September 20th, 2010

comedy | The Golden Girls

ONTD_Political's PotD: September 19, 2010.


Over a month ago, on August 5, 2010, the roof of the San Jose copper and gold mine collapsed, trapping 33 miners inside, 700 meters (2,300 ft) below ground near Copiapo, Chile. The fate of the miners was not immediately known - it took 17 days before a drill reached their refuge, discovering them alive and well. Rescue work began immediately, but even with several concurrent plans underway, the quickest likely rescue will still take two to three months. Until then, the 33 men will have to endure high temperatures and humidity in isolated conditions.

A video link has been established, many relatives have set up camp nearby, and food, air, messages and supplies are delivered by several narrow boreholes. Fluorescent lights with timers are to be sent down to attempt to keep the men on a normal schedule by imitating day and night as they care for each other and assist in their own rescue. Once it reaches them, the diameter of the rescue borehole will be very narrow. so each miner will have to ensure they have a waistline of no more than 90 cm (35 in) to escape.
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Source: "Trapped in a Chilean mine" | The Big Picture | Boston.com
facepalm

Sheriff Joe's plan for armed immigrant-hunting posse mirrors neo-Nazi pals' patrols

Neil Cavuto had on Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona to talk about his plans to form an all-volunteer, fully armed posse whose job is hunting down illegal immigrants -- and of course tossed him a load of softballs.

The local news account is fairly glowing too:

Sheriff Joe is always talking about his department’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration but now he wants to commission a posse whose only job will be to enforce illegal immigration and human smuggling laws.

The sheriff explains, “We have 57 different posses. I want 58.”

Arpaio says posse 58 will be devoted solely to illegal immigration. “I want a little specialized unit. I think it's time to do that.”

Details are sparse but, like the sheriff's other posses, this one will be made up of armed volunteers who will patrol rural areas looking for border crossers and human smugglers.

The sheriff explains, “I want to concentrate more in the desert, maybe that’s where our air posse helicopters can help out because a lot of smugglers are crossing the desert. I like to get to them before they get to Phoenix.”


Funny thing about that: Maricopa County is not adjacent to the U.S.-Mexico border. Border crossers would have to pass through adjacent counties first.

But you'll notice that both Cavuto's softballs and the friendly local press are missing something -- namely, how closely Arpaio's citizen immigrant hunters resemble the vigilante patrols being organized by neo-Nazi J.T. Ready-- who recently announced that he would be seeking to obtain official sanction for his program.

At least Stephen Lemons at Phoenix New Times noticed:

Looks like Sheriff Joe is ripping off an idea from none other than Arpaio supporter and committed neo-Nazi J.T. Ready.

In a press release published today by the MCSO, Arpaio says he intends to commission a volunteer vigilante force to hunt illegal aliens.

The release states, "The Sheriff will soon implement his plan to commission a volunteer armed posse force outfitted with appropriate hardware and gear to assist in the enforcement of illegal immigration and human smuggling laws."

... In any case, an "armed" vigilante force "outfitted with the appropriate hardware" to "assist" in the enforcement of immigration laws could well be a description of swastika-licker J.T. Ready's U.S. Border Guard, which has been operating in Pinal and Maricopa Counties since at least June.


As Lemon notes, it already appears that Arpaio has a working relationship with Ready and his acolytes.

Somebody needs to ask Arpaio if the "screening" process he promises for these armed volunteers will include screening out neo-Nazis and violent radicals.

In the meantime, anyone of Latino descent -- citizen or otherwise -- may want to avoid Maricopa County's rural areas. They may soon become hazardous to your health.

Source

There was a video here but it doesn't work so just go to the source.
PSYCHOdelic Rorschach

FDA to Consider Approval of "Modified Salmon"




(AP) WASHINGTON D.C. — Tinker with the genetics of salmon and maybe you create a revolutionary new food source that could help the environment and feed the hungry.

Or maybe you're creating what some say is an untested "frankenfish" that could cause unknown allergic reactions and the eventual decimation of the wild salmon population.

The Food and Drug Administration hears both arguments Monday when it begins a two-day meeting on whether to approve the marketing of the genetically engineered fish, which would be the first such animal approved for human consumption. The agency has already said the salmon, which grows twice as fast as conventional salmon, is as safe to eat as the traditional variety.

