April 21st, 2010

Ani Difranco

GOP should back immigration reform

NOTE: the author was the senior immigration policy adviser to President George W. Bush during the 2000 and 2004 elections

The political and economic climate in our country is right for American leaders to fix our broken immigration system. Although they don't always agree on the solutions, Democrats and Republicans are in a position to forge a much-needed bipartisan consensus that a problem exists, and our Texas congressional delegation should take the lead on a bipartisan basis. No state or city is more affected by immigration than Texas and Houston. And as unfortunate as it is, the current U.S. economic recession has resulted in an exodus of illegal workers who came to our country for jobs that now don't exist. Before the economy resumes steam and new jobs again attract large numbers of workers across our borders, it is essential we confront the problem.

Given the state of our economy, President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress know they cannot pass immigration reform without significant Republican support, and that has been a tough sell to date. GOP congressional members will tell you that their base strongly opposes illegal immigration and are angry when illegal immigrants commit crimes and abuse our social services.

Unfortunately, merely being angry about illegal immigration does not constitute effective policy. Republican leaders should recognize that no one supports illegal immigration and we all agree that with an estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the United States, some break the law and use health care and other services (even if actual statistics show that they do so in percentages lower than other groups in society).

A Republican policy of opposing both illegal immigration and at the same time any meaningful immigration reform results in a dangerous affirmation of the status quo. That is a critical point missed by radio and TV commentators and other shrill anti-immigrant groups that fail to offer realistic answers. When pressed in one of the GOP presidential primary debates about his proposal for the estimated 12 million illegal workers here, Mitt Romney could only say that if elected president, he would issue an executive order giving all illegal aliens 90 days to depart the country. Ultimately, all sides agree that having risked their lives and treasure, illegal workers will not leave on their own and it would be logistically impossible, inhumane and economically insane for the government to round up 12 million men, women and children and deport them.

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source: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/6963604.html

New Bishop of Endor Appointed

Father Pedobear Pedoewok Promoted: Promises To Stop The Devil from Molesting Their Altar boys Siphoning Their Moneys. Someone, Please Think of The Mighty Dollar!

New Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprock Once Blamed Devil For Sex Abuse Lawsuits

A Chicago bishop who once blamed the devil for sexual abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church and proposed shielding the church from legal damages has been named to lead an Illinois diocese.

Thomas Paprocki, an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Chicago, was announced Tuesday as the church's ninth bishop of Springfield.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said it was disappointed with Paprocki's promotion.
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Shocking News: Tea Industry Sekret Deal With Mooslim Nation!

Missing Kenyan Birth Certificate is a Conspiracy from Big Tea to Destroy America!

Kenyan Embassy Mocks Tea Party Movement, Promotes Kenyan Tea With Capitol Tea Party

The Kenyan Embassy is set to promote one of its biggest exports and mock the tea party movement at the same time.

According to Talking Points Memo, the embassy has sent out invitations to a tea party next week, inviting attendees to "Find out what a real tea party is like."

The event, to be held at the U.S. Capitol, will feature tea tastings, food pairings and tea leaf readings, according to the invite. Kenya's deputy prime minister is also scheduled to attend.

One of Kenya's biggest exports is tea, and it bills itself on the invite as the world's top exporter. The crop is even included on its coat of arms.

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(no subject)

Foreign Corporation to Affect Nation's Elections to Further Legalize Corporate Fraud... Oh Wait, The Industry is American. Never Mind Then: "Bow Down To Your New Masters!!"

With GOP In Its Pocket, Financial Industry Tries To Buy Off UK Conservatives

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged that Goldman Sachs defrauded investors by failing to disclose conflicts of interest in subprime mortgage investments it sold as the housing market collapsed in 2007. Fabrice Tourre, a Goldman Vice President, is accused of encouraging investments into subprime mortgage securities he knew would fail, while working with a hedge fund to bet against its success. Referring to himself as the “the fabulous Fab,” Tourre boasted in e-mails about his scheme to defraud investors.

Reacting to the SEC’s probe into Goldman, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown over the weekend called for his own investigation of the firm. “This is probably one of the worst cases that we have seen,” Brown said. The Royal Bank of Scotland, a bank buoyed by a UK taxpayer funded bailout during the financial crisis, was one of the biggest victims of the alleged fraud, losing $841 million dollars. Earlier today, Britian’s Financial Services Authority announced that it will in fact start a formal enforcement investigation into the London unit of Goldman Sachs — where Tourre is currently employed.

