May 2nd, 2010

Ex-police sergeant sues for his job after porn prank

Source: SILive.com, local paper's website

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - An ex-police sergeant from Port Richmond is suing to get his job back after he was fired for ringing up porn and lingerie on his ex-girlfriend’s credit card, then sending her the items against her wishes.

Mario Buonviaggio, 42, claims in the suit filed in Manhattan state Supreme Court that being canned by the NYPD in January left him with no insurance to cover the cost of spinal-fusion surgery he faces as a result of an injury sustained while on the job.

Reached by phone at his home yesterday, the former undercover narcotics detective called the situation “a misfortune” before declining further comment.

Buonviaggio was a 20-year NYPD veteran before he pleaded guilty during a departmental trial to using a credit card and checking account belonging to his fellow cop and ex-gal-pal to purchase porn movies and other items, including a blowup doll, and sending her the unwanted packages.

His attorney, Rae Koshetz, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Ms. Koshetz told the Daily News, “It was sophomoric stuff ... It was a lover’s-quarrel type of thing, and he showed poor judgment.”

The suit reportedly claims Buonviaggio has “constant pain” in his back, feet and left hand as a result of the injuries he sustained “protecting the public.”

In the suit, Buonviaggio called the firing, “conscience-shocking.”

Ms. Koshetz was quoted as saying, “I’d like to see the Police Department have a heart and do right by this officer.”
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    Would you kindly tranq me?
Murasaki Shikibu

Anger over Ariz. immigration law drives US rallies

Anger over Ariz. immigration law drives US rallies

Angered by a controversial Arizona immigration law, tens of thousands of protesters — including 50,000 alone in Los Angeles — rallied in cities nationwide demanding President Barack Obama tackle immigration reform immediately.

"I want to thank the governor of Arizona because she's awakened a sleeping giant," said labor organizer John Delgado who attended a rally in New York where authorities estimated 6,500 gathered.


From Los Angeles to Washington D.C., activists, families, students and even politicians marched, practiced civil disobedience and "came out" about their citizenship status in the name of rights for immigrants, including the estimated 12 million living illegally in the U.S.

Police said 50,000 rallied in Los Angeles where singer Gloria Estefan kicked off a massive downtown march. Estefan spoke in Spanish and English, proclaiming the United States is a nation of immigrants.

"We're good people," the Cuban-born singer said atop a flatbed truck. "We've given a lot to this country. This country has given a lot to us."

Public outcry, particularly among immigrant rights activists, has been building since last week when Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the legislation last week. Supporters say the law is necessary because of the federal government's failure to secure the border, but critics contend it encourages racial profiling and is unconstitutional.

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I hope the momentum against this keeps up, because it's the only way anything's going to happen. Well, that and the inevitable court battle.
  • Current Music
    Philip Glass - Akhnaten: Act 1/Sc. 3: The Window Of Appearances
Murasaki Shikibu

Japan Forces Bureaucrats to Defend Spending

Japan Forces Bureaucrats to Defend Spending

Seeking to bring its spiraling debt under control, Japan has undertaken an unlikely exercise: lawmakers are forcing bureaucrats to defend their budgets at public hearings and are slashing wanton spending.

The hearings, streamed live on the Internet, are part of an effort by the eight-month-old government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to tackle the country’s public debt, which has mushroomed to twice the size of Japan’s $5 trillion economy after years of profligate spending.

Greece’s debt crisis, which has panicked investors and forced the rest of Europe to put together a multibillion-dollar bailout, has fed fears in Tokyo that if spending is unchecked, Japan could become the center of the next global financial crisis.


Mr. Hatoyama and his ruling Democratic Party are also trying to wrest control of Japan’s economy from the country’s powerful bureaucracy.

“We want the public to see how their tax money is really being spent,” said Yukio Edano, the state minister in charge of administrative reform, who is heading the effort. “Then we will bring about big changes.”

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This has been all over the news in Japan. And I'm not gonna lie; I work as a contract worker at a Japanese government research facility, and all the "shiwake" had everyone scared shitless, because no government money=no job. We had a fair chunk of our budget slashed, and considered ourselves damned lucky that was all. But then, they actually produce useful (and damned cool) stuff where I work, not a 3D movie theater in the countryside to showcase the beauty of the countryside.
  • Current Music
    Xavier Naidoo (feat. The Rza) - Ich kenne nichts

Worst Ad Ever? Arkansas Senate Race Hits New Low

The already heated Arkansas Democratic Senate primary race between Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Governor Bill Halter hit a boiling point this weekend, just three days before early voting starts.

