March 19th, 2010


President Roosevelt Declares Empire of Japan and Dems Wont Stop Until We Accept Socialized Medicine

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by Socialized Medicine From Our Katana-wielding Yakuza Overlords.

Sen. Lindsey Graham and Glenn Beck Agree: Health Reform Is Like A Japanese Bombing Attack

Throughout the health reform debate, GOP lawmakers have tried desperately to smear health reform with increasingly bizarre and extreme remarks. In an interview on Monday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) added to the hyperbole, comparing the House Democrats’ efforts to pass healthcare reform legislation to a Japanese kamikaze mission. “Nancy Pelosi, I think, has got them all liquored up on sake and you know, they’re making a suicide run here,” Graham said.

Picking up on Graham’s theme, Glenn Beck today similarly smeared health reform as the attack on Pearl Harbor. On his radio show, Beck intoned that reform “is like Pearl Harbor” because “people will wake up” to the “battle”:

BECK: The second thing is to prepare yourself. This is a battle. Health care is a battle. It’s a battle — it’s not the war. It’s a battle. Believe me, if you are a group that has values and principles, and you are peaceful, your power is about to go through the roof, not through the floor. Because people are — this event is like Pearl Harbor. It will wake people up and they’ll go, “wait, wait, wait. What did they just do?”
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Cops have visited elderly Brooklyn couple's home at least 50 TIMES looking for criminals

Source: NY Daily News

Brooklyn World War II vet Walter Martin and his wife, Rose, aren't at the top of the NYPD's most wanted list - it just feels that way.

Cops have swooped down on the law-abiding couple's modest Marine Park home at least 50 times in the last eight years hunting bad guys - only to learn they were chasing a bad address.

They've come looking for murder and robbery suspects. Once, cops came hunting for one of their own - an NYPD officer accused of raping his 14-year-old stepdaughter.

In each case, NYPD officers from commands ranging from the north Bronx to Staten Island somehow confused the Martins' two-story home with the hideout of a suspect or key witness - a different person nearly every time.

"I'm really worried," Rose Martin, 82, said. "How could so many people get my address and how could cops be coming from so many different precincts?"

The Martins' nightmare began in 2002 and has grown to ridiculous proportions.

The latest came at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, when the Martins were jolted awake by police fists pounding on the home's front and back doors.

The startling wakeup call strained 83-year-old Walter Martin's heart, and he felt dizzy as he dressed hurriedly.

"You're not the first," he told the amazed officers. "We've had police here 50 to 75 times looking for people. ... After they left, I felt funny."

He said he took his blood pressure - and it was soaring. "It finally went down to normal after about three hours," he said.

The Martins have documented the unending police pop-ins - and have amassed a sizable collection of cops' business cards.

The lifetime Brooklyn residents bought the home in 1997 to be closer to their children.

All was fine until early 2002, when junk mail, court documents and arrest warrants began arriving for a motley collection of strangers.

Then, the police began knocking on their door - again and again and again.

"Police! Open up!" became a familiar phrase to the Martins, who have had police at their door as many as three times in a week.

Most of the time, the officers quickly realized they had hit the wrong address - and left in frustration, saying little.

Other visits have been more memorable.

In June 2002, two female officers from the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau showed up looking for a woman who had accused a police officer of sexual misconduct.

The most bizarre mixup came on Oct. 10, 2006, when cops and FBI agents rolled up, hunting for then-cop Angel Negron, who was later charged with raping his 14-year-old stepdaughter. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was fired.

"That is one I can't get over," Walter Martin said, unable to understand how the NYPD could not know how to quickly find one of its own.

Frustrated and scared, the Martins wrote to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Mayor Bloomberg and U.S. Postmaster General John Potter - but officers are still pounding on their door more than three years later.

Police brass are baffled. "Our identity theft squad is investigating the matter," said Inspector Ed Mullen, an NYPD spokesman.

"If they're getting that many visits we have to find out why," a police source said.

The NYPD's 61st Precinct once called it a computer glitch. Postal officials suggested the couple get a post-office box.

After the Daily News began making inquiries, the couple's address was run through the NYPD's Real Time Crime Center. Police sources said databases spit out 49 pages of documents, including complaints, 911 calls and stop, question and frisk forms. A News computer search of the address lists 15 other people living there. The Martins know none of them.

Rose Martin said cops have always been respectful and never crashed in.

Still, as she wrote to Kelly, she worries something tragic could happen if the problem is not corrected.

"I am fearful that if a no-knock warrant is issued with my address that my husband or I will end up having a heart attack," she wrote.
  • Current Mood
Me in Hawaii.

Ore. lawsuit claims Boy Scouts sex abuse coverup

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Boy Scouts of America has long kept an extensive archive of secret documents that chronicle the sexual abuse of young boys by Scout leaders over the years.

