May 31st, 2012

Murasaki Shikibu

Ex-Prime Minister Blames Meltdown on “Nuclear Village”, Inadequate Laws and TEPCO/NISA Incompetence

Ex-Prime Minister Blames Meltdown on “Nuclear Village”, Inadequate Laws and TEPCO/NISA Incompetence

The former prime minister of Japan, Naoto Kan, speaking on the record about Japan’s worst nuclear accident in history, blamed the disaster on the nuclear village (原子力村) aka the nuclear mafia, inadequate laws, and the appalling incompetence of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and NISA (Japan’s Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency).

Kan spoke before the The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) chaired by Mr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa at their 16th meeting at the National Diet of Japan on May 28th. Mr. Kan served as Japan’s PM (Prime Minister) from June 8th, 2010 to September 11th, 2011, and was in power during the triple nuclear meltdown last March (2011).

Kan’s testimony today before the committee highlighted the inability and lack of preparation at TEPCO and the Japanese government for dealing with a nuclear disaster.

Kan said that his advisers at the government offices and TEPCO did not help him: “The basic explanation I had looked forward to receiving I was not able to receive.” At the time, Mr. Kan said there was no explanation from NISA whether he was given the authority to make the decisions and take the necessary actions on the site.

The Fukushima incident which is the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986, also revealed the ties between the nuclear industry and the government regulators known as “the nuclear village.” Because this collusion also involves the media that relies of energy industry advertising, Japanese organized crime, cover-ups, retirement positions for former nuclear regulators, and political corruption—some analysts refer to Japan’s nuclear-industrial complex not as the “the nuclear village” but as “the nuclear mafia” (原発マフィア). Kan said that this accident exposed “the roots of the illness” of the Japanese people and after this 3.11 accident, Japan should “think if it wants to continue with nuclear power.”

“I experienced this crisis and my views changed,” he said.

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Murasaki Shikibu

Face-chewing victim will have long road to recovery

Face-chewing victim will have long road to recovery

A homeless man whose face was mostly chewed off in a bizarre, vicious attack faces a bigger threat from infection than from the injuries themselves, according to experts on facial reconstruction. He will require months of treatment to rebuild his features and be permanently disfigured.

Though gruesome, such severe facial injuries are generally not life threatening. The most serious risk to Ronald Poppo as he remained hospitalized Wednesday were germs that may have been introduced by the bites of the naked man who attacked him. One of the 65-year-old's eyes was also gouged out.

"The human mouth is basically filthy," said Dr. Seth Thaller, the chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine.

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Face-eating victim ‘will recover’ from horrific Miami attack

A man whose face was chewed off in a gruesome daylight attack was in a stable condition in hospital on Wednesday.

According to anonymous sources at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, Ronald Poppo, 65, is expected to live despite losing about 80% of his face, including his nose and left eye, in the attack by 31-year-old Rudy Eugene.

Eugene, from Miami Beach, was shot dead by a police officer called to the downtown causeway on Saturday after reports of a fight and of a naked man ripping strips of flesh from another person’s face.

Homicide detectives were continuing to try to piece together the circumstances of the bizarre incident on Wednesday as photographs said to be of the homeless victim at the scene and later in the emergency room appeared online.

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I hope everyone cracking zombie jokes reads this.
Is there anyone out there?

Alexander Kinyua Ate Kujoe Agyei-Kodie's Brain, Heart In Maryland, Cops Say

In yet another horrifying incident of human flesh-eating this week, a student in Maryland allegedly admitted to devouring his roommate's brain and heart.

Alexander Kinyua, a 21-year-old Morgan State University student, admitted to murdering his roommate Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, who was reported missing last Friday, cops told the Baltimore Sun.

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Extreme trigger warning: for intense violence, grotesqueness, and morbidity.
Originally read about this on MSNBC, which came across to me as kind of... racist. Tried to link here, just to be thorough, but I can't find the article now.
First post, and kind of lost on the tags a bit, so suggestions welcomed. Debated for a long time about racism (or something similar) tag, but couldn't decide? I think at this rate maybe OP needs a "cannibalism" tag. :( To be clear, this case appears to have been motivated not in the slightest by drugs, but rather by psychosis or mental illness, and committed in a more calculated way.

EDIT: Baltimore Sun's Justin Fenton has been posting sporadic updates on the incident and Kinyua via Twitter.
EDIT: Morgan Student Admits To Eating Missing Joppatowne Man’s Dismembered Body Parts Updated information on the story, 6:50 p.m. thanks sesmo!

Arizona Gay Family Terrorized By Hate Crimes; Police Tell Them It's Their Own Fault

A gay couple with four children in Gilbert, Arizona are being terrorized in a series of attacks. The series of attacks has escalated from banging on windows, to burning bushes, to anti-gay notes left on cars, to breaking into the family home and writing graffiti on the house's walls.

