October 22nd, 2009

QI - Acropolis

The Kindest Cut

In Colorado, a surgeon helps restore feeling—and so much more—to victims of female genital mutilation.

One day, when Sila Folow was an 8-year-old girl living in Mali, four elderly women held her down on the dirt floor of an outhouse and, in keeping with local tradition, used a sharp blade to cut out her clitoris and most of her labia. Her grandmother and other villagers held a celebration. Sila, bleeding and in terrible pain, could not walk for weeks. Like millions of other African girls who are forced to undergo female genital mutilation—a ritual many women say is intended to ensure that they grow up to become sexually passive wives who will not stray from their husbands—Sila never recovered. She eventually moved to New York, married, and had two children. But she was reluctant to have sex with her husband. It hurt, and the scarring made it impossible for her to feel pleasure.

This May, Sila, now 38 years old, underwent a simple but profound operation to undo the past. She traveled to Trinidad, Colorado, where Dr. Marci Bowers, a gynecological and pelvic surgeon, has recently begun to perform "clitoralplasty" or "female circumcision reversals" on African women. A relatively new procedure, it reshapes the anatomy and, in 80 percent of patients, restores pleasurable sensation. "I want my womanhood back," Sila told Bowers when she first spoke to the surgeon about the operation. "I just want to know it's there. To have the feeling that I can fight against this culture."

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Because we need some positive news about women today.
Mr. T the Patriot

Hypotheticals Dominate Animal Cruelty Argument at High Court

The National Law Journal
Tony Mauro
October 07, 2009

It was a day of wild hypotheticals Tuesday, as the U.S. Supreme Court reached far and wide for help in deciding whether a federal law that makes it a crime to depict animal cruelty violates the First Amendment.

By the end of the riveting hour of argument in United States v. Stevens, it seemed likely that a sizable majority of the Court was ready to strike down the law as too broad or too vague.

"Certainly the tone of the argument would suggest that the statute is in trouble," said Andrew Tauber of Mayer Brown, who attended the argument and filed a brief against the law for the National Coalition Against Censorship. The law sweeps so broadly, Tauber added, that "it takes very little imagination to come up with dozens of hypotheticals" of depictions that could be vulnerable to prosecution but should be protected by the First Amendment.

That's just what the Court did, for much of the hour.
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What do you guys think about this? I know dog fighting is a very controversial subject. If dog fighting is wrong is it ok to sell videos of dog fights? Does banning dog fight videos really decrease the number of dog fights? Is dog fighting really that bad?
franklin sherman

(no subject)

Update on naked coffee guy.

Busybody who reported it is the wife of a COP. Why am I not surprised? (cops claim 'no connection,' of course)

Now the cops are canvassing for comments, passing out flyers about naked guy, local school is sending home letters with children. Seems like they are going after this guy, and trying to destroy him publicly.

Notice use of "may have."

edit: because the reality is they are only doing this because its a cops wife.

In Other Naked News (different guy)
Oregon residents fed up with their naked neighbor

The Columbia County Sheriff's Department has received complaints about McKenzie, but they say what he is doing is not illegal.

Deputies say they searched his home and found boxes and computer hard drives stuffed with child pornography. McKenzie is currently free on bail for the child porn charges. He goes to trial in late September, but that is little consolation to those who live near him.

"This guy was charged with kiddie porn and you're telling me he's not showing an interest in the children on the school bus? Where else are you going to get that big of an audience?" asked Susan.

Contractors Demand Right To Rape Anyone They Like for Profit

Franken's Anti-Rape Amendment May Be Stripped By Senior Dem, Sources Say

An amendment that would prevent the government from working with contractors who denied victims of assault the right to bring their case to court is in danger of being watered down or stripped entirely from a larger defense appropriations bill.

Multiple sources have told the Huffington Post that Sen. Dan Inouye, a longtime Democrat from Hawaii, is considering removing or altering the provision, which was offered by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and passed by the Senate several weeks ago.

