Beth Ditto Announces First Solo LP ‘Fake Sugar’

Former Gossip singer Beth Ditto declared the impending arrival of her debut LP Fake Sugar with its searing first single “Fire.”

The album, Ditto’s first full-length release as a solo artist, is due out June 16th.

In an interview earlier in the day with BBC 1 Radio, Ditto said she spent two years writing nearly 80 songs for her solo album, including some tracks written with producer Jacknife Lee. However, her main collaborator on Fake Sugar was songwriter and producer Jennifer Decilveo. “She was the rollerblades to my roller skates. We’d argue all day long and I loved it,” Ditto said of the collaboration in a statement.

In addition to album opener “Fire,” the 12-song LP also features a cut titled “Go Baby Go” that serves as a tribute to late Suicide singer Alan Vega. The singer’s 2014 marriage to her longtime girlfriend also informed Fake Sugar‘s lyrics. “This is adulthood, baby,” Ditto added. “You fought for marriage equality, now you gotta live in it.”

The Gossip released their final album together, A Joyful Noise, in 2012. The previous year, Ditto released her solo Beth Ditto EP, but since then, her solo output consisted of guest appearances before Monday’s Fake Sugar announcement. During that time, the singer also penned a memoir and unveiled her own fashion line.

Fake Sugar preorders open Tuesday; those who purchase the album receive an instant download of “Fire.”

Fake Sugar Track List

1. “Fire”
2. “In And Out”
3. “Fake Sugar”
4. “Savoire Faire”
5. “We Could Run”
6. “Oo La La”
7. “Go Baby Go”
8. “Oh My God”
9. “Love In Real Life”
10. “Do You Want Me To”
11. “Lover”
12. “Clouds”               

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President Trump Signs Repeal of U.S. Broadband Privacy Rules

United States President Donald Trump today signed into law a bill that reverses Obama-era broadband privacy rules preventing Internet Service Providers from selling a subscriber’s web browsing history and other personal information without permission.



The now-reversed law would have limited what ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T could do with sensitive customer data like location, browsing history, and other personal information like Social Security numbers. Under the law, which would have been enacted at the end of 2017, ISPs were also required to strengthen protections against hackers and security breaches.



Going forward, Internet Service Providers will not need to get permission from customers to sell customer data like web browsing history, but following customer outcry and confusion over the repeal of the law, many ISPs have said customer data won’t be sold.



Image via The Verge



Comcast, for example, says it has “no plans” to sell individual web browsing history, while Verizon says it “does not sell the personal web browsing history” of its customers.



Internet providers argued that the rules were confusing to customers and discriminatory and unfair because they didn’t apply to tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook.



Privacy advocates like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation opposed the rollback of the law and have argued that privacy protections are desperately needed to keep consumers safe.



For end users, the repeal of the law effectively maintains the status quo because it was not enacted before being shuttered, but it’s worth noting that the resolution contains language preventing the FCC from enabling similar privacy rules in the future.



The repeal is the first step the Trump administration plans to take towards deregulating broadband internet service providers. According to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, President Trump has “pledged to reverse” net neutrality rules passed in 2015.



Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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State Passes Emergency Budget Extender To Avoid Government Shutdown

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the passage Monday night of an emergency budget extender that he proposed to avoid a looming government shutdown.

The state Senate earlier Monday approved the dual bills for the extender 46-15 that would extend the current state budget for two months or until an agreement is reached.

The stopgap measure will fund state operations through May 31, though lawmakers say it shouldn’t take them that long to come to an agreement on a one-year budget. Lawmakers won’t be paid until that happens, giving them one more reason to reach a consensus.

Cuomo’s office outlined some of the specific provisions in the budget extender. Among them are protections from the high costs of prescription drugs, increased direct care professional salaries, higher education investments, and funds for clean drinking water, among others.

The budget extender also continues funding the state’s Environmental Protection Fund with $300 million, and allocates $120 million to the NY Parks 2020 Initiative for transformation of the state’s flagship parks.

