Friday, May 3, 2013

Morning Twitter Messages -- May 3

Last night's Jeopardy program (on television....remember TV?) had a set of clues all in the form of Tweets. 
They started with "@xxxxx" followed by "xxxxxx xxxxx xx xxx xxxx" and conclusing with "#xxxxxxxxxx."  It was remarkable how well they could be understood, even encrypted in the Twitter medium.
Is Twitter the new haiku?
Or is it more like a sonnet?
I don't know. But it's something to think about.

Here are gleanings from this morning's Tweet-stream.


From Katrina's NY Times link.
Despite the widespread support, the campaign for an overhaul is exposing deep fault lines within the business world that suggest it may fall apart. The problem is how to pay for everything lawmakers and businesses want without adding to the deficit. 
The main goal of the advocates on both sides of the aisle is to lower the official corporate top rate from 35 percent, the highest among industrialized nations. Republican leaders and a large number of giant companies also want to end what they regard as the noxious practice of taxing the profits that multinational corporations earn abroad. The United States is one of the few countries to do so.
Shorter version -- Prolly ain't gonna happen. 

Moving right along...

Follow the link if you want but it strikes me as a waste of time. Everybody knows by now the economy is in the toilet no matter what reports say, unemployment is the worst since WWII, the global economy is trembling and even Very Serious People are not in agreement about the way forward.
But several uncomfortable realities are not going away.

  • Anthropogenic climate change is real, getting worse and little is being done to reverse that trend.
  • Trans-national corporations now have more control over economies than traditional geopolitical entities.
  • The disparity of wealth both nationally and globally is greater than ever and the trend may be accelerating. 
  • Technology coupled with unstable, inconsistent economic systems is making "work" obsolete.
  • As the number of unemployed  workers grows there is more competition for a shrinking number of jobs -- driving wages downward in an ever lowering feedback loop. 
  • A mandated minimum wage will continue to be opposed by corporate concerns placing short-term gains ahead of long-term survival. 
I read it. This is something of a long read. Very unsettling but highly recommended.


If Gary Schwitzer (Health News Review) endorses this report it has good credibility. 
From the report.
Cook's team implanted each patient with the experimental device, which consists of electrodes placed between the skull and the brain, plus wires that run to a unit implanted under the skin of the chest. 
That unit wirelessly sends data to a hand-held device that flashes a red warning light if there is a "high likelihood" of an impending seizure. (A white light signals a "moderate" likelihood, while a blue light means the odds are low.) 
For the first four months, the devices collected data on patients' seizures without actually flashing warnings. For 11 of the 15 patients, the implants seemed capable of correctly predicting a high risk of seizure at least 65 percent of the time. Those patients went on to the next four-month phase, where the devices were activated to give warnings. 
Over those four months, the implants worked fairly well for eight patients -- correctly giving the high-risk warning anywhere from 56 percent to 100 percent of the time.

Translation -- "On World Press Freedom Day, the International Federation of Journalists called the Occupational Safety Guide. My on page 101 for the security of journalists"

This make me wish I could understand Arabic.  Arabic journalists from all over the world are risking their lives to be journalists, reporting dangerous conflict situations, sometimes getting  injured, kidnapped or killed for what they do. 

The safety manual at the link is in Arabic but the photos alone tell a story -- how to recognize a variety of threats to safety and ending with a summary of how to administer CPR and first aid.  
World Day for Freedom of the Press: The International Federation of Journalists called occupational safety manual for field reporters in the Arab world and the Middle East

the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the World Day for Freedom of the Press, called the International Federation of Journalists occupational safety guide entitled: Journalism on the Front Line: Occupational Safety guide for reporters in the field in the Arab world and the Middle East. 
Guide was produced in Arabic, as part of the program "Building a culture of safety in the Arab world and the Middle East," which is implemented by the International Federation of Journalists in collaboration with journalists' unions in the region.

And media safety is one of the biggest challenges faced by journalists in their struggle for media freedoms, have to pay hundreds of journalists with their lives for their professional reports after crossing the red lines in the home or in conflict zones abroad. In many cases, attitudes, the awareness of the dangers of field work and occupational safety is the one who made the difference between life and death.Certainly, it was possible to avoid a lot of injuries to our colleagues and our colleagues if they have received appropriate training and professional awareness.

