February 7th, 2011


Support Our Troops by Buying Expendables. Reusable Disposable Troops Good for Our Wallets.

Mo Wars Mo Problems.

Documents show Army's disservice to broken soldiers

The Army's special medical units should be healing more than 9,300 soldiers entrusted to their care.

But a nine-month probe by the Tribune-Review found America's sick and injured soldiers must struggle to mend inside 38 Warrior Transition units the Army has turned into dumping grounds for criminals, malingerers and dope addicts.

Originally designed to treat the wounded from twin wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, after nearly a decade of battle these barracks snag soldiers in red tape. Despite an epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, brain injuries and substance abuse linked to repeated combat deployments, soldiers sometimes spend years desperately seeking psychological care.

Overlooked, over-medicated and overseen by a stressed staff, the hardest hit often are in the Army National Guard and Reserves.

Picked by President Obama's administration in early 2009 to alleviate suffering in the units, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Noel Koch said his tenure ended abruptly in April when he and his investigators at the Pentagon's Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy were in the midst of a nationwide investigation similar to the Trib probe.

After compiling reams of audits, reports and interviews with commanders, hospital personnel and patients nationwide and in Europe documenting these problems, Koch said he was given the choice of resigning or being fired by his boss, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford L. Stanley.

Koch says he quit.
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If you don't live for something

The Apostate:Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology. by Lawrence Wright

On August 19, 2009, Tommy Davis, the chief spokesperson for the Church of Scientology International, received a letter from the film director and screenwriter Paul Haggis. “For ten months now I have been writing to ask you to make a public statement denouncing the actions of the Church of Scientology of San Diego,” Haggis wrote. Before the 2008 elections, a staff member at Scientology’s San Diego church had signed its name to an online petition supporting Proposition 8, which asserted that the State of California should sanction marriage only “between a man and a woman.” The proposition passed. As Haggis saw it, the San Diego church’s “public sponsorship of Proposition 8, which succeeded in taking away the civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens of California—rights that were granted them by the Supreme Court of our state—is a stain on the integrity of our organization and a stain on us personally. Our public association with that hate-filled legislation shames us.” Haggis wrote, “Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent.” He concluded, “I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Scientology.”


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The article is really long and will not completely fit here,so go to the source to read the rest. It will blow your mind!


Political Circus: will.i.am's halftime message to Obama

Tonight's (not) going to be a good night for ...

President Obama, that's who.

During Sunday's Super Bowl XLV halftime show featuring the Black Eyed Peas, singer will.i.am addressed the president in the hit song "Where Is the Love?"

"In America we need to get things straight / Obama, let's get these kids educated / Create jobs so the country stays stimulated."

Bakersfield icon 1

Maricopa County Sheriff warns deputies to avoid McDonalds

Phoenix New Times: Joe Arpaio Makes Eating at McDonald's Risky Business for Deputies
Next time you're at McDonald's, just ask for the MCSO special.
By James King, Fri., Feb. 4 2011 @ 3:28PM

​If you work for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, you probably won't be tempted to eat at McDonald's anytime soon -- because your boss, Joe Arpaio, claims doing so might be a risk to your health.

But not for the usual reasons.

Arpaio issued a warning today to all MCSO employees to use caution when dining under the golden arches following an incident involving one of his deputies and some employees at a Mesa McDonald's yesterday.

According to the sheriff, a uniformed MCSO deputy was at a McDonald's at 1460 West Southern Avenue when some of the employees identified him as a sheriff's deputy and started calling him -- and Arpaio -- a (probably "fucking") racist.

Turns out, that same McDonalds was the target of an employer-sanctions investigation by the Sheriff's Office on March 26, 2010, where four illegal immigrants were arrested for ID theft. Three other nearby McDonald's were also tied into that same investigation, where 13 other illegal aliens were arrested.

The deputy in yesterday's incident refused to take his food from the disgruntled employees and reported the incident to Arpaio and McDonald's corporate headquarters.

Arpaio's overreaction is as follows:

"I am not asking my employees to avoid McDonalds completely," Arpaio says. "But I
do think that anytime one of them is in uniform or driving a marked vehicle, out of an
abundance of caution, he or she should use some discretion when deciding where to eat."

