March 15th, 2010

movies | Impish Fräulein2

ontd_political PotD: March 14, 2010.

Canadian Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean, right, gets a kiss from Johan while visiting an orphanage during an official visit, Wednesday March 10, 2010, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The young child spent eight days buried in the rubble before being rescued following the earthquake in Haiti on Jan. 12.
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Paul Chiasson | AP Photo/The Canadian Press
oldboy box

Look Who's Talking - Rielle Hunter GQ Interview

Hello, America, My Name Is Rielle Hunter

We've heard from former senator John Edwards, we've heard from his soon-to-be-ex-wife, Saint Elizabeth, and we've heard (bleh) from Andrew Young, the former Edwards aide and faux father. But through it all—the affair and the cancer-stricken spouse, the doomed campaign and the love child, the sex tape, all of it—we've never heard from the woman at the heart of the story. Now, after years of silence, the other woman speaks

By Lisa DePaulo Photographs by Mark Seliger

April 2010

i met rielle hunter for the first time the day of our first interview, at her home in Charlotte, North Carolina, though we'd already spoken for some months on the phone. And would continue to, as more developments were reported. (Are she and John Edwards engaged? "I am not engaged.") There were no conditions, no ground rules, no topics or questions that were off-limits. Just a request that her words be her words, unfiltered and unspun. While everyone else in the Edwards drama has said their piece, in books and/or television interviews, the mistress and campaign videographer and mother of his child has, in her own words, "kept my mouth shut." Until now (as they say in the tabloids).

My first impression of Hunter, when she opened the back door of the screened porch filled with toys and strollers in the three-bedroom house she is renting (for $1,500 a month), her hair pulled up in a scrunchy, was that she was much prettier, and a whole lot softer, than all those National Enquirer spy photos suggest. She was wearing size 2 jeans, a Ralph Lauren turtleneck, and Uggs. No makeup. And she was laughing. Because Quinn, her 2-year-old daughter, had just done something particularly adorable. The child is gorgeous and, yes, looks exactly like John Edwards, but she also has her mother's spirit. Which is to say, a combination of serenity and spunk.

Hunter had fluffed up the tiny guest room upstairs—carefully placing a Zen-sayings paperback beside the twin bed—and invited me to stay overnight, with a warning that the three of us (she, Quinn, and I) would have to share the one bathroom, where the tub is filled with her daughter's rubber duckies. I accepted.

During the day and night and into the next morning, our talks were sometimes interrupted by the presence of a creepy guy exiting a dark blue van and setting up a tripod and camera on the sidewalk by her house, the lens focused into her living room or bedroom. She would handle this with practiced ease, closing any shutters that weren't already closed ("I love sunlight, but this is the reality"), at night dimming the lights and, with Quinn on her hip, dialing up her pals in the local police department, who are used to this (and are fiercely protective of her and Quinn). The cops would do their thing, the paparazzi would scatter—then return an hour or so later and the whole exercise would start again.

Throughout the day, news flashes and fresh rumors about her and Edwards popped up on my BlackBerry and her laptop. (The TV was on constantly, but it was tuned to Nick Jr., Quinn's favorite channel, not CNN.) At one point, while Hunter was feeding her daughter sushi-style avocado rolls in her high chair, the news broke that John and Elizabeth Edwards were officially separated. "Shocking," she said.

You haven't uttered a word so far. Why now?
I feel comfortable talking now, because Johnny went public and made a statement admitting paternity. I didn't feel like I could ever speak until he did that. Because had I spoken, I would have emasculated him. And I could not emasculate him. Also, it is not my desire to teach my daughter that when Mommy's upset with Daddy, you take matters into your own hands and fix Daddy's mistakes. Which I view as one of the biggest problems in all female-and-male relationships.

We'll get to that. But first, we should make it clear: You're not making a penny from this interview.
[laughs] I am not making a penny from this interview!

I would imagine you could have sold out a hundred times.
I could have cashed out big. But that's not what I'm about. I love Johnny and I love my daughter more than anything in the world, and I don't want to ever do anything to hurt them or hurt their relationship.

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SOURCE GQ Photo Slideshow

Note: I'm no fan of this woman, but I guess this is news, if only for her version of the events. Looks like the reporter is pretty sympathetic to her, just FYI. Also, since the number one comment seems to be about how creepy the pic is, I linked the slideshow of the two other pictures. The other two are also creepy and weirdly sexually suggestive, even the one with her daughter. It seems like she can't help but try and flaunt her sexuality. Ew.

Addendum: Miss CrazyNoPants is apparently the inspiration for the character "Allison Poole" in both Jay McInerney and Brett Easton Ellis's books:

Amnesty International calls out US for Women's Rights violations

Amnesty International may be best known to American audiences for bringing to light horror stories abroad such as the disappearance of political activists in Argentina or the abysmal conditions inside South African prisons under apartheid. But in a new report on pregnancy and childbirth care in the U.S., Amnesty details the maternal-health care crisis in this country as part of a systemic violation of women's rights.

