June 26th, 2010

Former VP Cheney Hospitalized

Former VP Cheney Hospitalized

by The Associated Press
June 25, 2010

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was admitted to the hospital Friday after experiencing discomfort, the latest health scare for the 69-year-old Republican leader who has a long history of heart disease.

Cheney was expected to remain at George Washington University Hospital over the weekend, his spokesman Peter Long said.

It was not immediately clear whether Cheney's health concern was related to his previous heart troubles. He sustained his last heart attack, deemed a mild one, in February.

Cheney was not feeling well on Friday and went to see his doctors at George Washington University. On their advice, he was admitted to the hospital for further testing.

Cheney's heart attack earlier this year was his fifth since age 37. In that episode in February, Cheney underwent a stress test and a heart catheterization.


Charlie Brooker's Screen burn: Inside The Aryan Brotherhood

Man, I love being white. It's great. I love my fine white skin, my stretchy alabaster bodysuit. I wear it every day. Sometimes I'll be on my way to the shops, and I'll catch sight of my own pallid forearms and I can't help it; I stop dead in the street, stroking them and weeping for joy. They're so damned pearly. Hooray for whitehood!

Could do without the sunburn, mind. It's hard to get the balance right. I only have to gaze at a blank sheet of A4 to start sizzling, but if I avoid sunshine completely I wind up looking ashen and sickly. Little wonder there's a multi-million-dollar industry creating creams and lotions for us to smear all over our superior white skin in a desperate bid to protect it from the sky, and another multi-million-dollar industry devoted to turning our superior white skin brown so it looks better.

Despite these drawbacks – and its propensity for showing up pimples and ageing quickly and going wrinkly – there's no doubt that white skin is the best, in the same way green Smarties are the best. Simple logic.

No one in their right mind would begrudge a green Smartie the right to celebrate its own identity. So what if a group of green Smarties wants to organise a green pride march and demand the immediate expulsion of all the other colours from the tube? You can't expect them to mingle with the others. Some of them are pink, for Christ's sake. Trace the history of that tube and you'll find a green Smartie was dropped in first, maybe. Therefore that tube is green land. Greens should call the shots. To think anything else is just madness. And it's the same with white skin.

If only there was some sort of club I could join to celebrate my whiteness, I've wondered many times, while masturbating over paintings of Hitler. Well there is! It's called the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (or ABT), and it's celebrated in a documentary called Inside The Aryan Brotherhood (Wed, 10pm, Discovery). Heavily tattooed, spouting hate speech, bragging about their appetite for violence and openly boasting about their crystal meth-smuggling business, they're the kind of people you'd expect to find in prison. Which is probably why they're in prison.

Despite being in prison, they're a force to be reckoned with, according to this documentary, which in no way glorifies them unless you think intercutting violent CCTV prison fights with menacing soundbites from masked members of the Aryan Brotherhood underscored with dramatic music counts as "glorification". Anyone who thinks those sequences look like precisely the sort of thing the ABT might edit together themselves is mistaken. For one thing, the captions are spelt correctly. And for another they're not allowed to use Final Cut Pro in prison.

They're allowed to do push-ups, though. Lots of push-ups. We see one of them doing push-ups in his cell and he looks pretty cool, if you ignore the seatless metal toilet in the corner which he has to piss and shit in every day with no privacy because he's in prison.

They're not all in prison. Some remain outside, including a one-legged member called Lucky, and a man who wears a bandana to protect his identity but fails to cover up the huge, immediately identifiable tattoos on both his arms. Maybe he thinks a black man invented the sleeve.

The programme hasn't noticed how funny this is; it's too busy hammering home the notion that the ABT is a terrifyingly huge organisation, although when you Google "ABT", the first things that pop up are American Ballet Theatre and the Association of Beauty Therapists, which is probably almost as annoying for the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas as being in prison.

