May 29th, 2011


(no subject)

Grocery Store Workers Go On Hunger Strike Over Stagnant Wages

All night long, Jose Garcia performs his job while surrounded by food -- a painful bit of irony, he says.

The 52-year-old Mexican immigrant works the overnight shift cleaning floors inside a Cub Foods store in Minneapolis, Minn., a job he's mostly appreciated for the nine years he's held it down. But lately, waxing aisle after aisle filled with groceries has simply reminded him of how little he has.

Despite his long tenure with the same cleaning company, Garcia says he earns a wage of $9 an hour -- more or less the same rate he was making when he started cleaning floors back in 2002. Taking inflation into account, his salary has effectively gone down since he started working on the cleaning crew.

There are times when he can't afford as much food as he'd like. He says it pains him to see workers at the store throw out unsold perishables like roasted chicken at the end of the night.

"It's perfectly good food," Garcia says through a translator. In the past, when he's asked if he can take the food home, he says he's been told that under-the-table giveaways are against store rules.

Sometimes he resorts to visiting the charitable food pantries around town. The irony there doesn’t escape him, either: Grocery stores like the one where he works often donate the very food that goes to those pantries and, eventually, to the needy like himself.

Like a lot of the workers who clean retail and food stores these days, Garcia doesn’t work directly for the store he cleans. He's employed by a company called Carlson Building Maintenance, which has a contract to wax and buff the floors inside Cub Foods stores, a chain concentrated in Minnesota. Cub is owned by Supervalu, a grocery conglomerate that also has Acme, Albertsons and Shoppers among its many holdings.

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That child is surely me...

This should not have to be news.


Psychology Today issues an apology letter. This should not have to be news. ::facepalm::


Psychology Today Apologizes for 'Black Women Less Attractive' Post

Ujala Sehgal Sat May 28, 2:56 pm ET

Earlier this month, the popular magazine Psychology Today published an article by evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa titled “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?" that was met, expectedly, with mass outrage. The article used data based on another study to make several claims such as "black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women" yet "subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others."

After some attempted editing of the title, the magazine retracted the post from its website in its entirety. Kanazawa in turn is facing an investigation by the London School of Economics, where he is a professor, after a unanimous vote for his dismissal by the student union.

Contributing writers to Psychology Today moved quickly to do some damage control. Dr. Kaufman, in his blog for the magazine "Beautiful Minds," wrote a post re-analyzing Kanazawa's data.

We retrieved the data from Add Health on which Satoshi Kanazawa based his conclusions to see whether his results hold up to scrutiny... Kanazawa mentions several times that his data on attractiveness are scored "objectively"... [However] the low convergence of ratings finding suggests that in this very large and representative dataset, beauty is mostly in the eye of the beholder. Because raters differ strongly in terms of how they rate... this source of variation needs to be taken into account when testing for average race differences in ratings of attractiveness. Kanazawa does not indicate that he did so.

Moreover, Kaufman noted that "the majority of [Kanazawa's] data were based on the ratings of attractiveness of the participants when they were teenagers." When the data was stratified based on age, he concluded that "as adults, Black Women in North America are not rated less attractive by interviewers of the Add health study."

In another post on magazine's website, Dr. Stanton Peele leveled his criticism at the field of evolutionary psychology as a whole.

[T]he logic underlying [Kanazawa's] racism is exactly that which drives the field -- i.e., there are biological imperatives that determine social behavior, attitudes, and undeniable human reality... [But] the only inevitabilities are (a) in Kanazwa's head and (b) ev psych's fantasy version of the human species as the end result of a deterministic evolutionary process that makes people think and act in the ways they say people must  -- that is, according to their own preferred prejudices (like Kanazawa's ideal woman -- who is NOT African-American!).

However, many were still waiting for a direct response from the magazine, who, according to Stanton, "is probably the most popular PT blogger." Considering the level of outrage, the apology was some time coming. Kaja Perina, the Editor-in-Chief, issued the following statement on Friday:

Last week, a blog post about race and appearance by Satoshi Kanazawa was published--and promptly removed--from this site. We deeply apologize for the pain and offense that this post caused. Psychology Today's mission is to inform the public, not to provide a platform for inflammatory and offensive material. Psychology Today does not tolerate racism or prejudice of any sort. The post was not approved by Psychology Today, but we take full responsibility for its publication on our site. We have taken measures to ensure that such an incident does not occur again. Again, we are deeply sorry for the hurt that this post caused.

