April 30th, 2010

TV debate: a cross between Songs of Praise and Over the Rainbow

Big Brooker is Watching You

Image by sambeckwith via Flickr

If the leadership debates were supermarkets – which they're not – ITV's would be Tesco, Sky's would be Morrisons, and the BBC's offering would be Waitrose. The ITV debate felt like a 1990s gameshow whose rules required Alastair Stewart to bellow "Mr Clegg!", "Mr Brown!" or "Mr Cameron!" every thirty seconds; the Sky studio was a poky black cave cluttered with discarded British Airways tail fins and dwarfed by an immense Sky logo. With its mix of cavernous space and high-tech backdrops, the BBC debate resembled a cross between Songs of Praise and current Saturday night talent-show splurge Over the Rainbow: I half expected the loser to hand his shoes to Dimbleby at the end before jetting off into the sky on a rocket-powered podium.

The chief topic was the economy, a subject upon which I have such a poor grasp that from my ignorant perspective all three men may as well have been debating the best way to kidnap a space wraith. Cameron proposed 'efficiency savings' which seemed to boil down to a war on unnecessary leaflets; Brown boomed that this would shrink the economy by £6bn and risk a double-dip recession. Clegg didn't care what happened as long as it was fair. He proposed some kind of cross-party economic fairness committee which, as secret fellowships go, sounds about as much fun as a cardboard-licking party.

Clegg was big on fairness generally. Fairness and difference. He used so many distancing tactics – references to "these two", phrases like "there they go again", constant calls to "get beyond political point-scoring" – he may as well have thrown in a "hark at these arseholes" at the end for good measure. It's a tactic that largely works: he sometimes came across as a slightly exasperated translator sadly explaining to his fellow earthmen in the audience that these two visiting Gallifreyan dignitaries were well-meaning but essentially wrong.

Brown's ears are amazing. I think they're made out of sausages. And he still can't smile properly, which is hardly surprising given his ongoing luck allergy. Following the overblown 'bigotgate' media piss-fight, which saw him force-fed fistfuls of shame, it was vaguely impressive to see him standing at a podium instead of screaming on a ledge. Just as Cameron likes to shoehorn the "change" meme into every sentence (or rather did, before Cleggmania flared up), so Brown mentioned "the same old Conservative Party" so many times he began to sound like a novelty anti-Tory talking keyring.

According to some polls, Cameron won, or at the very least tied with Clegg. Which is odd, because to my biased eyes, he looked hilariously worried whenever the others were talking. He often wore a face like the Fat Controller trying to wee through a Hula Hoop without splashing the sides, in fact. Perhaps that's just the expression he pulls when he's concentrating, in which case it's fair to say he'd be the first prime minister in history who could look inadvertently funny while pushing the nuclear button.



Source: Charlie Brooker @ The Guardian


comedy | I'm Into Weird Shit

ONTD_Political's PotD: April 29, 2010.


Labour's Prime Minister Gordon Brown, right, Conservative Party leader David Cameron, left, and Liberal Democrat Party leader Nick Clegg, take part in Britain's third televised election debate in Birmingham, England, Thursday, April 29, 2010. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is seeking political redemption in his country's third and final live televised debate after an open microphone caught him dismissing a retired Labour voter as a "bigoted woman."

Jeff Overs, BBC Pool | AP Photo
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........."CAPTION UNRELATED"?
[animals] rat with balloons!

Gay-Straight conversion

What Happened When I Went Undercover at a Christian Gay-to-Straight Conversion Camp

My weekend was filled with crying, singing, and wrestling, as 30 men struggled to overcome their attraction to other men. It was also the first time I felt another man's erection.
April 22, 2010  |  
 
Photo Credit: Jamison Wieser
 
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normal

MMS Cancels "Safety Award of The Year" Event, Police Suspects Act of Sabotage from Mother Nature

BP to Sue Mother Nature for Emotional Trauma.

Gulf oil spill: Safety fete postponed

It was to be a celebration, but a federal agency in charge of offshore drilling has postponed next week’s annual luncheon in Houston, which was to extol the safety record of offshore oil drilling.

A new posting on the website of the U.S. Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service, or MMS, noted that the agency is busy and the unfolding tragedy that has cost lives and oil might conflict with the May 3 luncheon.
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BP Oil Spill: Company Loses $25 Billion In Market Value

BP shares tumbled more than 8 percent Thursday, and the company has lost roughly $25 billion in market value since an offshore rig it hired in the Gulf of Mexico exploded last week and started spewing huge amounts of oil.

Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead following the disaster on the Deepwater Horizon, and a huge oil slick is creeping closer to land. Estimates of the amount of oil gushing from the seabed have risen to 5,000 barrels per day – five times what was originally thought.
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'Drill, Baby, Drill' Champions Silent On Gulf Oil Spill

More than a week has passed since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers, injuring over a dozen more, and causing a massive oil spill that may eclipse the Exxon Valdez.

Yet the two most prominent political champions of offshore drilling -- Sarah Palin and Michael Steele -- appear not to have uttered a word about the incident.
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Don Blankenship: "So How Much Does a Life/Silence Cost These Days?"

Massey to Give Away Their Pocket Change Savings From Slashed Safety Regulation Programs to Grieving Families: "Take It, Or Else..."

Upper Big Branch Miners' Families Offered $3 Million Settlement By Massey Energy

Massey Energy Co. is offering $3 million to each of the families of 29 men killed in an explosion at its Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia, the daughter of one of the victims said Thursday.

The offer came a week earlier when Massey officials visited the family, said Michelle McKinney, daughter of Benny Ray Willingham. McKinney said other families have received the same offer.

Massey did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

The widow of William Griffith has already filed a wrongful death lawsuit, while the mother of Adam Morgan has won a court order preserving relevant records and potential evidence from the disaster. The April 5 explosion – the nation's worst coal mining disaster in 40 years – also has prompted legal action by several current and former shareholders.

McKinney isn't interested in settling.

"Nope," she said. "My dad didn't have a price tag on him. Don Blankenship don't have enough money to pay me."
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Grandmother shares crochet, life skills

You might run in the other direction if you encountered a bunch of teen boys with tattoos, attitude and needles.

But not 80-eight-year-old Delorse Baney. She rushes to their rescue.

“You’ve got to relax,” she tells a slouching teen whose baseball cap all but hides his eyes.

“Yes ma’am,” he says, obediently loosening his grip on the crochet hook.

This is an art class at Patriot Learning Center’s evening high school in Falcon. Baney is helping the students with their slipped stitches and castoffs.

But it is more than that. Baney is giving them grandmotherly attention, doses of self-esteem and pride in accomplishing a goal.

