January 11th, 2012

Hey brother!

India Reports Completely Drug-Resistant TB

Well, this is a bad way to start the year.

Over the past 48 hours, news has broken in India of the existence of at least 12 patients infected with tuberculosis that has become resistant to all the drugs used against the disease. Physicians in Mumbai are calling the strain TDR, for Totally Drug-Resistant. In other words, it is untreatable as far as they know.

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"End of the world" tag, please?
I feel like I know her
  • maclyn

SNP plan 2014 Independence referendum

Alex Salmond insists on independence referendum mandate

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has insisted his government has a mandate to hold a referendum on independence in the autumn of 2014.

It comes after ministers in London said such a move would be unlawful without Westminster's approval.
But a spokesman for Mr Salmond said Scottish National Party ministers were "entirely confident" of their plans.
The BBC's Nick Robinson says it could mean an historic Supreme Court struggle between Westminster and Holyrood.
Mr Salmond said the timing would allow people to make a "considered" decision on the country's future within the UK.
He said: "That's the first date where you can have a full discussion and preparation for the biggest decision Scotland is going to make for 300 years.

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Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16499642

Well, that's the starting gun officially fired! A lot of people in Westminster and in unionist parties at Holyrood are trying to spin this as a panic from the SNP, but IMO they've had this date in mind all along - Cameron attempted a move he saw as calling the SNP's bluff by insisting on an early referendum, but Salmond's turned right back around with this plan. Personally, I can't wait - this is the biggest thing to happen in my lifetime since people voted to have our own parliament. There's no way Westminster can bully people into not having a third option, so called 'devo-max' where we get full fiscal autonomy but stay in the union in name - any wading in with big tackety boots would be a total political faux pas and might guarantee a yes vote to full independence. Hoping beyond hope for a yes vote - there is a myth floating around that the SNP want the referendum to happen on the date of the Battle of Bannockburn, which has really just been cooked up to make the SNP look hokey and petty, but a part of me kind of wants it to be true, so that I could maybe get a day late birthday present of independence! Also, if a yes vote happens, the street party will be amazing. What do you think, _pers? 


Moderation is winning in the Republican primary

Republican presidential candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman shakes hands after speaking at an primary election night rally Jan. 10 in New Hampshire. (Evan Vucci - AP)

In the end, the polls were right. Mitt Romney took first, Ron Paul took second, and Jon Huntsman took third. Huntsman's weak finish led many to suggest that the GOP was no place for moderates. But the truth is that Huntsman's campaign didn't prove that, or anything like it. For all Huntsman's signaling and hinting, his policy platform is no more moderate than Romney's. In fact, it might be less moderate.

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Mrs Obama: Tired of 'angry black woman' stereotype

WASHINGTON (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama is challenging assertions she's forcefully imposed her will on White House aides, saying she's tired of people portraying her as "some kind of angry black woman."

Mrs. Obama tells CBS News she hasn't read New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor's new book that characterizes her as a behind-the-scenes force in the Executive Mansion, whose strong views often draw her into conflict with President Barack Obama's top advisers.

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Shit Republican Candidates say....

Sh*t Republican candidates say- 

After Iowa, we are left with a half-dozen halfwits who want to defeat Barack Obama and become leader of the free world. These are the Top Dogs, the Pick of the Kitty Litter, the Jewels in the Clown.

So, how did these masterful hatesmen earn their coveted place in the Cream of the Crap? With their unwavering obsession with sex. All kinds of sex. Same sex, opposite sex, sex with animals.

Oh, and Muslims. But not Muslim sex. Not yet, anyway. There is so much to talk about when it comes to gay sex that they probably just haven't gotten around to it. But they will. If they know nothing about something, they always make time to spout off about it.

So, after watching 15 debates, I can't help but ask myself, "Is this the only time in their lives they are allowed talk about sex?" and "Why do guys with no access to my lady junk spend more time talking about it than guys that do?"

If you haven't been following all the Republican pillow talk, good for you. You probably have access to better porn. Here are some highlights that stuck with me like a cactus vibrator.Let's start with Rick Santorum.

Rick Santorum

Now, aside from believing same-sex marriage leads toman-on-dog sex, (yes, it has gotten so insane that claiming same-sex marriage leads to man-on-dog sex has been relegated to an aside), Sick Rantorum also believes contraception is pubic enemy No 1:

One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country. It's not OK. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.

Huh, I always thought the only thing sex was supposed to be was consensual. I will say, however, we may see an uptick in abstinence across the board if this sweater-vested Puritan with breeding hips keeps incessantly prattling on about it.

