August 10th, 2010

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Series of Tubes to Be Less Socialistic and More Free Marketish!

Google-Verizon Pact: It Gets Worse

So Google and Verizon went public today with their "policy framework" -- better known as the pact to end the Internet as we know it.
News of this deal broke this week, sparking a public outcry that's seen hundreds of thousands of Internet users calling on Google to live up to its "Don't Be Evil" pledge.

But cut through the platitudes the two companies (Googizon, anyone?) offered on today's press call, and you'll find this deal is even worse than advertised.

The proposal is one massive loophole that sets the stage for the corporate takeover of the Internet.


Real Net Neutrality means that Internet service providers can't discriminate between different kinds of online content and applications. It guarantees a level playing field for all Web sites and Internet technologies. It's what makes sure the next Google, out there in a garage somewhere, has just as good a chance as any giant corporate behemoth to find its audience and thrive online.

What Google and Verizon are proposing is fake Net Neutrality. You can read their framework for yourself here or go here to see Google twisting itself in knots about this suddenly "thorny issue." But here are the basics of what the two companies are proposing:
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movies | The Sound of Music

ONTD_Political's PotD: August 9, 2010.


The 65th anniversary event at the site of the world’s first A-bomb attack echoed with the choirs of schoolchildren and the solemn ringing of bells Friday as Hiroshima marked the occasion. At 8:15 a.m. – the time the bomb dropped, incinerating most of the city – a moment of silence was observed.

On Aug. 6, 1945, during World War II, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. About 140,000 people were killed or died within months when the American B-29 “Enola Gay” bombed Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. Three days later, about 80,000 people died after the United States also bombed Nagasaki. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, ending World War II. To this day, the bombings remain the only time nuclear weapons have been unleashed.

The United States decided to drop the bombs because Washington believed it would hasten the end of the war and avert the need to wage prolonged and bloody land battles on Japan’s main island. That concern was heightened by Japan’s desperate efforts to control outlying islands such as Iwo Jima and Okinawa as the Allies closed in.
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Source:Other Galleries:
winslowned

85 Days to Decide: Democrats Roll Dice With Education Aid Vote



House Democrats are rolling the dice this week by returning from a recess that had barely begun to pass a $26 billion teacher jobs bill -- at a time when calls for fiscal restraint are dominating the campaign landscape.

Democrats and Obama administration officials say the package is paid for and will not add to the deficit. The bill, which is expected to pass, allows supporters to tout their role in saving tens of thousands of teachers and other government workers from being laid off before the start of the school year, and before the November election.

"This bill ... will help keep 160,000 teachers around the country in the classroom as we start school the next couple weeks rather than on the unemployment line," Education Secretary Arne Duncan told Fox News on Monday.

But at the same time, the vote takes members of Congress off the campaign trail to vote for yet another multibillion-dollar aid bill. And Republicans are not missing the opportunity to cite the looming vote as the latest example of Washington's addiction to spending -- something they claim they'll cure should they win back the majority in Congress.

"It amounts at this point in time to asking the citizens of responsible states like ours to subsidize those places who have been more reckless," Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told "Fox News Sunday." "It's probably not going to help the economy."

He described the continuing stream of state aid as a form of "trickle-down government" that is not spurring private job growth.

The bill is paid for with a cut to food stamps benefits and a tax increase on some multinational companies based in the United States. House Minority Leader John Boehner cited the provisions in claiming the jobs bill would have an adverse effect. Boehner said the vote just shows how oblivious Democrats are to concerns about spending.

"The American people don't want more Washington 'stimulus' spending -- especially in the form of a payoff to union bosses and liberal special interests," he said in a statement last week. "This stunning display of tone-deafness comes at the expense of American workers, who will be hit by another job-killing tax hike because Washington Democrats can't kick their addiction to more government 'stimulus' spending. Democrats should be listening to their constituents."

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, whose state reportedly is set to receive $250 million in education money from the bill, said that some of the "stimulus funding" has helped, but eventually it has to stop.

"I think it has to end soon because the federal government is running out of money," he said on CNN's "State of the Union." "We cannot continue to have all of the states rely on the federal government."

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, though, said that while the states do need to make cuts, the funding in the $26 billion package is necessary.

"This is not for bureaucracy. This is for people -- real people who need real help out here. And this bill was entirely funded," she said.

The state with the most to gain from the bill is California, set to receive $1.2 billion for education. The amount is projected to save up to 16,500 teacher jobs.

