July 15th, 2009


Wonkette: Wikipedia is God's brain!

Wingnut Birthers Think Wikipedia Is a Living Entity With Conflicted Beliefs

In the simple reptilian brain of the common wingnut-birther, Wikipedia is not a user-generated database that anyone can edit — it is, in fact, a wondrous sentient word monster created by God. But God’s creations are often stupid and vulgar, so it’s no wonder that Wikipedia has been pretty conflicted about this whole “Obama’s birth certificate” thing pooped out by the same angry white working-class culture that successfully convinced America the moon landing never happened.

World Net Daily genius Joe Kovacs spent all day Sunday watching wingnuts add stuff like “refusal of Obama to release his long-form birth certificate has left this important detail without any confirmation” to the Barack Obama entry on Wikipedia. And then, he watched in awe as other users kept deleting this nonsense. Kovacs then describes this marvelous process as being some kind of internal argument between God’s brain, which is the Wikipedia:

Wikipedia just can’t seem to make up its mind about where President Barack Obama was born.

This is the kind of person who sits up all night waiting to see the little people march out of the teevee set and go home.

Wikipedia says Obama born in Kenya [WND] (follow the link if you wish to have your brain scrambled...)


28 year old babysitter has sex with 14 year old and asks boy's mother for her blessing... WUT????

Summer Nelson, 28-Year-Old Babysitter, Arrested For Sex With 14-Year-Old Boy (VIDEO)

A 28-year-old woman, Summer Nelson, has been arrested for having sex with a 14-year-old boy who she was babysitting. Nelson claimed to be in love with the teen, and told his siblings that she was "in love" with their brother. She even went so far as to ask the boy's mother for her blessing so they could be "together as a couple."

According to KXLY.com, Sergeant Dave Beck, a detective with the Post Falls Police Department, said,

She'd be holding his hand, she'd have her hands on his side, when they'd sit together she'd have her hand on his knee, they'd sneak away together and she'd put her sole attention on the oldest child, this boy.

The Man who knew too much

The Man Who Knew Cheney's Secret

The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh was mocked in March when he referred to Dick Cheney’s secret squad of CIA assassins. Now, he talks to The Daily Beast about the next shoe to drop.

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh raised eyebrows back in March when he told an audience at the University of Minnesota that Dick Cheney ran a secret hit squad that he kept hidden from congressional oversight.

"Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on," Hersh said at the time. He added: "Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us."

Some observers accused him of rumor-mongering and a top former military official threw cold water on the story, but with the recent news that the CIA allegedly kept Congress in the dark on a covert program, Hersh's words suddenly look more and more prescient. Yesterday, The New York Times reported the hidden program in question was a death squad authorized by Dick Cheney without congressional approval.

Now, there are key differences between Hersh's reporting and the Times' latest piece. Hersh suggested that the assassination ring was conducted out of the Joint Special Operations Command rather than the CIA. Moreover, according to Hersh's sources, the program was operational, leaving a trail of bodies, while the Times cited officials saying that the CIA hit squad never actually carried out a mission. The Times and Hersh could conceivably be reporting two distinct squads.
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Swim club in racial flap says it can't afford lawsuit

A suburban Pennsylvania swim club accused of racism says it cannot afford to fight a lawsuit that may come from the club kicking out a largely minority daycare.
Some kids from the Creative Steps Day Care Center say white members of a swim club made racial remarks.

"Our pool could not handle a lawsuit. We don't have the money. We're just a small club. We're volunteers," said Bernice Duesler, the swim club director's wife. "I hope we can teach our children a lesson -- that you should admit errors. We should have done things differently. And if there are differences, we can overcome them."





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"I wish we had come up with better solutions. I wish we had it to do all over again," she said.


The source

Well, should have thought about that before assholes!!


Breaking silence on Gaza abuses

A human rights group founded by Israeli veterans has collected what it says are damning testimonies from soldiers who took part in the offensive in January against Hamas fighters in Gaza. BBC correspondent Paul Wood looks at the anonymous claims presented by Breaking the Silence.

Standing by the ruins of his home in Gaza, Majdi Abed Rabbo explained how Israeli troops had used him as a human shield.

"The Israeli soldiers handcuffed me and pointed the gun at my neck," he said. "They controlled every step."

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Black 47 flashy albums (oh_hushx - backs

Trouble in Belfast

The Twelfth: Gunshot fired as riots erupt

Dissident republicans were behind the violence that broke out in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast, Sinn Fein have claimed.

Ugly scenes erupted ahead of the Orange parade at the flashpoint outside the Ardoyne shops yesterday.

Riot police were targeted with a barrage of petrol bombs and missiles as Orangemen attempted to complete the final leg of their annual march.

At least nine officers were injured during the violence which saw petrol bombs, bricks, and at least one shot being fired by republicans.

In a bid to maintain order police fired 18 baton rounds and deployed a water cannon against rioters.

Serious disorder continued throughout the night with vehicles being hijacked and set alight in the street.

The violence received widespread condemnation from politicians, senior police officers and agencies.

Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay described the rioting as “a face of bigotry, sectarianism and intolerance”.

Police also confirmed that earlier in the day a firearm was handed in to police after a group of children were found playing with it.

The police condemned those responsible for leaving the item as having “a total disregard” for the local community and putting local children at risk.

Speaking from the scene DUP Culture Minister Nelson McCausland said those behind the attacks wanted to drag Northern Ireland “back into the past”.

“I think we saw tonight the ugly face of dissident republicanism,” he said.

“This afternoon and this evening we saw the violence the sectarianism and intolerance of dissident republicans who are intent only in dragging Northern Ireland back to the past.”

ACC Finlay said it was “disappointing” that isolated outbreaks of violence had marred the day for all communities.

“Right across Northern Ireland there were hundreds of parades that passed off peacefully.” He condemned the minority of people behind the violence.

“They displayed the worst possible face of Northern Ireland — a face of bigotry, sectarianism and intolerance that is not representative of the vast majority of people who have embraced a peaceful future,” he said.

“It is communities who pay the price. It is their lives that are disrupted and it is their houses, businesses and local amenities that are damaged.”

He said police will carry out a “rigorous investigation”.

Sinn Féin Assembly member for the area Gerry Kelly said “a small number” of dissident republicans from outside Ardoyne were behind the ugly scenes.

“They orchestrated the trouble this evening,” he said. “These people want to see sectarian violence on the streets of Ardoyne and North Belfast.

“It was fairly obvious that these individuals are quite happy to try and orchestrate violence, whip up sectarian tensions and simply drive back to the areas they come from, leaving this community to pick up the pieces.”

Meanwhile, Twelfth of July celebrations in Londonderry were hailed as a great success, despite a handful of minor incidents which occurred in the city on the return march.

Orangemen were spat on by some members of the public as they passed by the Richmond Centre, and had several beer cans and bottles hurled in their direction.

Duncan Morrow, chief executive of the Community Relations Council, condemned the violence.

“Today’s disturbances suggest that it is time to find lasting solutions to these disputes along with all the other outstanding disagreements around culture, rights and law and order which threaten our peace,” he said.


Other links with more information:
Rioters rampage for second night in Belfast
Real IRA blamed for Belfast riots
Belfast riots in pictures

This really worries me, guys/gals. One of my best friends lives right on that street. The store that has the Post Office sign on it is less than a minute's walk from her front door. This is the worst it's been in years, and I'm really hoping everyone gets cool heads again and stops this bs. Thankfully, Gerry Adams and some of the other members of Sinn Fein are stepping up and denouncing this, so there's a little bit of hope yet.

I wanna go to Afghanistan......wait, no I don't! WAHHHHH!