The financial industry is fighting back. On Monday, the UK division of legal and lobbying giant DLA Piper released a poll of business leaders showing that an overwhelming majority (60%) want a Tory leader to take over when elections take place on May 6. 36% of respondents specifically expressed hope for the conservative leader David Cameron to become the next Prime Minister. The poll, which is being promoted in the British press, is accompanied by a message from DLA Piper UK’s London Managing Partner Catherine Usher calling for more free market reforms and an end to the Labour “regime”:
It will come as no surprise that our companies view tax as an area for major reform, with the current regime viewed as discouraging business activity in the UK and putting us at a disadvantage to other jurisdictions. [...] The alarm bells from businesses over the issue of red tape and employment legislation have grown louder over the past few years.
What DLA Piper UK does not disclose in its poll, and what the British media is largely ignoring, is that DLA Piper UK counts Goldman Sachs, as well as many other banks and investment firms, as clients. Like their American counterparts in the Republican Party, the Tories have been quietly courting the financial industry through a new organization called the Conservatives’ City Circle. At the same time, Tories are trying to present themselves as supportive of responsible banking reform and taxation. As Left Foot Forward, a progressive UK blog, has detailed, the Tories have raised close to £200,000 from financial firms as the election approaches. The Tories’ duplicitous campaign unraveled for a moment last month when Tory MEP Nirj Deva railed against an international bank tax on grounds that it would “give money to a whole bunch of people who will probably steal it.”
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Labour Rose

Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Voter turnout has declined every election since 1945. ‘Why not combat low turnout and apathy by making voting compulsory like in Brazil and Australia?’ That’s what I used to think. Then I watched our latest film for Yahoo! (below) and realised that a lot of people don’t have the faintest clue about politics and that letting any old punter loose in the voting booth may be a big mistake.

They invented democracy in Ancient Athens and knew how to handle it - only let the chosen few vote. They restricted the franchise to men who had completed their military service; I’m not saying that only old soldiers should qualify now, oh no, we would update the selection criteria to ensure that only people who know who their MP is and what ‘constituency’ means make it onto the electoral roll, disqualifying practically everybody on this video.

Put another way, let’s teach a bit more politics in schools, let’s have referendums, let’s have more democracy (not just every four years) and reconnect the people with the process, so that everyone knows politics and makes the (Athenian) cut.

We hope you enjoy the film, but we also hope it encourages you to take a look around this site to learn a little more about politics before 6th May. Oh and by the way, a constituency is explained here.


Summation: Yahoo "journalist" interviews randomers on the street about politics. THEY HAVEN'T A CLUE.

Personal favourite?

"Controversially, this man is standing in East Grinstead for the Conservative Party. *holds up picture of Gadaffi* What do you think about that?"

"I love the Conservative Party so whatever he's doing, that's good for me."

Sometimes, it's watching things like this that make me hate democracy. BENEVOLENT DICTATORSHIP FOR THE WIN!

(P.S. Re: tags. I'm aware this is more ignorance than stupidity, but all the same - RAGE.)
franklin sherman

SCOTUS Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. - "whats the difference between email and a pager?”

During oral arguments today in the case City of Ontario v. Quon, which considers whether police officers had an expectation of privacy in personal (and sexually explicit) text messages sent on pagers issued to them by the city, the justices of the Supreme Court at times seemed to struggle with the technology involved.

The first sign was about midway through the argument, when Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. - who is known to write out his opinions in long hand with pen and paper instead of a computer - asked what the difference was “between email and a pager?”

Other justices’ questions showed that they probably don’t spend a lot of time texting and tweeting away from their iPhones either.

At one point, Justice Anthony Kennedy asked what would happen if a text message was sent to an officer at the same time he was sending one to someone else.

“Does it say: ‘Your call is important to us, and we will get back to you?’” Kennedy asked.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrangled a bit with the idea of a service provider.

“You mean (the text) doesn’t go right to me?” he asked.

Then he asked whether they can be printed out in hard copy.

“Could Quon print these spicy little conversations and send them to his buddies?” Scalia asked.

It wasn’t just the justices who had technical difficulties. When Justice Samual Alito asked Quon’s attorney Dieter Dammeier if officers could delete text messages from their pagers in a way that would prevent the city from retrieving them from the wireless carrier later, Dammeier said that they could.

A few minutes later, Alito gave Dammeier another shot at that question.

“Are you sure about your answer on deletion?” Alito asked.

Dammeier admitted that he didn’t know. “I couldn’t be certain,” he said.

More on oral arguments in the case here on Lawyers USA Online.

franklin sherman

Washington Post Writer: Internet Journalism Is "Sort Of Like Terrorism"

A Washington Post columnist who appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday described tea partiers as potentially violent and decried internet journalism as “sort of like terrorism”

When asked about her views on the Tea Party by host Bob Schieffer, Kathleen Parker, a Pulitzer Prize winning commentator, declared it to be dangerous:

“…this heated rhetoric and some of these words…that are pretty loaded, ‘reload,’ ‘targeting’…there’s a danger there.” Parker said.

After describing the movement as dangerous Parker then said she wasn’t saying that it was dangerous:

“I’m not saying the tea party people are violent or racist or any of that….I’m not saying that the tea partiers are bad people or dangerous, I just think we have to be very vigilant….and be extremely careful, because I do think there is a lot of anger and it could become something else.”

Schieffer then injected the talking point of the internet as a source of such “danger”:

“Some of this really nasty rhetoric that shows up on the Internet….the only vehicle to deliver news that has no editor….And that is the added factor to the volatility of this stuff and where it goes.”

To which Parker replied “It’s, sort of, like terrorism. You know, we don’t know where to aim our bombs, so we can’t go after a country because there are -- you know, there’s no one place to focus on it. And it’s the same thing with -- with the Internet. You can’t really -- you don’t know who to go after.”

