November 18th, 2009


As Catholics and Gays Battle Over Marriage Equality in DC, Elections Board Rejects Prop 8-Style Ball

HRC Backstory reports: "Today, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics announced their ruling [pdf] that for a second time a proposed ballot measure that would undermine marriage equality in the District is not a proper subject for a referendum or initiative. The Board’s decision to prevent a measure like California’s Prop 8 or Maine’s Question 1 from possibly reaching the ballot is strongly supported by D.C. law, which wisely prohibits any initiative that authorizes discrimination or has the effect of authorizing discrimination under D.C.’s Human Rights Act."

Meanwhile I reported last Thursday that the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington D.C. has told the D.C. Council that if they are forced to recognize same-sex married couples (as D.C.'s proposed marriage equality law would impel them to do) they will have no other choice but to discontinue all social service programs in D.C. related to adoption, homelessness, health care and other areas.


This is great news, especially since NOM along with the catholic charties were pushing very hard for this.

Spiraling medical bills behind elderly woman's murder of own daughter

An elderly mother who fatally stabbed her leukemic daughter last month was suffering from heavy medical bills, investigators said.

The 77-year-old mother stabbed her 53-year-old daughter in the neck at home in Tokyo's Adachi Ward on Oct 21. Police said that the mother, who also underwent breast cancer surgery in April this year, said that she was worried about expensive medical fees she had been paying for her daughter and herself.

Collapse )
Akuma River

Most popular word of 2009? Unfriend

I guess a lot of people had repugs on their fb's that they needed to unfriend. ;d

."Unfriend" named word of 2009 (November 17, 2009 - Y! - Reuters)

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – "Unfriend" has been named the word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary, chosen from a list of finalists with a tech-savvy bent.

Unfriend was defined as a verb that means to remove someone as a "friend" on a social networking site such as Facebook.

"It has both currency and potential longevity," said Christine Lindberg, senior lexicographer for Oxford's U.S. dictionary program, in a statement.

"In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year."

Other words deemed finalists for 2009 by the dictionary's publisher, Britain's Oxford University Press, came from other technological trends, the economy, and political and current affairs.

In technology, there was "hashtag," which is the hash sign added to a word or phrase that lets Twitter users search for tweets similarly tagged; "intexticated" for when people are distracted by texting while driving, and "sexting," which is the sending of sexually explicit SMSes and pictures by cellphone.

Finalists from the economy included "freemium," meaning a business model in which some basic services are provided for free, and "funemployed," referring to people taking advantage of newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests.

In the political and current affairs section, finalists included "birther," meaning conspiracy theorists challenging President Barack Obama's U.S. birth certificate, and "choice mom," a person who chooses to be a single mother.

Novelty words making the shortlist were "deleb," meaning a dead celebrity, and "tramp stamp," referring to a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a woman.

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy)
Akuma River

OUT too gay for Lambert?

Not sure it will pass mustard for ontd_p as political or even news...but I thought the article and what it is talking about is interesting.

Another Red Letter Day For Adam Lambert (November 17, 2009 - Y! Blogs - Lyndsey Parker)

Adam Lambert, arguably one of the most popular and important openly gay figures in pop culture today, is featured on the cover of the new December/January issue of Out magazine as part of the "Out 100" special, in which he is excitingly named this year's Breakout Star. This is quite a coup for both Adam and Out...but behind the glossy cover shot (which also includes Cyndi Lauper and Out Entertainer Of The Year Wanda Sykes), there's a shockingly frank letter from Out editor in chief Aaron Hicklin, claiming that the magazine's photo shoot did not go as smoothly as planned--because Adam's reps were allegedly skittish about their star client being featured in a gay publication..
Collapse )

~Suck it

Labor Movement:1, Corporations: 0

Labor Fight Ends in Win for Students


The anti-sweatshop movement at dozens of American universities, from Georgetown to U.C.L.A., has had plenty of idealism and energy, but not many victories.

Until now.

The often raucous student movement announced on Tuesday that it had achieved its biggest victory by far. Its pressure tactics persuaded one of the nation’s leading sportswear companies, Russell Athletic, to agree to rehire 1,200 workers in Honduras who lost their jobs when Russell closed their factory soon after the workers had unionized.

Collapse )
  • Current Mood

It has happened again...

Somali woman stoned for adultery

A 20-year-old woman divorcee accused of committing adultery in Somalia has been stoned to death by Islamists in front of a crowd of about 200 people.

-Under al-Shabab's interpretation of Sharia law, anyone who has ever been married - even a divorcee - who has an affair is liable to be found guilty of adultery, punishable by stoning to death.

More on Sharia law.

Image under cut may cause triggering and such.

Collapse )

They're picking on me because I'm a giiiiirrrrl!!!!

November 18, 2009
Those Soccer Plays, in Context

ALBUQUERQUE — Nearly two weeks later, the University of New Mexico soccer player Elizabeth Lambert said she still could not fully explain what led her to yank an opponent from Brigham Young down by her ponytail in what has become a highly publicized incident of violent behavior.

Her action was indefensible, Lambert said Tuesday in her first interview since the incident occurred Nov. 5 in a Mountain West Conference semifinal game and led to her indefinite suspension from the New Mexico team.

“I still deeply regret it and will always regret it and will carry it through the rest of my life not to retaliate,” said Lambert, a 20-year-old junior on scholarship.

