May 6th, 2010


Just the thing to do the day before an election...

What this article doesn't mention, but is apparent from viewing the video (available at source - sorry I don't know how to link to the video directly) is that this incident appeared to begin with the men on the street being taunted, including insinuations that they were criminals:

A fight broke out between a British National Party parliamentary candidate and some Asian men as party members were out campaigning in east London.

Some men earlier swore at leader Nick Griffin and threw fruit at him and he was taken away from the scene.

The candidate for Romford, Bob Bailey, was filmed shouting out to men in Ripple Road when one of them swore and spat at him and Mr Bailey punched him.

Police were called after 1500 BST to the fight between the two groups.

'Campaign of hatred'

At the time Metropolitan Police said they were called to the incident but no-one had been arrested at the scene.

Later however, police said an 18-year-old man attended Barking police station and alleged common assault against another man.

The Barking Community Safety Unit is to look into the matter.

When asked about the fight Mr Griffin told BBC London the fight was the result of a "campaign of hatred and dehumanisation against any group of people, in this case us".

He said: "I think people have to realise that the people have spoken, this is a democratic vote and everyone has to go along with that, whether its us, our opponents or people on the streets, and if there are a few crazies or thugs on the streets I'm sure the police will deal with them quite quickly.

"The more people in the media talk this up as an issue, the more silly kids on the streets will be inclined to take the law into their hands."

Akuma River

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill update for May 5th

The 98-ton, four-story container that BP hopes will take care of the main oil leak was loaded onto a barge in Port Fourchon, La., on Wednesday in preparation for its journey to the well.
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Gulf oil spill: June hurricanes are a long-term worry
May 5, 2010 | 1:27 pm

Forecaster Joe Bastardi at AccuWeather is starting to raise concerns about any early June hurricanes, as the Caribbean cyclonic season starts. Those storms tend to form in the western Caribbean and drift northward toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Should the oil spill linger in the waters of the gulf during early hurricane seasons, a strong storm could greatly hamper boom operations and drive the oil slick northward toward the shorelines of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. There even is a possibility of oil droplets becoming airborne and being driven inland.

Bastardi added:

"While the factor of winds, waves and storms makes for a tremendous forecast challenge as to where the oil slick will end up, ocean currents take the problem to a whole new level."

He's referring to the Gulf loop current, which comes up from the Yucatan Peninsula, dips into the Gulf, then sweeps across the southern tip of Florida. Sometimes the loop can spin off small eddy currents in the northern part of the Gulf, near the plume of oil, which now stretches as far east as Pensacola, Fla.

The big worry remains whether the plume or parts of it will get caught up in the loop current and spread across the Everglades and Florida Keys, both of which are ecologically sensitive areas.

-- Geoff Mohan

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I KNEW that everything could be traced back to past eight fucking years of the fucking Bush administration. Now if only this shit will make the national news.

Field trip for black students sparks controversy at Ann Arbor elementary school

An Ann Arbor elementary school principal used a letter home to parents tonight to defend a field trip for black students as part of his school’s efforts to close the achievement gap between white and black students.

Dicken Elementary School Principal Mike Madison wrote the letter to parents following several days of controversy at the school after a field trip last week in which black students got to hear a rocket scientist.

“In hindsight, this field trip could have been approached and arranged in a better way," Madison wrote. "But as I reflect upon the look of excitement, enthusiasm and energy that I saw in these children’s eyes as they stood in the presence of a renowned African American rocket scientist in a very successful position, it gave the kids an opportunity to see this type of achievement is possible for even them.

“It was not a wasted venture for I know one day they might want to aspire to be the first astronaut or scientist standing on the Planet Mars.

“I also think it’s important that you know that I have talked to the children who did not go on the field trip, and I think they have a better understanding of the purpose of the AA Lunch Bunch now, as I hope you do. I’m sorry if any kids were upset by the field trip or my discussion afterwards with them, and I have let them know that.

“The intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students as has been reported, but rather to address the societal issues, roadblocks and challenges that our African American children will face as they pursue a successful academic education here in our community.”

A handful of parents have complained to district administrators about the trip, the group and Madison. More than a half-dozen parents contacted to raise the complaints, but none would agree to talk on the record, citing concerns of reprisals to their children by Madison.

While there’s no clear agreement between the two sides about exactly what happened, most of the controversy centers on a field trip taken last week by the Lunch Bunch for African American boys and girls to hear a black rocket engineer talk.

District spokeswoman Liz Margolis said after the trip was over, those who went returned to their fifth-grade class and were greeted by boos by those who didn’t go on the trip. Margolis said Madison, who is black, heard the boos, and went to talk to the class. She said he and the class had a “discussion” about race issues.

More at the source

Also several parents left comments to the article - highly recommend reading them.
Akuma River

"Terrorist" and not a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN? Kiss your Consititutional Rights away you immigrant!

Brown to co-sponsor terrorism bill
by Stephanie Vallejo May 5, 2010 06:47 PM

By Matt Viser, Globe Staff

WASHINGTON – Senator Scott Brown tomorrow is signing on to legislation that would strip naturalized Americans of their citizenship if they are found to have aided a foreign terrorist organization.

