July 22nd, 2012


Because good things happen: Jim Henson Company Parts Ways With Hate-Fil-A

[Brought over from the ontd Mothership]

The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors.  Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD.  (http://www.glaad.org/)

Source is a note on their JHC Facebook page


Kristene Chapa, Texas Lesbian Shooting Victim, Helps Police Revise Suspect Sketch

A new sketch of the suspect who shot two Texas lesbians has been released, thanks to the help of the lone survivor, Kristene Chapa.

Media reports say that 18-year-old Chapa has regained consciousness and has been helping police piece together what happened the night she and her girlfriend, 19-year-old Mollie Olgin, were shot in the head at a Texas park. Olgin was declared dead at the scene.

Chapa's brother tells reporters that they have finally told Kristene that Mollie was killed, which has only motivated her to help police find the killer. Her family described her as "heartbroken, but determined."

Chapa is now in a neurological rehab, working on her speech and thinking skills. "She's doing awesome," her brother, Hilario Chapa, tells NBC Latino. "One of the last days at the hospitals her friends were able to come and see her and she lit up."

On June 22, Chapa and Olgin were at a park in Portland, Texas, hanging out before seeing a movie, when they were both shot in the head. Hikers found the girls the next morning in knee-high grass.

Initially, Chapa was able to help police put together a suspect description using sign language, but since she has regained her speech, she has been able to provide police with even more details of the shooter. The description of the suspect is the same: a dark-haired white male in his 20s, and who is 5-foot 8 with a slender build.


Penn State President Orders Joe Paterno Statue Removal

Penn State University will remove the famed statue of Joe Paterno outside its football stadium, eliminating a key piece of the iconography surrounding the once-sainted football coach accused of burying child sex abuse allegations against a retired assistant.

The university said Sunday that it will take down the larger-than-life monument in the face of an investigative report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh that found the late coach, along with three top Penn State administrators, concealed the abuse claims against Jerry Sandusky more than a decade ago in order to shield the university and its football program from negative publicity.

[Cut For Your Friends Page]A spokeswoman for the Paterno family did not immediately return phone and email messages Sunday morning.

Construction vehicles and police arrived shortly after dawn Sunday, barricading the street and sidewalks near the statue, erecting a chain-link fence then concealing the statue with a blue tarp.

A live video feed posted on the website of the Centre Daily Times of State College showed workers in white hard hats draping a plastic sheet over the statue, preparing for its removal.

Penn State President Rod Erickson said he decided to have the statue removed and put into storage because it "has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing."

"I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse," Erickson said in a statement released at 7 a.m. Sunday.

He said Paterno’s name will remain on the campus library because it "symbolizes the substantial and lasting contributions to the academic life and educational excellence that the Paterno family has made to Penn State University."

The bronze sculpture outside Beaver Stadium has been a rallying point for students and alumni outraged over Paterno’s firing four days after Sandusky’s Nov. 5 arrest — and grief-stricken over the Hall of Fame coach’s Jan. 22 death at age 85.

But it turned into a target for critics after the Freeh report’s stunning allegation of a cover-up by Paterno, ousted President Graham Spanier and two Penn State officials, Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz. Their failure to report Sandusky to child-welfare authorities in 2001 allowed him to continue molesting boys, the report found.

Paterno’s family, along with attorneys for Spanier, Curley and Schultz, vehemently deny any suggestion they protected a pedophile. Curley and Schultz await trial on charges of failing to report child abuse and lying to a grand jury but maintain their innocence. Spanier hasn’t been charged. Sandusky was convicted last month of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys.

Some newspaper columnists and former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden have said the statue should be taken down, while a small plane pulled a banner over State College reading, "Take the statue down or we will."

But Paterno still has plenty of fans, and Penn State’s decision to remove the monument won’t sit well with them. One student even vowed to "chain myself to that statue" if there was an attempt to remove it.

University officials had called the issue a sensitive one in light of Paterno’s enormous contributions to the school over a 61-year coaching career. The Paterno family is well-known in the community for philanthropic efforts, including the millions of dollars they’ve donated to the university to help build a library and fund endowments and scholarships.

The statue, nearly 7 feet tall and weighing more than 900 pounds, was built in 2001 in honor of Paterno’s record-setting 324th Division 1 coaching victory and his "contributions to the university."


Paterno took what he thought was the easy way out and destroyed the lives of at least a dozen children. I wish the NCAA would pull their ability to play sports for at least 5 years, but I'll take this as a start. No doubt, the Paterno family will be crying loudly about how JoePa is being "slandered" by the evil people who don't care about his "legacy". Frankly, they're wrong. I do care about his legacy...and I don't want anyone to think that being a sports god is a free pass to a legacy of abused children.
Murasaki Shikibu

TEPCO subcontractor used lead to fake dosimeter readings at Fukushima plant

TEPCO subcontractor used lead to fake dosimeter readings at Fukushima plant

Workers at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant were ordered to cover their dosimeters with lead plates to keep radiation doses low enough to continue working under dangerous conditions, the Asahi Shimbun has learned.

Some refused the orders. Others raised questions about their safety and the legality of the practice. But the man in charge, a senior official of a subcontractor of Tokyo Electric Power Co., warned them that they would lose their jobs--and any chance of employment at other nuclear plants--if they failed to comply.

The pocket-sized dosimeters sound an alarm when they detect high radiation levels. A worker who has been exposed to an accumulated dose of 50 millisieverts within a year must stop working and stay away from the area for a certain period of time.

The 54-year-old senior official at Build-Up, a midsize construction company based in Fukushima Prefecture, worked out a system to ensure the dosimeters would not reach the limit, according to the workers. It included having the workers themselves build the lead cover that would prevent the radiation from reaching the dosimeters.

The president of Build-Up acknowledged on July 21 that the senior official had nine people work at the nuclear plant for about three hours on Dec. 1 with their dosimeters shielded by the lead plates.

The senior official, who acted as a site foreman, initially denied giving such instructions. But he later admitted to his actions over the phone to the Build-Up president.

A number of the workers explained the process in detail. And one of them provided The Asahi Shimbun with a recording of a meeting the Build-Up foreman had with defiant workers on the night of Dec. 2 at an inn in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, where the workers stayed.

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Keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people is an attack on our FREEDOM!

Tea Party Senator: Keeping Guns From ‘Demented Individuals’ Will ‘Restrict Our Freedoms’

Responding to the tragic shooting in Colorado during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said he would oppose gun control efforts that could be used to “restrict our freedoms” and instead suggested arming “responsible” people to combat “sick, demented individuals who want to do harm.”

Johnson also argued that any additional measures to restrict large gun magazines that carry 100 rounds of ammunition — similar to the high-capacity clip that the alleged Colorado shooter employed — would infringe on Americans’ Second Amendment rights:

JOHNSON: People will talk about unusually lethal weapons, that could be potentially a discussion you could have. But the fact of the matter is there are 30-round magazines that are just common. You simply can’t keep these weapons out of the hands of sick, demented individuals who want to do harm. And when you try to do it, you restrict our freedoms.

Johnson’s statement was in direct opposition to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who came on the program to call for a renewed assault weapons ban. “I believe people use these weapons because they can get them,” she said. “I believe that a revolver, a rifle, a hand gun isn’t going to do the damage. It’s the big clips, a hundred rounds. You can’t get to him to dislodge the gun because he can fire so rapidly and has so many bullets.”

Johnson disagreed and argued that the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004 and banned high-capacity magazines, actually made things worse in the Aurora shooting. “If a responsible individual had been carrying a weapon, maybe, maybe they could have prevented some of those deaths, some of those injuries,” he said.

Source: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/07/22/561611/tea-party-senator-keeping-guns-from-demented-individuals-will-restrict-our-freedoms/

I'm waaaaay beyond tired of the, "Oh! If only some other poor soul had a gun, this all could have been prevented!" bullshit, whenever these kind of massacres happen.
peacock, snake eyes

Two of the most hilarious excuses I've ever heard

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court has sentenced an Islamist politician to jail for committing an indecent sexual act in public and assaulting police who arrested him, in a case that could damage the image of his ultra-conservative movement.

Ali Wanees was detained in June on a main road outside Cairo. A young woman wearing a full face veil was sitting on top of him in a parked car, according to police.

Wanees said the woman was a relative and he had been trying to revive her after she suffered from an ailment which he did not explain.

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London 2012: frustration and pride as military steps in to clear up G4S mess.

It's a case of 'I told you so' as military and police – facing drastic cuts and low morale – ride to the rescue of Olympic security.

There was a buzz of efficiency and a polite welcome around the London Olympics' impromptu military checkpoints this week as soldiers, sailors and airmen and women frisked and scanned with overqualified competence.

In a week when the private sector's record in delivering large-scale public-sector work has suffered as a result of G4S's spectacular failure to deliver on its Olympic security contract, the armed forces stepped in to fill the breach. Their arrival at the Olympic site was a potent symbol of the public sector riding to the rescue of an unloved private leviathan.

"We do body and bag searches in Afghanistan," explained a young commando from the Parachute Regiment as he rifled with speedy diligence through a rucksack containing nothing more threatening than a water bottle and a newspaper.

But this is Stratford, Newham, not Helmand, Afghanistan, and many of those engaged in the repetitive and often tedious work of body and bag searches outside the Olympic Park should instead have been enjoying their first days of leave with loved ones.

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Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jul/20/london-2012-military-g4s-mess?newsfeed=true

OP: The public sector riding to the rescue of the private sector. Again! Yay!

Hundreds attend vigil for victim of reported hate crime in Lincoln, Nebraska.


Hundreds of people gathered with rainbow flags and candles outside the Capitol building for a nighttime vigil sparked by a woman's account of a violent, hate-fueled attack that spread rapidly over the Internet on Sunday.

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EDIT: Funds are being raised for the victim's medical expenses, as she does not have insurance. You can donate here

This horrifying story is still developing, so there aren't a lot of details out there yet, but the city is really shaken up by it. Many of my friends live in the area where this occurred and I also used to live and attend a high school in that neighborhood. The culprits are still on the loose, as far as we know. :(

(also sorry for all the edits. I fail at this, obviously.)
[MLP] flames!

Jim Stanek, Disabled Veteran, Says United Airlines Staff Kicked His Service Dog...

Jim Stanek, a disabled veteran and Paws and Stripes cofounder, claims United Airlines staff physically abused his service dog, Sarge, and verbally abused him during an unexpected 3-day layover at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C.

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There are no words for how infuriated this makes me. United Airlines has a long history of abusing people with disabilities, but this just takes the cake. There is more detail on this incident here, as well, but I wasn't sure if it would count as a legit source. (No animal cruelty/abuse tag? I am also feeling like at this point an airline fuckery tag would not be amiss.)

ETA: The second link describes that the service dog was kicked hard enough to land in Stanek's lap. This is not "lightly brushing aside", people.