Inouye's office, sources say, has been lobbied by defense contractors adamant that the language of the Franken amendment would leave them overly exposed to lawsuits and at constant risk of having contracts dry up. The Senate is considering taking out a provision known as the Title VII claim, which (if removed) would allow victims of assault or rape to bring suit against the individual perpetrator but not the contractor who employed him or her.
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Shocking News at 11: Bears are Catholics. Popes Do It on The Woods. Conservatives Hurting GOP

Conservatives roar; Republicans tremble

Many top Republicans are growing worried that the party’s chances for reversing its electoral routs of 2006 and 2008 are being wounded by the flamboyant rhetoric and angry tone of conservative activists and media personalities, according to interviews with GOP officials and operatives.

Congressional leaders talk in private of being boxed in by commentators such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh — figures who are wildly popular with the conservative base but wildly controversial among other parts of the electorate, and who have proven records of making life miserable for senators and House members critical of their views or influence.

Some of the leading 2012 candidates are described by operatives as grappling with the same tension. The challenge is to tap into the richest source of energy in the party — the disgust of grass-roots conservative activists with President Barack Obama and their hunger for a full-throated attack on his agenda — without coming off to the broader public as cranky and extreme.
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Guyz! We Are The Enemy! It Is All Our Fault! We Made Them Cry!

AHIP Lobbyist To GOP: Don't Give "Comfort To The Enemy" On Health Care

A top lobbyist for the major private insurance industry trade group, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), urged Congressional Republicans to not even consider helping Democrats pass health care reform lest they aid an "enemy who is down."

Steve Champlin, a lobbyist for the Duberstein Group who represents AHIP, declared that the road to a bipartisan health care reform bill was, essentially, dead. And he urged GOP members to keep it that way.

"There is absolutely no interest, no reason Republicans should ever vote for this thing. They have gone from a party that got killed 11 months ago to a party that is rising today. And they are rising up on the turmoil of health care," said Champlin. "So when they vote for a health care reform bill, whatever it is, they are giving comfort to the enemy who is down."

"Long before the Republicans discovered that the House bill was a strategy to kill seniors and all that kind of stuff the plan was already unpopular," he added, underscoring why Republicans shouldn't attach themselves to the legislation.

The remarks came during the opening session of AHIP's annual State Issues Conference in which both Champlin and his co-panelist seemed to concede that reform would pass and will include a variation of a public option for insurance coverage.

"There are indications that there will be something in it called a public option, whether it is a state opt-in or opt-out," said Dan Meyer, another Duberstein Group employee and former Bush administration official. "The question that they have to deal with and what will guide their decision making process as they merge this bill is can we get 60 votes."

Champlin too, predicted that health care reform with a fairly robust public plan would likely make it through the House "by a narrow margin." He attributed the passage to unwillingness within the Democratic Party to contribute to an embarrassing and costly defeat for the president. "Dems do not want to be responsible for the failure of health care and the failure of Obama's top priority," he said.

Since the event was a conference for the private insurance industry, much of the panel's time was spent lamenting the vilification of private insurers. Champlin, in particular, was caustic in discussing how the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress had framed the debate. They are, he said trying to "motivate change through creating an enemy. And the enemy is the insurance company."

"To pass health care that means change and to motivate change through creating an enemy and the enemy is the insurance company," he said. "You see that. We see that because we have been buy trying to work this thing out... it turns out they are completely uninterested in working it out. So they want us where they've put us right now, which is an enemy. My concern about this is that while they got polling data that says that's where they want to be, that they got us where they want to put us. I'm not really convinced that's where the American people want to be."

Added Meyer: "The debate as we were leading into the August break was getting cast... in a way that folks who oppose dramatic health care reform have been successful in the past which is [arguing] that this is a government takeover... My view was there was a strategic decision made. Those who are pushing this cannot tolerate it being framed that way... so the best way to [change] that was to demonize the health insurance industry... It was a strategic very conscious decision."

Champlin, according to a review of lobbying records, was paid at least $400,000 by AHIP in 2008 and the same amount so far this year to lobby on health care related issues.


Actor Michael Jai White thinks the negative connotation surrounding the term "blaxploitation film" is a bunch of jive.

"The problem I have with the word is that it seems to encompass movies that don't fall under that category," White said. "As soon as you hear the title 'Shaft' people think 'blaxploitation' and that is absolutely unfair because that film was made before the term even existed."

