September 18th, 2009

Jin is hawt.

Not too terribly political, but fucking crazy as hell.

BALTIMORE - A Johns Hopkins University student armed with a samurai sword killed a suspected burglar in a garage behind his off-campus home early Tuesday, hours after someone broke in and stole electronics.

Some shocked neighbors said they heard bloodcurdling screams in an area just blocks from the university. Police held the student, a junior chemistry major who turns 21 on Sunday, for several hours, but no charges were filed by early afternoon, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

Around 1:20 a.m., the student heard noises behind the home and noticed a door to the garage was open, Guglielmi said. He grabbed the sword and confronted the intruder — identified by police as Donald D. Rice, 49, a habitual offender who had just been released from jail.

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Just...fucking wow.


(no subject)

Primary Results Show Progress for Gay Candidates

By A. G. Sulzberger

James Van Bramer and Daniel Dromm are both Democrats who built reputations for their activism in their Queens neighborhoods and their work in schools and libraries. They are also gay. And after victories in the primary election this week, they appear likely to join the City Council.

It was less than 20 years ago when Thomas K. Duane became the first openly gay member of the City Council and currently there are two lesbian members representing Manhattan, Rosie Mendez and the Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, both of whom won on Tuesday. (Mr. Duane is now a state senator.)


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Airstrike reportedly kills dozens of refugees

A government airstrike misfired on a refugee camp in Yemen killed dozens of civilians, officials from the government and humanitarian agencies said.

Thursday's strike was meant to target Shiite rebels, according to the government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Houthi Shiite rebels were fighting near the site, the officials said.

The government officials put the death toll at 86, while the U.N. Children's Fund said "reliable" government and media sources put the death toll at 87.

CNN could not independently verify those numbers, and the Yemeni government did not officially comment on the airstrike.

According to reporters from the Yemen Post who were on ground near the strike, regional tribes that support the government in the fight against the Shiite rebels withdrew from combat to protest the airstrike.

The U.N. Children's Fund on Thursday decried the high number of civilian casualties in the airstrike without specifying how many had died.

"UNICEF is deeply concerned about reports that civilians, including children, died in an air raid on a camp for displaced persons in northern Yemen," the statement said.

"This latest incident is a tragic development in an already alarming situation. More than a month after the latest escalation of fighting, children affected by the conflict still have no access to safe water, adequate sanitation, health care and protection."

The United Nations recently said fighting between government forces and Houthi Shiite rebels in northern Yemen has displaced 150,000 people.

Battles between Yemeni forces and rebels in the north have raged intermittently for five years. A government offensive launched last month has escalated bloodshed.

The conflict is considered to be both separatist -- over who will assert authority in the area -- and sectarian -- whether Shiite Islam will dominate in majority Sunni Yemen. The rebels are supporters of slain Shiite cleric Hussein al-Houthi.



Easy tip number one, if you want to talk like a pirate: Add "me hearties" to the end of any sentence.

The meaning is simple -- "my friends, my mates" -- said John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur, before offering as way of example, "Turn your head and cough, me hearties. Or, fill it up with regular, me hearties."

Saturday marks "Talk Like a Pirate Day," an observance that has been recognized on all seven continents and beyond. It inspires dress and behavior -- of the Long John Silver variety -- in seedy bars, staid workplaces and even the International Space Station. It has fueled fundraisers, been the topic for a New York Times crossword puzzle and mentioned on various game shows.

It was an idea born in 1995 on an Albany, Oregon, YMCA racquetball court. Baur, 54, and his friend Matt "Cap'n Slappy" Summers, 46, began unleashing insults at one another, as pirates might.

"We just grew up in a time and place where we saw the wrong movies, read the wrong books," Baur said from his current home in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. Putting their deep-thinking noggins together, the two decided the world needed in on this, too.

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Arrr, the source, me buckos.
Philadelphia Story--Unholy Mess of a Gir

oh this just gets BETTER AND BETTER

'Good' girl was excused from alleged Atlantic strip-search, lawyer says

JENNIFER JACOBS • • Copyright 2009, Des Moines Register & Tribune Co. • September 18, 2009

One of the five girls in the case of an alleged strip-search at Atlantic High School did not have to take off any of her clothing because the faculty believed she was a “good” girl, too honest to have stolen the missing $100, according to a new lawyer.

Lawyer Matt Winter of Council Bluffs, who represents a sophomore girl who did undergo a search, said a female counselor made four girls peel off clothing items, but excused one.

The search took place in a girls’ locker room during gym class on Aug. 21 after a classmate reported money missing from her purse.

“My client told me that Ms. Turpen told one of the girls that she did not need to be searched because they knew she did not take anything,” Winter told The Des Moines Register. “She was told she was a ‘good’ girl.”

Ohhhhh shit. This is gonna get ugly.
  • Current Mood

Obama Refuses to Supply Non-existent Missiles!

"Betrayal! The U.S. sold us to Russia and stabbed us in the back," the Polish tabloid Fakt declared on its front page.

An editorial in Hospodarske Novine, a respected pro-business Czech newspaper, said: "an ally we rely on has betrayed us, and exchanged us for its own, better relations with Russia, of which we are rightly afraid."

"No Radar. Russia won," the largest Czech daily, Mlada Fronta Dnes, declared in a front-page headline.

From the National Review:
"In a remarkable feat of doublespeak, Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have tried to portray the move as an embrace of missile defense that will enhance our security. Rather than focusing on long-range threats from Iran, they say, the United States now will concentrate on short-range threats."

More from FOXNEWS:

"President Obama not only threw an ally overboard, he got snookered by the Russians, and just moved us closer to a world where the mad mullahs have the bomb."


What is wrong with this picture, aside from the fact that the Cold War is over?