The "perversion files," a nickname the Boy Scouts are said to have used for the documents, have rarely been seen by the public, but that could all change in the coming weeks in an Oregon courtroom.

The lawyer for a man who was molested in the 1980s by a Scout leader has obtained about 1,000 Boy Scouts sex files and is expected to release some of them at a trial that began Wednesday. The lawyer says the files show how the Boy Scouts have covered up abuse for decades.

The trial is significant because the files could offer a rare window into how the Boy Scouts have responded to sex abuse by Scout leaders. The only other time the documents are believed to have been presented at a trial was in the 1980s in Virginia.

At the start of the Oregon trial, attorney Kelly Clark recited the Boy Scout oath and the promise to obey Scout law to be "trustworthy." Then he presented six boxes of documents that he said will show "how the Boy Scouts of America broke that oath."

He held up file folder after file folder he said contained reports of abuse from around the country, telling the jury the efforts to keep them secret may have actually set back efforts to prevent child abuse nationally.

"The Boy Scouts of America ignored clear warning signs that Boy Scouts were being abused," Clark said.

Charles Smith, attorney for the national Boy Scouts, said in his own opening statement the files were kept under wraps because they "were replete with confidential information."

Smith told the jury the files helped national scouting leaders weed out sex offenders, especially repeat offenders who may have changed names or moved in order to join another local scouting organization.

"They were trying to do the right thing by trying to track these folks," Smith said.

Clark is seeking $14 million in damages on behalf of a 37-year-old man who was sexually molested in the early 1980s in Portland by an assistant Scoutmaster, Timur Dykes.

Clark said the victim suffered mental health problems, bad grades in school, drug use, anxiety, difficulty maintaining relationships and lost several jobs over the years because of the abuse.

Dykes was convicted three times between 1983 and 1994 of sexually abusing boys, most of them Scouts.

Although there have been dozens of lawsuits against the organization over sex abuse allegations, judges for the most part have either denied requests for the files or the lawsuits have been settled before they went to trial.

The Boy Scouts had fought to keep the files being used in the Portland trial confidential. But they lost a pretrial legal battle when the Oregon Supreme Court rejected their argument that opening the files could damage the lives and reputations of people not a party to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also named the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because the Mormons acted as a charter organization, or sponsor, for the local Boy Scouts troop that included the victim. But the church has settled its portion of the case.

The Portland trial comes as the Boy Scouts are marking their 100th anniversary.

"They spent a century building the Boy Scout brand," said Patrick Boyle, author of a book about sex abuse in the Boy Scouts. "It's one of the most respected organizations in the world."

The trial "can only erode what they have been doing for 100 years," he said.

The Portland case centers on whether the Boy Scouts of America did enough to protect boys from Dykes.

The Mormon bishop who also served as head of the Scout troop, Gordon McEwen, confronted Dykes after receiving a report of abuse by the mother of one boy in the troop in January 1983.

In a video deposition played for the jury, the bishop said Dykes admitted abusing 17 boys.

But McEwen said he contacted the parents of all 17 boys and the boys themselves, and none would confirm any abuse.

Dykes was arrested in 1983 and pleaded guilty to attempted sexual abuse, received probation and was ordered to stay away from children.

Clark told the jury Dykes continued with his scouting activities until he was arrested in July 1984 during a routine traffic stop while he was driving a van full of Scouts on a camping trip.

A spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America at its headquarters in Irving, Texas, said in a statement the organization cannot comment on details of the case. But it has worked hard on awareness and prevention efforts, including background checks.

"Unfortunately, child abuse is a societal problem and there is no fail-safe method for screening out abusers," Deron Smith said.


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Man used penis to assault female police officer

A man who assaulted a female police officer with his penis has been fined.

Marium Varinauskas, 28, tried to strike the officer on the head with his penis when she was called out to his flat, but she got out of the way.

Lithuanian Varinauskas admitted a charge of assault at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and was fined £600. The court heard he had been drinking heavily and could not remember committing the offence at his home in Aberdeen.

Police were called to his home by his girlfriend, who had complained about him being drunk last November. Collapse )

Pride & Prejudice

Dutch fury at US general's gay theory over Srebrenica

Dutch officials have rejected a retired US general's claim that its forces failed at Srebrenica because of poor morale over openly gay soldiers.

A defence ministry spokesman dismissed the remarks by John Sheehan, a former Nato commander, as as "complete nonsense".

Gen Sheehan had been speaking at a US Senate hearing on allowing gay people to serve openly in the US military.

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There are no words.
asoneill - Yahoo Me

Limbaugh, Beck and Malkin Become Even Bigger Douches

State of health care debate: Pundits attack 11-year-old

WASHINGTON — Conservative talk show hosts and columnists have ridiculed an 11-year-old Washington state boy's account of his mother's death as a "sob story" exploited by the White House and congressional Democrats like a "kiddie shield" to defend their health care legislation.