Brown is joining three other lawmakers in filing the legislation, which comes after Faisal Shehzad was accused of a plot to detonate a car bomb in Times Square on Saturday. Because the Pakistani-born Shehzad is a naturalized American citizen, he was read his Miranda rights and will be tried in a civilian court, rather than before a military tribunal.

The legislation is likely to trigger debate over what rights American citizens should be afforded if they are involved in acts of terrorism. Senator John McCain has called it a mistake to have read Shehzad his Miranda rights, while Fox News commentator Glenn Beck said, "He has all the rights under the Constitution. We don’t shred the Constitution when it’s popular.”

The others sponsoring the bill are Senator Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut Independent; Representative Jason Altmire, a Democrat of Pennsylvania; and Representative Charlie Dent, a Republican of Pennsylvania.

The four will hold a press conference tomorrow to announce the legislation, called the Terrorist Expatriation Act.

Matt Viser can be reached at
garf tired

Kudos to yunghustlaz for putting me on to this site.

After the General Election: Where is Britain going?

6 May 2010

In its manifesto, the Socialist Equality Party characterised today’s general election in Britain as a political fraud.

The SEP warned, “Whatever the make-up of the next government, its agenda has already been determined. The international financial institutions, the major corporations and all the official parties intend to make working people foot the bill for an economic crisis that is not of their making.”

The manifesto stressed that the savage austerity measures being imposed in Greece were a harbinger of developments in Britain and throughout Europe. It insisted that what was posed before the working class was the necessity for a political break with the Labour Party, a “right wing party of big business no different than the Conservatives”.

The past four weeks have more than confirmed this prognosis.

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Election day, with polling stations open between 0700 and 2200 BST.

Live Feeds:

BBC News

Previous Posts:
Election Timeline
First TV Debate
Second TV Debate
Third TV Debate

This is the discussion post for the actual voting, the results will have a separate post (if comments reach 4-5k in this post). If anyone knows of a 'results widget' let me know.

UK election leaflets masquerade as polling cards

The organisers of the election leaflet website The Straight Choice have referred local Labour and Conservative campaigns in two seats in London over the distribution of leaflets which appear to masquerade as polling cards.

This, say the website organisers, has been done by both Labour and the Conservatives in Islington South, and also by Labour in Bermondsey and Old Southwark.

According to The Straight Choice site, the law is very clear:

"No person shall for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of any candidate at a parliamentary election issue any poll card or document so closely resembling an official poll card as to be calculated to deceive."

BBC Source (the links I put in link to the leaflets in question).


More proof, if it were needed, that both main parties fight as dirty as one another. Can't say it makes me overly excited about my vote :/

High-Pitched Women Prefer Deep-Voiced Men

High-Pitched Women Prefer Deep-Voiced Men

Women with high-pitched voices apparently prefer deep-voiced, manly men, according to new research that sheds light on the rules of attraction.

Scientists research the features that make people attractive because these reveal what physical and mental qualities we favor, shedding light on what forces drive human evolution.

"People obviously prefer to marry and date people they consider attractive, but also are more likely to cooperate with attractive individuals, prefer to hire attractive people and even prefer to vote for those they think are attractive," said psychologist Benedict Jones at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. "So, by understanding the factors that influence attractiveness judgments, we're really getting insights into something that's one of the most powerful driving forces behind social interactions."

Intriguingly, past research has shown that women with high-pitched voices are not only thought of as sounding more attractive but often have faces others consider more attractive as well. Further studies revealed these voices in women are often linked with higher estrogen levels, perhaps serving as a cue to their health and fertility.

Straight women who are attractive, in terms of whether they have hourglass figures and how beautiful others deem their faces, typically show particularly strong preferences for men with masculine faces
- those with larger jaws and heavier brows, for instance. Such manly traits could be linked with a man's health, and thus women might be unknowingly vying for potentially healthier offspring.

In fact, past research has shown that deep-voiced men have more kids.

This suggested that maybe soprano-voiced women preferred macho, deep-voiced men as well, in essence, pairing up the most feminine with the most masculine.

"Over the years, many philosophers have suggested that it's impossible to understand beauty and attraction, largely because beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder," Jones said. "Our recent work shows that, although it's certainly true that people often differ in the types of people that they find most attractive, these idiosyncratic tastes can, to some extent, be understood and even predicted."

To test their idea, Jones and his colleagues first measured the pitch of the voices of 113 female college students. They next listened to recordings of men saying either "I really like you" or "I really don't like you," and were asked how attractive they found them. The voices of these men were electronically modified to have either higher-pitched, more feminine voices, or lower-pitched, more masculine voices.

The volunteers preferred the lower-pitched voices regardless of what the men were saying. In addition, the 20 women with the highest-pitched voices preferred masculine voices nearly 20 percent more on average than the 20 women with the lowest-pitched voices.

"The findings suggest that women's own attractiveness in some way influences their preferences for masculine traits in men's voices," Jones said. "Effects like those in our study might simply reflect people finding their place in the mating market and taking that into account when judging others' attractiveness."

"What's a little bit surprising is that we see these types of effects in studies like ours where people are judging the attractiveness of people they will never meet, never mind attempt to enter into a relationship with," Jones told LiveScience. "Awareness of our own market value seems to be so entrenched that we take it into account even in situations where we really don't necessarily need to."

