Friday, July 31, 2009
Obama was born to an underaged woman married to a Kenyan who dared have her baby in a foreign country and decided to fake his birth certificate so that he could lie his way into the White House!!1!!
What do you think, Whiskers?
You weren't born in the south, were you, Whiskers?
And Obama is the Anti-Christ!!1
Eep! Over to you, Stripes:
Dick Armey says only dirty fucking flower children believe in global warming.
Thank you Stripes. Now to you, Molly Kibblecruncher:
Um... Farmer runs his dairy on poop.
You want a real eww? Astronaut wears underpants for a month.
Breaking news: Suspected foot-fetish attacker sought by authorities
Reads a strategy memo distributed to members of the House Democratic caucus.As long as health care is made to be for profit and for pocketbook, we will not have health care that cares about people.Remove them from between you and your doctor. No discrimination for pre-existing conditions. No dropping your coverage because you get sick. No more job or life decisions made based on loss of coverage. No need to change doctors or plans. No co-pays for preventive care. No excessive out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles, or co-pays. No yearly or lifetime cost caps on what insurance companies cover.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Bill Hicks: “You ever noticed how people who believe in Creationism look really unevolved? You ever noticed that? Eyes real close together, eyebrow ridges, big furry hands and feet. "I believe God created me in one day" Yeah, looks like He rushed it.”
New terrorist device! Toxic perfume
Um... suggestive exercise video.
A spellchecker for GPS?
ROME (Reuters) – Two Swedes expecting the golden beaches of the Italian island of Capri got a shock when tourist officials told them they were 650 km (400 miles) off course in the northern town of Carpi, after mistyping the name in their GPS.Maybe not a laugh but just a snort of derision?
Krugman takes on DeMint.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Now, Blackwater (which recently renamed itself "Xe") is attempting to use other means to silence its victims. On July 20, the company's high-powered lawyers from Mayer Brown, which boasts that it represents eighty-nine of the Fortune 100 companies and thirty-five of the fifty largest US banks, filed a motion in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to impose a gag order on Iraqi civilians suing the company. The motion also seeks to silence the lawyers representing the families of Iraqis allegedly killed or injured by Blackwater in a series of violent incidents spanning several years. Four cases in the Washington, DC, area were recently consolidated before Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia for pretrial motions. After preliminary issues are resolved, each case is slated to be tried individually.Because if we ever get to read all the shit they got away with, .... what? Sue them to death? Stomp our feet and point?
The July 20 motion, filed on behalf of Blackwater by Peter H. White of Mayer Brown, requests that Judge Ellis issue "an Order restraining extrajudicial statements relating to these cases by the parties and their counsel to ensure that all parties receive a fair trial and a decision from an impartial jury." The motion specifically seeks to prohibit statements to "the national and local news media."
At the same time, according to a court filing, Blackwater is also asking Judge Ellis to seal evidence that Blackwater claims is confidential or could impact national security. The company argues that if its contracts with the State Department and its "Tactical Standard Operating Procedure" guide are publicly revealed, it "could give valuable information to those who wish to plan more effective attacks against diplomatic personnel stationed in Iraq." Susan Burke, the lead attorney on the civil lawsuits against Blackwater, is not contesting Blackwater's request to seal these specific documents--primarily because they will still remain evidence. But, it does mean that the public will not be able to view them. "Blackwater is basically trying to keep from public view all of the evidence that shows their criminality," says Burke. "They are trying to ensure that we cannot apprise the public of the progress of the lawsuit."
Ooo... maybe appoint a special prosecutor? Have an investigation? Try to find out how all those millions and millions of dollars were spent?
Now THAT's a good idea!
(h/t to JJ of Unrepentant Old Hippie)
Democrats casting old people out into the streets to die!!.... But what is this? A Republican governor secretly cutting 500 million more from the state budget? Which will cast old people out into the streets to die? Oh. Well. At least he's keeping us ... ah... um... safe?
Reporting from Sacramento -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday signed a budget plan sent to him by lawmakers to close the state's monumental deficit, using his veto pen to impose nearly $500 million in additional cuts.Hell, this is California! Gropenator Arhnold is being even more even-handed and tossing children along with the elderly out into the streets to die! Go for the weak people, Governor! They can't fight back! They are girly men!
The new reductions will affect child welfare and children's healthcare, the elderly, state parks and AIDS treatment and prevention, going beyond the dramatic cuts that were part of the deal Schwarzenegger negotiated with legislative leaders.
The extra cuts the governor made Tuesday -- $489 million -- took nearly $80 million that pays for workers who help abused and neglected children; $50 million from Healthy Families, which provides healthcare to children in low-income families; $50 million from services for developmentally delayed children under age 3; $16 million from domestic-violence programs; and $6.3 million from services for the elderly. Among other reductions was $6.2 million more from parks, which could result in the closure of 100, rather than 50, of California's 279 state parks.
In addition, Schwarzenegger effectively gutted a program that provides local governments with funding to encourage property owners to preserve open space and to use land for agriculture.
Hope this won't upset you so much that you can't smoke your stogie while soaking in your jacuzzi, Governor.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Conventional wisdom has it that the first animals evolved in the ocean.
Now researchers studying ancient rock samples in South China have found that the first animal fossils are preserved in ancient lake deposits, not in marine sediments as commonly assumed.
These new findings not only raise questions as to where the earliest animals were living, but what factors drove animals to evolve in the first place.
For some 3 billion years, single-celled life forms such as bacteria dominated the planet. Then, roughly 600 million years ago, the first multi-cellular animals appeared on the scene, diversifying rapidly.
The oldest known animal fossils in the world are preserved in South China's Doushantuo Formation. These fossil beds have no adult specimens - instead, many of the fossils appear to be microscopic embryos.
