November 3rd, 2010


San Francisco outlaws McDonald's Happy Meals

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors has voted, by a veto-proof margin, to ban most of McDonald's Happy Meals as they now are served in restaurants.

The measure will make San Francisco the first U.S. city to forbid offering a free toy with meals that exceed prescribed levels of calories, sugar and fat.

The ordinance requires restaurants to provide fruits and vegetables with all meals that come with toys for children.

The ordinance, which takes effect in December, says restaurants may include a toy with a meal if the food and drink combined contain fewer than 600 calories, and if less than 35 percent of the calories come from fat.

"We are extremely disappointed with today's decision. It's not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for," McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud said.

Murasaki Shikibu
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Pledge controversy leads to death threat claims

Pledge controversy leads to death threat claims

Evanston police and the FBI say complaints have been filed over possible Internet death threats directed at two League of Women Voters officials stemming from a candidates debate in Grayslake.

Criticism started flying around cyberspace over volunteer moderator Kathy Tate-Bradish's perceived lukewarm reaction when she was asked if the Pledge of Allegiance would be recited before the 8th Congressional District debate on Oct. 21.

FBI spokesman Ross Rice confirmed Thursday that League of Women Voters Illinois Executive Director Jan Czarnik filed a report claiming she and Tate-Bradish have received Internet death threats. Czarnik triggered criticism after saying the pledge request was “phony patriotism” from a candidate's supporters.

“Her complaint has been received and is receiving due consideration,” Rice said.

Czarnik wrote the FBI that an Oct. 23 Daily Herald story on the debate she was quoted in was “turned into a cause celebre by Glenn Beck and Fox News.”

Since then, death threats have appeared on “right-wing websites,” said Czarnik, who provided printouts to the FBI. She also reported menacing posts on Fox News Channel's Facebook page and Beck's website, The Blaze.

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The clip from Glenn Beck's show:


The "F-You" Election

Progressives lost this election -- but conservatism and the Republican Party are hardly stronger for their success.

Six years ago, pollster and political scientist Stan Greenberg published a book, The Two Americas, in which he broke down the American electorate of the middle Bush era into new categories. Two of those categories -- the only two I remember -- were the "F-You Boys" and the "F-You Old Men." The categories are so perfectly named that they require little explanation. These economically frustrated men were part of the core Republican coalition but were attracted to rebellious-seeming movements like Ross Perot's 1992 presidential candidacy or pro-wrestler Jesse Ventura's Minnesota gubernatorial campaign. Together, Greenberg estimated, the F-You Boys and their older counterparts added up to about 13 percent of the American electorate, and as of 2004, they were of "declining social and political influence."

Tuesday's election, and months of Tea Party and other well-funded rebellions, brought back to power the F-You Boys, the F-You Men, and -- if exit polls confirm a narrowing of the gender gap -- F-You Women as well, exemplified by Sarah Palin's "mama grizzlies." Economic frustration is on the rise, and the results tracked it -- in the Midwest, in the border South, and particularly in the Rocky Mountain West, states like Arizona and Nevada that once believed they were "recession proof" are now enduring unemployment rates well over 10 percent. But there were also F-You Billionaires, like the Koch Brothers, whose principal economic frustration is that their inherited fortunes might be modestly taxed; and the F-You Wall Streeters, who two years ago supported Barack Obama, and whose industry was saved by government bailout, but who now seem to have convinced themselves that they were the passive victims of a hostile takeover.

But an election based on a rebellious, screw-'em-all mood is a rocky base from which to govern. While the results are a major setback for progressive hopes of further policy changes, they are no victory for either conservatism or for the Republican Party, both of which had to transform and become almost invisible in order to survive.

