October 14th, 2009

Joy tells Orly she's wasting her time

Which is putting it tactfully if you ask me...




Orly cites a 1758 book as her proof that neither Barack Obama nor Bobby Jindal can be President of the United States; she also claims that Hawaii's governor never actually said Obama was born in Hawaii and when challenged to Google it, refuses to do so. There's more - so much more - but those are my two favorites.

(Edit: Technically, the GOVERNOR never said it, but her duly appointed Director of Health DID. It's effectively splitting hairs.)

This is the first time I think anyone other than Stephen Colbert has actually let Orly speak, and the idiocy that just flows from her mouth is stunning. (Idiocy to the tune of $20,000 now - <3 you, Judge Land!) The scary thing is that people believe her and actively support her. We all love to laugh at Orly (trust me, it's my new favorite pasttime), but for a real fright, stop by her blog and read the comments. With Halloween coming up, I think the scariest thing you could choose to go as would be a Birther. *brrr*
Reporting
  • acmeeoy

OMG GIRL COOTIES ARE THE SOURCE OF BAD SCI FI

The War on Science Fiction and Marvin Minsky

by Pro-male/Anti-feminist Tech on October 9, 2009

Science fiction is a very male form of fiction.  Considerably more men than women are interested in reading and watching science fiction.  This is no surprise.  Science fiction traditionally is about men doing things, inventing new technologies, exploring new worlds, making new scientific discoveries, terraforming planets, etc.  Many men working in the fields of science, engineering, and technology have cited science fiction (such as the original Star Trek) for inspiring them when they were boys to establish careers in these fields.

 

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Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Nobel jury speaks out in defense of Obama prize

Nobel jury speaks out in defense of Obama prize

OSLO – One judge noted with surprise that President Barack Obama "didn't look particularly happy" at being named the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Another marveled at how critics could be so patronizing.

In a rare public defense of a process normally shrouded in secrecy, four of the Nobel jury's five judges spoke out Tuesday about a selection they said was both merited and unanimous.

To those who say a Nobel is too much too soon in Obama's young presidency, "We simply disagree ... He got the prize for what he has done," committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland told The Associated Press by telephone from Strasbourg, France, where he was attending meetings of the Council of Europe.

Jagland singled out Obama's efforts to heal the divide between the West and the Muslim world and scale down a Bush-era proposal for an anti-missile shield in Europe.

"All these things have contributed to — I wouldn't say a safer world — but a world with less tension," he said.

For nine-year Nobel committee veteran Inger-Marie Ytterhorn, Obama's demeanor spoke volumes when he first acknowledged the award during a news conference Friday on the lawn of the White House Rose Garden.

"I looked at his face when he was on TV and confirmed that he would receive the prize and would come to Norway, and he didn't look particularly happy," she told the AP by telephone.

"Obama has a lot of problems internally in the United States and they seem to be increasing. Unemployment, health care reform: They are a problem for him," she said.

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Personally, I think they thought it'd bolster Obama, and underestimated the sheer level of irrational batshit a lot of the loudest and most public Obama haters are. And yeah, Valle is dead on when she says people are patronizing Obama. They don't think he deserves to be president; of course they're not going to think he deserves a Nobel prize.

And unrelated, someone arguing with me on health care in all seriousness argued that even under a new plan people wouldn't be covered because of pre-existing conditions, including obesity and gave me a source. The source? Glenn Beck. I told him to get some non-tin foil hat sources.
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Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Report: Unsafe abortions kill 70,000 annually

Report: Unsafe abortions kill 70,000 annually

NEW YORK – Increased contraceptive use has led to fewer abortions worldwide, but deaths from unsafe abortion remain a severe problem, killing 70,000 women a year, a research institute reported Tuesday in a major global survey.

More than half the deaths, about 38,000, are in sub-Saharan Africa, which was singled out as the region with by far the lowest rates of contraceptive use and the highest rates of unintended pregnancies.

The report, three years in the making, was compiled by the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights and is a leading source of data on abortion-related trends. Researchers examined data from individual countries and multinational organizations.

The institute's president, Sharon Camp, said she was heartened by the overall trends since Guttmacher conducted a similar survey in 1999, yet expressed concern about the gap revealed in the new report.

