
She then proceeded to yell at a small group of teens who were hanging out in a parking lot across the street. It was a moment that brilliantly captured the collapse of common sense among government officials trying to enforce an extreme and increasingly unreasonable form of social distancing.
Lightfoot's press conference on Saturday addressed the news that Chicago police had broken up several social events with more than 50 people in attendance on Friday. The authorities had learned that more parties were expected to take place on Saturday and Sunday. More
What Is A “Pearl Clutcher?”
Back in the olden days, when society was civilized, real ladies wore pearls. Their lives revolved around having babies, churning butter, worshipping husbands, making sandwiches, and staring lovingly at their children. Real ladies never complained. They took Xanax, and did everything while remaining perfectly coiffed. It was a lovely time to be alive.
Society was in perfect harmony. Men worked, while women made babies and sandwiches. There was no confusion. People knew their places. If a woman tried to disrupt societal balance by thinking, that impulse was promptly squashed by the neighborhood gossips. These fine ladies clutched their pearls and shamed any free-thinking hussies right back into the kitchen. All shoes were removed from the hussy’s house. Shamed and shoeless, women had no choice but to return to the kitchen barefoot, and hopefully, pregnant. The system worked. More
Facebook’s ‘fact checkers’ are the real fake news after censoring Post story
Way back on Feb. 23, The Post ran an opinion piece by Steven Mosher saying that we couldn’t trust China’s story about the origins of COVID-19. He argued that the virus might — might — have jumped to the human population thanks to errors at a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan, rather than via that city’s now-notorious “wet market.”
The piece was widely read online — until Facebook stepped in.
The social media giant’s “fact checkers” decided this was not a valid opinion. If you tried to share Mosher’s column on Facebook, the social network stuck a “False Information” alert on top, saying that finding was “checked by independent fact-checkers” and preventing your friends from clicking to connect to the original article to see for themselves. More
Former police officer arrested in park for throwing ball with daughter due to coronavirus social distancing rules
In an incident caught on video, a former Colorado State Patrol trooper said he was handcuffed in front of his 6-year old daughter on a near-empty softball field Sunday by Brighton police officers enforcing social distancing rules.
The department apologized Tuesday afternoon, calling the incident an "overreach by our police officers."
Matt Mooney, 33, told ABC News he walked with his wife and daughter from their home to a nearby park Sunday to play softball.
"We're just having a good time, not near anybody else. The next closest person is at least 15 feet away from me and my daughter at this point," Mooney told ABC News. More
A Litany of Useless Laws Have Been Exposed By the Coronavirus
From the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, state and local governments responded in various ways from issuing emergency orders?—citywide shutdowns? to school closures and beyond?—but it’s the suspension of various laws and regulations that is exposing the unnecessary regulatory web that burdens businesses. As often happens during emergencies, governors and mayors across the country have used executive power to waive laws and bypass regulations.
This allows goods to get to the public quicker at lower cost, more service providers to enter struggling industries, and the market to respond to the crisis in countless other ways. More
Nevada governor limits malaria drugs for coronavirus patients
Nevada’s governor signed an executive order Tuesday limiting the use of anti-malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus patients.
Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s emergency regulation limits the prescription of the drugs in outpatient settings — not in hospitals or emergency rooms — to a 30-day supply, to ensure they’re available for “legitimate medical purposes.”
The action also aims to prevent stockpiling the meds, which are also used to treat arthritis and lupus.
“While these drugs serve necessary medical purposes, this regulation protects the Nevadans who need them and prevents unnecessary hoarding,” Sisolak tweeted. More
Discussing Coronavirus Response, Sanders Accidentally Calls it Ebola and Biden Accidentally Calls it SARS
The Democratic presidential debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders on Sunday night saw a gaffe made by each candidate when addressing the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. Both candidates referred to coronavirus as a previous virus.
Sanders accidentally called it ebola and Biden mistakenly referred to it as SARS. "No one is in a position where they have a significant financial disability as a consequence of this SARS, of this particular crisis," Biden said during the 11th Democratic debate, hosted by CNN Sunday night.
During a follow-up segment, Sanders also misnamed the novel coronavirus that has resulted in the death of more than 6,500 individuals and infected over 150,000 people around the globe. More
UC Berkeley Instructor Says Rural Americans Are Bad People Who Deserve "Uncomfortable" Lives
In an attempt to shame rural Americans, a brazen UC Berkeley graduate and instructor claimed they were "bad people who have made bad life decisions." Jackson Kernion, who reportedly taught 11 philosophy courses at the California University, made the controversial tweet last Wednesday. His restricted mindset couldn't fathom that there exist people who don't prefer city life. Kernion made this audacious observation within a Twitter thread which was examining the costs of rural healthcare. Furthermore, he argued that "City Americans" were leading a more efficient lifestyle when compared to those in the rural areas.
Kernion believes that "City Americans" should not have to bear the cost of providing healthcare to rural America. "Rural Healthcare should be expensive! And that expense should be borne by those who choose rural America!" he wrote. In addition to this, he argued that rural Americans should be instructed to pay higher taxes to cover healthcare and broadband among others, as they rejected the "efficient" city life consciously. "Same goes for rural broadband. And gas taxes. It should be uncomfortable to live in rural America. It should be uncomfortable to not move," added the instructor. More
Finland’s Oulu city council roasted online for feeble “no-no square” dance to combat rape
A TikTok video designed to raise awareness of sexual abuse in Finland has gone viral and received a lot of attention – but not necessarily for the reasons that they may have anticipated.
A video from the account @sannanopsa, representing the Finnish city of Oulu, was created to raise awareness of child sexual abuse and empowering people to be aware of rape.
The video, in which five representatives do a brief dance to the lyrics, “Stop, don't touch me there. This is my no-no square,” has been ridiculed online for being a weak attempt to deal with a serious issue. More
Our crazy farm subsidies, explained
Nearly every industrialized nation on Earth subsidizes agriculture to some extent. It’s a way to make sure production stays high, and prices stay low.
It’s just a matter of figuring out how to make it work — and that’s where things get tricky.
Right now in the U.S., we subsidize certain crops pretty heavily. These are things that can be shipped and stored easily, and traded in international commodity markets.
But because of the way we manage our subsidies, we end up with A LOT of corn. In 2010, U.S. farmers produced 32 percent of the world’s corn supply on 84 million acres of farmland, raking in a cool $63.9 billion. More
Welfare fraud in Sweden by Iraqi MINISTER?
Many high-ranking officials are pelted by corruption allegations, yet few (if any) have ever got accused of welfare fraud in another country. But if Swedish media is to be believed, Iraq’s serving defense minister is a suspect.
The scandalous story made the headlines in Sweden this weekend, after several news outlets reported that Iraqi Defense Minister, Najah al-Shammari, is also known as a Swedish citizen named Najah al-Adeli. The man is said to have emigrated to Sweden in 2011, becoming a citizen in 2015, and is still registered as living in one of Stockholm’s suburbs. Both ‘al-Adeli’ and his wife had allegedly been receiving child and housing support for years, before getting reported for benefits fraud two weeks ago. A preliminary probe into the scheme has been launched both by the country’s police and welfare watchdog. More
It’s Now ‘Transphobia’ to Refuse to Date Trans People, Say Twitter Experts
An increasingly popular belief is emerging online where it is deemed “transphobic” or “transphobia” to refuse to date a transgendered person. The debate, polarizing communities and debate online, asks whether rejecting a sexual partner over their genitals constitutes “transphobia.”
The bulk of social media users who do not belong to a sexual or hard-left political community dismiss the condemnation of “transphobia.”
But the term has become increasingly thrown around to malign people who are strictly heterosexual–and even a large portion of homosexual men, who wouldn’t consider dating a trans person. More
Racial hatred message daubed on park wall
Racist and anti ethnic graffiti has been daubed in 20 foot high letters on the side of a gable wall in Southport.
The massive graffiti which takes aim at people of colour reads ‘it’s ok to be white’ was painted on the side wall adjacent to Bedford Park in Southport overnight.
Shocked residents in the area said they were appalled to wake up to face the graffiti and have called the police and council to sort it out.
As yet it’s believed police don’t have any suspects for the racially aggravated graffiti and there are no witnesses due it being painted overnight. More
ACLU calls for tampons in men's rooms in order to achieve 'menstrual equity'
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is calling for men's restrooms to include tampons in order to prevent discrimination against "every person who menstruates."
"While free menstrual products are not uniformly provided in women’s restrooms, they are almost never available in men’s restrooms, even for pay," the group said in a statement Tuesday.
"Men’s restrooms are also less likely to have a place to dispose of these products conveniently, privately, and hygienically." More
MPs not running again will get paid around $1.6M in severance
OTTAWA — Members of Parliament who have decided not to run for re-election this fall will cash in a cumulative $1.6 million in severance payments, and millions more will likely be paid out after the election.
Thirty-nine sitting MPs have declared they won’t run again in the next election, of whom 18 are eligible for severance payments totalling an estimated $1,618,850, according to an analysis by The Canadian Press.
Sitting MPs who have served for less than six years are not eligible for pensions, and instead receive a lump severance payment worth half their annual salary. They also get back any pension contributions they’ve already made, plus interest. More
Identity and algebra: Seattle schools incorporate ethnic studies into math class
SEATTLE — When a set of guidelines for incorporating ethnic studies in K-12 math classes went public last week, several online blogs criticized Seattle Public Schools for bringing race into subjects like addition and subtraction.
"Math, in case you didn’t already know, is racist," said an article from conservative website The Daily Wire.
The framework lays out a structure of learning themes like "Origins, Identity, and Agency" and "Power and Oppression," which are meant to be taught side by side in a math class. More
Trans women and cervical cancer screening
If you’re a trans woman, you may not have given much thought to Pap tests and cervical cancer. And if you haven’t, that makes a fair amount of sense. After all, in order to get cervical cancer, you need to have a cervix — that is, the organ that connects the vagina to the uterus.
If you’re a trans woman and have not had bottom surgery, you aren’t at risk for cervical cancer.
If, however, you’re a trans woman who has had bottom surgery to create a vagina (vaginoplasty) and possibly a cervix, there’s a very small risk that you can develop cancer in the tissues of your neo-vagina or neo-cervix. The risk depends on the type of surgery you had, the type of tissue used to create your vagina and cervix and your personal health history. Talk to your healthcare provider to figure out your specific cancer-screening needs as part of your overall pelvic health following surgery. More
Legislator Who Argues Housing Is a Human Right Also Suing to Stop Affordable Housing in Her District
Politicians who declare housing a human right rarely include in that a right to actually build housing.
Take New York Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou (D–Lower Manhattan) who just co-wrote an op-ed arguing that every New Yorker should be guaranteed a home—while also suing to stop the construction of an affordable housing complex in her district.
In a Wednesday piece for the New York Daily News, Niou and activist Feliz Guzman argue that the Saturday murder of four homeless people in New York City could have been prevented by more government spending on housing and social services. More
A Utah Woman Is Facing Criminal Charges for Going Topless in Her Own Home
A West Valley, Utah, woman is reportedly facing criminal charges for being shirtless in her own home. Prosecutors allege her actions violate the state’s lewdness law; her lawyer argues the law unconstitutionally discriminates against women who are punished for going topless while men are not.
Tilli Buchanan and her husband were installing insulation in their garage when they shed their itchy clothing and stripped down to their underwear, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. When Buchanan’s stepchildren came into the garage and saw her topless, she said that they shouldn’t be embarrassed, because her husband—the children’s father—wasn’t wearing a shirt either. More
Woman dies at 102, DirecTV charges early termination fee
SAN LORENZO, California -- Isabel Albright of San Lorenzo was among the oldest people in America - living through two world wars, 18 presidents and multiple moon landings. She was born before television came into existence.
Yet, ironically, she didn't outlive her satellite TV contract. And that was a problem.
