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Archive for the ‘News-esque’ Category

News that doesn’t fit anywhere else

Nicolas Sarkozy, ex-French president, detained over Gaddafi bribery allegations

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Monument to Honore de Balzac
Monument to Honore de Balzac…

You’d think this would be a bigger story, but I guess the Trumpnado overwhelms the news cycle most days.

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was taken into police custody Tuesday over allegations he illegally accepted 50 million euros ($68.5 million) from the government of the late Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi to finance his successful 2007 presidential campaign.

The detention of Sarkozy — France’s president between 2007 and 2012 — represented a major development in what is likely to become an explosive political scandal.

If the allegations are true, it would mean Sarkozy knowingly violated France’s campaign finance laws, which in 2007 capped campaign funding at 21 million euros ($28.8 million). In the presidential election that year, Sarkozy narrowly defeated Ségolène Royal, a Socialist, in the final round of the vote.

Investigators and journalists have long scrutinized potential connections between the former center-right president and Gaddafi.

(click here to continue reading Nicolas Sarkozy, ex-French president, detained over Gaddafi bribery allegations – The Washington Post.)

Written by Seth Anderson

March 21st, 2018 at 11:09 am

Posted in crime,News-esque

Tagged with , ,

Archive of Studs Terkel Radio Shows to Be Released to Public

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Zenith Phono Radio
Zenith Phono & Radio.

Excited to hear more of these:

More than 5,600 of Studs Terkel’s radio interview programs on the Chicago station WFMT will be released to the public.

The Studs Terkel Radio Archive will launch May 16, the 106th birthday of the late author, activist and oral historian. Terkel died in 2008 at age 96. The archive will be available on studsterkel.org.

For 45 years — 1952 to 1997 — the legendary Terkel elevated oral history to a popular genre by interviewing both the celebrated and everyday people for books and on WFMT. Among the radio interviews to be released are those with Martin Luther King Jr., Simone de Beauvoir, Bob Dylan, Cesar Chavez and Toni Morrison.

(click here to continue reading Archive of Studs Terkel Radio Shows to Be Released to Public – The New York Times.)

Written by Seth Anderson

March 17th, 2018 at 11:04 am

The New York Times has shut down its customizable keyword email alerts feature

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Daily News
Daily News.

This bummed me out enough that I wrote a complaint (unanswered) to the NYT. I’ve had about 30 of these email alerts, configured over the years for specific topics-of-interest, and I found them extremely useful. There is so much information published every hour, one cannot keep up with constant stream of topics without technological assistance. Even if I only read the New York Times, and I don’t, I doubt I could keep up. Having a customizable keyword search was very useful. Oh well, consumers of news are less and less important to corporate media entities. Google News alerts are ok, but they aren’t as targeted, nor useful.

The New York Times has sunset those custom email alerts to Times stories, that users could tailor based on keywords of their interests. The feature, which met its unceremonious end Tuesday, March 13, was being used by less than half a percent of users, according to a Times spokesperson. From the outside, it didn’t seem like MyAlerts was a huge technical lift to maintain, but “much of the technology powering MyAlerts was built in the early 2000s.”

Ending the feature frees up “resources to invest in new engagement and messaging features that will debut in 2018. We also encourage our readers to sign up for one of over 50 email newsletters.”

(click here to continue reading The New York Times has shut down its customizable keyword email alerts feature ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ » Nieman Journalism Lab.)

The webservice company IFTTT has an applet that purports to emulate this functionality, but as far as I can tell, you can only have one keyword alert at a time which is pretty lame.

Written by Seth Anderson

March 15th, 2018 at 11:48 pm

Posted in News-esque

Tagged with ,

May issues ultimatum to Moscow over Salisbury poisoning

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 Albion
Albion. 

Will this become a NATO thing? Prime Minister May is using specific language, will NATO have to respond as well?

Theresa May has given Vladimir Putin’s administration until midnight on Tuesday to explain how a former spy was poisoned in Salisbury, otherwise she will conclude it was an “unlawful use of force” by the Russian state against the UK.

After chairing a meeting of the national security council, the prime minister told MPs that it was “highly likely” that Russia was responsible for the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. She warned that Britain would not tolerate such a “brazen attempt to murder innocent civilians on our soil”.

In a statement to the House of Commons that triggered an angry response from Moscow, the prime minister said the evidence had shown that Skripal had been targeted by a “military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia”. Describing the incident as an “indiscriminate and reckless act”, she said that the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, had summoned the Russian ambassador to Whitehall and demanded an explanation by the end of Tuesday.