White, the star and co-writer of the new movie "Black Dynamite," would rather people focus on what he views as the positives of the genre of 1970s urban action films starring African-American actors.

His new movie, which opened in limited release last weekend and will start going wider, follows the exploits of Black Dynamite, a former CIA agent who takes to the streets after his brother is killed by the mafia, orphanages are flooded with drugs and some bad malt liquor finds its way into the 'hood.

It is both a spoof of, and homage to, the genre whose films like "Black Caesar," "The Mac," "Foxy Brown," and "Superfly" have developed a cult following over the years.

"Black Dynamite" caught the eye of Sony Pictures at the Sundance Film Festival and the studio acquired the rights to distribute the film.

A viral marketing campaign helped whip up anticipation for the movie, which also features former late-night talk show host Arsenio Hall and "In Living Color" cast member Tommy Davidson as pimps.

Director Scott Sanders said he has always been fascinated by the fact that while blaxploitation really only grabbed hold of the industry for about five years during the early 1970s, it was so influential.

"It was such an extreme genre with the look and the music and there were really no boundaries or rules," he said. "It's always been a fascination for me given how much it influenced hip-hop, black culture and culture as a whole, given the brevity."

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35 GOP Senators Vote Against Defense Bill With Hate-Crimes Amendment

It's not easy to get 35 Republican senators to vote against defense spending -- unless hate crimes legislation is involved.

The Senate narrowly invoked cloture on Thursday, 64 to 35, on the defense authorization package with the bill named for Matthew Shepard attached. The bill, named for a gay Wyoming teenager who was kidnapped and beaten to death in 1998, makes it a federal crime to assault someone on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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you are eaten by a gay vampire

NY State Supreme Court : Transgendered People Able to Legally Change Name Without Proof of "Need"

The State Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a transgendered person seeking a name change does not have to provide proof of any medical procedure justifying the change, striking down an earlier ruling. The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, a nonprofit advocacy organization, had brought the case to New York Civil Court in February on behalf of Olin Yuri Winn-Ritzenberg, a transgender man who wanted to change his first name from Leah.

In February, Civil Court Judge Manuel J. Mendez had denied the request, saying that Winn-Ritzenberg needed a letter from a doctor or social worker proving the "need" for a name change (i.e. an appropriate sex change). Michael D. Silverman, executive director of the TLDE, argued that state common law allows any adult to change his or her name for any reason. CityRoom also points out that "not all transgender people take steps like hormone-replacement therapy or sex-reassignment surgery; many take the view that gender is socially constructed, or not even a stable or meaningful category altogether."

With this in mind, justices Douglas E. McKeon, Martin Schoenfeld and Martin Shulman finally granted Winn-Ritzenberg's request yesterday, which became a huge victory for transgendered rights in America. Silverman said, "This ruling confirms that each one of us has the right to be known by a name we choose.” And Winn-Ritzenberg said, "This means that I can finally change my name and move forward with my life. My gender transition has been a very personal journey, and no one is in a better position to decide that I need to change my name than I am."

Source is changing its name to Karen
  • preeho

No Child Left Behind ... by the Military

John Travers
was striding purposefully into the Westfield mall in Wheaton, Maryland, for some back-to-school shopping before starting his junior year at Bowling Green State University. When I asked him whether he'd ever talked to a military recruiter, Travers, a 19-year-old African American with a buzz cut, a crisp white T-shirt, and a diamond stud in his left ear, smiled wryly. "To get to lunch in my high school, you had to pass recruiters," he said. "It was overwhelming." Then he added, "I thought the recruiters had too much information about me. They called me, but I never gave them my phone number." Nor did he give the recruiters his email address, Social Security number, or details about his ethnicity, shopping habits, or college plans. Yet they probably knew all that, too. In the past few years, the military has mounted a virtual invasion into the lives of young Americans. Using data mining, stealth websites, career tests, and sophisticated marketing software, the Pentagon is harvesting and analyzing information on everything from high school students' GPAs and SAT scores to which video games they play. Before an Army recruiter even picks up the phone to call a prospect like Travers, the soldier may know more about the kid's habits than do his own parents.