On Friday night, Americans for Job Security launched a television commercial featuring Indians in their native dress superimposed over scenes from a foreign street bazaar. In the ad, the Asians thank Halter for outsourcing jobs to Bangalore, India. The ad sent shock waves through Arkansas political circles on both sides (click play below to watch).



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Reporting

South Korea vows to retaliate over warship sinking

South Korea's defence minister has said those responsible for the deaths of 46 sailors on board a warship that sank after an explosion must "pay a price".

Kim Tae-young promised "punitive action" against "the perpetrators who killed our soldiers."

He did not specify what form this could take. South Korea has not directly blamed North Korea - and Pyongyang has denied any role.

The Cheonan sank after a "close-range" blast that split it in two.

Last month, a mass funeral was held for the 46 sailors, including six whose bodies have not been recovered.

Aluminium fragments

Many South Koreans believe North Korea sank the ship, correspondents say.

The ship has been salvaged from the sea bed and is being examined by an international team of naval experts trying to find out what caused it to sink close to the North Korean border on 26 March.

The South Korean defence minister has said a torpedo strike is among the most likely causes.

So far the investigation team has said only that they have found evidence of an underwater explosion and it is not known whether fragments of any weapon have been discovered.

Mr Kim said officials were scrutinising pieces of aluminium, a key material in making a torpedo, that were picked up from the disaster area.

"I believe that, by thoroughly and completely getting to the bottom of the incident to the maximum extent possible, we should deal some kind of blow against those forces which made our officers and men sacrifice their lives for their country," the defence minister said on KBS television.

North and South Korea are still technically at war, since the 1950-53 conflict ended without a peace treaty.

Over the years there have been several naval clashes off the west coast of the peninsula, in the area where the Cheonan went down.

Source

oh i see

Becareful who you boycott~

AriZona Iced Tea: Don't Boycott Us! We're Not From Arizona!


(April 29) -- The controversy surrounding Arizona's new immigration law was anything but sweet for the makers of AriZona Iced Tea.

As opponents of the immigration legislation call for a boycott of Arizona-based businesses, the AriZona Beverage Co. -- known for producing tall-boy cans of tea, lemonade and Arnold Palmer -- is trying to remind customers that despite its Sun Belt name, it is really an East Coast drink.

"AriZona Beverages proudly traces its origins back to New York," AriZona founder Don Vultaggio said in a statement.

The producers of AriZona Iced Tea want to make it perfectly clear that they are not based in Arizona.



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The vote is precious, but we can't be. Keep the enemy out

There's no high principle in ignoring the outcome. Voting tactically is how to win reform that lets conviction votes count

"I'm not voting, no way. They're all the same. None of them make me feel they have a vision," a young woman in her early 20s was saying loudly to her friend. Standing on the platform waiting for a late tube home from the office after the leaders' debate, I couldn't let it pass – possibly a sign of incipient mad-woman-on-the-underground disorder, but these are fraught times. "Of course you should use your vote! There is always a better and a worse. Mrs Thatcher's cuts in the 1980s caused a lost generation of young unemployed. Whoever wins, we're in for a bad time, but Cameron says he will cut deeper and faster. Your vote matters." We talked, but she was unconvinced. She wasn't apathetic, but her vote was too precious to give to anyone less than perfect. There is a lot of this about, and not only among the idealistic young: a precious vote can only be bestowed on a worthy prince – though their prince may never come.

Outside a snack cabin in Westminster North, a group of council workers in high-visibility jackets queued for tea and bacon buns. Some were tree-cutters, others gardeners, and they were approached by Labour MP Karen Buck, defending a perilous 3,000 majority. But they weren't keen to vote Labour again. Not BNP, but they were wavering, despite jobs like theirs undoubtedly in the line of fire for cuts. They were not indifferent, but unwilling to part with their votes to anyone falling short of their respect. I have noted this "precious vote" syndrome up and down the country, with so many people cut adrift from party loyalty. But in the rough and tumble of everyday politics, princes are a rare commodity.

