Archives for: June 2009
Isolated, tiny and desolate, The Liancourt Rocks are the center of an international dispute that dates back to the 15th century. Koreans claim sovereignty over what they call "Dokdo", while the Japanese maintain that the islets are theirs, calling them "Takeshima". South Korea currently administers this collection of 90 islands and reefs in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), centered about halfway between South Korea and Japan - with only 2 permanent residents and 40 government workers stationed there (police, lighthouse keepers, Fishery Ministry personnel). Although the dispute is centuries old, it has heated up recently due to several incidents: increased efforts in Japan to call attention to the dispute itself, a flip-flop last year by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names where they briefly labeled the rocks as having "Undesignated Sovereignty" (undone by executive order within days), and the public observations in Japan of "Takeshima Day" on February 22nd. South Korean citizens have staged numerous protests against Japan over the past few years, some with extreme demonstrations, including a woman and her son who cut off a finger each, and one man who attempted to set himself on fire.
Working from the province by province breakdowns of the 2009 and 2005 results, released by the Iranian Ministry of Interior on the Farsi pages of their website shortly after the election, and from the 2006 census as published by the official Statistical Centre of Iran, the following observations about the official data and the debates surrounding it can be made.
· In two conservative provinces, Mazandaran and Yazd, a turnout of more than 100% was recorded.
· If Ahmadinejad's victory was primarily caused by the increase in voter turnout, one would expect the data to show that the provinces where there was the greatest 'swing' in support towards Ahmadinejad would also be the provinces with the greatest increase in voter turnout. This is not the case.
· In a third of all provinces, the official results would require that Ahmadinejad took not only all former conservative voters, all former centrist voters, and all new voters, but also up to 44% of former reformist voters, despite a decade of conflict between these two
· In 2005, as in 2001 and 1997, conservative candidates, and Ahmadinejad in particular, were markedly unpopular in rural areas. That the countryside always votes conservative is a myth. The claim that this year Ahmadinejad swept the board in more rural provinces flies in the face of these trends.
There's a sucker born every minute..
I think this lady could have a bright future as a televangelist.
The unmarried mother's story about giving birth to a child diagnosed as terminally ill in the womb hit a major nerve on the Internet.
Every night for the last two months, thousands of abortion opponents across the nation logged on to a blog run by the suburban Chicago woman who identified herself only as "B" or "April's Mom."
People said they prayed that God would save her pregnancy. They e-mailed her photos of their children dressed in pink, bought campaign T-shirts, shared tales of personal heartache and redemption, and sent letters and gifts to an Oak Lawn P.O. box in support.
As more and more people were drawn to her compelling tale, eager advertisers were lining up. And established parenting Web sites that oppose abortion were promoting her blog -- which included biblical quotes, anti-abortion messages and a soundtrack of inspirational Christian pop songs.
By Sunday night, when "April's Mom" claimed to have given birth to her "miracle baby" -- blogging that April Rose had survived a home birth only to die hours later -- her Web site had nearly a million hits.
There was only one problem with the unfolding tragedy: None of it was true.
( more )
How long before some deranged fetus fetishist take a shot at her ?
People's stories, and mine again
I work with a 23 year old from smalltown N. Carolina. Eagle scout, high school valedictorian, not afraid of hard work or using his brain (summer jobs in construction, studious interest in fine art). A former professor set him up with an art job in NY, but the gallery neglected to mention that they'd be paying him $3 less than the going-rate & would only use him a handful of days per month. So now he's a studio assistant to a celebrated, clever, $ucessful art star. The work is steady, but well-under Starbucks wages. Tons of uncompensated overtime, and he's supposed to be grateful that unpaid interns haven't replaced him yet. I can see him wondering whether to leave NY, less than a year-in.
I work with a 22 year old native New Yorker, a dominican beauty & 'professora' of brazillian fight-dancing, with 12 years of capoeira under her belt. She worked at the gallery for 5 years, with no raises or promotions. They cut her pay last year. She applied to be a stewardess, and was berated by the gallery-owner for pursuing the "second-worst job in the world". After being accepted by the airline and giving notice at the gallery, flight attendant training was postponed. And postponed. And then the airline announced a hiring freeze.
I know a 20 year old from New Jersey. Her dad was laid-off from a newspaper & has been drinking hard. His unemployment benefits are at an end. She left home and rented a loft-bed hutch above the bathroom enclosure in a crowded shared loft in Brooklyn, for $250/month. She volunteers at a feminist bookstore, and is training to be a bartender (but really she's too tiny & lightweight to manage a rowdy latenight crowd alone), and she scrounges occassional bursts of cash by assisting a professional dominatrix as sidekick. She found a real room in a real apartment, but one unexpected health-expense later, she's in a panic about money.