Ministers on the national security council were told that the nerve agent used was from a family of substances known as Novichok. “Based on the positive identification of this chemical agent by world-leading experts at Porton Down, our knowledge that Russia has previously produced this agent and would still be capable of doing so, Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations, and our assessment that Russia views some defectors as legitimate targets for assassinations, the government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal,” she said.

 

The prime minister said that left just two plausible explanations “Either this was a direct act by the Russian state against our country, or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others.”

Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said: “The United Kingdom has concluded that Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. And prime minister Theresa May stated today that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act. The use of any nerve agent is horrendous and completely unacceptable. The UK is a highly valued ally, and this incident is of great concern to Nato. Nato is in touch with the UK authorities on this issue.”

(click here to continue reading May issues ultimatum to Moscow over Salisbury poisoning | UK news | The Guardian.)

Also, I cannot believe that the US president has not commented upon this crime against one of America’s closest allies. If the terrorist who used this chemical weapon was from Syria, or anywhere with a predominantly Muslim population, Trump would be issuing a Twitter storm. But since it is most likely a Russian attack, Trump is silent. Is he scared? Is he happy that he isn’t the one poisoned? Or what exactly?

sub Hoc Floresco

Parliament Buildings London
Parliament Buildings London

First Site of Scotland Yard
First Site of Scotland Yard

Written by Seth Anderson

March 12th, 2018 at 8:54 pm

Posted in crime,News-esque

Tagged with , , ,

Shirley Chisholm Deserves a Great Big Statue Honoring Her in the Capitol

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Statuesque
Statuesque

State by state, city by city, Confederate statues need to be replaced with statues of actual American heroes, statues of people like Shirley Chisholm…


Good!

John Nichols of The Nation writes:

Shirley Chisholm fought so many historic political battles before others recognized the necessity of those struggles that it has taken decades for her to begin to receive the recognition that she has deserved since the day she was elected as the nation’s first African-American congresswomen. But that recognition is beginning to come—in part because a new generation of leaders understands the role Chisholm played in making their politics possible. And in part because, now more than ever, the United States needs role models like Chisholm.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Chisholm’s election to the House in 1968 as an “Unbought and Unbossed” reformer from Brooklyn. It also marks 46 years since her groundbreaking 1972 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Shirley Chisholm’s labor and contributions to Brooklyn, Congress, and the nation continues to bear fruit today. She has paved the way for many other women—myself included— to run for elected office at all levels,” says Congresswomen Yvette Clarke, a Brooklyn Democrat who today represents much of the district that sent Chisholm to Congress on the same day that Richard Nixon won the presidency.

Clarke, the first vice chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and a leading figure in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has long championed Chisholm’s legacy. In January, she introduced legislation that would direct the Joint Committee on the Library, which is responsible for oversight of the operations of the Library of Congress and the management of the National Statuary Hall Collection, to obtain a statue of Chisholm for permanent placement in the United States Capitol. That legislation now has 70 cosponsors.

It also has a parallel measure in the Senate, proposed in late February by California Senator Kamala Harris, who says: “Shirley Chisholm created a path for me and the 40 Black women members of Congress who have served after her. While there is still work to be done for equal representation, we must also stand back and celebrate our triumphs along the way. Shirley’s legacy is one that encourages us to keep up the fight for our most voiceless and vulnerable, and deserves to be cemented in the United States Capitol.”

The 16 Senate cosponsors include Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer of New York, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Cory Booker of New Jersey, who says, “Shirley Chisholm was a remarkable woman who defied boundaries and prejudices to blaze a trail for African Americans. It’s only fitting that the fearless leader who demanded a seat at the table be honored with a statue at the Capitol. This bill is a testament to the debt and gratitude leaders in America owe to Shirley for paving the way and helping make our government more representative and reflective of the people it serves.”

(click here to continue reading Shirley Chisholm Deserves a Great Big Statue Honoring Her in the Capitol | The Nation.)

Hope they do it, but I suspect members of Jeff Sessions’ party of reactionary racists don’t agree with removing statues of Confederate traitors.

