December 29th, 2010


Tunisia president warns protesters

President warns that rare display of public defiance over unemployment will be met with 'firm' punishment

As tensions over unemployment and poor living conditions flare in Tunisia, president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali has warned in a national television broadcast that protests are unacceptable and will have a negative impact on the economy.

In his speech on Tuesday, Ben Ali criticised the "use of violence in the streets by a minority of extremists" and said the law would be applied "in all firmness" to punish protesters. Earlier on Tuesday, security forces blocked an anti-government rally in the town of Gafsa, sources told Al Jazeera.

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World Nut Daily: Manhattan is Now The New Capital of The Native American Empire

Real Americans to Sell Island for Shares of Goldline

Latest Right-Wing Freak-Out: Obama Wants To Give Manhattan Back To Native Americans

The good news is that the right-wing isn't talking about President Obama being a secret Muslim right now. The bad news is that they're now concerned that he's going to use his honorary status as a Crow Tribe Indian to return the United States to Native Americans.

The outrage began after the President announced on December 16 that the U.S. would reverse course and support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. The Declaration was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2007, but the U.S., under President Bush, opposed it.
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Pennsylvania governor slams NFL for postponing Eagles game

Some Philadelphia Eagles fans, including the most important one in the state of Pennsylvania, are incensed that the team's game against the Minnesota Vikings was postponed for a blizzard that didn't pack as much of a wallop as expected on Sunday night.

Governor Ed Rendell joined countless fans upset about the game's move to Tuesday when he told FOX News:

"It's an absolute joke. I was looking forward to this. It would have been a real experience. This is what football is all about. We're becoming a nation of wussies."

Forecasters had called for a blizzard to hit during the game and for up to 18 inches of snow to fall in the City of Brotherly Love. But the center of the storm tracked east of the city and by the time the game would have been over, there was only about seven or eight inches on the ground. In those conditions, the game could have been played.

As a fan who would have watched Eagles-Vikings on television from the comforts of my own home, I couldn't agree more with Rendell. There's nothing better than football in the snow. My fondest memories from the biggest snowstorms to hit D.C. during my youth were playing football outside with friends and one of the greatest games I've ever watched on TV was the infamous 2003 divisional playoff game between the New England Patriots and Tom Brady(notes) (the "tuck rule" game), which was played in a driving snowstorm.

But this is real life, gov. If the NFL and the Eagles had a crystal ball and could have seen that the blizzard was going to fizzle in Philadelphia, they'd have played the game. But no such ball exists. They had to make the call eight hours ahead of game time based solely on the word of forecasters. It was the right move then and it's the right move now.

It's not like the 70,000 who come to root on the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field all live in the city and could have hopped on the subway to the game. Eagles country extends far east and west, to towns like Medford and Boyertown and Lancaster. Those people, who can drive hours in good conditions, needed to know whether to make the trek.

Sure, in retrospect, it's easy to say the game should have been played. But at the time the decision was made, it was the right call. Being reactionary doesn't work in a blizzard. You have to be proactive. If the blizzard conditions that hit New York had been present in Philadelphia during the game, it would have been dangerous for the thousands of fans who would have braved the weather. Just as importantly, it would have been a huge problem for the road crews and police who would have been tasked with saving stranded motorists in whiteout conditions on the highways. Officials always say during storms to stay at home and leave the roads clear for emergencies. A football game is no emergency.

What makes this criticism so silly is that people are ripping the NFL for making a decision that was bad for its business. You think the NFL and NBC wanted to postpone this game and move it to the midweek rating doldrums of Tuesday? They had a nationally televised game featuring the year's breakout star airing against no competition from other networks and a captive audience sitting at home on the night after Christmas. Now they have a Tuesday night novelty. You can criticize the NFL for plenty of things, but not making the money move isn't one of them.

So don't go the easy route and bash the league like Rendell. We may be softening as a nation, but not because some people decided that others shouldn't drive in whiteout conditions. Just because a game could have been played doesn't mean that game should have been.


What a POS, the real wussy behavior is bitching about a football game being pushed back by a couple of days and putting it above the safety of your voters.  Philly traffic is a nightmare in regular conditions let alone a snowstorm.

Recent off-campus crimes test Temple University Alert system

OP Note: I go to this university so this is a personal issue my friends and classmates are dealing with, but I also thought it would be good to read for other inner-city college students who have to live off campus or those that are interested in school alert systems after what happened at VTech.


While many students spent the weekend before the holiday break stressing over a daunting finals week, others were forced by gunpoint to lie on their living room floor.

