February 16th, 2012


Me Kill Grammar. Me Hero Now!

Now You Know Why They Call 'em Grammar Nazis.

‘Sovereign Citizen’ Sues Prosecutors For Grammar-Based Conspiracy

A so-called sovereign citizen in Washington, recently sentenced to three years for threatening to “arrest” a local mayor, is now suing federal prosecutors for conspiring against him using poor grammar, or as he calls it, “backwards-correct-syntaxing-modification fraud.”

David Russell Myrland filed a (virtually incomprehensible) lawsuit in federal court in Washington in late January, accusing federal prosecutors and Department of Homeland Security officials of violating his civil rights through “babbling-collusion-threats” and “grammar-second-grade-writing-level-fraud.”

From the filing:

For this federal-judge: David-Wynn: Miller’s-correction of the vassalees-fiction-syntax-grammar-pleadings is with the correction-participation-claim of this babble-indictment-evidence and: bad-probation-syntax=grammar-evidence. (Why did the vassalees do this case with a void-communications?) For the void-drogue-law, void-oath of an office, void-judge’s-oath, void-docking-court-house-vessel in the Washington-state-dry-dock and: void-original-lodial-land-title.

In an attachment to the filing, which looks almost as bizarre at it reads, Myrland added footnotes to each word of the prosecutors’ indictment that correspond to a “syntax-word-key-meaning” — the word’s form of speech.

The lawsuit was filed with the help of David Wynn Miller, who, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, is another “sovereign citizen” who calls himself the “king of Hawaii” and claims the government uses grammar to enslave people. Miller was also an apparent influence of Jared Lee Loughner, the attempted assassin of Gabrielle Giffords, who wrote in one of his videos that “the government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.”

William McCool, the district court executive, wrote a letter to Miller and Myrland telling them that their case has a number of “deficiencies,” including that they had not submitted the proper filing fees, or the In Forma Pauperis form to exempt them from the fee. They have until February 23 to submit the proper forms or their case can be dismissed.

In December, Myrland was sentenced to three years after he admitted to threatening the Mayor of Kirkland, Washington, and sending a series of threatening letters to various other public officials in the city.

He had previously been pulled over in August, 2010 for driving without a license plate, and explained to the police officer that it was because he is “not subject to Washington State Laws,” adding that the officer did not have the legal authority to stop him. The police officer also observed a gun in Myrland’s car, and during a search of Myrland found that he was wearing a shoulder holster for a semiautomatic pistol under his jacket, with two magazines in the holster. Myrland explained it was to “shoot pitbulls.”

Myrland has been linked to a group of Washington-area sovereign citizens who call themselves “County Rangers,” that have recently been facing a slew of various charges for tax fraud, among other things. They have also been linked to Alaska Peacemaker Militia leader Schaeffer Cox.

arrow: felicity smoak

Surprise, surprise: GOP prevents women from testifying at contraception hearing

This morning, Democrats tore into House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) for preventing women and minorities from testifying before a hearing examining the Obama administration’s new regulation requiring employers and insurers to provide contraception coverage to their employees. Republicans oppose the administration’s rule and have sponsored legislation that would allow employers to limit the availability of birth control to women.

Ranking committee member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) had asked Issa to include a female witness at the hearing, but the Chairman refused, arguing that “As the hearing is not about reproductive rights and contraception but instead about the Administration’s actions as they relate to freedom of religion and conscience, he believes that Ms. Fluke is not an appropriate witness.”

And so Cummings, along with the Democratic women on the panel, took their request to the hearing room, demanding that Issa consider the testimony of a female college student. But the California congressman insisted that the hearing should focus on the rules’ alleged infringement on “religious liberty,” not contraception coverage, and denied the request. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) walked out of the hearing in protest of his decision, citing frustration over the fact that the first panel of witnesses consisted only of male religious leaders against the rule. Holmes Norton said she will not return, calling Issa’s chairmanship an “autocratic regime.”

Watch a compilation of the heated exchange:

A picture of the witness table:

Issa also dismissed the Democrats’ woman witness as a “college student’ who does not “have the appropriate credentials” to testify before his committee.