 

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[MISC] I ♥ Fall

Pennsylvania House Education Committee Approves Bill to Mandate Sex Education in Public Schools

By JAN MURPHY, The Patriot-News
April 28, 2010, 3:02PM

The Pennsylvania House Education Committee voted 14-11 to send to the full House a bill that would require school districts to provide comprehensive sex education, but gives parents the opportunity to excuse their children from the instruction.

House Bill 1163, sponsored by Rep. Chelsa Wagner, D-Allegheny, would allow school boards to determine the curriculum and requires only that the material be age-appropriate and medically accurate. It would not allow school boards to teach only abstinence-only curriculum, she said.

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Rainbow

AZ police dept states this obvious. This is BullS*t and our job is hard enough thank you.

Anybody else Taking a cue from their parent'(grandparents) hippie/activist days and seriously considering a road trip to AZ this summer to engage in protests??? This law is so off the chain in so many ways. It's bad enough already that there are people in this world who will "call immigration" on any brown-skinned person they have a disagreement with. Now they just have to call the police. I figured someone would be suing soon. Why should the police have to deal with this burden. How they hell are they going to investigate ANY crims in the hispanic community when entire neighborhoods are going to be shutting their doors and windows? Arizona= fucking Fail all around.

Arizona police officer sues over immigration law

By Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS

* Law allows police to ask anyone for proof of legal U.S. residency
* Lawsuit says law will "seriously impede law enforcement investigations"
* Suit says there are no "race-neutral criteria" to determine who in the U.S. lawfully
* Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says law does not involve racial profiling

(CNN) -- A police officer in Tucson, Arizona, asks that local law enforcement be exempt from enforcing the state's new immigration law in a lawsuit filed in federal court on Thursday.


Officer Martin H. Escobar claims in the suit that the law will "seriously impede law enforcement investigations and facilitate the successful commission of crimes."

He also says there are no "race-neutral criteria or basis to suspect or identify who is lawfully in the United States," including a person's proximity to the Mexican border, linguistic characteristics and capabilities, skin color, clothing worn or the type of vehicle driven.

The law, signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on April 23, allows police to ask anyone for proof of legal U.S. residency. Brewer and others who support the law have said it does not involve racial profiling or any other illegal acts.

"Racial profiling is illegal," Brewer said after signing the bill. "It is illegal in America, and it's certainly illegal in Arizona."  [thank you!]
Read the complaint (PDF)

But Escobar's suit says the law "is the product of racial bias aimed specifically at Hispanics" and places every Hispanic within the state at risk of losing his or her constitutional rights.

Brewer, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, the city of Tucson and Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall are named in the suit.

Escobar asks that local law enforcement be exempt "from engaging any immigration stops, questioning, detention, citing or any law enforcement activity reserved to the federal government."

Escobar, 45, is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Mexico and immigrated with his parents when he was 5 years old, attorney Richard M. Martinez said.

Tucson Police Department spokesman Sgt. Fabian Pacheco declined to comment on the case because city policies prevent employees from discussing pending litigation. But he said Escobar has worked for the department since 1995 and patrols Tucson's south side.

Martinez said his client has spent years working to break down barriers between the Police Department and the predominantly Hispanic community.

"All this law does is put the barrier back up. ... It takes away trust and the rapport and relationships," he said Thursday.

Spokespeople for Brewer and Goddard did not return requests for comment.
{misc} swagger like us

In Ohio, Dems Rip One of Their Own Over ‘Racist’ Remarks

The congressional race in Ohio’s second district is shaping up to be an odd one. And it’s not just because one Democratic candidate is a self-described “Reagan conservative” and another starred recently on “The Apprentice.”

With the Democratic primary just days away, state and local party leaders are ripping into David Krikorian, one of the hopefuls to challenge GOP Rep. Jean Schmidt in November, for disparaging remarks he’s made recently about his chief primary opponent, Surya Yalamanchili.

According to accounts given to local politicians, Krikorian has appeared at campaign events to ridicule Yalamanchili, an American of Indian descent, by dramatically pronouncing his name to emphasize its foreign nature.

“Now do you really think that a guy with a name like that has a chance of ever being elected?” Krikorian allegedly said to members of Veterans of Foreign Wars in Clermont County.


The comments — which Krikorian denies – drew a quick response from local Democratic leaders, who shot off a letter to Krikorian Wednesday calling his behavior “deeply disturbing.”

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Rainbow

Maddow Dissects the obvious racism behind the law.

Of course the people who need to watch this will not be watching or listening at all but it's good for those of us who intend to defend reason to understand all the facts about how this law came about. Rachel does it again. (I wonder if this how Edward R Murrow's show felt to resonable people in the Red Scare days.) Watch/share/tweet her EPIC  interview Dan Stein the president of FAIR, the group that wrote the Arizona law. Spread the word on this. Do not let people live in ignorance of what is fueling this movement. Do not let the racism and hate and bigotry go unchecked anymore. This is just wrong and we can't let this kind of underhanded politics steer our country down that age old path of scapegoating people again and again and again. (BTW I swear to god if I hear one more fucking politician tell me what "The American People" want, I am going to fucking ........ riot. )




Update [2010-4-29 22:4:52 by Muzikal203]: Rachel is on top of it. LOL, she just told us to check out the info she has on the org which is portrayed as mainstream even when it isn't on her blog. Link here. Here's a taste:

FAIR was founded in 1979 by John Tanton, who's still listed as a member of FAIR's board of directors. Seven years after he started FAIR, Tanton wrote this, "To govern is to populate. Will the present majority peaceably hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile? As whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night or will there be an explosion?"

For nine of the first years of FAIR's existence, the group reportedly received more than $1 million in funding from something called the Pioneer Fund. The Pioneer Fund describes itself as based "in the Darwinian-Galtonian evolutionary tradition and eugenics movement." For the last 70 years, the Pioneer Fund has funded controversial research about race and intelligence, essentially aimed at proving the racial superiority of white people. The group's original mandate was to promote the genes of those "deemed to be descended predominantly from white persons who settled in the original 13 states prior to the adoption of the Constitution."

 
TARDIS

More about crazy Virginians and their trucks...



Disturbing? Yes. Illegal? Probably not.

That's what police, residents and free-speech experts say about a truck seen driving around the city displaying handmade signs disparaging women. The placards, stuck to the back of the dark purple pickup, include messages such as "All women are Satan" and "A perfect woman is a dead woman."

The display is protected as free speech, according to prosecutors and state and local police.