She has watched the video a handful of times and does not recognize herself pulling down Brigham Young’s Kassidy Shumway, Lambert said.

“I look at it and I’m like, ‘That is not me,’ ” said Lambert, a defender and an all-conference academic player. “I have so much regret. I can’t believe I did that.”

At the same time, she said other moments of aggressive play — in which Lambert elbowed a Brigham Young player in the back, received a yellow card for tripping, seemed to throw a punch at an opponent’s head and made a hard tackle from behind — came during the forceful, insistent play that routinely occurred in women’s soccer but might be misunderstood by casual fans.

Some of her actions — like the apparent punch, which she said was inadvertent — were misinterpreted or taken out of context on a condensed video, Lambert said. And she said she believed that the incident was blown out of proportion because it occurred in a women’s game. She said it was wrongly reported to be her when it was actually a teammate who tried to clear a ball and accidentally kicked it into the face of a B.Y.U. player.

“I definitely feel because I am a female it did bring about a lot more attention than if a male were to do it,” Lambert said. “It’s more expected for men to go out there and be rough. The female, we’re still looked at as, Oh, we kick the ball around and score a goal. But it’s not. We train very hard to reach the highest level we can get to. The physical aspect has maybe increased over the years. I’m not saying it’s for the bad or it’s been too overly aggressive. It’s a game. Sports are physical.”

She added: “I think the way the video came out, it did make me look like a monster. That’s not the type of player I am. I’m not just out there trying to hurt players. That’s taking away from the beauty of the game. And I would never want to do that.”

Lambert said she was shaken and appalled by some of the responses she received in e-mail messages, telephone messages and on blogs, which included the publishing of her parents’ home phone number in Southern California and one suggestion that “I should be taken to a state prison, raped and left for dead in a ditch.”

She said she felt conflicting emotions and sometimes still woke up in a sweat.

“I’ll be angry with myself that I did this, to my team, my university, that I did this to women’s soccer, a sport that many females have worked very hard to get respect for,” Lambert said. “And I’ll be sad that people want to see me suffer.”

She said she was taken aback at how the incident had been perceived by some as sexy catfighting between two women. She said she was aghast that some men had sent her messages saying, “Hey, we should meet up some time.”

“That appalled me,” Lambert said. “A lot of people think I have a lot of sexual aggression. I was like, ‘Whoa, no, I don’t feel that way at all.’ That’s bizarre and shocking to me.”

The game against Brigham Young began with familiar passion and intensity, Lambert said. Emotions escalated after Brigham Young took a 1-0 halftime lead, given that a defeat could mean the end of the season and a failure to qualify for the N.C.A.A. tournament, she said.

Opposing fans were mockingly chanting her name, she said, and players on both teams were playing aggressively. She said she was called names and taken down to the ground with cheap shots. On video, a B.Y.U. player can be seen elbowing Lambert in the stomach before she shoves the opponent in the back in retaliation. Shumway can be seen tugging on Lambert’s shorts before she is yanked down by her ponytail.

If the referee Joe Pimentel had issued more yellow cards or a red card, Lambert said, “It would have been a very different game.”

Still, Lambert said that she did not want to throw Pimentel “under the bus” and that she did not consider the game to be out of control.

Her coach, Kit Vela, never instructed her to “take anybody out,” Lambert said, adding that the B.Y.U. players also did not appear to have malign intent.

Lambert said she eventually grew frustrated, as much with herself as with the opponent, saying she had often struggled with self-confidence and with feeling “that I’m accepted playing at this level.”

Lambert said of the match: “I’ve never been in a situation like that, where I was out of my element. There were times in the game where I was literally like, ‘All right, Elizabeth, you’ve got to get control’ of myself.”

In each of her two previous matches, Lambert had received a yellow-card warning, but those were the only cautions in more than 2,500 minutes of play at New Mexico, a university official said.

Lambert said she did not consider herself a dirty player. Yet in the second half, she yanked Shumway down by her ponytail and assumed widespread villainy.

“In that one moment, I let it all get into my head,” Lambert said of the emotion of the game.

Later in the match, Lambert received a yellow card for tripping.

She is seeing a clinical psychologist on campus to better understand what caused the hair-pulling incident. It is one of several steps she is taking, along with speaking to youth players about acceptable behavior, so she can seek reinstatement to the team in the spring.

“I’m working on my mental game to never let that happen again,” Lambert said. “That’s unacceptable in any sport to get to that point where you feel it’s necessary that you have to retaliate in a dirty manner.”


I gotta say as someone who if a huge football fan this story pissed me off so much. Yes, you do see a lot of bad behaviour in the men's game but you know what? They get carded for it as well so it's not like people are critiquing her because she behaved this way as a girl (aside from the general morons that is). It's because she behaved this way as a player. I'm sorry, she's trying to be the victim here and she's not. She's just not.
  • m_h_p

Hillary and David sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G

Hillary Clinton reveals 'crush' on British Foreign Secretary David Miliband

Hillary Clinton has taken the special relationship to a new level with a gushing appraisal of David Miliband, who the US secretary of state described as "vibrant, vital, attractive and smart".