Part of me thinks that these kids' hardship is the only thing that will make them get tougher and shrewder about work and money and life. On the other hand, what's so great about crushing the humble aspirations of go-getters, whose efforts weren't particularly wrongheaded in the first place?
Pierri got me to thinking, so I checked into it. The latest version of Word Press was released on 6/10. I set up a site, just to see what it looks like. I don't have to migrate this site there. I could, for example, leave this site/blog "as is" and disable posting (I think). Or I could uninstall the Word Press site. Or (I think) I can move the posts from here to Word Press and set up a redirect. Or...who knows?
Word Press would be more "intuitive" for you guys.
Check it out and let me know what you think. If you like it let me know and I'll put some work into customizing it. It's just the basic "skin", right now.
How are you doing? Hope everything is all right with everyone.
I'm not following international news for quite some time, as Im struggling with some problems in my end right now, but I wanted to check you guys and see if there were something about North Korea here that wasnt appearing on my country´s media.
It is fun to see that even after all this time - more than one year and a half since the last time I was around -, a new US president, a grave international economic crisis, a pandemic, etc, I can still more or less guess everyone´s stance on some issues.
And it is great to see that Bush wasnt the glue that kept everyone around - not that I ever doubted it.
I was curious to see what you guys would be talking about. I guessed wrong, tho. I imagined some heated debate over North Korea and the increasing number of attacks in Afganistan (maybe some ironic reference about "moving averages" lol), and maybe something from Alvy about Real Madrid and the almost 150 million Euros for Kaká and Cristiano Ronaldo in the middle of this (neoliberal) economic crisis, the swing to the right of most EU countries, or something like that.
I also imagined that Tim would have scrapped this blog software and migrated to Wordpress :)
Yet, what I read in some three or four pages worth of posts and comments was more "local" and "pragmatic" and less "international" and "ideological", like in the old titty board. And this blog is still a b2e :)
Not that there´s anything wrong with any that, of course (well, maybe except the b2e ;)). It only shows how everyone changed and I stood still somehow.
Anyway, Im just passing by to say hi, and check on everyone.
Edit: Oh, I forgot to mention a curiosity... Unlike in the US, today is Valentine´s over here in Brazil. Just mentioning in case anyone want to add some international flavor to their respective romances... :)
Tobacco - another industry falls to Oh!bama
"The Senate granted one of Senator Edward M. Kennedy's long-held legislative wishes this afternoon, passing a bill that gives the government control over the production and marketing of tobacco products." link
Next up - doctors/hospitals
Then - Oil
Then - ?
Is this freaking unreal...geez, I am almost wanting Bush back.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Gunfire at the entrance of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum wounded at least two people Wednesday, emergency officers said.
A private security guard and another person were wounded, according to officials of the D.C. police and fire department. A police official said one of the wounded was the shooting suspect.
Emergency vehicles converged on the scene near the National Mall.
A witness who identified herself as Maria, without providing a last name, told CNN she heard five shots and saw a security guard lying wounded on the ground.
"It was definitely a security guard, he was down bleeding on the floor," she said. "He was face down. His back ... blood was coming out."
the great escape
In 3 weeks, I'm moving.
For legal reasons, I can't discuss specifics.
But if you've followed my landlord battles over the last year,
you can probably guess how it turned-out.
I'm happy with the outcome.
At first, we'll sublet from a friend in Brooklyn-- an actor now working in Berlin.
After that-- the plan is to move into an RV or convert another schoolbus.
I don't want to pay rent anymore.
My NY friends are reacting strangely to the RV/bus idea.
They were generally supportive when we did the same thing before.
But that was a 'road trip' 'out west'.
Living that way -in- NY is too close to homelessness.
Or maybe it's just that 'no one' does it.
Or maybe they'd rather believe their own rent servitude is inevitable,
so my imminent escape is causing cogdis pain.
There's an article in this week's New Yorker by the author of that Freakonomics book.
I didn't like that book, and I don't quite trust his math & anecdotes in this article either...
But his thesis is that David actually beats Goliath fairly consistently, as long as
1. expends more effort, 2. disregards conventional wisdom, and
3. endures social pariah status for being so uncouth as to win when he was supposed to lose.
One for Oh!bama backers to consider
The Obama Administration argued Monday that no court, including the Supreme Court, has the authority to hear a challenge by Indiana benefit plans to the role the U.S. Treasury played in the Chrysler rescue, including the use of “bailout” (TARP) funds. The Indiana debt holders, U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan wrote, simply have no right to raise that issue, thus putting it out of the reach of the courts.