"Everything was fine until we went to disconnect and that's when all the surprises happened,'' said her son-in-law, John Manrique. More
City Shuts Downs Preschoolers’ Farm Stand Citing Zoning Violations
It’s like something out of The Onion: city manager shuts down preschool farm stand out of fear that, if allowed, “we could end up with one on every corner.”
Alas, this is not satire. It’s the current predicament facing the Little Ones Learning Center in Forest Park, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. In an area where access to fresh fruits and vegetables can be limited, this preschool has stepped up to prioritize growing and selling fresh produce from its school gardens. According to recent reporting in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Little Ones has often sold its produce with generous discounts to local food stamp recipients and other neighbors and has been acknowledged as a leader in the farm-to-school healthy food movement. More
Teacher tells class demonic energy coming from bathroom, Dept. of Education says
ROCKLEDGE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Education said a former Rockledge high school teacher told his students demonic energy came from the bathroom, that a student was his "spirit daughter" and he was another student's "spirit husband."
Edward Tardif, 46, was also accused of holding meditation in his criminal justice classroom during the 2017-2018 school year as well as trying to smoke with a student and contacting students on social media at inappropriate times.
Tardif said the district did not welcome him back to the classroom following that school year and he has not been a teacher since. More
A Man Spent 82 Days in Jail on Meth Charges. The Meth Was Actually Honey
Leon Haughton, a legal green card holder from Jamaica who has lived in Maryland for almost 10 years, arrived at Baltimore-Washington International Airport on December 29 following his yearly pilgrimage back home. U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained him. For what, he wasn't sure.
Maryland Transportation Authority Police then arrested him, telling him that the bottles in his bag labeled "honey" had tested positive for methamphetamine. A police dog sniffed Haughton's bag raising suspicion that he had drugs, and a field test at the airport yielded positive results for meth. He spent the next 82 days in jail.
Except the bottles really were full of honey. Maryland State Police lab test results confirmed that on January 17, and prosecutors dropped three felony drug counts six days later. More
Why a county councilwoman was sworn into office on a Dr. Seuss book
A newly elected single mother of two wanted her kids to walk away from her swearing-in with an empowering message. So instead of placing her hand on a Bible to take her oath of office as councilwoman for St. Louis County, Kelli Dunaway chose “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss.
Her 5-year-old son, Liam, and her 7-year-old daughter, Bella, held the book in their small hands as their smiling mother was sworn into office Aug. 13.
It was a choice with personal meaning. Dunaway said her single mom was a coal miner who would say if she believed in herself and worked hard, Dunaway could achieve anything. More
A governor intervened so this mom could keep her hilarious license plate
It's the mantra of every parent:
"Pee before we go!"
Wendy Auger, a New Hampshire mom of four, is all too familiar with telling her kids to use the bathroom before leaving the house (or the store, or the restaurant, or any other location).
So she put it on a license plate.
Auger has had the plate for 15 years, and said that before now, she's gotten nothing but positive reactions.
"(People) think it's funny," she told TODAY Parents. "I get thumbs-ups, honks on the highway, people yelling 'Awesome plate!' in drive-through lines. It brings a chuckle and a smile to the people who can figure it out." More
Michigan council candidate wants to keep her town ‘as white as possible’
Capitalizing on Marysville’s current momentum — from redeveloping the old Mighty Marysville property to improvements at city parks — quickly became a common theme for city election candidates during a forum Thursday night.
But that thread was momentarily marred with shock following a racist statement from one City Council candidate in response to a question about diversity.
“Keep Marysville a white community as much as possible,” said newcomer Jean Cramer, one of five candidates vying for three open council seats in November. The question: “Do you believe the diversity of our community needs to be looked at, and if so, should we be more aggressive in attracting foreign-born citizens?” More
YouTube Removes Robot Fighting Videos After Declaring Them 'Cruelty to Animals'
Robots have rights, too, y'all! YouTube says so — at least, their algorithms do. After declaring that videos of robots fighting violates restrictions against depictions of cruelty toward animals, the video streaming site has begun removing the robot battle videos.
To be fair, YouTube blames a new algorithm that flags robot fighting videos as animal cruelty because it can't distinguish between real animals and robots shaped like animals. As to be expected, robot enthusiasts are not happy. According to The Daily Mail, a robot enthusiast that goes by the alias Maker's Muse pointed out that "I do not support animal cruelty in the slightest. But what's happening is that it's false flagged robots smashing each other as animal cruelty." More
Police Ask Public to Report ‘Non-Crime Hate Incidents’ Because #HateHurts
The South Yorkshire police department in England is receiving some major backlash online for the #HateHurts campaign it’s been putting out on social media.
The way that the department has phrased tweets about this has varied from tweet to tweet, but one of them in particular asking the public to report “non-crimes” was lambasted more than others.
“In addition to reporting hate crime, please report non-crime hate incidents, which can include things like offensive or insulting comments, online, in person or in writing.
Hate will not be tolerated in South Yorkshire. Report it and put a stop to it #HateHurtsSY,” police said. More
Berlin choir accused of gender discrimination by nine-year-old girl
A nine-year-old girl is taking Berlin’s oldest boys’ choir to court, claiming the state-run institution’s admissions criteria are gender-biased and violate Germany’s constitution.
Next week, Berlin’s administrative court will hear that the decision of the State and Cathedral Choir Berlin (SDB) to reject the girl after an audition in April this year was discriminatory because it infringed on her right to equal opportunities in state support.
The girl’s mother, who is bringing forward the complaint on her behalf, argues the choir’s girls-only partner choir at the Berliner Singakademie could not have provided her daughter with training of a similar quality. More
Police say trolls who mocked drug dealer’s ‘receding hairline’ could be prosecuted
Police have warned trolls who mocked a drug dealer’s haircut, that they could be prosecuted for harassment.
A mugshot issued by officers for Jermaine Taylor, 21, from Newport, Wales attracted a staggering 76,000 comments, poking fun at his bonce.
Taylor is wanted by police on recall to prison. He was released on licence after being jailed for three years for being concerned in supplying cocaine after being sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court in September 2017.
One Facebook user posted: ‘That hairline goes further back than Woolworths.’
While Matt Price added: ‘Push his release date back further than his hairline, that should teach him.’
Lea Hook said: ‘He was last seen in town; police are combing the area’, while Lawrie Hillman joked: ‘He’s vanished into thin hair.’ More
London Bridge attack hero on anti-terror watch list after far-right yobs contacted him
A HERO of the London Bridge attacks says he is on an anti-terror watch list after far-right yobs got in touch. Millwall fan Roy Larner, 49, took on the knife maniacs as they struck as he was enjoying a pint.
But Roy has since been placed on the Government’s Prevent programme amid fears he could become an extremist after he was contacted by anti-Islam supporters.
He has had to attend de-radicalisation classes and is being monitored by cops.
Roy said: “They treat me like a terrorist but I’m not political at all.” More
Pakistan govt accidentally turns ‘cat’ filter on during FB Live, leaves everyone in splits
For government and law enforcement agencies, social media is the perfect getaway for quick responses and important announcements. However, in a major gaffe, the provincial government of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa live-streamed an entire meeting by accidentally turning on the cat filter. With pink ears and cute whiskers, the ministers conducted the meeting online — leaving Netizens laughing out loud.
A user pointed out the gaffe and asked the administrators of the page to turn the cat filter off. “Filter hata lo. Banda billi bana hua hai (Remove the filter, the man has been turned into a cat),” the eagle-eyed viewer warned. Although it was switched off pretty quickly, it was enough for the ever-vigilant Twitterati to take screenshots and have fun at its expense. More
Oregon governor sends police to find missing Republicans, bring them to Capitol
Oregon’s Democratic governor, Kate Brown, has dispatched state troopers to find missing Republican senators and bring them back to Salem to legislate.
All 11 Republican senators are in hiding, at least some of them out of state, in order to prevent the Senate from having the quorum it needs to operate. They can’t abide the Democrat-backed carbon cap and spend bill that is up for a Senate vote today. More
A girl at mom’s, a boy at dad’s: ‘Transgender’ Texas child caught in custody battle
In Texas, a six-year-old boy is being torn apart by the transgender debate. James’ mother thinks he’s a girl, but he acts like a normal boy at his father’s house. Now she’s accusing him of child abuse. Welcome to 2018.
Divorce is tough on children, but especially so for six-year-old James Younger.
When he’s with his father, Jeff Younger, James is a normal boy. He dresses like a boy, hangs out with other boys, and refers to himself as a boy. When he’s with his mother, Anne Georgulas, James lives as a girl called Luna.
Since he expressed an interest in wearing girls’ clothes, Georgulas a pediatrician, began referring to him exclusively as ‘her,’ enrolled him in school under his female name, encouraged him to cross-dress, and took him to a sympathetic “rainbow counsellor” who lists working with transgender children as one of her specialities. More
Journalist Criminally Investigated for Allegedly Using the Wrong Pronoun in Tweet
A British Catholic journalist is being investigated by the police for allegedly “misgendering” someone in a tweet. Caroline Farrow was contacted by authorities after making an appearance on “Good Morning Britain,” in which she engaged in a debate with a transgender activist, Susie Green, who has a trans child. Following this appearance, which took place last September, Farrow allegedly referred to Green’s daughter, Jackie, by the wrong pronoun.
In a series of tweets, Farrow noted that the police had told her she would “need to be interviewed under caution for misgendering Susie Green’s child.” More
High School Suspends 2 Students for Posting Gun Range Photos on Snapchat, ACLU Files Suit
Two male students at Lacey Township High School in New Jersey posted photos of guns on Snapchat. One of the boys captioned his photo with "hot stuff" and "if there's ever a zombie apocalypse, you know where to go."
The photos were not taken at school. They were not taken during school hours.
They did not reference a school. They auto-deleted after 24 hours, which was well before the school became aware of them. And yet, administrators at Lacey Township High School suspended the boys for three days, and also gave them weekend detention. More
Scholar makes ‘moral case’ for letting people decide their own age
A recent article published in The Journal of Medical Ethics by a Finnish bioethicist made a moral case for the legal change of a person’s age to correspond with that person’s “experienced age.”
The piece, by Joona Räsänen of the University of Oslo in Norway, titled “A Moral Case for Legal Age Change,” concludes that there are three scenarios when a change to one’s legal age should be allowed: When “the person genuinely feels his age differs significantly from his chronological age,” when “the person’s biological age is recognized to be significantly different from his chronological age,” and when “age change would likely prevent, stop or reduce ageism, discrimination due to age, he would otherwise face.” More
Man investigated by police for retweeting transgender limerick
A docker from Humberside has been investigated by police over a limerick he posted on Twitter after an officer claimed it constitutes a ‘hate incident’ against transgender people.
Harry Miller, 53, from Lincoln was contacted on Wednesday by a community cohesion officer following a complaint that had been made about the plant and machinery dealer’s social media posts.
Citing 30 potentially offensive tweets, the PC singled out a limerick Mr Miller had retweeted which questioned whether transgender women are biological women. It included the lines: "Your breasts are made of silicone, your vagina goes nowhere."
No crime was committed, yet sharing the limerick online was recorded as a ‘hate incident’. More
Democratic Socialism: Who Knew That 'Free' Could Cost So Much?
Democratic socialism is having a moment. Sen. Bernie Sanders mobilized millions of voters during the 2016 campaign, nominally as a Democrat but with many self-professed socialists in his bandwagon. And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will likely bring her own brand of socialism to Congress next year, having knocked off New York Rep. Joe Crowley in a primary.
However, the democratic socialist agenda will face resistance not only from other lawmakers but from basic math. Their promises, which include free college, a single-payer health care system, guaranteed jobs, and more, would require astonishingly high expenditures that would cause the federal deficit to skyrocket. Once the costs become clear, most mainstream politicians and voters will surely balk. Making big promises is one thing; paying for them is another. More
What Will the U.S. Government Do With 1.4 Billion Pounds of Cheese?
