January 11th, 2011

Barbara Walters: I Feel Sorry For Sarah Palin

Back in March of 2010 The View ladies--in particular Whoopi Goldberg predicted something like this would happen because of Sarah Palin's violent rhetoric. Even Lizzie Hasselbeck agreed.

Now Barbara Walters is coming out and saying she feels sorry for Sarah Palin because she's being blamed for what happened. Watch Whoopi's face when Barbara says it at 2:00. It's PRICELESS.

Murasaki Shikibu
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Paranoia as Prelude: Conspiracism and the Cost of Political Rage

Paranoia as Prelude: Conspiracism and the Cost of Political Rage

Unlike some, I will not attempt to make murderer and would-be political assassin Jared Loughner, a poster-boy for the Tea Party. As it turns out, such a feat would do Mr. Loughner an injustice, ascribing to him a level of sane, if yet disturbing philosophical coherence that he apparently lacks, rather than recognizing him for what he is: a deeply disturbed, likely schizophrenic young man, whose attempt to claim the life of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was motivated by a bizarre and toxic stream-of-consciousness conspiracism, rather than a commitment to conservatism per se.

That said, his acts cannot be fully divorced from the current political moment either, and specifically that part of said moment dominated by reactionary and right-wing voices, among which are included many whose speakers adhere to Tea Party thinking. It is not that Loughner is, literally, a devotee of the right or its organizational edifices. In all likelihood he is not. Rather, it is pertinent — and should not be ignored by those in the media who are trying to de-politicize his crimes — that his paranoid lunacy, the contours of which one can explore thanks to the wonders of the internet, transpired in a nation where paranoia and its peddling have become common fare. In such a place, the Jared Loughners of the world become ever-more dangerous. And it is this about which we should be rightly concerned.

For while Loughner would never have likely contemplated political assassination in a culture where the most pressing issue was, say, a simple philosophical disagreement over tax policy, or the proper balance between interest rates and full employment, or the percentage of GDP dedicated to debt service as opposed to long-term infrastructure investment, that is not the culture in which he (or any of us) live. Rather, we live in a nation in which it is commonplace, and considered completely rational, for elected officials to believe the President is a foreign interloper. We live in a culture where the nation’s most powerful Republican, House Speaker John Boehner, cannot even bring himself to condemn the maniacal lunacy that is birtherism, but is reduced instead to a mere acknowledgement that since Hawaii says the President is a citizen, that’s “good enough for him.”

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Gates instructs department to accelerate efforts to end ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

U. S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has instructed the Defense Department to accelerate efforts to end the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which bans on openly gay military personnel from serving.

At a press conference Thursday, Gates outlined a three-step plan: finalize changes in related regulations and policies, and get clearer definitions on benefits; prepare training materials for chaplains, lawyers, commanders and troops; and then begin to train service members worldwide with the planned “roll-out” out within a “very few weeks.”

“We’re trying to get the first two phases of that process done as quickly as possible,” Gates said, adding he has instructed Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley to accelerate his efforts.

“My hope is that it can be done within a matter of a very few weeks so that we can then move on to what is the real challenge, which is providing training to 2.2 million people. And we will do that as expeditiously as we can.”

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cautioned gay and lesbian service members to exercise just a bit more patience.

“Now is not the time to come out,” Mullen said, speaking following Secretary Gates. “We certainly are focused on this and we won’t dawdle.”

The U.S. Senate approved a bill on Dec. 18 to repeal the 17-year-old law banning openly gay people from serving in the military. It had passed the House 250 to 175 just three days earlier.

President Barack Obama signed the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” into law on Dec. 22.

5 till

Who's afraid of Frances Fox Piven? By Joan Walsh

Glenn Beck says the elderly professor is as dangerous as the armed Hutaree militia. That's not extreme rhetoric?

Before I get to Glenn Beck's latest crazy talk, I want to acknowledge some conservatives who've done the right thing since the Tucson massacre. Very few have condemned the violent, eliminationist rhetoric of their ideological colleagues – in fact, most have done the opposite, trying to at once deny politics had anything to do with Jared Lee Loughner's attempt to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, while also insisting he's a leftist because he listed "The Communist Manifesto" as a favorite book.

