February 18th, 2010

Cops in Sean Bell shooting will not face civil rights charges in fed court, says dad William Bell R

Truly, I don't know how much coverage the Sean Bell case recieved outside of NYC, where it was huge. The incident has a Wiki page that will tell you more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Bell

Source: NY Daily News

Sean Bell's loved ones shed bitter tears Tuesday after the feds announced they would not charge the cops who fatally shot the Queens man on his wedding day.

"They said they were limited by statutes and evidence," Bell's dad, William, said after emerging from a meeting with federal prosecutors. "My son's dead, and they can't do anything about it. He can't even rest in peace."

Bell's fiancée, Nicole Paultre-Bell, said if she can't drag the cops into a federal court, she wants their shields.

"Myself and my family are going to do everything possible to see that these police officers are fired," she said.

In a statement, the feds said there was "insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges" against the officers who killed Bell.

The president of the Detectives' Endowment Association, Michael Palladino, said he was "gratified" by the decision.

The NYPD did not comment on the decision, but after the shooting, the department revised how it supervises undercover officers. It also made alcohol testing mandatory for cops who wound or kill someone in a shooting.

The three cleared detectives - Marc Cooper, Gescard Isnora and Michael Oliver - remain on modified duty. They already have been charged by the department with violating guidelines regulating the use of deadly physical force in the Nov. 25, 2006, incident. Lt. Gary Napoli, the supervisor at the scene, was charged with failure to supervise.

Federal prosecutors rarely charge police officers with civil rights violations - and almost never in cases where the officers already have been acquitted in state court.

The Bells began pushing for federal charges after the detectives were cleared in April2008 of state charges in the shooting that killed Bell - and seriously wounded pals Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield.

The trio was outside a Queens strip club, where Bell had his bachelor party, when cops hit them with a 50-shot fusillade.


If they are now hindered by statute of limitations, how much time/money was wasted on the investigation?!

ETA: I had originally stated that Nicole had married him posthumously. I just discovered I was wrong: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/09/nyregion/09shoot.html
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    Snoop Dog feat Pharell - Drop it like its Hot (Radio Edit)
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SAME Cafe- What an awesome concept!

So, this week has been full of sad and rage-inducing news. How about something that will hopefully make you smile?

I saw this tonight on the news, and thought it was worthy of sharing.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/02/17/eveningnews/main6217751.shtml

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I love this idea, and I think there should be more places like it in the U.S. But what do you think, ontd_p? Is it an innovative restaurant concept or overly idealistic?
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the poor heroic man

How society turned modern men into bank managers

I have a male friend - safety demands his anonymity - who declared straight-faced the other day that just being a man is heroic. And yes, he is still a friend, but life is cruel. Only as my cyclonic laughter subsided did I see, through the tears, he was dead serious.

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As always, the comments in the source article are interesting, or funny.

cute yuki

miltary build up in falklands. poster unable to find good sauce

A POWER-PACKED Navy warship has sailed to the South Atlantic in a re-run of the 1982 Falklands conflict.

Type 42 destroyer HMS York was last night in waters off the islands' capital Port Stanley - spearheading a new British task force in the escalating oilfield drilling row with Argentina.

The survey vessel HMS Scott has also headed to the windswept isles and is alongside the warship.

The giant oil supply tanker RFA Wave Ruler will be there soon.

And the three new arrivals, previously sailing elsewhere in the vast Atlantic, will make up a four-strong seaborne force with the Falklands' permanent patrol vessel HMS Clyde.

A senior Navy source said HMS York had been sent as a "deterrent" to Argentina as tensions between London and Buenos Aires rise over the drilling operation by four British-based oil firms, due to begin next week.

The source added: "She will discourage the Argentines from trying anything with our shipping.

"If they do, the Navy are there to stop them."

The Naval mission will evoke memories of Rod Stewart's song Sailing, which became associated with the Falklands War after being used as the theme tune to a BBC documentary about the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal.

Argentina, which still claims the Falklands and its surrounding seas despite its crushing defeat in the war, is furious at the Brits' plan to drill at least seven wells off the islands.

On Tuesday it tried to implement a blockade by issuing a decree banning any merchant ships from reaching the UK territories without its permission.

And last week it detained a cargo ship in a port near Buenos Aires, claiming it was ferrying steel oil pipes to the islands.

But as the row grows, The Sun can reveal the Naval presence is not the only deterrent mounted by Britain.

There are now more than 1,000 Armed Forces personnel in the region, plus four Eurofighter Typhoons, a Hercules transport plane, a Vickers VC10 refuelling aircraft and two Sea King helicopters.