Marcelas Owens , whose mother got sick, lost her job, lost her health insurance and died, said Thursday he's taking the attacks from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin in stride.

"My mother always taught me they can have their own opinion but that doesn't mean they are right," Owens, who lives in Seattle , said in an interview.

Owens' grandmother, Gina, who watched her daughter die, isn't quite so generous.

"These are adults, and he is an 11-year-old boy who lost his mother," Gina Owens said. "They should be ashamed."

Sen. Patty Murray , D- Wash. , told Marcelas Owens' story to President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House health care summit last month. Murray also has spoken about it on the Senate floor. Last week, Owens was in the nation's capital to speak at a health care rally and to meet with Senate Democratic leadership.

Limbaugh, Beck and Malkin are skeptical about the story, saying there were other forms of medical help available after Owens' mother, Tifanny, lost her health insurance. They lambasted Democrats for using the story.

"Now this is unseemly, exploitative, an 11-year-old boy being forced to tell his story all over just to benefit the Democrat Party and Barack Obama ," Limbaugh said on March 12 , according to a transcript his show. "And, I would say this to Marcelas Owens : 'Well, your mom would still have died, because Obamacare doesn't kick in until 2014.'"

Beck, according to a transcript of his March 15 show, pointed out that Owens' recent trip to Washington was paid for by Healthcare of America, a group that has been lobbying for a health care overhaul.

"That's the George Soros-funded Obama-approved group fighting for health care," Beck said. "Since all of the groups are so concerned and involved now, may I ask where were you when Marcelas' mother was vomiting blood?"

Beck, who's from Mount Vernon, Wash., said there were plenty of programs in Washington state that could have helped Tifanny Owens .

Malkin dismissed Marcelas Owens as "one of Obama's youngest lobbyists" who has been "goaded by a left-wing activist grandmother," promoted by Murray and has become a regular on the "pro-Obamacare circuit."

Malkin also suggested there were other programs that could have helped Tifanny Owens , adding, "It's not clear that additional doctors' visits in the subsequent months would have prevented her death."

Tifanny Owens died in June 2007 of pulmonary hypertension, which is described as high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs that can lead to heart failure. The disease is considered rare. While there's no cure, it can be treated.

The treatments can cost as much as $100,000 a year and must be "consistent and constant," said Katie Kroner , the director of advocacy and awareness for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association .

"It's extremely important to have health coverage," she said.

Owens was an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant when she became sick in September 2006 . As she became sicker, she missed work and was eventually fired, leaving her without health insurance. She was treated twice in an emergency room and died at age 27 after a week of unconsciousness. Gina Owens has custody of Marcelas and his two younger sisters.

Gina Owens said her daughter didn't qualify for Medicaid. State officials said that without knowing the details, it was impossible to speculate on whether Tifanny Owens would have qualified.

Tifanny Owens might have been eligible for Washington state's basic health care plan, which is aimed at the working poor. The plan has had a long waiting list for some time, said Sharon Michael of the Washington state Health Care Authority .

"Right now, we have 100,000 people on the wait list," Michael said.

Limbaugh has gone after young people before. In 2007, he told listeners that Democrats were exploiting an 18-year-old Yup'ik Eskimo and that her congressional testimony of global warming made him want to "puke."

Murray said she was appalled at how vicious the health care debate has become.

"The mom in me is getting really mad," she said. "You don't tear apart an 11-year-old because his mom died."

Marcelas Owens said he'll never know if his mother might have lived if she had health insurance.

"At least if she had it she would've had a fighting chance," he said.



To a point, I can understand conservatives blasting the administration for using this story (not that I agree with the conservatives, mind, but I can understand their point). But IMO, they crossed the line when they started attacking the kid personally. You do NOT tell an 11 year old kid his mother would have died anyway.
Mr. T the Patriot

Arizona Drops Children’s Health Program

Arizona on Thursday became the first state to eliminate its Children’s Health Insurance Program when Gov. Jan Brewer signed an austere budget that will leave nearly 47,000 low-income children without coverage.

The Arizona budget is a vivid reflection of how the fiscal crisis afflicting state governments is cutting deeply into health care. The state also will roll back Medicaid coverage for childless adults in a move that is expected to eventually drop 310,000 people from the rolls.

State leaders said they were left with few choices because of a $2.6 billion projected shortfall next year. But hospital officials and advocates for low-income people said they were worried that emergency rooms would be overrun by patients who had few other options for care, and that children might suffer enduring developmental problems because of inadequate medical attention.
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DW - Donna Stolen Earth by nishime

Sushi version of "We got ours, screw you guys from the future."

A proposal to ban international trade in Atlantic bluefin tuna, which is a sushi mainstay in Japan, has been rejected by a UN wildlife meeting.

Thursday's decision occurred after Japan, Canada and many poor nations opposed the measure on the grounds it would devastate fishing economies.

Monaco tabled the plan at the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Stocks have fallen by about 85% since the industrial fishing era began.

