August 27th, 2010


Laura Ingraham flips out when guest brings up NYC cabbie's stabbing

Wouldn't you know it: For the entire day yesterday, Fox News -- for all of its copious coverage of the NYC mosque controversy and Tiger Woods' divorce -- somehow couldn't see fit to run any kind of coverage at all about the stabbing of that Muslim New York cabbie.

Indeed, when Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer brought it up as an example of the kind of viciousness being stirred up by Fox News on The O'Reilly Factor, fill-in host Laura Ingraham completely flipped out and began shouting over him, declaring that "we haven't confirmed that yet."

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movies | Impish Fräulein2

"We Can't Say The Name Of This Song. Do We Like It?"

Video NSFW due to language.

by Maura Johnston and Jay Smooth

If you've been on the internet since last Friday, you've probably already heard the new song by Cee Lo, or maybe watched its very simple video, which features the song's extremely profane lyrics bouncing by in a stylized font over a colorful background (warning: video contains audio AND spelled-out images of four-letter words).Some people love the song. Some people think it’s simply a gimmick — a novelty song not worth all of the attention it’s getting. And it is getting a lot of attention.So much so that our Pop Off team —  music writer Maura Johnston and Jay Smooth of — decided to weigh in.

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Believe it or not, this is a GREAT topic and warrants a SRS conversation. Have a listen to the song and leave your thoughts on everything pertaining to implied gender constructs to notions of public decency/profanity. Not bolding a damned thing because it's a pretty straight-forward format.

NGL, I find the tune catchy as hell and haven't personally identified a reason to feel guilty about this being my primary reaction.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

You go, Jimmy

NKorea releases American imprisoned since January

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter flew out of North Korea on a private jet Friday after securing a special pardon for an American who had been jailed in the communist country since January.

Carter and Aijalon Gomes, 31, were expected to arrive in Boston later Friday to be reunited with Gomes' mother and other family members, Carter spokeswoman Deanna Congileo said in Atlanta late Thursday.

In Washington, the State Department welcomed the news of Gomes' release.

We "are relieved that he will soon be safely reunited with his family," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. "We appreciate former President Carter's humanitarian effort and welcome North Korea's decision to grant Mr. Gomes special amnesty and allow him to return to the United States."

North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency said Carter and his party left Friday following a three-day trip that included an appeal for Gomes' release and "open-hearted" discussions about North Korea's nuclear program.

KCNA said Carter held cordial talks with North Korea's No. 2 official, Kim Yong Nam, who relayed Pyongyang's interest in resuming the six-nation disarmament talks and reiterated the regime's commitment to denuclearization.

However, there was no indication that Carter met with Kim Jong Il, who was making a surprise trip to China during the rare visit by an American dignitary to the North Korean capital. A year ago, Kim sat down for talks and a well-publicized photo with former U.S. Preisdent Bill Clinton when he went to Pyongyang on a similar journey to negotiate the release of two American journalists.

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W00t, go Jimmy!

...and also, do not read the comments at the source, not unless you want to risk throwing your computer out the nearest window.

Inside the secret world of Trader Joe's

By Beth Kowitt, reporterAugust 23, 2010: 1:16 PM ET

FORTUNE -- Apple's retail stores aren't the only place where lines form these days. It's 7:30 on a July morning, and already a crowd has gathered for the opening of Trader Joe's newest outpost, in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. The waiting shoppers chat about their favorite Trader Joe's foods, and a woman in line launches into a monologue comparing the retailer's West Coast and East Coast locations. Another customer suggests that the chain will be good for Chelsea, even though the area is already brimming with places to buy groceries, including Whole Foods and several upscale food boutiques.

But Trader Joe's is no ordinary grocery chain. It's an offbeat, fun discovery zone that elevates food shopping from a chore to a cultural experience. It stocks its shelves with a winning combination of low-cost, yuppie-friendly staples (cage-free eggs and organic blue agave sweetener) and exotic, affordable luxuries -- Belgian butter waffle cookies or Thai lime-and-chili cashews -- that you simply can't find anyplace else.

