July 22nd, 2010


Six in Mexico get 25-30 years in jail for abortion

Mexico City, July 22 (IANS/EFE) Six Mexican women have been sentenced 25-30 years in prison on homicide charges for terminating their pregnancies.

The women have already served between three to eight years of their 25 to 30 year sentences handed down by state courts in Guanajuato state, activists said.

Veronica Cruz, director of the Centro Las Libres, which provides assistance to over 160 women facing abortion-related charges, said the organisation would appeal to the federal judiciary.

Of the six cases, one was a spontaneous abortion, two others were undertaken because of rape and the rest were for accidental pregnancies, Cruz said.

'All the men who got them pregnant abandoned them', she said.

Since the beginning of the decade, over 40 women have been put on trial for abortion, which is punishable by up to three years in prison under the penal code.

The legislation regarding abortion varies in Mexico's 32 separate jurisdictions. While in Mexico City it is legal, some states continue to treat abortion as a criminal offence.


Stone Age Discovery: Ancient Sex Toy?

Source has pictures for the super-curious:http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501465_162-20011242-501465.html

OK, let's not be shy about this. Swedish archeologists have uncovered a prehistoric artifact made out of antler bone that looks like a modern dildo.

The phallic-shaped object, which may be as much as 6,000 years old, measures twelve by two centimeters. But deciding what exactly they came up with is the hard part for archeologists.

Compared with findings at other Stone Age sites in Europe, experts say it is more common to find female fertility symbols, according to Gsran Gruber of the National Heritage Board in Sweden. In contrast, he noted, male fertility symbols are relatively rare.

Another Swedish archaeologist, Martin Rundkvist, cautioned that there were "many non-dildoish uses for which it may have been intended."

Still, he wrote on his blog "without doubt anyone alive at the time of its making would have seen the penile similarities just as easily as we do today. If it is actually a pressure-flaker for fine flint knapping, then this would tell us something about how such work was conceptualized in terms of gender."

The region where the artifact was found is rich in Mesolithic sites. Most of the excavations near Sweden's Motala River have turned up large numbers of bone and wood artifacts - mainly harpoon and leister points, according to Rundkvist.

I have to admit I almost died laughing at the phrase "non-dildoish".
Sufjan Smile

Calling All Future-Eaters

By Chris Hedges

“Melting Men,” a series of art installations created by Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo, has been adopted by environmentalists around the world to raise awareness of global warming.

The human species during its brief time on Earth has exhibited a remarkable capacity to kill itself off. The Cro-Magnons dispatched the gentler Neanderthals. The conquistadors, with the help of smallpox, decimated the native populations in the Americas. Modern industrial warfare in the 20th century took at least 100 million lives, most of them civilians. And now we sit passive and dumb as corporations and the leaders of industrialized nations ensure that climate change will accelerate to levels that could mean the extinction of our species. Homo sapiens, as the biologist Tim Flannery points out, are the “future-eaters.”

In the past when civilizations went belly up through greed, mismanagement and the exhaustion of natural resources, human beings migrated somewhere else to pillage anew. But this time the game is over. There is nowhere else to go. The industrialized nations spent the last century seizing half the planet and dominating most of the other half. We giddily exhausted our natural capital, especially fossil fuel, to engage in an orgy of consumption and waste that poisoned the Earth and attacked the ecosystem on which human life depends. It was quite a party if you were a member of the industrialized elite. But it was pretty stupid.

Collapse this time around will be global. We will disintegrate together. And there is no way out. The 10,000-year experiment of settled life is about to come to a crashing halt. And humankind, which thought it was given dominion over the Earth and all living things, will be taught a painful lesson in the necessity of balance, restraint and humility. There is no human monument or city ruin that is more than 5,000 years old. Civilization, Ronald Wright notes in “A Short History of Progress,” “occupies a mere 0.2 percent of the two and a half million years since our first ancestor sharpened a stone.” Bye-bye, Paris. Bye-bye, New York. Bye-bye, Tokyo. Welcome to the new experience of human existence, in which rooting around for grubs on islands in northern latitudes is the prerequisite for survival.