Classic. A mainstream media fixture warning grassroots activists not to use “loaded” rhetoric before describing the alternative media as “sort of like terrorism”.

Parker, who also often appears as the token “conservative” pundit on The Chris Matthews Show, then further warned of hate speech emanating through internet journalism:

“People who are not well-grounded and who may have these more violent tendencies suddenly find a place where they can convene and find validation and even find company. And I don’t know where that all leads, but it’s -- it’s, kind of, scary.” she said.

Watch the video:

Later on in the segment, Parker accused the Tea Party of being associated with “sort of birther attitude” and being dominated by “sort of fringy elements” – a notion totally out of step with reality according to scientific national surveys of the American people.

Parker’s column from Sunday entitled “What Americans can do to discourage future McVeighs” contains more of the same anti-government sentiment = extremism clap trap.

She waxes lyrical about how political anger in the current climate “could escalate into action beyond the ballot box”, seemingly having forgotten that for eight long years under Bush very pissed off Americans have been marching in their millions in protest of illegal foreign occupations and the erosion of domestic freedoms. Nothing has changed, that’s why they are still out there.

It is clear that like the rest of the establishment dinosaurs, Kathleen Parker is “sort of” spewing phony pre-programmed talking points.

Which is precisely what we’ve “sort of” come to expect from these “sort of” corporate media mouthpieces.

Parker ends her column with a valuable suggestion:

“When someone spews obscenities, shout them down. When politicians and pundits use inflammatory language, condemn them. When you choose to remain silent, consider yourself complicit in whatever transpires.”

Thanks for the advice Kathleen.


Roger Ebert versus Kellee Santiago: Video games, art or not?

Having once made the statement above, I have declined all opportunities to enlarge upon it or defend it. That seemed to be a fool's errand, especially given the volume of messages I receive urging me to play this game or that and recant the error of my ways. Nevertheless, I remain convinced that in principle, video games cannot be art. Perhaps it is foolish of me to say "never," because never, as Rick Wakeman informs us, is a long, long time. Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form.

What stirs me to return to the subject? I was urged by a reader, Mark Johns, to consider a video of a TED talk given at USC by Kellee Santiago, a designer and producer of video games. I did so. I warmed to Santiago immediately. She is bright, confident, persuasive. But she is mistaken.

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April 16, 2010 unexpectedly became a new watermark in my career as a game maker – Roger Ebert wrote an article about me.

Specifically, he dissected my TEDxUSC talk which I gave back in March 2009.

I do want to state that I don't think my talk was a perfect argument. It didn't land in the right place in the end, and Ebert's final quote in the article, which was taken from the last section of my talk and was not about games as art, but about the responsibility we have a media-creators in the 21st century, validated my concerns that I didn't connect the dots as cleanly as I hoped. But the TED mantra is to "give the talk of a lifetime," so I decided to make some bold claims, take the discussion a few steps further, and hopefully engage people outside of the "choir" to come to their own conclusions. Again, Ebert's article was extremely validating in that I at least achieved that goal.

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Source A and Source B.

When Christian Rock Stars Come Out of the Closet

Can an award-winning Christian rock star who comes out of the closet still find an audience inside America's religious music scene? That's the question facing Jennifer Knapp, a 36-year-old musician who rocketed to superstardom in the late 1990s under the Christian rock fold, selling more than a million records. She's now about to release her fourth album, and her first since coming out as a lesbian.

Well, hey, if Rick Warren can get down with Melissa Etheridge, then maybe there is hope for Knapp to retain some of her Christian rock fans. But that could be a tall order.


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Murasaki Shikibu

Report says school food making kids unfit to serve

Report says school food making kids unfit to serve

Too fat to fight? Many American children are so overweight from being fed french fries, pizza and other unhealthy foods at school lunchrooms that they cannot handle the physical rigors of being in the military, a group of retired officers say in a new report.

National security is threatened by the sharp rise in obesity rates for young people over the last 15 years, the group Mission: Readiness contends. Weight problems are now the leading medical reason that recruits are rejected, the group says, and thus jeopardize the military's ability to fill its ranks.

In a report released Tuesday, the group says that 9 million young adults, or 27 percent of all Americans ages 17 to 24, are too fat to join the military. The retired officers were on Capitol Hill advocating for passage of a wide-ranging nutrition bill that aims to make the nation's school lunches healthier.

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I didn't know that, about the military pushing for the school lunch program in the 40's. It kind of makes me wonder if the military pushing for it could actually get healthier food in school lunches. It'd be kind of sad if that's what it took, but hey.


Ensign Campaign's Haul Last Quarter: 50 Bucks

Sen. John Ensign's re-election campaign took in just $50 in contributions, from one contributor, during the first quarter of 2010, according to FEC reports. The paltry take comes as more bad news for the scandal-tarred Nevada Republican, who would run for re-election in 2012.

Disclosure reports examined by TPMmuckraker show that Robert Donald, a Las Vegas retiree, was the sole contributor to the "Ensign for Senate" committee between January and March. Donald gave two separate $25 contributions.

The Justice Department is currently investigating the aftermath of Ensign's affair with the wife of a top aide, to determine whether the senator broke lobbying rules or other laws in trying to set up the aide, Doug Hampton, with a lobbying job, and find clients for him. A payment of almost $100,000 from Ensign's parents to the Hamptons is also reportedly a focus of the inquiry.

