Serendipity SOUL | Saturday Open Thread | SUMMERTIME!

Enjoy your SUMMERTIME weekend!

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18 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Saturday Open Thread | SUMMERTIME!

  1. rikyrah says:

    Report: Edward Snowden A Hero To Russian TV Audiences

    Television programs broadcast on Russia’s two largest federal
    channels and “almost certainly produced under Kremlin orders” have made Edward Snowden into a hero for the Russian people, the New York Times reported Saturday.

    The programs, which aired Thursday, compared the source of the
    National Security Agency leaks to famous dissidents and spies such as Julius and Ethel Rosenburg, according to the Times. One program described Snowden as “a soldier of the information war, who fights, of course, on the side of Russia, or maybe the side of China.”[….]

  2. rikyrah says:

    Get Ready for More GOP Race Baiting

    by Michael Tomasky Jun 28, 2013 4:45 AM EDT
    Forget creating a big tent. Some Republicans want their party to simply try to win more white votes.

    You, unsuspecting citizen, probably take the view that the Republican Party is too white. It’s the conventional wisdom, after all, and last year’s election results would seem to have proven the point resoundingly. But you’re obviously not up with the newest thinking in some conservative quarters, which is that the party isn’t white enough, and that the true and only path to victory in the future is to get whiter still. Some disagree, which gives us the makings of a highly entertaining intra-GOP race war playing out as we head into 2016. But given this mad party’s recent history, which side would you bet on winning?

  3. rikyrah says:

    Gov. Bob McDonnell’s ex-chef seeks subpoena of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

    By The Associated Press
    June 28, 2013 – 09:52 pm

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Lawyers for the former chef for Virginia’s governor are asking a court to subpoena Virginia’s attorney general – who is also the Republican nominee for governor – to testify in the chef’s pending criminal theft case.

    A motion filed in Richmond Circuit Court on Friday seeks a judge’s permission to issue subpoenas to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and one of his top lieutenants, Patrick Dorgan.

    Cuccinelli’s office was prosecuting the case against fired mansion chef Todd Schneider before stepping aside earlier this year, citing a conflict of interest. The court appointed Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Gregory Underwood to take over as special prosecutor.

    The surprise subpoena request by defense attorney Steven D. Benjamin amplifies a politically explosive case.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Who Helped Snowden Steal State Secrets?

    …My question would be, then: Was he alone in this enterprise to misappropriate communications intelligence?

    Before taking the job in Hawaii, Mr. Snowden was in contact with people who would later help arrange the publication of the material he purloined. Two of these individuals, filmmaker Laura Poitras and Guardian blogger Glenn Greenwald, were on the Board of the Freedom of the Press Foundation that, among other things, funds WikiLeaks.

    In January 2013, according to the Washington Post, Mr. Snowden requested that Ms. Poitras get an encryption key for Skype so that they could have a secure channel over which to communicate.

    In February, he made a similar request to Mr. Greenwald, providing him with a step-by-step video on how to set up encrypted communications…

  5. rikyrah says:

    Nelson Mandela wrote a will on a single sheet of A4 paper asking to be buried in his ancestral homeland

    Anti-apartheid leader drew up will in 1996 while still serving as president
    Question of where he is to be buried has sparked a bitter family feud
    Obamas due to meet with Mr Mandela’s family members today

    By Daniel Miller

    PUBLISHED: 03:31 EST, 29 June 2013 | UPDATED: 04:46 EST, 29 June 2013

    Nelson Mandela wrote a will on a single sheet of A4 paper in which he asked to be buried on a remote hillside in his ancestral home of Qunu, it has emerged.

    The former South African president, 94, remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital in Pretoria where he has spent the last 21 days being treated for a lung infection.

    In January 1996, while still serving as president, Mr Mandela reportedly drew up a rudimentary will in which he asked for a simple burial close to the village where he grew up on the Eastern cape.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  6. rikyrah says:

    Pelosi summons Dem leaders to brainstorm on voting rights
    By Mike Lillis – 06/29/13 06:00 AM ET

    The lawmakers gathered in Pelosi’s office outlined a legislative strategy that will feature outreach to sympathetic Republicans.

    House Democratic leaders met Friday to brainstorm ways to restore the Voting Rights Act following the Supreme Court decision that voided the law’s central provisions.

    Assembled in the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the lawmakers reached no conclusions about a specific fix, according to sources familiar with the talks, though they outlined a legislative strategy that features outreach to Republicans sympathetic to their cause.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Mission of Mercy brings dental care to those in need

    [….]Mission of Mercy is in its fifth year and offers free dental care to
    anyone who needs it; organizers estimate that by the time the event
    concludes Saturday, 2,000 patients will have received $1 million in free dental care. By 8 a.m. Friday, they had passed out wrist bands to 634 people and the line was still wrapped around the side of the building.

