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August 24, 2009

Housing segregation may be the United States' greatest failure

Integration Faces a New Test in the Suburbs - NYTimes.com
It felt like a return to the ’60s a week ago — a sweeping call for social justice, a frontal assault on the comforts of the status quo, the resurrection of issues and rallying cries from the distant past. We speak not of that famous concert in the mud, which now seems as threatening as an eccentric uncle, but of a desegregation agreement that would compel Westchester County to create hundreds of housing units for moderate-income people in some of the most affluent and least racially diverse communities in the country. The agreement is a result of a 2007 lawsuit arguing that Westchester had made false claims to the government when it applied for federal housing money and asserted it was furthering fair housing. A federal judge ruled that Westchester had, in fact, “utterly failed” to meet its obligations, particularly in its most affluent and least integrated communities. Of the many fault lines in American life — school desegregation, Social Security, guns, immigration, health care policy, abortion — residential desegregation has been so charged it has all but disappeared from view. It’s not a third rail — it’s off the tracks. So exactly how one defines “a fully integrated society” and how aggressively the government pursues it will determine whether this is an isolated settlement with limited goals or something with the potential to make the uproar over health care policy seem like a sedate ripple.

A significant number of Baby Boomers are unhealthy binge drinkers

Many Americans over 50 are binge drinkers, study says - Medicine - Kentucky.com
RALEIGH, N.C. — A significant percentage of people older than 50 are binge drinking, and experts fear the trend could cause severe health problems in the near future for baby boomers who continue their heavy drinking habits, according to a new study by Duke University Medical Center researchers. Twenty-two percent of men and 9 percent of women 50 to 64 reported drinking five or more drinks at one time during the last month, according to the survey, which will be published in the online edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry this week. The study showed 19 percent of men and 13 percent of women in the same age group engaged in heavy or at-risk drinking — two or more drinks a day. In the 65-and-older age group, 14 percent of men and 3 percent of women engaged in binge drinking, researchers found. Titled the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the research is touted as one of the largest surveys of substance use among people older than 50.

Lockerbie bomber freed after 21 years in prison

FBI chief: Bomber's release 'a mockery' - CNN.com He killed 270 people, so he served 28 days per death.
Al Megrahi had been serving a life sentence for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in which 270 people, including 189 Americans, were killed. MacAskill freed him after doctors concluded he has terminal prostate cancer and estimated he has three months to live. In explaining his decision to release al Megrahi, MacAskill said that Scotland's "justice system demands that judgment be imposed but compassion [be] available. Our beliefs dictate that justice be served but mercy be shown." Al Megrahi received a jubilant welcome on his return to Libya, where a flag-waving crowd cheered and honked horns.

33 advertisers abandon Glenn Beck over racist rantings

Attack on Obama riles Beck's advertisers - Yahoo! News
NEW YORK – Glenn Beck returns to Fox News Channel on Monday after a vacation with fewer companies willing to advertise on his show than when he left, part of the fallout from calling President Barack Obama a racist. A total of 33 Fox advertisers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., CVS Caremark, Clorox and Sprint, directed that their commercials not air on Beck's show, according to the companies and ColorofChange.org, a group that promotes political action among blacks and launched a campaign to get advertisers to abandon him. That's more than a dozen more than were identified a week ago. While it's unclear what effect, if any, this will ultimately have on Fox and Beck, it is already making advertisers skittish about hawking their wares within the most opinionated cable TV shows.

August 23, 2009

16 porn companies sued for not using condoms

Groups to file complaints against 16 porn companies -- latimes.com They have filed CAL/OSHA claims as well, for workplace safety.
Vowing "never to stop pushing" for condom use in porn, AIDS Healthcare Foundation officials said Wednesday that they plan to file complaints today with state officials against 16 California-based production companies they say have violated workplace safety laws. The complaints will mark the latest move by the Los Angeles-based advocacy group to pressure the porn industry and government regulators to do more to safeguard the health of adult-film performers. The foundation sued Los Angeles County last month alleging that public health officials had failed to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and to enforce laws requiring employers to protect workers against exposure to bodily fluids. The suit was filed after the disclosure that an adult-film performer had tested positive for HIV.
*via Violet Blue on Twitter*