1. The missile-defense shield is a fantasy to begin with.
2. No missiles exist that are capable of hitting long-range ballistic missiles.
3. If they did exist, it wouldn't protect European countries from Russia, because Russia wouldn't use long-range missiles to attack; they would use short and medium range missiles.
4. Prototypes tested still can't tell real missiles from decoys, or kill missiles that change course in mid-flight, as the sophisticated ones can.
5. Instead of bogus Polish interceptors, Obama is going to fund smaller missile-defense systems designed to knock out rockets during the boost, or takeoff phase, when the rocket is slower, hotter, and easier to hit.
6. Like the 'birther' BS, criticism of Obama over this is also nonsense.
soap&skin 2012
  • automat

45,000 American deaths associated with lack of insurance

Sue Riek lived in Charlotte, North Carolina and loved her dog, Brady. Elizabeth Machol raised her cat, Bert.

-- A freelance cameraman's appendix ruptured and by the time he was admitted to surgery, it was too late. A self-employed mother of two is found dead in bed from undiagnosed heart disease. A 26-year-old aspiring fashion designer collapsed in her bathroom after feeling unusually fatigued for days.

What all three of these people have in common is that they experienced symptoms, but didn't seek care because they were uninsured and they worried about the hospital expense, according to their families. All three died.

Research released this week in the American Journal of Public Health estimates that 45,000 deaths per year in the United States are associated with the lack of health insurance. If a person is uninsured, "it means you're at mortal risk," said one of the authors, Dr. David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The researchers examined government health surveys from more than 9,000 people aged 17 to 64, taken from 1986-1994, and then followed up through 2000. They determined that the uninsured have a 40 percent higher risk of death than those with private health insurance as a result of being unable to obtain necessary medical care. The researchers then extrapolated the results to census data from 2005 and calculated there were 44,789 deaths associated with lack of health insurance.

For years, Paul Hannum didn't have health insurance while he worked as a freelance cameraman in southern California.
One Sunday, Hannum complained of a stomachache which alarmed his pregnant fiancée, Sarah Percy. "He wasn't a complainer," she said. "He's the type of guy who, if he got a cold, he'll power through it. I never had known him to complain about anything."

Hannum thought he had a stomach flu or food poisoning from bad chicken. On Monday, his brother saw him looking ashen and urged him to go to the hospital. "He had a little girl on the way," his older brother Curtis Hannum said. "He didn't want the added burden of an ER visit to hang on their finances. He thought 'I'll just wait,' and he got worse and worse."

By the time Hannum got to the hospital and was admitted to surgery, it was too late.

Paul Hannum, 45, died on Thursday, August 3, 2006, from a ruptured appendix. His daughter, Cameron was born two months later.

Other studies have indicated that the uninsured are at greater risk of mortality than the insured. A 2007 study from The American Cancer Society found that uninsured cancer patients are 1.6 percent more likely to die within five years of their diagnosis than those with private insurance. In 2002, the Institute of Medicine estimated that lack of health insurance caused about 18,000 deaths every year.

The latest findings come amid the fierce debate over health care reform in the U.S.

Two authors of the Harvard study, Himmelstein and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler are co-founders of the Physicians for a National Health Program, which supports government-backed "single-payer" health coverage.

The National Center for Policy Analysis, which backs "free-market" health care reform, calls the Harvard research flawed.
"The findings in this research are based on faulty methodology and the death risk is significantly overstated," said John C. Goodman, the president of the NCPA in a statement. But Goodman did note there is "a genuine crisis of the uninsured in this country."

The lead author of the Harvard study, Dr. Andrew Wilper said he's confident in his and his colleagues' estimates. "It's consistent with the vast body of literature that has found reasonably similar findings," said Wilper, instructor in internal medicine at the University of Washington. "There's broad agreement in the health literature regarding this point."
Wilper said there is often fear from those, including his own grandmother, who don't feel well but avoid the hospital because it could mean financial catastrophe.

For 10 years, Sue Riek suffered from back pain, but couldn't afford medical care.

When a mid-life divorce left her single and without health insurance, Riek started a home-business selling make-up on eBay to support herself and her two daughters.

Riek, who lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, didn't qualify for Medicaid. And she couldn't afford a $5,000 monthly insurance premium, said her eldest daughter, Kaytee Riek.

"I don't know if she felt trapped, but it was a constant in her life -- struggling outside the health care system to exist," her daughter said.

Riek took comfort in her faith and regularly attended church. Then one Sunday, she didn't show up.

The next day, September 3, 2007, her daughter received the call telling her that her 51-year-old mother died from undiagnosed heart disease -- a condition treatable with lifestyle changes, medication and certain medical procedures.

"I feel incredibly strongly that she would still be alive if she had been able to regularly see a doctor," said her daughter.
It has become lethal to be uninsured, said Woolhandler, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard.

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Daniel Hannan sticks his foot into issues that don't concern him. Again.

Daniel Hannan accused of 'excusing racism' after Barack Obama rant

David Cameron was dragged into the US race row yesterday after one of his rising stars said that he understood the anti-Barack Obama feelings.

Euro MP Daniel Hannan said fellow right-wingers should admit that racism was behind the attacks on the President.

He added: "Barack Obama has an exotic background and it would be odd if some people weren't unsettled by it."

Mr Hannan's blog said Mr Obama became President after campaigning as a Protestant raised by Muslims in Kansas and Hawaii and seemingly had "family on every continent".

"It could hardly fail to leave a chunk of people feeling that Obama wasn't exactly a regular guy," he added.

Mr Hannan - who has called for the NHS to be axed - has also hailed Enoch Powell, infamous for his anti-immigration "rivers of blood" speech, as one of his heroes.

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LOLitics | Trent Lott

Shenanigans Friday: September 18, 2009.

Please exploit these resources:
  • macro blanks: browse by ALBUMS
  • macro blanks: browse by TAGS
  • ROFLBOT (for your caption needs)
MOAR Picture Sources:

by conanincharge
soap&skin 2012
  • automat

How Islamist gangs use internet to track, torture and kill Iraqi gays

Iraqi militias infiltrate internet gay chatrooms to hunt their quarry – and hundreds are feared to be victims.

