January 9th, 2012

Ray spelled backwards is GOD

We Simulated The NFL White Vs. Black Race Bowl On Madden So You Don’t Have To

Earlier this week, reader Dustin asked who would win between an all-white NFL All-Pro team and an all-black NFL All-Pro team. Mind you, this question was asked without ANY ROOTING INTEREST, and without any hint of RAYCESSNESS. Are we clear on that? Good. BECAUSE WE TOTALLY SIMULATED THAT RACE WAR ON MADDEN TO SEE WHO WOULD WIN.

After seeing Tuesday's post, reader Joe took time to provide us with a full roster for both all-race teams. He had a few notes for us before revealing the roster:
  • I didn't give the white team Haloti Ngata or any Pacific Islanders. Considering Ngata is one of the greatest DTs of all time, and because Troy Polamalu would also count as white, it was too unfair of an advantage for either team. And it'd really look bad if the white team gets an unfair advantage over the black team.

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  • The Gang
    • acmeeoy

    Welcome to the civil-liberties-free zone

    Rahm Emanuel's clampdown on civil liberties goes beyond his goal of silencing opposition to next May's gathering of the global 1 percent, says Shaun Harkin.

    CHICAGO MAYOR Rahm Emanuel wants to set up his own personal police state to accommodate the warmongers and budget-slashers who will attend a conference of the global 1 percent in Chicago in May.

    Emanuel is giddy about the "opportunity" to host simultaneous gatherings of the U.S.-dominated NATO military alliance and the Group of Eight (G8) club of powerful industrial nations also dominated by the U.S., set for May 19-21. The last time both entities met together was in 1977 in London.

    "From a city perspective, this will be an opportunity to showcase what is great about the greatest city in the greatest country," said Emanuel. "It's an opportunity for the city of Chicago economically, but also a message internationally about why Chicago is a city that's on the move, and if you're thinking of investing, Chicago is a place to invest."

    Meanwhile, civil liberties will become a scarce commodity.

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    Pride & Prejudice

    Netherlands to close prisons due to lack of criminals to fill them

    The Dutch justice ministry has announced it will close eight prisons and cut 1,200 jobs in the prison system. A decline in crime has left many cells empty.

    During the 1990s the Netherlands faced a shortage of prison cells, but a decline in crime has since led to overcapacity in the prison system. The country now has capacity for 14,000 prisoners but only 12,000 detainees.

    Deputy justice minister Nebahat Albayrak announced on Tuesday that eight prisons will be closed, resulting in the loss of 1,200 jobs. Natural redundancy and other measures should prevent any forced lay-offs, the minister said.

    The overcapacity is a result of the declining crime rate, which the ministry's research department expects to continue for some time.

    Some reprieve might come from a deal with Belgium, which is facing overpopulation in its prisons. The two countries are working out an agreement to house Belgian prisoners in Dutch prisons. Some five-hundred Belgian prisoners could be transferred to the Tilburg prison by 2010.

    The Netherlands would get 30 million euros in the deal, and it will allow the closing of the prisons in Rotterdam and Veenhuizen to be postponed until 2012.

    SW - Raining Troops

    breaking goddamn news

    Shakespeare WAS bisexual it is revealed

    A TOP Shakespeare expert has branded the Midland bard bisexual – and said people should “get over it”.

    The extraordinary claim by Professor Stanley Wells, President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, comes after gay Hollywood actor Sir Ian McKellen questioned the playwright’s sexuality.

    Sir Ian controversially claimed there was “no doubt” that William Shakespeare had sex with men. And Professor Wells has backed the Lord of the Rings star’s comments.

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    this rudeness is a sauce to his good wit

    You're right, Sunday Mercury, this IS an extraordinary claim. I am so glad that this HUGE CONTROVERSY can finally be laid to rest, because it was SO NOT OBVIOUS that Shakespeare fucked dudes when John Benson censored all the dude fucking out of the sonnets in fucking 1640.

