February 9th, 2012



Santorum: Obama Has Put America On ‘The Path’ Of Executing Religious People By Decapitation

Rick Santorum continued to rail against President Obama’s so-called war against religion during a town hall in Plano, Texas Wednesday night. The former Pennsylvania senator — who has spent the last several days criticizing the government’s requirement that insurers provide contraception coverage and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision striking down Proposition 8 — accused the administration of “crushing” religion and setting the United States on the path towards executing religious people by decapitation:

SANTORUM: They are taking faith and crushing it. Why? Why? When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what’s left is the French Revolution. What’s left is the government that gives you right, what’s left are no unalienable rights, what’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. What’s left in France became the guillotine. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re a long way from that, but if we do and follow the path of President Obama and his overt hostility to faith in America, then we are headed down that road.


Romney glitter-bomber faces up to 6 months in prison

DENVER — A Colorado student faced misdemeanor charges Wednesday for flinging glitter toward Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney in an increasingly frequent protest act some commentators say should be subject to prosecution.

The practice of "glitter bombing" has mainly been the domain of gay rights activists targeting Republican politicians and other public figures who oppose same-sex marriage.

But University of Colorado Boulder student Peter Smith, 20, told Reuters he threw glitter at Romney after the candidate's speech in Colorado on Tuesday to protest against his "general political philosophy," and not only his stance on gay marriage.

Smith was escorted out by other agents and local authorities, Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie said.

Denver authorities detained Smith for questioning on Tuesday night, and he was cited on misdemeanor charges of creating a disturbance, throwing a missile and an unlawful act on school property, Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said.

Smith, who faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted, said he has no regrets about his protest.

Republican presidential contenders Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have all been targeted with glitter, although authorities could not immediately say if anyone had previously been charged over the glitter-throwing.

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source is going to picking glitter out of its hair for the next year.

30,000 Drones In US Airspace by 2020?

Drones over U.S. get OK by Congress
Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s … a drone, and it’s watching you. That’s what privacy advocates fear from a bill Congress passed this week to make it easier for the government to fly unmanned spy planes in U.S. airspace.

The FAA Reauthorization Act, which President Obama is expected to sign, also orders the Federal Aviation Administration to develop regulations for the testing and licensing of commercial drones by 2015.

Privacy advocates say the measure will lead to widespread use of drones for electronic surveillance by police agencies across the country and eventually by private companies as well.

“There are serious policy questions on the horizon about privacy and surveillance, by both government agencies and commercial entities,” said Steven Aftergood, who heads the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation also is “concerned about the implications for surveillance by government agencies,” said attorney Jennifer Lynch.

The provision in the legislation is the fruit of “a huge push by lawmakers and the defense sector to expand the use of drones” in American airspace, she added.

According to some estimates, the commercial drone market in the United States could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars once the FAA clears their use.

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Source is ducking and covering.
Pride & Prejudice

Whales not slaves because they are not people, judge in SeaWorld case rules

A US federal judge has thrown out an animal rights group's lawsuit accusing SeaWorld of enslaving captive killer whales, ruling that orcas have no standing to seek the same constitutional rights as people.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) had accused the chain of aquatic theme parks of violating the rights of whales under the 13th amendment of the US constitution, which abolished slavery.

The lawsuit, filed in the US district court of San Diego, listed as plaintiffs five performing orcas at SeaWorld's parks in California and Florida: Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka and Ulises.

"The only reasonable interpretation of the 13th amendment's plain language is that it applies to persons and not to non-persons such as orcas," US district judge Jeffrey Miller wrote in his ruling.

"Both historic and contemporary sources reveal that the term 'slavery' and 'involuntary servitude' refer only to persons."

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Brilliant trolling on the floor of Congress

Rep. Luis Gutierrez Destroys Newt Gingrich's Repeated "Food Stamp President" Claim About President Obama [VIDEO]
Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) led the charge against former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s recent statements on President Obama being the “Food Stamp President.”