And Rick Perry, the poor dear.

Rick Perry

This Dollar Store version of George Bush just keeps trying. He doesn't want the gays getting hitched, OR serving in the military. I mean, it is called the Strait of Hormuz, after all. But Rick has really got his manties in a wad over teaching the theory of evolution in schools.

I am a firm believer in intelligent design as a matter of faith and intellect, and I believe it should be presented in schools alongside the theories of evolution.

It's a theory that's out there. It's got some gaps in it. In Texas, we teach both creationism and evolution.

Yes, he prefers the fact-based "snake convinces the bad lady to eat the apple" story. I'm starting to thing he doesn't believe in evolution because it simply passed him by.Now, Newt Gingrich claims he loved his country sooomuch, it lead him to cheat on his wives. Yes, wives. He is on his third. She seems healthy.

There's no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.

It makes me wonder whether, if he is not cheating on his current wife, this should call his patriotism into question, thus making him unqualified to lead. But Newt sees a few threats in this country that could make us all cheat on America:

There is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment.

But it's not just the gays who are planning to violently harass us with wedding invitations. Oh no …

I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time [my grandchildren are] my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.

These two statements confuse me because I am not sure who I should be more afraid of: the gay secular fascists or the radical Islamists? Or worse, what if the gay radical Islamists took over? Those guys are vicious: they get gay-married at 10am and then they stone themselves to death in the town square at noon.

Ron Paul

On to Ron Paul, the libertarian in the race who believes that the government should totally get out of people's lives – as long as their lives don't involve sex. Then, the government should be all up in that shit. He is unique in thathis racist newsletters, coupled with his staunch antiwar stance, have won him the undying support of that coveted "racist pacifist" faction of the American electorate.

Jon Huntsman

The smartest of this bunch – although that is like being the smartest Real Housewife of Beverly Hills – is Jon Huntsman.

We have people on the Republican side too far to the right. We have zero substance. We have no good ideas that are being circulated or talking about that allow the country to get back on its feet economically so we begin creating jobs.

He currently is polling nationally at 2%.

Mitt Romney

But Mitt Romney still remains the frontrunner. He is not as sex-obsessed as some of his rivals. He is a man of the people. The people who run Fortune 500 companies.

Just ask him, he'll tell ya:

Corporations are people, my friend.

He says it loud: "I'm in the black and I'm proud."

Now, the good news about this statement is that it should end the abortion debate once and for all: "Life begins at incorporation." The bad news is, if corporations are indeed people, we need Planned Parenthood more than ever.

Silver lining is that Americans are fed up and are seeing these guys for who they are: unqualified extremists and book hawking scalawags.

We would like to hear about jobs. Real jobs. Not the ones that involve the words "hand" or "blow".

This article makes me laugh, but the fact the republican candidates can spew such sexist, homophobic, racist bullshit, and still get support makes me want to scream and punch things. 
Source is The Guardian -

South Carolina democrat

Lawyer Hired by South Carolina to Defend Voter ID Law Says DOJ is Biased Against Whites

South Carolina officials plan to file suit against the federal government because the Justice Department stopped the state from implementing a voter ID law that the state’s own statistics showed would have a disparate impact on non-white voters. Fighting on their behalf will be a former DOJ official who claimed that the Civil Rights Division is opposed to protecting the civil rights of whites and who defended the Bush-era politicalization of the division by Bradley Schlozman as an effort to “diversify.”

South Carolina has hired former Voting Section Chief Christopher Coates, who defied DOJ’s instructions and testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights during the Republican-led probe into the infamous New Black Panther Party case, a spokesman for the South Carolina attorney general’s office told The State newspaper.

Former colleagues said that Coates had an ideological conversion after an African-American woman was chosen over him as deputy section chief in July of 2000. Schlozman, who was found to have hired lawyers for their conservative credentials and referred to liberals as “commies” and “mold spores,” called Coates a “true member of the team.”

Source goes on and on about the FAIL
TGW: Eli Gold

What Does Wall Street Do for You?

Hating Wall Street is an American tradition that dates back even to the days when Thomas Jefferson cursed that money lover Alexander Hamilton. And for centuries, the complaints about it have largely stayed the same: It does nothing! It creates chaos! It’s a parasite that sucks hardworking Americans dry! (Or something to that effect.) But these are distortions of a fundamentally beneficial business. The country’s largest investment banks, commercial banks and a few big insurance companies (what we generally refer to as Wall Street) play the crucial role of intermediation — matching borrowers with lenders. Most of the time, the industry does this extremely well (though in the case of matching homeowners’ debt to the global financial system, too enthusiastically). Perhaps the best way to really appreciate what Wall Street does is to imagine life without it.

