Tagged: news

Much Ado About the National Debt

With today’s news that the United States’ national debt has topped $17 trillion, there is and certainly will continue to be much pontificating, finger pointing, and armchair policy advising over the issue. I’m all for some good policy discourse, but the the trouble is that, much like almost any political squabble that reaches the masses, the loudest voices are also missing some crucial details and facts. This is not meant to be an indictment–I have a fancy piece of paper that cost me a lot of time and money that says I’m supposed to be an expert about things like...

That awkward moment when Komen for the Cure pulls funding from one of the largest providers of breast cancer screenings

In case you missed it, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has halted its partnership with Planned Parenthood, citing a change in their grant eligibility policies. Since 2005, Komen has provided grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates to fund breast screenings and mammograms for low-income and uninsured women. From the looks of things, here’s how it went down: Komen very recently instituted a new policy that prohibits them from providing funding to organizations under federal/state/local investigation. As far as I can tell, this happened AFTER Republicans in Congress launched a VERY politically-motivated “investigation” into whether Planned Parenthood used federal funds for...

Learning about SOPA (and PIPA): A multimedia approach

I’ve been saying for a couple weeks that I’d make a nice, comprehensive post about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act (PIPA). The great thing about being a procrastinator about writing about popular topics is that by the time you get around to it, others have done it as well or better, and you can just create a “best of” compilation. So that’s kind of what I’m doing. Plenty of companies, organizations, and blogs have dedicated today to protesting these bills in various ways. Many, like Wikipedia, Reddit, Craigslist, WordPress, and others...

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Bi-national gay couple wins deportation repreive

A married, bi-national gay couple from San Francisco has won a two-year stay of deportation for John Makk, an Australian citizen, partner of 19 years  and primary caregiver to his husband Bradford Wells, an American who suffers from AIDS-related illnesses. Their case was first covered by the Chronicle last June and touched a nerve, becoming SFGate’s most widely shared story of the year on Facebook, shared by 75,000 people. Their case received national and international media attention. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a letter to Makk today saying he has been granted “deferred action” on his case for two...

“Zom-bees” may provide key to cracking colony collapse disorder

Colony collapse disorder, the “phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear,” has been attributed to everything from cell phone radiation to fungi, but scientists have not been able to find a consistent link among affected colonies. A recent discovery of the larvae of a parasitic fly inside of some dead honeybees may provide that link. Researchers have found that the parasitized bees tend to behave strangely, acting almost like zombies. Eventually, the affected bees leave the hives at night, fly into a light source, and lose control of their bodies before falling...