September 22nd, 2009

QI Stephen

Todays WTF Glenn Beck moment.

Glenn Beck: Obama Better For Country Than McCain Would Have Been.

Glenn Beck thinks President Obama is better for the country than John McCain would have been, he said in an interview with Katie Couric to air at Tuesday evening.

"I think John McCain would have been worse for the country than Barack Obama," Beck told Couric in the debut episode of her new web show, @katiecouric.

Beck's comment came in response to Couric's question about Hillary Clinton, who Beck said he may have even voted for had she been the Democratic nominee against John McCain.

"I can't believe I'm saying this," Beck said, "I think I would have much preferred [Hillary Clinton] as president and may have voted for her against John McCain."

He described McCain as "this weird progressive like Theodore Roosevelt was."

The full interview airs at Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.


Thoughts? The troll alarm is on full blare right now although I'm more concerned about why Katie Couric is interviewing him in the first place. Where's the Keith gif?


' jules
  • schmiss

Alright, which one of you stomped on some puppies in a past life and inflicted this on us?

Tom Delay Dancing With The Stars VIDEO: Dances The Cha Cha With Cheryl Burke

Tom Delay made his debut tonight with partner Cheryl Burke on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and it was a jarring sight, to say the least, to see the man whose nickname in Congress was 'the Hammer' dancing the cha cha, shaking his behind to "Wild Thing."

Perhaps one of the judges, Bruno, said it best: "You're crazier than Sarah Palin!"

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Mandatory Insurance Is Unconstitutional (?)

Why an individual mandate could be struck down by the courts.


Federal legislation requiring that every American have health insurance is part of all the major health-care reform plans now being considered in Washington. Such a mandate, however, would expand the federal government’s authority over individual Americans to an unprecedented degree. It is also profoundly unconstitutional.

An individual mandate has been a hardy perennial of health-care reform proposals since HillaryCare in the early 1990s. President Barack Obama defended its merits before Congress last week, claiming that uninsured people still use medical services and impose the costs on everyone else. But the reality is far different. Certainly some uninsured use emergency rooms in lieu of primary care physicians, but the majority are young people who forgo insurance precisely because they do not expect to need much medical care. When they do, these uninsured pay full freight, often at premium rates, thereby actually subsidizing insured Americans.

The mandate's real justifications are far more cynical and political. Making healthy young adults pay billions of dollars in premiums into the national health-care market is the only way to fund universal coverage without raising substantial new taxes. In effect, this mandate would be one more giant, cross-generational subsidy—imposed on generations who are already stuck with the bill for the federal government's prior spending sprees.

Politically, of course, the mandate is essential to winning insurance industry support for the legislation and acceptance of heavy federal regulations. Millions of new customers will be driven into insurance-company arms. Moreover, without the mandate, the entire thrust of the new regulatory scheme—requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions and to accept standardized premiums—would produce dysfunctional consequences. It would make little sense for anyone, young or old, to buy insurance before he actually got sick. Such a socialization of costs also happens to be an essential step toward the single payer, national health system, still stridently supported by large parts of the president's base.
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Who Knew? Todd Tiahrt is a Comedian... Kansas GOP Getting Desperate?

VIDEO: Kansans Laugh at Rep. Tiahrt's Health Reform Lies

t's been a barrel of laughs this summer for Kansas Republicans.

However, instead of Rep. Lynn Jenkins laughing at uninsured constituents, we find voters actually laughing at another Kansas Republican -- Rep. Todd Tiahrt. Earlier this summer, Tiahrt held a town hall meeting on health care reform and made the false claim that H.R. 3200 will set a cap on doctors wages. That claim has been debunked across the board and the attendees knew it.

It's really a stunning rebuke of Kansas Republicans and their lies:

This is just another sign of the tide turning against the Republicans in Kansas.
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Update on Australian "right to die" case

Australian granted right to starve to death dies of infection

(CNN) -- An Australian quadriplegic who won the right to refuse food and water died Monday of an upper respiratory infection, his brother and a right-to-die advocate said.

An Australian high court ruled Christian Rossiter had the right to refuse food and water.

Christian Rossiter had not started his fast but had refused antibiotics and other medical treatment, said Philip Nitschke, director of Exit International, a leading global voluntary euthanasia and end-of-life advocacy group.

"I spoke with him Thursday and he was very ill at time," Nitschke said in a telephone interview from Australia. "He was quite aware of his plight."

Rossiter, 49, won a court case in Australia last month that some described as a major victory for right-to-die proponents. In a rare legal finding, the Supreme Court of Western Australia ruled that Rossiter had the right to refuse food and water. The ruling meant that the nursing facility in which Rossiter had lived since November 2008 could not be held criminally liable for allowing the patient to die, the court said.

"I'm happy that I won my right to die," Rossiter said at the time.Collapse )

Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett
  • doop

Judge renews protected status for Yellowstone's grizzly bears

BILLINGS, Mont. — Facing the combined pressures of climate change, hunters and lax protections, 600 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park are going back on the threatened species list under a federal court order issued Monday.

The ruling highlighted climate change's devastation to whitebark pine forests, which produce nuts that some grizzlies rely upon as a mainstay.

With hundreds of thousands of the trees dead or dying over the last two decades, bears striking out in search of new food sources increasingly are being shot in conflicts with humans.

"There is a connection between whitebark pine and grizzly survival," U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy wrote in Monday's ruling.

