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Oz Blog News Commentary
Huffington Post Featured Friday, April 4, 2014 - 02:59 Source

The Supreme Court's McCutcheon ruling will be remembered as a decisive battle in a determined and wealthy minority's war against the popular will. It is not the first such battle, nor will it be the last. And the people will continue to lose -- unless and until the rules of engagement are changed.

Huffington Post Featured Friday, April 4, 2014 - 02:59 Source

Previously published on BillMoyers.com

I continue my conversation with education historian Diane Ravitch about the privatization of public education. In this extra video, we talk about the problem with charter schools being run by billionaires, celebrities and individuals with no experience in education; the fact that taxpayers are increasingly funding religious schools and why hedge-fund managers see education as an emerging market.

Huffington Post Featured Friday, April 4, 2014 - 02:59 Source

In recent days, there has been no shortage of opinions about Ukraine, the escalating crisis over that country's future and the international community's response to Russia's bold takeover of Crimea.

The conversation thus far has largely centered on how the U.S. and its European allies can ease the standoff over Ukraine, convince Russia to scale back the tens of thousands of troops it has reportedly amassed near Ukraine's border and prevent a prolonged crisis in this important part of the world.

Huffington Post Featured Friday, April 4, 2014 - 02:59 Source

Last week, I attended the opening night of Terrence McNally's latest play, Mothers and Sons with my mom, Marilu Henner. The play represents, as announced at curtain call that evening, the first time that a legally married gay couple has appeared on a Broadway stage. (At first, I was excited to learn that the two lead actors had shared the blissful and overdue sound of chiming wedding bells, but I quickly realized they were referring to the characters.)

Huffington Post Technology Friday, April 4, 2014 - 02:55 Source

If you're small, feathered and looking for someone to take you under their wing, the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota is just the place.

Specializing in the rehabilitation of raptors, the center recently took in a snowy owl from Washington, D.C. that was hit by a bus. Using an operation called imping, the center repaired the bird's wing by inserting bamboo into the hollow shafts of the feathers.

Huffington Post Technology Friday, April 4, 2014 - 02:41 Source

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If you're anything like me, you might have a website for your small business that was once state-of-the-art but is now tired and looking a bit frayed around the edges. My own website was really slick and ahead of its time when I first unveiled it in 1995; I had it done by a professional web developer at great expense.

Huffington Post Technology Friday, April 4, 2014 - 02:05 Source

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's government says it is restoring access to Twitter, a day after a high court ruling against the ban.

Turkey's Constitutional Court had ordered the ban on Twitter to be lifted on Wednesday, ruling that the blockage was a violation of the right to free expression. A statement from Turkey's Transportation and Communications Ministry Thursday said it was in the process of restoring access to the website.

Access to YouTube however, remains blocked.

Huffington Post Featured Friday, April 4, 2014 - 01:59 Source

Today the Pew Charitable Trust released its annual ranking of how countries are faring against one another in the clean energy race, and China has for the fourth time in the past five years overtaken the United States as the global leader in clean energy investment.

Huffington Post Featured Friday, April 4, 2014 - 01:59 Source

People often think that when you apologize you are showing weakness, when, in fact, quite the opposite is true. It takes great strength to apologize. It shows courage to admit that you have been wrong. Authority is not lessened by an apology offered. It is enhanced.

We strongly believe that it is time -- and not too late -- for the United States to apologize for the war in Iraq. A war that began based on falsehoods and mistaken beliefs about weapons of mass destruction. Many years have passed since that conflict began, but its repercussions are being felt in Syria, in Iran, and in an increasingly unstable world.

Huffington Post Featured Friday, April 4, 2014 - 01:59 Source

There are six components we've identified of an effective workplace, including everything from work-life fit to a climate of respect. But there's one that often gets overlooked -- economic security.

You can try and create the best place to work, but if your employees can't make ends meet those efforts won't work as well as you'd like.

Huffington Post Featured Friday, April 4, 2014 - 01:59 Source

The reckless Republican budget casts a dark shadow over the American Dream. By gutting vital investments in our future, it is a direct attack on job creation and a recipe for our nation's economic decline. It provides perverse tax incentives to ship American jobs overseas while shortchanging investments in jobs here at home. China and other economic competitors will eat our lunch in the global arena if we make deep cuts in areas that help power our economy -- scientific research, innovation, education, advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and modernizing our core infrastructure.

Huffington Post Technology Friday, April 4, 2014 - 01:22 Source

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's highest court has ruled that the country's Twitter ban violates the right to free expression and has demanded that access be restored.

Wednesday's decision by the Constitutional Court is binding, but it was not clear when the telecommunications authority would reinstate access. Turkey suspended access to Twitter last month after the website became a conduit for links to recordings suggesting government corruption. The government then blocked access to YouTube following the leak of an audio recording of a secret government security meeting.

Huffington Post Technology Friday, April 4, 2014 - 01:09 Source

The future of plastic bottles might very well be doomed, and a sleuth of improvements to our environment, our health, and our behaviors could be coming soon. The newly invented packaging, which perhaps someday will replace the gazillions of water bottles that fill our rubbish, comes straight from science fiction, or at least something not yet seen in our everyday lives.

Ooho! is a thin membrane made of eatable brown algae, akin to a gelatinous double layer. It's actually the water inside that gets transformed on its outer form by a culinary process known as spherification.