Approval of the salmon would open the door for a variety of other genetically engineered animals, including an environmentally friendly pig that is being developed in Canada or cattle that are resistant to mad cow disease.

"For future applications out there the sky's the limit," said David Edwards of the Biotechnology Industry Association. "If you can imagine it, scientists can try to do it."
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Delaware, the "HEY EVERYBODY, LOOK AT ME" state

edit: To avoid confusion, this is not O'Donnell, it's the guy running for Castle's house seat

GOP candidate: Hitler invented separation of church and state

Christine O'Donnell isn't the only Delaware Tea Party candidate making waves.

The seat in the House of Representatives currently held by Republican Mike Castle -- who was defeated by O'Donnell in Tuesday's Senatorial primary -- is also up for grabs. The Republican primary for that office was won by Tea Partier Glen Urquhart, and it turns out that his political positions may be even more unique than O'Donnell's.

"Do you know, where does this phrase 'separation of church and state' come from?" Urquhart asked at a campaign event last April. "It was not in Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists. ... The exact phrase 'separation of Church and State' came out of Adolph Hitler’s mouth, that's where it comes from. So the next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State ask them why they’re Nazis."

"My jaw dropped when I heard it," rival candidate Kevin Wade told Delaware Online. "And he was emphatic about it -- it was not like a slip of the tongue. He got applause from half the crowd, and that disturbed me. I'd say half the room was stunned and the other half applauded."
According to Delaware Online, "Urquhart says the statement was taken out of context and that he did not explain his point very well. If he could do it over, he said, he would add more historical context and explain why he rejects Hitler's take on the relationship between government and the church."

"I didn't mean to suggest -- and I am not suggesting -- that people who are liberals are Nazis," Urquhart told the paper. He did continue to insist, however, that "the Nazis used the same separation-of-church-and-state rhetoric for a very, very bad purpose" and charged that "the pendulum has swung dramatically against the Christian faith. It's almost become a whipping boy in our society."

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lol, can't believe they added some anonymous comment to the story like that's the only positive news they could give Urquhart.

(no subject)

Is your child a "prehomosexual"? Forecasting adult sexual orientation



There are signs, some would say omens, glimmering in certain children’s demeanors that, probably ever since there were children, have caused parents’ brows to crinkle with worry, precipitated forced conversations with nosy mothers-in-law, strained marriages and ushered untold numbers into the deep covenant of sexual denial. We all know the stereotypes: an unusually light, delicate, effeminate air in a little boy’s step, often coupled with solitary bookishness, or a limp wrist, an interest in dolls, makeup, princesses, dresses and a staunch distaste for rough play with other boys; in little girls, there is the outwardly boyish stance, perhaps a penchant for tools, a lumbering gait, a square-jawed readiness for physical tussles with boys, an aversion to all the perfumed, delicate, laced trappings of femininity.

So let’s get down to brass tacks. It’s what these behaviors signal to parents about their child’s incipient sexuality that makes them so undesirable—these behavioral patterns are feared, loathed and often spoken of directly as harbingers of adult homosexuality.

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fox-alterreality

DeMint Credits Fox News With Recent Tea Party Victories



Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is often described as the “kingmaker” of the tea party movement for his efforts to remake the Senate in his ultraconservative image, having already spent $3.3 million this year supporting tea party candidates through his Senate Conservatives Fund.

But appearing on Fox News host Andrew Napolitano’s show “Freedom Watch” this weekend, DeMint acknowledged that he’s had some help promoting what Napolitano described as the “tea party tidal wave” that has recently handed far-right candidates the GOP Senate nominations from Delaware, Alaska, and elsewhere. Namely, DeMint thanked Fox News:

NAPOLITANO: He’s a leader — I’m calling him the godfather of the tea party movement. … I think you’re entitled to a victory lap. I mean this has just unbelievable! A series of political battles for the heart and soul of the Republican Party regularly, consistently and systematically now won by the individual liberty, small government, sound money side, which we call the tea party, and of which you are a prime mover.

DEMINT: Well Judge, I can’t take the credit for this. This is all about the people, and people standing up and speaking out and getting informed. And I think in the media, we’re seeing what Fox is doing, and radio talk shows and blogs. People are more informed and engaged, and I think they’re feeling the power shift back to their hands.