    This year’s event happened to coincide with the release of the Pew Charitable Trust’s new report that named Wisconsin as having the nation’s second worst track record for providing dental care for low-income children. Florida is the worst. According to the report, 71.5% of Medicaid-enrolled children in Wisconsin did not see a dentist in 2011.[….]

  8. rikyrah says:

    A New Way to Cut Bad Cholesterol

    To prevent cloudiness and sedimentation, food processors typically remove a compound called phytosterol from cooking oils, which is unfortunate because the substance is proven to reduce cholesterol—particularly the bad (LDL) cholesterol associated with heart disease.

    A decade ago, Brandeis University scientists found a way to put this
    naturally occurring substance into fats, a technology subsequently
    licensed for food products such as butter substitutes. Now, after years
    of research, one of these scientists has patented a new way to make
    phytosterol disperse (if not quite dissolve) in water, opening the door
    to its wider use in foods and beverages.

    People with major cholesterol problems will probably continue to rely
    on the class of medications known as statins. But according to the
    Brandeis scientist, Daniel Perlman, many others could achieve LDL
    reductions of 15% to 20%—a significant cut—by ingesting moderate doses of phytosterol in foods. (The human body can’t make much use of
    phytosterol in traditional supplement form, Mr. Perlman says, and it
    would be hard to eat enough of it in nuts and vegetables to make a big

  9. rikyrah says:

    Obama nominates Kenneth Polite to be top New Orleans federal prosecutor

    President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated New Orleans attorney Kenneth Polite to become the top federal prosecutor in New Orleans.

    Polite was recommended by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., in February, two months after the retirement of longtime U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. Letten moved out of the job after it was revealed two of his senior prosecutors had posted critical comments under assumed names on the website about targets of office probes. The misconduct disclosures brought an abrupt end to an expensive and lengthy bribery probe involving the operators of the River Birch Landfill.

    “Kenneth Polite’s legal career has been distinguished and impressive,” Obama said in a statement. “I am confident that, as a U.S. attorney, he will be relentless in his pursuit of justice and serve the people of Louisiana with distinction.”

    Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said Thursday that he backs the nomination and plans to sign the blue slip, allowing the Judiciary Committee to proceed with a confirmation hearing. But he expressed concern about Polite’s experience.

    “Ken is a bright young guy, and I wish him all the best in this very challenging time for that office,” Vitter said in a statement. “I remained concerned that that office really needs a more seasoned leader and supervisor to immediately stabilize it after its scandals, and that Ken’s focus on street crime will unintentionally take focus away from battling political corruption. I hope his service proves otherwise.”

    Polite, 37, currently works as a lawyer at Liskow and Lewis. He spent more than three years as a federal prosecutor in New York City, focused, he said, on organized crime and public corruption. Polite was born in New Orleans and graduated as valedictorian from De La Salle High School, where he attended on an academic scholarship, before attending Harvard University. His law degree is from Georgetown University Law Center.

    Landrieu heralded Polite as a New Orleans success story, noting that he was born at Charity Hospital and raised initially in two of the city’s housing developments before moving to the Lower 9th Ward.

  10. rikyrah says:

    92-Year-Old Rosanell Eaton And Others Explain Why They’ll Go To Jail Protesting Conservative Policies In North Carolina

    By Scott Keyes on Jun 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    RALEIGH, North Carolina — Over 3,000 people turned out this week for the growing Moral Monday movement in North Carolina, where faith leaders are organizing weekly protests against the state’s sharply-conservative policies that would hurt the poor, women, minorities, and the environment.

    Among the crowd were 120 people who were willing to face arrest in order to protest policies like school vouchers, voter ID, the expiration of unemployment benefits, and the Republicans’ rejection of federal money to expand Medicaid, which leaves half a million North Carolinians without health insurance.

    ThinkProgress spoke with some of the protestors before they took to the state legislative building in order to ask what drove them to come today and how did they feel knowing that they would be arrested soon. Here’s what they had to say:

    ROSANELL EATON: (Relayed by her daughter Armenta while Rosanell rested her voice) “What brought her out was the possibility of requiring voter ID. She was required when she was 21 years old to repeat the preamble to the Constitution in order to register. She did it! She didn’t even know she had to do it, she was just smart. They would yank you around back in those days. She was valedictorian of her class, she knew all that stuff. It’s what she had to go through. She thought things were smooth sailing. She’s seen the good, bad, and the ugly. Now she’s seeing the ugly again. She fought for civil rights, she was a civil rights worker, and now she sees that it’s going backward.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    The Biggest Liberal Protest Of 2013 In 35 Photos & Video

    To little national fanfare, the largest liberal protest of 2013 took
    place on Monday this week in North Carolina, with thousands in
    attendance and hundreds getting arrested. For weeks, faith leaders in the Tar Heel State have gathered every Monday to give voice to women, the poor, and other groups under attack by the Republican-held legislature.[….]