"Our first unusual finding in this region was the abundance of a clay mineral called smectite," said researcher Tom Bristow, now at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "In rocks of this age, smectite is normally transformed into other types of clay. The smectite in these South China rocks, however, underwent no such transformation and have a special chemistry that, for the smectite to form, requires specific conditions in the water - conditions commonly found in salty, alkaline lakes."
The researchers collected hundreds of rock samples from several locations in South China. All their analyses suggest these rocks were not marine sediments.
President George Bush recently announced a new doctrine that gives the U.S. the right to take unilateral militarily action against any country or group that threatens our national interests. I think it is about as a dangerous foreign policy as a nation could adopt. It violates international law and the whole theory—and hopes—that world peace rests with the United Nations. It would destroy the United Nations. Why should Washington be so peremptory? Presumably, we don’t assign this same right to any other nation. I assume this policy is limited to the United States. How does that set with the rest of the world? It is aggressive and dangerously so.
Much easier if he'd just go bomb some country or 'nother and smear freedoms around....
So... your product has been known to kill innocent people along with people in need of subduing... so what do you do? Build a bigger one that can take down even more people!
FOUNTAIN HILLS, Arizona – A , capable of shocking three people without being reloaded, was unveiled Monday in front of hundreds of law enforcement officers who applauded after watching six rounds of the barbed wire fired at metal targets.
The demonstration at the Scottsdale-based company's annual conference was performed by Taser International Chairman Tom Smith, and his brother, CEO Rick Smith, who says the device will become the new standard for police officers who want greater tactical abilities.
The device is the first new stun gun Taser International has introduced since 2003.
Older Taser stun guns, in use by 14,200 law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, have to be reloaded after one shot, which can be a problem for an officer who has missed a target or has more than one suspect to subdue.
The breathlessly hilarious top ten!
Lou Dobbs is an idiot. Tell CNN so.
SteveAudio wonders where the rightwing outrage is about Cheney wanting to circumvent the Constitution and use the military for arresting Americans. Apparently the Birthers can use the rules of the Constitution to proclaim Obama was born in a ferrin country, but breaking the Constitutional laws when keepin' us 'safe' is ok?
Another Commie Founding Father speaks from the past:
I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.Guess which president/founding father? Thomas Jefferson
Gee, whoddah thunk?:
The new study, which entailed outfitting the cabs of long-haul trucks with video cameras over 18 months, found that when the drivers texted, their collision risk was 23 times greater than when not texting.Who would ever imagine that reading something on a small screen would distract someone from seeing that large truaaaaaaahhhhhhhh.....
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which compiled the research and plans to release its findings on Tuesday, also measured the time drivers took their eyes from the road to send or receive texts.
In the moments before a crash or near crash, drivers typically spent nearly five seconds looking at their devices — enough time at typical highway speeds to cover more than the length of a football field.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Freedom arises from a multiplicity of sects, which pervades America, and is the best and only security for religious liberty in America.Another one of our Commie Founding Fathers, apparently...
Friday, July 24, 2009
Canadians do it right:
So... how many more deaths will there be before the US law enforcement concedes that Tasers are a deadly weapon?
Vancouver, British Columbia (AHN) - Former Justice Thomas Braidwood released on Thursday in a press conference his anticipated report on the use of Tasers, ending two years of inquiry on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's use of electronic stun guns, which was highlighted by the death of a Polish immigrant who was tasered at the Vancouver International Airport in 2007.
Braidwood made 19 recommendations which were short of asking the RCMP to stop the use of Tasers. He supported the conditional use of the stun gun if major changes are made by the Mounties The Taser has been blamed for 25 deaths in Canada.
He acknowledged police officers need the best weapons to perform their duties, but warned the Taser has the potential to cause death or serious injury and may go against Canadian values. Braidwood pushed for more stringent measures to regulate the use of the controversial weapon.
Obama on Gates Incident: 'My Hope Is This Ends Up Being A Teachable Moment' by Rachel Slajda for TPM:
Update: FDL has the video:
President Obama just made a surprise appearance at the daily White House press briefing, taking over the podium from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to make a few comments about the hullabaloo over the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.
"These are two decent people," Obama said. He said he spoke by phone with Sgt. James Crowley, the arresting officer, which he said confirmed his impression that Crowley is a good, decent police officer.
But, he said, "African-Americans are sensitive to these issues, and even when you've got a police officer who has a fine track record on racial sensitivity, interactions between police officers and the African-American community can sometimes be fraught with misunderstanding."
"My hope is that, as a consequence of this event, this ends up being what's called a teachable moment," Obama said....where all of us, instead of pumping up the volume, spend a little more time listening to each other, and try to focus on how we can generally improve relations between police officers and minority communities, and that instead of flinging accusations we can all be a little more reflective in terms of what we can do to contribute to more unity.
As for those who criticized the president for getting involved:There are some who say as president I shouldn't have stepped into this at all, (which) I disagree with. The fact that this has become such big issue is indicative of fact that race is still a troubling aspect of our society.
"Whether I were black or white, I think me commenting on this and hopefully contributing to constructive, not negative, (discussion) ... is part of my portfolio," Obama said.
As for the teachable moment, he said we need to spend "a little more time listening to each other, and focus on how we can generally improve relationships between police officers and minority communities."
He also said Crowley suggested that he, the president and Gates meet over a beer in the White House. Obama said it hasn't been scheduled, but seemed open to the idea.
Crowley apparently asked Obama how to get reporters off his lawn.
"I informed him I can't get the press off my lawn. He pointed out my lawn is bigger than his lawn," he said, to laughter from the press corps. "Sgt. Crowley would be happy for you to stop trampling his grass."
Obama also joked that no one's been paying much attention to health care because of this story.
Headline: Why Cats Play With Water
.... depends on whether they're in charge or not.
This is okay in small doses:
Dangerous in large amounts:
And can lead to ruin:
But if you're dumb enough to think this is funny:
Beware of this:
Sadly there's sabotage between friends...