Armed with graphs and statistics, Gutierrez laid down the facts about the “Food Stamp President.” Yes, he added 18 million recipients to the program; Yes, he increased the cost of spending in the program by $19 billion; Yes, he increased the amount per benefit by $27.38; Collapse )

-Below is the text of Representative Gutierrez’s presentation as it was prepared in advance of the presentation-

I have to admit that when Newt Gingrich first used the phrase “the food stamp President,” I was outraged.

But then I started looking at the facts. I did my homework. I crunched the numbers.

And, I have to admit, “Food Stamp President” might be on target.

I think we have to be willing to understand the numbers and speak the truth, even when that truth might hurt.

So I’ve come to the floor today with some facts and figures — all sourced, all backed up — because I know that Newt Gingrich wouldn’t have it any other way.

Let’s learn about the “Food Stamp President.” [SLIDE 1]

Here’s fact one.

It shows clearly that the Food Stamp President increased spending on food stamps by more than $19 billion. Let me repeat that: under the food stamp President, the U.S. increased its spending on food stamps by more than 19 billion — with a “b.” The source is the U.S. Department of Agriculture. [SLIDE 2]
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Under the food stamp President:

Spending increased by more than 19 billion.

The number of people using the program increased by nearly 11 million.

And the amount of the benefit increased by a historic amount.

We may not like the facts — but sometimes the truth hurts. [SLIDE 5]
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And here’s another fact for Newt Gingrich, just in case his “food stamp president” name-calling was designed to make a political point that he wasn’t quite so willing to come right out and say:

Of recipients whose race we know, 22 percent of SNAP recipients are Black. And 34 percent are white. Because hunger knows no race, or religion, or age or political party. Hunger is color-blind.

So today I say thank you to President Obama.

From now on, my nickname for you, President Obama, is “The ‘In America, kids shouldn’t be hungry’ President.”
Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

Black HERstory: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine

September 21, 2007

Just over 50 years ago, a rock shattered the picture window of a light-brick house in Little Rock, Ark.

A note was tied to it that read: "Stone this time. Dynamite next."

The house belonged to Daisy and L.C. Bates.

The couple led efforts to end segregation in Arkansas — on buses, in libraries and in the public schools.

On Monday, the nation will mark 50 years since black students integrated Central High School in Little Rock.

"Mrs. Bates was the person for the moment," says Annie Abrams, a friend of Daisy Bates who was one of many black residents active at the time of the crisis.

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via NPR

While this is a very complex, layered story, her role in the Arkansas integration process is undeniable. She was a very brave woman who deserved more recognition.

Iowa same-sex couple sues after death certificate omits one parent

A same-sex couple has filed suit against state health officials, arguing they wiped out one of the names of a parent on a death certificate for their child.

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I advise against the comments. Some are okay, most are not. This is like throwing salt into the wounds of these mothers and I hope it's settled quickly for their sakes. 

Pride & Prejudice

Unilad culture – one big joke or seriously unfunny?

Outrage over the suggestion – posted on a student website – that rape was acceptable as long as the "lad" involved said "surprise" closed the site last week. The "lad" phenomenon, which has pervaded university life for years, is newly inescapable on campuses everywhere thanks to such sites as Unilad.

Founded in 2010, Unilad claims to have more than 8,000 visits a day and more than 75,000 Facebook fans. Other sites, Truelad and Toplad, receive hundreds of "lad" stories each week from their users, such as "Saw a LAD on the train texting a girl on his phone – her contact name was "Met on Friday – big tits" titswithnonameLAD".

To be against the "lad" lifestyle is to be against humour, a good time and possibly even the entire student ethos itself. And the reason for this, the lad-catch-22? It's all one big joke. Not only in the sense that it shouldn't be taken seriously, but also because, for Durham lads anyway, the whole thing is swathed in so much irony that it's categorically impossible to make out if this "banter" is satirical or genuine. It's no coincidence that the extreme voice of lad found its home in the journalism of Unilad. Lad culture started in lads mags like Nuts (whose tag line is, suitably, "When You Really Need Something Funny").