With California and other states still struggling to close gaping budget shortfalls, many lawmakers welcomed the congressional package. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said in a written statement that the money comes "just in time" for the start of the school year.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called lawmakers back to Washington last week after the Senate broke a GOP filibuster that paved the way for the bill's passage -- just days after the House went on recess.

The bill is meant to provide both teacher and Medicaid funding to the states.

Source

Thoughts?

ontd_con

(no subject)

From 'Real World' to politics



Film and TV stars have often tried to make the leap to the political stage.

But this year, two men who appeared on MTV's "Real World" in the past are running for political seats in New York and Wisconsin.

"I think it is great preparation for someone who wants to be in government and who wants to represent all the people in the district," "Real World" co-creator and producer Jonathan Murray told The Daily Beast about why their TV past may help them.

In Brooklyn's 10th District, Democrat Kevin Powell (who was on the MTV reality show's first season in NYC in 1992) is running against incumbent Edolphus Towns, while Sean Duffy (a "Real World" Boston 1997 alumn before he appeared on "Road Rules: All Stars" and later had stints on ESPN) is a Republican candidate -- backed by Sarah Palin -- in Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District.

"Notoriety is great, but it doesn't really mean anything if you don't actually use it to help people and that's my position and that's been my position for a very long time and I'm 44 years old," Powell told The Daily Beast. "I'm not that 25- or 26-year-old kid that was on MTV. I'm far from that at this point."

Source
Tiana

Southern Plantations Weren't So Romantic for Blacks

As you drive down I-75 in Georgia, bold billboards advertising "Plantation House" periodically pepper the landscape. Perched just off certain exit ramps are the plantation houses themselves: wide, white and fronted by columns. They're like a dream — aren't they?

Across the antebellum South, such plantation homes are the site of much tourist romanticization. The stately mansions conjure up the idea of lost causes, genteel living, dashing men with accents that flow like honey and alabaster-skinned women in ornate dresses.

Across the antebellum South, such plantation homes are the site of much tourist romanticization. The stately mansions conjure up the idea of lost causes, genteel living, dashing men with accents that flow like honey and alabaster-skinned women in ornate dresses.

But this vision of history is too easily divorced from the lives of the enslaved black people who made it possible.

Over the years, at least two white women have gushed to me: "I would just love to go back to that time!" Presumably, these women did not consider that for them to be "Scarlett" of Gone With the Wind, I would have to be a darkie working in the fields. My family would have to live in bondage as chattel — our very lives dependent on the whims of our masters. Life in the antebellum period wasn't simply colorful and romantic, it was dependent on free labor and the dehumanization of people of color.

more at source, race.change.org

Fear-mongering, but about something genuinely fucked up.

The Horror Show
By BOB HERBERT
Published: August 9, 2010

The employment situation in the United States is much worse than even the dismal numbers from last week’s jobless report would indicate. The nation is facing a full-blown employment crisis and policy makers are not responding with anything like the sense of urgency that is needed.

The employment data for July, released by the government on Friday, showed that private employers added just 71,000 jobs during the month and that the unemployment rate remained flat at 9.5 percent. But as bad as those numbers were, if you look beyond them you’ll see a horror show.

Government workers were walking the plank from coast to coast. About 143,000 temporary Census workers were let go, and another 48,000 government employees at the budget-strapped state and local levels lost their jobs. But the worst news, with the most ominous long-term implications, was that the reason the unemployment rate was not higher was because 181,000 workers left the labor force.

With many of them beaten down by the worst jobs situation since the Great Depression, they just stopped looking for work. And given the Alice-in-Wonderland way in which we compile our official jobless statistics, they are no longer counted as unemployed.

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Source

So, how many of you are in the 30 million without any or adequate work? What are your thoughts about this? Myself, I'm employed and have been for a year, but I'm convinced it's by a sheer fucking miracle. And regardless of our job status, what do we predict for the long-term situation of the unemployed and the poor in general? I rarely like the NYT's commentary on the economy since it's such a bastion of neoliberalism, but while this columnist doesn't advocate for genuine class consciousness among the people getting most fucked over by the situation he describes, I personally agree that if things continue this way for much longer, the US is going to be permanently destabilized. This could prove great for retooling the system in a positive way, but it could also provide opportunities for ultra-reactionary elements to seize control. I don't see this as a ~fall of Rome~ scenario per se, because I don't find it realistic to speculate about the real timeline of US global dominance, but I see problems like this as symptoms of a scenario that could lead to Something Really Fucking Big. Should we be hopeful, scared, or both?
Calvin & Hobbes: Hug

Analysis: Wa Afrika's arrest

The big questions behind Wednesday's melodramatic arrest of Sunday Times journalist, Mzilikazi wa Afrika, cast an ominous shadow over South Africa’s fragile grip on democracy.
 
