August 10th, 2009


Fox excuse for pushing viewers only to Democrats' town hall meetings falls flat

Fox excuse for pushing viewers only to Democrats' town hall meetings falls flat (VIDEO)

So, Fox is directing people to town hall meetings held by Democratic members of Congress -- and says the reason they aren't letting people know when Republican members are holding town halls is because they don't have the GOP schedule:

Well, I like to help FOX out when I can, so here's a list of town halls that includes Republicans.

So, now Fox doesn't have an excuse for directing disruptive viewers only to Democratic events.

Protecting Harvard: Words to Sue By?

Is Harvard becoming the Nike of higher education?

The sneaker giant built a mega-successful brand in part by trademarking a common, three-word phrase that initially had no overt connection to athletic footware: "Just do it."

The most famous university in the world, meanwhile, is applying for trademark rights on phrases in which the tie-ins to Harvard are also less than obvious: "Managing yourself" and "The world's thinking." The university, as reported by the Boston Globe, already has registered trademarks for the phrases "Ask what you can do" -- from President Kennedy's 1961 inaugural address -- and "lessons learned" with the U.S. Patent Office.

A company's decision to pursue legal protections for a snappy catchphrase is nothing unusual. But for a university it's different, said Joe Dreitler, an Ohio-based trademark lawyer whose clients have included Budweiser and former Vice President Al Gore.

"This is a fairly aggressive postion for educational institutions who are not historically known for hardball competition in the marketplace," Dreitler said.

Experts say university trademarks are more common in the area of sports, with colleges staking their claims on team names, mascots and signature colors.

But some, including Dreitler, question whether a university should be trying to make the same claims on common terms in the English language.

"The idea of registering this as a trademark for education services for a university -- it does seem to be really close to the line as far as trying to take common terms in the English language and keep them from others using them to teach," he said.

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I've got a bad feeling about this one...

August 11, 2009
In Desegregation Pact, Westchester Agrees to Add Affordable Housing


Westchester County officials have entered into a landmark desegregation agreement that would compel the county to create affordable housing in overwhelmingly white communities and aggressively market it to nonwhites in the county and in neighboring New York City.

The agreement, to be formally filed Monday in Federal District Court in Manhattan, would end three years of litigation by the Anti-Discrimination Center over Westchester’s responsibility to enforce fair-housing goals.

“Residential segregation underlies virtually every racial disparity in America, from education to jobs to the delivery of health care,” said Craig Gurian, executive director of the Anti-Discrimination Center, which filed the suit under the federal False Claims Act.

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NYT: Criminalizing the poor

The report lists America’s 10 “meanest” cities — the largest of which are Honolulu, Los Angeles and San Francisco — but new contestants are springing up every day. The City Council in Grand Junction, Colo., has been considering a ban on begging, and at the end of June, Tempe, Ariz., carried out a four-day crackdown on the indigent. How do you know when someone is indigent? As a Las Vegas statute puts it, “An indigent person is a person whom a reasonable ordinary person would believe to be entitled to apply for or receive” public assistance.

That could be me before the blow-drying and eyeliner, and it’s definitely Al Szekely at any time of day. A grizzled 62-year-old, he inhabits a wheelchair and is often found on G Street in Washington — the city that is ultimately responsible for the bullet he took in the spine in Fu Bai, Vietnam, in 1972. He had been enjoying the luxury of an indoor bed until last December, when the police swept through the shelter in the middle of the night looking for men with outstanding warrants.

It turned out that Mr. Szekely, who is an ordained minister and does not drink, do drugs or curse in front of ladies, did indeed have a warrant — for not appearing in court to face a charge of “criminal trespassing” (for sleeping on a sidewalk in a Washington suburb). So he was dragged out of the shelter and put in jail. “Can you imagine?” asked Eric Sheptock, the homeless advocate (himself a shelter resident) who introduced me to Mr. Szekely. “They arrested a homeless man in a shelter for being homeless.”

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Source @ NY Times

Jon Stewart: Fair and Balanced?