Referring to the Navy's manoeuvring, the source said: "It has been done very quietly so as not to look too provocative.

"But the Argentines are in no doubt that we are there now."

Admirals are determined not to make the same mistake they did in 1982, when their plan to withdraw the Falklands' regular patrol boat encouraged General Galtieri's junta to invade. (lol, thatcher cut it, the navy didn't choose to withdraw it)

Experts claim there could be 60BILLION barrels of black gold under the islands' coastal waters.

The Ocean Guardian drilling rig will arrive tomorrow after an 8,000-mile journey from Scotland.

And next week Desire Petroleum will become the first company to begin explorations at a potential field known as Liz.

They deny it is named after the Queen, but rather the wife of a company director.(realy sun? realy? i dont think anyone thought it was named after the queen...)

Tory MP Andrew Rosindell last night called on the Government to tell Argentina's ambassador in Britain that the blockade bid is "unacceptable".

A Navy spokesman said: "The Government is fully committed to the South Atlantic Overseas Territories."


although there are alot of storys about the build up of tensions, this is the only one i can find about a uk forces build up, tho it got air time on the today program

edit: beter sauce with a broader focus http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8521429.stm ta brewsternorth
Is that so? [Bayonetta]
  • grazie

Republicans are hypocrites, water is wet, etc.


Arguably no one at the major media outlets has been as assertive on Republicans' stimulus hypocrisy as MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. Her segment on the matter last night, which included an interview with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, is well worth watching.

For those of you who can't watch clips from your work computers, Rachel explained, "At the one-year anniversary of the stimulus, it is turning out to offer not just economic recovery, but also Democratic political recovery. Democrats have basically three things to do between now and November: 1) They need to get good candidates to defend their open seats; 2) They need to pass health reform; and 3) They need to embarrass Republicans on their hypocrisy.

"The stimulus has been a gift-wrapped opportunity for Democrats to show how Republicans have denounced Democratic legislation in Washington for political effect, and then admitted in their home districts that the legislation works. It shows not only that Democratic policies work -- and when push comes to shove, in their home districts, Republicans know it -- it also shows that Republicans care so little about policy that they're O.K. with holding totally nonsensically contradictory positions on important stuff."

After noting the dozens of Republican lawmakers who've sought stimulus aid to help the economy in their states and districts, Maddow added, "These Republicans are acknowledging, in writing, that the stimulus is good policy. That it works. Thus proving that they don't mean it when they denounce the stimulus as worthless."

Democrats may be facing some headwinds this fall but, between stimulus hypocrisy and Republican embrace of a budget plan to privatize Social Security and eliminate Medicare, they'll have an opportunity to go on the offensive, too.

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I thought this was an enlightening article on how all hope is not lost for this election season-- though it seems like it. But something like this would require some initiative on the Democrats' part, something I wonder if they can manage?

SC lawmakers debate homosexuality in public schools and suggest it is a choice.

A bill approved by a Senate subcommittee will require schools to adopt policies to deal with dating violence as well as consequences for violating those policies for grades 6-12. According to statistics, South Carolina ranks among the worst in domestic violence rates.

The bill sponsor, Republican Joan Brady, points out the importance in awareness and says the measure will save lives.

However, the bill purposely excludes homosexual couples from mention. The bill passed in the House only after it was specified that it applies solely to heterosexual couples for fear that it might encourage same-sex relationships. An attempt to remove the exclusivity from the bill failed.

SOURCE is really about ready to move now
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≈ soft as snow (but warm inside)
  • schmiss

unf #15 (ノ・∀・)ノ

The Left's Top 25 Journalists

Given that almost four times as many American journalists identify themselves as “liberal” than as “conservative” (thanks, Pew, for that little detail), our exercise in tagging the 25 most influential journalists who sit somewhere to the left of center on the political aisle was considerably more complex than the one last week in which we identified the top 25 on the right. Classifying our journalists as being “on the left” protects us from being derailed by pesky questions of taxonomy—whether someone is “liberal,” “progressive” or “radical”—although everyone on this list could be said, plausibly, to belong to one of those categories. What unites them all, broadly, is their belief (expressed or implied) that “their side” is currently in power in Washington. The list below distills responses canvassed from about 75 academics, politicians, journalists, and denizens of corporate America. (It may interest readers to know that I edited a similar list, days after Barack Obama’s inauguration as president, for Forbes. Whereas the two lists have a good deal in common, there are significant differences, most of which reflect the fact that the left no longer sees itself as being “in opposition.”) Our definition of “journalist” is a loose one, and may not please some J-school pedants: We include anyone whose primary vocation is to supply, edit, host, or curate information, news reporting, criticism, or opinion. To keep matters from getting messy, we have excluded any writer or editor whose primary affiliation is with The Daily Beast, though a couple of contributors appear.

