June 13th, 2010


NAACP calls Hallmark graduation card racist

A graduation card sold at local stores has been pulled from shelves after a civil rights group raised concerns about the content. The group claims the card's micro-speaker plays a greeting that's racist.

It is a graduation greeting from Hallmark that says, "Hey world, we are officially putting you on notice."

Members of the Los Angeles NAACP did take notice. As characters known as "Hoops" and "Yoyo" banter on, African American leaders hear offensive language.

"And you black holes, you are so ominous. Watch your back," the card vocalizes.

"That was very demeaning to African American women. When it made reference to African American women as whores and at the end, it says 'watch your back,'" said Leon Jenkins of the Los Angeles NAACP.

When Hallmark was reached by phone, they said the card is all a misunderstanding. The card's theme is the solar system and emphasizes the power of the grad to take over the universe, even energy-absorbing black holes.

The card company says the card speaks about the power the grad will wield.

"The intent here is to say that this graduate is not afraid of anything," explained Hallmark spokesman Steve Doyal.

But that's not what some people heard.

"You hear the 'r' in there. 'Whores,' not, 'holes.' The 'r' is in there," said Minnie Hatley of the Los Angeles NAACP.

Hallmark sent Eyewitness News a transcript of what the card says, but Hatley says that the actual audio raises questions.

"It sounds like a group of children laughing and joking about blackness, again," said another NAACP member.

Hallmark is now notifying all of its stores to pull the card. Walgreens and CVS are doing the same.

"In any situation where there is a circumstance that we need to be sensitive to, we try to learn from that experience," said Doyal.

However, NAACP members say they do not want to see the card on store shelves ever again.


The card, for reference:

h/t: nicole_anell 

USA World Cup 2018 / 2022 Bid: Phoenix a Host City?

No Repeal in Arizona, No World Cup
by Bruce Fein

¹ Recently, eleven nations, including the United States, delivered their final plans to host the 2018/2022 edition of the world's most watched sporting event -- soccer's World Cup -- to officials of the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) in Zurich, Switzerland. Glendale, Arizona is one of the US' proposed host cities. The US should be denied the privilege of the global extravaganza unless Arizona repeals its unconstitutional and ugly statute criminalizing the absence of federal immigration papers and targeting racial or ethnic minorities who "look" foreign.

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Will SB1070 hurt Phoenix/Glendale's chances of being picked to host any of the World Cup games if the United States gets to host in 2018 or 2022?
comedy | SQUEH

ONTD_Political's PotD: June 12, 2010.

[On] Friday, June 11th, South Africa [stepped] onto the world stage as host nation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup as the international soccer tournament begins - welcoming 32 teams from around the world. South Africa was selected as the host six years ago, and has been preparing ever since, building five new stadiums, upgrading five existing stadiums, and building up public transportation, including a new rapid transit railway. Over the past weeks, the teams and their legions of fans have begun arriving while final preparations are made and and dress rehearsals held for the Opening Ceremony on Friday. The tournament takes place over a month, ending on July 11th. Collected here are recent scenes from South Africa as it readies itself to welcome the world.
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Source/Full galleries:
Iowa--Extremely Attractive

This was the fifth worst disaster in US history. Two years later...

Two years after the floods, what remains to be done?
By Lynda Waddington 6/11/10 7:01 AM

When politicians and government officials discuss the continued plight of flooded-ravaged Cedar Rapids, one particular phrase is heard again and again: “We’ve made progress, but there is a lot that remains to be done.”

While such words are true, they don’t tell the entire story.

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Uzbekistan: 75,000 Uzbeks flee riots in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz mobs burned Uzbek villages and slaughtered their residents Sunday in the worst ethnic rioting this Central Asian nation has seen in 20 years, sending more than 75,000 Uzbeks fleeing across the border into Uzbekistan.

Most of the Uzbek refugees were elderly people, women and children, and many had gunshot wounds, the Uzbek Emergencies Ministry said in a statement carried by Russia's RIA Novosti news agency. It said refugee camps were being set up for them in several areas of Uzbekistan.

Fires set by rioters have destroyed most of Osh, the second-largest city in Kyrgyzstan, and food was scarce after widespread looting. Triumphant crowds of Kyrgyz men took control of Osh on Sunday as the few Uzbeks still left in the city of 250,000 barricaded themselves in their neighborhoods. Fires continued to rage across Osh and shots were heard but police were nowhere to be seen.

The rioting has significant political overtones. Former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in a bloody uprising in April and fled the country. Uzbeks have backed Kyrgyzstan's interim government, while many Kyrgyz in the south support the toppled president.

Interim President Roza Otunbayeva blamed Bakiyev's family for instigating the unrest, saying it aimed to derail a June 27 constitutional referendum and new elections scheduled for October. A local official in the south said Bakiyev supporters had attacked both Kyrgyz and Uzbeks to ignite the rioting.

