October 16th, 2012

New Zealand Teen Proclaims 'Ducks Could Take Over The World' If Gay Marriage Is Approved

rubber_gay_ducks_by_a301p-d34cqzgA homeschooled, New Zealand-based teen offered up a bizarre anti-gay rant in a local newspaper, claiming that "ducks could take over the world" if same-sex marriage is approved.

In a letter to the editor of New Zealand's Northern Outlook, the 14-year-old, who is identified by Gawker and a number of other media outlets simply as Jasmin, writes:

"If homosexuality spreads, it can cause human evolution to come to a standstill. It could threaten the human position on the evolutionary ladder, and say, ducks, could take over the world. Ducks always nest in pairs and we if allow same-sex marriage, then the ducks will have evolved further than we have. We will be in danger of all being equal, with ducks more equal than us."

Noting that she doesn't want her children "to have to compete with ducks," Jasmin adds: "If you believe in evolution, you can't be in favor of homosexuality, or the ducks will get you in the end."

Needless to say, the creative, if unintentionally hilarious, letter has prompted some fiery responses. Wrote PZ Myers of Science blogs: "Because you think ducks are all heterosexual, and your children will all be heterosexual (brace yourself, you might get a few surprises in 10 or 20 years there), and a policy of tolerance will turn every other human being homosexual, you're afraid your kids will be competing for mates with ducks?"

Added one Gawker reader: "Couldn't this newspaper have found something a little more enlightening, or at least coherent, to publish? Or did it put this out there so the whole community could have a good laugh at a 14-year-old whose parents have opted to basically lock her intellect in a cage for the majority of her young life?"

Same-sex marriage has been a hot topic in New Zealand as of late. In August, local politicians overwhelmingly cast a first vote in favor of a marriage equality bill that, according to the Associated Press, was given impetus by U.S. President Barack Obama's public support of the cause.


Ole Miss crowns first African-American homecoming queen!

Fifty-years ago Courtney Roxanne Pearson would not have been allowed to enroll at the University of Mississippi because she was black let alone think of becoming the first African-American homecoming queen of Ole Miss.

But today (Saturday, October 13) the 21-year-old senior English education student from Memphis is preparing for her historic crowning during the halftime ceremonies when Ole Miss faces off against Auburn University at the university football stadium.

'I am still in shock, but I am definitely very excited,' said Pearson who beat Ashleigh Davis for the chance to wear the crown 1,477 votes to 1,387 in a victory for the University of Mississippi's reputation in race relations.

'It couldn't have come at a better time,' added Pearson, who considers her victory a landmark for Ole Miss which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the admission of James Meredith, their first African-American student, which set off rioting at the southern college in 1962.

Aware of her unique position, Pearson wants to push other African-Americans to believe in themselves. 'I feel like it's an inspiration for others to be like, there's nothing that can hold me back, not my race, not my greekness, or my non-greekness - whatever it is that I want to do, I can do it,' said Pearson.

Reflecting on the fact that 50-years ago she would have been kept out of Ole Miss because of segregation, Pearson was clear what her homecoming queen victory means.

'Now the students are saying ‘Not only do we want you to attend, we want you to represent us at a whole and go and show the whole world what we're about and what we represent,' said Pearson.

Pearson is pleased that her place in Ole Miss history is another step upon which future minority students can build. 'I hope that after Homecoming 2012 everyone gives Ole Miss the respect it deserves and that this election inspires someone else to follow their dreams,' said Pearson.


If video link doesn't work, go to the web site at Source 1 for the video interview with Ms. Pearson.

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Source 1: http://www.wmctv.com/story/19805498/ole-miss-crowns-first-african-american-homecoming-queen

Source 2 has more photos of Courtney Pearson, plus a photo of the runner-up: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2217218/Ole-Miss-crowns-African-American-homecoming-queen--50-years-university-ended-segregation.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

I heard about this story on the Joe Madison radio show this morning and thought this was a positive story until I happened to read some of the comments. Please avoid the comments!

Mitt Romney's Pregnancy Problem

HE SUMMER of 1983 was blistering hot in New England. A record heat wave saw temperatures soar toward the 100-degree mark from June well into September. July had been the hottest month ever recorded at Boston's Logan Airport.

The region's beloved Boston Red Sox, full of hope and promise early in spring and claiming first place in the American League East as late as June 1, apparently melted in the heat, losing game after game and tumbling to last place by mid-July, where they were to remain the rest of the season.

It was also during the sweltering summer of 1983 that the family of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made its celebrated escape from the oppressive New England heat for the cooler climes of Beach O'Pines, Ontario, where the Romney family owns a beachfront cottage in a gated community on the shores of Lake Huron. Prior to departure, Mitt Romney placed the family dog—an Irish setter named Seamus—into a dog carrier and lashed it to the roof of the family's Chevy station wagon for the 12-hour drive into Canada.

