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News Blog

Alternate Realities Roundup 7/16

by Eric S. Peterson
- Posted // 2013-07-16 -

The U.S. Army admits it has had real difficulties in maintaining records after investigation looks at lost records that impeded veterans’ ability to obtain disability benefits.

Top of the Alty World

“Army Says War Records Gap Is Real, Launches Recovery Effort”--ProPublica

Thousands march in protest of the Florida verdict clearing George Zimmerman of wrongdoing in the shooting death of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin.—Rolling Stone

A Republican congressman quietly takes down videos from his site where he takes a hardline stance on immigration, after being elected to a district that is half Latino and strongly in favor of immigration reform.—BuzzFeed

A Wisconsin man faces deportation and separation from his family for smoking weed when he was 17—18 years prior to being picked up by immigration and customs agents.—Isthmus

Top of Alty Utah

Lawmakers contemplate changes to be made to the committee that will be investigating Attorney General John Swallow.—Utah Policy

Interest is fading in the controversial Ski Link proposal.—KUER

A Rose Park event is raising awareness of the challenges in providing mental-health care to minority residents.—KUER

Animal rights activists are looking to recruit some children to help protest animal conditions at Lagoon.—Salt Lake City Weekly

Rantosphere

Black news and culture site The Root calls out President Obama for giving into a kind of pernicious “cancer”-like racism in the country by sidestepping the issue of race in his statement on the Zimmerman verdict.

“For the president to not even acknowledge the existence of such a cancer is unconscionable. It's the equivalent of the nation's surgeon general saying, "Remember to eat your vegetables, but as far as cancer goes, it's certainly a tragedy for all Americans and that's all I have to say about that." The president should say more. When it comes to issues like sky-high black unemployment, President Obama has spent much of his tenure in office running so far from the issue of race that he is close to falling off a cliff. Many of us forgave him for his silence before the last election, recognizing that the cancer of subtle racism that killed Trayvon could quite possibly kill the re-election hopes of any black candidate who dared have the courage to honestly discuss the racial dynamics of the case. But now, he is in his final term, and yet he continues to pretend that our country's racial cancer is in remission.”—The Root

The Long View

Businessweek takes a look at James McCormick, the con man who made millions selling phony bomb detectors to Iraqi military and security forces.

“Few of the tales of graft and theft that emerged from the Iraq War—U.S. troops being sold $45 six-packs of soda or entire pallets of vacuum-sealed U.S. currency disappearing into the night—can match that of James McCormick, whose exploits were so preposterous they would seem purely comic if it weren’t for their lethal consequences. The ADE 651, and similar devices sold by McCormick over the decade or so he spent in the explosives-detection business, owe their existence to Wade Quattlebaum, president of Quadro in Harleyville, S.C. At the beginning of the 1990s, Quattlebaum—a sometime-car dealer, commercial diver, and treasure hunter whose formal education ended in high school—began promoting a new detection technology he called the Quadro Tracker Positive Molecular Locator, which he claimed could help law enforcement agencies find everything from contraband to missing persons. Quattlebaum said he originally invented the device to find lost balls on the golf course, but had since refined it to locate marijuana, cocaine, heroin, gunpowder and dynamite by detecting the individual “molecular frequency” of each substance.”--Businessweek

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