An interesting direction for further research could be whether or not women with high-pitched voices actually enter into relationships with deep-voiced men.

"Is it an effect that's specific to attractiveness judgments, or does it also shape our decisions about who we enter into relationships with?" Jones wondered.

Also, instead of just using static pictures or altered voice recordings, "I'd be keen in the future to alter the appearance and vocal characteristics of videos of people in order to investigate how people combine visual and auditory cues when judging others' attractiveness," he added.

The scientists detailed their findings online April 23 in the journal Behavioral Ecology.


Glad challenges anti-gay DOMA.

New York, NY--Today in Boston, eight married same-sex couples and three widowers, represented by the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), will appear in Federal District Court to challenge Section 3 of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" that imposes federal marriage discrimination on same-sex couples. In 1996, DOMA ended the 200-plus year tradition that marriages valid in any state are respected by the federal government. The "gay exception" to federal marriage recognition enacted by DOMA deprives married same-sex couples of more than a thousand federal incidents of marriage affecting nearly every area of life.

Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, stated that "GLAD's historic challenge to DOMA marks an important step on the road to ending federal marriage discrimination and securing the freedom to marry nationwide. DOMA creates two classes of marriage - those the federal government respects and some it doesn't - denying married same-sex couples and their families equal treatment and depriving them of the safety-net that marriage brings. Because of federal marriage discrimination, same-sex couples cannot share Social security benefits with a spouse, sponsor a partner for a green card or citizenship, or pool resources without being unfairly taxed. In the United States, we don't have second-class citizens, and we shouldn't have second-class marriages either."

Mary L. Bonauto, GLAD's Civil Rights Project Director, who will be arguing on behalf of the plaintiffs, remarked that "Every day DOMA is hurting couples and families - not just by denying them benefits and rights, but by denying that their marriages exist. Under our Constitution's equal protection guarantees, there is no justification for this."

Source and GLAD's page for the lawsuit.

New Pampers trigger safety concerns

U.S. to investigate complaints of rashes, chemical burns

CHICAGO - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched an investigation into Pampers diapers with Dry Max after some parents complained that the new Procter & Gamble Co diapers appear to be the cause of rashes and chemical burns on their children.

Pampers recently updated its Swaddlers and Cruisers diapers with a thinner, more absorbent technology in what the company has called its biggest diaper innovation in 25 years.

Several parents have said that their children developed diaper rashes and some claim to have seen chemical burns on their children after they started using the products, which P&G said went through extensive testing.

The staff of the CPSC is looking into complaints being made by parents and is in discussions with P&G about the product, said Scott Wolfson, the agency's director of public affairs.


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Vitas - and ME.



Russian tanker freed from Somali pirates, crew unscathed
08:48 06/05/2010

Russian commandos from the large anti-submarine ship Marshal Shaposhnikov on Thursday freed a Russian tanker hijacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, a high-ranking official from the maritime coalition forces has reported.

The Moscow University with 23 Russian crewmembers and 86,000 tons of oil was hijacked by Somali pirates on Wednesday.

The official said the crew was unharmed and the pirates had been detained, adding that the Russian Navy crew from the Marshal Shaposhnikov was currently on board the tanker.

MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti)


Medvedev vows to 'punish' Somali pirates

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged on Thursday to punish pirates who seize vessels off the Somali coast.

"What is the problem? We are all aware of this evil and cannot agree on how to fight it," Medvedev told Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

The statement came after a Russian assault operation freed the Moscow University tanker, hijacked on Wednesday near the Gulf of Aden.

"We will have to act as our forefathers did when they met pirates", the Russian president said. "Of course, we will fight pirates with the full force of the naval law."

The president did not specify how exactly the pirates should be punished.


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Shipping experts' opinion

Shipping experts are divided on the reasons the Moscow University tanker followed the shortest but most dangerous route.

The Russian daily Gazeta quoted the Maritime Bulletin magazine's editor-in-chief, Mikhail Voitenko, as saying he received a letter from an experienced captain who has sailed through the Gulf of Aden. Citing the unnamed captain's letter, Voitenko said only high-speed cargo vessels were able to follow such a dangerous route.

Voitenko told Gazeta the only reason why the Moscow University tanker chose the shortest way was a desire to save fuel. He did not elaborate whether it was the captain "not giving a damn" or the tanker's owner, Novorossiysk Shipping Company, that "went totally whacko" and decided to risk people's lives in order to save fuel.

Gazeta quoted Voitenko as saying he did not believe the official statements by the Russian naval command and ship owners. According to him, the information announced earlier by EU NAVFOR Rear Admiral Jan Tornqvist that the tanker's sailors were able to barricade themselves in the radio room was far from the truth.

The paper quoted Voitenko as saying it would be the truth only "if this was set up in advance."

MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti)


oooh ~~conspiracy~~

  • turi

Gay hooker has gay sex.