Sitting on the floor, wearing traditional Islamic clothes and holding an old notebook, Abu Hamizi, 22, spends at least six hours a day searching internet chatrooms linked to gay websites. He is not looking for new friends, but for victims.

"It is the easiest way to find those people who are destroying Islam and who want to dirty the reputation we took centuries to build up," he said. When he finds them, Hamizi arranges for them to be attacked and sometimes killed.

Hamizi, a computer science graduate, is at the cutting edge of a new wave of violence against gay men in Iraq. Made up of hardline extremists, Hamizi's group and others like it are believed to be responsible for the deaths of more than 130 gay Iraqi men since the beginning of the year alone.

The deputy leader of the group, which is based in Baghdad, explained its campaign using a stream of homophobic invective. "Animals deserve more pity than the dirty people who practise such sexual depraved acts," he told the Observer. "We make sure they know why they are being held and give them the chance to ask God's forgiveness before they are killed."

The violence against Iraqi gays is a key test of the government's ability to protect vulnerable minority groups after the Americans have gone.

Dr Toby Dodge, of London University's Queen Mary College, believes that the violence may be a consequence of the success of the government of Nouri al-Maliki. "Militia groups whose raison d'être was security in their communities are seeing that function now fulfilled by the police. So their focus has shifted to the moral and cultural sphere, reverting to classic Islamist tactics of policing moral boundaries," Dodge said.

Homosexuality was not criminalised under Saddam Hussein – indeed Iraq in the 1960s and 1970s was known for its relatively liberated gay scene. Violence against gays started in the aftermath of the invasion in 2003. Since 2004, according to Ali Hali, chairman of the Iraqi LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) group, a London-based human-rights group, a total of 680 have died in Iraq, with at least 70 of those in the past five months. The group believes the figures may be higher, as most cases involving married men are not reported. Seven victims were women. According to Hali, Iraq has become "the worst place for homosexuals on Earth".

The killings are brutal, with victims ritually tortured. Azhar al-Saeed's son was one. "He didn't follow what Islamic doctrine tells but he was a good son," she said. "Three days after his kidnapping, I found a note on my door with blood spread over it and a message saying it was my son's purified blood and telling me where to find his body."

She went with police to find her son's remains. "We found his body with signs of torture, his anus filled with glue and without his genitals," she said. "I will carry this image with me until my dying day."

Police officers interviewed by the Observer said the killings were not aimed at gays but were isolated remnants of the sectarian violence that racked the country between 2005 and 2006. Hamizi's group, however, boasts that two people a day are chosen to be "investigated" in Baghdad. The group claims that local tribes are involved in homophobic attacks, choosing members to hunt down the victims. In some areas, a list of names is posted at restaurants and food shops.

The roommate of Haydar, 26, was kidnapped and killed three months ago in Baghdad. After Haydar contacted the last person his friend had been chatting with on the net, he found a letter on his front door alerting him "about the dangers of behaving against Islamic rules". Haydar plans to flee to Amman, the Jordanian capital. "I have… to run away before I suffer the same fate," he said.

According to Human Rights Watch, the Shia militia known as the Mahdi army may be among the militants implicated in the violence, particularly in the northern part of Baghdad known as Sadr City. There are reports that Mahdi army militias are harassing young men simply for wearing "western fashions".

A Ministry of Interior spokesperson, Abdul-Karim Khalaf, denied allegations of police collaboration. "The Iraqi police exists to protect all Iraqis, whatever their sexual persuasion," he said.

Hashim, another victim of violence by extremists, was attacked on Abu Nawas Street. Famous for its restaurants and bars, the street has become a symbol of the relative progress made in Baghdad. But it was where Hashim was set on by four men, had a finger cut off and was badly beaten. His assailants left a note warning that he had one month to marry and have "a traditional life" or die.

"Since that day I have not left my home. I'm too scared and don't have money to run away," Hashim said.

(graphic photo of two victims at the source)


Az Govner Brewer eliminated state domestic partner benefits because 'god made it so'

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has eliminated state domestic partner benefits a year after they were implemented, the Arizona Daily Star reports:

"A bill signed by Gov. Jan Brewer redefined a 'dependent,' canceling the rule change made by Gov. Janet Napolitano that allowed domestic partners to receive benefits. Also eliminated are children of domestic partners, full-time students ages 23-24 and disabled adult dependents. The legislation is in legal review. About 800 state employees are affected, according to the state's administration department...Liz Sawyer, a UA staff member, said the exclusion is 'deplorable and it's tragic.' Sawyer is a spokeswoman for OUTReach, a staff group that lobbies for domestic-partner benefits at UA. Last year 170 UA employees signed up for domestic-partner benefits, she said. Forty were same-sex couples and the remainder were unmarried, opposite-sex couples, she said."

Did God tell Brewer to do it?

"Gov. Jan Brewer said Wednesday that she believes 'God has placed me in this powerful position as Arizona's governor' to help the state weather its troubles. In a wide-ranging speech on the role of religion in politics and in her life, Brewer detailed to a group of pastors of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church how she relies on her faith and in prayer to deal with many of the issues she faces as the state's chief executive. Brewer also said there are times when, during a meeting with staffers, one will suggest praying about an issue. ... But Brewer also said she recognizes the difference between bringing her faith to the office and having an 'agenda.' ... 'The problem with having a political agenda is that we give the impression that we have God's truth,' the governor said. 'We think we can convert God's truth into a political platform, a set of political issues, and that there is 'God's way' in our politics,' Brewer continued. 'I don't believe that for a moment, any more than you believe that God's way is exclusively the Lutheran way.' The governor said, though, she believes it is right — if not inevitable — that elected officials bring their faith to their offices."