Stefan Frederick Cook: Soldier Won't Deploy Over Obama Birth Certificate

UPDATE: The Army has revoked the deployment orders for a soldier who said he shouldn't have to go to Afghanistan because (he believes) Barack Obama was never eligible to be president.

Because he's a reserve soldier who volunteered for an active duty tour he can "ask for a revocation of orders up until the day he is scheduled to report for active duty," a public affairs officer explained. Cook volunteered for the tour in May of this year. It is not clear why he did so, considering his current objections.

* * * * *
Obama birth certificate deniers won a small victory in court on Monday. Meanwhile, one such conspiracy theorist refused to deploy to Afghanistan on the grounds that Barack Obama isn't a legitimate president.

A judge said he would listen to "the merits" of Alan Keyes' case challenging Obama's presidency. While a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said the move was merely procedural, birth conspiracy proponents are encouraged:

Supporters of a case that disputes the legitimacy of Barack Obama's presidency claimed a small victory today when U.S. District Judge David O. Carter told them to fix their paperwork and that he would listen to "the merits" of their case. But others present for the hearing Monday at the federal courthouse in Santa Ana stressed that the case remains a long way from ever getting a full airing in court and may never get to that point. [...]

Perhaps because of that history, Orly Taitz, the lawyer who filed the current suit, was greatly cheered by Monday's hearing. "He's very determined to hear the case on the merits," Taitz said, referring to the judge. "He stated, the country needs to know if Mr. Obama is legitimate, if he can legitimately stay in the White House."

Orly Taitz, the lawyer in Keyes' case, is also representing a soldier who refuses to acknowledge Obama as his president. U.S. Army Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook has argued that he shouldn't have to go to Afghanistan because the man sending him there isn't really president.

In the 20-page document -- filed July 8 with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia -- the California-based Taitz asks the court to consider granting his client's request based upon Cook's belief that Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and is therefore ineligible to serve as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Cook further states he "would be acting in violation of international law by engaging in military actions outside the United States under this President's command. ... simultaneously subjecting himself to possible prosecution as a war criminal by the faithful execution of these duties."

A hearing to discuss Cook's requests will take place in federal court this week.


Okay, so this dimtwit is part of the reserves, and volunteers to go in May.  So, he gets his orders to deploy, and NOW all of a sudden he doesn't want to go because OMG OBAMAZ NOT AN AMERICUNNNN.  I figure that either he is now just trying to get out of going (though he apparently had the right to say he didn't want to go right up until the day he was to deploy) or he is making a stink about this just to be an asshole. 

I wouldn't consider that the army is somehow buying his reason for now not wanting to go, but is merely allowing him to request a "revocation" as he is legally allowed to do so for any reason.  Birthers are going to try and claim a victory with this, and probably will right up until the judge bounces his case out of court, and hopefully calls him out for the craven assmuffin he is.

Cop killer had 100 bombs, Nazi drawings

Standoff after Texas deputy’s shooting death ends with suicide, police say

BAYTOWN, Texas - At least 100 explosive devices were found in a southeast Texas mobile home where a deputy was shot and killed, a sheriff said Tuesday.

A bomb squad found homemade pipe bombs, gas grenades and altered tear gas devices with booby traps in the mobile home where Deputy Shane Detwiler was shot twice in the head, Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive said at a news conference.

Detwiler's death set off a 9 1/2-hour standoff that ended when police and deputies entered the mobile home and found suspected gunman Gilbert Ortez Jr. dead.

Law enforcement agents also found several firearms and drawings containing swastikas and other Nazi themes, LaRive said. Investigators don't know whether Ortez had connections to white supremacist groups, he said.

Any of the explosives could have leveled the trailer near Baytown, LaRive said.

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But if he was a Nazi, that still doesn't mean we need to worry about right-wing extremists, because Nazis are left-wingers. Rush says so.

Russian Activist Taken in Chechnya Found Dead

Russian Activist Taken in Chechnya Found Dead

MOSCOW (AP) -- A prominent Russian activist who investigated abductions, killings and other rights abuses in Chechnya was found killed Wednesday, hours after being kidnapped in the Chechen capital, police officials and her organization said.

Natalya Estemirova's body was found in Ingushetia, which borders Chechnya to the west, Oleg Orlov, the chairman of Memorial, her rights group, told The Associated Press.

Estemirova's corpse was discovered with two close-range bullet wounds in her head not far from the region's main city, Nazran, said Ingush Interior Ministry spokeswoman Madina Khadziyeva.

Earlier, Orlov told the AP that four men forced Estemirova into a car in the Chechen capital, Grozny, on Wednesday. He said witnesses heard her yell that she was being abducted.

Estemirova, a single mother in her early 40s, had collected evidence of human rights abuses in Chechnya since the start of the second war there in 1999.

She also worked with the investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, another critic of Russia's war against separatists in the Caucasus. She was gunned down in her Moscow apartment building in 2006.

Estemirova also worked with Stanislav Markelov, a prominent lawyer and opponent of rights abuses in Chechnya, who was shot and killed on a Moscow street in January.


Source: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/07/15/world/AP-EU-Russia-Activist.html?ref=global-home
panda bear

(no subject)

168 Killed In Iran Plane Crash

An Iranian passenger plane carrying 168 people crashed a quarter-hour after takeoff Wednesday, smashing into a field northwest of the capital and shattering to pieces. State television said all on board were killed.

The impact gouged a deep trench in the dirt field, which was shown littered with smoking wreckage in footage shown on state TV. It showed a large chunk of a wing, but much of the wreckage appeared to be in small pieces, and emergency workers and witnesses picked around the shredded metal for bodies.

The Russian-made Caspian Airlines jet was heading from Tehran to the Armenian capital Yerevan near the village of Jannatabad outside the city of Qazvin, around 75 miles northwest of Tehran, state television said. It crashed at about 11:30 am, 16 minutes after taking off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, TV reported.

The Qazvin emergency services director Hossein Bahzadpour told the IRNA news agency that the plane was completely destroyed and shattered to pieces, and the wreckage was in flames. "It his highly likely that all the passengers on the flight were killed," Bahzadpour said.

Iranian Civil Aviation Organization spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh told state television that 153 passengers and 15 crewmembers were on board. State TV said all were killed.

A Caspian Airlines representative told AP in Yerevan that most of the passengers were Armenians, and that some Georgian citizens were also on board. The representative spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to talk to the press.

Also among the passengers were eight members of Iran's national youth judo team, along with two trainers and a delegation chief, who were scheduled to train with the Armenian judo team before attending competitions in Hungary on Aug. 6, state TV said.

Caspian Airlines is a Russian-Iranian joint venture founded in 1993. Iran has frequent plane crashes often because of bad maintenance of its aging aircraft. Tehran blames the problem in part on U.S. sanctions that prevent Iran from getting spare parts for some planes. Caspian Airlines, however, uses Russian-made Tupolevs whose maintenance would be less impaired by American sanctions.

In February 2006, a Russian-made TU-154 operated by Iran Airtour, which is affiliated with Iran's national carrier, crashed during landing in Tehran, killing 29 of the 148 people on board. Another Airtour Tupolev crashed in 2002 in the mountains of western Iran, killing all 199 on board.

The crashes have also affected Iran's military. In December 2005, 115 people were killed when a U.S.-made C-130 plane, crashed into a 10-story building near Tehran's Mehrabad airport. In Nov. 2007, a Russian-made Iranian military plane crashed shortly after takeoff killing 36 members of the elite Revolutionary Guards.

panda bear

(no subject)

Sotomayor Tied To Bill Ayers In New Ad By Conservative Group

This latest development may be breaking new boundaries in guilt-by-association political attacks.