Employees dress in goofy trademark Hawaiian shirts, hand stickers out to your squirming kids, and cheerfully refund your money if you're unhappy with a purchase -- no questions asked. At the Chelsea store opening, workers greeted customers with high-fives and free cookies. Try getting that kind of love at the Piggly Wiggly.

It's little wonder that Trader Joe's is one of the hottest retailers in the U.S. It now boasts 344 stores in 25 states and Washington, D.C., and strip-mall operators and consumers alike aggressively lobby the chain, based in Monrovia, Calif., to come to their towns. A Trader Joe's brings with it good jobs, and its presence in your community is like an affirmation that you and your neighbors are worldly and smart.

The privately held company's sales last year were roughly $8 billion, the same size as Whole Foods' (WFMI, Fortune 500) and bigger than those of Bed Bath & Beyond, No. 314 on the Fortune 500 list. Unlike those massive shopping emporiums, Trader Joe's has a deliberately scaled-down strategy: It is opening just five more locations this year. The company selects relatively small stores with a carefully curated selection of items. (Typical grocery stores can carry 50,000 stock-keeping units, or SKUs; Trader Joe's sells about 4,000 SKUs, and about 80% of the stock bears the Trader Joe's brand.) The result: Its stores sell an estimated $1,750 in merchandise per square foot, more than double Whole Foods'. The company has no debt and funds all growth from its own coffers.

You'd think Trader Joe's would be eager to trumpet its success, but management is obsessively secretive. There are no signs with the company's name or logo at headquarters in Monrovia, about 25 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Few customers realize the chain is owned by Germany's ultra-private Albrecht family, the people behind the Aldi Nord supermarket empire. (A different branch of the family controls Aldi Süd, parent of the U.S. Aldi grocery chain.) Famous in Germany for not talking to the press, the Albrechts have passed their tightlipped ways on to their U.S. business: Trader Joe's and its CEO, Dan Bane, declined repeated requests to speak to Fortune, and the company has never participated in a major story about its business operations.

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LOLitics | Rahm and Colbert

Shenanigans Friday: August 27, 2010.

"True TerLOLror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country."--Kurt VonneLOLgut Jr.

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

MOAR Picture Sources:

posted by afa_mom

*dies laughing*

Rep. Eric Cantor: We'll Repeal Obamacare On Day One Of New GOP House Majority

Yeah, and then the Republicans will override Obama's veto with their 2/3 majority in both houses? Gerl, get GONE with that mess.

  • merig00

The Ray Bradbury video tribute I never expected to see

A little under two years ago I wrote an appreciation of the American fantasy author and short story master Ray Bradbury. It was, I thought, a pretty nice tribute; a way of thanking Bradbury in public for all the pleasure he's given me since I first discovered his work in my teens.

It seemed to me to be the perfect way to set out my stall. Surely there could be no more fitting way to declare admiration for a writer than with words, I thought. I was wrong. I had also thought that there was nothing left for the internet to present to me that would truly boggle my mind, cause my jaw to drop. I was wrong on that score, too – for I had yet to see comedian Rachel Bloom's video of her song, written to mark the 90th birthday, which he celebrates today, of my favourite writer. It surpasses my piece in ways and on levels on which I could never hope to compete. It is, you see, called Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury.

Here's the link for Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury on YouTube. If you're anywhere near work colleagues, elderly relatives, small children or nonagenarian science fiction writers, I feel I must warn you in advance that you view it at your own peril. If none of those apply, fill your boots. Best put down any hot drinks first, mind.

If you're not able to view it, the video is done in the style of a teen pop song, with Bloom in the Britney Spears role. She is sitting in her bedroom taking a call from a caveman-ish beau, who is keen to squire her on an evening of entertainment, perhaps to the cinema or somesuch diversion.