We got news for ya, Joe: there are probably Hispanics who hate your guts in every kitchen in Maricopa County -- these McDonald's employees just had the balls to say it.

Wow, as a former fast food worker (Jack-in-the-Box and Wendy's), telling off the cops was the last thing we'd do. We were told by our managers to give the police free food, even though their accepting it was against regulations. Things would have to get so bad that we hated the cops worse than the criminals to do what the McDonalds employees did. Reading the article, that seems to have happened. I wouldn't like the cops much either if they had arrested a bunch of my co-workers for what I thought was no good reason.
garf i love winter

Chrysler Superbowl Ad

Video: Did you feel it? Chrysler Super Bowl ad says Detroit's back

By Ron Dzwonkowski
Detroit Free Press Associate Editor

Did you see it? Or, if you’re a Detroiter, did you feel it?

The “it” was that two-minute ad Chrysler rolled out in the third quarter of the Super Bowl, an ad about the new Chrysler 200 but also an ad about Detroit, the city, the mind-set, the attitude in “a town that’s been to hell and back.”

Detroit, as usual, didn’t have a team in the big game, but suddenly, in the third quarter, Detroit had a presence on that very important national stage — and a message. Around here, there may be more talk about Eminem, Chrysler and “the ad” than about the game.

If you weren’t watching or chose those minutes to raid the refrigerator, take a look.

There’s no sugarcoating who or what we are. The great and the grim of Detroit are all there, as is the edge, the pride, the determination, the pulse that just won’t quit. No, we’re not New York City or the Windy City or, for sure, anybody’s Emerald City.

“This is the Motor City,” Eminem says with a smoldering look from the stage of the Fox Theater, a Gospel choir behind him. “And this is what we do.”

The implication being we make good cars, such as the new Chrysler 200. That’s the advertising message, anyway. But the thematic message was way bigger, especially for people with a Detroit connection.
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Mods, can we get a "Manufacturing" tag?

Patriot Act up for extension tomorrow

Tomorrow, Congress will vote on a bill renewing USA-PATRIOT. The bill has no reforms, and the vote will be taken with no open debate.

Source one. Source two.

Don't want it passed? Inform your employees.

Oh, and if that's not scary enough, three leading Republicans want to make portions of the Patriot Act permanent.
Three Republican Senate leaders introduced a measure late Thursday that would permanently extend three key provisions of the Patriot Act, rather than let them expire not quite three years from now, as an alternative Democratic proposal would do.

The Republicans — Sens. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader; Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the top GOP member on the Intelligence Committee — described the changes as vital to national security.

“These three provisions are essential tools for our counterterrorism agents in the field. The threat of terrorism isn’t going away so we must provide our agents with the tools they need to get the job done,” Grassley said in a prepared statement. “Given that terrorist threats, including those from self-radicalized individuals, continue to evolve, we must ensure that our law enforcement agents are not burdened with new restrictions on existing authorities. We can’t afford to go back to a pre-9/11 mindset and tie the hands of our agents in the field.”

Why Ronald Reagan’s legacy should be vilified, not sanctified

1987: 41,027 persons are dead and 71,176 persons diagnosed with AIDS in the U.S.

After years of negligent silence, President Ronald Reagan finally uses the word “AIDS” in public.

He sided with his Education Secretary William Bennett and other conservatives who said the Government should not provide sex education information. (They are still saying it!)

On April 2, 1987, Reagan said: “How that information is used must be up to schools and parents, not government. But let’s be honest with ourselves, AIDS information can not be what some call ‘value neutral.’ After all, when it comes to preventing AIDS, don’t medicine and morality teach the same lessons.”

Today would have been Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday.

The American ultra right and Christian conservatives, along with nearly all of the GOP are singing his praises, and in the case of the politico’s, either trying to emulate the “Gipper” or at least live in the long shadow of his career and life’s accomplishments.

I’m not, and not just because I’m Canadian.

No, I think that Reagan was despicable on numerous social issues that have left a legacy of hatred, disdain, and hypocrisy on anyone who was not lily white, christian, and upper middle class to wealthy. In particular, nearly everyday as I hear more vilification being heaped on the LGBTQ community, I deem that the true legacy of Ronald Reagan.

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  • newantt

Rep. Harman (D-CA) to resign.

Longtime California Rep. Harman to resign from the House, lead think tank
Associated Press
February 7, 2011, 10:41 a.m

Longtime Democratic Rep. Jane Harman plans to resign from the House to become the next president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

In an e-mail to constituents on Monday, Harman said she filed paperwork notifying House officials that she was in discussions to succeed former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., as the head of the center.

"I send this note because a decision is imminent and I wanted you to hear the news from me first," Harman wrote. "This is an excruciating decision because the distinction of representing the smartest constituents on earth will never be surpassed — nor will my relationships with my exceptional staff and colleagues in Congress. But shaping and leading the Wilson Center is a thrilling new challenge."

Hamilton stepped down from the position at the end of November, and the center's board of trustees is expected to choose a successor on Tuesday. The center is an organization designed to bring leading experts on various issues to Washington to interact with policymakers.

The 65-year-old Harman told constituents that "should this opportunity come to pass, I would be required to resign my seat." She said she would remain in Congress for several weeks to ensure an orderly transition.

The secretary of state's office in California said once Harman resigns, Gov. Jerry Brown would have 14 days to call a special election. The contest is likely to be held in June.

Harman represents a Democratic-safe district that includes several beach front communities in suburban Los Angeles such as Venice and Redondo Beach. She was first elected to the House is 1992. After losing a race for governor, she regained the seat in 2000.

She is also one of the wealthiest members of Congress. Her husband Sidney Harman, is the founder of Harman International Industries and the owner of Newsweek.

Harman was one of the few California incumbents to face a credible primary challenge last year. She ended up defeating Marcy Winograd for the second time, winning about 59 percent of the vote.

Harman is a leading voice for Democrats on intelligence and homeland security issues. She was the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee when Democrats won control of the House in 2006, but fellow Californian Nancy Pelosi chose Rep. Silvestre Reyes over Harman to serve as the committee's chairman.

She is a member of the "Blue Dog caucus," a group of moderate and conservative Democrats whose ranks were greatly thinned in the November elections.

"I have always believed that the best solutions to tough problems require a bipartisan approach and bipartisanship is the center's brand," she told constituents, adding that the position would give her a unique opportunity to involve political leaders and experts in debates over the most pressing foreign and domestic policy issues.

The Avengers - Default, AA

The 90's Called; They Want Their Science Back

Science Guy Bill Nye Explains Why Evolution Belongs in Science Education

A recent poll found that a majority of teachers in the U.S. are avoiding teaching evolution as a fundamental tenant of biology in the science classroom. We talked to science proponent and television star Bill Nye (the science guy) about what this means for U.S. education.

In a recent survey of 926 public high school biology teachers across the nation, only 28 percent of teachers taught evolution as a well-supported fundamental idea of science. Meanwhile, 13 percent openly supported "intelligent design" in the classroom, and 60 percent fell somewhere in-between. This majority presented evolution cautiously—by including non-scientific viewpoints, by limiting discussion to genetics, or by saying that students only needed to learn the material to pass exams.

What do you think about this?

It's horrible. Science is the key to our future, and if you don't believe in science, then you're holding everybody back. And it's fine if you as an adult want to run around pretending or claiming that you don't believe in evolution, but if we educate a generation of people who don't believe in science, that's a recipe for disaster. We talk about the Internet. That comes from science. Weather forecasting. That comes from science. The main idea in all of biology is evolution. To not teach it to our young people is wrong.

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A couple days old but still relevant. Listen to the science guy, Creationists!

(Also, icon edit because I don't know the next time I'll be able to use this in such a relative context; McKay/Nye gif to come.)

Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

AOL to buy Huffington Post for $315M

AOL to buy Huffington Post for $315M

Online company AOL Inc. is buying highly-trafficked website Huffington Post in a $315 million deal that represents a big bet on the future of online news.

The acquisition, which will put Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington in charge of all AOL content, brings AOL an additional 25 million unique visitors a day.

That could help AOL begin to turn around its display advertising business, which has struggled to grow as the company tries to turn itself into a content provider and moves farther away from its roots providing dial-up Internet.

The deal "will create a next-generation American media company with global reach that combines content, community, and social experiences for consumers," AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said in a statement announcing the deal early Monday.

Founded in 2005, Huffington Post is owned by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer and a group of other investors. AOL will pay $300 million of the purchase price in cash.

Arianna Huffington will be named president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which will include all Huffington Post and AOL content, including Engadget, TechCrunch, MapQuest, Patch and more.

Since laying off a large number of staff last year, AOL has continued reorganizing its operations. The company, which separated from Time Warner in 2009, has acquired new businesses, launched and relaunched websites, and rolled out a new Web advertising system. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said last week he sees 2011 as a "comeback year" for the Internet company as it continues its turnaround efforts and starts expanding its ad business in the second half of the year.

The company's fourth-quarter results show it is still struggling to boost ad sales. AOL had just a 5.3 percent share of the U.S. display advertising revenue in 2010, down from 6.8 percent in 2009, according to eMarketer. Facebook, meanwhile, accounted for 13.6 percent of display revenue last year, up from 7.3 percent in 2009.

Huffington Post grew quickly from startup to online colossus and ranks as one of the top 10 current events and global news sites. Over time, it launched city-specific pages and developed a roster of sections such as food and books. The work of its 70-person paid staff is augmented by content from news outlets and 6,000 bloggers who write for free.

The deal is expected to close late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter, pending regulatory approvals.


Well, this strikes me as a supremely bad idea, but maybe that's because I've read AOL news comments.

Groupon’s Super Bowl Ad Quickly Draws Backlash

It’s not clear yet whether Groupon sought controversy for its Super Bowl commercial to gain publicity, but either way the venture capital-backed daily deal site sure got it.

Immediately after one of its three commercials ran during Fox’s second-half coverage of Super Bowl XLV, hundreds of people took to Twitter to air their displeasure with the ad.

The commercial in question involves actor Timothy Hutton, who makes light of Tibet’s social ills by touting a discount offer on Groupon:

“Mountainous Tibet - one of the most beautiful places in the world. This is Timothy Hutton. The people of Tibet are in trouble, their very culture in jeopardy. But they still whip up an amazing fish curry. And since 200 of us bought on Groupon.com we’re getting $30 worth of Tibetan food for just $15 at Himalayan restaurant in Chicago.”

Here is a sampling of Twitter comments about the ad:

That @Groupon commercial was terribly offensive. Way to commodify an entire people’s real struggles & experience.

That Tibet commercial of yours was the most offensive thing I’ve seen all day! #yousuck

Groupon, your commercial insulted a lot of people. good job. you suck.

@groupon You lost another customer from that Super Bowl commercial.

I guess Groupon decided to do a funny commercial about Tibet because Darfur would be in bad taste? #adFAIL

While the comments on Twitter are overwhelmingly negative, not everyone was offended by the spot. For instance:

Come on people. Was the groupon commercial in rather poor taste. Yes. Did they mean it maliciously. Doubt it.

So far, the Tibet Groupon commercial has been my favorite. #themoreyouknow #SuperBowl

For its part, Groupon’s Twitter account linked to a site where you can not only view the commercials but also donate money to charities related to the spots:

Support Tibet’s largest charity here: http://savethemoney.groupon.com/

Groupon Chief Executive Andrew Mason told The Wall Street Journal he didn’t consider the ad to be offensive, calling it a “spoof” on the company and celebrity-endorsed public service announcements.


OP: And holy shit is Twitter ever pissed about it too.
Jack Harkness loves hot lesbian sex.

Two Grauniad Opinion Pieces On Brits As American Superheroes

Lindy West: Ka-pow! Why Brits have gone from villains to superheroes
With Batman, Spider-Man and now Superman all British under the suits, how has this pop cultural colonialism come about?

With the announcement that Tudors star Henry Cavill is next in line to fill out America's favourite cobalt super-tights – joining Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man and Christian Bale as Batman – the British have officially infiltrated the Big Three. And man alive are bored people on the internet ever mildly a-twitter! Superman, Spider-Man, and Batman: America's noblest triumvirate of imaginary white gentlemen sworn to protect made-up cities – oh, and New York – from evil clowns, robot man-mollusks and menacingly bald financial wizards! And you're telling me they're supposed to be BRITISH now? This is outrageous. This cannot stand. What did Britain ever do for America? (Besides, you know … invent it, kind of?) And now you're murdering our heroes and wearing their skin through the hallowed halls of Hollywood? And charging us for it? How dare you, sirs. For shame.

For years – decades, even – Brits were our ideal Hollywood villains. Finger-steepling, moustache-twirling, erudite foils to good old-fashioned American brawn. So this sudden change of heart raises some interesting questions. Why do we suddenly trust you to be our heroes – to be us? Why are we no longer frightened of your fancy accents and national health care? What is figgy pudding? I stopped hating the French and shopping for bacon-wrapped guns on the internet long enough to come up with six possible theories, in ascending order based on how much I actually believe in them. Collapse )


David Mitchell: English, American – supermen all look the same to the real superpowers
Read the small print and the invasion of the British superheroes starts to look less heroic

Sometimes you don't see victory coming. It's been a long slog since the disaster of Saratoga and the humiliation of Yorktown but at last the empire has struck back. It's been tough – they've spent decades making us feel puny and irrelevant. We've relied on them for money and troops. They almost made us forget there was a time when we could launch disastrous invasions of Afghanistan without their help. But finally it seems that the American colonies' 235 year flirtation with independence is coming to an end.

Praise be: all three of the great American superheroes-of-state have fallen into British hands. British actor Henry Cavill has just been cast as Superman in Superman: Man of Steel (presumably the sequel to the more controversial Stalin: A Super Man). And that completes the set: Christian Bale, the British child from Empire of the Sun whose accent is now located about where the Lusitania sank, is the current Batman, and Surrey's own Andrew Garfield is "rebooting" the Spider-Man franchise, bringing New York's arachnoid crime fighter to a whole generation who were too young to catch the final instalment of the previous Spidey trilogy, way back in 2007. If only someone had recorded it.

But let's leave aside the fact that Hollywood is now reimagining Superman and Batman twice each for every time I descale my shower-head, and Spider-Man more often than I change my mobile phone tariff, and rejoice in having turned the tide of cultural imperialism. Stateside acclaim for The Madness of King George, Mrs Brown, The Queen and The King's Speech is all very nice but it has the patronising quality of a parent commending a precocious child on having sent up a teacher in a school play. If we were ever going to curb American self-confidence, we needed to strike at their equivalent of royalty: made-up magical people from comics.

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Not sure if agree, David Mitchell. Also, I don't care what DMitch says, Christian Bale is OURS [Welsh] goddamnit and I will claim him as such to my dying breath, not because I particularly like the guy but because no-one ever remembers Anthony Hopkins is Welsh, and I grumble at it happening again. Lindy West's article made me laugh, though.

ETA: Now with bonus correct html!
donk... donk... donk...

In China, alpha males carry designer purses

'It's crucial for business,' says a 41-year-old investor with a brown leather clutch. 'It shows I have good taste.'

Tiger Zhang browsed the sweaters at the Hugo Boss boutique at the upscale Oriental Plaza mall looking for fashionable additions to his wardrobe.

The 41-year-old investor was dressed in the unofficial uniform of Chinese businessmen: dark blazer, crisp white shirt, designer slacks, silky tan socks, hand-tooled loafers — and an expensive purse.

Lest anyone think the $500 Dunhill clutch with dual bronze zippers belonged to his wife, he proudly explained how his business cards, cash and two cellphones fit neatly into its buttery leather interior.

"It's crucial for business," said Zhang, who chose the chocolate-colored bag because he thought it was stylish without being flashy. "It shows I have good taste."

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Los Angeles Times
Me - I hate Christmas

Addiction services closer to home for veterans

Veterans suffering from substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders in [Maine's] Aroostook and Washington counties no longer will have to drive long distances to receive treatment, thanks to a program designed to help them, the first of its kind in the nation.

Officials announced details of a new program called Operation Outreach during a ceremony morning Monday at Aroostook Mental Health Center in Caribou.

The new health care services program was developed collaboratively by AMHC and Togus Veterans Affairs Medical Center for veterans in Aroostook and Washington counties. Now, those seeking treatment will be able to receive it closer to home, without first having to go to VA facilities.

Financing will come from a $1.2 million allocation from the VA Office of Rural Health provided over a two-year period.

Operation Outreach services now are available in Aroostook County, and will be in Washington County by March, officials said Monday.

As part of the program, AMHC will offer a dedicated VA liaison who is a retired U.S. Navy combat veteran to ensure that veterans, family members, significant others and referral sources are aware of the program’s services and how to use them when help is needed. The liaison also serves as the direct administrative contact between AMHC and Togus Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s Mental Health Department staff to ensure that services for veterans are running smoothly.

Officials said Monday that there are approximately 11,708 veterans living in Aroostook and Washington counties, with as many as 800 in need of treatment at any given time.

Gregory Disy, CEO of AMHC, said Monday that U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud was instrumental in advocating for increased VA funding to improve veterans’ substance abuse treatment options and increase the number of service sites, especially for veterans living in rural Maine. Michaud is chairman of the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health. Disy also thanked U.S. Sens. Susan M. Collins and Olympia J. Snowe for their role in providing advocacy and support for Operation Outreach funding.

Disy pointed out Operation Outreach means there will be more locations where veterans can receive treatment. There are now two treatment sites, but the establishment of Operation Outreach expands treatment to 11 AMHC sites across Aroostook and Washington counties.

Disy said treatment will be delivered by state-licensed and certified providers, and any veteran eligible to enroll in VA health care services can use Operation Outreach services free of charge.

During the ceremony, Michaud thanked AMHC and the Department of Veterans Affairs for devising and implementing the new program and for their commitment to Maine’s veterans.

“The men and women who so bravely served our country on behalf of us all deserve no less than the best in return,” he said. “Because of this new initiative, local veterans will now be able to access the health care services they need closer to home. This is going to make a real difference in the lives of many of our state’s veterans and their families.”

Snowe agreed.

“The undertaking you are announcing today will help veterans fight for another freedom — this time their own freedom from alcohol or other drug dependence,” she said, adding that she was pleased with the “proactive approach” to treatment.

AMHC already provides a variety of services across its coverage area, including crisis evaluation, crisis stabilization, ambulatory alcohol and drug detoxification, 28-day residential treatment, Suboxone opiate replacement therapy and 12-step programs.

Through Operation Outreach, requests for appointments will be accepted directly from veterans, significant others, Togus VA and other VA clinic providers, Vet Center counselors, primary care providers, mental health providers, hospitals, homeless shelters and other facilities.

For regular appointments, Aroostook and Washington county veterans will have immediate access to service by dialing AMHC’s 24-7 Access Center toll-free line. If a veteran is in crisis, services will be available immediately by calling AMHC’s toll-free help line.

Bangor Daily News

Michele Bachmann Reveals 'Motivation In Life'


Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) signaled what she sees as her "motivation in life" at a Republican dinner in Montana over the weekend.

"I take my first political breath every morning with one thought in mind," the Tea Party darling told her audience, the Missoulian reports. "Repeal Obamacare... That's my motivation in life."

According to the Treasure State-based outlet, Bachmann said the health care reform package signed into law by President Barack Obama last year really "is something else." She reportedly went on to revive a criticism she's unleashed multiple times before, characterizing the legislation as "the crown jewel of socialism."

The conservative superstar used the very same language in taking aim at health care reform last month, as well as around this time last year when she suggested the bill amounted to "gangster government."

In her speech over the weekend, Bachmann said, "President Obama, and I'm willing to say it, ushered in socialism under his watch." She later added, "My opinion is we can't shut this president down fast enough."

Could someone explain a "political breath" to me?

Olbermann Said to Be Going to Current TV


Keith Olbermann, the former top-rated host of “Countdown” on the news channel MSNBC, will announce his next television home on Tuesday, and people familiar with his plans pointed Monday to a possible deal with the public affairs channel Current TV.