Ensign, who says he broke no laws, has not said whether he intends to seek re-election. Washington GOP leaders have been non-committal about his future, while some Nevada GOPers have begun to pressure him to step down. If it became clear that Ensign was unable to raise the money to run a viable campaign in 2012, that pressure would likely increase.


At first glance, this almost seems like it should be an Onion article.  But....no. *sporfle*
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  • avmin

Pratchett talks about the responses to the Dimbleby lecture


Thursday. A moment of unexpected peace and quiet which allows me to
get on and do the mail. It's a little bit difficult to do even that.
My mother is dead, but not yet cremated. It is an uneasy period,
feared all down the years, with rituals to ward off evil influences
and keep the soul of the dead safe. It is a time of loss but not
closure, and it makes me almost genetically uneasy.

At least the mail concentrates the mind. The mail mountain has been
huge for years, but since the Dimbleby lecture it has become
Himalayan in nature. A great many of the letters and e-mails from
fans are easy to deal with; it's the new ones that summon my
attention now, like the one here from the elderly lady who says
"when people say that organisations for the disabled are against
assisted suicide, who have they asked? No one has ever asked my
opinion! Personally, I hope for a quick and painless death however
it comes, but I think I am far too old to be dictated to."

Next, I'm sent a URL to rant about the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP).
The LCP is, in short, a means of allowing the dying to die in
comfort when all medical intervention has failed. It is a tick-box
system, perhaps rightly so, but I spend some time following the
dreary trail of objections from those, who, I swear won't be happy
unless we all die praying. It could be euthanasia by the back door,
you see, or assisted dying by stealth or, for all I know a holiday
caravan for Satan and his little imps.

Of course, this is the Internet, and these people love the Internet
because you don't get challenged and it doesn't matter if you make
things up. You can scare and assert to your heart's content, without
qualification or come back.

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If I remember right news about the Dimbleby lecture (Shaking hands with death) was posted here sometime ago. In this letter to the DW monthly newsletter Pratchett talks about the responses he got after the lecture. Raging PTerry fangirling aside I agree wholly with everything he says in the letter.

BREAKING: Crist WILL run as an Independent!

Southern Political Report is reporting that Crist will announce soon that he will run as an Independent.


 Crist is working on his announcement on running as an Independent.

It may be the worst-kept secret in American politics today, and it’s apparently about to become a reality. Reliable sources informed me today that embattled Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, whose early lead in his US Senate Republican primary race against former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio has essentially reversed itself in the polls, is preparing to announce sooner rather than later that he will leave the GOP and continue his run for Senate as an independent. Sources add that the speech Crist will use in his announcement is now being drafted.  

Of course Crist is known from time to time for running political misdirections that surprise even political experts at the last minute. But the tea leaves Crist has left trailing behind him in recent weeks – particularly his about-face in vetoing an education reform bill dear to Florida Republicans – certainly seem to portend an abandonment of the party. Throw in, too, that he has recently been losing support from national and Florida GOP honchos – such as Mitt Romney and Crist’s now ex-campaign chair, former US Sen. Connie Mack, among other various Florida Republican luminaries.

There are a lot of factors right now that is happening Crist's decision to run as an Independent and whether or not he would win in a 3 way race with Rubio and Meeks.

Crist has been essentially kicked out of the Republican party and there may be no turning back even if he was to stick it out and run against Rubio in the primary.  

But now Rubio and the Florida Republican party has their own problems.  Rubio and the Republicans in Florida are under investigation by the FBI and the IRS for charging personal items on the credit cards of the state party.  This may put a damper on the Rubio campaign specifically and the Floridian Republicans in general.

Meeks is well liked by the Democratic party but not well known in the state.  With Rubio's troubles, Meeks being unknown, and Crist's positioning himself in the middle, it is conceivable that he could eek out a victory in the end.  Unclear who a Senator Crist would caucus with but the Republicans have treated him badly and he may end up caucusing with the Democrats.  Wouldn't that be a hoot in the end!


Guess Crist took me at my word when I emailed his campaign this morning to say I'd vote for him if he'd run as an Independent.  :D  Meeks (the Dem candidate) does seem like a good guy, and he's been in the State Senate since 2003, but he's just not known at a state-wide level enough to get elected this time around.

I don't agree with everything Crist has done, but he's managed to actually make some tough decisions that flew in the face of the establishment GOP when they were better for the people here in Florida.  If he really does follow through on this, I think he's got a real shot at winning.

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franklin sherman

(no subject)

The police assigned to the White House literally told the media to leave today as six military vets were protesting the President's inaction on DADT by handcuffing themselves to the White House gates. The mainstream reporters were not pleased, as shown in this video where one reporter, I believe, called the White House to complain. Video filmed by John Aravosis, AMERICAblog.com

Police chased reporters away from the White House and closed Lafayette Park today in response to a gay rights protest in which several service members in full uniform handcuffed themselves to the White House gate to protest "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

People who have covered the White House for years tell me that's an extremely unusual thing to do in an area that regularly features protests.