The conservative judicial activist group Committee for Justice released an ad on Tuesday connecting Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the '60s radical and Obama campaign scourge Bill Ayers. The ad begins with a shot of Ayers, but it quickly traverses to the current Supreme Court confirmation process.

"Remember Barack Obama's buddy Bill Ayers? The unrepentant terrorist who bombed American buildings in the 70s? Turns out President Obama has done it again, picking someone for the Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who led a group supporting violent Puerto Rican terrorists. Is this radical judge the type of person America needs sitting on our highest court? What is he thinking? What was she thinking."

It's hard to imagine that this type of argument is one that will derail Sotomayor's nomination. Raising the possibility of a connection between Ayers and Obama, after all, did not hamper Obama's election. And Ayers has no tie, whatsoever, to the president's Supreme Court nominee. If anything, this may end up being the type of ad that Republican senators hope won't make much of a ripple, lest they be asked if they support the message.

Ad can be seen here.


Exchange students living the American nightmare

They came from around the world hoping to spend a high school year immersed in the culture and joys of America.

Instead, five young foreign exchange students found themselves caught in a nightmare of neglect, malnourishment and abandonment by those supposed to protect them.

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I just gotta say, WHAT THE HELL, AMERICA. This is deplorable. I would't treat my DOG like this, much less a completely dependent teenager. Good grief.


With one bat and no uniforms, Iraq's baseball team hits field

BAGHDAD — They've only got a five year-old softball bat, a threadbare cap, three scuffed balls and nine second-hand gloves from a flea market. They train on a college soccer field. And there's not a uniform among them. However, they love America's pastime as much as Crash Davis of "Bull Durham" ever did.

Meet Iraq's national baseball team.

The venture was the brainchild of three young Iraqi men from the U.S. They played ball at their American high school schools, came to Baghdad on a visit five years ago and left behind a curiosity and interest about a sport that, unlike soccer, didn't involve yellow cards, flops or nets.

"We were a group of physical education students," recalls Ysir Abdul Hasan, 23, the assistant coach. "We loved it because it's a new and strange game for our society." The Iraqis were also struck with the challenge, he adds, "especially for the striker who plays against the whole other team."

Striker or batter, coach Hamza Madlool, 26, formed the current team after an earlier team had to be disbanded at the height of the country's civil unrest. Players on that club and the baseball federation president, Isma'eel Khallel, got e-mail and telephone threats from Sunni insurgents linked to al Qaida Iraq. The insurgents accused them of playing "an occupation game."

However, it was lack of money, not death threats, that sent the earlier team to the showers.

Even so, Madlool says he loves the game "because it is more enthusiastic than any other." His family was delighted with his new sport and encouraged him to go on. Eventually, he wound up coaching a women's softball team, which won a championship. "I felt as if I were the No. 1 man in the world," he beams.

The reincarnated ball club still faces money problems today. Ali Abdul Hussein, the general secretary of the baseball federation, said there are many talented Iraqi players, but they lack gear and a place to play. "The Iraqi Olympic Committee didn't allocate a budget for our federation because it's new," he explained. "This year they gave us only 100 million dinars (about $84,500) as a donation."

Some 60 percent of that goes for organizing local championships, fees to join Asian and other international baseball associations and other costs. Besides the Baghdad squad, teams have been formed in four other Iraqi cities.

Both coaches receive the equivalent of $106 a month. None of the players makes a dinar — an amateur status the NCAA would endorse. The real problem is equipment. One time the federation gave them a Chinese-made aluminum bat, but it bent after the first batter connected. Assistant coach Hasan scoured a book fair at Baghdad University for a baseball rulebook, but struck out.

Bashar, 28, is the only non-student on the team. The physical education teacher is captain and asked that his last name not be used because he still fears Sunni retaliation. "Shiite people don't have a problem with playing any kind of game, whether it's American or not," he says.

To watch a major league game, he has to go to the home of a friend who has subscription-only channels. He likes the Los Angeles baseball team, though he's not sure of its name. (Probably the Dodgers, but it could be the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, according to Angels owner Arte Moreno.)

"There is one player on the L.A. team that made me love the whole team," Bashar says. "I don't even know his full name. I think his name is James." So it's not Manny just being Manny.

At one practice last week, the players — most of whom had just finished university exams — spent their time on drills. The sandstorm that had hung over Baghdad for days had cleared off. Under blue skies, in 110 degree heat, they ran laps around the field, then tossed their three balls back and forth in an Arabic version of a pepper warm-up.

None of the players owns a pair of spikes, so they all wear Chinese-made, off-the-rack running shoes.

Before a game, the team gathers in a circle, clasps hands, chants a verse from the Koran and shouts "Baghdad!"

Last month, the team heard exciting news. They were invited to a tournament in Afghanistan in September. They're still trying to rustle up the money to travel to the other war zone, but they're already talking about their opponents.

"I'm afraid the Afghan national team will use grenades instead of balls," said one player, laughing. "And their bats will be RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) launchers."

Ilaab! Play ball!


I want to note that last night's Rachel Maddow show is what brought this to my attention.  The staff at her show is proactively trying to figure out how they could get equipment and possibly other things shipped over to them, and is soliciting suggestions at Rachel@msnbc.com  I really hope they are able to find someone to help them get this off the ground.  I have to believe that much in the way U.S. sports programs give young people something positive to do, that in the Middle East, this would be even more important.  Young men and women who are competing in a sports activity and are connected with their community are a lot less likely to be susceptible for terrorist recruiting efforts, much in the same way American athletes are perhaps less likely to be recruited in to gangs.  Don't you think?

What Happens When Conservatives Watch TV With Ideological Glasses?

You get really interesting reviews like this one. Read the whole thing before posting "LOL why was this approved?" comments:

Torchwood: Pro-American TV From The BBC

I think I’ve found the most pro-American show on television. True to form, its not produced in Hollywood.

Growing up, I was obsessed with “Dr. Who.” In the seventh grade I wore a Tom Baker style scarf to school every day (Baker and Davidson are my favorite “Doctors,” if you understand what that means, feel free to have it at in the comments). I thoroughly enjoy the “reboot” that currently airs on the SyFy channel and recently stumbled across its spin-off “Torchwood.”

“Torchwood” is an odd blend of “CSI,” “The X-Files,” and “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.” It follows the adventures of Torchwood, an above-top-secret agency that monitors alien activity on earth. Their headquarters in Cardiff is above a “rift,” a sort of rip in time and space that lets creatures from other planets and dimensions, as well as other time periods, in and out of our world.

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There are errors in this review (ie Jack's real background; the Boeshane Peninsula, the misspelling of Davison's name, failure to understand the Welsh culture), but the gist of is pretty thought provoking! I'm glad this review of the show is even handed, because I was afraid the Right was going to trash it due to the violence and homosexuality. At least they figured out that Children of Earth shows Big Government at it's worst and has some pro-life themes as well.

For a while now, I thought Jack displayed Neocon tendencies. I'm glad this reviewer thought the same thing. I also squeed at the Gwen-Sarah Palin comparison of course!

ETA: I didn't see the need to apply an American interpretation to the show, but apparently it's needed for many to get the drift. Also too, many of the issues AREN'T in black and white, a point the reviewer missed.

ETA 2: The more I read your comments, the more I question the author's argment. Again my attempts to reconcile my politics with my fandoms failed!

ETA 3: Congrats ONTD_P, you have convinced me that this review is EPIC FAIL!



It's not everyday that a person gets to blog about how military contractors are developing terrifying, ironically named robots, which will roam around, feasting on dead flesh until the day comes that they will rise up and kill us all, but guess what? Today is one of those days:

A Maryland company under contract to the Pentagon is working on a steam-powered robot that would fuel itself by gobbling up whatever organic material it can find -- grass, wood, old furniture, even dead bodies.

