January 5th, 2011


FCC ordered to refund ABC affiliates' fines for 2003 NYPD Blue bare-ass scene, PTC is VERY ANGRY

Tuesday afternoon here in Manhattan the Second U.S. Court of Appeals nullified more than $1.2 million in fines issued from the FCC for the ABC television network and 45 of its affiliates. Going back in the way back machine, those fines stemmed from an episode of NYPD Blue that aired in February of 2003, nearly eight years ago. In the episode's opening scene viewers saw two clear but short shots of actress Charlotte Ross' naked behind. You can read more about today's decision here.

It wasn't the first time NYPD Blue pushed the envelope, but this time the more conservative under the Bush White House FCC issued fines to ABC and to its affiliates in the Central and Mountain time zones. Why there? Because NYPD Blue aired at 9PM instead of 10PM... inside television's so-called "safe harbor."

During tonight's Rewrite, we showed you this entire clip... not to be salacious, but to illustrate a First Amendment point. This episode of NYPD Blue was not indecent. Instead, to use the language ABC gave the court, its purpose was (to quote the Associated Press) "... portray the awkwardness between a child and his parent's new romantic partner and their difficulties in adjusting to life together."

The conservative Parents Teacher Council freaked out when the episode first aired. It also freaked out today after the Court of Appeals nullified those fines. But the really funny thing... this episode is currently unavailable on DVD. The clip is totally impossible extremely difficult to find online. Except for one place, as Lawrence pointed out in our Rewrite. You can see the whole thing on the website of the very group that fanned the flames of this controversy to begin with... the Parents Teacher Council. As promised... follow this link to the PTC's site and click on "Download the clip" to see it again. But remember... as the site points out, this is "for education purposes only."

And in case you missed it, here's the full Rewrite segment from the show.

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Source article
msnbc story on the court ruling

Reading this story and remembering NYPD Blue makes me question my memory. Didn't the show have a scene with butt-nudity much, much earlier in the series than 2003?
soap&skin 2012
  • automat

A voice from the streets has the sound of a fairy tale

That voice.

The smooth baritone of Ted Williams became an Internet sensation today when a Dispatch.com video compelled millions of viewers to take a closer look (and listen) at a homeless panhandler who sometimes works the Hudson Street ramp off northbound I-71.

Carrying a hand-scrawled cardboard sign touting his "God-given gift of voice," an otherwise ragged Williams was recorded last month offering up his radiant pipes to an idle commuter for spare change.

When you're listening to nothing but the best of oldies, you're listening to Magic 98.9!

That voice delivered.

Eclipsing the initial awe over Williams' "gift" were the scores of phone calls that followed - media inquiries and potential job offers that could ultimately provide the one-time radio announcer with a second chance.

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This is a witty Space Ghost reference.

Property Managers Use PooPrints to Get Pet Owners to Clean Up after Their Dogs

What can property managers do when dog owners don’t pick up after their dogs? Under normal circumstances, not much, because there is no way of knowing who the violators might be. But now, with a new program called PooPrints that uses DNA to identify the dog in question, managers can catch the culprit (dog owner) in a matter of days.

PooPrints is a dog DNA identification program from BioPet Vet Lab built on a scientific foundation, providing communities with a means to enforce community regulations for pet waste clean-up. “The problem of pet owners not picking up after their pets is tearing apart communities,” says BioPet Vet Lab CEO Tom Boyd. Consumer Reports lists ‘dog poop’ as one of the nation’s top ten personal gripes. So BioPet Vet Lab used its research in animal DNA identification systems to help provide community leaders with a tool to bring peace back to the neighborhood.

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Multi-Housing News

Rape Kit Testing Backlog Thwarts Justice for Victims
Lawmakers Seek Rules and Funds for Faster DNA Testing After Sexual Assaults

When Valerie Neumann woke up dazed and physically bruised the morning after her 21st birthday, the awful reality began to sink in that she had been raped. Neumann then made the difficult decision many sexual assault victims make -- to submit to the ordeal of a rape kit at her local hospital.

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ABC, full article
Home of the enslaved.

(no subject)

Whistleblower protection is a cornerstone of our nation's security, because whistleblowers are the eyes and ears to abuses of power that betray the public trust. If they are not empowered to disclose wrongdoing, the pubic at large remains vulnerable to unchecked abuses of power, gross mismanagement, waste, fraud, and public safety threats. Often whistleblowers do come forward, at great personal cost, because they feel the stakes are too great to remain silent observers. Take for example sweetheart contracts that have interfered with the shipment of lifesaving military equipment, to contaminated beef used for children's fast food burgers, to illegal domestic surveillance under the guise of national security, without whistleblowers the public would remain unaware and vulnerable to these types of abuses that affect our daily lives. Public safety and taxpayer protection are bipartisan issues, which is why this reform has champions across the ideological spectrum; from Goldwater republicans to liberal democrats, everyone except the wrongdoer sees the benefits of strong whistleblower rights.

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donk... donk... donk...

Is reading wife's e-mail a crime? Rochester Hills man faces trial

A Rochester Hills man faces up to 5 years in prison -- for reading his wife's e-mail.

Oakland County prosecutors, relying on a Michigan statute typically used to prosecute crimes such as identity theft or stealing trade secrets, have charged Leon Walker, 33, with a felony after he logged onto a laptop in the home he shared with his wife, Clara Walker.

Using her password, he accessed her Gmail account and learned she was having an affair. He now is facing a Feb. 7 trial. She filed for divorce, which was finalized earlier this month.

Legal experts say it's the first time the statute has been used in a domestic case, and it might be hard to prove

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Detroit Free Press

President Michele Bachmann?

Forget the fervent chatter speculating that Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann is considering launching a campaign to challenge Sen. Amy Klobuchar for the Minnesota U.S. Senate seat in the next national election cycle. Think bigger.

ABC News has learned that Bachmann, R-Minn., also is seriously weighing whether to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

A source close to the three-term congresswoman said Bachmann will travel to Iowa this month for multiple meetings to seek advice from political forces there and party elders close to the caucus process before coming to a final decision regarding a potential presidential run. Bachmann, a native of Waterloo, Iowa, also is set to deliver a keynote speech at an Iowans for Tax Relief PAC fundraiser Jan. 21 in Des Moines, Iowa.

According to an invitation to the fundraiser obtained by ABC News, tickets cost $25 per person or $40 per couple, and donors are able enhance their standing by coughing up $1,000 to become an honorary "host" or by donating $250 to become a "watchdog." Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Iowans for Tax Relief PAC, a political action committee working to elect pro-taxpayer Iowa legislators.

Bachmann's appearance in the Hawkeye State later this month will be her third trip over the past eight months to the significant early-caucus state, and last week she was featured at another GOP fundraiser in Michigan -- also an early primary state.

Although aides in Bachmann's congressional office said she has received frequent encouragement from supporters to challenge President Obama next year, they would not confirm quite yet that she officially was throwing her hat into the ring.

However, Bachmann's senior staff did admit the Minnesotan is not ruling out a presidential campaign. "Nothing is off the table," Bachmann chief of staff Andy Parrish told ABC News when asked whether the Iowa trip signaled Bachmann's intent to run for president. "The congresswoman is excited about her first trip to Iowa this year."

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Related image.

The Village Where The Neo-Nazis Rule

Hitler salutes in the street and firing practice in the forest: Neo-Nazis have taken over an entire village in Germany, and authorities appear to have given up efforts to combat the problem. The place has come to symbolize the far right's growing influence in parts of the former communist east.

Horst and Birgit Lohmeyer have been working on their life's dream for six years, renovating a house in the woods near Jamel, a tiny village near Wismar in the far northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Birgit Lohmeyer writes crime novels, her husband is a musician, and both try to pretend everything is normal here in Jamel.

It wasn't easy to find their new home. The Lohmeyers spent months driving out to the countryside every weekend, heading east from where they lived in Hamburg, but most of the houses they saw were too expensive. Then they came across the inexpensive red brick farmhouse in Jamel. Slightly run-down, but not far from the Baltic Sea, the house sits surrounded by lime and maple trees, near a lake.

The Lohmeyers knew that a notorious neo-Nazi lived nearby -- Sven Krüger, a demolition contractor and high-level member of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD). Collapse )

Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Anti-Christian drumbeat loud before Egypt attack

Anti-Christian drumbeat loud before Egypt attack

In the weeks before the New Year's Day suicide bombing of an Egyptian church, al-Qaida-linked websites carried a how-to manual on "destroying the cross," complete with videos on how to build a bomb and the locations of churches to target — including the one that was attacked.

They may have found a receptive audience in Alexandria, where increasingly radicalized Islamic hard-liners have been holding weekly anti-Christian demonstrations, filled with venomous slogans against the minority community.

The blast, which struck Saturday as worshippers were leaving midnight Mass at the Mediterranean city's Saints Church, killed 21 people.

President Hosni Mubarak has accused foreign groups of being behind the attack, which has sparked a wave of angry protests by Christians in Egypt.

But on the ground, investigators are searching in a different direction — scrutinizing homegrown hard-liners, known as Salafis, and the possibility they were inspired by al-Qaida.

Only two or three days before Saturday's bombing, police arrested several Salafis spreading fliers in Alexandria calling for violence against Christians, a security official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

According to authorities, the strong belief among investigators is that local extremists who knew the area and the nature of their target were behind the blast. The Egyptian weekly Al-Youm Al-Saba said police were examining photos of the Salafis' weekly protests for suspects.

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The death of one middle class woman is equal to that of six prostitutes, reveals UK media

The UK media has finally revealed the calculations used when categorising the importance of a human life, or the scale of natural disasters.

The calculations, which are the industry standard, reveal that a mudslide in Brazil that kills between 10 and 20 people would receive the same level as coverage as a covering of snow in Oxfordshire that caused a retired ex-army officer to slip and nearly fall.

“The recent tragedy where two hot air balloonists were killed was quite rightly headline news.” revealed one British reporter.

“But if it had been two prostitutes flying that balloon it wouldn’t have got anywhere near the same coverage, though it might have made page 5 of The Sun, with a headline something like Slag, Bang, Wallop!”

“It would take about twelve prostitutes to die in a balloon crash to make headline news. I’m not sure why twelve prostitutes would be flying a balloon, but I guess if you had enough money and a fetish for that sort of thing then anything is possible.”

Media reporting

The calculations are also used for stories involving murder, and highlight the importance put on the victim not being a prostitute, drug addict or a foreigner when it comes to receiving round the clock coverage.

Our insider continued, “If the victim is respectable, white, middle class, and with a loving family then it’s going to receive blanket coverage.”

“If, on the other hand, the victims are a group, or to use the collective noun, a ‘shame’ of prostitutes then it will take quite a lot of violence to generate the same sort of interest.”

One calculation that is yet unclear is how many civilian lives are equal to the life of one soldier killed in conflicts involving UK troops, with one journalist saying, ”I’m not sure that number exists.”


Ron Paul Wants Us To Switch To Gold From Paper Money

Ron Paul, career-long proponent of outmoded and discredited Austrian economic theory, went on Colbert last night to talk about how paper money sucks and he wants you you to be able to go into a store and buy a six-pack with some gold ingots. His proof? Paper money can rot and people have believed in the value of gold for centuries. So, gold is "better" because the collective hallucination around it is stronger. This wouldn't be disturbing except for the fact that Ron Paul is the new Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy. Yeeeeeks.

Source, includes video.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Inuit lives and diets change as ice shifts

Inuit lives and diets change as ice shifts

Climate change is altering diets and lifestyles among Inuit people, according to a scientist who has studied the human face of global warming in the Arctic.

Barry Smit, a professor at the University of Guelph, Canada, has spent five years leading research projects into how melting ice and changes in wildlife habits are impacting the lives and livelihoods of far northern communities.

Among his most striking findings was that increasing difficulty in hunting for traditional food was leading to much more junk food in the Inuit diet.

"People looking at the health of the Inuit have demonstrated that the traditional diet, which is almost exclusively raw meat, is in fact very healthy for them," Smit said. "But because of the new difficulties hunting, people are adapting their diets to what's available in the stores.

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Viewers complain over BBC interview with anti-gay extremist

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has received 95 complaints over a BBC news bulletin which invited an anti-gay extremist to air his views about gay parenting.

Complaints have also been made directly to the BBC but the corporation would not reveal how many it had received.

A spokesman said the BBC does not release the number when there is “evidence of a lobby”.

The December 28th bulletin, about Elton John and David Furnish’s new baby boy, featured an interview with the homophobic preacher Stephen Green, of Christian Voice.

Mr Green, who has supported the death penalty for gays and lesbians, 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 response, the BBC said the decision to interview him reflected a genuine debate over the issue of surrogacy for gay couples.

The corporation said Elton John could not be reached for an interview and that it had used old footage of him speaking about parenting. It would not say whether it had attempted to contact pro-gay commentators or organisations for comment.

In an email sent today to those who complained, the BBC said: “We appreciate some viewers were unhappy that a report on Sir Elton John recently becoming a surrogate father included the views of Mr Stephen Green.

“We recognise this issue can arouse a diverse range of contrasting opinions. This brief report featured Sir Elton John’s thoughts and an opposing view on the matter at hand. It must be stressed that over time we have heard from all sides of this debate, dealing the subject in a fair and impartial manner.

“We acknowledge the strength of sentiment on this matter, thanks again for taking the time to contact us.”

But PinkNews.co.uk reader Edward Bentley, who was among those who complained, said: “Their reply acknowledges not a shred of improper behaviour. Furthermore, their reply has about it a tone of arrogance, condescension and ‘Auntie knows best’. It’s like talking to a brick wall.”

Ofcom is understood to be considering whether the programme breached the broadcasting code.

The BBC has a history of offending LGBT viewers. Last year, the corporation apologised after the BBC News website hosted a debate entitled ‘Should homosexuals face execution?’

Along with supporting a proposed death penalty for gay men in Uganda, Mr Green has also called openly gay rugby star Gareth Thomas a “wicked” role model for children and compared openly gay singer Ian Watkins (H from the band Steps) to a mass murderer.

He also unsuccessfully attempted to bring a private prosecution for blasphemy against the director-general of the BBC after the character of Jesus said he was “a little bit gay” in the satire ‘Jerry Springer: The Opera’.

Source: Pink News

What a surprise... the Beeb doesn't think they've done anything wrong (and that the only reason people are complaining is because of a "lobby"). Fuck you, Auntie - this was a celebrity fluff piece, not a debate, and there was no reason to have that odious piece of shit weigh in.


Two women do what many wives dream of doing

Husband beaten by wives over fifth planned marriage

A polygamist Pakistani man has suffered the shame of a public beating by two of his wives, who claimed he was planning to marry in secret for a fifth time.

By Rob Crilly, Islamabad 1:05PM GMT 04 Jan 2011

Mian Ishaq had to be saved by police officers who hauled his two angry wives away from a friend's wedding reception he was attending with his third wife in Pakistan's Punjab province.

Afterwards he told reporters that he had only three wives, and rumours that he had a fourth wife and plans for a fifth were not true.

"This is a blatant lie. I am willing to swear on my life that I only have three wives," he told reporters.

He added that the two, Mehvish and Uzma, had filed for divorce and were pressuring him to sell his house.

"They have already invented one wife for me and now are trying to convince people that I am trying for a fifth," he added.

Witnesses said his two disgruntled partners arrived with relatives at the wedding reception in Gujranwala on Monday, overturning tables and shouting death threats before they started attacking their husband with shoes.

"All the women got together and beat him with shoes. They slapped him and swore at him. It was madness," said a guest.

However, the explanations were not enough for one of the wives. "We know that he is trying to marry a fifth time and he should be publicly humiliated for his behaviour," said Uzma afterwards.

Via Telegraph.

I really want to understand the cultural context of this situation a bit better because the article must be leaving a heckuva lot out.

What?! The Spearchuckers is the name of my javelin team! You're just looking to be offended!

SC considers 'coon hunters' license plates

By Dexter Mullins
2:00 PM on 01/05/2011

The word "coon" is stirring up a big debate in South Carolina. The state legislature is considering printing license plates that would read "coon hunters" on the back at the request of the South Carolina Coon Hunters Association. Coon has long been considered a racial slur directed at African Americans.

The association made the request to print the plates last year. David McKee, president of the group, says the word coon shouldn't offend anyone and doesn't understand what the big issue is.

"We've got people from all races that are coon hunters," McKee said. "I've got good friends that are white, and good friends that are black and we're all coon hunters. It's not an issue to us."

The "coon hunters" plate is just one of more than a dozen other specialized plates listed in a bill written by S.C. congressmen Pitts and G.R. Smith that is waiting for a vote on January 11.

McKee says that there are over 5,000 "coon hunters" in the state, and he says there's no telling how many more there are across the country. If the state legislature approves the creation and sale of these specialized plates, the proceeds would go to funding children's raccoon hunting competitions across the state.