Here, in ascending order, is The Daily Beast’s list of America’s 25 most consequential left-of-center journalists.

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Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Haiti judge frees 8 of 10 American missionaries

Haiti judge frees 8 of 10 American missionaries

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Eight American missionaries were freed from a Haitian jail Wednesday, nearly three weeks after being charged with kidnapping for trying to take a group of children out of the quake-stricken country.

The eight — looking bedraggled and sweaty — walked out of the Haitian jail escorted by U.S. diplomats just after dusk. They waited until they were safely inside a white van before flashing smiles, waving and giving a thumbs up to reporters.

Hours earlier, judge Bernard Saint-Vil told The Associated Press that eight of the 10 missionaries were free to leave without bail or other conditions after parents testified they voluntarily handed their children over to the missionaries.

"The parents of the kids made statements proving that they can be released," he said, adding that still wants to question the group's leader and her nanny.

The group planned to fly out of Haiti late Wednesday, defense attorney Aviol Fleurant said. A spokesman for Idaho Sen. Jim Risch said they would be flown to Miami.

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Everything about this case is insane and sketchy as hell.
asoneill - Yahoo Me

How Prisoners Are Using Facebook to Harass Victims

Most of Facebook's 400 million members use the social-networking site to reconnect with long lost pals and keep in touch with friends and family. But dozens of prisoners in Britain have found a more sinister and predatory use for Facebook: after they've been locked up for offenses such as murder and assault, inmates are taunting and terrorizing their victims through status updates and group wall posts.

Barry Mizen, whose 16-year-old son Jimmy was murdered in 2008, says his family endured months of personal attacks on a Facebook page that was created after Jimmy's killer, Jake Fahri, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison last March. "The words going back and forth were getting really nasty - it was just so undignified," says Mizen, who lives in southeast England. "My children were taking it very personally." Around the same time, taunting messages also started to come from Fahri's personal Twitter account, including one that said, "Jimmy Mizen was a pathetic loser." "There's got to be more control over this," Barry Mizen says. "Facebook and Twitter have to take responsibility for what goes on their sites."

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the stone
  • gmth

Dems Looking For GOP Votes On Jobs Bill; GOP Not Interested

With a vote coming up Monday to begin debate on a jobs bill, Democrats are hoping they can get a few Republican votes for cloture. But the Republicans are looking to block the bill, even though they support its content, claiming instead that they've been mistreated by Democrats.

A Democratic leadership aide tells TPMDC that they're hoping to get Republicans, such as new Sen. Scott Brown, to oppose the will of the GOP leadership.

But an aide for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would only say that it's "bizarre" Democrats aren't allowing amendments on the bill, especially after spending so much time talking about bipartisanship.

And as Roll Call reports today, Republican Senate leaders told more than 100 lobbyists yesterday that they plan to oppose the bill because of the process -- not because of the actual policy.

"The feeling is they aren't going to say anything in opposition to the bill, except to say it's incomplete," a lobbyist who attended the meeting said. "They are not opposed to the bill, they just believe their rights as the minority have been abridged."


And so the GOP cries about how oppressed they are while Rome burns. After all, it's in their best interests come election time to make sure unemployment stays high.

Poll: Most Americans say Tibet should be independent

Nearly three-quarters of all Americans think Tibet should be an independent country, according to a new national poll.

However, the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Thursday also indicates that most Americans think it is more important to maintain good relations with China than to take a stand on Tibet.

The poll's release came as President Obama was to meet with the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader in exile, at the White House.

The Dalai Lama is popular with Americans, according to the survey, with 56 percent holding a favorable view of him and only 18 percent having an unfavorable impression.

"That puts him in the same neighborhood as other major religious figures," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Favorable ratings for the pope, at 59 percent, and Billy Graham, at 57 percent, are virtually identical to the numbers for the Dalai Lama."

The poll also indicates that 53 percent say it's more important for the United States to take a strong stand on human rights in China than to maintain good relations with Beijing, with 44 percent saying good relations are more important.

