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Articles Posted by thecodont

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  • 'Homer can help you': War veterans use ancient epics to cope

    03/14/2018 7:26:17 AM PDT · by thecodont · 12 replies
    Associated Press via Stars and Stripes ^ | Published: March 14, 2018 | By WILSON RING
    BURLINGTON, Vt. — The trials of Odysseus are really not that different from the struggles of those learning to readjust after wars of today, modern veterans are finding. A small group of military veterans has been meeting weekly in a classroom at the University of Vermont to discuss "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" for college credit — and to give meaning to their own experiences, equating the close-order discipline of men who fought with spears, swords and shields to that of men and women who do battle these days with laser-guided munitions. Homer isn't just for student veterans. Discussion groups...
  • 'There were immediate red flags:' Sacramento flight agent says she saved 2 girls from trafficking

    02/18/2018 5:35:02 PM PST · by thecodont · 46 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Updated 4:18 pm, Sunday, February 18, 2018 | By Alix Martichoux, SFGATE
    When two teenage girls tried to check in for a flight from Sacramento to New York, American Airlines customer service agent Denice Miracle noticed something wasn't right. "There were immediate red flags: There was no adult with them; they had no identification; the tickets were one-way and multi-leg; they were booked in First Class; and the credit card used to reserve their seats was in neither of their names. In fact, it was flagged as fraudulent," a press release from American Airlines reads. The girls were 15 and 17 when they tried to check in for the flight last summer,...
  • Hospital denounces Florida nurses who gave babies middle finger, called them 'mini Satans'

    09/20/2017 6:41:19 PM PDT · by thecodont · 25 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Updated 11:18 am, Tuesday, September 19, 2017 | By William Axford
    Nurses at Naval Hospital Jacksonville in Florida may face legal action after photos showing them being inappropriate with babies went viral. In photos shared on Snapchat, one nurse is seen giving the middle finger to a baby with the caption, "How I feel about these mini Satans" reports news station WJAX/WFOX. In another photo, a nurse is accused of moving a baby to look like the child is dancing to music.
  • What's the deal with all those religious billboards around the Bay Area?

    09/14/2017 9:16:16 PM PDT · by thecodont · 28 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Updated 4:00 am, Thursday, September 14, 2017 | By Annie Vainshtein
    If you're like me, you might have noticed religious billboard ads seem to have proliferated around the Bay Area. I've seen them all over my morning commute and encountered one on a recent trip to Sacramento that made me especially curious. "After you die," it professed in large block letters, "you WILL meet God." The ads have been spotted in several locations around Oakland and San Francisco, so my first assumption was that the billboards were being put on by a local or California-based mega-church. But I figured my questions were better answered through a call to the toll-free number...
  • Jeff Wieler quits as Piedmont mayor, stays on council after Facebook uproar

    08/27/2017 7:28:11 PM PDT · by thecodont · 9 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Updated 5:58 pm, Sunday, August 27, 2017 | By Michael Cabanatuan
    Piedmont Mayor Jeff Wieler stepped down Sunday, one day before the City Council was scheduled to vote on whether to remove him over controversial social media posts about Democrats and transgender people that prompted outrage in the community. Wieler resigned his position in a letter to the city administrator. However, he said he will remain a member of the City Council until he is termed out in November 2018. In Piedmont, mayors are not elected but appointed by fellow council members, and the tradition is to appoint the person with the most seniority. The position is ceremonial — it has...
  • Berkeley modifies city laws to empower officials during protests

    08/19/2017 9:49:25 PM PDT · by thecodont · 9 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Updated 4:50 pm, Saturday, August 19, 2017 | By Kimberly Veklerov
    Berkeley officials have tweaked local laws to give the city more power over unauthorized demonstrations, just days before another far-right rally is planned for downtown. The City Council passed the emergency ordinance on a 7-1 vote during a special meeting Friday evening. The move gives the city manager the power to issue rules for street events whose organizers did not obtain a permit. The planned protest next Sunday, billed as an anticommunist rally, will be the fourth such gathering in the city this year. Pro-Trump events in March and April drew throngs of counterprotesters, including self-styled “antifascist” groups, as police...
  • Facebook shut anonymous employee group after Trump election

    08/19/2017 9:34:20 PM PDT · by thecodont · 12 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Updated 2:36 pm, Friday, August 18, 2017 | By Hamza Shaban
    Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg shut down an anonymous employee group following the election of Donald Trump, after it devolved into a forum for divisive political commentary that alarmed management, according to a report by Business Insider. Named Facebook Anon, the group was formed in March 2015 as a side project by some employees and hosted innocuous discussions about office culture and workplace gripes. But in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, the group’s discussions became more political and more hostile. According to the report, employees with conservative political beliefs saw the group as a sanctuary, and...
  • Texas inches closer to banning most insurance coverage for abortion

