A large majority of Americans say the federal government should focus on investigating possible terrorist threats even if personal privacy is compromised, and most support the blanket tracking of telephone records in an effort to uncover terrorist activity, according to a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll .

Fully 45 percent of all Americans say the government should be able to go further than it is, saying that it should be able to monitor everyone’s online activity if doing so would prevent terrorist attacks. A slender majority, 52 percent, say no such broad-based monitoring should occur.

The reversal on the NSA’s practices is even more dramatic. In early 2006, 37 percent of Democrats found the agency’s activities acceptable; now nearly twice that number — 64 percent — say the use of telephone records is okay. By contrast, Republicans slumped from 75 percent acceptable to 52 percent today.

What should be called “Orwellian” is people’s reaction and attitude about being under surveillance, as shown by this Pew poll.


Wolkov, 53, teaches history in Ramat HaSharon, near Tel Aviv. She was attacked and her car was damaged, merely because an Arab colleague was sitting in the passenger seat. It happened in March, but it wasn’t the only attack of its kind.

In the spring, several Jewish teenage girls asked a women standing at a bus stop in Jerusalem whether she was an Arab. The woman, wearing a headscarf, replied that she was. One of the girls pulled the hijab from the woman’s head and spat in her face. The others kicked and beat the woman. A police officer stood nearby and watched. Hana Amtir, 38, three months’ pregnant, locked herself into her house for three days before filing a complaint with the police.

In a beach bar in Tel Aviv, an Arab waiter was clearing away bottles of mayonnaise and ketchup, but the men sitting at one of the tables weren’t finished yet. “Damn Arab,” they cursed, and then proceeded to beat the man, who was later hospitalized. None of the other guests came to his aid.

Youths attacked an Arab cleaning man working for the city of Tel Aviv as he was emptying garbage cans. They broke a bottle over his head. The man, covered with blood, asked them why they were doing this to him. “Because you’re an Arab,” they shouted.

Such attacks have become commonplace in Israel, but it isn’t Jewish soldiers beating Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. The attacks have nothing to do with militant settlers or an autonomous Palestine, although these conflicts are always at the back of people’s minds.


The police action was the latest violent crackdown by the government against a growing protest movement challenging plans to replace a park in Taksim Square, Istanbul’s equivalent of Cairo’s Tahrir Square, with a replica Ottoman-era army barracks that would house a shopping mall.

But while the removal of the park, which is filled with sycamore trees and is the last significant green space in the center of Istanbul, set off the protests at the beginning of the week, the gatherings have broadened into a wider expression of anger against the heavy-handed tactics and urban development plans of the government and its leader, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His party, now in power a decade, is increasingly viewed by many Turks as becoming authoritarian.



In building new mosques and emphasizing Turkey’s Islamic past over its Byzantine and Roman legacies, Mr. Erdogan has been referred to as a latter-day Ottoman sultan, with little regard for seeking public input on the projects. On Wednesday, the government held a groundbreaking ceremony for a third bridge over the Bosporus that is being named for an Ottoman sultan.

Police Attack Protesters in Istanbul’s Taksim Square”, New York Times, May 31, 2013

theatlantic:

Violence, Tear Gas Greet Protests to Save One of the Last Public Parks in Istanbul

On Monday, construction crews began to tear into one side of Gezi Park. Protesters managed to halt the work but were dispersed by tear-gas and pepper-spray-wielding police on Tuesday afternoon. Despite the increasingly harsh response — the Turkish police have been criticized by Amnesty International for their “use of excessive force” — the park-protection vigils have only continued to grow, from 50 people on Monday to an estimated 10,000 people on Thursday night.

Read more. [Images: Reuters]


Man kills himself inside Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris - BBC News

The man pulled out a shot-gun and shot himself through the mouth beside the main altar shortly after 16:00 (14:00 GMT).
He has been named as Dominique Venner, an award-winning far-right historian.
Mr Venner had recently been involved in the campaign against the government’s decision to legalise gay marriage.
…
Earlier on Tuesday, he had written on his blog a damning critique of the same-sex marriage bill.
"New spectacular and symbolic actions are needed to wake up the sleep walkers and shake the anaesthetised consciousness," he wrote.
"We are entering a time when acts must follow words."