 

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Citadel

Arizona Immigration Boycott Zeroes in on Baseball

Major League Baseball has a strong presence in Arizona and a high number of Latino players, making it a prime target for opponents of Arizona's new immigration law who hope to persuade the state to change its divisive law through economic boycotts. Activists and sports columnists across the country are calling on baseball fans to ask the MLB to pull the 2011 All-Star Game out of Phoenix and to relocate the spring training Cactus League.

Protesters are also already picketing Arizona Diamondbacks games. A small group gathered outside of Coors Field in Denver yesterday, the Denver Post reports, to protest the law as Phoenix's team took on the Colorado Rockies. About 40 protesters chanting "Boycott Arizona" and "Reform Not Racism" gathered outside of Wrigley Field Thursday as the Diamondbacks played the Chicago Cubs. They vowed to be back at the stadium for the next three days.

The controversial law, signed by Arizona's governor on Friday, would require immigrants to carry documents verifying their immigration status. It would also require police officers to question a person about his or her immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion" that person may be illegally in the country.

Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva (D), among others, has called for a boycott of all things Arizona in order to fight the law. Many are making the case that a MLB boycott could have the biggest impact.

"Fifteen Major League Baseball teams now make Arizona's Cactus League the annual home of their Spring training, setting up MLB as the national organization that in both visibility and economic impact, could perhaps play the biggest role in pressuring the state to repeal," writes Seattle blogger David Goldstein.

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source.
cloak, capas, student, praxe

Spain unemployment tops 20%



MADRID, Spain -- Unemployment in Spain has reached 20.05 percent, meaning 4.6 million people are out of work, the Spanish government announced Friday. The figure, from the first quarter, is up from 19 percent and 4.3 million people in the previous quarter. It represents the highest unemployment rate in the European Union.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told Parliament on Wednesday he believes the jobless rate has peaked and will now start to decline. The first quarter of the year is traditionally poor for Spain because of a drop in labor-intensive activity like construction, agriculture, and tourism.

Source


Enough with the Euphemisms on Women's Body Parts

This is how women behave when they've got their period - right men?




When women get their periods they just want to frolic. On the beach. Wearing white. They also like to breeze around their high-ceilinged, hardwood-floor apartments looking fresh-faced and confident. Sometimes a woman will like to poke fun at her naive (but good-looking) boyfriend and his complete lack of awareness of all things related to feminine hygiene products.

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Crossposted to ontd_feminism

Johann Hari in the Inde - Cameron is Bush Mk II

A leader describing himself as a "compassionate Conservative" is on the brink of victory.

He has shown his party has changed. He puts his black and Asian supporters out front. He promises to "unleash" the potential "of volunteers to ... change our country". This time, he says, his party "will be different". It is the year 2000, and his name is George W Bush. It's no surprise to discover that George Osborne said in 2002 that "we have much to learn from Bush's compassionate conservatism". They are following the Bush script to the mis-spelled letter.

Most parties offer only scattered clues to the electorate about what they will do when they get power, buried in baskets filled with cotton wool and fluffy bunnies to distract us. Read Thatcher or Bush's pre-election speeches and they're pleasingly fuzzy. You have to infer the big, swooping changes they will make from the small tilts in direction offered in policy documents – and Cameron's small policies are surprisingly revealing.

Revealing Policy One: Today, 1,600 British people are killed every year just doing their job, putting us behind many poorer countries for workplace safety. They are people like Michael Adamson, a 26-year-old electrician who went to his job one day and was given a massive electric shock because his employer hadn't bought a £12 piece of safety equipment.

Yet David Cameron is promising to dismantle the very weak protections currently in place, and replace them with a system where corporations will be able to "organise their own inspections", carried out by a team of their choice. Cameron's people justify this by pointing to made-up stories in the right-wing press claiming health and safety inspectors spend their time stopping children playing conkers. UCATT, the astonished construction workers' union, has been protesting outside Tory HQ, with members dressed as the Grim Reaper. Michael Adamson's sister, Louise, who is a lawyer, says: "Cameron's proposals are outrageously dangerous. They will end with a lot more people dying. It takes the very light touch regulation that gave us Lehman Brothers and Enron, and applies it to workplace safety. This time it's not money you lose, it's lives. This isn't about conkers, it's about people like my brother, who could have been saved for £12." This policy suggests Cameron instinctively puts corporate profits ahead of the the safety of ordinary people – a dangerous habit to act out in Downing Street.

Revealing Policy Two: Today, most serious crime in Britain comes from cross-border criminal gangs – whether it's jihadism, human trafficking, or paedophile rings. Until recently, the police had to rely on a slow, confusing tangle of different agreements with each individual country in Europe when trying to track these criminals – and many hardcore criminals escaped as the police waded through bureaucratic treacle. So Europe's police forces, including Britain's, proposed a single, simple procedure called the European Arrest Warrant: one swift standard for serious crime. It has been a superb success story. It meant we busted some of the worst paedophile rings and jihadi cells in the world, and are now shutting down the Costa Del Crime, where British gangsters fled for decades to Spain beyond the reach of our extradition agreements.

But David Cameron's Conservatives oppose the warrant, calling it "over-reach by Brussels". Of course he wants to catch jihadis and paedophiles; but his hostility to European co-operation trumps that desire. He chooses dogmatic Europhobia over pragmatic British needs – and we should assume he will continue to.

Revealing Policy Three: Most British people now acknowledge that heroin addiction is an illness. Yes, it begins with a bad choice by an individual, but it can rapidly become a ravaging sickness beyond their control. Sadly, even the very best rehab in the world fails for 80 per cent of addicts, who soon relapse. So what do we do with the 250,000 people who can't stop? Over the past two decades Britain has followed Europe in giving these people steady, clean medical prescriptions of the substitute drug methadone. Wherever this policy is introduced, burglary and robbery rates fall dramatically, as addicts stop stealing to feed their addiction. As the former deputy drugs tsar Mike Trace told me: "These prescriptions are the secret reason why crime has fallen so much under the current government."

Iain Duncan Smith has been put in charge of Tory drugs policy by Cameron, and has dismissed this approach as "methadone madness". He says that addicts live an immoral "half-life" and government policy should be to force addicts off substitutes and direct them towards voluntary abstinence groups like Narcotics Anonymous. Doctors and charities who work with addicts are incredulous. Danny Kushlick, of the drug charity Transform, says: "If the Tories acted on their current rhetoric, what would actually happen is clear. If they can't get the drug from the doctor, you'll have hundreds of thousands of addicts getting it on the street. You would see a huge increase in street heroin use, and everything that goes with that – burglary, shoplifting, prostitution, homelessness, and far more HIV and Hepatitis C infections as the level of injecting went up. It would be a public health and crime disaster, in place of sensibly reducing harm." Cameron's policy suggests he prefers finger-wagging moralism to a calm study of consequences.

