July 9th, 2010

hee

I hope everyone's safe :[

Matthai Kuruvila, Kevin Fagan, Carolyn Jones,Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writers
San Francisco Chronicle July 8, 2010 11:33 PM

 


There was outrage, there was looting and there were skirmishes between police and protesters, but that wasn't the whole story of how Oakland reacted to the Johannes Mehserle verdict.

The trouble Thursday boiled down to a racially diverse mob of about 200 people, many bent on destruction no matter what, confronting police after the day's predominantly peaceful demonstrations ended.

Sporadic conflicts were quelled quickly early in the evening, but by late night at least 50 people - and maybe as many as 100 - had been arrested as small groups smashed windows, looted businesses and set trash bins on fire.

The violence was contained for much of the early evening within a one-block area near City Hall by an army of police officers in riot gear, but around 10 p.m. a knot of rioters broke loose and headed north on Broadway toward 22nd Street with police in pursuit.

They smashed windows of shops including the trendy Ozumo restaurant, and one building was spray painted with the words, "Say no to work. Say yes to looting."

A boutique called Spoiled was spared. It had a sign outside and pictures of Oscar Grant with the words, "Do not destroy. Black owned. Black owned."

 
BART verdict: Scores arrested in Oakland after protesters loot stores and smash windows

LA Times 12:04 AM
-- Maria L. La Ganga in downtown Oakland; Abby Sewell in Leimert Park; and Rong-Gong Lin II and Louis Sahagun in Los Angeles

Scores of people were arrested in Oakland on Thursday night as police tried to wrest control of downtown from looters angry about the BART verdict earlier in the day.

By 11 p.m., the heart of downtown Oakland was a mess. A Foot Locker was smashed when looters took off with shoes and bags of athletic gear. People shoved trash cans into the street and set rubbish on fire.

Men sprayed graffiti on walls and windows on Broadway; one outside Tully’s Coffee read: “You can’t shoot us all.” Large fires billowed out of dumpsters on 20th Street and Telegraph Avenue. Windows were smashed at a Subway sandwich store, a Sears store and the empty former office of Far East National Bank.

At 20th Street and Broadway, a crowd was overrunning police and throwing bottles at officers, so authorities released smoke to disperse them, said Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts.

At least 50 people had been arrested, and more arrests were expected, Batts told reporters at a news conference.

Just before 11 p.m., Batts said there were still disturbances along the 1700 blocks of Broadway and Franklin Street and the corner of Grand Avenue and Broadway.

 

Batts said there were probably about 100 troublemakers out of up to 800 people who showed up at Broadway and 14th Street after Thursday’s verdict, in which former transit police Officer Johannes Mehserle, a white man, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Oscar J. Grant III, an unarmed black man, at the Fruitvale BART station on New Year’s Day in 2009. Prosecutors had sought a stronger conviction of second-degree murder.

Batts described the troublemakers as “anarchists” who came to Oakland to cause trouble and not peacefully express their views on the verdict.

“This city is not the wild, wild west,” he said. “We will allow people to protest, but we will allow it to be done peacefully.”

Workers in Oakland virtually evacuated the downtown core after news broke that the verdict was to be read, and store owners boarded up windows.

 
 

creepy but cute

Civilians increasingly being targeted in war

Civilians account for the vast majority of casualties in armed conflicts and are increasingly being targeted and forced to flee their homes, the U.N. humanitarian chief said Wednesday. John Holmes said thousands of civilians died in conflicts in Gaza, Sri Lanka, Congo, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia in 2009 and "an untold number" suffered physical and psychological injuries.

"2010 does not look much better," Holmes told an open meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. He said 6.8 million people were displaced within their own country by conflict last year, more than at any point since the mid-1990s.

"An alarming total of 27.1 million — the highest ever — were internally displaced globally at the end of last year as a result of conflict," Holmes said. While many of the 1.8 million Pakistanis displaced in 2009 have returned home, he said Congo, Sudan, Somalia, the Philippines and Colombia experienced "large scale new displacement."