The infamous dog ride (dubbed the "Seamus incident") was to become a full-blown issue in the 2012 presidential primaries, as Romney's chief Republican opponent, Rick Santorum, invoked the incident to attack Romney's "character."

Political cartoonists and late-night comedians had a field day with the story. The incident inspired aNew Yorker cover, while the punk band Devo recorded a song entitled, "Don't Roof Rack Me, Bro." ABC's Diane Sawyer, in an interview with Romney during the primaries, dubbed it the "most wounding thing in the campaign so far."

A far more ominous tale in the Romney canon also took place that summer, one that has been largely swept under the rug as the former governor of Massachusetts challenges incumbent Barack Obama for the presidency. There have been no songs written about it, no cartoons, no gags on late-night television, no magazine covers.

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Looooong, but worth the read. 


Obama-Romney Debate 2012: Can Cool Hand Barack Dismantle Robomitt?

WASHINGTON -– Time for some drama, Obama.

With his presidency on the line, Barack Obama at 9 p.m. on Long Island must do –- is planning to do –- what doesn’t come naturally to him: personally, directly and forcefully confront his foe.

He failed last time, and can’t afford to fail again.

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Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

What an Academic Who Wrote Her Dissertation on Trolls Thinks of Violentacrez

What an Academic Who Wrote Her Dissertation on Trolls Thinks of Violentacrez

Last week, Adrian Chen at Gawker published a long profile of infamous Reddit moderator Violentacrez, described as "the biggest troll on the web." In addition to exposing Violentacrez' real-life identity, Chen's profile reveals the seedy underbelly of Reddit, a massive social news aggregator that touts itself as the "front page of the internet." Given Reddit's astounding traffic stats -- the site attracted 42 million unique visitors just last month-- this assertion isn't that far off. Reddit has become a cultural juggernaut; it would stand to reason, then, that one of the biggest sites on the web would harbor one of the biggest trolls on the web. The question is, what exactly does that label mean? If recent media coverage is any indication, the term "trolling" includes everything from harmless, and perhaps even helpful, mischief to defamation to watching leaked crime scene videos to outright harassment (sometimes described as "cyberbullying"), either of someone known to the troll or high-profile public figures.

Given the resulting controversy, including the push for legislation to combat such behaviors (despite the fact that no one can seem to agree on exactly which behaviors the category of "trolling" subsumes), it is critical to interrogate where the term comes from and the ways in which discussions of trolling butt up against questions of anonymity, safety, and aggression online -- essentially, the anti-social side of the social web.

Before we attempt to lock down the definition of the term "trolling" -- to say nothing about proposing possible solutions -- we must first place the term in historical context. In the '90s, "to troll" was to disrupt a conversation or entire community by posting incendiary statements or stupid questions onto a discussion board. Regardless of why the poster was being disruptive -- for his or her own amusement, or because he or she was a genuinely quarrelsome, abrasive personality -- the poster would be branded a troller (later shortened to "troll") and denounced accordingly. In these cases, "trolling" was used as a general, condemnatory, post-hoc descriptor of an online encounter. It was -- and in many circles remains -- something you accused someone else of being.

Within the ranks of self-identifying trolls, a class of troublemaker whose roots can be traced back to 4chan's infamous /b/ board, the term has taken on very specific subcultural meaning. Trolling as described by self-identifying trolls is a game, one only the trolls can initiate and only the troll can win. Pulling from a seemingly endless nest of self-referential memes, and steeped in a distinctive shared language, subcultural trolling is predicated on the amassment of lulz, an aggressive form of laughter derived from eliciting strong emotional reactions from the chosen target(s). In order to amass the greatest number of lulz possible, trolls engage in the most outrageous and offensive behaviors possible -- all the better to troll you with.

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The source has lots of links, so definitely check it out there.
Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

Ada Lovelace Day Celebrates Women in Science

Posted by Rhian Waller of NG Explorers in Ocean Views on October 16, 2012

Today, the 16th of October, is Ada Lovelace Day. You’d be forgiven for not having heard of Ada Lovelace, or of this celebration each October. It’s one of the more unusual dates, but if you’re one of the many (yet still minority of) women in science, this is a day you recognize, and a day that recognizes you.

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Here’s to all the women scientists and explorers out there – keep up the good work!


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Shirley Animated

Good news, everyone.

High court won't block early voting in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for voters in the battleground state of Ohio to cast ballots on the three days before Election Day, giving Democrats and President Barack Obama's campaign a victory three weeks before the election.

The court refused a request by the state's Republican elections chief and attorney general to get involved in a battle over early voting.

Ohio is among 34 states, plus the District of Columbia, where people can vote early without giving any reason. About 30 percent of the swing state's total vote — or roughly 1.7 million ballots — came in before Election Day in 2008. Crucial to Obama's win that year was early voting in Ohio, North Carolina and Florida.

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Why this could be a very big deal.