I've been so angry about this entire issue for the last week and half. FUCK THESE GUYS.

disbelieving hook

A Salute to Dani Bunten, a Transgender Video Gaming Pioneer

By Luke Plunkett Feb 15, 2012 11:00 PM

There are plenty of legends in the world of video games whose names will fly off the tongues of casual fans. Nolan Bushnell. Trip Hawkins. Shigeru Miyamoto. Will Wright. Sid Meier.
It's a shame, then, that so few can name another of the all-time greats, Danielle Bunten Berry.

Or, as she was known before 1992, Dan Bunten.

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Originally published at Kotaku

I saw this and knew I had to share. Women, POC and LBGT contributions are so often erased in computer science, so let's take a moment to celebrate this badass lady.

This is Kotaku, so naturally the comments are hideous. I saw at least one slur while skimming them and lots of bigotry.
  • xerox78

"Colbert Report" suspended

'Colbert' Cancels Tapings Without Explanation; New Episodes Expected 'Soon'

"The Colbert Report" canceled tapings Wednesday and Thursday, citing "unforeseen circumstances."

The Wednesday cancellation came at the last minute: A fan who had planned to attend Wednesday's taping tweeted an email from the show saying the taping had been canceled.

Comedy Central said in a statement simply that "Due to unforeseen circumstances, the show will air repeat episodes on Wednesday, February 15 and Thursday, February 16."

A person close to the show told TheWrap that it planned to resume original episodes "soon," but did not say when.

Colbert's publicist did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Colbert has been silent on Twitter since sending this message Tuesday: "Happy Valentine's Day! Hope you're enjoying your flowers, or chocolates, or smug self-satisfaction at not celebrating Valentine's Day." His silence is nothing unusual, as he often goes days without tweeting.

Let the wild speculation begin. Here's hoping all is well in the Colbert Nation.


apis_cerana: I know for a fact that it's a family emergency...the show should be back in a week or two!

2nd EDIT: 'Colbert Report' production suspended due to reported family emergency

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Jesus Horses

Republican panel on contraception

Apparently, they don't want any of those whose bodies they're trying to regulate among them.

Republican Hearing on Contraception: No Women Allowed

This morning, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is holding a hearing titled “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?” The topic, as you might guess, is the recent administration decision to mandate birth control coverage.

As you might not guess, the first panel of witnesses doesn’t include a single woman. The five-person, all-male panel consists of a Roman Catholic Bishop, a Lutheran Reverend, a rabbi and two professors.

Democrats on the panel were told they were allowed only one witness. They selected a young female Georgetown student, Sandra Fluke, who was going to discuss the repercussions of losing contraceptive coverage. But Representative Darrell Issa, the chairman, rejected her as “not qualified.” [OP rant: NOT qualified? It's HER fucking body.]
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Bi Health, Caduceus

[Bi Magazine]: important new research report on bisexuality from BiUK

As reported in Bi Magazine, on February 15th, 2012 BiUK, a British based umbrella organization for various bisexuality research projects and events, in collaboration with the Open University (OU) has just released "The Bisexuality Report: Bisexual inclusion in LGBT equality and diversity" (pdf).

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(Source: Bi Magazine, BiUK, Bisexual Index, SF HRC LGBTAC)

Get at me, Neville

Undercover Cop Flirts With Teenage Boy to Trick Him into Selling Weed

Last year in three high schools in Florida, several undercover police officers posed as students. The undercover cops went to classes, became Facebook friends and flirted with the other students. One 18-year-old honor student named Justin fell in love with an attractive 25-year-old undercover cop after spending weeks sharing stories about their lives, texting and flirting with each other.

One day she asked Justin if he smoked pot. Even though he didn't smoke marijuana, the love-struck teen promised to help find some for her. Every couple of days she would text him asking if he had the marijuana. Finally, Justin was able to get it to her. She tried to give him $25 for the marijuana and he said he didn't want the money -- he got it for her as a present.