In the first half of 2010, he said an upsurge in violence in Darfur displaced an additional 116,000 people, another 90,000 people fled their homes in South Sudan as insecurity mounted ahead of next year's referendum on independence for the south, and violence in Kyrgyzstan forced 375,000 to flee their homes.

Holmes also pointed to an increase of violent rapes in Congo, the persistent killing and kidnapping of humanitarian workers, and the "unacceptably high" number of civilian deaths and injuries from attacks.

"From air strikes and artillery attacks in Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and Gaza to rockets launched at Israeli civilian areas by Palestinian militants and car bombs and suicide attacks in Pakistan or Iraq, use of explosive weapons and explosives has resulted in severe civilian suffering," he said.

Holmes expressed concern at the risk of unintended casualties from the three-fold increase in drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan over the last year.

In Afghanistan, he said, suicide attacks and explosions by armed groups "now cause more civilian casualties than any other tactic, representing 44 per cent of the total civilian casualties in 2009, or 1,054 people killed." Aerial attacks by U.S. and other international military forces caused 359 civilian deaths last year, he said.

"Suicide bombings elsewhere are also increasing," he said, citing this month's pair of suicide bombings that killed 42 people at a famed Sufi shrine in Lahore, Pakistan.

While the council has taken some actions, Holmes said, "I fear all too little has changed for the better on the ground in recent years." He stressed that every armed conflict in the world today involves one or more armed groups that are not linked to the government. To enhance protection of civilians and reduce human suffering, he said, contact with these armed groups is essential to enable humanitarian aid to be delivered and to try to influence their behaviour and improve their compliance with international humanitarian and human rights laws.

Holmes urged the Security Council and the 192 U.N. member states to promote such engagement and not criminalize contacts.

He also expressed concern about the protection of civilians and refugees in Chad after U.N. peacekeepers pull out by the end of the year. He called the humanitarian situation in eastern Congo's Kivu provinces "alarming," and he said in nearby Orientale Province, an average of 102 civilians are murdered every month and over 300 have been abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army since December, including 125 children.`U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the council has long recognized that peace can't be achieved without redressing grievances, ending impunity and protecting human rights.

She called for greater efforts to ensure that perpetrators of violence against civilians are brought to justice. She also called for an independent international inquiry into the Kyrgyzstan violence, said Afghanistan's laws aimed at protecting women's rights "remain largely unimplemented," and urged the council "to take appropriate action" to ensure that Israel lifts its blockade of Gaza.

Source

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Sufjan Smile

The go-along-to-get-along media



Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings' article "The Runaway General" shocked many with its on-the-record comments from Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his "team" deriding President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, as well as speaking frankly about the dismal state of the war in Afghanistan.

The fallout from the article left McChrystal out of a job, military officials defending their handling of the war and Obama pledging that the U.S. is in Afghanistan for the long haul.

But there was another reaction to Hastings' article--a loud chorus of establishment journalists who were critical of Hastings for having the audacity to print McChrystal's comments.

In other words, for doing his job.

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Socialist Worker

Most of the piece is under the cut, it's an amazing, concise criticism of the reaction to Hasting's article, and the moods and attitudes of the mainstream media with regards to war reporting and military relations. Matt Taibbi's quote being especially important. Everybody should read it, legit.
Janeway - Side

Gene Knockout Makes Female Mice Masculine

The mammalian fucose mutarotase enzyme is known to be involved in incorporating the sugar fucose into protein. Female mice that lack the fucose mutarotase (FucM) gene refuse to let males mount them, and will attempt copulation with other female mice. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Genetics created the FucM mouse mutants in order to investigate the role of this enzyme in vivo.

Chankyu Park worked with a team of researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and intriguingly gained some insight into the neurological basis of sexual preference. He said, "The FucM knockout mice displayed drastically reduced sexual receptivity, although pregnancy after forced mating attempts by normal sexually experienced males showed that the animals were fertile. The FucM knock-out mice have reduced levels of alpha-fetoprotein, a protein thought to be involved in development of parts of the brain responsible for reproductive behavior."

