September 15th, 2011


UBS trader in $2 billion loss on Unauthorized Trade

LONDON/ZURICH, Sep. 15, 2011 (Reuters) — Swiss bank UBS said a trader had lost it around $2 billion in unauthorized deals, and police in London arrested 31-year-old Kweku Adoboli in connection with the case.

Adoboli -- a director of exchange traded funds and "Delta 1" working in the bank's London office, according to his profile on networking site LinkedIn -- was arrested on suspicion of fraud, sources told Reuters.

"I can confirm that an employee of the bank was arrested in London in connection with the statement," a UBS spokesman said.

UBS said it might post a third-quarter loss after the rogue trades, a huge blow as it struggles to rebuild its credibility after years of crises.

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Pat Robertson equates Alzheimer's with death, thus okaying divorce

Pat Robertson gives blessing to divorce, as long as one spouse is afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease
Source - NY Daily News
Thursday, September 15th 2011, 4:00 AM

Televangelist Pat Robertson has given his blessing to divorce - as long as one spouse is afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease.

The religious broadcaster and conservative lodestone made the surprising remark Tuesday during his nationally syndicated TV show, "The 700 Club."

It came in response to a viewer's question about what advice should be given to a pal who began stepping out on his spouse after she was diagnosed with the incurable neurological disorder, The Associated Press reported.

"I know it sounds cruel, but if he's going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again - but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her," Robertson said.

Robertson, not done, said he wouldn't "put a guilt trip" on anyone who divorces a spouse suffering from the illness.

Adding one last nugget of advice, he said the two-timer should "get some ethicist besides me to give you the answer."

Robertson's position was unexpected for an ex-Baptist minister who advocates a literal interpretation of the Bible. Divorce is frowned upon by many Christian denominations, which point to Jesus' words in the Gospel of Mark that equate divorce and remarriage with adultery, The Associated Press reported.

Robertson's co-host, Terry Meeuwsen, quickly shot back at the former Republican presidential candidate, asking whether a couple's marriage vows - to care for one another "for better or for worse" and "in sickness and in health" - ought not to apply.

"If you respect that vow, you say 'til death do us part,'" Robertson said, adding that Alzheimer's "is a kind of death."

When The Associated Press tried to get Robertson to elaborate, he was mum: a spokesman for the Christian Broadcasting Network - which airs the show and of which Robertson is chairman - declined further comment Wednesday.

According to Beth Kallmyer, director of constituent services for the Alzheimer's Association, divorce is uncommon among couples in which one member is afflicted with the disease, The Associated Press reported. The organization provides resources to those afflicted with the disease and their families.

"We don't hear a lot of people saying, 'I'm going to get divorced,'" said Kallmyer. "Families typically respond the way they do to any other fatal disease."

Robertson has made plenty of controversial statements over the years, including after Hurricane Katrina, when he implied on a broadcast of "The 700 Club" that the storm was God's punishment for America's abortion policy.
Lucy - Fierce & Fabulous

A TALE FROM SPARTA: My Big, Fat Photo Spoof

I entered American Apparel’s “plus-size model” contest as a joke—and won. But I want nothing to do with a company that’s wanted nothing to do with large women until now.

Not bolding because you should read the whole thing.

UPDATE: On September 14, American Apparel's creative director announced that Upton will be excluded from the list of contest winners due to mocking "the positive intentions of the campaign."


Someday, I’ll look back on all of this and have a hard time remembering how my project really came into being. But I firmly believe no amount of distance will ever make me forget the anxiety I experienced the first time I saw the phrase “Booty-Ful.”

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And last, but not least...

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Source 1 Source 2

No fatphobia tag?

EDIT: I added some of her photoshoot pictures in the comments. Most are (hilariously) tame but a few are about as risque as you might expect from an AmAp ad, so scroll at your own risk.
Gryffindor corgi

Rethinking Venus and Mars

The Truth About Girls and Boys: Challenging Toxic Stereotypes About Our Children

By Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett
Columbia University Press

Consider this vision of the ideal classrooms: one for girls, one for boys. The first is filled with quiet, focused girls comfortable sitting at their desks for long periods of time. Their teacher speaks in hushed tones; classical music may be playing in the background. The students learn about such subjects as chemistry by analyzing “girly” substances like cosmetics, perfume or household cleaning products. In contrast, the boys’ classroom is filled with noise as they move about, expending physical energy on projects such as dismantling a motorcycle to understand how engines work.