Hunting for grizzlies is illegal. But at least 20 were killed last year by hunters acting in self-defense or after mistaking them for other animals.

The greater Yellowstone area of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming has one of the densest concentrations of grizzlies in the lower 48 states. The animals were declared recovered in March 2007 after bouncing back from near-extermination last century.

At the time, the grizzly bear program was touted by the Bush administration as a model framework for restoring at-risk species, successfully balancing conservation and the pressures of human development.

But in his ruling, Molloy sharply criticized the rationale behind the decision and ordered the Obama administration to immediately restore the animal's threatened status.

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panda bear

(no subject)

Pullback Planned In Afghanistan

President Barack Obama's strategy against al-Qaida may shift away from more troops in Afghanistan and toward more drone strikes against terrorist targets.

As the war worsens in Afghanistan, Obama could steer away from the comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy he laid out this spring and toward a narrower focus on counterterror operations.

Two senior administration officials said Monday that the renewed fight against al-Qaida could lead to more missile attacks on Pakistan terrorist havens by unmanned U.S. spy planes. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because no decisions have been made.

The armed drones could contain al-Qaida in a smaller, if more remote, area and keep its leaders from retreating back into Afghanistan, the officials said.

The prospect of a White House alternative to a deepening involvement in Afghanistan comes as administration officials debate whether to send more troops – as urged in a blunt assessment of the deteriorating conflict by the top U.S. commander there, Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

The president thus far has not endorsed the McChrystal approach, saying in television interviews over the weekend that he needs to be convinced that sending more troops would make Americans safer from al-Qaida.

Tellingly, Obama reiterated in those interviews that his core goal is to destroy al-Qaida, which is not present in significant numbers in Afghanistan. He did not focus on saving Afghanistan.

"I'm not interested in just being in Afghanistan for the sake of being in Afghanistan or saving face," Obama told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

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And so it begins

Honduras police break up protests

Honduran security forces have broken up protests outside the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa in support of deposed President Manuel Zelaya, reports say.

Police have surrounded the embassy, where Mr Zelaya is staying, and the scene is now said to be calm.

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva urged Mr Zelaya not to provoke a confrontation, AP news agency reports.

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"Brazil will be held responsible for any violence"? Oh....
_|_, Micheletti, the ambassador isn't even there and we don't even know how the hell Zelaya ended up in the Embassy.

UPDATES: the Embassy wasn't getting electricity, water or food, but now they are. The phone is obviously gone. About 5000 people were there outside the building yesterday. The curfew today is lasting all day long. Micheletti said they won't do anything to the Embassy if they answer his requests. He said the interim government is giving Zelaya and Brazil 10 days.
panda bear

(no subject)

Obama On Climate Change: U.S. "Determined To Act"

China laid down a significant plan for curbing greenhouse gases on Tuesday, outlining ambitious goals of planting enough forest to cover an area the size of Norway and generating 15 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources within a decade.

Chinese President Hu Jintao also promised at the opening of the United Nations climate summit that the communist nation would take "determined and practical steps" to boost its nuclear energy, improve energy efficiency and reduce "by a notable margin" the growth rate of its carbon pollution as measured against economic growth.

Experts were watching the Chinese closely because it had in the past largely ignored global efforts to diminish emissions. The goals Hu outlined also were held in contrast to the United States, where the Senate has yet to take up climate legislation and likely will not have produced a new law by the time world leaders gather this December in Copenhagen, Denmark, to negotiate a treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto pact.

"At stake in the fight against climate change are the common interests of the entire world," Hu said. "Out of a sense of responsibility to its own people and people across the world, China fully appreciates the importance and urgency of addressing climate change."

Much attention also was fixed on U.S. President Barack Obama's first U.N. speech, where he said the United States is "determined to act."

"The threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing," Obama said, after receiving loud applause. "And the time we have to reverse this tide is running out."

China's more specific ambitions topped the lofty speechmaking as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on presidents, prime ministers and other leaders "to accelerate the pace of negotiations and to strengthen the ambition of what is on offer" for a new global climate pact at Copenhagen, Denmark in December.

"Failure to reach broad agreement in Copenhagen would be morally inexcusable, economically shortsighted and politically unwise," Ban warned. "The science demands it. The world economy needs it."

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franklin sherman

(no subject)

While we probably dont agree on much, I think we can all agree that this protest sign results in an infinite facepalm.

Normally I wouldnt post something so void of content, but I just BUH. I want my old tea party back :(

why you do this, Kirk? 12-year-old me is so disappointed.

Kirk Cameron's 'Origin of Species' Plan: Ex-actor to Deliver 50,000 Altered Darwin Books

Kirk Cameron, best known for his role in the 1980s sitcom Growing Pains, now spends much of his time advocating for far-right Christian evangelical causes.

In a video posted recently to YouTube, Cameron lays out a plan to subvert 'Darwin Day' on November 22, 2009 -- a date marking the 150th anniversary of the publishing of Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species." Cameron says that he and like-minded activists plan to deliver 50,000 copies of an altered version of Darwin's book to students at dozens of U.S. universities.

Cameron explains that this "very special" edition of the "Origin of Species" will include an introduction explaining "Adolf Hitler's undeniable connection" to the theory of evolution, and highlighting "Darwin's racism" and "his disdain for women." Cameron's edition also exposes the "many hoaxes" of evolutionary theory, while presenting a "balanced view of Creationism."

