Archive for May, 2012

Get Ready to Drink Sewer Water America

The United States has plenty of money for war but clean drinking water?  Maybe not:

(Image via TheChickenCenter.com)

 

Newark city officials are scrambling to keep the doors open on their water treatment plant after funds for the facility, which treats 80 million gallons of water for 500,000 residents in and around Newark, run out today.

According to a letter from the State Comptroller’s office, Mayor Cory Booker’s administration botched an application with the state earlier this year for a three-year, professional services contract to treat the water. City officials wanted to give the $16 million contract to the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation without public bidding or a public hearing.

The comptroller’s office said no.

“The city has failed to submit any documentation demonstrating that it has satisfied the mandatory legal requirements to award this contract to the NWCDC,” said comptroller attorney Robert Shane, referring to the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation, which runs the city’s water supply and treatment facility.

Following the February letter from the Comptroller, the city instituted an emergency contract to keep the plant open for three months. That contract runs out today, but city officials say not to worry.

“The City is taking the necessary steps to ensure that water treatment continues,” Newark business administrator Julien Neals said in an email to The Star-Ledger, adding that facility employees and city hall staffers “are working together to extend the service. The residents can be assured that water treatment will continue without interruption.”

More…

What are we?  Udupi?

Here is Udupi:

 

 

 

 

 

May 31, 2012 at 6:28 PM Leave a comment

Obama Having Trouble Finding Surrogates Who Aren’t DINOs

 

Democrats, having cozied up to corporations almost as much as Republicans, have backed themselves into a corner when it comes to illustrating the differences between the parties.  They can’t do it:

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick ended up defending Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Thursday during TV appearances in which the Democratic politician was supposed to be serving as a surrogate for President Barack Obama. Patrick, who has a history of ethically questionable connections to financial firms, applauded Boston-based Bain Capital, implicitly criticizing the Obama campaign’s attacks on Romney’s record at the private equity firm.

Patrick is the second Obama surrogate with strong ties to the financial industry to defend Bain, following in the footsteps of Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, who ignited a week of outrage from Democratic Party strategists for describing the Obama campaign’s slams against Romney’s Bain work as “nauseating.”

Patrick, who followed Romney as governor of the Bay State, praised Bain in two separate TV appearances on Thursday.

“I’ve got a lot of friends there,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” calling Bain “a perfectly fine company” with “a role to play in the private economy.”

“I think the Bain strategy has been distorted in some of the public discussions,” said Patrick. “I think the issue isn’t about Bain. I think it’s about whether [Romney has] accomplished, in either his public or private life, the kinds of things he wants to accomplish for the United States.”

The governor reiterated his position on CNN’s “Starting Point,” declaring, “It’s never been about Bain.”

More…

Given what Deval said today (and his corporate-ass-kissing past (read the rest of the article)) and what Cory Booker said last week, will this be the year the two parties essentially merge, unable to point to significant differences because their aren’t all that many and because they’re both in bed with the corporatocracy?

It’s looking like it.

 

May 31, 2012 at 5:46 PM Leave a comment

Wingnuts: Encouraging People to Use Bicycles is a Socialist Plot

As of about a year ago, my town (Boulder, Colorado) has a bike-share program called B-cycle:

(Image via BoulderBcycle.com)

Boulder B-cycle is our community’s nonprofit bike-sharing system. B-cycles are magic bikes that are always ready to ride, where and when you need them. When you want to cruise to happy hour, run errands, or take a refreshing spin along the Boulder Creek Path, B-cycles are there for you. Choose from 24-hour or 7-day access or Annual Membership and take an unlimited number of trips during your access period! Keep all your trips under one hour and you’ll never pay any usage fees.

More…

It’s a great program.  Everyone loves it, especially tourists.

Writing about D.C.’s bike-share program in the Washington Times, I can tell Charles Hurt would hate Boulder’s B-cycle as much as he hates the bike share program in his own town:

Unlike Sarah Palin or Tina Fey, or whoever it was, I really can see Russia from my front porch. Or, at least, I can see broken-down socialism.

That is because across the street from my house on Capitol Hill is a loud, clanging “Capital Bikeshare” docking station. It is one of the locking ports for those fat, red communal bicycles you see peddled all over town by commune enthusiasts. (Say that fast, and it sounds like you are saying “commun-ists.”)

[...]

