Archive for October 18, 2010

Liberty Enlightening the World

Remember ten years ago or so when torture, wiretapping, indefinite detention and rendition were things oppressive, brutal, barbaric countries did?

Not anymore:  Officials Push to Bolster Law on Wiretapping.

Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials, citing lapses in compliance with surveillance orders, are pushing to overhaul a federal law that requires phone and broadband carriers to ensure that their networks can be wiretapped, federal officials say.

The officials say tougher legislation is needed because some telecommunications companies in recent years have begun new services and made system upgrades that create technical obstacles to surveillance. They want to increase legal incentives and penalties aimed at pushing carriers like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast to ensure that any network changes will not disrupt their ability to conduct wiretaps.

P.S.  The inscription on the Statue of Liberty is:  Liberty Enlightening the World.

October 18, 2010 at 9:51 PM Leave a comment

Amazing Africa

Jeez — I have to admit I had no idea that Africa was this big:

 

I know the print is tiny — I can’t read it either — but if you’re interested in knowing more about how skewed our perception of Africa is, go here for details.  Click in the margin to enlarge.

It’s amazing.

October 18, 2010 at 8:57 PM Leave a comment

Fox News: Obama Administration Defends Islam

Check out this inflamatory tweet from Fox “News” aimed directly at the monumentally confused Foxbaggers in its audience:

No, the Justice Department didn’t weigh in “on behalf of Islam.” It weighed in on behalf of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment of which says:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Watch Fox “News” and follow it on Twitter and, ah, be stupid.

October 18, 2010 at 8:02 PM Leave a comment

Foreign Money in U.S. Campaigns

Tweet of the Day:

(Via.)

October 18, 2010 at 5:29 PM Leave a comment

Elect Goldman Sachs to Congress — Corporations Are People Too!

“Murray Hill” is the name of a fictitious corporation.  The name was created by the people behind CorporateCongress.com to drive home the point that per the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, corporations are people now so it stands to reason they can run for congress.  So “Murray Hill” is trying to make that happen:

You can even order a yard sign:

Man, I am so tempted. I am so tempted to buy one of these, print out Goldman Sach‘s logo, tape it over the Murray Hill logo and put it in my front yard.

 

October 18, 2010 at 4:53 PM Leave a comment

Crumbling Empire Watch

Crumbling Road in Adrian Township Michigan to be Turned Into Gravel:

The Adrian Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday to spend $14,354 to return the township’s portion of Plank Road to gravel.

The road is now paved, but the pavement is seriously deteriorated and the township does not have the money to repave it, township supervisor Jim Koehn said.

Repaving the road would have cost about $160,000, Koehn said.

The portion of road to be returned to gravel is about 1/2 mile long, Koehn said. Of that, 1,840 feet is shared with Rome Township, which will pay half the cost for the work on that portion of the road, Koehn said.

CUT THE DEFENSE BUDGET!

October 18, 2010 at 3:28 PM Leave a comment

CVS Pharmacy Refuses to Sell Inhaler to Woman Having Asthma Attack Because She Was a Dollar Short

Whoever said no to this woman has ice in their veins:

A woman in New Jersey suffering from an asthma attack had to call a paramedic when her local CVS wouldn’t sell her a $21 inhaler for $20.

The woman and her boyfriend were walking home in Garwood, NJ, when her asthma kicked into high gear. Hoping to quickly remedy the situation, they popped into a nearby CVS to buy an inhaler.

Recalls the boyfriend to MyFoxNY:

I had exactly a twenty-dollar bill. It came to twenty-one and change… I offered him my cell phone, my wallet. I said i live right around the corner. I come in here all the time….I said ‘Can you just give her the pump. She’s on the floor wheezing… I didn’t know if an ambulance would get there on time. He said there was nothing he could do for me.

Thinking quickly, the boyfriend contacted a friend who is also a paramedic. “He did have an inhaler. She used two pumps, waited a little while,” the boyfriend says. “She started to come through a little quicker than if she didn’t have it.”

CVS, now under federal scrutiny for being lax about pseudoephedrine sales, tells Fox: “The well-being of our customers is our highest priority and we are looking into this matter.”

The one good thing here is that CVS is getting millions of dollars of negative publicity because of this so never underestimate the beauty of Karma.

October 18, 2010 at 3:13 PM 1 comment

Fox News: Information Based on a “Show of Hands” Equals Fact

Fox “News” is running with a story titled:  Marines Chief Warns Most are Uncomfortable Serving With Openly Gay Troops.

The article is about how, according to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James Conway (who gave an “exclusive interview” to Fox), “as many as 95 percent of Marines would be uncomfortable serving alongside openly gay troops.”

So how does Conway know this about “95 percent of Marines?”  He “cited impromptu surveys he has conducted by a ‘show of hands’ among Marines at town hall-style meetings.”

So, you’re a guy or gal who enlisted in the Marines from Small-Town-America and you’re sitting in a mess hall and the freakin’ Commandant of the Marine Corps walks in and starts shooting the breeze.  At some point he asks the people in the crowd to raise their hand if it would make them uncomfortable if their bunk mate was a homo.  Everyone raises their hand (imagine the peer pressure) and Conway goes to Fox “News” and says, “95% of Marines would be uncomfortable serving alongside openly gay troops.”

And hey, that’s good enough for Fox, so it becomes a fact.

Wow.  Professionalism all around.

October 18, 2010 at 2:12 PM Leave a comment

Americans Willing to Pay for Benefits

Ezra Klein over at The Washington Post has a neat little ditty up about how the conventional wisdom in D.C. about making sharp spending cuts is exactly the opposite of what Americans want (so what else is new).

October 18, 2010 at 1:26 PM Leave a comment

CBS Radio News is Obsessed With Sarah Palin and the Tea Party

I have had Denver’s AM760 radio station on in the background since 7:00 a.m. Mountain Time — five hours.

At the top of each hour there is a news break from CBS News.  During every single break today, CBS has lead with a report about Sarah Palin and the launch of the “grassroots” Tea Party Express bus tour, which will “travel through 19 states in 15 days.”

And CBS is “liberal?”

UPDATE:  I put the above post up just after noon Mountain Time.  It is now 3:04 p.m.  CBS lead with the Tea Party story at 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. but just now they lead with a story about the Bank of America.  The Tea Party story came second.

Unreal.

October 18, 2010 at 1:09 PM Leave a comment

Anti-Government Colorado Springs, Big on Government Jobs

Colorado Springs, Colorado, the home of Focus on the Family, the Air Force Academy and NORAD, is a very conservative place.  So conservative in fact that they are in the midst of experimenting with what national Republicans want to do to the entire country, i.e., cutting taxes to the bare bones and thus cutting services such as police and fire, letting the grass in their parks die, and turning off the street lights.  More here, here and here.

They just hate “big government” down there.  But wait.  In a study comparing large metropolitan areas and the percentage of private-sector jobs versus government jobs, Colorado Springs ranks 25 out of 100 with a full 18.8% of its jobs being government jobs.

Oops.

 

October 18, 2010 at 12:09 PM 1 comment


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