And yes, I realize Ms. Chisholm’s statue would be new, and not replacing an existing statue, I’m suggesting that around the nation, statues to traitors should be removed, and replaced with statues of people like Ms. Chisholm…

Written by Seth Anderson

March 12th, 2018 at 9:55 am

Posted in News-esque

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Disrupted Sleep Time – A Daylight Savings Complaint

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Time is out of Focus
Time is out of Focus…

I am an American, so I am allowed to complain every year about the aberration of Daylight Savings Time, also known as Disrupted Sleep Time. Now that America is not a farm-centric nation, why do we torture our bodies every six months and change the clocks? Pick a time and keep it!

I like seeing sun later in the day instead of worrying about when it gets light in the morning – for me, I’m bleary eyed and in search of coffee no matter when I wake up. Having light outside makes no difference to me in the morning, I’d rather have daylight at 7 PM than be able to see my cows as I milk them.

In other words, keep the clocks set in the “spring forward” position, but don’t change them back!

No Time For Pity
No Time For Pity

From Four Till Late
From Four Till Late

Gin O Clock Came Early Today
Gin O’Clock Came Early Today

You Know All About Time
You Know All About Time

It Is Nearly Beer O Clock
It Is Nearly Beer O’Clock

Written by Seth Anderson

March 11th, 2018 at 5:06 pm

Posted in health,News-esque

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Yes Means Yes Can Be Murkier in Court

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You re One Sexy Mother Clucker
You’re One Sexy Mother Clucker…

Thinking back to when I was 17 in college, the standards and signals were certainly different. This young man might very well have raped the complainant, I don’t know the facts. Sexual assault is not a joking matter, and I’m not making light of this case, only observing how dramatically times and mores have changed from my era.  

But the jurors seemed to have come to the case with a different understanding of what it means to show consent, highlighting the divide between the standards of sexual behavior espoused in freshman orientation programs and campus brochures, and those that operate in courts of law.

One, speaking anonymously after the verdict out of hesitancy to speak for other jurors, said the panel members asked themselves whether there was “enough evidence to show that there could not have been consent. And we couldn’t get there.”

James Galullo, another juror, said he did not understand the outrage that the verdict had inspired on campus, among students who wrote angry opinion pieces for the campus newspaper or took to social media to denounce the outcome.

“I just think it’s lack of experience in the world,” Mr. Galullo, 61, said. “The jurors were all basically middle-aged. They were able to see their way through all the noise.”

Alexandra Brodsky, a lawyer at the National Women’s Law Center who graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School, said, “Schools have adopted consent as an educational tool, but that sometimes means we end up using words that mean different things in different contexts.”

“There are many forms of violence that would be condemned on campus, where a prosecutor would have trouble getting a jury to convict,” she added.

But even college students disagree on the language of consent. A 2015 poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation and The Washington Post found that 47 percent of current and recent college students said that someone undressing themselves signaled agreement to further sexual activity; 49 percent said it did not.

(click here to continue reading Yale Rape Verdict Shows How ‘Yes Means Yes’ Can Be Murkier in Court – The New York Times.)

If you were on a date, and someone took their clothes off in front of you, how is that ambiguous? What message are they sending by disrobing? 

All Nude
All Nude

Written by Seth Anderson

March 8th, 2018 at 9:15 pm

Posted in crime,News-esque

Tagged with , , ,

WBEZ Maybe To Aquire Assets of Chicagoist

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Caught Out In Daylight  Copper Blue
Caught Out In Daylight – Copper Blue

This could be interesting. Hope it happens. There was a golden era of Chicago area blogs that ended before the Ricketts purchased, then dismantled the Chicagoist and DNAInfo sites, I doubt that will occur again, but ya never know…

Chicagoist, one of the online news sites that were shut down when billionaire Joe Ricketts killed DNAinfo last year, may be acquired by Chicago Public Media WBEZ FM 91.5. Public media stations in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., recently picked up the assets of Gothamist, LAist and DCist from Ricketts. Now WBEZ has been approached by WNYC about acquiring Chicagoist, including domain names, social media assets and archives. “Given WBEZ’s commitment to local journalism, as well as admiration for the work of these former outlets, WBEZ is actively exploring this possibility and determining how these assets might be used most effectively in keeping with the organization’s mission to serve the Chicago community,” Steve Edwards, vice president and chief content officer for Chicago Public Media, said in a statement.

(click here to continue reading Robservations: Jenny Milkowski to host afternoons on WSHE – Robert Feder.)