A reporter can be seen in the YouTube video above calling the move "outrageous" and "ridiculous."

UPDATE: U.S. Park Police spokesman David Schlosser tells POLITICO his service erred in pushing the reporters back, and stressed that the White House played no role in the move.

"That was strictly the U.S. Parks Police that screwed up – that has nothing to do with the Secret Service of the White House or the Administration," said Sergeant Schlosser. "We had some young officers who, when they were told to move the people back -- which we typically do when we're going to make arrests - they moved the people back a lot further than we typically do. That was a rookie, amateur error and they screwed up on that."

Gossip Girl; Blair HBIC

Sarkozy orders Muslim veil ban in public

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 | 9:07 AM ET
The Associated Press

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered legislation that would ban women from wearing Islamic veils that fully cover the face and body in public places, the government said Wednesday.

It is Sarkozy's first political action toward an outright ban, though he has repeatedly said such outfits oppress women and are not welcome in France, home to a firmly secular government.

Government spokesman Luc Chatel said after a cabinet meeting that the president decided the government should submit a bill to parliament in May on an overall ban on such veils "in all public places."

That ups the stakes in Sarkozy's push against veils such as the burqa and niqab and chador. Some in his own party have bristled at a full-out ban, and France's highest administrative body has questioned whether it would be constitutional.

Sarkozy insisted that "everything should be done so that no one feels stigmatized," according to Chatel. Sarkozy said the veils "do not pose a problem in a religious sense, but threaten the dignity of women."

Chatel did not say how the new bill would affect a resolution already slated for discussion in parliament May 11 on ways of limiting the full veils.

France, nominally Roman Catholic, is also home to western Europe's largest Muslim population of at least five million. Very few French Muslim women wear face-hiding veils, but the issue has become a flashpoint of debate on national identity, the rights of religious groups in France's secular society and integration of France's immigrant populations.

Legislators and members of the government have been discussing ways to limit veils such as the burqa and niqab and chador for months. France banned Muslim head scarves and other "ostentatious" religious symbols from classrooms in 2004.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/04/21/france-muslim-veil-ban-public-sarkozy.html?ref=rss#ixzz0lkoU1mTI


Fraiser Crane To Host New Network More Right Wing Than Fox!

Actor Kelsey Grammer is one of the names behind The RightNetwork, a new operation that is being targeted at "Americans who are looking for content that reflects and reinforces their perspective and world-view."

The network is expected to launch this summer and is hoping to be available to on-demand cable offerings, online and mobile phones.

"There's wrong, and there's right, right network, all that's right with the world," Grammer says in a video clip on the network's Web site.

Likewise, the network's promotional materials say it will focus on entertainment with "pro-America," "pro-business, pro-military sensibilities" that will ultimately invite conversation and influence "the national conversation."

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I defnitely think Fox deserves good competition. However, I'm afraid that this new station will be Teabag Central. Grammer has a RINO-ish reputation, but it won't be enough to stop the inevitable fail. Also, here's a Fraiser gif:

  • saoru

ACTA arrives (still bad, but a tiny bit better)

This is a long and occasionally boring article, but it has a lot of bearing on stuff we all do here on the internets every day, so it seemed worth sharing.

We've been covering the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) for two years now, and in that entire 24 month period no official text of the agreement has been released. Remarkable, really, given the intense scrutiny, but there you have it.

Today, that all changed as the countries behind ACTA finally released a consolidated draft text (PDF) of the agreement. Though billed as a "trade agreement" about "counterfeiting," ACTA is much more than that: it's an intellectual property treaty in disguise.

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Rainbow flag burned at LGBT Community Center in NY! Protest planned.

On the morning of Wed April 14, the building staff of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City arrived to the sight of a burned rainbow flag hanging on a poster display case on the front of the building. They called the NYPD, who immediately dispatched detectives from the hate crimes unit and the local precinct. This is currently being investigating as a hate crime.

Executive Director of the LGBT Center, Glennda Testone states:

"We at the Center will not stand for anyone who thinks they can come into our community and try to intimidate us. We work hard to create a safe environment and provide a safe space for all LGBT New Yorkers. Hate and intolerance against us will not be accepted in New York, and it is so important the Center is a safe space in our city. It is sad that such incidents still happen in this day and age, but we appreciate the NYPD and especially the hate crimes unit doing everything they can to ensure the safety of all LGBT people in New York."

"We as a community must stand strong and together in the face of these hateful incidents, and while we did capture an image of the perpetrator on our surveillance camera, we are asking anyone who has additional information about this crime to contact the police directly at 1-800-577-TIPS"

The Center is fighting back by holding an event to install a giant 20 foot rainbow flag, draping the front of the Center's iconic building on 13th Street in the West Village. The Center's administration feels that "cowardly acts of hateful speech must be responded to with acts of courage and unity."

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David Cameron is struck by an egg

Conservative leader David Cameron has been hit by an egg apparently thrown by a construction student.

Mr Cameron was in Saltash, Cornwall, when he was hit on the shoulder.

BBC political correspondent Carole Walker said the egg was thrown by the student as the Conservative leader left a college he had been visiting.

Mr Cameron, who has been followed by a Daily Mirror reporter dressed as a chicken, joked: "Now I know which came first - the chicken not the egg."