From his self-imposed exile in Belarus, Bakiyev denied any role in the violence and blamed interim authorities for failing to protect the people.

The interim government has ordered troops to shoot rioters dead but even that failed to stop the spiraling violence that has left more than 100 people dead and over 1,250 wounded since Thursday night. Doctors say that toll is far too low because wounded minority Uzbeks are too afraid of being attacked again to go to hospitals.

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We don't even have "ethnic cleansing" or "uzbekistan" tags :(

Sir Jock Stirrup to resign early as army's chief of defence staff

Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, prior to a...

Image via Wikipedia

Sir Jock Stirrup is to step down as the chief of the defence staff several months earlier than planned following criticism of his stint as head of the armed forces.

The defence secretary, Liam Fox, said Stirrup would leave in the autumn, adding that he wanted "the best people to be in the appropriate posts" by that time.

Stirrup had been due to quit in April 2011, by which time he would have served five years in the post. The permanent under secretary at the Ministry of Defence, Sir Bill Jeffrey, will also leave in the autumn, Fox told the Sunday Times.

The clearout of senior figures is being seen as an attempt by the new government to draw a line under criticism of military strategy and equipment failures.

"Both the chief of defence staff and permanent under secretary are here longer than they needed to be," Fox said.

"They were asked to stay on and willing to do so, not least to see the transition into the new government. And I think that the transition's been extremely smooth, and I've been discussing with them, as with other senior staff, how we transition to the new structures and what might be the appropriate times to do it."

The timing of the pair's departure will coincide with the end of the government strategic defence review, which is expected to lead to cuts in the armed forces budget.

Fox's interview came during an upsurge in violence in Afghanistan, with more than 30 Nato servicemen, including six British troops, killed since the start of the month.

The MoD has also been subject to long-running criticism that it had failed to provide the proper kit to soldiers.

Giving evidence to the Iraq war inquiry earlier this year, Stirrup, who was the deputy chief of defence staff (equipment) at the time of the invasion, singled out problems with supplying enough combat body armour, desert combats and boots for frontline troops.

He said it would have made a "significant difference" if the military had been given the six months considered necessary to prepare for a large deployment. In the event, they had just four months.

The shortage of body armour was blamed for the death of tank commander Sergeant Steven Roberts, a 33-year-old who was one of the first British soldiers killed in Iraq.

As a former jet pilot in charge of a draining land-based campaign, Stirrup was seen by some as being ill-suited to the job.

Unlike other senior military figures such as the former head of the army General Sir Richard Dannatt, he has rarely spoken out against ministers, leading to the perception that he was too close to the Labour government.

In January, the then defence secretary, Bob Ainsworth, was forced to defend his position after reports that Stirrup faced being replaced with someone from the army following the election.

Ainsworth later issued a statement expressing "full confidence" in him.

Likely candidates to replace Stirrup include the chief of the general staff, General Sir David Richards, or the vice-chief of the defence staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton.

Source: The Guardian
I know this isn't a particularly interesting story... mainly posting because his name is nearly underwear. /immature :]
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Oil slick spotted 12 miles off Ft Lauderdale coast

Yesterday, a Fort Lauderdale-based yacht captain was boating about 12.5 miles offshore from Port Everglades when he and his passengers noticed the oil slick pictured above. According to the captain, the slick was about a half-mile long. It was unlike anything he had seen in years on the water. He collected a water sample.
He wondered: Could it be from the oil spill in the Gulf?
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As someone who has grown up and lived on South Florida's Atlantic coast their entire life this whole situation is such a heartache. I really hoped that it would take longer for it to arrive here.

The End of Men

Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way— and its vast cultural consequences

In the 1970s the biologist Ronald Ericsson came up with a way to separate sperm carrying the male-producing Y chromosome from those carrying the X. He sent the two kinds of sperm swimming down a glass tube through ever-thicker albumin barriers. The sperm with the X chromosome had a larger head and a longer tail, and so, he figured, they would get bogged down in the viscous liquid. The sperm with the Y chromosome were leaner and faster and could swim down to the bottom of the tube more efficiently. Ericsson had grown up on a ranch in South Dakota, where he’d developed an Old West, cowboy swagger. The process, he said, was like “cutting out cattle at the gate.” The cattle left flailing behind the gate were of course the X’s, which seemed to please him. He would sometimes demonstrate the process using cartilage from a bull’s penis as a pointer.

In the late 1970s, Ericsson leased the method to clinics around the U.S., calling it the first scientifically proven method for choosing the sex of a child. Instead of a lab coat, he wore cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, and doled out his version of cowboy poetry. (People magazine once suggested a TV miniseries based on his life called Cowboy in the Lab.) The right prescription for life, he would say, was “breakfast at five-thirty, on the saddle by six, no room for Mr. Limp Wrist.” In 1979, he loaned out his ranch as the backdrop for the iconic “Marlboro Country” ads because he believed in the campaign’s central image—“a guy riding on his horse along the river, no bureaucrats, no lawyers,” he recalled when I spoke to him this spring. “He’s the boss.” (The photographers took some 6,500 pictures, a pictorial record of the frontier that Ericsson still takes great pride in.)

