November 24th, 2009


Kirk Cameron is confronted over evolution

Last week actor-turned-creationism spokesman Kirk Cameron went through with his plan to spearhead the handout of a revised edition of "Origin of the Species" on college campuses nationwide.

Cameron has tried to link Darwin to Hitler and the revised book features an introduction by creationist minister Ray Comfort.

Cameron himself went to one campus to hand out the tome, that of UCLA. Some crafty students filmed their exchange with the former child star on a cell phone and put it on YouTube, as seen below.

Unfortunately for other would-be challengers, Cameron's Living Waters ministry did not announce in advance what campuses they would be visiting.


Rogue roo a fearful combatant in dam attack

Sometimes I love my country, our wildlife is badass.

ROGUE kangaroo put an Arthurs Creek man in hospital after he tried to stop it from drowning his dog in a farm dam.

Chris Rickard, 49, sustained deep cuts to his abdomen and face after being attacked by the kangaroo as he tried to free his dog, which was being held underwater by the animal.

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Christian Bale

(no subject)

Hindu sacrifice of 250,000 animals begins
Cheers and protests as thousands of buffalo are decapitated at start of festival in Nepal honouring Hindu goddess Gadhimai

Nepalese Hindus lead buffalo to the slaughter in Bariyapur. Photograph: Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP

The world's biggest animal sacrifice began in Nepal today with the killing of the first of more than 250,000 animals as part of a Hindu festival in the village of Bariyapur, near the border with India.

The event, which happens every five years, began with the decapitation of thousands of buffalo, killed in honour of Gadhimai, a Hindu goddess of power.

With up to a million worshippers on the roads near the festival grounds, this year's fair seems more popular than ever, despite vocal protests from animals rights groups who have called for it to be banned. "It is the traditional way, " explained 45-year old Manoj Shah, a Nepali driver who has been attending the event since he was six, "If we want anything, and we come here with an offering to the goddess, within five years all our dreams will be fulfilled." .

Crowds thronged the roads and camped out in the open, wrapped in blankets against the cool mist. The festivities included a ferris wheel, fortune-telling robots and stalls broadcasting music and offering tea and sugary snacks.

As dawn broke, the fair officially opened with the sacrifice of two rats, two pigeons, a pig, a lamb and a rooster in the main temple, to cheers of "Long live Gadhimai" from spectators pushing against each other for a better view.

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Google Buys Ad to Apologize for Racist Fuckery

Google Buys Ad to Explain Offensive Image of Michelle Obama

Google has purchased online ads in an effort to explain to users why an offensive image of Michelle Obama is appearing, and is ranked so highly, in its Google Image search results.

The Google ad, titled "Offensive Search Results," appears directly over the pictures of the First Lady that show up when users perform a Google Image search for "Michelle Obama." (see the screenshot below).
Google's advertisement reads, "Sometimes our search results can be offensive. We agree." It then continues with a longer explanation (read the full text here) on why certain search results appear, and why they may be highly ranked.
Sometimes Google search results from the Internet can include disturbing content, even from innocuous queries. We assure you that the views expressed by such sites are not in any way endorsed by Google. [...] We apologize if you've had an upsetting experience using Google. We hope you understand our position regarding offensive results.
The image was previously removed by Google on the grounds that the site hosting the Michelle Obama picture "violated Google's guidelines by serving malware to visitors," SearchEngineLand writes.

Now, however, the offensive photo has been posted to another site that does not violate Google rules.
SearchEngineLand points out that Google has taken out ads for other search terms that may turn up offensive results. An ad similar to the one featured with the "Michelle Obama" query turns up for Google searches for "Jew."


all I have to say is the racist fucker who created that image and the ones hosting it online at that site are a bunch of small, meaningless, ignorant turds who can all DIAFF thank you very much
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Spin, Spin, Spin!

GOP Spinning Hard On Health Care Reform Bill

WASHINGTON — Republicans love to get their hands on the Democrats' health care legislation. They show it to the cameras at every opportunity, even piling one version on top of another to make a big pile look even bigger.

Although they complain they don't have time to read all of it, they found the time to tape it together, page by page, so they could roll it up the steps of the Capitol like super-sized toilet paper and show how very long it is.

It surely is long. But, no, not longer than "War and Peace," as they claim.

No one really expects brevity when reinventing something as complex and huge as the nation's health insurance system, which accounts for one-sixth of the economy. Indeed, legislation of comparable size was used to redefine an area of much more limited federal responsibility, education. That was the No Child Left Behind Act from the agenda of Republican President George W. Bush.

Size only matters in the health care debate because Republicans have turned the length of the legislation into a symbol: Big, unwieldy bill means big, overreaching government. Even bigger when you display double-spaced copies with double-wide margins and large print.

