November 26th, 2009

Spill O’Reilly Addresses Dispute Over Pox News as ‘Trashy News Show!’

I think this article is off, I was under the impression the original Pox News comment was two years old and the conservatives only caught it on the repeat, which may be the "few weeks ago" comment.



A few weeks ago, Sesame Street did a segment in which Oscar the Grouch, the perennial curmudgeon, played a newscaster covering a story for the Grouch News Network, GNN. Expressing her unhappiness with the story, a female Muppet viewer tells Oscar the reporter over the phone that she is no longer watching GNN. From now on, she says, “I am watching Pox News. Now there’s a trashy news show!” Though not outwardly stated, it was safely assumed that GNN referred to CNN, and Pox News, well, that should be obvious as well.

The skit got Sesame Street into a bit of trouble, as conservative bloggers called out the children’s show and PBS for being too liberally biased. Just in time for the 40th anniversary, which was covered so thoroughly by the media that even cave dwellers knew about it.

After the kerfuffle, Miranda Barry, the executive vice president for creative at Sesame Workshop, responded by saying that “no political comment or comment about Fox News, subtle or overt, was intended.” She went on to say that the skit was “equal-opportunity parody — Oscar always tries to offend everybody! In the full story, Oscar keeps trying to find angry, frustrated and grimy stories, but each time he finds someone feeling bad, they soon look on the bright side and cheer up. The curriculum for that episode was recognizing emotions.”

Well now it seems an entirely new Muppet news anchor has evolved out of the dispute, and he made a guest appearance on the “The O’Reilly Factor” to clear up a few facts about how grouch newsmen view the world, especially Fox News. His name is Spill O’Reilly, and not only was he piping mad, similar to what can be seen in the widely circulated footage of the news personality he mirrored, but he even took a moment to plug his new book, A Stinking Rotten Pile of Grouchiness. Spill O’Reilly’s clarification: “We grouches are totally unbiased. We are fair and balanced. Completely non-partisan.” And then the truth came out. “We can’t stand anybody! You all drive us crazy,” Spill O’Reilly shouted.

As I watched the clip I waited with bated breath for those magic words, the expletive-laden phrase from the famous Bill O’Reilly tantrum: “Fuck it! Do it live!” But Spill O’Reilly kept it clean, as a Muppet should–even if that Muppet lives in a garbage can.

Editted because I didn't really want to use my default icon. XD
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just warming up

Obama Wants Computer Privacy Ruling Overturned

The Obama administration is seeking to reverse a federal appeals court decision that dramatically narrows the government’s search-and-seizure powers in the digital age.

Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Justice Department officials are asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its August ruling that federal prosecutors went too far when seizing 104 professional baseball players’ drug results when they had a warrant for just 10.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ 9-2 decision offered Miranda-style guidelines to prosecutors and judges on how to protect Fourth Amendment privacy rights while conducting computer searches.

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Obama - Pie

Obama Turkey Pardon: Thanksgiving At The White House

"You know, there are certain days that remind me of why I ran for this office," President Obama declared while standing outside the White House on Wednesday morning. "And then there are moments like this -- where I pardon a turkey and send it to Disneyland."
At this year's official Turkey Pardon, President Obama mixed jokes in with a serious message about giving thanks for our blessings. With Sasha and Malia at his side, he noted how delicious the turkey looked (at 40-plus pounds, the North Carolina-raised bird named Courage did look pretty juicy). Obama claimed he wanted to eat the turkey, but Sasha and Malia prevailed upon him to pardon it, sparing it "a terrible and delicious fate." Courage will now head to Disneyland for their Thanksgiving Day parade.

Watch to the end of the video when Malia says the turkey looks like a big chicken, and Obama makes a little food policy joke when he asks if the turkey received performance enhancing drugs.



Toby for Obama

The future of newspapers? Or just staving off the inevitable?

A Portuguese success story:
could i be the future of newspapers?

Portugal's newest daily newspaper, i, was launched in early May and has attracted a significant amount of attention due to its rising circulation figures and innovative approach. It recently won a design award from the Society of News Design.
I's circulation in August was over 16,000 copies, up from just under 11,000 in its first month, May. As a comparison, the country's top selling papers, Público and Diário de Notícias, sold 36,000 and 30,000 respectively that month. So for a new paper, i seems to be doing well. How, when the newspaper industry is struggling worldwide from falling income as readers move online and advertising rates fall, is a new newspaper seemingly thriving?