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Dolce & Gabbana Photo Ban Sparks Protest

People in Hong Kong went to the streets on Sunday, but unlike previous mass rallies in the city, this one wasn’t about politics or democracy. The cause: The right to take photos in front of luxury retailer Dolce & Gabbana.

More than 1,000 people showed up outside the Italian brand’s flagship store on Canton Road after the retailer reportedly prevented people taking pictures of its store front earlier in the week. The protest forced the store to shut at 3 p.m. as the crowds swelled.

The rally was organized on Facebook after local newspaper Apple Daily reported that Hong Kong citizens were banned from taking pictures of window displays, even if the photos were taken from the public street. Apple Daily also posted a video that showed security guards telling journalists to stop snapping pictures from the sidewalk.

According to the report, representatives of the retailer allegedly defended its policy, arguing that it was trying to protect its intellectual property even though the pictures were taken from the public street. However, the defense was undercut further when the company said foreign and mainland Chinese tourists were exceptions to the photo ban.

Why the company’s security drew the line between local Hong Kongers and mainland tourists is not exactly clear, but some have speculated it has less to do with copyright infringement and more to with placating high-rollers from China.

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This is my first post in here post-LJ change, so I hope things are formatted correctly. >_<;
Anyways, D&G really fucked things up. Had they ban everyone from taking photos instead of just banning HKers, the PR damage would have been less. Of course there would still be the issue of how could D&G ban people from taking pictures outside the store, but at least they would have one less thing to worry about.
Also, here's a video of the protest:

SVU- Mariska B&amp;W

North Carolina Sterilization Victims to get $50,000

As many as 2,000 people forcibly sterilized decades ago in North Carolina should get $50,000 each, a task force said Tuesday, marking the first time a state has moved to compensate victims of eugenics programs that weeded out the "feeble-minded" and others deemed undesirable.

The payout, which could amount to as much as $100 million, still needs approval from the Legislature. But the prospects for passage of some sort of compensation are promising, since the governor immediately embraced the recommendation, and the House speaker has come out in favor of payments.

While dozens of states had programs in the 20th century that allowed people to be sterilized against their will in the name of improving the human race, none of the others has offered anything more than apologies.

Compensation "sends a clear message that we in North Carolina are people who pay for our mistakes and that we do not tolerate bureaucracies that trample on basic human rights," said panel chairwoman Dr. Laura Gerald, a pediatrician.

From 1929 to 1974, more than 7,600 people in North Carolina were surgically rendered unable to reproduce under state laws and practices that singled out epileptics and others considered mentally defective. Many were poor, black women deemed unfit to be parents.

A task force report last year said 1,500 to 2,000 of the victims were still alive, though the state has verified only 72 so far.

Last year, Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue created the five-person task force to decide how to compensate victims. It consisted of a judge, a doctor, a former journalist, a historian and a lawyer.

The panel had discussed amounts between $20,000 and $50,000, and some victims and family members had bitterly complained that was too little. The panel also weighed whether to compensate victims' family members or descendants - some people were sterilized after giving birth - but decided against it.

On Tuesday, some victims said they were just looking forward to seeing the issue resolved.

Elaine Riddick, 57, was sterilized at 14 after she gave birth to a son who was the product of a rape.

"I was a victim twice: once by the rapist and one by the state of North Carolina. Normally, if you commit a crime, you pay for it. They committed the biggest crime. They committed a crime against God. They committed a crime against humanity," she said, wiping tears from her face. "And this is all I can do is just accept what they said today and go on with my life."

While taking away someone's ability to have children sounds barbaric today, eugenics programs gained popularity in the U.S. and other countries in the early 1900s, promoted as a means of raising the health and intellectual level of the human race.

More than 30 states enacted laws allowing surgical sterilization for certain people, though not all of them carried out such procedures. More than 60,000 people were forcibly sterilized under such programs, and some historians think the same thing was done to thousands more in other states under the authority of doctors or local officials.

Most states abandoned those efforts after World War II when such practices became closely associated with Nazi Germany's attempts to achieve racial purity, though North Carolina stood out because it actually ramped up its program after the war. Sterilizations in North Carolina peaked in the 1950s, according to state records.