By a 6-point margin, the survey also shows that more Americans say taking a strong stand on Taiwan by force is more important than maintaining good relations with Beijing.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted February 12-15, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall survey.

shock-me-gray, bored, apathy

The Night They Burned Ranum's Papers

February 14, 2010

David Fenton, Getty Images

The late John Jacobs (center, foreground), enraged at opposition to the student strike at Columbia, took years’ worth of research notes from the office of Orest Ranum and set them on fire, according to a new book by a fellow protester, Mark Rudd.
By John Castellucci

At about 2:30 a.m. on May 22, 1968, as New York City police entered Hamilton Hall, on Columbia University's Morningside Heights campus, to clear it of demonstrators, files belonging to Orest A. Ranum, an associate professor of history, were ransacked, and papers documenting more than 10 years of research were burned. The fire came at the tail end of a month of protests that had roiled Columbia, paralyzing the university and provoking the biggest police bust ever undertaken on an American campus. Members of Students for a Democratic Society, which led the protests, denied responsibility for the arson, claiming that if anyone had set fire to Ranum's papers, it was the police.

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Marco Rubio speech at CPAC conference brings conservatives to their feet

Marco Rubio, the 38-year-old son of Cuban immigrants and candidate for an open Senate seat in Florida, electrified thousands of conservatives Thursday morning with an impassioned defense of American exceptionalism.

In the opening address at the three-day Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Washington, Rubio delivered a fiery assault on President Obama's economic policies and his administration's handling of national security.

"They are using this downturn as cover, not to fix America but to try and change America, to fundamentally redefine the role of government in our lives and the role of America in the world," Rubio said. "The good news is it didn't take long for the American people to figure this out."

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This idiot.

franklin sherman

School used student laptop webcams to spy on them at school and home

According to the filings in Blake J Robbins v Lower Merion School District (PA) et al, the laptops issued to high-school students in the well-heeled Philly suburb have webcams that can be covertly activated by the schools' administrators, who have used this facility to spy on students and even their families. The issue came to light when the Robbins's child was disciplined for "improper behavior in his home" and the Vice Principal used a photo taken by the webcam as evidence. The suit is a class action, brought on behalf of all students issued with these machines.

If true, these allegations are about as creepy as they come. I don't know about you, but I often have the laptop in the room while I'm getting dressed, having private discussions with my family, and so on. The idea that a school district would not only spy on its students' clickstreams and emails (bad enough), but also use these machines as AV bugs is purely horrifying.

Schools are in an absolute panic about kids divulging too much online, worried about pedos and marketers and embarrassing photos that will haunt you when you run for office or apply for a job in 10 years. They tell kids to treat their personal details as though they were precious.

But when schools take that personal information, indiscriminately invading privacy (and, of course, punishing students who use proxies and other privacy tools to avoid official surveillance), they send a much more powerful message: your privacy is worthless and you shouldn't try to protect it.

Three Houses One True Pairing

Google, Apple Call Workers' Race & Gender "Trade Secrets"

Five Silicon Valley companies fought release of employment data, and won

Google, the company that wants to make the world's information accessible, says the race and gender of its work force is a trade secret that cannot be released.

So do Apple, Yahoo, Oracle and Applied Materials. These five companies waged an 18-month Freedom of Information battle with the Mercury News, convincing federal regulators who collect the data that its release would cause "commercial harm" by potentially revealing the companies' business strategy to competitors. A sixth company, Hewlett-Packard, fought the release and lost.

But many of their industry peers see the issue differently. The Mercury News initially set out to obtain race and gender data on the valley's 15 largest companies, and nine — including Intel, Cisco Systems, eBay, AMD, Sanmina and Sun Microsystems — agreed to allow the U.S. Department of Labor to provide it.

"There's nothing to hide, in our view," said Chuck Mulloy, a spokesman for Intel, which contacted the Mercury News to share its employment data after learning of the newspaper's federal FOIA request filed in early 2008. "We just felt that we're very proud of the (diversity) programs we have in place and the efforts we put forth, and we don't have any trouble sharing it."

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South Carolina democrat

South Carolina's GOP continues to bring the love lulz

Emails Entangle Two GOP Campaigns

South Carolina's reform movement suffered another blow Wednesday when Kelly Payne, a candidate for the Republican nomination for state superintendent of education, verified a series of leaked love e-mails to her came from Republican S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom.

Eckstrom is married. But he has been separated and living apart from his wife for two years, according to his re-election campaign. Payne, who is divorced, is a Dutch Fork High School teacher.

Eckstrom, 61, the state's top accountant, is one of the most influential members of the reform movement, which has pushed for smaller government, lower taxes and more accountability and transparency in state government.

Excerpts from the emails

Hope you can open this link ... seems like the stuff you'd enjoy! Practice anyone? I'm willing to be your guinea (sp?) pig. Hope you had good weekend. Love ...