Funds are also set aside for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative to transform housing, economic development, transportation and community projects in downtowns throughout the state’s municipalities. Another $300 million is allocated to a world-class life science research cluster in New York state.

Among New York City projects, the budget extender invests $564 million to the reconstruction of the Kew Gardens Interchange and expanding the capacity of the Van Wyck Expressway as part of a greater plan to upgrade John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The extender also directs funds toward the construction of the Bruckner-Sheridan Interchange in the South Bronx, more space in Grand central Station to accommodate Long Island Rail Road and Amtrak riders, and toward the replacement of the Kosciusko Bridge between Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Maspeth, Queens.

Upstate, the bill hands $400 million to the Buffalo Billion Phase II project to benefit western New York, provides $70 million to continue modernizing the New York State Fair in Syracuse, and $10 million for a Photonics Venture Challenge for technology businesses in Rochester.

But few lawmakers expressed enthusiasm for the short-term bill, known as a budget `extender,’ which Cuomo introduced after he and lawmakers blew through a Saturday budget deadline.

“Passing this extender isn’t a punt of our duties,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, told reporters. “I’m just trying to make sure that government isn’t shut down.”

A new budget was due by Saturday, the first day of the new fiscal year. But lawmakers and Cuomo couldn’t agree on issues including juvenile justice reform, education spending and an affordable housing tax credit in New York City.

One key sticking point remains a proposal known as “raise the age,” which would end the state’s practice of prosecuting and incarcerating 16- and 17-year-old offenders as adults. Lawmakers in North Carolina, the only other state where 16- and 17-year-old offenders are prosecuted as adults, also are considering legislation to raise the age.

Negotiations in Albany were also bogged down over how to divide increased education funding, the details of an affordable housing and development tax credit in New York City and whether to increase the number of authorized charter schools.

“I believe we can get there,” Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan, R-Long Island, said of the work to craft the more than $150 billion spending plan.

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, said the $40 billion extender will allow government workers to be paid while lawmakers continue to wrangle out agreements, including on an effort to raise the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18.

“We should be mindful that this extender, which does keep our government running — is really again for all of us a signal for the growing dysfunction here in Albany,” Stewart-Cousins said.

Others who voted against the measure held firm to declarations made by Democratic leadership that members would not sign off on any budget item without the juvenile justice reforms. Some also criticized Cuomo for continuing the long tradition of backroom negotiations, or of not including legislative pay in the extender.

Cuomo has cited the likelihood of federal spending cuts as one reason to delay the budget, saying waiting until late May would give the state time to understand how they might impact state finances. Lawmakers from both parties dismissed that as an excuse.

“This guy (Cuomo) should look in the mirror as to why this budget is late,” said Assemblywoman Steve McLaughlin, R-Troy. “He ran his mouth for months about the dysfunction in Washington and this guy cannot get a budget done in time.”

Cuomo introduced his $152 billion budget proposal in January. The proposal would keep the status quo when it comes to taxes, add $1 billion in new public education spending and include expanded child care tax credits and a new initiative making state college tuition free for students from families earning $125,000 or less annually.

Lawmakers won’t be paid until a full budget is adopted.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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The Classic Nike Air More Uptempo Gets a Stealthy Makeover

Visit the original post to see all 5 images from this gallery.

Brand: Nike

Model: Air More Uptempo “Triple Black”

Key Features: Nubuck construction, leather detailing, 3M reflective accents, enlarged “AIR” branding, visible air sole unit.

Release Date: Saturday, April 15

Price: $160

Availability: Nike

Editor’s Notes: While the upcoming Supreme x Nike Air More Uptempo “Suptempo” Pack is the most notable variation of the silhouette this year, Scottie Pippen’s signature basketball sneaker will be offered in a blacked-out theme as well this Spring 2017. Although its 20th anniversary was last year, expect more colorways of the sneaker to debut throughout the remainder of 2017.

Don’t forget to view the 15 Best Sneaker Shots From Our Snobshots Air Max Day Competition.