What i is doing differently

I is not structured like a traditional paper. The paper's team worked with media consultancy Innovation to come up with a new way to organise the product. "Our feeling was," said Figueiredo, who came on board at an early stage, moving from Diário Económico, "that people were not concerned about traditional sections any more. Traditionally, journalists have to fill a politics section even if there is nothing relevant going on in politics. We wanted to come up with something different." So the team came up with five key needs that they wanted the paper to address, with five key words.

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More at the source.

What do y'all think? When I first started reading the article, especially the part about the trendy section names and heavy focus on graphics, I was under the misimpression that this newspaper was going for something shiny and shallow, a sort of USA Today taken to a terrible extreme. But after reading about all the thought and work that's behind it, I'm really impressed. Most traditional newspapers don't even *have* something like how they describe the Zoom section. Plus, the design geek in me is in love with their illustrations and infographics.

There's a lot of talk in the media about "the death of the newspaper" (though that's not exactly a new debate, hello invention of the radio). Is this the approach existing papers will have to take in order to thrive in today's world? Would the major media conglomerates even be willing to try something like this, or is this a level of innovation and dedication we'll probably only see in smaller independent newspapers? Is this all ultimately just postponing the inevitable anyway?

Basically: I'd buy a subscription to this in a heartbeat.
"Now you can't have any of my pot pie."
  • doop

Meet Brutus, the 800lb grizzly bear who likes to eat his meals at the dinner table

Most animal lovers would be happy to have a dog, or even a cat as their constant and loyal companion.

But naturalist Casey Anderson has taken that a step further and adopted an 58-stone grizzly bear called Brutus, who he has raised since birth.

The pair are inseparable and are so close that when Anderson married Charlie and the Chocolate Factory actress Missi Pyle in August last year, the bear stood in as best man.

Brutus is never left out and even joins in the Anderson family thanksgiving activities

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Casey Anderson talks more about Brutus over here and here, where he addresses some of the concerns people are having.
Mr. T the Patriot

War surtax: 'Pay as you fight'

Call it “pay as you fight.”

After months of listening to conservatives caterwaul over deficits and health care, senior House Democrats want a graduated surtax on individuals and corporations to pay for another big drain on the treasury: the Afghanistan war.

Three full committee chairmen — including the House’s top tax writer, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) — are backing the initiative together with the chair of the party caucus, Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), and close allies of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The speaker has been silent thus far, and many dismiss the idea as more rhetoric than real legislation. But with President Barack Obama due to make a final decision soon on adding more U.S. troops, the initiative testifies to the growing restlessness among Democrats over the costs of the American commitment in Afghanistan.

Today’s jobless rate — far worse than during the height of the Vietnam War in the '60s — adds to this angst. And Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), who oversees the Pentagon’s budget and supports the surtax, went so far as to send Obama last month a copy of Yale historian Paul Kennedy’s “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.”
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ACT win fight on gay wedding laws

THE ACT government has triumphed over its federal counterpart on new laws allowing gay couples to wed.

The federal government had threatened to quash the legislation after it was passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly earlier this month.

But after discussions between the two, the ACT government appears to have won the battle and will retain the laws - albeit with some slight tweaking.

Same-sex partners will now have to register their intention to hold a wedding.

The ACT Legislative Assembly will introduce the amendments when it next sits, but those who get hitched in the meantime will not be affected.

Canberra couple Chris Rumble and Warren McGaw held Australia's first legally binding civil partnership ceremony in the Old Parliament House rose gardens yesterday.

The survival of the legislation was a significant achievement, ACT attorney-general Simon Corbell said.

The federal government has twice blocked similar laws.

"The ACT Labor government is proud of its record of achieving real and meaningful reform for gay, lesbian and transsexual people in the ACT," Mr Corbell said.

The issue had been resolved satisfactorily, federal attorney-general Robert McClelland said.

"The discussions between the Australian government and the ACT government about the Civil Partnerships Act were conducted in good faith, and the matter has been resolved satisfactorily," his office said.

Registering before the ceremony was an essential amendment and consistent with the commonwealth's framework for relationship recognition.



I'm actually kinda amazed that the federal government actually allowed the laws to survive this time, especially considering that Kevin Rudd's said before that his government wouldn't support gay marriage.

