Wednesday Reads: Body Scanners and Grover’s Pledge
Posted: November 16, 2011 Filed under: #Occupy and We are the 99 percent!, morning reads
Here’s a few links, I hope they aren’t repeats for you…
I haven’t been able to follow the news in the past few days, but from what I have seen…This cartoon pretty much says it all.
Yesterday Dakinikat had a post about the Super Committee, I saw this at TPM: Grover Norquist And The Super Committee — Who’s Really In Charge? | TPMDC
About a week ago, Republicans on the Super Committee offered Democrats a plan they themselves claimed would raise new tax revenues. Setting aside specifics, Democrats treated it as a crack in the dam — the first indication the GOP’s alliance with anti-tax activists was starting to crumble.
Democrats ultimately rejected it. But so too did Grover Norquist, which suggests it really did violate his pledge (which most Republicans have taken) never to raise effective tax rates.
Fast forward to Monday, Norquist told The Hill, “I’ve talked to the House leadership and the Senate leadership. They’re not going to be passing any tax increases…. If Republicans raise taxes now, they don’t win the Senate, and if Republicans raise taxes now they might not keep the House.”
Logically, this means one of four things:
1). Norquist isn’t telling the truth about what GOP leaders are telling him;
2) GOP leaders aren’t telling Norquist the truth about their intentions, or, at least, the state of negotiations; or
3). Ummm… oops!
4). Republicans aren’t being honest with Democrats and the public about putting revenue on the table.
I can think of another reason, Grover has the GOP by the nuts…and if increasing taxes…or putting them back to what they were before Bush cut them are out, then it gives the Dems just the right excuses they need to wimp out and attack social programs.
Check it out, Europe Bans X-Ray Body Scanners Used at U.S. Airports – ProPublica
The European Union on Monday prohibited the use of X-ray body scanners in European airports, parting ways with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which has deployed hundreds of the scanners as a way to screen millions of airline passengers for explosives hidden under clothing.
The European Commission, which enforces common policies of the EU’s 27 member countries, adopted the rule “in order not to risk jeopardizing citizens’ health and safety.”
You may remember the article from ProPublica about the dangers of the x-rays.
As a ProPublica/PBS NewsHour investigation detailed earlier this month, X-ray body scanners use ionizing radiation, a form of energy that has been shown to damage DNA and cause cancer. Although the amount of radiation is extremely low, equivalent to the radiation a person would receive in a few minutes of flying, several research studies have concluded that a small number of cancer cases would result from scanning hundreds of millions of passengers a year.
Europe will be allowed to use an alternative scanner that uses radio waves. Of course the TSA has no comment on Europe’s decision to ban the x-ray scanners. Give the rest of the article a read through.
Okay, this next article has a title that almost sounds like something from The Onion: Vladimir Putin scoops Chinese peace award | World news | The Guardian
China has a peace award?
Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, winner of the second annual Confucian peace prize. Photograph: Itar-Tass/Reuters
The Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, is used to receiving accolades in friendly nations, but even he may raise an eyebrow at the prize he has just been awarded in China: peacemaker of the year.
After two wars in Chechnya, one conflict in South Ossetia and two of the deadliest hostage relief operations in modern history, the former KGB officer was named on Monday as the winner of the second Confucian peace prize.
It is unclear if Putin is even aware of the award which was chosen by an obscure cultural organisation, the China International Peace Research Centre, from a field of nominees including Bill Gates, Angela Merkel, Kofi Annan, Jacob Zuma and a Tibetan Panchen Lama imposed by Beijing.
The 16-judge panel said that Putin deserved the award because his criticism of Nato’s military engagement in Libya was “outstanding in keeping world peace”, regardless of the fact that it had no bearing on the outcome of the north African conflict.
Perhaps Herman Cain can win the Idiot Piece Prize for not knowing what Libya was in the first place?
There are some nice pictures at this next link: Profile: Norman Parkinson – Features – Art – The Independent
Norman Parkinson is generally recognised as the man who fathered a new age of stylish storytelling in fashion photography. He blasted the rather stuffy and staid traditions of the 1930s photography, for which, he once said: “All the girls had their knees bolted together”.
Railing against the conservatism of the day when he entered the industry in 1931, Parkinson photographed some of Britain’s most beautiful women in fun, feisty and whimsical set-ups, blazing a trail which would be taken up by David Bailey and Brian Duffy.
“I like to make people look as good as they’d like to look, and with luck, a shade better,” he famously once said. This formula evidently worked well, as one of Parkinson’s favourite and most frequent models was the actress and author Wenda Rogerson, who became his wife of 40 years.
Over the years Parkinson took pictures of women like Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh, super models, politicians and royalty. His work will be on exhibit in Amsterdam.
‘The Godfather of British Fashion Photography – The Glamour Years’ is at Gallery Vassie from 26 November 2011 until 21 January 2012, www.galleryvassie.com
One last article for you today…Crime Writer Lindsay Ashford: Jane Austen Was Poisoned
Until yesterday, Jane Austen was thought to have died of bovine tuberculosis or Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a strain of cancer. But crime writer, Lindsay Ashford, recently told The Guardian that the untimely death of the beloved author was due to an even less innocuous offender: poison.
By the time she was in her 40s, Austen had completed six novels, including the often celebrated and studied “Pride and Prejudice.” But while working on another book, “Sandition,” the writer came down with a painful illness that left her with discolored, brownish skin.
Ashford, author of the recently published “The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen” [Honro], read about these symptoms in Austen’s letters: “I am considerably better now and am recovering my looks a little, which have been bad enough, black and white and every wrong colour.” Because she had researched poison and contemporary forensic techniques for her crime novels, Ashford was able to identify Austen’s symptoms as potential arsenic poisoning. Arsenic would also explain Austen’s slow decline and fatigue. Asford’s suspicions were heightened “after she learned that a lock of Austen’s hair on display in a museum tested positive for arsenic.”
As Flavorwire reports, arsenic does not necessarily equate to murder, as we’re so often led to believe, because “a doctor could well have prescribed a medicine containing the element.” Still, Ashford wishes not to rule out the option.
Ashford says that Austen’s family had a tumultuous history and there could have been some evidence of a “motive for murder.” That seems interesting…I see a screenplay in the future, it would definitely make a cool idea for a movie.
That is all I have today, see you all on Sunday Morning. With the big move things have been crazy. So the Evening News Reads will be put on hold for a bit. We should be back to normal next week! Have a great day.