Watch it:

 

 

Fox would likely run and hide from DeMint’s praise, as they repeatedly maintain they are a legitimate news organization. Last year, Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox’s parent company, even said, “I don’t think” Fox News “should be supporting the tea party.” Apparently, Murdoch needs to watch his own network more often. As ThinkProgress, Media Matters, and others have repeatedly documented, Fox has consistently promoted, supported, and even helped organize tea party rallies.

Meanwhile, they’ve also supported conservative GOP candidates like the ones DeMint backs. “[A]t least twenty Fox News personalities have endorsed, raised money, or campaigned for Republican candidates or causes, or against Democratic candidates or causes, in more than 300 instances and in all 50 states,” according to a Media Matters survey conducted in April. Meanwhile, a recent Pew research survey finds that Fox News’ viewership has increased in recent years due almost entirely to an influx of Republicans, 40 percent of whom now say they regularly get their news there. That’s up from just 25 percent in 2002. Of course, Fox’s parent company also recently gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association.

In July, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer admitted that his network has covered the tea party movement “with greater vigor than our competition, and we were rewarded with viewers.” It “was better television,” Hemmer explained.

Source


"And I think in the media, we’re seeing what Fox is doing"

"And I think in the media, we’re seeing what Fox is doing"

"And I think in the media, we’re seeing what Fox is doing"


Yep, we sure are.  If the DCCC doesn't jump on this and turn it immediately into a TV ad that will run nationwide, they're idiots.



"This is all about the people, and people standing up and speaking out and getting informed. And I think in the media, we’re seeing what Fox is doing, and radio talk shows and blogs. People are more informed and engaged, and I think they’re feeling the power shift back to their hands. "

No, actually it has nothing to do with informing people.  It has everything to do with creating the narrative you want people to believe, and then reality-smithing all of the issues around it to fit that narrative. 

Shirley Animated

The rise of Tea Party women and what it means for the pro-choice movement



One of the most head-scratching, or scary if you will, parts of this year’s election season has been the rise of the Tea Party: uber-conservative , religious, and mainly  white voters and candidates that are booting “moderate” republicans in party primaries across the country.  It has been a common theme that the Tea Party members are overwhelmingly male, but the women, led by Fox News contributor Sarah Palin, seem to be having the most impact and are  winning the most support, which has been recently confirmed by a Quinnipiac University poll.

Some would argue the fact that women are so actively involved in politics and are winning primaries is a great thing for the women’s rights movement; the reality is that many of these women hold extreme anti-choice, anti-abortion, evangelical views, which obliterates any notion of progress for women.

So who are the Tea Party women? What do they stand for ? And what does the country stand to lose If enough of these extreme positions are instituted into law if enough Tea Party candidates are elected?

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Sauce via Abortion Gang
WW-Toby-Tempt

Christine O'Donnell's 1999 Remarks Manage to Alienate Pretty Much Everyone Simultaneously


Wiccan Community Upset With O'Donnell, Calls Witchcraft Comments "Teaching Moment"

Christine O'Donnell's mercurial candidacy for the United States Senate has elevated the issue of witchcraft to uncommon political heights. But not everyone associated with the religion is pleased.

Last Friday, remarks emerged from an appearance the Delaware Republican made during a 1999 taping of "Politically Incorrect," in which she acknowledged that she had "dabbled into witchcraft" but "never joined a coven." O'Donnell immediately distanced herself from the quote, asking whether it was fair to hold candidates responsible for the "questionable folks" they hung out with in high school. The clarification may have been the only sane political move for O'Donnell to make. But it had the side-affect of angering an already politically sensitive pagan community.

"Yes, this was 11 years ago she said that," said Reverend Selena Fox, the High Priestess & Senior Minister of the Circle Sanctuary a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting paganism and nature spirituality. "But the kinds of things she is saying now, saying 'well in high school you are with despicable characters' or some such thing, she is actually defaming Wiccans. Whether she intends to do that or not as a way to try and get herself out of this political problem she has created for herself, the fact is America really needs to be a place where you can celebrate diversity and practice your religion without getting ridiculed or defamed."

Fox, who has been active in fighting anti-Wiccan measures in Congress and the military for the past 25 years, showcased a bit of political deftness when she diplomatically called O'Donnell's candidacy a "teaching moment" for the country. Debates over religious tolerance, she offered, have been shrouded recently in heated political rhetoric. And there was now growing concern among both she and members of her organization that "there will be more ridicule as well as more misinformation" about Wiccans and witchcraft because of O'Donnell's remarks.

"Any political candidate that is going to equate witchcraft with Satanism is ill informed and is not likely to get the support of people involved in nature religion," she said, noting that the pagan community was "multi-partisan."

"I'm concerned," she said. "I'm concerned that 25 years of work that the Lady Liberty League and other Wiccan and pagan civil rights and religious freedom groups have been involved in... that there will be more misinformation as well as ridicule and disrespect. We are living in politically turbulent times."

UPDATE: A spokesperson for the neopagan network "The Witches' Voice" who goes by the name "Diotima Mantineia" reached out to the Huffington Post to offer further condemnation of O'Donnell's initial witchcraft remarks. Making the point that there is a "very large pagan community in Delaware," Mantineia called the Delaware Republican's conflation of witchcraft and Satanism "disappointing."

I really have to question what she is talking about because witchcraft and Satanism are two different things... witches or Wiccans do not believe in Satan. We don't even believe that Satan exist. Satan is a Christian deity of some kind. He is part of the Christian religion not ours. We worship nature; we work very closely with nature. We do not have blood on our altar and we have little to do with Satan. So I don't know what Ms. O'Donnell is talking about. I wonder if she knows what she was talking about.
Source

This just continues to be the Ten Car Pileup That Never Ends.  I was waiting for someone from the Wiccan community to say something about this.  O'Donnell somehow trying to make the argument that Wiccans = Bad People isn't going to go well for her.
TW tales square

Wisconsin DA Sexually Harasses Domestic Abuse Victim with Text Messages


Yesterday it was Michigan and the Assistant DA harassing a gay college student.  Not to be outdone, today brings us the Calumet County, Wisconsin District Attorney Ken Kratz who was sending sexually charged texts to a victim of domestic abuse. When the victim complained he tried to play the messages down as "a series of respectful messages."

The facts however, belie the notion that the messages were respectful:

"Kratz acknowledged this week he had a "lapse of judgment" when he sent 30 text messages in three days last October to a woman whose ex-boyfriend he was prosecuting on strangulation charges. In the messages, he tried to spark an affair and called her a "hot young nymph." She went to police to complain about the harassment and said she felt pressured to start a relationship.

Kratz is taking a medical leave of absence to receive counseling, but is refusing to resign from his position. Apparently he doesn't think he did anything really bad.

The good news at least is that other county District Attorneys are calling for his resignation.

So its not enough she gets the crap beaten out of her by her boyfriend, the person responsible for prosecuting the case threatens to drop it if she doesn't go out/have a sexual relationship with him.

Sources: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=11663272
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39219077/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20016890-504083.html



florence

Yay! Such good news!

The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo recover the identity of grandchild number 102 stolen during the dictatorship

A man born during the Argentine dictatorship (1976-83) in the extermination camp ESMA, where his mother disappeared, and afterward was appropriated by a member of the military, became the 102 case in recovering his identity, the organization Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo reported this Monday.

The man, who is now 32 years and environmental lawyer, was born at the School of Naval Mechanics (ESMA), a dark concentration camp of the dictatorship, after his parents were kidnapped on July 15 1977.

The identity of the man has not yet been revealed because "he is processing the news of the disappearance of his parents," said the head of the human rights organization, Estela de Carlotto.

DNA Tests determined with 99.99% certainty that child is that of Maria Graciela Tauro and Jorge Daniel Rochistein, who were disappeared and killed during the military regime.

For this illegal appropriation, an official of the Air Force, Juan Carlos Vázquez Sarmiento, who is a fugitive, is accused.

The couple was kidnapped in 1977 and first taken to the secret detention camp called Mansion Sere, custody of the Air Force, and then taken to the ESMA, where some 5,000 went missing during the military regime.

