Posts filed under ‘Repression’

Throw “Like a Girl”

I feel a little hesitant putting this video up because in doing so I’m posting an advertisement for “Always” feminine products but I’ve got to say, it makes a great point.  I know I absorbed the “throw like a girl” message as a kid so I applaud the younger ladies in this video who haven’t been brainwashed along those lines yet.  Don’t let it happen.  Ever!

Using #LikeAGirl as an insult is a hard knock against any adolescent girl. And since the rest of puberty’s really no picnic either, it’s easy to see what a huge impact it can have on a girl’s self-confidence.
We’re kicking off an epic battle to make sure that girls everywhere keep their confidence throughout puberty and beyond, and making a start by showing them that doing it #LikeAGirl is an awesome thing.

(Via.)

 

July 19, 2014 at 2:26 PM Leave a comment

Winger Who Supports Voter ID Laws Turned Away at Poll Because He Forgot His ID

I wish everyone who forgets their voter ID had a gopher who could run home to get it for them:

Asa Hutchinson via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia)

A Republican candidate for Arkansas governor who supports the new voter ID law was left waiting after he forgot his identification.

Spokesman Christian Olson told The Associated Press that Asa Hutchinson forgot his ID when he attempted to vote at the polls in Bentonville on Monday. Olson says a staffer was able to retrieve the ID and bring it to Hutchinson so he could vote.

[...]

Olson says Hutchinson thought the incident was a “little bit of an inconvenience” but still believes the law is necessary.

More…

It would have been way more of an inconvenience if he was trying to vote on his lunch hour and he’d be fired if he didn’t punch back in when he was supposed to.

May 21, 2014 at 8:23 AM Leave a comment

Chemicals Used in Fracking Must Be Absolutely Awful

Fracking Well Heads via Wikipedia

(Fracking well heads via Wikimedia)

Check out what corporate-owned Republicans in North Carolina are doing.  The chemicals used by the fracking industry must be terrifying if they’re going to this length to keep them secret:

As hydraulic fracturing ramps up around the country, so do concerns about its health impacts. These concerns have led 20 states to require the disclosure of industrial chemicals used in the fracking process.

North Carolina isn’t on that list of states yet—and it may be hurtling in the opposite direction.

On Thursday, three Republican state senators introduced a bill that would slap a felony charge on individuals who disclosed confidential information about fracking chemicals. The bill, whose sponsors include a member of Republican party leadership, establishes procedures for fire chiefs and health care providers to obtain chemical information during emergencies. But as the trade publication Energywire noted Friday, individuals who leak information outside of emergency settings could be penalized with fines and several months in prison.

“The felony provision is far stricter than most states’ provisions in terms of the penalty for violating trade secrets,” says Hannah Wiseman, a Florida State University assistant law professor who studies fracking regulations.

The bill also allows companies that own the chemical information to require emergency responders to sign a confidentiality agreement. And it’s not clear what the penalty would be for a health care worker or fire chief who spoke about their experiences with chemical accidents to colleagues.

More…

Amazing.  The citizens of North Carolina pay these guys’ salary but these state senators are blatantly and flagrantly working against the wellbeing of the very people who voted them into office and again, who pay them to ah, work for them not against them.  Thomas Jefferson must be twirling in his grave.

May 19, 2014 at 11:52 AM Leave a comment

Pass This Test Before You Complain About “Illegals”

Here are some of the questions “illegal immigrants” have to answer before they’re given U.S. citizenship.

Would you pass?

 

 

 

April 26, 2014 at 9:11 PM 1 comment

What if Your Mailman Refuses to Deliver Your Mail Based on His “Religious Beliefs?”

In the case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, heard by the Supreme Court a few weeks ago, the Court must decide whether a corporation, i.e. Hobby Lobby, can opt out of providing insurance coverage to its employees for certain forms of birth control it objects to. The case, in essence, is about whether corporations — who the Supreme Court has already said are “people” — can have religious beliefs.