The United States' dairy surplus has reached a record high, rounding out at 1.4 billion pounds of cheese. Reports attempting to quantify this astonishing amount have deferred to metrics like "enough to wrap around the U.S. Capitol." Suffice to say, nobody's suggesting we could consume it all.
The nation eating this much cheese is not only mind-boggling: It's growing less and less likely. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, Americans have cut their milk consumption down from 35 pounds to an average of 15 per person annually. The excess is turned into cheese for storage and longevity (and the enjoyment of delicious cheese products). At the same time, government subsidies have continued to support dairy production, buying up surplus to keep prices steady. That leaves us with more cheese than anyone, even the experts, knows what to do with. More
6th Grade Girl Leaves School In Tears After Being Kicked Out For Not Wearing Her ‘Natural Hair’
Dress codes seem to make the news every time a new school year kicks off, and it’s always a heated issue. What’s fair, and what’s foul? Where do we draw the line with appropriate clothing and styles?
In the case of Faith Fennidy, public opinion seems pretty clear. The 6th grader attends Christ the King Parish School, a private school in Louisiana, and was recently pulled from class and kicked out of school for having hair extensions, which is apparently against school policy.
The entire ordeal was captured on video by Faith’s brother. He shared it on Facebook, where it’s been commented on upward of 23,000 times. In the clip, you can hear parents and school administrators continuing to argue as Faith gathers her belongings and walks outside, crying the entire time. More
A tale of two Bills: Cosby goes to jail for 30 years for sexually abusing women but Bill Clinton can rape them and remain free
By now you’ve likely heard that “America’s dad,” comedian Bill Cosby, was found guilty of drugging and molesting a woman, “completing the spectacular late-life downfall” of a funnyman “who broke racial barriers in Hollywood on his way to TV superstardom,” The Associated Press reported.
Following the verdict, District Attorney Kevin Steele said the disgraced star “was a man who evaded this moment for far too long.”
Cosby, now 80 and married for 54 years, was at one time accused of drugging and sexually violating scores of women (as many as 60 came forward with accusations) throughout the course of his career. During this latest legal effort to hold him accountable — this week’s trial was actually a retrial — the prosecution put five of those women on the stand. More
Student with banned Trump shirt to get apology, $25,000 from school district
The principal of Liberty High School in Hillsboro has agreed to apologize to a student who was told to go home or cover up his "Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co.'' shirt in January.
Addison Barnes, an 18-year-old senior, was suspended for wearing the shirt backing Trump's immigration and Homeland Security policies. He then sued the high school, the principal and the Hillsboro School District, arguing they violated his First Amendment rights.
In late May, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order, essentially barring the school for the remainder of the school year from enforcing its earlier decision prohibiting Barnes from wearing the shirt. On Tuesday, Barnes' lawyers announced they reached a settlement with the district: Principal Greg Timmons will issue a letter of apology and the district will pay $25,000 for Barnes' attorney fees. More
Electronics-Recycling Innovator Going to Prison for Extending Computers’ Lives
Eric Lundgren built the first “electronic hybrid recycling” facility in the United States, which turns discarded cellphones and other electronics into functional devices.
Known for building an electric car out of “garbage” that outlasts a Tesla, his company processes more than 41 million pounds of e-waste a year.
Lundgren has received international praise for slowing the stream of harmful chemicals and heavy metals into the environment, and counts IBM, Motorola and Sprint among clients grateful for his cheap refurbished products.
Unfortunately, Microsoft is not such big a fan of Lundgren’s work. More
Police Allege Mice Ate Half a Ton of “Missing” Weed
After claiming that mice had eaten a whopping half a ton of weed, eight police officers have been fired from a police force in Argentina.
Over half a ton of cannabis was found to be missing from a police warehouse in the town of Pilar, about 50 miles outside of the Argentine capital city of Buenos Aires.
While the eight Argentinian cops claimed that mice had eaten it, and surprisingly mice eat cannabis a lot more often than one might think, forensic investigators report that they checked out the scene and found no evidence that the mice consumed the missing weed. More
Alberta man legally changes sex for cheaper car insurance: 'I didn't feel like getting screwed over any more'
An Alberta man has legally changed his gender purely to benefit from the lower car insurance rates offered to women.
“I didn’t feel like getting screwed over any more,” the man, identified only as “David,” said this week.
For more than three years, Alberta has been among several provinces in which residents can legally change the sex on their birth certificates without providing evidence of genital surgery. More
Alaska Airlines Had to Choose Between an 'Emotional Support Cat' and a 15-Year-Old Passenger With Allergies. Want to Guess Who Won?
This is the story of an 'emotional support cat' aboard an Alaska Airlines flight, and a 15-year-old fellow passenger who, it turns out, was severely allergic to cats.
Can you guess which one had to leave the plane? The story takes place on Alaska Airlines, and it comes to us from The Arctic Sounder, a weekly newspaper serving the extreme northern parts of Alaska, where the girl lives.
The Arctic Sounder in turn got it from the girl's mother, who posted it on Facebook. Here's what happened according to the mom. More
White Liberals Present Themselves as Less Competent in Interactions with African-Americans
Racial bias can put people of color at a disadvantage when interviewing for a job, buying a house, or interacting with the police. New research suggests that bias may also shape daily interactions between racial minorities and white people, even those whites who tend to be less biased.
According to new research by Cydney Dupree, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Yale SOM, white liberals tend to downplay their own verbal competence in exchanges with racial minorities, compared to how other white Americans act in such exchanges. The study is scheduled for publication in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. More
Dear Moms, Do You Want Your 35-Year-Old Living in Your Basement? Because This Is How You Get That
My friend, Pam, was thrilled when her teenage daughter landed a job. As an HR person herself, though, she was surprised when her daughter's new manager called to speak with her. After all, it wasn't Pam's new job--it was her daughter's.
Well, the reason for the manager's phone call can be summed up in two words: helicopter moms.
Yes, I know the term should be "helicopter parents" but it's the moms in this story. See, the manager was checking to make sure that a four- to five-hour shift wouldn't be too hard on Pam's daughter. She was tired of moms calling to complain that their little darlings were tired. She was even more tired of finding mom behind the counter, having sent the child home because the shift was too long. More
Kids treated after being served Pine-Sol instead of apple juice at preschool
HONOLULU - Three children at an East Honolulu preschool were served Pine-Sol instead of apple juice earlier this week, and took several sips of the cleaning fluid before child care workers realized the mistake.
A state Health Department investigation found that a classroom assistant preparing morning snacks for children at Kilohana United Methodist Church Preschool served the cleaning fluid — even though it was in the original Pine-Sol container and properly labeled.
The assistant apparently “saw the yellow/brown colored liquid container on a clean-up cart in the kitchen and returned to the classroom” with it, the Health Department said in its review. More
Guess Which Congressman Thought a Malfunctioning iPhone Was Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s Fault
Today's congressional hearing on Google and tech privacy provided yet another opportunity for America's elected representatives to prove how little they know about the businesses they would like to regulate.
Rep. Steve King (R–Iowa) did not disappoint. He related an anecdote involving his 7-year-old granddaughter, who was playing with an iPhone when an image of King accompanied by crude language appeared on the screen. "How does that show up on a 7-year-old's iPhone who's playing a kid's game?"
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who had been summoned to Capitol Hill to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, matter-of-factly answered, "Congressman, iPhone is made by a different company."
King then attempted to save face by suggesting, "maybe it was an Android." More
'Complete idiot' Cop Steals Hash Chocolate During Drug Bust, Eats it, Halucinates, Freaks out, Forces Suspects Release
The judge, the prosecutor and the defendant’s own lawyer all called it a “stupid” decision. And it cost a Toronto police officer, who stole and consumed marijuana edibles seized during a raid, then became so high he thought he might die, his job.
Vittorio Dominelli, one half of a police duo who rose to notoriety earlier this year after they consumed cannabis-infused chocolate on duty, pleaded guilty in a College Park courtroom Friday to attempting to obstruct justice.
The married father of three, who had been with the Toronto police for 13 years, resigned in the wake of the incident, which saw him accused of breach of trust, a charge withdrawn Friday. More
Amazon's patent for caging workers was "bad" idea, exec admits
Amazon, which has come under fire for treating warehouse workers "as robots," is now deflecting criticism for a 2016 patent that proposed to house workers in cages.
The patent was highlighted in a recent article by two AI researchers, who wrote that the design illustrated "an extraordinary illustration of worker alienation, a stark moment in the relationship between humans and machines."While the optics of placing a worker inside a cage certainly aren't good, the patent's purpose was geared toward employee safety, rather than confinement. The caged mobile workspace was designed to keep humans safe as they entered warehouse floors where robots zoom around, pushing towering shelves of goods ordered by Amazon customers. More
2 Kentucky high school students suspended after dressing as Columbine shooters for Halloween
Two high school students are in hot water for their choice of costume.
The two girls in Adair County, about 120 miles south of Louisville, decided to dress up as Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the two teenagers who carried out the Columbine High School massacre in 1999.
The girls probably didn't get the reaction they wanted. After their photo went viral on Halloween, the girls were suspended for three days, according to WLEX-TV. The photo showed the girls on the floor in the school's library, WLEX reported, which mimicked the eerie photo of the two Columbine shooters after they killed themselves in the Columbine library. More
Roy Group to Start its First All-Girl Boy Scout Troop
A group of Roy residents are putting together and all-girl Boy Scouts of America troop.
“I was in Girl Scouts for a couple years but it only taught how to sweep the floor and how to set the table,” said Hailey Van Elsacher, 17. “I was like, ‘I don’t need these things. I can learn them at home.’”
She said that she wanted more exciting trails in her future, and this was her vehicle to do it.
“I’m looking forward to new adventures, because I am a very adventurous person,” Van Elsacher said. “So hopefully I’ll get to have more fun going on more camping trips and going hiking, fishing, things like that.” Not so long ago, girls weren’t allowed in the Boy Scouts of America, but nearly two years ago, all that changed. More
PETA claims milk a 'symbol of white supremacy'
Drink upm Nazis.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is making the claim that milk is the perfect tipple for racists.
The assertion first appeared in a blog post last yea,r but slipped under the radar. Last week, PETA doubled down. PETA points to Christopher Waltz’s Nazi character in the film Inglourious Basterds knocking back a glass of milk in a French farmhouse as he hunts for Jews.
The organization tweeted: “Cows’ milk has long been a symbol used by white supremacists.” More
Mandatory presidential text alerts violate freedom of speech, according to a new lawsuit
All Americans with a cell phone will receive a test “presidential alert” on their phones Wednesday, but a new lawsuit is fighting back against the mandatory messages.
Three individuals filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court in New York City Sept. 26 against President Donald Trump and Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator William B. Long, arguing that the presidential alert messaging system violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The presidential alerts — which, unlike Amber alert or other emergency messages, phone users cannot opt-out of — is a “national public warning system” that allows the president to issue messages in the case of a national emergency. More
A Mathematician Says Activists Made His Paper Disappear Because Its Findings Offended Them
Theodore Hill, a retired professor of mathematics at Georgia Tech, claims that activists successfully pressured the New York Journal of Mathematics to delete an article he had written for the academic journal because it considered a politically incorrect subject: the achievement gap between men and women at very high levels of human intelligence.
The Greater Male Variability Hypothesis, first proposed by Charles Darwin, suggests that there are more men than women at both the bottom and the very top of the distribution for intelligence scores. More men than woman are Nobel Prize winners and chess grand champions, and more men than women are homeless, unemployed, and in prison. Men as a group express greater variability in aptitude and ability. More
5th Grader Punished at School for Calling His Teacher ‘Ma’am’
Many of our nation’s students have just returned to school for the fall, and already, some teachers are showing that they really aren’t equipped to handle the job of educating our children. Take for example a teacher in Tarboro, N.C., who got offended over the use of the word “ma’am.”