 Radio Silence
Radio Silence

From WYNC’s press release:

 

Leaders in public media—WNYC (New York), KPCC (Southern California),and WAMU (Washington, D.C.)—today announced they have joined together to acquire key assets of Gothamist and its associated sites: LAist and DCist. The acquisition includes the story archives, internet domains, and social media assets from Gothamist and DNAinfo. This deal is part of public radio’s commitment to local journalism and honors the legacy and shared mission of Gothamist, as well as DNAinfo, the trusted neighborhood news service founded by Joe Ricketts.

 

Each public media organization involved in the investment is a leading source of enterprise journalism and local reporting in their respective communities. The assets acquired will enable the stations to expand their digital footprint and support their shared missions to reflect and serve their listeners and the public.

 

The acquisition is being funded in large part through generous philanthropic donations from two anonymous donors, who are deeply committed to supporting local journalism initiatives and the station partners.

 

 

(click here to continue reading WNYC, KPCC, and WAMU Acquire Gothamist Assets.)

Written by Seth Anderson

March 6th, 2018 at 1:13 pm

Posted in Chicago-esque,News-esque

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Shocker: Democrats’ predictions about the GOP tax cut are coming true

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We Pronounce Joy Like A Word Of Our Own
We Pronounce Joy Like A Word Of Our Own

It is strange that one party in our two party system doesn’t believe in facts, nor seemingly pays much of a penalty for blatant lies about a plethora of topics. Climate change, immigration, gun control, trickle-down1 economics; the list of Republic falsehoods injected into the public discourse could go on for hours, if one were so inclined.

Even worse, in my estimation, is that much of the corporate media does what Paul Waldman of the Washington Post calls out in his column -by reducing GOP falsehoods to “critcs say”, aka “both sides” aka “false equivalency2, the GOP’s non-factual assertions are treated as serious, when they really are not…

Among the things Democrats pointed out was that even before the tax cut, corporations were making near-record profits and sitting on mountains of cash; if they wanted to invest, create jobs and raise wages, they already had the means to do it. They also observed that even before the tax cut passed, corporations were saying publicly that they intended to use the money for stock buybacks.

But what about those bonuses that companies announced and that Trump kept touting? It’s true that some companies did give workers one-time bonuses. But it was essentially a PR move. Take Walmart, for instance. It made a splashy announcement that it would be giving bonuses of up to $1,000 to workers, which sounded great. But then it turned out that you’d only get that much if you’d been working there for 20 years, and the average worker would get around $190. Which is better than nothing, but it isn’t exactly going to transform your life.

And as ThinkProgress noted, the total value of Walmart’s bonuses was $400 million, which seems like a lot until you learn that over 10 years the value of the tax cut to the corporation will be $18 billion. In other words, about 2 percent of its tax cut is going to workers, at least in the short run.

How many times do we have to play this game? When a new policy debate emerges, Democrats try to make an argument that has some connection to reality, while Republicans make absurd claims in the knowledge that even if they get debunked in the occasional “news analysis” piece, on the whole they’ll be treated with complete seriousness, no matter how ridiculous they are.

It’s in part because lies about the future — and that’s what they are when you know that what you’re saying is utterly bogus — will not be policed with nearly the same vigor as lies about the past. If Trump claims that he had the largest inaugural crowd in history, it will immediately get shot down and subject to mockery even from neutral reporters. But if he says that all the benefits of his corporate tax cut will flow to workers, which is no less a lie, it will usually be met with “Critics question whether there is evidence to support his assertion.” When Republicans said that their tax cut wouldn’t increase the deficit because it would create so much economic growth that revenue would actually increase, it was treated as a questionable claim, not an assertion on par with “If I flap my arms, I can fly to the moon” or “With a week of training, my dog will be able to do a perfect rendition of ‘Enter Sandman’ on the electric guitar.”

(click here to continue reading Shocker: Democrats’ predictions about the GOP tax cut are coming true – The Washington Post.)

The Illustrated Police News  October 17 1896
The Illustrated Police News – October 17,1896

In an ideal world, the same reporters and television talking heads would aggressively come after the GOP liars, quoting their words back to them and demanding answers, as if the journalists were high school children from Parkland, FL, or Dutch questioners of Ambassador Hoekstra. If only our corporate media courtiers were as persistent as the Dutch press, we’d all be better off.

 

Peter Hoekstra, the newly minted U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, held his first news conference with the Dutch media at his new residence in The Hague on Wednesday.

It did not go well.