And the link to above.
What would you have said if Bush said that? Be honest.
You just can't make this shit up.
From Faux Noise.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky pastor is inviting people to bring their guns to church to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment.
New Bethel Church is welcoming "responsible handgun owners" to wear their firearms inside the church on June 27, a Saturday.
An ad says there will be a handgun raffle, patriotic music and information on gun safety.
Church pastor Ken Pagano says guns must be unloaded and private security will check visitors. He says recent church shootings make it necessary to promote safe gun ownership.
Marian McClure Taylor is executive director of the Kentucky Council of Churches.
She says churches work to prevent violent harm and promote peace, but most "allow for arms to be taken up under certain conditions."
Because nothing says "Jesus " better than a well balanced .357
Scott Roeder whines:"I haven't been convicted of anything, and I am being treated as a criminal,"
The AP was nice enough to give a domestic terrorist a chance to tell us what a heroic victim he is. My heart just bleeds...
WICHITA, Kan. - The man accused of shooting a Kansas abortion provider to death as he handed out programs at a Sunday church service said he appreciates the prayers said for him and his family in the wake of his arrest.
No problem there Scott , and I hope God answers my prayers too. I think spending the rest of your life being traded around the cell block for cigarettes and candy bars would do you some good.
"I haven't been convicted of anything, and I am being treated as a criminal," Scott Roeder said Thursday. He called The Associated Press from the Sedgwick County Jail in response to a written request for an interview.
You know , that really DOES seem unfair. It would be much better if they hung you from the rafters , and treated you like a pinata.
He said he was concerned about how the media attention was affecting his family, particularly his elderly mother.
Hey dumbass , don't you think you should have thought about dear old mom BEFORE you went out and commited a fucking COLD BLOODED MURDER ?
"I appreciate your prayers," said Roeder, who has a preliminary court hearing scheduled for June 16. District Judge Warren Wilbert set Roeder's bond on Thursday at $5 million, reversing an earlier ruling to deny bond.
Have Randall Bin Terry and the terrorists at Operation Rescue scheduled a bail fundraiser yet ?
5 years ago today..
..Ronald Reagan went back to hell.
I ran across this , which is a pretty good compilation of the overhyped pile of FAIL that was Ronald "The Vegetable" Reagan.
Lest we/you forget, I have assembled a list of some 20 of the most compelling reasons that Ronald Reagan SHOULD NOT BE so universally esteemed, his passing so mourned, and his memory so honored:
1) Treason: As a private citizen, and BEFORE the election, in contravention of both law and tradition, Reagan's minions and handlers illegally negotiated with the Iranians to induce them hold the American Embassy hostages until after the elections,to embarrass President Carer and to prevent his successful negotiation of an "October Surprise." Sent future VP George Bush, Sr., and future CIA chief William Casey to Paris to negotiate the deal.
Be very afraid, redux
"We would gladly bring every single one of our troops home if we could be confident that there were not violent extremists in Afghanistan and now Pakistan determined to kill as many Americans as they possibly can. But that is not yet the case."
The lie continues.
Difference between anti-abotionists and the Taliban...about 8,000 miles
Dr.Hern puts 5 in the Domestic terrorist's snot locker , and tells Obama to get off his ass and act like a leader. Well done!
BAGHDAD – The U.S. and Iraqi militaries have tentatively agreed to keep a joint base on the edge of Baghdad's Shiite slum of Sadr City, maintaining an American presence in a strategic area even after the June 30 deadline for U.S. combat troops to pull out of the capital....
Anyone know if the building of megabases has stopped?
OH MAH GAWD !
Some sample lyrics:
"Three things taught me conservative love:
Jesus, Ronald Reagan, plus Atlas Shrugged
Saving our nation from inflation devastation
On my hands and my knees praying for salvation”'
Irony is dead , it fucking killed itself after watching this.
Blocked Abu Ghraib Photos
At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.
Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.
Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.
(Had to use TinyURL -- can't post links directly to the Telegraph I guess.)
Not the country I was born in
"WASHINGTON – Just over half of Americans say torture is at least sometimes justified to thwart terrorist attacks and are evenly divided over whether to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, according to a poll that underscores the challenges President Barack Obama faces in selling his terror-fighting policies.
Even so, the latest Associated Press-GfK survey also shows that Obama enjoys broad confidence that he can effectively handle terrorism in an era when many people say they still fear becoming a victim of it and when a swath of the public shares the views of Obama's Republican predecessor, George W. Bush..."
