Featured Story

White Policeman Fired for not Killing Black Man with Gun

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
“I am not going to shoot you, brother.” In what world do those words being said by a police officer result in that officer being fired? You don’t have to go down the rabbit hole in search of a place where up is down, left is right, and war is peace. All you need do is go to Weirton, West Virginia. Police Officer Stephen Mader was fired from his job for not killing a Black man when he could have. He’s now in a battle that seems both absurd and highlights the absurdity of our times.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Inter-American Commission Takes U.S. Human Rights Abuse Case for First Time

    Friday, May 19, 2017
    The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has given the U.S. three months to respond to charges of abuse of human rights, from the family of a San Diego man who was beaten to death by Border Patrol agents in 2010. It is the first time the commission has taken up a claim for extrajudicial killing, torture and obstruction of justice in the U.S. Border watchers consider it a major test of the Trump administration’s stand on immigration, crime and law enforcement.   read more
  • Director of the Selective Service System: Who Is Don Benton?

    Thursday, May 18, 2017
    Don Benton, a former Washington state senator, chaired Trump’s presidential campaign in the Pacific Northwest. Trump first rewarded Benton with a job in the EPA, but he quickly wore out his welcome. So in April 2017, with little fanfare, Trump made Benton, whose company sells sales motivation programs but who never served in the military, director of the Selective Service System. Like Trump, Benton has a talent for sucking money out of campaigns--including Trump's--and into his businesses.   read more
  • Director of the International Trade Administration: Who Is Gil Kaplan?

    Wednesday, May 17, 2017
    Kaplan wrote in a 2010 article that the U.S. should block Chinese-made computers as long as Beijing prohibits U.S. websites such as Google and YouTube from operating there. During the 2016 presidential campaign Kaplan supported “pausing all international trade negotiations for one year, while the U.S. undertakes a top-to-bottom review of the effect of international trade agreements on U.S. manufacturing,” as well as promoting “Made in America” purchases by the Dept of Defense.   read more

Unusual News

  • Illegal to Talk about Yellow Traffic Lights in Oregon

    Sunday, April 30, 2017
    Jarlstrom sued the Portland suburb, claiming it programmed its yellow lights to be so brief that drivers didn’t have time to make it through an intersection before they turned red, putting drivers in danger. After the judge tossed his suit, a state agency launched a two-year investigation of Jarlstrom, then fined him $500 for publicly critiquing the mathematical formulas behind traffic light cameras without an engineering license. Jarlstrom calls that a prohibition on free speech.   read more
  • In Small Louisiana Town, Hundreds Routinely Jailed with No Evidence of Crime beyond a “Hunch”

    Friday, December 30, 2016
    A "staggering" number of town residents have been arrested based on a “hunch” or “feeling” that they were involved in criminal activity. Police strip-searched individuals suspected of committing crimes, placed them in cells without beds, toilets, or showers, and denied them communication with loved ones for days at a time. Citizens were “commonly detained for 72 hours or more without being provided an opportunity to contest their arrest and detention,” said the Justice Department report.   read more
  • Workplace Deaths in 2015 Hit 6-Year High

    Sunday, December 25, 2016
    There were 2,054 transportation-related episodes that resulted in fatalities, accounting for about 42 percent of all workplace deaths. As a result, 745 drivers of heavy and tractor-trailer trucks died because of injuries at work last year, more than any other major civilian occupation. Falls, slips and trips made up the next most common major cause of workplace fatalities, resulting in 800 deaths last year. Men accounted for all but 7 percent of the total workplace deaths in 2015.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • 4 Programs that Both Obama and Trump Want to Eliminate

    Monday, May 01, 2017
    It sometimes seems that the differences between the priorities of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are so great that they can’t agree on anything. Not so. Here are four programs that President Barack Obama’s last budget and President Donald Trump’s first budget proposed for complete elimination.   read more
  • Reducing Aircrafts’ Bathroom Size Increases Airline Profits and Decreases Passenger Safety

    Saturday, December 24, 2016
    AFA-CWA's Sara Nelson said that “doors of these restrooms open into each other, creating safety issues. There are a lot of injuries, with smashed fingers, doors hitting people, bumps and bruises.” She said the rear cabin restroom doors also create a barricade, limiting the ability of crew to help a passenger in trouble. Some parents with small kids say they can't help their kids in the toilet unless the door stays open. Large-size passengers are at a loss.   read more
  • Price of Antidote for Heroin Overdose Skyrockets as Much As 500%