You can watch Cameron's full video below:

omg, Kirk. I already knew you were a crazy fundie but seeing you lay out your crazy like this is painful. And lol@him saying that college students are brainwashed into atheism without hearing the alternative. Like there are human beings in the United States who are unaware of Christianity or something.
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tw: mumspiration

G20 police-state shenanigans and people I actually know omg!


An important part of policing major protests is the pre-emptive raid. How this usually works is, law enforcement picks some relatively benign group or project, such as puppet makers or mobile kitchens, that they are pretty sure will not resist in any way, shape or form, and tear their space apart and declare some basic household items to be dangerous dual-use technology and start arresting people.  For this reason, gun-toting tea party-types will never have to worry about this. This is the same mentality that ensures the US picks on nations that actually have working WMD programs, like North Korea or Iran. Bullies beat up on younger siblings, not their parents. It is much safer that way.

In addition to pathetic bullying that resulted in the Seeds of Peace bus being impounded and the permitted marches being denied access to their routes, the City of Pittsburgh, which is in the full throes of greenwashing the spent, burnt-out former industrial town into a success story, had 40 police officers to spare for a raid on Landslide, a local community farm located in Pittsburgh's Hill District, for the second time in less than a year.


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And an update that happened after I sent this into the moderation queue:

Judge: protestors violated zoning, traffic laws

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Update on Hyatt Boston

original post

Hyatt to help laid off workers find jobs and extend benefits

"We deeply regret when staff reductions are necessary.Throughout this difficult period we have treated our employees with dignity and respect,but certainly have not adequately communicated that commitment to the Boston community."

...Ok then

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts is creating a task force to assist the 98 housekeepers who were fired from the three Boston-area Hyatt hotels last month, according to a statement the company released yesterday.

The hotel company is extending the housekeepers' health care benefits -- originally set to expire at the end of September -- until the end of the year. Hyatt also said it has committed to helping each of the dismissed housekeepers find a new job, "utilizing every commercially reasonable means available." Farley Kern, a Hyatt spokeswoman, said the company had not yet worked out the details.

Hyatt has been caught in a firestorm of public criticism since a front page story in the Globe revealed that the hotel company laid off the staff housekeepers at the Hyatt Regency Boston, Hyatt Regency Cambridge, and Hyatt Harborside Hotel on Aug. 31, citing challenging economic conditions, and replaced them with lower-paid workers from the Georgia-based Hospitality Staffing Solutions.

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Biden: If GOP Takes Back Traditionally Red Seats, It's 'End Of The Road'

Speaking at a fundraiser for Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords today, Vice President Biden warned that Republicans will try to "break the back of our effort" in the 2010 elections by trying to win 35 seats from traditionally Republican districts that are now held by Democrats.

"It's not that Republicans are bad guys. This is just the bet they've made. They're going to put their chips on movement in the 35 seats in the House that have been traditionally Republican districts and trying to take them back," Biden said, according to the White House pool report.

"If they take them back, this the end of the road for what Barack and I are trying to do. This is their one shot," he went on. "If they don't break the back of our effort in this upcoming election, you're going to see the things we said we're for happen."

If Democrats can keep those seats, he said, Congress will finally see bipartisanship.

"All the hidden Republicans that don't have the courage to vote the way they want to vote because of pressure from the party," Biden said, "it will break the dam and you will see bipartisanship."


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Animal cruelty - but with a happy ending (well mostly)

And this is why I keep my cat inside. People just love to do this stuff!!

Cat survives 13 shots to the head
A cat shot 13 times in the head has survived to return home three days later in what police have dubbed an "horrific act of cruelty".

Smoky, a seven-year-old half-Persian, went missing from his home in Carisbrook, about eight kilometres from the Central Goldfields town of Maryborough. (Australia)
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  • dwer

What the I just what?

The Merced Police Department's Internal Affairs Division is investigating a complaint alleging that an officer twice used a Taser against an unarmed, wheelchair-bound man with no legs.

The incident occurred Sept. 11.

The man who was Tasered, 40-year-old Gregory Williams, a double-leg amputee, spent six days in jail on suspicion of domestic violence and resisting arrest, although the Merced County District Attorney's Office hasn't filed charges in the case.

Williams, who was released from jail Friday, said he was violently manhandled and Tasered by police, even though he claims he was never physically aggressive toward the officers or resisted arrest.

Even worse for him, Williams says he was publicly humiliated after his pants fell down during the incident. The officers allegedly left him outdoors in broad daylight, handcuffed on the pavement, nude below the waist. Williams said the arrest also left him with an injured shoulder, limiting his mobility in his wheelchair.

And although the two lead arresting officers are white, and Williams is black, it remains unknown whether race was a factor in the incident. Those two officers remain on duty.

Williams said the officers never used any racial epithets toward him. Although he does believe race and class played a role in his arrest, he also feels the police just wanted to be "downright nasty" to him. "They did what they did because they can get away with it," he said. "They've been doing it so long, it doesn't matter who they do it to. They just think they can get away with it."

A handful of residents who live in Williams' apartment complex claim they witnessed the incident and support Williams' charges. A short video clip, shot by a neighbor in the complex and obtained by the Sun-Star, clearly shows Williams sitting on the pavement with his pants down, his hands cuffed behind his back.

A Merced police report obtained by the Sun-Star tells a somewhat different story from that of Williams. The report, written by the responding officers, suggests that police had tried to reason with Williams before the arrest, to no avail. The officers wrote in the report that Williams was uncooperative and refused to turn over his 2-year-old daughter to Merced County Child Protective Services, among other allegations.

