December 2nd, 2010

wendy, south park



Followers of Sarah Palin’s Twitter account will undoubtedly recognize the New Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2010:

refudiate verb used loosely to mean “reject”: she called on them to refudiate the proposal. 

[origin — blend of refute and repudiate]

Refudiate: A Historical Perspective


An unquestionable buzzword in 2010, the word refudiate instantly evokes the name of Sarah Palin, who tweeted her way into a flurry of media activity when she used the word in certain statements posted on Twitter. Critics pounced on Palin, lampooning what they saw as nonsensical vocabulary and speculating on whether she meant “refute” or “repudiate.”


From a strictly lexical interpretation of the different contexts in which Palin has used “refudiate,” we have concluded that neither “refute” nor “repudiate” seems consistently precise, and that “refudiate” more or less stands on its own, suggesting a general sense of “reject.”


Although Palin is likely to be forever branded with the coinage of “refudiate,” she is by no means the first person to speak or write it—just as Warren G. Harding was not the first to use the word normalcy when he ran his 1920 presidential campaign under the slogan “A return to normalcy.” But Harding was a political celebrity, as Palin is now, and his critics spared no ridicule for his supposedly ignorant mangling of the correct word “normality.”


In addition, forming a word by merging two together (technically called “a blend”) can be useful and has a long established pedigree, as evidenced by words we take for granted in modern usage but which started life as blends: for example, brunch, acupressure, smog, and motel.

Source + The other words on the short list

Right. I'll go jump off a cliff now if you don't mind.

stock | Teddy and Puppy

ONTD_Political's PotD: December 01, 2010.

World AIDS Day 2010 | December 1 marks World AIDS Day. A recent United Nations report revealed that nearly 33.4 million people are infected by the HIV virus throughout the world. In Europe, more than 80 iconic landmarks across 13 countries joined (RED) to promote awareness of the ongoing fight against the AIDS epidemic, by turning red to mark World AIDS Day on December 1. Elsewhere around the world there were candlelight vigils, quilt displays and a variety of other events.
Members of the Atlacatl Association, a non-profit organisation addressing the needs of HIV-positive individuals, pose for a picture in front of a lighted red ribbon display during an event to mark World AIDS Day in San Salvador December 1, 2010.  (REUTERS/Luis Galdamez)Collapse )


Philadelphia No. 1 in rate of children who smoke

Some facts about tobacco, teenagers, and Philadelphia:

Eighty percent of stores that sell cigarettes are located within 1,000 feet of a school. Kids who try to buy tobacco succeed 20 percent of the time. Merchants who sell illegally to people under 18 are mailed a $100 ticket for the first, second, or even seventh violation.

The result, officials say, is the highest youth-smoking rate among comparable big cities - a statistic that City Council is expected to attack Thursday by raising the fine for underage sales to $250 and streamlining the process to temporarily shutter businesses after three violations.

"They stare at me for, like, seven seconds, and then they just go reach for the cigarettes and hand them to me," said RaeNa Johnson, 16, who has bought tobacco from city retailers thousands of times during the last two years in undercover compliance checks that are run by most counties. "They obviously didn't care about health or that we could get addicted to nicotine at a young age. . . . They were getting $7 per pack."
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Lee Harvey Oswald's original coffin up for auction

On November 25, 1963, representatives from more than 90 countries attended the Washington funeral for President John F. Kennedy. Millions watched the somber events on television.

On that day, 1,300 miles to the southwest, the man accused of killing him was quietly and simply buried in Fort Worth, Texas. Lee Harvey Oswald's remains were interred in a simple pine coffin with the help of volunteer pallbearers.

The deteriorated coffin, which was replaced after Oswald's body was exhumed briefly in 1981, is now up for auction.

A Fort Worth mortuary owner is selling the box, which had a bid of $5,000 on Wednesday.

Also for sale are an Easter card signed by Oswald, a first draft of his death certificate, funeral records, an embalming table used to hold Oswald's body and assorted mortuary instruments.

Bidding ends December 16, according to Nate D. Sanders Auctions of Los Angeles, California.

Another seller is auctioning a patch of seat leather from the limousine that carried Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy through the streets of Dallas, Texas, during the shooting November 22, 1963.

Funeral director Allen Baumgardner, 68, who assisted at the original embalming, purchased Miller Funeral Home along with all of its property. "He felt the time was right to sell," said Laura Yntema, auction manager at Nate D. Sanders.

"What strikes me about it is what a simple pine coffin it is," she said, adding that the company expects the coffin to go for $70,000 to $100,000.

Asked about the macabre nature of some of the items, Yntema said "this is definitely a special situation." Collectors look at the items more for their historical value, she said.

Oswald was buried one day after nightclub owner Jack Ruby (born Jack Rubenstein) fatally shot him at Dallas Police headquarters while he was being transferred to the county jail.

The death certificate draft lists "shot by Jack Rubenstein" under a section asking how the fatal injury occurred. The name was scratched out because Ruby, who died in 1967, had not been tried. Another death certificate was officially filed.