The extravagant compliments were delivered in an interview with Vogue magazine, which put journalistic objectivity to one side to describe Britain's foreign secretary as "tall and dashing". The interviewer added for good measure: "I got a crush over the phone in about five seconds partly because of his accent."
But he was outdone by Clinton, who responded: "Well, if you saw him it would be a big crush. I mean, he is so vibrant, vital, attractive, smart. He's really a good guy. And he's so young!"
Vogue describes Miliband as smitten too, but in a more buttoned-up way: "She applies intellect but also psychology to the dossiers that she's studying," he said of Clinton. "She's delightful to deal with one on one. She's someone who laughs and can tease, and she's got perspective as well."

Miliband and Clinton are not the first he-she pair of transatlantic diplomats to hit it off. Condoleezza Rice took Jack Straw to an American football game, and while neither was as forthcoming as Clinton, Rice's actions spoke louder than words when she gave up her bed on an overnight flight to Baghdad and slept on the floor of the plane.

Who are your inappropriate political crushes, ontd_p?
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Georgia high school teacher accused of pursuing 'hit' on student, claims it was just a joke

Georgia high school teacher accused of pursuing 'hit' on student

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- A suburban Atlanta high school teacher has been accused of pursuing a "hit" on a 16-year-old student last month, and the case is under investigation by local authorities.

Randolph Forde -- who teaches at Mundy's Mill High School in Clayton County -- has been charged with making terroristic threats and was released on bond.

He is currently on administrative leave from his job with pay and faces an employment hearing in early December, Charles White, a school district spokesman, said Tuesday.

A Clayton County Police report says the incident occurred October 9. The suspect took a student off a school bus and told him he "would pay him to kill the victim," the report says. When the student asked who the target would be, the suspect said he'd write the name on a note, it says.

"The teacher held a piece of paper up with the victim's name on it," said Officer Otis Willis III of the Clayton police.

Attorney Terance Madden, who represents alleged target and his family, issued a statement saying that problems between the boy and the teacher go back to "on or about September 29," when "Forde allegedly called my client outside the class and asked him if he is gay."

Collapse )


A teacher asking a student if he's gay? Threatening to punch him in the mouth? Trying to put a hit on the kid? And it's a "joke"? I...just...whaaaaa?!

Australia mulls Scientology probe

The Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has said he will consider calls for a parliamentary inquiry into the Church of Scientology.
But he said the evidence must be looked at carefully before proceeding.
Senator Nick Xenophon launched a scathing attack on Scientology, citing letters from former followers alleging extensive criminal activity.
Scientology spokesman Cyrus Brooks said the senator's attack had been an abuse of parliamentary proceedings.
Senator Xenophon tabled seven letters from former Scientologists who he said were willing to co-operate with New South Wales and Australian federal police.

Collapse )
bitch please by stupefy_icons
  • lidane

Palin: 'Death Panels' Like Reagan's 'Evil Empire'

Except for one tiny detail, Sarah-- Reagan's "Evil Empire" actually existed. Otherwise they're totally the same thing. *eyeroll*

Palin: 'Death Panels' Like Reagan's 'Evil Empire'

Politics | Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 9:10:50 am PST

Sarah “I didn’t come from no monkey” Palin gets the ultimate soft ball interview from Rich Lowry at National Review: The Rogue, on the Record.

When Lowry asks about her absurd fear-mongering “death panels” statement, she compares herself to … Ronald Reagan. You remember how Reagan called the Soviet Union the “evil empire?” “Death panels” is the same kind of thing.

Collapse )

Conservative source is NOT amused

My surprised face. Let me show you it.

Palin On Muslim Profiling: 'I'm All For It'

On Hannity last night, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she's "all for" profiling Muslims if it saves "innocent American lives."

Speaking about the Fort Hood shooting, she said there were "massive warning flags that were missed all over the place" because of a "fear of being politically incorrect."

"Profiling" the alleged shooter, she said, would have meant investigating the "simple things, like looking at his business card that had the secret code word for who it actually was" he was working for.




Moar Christian Oppression

Remember This Guy, Well Fox has happily jumped on the case.

Fox & Friends talks to former Brookstone manager Peter Vadala, who says he was fired for disagreeing with a co-worker about her lesbian "lifestyle" and says he's being discriminated against because of his religion.


First of all, I couldn't help but notice when he's talking his oppression he doesn't talk about his boss like she's on the same level.. "This homosexual" or "This person struggling with homosexuality." It's apparent to me he was pushing his belief, rudely, to his boss and he didn't expect anything to happen, nor the fact that the lgbt community gets fired all the time for just being gay, whereas he got fired for being rude(or so I'm assuming don't know the boss's side of things) Also a commenter posted on one of the videos that in their orientation something like this was brought up and Brookstone had told them they will not tolerate harassment of other employees and she seemed to think that's why he was fired, anyone here work or has worked at Brookstone?

Unintentionally hilarious would be my vote

From actual merchandise found here.

Biblical anti-Obama slogan: Use of Psalm 109:8 funny or sinister?

There’s a new slogan making its way onto car bumpers and across the Internet. It reads simply: “Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8”

A nice sentiment?

Maybe not.

The psalm reads, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”

Presidential criticism through witty slogans is nothing new. Bumper stickers, t-shirts, and hats with “1/20/09” commemorated President Bush’s last day in office.