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lol what is this i dont even

Brother of Pinera compares Allende to Hitler and defends the "dictablanda" of Pinochet

"Do not help me, stupid brother," the president must be thinking after the poor and unfortunate statements of Miguel Otero, the recently retired Chilean ambassador to Argentina now joins another idiot (the Spanish word here was pie, but translating it as 'pie' wouldn't make sense) from more or less his own crib. Jose Pinera, brother of the president said to the Argentine newspaper Perfil.com

"The most famous case in history was that of Adolf Hitler in 1933, who was democratically elected and became a tyrant."

We must remember that Jose was an economist and Minister of Labor, Social Welfare and Mining of Pinochet (the Spanish calls him 'Don Augusto' lolol).

What will a Pinochetista convert and an assumed Pinochetista talk about over the lunch hour?

The original original source is linked above, but I didn't feel like translating all of that verbal diarrhea.

Jose Pinera, if anyone remembers his irrelevant ass, is Pinochet's former labor,etc minister/worldwide salesman for the privatized pension system (i.e. he was a pretty big player/propagandist for the Bush administration's cause of privatizing Social Security in like 2005 or whenever that was).
Janelle Monae

Obama to address nation on oil disaster Tuesday night.

Washington (CNN)
-- President Barack Obama will visit the Gulf states affected by the oil spill on Monday and Tuesday and then address the nation on Tuesday night from the White House on the next steps in responding to the environmental catastrophe, his senior adviser said Sunday.

On his fourth visit to the Gulf region since the disaster began on April 20, Obama will make stops in Theodore, Alabama; Gulfport, Mississippi, and Pensacola, Florida, according to senior administration officials.

After returning from the two-day trip, Obama will make a televised statement from the Oval Office on the night before he is scheduled to meet with top BP officials.


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'Lezza', 'poof' and 'queer' are acceptable on TV, Ofcom study finds

Ofcom logo

Image via Wikipedia

Words such as "lezza", "poof" and "queer" are socially acceptable for use by broadcasters, an Ofcom study says.

It found that other terms such as "homo" and "chick with a dick" are less well-known but are still seen as acceptable to broadcast at any time of day.

The broadcasting watchdog, which covers the whole of the UK, asked a small sample of 130 people about what language they found acceptable.

It asked participants to put 56 words into four categories of acceptability.

They rated words such as "lezza", "poof" and "queer" as "well known and seen as socially acceptable" and said they were happy for them to be used at any time of day on television or radio.

Although such words are used affectionately by some members of the gay community – including the political use of "queer" – others find them offensive and they can be used as terms of abuse.

Other words in this category were "nutter", "looney" and "mental".

The study said: "Many participants saw these words as socially acceptable because they are commonly used in society and are thought to be used in a lighthearted/banter manner, without aggression or intent to offend.

"Many participants also did not think gay people would be offended by these words, and therefore thought that this made these words more acceptable than some of the other words covered in the research e.g. ‘homo’ and ‘faggot’."

Another category was for words that were seen as less well-known but still socially acceptable – such as "homo", "gender bender" and "chick with a dick".

The study said: "As the phrases ‘gender-bender’ and ‘chick with a dick’ rhyme, some participants expected them to be used in comedies, in a lighthearted way, and therefore thought it was unlikely that these phrases could be seen to be offensive."

The only well-known words for homosexuality that people thought were offensive were "faggot" and "dyke", which were listed alongside racial terms such as "Paki" and "nigger".

Few participants wanted to ban certain words being used altogether, and most said words such as "f**k", motherf**ker" and c**t"could be used after the 9pm watershed.

The 130 people included 35 in minority groups, who had their own discussions.

Ofcom has been accused in the past of not cracking down on homophobic language on television and radio, while taking a strong line against racism.

Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles has repeatedly escaped censure from the watchdog despite a string of gay jibes.

Gay rights charity Stonewall, which has campaigned against homophobic language on the BBC, criticised the small sample group.

Chief executive Ben Summerskill said: "As far as we can see, this was a very limited study indeed – little more than 130 people.

"We don't believe broadcasters or broadcasting regulators should give licence to the media to use offensive language."

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity Sane, was also dismayed that the study found words such as "looney" were seen as acceptable.

"These sorts of words often betray fear and ignorance rather than lack of sympathy. The main lesson is that they should not be used lightly," she said.

"On the other hand we would not like to be heavy-handed or prohibitive. If people with mental health problems want to use these terms and find the humour in them – as some do – then all well and good. But it is not for others to denigrate their experience with thoughtless words."

An Ofcom spokesman said the research was conducted to help the watchdog stay "in tune" with public opinion but said it would not change its "robust" rules on offensive material.

Source: Pink News
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