"In almost all developed countries, abortion is safe and legal," she said. "But in much of the developing world, abortion remains highly restricted, and unsafe abortion is common and continues to damage women's health and threaten their survival."

The report calls for further easing of developing nations' abortion laws, a move criticized by Deirdre McQuade, a policy director with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

"We need to be much more creative in assisting women with supportive services so they don't need to resort to the unnatural act of abortion," she said.

Guttmacher estimated previously that the number of abortions worldwide fell from 45.5 million in 1995 to 41.6 million in 2003 — the latest year for which global figures were available.

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Citadel

(no subject)

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a new bill into law Sunday that will fine paparazzi for taking photos that invade a celebrity's right to privacy. The law also targets media outlets who purchase the photos.

Throngs of photographers often jockey to get the perfect shot of a celebrity, but that doesn't mean it's welcomed. Britney Spears famously had enough one night, taking an umbrella to a photographer's SUV.

In 1998, Schwarzenegger himself had his car swarmed by paparazzi while he was picking up his child from school.

Jennifer Aniston received $550,000 and an apology from a photographer who used a high-powered telephoto lens to shoot her in the backyard wearing only panties.

While paparazzi may get a bad rap for their methods, celebrity columnist Ben Widdicombe said things are not always what they seem.

"A lot of times the shot you see in the magazine is actually orchestrated by the celebrity themselves," said celebrity columnist Ben Widdicombe. "Celebrities like Britney Spears, for example, are infamous in the industry for letting their assistants tell the paparazzi when they'll be leaving the gates."

Celebrity photos can be big business, especially when it comes to major milestones. Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher reportedly pocketed $3 million from OK for their 2005 union. Eva Longoria and Tony Parker received $2 million from OK for photos of their lavish Paris, France, wedding.
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Expectant celebrities can also rake in big bucks. People magazine reportedly paid $14 million for the first pictures of the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie twins.

The new California law makes it a crime to take and sell unauthorized photos of celebrities in "personal or familial activity." Violators face fines up to $50,000. The anti-paparazzi amendment takes effect in January.

Source.
look closer / hark! a vagrant!

Free speech battle pits mom vs. Web



During a rough-and-tumble election last spring, someone anonymously posted "deeply disturbing" online comments about the teenage son of Buffalo Grove Village Trustee Lisa Stone. Now, she is waging a legal battle to learn the identity of that person -- known to her as "Hipcheck16."

"It was shocking," she said of the comment on a newspaper Web site, declining to elaborate on what it said. "An adult doesn't talk to a child like this. It's vile."

Stone insists she is trying to protect her 15-year-old son and other children from a similar unnerving experience by creating a deterrent to online attacks, but to some First Amendment advocates, her crusade encroaches on a cherished protection of anonymous speech that stretches back to the American Colonies.

The ongoing case in Cook County Circuit Court also treads into the still developing arena of Internet speech protection, experts say. Stone acknowledges that she hopes it sets a precedent for protecting minors from potentially harmful chatter directed at them online.

Stone was embroiled in a tough campaign for the Village Board when the Daily Herald published an article about the race the day before the April 7 election. Stone won a seat. A Daily Herald story shortly after the election noted there had been "an unusually nasty tone" in the race as Stone and five other candidates vied for three seats.

On April 9, in online comments to the April 6 story on the newspaper's Web site, a person using the name Hipcheck16 wrote something directed toward Stone's son that Stone's attorney Bill O'Connor describes in court filings as defamatory.

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(no subject)

 I Didn't Tell. It Didn't Matter.




Trying to serve his country, a young man faced bigotry and abuse

By Joseph Rocha
Sunday, October 11, 2009 

 

I was 18 years old when I landed in the kingdom of Bahrain, off the coast of Saudi Arabia, in the winter of 2005. It was the first time I'd ever left the continental United States. My joints ached after more than 24 hours of travel, but I knew that a new life of service and adventure awaited me on the other side of that aircraft door.

This was the day I had been dreaming about since I'd enlisted in the Navy a few months before, on my birthday. I loved my country, and I knew that I was ready to prove myself in action.