But MSNBC's Joe Scarborough is a rare exception: on "Morning Joe" Monday the former GOP congressman said he said he thought Sarah Palin should apologize for the "violent imagery" she's used on the campaign trail.


Is this not a time for people, like Sarah Palin, who have used violent imagery – she just has. I know some of my conservative friends and family members won’t like that reality. Or, Michele Bachmann, who said she wants Minnesotans armed and dangerous. Isn’t this an opportune time for them to apologize -– not saying that it led to anything — but just saying that they’ve been irresponsible in their rhetoric and they’re going to be more careful moving forward?


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Funeral pickets to be met by 'angels'

They're planning an "angel action" -- with 8-by-10-foot "angel wings" worn by participants and used to shield mourners from pickets. The actions were created by Coloradan Romaine Patterson, who was shocked to find the Topeka church and its neon signs outside the 1999 funeral of Matthew Shepherd, a young gay man beaten and left on a fence to die in Laramie, Wyoming.

"We want to surround them, in a nonviolent way, to say that our community is united," Gilmer said. "We're a peaceful haven."

"You don't mess with Tucson," said Gilmer, 26, who described it as "a little dot of blue in a sea of red."


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Chanel #3

'They'll have to fire me': [Butthurt] Sask. marriage official refuses to perform same-sex marriage

A Saskatchewan marriage commissioner says the government will have to fire him if it expects him to perform same-sex marriages.

Larry Bjerland of the east-central Saskatchewan community of Rose Valley said he was "very disappointed" by a Saskatchewan Court of Appeal opinion Monday dealing with proposed changes to the Marriage Act.

The province's highest court ruled that two proposals from the Saskatchewan government that would let marriage commissioners opt out of performing same-sex marriages on religious grounds would be unconstitutional.

The decision was hailed by gay rights advocates, but Bjerland said it may result in his losing his appointment.

"I do not intend to marry any gay couples and so, therefore, I’m not going to resign," said Bjerland, who has been a marriage commissioner for 10 years. "They’ll have to fire me."

Marriage commissioners are appointed by the provincial justice minister to perform civil, non-religious ceremonies. But several commissioners, including Bjerland, have said they shouldn't have to marry gay and lesbian couples because it's contrary to their religious beliefs.

The dispute over the marriage commissioners' responsibilities has resulted in complaints to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.

The provincial government asked the court to look at whether commissioners could opt out of same-sex ceremonies. The five judges who heard the case unanimously said no, declaring it would violate the equality provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Justice Robert Richards, who wrote the main ruling in the case, said the religious rights of some marriage commissioners could be infringed somewhat if they can't opt out, but that's justified in this case to avoid a more blatant discrimination against gays and lesbians.

"It’s hard to understand how one group can have rights that the other one isn’t entitled to," said Bjerland. "I have no objection to gays getting married. My only objection is forcing me into doing it."

Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan said the government is looking at its options, but appealing the court decision isn't one of them.


This makes me rage. As a marriage commissioner (NOT a member of the clergy), it`s your job to provide this service, according to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which mandates same sex marriage as a right. Get out of the fucking game if you can`t play by the rules, bigoted douchebag.

Why America's gun laws won't change

Since Saturday's tragic shootings in Arizona, America's cable news channels have been flooded with analysts speculating about why.

They have bemoaned the state of America's political discourse, called for leadership in toning down heated rhetoric, speculated over whether this is a turning point for Barack Obama or Sarah Palin and puzzled over the shooter's mental state.

But one thing that has scarcely been raised is gun control.

In Australia, a 1996 gun massacre in Tasmania promoted a deeply conservative federal government to push for restrictive gun laws.

But here in the US, the only regulatory response so far has been to call for a ban on the sale of high capacity magazines like the sort that Jared Loughner allegedly used in Arizona, enabling him to shoot 31 bullets from a semi-automatic handgun without having to reload.

Two possible bills proposing such changes are unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

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Kissing Parts

From the "You Can't Make This Up" Files

Tea Party Express Fundraises Off Giffords Shooting: 'Tea Party Won't Be Silenced'

In an apparent effort to distance themselves from the mass shootings in Arizona over the weekend, the Tea Party Express sent out an email to supporters proclaiming that they "won't be silenced" -- and asking for contributions.

Earlier today, TPE leader Sal Russo went on Fox News and lamented how "revolting and disgusting the left is for trying to associate the tea party with violence like this."

This latest email emphasizes how "horrified" the TPE was to hear about the shootings, which included Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who was shot through the head. Jared Loughner, 22, has been charged in the shooting. He has no direct connection to the tea party movement -- though some have questioned whether the movement's sometimes violent rhetoric might increase the chances of violent incidents.

In the email, TPE says, it's "outrageous" that "the news media and liberal political figures and organizations immediately launched into an attack on the tea party movement."

"It is quite clear that liberals are trying to exploit this shooting for their own political benefit, and they used deception and dishonesty to try and smear all of us and our beliefs," the email continued, echoing Russo's words that "we here at the Tea Party Express find that disgusting and revolting."

It then asks for members "to please stand with the Tea Party Express and show your support for our efforts" by contributing to the group.

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Planck Telescope Observes Cosmic Giants

The Planck space telescope has identified some of the largest structures ever seen in the Universe. These are clusters of galaxies that are gravitationally bound to each other and which measure tens of millions of light-years across. Astronomers say the Planck observatory has made more than 20 detections that are brand new to science. The European Space Agency telescope has also confirmed the existence of a further 169 galaxy clusters, and follow-up studies have hinted at the great scale of these structures.

"The clusters contain up to a hundred galaxies, and each galaxy has a billion stars," said Dr Nabila Aghanim of the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale in Orsay, France.
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CH War and Peace

U.S. teenager tortured in Kuwait and barred re-entry into the U.S.

Gulet Mohamed is an 18-year-old American citizen whose family is Somalian.  His parents moved with him to the U.S. when he was 2 or 3 years old, and he has lived in the U.S. ever since.  In March, 2009, he went to study Arabic and Islam in Yemen (in Sana'a, the nation's capital), and, after several weeks, left (at his mother's urging) and went to visit his mother's family in Somalia, staying with his uncle there for several months.  Roughly one year ago, he left Somalia and traveled to Kuwait to stay with other family members who live there.  Like many teenagers who reach early adulthood, he was motivated in his travels by a desire to see the world, to study, and to get to know his family's ancestral homeland and his faraway relatives.

At all times, Mohamed traveled on an American passport and had valid visas for all the countries he visited.  He has never been arrested nor -- until two weeks ago -- was he ever involved with law enforcement in any way, including the entire time he lived in the U.S.

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iran freedom!

Anti-Islam blogger to hold pro-Wal-Mart rally

Pamela Geller may hate the imaginary "ground zero mosque," but everyone loves a bargain


Obsessive anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller is having another New York rally in support of bigotry and insanity. This time, though, there's a twist: She is still protesting the imaginary "ground zero mosque," but she also wants everyone to know that she's in favor of Wal-Mart.

The giant retail chain that has successfully held the lead in America's race to the bottom would like to expand into New York City. The City Council is against the idea. Geller, obviously, supports Wal-Mart, because liberals dislike Wal-Mart, and liberals love Muslims, and Muslims hate America, and so therefore Wal-Mart is good and loves America.

The beautiful thing about her little flier is how confusing and incoherent it is. It is anti-mosque, and pro-Wal-Mart, but the Wal-Mart happy face is wearing a veil, and there is an Islamic crescent in place of the style guide-confounding hyphen?

Also, Geller is the lady who decided to loudly boycott Dunkin' Donuts because it had an ad in which spokesperson Rachael Ray wore a scarf that resembled a keffiyeh. Surely Wal-Mart has sold something with a crescent on it at some point. Look, you can buy a Quran for $5! And there's even a Spanish version, for illegal immigrant terror anchor babies!

(Oh, wait, Geller already got mad at Wal-Mart for something Muslim-related in 2009, because she is impossible to parody. But it wasn't really their fault, because they were sued by CAIR, so she has forgiven them.)

New York is expected to get a foot of snow tonight, which should make for a really fun protest of a City Council hearing that has already been postponed.

Source has the picture in question. 


I feel like I should be outraged at the racism, but this woman's reasoning is just too incoherent to be anything but hilarious. "lol wut" tag very appropriate here. BRB, lol-ing @ the stupid.  

Gun Tragedies Make for Great Product Placements!

Glock Pistol Sales Surge in Aftermath of Arizona Shootings

After a Glock-wielding gunman killed six people at a Tucson shopping center on Jan. 8, Greg Wolff, the owner of two Arizona gun shops, told his manager to get ready for a stampede of new customers.

Wolff was right. Instead of hurting sales, the massacre had the $499 semi-automatic pistols -- popular with police, sport shooters and gangsters -- flying out the doors of his Glockmeister stores in Mesa and Phoenix.

“We’re at double our volume over what we usually do,” Wolff said two days after the shooting spree that also left 14 wounded, including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition.

A national debate over weaknesses in state and federal gun laws stirred by the shooting has stoked fears among gun buyers that stiffer restrictions may be coming from Congress, gun dealers say. The result is that a deadly demonstration of the weapon’s effectiveness has also fired up sales of handguns in Arizona and other states, according to federal law enforcement data.

“When something like this happens people get worried that the government is going to ban stuff,” Wolff said.

Arizona gun dealers say that among the biggest sellers over the past two days is the Glock 19 made by privately held Glock GmbH, based in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria, the model used in the shooting.
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Rush Limbaugh: Jared Loughner Has 'Full Support' Of Democratic Party

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Rush Limbaugh reacted to the instantly infamous mugshot of Jared Lee Loughner, the suspected gunman in the Arizona shooting, by saying that the reason Loughner is smiling in the picture is because he knows he is backed by the Democratic Party.

Speaking on his radio show Tuesday, Limbaugh said that Loughner was getting the exact attention that he wanted:

"What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country. He's sitting there in jail. He knows what's going on, he knows that...the Democrat party is attempting to find anybody but him to blame.

He knows if he plays his cards right, he's just a victim. He's the latest in a never-ending parade of victims brought about by the unfairness of America...this guy clearly understands he's getting all the attention and he understands he's got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything that they can to make sure he's not convicted of murder - but something lesser."


movies | Impish Fräulein2

"Ted Haggard, minister caught in sex scandal, gets TLC program".

January 6, 2011 | 12:48 pm

If there's a place in this world for the controversial TV personality next door, it's TLC, home of Sarah Palin, the polygamist Sister Wives -- and now, Ted Haggard. According to Entertainment Weekly, the channel will soon premiere "Ted Haggard: Scandalous," a one-hour reality project starring the Christian evangelical minister who's been trying to rebuild his marriage and family since he was caught having an affair with a male prostitute. (If successful, the special has the potential to spin out into a series.)

"My family and I endured the darkest hours imaginable in the public spotlight, and have spent the last four years fighting and struggling to rebuild our lives, our faith and our family," said Haggard in a statement. "Showing the world the new chapter of our lives will hopefully inspire others to find their own path to overcome their struggles and embrace the power of acceptance. The church is open to all, even those who have committed the darkest sins."

This is not the first time Haggard has explored those sins on TV: He has been a guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and was the subject of HBO's documentary "The Trials of Ted Haggard." The latter program showed him attempting (and often failing) to get a new job outside the church. Now it appears he's stopped trying: The special shows Haggard launching his new ministry in Colorado Springs, Colo. — the same town he left after the scandal.

Melissa Maerz | Photo: Ted Haggard. Credit: Nora Feller / HBO


Jerry Brown's Cali Budget : Heads gonna asplode

The budget Jerry Brown will propose Monday includes deep program cuts, a June election to extend tax increases and a broad reordering of state and local government to close a deficit estimated at $25 billion to $28 billion, according to sources familiar with the plan. Here are some of the elements:


Brown's proposed cuts would be felt throughout state government. (below cut)


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While I'm fairly certain this entire list is going to make heads explode, I didn't make it all the way though. I was mildly wtfing but not really surprised by some of the cuts until I read this line and had to stop. "Cal Fire: Reduce staffing on wildfires."

Umm... ok....You want to "Cal Fire: Reduce staffing on wildfires."... Seriously? Really? I mean it's not as if the entire fucking state spontaneously combusts every god-damned year or anything.

Well, I guess if the state burns down they wont have to fix the budget.
comics, hug

Ipswich shut down as river rises rapidly

The city of Ipswich has been shut down and more residents evacuated as the Bremer River rapidly rises towards its expected peak of 21.5m, due about 11am today.

Ipswich's entire CBD has been shut down and streets cordoned off while residents and tourists, as well as onlookers caught off-guard, rush to vacate the city.

The speed of the rising flood has dramatically picked up since 5am.

It is expected to increase by another two metres by 11am.

Meanwhile, anger is mounting over reports of looting in the city.

Evacuation centre are overflowing, Mayor Paul Pisasale said.

The mayor was furious after hearing of several reports of looting taking place in flood-affected areas.

“If I find anybody looting in our city they will be used as flood markers,” he said.

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Further resources about the Queensland flooding for our Austrailian folks, as well as online donations.

Illinois poised to abolish death penalty

Illinois was poised to become the first U.S. state since 2009 to abolish the death penalty after the state Senate on Tuesday approved the ban and sent it to Democratic Governor Pat Quinn for his signature.

The Senate vote came after House approval late last week. The Senate vote was 32-25.

Illinois has not executed anyone for more than a decade after former Republican Gov. George Ryan imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in January 2000 following a series of revelations that people had been sent to Death Row who were later found to be innocent.

"We've had 20 innocent people on Death Row," said Jeremy Schroeder, executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty. "It's time to be done with the moratorium and do the right thing."

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tv | kosem sultan sends her regards.

Arizona lawmakers take up funeral protest legislation

The Arizona legislature is expected to pass legislation Tuesday targeting a Kansas church whose members have announced they plan to picket the funerals of the victims of Saturday's shootings in Tucson.

The proposed legislation would make it a misdemeanor to protest within 300 feet of a funeral from one hour before until one hour after a funeral, a spokesman for the state House said.

The action, according to House spokesman Daniel Scarpinato, is in direct response to the Westboro Baptist Church's announcement that it will picket the funeral of Christina Green, the 9-year-old who was among six people killed during Saturday's attempted assassination of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona.

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The Wrath of Fools: An Open Letter to the Far Right

To:       Palin-lovers, Fox "News" the "mainstream" media, and the Far Right, et al.

From: William Rivers Pitt

Date:   Monday 10 January 2011

Re:       The blood on your hands

Dear “Patriots,”

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords isn't much older than I am. She served in the Arizona State House of Representatives, and the Arizona State Senate, before being elected to three successive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. She once described herself as a "former Republican," and is today considered a "Blue Dog" Democrat, meaning she holds a number of conservative political positions. This is not terribly surprising, given the generally conservative political bent of the state she has served for the last ten years. She was married four years ago to a space shuttle commander who had served as a Naval aviator, and who flew 39 combat missions in Desert Storm, before volunteering for astronaut training.

Last Wednesday, she was sworn in to her third term as the Representative for Arizona's 8th congressional district. One of her first acts in the newly-minted 112th Congress was to read aloud from the House floor, in response to the Republican Party's recitation of the Constitution, the following lines: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Last Wednesday, she was sworn in to her third term as the Representative for Arizona's 8th congressional district. One of her first acts in the newly-minted 112th Congress was to read aloud from the House floor, in response to the Republican Party's recitation of the Constitution, the following lines: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

She returned to Arizona not long after to assist in the implementation of that most vital of Constitutional principles, calling together a meeting of her constituents in a peaceable assembly so the citizens she represents could petition the government for a redress of grievances. Among the gathered crowd were a number of her staffers, a judge, and a nine-year-old girl named Christina-Taylor Green who was born on September 11, 2001.

And then all Hell broke loose.

A man named Jared Lee Loughner waded into the group and fired a bullet into Rep. Giffords' skull at point-blank range, before turning his weapon on others in the crowd. Christina-Taylor Greene, who would have celebrated her tenth birthday on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, was shot in the chest and killed. The woman who brought her to the event was also shot. Gabriel Zimmerman, who served as Rep. Giffords' director of community outreach, was also killed. He was 30 years old, and was recently engaged to be married. U.S. District Judge John Roll, who had served on the bench for twenty years, was also killed. Dorwin Stoddard, a church volunteer, died after putting his body between his wife and the hail of bullets. His wife was also shot. Two of Rep. Giffords' constituents, Dorothy Morris and Phyllis Scheck, were also killed. All in all, 31 shots were fired before several brave souls tackled Loughner, disarmed him, and wrestled him to the ground.

At the time of this writing, Rep. Giffords is lying in a hospital bed in critical condition. The God you Bible-spewing frauds love to flog the rest of us with must have been in that supermarket crowd with her on Saturday, with His hand on her shoulder, because it is nothing short of a full-fledged miracle she survived at all. Doctors are actually cautiously optimistic that she will survive, though the degree to which she will ultimately recover is still sorely in doubt. She can respond to simple commands, according to her doctors, and is marginally able to communicate. If she survives her wound, it is wretchedly certain her life will never, ever be the same.

I just thought you should know a few things about the people you helped into their graves and hospital beds this weekend.

Yes, you.

(Click on the lj-cut to read some genuine lefty rage)
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I don't know about anyone else, but reading that was extremely cathartic.

All of London's firefighters will be sacked

Fire brigade chiefs are preparing to sack all 5,500 London firefighters despite their decision to end industrial action.

The Tory-controlled London Fire Authority is expected to vote at an emergency meeting on Thursday to force all frontline staff onto new contracts with changed shift patterns.

The Standard understands that the authority, led by Brian Coleman, has run out of patience with the Fire Brigades Union after almost six years of talks and will press ahead with its “fallback option” of re-employing staff under new terms and conditions.

This is despite firefighters abandoning action — which almost led to a Bonfire Night strike — and 84 per cent of union members voting to accept the recommendations of an independent panel to change their working hours.

The authority is expected to accept a recommendation to “impose” new terms unless an 11th-hour compromise is struck on related working practices, with an official document to be considered on Thursday stating: “The authority would have no option but to consider termination and re-engagement.”

The dispute has gone unresolved since 2005, with the FBU resisting brigade demands for firefighters to work longer day shifts. Staff are expected to have the day shift extended by 90 minutes. Mr Coleman is apparently attempting to change the fire authority's internal rules to prevent political rivals questioning him in public. This comes after Darren Johnson, a Green member of the London Assembly, demanded answers to injuries suffered by firefighters on picket lines.

Mr Johnson claimed: “Prior to the last fire authority meeting, Brian Coleman rang me up and threatened to abolish members' questions at meetings altogether if I went ahead with a question about injuries sustained by picketing firefighters.”

What. WHAT.
Also, don't read original article comments if you value your forehead.
Home of the enslaved.

Dallas man sues after what he thought was 'clean' alias lands him in jail for months

Mario Miramontes figured during the traffic stop that he could conceal his arrest warrant by giving the police officer the name of his cousin – a 25-year-old husband and father who he believed had no scrapes with the law. After all, he had used the name before when in a legal bind.

But Miramontes' plan backfired badly when it turned out the cousin also had a warrant – on charges that he had fondled an underage relative. Still, Miramontes, 22, of Dallas, felt that the error would be discovered when his fingerprints were run at the jail. His parole violation would result in some time behind bars and then he would be released.

It didn't happen that way. Instead, Miramontes spent 13 months in the Dallas County Jail without access to a lawyer or court hearing for almost the entire time before the mistake was discovered. He is now suing the county, Sheriff Lupe Valdez and District Attorney Craig Watkins for ignoring his repeated pleas for help after the 2007 arrest.

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Dallas Morning News

Can we get a jail/prison/imprisonment tag?

(no subject)

Critics urge removal of gay signs
Billboards aimed at HIV prevention

Billboards trying to drum up community support for gay black men were criticized Monday as a pastor, a daycare provider and a City Council member called for the billboards to come down.

The Rev. Alfred Thompkins, of Calvary Tabernacle, said the “I am gay” billboard message only encourages troubled youth to embrace homosexuality.

“A thirteen-year-old looks at these billboards and says, ‘That must be it, I must be gay,’ ” he said. “That goes directly against God’s purpose. As a resident of Schenectady, a pastor who works with young people, with families, frankly I’m really bothered by the message these send.”

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tv | kosem sultan sends her regards.

Is the Union's new sponsorship sexist?