For the urban environmental warrior (who, curiously, chooses to live in a densely populated concrete city), the benefits of the communal bike program are endless.

Having people pedal around on these bikes, they say, means fewer people riding pollution-emitting city buses and fewer cars clogging the roads. And healthy riders means less of a burden on socialized medicine. These people get very excited talking about all the upsides.

Oh, and the smugness with which these pedaling heroes pump away! I have seen proud drivers of Priuses look away in shame as they ease by in their bio-electric and sometimes spontaneously combustible vehicles.

This communal bike program is a success from their tingling toes through their throbbing hearts all the way to bright, gleaming faces. It makes them feel so good!

But of course, there are problems and rather than offer solutions, Hurt whines like a little kid:

So, what happens is, these noble warriors ride their bikes to work in the morning, only to discover that so has everybody else. And all the docking stations are filled up. So they have to wander around in search of a place to dock their bike so they can get to work.

This leads to another problem where all the bikes end up in a concentration of places. So at the end of the day, a belching environment-killing truck must come around and redistribute the bikes.

More…

You get the idea.

Those poor, sour wingers.  They’re having a terrible time as they’re pulled, kicking and screaming, into a future they so desperately want to keep from happening.

 

 

 

May 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM Leave a comment

Heroin for Political Junkies

How do they do this?  From the Sunlight Foundation:

Today we’re proud to unveil Politwoops, the only comprehensive collection of deleted tweets by U.S. politicians. From minor typos to major gaffes, Politwoops is now there to offer a searchable window into what they hoped you didn’t see.

The project follows the official Twitter accounts of members of Congress, President Obama and the slew of presidential candidates to track whenever they delete a Tweet and record the elapsed time before removal. The growing collection of more than 3,000 tweets in the past six months includes screenshots of included links and has individual pages for each politician. The Politwoops archive serves as an illuminating rough draft of how politicians and campaigns hone their social media messaging and amend their record. The collection includes previously-reported episodes like Senator Chuck Grassley’s hacked account and other deletions that slipped by unnoticed, like Representative Jeff Miller tweeting a link to a Facebook poll asking, “Was Obama born in the United States?”

I scrolled through two or three pages on Politiwoops (love the name) and what struck me was that none of the deleted tweets were particularly offensive or potentially embarrassing, such as containing misspellings or profanity.  But I can see how if one spent enough time on the site patterns would begin to emerge.

Anyway, I just thought I’d let you all know, Politiwoops is out there. Fun place to spend some time on a very (very) rainy day.

 

 

May 31, 2012 at 3:23 PM Leave a comment

God Is Love

The American Taliban in action:

(Image via khsb.com)

The pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas says President Barack Obama has gone too far in supporting same sex marriage and it’s time for the U.S. government to begin killing gay men and lesbians.

“Terrorists are dangerous, the economy is a real and present danger,” Pastor Curtis Knapp told his congregation on Sunday. “But there is simply nothing other than the holocaust of the unborn which imperils the safety of our country or places our people in jeopardy as does the leader of the Western world publicly raising his fist at the heavens and declaring that the bedrock institution of society, ordained of God and meant to be protected by the state, is little more than a convention of convenience with the children of Sodom to transform the meaning of something, which is precious to Jesus Christ, and a living picture of his love for the church into a legally protected justification for perversion and a vehicle of hatred aimed directly at that love.”

Knapp went on to read from Leviticus 20: “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.”

“They should be put to death,” Knapp declared. “‘Oh, so you’re saying we should go out and start killing them, no?’ — I’m saying the government should. They won’t, but they should.”

Listen to Paster Knapp talk about the “Curse of Homosexuality” here.

I refer to Knapp as the American Taliban not in jest.  The Taliban kills homosexuals too.

 

May 31, 2012 at 2:00 PM Leave a comment

Meet The “No Globe”

The “No Globe:”

The single greatest threat to the climate comes from burning coal but despite this a whole new fleet of dirty coal-fired power stations are on the verge of being built in the UK (the first for 30 years). The snow globe was designed for Ctrl.Alt.Shift in anticipation of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.

(Image: WeAreDorothy.com)

(Image: WeAreDorothy.com)

(Via.)

May 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM Leave a comment

The Perfect Republican Hospital Visit

Here we go folks.  Imagine being raped, going to a hospital and being treated like this:

(Image via the Texas Tribune)

An Oklahoma mother brought her daughter to a local hospital after she was raped only to be turned away and refused help by a doctor, purportedly because the hospital lacked the staff to properly process the victim’s claims and injuries. Welcome to the reality of processing sexual assault crimes in GOP-land.

The woman and her daughter were reportedly turned away because the hospital did not have any nurses who conduct rape exams on staff. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) are specially trained professionals who deal only with the delicate process of conducting rape exams. The SANE program is coordinated through the YWCA and is a collaboration with local law enforcement, the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office and public health officials. The collaborative effort is designed to ensure evidence is properly collected and stored without re-traumatizing the victim and ensuring the most effective prosecution of the perpetrator possible.

In this case the doctor involved refused to conduct any exam, nor would he dispense any emergency contraception. The hospital issued a statement grounding those decisions in the need to coordinate through the SANE program. It could also be that this doctor had a moral objection to treating rape victims and dispensing emergency contraception, and thanks to abusive expanses of the conscience-clause by the right, simply refused to deal with her. Either way it’s a lose-lose for rape victims who now face the prospect of looking for treatment after an assault only to be turned away because of a lack of resources or because of  religious objections.

More…

So, not only have Republicans created a reality in which a doctor can refuse to dispense emergency contraception (to a rape victim no less), but they apparently don’t give a rat’s ass about prosecuting the rapist either.
The utopia the Republican are trying to create is going to be amazing, huh?

May 31, 2012 at 9:39 AM Leave a comment

Dumbed Down USA

We’re #1?  Not exactly:

(Image via @TheYoungTurks on Twitter)

(Image via @TheYoungTurks on Twitter)

(Image via TheYoungTurks on Twitter)

You get what you pay for.

May 31, 2012 at 8:38 AM Leave a comment

Serta Brings You Donald Trump’s “Affordable Luxury” Mattress

I’m sure Donald Trump has the future of the country in mind when he rants about President Obama’s birth certificate.

Then again.  Maybe not:

(Image via Serta.com)

Maybe what he’s really thinking about is drumming up business.

May 30, 2012 at 9:13 PM 1 comment

Things I Didn’t Have Time to Post

Here are some things I heard about today that I thought were interesting but I’m too tired to put an individual post up about:

France Moves to Cap Executive Pay at State [Funded] Firms

France’s new government will flesh out plans to cap the pay of top executives at state-controlled companies by mid-June, laying down a marker in a Europe-wide debate fuelled by waves of austerity and rising unemployment.

Elected this month promising to curb the privileges enjoyed by France’s wealthy and powerful, Socialist President Francois Hollande pledged during campaigning to limit senior executives’ salaries [paid by taxpayer's money] to a maximum of 20 times that of their lowest-paid employee.

The tax dollars French citizens are paying are funding these “state” firms so no question about it.  Executives shouldn’t reap huge salaries paid for by tax dollars.  A no brainer imho.  I mean, let’s cap the executive pay of defense contractors wo suck off of the boob of the U.S. tax payer.  The scary –yikes! —  Socialism can be a good thing.

North Carolina Republicans Protecting Home Builders — Want to Hide Climate Change-Induced Sea Rise From Buyers

Ah yes.  Republicans.  Always looking for a way to protect the corporatocracy and to rip We the People off:

North Carolina science people have determined that coastal sea levels are expected to rise 1 meter [3.28 feet] by 2100 — far more than they’ve traditionally risen, due to the expected impacts of climate change. But developers in 20 coastal counties, see, have determined that such a rise would be bad for development prospects. So they’ve lobbied the state to lower that forecast to only 15 inches instead, because why not? Fifteen’s a nice number. Arbitrary, sure, but can’t the scientists just shut up already?

The difference between 3.28 feet and 15 inches isn’t all that much right?  [Yikes!] So hey, WTF.  Everyone involved will be dead and buried (w/millions passed on to their ALEC-member-kids who will control the world my neighbor’s 3-year-old boy will live in.)

It’s Casserole Night in Canada

The sound of casseroles, or banging on pots and pans, has become a common sound of Montreal’s nightlife for the past week or so.

Tonight, the sound is spreading to the rest of the nation as protesters in over 60 cities across Quebec and Canada (and some international locations like Brussels, London and Madison, WA). Organizers want to emulate Quebec’s casseroles movement, which has its roots in the Chilean cacerolazos, anti-goverment protests in the 1970s and ’80s. Tonight’s Facebook page humourously dubs the event “Casseroles Night in Canada.”

