Social media puts police under scrutiny

The city of Cleveland is on alert because there are several issues that could trigger unrest. I got an email from our university president about contingency plans in case of trouble. Other places of work are warning their employees that there could be disruptions and to be ready to work from home if they can and parents are being told that they can keep their children at home if necessary. City officials and police are taking other preventative measures.
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Another Fox News whine fest

Fox News is all of a doodah because president Obama said something that is blazingly obvious by saying that they demonize the poor. They have gone on a weeklong whine fest about being so unfairly maligned. The Daily Show poses the question of whether this shows that Fox News in merely lacking in self-awareness or is cynical or stupid or just downright evil.
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Ireland holds referendum on same-sex marriage on Friday

If there is one country in Europe that is seen as being quintessentially Catholic, it is Ireland. That country has for a long time long had it policies determined largely by church doctrine and also had its government cover up the horrendous abuses of the church. It is really quite remarkable how recently they have moved to give people even minimal sexual freedoms.
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Jordan Klepper covers the British elections

US elections are absurdly long and ridiculously expensive. People in other countries cannot believe what an absurd system we have in which one has to be either a multimillionaire or beholden to multimillionaires merely in order to be even considered as a serious candidate. Not only that, it is the GRAGGS issues (guns, race, abortion, gays, god, sex) that generate the most attention.
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Is this a new tactic to get money and publicity?

I have recently observed repeated occurrences of the same sequence of events. Some business does something discriminatory, such as refusing to serve gays or minorities or some such thing, triggering anger at them and calls for a boycott. Then the owners complain that they are being hurt financially and punished for their religious or political beliefs or for exercising their free speech rights. Before you know what, a fundraising campaign is initiated on their behalf that generates more money than they would have lost due to a boycott.
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Obama, bin Laden, and Seymour Hersh

President Obama and the national security state have reaped great political rewards from the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011. It enabled him to run for re-election on the swagger of ordering a bold raid to do what his predecessor could not do. It enabled the CIA and the NSA to claim that their clever sleuthing was what enabled the US to locate bin Laden in Pakistan. It justified the use of torture by claiming that this was what got them vital information. And it enabled the US military and its much vaunted Special Forces to glory in successfully going in, carrying out a raid in a foreign country under the noses of that government, and then get out again without that country’s military being any the wiser. Even Obama’s political adversaries had no counter to vice-president Joe Biden’s boast during the 2012 campaign that it was thanks to Obama that “General Motors is alive and bin Laden is dead.”
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I’ll bet Ted Cruz never expected the Spanish Inquisition

Texas senator Ted Cruz, one of the many contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, is one of the most obnoxious people around. Even his colleagues in his own party seem disgusted with his arrogant, preening, headline-hogging antics. So that raises the question as to whether it would be ever possible for him to come off as a sympathetic figure in an exchange with anyone.
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