Revealing Policy Four: Cameron says he is demanding spending cuts not because he has a theological belief in a small state, but because they are necessary to pay off the deficit – but this claim is undermined by the fact that he wants to strip funding from state programmes that actually save us money. Look for example at SureStart, the network of 3,000 children's centres across Britain built under the current government. They are based on a fascinating series of discoveries. It has been proven that most poor children fall behind in language skills and stimulation long before they ever walk through the school gates – and they never catch up. The first few years of life are crucial for the formation of a child's mental abilities. Get them early and give them intensive encouragement, with expert advice for their parents, and you can change their life.

This isn't speculation. In 1964, they launched the first SureStart-style project in Michigan – and Dr Lawrence Schweinhart and a team of academics has been monitoring the kids ever since. Did it work? Well, they were 50 per cent less likely to become teenage mothers than their siblings who weren't put in the programme, and by the time they were 40, they were 46 per cent less likely to have been to prison and 26 per cent less likely to be on welfare. Their incomes were 42 per cent higher. So for every £1 you spend on it, you save the state £7 further down the line. Yet Cameron, on becoming Tory leader, dismissed SureStart as "a microcosm of government failure". Now he says he will keep it in some form, but already he says huge chunks of its budget will go to other things, and few expect it to survive long. If he can't keep the single best policy for reducing inequality – one that costs less than nothing in the medium term – what shreds of progress can survive his rule?

You don't have to scrape off much of the glitter and gloss to get to Cameron's less-than-fluffy Bush. Who really wants this cocktail of market fundamentalism, Europhobia, and haranguing of the vulnerable for the next five years?

Independent Source.
normal

Emergency News: Ethnic Studies Programs Promotes the Overthrow of US Government

Arizona's Brown People Hunting Season is Awesome: Now We Can Hunt Anyone Who Doesnt Sound American!

Arizona Expands Its Discrimination: Teachers With Heavy Accents Can’t Teach English, Ethnic Studies Are Banned

Arizona’s supporters of the state’s draconian new immigration law insist that it has nothing to do with race and isn’t meant to discriminate against certain ethnic communities. Their claims are undermined, however, by what else the state government is trying to do to target recent immigrants.

Today, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Arizona Department of Education “recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English it deems to be
heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students still learning English”:Collapse )


South Carolina Becomes The Tenth State To Contemplate Anti-Immigrant Legislation

Since ThinkProgress reported that several states and localities are in the middle of — or about to embark on — copy cat pieces of legislation, three other states have also expressed interest in adopting Arizona’s law, increasing the total list up to at least 10 states that are following in Arizona’s footsteps. In Oklahoma, Republican legislators want to go beyond the harsh immigration measures they have already passed and amend several bills to insert the new language. Meanwhile, the two leading Republican candidates for Minnesota governor said they’d “favor an Arizona-style immigration crackdown in Minnesota.”

However, while the plans of other states are still in their formative stages, South Carolina became the first state yesterday to go as far as introducing an actual bill in its House of Representatives that is “virtually the same” as the Arizona law. South Carolina’s local CBS7 reports:

On Thursday, Rep. Eric Bedingfield, R-Greenville, introduced a bill that he says is “virtually the same” as the Arizona immigration law that was signed recently.

“It provides a procedure for verifying a person’s immigration status under certain circumstances and provides for the arrest of a person suspected of being present in the United States unlawfully,” Bedingfield says.


He says it wouldn’t usually be used by police to stop someone, but would more likely be used to check the legal status of someone who had been stopped or arrested for something else.
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Uncle V wants you

Study shows liberal blogs more participatory than conservative blogs

Source in headline.

The Nation: New Study: Liberals More Open Than Conservatives Online
By Ari Melber

All blogs were not created equal.

Many liberal blogs, it turns out, were created with platforms to host multiple authors and share attention with guest contributors. Conservative blogs, in contrast, often use technologies highlighting a single author--while consigning guests to the digital equivalent of a newspaper's classified section. Those are some key findings of a forthcoming study by researchers from Harvard, Yale and Berkeley, "A Tale of Two Blogospheres," which disputes several conventional views of political blogs (view a chart summarizing the comparisons).  
The dominant academic literature posits an ideologically symmetrical blogosphere--an arena where liberals and conservatives practice similar writing, linking and mobilization tactics. The political and media establishment, meanwhile, tend to treat blogs as an isolated medium for political polarization. In this narrative, blogs are a digital refuge for the radical pacifists and tea party insurgents stuck at the margins of their own parties.

The first premise is wrong, according to the study's findings, and the second misses the mark, which suggests consequences for politicos across the spectrum.

The study, conducted by Yochai Benkler, Aaron Shaw and Victoria Stodden and obtained before publication by The Nation, began with a content and technological analysis of 155 leading political blogs during two weeks of the 2008 presidential election.
Collapse )In all my years following politics, the one description of liberalism that seems to work across all of American history is that liberals attempt to do two things, increase political participation and improve the material lot of the common citizen.*  As a liberal** who blogs at Daily Kos, I'm glad to read that liberal blogs demonstrate their committment to the liberal value of increasing political participation.

* Conservatives may dispute who the common citizen is.  I think that's a debate worth having.

** For 22 years, I voted Republican; for about 10 years, I considered myself to be a conservative.  In retrospect, I was only conservative for the college town I lived in.  Once I moved away from there, I discovered that I was really a liberal all along.  I'm now much happier being a Democrat.
Uncle V wants you

Possible Supreme Court nominee an oboe player; everyone get in tune with her

Source in headline.



Hat/tip to ook who provided the photo in comments.

Los Angeles Times: The Supreme Court could use an oboist
Judge Diane P. Wood plays the oboe. What better quality can there be in a potential nominee to the Supreme Court?
By Meghan Daum

There are many prisms through which to view Supreme Court nominees. We can look at how they hire their nannies. We can take certain remarks (like "wise Latina") out of context and paint the nominee as a mystical narcissist. We can elevate questions like "Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?" to matters of national debate.

In a pinch, we can look at a nominee's rulings and legal writings. Let's not get carried away, though.

But only one thing matters when it comes to Diane P. Wood, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge and University of Chicago law professor who is believed to be among the president's top picks to replace outgoing Justice John Paul Stevens. It's a trait more reflective of her character than any childhood experience or religious conviction. It might even be more important than her stance on abortion.

Wood is an oboist.


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My first reaction was to LOL. My second was to hope she gets nominated. Yes, I'm a musician. Why do you ask?
Mr. T the Patriot

Arizona bill targets 'human-animal hybrids'

The Arizona state Senate on Thursday passed a bill making it illegal for a person to "intentionally or knowingly creating a human-animal hybrid."

