December 15th, 2010

  • mswyrr

WANTED: obedient, incurious "yes" men and women for good federal jobs

Will reading WikiLeaks cost students jobs with the federal government?

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

U.S. agencies have warned some employees that reading the classified State Department documents released by WikiLeaks puts them at risk of losing their jobs. But what about students considering jobs with the federal government? Do they jeopardize their chances by reading WikiLeaks?

Collapse )


So the US government apparently wants to hire people who never once stepped out of line, never dared to question authority, and have deadened their own sense of inquisitiveness. Because all those things indicate intelligence! And we can't have that in our government! No sirree. Drones, that's what we need! Whole armies of 'em. Conventional thinking and intellectual cowardice is what's made America great. Also: the rebellion of university students totally determines their behavior as adults. Nobody's ever been radical in college and conservative as an adult! EVER.

Stephanie: Sad

US Diplomat Holbrooke dies after aortic tear.

Richard Holbrooke, a veteran U.S. diplomat who was the architect of the 1995 Bosnia peace plan and served as President Barack Obama's special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, has died, NBC News reported, citing a U.S. official. He was 69.

Holbrooke's forceful style earned him nicknames such as "The Bulldozer" or "Raging Bull." He was admitted to George Washington University Hospital on Friday after he became ill. He had surgery on Saturday to repair a torn aorta.

"Tonight America has lost one of its fiercest champions and most dedicated public servants," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after his death on Monday.

"Richard Holbrooke served the country he loved for nearly half a century, representing the United States in far-flung war-zones and high-level peace talks, always with distinctive brilliance and unmatched determination. He was one of a kind — a true statesman — and that makes his passing all the more painful."

Hours before Holbrooke's death Obama had called Holbrooke "a towering figure in American foreign policy" who was a critical player in developing the administration's policy on Afghanistan.

On Capitol Hill, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., called the loss of Holbrooke "almost incomprehensible," adding that his "tough-as-nails, never-quit diplomacy" saved tens of thousands of lives. Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who will chair the House Foreign Affairs Committee next year, called Holbrooke "a dynamic force in American diplomacy" whose "stellar service is deeply appreciated and held in the highest esteem."

Rest of obit here.

Mods I looked back a few pages and couldn't find a post on his death there. If there's one ahead of mine in the queue, feel free to reject this one.
Dragon Age Inquisition

TIME chooses its Person of the Year 2010.

Person of the Year 2010: Mark Zuckerberg
By Lev Grossman

On the afternoon of Nov. 16, 2010, Mark Zuckerberg was leading a meeting in the Aquarium, one of Facebook's conference rooms, so named because it's in the middle of a huge work space and has glass walls on three sides so everybody can see in. Conference rooms are a big deal at Facebook because they're the only places anybody has any privacy at all, even the bare minimum of privacy the Aquarium gets you. Otherwise the space is open plan: no cubicles, no offices, no walls, just a rolling tundra of office furniture. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO, who used to be Lawrence Summers' chief of staff at the Treasury Department, doesn't have an office. Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO and co-founder and presiding visionary, doesn't have an office.

Collapse )


Well...that was unexpected. Or was it?

P.S. Mods, I'm resubmitting because wireless bonked out on me.
yeah so no
  • homasse

Strip club owner posts “No Negroes Allowed” sign

Strip club owner posts “No Negroes Allowed” sign

ABBOTSFORD, Wisconsin - A sign excluding black people from a future Abbotsford, Wisconsin business is enraging some people in the small town.

It's a sign generations of people may have never seen, yet Mark Prior says it's his right to discriminate.

"If I've got a problem with you it's going to be on the front of my store," says Mark Prior.

Prior posted his 'No Negros Allowed' sign after he says he had some problems with black people in the past and needed to make a policy against them.

Collapse )



And honestly, I'm not sure which to be more pissed off at--the fact the sign exists, the fact that he used the word "negro," or the fact he doesn't know how to use the plural s. And why is there a period before the word "no"?
bullet argument!

A clear case of attack by wheelchair

The police like to set their public relations department a special Christmas challenge, don't they? Because that's the only explanation for them being filmed on the anti-fees demonstration, chucking a disabled man out of his wheelchair and shoving him along the road, unless it was to enjoy telling their PR team, "Stick a positive spin on that for us, could you?"