We view ourselves as rational creatures. But is it rational to wait like sheep in a pen as oil and natural gas companies, coal companies, chemical industries, plastics manufacturers, the automotive industry, arms manufacturers and the leaders of the industrial world, as they did in Copenhagen, take us to mass extinction? It is too late to prevent profound climate change. But why add fuel to the fire? Why allow our ruling elite, driven by the lust for profits, to accelerate the death spiral? Why continue to obey the laws and dictates of our executioners?

The news is grim. The accelerating disintegration of Arctic Sea ice means that summer ice will probably disappear within the next decade. The open water will absorb more solar radiation, significantly increasing the rate of global warming. The Siberian permafrost will disappear, sending up plumes of methane gas from underground. The Greenland ice sheet and the Himalayan-Tibetan glaciers will melt. Jay Zwally, a NASA climate scientist, declared in December 2007: “The Arctic is often cited as the canary in the coal mine for climate warming. Now, as a sign of climate warming, the canary has died. It is time to start getting out of the coal mines.”
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Source: TruthDig

Here's your feel-good article of the day ONTD_Political! I guarantee it'll give you a warm, comforted feeling that'll last you the rest of the week. Give it a read.


Greatest Press Conference Ever: Short, Quick, and Devoid of Human Intelligence

Angle holds three-minute press conference, then runs from questions.

Yesterday, after “dodging the press” for more than a month, Sharron Angle, the GOP Senate candidate running against Sen. Harry Reid (D) in Nevada, held her first press conference since her primary win in early June. However, it wasn’t much of a press conference because, like another GOP Senate candidate last month, she dodged reporters’ questions and rushed out the door of the building. The Las Vegas Sun reports:

In the warehouse of a family-owned clean diesel manufacturer in Sparks, Angle delivered a three-minute speech on her desire to permanently repeal the estate tax. When invited by the final speaker to stay and answer a few questions, she turned on her heel and rushed out a back door with a small cadre of staff members.

Reporters, including one who is six months pregnant, chased after her, calling out questions on unemployment benefits and other topics she has largely refused to address.

Watch it:

Angle may have been reluctant to answer questions since she spent her last interview calling unemployed Americans “spoiled.” Or perhaps she just knew that she would not have had an opportunity to plug her website and ask for campaign donations.

–Charlie Eisenhood
Warm tone butterfly (by fruitpunch_it)

David Cameron criticised over World War II history slip

David Cameron has been criticised after mistakenly saying the UK was the "junior partner" in the allied World War II fight against Germany in 1940.

He made the historical slip, neglecting the fact that the US had yet to enter the war, on the second day of his first trip to the US as prime minister.

Labour's David Miliband called it a "slight", while a veterans' group said it could "alienate" former troops.

No 10 said Mr Cameron had not meant to belittle the efforts of British troops.

Mr Cameron referred to the situation in 1940 during an interview with Sky News in which he was asked about the changing nature of the "special relationship" with the US and his meeting with President Obama on Tuesday.

'High regard'


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Update: BNP leader Nick Griffin NOT to attend Royal garden party

Nick Griffin is to attend a Buckingham Palace garden party despite protests by anti-fascist campaigners. [or not - see ETA]

The BNP leader received the invitation in his capacity as a Member of the European Parliament.

He was set to attend last year as a guest of a BNP London assembly member but pulled out after an outcry.

In an e-mail to supporters, Mr Griffin said he would be representing "a million British patriots who vote for this party".

But campaign group Unite Against Fascism said they were "opposed to Nick Griffin appearing anywhere in public", adding: "Events like this help to make Nick Griffin and the BNP seem legitimate in the eyes of racist voters."

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Or NOTBNP leader Nick Griffin will be denied entry to a garden party at Buckingham Palace "due to the fact he has overtly used his personal invitation for party political purpose through the media". (translation: "lol he's blown it")
Mr. T the Homo

Lieutenant Choi Is Officially Discharged From Army


Most people who’ve been following the civil-disobedience efforts of Lt. Dan Choi may have thought he was already discharged by the Army under “don’t ask, don’t tell”—the military’s 17-year-old ban on gays and lesbians serving openly. After all, he had come out as gay on The Rachel Maddow Show more than a year ago, and his discharge process began shortly after. But Choi had always been in bureaucratic limbo and had yet to receive any official, conclusive word that his days in the military were over.