The bill, which passed 16 to 12, would prohibit anyone in the state from "creating or attempting to create an in vitro human embryo by any means other than fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm."

The measure would also outlaw "transferring or attempting to transfer a human embryo into a nonhuman womb," "transferring or attempting to transfer a nonhuman embryo into a human womb" and "transporting or receiving for any purpose a human-animal hybrid."

Louisiana passed a similar law in 2009, the same year Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) introduced the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act of 2009. The Senate did not take up Brownback proposed law.

A state House panel has also passed the bill, though it has not faced a full vote. GOP Gov. Jan Brewer has not spoken about the bill.

The bill is designed to block potential embryonic research which combines any human and animal cells as well as the "fertilizing a human egg with a nonhuman sperm or a nonhuman egg with human sperm."

The bill would make it a class 6 felony in the state to knowingly create such a hybrid during research and class 1 misdemeanor to create or a purchase a human-animal embryo otherwise.

Source dreams of becoming a mermaid when it grows up.

Is Lady Elaine going to have to slap a b*tch?



"Little did I know, Mr. Rogers was an evil man. By telling children they’re special just for being who they are, he helped create this generation of worthless, lazy socialists who think they’re entitled to health care… at least according to Fox News.

They actually use the word “evil” to describe Mr. Rogers and criticize him for his “optimistic message where everyone was special even if they didn’t deserve it”, which is “ruining kids with a sense of entitlement.” Then one of them starts babbling about how children should go back to churning butter and making their own sweaters. Fox’s Brian Kilmeade said “that man unintentionally did a whole generation or two a disservice.” Only on Fox could a man who spent his life dedicated to public service and education be blamed for ruining generations of Americans.

And if you are interested in the ’study’ done by the LSU professor, it’s available at the Wall Street Journal: Blame It on Mr. Rogers: Why Young Adults Feel So Entitled."

source
[info]open_the_blinds)

MLB may take stand against Arizona law

Players' Union to Arizona: modify or repeal your immigration law
Fri Apr 30,2010 3:28 PM ET By Craig Calcaterra
Arizona outline.jpgMLBPA head Michael Weiner has issued a statement opposing Arizona's recently-passed SB 1070 immigration law:

"The recent passage by Arizona of a new immigration law could have a negative impact on hundreds of Major League players who are citizens of countries other than the United States. These international players are very much a part of our national pastime and are important members of our Association. Their contributions to our sport have been invaluable, and their exploits have been witnessed, enjoyed and applauded by millions of Americans. All of them, as well as the Clubs for whom they play, have gone to great lengths to ensure full compliance with federal immigration law .

"The impact of the bill signed into law in Arizona last Friday is not limited to the players on one team. The international players on the Diamondbacks work and, with their families, reside in Arizona from April through September or October. In addition, during the season, hundreds of international players on opposing Major League teams travel to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks. And, the spring training homes of half of the 30 Major League teams are now in Arizona. All of these players, as well as their families, could be adversely affected, even though their presence in the United States is legal. Each of them must be ready to prove, at any time, his identity and the legality of his being in Arizona to any state or local official with suspicion of his immigration status. This law also may affect players who are U.S. citizens but are suspected by law enforcement of being of foreign descent.

"The Major League Baseball Players Association opposes this law as written. We hope that the law is repealed or modified promptly. If the current law goes into effect, the MLBPA will consider additional steps necessary to protect the rights and interests of our members.

"My statement reflects the institutional position of the Union. It was arrived at after consultation with our members and after consideration of their various views on this controversial subject."


Unlike the Super Bowl being moved out of Arizona 20 years ago due to the state's failure to recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a holiday, I had felt that there was very little chance that baseball would move the 2011 All-Star Game as a result of the controversy surrounding the new immigration law.

For one thing, there appears to be much more of a division of sentiment with respect to the immigration law than there was with respect to the rejection of the King Holiday. Major League Baseball is not the sort of institution that tends to take stands unless it feels that it is clearly, clearly reflecting a majority sentiment, and while time and information may change people's minds on this new law, it certainly can't be said that there's anything approaching a consensus on it. Many loathe it. Many love it. They all buy baseball tickets, so Bud Selig wasn't likely to say anything if he could help it.

But if Baseball is afraid of wading into controversy, it's even more loathe to be the source of controversy. And the player's union taking a clear stand on this means that, unless baseball takes the same stand, controversy is inevitable. The sort that comes from players threatening to boycott the All-Star Game, for example, which would be a totally different deal than random people protesting or boycotting a Cubs game. Different in terms of the media coverage, and certainly different in terms of the effect (i.e. 20 players agreeing to not participate in the All-Star Game means a lot more than 20, 200 or even 20,000 people agreeing not to buy Dbacks merchandise.

In other words, this changes everything, at least from baseball's perspective. And it certainly puts the ball in Bud Selig's court.

source
Me in Hawaii.

Granny having baby with her grandson

Pearl Carter, 72, says she has never been happier after beginning an incestuous relationship with her 26-year-old grandchild Phil Bailey.

The pensioner, from Indiana, US, is using her pension to pay a surrogate mother so they can have a child, reports New Zealand's New Idea magazine.

She said: "I'm not interested in anyone else's opinion. I am in love with Phil and he's in love with me.

"Soon I'll be holding my son or daughter in my arms and Phil will be the proud dad."

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Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Akuma River

Worse than Exxon Valdez

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Gul Oil Spill May Eclipse Exxon Valdez
VENICE, La. (AP) -- An oil spill that threatened to eclipse even the Exxon Valdez disaster spread out of control with a faint sheen washing ashore along the Gulf Coast Thursday night as fishermen rushed to scoop up shrimp and crews spread floating barriers around marshes.

The spill was bigger than imagined -- five times more than first estimated -- and closer. Faint fingers of oily sheen were reaching the Mississippi River delta, lapping the Louisiana shoreline in long, thin lines.

"It is of grave concern," David Kennedy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Associated Press. "I am frightened. This is a very, very big thing. And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling."
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I live on the Gulf Coast but on the other side of where the oil spill is at. So I don't think we are in any danger at this point. But damn our grasslands are so important and this will just wreck so many ecconomies and environmental sensitive lands. This is going to be worse than Katrina, only less deaths in the destruction.
Citadel

Some Hispanic Americans hope law deters illegal immigration

Sue Schwartz says she's been called a racist so many times she doesn't mind the label anymore. If wanting immigrants to enter the country legally, like her great-grandparents from Mexico, and obey the laws of the land makes her racist, then so be it, she says firmly.