Collapse )

GOP guy thinks latin@s are his own personal army

 TX GOPer urges colleagues to recruit Latinos to party to ally against Muslims

Caucasian GOP support for anything having to do with immigration reform is so far and in between that when such a Republican voices support for immigration issues and proudly declares:

"I personally like the Hispanic people and their commitment to family and the work ethic. They are also a Christian based culture. I don't blame them for having made it to America by hook or crook."
...And goes on to urge his fellow Republicans to welcome Latinos into the party, it leaves that fuzzy warm feeling that has been void for too long in the relationship lately between Latinos and Caucasian GOPers.
Dr. Steve Hotze

It was exactly that kind of warm feeling I was getting as I read Dr. Steve Hotze's open letter to his colleagues in supporting immigration reform that was published online at Texas GOP Vote.

Dr. Hotze, according to his online bio, was trained as a traditional physician in family medicine and now takes an alternative approach to administering medicine by treating the causes of his patients' illnesses, rather than the symptoms.

His unorthodox approach has garnered him media attention from CNN to the CBS Early Show and he hosts his own health and wellness radio program in Houston. Obviously, Dr. Hotze is the type of person anyone would welcome on their side to give credibility to an issue.

In his scolding of his state party colleagues, Dr. Hotze made the wry observation that:

"It seems to me that there may be nativistic and prejudicial thinking on the immigration issue by many Caucasians.
Finally, I thought to myself, there's someone willing to speak out and state the obvious and call offenders to task."

Yet, in further reading Dr. Hotze's letter, it became too apparent that there are different shades of obvious. In his conclusion, he writes:

"The majority of the Hispanic culture in America is Christian, pro-family, pro-life and pro-free enterprise. Sounds like they would make great Republicans to me. Let's go recruit them!
Gentlemen, it seems that the real problem we face is the Muslim immigration invasion of America. The Hispanics are our natural allies against the Democrats and Muslims."

With all things being the same when it comes to discrimination and prejudice, it's amazing that in this educated man's mind he can't see the connection of his earlier statement (It seems to me that there may be nativistic and prejudicial thinking on the immigration issue by many Caucasians) with his closing argument to recruit more Latinos.

It would seem to me that a party that wears discrimination and prejudice so proudly on their sleeves would not only be insincere in the recruitment of any person of color but prove to be a major turn-off for any rational person of the 21st Century.

Unfortunately, it didn't sway the latest Texas Democrat from switching parties -- Rep. Aaron Peña.

Rep. Peña was expected to announce his party switch sometime today. His reason?

"In a recent interview with the Rio Grande Guardian, the lawmaker said Hispanics -- a group that tends to vote Democratic when it turns out at the polls -- will increasingly vote Republican because Democrats no longer reflect their values."

As long as Republicans, like Dr. Hotze, see Latinos as nothing more than allies in "ganging" up on other ethnicities and refuse to endorse the DREAM Act or work on immigration reform out of party spite and still think deporting 11 million people is feasible, then those are values that aren't reflective of Latinos either -- or signs of a party that really care about the Latino vote.


~Top Ten ONTD_Political Posts Of 2010 Nominations!~


It's that time of year again! Help decide which posts in 2010 are the most lulzy, wanky, have the best live discussions, trollicious, and all around awesome. Here's how this works:

1) Find a post you like. Nominate this post in the comments on this entry. Each comment should look like this:

- Title of post/short description of post

- Direct link to post

If you are having trouble finding direct links, use the tags or go on Google and type in "ONTD_POLITICAL + [TITLE/SUBJECT/KEY WORD(S) OF THE ENTRY YOU'RE LOOKING FOR]." You can also use the community's calendar to find direct links.

ONE NOMINATION COMMENT PER POST PLEASE!. If you want to nominate a set of posts on the same topic, (for example: the Iranian Election Live Posts), say that all the posts for that topic should be nominated. Make sure you read all of the nomination comments in the post to avoid duplicate nominations.

2) Members who agree with your nomination will reply to your comment with seconded, I agree, clapping gifs/macros etc. In order for a nomination to make it to the Voting Round, the nomination needs 7 seconds. ONE COMMENT VOTE PER NOMINATION PLEASE! Duplicate votes on the same nomination will not count.

3) On Christmas Eve, the Voting Round post will go up. Results will be posted on New Year's Eve.