Since 2010 until now, he coached the International Federation of Journalists has over 800 press and journalists, and at least one-third of that number was from journalists, through a network of occupational safety instructors, a group of Arabic-speaking instructors. And operates the International Federation of Journalists in the implementation of this program and closely with نقاباته in the Arab world and the Middle East, and with civil society organizations, and employers in the media institutions and UNESCO.

This guide comes as a response to the growing risks and challenges faced by the media sector and the need to increase awareness for its employees. It should be noted here that reading the manual does not substitute for hands-on training, this training is important, which is the right of all journalists who cover conflicts.

James Foley, an American journalist, is an example of the risks that journalists take to do their work.  
To see the response to this man's disappearance go to hashtag #FreeJamesFoley. 
James Foley, 39, was working in northwest Syria with another journalist when they were kidnapped by unknown gunmen on Nov. 22, his parents said. Foley, a freelance journalist, had been working in Syria for about a year and was contributing videos to Agence France-Press when he disappeared. 
It's unclear whether he's being held by the government, a rebel group or a criminal gang, said his mother, Diane Foley. 
"We don't know who to direct our plea to," she said. "We don't know who is holding him or why. 
Foley was held for six weeks by the Libyan government in 2011, but his parents said that situation was very different because the U.S. government worked with the Libyan government to secure his release and provided them with regular updates.
Klein just Luuuuvs charts! 
I rather like this one. 
  • I feel bad for the people in Appalachia and other places whose livelihood is dependent on coal. But their plight is comparatively less threatening than those of people all over the world at the bottom of the fossil fuels food chain.  
  • It's encouraging to see growth in education, health, information and professional services.
  • All those people complaining about big government should be pleased at that line's steady decline. 


Leaving the Twitter stream I came across this..

WND and Glenn Beck Want YOU to Build an Untraceable Assault Rifle
Posted in Extremist Commerce by Leah Nelson on May 3, 2013

We live in frightening times. In Boston, a college student who appears to have been radicalized online may face lethal injection for his alleged role in a terrorist attack that left four people dead and more than 260 wounded. Just a few months ago, in Connecticut, a young man killed 20 young children and six adults before shooting himself with one of numerous guns borrowed from his mother’s arsenal. 
While America is searches its soul, attempting to make sense of these and other horrific attacks that have rocked the nation with disturbing regularity over the last several years, gun rights absolutists have flooded the Internet and airwaves with wild-eyed talk of sinister government plans to undermine the Second Amendment and disarm harmless American patriots. 
At the bottom of the barrel are those who seek to profit off these national tragedies. That’s where you’ll find Caleb Lee, a veteran huckster who has partnered with WorldNetDaily, Glenn Beck and others to offer anyone with $27 information on how to built a completely untraceable AR-15 assault rifle in the comfort of their own garage. 
Lee is the proprietor of, a Virginia-based business whose sole product is a set of videos and do-it-yourself manual which purports to tell purchasers everything they need to know about crafting copies of the assault rifle used recently in massacres in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo. 
A self-described “red-blooded American” and proud “capitalist” (not, he emphasizes in his online ad, “a ‘spread the wealth’ socialist like those fools in the Whitehouse for crying out loud”), Lee has partnered with far-right media outfits including the online “news” site WorldNetDaily (WND) and Glenn Beck’s TV network and website, TheBlaze, to promote his new business. As of Thursday evening, WND, whose editors never met a conspiracy theory they didn’t like, featured a link to Lee’s ad on its front page, where it shared space with headlines warning direly of a “Saul Alinsky plot to vilify guns” and speculating that the nasty weather that scuttled plans to hoist a spire to the top of the World Trade Center on Monday was sent by an angry God to punish America for abandoning Him. 
Beck’s site, meanwhile, featured its own front-page link to Lee’s ad (“See how to get an untraceable AR-15 before it’s banned”), along with a promotion for his upcoming keynote address at this weekend’s National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Houston, a video about “Obama’s private army,” a think piece on whether the late Ronald Reagan would have supported gay marriage, and a “must-read” item about the “mysterious Jesus-era stone” that’s sparked “major debate among scholars.” 
[More at the link for anyone who hasn't read enough.]  

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