A total of 102 children who disappeared during the dictatorship have recovered their true identity on the basis of patient investigation of the Grandmothers of Plaza Mayo, who estimated that were approximately 500 children in total appropriated by soldiers or their relatives at that stage.

Dozens of political figures, intellectuals and leaders of NGOs promoted the candidacy of the Abuelas for the Nobel Peace Prize.

About 30,000 people went missing during the last military dictatorship in Argentina, according to human rights organizations.

source

The Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo are some of my heroes. Seriously :')
Murasaki Shikibu

Japan urges calm after China severs contacts

Japan urges calm after China severs contacts

Japan urged China to remain calm and not inflame their diplomatic spat further Monday after Beijing severed high-level contacts over the detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain near disputed islands.

China's rare move late Sunday pushed already-tense relations to a new low, and showed Beijing's willingness to play hardball with its Asian rival on issues of territorial integrity, which include sparring with Japan over natural gas fields in the East China Sea.

The severing of high-level government contacts came after anti-Japanese protests were held across China on the anniversary of the start of a Japanese invasion of China in 1931, which has historically cast a shadow over ties between the world's second- and third-largest economies.

The latest dispute was sparked when a Chinese fishing vessel collided with two Japanese coast guard ships on Sept. 7 near islands in the East China Sea — called Senkaku by Japan and known as Diaoyu or Diaoyutai in Chinese and claimed by both countries.


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Whoa, things got bad fast. And this comes at a pretty shitty time for Kan's administration, something I think China is completely aware of. China's usually less reactionary about things, but they've been using Japan for a long time as their Boogieman for the sake of national unity, something that was ramped up following Tiananmen Square and the need for a "them" in order to try to keep people from turning against the government (everyone knows about Japan's textbooks, but not too many people know that Chinese textbooks changed after Tiananmen Square to play up the things Japan did, while excising things like the Sino-Indian War and the Great Leap Forward, so many in China genuinely believe the Japanese killed more Chinese during WWII than Chinese died because of the government during the Great Leap Forward, which is not true by a factor of a lot). Japan was a great choice for that because of all the unbelievable crap they pulled during WWII and lack of accountability for those actions, but it means now that because of anti-Japanese sentiment, the government has to take an extra hardline stance in any kind of dispute with Japan.

Likewise, Kan is in a hard spot because he sure as hell can't appear "weak" right now. Appearing weak and caving on the American base on Okinawa sank his predecessor, and that's still fresh in everyone's memory.
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9/11 Responders Health Bill May Hit Senate Floor in Military Funding Bill

WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats will try to attach 9/11 legislation to a military funding bill Tuesday in a surprise gambit to break a logjam on help for victims, the Daily News has learned.

The amendment would be identical to the $7.4 billion James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act pending in the House. Senate passage would raise the chances of getting the measure to President Obama, who vows to sign it.

The measure to provide care for thousands of people sickened by exposure to Ground Zero would be offered by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who has the support of Majority Leader Harry Reid and other key Democrats, she and other sources confirmed.

"We have an undeniable moral obligation to pass this legislation and provide care to the thousands of heroes and survivors who are suffering and dying," Gillibrand said.

There is, however, a major catch. Republicans are mounting a filibuster of the bill because Reid has also added an amendment to end the military's "don't ask, don't tell policy," and another to grant kids of illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship if they are in the armed services or college.

Gillibrand won't be able to offer the 9/11 amendment unless the GOP relents on the filibuster.

"It's going to be tough to break the filibuster," admitted one Democratic aide. "But definitely, if we can get it done, we'd have a majority for the 9/11 bill."

It takes a three-fifths vote - 60 senators - to end a filibuster.

The 9/11 legislation has also run into unexpected complications in the House.

Advocates had won promises from leaders that it would be brought to a vote this week and expected it would be on the calendar for Wednesday. It is not.

Proponents of the bill were furious, sources said. They spent the weekend peppering House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer with demands to make good on promises.

"They're cowards," said one 9/11 responder. "If they believe in something, they should be willing to stand up for it."

Some Democratic leaders fear Republicans will add a toxic measure to the bill dealing with a hot-button issue such as immigration, gun rights or abortion.

Even Mayor Bloomberg was unable to win assurances from House Republican Leader John Boehner last week that his party wouldn't sandbag the bill.



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