If you don't follow Major League Soccer, you might not have heard of the Philadelphia Union, the second year MLS team. More of you have probably never heard of Grupo Bimbo, a large Mexican bakery company that distributes many popular bread and baked goods in the United States, including Arnold, Oroweat, Thomas', Entenmann's, Stroehmann, Freihofer's and Boboli. That's about to change, as the Philadelphia Union announced today a four-year partnership to put "Bimbo" on the front of the team's jersey and on all Union team apparel.

This would seem to be great news for the second year team. An affiliation with a large international company with ties to soccer (Bimbo sponsors three Mexican soccer teams and a Costa Rican professional soccer team) and an influx of much-needed revenue ($12 million over the four-year deal). But not so fast. The Union's loyal fan base is already up in arms over the new sponsorship deal, which puts "BIMBO" in prominent all-capital letters across the chest of the official team jersey. For the record, it's pronounced "Beembo."

Within hours of the announcement, fans posted angry comments on the Philadelphia Union's Facebook page and photo albums. They do not like the jerseys, they do not like the name "BIMBO," and, most notably, many of the team's female fans who commented said they feel the team is alienating them with this name choice. At least one man said he wouldn't bring his girls' soccer team to a game now that the jerseys have "BIMBO" on them.

When I first heard about this via Twitter, I thought it was an unfortunate name but didn't think it would be taken so seriously. What do you think? Is this just a whole lot of overreaction over nothing, or did the Union alienate its female fan base with the Bimbo sponsorship deal?


w/e, crew 4 life etc
also espnW is such a joke, half of their articles are about men's sports
This is a witty Space Ghost reference.

Woman's candy egg seized at border

A cross-border kerfuffle over a popular chocolate treat nearly cost a Winnipeg woman a $300 fine and saddled her with a bureaucratic headache.

Lind Bird was recently stopped at the U.S. border and selected for a random search of her vehicle. She was warned she could have faced a fine after the customs official found — and seized — her $2 Kinder Surprise egg as illegal contraband.

Bird learned U.S. authorities have banned the candy because they come with a plastic toy inside that could, if eaten, choke a small child.

"It's just a chocolate egg," Bird said. "And they were making a big deal. They said 'if you were caught with this across the border you would get charged a $300 fine,'" she said.

"It's ridiculous. It's so ridiculous," she added.

In Canada, however, officials said the eggs are so difficult to get into there's little chance they could harm anyone. As such, they are legal.

The U.S. takes catching illegal Kinder candy seriously, judging by the number of them they've confiscated in the last year. Officials said they've seized more than 25,000 of the treats in 2,000 separate seizures.

"They have been determined to present … a choking hazard to young children," said Mike Milne, a spokesman for the U.S. department of customs and border protection. Milne said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration supports the Kinder Surprise ban.

As trivial as the border seizure may seem, Bird said the U.S. government has sent her a seven-page letter asking her to formally authorize the destruction of her seized Kinder egg.

"I thought it was a joke. I had to read it twice. But they are serious," she said.

The letter states if Bird wishes to contest the seizure, she'll have to pay $250 for it to be stored as the two sides wrangle over it.

A comprehensive list of items Canadians can't import into the U.S. can be found here.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

'Mental illness' not an explanation for violence

'Mental illness' not an explanation for violence

Shortly after Jared Lee Loughner had been identified as the alleged shooter of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, online sleuths turned up pages of rambling text and videos he had created. A wave of amateur diagnoses soon followed, most of which concluded that Loughner was not so much a political extremist as a man suffering from " paranoid schizophrenia."

For many, the investigation will stop there. No need to explore personal motives, out-of-control grievances or distorted political anger. The mere mention of mental illness is explanation enough.
This presumed link between psychiatric disorders and violence has become so entrenched in the public consciousness that the entire weight of the medical evidence is unable to shift it. Severe mental illness, on its own, is not an explanation for violence, but don't expect to hear that from the media in the coming weeks.

Seena Fazel is an Oxford University psychiatrist who has led the most extensive scientific studies to date of the links between violence and two of the most serious psychiatric diagnoses—schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, either of which can lead to delusions, hallucinations, or some other loss of contact with reality. Rather than looking at individual cases, or even single studies, Fazel's team analyzed all the scientific findings they could find. As a result, they can say with confidence that psychiatric diagnoses tell us next to nothing about someone's propensity or motive for violence.

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