There have been three major Republican/conservative takeover elections in recent history: 1980, when Ronald Reagan carried 12 seats and control of the Senate; 1994, when Newt Gingrich's Republicans took both houses; and 2010. The first, while in many ways a reaction to the incompetent presidency of Jimmy Carter (a conservative Democrat whose flaws came to symbolize liberalism) unquestionably carried a mandate for conservatism. The second, 1994, was in many ways a reaction to congressional corruption, combined with a long-postponed rejection of Southern Democrats, but Gingrich and his allies took it very seriously -- perhaps too seriously -- as an ideological mandate.

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Gordon Campbell Stepping down!?

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell steps down

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 | 11:51 AM PT Comments266Recommend108

CBC News


B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell is stepping down and has asked his party to hold a leadership convention.


The premier's leadership of the B.C. Liberal Party had been under attack since his introduction of the HST and there were rumours he had lost the support of a significant portion of his cabinet in recent weeks.

Campbell made the announcement during a surprise news conference on Wednesday morning in Vancouver, accompanied by his wife and children.

The news comes amid reports that several Liberal MLAs were planning on calling for Campbell to step down at an upcoming caucus meeting.


Its not like he had any choice - he's consistantly managed to fuck over the middle/working class in this province, OH, and then he was re-elected less than a year ago (while promising not to pass the HST) - got elected, and look! HST!.


Race + Sports: Burton’s Jeremy Jones Has A Problem With Me

The first time I strapped into a snowboard, I was twelve years old. I remember being the only girl in my younger brother’s group of friends, and we all took turns hitting a little jump we had built using the lid of a trash can. The first time I ever went to a resort, I noticed something else. I was the only Arab there. This is something I became used to, being the only brown girl on the mountain. I remember going into the demo center, cash in hand, ready to pick out my very first board. A board that would be all mine, ridden only by me. No more rentals, no more borrowing boards from guy friends that were much too big. All mine. I bought a Burton “Clash” board and the rest was history.

To say I’ve been a loyal Burton customer ever since is a huge understatement. If it had that little bent arrow logo on it, it had to be mine. I felt a loyalty to the brand. They were the only company at the time that made women-specific bindings, that made clothes that fit my awkward body. I liked the message the company propped itself up on. Burton prided itself on being about bringing snowboarders together, creating a community, being inclusive. Being Arab-American, I was having an extremely rough time with being included in post-9/11 American Society. I was an outsider now. And Burton was about creating a community of outsiders. I could finally belong again. I could finally go back to “normal”, back to what I remembered, back to being human.

I grew up with that company. Burton made winter my favorite season. Every year they would put out these amazing products and videos, and I was more excited for them than I was the previous year. I followed them the way a football or hockey fan follows their favorite team. The Burton team was my team. I bought the snowboarding films It’s Always Snowing Somewhere and The B because I wanted to know what my team was up to, what new tricks and runs they were stomping. I eagerly awaited the new catalog because I want to see what gear is good enough for my team to shred all over the world in. Even though the glossy pages were only filled with white kids, that was okay! They were outsiders, just like me. Somehow, they were just like me. I let myself believe that for so long. The Burton team riders were my heroes. I looked up to the people in those glossy catalogs and magazine spreads. Not once after watching a video part or live feed from a contest did I feel disappointed. They always left me blown away, thinking “That’s how it’s done. That’s how you do it”.

So, imagine my surprise upon seeing one of my idols, Burton team rider and Urban/Rail riding legend Jeremy Jones, referring to Arab-Americans as “towel heads” in his personal blog. Being an Arab-American, that hurt me so deeply to know that someone I hold in such high regard only sees me as a racial slur, as some lesser person based on my ethnic background. And he’s doing it, hiding behind the shield that’s shaped like a crooked arrow, behind that name that told me for years and years that I was just like them. Suddenly, everything was back just as it was before. I was excluded and different and worth nothing. And I recalled all the mean looks and whispers thrown at me every time I got in the lift line. Glares and words I was willing to just brush off because I was part of something, and no one was going to take that from me. No one was going to take my escape. Suddenly, I realized just how unwelcome I was, had been. And that shook me. It shook me and hurt me and made me sick.