On Friday, Dec. 10, a home occupied by six students on the 1700 block of North Gratz Street was robbed. The students, Rebecca Harding, a junior business major, Sartaj Phanda, a junior film major, Chad Dunkelberger, a sophomore economics major and Ben Reese, a junior communications major, along with another two students who were not present during the robbery, have been living in their rented house since August.

Reese said he was entering his house shortly after midnight on an early Friday morning, when a stranger told him to “be quiet.”

“He had a gun pointed at me, said be quiet, and then he walked up the steps and put it up against my stomach and said, ‘Take me into your house quietly,’” said Reese.

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Why did BBC call on Christian who supports execution of gays to comment on Sir Elton’s baby?

The BBC’s flagship News at Six on BBC One featured a right-wing fundamentalist Christian who had previously supported the execution of gay people to comment on the birth of a surrogate son to Sir Elton John and his civil partner David Furnish. Incredibly, the BBC did not seem to realise that the same preacher had faced bankruptcy after losing an attempted private prosecution for blasphemy against the director general of the BBC after the character of Jesus described himself as “a little bit gay” in ‘Jerry Springer: The Opera’.

On the 28th December, Sir Elton and his partner, the film-maker David Furnish announced the birth of their son, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, to an unnamed surrogate mother.

The same night, the BBC broadcast a report by Lizo Mzimba on the birth of the child. With the introduction “not everyone is pleased to see such a high profile same sex couple start to raise a surrogate child”, Mr Mzimba proceeded to interview Stephen Green, of right-wing group Christian Voice, without any warning that he is someone who has in the past supported the death penalty for gay men.

In an interview that was visibly edited together, Mr Green told the BBC: “This isn’t just a designer baby for Sir Elton John, this is a designer accessory… [cut] Now it seems like money can buy him anything, and so he has entered into this peculiar arrangement…[cut] The baby is a product of it. A baby needs a mother and it seems an act of pure selfishness to deprive a baby of a mother.”

In 2009, Mr Green supported a proposed death penalty for gay men in Uganda saying: “The contrast between our politicians and those of Uganda could not be more stark. A Parliamentarian in Uganda is trying to protect his nation’s children. The House of Commons of the United Kingdom is trying to corrupt ours. Which country is the more civilised, I wonder, in the eyes of Almighty God?”

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North Carolina County Commissioner: ‘Homosexuals are sexual predators’

A North Carolina County Commissioner known for his outspoken anti-gay views, has called gay people “sexual predators” in an e-mail to fellow Mecklenburg County Commissioners.

Republican Bill James made the slur in responding to an email from fellow commissioner Jennifer Roberts, who had requested that commissioners sign a “thank you” note to the state’s Washington D.C. congressional delegation whom had voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Via Matt Comer of North Carolina-based QNotes:

“Homosexuals are sexual predators,” James wrote in one email from a string of several between county board members, Roberts and County Manager Harry Jones.

“Allowing homosexuals to serve in the U.S. military with the endorsement of the Mecklenburg County Commission ignores a host of serious problems related to maintaining US military readiness and effectiveness not the least of which is the current Democrat plan to allow homosexuals (male and female) to share showers with those they are attracted to.”

James added, “The US Government would not allow Hetero men and women to share showers and other personal facilities yet the leading homosexual in Congress (Barney Frank) thinks it is OK for homosexuals to do so allowing enlisted men and women to fall prey to higher ranking or more powerful homosexuals who ogle them (or worse).”

This is not the first time James has inflamed the LGBTQ community with homophobic remarks.

A year ago during debate on domestic partner benefits for county employees, James leaned over to his Democratic colleague, Vilma Leake, and called her son a “homo,” reports Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend.

Leake’s son died from AIDS in the 1990s. When Leake heard that, she replied: “Don’t make me hurt you. Don’t do that to me. Don’t talk to me about my son.”

James refused to apologize, saying “It is akin to someone whose son is an alcoholic and died from the disease, using his death from drinking as justification to have the taxpayers pay for more booze.”

Comer reports that James, a twenty year veteran of the county board, has a history of inflammatory remarks.

“These remarks are shocking, though not surprising considering his past rhetoric,” said the Mecklenburg Gay and Lesbian Political Action Committe (MeckPAC), in a statement Tuesday.

“Last year, Commissioner James called fellow Commissioner Vilma Leake’s deceased son a ‘homo.’ Commissioner James has also said that black Americans live in a ‘moral sewer.’ Such statements continue to be well over the line of decency and civility, and should be called out as the ignorant bigotry they are,” said MeckPAC.