But the verse immediately following the psalm referenced is a bit more ominous: Collapse )


The best part? The entire psalm is from the pov of a victim of a slanderous campaign and asking God to help him. Part 109:8 and 109:9 are the wishes his enemies have against him. It's too bad the source didn't mention that and it's hilarious that the makers of the shirt didn't pick up on that.
misc - microphone

race!fail from one of my school's papers - The Daily Cardinal at UW-Madison

Race deserves no place in university admissions
UW should focus on more kinds of diversity than simply skin color.

By Andrew Carpenter
Published: Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Updated: Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Diversity is a recurring theme at UW-Madison and, as always, the discussion turns to race. Administrators who focus on the color of students’ skin continue to find a lack of diversity, which is a nice way of saying we are too white. Responding to this crisis of superficial uniformity has been a favorite task of chancellors, committees, and columnists for decades. While the overwhelming sea of good intentions is aimed at increasing diversity, I would argue that there are almost no students who pay any attention to race.

To their credit, students at Madison are relatively colorblind, choosing to judge their classmates on their character, effort and achievement, rather than on the color of their skin. While we do see acts of intolerance and ignorance on a daily basis, in general it is much harder to be racist than to be a minority on campus.

Collapse )

source is tired of white oppression

My favorite part is all of the comments at the source basically going "STFU, ignorant white boy."
Shirley Animated

Anti-Abortion Group to Protest Palin

When she was running for governor of Alaska in 2006, Sarah Palin reportedly said that even if her then-14-year-old daughter were raped, she would "choose life" and force her to bear a child. Comments like that that have endeared the fiery Alaskan politician to most pro-life voters, who lionized her for not aborting her Down's Syndrome baby. But Trig isn’t enough to protect Palin from a phalanx of anti-abortion activists who plan to protest her appearance on Thursday to promote her book in the conservative heartland of Indiana. Their reason? They think she's not really pro-life.

For the Denver-based American Right to Life, when it comes to abortion, Palin is as impure as any godless feminist. “[H]er words and actions prove that she is officially pro-choice and stands against the God-given right to life of the unborn,” they write in a new report. ARTL members plan to educate reporters about Palin’s many alleged failings as a true believer, particularly her March nomination of a former Planned Parenthood board member to the Alaska Supreme Court and her refusal to call for a ban on the morning-after pill.

Collapse )


Oh, I love when they eat their own. Delightful.

Barack Obama's Work in Progress

Barack Obama's Work in Progress

The author shows up at the bookstore just before seven in the evening. He is a lanky young fellow, with shirtsleeves rolled up and no tie. The store’s two owners greet him with the usual congratulations. One of them has in fact read the book all the way through. The other has not: He found it too long, especially all that stuff about the author’s time as a community organizer in Chicago.

Their store, Eso Won Books, is the leading African-American book vendor in Los Angeles. The owners serve wine and cheese when famous writers such as Maya Angelou and Walter Mosley come by to read. Tonight they hand Barack Obama a glass of water and bring him to the back of the bookstore, where his audience awaits him. Collapse )
Tina C.

Women have ovaries, IT'S THEIR FAULT.

Women Earn Less Than Men, Especially at the Top


In most jobs, the gap between men’s and women’s earnings narrows greatly when you adjust for factors like career path and experience. But at the top of the income scale — jobs paying more than $100,000 — the salary gap between equally qualified men and women is still vast.

That’s the takeaway from a vast trove of data being released by PayScale, a company that tracks self-reported salary data.

Millions of Web-surfers share their compensation data with, usually with the goal of finding out if their pay is comparable to that of other workers with similar experience and credentials. (In other words, PayScale has a big, but not randomized, sample; more caveats about their numbers are discussed here, in our write-up of their data on salaries by college.)

The company decided to analyze its data to see if it could help explain observed differences in what men and women earn, a subject that has long intrigued economists and women’s rights advocates. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women earned a median weekly salary in 2008 that was about 80 percent of the pay for men.

Collapse )

This has been a really big topic, just in general, as I've heard widely varying accounts about how wages are now equal and/or that the disparity is overpublicized etc. A lot of the comments at the source are rage-inducing, as to be expected, mostly about how can women expect to be paid the same when they get off for maternity leave and/or do not have the same ability to be cool ~under pressure as male executives do? So yeah, what are your thoughts, ontd_p?

Charts at the source.
; husband

Veiled Threat: The guerrilla graffiti of Princess Hijab

Since 2006, the elusive guerrilla artist known as Princess Hijab has been subverting Parisian billboards, to a mixed reception. Her anonymity irritates her critics, many of whom denounce her as extremist and antifeminist; when she recently conceded, in the pages of a German newspaper, that she wasn’t a Muslim, it opened the floodgates to avid speculation in the blogosphere. If her claim of being a 21-year-old Muslim girl was only partially true, some wondered what the real message was behind her self-described “artistic jihad.”

In her online manifesto, PH declares that she “acts upon her own free will” and is “not involved in any lobby or movement, be it political, religious, or to do with advertising.” The Princess insists that, like the ape-masked Guerrilla Girls and Mexico’s balaclava-clad Zapatistas, by being nobody, she is free to be anybody. But as liberating as this anonymity may seem, it does leave her work open to conflicting—and occasionally unflattering—interpretations. On the popular blog Art21, critic Paul Schmelzer points to Princess Hijab’s work as an example of right-wing street art, surmising that her motivation is to cover the “shame of omnipresent (and often sexualized) ads.” Another blogger, Evil Fionna, argues that if Princess Hijab were acting as a fundamentalist Christian, her work would be recognized as “religious extremis[m]” that demonizes women and makes them ashamed of their bodies. And a commentator on the anti-Islam site Infidel Bloggers accused the artist of urging women to submit to the “tyranny of Islam.”
Collapse )

(no subject)

UC Regents committee approves student fee increases; at least 14 protesters arrested at meeting at UCLA

A University of California Board of Regents committee today approved a series of controversial increases in student fees that, if passed by the full board, will raise UC undergraduate education costs by more than $2,500, or 32%, in two steps by fall 2010.