Might wanna think twice before snatching some ladies' handbag..

Japanese cops cross-dress for bag snatch dragnet

Patrolling in high heels, wigs and designer bags, Japanese black-belt policemen have been cross-dressing in a bid to beat off bag-snatchers, a report said Wednesday.

The all-male squad has been deployed since last month on night patrols in central Aichi prefecture, wearing skirts and stockings and carrying eye-catching handbags as bait for potential thieves, the Asahi daily reported.

So far the unit has failed to nab any muggers, the Asahi said, and Aichi police declined to comment to AFP on the report.

To qualify for the special squad, police have to be young, slim and hold the top rank of a black belt in a martial art such as karate or judo, the report said. A 26-year-old officer -- measuring 1.71 metres (5.6 feet) in height and weighing in at a dainty 61 kilograms (134 pounds) -- expressed pride in the mission, telling the daily: "It's cowardly to target women who are weak."

The operation has not been without its pitfalls. Some of the stylish policemen have become targets themselves -- of cat-calls and lewd propositions. One 25-year-old officer said he "panicked" one night when a male driver leaned out of his car window and asked if he wanted to go for a drive.

Source: Yahoo News


Virginia Appeals Court Give Full Faith and Credit to North Carolina Custody Order for Gay Dads

Mods: Added another sources

A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals of Virginia ruled on November 24
that the Fairfax Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court had properly
accorded full faith and credit, as required by the U.S. Constitution, to a North
Carolina judicial decision awarding primary legal and residential custody of a
child to two gay men (who are registered California domestic partners). Still
pending before the lower court is a demand by the woman who served as surrogate
mother for this child that the North Carolina custody ruling be modified to give
her sole custody.
One of the judges on the Court of Appeals argued in
dissent that the case was not properly before the court for review. Prashad v.
Copeland & Spivey, 2009 Westlaw 4030852 (Va.App., Nov. 24, 2009).

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do i dazzle you?

Protests grow over digital bill

The Digital Economy bill has sparked a wave of protest among consumers and rights groups.

Soon after the bill began its journey through Parliament on 19 November, many expressed worries about parts of it.

The bill suggests the use of technical measures to tackle illegal file-sharing that could involve suspending the accounts of persistent pirates.

Critics fear this and other powers the bill reserves could damage the UK's growing digital economy.

The Digital Economy Bill is the end result of the consultation and research that went into the creation of the Digital Britain report that was published in June 2009.

As well as trying to tackle illegal file-sharing, the wide-ranging legislation also proposes a shake-up of the radio spectrum and a classification system for video games.

Left out is the proposal for a broadband tax to fund next-generation broadband that will be handled in the Finance Bill due in early 2010.

The proposals on file-sharing have garnered most criticism.

One of the first responses was the creation of a petition on the website. Set up by Andrew Heaney, TalkTalk's head of strategy and development, it calls for the abolition of the proposal to disconnect illegal filesharers.

By 24 November, the petition had gathered more than 16,000 signatures.

Full article at the BBC

n00b to posting here, so I apologise if I've screwed anything up.
walking on

Now, It's Official

Irish Catholic Church hid sex abuse for decades: official

DUBLIN (AFP) - Ireland's Catholic Church apologised Thursday after a damning new report showed it covered up child sex abuse over more than three decades.

The Irish government also said sorry for failing to protect children in the wake of the latest report, published six months after a first landmark study revealed widespread abuse of children in Catholic care.

"I offer to each and every survivor my apology, my sorrow and my shame for what happened," said Diarmuid Martin, archbishop of Dublin since 2004.

"I am aware that no words of apology will ever be sufficient," he said, adding that "the fact that many abusers were priests constituted both an offence to God and an affront to the priesthood."

The country's most senior Catholic, Cardinal Sean Brady, echoed the comments, saying "I want to apologise to all those who have been hurt and their families."

Following a three-year investigation in the Dublin Archdiocese, the country's largest, the report concluded that four archbishops routinely protected abusers and failed to inform police of the allegations.

One priest admitted to sexually abusing over 100 children, while another confessed that he had abused on a fortnightly basis over 25 years.

"The volume of revelations of child sexual abuse by clergy over the past 35 years or so has been described by a Church source as a 'tsunami' of sexual abuse," said the report.

The Irish government also immediately apologised.