ABC7 reports that 10-year-old Tamarion Wilson, a fifth-grade student at North East Carolina Preparatory School, was punished by his teacher for saying “yes, ma’am.” The teacher made him write the word “ma’am” on a sheet of loose-leaf paper, four times per line on both sides of the page. More
Feminists Say New iPhones Are Sexist and Threaten 'Women's Hand Health'
Apple on Wednesday rolled out three new iPhone X models that are as big or bigger than the its current models. At the same time, the company announced it would axe its smallest smartphone, the iPhone SE.
The biggest phone that Apple sells will now be the 6.5-inch-wide iPhone Xs Max and the smallest phone will be the 4.7-inch-wide iPhone 7. That means women, who have smaller hands than men ?on average, will have to stretch their tiny fingers an extra 0.7 inches.
British feminist activist Caroline Criado Perez worried that the new iPhones would cause her to injure herself. Prior to the advent of the iPhone SE, she said, she had developed repetitive strain injury from operating her Apple device. More
Only Black People Should Be Allowed to Vote
A lawyer who has represented women accusing President Donald Trump of harassment has joked that only black people should be allowed to vote, after a poll showed African-American support for the president at only 3 percent.
Lisa Bloom, whose mother, Gloria Allred, also represents several Trump accusers, tweeted the results of the ABC News/Washington Post poll on Sunday, and quipped “only black people should be allowed to vote.” More
DCFS called after mom allows 8-year-old girl to walk dog alone
A mother in Chicago is relieved after charges were dropped in relation to a neighbor calling DCFS when she let her daughter walk around the block with their family pet.
Eight-year-old Dorothy Widen was walking her dog around the block when someone called the police and told them they spotted a 5-year-old walking a dog alone.
Police immediately went to the family’s home and when they were told Dorothy was 8, her parents say the officer said that was fine and left. More
‘Racist’ Gorilla Statue Removed From Playground
A much-loved gorilla statue that had been removed from a playground in Corsicana, Texas, following complaints it was racist is set to return following outrage and protests from local residents.
The gorilla, nicknamed Dobby, was taken from the Community Park following concerns from some citizens that it was potentially racially insensitive.
The freestanding statue was placed inside a cage at the park over fears it could topple over and hurt children if they climbed on it. However, after Corsicana Mayor Don Denbow received 45 complaints that the gorilla was offensive, the decision was made to remove it entirely. More
How Companies Like JPay Are Making Millions Charging Prisoners to Send An Email
Last July, as she has for the past 10 years, Dianne Jones spent 45 minutes on a city bus heading to the local WalMart.
There, under fluorescent lights, she scanned rows of brightly colored birthday cards to pick out the perfect greeting for her son—let’s call him Tim—who is imprisoned more than 100 miles from his mother’s home just outside New Orleans.
The card she settled on was dark brown with trees and a birthday message that read, “For the best son in the world.” Tim was in his 10th year of a 30-year prison sentence for an armed robbery he committed at age 17; he would not be able to see, let alone sit under or touch, a tree for the next 20 years. After Jones, her daughter, and her three grandchildren signed the card, she mailed it off, happy that Tim would know that his family was thinking of him. More
‘We’re very sorry.’ Wells Fargo admits error that cost hundreds of people their homes
Wells Fargo acknowledged Friday that hundreds of its customers lost their homes over a roughly five-year period because of an error by the bank.
In yet another apology for the San Francisco-based bank, Wells said a calculation error involving a mortgage underwriting tool resulted in 625 customers being incorrectly denied or not offered modifications to make their loans more affordable. In about 400 of those cases, the homes were ultimately foreclosed on. The bank said the error affected customers in the foreclosure process between April 2010 and October 2015, when the problem was corrected.
The error was uncovered in an internal review, Wells said. The bank also said it has set aside $8 million for customers who were caught up in the problem. More
Roofer fined £300 for carrying sandwich wrappers and crisp packets in his van
A white van man has been hit with a £300 fine after sandwich wrappers and crisp packets were found inside his work van.
Roofer Stewart Gosling, 43, was punished with the on-the-spot penalty after a stash of waste he kept in a plastic commercial waste bag was found in the back of his vehicle.
Waltham Forest Council workers told Mr Gosling he was breaking the law for carrying the rubbish without permission when they carried out spot checks in east London.
Mr Gosling has tried to appeal the fine but has been told he will end up in court if he doesn't pay the penalty issued at the roadside. More
PayPal tells deceased customer that being dead is a breach of its rules
The bereaved husband of Lindsay Durdle, who died on May 31 aged 37 from breast cancer that spread to her lungs and brain, contacted the BBC after receiving the letter. Howard Durdle says he had provided PayPal with “her death certificate, her will and his ID, as requested.”
In response to this documentation, PayPal sent a letter with the headline: “Important: You should read this notice carefully." It read, “This is a default notice served under section 87(1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Your account has an outstanding balance of £3,240.72.”
“You are in breach of condition 15-4(c) of your agreement with Paypal Credit as we have received notice that you are deceased. In accordance with condition 15-4(c), we are entitled to close your account, terminate your agreement and demand repayment of the full amount outstanding.” More
Latino student expelled over photos that sparked racism accusations
Marquette University student Alex Ruiz was recently expelled after school officials deemed two photos inadvertently sent to a black classmate “discriminatory harassment,” this despite authorities declining to press charges, saying there was no intent to harass anyone.
In one photo, it shows Ruiz and three of his friends posing in front of a mirror with a plastic gun and the word “chuuch” – slang for “amen” – captioned on it and pointing to a well-dressed black doll. Another showed an edited image of a black male’s face over a gorilla, according to a memo from the school obtained by Campus Reform, which first reported the issue. More
Facebook flags Declaration of Independence as hate speech
In the week of America’s Independence Day, the algorithms of Facebook decided that the Declaration of Independence was hate speech.
The Liberty County Vindicator, a community newspaper between Houston and Beaumont, had been posting the whole declaration in small daily chunks for nine days on its Facebook page in the run-up to July 4. But the 10th excerpt was not posted Monday as scheduled, and the paper said it received an automated notice saying the post “goes against our standards on hate speech.”
Part of the standard notice, Vindicator managing editor Casey Stinnett wrote, included a warning that the newspaper could lose its Facebook account, on which it depends for much of its reach, if there were more violations. More
Cops Arrive after Maryland Man Posts Photos of Non-Psychedelic Mushrooms on FB
A Maryland man posted to Facebook describing how a cop arrived at his home over the post he made on Facebook.
The cop's agenda? He was apparently there to conduct an investigation into the man and his girlfriend, Hope Deery, for possessing psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms.
The only problem: they weren't magic mushrooms.
"We let them in and as soon as the police officer walked in he asked us why we were eating mushrooms and posting about it online," the man posted. More
Black Pregnant Woman Jailed For Using Gun To Defend Family From Attacker, Silence From The NRA
A pregnant black woman in Michigan who pulled out a gun to defend her family from an attacker is serving time in jail and might have to give birth in prison, Vox reports.
Siwatu-Salama Ra, a 26-year-old environmental activist in Detroit, used her weapon to fend off an angry neighbor – with whom she had a dispute – after she deliberately crashed her car into Ra’s home while Ra’s two-year-old child was playing inside.
Fearing for her family’s life, Ra, a legal gun owner in an open carry state, pulled out an unloaded handgun and pointed it at the assailant, identified as Channell Harvey, who then fled. More
Child with Autism Arrested for Firing 'Imaginary Rifle'
A boy with autism was arrested for allegedly pretending to fire an imaginary rifle at his art teacher.
David Sims, 12, was talking with his friends about BB Guns at Conroe Independent School District’s Bozman Intermediate School in Texas when he allegedly pointed the imaginary gun at his art teacher. His hand gestures made the teacher feel uncomfortable, which led to the 12-year-old boy being arrested by authorities on Monday.
“They just said, 'We don't tolerate that. We take it as a threat.' A threat? He didn't threaten anyone. He didn't do anything but play," according to David’s mother, Amy Sims. More
Ask Your Baby's Permission Before Changing Diaper, Says Sexual Consent Expert
A sex education expert has sparked a debate on sexual consent, after she argued that parents should ask children for permission before changing their diapers.
Deanne Carson, who works for an organization which teaches children about consent, appeared on Australia’s ABC news network to comment on Saxon Mullins, whose rape case sparked a national debate on sexual consent laws. Carson argued that parents should teach their children about consent as early as possible.
“We work with parents from birth...Just about how to set up a culture of consent in their homes. ‘I’m going to change your nappy now, is that OK?’ Of course a baby’s not going to respond ‘yes mum, that’s awesome I’d love to have my nappy changed'. More
British schools are removing analog clocks from classrooms because kids can't read them
Schools in the United Kingdom are beginning to remove analog clocks from the classroom — because students are complaining that they can’t read them, reports say.
Officials have begun replacing the traditional clocks with digital ones as children have been unable to tell the correct time on analog clocks, The Telegraph reports.
“The current generation aren’t as good at reading the traditional clock face as older generations,” Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders in England, told the publication. “Nearly everything they’ve got is digital so youngsters are just exposed to time being given digitally everywhere.” More
Nurses are subject to a new code where they must announce their 'white privilege' before treating Aboriginal patients
Australian nurses and midwives are being forced to announce their 'white privilege' before treating Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander patients - a move which has been slammed as 'racist to its core'.
The term 'white privilege' defines the unearned social and cultural advantages awarded to people with white skin which are not enjoyed by people of colour or non-white backgrounds. The Nursing and Midwifery Board believes the cultural safety of Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander patients is just as important as their clinical safety. More
West Hills High student arrested after posting LEGO rifle photo with threat
A freshman at West Hills High School in Santee was arrested on suspicion of making a terrorist threat after he posted a photo of a LEGO rifle on social media with a threatening caption.
The 14-year-old ninth grader was arrested at his home Tuesday, said Catherine Martin, a spokeswoman with the Grossmont Union High School District.
“We thank law enforcement for their quick action,” Martin said on Twitter. School officials told deputies of the post about 10 p.m. The student had posted to Instagram what appeared to be an AR-15 rifle out of LEGO pieces along with the caption, “Don’t come to school tomorrow.” More
No One Mentions That The Russian Trail Leads To Democratic Lobbyists
K Street lobbyists are the symbol of Washington influence-peddling as they push government for favors, subsidies, exemptions, and other special treatment for their clients. Their customers include, in addition to domestic clients, foreign governments, oligarchs, fugitive speculators, and a rogue’s gallery of questionable figures.
Washington lobbyists trade on their access to power. Many are former administration officials or members of Congress. If Trump fulfills his promise to “drain the swamp,” these influence peddlers would have nothing to sell. They are under attack. More
Service Canada's gender neutral directive is 'confusing' and 'will be corrected' says minister
A federal cabinet minister says a directive to Service Canada agents telling them to use gender-neutral language — such as 'parent' instead of 'mother' or 'father' — when speaking to the public was badly worded and will be corrected.
The directive, obtained by Radio Canada, the French-language arm of CBC, instructs Service Canada employees who interact with the public to stay away from terms such as Mr., Mrs., father and mother, and to "use gender-neutral language or gender-inclusive language." More
Gallery removes naked nymphs painting to 'prompt conversation'
It is a painting that shows pubescent, naked nymphs tempting a handsome young man to his doom, but is it an erotic Victorian fantasy too far, and one which, in the current climate, is unsuitable and offensive to modern audiences?
Manchester Art Gallery has asked the question after removing John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs, one of the most recognisable of the pre-Raphaelite paintings, from its walls. Postcards of the painting will be removed from sale in the shop.
