January 30th, 2012

Jesus Horses

The TN Tea Party wants to be slavery apologists

Groups asking TN lawmakers to re-write how to teach slavery
Some political groups are asking Tennessee lawmakers to re-write history or at least how it is taught in the state.

According to WCYB in the Tri-Cities, members of the Tennessee Tea Party are concerned students aren't getting all the facts on slavery and other American issues.

They said the way textbooks are worded now can portray out[sic] founding fathers in a negative light. However, some teachers said changing the wording to sway the opinion of students could end up hurting their education.

"I want to be able to present the material and have the children, have the kids, have the students form their own opinions. Not have their opinions formed ahead of time," said American History Teacher CJ Manahan.

"Slavery is of course portrayed in the textbooks nowadays I'm sure as a totally negative thing. Had there not been slavery in the south, the economy would've fallen," said Tea Party Activist Brian Rieck.

Lawmakers in Texas adopted a similar proposal in 2010. For more on the story, visit WCYB's website.

Muppets Break Through Fourth Wall; Attack Fox

The Muppets came out swinging with a long-awaited response to Fox Business News' accusation that their new film is anti-oil, anti-corporate propaganda meant to influence children.

"It's a funny thing, they were concerned about us having some prejudice against oil companies, and I can tell you, that's categorically not true," Kermit the Frog said late last week in a press conference in England, when asked about Fox anchor Eric Bolling's assertion in December that the puppets were part of liberal Hollywood's vendetta against oil companies.

Miss Piggy was more combative and political; the puppet added that the charge was "almost as laughable as accusing Fox News of being news."

("Boy that's going to be all over the internet," Kermit remarked.)

In December, the film's director, James Bobin, also fended off the criticism, telling The Hollywood Reporter that, "Cable news is 24 hours long so you have to fill it up with something. No, the Muppets are not communist. And the character of Tex Richman is not an allegory for capitalism in any way. The character is called Tex Richman."

The Muppets were created in the 1950s by Jim Henson and are now owned by The Walt Disney Company. Kermit is voiced by Steve Whitmire and Miss Piggy by Eric Jacobson but it is not clear how much of what the characters say at publicity events is scripted and how much is ad-libbed.


Source has video!

As seen @ The Mothership!

Yzma's headache
  • calybe

Dept to take a closer look at the young and pretty

KOTA KINABALU: Some foreign women may be too pretty to work in a plantation at least that is what the Sabah Immigration Department thinks.

Its officers are taking a closer look at work pass applications from foreign women for jobs in the agricultural sector.

If the women are perceived to be too young or pretty to be working in plantations, their applications are given extra scrutiny and may even be turned down.

Department director Mohamed Mentek said the move was aimed at ensuring that foreign women allowed to work in plantations did not end up in any other job.

“We will request for a picture of the woman besides the photocopy of her passport. If this shows her to be too young or beautiful for menial work, then we will likely reject the application,” he said.

Mohamed said the department was keen to find out how some women who were allowed to work in the plantation sector ended up “doing something else in air-conditioned rooms instead”.

He said syndicates were likely to have been involved in arranging for foreign women to get work permits in the plantation sector, but end up at massage centres in towns.

Source: The Star
Pride & Prejudice

The fake disabled are crippling our economy

Rod Liddle has just incurred the wrath of the disability lobby by having a go in his Sun column at "pretend disabled" people. Included in this category, Rod decided, were people with fibromyalgia and ME. Lots of people queued up Twitter to say how horrid they thought he was, wishing he would succumb to some kind of disability himself, etc.

I suppose, having recently suffered from an ME-like illness I should be one of them. But unlike Rod's Twitter critics I took the trouble to read the full article and I think Rod's point is well made. There really are far, far too many people sponging off the taxpayer right now with their fake or exaggerated disabilities and they're one of the reasons we're in the financial mess we're in.

One of.

