January 3rd, 2011

movies | Impish Fräulein2

"Isaiah Mustafa and Ann Coulter: A TV Match Made on 'RedEye'?"

Last night, during Fox News' New Year's Eve coverage, roving street correspondent Greg Gutfeld, who's also the host of the late-night FNC comedy/news roundtable show "RedEye W/Greg Gutfeld," caught up in New York City's Times Square with Old Spice spokesman Isaiah Mustafa, who made a memorable appearance on NBC's "Chuck" last fall (and, according to him, will be in an episode of NBC's upcoming "Love Bites").

Gutfeld asked him about his on-screen flirtation with conservative author and columnist Ann Coulter -- whom Mustafa affectionately referred to as "The Coultergeist" -- which began during this April 2010 appearance on "RedEye," when Mustafa specifically asked to take a moment o say hello to Coulter, who seemed delighted to return the greeting.

As far as I know, Mustafa has not been on "RedEye" in a while -- Coulter is still a frequent visitor -- but perhaps he will return soon after chatting with Gutfeld last night.

I caught up with Mustafa last August on the "Chuck" set and asked him about Coulter.

"Oh, Ann's great," he said. "She's great, funny. I like Ann. I call her the Coultergeist, because she haunts me."

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  • Ummmmm, HOW DID I WE MISS THIS?!

  • LMFAO forever @ "I call her the Coultergeist, because she haunts me".

  • Admittedly, the idea that there was a moment where Mustafa and Coulter had ever crossed paths, and that she had been all "GUUUUURL " over the encounter, frightened and confused the hell out of me, she knows he was raised by OMFG MUSLIMS, right?... so naturally, I searched the net far and wide to see if there was video evidence; lo and behold (actual Coulter @ approx. 5:55):

  • Fact: Greg Gutfeld has always had an absurdly annoying speaking shouting voice.

  • I'm upset at Kate O'Hare for DARING to implicitly ship this, even jokingly. GRL NO. We all know Coulter/Maher is True Forbidden Cannon.

  • Shut up, radiovolume.

  • These blow-hards are now DIAMONDS.

Ohio's New Governor Finds Astonishingly Original Ways to be a Hypocrite, even by Repub Standards

COLUMBUS — There's been no doubt that there will be budget cuts after Governor-elect John Kasich takes office, and he was warning even before the election that there would be protests over some of what he plans.

And then he saw the recent photo of a horrified Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, as London student protesters, angry over the tripling of college tuition, attacked their car headed for the theater.

"There are going to be some protests [in Ohio]," Mr. Kasich told The Blade. "It's all right. When I noticed the picture of Charles and Camilla on the front page, that somebody tried to kick in their door, that's outrageous. Frankly, it hacks me off to see people being so violent."

Mr. Kasich, a Republican, faces a potential revenue shortfall of as much as $8 billion to $10 billion going into the next two-year budget. He declined to comment on whether protests of the level seen in the United Kingdom, Greece, and other European nations over budget cuts are likely at the Statehouse.

But he said there will be protests.

"Do they scare me? No. I went to school in the '70s, come on," Mr. Kasich said.

Mr. Kasich, 57, has frequently said that he owes no one anything as he prepares to balance the next state budget while simultaneously promising no tax increases.

He stresses that everything is on the table, but his early priorities will challenge entrenched interests.

He's vowed to take on public employee unions and eliminate binding arbitration, part of Ohio's 27-year-old collective bargaining law that forces both sides in local police and firefighter disputes to submit final offers to a neutral third party who settles the dispute once and for all.

Binding arbitration was created as a trade-off to prohibit public safety workers from striking.

"I'm totally against binding arbitration," Mr. Kasich said. "That's ridiculous. It's just killing cities, killing our communities. It's somebody who comes here from the moon and imposes an agreement on taxpayers. Then they leave and have no responsibility. It just handcuffs our mayors and our public officials. It's going to come to an end if I have my way."

Republican control

And with Republicans in control of the Ohio House and Ohio Senate as well as all seven seats on the Ohio Supreme Court, it looks as if there won't be anything to stop the governor from changing the state's labor laws if that's what he wants to do.

He declined, however, to detail what labor law reform might entail.

