All too often women believe it is a sign of commitment, an expression of love, to endure unkindness or cruelty, to forgive and forget. In actuality, when we love rightly we know that the healthy, loving response to cruelty and abuse is putting ourselves out of harm’s way. — Bell Hooks (via joshuastarlight)
I just click “I agree” to all your TOS nonsense. If you get too obsessive and intrusive, I will quit you.
FEC Report: Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS May Have Violated Campaign Finance Law -
Over the years, Crossroads GPS, co-founded by political strategist Karl Rove, has doled out millions for conservative causes and dominated television airwaves in competitive congressional districts.
Wow. There’s a surprise, huh?
(Source: usnews, via cognitivedissonance)
State board: Filling Kendrick Johnson's body with newspaper not illegal -
A state probe into how Kendrick Johnson’s organs were replaced with newspaper finds no wrongdoing.
Replacing the internal organs of Kendrick Johnson — the south Georgia teen found dead in his high school gym a year ago — with newspaper is not a “best practice” for any mortician, but it’s not illegal either, a state board wrote Thursday.
"Legislation or regulation does not address the practice or prohibit funeral professionals from filling a cavity with newspaper," the Georgia Board of Funeral Service said in a letter addressed to Johnson’s mother. "Therefore, the practice … is not a violation of the law."
This finding yielded few answers for Johnson’s family, including where his organs actually ended up. On that matter, the board said only that it couldn’t determine if “the organs were transferred to the funeral (home) with the body.”
Neither the funeral home nor Johnson’s family immediately responded Thursday to CNN’s request for comment on the state finding.
The family didn’t even know the late teen’s brain, heart, lungs, liver and other viscera were missing until the middle of last year, when an autopsy they’d requested was conducted June 15 by Dr. William R. Anderson with Forensic Dimensions in Heathrow, Florida.
This was actually a second autopsy on the three-sport athlete after he was found dead January 11, 2013, in a rolled-up gym mat inside Lowndes County High School in Valdosta, Georgia.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation handled the first one, then ruled the death accidental.
And the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, while not commenting on every twist and turn in the case, has repeatedly stood by its original determination that Johnson died by accident after getting caught up reaching for his shoe. CNN examined the 522-page police file and found that investigators spoke to 111 people, including 18 on the day Johnson’s body was found.
"It was not a rash decision that was leapt to," Lt. Stryde Jones told CNN in May, the day after his investigators closed their case. "We’ve drawn this out, done a thorough investigation, and we think we’ve covered all bases."
But the disbelieving Johnson family pushed in court, leading to a judge’s decision May 1 to grant their request to exhume their son’s body for an independent autopsy at their expense.
Anderson determined in that second autopsy that Johnson suffered blunt force trauma to the right neck and soft tissues, “consistent with inflicted injury,” seemingly defying the authorities ruling it was accidental.
It’s what he didn’t find — the late teen’s internal organs — that prompted his family to formally ask the state to investigate the handling of their son’s body. CNN was the first to report the development in October.
That complaint alleged that Harrington Funeral Home mishandled the body and specifically accuses director Antonio Harrington of helping obscure the teen’s cause of death.
Specifically, it alleged that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it replaced all of the organs after its autopsy.
Harrington initially said “one or two organs might be missing,” according to the complaint. But in an October 4 letter to the family’s attorney, C.B. King Jr., the funeral home director said the organs had been “destroyed” and “discarded … before the body was sent back to Valdosta,” where the funeral home took custody of the body.
However, the funeral home’s attorney, Roy Copeland, told CNN in October that coroner Bill Watson has already called the “accusations and innuendo regarding Mr. Harrington’s involvement in the disposition of young Mr. Johnson’s internal organs … baseless.”
According to “The Principles and Practices of Embalming” — a sentence of which was included in Copeland’s October letter to CNN — when organs are removed in an autopsy, the person handling the body should dry the cavity, “dusting it with hardening compound or embalming powder and then filling it with dry, clean sawdust or cotton mixed with a small quantity of hardening compound or embalming powder.”
Copeland conceded at a November interview that newspaper is not listed as an option in this process, but he added, “nor is it precluded as one type of foreign substance that may be introduced into a body for purposes of building it up for public display.”
In fact, the Georgia Board of Funeral Service said in its letter Thursday that “filling a body cavity is a necessary preparation to present a deceased body for public viewing.”
The state agency also added there are products available to do this “that are more acceptable than newspaper,” which it notes was relatively common in the past.
"The Board may consider appropriate regulations concerning this issue in the near future," it wrote about the practice of filling a body cavity with newspaper.