At Durham we have our own Daily Mail-Nuts hybrid, Durham One, which is the only major rival to Durham's official student newspaper. Sexual politics features heavily, as does general "banter" such as comparing the Arab spring to a college bar crawl. The point of this journalism isn't to express any closely held beliefs about women or anything else – instead it's an exercise in courting controversy, being inventive with your taboos, and ultimately being able to call anyone who finds it offensive "stupid" for not appreciating the complex irony involved.

It's frustrating that "lad" culture has managed to make it difficult to condemn misogynist views, especially when it is laying claim to huge swathes of the university experience. It's both harmless and fatal, real and fictional, and that's why it's so difficult know whether to laugh or cry.


Meanwhile, at the CPAC circle-jerk.

Fox Pundit Tells CPAC Crowd That Rachel Maddow Is ‘The Best Argument In Favor Of Her Parents Using Contraception’

In the “closed circuit world on the right,” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is often the subject of ugly denigrations. Whether it’s being mocked for her sexual orientation, her name, or even her education, right-wingers can’t get enough of slamming her.

During a political discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) today, Fox News pundit and conservative columnist Cal Thomas continued the ugliness. After the Heritage’s Genevieve Wood played a quote of Maddow eloquently debunking the conservative argument on contraception, Thomas said:

I’m glad that you played the Rachel Maddow clip because I think she is the best argument in favor of her parents using contraception. I would be all for that. And all of the rest of the crowd at MSNBC, too, for that matter.


Swedes' anti-gay flyers not free speech: court

Sweden’s Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen) was right to convict four men of hate crimes for distributing homophobic flyers at a school, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled.
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It also stated that the Supreme Court's sentence was reasonable.

I felt like everyone could use some good news. If you read Swedish this is a much better article. This is apparently the first hate speech against HBT vs free speech case that have been processed (wrong word?)by the European Court of Human Rights, so it is important that the ruling was upheld.
I feel like I know her
  • maclyn

(no subject)

Donald Trump accuses Alex Salmond of 'destroying coastline' with wind plans

US tycoon Donald Trump has accused First Minister Alex Salmond of seeming "hell bent on destroying Scotland's coastline" with wind power.
Mr Trump, who objects to plans for a wind farm near his Scottish golf resort, said he would not be on board.
He has written to Mr Salmond saying: "You will single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history." The Scottish government said Scottish waters had great potential.

Mr Trump has already said he will abandon his plans for a hotel and houses at his golf resort on the Menie Estate if a nearby wind farm is approved. The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre is a £150m venture by Vattenfall, Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group. Mr Trump also writes in his letter: "Taxing your citizens to subsidise wind projects owned by foreign energy companies will destroy your country and its economy.

"Jobs will not be created in Scotland because these ugly monstrosities known as turbines are manufactured in other countries such as China. These countries are laughing at you."

He said of the future: "You will be long gone, but the people of Scotland will forever suffer. I have just authorised my staff to allocate a substantial sum of money to launch an international campaign to fight your plan to surround Scotland's coast with many thousands of wind turbines. It will be like looking through the bars of a prison and the Scottish citizens will be the prisoners."

"Luckily, tourists will not suffer because there will be none as they will be going to other countries that had the foresight to use other forms of energy." Mr Trump added of his objection: "I am doing this to save Scotland."

A Scottish government spokesman said: "An application for consent for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre has been submitted to Marine Scotland, and we are currently considering the views of consultees, interested parties, and the public. Scottish waters are estimated to have as much as a quarter of Europe's potential offshore wind energy."

"A recent study suggests that harnessing just a third of the practical resource off our coast by 2050 would enable us to generate enough electricity to power Scotland seven times over. An independent Scotland will be able to take full responsibility for this renewables revolution, along with the investment and thousands of jobs it brings."

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-16969723

Good news, USA! He's found something else to occupy his time apart from making the GOP primaries even more ridiculous! Frankly I can't think of a better reason to build the wind farm than to stop his bloody golf course. I think he's just worried about getting his hair creature blown off. 