However, there was no word on whether the magazine will continue to publish articles by Kanazawa. He has not published on entry on his blog since the one removed, although there is no indication that the blog will be terminated.

For Anarchist, Details of Life as F.B.I. Target

AUSTIN, Tex. — A fat sheaf of F.B.I. reports meticulously details the surveillance that counterterrorism agents directed at the one-story house in East Austin. For at least three years, they traced the license plates of cars parked out front, recorded the comings and goings of residents and guests and, in one case, speculated about a suspicious flat object spread out across the driveway.

“The content could not be determined from the street,” an agent observing from his car reported one day in 2005. “It had a large number of multi-colored blocks, with figures and/or lettering,” the report said, and “may be a sign that is to be used in an upcoming protest.”

Actually, the item in question was more mundane.

“It was a quilt,” said Scott Crow, marveling over the papers at the dining table of his ramshackle home, where he lives with his wife, a housemate and a backyard menagerie that includes two goats, a dozen chickens and a turkey. “For a kids’ after-school program.”

Mr. Crow, 44, a self-described anarchist and veteran organizer of anticorporate demonstrations, is among dozens of political activists across the country known to have come under scrutiny from the F.B.I.’s increased counterterrorism operations since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Other targets of bureau surveillance, which has been criticized by civil liberties groups and mildly faulted by the Justice Department’s inspector general, have included antiwar activists in Pittsburgh, animal rights advocates in Virginia and liberal Roman Catholics in Nebraska. When such investigations produce no criminal charges, their methods rarely come to light publicly.


read more at the New York Times. The source includes an interactive feature that lets you look at some of the documents Crow obtained from his FBI file.

I know a lot of long time activists in my area. I wonder how many of them have been investigated at some point...
  • sauron

He Would.

McCain: ‘Of course’ Palin can beat Obama

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has no doubt that his former running mate Sarah Palin can defeat President Barack Obama in 2012 if she decides to run.


"Can she win the Republican nomination and can she beat Barack Obama?" Fox News' Chris Wallace asked McCain Sunday.

"Of course she can -- she can," McCain insisted. "Now whether she will or not, whether she'll even run or not, I don't know."

"A lot of things happen in campaigns, Chris. I was written off a couple of times and was able to come back. It will be a roller coaster ride for all of them before we finally arrive at our nominee. But she certainly is a major factor. And I believe that she can be very competitive," he added.

"What about her high negatives, especially among independents?" Wallace wondered.

"I think that the, again, that's what campaigns are all about. I've never seen anyone as mercilessly and relentlessly attacked as I have seen Sarah Palin in the last couple of years. But she also inspires great passion; particularly, among Republican faithful," the Arizona senator explained.

Publications like The New York Times reported last week that Palin is hinting that she might run. The former Republican vice presidential candidate has purchased a house in Arizona, has a movie premiering in Iowa to rehabilitate her image and is launching an East Coast bus tour.

A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found that only 17 percent of Republicans had a "strongly favorable" view of her.

Watch the Video @ The Source
the goddamn batman


High School Student Stands Up Against Prayer at Public School and Is Ostracized, Demeaned and Threatened
When a high school atheist tried to stop prayer at his graduation, he was harassed and kicked out of his house. But the atheist community stepped in.
May 25, 2011

Whatever you think about atheists -- good, bad, mixed, indifferent -- this story should seriously trouble you.

Damon Fowler, an atheist student at Bastrop High School in Louisiana, was about to graduate. His public school was planning to have a prayer as part of the graduation ceremony: as they traditionally did, as so many public schools around the country do every year. But Fowler -- knowing that government-sponsored prayer in the public schools is unconstitutional and legally forbidden -- contacted the school superintendent to let him know that he opposed the prayer, and would be contacting the ACLU if it happened. The school -- at first, anyway -- agreed, and canceled the prayer.