This could be a desperate tragedy about wasted lives and misplaced rage. Instead it fetishises an angry, misguided prison gang furiously clinging to its own whiteness as the one source of self-esteem they have left. When your skin is the only thing you feel truly proud of, it's become a prison in itself. A cell of cells. Whatever the colour.

Source: Charlie Brooker @ The Guardian

South Korea Emerges Stronger Than Ever

Didn't see this posted! I thought it would be interesting, and as well a bit of good news never hurt anyone. ;)

The Globe and Mail,
Mark MacKinnon

Seoul — From Thursday's Globe and Mail Published on Wednesday, Jun. 23, 2010 7:41PM EDT Last updated on Thursday, Jun. 24, 2010 3:15PM EDT

In South Korean business circles, asking about the global economic crisis can draw a puzzled look. It’s a glance that says “What crisis?”
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I usually am not interested in economics but this was quite interesting to me.
PS: so sorry mods! hopefully this entry is ok.
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PRIDE PotD: June 25, 2010.

Picspam Installment III of international Pride events:

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The next Pride photo-spam: Australia and USA.

Source/full galleries:
titus and mark

(no subject)

Feminism of the Future Relies on Men
Published: June 22, 2010

In 1965, my mother was the only female engineering student in her class in Germany. There were no ladies’ toilets except in the basement, where the cleaners had their lockers, and her professor urged her to find a husband quickly so she wouldn’t fail the exams.

Feminism in those days was pretty clear-cut: It was about women closing ranks to battle blatant sexism, get an education and go to work. It was, as my mother said recently, “about women pushing into the world of men.”

The feminism of the future is shaping up to be about pulling men into women’s universe — as involved dads, equal partners at home and ambassadors for gender equality from the cabinet office to the boardroom.
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Teen shot by Border Patrol had smuggling arrests

A 15-year-old Mexican boy shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent was among El Paso's most wanted juvenile immigrant smugglers, according to federal arrest records reviewed by The Associated Press.

The records show Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereca had been arrested at least four times since 2008 and twice in the same week in February 2009 on suspicion of smuggling illegal immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border. Hernandez was repeatedly arrested along the U.S. side of the border near downtown El Paso, not far from where he was killed, but was never charged with a crime by federal prosecutors.

A Border Patrol agent shot and killed Hernandez June 7 while trying to arrest illegal immigrants crossing the muddy bed of the Rio Grande. Some witnesses said a group of people on the Mexican side were throwing rocks at the agents. Agents are generally permitted to use lethal force against rock throwers.

The records show that in at least one case Hernandez was to be paid $50 a person for smuggling four people into the U.S.

The records also show that in one case, federal prosecutors declined to charge Hernandez because there were no "extenuating circumstances or endangerment."

Daryl Fields, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Antonio, said he could "neither confirm nor deny that information."

Border Patrol officials have declined to comment on his criminal record, citing an ongoing FBI investigation into whether the shooting was justified under Border Patrol rules and whether the agent, who remains unidentified, violated Hernandez's civil rights.

FBI Special Agent William Weiss also declined to comment Friday.

Mexican authorities have called the killing a murder and some demanded that the agent be extradited to Mexico to face criminal charges. U.S. officials have said that is highly unlikely.

A grainy cell phone video capturing the shooting shows several illegal immigrants trying to scramble back to Mexico after a bicycle-mounted Border Patrol agent arrives in the riverbed. The agent detains one man on the U.S. side of the border and fires two audible shots toward Mexico after putting the man on the ground. The video shows what appears to be a body underneath a nearby railroad bridge spanning the border.

Border Patrol officials have said the agent told the rock throwers to stop and back off, but they persisted and he fired several times.

A federal official familiar with the investigation said Friday there is evidence that Hernandez was throwing rocks at the agent at the time of the shooting. The official, who has been briefed on the case and reviewed some evidence, spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak about the case publicly.

Hernandez's mother, Maria Guadalupe Huereca, said she didn't believe her son had ever been arrested.