A short while later, the police did a big sweep and arrest 31 students -- including Justin. Almost all were charged with selling a small amount of marijuana to the undercover cops. Now Justin has a felony hanging over his head.

This story is not unique to Florida and it reminds me of an 18-year-old Mitchell Lawrence, a young man from Great Barrington, Mass., who served two years in jail for selling a joint to an undercover cop. The officer befriended Lawrence and his friends and would hang out with them. One day the cop asked if Lawrence had any weed. Lawrence gave the cop a joint. The cop handed him $20. Lawrence hesitated, but the cop insisted on giving him the money. "Selling" the joint, because they were hanging out less than a 1000 feet from a school, and thus was considered a "drug free school zone," carried a mandatory minimum two-year sentence.

The drug war is sick. How much money was wasted by our law enforcement to get these few bags of marijuana "off the streets"? How do these cops look themselves in the mirror? Seducing 18-year-olds to fall in love or pretending to be friends and then tricking them into procuring small amounts of marijuana so they can charge them with felonies is beyond slimy and diametrically opposed to the officers' charge to "serve and protect."

We often hear that we need to fight the drug war to protect the kids. As these despicable examples show, more often the drug war is ruining young people's lives and doing more harm than good.


Well, the author is rather biased, but he raises a few arguments. But my main question is, how is this not entrapment? For a discussion question, how do you think people would react to this if the genders were switched?

And now, even MOAR douchebaggery from Darrel Issa.

Darrell Issa Compares His All-Male Anti-Contraception Panel To Martin Luther King

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been catching flack for holding a panel today relating to women’s access to birth control that featured zero women, but Issa won’t let the fact that few Americans agree with his position deter him. Taking to Twitter this evening, he fired back with a always-appropriate Martin Luther King Jr. comparison:

Indeed, as King knew, the “arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” and depriving women who work for Catholic hospitals of affordable birth control. Issa’s hearing also featured giant posters of King and other historical greats whose footsteps the panel was apparently following in, like President Kennedy, and Mohandas Gandhi.

But as Adam Serwer points out, King actually wrote that he hoped state and federal governments would appropriate “large sums of money” to educate people about birth control.

Warm tone butterfly (by fruitpunch_it)

David Cameron and Alex Salmond talk Independence

Prime Minister David Cameron has offered to consider more powers for Scotland, in the event of a vote against independence.

Ahead of a referendum expected in 2014, Mr Cameron admitted Scotland could go it alone, but said he believed in the United Kingdom "head, heart and soul".

He said it would be "deeply, deeply sad" if Scotland became independent.

The prime minister also suggested the move would have implications for the UK's EU and Nato membership.

Mr Cameron has since been in talks with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who said after the meeting: "Things have moved on quite substantially".

He said the only serious issue of disagreement was over the question used in the referendum and whether there should be a second question on "devo max".

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Tron: Legacy, Castor, Zuse

Honduras prison fire kills more than 350 inmates

By Mayra Navarro
COMAYAGUA, Honduras | Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:42pm EST
(Reuters) - A massive fire raged through an overcrowded prison in Honduras, killing more than 350 inmates, many of them trapped and screaming inside their cells.

It was one of the world's worst prison fires and was apparently started by one of the inmates late on Tuesday night at the jail in Comayagua, about 75 km (45 miles) north of the capital Tegucigalpa.

By the end of it, 359 people were dead, said Danelia Ferrera, a senior official at the attorney general's office.

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Virginia says that women must spread their legs if they want an abortion

Virginia House getting all up in your vagina

The headline is not hyperbole. The freedom and liberty loving party is requiring the state to take liberty with Virginia women's vaginas. Women will not have the freedom to refuse.The Virginia House passed a bill 63-36 requiring that women who wish to have an abortion must submit to a "transvaginal ultrasound."

The ultrasound legislation would constitute an unprecedented government mandate to insert vaginal ultrasonic probes into women as part of a state-ordered effort to dissuade them from terminating pregnancies, legislative opponents noted.