Earlier this morning he got the call. It was from his commander at the 1/69 Infantry Regiment of the New York Army National Guard, and it was bad news. Choi had also just learned from another source that a letter had been received some time ago, with confirmed receipt by his father in Orange County, Calif., officially declaring him kicked out of the Army. “But my dad and I are not on speaking terms,” says Choi, who had not been informed of the letter by his family.Collapse )

Ian Tomlinson death: police officer will not face criminal charges

G20 riot officer filmed striking down newspaper seller will not face charges because of postmortem conflicts, CPS rules

The police officer who was caught on video striking a man during the G20 protests last year who later died will not face criminal charges, the Crown Prosecution Service announced today.

Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, said there was "no realistic prospect" of a conviction, because of a conflict between the two postmortems carried out after Tomlinson's death last year.

The newspaper seller died following the demonstrations on 1 April 2009 in central London. The official account that he died from a heart attack was undermined when the Guardian obtained video footage showing a riot officer striking the 47-year-old with a baton and shoving him to the ground shortly before he collapsed and died.

The director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, announced this morning that the police officer would not face a criminal trial.

The decision will enrage Tomlinson's family, who believe the officer's attack had contributed to the death. They had wanted a charge of manslaughter to be brought.

The family went to the headquarters of the CPS in London to be told of the decision. The police officer, who is suspended from duty, was told at the same time. He could still face disciplinary action.

Tomlinson had his hands in his pockets and his back to the officer when he was hit.The video footage suggests that no other police officer went to his aid and it was left to a bystander to lift him to his feet. He appeared to stumble about 100 metres down Cornhill, clutching his side, before collapsing a second time.

Police initially led Tomlinson's wife and nine children to believe he died of a heart attack after being caught up in the demonstration. In statements to the press, police claimed attempts by officers to save his life by resuscitation were impeded by protesters.

The first police account that he died from a heart attack was confirmed by a pathologist, Freddy Patel, in the initial postmortem.

But a second postmortem, conducted on behalf of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), found Tomlinson died from internal bleeding.

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Source: The Grauniad (video there)
Also, see this piece by the amazing Laurie Penny on the ruling @ New Statesman

No real surprises, just dull anger and hate. Fuck the police. Seriously.

ETA: Lawyers are challenging the decision - all hope's not lost quite yet.
franklin sherman

Infant is returned to blind couple after state places her in protective custody

Erika Johnson will never be able to see her baby, Mikaela.

But for 57 days she couldn’t keep her newborn close, smell her baby’s breath, feel her downy hair.

The state took away her 2-day-old infant into protective custody — because Johnson and Mikaela’s father are both blind.

No allegations of abuse, just a fear that the new parents would be unable to care for the child.

On Tuesday, Johnson still couldn’t stop crying, although Mikaela was back in her arms.

“We never got the chance to be parents,” she said. “We had to prove that we could.”

Tuesday, she and Blake Sinnett knew their baby was finally coming home to their Independence apartment, but an adjudication hearing was scheduled for the afternoon on whether the state would stay involved in the rearing of the baby. Then from a morning phone call to their attorney, they learned that the state was dismissing their case.

“Every minute that has passed that this family wasn’t together is a tragedy. A legal tragedy and a moral one, too,” said Amy Coopman, their attorney. “How do you get 57 days back?”

Arleasha Mays, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Social Services, said privacy laws prohibited her from speaking about specific cases. But she added, “The only time we recommend a child be removed is if it’s in imminent danger.”

Johnson said she knew the system eventually would realize its horrible mistake, but she often was consumed with sadness. Sinnett tried his best to keep Johnson hopeful.

For almost two months she and Sinnett could visit their baby only two or three times a week, for just an hour at a time, with a foster parent monitoring.