You go ahead and act as wacked-out and irrational as you want to; it still won't likely douse my love for you. ... just thinking about advice with a thoughtful, open mind can be constructive and liberating, you little thin skin!

I'm okay with what you told me to do. You were pretty upset with me so I don't think you really meant to say what you did. I'm not expecting you to love me, but PLEASE DON'T stay angry at me. Just starting Guard duty so you'll be safe from Muslims today.
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places || china
  • brecho


I know this isn't a usual type of article for ontd_p, but since I imagine Tibet will be in the news and on here a lot, I think it would be a good idea to have a brief overview of Chinese human rights violations on Tibet


Tibet has been an independent country throughout the historical period and since time immemorial according to Tibetans' own myth-based sense of national identity. That independence is supported by the country's geography, history, language, culture, religion, and race.

Tibet's Rich Culture

Geographically, the Tibetan high plateau is a distinctively demarcated region, with boundaries starting at approximately the 10,000-feet altitude line. It can be clearly perceived on any relief map.
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A Friend in Need: Abortion Doulas Help Women Through Hard Times

It's generally accepted that childbirth is a stressful process. That’s why a woman in labor often opts to have a doula by her side—to nurture her during intense bouts of pain and emotion. But what about when a woman decides to terminate a pregnancy? Nearly three years ago, a small group of reproductive-rights activists came up with the concept of offering doula support for the “entire spectrum of pregnancy”—including abortion—and created The Doula Project to do so.

Currently working out of a public hospital in New York City, the diverse group of 20 volunteers keeps women company and provides relaxation techniques during abortion procedures for no cost. “To me, it seemed like a very intuitive idea,” says Lauren Mitchell, who co-founded the Project. “Why aren’t there doulas for abortions? It’s usually an un- comfortable procedure, it can be emotional, it encompasses a huge range—life, sex, death. It’s intense.” Sometimes the doula will hold a woman’s hand or rub her scalp to calm her; other times, she may crack corny jokes or trade dating stories. The doula also offers information on the procedure and can explain to the woman what is happening to her body. Mitchell, who works full-time as a health educator at the hos- pital, says not a single abortion patient has opted out of the doula service since it started, and all of them express grati- tude for it. Like Kristen, who was thankful to have the sup- port during her procedure. “At first, I thought, ‘I don’t want to talk to this woman,’” she says. “But [the doula] calmed me down. She held my hand through the most painful thing I’ve ever gone through. I was pretty close to freaking out, but with Lauren there, I felt like I was in safe hands.” Often, just “being there” is the most important aspect, says Mary Mahoney, the assistant director of the Pro-Choice Public Education Project and one of the co-founders of The Doula Project. “We’re not there to poke them, or stick things in them, or to judge them. We’re there as friends, and we’re there as advocates.”

At this point, the service is very limited. Mitchell explains that it takes some doing to convince abortion clinics to allow an extra person in the room during a private procedure. Still, The Doula Project is working on expanding by installing doulas in two clinics in New York City, starting an affi liate group in Atlanta, GA, and putting together a doula training kit in the hopes that the idea continues to spread. More information can be found at www.doulaproject.org.


White House: Democrats Near Accord on Health Care Bill

A senior White House official said Thursday that Democratic negotiators are resolving final differences in House and Senate health bills that passed last year with virtually no Republican help. The White House and congressional leaders are preparing a detailed health care proposal designed to win passage without Republican support if GOP lawmakers fail to embrace bipartisan compromises at President Obama's summit next week.

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McCoy/surrounded by idiots by topazera
  • lidane

South Carolina Rep wants to ban money.

Yes, you read that right:

South Carolina will no longer recognize U.S. currency as legal tender, if State Rep. Mike Pitts has his way.

Pitts, a fourth-term Republican from Laurens, introduced legislation earlier this month that would ban what he calls “the unconstitutional substitution of Federal Reserve Notes for silver and gold coin” in South Carolina.

If the bill were to become law, South Carolina would no longer accept or use anything other than silver and gold coins as a form of payment for any debt, meaning paper money would be out in the Palmetto State.

Pitts said the intent of the bill is to give South Carolina the ability to “function through gold and silver coinage” and give the state a “base of currency” in the event of a complete implosion of the U.S. economic system.

“I’m not one to cry ‘chicken little,’ but if our federal government keeps spending at the rate we’re spending I don’t see any other outcome than the collapse of the economic system,” Pitts said.

But one legal expert told The Palmetto Scoop that, even if it were passed, Pitts’ bill would quickly be ruled unconstitutional.