Disability; anti-racism; diversity; anti-homophobia; anti sex-discrimination; etc: every one of these has its specialist lobby group which considers it its bounden duty to screw the economy for as much as it possibly can. Sometimes it does so directly, through entirely unnecessary government offshoots like the Equality and Human Rights Commission; sometimes it does so indirectly, via all the various forms of swingeing anti-discrimination legislation and regulation and inconvenience imposed on private business.

And amazingly the government actually pays these lobbyists to grumble and campaign for even more stringent, costly legislation and regulation. A report last year from the Taxpayers' Alliance showed that in 2007/8 over £37 million of our money was spent on our behalf, so that hard-left organisations like Friends Of The Earth and the New Economics Foundation can campaign for more encroachment in our lives by the overweening state.

This isn't going to last. It cannot last. Future historians are going to look back in astonishment at the lunacy of an age when, according to one government definition from the New Labour era, fully 11 million people – that's a quarter of the adult population – qualified as disabled. Where does the money come from?

Three places: taxation; inflationary money-printing; borrowing.

Every time the disability lobby squeals for more another few jobs are lost, another few basis points are lost from GDP growth. But these people don't care; they know better than that: the government owns a magic money tree and its ability to distribute the fruits thereof is boundless.

Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

Gingrich, Romney racist, meanwhile bears continue defecate in national forests

Gingrich and Romney Want to Say Adios to Bilingual Ballots
The GOP front-runners endorse a plan that could disenfranchise millions of voters—including their own.

—By Adam Serwer | Mon Jan. 30, 2012 3:00 AM PST

As Republican primary voters head to the polls in Florida on Tuesday, both GOP front-runners have endorsed a policy that would contradict existing law and could disenfranchise millions of voters across the country.

During a recent debate, both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney supported getting rid of bilingual ballots when the topic was brought up by the moderator. "I would have ballots in English," Gingrich said. "And I think you could have programs where virtually everybody would be able to read the ballots." Romney agreed. "I think Speaker Gingrich is right with regards to what he's described," he said.

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MISC - moustache

Thursday Drummer Arrest Called Desecration

A brief arrest of a Native American ceremonial drummer who was escorted out of the Wisconsin Capitol building yesterday is causing reverberations through tribal communities.

They're comparing it to arresting a clergy who was in prayer.

A citizen YouTube video showed Red Cliff tribal member Sam Morris playing a drum song when Capitol Police told him to pack up and leave. The crowd shouted “No! No! No!” as he was lead outside. Drumming inside the State Capitol building was banned after last year’s demonstrations protesting Governor Walker’s bill removing most collective bargaining rights from public unions.

Bad River Tribal Chairman Mike Wiggins witnessed Morris’ removal. He says drumming is sacred, the heart beat of tribal people past and present.

“That young man was down there to try and sound a voice to say ‘What happened to balance? What happened to truly taking matters and listening to your citizens?’ And he was yanked out of there by armed security. That, to me, very, very tragic.”

Morris was given a $263 ticket for disorderly conduct, a ticket his attorney Glenn Stoddard says they’ll fight.

“It doesn’t make sense to me that the Assembly can do a prayer when they start their session and that people can chant, but Native Americans can’t use a drum which is also a prayer.”

As for Morris, he says the people behind the arrest don’t appreciate the sanctity of the drums.

“It meant they desecrated our freedom of religion and our way of life on the drum and they disrespected our ancestors, all the spirit helpers, even theirs. In their terms, it’d be angels.”

Morris has spent years of spiritual training, drumming for 20 of his 39 years. He made that drum just last month out of cedar and rawhide.

“And I call it (Ojibwe name), and that means ‘new life’. So I’m trying to bring a new life to the world. (Ever think you and your drum would get arrested?) Aw, no, I never did think that.”

The State Department of Administration, which oversees Capitol security, did not return our telephone call.

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Feds: Megaupload files may be deleted this week

Federal prosecutors who accuse file-sharing site Megaupload of being a hotbed of digital piracy say the site's customer files, presumably including perfectly legal ones, may be deleted starting Thursday.