The mutant female mice were healthy, and behaved normally towards young mice. When approached by male mice, however, they would not adopt the sexually receptive 'lordosis' position. Furthermore, they lost interest in investigating male urine, unlike normal females, and would attempt to mount other females.

Speaking about the results, Park said, "We speculate that these behavioural changes are likely to be related to a neurodevelopmental change in pre-optic area of the female mutant brain , becoming similar to that of a normal male."

Source.
Link to research article. Looks like article is still in editing, though it is readable, which is odd. The journal is very low impact, and I've never heard of it before (though I don't do genetics research, so I'm not as familiar with journals in that field).

Years ago, they did similar work in drosophila. In a set of separate experiments, they were able to show female flies attempting to mate with other females, male flies attempting to mate with other males, and females performing male courtship dances to either males or other females, by altering the expression of one or two genes. It's interesting to see similar experiments being done in mammalian animal models.
Kermit

Thieves could go free while victim faces jail time

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. - Admitted thieves are going free, while an elderly Wheat Ridge man is facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars, all, he says, for trying to defend his property and his life.

82-year-old Robert Wallace said in February that he looked out his window and saw two men hooking his flatbed trailer up to their pickup. He yelled at them to stop, but they sped away, stealing his trailer. He told police he fired two shots at the pickup.

Minutes later, police say 32-year-old Damacio Torres dropped 28-year-old Alvaro Cardona off at a hospital emergency room with a gunshot wound to the face.

Torres did not stay to talk with police, but they caught up with him later. According to court documents, he admitted he and Cardona stole the trailer.

Wallace did not want to talk on camera, but when we asked him if the two men threatened him he said, "They almost ran me over."

The Jefferson County DA's office said that neither Torres nor Cardona have been charged with anything at this point, even though Torres confessed to the crime. However, the homeowner, Wallace is facing twelve felony counts, including four counts of attempted first degree murder. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Sources say Torres and Cardona are believed to be in the country illegally and both have an arrest record. Cardona's record includes public fighting and numerous traffic offenses like driving without a license or insurance. Torres's record includes agricultural trespassing as well as a 2005 arrest for aggravated motor vehicle theft for which he was given a plea bargain to a lesser crime. Sources say Torres is also under investigation for being part of a major auto theft ring.

Wallace is out on bond and due back in court in September to enter his plea.

Neighbors say the thieves should be the ones facing charges and Wallace should be given an award for protecting the neighborhood.

Source.
comedy | DAT ASS

Shenanigans Friday: July 9, 2010.

"All the contact I have had with LOLitics has left me feeling as though I had been drinking out of spittoons."--Ernest LOLingway

Please exploit these resources:
  • macro blanks: browse by ALBUMS
  • macro blanks: browse by TAGS
  • ROFLBOT (for your caption needs)

MOAR Picture Sources:



by karli_meaghan

The ONTD Political Book Club Community

Mods, it would be greatly appreciated if you post this. I received some interest in the Shenanigans Friday post, and I'd like to get the word out to as many people as possible.

Hi everyone. I've just created an ONTD Political Book Club community, which you can find here: community.livejournal.com/ontd_pbooks. An introduction and rules discussion post is currently up. We will be reading politically-based non-fiction, and any other interesting non-fiction that members are interested in. I encourage you all to join =)

Charged for revealing the truth

THE U.S. military is pressing criminal charges against a whistleblower for allegedly leaking information to the watchdog Web site WikiLeaks.org, including the video of an Apache helicopter strike in Baghdad that killed at least 12 civilians and caused a scandal for the Pentagon.

Pfc. Bradley Manning faces eight charges, including espionage, and could go to jail for more than half a century if found guilty.

All for the "crime" of exposing the unacknowledged crimes of the American military.

Manning has also been accused of turning over at least 150,000 diplomatic cables from the State Department to WikiLeaks--as well as encrypted video of another air strike, this one in Granai, Afghanistan, which killed 140 civilians. WikiLeaks has so far published only one such embarrassing cable, and it has not released the Granai video.