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From the Fisheries Secretariat (a non-profit dedicated to sustainable fisheries practices), Japan consumes 3/4 of the world's bluefin tuna catch, the great majority of this for the sushi market. There is much speculation that their lobbyists are responsible for the push for the preemptory vote (forced by a Libyan delegate), in order to avoid talks which might have reached a compromise. I'm bummed about the vote, because although I love me some sushi, I try to be very careful and only eat ingredients listed as sustainable on Seafood Watch's recommendations guide (available for PDF download - there are regional guides as well as the one for sushi). We really are screwing future generations out of all the tasty fish in the ocean, and causing bad chain reactions by depleting important populations. However, there's a chance the proposal can be brought up again during the debates, so perhaps there is hope.

Rage: Colleges almost never expel men who are found responsible for sexual assault.


Campus Rape Victims: A Struggle For Justice


NPR has the audio for this story

Findings of the Center for Public Integrity and NPR News Investigation:

— Colleges almost never expel men who are found responsible for sexual assault.

Reporters at CPI discovered a database of about 130 colleges and universities given federal grants because they wanted to do a better job dealing with sexual assault. But the database shows that even when men at those schools were found responsible for sexual assault, only 10 to 25 percent of them were expelled.

— The U.S. Department of Education has failed to aggressively monitor and regulate campus response to sexual assault.
The department has the authority to fine schools that fail to report crime on campus. In 20 years, the department has used that power just six times. And the department can also find that a school has violated a law that prevents discrimination against women. But between 1998 and 2008, the department ruled against just five universities out of 24 resolved complaints

.— Colleges are ill-equipped to handle cases of sexual assault. Most of the time, alcohol is involved. Local prosecutors are reluctant to take these cases, so they often fall to campus judicial systems to sort through clashing claims of whether the sex was consensual or forced.

A college campus isn't the first place that comes to mind in a discussion about violent crime.

But research funded by the U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1 out of 5 college women will be sexually assaulted. NPR's investigative unit teamed up with journalists at the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) to look at the failure of schools — and the government agency that oversees them — to prevent these assaults and then to resolve these cases.

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franklin sherman

US Forest Service admits putting surveillance cameras on public lands

Charleston man surprised when he found one while camping with daughter

Last month, Herman Jacob took his daughter and her friend camping in the Francis Marion National Forest. While poking around for some firewood, Jacob noticed a wire. He pulled on it and followed it to a video camera and antenna.

The camera didn't have any markings identifying its owner, so Jacob took it home and called law enforcement agencies to find out if it was theirs, all the while wondering why someone would station a video camera in an isolated clearing in the woods.

He eventually received a call from Mark Heitzman of the U.S. Forest Service.

In a stiff voice, Heitzman ordered Jacob to turn it back over to his agency, explaining that it had been set up to monitor "illicit activities." Jacob returned the camera but felt uneasy.

Why, he wondered, would the Forest Service have secret cameras in a relatively remote camping area? What do they do with photos of bystanders?

How many hidden cameras are they using, and for what purposes? Is this surveillance in the forest an effective law enforcement tool? And what are our expectations of privacy when we camp on public land?

Officials with the Forest Service were hardly forthcoming with answers to these and other questions about their surveillance cameras. When contacted about the incident, Heitzman said "no comment," and referred other questions to Forest Service's public affairs, who he said, "won't know anything about it."

Heather Frebe, public affairs officer with the Forest Service in Atlanta, said the camera was part of a law enforcement investigation, but she declined to provide details.

Asked how cameras are used in general, how many are routinely deployed throughout the Forest and about the agency's policies, Frebe also declined to discuss specifics. She said that surveillance cameras have been used for "numerous years" to "provide for public safety and to protect the natural resources of the forest. Without elaborating, she said images of people who are not targets of an investigation are "not kept."

In addition, when asked whether surveillance cameras had led to any arrests, she did not provide an example, saying in an e-mail statement: "Our officers use a variety of techniques to apprehend individuals who break laws on the national forest."

Video surveillance is nothing new, and the courts have addressed the issue numerous times in recent decades. The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, and over time the courts have created a body of law that defines what's reasonable, though this has become more challenging as surveillance cameras became smaller and more advanced.

In general, the courts have held that people typically have no reasonable level of privacy in public places, such as banks, streets, open fields in plain view and on public lands, such as National Parks and National Forests. In various cases, judges ruled that a video camera is effectively an extension of a law enforcement officer's eyes and ears. In other words, if an officer can eyeball a campground in person, it's OK to station a video camera in his or her place.

Jacob said he understands that law enforcement officials have a job to do but questioned whether stationing hidden cameras outweighed his and his children's privacy rights. He said the camp site they went to -- off a section of the Palmetto Trail on U.S. 52 north of Moncks Corner -- was primitive and marked only by a metal rod and a small wooden stand for brochures. He didn't recall seeing any signs saying that the area was under surveillance.

