October 30th, 2012

eagle of truth. ♥ stephen colbert

Mitt Romney is considering visiting N.J. later in week to examine Hurricane Sandy damage

AVON LAKE, Ohio — Mitt Romney is sketching out political contingency plans that include temporarily suspending campaigning altogether if Hurricane Sandy turns deadly.

The campaign is also considering whether to send Romney to New Jersey later in the week to survey storm damage with Gov. Chris Christie.

The Republican presidential candidate plans to go ahead with three rallies in three states on today, including a midday event in Avon Lake, Ohio. But, given the storm, he is expected to moderate his criticism of President Barack Obama and encourage supporters to make donations to relief efforts for storm victims.

Romney's Boston headquarters is monitoring storm developments and reviewing plans.

Obama returned to the White House this morning after canceling political events scheduled for today and Tuesday in several states. (source)

OP: hopefully i chose appropriate tags. i chose avoid the comments just to be on the err of caution. mods can fix tags if it needs to be done.

anyway, i was browsing the nj.com, looking for new information about sandy when i saw that at the bottom. after learning about his thoughts on fema, i just wanna say fuck this guy. :\
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Given Tablets but No Teachers, Ethiopian Children Teach Themselves

Given Tablets but No Teachers, Ethiopian Children Teach Themselves
A bold experiment by the One Laptop Per Child organization has shown “encouraging” results.

With 100 million first-grade-aged children worldwide having no access to schooling, the One Laptop Per Child organization is trying something new in two remote Ethiopian villages—simply dropping off tablet computers with preloaded programs and seeing what happens.

The goal: to see if illiterate kids with no previous exposure to written words can learn how to read all by themselves, by experimenting with the tablet and its preloaded alphabet-training games, e-books, movies, cartoons, paintings, and other programs.

Early observations are encouraging, said Nicholas Negroponte, OLPC’s founder, at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference last week.

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The Gang
  • acmeeoy

How the 1% conjured a monster storm

"If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections, and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind. If this rule were always observed; if no man allowed any pursuit whatsoever to interfere with the tranquility of his domestic affections, Greece had not been enslaved; Caesar would have spared his country; America would have been discovered more gradually; and the empires of Mexico and Peru had not been destroyed."
-- Dr. Victor Frankenstein, in Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley

THERE IS little doubt that freakish and unnaturally assembled storms are a taste of what the future holds under an economic system that has "interfered with the tranquility of domestic affections" and galvanized the forces of nature into a fury of clashing dislocations as we pump ever-more heat-trapping gases into our atmosphere and industrial filth into our lungs.

The riptides of climate change are beginning to tear at the fabric of our biosphere as the earth's climate system lurches, in ungainly and lumbering jerks, from the relatively dormant and benign stability of the last 10,000 years, toward a more volatile, violent and less hospitable new climatic state, previously unknown to human civilization.

It's therefore quite apt to allude to Mary Shelley's great work of gothic horror by giving the name "Frankenstorm" to the confluence of Hurricane Sandy and a cold front crossing the Northeastern U.S. Particularly as Shelley herself offered a symbolic criticism of the inner dynamics of capitalism and class society in Frankenstein, captured in the quote above, as the conflicted Victor recounts his tale and the uncontrollable forces he has unleashed as a result of his compulsion to continue with his project, despite the warning signs proliferating around him.

The obsession that took over Victor--his growing alienation from the world, which makes him forsake friends, family, even sustenance--is echoed on a global scale by the unquenchable thirst for profits of the global capitalist monster, which eats through our lives and our planet in search of fresh fields for exploitation and growth.

The fact that Victor's uncontrollable quest consumed him in its flames when his creation turned against him won't stop similar warning signs from preventing capitalism eating itself--and taking the rest of the planet down with it.

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Romney's Deregulations and the Invisible Hand of The Free Market Gave us the Meningitis Outbreak.

It's Official, Romney Wants to Start the Zombie Apocalypse!

Romney’s lax regulation fueled meningitis outbreak
A meningitis outbreak that has killed 25 is linked to a Mass. company Mitt's administration failed to regulate

The fatal meningitis epidemic sweeping the United States can now be traced to the failure of then-Gov. Mitt Romney to adequately regulate the Massachusetts pharmaceutical company that is being blamed for the deaths.

At least 344 people in 18 states have been infected by the growing public health crisis and 25 have died so far.

But the epidemic may also play a role in the presidential campaign, now that state records reveal that a Massachusetts regulatory agency found that the New England Compounding Co., the pharmaceutical company tied to the epidemic, repeatedly failed to meet accepted standards in 2004 — but a reprimand was withdrawn by the Romney administration in apparent deference to the company’s business interests.

“It goes all the way up to Mitt Romney,” said Alyson Oliver, a Michigan attorney representing victims of the outbreak. According to Oliver, on at least six occasions, NECC was cited by authorities for failure to meet regulatory standards and almost subjected to a three-year probation. “It goes directly to the heart of what Romney says about regulation, ‘Hands off. Let the companies do their thing.’”