The 22-year-old Manning, who was stationed at a U.S. base east of Baghdad, was arrested by military authorities in May and has been in detention in Kuwait since. He was fingered to the military by a computer hacker named Adrian Lamo. Lamo claims that Manning started communicating with him online, and admitted to being the source of the WikiLeaks exposé.

But there's reason to doubt Lamo's story--not least because he was convicted of hacking into news and corporate Web sites and served a sentence of house arrest and probation that could leave him vulnerable to pressure by authorities.

The attempts to convict Manning in the press are bound up with the military's ongoing campaign against WikiLinks, a Web site founded three years ago to expose government and corporate wrongdoing by publishing information from whistleblowers. In addition to the explosive video of the Baghdad massacre, the site has published documents about toxic waste dumping in Africa and the military's practices at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp.

As Salon.com's Glenn Greenwald pointed out in a Democracy Now! interview, the U.S. Army's counterintelligence division prepared a report in 2008 identifying WikiLinks as a "threat to national security" and detailing possible ways to silence the Web site.

The main thrust was that if WikiLeaks' sources were exposed--and the perception created that it was dangerous to associate with the site--whistleblowers could be intimidated from turning over information. As Greenwald said:
That's exactly what has happened here. Suddenly, a 22-year-old private, who supposedly has access to vast amounts of classified information, contacts someone who's a complete stranger and over the Internet...[and] confesses to crimes that could send him to prison for the rest of his life...It's exactly what the U.S. military described it wanted to do in order to destroy WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange drew similar conclusions about the Pentagon campaign in an April interview on Democracy Now!. Assange pointed out that the 2008 report specifically uses the term "whistleblowers"--that is, people who leak classified information to expose an injustice--in identifying targets to investigate and prosecute. The aim, according to Assange, is to "destabilize us and destroy what [the Pentagon report] calls our 'center of gravity'--the trust that the public and sources have in us."

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Source: Socialist Worker
And let's have no whining about the source without reading the article this time, k peeps?
indignant

The psychic octopus sucks up to Spain

 The octopus said to have 'psychic powers' after predicting all of Germany's six World Cup games correctly, has had his say regarding the final in Johannesburg on Sunday – and it is good news for Spain. The two-year-old cephalopod, called Paul and based at the Sea Life Aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen, decided that Spain would win the final by going for the mussel in the box with a Spanish flag rather than the one with a Dutch flag on it.

Before that, he had predicted that Germany will emerge victorious from their third-place play-off against Uruguay on Saturday night.

The Weymouth-born octopus has become an international celebrity after picking the winner in each of Germany's World Cup games in South Africa, including the surprise defeat against Serbia in the group stage and the loss to Spain in the semi-final.

The Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said jokingly yesterday that he was prepared to offer state protection to Paul before today's performance, which was live on German TV. "I am concerned for the octopus ... I am thinking of sending him a protective team," he said.

The Spanish environment and fisheries minister, Elena Espinosa, added: "On Monday, I shall be at the European Council of Ministers and I shall be asking for a [fishing] ban on Paul the octopus so the Germans do not eat him."


Source

On a personal note: Paul, you and I are f@#king DONE professionally!!!
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    amused
Chanel #3

Krista Branch 'I Am America' Song Supports Tea Party


Krista Branch believes that she is America.
The Oklahoma mother of three and seventh season American Idol reject released a new single last month (for sale on iTunes), titled "I Am America." Branch's song is not related to the Stephen Colbert book by the same name, I Am America (And So Can You).



The single is a politically-charged ode to tea party values that strikes out at the movement's critics. Branch accuses them of looking down on a humble group of patriots:

Pay no attention to the people in the street
Crying out for accountability
Make a joke of what we believe
Say we don't matter 'cause you disagree
Pretend you're kings, sit on your throne
Look down your nose at the peasants below

Branch, the wife of a children's pastor, incorporates her Baptist faith into the song and warns that those who deride the tea party will have consequences to face when "judgment day" -- not "election day" -- rolls around:

I've got some news, we're taking names
We're waiting now for the judgment day

Branch's song, her fourth single, has won her the attention of Glenn Beck. The Fox News host played "I Am America" during his radio show on Wednesday morning.