After he found the camera, he plugged the model number, PV-700, into his Blackberry, and his first hit on Google was a Web site offering a "law enforcement grade" motion-activated video camera for about $500. He called law enforcement agencies in the area, looking for its owner, and later got a call from Heitzman, an agent with the National Forest Service.

Read more:

Ruining my favorite hobby. Real fucking nice. I go on isolated backpacking trips to -be isolated- and -alone-.

Attorney-General Backtracks on Gender Ruling

This is an update to this post about the first person in NSW to be registered having no specific sex.

THE case of the state's first genderless citizen has forced the equivalent of a bureaucratic sex change on the government.

It has revoked an official document issued last month to an androgynous Sydneysider called Norrie whose sex was listed as genderless.

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There is a short video interview with Norrie at the source that is worth watching.
' jules

Confessions of a Congressional Drama Queen

The Drama Queen Caucus

Reps. Nathan Deal and Zach Wamp did it to boost their campaigns for governor.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez did it to focus attention on his pet issue, immigration.

And Reps. Jason Altmire and Dennis Kucinich seem to be doing it just to enjoy the rare opportunity to bask in the national spotlight.

Call it the Drama Queen Caucus — members of Congress who labor mostly in obscurity, lucky to get a daytime cable hit, let alone a Sunday talk show invitation, until the big vote nears. And then they engage in an oh-so-public exercise deliberating over how they will vote or go to extraordinary ends demonstrating how strongly they feel about the way they have already decided to vote.

While Congressional Budget Office scores, whip counts and arcane procedural techniques may draw much of the attention in the countdown to the House health care vote, the venerable Washington tradition of showboating has inevitably focused attention on a group of heretofore little-known representatives suddenly cast as leading actors in the capital’s high drama.

And drama is the right word.

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gotta give it to Politico, they're dead right on this one. Especially in that a lot of the actually conflicted politicians don't go on TV, you hear a few comments to reporters on The Hill or something and that's it.


Chemical in Bananas Identified as Potent Inhibitor of HIV Infection

ScienceDaily (Mar. 16, 2010) — A potent new inhibitor of HIV, derived from bananas, may open the door to new treatments to prevent sexual transmission of HIV, according to a newly published University of Michigan Medical School study.

Scientists have an emerging interest in lectins, naturally occurring chemicals in plants, because of their ability to halt the chain of reaction that leads to a variety of infections.

In laboratory tests, BanLec, the lectin found in bananas, was as potent as two current anti-HIV drugs. Based on the findings published March 19 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, BanLec may become a less expensive new component of applied vaginal microbicides, researchers say.

New ways of stopping the spread of the HIV are vitally needed. The rate of new infections of HIV is outpacing the rate of new individuals getting anti-retroviral drugs by 2.5 to1, and at present it appears an effective vaccine is years away.

"HIV is still rampant in the U.S. and the explosion in poorer countries continues to be a bad problem because of tremendous human suffering and the cost of treating it," says study senior author David Marvovitz, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School.

Although condom use is quite effective, condoms are most successful in preventing infection if used consistently and correctly, which is often not the case.

"That's particularly true in developing countries where women have little control over sexual encounters so development of a long-lasting, self-applied microbicide is very attractive," Markovitz says.

Some of the most promising compounds for inhibiting vaginal and rectal HIV transmission are agents that block HIV prior to integration into its target cell.

The new research describes the complex actions of lectins and their ability to outsmart HIV. Lectins are sugar-binding proteins. They can identify foreign invaders, like a virus, and attach themselves to the pathogen.

The U-M team discovered BanLec, the lectin in bananas, can inhibit HIV infection by binding to the sugar-rich HIV-1 envelope protein, gp120, and blocking its entry to the body.

Co-authors Erwin J. Goldstein, Ph.D., professor emeritus of biological chemistry at U-M and Harry C. Winter, Ph.D., research assistant professor in biological chemistry at U-M, developed the biopurification method to isolate BanLec from bananas. Following their work, the U-M team discovered BanLec is an effective anti-HIV lectin and is similar in potency to T-20 and maraviroc, two anti-HIV drugs currently in clinical use.

Yet therapies using BanLec could be cheaper to create than current anti-retroviral medications which use synthetically produced components, plus BanLec may provide a wider range of protection, researchers say.

"The problem with some HIV drugs is that the virus can mutate and become resistant, but that's much harder to do in the presence of lectins," says lead author Michael D. Swanson, a doctoral student in the graduate program in immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

"Lectins can bind to the sugars found on different spots of the HIV-1 envelope, and presumably it will take multiple mutations for the virus to get around them," he says.

Swanson is developing a process to molecularly alter BanLec to enhance its potential clinical utility. Clinical use is considered years away but researchers believe it could be used alone or with other anti-HIV drugs as a vaginal microbicide that prevents HIV infection.