To see past voting rounds and winners, click on the tag all your posts are belong to us for past nominees and voting rounds and click on the !toptenpostsoftheyear tag to see the actual winners. If you have any questions, leave them in this post and I'll answer them.
~sweden~ cold

The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention

Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime. Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months -- and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait -- under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture. Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning's detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries.

Collapse )


I'm sorry that it is so long guys.

Fox News on climate: skip the science, report the "controversy"

Accusations of biased reporting against Fox News are common enough that they're no longer, well, news. And examples of poor reporting on the science of climate change are painfully common. But it's apparently the season of the leak, and a progressive media organization has obtained a leaked e-mail from Bill Sammon, a managing editor at Fox News, in which he directly orders his reporters to provide misleading science coverage.

Reportedly, a Fox staffer forwarded an internal e-mail to Media Matters, a progressive organization that monitors conservative media outlets. Entitled "Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data..." it continues:

...we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.

To a large extent, this represents the triumph of the creationist movement's strategy of claiming there's a controversy about evolution, then demanding coverage of the controversy, rather than the science of evolution. It also requires a similar form of scientific ignorance, in that Sammon doesn't seem to recognize the difference between a measurement of temperature change and the theory that explains these changes.

And the position specifically abdicates any responsibility to identify facts, instead favoring an attempt to appear balanced. Yes, critics have called the temperature record into question. But these criticisms do not appear to be scientifically valid. Some focus on the temperature record created at the CRU (site of the climate e-mail theft), but this is one of three global records, all of which show nearly identical trends (the other two are from NASA and NOAA).

Others focus on the possible impacts of urbanization on the temperature record. However, an analysis of US data suggests that any distortions in temperatures readings are weak and biased toward colder temperatures. A separate analysis identified urban areas by the light they emit at night, and found that "urban effects on analyzed global change are small." (This latter paper is still in revision.)

Even if you discard all temperature records, there is plenty of other evidence that the planet has warmed: the loss of glaciers, the shrinking Arctic ice cap, habitats that have shifted towards the poles and to higher elevations, accelerated animal migrations, etc. And, if you can't be bothered with the underlying science, the US government and scientific societies have both described the reality of climate change.

In short, there may be a controversy over the existence and direction of recent temperature trends, but the controversy doesn't appear to be factual, and it certainly has nothing to do with any theoretical issues. But Sammon doesn't seem interested in learning any of this. On a personal level, that's perfectly acceptable. Unfortunately, Sammon has chosen to turn his willful ignorance into official policy for a large and influential staff of journalists

ETA: Source
Sorry mods, my bad for forgetting the Source
Dragon Age Inquisition

(no subject)

House passes repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'
Bill to end ban on gays in military could face uphill battle in Senate
By the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The House passed a repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell' policy that has stifled the service of gays in the military.

The stand-alone legislation calls for an end to the policy that since 1993 has barred recruiters from asking about sexual orientation while prohibiting soldiers from acknowledging that they are gay.

The issue will now go back to the Senate, where Democratic leaders pledging a vote are running out of time before adjourning this session of Congress. President Barack Obama has called on Congress to end the policy.

oh holy shit
  • chaya

Dan Choi Hospitalized Following a Breakdown

Dan Choi Hospitalized; A Discussion About Our Community's Multi-Faceted Sacrifices
by: Autumn Sandeen
Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 20:00:00 PM EST

NOTE FROM PAM: Today brought news to our inbox that Autumn and I wanted to share with Blend readers in what we feel is an appropriate context. We learned that Dan Choi, who sacrificed his privacy to take on a high-profile role as one of the public faces of the impact of the discriminatory policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, has been hospitalized and is in the hands of professional mental health practitioners at a Veterans Administration facility. Dan explained in his email:

I did not initially want to publicize this but I now realize it is critical for our community to know several things: veterans gay or straight carry human burdens, Activists share similar burdens, no activist should be portrayed as super human, and the failures of government and national lobbying carry consequences far beyond the careers and reputations of corporate leaders, elected officials, High powered lobbyists, or political elites. They ruin lives. My breakdown was a result of a cumulative array of stressors but there is no doubt that the composite betrayals felt on Thursday, by elected leaders and gay organizations as well as many who have exploited my name for their marketing purposes have added to the result. I am certain my experience is not an isolated incident within the gay veteran community.