“It violates a perfectly legal and Constitutional federal law, enacted pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, that federal reserve notes are legal tender for all debts public and private,” the expert said. “We settled this debate in the early 1800s. I appreciate the political sentiment but the law is blatantly unconstitutional.”

Pitts, however, dismissed that claim, saying that “adherence to the Constitution is a two-edged sword. The federal government has consistently violated the Constitution, especially the 10th Amendment and Commerce Clause.”

Constitutional issues aside, Pitts’ bill faces another hurdle. Critics point out that silver and gold coins can’t actually serve as a form of currency.

“You can’t put a set value on a pure silver or gold coin because it’s actual value fluctuates,” one expert said. “You can say a gold coin is worth $50 but it would actually be worth whatever the market says it’s worth, based on supply and demand. In reality, what you have is a bartering good, not a form of currency.”

Still, Pitts said, a system based around bartering is better than a currency-based economy.

“To me, something I can hold tangible in my hand I can put more value in, especially under the current rate of inflation,” Pitts said. “In the case of total economic collapse, a barter tool is going to be worth a whole lot more value than paper with ink on it.”

But Pitts admits it is unlikely the bill will be passed.

“I’ve been trying to push bills forward that would crack down on intrusions on state’s rights for eight years,” said Pitts. “I don’t see the intestinal fortitude of this legislative body to test the federal government on Constitutional issues. One that has this much teeth in it I don’t think has the ability to pass.”


Could someone *please* tell this douche that reinstating the gold standard will never work? Or at least just slap him around for this fail. Either one works.


Boehner: Obama 'Slapped Table,' Scolded Me At White House Meeting

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Thursday that President Barack Obama "slapped the table," wagged his finger and scolded him at a recent White House meeting.

Boehner's crime? Allegedly scaring the American public into a state of economic anxiety.

In a speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference, the Ohio Republican accused the president of excessive "finger-wagging" lectures. Driving the point, he relayed his version of a jobs-related conversation that Republican leadership had with Obama and his advisers.

"I was in the White House for a meeting a few weeks back," Boehner recalled. "We were talking about the economy and jobs and I was explaining that these Democrat policies, you know -- cap and trade, national energy tax, government takeover of our health care system, card check, higher tax rates -- all of this was paralyzing business owners because they had all of this uncertainty. And you know no small business owners can plan, invest or hire new workers in this kind of environment.

"But the president didn't like it," he added. "He looked at me and he slapped the table and said, 'Boehner, it's not my policies that are paralyzing these employers. It's you Republicans who are scaring them.'

"I said, 'Mr. President, the American people aren't scared about what we have to say. They're scared by the policies that are being promoted by your administration and your colleagues up on the Hill.' I told him, 'well here is the thing, the American people want leaders who will listen they don't need any more lecturers coming to Washington."

The Huffington Post has asked the White House to confirm Boehner's account, and we will update this post with their reply -- if it comes.

The conservative crowd at CPAC cheered loudly when Boehner, insisting that "nobody's immune" from the president's finger wagging, declared:

"Voters thought they were electing a commander in chief in 2008. Instead they got a professor who offers finger-wagging lectures."


In a word, GOOD.  What a frakking tool.  They're scared because you mis-represent the President's policies, either through extreme distortion or blatant fabrication.  Oh, and by the way, many of those policies include things you seemed to support just fine until it was a black Democrat in the Oval Office you hypocritical, orange-tinted, man-tan slathered jackass.
Tar Telperien

Gerard "Blackface" Depardieu

A film about 19th Century French author Alexandre Dumas has sparked a row after a white actor was chosen to portray the novelist, who was of African origin.

The celebrated but fair-skinned screen star, Gerard Depardieu, had to darken his skin and wear a curly wig to play the part in L'Autre Dumas.
Critics argue the French movie industry has deliberately undermined the 19th Century novelist's ethnicity.
They say a mixed-race actor should have been chosen to play the national hero.
The directors may have France's favourite actor playing France's favourite author, but while Gerard Depardieu is white, Alexandre Dumas was mixed race.
The casting of a white man in the new film's title role has sparked a racism row
'Shocking and insulting'
Patrick Lozes, President of the Council of Black Associations of France, feels that Dumas' African heritage has been deliberately suppressed for the big screen.
"It's very shocking and it is insulting.
"It is a way of saying that we don't have any black actor who has the talent to play Alexander Dumas, which of course is not true."
Dumas was the grandson of a Haitian slave and often referred to himself as a negro.
Historian Claude Schopp says although his books were revered by his contemporaries, he was often mocked for his colour.
"In caricatures or in sketches he was always presented with big lips, with Afro hair, as a sort of monster."
The film's directors insist they simply chose an actor who could match Dumas's vibrancy.
And although he may not share the author's ethnicity, who better, they say, than the larger-than-life actor Depardieu to portray such a colourful personality?