She said it couldn't be true because her son had never spent a night away from home and questioned whether police would have repeatedly released suspected smuggler after just a few hours.

"It's a lie," she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "And if it were true, it wouldn't give them the right to kill him."

"May God forgive them."

State and federal prosecutors in Mexico declined to comment, saying there would be no discussion of an ongoing investigation.


US Food Aid Policies=No Fair Trade?

US food aid policies create 561 jobs in Kansas, risk millions of lives around the world
By Laura Freschi | Published June 24, 2010

I read recently the First Law of Policy Economics: Every inefficiency is someone’s income.

US food aid policy is definitely no exception, and it is riddled with inefficiencies.

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Pfft, we only need to make white ones! Other races would be hard! No one'll notice!

'Babysitting Mama' Only Offering White Babies, No Shaking - Babysitting Mama has players put their Wiimotes inside a plush baby doll, but it's only offering one color.

Babysitting Mama, a spin-off title of Majesco's successful Cooking Mama franchise, has players putting their Wii remotes inside a plush baby doll -- but they're only offering the plush in one color.

Though there will be six avatars of "different races" and both genders in the game, the company will only offer a single Caucasian-looking doll for all players.

"No matter what baby you choose on the screen, there's going to be one plush," explained franchise product manager Pete Rosky at a demonstration during last week's E3.

When asked why there wouldn't be other versions to match the in-game avatars, Rosky said, "That's a lot of manufacturing and hoping everybody wants a different doll. Honestly, I think as along as we have some (other races) in the game, I think it will be okay -- I hope."

The game works like this: the Wii remote fits inside the back of the plush baby, and the Nunchuk controller is used for various activities as well as navigating the menus. Each of the six babies has different activities for the player, such as rocking the baby, taking photos, shaking the rattle, playing peek-a-boo, etc. Do well, and the baby coos from the Wii remote. Do poorly and -- natch -- it will cry.

Whether they be twisted adults or careless children, we wondered what happens when players shake the baby too hard. Rosky said there will be a warning included, and the game simply just won't work if you're too vigorous while caretaking.

"We want you to treat (the doll) as if it was a real child; the game is definitely designed for a gentle use of the baby," Rosky said. "Not only is it not encouraged, it's also not going to be useful. Players will want to actually win the mini-game, and they'll stop doing what they're doing. I hope that parents will play it with (their kids), and encourage them to treat the baby with respect. Doll or not, it's representative."

Though the game doesn't make use of the ultra-sensitive Wii MotionPlus technology, according to Rosky, it will be able to pick up subtle movements players have when interacting with the Wii remote inside the plush doll.

"We've actually been working closely with Nintendo about how the doll works," Rosky added. "We've all been passionate about making it very gentle."

Babysitting Mama will be available this holiday as a doll-and-game bundle for $39.99.


Yeah, who cares if the physical doll you're handling is the wrong color! White's the default, so it's all we need!

Ugh, I want someone to send that dude the clips of the little black girls still choosing the white dolls as the "good" and "pretty" ones, and ask him if he still thinks it's OK to only offer one race.
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Gulf Coast oil spill cleanup effort could be hampered as Tropical Storm Alex forms in Caribbean


All eyes along the Gulf of Mexico turned to the wind and waves churning in the Caribbean on Saturday, an ominous sign the 2010 hurricane season - expected to be one of the worst ever - has arrived.

Tropical Storm Alex was gathering strength in the western Caribbean, and forecasters said it was unclear if it would hit the massive oil spill in the Gulf.

The storm could cripple cleanup efforts, spread the BP oil slick throughout Gulf and spray the sludge miles inland.

Most storm models show Alex traveling over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico over the weekend, hurricane forecaster Jack Bevens said.

He said it was too soon to know if the storm will pass over the oiled Gulf, though for now it's not expected to hit the spill. Storm predictions can quickly change as conditions shift.

"We're watching the hurricane season very, very closely," said U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who is overseeing the response.