Collapse )

FEEL GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Secret Santa hands out $100 bills in Kansas City

Secret Santa II hit the streets Tuesday in a long-standing Kansas City tradition of handing out $100 bills — sometimes several at a time — to unsuspecting strangers in thrift stores, food pantries and shelters.

Some people gasped in surprise. Some wanted to know if the $100 bill the tall man in the red cap offered was fake. Others wept.

Secret Santa II has seen a lot of reactions since taking over where his mentor, Kansas City's original Secret Santa, Larry Stewart, left off when he died in 2007 at age 58. Like Stewart, who gave away more than $1 million to strangers each December in mostly $100 bills, this Secret Santa prefers to stay anonymous.

A fake white beard taped to his face, Secret Santa II handed out about $10,000 in total Tuesday. Recipients included a police officer with terminal cancer, a homeless man pushing a rickety old shopping cart, an 81-year-old woman who had recently told her 27 grandchildren she wouldn't be able to afford any Christmas gifts, and Bernadette Turner, a 32-year-old unemployed mother of two.

"It's hard to come by," Turner said looking in disbelief at the $200 Secret Santa had given her.

Then one of Santa's "elves" — another tall man in a red cap — sidled up to next to Turner, asked a few questions, and handed her an additional $100. Turner, whose children are 3 and 8, was overcome.

"I can only afford one gift for each child. But now ...." she said, wiping tears from her cheeks and reaching out for a hug.

"Do you believe in Santa Claus?" Capt. Ray Wynn of the Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department, asked from a few feet away. Wynn had followed Stewart on many "sleigh rides" around the country and now follows this Secret Santa, providing stories, memories and amusing sound effects.

"I do now," Turner said. "I do now."

Secret Santa II took over from Stewart about the time the recession hit and the economy went into a tailspin. Like Stewart, this Secret Santa doesn't talk about his own finances, where those $100 bills come from and if — like for so many people now — they've been harder to come by.

Come December, he just fills his pockets with money, dons his red cap and heads out looking for people to make really happy.

He will likely hand out about $40,000 this December. He says he'll go "till the money runs out."

"The recession, unemployment. This is the time you don't want to stop. You don't want to back off," he said.

He walked up to Peggy Potter, 59, of Kansas City, Kan., who was looking at some framed prints at a thrift store. He made some small talk, put his arm around her and within minutes she was crying. Her son died about a year and a half ago. Her husband died in July and her daughter died soon after that.

"I'm just ... today's been a rough day for me, just thinking about my loved ones," she said. "I've been having a hard time paying for all the funerals."

Santa gave her $200, listened more, hugged her, and told her the poster she was holding had special meaning. It was a photo of two hands, one large, one small. Words printed at the bottom could have been written by Secret Santa, the original or the current one.

It said: "Kindness in giving creates love."


Argentine Archbishop Tells Kids There Is No Santa Claus

A Roman Catholic archbishop surprised his parishioners in Argentina by telling the children that Santa Claus was not real, but instead a commercialized symbol of Christmas, AFP reported Tuesday.

"That's not Christmas," Archbishop Fabriciano Sigampa of the northern city of Resistencia said during mass, insisting that children should not confuse celebrating the birth of Christ "with a fat man dressed in red."

Sigampa's ire was aroused by plans for a snow covered cabin in the city's main square where a Father Christmas figure would hear children's wishes and receive donated toys to be given out to poor children.

"Surely, in the coming days there will be a deluge of advertisements after they inaugurate the house where a fat man dressed in red lives. And we should not confuse, we should not confuse Christmas with that."

He said children "should know that, in reality, the gifts come from the efforts of their parents and with the help of Jesus."

After the bishop aired his objections, organizers dropped plans for a Santa and renamed the cabin the "House of Christmas."

Sigampa has attracted controversy before.

In the 1990s, he caused a stir by ordering a mural for the cathedral of the northern city of La Rioja that showed the Virgin Mary with then president Carlos Menem and members of the Catholic hierarchy.


Members Strip Controversial Items from Defense Bill --

In a last ditch effort to save a crucial defense spending bill, known as the Defense Authorization Act, the chairmen and Ranking Republicans on the House and Senate Armed Services Committee have agreed to strip out controversial items from the bill.

Including the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, federal money for abortions at military facilities, and money for an alternate engine for the F-35, a provision that engendered a White House veto threat.