“I’m a forgiving person,” Johnson said, but she’s resentful that people assumed she was incapable.

“Disability does not equal inability,” she said.

Representatives of the sightless community agreed that people were well-meaning but blinded by ignorance.

Mikaela was born May 21 at Centerpoint Medical Center of Independence. The doctors let Sinnett “see” her birth by feeling the crowning of her head.

For Johnson, hearing Mikaela’s whimpers was a thrill. The little human inside her all these months, the one who hiccupped and burped, who kicked and moved, especially at night, was now a real person whom she loved more than anything else she’d ever imagined.

In her overnight bag was Mikaela’s special homecoming outfit, a green romper from Johnson’s mother, with matching bottoms and a baby bow.

Questions arose within hours of Mikaela’s birth, after Johnson’s clumsy first attempts at breast-feeding — something many new mothers experience.

A lactation nurse noticed that Mikaela’s nostrils were covered by Johnson’s breast. Johnson felt that something was wrong and switched her baby to her other side, but not before Mikaela turned blue.

That’s when the concerned nurse wrote on a chart: “The child is without proper custody, support or care due to both of parents being blind and they do not have specialized training to assist them.”

Her words set into motion the state mechanisms intended to protect children from physical or sexual abuse, unsanitary conditions, neglect or absence of basic needs being met.

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News from the Past: President Truman Imposses Integration of the Armed Forces with Blacks and Jews!

"Majority of the Country and the Military Opposes Totalitarian Policy!", "If You Allow Them to Serve, The Axis Powers Will Win!", "President Truman is a Sekret Socialist Freemason Yankee!"

EXCLUSIVE: New Docs Show Truman Integrated Forces, Despite Military Objections (See DOCUMENTS)

Earlier this month, as part of the year-long Defense Department review of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, the Pentagon distributed surveys to some 400,000 servicemembers to gauge their reaction to repealing the policy. While LGBT groups have characterized the questionnaire — which asks the troops to speculate on the sexuality of fellow servicemembers — as “derogatory and insulting,” the Pentagon continues to insist that they need to know what the troops are thinking in order to properly repeal the ban. “How do we identify beforehand the problems, the issues, and the challenges that we’re going to face? The kind of training requirements we’re going to need, the kinds of changes in regulations, the impact on benefits — all of these things need to be addressed in advance…. That’s where we want to hear from you all,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates told troops stationed in South Korea.

Earlier this week, the Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld reported, contrary to prior reports, that this is not the first time the military had surveyed the troops. “Prior to President Truman’s 1948 executive order integrating the armed forces…our preliminary research shows that branches of the armed forces undertook a number of modestly sized surveys of the attitudes of enlisted and nonenlisted troops concerning racial issues, integration, and morale,” Eleveld quoted a Defense Department spokesperson as saying.

Following this lead, the Wonk Room traveled to the National Archives and recovered some of the surveys the military conducted about the troops’ attitudes towards black and Jewish people between 1942 and 1946. At the time, the military — along with the overwhelming majority of the country — opposed integrating black servicemembers into the forces and preferred a ’separate but equal’ approach that would have required the military to construct separate recreation spaces and facilities. The survey about Jews was no more promising, with 86% of the soldiers agreeing that “there is nothing good about Jews“:
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God Bless Milwaukee

A Milwaukee political candidate wants to use an expletive on the ballot.

State Assembly candidate Ieshuh Griffin is running as an independent candidate.  Independent candidates can place a statement on the ballot under their name and Griffin wants hers to say "not the white man's bitch".

Griffin said it sums up her political philosophy and is a term her constituents identify with. "Freedom of speech also includes the freedom to dissent and the freedom to express the truth," Griffin told WKOW in Madison.

The Government Accountability Board in Madison voted 3-2 in Griffin's favor, but she needed four votes to keep her statement on the ballot.

Kevin Kennedy, a member of the government accountability board voted against the expletive on the ballot. "This is a public document that gets put out to the voters. And our initial reaction was that this wasn't the type of statement contemplated by the Legislature," Kennedy said.

Griffin said she plans to sue in federal court and wants the election delayed until a decision is made.