"We never think about it as a racial slur," McKee said. "Coon hunting is a recognized sport. If you look in the American Kennel Club, they recognize [the] coon hound as a recognized breed."

A religious specialized plate was proposed by a different group last year, but was faced with tremendous opposition and shot down. A federal judge barred the state from printing the plate, which would have read, "I believe," citing the separation of church and state as the reason.

Wendy Taylor, editor of the SC Black News, says that this type of thing is just "business as usual" in South Carolina and is not surprised that the "coon" plate has slipped through the cracks. "We live in a state that is just full of controversy and controversial remarks and gestures," Taylor said. "They just celebrated the secession in Charleston a week ago. It's just a sad reality in SC that we're even having this conversation."

Taylor said that the SC legislature is notorious for tagging things on to legislation and not being forthcoming about it to the public. South Carolina still displays the Confederate flag despite numerous years of protest.

Dr. Lonnie Randolph, president of the SC NAACP, says he doesn't have an issue with the word because it isn't being used in a racial context. "I don't [think the black community will be upset] in the context that it is being used," Randolph said. "Often the words you use don't reflect the group or the people or the issue that you're speaking of, it's often a reflection of who you are."


6 Presidential Secrets Your History Teacher Didn't Mention

We're pretty sure that 99 percent of a politician's success lies in his or her ability to hide his or her true personality from the public. We all have personal failures and weaknesses, but a president will work so hard at crafting a specific public persona that we're shocked every time one gets caught getting blown by an intern.

With that in mind, here are some of the stranger facts about American presidents that almost never get mentioned in history class.

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Jemmy Rivington

~Time Warp: British Seize New York Weapons!~


It's now January 5th 1775! It's only a few months before the American Revolution begins, and the political situation is very tense. The colonists are bitterly divided between compromising with the British and fighting the British. Please welcome today's guest correspondent James Rivington, editor of the esteemed Rivington's New-York Gazetteer Or The Connecticut, Hudson's River, New Jersey And Quebec Weekly Advertiser!

Excuse the fact that he uses the long f instead of s in his writing:

I have collected True and Honeft accounts of this story from both thofe loyal to the Crown and the filthy rebels:

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I truft that the officers of the Crown were doing the right thing in seizing those weapons. I have seen what the mob is capable of. All they do is shout about tyranny while caufing fear in the hearts of honest men!

SOURCE: My senior thesis research.
hong cha young
  • doverz

Republicans breaking a promise? Imagine that.....

Promised GOP Budget Cuts May Be Much Lower Than Promised

WASHINGTON -- The GOP "budget cut" numbers are getting squishier by the minute. At least it seemed that way in the hallways of the Capitol on a ceremonial first day of swearing-ins, family photo ops and back-slapping goodwill.

Republicans campaigned coast to coast on, among other things, a promise to cut $100 billion out of the federal budget.

But now they are talking about cuts as slim as $30 billion, blaming the change on the fine print that no one read -- or if they read, did not understand.


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Tea Baggers must be secretly angry right now.



The Enemy Within: CPAC now part of the AlQaeda agenda!

Shocking Truth: Girl Scouts part of the Sekret Mooslim Brotherhood.

Right-Wingers Claim Muslim Brotherhood Has Infiltrated CPAC

The right-wing site World Net Daily and conservative columnist Frank Gaffney came up with a new reason this week to hate the Conservative Political Action Conference, arguing that it has been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood thanks to Grover Norquist, the Republican group Muslims For America, and Ex-Bush staffer Suhail Khan.

In an interview with TPM today, Khan described how "every few months there's a different iteration of [Gaffney] and his cohorts' wild accusations," but it is simply untrue, and a part of Gaffney's "tempter tantrum" that he has been marginalized by the conservative movement.

As we reported, several social conservative groups have pulled out of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that will take place this February, because the gay conservative group GOProud will be attending. The Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage were among those who backed out.

CPAC is not exactly known for its fuzzy left-wing politics. Last year's conference included appearances by Dick and Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, and Jim DeMint, with Glenn Beck as keynote speaker. Rush Limbaugh keynoted in 2009.

But in an article yesterday on World Net Daily called "Now look who else is infiltrating CPAC," Gaffney "told WND that Islamism has infiltrated the American Conservative Union, the host of CPAC, in the person of Washington attorney and political activist Suhail Khan and a group called Muslims for America."
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