Monday, October 29, 2012

Why I Am Pro-Life -

Why I Am Pro-Life - "In my world, you don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and be against common-sense gun control — like banning public access to the kind of semiautomatic assault rifle, designed for warfare, that was used recently in a Colorado theater. You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, which ensures clean air and clean water, prevents childhood asthma, preserves biodiversity and combats climate change that could disrupt every life on the planet. You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and oppose programs like Head Start that provide basic education, health and nutrition for the most disadvantaged children. You can call yourself a “pro-conception-to-birth, indifferent-to-life conservative.” I will never refer to someone who pickets Planned Parenthood but lobbies against common-sense gun laws as “pro-life.”"

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why Mourdock’s rape talk is no surprise -

Why Mourdock’s rape talk is no surprise - "“In effect, what he has promised in this campaign is reflexive votes for a rejectionist orthodoxy and rigid opposition to the actions and proposals of the other party.” John Danforth, a longtime former GOP senator from Missouri who also served as George W. Bush’s ambassador to the UN, told the New York Times in 2010: “If Dick Lugar, having served five terms in the U.S. Senate and being the most respected person in the Senate and the leading authority on foreign policy, is seriously challenged by anybody in the Republican Party, we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption.”"

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is Julia Tymoshenko Europe’s Aung San Suu Kyi? - The Daily Beast

Is Julia Tymoshenko Europe’s Aung San Suu Kyi? - The Daily Beast: "It’s election time in Ukraine, but the heroine of its 2004 “Orange Revolution” is not standing. Julia Tymoshenko languishes in a prison hospital, her privacy grotesquely invaded (almost every move she makes is videotaped). She has been jailed for seven years on a trumped-up charge by the Stalinists whose rigged election her revolution overthrew, whilst Europe (for all its claims to protect human rights) still pretends that Ukraine is a democracy. At the United Nations tomorrow, when Ukraine’s human-rights record is reviewed, the U.S., Canada, and Australia will have the opportunity to condemn this hypocrisy: Julia Tymoshenko is Europe’s Aung San Suu Kyi."

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Monday, October 22, 2012

BBC News - Al Roth: An economist who saves lives

BBC News - Al Roth: An economist who saves lives: "What sounds a little like a slightly out-of-control economists' party, with a bit of the swinging 60s about it, has turned out to be astonishingly useful. This idea of a "matching algorithm" is the mathematical underpinning of Al Roth's later, life-saving work.

"I started to think about how it might be applied to actual marketplaces," he says. Among his ideas was the thought that perhaps he could create an exchange for one unusual but important product - human kidneys."

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

BBC News - UN adopts resolution on northern Mali

BBC News - UN adopts resolution on northern Mali: "The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution paving the way for military intervention in Mali to retake the north from Islamist extremists.

The resolution requests a detailed plan for such an operation from African organisations within 45 days.

The UN has so far refused to endorse requests for military intervention without details of a plan.

Islamist groups and Tuareg rebels took control of the north after Mali's president was overthrown in March.

Both Mali's government and the West African regional body Ecowas have made requests for authorisation for an international force to intervene, with Ecowas proposing a force of 3,000."

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Friday, October 12, 2012

The Trouble With The New "Share Economy"

The Trouble With The New "Share Economy": "Disruption. It's really in the eye of the beholder, isn't it? Take a few high-profile startups that are part of the much-touted "share economy" — ride-sharing services Lyft and Uber. It turns out that where you stand on ride-sharing quickly becomes about larger values, like the role of government in regulating commerce. Start-ups, lean and often libertarian, lionize those who "think different." But governments have to be responsible to everyone, not just investors or shareholders."

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How to Die -

How to Die - "No doubt, we have a crying need to contain health care costs. We pay more than many other developed countries for comparable or inferior health care, and the total bill consumes a growing share of our national wealth. The Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — makes a start by establishing a board to identify savings in Medicare, by emphasizing preventive care, and by financing pilot programs to pay doctors for achieving outcomes rather than performing procedures. But it is barely a start. Common sense suggests that if officials were not afraid of being “death-paneled,” we could save some money by withholding care when, rather than saving a life, it serves only to prolong misery for a little while."

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Age-Old Fixes for India’s Water -

Age-Old Fixes for India’s Water - "INDIA’S monsoon rains are retreating this week, a delayed end to a yearly wet season that has become ever more unpredictable as a result of global warming. Of all the challenges that face India, few are more pressing than how it manages water. In vast cities like New Delhi, where showers and flush toilets have become necessities for a rapidly expanding middle class, groundwater has been depleted. New Delhi once had many ponds and an open floodplain to absorb the monsoon and replenish aquifers; now the sprawling city has more concrete and asphalt than it has ponds and fields to absorb water."

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

BBC News - The drive to make giving more effective

BBC News - The drive to make giving more effective: "It is no wonder then that philanthropists are becoming more and more concerned that the money they are donating is being used effectively.

"I don't see it as giving it away. I see it as investing it for the common good," says British philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter.

"It's not just 'here's some money' - we really do see it as an investment. We're looking for a return - it's different to investing for profit, but we still want to measure things in charitable investments."

According to the Charities Aid Foundation, who surveyed those who made the 2012 Sunday Times Rich List - a list of the 1,000 wealthiest people and families in the UK - 88% say they will only invest in charities who demonstrate their impact clearly.

And 81% think that giving strategically is important."

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BBC News - Climate change 'may shrink fish'

BBC News - Climate change 'may shrink fish': "Fish species are expected to shrink in size by up to 24% because of global warming, say scientists.

Researchers modelled the impact of rising temperatures on more than 600 species between 2001 and 2050.

Warmer waters could decrease ocean oxygen levels and significantly reduce fish body weight."

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