This pisses me off for the simple fact, the christian right says why marriage? why not civil unions? but then want to anything they can to make sure marriage equality, civil unions AND domestic parnterships aren't made "the law of the land."
Obama - Pie

Obama Rosh Hashana Greeting: L'Shana Tova

President Obama recorded a greeting to Jews around the world who will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, beginning at sundown Friday. "L'shana tova, tikatevu," Obama said, speaking in Hebrew. "May you have a good year, and may you be inscribed for blessings in the book of life."

Obama talks about the meaning of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and why during this time of year all people should work to "heal old divisions, seek new understandings and come together to build a better world for our children and grandchildren."

He also uses the opportunity to push for the peace process in Israel and why during the holidays, "We dedicate ourselves to the work of repairing this world."


L'Shana Tova to all ONTD_P peeps who observe!  :)


i want joe biden i need joe biden

Let's be real - I'm totally just posting this for the gif that came with it.

Dancing With DeLay Watch Week -1: The Hammer Time

With less than one week to go until the season premiere, media attention around Tom DeLay's turn on Dancing With the Stars has reached a fever pitch. Alas, most media outlets seem to willfully overlook his political career. Thankfully, Dancing With DeLay-Watch is here to recount how very, very bad DeLay was for Texas, and America.

While in Congress--that is, before he was indicted for massive finance violations, due to the $600,000 in illegal and unreported corporate donations accepted by his PAC, and his efforts to launder $190,000 through the Texas GOP, and forced to step down--DeLay was known as "The Hammer." He earned the nickname while serving as Majority Leader, due to his ability to pass close votes in the House. Let's take a look back at some of what he accomplished.

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Also, piepiracy314 had a good idea to rally the liberal (and bluetooth) internet behind him to ~sanjaya~ the show.


Actress Charlize Theron told the ladies of The View yesterday that (like Brad Pitt and Mehcad Brooks), she won't get married until gay people can get married.

Said Theron:

"I don't want to get married because right now the institution of marriage feels very one-sided, and I want to live in a country where we all have equal rights...I have so many friends who are gay and lesbian and would so badly want to get married, and I wouldn't be able to sleep with myself."

Gorgeous inside and out.

Source: Towleroad

MELANIE PHILLIPS: Now endorsed by the BNP

Mail columnist book now officially on sale on far-right online shop as 'recommended reading'.

This should come as no surprise. For years now, at least twice a week, Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips has been banging on about immigration and what some people refer to as the "Islamification of Britain".

So here we are. For all the Daily Mail's disclaimers that they're anti-BNP (often recited as foreword to some virulently anti-immigration "opinion column"), the consonance is so striking that the BNP website is now selling Melanie Phillips' own book Londonistan: How Britain is Creating a Terror State Within, along with right-wing nut classics such as Vienna 1683: Christian Europe Repels the Ottomans.

Quoting several paragraphs from her book, the BNP site refers to it as "recommended reading" as well as "a revealing insight into the Islamist threat facing Britain".

So, as some citizens begin to connect years of tabloid headlines lashing out at the same target and the recent surge in far-right demonstrations across Britain (for a small but representative selection, please see this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this), here comes the BNP's official endorsement of one of the Daily Mail's star columnists.

Melanie Phillips can now be proud: a bunch of white supremacists, sexists, homophobes and holocaust deniers are now officially amongst her biggest fans.

Source: The Daily Quail

Ahmadinejad interview cut short, Mousavi & Khatami attacked

Ahmadinejad faces test of strength as fresh protests sweep Iran

The Islamic Republic has seldom seen such scenes. President Ahmadinejad had to cut short an interview on state-controlled television because chants of “Ahmadi! Ahmadi! Resign! Resign!” could clearly be heard in the background.

After two quiescent summer months, huge new protests erupted across Iran yesterday, with popular anger at the alleged theft of June’s presidential election inflamed by the subsequent killing, torture, rape and show trials of opponents of the regime.

Mir Hossein Mousavi, 68, the former Prime Minister and de facto opposition leader, had to abandon plans to join the huge anti-government demonstrations in Tehran when hardliners attacked him and his car.

Ayatollah Khatami, 65, a popular former President who supports the opposition, was knocked to the ground, had his robe ripped and lost his cleric’s turban — a black garment signifying that he is a sayyid, or descendant of the Prophet.

In Tehran and other cities, tens of thousands of demonstrators hijacked Iran’s annual al-Quds Day rallies in support of the Palestinian cause and turned them into protests against the oppression of Iranians. The security forces hit back with teargas and baton charges. There were violent confrontations between government and opposition supporters in the squares and avenues of central Tehran and numerous reports of arrests and injuries.

In an address to the Friday prayers gathering in Tehran, Mr Ahmadinejad caused international outrage by again dismissing the Holocaust as a myth and claiming that the regime in Israel was collapsing. Yesterday’s turmoil, however, suggested that his regime was the one in trouble.

There had been no major demonstrations since July 17 but the Government could hardly cancel al-Quds Day, an event initiated by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, and the opposition seized its chance. Its supporters turned out in huge numbers and paralysed the centre of Tehran; estimates of the turnout ranged from 100,000 to 500,000. They were young and old, male and female, rich and poor, and came with green wristbands, T-shirts, balloons and banners to show support for Mr Mousavi’s green movement.

Car drivers stuck in the gridlock sounded their horns and turned on their headlights to show support. Protests were also reported in Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz, Qum, Rasht and other cities. Within hours the internet was flooded with video clips showing jubilant crowds applauding, singing and holding their arms aloft to form a sea of V-for-victory signs. Witnesses said that they chanted “Rape and torture will not stop us” and “Liar, liar, where is your 63 per cent?” — a reference to Mr Ahmadinejad’s alleged share of June’s vote.

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Miss California: 'God chose me'

Carrie Prejean told a conservative audience Friday that divine forces provided her with the platform to publicly voice opposition to gay marriage.

Prejean, speaking at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, insisted that “God had a plan for me that day” when she voiced her opinion during the 2009 Miss USA contest.

