April 6th, 2010

LOLitics | \o/

FLOTUS wins special Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award; FoxNews subsequently whines over a kiddie award.

Big Help award [goes] to First Lady Michelle Obama at Nickelodeon's 23rd annual kids' choice awards


The first ever Big Help award was awarded to First Lady Michelle Obama at Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kids' Choice Awards. In a special honor, The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama accepted the first-ever Nickelodeon Big Help Award for inspiring families to be healthy and active through her recently launched Let's Move! initiative.

The award recognizes those who seek to better the world, and whose significant impact on their community has inspired kids to do the same. In a taped acceptance, the First Lady acknowledged it was an honor to receive the award and she encouraged kids to be active and take control of their lives and health.

The Big Help Award signaled the launch of Nickelodeon's The Big Help "Millions on the Move" campaign (www.thebighelp.com), which aims to inspire a kid-led movement of positive change, focusing on four key issues that kids have identified as being important to them: the environment; education; health and wellness; and community service. As part of The Big Help, Nickelodeon will distribute $1 million in grants to fund The Big Help "Millions on the Move" projects in schools and communities across the country.

Source


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Finally, on a related note, I regret to inform ontd_political that though Michelle and Barack were also nominated in the Cutest Couple category, they lost to the "Jacob and Bella" characters from Twilight.

But you can download Nickelodeon's Michelle and Barack fan kit, if you like, haha.
movies | HBIC

ONTD_Political's PotD: April 5, 2010.

A 25-foot tall replica statue of the Egyptian god Anubis, with a suitcase at his feet, passes in front of the Statue of Liberty while taking a tour of the New York waterways, Tuesday, March 23, 2010. The statue was traveling to announce the upcoming exhibit "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" starting on April 23 at the Discovery Times Square Exposition.

Seth Wenig | AP Photo
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Reporting

Why there is no Jewish Narnia

Lo! We have heard how near and far over middle-earth Moses declared his ordinances to men . . .
(The Old English “Exodus” poem, translated by J. R. R. Tolkien)


A
lthough it might seem unlikely that anyone would wonder whether the author of The Lord of the Rings was Jewish, the Nazis took no chances. When the publishing firm of Ruetten & Loening was negotiating with J. R. R. Tolkien over a German translation of The Hobbit in 1938, they demanded that Tolkien provide written assurance that he was an Aryan. Tolkien chastised the publishers for “impertinent and irrelevant inquiries,” and—ever the professor of philology— lectured them on the proper meaning of the term: “As far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects.” As to being Jewish, Tolkien regretted that “I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people.”

Needless to say, C. S. Lewis wasn’t Jewish either, though he did marry a Jewish convert to Anglican Christianity (played by Deborah Winger in the film Shadowlands). In fact, when one of her two sons from a previous marriage became increasingly observant, Lewis turned to the great Jewish historian Cecil Roth for advice on finding kosher food and shabbat hospitality for his stepson. But of course no one would suppose the author of Mere Christianity and the Chronicles of Narnia to have been Jewish himself. Tolkien had famously converted his friend and fellow Oxford don from skepticism to Christianity through a series of conversations that led Lewis to the realization that “the story of Christ is simply a true myth.”

Tolkien and Lewis’s gentility would hardly bear comment were it not for the fact that they are not isolated examples in this regard, but only the most well-known figures within an entire literary genre—perhaps the only such genre—in which Jewish practitioners are strikingly rare. I cannot think of a single major fantasy writer who is Jewish, and there are only a handful of minor ones of any note. To no other field of modern literature have Jews contributed so little.

So why don’t Jews write more fantasy literature? And a different, deeper but related question: why are there no works of modern fantasy that are profoundly Jewish in the way that, say, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is Christian? Why no Jewish Lewises, and why no Jewish Narnias?

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Source

I found this article interesting, thought there's also an interesting rebuttal here.

Madautie

Lawsuit: Teacher tried to sicken an autistic boy

(AP) The mother of an 8-year-old autistic boy with severe peanut allergies filed a lawsuit that claims his Indianapolis teacher gave her son a peanut-filled candy bar in hopes of making him sick so he wouldn't go a zoo field trip.

Special education teacher Trinda Barocas was accused of telling a classroom aide that the boy would likely misbehave, and "maybe he could be sick enough not to attend and we won't have to deal with it," according to the suit filed by his mother, Anita Young.

The boy didn't eat the candy bar, probably because he does not eat unfamiliar foods and didn't recognize its yellow wrapper, his mother said. The boy, who is mostly nonverbal, gets hives and swelling if he even touches peanuts and could die if he eats them.

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Source has an epi-pen.
miiiiiiiiine

OBAMA TELLS WORLD WE WON'T NUKE THEM IF THEY DON'T NUKE US, WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE

Obama Limits When U.S. Would Use Nuclear Arms

By DAVID E. SANGER and PETER BAKER 
WASHINGTON — President Obama said Monday that he was revamping American nuclear strategy to substantially narrow the conditions under which the United States would use nuclear weapons.
 
 
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This batshit crazy chick on my Facebook posted this with "WELL NOW WE'RE ALL FUCKED." I am seriously like O_o why would you advocate nuclear weapons, they're horrible.

Elderly Learn to Beat Euthanasia Blacklist

PAMELA LAZEMBY, 82, has beaten cancer: she has no fear of learning how to beat the law.

''Now I'm on borrowed time I can afford to live dangerously,'' she said after attending the first in a series of workshops teaching people how to circumvent a proposed law restricting access to some internet sites, expected to include some on euthanasia.