But Bloom has a better idea. She's staying in, not to wash her hair, but to read. And her favourite author is none other than Bradbury, author of Dandelion Wine and The Martian Chronicles. And she loves him so much that, well. As it says on the tin. Something Wicked This Way Comes, indeed.

It's slick, neat and hilarious. Other pop songs have referenced pop-culture celebrities in this way, of course, but Bloom's effort has less to do with Pop Will Eat Itself's Can U Dig It? and its refrain in tribute to the band's fave graphic novelist, "Alan Moore knows the score", and falls more in the camp of Half Man Half Biscuit's "Fuckin' Hell It's Fred Titmuss".

Rachel Bloom's facebook fan page lists her as "an actor/writer/comedian living in New York City", and goes on to divulge that she "hosts a monthly standup show called "Annette Funicello's Beach Party" every last Monday of the month".

There's a photo of Bradbury allegedly watching the video circulating on the internet. He certainly looks suitably gobsmacked, but his reaction has not yet been officially verified. The odds are, though, that it's certainly the most inventive 90th birthday present he's received, and from the looks of him it probably raised his temperature somewhat - perhaps even to Fahrenheit 451.

If anyone can top that as a tribute to their favourite writer, I really would like to see it.


The vido (NSFW):

Supposedly picture of Ray Bradbury watching the video tribute

And I can't find any appropriate tags :(
Kronk Fly Swat
  • calybe

Norht Korea's reclusive Kim on unexpected China visit

JILIN, China — North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il has turned up in China in a strangely timed visit for the reclusive leader while former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is in North Korea trying to win the release of an imprisoned American.

It marked Kim's second trip to China in three months — unusual for a man who never flies and travels only by armored train.

South Korean media and regional analysts said he may be seeking Chinese aid following flooding in his impoverished country's northwest — and could be laying the diplomatic ground work for the succession of his son, who is thought to be traveling with him.

In any case, it was unclear whether he would return in time for a meeting with Carter, an elder statesman well-regarded in North Korea despite the two countries' longtime animosity. Carter met with Kim's father, late President Kim Il Sung, on his last trip to Pyongyang in 1994 — a warm meeting that led to a landmark nuclear disarmament deal.

Neither country announced the trip; Kim's travels typically are not publicized by North Korea until after his return.
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Associated Press writer Jean H. Lee and Kwang-tae Kim in Seoul and AP researcher Zhao Liang in Beijing contributed to this report.

Source: Associated Press
Stock - Pink Sakura

Oh Missouri

Judge gives go-ahead on adult business restrictions

New restrictions on sexual businesses in Missouri will take effect tomorrow after a judge denied a request to block the law.

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem said today sexually oriented businesses likely will suffer economic loss as a result of the law. But he said that alone does not affect the legal analysis of the constitutional claims.

Beetem said sexually oriented businesses failed to prove their lawsuit likely will succeed and that they face irreparable harm by allowing the law to take effect.

The new law requires strip clubs and adult video and book stores to close by midnight. It bans full nudity, alcohol, minors and touching between semi-nude employees and customers. And it also limits where new sexually oriented businesses can be located.

In Columbia, Gene Gruender, owner of Passions Video Inc., an adult video and novelty store, said he expects the Missouri Association of Club Executives and others in the industry to continue to fight the ruling in court. Still, beginning tomorrow, they’ll be forced to comply with the new rules, which, he believes, will cripple the industry.

“A lot of people are going to lose their jobs,” Gruender said. “The unemployment rolls are going to swell.”

At particular issue in the lawsuit adult business owners filed was the legislature’s procedure for estimating how much the law would cost the state and local governments. The lawsuit claimed lawmakers ignored a request for a formal hearing on the expected cost and pinned a total fiscal note of less than $100,000 on the bill. But a trade group claimed if adult businesses are restricted as planned, at least 60 percent would close, costing the state about $2.7 million in lost sales tax and $720,000 in lost state withholding taxes, and it would put about 1,800 people out of work.