Opinion piece: NBC thinks Yevgeny Plushenko is Drago from Rocky IV.


On a spectrum of media polarization, NBC is seen as one of the most neutral popular channels. FOX News' and MSNBC's slants are notorious, even celebrated, but NBC emerges as a relatively reliable reflection of major news events. However, the network's recent "human interest" profile on Russian figure skater Evgeny Plushenko sullies its objectivity and marks a hazardous foray into Cold War-style image manipulation and framing.

With its monopoly on Olympic coverage, NBC is responsible for broadcasting athlete's life stories. As a microcosm, these stories represent national character itself. The network deploys staff for months or even years in advance of the Olympics to gather human interest fodder on promising athletes around the world. After colossal editing -- which imbues plenty of soft focus footage and soaring, Olympic-worthy music -- select clips are embedded within NBC's nightly coverage. These mini-biopics seek to transcend raw times and scores by depicting a human dimension and to extract an emotional investment from a dispersed audience.

The profiles tend to follow a distinct pattern: difficult life circumstances, dazzling talent discovered, familial sacrifices, injuries overcome, and the staging for brilliant victory or humiliating defeat. In the spirit of the Olympics, athletes' countries tend to be portrayed in their best light, depicting gorgeous scenery, community bonds, and generally rosy accounts of nations brimming with pride for their best athletes.

In contrast, NBC's profile of Plushenko -- and its subsequent broadcast of a fireside chat with Dick Button and his fixation with Plushenko's "glinty eyes" -- perpetuated a gross stereotype of Russia as a shadowy and potentially perilous monolith with Plushenko as its archetypal villain. Such portrayals represent media in its worst form, using its platform to prey on entrenched stereotypes and disseminate outdated assumptions about Russia's sinister character. At a time when Russia's relationship with the United States seems on slightly shaky ground -- and is increasingly framed as a resurgent and power-desperate empire -- this clip carried enormous potential to instill images that only deepen such caricatures.

The 4-5 minute profile featured a passenger's perspective on Plushenko driving his sports car through his hometown of Saint Petersburg. The shooting angle, and editing-induced speed, depicted Plushenko as a reckless driver careening down the gloomy and deserted streets. With an accent deemed sufficiently heavy for NBC to patronizing include captions, Plushenko spoke imploringly of his repeat gold medal lust and his intention to dominate the competition. An ominous soundtrack reminiscent of Jaws echoed B-movie themes about the USSR and its peril to the American way of life.

Visually, the clip alternated between close-up shots of Plushenko and eerie, sepia-tinged footage of Saint Petersburg landmarks, including the iconic Church on Spilled Blood reflected in a turbulent canal. The metaphor of stormy waters was difficult to miss and images of Lenin and Stalinist architecture were thrown in as if for good measure, making this viewer wonder, What decade is it?

Perhaps NBC was merely aiming to stage a dramatic showdown between the American favorite Evan Lysacek and the steely Russian renegade. Drama, after all, is the lifeblood of the Olympics. But NBC overshot. In its desperation to drum up intrigue, it painted Plushenko as a James Bond-worthy villain and Russia as the once and always Evil Empire.

fishnet_hamster says:When I saw this profile a few days ago, I was starting to wonder when a clip of Drago saying "I must break you" was going to happen. Most of the athlete profiles during The Olympics are personal and have a very sentimal edge to them. Plushenko's profile had Lenin statues and some really imposing background music. It didn't seem like a fair portrayal of him or Russia. Who else saw it? What do you think?
[Other] Bill Hader

‘Family Guy’ Voice Actor Says Palin ‘Does Not Have a Sense of Humor’


Andrea Fay Friedman, who has Down syndrome, was a voice actor in a recent episode of “Family Guy” criticized by Sarah Palin.

Since it was shown on Sunday, an episode of the Fox animated comedy “Family Guy” has drawn the repeated condemnation of Sarah Palin, the former Republican governor of Alaska and 2008 vice-presidential nominee.

In the episode, the teenage character Chris dates a girl named Ellen, who has Down syndrome, and who tells him over dinner that her mother is “the former governor of Alaska.” Ms. Palin, whose son Trig also has Down syndrome, has said that the “Family Guy” show “really isn’t funny” and was the work of “cruel, cold-hearted people.” Ms. Palin’s daughter Bristol has written that the “Family Guy” writers were “mocking my brother and my family,” and called them “heartless jerks.”

