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ND-Dem's Journal
ND-Dem's Journal
March 15, 2015

Lindsey Graham says Obama came close to cutting a "mini Simpson-Bowles deal" on Social Security

Starts at the very end: ~1:04:30


"Obama & Boehnor were this close to a deal -- a mini Simpson-Bowles deal...and he backed out when the liberals, led by Bernie Sanders, (unintelligible to end)"

March 15, 2015

Officials: Listeriosis not cause of 3 deaths, may be factor

foodborne illness linked to some Blue Bell ice cream products might have been a contributing factor in the deaths of three hospital patients in Kansas, health officials said Saturday.

But listeriosis didn’t cause the deaths, according to Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokeswoman Sara Belfry...

The five patients became ill with listeriosis during their hospitalizations for unrelated causes between December 2013 and January 2015. But hospital spokeswoman Maria Loving said she couldn’t discuss why the patients were hospitalized, citing patient confidentiality laws.

According to the CDC, information available for four of the five patients shows they had eaten while hospitalized milkshakes made with Blue Bell ice cream product called “Scoops” in the month before the infection.

The FDA says listeria bacteria were found in samples of Scoops, as well as Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Country Cookies, Great Divide Bars... No Sugar Added Moo Bars.

Blue Bell spokeswoman Jenny Van Dorf said the company has recovered all recalled products from all 23 states where they were sold, as well as those that were in storage....

Van Dorf said the machine that the contamination was traced to has been shut down permanently....


Cause of deaths still not clear...

March 14, 2015

Philly buses ordered to accept ads featuring Hitler & 1941 Palestinian leader

Philadelphia's transit system has been ordered to accept provocative ads that include a 1941 photograph of Adolf Hitler with a former Arab leader after a federal judge ruled in favor of a pro-Israel group's free-speech lawsuit.

The proposed bus ads carry a tagline saying: "Jew Hatred: It's in the Quran."

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority believes the ads violate "minimal civility standards" and will consider an appeal. The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported on Wednesday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg.

The ad in question features a photograph of a 1941 meeting between Adolf Hitler and Hajj Amin al-Husseini, described by the group as a Palestinian leader and Hitler ally.

The ads are produced by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a New Hampshire-based group that opposes U.S. aid to Islamic countries and has filed similar lawsuits in New York and other cities.


March 14, 2015

Pope, on anniversary, says believes he will have short pontificate

Pope Francis said in an interview published on Friday he believes his pontificate will be short and that he would be ready to resign like his predecessor rather than ruling for life.

In the long interview with Mexican broadcaster Televisa, released on the second anniversary of his surprise election, Francis also said he "did not mind" being pope but would like to be able to go out in Rome unrecognized for a pizza.

"I have the feeling that my pontificate will be brief - four or five years, even two or three. Two have already passed. It's a somewhat strange sensation," he said, according to a Vatican translation from Spanish...

Francis, apparently in good health at 78, said "I share the idea of what Benedict did." In 2013, former Pope Benedict became the first head of the Roman Catholic Church in 600 years to resign instead of ruling until he died."In general, I think what Benedict so courageously did was to open the door to the popes emeritus. Benedict should not be considered an exception, but an institution," Francis said.

However, he said he did not like the idea of an automatic retirement age for popes, such as at age 80.

In the 17-page interview, Francis also said the fact he is the first pope from Latin America compelled him to speak out on behalf of migrants and the poor because his ancestors had to move from Italy to Argentina to find work.


March 12, 2015

McDonald's will phase out chicken raised with antibiotics; puts pressure on kfc

KFC, the world's largest chain of fried chicken restaurants, may face pressure from consumer and environmental groups to change how its poultry are raised after McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) said it would switch to chicken raised without human antibiotics.

McDonald's will phase out chicken raised with antibiotics that are important to human health over two years to allay concern that use of the drugs in meat production has exacerbated the rise of deadly "superbugs" that resist treatment, Reuters reported last week. Within days, retailer Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O) told Reuters it aims to eliminate the sale of chicken and meat raised with human antibiotics.

KFC is owned by Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N), which has no publicly stated policy on antibiotic use in the production of meat it buys. Chick-fil-A, another chicken restaurant chain that competes with KFC, says about 20 percent of the chicken it serves is raised without any antibiotics, and that its entire supply chain will be converted by 2019.

Both McDonald's and Yum are stepping up efforts to win back younger and wealthier diners lured away by chains such as such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (CMG.N) and Panera Bread Co (PNRA.O), which boast antibiotic-free meats and other high-quality ingredients.


March 12, 2015

I don't think you understand the meaning of ad hominem. And I only looked at the first two

authors of the paper. Shall I look at the rest?

A Circumstantial ad Hominem is a fallacy because a person’s interests and circumstances have no bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made...

There are times when it is prudent to suspicious of a person’s claims, such as when it is evident that the claims are being biased by the person’s interests. For example, if a tobacco company representative claims that tobacco does not cause cancer, it would be prudent to not simply accept the claim. This is because the person has a motivation to make the claim, whether it is true or not. However, the mere fact that the person has a motivation to make the claim does not make it false.