Websites associated with Exit International and its suicide manual, the Peaceful Pill Handbook, are expected to be refused classification and therefore to be inaccessible from Australian computers once a mandatory internet filter is in place.

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Source
Citadel

Gay Protections Take Effect in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City's landmark ordinances to protect gays from discrimination in housing and employment have taken effect.

Mayor Ralph Becker was joined by gay-rights advocates at a ceremony Friday marking implementation of Utah's first such laws.

John W. Bennett, who is gay and a nephew of Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, praised the capital city for taking the lead in offering the protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.

He recalled being fired from a state government job in 1986 for his sexual orientation.

"This is truly a good Friday. Today I'm ecstatic," Bennett said.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorsed the ordinances as protecting people's right to work and have a roof over their heads.

The laws exempt religious organizations, businesses with 15 or fewer employees and some small landlords. They also create a complaint and investigation process for violations.

"(The laws are) not providing any special treatment to any class," Becker said. "We hope the simplicity and sensibility of these ordinances will serve everyone in this community well."

Equality Utah has launched a campaign to get 10 more Utah cities or counties to pass similar anti-discrimination ordinances this year.

Salt Lake County, Utah's most populous county, earlier followed Salt Lake City's lead in passing such laws.

Utah's second largest city, West Valley City, and Park City are moving toward passage.

Discussions are ongoing with Holladay, Taylorsville, Moab, Ogden, Midvale, Summit County and others, said Brandie Balken, Equality Utah executive director.

"We can build on our early successes in Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County, and believe we can achieve 10 in 2010," Balken said.

Public meetings will be held across Utah about the need for statewide housing and employment protections, Balken added. A comprehensive report will be presented to the Legislature next year.

Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, warns that if any local governments expand their ordinances beyond Salt Lake City's, the Legislature likely would step in to prevent them from adopting anti-discrimination measures.

source.

OP Notes: This is super awesome for me, though slightly ironic; I left Utah nearly a year ago, and while I feel safer in Ohio as an openly bisexual woman, my old state that is very well known for its homophobia is actually moving forward with these laws where Ohio... still presently is not. Weird, weird world.
Sufjan Smile

Obama administration seeks to block lawsuit over illegal wiretapping

A federal judge has rebuffed the Obama administration’s latest attempt to defend illegal Bush-era eavesdropping, ruling that a now defunct US Islamic charity, Al-Haramain, and two of its lawyers are entitled to money damages because government agents failed to obtain a warrant before tapping their phones.

District Judge Vaughn R. Walker of San Francisco determined, based solely on publicly available information, that the US government violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by installing wiretaps to monitor Al-Haramain telephone conversations without obtaining a warrant from the secret FISA court in Washington, D.C.

The decision is the first to establish any government liability after the Bush administration’s secret wiretapping program was revealed by the New York Times in December 2005—over a year after the paper first learned of it. (See “A damning admission: New York Times concealed NSA spying until after 2004 election”). The Bush administration admitted to the program’s existence months later.

The case, Al Haramain v. Obama, arose out of largely successful Bush administration efforts to shut down numerous Islamic charities, whose philanthropy sometimes conflicted with the objectives of US imperialism. The case was transferred to Walker—appointed by the first president Bush in 1989—because he is overseeing complex litigation arising from the actions of telecommunications giant AT&T in giving the National Security Administration access to its west coast communications hub in San Francisco for widespread warrantless wiretapping.

In the course of litigation contesting the finding that Al-Haramain was a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” organization, US government lawyers inadvertently turned over a classified document to Al-Haramain’s lawyers that apparently revealed the illegal surveillance. Based on that document, Al-Haramain filed suit in 2006 under the FISA provision that “an aggrieved person … shall be entitled to recover … actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages of $ 1,000 or $ 100 per day for each day of violation, whichever is greater” along with “reasonable attorney’s fees.”

Bush administration lawyers moved to dismiss on the basis of the “state secrets” privilege, a judge-made legal doctrine with no basis in the Constitution or any statute of the United States. The motion was denied, but a three-judge panel of United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit—consisting solely of liberals appointed by Democratic presidents—issued a truly Orwellian ruling that, due to the states secret doctrine, “the [classified document], its contents, and any individuals’ memories of its contents, even well-reasoned speculation as to its contents, are completely barred from further disclosure in this litigation.”

Back in the district court, the Bush administration again moved to dismiss, this time claiming that Al-Haramain could not prove it had “standing” to bring the lawsuit because without the classified document—which no one is allowed to remember—it could not prove that it actually had been spied upon. In response, Al-Haramain listed 28 publicly available sources—most readily available on the internet—which established that the government had built the case against it with illegal wiretap evidence.

Walker denied the motion to dismiss, and ordered the government to review Al-Haramain’s lawyers for security clearances. He ordered that the government provide those who qualified with the necessary information about the government’s eavesdropping program under appropriate “protective orders,” which would keep the matters secret.

At this stage of the case, lawyers under incoming Attorney General Eric Holder took over from the Bush administration. Throughout his campaign Obama pledged to end the constitutional abuses of his predecessor by following FISA and other federal statutes. But rather than resolving the plaintiffs’ claims, the Obama administration lawyers continued stonewalling, often resorting to arguments more resembling those found in the novel Catch-22 than in any law book.
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Source: WSWS

Mind you, of course, Obama doesn't have to continue following these policies. The DoJ attorneys could sufficiently argue their side without invoking state secrets (though they'd obviously be wrong, which they are) especially considering that state secrets is unconstitutional and dumb. I mean, it originated to stop air force widows out of seeing the accident reports from the deaths of their husbands which revealed years later, HAD NO STATE SECRETS IN IT. It doesn't get much worse.

