September 6th, 2009

Associated Press says photo of Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard shows realities of war

NEW YORK — The Associated Press is distributing a photo of a Marine fatally wounded in battle, choosing after a period of reflection to make public an image that conveys the grimness of war and the sacrifice of young men and women fighting it.

Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard, 21, of New Portland, Maine, was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in a Taliban ambush Aug. 14 in Helmand province of southern Afghanistan.

The image shows fellow Marines helping Bernard after he suffered severe leg injuries. He was evacuated to a field hospital where he died on the operating table.

The picture was taken by Associated Press photographer Julie Jacobson, who accompanied Marines on the patrol and was in the midst of the ambush during which Bernard was wounded. She had photographed Bernard on patrol earlier, and subsequently covered the memorial service held by his fellow Marines after his death.

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source has the controversial picture

Boston Globe piece on radical movies

Rad, bad, & dangerous to know

Films rarely take up radical causes. The result can be a mix of Karl and Groucho Marx.

By Ty Burr, Mark Feeney, and Wesley Morris, Globe Staff | September 6, 2009

The revolution is once more being screened. Opening Friday is Uli Edel’s critically praised “The Baader Meinhof Complex,’’ which dramatizes Germany’s violent Red Army faction of the late 1960s and ’70s.

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La Chinoise

Article @ Boston Globe

Nick Griffin may appear on BBC's Question Time

The BBC has confirmed it may invite British National Party leader Nick Griffin to appear on a future edition of the Question Time programme.

A spokesman said the BBC was bound by the rules to treat all political parties with "due impartiality".

Talks are being held with other parties, some of whom have previously refused to share a platform with the BNP because of its policies on race.

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source here:

Hopefully he will get ripped to shreds, certainly Dimbleby must be rubbing his hands with glee. The only thing is Griffin's TV appearances now are characterised by downright lying about his points of view, in order to 'sell' them as shown by the video under the cut, so I'd worry that he was going to just about get away with it :/

Starbucks Xmas Cup 1

Miss Butthurt to sue USA Pagent Officials

Ex-Miss California Carrie Prejean sues pageant officials for religious discrimination

Updated Tuesday, September 1st 2009, 10:23 AM

LOS ANGELES — Former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean sued pageant officials Monday for libel, slander and religious discrimination, accusing them of telling her to stop mentioning God even before her controversial remarks against gay marriage.

Prejean sued California pageant executive director Keith Lewis and actress and former Miss USA Shanna Moakler, who served as a co-director before resigning in protest of Prejean.

Prejean was fired in June by pageant officials who said she missed several scheduled appearances.

Her attorney, Chuck LiMandri, said that wasn't true, and Prejean was ousted because of controversial remarks in April during the Miss USA pageant that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

She was named first runner-up, and many believe she lost her shot at the Miss USA crown because of her answer.

LiMandri said Prejean filed suit only after he sought detailed information on what events Prejean missed.

"I wanted to give them every opportunity to provide the basis for those claims," LiMandri said.

He said he found no proof that Prejean missed events. "There were no contract violations," he said.

The lawsuit claims Lewis and Moakler both told Prejean not to mention God on her Miss USA application or at public events at least two months before she gave her anti-gay marriage answer.

The suit also claims Moakler and Lewis improperly revealed that Miss California USA had paid for Prejean's breast implants.

Moakler's attorney, Mel Avanzado, said in a statement that Prejean's lawsuit was without merit.

"More importantly, as everyone who watched or read her public statements is well aware, Ms. Prejean's unfortunate and bigoted statements are responsible for any public humiliation or damages to her reputation that she has claimed to have suffered," Avanzado wrote. "Ms. Moakler strenuously denies that she did anything wrong and looks forward to proving that in a court of law."

Prejean is also suing publicist Roger Neal, who handles press for Miss California USA and Lewis.
Neal said he could not immediately comment on the lawsuit.

The lawsuit accuses Lewis, Moakler and Neal of using Internet sites such as Facebook and Twitter to post disparaging remarks about Prejean.

The lawsuit does not name Donald Trump, who owns Miss California USA's parent organization and who in May refused to fire Prejean, a decision he reversed a month later.

The suit states Trump authorized Prejean's appearance on the "Fox and Friends" show in May and a Shape magazine interview, both of which were sighted by Lewis as unauthorized public appearances by the beauty queen.