Dominique Venner, le père de l’extrême droite moderne, s’est suicidé | Droite(s) extrême(s) | LeMonde.fr Blogs
Son acte semble vouloir s’inscrire dans cette logique du “sacrifice politique”, à en croire une lettre qu’il aurait laissé aujourd’hui à ses amis de Radio Courtoisie et qu’a lu un autre militant d’extrême droite, Bernard Lugan, à l’antenne, juste après l’annonce de sa mort. “Je me sens le devoir d’agir tant que j’en ai encore la force. Je crois nécessaire de me sacrifier pour rompre la léthargie qui nous accable. Je choisis un lieu hautement symbolique.. que je respecte et j’admire. Mon geste incarne une éthique de la volonté. Je me donne la mort pour réveiller les consciences assoupies. Alors que je défends l’identité de tous les peuples chez eux, je m’insurge contre le crime visant au remplacement de nos populations." Comprendre l’immigration.
Dominique Venner a également publié un ultime post de blog intitulé “la manif du 26 mai et Heidegger”, où il explique que les manifestants anti-mariage gay ne peuvent ignorer “la réalité de l’immigration afro-maghrébine”. “Leur combat ne peut se limiter au refus du mariage gay”, indique-t-il.

Man kills himself inside Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris - BBC News

The man pulled out a shot-gun and shot himself through the mouth beside the main altar shortly after 16:00 (14:00 GMT).

He has been named as Dominique Venner, an award-winning far-right historian.

Mr Venner had recently been involved in the campaign against the government’s decision to legalise gay marriage.

Earlier on Tuesday, he had written on his blog a damning critique of the same-sex marriage bill.

"New spectacular and symbolic actions are needed to wake up the sleep walkers and shake the anaesthetised consciousness," he wrote.

"We are entering a time when acts must follow words."

Dominique Venner, le père de l’extrême droite moderne, s’est suicidé | Droite(s) extrême(s) | LeMonde.fr Blogs

Son acte semble vouloir s’inscrire dans cette logique du “sacrifice politique”, à en croire une lettre qu’il aurait laissé aujourd’hui à ses amis de Radio Courtoisie et qu’a lu un autre militant d’extrême droite, Bernard Lugan, à l’antenne, juste après l’annonce de sa mort. “Je me sens le devoir d’agir tant que j’en ai encore la force. Je crois nécessaire de me sacrifier pour rompre la léthargie qui nous accable. Je choisis un lieu hautement symbolique.. que je respecte et j’admire. Mon geste incarne une éthique de la volonté. Je me donne la mort pour réveiller les consciences assoupies. Alors que je défends l’identité de tous les peuples chez eux, je m’insurge contre le crime visant au remplacement de nos populations." Comprendre l’immigration.

Dominique Venner a également publié un ultime post de blog intitulé “la manif du 26 mai et Heidegger”, où il explique que les manifestants anti-mariage gay ne peuvent ignorer “la réalité de l’immigration afro-maghrébine”. “Leur combat ne peut se limiter au refus du mariage gay”, indique-t-il.


Claude Lévêque, Untitled [Arbeit Macht Frei] (1992)
Bangladesh garment disaster death toll crosses 800 | Associated Press
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Dozens of bodies recovered Wednesday from a collapsed garment factory building were so decomposed they were being sent to a lab for DNA identification, police said, as the death toll from Bangladesh’s worst industrial disaster topped 800.
Following protests, authorities also began disbursing salaries and other benefits to survivors of the collapse.
Police said 803 bodies had been recovered from the wreckage of the eight-story Rana Plaza building by late afternoon and more were expected as salvage work continued two weeks after the April 24 collapse.
There is no clear indication of how many bodies still remain trapped in the debris because the exact number of people inside the building at the time of the collapse is unknown. More than 2,500 people were rescued alive.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association earlier said 3,122 workers were employed at the five factories housed in the building, but it was not clear how many were there during the packed morning shift when it collapsed.