Breaking: Prostitute confesses to being a prostitute. Not a baggage handler. (pt.1, pt. 2)

Jo-Vanni Roman, the escort hired by "ex-gay" activist Dr. George Rekers, revealed to the Miami New Times today that he and Rekers did indeed have sex (of sorts) on their ten day vacation through Europe.
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The Miami New Times promises further disclosures later today, including information about a confidentiality agreement Rekers reportedly asked Roman to sign.

edit: Colbert Report link

American Flag Clothing Stirs Cinco De Mayo Controversy

Five students at a South Bay high school stirred up some controversy Wednesday for wearing t-shirts depicting red, white and blue American flags on Cinco de Mayo.

School officials at Live Oak High in Morgan Hill told the students they had to go home if they wouldn’t turn the shirts inside out.

One of the students said it appeared school administrators were worried the patriotic shirts could trigger fights.

Some students at Live Oak High in Morgan Hill said others were planning to come to school Thursday wearing red, white and blue.

Four of the five students who wore American flags or patriotic colors on campus walked into a meeting with the superintendent of the Morgan Hill unified school district Wednesday night.

They were facing unexcused absences because they chose to go home early rather than take off what they were wearing.

…Some Mexican-American students KTVU spoke with said they thought wearing red, white and blue on Cinco de Mayo was disrespectful.

“It’s just kinda disrespectful that they would do that on this day,” said student Victoria Wright. “I mean, we don’t go around on 4th of July wearing red white and green and saying ‘Viva Mexico,’ because that’s disrespectful.”

Full story and video at the source
Me in Hawaii.

Meet the new 27in waist male mannequin

Women have long felt under pressure to be thin from the fashion industry, whether the Size Zero models are on catwalks or in shop windows.

But now it appears men are coming in for the same treatment - and eating disorder campaigners are furious.

A manufacturer of mannequins has sparked controversy by making skinny models with just a 27in waist - 11in smaller than the average British male.

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Posted via

franklin sherman

Columbia Mo SWAT Raid 2/11/2010. Cops Shoot Pets With Children Present


Couple of notes via : This town reduced possession of marijuana to a fine many years ago.
SWAT team breaks into home, fires seven rounds at family's pit bull and corgi (?!) as a seven-year-old looks on. They found a "small amount" of marijuana, enough for a misdemeanor charge. The parents were then charged with child endangerment. So smoking pot = "child endangerment." Storming a home with guns, then firing bullets into the family pets as a child looks on = necessary police procedures to ensure everyone's safety.

edit2: there are over 100 swat raids a day in America. This is the SOP.

Article under the cut

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[sg] profile

Mom checked out racy teen books from library — and she won't give them back

Tina Harden wants warning labels on books; she owes about $85 in fines

Longwood parent Tina Harden was so disturbed by references to sex and drugs and foul language in the world of fictional teenager Jenny Humphrey that she is ignoring overdue notices and phone calls from her neighborhood library and its bill collector.

Harden refuses to return several books connected to the Gossip Girl series that detail Humphrey's life, even though she's had them since 2008.

"If I turn them in, they will be put back into circulation and they'll be available for more young girls to read," said the mother of three, who keeps the four books hidden in a closet. "Some material is inappropriate for minors."

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p.s. thanks mods


Joe Lieberman: "Sh#t Happens. Now Stop Crying"

Joe Lieberman On Massive Oil Spill: 'Accidents Happen'

In a recent interview with National Journal, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Ct.) not only defended offshore oil drilling, but also sought to downplay the current Gulf coast crisis, saying "accidents happen."

"There were good reasons for us to put in offshore drilling, and this terrible accident is very rare in drilling," Lieberman said in the interview. "I mean, accidents happen. You learn from them and you try not to make sure they don't happen again."

According to National Journal, Lieberman also said he would continue pushing for an expansion of offshore drilling to be included in the Senate's energy bill:

When asked whether the spill would change any of the drilling language he and Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have developed, Lieberman said, "I don't think so; certainly not to lead us to remove it." He said the draft would allow drilling as close as 75 miles from the U.S. coastline.

But Democrats from around the country, and in particular from Gulf Coast states, have said that they will not vote for any energy bill that expands drilling.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D- Fla.) said that the bill was "dead on arrival," and promised to filibuster offshore drilling plans. "Offshore drilling off the coast of the U.S is not going anywhere," he said.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also withdrew support for offshore drilling

"You turn on the television and see this enormous disaster, you say to yourself, 'Why would we want to take on that kind of risk?'" Schwarzenegger said.
franklin sherman

Cop records a year of NYPD corruption. He is arrested and put in psych ward.

The NYPD Tapes: Inside Bed-Stuy's 81st Precinct

Two years ago, a police officer in a Brooklyn precinct became gravely concerned about how the public was being served. To document his concerns, he began carrying around a digital sound recorder, secretly recording his colleagues and superiors.

He recorded precinct roll calls. He recorded his precinct commander and other supervisors. He recorded street encounters. He recorded small talk and stationhouse banter. In all, he surreptitiously collected hundreds of hours of cops talking about their jobs.

Made without the knowledge or approval of the NYPD, the tapes—made between June 1, 2008, and October 31, 2009, in the 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant and obtained exclusively by the Voice—provide an unprecedented portrait of what it's like to work as a cop in this city.

They reveal that precinct bosses threaten street cops if they don't make their quotas of arrests and stop-and-frisks, but also tell them not to take certain robbery reports in order to manipulate crime statistics. The tapes also refer to command officers calling crime victims directly to intimidate them about their complaints.

