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November 17th, 2010
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Diwali (also spelled Devali in certain regions) or Deepavali, popularly known as the "festival of lights", is an important five-day festival in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism, occurring between mid-October and mid-November. For Hindus, Diwali is the most important festival of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. Deepavali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji.( Collapse )
Source: "Diwali" | DayLife
Venomous shock jock Rush Limbaugh described President Obama as a “juvenile delinquent” in a rant on his radio show yesterday, and then posted the full transcript, which he titled “Obama’s Administration is Graffiti on the Walls of American History,” accompanied by a picture of “Obama graffiti” defacing Mount Rushmore. Andrew Sullivan highlights Limbaugh’s racially-tinged comments:
This guy is an utter wrecking ball all by himself on the world stage to the point now of getting embarrassing. This presidency of Obama’s, it doesn’t take much to irritate the left. Try this: “Barack Obama’s presidency is graffiti on the walls of American history.” That’s what his administration is. No more than graffiti on the walls of American history. We have a juvenile delinquent for a president who has ruined so much public and private property, not even his gang is making much of an effort here to protect him. It’s an utter disaster.
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Photo of "graffiti" at source
I had my phone recording audio and video of much of these events. It can be viewed below.
Please spread this story as far and wide as possible. I will make no claims to copyright or otherwise.]
This morning, I tried to fly out of San Diego International Airport but was refused by the TSA. I had been somewhat prepared for this eventuality. I have been reading about the millimeter wave and backscatter x-ray machines and the possible harm to health as well as the vivid pictures they create of people's naked bodies. Not wanting to go through them, I had done my research on the TSA's website prior to traveling to see if SAN had them. From all indications, they did not. When I arrived at the security line, I found that the TSA's website was out of date. SAN does in fact utilize backscatter x-ray machines.
I made my way through the line toward the first line of "defense": the TSA ID checker. This agent looked over my boarding pass, looked over my ID, looked at me and then back at my ID. After that, he waved me through. SAN is still operating metal detectors, so I walked over to one of the lines for them. After removing my shoes and making my way toward the metal detector, the person in front of me in line was pulled out to go through the backscatter machine. After asking what it was and being told, he opted out. This left the machine free, and before I could go through the metal detector, I was pulled out of line to go through the backscatter machine. When asked, I half-chuckled and said, "I don't think so." At this point, I was informed that I would be subject to a pat down, and I waited for another agent.
A male agent (it was a female who had directed me to the backscatter machine in the first place), came and waited for me to get my bags and then directed me over to the far corner of the area for screening. After setting my things on a table, he turned to me and began to explain that he was going to do a "standard" pat down. (I thought to myself, "great, not one of those gropings like I've been reading about".) After he described, the pat down, I realized that he intended to touch my groin. After he finished his description but before he started the pat down, I looked him straight in the eye and said, "if you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested." He, a bit taken aback, informed me that he would have to involve his supervisor because of my comment.
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Methinks the implementation of these procedures should be where the TSA should realize it needs to step the fuck back. This incident doesn't even cover the aspect of sexual assault survivors being subjected to this sort of screening amongst many other issues constitutional and ethical.
Also, mods I humbly request a TSA tag.
The Palin Network
On the night of the midterm elections earlier this month, Sarah Palin stayed up until 3 in the morning. From her hotel bedroom in Manhattan, she and her husband, Todd, followed the returns while she wrote e-mails on her iPad — congratulating winners, consoling losers — while reading others from people who wanted her to know that they had cast their vote for her daughter Bristol on “Dancing With the Stars” the evening before. Like much of her recent life, Palin’s day had been replete with reminders of the clout she had rapidly acquired. She had spent most of her time ensconced at the Fox television studios, though she managed to squeeze in a jog in Central Park — which she promptly chronicled on Twitter: “Beautiful!” Also at the studios was her fellow Fox News contributor Karl Rove, who had recently questioned in a British newspaper whether Palin’s new reality TV series, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” made her appear Oval Office-worthy. The building was abuzz over what would ensue when the two would inevitably bump into each other. The moment came after Palin finished a segment with the anchor Bret Baier and saw Rove lingering stageside with Brit Hume, a Fox colleague, holding a well-marked copy of “Alaska for Dummies” — a prop clearly intended to mollify Palin. She laughed, used her phone’s camera to take a picture of Rove with the book, traded brief hellos and then left the studio without mentioning Rove’s earlier comment.
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More at the SOURCE(NYT)
The announcement by the senator, Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican point man on the issue, blindsided and angered the White House, which vowed to keep pressing for approval of the so-called New Start treaty. But the White House strategy had hinged entirely on winning over Mr. Kyl, and Democrats, who began scrambling for a backup plan, said they considered the chances of success slim.