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Source thinks we should all be all that we can be, but not really.

I am super glad that I graduated HS before the NCLB shiz started. Eesh. This is terrifying, no? And Vitter? Way to be even more of an asshat. Jeez louise, man.
  • Current Mood
  • portiri

Nicole Kidman speaks to Congress

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

WASHINGTON October 21, 2009, 11:02 pm ET
Nicole Kidman conceded Wednesday that Hollywood has probably contributed to violence against women by portraying them as weak sex objects.

The Oscar-winning actress said she is not interested in those kinds of demeaning roles, adding that the movie industry also has made an effort to contribute to solutions for ending the violence.

Kidman testified before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that is considering legislation to address violence against women overseas through humanitarian relief efforts and grants to local organizations working on the problem.

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This is the full address in PDF http://www.hcfa.house.gov/111/kid102109.pdf
' jules
  • schmiss

Reid saves the day, Snowe pouts, and Baucus threatens to turn into Voltron or something

Public Option: It's Back

The public option. The idea was believed to be dead. Liberals wanted it, but Senate vote counters insisted it simply could not pass the Senate. The dynamic, however, has changed. The public option may be back from dead.

I am told that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is leaning toward including the creation of a new government-run insurance program – the so-called public option – in the health care reform bill he will bring to the full Senate in the coming weeks.

Democratic sources tell me that Reid – after a series of meetings with Democratic moderates – has concluded he can pass a bill with a public option.

This is not because there has been a new groundswell of support for the idea. In fact, there are still a handful of Democrats who -- along with Olympia Snowe and every other Republican – oppose the idea. As recently as this morning, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), for one, dismissed recent polls that show public support for the idea, telling NPR, "I think if you asked, do you want a public option but it would force the government to go bankrupt, people would say no.”

That would appear to be a problem because Reid needs 60 votes to pass a health care bill and there are simply not 60 Senators who support a public option. But Reid is now convinced that Democratic critics of the public option will support him when it counts – on the procedural motion, which requires 60 votes, to defeat a certain GOP-led filibuster of the bill. Once the filibuster is beaten, it only takes 51 votes to pass the bill.

And Democratic critics of the public option would get a chance to go on-the-record with their opposition by voting for an amendment to strip it from the health care bill. Under Senate rules, such an amendment would need 60 votes to pass. And while there may not be 60 votes in favor of a public option, there are also not 60 votes against it. So, it would remain in the bill.

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Harry Reid, you magnificent bastard, if you can pull this off I forgive you for so much. (And we gotta give credit to our Senate Whip Durbin who has been doing great getting most of the real moderates on board.) Really I'm ok with the opt-out, because when it comes down to it, how many goverments are really going to say no to the public option? Think of how many red legislatures overrode their governors to take hte stimulus money. Heck, some Republican governors outright took the money, like our own T-Paw who came up with a weak excuse about how stimulus money is like a pizza party, and if someone's already brought the pizza, you might as well take a slice or something lmfao.
Super Mario

Black in America: Rissi Palmer

Country Singer Aims to Break Down Barriers

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A sealed envelope awaits in Rissi Palmer's Bible.

It's her Grammy acceptance speech, the one she wrote as a 12-year-old. She vowed not to open it until she could read it from the stage accepting her award.

Sixteen years later, the time may be nearer when Palmer can open the envelope. The road has been a long one, starting with her standing on a milk crate as a child so she could sing solos in the church choir. But these days, she is an up-and-comer in country music -- and a rare African-American performer in the genre.

Palmer acknowledged this week to students in Atlanta that some people had told her she couldn't sing country because she was African-American. But she said, "When you tell me I can't do something, it just makes me want to do it more."

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Here's the video for her song Country Girl... she's really really good.

Source: here

Historic Day: Obama Signs Advance VA Funding into Law

Exec. Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

Posted: October 22, 2009 01:05 PM

Since 2004, Rey Leal has been fighting. He's fought on the streets of Fallujah; for mental health care in south Texas; and in Washington, for a solution to years of late veterans' health care budgets.

Today, Rey and millions of veterans have won their fight.