Which could lead to a falling out:
And the article was discussing water... NOT snow:
But just remember... there are cats who like to swim:
So just watch your back!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
getting antsy about his C Street connection, too, when asked about it on a conference call with reporters
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The shrieking Birthers are sure, just sure that Obama CAN'T be the rightful president. He cheated on his exams! He faked his Illinois driver's license! He was born less than 35 years ago in a foreign land! Like Hawaii! I mean, who knows what foreign island types lurked about in those days planning to lie about the birth of a black child just to get him into the White House 47 (I mean 35) years later?/!!
Excellent overview of the Birthers' conniptions:
Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961. Here is is birth certificate. Hawaii was and is an American state. When Barack Obama was elected, he was 47 years old and had lived in the US since 1971. According to the Constitution, the president must be a natural-born citizen 35 years old or order who has lived in the US for 14 years. Barack Obama is eligible to be the president. It's that simple. Unless you're in America's fastest-growing group of nuts with modems, the Birthers! Then it is much more complicated, and stupid.Wonkette notes that the government is going to be overthrown by the righteous indignation of the wingnuts:
The person who runs FreeRepublic.com is cold gonna overthrow the U.S. government — that means you, blackenstein — and ho ho, no more taxes on the millionaires! Hooray! Anyway, folks, things are getting Seriously Weird with the wingnuts, birthers, paultards and other middle-aged white suckers who bought into that whole Reagan thing 30 years ago and, whoops, are still poor and doomed.And then we have the breathtaking insights of 'The Family' with its roots deep into the workings of elected officials of Congress:
And then, in 2008, Americans mysteriously voted in droves for a common African Soviet from, er, Hawaii, who has been president now for what, six months? And this NON-PRESIDENT is, uhm, trying to get some health coverage for these poor dumb AM-radio listeners, so …. OVERTHROW THE GUBMINT.
Jeff Sharlet continues his brilliant reporting on the bizarre christo-fascist cult called "the Family" which counts among its members some of the most powerful people holding elected office in the United States. How bizarre and extreme is the Family?And Randall Terry decides that domestic terrorism is the best way to show his love of America:Attempting to explain what it means to be chosen for leadership like King David was -- or Mark Sanford, according to his own estimate -- [Doug Coe, son and heir-apparent to Family leader David Coe] asked a young man who'd put himself, body and soul, under the Family's authority, "Let's say I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?" The man guessed that Coe would probably think that he was a monster. "No," answered Coe, "I wouldn't." Why? Because, as a member of the Family, he's among what Family leaders refer to as the "new chosen." If you're chosen, the normal rules don't apply.
Randall Terry took time out of his twelve-city, "Defeat Sotomayor" tour yesterday to grace the National Press Club's podium. His message? Expect more domestic terrorism in response to health care reform.Christy Hardin Smith has more:
Randall Terry is at it again. Because apparently the half-skull poster of Sonia Sotomayor and exhortations to his unstable flock about the Angel of Death weren't nearly enough to get him the fundraising haul attention he needed.Not to be outdone, the book burners demand libraries be cleansed of evil:
In any polite society, his brand of dangerous stoking of the fires of hell would get him shunned by decent people.
In fact, it's well past time that GOP lawmakers were asked -- clearly and without any ambiguity -- what they think of Terry's fire and brimstone violence stoking on behalf of their policy agenda.
Because they cannot have it both ways any more that Terry can.
Using Terry's dangerous rhetoric to push the Republican policy agenda makes them just as responsible for the ends of those means as Terry is.
(CNN) -- A fight over books depicting sex and homosexuality has riled up a small Wisconsin city, cost some library board members their positions and prompted a call for a public book burning.So... instead of trying to work with our first black president, the rightwingers will ignore any kind of proof that Obama is who he says he is, they plan massive book burnings, the tar and feathering of librarians, domestic terrorism, homophobia, and destruction of the government.
The battle has stirred much of West Bend, a city of roughly 30,000 people about 35 miles north of Milwaukee. Residents have sparred for months on blogs, airwaves and at meetings, including one where a man told the city's library director he should be tarred and feathered.
The row even spread to this year's Fourth of July parade, which included a float featuring a washing machine and a sign that read "keep our library clean."
"If you told me we would be going through a book challenge of this nature, I'd think, 'Never in a million years,' " said Michael Tyree, director of the West Bend Community Memorial Library.
The strife began in February when West Bend couple Jim and Ginny Maziarka objected to some of the content in the city library's young-adult section. They later petitioned the library board to move any sexually explicit books -- the definition of which would be debated -- from the young-adult section to the adult section and to label them as sexually explicit.
Ginny Maziarka, 49, said the books in the section of the library aimed at children aged 12 to 18 included homosexual and heterosexual content she thought was inappropriate for youths.
She and her husband also asked the library to obtain books about homosexuality that affirmed heterosexuality, such as titles written by "ex-gays," Maziarka said.
"All the books in the young-adult zone that deal with homosexuality are gay-affirming. That's not balance," she said.
This will show everybody just how much they love America and its freedoms.
Witch trials and hangings!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers:
Political associates of President Obama are dismissing the recent wave of stories about his dropping poll numbers, claiming that it is a press-driven effort to find a negative story about the White House. "The press is looking for a story on this one," says Cornell Belcher, the Democratic pollster who worked on the Obama presidential campaign. "The press is looking for a negative story," he added. Belcher said instead that when compared with other presidents, Obama's poll numbers are strong, despite recent drops in approval ratings for some of his policies and initiatives.
What's more, Belcher said the president is receiving deep support from minorities who are hurt most by the recession. "Part of what helps make it so Teflon—though which no one seems to really get—is how unbelievably strong his numbers continue to be among minorities, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. And the black and Hispanic numbers are particularly interesting because the fact of the matter is black and brown people are the ones who are disproportionately impacted in economic downturns and unemployment upticks," he says.