People as young as 10 were sterilized, in some cases for not getting along with schoolmates or for being promiscuous. Although officials obtained consent from patients or their guardians, many did not comprehend what they were signing.

North Carolina is among about a half-dozen states to apologize.

Melissa Hyatt, whose stepfather was sterilized, said the task force "did what was reasonable as far as budgets and economy."

"It's not really about the money," she said. "It's about the suffering and the pain."

Mike Marion, whose 59-year-old aunt was sterilized at 18 because she was seen as mildly disabled mentally, said estates or descendants should get some compensation, too.

"If you're going to admit wrong, admit wrong in its whole capacity," he said. "By offering compensation to only the living, that's taking partial responsibility."

Despite the potentially high price tag in this economy, there is bipartisan support for some compensation. The governor issued a statement endorsing the task force recommendation.

GOP House Speaker Thom Tillis said he will review it. But he said previously that he wants the Legislature to vote this year on a compensation plan.

Republican Sen. Richard Stevens, one of the Senate's chief budget-writers, said $50,000 per person "seems like a small amount to pay for what they had to endure, but $100 million is a large sum for the state of North Carolina."

"Somewhere in there there's got to be fairness to the individuals but mindful of the realities of the state's budget," he said.

Gerald urged passage: "Any state or group of people can make a mistake, but it takes courage and strength of character to acknowledge wrongs and try to right them."


According to a news report I heard, this is expected to pass. Good on my new home state for trying to make amends.
leviathans in the womb

Election Law Experts Say James O’Keefe Allies Could Face Charges Over Voter Fraud Stunt

It was one of the few — if not the only — coordinated efforts to attempt in-person voter fraud, and it was pulled off by affiliates of conservative activist James O’Keefe at polling places in New Hampshire Tuesday night. All of it part of an attempt to prove the need for voter ID laws that voting rights experts say have a unfair impact on minority voters.

Now election law experts tell TPM that O’Keefe’s allies could face criminal charges on both the federal and state level for procuring ballots under false names, and that his undercover sting doesn’t demonstrate a need for voter ID laws at all.

Federal law bans not only the casting of, but the "procurement" of ballots "that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held."

Hamline University law professor David Schultz told TPM that there’s "no doubt" that O’Keefe’s accomplices violated the law.

"In either case, if they were intentionally going in and trying to fraudulently obtain a ballot, they violated the law," Schultz said. "So right off the bat, what they did violated the law."


There's also this update: "Jan. 1 [I guess that's a typo for 11 - 13chapters] 5:00PM: Mark Zuckerman, a federal prosecutor in the New Hampshire U.S. Attorney’s Office, told TPM he recently became aware of the Project Veritas video and was reviewing it but hadn’t formed any opinion on whether it presented an issue."

Jesus Horses

Yet another Super Bowl anti-choice ad

Guess what some of us get to watch during the Super Bowl?

Super Bowl Viewers Will See Graphic Anti-Abortion Ads With Pictures Of Bloody Fetuses
Super Bowl viewers in 40 cities across the country will see graphic ads featuring images of bloody, aborted fetuses. The ads are being paid for by fringe anti-abortion candidate Randall Terry:

Anti-abortion ads showing graphic images of aborted fetuses covered in blood and surrounded by religious icons will air during the Super Bowl in February, courtesy of Democratic Presidential candidate Randall Terry.

Terry, who has spent a year in jail and been arrested 50 times for his anti-abortion efforts, is using a Federal Election Commission loophole that ensures ads for political candidates cannot be prohibited within 45 days of an election. Apparently, primaries count, so Terry will be running ads on local stations during Super Bowl XLVI February 5.

The Colorado paper the Greeley Gazette notes that Terry has already run political ads with images of aborted fetuses in New Hampshire. The ads attacked President Obama for supporting “child killing.”

TV stations have typically rejected ads with graphic content, especially during events like the Super Bowl that have a large audience. But by exploiting a loophole that requires stations to air ads by political candidates within 45 days of an election, Terry has managed to circumvent those standards.

“This means that primary states that fall within the 45 day window will have to run the graphic ads during the Super Bowl if he purchases the slots,” the Gazette says.
These are all the markets the ad is running in. Are you also one of the "lucky" ones?
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Tron: Legacy, Castor, Zuse

Haiti's tent cities signal long road to quake recovery

Haiti's tent cities signal long road to quake recovery
By Laura Trevelyan
BBC News, Port-au-Prince

Adults sit and chat, enjoying the sunset.