The complaint does not state a specific dollar figure that Prejean is seeking. It claims she has been subject to public ridicule and humiliation and lost out on modeling work because she lost her crown. She has also suffered anxiety, depression and loss of sleep since her firing, the lawsuit states.

Mr. F!

Ag industry defends itself over grisly chick video

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Paul Lasley cringed when he heard about an undercover video showing unwanted chicks being tossed alive into a grinder at an Iowa hatchery.

The images were upsetting, to be sure, but as someone who grew up on a farm, Lasley knows that bringing meat and poultry to America's dinner table is often a grisly business.

"When our parents made the decision to send this cow or pig or lamb to market, it was a sad day," he recalled. "But it would be sadder if we couldn't make the payment on the farm."

Lasley, a sociologist at Iowa State University who specializes in rural issues, and others argue that most Americans in this age of supermarkets, suburbanization and multinational agribusinesses know little about farming and how animals raised for food are treated and why.

They contend that videos like the one in Iowa stir up people's emotions without addressing important business considerations — in this case, the need to dispose of male chicks that have little value because they can't lay eggs or grow large enough or fast enough to be raised profitably for meat.

"Part of that I think is the disconnect that many consumers have with agriculture," Lasley said. "Fewer people actually grow up on a farm and kill animals."

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iamamiwhoami idle talk
  • danibel


Remember Glenn Beck's mysteeerious video of Obama's Secret Negro Army?™ It's pretty much the foundation of his entire conspiracy theory on the impending takeover of the country by armed Obama thugs, and serves today as the linchpin of the "Obama indoctrination" nontroversy. If you haven't seen it, it's about 1:10 into this clip:

"Stop, stop, stop!" Glenn Beck cries -- as the Secret Negro Army™ declares its intentions to become doctors and lawyers. (Shudder!)

Beck acts like it's a mystery who these "dangerous" black children are. "They've sealed this as tight as a drum," he says with his characteristic nervous urgency. The subtext is clear: be afraid! Be very afraid of this mysterious video!

Well, mystery solved. Thanks to one of my commenters at Osborne Ink, Obama's Secret Negro Army™ has been positively high school step dancers. You know, like these guys:

... Get that? If you're an Obama supporter, it's only 'cause you've been hypnotized by racist step dancing. It has nothing to do with the fact you agree with him on, say, the public option. And woe for everyone if Obama hadn't been elected, because we'd all be under attack by angry step-dancing children with shattered dreams of middle-class employment.

(More at the source.)

Old Beck clip, but... hopefully, schools will prohibit their students from watching Obama's upcoming address to the youth; otherwise, they'll surely be brainwashed to join the ranks of this militant, goosestepping nightmare.


August recess allows Members to step back from Washington's political tug-of-war and hear from constituents. Many Members are finding that most Americans are concerned about the prospect of growing government's involvement in health care, and would prefer policymakers re-evaluate their positions and start deliberations anew.

Feminists might also use the opportunity to pause and reconsider their stance on the health care issue. Thus far, the role of the old guard feminist groups has been typical of a liberal advocacy group: They are lobbying for the biggest government option on the table. The National Organization for Women (NOW), for example, recently urged members to support an amendment offered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich that would enable states to create single-payer health plans. NOW explains it's a second-best option compared to their ultimate goal-a single-payer national program-but it's the best they can hope for at this time.

Is a single-payer system really in the best interest of women? That's a matter of empirical debate. The vast majority of women who are satisfied with their current health care plan would likely be worse off in a government-run system that provides less choice, discourages new medical innovation, and requires longer wait times for treatments and possibly outright rationing.

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This was originally posted back in August, but seeing this commercial led me to the site, and the WTF article that I hadn't seen posted here before:

(no subject)

Why the Obama Administration Will Implode In Weeks

Never has an administration had more political firepower at their disposal yet been set to so totally fail in the next six to eight weeks. It is nearly a foregone conclusion. It is nearly unavoidable. And it defies all logic given the sizable majority the administration has in both houses of Congress.

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soap&skin 2012
  • automat

Survey: Latinas face challenges that hinder their education

Many Latinas doubt their chances for academic and career success, the report found.

(CNN) -- Most Latinas have goals to graduate and get professional jobs, but challenges including discrimination and gender stereotyping undermine their chances of success, a new survey shows.

The discrimination -- sometimes from teachers and fellow students -- affects the young women's self-confidence and performance, leading to lower graduation rates, according to the report released last week by the National Women's Law Center and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

"About 80 percent of the students surveyed want to graduate from college and perhaps go further," the report said. "And 98 percent reported that they wanted to graduate from high school. Yet the dropout rates of Latinas are extremely high."