As we write this, the exact whereabouts of Mzilikazi wa Afrika are still unknown. Erik van den Berg, lawyer for the Sunday Times, says they know he was booked into the Watervalboven police station at 5:30pm on Wednesday. Then he was booked out. He has not been booked in anywhere else in Mpumalanga. Needless to say, this uncertainty really gives this story the fear factor. No lawyer has yet been to see Wa Afrika. Is that what the country ruled by the “greatest liberation movement” in the world has come to? This is behaviour reminiscent of one of the worst kinds of government - the one we thought we had relegated to history in 1994.

Strangely, the spin side of “Operation Arrest Wa Afrika” has been much quicker. The Hawks' Musa Zondi (you ask why the Hawks were involved here - so do we) was on the radio, talking about Wa Afrika's arrest, claiming it was a normal operation and that the arrest had nothing to do with Wa Afrika's work as a journalist. Which then turned out not to be the case. In fact, he was arrested for receiving a fax that was supposedly Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza's resignation letter to SA President Jacob Zuma. After the Sunday Times checked with the Presidency and they claimed never to have received it, editor Ray Hartley decided not to run the story and it was spiked.

Perhaps someone realised that public perception matters when you arrest a journalist in the same way you would a serial killer armed with automatic weapons and on the run. But the awareness of public perceptions didn't go far enough to arrange for Wa Afrika's appearance in court or to let him see a lawyer immediately. If they needed to ask him a few questions, couldn't they just have followed due process? No spin doctor in the world can fix such crude conduct.

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Source: The Daily Maverick

OP: To see what you can do about this issue the 'I Wrote this for you' blog is requesting people to email the newspapers to question these actions. To find out more,
click here (you can scroll down to the bottom of the post to see what can be done).
BBT: Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

Breaking news: Newt Gingrich is a hypocrite!

In his recently published book and in speaking engagements, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich repeatedly warns that President Obama’s “secular, socialist machine” is threatening to destroy America by undermining the Judeo-Christian “values” upon which the country was built. But while Gingrich chastises the supposed erosion of values on the left, his past is tainted by his own contemptible value judgments, including numerous extra-marital affairs, and pressuring a divorce from his first wife while she lay stricken with cancer in a hospital bed.

In a new Esquire profile, Gingrich’s second wife Marianne — whom he cheated on with his current wife, Callista — breaks her twelve year silence on her relationship with Gingrich to reveal a portrait of man who understood the deep hypocrisy of his actions, but simply didn’t care:

He asked her to just tolerate the affair, an offer she refused.

He’d just returned from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he’d given a speech full of high sentiments about compassion and family values.

The next night, they sat talking out on their back patio in Georgia. She said, “How do you give that speech and do what you’re doing?”

It doesn’t matter what I do,” he answered. “People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.

Marianne, who was Gingrich’s “closest advisor” during his reign in the 1990s, went on to say that Gingrich “believes that what he says in public and how he lives don’t have to be connected.” But of course, as Gingrich himself demanded when he led a crusade to impeach President Clinton for personal infidelity, politicians’ private lives are inevitably connected to their public ones. Nonetheless, Gingrich has himself admitted to continuing his illicit affair with Callista — 23 years his junior — while simultaneously prosecuting Clinton’s adultery.

Perhaps Gingrich has no qualms about committing the sins he rails against because he doesn’t really believe in what he preaches. Esquire’s John Richardson notes that despite Gingrich’s apocalyptic rhetoric, when encountering radical conservative activists, Gingrich “over and over again…takes the long view and becomes the very soul of probity.” “I wouldn’t be able to describe what his real principles are,” former Republican Rep. Mickey Edwards said of the former speaker. “I never felt that he had any sort of a real compass about what he believed except for the pursuit of power.”

Source
peacock feather

Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens killed in plane crash

Former Senator Ted Stevens Is Killed in a Plane Crash

By LIZ ROBBINS

Former United States Senator Ted Stevens was killed in a plane crash in southwestern Alaska on Monday night, a former member of Mr. Stevens’s Congressional staff said on Tuesday.

There were nine people on board, and five were believed to have been killed in the crash, authorities said. Mr. Stevens, who had been the longest serving Republican in the United States Senate, was 86.

The body of Mr. Stevens was found just after daylight, according to the aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of respect to the family.