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Biggest bunch of BS...so happy I didn't get the privileged account I was thinking of for my pictures and personal vids. I would have been so effin' pissed. Still pressed over it, tbh


Watch Live: President Obama Answers Your Questions in a Google+ Hangout

Today, President Obama will participate in the first completely virtual interview from the White House to talk about his State of the Union Address. During the live interview, which will be held through a Google+ Hangout, the President will answer questions submitted by people from across the country. In fact, more than 227,000 people have participated already, submitting over 133,000 questions and casting more than 1.6 million votes on the questions they would like to hear President Obama address. In the Hangout, the President will be joined by a selection of citizens who will engage in the conversation live.

Don't miss your chance to Hangout with the President. Watch live at 5:30 EST on Monday, January 30, 2012. Your interview with President Obama will be streamed live onWhiteHouse.govYouTube.com/WhiteHouse and on the White House Google+ page.

YouTube streaming link here if the embed above doesn't work

live post? 

Sonogram law not changing minds in Texas

Moments after Amy Hagstrom Miller heard the news — that a panel of federal judges had directed Texas to immediately enforce the most controversial tenet of the state’s new abortion sonogram law — her phone started ringing off the hook. It was the doctors who perform abortions at the five Whole Woman’s Health clinics she founded in Texas, confirming that they must start playing the fetal heartbeat and showing the image of the fetus to their pregnant patients.

For Hagstrom Miller and many abortion and women’s health providers statewide, performing these sonogram-related actions is an affront — to patients who have thought long and hard about their decisions, and to doctors who believe they are not medically necessary. The constitutionality of the practice, which supporters say is the only way to ensure women know the consequences of their decision, is still being challenged in court.

But from a logistical standpoint, the sonogram itself — which abortion clinics say they already perform, and show to any woman who asks— is far from the most complicating element of the new law. This past fall, doctors were required to start performing a transvaginal sonogram at least 24 hours ahead of an abortion, a shift they say has had frustrating consequences for clinics and patients.

Abortion opponents say the rationale behind the 24-hour delay is simple: Abortion should not be held to a lower standard than any other surgical procedure — where patients have a doctor’s visit to learn the explicit details of their condition one day, and have the medical procedure on another.

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Newt "Eye of the Tiger" Gingrich

Uhh, did he learn nothing from Reagan's campaign when they tried to use "Born in the U.S.A."?

Newt Gingrich Sued for Using 'Eye Of the Tiger' at Political Events
Newt Gingrich is being sued by the company which owns the rights to the 1982 song, "Eye of the Tiger" -- claiming Newt had no right to use it as part of his campaign.

Rude Music Inc. -- owned by a member of the band Survivor -- filed the suit today in federal court in Illinois ... claiming Newt has jacked the song made famous in "Rocky III" to push his political agenda.

According to the lawsuit, Newt has been using the song at various political events since 2009.

In the suit, Rude Music claims Gingrich used the song at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2009, 2010 and 2011 ... as well as the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in 2010.

RMI claims Gingrich -- along with his campaign team, Newt 2012, Inc. -- recently used the song during a campaign event in Doylestown, Pennsylvania ... claiming, "Mr. Gingrich entered the packed Moose Lodge for a speech as the song 'pulsed,' according to the the New 2012, Inc. website."

Story developing ...
  • skunk

Ruling on Contraception Draws Battle Lines at Catholic Colleges

Bridgette Dunlap, a Fordham University law student, knew that the school’s health plan had to pay for birth control pills, in keeping with New York state law. What she did not find out until she was in an examining room, “in the paper dress,” was that the student health service — in keeping with Roman Catholic tenets — would simply refuse to prescribe them.

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leviathans in the womb

Race in Brazil: Affirming a divide

IN APRIL 2010, as part of a scheme to beautify the rundown port near the centre of Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic games, workers were replacing the drainage system in a shabby square when they found some old cans. The city called in archaeologists, whose excavations unearthed the ruins of Valongo, once Brazil’s main landing stage for African slaves.

