The Spanish government has created a new post in an attempt to boost pregnancy rates and halt the country’s declining population. The role of the so-called “sex czar” is to be taken up by Edelmira Barreria Diz, a demographics expert and senator in the Galician parliament. According to official statistics, Spain recorded a lower number of births than deaths last year, the first time this has happened since 1941.
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Professors at Columbia University want space to discuss their “distress” over Donald Trump’s election, saying they don’t know anyone who isn’t “chronically and deeply” upset by the result. In a letter to Columbia President Lee Bollinger, professors Robert Pollack and Letty Moss-Salentijn, the co-chairs of the Columbia Faculty Affairs Committee, say Trump’s election has cast a “malaise that sits like a fog over Columbia” that not even George Orwell’s classic 1984 can adequately address.
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The tools are there to be abused. Anyone who doubts this aspect of intrusive surveillance programs is either a supporter or a beneficiary. Oversight might be in place and various checks and balances instituted, but the scope and breadth of these programs ensures — at minimum — collection of communications and data government surveillance agencies have no business looking at. If someone’s given a tool that allows them to snoop on almost anyone with impunity, it will eventually be abused. Case in point: everywhere and everything related to state-sponsored surveillance.
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The New York Teamsters Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund has won the unfortunate award for “First Pension to Officially Run Out of Money.” According to the New York Daily News, and a host of angry former truck drivers who’ve had their pension benefits slashed, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) has officially been forced to step in and take over payments to retirees of the Local 707, albeit at a much lower rate.
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According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), at least 231 colleges and universities have created ‘Bias Response Teams’ or BRT’s. BRT’s encourage nearly 3 MILLION students to anonymously report offensive free speech to administrators and campus police. Encouraging students and faculty to anonymously report one another for subversive or offensive speech is Un-American.
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Those who accuse CNN and other mainstream media outlets of “fake news” will probably revel in a recent decision by a federal judge in Atlanta, Georgia. While Judge Orinda Evans didn’t all out declare that CNN was peddling in falsehoods, she did take aim at the network in an initial judgment in favor of a former hospital CEO who sued CNN accusing them of purposely skewing statistics to reflect poorly on a West Palm Beach hospital. Judge Evans didn’t mince words in her 18-page order allowing the case to move forward, and dismissing CNN’s attempt to get it thrown out of court.
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Last week, Republican state senator Sonny Borrelli offered a rather disturbing solution to the many recent protests that had turned violent since the election. He proposed SB1142, a bill that would give the police unprecedented powers to quell protests. It would allow cops to arrest anyone at a protest that had turned violent, regardless of their involvement in the violence.
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