    08/08/2017 7:18:44 PM PDT · by thecodont · 16 replies
    Houston Chronicle via San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Updated 2:29 pm, Tuesday, August 8, 2017 | By Jeremy Wallace, Houston Chronicle
    Texas is closer than ever to joining 10 other states that bar private insurance plans and those offered through the Affordable Care Act from covering abortions, except through supplemental plans. The Texas House -- over strong objections from Democrats -- gave preliminary approval to House Bill 214, which prohibits health plans from providing coverage for abortion except in the cases where the life of the mother is in danger. The House voted 95-51 to send the bill to a third and final reading. "This isn't about who can get an abortion," state Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo, said of his bill....
  • Opinion: Why people like me still support Trump

    08/01/2017 8:32:06 PM PDT · by thecodont · 19 replies
    The Washington Post via The San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Published 10:31 am, Tuesday, August 1, 2017 | Gary Abernathy, The Washington Post
    HILLSBORO, Ohio - The most gratifying responses I receive via email, telephone and old-fashioned letters are not from readers who agree with me, although those are appreciated. The ones I like most are from readers who do not support President Donald Trump but say I've helped them better understand those who do. "I read your column on the Washington Post's op-ed page today, and I have been yearning to understand some things about support for Trump." "This liberal continues to want to better understand the perspective of the other side, in hope that the gulf in the American political landscape...
  • IQ costs Oregon parents their kids, but is that fair? (Column)

    07/20/2017 5:35:28 PM PDT · by thecodont · 62 replies
    The Oregonian / ^ | Updated on July 19, 2017 at 8:03 PM Posted on July 18, 2017 at 8:00 PM | By Samantha Swindler The Oregonian/OregonLive
    The nursery in Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler's home is filled with unread children's books and unworn baby clothes. A Winnie the Pooh blanket lies untouched inside a crib where a child has never slept. For nearly four years, the Redmond couple has been fighting to prove to the state of Oregon that they are intellectually capable of raising their children. The Department of Human Services has removed both of their boys, saying the parents are too mentally limited to be good parents. Fabbrini, 31, and Ziegler, 38, lost custody of their older son, Christopher, shortly after he was born....
  • After criticism, BART resumes providing riders daily crime log

    07/18/2017 10:39:19 PM PDT · by thecodont · 6 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | July 18, 2017 Updated: July 18, 2017 11:30am | By Sarah Ravani
    BART resumed providing the public with daily crime logs Tuesday morning after weeks of criticism over why the agency replaced the updates with an interactive website that gave minimal details of incidents. The move by the Bay Area Rapid Transit system came a day after it released data showing a significant increase in sex crimes on its property over the first six months of the year. Last month, BART replaced the crime log with a website called, which offered scant information on crimes that occurred throughout the system. But on Tuesday, Bevan Dufty, a BART board director, said the...
  • Family sues UCSF following death of cancer patient

    07/18/2017 9:44:43 PM PDT · by thecodont · 10 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Updated 6:36 pm, Tuesday, July 18, 2017 | By Michael Bodley, San Francisco Chronicle
    In one of the first legal actions involving California’s “right to die” law, the family of a deceased cancer patient is suing UCSF Medical Center, alleging the system did not appropriately aid the woman in ending her life. The San Francisco Superior Court suit, filed by attorneys for the family of Judy Dale on July 7, claims that Dale’s caretakers at the hospital told her they would assist her in obtaining medication to help her die — but then suddenly backtracked. Dale succumbed to her terminal cancer in September 2016, according to the lawsuit. She did so without the medication...
  • Trump moves to open more public land to drilling in California

    07/06/2017 9:24:36 PM PDT · by thecodont · 32 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Updated 8:23 pm, Thursday, July 6, 2017 | By Kurtis Alexander
    The Trump administration forged ahead with its commitment to boosting domestic fossil fuel production Thursday, directing more public lands to be opened for oil and gas extraction — a move that could bring new drill rigs to California. The state hasn’t seen new onshore oil and gas leases offered up on federal land in four years because of environmental fights. The order signed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday has some environmentalists fearing that de facto moratorium will soon end. At minimum, the administration’s action will intensify the push by energy companies to broaden drilling across California’s prime oil...
  • Bill would require transgender-rights training for CA employers

    07/02/2017 9:52:36 AM PDT · by thecodont · 41 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Updated 9:31 pm, Friday, June 30, 2017 | By Marissa Lang
    Transgender and gender-nonconforming employees will receive greater and more explicit protections this week as new California employment regulations take effect Saturday. But some worry the new regulations might put employers in a difficult place: wanting to do right by their employees and follow the law, but lacking the resources — and the training — to do so. That’s why state Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens (Los Angeles County), gutted his own higher education bill to put forth a new proposal that would institute mandatory workplace training around gender identity and expression in the same way that sexual-harassment training is required...
  • Homeless camps becoming entrenched in Oakland