Dutch journalists peppered Hoekstra with questions on unsubstantiated claims he made in 2015 about chaos that the “Islamic movement” had allegedly brought to the Netherlands.

“There are cars being burned. There are politicians that are being burned,” he said then, at a conference hosted by a conservative group. “And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.”

The comments have widely been described as inaccurate, and seem to reflect certain conspiracy theories about sharia law that crop up in some circles of the far-right in the West. When pressed by the Dutch reporters, Hoekstra declined to retract the comments or give specific examples to back them up.

In fact, after saying that he would not be “revisiting the issue,” he simply refused to answer the question at all.

 

But the reporters were not done with the line of questioning. Instead of moving on, another reporter would simply ask a variation of the query again.

“Everybody there had one question: That crazy statement you made, are you going to withdraw it?” Roel Geeraedts, a political reporter at the Dutch television station RTL Nieuws, said in a phone interview about the event. “We were not getting answers, so we all kept asking it.”

 

(click here to continue reading Trump’s Netherlands ambassador Peter Hoekstra grilled by Dutch press over Islam comments – The Washington Post.)

I would so love if this style overcame the “access journalism” practices by many Washington-based journalists.

Footnotes:
  1. Supply-side []
  2. as Jay Rosen often notes []

Written by Seth Anderson

February 27th, 2018 at 7:59 pm

Posted in News-esque,politics

Tagged with ,

Reading Around July 9th, 2017

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A few snippets for your reading and eye-rolling muscles, collected from various journeys across the vast wasted plain of the internet…

 

Daddy, what did You do in the Great War? (Art.IWM PST 0311)  Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/17053

Nothing to see here, says GOP

Russian government hackers were behind recent cyber-intrusions into the business systems of U.S. nuclear power and other energy companies in what appears to be an effort to assess their networks, according to U.S. government officials.

The U.S. officials said there is no evidence the hackers breached or disrupted the core systems controlling operations at the plants, so the public was not at risk. Rather, they said, the hackers broke into systems dealing with business and administrative tasks, such as personnel.

(click here to continue reading U.S. officials say Russian government hackers have penetrated energy and nuclear company business networks – The Washington Post.)

I’ll probably (eventually) see the comedian Kumail Nanjiani’s new film, The Big Sick:

After the panel, in the greenroom, Nanjiani expanded on his thoughts about representation. “People use these words so much that they can start to sound meaningless,” he said. “But I believe it matters. The stories you see as a kid show you what’s possible. I mean, I’m almost forty, and when I saw a brown guy kicking ass in the new ‘Star Wars’ movie I started crying in the movie theatre.” He went on, “Everyone knows what a secular Jew looks like. Everyone knows what a lapsed Catholic looks like. That’s all over pop culture. But there are very few Muslim characters who aren’t terrorists, who aren’t even going to a mosque, who are just people with complicated backstories who do normal things. Obviously, terrorism is an important subject to tackle. But we also need Muslim characters who, like, go to Six Flags and eat ice cream.”

(click here to continue reading Kumail Nanjiani’s Culture-Clash Comedy | The New Yorker.)

You’d think the Russian link to Trump would be a bigger story, and yet, it keeps circling and circling, and the right keeps denying there is any “there there”.

Two weeks after Donald J. Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination last year, his eldest son arranged a meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan with a Russian lawyer who has connections to the Kremlin, according to confidential government records described to The New York Times.

The previously unreported meeting was also attended by Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman at the time, Paul J. Manafort, as well as the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to interviews and the documents, which were outlined by people familiar with them.

While President Trump has been dogged by revelations of undisclosed meetings between his associates and Russians, this episode at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, is the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle during the campaign. It is also the first time that his son Donald Trump Jr. is known to have been involved in such a meeting.

(click here to continue reading Trump Team Met With Lawyer Linked to Kremlin During Campaign – The New York Times.)

A new-to-me term, differential privacy:

Last year, Apple Inc. kicked off a massive experiment with new privacy technology aimed at solving an increasingly thorny problem: how to build products that understand users without snooping on their activities.

Its answer is differential privacy, a term virtually unknown outside of academic circles until a year ago. Today, other companies such as Microsoft Corp. and Uber Technologies Inc. are experimenting with the technology.

The problem differential privacy tries to tackle stems from the fact that modern data-analysis tools are capable of finding links between large databases. Privacy experts worry these tools could be used to identify people in otherwise anonymous data sets.