Why Neoconservative Pundits Love Jon Stewart

Back in April, when the debate over torture was roaring, Jon Stewart invited Cliff May, a national-security hawk and former spokesman for the Republican Party, to come on The Daily Show and defend waterboarding. May was hesitant. He thought Stewart would paint him as a crazy extremist. The audience would jeer. It would be a disaster. "I was apprehensive about going on, even though I've been on TV for a dozen years," says May. "A lot of my friends told me: 'Don't do it. You're meat going into the sausage factory.'"

But May had a change of heart after soliciting advice from his friend Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard. "Kristol told me: 'You'll be pleasantly surprised. He doesn't take cheap shots. Jon is smart. You'll do just fine.'" Kristol proved to be right. Stewart's interview of May — a crackling, lengthy debate about where to draw the line between freedom and security — produced one of the most clarifying discussions about torture on television. "Literally, this is the best conversation I've had on this subject anywhere," May told Stewart.

"There is genuine intellectual curiosity," May told New York. "He's a staunch liberal, but he's a thoughtful liberal, and I respect that." May isn't the only conservative gushing about Stewart. While the movement professes a disdain for the "liberal media elite," it has made an exception for the true-blue 46-year-old comedian. "He always gives you a chance to answer, which some people don't do," says John Bolton, President Bush's ambassador to the United Nations and a Fox News contributor, who went on the show last month. "He's got his perspective, but he's been fair." Says Bolton: "In general, a lot of the media, especially on the left, has lost interest in debate and analysis. It has been much more ad hominem. Stewart fundamentally wants to talk about the issues. That's what I want to do."
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  • cindel

Abstience, Early Marraige and GOD.

Unsatisfied With Pushing Abstinence Alone, Evangelicals Begin Pushing Early Marriages As Well

Mark Regnerus of Christianity Today feels that the church is sending the wrong message by encouraging both abstinence and delayed marriage. So what's his solution? Have young Christian couples marry as early as possible, of course.
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47 passengers spend night on airplane

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- For passenger Link Christin, Rochester International Airport was an unexpected nine-hour pitstop Friday night -- and six of those hours were spent stuck on a plane.

"To make a long story short, we stayed the entire night on the runway in this plane until about 6:30 in the morning," Christin said.

His Continental Airlines flight, which was operated by ExpressJet Airlines, was supposed to fly from Houston to the Twin Cities, but severe weather forced the small plane to land in Rochester around midnight to refuel.

ExpressJet says the flight crew had reached its maximum work hours in the air, so another flight crew had to be flown into Rochester.

In the meantime, the airline wouldn't let passengers off the plane because T.S.A. screeners had gone home and passengers legally couldn't get back on the plane, ExpressJet spokeswoman Kristy Nicholas said Sunday.

Plus, Nicholas says the airport did not have enough personnel to let passengers sleep in the terminal. So 47 passengers and three crew members spent the night on the plane.


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CNN/KARE source:

EDIT: courtesy of 0405: "Continental was in control of the situation the whole time. I have to refer questions to Continental." "They (ExpressJet/Continental) had to work out something with Delta," presumably for access to a gate. "I do know there were talks between them and Delta."

and Continental offers refunds to stranded fliers

Rocket Science

found via TPM

The conservative opinion magazine Human Events was reputedly Ronald Reagan’s favorite read, and to this day fancies itself the house organ for the hard-right intelligentsia. Among those published regularly in its pages are such luminaries as Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter.

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But my favorite part of the editorial deals with the British health-care system, which if you believe IBD is basically condemning the old and disabled to die.

“People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless,” the editorial claims.

Of course, that same Stephen Hawking who wouldn’t have a chance in the United Kingdom was in fact born in the United Kingdom, has lived his entire life in the United Kingdom and lives there still today, at the ripe old age of 67. (He was in fact hospitalized earlier this month.) Hawking is, you might say, living, breathing proof that these people are first-class fools.


"Suffer, teabagger"

O, irony! O, schadenfreude! How sweet are thy fruits!