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More sources linked from the fox news article.


~en fuego~~

White Man’s Last Stand

You can’t judge a judge by her cover.

Despite the best efforts of Republicans to root out any sign that Sonia Sotomayor has emotions that color her views on the law, the Bronx Bomber kept a robotic mask in place.

A wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not know that a gaggle of white Republican men afraid of extinction are out to trip her up.

After all, these guys have never needed to speak inspirational words to others like them, as Sotomayor has done. They’ve had codes, handshakes and clubs to do that.

So when Republican Senator Jon Kyl, without so much as a howdy-do, went at Sotomayor, and soon was asking her if she agreed with Barack Obama’s contention, when he voted against John Roberts, that a judge’s heart is important, the would-be justice was as adroit as her idol Nancy Drew.

“No, sir,” she said, indicating that the only bleeding-heart thing about her was the color of her jacket. She added that “it’s not the heart that compels conclusions in cases. It’s the law.”

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lol those Republicans. Snaps for you MoDo.

Fox News Legitimizes Birthers

Fox News Legitimizes Birthers

Perhaps desperate for new ways to undermine Barack Obama’s presidency, Fox News has joined forces with the
“birthers, the fringe who irrationally claim that Obama’s presidency is illegitimate because he was not born in the U.S. As Think Progress has reported, Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate is widely available on the internet. FactCheck.org has also extensively researched the subject. Their conclusion: Born in the U.S.A. But Fox News has started reporting on birthers without noting the baselessness of their claims, and in ways that lend legitimacy to their efforts. With video.

During Special Report’s Political Grapevine segment tonight (7/14/09), Bret Baier announced (at about 40 seconds into the first video below), “A U.S. soldier who has been ordered to Afghanistan is refusing to go… (saying) President Obama was not born in the United States and therefore is ineligible to be Commander-in-Chief. A Columbus, Georgia newspaper reports (the soldier) has filed a request in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order on his deployment. (His) attorney is involved in a second case that challenges the legitimacy of the Obama presidency. The Los Angeles Times reports a California judge has agreed to hear the merits of that case.” As a banner on the screen read, “PERSISTENT PROBLEM” next to a photo of Obama and the U.S. Supreme Court, Baier added, “It is just one of dozens of legal challenges to the president’s nationality.”

But rather than inform his viewers that those “challenges” have been thoroughly debunked, Baier presented the issue as a he said/she
said, adding, “At least two of them have already been dismissed by the Supreme Court. The White House press secretary again Monday brushed aside the matter, saying, quote, ‘The noble truth is that the president was born in Hawaii, a state of the United States of America.’” Baier never pointed out that Obama's American birth certificate has been produced and authenticated.

Sean Hannity presented the same story during his Hannity’s America segment. He likewise failed to note in any way the illegitimacy of the claim, or the availability of Obama's birth certificate. Instead, Hannity characterized the case as “controversial."
He said, (at a little more than two minutes into the second video below), “At least one soldier is now refusing to go (to Afghanistan, as part of President Obama’s surge). Now, according to Georgia’s Ledger-Enquirer newspaper, (the soldier) doesn’t believe that President Obama can send troops overseas because (the soldier) says that Mr. Obama was not born in the U.S.A. Now, (the soldier) plans to argue that controversial claim in a federal courtroom in Georgia on Thursday, just one day after he was ordered to report for duty.”

In fact, the Ledger-Enquirer had already reported that the Army has revoked the soldier’s deployment orders, although the reason has not been released.

But the most egregious example is on Fox’s “fair and balanced” website, Fox Nation. There a headline a reads, “Obama Birth Certificate Challenge Wins Small Court Victory,” once again implying that the claim may have at least some merit.
Even worse, above the headline is a large photo of Obama in a turban. It’s hard to believe that the photo and headline were chosen for any other reason than to raise the suggestion that Obama is, in fact, foreign. The article that the headline links to, from the Los Angeles Times, makes it clear that the “court victory” is a procedural one. The Times noted that there are reasons to doubt the case will ever be fully aired, that similar claims have fared poorly in court. But there is no mention of that on Fox Nation, itself, and no mention that the “controversy” over Obama’s birth certificate has been completely investigated and put to rest by rational people. There was also no mention that one of the plaintiffs in this California case is Pastor Wiley Drake, who has admitted to praying for the death of President Obama. Baier similarly failed to point that out to the "we report, you decide" network's viewers.

In May, Fox Nation "asked" if Obama should release his birth certificate.


Top Obama Aides: We Could Pass Health Care Reform Without GOP

Obama Open to Partisan Vote on Health-Care Overhaul, Aides Say

President Barack Obama may rely only on Democrats to push health-care legislation through the U.S. Congress if Republican opposition doesn’t yield soon, two of the president’s top advisers said.

“Ultimately, this is not about a process, it’s about results,” David Axelrod, Obama’s senior political strategist, said during an interview in his White House office. “If we’re going to get this thing done, obviously time is a-wasting.”

Both Axelrod and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said taking a partisan route to enacting major health-care legislation isn’t the president’s preferred choice. Yet in separate interviews, each man left that option open.

“We’d like to do it with the votes of members of both parties,” Axelrod said. “But the worst result would be to not get health-care reform done.”
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Akuma River

July 15, 2009 Iran Update

iran protests
Picture of Sohrab Aarabi. It says, "We will never forget you."

Things are quiet in Iran in the sense that major demostrations and clashes with the government forces have not taken place for about a week now. But there is great movement taking place below the surface. It is confirmed that ex-President Ayatollah Rafsanjani is now taking up the mantle of Friday prayers in Tehnran University once more. What is not know is whether Mousavi and Khatami will attending them as well. There are arugements going back and forth here and here on the iran.whyweprotest forum about whether or not this could be a trap (for the protesters) and what Rafsanjani will do or say.

It is unknown if he will side with the government, the people, Mousavi, plead for consolidation, or if it will be a harsh criticism of the government and its treatment of its people. It is unknown how this will effect the movement, whether this be a bolster for the people and something good will happen or whether this might lead the Iranians into a civil war.

So many uncertainties surround this event. All that is known is that all eyes will be upon the happenings of the Friday prayers and that this might be a great turning point in the movement. It must also be taken into consideration that what Rafsanjani does may not sit well with the people. 18 Tir was planned completely by the people and no one from Mousavi's camp had a directly influence on the organization or in the participation of the protests. In fact, they were the ones who were asked to join. And there are newspaper articles examining this, like the one the LA Times or Tehran Bereau that examines how the leaders of this movment, Mousavi and Khatami, have been left behind by the momentum of the people. Case in point is 18 Tir and also a plan to have mass protests every Thursday.

There is also reports that Ahmedi will not be in Tehran and will be in Mashaad (Iran's Holiest City)...which is very interesting.Especially, since a few weeks ago he couldn't go because they couldn't guarantee his safety. There is also a movement going on to discredit Rafsanjani as is reported by the NIAC blog.

After a long absence, Hashemi Rafsanjani is going to lead the upcoming Friday sermon. Rafsanjani is a very powerful member of the Iranian establishment who was a major supporter of Mir-Hossein Mousavi and opponent of Ahmadinejad before the election. However, state media, including IRNA, Raja, and Iran newspaper are portraying this as an insignificant event and are even making arguments that he be striped of at least one of his government positions.

Raja news, which belongs to hardliner Fatemeh Rajabi (the wife of the government spokesperson), claims that the reformist movement is “worried about the prayer attendees protesting against Hashemi Rafsanjani.” “Because of Hashemi Rafsanjani’s positions during the presidential elections and his inappropriate letter to the Supreme Leader, a widespread wave of criticism has formed against him among the people…,” says the report.