The report, titled "Deadly Delivery," notes that the likelihood of a woman's dying in childbirth in the U.S. is five times as great as in Greece, four times as great as in Germany and three times as great as in Spain. Every day in the U.S., more than two women die of pregnancy-related causes, with the maternal mortality ratio doubling from 6.6 deaths per 100,000 births in 1987 to 13.3 deaths per 100,000 births in 2006. (And as shocking as these figures are, Amnesty notes that the actual number of maternal deaths in the U.S. may be a lot higher, since there are no federal requirements to report these outcomes and since data collection at the state and local levels needs to be improved.) "In the U.S., we spend more than any country on health care, yet American women are at greater risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes than in 40 other countries," says Nan Strauss, the report's co-author, who spent two years investigating the issue of maternal mortality worldwide. "We thought that was scandalous."

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First post, please be gentle....

Murasaki Shikibu

Google looks like it's putting its money where its mouth is

Google ‘99% certain’ to shut China engine

Google has drawn up detailed plans for the closure of its Chinese search engine and is now “99.9 per cent” certain to go ahead as talks over censorship with the Chinese authorities have reached an apparent impasse, according to a person familiar with the company’s thinking.

In a hardening of positions on both sides, the Chinese government also on Friday threw down a direct public challenge to the US search company, with a warning that it was not prepared to compromise on internet censorship to stop Google leaving.

The signs that Google was on the brink of closing, its local search service in China, came two months after it promised to stop bowing to censorship there. But while a decision could be made very soon, the company is likely to take some time to follow through with the plan as it seeks an orderly closure and takes steps to protect local employees from retaliation by the authorities, the person familiar with its position said.

Google is also seeking ways to keep its other operations in China going, although some executives fear that a backlash from the Chinese authorities could make it almost impossible to keep a presence in the country.

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I'm glad to see that it looks like Google really is taking a stand. I just wish the other search engines were willing to do the same, but Yahoo and Bing (especially Bing; I don't buy their "Oh, tee hee, it was just a goof!" that censored searches in simplified Chinese anywhere in the world) are most definitely not (nor IIRC do they do what Google did, which was at least tell people the results were being censored). I'm definitely cheering for Google.

The way this is playing out publicly seems to be a culture clash as well, which also makes things fun and exciting. :/
♪ shakin it for mami

Birtherism lives!

Is Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli a Birther?

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has been in the news a lot recently for his lawsuit against the EPA, his letter to colleges telling them to change their non-discrimination policies and his efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. But he's not done making news yet!

In this recording, Ken is caught talking about how to challenge Barack Obama's birth certificate. Check it out on the youtube below- the full transcript is below the video.

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As the post says, same jerk who just tried to strip LGBT rights from the non-discrimination policies.

Also, this post is from the same blogger who broke the "macaca" story that torpedoed George Allen in 2006.
Bree Gun

(no subject)

Memo to all women: No half for you in Hollywood

OK, we’re not just imagining it.

Women may make up 51% of the population, but actresses nabbed only 29.9% of the 4,379 speaking parts in the 100 top-grossing films of 2007, or so says a new study released by University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, which was conducted by professor Stacy. L Smith.

According to Smith’s study, 83% of all directors, writers, and producers on those films were male. Not surprisingly, the number of female characters grew dramatically when a woman directed a film -- up to 44.6% from 29.3% if a man was behind the camera.

That number would probably be even lower if Smith and her team had to factor in "The Hurt Locker," from filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow, who many believe will be the first woman to win an Academy Award for directing come March 7. The number of parts for females in her movie? According to IMDB, only three of the 34 actors were women, which means they accounted around 9% of the characters on screen.

A few more numbers to consider: Smith said these statistics about women directors and female actors should be interpreted with caution -- only three of the top 100 films of 2007 had a female director.


Note: Obviously this is a bit old as Kathryn Bigelow already won the Oscar last week
Pride &amp; Prejudice

Venables: age of criminal responsibility in the spotlight

6 Pictures, Images and Photos

It is a pity that the debate over the age of criminal responsibility, revived this weekend by the children's commissioner, Maggie Atkinson, has become embroiled with the issues raised by the recall of Jon Venables to prison. I don't know whether her interview with the Times was coincidental or held specifically to take advantage of the Venables affair.

The impact, though, was muddled. She made some valid general points about the inappropriateness of the legal age of responsibility being set at 10, (except in Scotland, where it will soon rise from eight to 12) but these seemed unconvincing when tested against the facts of the James Bulger killing. Her arguments would have been given greater serious consideration at another time, but then she might not have got such prominence in the media.

