You don’t have to give thanks.

I believe in being grateful for the universe. It is one of the few entities with a shelf life beyond that of what can be bought, sold, or stolen. Moreover, our obscene privilege as Westerners is lethally obvious. But to hell with the manufactured gratitude of Thanksgiving™, wherein kindly advertising voice-overs urge us to count […]

Unorthodox police procedures emerge in grand jury documents

Washington Post – When Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson left the scene of the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the officer returned to the police station unescorted, washed blood off his hands and placed his recently fired pistol into an evidence bag himself.

Such seemingly un­or­tho­dox forensic practices emerged from the voluminous testimony […]

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Stent Placed in Her Heart

NBC News, By Pete Williams, November 26

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent heart surgery Wednesday morning after experiencing discomfort during exercise, the court said.

Ginsburg, 81, had a stent placed in her right coronary artery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She was resting comfortably and was expected to be discharged within 48 hours, […]

Hagel Stepping Down as Defense Chief Under Pressure

New York Times, By Helene Cooper, November 24

Washington – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of the collapse of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises…

The officials described […]

The Downside of the Boom

North Dakota took on the oversight of a multibillion-dollar oil industry with a regulatory system built on trust, warnings and second chances. The cooperative approach doesn’t seem to generate results.

NYT -In early August 2013, Arlene Skurupey of Blacksburg, Va., got an animated call from the normally taciturn farmer who rents her family […]

Urban Inuit: Nomads from the Arctic find new home in Canada’s capital

The Inuit migration south to Ottawa has picked up speed, a challenge for those used to traditional life

Al Jazeera, By Leyland Cecco, November 23

Ottawa, Ontario — Dion Metcalfe pulls up his shirt to reveal an inukshuk tattooed onto his stomach. The stone cairn, used to guide or mark a path in the North, […]

New Benghazi report says security flaws were known, but not why Stevens was there

McClatchy, By Nancy A. Youssef, November 21

Washington — A House Intelligence Committee investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on U.S. outposts in Benghazi concludes that while the Central intelligence Agency had properly secured its compound in the Libyan city, the State Department knew its security precautions were inadequate at the U.S. Special Mission […]

Fence-mending in Turkey, Biden commits to ‘transition’ in Syria

McClatchy, By Roy Gutman, November 22

Istanbul — Vice President Joe Biden assured Turkey Saturday that the U.S. plans to strengthen Syrian rebels and ensure a political transition “away from the Assad regime,” but he stopped short of committing to regime change in Damascus demanded by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On a fence-mending trip […]

Group: Death toll of U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria tops 900

CNN, By Salma Abdelaziz & Mariano Castillo, November 23

In the two months since the United States and coalition allies first launched airstrikes against ISIS targets inside of Syria, the missions have killed more than 900 people, nearly all militants, a monitoring group said Saturday.

But 52 civilians, including eight children and five women, are […]

Half of Americans Think Climate Change Is a Sign of the Apocalypse

What a new report on theology and global warming means for public policy

The Atlantic, By Emma Green, November 22

Snowmageddon, snowpocalypse, snowzilla, just snow. Superstorm Sandy, receding shorelines, and more. Hurricanes Isaac, Ivan, and Irene, with cousins Rammasun, Bopha, and Haiyan.

The parade of geological changes and extreme weather events around the world since […]

In a Shift, Obama Extends U.S. Role in Afghan Combat

New York Times, By Mark Mazzetti & Eric Schmitt, November 21

Washington — President Obama decided in recent weeks to authorize a more expansive mission for the military in Afghanistan in 2015 than originally planned, a move that ensures American troops will have a direct role in fighting in the war-ravaged country for at least […]

Weekend Jukebox: What becomes of… ? and other questions

Not sure what the theme is? Make one up…

RIP Jimmy Ruffin: What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

plus:

Nina Simone: “Someone To Watch Over Me”

Everly Bros, Mark Knopfler, Chet Atkins: “Why Worry?”

Court rules Michigan has no responsibility to provide quality public education

The Michigan Citizen, November 13

Detroit, MI — In a blow to schoolchildren statewide, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on Nov. 7 the State of Michigan has no legal obligation to provide a quality public education to students in the struggling Highland Park School District.

A 2-1 decision reversed an earlier circuit court ruling […]

US Federal Reserve Initiates Investigation of New York Federal Reserve

Value Walk, By Mark Melin, November 21

After press reports reveal more than a cozy relationship, but sharing of confidential documents, investigation called for on eve of Senate testimony on the issue

After a withering expose in The New York Times that showed bank regulators at the New York Federal Reserve sharing confidential information with […]

Senate Report: Banks Had Unfair Commodity-Market Advantages

Report Notes Deals Between Goldman, Deutsche and Others Drove Up Aluminum Prices

The Wall Street Journal, by Christian Berthelsen & Ryan Tracy, November 19

Washington — A U.S. Senate report on commodity-market activities at big Wall Street banks accuses the firms of being so powerful they were able to influence prices, gain trading advantages and […]

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