Belcher says another surprise is that as the economy continues to get worse, the president is maintaining support not seen in recent years for a president. "People are once again actually beginning to think the country is headed in the right direction, which is astonishing. And let's be clear, the economy sucks, yet the guy's job approval is still solid. When his approval numbers are below 50 percent, ... the country is moving again in the wrong direction, and Republican ... approval numbers actually move out of the 20s, I'll be worried," said Belcher.
President Barack Obama’s Justice Department is arguing that former Vice President Dick Cheney’s interview with prosecutors in the CIA leak case should remain secret for five to 10 years to persuade high-level government officials to cooperate in future investigations.What's a little mockery between ah... um... acquaintances?
“In making public the Vice President’s interview, you will chill them,” Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Smith told Judge Emmet Sullivan during a two-hour hearing Tuesday on a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking release of records about the Cheney interview, which took place in 2004.
Sullivan sounded highly skeptical of the government’s arguments, but he said he had not decided how he would rule in the case “Where do I draw the line? This happened five years ago,” the judge said. “Would there be impediments to putting this information in a time capsule?”
As the hearing concluded, Sullivan said he thought Congress had drawn a “bright line” with language in the Freedom of Information Act that generally exempts information about pending investigations from disclosure, but not closed probes, like the CIA leak case. He also said he would stay any ruling so the government could appeal before he released any documents.
Smith said the Justice Department’s view was that a delay of five to ten years was appropriate, marked from the time the official or his or her administration left office. “It’s a judgment call,” Smith acknowledged.
Smith suggested that such a delay would make it more likely that the information was used for historical purposes and not for political embarrassment. “The distinction is between releasing it for historical view and releasing it into the political fray,” Smith said.
At a court session last month, Smith said the government feared the material could end up being used to mock Cheney on the “Daily Show.”
And does that have anything to do with this?
There appears no end in sight for when Dick Cheney, a rare former vice president with Secret Service protection, will lose his security detail. Whispers has learned that the political battler's Secret Service protection has been extended, though there were no details on the length. We don't know why President Obama OK'd the extension, which must be approved by the commander in chief because former veeps typically don't get any Secret Service security after leaving office. But indications are that the threats against Cheney, who's working on his biography at his homes in Virginia and Maryland, haven't lessened since his term expired.
DUBLIN (AFP) – A shocking new report has identified hundreds of victims of child sex abuse by Irish Catholic priests, officials said Tuesday, two months after a landmark study found "endemic" mistreatment.Will the Catholic Church actually learn from this? Is it possible? We can only wait and see....
A government-appointed commission of investigation headed by a judge has been probing allegations of abuse by priests in the archdiocese of Dublin -- the country's biggest -- since March 2006.
Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has warned that the report -- presented to Justice Minister Dermot Ahern on Tuesday -- would "shock us all."
It is the first time the state has investigated how the once-powerful Church in mainly Catholic Ireland has run its affairs.
It probed whether the Church reported abuse allegations or attempted to "obstruct, prevent or interfere with the proper investigation" of complaints.
A spokeswoman for the archdiocese said the Church authorities had identified between 400 and 450 people that allege they were abused by one of 152 Dublin priests since 1940.
"I would like to stress that that is a very conservative estimate and is likely to rise," she told AFP.
Bullworth: Yo, everybody gonna get sick someday / But nobody knows how they gonna pay / Health care, managed care, HMOs / Ain't gonna work, no sir, not those / 'Cause the thing that's the same in every one of these / Is these motherfuckers there, the insurance companies!(thanks to Steve for the link!)
Cheryl and Tanya: Insurance! Insurance!
Bullworth: Yeah, yeah / You can call it single-payer or Canadian way / Only socialized medicine will ever save the day! Come on now, lemme hear that dirty word - SOCIALISM!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Remember that winning the lotto will not make you happy, you will be hounded by piles of relatives, and often you will be bankrupt in a few years:
But that initial rush does not translate into long-term pleasure for most people. Surveys have found virtually the same level of happiness between the very rich individuals on the Forbes 400 and the Maasai herdsman of East Africa. Lottery winners return to their previous level of happiness after five years. Increases in income just don't seem to make people happier -- and most negative life experiences likewise have only a small impact on long-term satisfaction.Take note these articles were written by people who have not won the lotto.
Washington, D.C. (AHN) - Interior Sec. Ken Salazar on Monday temporarily stopped mining in nearly 1 million acres of public lands surrounding the Grand Canyon. The move coincides with efforts in Congress to protect the park from increasing mining claims.--------------------------------
I beg your pardon?
A panel ordered by Barack Obama to develop new US policy on the detention of so-called terrorism suspects as part of his effort to shut the Guantanamo prison, has delayed its report to the president by six months.
Aides to Obama said the task force would miss the administration's own Tuesday deadline for offering the president a full list of recommendations amid divisions between congress and the White House over the fate of Guantanamo detainees.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
MUMBAI (AFP) – are predicting violence and turmoil across the world as a result of this week's total solar eclipse, which the superstitious and religious view as a sign of potential doom.
But astronomers, scientists and secularists are trying to play down claims of evil portent in connection with Wednesday's natural spectacle, when the moon will come between the Earth and the sun, completely obscuring the sun.
The massive sea creatures, called Nomura's jellyfish, can grow 6 feet in diameter and weigh more than 450 pounds. Scientists think they originate in the Yellow Sea and in Chinese waters. For the third year since 2005, ocean currents are transporting them into the Sea of Japan.Tomato fungus!!
Monty Williams, a marine biologist at Alabama's Dauphin Island Sea Lab, said the jellyfish grow to an enormous size as they are transported by ocean currents. He said they stay together in packs and as they drift northward, they get caught in fishermen's nets.
The giant jellyfish are one of about 200 species of coastal jellyfish or large jellyfish that exist around the world. But Nomura's stands out because of its enormous size.