    Can we have a queer rage post about standard of proof and how everyone is straight until proven queer and then becomes PROBABLY straight but ARGUABLY queer but the jury's still out on that? Also married people with kids are never gay, and that is a scientific fact.
    MISC - moustache

    Civil engineer: Keystone XL pipeline not safe

    There has been a lot of talk about the safety of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

    I am not an environmentalist, but as a civil engineer and an inspector for TransCanada during the construction of the first Keystone pipeline, I've had an uncomfortable front-row seat to the disaster that Keystone XL could bring about all along its pathway.

    Despite its boosters' advertising, this project is not about jobs or energy security. It is about money. And whenever my former employer Bechtel, working on behalf of TransCanada, had to choose between safety and saving money, they chose to save money.

    As an inspector, my job was to monitor the construction of the first Keystone pipeline. I oversaw construction at the pump stations that have been such a problem on that line, which has already spilled more than a dozen times. I am coming forward because my kids encouraged me to tell the truth about what was done and covered up.

    When I last raised concerns about corners being cut, I lost my job — but people along the Keystone XL pathway have a lot more to lose if this project moves forward with the same shoddy work.

    What did I see? Cheap foreign steel that cracked when workers tried to weld it, foundations for pump stations that you would never consider using in your own home, fudged safety tests, Bechtel staffers explaining away leaks during pressure tests as "not too bad," shortcuts on the steel and rebar that are essential for safe pipeline operation and siting of facilities on completely inappropriate spots like wetlands.

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    Murasaki Shikibu
    • homasse

    Black Man Confronts Gingrich; Chinese-American Woman Schools Romney

    Black Man Confronts Gingrich On Food Stamps Comments: ‘Stop Using Blacks As A Punching Bag’

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich defended himself today against charges of racial insensitivity by noting that he’s worked with African-American leaders in the past.

    At a town hall event meant to appeal to Latino voters at a Mexican restaurant in Manchester, an African-American man confronted Gingrich about recent comments he made that have drawn the ire of the NACCP and other civil rights leader. Gingrich controversially said last week, “I’m prepared, if the NAACP invites me, I’ll go to their convention and talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.”

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    Chinese-American Woman Schools Romney at Political Rally

    At a political rally in New Hampshire, a Chinese-American woman told Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney that his comments on China just “don’t make me feel good.”

    After listening to Romney talk at a campaign stop in Manchester, NH on Wednesday, the woman told him “not to put Asians down.” Romney has routinely accused Beijing of cheating on global trade rules and has vowed to “clamp down” on China.

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    Good on both of them for confronting these racist and xenophobic assclowns.

    (no subject)

    Disabled people listened to on welfare plans? It's a government sham

    The welfare reform bill will be disastrous for sick and disabled people. But we are now determined that our voices will be heard

    On Monday, as MPs and peers begin to return to Westminster to debate the final stages of the controversial welfare reform bill, sick and disabled people from around the UK will present their own report to parliament. We are not a think tank or a charity, simply thousands of individuals with talent, experience and a forensic knowledge of how the bill will affect every aspect of our lives.

    For years, sick and disabled people have been coming together through social media. Social networks can provide a community for those who find it harder to engage physically in society. The internet does not discriminate. A writer or campaigner is as good as their message, regardless of age or ability.

    George Osborne announced his emergency budget back in June 2010, revealing a 20% cut in Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Later, as he outlined his comprehensive spending review, we watched in shock as every element of support we rely on was either scaled back or swept away.

    Casually limiting sickness benefits to just one year, halving tax credits for disabled children, scrapping the Independent Living Fund and severe disability premiums, slashing local authority care budgets, changing housing allowances and threatening our homes – Osborne dismantled them all.

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    pdf of the report by disabled campaigners, which was released today

    I also want to link to the blog of the amazing Sue Marsh, who put this report together, which is diaryofabenefitscrounger. This is just such an incredibly important step for the future of disability support in the UK - sadly, so many people are unaware that this fight has even been going on for over a year already, as media coverage has been all but lacking.