Suffer, Teabagger
Posted by Eli Sanders on Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Meet Kenneth Gladney, 38, of St. Louis. He recently disrupted a town hall meeting to complain about health care reform, got in a fight with some union members, and, in the process, got hurt. Now Mr. Gladney is looking for donations to cover the cost of treating his injuries.


Because he has no health insurance.

Via Slog tipper Matt.


***ETA: More from the Washington Times on this guy, thanks to ubiquitous_a. The Times is a conservative rag yet the piece is critical of Mr. Gladney.

(no subject)

Israeli Soldier Arrested For Making Death Threats Against Tel Aviv Solidarity Rally


A 20 year-old Israeli soldier is in custody after admitting to posting death threats to the attendees of Saturday's solidarity rally for the victims of the shooting at a Tel Aviv LGBT center.
The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court in Sunday extended the remand of Shmuel Preimark, a 20-year-old Nahal Haredi soldier from the capital, who was arrested Saturday on suspicion of posting threats on gay Web forums, by three days. The threats were made shortly before Saturday evening's rally in Tel Aviv in memory of the victims of a shooting attack on a gay and lesbian youth club in the city one week earlier. Several hours before the start of the rally, the suspect allegedly posted a message on a gay Web forum, threatening to hurt the rally's participants. The soldier is suspected of writing, "Expect more victims among the gays, this time something bigger" and "a second attack on the community soon. Be ready. Don't say we didn’t know." Police who searched the suspect's home found his personal weapon and confiscated two computers, which were allegedly used for making the threats. The police said that the soldier confessed and was taken in for additional questioning.
Other unknown persons also made calls threatening to bring hand grenades to the rally.



Wow. Wouldn't Lincoln be so PROUD of the Republican party today?

Gabrielle Giffords Town Hall: Gun Left Behind

Town hall disruptions around the country have led to some outbreaks of violence. Unions participating in town halls have received death threats. At an event held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) last week, the threat of violence led her aides to call the police after one attendee dropped a gun.

"Yelling and screaming is counterproductive," she told the Sierra Vista Herald at a Congress on Your Corner event last week.

There, one visitor dropped a gun at the meet n' greet held in a Douglas Safeway, her staff says. That has aides, who called police to the event, concerned for her safety.

"We have never felt the need before to notify law enforcement when we hold these events," said spokesman C.J. Karamargin.
One of the callers to the SEIU has said, "I suggest you tell your people to calm down, act like American citizens, and stop trying to repress people's First Amendment rights," one caller warned. "That, or you all are gonna come up against the Second Amendment."

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  • cirisse

Swine flu prevention: stop wanking

Malaysian news service Bernama, runs this story:

Avoiding masturbation and homosexual activities are among preventive measures one could take against Influenza A (H1N1), according to an eminent practitioner of complimentary therapy.

The rationalisation for his theory:

Dr. V. M. Palaniappan said that homosexuality and masturbation caused the body to develop friction heat which in turn, produced acid and made the body hyperacidised.

"Thus, the body becomes an easy target for H1N1 infection," he told Bernama, emphasising however, that normal sexual union between members of the opposite sex was absolutely safe....

The doctor repeats this on his blog:

Another noteworthy point is that men should avoid dry masturbation. This is one of the preventive measures against H1N1 disease. Homosexual relations are even more dangerous, whereas sexual union between members of opposite sex is absolutely safe.

With very few exceptions, most men, irrespective of their marital status and age, masturbate on and off. Boys tend to do that often, whereas it is extremely rare among females of all age groups.

When one masturbates, or indulges in homosexual activity, his (her) body develops friction heat, and that produces acid, making the body hyperacidosed, giving burning sensation while urinating and toileting, and making the person an easy target for H1N1 infection.

The scary part is that Bernama is government-run news agency.

(no subject)

Boffins at the University of Tokyo have developed 3D holograms that can be touched with bare hands Dubbed the Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display, the hologram projector uses an ultrasound quirk called acoustic radiation pressure to create a pressure sensation on a user's hands. This information is tracked with two Nintendo Wiimotes. It means that the user doesn't use any direct contact and so doesn't dilute the quality of the hologram.