The finance committee vote is expected to be endorsed by the full Board of Regents on Thursday. The two-day meeting is being held at UCLA, where today's session has been marked by raucous protests with at least 14 arrests.

The first step of the fee hike, costing undergraduates an additional $585, will take effect in January. Next fall, students will see another $1,344 increase, bringing the UC education fees to $10,302, along with about $1,000 in campus-based charges. That does not include room, board and books, which can add another $16,000.

Demonstrations broke out inside the meeting hall at UCLA's Covel Commons
soon after the meeting began this morning. A presentation on the budget and fee increase proposal by UC President Mark Yudof was interrupted. Police cleared the public from the hall but a group of protesters refused to leave, standing and singing “We Shall Overcome.”

They were escorted out and handcuffed and police said they would be cited for misdemeanor unlawful assembly. It was not clear whether they were students.

Outside the hall, meanwhile, an estimated 300 students and union activists faced off against a large contingent of UC police in riot gear and carrying non-lethal weapons. At one point, bottles were thrown and police pushed the crowd away from the front door. There were no reports of serious injuries or additional arrests beyond the 14 people arrested inside.

-- Larry Gordon at UCLA

Photo: UCLA students (L-R) Frances Clark, 20, a history major, and Amanda Bahamonde, 20, a biology student, protest student fee hikes today at UCLA. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times.


I don't know about other UCs, but at Davis you'd hardly guess there was a protest going on. Supposedly we're having a proper sign-holding yellfest tomorrow though. Personally, I think the increases are absolutely ridiculous but so are these protests. "We Shall Overcome," seriously? But what do I know, I'm graduating this December so I'm unaffected.
  • acmeeoy

YouTube Direct Connects Users and Media Organizations

We all have video cameras or video-capable mobile phones and that means new ways to see what’s happening in the world. Not only for you but for others as well. We get a eyewitness views of the events as they unfold and now, we can do it through YouTube.

Almost any event that takes place today has a chance of being captured on camera. As YouTube has become a global platform for sharing the news, media organizations have been looking for a good way to connect directly with citizen reporters on our site so they can broadcast this footage and bring it to a larger audience.Enter YouTube Direct where media organizations and the average YouTube user can connect.

The organizations can request coverage, check out clips uploaded and then rebroadcast that footage. Sounds cool hey? A great way to utilize that ‘right place, right time’ situation.

The Direct system was built on YouTube APIs and allows organizations to embed the application right into their sites. In addition to being rebroadcast or used on the media sites, the videos will also be available on YouTube itself for the regular audience and users. So that means monetization on multiple levels is possible along with a claim to fame.

The application is designed to meet any organization’s goal of leveraging video content submitted by the community. Businesses can use YouTube Direct to solicit promotional videos, nonprofits can use the application to call-out for support videos around social campaigns and politicians can use the platform to ask for user-generated political commercials. The opportunities to use the tool are as broad as the media spectrum itself.

YouTube reports that ABC News, the Huffington Post, NPR, Politico, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, and WHDH-TV/WLVI-TV in Boston are using YouTube Direct.

It’s never been easier to leverage user-generated video content for your site or get your own video out to multiple news and media outlets. In fact, I might even think about incorporating this into Gamers Daily News for user-generated video content in regards to video games.

Obama - Pie

Mark Ndesandjo: Obama Says He Met With Half Brother While In China

BEIJING — President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he met briefly with a half brother who lives in China and who recently wrote a semi-autobiographical novel about the abusive Kenyan father they share.
Obama, who spent three days in China during his first official tour of Asia, acknowledged the meeting in an interview with CNN. He offered no details. An aide said later that the meeting took place Monday night after Obama arrived in Beijing, the Chinese capital.
The White House had declined to say whether the president and Mark Ndesandjo would meet. And no White House official mentioned the visit until Obama did when asked about it.
"I don't know him well. I met him for the first time a couple of years ago," Obama told CNN. "He stopped by with his wife for about five minutes during the trip."
Describing the meeting as "overwhelming" and "intense," Ndesandjo told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday that he had long anticipated the chance to welcome his famous brother to China.
"I think he came directly off the plane, changed some clothes and then came down and saw us," Ndesandjo said. "And he just gave me a big hug. And it was so intense. I'm still over the moon on it. I am over the moon. And my wife. She is his biggest fan and I think she is still recovering."
In the CNN interview, Obama said he hadn't read his brother's book, "Nairobi to Shenzhen," which features a protagonist who is the son of a Jewish mother and an abusive father from Kenya.

Ndesandjo has revealed in previous interviews that his father, Barack Obama Sr., beat him and his mother. The president also wrote about his father, who abandoned him as a child, in his best-selling memoir.