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti two years ago, the park became a a sea of tents, an instant refuge for the homeless.

Now the families who lived here in cramped conditions have moved on - they were each given $500 (£325) to rent a new home for a year.

"Things are changing and moving in Haiti," President Michel Martelly told the BBC.

Haiti has a big wound and that wound is deep. You cannot solve everything in one day. We want to move fast but we also want to do it right”

"We were slow to move people out of the camps and lately we have been able to do it and I can say that's a huge step. "

Mr Martelly and his advisers are proud of the progress they have made with a programme called 16-6.

Under this, 5,000 families from six high-profile camps in Port-au-Prince are being moved out to 16 neighbourhoods.

"We wanted to make visible and manageable progress," said Patrick Rouzier, President Martelly's housing adviser.

"We wanted to show donors what worked, to provide a road map - now I can say we have a way forward."

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laugh as child

Creator of 'Shit White Girls Say... To Black Girls' Speaks Out

It's the viral video that has everyone talking. After posting only a week ago, “BLEEP White Girls Say... To Black Girls” surpassed Justin Bieber as YouTube's Most Watched Video of the Day. Now at approximately 5 million views, the video has sparked an important conversation about race, ignorance and stereotypes in our society.

Why did you make this video? Anderson asks Franchesca, the young woman who created and is featured in the video.

“There is ‘Stuff Girls Say’ and then there’s the most popular parody of that one, ‘Stuff Black Girls Say,’” comments the 28-year-old graphic designer. “I watched them, I thought they were funny, but I really couldn’t relate to either one of them.”

While made partly to be funny, the video has sparked quite a conversation, with some of the comments online calling her video racist.

“My intention was not to label anyone as a racist,” says Franchesca. “In all honestly, none of those comments are racist. They are a little ignorant and maybe not as culturally sensitive as one might like to portray themselves."

Franchesca says she has been pleased with the response to her video, including many people emailing her to say they now realize they need to think more before they speak.

Two videos at Source.

You guys, I just want to make sure you know that white people are not racist, have never been racist, and to insinuate otherwise is a crime against humanity.

Buildings crumble as Clovis kid's Make-A-Wish dream comes true

To celebrate his hard-fought victory over cancer, Max Hinton, 7, of Clovis could have gone to Disneyland or Hawaii, had a shopping spree or met an athlete or rock star.

All way too tame. Max wanted to blow something up.

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San Jose Mercury News

(no subject)

Government suffers Lords defeats over welfare cuts

The government has lost three votes in the House of Lords over its plans to cut the welfare bill.

Peers voted by 260 to 216 to protect up to 15,000 young disabled people from cuts to employment support allowance.

They voted 234 to 186 for a two-year limit on claims, rather than the proposed one year, and by 222 to 166 to exempt cancer sufferers from a limit.

Critics said the plan had meant disabled children who could never work would never be entitled to the benefit.

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This really is good news. And it's massively rare for the Lords to go against Commons like this - all three proposed ammendments the Lords passed one after the other.

The Guardian's liveblog of this afternoon is here - I'd definitely recommend reading it to get more background on what these votes actually did if you're uncertain.

heartbeat flame

Catholic priests asked to pay 60 euros into abuse fund

TW: Mentions sexual abuse.

Priests in a Catholic diocese in the Republic of Ireland are being asked to pay 60 euros a month into a fund to cover pay-outs for clerical abuse.

The request was made by the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Rev Dermot Clifford. The original fund was set up five years ago, but it is dwindling.

Parish priests have been asked to give 60 euros and curates, 50 euros.

Gary O'Sullivan, editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper, said the dioceses were running out of money.

"This is not the first diocese to show signs of difficulty in this area," he said.

"They are going back to priests again and again looking for money and priests are on very low salaries.

"A lot of priests are quite angry about their financial situation."

Mr O'Sullivan said that parishioners saw it as a problem for the hierarchy in the Catholic Church.

But he felt the issue needed to be debated by the laity within the Church.

In a statement, the diocese said the request had stemmed from a recent meeting of the diocese's Council of Priests, where it was proposed that the Archbishop make a renewed appeal to priests asking them to help restore the fund.

The statement did not state whether the fund had been used to pay settlements to victims of clerical sexual abuse in the Cashel and Emly diocese.

The fund was first put in place five years ago to assist in covering the diocese's costs arising from the investigations into clerical sexual abuse.

The diocese said no other details on the cost of child protection would be forthcoming.


Thoughts on this issue?

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