Beck's decision to play Branch's song may be just what one very pleased iTunes customer had in mind :

"This is what America is all about - and this is artistry I can get behind 100%!"

The music video for "I Am America" splices together footage of Branch on a soundstage with scenes from a tea party protest. Biblical references, the Gadsden flag, and handwritten protest signs are included in the video.

Branch's husband posted the video to his YouTube channel. In the description of the video, he urges viewers to "support the NEW Conservative version of youtube," WooTv.us

NEW SUMMER ANTHEM?? Y/N
I've been trying to leave rational comments for this video but most have been (of course) marked as spam.


SOURCE
 

naruto [ sakura-chan ] sweet smile

Blizzard Scraps Plans To Display Real Names In [ WoW ] Forums

(For anyone who hasn't heard): Update to this post.


Following an overwhelmingly negative response from fans, Blizzard has decided not to implement the planned forum changes that would require players to post using their real names.

In a post by Blizzard staffer Nethaera on behalf of Blizzard CEO and president Mike Morhaime, the controversial changes have been reversed.

"I'd like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We've been constantly monitoring the feedback you've given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums."

Blizzard originally revealed its decision on Tuesday, after which the forums exploded with negative fan response. The response spilled out onto the internet at large, with many detractors going to extreme lengths to protest the changes, including posting the personal information of Blizzard staffers on Facebook and personal blogs, including the names and phone numbers of employees' friends and family.

Blizzard will still be going forward with other planned changes to the forums, including comment threading, a voting system that will allow users to downgrade or upgrade comments, and improved search functionality.

The post also notes that the Real ID system used in-game to help players communicate with one another will remain in place, and this decision will not affect plans in that area.

It bears noting that Morhaime's message does say "at this time," which is language echoed in a statement given us by Blizzard PR on the matter. Could the issue rear it's ugly head again? Perhaps, but for now, your identities are safe with Blizzard.

source
normal

Sharron Angle: "But It Sounds Good In Paper!"

Awesome Tea Party Tactic Not Working: "Not Good! Move Further To The Right! And Full Speed Ahead!!!"

Tea Party Darling Sharron Angle Struggles To Persuade Some Nevada Republicans

Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle may be the darling of the Tea Party movement, but within the Nevada GOP community, the conservative hopeful has been criticized as "a very difficult person," "an ultra-right winger" and someone the state "can't rely on" to be their representative in Washington.

A growing number of Nevada Republicans are expressing skepticism over Angle's Senate candidacy. Some are even signaling they may not vote for the GOP contender over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November.
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bitch please

Andrei Sakharov, Elena Bonner and Gilad Schalit

'Why doesn’t the fate of Gilad Schalit trouble you in the same way as does the fate of the Guantanamo prisoners?...'

Those marching for Gilad Schalit’s freedom will be passing the Gan Sakharov entrance to Jerusalem on Thursday. In the 1950s, Andrei Sakharov was awarded the Stalin Prize for his theoretical work on the hydrogen bomb. Appalled by the dangers of nuclear arms race and the heavy-handedness of the Soviet regime, he became a dissident devoted to human rights. He and his wife Elena Bonner were later exiled to Siberia. To show support for Sakharov, the Nobel Committee awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975.

In the spring of 2009, Bonner had this to say about Schalit in a speech she gave to the Nobel Committee, reprinted in this newspaper.

“Here is a question that has been a thorn for me for a long time. It’s a question for my human rights colleagues. Why doesn’t the fate of the Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit trouble you in the same way as does the fate of the Guantanamo prisoners?...

“... during the two years Schalit has been held by terrorists, the world human rights community has done nothing for his release. Why? He is a wounded soldier, and fully falls under the protection of the Geneva Conventions. The conventions say clearly that hostage-taking is prohibited, that representatives of the Red Cross must be allowed to see prisoners of war, especially wounded prisoners, and there is much else written in the Geneva Conventions about Schalit’s rights. The fact that representatives of the Quartet conduct negotiations with the people who are holding Schalit in an unknown location, in unknown conditions, vividly demonstrates their scorn of international rights documents and their total legal nihilism. Do human rights activists also fail to recall the fundamental international rights documents?”