Wherever you visit, there are plentiful monuments to Labour: in this area 12 children's centres, three academies, another newly rebuilt school, a polyclinic. A previously besieged council estate was now pristine, the proof in perfect flowerbeds no one had trampled: will they revert in the cuts to come? Reasons to keep Conservatism at bay abound, but Gordon Brown has been a woeful advocate.

To precious voters, "Vote for the least worst" or "Vote to keep the enemy out" is a hard argument to win, though our electoral system demands it.
There is no doubt that Nick Clegg has come closest to taking the precious vote, with a passion and conviction that outflanks Brown in radicalism on many issues.

But unless the opinion polls were to rocket him into overtaking Cameron by miles, the brutal electoral arithmetic remains the same as ever: voting for your first choice will often let in your worst nightmare. Don't vote Labour in seats where the Lib Dems best challenge Cameron. Don't vote Lib Dem in marginals where Labour best beats Cameron's Ashcroft-funded insurgency. Cynical, unprincipled and unsatisfying, that's the way it is for now.

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Source: Polly Toynbee @ The Guardian
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State of Emergency: Arizona to Hemorrhage Tons of Money. Counterattacks with BUYCott! We Are Saved!

Arizona Calls The Rich Unemployed Struggling Americans Tourists to Buy Arizona's Ice Cream! Local Ice Cream Now More Expensive Than Gold...

Hayworth Dismisses Arizona Boycott Concerns, Instead Pushes for A ‘BUYcott’

This morning on Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer pointed out that Arizona didn’t anticipate the economic effects of a boycott against the state when it passed its new immigration law. Arizona senatorial candidate and immigration hardliner J.D. Hayworth (R) mostly dismissed concerns over the boycott. Instead, Hayworth pointed out that “friends in California” are pushing for an economic “BUYcott” of Arizona in support of the recently approved legislation:

You spoke of a boycott, what I heard from friends in California the other day is that they want to start a buycott. Actually come to Arizona to reaffirm the fact that Arizona — all we’re doing — is enforcing federal law.
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Oh, Crap! Pennsylvania's IRS Haz The Skynet! The Tea Party Was Right All Along!!

Pennsylvania Tax Ad Has Orwellian Theme (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania's Department of Revenue has launched a new ad campaign letting residents know about a 54-day 'tax amnesty,' during which people who owe the state back taxes can pay them with 100 percent of penalties and half of the interest waived.

But the television ad promoting the amnesty has raised some people's hackles. It features a computerized voice addressing an individual who owes back taxes, named "Tom."

"Listen, Tom, we can make this easy," the voice says as a satellite image zooms in from space onto Tom's house. "Tom, we do know who you are," the narrator continues before a caption appears on the screen, "Find us before we find you."

WATCH, then tell us what you think below:

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News at 11! Drilling Can Cause Spilling and Environmental Damages. Conservative Science Baffled!

Amazing News: Water is a Wet Liquid! Pope's Secret Revealed: He is a Catholic Bear! Catholic Belief Shocks World!

Rubio Reconsiders His ‘Drill Here, Drill Now’ Talk: ‘I Think It Makes Us Rethink’ Drilling Technologies

Following BP’s oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist (I-FL) reconsidered his previous support for oil drilling, stating that drilling is “the opposite of safe.” Crist announced this week that he will run as an independent and is expected to make his opposition to drilling a centerpiece of his campaign.

The oil rig disaster has caused problems for the Republican candidate Marco Rubio, a drilling proponent. In 2008, Rubio told Newt Gingrich’s big oil front group American Solutions for Winning the Future that he was proud to join the “drill here, drill now, pay less effort.” (Rubio also promoted drilling In a spanish-language endorsement.)

Now, Rubio is waffling on drilling. On the one hand, he said recently, “We should be very concerned with what led to this disaster, and until that question is answered I don’t think we can move forward on anything else.” But at another campaign stop, Rubio “didn’t give a definitive answer to questions from reporters” on the topic.

This morning, Rubio again continued to struggle to explain his position on drilling. He told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that it’s a “moot point” as to whether we should stop any plans for drilling expansion. And on CNN, he said we should “rethink” our understanding of drilling technologies:

CROWLEY: And you have been for more offshore drilling. Does this make you rethink that?

