David Maurand

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Parrot's Cries of 'Help, Fire' Bring Firefighters to Burning House in Idaho

U.S. news<p>Emergency crews responding to a house fire in Idaho Friday night expected to find an elderly woman inside the home when they heard cries of "help" and "fire."<p>But after an extensive search, firefighters were only able to find two parrots — one who happened to be more verbal than the …

Fire Fighting

I Dream Of Commonwealth: The Things We Do For Ourselves

<b>A few days ago,</b> we looked at the efforts by Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin -- the latest heartthrob of the Anyone-But-Jeb (!) wing of the Republican party -- to cut $300 million from the public university system of the state he manages on behalf of his various donors. It was one of those …

Evangelicals’ racist “purity” culture: What’s really behind Huckabee’s Beyoncé slur

<b>(Reuters/Brian Frank/AP/Jordan Strauss)</b><p>When Mike Huckabee suggested that Jay Z was a pimp, he was tapping into an ugly history – and, likely, on purpose<p>Dianna Anderson<p>January 31, 2015 2:30pm (UTC)<p>In an interview promoting his recent book about American Christian political identity, Mike Huckabee …

Jewish angels and Roman gods: The ancient mythological origins of Christmas

The story of Jesus’ conception and birth is deeply beholden to Hellenistic tradition. A religious scholar explains<p>Valerie Tarico<p>December 12, 2014 7:59pm (UTC)<p>This article originally appeared on AlterNet.<p><i>Valerie Tarico interviews Dr. Tony Nugent, scholar of world religions. Dr. Nugent is a</i> …

Torture Is Who We Are

A country, like a person, is what it does.<p>Torture, declared President Obama this week, in response to the newly released Senate report on CIA interrogation, is “contrary to who we are.” Maine Senator Angus King added that, “This is not America. This is not who we are.” According to Kentucky …

Hayden: No One Ever Warned Us Against Overreacting to 9/11

A damning admission from a former head of the CIA and NSA<p>After the Senate released its torture report, Michael Hayden, who formerly led both the CIA and the NSA, granted an interview to NBC News. Under questioning by Brian Williams, he provided no persuasive rebuttal to the report's findings. But …

Elegy for a Hero of Religious Freedom

Al Smith's stand against the power of the state eventually led to new laws protecting an ancient Indian faith.<p>If the American media had a better sense of history, you’d have read by now that Alfred Leo Smith died last month. His life powerfully shaped the American law of religious freedom.<p>Here’s an …

Applying 'Broken Windows' to the Police

In poorer neighborhoods, overly aggressive officers are too often a source of community anxiety. Their misbehavior contributes to disorder.<p>One of the most influential policing concepts of our era, the broken-windows theory, holds that disorder and crime are "usually inextricably linked in a kind of …

Rula Jebreal: Why America is losing the war on terror — and the Islam debate is so flawed

<b>Rula Jebreal, Bill Maher (HBO)</b><p>EXCLUSIVE: Leading journo explains why killing Osama didn’t end the war — and why Bill Maher & co. get Islam wrong<p>Rula Jebreal<p>November 26, 2014 11:59am (UTC)<p>America is losing the longest war in its history. An enemy that had comprised a couple of hundred desperate men …

Pseudoscience promoter Dr. Oz’s Twitter Q&A was a magnificent train wreck

<b>Dr. Mehmet C. Oz (AP/Lauren Victoria Burke)</b><p>When will social media teams see this stuff coming?<p>Joanna Rothkopf<p>November 13, 2014 6:00pm (UTC)<p>Dr. Mehmet Oz, television show host and cardiothoracic surgeon, has gotten in hot water for peddling "magic weight-loss cures" and other miracle remedies that, …

Why conservative Christians would have hated Jesus

<b>(Jaroslav74 via Shutterstock)</b><p>Even as they profess to spread his word, fundamentalists are forgetting Jesus’ most important message<p>Frank Schaeffer<p>November 3, 2014 9:55pm (UTC)<p>This article originally appeared on AlterNet.<p><b>Jesus never could have been the pastor of a contemporary evangelical church nor</b> …

Passive Resistance

The active voice isn’t always the best choice.<p>“Mistakes were made.” “Prepaid fees will be placed in trust.” “It is suggested that the null hypothesis can be rejected.”<p>The passive voice has long been dismissed as a hallmark of turgid prose. “Many a tame sentence,” wrote Strunk and White in <i>The</i> …

Karen Armstrong’s New Rule: Religion Isn’t Responsible for Violence

A few years ago, in my hometown of Toronto, a debate took place between Christopher Hitchens and Tony Blair about whether or not religion was a force …