In the report, police also say a hostile crowd had gathered as the officers attempted to perform their duties.

The Merced Police Department's spokesman officially declined to comment on the matter, saying he can't legally speak about it because of the internal investigation.

The Sun-Star interviewed Williams and several neighbors who said they witnessed his arrest.

Police use Tasers more often

Tasers have become more controversial as they're more widely used by law enforcement. Proponents, including most U.S. law enforcement agencies and related foundations, say the weapon allows officers to control suspects and criminals without resorting to deadly force, pepper spray or batons. The stun guns, which transmit up to 50,000 volts of electricity, are supposed to disable a suspect or criminal for several seconds so officers can handcuff or otherwise control him. Tasers have become popular over the last decade, and more than 12,400 police departments worldwide use them.

Opponents blame Tasers for more than 150 deaths in the U.S. in recent years. A 2005 report by the American Civil Liberties Union claims that the weapon is "largely unregulated." In a survey of more than 50 departments across central and northern California, the ACLU concluded that "in the absence of strong regulations on how police use the weapon, we are likely to see more unnecessary deaths."

  • dwer

Oh, Please, switch!

Then we might get a real democrat.

Several Senate Democrats up in 2012 have already joined the million-dollar club, including Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Bill Nelson of Florida, Dianne Feinstein of California and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, as well as independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who caucuses with Senate Democrats. Several more are expected to surpass the million-dollar mark when the latest round of campaign finance reports is released Oct. 15.

Lieberman, who had $1.4 million through June 30, said he was unsure whether he would run in 2012 as a Democrat or an independent.

“Or a Republican,” Lieberman jokingly added. “I have all sorts of options.”

Japan's new government stands by whaling

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UNITED NATIONS — Japan's new government urged Australia on Tuesday to help prevent violent attacks by activists on Japanese whalers as it stood by the country's traditional support for whaling, an official said.

Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada met his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith on the sidelines of this year's UN General Assembly.

Okada was appointed last Wednesday when Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama was sworn in at the head of his new center-left government after winning the country's elections.

The victorious Democratic Party of Japan formed a coalition government with two small parties under Hatoyama, ending half a century of almost uninterrupted rule by the country's conservative Liberal Democratic Party.

"During the meeting, our minister called for Australia's cooperation against groups like Sea Shepherd (Conservation Society), which resort to violent action," a Japanese foreign ministry official said.

Smith stopped short of replying to the request, only saying Australia wants to resolve the dispute through dialogue to avoid straining relations.

"Our minister did not clearly state that the new Japanese government supports whaling, but I understand that his remarks were quite in line with the stance held by our previous cabinet on the subject," the official said.

Anti-whaling nations led by Australia and New Zealand, as well as environmental groups, have attacked Japan for its annual whaling expeditions, including in Antarctic waters, criticizing them as cruel and unnecessary.

Japan hunts whales by using a loophole in the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling that allows whales to be killed for "lethal research," and Tokyo often accuses western critics of insensitivity toward its culture.


Newlywed Game to Feature First Gay Couple: Star Trek's George Takei and Husband

Newlywed Game to Feature First Gay Couple: Star Trek's George Takei and Husband


Star Trek alum George Takei and his husband, Brad Altman, will make television history as the first gay couple to compete on The Newlywed Game, GSN announced. "What we want is to display the normality and the joy of having a happy union," Takei said, who married Altman last September. "To be included in something we never felt we'd be included in is very satisfying."
News: Takei takes trek down the aisle with longtime beau
Takei and Altman, who have been together for 22 years, will tape their episode soon. Takei said he's been studying his husband's wardrobe and food orders in preparation.
The Newlywed Game, which has been on and off the air since 1967, will kick off its second season, hosted by Carnie Wilson, on GSN Oct. 12. GSN programming chief Kelly Goode told the Associated Press she could not speculate why the show has never featured gay couples before since the series has jumped from network to network over the years. However, Goode said the game's rules require couples to have a legally recognized marriage to play.
News: Takei on gay marriage ruling: "They decided to be indecisive"
"It's needed at this point," said Wilson, who has lobbied for an all-gay edition of the show. "To me, this is not anything political. This is not a political statement. This show has always been about couples and how well they know each other."
Takei and Altman won't be the only celebrity pair on the on the series: Dancing with the Stars pros Edyta Sliwinksa and Alec Mazo; Davy Jones and his new bride, actress Jessica Pacheco; Biggest Loser couple Suzy Preston and Matt Hoover; Christopher Knight and Adrianne Curry; and Kristy Swanson and Lloyd Eisler are among the other star couples who will compete this season.

Manly Source

I know the story is a little "old" but I didn't see it posted. If a repeat, apologies.

pretty flowers

Wondering if this has been posted...

Edwards asked aide to claim paternity, sources say

RALEIGH, North Carolina (CNN) -- Former Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards talked a campaign aide into claiming he fathered a child born to Edwards' onetime mistress, sources familiar with the issue said Monday.

Edwards admitted to his affair with Rielle Hunter in August 2008 after months of denials, but said he could not have been the father of Hunter's daughter, who was born the previous February. Former Edwards staffer Andrew Young has said he was the girl's father -- but has recanted and says he made it because he believed in Edwards, lawyers and others familiar with the matter told CNN.

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I always knew he was the kid's father. What a scumbag. Way to be selfish!