RUBIO: I think it makes us rethink the technologies of offshore drilling.
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Hume Acknowledges Oil Spill Disaster ‘Verifies’ The Concern Of Environmentalists

Today’s Sunday morning news shows were dedicated, in large part, to the unfolding oil spill disaster in the Gulf Coast, as efforts continue to contain the 210,000 gallons of oil a day that are still leaking. The leak has reignited debate over offshore oil drilling, with the Obama administration saying that “further commitments for offshore drilling must await an investigation of the causes of the rig explosion and leak.” Even conservative darling and drilling proponent Marco Rubio said that the spill should make us “rethink” our drilling technologies.

Today, on Fox News Sunday, Fox’s Brit Hume said that, while his pro-drilling stance has not been changed by the disaster, the spill validates the concern of environmentalists who warned that such a disaster was inevitable:

Think about what the environmentalists have always said about this. Is it’s not a matter of if there’ll be a disaster of this kind resulting in this kind of offshore drilling, it’s only a matter of when. This verifies that argument, and becomes a powerful factor in the debate over what to do next. I don’t see any way around the political reality that this will set back the cause of offshore drilling in the United States.
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Why is the postman trying to force BNP leaflets on me?

I was sifting through the post with the front door to my shared house open on Friday afternoon when a man appeared and attempted to thrust a bunch of garishly coloured leaflets on me. "What are they for?" I asked, for although I was crouching next to the recycling box, I saw no need to load it down with yet more pizza delivery adverts when I could merely say we didn't want them.

"The BNP," said the man, whom I then realised was in fact the postman. "We don't want them," I replied. "Just take them," he insisted. "You can always throw them away." "No," I refused, my voice raised by now, as I was angry that anyone should attempt to force the BNP's literature on me in my own home.

After a bit more of this toing and froing, the postman eventually departed, still bearing the leaflets. I last saw him entering the premises of the Israeli-born designer Ron Arad, whom I imagine was just as delighted to receive him.

What made the incident all the more shocking was that the postman was South Asian. Now I don't know if he, like David Cameron's black man in Plymouth, is of the view that levels of immigration in the UK are too high. But I can say that his accent was sufficiently strong for me to doubt that he was born here, and that I never expected to have BNP leaflets almost forced on me by someone the party would like out of the country - so much so that Nick Griffin would offer him £50,000 to return to his "ancestral home".

I discovered later that all parties have the right to one free leaflet drop by the Royal Mail. However, according to the Communications Workers Union, there is supposed to be a "conscience clause" that allows postal workers to refuse to deliver literature they find offensive. If so, it's not something of which my postman seemed to be aware.

"You shouldn't be giving these out," the (part Cypriot) shopkeeper next door had said to him. "I have to," was the response. There were complaints about this a year ago, with the CWU accusing the Royal Mail of "effectively bullying" posties into handing these leaflets out.

In a highly racially mixed area like Camden, where I live, this could easily be putting postal workers at risk of physical attack. If anyone had tried to deliver BNP leaflets yesterday or today, when the streets have been packed with well-refreshed hordes going on the "Camden Crawl", I hate to think what could have happened.

"I feel quite sick now," said my shopkeeper neighbour afterwards - and so did I. In the past I have gone out of my way to defend the BNP's right to free speech.

After having some of their hateful literature thrust upon me in my own doorway, a doorway that leads to a house in which every single flat has at least one Asian or Jewish occupant - and by my own postman! - I think I will be ever-so-slightly less inclined to do so in future.

Source: New Statesman
Hewdig

Fears for crops as shock figures from America show scale of bee catastrophe

The world may be on the brink of biological disaster after news that a third of US bee colonies did not survive the winter


Pulling a queen cage


Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter.

The decline of the country's estimated 2.4 million beehives began in 2006, when a phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD) led to the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of colonies. Since then more than three million colonies in the US and billions of honeybees worldwide have died and scientists are no nearer to knowing what is causing the catastrophic fall in numbers.

The number of managed honeybee colonies in the US fell by 33.8% last winter, according to the annual survey by the Apiary Inspectors of America and the US government's Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

The collapse in the global honeybee population is a major threat to crops. It is estimated that a third of everything we eat depends upon honeybee pollination, which means that bees contribute some £26bn to the global economy.