So the U.S. Supreme Court has refused the Ohio GOP’s request to overturn an appeals court decision to reinstate early voting on the weekend and Monday before the election. This is a big, big victory for the Obama campaign, and it could arguably make a difference to the outcome in the critical state of Ohio.

Remember, this is something the Romney campaign opposed.
As you may recall, the Obama campaign this summer sued to restore in-person early voting for all Ohio voters, and not just members of the military. The Romney campaign falsely claimed this was an effort to “undermine” military voting rights, when in fact it was an effort to expand voting rights, not limit them.

It isn’t hard to see why the Romney camp opposed an expansion of voting rights. More early voting makes it easier for more people to vote — particularly minorities and lower income voters — which will likely help Obama.

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Sauce II

Greece's Fascist Homophobes Have God and Police on Their Side

It's a warm night in Athens, and the nuns have broken the police line. They didn't have to try too hard. The lines of riot cops assembled outside the Chytirio theater are mostly trying to stop the anti-fascists from reaching the neo-Nazis, nuns, and priests who have come to protest the opening of the “gay jesus” play Corpus Christi, not the other way around. So when the little old lady in the black habit bobs past the shields and helmets to harangue the assembled anarchists and activists about blasphemy and sodomy, nobody tries to stop her.

This is the opening night of Corpus Christi, Terrence McNally's iconoclastic 1998 play which casts Jesus and his disciples as gay men in rural Texas. It wasn't supposed to be the first performance. Last night's opening was violently shut down by a gang of thugs from the fascist Golden Dawn party, who warned that "in any case where the religious sentiment of Greeks is insulted, the Golden Dawn will react dynamically.”

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A friend and fellow journalist in Athens was among those who got beat up when they tried to stage 'Corpus Christi' the first time around. That's how I found out about the whole thing and started looking around for English language resources.

This article is a bit rambly, but it gets the visceral gist across. A bunch of fucking neo-nazis are hijacking Greek democracy as we speak -- only a few hours ago I also found out that they want hospital and kindergarten records, especially in regards to the immigrant children accessing these services. The last thing I want to do is pull a Godwin, but at the same time, I want to yank all my hair out in rage, because we should all damn well know better by now.

Downing Street denies Cameron and Osborne cat feud

_63527615_63527144Downing Street has denied rumours of a feud between cats belonging to the chancellor and prime minister after they were pictured fighting.

George Osborne's Freya was photographed slugging David Cameron's Larry with a nasty-looking left claw, the evidence being posted on Twitter.

But the PM's spokeswoman insisted the two tabbies were able to "co-exist".

She added that she would not "get into commenting on the adventures of our feline friends".

Residents of Numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street have historically disagreed strongly over policy.

Labour's Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were reportedly often left hissing over public sector reform impasses.

But Mr Osborne and Mr Cameron are thought to be among the more friendly prime minister-chancellor teams of recent decades.

Five-year-old Larry, in fact, has sometimes been castigated for a lack of aggression, and his suitability for "mousing" duties was questioned as a result of repeatedly falling asleep on the job.

The Political Pictures snap seems to confirm Freya's dominance. In it she bats Larry away, while he raises his right paw in what could be placatory fashion.

Larry came to Downing Street from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in February last year after a large rat was seen scuttling past the door of No 10 during live television broadcasts.

Freya went missing from the Osborne's old home in Notting Hill, west London, for two years, her owners being identified when a vet found the details on a microchip. They were reunited last year.

Perhaps hardened by her time on the road, Freya has been drafted in for pest control duties, in an arrangement described by the Daily Mail as a "job-share to avoid hurting Larry's feelings".


Live Post: Obama v. Romney - 2nd Presidential Debate in Election 2012

Break out the Bingo! cards and get your Jello Shots lined up - cause it's about to go down.

Welcome to the second match-up between President Obama and Governor Romney of the 2012 Election!

Will it be Uncle Fluffy again tonight or will the real President Obama show up? Will Mitt Romney use his words and find a new way to alienate the middle class (spoiler alert: yes)?

Tune in tonight at 9pm EST to find out.

Don't Cross the Streams:
Univision [with live Spanish translation]
Sunlight Live [with live factchecking]
Democracy Now [with bonus third party candidates]
Al Jazeera

Shameless ONTD_P Promotion
TWiB + Elon James White debate coverage at the WaPo

Hashtag of the night:

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The queue is closed until the end of the debates. Have fun everyone!
Fear the Hat!

Pastor Steve Youngblood Wanted To Slap Iowa Woman For Objecting To Anti-Gay Flyers In Church

Pastor Steve Youngblood Wanted To Slap Iowa Woman For Objecting To Anti-Gay Flyers In Church

A pastor went from bad to worse in his Iowa church after admitting he wanted to slap a woman in his sermon on October 7th.
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Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/15/pastor-steve-youngblood-slap_n_1968224.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

OP Says: There's no bolding. I'd have to bold the whole thing.