Current Affairs

April 24, 2011

Sweden's Easter Witches

From a Time.com gallery of things you don't know about Easter:

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February 07, 2011

Examining Scientology

Two items explore Scientology's extreme behavior and ask whether it is a cult.

Writer-director Paul Haggis quit Scientology after 34 years as a church member, and discusses that in a lengthy New Yorker magazine article, including the church demanding that he disown family members that were non-believers, the hundreds of thousands of dollars the church required, and the training rituals, excerpted below.

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January 08, 2011

Remember: Tea Party Called for use of Guns Against Politicians

As we listen to the horrific news that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been shot in the head, it's important not to push under the rug repeated calls by Tea Party members to "take up arms against Congress" and, slightly more subtly, to "seek second amendment solutions". 

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December 07, 2010

So, Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange is Charged With ... ?

Julian Assange, the anarchist founder of Wikileaks, is being held in a London jail on an Interpol warrant for ... what exactly? Mainstream media has variously reported that he is being charged with rape or sexual assault. Assange has claimed he was warned by Australian intelligence that this was part of a U.S. Government plot, the media reports. All very sensational. Listening to CBS and CNN makes the case sound like Jack the Ripper meets Bourne Identity. 

Turns out, Assange is being accused of using a broken condom. That, at least, is what the Daily Mail is reporting after it got ahold of the legal documents provided to Swedish media and went to the trouble of translating them, instead of simply regurgitating what is posted on The Drudge Report, like CBS and CNN. More curiously, no charges have been filed.

Assange is in jail because he didn't return to Sweden to give the police an interview on charges that were previously dropped by Sweden's director of public prosecutions in early November after reviewing the files when "She said there was not a shred of evidence." Then other prosecutors mysteriously resurrected the case.

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September 30, 2010

Israeli Killing Of US Citizen Was "Execution", According to United Nations

This report, reprinted on Huffington Post, is stunning if accurate: "The report of the fact-finding mission of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla released last week shows conclusively, for the first time, that US citizen Furkan Dogan and five Turkish citizens were murdered execution-style by Israeli commandos.

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Atheists Know More About Religion than Worshipers | Pew Research

As Tea Party'er Christine O'Donnell might say, "But what about the Wiccan's?" 

Excerpt from NYT's coverage: "Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are also deeply ignorant about religion.

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September 25, 2010

New Zuckerberg IMs Reveal Him Backstabbing Partners

Details are emerging about the dirty tricks Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg used to squeeze out his old partner. Essentially, Zuckerberg used a slimey Venture Capital con of reincorporating and transferring the assets to dilute Eduardo Saverin's holdings and move Facebook to a new shell. 

6a00d8341c630a53ef013487e6a3e2970c-120wi Technically, this is called "fraudulent transfer" and is a crime. Every wonder why VCs always incorporate in Delaware?

That's because the Attorney General in Delaware rarely prosecutes corporate crime, basically telling shareholders that, if investors or corporate boards defraud them they have to sue because the state will not prosecute the crime. 

So, Zuckerberg, in essence, stole property jointly owned by other shareholders, a crime he could have been sent to jail for in other states, knowing that in Delaware, the shareholders would be forced to sue and settle out of court. 

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August 24, 2010

Mamils: Middle-Aged Men in Lycra

Love this, a commonly-spotted species in my own Los Altos Hills, although far outnumbered by the related genus Mamis -- the Spandex equivalent on $5,000 bicycles:

From Schott's Vocab: "Mamils: Middle-Aged Men In Lycra – an increasingly common sight in Britain, and elsewhere, exacerbated by the popularity of {motor}cycling.

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August 07, 2010

Putting Our Brains on Hold | Herbert NYT

From Bob Herbert's column today more data on post-literate America: "According to a new report from the College Board, the U.S. is 12th among developed nations in the percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds with college degrees. ... 

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July 22, 2010

Dell Fined for Intel Graft

From the NYT's inestimable Floyd Norris: "Today’s S.E.C. settlement with Dell Inc. follows some of the same patterns, but has a really refreshing difference. Dell disclosed the accounting irregularities back in 2007, so the fact it cooked the books is old news, as usual.

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