When Rey returned home from Iraq after two combat tours, he sought mental health care at his nearest VA clinic, where there was just one psychologist, taking appointments only two days a week. The psychologist only works two days because that Texas clinic, like many VA clinics and hospitals, has to stretch its funding to make sure the money lasts the whole year. They don't know how much funding they'll have next year because the VA budget is routinely passed late.

In fact, 20 out of the last 23 years, the budget has not been passed on time. This year was no exception. As of today, the VA budget is 22 days late--and counting.

For veterans, these late budgets mean the VA is forced to ration care for the almost 6 million patients whose livelihoods depend on its services. This is why Rey took his fight to Washington. The good news for vets is that Congress finally listened.

Today, President Obama signed the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act into law, which authorizes Congress to approve the VA health care budget at least one year in advance. I was there at the White House today with the nation's leading veterans groups who represent all generations of veterans to witness this historic moment. With the President's signature, timely, predictable funding for veterans' health care will become the norm, VA Secretary Shinseki will be set up for success, and the VA will be forced to become a more proactive department. With today's signing, the days of massive GI Bill backlogs and playing politics with the VA budget should be gone forever.Source

So, the next time another rightwing nutjob asks what Obama has accomplished?   Yeah, let's just add this one to the growing list, shall we?  And, as the article said, if we only could do this for more federal agencies, things would be far more efficient.

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Senate Approves Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act 68-29, Now time for Obama to sign!!!


The Senate today passed a historic expansion of federal hate crimes statutes to include sexual orientation. The chamber voted to approve the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (also known as the Matthew Shepard Act) by a vote of 68-29, sending the first civil rights legislation protecting gays and lesbians to President Obama for his signature. The bill was attached to a Defense Department appropriations bill.

Earlier in the day the chamber took a cloture vote (to end debate and filibuster) of 64-35 to move the bill forward.



also take that NOM, Focus on Family, Stand For Marriage

Hate Crimes Bill Approved By Congress, Extends Protection To Gays

WASHINGTON — Physical attacks on people based on their sexual orientation will join the list of federal hate crimes in a major expansion of the civil rights-era law Congress approved Thursday and sent to President Barack Obama.

A priority of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., that had been on the congressional agenda for a decade, the measure expands current law to include crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. The measure is named for Matthew Shepard, the gay Wyoming college student murdered 11 years ago.

To assure its passage after years of frustrated efforts, Democratic supporters attached the measure to a must-pass $680 billion defense policy bill the Senate approved 68-29. The House passed the defense bill earlier this month.

Many Republicans, normally staunch supporters of defense bills, voted against the bill because of the hate crimes provision. All the no votes were Republicans except for Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., who supported the hate crimes provision but opposes what he says is the open-ended military commitment in Afghanistan.

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Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/22/hate-crimes-bill-approved_n_330702.html

Where's that "Oh, shit. The internet is here." gif?

McCain Introduces Bill to Block FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

New legislation from Senator McCain would stop the FCC from making net neutrality rules.

Grant Gross, IDG News Service

Thursday, October 22, 2009 10:30 AM PDT

U.S. Senator John McCain has introduced legislation that would block the U.S. Federal Communications Commission from creating new net neutrality rules, on the same day that the FCC took the first step toward doing so.

McCain on Thursday introduced the Internet Freedom Act, which would keep the FCC from enacting rules prohibiting broadband providers from selectively blocking or slowing Internet content and applications. Net neutrality rules would create "onerous federal regulation," McCain said in a written statement.

The FCC on Thursday voted to begin a rulemaking process to formalize net neutrality rules. The rules, as proposed, would allow Web users to run the legal applications and access the legal Web sites of their choice. Providers could use "reasonable" network management to reduce congestion and maintain quality of service, but the rules would require them to be transparent with consumers about their efforts.

The new rules would formalize a set of net neutrality principles in place at the FCC since 2005.

McCain, an Arizona Republican, called the proposed net neutrality rules a "government takeover" of the Internet that will stifle innovation and depress an "already anemic" job market in the U.S. McCain was the Republican challenger to President Barack Obama in the 2008 election, and Obama has said net neutrality rules are among his top tech priorities.

