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Member since: Tue Apr 5, 2005, 09:55 AM
Number of posts: 6,837

Journal Archives

Everything you need to know about the Planned Parenthood videos

On Monday, a grand jury indicted David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, and Sandra Merritt, a center employee, on felony charges of tampering with government documents and a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs. The charges stem from the investigation surrounding the controversial Planned Parenthood videos that surfaced last summer.


The videos became a hot-button issue and talking points for many GOP primary candidates – some of whom turned to Facebook and Twitter to vent their frustrations with Planned Parenthood. Even Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, called the pictures from the videos "disturbing," although some of the images were later found to be deceptive [see below].

To help sort through the timeline of the controversy surrounding the videos here's a reading guide:

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-planned-parenthood-videos/

Exciting space missions could unlock secrets of the solar system in 2016

The Juno NASA spacecraft will reach Jupiter in July. Juno will orbit Jupiter 32 times for a year helping us to answer questions about how the planet formed, how much water exists inside its atmosphere and how its mighty magnetosphere works.

Meanwhile, the Cassini mission will begin a gradual grand finale in September, orbiting between Saturn and its outermost ring while flying past the moons Titan and Enceladus before crashing into Saturn in 2017. This will provide a last opportunity to analyse the water-rich geysers on Enceladus. In 2015, researchers even suggested that certain chemical reactions inside its internal ocean may provide enough energy to feed microbial life. The study predicted that these would create molecular hydrogen that should be detectable in the plumes.

An even more exciting candidate for life in our solar system is Jupiter’s moon Europa, which has a fractured crust of ice thought to overly an ocean which might harbour life. It would be nice if Europe got involved in exploring this, perhaps by contributing a “penetrator”, a light probe designed to bury itself on a body’s surface, to a planned NASA fly by mission.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/exciting-space-missions-could-unlock-secrets-of-the-solar-system-in-2016/

New report issues dire carbon warning: Keep it in the ground

From coal mines to oil reserves, a new report released Monday by a group of leading environmental organizations outlines the world’s biggest carbon threats in an era of runaway warming—and the ongoing efforts to keep those fossil fuels in the ground.

The report, compiled by Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and 350.org, examines the carbon risk of deposits throughout the globe that, if developed, would push the world past the agreed-upon 2°C climate threshold.

Released just months after world leaders signed a climate pact at the COP21 negotiations in Paris—and just days after scientists declared 2015 the “hottest year on record“—the report issues an urgent call to stand up to powerful fossil fuel interests and prevent environmental catastrophe.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/new-report-issues-dire-carbon-warning-keep-it-in-the-ground/

The Chinese mix of frugality and risk-taking is driving global stock markets wild

A byproduct of this transition into a more mature economy is slower growth. Typically, as a nation progresses from poor to middle-income – and from basic needs and manufacturing toward a service economy that includes more creativity and intellectual assets – growth rates naturally slow down for reasons economists do not fully fathom.

But what’s really behind all this angst, the booms and the busts? And are investors and traders right to be increasingly concerned about a global recession?

A longer-term view suggests the fears are misplaced: the world economy will actually benefit from a successful transition in China, despite a few bumps along the way.

And as for the cause, it helps to examine Chinese culture and history. A heady brew of frugality, wild risk-taking and amateurism has created huge bubbles – ones that were bound to deflate.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/the-chinese-mix-of-frugality-and-risk-taking-is-driving-global-stock-markets-wild/

Attack on unions shows why we need a new social contract governing work

Labor legislation passed in the New Deal (minimum wages and overtime protections, social security, unemployment insurance and the right to unionize) provided the foundation for that social contract, and collective bargaining made it work by negotiating wage increases in tandem with productivity growth.

But at least in part because those policies and practices could not cope well with developments since 1980 – such as globalization and corporate short-termism – the country has experienced three decades of wage stagnation, rising income inequality and the erosion of the social safety net that was designed to ensure basic protections and minimum employment standards.

Restoring such a safety net, which would be further eroded if the Supreme Court rules against the unions, will require broadening the circle of debate to engage the powerful interest groups that don’t necessarily share the view that changes are needed.