Also, the state run media appear to be trying to lay the groundwork for removing of Rafsanjani from at least one of his government posts. Raja, Iran newspaper, and IRNA have all published articles in support of article 141 of Iran’s constitution being applied to the Expediency Council. Article 141 of the constitution forbids government employees from holding “more than one Government position [or] any kind of additional post in institutions of which all or a part of the capital belongs to the government or public institutions, or [being] a member of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.” Currently, article 141 does not apply to the Expediency Council, which is headed by Rafsanjani. Rafsanjani is also head of the powerful Assembly of Experts, which is officially tasked with supervising and selecting the supreme leader.

While looking to use and expand this constitutional provision, there are extensive reports of Iranian hardliners violating other constitutional protections, such as Articles 27 (freedom of assembly), 35 (right to legal counsel), 38 (ban on torture), and 168 (the right to jury trial in an open court).

July 14, 2009 post | July 13, 2009 post | July 12, 2009 post | July 11, 2009 post | July 10, 2009 post | July 9, 2009 posts | July 8, 2009 post | July 7, 2009 post | July 6, 2009 post | July 5, 2009 post | July 4, 2009 post

Update: Holy smokes, it's confirmed. Mousavi will attend the Friday morning prayers. Nico is also reporting that he will be up all night to cover this. This is major. The Iranian govt is seeking to undermine Rafsanjani's authority. Eyes peeled people, Friday morning will be a gamer changer.

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World's oldest new mom dies, leaves 2 toddlers

MADRID - A Spanish woman believed to have become the world's oldest new mother when she gave birth at 66 has died at 69, leaving behind twin toddlers, newspapers reported Wednesday.

Maria del Carmen Bousada, who reportedly died Saturday, gave birth in December 2006 as a single mother after getting in vitro fertilization treatment at a clinic in Los Angeles.

The births ignited a firestorm of debate over how old is too old for a new mother, and how much responsibility fertility clinics have over who gets treatments.

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Stories like this make me sad and mad all at the same time!

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Pez is anger, guise

Candy giant Pez takes aim at Peninsula museum
By Bruce Newman

Houston tourists
Houston tourists: Picture 4 in Gallery
It took more than 30 years for the creators of Pez candy dispensers to give the little plastic figurines feet, and they never did get hands. But now the long arm of the Pez Candy Co. has reached all the way from Linz, Austria, into U.S. District Court, where it has slapped the tiny faces that fill Burlingame's Museum of Pez Memorabilia with a lawsuit.
The legal broadside, which was filed in San Francisco last month, singles out a 7-foot-10 snowman, built especially for the museum, that has been recognized by the Guinness record keepers as the world's largest Pez dispenser. Pez seeks to have the snowman melted down.

And, says the museum's newly hired lawyer, the company is demanding that the museum's "curators," Gary Doss and wife Nancy Yarbrough Doss, turn over all profits from the Pez shrine's 14 years in business.

"From a branding perspective, I think Pez should embrace the Dosses and the museum, instead of trying to attack them," said Rodger Cole, the Mountain View-based trademark attorney from Fenwick & West LLP.

Fat chance.
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Gary Doss, owner of Pez Museum: Picture 1 in Gallery

Pez is the only candy that you load like the clip of a gun and eat after performing a toy tracheotomy. Candy for the American market is manufactured in Connecticut, but the fountainhead of Pezdom is in Linz, also notable for having produced the Linzer torte.

The Burlingame museum features every one of the more than 550 Pez dispensers created over the years. If the company made Biblical characters, the museum would be David and the Teutonic tort-slinging confectioner would be Goliath.

The candy company is represented in its lawsuit by Palo Alto-based attorney Larry Johnson of Alston & Bird LLP, who did not return calls seeking comment.

The Dosses opened the place in 1995 as a small computer shop, but soon they began displaying their Pez collection on the hulking Ataris and Commodores, and within a year the miniature figures had taken over. Gary Doss added the only rarity missing from his collection — a Pineapple Pez worth $3,500 — in 2005, but his biggest prize is the Make-a-Face Mr. Potato Head Pez, worth an estimated $5,000.

The museum is packed with battalions of five-inch tall cartoon characters, Jedi knights and other objects of fantasy. The displays are neatly displayed and remarkably dust-free — no small feat considering the number of small feet.

Richard Greene of Redwood City, who says he has a collection of 10,000 Pez dispensers, buys them from the Dosses and at flea markets. "I don't know what kid didn't have a Pez dispenser," Greene said while browsing last week at the museum. "I have yet to meet one."

Still, it's the Sasquatch-sized snowman that Pez-ophiles see first when they enter the museum's "gift shop" (which is actually as big as the museum itself) and which Pez began protesting almost as soon as it went on display in 2007. When the Dosses got letters from the company objecting to it being called "the world's biggest Pez dispenser," they changed its billing to the "world's biggest dispenser of Pez."

This distinction apparently was lost on Pez, who insist upon killing the counterfeit candy-coughing contraption.

"My feeling is that it's a piece of art," says Gary Doss, sounding frankly a bit huffy. "It is one of a kind. It is not for sale. And one of its main purposes as a piece of art is that it draws people into our store so we can sell Pez."

To qualify for the Guinness record, the snowman had to be made out of the same material as one of the Pez dispensers you can buy for $1.89, and it had to work like the original. For $14.95 a pop, the head tilts back and out slides a box with a regulation-size Snowman Pez dispenser inside.

Within each box is a certificate of authenticity stating that the box came from the world's biggest Pez dispenser. Sorry, the world's biggest dispenser of Pez.

So, to boil it down — and we are talking here about the legal case, not the giant Pez dispenser — if there is any justice in a company from a cold-weather country telling some Californians that they can't build a huge plastic snowman, Gary Doss doesn't see it.

"I'm going to do everything in my power not to let them get away with this," he says. "Because I don't like people telling artists to destroy their art. I mean, it's a toy that gives you candy. What could be more perfect than that?"


Text emphasis all mine. They can't get rid of that awesome ginormous Pez dispenser. I didn't even know we HAD a museum like this w/in driving distance, wtf. I have to make time to visit. Also, what does a place need to have to be considered a 'museum'? Should they melt the awesome snowman? Does anyone still collect Pez dispensers? Who else loves candy?

Brought to you by the frustrations of being a college student in California (curse you, fiscal budget and Ahhhnold) and a helping of giant Pocky. Also, if this gets approved and the HTML fail is present, I will fix it. Switching from Rich-text editor to HTML is so frustrating sometimes.

(no subject)

Pat Buchanan To GOP: Forget Hispanic Vote, Attack Sotomayor On Race

MSNBC pundit Pat Buchanan, who's fond of warning people that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is a Hispanic trickster who learned English through chupacabra magicks in orations before people who cannot spell words in English themselves had a full-blown panic attack today in the pages of Human Events, as the hour of Sotomayor's confirmation drew nigh. His basic argument is that Sotomayor is the greatest threat to white people since...uhm...well...sorry, nothing's coming to me. Nothing serious, anyway!

Anyway, Buchanan wants the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to really give Sotomayor the business:
What they must do is expose Sotomayor, as they did not in the case of Ginsburg, as a political activist whose career bespeaks a lifelong resolve to discriminate against white males to the degree necessary to bring about an equality of rewards in society.

Sonia is, first and foremost, a Latina. She has not hesitated to demand, even in college and law school, ethnic and gender preferences for her own. Her concept of justice is race-based.