The painting was taken down on Friday and replaced with a notice explaining that a temporary space had been left “to prompt conversations about how we display and interpret artworks in Manchester’s public collection”. More
Ryan Zinke: Too Many Americans Are Enjoying National Parks For Free
Too many Americans are able to access the country's national parks for free, says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and this must end if the U.S. wishes to address the parks' aging and otherwise declining infrastructure.
Who gets into national parks for free? Veterans, disabled Americans, senior citizens, and children.
Zinke assured the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday that he would not impose new fees on veterans, but he did propose raising vehicle fees from at some of the busier national parks, such as Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Zion, which currently charge between $20 and $30 per car. More
Planned Parenthood taps into sex-change ‘therapy’ for minors as new revenue source
SARASOTA, FL - Planned Parenthood is hoping to make life a little bit easier for the transgender community. They are now offering transgender hormone replacement therapy for those under the age of 18.
"We had a lot of parents actually reach out to us wanting to get care for the young people in their lives," said Dr. Suzie Prabhakaran, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Planned Parenthood. "So we decided it was time for us to expand the care that we were providing to minors."
Planned Parenthood has been providing transgender hormone therapy since October of 2016, but up until now that was for those 18 and older. They say transgender patients have a difficult time accessing care because a lot of doctors can be judgemental of those who are transgender. At Planned Parenthood, it all starts with an initial consultation. More
#MeToo movement lawmaker investigated for sexual misconduct allegations
SAN FRANCISCO — California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia — whose high-profile advocacy of the #MeToo movement earned her national media notice — is herself the subject of a state legislative investigation in the wake of a report that she sexually harassed and groped a former legislative staffer.
In December, when Time magazine announced that “Silence Breakers” who spoke out against sexual harassment were its Persons of the Year, Garcia’s face was prominently included in the art accompanying the cover story.
But Daniel Fierro of Cerritos told POLITICO that in 2014, as a 25-year-old staffer to Assemblyman Ian Calderon, he was groped by Garcia, a powerful Democratic lawmaker who chairs the Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Natural Resources Committee. He said she cornered him and that Garcia appeared inebriated, began stroking his back, then squeezed his buttocks and attempted to touch his crotch before he extricated himself and quickly left. More
Why This Mom Is Selling Fake Penises for Kids Under 5
While awareness of transgender issues has become more mainstream, there is still a lot to be learned about what the trans experience is like -- which was the thinking of Searah Deysach, a Chicago business owner, who is making waves for selling silicone penises for transgender and gender non-conforming kids as young as 5.
And while Deysach sells these products with the intention of helping trans kids better express their gender, she's facing a strong pushback online from people who think she's way out of line. More
Norway Olympic ski team under fire for sweater’s symbol used by Nazi Germany
Norway’s alpine skiing team is receiving backlash after revealing its official Winter Olympics knitted sweater, which uses a controversial symbol.
The black and grey sweaters feature a symbol known as the Tyr rune, representing the team’s theme for the Olympics, “the Attacking Viking.” The symbol is associated with Viking and Norse mythology and stands for heroic glory.
But the symbol has also been hijacked by extreme right-wing groups. For example, Tyr was also the official emblem for Adolf Hitler’s leadership school in Nazi Germany. More
'The Bachelor' Creator Blames Fans' Racism, Trump For Show's Low Ratings
ABC's "The Bachelor" creator and executive producer Mike Fleiss blamed racism on the part of his show's fan base and President Donald Trump for his show's low ratings in an interview released Friday in the New York Times. ABC's "The Bachelor" creator and executive producer Mike Fleiss blamed racism on the part of his show's fan base and President Donald Trump for his show's low ratings in an interview released Friday in the New York Times.
From New York Times:
In 2017, the first “Bachelorette” chapter to star an African-American woman — Rachel Lindsay, a lawyer from Dallas — drew precipitously fewer viewers than the season before it. “I found it incredibly disturbing in a Trumpish kind of way,” Mr. Fleiss said. “How else are you going to explain the fact that she’s down in the ratings, when — black or white — she was an unbelievable bachelorette? It revealed something about our fans.”
You're a racist if you don't want to watch my crappy TV show. More
Washington state sues Motel 6 over cooperation with immigration authorities
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) has sued Motel 6 for providing guest lists to federal immigration agents, Ferguson's office said Wednesday.
The office began investigating Motel 6 after two of the low-cost chain's locations in Arizona provided its guests' personal information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. Six additional locations in Washington provided the same information covering more than 9,100 guests to ICE agents, Ferguson's office said.
"Washingtonians have a right to privacy, and protection from discrimination," Ferguson said in a statement announcing the lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court. "I will hold Motel 6 accountable and uncover the whole story of their disturbing conduct." More
James Damore just filed a class action lawsuit against Google, saying it discriminates against white male conservatives
James Damore, a former Google engineer who was fired in August after posting a memo to an internal Google message board arguing that women may not be equally represented in tech because they are biologically less capable of engineering, has filed a class action lawsuit against the company in Santa Clara Superior Court in Northern California.
His claims: that Google unfairly discriminates against white men whose political views are unpopular with its executives.
Damore is joined in the 161-page suit by another former Google engineer named David Gudeman, who spent three years with Google working on a query engine. According to Gudeman’s LinkedIn profile, he left the company in December 2016 and has been self-employed since. More
White noise video on YouTube hit by five copyright claims
A musician who made a 10-hour long video of continuous white noise - indistinct electronic hissing - has said five copyright infringement claims have been made against him.
Sebastian Tomczak, who is based in Australia, said he made the video in 2015 and uploaded it to YouTube.
The claimants accusing him of infringement include publishers of white noise intended for sleep therapy. More
Professors claim farmers’ markets cultivate racism: ‘Habits of white people are normalized’
Two San Diego State University (SDSU) professors recently criticized farmers’ markets for being “white spaces” that contribute to the oppression of minorities.
Pascale Joassart-Marcelli and Fernando J Bosco, two geography professors at SDSU, criticized the “whiteness of farmers’ markets” in a chapter for Just Green Enough, a new anthology published by Routledge in December.
The anthology, which features contributions from a variety of professors, aims to highlight the harms of “environmental gentrification,” a process in which “environmental improvements lead to…the displacement of long-term residents.” More
Texas Dad Confiscates 12-Year-Old Daughter's Phone As Punishment, Gets Arrested By The Cops
Authorities arrested a Grand Prairie, Texas, father for taking his daughter's cell phone away as a form of punishment.
In 2013, Ronald Jackson discovered a text message on his daughter's phone that he found to be "rude." He took the phone away from his daughter, who was 12-years-old at the time, to teach her a lesson.
"I was being a parent..." Jackson told KDVR. "...A child does something wrong, you teach them what’s right. You tell them what they did wrong and you give them a punishment to show them they shouldn’t being doing that" More
Prominent lawyer sought donor cash for two Trump accusers
A well-known women’s rights lawyer sought to arrange compensation from donors and tabloid media outlets for women who made or considered making sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump during the final months of the 2016 presidential race, according to documents and interviews.
California lawyer Lisa Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell alleged victims’ stories to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off one Trump accuser’s mortgage and attempting to secure a six-figure payment for another woman who ultimately declined to come forward after being offered as much as $750,000, the clients told The Hill. More
Students who shut down University of Oregon president’s speech panic after they’re charged
Threatening to investigate students for disrupting campus events works wonders on their willingness to negotiate.
A week after they received formal charges of “disruption of university” and “failure to comply” for shutting down the State of the University speech by University of Oregon President Michael Schill, participants warned Schill that he had “escalated tensions” by holding them accountable (!).
Student, faculty and union leaders signed an open letter to Schill and the board of trustees, posted on the activist UO Student Collective Facebook page, that blames Schill for comparing the protesters to the fascists they claim to fight. More
On YouTube Kids, Startling Videos Slip Past Filters
It was a typical night in Staci Burns’s house outside Fort Wayne, Ind. She was cooking dinner while her 3-year-old son, Isaac, watched videos on the YouTube Kids app on an iPad. Suddenly he cried out, “Mommy, the monster scares me!”
When Ms. Burns walked over, Isaac was watching a video featuring crude renderings of the characters from “PAW Patrol,” a Nickelodeon show that is popular among preschoolers, screaming in a car. The vehicle hurtled into a light pole and burst into flames.
The 10-minute clip, “PAW Patrol Babies Pretend to Die Suicide by Annabelle Hypnotized,” was a nightmarish imitation of an animated series in which a boy and a pack of rescue dogs protect their community from troubles like runaway kittens and rock slides. In the video Isaac watched, some characters died and one walked off a roof after being hypnotized by a likeness of a doll possessed by a demon.More
Transgender reveal in kindergarten class leaves parents feeling "betrayed"
ROCKLIN, Calif. -- The Rocklin Academy school board is facing tough questions from parents concerned over a controversial incident involving transgender discussions inside a kindergarten class, CBS Sacramento reports.
"These parents feel betrayed by the school district that they were not notified," said Karen England with the Capitol Resource Institute. More
Russia Wants Bulgarians to Stop Painting Soviet Monuments To Look Like American Superheroes
According to a report by the Moscow Times, pranksters in Bulgaria are repainting Soviet-era monuments so that Soviet military heroes look like American Superheroes. Needless to say, the Russians are not too happy about it.
Russia is demanding that Bulgaria try harder to prevent vandalism of Soviet monuments, after yet another monument to Soviet troops in Sofia was spray-painted, ITAR-Tass reported. The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has issued a note demanding that its former Soviet-era ally clean up the monument in Sofia’s Lozenets district, identify and punish those responsible, and take “exhaustive measures” to prevent similar attacks in the future, the news agency reported Monday.. More
Rick Perry Just Said That Fossil Fuels Help Prevent Sexual Assault
Rick Perry, the head of the Department of Energy (DoE), has surpassed himself. Talking to journalists earlier today, he claimed that fossil fuels will help to prevent sexual assault.
During an energy policy discussion, he said: “From the standpoint of sexual assault. When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts… fossil fuels is going to play a role in that. I think it’s going to play a positive role.”
It’s a little difficult to try and work out what he means by this. Is he trying to say that when you have lights on, the perpetrators of sexual assault are easier to see? This is obviously true - but studies show that it has little effect on such crimes being committed. Either way, to use such a horrific issue to tout the benefits of oil, gas, and coal is mindblowingly strange. More
EU Study Showing Piracy Doesn't Affect Game Sales Was Shelved
It’s usually considered that piracy hurts the sale of copyrighted materials, but that’s not really the case. Over the years, quite a few studies have reached the same conclusion, and that was piracy doesn’t have an effect on sales. It sounds strange, but that’s the truth.
Companies chose to ignore this information, and it’s easy to understand why. It sounds like the logical thing to imagine, but it’s not backed by science. Nevertheless, the European Commission wanted to know what is the effect of piracy on copyrighted material and ordered a study. The results were never made public. More
FBI finds FEMA supplies in Trash Container
Federal and State Authorities today began an investigation into the Municipality of Patillas after an inspection was carried out today where allegedly, investigators found food and water provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) thrown in a trash container according to sources.
Supplies mismanagement or theft, for being federal property, will be investigated by the FBI and can lead to a penalty of up to 20 years if any individual is found to be violating the distribution guidelines. More
Schools are banning best friends to protect students' feelings
Members of the royal family aren't often told what they can and can't do. But just a few days into his first year of school, 4-year-old Prince George already faces a mandate: No best friends allowed.
Thomas's Battersea, the school George attends, bans kids from having best friends, Marie Claire reports. Instead, teachers encourage all students to form bonds with one another to avoid creating feelings of exclusions among those without best friends.
Jane Moore, a parent whose child attends the school, explained the idea on a recent episode of the British talk show "Loose Women." "There's a policy," she said, "that if your child is having a party — unless every child is invited — you don't give out the invites in class." More
Oxford University "Doctor Stabby" avoids jail because of her ‘extraordinary’ potential
An Oxford University student dubbed “too clever to go to prison” has walked free after stabbing her ex-boyfriend in a drug-fueled frenzy — but moaned that she can’t go clubbing without being recognized.