Neither Mr. Olbermann, his representatives, or executives from Current TV would comment on the move, but they did not deny that the channel, which counts former Vice President Al Gore as one of its founders, will become at least one partner in Mr. Olbermann’s future media plans.

One of the people with knowledge of the plans said Mr. Olbermann would have an equity stake in Current TV. The people insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized by their employers to comment in advance of the official announcement.
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Bill Nye the Science Guy

Controversial? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

New Mexico Bill Seeks to Protect Anti-Science Education
If educators in New Mexico want to teach evolution or climate change as a “controversial scientific topic,” a new bill seeks to protect them from punishment.

House Bill 302, as it’s called, states that public school teachers who want to teach “scientific weaknesses” about “controversial scientific topics” including evolution, climate change, human cloning and — ambiguously — “other scientific topics” may do so without fear of reprimand. The legislation was introduced to the New Mexico House of Representatives on Feb. 1 by Republican Rep. Thomas A. Anderson.

Supporters of science education say this and other bills are designed to spook teachers who want to teach legitimate science and protect other teachers who may already be customizing their curricula with anti-science lesson plans.

“These bills say, ‘Oh we’re just protecting the rights of teachers,’ which on the face of it isn’t wrong. But they draw big red circles around topics like evolution and climate change as topics to be wary about,” said Joshua Rosenau, a policy and projects director at the National Center for Science Education. “It suggests this kind of science is controversial, and would protect teachers who want to teach anti-evolution and climate-change-denying lessons in classrooms.”

The bill is one of five already introduced to state legislatures this year. While more than 30 such bills have been introduced since 2004, only Louisiana adopted one as law in 2008.

Rosenau said House Bill 302 will probably never see the light of day, as New Mexico’s representatives have bigger issues to deal with, such as their constituents’ financial hardships. If it does come to a vote, however, he said its chances are slim.

“These bills are written in such a way that voting ‘nay’ on them looks bad. Legislators may vote yes to maintain an agreeable voting record, but they often find ways to kill them procedurally,” he said.

The bill’s introduction comes at a time when, according to a recent study in Science, only 28 percent of U.S. teachers overtly teach scientific concepts of evolution and 13 percent advocate creationism. Some 60 percent water down teaching evolution to avoid confrontation by students and parents.

“Supporters of anti-science education are trying to give cover to what’s already happening out there,” Rosenau said.

Source. Crossposted to ontd_science

This shit pisses me off, negl.

Zero Intelligence Wins Once Again in The War on Drugs

Teen’s medical marijuana fight escalates as school says he cannot come back to class after going home for medicine

The saga of a Colorado Springs teenager struggling with a rare neurological condition best controlled with medical marijuana lozenges became a little more surreal when Harrison School District 2 informed the student’s father that the child cannot return to school on any day that he consumes medical marijuana.

“They say if he takes his medicine it is ‘internal possession’ and he cannot come back to school,” the teenager’s father told The Colorado Independent. The boy attends Sierra High School.

The child missed most of the last school year when he was diagnosed with diaphragmatic and axial myoclonus, which causes seizures that can last for 24 hours or more. He spent extensive periods of time hospitalized and used morphine and other narcotics to control the seizures until doctors discovered that THC works better than any other medication.

He was able to return to school in January but as the district would not allow him to possess or consume his prescribed medicine on campus, he transferred to a school closer to home so that he could walk home as needed to take his medicine.

After the district’s latest salvo was delivered, the teen’s father said he spoke with both the district superintendent and the district attorney and that neither were receptive to his arguments that his son needs the medicine to function, does not get high and does not smell like marijuana.

The district has refused to comment to us, other than for a spokesperson to say that the district intends to follow the letter of the law, which is that no student may possess or consume medical marijuana on school grounds.
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movies | Impish Fräulein2

ONTD_P's Photo of the Day: February 07, 2011.

The Sweet Things in
a Changing Brooklyn Neighbourhood

Russell Frederick has been documenting the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn as part of an ongoing project since 1999. Mr. Frederick, 40, is a member of  Kamoinge, a New York-based collective and is working on his first solo exhibition 'Black'.

All photos | Russell Frederick
Video of the photographer on his exhibition, 'Black'.
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