I also knew that I was gay.

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(no subject)

 

Female science majors combat sexism

 

 

My Luc

Karina Jacques/The Daily Texan

UT computer science senior My Luc watches an object-oriented programming class at Parlin Hall on Monday.

Female science majors shared their challenges and gender stereotypes within the male-dominated field with four industry panelists Monday.

Five female students and Sarah Coates, a First-year Interest Group mentor, listened to the panelists speak about success, status and sexism in the technical professions.

Coates said women are underrepresented in computer science, and the goal of the FIG is to recruit and retain females in the major.

“A lot of people might come into [the major] and feel the minority and get out really fast,” Coates said.

Between 2000 and 2005, the number of college women studying computer science in the U.S. plummeted 70 percent. Last year, only 21 percent of computer science graduates were women, down from 37 percent in 1985, according to the Forbes Web site.

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Obama is GOING TO HELL.

 Obama kisses up to homosexuals

By Grant Swank

"Obama plans to speak Saturday at a dinner hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights group" per AP's Andrea Miga.

Now this is the same Barack Hussein Obama who has stated that he walked to the front of his church one day, stood there at the altar, and witnessed Jesus.

This is the Obama who testifies that he is "Christian" and believes in the power of prayer. He says that he holds faith as a mighty force in his life.

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Stalin's grandson loses libel suit !



On Tuesday in Moscow, a court ruled against Joseph Stalin’s grandson, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, who had demanded a retraction, a public apology and $340,000 in damages from the newspaper Novaya Gazeta for supposedly besmirching his family’s reputation by calling his grandfather a “bloodthirsty cannibal.”

The independent Russian newspaper, which published the work of Anna Politkovskaya until her murder in 2006, characterized the Soviet dictator that way in an article about recently declassified documents he had signed and handed to Lavrenti Beria, his secret police chief. According to Memorial, a Russian human rights group, Stalin ordered the deaths of at least 724,000 people during a series of purges, although the overall death toll during his reign is believed to have been in the millions.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/13/stalins-grandson-loses-defamation-suit/?hp


- 10 people showed up outside the court room to show support for Stalin. I wish they has interviewed them. I would seriously be interested in their POV.
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Illinois teacher receives nothing but a warning for "black fags" comment

 

Teacher warned for slurs in class



 

GENEVA – Geneva School Board members voted Tuesday night to issue a warning against a Geneva High School teacher, who a student claimed made a homosexual slur in his classroom last week.

The notice against teacher David Burk states that any further improprieties could result in dismissal.
 

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Btw, this is the teacher.  David Burk.



....No comment.
&#39; jules
  • schmiss

Westerners exhaust own myths, loot other cultures for new ones. News at... ah, forget it

Mayans 'Fed Up' With 2012 Doomsday Scenarios
Experts Insist End-Of-World 'Prediction' A Baseless Western Myth



Apolinario Chile Pixtun is tired of being bombarded with frantic questions about the Mayan calendar supposedly "running out" on Dec. 21, 2012. After all, it's not the end of the world.

Or is it?

Definitely not, the Mayan Indian elder insists. "I came back from England last year and, man, they had me fed up with this stuff."

It can only get worse for him. Next month Hollywood's "2012" opens in cinemas, featuring earthquakes, meteor showers and a tsunami dumping an aircraft carrier on the White House.

At Cornell University, Ann Martin, who runs the "Curious? Ask an Astronomer" Web site, says people are scared.

"It's too bad that we're getting e-mails from fourth-graders who are saying that they're too young to die," Martin said. "We had a mother of two young children who was afraid she wouldn't live to see them grow up."

Chile Pixtun, a Guatemalan, says the doomsday theories spring from Western, not Mayan ideas.

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I'm so sick of the 2012 mass hysteria. idek if people actually believe it or just like having new things to worry about.
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Spike personalized

link and recommended article on the money collapse and danger for more

Wonder what the hell happened on Wall Street that has made such a mess Internationally for every man woman and child who uses money? Well the best article I've read is in the October 15, 2009 (issue 1089)of Rolling Stone magazine. Long noted for fabulous political reporting from the likes of P J O'Rourke, their current investigative reporter (yes there is at least one left!) Matt Taibbi has opened a can of worms that you will need a strong stomach to digest but you really, really must read it. I won't violate copy-write laws to post it here but here is a link for their online for that issue and for a vid that Matt put together with an overview.