Top boffin Hiroyuki Shinoda showed off the technology at SIGGRAPH 2009 in New Orleans. It uses a retroreflective marker is attached on the tip of user's middle finger. IR LEDs illuminate the marker and two Wiimotes sense the 3D position of the finger. Owing to this hand-tracking system, the users can handle the floating virtual image with their hands.

The researchers can dribble a virtual bouncing ball, feel virtual raindrops bouncing off their hand, and feel a small virtual creature crawling on their palm. The researchers hope that the technology will have applications in video games, 3D CADs, and other uses. We would have thought the porn industry would be the killer app.



(no subject)

The targeting of the president

In the past few months, we've witnessed the unleashing of the radical elements of the Republican Party base. The anti-tax economic conservatives, racist Obama-haters, gun-toting Second Amendment fanatics and birth certificate conspiracy theorists have two things in common: they're mostly white and they despise President Obama.

It doesn't matter if the administration rescues American journalists from North Korea, kills Somali pirates off the coast of Africa or ends the violence in Iraq, nothing will please this crowd.
obama-target2.jpgAnd it doesn't matter that the president's domestic policies of providing universal health care, middle class tax cuts, and economic stability will benefit the very people who cry the loudest
. This is not about policy. It's about politics. The politics of rage and race. "As tensions are inflamed at health care town hall meetings across the country, a dangerous trend of Hitler comparisons, Stalin comparisons, and all-around dictator comparisons to President Barack Obama is taking shape," writes Tolu Olurunda in his Daily Voice column today, "Do some conservatives secretly wish for the assassination of Barack Obama?"

Similarly, Daily Voice columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson warns of the brewing battle ahead. "Gun and ammo sales have gun through the roof since Obama's election, with many openly bragging that they are ready for a war to win back the country," writes Hutchinson.

Winning back the country, of course, means taking America back to a time when we didn't have a black president, a wise Latina Supreme Court justice, or half a dozen states with gay marriage. It means a small group of angry white people in middle America, led by rich white media figures who exploit the angst of the masses, can hijack the national dialogue with the very unseemly behavior that they would decry when practiced by minorities.

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Muppet Angel
  • das_kat

Revenge of the Netizens

Online Activists Take On Germany's Political Mainstream
(inspired by the recent 4chan/AT&T flap)


As Germany heads into national elections, established political parties are trying to appeal to Web-savvy voters using Facebook and Twitter. But their Internet policies are alienating bloggers and activists, who are using the medium to protest against the political mainstream.

A protester against Internet censorship.

Green Party politician Matthias Güldner, 38, isn't exactly a household name in Germany. Or rather he wasn't, until last week. But then Güldner, who is floor leader for the Greens in the parliament of the northern city-state of Bremen, published an opinion piece in the conservative daily Die Welt in which he sharply criticized what he called the "unbearable lightness of the Internet." In doing so, he clashed with his own party, which holds the position that things cannot be liberal enough on the Web. He raged against the "glorification of the Internet" and, in a reference to the micro-blogging Web site Twitter, fumed that some of his fellow party members have apparently "twittered their brains away," judging by how little concern they apparently have for the limits of law and decency. (he sounds like a pearl clutching conservative, the thought of someone like that in the Green party makes me lol)

The bone of contention between Güldner and the Greens is that he favors the blocking of child pornography Web sites as laid down in Germany's new "access restriction law," which was pushed through the Bundestag in June by Germany's grand coalition government of center-left Social Democrats and conservative Christian Democrats, who hold a majority in the German parliament. Güldner's position puts him on a collision course with his party's official policy, whose current campaign platform includes the slogan: "A Green vote is a vote for a free Internet." (makes me want to vote for them, except that their hysteria over things like GM food pisses me off)
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Southern Beale's verbal whoopin' of Sarahcuda

Don’t talk to me about death panels, Sarah Palin.