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Source

Mods, I'm sure this has been submitted about a zillion times, delete if necessary.
normal

Rand Paul is High Again. Pledges Allegiance To Her Majesty, The Queen: "Freedom is Overrated"

Rand Paul Denies Kidnapping, Says He Can't Remember The Rest

Rand Paul said on Fox News today that his lawyers would be all over GQ magazine if it wasn't for that pesky First Amendment. But he didn't completely deny yesterday's crazy tale of his college years published by the magazine, which included allegations of a "prank" in which Paul and a buddy picked up a female member of the swim team, blindfolded her, and forced her to kneel in a creek and pray to the god "Aqua Buddha."

"Well I'm not gonna really try and go back 27 years and remember everything I did in college," Paul told Fox News' Neil Cavuto when asked about the Aqua Buddha thing. "But the thing is, I don't think that, really, politicians should be asked to answer anonymous accusers from 27 years ago -- but I will categorically deny that I ever kidnapped anyone or forced anyone to use drugs."

Paul said that the idea that he kidnapped anyone -- which was widely reported across the media yesterday -- came from headline writers, not the GQ story itself. He pointed out that the woman who made the anonymous allegation to the magazine said that Paul and his friend "never hurt me," and "never did anything wrong."

Then he offered his plan to limit freedom of speech and took the predictable stab at the media.


"I think they deserve a lawsuit," he said of GQ. "The problem is that in our country, they make it almost impossible for politicians to win anything."


Paul suggested that it's at times like these that he wishes America were still under the boot of Her Majesty.

"In England it's easier to win a libel suit," he complained. Despite the limitations placed on libel law by America's written Constitution, Paul said his campaign hasn't "ruled out the possibility" of taking GQ to court.

Paul said the idea that he would kidnap anyone is "ridiculous" and he "absolutely" denied that he ever did. He took a few potshots at the anonymous accuser -- who GQ said didn't want to be named "because of her current job as a clinical psychologist" -- but Paul saved his harshest words for the media which he said made a mountain out of a molehill with the story.

"We used to have journalistic ethics in our country that you wouldn't report something from one anonymous source, particularly accusing someone of something like that," Paul said. "It's so ridiculous that i don't know where to start."
panda bear

(no subject)

Levi Johnston is "For Real" Running for Mayor of Wasilla!



Verne Rupright, the outspoken Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, is weighing in on recent news that Bristol Palin's ex-boyfriend Levi Johnston has plans in the works to run for the city's top administrative post in 2012.

"Well, it is a little early to declare," explained Rupright to Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday. "Usually most wait until the year the seat is up. But since I am nearly old enough to be Levi's grandfather I think it would be wise for him to get a high school diploma and keep his clothes on. The voters like that!"

Levi seems serious about running for the Wasilla mayorship. In a press release sent out by Entertainment Tonight, Levi said his campaign is "for real" and that wants to "change a few things."

Levi confirms he is running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska and he's ready to talk about his plans. On his intention to run for his hometown's highest office, he says "It's for real. I'm going to go there and do what I can. Obviously that's where I grew up and that's my home. It's always going to be home to me. [My son] Tripp's going to grow up there and I want to change a few things."


When the opportunity first came to him, he says, "I laughed, but the more and more I thought about it the more and more I looked into things. I do care and I do want to make a difference. Whether I win or not, I want Tripp to look up to me and see what I've done and be proud of his Dad."

Levi says he realizes there's a few things he'll need to do in the next 14 months to make his bid a success come October 2011, "Start with a high school diploma, maybe a run for city council and go from there."

Does he think he can fill Sarah Palin's shoes? "It's fun, but no way is it about the Palins, I'll tell you that."


source
Cheers

Man Changes Name To One Nation Under God

ZION (Sun-Times Media Wire) ― A Lake County judge on Friday approved a north suburban Zion man's petition to change his name to One Nation Under God.

Under God, formerly named In God We Trust and born with the name Steve Kreuscher, filed the petition June 1. He appeared before Associate Judge Helen Rozenberg last Friday for the hearing. She continued the matter for a week so she could think about it, Under God said.

"Last week, I really felt it (the name change) was going to go through," Under God said. "I'm relieved because it's been a long week of waiting."

Under God described his name change as a "calling" to return Americans to "One Nation Under God" by overturning the legalization of abortion.

"Jan. 22, 1973, is the day the nation murdered God," Under God said.

That is the date the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Roe v. Wade.

This is why Under God said he would not say the Pledge of Allegiance.

"I don't think we can as a nation, myself included. We don't have the right to the pledge until abortion is overturned," Under God said.

He called his two legal name changes "an artistic expression" of himself. He creates pieces of "mystic surrealism" and said he started signing his work with his new name starting July 4.