"It's no secret that my father was a troubled person," Obama said. "Anybody who has read my first book, 'Dreams from My Father,' knows that, you know, he had an alcoholism problem, that he didn't treat his families very well. Obviously it's a sad part of my history and my background but it's not something I spend a lot of time brooding over."

Ndesandjo said he bought tickets months ago to fly from the southern boomtown of Shenzhen, where he has lived since 2002, to Beijing, in hopes of reconnecting with his brother. The two last met in January when Ndesandjo attended Obama's inauguration as a family guest.
The three chatted on Monday, with Obama being introduced to Ndesandjo's wife, a native of Henan, China, whom he married a year ago, he said. He gave few details of what they discussed.
"All I can say is, we talked about family, and it was very powerful because when he came in through that door, and I saw him and I hugged him, and he hugged me and hugged my wife. It was like we were continuing a conversation that had started many years ago," he said.
The two men did not grow up together. Ndesandjo's mother, Ruth Nidesand, was Barack Obama Sr.'s third wife. Before arriving in Beijing on Monday, Obama had been in a townhall-style meeting with students in Shanghai, and joked that a family gathering at his house "looks like the United Nations."
President Obama's father had been a Kenyan exchange student who met his mother, Kansas native Stanley Ann Dunham, when they were in school in Hawaii. The two separated two years after he was born.
The senior Obama married Ndesandjo's mother after divorcing the president's mother. They returned to Kenya to live, where Mark and his brother, David, were born and raised.
Obama Sr. died in an automobile accident in 1982 at age 46.

Ndesandjo lives near Hong Kong and earns a living as a marketing consultant. For most of that time, he has maintained a low profile, with few people knowing of his connection to the U.S. president.


Christian Bale

(no subject)

White Family With Black Foster Child Awakens To Burning Cross

A 6-foot tall burning cross gave view to a side of one small Pennsylvania community that Joe and Candy Walbeck never knew existed.

The couple was shocked to find the charred remains of what was once a staple in the old south upon their doorstep.

Residing in a predominately white neighborhood, the Walbecks have been a staple with the community for many years, often adopting imperiled children as a means to spread to spread their own kind of love. This heinous mental assault marks the first time that the couple has been targeted for a hate crime.

The latest addition to the Walbeck family, Shaq, is a linebacker and fullback for local United High School; he is the family's first Black child.

Local officials are unsure as to whether the cross burning had any affiliation with the United High's football loss.


Since it's Sarah Palin Day here

E-mails Portray Palin Campaign Trail Chaos

In her new book, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin describes the push-and-pull between John McCain's campaign headquarters and her plucky "B" team on the road. As Palin recounts it, her natural instincts to reach real voters and reach out to the press were frequently foiled by an overprotective senior staff, led by strategist Steve Schmidt, that did not trust her.

Palin acknowledges "going rogue" at points - but usually to positive effect, such as the time she rewrote a speech to special needs children or her wondering out loud about "why I was prohibited from calling the other ticket out on more of its strange associations."

At one point, Palin criticizes the campaign for forcing her to spend too much time glad-handing donors and local elected officials. Collapse )

a touch of life

Doing It Wrong: Tasering a 10 yr girl to drag her into your patrol car

Please tag this: police, children,

There are many upstanding police officers, usually unsung heroes, that go above and beyond their call of duty (for example, the vice squad in Toronto who help trafficked women beyond taking evidence)...the ones that treat children with gentleness and serve as good examples.

...and then there THIS GUY:

Fail cop Dustin Bradshaw of Ozark, Arkansas, made the judgment call of using a taser to subdue a 10 yr old in her own home. The mother had actually requested this, because the girl wouldn't take a shower...but as the authority figure, he should have taser the mother spoke to the lady about why this is deeply deeply wrong, and ask the girl if there are other guardians she'll like to phone.

Taser gun used on 10-year-old girl who 'refused to take shower'

The girl's father, Anthony Medlock, who is divorced from her mother, said the girl showed signs of emotional problems but did not deserve to be "treated like an animal".

He said: "Ten years old and they shot electricity through her body, and I want to know how the heck in God's green earth can they get away with this.

If there is any sanity left in society, the girl's father or someone related to the girl who is competent and caring, should get the custody before the mother sells her for drugs.

I also don't care where she kicked him, she's 10yr old, if a police officer was actually endangered by a 10yr old enough to use a taser, I don't think he's fit to guard a pebble. I'm a civilian woman and I've manage to carry a hysterical 11 yr old under one arm when he's been fighting with his sis, absolutely no damage to him, or me. Sneak an arm around their waist and lift. I bet he probably did it because he was angry, which makes him again, unfit as an officer and a human being, because she was a CHILD, you control your temper when it's a child.

The kid could have had a heart attack, and now she'll have trouble trusting our society's authority figure, which is going to be doubly bad if her mom was abusing her outside of this.

ETA send your complaints to the Ozark Police Department via:

Ozark Police Department

Chief of Police
Jim Noggle

607 West College St
Ozark, Arkansas 72949

I think snail mail will probably be taken more seriously. Avoid threats and curses if you are using a real address, keeping in mind that real addresses and diplomatically worded letters might accomplish more. (Though the realisation that the town's current mood is pitchforks and torches have their effect...)
  • Current Music
    Feist - "It's Cool To Love Your Family"
by alexia_drake

This guy is nucking futs

Beck Compares Democrats To Rapist Roman Polanski

You may have thought that conservatives had mastered the art of attacking Democratic health care reform proposals. But conservative Fox News host Glenn Beck proved last night that there's always more to learn, comparing the Obama initiative to child rapist Roman Polanski.