‘Doubling Up’ in Recession-Strained Quarters

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — For the three generations of the Maggi family crowded into a recession-beaten three-bedroom ranch house here, the tension from living on top of one another for the last 10 months sometimes erupts at unexpected moments.

A nudge from Kathy Maggi for her 26-year-old daughter, Holly, to clean her room sparks a blow-up; an offhand comment by Jim Maggi about the way bills come in “month after month” to his daughter’s fiancé, James Wilson, causes days of smoldering; a bite of a chocolate bar from Grandma to 21-month-old Madison leads to frustrated chatter behind closed doors about “Nana” and “Pawpaw” spoiling her.

In February, after being evicted from their Gainesville apartment, Holly, James, Madison and their good-natured pit bull, Caley, moved into a cramped bedroom in the house where Holly grew up. Neither of Madison’s parents had been able to find work for more than a year.

Of the myriad ways the Great Recession has altered the country’s social fabric, the surge in households like the Maggis’, where relatives and friends have moved in together as a last resort, is one of the most concrete, yet underexplored, demographic shifts.

Census Bureau data released in September showed that the number of multifamily households jumped 11.7 percent from 2008 to 2010, reaching 15.5 million, or 13.2 percent of all households. It is the highest proportion since at least 1968, accounting for 54 million people.

Even that figure, however, is undoubtedly an undercount of the phenomenon social service providers call “doubling up,” which has ballooned in the recession and anemic recovery. The census’ multifamily household figures, for example, do not include such situations as when a single brother and a single sister move in together, or when a childless adult goes to live with his or her parents.


from today's New York Times

I'm not surprised at all by this, and have seen it happen in my own family. My cousin and his girlfriend, and his girlfriend's kids all moved in with his parents after my cousin lost his job. They get a place to live for cheaper than if they had their own place, but the rent they are paying to my aunt and uncle helps them out since my uncle is also out of work.

I know a lot of people who have moved back home or who are living with siblings to save money
coffee lol

Hawaii Governor Wants To End Birther Controversy

HONOLULU – Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie wants to find a way to release more information about President Barack Obama's Hawaii birth and dispel conspiracy theories that he was born elsewhere.

Abercrombie was a friend of Obama's parents and knew him as a child, and is deeply troubled by the effort to cast doubt on the president's citizenship.

The newly elected governor will ask the state attorney general's office about what can be done to put an end to questions about Obama's birth documentation from Aug. 4, 1961, spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said Tuesday.

"He had a friendship with Mr. Obama's parents, and so there is a personal issue at hand," Dela Cruz said. "Is it going to be done immediately? No, the first thing on our list is the economy."

It's unclear what Abercrombie could do because Hawaii's privacy laws have long barred the release of a certified birth certificate to anyone who doesn't have a tangible interest.

Hawaii's health director said last year and in 2008 that she had seen and verified Obama's original vital records, and birth notices in two Honolulu newspapers were published within days of Obama's birth at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu.

So-called "birthers" claim Obama is ineligible to be president because they say there's no proof he was born in the United States, with many of the skeptics questioning whether he was actually born in Kenya, his father's home country.

"What bothers me is that some people who should know better are trying to use this for political reasons," Abercrombie told the Los Angeles Times last week. "Maybe I'm the only one in the country that could look you right in the eye right now and tell you, 'I was here when that baby was born.'"

Abercrombie was unavailable for additional comment Tuesday because he was vacationing on Maui, Dela Cruz said.

The Obama campaign issued a certificate of live birth in 2008, an official document from the state showing the president's birth date, city and name, along with his parents' names and races. The certificate doesn't list the name of the hospital where he was born or the physician who delivered him, information collected by the state as part of its vital records.

Abercrombie, originally from New York, befriended Obama's parents at the University of Hawaii after he moved here in 1959, the same year the islands became a state.

[Rewind video: The informercial that revived 'birther' movement]

Abercrombie, 72, has said he remembers seeing Obama as a child with his parents at social events, although he acknowledged that he didn't see his parents with their newborn son at the hospital.

The number of requests for Obama's birth information increased this month as the Obama family prepared to vacation in Hawaii.

The Department of Health had received 27 requests for the president's birth information this month as of last Thursday, up from 16 in November, said spokeswoman Janice Okubo.

Information requests rose despite a new state law allowing officials to ignore persistent and repetitive inquiries, a law that has been used about six times by the department, Okubo said.

"It's just a few people, and some of their requests are the same," she said. "The requests fluctuate from month to month."

Nearly all birth certificate information seekers are from the mainland United States, with requests rarely coming from Hawaii residents, said Cathy Takase, acting director for the state Office of Information Practices.

