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Mixed grill (photo: dustin j. williams via Flickr)

There were a number of newsy tidbits which crossed the desktop today worthy of a second look. They might not be enough on their own for a post, but served up together we might have something worthy of discussion.

U.S. Arrests Online Seller Who Scared Customers (NYT) —
Funny how so many outlets nagged about Google’s re-jiggering of their search algorithm to prevent shysters like’s Vitaly Borker from taking advantage of negative publicity to further their business. Borker was clearly acting in bad faith, and now the Department of Justice clearly thinks Borker was acting criminally, too. Why shouldn’t Google keep businesses whose business models rely on unethical and illegal behavior from rising to the top of your search results?

Death Toll from Rains in Venezuela Rises to 34 (Latin American Herald Tribune) —
Western and coastal portions of Venezuela have been hard hit by heavy rains, resulting in the displacement of Venezuelans from their homes. Some reports say as many as 90,000 people have been forced to seek shelter, some in hotels at the order of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. One might wonder if this is yet another example of weather volatility due to climate change.

Columbia University Reverses Anti-WikiLeaks Guidance (Threat Level at —
Free speech wins this round as Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs walks back the recommendation made by an alumnus last week that students not tweet or post links to WikiLeaks. Gary Sick, a professor in the same program and a former National Security Council member who served under Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan, went so far as to say international relations students who hadn’t gone looking for WikiLeaks documents “don’t deserve to be a graduate in international relations.”

Health of Elizabeth Edwards Deteriorates ( Chapel Hill NC) —
On advice of her doctors, 61-year-old Elizabeth Edwards has apparently discontinued treatment of the metastatic breast cancer now spread to her liver. She has issued a statement on her Facebook page and is now at home with her family. We wish her and her loved ones much grace and strength for the days and weeks ahead.

What’s on your mind? Was there something you saw in the way of news you’d like to share?

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Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, FDL community member since 2005, geek since birth.

Fan of science and technology, wannabe artist, decent cook, successful troublemaker and purveyor of challenging memetics whose genetics may be only nominally better.

Assistant Editor at Firedoglake and Editor at The Seminal.