Then Fowler's name, and his role in this incident, was leaked. As a direct result:

1) Fowler has been hounded, pilloried, and ostracized by his community.

2) One of Fowler's teachers has publicly demeaned him.

3) Fowler has been physically threatened. Students have threatened to "jump him" at graduation practice, and he has received multiple threats of bodily harm, and even death threats.

4) Fowler's parents have cut off his financial support, kicked him out of the house, and thrown his belongings onto the front porch.

Oh, and by the way? They went ahead and had the graduation prayer anyway.

Before we get into the details, let's be clear about the facts and the law: Nobody -- not Fowler, not the ACLU, nobody -- is telling anybody at Bastrop High School that they can't pray. People can pray at graduations and other school events all they want. The sole issue here is whether a public school can have a prayer at a graduation or other school event as an official, school-sponsored part of the program. Individual prayer? Hunky dory. Off-campus prayers at churches or private events? Knock yourself out. Government promotion of a religious agenda? Not so much. What with the First Amendment and the "establishment of religion" bit and all.

It's a law and a Constitution that protects everybody, not just atheists. If you wouldn't want to be subjected to a government-sponsored Buddhist prayer, you ought not to be subjecting others to a government-sponsored Christian prayer.

Okay. I hope that's clear.

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' 100%

Well, someone's gotta post this shit

Rep. Weiner says lewd Twitter photo was sent by hacker

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) has become the latest member of Congress to run into Twitter trouble after a lewd photo was sent from his account on the microblogging site Friday night.

The photo, which was taken from the waist down and shows a man in bulging gray underwear, was first reported early Saturday by, the Web site of conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart.

The Web site reported that the message containing a link to the photo was tweeted to the Twitter handle of a woman who is a journalism student in Seattle, and that the student apparently deleted her Twitter and Facebook pages after the incident.

Soon after the photo was posted on Weiner’s Twitter account, it was deleted, reported, along with the other photos in the seven-term congressman’s photo account.

In tweets after the photos were deleted, Weiner, 46, said that his account had been hacked and jokingly brushed off the incident.

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I saw this story on Twitter for a while and wasn't sure if it was ONTD_P material since it was mainly being spread by Breitbart & Company. But now that it's hit the MSM... well. It might be the ONTDer in me, but I can never turn down a peen post (nor the opportunities to make Weiner puns, Meatpacking District references, etc).

If you want to see the image, it is here. must not tag with "ontd_political photo of the day"...
Ruth 4

Goodluck Jonathan Sworn In As President

Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan has been sworn in as president for a new four-year term, following a clear poll win.

Foreign heads of state attended the lavish ceremony, which began with a military parade and inspection at Eagle Square in the country's capital, Abuja.

Mr Jonathan was promoted from vice-president after Umaru Yar'Adua died in office in 2010.

Despite his election win the country still has serious divisions and there were deadly riots after polling.

Power sector
The election was largely considered free and fair but hundreds of people were killed in three days of rioting following the announcement of the result.

Mr Jonathan, 53, won nearly 60% of the vote.

He is a southern Christian and had defeated his leading challenger from the mainly Muslim north.

Mr Jonathan's nomination also required changing a ruling party tradition of alternating between candidates from the north and south.

The BBC's Jonah Fisher in Abuja says the pressure is now on the winner to deliver on his many election promises.

Mr Jonathan is famous for his wide-brimmed hat - on display on inauguration day - and his love of Facebook, but enters office with a "to-do" list that would daunt many, he adds.

On the campaign trail Mr Jonathan said fixing Nigeria's threadbare power sector would be a priority as would be reforming agriculture to increase food production.

Our correspondent says President Jonathan will not have to perform miracles to be hailed as a success - given the country's history of mismanagement and corruption most Nigerians would gladly accept some firm steps in the right direction.

Mr Jonathan will face the issue of continuing Christian-Muslim conflict and the simmering tension in the oil-producing Niger Delta


I don't think anything will ever change in Nigeria.
Yellow boxes made of ticky-tacky.

