So I’ve spent the past week visiting friends back in Ft. Walton Beach where I used to live. Now I’m home in the frigid, snow-covered wasteland we call Durham. Even so, I’m glad to be back, but I’m not focused enough to post about my trip yet. So, some political links!
The FCC authorizes a couple of cities to launch their own broadband network despite state laws against it (and complaints from dissenting commissioners that this destroys capitalism!). It’s a ruling of limited effect, though, as other cities covered by the laws will have to petition the FCC for permission. Still, better than the alternative.
•The FCC has also signed off on net neutrality, though there are some questions about what the final rule will look like. Consumerist looks at the fallout.
•Morgan Stanley has settled a Justice Department investigation into whether the bank sold securities backed by unsound mortgages. A number of right-wingers have insisted that the fault lies in the federal government forcing banks to issue mortgages to poor non-white people who can’t afford to pay them off. But shit like securitizing the mortgages clearly has nothing to do with anything but banks’ yen for profit.
•Privacy rights advocates call for an investigation into Samsung’s smart TVs and their voice recognition technology.
•Cereal sales are generally down, and Kellogg in particularly has lost its luster. Though I’ve seen enough companies written off, then recover, not to count Battle Creek out yet.
•Go, Denver! The article describes students walking out of school in protest of proposed new standards that would focus history classes on such topics as ““promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free-market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights” (OK, the last one sounds fine). No wonder one Fox news host thinks we should have no public schools at all.
•A Nevada lawmaker explains cancer is a fungus so kill it with fungicide and flush it out of your body!
•Idaho State Rep. Christie Perry says parents should have the right to take their children to faith healers and deny them conventional medical treatment. And if it’s a choice of conventional treatment or death, well, everyone dies eventually so what does it matter? And forcing parents to save their kids is an attack on Christianity. Unless they’re fetuses, apparently, because Perry is also pro-life, er at least that’s how she defines herself. If I were cynical I’d suggest it’s less any standard related to life and more to “what do right-wing Christians think parents should be allowed to do.”
•Meanwhile, Wisconsin state senator Glenn Grothman wants a bill that identifies unmarried parenthood as a cause of child abuse.
•So if a job applicant wears a hijab or a turban (for example) but doesn’t specify it’s for religious reasons, can the company reject them for violating the dress code? The Supreme Court discusses.
•Slacktivist once again discusses the problem of assuming that hardliners in a religion represent the purest, truest manifestation of the faith (links to early discussions in the post).
•Chicago police have maintained a black site where they can interrogate prisoners without reporting the arrest, notifying anyone or letting the prisoner contact a lawyer.
•Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker asserts that as he can stare down protesters opposed to his policies, he’d be the kind of commander-in-chief who could take down ISIS.
•The NCAA’s no-compensation rules for college athletes impose a burden other students don’t have (a music student can sell records or perform for pay, forinstance).