McCain protested the FCC's proposal that wireless broadband providers be included in the net neutrality rules. The wireless industry has "exploded over the past 20 years due to limited government regulation," McCain said in the statement.

"Today I'm pleased to introduce the Internet Freedom Act of 2009 that will keep the Internet free from government control and regulation," McCain said. "It will allow for continued innovation that will in turn create more high-paying jobs for the millions of Americans who are out of work or seeking new employment. Keeping businesses free from oppressive regulations is the best stimulus for the current economy."

It's unclear whether the legislation would pass. Democrats, who generally support net neutrality rules, have majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, but in recent days, more than 70 House Democrats have written the FCC expressing concern over net neutrality regulations.

Elsewhere, reaction to the FCC's decision was mixed.

Supporting net neutrality rules:
-- "Network neutrality protects the fundamental rights of Americans in using the Internet and accessing content, applications, and services of their choice. A well-reasoned network neutrality policy also ensures a level playing field for companies large and small as they create an online presence, and will continue to foster the entrepreneurial innovation found not only in corporate office suites, but in college dorms across the country." -- Statement from Senators Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, and Olympia Snowe, Maine Republican.

-- "It is clear to us that at the end of the proceeding, consumers and innovators will benefit from an open and nondiscriminatory Internet. As a result, the economy will benefit in the future, as it did in the past, from the stability of an Internet that grants equal opportunity to all to participate in an open Internet environment." -- Statement from Gigi Sohn, president of Public Knowledge, a digital rights group.

-- "This is a down payment on creating a digital democracy. Today's vote to begin the process of requiring nondiscrimination insures, among other things, that large internet providers will be unable to block or throttle speech from competitors or those who disagree with them. The nondiscriminatory environment in which the Internet was developed fostered unprecedented opportunities for political and artistic expression." -- Statement from Andrew Jay Schwartzman, president and CEO of the Media Access Project, a media reform and digital rights group.

Opposed to net neutrality rules:
-- "I remain concerned ... that the FCC is poised to take intrusive action into a well-functioning Internet ecosystem without either the demonstrated need or clear legal authority to do so. I know of no empirical evidence suggesting that the openness of the Internet that we all value is under threat today, or is likely to be under threat tomorrow. In the absence of evidence of market failure or demonstrable consumer harms, the costs of government intervention are more likely to outweigh the benefits." -- Statement from Barbara Esbin, a senior fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a free-market think tank.

-- "As the FCC's Broadband Task Force said recently, it could take $350 billion to build next-generation broadband across America, and most of that money will have to come from the private sector and companies like Comcast. We continue to hope that any rules adopted by the commission will not harm the investment and innovation that has made the Internet what it is today and that will make it even greater tomorrow." -- Statement from David Cohen, executive vice president at Comcast

-- "I understand there is a regulatory revival climate in Washington under the Obama Administration, but the FCC's launch of a rulemaking proceeding to adopt new Internet regulations stands out as an example of a proposed regulation in search of a problem that will then search for a solution to address the non-problem. At the FCC meeting, there was absolutely no evidence presented by the FCC's staff of any market failure or pattern of marketplace abuses. It is risky business for regulators to mess with a technologically dynamic environment that is working well for American consumers and the economy." -- Statement from Randolph May, president of the Free State Foundation, a free-market think tank.


I found another article about the Blue Dogs and the Congressional Black Caucus raising questions about net neutrality. I wasn't surprised about the Blue Dogs, but I'm thinking the CBC was misled, since they raised concerns over internet access for lower-class minorities, which seems unrelated to what net neutrality is about.

This is gonna get ugly...

Anti-fascist campaigners are staging a mass protest at BBC Television Centre as British National Party leader Nick Griffin takes part in Question Time.

There are several hundred protesters outside the building, although it is calmer than earlier when about 25 broke through police lines into the BBC.

Inside, Mr Griffin was booed as recording of the flagship political discussion programme got under way.

The BBC has defended the programme saying it has a duty to be impartial.

The Metropolitan Police say three protesters have been arrested and three police officers injured in the protests.

Television Centre has been "locked down" with staff prevented from leaving to go home.

Mr Griffin accused the protesters of "attacking the rights of millions of people to listen to what I've got to say and listen to me being called to account by other politicians", adding: "It really is a disgraceful thing."

