Do you think anthropogenic global warming is a hoax? Are you unconvinced that your ancestors had more in common with Cheetah than with Tarzan? Have you any doubts about the official version of how 9/11 went down? Then you, according to Evgeny Morozov, are part of a “kooky” “fringe movement” whose growth must be checked by forcing you to read “authoritative” content whenever you go looking for information on such topics on the Internet.

 

As environmental groups hail President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, billionaire and prominent Democratic donor Warren Buffett is set to reap a handsome reward from the decision. Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC is a notable beneficiary — among other U.S. and Canadian railroads — of the move, as it is one of the railroads that will transport the Canadian oil if the pipeline isn’t approved.

 

As many Catholic dioceses across America step up their efforts to protect the unborn and defend traditional marriage and family, Pope Benedict XVI is warning Catholic Church leaders to prepare for a protracted conflict against forces committed to a “radical secularism” which threatens not only the Christian faith, but the world as a whole.

 

Imagine this scenario: Your neighbor comes to you asking for money. He confesses to having gone on a lottery-winner spending spree year after year, to buying his kids everything without making them work for anything, and to knowingly and profligately living well above his means for so long he can’t remember. 


 

“The United Nations does extraordinary good around the world — feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, mending places that have been broken. But it also struggles to enforce its will, and to live up to the ideals of its founding. I believe that those imperfections are not a reason to walk away from this institution — they are a calling to redouble our efforts. The United Nations can either be a place where we bicker about outdated grievances, or forge common ground; a place where we focus on what drives us apart, or what brings us together; a place where we indulge tyranny, or a source of moral authority. In short, the United Nations can be an institution that is disconnected from what matters in the lives of our citizens, or it can be an indispensable factor in advancing the interests of the people we serve.”

 

Judge Robert Blackburn of the U.S. District Court of Colorado ruled on Monday that a defendant must decrypt her laptop computer so that prosecutors can open the files containing data they need to complete building their case against her.

 

The Dutch Muslim Party, an Islamist political party in the Netherlands, has announced its intention to compete for seats in the nation’s parliament. Given the success of the party in several smaller political campaigns — securing offices in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and other Dutch cities — it is possible that a party, which targets the approximately 6 percent of the nation’s population that identifies itself as Muslim, may find it has sufficient support to gain influence in the Dutch parliament.

 

Just before Christmas the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced a small improvement to its 2,100 free online courses: The free online service will now grant, for a modest affordable fee, credentials for those online students who gain mastery of the subject. Instead of calling it MIT 2.0, they named it MITx, and it is likely to challenge and change the higher education paradigm and the cartel that runs it.

 

Following a failed presidential bid that raised some doubts about her political future, U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced January 25 that she will run for a fourth term in Congress. Bachmann dropped out of the GOP presidential race after placing a dismal sixth in the January 3 Iowa caucuses, and observers had speculated that she may trade in her political career to work the lecture circuit and conservative talk media. But in an interview with the Associated Press she confirmed that she was “looking forward to coming back and bringing a strong, powerful voice to Washington, D.C.”

 

House Republicans unleashed a barrage of criticism Wednesday during a House hearing on Chevrolet’s Volt electric car, after the head of the federal auto safety agency insisted that the vehicles are not dangerous. "The Chevrolet Volt is safe to drive and it has been safe to drive the whole time," David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), told a congressional panel. "Not only would I drive it, I would [take] my wife, my mother and my baby sister along for the ride."

 

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