Let's see what Wikipedia says:

Huffington Post Featured Friday, April 4, 2014 - 00:59 Source

Arianna appeared Wednesday on "Katie" to discuss her new book "Thrive" and The Third Metric with Katie Couric.

"We need a third women's revolution so that we don't just ask for our place at the top of the world, but we change the world," explained Arianna.

Huffington Post Featured Friday, April 4, 2014 - 00:59 Source

Old Scripts and Empty Stories Signal a New Age

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Huffington Post Featured Friday, April 4, 2014 - 00:59 Source

When I woke up this morning, a friend had emailed me this anonymous article by a current undergraduate about Harvard's mis-handling of her sexual assault case. "This made me think of you," my friend wrote.

Five years ago, I, too, had written an anonymous article published in another newspaper about a similar topic.

Huffington Post Technology Friday, April 4, 2014 - 00:01 Source

On the same day the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced cars sold in the United States will soon be required to have backup cameras, Tesla and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers petitioned the NHTSA to allow exterior-mounted rearview mirrors to be replaced with cameras.

Huffington Post Featured Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 23:59 Source

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Huffington Post Featured Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 23:59 Source

Dear woman behind me in line at the grocery store,

You don't know me. You have no clue what my life has been like since October 1, 2013. You have no clue that my family has gone through the wringer. You have no clue that we have faced unbelievable hardship. You have no clue we have been humiliated, humbled, destitute.

Huffington Post Featured Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 23:59 Source

How much of human productive activity can be moved to "near zero marginal cost"? Jeremy Rifkin's provocative new book poses the question to our future. The case for "near zero marginal cost" in the digital world is pretty clear, as Rifkin so ably explains. Think of a piece of software (from Microsoft Office to a Beyonce track). Once produced (which could have enormous cost), production and distribution of additional copies over the Internet is virtually free.

Huffington Post Technology Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 23:36 Source

Scientists have pinned down the birth date of the moon to within 100 million years of the birth of the solar system — the best timeline yet for the evolution of our planet's natural satellite.

This new discovery about the origin of the moon may help solve a mystery about why the moon and the Earth appear virtually identical in makeup, investigators added.

Huffington Post Technology Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 23:24 Source

Neil Armstrong inspired millions when he took those first steps on the moon. But the man others saw as a heroic explorer saw himself as a big nerd who loved math and science.

Huffington Post Featured Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 23:08 Source

Osama Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.

That was Vice President Joe Biden's go-to applause line throughout the 2012 campaign. The slogan encapsulated President Barack Obama's greatest foreign policy success -- approving the raid that killed the terrorist mastermind -- and what was perceived as his greatest domestic achievement -- rescuing GM from bankruptcy and saving a huge number of jobs.

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Huffington Post Featured Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 23:00 Source

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine -- let's call her Mallory -- got an unsettling call from her accountant. The accountant been preparing Mallory's taxes, hit "Send" to e-file the finished return, and it was rejected. Someone had already filed a tax return using Mallory's Social Security number. She'd been a victim of tax identity theft.

The accountant called the IRS, but they wouldn't talk to her. Mallory called and was directed to the fraud department. While she was on hold, she made more calls: one to a friend at the FBI, another to the FTC and the last one to me.

Huffington Post Featured Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 22:59 Source

Popular culture has offered some flamboyant, unrealistic images of the psychopath: the giggling, twitchy maniac; the silent, masked slasher; the snobbish, culturally refined, highly intelligent cannibal and--depending on how much you like your job--your boss.

Huffington Post Technology Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 18:21 Source

WASHINGTON (AP) — In July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a U.S. government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final touches on a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba's communist government.

Huffington Post Technology Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 12:43 Source

I have mixed feelings when I see those mostly double-deck buses on Highway 101 shuttling tech workers between Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Based on a recent survey, so do San Francisco voters. On one hand, I'd much rather see the buses than the thousands of cars they replace. The shuttles, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, transport more than 35,000 people a day and eliminate at least "45 million vehicle miles traveled and 761,000 metric tons of carbon every year from the region's roads and air."

Huffington Post Featured Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 10:59 Source

I lived in an orphanage in China for the first 5.5 years of my life. I was born cleft-affected and like a lot of other cleft kids, I watched baby after baby be matched with their forever families and go home. I remember when they moved me to the Big Girls Room, I was worried that my "new Mommy" might not be able to find me and would leave with a baby instead. That was my greatest fear.

Yes, I waited 5.5 years for my mom and dad to come. But eventually, they came. For some kids, they never do.

Huffington Post Technology Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 10:35 Source

If I were to assemble a list of cool technologies that are more annoying than useful, speech recognition would rank pretty high. In my experience, it's mostly been a gimmick: Using the dictation feature on my smartphone to compose text messages or emails while walking makes me feel like I should seek professional help. I have never actually found Siri useful. And talking to a robotic customer service rep on the phone usually drives me to repeat "operator" over and over.

Then I tried the voice search function on Amazon's Fire TV, the $99 media streaming box Amazon announced on Wednesday. It's no gimmick.

Huffington Post Technology Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 10:00 Source

Hopefully -- and it's hard for man to make that jump -- hopefully at the end [of Insect Gods] you don't care about the fate of the few. You don't care about the fate of man. You see that civilization has advanced in another way. That it's the roaches that have inherited the Earth. That have become the gods. ( Saturday Night Live comic Michael O'Donoghue in conversation with me in 1979)

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