As if he risked a hernia carrying it any other way, Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa was seen hoisting such a copy of the House Democratic bill on his shoulder, the package trussed in a sturdy rope. GOP Rep. John Culberson of Texas brought a copy to a Capitol Hill rally and threw its loose pages to the crowd, like meat to lions.

During the weekend vote to bring the Senate health bill to full debate, five Republican senators displayed the massive legislation on their desks and one of them, Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, piled the House and Senate bills together to represent a nightmarishly bureaucratic double-whammy.

The actual bill, which Senate Majority Leader Harry introduced last week, came in at 2,074 double-spaced pages, 84 more pages than the House version, which was already being ridiculed for its size.

"That's larger than the novel 'War and Peace,'" Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said of the Senate bill.

"Exceeding even 'War and Peace' in length," Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said of the House bill.

Said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas: "'War and Peace' – some people consider it the greatest book ever written, but most people recognize the novel because at 1,284 pages its length is often the butt of jokes. Now imagine trying to read something that long overnight."

Actually, Leo Tolstoy's tome is longer than either bill. Full translated versions are nearly twice as long.

The bill passed by the House is 319,145 words. The Senate bill is 318,512 words, shorter than the House version despite consuming more paper. Various versions of Tolstoy's novel are 560,000 to 670,000 words. Bush's education act tallied more than 280,000 words.

By now, the full draft of Reid's bill that had circulated in the corridors and landed so prominently on Republican desks has been published in the Congressional Record in the official and conventional manner.

The type is small and tight. No hernias will be caused by moving this rendering of the bill around. Unfurling it on the Capitol steps would not be much of a spectacle.

It's 209 pages.

*betty draper reading

Baltimore wants pro-life pregnancy centers to be honest about their services; pro-lifers balk

Law would require pregnancy centers to post signs if they don't offer abortions

By Julie Scharper
November 24, 2009

Reporting from Baltimore - Crisis pregnancy centers that don't offer abortions or birth-control referrals would have to post notices saying they exclude those options under legislation approved Monday night by the Baltimore City Council.

The measure, which must still get a final ruling from the city's mayor, is thought to be the first of its kind in the nation.

Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a Democrat who sponsored the bill, called the vote a victory for women's well-being. She cited a study by an advocacy group indicating that women have been misled at pregnancy centers that provide counseling, clothing and food for expectant mothers -- but not abortions.

"It's a step toward making sure that women have the information they need to make the right decision for their health and their future," Rawlings-Blake said.

But those who oppose abortion say the bill unfairly targets centers that provide information and assistance to poor women.

"The thing that's most disappointing about it is not the particular signs that are put up or the particular bill itself, but the message that it sends," said Maryland Right to Life legislative director Jeffrey D. Meister. "This is the first time in the United States that any elected body has chosen to vote to condemn pregnancy centers."

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But how will they be able to save the poor women from themselves if they can't mislead them about the services they offer to get 'em in the door and then force-feed 'em a bunch of anti-abortion baloney? :*(

Dems to Vitter: Denounce prostitute analogies... ha

Dems To Vitter: Denounce Glenn Beck's Landrieu-Prostitute Analogies

The Louisiana Democratic Party, in a rather humorous and bold press release on Tuesday, called for Senator David Vitter (R-La.) to denounce conservatives who have called his fellow Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) a prostitute for her support of health care reform.

Vitter, of course, has his own sordid history with ladies of the night. So the chance to tie him to recent claims from the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh that Landrieu was whoring out her health care vote was just too inviting to pass up.

Landrieu was able to secure $100 million in federal Medicaid subsidies for her state, ostensibly in exchange for agreeing to allow health care legislation to come to the floor of the Senate. Glenn Beck called the senator a "high-class prostitute ... She may be easy, but she ain't cheap."

Rush Limbaugh echoed Beck's comment, calling Landrieu "the most expensive prostitute in the history of prostitutes."

The full press release:

Today, the Louisiana Democratic Party called on U.S. Senator David Vitter to publicly denounce comments from some conservative commentators referring to Louisiana's senior Senator as a "prostitute" for securing crucial federal funding needed to fill a gap in Louisiana's budget.

"David Vitter should immediately and publicly denounce the offensive accusations conservative commentators are making about our state's senior Senator," said Louisiana Democratic Party Communications Director Natalie Naquin Harvey.

As a looming budget crisis threatens to bankrupt Louisiana's state government, Senator Mary Landrieu announced Saturday from the Senate floor that she had secured $300 million in federal funding to help make up for shortfalls in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), a formula used to determine the federal government's share in providing medical care to the poor and uninsured. A temporary spike in per capita income following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita could lead to a loss of $500 million in federal funding, according the Jindal Administration.