So while noting that at least one of the authors of the paper has ties to Monsanto doesn't prove the paper is false (which, you'll note, I didn't claim), it does give the public reason to be suspicious.

Now, shall I look at the rest of the authors?

As for that paper: what is the ground-breaking claim you think should have been refuted, and what relation does it have to the herbicide ROUND-UP (and thus, indirectly, GM crops) killing Monarch habitat (and thus Monarchs)?

March 11, 2015

Stranger leaves $25,000 tip for waiter's dental work

Everyone who meets Brian Maixner is greeted with a huge laugh and an even bigger smile.

Only the waiter and single dad from Wichita, Kansas, has struggled with dental issues since he was a child, after chipping one of his front teeth lead to a series of infections that he has never been able to get on top of.

It was something that struck Fred Boettcher, an attorney from Oklahoma, who was in town catching up with his daughter at the Doo-Dah Diner, where Maixner works.

'I took one look at this young man and knew he was something special,' Boettcher told KWCH 12. 'He carried himself with such kindness and confidence with a mouth that looked painful. I was struck by that.'

Boettcher decided he wanted to help Maixner...He went over and spoke to Maixner's manager, and told her he was leaving behind a $25,000 tip to help him get a new set of teeth.

'This man doesn't know me and this is something I could never afford to do for myself,' Maixner said, admitting he burst into tears when his manager told him the news.

'It touched me so much that he cared.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2988110/Kind-stranger-leaves-25-000-tip-lovely-waiter-needed-new-set-teeth.html#ixzz3U2FPwZlB

March 10, 2015

In freezing cold, striking U.S. refinery workers chop wood for fire

On the icy shores of Lake Michigan, striking workers fan fires in old oil barrels near BP Plc's hulking Whiting refinery, trying to stay warm and united as they push for a new contract to end the biggest U.S. refinery walkout in 35 years.

But there is little sign the strike, now in its sixth week, will end anytime soon as face-to-face negotiations between the United Steelworkers union (USW) and oil companies resumed on Monday after a nearly two week hiatus.

Dave Copple, who has worked for 35 years at BP's 413,500 barrel-per-day (bpd) plant in Whiting, Indiana, said he worries oil companies want to test workers' resolve by letting the strike drag on and refusing to grant pay increases and safety assurances demanded by the USW.

"I think they are trying to break the union," Copple said as he stood next to a fire barrel inside a triangle-shaped shelter made of chain link fence and plastic tarps.

BP said it has no interest in breaking the union or prolonging the strike, only in reaching a fair deal that ensures safe and competitive operations.

The shelter, called "Fort Stoppage," sits 100 feet (30.5 meters) from the shore of Lake Michigan, much of which froze over in February, the coldest since 1875, when the average temperature was 14.6 Fahrenheit (minus 9.7 Celsius), according to U.S. National Weather Service...

The national strike, which began on Feb. 1 has spread to include 15 plants, 12 of which are refineries that account for one-fifth of U.S. capacity...

While talks at the national level have stalled, talks on the local issues with BP have been moving slowly, Danko said. (Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Terry Wade and Lisa Shumaker)


March 9, 2015

US tourists caught carving names into Rome’s Colosseum

Tourists are once again getting into trouble in Italy, with two American women caught carving their names into Rome’s Colosseum.

The Californians, aged 21 and 25, snuck away from their tour group on Saturday and began scratching their initials into the amphitheatre with a coin. They managed a “J” and an “N” around 8cm high, before taking a selfie with their handiwork.

Police were quick to catch the two Americans and report them for damaging the ancient site. The women may now go in front of a judge and face a penalty.


March 8, 2015

CIA facial software uncovers the artist Francis Bacon – in drag

A recent Guardian article has led to the discovery of an historic photograph of the painter Francis Bacon – in drag.

The gallery, on the work of notorious Soho photographer John Deakin featured a photograph listed as "Unknown Woman, 1930s". Some might even have concluded that the unknown woman's dour expression and cheap-looking pearls were yet another instance of Deakin's peculiar eye for the sadness of urban life.

But a comment left on the piece led the collection manager of the Deakin Archive, Paul Rousseau, to look again. Commenter bullshotcrummond first noticed that the image had been labelled in a press release as "Transvestite, 1950s" which led another commenter, congokid, to rejoin "Or is it Bacon in drag?"

Rousseau was struck by the similarity straight away. "I'd never considered it before, annoyingly," he says. Searching through the archive, he was able to establish that the photo was one of a set dated 1945 (making them some of the oldest in the Deakin collection), possibly taken for Lilliput magazine, a publication with a reputation for risque photography. There were 15 images in all, and Rousseau immediately set about establishing who the models might be. "I quickly landed on his closest friends Denis Wirth-Miller and Richard (Dickie) Chopping. Denis was a painter and Dickie was semi-famous for designing the original dustjackets for the James Bond books..."

Using facial recognition software developed by the CIA, Rousseau produced videos which show that the similarity between Deakin's cross-dressing sitters and these men is, if not conclusive, then certainly startling.

detail of Francis Bacon, 1952, by John Deakin. Photograph: John Deakin/Vogue


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