Two years ago, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered shoppers could be identified by linking social-media accounts to anonymous credit-card records and bits of secondary information, such as the location or timing of purchases.

”I don’t think people are aware of how easy it is getting to de-anonymize data,” said Ishaan Nerurkar, whose startup LeapYear Technologies Inc. sells software for leveraging machine learning while using differential privacy to keep user data anonymous.

(click here to continue reading Apple Expands Bet on Cutting Edge Privacy Technology – WSJ.)

Biometric hand scanners are the Mark of the Beast? What about thumbprint scanners that unlock your smart phone? Or worse, the rumored face scanner in iPhone 8?

To more accurately track attendance and time worked, the employer, Consol Energy, installed a biometric hand scanner. Beverly Butcher, an evangelical Christian employed with Consol for over 35 years, refused to use the new biometric scanner. Butcher believed that the Book of Revelation referenced the hand-scanning technology when it described the Antichrist as causing all to have a “mark on their right hand.”

Butcher made repeated requests to Consol to exempt him from use of the biometric hand scanner based on his religious beliefs, but the company denied those requests. The employer reasoned that hand scanner left no physical mark. In any event, Consol understood that the “mark of the beast” related to the right hand and the company could “accommodate” Butcher by allowing him to use his left hand in the scanner. The employer had already approved complete exemptions from the biometric scanner for two employees with hand injuries. In fact, in authorizing the medical accommodations, a company representative wrote, “Let’s make our religious objector use his left hand.”

Facing discipline for refusing to use the biometric scanner with his left hand, Butcher retired. He then filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC alleging that by failing to accommodate his religious beliefs Consol had constructively discharged him. The EEOC took the case to trial and a jury found in favor of the employee. The court awarded the employee a total of $586,860 in lost wages, benefits, and compensatory damages.

(click here to continue reading In employment law, even the “mark of the beast” must be accommodated.)

and a bit of history worth clicking to see the photos:

Work began on the tunnels in 1899 under the auspices the Illinois Telephone and Telegraph Company, reorganized in later years as the Chicago Tunnel Company. An enormous quantity of blue clay soil was excavated by hand and used as landfill to build up low lying areas on the waterfront.

The Chicago Tunnel Company had an aggressive (perhaps brash) business strategy, building 60 miles of tunnels before securing a single client. Once the network was complete they approached downtown buildings and offered an array of services, including telephone and telegraph connections, and coal, mail and merchandise deliveries. And the clients did come; tunnel connections were built to the Board of Trade, City Hall, Merchandise Mart, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Chicago Tribune, the Civic Opera House, the Field Museum, and dozen of others. One of the Chicago Tunnel Company’s  more inventive products was “tunnel air” (55˚F year round), which they piped into theaters and hotels as natural air conditioning.

(click here to continue reading Chicago Freight Tunnels – Chicago, Illinois – Atlas Obscura.)

and finally, a fascinating exploration of a man’s grandfather:

For three years at the end of his life, Dr. Lee Hartman worked as a resident physician and psychiatrist at Huntsville’s Wynne Unit. From 1960 to 1963, he witnessed at least 14 executions as presiding physician, his signature scrawled on the death certificates of the condemned men. All of them died in the electric chair – “Ol’ Sparky” – a grisly method that left flesh burned and bodies smoking in the death chamber as my grandfather read their vital signs.

I had always known from my father that his dad, who died before I was born, worked for the prison system as a psychiatrist.

But I had no idea that he’d worked in the death chamber, witnessing executions. Or that he’d been involved in testing psychedelics on prisoners to see if drugs like LSD, mescaline and psilocybin could treat schizophrenia. Or that he’d been hospitalized repeatedly during his lifelong struggle with depression.

And I didn’t know the truth about his death at age 48, when he was found on the staircase of his house in Houston’s exclusive River Oaks neighborhood.

My obsession with my grandfather’s life grew from my father’s sudden death from a stroke at his Austin home in 2014. Last summer, I came back to Austin after 14 years overseas and began searching for clues about my grandfather – in the state archives, in Huntsville and in boxes of old family keepsakes kept by my aunts.

(click here to continue reading My grandfather was a death row doctor. He tested psychedelic drugs on Texas inmates. | The Texas Tribune.)