"David Vitter supported the FMAP fix, but it was Senator Landrieu who secured the much needed funds to help solve a looming budget crisis that threatens to bankrupt our state," Harvey said. "The least David Vitter can do is stand up for her when members of his own party call her a prostitute."

On his radio program yesterday, Glenn Beck referred to Senator Landrieu as a "high-class prostitute." "She may be easy, but she ain't cheap," Beck said.

Rush Limbaugh later echoed Beck's charge on his widely syndicated show, calling Louisiana's senior Senator "the most expensive prostitute in the history of prostitutes."

To date, Senator David Vitter has been silent on Beck and Limbaugh's outlandish and offensive insults of Senator Landrieu.


Someone should take civics again

O'Reilly Interviews Lawyer For 9/11 Defendant: 'You're A Weasel, You Know People Hate You'

On Monday night, Bill O'Reilly grilled Scott Fenstermaker, a lawyer for accused 9/11 terrorist Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali in a habeas corpus case challenging Ali's detention, about his role in the case during a heated interview on "The O'Reilly Factor".

O'Reilly began by asking if his client's defense is to hurl anti-American propaganda in the courtroom. Fenstermaker said no, explaining that Ali and his co-defendants would make a "justification" defense for their role in 9/11. The interview quickly got personal as O'Reilly pressed Fenstermaker on his own views: "Is there any justification on this earth to murder thousands of innocent people?" "Are you sitting here as a human being telling me the people on 9/11 weren't murdered?"
Fenstermaker insisted that that was for the jury to decide, and he is not a juror. This answer did not sit well with the host.
O'Reilly: Don't you think people watching you, and millions are right now, counselor, and I don't mean this with any disrespect, think that you're a weasel?

Fenstermaker: They might. That's fine.

O'Reilly: Cause I do. And you seem like a nice guy, but I'm saying this guy sitting in front of me doesn't think these people were murdered on 9/11 when we saw what happened; if he won't say they were murdered or not, he's a weasel.
O'Reilly repeatedly tried to draw out the defense strategy from the attorney but Fenstermaker kept dodging or rephrasing the host's questions in a more innocuous way, much to the annoyance of O'Reilly.
O'Reilly: You know people hate you. Do you care?

Fenstermaker: No, I'm honored that they hate me.



ETA fixed the video

What is Programmable Matter?

Intel's V.P. and Director of Research Andrew A. Chien has high expectations for the progression of programmable matter technology where it is still in the conceptual phase.Thanks to a video from CNN, the idea makes a lot more sense by showing the concept in action. This Video shows how manipulating scale models of actual objects could be utilized, and then continues into concepts surrounding the real-time manipulation of actual consumer products such as bluetooth headsets in 3D representations. It also features a group of designers messing with the frame of a car, as well as changing its color and even cracking it open to check out the seat configuration.

The researchers also examine how Intel created millions of tiny micro-robots, catoms, shape-moving objects could build. When used for the case, the display and keyboard of a data unit to be replaced, this technology could make it possible for a device to change physical form in order to suit the specific way you are using it.The idea of programmable matter revolves around tiny glass spheres with processing power and photovoltaic for generating electricity to run the tiny circuitry. Intel says that such shape-shifting matter, which the company believes would turn into a technology in the next four decades. This ability is one of the basic structural building blocks needed to realize functional catoms, and will make it easier for the necessary computer and mechanical components in a tiny package less than one millimeter across to gather. The technique is compatible with existing high-volume production and the possibility of such catoms in quantity at some point in the future cause.The video also mentions that Intel is “on the edge of discovery” with programmable matter. The video also mentions that Intel is “on the edge of discovery” with programmable matter.

According to Intel's chief technology officer, Justin Rattner, The concept of programmable matter can be thought of as the ultimate form of digital printing.You could literally make an object of any imaginable shape, or an object of any imaginable shape, and simple tap 'hit the print command' and the object would take that form.Among other things, Intel is examining how to pass level transistors to 3D transistors and is looking to use the composition of semiconductors to silicon in the transistor channel to replace.

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AZ Woman Forced To Give Birth In Shackles By Joe Arpaio's Deputy

AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio needs no introduction, his bigotry and illegal activity has been well documented. The latest outrage on his watch comes at the hands of one of his deputies, who forced a woman to give birth while cuffed at the wrists and ankles, then ordered the baby taken from the mother:

The bleeding kept her up all night, drenching her black-and-white-striped jail uniform.

Alma Chacón feared her baby would arrive early. Her nightmare had started with a traffic stop a day earlier. She'd been weeping since. "What if the baby is born here, in the jail?" she thought.

In the afternoon, she was shackled and transported to Maricopa County Medical Center, where she gave birth in a "forensic restraint." She couldn't hold her baby daughter or kiss her. She could only watch as hospital personnel carried the infant out the door. She wouldn't see the baby for 72 days.