Authors say even modest success could save millions of lives. Other investigators have estimated that 20 percent coverage with a microbicide that is only 60 percent effective against HIV may prevent up to 2.5 million HIV infections in three years.

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Sheehan's Stand

Retired general testifies in support of DADT by blaming gays for military failures and sexual assaults, believes burden is on gays to prove military will ''become better''

by Chris Geidner
Published on March 19, 2010, 10:01am

Since Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) first began hearings last month on the military's ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell'' policy,'' he's had many witnesses voice disagreement with him. Never, though, has the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee been as plainly frustrated as he was on Thursday morning, March 18, during the testimony of retired Marine Corps Gen. John J. Sheehan.

At one point during the hearing, Levin looked directly at Sheehan and ended a line of questioning by telling the former Supreme Allied Commander of the Atlantic, ''I think the burden to maintain a discriminatory policy is on the people who maintain the policy – not on the people who want to end it.''

Gen. John J. Sheehan (Ret.), left, speaks with Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), right, following a committee hearing on Thursday, March 18, about the ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell'' policy.
(Photo by Chris Geidner)

That moment came just after Sheehan had declared, ''I think the burden has to be on demonstrating that something is going to become better.''

Beyond his standard of demanding results before implementation of the policy change, Sheehan used his time at the hearing to blame – in part – openly gay Dutch troops for the massacre of Muslims in Srebrenica, to agree that he had a different standard for gay and lesbian servicemembers than he had for straight ones, and to place the genesis of his 2010 viewpoint about DADT on an alleged same-sex sexual assault that occurred in the ''early years of Vietnam.''

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It's like they'll do anything to prove that the average heterosexual white male apple-pie eatin' soldier would never do anything like sexually assault a fellow service member or civilian. I'm so sick of this climate of "We can't say anything critical about soldiers because they give their lives for us." I respect the military as much as any of these people, but you can't ignore their long history of criminal violence. These people are trained to kill for God's sake, why is it so hard to believe?

Pretty ugly: Can we please stop pretending that beautiful women aren't beautiful?

After months of nudging from Jos and from my sister, I finally watched an episode of Glee. And then, because I loved it so much, I tried to watch every episode ever made so that I wouldn't be distracted from my work by the temptation of unseen plot twists and musical numbers. It was Glee binge, and it wasn't pretty.

Speaking of not pretty, isn't Rachel totally ugly? I mean, just look at her.

Hideous, right? One of the running themes of Glee is that Rachel, played by Lea Michele, is talented, but annoying, badly dressed and physically unattractive. In other words, they Liz Lemon her. Yeah, I just made that a verb - and it needs to be one, because there's a lot of Liz Lemoning going on these days.

For those of you who don't spend an embarrassing amount of your time watching sitcoms on Hulu, Liz Lemon originates with NBC's 30 Rock. The most frustrating thing about 30 Rock, an otherwise excellent show, are the constant references to the fact that Tina Fey's character Liz Lemon is ugly. The thing is, Tina Fey fits conventional standards of female beauty almost to a T. Liz Lemon, like Rachel, is a flawed character, but the constant references to her ugliness are just absurd. And while beauty is of course subjective, these two women absolutely meet our culture's standard of female beauty: they're young, white, slim, cis-gendered, well-proportioned and able-bodied, with long shiny hair and smooth skin. They may not be Victoria's Secret models, and they may have brown hair and glasses, but they certainly still meet society's standards of female beauty.

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Bringing Up . Swingin' Door Suzie

Anthony Weiner Being Awesome on TV

Anthony Weiner Smacks Down Peggy Noonan On Health Care

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) appeared on Morning Joe today, and things got a bit heated when he told Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan that her criticisms of President Obama and health care reform were some "of the most cliched, hackneyed assessments of this thing."

Noonan started off by stating that Congress was already "one of the most unpopular institutions in America before they went through this dreadful process, with all of the buying of Congressman and the buying of the Senators."

She also claimed that President Obama "misunderstood what history was asking of him" when he started the push for health care reform, and that it was "fatally off-point."

Instead, she said, the President should have been focusing on jobs and the economy.

Weiner was not having any of this: "These are two of the most cliched, hackneyed assessments of this thing. One, that this was not a good process. It went through five committees. The most open process I can imagine. Every single Republican amendment was considered."

"This is how legislation works," he added.

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Libural Poll Indicates That Israel Loves Our Socialist Tyrant Usurper. Netanyahu is Heartbroken

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Found Standing Outside of The White House's Lawn Under Joe Biden's Obama's Window, Holding a Boombox Over His Head While Playing Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes"

Poll: Majority of Israelis find Obama ‘fair’ or ‘friendly.’