He said the egg was the "first of the campaign".

Carole Walker added that Mr Cameron was "unruffled" and continued on his way out of the building
She added that although the egg did strike Mr Cameron's shoulder, it was his protection officer who took the full force of the mess.

The yolk also stained Mr Cameron's white shirt.

A 19-year-old student was arrested briefly but then released.

According to a Conservative aide, he was quickly released after police established that he was not carrying any more missiles.

Speaking to young people inside the college before the incident, Mr Cameron shrugged off opinion polls pointing to a hung parliament.

He said: "Polls go up, polls go down. I've been leader of this party for four and a half years, I've been 10 points ahead, I've been 10 points behind.

"What I'm interested in is the big poll on 6 May, when people really have to choose five more years of Gordon Brown - the uncertainty, the bickering, the haggling of a hung parliament - or a decisive clean break with the Conservatives."

Mr Cameron's response was more restrained than that of former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who punched a protester who threw an egg at him during the 2001 election campaign.

Source: The Beeb
May it be the first of many. C:
Stock - Pink Sakura

Networks Censor Plus-Size Lingerie Ad

Lane Bryant Says Fox, ABC Censored Spot

- Steve McClellan

Lane Bryant is up in arms that two networks -- Fox and ABC -- have resisted airing a sexy lingerie ad from the company in time periods where the networks have broadcast other racy fare.

In a post on LB's Inside Curve blog, the company complains that "ABC and Fox have made the decision to define beauty for you by denying our new, groundbreaking Cacique commercial from airing freely on their networks." The ad, which was initially available on YouTube and at lanebryant.com/sexy, has since been removed. (It's now up again on Youtube) It was created by Omnicom's Zimmerman.

The post also claims that ABC "restricted our airtime" and refused to air the spot during Dancing With the Stars, while Fox "demanded excessive re-edits and rebuffed it three times before relenting to air it during the final 10 minutes of American Idol, but only after we threatened to pull the ad buy."

The post continues: "Yes, these are the same networks that have scantily-clad housewives so desperate they seduce every man on the block -- and don't forget Bart Simpson, who has shown us the moon more often than NASA -- all in what they call "family hour.'"

The ad depicts several attractive, plus-sized models in the latest line of Lane Bryant lingerie. Ample cleavage-which Bryant says was a problem for the nets-is on display in the ad. "The networks exclaimed, 'She has...cleavage!' Gasp!'' the blog post states.

"While it's no secret that Victoria's Secret 'The Nakeds' ads are prancing around on major networks leaving little to the imagination, steaming up TV screens and baring nearly everything but their souls, our sultry siren who shows sophisticated sass is somehow deemed inappropriate ... Does this smack of a double standard? Yep. It does to us, too," the post continues.

Not surprisingly, comments from readers on the blog support the ad and chide the networks. "I have been advocating for curvy girls for about 20 years now ... and STILL there is bigotry against women of size. We're deemed inappropriate, unintelligent, and we're shunned. This happens to us on a daily basis!," wrote one responder who identified herself as Willokeays.

"What is wrong with people? She looks gorgeous," added another writer, responding as Marycontrary.

Reps at the two networks could not immediately respond to the client's complaints about their treatment of the client's ad.

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(no subject)

Do Nothing Republicans To Spend Another Week in Afternoon Picnics While Investigating These 97 Anonymous Un-american Traitors

Republicans Block Votes On 97 Federal Nominees In A Single Day

Republicans have been blocking votes on nominees to federal posts, taking longer to confirm President Obama’s nominees to executive agencies than nominees submitted by the previous three administrations. Due to these blocks, there is a backlog of 101 executive branch nominees that have yet to be voted on, ranging from the Transportation Safety Authority chief to members of the Marine Mammal Commission. Senators commonly issue “anonymous holds” to prevent a nomination from coming up for a vote.

Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) took aim at this tactic yesterday evening. Employing a “little-used rule adopted in 2007 that requires a Member to report his anonymous hold [on a federal nominee] in the Congressional Record [six days] after a colleague has tried to clear the name,” the two senators took to the Senate floor to try and clear the backlog and ask for unanimous consent for votes on scores of federal nominees.

As Whitehouse and McCaskill began reading the names of stalled federal nominees, the Republicans at first didn’t even appear. Whitehouse then waited patiently for a Republican Senator to arrive on the floor. Minority Whip Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) finally appeared and began objecting to the two senators’ unanimous consent requests, ultimately blocking votes on 97 nominees. The Huffington Post has assembled a video compilation of Kyl blocking Whitehouse and McCaskill’s requests. Watch it:
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Shocking News: Un-american Traitor Betrays Our Fenemy!!

Israel is a Big Boy Now, They Dont Need to Keep Holding Hands With The US!

Krauthammer Contradicts Bolton’s Iran Warmongering: An Attack ‘May Be Ineffective’

Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that Israeli security officials are “divided” over whether they need permission from the U.S. should Israel decide to attack Iran over its nuclear program. The Israelis fear that if new sanctions on Iran fail, “the Israeli and American positions on Iran could rapidly diverge — and Israel, if it chooses to attack Iran, would have no choice but to do so on its own.”