Allen said officials are working with BP to come up with plans for disconnecting siphoning equipment and evacuating the cleanup area when a storm looms.

"We're going to have to look at the tracks of these storms, look at the probabilities, and have to act very early on," he said.

The prospect of big storms blowing the slick around may not be all bad: it could also mix and "weather" the oil - helping it break down faster, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

If a storm passes to the east of the slick, it could even help push the oil away from the fragile coastline.

But a hurricane in the Gulf might also bring some of the vast amounts of oil that is now lurking in great underwater plumes up to the surface, and then blow it onto beaches and marshes.

The absolute worst-case scenario: a hurricane takes out the two relief wells that BP is counting on to finally stop the geyser of oil sometime in August.

Hurricane season began June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

The peak period for big storms is between August and October, but storms in June and July have a far greater likelihood of steering into the Gulf, as opposed to riding up the Atlantic coast.

NOAA scientists say they are almost certain 2010 will be a bad one, posting 85% odds of more storms than normal - and only a 10% chance of a near-normal season. NOAA expects 8 to 14 Atlantic hurricanes this year. There were only three last year.

"This season could be one of the more active on record," said NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco.

AccuWeather chief meteorologist Joe Bastardi predicts the season will bring 18 to 21 named storms, which have winds greater than 40 mph, and thinks at least six of them will grow into hurricanes, with winds topping 75 mph.

At least two hurricanes and one tropical storm will move through the oil spill by the end of the season, he predicted.

Palin decries 'Dumpster divers' at Calif. campus

Palin decries 'Dumpster divers' at Calif. campus

Sarah Palin leveled criticism at California's attorney general and others raising questions about her visit to a cash-strapped university, telling supporters that students had better things to do than dive through Dumpsters to find out how much she earns speaking.

The former Alaska governor's headline address Friday night at the 50th anniversary celebration at California State University, Stanislaus has drawn criticism and scrutiny since it was first announced. It also attracted sizable donations for the public school.

Officials have refused to divulge the terms of her contract or her speaking fee, and some details only came to light after students fished part of what appeared to be Palin's contract from a rubbish bin.

"Students who spent their valuable, precious time diving through dumpsters before this event in order to silence someone ... what a wasted resource," she told the crowd dining in the campus cafeteria.

"A suggestion for those Dumpster divers: Instead of trying to tell people to sit down and shut up ... spend some time telling people like our president to finally stand up," she said.

The material recovered by the students, which detailed perks such as first-class airfare for two and deluxe hotel accommodations, prompted California Attorney General Jerry Brown to launch an investigation into the finances of the university's foundation arm and allegations that the nonprofit violated public disclosure laws.

"Jerry Brown and friends, come on. This is California," Palin retorted. "Do you not have anything else to do?"

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[❤] dean // pie!!!

Mike Huckabee on politics, Christianity, Israel

Prodigal Son
Is the wayward Republican Mike Huckabee now his party’s best hope?
by Ariel Levy

Sun was bouncing off the miles of Jerusalem stone and the black hats of the Hasidim on the afternoon when Mike Huckabee went to visit the Wailing Wall, earlier this year. Huckabee—the former governor of Arkansas, the host of a Fox News show, and, according to the most recent Rasmussen poll, the top pick among likely Republican primary voters for President in 2012—was making his fourteenth trip to Israel. This time, he was leading a group of a hundred and sixty evangelicals on a tour of Christian holy sites with the singer Pat Boone. Huckabee wore mirrored Ray-Bans and a polka-dot shirt with gold cufflinks in the shape of Arkansas. Boone, who is seventy-six and still keeps his hair strawberry blond, was in a light-blue leisure suit and white bucks. Both men were wearing yarmulkes. “I think what I should do is convert,” Huckabee said, squinting in the sunshine. “This covers my bald spot completely.”