As a result, the tapes show, the rank-and-file NYPD street cop experiences enormous pressure in a strange catch-22: He or she is expected to maintain high "activity"—including stop-and-frisks—but, paradoxically, to record fewer actual crimes.

8-page article at village voice starts here
high / jesse

on Faisal Shahzad

Faisal, an embarrassment for Pakistani-Americans

SILVER SPRING, Maryland - Across from a counter serving up heaping plates of kabobs and curries, Zahid Hussain scrolled through his phone for messages from fellow Pakistani-Americans. The topic was hardly a surprise.

“Pakistanis are afraid. When they see on television, 'Pakistani terrorist in Times Square,' they just want to hide their face,” Hussain said at a brightly lit Pakistani restaurant in suburban Washington.

Hussain, who publishes a local Urdu-language newspaper, said he spoke with his school-age children after hearing that a Pakistani-American, Faisal Shahzad, was arrested in Saturday's plot to sow destruction in one of New York's busiest intersections.

Hussain immigrated to the United States in 2003 and said his children had once even asked if they could change their names due to the image of their homeland in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

But for many Pakistani-Americans, the bomb plot instilled not so much fear but embarrassment. The community has been proud of its prosperity in this nation of immigrants and has come under far less scrutiny than Pakistani British.

“Back in the 1960s, Pakistanis were always held in great esteem. They were seen as making very valuable contributions to America. That deteriorated after September 11,” commented Arshad Qureshi, a 70-year-old actuary after saying his evening prayers at a neatly manicured Maryland mosque.

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In the words of my darling Heath Ledger, "Here we go!"

Is gay the new black?
Varied panel debates heated question - with little agreement

DETROIT - The Rev. Wendell Anthony of Detroit's Fellowship Chapel proved an unlikely patron for a historic discussion of gay rights in the black community in downtown Detroit's Cobo Hall on April 30.

Part of the ninth annual Freedom Weekend founded by Anthony, the lively and at times heated discussion played out over a town hall meeting given this provocative title: "Is Gay the New Black?" An overwhelmingly black audience of approximately 200 people attended the forum. Anthony, the eight-term president of the Detroit NAACP chapter - the largest in the country - didn't answer the event's title question, but he strongly defended the decision to pose it.

"One of the things I heard is, 'Rev. Anthony, why would you dare have something like this? Is gay the new black? Are you out of your mind?'" he said at the start of the meeting. "No, I'm in my mind. We believe in thinking," he added.

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  • mamomo

Gay couple marry in Texas thanks to a legal loophole

Woman Born A Hermaphrodite Fights For Right To Marry Girlfriend
By ABC-7 Reporter Maria Garcia
POSTED: 10:39 pm MDT April 29, 2010
UPDATED: 5:21 pm MDT May 4, 2010

EL PASO, Texas -- Update: Hermaphrodite Sabrina Hill and her girlfriend Therese Bur are now married.

They tied the knot in San Antonio on Monday.

Hill was born a hermaphrodite but is now legally a woman. However, her original birth certificate says she's a male. And because of a court ruling in Bexar County, that's all she needs to marry another woman.

El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal had asked the Texas attorney general for an opinion on whether to marry Hill and Tee in El Paso. The County Attorney's Office says they'll still want that opinion for future reference.

The couple live in a modest home in the desert of West Texas.

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Source (via Marriage Equality)

I apologize for the outdated terminology and wording in the article, but it was the most in-depth one I found. For those interested, Pam's House Blend talks about the legal aspects of their marriage here. (Sorry I missed the tags - thanks mods.)

Bill aims to strip certain Americans of their citizenship

Washington (CNN) -- A bipartisan group of legislators on Thursday introduced legislation in Congress to strip citizenship from any American found to be involved in terrorism.

If the Terrorist Expatriation Act passes, an American would lose citizenship if found to have provided material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization -- as designated by the secretary of state -- or participated in actions against the United States.

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This infuriates me and saddens me so much, I had such an instant knee-jerk HOW ABOUT NO reaction to my friend who posted it on his Facebook but I couldn't even begin to vocalize why. Thoughts, ontd_pers?

Sauce is combustible.

WARNING: the following post contains incoherent RAGE

After years of condemning the practice, the American Academy of Pediatrics has rewritten their policy on female genital mutilation, advocating for state laws to allow doctors to give a "ritual nick" to girls' genitalia.

The policy statement, titled Ritual Genital Cutting of Female Minors, was issued on April 26, 2010 (ironically, this was also the same date that congress passed new laws making it illegal to take a girl outside U.S. borders for the purpose of FGM). In their release, the AAP suggested that doctors be allowed to cut or prick girl's clitorises. The 2010 statement has also revised the way the AAP refers to FGM; in 1998, they called it "female genital mutilation," but now they are terming it "female genital cutting (FGC) or ritual genital cutting." This, apparently, is the politically correct way of describing the forced removal of a woman's sexual organs:

"Mutilation" is an inflammatory term that tends to foreclose communication and that fails to respect the experience of the many women who have had their genitals altered and who do not perceive themselves as "mutilated." It is paradoxical to recommend "culturally sensitive counseling" while using culturally insensitive language. "Female genital cutting" is a neutral, descriptive term."