National Marriage Boycott wins $10,000 from national business competition

A student-driven movement to urge Congress and President Obama to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act has won ideablob's $10,000 prize for the month of August. Hoping to organize and empower the millions of Americans who support same-sex marriage, the group will use the money to open chapters in all fifty states in the coming year.

Advanta Corp. announced today that Kenzie Seal, Stanford University undergraduate and CFO of the National Marriage Boycott, has been named August 2009's monthly contest winner for the best small business idea, as voted on by the ideablob community. The announcement that the group had won $10,000, came within twenty-four hours of Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introducing the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

The National Marriage Boycott is a student-driven movement to urge Congress and President Obama to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. Members sign a pledge to boycott marriage until DOMA is repealed and wear an Equality Ring to symbolize their commitment. The organization is quickly growing, increasing from a single campus to twenty campuses in over ten states in the past year.

The organization supports itself financially through the sale of $10 stainless steel 'Equality Rings,' that members wear on their ring finger as a symbol of their commitment not to get married until the Defense of Marriage Act is repealed. People who are already married take off their wedding ring and replace it with the Equality Ring in solidarity.

The group's co-director, Laura Wadden, explains their business model, “We wanted to create a movement that enabled straight people to show their support for LGBT rights, and we wanted this movement to have the capacity to rapidly expand in a financially sustainable way. The rings allow us to finance our expansion, while creating a recognizable symbol for our cause.” By funding its advocacy through ring sales rather than donations, the group brings a social entrepreneurship model to LGBT advocacy.

Greg Goldgof, the group's other co-director explains a second motivation behind the rings, “We hope the spread of Equality Rings across the country will show closeted youths that they have supportive allies and decrease the rate of LGBT teen suicide. According to the Trevor Project [an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organization], LGBT and questioning youth are four times more likely to commit suicide than the national average. Perhaps together we can decrease that number by bringing greater visibility to the millions of people who support LGBT rights.”

According to Seal, the money from the contest will go towards “the cost of incorporation, outreaching to more schools, producing promotional materials, and maintaining a presence at progressive and LGBTQ events around the country.” Sarah Masimore, the organization's Chief Operating Officer further explains, “The money will enable us to accelerate our growth. Today we are in ten states. In a year we plan to be in every state, demonstrating that Americans care about equal rights regardless of where you live or whom you love.”

Source, and where to buy the ring

Flood dangers not over for Georgia

Dry skies over parts of Atlanta brought welcome relief to many residents Tuesday, but the impact of widespread flooding continued to take its toll on surrounding areas.

At least eight people have died in Georgia from the flooding, and one person is missing and presumed dead in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

A car trying to navigate a flooded road was swept away during the Tuesday morning commute in Douglas County, west of Atlanta, county emergency official Jason Milhollin said.

Four other people who tried to rescue the driver were also swept away, and all five were later rescued by emergency workers, Milhollin said.

"They were fine. No one went to hospital," he said. "Luckily, they had a fence to hold on to, and we got the boat to them."

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue pleaded with residents to stay off the roads, noting that nearly all the fatalities were drivers and passengers swept away by the floodwaters.

"Stuff is important, but it's not nearly as important as your life," he said. "Please give these waters time to recede."

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Desperation stalks Zimbabwe's white farmers

A desperate Zimbabwean farmer fighting to hold onto his land -- a year after the country's political rivals pledged to govern jointly -- fears he will eventually lose to politics and violence.

The power-sharing agreement included an undertaking by both parties to ensure property rights are upheld but farm attacks and invasions continue unabated in Zimbabwe.

Charles Lock is one of an estimated 400 farmers who have remained in the country despite President Robert Mugabe's policy of redistributing white-owned farms to landless blacks.

"Why do they want to remove me when I've complied with everything they want? What more do they want other than for me to pack my bags and leave and if that's the case, then admit that that is the policy. Pass a law: no whites are allowed to farm. Then it makes it clear," Lock said.

Since 2000, Mugabe's controversial land reform program has driven more than 4,000 commercial farmers off their land, destroying Zimbabwe's once prosperous agricultural sector.

"When the land reform program began, we decided we were not going to have a confrontational attitude; that we would actually go along with this program because it was the only way that this whole thing would be sorted out. So I voluntarily gave away my own farm and moved onto my father-in-law's farm," Lock said.

That was in 2002. A year later the government came knocking on his door again, he said, demanding more land.

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franklin sherman

Net Neutrality destroys all-you-can-eat, flat-rate internet access

NEWS ANALYSIS — FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s unsurprising affirmation of support for network neutrality is a victory for the high-minded principle of open, unfettered internet access. Too bad it means the days of all-you-can-eat, flat-rate internet access are probably over.

Net neutrality sounds like a good idea. After all, it’s the internet’s openness to any and all users, applications and content that gave it such a resounding victory over closed networks like AOL, CompuServe and Prodigy. And there’s no question that as a general business and networking principle, “anything goes” is both desirable and beneficial, to users and network operators alike. Over the long run, the most open networks attract the most customers and will be the most successful — and the most profitable.

But somewhere along the way, this principle of good network architecture turned into a political tenet that, according to some true believers, is almost equivalent to the Bill of Rights in importance.

The argument goes like this: Internet service providers have such strong motivations to restrict access to content or applications that they don’t like that the government needs to step in to ensure a level playing field. For net neutrality’s true believers, Comcast and Verizon no longer get to decide how best to configure the networks they spent billions building: Their networks are so ubiquitous, and so critical to the common good, that the government has a responsibility to ensure they are managed fairly.