    Edited because wow, I have no idea why the title came out that big. Also because the cut was slightly wrong.

    Bill Nye the Science Guy

    Are you scientifically literate?

    Are you scientifically literate? Take our quiz
    You may have an opinion on climate change, evolution education, stem-cell research, and science funding. But do you have the facts to back up your opinion? This quiz will test your basic scientific literacy.

    50 multiple choice questions.

    Some of these are gimmes. Some of them are more math then science. I missed #43, I totally forgot the correct term! (I also misclicked #46 but I SWEAR I knew it!)

    Crossposted from ontd_science

    Mods: I know this is kind of far afield, but I thought it might spark some good conversation--plus I like to get mentions in for _sci whenever I can ;-). If it's too far off topic for approval I totally understand.

    Sjöstedt could change Swedish politics at it's core

    To other ominous signs the Social Democrats can now add one more: Jonas Sjöstedt is set to give Håkan Juholt a match over who is Sweden's foremost red leader.
    Delusions of grandeur? Maybe.
    Tactics and solid self-confidence? Definitely.
    Ever since the party break 1917, in connection with the Russian Revolution, the Left has lived in the shadow of the Social Democrats.
    Any S-government has known that they have a support party that sets up in the case. And they have been able to count on not being challenged by their little brother.
    But this is the end of the honeymoon. In his speech to the party Congress yesterday, recently elected the V leader Jonas Sjöstedt was extraordinarily clear.
    - We are the socialist alternative in Swedish politics, no doubt about it, he said, and pointed out that the Left continue to take up more space in the debate and also attract more voters.
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    Must we pay for Sanskrit?

    Michael Wood

    A couple of markers may help. We are all situated somewhere, even if we see ourselves as cosmopolitans emancipated from mere biography. I was a beneficiary of the old idealistic British system, a grammar-school boy who went to Cambridge in the 1950s when not too many people were so lucky. If we can’t afford such a system any longer because we wish to make a good education available to many more people – if that is our real reason and our real intention – then we have to think of proper new ways of funding it.

    But we can also remember the values of such a system, whatever the costs. My parents had to be persuaded to let me stay at school after I was 16, but they were fairly easily persuaded, and the whole larger culture helped to persuade them. Higher education was a good thing because it was free, and it was free because it was a good thing. It was what we now call ‘cultural capital’ – and far more closely connected to culture than to capital. That sense of education as a ‘public good’ is itself of inestimable value and makes everything else possible: music college as well as agricultural college, free inquiry, disinterested curiosity, engineering school, degrees in dead languages. We can gloss this value in detail, and we should; but we can’t and shouldn’t turn it into value for money, or confuse value with extensive use. Collapse )

    Keith Thomas and Michael Wood spoke at ‘Universities under Attack’, a conference sponsored by the ‘London Review’, the ‘New York Review’ and Fritt Ord held on 26 November at King’s College London.

    I found this pretty dense, but I think he makes some good points about the "luxury" of higher education. If anyone wants to clarify/discuss what he's saying here, that would be good.
    • yeats

    N.J. Gov. Chris Christie Responds to Female Hecklers With Offensive Oral Sex Joke

    On Sunday, Jan. 8., New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was speaking at a Romney for President rally in New Hampshire when he was interrupted by some female hecklers. It’s difficult to make out exactly what Christie’s critics were yelling, but it’s something to do with jobs going down. Ever the class act, Christie’s response: “You know, something may be going down tonight, but it ain’t going to be jobs, sweetheart.” He then goes on to insult the women by saying that if they were from Jersey, they wouldn’t be so silly as to think that his policies don’t support job creation. (That’s the way to win New Hampshire voters for Romney at the upcoming primary: insult them by saying that Jersey voters are smarter!)