The former Miss California was asked during the contest by judge, and openly gay blogger, Perez Hilton if she supports gay marriage and her answer ultimately led to a firestorm of controversy.

“We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman,” she responded during the live televised event. “No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."

Prejean went on to lose the contest, an outcome she blamed on bias against her answer to the gay marriage question. Following her loss, Prejean was viewed as a martyred icon by some in the social conservative movement and came under attack from some progressive bloggers.

Reflecting on the contest Friday, Prejean said, “I’m so proud of the answer that I gave. God chose me for that moment.”

“I was a woman who stood up for the truth and people don’t want to admit that,” she said. “I had the courage and the bravery that a lot of people don’t have.”

“I am not defeated, they have not defeated me. They can say whatever they want about me and my faith,” she said. “I always wanted to leave a legacy of courage and boldness and to show that to young people.”

Prejean also thanked her “thousands of fans who believe in me, and saw me as more than a beauty pageant girl.”


Your Friday "Okay, maybe not *everyone* on planet Earth needs worked over with a Clue Bat" feel-good

Rivals cooperate on touchdown for player with Down syndrome
By Ryan Young
The Kansas City Star

ST. JOSEPH | Matt Ziesel doesn't stray far from coach Dan McCamy on the sidelines during St. Joseph Benton High School's freshman football games. He likes to stay within earshot.

"I'm ready, Coach. ... Coach, I'm ready," Ziesel says.McCamy says he hears it about 10 times a game, and also at practices, from Ziesel, his 5-foot-3, 110-pound running back.

So in the final stages of Benton's third game of the season on Monday at Maryville, McCamy decided it was time for Ziesel -- a 15-year-old freshman with Down syndrome -- to make his season debut.

Matt Ziesel, smiling the smile of someone who almost certainly has an interview on Today in his future.
With about 10 seconds left in the game, and Benton trailing 46-0, McCamy called his final timeout, told an assistant coach to organize the team for the "Matt play" and ran across the field to the Maryville defensive huddle -- and to some puzzled looks from the opposing players.

"I've got a special situation," McCamy remembers telling Maryville freshman defensive coach David McEnaney. "I know you guys want to get a shutout. Most teams would want a shutout, but in this situation I want to know if maybe you can let one of my guys run in for a touchdown."

Several days have passed since Ziesel chugged more than 60 yards down a sideline for his first high school touchdown -- but the buzz hasn't.

The YouTube clip McCamy posted Tuesday morning had received more than 1,500 hits as of Thursday night. The e-mails and messages of support also have been rolling in all week -- to McCamy as well as the Ziesel family.

"It's just amazing how one play can mean so much to one kid and then to a team and then to a community," McCamy said Thursday after practice. "And now it's spread not just to the community of St. Joseph, but now it's spread across the region. How something so simple can impact so many -- to me, that's the amazing part about it."

Mike Ziesel, Matt's dad, a longtime high school coach and the athletic director at Benton, was standing near the top of the bleachers Monday when a spectator told him it looked like Matt was about to enter the game. His wife, Patty, was at home. She hadn't planned on Matt actually getting on the field Monday.

Neither had McCamy. As he headed across the field to talk to McEnaney, McCamy wasn't sure what the reaction would be. He asked the players to avoid physical contact with Ziesel but to make it as real as possible for him.

"The (Maryville) players, they didn't hesitate at all," McEnaney said. "They jumped right on board."

And so Matt Ziesel ran a sweep to the right and just kept going. This time, it was McCamy making sure he was close enough to be heard -- running down the sideline alongside Matt, yelling as loud as he could.

"Come on, Matty! They're coming!" McCamy yelled, making the play as real as possible for Ziesel.

(full article at source)

Also, The Obligatory YouTube:

Snowe: I Won't Let My Party Dictate My Vote on Health Care Reform

Here's the latest development in the Snowestakes: Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) says that though she'd prefer health care reform legislation to have broader Republican support, she's not going to let her party dictate her vote on the issue.
"Obviously, I'm a Republican, but I'd like to have more Republicans," she told CNBC's John Harwood.
But asked whether having more Republicans is a requirement, she said, pointedly, "no...I'm going to support the right policy."

Yesterday, I noted that Snowe believes her party has changed, leaving her an isolated moderate. And it's sounding more and more like she's resolved herself not to cave to pressure from the right to stand with the GOP in opposition to health care reform.



Michelle Obama could be secret weapon in health care reform. And maybe a ninja.

She stood by her husband throughout the contentious 2008 presidential campaign and during heated health care reform debates during his presidency.

Now, as the debate is reaching a fever pitch, first lady Michelle Obama is weighing in on the issue by focusing on how health care can affect families.

"What she's doing is putting a personal and human face on the issue ... there's nothing more crucial," said Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn. "Everybody gets sick, and everybody has someone in the family that gets sick."

"I think if you can humanize it and personalize it, it suddenly brings it home to people -- especially those who are screaming and yelling about the government taking over," Quinn said.

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The Green Revolution Strikes Back

TEHRAN, Iran – Hard-liners attacked senior pro-reform leaders in the streets as tens of thousands marched in competing mass demonstrations by the opposition and government supporters. Opposition protesters, chanting "death to the dictator," hurled stones and bricks in clashes with security forces firing tear gas.

The opposition held its first major street protests since mid-July, with marchers decked out in green — the reform movement's color — waving V-for-victory signs on major boulevards in the capital.

In some cases on several blocks away, larger crowds marched in government-sponsored rallies marking an annual anti-Israel commemoration, waving pictures of Iran's supreme leader and president and placards denouncing the Jewish state.

The commemoration, known as Quds Day, is a major political occasion for the government — a day for it to show its anti-Israeli credentials and its support for the Palestinians. Quds is the Arabic word for Jerusalem. During a speech for the rallies, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad railed against Israel and the West, questioning whether the Holocaust occurred and calling it a pretext for occupying Arab land.