Aspiring heart surgeon Lavinia Woodward ran out of court with a big smile on her face Monday after being handed a suspended sentence.
Wearing a black suit and white blouse, she appeared in the glass-paneled dock before the judge at Oxford Crown Court.
Flanked by a female security guard, she wept and dabbed her eyes with a tissue as the judge sentenced her to 10 months in prison, suspended for 18 months. More
Australian Professors Claim Boys Are Better Than Girls At Physics Because They Play With Pee
Physics is heavily skewed towards boys because they have a unique advantage when it comes to understanding projectile motion – and, argue Anna Wilson, Kate Wilson and David Low, it’s an area too heavily relied on in many curricula.
Some of you will think we’re daft. Some will wonder what kind of jobs we have if we have enough time on our hands to dream this kind of thing up. Some of you may even think we’re having you on. Our intentions, however, are honourable.
Playful urination practices – from seeing how high you can pee to games such as Peeball (where men compete using their urine to destroy a ball placed in a urinal) – may give boys an advantage over girls when it comes to physics. And we believe there’s something we can do about it. More
How a 5-year-old's 'pretend play' resulted in a school suspension
Modesto parents are upset that their 5-year-old son's "pretend play" resulted in him being suspended from school, and said they want the disciplinary action removed from his permanent record.
Jackson Riley attends the Great Valley Academy public charter school in Modesto and was suspended for a day for making terrorist threats, TV station Fox 40 reported.
The incident occurred Aug. 31, Jackson's father, Ian Riley, told The Bee. He got a call from the school saying the kindergartner had refused to take off his backpack and, when asked why, said there was a bomb in it that would explode if he did so.
Riley said Jackson loves his teachers, as do he and his wife, Michelle. "We have two kids there and the teachers are amazing," he said. "Our issue is with the administration's knee-jerk reaction." More
"Meathead" Launches Committee To Investigate Russian Election Meddling
Director Rob Reiner, his pal Morgan Freeman and journalist David Frum have joined forces to create a "Committee to Investigate Russia," designed to uncover the truth behind Putin-led meddling in the 2016 Presidential election.
Reiner announced the CIR on Tuesday, posting to Twitter that he wants Americans to " “understand the gravity of Russia’s invasion of our democracy," adding that he intends on using his resources to truly solve the mystery of how Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential election.
The group launched their website, InvestigateRussia.com, on Wednesday. It has a few fancy videos - one of which stars Freeman, who warns that Russia is waging a war on the United States that we can no longer afford to ignore. "We have been attacked," bellows Freeman. "We are at war." More
Democrat candidate for NY City council lives in Section 8 housing, hides photos of husband on yacht
A Democrat candidate for New York City’s city council, who lives in Section 8 housing, went into damage control mode after photos were shared of her husband on a yacht.
The Facebook photos showed city council candidate Carlina Rivera’s husband, attorney and Community Board 3 Chairman, James Rogers, sailing on his wealthy father, William Rogers’, yacht as they competed in boating competitions, the New York Post reported.
The Facebook page “Big Boat,” which is the name of the yacht, removed the photos ahead of New York City’s primary elections on Tuesday but the damage was done. More
Florida gun owners encouraged to 'shoot the storm' and fire their guns at Hurricane Irma
A Florida man who suggested shooting guns at Hurricane Irma out of "stress and boredom" has found that his idea has captured peoples' imaginations - with over 46,000 signing up to join in.
Hurricane Irma is due to hit Florida on Saturday, and the state is currently experiencing the largest ever mass evacuation due to a hurricane in American history. But Ryon Edwards, 22, came up with a novel way of amusing himself during the storm: firing bullets into it. He started a Facebook "event", and as of Friday evening 46,000 people say they are interested. More
College tells students to ‘rub one out’ to prevent rape
The Rochester Institute of Technology recently encouraged students to masturbate as an alternative to sexual assault during one of its freshman orientation programs.
As part of an “Alcohol and Chill” session during orientation, students discussed “awareness, prevention, bystander education, and risk reduction,” according to a statement from the school’s senior vice president for student affairs.
An image obtained by Campus Reform shows that during said session, participants were told to “Rub One Out,” with a notation at the bottom of the slide explaining that “self-gratification can prevent sexual assault.” More
Why the Do Not Call list doesn't work anymore
Carol Stewart is at wit’s end, because the calls won’t stop.
“I’m getting inundated,” the frustrated woman said.
Multiple times a day, live or automated robocallers ring her home phone—to sell her vacations, lower her credit card rates, or ask for donations.
“Somebody will be saying I’ve got a vacation package for you, that we thought you might be interested in, and I just hang up. Because I’m not interested in it,” she said. It’s gotten so bad that she checked to see if her name is still on the National Do Not Call List that she signed up for more than a decade ago. She learned she is still on the list. But it’s not doing a thing for her. More
Man Builds Park Stairs for $550 After City Gives $65,000 Estimate
A Toronto man who spent $550 building a set of stairs in his community park says he has no regrets, despite the city’s insistence that he should have waited for a $65,000 city project to handle the problem. The city is now threatening to tear down the stairs because they were not built to regulation standards.
Retired mechanic Adi Astl says he took it upon himself to build the stairs after several neighbours fell down the steep path to a community garden in Tom Riley Park, in Etobicoke, Ont. Astl says his neighbours chipped in on the project, which only ended up costing $550 – a far cry from the $65,000-$150,000 price tag the city had estimated for the job. More
Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD is Largely a Fraud
JViewed by academics as one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, Jerome Kagan ranked above Carl Jung (the founder of analytical psychology) and Ivan Pavlov (who discovered the Pavlovian reflex) in a 2002 American Psychological Association ranking of the eminent psychologists. He is well-known for his pioneering work in developmental psychology at Harvard University, where he has spent decades documenting how babies and small children grow, and is an exceptional and highly-regarded researcher.
So it may be surprising to learn that he believes the diagnosis of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is an invention — and only benefits the pharmaceutical industry and psychiatrists.
“That is the history of humanity: Those in authority believe they’re doing the right thing, and they harm those who have no power”, says Jerome Kagan. More
These Coloradans say Earth is flat. And gravity’s a hoax. Now, they’re being persecuted.
Every Tuesday at 6 p.m., three dozen Coloradans from every corner of the state assemble in the windowless back room of a small Fort Collins coffee shop. They have met 16 times since March, most nights talking through the ins and outs of their shared faith until the owners kick them out at closing.
They have no leaders, no formal hierarchy and no enforced ideology, save a common quest for answers to questions about the stars. Their membership has slowly swelled in the past three years, though persecution and widespread public derision keep them mostly underground. Many use pseudonyms, or only give first names.
“They just do not want to talk about it for fear of reprisals or ridicule from co-workers,” says John Vnuk, the group’s founder who lives in Fort Collins. More
Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop responds after NASA calls BS on ‘healing’ stickers
What do you do when you have too much money? Most of us never have to worry about such things, but oftentimes celebrities find themselves with piles of cash and nothing to spend it on.
Sometimes they go on benders, or buy a private island, but in Gwyneth Paltrow’s case, she started a “wellness” company that is now trying to help sell special stickers that it claims can cure you of anxiety, balance your body’s “natural frequency,” and even relieve pain. Now, NASA — you know, that little group that does actual science — is calling BS on the whole thing. More
Portland Burrito Shop Forced to Close After Getting Hounded for ‘Stealing From Mexico’
Kali Wilgus and Liz “LC” Connelly, owners of Portland pop-up shop Kooks Burritos, just wanted to make and sell some really great burritos. So when they were on a trip to Puerto Nuevo, Mexico, they “picked the brains” of the local tortilla ladies and brought those recipes back to the States.
“I picked the brains of every tortilla lady there in the worst broken Spanish ever, and they showed me a little of what they did,” Connelly told Willamette Week. “They told us the basic ingredients, and we saw them moving and stretching the dough similar to how pizza makers do before rolling it out with rolling pins. They wouldn’t tell us too much about technique, but we were peeking into the windows of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look. We learned quickly it isn’t quite that easy.”
Whelp, apparently this interview sparked an Internet shitstorm, which ended in Kooks Burritos shutting down and the two white women who owned it scrubbing social media of the business’ existence. Wilgus and Connelly were accused of cultural appropriation by the Internet mob, and even the theft of PoC’s recipes. More
School district slams sixth grader with suspension over haircut
BAYTOWN, Texas - Xavier Davis had no idea his hair could cause him so much trouble.
Xavier is a sixth grader at Cedar Bayou Junior High School in Baytown.
When he walked into class last Thursday, he said he was promptly sent to the office.
"I was walking into class, and she saw my hair and said, 'You can't have two lines in your hair. Go to the office,'" Xavier said.
The school, he said, ordered him to fix the haircut by Monday, or be punished with in-school suspension.
"I don't think it's fair," Xavier said. "He's had his hair cut like this for six months and now all of a sudden it's a problem?" said his father, Matt Davis. More
Canada Man Ordered to Surrender ‘Offensive’ Star Trek License Plate
A Canadian man’s Star Trek-inspired license plate has been revoked after his public insurance company received complaints that it was offensive to indigenous people. The two-year-old plate, which reads “ASIMIL8,” is a sly reference to the Borg, evil aliens in Star Trek who “assimilate” their prey and go by the motto “Resistance is Futile.”
Manitoba local Nick Troller was informed by an agent from Manitoba Public Insurance on Wednesday that they had received complaints from two people about the word “assimilate,” which they claimed is offensive to minorities. He was then served a letter informing him that “it has been brought to the attention of this office that the personalized plate ASIMIL8 is considered offensive,” and was ordered to surrender it immediately. More
Lookalike Foods: DNA test finds Subway sandwiches may be just 50 percent chicken
Those chicken sandwiches you've been getting from Subway might not contain as much chicken as you'd think, according to an investigation from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
According to the CBC Marketplace DNA test, the pieces of chicken tested in Subway sandwiches contained just 50 percent chicken DNA, with the rest containing soy.
The study tested Subway's Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich and the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki. The results showed the oven roasted chicken had only 53.6 percent chicken DNA while the chicken strips in the sweet onion chicken teriyaki had just 42.8 percent chicken DNA. More
No soda tax for diet drinkers? Seattle’s plan excludes drinks favored by rich and white
Mayor Ed Murray’s proposed tax on sodas exempts one kind of soft drink more typically favored by an affluent, educated and white population in Seattle and beyond: diet drinks.
The 2-cents-an-ounce tax would apply only to sugary beverages, such as regular sodas, energy and sports drinks, and bottled teas and coffee that are sweetened with sugar. For a 2-liter bottle of Coke, the tax could add $1.35 to the cost.
Money raised — estimated at $16 million per year — would be used to support various programs aimed at reducing disparities between white students and black and Latino students. But this proposed tax could also place a heavier burden on the very groups it’s aiming to help. More
Single dad furious after teen daughter reveals why her friends can't stay over at their house
A single dad has opened up about his anger after his upset daughter told him the reason her friends won't stay over at her house.
The anonymous man, writing on Kidspot, revealed how he was the girl's primary carer for five years of her life before his wife ran off with another man and took their child with her.
After years of fighting for custody of his "wonderful" daughter, the pair moved to Australia together four years ago.
He struggled to get on school records as her primary carer as the system "wouldn't accept it" and, bizarrely, ended up being listed as her mother. More
Chelsea Clinton Gets Another Award For Doing Nothing Special
Like her mother before her, Chelsea Clinton appears to be creating a cottage industry for herself in receiving random awards for her unparalleled contributions to society, scintillating takes on current events, and incredibly generous heart.