The movement in Montreal was sparked by the ongoing opposition to tuition fee hikes and the introduction of Bill 78. Protesters gather on neighbourhood street corners during the evening, clanging pots, pans, and anything else they can grab, and march all over Montreal. Supporters along the way join in by making noise from their balconies, front doors and windows.

One of the things Canadians are protesting is a new law — designed to quash protests (crazy gets normalized) — requiring them to submit a map outlining their protest route eight hours in advance.

This is the map they submitted last Wednesday:

 

Thumbs up casserole people oh, and if I were you, I wouldn’t buy a home on the Florida coast.

 

 

May 30, 2012 at 8:36 PM Leave a comment

The Answer to Everything: Rub Some Bacon On It!

I’m a bacon person through and through. I.  Love.  Bacon.  So when I came across this video last night I knew it was meant to be my break time! post today.

Enjoy.

(Via.)

 

May 30, 2012 at 3:40 PM 1 comment

People in London Are “Mad as Hell”

If you don’t read Dave Zirin over at TheNation.com, I recommend adding him to your list. His official beat is sports, which I don’t care a whole lot about, unless we’re talking the Tour de France, but I like him because he writes about issues that arise out of sports and sporting events.  Like this summer’s London Olympics and the side of the games the corporate media won’t talk about:

(Image via London2012.com)

Upon returning to the United States after two weeks amidst London’s pre-Olympic terrain, I have some final thoughts that I hope the International Olympic Committee and the UK’s Tory Prime Minister David Cameron take to heart. …  Your games are in trouble because the people who actually have to live in London alongside the Olympiad are mad as hell. And it’s only May.

[...]

There is scant discussion that these London games could come in at ten times their proposed 2005 budgetas well, causing another “debt crisis” that will be taken from the hides—not to mention the pensions—of the UK’s workers. At several events involving trade union workers and bureaucrats, the message was repeated to me over and over: when the Olympics are over, the gloves will come off.

In other words, faced with the pressures of austerity and recession, Cameron and company are cooling their jets until the Olympics are over and then they will try to do their level best to disembowel the unions and further cut taxes for the wealthy. Why wait until after the Olympics? Because Cameron needs the unions’ cooperation to make sure that the games come off on time and on schedule. They need to make sure the unions don’t take strike action or join the demonstrations planned for July 28, the first Saturday of the games. This is why they agreed to sizable bonuses for London’s subway workers. Anything to make sure that the Olympics show London, and more critically David Cameron, in the best possible light.

Alexander Wolff, the great journalist from Sports Illustrated, is stationed in London and wrote this week, “Every time I come to England I’m struck by how the lowbrow mingles with the high.” But in London the “lowbrow” are angry and the “highbrow” are scared. They mingle only in the shared sense that a storm is coming to the British Isles. The summer will be filled with games. But an epic fall awaits.

The whole article is so good I’m having difficulty distilling it down to a few cut and pasted paragraphs.  It isn’t all that long.  I recommend reading the whole thing, here.

 

 

May 30, 2012 at 3:21 PM Leave a comment

Mitt Romney’s Default Mode: Coward

The brilliant Frank Rich is out with a new article today in which he muses about a couple of things.  It’s titled:  Mitt’s Bleach-Bottle Bimbo.

One guess as to who the bleach-bottle bimbo is.

This guy:

And as usual, Rich rips Mitt a new one:

Romney appeared at a fund-raiser in Vegas last night with Trump as host. Is Mitt going to end up regretting this association?


There’s been no better cost-benefit analysis than that from George Will, who, in his now famous Sunday morning fulmination said: “The benefit — what voter is going to vote for him because he is seen with Donald Trump? The cost of appearing with this bloviating ignoramus is obvious.” To spell out the costs in the Trump case, I’d start with the fact that (1) Romney once again brandished his default mode as a coward, running away from the press before the Trump fund-raising event to duck embarrassing questions; it was a resonant replay of his disappearing act during the Limbaugh assault on Sandra Fluke. That he cowered from Trump queries on the same day he was urging increased U.S. bellicosity toward Assad in Syria undercuts any Romney pretense to “leadership”; (2) Romney again revealed his tone-deafness to the America where the hoi polloi live; he really does seem to think that Trump is an A-list celebrity who could serve as the right’s answer to George Clooney, when in fact Trump’s status is roughly that of Bristol Palin during her heyday on Dancing with the Stars; (3) It hands the Democrats another golden opportunity to make an ad mashing up Romney’s “I like being able to fire people” with Trump’s “You’re fired!”; (4) If you will fly to Vegas for a one-night-stand with a bleach-bottle bimbo, you look as if you will do anything for money.