“When the person who is supposed to be in charge of oversight does not believe oversight is necessary, this is what happens,” Oliver added.

“The philosophy of the Romney administration was to have lax regulations across the board,” Philip Johnston, a former secretary of health and human services in Massachusetts before the Romney administration, told Salon. “It speaks volumes about the tragic outcome of Romney’s view on regulatory issues. There are two dozen people who died needlessly. It was clearly the responsibility of the company to protect them, but it was also the responsibility of the government at various levels, and, as far as I’m concerned, they failed.”
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Hindus and Muslims Most Likely to Abstain from Premarital Sex

I can't put my finger on it, but as a Hindu lady, I'm not liking this article very much. Plus, India has an extremely high HIV rate, even if the Middle East doesn't, so obviously there is extramarital sex going on. And twenty-somethings in Mumbai and Bangalore absolutely go out and hook up. Social mores aren't really terribly different from the Western world. And the comments along the lines of "Hindus and Muslims suicide bomb for pleasure, whereas white people have sex for pleasure, also, brown people rape their little girls"...ugh. Plus...Hinduism as a sexually repressive religion? The one with the temples of Khajurao, and the Kama Sutra? That Hinduism? Also, Hindus reported lower rates of premarital sex than Muslims, even though it's Islam that does the burqa, so really? "The burqa works"? Anyway.


(RNS) With their "True Love Waits" jewelry, conferences and T-shirts, Christians may be the face of the abstinence movement, but Muslims and Hindus are more likely to abstain from premarital sex.

That's the conclusion of a new study in the American Sociological Review, which also found that Muslims and Hindus -- at least in the developing world -- are more likely than Christians and Jews to refrain from extramarital sex.

"All major world religions discourage sex outside of marriage, but they are not all equally effective in shaping behavior," said Amy Adamczyk of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who co-authored the study with John Jay doctoral student Brittany E. Hayes.

Drawing on the Demographic and Health Surveys funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the study included data from 31 developing nations collected between 2000 and 2008. The authors focused on individuals' responses to questions on religious affiliation, marital status, and sexual behavior outside of marriage.

Adamczyk said the study evolved from another study she was doing that found countries with large Muslim populations have very low rates of HIV and AIDS. "I was trying to figure out why that would be," she said. One reason she considered was lower rates of sex outside of marriage.

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um. ew.
  • chaya

Bush’s FEMA Director During Katrina Criticizes Obama For Responding To Sandy Too Quickly

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown offered criticism of President Obama’s early responses to Hurricane Sandy yesterday, including a dig at the administration’s response to last month’s attack in Libya.

Yesterday, ahead of the storm’s pummeling of the eastern seaboard, Brown gave an interview to the local alternative paper, the Denver Westword, on how he believed the Obama administration was responding to Sandy too quickly and that Obama had spoken to the press about Sandy’s potential effect too early.

Brown turned then to a reliable right-wing attack on the President’s response to the attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi that killed four Americans:

One thing he’s gonna be asked is, why did he jump on [the hurricane] so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when in…Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas?” Brown says. “Why was this so quick?… At some point, somebody’s going to ask that question…. This is like the inverse of Benghazi.”

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On Media and Benghazi Attack.

Goldberg: Benghazi -- no mere 'October surprise'

A conservative's challenge to the so-called mainstream media: Where is the feeding frenzy on the Libya story?


By Jonah Goldberg

October 30, 2012

If you want to understand why conservatives have lost faith in the so-called mainstream media, you need to ponder the question: Where is the Benghazi feeding frenzy?

Unlike some of my colleagues on the right, I don't think there's a conspiracy at work. Rather, I think journalists tend to act on their instincts (some even brag about this; you could look it up). And, collectively, the mainstream media's instincts run liberal, making groupthink inevitable.

In 2000, a Democratic operative orchestrated an "October surprise" attack on George W. Bush, revealing that 24 years earlier, he'd been arrested for drunk driving. The media went into a feeding frenzy. "Is all the 24-hour coverage of Bush's 24-year-old DUI arrest the product of a liberal media almost drunk on the idea of sinking him, or is it a legitimate, indeed unavoidable news story?" asked Howard Kurtz in a segment for his CNN show "Reliable Sources." The consensus among the guests: It wasn't a legitimate news story. But the media kept going with it.

One could go on and on. In September 2004, former CBS titan Dan Rather gambled his entire career on a story about Bush's service in the National Guard. His instincts were so powerful, he didn't thoroughly check the documents he relied on, which were forgeries. In 2008, the media feeding frenzy over John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, was so ludicrous it belonged in a Tom Wolfe novel. Over the last couple of years, the mainstream media has generally treated Occupy Wall Street as idealistic, the "tea parties" as racist and terrifying.

To be sure, there've been conservative feeding frenzies: about Barack Obama's pastor, John Kerry's embellishments of his war record, etc. But the mainstream media usually has tasked itself with the duty of debunking and dispelling such "hysteria."