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Yeah, the part about conditioning aid to Gaza is really off. Gilad is blameless, and so are civilians of Gaza who shouldn't have to suffer for the actions of Hamas.
www.jpost.com/Home/Article.aspx
aurora // once upon a time

Any more ~scandals~ & the CBC will produce a soap opera about the Canadian Forces.

Allegations topple Canada’s top commander in Haiti

OTTAWA—The most senior ranking Canadian military officer in Haiti has been relieved of command and is the subject of an internal investigation.
Col. Bernard Ouellette, who doubles as the chief of staff to the United Nations mission in the earthquake-battered country, is facing several allegations — including that he was involved in an inappropriate relationship.

A spokesman for Canada’s overseas command refused to discuss the allegations, saying an investigation was underway by the chain of command, but that Lt.-Gen. Marc Lessard decided it was best for morale of the small team to relieve Ouellette.
Lt.-Col. Chris Lemay, a spokesman for CEFCOM, would only say the allegation of an inappropriate relationship did not involve another member of the Canadian military.

Ouellette, who won praise for his cool handling of Canada’s relief effort following the massive earthquake that destroyed UN headquarters in Port au Prince, was at the end of a year-long deployment to Haiti and was relieved on June 26.

The latest case comes as the military continues to investigate Brig.-Gen. Daniel Menard, who was stripped of command in Afghanistan for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a female subordinate.
Lemay says Ouellette’s firing was not made public when it happened because he is considered a staff officer and Menard had a more high-profile public role. 

Source!

This is getting a bit ridiculous. You have to wonder how much removing those in charge affects the mission...hopefully since he was at the end of his deployment, not too much. I'm curious as to what the other allegations are though...
 


normal

(no subject)

"You live by the sword, you die by my AK-47 Moth3r F#ck3rs!!!" Gospel of The Kick-Ass American Bible, verse 26:5

Jonathan Wilkins, Baptist Tabernacle Minister, Files Lawsuit To Overturn Georgia Church Gun Ban

A minister in Georgia is challenging the state's ban on guns in churches after the U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a decision supporting Americans' right to keep and bear arms.

The Rev. Jonathan Wilkins accuses state officials of violating his First Amendment freedom of religion right and his Second Amendment right to bear arms. Wilkins' attorney John Monroe said Friday that the minister wants to carry a gun to church for protection considering church shootings over the years.

Wilkins is a minister at the Baptist Tabernacle in Thomaston in central Georgia. The lawsuit is being filed on his behalf as well as a handful of gun rights advocates.

The lawsuit was widely expected following the Supreme Court's decision.

movies | Impish Fräulein2

Michael Lohan Drops the F-Bomb on Fox News, makes Shep Smith clutch his pearl of monocles.

First, in the interest of context, here's video of the full interview. Shep grills Lohan on how they've raised Lindsay, his motivations for hitting the talkshow circuit after recent events,  and refers to Lindsay as a walking trainwreck. Scandalous. Unreal. Uh-mazin'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrHPW-f9dSk

GURL.


Lindsay's Father, Michael Lohan, Drops F-Bomb in Heated Exchange on Fox News
Lindsay Lohan's father became aggressive and agitated -- even using the ‘f-word’ to describe his frustrations with his public perception -- when the topic of his daughter’s three-month jail sentence came up during an appearance on Fox News’ “Studio B With Shepard Smith” on Thursday.

In a wide-ranging interview, Smith asked Michael Lohan about his reasons for allowing himself to be photographed smiling at a restaurant just hours after his daughter sobbed in a Los Angeles courtroom.


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Source | Pilfered from The Mothership.
Blah

No, Illegal Immigrants Do Not Kidnap and Behead Everyone In Arizona

If you have heard John McCain and Jan Brewer making hyperbolic claims of illegal immigrants kidnapping, murdering, raping, and beheading everyone and their brother in Arizona these days — their justification for the immigration law — then consider ignoring them?