Exactly.  (I still can’t believe Mitt’s doing as well as he is in the polls.)

May 30, 2012 at 2:30 PM Leave a comment

Time to Force Fox to Drop the Word “News” From Its Name

 

 

 

 

This morning on “fair and balanced” Fox and Friends, Fox aired an Obama attack ad which opened with the phrase, “Fox and Friends Presents…”

Watch it here.

This crosses a huge line.  When an organization that bills itself as a “fair and balanced news” channel starts producing its own political ads, it’s time to pull the plug on the use of the words “fair and balanced” and “news.”

 

May 30, 2012 at 1:15 PM Leave a comment

Registrants for Komen Race for the Cure Way Down

Ouch.  It looks like the Komen Foundation may have caused itself permanent damage as a result of last February’s row over Planned Parenthood:

With just days until the Komen Global Race for the Cure in the District, registration is way down compared to last year, and it’s in part because of the controversy that surrounded the charity’s relationship with Planned Parenthood.

In 2011, 40,000 people converged on Washington as part of the annual charity run and walk, raising $5 million for clinics across the nation.

However, this weekend’s race will fall short of last year’s numbers, and its not alone. Races in cities such as Seattle, Richmond and Fort Worth have seen their numbers drop by, on average, one-third. In D.C., 25,000 people have registered for this year’s race.

A row emerged this past February when the Komen for the Cure announced it was pulling grants to Planned Parenthood for breast exams. The organization reversed its decision quickly.

More…

May 30, 2012 at 7:57 AM Leave a comment

Motown!

I had lunch with my brother today.  One of the things we talked about was how much we miss “soul music” and the good ol’ days of Motown.  As with most things having to do with African-Americans, that glorious part of their history is being disappeared.

But if Republicans want to take us back to the 50’s and 60’s (my brother and I were there), this is where we’d want to be:

May 29, 2012 at 7:44 PM 1 comment

Radioactive Bluefin Tuna? So What

One of the big news stories today is about radioactive bluefin tuna found off the coast of California that has been contaminated by the ongoing Fukushima disaster.

(Image via TripAdvisor.com)

But get a load of this:

More than a year has passed since that devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. Nearly 16,000 people were killed as entire towns were swept away. Boats, cars, and homes became islands of debris floating toward the West Coast, and some of it has started washing up on Montague Island in Alaska.

At the mouth of Prince William Sound, there are bottles and barrels, spray cans, fishing gear and worries about toxic chemicals. The Japanese writing on this fuel canister says Danger.

“We can clean this up given the resources, but it’s gonna be a four-, five-, six-year process,” said Chris Pallister, president of Gulf of Alaska Keeper, a group that tries to keep wilderness beaches free of trash.

Pallister said things like building insulation from Japan can be found along the Alaska coast, “and I mean there’s boatload after boatload after boatload of that up and down the shoreline.”

By 2013, it’s estimated as much as 1.5 million tons of wreckage from the tsunami could reach the West Coast from Alaska all the way to California.

More…

I lived in Laguna Beach for about three months when I was in the sixth grade before my parents moved a few miles inland to Orange. Believe you me, if roofs and cars and “boatload after boatload” of radioactive contaminated stuff washes up there, this brouhaha about bluefin tuna will evaporate.

After all, we’re talkin’ OC, home of the 1%-ers, as in Mitt’s lil’ ol beach house.

Trash a blue collar fisherman’s fishing ground in Alaska? No biggie. Trash the 1%-ers beaches?  That’s an emergency.

 

 

 

May 29, 2012 at 7:24 PM 1 comment

Why Was Obama Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Again?

The U.S. is going drone-crazy.

President Barack Obama’s administration appears set to notify the U.S. Congress of plans to arm a fleet of Italian MQ-9 Reaper drones, a step that may spur a wider spread of remotely piloted hunter-killer aircraft.

The administration could move ahead within two weeks on the proposal to let Italy join Britain in deploying U.S. drones with weapons such as laser-guided bombs and Hellfire missiles, American officials said.