"We're talking about inside a woman's body," Del. Charnielle Herring, a Democrat, said in an emotional floor speech. "This is the first time, if we pass this bill, that we will be dictating a medical procedure to a physician."

The conservative Family Foundation hailed the ultrasound measure as an "update" to the state's existing informed consent laws "with the most advanced medical technology available."

This is totally medically unnecessary invasive procedure. It serves no purpose other than to humiliate and shame women and intimidate them from choosing a legal medical procedure.

Speaking in support of the bill, one delegate said:

"We hear the same song over there. The very tragic human notes that are often touched upon involve extreme examples," said [Todd] Gilbert, R-Shenandoah. "But in the vast majority of these cases, these are matters of lifestyle convenience."

It is expected to pass the Republican-controlled Senate. Gov. Bob McDonnell has said he will sign the bill.

The House also passed a "personhood" amendment that declares life begins at conception, by a 66-32 vote.

Source: DailyKos

I, I can't.  And I heard they rejected an amendment to make regular ultrasounds an option if it provides equal accuracy.  This is all about legalizing sexual assault.

Edited for full stops.  Not even puppies could make me feel better about this shit.  *moved past rage and into grief*
Max Steel

Disabled people face unlimited unpaid work or cuts in benefit

Some long-term sick and disabled people face being forced to work unpaid for an unlimited amount of time or have their benefits cut under plans being drawn up by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Mental health professionals and charities have said they fear those deemed fit to undertake limited amounts of work under a controversial assessment process could suffer further harm to their health if the plans go ahead.

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Source at the Guardian.
gleeful charlotte
  • wemblee

The Most Expensive Starbucks Drink Ever: $23.60 Plus Tip

The Most Expensive Starbucks Drink Ever: $23.60 Plus Tip
By Piper Weiss, Shine Staff

One man. One coupon. Two baristas and 31 ounces of imagination. That's what it took to create the most expensive Starbucks drink ever made.

Logan Warren, a 22-year-old tech entrepreneur and student, can't afford to drink at the coffee chain daily. "At the rate I consume coffee, I'd be a pauper in a month," the Texas-based college student tells Shine.

So when he landed a coupon for a free drink, of any size with any additional add-ons, for his birthday (a company gift if you sign up for their rewards program), he took it as a personal challenge. What's the biggest, priciest Starbucks drink money can buy?

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I totally am one of the guilty ones that buys way more Starbucks than she should instead of making my soy mochas at home.
Calvin & Hobbes: Trusting
  • calybe

Saving Khader Adnan's life is saving our own soul

The world watches as tragedy unfolds beneath its gaze. Khader Asnan is entering his 61st day as a hunger striker in an Israeli prison, being held under an administrative detention order without trial, charges, or any indication of the evidence against him.
From the outset of his brutal arrest in the middle of the night - in the presence of his wife and young daughters - he has been subject to the sort of inhumane and degrading treatment that is totally unlawful and morally inexcusable. Its only justification is to intimidate, if not terrify, Palestinians who have lived for 45 years under the yoke of an oppressive occupation. This occupation continuously whittles away at Palestinians' rights under international humanitarian law - especially their right to self-determination, which is encroached upon every time a new housing unit is added to the colonising settlements that dot the hilltops surrounding Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Hundreds of Palestinians join hunger strike

The case of Khader Adnan is a revealing microcosm of the unbearable cruelty of prolonged occupation. It draws a contrast in the West between the dignity of an Israeli prisoner and the steadfast refusal to heed the abuse of thousands of Palestinians languishing in Israeli jails through court sentence or administrative order.
Mr Adnan's father poignantly highlighted this contrast a few days ago by referring to Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held by Hamas in captivity for several years and recently released in good health: "Where are the mother and father of Gilad Shalit? Do they not feel for me in this humanitarian case? Where are they?" He went further in drawing this comparison: "My son was arrested from his house, from among his wife and children, was taken prisoner. He was not carrying any weapon. Whereas Shalit was fighting against the people of Gaza, and destroying their homes, and firing upon, and Shalit was released."
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