    Friday, December 16, 2016
    The price of Narcan -- the lifesaving heroin-overdose antidote that revives the dying -- has skyrocketed, with one formulation rising more than 500% in two years. Although Narcan first hit the market in 1971, demand has skyrocketed as the opioid epidemic worsens. And with more potent opioids on the street -- such as fentanyl -- first responders, the largest consumers of the drug, are finding they need multiple doses to revive overdose victims.   read more

Controversies

  • Bears Under Fire in Florida

    Friday, April 21, 2017
    “2015 was a deadly year for the Florida black bear. Collisions with vehicles killed at least 169 ... wildlife managers killed at least 108...that were considered nuisances or threats to human safety, at least 9 were killed illegally, and in October hunters killed at least 304 Florida black bears in the first Florida black bear hunt in 20 years,” the petition stated. The 2016 hunt was “voted down due to overwhelming public outcry against the barbaric and unnecessary hunt,” said an advocacy group.   read more
  • 97 Corporations and 16 State Attorneys General Join Court Fight against Trump Travel Ban

    Tuesday, February 07, 2017
    “President Trump’s executive order is unconstitutional, unlawful, and fundamentally un-American...[and] undermines our states’ families, economies, and institutions," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. High-ranking U.S. security officials, including Madeleine Albright, Leon Panetta and John Kerry signed a declaration arguing the ban endangers U.S. citizens. “We view the order as one that ultimately undermines the national security of the United States...” the officials said.   read more
  • Texas Judge Halts Federal Transgender Health Protections

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    "Judge O'Connor's conclusion that transgender people and persons who have had abortions are somehow excepted from protection is deeply troubling, legally specious, and morally repugnant," said TLDEF's Ezra Young. Many transgender people expect Trump as president to abandon or weaken the transgender protection efforts pursued by the Obama administration. He has declined to repudiate a divisive North Carolina law that restricts transgender people's bathroom access.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Which Countries have been Killing Americans? The Trump 7 vs. the Rest of the World

    Sunday, January 29, 2017
    These are the seven countries from which President Donald Trump halted entry to the United States: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Including all terrorist acts committed by terrorists who were foreign-born or whose parents were born abroad, the total number of Americans killed by terrorists from the Trump 7 is…zero. On the other hand, terrorists from other countries have killed 2, 689 Americans. Here are some examples.   read more
  • Trump Proceeds with Development of Luxury Resorts Tied to Powerful Indonesian Political Figures

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    Even as Trump says he'll end foreign business deals, he's taking on projects involving powerful political figures. They include a politician accused of trying to extort billions of dollars from a U.S. mining company, a top shareholder in that company, and a billionaire running for national office. “You could have two world leaders that are business partners,” said a Bush lawyer. “It makes it almost impossible to conduct diplomacy in an evenhanded manner." Said Trump: "It's not a big deal."   read more
  • U.S. Program to seize Assets Stolen by Corrupt Foreign Leaders May be undermined by Trump’s Global Business Interests

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    It's been a 6-year U.S. effort to seize $3 billion in assets of foreign officials who use their countries’ wealth to enrich themselves. If Trump doesn't separate his business from politics, it will be tougher for the Justice Dept to criticize foreign leaders who have gained wealth based on their government ties. "It reduces U.S. leverage because of the perceived hypocrisy. The moral case is drastically undermined,” said prof. Stephenson.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Assistant Secretary of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration: Who Is Elinore McCance-Katz?

    Friday, May 19, 2017
    The appointment of McCance-Katz by President Trump drew criticism from Republican Rep. Tim Murphy: “While she was serving at SAMHSA, there were questionable hiring practices...an anti-medical approach to serious mental illness and substance abuse treatment and...the continued upward rise of suicide and substance abuse deaths.” McCance-Katz praised Trump’s election in a November article for National Review, calling it “an exciting turn of events for people afflicted with mental illness.”   read more
  • Chairman of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board: Who Is Sean Sullivan?

    Friday, May 12, 2017
    A former U.S. naval officer who worked on nuclear-powered submarines, Sullivan began his political career in 2008, running as a Republican for an Eastern Connecticut congressional seat. He called for an end to the Iraq War, but opposed setting a date for U.S. troop withdrawal. He also called for increased spending for renewable energy and nuclear power. He later ran for state senate, calling for budget cuts and privatizing some social service programs, but lost to 84-year-old Edith Prague.   read more
  • Commissioner of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service: Who Is Sheryl Morrow?

