August 26th, 2011


Rick Perry Sought State Profits From Teacher Life Insurance Scheme

WASHINGTON -- Two weeks before Thanksgiving in 2003, top officials from Texas Governor Rick Perry's office pitched an unusual offer to the state's retired teachers: Let's get into the death business.

Perry's budget director, Mike Morrissey, laid out a pitch that was both ambitious and risky, according to notes summarizing the meeting provided to The Huffington Post.

According to the notes, which were authenticated by a meeting participant, the Perry administration wanted to help Wall Street investors gamble on how long retired Texas teachers would live. Perry was promising the state big money in exchange for helping Swiss banking giant UBS set up a business of teacher death speculation.

All they had to do was convince retirees to let UBS buy life insurance policies on them. When the retirees died, those policies would pay out benefits to Wall Street speculators, and the state, supposedly, would get paid for arranging the bets. The families of the deceased former teachers would get nothing.

The meeting notes offer the most direct evidence that the Perry administration was not only intimately involved with the insurance scheme, but a leading driver of the plan.

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I haven't lived in Texas since 2002 and didn't pay much attention to Perry before the last couple of years. My gawd the more I read about this man the more I wonder how he keeps getting elected.

Hurricane Irene "Looking Bad" for U.S.—Moon May Make It Worse

Hurricane Irene "Looking Bad" for U.S.—Moon May Make It Worse Willie Drye in Plymouth, North Carolina for National Geographic News Published August 25, 2011

The exact times, places, and intensities of Hurricane Irene's predicted U.S. landfalls are still ripe for revision, but according to meteorologist Keith Blackwell, at least one thing is certain: "It's looking bad." And the moon is at least partly to blame for that cloudy outlook. (Get our tips on hurricane preparedness.) Current forecasts suggest Irene will likely make landfall as a major hurricane on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands this weekend, bringing damaging winds and serious flooding to coasts from North Carolina to New England. Hurricane Irene's center is "likely to go through the Outer Banks and rake the coast all the way up—Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey—all the way up to New England," said Blackwell, of the University of South Alabama's Coastal Weather Research Center. "Long Island looks like it's really going to be in trouble." However, Jack Beven, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, pointed out that the margin of error for predicting hurricane landfall sites three days out is 150 miles (240 kilometers). This means that Hurricane Irene's actual landfall could be that far east or west of the current predicted hurricane track.Collapse )Sauce has bottled water, batteries and flash lights!

Almost 55% Have Voted to Repeal the BC HST!

British Columbians have voted to scrap the province’s controversial
harmonized sales tax, according to the results of a binding,
province-wide referendum.

Elections B.C. announced on Friday morning that 54.73 per cent of the
1.6 million British Columbians who cast a ballot in the mail-in
referendum voted to get rid of the tax and 45.27 per voted to keep it.

The province has yet to announce how the roll back will take place,
but the government has previously said repealing the tax will put a $3
billion hole in the B.C. budget, if it has to repay the federal
government the $1.6 billion it received to introduce the HST.

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The next 18 months or so are going to be interesting and I'm keen on watching what will happen to the Liberals (and Clark)
Murasaki Shikibu

Japan's political turmoil a lever for China

Japan's political turmoil a lever for China / Beijing again times aggressive play on Senkakus to coincide with power vacuum in Tokyo

Wednesday's intrusion by two Chinese ships into Japanese waters near the Senkaku Islands was timed to capitalize on the state of flux in Japan's politics, according to observers.

With the ruling Democratic Party of Japan occupied with preparations for selecting a new leader, China apparently believed the intrusion might not meet a strong political response from Tokyo.

At 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, about four hours after the two Chinese fishing patrol vessels entered Japanese waters, Administrative Vice Foreign Minister Kenichiro Sasae summoned Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua to the Foreign Ministry to lodge a protest.

"It is gravely serious and deplorable that despite warnings from Japan, Chinese government ships entered Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands," Sasae reportedly told Cheng.

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It seems like China really is stepping things up, and is definitely trying to take advantage of things. Yeah, this is a low priority for the Kan administration, what with the tsunami and the nuclear disaster, and his cabinet is resigning en masse on the 30th - so yeah, the Senkaku Islands are low priority. However, they have strategic use in that there are thought to be large oil and mineral deposits near them (...and when this was discovered is riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight about when China went from saying they were Japanese territory to claiming they were Chinese due to WWII treaties). Kan caught a lot of flack for seeming to cave to Beijing over the mess last year, so I doubt any new PM is going to want to repeat that mistake.

Intersex, trans female, and CAMAB non-binary Australians can all become sex offenders.

Intersex Australians Must Join Sex Offender Registry To Get Medication

Cyproterone Acetate, better known as Androcur, is an anti-androgen medication taken by both male and female intersex individuals. A change in Australian health care policy, though, means that intersex people— those born with both male and female biological traits— can only get Androcur by signing themselves onto a potential sex offenders' list. The same is true for female-indentified transsexuals, who take the drug to suppress male hormones.

The problem is that the government only approves the drug for two reasons: for prostate cancer, and for registered sex offenders, since the androgen prohibitor reduces one's sex drive.