Reason #874 for requiring that candidates for Congress to pass a basic IQ test

Congressional Budget Office: Sometimes Wonks Have To Explain Their Work To Morons

Allow me to state for the record that I have great sympathy for the dedicated professionals at the Congressional Budget Office. In Washington's partisan environment, they are everybody's fair-weather friend. When the CBO tells one tribe the precise thing they want to hear, there's no end to the hallelujahs about how a CBO confirmation is the equivalent of the Word of God. But when the CBO's estimates run afoul of the same tribe, the praise chorus abruptly stops, and is replaced by no end of angry rending and gnashing. Sometimes these shifts take place in a matter of days. It can be intensely frustrating to witness.

A less celebrated problem that the CBO faces on a daily basis is that sometimes, they have to explain their work to complete morons.

Sarabeth Guthberg at related one such instance, today. See, Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) got a wee bit confused over a matter of grade-school mathematics. So he asked the CBO to clarify: if provisions of the Affordable Care Act that the CBO projected to reduce the deficit by $455 billion (over ten years) were subsequently repealed, what would be the net impact on the deficit?

With the patience of saints, the CBO replied:

Finally, you asked what the net deficit impact would be if certain provisions of PPACA and the Reconciliation Act that were estimated to generate net savings were eliminated --- specifically, those which were originally estimated to generate a net reduction in mandatory outlays of $455 billion over the 2010-2019 period. The estimate of $455 billion mentioned in your letter represents the net effects of many provisions. Some of those provisions generated savings for Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program, and some generated costs. If those provisions were repealed, CBO estimates that there would be an increase in deficits similar to its original estimate of $455 billion in net savings over that period.

And that's the incredibly true story of how the CBO had to explain to Mike Crapo that if x = x, then x = x.


What is this I don't even.....bwah?

Also, Mods?  Could a sistah get a "CBO" or "Congressional Budget Office" tag up in here?
Christian Bale


WASHINGTON, DC – Glenn Beck told his audience last night that he is related to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Right-wing media star Glenn Beck will lay claim to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy in a rally Saturday on the National Mall, in the exact location that MLK gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. Beck reserved the Lincoln Monument over a year ago for his rally.

Black Civil Rights leaders are furious that Beck snagged the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of the Dr. King’s historic March on Washington. The Rev. Al Sharpton, however, is planning his own rally, which will be held at Dunbar High School in DC. Rev. Sharpton said that “Beck has no business being on at the Lincoln Memorial on MLK’s anniversary. No business.”

Glenn Beck surprised Sharpton and other Black leaders when he said last night, “the fact is, I deserve to be there more than they deserve to be there. Martin Luther King, Jr. was my brother. We might have been born at different times to different parents, but he is my brother.”

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Calvin & Hobbes: Hug
  • calybe

26 People Shot in the eyes and residents denied water

Most Of Them Will Never Be Able To See Again: Doctors

Srinagar, Aug 23: 15-year old Danish Ahmad Shiekh of Tarzoo Sopur is hopeful that he will regain his eyesight. But doctors at SMHS hospital here say he will never be able to see again.

On August 19, Danish was hit by a pellet fired by paramilitary CRPF in his left eye outside his house a minute after he broke his fast and was intending to offer evening prayers in the local masjid.

Lying in bed 16 of Ophthalmology ward of SMHS hospital, Danish takes up a newspaper lying there after every five minutes, closes his right eye to check the eyesight of his left one. “I hope I will regain my eyesight. As of now I can’t see but I hope I will regain it,” says Danish with a big sigh.

Danish is a 9th class student of Government School Takiabal, Sopur. He expresses hope in every answer.
“If I survive, I will return to school,” he said. Danish never hurled a stone at police or paramilitary CRPF. In the past two months his uncle had virtually banned him from venturing out since the area witnessed deadly clashes between protesters and troopers. Danish says he was never part of protests and was going for prayers after breaking fast.