If the Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby, the sky’s the limit.  Imagine a dental practice refusing to treat African Americans because of its supposed “religious beliefs,” or a veterinarian refusing to treat dogs belonging to blond people because of  “religious beliefs.”  I mean, it could get really crazy around here really fast.

Not only that, imagine a USPS letter carrier or a FedEx guy incorporating himself and refusing to deliver mail or packages that violate his/her “religious beliefs,” as in this:  On May 22, the United States Postal Service will debut a “forever stamp” featuring openly-gay San Fransisco Board of Supervisors member Harvey Milk who was assassinated in 1978.

Harvey Milk Stamp

Or what about this:  My husband was a letter carrier for 35 years.  He’s retired now but what if he’d incorporated himself and refused to deliver Republican campaign mail to his patrons, based on, ahem, his “religious beliefs?”

Like I said, it could get really crazy, really fast.

 

 

 

 

April 20, 2014 at 6:31 PM Leave a comment

Happy Easter

I’m thinking about rebirth and renewal and about the possibility that today represents the hope that we humans will find a way to be kinder to each other and much, much more respectful of the plants and animals who (try to) coexist with us on this little sphere we live on.

Fun Summer Wreath

A spring wreath I made out of torn pieces of leftover fabric from pillow covers I made a few years ago.

 

 

April 20, 2014 at 2:35 AM 2 comments

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) is a Liar

 

Republican Dinasour

After Senate Republicans spent the week blocking a bill to strengthen equal pay for equal work, they used their weekly radio address this morning to claim ah, they’re for equal pay for equal work:

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., made the case.

“There was plenty of talk in Washington this week about equal pay. it was just that: more talk,” she said.

No, it wasn’t just “more talk,” Ms. Rodgers.  There was an actual bill on the floor of the Senate that you guys blocked!

“As a woman who worked at McDonald’s to get through college…. as the mom of two young daughters  … and as the elected representative of thousands of hardworking women, I have always supported equal pay for equal work.

“And if a woman is being paid less than a man because of gender discrimination, that is both wrong and against the law. “

More…

I’m sick of words like “misspoke” or “untruth.” Let’s tell it like it is:  Lying sacks of sh*t.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/04/12/224235/gop-uses-saturday-address-to-insist.html#storylink=cpy

 

April 12, 2014 at 10:01 AM 1 comment

Illinois Middle School Says Girls Can’t Wear Leggings. What’s Next? Burkas?

Geezus.  For real?  In 2014?  In the United States of America?

Middle-school girls in Evanston, Ill., are picketing for the right to wear leggings. Sophie Hasty, 13, told the Evanston Review that teachers at Haven Middle School informed female students this month that leggings are “too distracting to boys” to be fit for the classroom.

More…

The lesson to be taught here is to boys, not girls.

What’s next?  Burkas?  The Taliban forces women to wear burkas for exactly the same reason…boys and men just can’t control themselves when they look at the female body…even if it’s covered in leggings.  Males can be so weak when it comes down to it but, natch, women and girls pay the price because men wield the power.  They’ve got the guns.

Burkas via Nitin Madhav (USAID)  Wikimedia Commons

(Image Nitin Madhav (USAID) via Wikimedia Commons)

You go Sophie!

March 24, 2014 at 5:36 PM 1 comment

National Hispanic Bar Association Pulls its 2015 Convention from Arizona

Here’s their press release:

ispanic Bar assn

(Image HNBA.com)

The Hispanic National Bar Association Pulls its 2015 Annual Convention From Phoenix in Response to Arizona’s SB 1062

Washington, D.C. – The HNBA announced today that it has pulled its 40th Annual Convention previously scheduled for Phoenix, Arizona in September 2015.

On Monday, February 24th, the HNBA denounced the Arizona legislature’s passage of SB 1062.  The HNBA also called for Governor Jan Brewer to veto the legislation and still hopes that she will do so.  As set forth in its February 24th press release, SB 1062 discriminates against members of Arizona’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.  

The proposed legislation also impacts other citizens that are either traveling through Arizona or that are doing business or have business interests in the state.  Accordingly, the HNBA’s Board of Governors voted unanimously to immediately pull the Annual Convention.