Examiner article: Science investment keeping manufacturing alive in Michigan

Examiner.com: Investment in science and technology keeping manufacturing "alive and well in Michigan"
By Vince Lamb, Detroit Science News Examiner

While the auto industry has gone through a massive transformation that cut jobs, 11,000 Michigan firms still employ more than 381,000 people in highly productive advanced manufacturing jobs---nearly two-thirds of the state's manufacturing base, according to a study (PDF) issued Wednesday by Michigan's University Research Corridor (URC). The report, prepared by East Lansing-based-Anderson Economic Group (AEG), documents Michigan's particular strengths in research-related advanced manufacturing. One-third of the research and testing jobs in the Midwest are in Michigan and more than half of the state's advanced manufacturers are seeing productivity gains exceeding the U.S. average while employing 10 percent of the state's workforce.

"This report provides, in great detail, hard evidence that manufacturing is alive and well in Michigan today, and that much of the manufacturing now done in Michigan is high-tech, high productivity advanced manufacturing,'' said AEG founder Patrick Anderson in a press release issued simultaneously by the URC and the URC's three member institutions, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. Anderson further noted that as jobs have been cut or moved to lower-wage markets, the state has been unfairly "saddled with a reputation for being very good at something that is no longer relevant, modern or particularly useful in the 21st century."

URC investment in manufacturing

The report noted the URC invested more than $101.9 million in advanced manufacturing reseach and development and had active research awards of more than $425 million during Fiscal Year 2009. It also pointed out that all three URC member institutions support advanced manufacturing at every step of the product development lifecycle from the idea stage through design and testing to commercialization and business operations.

Wayne State University President Jay Noren stressed, "This report does an excellent job of describing in detail the URC's role in the advanced manufacturing process, from research and development through the education of tomorrow's leaders and innovators in present and emerging tech-tech fields--a comprehensive network of support that will pay off for all sectors of Michigan's economy."
Details and more quotes at the link in the headline.

While I didn't scoop the Detroit News, I provided more details. I also beat the Detroit Free Press with this story (Michigan news and Michigan business).

Yes, I wrote this article myself.

What The Fuck Is This Shit?

Chile: Catholic Church defends proposal to include military in pardons

SANTIAGO - The Chilean Catholic Church defended its proposal to include a pardon to soldiers convicted of crimes against human rights during the dictatorship [of Augusto Pinochet], sparking an intense debate in Chile, while President Sebastián Piñera received on Thursday a proposal by the Evangelicals.

The president of the Episcopal [Catholic] Conference, Alejandro Goic, told radio Cooperativa that the Church has maintained and kept "defending human rights, but also must have a capacity for forgiveness and mercy." "They wanted us to call to hatred? We call to forgiveness because that is essential", the priest added.

To Goic, "the Church has always upheld the truth and justice, but that's not enough to heal the wounds of a society, so a drop of love and mercy will always be necessary."

The Episcopal Conference of Chile made its proposal to the President Sebastián Piñera for a pardon for prisoners to mark the bicentenary of independence, which falls in September, and calls for not exempting military personnel involved and sentenced for violating human rights during the Pinochet dictatorship.
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Ugh, I don't even. Violators of human rights do not fucking deserve cuddling or forgiveness or any of that shit. And since I'm feeling cynical today, I'm going to say Pinera's gonna let this shit happen, and then give a really Menem-esque speech about "reconciliation and healing old wounds" and other bullshit like that.

Africa's child-witch hysteria

Africa's child-witch hysteria
A new UNICEF report says accusations of child witchcraft are on the rise in Africa — leaving kids vulnerable to abuse, abandonment, and horrific "exorcisms"
posted on July 21, 2010, at 7:53 PM
Accusations of child witchcraft are on the rise in Africa.

According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), accusations of child witchcraft are on the rise in several African countries — with horrifying consequences. Reportedly, kids who are branded "child witches" are being subjected to tortuous "exorcisms." Some have been set on fire, had so-called "healers" pour petroleum into their eyes and ears, or even been killed. Children as young as three years old have been thrown out of homes by their parents and left to fend for themselves in the bush. What exactly is happening here, and what can be done to stop it? (Watch a short documentary about Africa's child witches)
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Again and again...