History and further information about the State Secrets Privilege can be found here: http://legacy.lclark.edu/org/lclr/objects/LCB_11_1_Lyons.pdf

'Murder plotter' sparks BNP crisis

Nick Griffin MEP speaks at a British National ...

Image via Wikipedia

Speculation that the racist BNP is in meltdown appeared to be confirmed this week after its publicity officer was sacked and arrested for allegedly plotting to kill party boss Nick Griffin.

Mark Collett, who was scheduled to stand as a BNP parliamentary candidate in Sheffield Brightside, previously shared the dock with Mr Griffin in 2006 on race hate charges. Both were acquitted.

Mr Collett had been expelled from the party before after being exposed in a 2002 documentary Young, Nazi and Proud in which he praised Hitler and espoused fascist views on hidden camera.

Two years later he was again caught on camera, this time describing asylum-seekers as "cockroaches."

The BNP informed members that the threat had been discovered as a result of an "internal security investigation" into "alleged financial irregularities," the leaking "of sensitive party information" on the internet and "feeding lies to certain anti-BNP blog sites."

An internal party memo said police had been informed of "very serious allegations potentially affecting the personal safety of party chairman Nick Griffin" and fellow senior party member James Dowson.

The party claimed Mr Collett had been "conspiring with a small clique of other party officials to launch a palace coup" against Mr Griffin.

Mr Collett was asked to attend a police station in Humberside last week on "suspicion of making threats to kill" and, according to a police spokeswoman, was released on bail pending further inquiries.

A spokesman for anti-fascist organisation Searchlight said: "Nick Griffin is constantly claiming he is the leader of a moderate, non-violent organisation.

"It is difficult to see how he can square that assertion with his statement to the police that his own head of publicity has been plotting to kill him."

The BNP has a long history of factionalism and in-fighting. The party itself was formed from a split in the National Front in the 1980s.

Two years ago, two party organisers were dismissed for gross misconduct after allegedly potting to overthrow Griffin.

In recent days senior BNP members, not including Mr Collett, have left their positions.

Last week BNP manager Emma Colgate stepped down, apparently to concentrate on running for a parliamentary seat.

Source: Morning Star

I know I posted something similar to this the other day, but it looks like it's more interesting than previously reported... the Mirror said nothing about Collett planning to kill Griffin. :O

ETA for bonus crazy: BNP supporters “have a right to take up arms, arguably in fact a duty to take up arms”, using “physical force” against their enemies -- Griffin (Liberal Conspiracy)

Geena Davis schools us on sexism in Hollywood

Hollywood Feminist of the Day: Geena Davis



Last night I had the opportunity to see Geena Davis in conversation with Pat Mitchell at the Paley Center for Media in NYC. They talked through her career but spent the bulk of the time talking about the work she is doing now at the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media which is an organization that does research on gender disparities in media for children. She then takes the research and meets with studios and networks and presents them with the facts in hopes that this will address the disparity.

Some of the things that can be done are simple. For example Davis mentioned a scene in a film she was shooting (I think it was Stuart Little) where there were boys and girls as extras. The assistant director positioned all the boys in front with a remote control in their hands and positioned all the girls behind the boys. Davis noticed the set up and nicely said “can you give half those remotes to the girls?” The AD looked at the scene he had set up and said of course I can. It’s not that he meant to make the boys active and the girls passive, it’s just how people think.

While that might seem like a simple solution, most of the gender disparities in media are way more complicated. What moved me last night was how deep Davis’ commitment to this work is and how well she articulates the issue. She started this work when she had her daughter and began to notice all gender stereotyping of girls in films and TV as well as their hypersexualization. She couldn’t believe this was going on and started mentioning it to people and lots of people couldn’t believe that was the case. So she decided to get some numbers to prove what she knew to be true.

As an actress and Oscar winner herself totally gets the larger context of what goes on for women but felt that she could make a difference starting at the beginning with kids. That makes perfect sense, kids are less threatening than women. And the brainwashing and sterotyping does begin the moment the TV goes on and the first book is read.

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Akuma River

No more David Shuster on MSNBC, he is in effect FIRED

David Shuster Suspended From MSNBC Indefinitely

MSNBC has suspended David Shuster — again.

But unlike his 2008 suspension over comments that the Hillary Clinton campaign was "pimping out" Chelsea Clinton, which lasted two weeks, this suspension is an indefinite one.

"David has been suspended indefinitely," an MSNBC spokesperson said Tuesday morning.

It was revealed last week that Shuster had filmed a pilot for CNN; at the time, the network had said he would be "punished appropriately." After getting "ripped a new one" by boss Phil Griffin by phone over the weekend, Shuster met with Griffin in the office Monday.

Shuster also came under fire from the network after a tweet he sent to conservative activist James O'Keefe. "@JamesOKeefeIII a) you are not a journalist b) the truth is you intended to tap her phones c) it's a felony d) you will go to prison," he wrote. The network deemed that tweet "inappropriate" and muzzled him on Twitter soon thereafter.

Source has 13 memorable broadcasts of Shuster's.

Former newsreader blames BBC female bosses for age bias

Former TV newsreader Selina Scott has blamed female bosses at the BBC for age discrimination against female presenters.

 

Scott has written a report on why the Corporation has few female presenters over 50 despite a good number of women being represented on the Corporation's governing body and among the executive directors.