"We're the young girl saying, 'No no! Help me!' and the government is Roman Polanski. In the end I think we're all going to be cowering in France."

Coincidentally, people "cowering" in France enjoy the best health care system in the world.

Bree Gun

Gap Being Boycotted For Including Solstice But Not Christmas

The Mississippi-based American Family Assn. last week issued a fatwa against Gap Inc. -- the retailing giant whose brands include Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic -- calling for a "two-month boycott over the company's failure to use the word 'Christmas' in its advertising to Christmas shoppers."

The War on Christmas season has officially begun.

Gap "does not use the word 'Christmas' to avoid offending those who don't embrace its meaning," writes Buddy Smith, executive assistant to the president of the AFA, on the organization's website. "Christmas has historically been very good for commerce. But now Gap wants the commerce but no Christmas."

"I interpret Gap's decision as a warning sign to Christians to get out there and tell people about Jesus Christ," writes Smith.

Collapse )
  • acmeeoy

Global Gender Gap Report: Some Gains in Africa

By Laura Liswood

In its country-by-country index comparing the status of men and women, the World Economic Forum finds that Nordic countries remain highest on the equity scale. Here, the co-founder of the Council of Women World Leaders explains the study and its importance to women
and girls.

November 18, 2009

In its annual measurement of global progress in the lives of women and girls, released October 27, 2009, the World Economic Forum reported some major improvements in surprising places. The 2009 Global Gender Gap Report—which, country by county, examines data indicating the resources and status of women compared to men—ranks Lesotho, for example, in the top 10, a marked improvement from its place at 16 last year and 43 in 2006. By contrast, the United States moved down three slots since last year and now ranks 31st.

Collapse )
Endrance | My Desktop Forever

Senate releases health care reform bill that extends affordable coverage while reducing the deficit

According to Obama's Twitter/Facebook, at least.

Google News has this report:

US Senate unveils health care bill

By Olivier Knox (AFP) – 9 hours ago

WASHINGTON — US Senate Democrats unveiled a historic plan to extend health coverage to more than 30 million Americans who lack it now and set the stage for a key test vote as early as this weekend.

US President Barack Obama, who has made such an overhaul his top domestic priority, hailed the new legislation as "a critical milestone" that brought the United States "closer than ever" to a better health care system.

"The challenges facing our health care system aren?t new -- but if we fail to act they?ll surely get even worse," said Obama, who had sent Vice President Joe Biden and other top aides to lobby wavering senators throughout the day.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says the plan will cost 849 billion dollars over ten years, while extending coverage to 31 million Americans who currently lack health coverage, said a Democratic aide.

CBO's preliminary estimate was that it would also cut the federal budget deficit by 127 billion dollars over the next decade, and 650 billion the 10 years after that, the aide said on condition of anonymity.

Democrats on paper have the 60 votes needed to win on a procedural vote, as early as Saturday, to formally launch the debate but must keep two independents and a handful of waverers in their own party to do so.

"We have traveled a long ways to where we are, and tonight begins the last leg of this journey," Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said with guarded optimism. "The finish line is really in sight."

"Absolutely," Democratic Senator Tom Harkin, who became chairman of the Senate Health, Labor and Pensions Committee after Democratic icon Ted Kennedy died in August, said when asked whether Democrats would prevail this weekend.

Republicans seemed united in opposition to the measure, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell condemning it as "another trillion-dollar experiment" and warning "the American people know that is not reform."

The House of Representatives approved its own trillion-dollar version of the legislation on November 7, squeaking through on a 220-215 margin only after toughening restrictions on federal funds subsidising abortions.

The Senate version allows a government-backed "public option" health insurance plan to provide abortion but bars federal monies from paying for the procedure, a Democratic aide said.

If, as expected, the House and Senate approve different versions, they would need to work out their differences and approve the same legislation to send to Obama to sign into law.

"I look forward to working with the Senate and House to get a finished bill to my desk as soon as possible," said the US president.

"From day one, our goal has been to enact legislation that offers stability and security to those who have insurance and affordable coverage to those who don?t, and that lowers costs for families, businesses and governments across the country," he said, stressing the bill "meets those principles."

The United States is the world's richest nation but the only industrialized democracy that does not ensure that all of its citizens have health care coverage, with an estimated 36 million Americans uninsured.

And Washington spends vastly more on health care -- both per person and as a share of national income as measured by Gross Domestic Product -- than other industrialized democracies, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The United States spent about 7,290 dollars per person in 2007, more than double what Britain, France and Germany spent, with no meaningful edge in the quality of care, and lags behind OECD averages in key indicators like life expectancy and infant mortality.

GOP's Brand of Humor Still Weird.

Mike Mukasey's Fort Hood Jokes: Too Soon?

So, fill me in here: have we decided, as a culture, that now is the time to be making jokes about the Fort Hood shooting? By my reckoning, that avenue of japery currently fits squarely in the "Too Soon!" category. But as it turns out, Michael Mukasey, an ostensibly responsible individual who I am reliably informed was once Attorney General of the United States, is out there, yukking it up, riffing on this recent tragedy.