Not content with just her Variety-sponsored “achievement award,” Chelsea on Tuesday night accepted the annual City Harvest Award for Commitment in fighting hunger in New York City, as reported in Mail Online.
Before we claim that she’s done nothing to earn a major award, aside from sitting in a privileged position atop her family’s namesake foundation, or say that she has few actual commitments aside from spending her family’s money and attending a single board meeting for Expedia lest she forfeit the several hundred thousand dollars she earns in her honorary position, in this case, it appears Chelsea did do at least something to earn her award. More
School Officials Shamed A Teenage Girl For Bringing "Too Much Food" For Lunch
A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A small banana. Strawberries. Grapes. And a handful of dried coconut with raisins.
Sounds like a pretty reasonable lunch to us. But when a student brought this exact lunch to school one day, she was told that she had packed too much food, her mom wrote on a parenting blog.
School officials have been monitoring what the students bring for lunch every day at this girl's secondary school, her mom said in the post. "DDs [dear daughter's] secondary school has started checking all the packed lunches at registration," she wrote. "I know lots of secondary school students buy sweets and chocolate etc on the way to school but surely at that age it's their choice." More
New bill takes aim at men's masturbation habits
State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, filed a bill Friday that would penalize men for "unregulated masturbatory emissions."
The satirical House Bill 4260 would encourage men to remain "fully abstinent" and only allow the "occasional masturbatory emissions inside health care and medical facilities," which are described in the legislation as the best way to ensure men's health.
A man would face a $100 penalty for each emission made outside of a vagina or medical facility. Such an emission would be considered "an act against an unborn child, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life," according to the legislation. More
Kurdish healer: Trump is possessed; I can cure him by beating soles of his feet
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — A Kurdish healer who claims to draw his knowledge and powers from God says that US President Donald Trump is possessed and unless he is cured he will either go insane or be killed before finishing his first term in office.
Known as Mala Ali Kalak and based in a small town outside Erbil on the road to Mosul, he says he has treated many cases of cancer and HIV, including government officials.
“Trump is possessed and I need to beat him on the soles of his feet to get the jinni out of his body,” Mala Ali told Rudaw in an interview. “He has lost his mind and oversteps his boundaries all the time. He needs help. Unless he is cured he will continue to act like he does now.” More
Atlanta welfare bums battling state over right to name daughter Allah
ATLANTA — The toddler daughter of Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk has everything you would expect: a sweet smile, curious nature and finicky tastes.
But, in the eyes of the state of Georgia, the 22-month-old child has no name.
According to Handy and Walk, the Georgia Department of Public Health refused to issue the infant a birth certificate with the last name the couple chose for their daughter: Allah.
The ACLU of Georgia has filed suit on behalf of the couple, who say they can't get a Social Security number for their daughter because they don't have a birth certificate. They also anticipate problems with access to health care, schools and travel. More
'Bread war': Venezuela arrests brownie and croissant bakers in effort to tackle food shortages
Venezuela this week arrested four bakers making illegal brownies and other pastries as President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government threatens to take over bakeries in Caracas as part of a new "bread war".
Maduro has sent inspectors and soldiers into more than 700 bakeries around the capital this week to enforce a rule that 90 percent of wheat must be destined to loaves rather than more expensive pastries and cakes.
It was the latest move by the government to combat shortages and long lines for basic products that have characterised Venezuela's economic crisis over the last three years. More
American Legion Riders say they were harassed by staff at Michigan Dave & Busters location
Dallas-based restaurant chain Dave & Busters is getting what appears to be some negative blowback this week after a biker group made up of military veterans said it was harassed at a Michigan location. MLive in Grand Rapids first reported on the story on Wednesday, detailing how a group of American Legion Riders were confronted by management at a Kentwood, Michigan D&B location on Saturday, Feb. 25.
According to biker Victor Murdock a general manager at the location told the group of bikers that they had to remove their riding vests, or colors, turn them inside-out or leave the premises. The bikers’ attire apparently violated the chain’s dress code policy which prohibits clothing that promotes “evidence of gang affiliation,” according to MLive. More
School apologizes for fried chicken menu for Black History Month
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP -- The township schools superintendent apologized to parents for a recent high school lunch menu that served fried chicken to celebrate Black History Month.
The Feb. 16 lunch menu at Hopewell Valley Central High School also listed corn bread, sweet potato casserole, sauteed spinach, mac & cheese and peach and apple crisps.
It's not clear who complained about the menu.
"The decision to include these items without any context or explanation, reinforces racial stereotypes and is not consistent with our district mission and efforts to improve cultural competency among our students and staff," Superintendent Thomas A. Smith wrote in a message to the community. More
Absurd State Licensing Rules Could Send A Woman To Jail Just for Touching a Horse
If Laurie Wheeler puts her hands on a horse, she could go to jail.
Not because she would hurt the animal—she'd never think of doing such a thing—but because of an anonymous complaint submitted to the state's licensing board that governs veterinary medicine.
Wheeler has been studying horse massage since 2010, when she adopted an abandoned horse suffering from a potentially life-threatening neurological condition known as equine protozoal myeloencephalitis.
Her horse, Jazz, was treated with a mix of medication and massage therapy, and Wheeler became interested in the practice. Since then, she's twice been certified in equine massage by an Indiana-based animal therapy school, and, in 2016, successfully obtained a license from the state of Tennessee, where she lives, to practice massage therapy on humans. More
Teen Girl Sent Teen Boy 5 Inappropriate Pictures, Faces Lifetime Registry as a 'Violent Sex Offender' or 350 Years in Jail
Zachary, now 19, is in jail awaiting sentencing for five pictures his teenage girlfriend sent him of herself in her underwear. He faced a choice between a possible (though unlikely) maximum sentence of 350 years in prison, or lifetime on the sex offender registry as a "sexually violent offender"—even though he never met the girl in person. Here's what happened.
About two years ago, when Zachary was a 17-year-old high school senior in Stafford County, Virginia, a girl in his computer club invited him over to visit. She introduced him to her younger sister, age 13. This younger sister told Zachary he reminded her of a friend: this friend, also a 13-year-old girl, shared Zachary's love of dragons and videogames. More
Grad Student Exposes Massive Network Of Over 350,000 Fake Twitter Accounts
A computer scientist in London has stumbled upon massive networks of fake Twitter accounts - with the largest consisting of over 350,000 profiles - which may have been used to 'fake' numbers of followers, send spam, and boost interest in trending topics.
On Twitter, bots are accounts that are run remotely by someone who automates the messages they send and activities they carry out. The network of 350,000 bots stood out because all the accounts in it shared several subtle characteristics that revealed they were linked.
It was "amazing and surprising" to discover the massive networks, said Dr Shi Zhou, a senior lecturer from UCL who oversaw Mr Echeverria's research. More
Utah’s Anti-Porn Crusade Has Entered a Crazy New Phase
Utah has some pretty big hang-ups about pornography. As Science of Us noted back in April, the state’s conservative legislators are engaged in something of an anti-porn jihad — in March, they passed a symbolic resolution stating that “the Legislature and the Governor recognize the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of our state and nation.”
There is, of course, no evidence of a “pornography epidemic” with any measurable toll on society. Yes, a lot of people view porn, as has been the case ever since porn was easily viewable, and as will likely be the case forever. But the sorts of things you’d expect to be associated with a hypothetical porn epidemic, like people having tons of reckless sex, don’t appear to be happening.
The only thing anti-porn zealots can point to as evidence of a dangerous “epidemic” is that a lot of people are watching porn. There’s no credible, empirically backed second half to the sentence “Tons of people too much porn, and it’s causing X.” More
Who got rich off the student debt crisis
A generation ago, Congress privatized a student loan program intended to give more Americans access to higher education.
In its place, lawmakers created another profit center for Wall Street and a system of college finance that has fed the nation’s cycle of inequality. Step by step, Congress has enacted one law after another to make student debt the worst kind of debt for Americans – and the best kind for banks and debt collectors.
Today, just about everyone involved in the student loan industry makes money off students – the banks, private investors, even the federal government.
Jessie Suren is an energetic 28-year-old who wanted a career in law enforcement. Albert Lord is a 70-year-old former accountant who became a multimillionaire executive. The two have never met, but their stories tell the history of America’s student debt crisis. More
Facebook 'fact checker' who will arbitrate on 'fake news' is accused of defrauding website to pay for prostitutes
One of the websites Facebook is to use to arbitrate on 'fake news' is involved in a bitter legal dispute between its co-founders, with its CEO accused of using company money for prostitutes.
Snopes.com will be part of a panel used by Facebook to decide whether stories which users complain about as potentially 'fake' should be considered 'disputed'.
But the website's own troubles and the intriguing choice of who carries out its 'fact checks' are revealed by DailyMail.com, as one of its main contributors is disclosed to be a former sex-blogger who called herself 'Vice Vixen'.
Snopes.com will benefit from Facebook's decision to allow users to report items in their newsfeed which they believe to be 'fake'. More
When Food Is Expensive, We Assume It’s Healthier, Too
Nutrition researchers will often talk about a “health halo” — a product that’s not so great for you enjoying a nutritious reputation it doesn’t deserve. Salad is one example: Dump a bunch of cheese and croutons on top of a few leaves, and yes, it’s technically a salad (and probably delicious), but it’s not the healthy meal that the label implies.
And as a forthcoming study in the Journal of Consumer Research illustrates, the same thing can happen with price. More expensive foods benefit from the health halo of a higher cost, while affordable items are seen as junky — even if neither is true.
Konchinsky is now suing the police officers, alleging they violated her constitutional rights. What's the basis of her lawsuit?
Konchinsky's suit alleges that the officers' actions violated her First Amendment right to freedom of speech. More
No Evidence of Aloe Vera Found in the Aloe Vera at Wal-Mart, CVS
The aloe vera gel many Americans buy to soothe damaged skin contains no evidence of aloe vera at all.
Samples of store-brand aloe gel purchased at national retailers Wal-Mart, Target and CVS showed no indication of the plant in various lab tests. The products all listed aloe barbadensis leaf juice — another name for aloe vera — as either the No. 1 ingredient or No. 2 after water.
There’s no watchdog assuring that aloe products are what they say they are. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t approve cosmetics before they’re sold and has never levied a fine for selling fake aloe. That means suppliers are on an honor system, even as the total U.S. market for aloe products, including drinks and vitamins, has grown 11 percent in the past year to $146 million, according to Chicago-based market researcher SPINS LLC. More
Trudeau says Canada has no ‘core identity’
Who would have thought Canadian values could be so controversial? Plenty of ink has been spilt in the past few weeks over the suddenly taboo topic of promoting Canadian values.
The consensus from Canada’s elites has been to condemn the very idea of listing our values, let alone asking newcomers to respect and adhere to them. But a far more controversial idea about Canadian values and identity was recently proposed by our very own prime minister.
And the media barely batted an eyelash. Late last year, Justin Trudeau told the New York Times that Canada is becoming a new kind of country, not defined by our history or European national origins, but by a “pan-cultural heritage”. More
Professor attacks political correctness, says he refuses to use genderless pronouns
TORONTO — As part of an hour-long YouTube lecture on political correctness, University of Toronto professor and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson is objecting to the Trudeau government’s Bill C-16, which proposes to outlaw harassment and discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression under the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code.
Peterson, a white male in his mid 50s, also decries what he claims are attempts by the university to transform its human resources department into “a politically correct institution.”
Gender identity is defined by the Ontario Human Rights Commission as “each person’s internal and individual experience of gender. It is their sense of being a woman, a man, both, neither, or anywhere along the gender spectrum.” The commission defines gender expression as “how a person publicly presents their gender,” which can include behaviour and outward appearance such as dress, hair, make-up, body language and voice, as well as a person’s name and the pronouns they use. More
Court Rules That Medical Marijuana Card Holders Can't Buy Firearms
If you have a medical marijuana card, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says that you can’t buy a gun.