The leader headline sets up the story, "A scheme to flood the market with counterfeit stocks helped kill Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers - and the feds have yet to bust the culprits". Don't worry; he explains the shenannigans well enough you don't need a degree in economics and this involves the WORLD economy so it isn't just a problem for the USA.

http://www.rollingstone.com/issue1089

Vid with overview:

http://taibbi.rssoundingboard.com/short-selling-vs-naked-short-selling-an-explanation

Why read it aside from a desire to fume and rage???? Well, the things that led to the near collapse of the economic world are STILL occurring and more will come with even more dire results if we aren't vigilant and demand changes.

PLEASE read this. You hear lots of whining about what we are leaving to our grand-kids but THIS will show just how awful a mess we have GOT to untangle. It pulls no punches and spares no sacred cows past or present.
GL
  • dwer

Betray your principles, or get deported

FBI Threatens Muslim Man With Deportation For Refusing To Become An Informant

After turning down an offer from the FBI to become a secret informant, a Muslim doctoral student at Florida International University, Imam Foad Farahi, has been allegedly dealt an ultimatum: leave the country voluntarily, or be charged as a terrorist. Farahi underwent a three-year training course to become a designated leader, or imam, at the Shamsuddin Islamic Center in North Miami Beach and is unwilling to spy on members of his mosque.

In 2002, Jose Padilla — one of two South Florida men linked to the Al-Qaeda network– was convicted on terrorist charges. The FBI could not track down the other alleged Al-Qaeda member, Adnan El Shukrijumah. Padilla happened to pray at Farahi’s mosque, but Farahi told FBI agents that he hadn’t had any contact with him since 1998. When federal authorities urged Farahi to start working with them as an informant, Farahi explained to them that he was more than willing to help, but that the relationship would have to be public. Shortly thereafter, immigration authorities informed him that he would be charged as a terrorist if he did not leave the country voluntarily. Farahi is convinced that the FBI is bluffing about the evidence it claims to have that he is a terrorist, and his lawyer has petitioned the US Court of Appeals in Atlanta to reopen his asylum case and let him stay in the US. Currently he’s a man without a country. The US wants to kick him out and, by applying for political asylum, he has rejected his Iranian citizenship.

The right-wing website Pipelinenews.org adamantly claims that Farahi is a “radical Muslim cleric” who has been designated as a Level 3 threat by DHS. But the FBI won’t comment on Farahi’s case and has provided no evidence that connects Farahi with terrorist activities. If anything, Farahi seems like the sort of Muslim leader that should be awarded praise, not deportation orders. Farahi attended a private Catholic college in Florida and participated in its interfaith committee. He was a teacher at the university’s peace forum and regularly put together interfaith dinners.

Leila Fadel of the McClatchy News Service writes that “the government’s search for the enemy within is threatening to divide and destroy America’s Muslim communities.” According to Fadel, most Muslims believe their mosques are full of FBI informants and that the government presumes all Muslims are guilty, rather than innocent. Meanwhile, when it comes to the FBI using deportation or criminal charges to coerce Muslims to spy on one another, the Miami New Times reports that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) suspects there are hundreds of cases similar to Farahi’s. The attorney of Tarek Mehanna, a 26-year-old US citizen who was charged by the government for giving a “false statement,” claims that the charges are a “form of revenge for Mehanna’s unwillingness to be an informant.” Ahmadullah Sais Niazi, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan, alleges that he was arrested and indicted of making a false statement to obtain citizenship because he also did not want to be an informant. Meanwhile, Yassine Ouassif, a 24-year-old Moroccan with a green card was given the same ultimatum as Farahi, but won his deportation case with the help of the National Legal Sanctuary for Community Advancement.

A recent poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that most Americans think Muslims face more discrimination than any other minority group in the US.

Source wants to separate the state from the church.
Aya, Parasite Eve

Apartment residents told to take down U.S. flags



ALBANY, Ore. - At the Oaks Apartments in Albany, the management can fly their own flag advertising one and two bedroom apartments - but residents have been told they can't fly any flags at all.

