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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 02:59 PM
Number of posts: 63,732

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Study: Political journalists opt for stenography over fact checking during presidential debates

Study: Political journalists opt for stenography over fact checking during presidential debates

by Craig Silverman
Published July 16, 2014 9:47 am
Updated July 16, 2014 3:44 pm

During the 2012 U.S. presidential debates, political journalists on Twitter primarily repeated candidate claims without providing fact checks or other context, according to new research published in The International Journal of Press/Politics.

Authors Mark Coddington, Logan Molyneux and Regina G. Lawrence analyzed tweets from 430 political journalists during the debates to see how much they engaged in the checking of candidate claims. The resulting paper is “Fact Checking the Campaign: How Political Reporters Use Twitter to Set the Record Straight (or Not).”

They also examined whether the political journalist’s tweets fell more into the construct of traditional objectivity or what they call “scientific objectivity,” which eschews he said/she said in favor of empirical statements and analysis, i.e fact checking.

They found that 60 percent of the journalist tweets “reflected traditional practices of ‘professional’ objectivity: stenography—simply passing along a claim made by a politician—and ‘he said, she said’ repetition of a politician’s claims and his opponent’s counterclaim.”

The rest:

FedEx indicted in prescription drug probe

Source: San Jose Mercury News

FedEx indicted in prescription drug probe
By Howard Mintz


POSTED: 07/17/2014 03:16:21 PM PDT0 COMMENTS| UPDATED: 4 MIN. AGO

SAN FRANCISCO -- FedEX has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of shipping powerful prescription drugs for illegal online pharmacies, the latest major company targeted by federal law enforcement for playing a part in the proliferation of such drugs on the black market.

The indictment charges the world's largest cargo company with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and distribution of misbranded drugs, as well as moves to force the company to forfeit at least $820 million linked to the proceeds from such shipments.

Federal prosecutors accused FedEx of ignoring warnings for nearly a decade from Congress, the DEA and other federal agencies that underground online pharmacies were using its shipping services to illegally distribute prescription drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.

FedEx, the indictment alleges, "departed from its usual business practices" to accommodate the illegal online drug operations, despite pressure to reform.

Read more: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_26168549/fedex-indicted-prescription-drug-probe

Pro Russian Rebels Boasted About Downing Plane (UPDATE 23 Americans On Board)

Victims were strewn up to 10 miles away from the crash site. Their nationalities were not immediately available, but Reuters reported 23 were U.S. citizens. German broadcaster RTL reported that 71 Dutch nationals were aboard. Nine British nationals and four French were also on the flight.

Pro-Russian rebels discuss the shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines airliner

Mashable has this from a Separatist leader:

KIEV, Ukraine — As news broke of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 being downed in eastern Ukraine, the separatist’s shadowy commander with a pencil mustache issued a dark warning on social media.


"We did warn you — do not fly in our sky," he wrote.

“And here is the video proving another 'bird' falling down,” he continued. “The bird went down behind a slagheap, not in a residential district. So no peaceful people were injured,” Strelkov wrote, adding that there is also information about a Ukrainian military plane shot down.

However, Strelkov deleted the post when he found out it was actually a commercial jetliner carrying 295 innocent people — not a military aircraft.

When Mashable called Alexander Borodai, self-declared prime minister of Donetsk People's Republic, to ask if the group was responsible for shooting down the plane, to which he responded: "Listen, we don't have these weapons (to down the 777)"

Then he hung up.

the rest:



Did Ukrainian rebels really take credit for downing MH17?


Mike Giglio ✔ @mike_giglio
Spokesman for Ukrainian armed forces tells BuzzFeed they can’t reach MH17 crash site, under rebel control. Says rebels took MH17’s black box
11:32 AM - 17 Jul 2014


Black Box sent to Moscow.

MH17 fell in territory controlled by the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. A little while ago I heard ABC News reporter Ann Compton report on the radio that the separatists had secured the crash site (which is very large) and also that they had seized the plane's black boxes and sent them to Moscow.

There are now many other news reports on that. For instance:

Gilles Klein @GillesKLEIN
MH17 crash 3rd plane to go down in Donetsk region this week: http://usat.ly/WfA464 pic.twitter.com/xi3hgWoti3 USATODAY
1:53 PM - 17 Jul 2014



And it was surface to air missile:

The United States has concluded the Malaysian airline was shot down, a senior U.S. official told CNN's Barbara Starr. One radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before the plane went down Thursday, according to the official. A second system saw a heat signature at the time the airliner was hit, the official said. The United States is analyzing the trajectory of the missile to try to learn where the attack came from.