So what can the Johnson family do now?
For starters, they can take solace in the fact that federal authorities are investigating their son’s death. To this point, the FBI seized the original hard drives from the Lowndes High surveillance system last month, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation. And the FBI has been in South Georgia conducting interviews, including an almost three-hour sitdown with the Johnsons in the city of Thomasville.
And the state funeral board’s finding that funeral home staff didn’t commit a crime, and its decision to close its case, doesn’t mean the family can’t go after them in court.
The state funeral board told them in its letter Thursday: “You may wish to consult with your personal attorney or a court of appropriate jurisdiction to determine what civil remedies may be available to you.”
HORRIFYING: There Are Still Schools Named After White Supremacists -
After years of debate, a barrage of media reports, and a petition that gained more than 162,000 signatures, Florida’s Duval School District finally changed the name of a high school named for former Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest earlier this month.
really people?!? Ugh. >.<
In Less Than 5 Years, Unions Could Lose Their Legal Rights - And It's The Supreme Court's Fault -
By Ian Millhiser.
*The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in a challenge to President Obama’s power to name several recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. By most accounts, the argument did not go well for the administration. Justice Stephen Breyer said that he could not find anything in the Constitution that will “allow the president to overcome Senate resistance” to nominees. Justice Elena Kagan suggested that “it was the Senate’s job to decide” when it is in recess. Chief Justice John Roberts claimed that the Senate has “an absolute right to refuse” to confirm a nominee.*
4 Reasons Why the Corporate Income Tax Should be Doubled—Not Abolished | Alternet -
A recent New York Times article by economist Laurence J. Kotlikoff suggested that we “Abolish the Corporate Income Tax.” His case for doing so, he explains, “requires constructing a large-scale computer simulation model of the United States economy as it interacts over time with other nations’ economies.” The computer determined that the tax cut would be “self-financing to a significant extent.”
Big business hints at serious consequences if we don’t comply with this lower tax demand. But abolishing the corporate income tax is not likely to reverse the long history of harmful corporate behavior. There are several good reasons why.
1. Corporations Have a Proven Record of Spending Tax Breaks on Themselves
The evidence comes from 2004, when a “repatriation holiday” allowed corporations to bring their profits home at a much-reduced tax rate. But they used over 90% of the money to "enrich shareholders and executives" by paying dividends and buying back their own stock. At the same time, they cut jobs and research spending. A Senate subcommittee called the whole affair a "failed tax policy" that shouldn’t be repeated.
The increasing level of stock buybacks epitomizes the transition from corporate responsibility to corporate self-indulgence. Stock buybacks are a means by which major corporations seek to manipulate the market prices of their own shares, thereby enriching executives with plentiful stock options. The buyback surge is dramatic. In 1981, 292 major corporations spent less than 3 percent of their combined net income on buybacks, but by 2007 the very same 292 corporations were spending over 82 percent of their net income repurchasing their own stock.
2. They Only Pay Half of Their Tax Obligation
Mr. Kotlikoff claims that “the United States may well have the highest effective marginal corporate income tax rate of any developed country.” But the effective rate in the U.S. is not high at all, and it keeps dropping. For over 20 years, from 1987 to 2008, corporations paid an average of 22.5% in federal taxes on their profits. Since the recession, this has dropped to an outlandishly low 10% — even though theirprofits have doubled in less than ten years. Even taking into account IRS figures that reduce taxable income to about two-thirds of profits, their 10% tax rate increases to only 15%. They should be paying over twice as much.
U.S. Office of Management (OMB) figures confirm the steady decline in Corporate Income Tax as a Share of GDP, from 4 to 6 percent in the 1950s to 1 percent in 2009, and then back to 1.6 percent in 2012. Today’s rate is less than one-half of what it was in our country’s most productive era.
3. They’ve Stopped Investing in America
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides job data by size of business. A review of job gains and losses reveals that since the recession:
—Almost 4 million jobs have been lost, almost all at companies with less than 50 employees or more than 1,000 employees.
—Only 2% of the jobs were lost at medium-sized companies (100 to 999 employees).
While small companies have been hit hardest by the recession, large corporations have continued to accumulate massive profits, and yet they’re not using their immense gains for new initiatives. A stunning graph from the St. Louis Federal Reserve shows that business isinvesting much less in America. Instead, as a National Bureau of Economic Research study confirmed, startups and young firms are of primary importance to U.S. job creation.