Jim Clausen flies the American flag from the back of his motorcycle. He has a son in the military heading back to Iraq, and the flag - he said - is his way of showing support.

"This flag stands for all those people," said Clausen, an Oaks Apartment resident. "It stands for the people that can no longer stand - who died in wars. That's why I fly this flag."

But to Oaks Apartment management, Clausen said, the American flag symbolizes problems.

Even long-time residents like Sharron White, who has flown a flag on her car for eight years, has been told to take it down.

White said management told her that "someone might get offended."

He was told to remove the red, white and blue from both of his rides, or face eviction.

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I guess the management never heard of HR 42 / Public law 109-243 "Right to display the flag of the United States." At any rate, when has it become oh-so controversial to display the flag of the country you live in?
In the shadows
  • rhyana

It appears Gov. Perry's given up on reelected, or he's going for the "science is for wimps" vote

Here's an update to this story from earlier today.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry defends arson investigation that led to Cameron Willingham's execution

By CHRISTY HOPPE / The Dallas Morning News
choppe@dallasnews.com

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry gave his most spirited defense today of the arson investigation that led to the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham.

Calling Willingham "a monster" who was an acknowledged wife-beater, Perry said he harbors no doubts that the unemployed mechanic purposefully set fire to his Corsicana home in 1991 in order to kill his three young children.

"This was a guy who murdered his three children, who tried to beat his wife into an abortion – person after person has stood up and testified to the facts of this case, that, quite frankly, you guys aren't covering," Perry told reporters. "This was a bad man.”

Asked what it would mean if post-conviction experts are correct and the fire wasn’t arson, Perry said he is convinced by other factors in the case beyond the science that Willingham committed the crime.

He said the opinion of one fire scientist is in opposition to findings of the jury and state appeals courts and the U.S. Supreme Court, both of which upheld the conviction and punishment.

Since the fire, arson science has been revised, and indicators that investigators used at the time to find that Willingham set the fire have since been discredited.

In the past five years, at least six arson experts have examined evidence in the Willingham case and found that there were no credible indications that the fire was intentionally set.

The campaign of Perry’s chief political rival, Kay Bailey Hutchison, accused Perry of jeopardizing the death penalty through “heavy-handed politicization” of the Willingham case.

“The only thing Rick Perry’s actions have accomplished is giving liberals an argument to discredit the death penalty,” said Hutchison spokesman Joe Pounder, adding that Hutchison, a staunch death-penalty supporter, “believes we should never do anything to create a cloud of controversy over it with actions that look like a cover-up.”

Source


the jumblies
  • coervus

fyi, sarah palin had one of the best resignations of all time. let's keep it that way.

Arianna Huffington: Why Joe Biden Should Resign

Joe Biden met with CENTCOM chief Gen. David Petraeus this morning to talk about Afghanistan -- an issue that has pushed the vice president into the spotlight, landing him on the cover of the latest Newsweek.

I have an idea for how he can capitalize on all the attention, and do what generations to come will always be grateful for: resign.

The centerpiece of Newsweek's story is how Biden has become the chief White House skeptic on escalating the war in Afghanistan, specifically arguing against Gen. McChrystal's request for 40,000 more troops to pursue a counterinsurgency strategy there.

The piece, by Holly Bailey and Evan Thomas, opens with details of a September 13th national security meeting at the White House. Biden speaks up:
"Can I just clarify a factual point? How much will we spend this year on Afghanistan?" Someone provided the figure: $65 billion. "And how much will we spend on Pakistan?" Another figure was supplied: $2.25 billion. "Well, by my calculations that's a 30-to-1 ratio in favor of Afghanistan. So I have a question. Al Qaeda is almost all in Pakistan, and Pakistan has nuclear weapons. And yet for every dollar we're spending in Pakistan, we're spending $30 in Afghanistan. Does that make strategic sense?" The White House Situation Room fell silent.

Being Greek, I'm partial to Biden's classic use of the Socratic method -- skillfully eliciting facts in a way that lets people connect the dots that show how misguided our involvement in Afghanistan has become.