More…

 

February 26, 2014 at 2:49 PM 4 comments

Memo to Arizona’s “Religious Freedom” Fighters: If I Don’t Like Your Mail I Might Not Deliver It

Fireworks via Wikimedia commons

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Yo, Arizona, do you really want to go down the road where anyone and everyone can refuse services to people they perceive as violating their “religious freedom?”

Let’s pretend I’m your letter carrier and I’m on my route walking toward your house.  While sifting through the envelopes I’m carrying I see a letter or a solicitation from the NRA or Planned Parenthood.  I’m opposed to one or the other so — per my “religious freedom” and the bill sitting on Governor Jan Brewer’s desk — I refuse service because delivering that letter would go against my “religious freedom” and I toss it.

That’s where you’re going.

Do you want letter carriers to decide what mail you get based on their “religious freedom?”

Seriously?  Think about the ramifications.

(P.S.  Here’s the definition of ramification.)

Oh, and I love how Republicans seem to have driven over their infamous rebranding plan.

February 25, 2014 at 8:53 PM 3 comments

Have Conservatives Gone Over the Cliff Pushing Their Favorite Social Issues?

Wingnuts via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia)

Here’s a perceptive and interesting read from Ed Kilgore over at Talking Points Memo asking whether the right’s so-called “religious liberty” campaign is backfiring:

In 2012, the conservative “campaign for religious liberty” looked like a smart and possibly winning strategic gambit. Aimed specifically at the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate, nestled in a broader claim of institutional and individual exemptions from complex and sometimes unpopular laws and regulations, the campaign linked the Conference of U.S. Catholic Bishops with conservative evangelicals and both to the Republican politicians (including presidential candidate Mitt Romney) who made it a new front in both their anti-Obamacare and “family values” messaging.

[...]

Two years later, the “religious liberty” crusade shows signs of backfiring. This very day, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer may veto a bill just passed by a legislature controlled by her own party that provides a broad exemption from discrimination laws to businesses and individuals claiming compliance violates their beliefs. And more generally, an argument that once distracted from the extremist nature of conservative Christian objections to gay rights and reproductive rights is drawing attention to them in a dangerous way.

[...]

Perhaps some non-sectarian Americans instinctively identify with “bakers of conscience” or wedding planners who consider themselves in danger of hellfire for booking hotel ballrooms for Sodomites. But like the fight for the freedom to treat IUDs as death machines, the fight to provide the conservative Christian elements of the wedding industry with plenary indulgences from obedience to the law tends to elicit less sympathy than ridicule from the non-aligned.

More…

Again, I recommend the whole article.  I think Kilgore may be right.  In their desperation to hold on to the guns, God and gay crowd, conservatives have likely gone too far.  Yes, their base loves what they’re doing but chances are independents are shaking their head at the extremism of it all, this being the most recent example:  Washington lobbyist Jack Burkman on Monday said he is preparing legislation that would ban gay athletes from joining the National Football League.

February 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM Leave a comment

Obama’s Laughable Faux Concern About Freedom of the Press in Venezuela

This is a tweet from the U.S. National Security Council, you know, the folks who are spying on everyone in the world (literally0:

National Security Council Tweet re Press freedom in Venezuela

Hahahahahahaha.

Did you see this:  Thanks Obama!  U.S. 46th in Press Freedom and Dropping Like a Stone.

The United States isn’t the beacon on the hill anymore when it comes to freedom of the press.  As a matter of fact, it’s deviated so much from that standard that it’s paved the way for countries around the world to clamp down on the freedom of speech and the press everywhere.  Not long ago (six, ten years), countries feared the U.S.’s wrath if they strayed too far afield.  Not anymore.

Per Reporters Without Borders, press freedoms are ranked below:

Finland (#1)

New Zealand (#9)

Germany (#14)

Canada (#18)

Slovakia (#20)

Namibia (#22)

Cape Verde (#24)

Ghana (#27)

United Kingdom (#33)

Spain (#35)

France (#39)

Botswana (#41)

Papua New Guinea (#44)

The United States ranks #46 in the world.  Go here for more.