Equality Now points out that "neutral and descriptive" is not what we need. We need terms that convey the pain and violence of the procedure, that accurately reflect the prejudices and misogyny behind the practice. A statement from the human rights organization perfectly encapsulates all that is wrong with the APP's revised policy:

"FGM is a form of gender-based violence and discrimination that is performed on girls to control their sexuality in womanhood, guarantee their acceptance into a particular community, and safeguard their virginity until marriage. Taina Bien-Aime, Equality Now's Executive Director explains, "Encouraging pediatricians to perform FGM under the notion of 'cultural sensitivity' shows a shocking lack of understanding of a girl's fundamental right to bodily integrity and equality. The AAP should promote awareness-raising within FGM-practicing immigrant communities about the harms of the practice, instead of endorsing an internationally recognized human rights violation against girls and women."

Also weighing in on the controversial topic is Andrew Sullivan, who fully supports Equality Now's position. However, he adds something new to the debate: the issue of male genital mutilation (MGM). Although he admits FGM is "far, far worse," he mentions his displeasure in the fact that many activists who condemn FGM do not display the same concern over MGM. He writes,

"MGM is an indefensible denial of core human integrity and autonomy - and yet its widespread acceptance has helped make "female genital cutting" more acceptable. If men or women wish to mutilate their own genitals as adults, that it their choice. But forcing this onto infants, male and female, even if it is just a cut or a nick, is a form of barbarism."

Sullivan makes an interesting argument - especially considering the nature of the AAP's statement. They do not advocate the complete removal of the clitoris, but rather a "ritual nick," language that could also be used to describe male circumcision. Perhaps it is time we stopped bowing to tradition and quit messing with the genitalia of our children - maybe we should, as Sullivan suggests, let people decide for themselves what they want their sex organs to look like.
Akuma River

Faster FOIA

Time to call your Congressional Reps and demand they vote for this.

Faster FOIA Act Clears Senate Hurdle
SHARON THEIMER | 04/15/10 12:43 PM |

WASHINGTON — Legislation to speed the government's response to open records requests is a step closer to becoming law.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to send the Faster FOIA Act of 2010 to the full Senate. The measure would create a commission to investigate government delays in responding to Freedom of Information Act requests and recommend ways to get information out faster.

The legislation's lead sponsors, Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, say FOIA delays are a long-standing problem. They have been seeking a FOIA commission for years.
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This is a very important piece of legislature that needs to be passed. It got passed by the Senate (the most difficult chamber to get liberal bills through) so all we need are the Representatives.


First of Slick Reaches U.S. Shore




Oil is kicked up in the wake of a boat as it sails on the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday.

BURAS, La.—Officials leading the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico confirmed Thursday that the first of the slick had reached the U.S. coast, washing up on the Chandeleur Islands of Louisiana.

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sad sauce

(no subject)

New Evidence Suggests That McCain Has Either Gone Mad or Senile

McCain Caught Fundraising With Business Group That Killed McCain-Feingold, Shouts ‘I Love The Chamber!’

Today, while the Senate continued to debate Wall Street reform, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) ventured south of the Capitol to a fundraiser hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
. Years ago, when McCain still considered himself a “maverick,” McCain and the Chamber clashed bitterly as McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts and pushed for campaign finance reform to rein in corporate power over elections.

ThinkProgress approached McCain as he walked to the fundraiser from his car. Asked if he supports new campaign finance reforms, McCain said no, and said that Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s (D-MD) bill does not include disclosure requirements for unions. In fact, the DISCLOSE Act would force ads funded by unions to reveal the same information as ads funded by corporations. Asked why he was attending a fundraiser hosted by the organization that helped kill his own campaign finance reforms, McCain flashed ThinkProgress a thumbs up and yelled that he “love[s] the Chamber of Commerce”:
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New Hope For HIV Vaccine?

US researchers say they are a step closer to understanding why some people have natural protection against HIV.

They believe rare individuals who progress very slowly to Aids when infected make white blood cells that are better at fighting the virus.

The findings, published in Nature, may help international efforts to design an effective Aids vaccine.

But the research team at MIT and Harvard says any such vaccine is at least a decade away.

The findings relate to so-called "elite controllers" - a small number of people who, when exposed to HIV, progress very slowly to Aids or never develop it at all. In the late 1990s it was discovered that these individuals - about one in 200 of those infected with HIV - carry a specific gene, known as HLA B57.

The research team, led by MIT Professor Arup Chakraborty and Harvard Professor Bruce Walker, found this gene causes the body to make more potent killer T cells - a type of white blood cell that fights infections.

This helps them to keep the HIV virus at bay, but also makes them more susceptible to autoimmune diseases, where the body's immune system turns on itself.

The work is based on computer modelling of how immune cells develop in a specialised organ of the immune system known as the thymus.

The researchers say the study has implications for designing an effective vaccine. It could help them develop vaccines that provoke the same response to HIV that individuals with "natural immunity" can do on their own.

But they say even if they knew exactly what vaccine they wanted to make, it would take at least a decade to reach the hands of a healthcare worker.