You, who so carelessly bolstered a lie about healthcare reform to score a cheap political point; you, the most craven of political opportunists, who fearmongers about some dystopian socialist/fascist fantasyland; you, who earlier this year were only too happy to accept free medical, dental and veterinary care from the U.S. military for Alaska’s remote villages; you, dear lady, are an idiot.

In your free market wonderland everyone somehow manages to get healthcare, even those who are poor or live in isolated areas, though the poor and isolated in your own state required assistance from the federal government.

And despite all of this, you appear blithely unaware that the free market healthcare system we have now does, indeed, have “death panels.” I’ve been part of a death panel conversation. I know about death panels.

You have no idea what it’s like to be called into a sterile conference room with a hospital administrator you’ve never met before and be told that your mother’s insurance policy will only pay for 30 days in ICU. You can't imagine what it's like to be advised that you need to “make some decisions,” like whether your mother should be released “HTD” which is hospital parlance for “home to die,” or if you want to pay out of pocket to keep her in the ICU another week. And when you ask how much that would cost you are given a number so impossibly large that you realize there really are no decisions to make. The decision has been made for you. "Living will" or no, it doesn't matter. The bank account and the insurance policy have trumped any legal document.

If this isn’t a “death panel” I don’t know what is.

So don’t talk to me about “death panels” you heartless, cruel, greedy sons of bitches, who are only too happy to keep the profits rolling in to the big insurance companies while you spout your mealy-mouthed bumper sticker slogans about the evils of socialism. You don't even know what socialism is. You don't know what government healthcare is. You have no fucking clue about anything except that you lost the last election and you're pissed off.

You are young. Your parents are still alive. You don’t know enough to take any of this seriously. It's all an exercise in political theater for you. But that will change. We all get older. The time will arrive, someday, when you are tasked with caring for someone you love who is seriously ill. You will be ushered in to that sterile hospital conference room with an administrator you do not know, where you are told to "make plans" for a day you never hoped to see. And then you will get your education.

If on that day you still think the healthcare system we have now is fabulous and worth lying, cheating and threatening people to maintain, I can only conclude that you lack even the tiniest grain of a soul.


"Death panel" architect a pro-life Republican from Georgia?

johnny_isakson.JPGLast week former Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin posted a statement to her Facebook page in which she warned that President Obama's health care reform plan would result in a so-called "death panel" with the power to kill elderly people and those with disabilities:

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) also recently accused the Democrats' health care reform plan of putting seniors "to death."

But there is nothing resembling the alleged "death panel" in the health care reform plan. A spokesperson for Palin told ABC News that the former governor was referring to a section promoting advance care planning that appears on page 425 of the House Democrats' bill [pdf]. Advance care planning includes living wills and durable powers of attorney that allow individuals to make clear their wishes for end-of-life care, whatever they may be.

And as it turns out, the cause of advance planning has been championed especially strongly by a pro-life Republican -- U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia.

Isakson (photo above) is a member of Senate Health committee that played a key role in shaping the health care reform legislation. He successfully offered an amendment in committee that allows funds for a government-funded program that provides in-home services to people with disabilities to be used for advance care planning, according to the national Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Isakson has been promoting advance care planning for years. In 2007, for example, he co-sponsored two bills to encourage such planning -- the Medicare End-of-Life Care Planning Act and the Advance Planning and Compassionate Care Act.

In 2005, Isakson joined with state lawmakers to publicly sign a personal "Directive for Final Health Care" to encourage Georgians to discuss their personal wishes for end-of-life care. He cited the controversial case of Terry Schiavo -- a Florida woman who lived for several years in a persistent vegetative state before her husband had her disconnected from a feeding tube -- to illustrate the importance of advance planning.

"I believe it is every person's right and responsibility to make sure their loved ones are prepared to make decisions on their behalf by discussing and documenting their wishes," Isakson said at the time. "It is my sincere hope that all Georgians will join me in following the lead of the Georgia General Assembly's Resolution and make their final wishes known."

Isakson is a pro-life politician who opposes abortion as well as stem cell research entailing the destruction of human embryos.