"I'm getting to the point I wear it with pride," says Schwartz, a lifelong Arizonan who has warily watched the growth of the illegal immigrant population in the state over the course of her life.

About 500,000 unauthorized immigrants were believed to live in Arizona in 2008, and 11.9 million nationwide, up from 3.5 million nationwide in 1990, according to a Pew Hispanic Center report published in 2009.

This year, the tide is finally turning in her favor, she says, with the passage of SB 1070, aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration.

The new law requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect they're in the United States illegally.

"I hope it makes a lot of them leave on their own, self-deportation. Hopefully that'll open up more jobs. There's a lot of people here who will do menial jobs -- maybe not pick lettuce, but these people aren't just picking lettuce any more," says Schwartz.

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Source.

Jesus, I need a bingo card for immigrants. THEY STEAL/THEY LIE/THEY'RE LAZY/THEY'RE LOUD/THEY HAVE TOO MANY KIDS/THEY'RE ~*~TOO MEXICAN~*~.
[LB] OMG BEST THING EVER

Another oil rig accident :(

Google maps of Morgan City, LA


A "mobile inland drilling unit" overturned in the Charenton navigational channel south of U.S. Highway 90 near Morgan City, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

There were no reports of injuries, the Coast Guard said. The floating shallow-water rig was not immediately identified and the importance of the channel was not clear.

The vessel has a 20,000-gallon diesel fuel capacity, but the Coast Guard, citing officials on the scene, said there was no fuel leaking.

As a precaution, 500 feet of oil spill containment boom was deployed around the rig and an additional 500 feet were being brought in, the Coast Guard said in its statement.

Source


MORGAN CITY, La. (AP) - Officials say an oil drilling rig on its way to a scrap yard has overturned in Louisiana.

No injuries have been reported. The overturned rig is unrelated to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that threatens the coast's fragile ecosystem.

The Coast Guard said Friday that the rig overturned about 80 miles west-southwest of New Orleans.

It can carry about 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel, but Coast Guard officials did not know how much fuel was on board. Coast Guard investigators say no fuel leaks have been found.

About 500 feet of boom has been set up around the rig to contain any fuel that might leak as a precaution.

Tina Moore, the owner of T. Moore Services, which owned the rig, says it was being transported to a demolition and scrap yard. She says the rig was mounted on a barge.
Source 2

Not serious, woo

Teenager convicted of ultra rightwing terror plot

A teenage milkman who was prepared to "die fighting" for an ultra rightwing group called the Aryan Task Force was convicted on three terrorism charges today.

Nicky Davison claimed he only joined the small but fanatical band to please his father, its organiser, who has admitted six terrorism charges including making the deadly poison ricin.

But a jury took less than an hour to accept the prosecution's case that the 19-year-old knew his own mind and had eagerly embraced the Nazi rhetoric amid which he grew up.

He downloaded thousands of internet pages on making bombs and guns and posted messages on the group's website about overthrowing what he called ZOG, or the "Zionist Occupied Government".

Davison, of county Durham, was remanded in custody and left Newcastle crown court for jail after hugging his tearful mother who watched his two-week trial from the public gallery.

She heard prosecutor Andrew Edis QC tell the jury of nine men and three women that her son was a significant figure in a group whose members were no mere "keyboard warriors".

"They were preparing to do 'ops', in other word paramilitary activity," said Edis. "They were in the early stages of preparation."

After the verdict, Detective Superintendent Neil Malkin of Durham police said the group's threats had been taken seriously.

"I have no understanding of their intended target, but what I do know is the nature of the organisation. What it had pulled together in terms of the ricin, pipe bombs and the internet manuals can only give me concerns that the next step was to take it to the streets," he said.

Davison was not accused of helping his 47-year-old father Ian, a former DJ, to make the ricin – a single jar which is now at the government's Porton Down chemical warfare research station. He was described in court as "clearly an influential figure in the creation and development of the Aryan Strike Force website".

The aim of this was not merely serving up white supremacist propaganda but interesting others in violence. Edis said: "They are fighting against the government because they believe it has been taken over by Jews, so it must be resisted by those interested in white supremacy."

Members also referred to themselves as the Wolfpack or Legion 88 and used codenames with known references to Hitler and other Nazi leaders. They posted incongruous films of members out in remote areas of the Cumbrian fells, wearing balaclavas, holding Nazi swastika flags and giving Heil Hitler salutes.

The jury heard that Nicky Davison had written on the website: "I know my aims. I don't care if I am fighting an unwinnable battle.

"I would rather die fighting than let the scum of the earth walk over us."

The group was obsessed with being more neo-Nazi than other rightwing groups, which they mocked as ineffective.


Source: The Guardian
Also: Story from my local paper from when they were arrested

He lives around 5 miles away from me... isn't it nice when your town makes the national news like this? D:

Murasaki Shikibu

Religious persecution is widespread, report warns

Religious persecution is widespread, report warns

The numbers are shocking: 12,000 people killed in a cycle of violence between Christians and Muslims stretching back more than a decade.

The location: Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, lying on the continent's fault line between the largely Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.

The number of people convicted and sentenced for the killings: Zero.


That's just one of many stark assessments about the level of religious persecution around the world today in a huge new report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The report names more than two dozen countries as offenders. Some engage in what's classically thought of as religious persecution.

Egypt, for example, not only imprisons members of the Baha'i faith and members of minority Muslim sects, but also has some fired from their jobs, kicked out of universities and barred from having bank accounts, driver's licenses, even birth certificates, according to the report.

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This is the kind of thing that I want to smack the loudmouthed "Christians" in the US mewling about how badly they're being oppressed with. No, you are not being oppressed. At all. Being told you can't put the 10 Commandments or a cross up on government land in no way, shape or form compares to being fired, imprisoned, or being hacked to death.
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normal

BP Blames Government For Their Own Lie: "You Should Have Known Better"

Obama Doesnt Care About Rich White People

The 'Obama's Katrina' Meme Myopia



Oh, hey! Apparently, this massive oil spill in the Gulf Coast is now somehow "Obama's Katrina?" That's the tatty little bit of agitprop that Matt Drudge -- who I'm not entirely sure ever talked about "Bush's Katrina" -- is regurgitating into the mouths of pliable media organs. It all sort of makes sense, if your thinking is: "Gulf Coast" plus "bad thing happening" plus ("government response" minus "secret magic powers they are supposed to have over the elements") multiplied by "Whatever, it's a slow news day otherwise" equals "Katrina ZOMG!"