The survey was based on 335 responses received from schools and programs in various parts of the country, with follow-up interviews and focus groups, plus a review of existing research, according to the report.

Out of the young women surveyed, one-third do not expect to achieve their educational goals for various reasons, it said.

"Many Latinas are influenced by family and societal expectations, often based on stereotypes of Latinas as submissive underachievers and caretakers," the report said. "When these stereotypes are internalized, they may cause Latinas to doubt their chances for academic and career success." Video Alarming rise in Latina drop-out rate »

They also face a series of other challenges, including poverty, immigration status, limited English and lack of parental involvement, it said.

Most don't attend early childhood education programs because their schools don't have enough resources, according to the report.

"Limited English proficiency can make students more likely to fall behind and increase the risk of dropout," the report said. "Moreover, many Latinas lack relationships with role models in the community who can help them to set goals and to envision themselves reaching those goals regardless of their family circumstances."

Students who are undocumented or whose parents are in the United States illegally face anxiety caused by instability, and do not have the financial advantages and opportunities their American counterparts have, it said. Their parents are unfamiliar with the education system and thus do not take part in school activities.

The report examines some of the reasons for the disparity and lagging performance, and seeks to improve their graduation rates and chances of success.

The recommendations include:

-- Congressional investment in Latino children through early education initiatives and child care, and outreach to Latino families.

-- More outreach to Latinas in schools, including providing them with role models.

-- College preparation by schools for Latinas, with funding from Congress.

-- More school measures to stop discrimination in educational programs and activities.

-- School use of comprehensive, age-appropriate material to teach sex education to avoid the rising pregnancy rates among teen Latinas, and additional support for those who get pregnant.

At 45 million, Latinos constitute the largest minority group in the United States, and it has a growth rate twice that of the general population. According to projections, by 2025, one-quarter of American teens will be Latinos.

soap&skin 2012
  • automat

Amazon returns deleted Kindle books

Amazon upset many Kindle owners when, in typical Big Brother fashion, it remotely deleted improperly distributed copies of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and several other novels from private e-book readers this July. Despite receiving a refund for the books, many Kindle owners felt their personal property had been violated.
Yesterday Amazon e-mailed customers affected by the mass deletion and offered them a free, and no doubt properly licensed, copy of any book they lost, or the option of a check for $30.
Read an apology from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the full letter Kindle users received below.
On July 23, 2009, Jeff Bezos, our Founder and CEO, made the following apology to our customers:
“This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our “solution” to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we’ve received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.

With deep apology to our customers,
Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO”

As you were one of the customers impacted by the removal of [title] from your Kindle device in July of this year, we would like to offer you the option to have us re-deliver this book to your Kindle along with any annotations you made. You will not be charged for the book. If you do not wish to have us re-deliver the book to your Kindle, you can instead choose to receive an electronic gift certificate or check for $30.
Please email Kindle customer support at to indicate your preference. If you prefer to receive a check, please also provide your mailing address.

We look forward to hearing from you.
The Kindle Team

Super Mario

On the nose.

Trippi: GOP trying to turn Obama into another Jimmy Carter

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A prominent Democratic strategist said Sunday that Republicans are trying to turn President Barack Obama’s administration into another “failed presidency” like that of former Democratic president Jimmy Carter.

“They’re going to keep gunning,” Democratic strategist Joe Trippi said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, referring to conservatives’ recent — and ultimately successful efforts — to target Obama’s green jobs adviser Van Jones over controversial comments he made before becoming a part of Obama’s White House team.

“This administration has the potential to be FDR or Jimmy Carter and I think the Republicans are going to do everything they can to make him Jimmy Carter, to create a failed presidency. That’s, unfortunately, what many of them want.”

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I hope this is just a rocky start for a fledgling administration and a case of Obama finding his 'sea legs', so to speak. It will be so weird reading about this in my kids' history books...
  • Current Mood
    Ben & Jerry's

(no subject)

Sailors subjected to sexual harassment, gay-baiting—and it was encouraged

This is an outrage. As reported in an investigation by Youth Radio, members of the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain Military Working Dogs Division have been subject to unbelievable abuse by colleagues that involve sexual humiliation, harassment and gay-baiting. And there are FOIA documents to prove it.
It was inside that Bahrain kennel in July 2005 that Petty Officer Joseph Christopher Rocha, then 19 years old, says he was being terrorized by other members of his own division. “I was hog-tied to a chair, rolled around the base, left in a dog kennel that had feces spread in it.”