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The Surprising Role of Guardian Angels

The Surprising Role of Guardian Angels

What did Jesus mean in Matthew 18:10 when he said, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven”? He meant: Let the magnificence of every unimpressive Christian’s entourage of angels silence our scorn and awaken awe at the simplest children of God.

To see this, let’s clarify, first, who “these little ones” are.

Who Are “These Little Ones”?

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones.” They are true believers in Jesus, viewed from the standpoint of their childlike trust in God. They are the heaven-bound children of God. We know this because of the immediate and wider context of the Gospel of Matthew.

This section in Matthew 18 began with the disciples asking, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 18:1). Jesus answers, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3–4). In other words, the text is not about children. It is about those who become like children, and thus enter the kingdom of heaven. It’s about true disciples of Jesus.

This is confirmed in Matthew 18:6 where Jesus says, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” The “little ones” are those “who believe” in Jesus.

In the wider context, we see the same language with the same meaning. For example, in Matthew 10:42, Jesus says, “Whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” The “little ones” are “disciples.”

Similarly, in the famous, and often misquoted, picture of the final judgment in Matthew 25, Jesus says, “The King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’” (Matthew 25:40; compare with Matthew 11:11). The “least of these” are the “brothers” of Jesus. The “brothers” of Jesus are those who do the will of God (Matthew 12:50), and those who do the will of God are those who “enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

Therefore, in Matthew 18:10, when Jesus refers to “these little ones” whose angels see the face of God, he is talking about his disciples — those who will enter the kingdom of heaven — not people in general. Whether humans in general have good or evil angels assigned to them (by God or the devil) is not addressed in the Bible as far as I can see. We would do well not to speculate about it. Such speculations appeal to untethered curiosities and can create distractions from vastly more sure and more important realities.

One Angel for Each Christian?

So, our question now is this: What does Jesus mean when he says that we should not despise his childlike followers? And how is it an argument for this, when he refers to “their angels” seeing God? “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For (= because) I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”

It is possible that “their angels” refers to a specific angel assigned to each disciple. There is one other text that some think points in this direction. When the praying believers in Acts 12 could not believe that Peter was knocking at the gate, since he was supposed to be in prison, they said, “It is his angel!” (Acts 12:15). That may or may not imply that all believers have an angel assigned to them. It may only imply that in that situation God had commissioned an angel to use Peter’s voice (Acts 12:14), and perhaps awaken even more urgent prayer for him.

It is even more difficult here in Matthew 18:10 to infer that each believer has an angel assigned to him. What it says is, “In heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” The word “their” certainly implies that these angels have a special personal role to play in relation to Jesus’s disciples. But the plural “angels” may simply mean that all believers have numerous angels assigned to serve them, not just one.

Calvin’s Careful Observation

I think John Calvin’s careful observation about this text is exactly right:

The interpretation given to this passage by some commentators, as if God assigned to each believer his own angel, does not rest on solid grounds. For the words of Christ do not mean that a single angel is continually occupied with this or the other person; and such an idea is inconsistent with the whole doctrine of Scripture, which declares that the angels encamp around (Psalm 34:7) the godly, and that not one angel only, but many, have been commissioned to guard every one of the faithful. Away, then, with the fanciful notion of a good and evil angel, and let us rest satisfied with holding that the care of the whole Church is committed to angels, to assist each member as his necessities shall require. (Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke, on Matthew 18:10)

Old-Covenant Ministry of Angels

“The care of the whole Church is committed to angels.” This is not a new idea. Angels are active throughout the Old Testament for the sake of God’s people. For example,

He [Jacob] dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! (Genesis 28:12)

The angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.” (Judges 13:3)

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. (Psalm 34:7)

He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. (Psalm 91:11)

Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! (Psalm 103:20–21)

“My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” (Daniel 6:22)

All Angels, All Christians, All the Time

And more important than these Old Testament references to angels, Hebrews 1:14 makes it clear that God sends angels to minister for the sake of the people of Christ. In the context of Hebrews 1, the writer is arguing that the Son of God is infinitely greater than angels. One of his arguments is that God never said to any angel, “Sit at my right hand” as he did to Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:13). Instead, angels are simply God’s servants who do his bidding for the sake of those who are on their way to heaven.