In The Truth About Girls and Boys, Rivers and Barnett examine the educational vogue based on “gender essentialism,” which says the sexes are biologically and permanently so different from each other, yet so similar within their genders, that boys and girls are best educated apart, using different teaching methods and even studying different topics.

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I doubt that anyone here believes in teaching in such a fashion, but the fact that this style is becoming such a prevalent fad worries me for future generations of children. And can I recommend a "won't someone think of the children?!" tag? Cause that could come in handy with stuff like this and the impending GOP debates...
Cat Squint

Rage alert

Muslim man says Houston bar wished him 'Happy Sept. 11th' on to-go order; cartoon showed 9/11 attack
Source - NY Daily News
Wednesday, September 14th 2011, 10:49 AM

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Judge: Casey Anthony must pay $100,000 in search costs

Four agencies wanted her to pay back $500,000 they spent looking for Caylee

ORLANDO, Fla. — Casey Anthony must pay nearly $100,000 for the cost of investigating her daughter's disappearance and death, a judge ruled Thursday.

Anthony's legal team had asked the judge to limit her legal costs. Four state agencies wanted the judge to force Anthony to pay back more than $500,000 related to the investigation into her daughter's 2008 disappearance.

Anthony's lawyers said she should only pay for the efforts related to the crimes for which she was convicted.

"I think it is time (prosecutors) accept the fact that they lost this case," defense attorney Cheney Mason argued at a court hearing earlier this month, adding that in his view the reimbursement request had "nothing to do with justice."

"It has to do with outrage. It has to do with sour grapes," he said.

Anthony was acquitted in July of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, but found guilty of lying to investigators.

When Caylee disappeared in the summer of 2008, Casey Anthony falsely claimed her daughter had been kidnapped by a nanny.
Meanwhile, Anthony's mother, Cindy, said in a television interview that she believes her granddaughter drowned, while her husband believes his daughter has a more intricate knowledge of how Caylee died.

Casey Anthony's parents shared their opinions during the second part of an interview with "Dr. Phil" host Phil McGraw that aired Wednesday. Cindy and George Anthony spoke with McGraw for a lengthy, taped interview. A portion devoted to their daughter's murder trial will also be shown later this month.

George Anthony said he thinks Casey may have accidentally drugged his granddaughter and she tried to cover it up. Cindy Anthony says she does think Casey did know where her toddler was buried and may have had help placing her body there.


i don't think casey is innocent, but does anyone else think it's setting an EXTREMELY dangerous precedent by requiring someone who was found innocent to pay back costs related to prosecuting them? 

edit - several posters pointed out that she was convicted of lying to the police, which, IMO, makes this a lot less unsettling. not sure why i didn't think about it that way in the first place.

MISC - moustache

Blame Bush-era law for decline of Postal Service

As a retired letter carrier and president of the local letter carriers union in Southwestern Indiana, I would like to bring our community up to speed on many changes within the Postal Service.

Many of you may not be aware that the Postal Service no longer owns the Main Post Office at 800 Sycamore St. That building has been sold for warehouse space.

Our Postmaster will now have an office at one of the outlying stations. I am told that the Passport Section and the Bulk Mail Section may be moved to the Diamond Valley Station. Hopefully, arrangements will be made to keep the Box Section and the Window Section at the Sycamore Street building or Downtown location.

Many of you may have noticed that you have a different letter carrier every three or four months, or possibly, every day. In the past, we had route adjustments perhaps every three or four years, to ensure each letter carrier had eight hours of work for every eight hours of pay.

Because of declining mail volume, our national union agreed to make route adjustments every three or four months. And because the Postal Service is downsizing, many mail processing plants and small Post Offices are being closed, and employees are being forced to work in other cities. The Evansville Post Office has not been filling some vacant letter carrier jobs.

We have 12-15 eight-hour letter carrier route assignments that have no permanent carrier assigned. These routes are being held vacant for the "possible" forced movement of Postal employees from Indianapolis or Chicago into Evansville. Some of these jobs have been vacant for three years.