Potential causes range from parasites, such as the bloodsucking varroa mite, to viral and bacterial infections, pesticides and poor nutrition stemming from intensive farming methods. The disappearance of so many colonies has also been dubbed "Mary Celeste syndrome" due to the absence of dead bees in many of the empty hives.

US scientists have found 121 different pesticides in samples of bees, wax and pollen, lending credence to the notion that pesticides are a key problem. "We believe that some subtle interactions between nutrition, pesticide exposure and other stressors are converging to kill colonies," said Jeffery Pettis, of the ARS's bee research laboratory.

A global review of honeybee deaths by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reported last week that there was no one single cause, but pointed the finger at the "irresponsible use" of pesticides that may damage bee health and make them more susceptible to diseases. Bernard Vallat, the OIE's director-general, warned: "Bees contribute to global food security, and their extinction would represent a terrible biological disaster."

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Photos: Mine :)

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I have been training to be a beekeeper for last year or so and a few weeks ago I helped an apiary in Chicago install their new hives and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Bees are such dynamic and incredible creatures and this is making me so sad. Not surprising based on years previous but heartbreaking nonetheless. If you have a lawn or garden the biggest thing you can do to help is stop using pesticides and chemicals on your plants and encourage any lawn care companies you know of to do the same.
comedy | J. Peterman

Picspam: crisis and revolution in Kyrgyzstan


Widespread anti-government protests in Kyrgyzstan recently turned violent, with groups of opposition protesters attempting to storm some government buildings, and clashing with riot police. Tensions are high, as Kyrgyz authorities declared a national state of emergency, and are enforcing curfews in at least three cities. As riot police fired on opposition members and protesters fought with stones and captured weapons, estimates of casualties have varied widely, with reports ranging from 12 killed to over 100 killed. Opposition leaders appear to have taken over some of the national television channels, and President Kurmanbek Bakiyev appears to have fled the capital, Bishkek.

Recent articles: one | two | three


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Full galleries:
Akuma River

New York Times bomb update with pics

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On alert
(Mario Tama, Getty Images / May 2, 2010)
Police keep watch after a suspicious vehicle prompted authorities to shut down parts of Times Square.
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N.Y. police search for suspect in Times Square car bomb
By Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times
May 2, 2010 | 2:33 p.m.

Reporting from New York
New York police and FBI agents were searching Sunday for a man seen walking away from a Times Square car bomb and glancing back "in a furtive manner" minutes before smoke filled the vehicle, loud "pops" rang out, and tourists, theater-goers and diners began scrambling away from the SUV.

Police chief Raymond Kelly said the bomb could have created a "significant fireball" and hurled shrapnel through streets jammed with tens of thousands of people enjoying an abnormally warm Saturday evening in one of the world's busiest intersections. Police cleared Times Square of pedestrians and vehicles for hours after the incident, which began about 6:30 p.m. Eastern time Saturday.

By midday Sunday, the square was reopened and crowded with tourists and locals heading to Broadway matinees, but details about the bomb's makeup and the materials found inside the vehicle indicated that mayhem was narrowly averted.
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I won't be saying that this is the work of the Tea Party...but the person seen is a white male in his 40's and the vehicle is a Pathfinder SUV. It seems that the vitriol spewing anti-government movement is now bringing actions to their rhetoric.

Alastair Campbell turns on Murdoch press

The man who won over the Sun for Blair goes on the attack -- and accuses Tories of shaping policy to suit mogul's agenda

Alastair Campbell has a very interesting blog this morning, which has been picked up for its attack on Andrew Marr for today telling David Cameron he is "on a roll!".

But there is another, more important element: a full-frontal attack on the Murdoch media empire. This is significant because Campbell was key to Blair winning over the Sun's support in the 1997 election. And close watchers of Campbell since the Sun switched to the Tories last year might have noticed that Campbell has held back slightly from launching a full-scale assault on the Murdoch press to which he ramains close. Today, however, he says this:

As the news bulletin made clear, the weekend polls indicate that the outcome is likely to be in hung Parliament territory. Yet the tone of the coverage is all playing into the 'unstoppable momentum' strategy for Cameron, led by Murdoch papers and TV. It is sad to see parts of the Beeb fall in behind, especially bearing in mind what is going to happen to them if they end up with a Tory government whose media policy has been shaped to suit the Murdoch agenda.
 