"Whatever the historical and societal reasons for this, the government... apologises, without reservation or equivocation, for failures by the agencies of the state in dealing with this issue," it said in a statement.

The judicial probe discovered that the archbishops did not report abuse to police until the 1990s as part of a culture of secrecy and to try and avoid damaging the reputation of the Church.

The report said: "All other considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities."

It found children who complained "were often met with denial, arrogance and cover-up and with incompetence and incomprehension in some cases. Suspicions were rarely acted on."

The study comes just six months after a landmark report in May horrified mainly Catholic Ireland by revealing widespread sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children in Catholic-run institutions dating back to the 1930s.

Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said he read the findings with "a growing sense of revulsion and anger" and promised there would be "no hiding place" for the perpetrators.

"The report catalogues evil after evil committed in the name of what was perversely seen as the greater good," he said.

Victims welcomed the new report.

Marie Collins, who was abused as a child in 1960, said: "This is the end of a very long road for victims of abuse and particularly for those of us who spoke out for so many years, and who were vilified by the church (and) called liars."

The 750-page landmark report by judge Yvonne Murphy is damning in its criticism of failures to protect vulnerable children.

The probe examined complaints of abuse of over 320 children involving a representative sample of 46 priests in the Dublin Archdiocese between 1975 and 2004.

The report said the phrase, "don't ask, don't tell" was appropriate to describe the attitude of the archdiocese to clerical sex abuse for most of the period covered by the report.

"Typically, complainants were not told that other instances of child sexual abuse by their abuser had been proved or admitted," it added.

Responding to the report, human rights group Amnesty International called for an urgent referendum to enshrine children's rights in the Irish constitution to prevent future abuse.

"This report makes for deeply shocking reading, even after all that has gone before it," said executive director of Amnesty International Ireland Colm O'Gorman, himself a victim of sexual abuse by priests.



The Political Fictions Project

In which we invite seven writers to submit short stories featuring contemporary political figures. (And you can play, too.)

  • Published Nov 22, 2009

Night Walk
With Afghanistan on his mind, the president leaves the White House grounds and encounters a stranger.
By Adam Haslett

DupreThe Astral Plane Nail and Waxing Salon
Ashley Dupré finds herself face to face with Silda Spitzer. And they've got company.
By Mary Gaitskill
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Akuma River

Iran steals Iranian Nobel laureate's Nobel Peace Prize medal and diploma for a world's first

Norway: Iran seizes Nobel laureate Ebadi's medal (November 26, 2009)

By IAN MacDOUGALL, Associated Press Writer Ian Macdougall, Associated Press Writer – Thu Nov 26, 12:03 pm ET
OSLO – Iranian authorities have confiscated Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi's medal, the Norwegian government said Thursday, accusing Iran of a shocking first in the history of the prize.

Norwegian authorities were told that Ebadi's medal was seized "within the last week or so" from a safe-deposit box in Iran along with personal effects including the diploma awarded with the medal, the Foreign Ministry said. Spokeswoman Ragnhild Imerslund said Norwegian authorities have been "in touch" with Ebadi since the incident.

Ebadi, a human rights lawyer, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts in promoting democracy. She has long faced harassment from Iranian authorities for her activities — including a raid on her office last year in which files were confiscated.

The seizure of the medal is an expression of the Iranian government's increasingly harsh approach to anyone it considers an opponent — particularly since massive street protests that erupted following the disputed June 12 presidential election and shook the government's legitimacy.
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Rightwing Idiot Explains How Party Test Purity Wont Tear Party Apart. Conservative Bloggers Disagree

Chief Sponsor Defends G.O.P. Litmus Test

In a post on Wednesday, conservative and liberal bloggers alike criticized a proposed resolution that would deny funding and endorsements to Republican candidates who failed to adhere to many core principles. Why, even Ronald Reagan wouldn’t pass, some pundits remarked.

In response, the chief sponsor of the proposal, James Bopp Jr., defended the use of a 10-point list on key positions like fiscal conservatism, gun rights and abortion. He found it predictable that Democrats would be critical, saying they “relish criticizing the Republican Party for not being true to our conservative principles, which was unfortunately true with regard to support for spending, deficits and bailouts during the Bush administration, which I publicly criticized at the time. They will attack any effort to reassure voters that we are serious about restoring our conservative bona fides.”