I wrote a letter of concern to Burton. It took me so long to decide to send it. I was intimidated by Jeremy Jones’ fame, by Burton’s gigantic mark on the snowboarding industry. I was scared I was going to be laughed off as I so often am, to be ignored as I so often am. The snowboarding community is so small. What if someone found out I “tattled” on one of snowboarding’s biggest celebrities? I wrote to Burton, knowing that I could be shunned out of the snowboarding community, knowing that I could be effectively ending my snowboarding career before it really began. I could be snuffing out my dreams of being a professional snowboarder, something I’ve always wanted and I’ve spent years working towards. I thought I could just let it go; I mean, he didn’t mean me, right?

Except that he did. He did mean me. Every time someone decides to throw out a slur, they do mean me. They mean every brown-skinned person, every caricature of the goofy Indian man running the 7-11, every Jihadist with a vest of dynamite, every bent over nanna from the old country with her black chadore pulled tightly under her chin. You didn’t mean me? What makes me so special? Am I from a more desirable country? Is the food of my people better? Is it because I speak English “perfectly”, because I’ll wear a bathing suit at the beach, awkwardly laugh at every version of the 40 virgins joke? When someone throws around epithets like “towel head” or “camel jockey”, they mean me. They may not think they do, but they mean me. Jeremy Jones was addressing me. He was addressing everyone who dares to be born with brown skin, whether they’re from Lebanon or India or Omaha, Nebraska. I will not allow Jeremy Jones or Burton to decide who is us and who is them.

I wrote to Burton because I couldn’t stay silent. Silence is acceptance, and I do not, under any circumstances, accept being referred to as a “towel head” by someone who is being paid to travel around the world to snowboard with the money I use to buy the products he backs. I don’t accept being called that by anyone. Burton hasn’t responded, and the blog post is still up, its hate speech is still glaring back at me through my computer screen, screaming at me “You are less, less, less. You are worthless”. And I don’t accept that, I will never accept that.

And because I believe in the power of speaking directly to those who wrong you: Jeremy, if you have a problem being driven around by a “towel head” in a cab that isn’t up to your standards, fucking walk.


ILU India


Coconuts removed in India ahead of Obama visit

Officials in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) have taken extraordinary measures to protect US President Barack Obama ahead of his visit.

In their effort to provide maximum security in the run-up to his visit on Friday, they have removed coconuts which may fall on his head from trees. Collapse )

Now that's a thoughtful host. Idk, for some reason this warmed my poor weary heart.

Source believes in hospitality
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KKK costume wins first prize at Legion Halloween party

Mark Andrade sat down at the Campbellford Royal Canadian Legion hall on Saturday night looking forward to a Halloween beer. Instead, he was treated to the sight of one man parading around in a Ku Klux Klan costume with a Confederate flag.

The partygoer was leading another man in blackface around the room by a noose.

Andrade left his beer on the bar and walked out. Friends told him later that the two men had won first prize at the Legion’s Halloween costume competition.

“This is 2010,” said Andrade, who is black. “That’s unacceptable, especially in a Legion. A Legion, of all places.”

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Ace Attorney

Sometimes doing the right thing hurts

Iowa Voters Oust Justices Who Made Same-Sex Marriage Legal

-- Voters in Iowa chose to remove three high court justices who helped make Iowa the first Midwestern state to permit same-sex marriage.

The vote marks the first time a member of the Iowa Supreme Court has been rejected by the voters under the current system that began in 1962.