The Exercise Cost of Soda and Juice

When people think about sugar calories in terms of physical activity, they choose well.<p>What if nutrition labels told people exactly what calories meant, in practical terms? A bottle of Coke could dole out specific exercise requirements. The calories herein, it might say, are the equivalent of a …

The Stradivarius Affair

It isn’t every day that a street criminal—a high-school dropout with two felony convictions—is accused of stealing a centuries-old violin worth as much as $6 million. But nothing about the heist of the Lipinski Stradivarius, which galvanized the music world last winter, was normal, or even …

How Politics Breaks Our Brains, and How We Can Put Them Back Together

I’m ly­ing in the met­al coffin of an MRI ma­chine, listen­ing to what sounds like jack­ham­mers and smelling my own breath go stale. My head is …

Tales Of The New Reality

<b>Amy Chozick</b> had some good work yesterday in <i>The New York Times</i> about the perilous prospects for the Democratic party in Arkansas, home state of the previous Democratic president and one-time workplace of the person who is the odds-on favorite to be the next one. Mike Beebe, the very popular …

Goldman Bans Employee Stock Trading Following "This American Life" Broadcast

Following a blockbuster report by <i>ProPublica</i> and <i>This American Life</i> alleging that the New York branch of the Federal Reserve, which supervises many of the largest banks, was meek, lackadaisical, and captured by the banks it was supposed to supervise, one of those banks, Goldman Sachs, has changed its …

Kinder Morgan

The Constitution Is More Than Just an Obstacle

Obama doesn't want to ask Congress to declare a war. Congress doesn't seem interested in fighting back. But the law demands otherwise.<p>Congress seems to be on track to authorize President Obama to address the situation in the Middle East. Strikingly enough, however, it is authorization for one small …

Nobody Needs More Than 19 Minutes With Steve Jobs

Andy Langer remembers his fateful interview with a great man.<p><i>In the July, 2003 Esquire, Andy Langer sat down and interviewed Steve Jobs. Read the original feature here.</i><p><b>Last night, I listened to Steve Jobs describe me as a primitive thinker.</b> I also relived the awful, awkward silence between when he …

Tiger Beat on the Potomac Finally Crosses Over

Politico, foremost practitioner of Washington's current courtier press, goes from mere triviality into outright obscenity<p><i>To be published in the October 2014 issue, on newsstands soon. We chose to run this story ahead of time given Politico's latest hit piece on Glenn Greenwald and all of its sundry</i> …

Why the U.S. Army Is Stuck in the 19th Century

It’s unlikely that the U.S. Air Force will be abolished in anyone’s lifetime, whatever University of Kentucky professor Robert Farley, author of</i> …

“I can’t put aside the things that I’ve witnessed”: Meet the star of Netflix’s powerful new documentary

<b>Sylvia Earle sits on a tiny one-person submersible called the Deep Worker. (Kip Evans)</b><p>Legendary marine biologist Sylvia Earle describes what it’s like to witness the oceans’ destruction firsthand<p>Lindsay Abrams<p>August 17, 2014 10:58am (UTC)<p>There are two reasons why you need to watch "Mission Blue," …

Where Cellphone Numbers Go to Die

Several months ago, I was told the number associated with my first cellphone was erased from existence. My virgin number and I had been through a …

In the Future We’ll All Be Renters: America’s Disappearing Middle Class

<i>An Excerpt from Joel Kotkin’s Forthcoming book</i> The New Class Conflict <i>available for pre-order now from Telos Press and in bookstores September,</i> …

U.S. Officials Say There's a Second Snowden Leaking Security Documents

This article is from the archive of our partner .<p>The U.S. government believes it has another Edward Snowden following a new story from The Intercept …

“Getting Schooled”: Back to teaching in the era of Common Core

A writer returns to a profession transformed by economic inequality, standardized testing and capitalism<p>Laura Miller<p>August 3, 2014 10:00pm (UTC)<p>Before coming out with his new book, "Getting Schooled: The Reeducation of an American Teacher," Garret Keizer published popular treatises on privacy and …

Jay Rockefeller Wants to Revolutionize How You Watch TV

Sen. Jay Rock­e­feller is get­ting ready to settle in­to re­tire­ment. But be­fore he does, he’d like to upend the en­tire tele­vi­sion …

Big Food Is Not the Enemy

Neither are hamburgers<p><i>Chef Linton Hopkins serves 24 handcrafted, locally sourced burgers each night at his pub Holeman & Finch in Atlanta. Last year, after partnering with Aramark and Turner Field, he started serving 1,200-2,000 burgers at every Braves home game. There are no additives. He uses the</i> …