Prof Bruce Walker told the BBC: "Some people are able to control HIV on their own and it's really critical for us to understand how this happens. This study takes us a step forward in understanding that."

Prof Chakraborty added: "It shows another piece in the puzzle of what we want a vaccine to do."

Commenting on the study, Jason Warriner, clinical director at the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "Anything that gives us greater insight into genetic defences related to HIV is useful in searching for a vaccine and, one day, a cure for this complex virus.

"However, these elite controllers are a tiny proportion of people and they are not immune from HIV-related illnesses.

"HIV remains the UK's fastest-growing serious health condition, with 83,000 people affected, so it is vital that people continue to use condoms to protect themselves."

The study is published online in the journal Nature.

Scratch and sniff

Conservative MP Implicated in Morgage Fraud

The Conservative government is dismissing comparisons between a Calgary MP's alleged involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme and allegations facing former Tory cabinet minister Helena Guergis.

And the Conservatives are raising questions about a Liberal MP's work for a Toronto law firm, saying a description of his activities on the firm's website constitutes lobbying.

During Thursday's question period, NDP Leader Jack Layton asked why Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn't kick Calgary Northeast MP Devinder Shory out of the Conservative caucus and call in the RCMP, as he did with Guergis last month when unspecified allegations emerged about her conduct.

Responding for the Conservatives, House leader Jay Hill called it a "personal, civil matter" that "has nothing to do with the business of Government of Canada."

A lawsuit filed by the Bank of Montreal names Shory, along with hundreds of other Albertans. Court documents obtained by CBC News allege Shory, a lawyer, executed legal transactions that misrepresented the true owner of at least five Calgary properties. The allegations contained in the lawsuit have not been proven in court.

During his visit to the Netherlands on Thursday, Harper was asked about the Shory and Guergis allegations and said the cases are very different. He called Shory's case a civil matter that predated his time as an MP.

In a statement, Shory said he only learned about the lawsuit through the media and will vigorously defend himself against the allegations.

"I have done nothing wrong," he said.

Shory has not been removed from caucus, but was not seen in the House of Commons on Thursday.

Guergis resigned her junior cabinet post and was kicked her out of the Conservative caucus on April 9 after Harper learned of what he called "serious and credible" allegations against her. She is sitting as an Independent MP, but learned this week the Conservative Party will not allow her to run again as its candidate for the central Ontario riding of Simcoe-Grey.

In a letter to the Conservative Party made public Thursday, Guergis vowed to appeal the decision and insisted she be allowed to clear her name before being pushed aside.


The next MP in a scandal better Rob Anders. That would make my day.

BP's Newest Policy: Let Mother Nature Sort It Out. It Will Be Cheaper...

BP CEO: "America is The Land of Welfare Queens, They Just Want Free Money. Let Them Eat Bootstraps"

Trying to shirk responsibility for oil disaster, BP CEO predicts 'lots of illegitimate' lawsuits because "this is America"

BP is financially responsible for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, so it is desperately trying the limit the financial and legal fall out.
The company tried to buy off coastal residents and local fishermen hired to help clean up the mess with payments and jobs in exchange for signing a waiver promising not to sue.

Tony “What the hell did we do to deserve this?” Hayward, CEO of British Petroleum, the Goldman Sachs of Big Oil, is at it again, as TP reports in this repost.

Alabama’s attorney general and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano both decried the waivers and asked BP to stop circulating them, prompting the company to admit it had made a “misstep.” The company has vowed to pay all “legitimate” legal claims from residents or businesses who suffer from the disaster, but BP CEO Tony Hayward insultingly told the Times of London yesterday that because “this is America,” many of the claims will be “illegitimate”:
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Feds Let BP Avoid Filing Blowout Plan For Gulf Oil Rig

Petrochemical giant BP didn't file a plan to specifically handle a major oil spill from an uncontrolled blowout at its Deepwater Horizon project because the federal agency that regulates offshore rigs changed its rules two years ago to exempt certain projects in the central Gulf region, according to an Associated Press review of official records.

The Minerals Management Service, an arm of the Interior Department known for its cozy relationship with major oil companies, says it issued the rule relief because some of the industrywide mandates weren't practical for all of the exploratory and production projects operating in the Gulf region.

The blowout rule, the fact that it was lifted in April 2008 for rigs that didn't fit at least one of five conditions, and confusion about whether the BP Deepwater Horizon project was covered by the regulation, caught the attention of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Following a tour of a boom operation in Gulf Shores, Ala., Salazar said Wednesday that he understood BP was required to file plans for coping with a blowout at the well that failed.

"My understanding is that everything was in its proper place," said Salazar.
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  • cindel

De-Friendly Fire: American University student makes Facebook rape accusation

“ATTENTION WOMEN,” she wrote, before identifying two American university students by name and calling them rapists. She went on: “we should all be aware! Stay away at all costs. They are predators and will show no remorse for anyone. If you have been effected by either one of these sickos please feel free to talk to me. With enough help we can take them down!”
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Transracial adoptions: A 'feel good' act or no 'big deal'?