    The video, which does not make Christie look great, wasn’t some hidden-camera “gotcha” depicting a private moment, a la the 2006 “macaca” video that may have cost George Allen his Senate seat. Rather, it was uploaded to the New Jersey GOP’s YouTube account. They seem to think his remark about “going down” is a zinger, something to be proud of, rather than recognizing it as flagrantly demeaning, even misogynistic. How would Christie have responded to male protesters saying the same thing? Probably not by changing the subject to what acts they perform in the bedroom. His handlers should be apologizing for the remark, not promoting it.


    How Doctors Die

    It’s Not Like the Rest of Us, But It Should Be
    Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. He had a surgeon explore the area, and the diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. This surgeon was one of the best in the country. He had even invented a new procedure for this exact cancer that could triple a patient’s five-year-survival odds—from 5 percent to 15 percent—albeit with a poor quality of life. Charlie was uninterested. He went home the next day, closed his practice, and never set foot in a hospital again. He focused on spending time with family and feeling as good as possible. Several months later, he died at home. He got no chemotherapy, radiation, or surgical treatment. Medicare didn’t spend much on him.

    It’s not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. And they don’t die like the rest of us. What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little. For all the time they spend fending off the deaths of others, they tend to be fairly serene when faced with death themselves. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care they could want. But they go gently.

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    I didn't bold much because it's all worth reading.

    My dad has been having really bad health problems lately, so this is...relevant to my interests. :(

    I had a tough time tagging this, suggestions welcome.

    Vermin Supreme for President?

    Anyone can run for President, as long as you were born here, you've lived in the country for 14 years, and you're at least 35 years old.


    Even Vermin Supreme.

    You may not know this, but Republicans aren't the only ones campaigning for President in New Hampshire this week. Democrats are, too, more than a half dozen of them, including a guy who wears a rubber boot on his head.

    That guy is Vermin Supreme, described as a "satirist", "anarchist", and/or "performance artist". He's like Pat Paulsen with a big dose of Timothy Leary. This is Supreme's third time in the New Hampshire primary, his second as a Democrat. At a recent forum for lesser known candidates, he began by saying, "Gingivitis has been eroding the gum line of this great nation long enough."

    Supreme hopes to fight our "moral and oral decay" by promising a free pony to every American if elected. "It will create lots and lots of jobs once we switch over to a pony based economy." He also wants to harness "the awesome power of zombies for energy sources" by dangling brains in front of zombies to lure them into turning turbines. That could certainly solve Atlanta’s problems! (A little “Walking Dead” humor there.)

    The candidate calls himself a "friendly fascist", and he’s been popping up at campaign stops for Republicans like Ron Paul, where Supreme reportedly challenged the Texas Congressman to take on President Obama in a "panty-wrestling match to decide it all." He was seen outside a Gingrich event, chanting, "Newt. Newt. Newt. Surrender."

    Then there's what he's done to fellow Democrats.

    Vermin Supreme ended his appearance at the previously mentioned candidates forum by sprinkling pixie dust on Democratic presidential candidate Randall Terry, the pro-lifer known for blocking entrances to abortion clinics. Supreme showered Terry with dust and shouted, "He's turning gay!" Rick Santorum, consider yourself warned. Oh wait, I see you two have already met. Supreme crashed a Santorum town hall a few days ago, entertaining the crowd until he was escorted out (about 4:40 into this video). He later reappears outside as Santorum arrives, baiting him in a Vader-like voice over the bullhorn, "Rick. Rick Santorum...I love you."

    Wowza! This year's campaign is crazy! I can't believe how...insane, and...um...wait...

    Did he say I get a pony?

    raven, tinted, crow

    Volunteers to Watch for OC Homeless Serial Killer

    A volunteer group will walk the streets of Orange County as a deterrent against further violence against Orange County homeless

    By Jason Kandel | Monday, Jan 9, 2012

    The international citizen patrol group Guardian Angels plans to walk the streets in Orange County three to four times a week to keep a vigilant watch for someone suspected of killing three homeless people there.

    Armed with radios, video cameras and their military training, groups of three people will begin their patrols Monday near the Orangewood Avenue underpass of the Orange Freeway near the Santa Ana River Trail in Orange.

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