Busybodies messing up people’s lives

A Catholic girls school has fired two teachers after being tipped off that they were a lesbian couple.

[Olivia] Reichert said she and [Christina] Gambaro were asked to resign after the school said in late July it received a copy of a mortgage application with the couple’s names. The couple had married in New York over the summer and the school said they had violated the moral contract faculty are required to sign as part of employment.

Note that these teachers were not publicizing the fact that they were lesbians. Some busybody had sent the school authorities the mortgage document. The firings have caused anger among students and alumnae of the school.
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Front group for the US government exposed?

The US government and the CIA have long used front groups to covertly pursue its agenda. These groups have high-minded names that include words like ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ and ‘development’ and ‘aid’ but their goal is subversion of other countries. Using these fronts enables the government to deny any involvement and instead say that the things they instigate and finance secretly with puppet leaders are actually ‘popular’ or ‘grass roots’ or ‘local’ movements.
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More on the thrilla in Wasilla

During the 2008 election, when Sarah Palin burst on the scene and people wondered who the hell she was and what her background was, the site to visit was The Mudflats, an Alaska-based blog that provided the most informed coverage of her and her world. In the wake of the now infamous Palin family brawl, people have begged the founder of the site Jeanne Devon to dig up the details and she has finally, but reluctantly, obliged.
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Obamacare’s successes create problems for Republicans

The Republican party’s determination to repeal, or at least undermine, the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) by throwing roadblocks in its path was obviously predicated on their fear, not that it would fail, but that it would succeed. They rightly guessed that despite its clunky structure and its pro-health care industry tilt, if it succeeded in providing health care access to large numbers of people at a reasonable cost, then it would become harder to get rid of the program. So it had to be stopped early.
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The vote for Scottish independence

Once again, John Oliver manages to give a tutorial that is both funny and informative on a serious topic. This time it is about the vote that is due to take place on Thursday in Scotland as to whether they will seek independence from the UK. The polls are predicting a close race though I suspect that the ‘no’ vote will ultimately prevail because of the last-minute pandering by the British government that even had the Queen getting into the act, and also because people tend to shy away from the unknown.
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The Thinking Housewife does not like Pope Francis

I decided to wander, as I periodically do, over to The Thinking Housewife to see what that homage site to the mores of the early twentieth century was up to, and found that they are very upset with Pope Francis, using language that is surprisingly harsh for such a genteel site. He is referred to as the ‘Argentine Bomber’, not a true pope (which they reinforce by putting “pope” in scare quotes), and even a ‘scandalous heretic’ because he did not use his trip to the Middle East to try and convert Jews and Muslims. The author has a truly novel view of religious freedom, saying “Religious freedom is no more a human right than walking down a street in the face of ongoing traffic is a human right. No one has the right to be wrong.”
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New Zealand in Snowden’s crosshairs

The so-called ‘Five Eyes’ group of English-speaking nations (US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) have been revealed to have a secret agreement to spy on each other’s people and exchange information, thus enabling them to claim they do not spy on their own while getting whatever information they want. Up to now, this charade has been ripped open by the Snowden documents explicitly for the first four countries.
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Governments making money by seizing assets

The abuse of the civil asset forfeiture laws where police and local agencies seize the assets of people on the slightest of pretexts without having to get a court order or even charge someone with a crime let alone convict them, has reached such epidemic proportions that mainstream news organizations have started running stories on it, rightly focusing on the fact that this is being used as a source of revenue rather than for fighting crime. Law enforcement agencies have essentially become like organized crime syndicates in a shakedown racket.
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