Her case raises questions about the use of racial profiling by Maricopa County sheriff's deputies during traffic stops, but, most importantly, sheds light on the mistreatment of unconvicted immigrants inside county jails.

Chacon did have two warrants for her arrest, but this sort of barbaric treatment goes beyond the pale. The officer claimed he had no choice, but it does raise some serious red flags. Somehow I doubt he truly thought Chacon was a flight risk, or capable of doing serious harm to hospital staff in the middle of giving birth. There is an online petition to remove Sheriff Arpaio, you can view it and sign it here.

Denigrating women isn't new to Arpaio. He has made no secret of his disdain for women and their reproductive rights.


Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'?

If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth (aka AGW; aka ManBearPig) has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (aka  CRU) and released 61 megabytes of confidential files onto the internet. (Hat tip: Watts Up With That)

When you read some of those files – including 1079 emails and 72 documents – you realise just why the boffins at CRU might have preferred to keep them confidential. As Andrew Bolt puts it, this scandal could well be “the greatest in modern science”. These alleged emails – supposedly exchanged by some of the most prominent scientists pushing AGW theory – suggest:

Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.

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From: Not as hot as you might think, sauce.
Akuma River

WaPo closes three major bureas

Washington Post To Close New York, Chicago, LA Bureaus (November 24, 2009)

The Washington Post plans to close bureaus in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

A Post story by media reporter Howard Kurtz confirmed the news reported by The Washington City Paper. Kurtz:

The six correspondents who work in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago will be offered reassignments in Washington, while three news assistants will be let go.

The money-saving move, coming on the heels of four rounds of early-retirement buyouts and the closing or merging of several sections, is the clearest sign yet of the newspaper's shrinking horizons in an era of diminished resources.

Kurtz goes on to quote Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli, who traveled to New York to deliver the news to the bureau staff in person.

The City Paper has published the memo sent to Post staff informing them of the move:
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O__o WUT? I don't even...

Chile To Have Been Targeted After 1982 Falklands Invasion, Says Argentine General

The last Argentine dictatorship, which was headed by Gen. Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri, had plans to attack Chile following the invasion and recovery of the disputed Falklands/Malvinas Islands in 1982, revealed former Argentine Air Force Gen. Basilio Lami Dozo on Sunday.

“Following the Malvinas, there were plans to attack Chile,”
said the retired brigadier in an interview with Buenos Aires daily Perfil.

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(Santiago Times is really awesome, cause its an English-language news website in Chile. They also have some pretty good editorials about US politics as well.)

Two observations:
1. The Falklands/Malvinas War has to be one of the most epic fail wars (on the part of Argentina) OF ALL TIME.
2. WTF @ Argentina thinking they could invade Chile AND WIN. Srsly?
I knew the Argentine juntas of 1976-1983 were fucknuts crazy, but not *that* fucknuts crazy

Teachers Teaching New Generation to Become Tricycle Welfare Queens. GOP's Solution: "Bootstraps"

More Than Half Of Teachers Report Buying Hungry Students Food With Their Own Money

We often hear about U.S. teachers being paid poorly for all the work they do to educate children. But did you know that 63 percent of teachers report buying food for the classroom each month with their own money?
That's just one statistic from a report put out by Share Our Strength, which surveyed teachers across the country about hunger in America's classrooms.

You can download the full Teachers report and learn more surprising facts about hungry kids and the teachers trying to help them at the Share Our Strength site.

Share Our Strength also interviewed two teachers in New York City about their personal experiences with students who have come to depend on them for enough food to get them through the day.


Sarah Palin: "Mexicans Are Not Real Americans, Doncha Know?"

Palin Univision Interview Was Cancelled Because She Was Uninformed On Hispanic Issues: McCain Adviser

A top adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign revealed that a joint interview with McCain and Sarah Palin planned for Univision last fall had to be canceled because Palin wasn't prepared.

"She did not feel comfortable speaking about issues regarding Hispanics and Latin America," GOP consultant Ana Navarro said. "Those are not topics that come up frequently in Alaska. So she asked to cancel the interview and, unfortunately, you were already there."

Jason Recher, a senior campaign adviser to Palin now working on her book tour, dismissed the story and took a shot at Navarro for dwelling on last year's news. According to Recher, Palin was ready to talk about Hispanic issues. But McCain's advisers canceled the interview because she was not familiar with McCain's complicated record in the area.

"Nobody's sitting around talking about the 2008 campaign except for the people who lost it," he said.

But Navarro isn't the only person who worked with Palin speaking out this week. Ex-aide John Bitney said Palin turned him into a "fictional character" in her book and compared his former boss to a "sociopath."