An end of a love affair:
A highly contagious fungus that destroys tomato plants has quickly spread to nearly every state in the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic, and the weather over the next week may determine whether the outbreak abates or whether tomato crops are ruined, according to federal and state agriculture officials.The spores of the fungus, called late blight, are often present in the soil, and small outbreaks are not uncommon in August and September. But the cool, wet weather in June and the aggressively infectious nature of the pathogen have combined to produce what Martin A. Draper, a senior plant pathologist at the United States Department of Agriculture, described as an “explosive” rate of infection.
William Fry, a professor of plant pathology at Cornell, said, “I’ve never seen this on such a wide scale.”
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – After six years together, the relationship between a pair of gay male penguins at San Francisco zoo is apparently over, with Harry leaving Pepper for another penguin -- Linda.
The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that the relationship between Harry and Pepper, who lived side-by-side, protecting eggs abandoned by other penguins, came to a shocking end when Harry moved into a neighboring nest with recently-widowed Linda.
The students were the ones who knew it was time:
ASHBURN, Georgia (CNN) -- Students of Turner County High School started what they hope will become a new tradition: Black and white students attended the prom together for the first time on Saturday.
In previous years, parents had organized private, segregated dances for students of the school in rural Ashburn, Georgia, 160 miles south of Atlanta."Whites always come to this one and blacks always go to this one," said Lacey Adkinson, a 14-year-old freshman at the school of 455 students -- 55 percent black, 43 percent white.
Inside the auditorium, students put the controversy aside and danced for hours. Stone said he was pleased with the outcome. About 150 students, including some dates from other schools, attended.
Students leaving the prom praised the evening.
"We been separated for a while. I sure appreciate how the school got all of us together, and we had a blast" said John Holmes, 16.
Aneisha Gipson, who was crowned prom queen, said the night could not have been better.
"Amazing. It was absolutely amazing. It was perfect."
Superintendent Ray Jordan said he couldn't be more proud of Stone and his students.
"If I could write this story it would be a story of celebration of students making a difference for themselves and for future students. I believe they wanted to leave their mark, and I certainly believe they've done that."
Saturday, July 18, 2009
In 2003, the US General Accounting Office reported that 184 villages in Alaska are facing problems with flooding or erosion. One of those is called Shishmaref, situated about 20 miles south of the Arctic Circle. In the past, Shishmaref owed its existence to the permafrost, so that coastal erosion was firmly under control. Over the last 30 years, Alaska's average temperatures have gone up by four degrees. Now Shishmaref is in trouble. These facts were taken from Dana Lixenberg's The Last Days of Shishmaref, a portrait of the little village that is now slowly being eaten by the sea. The village is home to about 600 Inupiaq people, who are going to lose their homes.In 2007, filmmaker Jan Louter invited the photographer to come along to Shishmaref. The result of the work can be seen in the form of a documentary film and as the book The Last Days of Shishmaref.
It's not Putin's rearing head...
Palin's bloated ego....
or the oozing mass of ethics violations converging upon Wasilla....
but an unheard of algae bloom...
I think this is even scarier than Palin, Putin, and the Blob put together.... visions of our future, drowning in muck where our oceans used to be.
A group of hunters aboard a small boat out of the tiny Alaska village of Wainwright were the first to spot what would eventually be called "the blob." It was a dark, floating mass stretching for miles through the , a frigid and relatively shallow expanse of Arctic Ocean water between Alaska's northwest coast and the Russian Far East. The goo was fibrous, hairy. When it touched floating ice, it looked almost black.
But what was it? An oil slick? Some sort of immense, amorphous organism adrift in some of the planet's most remote waters? Maybe a worrisome sign of global climate change? Or was it something insidious and, perhaps, even carnivorous like the man-eating jello from the old Steve McQueen movie that inspired the Alaskan phenomenon's nickname? (Read Richard Corliss' review of The Thing, a sci-fi film set in the Arctic.)
The hunters got word to the U.S. Coast Guard, which immediately sent two spill response experts to fly over the mass, which looked sort of rusty from the air. They also approached it by boat. The North Slope Borough, the local government for the vast and sparsely populated cap of Alaska, sent its own people out the main village of Barrow to have a look. They scooped up jars of the stuff for analysis in a state lab in Anchorage.
"We responded as if it were an oil product," says Coast Guard Petty Officer Terry Hasenauer. "It was described to us as an oil-like substance, thick and lingering below the surface of the water. Those characteristics can indicate heavy, degraded oil, maybe crude oil, or possibly an intermediate fuel oil." Meanwhile, the story spread over the internet like an oil-spill, giving lots of people a queasy feeling. (Check out a story about the coming battle for the resources of the Arctic.)Test results released Thursday showed the blob wasn't oil, but a plant - a massive bloom of algae. While that may seem less dangerous, a lot of people are still uneasy. It's something the mostly Inupiat Eskimo residents along Alaska's northern coast say they could never remember seeing before.
Friday, July 17, 2009
SAN DIEGO – Jumbo flying squid — aggressive 5-foot-long sea monsters with razor-sharp beaks and toothy tentacles — have invaded the shallow waters off San Diego, spooking scuba divers and washing up dead on tourist-packed beaches.Reaction from the cat on the street?
The carnivorous calamari, which can grow up to 100 pounds, came up from the depths last week and swarms of them roughed up unsuspecting divers. Some divers report tentacles enveloping their masks and yanking at their cameras and gear.
WASHINGTON — A bill to overhaul the safety of the nation's food supply is confusingly written and must not go forward until the Food and Drug Administration power over grain and livestock is removed, food industry representatives and members of Congress agreed Thursday.Reaction to Conaway's comments?
Industry representatives from the American Meat Institute , the National Farmers Union , and other groups, as well as some lawmakers, don't think the FDA has enough experience or people to regulate grain and livestock, a job that traditionally has fallen to the Agriculture Department.