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Source: GreaterKashmir

Shortage Of Essentials In Curfewed Township

Kupwara, Aug 23: With curfew continuing at Trehgam township of district Kupwara for 10th day running today, people alleged that CRPF and police were using curfew and restrictions as a fear tactic and not allowing them to fetch drinking water from local springs and other essentials like medicines and milk.

“Forces are not allowing the residents to fetch water from Trehgam spring which is the only source of drinking water for scores of hamlets of Trehgam like Mirpora, Malikpora, Shah Mohalla, Muqdumpora, Bunpora and Muqbulabad,” said the residents.

 “The  town has been put under strict restrictions and curfew remains in force for the last 10 days continuously creating an acute  shortage of essentials like rice, baby milk, groceries, vegetables, medicines and cooking gas which has lead to a humanitarian crisis” they added.

 Residents told Greater Kashmir that they were not allowed to offer prayers in the Jamia Masjid of Trehgam.

 “We have been caged in our homes. Not to speak of fetching water and medicines they don’t even allow us to peep out of windows. CRPF men beat up women and children who step out of their homes. During the late hours CRPF personnel resort to stone pelting on houses. The vehicle which was carrying cooking gas was stopped and the driver beaten near Trehgam gate by police and returned.”
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Source: GreaterKashmir
  • homasse

No, no, tell us how you really feel

Japanese politician launches attack on 'River Kwai' Britons
A politician tipped as a future Japanese prime minister has said the British are not very likeable, but admitted the way British prisoners marched in The Bridge on the River Kwai demonstrated their best qualities.

Ichiro Ozawa, the former secretary-general of Japan’s ruling Democratic Party, also said he values US democracy but dismissed the American people as “simple-minded”.

The 68-year-old veteran politician, who resigned as the second most important official in the ruling party in June after coming under fire for campaign finance scandals, reportedly said: “I don’t like British people,” before praising British democracy and their discipline, citing the 1957 Second World War II film, The Bridge on the River Kwai, in which British prisoners of war march in orderly ranks.

The film, based on the novel The Bridge over the River Kwai starred Sir Alec Guinness, William Holden and Jack Hawkins. Guinness won an Oscar for his portrayal of Colonel Nicholson, who convinces the other British prisoners of war to build a bridge for the Burma-Siam railway as a means of boosting British morale but which eventually turns into a monument to himself. The film won six other Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Veterans of the Second World War who fought against Japan said Mr Ozawa’s comments about Britain were insensitive but they would “not get into a sweat about it”.

John Weeks, 92, secretary of the Burma Star Association, an organisation for those who fought in the Burma campaign against Japan, said: “I don’t like this, I must say. He is just having a go at us but I think we should just let that sort of thing pass us by.”

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Don't hold back, son, tell us how you really feel.

Brewer condemns report to UN mentioning Ariz. law

PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer demanded Friday that a reference to the state's controversial immigration law be removed from a State Department report to the United Nations' human rights commissioner.

The U.S. included its legal challenge to the law on a list of ways the federal government is protecting human rights.

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Brewer says it is "downright offensive" that a state law would be included in the report, which was drafted as part of a UN review of human rights in all member nations every four years.
"The idea of our own American government submitting the duly enacted laws of a state of the United States to 'review' by the United Nations is internationalism run amok and unconstitutional," Brewer wrote.

Arizona's law generally requires police officer enforcing other laws to investigate the immigration status of people they suspect are illegal immigrants.
Critics say it would lead officers to target Hispanics. Supporters, including Brewer, say the law prohibits racial profiling and other human rights abuses.
The U.S. Justice Department sued to block the measure, arguing federal law trumps the state's authority to enforce immigration laws.

A federal judge in July sided with the Justice Department and blocked enforcement of the law's most controversial provisions a day before it was scheduled to take effect.
In its report, the State Department does not specifically allege that Arizona's law would lead to racial profiling.