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reports that, according to a new poll examining Israeli attitudes toward President Obama, “a sweeping majority of Israelis think his treatment of this country [Israel] is friendly and fair.” The poll found that 51 percent of Israelis say Obama is “fair”, and 18 percent say he’s “friendly.” Another 21 percent find him hostile. By comparison, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party is losing ground:
The paper linked the shift against Likud to frayed relations between Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama over Israel’s continuing settlement expansion in the West Bank, but did not present findings on the Israeli leader’s personal popularity.
It said a majority of 64 percent felt that the Netanyahu coalition’s policies “do not represent” their wishes.
The poll is the latest evidence rebutting conservative claims that Obama is unpopular in Israel. In December, a poll (pdf) commissioned by the New American Foundation found that 52 percent of Israelis “believe that Obama’s election is good for addressing the world’s problems,” and that Obama had an overall 41 percent favorable/37 percent unfavorable rating, which was stronger than Israeli opinions toward the Israeli Defense and Foreign Ministers.

Facebook stands up to's cyberbullying

Facebook headquarters in downtown Palo Alto, C...

Image via Wikipedia

The Home Office has half-heartedly claimed victory in its effort to strong-arm Facebook into publishing a child protection "panic button" on its users' profiles. In fact, the government has been given an embarrassing lesson in rationality by the leading social network.

Following a meeting with Facebook's regulation staff on Thursday, the Home Secretary Alan Johnson announced he had won a concession from the site that it had "no objection in principle" to adding the button.

Very quickly, however, it became clear Facebook had merely agreed to consider including a link to the CEOP in its user safety section.

There is already a CEOP link in Facebook's help pages, so it's unclear what practical measure the site might take, if any. CEOP and Facebook will meet on 12 April to discuss potential details.

The important point is that any link or safety section would be a long way short of the panic button on millions of UK users' profile pages demanded by CEOP's chief executive, Jim Gamble. His organisation wants to be the "central portal for helping keep children safe online".

The former Northern Ireland police intelligence chief has been campaigning for a year for Facebook to fall in line with Bebo and MSN by widely publishing the "Click CEOP" button. His public lobbying in the last two weeks had a tragic prompt, and Facebook's refusal to bow to law enforcement, political and media barracking on such a sensitive issue has made compelling viewing.

Gamble took his campaign back to the airwaves immediately after 33-year-old registered sex offender Peter Chapman was sentenced to a minimum of 35 years in jail for the rape and murder of Ashleigh Hall. Facebook's refusal to publish his button was "beyond logic", he told Radio 4's Today. The Home Secretary quickly backed Gamble by saying he could see "no reason" for the site's intransigence.

It was a continuation of a media campaign launched by CEOP in November, which was in turn an attempt to embarrass Facebook into action after private approaches were rejected. Throughout the row, Facebook has maintained that its own reporting features for suspicious or abusive behaviour are effective.

The officially-sanctioned flare-up over Ashleigh Hall has been cynically emotional, and CEOP and the government have reacted to her appalling murder in a way that smacks of ghoulish self-interest.
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Source: The Register

movies | Impish Fräulein2

Shenanigans Friday: March 19, 2010.

"All the LOLsident is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing, and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway."--Harry S. LOLman

Please exploit these resources:
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women's history month with brecho: day nineteen

Human trafficking disguised as temp work

Why didn't you just run away?

That was a question an audience member, a man, posed to former sex trafficking victim Maria Suarez who spoke last fall in Costa Mesa. It's a question many wonder when they hear of cases where trafficking victims live openly in our midst.

In Suarez's case, the answer was this: She was held captive for five years in the home of an Azusa man, lured by the promise of a house cleaning job. She came in contact with neighbors and, later, with fellow employees when her captor allowed her to work in a factory. Still, she never ran away.

That dynamic – a victim who stays in a horrific situation even when escape seems possible – is often at play for trafficking victims, whether they're forced to work in a factory in Taiwan or at a brothel in Orange County.
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Computer glitch prompts 50 raids on elderly couple's home

51st time's the charm

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized to an elderly Brooklyn couple on Friday for about 50 door-pounding visits police made to their home resulting from a glitch in one of the department's computers.

Police used the address of Rose and and Walter Martin's modest home as part of "random material" to test the automated computer system that tracks crime complaints and records internal police information, a department official told the Associated Press. As a result, police over the past four years have repeatedly banged on their doors and demanded the couple open up.

The most recent raid came Tuesday, when officers pounded on both the front and back doors of the modest abode yelling "Police, open up!"

Police officials thought they had resolved the problem in 2007, when the couple's address was wiped from the system, but that assessment was later proven wrong.

This time, police officials say, the Martins' address has been flagged with an alert, "so if there's any record indicating an officer should visit the address, 'they're barred from doing it,'" the AP said here.

