Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Friday, January 12, 2018

For more than 50 years, the specter of "the button" has haunted conversations about American nuclear weapons. While the power to launch nuclear war has -- contrary to our imaginations -- never actually been contained within a button, historian Alex Wellerstein says the idea of it reflects the way the American public sees this presidential power. "There's no one button. There never has been. There never should be. It's a terrible idea," he says. "It's a metaphor for how we think about technology, simplicity and our lack of control." To Wellerstein, the idea that nuclear-level destruction could be accomplished by an act as simple as the pressing a button reflects the impersonal terror of nuclear weaponry that has shaped world politics since it was first introduced in August 1945. Every president since then has had the power to order the use of a nuclear weapon, although only Truman has used it. That unique ability has helped to shape the modern presidency. read more

Posing as prohibited persons or out-of-state buyers, what happened when government agents tried to purchase guns online? The short answer. Unless they went to the dark web, they were rejected. Findings in a two-year study, conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), tell the tale. For clarity, the "surface web" is the regular internet you and I use every day. For the study, agents went to a variety of online destinations to attempt to purchase firearms, including retailers, auction hubs and marketplaces, classified listings, forums and social media platforms. The bottom line is that all 72 attempts "to illegally purchase firearms from private sellers on the surface web were unsuccessful," as the report stated. Translation: the majority of online gun sellers are law-abiding. read more

Sunday, January 07, 2018

The story of how Homo sapiens spread from Africa to the rest of the world is a tangled epic, full of false starts and dead ends. Yet perhaps nowhere is the puzzle more difficult than in the Americas, two landmasses divided from the rest of the world by two huge oceans. Zoom out, though, and you'll see that isolation has only been imposed for the last 11,000 years; before then, a narrow land bridge called Beringia stretched between Siberia and Alaska, providing an icy highway for travelers. This week, scientists reported explosive new findings on the genetic story of one of those ancient travelers: an infant girl named Xach'itee'aanenh T'eede Gaay by the local indigenous people, who lived for a brief time 11,500 years ago in an Alaskan community now called Upward Sun River. The infant's genome has the power to rewrite what we know about the human journey into North America -- and in doing so, points to the larger genetic revolution that is reshaping the field of archaeology. read more

While the world remains distracted by the constant circus surrounding the Trump White House, I sense a different kind of power play, and potential American future, brewing beneath the surface at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: Ivanka Trump becoming the first female president of the United States. Whatever you think of the character and presidency of Donald Trump, it's clear he adores his daughter Ivanka, and cherishes the totemic power of his name. And what better way to ensure his family's legacy than by setting up his daughter, already installed in the West Wing, to assume the presidency? In our current topsy-turvy political era, stranger things have already happened. Let's take a look at a few potential Twilight Zone scenarios, which aren't as unlikely as they once might have seemed. read more

Friday, January 05, 2018

The bottom of the ocean is more of a "sunken place" than it used to be. In recent decades, melting ice sheets and glaciers driven by climate change are swelling Earth's oceans. And along with all that water comes an unexpected consequence -- the weight of the additional liquid is pressing down on the seafloor, causing it to sink. Consequently, measurements and predictions of sea-level rise may have been incorrect since 1993, underestimating the growing volume of water in the oceans due to the receding bottom, according to a new study. Scientists have long known that Earth's crust, or outer layer, is elastic: Earlier research revealed how Earth's surface warps in response to tidal movements that redistribute masses of water; and 2017's Hurricane Harvey dumped so much water on Texas that the ground dropped 0.8 inches (2 centimeters), the Atlantic reported. read more


From your link.
Federal law allows individuals who live in the same state to sells guns privately without a background check or paperwork. Out-of-state sales require a licensed gun dealer to serve as an intermediary.


Reveal recently exposed the flaws in eBay's policy against selling assault weapon parts on its website. But Craigslist's gun ban goes even further. Buying or selling any guns, gun parts or ammunition is plainly prohibited, along with prescription drugs, food stamps and anything deemed "offensive, obscene, defamatory, threatening, or malicious."

So the problem is lack of enforcement of eBay's and Craigslist policies as well as Federal laws. If these online loopholes are so plentiful and big, why couldn't the GAO buy weapons online?

Thanks for posting. Will check to see if will help me.

Sounds like a living hell.

After a lifetime of abusing my hearing, the ringing is pretty constant for me. I'm 66. Sometimes sounds like Cicadas singing; other times a high pitched ringing;
#3 and #4 are mine.

I too went to concerts. Found myself standing in front of a wall of speakers for two hours at a James Gang concert once. Running chain saws with no ear protection.(Just going to run it for a short while) Hitting steel with a sledge hammer. The funny thing, it's not like the, 'Can I do it until I need glasses?' question. One day you just notice that there a ringing with you now. A really ------- annoying ringing.
IMO anything you can do for yourself to save your hearing is worth the effort. It's frustrating when at the restaurant with friends that you miss half of the conversations. Or when you can't understand you grandchild during a Facetime.

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