He called it an “effective way to regain trust with conservative voters that has been undermined” by G.O.P. financial support for “liberal Republican ticket-switchers.” Among those he cited were Lincoln Chafee, former senator of Rhode Island, Senator Arlen Specter, the longtime Republican who became a Democrat earlier this year, and Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, who abruptly aborted her bid for the 23rd Congressional District in the face of conservative opposition.
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Dubai's Goes Broke. Capitalist Paradise In Peril.

Dubai's Request For Debt 'Standstill' Shakes World Markets

Just a year after the global downturn derailed Dubai's explosive growth, the city is now so swamped in debt that it's asking for a six-month reprieve on paying its bills – causing a drop on world markets Thursday and raising questions about Dubai's reputation as a magnet for international investment.

The fallout came swiftly and was felt globally after Wednesday statement that Dubai's main development engine, Dubai World, would ask creditors for a "standstill" on paying back its $60 billion debt until at least May. The company's real estate arm, Nakheel – whose projects include the palm-shaped island in the Gulf – shoulders the bulk of money due to banks, investment houses and outside development contractors.

In total, the state-backed networks nicknamed Dubai Inc. are $80 billion in the red and the emirate needed a bailout earlier this year from its oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Markets took the news badly – with the Dubai woes and the continued fall of the U.S. dollar giving investors twin worries. Dubai's move raised concerns about debt across the Gulf Region.
Prices to insure debt from Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain all rose by double-digit percentages Thursday, according to data from CMA DataVision.

In Europe, the FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and the CAC-40 in France opened sharply lower. Earlier in Asia, the Shanghai index sank 119.19 points, or 3.6 percent, in the biggest one-day fall since Aug. 31. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.8 percent to 22,210.41.

Wall Street was closed for the Thanksgiving holiday and most markets in the Middle East were silent because of a major Islamic feast.

"Dubai's standstill announcement ... was vague and it remains difficult to discern whether the call for a standstill will be voluntary," said a statement from the Eurasia Group, a Washington-based research group that assesses political and financial risk for foreign investors interested in Dubai.

"If it is not, Dubai World will be going into default and that will have more serious negative repercussions for Dubai's sovereign debt, Dubai World and market confidence in the UAE in general," the statement added.
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Medical Marijuana Prescribed to Kids with ADHD

I am not qualified to argue this aricle. I've never smoked even a cigarette, and when my friend who does use talks about it, it sometimes makes me uncomfortable. Many people I know see pot as "just pot!" and I'll even argue the point when a wrestler I like supposedly said he was tagged for pot but higher-performing wrestlers do more and get away with it.

I don't like it, and I won't do it myself. But I don't know what to say about it in regards to other people.

Have at it, dears. <3



(Nov. 23) -- In California, the state with the nation's most permissive medical marijuana law, several doctors say that some children with attention deficit hyperacitivty disorder, or ADHD, are being treated with marijuana -- a fact that has sparked a heated debate.

Reliable figures on the use of marijuana to treat ADHD are hard to come by, as reported by The New York Times. Though California says it has issued more than 36,000 medical marijuana cards since 2004, the state does not compile statistics on prescriptions for specific conditions, such as ADHD. And many doctors and patients are reluctant to talk about it. Still, experts say such prescriptions are becoming more common as the number of pot dispensaries and doctors prescribing marijuana continues to grow.

And not everyone is happy about it.

"Let me count the ways in which prescribing marijuana for teens with ADHD is a bad idea," said Stephen Hinshaw, professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. Marijuana, Hinshaw said, is a "cognitive disorganizer" that produces roughly the same effect in users as those associated with ADHD.

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default, mask

(no subject)

Toronto Humane Society Raided By OSPCA; Board Members To Face Criminal Charges

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals raided the Toronto Humane Society Thursday afternoon. President Tim Trow and four other staff members are facing criminal charges, including animal cruelty.

Trow is facing two charges of animal cruelty, two of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, and three charges of obstruction of a police officer.

Head veterinarian Steve Sheridan, shelter manager Gary McCracken, business manager Romeo Bernadino and shelter supervisor Andy Bechtel were also arrested on charges of animal cruelty and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. As well, all five and the board of directors face five provincial counts of animal cruelty.
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Background information. (Caution: discussion of cruelty to animals, mildly disturbing photos, some disturbing photos behind links.)

I got both of my cats from this shelter. I'm just... yikes. This is so twisted.