Claude Lévêque, Untitled [Arbeit Macht Frei] (1992)

Bangladesh garment disaster death toll crosses 800 | Associated Press

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Dozens of bodies recovered Wednesday from a collapsed garment factory building were so decomposed they were being sent to a lab for DNA identification, police said, as the death toll from Bangladesh’s worst industrial disaster topped 800.

Following protests, authorities also began disbursing salaries and other benefits to survivors of the collapse.

Police said 803 bodies had been recovered from the wreckage of the eight-story Rana Plaza building by late afternoon and more were expected as salvage work continued two weeks after the April 24 collapse.

There is no clear indication of how many bodies still remain trapped in the debris because the exact number of people inside the building at the time of the collapse is unknown. More than 2,500 people were rescued alive.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association earlier said 3,122 workers were employed at the five factories housed in the building, but it was not clear how many were there during the packed morning shift when it collapsed.


nprfreshair:

Elizabeth Cline tells Terry Gross about how the competitive edge for Bangladesh in the garment manufacturing business is simply its low labor costs:

There is no other reason why a company would be doing business there. These deaths are happening because they are trying to step into the shoes of China. The cost of labor, the costs are going up in China and fashion companies are trying to maintain their margins and trying to maintain their cheap prices, so they want Bangladesh to do what China was doing. But Bangladesh can’t do that.

Image via ecoterre

nprfreshair:

Elizabeth Cline tells Terry Gross about how the competitive edge for Bangladesh in the garment manufacturing business is simply its low labor costs:

There is no other reason why a company would be doing business there. These deaths are happening because they are trying to step into the shoes of China. The cost of labor, the costs are going up in China and fashion companies are trying to maintain their margins and trying to maintain their cheap prices, so they want Bangladesh to do what China was doing. But Bangladesh can’t do that.

Image via ecoterre


Rescuers comb Bangladesh rubble for second night, 251 dead | Reuters

OK we figured out what went wrong. There was a bug in how implemented the factory pattern and it appears that that caused the hardware to crash. We fixed the code so try compiling it, it should be working now. We may have to tweak the worker class object but that’s going to take time. I’ve put it on my Evernote TODO list. Hey by the way have you played Dwarf Fortress? It’s such an awesome game. I love how they would go into tantrum spirals and start killing each other. lol.


(Mon, Mar 25, 2013 10:52 AM EDT)

There’s no doubt that housing is recovering. Existing home sales —which account for the bulk of the market—have topped year-ago levels for 20 months in a row and existing home prices have bested year-ago levels for 12 consecutive months. In addition, inventories of those homes have dropped to a 4.7 month supply — far below the more normal 6 months.

But unlike past housing recoveries, this one is heavily supported by investors — big and small. They account for about a third of home purchases in the existing housing market, according to the National Association of Realtors .

While these investor purchases are boosting the housing market they are also creating more risks because investors are not necessarily in the market for the long-run as the typical individual home owner usually is.

What happens when these investment firms leave the market?

“That’s a huge risk,” says The Daily Ticker’s Aaron Task. “If they decide…they don’t really want to be in this business all of a sudden you could have a ton of new homes coming back into the market and then that supply situation will get flipped very badly against the market itself.”

Former Budget Director and current deficit hawk David Stockman calls this Housing Bubble part two.


reuters:

Joseph Keller doesn’t expect he’ll live to see the end of 2013. He blames the house at 190 Avondale Avenue.
Five years ago, Keller, 10 months behind on his mortgage payments, received notice of a foreclosure judgment from JP Morgan Chase. In a few weeks, the bank said, his three-story house with gray vinyl siding in Columbus, Ohio, would be put up for auction at a sheriff’s sale.
The 58-year-old former social worker and his wife, Jennifer, packed up their home of 13 years and moved in with their daughter. Joseph thought he would never have anything to do with the house again. And for about a year, he didn’t.
Then it started to stalk him.
First, in 2010, the county sued Keller because the house, already picked clean by scavengers, was in a shambles, its hanging gutters and collapsed garage in violation of local housing code. Then the tax collector started sending Keller notices about mounting back taxes, sewer fees and bills for weed and waste removal. And last year, Chase’s debt collector began pressing Keller to pay his mortgage, which had swollen, with penalties and fees, from $62,100.27 to $84,194.69.
The worst news came last January, when the Social Security Administration rejected Keller’s application for disability benefits; the “asset” on Avondale Avenue rendered him ineligible. Keller’s medical problems include advanced liver disease, hepatitis C and inactive tuberculosis. Without disability coverage, he can’t get the liver transplant he needs to stay alive.
“I can’t make it end,” says Keller. “This house, I can’t get out.”
SPECIAL REPORT: The latest foreclosure horror: the zombie title

reuters:

Joseph Keller doesn’t expect he’ll live to see the end of 2013. He blames the house at 190 Avondale Avenue.

Five years ago, Keller, 10 months behind on his mortgage payments, received notice of a foreclosure judgment from JP Morgan Chase. In a few weeks, the bank said, his three-story house with gray vinyl siding in Columbus, Ohio, would be put up for auction at a sheriff’s sale.

The 58-year-old former social worker and his wife, Jennifer, packed up their home of 13 years and moved in with their daughter. Joseph thought he would never have anything to do with the house again. And for about a year, he didn’t.

Then it started to stalk him.

First, in 2010, the county sued Keller because the house, already picked clean by scavengers, was in a shambles, its hanging gutters and collapsed garage in violation of local housing code. Then the tax collector started sending Keller notices about mounting back taxes, sewer fees and bills for weed and waste removal. And last year, Chase’s debt collector began pressing Keller to pay his mortgage, which had swollen, with penalties and fees, from $62,100.27 to $84,194.69.

The worst news came last January, when the Social Security Administration rejected Keller’s application for disability benefits; the “asset” on Avondale Avenue rendered him ineligible. Keller’s medical problems include advanced liver disease, hepatitis C and inactive tuberculosis. Without disability coverage, he can’t get the liver transplant he needs to stay alive.

“I can’t make it end,” says Keller. “This house, I can’t get out.”

SPECIAL REPORT: The latest foreclosure horror: the zombie title


“We’ve had it backward for the last 30 years,” he said. “Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Rather they are a consequence of an ecosystemic feedback loop animated by middle-class consumers, and when they thrive, businesses grow and hire, and owners profit. That’s why taxing the rich to pay for investments that benefit all is a great deal for both the middle class and the rich.”

You can’t find that speech online. TED officials told Hanauer initially they were eager to distribute it. “I want to put this talk out into the world!” one of them wrote him in an e-mail in late April. But early this month they changed course, telling Hanauer that his remarks were too “political” and too controversial for posting.

Other TED talks posted online veer sharply into controversial and political territory, including NASA scientist James Hansen comparing climate change to an asteroid barreling toward Earth, and philanthropist Melinda Gates pushing for more access to contraception in the developing world.


TOKYO — Canon Inc. is moving toward fully automating digital camera production in an effort to cut costs — a key change being played out across Japan, a world leader in robotics.

If successful, counting on machines can help preserve this nation’s technological power — not the stereotype of machines snatching assembly line jobs from workers, Jun Misumi — company spokesman, said Monday.


While “Death of a Salesman” has consolidated its prestige as an exposure of middle-class delusions, the American middle class — as a social reality and a set of admirable values — has nearly ceased to exist.

Certainly few middle-class people, or at least anyone from any “middle class” that Loman would recognize, are among the audiences attending this production. What was once a middle-class entertainment has become a luxury item. Tickets for the original run, in 1949, cost between $1.80 and $4.80; tickets for the 2012 run range from $111 to $840. After adjusting for inflation, that’s a 10-fold increase, well beyond the reach of today’s putative Willy Lomans.

Then again, in 1949, the top marginal tax rate was 82 percent. The drop in that rate to 28 percent by 1988 helped create a stratum of people who could afford to pay high prices for everything from inflated theater tickets to health care and college tuition.