A poster on Democratic Underground writes:

Roy and Felix are an interracial couple - Felix is hispanic, Roy is white. A couple of the kids are Hispanic.

They recently moved to Gilbert from North Phoenix - every since then, they have had items burned on their lawns, racist and anti-gay notes attached to cars, people pounding on their doors in the middle of the night, yelling at them, and finally, a break in where graffitti was sprayed in the house last week.

Police have been called 9 times - and each time, Roy and Felix were made to feel as if the problem was their fault for being gay, hispanic, having handicapped children, etc. Roy and the kids are too scared to stay at the house - and are now staying with his sister. Fortunately, friends of the couple have mobilized - starting a facebook page, contacting media, local officials, etc. It is helping - Felix had a meeting yesterday with the Gilbert Hate Crimes Unit, and with Gilbert Internal Affairs. Congressman Flake's office has been in contact.

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Source 1, Source 2.

the problem was their fault for being gay, hispanic, having handicapped children
their fault for having handicapped children
their fault for having handicapped children

John Edwards acquitted on one count as jury deadlocks on five others and judge declares mistrial

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Johnny Reid Edwards, a honey-voiced North Carolina lawyer who parlayed his boyish good looks and inspiring personal history as the son of a mill-worker into a meteoric political rise, was acquitted of one count Thursday in a corruption case, as the judge declared a mistrial on five other charges on which the jury was deadlocked.

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Didn't bold anything because it's mostly just a recap of the case with the news mainly at the top.

Congress sounding increasingly like teenagers, study says

If it sounds like the debates in Congress have devolved to that of teenagers, it’s because they have.

The level of discourse in the House and Senate has dropped a full grade level -- to the equivalent of a sophomore in high school, according to a new study.

Call this the dumbing down of Congress in a partisan age. Or a shift to plain-spoken populism ignited by the new class of tea party Republicans.

But what has become clear in the new research is that the soaring oratory that once filled the floors of the House and Senate with million-dollar diction and sophisticated syntax is making way for a more modest approach.

“Congress is changing as an institution, and what you see is more and more members gearing their speeches as sound bites or YouTube clips,” said Lee Drutman, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, which compiled the study released Monday.

“You can harken back to a golden age of Congress when members quoted Shakespeare on the floor and really engaged in debate and talked to each other and tried to reason back and forth.”

Listening to the floor debates over the last several years, the study found that newer lawmakers tended to speak at a lower grade level than the veterans of congressional speechifying.

And political moderates among both Republicans and Democrats tended to carry on at a higher grade level than those more partisan liberals or conservatives.

With that framework in mind, it should come as no surprise that the lawmakers at the bottom of the list, speaking at the lowest grade level, are among the most ardent tea party Republicans in the freshmen class.

Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, Rep. Rob Woodall of Georgia and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky were the bottom three – speaking about an eighth-grade level, the study found.

“We look at it as a badge of honor,” said Mulvaney, a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of North Carolina Law School, who notes that he often speaks on the floor “extemporaneously.”

“It’s a conscious decision on my part. We are trying to be clear and trying to be concise,” he added, noting that he and his wife have been known to diagram sentences at the dinner table, a byproduct of schoolteacher parents.

"I can explain the difference between 'fewer' and 'less,' " Mulvaney said in a phone interview Monday between stops at a military base and a Rotary Club in South Carolina, but acknowledged that he still stumbled over the difference between “farther” and “further.”

“I don’t think people see the polysyllabic words - or the number of words - in a sentence as a sign of your intelligence,” he said.

As a case in point, he notes fellow Republican Rep. Dan Lungren of California, a seasoned politician in Sacramento and Washington who topped the list as the lawmaker with the highest level of speech – that of a senior in college.

That makes Lungren almost a throwback – on par with the Federalist Papers (a 17.1 grade level) or the U.S. Constitution (17.8 grade level). Though it is not clear his speeches are easier to understand.

“The canard that somehow we are tearing the Constitution up just does not stand any kind of inquiry whatsoever,” said Lungren during a debate over the Patriot Act during this session of Congress. “The suggestion that somehow we are invading the civil liberties of citizens is negated by the language in the three sections of the bill that we have before us.”

Californians ranked among the better spoken overall, and the No. 2 slot went to Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-East Los Angeles), at almost a 16th grade level. Her skills were on display during last week’s debate on a GOP version of the Violence Against Women Act that Democrats largely opposed.

“I cannot in good conscience vote to pass this version of VAWA, as it erases 18 years of bipartisan efforts to respond to the needs of victims of domestic violence,” she said. “I am also disappointed that, yet again, provisions to alleviate the economic factors that keep victims in abusive relationships have not been included.”