Under the voting system in Iowa, each of the three justices up for retention -- Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, David Baker and Michael Streit -- needed simply to get more "yes" votes than "no" votes in the election to be elected for another eight-year term. They faced no opponents. None of the judges raised money for the campaign.
While all seven justices on the court ruled with Ternus, Baker and Streit, those three were the only ones whose seats were up for retention. None of them received the 50 percent "yes" vote needed to remain on the bench.
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[video featuring gross people]
I was afraid this might happen, but I was unsure if enough people were dedicated enough to actually vote them out. I'm sure they aren't concerned with their freedoms, just that the queers get to marry. Thanks, National Organization for Against Marriage. Same sex marriage has been legal in Iowa for well over a year. Hopefully it won't be challenged, considering the Iowa Legislature didn't want to put it up for a vote.
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    Love Is The End: Keane
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Woman who faked cancer [for money and a free disney trip] pleads guilty to fraud

Two weeks after her fraud went viral and she gained international notoriety as a scheming cancer faker, Ashley Kirilow left a maximum security prison on bail and moved back in with her father in Burlington.

Kirilow’s father — the man who ultimately outed her scam to supporters and, subsequently, the media — and stepmother hoped that with their support, Ashley could begin to take steps toward a more productive life.

“We thought for sure that leaving her in Vanier (prison) for two weeks would give her an opportunity to see what that kind of life is really like,” Mike Kirilow said.

Ten days later, Ashley Kirilow was gone. “She treated us like garbage and took off again,” her father says. Once again, he has lost contact with her.

“I could clearly see she has no remorse for her actions. She’s sorry she got caught, but she’s not sorry for what she did, and I think she’s just going to do the same thing again.”

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oh canada

It Gets Better - Canadian Edition

The It Gets Better Project got an injection of Canadian celebrities yesterday. Founded by sex-columnist Dan Savage in the wake of a string of gay American teenagers taking their own lives in response to bullying, the series of videos has featured high-profile names like Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and Adam Lambert. Now you can add George Smitherman, Rick Mercer, Ann-Marie MacDonald and a host of other Canadians to the list.

The video, which is both heartbreaking and uplifting, is a must watch. For everyone.

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In my opinion, this is probably the best one so far. Well, I like it the best, at least.
Mr. T the Patriot

Yes, Mr. President, This Was a Referendum on Your Leadership

Just weeks after his election, President Obama articulated how he understood his mandate. In defending his decision to tap Wall Street insiders to fix Wall Street, the president-elect declared himself the embodiment of change. "It comes from me," he insisted. Well, now Obama's got his chance to show and prove. Because if there will be any real economic reform in the next two years, it will come through the president using his administrative authority and bully pulpit. And if he fails to wield that power, his own job will likely be on the line in 2012.

It turns out 2008 was a pretty conventional election: Voters united to reject the party of a terribly unpopular president amid a worsening economy and a frustratingly endless war. Breathless punditry aside, this week's Republican "tsunami" is similarly textbook politics: Voters united around, well, the same frustrations they had two years ago.

This stuff is basic. Unemployment remains stuck at nearly 10 percent, and if you count the people who are working part-time jobs or who have given up the ghost of work altogether, it's much higher. Never mind all the people toiling away in multiple jobs to make ends meet, or working longer hours for less money. The economy may be "growing," but it's a fake growth that's relevant to real people only in that it's happening on their backs--companies are getting more for less out of both workers and consumers. As long as that's the status quo, whoever's in charge will be unpopular.Collapse )

Record number of LGBT candidates elected

Record Wins For LGBT CandidatesAs of this morning, a historic 106 openly gay candidates have been elected to office this year.

Landmark victories included that of Marcus Brandon — who, as state representative, will be North Carolina's first openly gay elected official — and Jim Gray, who beat an incumbent to become mayor of Lexington, Kentucky. Laurie Jinkins, elected to the Washington State House, is the stat's firs lesbian lawmaker. In Connecticut, Ken Lembo became the only openly gay candidates to win a statewide race when he was elected state comptroller. And, having been elected judge on the Superior Court of Alameda County, California, Victoria Kolakowski becomes the nation's first transgender trial court judge.