Italy has a fleet of six Reapers. The sale of the technology to arm them, including bomb racks and “weaponization” kits costing up to $17 million, would help the United States redistribute the burden of its global military operations as the Pentagon’s budget is being squeezed by deficit-reduction requirements.

More…

So touching isn’t it (think of all the jobs!) that the Military Industrial Complex has found a new toy to sell to the world and that President Obama is acting as its Salesman in Chief?

The Nobel Peace Prize huh?

And about the Pentagon’s budget being “squeezed;” what a joke.

May 29, 2012 at 4:51 PM 2 comments

What if Men Could Get Pregnant?

I’m all for this!  Enough with putting it all on the woman:

The Standard Examiner reports that a local doctor in Utah has written three-page proposal to fine every father who impregnates a woman or girl, saying the fee — and the subsequent penalties — ensures, “No boy would dare have sex without wearing three condoms.”

The consequences?

  • Restrict elective abortion to the first 16 weeks.
  • Require DNA testing to determine paternity of all out-of-wedlock children, even aborted.
  • Require the father to establish a $50,000 trust fund to care for any out-of-wedlock child, even if adopted. If the child is aborted, the fund is used for sex education.
  • If the father can’t pay, he joins the military and uses his enlistment bonus and salary to pay.
  • No man can avoid paternity claiming “she seduced me,” or that she claimed she was on the pill, had her tubes tied, whatever.
  • Man under 18? His parents are responsible.

May 29, 2012 at 3:02 PM 4 comments

Humans Being

 

(Image via RailEurope.co.uk)

A train in central Sweden inched along for nearly 2 miles following an 11-year-old autistic boy who was walking barefoot along the railroad tracks, police said.

Passengers on the train wanted to get off to help the boy but staff members told them it was against regulations to open train doors mid-route, Sweden’s The Local.se reported.

Witnesses said the boy threw stones at the train and occasionally became so tired he sat down on the tracks and rested, forcing the train to come to a halt.

It took more than 50 minutes before police arrived to take the boy off the tracks.

More…

What I love about this is that the passengers weren’t hugely irritated or maybe furious that the train was going so slowly for so long, but hey actually wanted to get out and help.

Good on them.

 

 

May 29, 2012 at 2:51 PM Leave a comment

CNN Hires Anthony Bourdain to Try to Rescue it From Extinction

You may have heard that CNN, which, 20-years-ago you could count on for actual news, is experiencing historic low ratings.  IMHO they deserve it.  I don’t watch television during the day but I like to start the morning out with some news but what CNN has to offer are sets filled with women who giggle a lot. If I wanted that I would turn to MTV or Nickelodeon.

Anyway, in what it apparently thinks will help save it, CNN announced today that it has hired Anthony Bourdain to add some spice to its programming:

(Image via Wikipedia)

World-renowned chef, bestselling author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain will join CNN as host of a new weekend program, creating a signature showcase for the network’s coverage of food and travel. The announcement was made by CNN Worldwide Executive Vice President and Managing Editor, Mark Whitaker.

“For more than a decade, Anthony Bourdain has been a trailblazer in educating Americans about different cuisines and cultures around the world, as well as an outspoken commentator on social trends ranging from the rise of celebrity chefs to the impact of fast food chains to the spread of vegetarianism and veganism,” said Whitaker. “Examining the world through the prism of Tony’s unique expertise and passions continues CNN’s long-standing commitment to international reporting and to promoting global understanding.”

Launching in early 2013, the show will be shot on location and examine cultures from around the world through their food and dining and travel rituals. Slated to air domestically on Sundays in prime time with repeat airings on Saturday nights, it will mark a further step in broadening and distinguishing CNN’s weekend programming from its traditional weekday news coverage.

More…

My immediate thoughts are:  First, I love Anthony Bourdain, especially his cockiness and his snark, but I won’t like him if CNN squeezes him into a watered-down version of his real self.  Actually, I can’t see Bourdain being happy at CNN.  I do think they will try to pretty him up so I have my doubts as to whether the “marriage” will last.

Second what exactly does CNN stand for?  As I said above, it used to be the go-to place for news, news from all around the world.  Now it wants Bourdain to be the “signature showcase for the network’s coverage of food and travel?”  Whut?  Since when is CNN known for its coverage of food and travel?

Oh, and remember when Piers Morgan was going to save the network after Larry King left?

Oy.

 

May 29, 2012 at 11:03 AM 3 comments

Tear Down That Poster

This is just awful.  We’re talking Great Britain here folks. What is this world coming to?

Police Given Powers to Enter Homes and Tear Down Anti-Olympics Posters During 2012 Games

Police have been handed ‘Chinese-style’ powers to enter private homes and seize political posters during the London 2012 Olympics.

Little-noticed measures passed by the Government will allow officers and Olympics officials to enter homes and shops near official venues to confiscate any protest material.

Breaking the rules could land offenders with a fine of up to £20,000.

Civil liberties groups compared the powers to those used by the Communist Chinese government to stop political protest during the 2008 Beijing Games.

Anita Coles, of Liberty, said: ‘Powers of entry should be for fighting crime, not policing poster displays.

More…

Outrageous.

 

May 29, 2012 at 8:30 AM 1 comment

Citigroup Providing Free Bicycles — Don’t Buy it World!

This is from the “liberal” The Independent of London:

Hello, New Yorkers, if you’re there. In a few weeks you’ll welcome to your streets 10,000 bicycles that will make you, says your fellow New Yorker, the writer David Byrne, “rethink your city and rewrite the mental maps you use to decide what is… possible.”

Manhattan will become the latest city to adopt a bike hire scheme, deploying the same machines we use in London. Here’s some advice before you hop on: Get a cheap helmet; consider the effects of sweat before riding to social engagements; start saving – the scheme is more than five times the price of London’s – and never get run over (taxis may be your nemesis).

More…

This photo accompanies the article:

(Image via TheIndependent.co.uk)

Citibike?  As in Citigroup.

Citigroup was one of the five or six banks who crashed the global economy.  They aren’t our friend.  But they want to be.

Beware.

This photo disgusts me.  Come on world, let’s not fall for their cheap effort to woo us.

 

 

May 28, 2012 at 8:35 PM 1 comment

Mitt Romney Uses Memorial Day Speech to Essentially Call for More Wars

Hey Mitt, great way to honor our vets:

Speaking to an enthusiastic audience of several thousand on Memorial Day, Mitt Romney cast the presidential campaign as a choice between a candidate who supports a strong military and one who would shrink the defense budget and weaken the nation’s armed forces.

The presumptive GOP nominee underlined the urgency of his message by warning supporters the world was “not safe.”

“I wish I could tell you that the world is a safe place today,” he told an audience of roughly 5,000 people – many of them military families – at an outdoor park in San Diego. “It’s not.”

Romney offered a laundry list of geopolitical concerns from Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon, to Mexican drug cartels, to Russia’s growing military.

“We have two courses we can follow,” he said. “One is to follow the pathway of Europe, to shrink our military smaller and smaller to pay for our social needs.”

As commercial planes rumbled overhead, descending toward a nearby airport, Romney suggested he would choose another path.

“The other is to commit to preserve America as the strongest military in the world, second to none, with no comparable power anywhere in the world. We choose that course,” he said. “We choose that course for America not just so that we can win wars, but so we can prevent wars. Because a strong America is the best deterrent to war that ever has been invented.”

More…

Peace through war.

Mitt, I hate to break it to you, but we’re there:

(Image via ArmsControlCenter.org)

I wonder if a time will (ever) come when Americans boo that kind of talk.  Look at that fu*king chart.

How decimated does our society need to be before we say we’re spending enough on the military already?

Oh, and it doesn’t take much to see where Mitt’s going here folks.  Forget “social needs.”  Defense companies will be rolling in dough if he gets elected and as for “social needs?”  Well, not so much.

 

 

May 28, 2012 at 5:11 PM 1 comment

Kudos to Students in Montreal

You may have heard about the huge protests in Montreal last week:

Protests that began in opposition to tuition fees in Canada have exploded into a political crisis with the mass arrest of hundreds of demonstrators amid a backlash against draconian emergency laws.

More than 500 people were arrested in a demonstration in Montreal on Wednesday night as protesters defied a controversial new law – Bill 78 – that places restrictions on the right to demonstrate. In Quebec City, police arrested 176 people under the provisions of the new law.

Demonstrators have been gathering in Montreal for just over 100 days to oppose tuition increases by the Quebec provincial government. On Tuesday, about 100 people were arrested after organisers say 300,000 people took the streets.

But what began as a protest against university fee increases has expanded to a wider movement to oppose Bill 78, which was rushed through by legislators in Quebec in response to the demonstrations. The bill imposes severe restrictions on protests, making it illegal for protesters to gather without having given police eight hours’ notice and securing a permit.