    07/01/2017 9:52:23 AM PDT · by thecodont · 33 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | June 28, 2017 Updated: June 28, 2017 6:00am | By Joe Garofoli and Kimberly Veklerov
    Lee Smith was one of the first homeless people to pitch a tent near 26th and Wood streets in West Oakland. Now, four years later, he has 100 neighbors, including two pregnant women. The place looks like a Third World shantytown, a village for the city’s poorest on the fringes of its bustling center. It’s one of about 100 such sprawling encampments in Oakland, and they’re not going away anytime soon. They’re likely to get even bigger. Just as the Bay Area’s tech boom has reshaped Oakland in different ways than it has San Francisco, so has its homeless crisis....
  • How the Seattle Sounders use data and analytics to create an ‘evidence-based’ soccer culture

    06/12/2017 10:08:10 PM PDT · by thecodont · 6 replies
    Geekwire via San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Updated 4:31 pm, Monday, June 12, 2017 | Taylor Soper, Geekwire
    As a former lawyer, Garth Lagerwey knows about the value of evidence-based reasoning. Now he's trying to apply that same line of thinking to the professional soccer club he helps manage. Lagerwey spoke about this philosophy at the Sounders Sports Science Weekend in Seattle, an event that focuses on the latest innovations in sports science and analytics. The Sounders have long been pioneers, at least among Major League Soccer teams, in using sports science to help make on-field improvements. The club, which won its first MLS Cup last year, utilizes a variety of gadgets like GPS trackers and heart rate...
  • 'It was forced on me': Child marriage in the US

    05/31/2017 6:29:18 PM PDT · by thecodont · 23 replies
    New York Times via ^ | Published 11:30 am, Wednesday, May 31, 2017 | Nicholas Kristof, New York Times
    When she was a scrawny 11-year-old, Sherry Johnson found out one day that she was about to be married to a 20-year-old member of her church who had raped her. “It was forced on me,” she recalls. She had become pregnant, she says, and child welfare authorities were investigating — so her family and church officials decided the simplest way to avoid a messy criminal case was to organize a wedding. “My mom asked me if I wanted to get married, and I said, ‘I don’t know, what is marriage, how do I act like a wife?'” Johnson remembers today,...
  • Sask. ranchers stunned as beaver herds 150 cattle

    04/18/2017 7:58:04 PM PDT · by thecodont · 31 replies
    CBC News via The Drudge Report ^ | Posted: Apr 17, 2017 1:28 PM CT Last Updated: Apr 18, 2017 10:11 AM C | By David Shield, CBC News
    Saskatchewan rancher Adrienne Ivey may have heard of a beaver, but until now, had never seen a beaver herd — cattle, that is. On Friday, Ivey and her husband were surprised to see 150 of their heifers crowded together in one of their pastures. Curious about the strange behaviour, they investigated further, to find the herd of cattle following a beaver that had wandered along. "He was out and about, I think looking for a new place to build a beaver lodge, and they were following him," Ivey said. "There was about a three-foot space around him. They didn't want...
  • True blue passport REBORN: £500million project will replace EU document post-Brexit

    04/02/2017 9:32:41 AM PDT · by thecodont · 3 replies
    Express / ^ | PUBLISHED: 00:01, Sun, Apr 2, 2017 | UPDATED: 14:47, Sun, Apr 2, 2017 | By Caroline Wheeler and Camilla Tominey, EXCLUSIVE
    In the week Britain began the formal process of leaving the European Union with the triggering of Article 50, the Home Office put a contract out to tender for the “design, production and personalisation of the UK passport” post-2019. High-level discussions have already taken place with potential bidders to reintroduce the traditional navy design, below, as a backdrop to the iconic gold lion and unicorn royal coat of arms.
  • Bill would make abortion pill available at state college campuses

    03/17/2017 8:09:34 PM PDT · by thecodont · 20 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Updated 7:04 pm, Friday, March 17, 2017 | by Kimberly Veklerov
    The abortion pill would be on hand at virtually every public college in California under legislation introduced Friday in the state Senate. The bill’s inception comes amid renewed attempts to slash funding for Planned Parenthood, which would no longer receive Medicaid reimbursements under the Republican-backed American Health Care Act. If the health care plan were passed in its current form, $174 million would be slashed from the budget of California’s Planned Parenthood clinics. Although Planned Parenthood is the largest single provider of abortions in the country, it does not use federal money to provide the procedure. “If those cuts are...