So far Isakson has remained silent publicly on the "death panel" brouhaha. Facing South called his press office for comment today but no one was available.

Meanwhile, another prominent Georgia Republican has rushed to Palin's defense: Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich told ABC's "This Week" that people are being asked "to trust turning power over to the government when there are clearly people in America who believe in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards."

But other at least one Georgia politician has tried to distance himself from Palin, with Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) telling Bill Maher that her "death panel" allegation was "a scare tactic."


Judge sentences man to 6 months in jail for yawning

Clifton Williams arrived at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet and sat in the fourth-floor courtroom where his cousin was pleading guilty to a felony drug charge.

As Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak handed down the cousin's sentence -- 2 years' probation -- Williams, 33, stretched and let out a very ill-timed yawn.

Williams' sentence? Six months in jail -- the maximum penalty for criminal contempt without a jury trial. The Richton Park man was locked up July 23 and will serve at least 21 days.

"I was flabbergasted because I didn't realize a judge could do that," said Williams' father, Clifton Williams Sr. "It seems to me like a yawn is an involuntary action."

Chuck Pelkie, a spokesman for the state's attorney's office, said the prosecutor in the courtroom that day told him that "it was not a simple yawn -- it was a loud and boisterous attempt to disrupt the proceedings."

Jason Mayfield, the cousin of Williams who was pleading guilty at the time, said it was "not an outrageous yawn."

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Women making less than men in Television and Film

It’s no surprise to know that women writers in Hollywood have a tough time getting gigs.  It’s always great to have the statistics to back up all the anecdotes.  So, here are the abysmal statistics from the 2009 Hollywood Writers Report report done by the Writers Guild of America West.  This report Rewriting an All-Too-Familiar Story? is an update 2007 report.  (FYI- The stats only go through the end of 2007.)

What do the stats show?


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Hollywood Writers Report

Comparably, Hollywood actresses are doing much, much better, although still making less than the top male earners.

Get your PhD in lulz at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Dembski Exam

Thanks to Baron Scarpia for alerting us to this website, which outlines the rigorous academic standards [Quote-miners, please note: this is sarcasm] which William Dembski’s students have to achieve in his courses on Intelligent Design and Christian Apologetics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary:

If you follow the links, you will see that it is full of gems: we won’t spoil them for you by flagging them all up, but – just to whet your appetite – you will notice that, at both undergrad and masters level, there are courses for which 20% of the final marks come from having made 10 posts defending ID on ‘hostile’ websites! This could explain a lot.

You may be less amused at some of the questions in the final exam of the Christian Faith and Science module: In particular, this one:

Trace the connections between Darwinian evolution, eugenics, abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. Why are materialists so ready to embrace these as a package deal? What view of humanity and reality is required to resist them?

And this one:

You are the Templeton Foundation’s new program director and are charged with overseeing its programs and directing its funds. Sketch out a 20-year plan for defeating scientific materialism and the evolutionary worldview it has fostered if you had $50,000,000 per year in current value to do so. What sorts of programs would you institute? How would you spend the money?


I assume the defense will be a copy-paste of Conservapedia.

Edit courtesy of  [info]lastrega with response from Debmski:

The folks at have their panties in a bunch over some of my class assignments

It seems that sending my students to post on “hostile” websites, however, sticks especially in their craw. Slashdot has since picked up on it (go here — the keyword tags are precious).

Want to know how Darwinists really think? Go to the websites listed here and find out. Thus, when I require students to go to these websites and defend ID, it is sound pedagogy. Darwinists reflexively call this trolling (a projection of their own propensity to troll). One individual even emailed me that this is “requiring your students to participate in the intellectual equivalent of spray painting graffiti.” Nonsense. These sites provide a forum and, ostensibly, encourage discussion. My students go to these sites not to pretend to be something they are not but to defend their views — with civility.

In any case, I’ll make you a deal: let Darwinist, atheist, skeptic, freethinking, and infidel websites state prominently on their homepage the following warning — “Intelligent Design Supporters Strictly Prohibited” — and I’ll make sure my students don’t post on your sites.