More…

According to the NationalPost.com, “Among other things, the law requires organizers of protests of more than 50 people to submit their demonstration route to police eight hours ahead of time.”

So, they did:

(Image via @PWeiskel08 on Twitter.)

LOVE IT!

 

 

 

May 28, 2012 at 3:33 PM 1 comment

My Kind of Cake

Check out these adorable cakes from CakeDoggyDog.com:

(Image via CakeDoggyDog.com)

(Image via CakeDoggyDog.com)

Love that brown one.  And look at how soulful the eyes are on both of them.

Great job.

More here.

May 28, 2012 at 2:45 PM 2 comments

It’s Party Time in Ol’ London Town

The British are celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.  She has reigned since February 6, 1952, and they’re going all out.  Today the “largest image of the royal family ever produced,” a photograph taken in 1977, was hung on the side of a building on the bank of the Thames river.  ““It is the owner’s tribute for this very special occasion, when on Sunday 3rd June, the Jubilee Flotilla passes by and the country celebrates 60 incredible years of everything that makes Britain great.”

Here’s video of the photo being installed:

Have fun Britain!

(Via.)

May 28, 2012 at 9:13 AM 1 comment

Texas — You’re Petty, Hateful and Ungrateful

I live in Colorado. The men you see here tarring roofs in 98º weather, breaking their backs while pulling rocks out of the ground to install sprinkler systems and  holding “Slow” signs on sweltering days in a road construction area are all Mexicans.

Three or four years ago we had our backyard re-sodded because two puppies running around all winter with their friends meant we were looking at a mud pit.  The boss was a white guy who barked orders to his Mexican workers.  I feel awful about it to this day.

So excuse me Texas.  I know your reality is the same as mine.  It’s what’s happening all over the west.

So could you cut the people who make your life a whole lot easier a bit slack as in letting them ORDER THEIR PIZZAS IN SPANISH?

Image via fhwa.dot.gov.)

OMG.  Really?

Never in the history of modern civilization have people been so divided over pizza. Until now, that is. A chain of take-out pizza joints is the center of controversy over plans to hand out free pies next month when orders are placed in Spanish.

The Dallas, Texas-based Pizza Patrón chain will offer free pies on June 5 at all 104 of their nation-wide outlets. Yes, there is a catch, and while it might not seem all that strange to some, angry Americans are boycotting the eatery over the promotion.

Pizza Patrón plans to give away 80,000 pies during the three hour window of the promotion, extending freebies to anyone that orders in Spanish.

“People (just) need to ask for the pizza in Spanish,” Jose Miguel Dominguez, the owner of four Houston, TX locations, tells local KHOU 11 News. “Pizza is universal in every language so all you really need to learn is ‘por favor.’”

“If they come and order in Spanish, ‘Pizza por favor’  or ‘Quiero pizza,’ we’re giving it away free,” Pizza Patrón Franchisee Randy Schmidt adds to Denver, Colorado’s CW 2.

No matter which way you slice it, though, many outspoken customers of the chain aren’t all that enthused.

“It seems to punish people who can’t speak Spanish, and I resent that,” Peter Thomas, chairman of the Conservative Caucus, tells USA Today. “In public areas, people should be speaking English, and that includes pizza parlors.”

More…

No words.

 

May 27, 2012 at 7:33 PM 1 comment

President Obama Blows Off Massacre in Houla

It looks like forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is coddled by the U.S., murdered 50+ children yesterday in Houla, Syria:

(Via.)

Meanwhile the UAE calls for Urgent Arab League Meeting Over ‘Houla Massacre’ in Syria.

Read the article.  Britain and France are involved but there’s no mention whatsoever of the United States.

May 26, 2012 at 7:54 PM Leave a comment

Is Hillary Clinton Going to Sweden to Negotiate Julian Assange’s Extradition?

Something to think about and be aware of:

Via the U.S. State Department:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey from May 31-June 7.

[...]

On June 3, Secretary Clinton will travel to Stockholm, Sweden, for meetings with senior Swedish officials to discuss a range of issues, including green energy, Internet freedom, Afghanistan and the Middle East. In Stockholm she will also participate in a Climate and Clean Air Coalition event on short-lived climate pollutants.

Via Wikileaks:

 

 

May 26, 2012 at 7:23 PM Leave a comment

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