The court ruled 3-0 on Wednesday that a ban preventing medical marijuana card holders from purchasing firearms is not in violation of the Second Amendment, the Associated Press reports. There are nine western states under the appeals court’s jurisdiction, including Nevada, where the case originated.
A lawsuit was filed in 2011 by Nevada resident S. Rowan Wilson after she tried to purchase a gun for self-defense and was denied based on a federal ban on the sale of guns to users of illegal drugs. Though marijuana has been legalized in some places on a state-by-state basis, it remains illegal under federal law. The court maintained that drug use “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.” More
We’re All Guinea Pigs in a Failed Decades-Long Diet Experiment
Let's say you want to lose some weight. Which of these foods would you choose: A skim-milk latte, or the same drink with whole milk? A low-cal breakfast bar or steak and eggs? A salad tossed in light dressing or the same salad doused with buttermilk ranch?
If you're like most Americans, you either aren't sure how to answer, or you're very sure—but very wrong. And it's not your fault. It's the fault, experts say, of decades of flawed or misleading nutrition advice—advice that was never based on solid science.
The US Department of Agriculture, along with the agency that is now called Health and Human Services, first released a set of national dietary guidelines back in 1980. That 20-page booklet trained its focus primarily on three health villains: fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. More
School bans clown costumes from Halloween celebrations
CROSS COUNTY, AR - Cross County Schools will ban clown costumes for the first time this Halloween. According to Superintendent Carolyn Wilson, the school has previously never had costume guidelines other than enforcing the dress code.
“With the current issues about the clowns we are going to avoid that this year,” said Wilson. After recent clown sightings across the nation, the school said some of their students are afraid. Wilson said after hearing concerns from parents, they have chosen to ban happy and scary clown costumes altogether. They hope to present this to the children in a way that will not evoke more fear.
“The principal is very good about being sensitive to how she presents that,” said Wilson. “It’s going to be something to the effect of, even though clowns are funny and cute, we’re not going to do any this year because we want to be a little bit different.” More
City school admins fined for big spending on parties, food
Five city school bigs were hit with fines as high as $2,500 each after they were caught using their DOE credit cards to buy personal treats and bankroll lavish staff parties - including one at the hip Harlem eatery Red Rooster that included a lecture and live jazz performance.
The city’s Conflict of Interest Board slapped the education administrators with the fines, saying they had all violated rules that prohibited using their cards for non-city purposes.
The largest fine went to Patrick Fagan, a deputy Cluster Leader for the Children First Network, a now-defunct network of educators who were supposed to help principals. More
African students speak out against anti-African school dress code
ST. PETERSBURG, FL––Yesterday morning morning, young African women gathered at the front of Gibbs High School to conduct a press conference to discuss an incident that had happened a few days prior.
Gibbs High School Senior Jelani Masozi was forced by a school administrator, accompanied by a resource officer, to remove her head wrap on Thursday, August 25th, 2016.
The intimidating presence of the officer, armed to the teeth with a gun, taser, and pepper spray––identical to the police officers that murder us in the streets––caused Jelani to feel like she had no other option but to remove her headwrap.
This humiliating, demoralizing request caused her to call the President of the African National Women’s Organization (ANWO), Yejide Orunmila, who directed her to put her headwrap back on. More
Judge Rules Government Can Ban Vegetable Gardens Because They’re ‘Ugly’
Miami, FL — Last week, a Miami-Dade judge became the focus of much-deserved anger when she ruled on an ordinance banning front yard vegetable gardens. The village of Miami Shores, according to the ruling, has every right to take legal action against residents who dare to grow food in their own yards because they are “ugly.”
The ruling was a whopping ten pages long as it was filled with legal analysis and definitions of what constitutes a vegetable. Even though she ruled in favor of the ban, Judge Monica Gordo acknowledged that she wasn’t quite sure how a vegetable garden can ruin the aesthetics of one’s property. More
A history of undiplomatic insults
The president of the Philippines, Rodridgo Duterte, says he regrets calling President Barack Obama the “son of a whore.”
Well, he regrets at least how the comment was received.
“We regret [that] it came across as a personal attack,” Duterte said through a spokesman.
The White House canceled a meeting with Duterte after the outburst.
The Philippines' leader is mounting a controversial campaign against drug dealers and users, which has already led to thousands of extrajudicial killings. More
India To Bring Back Workers Facing 'Food Crisis' In Saudi Arabia
NEW DELHI/DUBAI: India said on Sunday it will send a government minister to Saudi Arabia to try to bring back more than 10,000 Indian workers who are facing a "food crisis" because they are unable to afford meals after being laid off from their jobs.
Low oil prices have forced the Saudi government to slash spending since last year, putting heavy pressure on the finances of local construction firms which rely on state contracts.
As a result, some companies have been struggling to pay foreign workers and have laid off tens of thousands, leaving many with no money for food let alone for tickets home.
Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said over 10,000 Indians in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were facing a "food crisis" because of economic hardships, while appealing to an estimated 3 millions Indians living in Saudi Arabia for help. More
Yale Student Petition: Too Many Major English Poets In ‘Major English Poets’ Class
Angry students at Yale University are demanding that the Ivy League school completely revamp its core classes for English majors.
Specifically, the aggrieved students want to abolish the storied Major English Poets courses that have long been staples of the university’s English department. Why?
According to a petition posted online, the students believe that the courses feature too many “white male authors,” such as Geoffrey Chaucer, William Wordsworth, Edmund Spenser, Alexander Pope, John Milton, and T.S. Eliot. In other words, too many major English poets. More
F-35 Delayed Again: Defective Ejection Seat Would Likely Snap Pilots’ Necks
The US Air Force is exploring replacements for the F-35 Martin-Baker ejection seat, citing revelations that the seat could endanger pilots, according to Defense News. This marks the latest setback for the F-35 fighter jet that has cost US taxpayers over $1.5 trillion.
Ejection seats hold a special importance for pilots of the $250 million fighter jet in light of recent tests that show the fifth-generation fighter spontaneously shuts down mid-flight due to ongoing software malfunctions. More
Why police were called to a South Jersey third-grade class party
On June 16, police were called to an unlikely scene: an end-of-the-year class party at the William P. Tatem Elementary School in Collingswood.
A third grader had made a comment about the brownies being served to the class.
After another student exclaimed that the remark was "racist," the school called the Collingswood Police Department, according to the mother of the boy who made the comment.
The police officer spoke to the student, who is 9, said the boy's mother, Stacy dos Santos, and local authorities. Dos Santos said that the school overreacted and that her son made a comment about snacks, not skin color.
"He said they were talking about brownies. . . Who exactly did he offend?" dos Santos said. More
Texas congressman wants magic to be recognized as a national treasure
Momentous things are happening in US politics. No, not the slow, miserable upending of the political system by business Oompa Loompa Donald Trump, but magic — magic! — might finally be about to get the recognition it deserves. Earlier this week, Texas congressman Pete Sessions introduced a resolution to recognize magic as a national treasure, arguing that it "has not been properly recognized as a great American art form" or given the "[status] commensurate with its value and importance."
To fix this, Sessions wants the House of Representatives to declare magic a "rare and valuable art form," and pledge to support efforts that ensure magic is "preserved, understood, and promulgated." To this end, the resolution cites a number of magic's appealing qualities (including its ability to inspire young children), and praises American magicians like Harry Houdini and David Copperfield. More
Children to be Expelled for ‘Microaggressions’?
A Kansas K-12 school district may soon become among the first in the nation to prohibit “offensive symbols” and “microaggressions” and punish students and employees who violate this ban.
The Board of Education of Lawrence Public Schools will soon vote on a proposal to update its discrimination and harassment policy. It would impose stiff penalties on those who commit a microaggression or tout an offensive symbol. The vote on whether to enact this policy, originally scheduled for June 27, was recently pushed back to allow for more discussion.
“Any student or employee who violates the Discrimination and Harassment Policy is subject to disciplinary action,” said Julie Boyle, communications director of Lawrence Public Schools, noting that each of the 21 schools in the district issue their own handbooks for students and staff. More
McDonald’s “Summer Camp” Exposes Youth to Fast Food Culture While Training Kids to Sell Their Food
Here at Inhabitots we advocate summer activities and summer camps for kids, but we’re perplexed by the McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop, a camp held by McDonald’s Philippines.
McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop is a 5-day summer program designed for kids ages 6-12 years. During the program, Kiddie Crew members experience on-floor restaurant activities like greeting customers and assisting the crew at the drive-thru and front counters, plus, according to McDonald’s Philippines, get to “showcase their skills through creative art workshops, and learn the importance of hard work, discipline and teamwork, through values formation lessons.”
You might think a program like this, based around fast food, would be frowned upon, but the camp has been around since the early 90s and is hugely popular. In fact, during 2012 about 30,000 kids took part in the summer workshop participating in activities like burger-making, the Ronald dance, apron-making, singing of the Kiddie Crew song and a talent workshop. In recent years, the workshop has added additional activities such as Kiddie Crew Dance-exercise. At the end of the summer McDonald’s Philippines holds a series of workshop graduations in major cities all over the country—Manila, Cebu, Bacolod and Davao – to recognize the achievements of all Kiddie Crew members and their families by treating them to a day filled with activities and prizes. More
This High School Senior Got Called Out for Not Wearing a Bra to School
Kaitlyn Juvik, a senior at Helena High School in Montana, went to school in May without a bra underneath her black, off-the-shoulder tee, though she was wearing nipple stickers to prevent them from showing through the material of her t-shirt.
Principal Steve Thennis told KRTV that someone in the school building complained that the way Kaitlyn was dressed made them "uncomfortable," so she was asked to either cover up or put on a bra.
The Helena High School handbook does not specify that students must wear bras.
"I'm not going to check students' undergarments," he told KRTV. "We are going to ask them to dress appropriately and if we feel it is inappropriate, male or female, we are going to ask them to cover up."
Kaitlyn says there's no reason a student should have to wear a bra to school. More
Mexican Congresswoman Declares War on Memes
A Mexican lawmaker for the ruling PRI party will present a bill before her state's congress to criminalize the creation and dissemination of memes on social networks.
Martha Orta Rodriguez suggests a penalty of up to four years in prison and a fine of nearly US$2,000 for those responsible for creating these often humorous and satirical images on the Web.
Orta said she is trying to prevent “harmful" and “humiliating” images from being circulated on the Internet, but unsurprisingly her proposal was not received well online. More
Plano Senior High School Students Will Not Be Allowed To Display Honors During Graduation
If you were a member of the National Honor Society, you definitely remember wearing the white satin stole (with the NHS seal) during high school graduation: signifying your membership. And if you didn’t get to wear one, you probably remember being envious of those who did.
Because it might make other students feel excluded, students won’t be able to wear their National Honor Society stoles during graduation ceremonies next month at Plano Senior High School. Students are not allowed to wear National Honor Society regalia (or any other club or organizational regalia) during graduation ceremonies, according to school practices.
Apparently, students and Plano East High School and Plano West High School will be able to wear the NHS stoles. More
Lunchroom Lunacy: Cops investigate $2 bill spent on school lunch
HOUSTON -- When you think of felony forgery your thoughts might turn to Al Capone or Bonnie and Clyde shooting it out with the Texas Rangers.
Not for some local school cops. For one day, public enemy number one when it came to forgery was 13-year-old eighth grader Danesiah Neal at Fort Bend Independent School District's Christa McAuliffe Middle School.
Now 14, Daneisha was hoping to eat that day's lunch of chicken tenders with her classmates using a $2 bill given to her by her grandmother when she was stopped by the long arm of the law.
"I went to the lunch line and they said my $2 bill was fake," Danesiah told Ted Oberg Investigates. "They gave it to the police. Then they sent me to the police office. A police officer said I could be in big trouble." More