But the opposition was determined to turn the day into a show of its survival and continued strength despite a fierce three-month-old crackdown against it since the disputed June 12 presidential election.

Top opposition leaders joined the protests, in direct defiance of commands by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who barred anti-government demonstrations on Quds Day. That could provoke an escalation in the crackdown: hard-line clerics have been demanding the past week that any leader backing the protests should be arrested.

Several tens of thousands joined the opposition marches, witnesses said — far smaller than the masses that turned out in the Quds Day rallies, which were helped by government organizing. Police and security forces, along with pro-government Basij militiamen, fanned out along main squares and avenues and in many cases tried to keep nearby opposition protesters away from the Quds Day rallies to prevent clashes, witnesses said.


So meanwhile, there are people in Iran who are actually dealing with facist tyranny, unlike those tea bagging birthers who call Obama a nazi and complain about how they are so oppressed living under a Democrat. Anyway, time to stop that rant. Freedom for Iran!
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    Give Peace A Chance- John Lennon
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Rape accusation 'traumatizing,' former suspect says

Four young men falsely accused of raping an 18-year-old student at Hofstra University were trying to return their lives to normal Friday after an ordeal that two of them described as traumatic.

"I was really scared. I couldn't believe what was basically going through my mind. It was like a big nightmare, and I thought I was going to do time for something I didn't do," 20-year-old Kevin Taveras told HLN's "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell."

"It was devastating," he said. "I was there just letting the clock tick and tick."

Authorities dropped charges and freed the four men hours after their accuser changed her story about having been forcibly tied up and sexually assaulted in a dormitory bathroom.

"The woman admitted the encounters with each of the men were consensual," Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice told reporters at a news conference Thursday.

The woman recanted her story Wednesday after authorities told her that part of the incident was recorded on a cell phone video, Rice said.

"That was when she began to tell the truth," she said.

Authorities have not released the accuser's name.

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House - Schadenfreude by goat_song

Watch Wolf Blitzer Be Stupid And Mean Last Night

If you've watched Wolf Blitzer struggle to ask relevant questions of interviewees or just fill up time with cliches and nonsense you might've gotten the impression that he is not very bright. He did Celebrity Jeopardy to prove you wrong!

And the CNN Situation Room host sucked. He didn't know where Jesus was born. He thinks Julia Childs wrote Mastering the Art of French Cooking. He was just not good at Jeopardy.

It doesn't help that he was playing against Jeopardy wizard Andy Richter, who handily won $68,000 for the St. Jude Children's Hospital, but Dana Delany was there too and she didn't end the Double Jeopardy round thousands of dollars in the hole.

Even better: The Tonight Show aired scenes from the show rehearsal, where you can see Wolf being even dumber and also weirdly rude and pretentious. What this guy has to be pretentious about is anybody's guess.

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link to the entire episode at Gawker
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Eddie Izzard | Hot Pink

Report a bad doctor to the authorities, go to jail?

In a stunning display of good ol' boy idiocy and abuse of prosecutorial discretion, two West Texas nurses have been fired from their jobs and indicted with a third-degree felony carrying potential penalties of two-to-ten years' imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. Why? Because they exercised a basic tenet of the nurse's Code of Ethics -- the duty to advocate for the health and safety of their patients.

The nurses, in their 50s and both members of the American Nurses Association/Texas Nurses Association, reported concerns about a doctor practicing at Winkler County Memorial Hospital in Kermit. They were unamused by his improperly encouraging patients in the hospital emergency department and in the rural health clinic to buy his own herbal "medicines," and they thought it improper for him to take hospital supplies to perform a procedure at a patient's home rather than in the hospital. (The doctor did not succeed, as reportedly he was stopped by the hospital chief of staff.)

How can this be? This is how:

The nurses Vicki Galle, RN, and Anne Mitchell, RN, say they were just trying to protect patients when they anonymously reported their concerns April 7 to the Texas Medical Board (TMB). The RNs believed a physician wasn't living up to ethical practice standards at the 15-bed county hospital where they worked.

The report indicated Rolando Arafiles, MD, one of three physicians on contract with the hospital, improperly encouraged patients at the Winkler County Memorial Hospital emergency department and the county's rural health clinic to buy herbal supplements from him.
However, because the two nurses worked for a county hospital - and included medical record numbers of the patients in their letter to the TMB in April - the county attorney's office indicted them on "misuse of official information" - a third-degree felony that carries potential penalties of 2-10 years' imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. Additionally, the prosecution asserts the nurses used patient records as part of the evidence they offered to the TMB to "harass or annoy" Arafiles.

Please click here to read the rest of Orac's post over at Scienceblogs, as he says it all far better than I ever could. Prepared to be enraged.

Get Out of Jail Free: Monopoly's Hidden Maps

It's a story that will forever change the way you think of the phrase, "Get Out of Jail Free."

During World War II, as the number of British airmen held hostage behind enemy lines escalated, the country's secret service enlisted an unlikely partner in the ongoing war effort: The board game Monopoly.

It was the perfect accomplice.

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That's so cool. I hope there's really one of the special editions left, and that maybe this story will make one turn up.

Bill O'Reilly Is NOT Happy About "Gay-Friendly" Class In California

Bill O'Reilly: "If you are a religious person, you don't want someone telling your child it's OK to be gay."

O'Reilly and his co-host object to a one-day anti-bullying class being taught in Oakland, California schools. Parents are not allowed to have their children opt-out of the class and even though the class is only conducted once a year, Christians are up in arms. Surprise!

Oh, local news teacup storms... <3

A County Durham mother has accused her sons' school of sexual discrimination after teachers refused to let them wear earrings to class.

Sonya Tutt, of Ushaw Moor, near Durham City said the school was "stuck in the dark ages" for not allowing her sons to wear studs in their ears.

St Leonard's Comprehensive in Durham says school rules state "only girls are allowed to wear earrings."

The boys, both 15, remain out of normal classes until the earrings are removed.

Mrs Tutt said: "We are in a world of equal rights. There is nothing equal about this and I just think the school is stuck in the dark ages."

She said the school handbook stated girls could wear earrings, but there was nothing to say that boys could not.

She added: "The sexual discrimination act states that no discrimination can take place between sexes."

Simon Campbell, the head teacher of St Leonard's, said all pupils received a prospectus when they joined the school.

He said: "The policy clearly states that only girls are allowed to wear earrings and this is widely known and understood by all pupils.

"Pupils receive regular reminders about the uniform policy in assemblies and school newsletters."

Source: BBC
OK, so really I'm posting this because a) it's local to me and b) the woman involved has a silly, almost Dickensianly-appropriate name, but hopefully it has enough merit for discussion anyway...

Akuma River

Iran Update August 18-Sept 18, 2009

I blame grad school, family obligation, unexpected road trips, a severe round of bad news in the media and being sick for the delay in this. It takes a toll on a person to dig through the news day after day reading these stories. After the last one and Kennedy's heart just hurt too much to keep up with the bad news constantly coming out and the conflicts with my other commitments. I'm sorry.

Chants from Quds Day protests.
Some of the slogans chanted were:

Palestine, we are just like you
Oh [Imam] Hossein, Mir Hossen [Mousavi]
Karroubi, Mousavi, we support you
Death to Russia
Torture, rape, have no longer any effect
Not Gaza, not Lebanon, I’ll die for Iran
Leave Palestine alone
Long love [Dr. Saeed] Hajjarian [the jailed reformist strategist], long live Mousavi
Long live [Grand Ayatoollah Hossein Ali] Montazeri, Long live Karroubi
The real Basiji, Hemmat and Bakeri [two commanders killed in Iran-Iraq
war, whose families support the Green Movement]
Long live Montazeri, long live [Grand Ayatollah Yousef] Sanei

And to Ahmadinejad:

Shut up liar

Get lost liar

Resign, Resign! Where is your 63% [of the vote], liar

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CNN's article on ACORN

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(CNN) -- Two employees at the Baltimore, Maryland, branch of the liberal community organizing group ACORN were caught on tape allegedly offering advice to a pair posing as a pimp and prostitute on setting up a prostitution ring and evading the IRS.

The footage, which appears to have been edited in places, was recorded and posted online Thursday.

The footage, which appears to have been edited in places, was recorded and posted online Thursday.

The video footage -- which has been edited and goes to black in some areas -- was recorded and posted online Thursday by James O'Keefe, a conservative activist. He was joined on the video by another conservative, Hannah Giles, who posed as the prostitute in the filmmakers' undercover sting.

The video shows the pair approaching two women working at the ACORN Baltimore office and asking them for advice on how to set up a prostitution ring involving more than a dozen underage girls from El Salvador.

One of the ACORN workers suggests that Giles refer to herself as a "performing artist" on tax forms and declare some of the girls as dependents to receive child tax credits.

"Stop saying prostitution," the woman, identified by the filmmaker as an ACORN tax expert, tells Giles. The other woman tells them, "You want to keep them clean ... make sure they go to school." Video Watch tape of alleged advice on prostitution »

Both women appear enthusiastic to help.

Calls to ACORN's Baltimore offices were not immediately returned Thursday.

Stuart Katzenberg, lead organizer for ACORN's Maryland chapter, told the Baltimore Sun that both ACORN employees were fired because they "did not meet ACORN's standards of professionalism."

Sonja Merchant-Jones, chair of Baltimore City ACORN, told CNN affiliate WMAR-TV that the fired workers were seasonal, part-time employees and that no senior ACORN staff members were in the building at the time the film was made.

Scott Levenson, a spokesman at ACORN's national offices said, "The portrayal is false and defamatory and an attempt at 'gotcha journalism.'

"This film crew tried to pull this sham at other offices and failed. ACORN wants to see the full video before commenting further," Levenson said.

The conservative filmmakers unsuccessfully attempted similar ruses at the group's offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, California, and New York, Levenson said.

Law enforcement officials in the Baltimore area wouldn't confirm whether they are investigating the alleged incident at the local ACORN office. However, authorities said that under Maryland law, such undercover video may not be admissible in court as evidence.

CNN attempted to reach O'Keefe and Giles; O'Keefe was not available for comment and Giles canceled an interview scheduled for Thursday.

ACORN -- an acronym for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- made headlines last year when Republican groups seized on allegations of voter registration fraud by the group in Florida and several other states, claiming its workers were trying to push the election in Barack Obama's favor.

On Wednesday, arrest warrants were issued for 11 Florida voter registration workers suspected of submitting false information on hundreds of voter registration cards, according to court documents. The Florida investigation was triggered by ACORN officials who noticed irregularities in forms they were receiving.


Founded in 1970, ACORN calls itself "the nation's largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people." The group says it has more than 400,000 member families organized into more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities.

Besides voter registration, the group focuses on issues such as predatory lending, the minimum wage and funding for public schools, according to its Web site. It also provides free tax-return preparation for low-income people and screening for state and federal benefit programs.


Wait a sec... Didn't Giles and O'Keefe claim that every single ACORN office they went to, fell for this ruse? 

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{default} this is how I roll

"We'll have Elmo give Chuck a ~*special*~ briefing."

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was outraged when NBC political correspondent Chuck Todd had the temerity to sneeze during her briefing without properly covering his nose with his elbow. The press corps erupted in laughter as Sebelius made funny faces and lectured Todd on controlling the spread of his germs.
Todd smiled sheepishly as Sebelius playfully admonished him: "I mean what is that about? Jeez, who's got some Purell? Give that to Mr. Todd right away. We'll have Elmo give Chuck a special briefing."

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(no subject)

Ottawa sends body bags to Manitoba reserves

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 | 8:28 PM CT

Aboriginal leaders in Manitoba are horrified that some of the reserves hardest hit by swine flu in the spring have received dozens of body bags from Health Canada.

The body bags — which were sent to the remote northern reserves of Wasagamack and God's River First Nation — came in a shipment of hand sanitizers and face masks.

Grand Chief David Harper, who represents northern First Nations, says body bags send the wrong message and no one can understand why Ottawa would do such a thing.

"It really makes me wonder if health officials know something we don't," he said. "I have a right to speak for my people. I make a plea to the people of Canada to work with us to ensure the lowest fatalities from this monster virus. Don't send us body bags. Help us organize; send us medicine."

Harper says it's like sending body bags to soldiers in Afghanistan.

Chief Jerry Knott of Wasagamack First Nation said his community's nursing station received about 30 body bags.

"This disturbed our community members and continues to be a major concern. We had asked for funding so we can get organized and to ensure medicines, hand sanitizers and other preventative kits were in place but, instead, we are shocked to receive the body bags," he said. "To me, this is unacceptable and I am demanding an answer.

"Is the body bags a statement from Canada that we as First Nations are on our own?"

Leona Aglukkaq, federal minister of health, said Wednesday she's ordered her deputy minister to do a "thorough and immediate" inquiry into the body bag report.


Of course, let's not forget the previous response to swine flu in First Nation communities.

Orly accuses Land of treason in request to stay birther deployment. Land is all "Come at me, bitch."

No one is going to convince me that Orly Taitz *isn't* Sacha Baron Cohen in deep, deep cover.

Capt. Connie Rhodes asks for Judge Clay Land to reconsider; attorney Orly Taitz involved
By Alan Riquelmy

Army Capt. Connie Rhodes, who unsuccessfully petitioned a federal court to stop her deployment to Iraq by arguing President Barack Obama can't legitimately hold the office, has asked U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land to reconsider his Wednesday ruling.

The emergency request for stay of deployment and request to amend the judgement was filed Thursday on behalf of Rhodes by attorney Orly Taitz -- a national figure in the "birther" movement.

In her Sept. 4 complaint, Rhodes argued that some facts point to Obama not being naturalized or possibly an illegal immigrant. She said she couldn't be lawfully compelled to obey a de facto president's orders.

In a Wednesday order Taitz called "sarcastic" and "biting," Land denied Rhodes' request and told Taitz she would face sanctions if she ever again filed in his court a similar frivolous action.

"Plaintiff avers that there is increasing evidence that the United State District Courts in the 11th Circuit are subject to the same illegitimate chain of command which plaintiff has previously protested in this case..." Rhodes' Thursday filing states.

(source goes on to rehash all the Crazy you probably already know)

» Primary Sources

Orly Taitz Demands to Be Heard!!!

Orly Taitz Rambles, Is Yelled At By Dylan Ratigan (VIDEO)

Chief 'Birther' Orly Taitz appeared on MSNBC Friday morning either to defend her increasingly derided conspiracy theories or, as she seemed to see it, to trumpet a major victory against President Obama. She and host Dylan Ratigan mostly talked past each other.

Asked about a legal complaint about President Obama's citizenship that was thrown out of court recently, Taitz ignored the question and instead began rambling about a judge in California who has agreed to hear one of her challenges. "This is a major victory!" she proclaimed.

After trying and failing to interrupt Taitz several times, Ratigan finally shouted, "Orly, Orly! This is not a monologue, Orly! Now I will let you answer, but you will let me ask you questions or you will not come on this show. OK?" Orly laughed and responded, "OK, that's a real threat." She did not seem moved and, in fact, she used the next available opportunity to begin a new speech.

Asked why she thought one judge was hearing her conspiracy theories when another had dismissed them, and why she was continuing to challenge Obama's birth certificate in the face of so much evidence, Taitz responded, "I mean, how can you lie to your viewers like this? ... Nobody in this country, not one single person, has seen a hospital birth certificate... "

Ratigan cut her off again. "The genius thing about people like you is that you like to accuse others of lying as a way to cut a boulevard so you can just blather on a bunch of lies," he said. As Taitz began to interject, he concluded, "I appreciate your attempting the conversation. I admire your passion."

In Health Care, Numbers of Claims Denied Remains a Mystery

In Health Care, Number Of Claims Denied Remains A Mystery

Are health insurance companies generally being fair and honest when they reject claims from policy holders?

That would seem to be an important question in deciding how best to fix the U.S. health system. But it hasn't been a focus of the raging health-care debate -- possibly because the answer is not publicly available.

"This is one of the dark corners of the black box that is private health insurance," said Karen Pollitz, a professor at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.

Data on how often insurance claims are denied -- and for what reasons -- is collected and analyzed by the insurance companies themselves. But except in California, the companies aren't required to provide those records to any state or federal agency. "The number is knowable, but not known by regulators or policy makers or patients," Pollitz said.

The main health-care reform bill being considered in the House does seek to address the matter. It would require health insurance companies to report data on claims policies, practices and denials to a central commissioner.

The issue of claims surfaced recently in California. The state Nurses Association issued a press release saying that data it obtained from the Web site of the state's Department of Managed Health Care showed that in just the first half of 2009, California's six largest HMOs had rejected more than 31 million claims -- 21 percent of those they had received.

The way the nurses group tells it, state officials didn't even know they had the data.

Don DeMoro, a policy director for the nurses' association, said that he received a phone call from the managed care department after its press release came out.

"They said, 'You couldn't have gotten this data from us. We don't collect it ourselves,'" DeMoro said. "'The data is there,' I told them, 'but it's hard to find.' I walked them through the steps and waited while they clicked through their own Web site. Once they saw that the data was there, they politely said, 'Thank you' and hung up."

Lynne Randolph, spokesperson for the state agency, said she does not know what DeMoro might have been told, but said, "We've always known about this data."
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