Abortion saved my life

I almost died in an emergency room because the doctor on call refused to perform a necessary procedure

There's this lawmaker out of Kansas, Rep. Peter DeGraaf, who has a lot to say about abortion. He's currently best known for saying that women should plan ahead in case of rape and not expect their regular insurance to cover an abortion after an assault. And I could spend a lot of time discussing the flaws in his logic, or even hashing out when life begins, but what I'm really concerned about is the idea that anyone besides a pregnant woman should have a say in what she does with her body after finding out she's pregnant.

I'm a mom, and I love my sons more than anything. And it is because I love them that I had an abortion at 20 weeks. It was my fifth pregnancy (I'd had two earlier miscarriages), and, as it turned out, my last. There was trouble from the beginning; I didn't experience any of the normal indicators of pregnancy, so I was already ten weeks along when I found out. I hadn't so much as missed a period; in fact, I was seeing an OB/GYN because of the increased heaviness in my cycle. When we found out, I talked it over with my husband and we debated an abortion before deciding we'd try to make it work. My doctor told me that my pregnancy was very high risk and that she wasn't sure of a good outcome. Per her instructions, I took it very easy because I wanted to give the baby the best possible chance. But I kept having intermittent bleeding and I knew there was a good chance I wouldn't be able to carry to term.

I was taking an afternoon nap when the hemorrhaging started while my toddler napped in his room when I woke up to find blood gushing upward from my body. Though I didn't know it at the time, I was experiencing a placental abruption, a complication my doctor had told me was a possibility. My husband was at work, so I had to do my best to take care of me and my toddler on my own. I managed to get to the phone and make arrangements for both of my children before going to a Chicago hospital.

Everyone knew the pregnancy wasn't viable, that it couldn't be viable given the amount of blood I was losing, but it still took hours for anyone at the hospital to do anything. The doctor on call didn't do abortions. At all. Ever. In fact, no one on call that night did. Meanwhile, an ignorant batch of medical students had gathered to study me -- one actually showed me the ultrasound of our dying child while asking me if it was a planned pregnancy. Several wanted to examine me while I lay there bleeding and in pain. No one gave me anything for the pain or even respected my request to close the door even though I was on the labor and delivery floor listening to other women have healthy babies as the baby I had been trying to save died in my womb.

A very kind nurse risked her job to call a doctor from the Reproductive Health Clinic who was not on call, and asked her to come in to save my life. Fortunately she was home, and got there relatively quickly. By the time she arrived, I was in bad shape. The blood loss had rendered me nearly incoherent, but she still moved me to a different wing and got me the painkillers no one else had during the screaming hours I'd spent in the hospital. After she checked my lab tests, she told us I would need two bags of blood before she could perform the procedure. Her team (a cadre of wonderful students who should all go on to run their own clinics) took turns checking on me and my husband. They all kept assuring me that soon it would be over, and I would feel much better. My husband had to sign the consent for surgery (I was clearly not competent enough to make decisions), and they took me away along with a third bag of blood to be administered during the procedure.

Later I found out that the doctor had taken my husband aside as they brought me into surgery. She promised him she would do her best to save me, but she warned him there was a distinct possibility that she would fail. The doctor who didn't do abortions was supposed to have contacted her (or someone else who would perform the procedure) immediately. He didn't. Neither did his students. Supposedly there was a communication breakdown and they thought she had been notified, but I doubt it. I don't know if his objections were religious or not; all I know is that when a bleeding woman was brought to him for treatment he refused to do the only thing that could stop the bleeding. Because he didn't do abortions. Ever.

My two kids at home almost lost their mother because someone decided that my life was worth less than that of a fetus that was going to die anyway. My husband had told them exactly what my regular doctor said, and the ER doctor had already warned us what would have to happen. Yet none of this mattered when confronted by the idea that no one needs an abortion. You shouldn't need to know the details of why a woman aborts to trust her to make the best decision for herself. I don't regret my abortion, but I would also never use my situation to suggest that the only time another woman should have the procedure is when her life is at stake. After my family found out I'd had an abortion, I got a phone call from a cousin who felt the need to tell me I was wrong to have interfered with God's plan. And in that moment I understood exactly what kind of people judge a woman's reproductive choices.