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misc - microphone

Tropical Cyclones in the South Pacific

Fiji on guard for cyclone hit
Rowan Callick From: The Australian - March 16, 2010 12:00AM

MOST of Fiji was under a curfew last night, holding its breath in the hope that cyclone Tomas will maintain its projected trajectory down through the nation's sparsely populated eastern islands and head back out into the Pacific Ocean.

As the powerful slow-moving cyclone hit the northern island of Vanua Levu yesterday, the capital, Suva, and most other centres were closed down, with schools and banks shut and the country's 22,000 public servants told to stay home.

Homes and crops were damaged and thousands of people evacuated as the cyclone struck Fiji's north, generating winds of up to 185km/h, authorities said.

Rated yesterday as a category four cyclone, on a five-stage scale, Tomas was expected to intensify overnight and today.

As a precautionary measure, the Fiji Electricity Authority switched off power to northern Fiji, where last night more than 5000 people were huddled for safety in scores of evacuation centres.

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less recent, but more detailed article:
Unconfirmed deaths, flights canned amid Fiji cyclone

There are unconfirmed reports of deaths in Fiji, as Cyclone Tomas moves through the northern part of the island group.

At least 5,000 people are sheltering in up to 40 evacuation centres ahead of the main force of the cyclone, which is expected to pass close to the capital Suva tomorrow morning.

Disaster Management official Anthony Blake told Newstalk ZB trees were down, power is out in some areas and there are reports of damage to houses and a kindergarten on one of the islands in the far north of the country. Officials are trying to verify the reports of injuries and fatalities.

Cyclone Tomas, with gusts up to 270km/h causing chaotic seas that have already claimed one life, has been called the worst in at least 20 years.

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My sister is in Fiji now with the Peace Corps. She was evacuated to Savusavu, on the island of Vanua Levu. She is hunkered down with another Peace Corps volunteer. They lost power hours ago. The last we heard was a text she sent our other sister yesterday saying that it's going to be a long night.

It felt like no one in the American mainstream media was saying anything about Tomas until this morning, when it actually hit the islands. There's also Category 4 Ului, which has already slammed other islands to the west of Fiji. Ului is expected to weaken before it hits the coast of Australia in a few days.

Mods: any chance of a tag for Fiji or the South Pacific?

Feminists in anti-raunch-culture revolt

A DECADE ago, Mia Freedman was one of the country's most powerful and provocative magazine editors. As editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, Cleo and Dolly, she chased circulation gains with sexually explicit "sealed sections".

Today, at 38, Freedman is deeply concerned about the harmful effects on children of what feminists have dubbed "hypersexual" or "raunch" culture.

The former glossies queen and high-profile blogger says: "It is becoming more prevalent, this hypersexualisation, and this idea of raunch being OK and normal.

"You've got mums doing pole classes or babies wearing T-shirts saying `I'm a tits man' at three months."

Freedman embodies a striking cultural shift - the revolt against raunch - in which a growing cohort of feminists and libertarians are turning against the 21st-century excesses of the "free love" cultures they once embraced.

They are now allied, on this issue at least, with many of the social conservatives they once regarded as reactionary.

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Pedobear For 2012! President Pedobear Promises a Free Loli In Every Household!

Free Boys Still Under Consideration...

Dutch Pedophile Party Disbands After Lack Of Success

AMSTERDAM — A Dutch political party formed by self-described pedophiles has voted to disband itself after failing for the second time to participate in national elections in June.

The group, which sought to lower the age of sexual consent to 12, says it could not get the 600 signatures necessary to win a place on the ballot in a country of 16.5 million.
It would need 60,000 votes to win a seat in the 150-member Dutch parliament.

The party also failed to meet the threshold in 2006, when its creation caused an international sensation.

The group's founders said Monday that debate about the party had prevented any substantive discussion of its goals.

The Party for Brotherly Love, Freedom and Diversity, known by its Dutch acronym PVND PWNED, said members voted Sunday to dissolve.

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gw || relena
  • brecho

women's history month with brecho: day fifteen

Pacific business women need better access to information and knowledge

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today launched a series of reports indicating that Pacific business women need better access to information and knowledge- sharing opportunities on business formalities to realize their full economic potential and contribute to their countries' national development.

The "Gender and Investment Climate Reform Assessments" show a dominant practice of women operating businesses informally. Countries studied include Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.
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Palin to campaign with McCain in Tucson

PIMA COUNTY, AZ (KOLD) - Senator John McCain's staffers announced Monday that Sarah Palin will join him in rallies in Tucson and Phoenix.

The former Alaska Governor and current Arizona Senator will speak to constituents at the Pima County fairgrounds on Friday, March 26.

They'll be holding the rally at the Thurber Hall, 11300 South Houghton, at noon. Doors open at 11 a.m.

The duo will then travel north to Phoenix to appeal to voters on March 27. The rally there will be held at Dobson High School, 1501 West Guadalupe.

Doors open for that event at 7:30 a.m. The rally begins at 9 a.m.

Oh McCain, how far you have fallen...