Landmark settlement announced on foreclosure, mortgage fraud

State and federal officials on Thursday announced a settlement of $26 billion with five of the nation’s banks over flawed and fraudulent foreclosure practices that affected several million homeowners and became commonplace after the housing boom turned to bust in recent years. It is the largest government-industry settlement in more than a decade.

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absinthe, wormwood

Warning for mention of Daily Fail

Trans people victims of 'horrific' press coverage

Trans Media Watch hopes Leveson Inquiry will 'empower' trans people to make a difference

A charity hopes transgender people will be 'empowered' after hearing evidence given at the Leveson Inquiry.

Trans Media Watch (TMW) treasurer, Helen Belcher, yesterday appeared at the inquiry which has been investigating invasions of privacy by the British press since November.

She hailed the hearing as 'massively important' for trans people, who she says have been the victims of 'horrific and damaging' press coverage.

'Trans people generally haven’t had their voice heard, especially through the press,' Belcher told Gay Star News.

'To be able to give evidence at a key public inquiry about key public issues and bring a trans voice to that table is hugely important.

'I hope it actually empowers trans and intersex people to feel they can make a difference.'

In evidence submitted to the inquiry, TMW claim the media has 'created a climate of prejudice' against trans people and Belcher says people have lost jobs and homes, been verbally and physically assaulted and received death threats as a result.

She pointed to headlines in tabloid newspapers as evidence of continuing transphobia in the press.

The Daily Mail, she claims, prints six times more stories about trans people than any other newspaper.

And a recent story by The Sun called 'Tran-o-saurus', about a particularly tall trans person, suggests the paper has not 'changed its ways' says Belcher, despite the Press Complaints Commission's Code of Conduct protecting gender identity in the same way as race, disability and sexuality.

Belcher told the inquiry the 'trans community has more or less walked away from the PCC', claiming 'nothing ever changes' as a result of complaints to the organization.

She believes the answer is an independent press regulator with an ombudsman scheme where trans and intersex people can feel supported and make sure their voices are heard properly.

'We’re not aiming to censor or stifle press,' Belcher said to GSN.

'What I really miss is accuracy, dignity and respect for trans and intersex people. That’s something which has been very badly lacking'

'Any replacement or development of the PCC has to have real teeth and people should be able to be adequately compensated for the damage the press does in lots of incidences'

Belcher says there's a huge amount of ignorance in the press about how to cover trans stories and TMW has distributed its own reporting style guides to various publications.

She told GSN that educating the press is key to changing the public's view of transgender people.

She added: 'The public takes a large part of its fear from what it sees in the press.

'So, if it sees trans people asked about their operative status and regularly having their former names given out, then it creates an aura of acceptability for people to do that and it isn’t acceptable.

'So by educating the press we are educating the general public about how to interact positively with trans people.'

The Leveson Inquiry was opened on November 14 in response to last July's phone hacking scandal, which saw the News of the World close as a result of the allegations.

Yesterday the openly bisexual deputy leader of the UK's Liberal Democrat Party was awarded £45,000 in damages from NOTW owners News Group Newspapers for phone hacking claims.

After the High Court hearing, Hughes said: 'The evidence in my case clearly demonstrates that the practice of hacking was widespread. It was criminal behaviour on an industrial scale.

'We must now make sure that nothing like this can ever happen again.'

Hughes, who was forced to come out by The Sun newspaper in 2005 after the tabloid made claims he had used a gay chat line, says he will co-operate fully with the Leveson Inquiry.


I never buy the Sun, so I managed to miss that particularly shitty example of a headline, but it's in line with some of the other crap I've seen printed.  The Daily Heil's weirdly obsessive too.
oh holy shit
  • chaya

Badass Tiny Child Fights Off Would-Be Kidnapper

Child fights off brazen kidnapping attempt in the middle of Walmart

A 7-year-old girl escaped a would-be kidnapper who attempted to snatch her in the toy aisle of an Atlanta-area Walmart on Wednesday — and it was all captured on surveillance video.

Brittney Baxter was out of school with strep throat when she accompanied her mother to the store to pick up groceries, according to WSB-TV News.

Her mom, Georgeann Baxter, was just a few aisles away when a man is seen in video grabbing the 2nd grader.