But Weyman Bennett from Unite Against Fascism accused the BBC of "rolling out the red carpet" to Mr Griffin and said his appearance on the flagship discussion programme "will lead to the growth of a fascist party" and promote violence against ethnic minorities.
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You can watch Question Time on BBC One at 2235 BST and on the BBC News website.

Source: BBC

ETA: The show's up on iPlayer now:
franklin sherman

The system works!

Cops plan benefit for colleague accused of DUI in fatal crash

Chicago police officers plan a benefit this weekend at their union headquarters for Joseph Frugoli, who is accused of crashing into a car while driving drunk on the Dan Ryan Expressway in April, killing two people.

An invitation to the event is posted on the Web site of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Police said Frugoli's blood-alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit when his Lexus SUV hit a car that had pulled over on the Ryan north of 18th Street. The car exploded into flames and killed Andrew Cazares, 23, and Fausto Manzera, 21. Frugoli is also accused of leaving the scene.

FOP President Mark Donahue distanced the group from the event, saying it was planned by some of the officer's friends.

Donahue said the FOP was not involved or advocating one way or the other regarding the Frugoli case.


Wary Japan redefines relationship with U.S.

Washington concerned as new leaders become ‘hardest’ to deal with in Asia

By John Pomfret and Blaine Harden -- Washington Post

Worried about a new direction in Japan's foreign policy, the Obama administration warned the Tokyo government Wednesday of serious consequences if it reneges on a military realignment plan formulated to deal with a rising China.

The comments from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates underscored increasing concern among U.S. officials as Japan moves to redefine its alliance with the United States and its place in Asia. In August, the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) won an overwhelming victory in elections, ending more than 50 years of one-party rule.

For a U.S. administration burdened with challenges in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea and China, troubles with its closest ally in Asia constitute a new complication.

A senior State Department official said the United States had "grown comfortable" thinking about Japan as a constant in U.S. relations in Asia. It no longer is, he said, adding that "the hardest thing right now is not China, it's Japan."Collapse )

helmetkid wtf

Racist NYPD strikes again



It’s hard to believe that this sort of thing still happens, and yet, here it is: earlier this week in Manhattan’s Chinatown, traffic agent Twana Chapman was about to put a parking ticket on a car when the owner, Qiang Nian Zhu, tried to stop her. Zhu tried to explain that he still had a minute left on his meter, and that his wife was in the process of paying for another meter ticket. Witnesses report that Chapman began cursing at everyone around her: “You f—— Chinese, go back where you came from. All of you f—— Chinese.” Chapman then struck Zhu when he covered the registration sticker on his dashboard so she couldn’t scan it. Chapman then called the police, and Zhu was thrown in jail. He was released after 9 hours. Witnesses also report Chapman’s supervisor tearing up the parking ticket at the scene. So far, the NYPD says complaints about racial epithets have not been filed.

I'm somehow not surprised; the NYPD has just as many crooked cops as anywhere else.
Still, reading this pissed me the fuck off. I remember some cops sitting around laughing loudly and mocking the Asian folk (thankfully I didn't hear anyone say "ching-chong", though I wouldn't be surprised if they'd said something like that) while I was in Flushing, Queens, and wishing I could kick their smug asses.
  • schmiss

Two new fronts on the Republican Party's War On Itself

Breaking: Palin endorses Hoffman

As previously discussed here. You know, the one where Newt Gingrich is peeing on his legacy or whatever.

If national media wasn’t following this race before, they will be tomorrow.
It’s my honor to endorse Doug and to do what I can to help him win, including having my political action committee, SarahPAC, donate to his campaign the maximum contribution allowed by law.

Our nation is at a crossroads, and this is once again a “time for choosing.”

The federal government borrows, spends, and prints too much money, while our national debt hits a record high. Government is growing while the private sector is shrinking, and unemployment is on the rise. Doug Hoffman is committed to ending the reckless spending in Washington, D.C. and the massive increase in the size and scope of the federal government. He is also fully committed to supporting our men and women in uniform as they seek to honorably complete their missions overseas.

And best of all, Doug Hoffman has not been anointed by any political machine.