Every year, one in four Americans are sickened by food, and about 5,000 die, according the Centers for Disease Control . While lawmakers repeatedly touted the nation's food supply as the safest in the world, in April the CDC said food safety is no longer improving.
In March, President Barack Obama formed a working group to examine food safety issues. Its recommendations, which include greater Agriculture Department and FDA authority and an emphasis on prevention, are the subject of several congressional bills, including the one under scrutiny at Thursday's hearing. The working group's recommendations didn't include FDA oversight of grain and livestock.
The FDA wants that authority. "The legislation would indeed transform our nation's approach to food safety from responding to outbreaks to preventing them," Michael R. Taylor , a senior adviser to the FDA commissioner, said in written testimony.
A food safety advocacy group, Safe Tables Our Priority, objected to the makeup of the panel of witnesses Thursday. Only one out 11 witnesses at the hearing represented consumers and victims of foodborne illness. However, lawmakers and the food industry representatives stressed that it was in nobody's interest for people to die from eating contaminated food.
"We're not callous and heartless to these tragedies these families have suffered," said Rep. Michael Conaway , R- Texas . "But we're worried about unintended consequences of this legislation, which would be detrimental to the system."
Fun photos of Harry Potter actors growing up and some of the great actors involved in the movies.
Reaction from the street, Fluffy?
Right, never mind.. Back to you, Socks:
But it's FRIDAY!! What are the cats saying?
And that's our news hour...
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Report: CIA Assassin Program Could Operate Anywhere -- Even Inside U.S.Just thinking back to the days during the anthrax attacks. Remember the odd deaths of an astonishing crowd of microbiologists? If, for example, take Cheney... If he had had a hand, say... in sending militarized anthrax to governmental and news media offices... wouldn't he want that covered up?
Since the news broke (sub. req.) at the start of the week that CIA director Leon Panetta had pulled the plug on a secret program to assassinate or capture al Qaeda leaders, we've been raising questions about one key aspect of the story. In particular, what was it about the program that was so shocking that Dick Cheney reportedly ordered it kept secret from Congress, Panetta quashed it as soon as he heard about it, and Congressional Democrats risked being painted as soft on terror by shrieking about being kept in the dark?
We may have gotten a good piece of the answer here: The Washington Post reports today on how the program had been revived and then put on hold several times since 2001. But it also says, referring to the "presidential finding" with which President Bush authorized the program in 2001:
The finding imposed no geographical limitations on the agency's actions, and intelligence officials have said that they were not obliged to notify Congress of each operation envisaged under the directive.
"No geographical limitations" presumably means that operations could potentially be carried out in countries, friendly or unfriendly, that are far from any war zone -- including even the US itself. And it seems likely that they would be carried out without notifying the foreign country in question.
You know it would be irresponsible not to speculate....
Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly:
Bills that pass with bipartisan support have traditionally meant one party reaching out to moderates from the other party to put together a reasonably good-sized majority. If the usual Senate majority has around 53 members or so, finding some moderates from the other side of the aisle meant passing a bill with as many as 60 votes. It reflected a fairly broad base of support for the legislation.
Under the current circumstances, though, the expectations for the majority are skewed -- Republicans have almost entirely excised moderates from their ranks, and voters have handed Democrats a huge majority. If the governing party passes a bill with 60 votes, all of a sudden, we're told, that's not good enough anymore. In reality, it's a distorted standard -- it's not the Democrats' fault Republicans have become too conservative, failed at governing, and were punished by voters.
It's probably a mistake for the White House to try to change and/or parse the meaning of the word "bipartisan." But it's an even bigger mistake for the political world to hold the Democratic majority to skewed and unreasonable standards.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Ethics Complaint #18 Filed Against Sarah Palin, you betcha also!
9 stupidest products.
And what our military is working on: Military EATR: Contractor Working On Horrifying Corpse-Eating Robots. Something that would be useful if you had say.. a nuke go off somewhere, right?
Exchange students live American nightmare
The Blob is back!! Big blobs of mystery goo floating off Alaska coast
Bits you will like and dislike about the newest Harry Potter movie.
Do not piss off your girlfriend...
One of India's main tiger parks - Panna National Park - has admitted it no longer has any tigers.
The park, in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, was part of the country's efforts to save the famous Royal Bengal Tiger from extinction.
State Minister of Forests Rajendra Shukla said that the reserve, which three years ago had 24 tigers, no longer had any.
A special census was conducted in the park by a premier wildlife institute, after the forest authorities reported no sightings of the animals for a long time.
This is the second tiger reserve in India, after Sariska in Rajasthan, where numbers have dwindled to zero.
One larger sensible step for a nation:
The small Australian town of Bundanoon has become the first place in the country, and possibly the world, to ban the sale of bottled water.
Residents of the town southwest of Sydney voted overwhelmingly in favour of the ban on Wednesday night.
Local businesses have agreed to stop selling bottled water and free water fountains will now be installed in the town.
The voluntary boycott was triggered by concerns of the environmental impact of bottling and transporting water.
"Bottled water has a role to play in various parts of Australia and many parts of the world but we don't really need it as we have a wonderful municipal water supply," local businessman Huw Kingston, who led the campaign, told Reuters news agency.
But the oceans, like the land, have gotten crowded, and now scientists and policy makers are looking for ways to plan ocean development -- with the aim of preventing our public-owned seas from turning into sprawling, watery versions of Houston, Texas, or Atlanta, Georgia.
"The oceans are kind of the last frontier for use and development," said Amanda Leland, ocean policy director at the Environmental Defense Fund, an advocacy group. "Even in the 1970s we thought that the oceans were limitless resources of fish. We know today now that fisheries are collapsing all around the world."
In an attempt to address this and other crowding problems, governments are for the first time devising comprehensive plans for their marine waters.
The Obama administration on June 12 announced a task force devoted to federal ocean planning. By September, the group must recommend a national policy on the subject that's designed to protect ocean ecology, address climate change and promote sustainable ocean economies.