Baxter can be seen screaming and kicking for several moments, forcing the man to drop her. He then runs off.

Surveillance cameras outside eventually led authorities to a suspect.

Thomas Woods, 25, was arrested an hour after the incident, ABC News reported. He is being held without bond for attempted kidnapping.

Woods denies he tried to kidnap the girl, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He had just been released from prison in October after serving time for a manslaughter conviction, and is still on probation.

Brittney said other children who similarly come face-to-face with a would-be abducter should make as much noise as possible if they want to escape.

"Always try to scream and kick as hard as you can and go get someone you can trust," the brave girl told ABC News.

Interview and surveillance video at the source.
Jesus Horses

Rick Santorum's response to Prop 8 ruling

Rick Santorum’s delusional response to the Ninth Circuit ruling
Those who are losing the battle to keep gay citizens relegated to second class status and denied civil equality have a new mantra: “they called me a bigot!”

And, as Rick Santorum illustrated in his comments about yesterday’s Ninth Circuit ruling upholding Judge Walker’s finding that Proposition 8 is a violation of the US Constitution, this claim need not have even the flimsiest of filaments of truth for the martyr’s song to be played.
The Ninth Circuit decision yesterday said that marriage, if you believe in traditional marriage, between a man and a woman and exclusively that, you are in fact, the only reason you could possibly believe that, is because you are a bigot. That there is no rational basis for you to have marriage as an institution between a man and a woman. There, there’s no, no rational basis. Your belief of marriage between a man and a woman is purely irrational based on hatred and bigotry. That’s what they just wrote.
No. That’s not what they wrote. Not even close.

What the court said was that the State of California could not discriminate in the providing of services to gays and lesbians without a rational basis. And that a rational basis needed to be tied to a legitimate government goal. They didn’t say that any person who opposes equality is irrational, just that there was no legitimate goal which could be rationally tied to the proposition.

But even assuming that Santorum has forgotten anything that he may have incidentally picked up at law school (yeah, he actually went to law school) about rational basis and is every bit as stupid as he appears to be, he simply cannot justify the “hatred and bigotry” claim.

Actually, what the court said was:
Ultimately, the “inevitable inference” we must draw in this circumstance is not one of ill will, but rather one of disapproval of gays and lesbians as a class. “[L]aws singling out a certain class of citizens for disfavored legal status or general hardships are rare.” Romer, 517 Ë.Í. at 633. Under Romer, we must infer from Proposition 8′s effect on California law that the People took away from gays and lesbians the right to use the official designation of ‘marriage’—and the societal status that accompanies it—because they disapproved of these individuals as a class and did not wish them to receive the same official recognition and societal approval of their committed relationships that the State makes available to opposite-sex couples.
This is an accurate assessment. Disapproval and a desire not to give the same official recognition. No reference to hatred or bigotry and no name calling at all.

Either Santorum is astonishingly stupid, an unabashed liar, or accidentally let slip his own personal motivations.

movies | Judging You~

Pageant kids and ultra-caffeination.

Underage and Caffeinated

20 hours ago - ABC News 5:10 | 247 views

Will a pageant princess' Red Bull and Mountain Dew cause sugar addiction?


I tend to be completely indifferent to the whole child pageant phenomenon and stage parents; it's odd and not my cup of tea, but figure it's also none of my business. This, however (pumping kids full of sugar as an "energy" source....as opposed to ohhhh saaaaay, structured bed time to meet the recommended hours of rest for a school-aged child) is a little ridiculous and kind of unsettling.
N. K. Krupskaya

A Dad, A facebook note, a laptop and a .45.

The disgruntled teenage daughter of a tech-savvy, gun-toting father just got a very public lesson in respecting one’s elders.

“That right there is your laptop,” the father, named Tommy Jordan, says in a YouTube video while pointing a video camera at a computer on laying in a patch of dirt and grass. “This right here is my .45,” he says, moving a pistol into the frame.

He cocks the weapon and shoots nine exploding hollow-point rounds into the laptop.

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And the video -