Hugo Chavez says Venezuela to sever ties with Colombia

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said his country will sever diplomatic ties with Colombia over claims he harbours militants.

"We have no other choice but to totally break our relations with our brother nation of Colombia," he said on TV.

Bogota says it has evidence Venezuela provides a haven for guerrillas - a charge Caracas denies.

Mr Chavez said the US was using Colombia to undermine his country's regional integration efforts.

A US official was quoted by AFP news agency as saying Venezuela breaking ties with Colombia was not a "proper way" to raise concerns.

Colombia earlier recalled its ambassador and formally complained to the Organization of American States (OAS).

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Lula says he will mediate dispute between Chávez and Uribe

Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez broke ties with Colombia on Thursday (23). Presidential advisor Marco Aurélio Garcia is optimistic about a reconciliation.

Brazilian presidential advisor for International Affairs Marco Aurélio Garcia expressed regret on Thursday (22) that Venezuela has decided to break diplomatic relations with Colombia. Garcia said Brazil will negotiate with both countries a solution to the dispute. Garcia said, without providing details, that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called the presidents of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez and of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, to discuss the issue.

"I think it's unfortunate, but we are convinced that as soon as Colombia establishes its new government, these things will be resolved immediately. Brazil is helping and will continue to help by speaking to both parties", said Garcia.

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Colombian diplomats have 72 hours to leave

Oh, to live in South America. Here we go again...

U.N. Court Rules Kosovo Declaration Was Legal

PRAGUE — Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law, the United Nations’ highest court said Thursday in a ruling that Kosovo heralded as a victory but that legal experts warned could spur separatist movements around the world.

Legal experts emphasized that while the court had ruled that Kosovo’s declaration of independence was legal, it had scrupulously avoided saying that the state of Kosovo was legal under international law, a narrow and carefully calibrated compromise that they said could allow both sides to declare victory in a dispute that remains raw even 11 years after the war there.

Political analysts said the advisory opinion, passed in a 10-to-4 vote by the court judges, is likely to spur other countries to recognize Kosovo’s independence. Of the 192 countries in the United Nations General Assembly, so far only 69, including the United States and a majority of European Union nations, have recognized Kosovo.

Reading the nonbinding opinion, whose political consequences could reverberate far beyond Kosovo, Hisashi Owada, president of the International Court of Justice, said that international law contained no “prohibition on declarations of independence” and consequently that Kosovo’s declaration “did not violate international law.”

Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leadership welcomed the court’s decision.

“This is a great day for Kosovo, and my message to the government of Serbia is ‘Come and talk to us,’ ” Kosovo’s foreign minister, Skender Hyseni, said after leaving the court, The Associated Press reported.

But Serbia was adamant it would never recognize what it had previously called a false state, while Russia, one of its staunchest allies, insisted the court’s decision did not provide a legal basis for Kosovo’s independence.


The New York Times has the entire article.

(lj is acting flaky for me, so if my tags don't show up, I tried, I really did!)

Satan Declares There is No Place Evil Enough for Don Blankenship in Hell: I am Stump!

Massey CEO Blankenship On Mine Disaster: No Regrets

Don Blankenship, whose Upper Big Branch coal mine had been cited hundreds of times for safety violations before it blew up in April killing 29 workers, came to the National Press Club on Thursday to face the Washington press corps -- but not in order to express contrition.

Oh, no. There was none of that.

Instead, the Massey Energy CEO, widely considered to be the most arrogant and dangerous man in a dangerous and dying industry, lectured the assembled throng about global poverty, preventable disease, the national debt, highway deaths, physics, the relationship between facts and happiness -- and oh, yes, the need for the federal government to get off his back.

In hindsight, is there nothing Blankenship would have done differently before the worst mine disaster in 40 years? No.

Well, maybe one thing.

"What I could have done is be more like I normally am, and sued MSHA [the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration] the first time they turned off a scrubber, instead of waiting until they turned off 43," Blankenship said.