The election was significant in other ways: Although gay marriage amendments passe din 7 states, Arizona became the first state to defeat an anti-gay-marriage state constitutional amendment ballot initiative. Said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, according to the Dallas Voice, "We came into this election cycle knowing that these would be tough, uphill battles in all eight states. Defeating the amendment in Arizona was a huge victory, and even though the other seven amendments passed, they passed by smaller margins than in the past."

In sum, says Chuck Wolfe, president of The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, "This is the tipping point election for openly-gay candidates...We're proving that qualified, well-prepared candidates matched with committed donors means gays and lesbians can move from having a stake in policy to actually making policy. There's no reason to sit on the sidelines with our fingers crossed anymore."

Read more: Source

(sorry for the lack of formatting, my mouse is borked)
MLP Rainbow Dash nahnah

Bush: Me, want to go to Iraq? Never!

President Bush On Iraq War: ‘I Was A Dissenting Voice. I Didn’t Want To Use Force’
By Tanya Somanader

Former President George W. Bush will unveil his memoir “Decision Points” this Sunday to offer “an account of a key decisions in his life.” According to his publisher, the book will offer “gripping, never-before-heard detail.” One of those unheard-of details? Bush didn’t want the Iraq War.

Conducting Bush’s first interview of his publicity tour (which will air Monday), NBC News’ Matt Lauer pressed Bush on his decision to go to war despite “questions” from a number of “dissenters” like Gen. Colin Powell and his father’s former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft. Bush responded that “of course there were” dissenters, like himself:

LAUER: Not everybody thought you should go to war, though. There were dissenters.

BUSH: Of course there were.

LAUER: You know, there were questions at the Pentagon. Colin Powell had questions. Brent Scowcroft, your father’s former National Security Advisor, and dear friend, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, I’m paraphrasing here, saying, “It’s not a good idea to go to war in Iraq.” So there were dissenting voices.

BUSH: I was a dissenting voice. I didn’t want to use force. I mean force is the last option for a President. And I think it’s clear in the book that I gave diplomacy every chance to work. And I will also tell you the world’s better off without somehow in power. And so are 25 million Iraqis.[...]

LAUER: You would still go to war in Iraq?

BUSH: I– first of all, didn’t have that luxury. You just don’t have the luxury when you’re President.
[OP: WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN?] That’s a very hypothetical question. I will say definitely the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power, as are 25 million people who now have a chance to live in freedom.

Perhaps Bush doesn’t seem to remember his avaricious thirst for the Iraq war. So let’s remind him.

Recall, in 2002, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was meeting with three U.S. Senators on how to approach Iraq diplomatically, Bush “poked his head into the office” and “neatly summed up” his take: “F___ Saddam. We’re taking him out.” In “talking about why we needed this war,” Bush later referenced an alleged Iraqi assassination plot against Bush’s father: “We need to get Saddam Hussein…that Mother ______ tried to take out my Dad.”

This “get Saddam” mentality was hardly a momentary craze. Recently declassified documents reveal that his administration were looking for a way to “decapitate” the Iraqi government since 2001. As Bush’s Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill — who Bush fired for “disagreeing too many times” with him — puts it, Bush was “all about finding a way to [go to war]. That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this.’”

In the interview, Bush added that he still feels “sickened and angry” over the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Maybe he should watch his old comedy routine about those non-existent weapons of mass destruction. But, the 5,000 troop casualties and nearly 100,000 Iraqi civilian casualties resulting from his decision is no laughing matter.


The rent is still too damn high.

The 'Rent Is Too Damn High' Music Video Released! (VIDEO)

"Ain't nothin' else to talk about," indeed. Jimmy McMillan first entered the national spotlight during a New York gubernatorial debate, bellowing that "the rent is too damn high" as his prime election platform. Since then, the former candidate (running, fittingly, on the Rent Is 2 Damn High Party) has been endlessly parodied, auto-tuned, and mashed-up.