4. Their Vision of Tax-Free Prosperity is a Delusion
Mr. Kotlikoff cites the “Irish Miracle” of the 1980s, which led to “a massive inflow of capital, with over 1,000 multinationals setting up shop.” The authors of a New York Times article explain, “Simply put, the Irish miracle was a mirage driven by clever use of tax-haven rules and a huge credit boom that permitted real estate prices and construction to grow quickly before declining ever more rapidly.” In other words, a bubble.
Without tax revenue, Ireland turned to austerity measures, some of the toughest in Europe, while the wealth of the boom years flowed upward to a small minority. The process should be familiar to us. Paul Krugman notes that Ireland collapsed “By being just like us, only more so. Like its near-namesake Iceland, Ireland jumped with both feet into the brave new world of unsupervised global markets.”
U.S. corporations need to pay for the many years of employee productivity and public research that built their trillion-dollar industries. Perhaps a minimum tax on U.S. income, or a return to the public on their use of infrastructure and government research, or a minimum investment for job creation. But reducing their taxes would just legitimize their refusal to meet their obligations.
I agree we should double it and do away with almost all their loopholes.
(Source: redheadedpixi69, via booksandporn)
A Federal Appeals Court Killed Free Speech on the Internet Today. The Internet Will Now Be Enforced by a Handful of Companies. -
A federal appeals court ruled that the FCC can no longer enforce which websites Verizon and all other broadband providers can favor, limit access to, or outright block — even if it’s to prop up a service or website of their own.
This is not a binary political issue. It is not a Republican or Democrat issue.
This is naked corporate greed. It is a bunch of companies who want to control the largest free information platform in the world.
There is nothing good that an individual can derive from this decision. Nothing.
Before someone tells you otherwise, Internet service providers’ backs were not against the wall in any way. “Bandwidth congestion” is not real. It costs just as much money, if not more money, to cap the data flowing through your broadband connection as it does to serve it to you. Data caps are solely a money-making construct.
Average connection speeds in South Korea are twice as fast as those in the United States. That gap will grow even wider now. This ruling is anti-competitive for American business on a global level.
Tech giants Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Yahoo have come out against rulings like this in the past. Instead, the decision favors companies with access to pipelines, like Comcast. It will help them use the Internet as a marketing tool for its other ventures, like NBC Universal.
(Source: azspot, via joost5)
Only cops, cowards, and criminals carry concealed weapons. If you’re not a cop (retired doesn’t count), you’re one of the other two. — The Rude Pundit (via liberalsarecool)
Google testing smart contact lens for diabetes patients
Re/code: Google announced Thursday that it is testing a smart contact lens that could help diabetes patients.
The lens contains a tiny chip and sensor system that sit on a flexible circular gold foil antenna around the perimeter of the lens. The technology is designed to measure glucose levels in tears every second.
According to the company, the goal of the smart lens is to create a less invasive way for diabetics to monitor their blood sugar levels.
This 'Straight Pride' Texas School Board Candidate Has To Go Down -
Would you want this woman choosing your child’s textbooks?
(Source: projectqueer, via mommapolitico)
But what’s really scary is that if you go back to 1962-63 when we were still an apartheid country before Civil Rights Laws had even been passed, between two-thirds and 90% of white Americans in Gallop Polls at that time said that they thought black folks still had equal treatment in housing, employment and schools. So I guess my challenge to white folks is: what does it say, that even when racism was blatant, we didn’t see the problem and what does that mean for us now? If we didn’t see it when it was blatant and we were wrong, and black and brown folks saw it and they were right, what makes us think that suddenly we’ve become really perceptive and they’ve lost their minds? —
Tim Wise on CNN with Don Lemon
Basically, in which, Tim Wise schools Lemon about racism.
Other points discussed:
Stop telling black people to get over slavery.
Believe black people when they say they’re being profiled.
Stop saying you have a black friend as a get out of racism free card.
Stop using statistics incorrectly to justify prejudice.
Don Lemon’s list of points on racism:
Stop sagging your pants/dress appropriately.
Stop saying the n-word.
Stop having babies out of wedlock.
Stay in school.
$1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by Senate would fund US government through September, avoiding shutdown - @politico -
A landmark $1.1 trillion spending bill cleared Congress Thursday evening after conservative resistance collapsed in the Senate and tea party favorite Ted Cruz dropped his insistence on a vote on funding for President Barack Obama’s health care plan. On back-to-back 72-26 roll calls, senators voted to cut off debate and then quickly adopted the…
Cruz folded like a lawn chair.
(Source: thepoliticalfreakshow, via mommapolitico)