I'm watching a bunch of guys in hardhats on the teevee at this very moment working hard at managing the oil spill, and am reliably informed that the proper authorities have been busy trying to contain the damage. And, look, there's no doubt, in all the world, that TARFU in the Gulf of Mexico. And I think we can all remember that time when President Barack Obama said, "Despite the fact that I mocked and opposed offshore drilling as a candidate, let's ignore all that and drill the oceans, like crazy, for oil." And not long ago, Obama insisted that offshore drilling had become all kinds of safe, so what's to worry about.

So, yeah: oopsie-daisy! The unfolding calamity occurring today can, should and hopefully will drastically alter those aforementioned policy proposals, and they certainly make the White House look foolish for having gone all in on offshore drilling a month ago. But there are two major factors that prevent me from suggesting that what's going on is comparable to the Hurricane Katrina response: 1) I was alive during Hurricane Katrina and was paying attention to what was going on, and 2) I am, at this point, unwilling to do what is necessary to alter my knowledge of those events by battering my skull repeatedly with a ball peen hammer.

See, there are many ways in which the comparisons to Katrina just break down. And first and foremost among distinctions,as noted by Media Matters today, was the little fact that BP, in the wake of the explosion that started this whole disaster, vastly underestimated the magnitude of the problem they had on their hands, all while assuring everyone that they could handle it.Collapse )
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All Brown People are Mooslim Terrorists! Terror Alert Level: Brown Mexican Gardener

See! Brown People are a National Security Threat!

Gov. Brewer: ‘Arizona has been under terrorist attacks’ with ‘all of this illegal immigration.’

Today during a Fox News interview about Arizona’s new controversial immigration law, Gov. Jan Brewer (R) commiserated with host Megyn Kelly about all the criticism she’s been receiving from people outside of Arizona. When Kelly asked if the critics have a real “appreciation” for Arizona’s immigration problem, Brewer said “obviously not,” likening it to the state being “under terrorist attacks”:

KELLY: Do you think that these folks who are all noticeably outside of your state, are the ones that I just ticked off, including the President, have an appreciation, governor, for what Arizona has been going through with respect to illegal immigration?

BREWER: Obviously not. You know Arizona has been under terrorist attacks, if you will, with all of this illegal immigration that has been taking place on our very porous border. […] The whole issue comes back, that we do not and will not tolerate illegal immigration bringing with it very much so the implications of crime and terrorism into our state.

Watch it:

bod

An in-depth look at the iPhone, Gizmodo, Apple situation

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


The person who found and sold an Apple iPhone prototype says he regrets not doing more to return the device to its owner, according to a statement provided by his attorney Thursday in response to queries from Wired.com.

Brian J. Hogan, a 21-year-old resident of Redwood City, California, says although he was paid by tech site Gizmodo, he believed the payment was for allowing the site exclusive access to review the phone. Gizmodo emphasized to him "that there was nothing wrong in sharing the phone with the tech press," according to his attorney Jeffrey Bornstein.

Wired.com identified Hogan as the finder of the prototype by following clues on social network sites, and then confirmed his identity with a source involved in the iPhone find.

Hogan has been interviewed by law enforcement investigators but has not been charged with a crime. His attorney says he is willing to cooperate with authorities.

It's generally considered theft under California law if one "finds lost property under circumstances that give him knowledge of or means of inquiry as to the true owner" and yet appropriates the property for his own use "without first making reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him."

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Source

reading a few of the posts made about this situation here personally gave me a completely different impression of the whole thing, so this article was definitely eye-opening. I dont think the person who stole the phone and then sold it, or the journalist who bought it, are 'victims'. Though neither is Apple, their actions seem less ~evil, government bribing corporation~ in context.
Murasaki Shikibu

Senators complain about Facebook privacy changes

Senators complain about Facebook privacy changes

Facebook's latest privacy policy update has once again gotten the company in hot water, this time with four US senators. Senators Al Franken, Charles Schumer, Michael Bennet, and Mark Begich wrote an open letter to Facebook on Tuesday, urging the company to take "swift and productive steps" to make user information more private and warning that the Federal Trade Commission may get involved if certain concerns aren't addressed soon.

Being questioned is Facebook's decision to categorize a user's hometown, current city, "likes," interests, friends, and other info as "public information." Now, even the most private user cannot have a Facebook account to communicate with friends while also keeping this information hidden from public view, and the senators believe this creates a "potential gold mine of data for unsolicited advertisements."

Schumer, who composed the letter on behalf of the group, said that Facebook should change its policies so that sharing all this information is opt-in instead of opt-out (in some cases, users can't even opt out if they wanted to). "The current policy puts at risk users who are not technically proficient enough to change the settings, or are not aware of the newly changed privacy policy," the group wrote.

Schumer has also asked the FTC to look into privacy disclosures by social networking sites, and to provide guidelines on how these networks can use private information. He added that if the FTC doesn't feel it has the tools or authority to put together these guidelines, he would be "willing to offer legislation."

That seems like a (not-very-veiled) threat towards Facebook and its kin, but Schumer and gang are serious about their concerns. On top of making more information public by default, the senators are also worried that the latest changes would allow third-party advertisers to store user data indefinitely. And it's not as if the FTC doesn't already have Facebook on its radar. Just four months ago, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) asked the FTC to investigate Facebook's last controversial changes to its privacy policy.

Facebook maintains that it discusses its privacy program in depth with "many regulators" prior to rolling out changes, but it seems that the public's expectations still aren't quite in line with what Facebook thinks should be public.

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Thoughts? I'm not thrilled with Facebook deciding what info to make public and not setting it as opt-in.
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Frankie Boyle criticises 'cowardly' BBC for Israel joke apology

Frankie Boyle has accused the BBC Trust of cowardly behaviour after it apologised for a joke in which he compared Palestine to a cake being "punched to pieces by a very angry Jew".

The controversial comedian published an open letter on chortle.co.uk today, describing the situation in Palestine as "in essence, apartheid", and lamenting the fact that the BBC was "now cravenly afraid of giving offence and vulnerable to any kind of well-drilled lobbying".

Boyle said he had only learned of the "rebuke" from newspaper reports.

The entire joke, which he made on the Radio 4 programme Political Animal, ran: "I've been studying Israeli army martial arts. I now know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back. People think that the Middle East is very complex but I have an analogy that sums it up quite well. If you imagine that Palestine is a big cake, well … that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew."

Following a complaint from a listener who said the comments were "disgusting" and "antisemitic", the BBC Trust's editorial standards committee investigated and apologised. The committee said it endorsed the editorial complaints unit's finding about the use of the word "Jew".