It’s easy to see the merits of the argument, and when we’re talking about ISPs that are near-monopolies built in large part on the basis of government subsidy or exclusive federal licensing, it seems downright un-American to argue against net neutrality.

Unfortunately, there are at least three big problems with making net neutrality a federal mandate.

First is that bandwidth is not, in fact, unlimited, especially in the wireless world. One reason ISPs are averse to neutrality regulation, they say, is that they need the flexibility to ban or mitigate high-bandwidth uses of their network, like BitTorrent and, which would otherwise run amok. Take away their ability to prioritize traffic, the ISPs say, and overall service will suffer.

“As long as there have been networks, people have had to engineer them to ensure that congestion doesn’t occur,” Carnegie Mellon professor and telecom expert David Farber said Monday (he’s the co-author of a cautious anti-net neutrality opinion piece published in 2007). Farber is especially concerned about the impact of the FCC’s position on wireless networks, where bandwidth is already very limited. “When you’re operating that close to capacity, you have to do a very tricky job of managing your spectrum. If you have unconstrained loads being dumped on you, something’s going to have to give.”

Case in point: AT&T has repeatedly stumbled in its ability to provide 3G wireless capacity, thanks to the unexpected popularity of the iPhone. Those difficulties lend credence to AT&T’s (and Apple’s) reluctance to allow apps like Skype and Slingplayer unfettered access to the 3G network: If the network can barely keep up with ordinary demand, just imagine what would happen if we were all live-streaming the Emmy Awards over our iPhones at the same time.

Take away ISPs’ ability to shape or restrict traffic, and you’ll see many carriers running into AT&T-like capacity problems. Their response will almost certainly be to make consumers pay for what they’re actually using. Want to BitTorrent all 6.7GB of the uncompressed Beatles catalog via 3G? Fine, but you’ll have to pay for the bandwidth you’re taking away from your neighbor.

Second, enforcement of neutrality regulations is going to be difficult. Comcast may not be able to block Skype traffic altogether, but what’s to prevent the company from slowing it down relative to other traffic it carries? Such preferential “packet shaping” is easy to turn off and on, as network demands ebb and flow. By contrast, proving such infractions of neutrality will be complex, slow and difficult. It sets up a classic “nimble, resourceful criminal versus slow-footed, underequipped cop” scenario.

Third, the new regulations create an additional layer of government bureaucracy where the free market has already proven its effectiveness. The reason you’re not using AOL to read this right now isn’t because the government mandated AOL’s closed network out of existence: It’s because free and open networks triumphed, and that’s because they were good business.

Now the FCC is proposing taking a free market that works, and adding another layer of innovation-stifling regulations on top of that? This may please the net neutrality advocates who helped elect the current administration, but it doesn’t add up.

Net neutrality regulations make sense in closed, monopolistic situations. But outside of small, rural markets, most of the U.S. offers a high level of competitive choice. Don’t like Comcast cable internet? Switch to SpeakEasy, Astound or SBC, or look into satellite internet. Don’t care for AT&T’s spotty 3G wireless network? Try T-Mobile or Verizon. Need help finding an alternative? Check Broadband Reports’ interactive ISP finder.

That’s why the FCC should take a very cautious, careful approach to implementing its brave, new principles. Free, unfettered innovation has been the secret to the internet’s explosive growth over the past two decades. Let’s not let a well-meaning attempt to preserve that innovation wind up doing exactly the opposite.

As Farber says, “Whatever you do, you don’t want to stifle innovation.”
franklin sherman

Glenn Beck on the morning zoo

My first and last post regarding this shill. I implore folks to just cancel him out.

its way too long of an article, but ill give you the worst. (warning, text)

The rival stations escalated following Beck's arrival in Corpus. Dunaway recalls early in his tenure showing up to the KITE studio and finding each of the station's front doors -- the only exit in a converted storefront building -- glued shut. A demolition crew had to knock the front door down so that the "KITE Killers" could get inside in time to start their show. Then there were other pranks that posed less of a fire hazard. Throughout 1983, Dunaway and his staff were anonymously placed on dozens of mailing lists for magazines and books delivered cash-on-delivery. The soundtrack for it all was a Beck-written "Ghostbusters" spoof that became a local hit during Beck's morning show, called "KITE-busters."
"Black guy" impersonations were just one sign of the young Beck's racial hang-ups. Among the few recordings of "Captain Beck and the A-Team" archived online is a show from February 1986 in which Beck discusses that night's prime-time television schedule. When the subject turns to Peter Strauss, an actor known for starring in television's first miniseries, Beck wryly observes, "They say without [Strauss' early work] the miniseries 'Roots' would never have happened." Clydie Clyde then chimes in with an exaggerated and ironic, "Oh, darn." The throwaway dig at "Roots," which chronicled the life of a slave family, wins knowing chuckles from Beck's co-hosts.
Beck's real broadcasting innovation during his stay in Kentucky came in the realm of vicious personal assaults on fellow radio hosts. A frequent target of Beck's in Louisville was Liz Curtis, obese host of an afternoon advice show on WHAS, a local AM news-talk station. It was no secret in Louisville that Curtis, whom Beck had never met and with whom he did not compete for ratings, was overweight. And Beck never let anyone forget it. For two years, he used "the big blonde" as fodder for drive-time fat jokes, often employing Godzilla sound effects to simulate Curtis walking across the city or crushing a rocking chair. Days before Curtis' marriage, Beck penned a skit featuring a stolen menu card for the wedding reception. "The caterer says that instead of throwing rice after the ceremony, they are going to throw hot, buttered popcorn," explains Beck's fictional spy.
Beck grew obsessed with getting his name on the leading station. His first attempt to get Kelly to mention him on the air came shortly after his arrival. "I walked out to get the paper one Saturday morning," remembers Kelly. "When I turned around, I saw that my entire house was covered in Y95 bumper stickers. The windows, the garage doors, the locks -- everything. But I refused to mention Beck's name on the air, which drove him nuts."