Some of you may have noticed that the blue mail collection boxes near you have disappeared. Now the Postmaster has directed that only one collection run will be made.

This is to eliminate the job of a letter carrier who does mail collection runs.

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MISC - moustache

Wisc. protesters arrested for filming lawmakers

In a video published to YouTube on Wednesday, several protesters in Madison, Wisconsin are seen being dragged out of the assembly by state police, seemingly because they were filming lawmakers’ deliberations. While the protesters repeatedly insisted that it was their right to film inside the legislature, their concerns were ignored as officers took them away.

Given that the video below is edited, it’s not immediately clear whether any of the protesters had been disruptive prior to the events shown — but for all intents and purposes, it looks as if they were arrested simply for filming.

Officers would seem to be acting on the guidelines of a notice posted outside the assembly, which says that all recording equipment is banned. That would seem to contradict Wisconsin law, which does give them the right to film lawmakers, although it makes an exception for “recording, filming or photographing such a meeting in a manner that interferes with the conduct of the meeting or the rights of the participants.”

This video was published to YouTube on Sept. 14, 2011.


State Statue §19.90: “Whenever a governmental body holds a meeting in open session, the body shall make a reasonable effort to accommodate any person desiring to record, film or photograph the meeting.”

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comadrug235, traumatized, apathetic, pain

77-year-old woman strips to protest the demolition of her home

Desperate for justice, a 77-year old woman knelt naked in front of a Shanghai courthouse on August 18 to protest the demolition of her home. The scene was filmed and has since gone viral online.

As a result of massive urban renewal programmes, forced evictions are frequent in China. These have infuriated home owners, who are often given only a few days’ notice before being thrown out of their homes. The so-called compensation is also far below the market rate.

While stripping down in full daylight may seem like an extreme measure, other desperate homeowners have gone much further. One woman recently ended up disfigured after she set herself on fire. Last year, a man who set himself alight died from his burns. Others have even been killed while resisting eviction.

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oh holy shit

Baltimore woman sentenced in McDonald’s attack on trangender woman

A Baltimore woman accused of beating a transgender woman at an area McDonald’s on April 18 has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to the attack.

Teonna Monae Brown, 19, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree assault and a hate crime in the beating of Chrissy Lee Polis, 22. The April attack drew national attention after a video went viral online, and it became a rallying point for transgender-rights advocates.

Brown, who tearfully apologized in court Tuesday, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with five years suspended, plus three years of supervised probation, as prosecutors sought. The maximum sentence for the crimes is 35 years.
Baltimore Sun

Polis was attacked on when she got into a confrontation with Brown and another female patron over use of the women’s restroom.

The second suspect, a 14-year-old who was charged as a juvenile in the same attack, admitted her role in juvenile court on July 1 and was committed to a locked facility, according to Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.

“The whole incident is unfortunate and demonstrates the lack of knowledge and understanding, and discrimination against transgender people,” said Patrick Wojahn, board president of Equality Maryland. “If anything, five years may have been too short of an amount of time for the attack and the amount of hatred that was shown in the incident.”


Science: You wanna go up against me, Bachmann? BRING IT.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's story about a woman who claimed that her daughter suffered "mental retardation" after receiving a vaccine against HPV could fetch the woman's family thousands of dollars. But the family can only collect if Bachmann or the unnamed woman can prove the story is true.

Two bioethics professors have offered to pay more than $10,000 for medical records that prove the anecdote Bachmann told after Monday night's Republican presidential debate is true, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

Steven Miles, a U of M bioethics professor, said that he'll give $1,000 if the medical records of the woman from Bachmann's story are released and can be viewed by a medical professional.

His offer was upped by his former boss from the University of Minnesota, Art Caplan, who is now director of the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics. Caplan said he would match Miles' challenge and offered $10,000 for proof of the HPV vaccine victim.

"'These types of messages in this climate have the capacity to do enormous public health harm,'" Miles said of why he made the offer. 'The woman, assuming she exists, put this claim into the public domain and it's an extremely serious claim and it deserves to be analyzed.'"