Yntema said she expects the death certificate to go for $10,000 to $20,000

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Conservative Christians blast Apple decision to discontinue app

A coalition of conservative Christian leaders blasted Apple on Wednesday for discontinuing an app the group had created because the technology giant said the app was offensive.

The Christian leaders had created the app to promote a document that urges opposition to abortion and gay marriage and support for religious liberty, among other positions.

An Apple spokeswoman confirmed the company had removed the app, which was called the Manhattan Declaration after the document it was meant to promote, from Apple's online iTunes and iPhone stores.

"It violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people," said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris, who said the app was removed last week.

The Manhattan Declaration app allowed users to sign and share the the declaration and included a four-question quiz that featured questions like "Do you support same-sex relationships?" and "Do you support the right of choice regarding abortion?"

The app computes a score for the quiz depending on how many "correct" answers a user gave.

Kerris said that Apple had heard from "large groups of people" about the app but declined to answer questions about who complained about the app and about which part or parts were deemed offensive, saying "I'd rather not got into further detail."

Prominent gay bloggers had criticized the app, focusing on the quiz.

Chuck Colson, a former aide to President Richard Nixon turned evangelical leader, said Wednesday that he was disappointed in the decision and because Apple had declined to respond to his requests for an explanation.

"If you have a public communications company, you have a responsibility to see that certain views are not suppressed," he said. "This is a dangerous thing to do in a free society."

Colson helped draft the Manhattan Declaration last year, which promoters say has garnered more than 478,000 signatures.

A spokeswoman for the declaration said Wednesday that Apple had approved and posted its app in October and that it had received a 4 plus rating for "no objectionable content."

"...Numerous attempts to have a dialogue via phone have been ignored," the spokeswoman, Michelle Farmer, said of the leaders' attempts to reach out to Apple. "Now leaders with the Manhattan Declaration are asking its supporters to get involved and pressure Jobs and Apple to reinstate the Christian app."

Colson and two other declaration drafters sent a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Monday asking that the app be reinstated.

In an interview, Colson said that if the quiz was considered offensive, he would have it removed.

Asked whether Apple had any plans to reinstate the app, Kerris said Wednesday that she had "no further comment."

EDIT: Real source this time!

gen || friends

Healthcare costs for seniors to exceed cost of a large farmhouse in Nova Scotia.

Retirees need up to $150,000 for health costs, report says

Medicare beneficiaries of retirement age will need upwards of nearly $150,000 in savings to cover health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses in order to have a 50-50 chance of being financially secure in retirement, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

Men 65 and older will need anywhere from $65,000 and $109,000 in savings to cover health costs to have a 50-50 chance of having enough money in retirement, according to the study. If they want to improve their odds to 90 percent, they will need between $124,000 and $211,000.

Women of retirement age this year need even more savings. For 50-50 odds, they need between $88,000 and $146,000 in savings. For 90 percent, they need $134,000 to $242,000.

The projected savings requirements for those currently 55 years old will be even greater, EBRI said. Men will need to save between $110,000 and $354,000, while women will need to save between $147,000 and $406,000.

"Because employers are continuing to scale back retiree health benefits, and policymakers may soon begin to address Medicare's funding shortfall, more of the financial costs of health care will be shifted to Medicare beneficiaries in the future," said Paul Fronstin, reporter co-author and director of EBRI's Health Research and Education Program.

Source: The Hill, Healthwatch

Based on the way voting against cuts in Medicare reimbursement comes up every three months or so until somebody decides to push some legislation through to reform the reimbursement system (a move which I have heard called by Phil Gingrey, MD (R- GA) "political suicide"), it is entirely likely that more costs will be shifted to Medicare beneficiaries. However, this article and its sources feel questionable to me; I couldn't find this report on the EBRI's website after a short search -sorry I'm at work, can't look around more- to check their research. And I don't know anything about the reliability of the EBRI. Thoughts?

Obama and GOPers Worked Together to Kill Bush Torture Probe

In its first months in office, the Obama administration sought to protect Bush administration officials facing criminal investigation overseas for their involvement in establishing policies the that governed interrogations of detained terrorist suspects. A "confidential" April 17, 2009, cable sent from the US embassy in Madrid to the State Department—one of the 251,287 cables obtained by WikiLeaks—details how the Obama administration, working with Republicans, leaned on Spain to derail this potential prosecution.

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This wasn't the sort of bipartisanship I was hoping for.

Nigeria to Charge Former US VP in Bribery Case

Nigeria's anti-corruption agency says it will file charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in connection with a bribery scandal.

Spokesmen for Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said Thursday that Cheney will be charged for actions allegedly taken while he was president of the Halliburton oil services firm from 1995 to 2000.

Authorities raided Halliburton's Lagos office last week and detained 10 people, who were later released.

A former Halliburton subsidiary, KBR Incorporated, agreed last year to pay fines of $577 million to the United States to settle accusations it paid bribes to win contracts to build natural gas facilities in Nigeria. The current case is related to that scandal.