In her report, she particularly slammed television presenter Anne Robinson. Scott said the 65-year-old is "adopting a character which she plays much as an actress might" and that she is "Cruella de Vil" (referring to the primary villain in Dodie Smith's novel, The Hundred and One Dalmatians).

She also blamed Jay Hunt, the 43-year-old female controller of BBC One, for replacing the 66-year-old Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips with a former winner, Alesha Dixon, who is 30.

She said young women are being placed by producers on factual programmes simply to "dress the set".

Source: New Statesman
  
No big surprises here, but nice to see it being called out like this.

Scant praise for Unvarnished, a website for reviewing people

There are online reviews of movies, cars, computers, and now... people? Unvarnished, a controversial new “people review site,” which began its latest round of testing Monday, is allowing invited users to anonymously publish reviews and comments about others' workplace performances.

Users who connect to the site via Facebook can create a profile about someone else and post reviews of that person's workplace performance. The subjects of such reviews can, if they choose, “claim” their profiles and manage them to a degree, but they will not be able to delete negative reviews. After testing, the site is expected to be open to the public.

Unvarnished is already raising ethical and legal concerns related to privacy and protection from defamation, with many questions focusing on the fact that the critiques are anonymous. Reviewers have overwhelmingly panned the website.

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source

also, the website is getunvarnished.com; unvarnished.com is someone's blog.
talkin' that blah blah blah

Beck's new co-host a puppet:

Audiences afraid they won't be able to discern between the plush puppet and Murdoch's puppet


source



Glenn Beck And His Chairman Mao Doll Discuss The ‘Marxists’ Behind Net Neutrality

Glenn Beck returned to the airwaves last night after a week-long vacation, during which he picked up a puppet dressed in Chinese military garb Mao puppet at Disney Land (which now has its own Facebook page, by the way…you can’t make these things up).

Beck’s latest grumble after a week away — other than the fact the country apparently went nuts while he was off the air — is Net Neutrality and the FCC hearing that is taking place this week regarding the latest Net Neutrality bill that is making its way through Congress. According to Beck, however, the world has as much freedom of Internet speech as it could ever hope for (cue basement blogger trope), and the people who think it’s a good idea that the government enforce some of restrictions on internet providers so that they themselves can’t restrict what users can access and/or jack prices up for that access, are clearly Marxists. CLEARLY. Marxists who are trying to stifle free speech by attempting to make sure you don’t have to pay extra for access to it. Admittedly, when read by Glenn Beck the words of Free Press founder Robert McChesney do sound a rather, um, revolutionary. At this point, though, I think it’s pretty clear that Beck could make the phone book sound secretly Maoist.

It should probably be noted the person who “alerted” Glenn Beck to this hearing was Phil Kerpen vice president of the group Americans For Prosperity. In light of the name you will likely not be surprised to hear that the group would prefer the market to be in control of the “neutrality” of the Internet. Video below.



other source
Akuma River

Oo... Tom Coburn actually said this?

Coburn: Don't Believe Everything You Hear On Fox News
Eric Lach | April 6, 2010, 11:58AM

Hold on to your hats. At a town hall meeting in Oklahoma City last week, staunch conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) defended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, disparaged Fox News and told a constituent her fears about the health care law were unfounded.

When a woman in the audience asked Coburn if it was illegal for the government to jail citizens for not complying with the new health care law, Coburn responded by blaming TV news, and Fox News in particular, for that false rumor:

"The intention is not to put anybody in jail," Coburn said. "That makes for good TV news on Fox, but that isn't the intention."

Later, when his audience started to boo at the mention of Pelosi, Coburn stopped them.

"Come on now... how many of you all have met her? She's a nice person," Coburn said. "Just because somebody disagrees with you, doesn't mean they're not a good person."

"Don't catch yourself being biased by Fox News that somebody's no good," Coburn added.

Coburn urged audience members to widen their points of view by reading and watching different media outlets, not just the ones they agree with.

"Don't just watch Fox News or CNN, watch them both," Coburn said. He said he read both The Washington Post and The New York Times -- plus The Wall Street Journal -- and urged his audience to do likewise. "Listen to the other side, because what it does, it makes you a better person."

You can hear audio of the exchanges here.
misc - microphone

(no subject)

Texas man threatened deadly force to stop abortion

By JEFF CARLTON (AP)

DALLAS — A Texas man faces charges after he filed documents in federal court threatening to use deadly force to stop an abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court didn't immediately act to outlaw the practice, federal officials said Monday.

Erlyndon Joseph "Joey" Lo, 27, of Plano, filed documents there Friday saying his religious beliefs entitled him to use deadly force to prevent an abortion.
He listed the name of a clinic, its address and the time he was going to show up — noon that day.

"I plan on saving at least one human life in Dallas, Texas," Lo wrote.

FBI spokesman Mark White said he was unsure if Lo went at that time, but said agents worked with Dallas police "to make sure there wasn't going to be an issue at the clinic." Lo was arrested Saturday.
"We take threats to women's clinics very seriously," White said. "And this threat was very specific in its nature."

Lo is charged with one count of using interstate commerce to communicate a threat to injure and one count of threatening force to intimidate and interfere with clients and employees of a reproductive health service in order to intimidate that facility's clients and employees from obtaining and providing reproductive health services.

Lo made an initial appearance Monday in Plano and his detention hearing was postponed until April 15. He does not have a listed phone number and is acting as his own attorney.
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source
KU Jayhawk

Linda Fischer (D), Missouri House member, gets a challenger - her husband.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - An eastern Missouri lawmaker is facing an election challenge from her own husband, whom she accuses of physical violence. He denies the allegations.

Democratic Rep. Linda Fischer obtained a protection order against John Fischer last week. Three days later, he filed as a Republican candidate for his wife's state House seat, becoming her only challenger in the November election a day before the filing deadline passed.

Linda Fischer said Wednesday that she was not going to question her husband's motives, refusing to say whether she believed he filed as retaliation.

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Source

Oh, Missouri. *sigh*
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Akuma River

US Appeals Court tells Comcast that it can own the internet

Photobucket


Appeals Court Throttles FCC’s Net Neutrality Authority

By David Kravets April 6, 2010 | 12:07 pm | Categories: BitTorrent, Network Neutrality

A federal appeals court Tuesday rejected the Federal Communications Commission’s authority to sanction Comcast for interfering with peer-to-peer traffic, reversing the commission’s first attempt to enforce network neutrality.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated (.pdf) the agency’s 2008 decision ordering Philadelphia-based Comcast to stop hampering the peer-to-peer service BitTorrent as a traffic-management practice.

The FCC had acted in response to complaints Comcast was sending forged packets to broadband customers to close their peer-to-peer sessions. Comcast appealed to the circuit court, arguing that the FCC overstepped its bounds.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s replacement, Julius Genachowski, proposed new rules last year that the agency was hoping would sidestep an unfavorable circuit decision.

“Today’s court decision invalidated the prior commission’s approach to preserving an open internet,” FCC spokesman Jen Howard said in a statement. “But the court in no way disagreed with the importance of preserving a free and open internet. Nor did it close the door to other methods for achieving this important end.”

Genachowski said the agency was enforcing the net neutrality Four Freedoms, a set of agency principles dating to 2005 that guarantee that cable and DSL users have the right to use the devices, services and programs of choice over their connections.
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I used to be strictly Net Neutrality but I read Cracked.com's 5 reasons the internet could die at any moment, and it mentioned some really interesting perspectives about Net Neutrality:
If net neutrality stays and the ISP's can't offer multiple tiers of service, then they say they will have to use an even more annoying solution: putting an end to unlimited plans completely and making you pay for every gigabyte of that Bittorrent download of every single episode of The Simpsons. And you won't be able to simply switch ISPs unless you find one run by some eccentric billionaire who feels like giving away his money for the good of the people.

The problem is that what we want out of this situation--cheap, infinitely scalable bandwidth--is the one outcome we can't have. And while the other threats on this list can maybe be avoided, this is one that will end in the Internet being less free, you paying a lot more or a combination of both.

So enjoy what you have while you can, for these are The Good Old Days.
So now I'm not sure what I can hope for. I just want cheap internet that let's me do what I want. But, the big ass money hungry corporations are the ones making all the choices for us and they will never allow us that. Not to mention we don't have as much competition in internet service nor are they putting out more lines to up their capabilities so that we can have speeds like what Japan is seeing.

So what's your viewpoint?
misc - microphone

There's been a lot of Southern U.S. bullshit lately... how about some Midwestern bullshit?

MADISON (AP) - A Wisconsin prosecutor says changes to the state's sex education laws could open up teachers to criminal charges.

Gov. Jim Doyle signed a bill in February that requires schools that teach sex education to instruct students on how to use contraceptives properly. Supporters say the bill will reduce teen pregnancies.

But Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth has sent a letter to five school districts warning them that requirement promotes sexual assault.

He says it's illegal for minors to have sex and teaching the use of contraceptives encourages sexual behavior. Teachers who know students are having sex and then teaches those students the use of contraceptives could be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.


Southworth wants the schools to drop sex education until the Legislature repeals the law.

source
stylised

Chase Sued: Allegedly Told Homeowner To Stop Payments, Then Foreclosed

JPMorgan Chase told a California couple to quit making mortgage payments in order to qualify for a loan modification but then foreclosed on their Sacramento home, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.

Faiz and Khadija Jahani called Chase in December 2008 because they were having trouble making their mortgage payments. According to the suit, they were told that they wouldn't qualify for a modification without being delinquent and that they should stop making payments for three months.

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Source

This shit seriously enrages me. This almost happened to my parents a few months back, but thankfully their attorney got shit straightened out before it actually got foreclosed. This shit really needs to get straightened out, and for fuck's sake Chase, WHERE IS YOUR COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DIFFERENT DIVISIONS?

Homemakers Unite and Take Over

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It is now a radical act to stay at home, so writes Shannon Hayes in her new book, "Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture."  While many women are increasingly engaging in careers and distancing themselves from the titles of "homemakers," Hayes argues that homemaking does not have to be a four-letter-word, and that, in fact, it is a powerful political and ecological act.

Hayes discusses homemaking through a modern lense- one that has been reworked through the feats of feminism and through a larger consciousness of the environment and consumer culture.  Centering your life around the home shouldn't be equated with shame or service.  Instead, a positive and active role in the home-life can improve family health, the state of the environment, and bring about cultural change.

Hayes's book is greatly needed to combat the amount of literature that paints domesticity in a negative light.  The cover of the book is like a bizarro, modern day Rosie the Riveter, in which a woman holding up a rolling pin with her muscled arm is an image of power and strength.  Hayes's book is a message to the public and homemakers alike: drop the shame, it's time to reclaim!

source

Women try to take body on plane at Liverpool airport

Police have arrested two women after they tried to take the body of a dead relative on to a plane at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Staff became suspicious when they tried to check in 91-year-old Curt Willi Jarant, who was wearing sunglasses, for a flight to Berlin on Saturday.

The women - his widow and step-daughter - said they thought he was asleep.

They were arrested on suspicion of failing to give notification of a death, police said.

The pair, who are German nationals but live in Oldham, Greater Manchester, have been released on bail until 1 June.

It is understood they took Mr Jarant to the airport in a taxi.
 



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Source: BBC
Politic ~ Teabaggers

Glenn Beck's next pet project: dismantling net neutrality.

One of Glenn Beck's latest conspiracies involves a "gang of communists" who want to turn the Internet into a "Marxist utopia." That dangerous gang of communists he's warning Fox News viewers against? They're net neutrality supporters.

Beck has it backward: Net neutrality protects — not threatens — free speech online. Net neutrality is the principle that Internet users, not Internet service providers, should be in control. It ensures that Internet service providers can't speed up, slow down, or block Web content based on its source, ownership, or destination.

The FCC is accepting public comments until Thursday on a proposed regulation that would protect net neutrality. CREDO Action Network has made it easy to submit a public comment in support of net neutrality. Click here for a sample comment.

When the FCC initially took comments in January, pro-net neutrality submissions vastly outweighed comments from opponents of Internet freedom. As a result, big telecom companies are worried that the FCC might agree with us and prohibit them from inspecting and filtering the Internet content you access, blocking Web sites and applications they don't like, and overcharging you for using the Web.

The FCC has opened a second round in the comment period. Can we repeat the previous performance and beat back the media monopolists once again?

The big telecom companies have deployed hundreds of lobbyists and pushed outrageous lies. Their goal? Overcome our voices by duping the public into believing their net neutrality myths.

There are only two days to debunk these lies and protect the free-flowing Web, as the FCC is only accepting the second round of comments until April 8. CREDO Action Network has made it easy to submit a comment on their site — but they'll need it by 10 a.m. Pacific time on April 8 in order to get it into the docket by the deadline.

Without strong net neutrality rules, we might have to rely upon the good will of large telecoms to protect our access to the diversity of political perspectives. We might have to trust companies like Comcast, which actively and secretly interfered with users' ability to access popular video, photo and music sharing applications; AT&T, which censored anti-Bush comments made by Pearl Jam's lead singer during a concert; and Verizon Wireless, which interfered with NARAL Pro-Choice America's ability to send text messages to its members.


Without net neutrality, the Internet would cease to be a public platform for free speech, political organizing, and equal opportunity.



Glenn Beck scares the crap out of me. He's an effing sociopath and has way too much influence on the weak-minded. I honestly do believe he is this generation's Joseph McCarthy.

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Lucy  - Durnk n Pitsy

Overall Birth Rates Are Down... Except For Older Women

The number of U.S. births dropped 2% in 2008 to 4,251,095, with birth rates down for virtually all groups except older women, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday. Researchers attributed the decline to the bad economy that began that year, which reduced women's desire to have children and limited immigration because of a reduction in the number of jobs available. The exception to the general decline was among women over the age of 40, where researchers suspect the pressure to have a child before it is too late is overriding economic concerns.

Preliminary data from 2009 suggest that the birth rate dropped about 3% that year.

Perhaps the best news in the new report is a drop in the percentage of premature births from 12.7% to 12.3%, the second straight year of decline. That may seem like a small amount, but it means about 14,000 fewer babies were born prematurely in 2008, with all the attendant risks associated with it. The decrease follows a 20% rise in the rate of premature births from 1990 to 2006. No one is quite sure why the decrease occurred, but experts suspect it arises from an increased effort to bring pregnancies full term and to limit the number of embryos implanted in artificial reproduction attempts.

Other good news is that the teen birth rate dropped 2% in 2009, down to a rate of 41.5 births per 1,000 teenagers age 15 to 19. The birth rate for Hispanic teenagers fell to 77.4 births per 1,000, the lowest rate reported for this group since the CDC began keeping track of it two decades ago.

The birth rate for unmarried women age 15 to 44 declined almost 2% in 2009 to 52 per 1,000, the first decline in this group since a much smaller decline in 2002. Despite that decline, however, the total number of births to unmarried women and the percentage of births attributed to them reached historic levels in 2008, according to the report.

Perhaps the worst news in the report is that the cesarean delivery rate continued to climb for the 12th straight year, reaching 32.3%. Increases were seen among women of all age groups and most racial and ethnic groups.

Source
coffee <3

Cuban government releases photo of teenaged Elian Gonzalez

Ten years ago this month, the saga of a Cuban boy named Elian Gonzalez captivated the nation and much of the world. Elian, 6, was found floating on an inner tube off the coast of Florida, after his mother drowned trying to reach America.
The Cuban immigrant community in Florida embraced the boy as a symbol of the struggle of ordinary Cubans to flee the oppression of Fidel Castro's communist regime, and rallied behind the boy's extended family in Miami, which sought custody of young Elian.
But U.S. immigration officials insisted that the boy be returned to his father in Havana. Agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service conducted an armed raid on Elian's adoptive Miami home - yielding a powerful image of paramilitary forces in America menacing a frightened 6-year-old. Florida's Cuban immigrant community brandished that infamous photo as a reminder of what they considered American power effectively doing the bidding of a heartless Castro government.

A decade later, however, there are new photos of a nearly grown-up Elian Gonzalez - and they present a very different kind of propaganda image.

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trent

Another reason why the school board in Florida sucks.


Hillsborough County School media specialists present report on whether to ban Augusten Burroughs' Running with Scissors

Several months ago, two concerned parents emailed the principal of Plant High School, challenging a book listed as suggested reading in a class where juniors and seniors earn college credit.

One of them said his daughter, a junior, is now forever changed because she read Running with Scissors.

“My child has been robbed of some of the innocence of her childhood,” he wrote, “and this can not (sic) be undone.”

After a school board member and district employee joined the parents as complainants, they asked each school to remove the book from circulation and the card catalog.
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This is ridiculous...my school is one of two that banned the book; looks like the school board has been reading too much Ray Bradbury or some shit...I was raging so hard when I read this today.
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panda bear

(no subject)

7.8-magnitude quake strikes Indonesia

A "destructive widespread tsunami" is not expected, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, but a local tsunami could affect coastal areas near the quake's epicenter.

[Posted at 6:35 p.m.] A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck northern Sumatra, Indonesia, early Wednesday according to the U. S. Geological Survey.

[Updated at 6:41 p.m.] A local tsunami watch has been issued for Indonesia and surrounding areas.

[Updated at 6:47 p.m.] The temblor struck 145 miles off the coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia, at a depth of 28.6 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

[Updated at 7:07 p.m.] Scientists are monitoring data from ocean buoys to determine whether the earthquake already generated a tsunami, said geophysicist Gerard Fryer of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

If a tsunami does erupt from the quake in shallow waters, Fryer said, it would be very small and not move much water.

Scientists said they do not expect the tsunami to affect the west coast of North America.

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Reporting

(no subject)

Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller Passes Away



Today, we mourn the loss of a leader.

This morning the first female chief of the Cherokee nation, Wilma Mankiller, passed away at the age of 64.

Mankiller fought for Native Americans with righteousness.  Over the course of her 10 year term as Chief, Mankiller successfully tripled Cherokee enrollment, doubled employment, and built new health centers and children’s programs.  Mankiller even managed to bring presidential attention to the often-overlooked problems facing Native Americans by meeting with President Ronald Reagan, President George HW Bush, and President Clinton.  For her humanitarian accomplishments, President Bill Clinton presented Mankiller with the nation’s highest civilian award – the Presidential Medal of Freedom – in 1998.

Beyond her accomplishments for Cherokees’ welfare, Wilma Mankiller served as a shining example of a strong women leader.  Facing snide remarks about her surname – a traditional Cherokee military rank – in stride, Mankiller often joked “Mankiller is actually a well-earned nickname.”  And despite a near fatal car accident, male-domination in the Cherokee nation leadership, numerous medical troubles including a muscular disorder, and family economic hardship in her youth, Mankiller persevered to lead the Cherokee nation.  Upon learning of her cancer diagnosis, Mankiller declared herself “mentally and spiritually prepared for this journey.”

In reflecting upon her legacy in her autobiography Mankiller: A Chief and Her People, Mankiller writes:

“Friends describe me as someone who likes to sing and dance along the edge of the roof.  I try to encourage young women to be willing to take risks, to stand up for the things they believe in, and to step up and accept the challenge of serving in leadership roles.”

Along the way to greatness, Mankiller found an ally and partner in WMC co-founder Gloria Steinem.  Inspired to raise unheard voices, the two collaborated with other authors to write Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women and A Reader’s Companion to the History of Women in the U.S. Mankiller and Steinem became such good friends that Steinem’s marriage ceremony ten years ago was held at Mankiller’s home in Oklahoma.

Wilma Mankiller is survived by her husband Charlie Soap and her two daughters.  Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.

Source

Magneto puppet

Vatican blasts anti-Catholic 'hate' campaign



VATICAN CITY – The Vatican heatedly defended Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday, claiming accusations that he helped cover up the actions of pedophile priests are part of an anti-Catholic "hate" campaign targeting the pope for his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.

Vatican Radio broadcast comments by two senior cardinals explaining "the motive for these attacks" on the pope and the Vatican newspaper chipped in with spirited comments from another top cardinal.

"The pope defends life and the family, based on marriage between a man and a woman, in a world in which powerful lobbies would like to impose a completely different" agenda, Spanish Cardinal Julian Herranz, head of the disciplinary commission for Holy See officials, said on the radio.

Herranz didn't identify the lobbies but "defense of life" is Vatican shorthand for anti-abortion efforts.

Also arguing that Benedict's promotion of conservative family models had provoked the so-called attacks was the Vatican's dean of the College of Cardinals, Angelo Sodano.

"By now, it's a cultural contrast," Sodano told the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. "The pope embodies moral truths that aren't accepted, and so, the shortcomings and errors of priests are used as weapons against the church."

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Source.
florence

Decades Later, New Details In Oscar Romero Death

Thirty years after the death of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, new details are coming to light about his assassination and the men behind the plot to kill him. Melissa Block talks to Geoff Thale, program director of the Washington Office on Latin America. He led a delegation to El Salvador last month to mark the anniversary of Romero's death.

Listen to the story here.
I heard this today in the afternoon and I guess it's too soon for a transcript. Hope that's okay.

MSNBC- Does Rachel have to choke

Rachel Maddow takes on Fox News, Brietbart and James O'Keefe

The DA's office in California have cleared ACORN workers of any criminal wrongdoing- and have begun to release the UNEDITED Acorn-pimp videos. Rachel Maddow decides to show how different those videos are from what was shown on Fox News.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy




Delicious, delicious sauce.

Please pass this on. Let's see how quickly Fox News and Brietbartt whine about it. I will update with youtube video when it's available.
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Welcome To The United Socialist States of Amurika, Komrade!

In USSA, Obama Gulag You!