So that NSA tweet above?  Laughable.

 

With POTUS 44, there’s nothing more galling than his shattered promises to make his the most transparent presidency in history, to cherish the public service offered by whistleblowers and to enshrine the American ideal of a free and unfettered press. It was all a lie, and now the people who compile the World Press Freedom Index have made it official: Our 1st Amendment rights are only a monument to American exceptionalism if you mean that we’re barely more exceptional than Haiti:
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Thanks-Obama-US-46th-in-press-freedom-and-dropping-like-a-stone.html#mK741i5GADXTIe5M.99

February 24, 2014 at 9:07 PM Leave a comment

Watch What Happens When a White Guy and a Black Guy Try to “Break in” to a Car

“Post-racial America?”  Riiight.

(Via.)

 

February 22, 2014 at 12:21 PM Leave a comment

Bravo to Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizza in Tucson, Arizona!

I love this:

Rocco's Little Chicago Pizza

(Image via RoccosLittleChicago.com)

 

Arizona Pizzeria Refuses to Serve Legislators

In the wake of Arizona’s legislature recently passing a law that allows for discrimination (under the guise of religious freedom), a pizzeria in Tucson has decided that it will no longer serve Arizona legislators.

Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizza is taking a stand against the politicians who have voted in favor of Senate Bill 1062 which gives Arizona business owners the right to deny service to gays and others on the basis of religious freedom.

On Thursday the pizzeria posted a photo to its Facebook page (seen above) along with the message “”Funny how just being decent is starting to seem radical these days.”

“A customer posted the sign to my Facebook feed, so I printed it up and laminated it,” owner Anthony Rocco DiGrazia told The Huffington Post Friday (via Facebook). “The response has been overwhelming and almost all positive from across the globe. I just want to serve dinner and own and work in a place I’m proud of. Opening the door to government-sanctioned discrimination, regardless of why, is a huge step in the wrong direction. Thanks for all the support.”

More…

If you want to send a note of support to Rocco, the address is pizzarocco@gmail.com.

Good move guys!

 

February 22, 2014 at 10:18 AM Leave a comment

About Scary Black Men

Excellent point (my Tweet of the Day):

Tweet of the Day 2-15-14

 

February 15, 2014 at 10:51 AM Leave a comment

What It’s Like Being One of 33 Black Students Among 1,100 at UCLA’s School of Law

On February 10, 2014 a group of students from the UCLA School of Law gathered together to raise awareness of the disturbing emotional toll placed upon students of color due to their alarmingly low representation within the student body.

(Via.)

This video appears to be stuck on autoplay, which drives me insane.  Please leave a comment or email me (see “About,” above) if it autoplays for you too and I’ll put up a link instead of posting the video itself.

Thanks.

February 12, 2014 at 7:16 PM 2 comments

If You’re a Parent and You Care About the World Your Kid Will Live in, Read This

About spying and a corporate-controlled internet:

Spying What I worry About from Bernie Sanders

 

 

February 11, 2014 at 8:20 PM Leave a comment

I Support: The Day We Fight Back

 

The Day We Fight Back

 

Learn more here and here.

February 11, 2014 at 12:08 AM Leave a comment

You Can Call Yourself a Christian If…

Just sayin’:

If You call yourself a christian

(Via.)

February 2, 2014 at 7:24 PM Leave a comment

Keep the Government of Texas Out of Marlise Munoz’s Hospital Room

ICU via wikimedia commons

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

This happened today:

For the first time, John Peter Smith Hospital acknowledges that Marlise Munoz, who is being kept on a respirator under Texas law, has been brain dead since November 28 and that the “fetus gestating inside Mrs. Munoz is not viable,” according to court documents released before a Friday hearing.

The woman’s husband has repeatedly made these claims in his efforts to have her removed from the machines so the family can bury her.