Not even sure what this is, but I know that posting early and posting everything is the BEST way to be sure to get to the truth, eventually......


Russia, hands off Ukraine
This is how the story about #MH17 developed:

1.On morning of June 17, pro-russian terrorists boast that they have captured ground-to-air missile "Buk" and show the pictures.
2. Terrorists shot down a plane and say that this is Ukrainian military transport aircraft AN-26.
3. All YouTube and pro-russian FB and Twitter communities celebrate this fact and distribute video of the burning plane.
4. Ten minutes later, there are reports that the downed aircraft - is passenger airliner Boing which belongs Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 with 295 people on board.
5. All pro-russian communities starts to cut news about captured ground-to-air missile "Buk" and news about Ukrainian AN-26 crash and delete videos.

Here is news from Russian propaganda channel about Ukrainian AH-26, but with photos of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 !!! - http://lifenews.ru/news/136801

This article posted minutes after the crash claiming that "The rebels reported shooting down AN-26 plane in eastern Ukraine", supported by the video from the scene of Boeing 777 crash.

In case this article is deleted. This is webcache of it


UPDATED 7/18/14

Igor Strelkov, the Russian spec ops agent in charge of the “Donetsk People’s Republic,” who took credit yesterday for shooting down a plane, today is quoted in “Russkaya Vesna” (Russian Spring) as saying that (most of) the passengers on MH 17 had been dead for days. Link is in Russian, sorry. Google Translate doesn’t make his word salad any less sensible, though.


If the economy was an airplane...


‘See, I told you you didn’t want to get my mama involved.’

Scott-Heron was one of five black students among a class of a hundred, and in his second year he got in trouble for playing the piano. “They had a beautiful Steinway they used for the choir and the chorus, but I got caught using it to play the Temptations,” he said. “A guy came in and screamed at me to stop, and they put a sign up saying ‘Do Not Play.’ A few days later, he came in, and I’m sitting under the sign playing the piano. So they told me they were going to call my mother, and I laughed—not because I was being disrespectful, although he took it that way—but because I thought, You really don’t want to get my mother into this. But they called her and told her to come to a disciplinary meeting, and the evening before she asked me what had happened, and I told her. And she said, ‘Well, did you hit the man?,’ and I said, ‘No, I was playing the piano.’ I tried to explain that there had been no rule against it until I did it. A lot of kids had been going up there to play ‘Chopsticks,’ I said, and she asked me again, did I hit him. She had reached the conclusion that I had done something so awful that I didn’t want to describe it, because she couldn’t imagine that they had called her up there to tell her I had been playing the piano.”

The meeting took place around a horseshoe-shaped table. “My mother listened to them, and when they were finished she said, ‘You all know where we live, and the difficulties of our life, so I’m not going to talk about that. We got burglaries, assaults, muggings—it’s not the best place to raise a child—but whenever something happens down there that might involve my son, I don’t call you. I figure that’s my area, and this is yours. Now, I have read your discipline handbook, and what I suggest you do is expel him, because it’s this way or that, near as I can tell, so what I’m going to do right now, since this is your area, I’m going to leave and go to work, because if I don’t get there soon, they’re going to take half my day’s wages from me, and when I get home this evening he’ll tell me what you decided, but, if you’re asking my opinion, you have to expel him. We have really enjoyed it here, and it has added to my son’s life, and I think we’ve added to your ethical-culture thing, but I’m going to go now, and you’ll excuse my son because he’s got to walk me to the subway. Thank you all very much.’ She got up and put on her coat, and I took a hard look at the man who had started all this, to say, ‘See, I told you you didn’t want to get my mama involved.’


The Egg By: Andy Weir

The Egg
By: Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“I’m Jesus?”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time.
“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.


“That’s my tax money taking care of a foreign national or however you want to classify them”

When did we become a country that DIDN'T care for refugees?

“That’s my tax money taking care of a foreign national or however you want to classify them,” said Mr. Griffith, 51, a volunteer fireman and researcher at a chemical plant. “I don’t want to take care of a foreign national. It’s not my problem. We did house kids in Brazoria County there at the youth home. I sort of feel like we should be taking care of our own first.”