Our solar system really went through a major drought and didn't recover, didn't it?
Mars Flight Simulation: 6 Men Endure 105 Days Of Isolation In Simulated Flight
MOSCOW -- Russian engineers broke a red wax seal and six men emerged from a metal hatch after 105 days of isolation in a mock spacecraft, still smiling after testing the stresses that space travelers may face on the journey to Mars.
Sergei Ryazansky, the captain of the six-man crew, told reporters at a Moscow research institute near the Kremlin on Tuesday that the most difficult thing was knowing that instead of making the 172-million mile (276-million kilometer) journey they were locked in a windowless module of metal canisters the size of railway cars.
The men, chosen from 6,000 applicants, were paid euro15,000 ($20,987) each to be sealed up in the mock space capsule since March 31_ cut off almost entirely from the outside world.
They had no television or Internet and their only link to the outside world was communications with the experiment's controllers -- who also monitored them via TV cameras -- and an internal e-mail system. Communications with the outside world had 20-minute delays to imitate a real space flight.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
MACON — U.S. Army Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook is seeking a federal court order to stall and eventually prevent an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.Major Cook is very brave to bring attention to the fact that he wasn't paying attention in history class. Hawaii isn't part of the United States but one of those weird island nations filled with exotic natives and stuff, apparently.
In the 20-page document — filed July 8 with the United States District Court, Middle District of Georgia — Cook's California-based attorney, Orly Taitz, asks the court to consider granting his client's request based upon Cook's belief that President Barrack Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and is therefore ineligible to serve as commander-in-chief of U.S Armed Forces.
Why didn't soldiers think of this excuse with Bush? "He wasn't elected but selected, so doesn't have the right to send me to his Neocon war of choice." That excuse would at least been based on the truth!
That's a lot of fake brake repairs....
Rarely do stories generate the kind of consumer response that The Bee received after the state attorney general's office sued a Modesto businessman and his 22 Midas Automotive Service franchises.
The civil lawsuit, which seeks $222 million in penalties, claims the shops owned by Maurice "Mike" Irving Glad used false advertising and fraudulent business practices to sell consumers unnecessary parts and services. The case stems from a four-year investigation and 30 undercover sting operations.
For his part, Glad says he was the victim of overzealous enforcement by the state Bureau of Automotive Repair that was designed to deceive his mechanics. He defended his business practices and workers, vowing to fight the lawsuit aggressively.
Chan Akya of The Asia Times digs a hole trying to explain why he took offense to Krugman's ... use of slang which makes his economic theories all wrong?
Ya give a kid a credit card....
Speaking of money, we'd like to see this corporation's uncooked books:
US bank Goldman Sachs reported a net profit of $3.44bn (£2.1bn) for April to June, beating analysts' forecasts.
Less volatility in stock markets, rises in global share prices and involvement in many firms' rights issues and takeovers had boosted profits, it said.
The bank said it had set aside $6.65bn for pay and bonuses in the quarter - an average of $226,000 per employee.
Goldman has recently paid off $10bn of government loans it had taken as part of a government bail-out programme.
But lead is a natural substance... and makes you feel full!:
A new study by Consumer Lab found that many multivitamins contain potentially dangerous levels of lead, and many did not contain the vitamins and minerals their labels proclaim.
Almost no vitamins were found to be free of lead, according to the Sacramento Bee (the study results are by subscription only). Indeed, lead-free may be an impossible goal because fruits and vegetables absorb lead from soil and water.
What's a person to do? Your best bet is to buy a well known brand and look for a stamp on the bottle from USP, NSF or Consumer Lab.com. Living in California helps, because our state is the only one to regulate vitamins. By California law, 15 percent of the vitamins evaluated ought to carry a warning label.
Monday, July 13, 2009
The oil giant Exxon Mobil, whose chief executive once mocked alternative energy by referring to ethanol as “moonshine,” is about to venture into biofuels.
On Tuesday, Exxon plans to announce an investment of $600 million in producing liquid transportation fuels from algae — organisms in water that range from pond scum to seaweed. The biofuel effort involves a partnership with Synthetic Genomics, a biotechnology company founded by the genomics pioneer J. Craig Venter.
The agreement could plug a major gap in the strategy of Exxon, the world’s largest and richest publicly traded oil company, which has been criticized by environmental groups for dismissing concerns about global warming in the past and its reluctance to develop renewable fuels.
My post from November 2008:
Chinese melamine and other toxins have been in our food for yearsA few months later I posted this, December 2008:The rampant use of chemical additives in animal feed can be traced to 1999. According to Gao Yinxiang, the research and development of high-protein feed additives was a hot field among scientists about 10 years ago due to shortage of animal fodder in the country at the time.It's not just animal feed. Earlier quote in the article: (my bold)
From that time, it's hard to define the exact role that scientists played in the evolution of the melamine scandal. Yet scientists certainly contributed to it by developing unsafe protein alternatives. Many Chinese are now calling on scientists to examine their conscience before making profits at the expense of public safety.
The CAS may not have invented melamine additives. However, it still owes the public an explanation as to why it developed - and continues to develop - feed supplements that food experts say are dangerous for human health.
The melamine saga and the reactions from relevant parties, including scientists, the government and the related companies, shows a system that continues to shirk responsibility rather than taking efforts to avoid similar incidents happening again.
Without effective supervision and sound accountability, China's food scares are far from over.But scientists say warnings signs were apparent as early as last year when melamine in Chinese-made pet food killed house pets across the United States.So what does long exposure to melamine do to humans? Kidney stones? Autism? Alzheimer's? What exactly have the Chinese been putting in its products, making our farm animals eat, making us eat?
"You can't separate the food supplies of animals, pets and people," Marion Nestle, a public health professor at New York University and author of the recent book Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine, told the Washington Post. "That's an enormous warning sign that if something wasn't done immediately to clean up the food safety problem, this would leak into the human food supply."