It's been known for a while that Biden has been on the other side of McChrystal's desire for a big escalation of our forces there -- the New York Times reported last month that he has "deep reservations" about it. So if the president does decide to escalate, Biden, for the good of the country, should escalate his willingness to act on those reservations.

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[pundits] this is sportscenter
  • sarken

MSNBC's Giant [Honorary] Lesbian: Actually Giant Misogynist

Olbermann Calls Malkin A Mashed-Up Meatbag
By Megan Carpentier

Last night on "Countdown," Keith Olbermann named conservative blogger Michelle Malkin the second-worst person in the world for her work on the now-infamous "Obama song" sung by children at a New Jersey school. Malkin apparently fingered the wrong woman for having written the song and posted about her, resulting in the woman receiving death threats and harassment.

One can say a lot of things about Michelle Malkin's politics, her tactics, her strained relationship with reality and her commenters' propensity to embody the worst of the Internet. Or you could do what Keith Olbermann did.

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Liberal Source



IDK about this one. Keith Olbermann is generally a good feminist. Sometimes he fails -- like when he destroyed an Ann Coulter doll in 2005, which made me cringe hard at the implications -- but I don't think this was one of those times, since he was giving Malkin the identical treatment (unflattering voices, the phrase "big bag of mashed up meat/jackass/other noun") he has been giving everyone else lately. I take more offense at him calling Ann Coulter unattractive, and, believe me, I take very little offense given the context in which he did so.
Posh Zoom

Girl Crazy: Women Who Suffer from Gender Disappointment

Girl Crazy: Women Who Suffer from Gender Disappointment

Extreme sex selection methods—from high-calcium-diets to embryo testing—are raising prickly ethical questions

By Ruth Shalit Barrett | October 09, 2009 2:00 p.m.

When a sonogram showed that Stephanie Lewis, a writer and party planner living in San Diego, was expecting boy-girl twins, she was ecstatic. Lewis, already the mother of a two-year-old son, had always longed for a girl. “From an early age, I just remember wanting a daughter,” says Lewis, an effervescent brunette who recalls a Pleasantville childhood filled with mother-daughter fashion shows, ballet recitals, and tea parties. “Now, finally, I was getting her. I was just in heaven.”

Not that the sonographer’s revelation had come as a shock. For this, her second pregnancy, the 28-year-old Lewis had done everything in her power to increase the odds of having a girl. She’d adhered to a strict diet of milk, kefir, berries, and low-salt sesame paste on the premise that X sperm will thrive in a calcium-rich environment. She’d douched with vinegar and slept with a lime-soaked tampon in hopes of lowering her vaginal pH to girl-favorable levels. With her husband’s reluctant assent, Lewis also visited a local sperm-spinning clinic that practices a form of sex selection known as the Ericsson method. In this process, faster-swimming boy-producing sperm are separated from slower swimming girl-producing sperm, yielding a concentrate that is then inserted into the woman’s uterus via artificial insemination.

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This article is super long so I tried to bold the interesting/shocking points. I can't believe some of the stuff these woman do and they way they feel about having a certain sex. It's mind-boggling to me.

Time for the GOP Women

As the Republican Party continues its pilgrimage through the desert, its leaders may be missing the oasis for the vale of tears.

The answer to the party's woes isn't a revamped Web site (GOP.com) offering -- wowser! -- really cool social networking platforms.

The answer won't be found in the sudden realization that 83 percent of young people 18 to 24 have an online profile -- or other late-breaking revelations that merely reinforce the perception of the GOP as woefully behind the curve.

The answer is . . . drum roll, please . . . women.

If the GOP is really serious about expanding the party, it's time for the men to hush and let the pros take over. As the saying goes: If you need something done, hire a busy woman. Or, as the White House Project puts it: "Add women, change everything."

In the past few months, several conservative women have emerged as candidates and critics to challenge the notion that the GOP is the party of men. They're also putting to rest any thought that Sarah Palin is the female face of the party.
The McCain campaign had the right idea; it just picked the wrong woman.


Among the newer comers are two mega-businesswomen and two famous daughters, representing younger generations with divergent ideas. Although these aren't the only Republican women rising, they offer a glimpse at what could become a surge of hormonal correction on the conservative side.