A piece I wrote in November about the Sun's relationship with Labour included this story from Campbell's diaries:

It was in the summer of 1995 when, ominously clutching a kettle full of boiling water, Neil Kinnock erupted in fury at Alastair Campbell. The old friends were holidaying in France and the former Labour leader had just learned of Tony Blair's decision to fly to Australia as part of his extensive campaign to win the support of the Sun and its owner, Rupert Murdoch. In his diaries, The Blair Years, Campbell recalls Kinnock saying: "It won't matter if we win as the bankers and stockbrokers have got us already by the f*****g balls. And that is before you take your 30 pieces of silver."

A victim of the Sun throughout his leadership of Labour, Kinnock spoke from the heart. "You imagine what it's like having your head stuck inside a f*****g light bulb then you tell me how I'm supposed to feel when I see you set off halfway round the world to grease him up," he said, referring to the tabloid's front page on polling day in 1992, which declared that, if Kinnock were to win, the last voter to leave the country should "turn the lights off".

When Campbell protested that he and Blair had given nothing to Murdoch, Kinnock countered prophetically: "You will. And he will take it. You will get his support and then you will get the support of a few racist b*******, and then you'll lose it again the minute that we are in trouble."

And so it came to pass. After an awkward 14-year interlude, the Sun has now returned to doing what it does best: bashing Labour.
 
Looking back at his diaries, even Campbell may now agree that Kinnock was right. But so is Campbell. Labour has learned that support came at a price. If the Tories win this week, they will learn the same one day.


Source: New Statesman
Yummy

REAL National Security

Vendors Who Alerted Police Called Heroes
By COREY KILGANNON and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT

Even in Times Square, where little seems unusual, the Nissan Pathfinder parked just off Broadway on the south side of 45th Street — engine running, hazard lights flashing, driver nowhere to be found — looked suspicious to the sidewalk vendors who regularly work this area.

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Using a cane and wearing a white fedora, Mr. Orton limped away and hopped a cab home to the Bronx, but not before repeating a terror-watch mantra: “See something, say something.”

ETA Sauce

This is what real national security is all about, folks. Not massive privacy-invading airport scanners and stopping every single brown person in a car to poke through their belongings and alarmist and unnuanced media rhetoric about how "unsafe we are." Real security is people being vigilant and aware, respondents investigating hard intel, and then getting the hell on with your business instead of quaking in fear and running around screaming like the world is ending. I love New York.
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BP Forget's Murphy's Law: "Anything That Can Go Wrong Will F#cking Go Wrong"

How Offshore Drilling Will Provide More Jubs. brb PR Department is on Indefinite Time Off At The Moment...

Gulf of Mexico oil spill has countless livelihoods in limbo

When Kenny LeFebvre is out of work, as he is because of the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, so are the two men who help him haul glistening blue crabs from the waters he has fished since he quit school at 14. So are his sister and brother-in-law, who sell him bait, buy back the catch, pack it up, then resell it to buyers who put it on dinner tables in Maryland.

And so are thousands of other families just like theirs in some of the world's richest fishing grounds, livelihoods in limbo as winds from exactly the wrong direction -- the southeast -- threaten to push an oil slick the size of Puerto Rico ever closer to the fragile, fingerlike bayous.

"I don't know what I'll do. I really don't," said LeFebvre, who unloaded 2,100 pounds of crab about 20 minutes before natural resource officials ordered the fishing zones in St. Bernard Parish closed. There was no sign of oil yet. Not even a whiff in the breeze. And the crabs had just started biting.

Now, the 600 traps LeFebvre dropped Friday morning will sit uncollected for weeks, he figures. Maybe months. Maybe years. How he will support six children, ages 9 to 18, is beyond his ability to imagine.

"I'm 35. I ain't never drove a nail in my life. This is what I know, right here," he says. "We starved all winter, and we was just getting to where we was making money and getting back on our feet."

More than birds and fish lie in the path of the massive oil slick threatening the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas: A centuries-old way of life that's endured dozens of hurricanes is now facing the possibility of environmental and economic disaster.