Winning approval of the treaty will only become harder for the White House next year, when Democrats will have six fewer seats in the Senate, forcing the administration to rely on additional Republican votes to reach the 67 needed for ratification.
The treaty, which would force both countries to pare back nuclear arsenals and resume mutual inspections that lapsed last year for the first time since the cold war, is the centerpiece of two of Mr. Obama’s signature goals: restoring friendly relations with Russia and putting the world on a path toward eventually eliminating nuclear arms. A failure to ratify the treaty could freeze both efforts and, some analysts said, undermine Mr. Obama’s credibility on the world stage.
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Steven N. Cowan, 66, railed at the television as the daughter of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin appeared on the ABC program, his wife told police Monday after she fled from the town of Vermont house, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court.
Cowan had also been under stress because of a financial situation and was receiving care for a mental health problem, the complaint states. Cowan’s wife, Janice, told police that her husband had been drinking, but she did not think he was intoxicated.
The complaint charged Cowan with second-degree reckless endangerment.
According to the complaint, Cowan and his wife were watching “Dancing with the Stars” when Cowan jumped up and swore as Bristol Palin appeared, saying something about “the (expletive) politics.” Cowan was upset that a political figure’s daughter was on the show when he didn’t think she was a good dancer, the complaint states.
According to the complaint:
Cowan went upstairs for about 20 minutes and returned, demanding his pistols, which had been taken by his daughter about a month ago for safety reasons. He was carrying a single-shot shotgun, which he loaded and fired into the television.
Cowan continued to yell, demanding his pistols. He re-loaded the shotgun and pointed it toward his wife. She left the house and drove to Black Earth, where she called 911. She told police she was afraid for her safety.
Cowan kept sheriff’s deputies at bay outside his home until 11 a.m. Tuesday, when he surrendered without incident, sheriff’s spokeswoman Elise Schaffer said.
On Tuesday night's results show of "Dancing with the Stars," Bristol Palin advanced to next week's finals of the competition.
Source notes that Wisconsin never fails to amuse the rest of the nation with our wacky hijinks.
Ramirez attends school on scholarships and pays in-state tuition. California is one of 10 states that permit undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition -- a position that was upheld by the state Supreme Court this week.
After his election last June, he told the administration he would serve without pay -- a $9,000 stipend -- because he could not lie on employment papers. On Tuesday, an anonymous tip to the college newspaper forced Ramirez to go public.
Ramirez, who came to U.S. at the age of 3, said did not know he was not a citizen until he was a senior in high school. As long as he can remember, he said, his parents -- a maid and a restaurant worker -- have told him he must work hard and achieve the American dream. He said they did not tell him he was not born in this country until he began applying to universities.
"I knew my parents were from Mexico, but a lot of people's parents are from Mexico," he said. "I grew up American."
Other than college counselors and administrators, Ramirez told no one of his status.
"I just kept it within. One of those things you don't tell anyone," he said. "But now I'm almost relieved to have to be open. Congress is about to vote on the Dream Act, which gives college students a path to citizenship. So, you know, here I am. It's me. I am one of the thousands whose fate is in their hands."
Ramirez said he would not resign his position unless the students who elected him demanded it. Fresno State is expected to release a statement on matter Wednesday.
The California Supreme Court's unanimous decision on in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants is the first of its kind in the nation.
Federal law prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving college benefits based on residency and not provided to all citizens.
However, state officials insist there is no conflict with federal law. Under California's non-resident tuition exemption, approved in 2001, public colleges can offer in-state tuition to those who have attended California high schools for at least three years.
Some of those students are illegal immigrants. Others are U.S. citizens who attended high school in California but whose families may now live elsewhere, or those who moved out of the state to study or attended boarding schools in California.
Meanwhile, Democratic leaders in Congress have pledged to vote on the proposed Dream Act before the end of the year. If approved, the legislation would allow students living in the U.S. illegally to earn legal status if they graduate from high school and complete two years in college or the military.
Here's how the AP described Medal of Honor winner Army Sgt. Salvatore Giunta heroics:
Giunta, the first living Medal of Honor winner of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, braved heavy gunfire to pull a fellow soldier to cover and rescued another who was being dragged away by insurgents.
Fischer's take? "So the question is this: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night?"
"We have feminized the Medal of Honor," Fischer wrote. He also quoted General Patton: "Gen. George Patton once famously said, 'The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other guy die for his.'" (Actually, Patton doesn't say anything about the other guy: "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.")
Fischer recently argued that it's time to get rid of the "curse" that is the Grizzly Bear because of the number of humans who have been killed by bears: "One human being is worth more than an infinite number of grizzly bears. Another way to put it is that there is no number of live grizzlies worth one dead human being. If it's a choice between grizzlies and humans, the grizzlies have to go. And it's time."