Rocha says that beginning six weeks into his deployment, he was singled out for abuse by his chief master-at-arms, Michael Toussaint, and others on the base, once Rocha made it clear he was not interested in prostitutes. “I was in a very small testosterone-driven unit of men,” Rocha says.

“I think that’s what began the questioning-you know-‘Why don’t you want to have sex with her? Are you a faggot?’” “Petty Officer Rocha and another junior sailor…were instructed to go into a classroom by Chief Michael Toussaint, who orchestrated the entire training. And Chief Toussaint asked them to simulate homosexual sex on a couch,” Hogan says. ...Rocha says at the time, he had no gay friends, no male lovers, and wasn’t even fully out to himself about his sexuality.

“The fact that I was starting to figure out that I was a homosexual, it was the most degrading thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.” Still, eight thousand miles away from home, he was afraid to report the constant hazing. And Rocha was not the only one.
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More Clothed-White-Woman/Naked-Black-Woman Images

Miz Belle sent us a set of photos from the September issue (#106) of Numéro, a fashion magazine. The fashion spread, titled “Best Friends” (I found at least one post online saying the two models are, in fact, good friends) features a White woman in at least enough clothing to cover her lady bits posed next to a Black woman whose breasts are on display as she is either entirely or partially naked. These aren’t even vaguely safe for work.
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tv | kosem sultan sends her regards.

Japan's future emperor turns 3

JAPANESE sighed over photos of their likely future emperor on Sunday as Prince Hisahito, the first male heir born in four decades, turned 3 years old.

The imperial family is well-loved in Japan, but members' lives are heavily cloistered, unlike those of the royal families of Britain and other Western nations.

Newspapers published photos on Sunday of the prince wearing a kimono embroidered with images of a crane, a symbol of Japan and longevity.

TV news showed the smiling boy, nicknamed 'Yuyu' and 'Yuchan' by his parents, running into his father's arms.

Hisahito is the first male heir born in 41 years to the imperial family and is third in line to succeed Emperor Akihito, 75, on Japan's Chrysanthemum Throne.

Japan had considered changing its male-only succession law for the emperor, but put aside the idea as Prince Hisahito's birth approached.

His uncle, 49-year-old Crown Prince Naruhito, is first in line to succeed the emperor, followed by Crown Prince Naruhito's younger brother and prince Hisahito's father, Akishino.

Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife Masako have one daughter, who could have inherited the throne if the legal change had been made to allow women in the imperial succession.

The emperor and his wife have cut back official appearances because of stress-related illnesses. Princess Masako has also largely kept out of the public eye because of chronic depression.

In contrast, little Prince Hisahito appears to be the picture of health.

Reports said he loves his tricycle and knows how to dress himself.

Prince Akishino and his wife Kiko also have two daughters, Mako and Kako.

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How American Health Care Killed My Father

The article is too long to post in its entirety, but this guy's basic argument is that a more consumer-centered health care system is the only way to control costs, and that our entire system of paying for everything through insurance is flawed.  Some excerpts:

How often have you heard a politician say that millions of Americans “have no health care,” when he or she meant they have no health insurance? How has a method of financing health care become synonymous with care itself?

The reason for financing at least some of our health care with an insurance system is obvious. We all worry that a serious illness or an accident might one day require urgent, extensive care, imposing an extreme financial burden on us. In this sense, health-care insurance is just like all other forms of insurance—life, property, liability—where the many who face a risk share the cost incurred by the few who actually suffer a loss.

But health insurance is different from every other type of insurance. Health insurance is the primary payment mechanism not just for expenses that are unexpected and large, but for nearly all health-care expenses. We’ve become so used to health insurance that we don’t realize how absurd that is. We can’t imagine paying for gas with our auto-insurance policy, or for our electric bills with our homeowners insurance, but we all assume that our regular checkups and dental cleanings will be covered at least partially by insurance. Most pregnancies are planned, and deliveries are predictable many months in advance, yet they’re financed the same way we finance fixing a car after a wreck—through an insurance claim.

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I'm fairly liberal - I definitely support a public option, among other things - but I think the author makes some good points.  Restructuring incentives around consumers' preferences, rather than those of the insurance companies, would go a long way toward reducing costs and raising quality.  What does everyone else think?


8 bucks a week...