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She made a mistake, huh? Let's be real, Bachmann's entire existence is a mistake at this point.

ontd → glasses!rdj

Female Australian Prime Minister told to 'get on the spouses bus' at International Forum

New Zealand officials have apologised to Prime Minister Julia Gillard after a driver refused to let her on to a bus with other leaders during the Pacific Islands forum in Auckland last week, telling her instead to get on the spouses' bus.

A spokesman for NZ Internal Affairs confirmed the incident and said the apology was offered as soon as officials were made aware of it.

The driver concerned had not been used again during the forum. He was employed by a company that ferried the leaders around Auckland under contract to the Department of Internal Affairs.

The incident happened when foreign leaders and their partners were being driven from Sky City Grand Hotel to the waterfront in two buses last Thursday.

Spouses travelled in a separate bus for security reasons.

A spokesman for Internal Affairs said the bus driver was immediately informed of his mistake and Ms Gillard got on the leaders' bus as planned.

She did not appear to take offence, however, an apology was offered and the department regretted that the incident occurred.

But it was not the only mix up during the forum. At the opening ceremony, the MC told leaders' spouses to "come up and meet your husbands".

Ms Gillard was heard joking with her partner Tim Mathieson about the slight and put her arm around him as they left.


oh texas...

(CNN) -- Texas death row inmate Duane Edward Buck was waiting
to see if the U.S. Supreme Court will decide his fate before his
scheduled Thursday execution date comes to an end.

Buck had been
set to die by injection Thursday, but the U.S. Supreme Court issued a
temporary stay of his sentence while it reviews his case.

Antonin Scalia received the request and "referred (it) to the court."
The stay was granted "pending the disposition for a writ of certiorari"
-- a legal term related to a higher court reviewing a lower court's
decision -- according to the court order.

The convicted murderer
had already eaten what may have been his final meal -- consisting of
fried chicken, fried fish, french fries, salad, jalapeno peppers and
apples -- when word came down about the temporary stay, Texas Department
of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark said.

Clark added
that, after hearing the news from his attorney, Buck said, "Praise the
Lord Jesus. God is worthy to be praised. God's mercy triumphs over
judgment, and I feel good."

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The perils of partisan punditry in the Obama age

Democratic strategist and CNN pundit James Carville has written an article declaring Obama's political and policy approaches to be abject failures and advising several steps to correct course, such as: fire large numbers of his advisers, "make a case like a Democrat," and "Panic."  At the end of his list of serious grievances against the White House, he includes this paragraph to make clear that he's still a Good Democrat and is offering the advice only because he wants to help the President win re-election: 

As I watch the Republican debates, I realize that we are on the brink of a crazy person running our nation. I sit in front of the television and shudder at the thought of one of these creationism-loving, global-warming-denying, immigration-bashing, Social-Security-cutting, clean-air-hating, mortality-fascinated, Wall-Street-protecting Republicans running my country.

Those first three adjectival accusations against the Republicans -- "creationism-loving, global-warming-denying, immigration-bashing" -- are fair enough, but let's look at the last four:

More at link because cutting it erases the article every time: Source

Disney // Zip your howling screamer

France continues it's clusterfuck of Islamophobia

France bans public Muslim prayers

MUSLIMS will be banned from praying outdoors in France from today in the latest move by officials to remove Islam from the public sphere.

The ban, announced by the government yesterday, infuriated French Muslim leaders, one of whom accused President Sarkozy's government of treating them like cattle.

They say that Muslims, who pray outdoors only because of a lack of space in mosques in France, feel stigmatised.

But Claude Gueant, the Interior Minister, said that the sight of hundreds of people gathering in the streets of Paris and other cities for Friday prayers was "shocking".

It comes after laws to prohibit pupils from wearing headscarves in schools and women from wearing the niqab, the full Muslim veil, in public.

Mr Gueant described outlawing street prayers as the latest brick in the wall that is shoring up the secular nature of the French state. He said that he had nothing against Islam, but wanted it out of the public eye.

"Street prayers must stop because they hurt the feelings of many of our compatriots who are shocked by the occupation of the public space for a religious practice," he said.

Police could be asked to arrest Muslims who continue to pray in the street, Mr Gueant warned, but officials will initially try to persuade them to move into a mosque.

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I notice that only Muslim prayer is banned, not prayer in general, such as Easter celebrations. Such a ban would be just as bullshit but still.