From 1811 to 1843 around 500,000 slaves arrived there, according to Tânia Andrade Lima, the head archaeologist. Valongo was a complex, including warehouses where slaves were sold and a cemetery. Hundreds of plastic bags, stored in shipping containers parked on a corner of the site, hold personal objects lost or hidden by the slaves, or taken from them. They include delicate bracelets and rings woven from vegetable fibre; lumps of amethyst and stones used in African worship; and cowrie shells, a common currency in Africa.

It is a poignant reminder of the scale and duration of the slave trade to Brazil. Of the 10.7m African slaves shipped across the Atlantic between the 16th and 19th centuries, 4.9m landed there. Fewer than 400,000 went to the United States. Brazil was the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery, in 1888.

Brazil has long seemed to want to forget this history. In 1843 Valongo was paved over by a grander dock to welcome a Bourbon princess who came to marry Pedro II, the country’s 19th-century emperor. The stone column rising from the square commemorates the empress, not the slaves. Now the city plans to make Valongo an open-air museum of slavery and the African diaspora. “Our work is to give greater visibility to the black community and its ancestors,” says Ms Andrade Lima.

This project is a small example of a much broader re-evaluation of race in Brazil. The pervasiveness of slavery, the lateness of its abolition, and the fact that nothing was done to turn former slaves into citizens all combined to have a profound impact on Brazilian society. They are reasons for the extreme socioeconomic inequality that still scars the country today.

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I'm not Brazilian, but ~back in the day~ when I was in college, I took a class on Brazilian ethnography, and I've been interested in race and class in Brazil ever since. I'm interested to hear what other people (esp Brazilians, of course!) think.
Jesus Horses

Proof that your tweets are being monitored

What do you think? Personally, I think it was an overreaction on the part of DHS to some innocent tweets, but I'm curious to hear other opinions.

Pair Detained in Twitter Homeland Threat Mix-Up: Reports
A young couple from across the pond was detained at a Los Angeles airport after Homeland Security agents mistook a couple Twitter quips for threats against the U.S., the two told British media today.

Friends Irishman Leigh Van Bryan, 26, and British citizen Emily Bunting, 24, were reportedly interrogated and spent 12 hours locked up under armed guard after going through customs in Los Angeles International Airport last week. According to several British outlets, the couple was taken into custody by U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents because of the slang in Bryan's tweets.

"Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America," one of the tweets read. Bryan told The Sun that in this context "destroy" just meant party.

"The Homeland Security agents were treating me like some kind of terrorist. I kept saying they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet but they just told me 'You've really f***ed up with that tweet, boy'," Bryan told The Sun.

Bryan had also tweeted that he planned to be "diggin' Marilyn Monroe up!" -- another joke, he said.

"The officials told us we were not allowed in to the country because of Leigh's tweet," Bunting told The Daily Mail. "They wanted to know what we were going to do... They asked why we wanted to destroy America and we tried to explain it meant to get trashed and party... I almost burst out laughing when they asked me if I was going to be Leigh's lookout while he dug up Marilyn Monroe."
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Stock - Pink Sakura

Romneymania Sweeps America

TAMPA, FL—From coast to coast, town to town, and in nearly every public meeting place and private residence across America, millions have been captivated, inspired, and in some cases moved to tears by presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who now finds himself campaigning before a nation in the throes of full-scale Romneymania.

"The raw energy and enthusiasm Mitt Romney stirs inside people is like nothing I've ever seen," Youngstown, OH auto mechanic Chris Ritenour said Wednesday. "Everything he says resonates with Americans. His moving story of growing up privileged, his inspiring rise from moderate wealth to overwhelming riches, his thrilling work in the highest echelons of corporate finance—he really speaks to the heart and mind of the common man."

"I don't think there's been a presidential candidate this exciting and magnetic in generations, if ever." Ritenour continued. "I am a Romneymaniac."

As Romneymania has grown, the Republican candidate has crossed over from political figure to cultural phenomenon. Countless reverent portraits of Romney have appeared in storefront windows and on building facades throughout the country, often accompanied by one of the candidate's signature inspirational phrases, like "Let Detroit go bankrupt" or "Corporations are people, my friend."