"We have stripped out all the controversial language," Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said Wednesday, adding that he is "confident" the bill will be considered in the lame duck season.

A senior Senate GOP aide tells reporters "The (bipartisan group) all signed on to the slimmed down bill. We plan on putting out a statement soon."

The legislation must pass with the unanimous approval of every member in the Senate due to the abbreviated legislative calendar, a move that the chairman called "tough," but with the bipartisan approval of the top four members of the defense panels, the chance of passage increases.

Congress has, for 49 years, passed a defense authorization bill, a popular piece of legislation that contains a pay raise for troops, money for the Armed Services Retirement Home and the Defense Health Program, and funds for education and training, among many items.

A stand-alone measure to repeal the 1993 "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, the military's ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces, is expected to pass the House Wednesday and should then be taken up by the Senate in the lame duck session. That bill appears to have the 60 votes needed for passage, though the dwindling time on the calendar could affect support. Republican supporters of repeal, like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Me., have said they support repeal but want to have time for debate and consideration of amendments by opponents of the measure.


Real American Patriot Haz The Balls to Admit that He Doesnt Care About 9/11 Responders

Sen. Thune Admits Bush Tax Cut Extensions Are More Of A Priority Than 9/11 Workers’ Health

On Fox Business Network this morning, Don Imus aggressively questioned Senator — and possible presidential hopeful — John Thune (R-SD) about Republican obstruction of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, which would provide desperately needed health care to those who volunteered to help at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Imus raised Daily Show host Jon Stewart’s recent point about Republicans who frequently invoke 9/11 imagery, but refuse to help the workers, and asked Thune how he could defend this refusal. Thune explained that preserving the Bush tax cuts was more of a priority:
Collapse )
TV | Peggy Olson

ONTD_Political's PotD: December 15, 2010.

Proud To Serve | Proud To Serve is a portrait essay of our Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender American Service Members who served their country in silence or were discharged under the current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” [U.S.] law. On August 25, 2010, Jo Ann began a twenty-eight day road trip around the United States, driving 10,167 miles, 31 states from New York to California and back to photograph and record the stories of LGBT Servicemembers. The funds for the road trip were raised through The hope of this on-going project is to put a human face on the statics, to allow the 65,000 gay men and women currently serving in the armed forces, and the more than one million gay veterans a chance not only to be seen but heard- in their own voices.

This portrait essay is now available in an 82 page full-color, self-published limited edition of 100 photo book.
Collapse )

MAJOR love + hat tip to popehippo for discovering and sharing this gallery.


Related videos:
Atheists Nightmare

Investigation Starting into Mormon Church and Mormon Congressmen Over Personal Use of US Diplomats

Salt Lake City, UT – The Mormon church has once again gotten its hands caught in the cookie jar. Political watchdogs are calling for an investigation into the Mormon Church as well as Mormon members of Congress for using US Diplomats to further their religious agenda.

Fred Karger, the political watchdog who called for the investigation into the Mormon Church over Prop 8 (resulting in fines for violating election laws), is now calling for this new investigation.

This all started when the government of Switzerland told the Mormon church that they were going to limit the number of missionaries they were going to allow into the country. The Mormons weren’t singled out personally, the Swiss Government is limiting the number of work visas they dole out every year (which includes the missionaries).

Well the Mormon Church called Mormon member of Congress who immediately sent a letter to the Swiss Ambassador demanding that they allow more missionaries. The letter was signed by 13[sic] Mormon members of Congress: Harry Reid, Mike Crapo, Orrin Hatch, Bob Bennet, Tom Udall, Jeff Flake, Wally Herger, Howard “Buck” McKeon, Mike Simpson, Dean Heller, Rob Bishop, Jason Chaffetz and Jim Matheson.

They received a letter back from the Switzerland Ambassador saying, in essence, tough shit. But that wasn’t good enough for the Mormon Church. With the aid of the Mormon members of Congress, the US Ambassador was assigned to travel with high-level Mormon E. Weidman to visit Switzerland and negotiate directly on behalf of the Mormon Church.

What do you think, sound like abuse of power and religion-before-country to you?



A copy of the letter from Congress to the Swiss ambassador can be found here.
A copy of letter from the Swiss ambassador to Congress can be found here.

Can't find anything besides the original source that says an investigation has been officially launched (you'd think that would make mainstream news), but it sounds like something that should be investigated at the very least.