Fischer is a favorite of social conservative Republicans, and spoke at the Values Voter summit this fall alongside Mitt Romney, Jim DeMint, and other big-shot Republicans.
To prove the point, a group of Los Angeles business owners paid $425 to the Better Business Bureau and were able to obtain an A minus grade for a non-existent company called Hamas, named after the Middle Eastern terror group.
Ellen de Bruin's book "Dutch women don't get depressed."I've been in the Netherlands for nearly three months now, and I've come to one overwhelming conclusion: Dutch women are not like me. I worry about my career incessantly. I take daily stock of its trajectory and make vicious mental critiques of my endeavors. And I know—based on weekly phone conversations with friends in the United States—that my masochistic drive for success is widely shared among my female friends. Meanwhile, the Dutch women around me take a lackadaisical approach to their careers. They work half days, meet their friends for coffee at 2 p.m., and pity their male colleagues who are stuck in the office all day.
Though the Netherlands is consistently ranked in the top five countries for women, less than 10 percent of women here are employed full-time. And they like it this way. Incentives to nudge women into full-time work have consistently failed. Less than 4 percent of women wish they had more working hours or increased responsibility in the workplace, and most refuse extended hours even when the opportunity for advancement arises. Some women cite the high cost of child care as a major factor in their shorter hours, but 62 percent of women working part time in the Netherlands don't have young children in the house, and mothers rarely increase their working hours even when their children leave home.
No opt-out for the latest in anti-terror technology though, with reports just out in Forbes Magazine and the Christian Science Monitor that the Homeland Security Department has purchased 500 mobile X-ray vans called ZBVs that can scan cars, trucks and homes without the drivers even knowing that they're being zapped.
"If your conference wants to deny millions of Americans affordable health care, your members should walk that walk," four Democrats write in the letter, which is addressed to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican leader John Boehner. "You cannot enroll in the very kind of coverage that you want for yourselves, and then turn around and deny it to Americans who don't happen to be Members of Congress."
According to the letter, the federal government pays more than $10,000 of the premiums of each member of Congress who has a family policy under the most selected plan.
The signatories on the letter are four liberal lawmakers: Joseph Crowley of New York, Linda T. Sanchez of California, Donna Edwards of Maryland and Tim Ryan of Ohio. They sent a separate letter to other Democratic colleagues asking them to sign onto the effort.
The Democrats say they were spurred to press Republicans to announce their position by news that Andy Harris, a conservative incoming Republican House freshman, had complained that he would not receive his government-subsidized health care coverage until Feb. 1, a month after he is sworn into office.
Harris campaigned against the health care bill, which is projected to provide coverage to more than 30 million previously uninsured Americans, and his party is vowing to "repeal and replace" it.
In their letter, the Democrats write they were "surprised" to see Harris complain that "there is a delay before benefits take effect. Ironically, this is the same predicament millions of Americans currently find themselves in."
"We also find it interesting that members of the Republican conference would have no problem taking away health coverage from hard-working Americans, but expect expanded coverage for themselves and their families," they add, writing that the health care reform bill gives Americans the option of selecting a plan in a manner similar to members of Congress.
Some good may be coming from that idiot Harris after all. I only wish Dems would actually make a big deal out of this in the media and highlight the GOP's hypocrisy.
"During the work period following the Thanksgiving holidays, I will bring the Defense Authorization bill to the floor, including a repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Our Defense Department supports repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' as a way to build our all-volunteer armed forces. We need to repeal this discriminatory policy so that any American who wants to defend our country can do so," Reid said in a statement.( Collapse )
Second Group Of Deficit Hawks Calls For Regressive National Sales Tax
WASHINGTON -- The nation and its workers remain in grave economic distress, but it's a bull market for alarmist Washington insiders coming up with draconian solutions to projected fiscal problems that might or might not arise years from now.
A second group came out with a deficit reduction plan Wednesday, exactly a week after the two chairmen of President Obama's fiscal commission floated their controversial draft recommendation. (A third group also has some advice as well.)
This latest group hails from the Bipartisan Policy Center, and its signature proposal may end up being a whopping 6.5 percent national "Deficit Reduction Sales Tax" -- just the sort of thing that is devastating to people who live on a budget while not really mattering so much to the rich.
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Why don't they just come out and say, "Fuck the Middle Class/Poor!" I could at least appreciate the honesty.
Autumn is here (for those of us in the northern hemisphere). This year, the full moon and the autumnal equinox happened on the same day, for the first time in 19 years. Evenings now come sooner and the air cools more quickly, leaves [have] changed, crops are being harvested, harvest festivals are being held, and animals and nomads are on the move to their winter grounds. Collected here are a handful of recent images of early autumn around the northern half of our world.( Collapse )
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