While top U.S. officials have been reluctant to focus on a military strike against Iran, let alone endorse an Israeli one, Fox News war hawk John Bolton said last night on the network’s business channel that the U.S should actually “be helping Israel if they’re making a decision that they might use military force against Iran.” However, on the O’Reilly Factor, another reliable Fox News armchair warrior Charles Krauthammer actually acknowledged that attacking Iran could prove pointless:

KRAUTHAMMER: Do we have enough intelligence? Do we know where their stuff is hidden? They have spoken about a second uranium enrichment place. Do they have others? And, also, how deeply buried and how hardened are the targets? Because unless we know if we have access with our equipment, our bombs, they may be ineffective. I think they have got to make assessment on the current intelligence which appears to us, at least on the outside, rather weak.
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The Times and Google: what's going on?

Rupert Murdoch - World Economic Forum Annual M...

Image by World Economic Forum via Flickr

Mystery as all Times content disappears from Google and then returns.

15:40 UPDATE: TimesOnline has now returned to Google's index. Jaamit Durrani reports that the Times's SEO team are claiming technical problems were to blame but, as he argues, this isn't convincing. How could a technical error remove an entire site from Google's index? I think it's safe to assume this was a dry run.

Rupert Murdoch has long threatened to remove his papers' stories from Google as part of his war against the company's "content kleptomaniacs". And today, at least in the case of the Times, he's done just that.

In advance of the launch of the paper's paywall this summer, all Times Online content has disappeared from Google's index. Try searching for the latest columns by David Aaronovitch, Daniel Finkelstein et al and you'll have no luck.

As others have noted, the absence of a robots.txt file telling Google to remove pages from the index, suggests that they were manually removed by the company at Murdoch's request.

Given the huge amount of traffic that Google drives to news websites, this amounts to a big gamble. But Murdoch's view is that the presence of his news stories on Google, among thousands of others, robs them of their distinctiveness and value.

In any case, the News Corp head is more concerned with pushing people back to print than he is with successfully charging for digital content. As his biographer Michael Wolff has written: "The more he can choke off the internet as a free news medium, the more publishers he can get to join him, the more people he can bring back to his papers. It is not a war he can win in the long term, but a little Murdoch rearguard action might get him to his own retirement. Then it's somebody else's problem."

With the Sun and the News of the World set to follow their Wapping neighbours and charge for content later this year, we can expect those titles to soon exit Google as well.

Hat-tip: Malcolm Coles

Source: New Statesman


Kenyan Embassy Mocks Tea Party Movement, Promotes Kenyan Tea With Capitol Tea Party

The Kenyan Embassy is set to promote one of its biggest exports and mock the tea party movement at the same time.

According to Talking Points Memo, the embassy has sent out invitations to a tea party next week, inviting attendees to "Find out what a real tea party is like."

The event, to be held at the U.S. Capitol, will feature tea tastings, food pairings and tea leaf readings, according to the invite. Kenya's deputy prime minister is also scheduled to attend.

One of Kenya's biggest exports is tea, and it bills itself on the invite as the world's top exporter. The crop is even included on its coat of arms.

The embassy's tea party comes less than a week after Tax Day tea party protesters descended on Washington, D.C.

A recent CBS/New York Times poll found that many self-described tea partiers are also "birthers," who doubt President Obama's birthplace. According to the poll, 30% of tea partiers and 20% of all Americans believe that Obama was not born in the U.S. and therefore cannot be the country's legitimate leader. Despite the release of the president's birth certificate, many believe that he was born in Kenya, where his father lived.

At last week's tax day protests, attendees held signs saying "Go Back To Kenya" and "A village in Kenya is missing its idiot."


lol I love this.
Njena Reddd Foxxx

Da'rryl Durr on the death penalty

In a telephone call from death row, Da'rryl Durr describes capital punishment as 'murder by the state'

"We don't say a prisoner was executed, we say he was murdered by the state," says Da'rryl Durr, speaking from Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown. He was there on formal deathwatch until Monday, when he was transferred to the state's maximum-security facility in Lucasville to await his execution.
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Da'rryl Durr was killed by lethal injection today, right on schedule.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/20/darryl-durr-death-penalty

Coulter destroys perfectly good brains, zombies say

(from yesterday)


Milwaukee Zombie Coalition to Protest Ann Coulter

Tonight, April 20, 2010, conservative pundit Ann Coulter will be speaking at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In response, an unprecedented coalition of Milwaukee’s undead will unite in protest. Tomorrow, check in to Third Coast Digest for Patti Wenzel’s coverage of the event.

According to organizers, Coulter’s comments and positions, such as endorsing the murder of Dr. George Tiller, referring to Muslims as “ragheads,” and accusing 9/11 widows of “enjoying their husbands’ deaths” can serve only one purpose – to rot human brains.

In an official statement, zombie spokesperson and UWM student Kyle Schulz says, “As concerned members of a global society facing the daunting challenges of the 21st century, we know that we will need to move forward with as many healthy brains as possible. We oppose the hateful ignorance represented by Coulter and her supporters; her venom is merely a distraction from the real issues that affect real people.”