Written by Seth Anderson

July 9th, 2017 at 11:04 am

Posted in News-esque

Phyllis Schlafly, Conservative Leader and Foe of E.R.A., Dies at 92

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Phyllis Schlafly, Conservative Leader and Foe of E.R.A., Dies at 92

(click here to continue reading Phyllis Schlafly, Conservative Leader and Foe of E.R.A., Dies at 92 – The New York Times.)

The phrase is something like, “if you can’t say something nice about the recently deceased, say nothing at all”. 

Written by Seth Anderson

September 5th, 2016 at 7:49 pm

Posted in News-esque

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Trump Likes To Keep A Fat Guy Around

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Fat Blak n Happy
Fat Blak n Happy

Donald Trump likes to keep one fat guy around. Seems legit

There was a fat contestant who was a buffoon and a fuckup,” recalls the midlevel producer. “And he would fuck up week after week, and the producers would figure that he’d screwed up so badly that Trump would have to fire him. But Trump kept deciding to fire someone else. The producers had to scramble because of course Trump can never be seen to make a bad call on the show, so we had to re-engineer the footage to make a different contestant look bad. Later, I heard a producer talk to him, and Trump said, ‘Everybody loves a fat guy. People will watch if you have a funny fat guy around. Trust me, it’s good for ratings.’ I look at Chris Christie now and I swear that’s what’s happening.”

(click here to continue reading Apprentice crew members on their old boss, Donald Trump..)

Written by Seth Anderson

June 16th, 2016 at 8:52 pm

Posted in News-esque

Tagged with , ,

Sneakers That Vibrate to Lead You Around Cities You’re Visiting

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Barefoot and Raptured
Barefoot and Raptured

Hmmm. What’s the privacy implication? But I’d be moderately interested in trying version 3 or 4 of this concept…

Imagine if you could explore Europe’s greatest cities without having to constantly look down at your phone to make sure you’re on course to your next destination. U.K.-based regional airline easyJet is trying to solve that problem, at least in theory, with a new pair of internet-connected sneakers that signal to wearers when to turn left or right by vibrating underneath the respective foot. This way, sightseers’ heads can stay up, taking in the surroundings while they walk, without losing their way.  The shoes buzz twice to indicate a wrong turn, thanks to a connection to Google Maps via Bluetooth, and easyJet’s proprietary app. They also adjust to provide a new route if a user veers intentionally off course. Upon arriving at the destination, both sneakers will buzz. 

(click here to continue reading An Airline Made Sneakers That Vibrate to Lead You Around Cities You’re Visiting | Adweek.)

Shoe Sine Up=In
Shoe Sine Up=In

Written by Seth Anderson

June 1st, 2016 at 2:24 pm

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Retirement Life For People Should Be So Good

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Marino Marini's Angel of the Citadel
 

When humans retire, life is different, but not as much as a racing horse’s life:

American Pharoah is living the good life in retirement and earning big money in doing so. The four-year old thoroughbred and Triple Crown champion has traded racing for reproduction at Coolmore Farms in Versailles, Kentucky.

…Pharoah, who made history as the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed did it in 1978, is living a life most  could only dream about. “He could breed 2-3 times per day during breeding season,” said Scott Calder, who works in sales & marketing at Coolmore Farms America.

When Pharoah isn’t breeding, he spends his time in the fields eating grass, getting groomed and visiting with tour groups that have stopped by the farm. The 1,340-pound horse has gained about 170 pounds since retiring.

“He’s proven to be very professional in the breeding shed. He’s breeding very well and so far it’s been smooth sailing.”

Now considered a “stud,” Pharoah has bred with more than 100 mares so far. By the time breeding season is over in late June, it’s expected he will have bred with 175.

(click here to continue reading American Pharoah retires to stud job in Kentucky.)

Not a bad year…

Getting fat, screwing twice a day…

I've Done Everything You Asked

Written by Seth Anderson

June 1st, 2016 at 11:16 am

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NYTimes Correction of the Day

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https://i2.wp.com/farm8.staticflickr.com/7013/26734383483_b6b79f84fb_z.jpg?resize=455%2C640&ssl=1
 Ok, maybe from a few days ago, but still funny…

Because of an editing error, an article on Monday about a theological battle being fought by Muslim imams and scholars in the West against the Islamic State misstated the Snapchat handle used by Suhaib Webb, one of the Muslim leaders speaking out. It is imamsuhaibwebb, not Pimpin4Paradise786.

(click here to continue reading Corrections: May 10, 2016 – NYTimes.com.)

Written by Seth Anderson

June 1st, 2016 at 10:58 am

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