    Sunday, April 30, 2017
    From 2007 to 2010, Morrow served as FMS assistant commissioner of federal finance, responsible for managing nearly $3.2 trillion in annual federal revenue collections. From 2010 to 2012, she served as FMS assistant commissioner of payment management and chief disbursing officer, responsible for more than 1.2 billion payments each year, including tax refunds and Social Security, veterans’ benefits, railroad retirement, and civil service retirement payments.   read more

Featured Story

White Policeman Fired for not Killing Black Man with Gun

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
“I am not going to shoot you, brother.” In what world do those words being said by a police officer result in that officer being fired? You don’t have to go down the rabbit hole in search of a place where up is down, left is right, and war is peace. All you need do is go to Weirton, West Virginia. Police Officer Stephen Mader was fired from his job for not killing a Black man when he could have. He’s now in a battle that seems both absurd and highlights the absurdity of our times.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Inter-American Commission Takes U.S. Human Rights Abuse Case for First Time

    Friday, May 19, 2017
    The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has given the U.S. three months to respond to charges of abuse of human rights, from the family of a San Diego man who was beaten to death by Border Patrol agents in 2010. It is the first time the commission has taken up a claim for extrajudicial killing, torture and obstruction of justice in the U.S. Border watchers consider it a major test of the Trump administration’s stand on immigration, crime and law enforcement.   read more
  • Director of the Selective Service System: Who Is Don Benton?

    Thursday, May 18, 2017
    Don Benton, a former Washington state senator, chaired Trump’s presidential campaign in the Pacific Northwest. Trump first rewarded Benton with a job in the EPA, but he quickly wore out his welcome. So in April 2017, with little fanfare, Trump made Benton, whose company sells sales motivation programs but who never served in the military, director of the Selective Service System. Like Trump, Benton has a talent for sucking money out of campaigns--including Trump's--and into his businesses.   read more
  • Director of the International Trade Administration: Who Is Gil Kaplan?

    Wednesday, May 17, 2017
    Kaplan wrote in a 2010 article that the U.S. should block Chinese-made computers as long as Beijing prohibits U.S. websites such as Google and YouTube from operating there. During the 2016 presidential campaign Kaplan supported “pausing all international trade negotiations for one year, while the U.S. undertakes a top-to-bottom review of the effect of international trade agreements on U.S. manufacturing,” as well as promoting “Made in America” purchases by the Dept of Defense.   read more

Unusual News

  • Illegal to Talk about Yellow Traffic Lights in Oregon

    Sunday, April 30, 2017
    Jarlstrom sued the Portland suburb, claiming it programmed its yellow lights to be so brief that drivers didn’t have time to make it through an intersection before they turned red, putting drivers in danger. After the judge tossed his suit, a state agency launched a two-year investigation of Jarlstrom, then fined him $500 for publicly critiquing the mathematical formulas behind traffic light cameras without an engineering license. Jarlstrom calls that a prohibition on free speech.   read more
  • In Small Louisiana Town, Hundreds Routinely Jailed with No Evidence of Crime beyond a “Hunch”

    Friday, December 30, 2016
    A "staggering" number of town residents have been arrested based on a “hunch” or “feeling” that they were involved in criminal activity. Police strip-searched individuals suspected of committing crimes, placed them in cells without beds, toilets, or showers, and denied them communication with loved ones for days at a time. Citizens were “commonly detained for 72 hours or more without being provided an opportunity to contest their arrest and detention,” said the Justice Department report.   read more
  • Workplace Deaths in 2015 Hit 6-Year High

    Sunday, December 25, 2016
    There were 2,054 transportation-related episodes that resulted in fatalities, accounting for about 42 percent of all workplace deaths. As a result, 745 drivers of heavy and tractor-trailer trucks died because of injuries at work last year, more than any other major civilian occupation. Falls, slips and trips made up the next most common major cause of workplace fatalities, resulting in 800 deaths last year. Men accounted for all but 7 percent of the total workplace deaths in 2015.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • 4 Programs that Both Obama and Trump Want to Eliminate

    Monday, May 01, 2017
    It sometimes seems that the differences between the priorities of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are so great that they can’t agree on anything. Not so. Here are four programs that President Barack Obama’s last budget and President Donald Trump’s first budget proposed for complete elimination.   read more
  • Reducing Aircrafts’ Bathroom Size Increases Airline Profits and Decreases Passenger Safety

    Saturday, December 24, 2016
    AFA-CWA's Sara Nelson said that “doors of these restrooms open into each other, creating safety issues. There are a lot of injuries, with smashed fingers, doors hitting people, bumps and bruises.” She said the rear cabin restroom doors also create a barricade, limiting the ability of crew to help a passenger in trouble. Some parents with small kids say they can't help their kids in the toilet unless the door stays open. Large-size passengers are at a loss.   read more
  • Price of Antidote for Heroin Overdose Skyrockets as Much As 500%