One person who supports the “Family Guy” staff is Andrea Fay Friedman, the 39-year-old actor and public speaker who played Ellen in that episode. Like the character, Ms. Friedman also has Down syndrome.

In an e-mail message sent on Thursday to The New York Times, Ms. Friedman wrote:

I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line “I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska” was very funny. I think the word is “sarcasm.”

In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life.

Ms. Friedman also spoke by phone with ArtsBeat about her “Family Guy” episode and the controversy that followed. These are excerpts from that conversation.

Q.How did you start out as an actor?
A.Before I did “Family Guy,” I started studying at the Santa Monica Playhouse when I was 14, and then I also studied at the Stagecoach. And then I did more acting at Santa Monica College. My biggest break was “Life Goes On,” when I was 21.

Q.How were you hired to do this episode of “Family Guy”?
A.“Family Guy” talked to my dad first, before I knew about “Family Guy,” because I never watched it. But since I’m watching it, it’s really funny. They told me I was going to be animated, they were going to draw me, and I did not have to know the lines by memory. I just had to read it. It was really funny. I enjoyed it. I had a nice time doing it.

Q.Did they specifically tell you that the character you were going to play also had Down syndrome?
A.Yeah, they told me I was playing Ellen, who was Miss Bossy. I didn’t want to be bossy, but since they want me to be bossy, I just had to be as the character. I had to be bossy, as part of my process. That’s the only way to transform the real me to an animated person. So I had to do what an actor does. I just wing it and have fun with it.

Q.When you get asked to play characters who have Down syndrome, does that make you at all uncomfortable?
A.No, I’m proud of it. I’m not embarrassed. But mostly, it doesn’t matter if you have Down syndrome. Really, it just matters to have a different challenge.

Q.When did you find out about the reaction that the episode elicited from Sarah Palin and her family?
A.[laughs] That I did not even know about until my mom told me, “You’re on Channel 4!” And when I watched on Channel 4, on “Extra,” and I saw Sarah Palin with her son Trig. I’m like, “I’m not Trig. This is my life.” I was making fun of Sarah Palin, but not her son.

Q.Do you agree with what she and her daughter Bristol were saying, that the character and the jokes were insulting to people with Down syndrome?
A.It’s not really an insult. I was doing my role, I’m an actor. I’m entitled to say something. It was really funny. I was laughing at it. I had a nice time doing voiceover. It was my first time doing a voiceover, and I had fun.

Q.Do you know what other acting roles you’ve got coming up?
A.That I don’t know. [laughs] No one asked me yet. I’m still waiting. My dad gets the calls, and he tells me about it. I’d like to go back on “Saving Grace,” that’s my favorite show.

Q.What do you do when you’re not acting?
A.I work at a law firm, I’ve been here for 20 years. I’ve spoken all over the world, India and Japan. Dad taught me some Japanese. I like spending time with family and friends, go bowling and skiing, going to birthday parties.

Q.You’ve got a big birthday coming up yourself. How are you bracing yourself for the big 4-0?
A.Eh, it’s a big step. It’s a milestone. Might as well just leap for it.

soap&skin 2012
  • automat

A one year old is old enough to start talking then maybe she's old enough to ask for a tattoo right?

Man tattoos baby

In what the authorities in Ohio call a first for the state, a man has been accused of tattooing an infant.

Lee Michael Deitrick applied the tattoo on the buttocks of a one-year-old girl, Louisville Police Chief Andrew Turowski told CNN. “I cannot come up with a reasonable explanation as to why anybody would do such a thing,” he said.

Deitrick, 21, branded an “A” on the baby’s skin. Turowski said the mark was about half an inch in size. The incident occurred at Deitrick’s home last November but they weren’t informed of the allegation until last week, police said.

The suspect is described as a friend of the child’s mother who has not been charged in connection with the crime. “We have nothing to suggest that the mother played a part in this,” said Turowski.

Deitrick is charged with endangering the welfare of children, which is a felony, and is currently at the Stark County Jail. He is expected to appear at a preliminary hearing on February 17.

Deitrick has had brushes with the law in the past. He pleaded no contest to domestic violence in 2008 and was also charged with aggravated assault in the same year.

The tattoo has not been removed from the child’s skin, Turowski said.

“This is the first time I’ve seen an incident that involved a child being tattooed,” he added, “hopefully, the last.”


this post is dedicated to akuma_river.