It said: "As a result, the committee wished to apologise to the complainant on behalf of the BBC for any offence the remark may have caused him and other listeners to the programme."Boyle criticised the corporation's governing body for its actions. "I think the problem here is that the show's producers will have thought that Israel, an aggressive, terrorist state with a nuclear arsenal, was an appropriate target for satire," he wrote. " The Trust's ruling is essentially a note from their line managers. It says that if you imagine that a state busily going about the destruction of an entire people is fair game, you are mistaken. Israel is out of bounds."

Noting that the BBC had refused to broadcast a humanitarian appeal in 2009 to help the people of Gaza rebuild their homes, he added: "It's tragic for such a great institution but it is now cravenly afraid of giving offence and vulnerable to any kind of well-drilled lobbying. I told the jokes on a Radio 4 show called Political Animal. That title seems to promise provocative comedy with a point of view. In practice the BBC wish to deliver the flavour of political comedy with none of the content."

The BBC Trust said it had nothing to add to its previous statement.

Source: The Guardian
Michigan Epic Fail

Michigan border for sale?

GRANHOLM'S LOYALTY DOUBTED


The president of the private company that owns the Ambassador Bridge is calling into question Gov. Jennifer Granholm's loyalty as a Canadian-born U.S. citizen, saying Granholm "has offered to sell the Michigan border to Canada."

Granholm quickly retorted that the charge was "totally absurd."

Dan Stamper, president of the Detroit International Bridge Co., issued his statement shortly after Granholm revealed Thursday morning that Canada has offered to give $550 million to Michigan to pay the state's portion required to build the Detroit River International Crossing bridge project.

Stamper and the bridge company's owner, businessman Manuel (Matty) Moroun, have said the DRIC project would siphon off up to 75% of the bridge company's traffic and toll revenue.

"It is incredible that Gov. Granholm spends thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to travel around the world to find jobs for Michigan, while at the same time attempting to destroy a Michigan company that has paid state taxes since the early 1920s," Stamper said in his statement.

"The Michigan governor now has caused Canada to offer to buy Michigan's future for $550 million."

Stamper said Canada's offer would mean that any construction jobs created by the DRIC project would go to Canadians, not Michiganders.

Asked for clarification, Phil Frame, a spokesman for Stamper, said, "If Canada's putting up the money, you would think that they're going to get something back."

Supporters of the DRIC point out that it enjoys broad support from U.S. labor unions.

"When it comes to jobs and expansion, this is the only game in town," Granholm said.

Source actually has some comments that aren't stupid!

Oh where do I even begin here? I didn't even know a state could sell an international border! And if you can, I may need to move back to Michigan to welcome my new Canadian-Canadian overlords. Plus the Ambassador Bridge is not in great shape, and Detroit/Windsor, last time I checked, is the busiest border crossing in the country.
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Reporting

Sexual Assault: Considering Those Most At Risk

By Kate McCormack

This month’s emphasis on sexual assault awareness tends to ignore the trauma of one group of women who are among those least able to prevent attacks or defend themselves.

The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution forbids the imposition of all forms of “cruel and unusual punishments” by the government.  But it failed to protect Hope Hernandez. In 1997, she was raped by a corrections officer in the hospital ward of a Washington, D.C., jail while undergoing drug treatment.  The officer was never prosecuted.

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The public comment period on the NPREC recommendations is open until May 10, 2010. Concerned citizens can make their voices heard by urging the Justice Department to take action now before another life is devastated by preventable violence.

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Akuma River

Wall Street's foot in mouth e-mail syndrome...

Prepare for the RAAAAAGE!!!

I'm serious. You are going to be 'cussing up a storm throwing things in the room flying mad rage'. This shit will piss you off like no one's business.

Wall Street Reportedly Circulates Class Warfare Email

The Reformed Broker and FT Alphaville have gotten a hold of an email that is reportedly making its way through inboxes on Wall Street.

For anyone with even a scintilla of knowledge of Wall Street's excesses in the past decade or so, the email itself is hard to stomach. By turns, it takes shot at unionized teachers, the Obama administration and "average Joes."

In fact, this screed is so idiotic it's a an unintentional argument for Wall Street reform. As The Reformed Broker puts it, it's a "hideous little piece of class warfare:
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Comments?

Anyone else going to be watching C-SPAN 2 Monday morning to see the fallout of this?
Mr. T the Patriot

Arpaio declares Arizona not crazy enough; announces run for governor

PHOENIX – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is expected to announce Monday if he'll run for Arizona governor.

Several sources confirm to the ABC15 Investigators that Arpaio has already made a decision, and will likely run for the office.

In a news conference after this story was first published, the Sheriff said he was still weighing his options, but also that he would in fact have an announcement on Monday.

However, when asked about a state sales tax during the news conference, the Sheriff said, "When I'm the governor, I'll study the issue." He then clarified, "If become the governor..so I become the governor...I'll study it."Collapse )
Reporting

Protesters march in Albania amid vote-rigging claims

Tens of thousands of people have marched in Albania's capital to demand a partial recount of last year's election, amid claims of vote-rigging.

The demonstrators vowed to stay in Tirana's main square until the government gave in to their demands.

Prime Minister Sali Berisha's conservatives narrowly won the general election in June 2009.

Hundreds of policemen guarded the square as the government dismissed the protesters' demands as illegal.

'The final moment'

Socialist leader Edi Rama called on the demonstrators to show "peaceful resistance" during Friday's march, which ended outside the main Albanian government building.

Mr Rama, who is also mayor of Tirana, urged a campaign of disobedience against the government until the demand for a recount was met.

"We must all tell the government that its fate begins and ends with our call: open the ballot boxes or leave," Mr Rama was quoted as saying by the AP news agency.

Mr Berisha's Democrats and allies control 75 of parliament's 140 seats. The Socialists are demanding a recount of several ballots, and have been boycotting parliament for months.

Organisers claimed there were up to 200,000 people at the rally, although there was no official figure. It was the largest street protest against the election result so far.

"This is the final moment," Gramoc Ruci, a Socialist leader, told the crowd.

The BBC's Mark Lowen in Tirana says a sea of protestors were waving Socialist party flags and that banners accusing the prime minister of fraud and of damaging the economy lined their route.

Albania is facing serious political deadlock, which is damaging its hopes of moving towards European Union membership, he adds.

Video at Source

Reporting

Rushdie promotes dialogue between US and the world

Salman Rushdie has described America's discourse with the rest of the world as "a dialogue of the deaf.'' So in an effort to address the void, Rushdie founded a major literary festival. Run by PEN, the international body charged with protecting writers, the festival brings together more than a hundred authors from around the world.

Michael Maher caught up with the Indian-born novelist whose own life is a testament to what can happen when dialogue breaks down.

Video at Source