In what he insisted at the time was not an act of retaliation, Blankenship sued MSHA last month for disapproving the use of scrubbers to take coal dust out of the air.

Blankenship said hesitating wasn't like him. But, he acknowledged, such lawsuits "get you a terrible reputation of being unreasonable."
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Update: Hate Church Targets Comic-Con

Don't We All?

Don't We All?Targeted for a demonstration by the tantrum-throwing hate whores of the Westboro Baptist Church, Comic-Con's cosplayers fought fire with fire - very clever fire - in San Diego this afternoon.

Rewind: Westboro Baptist - basically, they're piece-of-shit griefers known for disrupting military funerals with their "God Hates Fags" picket lines, last week said they were picketing Comic-Con, I guess because it represented the idolatrous worship of demigods like J'onn J'onzz and Ant-Man. A counterprotest quickly organized , seeking to raise money for donation to two comic-related philanthropies. That's what you're seeing here.

Congratulations to the counterprotest participants and especially the organizers, for pulling off such a spectacular victory over hate with irony and class, not to mention a wink and a smile.

The SDCC "God Hates Fags" Counterprotest Had the Best, Nerdiest Signs Ever [io9]

Send an email to the author of this post at owen@kotaku.com.

source: kotaku.com/5594177/dont-we-all

MISC - moustache

Life-threatening flash floods in Milwaukee and southern Wisconsin

A line of strong thunderstorms late this afternoon and this evening hit areas from Jefferson and Waukesha counties east to Milwaukee's east side, dropping near-record rainfall, flooding streets, closing freeways and stalling traffic in all directions.

And Round Two is now hitting Waukesha and Milwaukee counties.

The National Weather Service said there is at least one confirmed tornado touched down with storm watchers spotting it near Palmyra, Muskego and Wind Lake moving eastward at 30 mph. Another tornado touched down in Milton, near Whitewater.

Weather forecasters weren't sure yet whether the storm would officially break the overall Milwaukee record for a one-day total of 6.81 inches, set during the flash flood on August 6, 1986. But a rain gauge at the WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) studios on E. Capitol Drive was registering more than 7 inches by 8 p.m.

The storm, which pounded areas north of I-94 for most of the afternoon and early evening, is now hitting areas south of I-94 in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties with torrential downpours.

more text at source

A car sits in sink hole that formed at the corner of Oakland and North avenues.

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This is really scary shit. I'm an hour west of Milwaukee and we just spent an hour bailing water out of our basement while this was happening over in MKE. They've got more coming, it's only gonna get worse overnight.
MISC - moustache

Physician, Alzheimer's-stricken wife commit suicide

A few days before he committed suicide with his wife of 53 years, Daniel Gute, a retired physician, wrote a note explaining their mutual decision to die.

The two-page handwritten letter is dated July 16, and it is signed by both Gute and his wife, Katherine, whom he calls "Kitty." Kitty Gute had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease more than a year before.

The note describes Kitty Gute's failing health, daily indignities and chronic pain. It touches on their determination not to allow the vibrant life they had shared come to an end in a nursing home, where they feared their deaths would be no better than dragged out and wrested from their control.

"I am hoping that sometime this weekend I will have the guts to act to deliver us both from a more dismal situation," he writes.

"I have been thinking about this for a long time. It will not be easy. However, as time goes by it will not get any better."

One of their three daughters, Mary Witte, found Daniel and Kitty Gute's bodies Sunday.

The two were inclined toward each other in the front seat of Kitty Gute's car, which was parked in the garage of their River Hills home. They had asphyxiated themselves with helium, an inert gas they pumped into plastic bags that covered their heads.

Kitty Gute was 78. Daniel Gute would have turned 80 on Aug. 4.

A search of their home made clear that the Gutes had been planning their deaths for years. Besides numerous suicide notes, investigators found several pieces of literature associated with the right to die movement, including a DVD of Derek Humphry's "Final Exit," as well the book "To Die Well" by Sidney Wanzer, a physician whose wife had been close friends with Kitty Gute when they were in college.

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