RSSCategory: Uncategorized

Immune corporate persons

June 10, 2014 | By | 9 Replies More

Excellent discussion of corporate immunity, including mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses:

Following the 2011 and 2013 Supreme Court rulings, dozens of other giant corporations—from Comcast and Wells Fargo to Ticketmaster and Dropbox—have secured the same legal immunity. So have companies ranging from airlines, gyms, payday lenders, and nursing homes, which have quietly rewritten the fine print of their contracts with consumers to include a shield from lawsuits and class actions. Meanwhile, businesses including Goldman Sachs, Northrop Grumman, P. F. Chang’s, and Uber have tucked similar clauses into their contracts with workers.

Hastily clicking through terms of service is now all it can take to surrender your rights to these companies. Once you do, your only path for recourse if you’re harmed by any one of them is “mandatory arbitration,” where the arbitrator is often chosen by the corporation you’re challenging, and any revelations about the company’s wrongdoing tend to be kept secret. Rather than band together under the light of the public courtroom, each individual has to work through the darkness of a private tribunal, alone, where arbitrators can interpret laws however they wish. Certain inalienable rights, the Court has ruled, are actually kind of alienable.

Share

Read More

Downtown Cleveland

June 3, 2014 | By | Reply More

I’m in Cleveland tonight, preparing for a deposition tomorrow, but not before taking a long walk to see some of the sights. BTW, “Cleveland” was named after General Moses Cleaveland. IMG_2160 Clevelan

 

IMG_2211 Clevelan

IMG_2182 Clevelan

IMG_2200 Clevelan

Share

Read More

On communicating science

March 11, 2014 | By | Reply More

Excellent TED talk by Sheril Kirshenbaum on the need to engage the public on matters of science, especially in the political arena. This is a critical need, and time is running out.

Share

Read More

We’re in the Age of the Anthropocene

February 28, 2014 | By | Reply More

People are now in charge of the Earth and we are destroying it. Robert Krulwich writes that Planet Earth is Under New Management. We are no longer in the age of the Holocene.

Earth is being dramatically changed, and the changer, this time, is us: humankind (“anthro” in the Greek). “We are no longer in the Holocene,” he told the group. “We are in the Anthropocene.” It’s a coinage he may have borrowed from biologist Eugene Stoermer, but here’s the logic: The Earth is no longer being shaped mainly by natural forces, forces that operate on their own with a logic of their own. Our little blue dot is now, increasingly, sculpted by one of its inhabitants. This is our planet now. We’ve taken over.

Share

Read More

Creationist questions translated

February 9, 2014 | By | Reply More

Following the so-called debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, many of Ham’s creationist followers wrote out questions to prove their case. This page a Imgur translates those questions for those who might be perplexed that they are being asked.

Share

Read More

DI tech problem solved

August 22, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More

After five frustrating days, and with the help of a really smart consultant, I’ve figured out the problem at this site. I was unable to post without mangling the home page. That, combined with problems getting my backup service to perform a bona fide restore, caused me to put the site on hold.

I’m looking forward to posting again . . .

Share

Read More

Helen Keller speaks

May 23, 2013 | By | 2 Replies More

What a cool video — I had never before seen a video of Helen Keller, much less one where she speaks.

Share

Read More

Drones for hire

April 6, 2013 | By | Reply More

If you need drones, we’ve got drones. Apparently, this shoudl be our new national motto, according to this NYT article:

“Mr. Muhammad and his followers had been killed by the C.I.A., the first time it had deployed a Predator drone in Pakistan to carry out a “targeted killing.” The target was not a top operative of Al Qaeda, but a Pakistani ally of the Taliban who led a tribal rebellion and was marked by Pakistan as an enemy of the state. In a secret deal, the C.I.A. had agreed to kill him in exchange for access to airspace it had long sought so it could use drones to hunt down its own enemies.”

Share

Read More

Quality versus quantity of heartbeats

March 1, 2013 | By | Reply More
Quality versus quantity of heartbeats

In this thoughtful article at Pro-publica, Charles Ornstein discusses our need to come to grips with end of life decisions:

[T]he high cost of end-of-life care is an issue worthy of discussion. About a quarter of Medicare payments are spent in the last year of life, according to recent estimates. And the degree of care provided to patients in that last year — how many doctors they see, the number of intensive-care hospitalizations — varies dramatically across states and even within states, according to the authoritative Dartmouth Atlas. Studies show that this care is often futile. It doesn’t always prolong lives, and it doesn’t always reflect what patients want.

Share

Read More