THIS is ALSO Being Funded By Your Tax Money Mr. Griffith (& btw, you can classify them as fellow HUMANS):

So, Do you oppose THIS sir?

peace & tolerance,

Lest we forget...


Mommy, Why Was Grandma Jailed For Protesting Drones?

Well, dear, it seems drone masters don't appreciate hearing, seeing or allowing protests from citizens who foot the bill.

Evidently if you're protesting random drone killings of brown people you're a criminal. If, on the other hand, you're protesting brown people coming to seek refuge from crime and murder in their own country, you're a hero.

Today's story is about an ordinary citizen who objects to drones wiping out swaths of civilians on their way to deliver judgment on terrorists, whether right or wrong. Mary Anne Grady Flores has been protesting drones at the Hancock Field Air National Guard base in upstate New York for long enough to have been arrested, acquitted and then served with an order of protection to "stay away" from protests near the base.

So she decided to take photographs of other people protesting while standing on a street that she thought was off the base property itself. The folks she photographed were arrested and acquitted, but Mary Anne, grandmother and decent human being, was slapped with a one-year jail sentence and a $1,000 fine. What finer justice, eh?

Democracy Now:

Last year, Grady Flores says she attended another peace action, but did not participate, instead photographing it from the roadway, beyond what she believed was the base's boundary. She was later told the base's property extended into the road. On Thursday, Judge David Gideon of the DeWitt Town Court sentenced her to the maximum sentence of a year in prison for violating the protection order and fined her $1,000. In a courtroom packed with about 150 supporters, Grady Flores spoke about what she called the four perversions of justice in her case.

Mary Anne Grady Flores: "The fourth perversion is the reversal of who is the real victim here: the commander of a military base involved in killing innocent people halfway around the world or those innocent people themselves, who are the real ones in need of orders of protection? So I, as a nonviolent grandmother and a caregiver to my own mother, as I prepare for jail, itself a perversion, I stand before you remorseful. I'm remorseful about my own country and its continued perpetuating of violence and injustice."

Mary Anne Grady Flores was taken into custody following the sentencing. She is appealing the verdict. Earlier in the day, her supporters marched six miles from the drone base to the courtroom carrying a coffin bearing the words, "First Amendment."


The Four Perversions

Posted on July 14, 2014 by Upstate Drone Action
This is an excerpt from Mary Anne Grady Flores Sentencing Statement that was written with the assistance of Doug Noble:

“Your honor, a series of judicial perversions brings me here before you tonight.”

First, I was convicted of violating an order of protection that represents a perversion of its intended use to protect victims of domestic violence. This order allegedly protects the commander of a military base who said himself under oath that he neither knows me nor needs protection from me. The real purpose of this order is to stifle dissent at the base.

Second, as my 11-year old neighbor Lucien reminded me recently, this order “breaks the law” by perverting my Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and my right to protest injustice.

Third, my jury trial represented a perversion of justice because the jury was forbidden to hear three key facts: all the protesters I photographed that day as their press liaison were acquitted – I myself was previously acquitted for trespassing at the base because even the police could not specify the base boundaries. an acting Supreme Court judge ruled that the Order of Protection is invalid because its language is excessively vague and it shows no evidence of any threat

A fourth perversion is the reversal of who is the real victim here: the commander of a military base whose drones kill innocent people halfway around the world, or those innocent people themselves who are the real ones in need of protection from the terror of US drone attacks?

As I, a nonviolent grandmother of three and principal caregiver for my mother, prepare for jail – itself a perversion – I stand before you remorseful, less for what I have done than for what I have not yet done to keep my own country from perpetrating its ongoing acts of violence and injustice.

Michael Sam: "This year I had a lot of experience being part of something bigger than myself"

Following ESPN's broadcast of a video reel about Sam's life, he kissed his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, and walked onto the stage at the Nokia Theater to accept the award from former wrestler and actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

"This year I had a lot of experience being part of something bigger than myself," Sam said. "At times, I've felt like I've been living in a massive storm, without knowing when the storm will end. But I'm here tonight to tell you that the lessons I learned about love, respect, being true to yourself will never leave me."

At times overwhelmed with emotion, Sam discussed his love of football and how Ashe had inspired him. He also shared a moving story about helping a young woman who considered committing suicide because she was gay.

"When we spoke, she told me she would never consider hurting herself again, and that somehow my example helped her," Sam said. "It's amazing to think that, by just doing what we can, we can all touch, change and even save lives."

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