July 3rd, 2010


"IPhone-Evo Spoof Earns Employee Suspension".

(CBS/AP)  A 25-year-old Best Buy employee who posted a snarky cartoon spoof of iPhone zealots has been suspended and may soon be out of a job.

Brian Maupin, who worked at a Best Buy branch in Independence, Mo., since 2007, was suspended from his job Thursday and now expects to be fired by Monday for posting the two YouTube videos that slam fans of the iPhone 4 and HTC Corp.'s Evo 4G. Those videos don't mention Best Buy, which sells both phones.

Although his bosses failed to see the humor, a lot of other people have, apparently. At last look, more than 1.7 million people have viewed the video on YouTube, which features a 3.28 minute conversation between an increasingly exasperated electronics store salesman trying to talk a shopper into considering a smartphone alternative to the iPhone. The video targeting Evo buyers had racked up nearly 340,000 views.

(Reader advisory: the language in the videos gets a bit spicy in parts.)


“They felt it disparaged a brand they carried (iPhone/Apple) as well as the store itself and were fearful of stockholders & customers being turned off to Best Buy Mobile," Maupin said in an interview with TechCrunch.

Maupin told TechCrunch that he was asked to quit but refused the request. At that point, Maupin says he was told of his suspension in advance of a review of the matter by the company's human resources department. "I issued a statement to them explaining that the video was intended to be comedic and hence, not taken seriously by them or all these stockholders & customers they are worried about [being] turned off to buying from them due to the video,” Maupin said.

The AP quoted an e-mail from Best Buy spokesman Justin Barber, who said Friday that the consumer electronics chain was still deciding how to proceed with Maupin, whom he called an "aspiring filmmaker."

I own an iPhone and I dont fucking care; this is the funniest video of 2010, and it's an outrage that someone might lose their job over an internet parody. I'm also glad I invested in a used phone. Assholes. 


Former Argentine military ruler Jorge Videla, 84, has gone on trial for the murder of more than 30 political prisoners in 1976.

Videla, already serving a life sentence for abuses committed during military rule, is one of more than twenty defendants.

A presidential pardon given to him in 1990 was recently overturned by the supreme court.

Up to 30,000 people were tortured and murdered between 1976 and 1983.

As the head of the military junta until 1981, Videla is considered to have been the main architect of what became known as the "Dirty War".

The case now being heard relates to the killing of a group of left-wing activists who were taken from their jail cells in the central city of Cordoba and shot dead shortly after the military took power.

The army said at the time that they were killed while trying to escape.

Now 84 and with prostate cancer, Videla was sentenced to life in prison for torture, murder and other crimes in 1985 when many of Argentina's military leaders were tried for human rights abuses.

He was pardoned in 1990 under an amnesty given by the president at the time, Carlos Menem.

In April the supreme court upheld a 2007 federal court move to overturn his pardon, restoring Videla's convictions and clearing the way for other new cases against him.

Since he is already serving a life sentence, any new conviction will not mean more years of prison, the BBC's Candace Piette reports from Buenos Aires.

But the prosecution hopes the trial in Cordoba will bring some relief to the families of the dead, our correspondent says.

The families of the victims are being represented by Miguel Ceballos, a lawyer whose father was among those killed.

"When they came looking for my father at the prison, he knew he would be killed," he said.

"He said goodbye to his friends and left a photo of his family so they could tell us what happened."

During his five-year administration, Videla organised the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.

Argentina's victory was used to try to clean the international reputation of the military government at a time when reports of massive human rights violations had been seeping out, our correspondent says.

Videla also faces charges in Italy, Spain France and Germany for the murder of some of their citizens in Argentina.

Source, of course

Good. Videla, hijo de mil puta, for what you did to my family...for what you did to my first home, my heart home, I will gladly see you rot in prison until you die. Horribly.

Otunbayeva sworn in as Kyrgyz leader in historic first

Interim leader Rosa Otunbayeva has been sworn in as president of the troubled republic of Kyrgyzstan.

Mrs Otunbayeva took power after bloody street riots in April which ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

The former foreign minister becomes the first female president of an ex-communist Central Asian country.

The inaguration comes days after a referendum on a new constitution which will create the region's first parliamentary democracy.

She took the oath of office at a Soviet-era concert hall in the capital Bishkek.


Kyrgyzstan's Central Election Commission said that more than 90% of ballots cast in Sunday's referendum were in favour of the constitution.

In April thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed and an estimated 400,000 people - many of them from the minority ethnic Uzbek community - were displaced.