Of course, Pat Buchanan's concept of what cereal he's going to eat for breakfast is race-based, but nevermind. Buchanan's insistence that Sotomayor has a "lifelong resolve to discriminate against white males to the degree necessary to bring about an equality of rewards in society" simply isn't supported by the facts:

SCOTUSBlog, May 29, 2009:
Other than Ricci, Judge Sotomayor has decided 96 race-related cases while on the court of appeals.

Of the 96 cases, Judge Sotomayor and the panel rejected the claim of discrimination roughly 78 times and agreed with the claim of discrimination 10 times; the remaining 8 involved other kinds of claims or dispositions. Of the 10 cases favoring claims of discrimination, 9 were unanimous. (Many, by the way, were procedural victories rather than judgments that discrimination had occurred.) Of those 9, in 7, the unanimous panel included at least one Republican-appointed judge. In the one divided panel opinion, the dissent's point dealt only with the technical question of whether the criminal defendant in that case had forfeited his challenge to the jury selection in his case. So Judge Sotomayor rejected discrimination-related claims by a margin of roughly 8 to 1.

Of the roughly 75 panel opinions rejecting claims of discrimination, Judge Sotomayor dissented 2 times. In Neilson v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., 199 F.3d 642 (1999), she dissented from the affirmance of the district court's order appointing a guardian for the plaintiff, an issue unrelated to race. In Gant v. Wallingford Bd. of Educ., 195 F.3d 134 (1999), she would have allowed a black kindergartner to proceed with the claim that he was discriminated against in a school transfer. A third dissent did not relate to race discrimination: In Pappas v. Giuliani, 290 F.3d 143 (2002), she dissented from the majority's holding that the NYPD could fire a white employee for distributing racist materials.

Doesn't seem like much of a lifelong resolve to me, but no matter! What's really at work here is Buchanan's lifelong resolve to get the GOP to stop pandering to ethnic groups and work to build a Caucasian Coalition. And, along the way, he's eager to hit John McCain for not showing fealty to this:
In 2008, Hispanics, according to the latest figures, were 7.4 percent of the total vote. White folks were 74 percent, 10 times as large. Adding just 1 percent to the white vote is thus the same as adding 10 percent to the candidate's Hispanic vote.

If John McCain, instead of getting 55 percent of the white vote, got the 58 percent George W. Bush got in 2004, that would have had the same impact as lifting his share of the Hispanic vote from 32 percent to 62 percent.
But even Ronald Reagan never got over 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. Yet, he and Richard Nixon both got around 65 percent of the white vote.

When Republican identification is down to 20 percent, but 40 percent of Americans identify themselves as conservatives, do Republicans need a GPS to tell them which way to go?
I'm guessing that the GPS is directing the GOP to Oildale! Anyway, to Buchanan, McCain's an idiot for not pursuing the obvious winning strategy against Barack Obama:
Had McCain been willing to drape Jeremiah Wright around the neck of Barack Obama, as Lee Atwater draped Willie Horton around the neck of Michael Dukakis, the mainstream media might have howled.

And McCain might be president.

So, let me get this straight. McCain needed to pick up three percent more of the white vote, which he could have done if he'd only been willing to jump around on the hustings like a paranoid monkey, shrieking, "BOOGA BOOGA FOO! JEREMIAH WRIGHT! MWAAHAAHA!"

Huh. Seems to me that Buchanan doesn't think too highly of white people, either!



Rachel Maddow, Dahlia Lithwick Discuss GOP Latina Fixation

Last night, Rachel Maddow dug into the day of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's hearings, which she characterized as being far more revealing about Sotomayor's GOP interlocutors than about the nominee herself.

First revelation: The Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee love Miguel Estrada the way Rachel McAdams once loved Ryan Gosling. And they still ache over the rain-swept kiss they were denied by the Democrats' 2003 filibuster, which was deployed to prevent the GOP to line-up a pandering-to-Hispanics SCOTUS pick of their own. Anyway, Sotomayor had to sit through all sorts of love sonnets to Estrada.

And, the second revelation was Sen. Jeff Sessions' now famous "don't all you Puerto Rican judges vote alike and weren't you guys in Menudo together" highlight.

But my favorite piece of insight came from guest Dahlia Lithwick, of Slate, who saw the opposition's attempt to boil down the whole of Sotomayor's experience into her now-well known "wise Latina woman" quotation:
LITHWICK: I was surprised, actually, how many times we heard the "wise Latina woman" thing come up. I thought, maybe, you know, we'll go to that well once, maximum twice, but we went there many, many times today. And many, many times, what we were told is, "Sure, you have this impressive, seventeen-year record as a judge, and we can't find much to complain about, but here's what we know: we know that your speech, your "wise Latina" speech, somehow gives us a truer sense of who you really are than that entire record. So it was always trying to bifurcate who she was holding herself out to be and who she really is, because of this one sentence...it's sort of a way of framing it as "this is the real issue" and the rest is just wallpaper.
Lithwick went on to describe the way in which Sens. John Kyl and Orrin Hatch hilariously seemed to invert standard GOP judicial talking points in a weird demand for Sotomayor to demonstrate a stronger sense of judicial activism, but her first point is the more critical. As my earlier post on Pat Buchanan reveals, the continued insistence that Sotomayor is some sort of relentless force that exclusively threatens the primacy of white people is entirely divested from Sotomayor's actual record.

The political realities of these hearings are simple: Sotomayor is going to be confirmed. But while there's very little opportunity for the GOP to forestall the nomination, it's still stunning to see them make so little of the opportunity that they do have, which is to elucidate a competing judicial philosophy. In fact, what they are elucidating is going to prove to be counterproductive if the Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee, having for so long been the avatars of "Constitutional constructivism," keep criticizing Sotomayor for being insufficiently activist as a judge. But, as their weird take on Sotomayor's record indicates, the GOP is quite simply detached from reality at the moment, and, like Maddow says, the only thing they are making clear is that it's not Sotomayor who is obsessed with race.

Oh, also? I am going to call Sen. Lindsey Graham "Buttermilk Smile" from now on!


I think if I hear one more Senator say "wise Latina" or "wise Latino" (for which I had been hoping beyond hope that Sotomayor would have called them out on their inaccuracy), I'll simply implode.

apparently, white people can be terrorists too!

Neil Lewington who turned his bedroom into a bomb-making factory has been convicted of terrorism and explosive charges. But how dangerous was he and what was he planning to do? Those are the two questions that have been hardest to answer in his trial at the Old Bailey.

But what is clear is that his apprehension was a matter of good fortune alone.

In October 2008 he was travelling by train to meet a woman he had contacted in an internet chatroom on his mobile phone.

He was drunk and abused the train guard. When he urinated on the platform at Lowestoft, he was arrested.

But when officers opened his blue holdall, a public order arrest became a counter-terrorism investigation. Inside, they found two improvised but ingenious incendiary devices.

Counter-terrorism officers dashed to the 43-year-old's Reading home, which he shared with his parents. There they found extreme right-wing material, including videos of notorious racist or white-supremacist bombers.

He had stockpiled chemicals, powders circuitry and wiring.

In short, it looked like a bomb factory. And, according to the prosecution, Lewington was on the cusp of launching a campaign against anyone he regarded as "non-British".

But this case is full of mysteries. During 14 interviews, Lewington's only reply to counter-terrorism officers was "no comment".

He chose not to take to the witness box at the Old Bailey - and his legal team offered up no other witnesses or material in his defence.

He hardly looked up from the dock during the trial, sitting impassively as the proceedings went on around him.

Extremist material

Dr Matthew Feldman, an expert in neo-Nazi groups and imagery, gave evidence at the trial on the items that police recovered from Lewington's home.


He told the jury the material Lewington kept hidden in his room was exactly the kind of literature and notes you would expect to find belonging to a white supremacist neo-Nazi.