Nothing more civil than "WHY DO ATHEIST LIKE TO KILL BABIES?"

How Barack Obama Got Ben Stein Fired from the Times

Do you buy the cover story about the New York Times firing heroic famous person Ben Stein over a "conflict of interest?" You are so naive. This was a preemptive hit, to protect Barack Obama, our dictator.

Stein detailed on his American Spectator diary how he used to be allowed to do whatever he wanted at the Times, even making a TV ad for Comcast and releasing a nutty creationist documentary. Then he questioned the legality of Obama firing a bailed-out CEO; suddenly Stein's copy got spiked. He criticized Obama's lack of focus; then immediately got fired over the supposed "conflict" over his latest batch of ads.

You can attack Obama from the left at the Times but not from the right.

Read between the lines. Sure, Stein's latest TV spots were a much bigger conflict of interest than his prior ads; as Reuters' Felix Salmon writes, "Stein provides financial advice in his column, and he provides financial advice in the ad." And it's true the credit-report company he endorsed was a bait-and-switch operation from a deceptive corporation. But, bottom line, Stein spoke truth to power and was brought down by "the haters and the weak-willed."

This persecution is why Stein is entitled to call himself a "poor... servant" and argue that he's under seige by "the atheists and neo-Darwinists" and by "the real power in this country," Goldman Sachs. Despite all this, he manages to maintain homes in both Beverly Hills and Malibu. And if you want to know his secret, tough luck, because someone just canceled his finance column.


Debunking HR 3200 Attacks, line by line

Found this on Facebook awhile back, and thought I'd share. I assume some of you have also have otherwise intelligent libertarian and conservative friends who, for whatever reason, are just getting the facts all wrong, and then try to force them down you're throat. Here is a point for point analysis for HR 3200, posted in response to the idiotic and insane drivel we've seen in talking points from the right.

Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Govt will audit the books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

Ø Page 22 of H.R. 3200 requests a study, not an audit, of the effects to which rating rules are likely to cause adverse selection in the large group market and employer self insurance market insurance market. This does not require an audit of ALL employers that self insure.

Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill - THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benes u get

Ø Nothing in the bill infringes upon you and your doctor’s ability to make medical decisions. The National Health Benefits Advisory Council is not a “government committee” but is made up of providers, consumer representatives, employers, labor, health insurance issuers, independent experts and representatives of government agencies. They will make recommendations about minimum standards of care and covered benefits that insurance companies have to offer- ensuring that everyone has a health plan that provides them with adequate coverage.

This is pretty long, so, it's probably best to just read it on Facebook:

Tory MEP says homophobia doesn't exist

A Conservative MEP has said that homophobia does not exist and is simply a "propaganda device".

Roger Helmer, Conservative MEP for the East Midlands, wrote on his blog: "'Homophobia' is merely a propaganda device designed to denigrate and stigmatise those holding conventional opinions, which have been held by most people through most of recorded history.

"It is frightening evidence of the way in which political correctness is threatening our freedom."

Helmer, who is honorary chairman of the right-wing Freedom Association, added: "It is creating 'thought crimes', where merely to hold a conventional opinion is seen, in itself, to be unacceptable and reprehensible. I'm sorry, but I don't buy it."

Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill told the Independent that Helmer should meet the families of Michael Causer and Jody Dobroski, two gay men who were beaten to death.

On the blog, titled Straight Talking, Helmer also defended Michal Kaminksi, who has been accused of homophobia and anti-semitism.

In a television interview in 2000, Kaminski, a Polish Law and Justice Party MEP, was heard to call gay people a derogatory term that can be translated as "fags" or "queers".

Last month, a Tory MEP was expelled from the Conservatives' grouping in the European Parliament for standing against Kaminski, the group's official vice-president candidate.

Edward McMillan-Scott, the longest-standing Conservative MEP, told that the party's record on gay rights was "part of the picture" of why he defied orders.