Original entry by karnythia, reposted on Salon
[Misc Movies] lovely bones

Both were wanted for mass murder

A Tale of Two Monsters: bin Laden and Mladic

Inevitably, comparisons are being made between the hunts for Bosnian Serb commander, Ratko Mladic, who was finally arrested for war crimes after 16 years on the run last week, and Osama bin Laden, who was tracked down and killed after nearly a decade in hiding.

Both were wanted for mass murder. It would be hard to gauge who had the edge when it came to murdering non-combatants, but the nod might go to Mladic, responsible for killing 8,000 Bosnian Muslims over a four-day period at Srebrenica in 1995, as well 10,000 deaths during Mladic’s siege of Sarajevo.

Both bin Laden and Mladic were found hiding in plain sight, Mladic in a northern Serbian village, bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Both obviously had some protection from their host countries, though it is difficult to say how high up the chain of command the protection went in bin Laden’s case.

Both had, and have, their loyal followers, willing to express their support even after the death and capture of their heroes, demonstrating that the ideas they professed will live on without them.

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This article is more of a general discussion about civil wars erupting between neighbors based on ethnicity. For those of you unfamiliar with the war in Yugoslavia I think this article does an okay job of summing it up, though it doesn't say much of what Mladic was doing to people during the war.
Can we get  "Croatia" and "civil war" tags, mods?

drunk squee

This is the best they can come up with?

Right Wing Attacking Obama For Chewing Gum At Joplin Memorial Service

Posted in Liberaland by Alan • May 29, 2011, 7:36 PMET • 10 Comments »

The right wing’s latest attack on President Obama is that he was allegedly chewing gum at the Joplin, MO memorial service. Gateway Pundit sarcastically writes “Classy” and suggests he learned these manners at Trinity Church. Then it is suggested it must be Nicorette, because we know that no conservative has ever tried to quit smoking. This is all they’ve got.


Just google "Obama chewing gum Joplin". It's absolutely unbelievable.
Sister Death

Alabama Mayor Bans FEMA Trailers for Homeless after Tornado; Breaks Arm Patting Himself on Back

CORDOVA, Ala. – James Ruston's house was knocked off its foundation by tornadoes that barreled through town last month and is still uninhabitable. He thought help had finally arrived when a truck pulled up to his property with a mobile home from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Then he got the call: Single-wide mobile homes, like the FEMA one, are illegal in the city of Cordova.

The city's refusal to let homeless residents occupy temporary housing provided by FEMA has sparked outrage in this central Alabama town of 2,000, with angry citizens filling a meeting last week and circulating petitions to remove the man many blame for the decision, Mayor Jack Scott.

Ruston and many others view the city's decision as heartless, a sign that leaders don't care that some people are barely surviving in the rubble of a blue-collar town.

"People have to live somewhere. What's it matter if it's in a trailer?" asked Felicia Boston, standing on the debris-strewn lot where a friend has lived in a tent since a tornado destroyed his home on April 27.

Scott has heard all the complaints, and he isn't apologizing. He said he doesn't want run-down mobile homes parked all over town years from now.

"I don't feel guilty," he said. "I can look anyone in the eye."

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In another article, Mayor Scott is quoted as saying, "We want other people, young people, professional people to come here. We don't want them in a trailer. We want them to build here."

Edited to add link to the "other people" quote.

comedy | Hipster Mermaid

"Detroit now worthy of nationwide hipster consideration".

Sociologists know that hipsters, that particular breed of 20-something cultural "vanguards," cannot survive in merely any city. Any healthy and happy hipster needs dive bars that serve PBR, vintage shops, grimy music venues, post-industrial art spaces and other habitat features in order to thrive.

We found this funny picture on Flickr. Detroit is now worthy of a slot on the "Post-Grad Hipster's Guide to Inhabitable U.S. Cities." Rejoice! We're labeled on the map, along with this caption: Detroit "Street Cred; Something vague about hopeful post-apocalyptic gardening," Michigan.

See which other hipster hangouts made the list.

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Source: Model D Media (Major hat tip to darksumomo for finding this.)