The most important document was Lewington's handwritten notebook entitled the "Waffen SS UK Members Handbook".

Experts like Dr Feldman have not come across the title before, but its contents bore a striking similarity to other "field manuals" circulated among other neo-Nazi groups like Combat 18.

Inside was a note written in Lewington's own hand.

"A new group has been formed, the Waffen SS UK. We have 30 members split into 15 two-man cells," it read.

"We are highly trained ex-military personnel and will use incendiary and explosive devices throughout the UK at random until all non-British people as defined by blood are remoived from our country.

"This is no joke. In this country the most serious domestic terrorist threat is the ALF [Animal Liberation Front], start rewriting the books?

"Finally our motto: You CANNOT STOP WHAT CAN'T BE STOPPED"

The book included further notes relating to explosives and plans for picking targets.

Other material loosely linked Lewington to "Blood and Honour", a British social scene built around neo-Nazi music.

And unusually for a British man, Lewington was also interested in two other groups - the Ku Klux Klan and the Afrikaners who supported apartheid.

So Lewington's personal ideology was broad, encompassing hatred of other ethnicities, a white supremacist anger, but also a fascist yearning for a new world order.

Loner tendencies

Lewington himself bragged to women of being a skinhead who beat up Asian men.

But counter-terrorism officers found no evidence the defendant was or is a member of any extreme right-wing political party or group in the UK or elsewhere. Furthermore, they had no evidence that he was associating with any known or suspected right-wing extremist.

He did nothing to help at home. There was no lock on the bedroom door, but he had covered the keyhole with modelling clay. He had held down jobs in electronics - but not worked for a decade when arrested.

One would-be girlfriend was put off him because he kept making racist threats against black and Asian men.

And during a relationship with another woman, he bought a toy chemistry set and told her he could use it to make explosives. He said he had made tennis ball bombs to explode in the woods.

Lewington appears to have had no home computer - although police did find a laptop cable. He had no training in chemicals or explosives. Yet he produced devices which, according to scientists, were more dangerous and professional than many DIY efforts uncovered by police.

So if he wasn't a member of any neo-Nazi group and wasn't spending his nights scouring the internet for bomb-making instructions, how did he learn how to make these devices?

Neighbourly behaviour

Lewington's silence in court means we may never know. But one incident following his arrest was incredibly revealing about his state of mind.

Detectives at London's high security Paddington Green police station conducted a "safety interview" with Lewington, asking him for any information they might need to protect the public from uncovered explosives.

The officers were particularly concerned about a mechanism placed against the bedroom wall.

Lewington told them it wasn't a bomb. It was the inner workings of an automatic air freshener.

He'd adapted the motor and added a cord and metal nut. And during the night, at regular intervals, the motor would spin and flick the nut against the wall.

What was it for, asked the detectives. To annoy his neighbours, he replied.


This is a fine example of the influence of the BNP in England in my opinion. The key term here is 'Non British'; something the BNP like to toss around a lot due to their extreme dislike of foreigners.


Brüno's too gay for Ukraine

"KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine has banned "Bruno," Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy about a gay Austrian fashion reporter, objecting to its scenes of nudity and homosexual sex, the culture ministry said on Wednesday.

The ex-Soviet state, where conservative views on homosexuality still prevail, had already banned "Borat," Cohen's previous satire aimed at demasking bigotry and anti-Semitism in the United States.

A culture ministry commission concluded "Bruno" included an "artistically unjustified exhibition of sexual organs and sexual relations, homosexual acts in a blatantly graphic form, obscene language, sadism, anti-social behavior which could damage the moral upbringing of our citizens."

Cohen's new incarnation travels to the United States to fulfill his dream of being "the biggest Austrian superstar since Hitler."

Lines like that, as well as his explicit sexuality, gay sex scenes and nudity have shocked some.

But it has proven popular in the United States and Britain, where it reached the top of the box offices."

Sauce: http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE56E49120090715

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I just laughed at lines like "the biggest Austrian superstar since Hitler". It's comedy. Who cares? That's probably their way of putting some of the blame on something other than homophobia. Nono, we're not banning it because we hate gays, because we uhm.. because he made a Hitler joke. Of course.

Holy shit, I'd kill myself if this happened to me...

Glitch hits Visa users with more than
$23 quadrillion charge

By Jason Kessler

Story Highlights
  • $23,148,855,308,184,500 charge is about 2,007 times the size of the national debt
  • Visa customer in New Hampshire, also hit with $15 overdraft fee, finds out online
  • Statement said he'd spent the big sum at gas station where he buys cigarettes
  • Card issuer strikes charge and fee, blames "temporary programming error"

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A technical snafu left some Visa prepaid cardholders stunned and horrified Monday to see a $23,148,855,308,184,500 charge on their statements.

That's about 2,007 times the size of the national debt.


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Suicune default

(no subject)

Family sues school after arrest of autistic girl
Staffers accuse third-grader of spitting, inappropriately touching instructors

SANDPOINT, Idaho - The family of an 8-year-old autistic girl who was arrested at school wants the school district and county to pay more than $500,000 in damages.

Charles and Spring Towry's third-grade daughter, Evelyn, has Asperger's syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. She was arrested in January on suspicion of battery at Kootenai Elementary School after staffers said she spit on and inappropriately touched two instructors.

The child was handcuffed and taken to the county's juvenile lockup, where she was released to her parents. The county prosecutor later dropped the charge against the girl.

The family filed a tort claim against Lake Pend Oreille School District and Bonner County, according to the Bonner Daily Bee newspaper. They have 180 days to settle the claim, or reject it and risk a lawsuit.


Excuse me while I go off to my little corner to RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE.
Pink Floyd

Australia to build new uranium mine

Peter Garrett, who you might recognise as the bald-headed singer from Midnight Oil (who brought us such hits as Beds Are Burning and Blue Sky Mine), is now the Australian federal Environment Minister.

He's just authorised a new uranium mine, the 10th biggest in the world.

Garrett gives nod to uranium mine
Michelle Grattan and Barry Fitzgerald
July 15, 2009

The Rudd Government has given the green light to an expansion of the uranium industry, approving a new mine in South Australia that will add hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the industry's exports.

The Four Mile mine, 550 kilometres north of Adelaide, will open next year after winning clearance from federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett.

Mr Garrett, the former anti-uranium activist who once stood for the Nuclear Disarmament Party, said he did not take the decision lightly.

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(no subject)

On Transformers 2: Why Hollywood movies are racist

Tolu Olorunda | Posted June 30, 2009 2:09 AM


"Hollywood threw acid in both your eyes before you were seven years old. You're blind, that's the first thing you realize is that you're blind. Later on, you begin to see-- something. And, then, you begin to see why you couldn't see."

--Baldwin, James. Just Above My Head. New York: Dell Publishing, 1978, p. 529.

Hollywood movies are as racist as they come. The recently released Transformers sequel (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) is no different. In the last week or so, as many have approached theaters where it was being shown, the consensus has been unifying--historical Black stereotypes are evoked in this blockbuster action thriller. 

Last week, on his site, "Media Assassin" Harry Allen served up an anatomy of the film's racist features:

That Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen... is a narrative and conceptual mess is neither surprising nor the greatest of its blames....

That it endorses crude racism, however, serving up, not one, but two near-buckdancing, shiftless Black stereotypes--the sambots, as one reviewer adeptly punned, Skids... and his twin (get this), Mudflap--reveals not only how clearly insulated the white people who work at Paramount and for director Michael Bay appear to be in their racial supremacy...

The only thing they [Skids and Mudflap] don't do is shoot craps and eat chicken with watermelon. At one moment, even, LaBeouf's character asks the two if they can read a robotic script that will reveal crucial information. "Uh, we don't do too much readin'," one drawls. Nail. Coffin.