Source: Pink News

So yeah... sky's still blue, cats still meow and the Tories are still the loonies they were in the 80s... Anyone surprised?

i want joe biden i need joe biden

TX-Gov: Kinky Friedman Inches Closer to Officially Running

Kinky Friedman, who ran for Governor as an independent in 2006, has been exploring another run -- this time as a Democrat -- for months. Friedman has been making speeches and meeting with activists in preparation for a run next year.
Friedman discussed his upcoming fundraiser with Willie Nelson and Three Dog Night and told the Austin American-Statesman's Gardner Selby that he "can't really [fundraise] and not run."
That could be a sign that Friedman, who has led Democrats Tom Schieffer and Mark Thompson in every public poll released thus far, could be close to officially jumping in the race.

Burnt Orange Report


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Home health care advocate passes away, but movement grows

Home health care worker passes on, but kick started movement that continues to grow...

August 10, 2009

Evelyn Coke, Home Care Aide Who Fought Pay Rule, Is Dead at 74

Year in and year out, Evelyn Coke left her Queens house early to go to the homes of elderly, sick, often dying people. She bathed them, cooked for them, helped them dress and monitored their medications. She sometimes worked three consecutive 24-hour shifts.

She loved the work, but she earned only around $7 an hour and got no overtime pay. For years Ms. Coke, a single mother of five, quietly grumbled, and then, quite uncharacteristically, rebelled. In a case that reached the Supreme Court in 2007, Ms. Coke sued to reverse federal labor regulations that exempt home care agencies from having to pay overtime.

“I hope they try to help me because I need help bad,” she said in April 2007 after listening to oral arguments. She had stopped working after being hurt in a car accident six years earlier, and by then used a wheelchair.

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Source @ NY Times
  • automat

Keith Olbermann's special comment 08/10/09

Keith comments on the recent machinations of the GOP-lead culture of fear meant to shoot down progressive legislation and leaders.

or... "Olbermann on 'Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and The Death Of Common Sense"

A Special Comment on Sarah Palin's "death panel" criticism of President Obama's health care proposal. "There is no death panel... but there is downright evil, and Ms. Palin, you just served its cause..." On her efforts to clarify her comments, Keith says, "Too little, too late, too obvious... You should be ashamed of yourself."

Olbermann predicts she will become "the de facto chairman of a detah panel... your higher calling, Ms. Palin... God forgive you, Ms. Palin..."
cookie monster
  • capthek

(no subject)


Aug 10, 2009

"Astro-Turf Trolls for the Blogosphere"

Great. Organized, paid blog trolls:

Make no mistake: GOP is paying trolls to "blog attack", by Politics and Technology: This is unbelievable. We always knew that there were right-wing political hacks trolling the blogosphere, but this is a new low.

There's a company called Advantage Consultants that's offering up "professional blog warriors" to "flood the zone" with comments. In short, astro-turf trolls for the blogosphere.

Click to zoom on their ad..., but here's the text:

Are you ready for a blog attack?

Get ahead of your opponent with Professional Blog Warriors.

Be prepared to "flood the zone" with comments from professionals who are ready to put your talking points on the blogosphere 24/7.

Whether it's defense or offense, Advantage Consultants has a dedicated team of experienced blog warriors ready to advance your candidate or campaign.

Why wait for the attack? Launch your attack with a battery of blog and forum comments aimed at all media and blog sites in your district.

Contact us today and let us show you the Advantage in professional blog warfare.

 ...Incidentally, who are these people? Who is Advantage Consultants? Their president is Doug Guetzloe, a right-wing radio host and anti-tax activist in Florida.

The marketplace of ideas is far from ideal. This goes on in a variety of different formats, people are paid to call into radio shows, to write letters to the editor at local papers, to attend public meetings, if there's a public forum on an important issue you can bet someone, somewhere is doing their best to figure out how to manipulate the discussion in their favor. This is just the extension of an old technique to a new format (e.g. here's the same consulting group explaining how to manipulate talk radio).

But the basic dishonesty of it all bugs me.