    Friday, December 16, 2016
    The price of Narcan -- the lifesaving heroin-overdose antidote that revives the dying -- has skyrocketed, with one formulation rising more than 500% in two years. Although Narcan first hit the market in 1971, demand has skyrocketed as the opioid epidemic worsens. And with more potent opioids on the street -- such as fentanyl -- first responders, the largest consumers of the drug, are finding they need multiple doses to revive overdose victims.   read more

Controversies

  • Bears Under Fire in Florida

    Friday, April 21, 2017
    “2015 was a deadly year for the Florida black bear. Collisions with vehicles killed at least 169 ... wildlife managers killed at least 108...that were considered nuisances or threats to human safety, at least 9 were killed illegally, and in October hunters killed at least 304 Florida black bears in the first Florida black bear hunt in 20 years,” the petition stated. The 2016 hunt was “voted down due to overwhelming public outcry against the barbaric and unnecessary hunt,” said an advocacy group.   read more
  • 97 Corporations and 16 State Attorneys General Join Court Fight against Trump Travel Ban

    Tuesday, February 07, 2017
    “President Trump’s executive order is unconstitutional, unlawful, and fundamentally un-American...[and] undermines our states’ families, economies, and institutions," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. High-ranking U.S. security officials, including Madeleine Albright, Leon Panetta and John Kerry signed a declaration arguing the ban endangers U.S. citizens. “We view the order as one that ultimately undermines the national security of the United States...” the officials said.   read more
  • Texas Judge Halts Federal Transgender Health Protections

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    "Judge O'Connor's conclusion that transgender people and persons who have had abortions are somehow excepted from protection is deeply troubling, legally specious, and morally repugnant," said TLDEF's Ezra Young. Many transgender people expect Trump as president to abandon or weaken the transgender protection efforts pursued by the Obama administration. He has declined to repudiate a divisive North Carolina law that restricts transgender people's bathroom access.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Which Countries have been Killing Americans? The Trump 7 vs. the Rest of the World

    Sunday, January 29, 2017
    These are the seven countries from which President Donald Trump halted entry to the United States: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Including all terrorist acts committed by terrorists who were foreign-born or whose parents were born abroad, the total number of Americans killed by terrorists from the Trump 7 is…zero. On the other hand, terrorists from other countries have killed 2, 689 Americans. Here are some examples.   read more
  • Trump Proceeds with Development of Luxury Resorts Tied to Powerful Indonesian Political Figures

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    Even as Trump says he'll end foreign business deals, he's taking on projects involving powerful political figures. They include a politician accused of trying to extort billions of dollars from a U.S. mining company, a top shareholder in that company, and a billionaire running for national office. “You could have two world leaders that are business partners,” said a Bush lawyer. “It makes it almost impossible to conduct diplomacy in an evenhanded manner." Said Trump: "It's not a big deal."   read more
  • U.S. Program to seize Assets Stolen by Corrupt Foreign Leaders May be undermined by Trump’s Global Business Interests

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    It's been a 6-year U.S. effort to seize $3 billion in assets of foreign officials who use their countries’ wealth to enrich themselves. If Trump doesn't separate his business from politics, it will be tougher for the Justice Dept to criticize foreign leaders who have gained wealth based on their government ties. "It reduces U.S. leverage because of the perceived hypocrisy. The moral case is drastically undermined,” said prof. Stephenson.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Assistant Secretary of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration: Who Is Elinore McCance-Katz?

    Friday, May 19, 2017
    The appointment of McCance-Katz by President Trump drew criticism from Republican Rep. Tim Murphy: “While she was serving at SAMHSA, there were questionable hiring practices...an anti-medical approach to serious mental illness and substance abuse treatment and...the continued upward rise of suicide and substance abuse deaths.” McCance-Katz praised Trump’s election in a November article for National Review, calling it “an exciting turn of events for people afflicted with mental illness.”   read more
  • Chairman of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board: Who Is Sean Sullivan?

    Friday, May 12, 2017
    A former U.S. naval officer who worked on nuclear-powered submarines, Sullivan began his political career in 2008, running as a Republican for an Eastern Connecticut congressional seat. He called for an end to the Iraq War, but opposed setting a date for U.S. troop withdrawal. He also called for increased spending for renewable energy and nuclear power. He later ran for state senate, calling for budget cuts and privatizing some social service programs, but lost to 84-year-old Edith Prague.   read more
  • Commissioner of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service: Who Is Sheryl Morrow?

    Sunday, April 30, 2017
    From 2007 to 2010, Morrow served as FMS assistant commissioner of federal finance, responsible for managing nearly $3.2 trillion in annual federal revenue collections. From 2010 to 2012, she served as FMS assistant commissioner of payment management and chief disbursing officer, responsible for more than 1.2 billion payments each year, including tax refunds and Social Security, veterans’ benefits, railroad retirement, and civil service retirement payments.   read more