According to the Australian affiliate of the OII (Organisation Internationale des Intersexués):

Some intersex individuals need anti-androgen medication. Because those medicines are not recognized treatments for the specific diagnosis the only path to that medication is to register the intersex person in question as a potential sex offender at the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Canberra. That register also contains the names of numerous transsexual individuals who can only gain access to anti-androgens because of this inappropriate medication protocol. This is an outrage against those who are different!!

In order to get the medication, the doctor must ask whether you're willing to on the offenders' registry, and those who say no might be denied the prescription. Then, in order to get it, the doctor has to call the Therapeutic Goods Administration to see whether or not they approve.

The Dawn Chorus is a feminist Australian blog with some of the more technical info, if you're interested.

(via Kate Bornstein)


No mention is actually made of non-binary coercively-assigned-male-at-birth individuals, but I assume they would be in the same boat; likewise, there's some phrasing in this article that bothers me with regard to both intersex and trans people, but really the point is WHAT THE FUCK. Oh yeah, I'm back from my honeymoon and ready to hate the world again.

Mods: intersex tag?

Some postive news

Pediatrician Who Raped Kids Gets 14 Life Sentences

The Delaware pediatrician convicted of abusing or raping 85 girls and one boy over more than a decade will spend the rest of his life in prison.

A judge sentenced Earl B. Bradley Friday to 14 life sentences for 14 counts of first-degree rape,reports

Bradley was also sentenced to 165 years for multiple counts of assault and continuous sexual exploitation of a child.

Bradley showed no emotion when the judge handed down his sentence.

Bradley was arrested in Dec. 2009 after a 2-year-old girl complained to her mother after an office visit that the doctor had hurt her.

All of the alleged victims, including one boy, were caught on more than 13 hours of video recordings, some dating to 1998, that were seized from Bradley's office and home, Attorney General Beau Biden said in February.

Bradley’s lawyers did not deny that the videotapes of the child rapes were authentic, reports  

Collapse )While it's tragic that he was able to hurt so many children over such a long period of time (and it took till 2009 for something to be done about it, what the hell), at least he won't be able to hurt anyone else.   

*Edited to add additional information*

Source, 2
Murasaki Shikibu

Racist Goes Berserk at South-County Mall -- Attacks Group with Pickaxe

Racist Goes Berserk at South-County Mall -- Attacks Group with Pickaxe

Update: Daily RFT just got off the phone with Lieutenant Karl Bulla with the St. Louis County police department. Bulla was one of the officers responding to the scene Tuesday night involving a racist man chasing teens with a pickaxe and attempting to run over them with his pickup truck.

According to Bulla, 28-year-old Joseph Gamache was leaving a birthday at a Chuck E. Cheese adjacent to the mall around 8:30 p.m. August 23 when he saw the teens -- several white girls, a couple white and black boys and a Hispanic male -- walking toward the pizza parlor.

"Some words were exchanged," says Bulla. Then everything went nuts with Gamache grabbing a pickaxe out of the back of his pickup truck and chasing after the kids. When they ran away he jumped in his 4x4 pickup -- decorated with a Confederate flag on the back window -- and gave chase screaming obscenities and the N-word as he tore through the parking lot.

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Also, thank goodness this guy had terrible aim and/or those kids had quick reflexes.
No Enbridge

REPORT: $42 Million From Seven Foundations Helped Fuel The Rise Of Islamophobia In America

Following a six-month long investigative research project, the Center for American Progress released a 130-page report today which reveals that more than $42 million from seven foundations over the past decade have helped fan the flames of anti-Muslim hate in America. The authors — Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matt Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and myself — worked to expose the Islamophobia network in depth, name the major players, connect the dots, and trace the genesis of anti-Muslim propaganda.

The report, titled “Fear Inc.: The Roots Of the Islamophobia Network In America,” lifts the veil behind the hate, follows the money, and identifies the names of foundations who have given money, how much they have given, and who they have given to:
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much better formatting and more links at the source

Casino Deaths Stun Mexico

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President Calderón, center, and his wife pay tribute to victims on Friday.


MONTERREY, Mexico—Hundreds of soldiers, backed by helicopters, fanned out across Mexico's northern business capital of Monterrey on Friday to hunt for members of a presumed drug gang that set fire to a casino a day earlier, killing 52 people, most of them women.

President Felipe Calderón, in an emotional speech, declared three days of mourning and vowed to bring to justice the perpetrators of what local newspapers called the worst attack to date on Mexican civilians in the country's increasingly violent war between rival drug cartels.

"We are facing true terrorists," he said. "They can't and won't be the owners of our streets, our cities and our future."

Mr. Calderón also made an impassioned plea to the U.S. to cut down its drug consumption as well as sales of high-powered weapons that end up in Mexico and allow criminals here to outgun authorities. "We are neighbors, we are allies, we are friends, but you are responsible, too," he said. The president, dressed in black, later visited Monterrey and held a minute of silence in front of the burned-out casino.

President Barack Obama called the attack "barbaric and reprehensible" and said the U.S. would remain a partner with Mexico in its fight against organized crime.

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Source: WSJ

Surprised this wasn't posted already. Kinda confirms my belief that no1currs about Mexico. :\