An automated system that tells police not to visit an elderly couple's address? We wouldn't be surprised if the rule of unintended consequences strikes again. ®

Source: The Register


Guns Dont Kill People. Gay Guns Kill People (and Wiimotes)

Gays Are More Dangerous Than Guns In Florida

Yesterday, the Florida legislature passed legislation — backed by the National Rifle Association — that would bar adoption agencies from asking whether prospective parents have guns or ammunition in their homes. The bill “rocketed” out of the legislature and now just needs the signature of Gov. Charlie Crist (R), who supports the measure. The AP explains what prompted the bill:
The issue of adoptions by gun owners came to light after a few prospective parents complained last year that the Children’s Home Society of Florida, the state’s largest provider of services to children and families, was asking applicants to disclose information about weapons or ammunition they keep at home. Florida law bans state agencies or their agents from maintaining a registry of firearm owners.
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Maryland Wants Divorce From The South. Wants To See Other States.

Maryland Caught Having an Affair With Despot Lincoln-lover Northern Scum East Coast Liberal Elite Latte-Drinking Tax-Lover Sushi-eating Hybrid-Driving Tree-hugging-Hippie Gay Sympathizer Hollywood-craze Left-wing Yankee Bastard!!! Maryland You Whore!

Maryland Trying To Secede From The South

Maryland's official song may include a line about "Northern scum" left over from the Civil War era, but the state isn't feeling so Southern anymore.

Though Marylanders live just south of the Mason-Dixon Line, their attitudes and even their accents straddle that border. These days, leaders feel they've got more in common with states to the north.

In one sign of the shift, lawmakers successfully petitioned to move from the Southern Region of the Council of State Governments to the Eastern Region, where they'll be able to trade ideas with fellow officials from Pennsylvania, New York, and other states they consider more like-minded.

"I just don't think we're as Southern as people used to think," said state Sen. Catherine Pugh, a Baltimore Democrat.

It's unusual for states to switch regions in the 77-year-old council, which provides a forum for state officials to share ideas. The last time was when Missouri switched from the Midwestern Region to the Southern Region in 1994.

Maryland supporters of the change cite the state's proximity to the District of Columbia, which is in the Eastern Region. They share many concerns, particularly in public safety and transportation.

Maryland also belongs to the same electrical power grid as several states in the Eastern Region and shares environmental interests in preserving the Chesapeake Bay with states there, although fellow bay state Virginia is in the Southern Region.

"I think that we have common experiences that we can learn from," said state Sen. Verna Jones, D-Baltimore.
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Fatuous Pro Lifers Ambushed By Reality; Don't Like It

LINCOLN, NE -- Six low-income women have told a south Omaha health clinic that they will opt for abortions because they cannot afford prenatal services, which are no longer government-funded.


The report from the OneWorld Community Health Centers, coupled with the earlier confirmation of an abortion by a Schuyler, Neb., woman, prompted at least three state senators to say Thursday that the issue has reached a “crisis” level.

Because of a federal directive, the state cut off government-funded prenatal care as of March 1 for about Collapse )

Anthony Weiner Chokes a Biatch!! Demands Source of GOP's Fake Memo!

GOP's Fake Memo Proves Our Worst Fear! Indicates That Real Americans Against Socialized Medicine Will Be Round Up To FEMA Concentration Camps. Americans Who Wish To Get Access To Health Care Will Have to Join The Communist Party and Worship Islam! It Haz To Be True!

'Doc Fix' Memo FAKE? Health Care Memo Spread By Media, GOP Called 'Hoax'

Democrats are charging that the GOP made up a fake messaging memo that purports to be from Democrats as a way to undermine the party's message at the last minute.
The memo was circulated to reporters -- including this one -- by a spokesman to House Minority Leader John Boehner. Politico reported on the memo and posted a story which the Drudge Report featured prominently.

"The memo is a fake," said Kristie Greco, a spokesperson for Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.). "It's an under-handed and unethical attempt to distract from the health care debate. If opponents of health insurance reform had a credible policy alternative they wouldn't have to resort to nefarious games."

Several anonymous Democratic aides similarly told Talking Points Memo's Christina Bellantoni that the memo was a trick:
"We have checked with every Democratic office, no one has ever seen it. It did not come out of a Democratic office," the aide said, adding that media outlets printing the memo have not checked with leadership offices if the memo is authentic. A second Democratic leadership aide confirmed the memo was not sent by the Democrats. A third Democratic aide also said the memo is fake, citing the "draft" stamp and saying no one uses such things.

"If this were a Democratic communications person who wrote this, they should be fired, because this looks like Republican talking points," the third Democratic aide told TPMDC.
Politico has since pulled the memo, leaving Drudge to link instead to a page that reads "UPDATE: Democrats challenge authenticity of 'doc fix' memo."

The right-wing blog Big Government, however, still has it up as evidence that Democrats intend to mislead the American people about the cost of the bill.

"The facts remain the same. If Democratic leadership is going to do the doc fix bill, then they're low-balling the cost of the bill by $330 billion. If they're not, why is the AMA endorsing it?" said Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel.
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