    This week’s Moral Monday protest, which is being organized by the North Carolina NAACP with support from groups like the Advancement Project and the AFL-CIO, was the largest to date with more than 3,000 people in attendance.[….]

  12. rikyrah says:

    This article is embarrassing. Is a hot plate worth your dignity? // I’m black, and I forgive Paula Deen… … via @Salon

    I am Black. I am a human being. I deserve to be treated as such. I am worthy of dignity and respect. I am worthy of your humanity.

    Every article that is written by a Black writer about the Paula Deen incident should have that mindset throughout the piece.

    • rikyrah says:


      What gets me at my core about this kinda bullshit, it completely ignores and discounts the black folks “of a certain age” that where “raised in the same time” as Paula Deen. What about them? What about their pain? Where is their voice in all this? They are forgotten in the stampede to comfort Paula Deen.

  13. rikyrah says:

    16-year-old student in Turkey turns bananas into plastic

    There’s nothing slippery about Elif Bilgin’s idea of using banana peels as a substitute for old-school petroleum-based plastics.

    The 16-year-old student from Istanbul spent two years perfecting a way to make a bioplastic out of discarded banana peels that could, in turn, be used for the electrical insulation of cables.

    On Thursday, her efforts paid off when Scientific American named her the winner of its $50,000 Science in Action prize, a stepping stone to the Google Science Fair for young inventors in California this September.

    In her research, Bilgin — who says “science is my calling” — determined that if starch and cellulose from such food waste as mango skins can be used to make bioplastics, then banana peels ought to do the trick, too.

    “For me, this means that my project actually has a potential to be a solution to the increasing pollution problem caused by petroleum-based plastic,” said Bilgin, who counts Nobel laureate Marie Curie among her heroes.

    “It also means that I have started the process of changing the world, which makes me feel like a winner already,” she added in an interview on the Scientific American’s website,

  14. rikyrah says:

    Conor Grennan–Quest for a Good Pick-Up Line Leads Him to Save over 350 Abducted Children
    By Brad Aronson |

    Anish’s parents probably hadn’t seen a white person before. Now, not only was there a white man in their village, but Conor Grennan had pictures of their missing son, Anish, whom they had mourned every day for the past 4 years.

    Both parent sobbed. This was the miracle they had prayed for daily. Their son was alive and they would see him again.

    It’s a safe bet that Anish’s family and the 350 plus other families Conor Grennan has helped reunite would be surprised at how Conor got into the business of saving kids . . .

    Right before his 30th birthday Conor Grennan planned a year-long trip around the world. As part of his trip, Connor decided to volunteer at an orphanage. Conor said he saw two benefits to spending some time volunteering. First, family members and friends would stop criticizing his planned trip as self-indulgent. And, he saw volunteering as a great line for picking up women.

    When Conor arrived at the Little Princes Orphanage in Nepal, he regretted his decision. “I hadn’t realized until that moment how much I did not want to walk through that gate. What I wanted was to tell people I had volunteered in an orphanage, [not actually do it],” he said.

    Yet, while volunteering at the orphanage Conor Grennan fell in love with the children and his job. Sometimes all you have to do is spend time helping others, and you grow to embrace it.

    It was towards the end of the volunteer stint that Conor met the mother of two of the children in the orphanage.

    From the mom, Conor learned the truth about the children in his care.

    They weren’t orphans.

    They had been abducted.

    At the time there was a civil war in Nepal and the Maoist army would come into villages to take male children for their armies. So, the parents would go bankrupt to send their children with government officials or other people who promised to bring the children to schools in safe areas of Nepal.

    Parents sold their homes and moved into single-room huts with their neighbors, sold their land, livestock and possessions and borrowed money. Families went into debt for the rest of their lives and put the rest of their family at risk to save their children.

    Unfortunately, the traffickers didn’t place the children in schools. The traffickers made the kids beg for money, abandoned the children or sold them into servitude or the sex industry far from their parents. And, as if the kids’ plight wasn’t bad enough, traffickers convinced kids that their parents were dead or didn’t want them. That’s one reason why the kids who wound up in orphanages rarely spoke about their parents.

    The parents figured out that their children had been abducted after walking days to get to a phone to check in on their kids. The numbers the parents had been given were fake.

    After discovering this horror Conor began working to reunite the kids in his orphanage with their families.

    Conor got all the information the kids could remember about their families and then visited the remote region of Nepal where the children were born searching for and finding their parents.

    As Conor started reuniting families, he heard from other families looking for their children and began helping to reunite kids from other orphanages with their parents.

    Conor also worked with authorities to find children who were being exploited and bring those kids to orphanages. Then Conor would try to find their parents.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Good Afternoon, Everyone :)

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