The official death toll from the violence that tore through Osh and Jalal-Abad currently stands at around 300, according to the AP news agency.

But Mrs Otunbayeva has said as many as 2,000 people died in the rioting. Most of the unrest was said to involve mobs of ethnic Kyrgyz attacking and setting fire to ethnic Uzbek districts.

The violence has abated but the country's Uzbek and Kyrgyz populations remain deeply divided. But ethnic Uzbeks have largely supported the interim government.

On Friday, acting Deputy Prime Minister Omurbek Tekebayev, who played a crucial part in drawing up the new constitution, said he would step down from the Cabinet later this month to prepare for October elections.

His resignation came after Mrs Otunbayeva appealed for prospective candidates in her interim Cabinet to resign.

She said that was the only way to ensure a level playing field in the parliamentary vote, AP reports.

So severe was the violence last month the Kyrgyz government appealed to Russia to send in peacekeeping troops. But Moscow rejected the request, offering instead technical assistance to track those committing the violence.

The Red Cross (ICRC) described the situation as an "immense crisis".
  • sauron

House Stands Firm on Afghanistan Withdrawal Timetable

One hundred sixty-two House members, including a large majority of Democrats, sent a significant antiwar message to President Obama last night, forcing the White House to depend for Afghanistan war support on the Republicans who want to unseat the Democrats and Obama himself in upcoming elections.

Despite claims by punditry that the antiwar movement has disappeared, stalwart Representative Barbara Lee gained 100 votes for her amendment rejecting $33 billion for 30,000 new troops already being sent to Afghanistan. Seven of her votes were Republicans. The measure would have redirected the $33 billion to expenses incurred in redeploying the troops out of Afghanistan.

More significant numerically, there were 162 votes cast for Representative Jim McGovern’s amendment, co-authored by representatives David Obey and Walter Jones, which articulated a game plan for ending the war. Only a year ago, the same measure was introduced as a general and non-binding resolution. This time the proposal required, as a condition of funding, an exit proposal including a withdrawal timetable, by next spring, before the president’s announced plan to "begin" withdrawals in July. Further, in response to rising pressure to delay withdrawals, the McGovern proposal would require another Congressional vote if the administration succumbed to pressure from Republicans and the military to delay the beginning departure date.

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music | Janelle Monáe

PRIDE PotD: July 3, 2010.

Picspam Installment 9 of international Pride events:

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Next Pride photo-spam: Denver + DC + Boston, USA.

Source Galleries:
New York pride 2010 | DayLife
Queens Gay Pride 2010  @ Atomische • Tom Giebel's photostream | Flickr
Capital Pride 2010, Albany @ sebastien.b's photostream | Flickr / barre.me
 Gay Pride Parade in New York 2010 @ lardfr1's photostream | Flickr
*betty draper reading

Rick Perry doesn't want Texas to have any new teachers, but he'll take the money kthx

House seeks to block Perry's school action
Democrats say governor failed to give districts cash

July 2, 2010, 10:30PM

WASHINGTON - When the House approved additional money for the war in Afghanistan late Thursday, it also inserted a measure that seeks to circumvent efforts by Gov. Rick Perry to keep Texas schools from hiring more employees using federal dollars.

The proposal would allow the federal government to give money directly to school districts, provided Perry certifies that the federal support will not replace the state money. Perry must also agree not to proportionally cut education funding more than any other item in the next budget.

While the measure includes $10 billion in education funding nationally, Texas is the only state that must make such a certification before receiving the federal funding. Texas school districts stand to receive about $820 million in funding to hire additional employees.

Congressional Democrats pushed for the provision after Texas received more than $3 billion from the government in 2009 to boost education funding, only to see Perry not use the funds to augment the education budget.

Democrats charge that while Perry officially accepted the money from Washington, he simultaneously slashed the state's contributions to the education budget, allowing the state to essentially pocket the federal dollars without increasing school aid.

"Instead of a historic boost in local school support, our schoolchildren were left no better off," Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, said. "Three billion dollars (in federal money) made no difference to our local schools."

...continued at source

Arizona, you and me are done professionally.

I...just...I have no words.

Politician Wants to Pull the Plug on Utilities for Immigrants

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - If one Arizona politician gets his way, it could be "lights out" for illegal immigrants.

State Representative Barry Wong has served 4 terms and now he's running for the Arizona Corporation Commission. That's the body that oversees all utilities.

Wong said he wants to target illegal immigrants and stop providing them with water, electricity, and gas.
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