His first year in office also will include negotiations on the next three-year labor agreements with state employee unions.

Shortly after he took office, current Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland won a pay freeze and two years of 10 mandatory unpaid leave days for workers to help balance the state budget.

Mr. Kasich said he will seek "equity" through civil service reform.

"In the old days, if you worked for the government, you got lower pay in exchange for more benefits and more security," he said. "Now you get better pay, better security, better benefits. Just this whole thing about sick days and personal days and vacation days, nobody in the private sector gets these kinds of things."

"It is not fair for a lady who's a single mom with a couple of kids, working two jobs, to have to pay all this largesse for a public employee she's supporting," Mr. Kasich said.

He wants to end the practice of requiring the prevailing wage — typically local union-scale wages — on public construction projects.

He's vowed to undo orders signed by Governor Strickland extending collective bargaining rights to home health-care nurses and independent child-care contractors.

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Love how this jackass is ready to stand up for Charles and Camilla, instead of the working class students in England who are literally having their futures stolen away by these educational cuts. It really shows where Republicans' true loyalties are when we see them pandering to the super rich like this.
Cardassian guuurl

Arab press angered by Coptic church blast

Arab press angered by Coptic church blast

Egyptian Christians hold a blood-stained portrait of Jesus

January 2 – Attackers seeking to undermine Egyptian unity?

The Egyptian press has reacted angrily to the suicide bombing that targeted a Coptic church in Alexandria on New Year's Day, with several papers saying it was an attack on all Egyptians, not just Christians.

The state and opposition press called on their compatriots to unite in the face of terrorism but two papers suggested the underlying causes of sectarian tension should be tackled.

Elsewhere, Arab commentators speculated about who was behind the bombing, but two writers were concerned that the incident would prompt an exodus of Christians from the region.

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Source @BBC News
donk... donk... donk...

TSA bans bikini woman for ‘unusual contour’ around buttocks

A woman who became a YouTube sensation earlier this month when she went through airport security in a bikini spent a night at the airport Tuesday because of TSA agents' concerns about an "unusual contour" around her buttocks.

Tammy Banovac says she is hand-searched every time she goes through airport security because she uses a wheelchair. But ever since the TSA instituted new "enhanced" pat-downs that involve touching of genitals, she has found herself feeling violated.

"If it happened anywhere else, it would have been sexual assault," she says of the procedure.

It was because of this that on November 30 she appeared at Oklahoma City's Will Rogers Airport in a bikini, in protest and presumably in the hopes that her revealing outfit would eliminate the need for a pat-down.

Banovac was searched and interrogated for an hour before being refused access to her flight by TSA agents who said they found residue of nitrates, which can be used on bombs, on her person. When she came back to the airport the next day, she was allowed to board her flight.

But now Banovac says the TSA found another reason to bar her from boarding. As she tried to board a flight -- fully clothed-- for the first time since the earlier incident, the TSA informed her they had found an "unusual contour" around her buttocks which they couldn't explain.

According to Oklahoma's KWTV News9, Banovac offered to strip for the agents to prove that she's not hiding anything. However, since TSA agents aren't allowed to fully undress a passenger, they had no choice but to deny her access to her flight.

"This is the most ridiculous sky security theatrics imaginable," she told the station.

Banovac ended up spending the night at the airport before being allowed to board a flight to Phoenix on Wednesday morning. It's not clear if she passed security wearing the same outfit as the night before.

She told reporters that her YouTube fame has made her life miserable, and she is routinely recognized at airports.

Raw Story
Da Good Book

Creationism and science: wider implications

Evolutionists love to assert that, if creationism gains the ascendancy in education, then science will no longer advance and will even back-slide. To the contrary, creationism, far from being deleterious to science, would be beneficial.

To begin with: to assert, as Marc Adler does, that "the building blocks of biology" (or indeed any other branch of science) "rely on evolution" is simply false. Most of biology is still an operational science, a study of how living things work. That study has never derived any benefit from a consideration of the origin of life. That's fortunate, because no one has yet settled the question of where the first cell arose. The response to repeated challenges with the question, "Where did the first cell come from?", is either:

  • "Wait and see; we'll find out" (when? We've been waiting for a century and a half.) or:

  • "It doesn't matter, for nothing need have had a first cause" (in which case, how can one draw a single tree of life?).

