Gina is changing insurance and employment laws

New Scientist reports that the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act [GINA] won an overwhelming 420 to 3 majority vote in the House of Representatives. It will soon be illegal for an insurance company to charge higher rates to people genetically disposed to certain illnesses, and for applicants to be denied employment based on genetic test results.

That law will come into being as soon as Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, lifts the hold he has placed on the bill to delay its passage into the legislation archives. read more

American Nazis publicly blame Jews for wars and gas hikes

Nazis in downtown Minnesota, publicly blame Jews for the gas hike, the Iraq war and claiming that the Talmud gives permission to Jews to have sex with three year old babies. None of these allegations are true, of course.

Please take a couple of minutes to watch this video, and a couple of more minutes to post a blog or send a letter to your preferred news service/newspaper – voicing your distaste for this message of hate.

The first few seconds of the movie show commentary in Hebrew. Just wait until it ends. read more

For some in Japan, a room is their world

An estimated one million Japanese youth suffer

from a problem known in Japan as hikikomori, which translates as “withdrawal” and refers to a person sequestered in his room for six months or longer with no social life beyond his home. (The word is a noun that describes both the problem and the person suffering from it and is also an adjective, like “alcoholic.”) Some hikikomori do occasionally emerge from their rooms for meals with their parents, late-night runs to convenience stores or, in Takeshi’s case, once-a-month trips to buy CD’s. And though female hikikomori exist and may be undercounted, experts estimate that about 80 percent of the hikikomori are male, some as young as 13 or 14 and some who live in their rooms for 15 years or more. read more

World Without Oil: the online game

“Play it – before you live it”

There’s a “very real possibility” that someday soon people will wake up worrying how they’ll get to work . . . because the world ran out of oil the night before. If you want to know how you and your neighbors will react, tune into the web. An “interactive month-long alternate reality event” is underway to explore every aspect of how prepared, or unprepared, society is to face a World Without Oil. The event began April 30.

The participation architect for this project is Jane McGonigal, who was named by MIT in the Fall of 2006 as one of the top 35 innovators changing the world through technology. read more

Read tech blogs by WSJ journalists for free!

Some heavy hitting WSJ journalists are publishing articles and thoughts in an open-access blog atAll Things Digital.

Save Internet Radio. Act Now!

Internet Radio in Danger

A ruling by an obscure regulatory agency threatens to silence Internet radio. After intense lobbying from the recording industry, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) is about to mandate exponential increases — by as much as 1,200 percent — in royalties paid every time webcasters stream a song online.

If these unfair rules are allowed to go into effect on July 15, many public, independent and smaller Internet radio stations will have to shut down. At stake is the diversity of musical choice that the Internet has come to represent for more than 50 million listeners. read more

Google Shaping Wireless Airwaves Auction

. . . influence Google is having on a closely watched government auction of $10 billion in licenses to provide wireless service. The Web search giant has hired some big guns to help it shape the rules for how the auction will be carried out, reflecting the company’s growing interest in the wireless industry and the rising stakes in the battle for a crucial chunk of airwaves.

Google’s agenda is clear. As a provider of a host of Internet services, including search, e-mail, and online video through YouTube (NWS), Google wants to ensure its content can flow unimpeded and untaxed over the world’s broadband networks. One way to do that is by making sure there’s plenty of competition in the market for high-speed Internet access—in particular, from providers other than behemoths like AT&T (T) and Comcast (CMCSA). “Google’s key interest here is in seeing fourth and fifth [broadband access] pipes to the home to compete with cable and telecom companies,” says Whitt. read more

Is Facebook funded by the CIA?

I just learned that the CIA has a venture capital branch. And guess what? One of the guys who runs it helped start Facebook. I particularly loved learning this little tidbit of information: when you become a Facebook member you authorize Facebook to gather information about you from Facebook and “other sources” and to share this information with “responsible corporations” Facebook has a relationship with.

What do you think about this practice? I think it’s intrusive and immoral. Leave your comment, let me know. read more

Conservatism has been killing Americans

“Conservatism has been killing Americans. The recent food safety crisis is only one case study. . .

The Associated Press studied the records and found that between 2003 and 2006 the Food and Drug Administration conducted 47 percent fewer safety inspections. FDA field offices have 12 percent fewer employees. Safety tests for food produced in the United States have gone down by three quarters—have almost ground to a halt—in the previous year alone.”

read more

Pope awards knighthood to Jewish Rabbi

On March 22, 2007, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley announced that His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, has named Rabbi Leon Klenicki to the Papal Order of St. Gregory.

The Cardinal said, “Rabbi Klenicki has been a pioneer in Jewish-Catholic relations for decades. His own personal experiences of anti-Semitism led the Rabbi to be a passionate advocate for education as means of dispelling religious prejudice and promoting interreligious collaboration.”

The Cardinal noted that, “On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, Pope John Paul II said, ‘As Christians and Jews, following the example of the faith of Abraham, we are called to be a blessing to the world. This is the common task awaiting us. It is therefore necessary for us, Christians and Jews, to first be a blessing to one another.’ Rabbi Leon Klenicki’s life has been the source of blessings for all of us. We are deeply grateful for his witness and his work.” read more

New Harry Potter book out July 15

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released July 15. If you want to preorder visit Barnes and Noble.

GOP claims immigration and the devil are one and the same

Utah County GOP Chairwoman Marian Monnahan says District 65 Chairman Don Larsen has proposed legislature urging the closing of national borders to illegal immigrants to “prevent the destruction of the U.S. by stealth invasion.”

“In order for Satan to establish his ‘New World Order’ and destroy the freedom of all people as predicted in the Scriptures, he must first destroy the U.S.,” his resolution states. “The mostly quiet and unspectacular invasion of illegal immigrants does not focus the attention of the nations the way open warfare does, but is all the more insidious for its stealth and innocuousness.” Jump to full article read more

No-knead bread!

New York Times food critic & chef Mark Bittman [his book] on 08 Oct 2006

“I asked Harold McGee, who is an amateur breadmaker and best known as the author of "On Food and Cooking" (Scribner, 2004), what he thought of this method. His response:

It makes sense. The long, slow rise does over hours what intensive kneading does in minutes: it brings the gluten molecules into side-by-side alignment to maximize their opportunity to bind to each other and produce a strong, elastic network. The wetness of the dough is an important piece of this because the gluten molecules are more mobile in a high proportion of water, and so can move into alignment easier and faster than if the dough were stiff. read more

Nation-state Walmart store “police” use harsh interrogation tactics

Excerpt from article by Barbara Ehrenreich.

Justin Kenward, who worked at a Target store in Chino CA for three years, wrote to tell me about his six hour interrogation, in 2003, by the store’s “Asset Protection” agents, who accused him of wrongly giving a fellow employee a discount on a video game a year earlier:

After about an hour of trying to tell them that I don’t remember any thing about that day let alone that transaction, I had to use the restroom. I asked if I could and was denied. This goes on for about another hour when I say “Look I have to pee, bad, can I go to the restroom?” Once more I was told no. So I stand up and start walking out the door, and was stopped. At this point I thought to my self “They’re looking to fire me!” So I start to think of ways that transaction might have came to be. I say something like read more

Snowboarding daredevil

The act is fabulous. The telling of it could use a little work. Video.