Doug Hoffman stands for the principles that all Republicans should share: smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense, and a commitment to individual liberty.
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Beck Escalates Feud With Lindsey Graham: ‘I’m Going To Stick With The Angry People’

Glenn Beck escalated his feud with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on his Fox News show today. Recall, Graham has previously dismissed Beck as an entertainer who is “aligned with cynicism.” “Only in America can you make that much money crying,” Graham said of Beck. (lol what a hypocrite) When Beck responded by saying Graham’s criticism was the “highest honor” he’s ever received, Graham reiterated his view that Beck “doesn’t represent the Republican Party.”

Today, Beck opened his show with a diatribe against Graham. Castigating the South Carolina Republican for saying that “we’re not going to be a party of angry white guys,” Beck retorted, “You gotta ask yourself, is the problem the angry white guys or is it the Obama-lite guys?” “Lindsey Graham, come on man, come on seriously, that’s it?” Beck continued. “Obama-lite! … It’s corrupt politicians that have been there too long telling us these things.”

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If only people like Graham and Pawlenty were actually as liberal as Glenn Beck thinks. Oh well, still a great couple of meltdowns to watch.

School Aid Uses Enhanced Interrogation Technique on Autistic Terrorist (VIDEO)

Mother Says School Aide 'Waterboarded' Her 14-Year-Old Autistic Son (VIDEO)

The mother of a 14-year-old autistic boy has accused a school aide of 'waterboarding' her son by forcing his head under a running faucet.
A fellow student has also claimed that the boy was also forced to eat his own vomit. Two teacher's aides have been charged with abusing the boy and other special needs children. Five families have filed charges and they believe that their children's disabilities prevented them from reporting the abuse.

The two school aides have resigned and are said to be giving the investigation their full cooperation.

Ann Coulter: "The Left Has Assassination Squads! We Are Going To DIE!!!"

Ann Coulter: All Presidential Assassins Were Part Of The Left (VIDEO)

Ann Coulter, perhaps afraid that Glenn Beck is upstaging her, as evidenced by his recent remarks that progressives in earlier times were called slave owners, decided to test the limits of absurdity by declaring that all presidential assassination attempts were committed by someone on the left:

As I have not only witnessed in my own life but described in "Guilty", every presidential assassination or attempted presidential assassination was committed by some kind of left-wing loon, communist, anarchist, communitarian, or they had no politics at all.

An outraged Behar interjects that this makes no sense, but Coulter goes full steam ahead, and it's a train wreck.

GOT; Sansa

Sweden church allows gay weddings

The Lutheran Church of Sweden - the country's largest - is to conduct same-sex marriages from next month.

Around 70% of the church's 250-strong synod, or church board, voted to back the move, making it one of few global churches to allow gay marriage.

Sweden's government introduced a new law in May allowing gay couples the same marriage rights as heterosexuals.

Three-quarters of Swedes are members of the Lutheran church, though church attendance is low.

The Lutheran Church says gay couples can now get married by any of its priests from the beginning of November.

Individual priests will not be "forced" to perform same sex ceremonies, though substitutes will have to be found if they refuse.

The church - which split from state control in 2000 - backed the government's decision to legalise gay marriage in May.

But some clergy had questioned whether church ceremonies - and the term matrimony - should be reserved for heterosexual unions. Others opposed the move on the grounds it contravened the scriptures.

Limited opposition

In response, the Archbishop of Sweden, Anders Wejryd, told reporters: "For my part, the right decision was taken, but I can empathise with the many who believe this has gone too fast."

Netherlands, legalised in 2000
Belgium, 2003
Spain, 2005
Norway, 2008
Sweden, 2009

Sweden's largest gay rights group, the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL), welcomed the move.

"[We] congratulate the Church of Sweden for its decision. [The church's] homosexual and bisexual members will finally be able to feel a little more welcome within society," the group said in a statement.

Sweden was one of the first countries to give gay couples legal "partnership" rights, in the mid-1990s, and to allow gay couples to adopt children from 2002.

It become the fifth European country, after the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Norway, to recognise same-sex marriage.

I didn't see this posted...Go Sweden!