U.S. No Longer A 'Free' Country, According To Heritage Foundation


The United States has fallen from the ranks of economically "free" countries, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom World Rankings.

America has slipped below 80 percent, into the category of "mostly free" this year -- just below Canada and above Denmark.

The Heritage Foundation analysis cites "notable decreases in financial freedom, monetary freedom, and property rights" as reasons that the United States has dropped out of their list of totally "free" countries

Though the analysis of American freedom acknowledges a longer-term trend stretching back to the end of the Bush administration, it seems to put the lion's share of blame on the policy initiatives of President Obama:
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Safety Regulations Continue to Undermine America's Profits!!

CEO of Massey Energy: My Precious Coal is Stuck!! You Lazy Disposable Miners, Get Back to Work!!

Deadly Record: Massey’s Mine In Montcoal Has Been Cited For Over 3,000 Violations, Over $2.2 Million In Fines

Massey Energy is actively contesting millions of dollars of fines for safety violations at its West Virginia coal mine where disaster struck yesterday afternoon. Twenty-five miners were killed and another four are missing after a explosion took place at 3 pm Monday at Massey subsidiary Performance Coal Co.’s Upper Big Branch Mine-South between the towns of Montcoal and Naoma. It is “the most people killed in a U.S. mine since 1984, when 27 died in a fire at Emery Mining Corp.’s mine in Orangeville, Utah.” This deadly mine has been cited for over 3,000 violations by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), 638 since 2009:

Since 1995, Massey’s Upper Big Branch-South Mine has been cited for 3,007 safety violations. Massey is contesting 353 violations, and 127 are delinquent. [MSHA]

Massey is contesting over a third (34.7%) of the 516 safety citations the Upper Big Branch-South Mine received in 2009, its greatest count in the last 15 years. [MSHA]


In March 2010, 53 new safety citations were issued for Massey’s Upper Big Branch-South Mine, including violations of its mine ventilation plan. [MSHA]
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GOP Gets Desperate, Uses Karl Rove To Scare Americans to Fill Out and Send Their Census Back or Else

Bush Administratrion Did Everything it Could To Stop Libural Census: Thankfully, They Rescinded The Regulation That Would Have Adjusted Population Count by Adding Missing Census From Lazy Bastards, Forgetful Old Ladies, Lost Mail, Paranoid Paramilitary White Old Men, and Real Amurikans Raging Against The Machine! Take That Liburals!

Amid Reports Of Low Republican Participation, Rove Appears In An Ad Promoting The Census

Many conservatives have engaged in a smear campaign against the Census, demonizing the constitutionally mandated decennial count with outlandish conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric. Former Bush adviser Karl Rove, however, is now appearing in a public service announcement “designed to convince people to mail back their 2010 census forms by the end of the month.” Watch it:
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Exxon Mobile Upholds Patriotic Duty of Not Paying Taxes, Tired of Being Rob of Their Profit!!

"No More Socialist Redistribution of Wealth!"

ExxonMobil paid no federal income tax in 2009. (Updated)

Last week, Forbes magazine published what the top U.S. corporations paid in taxes last year. “Most egregious,” Forbes notes, is General Electric, which “generated $10.3 billion in pretax income, but ended up owing nothing to Uncle Sam. In fact, it recorded a tax benefit of $1.1 billion.” Big Oil giant Exxon Mobil, which last year reported a record $45.2 billion profit, paid the most taxes of any corporation, but none of it went to the IRS:
Exxon tries to limit the tax pain with the help of 20 wholly owned subsidiaries domiciled in the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands that (legally) shelter the cash flow from operations in the likes of Angola, Azerbaijan and Abu Dhabi. No wonder that of $15 billion in income taxes last year, Exxon paid none of it to Uncle Sam, and has tens of billions in earnings permanently reinvested overseas.
Mother Jones’ Adam Weinstein notes that, despite benefiting from corporate welfare in the U.S., Exxon complains about paying high taxes, claiming that it threatens energy innovation research. Pat Garofalo at the Wonk Room notes that big corporations’ tax shelter practices similar to Exxon’s shift a $100 billion annual tax burden onto U.S. taxpayers. In fact, in 2008, the Government Accountability Office found that “two out of every three United States corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005.”

Update Forbes has updated its article to include a statement from Exxon: "Though Exxon's financial statement's don't show any net income tax liability owed to Uncle Sam, a company spokesman insists that once its final tax bill is figured, Exxon will owe a 'substantial 2009 tax liability.' How substantial? 'That's not something we're required to disclose, nor do we.'"
LOLitics | Chibi Obama Family

"First family kicks off annual Easter Egg Roll"!



By NATASHA T. METZLER | Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON — The Obama family welcomed thousands of children to the sun-soaked South Lawn of the White House Monday for the annual Easter Egg Roll, an essential rite of spring.

The Egg Roll dates back to 1878, when President Rutherford B. Hayes was in office. In the main event, children race to push eggs through the grass using wooden spoons.

"Is everybody having a good time?" Obama asked the enthusiastic crowd from a balcony over the south lawn. "Happy Easter everybody. We are thrilled that all of you could come."

The theme of this year's egg roll is "Ready, Set, Go!" and that ties in with first lady Michelle Obama's campaign against childhood obesity. The event features basketball, yoga, dancing, gardening and healthy eating activities.

"Today we have transformed the South Lawn into a playground," Mrs. Obama said. "And our hope today is that in addition to having fun and doing some of the traditional activities like the egg roll and the Easter egg hunt, that you can learn about beginning to live a more healthy life."

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Epic Video Archive of Squee:

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