Nigerian officials said charges will be filed next week against Cheney and other current and former chief executives of Halliburton and KBR. Charges are also expected against chiefs of European companies Technip SA, Eni, and Eni subsidiary Saipem.



The Daily Show finally goes after sexism

Save the Playboy Mansion Fund

The ‘Save The Playboy Mansion Fund’ is an earnest attempt to help save the institution that has given so much to female equality, but is now in trouble — so says Kristen Schaal.

“The first step in women breaking the glass ceiling is pressing our boobs against it.”

Playboy is in a bit of financial hard times and Kristen is calling on women to stand up and help the magazine that has been so instrumental in advancing women causes throughout the years. Hilarious!

click here to watch the video

  • omer

40 dead as huge brushfire rages through Carmel Mountains

Thousands of dunams in northern Israel burned down; bus evacuating some 50 prison guards flips over and gets caught in the flames causing dozens of casualties.
By Fadi Eyadat

A huge brushfire was raging across the Carmel Mountains near Haifa on Thursday afternoon, resulting in the death of some 40 people and hurting dozens of others, among them prison guards and firemen.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from areas around the Carmel Forest with the help of a large force of rescue workers who were called to the scene to evacuate dozens of homes and close off traffic on neighboring roads.

Thousands of dunams of natural forest were burned down and power supply was cut off in the areas of Isfiyeh and Daliyat al-Karmel.

Prisons Service was also forced to evacuate some 500 security inmates from the Damon Prison and house them temporarily in nearby jails.

While trying to evacuate individuals from the Damon Prison, a bus with some 50 prison guards flipped over and got caught in the flames.

The villages of Isfiyeh and Beit Oron were evacuated in the early afternoon, as was the neighboring Carmel Forest Hotel and Carmel Farm, as easterly wind blew the flames across the mountain rage.

"This large fire has spread due to strong winds," Haifa District Police Deputy Superintendent Ahuva Mishne told Israel Radio. "The winds are blowing in the direction of the sea, so there is no real concern for the [nearby] villages."


The news is saying this is the biggest fire Israel ever experienced. I think its probably due to the fact 2010 was the driest year in Izzy since 1860 :(

Ivory Coast election: Army says it has sealed borders

The Ivorian military says it has sealed the country's borders, as tensions rise amid confusion over the outcome of Sunday's presidential election run-off.

It comes hours after the Constitutional Court rejected a declaration by the electoral commission that opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara had won.

Supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo had tried to block the long-delayed result, alleging fraud in the north.

The UN Security Council asked both sides to show restraint.

"The air, land and sea border of the country are closed to all movement of people and goods," military spokesman Babri Gohourou said.

The border would remain closed until further notice, Mr Gohourou added.

The announcement of the result of Sunday's run-off had been much delayed, leading to heightened tension in the country.

Supporters of President Ggagbo had tried to block the result, saying there had been fraud in the north, which is controlled by former rebels and the region where Mr Ouattara is most popular.


Read the entire article at the BBC

we don't have a tag for the Ivory Coast, so I tried to tag this the best I could.
Christian Bale

Adorable, Racist Child Hosts Adorable, Racist Web Series…Horrifyingly

Man, there is nothing funnier than adorable racist children. Sure, children who haven’t been brainwashed by their parents and guardians to espouse horrible hatred that will forever keep them at a distance from society and unable to live a normal, happy life have their charms. But racist children? Those guys are hilarious. Especially when they have their own web series “for white kids” in which they discuss the clear racial undertones of Marmaduke. Seriously, that film was this generation’s Birth of a Nation.

Welcome to (the apparently legit) eighth episode of The Andrew Show, a series from in which a little boy describes in a (South African?) accent and explains how the dog park in Marmaduke is like how “different races come in and say white people shouldn’t have their land.” Huh. I missed that during my last viewing of the film. Of course I was distracted by all the hilarious shots of William H. Macy getting hit in the nuts. God, that’s a great film!

Anyway, this video clearly brings up a lot of distressing questions about race relations and the way we raise our children. Mostly though, I just want to know why they felt the need to use a green screen for the background. Could they not find an actual, real life book shelf to use?

Mucho props to Videogum for finding this. Not only because you should always give credit when due, but also because I don’t want anyone to think I spend time on a website called

Check out the clip below. WARNING: You’ll never look at Marmaduke the same way again.

Pam Grier


SPRINGFIELD – Senators passed and sent to Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday a bill making Illinois the sixth state to allow civil unions for both gay and heterosexual couples.

The Senate passed the historic measure 32-24. East Central Illinois' four area senators split on the issue, with Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, and Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa, voting yes. Sens. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, and Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, voted no.

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Sen. Michael Frerichs of Champaign is my senator. Even my representative, Bill Black (though I'm trying to get that district changed) is absolutely AWESOME, and it's awesome that he passed the bill in the IL house yesterday - his last day of being in the IL house after many, many years.