  • Moreover, as this Examiner has previously discussed, many of the supposed insights that modern medicine has derived from evolution have been wrongheaded and even harmful to man, in violation of the First Principle of Medicine: Primum non nocere.

    Translation: First of all, to do no harm.

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    Home of the enslaved.

    The stolen jobs no one wants

    At a time of high unemployment, many Americans are convinced that these aliens take American jobs. As a test, this summer the United Farm Workers (UFW), the main agricultural union, launched a campaign called “Take Our Jobs”, inviting willing Americans to work in the fields. In the following three months 3m people visited takeourjobs.com, but 40% of the responses were hate mail, says Maria Machuca, UFW’s spokesman. This included e-mails such as one reading: “We’re becoming more aggressive in our methods. Soon it may come to hands on, taping bitches to light posts.”

    Only 8,600 people expressed an interest in working in the fields, says Ms Machuca. But they made demands that seem bizarre to farmworkers, such as high pay, health and pension benefits, relocation allowances and other things associated with normal American jobs. In late September only seven American applicants in the “Take our jobs” campaign were actually picking crops.

    That was the point, says Arturo Rodriguez, the UFW’s president. America’s farm jobs, which are excluded from almost all federal and state labour regulations, are not normal jobs. Americans refuse to do them. The argument about stolen jobs is “just a façade” for a coarser scapegoating, says Mr Rodriguez, and “we demonstrate the hypocrisy.”

    Teresa, Felix and Gonzalo Vega only nod sadly when asked about the rancour, the Arizona law, the politics. They feel they had no choice in coming illegally. Would they do it again? “No, not if I had known what lay ahead,” says Felix. But after a silence, he corrects himself. Yes, he would, because even though he doesn’t think he’ll ever get papers, he has two sons who are American and could be lawyers or writers one day, living openly.

    Teresa Vega is the most reticent. She admits that her “plan didn’t work”. She hears that Erminio, at home in Oaxaca, is not doing well. He is often ill. “He needs love” and doesn’t get enough, she says. But then she, too, reverses herself. She always thinks of her first son, the one who died because she had no money to save him. Yes, she would come again.

    People like the Vegas will always keep coming, no matter the fences that go up on the border and the helicopters that circle above. For they are like the Joads. As Steinbeck wrote: “How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can’t scare him—he has known a fear beyond every other.”</p>

    The Economist; this is the last section of the story, please go read the rest of it, too.
    *betty draper reading

    Americans say raise taxes on the rich; Republicans plug their ears and hum the Star Spangled Banner

    Poll: Tax hikes on rich the first step toward balancing budget
    By Michael O'Brien - 01/03/11 07:24 AM ET

    Increased taxes on high earners should be the first step toward balancing the federal budget, a new poll suggested Monday.

    Raising taxes on the rich beats out cuts to defense spending, Medicare and Social Security as U.S. adults' top preference on how to close the deficit, according to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll.

    Sixty-one percent of Americans said that increasing taxes to the wealthy should be the first step toward balancing the budget.

    By contrast, 20 percent of respondents preferred cuts to defense spending as the first option, while 4 percent said that cutting Medicare would be the best way to start cutting the deficit. Three percent said they preferred cutting Social Security.

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    Warm tone butterfly (by fruitpunch_it)

    Nudge, nudge, wink wink... How the Government wants to change the way we think (using psychology)

    Martin Hickman lifts the lid on the secret Whitehall policy unit dreaming up psychological tricks to alter our behaviour

    Shame, vanity, laziness and the desire to fit in are all to be used as tools of Government policy by ministers acting on the advice of a new psychology unit in Whitehall.

    The first glimpse into the confidential work of the Cabinet Office's Behavioural Insight Team came on Tuesday when ministers suggested members of the public should be able to make small charitable donations when using cashpoints and their credit cards.

    On Friday, the Cabinet Office again followed the unit's advice in proposing that learner drivers be opted in to an organ donation scheme when they apply for a licence, and also floated the idea of creating a lottery to encourage people to take tests to prove they have quit smoking.

