Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when
we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone’s welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.
Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.
This Day in History
President Barack Obama may soon sign off on a project to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels, in an open move that would significantly boost U.S. support to forces who have been asking for three years for military help in their quest to oust President Bashar Assad, administration officials said Tuesday.
The step would send a limited number of American troops to Jordan to be part of a regional training mission that would instruct carefully vetted members of the Free Syrian Army on tactics, including counterterrorism operations, the officials said. They said Obama has not yet given approval for the initiative, and that there is still internal discussion about its merits and potential risks.
In the 1980s, encountering regulatory restrictions and public resistance to smoking in the United States, the giant tobacco companies came up with a particularly effective strategy for sustaining their profit levels: sell more cigarettes in the developing world, where demand was strong and anti-tobacco regulation weak or nonexistent. Now, the giant energy companies are taking a page from Big Tobacco’s playbook. As concern over climate change begins to lower the demand for fossil fuels in the United States and Europe, they are accelerating their sales to developing nations, where demand is strong and climate-control measures weak or nonexistent. That this will produce a colossal increase in climate-altering carbon emissions troubles them no more than the global spurt in smoking-related illnesses troubled the tobacco companies.
The tobacco industry’s shift from rich, developed nations to low- and middle-income countries has been well documented. “With tobacco use declining in wealthier countries, tobacco companies are spending tens of billions of dollars a year on advertising, marketing, and sponsorship, much of it to increase sales in… developing countries,” the New York Times noted in a 2008 editorial. To boost their sales, outfits like Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco also brought their legal and financial clout to bear to block the implementation of anti-smoking regulations in such places. “They’re using litigation to threaten low- and middle-income countries,” Dr. Douglas Bettcher, head of the Tobacco Free Initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO), told the Times.
The fossil fuel companies — producers of oil, coal, and natural gas — are similarly expanding their operations in low- and middle-income countries where ensuring the growth of energy supplies is considered more critical than preventing climate catastrophe. “There is a clear long-run shift in energy growth from the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the club of rich nations] to the non-OECD,” oil giant BP noted in its Energy Outlook report for 2014. “Virtually all (95%) of the projected growth [in energy consumption] is in the non-OECD,” it added, using the polite new term for what used to be called the Third World.
The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday called on Congress to protect consumers against the unchecked collection and sharing of their digital data – from websites visited to their marital status – by providing people with tools to view, suppress and fix their information.
The agency also said the little-known companies, called data brokers, that analyze and sell huge amounts of the consumer information for marketing purposes, needed to be reined in and more transparent to the public.
Companies that trade in consumer data, the agency said in a 110-page report about the industry, suffered from “a fundamental lack of transparency.”
By creating an IQ cutoff at 70, Florida “creates an unacceptable risk that persons with intellectual disability will be executed,” the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
“Intellectual disability is a condition, not a number,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the divided court. “Courts must recognize, as does the medical community, that the IQ test is imprecise.”
The explosive finding comes in the case of Freddie Lee Hall, who has been in prison since his 1981 conviction on the murder three years earlier of Karol Hurst, a pregnant, 21-year-old newlywed.
He was sentenced and resentenced to death, even after the trial court found him mentally retarded as a mitigating factor.
With news today that the US is planning to keep almost 10,000 troops in Afghanistan-a day after seeing some headlines about the war’s “end”-you might wonder if journalists can get the troop counting right in the first place.
Must Read Blog Posts
Calls for effective Civil Rights protections
by Major Kong
The Science Of Why Bacon Smells So Damn Good
by Lisa Winter
The Daily Wiki
A purr is a sound made by all species of felids. It varies between cats (for example by loudness and tone), and from species to species, but can be characterized as a tonal buzzing.
The term “purring” has been used liberally in literature, and it has been claimed that viverrids (civet, mongoose, genet), bears, badgers, hyaenas (et cetera) purr. Other animals that have been said to purr are rabbits, squirrels, guinea pigs, tapirs, ring-tailed lemurs, elephants, raccoons and gorillas while eating. However, using a strict definition of purring that continuous sound production must alternate between pulmonic egressive and ingressive airstream (and usually go on for minutes), Peters (2002), in an exhaustive review of the scientific literature, reached the conclusion that until then only ‘purring cats’ (Felidae) and two species of genets, Genetta tigrina, and most likely also Genetta genetta, had been documented to purr.
Something to Think about over
Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it. ~John Lennon
Stupid Shit by LaEscapee