He said he has enjoyed watching people react to his name.

"I thought I was going to be teased a lot. Since my first name change (to In God We Trust), people started treating me with ultimate respect, like I was a minister or something," Under God said.

He said he plans to change his name a total of seven times. He is considering No Cross No Crown, Seven Seven Seven and Andgelical Zioneero for future name changes.

Source
Akuma River

Being an Internet Pirate means you are on par with a Terrorist

I'm not sure how many of you know this but NinjaVideo.Net has been shutdown by Homeland Security through ICE by a new copyright program called Operation: In Our Sites. It basically enables a multinational effort through Imigrations and Customs with the FBI and Homeland Security and allows them to raid your home, work, and confiscate your internet domain and money.

Unlike TVShack.Net which was just a raid on the domain and came back online as TVShack.CC NinjaVideo.Net was completely raided. The site is shut down, the site admins had their income taken by the federal government and they are facing serious time.

FBI Warning of Al Qaeda Hit Lists, Bomb-Making Tips Led to Shutdown of Blogging Site
Published July 19, 2010 | FoxNews.com

A popular website that hosted more than 70,000 bloggers was shut down suddenly last week after the FBI informed its chief technology officer that the site contained hit lists, bomb-making documents and links to Al Qaeda materials, it was reported on Monday.

When the WordPress platform Blogetery.com went dead, the initial explanation from the site's host, Burst.net, was that “a law-enforcement agency” had ordered it to shut down, citing a “history of abuse.” The explanation caused a wave of conspiracy theories in the blogosphere.

But according to a report on CNET Monday, Burst.net shut down Blogetery.com when it became spooked by a letter from the FBI, in which the bureau detailed the presence of terrorist materials among the blog posts.
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Thoughts?
LOLitics | SRS BZNSS

"Snooki to President Obama: Stop Lying About Me!"



Snooki is upset with President Obama.


Why?

It certainly has nothing to do with foreign policy, health care reform or any other such important matters.

She doesn't like that he's, well, lying about her... Collapse )

"I'm writing two books," she said. "One is the Snooktionary with all my sayings in it and the other one is the story of somebody going to Seaside Heights and everything that could happen to them."

We know what we're getting the president for Christmas.



SOURCE (as x-posted from ohnotheydidnt )
Fatpie42

If You're Left Wing And Have Some Criticisms Of Obama, You're Probably On Drugs

Robert Gibbs attacks the fringe losers of the left

By Glenn Greenwald


(updated below - Update II - Update III)

You may think that the reason you're dissatisfied with the Obama administration is because of substantive objections to their policies:  that they've done so little about crisis-level unemployment, foreclosures and widespread economic misery.  Or because of the White House's apparently endless devotion to Wall Street.  Or because the President has escalated a miserable, pointless and unwinnable war that is entering its ninth year.  Or because he has claimed the power to imprison people for life with no charges and to assassinate American citizens without due process, intensified the secrecy weapons and immunity instruments abused by his predecessor, and found all new ways of denying habeas corpus.  Or because he granted full-scale legal immunity to those who committed serious crimes in the last administration.  Or because he's failed to fulfill -- or affirmatively broken -- promises ranging from transparency to gay rights.
But Robert Gibbs -- in one of the most petulant, self-pitying outbursts seen from a top political official in recent memory, half derived from a paranoid Richard Nixon rant and the other half from a Sean Hannity/Sarah Palin caricature of The Far Left -- is here to tell you that the real reason you're dissatisfied with the President is because you're a fringe, ideological, Leftist extremist ingrate who needs drug counseling:
 
The White House is simmering with anger at criticism from liberals who say President Obama is more concerned with deal-making than ideological purity.

During an interview with The Hill in his West Wing office, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs blasted liberal naysayers, whom he said would never regard anything the president did as good enough.

"I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested," Gibbs said. "I mean, it's crazy."
The press secretary dismissed the “professional left” in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, "They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality."

Of those who complain that Obama caved to centrists on issues such as healthcare reform, Gibbs said: “They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president."
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(Opinion Piece Article)
(Their Main Source)
Cute cat

Pro wrestling's McMahon takes GOP Senate primary in Connecticut; Colorado Sen. Bennet wins

WASHINGTON - Appointed Sen. Michael Bennet won the Democratic nomination to a full term in Colorado Tuesday night, overcoming a fierce primary challenge at home and an outbreak of anti-establishment fever nationwide. In Connecticut, Linda McMahon easily captured the Republican Senate primary to join the slate of outsider-candidates who will carry the GOP banner this fall.

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