Takase usually responds to appeals for Obama's birth records by telling requesters that the information they're seeking is contained in records protected by statute.


Lots of stupid in the comments at the source


turkey dance

Chewy, fear-filled center...

New Study Suggests Conservatives Have Larger Fear Centers in Their Brains
by Tommy Christopher

In a revelation that’s sure to make many liberals scratch their heads and say, “Wait, what? Conservatives have brains?”, a new study by Great Britain’s University College London has found that conservatives’ brains have larger fear centers, and smaller courage and optimism dealies. The study did not, however, address any correlation to cable news ratings.

Coming as it does, though, on the heels of the discovery of a liberal open-mindedness gene, it makes you wonder if this isn’t just science pettily trying to get back at conservatives for not believing in it. (h/t Crooks and Liars)

The study originates, interestingly enough, from the school that produced all of the members of the band Coldplay, and includes these findings:
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[Source] (Mediaite)

Just posting this for fun. I have to say, even with the scientific evidence, I think the fear factor runs in all political areas, but people are fearful of different things. This study makes sense with all the paranoia I've been seeing from (unfortunately) my fellow Republicans.
movies | Impish Fräulein2

ONTD_Political's PotD: December 28, 2010.

Blizzard menaces U.S. East Coast | Thousands of travelers trying to get home after the holiday weekend sat bored and bleary-eyed in airports and shivered aboard stuck buses and subway trains Monday, stranded by a blizzard that slammed the Northeast with more than 2 feet of show. Snowfall totals included a foot in Tidewater, Va., and Philadelphia, 29 inches in parts of northern New Jersey, 2 feet north of New York City, and more than 18 inches in Boston. The storm closed all three of the New York metropolitan area’s airports and stymied most other means of transportation. Buses sputtered to a halt in snow drifts. Trains stopped in their tracks. Taxi drivers abandoned their cabs in the middle of New York’s snow-clogged streets. Even the New York City subway system – usually dependable during a snowstorm – broke down in spots, trapping riders for hours.
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News you can use.

Letting Women Reach Women in Afghan War

The Marines in a recent “cultural awareness” class scribbled careful notes as the instructor coached them on do’s and don’ts when talking to villagers in Afghanistan: Don’t start by firing off questions, do break the ice by playing with the children, don’t let your interpreter hijack the conversation.

And one more thing: “If you have a pony tail,” said Marina Kielpinski, the instructor, “let it go out the back of your helmet so people can see you’re a woman.”

These are not your mother’s Marines here in the rugged California chaparral of Camp Pendleton, where 40 young women are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan in one of the more forward-leaning experiments of the American military.

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New York Times, more info at
Yellow boxes made of ticky-tacky.

SFPD to enforce sit-lie ordinance in Feb.

San Francisco's new sit-lie ordinance became effective today, but it will not be enforced until February when officers have been properly trained on it, police said.

The controversial ordinance - approved as Proposition L by 54 percent of voters in November - makes it illegal to sit or lie on public sidewalks between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

The law has exceptions for medical emergencies, disabled persons using wheelchairs, parades and protests, lawful sidewalk businesses, or waiting in a line. It also requires that police give an initial warning before citing violators.

A first citation could bring a fine between $50 and $100 and/or community service. Multiple convictions in a 24-hour period could bring fines between $300 and $500 and up to 10 days in county jail.

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Mayor to introduce two plans for sit/lie law today

It could soon be illegal to sit or lie on public sidewalks anywhere in San Francisco, a law Mayor Gavin Newsom says would make city life safer for pedestrians and merchants, but that homeless advocates and others say would amount to profiling against the poor.

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San Francisco Gate
DW: Donna headache

Tucker Carlson exercises his 'foot in mouth' syndrome on Michael Vick.

PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles are more worried about Michael Vick's injured leg than another attack on his dogfighting past.

Fox analyst Tucker Carlson gave the harshest critique of Vick's past yet, saying the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback "should have been executed" for his gruesome dogfighting crimes.

Carlson was guest hosting for Sean Hannity's show on Fox News Channel on Tuesday night when he made the remarks. He led a panel discussion about President Barack Obama commending the owner of the Eagles for giving Vick a second chance after his release from prison. Vick served 18 months in federal prison for running a dogfighting ring.

The rest of the article here

And the YouTube evidence of Carlson's doucheness:

Some people here know my opinion on Michael Vick and know that I don't think he should have ever been allowed back in the NFL. However, I do think Carlson's statements about execution go way too far, despite the heniousness of Vick's crimes.