More…

Interesting timing. The hospital must have seen the writing on the wall because just an hour or so later, this happened:

A judge on Friday ordered a Texas hospital to remove life support for a pregnant, brain-dead woman whose family had argued that she would not want to be kept in that condition.

Judge R. H. Wallace Jr. issued the ruling in the case of Marlise Munoz. John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth has been keeping Munoz on life support against her family’s wishes. The judge gave the hospital until 5 p.m. CST Monday to remove life support.

More…

Now we wait to see if the hospital appeals, which it has a right to do.

I have a question:  No matter when Ms. Munoz is finally allowed to rest in peace, who pays the bill for the time (going on two months now) the hospital kept her alive against the wishes of her family?  The hospital better the hell eat those costs. If they have the gall to send Mr. Munoz a bill, omg, I can’t imagine.

Bottom line:  This is about religious zealots in Texas passing laws that impose their religious beliefs on everyone, like the Taliban does in Pakistan.  The Founding Fathers were right:  There must be a separation between church and state.

 

January 24, 2014 at 6:47 PM 2 comments

Fostering Female Body Loathing — Boob Deodorant

In its never-ending quest to create problems and sell us remedies, the “beauty industry” has decided that women need to wear deodorant under their boobs.  Yep, boob sweat is now a thing:

Fresh Breast for Women via shavesoft.com

(“Fresh Breast for Women” via ShaveSoft.com)

We’ve heard about women tattooing their nipples, giving their vaginas facials and buying intimate cleansers, but just when you thought beauty products had reached their limits, out comes breast deodorant.

Not one, but three companies are promising their products will eliminate ‘swoobs’ AKA sweaty boobs. “Women can now rest easy,” promises Fresh Body as it advertises its Fresh Breasts deodorant. “We’re replacing ‘swoobs’ – dreaded boob sweat – with smiles!”

Erm … what?

I had no idea boob sweat was even a real thing, let alone something we should all “dread” and spend up to $20 (£12) to eliminate.

More…

 

January 24, 2014 at 10:31 AM Leave a comment

The .001%ers are Wringing Their Hands at Davos

My Tweet of the Day:

Tweet of the Day 1-23-14

January 23, 2014 at 9:18 PM Leave a comment

Waiting for Fox’s Neil Cavuto to Renounce Dinesh D’Souza For Violating Election Laws

Oh the irony.  I.  Am.  Loving.  This.

Fox News has spent the last five years promoting the notion that election fraud is rampant across the United States though time and again, their Republican cronies haven’t found any (here and here as recent examples).

That meme has been about discrediting an African-American president and insinuating that creepy crawly homeless and poor people — African-Americans of course — are stealing what would otherwise be a clean and pure election process that would elect a (white) Republican, not a Kenyan Muslim guy.

That said, I can’t help but laugh my ass off tonight as I read about one of Fox’s favorite “contributors,” Dinesh D’Souza, who has been indited for, get this,

VIOLATING U. S. ELECTION LAW

Cull through the posts I put up at the Newshounds after I worked on Outfoxed and you’ll see reference after reference to good ol’ Dinesh.  He was one of Neil Cavuto‘s favorite guests. He couldn’t get enough of sitting on his high horse, bashing Obama, bashing everything that was wrong and supposedly corrupt about Democrats, the election process, the economy and well, you name it.

Dinesh D'Souza via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia)

Oh, and Fox used Dinesh as one of their brown guys.  You know:  We like brown people (despite their underlying deceitfulness, corruption and tendency toward killing white people).  We really, really do!

Ah, life can be so sweet.

Click on the headline above or go here for more on the indictment.

 

 

 

January 23, 2014 at 9:06 PM Leave a comment

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler: A Republican’s Republican

Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State, Scott Gessler, is catering to the business community to such an extent he’s practically bankrupting his office:

Scott Gessler image via sos.state.co.uk

(Image via SOS.State.CO.US)

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler is blaming an election bill passed by Democrats for wrecking his budget, but a closer look reveals that it was Gessler’s own choices that largely account for a $5.1 million loss.

Gessler’s office was running a $7 million surplus, so large it violated the law, in June 2012. A year later, it had fallen to less than $2 million, and now legislators are worried his budget will need extra money to keep it afloat.

Most of the shortfall traces back to Gessler’s cuts to business filing fees, according to budget numbers the Herald obtained through the Colorado Open Records Act. He also spent money on website upgrades to make it easier to register a business in Colorado.

Gessler, a Republican, is running for governor, and he touts his cuts to business fees on the campaign trail. But under the Capitol dome, he places blame for his collapsing budget on House Bill 1303, a mail-voting bill that Democrats passed last spring.

[...]

The math, however, shows the opposite.

On five occasions, Gessler cut business fees, either temporarily or permanently. The biggest one was a three-month fee holiday from December 2012 to February 2013, when fees of up to $125 were reduced to $1. Gessler’s office lost $3 million in revenue those three months.

More…

Ah yes. Catering to business at the expense of everything and everyone else. Oooh yeah!  Republicans seem not to know any other way.

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler is blaming an election bill passed by Democrats for wrecking his budget, but a closer look reveals that it was Gessler’s own choices that largely account for a $5.1 million loss.

Gessler’s office was running a $7 million surplus, so large it violated the law, in June 2012. A year later, it had fallen to less than $2 million, and now legislators are worried his budget will need extra money to keep it afloat.

Most of the shortfall traces back to Gessler’s cuts to business filing fees, according to budget numbers the Herald obtained through the Colorado Open Records Act.

Gessler, a Republican, is running for governor, and he touts his cuts to business fees on the campaign trail. But under the Capitol dome, he places blame for his collapsing budget on House Bill 1303, a mail-voting bill that Democrats passed last spring.

“The issue basically with the budget is 1303’s been a budget-buster. It’s blown our budget out of the water,” Gessler said at a Dec. 19 oversight hearing at the Legislature.

Sen. Matt Jones, D-Louisville, disputed Gessler’s argument.

“I don’t think one bill is causing a $5 million deficit,” Jones said.

“I’m sorry that you find that hard to believe,” Gessler answered. “I’m happy to show you the math.”

The math, however, shows the opposite.

On five occasions, Gessler cut business fees, either temporarily or permanently. The biggest one was a three-month fee holiday from December 2012 to February 2013, when fees of up to $125 were reduced to $1. Gessler’s office lost $3 million in revenue those three months.

- See more at: http://www.chieftain.com/news/politics/2203809-120/gessler-budget-fees-million#sthash.VXjEfGvn.dpuf

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler is blaming an election bill passed by Democrats for wrecking his budget, but a closer look reveals that it was Gessler’s own choices that largely account for a $5.1 million loss.

Gessler’s office was running a $7 million surplus, so large it violated the law, in June 2012. A year later, it had fallen to less than $2 million, and now legislators are worried his budget will need extra money to keep it afloat.

Most of the shortfall traces back to Gessler’s cuts to business filing fees, according to budget numbers the Herald obtained through the Colorado Open Records Act.

Gessler, a Republican, is running for governor, and he touts his cuts to business fees on the campaign trail. But under the Capitol dome, he places blame for his collapsing budget on House Bill 1303, a mail-voting bill that Democrats passed last spring.

“The issue basically with the budget is 1303’s been a budget-buster. It’s blown our budget out of the water,” Gessler said at a Dec. 19 oversight hearing at the Legislature.

Sen. Matt Jones, D-Louisville, disputed Gessler’s argument.

“I don’t think one bill is causing a $5 million deficit,” Jones said.

“I’m sorry that you find that hard to believe,” Gessler answered. “I’m happy to show you the math.”

The math, however, shows the opposite.

On five occasions, Gessler cut business fees, either temporarily or permanently. The biggest one was a three-month fee holiday from December 2012 to February 2013, when fees of up to $125 were reduced to $1. Gessler’s office lost $3 million in revenue those three months.

- See more at: http://www.chieftain.com/news/politics/2203809-120/gessler-budget-fees-million#sthash.VXjEfGvn.dpuf

January 18, 2014 at 12:04 PM Leave a comment

Imagining a Real Liberal Media in the United States

Light Bulb Sarcastic via wikimedia commons

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Maybe it’s just me, but have you noticed how the cable “news” networks cycle through so-called news stories roughly every eight, ten, 15 minutes and repeat themselves ad nauseam all day (unless there’s “breaking news” of course, like a high-speed police chase or an apartment fire)?

And maybe its just me but have you noticed how the right constantly screams about how liberal the U.S. media is?

Imagine how this country would change if the media really was liberal and they repeated this kind of thing every day, all day:

–  Giving Employees Paid Sick Leave is Good for Business: A large majority of employers in Connecticut — where paid sick leave has been mandatory since January, 2012 — “reported that the law did not affect business operations and that they had no or only small increases in costs.”

–  The NSA’s Sweeping Surveillance Programs Don’t Stop Terrorism:  On June 5, 2013, the Guardian broke the first story in what would become a flood of revelations regarding the extent and nature of the NSA’s surveillance programs.  Facing an uproar over the threat such programs posed to privacy, the Obama administration scrambled to defend them as legal and essential to U.S. national security and counterterrorism. Two weeks after the first leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden were published, President Obama defended the NSA surveillance programs during a visit to Berlin, saying: “We know of at least 50 threats that have been averted because of this information not just in the United States, but, in some cases, threats here in Germany. So lives have been saved.”

[,,,]

However, our review of the government’s claims about the role that NSA “bulk” surveillance of phone and email communications records has had in keeping the United States safe from terrorism shows that these claims are overblown and even misleading.  An in-depth analysis of 225 individuals recruited by al-Qaeda or a like-minded group or inspired by al-Qaeda’s ideology, and charged in the United States with an act of terrorism since 9/11, demonstrates that traditional investigative methods, such as the use of informants, tips from local communities, and targeted intelligence operations, provided the initial impetus for investigations in the majority of cases, while the contribution of NSA’s bulk surveillance programs to these cases was minimal.

Climate Change Clouds Philippines’ Dream of Rice Self-Sufficiency

Climate change will complicate the Philippines’ efforts to become self-sufficient in rice, the country’s economic planning secretary said Monday.

Arsenio Balisacan said preliminary data showed that 74% of the estimated damage from natural disasters in the country last year came in the farm sector, primarily affecting rice. The natural disasters include extreme weather caused by global warming, he said.

“We expect these extreme events and unpredictable phenomena to become the new normal,” Mr. Balisican told a workshop on efforts to address the impact of climate change in agriculture.

West Virginia Chemical-Spill Site Avoided Broad Regulatory Scrutiny

No government regulation!  Woo hoo.  A Libertarian paradise (unless you need to take a shower, drink water, wash your clothes, make dinner or wash your face).

oger Ailes doesn’t just run Fox News as a political enterprise. He tried to do the same thing in his weekend community of Garrison, New York. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t work out quite so well.
Read more at http://www.newshounds.us/roger_ailes_tried_to_disrupt_his_bucolic_community_with_his_divisive_partisanship_01132014#kadLdX6CgpY2UWzG.99
oger Ailes doesn’t just run Fox News as a political enterprise. He tried to do the same thing in his weekend community of Garrison, New York. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t work out quite so well.
Read more at http://www.newshounds.us/roger_ailes_tried_to_disrupt_his_bucolic_community_with_his_divisive_partisanship_01132014#kadLdX6CgpY2UWzG.99

oger Ailes doesn’t just run Fox News as a political enterprise. He tried to do the same thing in his weekend community of Garrison, New York. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t work out quite so well.
Read more at http://www.newshounds.us/roger_ailes_tried_to_disrupt_his_bucolic_community_with_his_divisive_partisanship_01132014#kadLdX6CgpY2UWzG.99

 

oger Ailes doesn’t just run Fox News as a political enterprise. He tried to do the same thing in his weekend community of Garrison, New York. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t work out quite so well.
Read more at http://www.newshounds.us/roger_ailes_tried_to_disrupt_his_bucolic_community_with_his_divisive_partisanship_01132014#kadLdX6CgpY2UWzG.99

 

 

 

 

January 13, 2014 at 9:04 PM Leave a comment

SCOTUS Refuses to Affirm Arizona’s 20-Week Abortion Ban

Supreme Court building via smithsonianmag.com

Good:

The Supreme Court has rejected Arizona’s bid to put in place its ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The justices on Monday declined to reconsider a lower court ruling that the law violates a woman’s constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is able to survive outside the womb.

“Viability” of a fetus is generally considered to start at 24 weeks. Normal pregnancies run about 40 weeks.

More…

It looks like the Constitution is getting in the Tea Party’s and the religious right’s way, though they claim to be its great defenders.

January 13, 2014 at 10:05 AM Leave a comment

Jack Kingston (R-GA): Against Lunch Programs for Poor Kids But For Lunch Programs for His Staff

What’s that saying?  When you have one finger pointed at someone else you have four fingers pointed at yourself?

Serious question:  How do these guys sleep at night?

Jack Kingston R-GA via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia.)

Georgia GOPer Attacking Free School Lunch Expensed $4,200 In Meals

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) warned that there’s “no such thing as free lunch” for school children in Georgia, but he seems to have enjoyed a few.

An investigation by Georgia’s WSAV channel 3 found that Kingston, who is currently running for Senate and recently suggested students work cleaning cafeterias in exchange for lunch, had expensed as much as $4,182 worth of lunches for his office over the past three years.

More…

January 10, 2014 at 7:59 PM Leave a comment

Spying and Tiny Drones Everywhere

Today we learned, via Der-Spiegel, that the United States’ “National Security Agency” has gone so far as to intercept computers ordered online and to insert “backdoor” bugging devices in them, unbeknownst to to the recipients.

What?!

Meanwhile, per PopSci, this spy tool is out there too.  Imagine it hovering 30 feet above your living room window watching everything you do.  Given Der-Spiegel‘s revelations, I wouldn’t be surprised:

Drone Tiny via popsci.com

(Image via PopSci.com)

In a world of delicate, experimental nano-drones, the Black Hornet is the first operational system deployed. A hand-launched observation drone, it can resist gusting winds, fly for 25 minutes, and travel nearly a mile from its operator. The autopilot can follow GPS coordinates to conduct a preplanned patrol or simply hover and stare. All in a drone that weighs less than 0.6 ounces.

More…

December 29, 2013 at 9:38 PM Leave a comment

Republicans Kick a Million+ Lazy Ass Americans Off Their Unemployment Insurance

Got that?  Earlier this month, Republicans refused to extend unemployment insurance to more than a million Americans because they’re lazy a++holes and if we coddle them they’ll just keep on keepin’ on sucking the tit of the American taxpayer.

Dear god of the universe:  If only we really did have a liberal media here in the U.S., they’d be screaming about this<—-  <—-:

—->  —–>

GOP not working-

And if we had Democrats here in the U.S. who made some serious noise, who had guts and a willingness to stand up to the corporatocarcy (thank you Justice Roberts and your ruling on Citizens United), We the People might stand a chance…

 

December 28, 2013 at 8:44 PM 2 comments

Israel: Tear Down That Wall!

St. James’ Church in central London unveiled an eight-meter-high replica of the Israeli-built concrete wall that entirely surrounds the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, the traditional birthplace of Jesus.

[...]

“This wall is symbolic of walls all over the world that divide and confine peoples, restricting free movement and dominating the imagination of those who live behind them,” the festival website explains.

“We believe that bridges not walls are the only lasting foundation for peace. On Sunday 5th January at the end of the festival, the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany, the Wall itself will be transformed into a symbol of peace and hope.”

More…

I don’t understand how Israelis, having themselves been so persecuted over the millenia, are apparently guilt-free doing the same thing to the Palestinians.

December 25, 2013 at 8:52 PM Leave a comment

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