But yesterday, McMillan released an album, again with the theme of pricey rent costs (of course). He also concurrently released his first-ever music video, about... you guessed it. The video certainly reflects McMillan's unique style, and it takes quite a literal approach to demonstrating the horrors of high rent.


For anyone wondering how McMillan actually did in the election last night: He got under 40,000 votes, which means The Rent is 2 Damn High Party is not eligible to appear on the ballot in the next four years since the minimum amount of votes needed to appear on the NYS ballot is 50,000.

The Phantom Left

The Phantom Left

By Chris Hedges

The American left is a phantom. It is conjured up by the right wing to tag Barack Obama as a socialist and used by the liberal class to justify its complacency and lethargy. It diverts attention from corporate power. It perpetuates the myth of a democratic system that is influenced by the votes of citizens, political platforms and the work of legislators. It keeps the world neatly divided into a left and a right. The phantom left functions as a convenient scapegoat. The right wing blames it for moral degeneration and fiscal chaos. The liberal class uses it to call for “moderation.” And while we waste our time talking nonsense, the engines of corporate power—masked, ruthless and unexamined—happily devour the state.

The loss of a radical left in American politics has been catastrophic. The left once harbored militant anarchist and communist labor unions, an independent, alternative press, social movements and politicians not tethered to corporate benefactors. But its disappearance, the result of long witch hunts for communists, post-industrialization and the silencing of those who did not sign on for the utopian vision of globalization, means that there is no counterforce to halt our slide into corporate neofeudalism. This harsh reality, however, is not palatable. So the corporations that control mass communications conjure up the phantom of a left. They blame the phantom for our debacle. And they get us to speak in absurdities.

The phantom left took a central role on the mall this weekend in Washington. It had performed admirably for Glenn Beck, who used it in his own rally as a lightning rod to instill anger and fear. And the phantom left proved equally useful for the comics Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who spoke to the crowd wearing red-white-and-blue costumes. The two comics evoked the phantom left, as the liberal class always does, in defense of moderation, which might better be described as apathy. If the right wing is crazy and if the left wing is crazy, the argument goes, then we moderates will be reasonable. We will be nice. Exxon and Goldman Sachs, along with predatory banks and the arms industry, may be ripping the guts out of the country, our rights—including habeas corpus—may have been revoked, but don’t get mad. Don’t be shrill. Don’t be like the crazies on the left.
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Laureen Harper protests Iranian execution

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper's wife Laureen and Indigo president Heather Reisman have sent an open letter to Iran's president, calling on him to release a woman facing execution.

The letter to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says they are troubled by the flagrant disregard for women's rights in Iran.

A Germany-based rights organization reported this week that the hanging of 43-year-old mother Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was imminent.

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There are rumours that her execution is imminent, as early as a few days, however, Iran's foreign minister says there is still no final decision on the case against her and that authorities are still reviewing the verdict.


Students Protest In Dublin; Ends In Violence

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Clashes between gardaí and protesters broke out today after tens of thousands of students held a march in Dublin city centre against increases in registration fees.

About 2,000 people gathered on Merrion Row close to the Department of Finance after the main march on Leinster House.

Bricks, eggs and placards were thrown at the building and a group of about 20 protesters made it inside. Gardaí later ejected them.

Gardaí in riot gear drew their batons and mounted officers were deployed during clashes with the main body of protesters. A number of people suffered injuries during the violence.

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I was at the protest today, and I'm pissed off that legitimate discourse has been overshadowed by all of this. Ireland is run by a company of fools.

source, source, Videos
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Defence: Cross-burning was not done out of racial hatred

WINDSOR, N.S. - A Nova Scotia man admitted he set fire to a two-metre cross on an interracial couple's lawn earlier this year, but his lawyer argued the act on its own isn't enough to prove the 20-year-old was inciting racial hatred.

Justin Rehberg appeared before a tightly packed courtroom in Windsor, pleading guilty to criminal harassment of the couple who lived in the small, nearby community of Poplar Grove.