China has used the Kjeldahl Nitrogen Determination Method to measure protein level in food, meaning the content of protein is determined by the level of nitrogen. It is an open secret in China that melamine is added to milk and animal feed to artificially boost nitrogen levels. It was not until recently, after the exposure of the tainted-milk scandal, that China make it compulsory to test the content of melamine in foodstuffs.
And why should we trust anything the Chinese government promises us? They get caught repeatedly after vowing not to contaminate their products.
Just a reminder:
China saying no to inspections and destroying evidence.
Wheat, corn, and rice gluten.
Pesticide-laden pea pods, drug-laced catfish, filthy plums and crawfish contaminated with salmonella. Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical. Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria. Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.
Excessive antibiotic and pesticide use.
What melamine is.
Poisoned farm fish.
The toothpaste with diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used in engine coolants.
Highly toxic puffer fish sold as monk fish.
Fake blood protein.
Lead in toys: Thomas the Tank Engine, baby bibs, cub scout badges, wooden blocks.
Waste water forced into pigs going to market.
Poisoned medicinal syrup.
750,000 people in China are dying prematurely every year due to high levels of air pollution and poor water quality.
Formaldehyde in candy, in baby clothing
Wild mice used for meat.
Use of illegal drift nets.
Coma-inducing date rape drug in toys.
Asbestos in toys.
Fake kosher food.
More than 40 percent of drinking water in rural China is unfit for drinking.
Babies being poisoned by milk and milk powder.
Tom Legg of Daai Tou Laam:But don't expect the Chinese government to really get serious about product safety. How many product safety scares have there been in the last few years? From fake baby formula to tainted fish to fake soy sauce to tainted bean curd sheet to a bridge that collapsed because there was no steel reinforcing-bar used.Trader Joe's is taking some of the Chinese food products off its shelves.
If the CCP wants to product their people from eating hormone-laden pork, then that is their prerogative. If they instead want to ban products from the US as a tit-for-tat over negative press coverage of Chinese product safety issues, it shows the Chinese government is childish and easily manipulated by foreign powers. Like a recalled Chinese toy, press the right buttons and watch the CCP leaders dance. Watch the CCP spokesperson trotted out to blame it all on the US media. (This of course is the same lap dog US media that willingly served up the story on Mattel as model Chinese operator days before the first toy recall.)
Did you really expect the CCP to clean up their own house? The folks who trashed Premier Wen's Green GDP? The folks whose tactics to combat corruption hearken back to the Ming Dynasty with the substitution of video games for the study of Confucian classics? We aren't talking about leaders with a great ability to look in the mirror and see the problems staring back at themselves.
But to really clean house would come at too steep a price for many cadres and their cronies. So the CCP's option is to keep letting Chinese die at home and face negative press abroad and hope that enough exports keep getting out to keep the currency flow positive and enough skim from IPOs and LCs to keep investment bankers like former Goldman Sachs man US Treasury Secretary Paulson happy, so that their grip on power in Beijing is kept firm.
And finally... after how many years of complaints, and poisonings and deaths, the FDA acts:
Federal health officials on Thursday ordered dozens of imported foods from China held at the border as possible health risks. Most are ethnic treats, including snacks, drinks and chocolates.
It's unusual for the Food and Drug Administration to put such a broad hold on goods from an entire country, not just a few rogue manufacturers. The order, which covers products made with milk, is a precaution to keep out foods contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, which can cause serious kidney problems.
crossposted at American Street
Nope. Chinese businesses haven't learned yet.You'd think the government would take massive steps to fix this problem immediately, right? Right?
Will they stop when we stop buying their products?Hong Kong food safety authorities said late Tuesday that for the fourth time in less than two months they had found a batch of Chinese eggs contaminated with illegal levels of melamine, the industrial chemical that has sickened hundreds of thousands of children. The agency said the tainted eggs were imported from a company based in Jilin Province in northern China and were being sold to bakeries in Hong Kong.
Yet again in December of 2008:
How many babies need to die or become ill before China finally stops Putting melamine into our food?And in January of 2009:And it's not just China who seems to be indifferent to causing death:
Brussels, Belgium (AHN) - Soy-based imports from China intended for babies and young children will no longer be allowed throughout the 27-member European Union. The European Commission banned on Wednesday the entry of all foods that are soy-based after the discovery of melamine in a soybean meal in China.
Aside from the prohibition, the EC also required laboratory testing for all soy-related foods and shipments or baking powder. The tested food must contain less than 2.5 milligrams of melamine per kilogram to be allowed entry into the EU. The ban is expected to be in force by the end of this week.At least 34 babies have died in Nigeria after being administered with a locally made teething mixture.
Six more child deaths were recorded on Wednesday, on top of 28 reported last month in three locations after being given "My Pikin", a teething syrup contaminated with diethylene glycol, which is blamed for causing kidney failure.
That certain piquant flavor...Is in everything:Are they thinking we will ignore this and eat chickens raised or processed in China? Are they kidding? There is utterly NO LEARNING CURVE illustrated here AT ALL.Now that we have an administration that hears us, sign the petition.
Melamine-contaminated pet food killed thousands of dogs and cats in the United States two years ago. Melamine-contaminated infant formula recently killed six babies in China, and made hundreds of thousands of children there ill.
Now melamine has been found in some chocolate, cookies and infant formula in the U.S.!
Yet our own Food and Drug Administration says it’s OK to have a certain amount of the chemical in infant formula, even though the agency previously said it couldn’t determine a safe level for melamine. What are we supposed to believe?
Tell Congress you’re fed up with the FDA’s lax regulation of our food and drug supply. Strong leadership, more safety testing, better inspection of imports, and tough enforcement are needed to make sure no American families suffer the tragic consequences of eating contaminated food.
Besides, I'm sure I've had my quota of melamine for life, thanks.
Update: Don't forget about the toxic drywall.