Last week, Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin reported that sources on the ground in Libya say they pleaded for support during the attack on the Benghazi consulate that led to the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. They were allegedly told twice to "stand down." Worse, there are suggestions that there were significant military resources available to counterattack, but requests for help were denied.

If true, the White House's concerted effort to blame the attack on a video crumbles. Yet, last Friday, the president claimed that "the minute I found out what was happening" in Benghazi, he ordered that everything possible be done to protect our personnel. That is either untrue, or he's being disobeyed on grave matters.

This isn't an "October surprise" foisted on the media by opposition research; it's news.

This story raises precisely the sort of "big issues" the media routinely claim elections should be about. For instance, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said last week that the "basic principle is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on, without having some real-time information about what's taking place." If real-time video of the attack and communications with Americans on the ground begging for assistance doesn't constitute "real-time information," what does?

This is not to say that Fox News is alone in covering the story. But it is alone in treating it like it's a big deal. Of the five Sunday news shows, only "Fox News Sunday" treated this as a major story. On the other four, the issue came up only when Republicans mentioned it. Tellingly, on NBC's "Meet the Press," host David Gregory shushed a guest when she tried to bring up the subject, saying, "Let's get to Libya a little bit later."

Gregory never did get back to Benghazi. But he saved plenty of time to dive deep into the question of what Indiana U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's comments on abortion and rape mean for the Romney campaign. Typically, Gregory's instincts about the news routinely line up with Democratic talking points, in this case Obama's ridiculous "war on women" rhetoric.

I am willing to believe that journalists like Gregory are sincere in their desire to play it straight. But among those who don't share his instincts, it's hard to distinguish between conspiracy and groupthink. Indeed, it's hard to think why one should even bother trying to make that distinction at all.


grab your tissues, gurls

Sophia Bailey Klugh, 10-Year-Old Girl With Gay Dads, Has an Important Question for President Obama

On May 9, 2012, I was visiting New York with my fiancé, who works for the Family Equality Council. I was taking some pictures for them as they rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. That day, no one knew until a few hours before it was going to happen that the first sitting president in U.S. history was about to come out in favor of marriage equality.

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Source: Huffington Post

Parks and Rec Leslie and Ben

Romney to Business Crowd: Obama Sees You As an "Evil"

The GOP candidate—and his wife—are caught on tape at a private fundraiser dismissing the president as not a "grown-up" and an arch foe of commerce.
—By David Corn | Mon Oct. 29, 2012 3:03 AM PDT

Ever since I revealed Mitt Romney's 47 percent rant, tips and tapes have come through the transom—including this and this. And another source who asked not to be identified just sent me an audio recording of a private Mitt Romney fundraiser from earlier this year. At this event, Romney didn't decry half of the nation, but he and Ann Romney each expressed disdain for President Barack Obama, with the Republican presidential candidate asserting that Obama considers businesspeople "a necessary evil" and his wife suggesting that the president was not a "grown-up."

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king rad

Undefeated Arizona high school football team lends bullied special-needs teen girl some tactical def

They’re an undefeated team used to throwing touchdowns, and now they’re making high school better for a girl used to bullies throwing trash at her.

A group of kindhearted seniors on Arizona’s Queen Creek High School football team have lent Chy Johnson some tactical defense, helping a girl whose brain disorder once made her an easy target for bullies.

The new friendship started when Elizabeth Johnson, whose daughter said girls threw trash on her at school, contacted starting quarterback Carson Jones.

“I emailed Carson, told him that Chy was having some issues, was just wanting some names,” she told a local television station.

“He took it a step further and went and gathered Chy up at lunch and she’s been eating lunch with them ever since,” Johnson said.

Jones, fellow teammate Tucker Workman and many other Queen Creek Bulldogs have also started looking after Chy throughout the day, a move that has stopped people from bothering her.

“I guess they’ve seen her with us or something,” Jones said.

Teammate Workman said it feels good to know that the players are helping someone who needs a little help.

“We’re doing good and everything for us is going well but someone else needs to feel good, too,” he said.

This is a big change for Chy, who suffers from a brain disorder called microcephaly. It’s a condition which makes her head smaller than normal and usually renders life expectancy down to only 25 or 30 years.

But for now, the 16-year-old sophomore calls the players “her team.”

“They save me because I won’t get hurt again,” she said. “They’re not mean to me because all my boys love me,” she said, just recently named a Queen Creek High School “Fan of the Week.”

As for the Bulldogs, they have been nominated for the Americas Team award for their big-hearted actions.

They also won their football game Friday night, 49-6.

i know it's been a really rotten week.
however, there are always not-rotten things too...
buffy spike black&violet by gilkurtisctx
  • tabaqui

Romney Donating Sandy Supplies To GOP Swing States — Not NY

Mitt Romney is sending the supplies he asked supporters to bring to his “non-political” campaign event today — to which Romney invited NASCAR driver Richard Petty — in the battleground state of Ohio, only to victims of Hurricane Sandy in swing states that the GOP candidate has a chance of winning: Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania — not the two areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy: New Jersey and New York.

The sheer audacity of this is truly staggering.

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