Beck kept trying. When KZZP's music director held his marriage at a Phoenix church, Beck loaded up Y95's two Jeeps with boxes of bumper stickers and drove to the ceremony. As the service was coming to a close, Beck and his team ran crouching from car to car, slapping bumper stickers on anything with a fender. The service ended while Beck was running amok, and the KZZP morning team appeared just in time to see Beck jump into his getaway car. "Beck saw me standing in the way of the exit and gunned right for me. I threw a landscaping rock on his windshield and blocked him," says Kelly. When his old friend demanded he roll down the window, Beck reluctantly obliged. Kelly then unloaded a mouthful of spit in his face.
The animosity between Beck and Kelly continued to deepen. When Beck and Hattrick produced a local version of Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" for Halloween -- a recurring motif in Beck's life and career -- Kelly told a local reporter that the bit was a stupid rip-off of a syndicated gag. The slight outraged Beck, who got his revenge with what may rank as one of the cruelest bits in the history of morning radio. "A couple days after Kelly's wife, Terry, had a miscarriage, Beck called her live on the air and says, 'We hear you had a miscarriage,' " remembers Brad Miller, a former Y95 DJ and Clear Channel programmer. "When Terry said, 'Yes,' Beck proceeded to joke about how Bruce [Kelly] apparently can't do anything right -- about he can't even have a baby."
Akuma River

Produce the note!

Who Owns Your Mortgage? "Produce The Note" Movement Helps Stall Foreclosures (September 22, 2009 - HuffPo)

Modern-day home mortgages have been so sliced and diced by rapacious financiers that some homeowners are successfully delaying -- or even blocking -- foreclosures through the simple tactic of demanding that banks produce the original mortgage note, which amazingly enough is often not so easy for them to do.

As the foreclosure rate continues to set new highs, a little-noticed legal provision that requires bankers, if challenged, to prove they hold the original mortgage documents before getting possession has spawned a minor homeowner rebellion, alternately called "produce the note" or "show me the note". For homeowners trying desperately to keep their homes, the tactic is one way to buy some time -- and maybe even get the upper hand on the lender.
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Sometimes lawyers prove that they are all not cut from the cloth and greedy harpies. This is going to turn the tide in the mortgage issue. I wonder if they can use the 'note' clause to stall off corporate (business? what's that damn word) mortgage foreclosures that is hitting businesses and malls hard and is said to be the next mortgage crisis that will tank the economy.
scientific romance

Edward Kimmel

Not sure if this was posted, but meh.

Remember Captain Awesome?

This man is Edward Kimmel, 58, of Takoma Park, MD. Yesterday, he made a post on DailyKos talking a bit about the event and answering some questions that he was been frequently asked since.

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Oh it's on, buddy.

CNN fury: 'You lie' (video)

Cnnplain CNN's Rick Sanchez just unloaded on Fox News in the latest escalation of the cable news network wars.

In a segment that aired just moments ago, Sanchez accused Fox News of lying in a newspaper advertisement that claims CNN failed to cover the Tea Party protests in Washington, D.C. last Saturday. For nearly seven minutes, an increasingly irate Sanchez lays into Fox News while airing coverage clips of the rally from his own network.

"A lie so bold and so upsetting that, frankly, I'm just not going to sit here in silence  ... an offense to myself and my colleagues ... we expect an apology ... two words: 'You lie.'

Copy and pasted from this Source  

ETA: Seems the EMBED is DEFUNCT-  Link to CNN's story and Video Here


GOP to America: "Leave the Health Insurance Industry Alone!!"

GOP Rushes To Defend Insurance Companies From Dem Attack

Republicans took to the floor of Congress, the Internet and the Wall Street Journal op-ed page Tuesday in a rush to defend a health insurance company that used taxpayer-subsidized communication to terrify seniors with the prospect that health care reform will cut their Medicare benefits.

Republican leaders in both houses of Congress ripped Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) for urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to put a stop to the insurer's efforts, decrying what they called a "gag order" and reading the First Amendment on the floor of the Senate.

Baucus, meanwhile, seemed mostly oblivious to the Republican attacks. "I never gag. I believe in the First Amendment," he told HuffPost, but added that he didn't know what the Republicans were referring to. "I have to go back and look to see what it is we did."

As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus spent most of the day marking up a reform bill that so far has no GOP support - although Maine Republican Olympia Snowe has offered some indications of being on board. Snowe has been speaking warmly of the package and most of her reservations seem to be that it isn't generous enough -- objections the Democratic caucus will be happy to overcome. And in Massachusetts, a state senate vote moved Democrats one step closer to regaining 60 seats in the U.S. Senate.

Meanwhile, the GOP rode to the rescue of health insurance companies.

"It is outrageous that the Obama Administration is trying to keep seniors in the dark about the consequences of congressional Democrats' costly government-run health care bills. Would the Administration impose this sort of gag order if seniors were being given information promoting the Obama health care plan? I don't think so," said Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).

"It looks likes CMS is engaged in government intimidation, pure and simple," said Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-Mich.), who sent off a letter to CMS demanding an explanation.

Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said it shouldn't be seen as coming to the defense of insurance companies. "I don't know that I'm coming to the defense of anything, except the First Amendment. I don't care who they write to," he told HuffPost. "You don't lose your rights because you happen to sell insurance for heaven's sake."

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Haz Bank of America Developed a Conscience? NOPE

Bank Of America Backpedals On Overdraft Fees

As lawmakers prepare to implement sweeping credit card reforms, Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are moving to overhaul overdraft fees and practices that have been criticized industrywide as excessive and harmful to consumers.

Bank of America Corp. said Tuesday it will cap the fees it charges customers for overdrawing their accounts, backpedaling on the hikes the company imposed just this year. Starting Oct. 19, Bank of America no longer will charge overdraft fees when a customer's account is overdrawn by less than $10 in one day.

A $35 fee will still be levied if the account isn't brought into balance within five days.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank also will limit to four the number of times an overdraft fee can be charged on an account per day. Just this year, the bank had raised that cap from five to 10. It also raised the fee this year for the first overdraft in a 12-month period to $35 from $25 – a hike that still stands.

Enrollment in the bank's overdraft program is currently automatic for new customers, and opting out is possible only in "very limited" circumstances, said Anne Pace, a Bank of America spokeswoman. But now customers will be able opt out, meaning that transactions will be denied at the register if customers don't have enough money in their accounts to cover a purchase.

Pace said the company didn't have an estimate on how many people might opt out of the overdraft program, noting that many consider it a useful backup. Customers will need to visit their local branches to opt out. They will also be able to call, Pace said, but the appropriate phone number hasn't yet been determined.

When asked about the reversal from the fee hikes earlier this year, Pace said the company is responding to the "changing needs" of customers in the difficult economic environment.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. also will be overhauling its overdraft fees, a spokeswoman said late Tuesday. Starting in the first quarter of 2010, the bank will make overdraft protection opt-in for all customers, post transactions to accounts as they occur, and eliminate fees when accounts are overdrawn by $5 or less. It will also reduce the maximum number of fees per day to three from six.
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Batman chainsaw
  • doop

Stern Obama confronts Israeli, Palestinian leaders

NEW YORK – Bristling with impatience, President Barack Obama sternly prodded Israeli and Palestinian leaders to relaunch Mideast peace negotiations Tuesday, grasping a newly personal role in their historic standoff. He won an awkward, stone-faced handshake but no other apparent progress beyond a promise to talk about more talks.

There had been hopes for weeks that there might be more to show from the first meeting of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas since Netanyahu took office in March — perhaps even a dramatic announcement by Obama of the resumption of the Mideast peace negotiations that broke off over a year ago.

That wasn't to be. Despite months of effort, the sides remain far apart on a staunch Palestinian precondition for talks: that Israel halt all construction of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory. Obama has publicly echoed that demand to Israeli leaders — though the Palestinians noted with displeasure that he used the word "restrain" on Tuesday rather than "halt" or "freeze."

The president hosted the two foes at his New York hotel during a marathon day of diplomacy on the sidelines of this week's United Nations General Assembly gathering. It was a high-stakes gambit that could prove to be a timely personal intervention into a decades-old dispute that Obama has made a presidential priority or a flop that damages Obama's global credibility on a broader scale.

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British Bankers Carrying "Panic Buttons". Pussies, American Bankers Are Carrying Real Guns!

Bankers Arming Themselves with Panic Buttons

The recession: is it over? Maybe! But probably not. So, for the time being, bankers are going to continue to operate under the premise that their angry and destitute customers might gut them, with daggers, at the slightest provocation!

The Daily Mail reports today that the bankers at British HSBC banks are carrying personal panic buttons with them to meetings with clients, just to be safe:

HSBC staff have been issued with the latest hi-tech personal alarms to call for help if customers get upset or angry.

The measure comes against a background of increasing frustration that High Street banks are pulling the rug from under the feet of customers.

Banks are getting tough with some personal customers, threatening court action over unpaid credit card bills and repossession for those who fall behind on mortgage payments.


A businessman in the North West revealed he arrived at a branch of HSBC in Manchester to be met by what he was told was a new risk management strategy.

This involved the bank staff being required to take personal alarms into meeting rooms.

The man asked why this was necessary to be told: 'I guess there will be some difficult conversations with clients happening at the moment.'

Over at Clusterstock, Joe Weisenthal points out that the alarm devices "resemble small pagers that can fit in a wallet." So, you angry customers should factor that in to your overall strategy of getting the drop on your bank's representative.

Lucy  - Durnk n Pitsy

Cops Play Wii Bowling During Drug Raid


Pinheads! That's what some people are thinking after a security camera caught undercover drug investigators from central Florida playing Wii bowling during a nine-hour drug raid.

In March, police stormed the Lakeland home of convicted drug dealer Michael Difalco with guns drawn and flashlights at the ready. But searching for drugs is hard work and what the crack squad of officers thought they really needed was an invigorating game of bowling.

Fortunately Difalco had a Nintendo Wii and a big screen TV at the ready!


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I <3 Wii Sports.