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=_=

more on the AAPI signing

Obama's Executive Order Aims to Aid Asian Americans
Wednesday, October 14 2009

During George W. Bush’s presidency, an executive order passed by the Clinton administration that addressed the concerns of the Asian American community expired.

But on October 14, President Barack Obama restored the federal panel by signing an executive order that re-established the White House Advisory Commission and Interagency Working Group, which aims to aid Asian Americans.

In the executive order, Obama set up a commission comprised of numerous governmental agencies to conduct a two-year study on how to better serve Asian Americans. According to the Pacific News Center, the order aims to increase Asian American and Pacific Islander participation in a full range of federal programs, including health care, human services, housing, education, labor, transportation and economic and community development.

The initiative and commission will be co-chaired by Secretaries Arne Duncan and Gary Locke, and will be housed in the Department of Education.

The executive order emphasized the contributions that the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have made over the years in the United States. Obama lauded a great variety of contributions, ranging from musical achievements to military service.

However, Obama stressed that those contributions don’t tell the whole story, and must be weighed against the struggles the communities still face.He cautioned his audience from falling into the “model minority” myth, in which the strengths overshadow the challenges that are still against the community.

In particular, he pointed out that some communities, especially those made up mainly of recent immigrants, like those of Hmong, Cambodian, and Malaysian descent, suffer high rates of poverty and lack health insurance.

In the order, Obama listed problems that continue to plague the Asian American community, such as language barriers, hate crimes, and health disparities, such as high rates of diabetes and hepatitis B. One of the problems in studying these health disparities is the tendency to lump Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders into one category, which makes it impossible to study specific data from each community.

“When any of our citizens are unable to fulfill their potential due to factors that have nothing to do with their talent, character, or work ethic, then I believe there's a role for our government to play,” said Obama in the executive order.

According to Obama, the mission of the initiative is to work with the 23 government agencies across the board to ameliorate the specific problems facing the Asian American community.

Source | Video | Transcript
Bree Gun

(no subject)

Chess Players Call To Drop Womens' Titles




Is having less stringent requirements for female chess masters tantamount to admitting that women are less intelligent than men?

 

This is a question raised by the Wall Street Journal in a piece on women in chess. Although women have risen in the ranks, they still only make up a tiny portion of the world's top players. According to the executive director of the World Chess Federation, women make up about 10% of the organization's estimated one million members, 7.6% of over 100,000 rated players, and only 2% of the top 1,000 players world-wide. However, some notable women have broken into the top echelon of the chess world: In 1991, Susan Polgar became the first female grandmaster, and in July 2005, her sister, Judit Polgar, was named the 8th-ranked player worldwide. But these women are few and far between.

And unfortunately, players like the Polgar sisters do not have to meet the same standards as their male peers. Writes Barbara Jepson,

Yet the federation, known colloquially as FIDE (pronounced fee-day), persists in the anachronistic and demeaning practice of awarding separate titles for women at lower levels of accomplishment. For example, to qualify as a grandmaster (GM) today, men and women must earn two or more "norms" (prespecified favorable results in qualifying tournaments) at a performance rating of 2600 and achieve a published overall rating (a system ranking relative player strength) of 2500. But female players attain the woman grandmaster (WGM) designation by earning two or more norms at a performance rating of 2400 and achieving published ratings of 2300. So it's easier to attain the WGM title than to become an international master (IM), which requires two or more norms at 2450 and an overall rating of 2400.

International master Irina Krush says that it is time for the FIDE to stop giving women lesser titles. "Women's titles are really a marker of lower expectations," she says.

There are many practical difficulties women face in playing professional chess that can help explain their absence from the top ranks. For years, female players were not given the same expert training as men, they were often discouraged from joining the boys club that is competitive chess, and even today, women still have a much more difficult time finding commercial sponsors and funding than their male counterparts. Yet there are plenty of people who still believe that women are simply unsuited to chess based on their supposedly-inferior brains. Some cite studies on "mental rotation," which show that men have a slight edge in imagining the rotation of 3-D objects, as evidence that women are biologically less equipped to handle the rigors of the board game. Others believe that women are not competitive enough to hack it in the world of chess.