Yesterday morning, Mukasey was on Washington Times radio, when he was asked to respond to Representative Jim Moran's comments from a week ago, when he criticized opponents of Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his 9/11 co-defendants in federal court. At the time, Moran said: "They will seize on any opportunity to [demagogue], and that means they'll even take a stand that's un-American. It's un-American to hold anyone indefinitely without trial. It's against our principles as a nation."

And so, Mukasey brought the mad ha-has:

Q: Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia says anybody that questions KSM coming to New York City for a civilian trial -- that they're un-American. What is your reaction to that?

MUKASEY: I think he's lost touch with reality. He ought to get professional help, perhaps from Maj. Nidal.

Stay classy, Mike Mukasey!

Fox News: Sarah Palin Uses Time Machine to Travel 2008 to Promote New Book

Fox News Runs Old Palin Campaign Footage, Reports It As Book-Signing Crowds

Last week, Jon Stewart and The Daily Show caught Fox News' Sean Hannity running old footage of September Tea Party crowds in an attempt to make Michele Bachmann's smaller November Tea Party shindig appear to be more well-attended than it was. Is Fox up to the same tricks today? Faiz Shakir at ThinkProgress thinks so, and he pulls a segment that seems to tout the crowds that greeted Sarah Palin on the stump during the 2008 campaign as throngs that are gathering to purchase Sarah Palin's book, Going Rogue.

In the clip below, watch as Fox anchor Gregg Jarrett describes "pictures just coming into us" as "huge crowds" that have amassed while Palin is "promoting her new book." The pictures that are supposedly "just coming in" are actually year-old video from the presidential campaign:
Collapse )

Democrats Love Power, Republicans Love Party Purity.

Poll: Republicans Prefer Ideological Purity Over Electoral Success

Despite losing two straight congressional elections, more Republicans say they would prefer to support a candidate who was ideologically pure than one who could win.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation released on Tuesday afternoon asked respondents whether they would rather see their political parties nominate candidates who "don't agree with you on some major issues but have a good chance" of winning or candidates who "agree with you on all major issues but have a poor chance of beating" the opposition.

The results were fairly telling and counter-intuitive: Republicans, despite being in the minority, are more interested in philosophical consistency than power. Democrats, who run both chambers of Congress, prefer holding on to power.

58% Prefer candidates who can beat the other party
38% Prefer candidates who agree with you on issues

43% Prefer candidates who can beat the other party
51% Prefer candidates who agree with you on issues

Considered in the current political landscape, the numbers explain many of the conservative primary challenges erupting in congressional contests throughout the country. It also shows the influence that the tea party movement has had with the broader Republican party.

Conservatives often respond to studies like these by arguing that the findings are based on a flimsy pretense: a doctrinaire candidate, they insist, stands the best chance of winning an election anyway. But not everyone in the party agrees. And the results in the special election in upstate New York suggest otherwise as well.

Regardless of the debate, it has become increasingly clear (as punctuated by this CNN poll) that a majority of the Republican party is willing to go down swinging come 2010.
Comics- Law & Order Batman

A Follow up to that whole 'Librarians fired for protecting the children!!1!' story...

Remember that story about the two Kentucky librarians being fired for refusing to let an 11 year old to check out Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume IV: The Black Dossier? Seems there's a bit more to the story than originally mentioned in the news, and Neil Gaiman recently discussed in his blog, when answering a reader question (bolding is mine):

Someone wrote to me recently asking,

Dear Mr. Gaiman,

You've often talked about the rights for readers to choose the books they want to read without censorship. What are your thoughts of a library in Kentucky firing two librarians who restricted reading materials to a child?


I figured I'd wait until the facts were in before commenting. So, in brief:

Over in Kentucky, a library worker (not librarian) felt menaced by what she felt was the satanic sexualness of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier, and kept it checked out for a year so no-one could read it. (Except her: and she had to be prayed over while she read it.) What worried this lady was,

She just didn't want this book in the Graphic Novel section, which is located next to Young Adult Fiction.

She wasn't trying to keep it from kids. She was keeping it from everyone.

Then a customer put it on order, and the computer would no longer keep it checked out to keep it off the shelves. She violated library policy by finding out who had it on order, discovered the person who wanted it was an 11 year old girl (no information has been given as to whether this was with or without parental knowledge, but I don't think that would have mattered to this lady) and she persuaded another library worker (also not a librarian) to help her stop anyone getting the book. Around this point their plan was exposed. They'd violated enough library rules and policies that they were dismissed. Strangely enough, even after they were fired, the original lady who took the book off the shelves still hasn't returned the book, which seems to me to have crossed the invisible line that separates "stopping people reading things you don't like" from "stealing".

(Incidentally, for those who haven't read it, LOEG: The Black Dossier is many things, but it isn't Lost Girls, and it certainly isn't pornography. It has a couple of pin-up-y images. It's got comic-book violence in it. It has references in it to British children's fiction that an 11 year old girl in Kentucky is very unlikely to get. Pam Noles wrote an essay about minstrelsy and the problematic use of the Golliwogg in it.)

The events are summarised at The Beat here, with a two page local newspaper article that presents a fairly balanced picture of the events here.

So my thoughts of a library in Kentucky firing two librarians who restricted reading materials to a child? I think the library did the right thing. And I think they should get their book back from the lady who stole it.