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Jesus Horses

Someone please tell Newt "Eye of the Tiger" Gingrich to STFU

Um, Separation of Church and State much, Newty? I fear the Church-State.

Gingrich Vows to Overturn ‘Anti-Religious’ Policies
Newt Gingrich stepped up his attack against President Barack Obama as he campaigned in Florida Monday, accusing the Democratic administration of declaring a “war against Christianity” with a new regulation requiring employers to cover birth control in their health policies.

At airport rallies in Pensacola and Fort Myers, Mr. Gingrich added a new pledge in his stump speeches, saying he would sign an executive order overturning all “anti-religious” federal policies on his first day in office.

Mr. Gingrich, a Catholic convert, also sought to drag his main rival Mitt Romney into the controversy, saying that as governor, Mr. Romney had imposed a similar requirement on Catholic hospitals. Mr. Gingrich appeared to be referring to abortion provisions in the state health-care overhaul law passed in Massachusetts. The Catholic Church opposes abortion and the use of contraception.

Mr. Gingrich also accused Mr. Romney of cutting kosher meals to elderly Medicaid recipients in Massachusetts in a cost-saving effort.

“He has no understanding of the importance of conscience or the importance of religious liberty in this country,” said Mr. Gingrich of Mr. Romney, who is a Mormon. “I will make religious liberty your right, to go with God with no government interference.”

Andrea Saul, a Romney spokeswoman, said that it was “sad to see Speaker Gingrich lashing out in a desperate attempt to try and save his floundering campaign. ”

Mr. Gingrich said that the regulation had been condemned in a letter from church leaders that was read as he attended Mass Sunday night at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Jacksonville with wife, Callista.

Religious leaders have been rallying against the new requirement since it was announced 10n days ago.
  • wemblee

Mo. Democrats vow to oppose discrimination bill

Mo. Democrats vow to oppose discrimination bill
January 30, 2012 4:15 PM

(AP) JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Black lawmakers in Missouri, fearful of reversing decades of hard-fought civil rights gains, said Monday they will try to prevent votes in the House and Senate on a measure that would change the state's workplace discrimination laws.

A measure pending in the Senate would require workers who bring wrongful termination lawsuits to prove discrimination was a "motivating factor" — not simply a contributing factor — in the employer's action. The legislation also would apply to other wrongful discrimination actions, such as the denial of promotions.

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Good job, MO Democrats. <3 I wish I could be a professional filibusterer. I'd read shitty Harry/Draco porn for as long as they'd need me to in order to blog any right-wing bill.
tulio oh noes
  • wemblee

Pinkberry co-founder pleads not guilty to beating

Pinkberry co-founder pleads not guilty to beating

(AP)  LOS ANGELES — A co-founder of the popular frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry has pleaded not guilty to beating a homeless man with a tire iron in Los Angeles.

City News Service says 47-year-old Young Lee was arraigned Monday in the June 15 beating that left a homeless man with a broken forearm and cuts to his head.

The terms of Lee's $60,000 bail were modified so he can travel to his native Korea later this month. He must surrender his passport when he returns to court March 5 for a preliminary hearing.

Prosecutors allege that Lee and a companion confronted the homeless man because Lee thought the transient had disrespected him by exposing a sexually explicit tattoo.

Lee faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

A message seeking comment was left at Pinkberry's offices.

oh holy shit
  • chaya

Can't pass? Can't necessarily fly.

Transgender People are Completely Banned From Boarding Airplanes in Canada

The shit hit the fan in the trans blogosphere last night, when it came to light that there is a disturbing new section in the Identity Screening Regulations used in airports throughout Canada. Simply put, Transgender People are Completely Banned From Boarding Airplanes in Canada.

The offending section of the regulations reads:

5.2 (1) An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if …
(c) the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents;

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So people can be denied if they don't "appear" to match what their card says, but they can't change their card unless they've gotten surgery or they've proven they're going to get surgery? Which tons of trans people can't afford/aren't ready for yet/don't even want?