As Jepson points out, awarding separate titles to female chess players does much more harm than good. It both reflects and supports the notion that women are inherently inferior. Unlike in physical sports, where sex differences play a much larger role, chess would appear to be an equal-opportunity arena. But so long as women are namedWoman Grand Masters, the haters have little reason to change their tune. "While some men may remain sexist no matter what," remarks professional chess coach Bruce Pandolfini, "for the bulk of humanity, ability wins out and speaks the loudest."

Abolish Women's Chess Titles [WSJ] + Jezebel

WTF? ESQUIRE: Recent Popularity In Vampires Is Because Women Want Sex With Gay Men?

What's Really Going on With All These Vampires?



From Twilight to True Blood and now The Vampire Diaries, is it vampires that so many American women love... or just gay men?

Forget everything you've read about vampires so far. The current bloodsucking trend, achieving maximum ferocity in November with the release of the sequel to Twilight, isn't about outsiders or immigrants or religion or even AIDS, as critics and bloggers have argued ad nauseam these past few months. There's a much better, simpler, more obvious explanation: Vampires have overwhelmed pop culture because young straight women want to have sex with gay men. Not all young straight women, of course, but many, if not most, of them.

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Yeah so, this is the same guy that wrote Where Have All The Loose Women Gone? His nonsensical "theories" should not surprise me.

Kay Bailey Hutchison is really worried that Texas may have executed an innocent man

Oh wait, except she's not, at all.  She's just worried that those evil libruls will have more ammo to get rid of the death penalty, an institution so sacred that God smites all those who do not agree, by turning down their clemency, obvs.

Austin, TX – With today’s comments by the Governor’s office in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Deputy Communications Director Joe Pounder issued the following statement:

“As hard as Rick Perry’s office and his campaign may try to divert from the issue, this is not about one man or one case. The issue is Rick Perry’s heavy-handed politicization of a process and Commission established by the legislature to provide critical oversight. First, Rick Perry delayed the formation of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, then he tried to ensure it didn’t have funding and when all else failed, he fired everyone he could. The only thing Rick Perry’s actions have accomplished is giving liberals an argument to discredit the death penalty. Kay Bailey Hutchison is a steadfast supporter of the death penalty, voted to reinstate it when she served in the Texas House and believes we should never do anything to create a cloud of controversy over it with actions that look like a cover-up.”
 
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Socialism!!! Obama To Give Communist Money To Seniors That He Will Kill Later!!

Obama Calls For $250 Payments To Seniors

President Barack Obama called on Congress Wednesday to approve $250 payments to more than 50 million seniors to make up for no increase in Social Security next year. The Social Security Administration is scheduled to announce Thursday that there will be no cost of living increase next year. By law, increases are pegged to inflation, which has been negative this year.

It would mark the first year without an increase in Social Security payments since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975.

"Even as we seek to bring about recovery, we must act on behalf of those hardest hit by this recession," Obama said in a statement. "This additional assistance will be especially important in the coming months, as countless seniors and others have seen their retirement accounts and home values decline as a result of this economic crisis."

Obama's proposal is similar to several bills in Congress. The $250 payments would also go to those receiving veterans benefits, disability benefits, railroad retirees and retired public employees who don't receive Social Security. Recipients would be limited to one payment, even if they qualified for more.

The White House put the cost at $13 billion. Obama said he would not allow the payments to come out of the Social Security trust funds, further eroding the finances of the retirement program. Social Security already is projected to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes in each of the next two years.


However, Obama did not offer any alternatives to finance the payments. A senior administration official said Obama was open to borrowing the money, increasing the federal budget deficit. The official, who requested anonymity, was not authorized to speak on the record.

Obama also announced Wednesday that the IRS would soon issue tax guidance preventing reductions in contribution limits for certain retirement funds, including 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts. There has been concern among some in the financial industry that federal law could require the limits to be reduced because inflation will be negative this year.

The $250 payments would match the ones issued to seniors earlier this year as part of the massive economic recovery package enacted in February. Several key members of Congress have said they are open to providing relief to seniors to make up for no increase in Social Security payments.
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