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank, who usually spreads this unchecked conventional wisdom on a weekly basis, has written an excellent column debunking the myths of exponentially surging illegal immigrant violence along the border that right-wing Arizona politicians are shouting about all day, in order to justify that harsh, racial-profiling immigration law.

For example: Jan Brewer, the flustered Arizona governor, claimed last week on television, "Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded." But when this was fact-checked, "medical examiners in Arizona's border counties and the coroners said they had never seen an immigration-related beheading."

Moreover:

Two months ago, the Arizona Republic published an exhaustive report that found that, according to statistics from the FBI and Arizona police agencies, crime in Arizona border towns has been "essentially flat for the past decade." For example, "In 2000, there were 23 rapes, robberies and murders in Nogales, Ariz. Last year, despite nearly a decade of population growth, there were 19 such crimes." The Pima County sheriff reported that "the border has never been more secure."

FBI statistics show violent crime rates in all of the border states are lower than they were a decade ago — yet Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) reports that the violence is "the worst I have ever seen." President Obama justifiably asserted last week that "the southern border is more secure today than any time in the past 20 years," yet Rush Limbaugh judged the president to be "fit for the psycho ward" on the basis of that remark.


So poor Jan Brewer was not forced to sign this immigration bill into law because the hordes of beheading, kidnapping Mexican death monsters were surrounding her office and law enforcement needed emergency powers to shoo 'em out. And the more Brewer and McCain play up this threat of constant violence, the worse it is for Arizona's economy. And Arizona's economy is really really bad! Have you been there? Empty houses and whatnot, everywhere.

Source is pretty sure they don't rape the horses and ride off on the women either.
creepy but cute

Simulated kidnapping -- the new trend in tourism?



UNDERSEA yachts, five-star blimp hotels and simulated kidnapping experiences could soon be on traveller's must do lists.
Design concepts for such creative ideas have been showcased at the Tourism Futures conference in Brisbane. "Now that Virgin Galactic is hopefully going to have their first passengers in outer space as early as 2012 these kind of creative ideas are potentially going to become reality,’’ Craig Shim, Tourism Queensland marketing manager, said.

Mr Shim said a French company was already offering simulated kidnapping packages, in which people can pay to be abducted without warning, bound, gagged and imprisoned for between four and ten hours. "It allows you to experience the terror of the real thing,’’ he said. Nick Talbot, who is director of UK-based design and innovation company seymourpowell, said in the next 15 years you could see ``air hotels’’ like cruise ships in the sky in which you spend a week floating from Australia to London, stopping off at various destinations along the way.

"It would be a lucky few that could afford to do it but it would be a completely mind-blowing experience,’’ he said. Mr Shim also predicted a rise in ``iTravellers’’ who embrace location-based social networking websites such as foursquare and gowalla, which can be accessed on iPhones and BlackBerrys. The sites, which are described as a cross between a friend network and a city guide, allow you to receive information about a venue, reviews from friends and receive discounts if you “check in” online. People can also download applications which can translate menus into English instantly.

People will also be able to see 3D images of island resorts and do virtual walk-throughs via their mobile phones in a modern twist on travel brochures in what is known as "augmented reality’’. Mr Shim predicted travellers will remain more value-conscious than they were before the global financial crisis, which was good news for all-inclusive resorts such as Club Med and cruise ships, and seek more personalised experiences instead of mass-tourism experiences. 

As such there will be a rise in lifestyle hotels, which offer such things as “virtual concierges” to tailor recommendations of pubs and restaurants to match your personality before you arrive. More hotels will also cater to individual lifestyles, such as a hotel in Texas which re-fitted five rooms with such safety features as door alarms and gluten free menus for families with autistic children. Airports are also likely to become destinations in their own right, offering such things as factory shopping outlets, and travellers are likely to pass through them much quicker as a result of new security technology such as iris scanning machines, full-body X-ray machines and micro-chipped passports.

Source

This could never go wrong and cause an international crisis. I don't have any TGIF robot stories, but because I love you ONTDP, I would kidnap you and cuddle~