To which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:13–14)

The promise here is better than the tradition that every saint has one personal guardian angel. What Hebrews 1:14 says is that all the angels — all of them — are specifically sent “for ministry” (Greek eis diakonian) — not ministry “to” Christians, but ministry “for the sake of” Christians (Greek dia tous mellontas kleronomein soterian).

This means that everything angels do, everywhere in the world, at all times, is for the good of Christians. An angel who does something by God’s assignment anywhere in the world is fulfilling the promise that God will work all things for the good of all Christians — everywhere. This is a sweeping and stunning promise. All angels serve for the good of all Christians all the time. They are agents of Romans 8:28.

The Wonder That Eminent Angels Serve Others

But as amazing as that is, it’s not the point of Matthew 18:10. The jolting point of Matthew 18:10 is not the wonder that angels serve us, but the wonder that angels serve others. Remember, the context is about how we treat other believers: “these little ones.” “See that you do not despise one of these little ones” (Matthew 18:10).

The argument Jesus gives for why we should not treat other believers in belittling ways is because “in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” The point of saying that these angels “see the face of my Father” is that they have the immeasurable rank and privilege to be in the immediate presence of God. You can see that meaning in Esther 1:14 and Revelation 22:4.

Having Angels Does Not Increase Our Safety or Dignity

So, how are we to be motivated to honor the lowliest Christian (Matthew 11:11) because the angels who attend them have immeasurably high rank and privilege?

I would suggest this: Ponder first that every Christian has the Creator of the universe as his Father (Romans 8:16–17), and has the Lord of the universe as his elder brother (Romans 8:29). You cannot have a safer, more exalted position as a human being than to have God as your all-caring, all-providing Father (Matthew 6:32–33; Luke 12:30–32), and Jesus as your all-authoritative Lord (Matthew 28:18).

Having a hundred or a thousand of the highest ranking angels serving you does not increase your safety or your dignity. How, then, does the argument work? How are we motivated to treat all ordinary Christians with deep respect “because” they are served by many high-ranking angels?

The Entourage of Titans Reminds You Whom You Are Dealing With

Suppose you were going to receive the son of the greatest king this afternoon. You know that he is the son of a king. He might arrive at your estate walking with two guards. In that case, he would be worthy of the greatest respect — simply because he is a king’s son. But in fact, he is going to arrive with one hundred terrifying titans of greatest strength and beauty surrounding him on every side. These beings are the elite guard and agents of the king.

When you see this entourage, the point is not that this entourage gives the king’s son a greater glory than he already had simply by being the king’s son. Rather this is a reminder of what it is like to be the king’s son.

I think this is what Jesus wants us to think when the least impressive disciple of Jesus walks into a room. “The angels of this disciple always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” There is no counting these angels, since more or less every angel in the world serves “for the sake of” this disciple (Hebrews 1:14). And these angels always see God’s face — they have a rank and dignity corresponding to direct access to God.

Hold Every Christian in Highest Esteem

Therefore (!), don’t despise this simple, unimpressive disciple of Jesus! Let his angelic entourage remind you whose son he is. Let this angelic entourage remind you who his older brother is. Put your hand over your critical mouth, and show great esteem (Philippians 2:3) to all ordinary, childlike disciples. If having God as their Father, and Jesus as their Lord does not cause you to exchange your derision for deference, then let the terrifying advocacy and rank of their magnificent angels wake you from your stupor.

Or as Jesus says, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”

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Innovation in AI could see governments introduce human quotas, study says

Report predicts rise in robotics will usher in ‘industrial revolution 4.0’ altering working practices and legal frameworks

Innovation in artificial intelligence and robotics could force governments to legislate for quotas of human workers, upend traditional working practices and pose novel dilemmas for insuring driverless cars, according to a report by the International Bar Association.

The survey, which suggests that a third of graduate level jobs around the world may eventually be replaced by machines or software, warns that legal frameworks regulating employment and safety are becoming rapidly outdated.

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