"White people adopt black kids to make themselves feel good... A black child needs black parents to raise it." "Maybe she adopted one because the blacks in the community wouldn't step forward and adopt?" "What's the big deal? If no white person ever adopted a black child, they'd be saying why don't white people adopt black children." "Who cares what race they are? A woman got a child, a child got a's BEAUTIFUL!!! And yes I am black...if it matters."

These impassioned comments and thousands more poured in earlier this week when CNN published a story on the stirred-up debate surrounding Sandra Bullock's recent adoption. A People magazine cover photo of the actress beaming at her newly adopted black infant son, and the discussions that have followed, clearly hit a nerve.

So when it comes to transracial adoptions in this country, where are we?


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' jules




and don't worry, Daniel Faraday will travel back in time and stop Cameron from getting a mandate

Previous Posts:
Election Timeline
First TV Debate
Second TV Debate
Third TV Debate
garf life was just toying with me

Okay so like, maybe this really isn't such a good idea after all hmm?

Proof TSA's Full Body Scanners Are Too Invasive

— By Jen Phillips
| Thu May. 6, 2010 2:18 PM PDT

— Image from TSA website

Ever hear the joke that someone's pants were so tight you could tell what religion they were? TSA's whole-body imaging may do the job for you. Today it was reported that a TSA screener beat his co-worker with a baton after the co-worker saw his body scan and repeatedly teased him for having a small penis. The whole-body scan of the employee was taken during a TSA training workshop at Miami International Airport on how to use full-body imaging.

The Smoking Gun obtained the police report, and according to those documents, the TSA screener said that after his colleagues saw the scan of his body, he was teased on a "daily basis" about his small penis and "could not take the jokes anymore and lost his mind." He confronted one of his tormenters after work in an airport parking lot and "allegedly pulled out a police baton and began striking" the man. One witness said that the TSA employee told his coworker to "Get on your knees or I will kill you and you better apologize." Another witness said they heard the employee say, "I'm going to blow your head off."

If you've read my blog posts on the subject before, you'll know I'm definitely not a fan of the TSA. I've asked to be full-body scanned to see for myself how invasive they are and been refused. That said, I feel for this guy. If I had a penis, I wouldn't want my coworkers to know what it looked like unless it was exceptionally gorgeous and huge, in which case, carry on. But the fact that the TSA's own employees are having a bad experience with scanners is telling. Although the scanners have repeatedly been criticized for their explicit outlines of breasts and genitalia, the TSA has repeatedly assured the public that they have a privacy algorithm to hide naughty bits. But if indeed the scan was so detailed it showed the size of a man's package, it sounds invasive to me. And despite the TSA saying over and over again the scans cannot be saved, turns out they were lying. The scans can be saved, even though they're only supposed to be when in "test mode." In testimony to Congress last month, a TSA representative "did not dispute that test mode could be activated in airports, but said this 'would' not happen." So in short, the scan of your—or your child's—body can certainly be saved: it's just against the rules. According to the TSA's response to a FOIA filed by advocacy group EPIC, the TSA already has 2,000 scan images stored for "test purposes."

More than that, these expensive scanners don't show signs of going away anytime. They're currently at 24 airports and are scheduled to be introduced into five more. As the New York Times reported, scanners were put into Boston in February and another was recently installed at Chicago O'Hare. And though for now the scans are voluntary, there may be repercussions for refusing. At Chicago, one woman declined to be scanned and instead got a extremely thorough manual pat-down. Another woman at Chicago refused a scan and was rewarded with a "level two" search of her luggage. Personally, I think most Americans will choose the quick, non-touch option of full-body scans rather than wait 20 minutes for a screener to pick apart one's luggage, and I can't say I blame them. I just wish there was another option.


  • turi

61 yr old Ex-Gay activist, gay-prostitute soliciting, anti-gay adoption Doctor (and adoptive father

61 yr old Ex-Gay activist, gay-prostitute soliciting, anti-gay adoption Doctor (and adoptive father himself) is totally NOT GAY.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

In a letter written to the Miami Herald's  LGBT issues blogger, Steve Rothaus, Dr. George Rekers is threatening a lawsuit against the Miami New Times for calling him a homosexual. According to Rekers, rentboy Jo-Vanni Roman (AKA LUCIEN) called him today begging to him to tell the world that he was not hired to be a prostitute. Rekers says:

    If today’s news story in the Miami New Times is accurate, I have been advised to retain the services of a defamation attorney in this matter, because the fact is that I am not gay and never have been. My travel assistant called me this afternoon earnestly asking me to clarify on my website that he worked for me as a travel companion and not as a prostitute. I completely agreed with my travel assistant that it is absolutely true that I hired him and he worked for me as a travel companion and not as a prostitute. I also read to him the first sentence that has been posted on my website for several days that says, “A recent article in an alternative newspaper cleverly gave false impressions of inappropriate behavior because of its misleading innuendo, incorrectly implying that Professor George Rekers used the Rentboy website to hire a prostitute to hire a prostitute to accompany him on a recent trip.”

UPDATE: In a separate Miami Herald story, Jo-Vanni supports Rekers' version of events. Note that this interview was made yesterday, before today's Miami New Times story in which Jo-Vanni made the anus long-stroking claim.

Reker's website
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A photo of a kitten
(pt.1, pt. 2, pt.3)