Huckabee was a Baptist minister before he went into politics, but, like Boone and most of the other people in their group, he is crazy about Israel and extremely enthusiastic about Jews. “I worship a Jew!” Huckabee said. “I have a lot of Jewish friends, and they’re kind of, like, ‘You evangelicals love Israel more than we do.’ I’m, like, ‘Do you not get it? If there weren’t a Jewish faith, there wouldn’t be a Christian faith!’ ” In recent weeks, Huckabee has defended the Israeli attack on a Turkish flotilla headed for Gaza, in which nine people were killed. He does not support a two-state solution, or, at least, as he told numerous reporters in the course of the trip, “not on the same piece of real estate”—which is to say he thinks that coming up with a place for the Palestinians ought to be an Arab problem. In fact, Huckabee does not believe that Palestinian is a legitimate nationality. “I have to be careful saying this, because people get really upset—there’s really no such thing as a Palestinian,” Huckabee told a rabbi in Wellesley, Massachusetts, at a kosher breakfast on the campaign trail in 2008. “That’s been a political tool to try to force land away from Israel." In a speech to the Knesset on our trip, Huckabee said, “I promise you, you do not have a better friend on earth than Christians around the world, who know where we have come from and know who we must remain allies and friends with.” The members of his tour group who were seated in the audience applauded vigorously; several rose to their feet and shouted, “Amen!”

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4 Pinoys lose US jobs for speaking in Tagalog

4 Pinoys lose US jobs for speaking in Tagalog

BALTIMORE, Maryland - Four Filipina ex-staffers of a Baltimore City hospital haven’t gotten over the shock of being summarily fired from their jobs, allegedly because they spoke Pilipino during their lunch break.

“Hindi ko pa rin matanggap na the basis of the termination was the language,” nurse Hachelle Natano told ABS-CBN News.

Corina Capunitan-Yap, Anna Rowena Rosales, Jazziel Granada and Natano were fired from their jobs at the Bon Secours Hospital last April 16.

“I feel I was harassed and discriminated against because of my national origin,” Natano explained.

“They claimed they heard us speaking in Pilipino and that is the only basis of the termination. It wasn’t because of my functions as a nurse. There were no negative write-ups, no warning before the termination,” she added.

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This? Is bullshit. I could understand an "English-only" policy being in place and strictly-applied while actually IN the ER and working, but on your break?! That's some bullshit right there. As is the hospital--oh, hey irony, hey, being named Bon Secours--not being able to tell them exactly what it was one of them was fired for.
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Live Post: Protests/Riots @ Toronto G20 Summit.

'Black Bloc' anarchists take over Toronto streets

Anarchists dubbed the "black bloc" are being widely blamed for the violence and destruction of the anti-G20 march that culminated with the burning of two police cruisers.

The black-clad group splintered off from the main crowd of peaceful protesters mid-route and headed towards the security fence, prompting riot police to form a wall near Wellington and Bay streets.

As police regained control over the crowd early Saturday evening, many in the group ditched their black clothes and faded into the crowd.

The term "black bloc" doesn't refer to a specific group, but rather to a tactic used in protests and marches, in which protesters don black clothing and masks to appear as one large, rebellious mass.


I'll update it as news pours in.


Some photos of the black bloc rioters:

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Some photos of the peaceful protests that occurred before the unrelated rioting:

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Some photos of Toronto sporting a boner for a Polite Police State even before the G20 began:

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Raccoon saboteur blamed for 5-hour outage in downtown Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A raccoon described as acrobatic and mean-spirited knocked out power to a section of downtown Memphis that included two hospitals and the newspaper for more than five hours.

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division president Jerry Collins told The Commercial Appeal said the raccoon climbed more than 30 feet, over barriers intended to keep animals out, and short-circuited a switch on a substation.

Overall, about 8,000 customers were without city power late Thursday and early Friday.

Emergency generators restored power to the Regional Medical Center at Memphis and Le Bonheur Children's Hospital within seconds, but the outage delayed production of Friday's newspaper at The Commercial Appeal and disrupted other businesses.