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A Note to Police Officers about Technology and Accountability

NYPD Police Officers and Occupy Wall Street Protestors Photo: Timothy Krause

Advances in data mining and facial recognition technology will assure that every officer brutalizing Occupy Wall Street protestors will have to answer for their actions.  Has anyone told the police?

Cities Battle Occupy Wall Street Tents, Ignore Ideas

Occupy Wall Street Riot Police Raid Tents Photo Credit http://urbangrounds.com/2

It would seem that no expense is too great, no amount of violence too brutal, for America's cities to battle the tents of Occupy Wall Street.  However, no mayor, no politician has engaged the tenants of the OWS movement. (Photo Credit: http://urbangrounds.com/2011/10/occupy-denver-arrests/)

Notes from the Berlin Wall 50th Anniversary Ceremony - 2011

Berlin Wall 50th Anniversary. Photo: Jennifer Martin

August 13, 2011.  Berlin -- The gravity of Berlin's tragic history belies the creative pulse of the modern culture factory new place. It's possible to visit Berlin and completely immerse oneself in galleries, cabarets, and discos and miss the scars completely. It's possible to live here and ignore the sacrifices and triumphs of your neighbors.

Guest Blogging at Sustainable Cities Collective: Deutsche Bahn and Siemens partner for world’s most advanced train network

Deutsche Bahn Siemens Train Photo Credit Matt Buck

Sorry I've been out for a while folks.  Been laid up with some minor surgery.  I just happened to get an invite to guest blog from the fine peope at the Sustainable Cities Collective on the day I'm back to writing.

On Monday, Germany’s state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn and Siemens AG confirmed an order for 300 of the most advanced high-speed trains in the world.  In what amounts to a Hail Mary pass, the beleaguered Deutsche Bahn is pouring EUR 6 billion into 250km/h ICx train service through 2030.  Read the rest at the Sustainable Cities Collective.

Protestors Interrupt, Obama Sidesteps Issues on Manning

Obama Fundraiser Protest Photo Credit Logan Price Manning San Francisco

U.S. President Obama got a taste of Bay Area politics this last week when protestors broke up his breakfast fundraiser in San Francisco to confront him about the imprisonment and torture of whistleblower Pfc. Bradley Manning.  Obama's response proved he can roll with the punches, but it also showed that Obama is unwilling to say anything meaningful about Manning's mistreatment.  But then again, no one expects him to.

Disagreement over Costs and Capacity Distract from Germany's Nuclear Phase-Out

Anti Nuclear Power Protest Flag Atomkraft Memkaos

Wildly conflicting reports over the potential effects of Germany's nuclear phase-out are in the limelight, but the government and energy companies are missing the point.  Arguing cost and capacity is irrelevant in a country that decided more than a decade ago to leave nuclear behind.

NYT: Police Concerned with Bad Behavior only on Social Networks

Shepard Fairey Rise Above Cop Copyright Poster Police

If you are a sadistic, blood-thirsty police officer out to punish (what you consider to be) evildoers (read: minorities) with no regard to civil rights or due process, no problem.  Just don't go telling anyone about it online. 

It's not Alcoholism, It's Philanthropy: Getting Drunk on Corporate Social Responsibility

Beer Alcohol Corporate Social Responsibility Photo Credit: Jennifer Martin

Charity options have traditionally been limited for people unaccustomed to signing novelty-sized checks.  But now you don’t have to wait until you get to the wino waiting outside the liquor store to give, you can start right at the register.

Attacke Gegen Hundekacke - Attack Dog Poop Demonstration Körnerkiez Neukölln

Hundekacke Strasse Koenerkiez Neukoelln Photo Credit: Laurent Martin

The streets of Neukölln are a battlefield.  Berlin's most diverse, most rapidly gentrifying neighborhood is at war.  A lot of newspapers are sold with the story that it's us immigrants at odds with our German host or that we're fighting unemployment, but it's not: its the dog shit.  And my neighborhood, the Körnerkiez, is ground zero.  Today the children took to the streets to fight a seemingly insurmountable foe, hundekacke.

California's Misdirected Proposal to Tax Bee Keepers

California Bee Tax Photo Credit: Andy Hay

The modern bee keeper is a gambler.  Colony Collapse Disorder has left North America with half the number of hives it had 30 years ago, 50% of California's bees died last winter alone.  It now costs more for farmers to rent bees than ever before- seasonal profits can be good, but it seems the house is winning.  So why not tax bee keeping like gambling as the California Apiary Research Commission is thinking of doing?  Oh yeah, maybe because California is the US's main producer of fruits and vegetables and bees pollinate the food that allows us to live. 

At best, this could be viewed as a misguided attempt to help fund research by a bankrupt state government. But it contradicts the premise of the much-needed research and misappropriates the state's role in intervening to help avert possible disaster as a result of CCD.

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The Thought Cannon was created to provide an informative and entertaining source for news and opinion that will blow your mind. 

The Thought Cannon believes that a mix of humor and skepticism is the best way to fight the forces of the bloviating, ineffectual media (though we don't shy away from our own bloviating!).  We invite you join in the skirmish by commenting.

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