But Rehberg maintains he is innocent of inciting racial hatred, a charge to which he has pleaded not guilty.

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This incident occured in February, the man admitted to this act a few weeks ago, his sentencing will take place Nov. 5th.

Donna has had enough by PrettyQuoteable

Final results for Colorado Senate race

Michael Bennet defeats Ken Buck

DENVER — Sen. Michael Bennet narrowly defeated tea party Republican Ken Buck on Wednesday, allowing Democrats to hold onto a Senate seat once viewed as a prime opportunity for the GOP to make gains.

Bennet provided a crucial firewall during midterm elections in which Republicans made a historic surge. But his win looked anything but certain.

The Colorado race attracted more out-of-state campaign money than any other Senate contest this year, prompting a stream of vicious attack ads as both parties viewed the contest as the one that could tip the balance of power in Congress.

Buck, an affable campaigner whose folksy charm launched him over a better-funded Republican primary opponent, had a small lead heading into the election, according to many polls.

But with 97 percent of the projected vote counted Wednesday, Bennet was leading by about 15,400 votes out of 1.4 million cast.

Source at Huffpo has more.

A lot of you probably remember my wailing and gnashing of teeth last night, so needless to say this is a relief for me. And yes, the negative campaign ads were really disgusting.

Sidelight, did you all hear about our referendum to create a Denver Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission? Needless to say it went down in flames, but it was pretty loltastic.

Unclassy Huffington Post Video Mocks Female Conservatives

There is a fine line between tasteful political comedy and crossing-the-line crudeness, and the Huffington Post’s new song “My Girl's A Republican” just leaped over that line. With lyrics such as “Dick Nixon sucking lips” and “she made her oil money last, and now I’m tapping it,” even the most liberal among us could agree that the attack on Republican women is downright revolting.

Hailed as an “ode to right-wing ladies,” the three and a half minute song and video by Rap duo “It’s The Real” (and proudly displayed on the Huffington Post Web site) does nothing but smear conservative women like Christine O’Donnell, Michele Bachmann, and of course, Sarah Palin. The HuffPo write up on the “tribute to conservative women” song claims “it does a pretty solid job of both mocking and admiring right-wing conservatives.”

Admiring right-wing conservatives? The one line that could possibly be construed to “admire” a conservative woman is the tasteless description of the pro-life position: “We’ll be together forever, no ifs or even maybes. She’s anti-abortion, so she’ll never dump a baby.” The crudeness of the phrase “dumping a baby” is accompanied by three on-screen graphics of trashcans. Hardly praiseworthy.

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This shit is despicable. I don't care if you hate these female politicians and their ideas. They don't deserve sexism and rape culture disguised as political parody.


Gay kissing flashmob to greet Pope in Barcelona

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The gay and lesbian community in Barcelona is preparing a two-minute kissing session in front of Pope Benedict XVI to express their "discontent" over the anti-gay stance of the Catholic Church.

The event, advertised on Facebook as a "Queer Kissing Flashmob" is to take place on Sunday (7 October) morning, in front of the Gothic cathedral in the city.

"The Pope is coming to Barcelona, and his Holiness is the head of an institution which has traditionally been an enemy to sexual rights for those who practice non-reproductive sex and those who don't love in church-approved ways. Consequently, we have decided to stage a protest to express our discontent," the Facebook page says.

The organisers invite participants to bring people of their own gender and to start kissing for two minutes as soon as the head of the Catholic Church enters his Popemobile and kicks off the procession to the Sagrada Familia, the Gaudi church under never-ending construction.

"No placards, no flags, no shouting and no slogans. Only kissing is allowed," the Facebook page adds. Once the kissing session is over, participants are to leave "as if nothing had happened."Collapse )


Infant Survives Six Story Fall from Apartment Building

Imagine falling six full stories from an apartment to the ground below. Your odds of survival are already slim—but an 18-month-old child, weighing no more than 25 pounds, wouldn’t stand a chance, right?