Schulz continues, “And as zombies, we protest Coulter’s wanton destruction of perfectly good (and most likely delicious) brains.”

The zombie uprising will begin at 6pm at UWM in the Pangaea space between Lubar and Bolton Halls.


I wish I'd known about this before; too bad I had two exams to study for last night.

ETA: I may or may not have just gotten drunk with my ridiculously hot straight friend for his 21st birthday, so my comments may reflect such.
  • Current Mood

Obama's Communist Socialist Tyrannical Policies Will Take Away our Fishing Rods!!!

Tea Partiers In Tax Day Protests Try To Explain Why They're Against Obama (VIDEO)

A correspondent for New Left Media ventured out among the tea partiers during their tax day protests in Washington D.C. to interview them about what it is that's fueling their fierce opposition to to the government in general and President Obama in particular.

Suffice to say, the answers involve lots of wild-eyed claims about tyranny and socialism. Highlights include a woman gravely warning "Obama is considering banning fishing in America," as well as another dressed in a ball and chain outfit to illustrate how our liberties are being constrained.


(no subject)

Local Black Man Taken Away By Nice Men in White Coats To a Safer Location. Will Receive a Lifetime Supply of Antipsychotic Drugs.

RNC Chairman Steele: African-Americans ‘don’t have a reason’ to vote Republican.

In candid remarks made before a group of students at DePaul University, RNC Chairman Michael Steele said African-Americans “don’t have a reason” to vote for Republicans because “we haven’t done a very good job of giving you one.” The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

Why should an African-American vote Republican?

“You really don’t have a reason to, to be honest — we haven’t done a very good job of really giving you one. True? True,” Republican National Chairman Michael Steele told 200 DePaul University students Tuesday night. […]

“For the last 40-plus years we had a ‘Southern Strategy’ that alienated many minority voters by focusing on the white male vote in the South.
Well, guess what happened in 1992, folks, ‘Bubba’ went back home to the Democratic Party and voted for Bill Clinton.”

Of course, anytime Democrats make similar arguments, Steele is quick to accuse them of issuing “blind charges of racism, where none exist.” Steele himself claims not to “play the race card,” but in addition to his comments last night, he has said that he has a “slimmer margin for error” because of his race and that white Republicans are “scared” of him.

Ash cloud's silver lining: bluer skies

After mass flight groundings, sky was clear of jet exhaust plumes

LONDON - As volcanic ash cast a shadow over millions of lives, Londoners and other city dwellers across Europe were treated to a rare spectacle of nature: Pristine, blue skies brighter than any in recent memory.

The remarkable sight happened in part because mass flight groundings prevented busy airspace from being crisscrossed with plumes of jet exhaust that create a semi-permanent haze — and other effects beyond the white contrails themselves.

Just as city lights make it necessary for us to go to the desert to appreciate the true glitter of stars, so has modern aviation dulled us to what the noontime sky can really look like — until the erupting volcano in Iceland offered a reminder.

Britain's poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, was inspired to write verses about the unusually clear skies above London: "Five miles up the hush and shush of ash/Yet the sky is as clean as a white slate/I could write my childhood there."


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JL: Annoyed J. Law

Fla. councilman unsure if Muslims, gays should hold public office

The Human Rights Commission of Jacksonville, Fla. has a mission of ensuring “all residents enjoy a community free of discriminatory practices."

But as the city council reviewed the mayor’s nominees for the commission, one of its members has been accused of discriminating against them, Think Progress reported.

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Councilman Clay Yarborough was the sole 'no' in a 4-1 vote that recommended University of North Florida professor and Fulbright scholar Parvez Ahmed, a Muslim, for the commission. Yarborough said in an interview with the Florida Times-Union that he would be uncomfortable with Muslims holding public office.

Do you believe Muslims should be able to hold a public office in Florida?
“I would have to think about that. I would have to think about that.  What kind of office? An elected office? Would you consider the human rights commission to be a public office?”

Just in general, do you believe Muslims should be able to hold any public office in Florida?
“I don’t know.”

In the same interview, Yarborough expressed discomfort with gays holding office as well.

Do you think homosexuals should be able to hold a public office in Florida?
“I would prefer they did not.”

During the council's interview with the two nominees — Ahmed and Florida Coastal School of Law professor Susan Harthill — Yarborough repeatedly asked questions that seemingly had nothing to do with what the candidates would be doing on the Human Rights Commission.

Gay marriage, God, Islam and prayer in public places were some of the issues Yarborough posed to the candidates.

Yarborough defended his questions, stating concerns that if gay marriage came before the Human Rights Commission, he wants to ensure that no member of it supporting the legalization of gay unions in Florida.

“It would concern me if someone of that belief was on that board if they could address that issue,” he said.

In an column titled "Bigotry rears its ugly head in Jacksonville city council meeting," Ron Littlepage eviscerates Yarborough for his attitude about the commission nominees.

Good people came to the City Council Rules Committee meeting Monday in support of Parvez Ahmed, Mayor John Peyton's nominee to the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission.

Their presence and words will help erase some of the stain placed on this community by the bigotry and intolerance that have surfaced in opposition to Ahmed, a Muslim.

But the stain will remain.


More on the nomination of the Muslim professor that started all of this.