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    The Independent
    Hi Haters!

    ESPN announcer pulled from broadcast after calling female coworker “sweetcakes”

    Someone’s been watching too much Mad Men

    Via The Frisky comes word that ESPN football announcer Ron Franklin was pulled from Saturday’s radio broadcast of the Fiesta Bowl after calling sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards “sweetcakes” in a meeting.

    Yeah, seriously, “sweetcakes.” Ron Franklin likes his sexism old school.

    The insult came after Edwards tried to join a conversation Franklin was having with another announcer. From the blog sportsbybrooks.com:

    When [Edwards tried to join the conversation], Franklin said to her, “Why don’t you leave this to the boys, sweetcakes.”

    Edwards responded to Franklin by saying, “don’t call me sweetcakes, I don’t like being talked to like that.”

    When Edwards called Franklin out on his language he responded, “Okay then, asshole.” Because he is so very clever.

    Apparently Franklin has a history of demeaning female colleagues. In 2005 he called sideline reporter Holly Rowe “sweetheart” while trying to undermine her commentary.

    I’m glad to see a sports network respond to sexism in the workplace, especially sexist comments that didn’t actually make it on air. And I’m curious to see how serious the penalty against Franklin will be. Will he just be kept off one radio broadcast, or will he face a harsher penalty for apparently thinking he works in the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce?

    I love Lucy

    US state governments prepare attacks on jobs, wages, pensions

    January 1 marked the beginning of a three-week period in which new governors take office in more than half the 50 American states, including three of the four largest—California, New York and Florida.
    Whether Democratic or Republican, the new state chief executives are planning major attacks on public employees and public services, including huge budget cuts and mass layoffs. In the 26 states with new governors, 23 face budget deficits, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

    The National Conference of State Legislatures forecast that the combined state deficits this year will reach $83 billion, somewhat less than in 2009 and 2010, but requiring even greater cuts than in those years because the Obama administration’s stimulus bill provided federal assistance to the states that has now been exhausted.
    Forty-nine of the 50 states (all but Vermont) must by law balance their budgets each year, and nearly all of the incoming governors have publicly sworn off any new taxes on the wealthy or big business, making drastic cuts in public spending or increases in regressive sales and excise taxes their only policy options.
    Since state and local government spending accounts for about one-eighth of the US gross domestic product, these cutbacks will have a sizable effect on the US economy and add to the likelihood of a further downturn, or “double-dip” recession.

    Both the Obama administration and Republican congressional leaders have made it clear that there will be no further federal assistance to bankrupt state governments. In a clear signal on how both big business parties plan to treat public employees, Obama last month ordered a wage freeze for all federal government workers.
    A prominent Republican consultant, former White House aide Ed Rogers, wrote in the Washington Post Sunday that the biggest political shock of 2011 was likely to be “public-sector labor strikes and demonstrations that could stray into civil disorder as state and local governments cut budgets… The same kind of protests that have rocked Paris, London and Rome could erupt in California, New York and Illinois.”
    The New York Times chimed in with a lead article Sunday that declared, “Across the nation, a rising irritation with public employee unions is palpable,” noting that in many states “even long-time liberal political leaders have demanded concessions—wage freezes, benefit cuts and tougher work rules.”
    The “irritation” is not something the Times can actually document, but a political sentiment its editors wish to whip up, making public employees a scapegoat for a fiscal crisis caused by the Wall Street crash of 2008 and the ensuing slump, the deepest recession since the 1930s.
    The biggest budget deficit and the largest cuts will come in the most populous state, California, where Democrat Jerry Brown is to be inaugurated January 3 as the new governor (he served two terms previously from 1974 to 1982).
    By law, Brown must submit a balanced budget plan to the state legislature by January 10, under conditions where the outgoing administration of Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger projected a deficit of $28.1 billion.
    The new governor is expected to propose a special election on the budget crisis, to be held in May or June, before the beginning of the fiscal year July 1, for a statewide referendum on a package of spending cuts and tax increases that would balance the budget.
    Brown discussed the plan with state legislators last month and told them he wanted to “rip the Band-Aid off next year,” adding, “What we’re looking at today is much worse than it’s ever been before.” He said the state was facing annual deficits of $20 billion or more for each of the next five years.
    Democrat Andrew Cuomo took office January 1 as the governor of New York state, after declaring that his top priority was to impose a ceiling on property taxes levied by school districts, cities or other local government bodies. Tax increases are to be capped at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, which will force devastating cuts on local governments and schools outside of New York City, where the biggest source of revenue is the city income tax.
    Cuomo’s first action was to allow 900 layoffs of state workers, ordered by his predecessor David Paterson, to take effect. The layoffs were ordered as punishment for public employee unions refusing to offer sufficient concessions.
    The state faces a deficit of as much as $10 billion for the coming fiscal year, and Cuomo must present a budget eliminating at least that much spending by April 1.
    The New York Democrat has rejected pleas to extend the so-called “millionaire’s tax,” enacted as a temporary measure in 2009, saying that an extension would violate his campaign pledge of “no new taxes, period.” The result is that the Wall Street financial parasites will get a state tax cut this year on top of the windfall on their federal taxes from the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.
    In Michigan, the state hardest hit by the industrial slump, Republican Rick Snyder took office January 1 with a Republican-controlled state legislature and Republicans holding all statewide offices. To emphasize his desire to obtain Democratic Party support for his right-wing policies, Snyder invited Detroit Mayor David Bing to preside over the inauguration ceremony, after appointing a prominent Democrat, former state House Majority Leader Andrew Dillon, as his treasurer, the principal budget-cutting post.
    The new year began with reports that Michigan, once one of the highest-income states because of a high-paying auto industry, had fallen to the bottom third of US states in per capita income. The state has fallen from 24th among the 50 states in 2005 to 34th last year, a collapse that is unprecedented.
    Although the state faces a general fund deficit estimated at $1.85 billion, Snyder, former chief operating officer of computer manufacturer Gateway, has proposed to eliminate the Michigan Business Tax, one of the major sources of revenue for the state government. This will increase the deficit by as much as $2.2 billion and provide a justification for even deeper cuts in social spending.
    Snyder took office as the state government received a request by city officials in Hamtramck, an industrial enclave inside of Detroit, to be permitted to file for municipal bankruptcy so they can tear up union contracts and impose cuts in wages and pension benefits. There were reports that another 30 towns and cities will follow suit if Hamtramck is allowed to default, although forced amalgamation with Detroit was also considered an option.
    In Wisconsin, the new Republican governor, Scott Walker, takes office January 3, having declared that state workers’ wages and benefits must be brought “into line” with those of private sector workers. Particular targets are health and pension benefits.
    An effort by the public employee unions to push through a new concession-ridden contract before Walker took office, ostensibly to preempt even greater concessions, failed when the Democratic leader of the state Senate cast a vote against the plan. In a demonstration of his intentions, Walker announced a 5 percent cut in his own state pension upon taking office.
    Walker is proposing a sweeping right-wing program including enactment of a “right-to-work” law banning the union shop, the elimination of a proposed high-speed rail plan to link Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison—and with it, an estimated 13,000 construction jobs—the lowering of taxes on businesses, and the imposition of limitations on liability lawsuits against corporations over defective products.
    Other state governors plan similar measures. In New Mexico, Republican Susana Martinez has frozen all pending state regulations while they are reviewed for their potential impact on business. In Georgia, Republican Nathan Deal called for downsizing the state workforce. In South Carolina, Republican Nikki Haley inherits a deficit approaching $1 billion and state legislators have proposed cutting the school year by 10 days to save money.
    Perhaps the most remarkable proposal comes from the newly elected governor of Oregon, Democrat John Kitzhaber, who returns to office after serving two terms from 1994 to 2002. At a summit meeting with business leaders in Portland, Kitzhaber called for a complete revamping of the state’s budget process.
    “We must adopt a 10-year budget that is permanent and cannot be changed in the future,” he said. Such a measure would be tantamount to abolishing democracy, since voters would not be able to change the policy in subsequent elections.

    Source is Red, and can probably be forgiven for the "told you so" tone of this article, given that at every level capitalist governments across the globe seem dead set on proving that the Socialists have been right all along. 

    EDIT: I've been thinking, guys. We really need a community to organize and plan protests. Is there anyone here who'd be interested in helping me get such a community off the ground? I've never done this before. 
    lost // jack

    Former US official's body found in Delaware landfill

    DOVER, Del. — Police in Delaware searched for clues Monday in the death of John Wheeler III, a former Army officer who served in Republican administrations and helped lead efforts to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington.

    The body of Wheeler, 66, was discovered on New Year's Eve as a garbage truck emptied its contents at the Cherry Island landfill. His death has been ruled a homicide.

    Wheeler retired from the military in 1971 and lived in New Castle. He reportedly was last seen Dec. 28, traveling on an Amtrak train from Washington to Wilmington.

    Police have determined that all the stops made Friday by the garbage truck before it arrived at the landfill involved large commercial disposal bins in Newark, several miles from Wheeler's home.

    "He was just not the sort of person who would wind up in a landfill," said Bayard Marin, an attorney who was representing Wheeler in a dispute over a couple's plans to build a new home in the historic district of Old New Castle where Wheeler lived.

    Wheeler, the son of a decorated Army officer, was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and a veteran of the Vietnam war. He was the first chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, and led the multimillion-dollar fundraising effort to create the memorial on Washington's National Mall.

    Fund founder and president Jan Scruggs said Wheeler dedicated himself to ensuring that service members were given the respect they deserve.

    "I know how passionate he was about honoring all who serve their nation, and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice," Scruggs said in a statement released Monday.

    Wheeler served in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

    In addition to chairing the memorial fund, Wheeler served as a special assistant to the secretary of the Air Force. He also was the first chief executive of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

    Wheeler's military career included serving in the office of the secretary of defense and writing a manual on the effectiveness of biological and chemical weapons, which recommended that the United States not use biological weapons.

    "He was a very humble kind of guy, actually," Marin said. "He was never the kind of person who would talk about all the wonderful things he did in his life."

    panda bear

    (no subject)

    Abu Dhabi Scientists Create Desert Rainstorms

    Desert dwellers wishing to transform their arid surroundings into a profitable, crop-sustaining oasis have reportedly gotten one step closer to making that dream a reality, as Abu Dhabi scientists now claim to have created more than 50 artificial rainstorms from clear skies during peak summer months in 2010.

    According to Arabian Business, the storms were part of a top secret, Swiss-backed project, commissioned by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE and leader of Abu Dhabi. Called "Weathertec," the climate project -- said to be worth a staggering $11 million -- utilized ionizers resembling giant lampshades to generate fields of negatively charged particles, which create cloud formation, throughout the country's Al Ain region, the Telegraph is reporting.

    "We are currently operating our innovative rainfall enhancement technology, Weathertec, in the region of Al Ain in Abu Dhabid," Helmut Fluhrer, the founder of Metro Systems International, the Swiss company in charge of the project, is quoted as saying. "We started in June 2010 and have achieved a number of rainfalls."

    Monitored by the Max Planck Institute for Technology, a leading tank for the study of atmosphere physics, the fake storms are said to have baffled Abu Dhabi residents by also producing hail, wind gales and even lightning.

    "There are many applications," Professor Hartmut Grassl, a former institute director, is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying. "One is getting water into a dry area. Maybe this is a most important point for mankind."

    Murasaki Shikibu
    • homasse

    Tokyo's "Anti-Anime" Bill Sparks Convention Wars

    Tokyo's "Anti-Anime" Bill Sparks Convention Wars

    A child safety bill recently passed in Tokyo might not only irrevocably change the manga/anime industry - it could cripple the largest anime convention in the world.

    Earlier this month, the Tokyo government passed a bill into law that was ostensibly aimed at curbing sexualized depictions of minors in anime and manga. However, the language involved was vague enough to essentially give the government power to classify anything remotely sexual that it didn't like as pornography, except for actual pornography, as long as it was animated.

    This means that even works that were not sexual in nature could be potentially relegated to the back room with the actual porn, as long as they had some material that could be argued as "harmful to the development of minors." Berserk's sex scenes and traumatic rape of one of the female leads by a turncoat villain; Evangelion's creepy-and-probably-symbolic nudity or that one hospital scene; even implied nudity in transformation sequences in shows like Sailor Moon could all potentially put works like these at risk.

    Japan's anime & manga publishers - most of whom are located in Tokyo and would be affected by the bill - aren't willing to roll over without a fight, though. Many have urged the creators on their payroll to continue producing the works they want to produce.

    Ten of the largest publishing houses - including major names like Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan and Kadokawa - have withdrawn from this March's Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF) in protest. TAF chairman Shintaro Ishihara is the very same Tokyo governor who sponsored the bill in question in the first place, so it's understandable that the ten publishers (now allied as the Comic Ten Companies Association) would have a frosty disposition toward the event.

    TAF is the largest event of its kind in the world, and last year attracted 132,492 visitors and 244 exhibitors, 59 of whom were foreign companies. To put it in perspective for a gamer audience, this is like if Activision, EA, Ubisoft, Take-Two, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony all jointly decided they weren't going to show up at E3 anymore.

    To make matters worse for TAF, the ten publishers have announced that they will now be exhibiting at a rival event taking place the same weekend. If the boycott expands, it will almost certainly cripple the prestigious event, if not kill it outright.


    I found this on a gaming site, hence the comparison to E3 for understanding the scale of this. The publishers withdrawing from the convention are huge. Soooo....way to shoot yourself in the foot, Ishihara!

    Edit - Here is a link breaking down the new law.

    WikiLeaks: US targets EU over GM crops

    US embassy cable recommends drawing up list of countries for 'retaliation' over opposition to genetic modification.

    The US embassy in Paris advised Washington to start a military-style trade war against any European Union country which opposed genetically modified (GM) crops, newly released WikiLeaks cables show.

    In response to moves by France to ban a Monsanto GM corn variety in late 2007, the ambassador, Craig Stapleton, a friend and business partner of former US president George Bush, asked Washington to penalise the EU and particularly countries which did not support the use of GM crops.

    "Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits.

    "The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices," said Stapleton, who with Bush co-owned the St Louis-based Texas Rangers baseball team in the 1990s.

    In other newly released cables, US diplomats around the world are found to have pushed GM crops as a strategic government and commercial imperative.

    Because many Catholic bishops in developing countries have been vehemently opposed to the controversial crops, the US applied particular pressure to the pope's advisers.

    Cables from the US embassy in the Vatican show that the US believes the pope is broadly supportive of the crops after sustained lobbying of senior Holy See advisers, but regrets that he has not yet stated his support. The US state department special adviser on biotechnology as well as government biotech advisers based in Kenya lobbied Vatican insiders to persuade the pope to declare his backing. "… met with [US monsignor] Fr Michael Osborn of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, offering a chance to push the Vatican on biotech issues, and an opportunity for post to analyse the current state of play on biotech in the Vatican generally," says one cable in 2008.

    "Opportunities exist to press the issue with the Vatican, and in turn to influence a wide segment of the population in Europe and the developing world," says another.

    But in a setback, the US embassy found that its closest ally on GM, Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the powerful Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the man who mostly represents the pope at the United Nations, had withdrawn his support for the US.

    "A Martino deputy told us recently that the cardinal had co-operated with embassy Vatican on biotech over the past two years in part to compensate for his vocal disapproval of the Iraq war and its aftermath – to keep relations with the USG [US government] smooth. According to our source, Martino no longer feels the need to take this approach," says the cable.

    In addition, the cables show US diplomats working directly for GM companies such as Monsanto. "In response to recent urgent requests by [Spanish rural affairs ministry] state secretary Josep Puxeu and Monsanto, post requests renewed US government support of Spain's science-based agricultural biotechnology position through high-level US government intervention."

    It also emerges that Spain and the US have worked closely together to persuade the EU not to strengthen biotechnology laws. In one cable, the embassy in Madrid writes: "If Spain falls, the rest of Europe will follow."

    The cables show that not only did the Spanish government ask the US to keep pressure on Brussels but that the US knew in advance how Spain would vote, even before the Spanish biotech commission had reported.


    I'm so furious right now that any comments on my part would devolve into a long list of obscenities. The article speaks for itself.