Normally, that would be right—but then, that wouldn’t be good news, would it? Recently, an 18-month-old girl survived a “miracle fall” from her family’s Parisian apartment building completely unscathed.

After she fell out of the window, she had a stroke of luck when she bounced off a café awning. Then, in another fortunate turn, a doctor spotted her falling, and caught her in his arms before she hit the ground. He examined her on the spot, and didn’t find any injuries, but she was still taken to the hospital for care, where she was given a clean bill of health.

Phillippe Benseniot, the doctor who caught the child, doesn’t consider himself a hero. He’s just glad that he could help. “I was there at the right time,” he told France Info. “I’m happy for the little girl.”



Spokesman Belgian archbishop quits job

Spokesman for embattled Belgian archbishop quits, cites loss of trust

Nov 2, 2010 19:18 EDT


The spokesman for Belgium’s Roman Catholic leader quit on Tuesday, citing a loss of trust in the archbishop who has caused a storm with harsh comments on AIDS and caring words for some paedophile priests.

Jürgen Mettepenningen, a theologian who became Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard’s spokesman in August, announced his decision only days after the prelate agreed to stop speaking in public until Christmas to calm the storm engulfing the Church.

(Image: Jürgen Mettepenningen, 2 Nov 2010/screengrab RTL video)


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Not spectacular news, but I believe it makes a nice follow-up to this post. Most people I know are really fed up with Léonard now.

once upon a time

National Parks Reach Out to Blacks Who Aren’t Visiting


Shelton Johnson, a ranger at Yosemite, enlisted Oprah Winfrey in an effort to increase interest in national parks among blacks.

Published: November 2, 2010

When Shelton Johnson was 5, his family took him to Berchtesgaden National Park in the Bavarian Alps. To this day, he remembers his sense of awe.

“The mountains, the sky being so close — it affected me profoundly,” said Mr. Johnson, who now works as a ranger at Yosemite National Park in California.

In 23 years on the job, Mr. Johnson, 52, has been equally struck by how few of his fellow African-Americans visit the national parks, Yosemite included. A few years ago, he decided to do something about it.

In a plaintive letter to Oprah Winfrey, he wrote:

“Every year, America is becoming increasingly diverse, but that diversity is not reflected in the national parks, even though African-Americans and other groups played a vital role in the founding of national parks. If the national parks are America’s playground, then why are we not playing in the most beautiful places in America?”

On Friday, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” devoted the full hour to a segment that was taped at Yosemite in response to Mr. Johnson’s appeal. Part 2 of the episode is to be broadcast on Wednesday.

The visitors issue is a pressing one for the National Park Service, which is expanding its efforts to diversify both its guests and its work force as the agency prepares to celebrate its centennial in 2016.

Studies and surveys show that visitors to the nation’s 393 national parks — there were 285.5 million of them in 2009 — are overwhelmingly non-Hispanic whites, with blacks the least likely group to visit. That reality has not changed since the 1960s, when it was first identified as an issue. The Park Service now says the problem is linked to the parks’ very survival.

“If the American public doesn’t know that we exist or doesn’t care, our mission is potentially in jeopardy,” said Jonathan B. Jarvis, who took over as director of the Park Service last year. “There’s a disconnect that needs addressing.”

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Source at New York Times

Awesome Mom is Awesome

My Son Is Gay.
Or he’s not. I don’t care. He is still my son. And he is 5. And I am his mother. And if you have a problem with anything mentioned above, I don’t want to know you.
I have gone back and forth on whether I wanted to post something more in-depth about my sweet boy and his choice of Halloween costume. Or more specifically, the reactions to it. I figure if I’m still irked by it a few days later, I may as well go ahead and post my thoughts.
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I saw this blog post and thought we could use a little bit of sunshine via awesome parenting.