And all this--compliments of a White voice-over actor.


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Bush's DOJ Blacklisted LGBT and other Libural Organisations as "Terrorists"

Bush's Justice Dept. blacklisted LGBT groups
Affiliation with Immigration Equality, GMHC may have doomed intern candidates

Applicants for Justice Department internships and honors programs may have been rejected based on their membership in LGBT groups during the Bush administration, the Blade has learned.

Numerous applicants were denied entry to the department’s Honors Program and the summer intern program starting in 2006 because of their previous work in what were deemed to be liberal organizations, according to an internal Justice Department report issued last year. The practice occurred while Attorney General Alberto Gonzales led the department.

The Blade recently learned that among the blacklisted groups was Immigration Equality, which focuses on LGBT-related immigration issues.

Also blacklisted was the immigration project for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis.
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Healthcare: Red States will get the better part of the Deal... again, why are they complaining?...

Blue States Pick Up Health Reform Tab For Red States: Study (follow link for the graph)

Under the new House proposal for health care reform, blue states will be picking up more than their share of the tab
, according to a new study from the liberal think tank Citizens for Tax Justice. Conversely, red states will reap more of the rewards, based on figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Financing for the House health care proposal includes a graduated surtax on individuals with annual incomes above $280,000 and families above $350,000. The tax is projected to cost the richest 1.3 percent of taxpayers $543 billion over 10 years. It's been vociferously opposed by congressmen from red districts, where more people are uninsured although the added tax burden disproportionately falls on the liberal Northeast, where a greater percentage of the population already has health insurance.


LEAKED: More Than Fifty House Progressives Privately Commit To Oppose Weak Health Care Bill

LEAKED: More Than Fifty House Progressives Privately Commit To Oppose Weak Health Care Bill

Progressive Democrats are taking a hard stand on health care reform, with a majority committing to oppose any health care reform package that doesn't include a robust public option. On Wednesday, they got an inadvertent assist by an anonymous leak of their "whip list."

A whip list, which is generally tightly guarded, is used by congressional leaders to keep track of the private pledges made by members before a vote. The list is kept private to encourage frank answers from members so that leadership can gather accurate intelligence.

The whip list was obtained by mcjoan, a DailyKos diarist. It names fifty members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) who have firmly pledged to oppose any bill that doesn't meet the group's standards. Without those fifty votes, Democrats would be unable to pass the reform effort without Republican support. (Once Judy Chu is sworn in, there will be 256 Democrats, and one "closet Democrat"; 218 are needed for passage, leaving Democrats 12 votes short.)
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{Music} Tegan pencils

Should I smell conspiracy?

Miami judge who struck gay adoption ban demoted
By The Associated Press
07.14.2009 2:34pm EDT

(Miami) A Miami-Dade circuit court judge who ruled Florida’s gay adoption ban is unconstitutional has been demoted.

Judge Cindy Lederman has been removed from her 15-year post as top administrative judge over Miami-Dade’s juvenile courts. The new chief justice over Miami courts says he wanted new perspectives and leadership. Lederman ruled in November 2008 that Florida’s gay adoption ban was unconstitutional, a case now on appeal. She also oversaw numerous juvenile justice programs in Miami and publicly scolded state officials in 2002 following the disappearance of 5-year-old foster child Rilya Wilson.

The new top judge in Miami’s juvenile courts is Orlando Prescott. Lederman will remain a juvenile court judge and says she respects the decision.

Judge Who Struck Down Florida's Gay Adoption Ban Stripped of Post

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Eddie Izzard | Hot Pink

Arpaio suggests raiding Mesa after comments by mayor's wife

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he should "raid Mesa again" after the wife of Mesa Mayor Scott Smith told a federal judge that she doesn't consider the sheriff to be her hero.

The incident is detailed in an article by William Finnegan in the July 20 issue of The New Yorker, which examines Arpaio's record during his four-plus terms as sheriff. The story focuses on conditions in county jails and Arpaio's immigration policies.

Finnegan visited the Valley this spring to research the article. While riding along with the sheriff one day, he writes, "someone named Jim, who sounded like a deputy, called from the courthouse."

Arpaio put the call on speaker phone, Finnegan writes, and Jim "said he was observing jury selection in a case there."

After one prospective juror told the judge that Arpaio was her hero, the caller reportedly said, "So the next lady says, 'Joe is not my hero.' Then she says she's the wife of the mayor of Mesa."

According to the article, Arpaio responded, "I knew it! I never trusted that mayor. He's pro-immigrant. He's never going to fire that chief. We gotta raid Mesa again."

The "chief" is George Gascón, who has publicly differed with Arpaio over immigration policy and is leaving Mesa to become police chief in San Francisco.

A sheriff's spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Mayor Scott Smith said his wife, Kim, was not bragging in the courtroom about being married to him, but merely answering questions from the judge about her family and background.

He added that the hero comment reflected the fact that "We don't throw the term 'hero' around lightly." He said his wife meant no disparagement to the sheriff by not putting him in that category.

He said she made the comments when she was called for federal jury duty this spring.

"It was a human smuggling type case," Smith said. "They were asking detailed questions about feelings about all sorts of things relating to immigration."

Jurors also were asked, Smith said, about their opinions of the sheriff.

One female panel member did say Arpaio was her hero, Smith said. "My wife was the very next person they talked to."

Arpaio has sent his officers into Mesa several times over the past year and a half. Last year he raided a Mesa landscaping company, a water park in the city and conducted a highly publicized "crime suppression" sweep there in June.

In October, sheriff's officers raided City Hall, the main library and a municipal security office, seeking illegal immigrants believed to be involved in identity theft. Smith angrily denounced the raid, which was conducted after midnight without prior notification to the city.

A few days later Smith and Arpaio met to discuss the raid, and Arpaio promised the city would be told beforehand of future actions within its borders.

Smith said Arpaio's reaction to his wife's comment illustrates the near impossibility of having reasonable conversations about immigration policy.

"You cannot have a rational discussion and have people who agree on results and objectives but disagree on tactics," Smith said. "That's unfair. Because that means we'll never get to a real solution."

He added, "If Joe Arpaio is so thin-skinned that he's upset over what the wife of the mayor Mesa says in an honest answer to a federal judge in a federal courtroom, you gotta laugh about it."

As for his wife, Smith said, "I'm proud of her for telling the truth. She was asked a question by a judge and she told the truth."

In the end, she was not seated on the jury.


CIA Was On Verge Of Training Hit Squads but then Panetta happened...

CIA Assassin Program Was Nearing New Phase
Panetta Pulled Plug After Training Was Proposed

CIA officials were proposing to activate a plan to train anti-terrorist assassination teams overseas when agency managers brought the secret program to the attention of CIA Director Leon Panetta last month, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The plan to kill top al-Qaeda leaders, which had been on the agency's back burner for much of the past eight years, was suddenly thrust into the spotlight because of proposals to initiate what one intelligence official called a "somewhat more operational phase." Shortly after learning of the plan, Panetta terminated the program and then went to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers, who had been kept in the dark since 2001.

The Obama administration's top intelligence official, Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, yesterday defended Panetta's decision to cancel the program, which he said had raised serious questions among intelligence officials about its "effectiveness, maturity and the level of control."

But Blair broke with some Democrats in Congress by asserting that the CIA did not violate the law when it failed to inform lawmakers about the secret program until last month. Blair said agency officials may not have been required to notify Congress about the program, though he believes they should have done so.

"It was a judgment call," Blair said in an interview. "We believe in erring on the side of working with the Hill as a partner."
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