Given the hopeless gridlock in Congress on labor policy issues, the best path forward might be to focus on private sector leaders and those on the front lines of innovations that might just help identify the features of a new social compact.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/attack-on-unions-shows-why-we-need-a-new-social-contract-governing-work/

Kid gloves for homegrown extremists are part of a smart strategy

Soon after a bunch of white guys with guns holed up at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in protest against the federal government, wags took to social media to deride them.

"Y'all Qaeda," "YeeHawdists" and "Vanilla ISIS" are some of the clever put-downs circulating on Twitter.

Critics also decried what they perceive as a double standard in the seeming lack of response from law enforcement. If the gun-toting men were black or Muslim, went the typical argument, they would have incurred the full, militarized wrath of law enforcement.

So it might appear, but if you think law enforcement agencies are being deferential out of fear, you couldn't be more wrong. Be very grateful that federal officials know exactly whom they are dealing with: troublemakers just itching for an excuse to claim that the federal government provoked them first.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/kid-gloves-for-homegrown-extremists-are-part-of-a-strategy/

Good explainer: What a hydrogen bomb is – and why North Korea might not really have one

Reports that North Korea has launched a fourth nuclear weapons test – backed by convincing seismic data – have caused widespread alarm. North Korean officials announced in advance that the test would involve “a totally different type of nuclear bomb” from those trialled in previous years. Following the test, North Korean state television lauded the first detonation of a “hydrogen bomb” as a “national epoch-making event”.

Moving to a new form of nuclear weapons technology will likely have significant implications for North Korea, although some experts have expressed scepticism about these claims and there are clear benefits for Pyongyang to exaggerate its nuclear capabilities. While details of the test will remain unclear for some time, the term “hydrogen bomb” is also somewhat ambiguous, leaving further room for speculation about the true nature of North Korea’s nuclear technology.

Fission devices

There are two basic types of nuclear weapons: fission weapons and fusion weapons. First developed during World War II through the US-led Manhattan Project, fission devices (commonly known as atom bombs) create an explosion by splitting the nuclei of heavy atoms. These type of weapons were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, killing hundreds of thousands of people.

The core of a fission weapon is composed of weapons-grade fissile material such as highly enriched uranium or plutonium, which on its own is not explosive. When detonated, this core is compressed using conventional high explosives into a critical mass capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/what-a-hydrogen-is-and-why-it-might-not-be-what-n-korea-exploded/

Obama’s executive order on guns is mostly political theater

The executive order has been carefully crafted to survive a court challenge. It does not erase the distinction between business and private firearms sales. Rather, it broadens the definition of a business and provides for stricter enforcement of restrictions on business sales by hiring additional personnel to conduct background checks.

Yet, even the president has admitted that the executive order is “not going to prevent every mass shooting”.

There is evidence that unregulated private sales – over the internet and at gun shows – are a source of guns for individuals who are ineligible to purchase or possess a firearm. However, the weapons used in recent mass shootings in San Bernardino and Umpqua Community College in Oregon were acquired legally at federally licensed gun stores or through private transactions that likely wouldn’t be affected by Obama’s new rules. In other words, the president’s executive order would not have stopped these shooters.

The president’s executive order and its focus on the “gun-show loophole” is largely political theater. Act II will be his upcoming town hall meeting on CNN.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/obamas-executive-order-on-guns-is-mostly-political-theater/

More Mexicans are leaving the US than coming across the border

During the most recent Republican debate, Donald Trump declared “people are pouring across the southern border.”

Trump is right that the United States has been a major immigrant destination since the 1960s, but if he is referring to Mexican flows today, he is wrong.

According to sociologists Frank Bean and Gillian Stevens, Mexican migration to the United States is “the largest sustained flow of migrant workers in the contemporary world,” and Mexico is the single largest contributor of migrants to the United States since 1965.

But here’s what Trump ignores: a recent Pew Report shows that more Mexicans are leaving than coming to the United States – reversing a decades-long trend.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/more-mexicans-are-leaving-the-us-than-coming-across-the-border/

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