The best and worst speeches may be in the ear of the listener, and the study noted that President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address was judged by other researchers to rank at the eighth-grade level for the third year in a row.

As for those high-powered words from the Scholastic Assessment Test, memorized and recited by legions of high schoolers, they go virtually unspoken in Congress.

Of the 100 words on SAT preparation study lists, 14 are missing entirely from the Congressional Record for this Congress – notably florid, hackneyed, ostentatious and querulous.

The most used SAT word – compromise – was said the most by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, who is fond of pronouncing, “Legislation is the art of compromise.”

But in this partisan environment, as the study noted, even saying the word 142 times “does not make it so.”

LA Times

One Million Moms ‘Disturbed’ That JC Penney Is ‘Promoting Sin’ With Gay-Inclusive Ad

Right on cue, the American Family Association’s One Million Moms has expressed outrage at JCPenney’s new Father’s Day advertisement featuring a same-sex couple with their kids. Suggesting the ad is “promoting sin,” OMM attacks the store for “taking sides” instead of remaining “neutral” in the “culture war”:

One Million Moms (OMM) is disturbed that JCPenney’s (JCP) is continuing down the same path of promoting sin in their advertisements. In JCP’s June catalog, there is another homosexual ad, but this time with two dads celebrating Father’s Day. The advertising booklet began arriving in mailboxes yesterday. If their marketing department follows the same plan they did in May, this mailer will be available to view on their website on June 1. [...]

It is obvious that JCP would rather take sides than remain neutral in the culture war. JCP will hear from the other side so they need to hear from us as well. Our persistence will pay off! One day we will answer for our actions or lack of them. We must remain diligent and stand up for Biblical values and truth. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature.

OMM previously attempted to boycott JCPenney when the store announced Ellen DeGeneres would be its new spokesperson, but they abandoned that boycott as a failure. There’s nothing to suggest this second effort will be end any differently.

It’s worth noting that OMM’s notion of “neutrality” is complete fiction. Same-sex families are very much a part of our society and our communities. There is nothing neutral about choosing to ignore them. One Million Moms is an anti-gay organization with an anti-gay agenda, and they clearly oppose any business that even dares acknowledge that gay people exist, let alone that they could be welcome customers.


PSYCHOdelic Rorschach
  • ook

Update: Charges dropped against honor student jailed for truancy

The 17-year-old Willis High School honor student whose 24-hour stay in jail for excessive truancy drew national attention had the charge rescinded Wednesday, records show.

Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Lanny Moriarty, at the Montgomery County District Attorney's request, signed an order that vacates the contempt of court conviction that sent Diane Tran to jail last week.

The decision clears the way for the issue to be expunged from her record.

The action was taken, in part, after Moriarty looked at the extenuating circumstances that had resulted in Tran missing school and because her court summons had failed to notify her of her right to an attorney or to have one appointed for her, officials said.

Moriarty had counseled Tran the first time she was summoned to his court for excessive truancy April 25. He explained the importance of going to class and ordered her to start attending regularly.

But on May 23 Tran was brought back for failing to attend an additional four days as well as portions of another four days.

During her court appearance, however, Tran never revealed any personal struggles to the court.

Tran, a junior described by friends as "quiet and shy," could not be reached for comment. But her attorney, Brian Wice, said Tran was under an incredible amount of pressure from working two jobs and was unsure what to tell the court.

"She is not someone unwilling to come to class because she's attending a rock concert," Wice said. "She's an incredible gal who is working and studying sometimes 24 hours a day and contributing to her siblings' support more than a teenager should have a right to do."
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  • qable

FDA: High Fructose Corn Syrup Isn't "Corn Sugar"

Dealing what is surely a mighty blow to those in the corn industry hoping to improve the image of high fructose corn syrup, the Food and Drug Administration has denied the Corn Refiners Association's petition to rename HFCS as "corn sugar."

The FDA laid it all out in the form of a letter to the CRA's president, Audrae Erickson.

In the letter, dated May 30 and titled "Response to Petition from Corn Refiners Association to Authorize 'Corn Sugar' as an Alternate Common or Usual Name for High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)," Michael Landa, Director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition explains the reasons why the Sept. 14, 2010 petition is being denied.

We picked out some of the pertinent parts below:

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(TRIGGER WARNING) Metro Mother: Doctor Refuses To Treat Daughter Who Was Rape Victim

From Addicting Info “Her (the doctor) attitude was so condescending. It was like she was treating my daughter like she had done something wrong.” - victim's mother, from video interview

By Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

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The religion aspect can be found in the interview with the victim's mother.  The doctor denied the victim emergency contraceptives because "it goes against her beliefs."  To that doctor who denied the victim care and served a side of shaming: