Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Misplaced Snark of the Day: Siri’s women’s healthcare problem

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From libertarian journalist Adam Thierer:

Tweet by Adam Thierer (@AdamThierer) [@ 11/30/11 10:14 PM] | Twitter

are Onion writers penning @ACLU petitions these days? I can't figure out if I'm supposed to take this seriously:

The ACLU petition-in-question is to ask that Apple fix an apparent glitch that renders Siri, the voice-activated “personal assistant” program for the iPhone 4S, utterly unable to locate various types of women’s healthcare services, such as abortion clinics and even access to birth control.

But apparently, that’s only a problem worth taking seriously to us liberal types – after all, failing to refer needy women to appropriate healthcare services, even when they’re readily available in the area, is really just silly.

(via @radleybalko)

Daily Blend: Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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Graph: Teen birth rates highest in South (Arkansas = 51-68.4%) (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / AP)
Proof that abstinence-only works, or something
[full size (400×336)]

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

Teacher suspended, might get fired for starring in gay porn

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Kevin Hogan
Kevin Hogan

Yet another schoolteacher is on the verge of having his career ruined as a result of puritanical hysteria, this time possibly tinged with a bit of homophobia to boot, and all because of things that have absolutely nothing to do with his capacity as an educator or decent person. And this time, a Boston-based Fox News affiliate is leading the mob:

Kevin Hogan is an English teacher and crew coach at a top-rated Massachusetts public high school, but he brings some unusual experience to the job: until recently, he was starring in pornographic movies.

Hogan has worked at the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden since September. In addition to his coaching and teaching duties, he also chairs the high school’s English department.

But he can also be found on the Internet and in adult entertainment stores under his screen name: Hytch Cawke.

Naturally, to make sure that every reasonable person knows they’re a bunch of craven appeasers, the school has now suspended Hogan and is contemplating terminating his employment:

Now Hogan will have to answer to his school, which placed him on paid leave while they conduct their own investigation.

It’s not the kind of news the school is used to. Just this year, Newsweek magazine named Mystic Valley one of the best high schools in the country and fourth best public high school in Massachusetts.

The school released a statement saying “We value the health and safety of our students,” and that "the school followed our normal hiring practices," which included criminal background checks in Massachusetts and California, where Hogan had been living.

Mystic Valley also said "the references we received were flawless,” and noted he was placed there by the recruiting firm Carney, Sandoe & Associates. Hogan even has a testimonial on the firm's website, where he writes, "It's amazing with your help I was able to find a school that I never thought existed."

Of course, there is absolutely nothing illegal (or actually wrong in any way) with teachers engaging in whatever perfectly legal activities they want outside of school, which includes pornography, no matter how pearl-clutchers feel about it. But, of course, what fear-mongering report would be complete without an obligatory mention of mindless reactions from local parents?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Virginia’s sex offender registry don’t care about no innocence

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Edgar Coker Jr. (20)
Edgar Coker Jr.

You would think that a criminal justice system (or branch thereof) that doesn’t take actual guilt or innocence into account can’t really claim to have anything to do with actual justice, yet that’s exactly the sort of system that’s flourishing in the U.S. Here is yet another such case: Even though his accuser soon recanted her false rape accusation, then-fifteen-year-old Edgar Coker, Jr. still spent 17 months in juvie and was swiftly entered into Virginia’s sex offender registry as a violent criminal. That was in 2007. Everyone knows he’s innocent. And yet, he’s still on that list and paying the price of his false guilty plea:

Last month, Coker, now 20, was arrested during a Friday night football game at the Orange, Va., high school he graduated from after his release from juvenile prison. Unless they have permission from the school, convicted violent sex offenders are not permitted on school grounds. But Coker had received such permission, and he attended school there for more than a year before graduation.

“He can’t do something as simple as go out with his brothers and see a football game,” his mother said as she fought back tears during a recent interview from the family’s modest rambler in Mineral, Va.

Coker’s attorneys are working to have the conviction vacated in Stafford County, and the Virginia Supreme Court is expected to hear the case early next year. To his attorneys and other advocates, the case is about the dangers of ineffective counsel and about Virginia’s restrictive post-conviction laws, which make it extraordinarily difficult for people like Coker to get a retrial.

Of course, this all might not have happened if their legal representation hadn’t been laughably incompetent:

The family’s argument is that Denise Rafferty, his original attorney, was ineffective. Among their assertions: that Rafferty did not interview school officials who knew that the girl had a history of similar false accusations and that Rafferty did not fight the judge’s decision to put Edgar on the sex-offender registry. They also contend that Rafferty told Edgar Coker Sr. that his son should plead guilty because the prosecution had DNA evidence linking him to the crime. A lab report shows that the test was never conducted.

Meanwhile, the Cokers’ punishment for a crime that was never committed continues:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Daily Blend: Monday, November 28, 2011

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Kevin Lorenzo Brooks
Kevin Lorenzo Brooks

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

“Psychic” TV show uses murder victim without family’s consent

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Promo shot for ‘The One’
Promo shot for The One
[full size (316×421)]

Am I the only one who finds this idea for a game show particularly creepy?

THE family of murdered housewife Kerry Whelan is furious with Channel Seven for turning her death into a game on psychic show The One.

Bernie Whelan said his family is distraught that no one from Channel Seven contacted them about using Mrs Whelan’s disappearance and murder as part of the TV show where psychics tried to find her remains.

Mrs Whelan disappeared in 1997 and was murdered by convicted killer Bruce Burrell, but her body has never been found.

"The first we knew of this was on the weekend when we were watching TV and saw Kerrie’s face pop up," Mr Whelan said.

"No one ever contacted us and we’ve always been co-operative with the media.

"They’ve turned Kerrie’s murder into a game show."

You’ve got to hand it to those “psychics”. Even when they aren’t bilking worried or grieving relatives and loved ones, they still manage to come across as a bunch of attention-whoring parasites.

(via The Daily Grail)

Police dogs get preferential treatment, too

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Police dog
Police dog

Dog gets loose and attacks an eight-year-old boy in the presence of police officers:

The boy, Patrick Assion, was visiting his grandmother’s house in Campbell and playing hide-and-seek with his cousin in the backyard when Storm took hold of Patrick’s arm and dragged him to the ground.

The incident left the boy three physical reminders of the attack: a red mark on his arm, a T-shirt full of holes and a torn-up sweat shirt.


“When I turned my head, it already got snatched onto my arm and threw me down to the ground and started ripping my jacket,” the boy told 21 WFMJ-TV, The Vindicator’s broadcast partner.

“I heard my cousin Patrick scream, and so I ran around the house and I saw the dog tearing up his coat,” Ali Darwish said.

I think we all know where this is going

Oh, wait – it was a police dog?

Um, well then, in its defense, let’s hear about the dog’s exemplary service record!

Police say the Friday attack of the department’s police dog, Storm, on an 8-year-old boy was an unfortunate accident, but Storm has done much more good than bad during his time with the department.


An off-duty Campbell police officer was walking Storm and allowed the dog to go to the bathroom in a fenced-in area. But the dog saw the boy and ran after him, apparently mistaking a running boy for a suspect.


“He has caught three armed robbers. He has located numerous amounts of drugs. He has tracked down suspects. He’s been a vital, vital part of our police department,” [Sgt. John] Rusnak said of the dog’s history.

Looks like the Pact of the Brotherhood in Blue doesn’t just apply to humans.

Now, to be clear: I am definitely not saying that the dog should have been put down; far from it. I don’t believe animals should be slaughtered for hurting human beings any more than any person charged with assault should. Only those who pose a real and constant threat to people around them should be dealt with, though I’d still prefer some sort of forced restraint or confinement rather than outright killing them (again, same with people).

But that is not the point. It’s just interesting – and important – to point out the clear distinction between what occurs when a dog attacks someone based solely on whether or not that person owns a police badge.

(via The Agitator)

Fox Nation declares victory in “War on Christmas”

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Fox News & co. apparently don’t believe in waiting for there to be an actual conflict before declaring victory. From Fox Nation:

Fox Nation headline: “We’re Winning the War on Christmas”

Of course, this is another Foxified headline with only a tenuous link to the original report, this time about how Walgreens is following suit behind numerous other retailers by caving in to Christian-Right pearl-clutching groups like the American Family Association [warning: auto-start video] after being threatened with boycotts for using a generic “holidays” labeling rather than “Christmas”. (Because that’s so obviously an issue worth boycotting anything over.)

But, hey, as long as Fox gets the boost in attention it craves, even if it’s by claiming to win an imaginary battle that no-one else on the planet is fighting.

(via Media Matters for America)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Daily Blend: Sunday, November 27, 2011

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Fr. Gabriele Amorth
Fr. Gabriele Amorth

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

Kansas student refuses to apologize for criticizing governor

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Which is more outrageous, here: that a politically inclined Kansas high-schooler wrote that Gov. Sam Brownback (R) “sucked” on Twitter, or that the Governor’s office pressured the school into demanding that the student apologize?

My transcript: (click the [+/-] to expand/collapse →) []

ANCHOR: A Shawnee Mission East high school student is in the spotlight for a tweet she made about Governor Sam Brownback. […]

REPORTER JAKE PETERSON: 18-year-old Emma Sullivan says Brownback’s staff contacted the school after she posted tweets saying how she felt about him. She says it’s free speech, but it appears the school doesn’t agree.

High school senior Emma Sullivan doesn’t shy away from politics.

EMMA SULLIVAN: I’m trying to be more involved, ’cause I just registered to vote.

REPORTER: On Monday, she went with her school’s government group to Topeka. Governor Brownback even gave them a speech.

SULLIVAN: I don’t agree with a majority of the things that he’s trying to pass or, like, not letting pass.

REPORTER: So, the social senior tweeted her feelings about the experience and what she wished she could’ve done.

SULLIVAN [reading her tweet]: “Just made mean comments to Gov. Brownback and told him he sucked, in person. #heblowsalot”

REPORTER: She says that tweet landed her in the principal’s office.

SULLIVAN: He explained the situation and that someone from Brownback’s office got a hold of it, then sent it to someone in charge of the district.

REPORTER: Sullivan says her principal wants her to write an apology to Governor Brownback.

SULLIVAN: I probably have, like, sixty followers on Twitter. Like, I didn’t it’d be, like, everyone would be freaking out.

GARD GIBSON: She’s a legal adult. She has the right to be able to share her opinion.

REPORTER: VML Creative Group’s Gard Gibson says he’s surprised the Governor’s took time to respond to one tweet. He says the Governor and the district are looking at this the wrong way.

GIBSON: Honestly, if it’s a government class and she was interested enough to have an opinion, if I’m the teacher, I’m happy.

REPORTER: Sullivan isn’t happy that her post caused so much of a ruckus, but she says she’s learned a lesson about how to grab the attention of people in power.

And Sullivan told us that she has not decided if she will write that letter to the Governor. Nobody from the Governor’s office was available for comment. We did get an email from the district, stating: “District officials are not aware of this school-specific incident, but [they] will look into the matter immediately following Thanksgiving break.” And that was in part of what they had to say.

It now turns out that Emma Sullivan has made her decision – and refuses to apologize:

Emma Sullivan told The Associated Press on Sunday that she's not sorry and an apology letter wouldn't be sincere.

Good on Miss Sullivan. And a heaping load of shame on Gov. Brownback for trying to use his position of power to bully an interested student into silence for saying some mean words about him. Maybe Sullivan should replace him; she seems to know a lot more about freedom than he does.

(via @radleybalko)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Daily Blend: Friday, November 25, 2011

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Burzynski Clinic logo
The Quack Oath: “First, peddle horseshit to sick people for their money …

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

Will Obama cave to bishops on non-copay contraception?

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Various contraceptives
Pictured: Violation of religious liberty

Here’s some more depressing news from the women’s reproductive health front-lines (’cause we can’t ever get enough). Facing pressure from the “religious liberty!”-crying U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), President Obama is now considered at risk for caving (shocking, I’m sure) and stripping coverage of birth control without co-pay from the healthcare reform law:

Women's groups working to save coverage of women's health care under health reform are concerned that President Obama will cave as early as this weekend to demands by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (all 271 men) to eliminate coverage of birth control without a co-pay by so expanding the current exemption for churches that millions of women who work for organizations affiliated with the Church and other anti-choice groups who claim a religious leaning would be denied coverage.

The reason? The President thinks he "owes" the Bishops for help with passage of health reform.


Female voters made up 53 percent of all voters responsible for Obama's victory in 2008.

Moreover, groups representing many millions of women throughout the country worked tirelessly--exhaustively--for well over a year to support the President's health reform initiative. They did this even when women lost benefits in the process, supporting the President and able in the end to point at least to gains in coverage of fundamental preventive care such as birth control without a co-pay as a victory.

Now, a President who doesn't seem to be able to resist pressure to cave on any number of key policy issues is considering actually further diminishing this victory in a kind of bait and switch--promising women they would not lose coverage, but in fact by caving to the Bishops, taking away coverage millions of women already have.

This is a tax on women. Birth control without insurance coverage can run as much as $600.00 per year. Without consistent access to birth control, women face constant risk of unintended pregnancy, abrogating their fundamental rights to plan their families and make decisions about how many children to have and when; to decide about their own educational and economic paths; to safeguard their own and their family's health. Such a tax will of course fall most heavily on low-income women, and therefore most heavily on Latina, African American, and Native American women who already make up a disproportionate share of this economic group.

To be pedantic for a minute, I agree with Ed Brayton that this really can’t be called a “tax”, but an additional fee. One should avoid using rhetoric that is not actually warranted. But nonetheless, the idea that Obama would bow down before yet another perennially whinging religious group and sacrifice what is very clearly a needed and helpful program in the process shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who recognizes that this President has so far displayed all the spine of a jellyfish.

I’m just hoping this analysis is wrong … though I can’t say I’m in any way optimistic.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Daily Blend: Wednesday, November 23, 2011

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Roger Anthony
Roger Anthony

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

Daily Blend: Wednesday, November 22, 2011 – Blame time zones

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Steven J. Baum P.C. employee mocking homeless people at 2010 Halloween party with sign: “3rd party squatter. I lost my home & I was NEVER served!!”
I am so sorry you are now amongst those you mocked

I don’t care what anyone or their calendars say; it’s still Tuesday the 22nd until I go to bed. Harumph.

  • Doggycide: Off-duty NYC cop shoots & kills neighbor’s friendly Doberman for “growling” at his dog.
    (via @radleybalko)

  • Dash-cam video showing Black man pepper-sprayed and (allegedly) choked for jaywalking appears online; Mayor says he’s “gravely disappointed” … that the video was made public. Because it’s “counteractive” to “police-community relations”. Always nice to see where their priorities lie.
    (via @radleybalko)

  • Oh karma: “Foreclosure mill” law firm caught mocking the homeless at a Halloween party [pictured] now forced to close after backlash.
    (via Political Irony)

  • MythBusters’ Grant Imahara answers Reddit’s top 10 questions.

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Seventh survey declares Fox News viewers least informed

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Fox News logo

And Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind makes seven (surveys identifying Fox News as the least reliable name in news):

What's stunning is how many different areas of the news and public policy Fox viewers are misinformed about. For instance, the Fairleigh Dickinson survey asked viewers about recent grassroots uprisings in Arab nations [emphasis added]:

For example, people who watch Fox News, the most popular of the 24-hour cable news networks, are 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watch no news at all..... Fox News watchers are also 6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government than those who watch no news.

I don’t know about you, but an audience that’s even less informed than those who don’t even watch any news at all doesn’t strike me as the mark of a credible news channel. Just a thought.

Fail Quote: Fox’s Megyn Kelly calls pepper spray a “food product”

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Megyn Kelly
Megyn Kelly

This one’s been exploding around the ’Net for a few hours, so it’s only fitting I make it into today’s Fail Quote installment. From Fox News’s Megyn Kelly, appearing on Bill O’Reilly’s show and unleashing this whopper about the UC Davis pepper-spraying incident:

O’REILLY: Um – First of all, pepper spray. That just burns your eyes, right?

KELLY: Right. I mean, it’s like a derivative of actual pepper. It’s a food product, essentially.

Yes, because who doesn’t enjoy a nice snack of a million Scovilles or two? Burning and suffocation as means for oppression – yummy!

Here is where I’d make half-a-dozen snide remarks about Kelly & co.’s lack of cumulative brains to fill a thimble, but thankfully, the Intertubes have virtually (ha) exploded with glee at the creation of a new meme, thus sparing me the need to come up with clever analogies and amusing jokes and whatnot.

Why, yes, I’m lazy. (Which, in my defense, is still a damn sight better than whatever Kelly, O’Reilly and the other clowns at Fox are.)

(via @SimonMaloy)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Daily Blend: Monday, November 21, 2011

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Jim Hoft (aka “Gateway Pundit”)
Jim Hoft (“Gateway Pundit”)

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

Fail Quote: Santorum advocates for non-theocratic theocracy

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Rick Santorum
Rick Santorum

From Republican presidential contender and appropriate Google search result Rick Santorum:

Now, unlike Islam, where the higher law and civil law are the same, in our case, we have civil laws, but our civil laws have to comport with the higher law.

Our civil laws have to – and that's why, with the issue of abortion, as long as abortion is “legal” – at least according to the Supreme Court, “legal” in this country – we will never have rest because that law does not comport with God’s law, which says that all life has value, all life is created by – I knew you in the womb.

Got that? In Islam, civil law is decided by divine will and is thus theocracy and bad, whereas in the U.S., civil law must be in accordance to (Christian) God’s will, which is thus not theocracy and good.

Hang on, trying to stop my head from spinning.

Bradley Manning gets court date – 1½ years after imprisonment

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Pfc. Bradley Manning
Pfc. Bradley Manning

This lede tells you all you need to know:

One year, six months, and three weeks after he was first jailed in a military brig in Kuwait, alleged WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning will have his day in court: According to a blog post Monday from his lawyer David Coombs, the Army private first class will have a pre-trial hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland on December 16th, a day before his 24th birthday, to examine the government’s charges and evidence and determine whether to proceed with the case against him.

So, after being left to rot in a military brig for more than a year-and-a-half without ever being formally accused by any court – and during which time he’s undergone prolonged isolation and other sorts of punitive measures that have been called nothing less than psychological torture by human rights groups and legal experts – Pfc. Manning will finally get to appear in court so the prosecution can decide “whether to proceed with the case”.

I sorely wish you just couldn’t make this shit up.

(via @ggreenwald)

When Walter takes over Dexter’s Laboratory

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Just in case you needed a bit of cheering up today (and are a Breaking Bad fan):

‘Breaking Bad’ cartoon: “Walter’s Laboratory” (with Walt in his orange chemical suit holding a gun, the half-burned teddy on the ground, the exploding RV and Gus Fring chasing Jesse Pinkman with a box-cutter knife)

I do wonder why Gus is running after Jesse, though. Hey, guys, got your plot lines mixed up!

European officials: Water doesn’t prevent dehydration?

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Woman drinking bottled water
She’s drying to death no matter how much she drinks (according to EFSA)

File this one under “Headline (and Stupid Bureaucrats) of the Day”:

Brussels bureaucrats were ridiculed yesterday after banning drink manufacturers from claiming that water can prevent dehydration.

Brussels bureaucrats were ridiculed yesterday after banning drink manufacturers from claiming that water can prevent dehydration.

EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact.

Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict, which comes into force in the UK next month.

Next up: Nutritionists are forbidden from saying that eating helps stave off starvation.

(via @radleybalko)

Doug Walker rages over ‘Twilight’’s handling of abortion

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Doug Walker from That Guy With the Glasses is known for his hyperbolic characters (you do know of the Nostalgia Critic, right?), but this is the first time I’ve seen him become this enraged over something as his normal self. The subject matter is the new Twilight film, Breaking Dawn: Part 1, and how it attempts – very unwisely – to deal with the topic of abortion in its own supremely incompetent manner. It’s a worthwhile watch despite its length, if only for the admitted entertainment of watching the guy unravel a bit at various points:

My transcript: (click the [+/-] to expand/collapse →) []

In summary: Doug launches into a long, winding and emotional rant, first explaining how he liked the previous Twilight films for being amusingly bad, but that although Breaking Dawn: Part 1 began similarly, it then brought in the matter of abortion in such a clumsy, narrow-minded and stupid way that Doug felt personally offended and disgusted by it.

In the movie, Edward and Bella have sex without any thought about contraception (which Doug was incensed at), and are then shocked when Bella falls pregnant as a result. But worst is when Edward immediately decides that she must have an abortion to get rid of the “thing”/“demon”/“it” inside of her without so much as asking her what she wants, essentially deciding for her.

Doug explains at length that he’s fairly ambivalent about the subject of abortion, not being really for or against it, but that it’s such a hot-button subject that it requires a certain amount of care and intelligence in dealing with – which, he quickly and emphatically (and quite angrily) points out, absolutely disqualifies something as stupid and cheesy as Twilight from having any say on the matter and be taken seriously.

In the end, he says that the movie will probably appeal or be repulsive to the same viewer bases as the others, and that he doesn’t know if he’s alone in having such a strongly negative reaction to it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chimps vs. humans, visual memory edition

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I don’t really have anything to add, other than how bloody cool this is:

My transcript: (click the [+/-] to expand/collapse →) []

ABC News report of chimpanzees memorizing number positions and orders on a flashing screen, even if they only see it for a fraction of a second, and correctly identifying them in return for a tasty peanut. Humans try as well and only do a fraction as well.

How long again before we must prostrate ourselves before our inevitable simian overlords?


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Daily Blend: Saturday, November 19, 2011

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UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike casually pepper-spraying detained student protesters
In his defense, the pepper spray really helps cut down on all that annoying protesting

So this is how my mom just learned not to read books by the stove …

  • Which is more outrageous: that UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike casually pepper-sprayed detained, non-moving student protesters [pictured], or the fact that he likely won’t get so much as a slap on the wrist for it?

  • Watching the watchers: Chicago police illegally detain university journalism professor for recording public arrest & delete the video.
    (via @radleybalko)

  • Breitbart protégé James O’Keefe is undergoing some tough times. I feel for him. (Schadenfreude, that is.)
    (via @drjjoyner)

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

Maddow hits Fox News for baselessly tying White House shooter to Occupy protests

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It looks like Fox News has sunk to yet another new low (and at this point, that’s saying rather a lot). Upon hearing that a random madman had shot at the White House, they immediately went ahead and labeled him the “Occupy Shooter” – despite police confirmation that he has absolutely zero connection to the Occupy movement in any way. Here’s Rachel Maddow exposing them as the damned liars that they are:

My transcript: (click the [+/-] to expand/collapse →) []

The man who was charged yesterday with attempting to assassinate President Obama after he allegedly fired shots from a high-power rifle at the White House, a week ago tonight, that young man was reported as a missing person last month by his family back in Idaho. People who knew him in Idaho say that he called President Obama the “Antichrist”.

Today, though, a local CBS affiliate in Boise, Idaho, posted a tape that this alleged attempted assassin made at Idaho State University. He apparently believed that he was Jesus Christ and he said he wanted help from Oprah Winfrey to get his message out.

[video of crazed would-be assassin snipped]

So, that’s Oscar Romero Ortega-Hernandez in his own words for you to make sense of.

On the Fox News channel this week, they made their own sense of him by describing him as the “‘Occupy’ Shooter”. This was yesterday on Fox and Friends. This was flagged by Media Matters. Is there any connection between this kid, arrested for allegedly shooting at the White House, and the Occupy protests, the 99 Percent protests?

No. There is not. This guy did allegedly shoot at the White House, and the Occupy DC protest is located vaguely near the White House – but beyond that? No. Nothing. The Washington Post reporting Wednesday afternoon that investigators, quote, “found no connection between him and the Occupy DC protest”. That’s “no” as in “none”, as in “protesting on behalf of the 99 Percent is not the same thing as being a crazy guy with a gun who thinks he’s Jesus”.

Except on Fox News, of course. There, they are the same thing.

I guess they got bored with casting the Occupiers as gross (and possibly violent!) poor people. I admit, the idea that these uppity protesters could be spawning wannabe presidential assassins is a distressing notion …

Oh, right, keeping you distressed and paranoid is exactly what Fox wants, of course.

Edit (11/19/11 3:04 PM) – Cut out superfluous section of transcript.

(via @todayspolitics)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pipe-dream bill would ban all corporate money in politics

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Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)

Witness one of the most simultaneously awesome and doomed pieces of legislation ever to be introduced in Congress:

In one of the greatest signs yet that the 99 Percenters are having an impact, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, today introduced an amendment that would ban corporate money in politics and end corporate personhood once and for all.

Deutch’s amendment, called the Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy [PDF, 30.2 KB] (OCCUPIED) Amendment, would overturn the Citizens United decision, re-establishing the right of Congress and the states to regulate campaign finance laws, and to effectively outlaw the ability of for-profit corporations to contribute to campaign spending.

How sad is it that the first eminently sensible bill I’ve heard of in a disturbingly long time has as much chance of surviving the Republican-controlled House of Representatives as a Black homosexual atheist has of becoming President?

Crap, now I feel all depressed.

‘xkcd’ and searching for solutions on the ’Net

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So. Very. Much. This:

“Wisdom of the Ancients” | ‘xkcd’

Alt hover text:

All long help threads should have a sticky globally-editable post at the top saying 'DEAR PEOPLE FROM THE FUTURE: Here's what we've figured out so far ...'

To hell with “should” – this needs to be a law. With severe punishment in case of violation. I’m thinking thumbtacks.