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Fishing Closed By Oil Spill: Feds Ban Commercial And Recreational Fishing From Louisiana To Florida

BP's chairman defended his company's safety record and said Sunday that "a failed piece of equipment" was to blame for a massive oil spill along the Gulf Coast, where President Barack Obama was headed for a firsthand update on the slick creeping toward American shores.


BP PLC chairman Lamar McKay told ABC's "This Week" that he can't say when the well a mile beneath the sea might be plugged. But he said he believes a 74-ton metal and concrete box - which a company spokesman said was 40 feet tall, 24 feet wide and 14 feet deep - could be placed over the well on the ocean floor in six to eight days.

McKay said BP officials are still working to activate a "blowout preventer" mechanism meant to seal off the geyser of oil.

"And as you can imagine, this is like doing open-heart surgery at 5,000 feet, with – in the dark, with robot-controlled submarines," McKay said.

Company spokesman Bill Salvin said Sunday that the first of three boxes is nearly done. It's being built in Port Fourchon, La., by a company called Wild Well Control.

Another spokesman, Steve Rinehart, said the oil will flow into the chamber and then be sucked through a tube into a tanker ship at the surface.

BP did not build the containment devices before the spill because it "seemed inconceivable" the blowout preventer would fail, Rinehart said.

"I don't think anybody foresaw the circumstance that we're faced with now," he said. "The blowout preventer was the main line of defense against this type of incident, and it failed."
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Akuma River

Oil Spill Update

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I found some awesome graphics that detail the situation. What do you guys think? Do you understand the process of how things happened and what is at stake?

FYI, the northern part of Matagorda Island is where I'm at. You see that bay right there at the tip? 20 miles inward is where my house is at. We sometimes see dolphins swimming in the back. Haven't had gators in a while.

About 20 years back we had a major Mercury spill by Alcoa. For ages people were told not to go into the water or eat the fish and seafood from the bay. There is still some areas off limits.
Martha

2010: The Year Of Republican Women?

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Nearly two years after Sarah Palin became the Republican Party's first female vice presidential nominee, record numbers of Republican women are running for House seats, driving the overall count of women running for both the House and the Senate to a new high.

The surge in female candidates has taken place largely under the radar. The previous high came in 1992, the Year of the Woman, when the percentage of women in Congress reached double digits for the first time. That year, 222 women filed to run for the House and 29 for the Senate.

So far this year, 239 women are candidates for the House and 31 for the Senate, according to data from the Rutgers University's Center for American Women and Politics. Among them, a record 107 Republican women have filed to run for a House seat, according to the National Republican Congressional Committee -- surpassing a previous GOP high of 91 in 1994 and a sharp increase from the 65 who ran in 2008. And those numbers could grow. In each year that Rutgers has been keeping track, the final tally has exceeded the late April figure by more than 20.

"It looks like it is going to be a record year," said Gilda Morales, who crunches the data for the Rutgers women's center. "What's bringing these numbers up is Republican women."

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SOURCE isn't known for being right wing.
A right wing perspective on this development

As a Republican woman, I am beyond thrilled about this! Palin and Bachmann, no matter how batshit they are paved the way for the rest of us to shine! Also, if anyone has a better macro, please post it in the comments.

ETA: I deleted the sexist fail macro. It derailed the entire point of the post and it became more problematic than lulzy. I'm fishing for pics of the women mentioned in the article instead.
ETA 2: Thanks popehippo for finding pics of Martha Roby, Jan Larimer, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers!
movies | HBIC

ONTD_Political's PotD: May 2, 2010.


"His Act Is A Little Worn"
Bodybuilder Amir Edwards, 36, doesn't leave much to the imagination while muscling his way through the crowds on the boardwalk at Venice, posing with tourists in return for donations.

Photographer: Mel Melcon | pop.u.LA.tion, Los Angles Times
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I highly recommend checking out the photo spread at the source. Melcon's photos is actually an audio/visual slide show with Mr. Edwards himself narrating.

Other famous buskers that came to mind were the Naked Cowboy (sample vid) and Toronto Zanta (sample vid). So, ontd_political, who are the most beloved/most infamous/most well-known buskers in your 'hood?