"A recent Arizona law, S.B. 1070, has generated significant attention and debate at home and around the world," the report says. "The issue is being addressed in a court action that argues that the federal government has the authority to set and enforce immigration law. That action is ongoing; parts of the law are currently enjoined."
A State Department spokesman had no immediate comment on Brewer's letter.

Brewer, a Republican, is running for election in November. Her popularity in Arizona and her national profile have soared since she signed the immigration measure in April.


At least the federal government seems to be doing something to distance the rest of America from total fail that is SB 1070. IDK, guys, being American has always been a little awkward, what with all the shit our government likes to pull on the rest of the world, but this year... there isn't enough facepalm in the world.  
aurora // once upon a time

Why it's okay to wage joystick jihad

As terrorism concerns soar, critics are blasting a video game that lets you play a Taliban insurgent. But, writes Richard Poplak, there's nothing to fear


The Chinook lands in a whirlwind of dust. A team of bearded, Ray-Banned Special Forces warriors sprint into a ramshackle town, weapons at the ready. We're in Afghanistan in the thick of the Taliban insurgency, and as we wave our H&K MP7s, we're wary of insurgents driving wildly in pickup trucks, trying to kill us before we kill them.

This is the hyper-violent, dust-mote-detailed world of Medal of Honor, a new video game set slap bang in the middle of the war on terror and due for release in October. It has a multiplayer function that allows you to join as the tattooed heroes of the Tier 1 Special Forces unit, or to don a virtual keffiyah and kick NATO butt as a member of the Taliban.

The game, in particular the I'm-A-Talib function, has sparked a Silicon Valley controversy, with big implications for Canadians jittery at the links between a faraway war and the new, homegrown terrorist threat bubbling in our nation's capital.

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Richard Poplak is the author of The Sheikh's Batmobile: In Pursuit of American Pop Culture in the Muslim World

Your thoughts? IDK where I stand tbh, I'd like to hear your positions. Also, not really sure which tags to use mods, sorry.

Ground Zero's Slave Graves


The outrage about the "ground zero mosque" has turned very ugly, as this video of this recent protest shows. People are calling Mohammed a pig. A New York City cab driver was stabbed today after his passenger asked him if he was Muslim. But I find the righteous outrage of those contending the former World Trade Center site is "hallowed ground" amusing, because they have no idea just how right they are. Before the World Trade Center was even designed (with Islamic architectural elements, incidentally), the ground was indeed sacrosanct: The bones of some 20,000 African slaves are buried 25 feet below Lower Manhattan. As at least 10 percent of West African slaves in America were Muslims, it's not out of bounds to extrapolate that ground zero itself was built on the bones of at least a few Muslim slaves. That is to say, hallowed Muslim ground.

For some time, activists, historians, and city officials have been working together to excavate and preserve the bones of the slaves buried under present-day lower Manhattan. A recent excavation of a 14,000 square foot section of the six-acre burial ground found that 92 percent of the 419 skeletons were of African descent, and 40 percent were children under 12. The bones of the 419 slaves were eventually reinterred.

African slaves couldn't be buried in New York City itself, so they were put to rest along the city's then-northern border, near present-day Chambers Street. The exact borders of the burial ground are fuzzy, and experts say that without test digs, they won't be able to tell how far it extends. The area they've excavated so far ends just a block or two from ground zero, but with the huge number of African slaves that lived and died in New Amsterdam, I find it hard to believe the burial grounds didn't extend further.

At any rate, some of the slaves' belongings were definitely at ground zero: About 100 boxes of artifacts from the African graves were stored at 6 WTC, which was crushed by the North Tower on 9/11, but thankfully archivists were able to recover them. A few of the items were strings of blue beads found buried with the slaves...which some think could be Islamic prayer beads.

Park51 won't even be at ground zero proper (across from Brooks Brothers or the Century 21 department store). But if it were, it would still be perfectly defensible. In fact, since WTC was likely built over the centuries-old bones of Muslim slaves, it would be a downright blessing.