Biden Defends Federal Stimulus Program

WASHINGTON — The boss was away at Camp David. The battle over health care was set for next week. So it was left to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to protect the administration’s other flank here Thursday with a strong defense of the federal stimulus program.

Arguing that the stimulus helped avert what some had feared would be a second Depression, Mr. Biden took on critics who call the stimulus a “grab bag” of too many programs. “It doesn’t reflect a lack of design,” Mr. Biden said in a speech at the Brookings Institution. “That was the design.”

Mr. Biden said that the stimulus law was not a “single silver bullet” but rather “silver buckshot.” He tried to dispel the notion that the $787 billion stimulus bill was essentially a giant public works program — which may have taken root when the administration billed it as the biggest investment in infrastructure since the creation of the Interstate highway system — by noting that the money was divided between tax cuts, aid to struggling states and to the unemployed, and only partly to infrastructure spending.

"A Gallup poll last month found 51 percent of Americans wished the government would have spent less to stimulate the economy. The same poll found 41 percent thought the stimulus package was helping the economy in the short term; 33 percent saw no effect, and 24 said it was making the economy worse."

"About $88 billion of the stimulus money has been spent so far mostly on aid program. An additional $62 billion has been paid out in tax cuts. The main cut has been a payroll credit for workers which was worth $8 a week for a single tax payer "

(a link to both the online version and the print version are below)

-Also note that the CoE will present it's finding on the job creation and other data on the "Stimulus" Sept. 10th. September could be a big shit sandwich for the Obama adim.
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    Insekt 5 "Green will indicate irony"

Obama did not order Van Jones' resignation, adviser says

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The resignation of Obama administration figure Van Jones, following controversies over a petition he had signed and his comments about Republicans, did not come at the request of the president, the White House senior adviser said Sunday.

"Absolutely not -- this was Van Jones' own decision," David Axelrod told NBC's "Meet the Press" when asked if the president had ordered the resignation.

The chairman of the House Republican Conference, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, had called for Jones to resign or be fired.

"I think Van Jones did the right thing," Pence said Sunday about the resignation. "His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration."


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I hope it's true that the President didn't request his resignation. But whoever decided on it, it was badly done, imo. Really a bad call.
  • synesis

War on Drugs: Stupid and Immoral

The war on drugs is immoral idiocy. We need the courage of Argentina
While Latin American countries decriminalise narcotics, Britain persists in prohibition that causes vast human suffering

I guess it had to happen this way. The greatest social menace of the new century is not terrorism but drugs, and it is the poor who will have to lead the revolution. The global trade in illicit narcotics ranks with that in oil and arms. Its prohibition wrecks the lives of wealthy and wretched, east and west alike. It fills jails, corrupts politicians and plagues nations. It finances wars from Afghanistan to Colombia. It is utterly mad.

There is no sign of reform emanating from the self-satisfied liberal democracies of west Europe or north America. Reform is not mentioned by Barack Obama, Gordon Brown, Nicolas Sarkozy or Angela Merkel. Their countries can sustain prohibition, just, by extravagant penal repression and by sweeping the consequences underground. Politicians will smirk and say, as they did in their youth, that they can "handle" drugs.

No such luxury is available to the political economies of Latin America. They have been wrecked by Washington's demand that they stop exporting drugs to fuel America's unregulated cocaine market. It is like trying to stop traffic jams by imposing an oil ban in the Gulf.

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May be a little tl;dr, but Jenkins' style is great. He's working off this story. Essentially, he makes the strong argument for legalisation taxation and, most importantly, the treatment of drug addiction as a matter of public health rather than criminality. It makes sense, but any kind of drug law reform seems to be the SUCKING BLACK HOLE of national and international politics.


  • Current Music
    COIL - Teenage Lightning (10th Anniversary Version)

Mexican legislative candidate, family killed

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) -- A legislative candidate was killed, along with his wife and two children, bringing campaigns for statewide offices in the southeastern state of Tabasco to a halt, the state-run news agency Notimex reported.


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EDIT: Here's an article of interest -- posted on Dec 31st 2008, it notes the death toll in Mexico's drug war.

(no subject)

Al Sharpton's National Action Network 2009 Conference: Black Masculinity, Homosexuality, Religion

A Candid Debate On Black Manhood, Same Gender Love & Civil Rights: Fact & Fiction from Cleo Manago on Vimeo.

rotf @ the guy who said he "chose" to be heterosexual, and then said he explored other boys but liking girls automatically kicked in at puberty.  Chile, no.