"...Some 52 percent of people say torture can be at least sometimes justified to obtain information about terrorist activities from suspects, an increase from 38 percent in 2005 when the AP last asked the question. More than two-thirds of Republicans say torture can be justified compared with just over a third of Democrats.
On Obama's plan to close the Guantanamo prison, 47 percent approve, while 47 percent disapprove. Again, the country is divided on partisan lines, with most Republicans disapproving and most Democrats approving. Independents are evenly divided.
Despite the president's safety assurances, more than half of Americans say they would be worried about the chance of terrorism suspects escaping from U.S. high-security prisons. Yet again, more Republicans express concern than Democrats. Still, the figures indicate that the GOP-fueled fear may be resonating.
Leading the charge by Republicans against Obama's policies is Cheney, who the poll shows may be benefiting from his outspokenness since leaving office. Nearly a quarter had a favorable opinion of the former vice president, a measure that's risen steadily from a low of 13 percent in one 2007 poll.
For all the out-of-power GOP's angst, the poll found one bright spot for it: More people identified themselves as Republican than did last month, 23 percent to 18 percent...."
Shocker , a GOP Furvert gets busted.
This would be funny if the sick bastaed hadn't been hitting on a kid.
A Whole Lot Of Yiffing Going On In The Office Of Pennsylvania GOP Senate Whip, Jane Orie-- Gay Yiffing... With A Minor
Art courtesy of PittsburghBloggers
It was like a cross between an episode on MSNBC's Dateline: To Catch A Predator With Chris Hansen and a re-enactment of those heady days in 2006 when Republican Congressman Mark Foley was exposed as a child molester. Jane Orie is a far right extremist, an anti-choice fanatic and the Republican majority whip of the Pennsylvania state Senate. She represents a backward district north of Pittsburgh. And if you'd guess that she's obsessed with sex and is a virulent and hysterical homophobe you'd be correct.
Friday she fired one of her top aides, Alan David Berlin. The report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is almost funny if it weren't so tragically Republican. It starts off like typical GOP fare-- another Republican closet case solicits sex from a young boy (15 years old) online. But then it gets really strange.
In a series of instant messages and online chats, Alan David Berlin, 40, of Carlisle, discussed dressing up in animal costumes and engaging in various sex acts with the boy, the state attorney general's office said yesterday.
...According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Berlin proposed traveling to the boy's home in Harrisburg, about 20 miles from Carlisle, and having sex in the backyard and in a shed on his parents' property. He also allegedly offered to arrange a meeting in a hotel room so Mr. Berlin could take photos of the boy and another adult having sex.
The online communication took place on seven different days between April 27 and May 25, according to the criminal complaint. Investigators say some of the messages originated from a Senate computer.
Investigators believe Mr. Berlin and the boy met on an Internet site for "furries," an online community of people who adopt half-animal, half-human personas.
In one message, according to the complaint, Mr. Berlin requested pictures of the boy and wrote, "When will your folks be out?"
Other messages describe various sex acts in explicit detail and refer to "yiffing," which is a "furry" term for having sex.
Mr. Berlin used the screen name "alan_panda_bear" in his messages. He also used that name for an online personal ad that depicts cartoonish panda bears, one wearing a diaper.
"I'm a Daddyfur and Caretaker and I am looking for a babyfur to be my mate and my companion in a long-term committed relationship," the ad says. "I am a hopeless romantic and very affectionate, freely giving hugs, scritches, cuddles and kisses."
According to the ad, he wanted someone 20 to 25, who has a car and would call him Daddy.
The victim and Mr. Berlin had planned to meet Tuesday night near the boy's house, but Mr. Berlin never showed up, said Nils Fredricksen, spokesman for Attorney General Tom Corbett.
Mr. Berlin had worked for the state Senate since 1993, most recently as a $57,000-a-year aide to Ms. Orie, who has been the force behind efforts to strengthen the state's sexual predator laws. One proposal called for repeat offenders to wear tracking devices after they had completed their sentences.
Plus , check out the picture of his boss at the link . Wouldn't surprise me to find out that she's a closet furry herself. Either a badger , or a woodchuck.
I found this interesting - and refreshing: http://www.prwatch.org/node/8395
"In September 2001, the George C. Marshall Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank, appointed Matthew B. Crawford as its Executive Director. At the time, the think tank boasted that Crawford had "won numerous academic fellowships, including the Bradley Fellowship, The H.B. Earhart Fellowship, and the University of Chicago Century Fellowship; he was the John M. Olin Postdoctoral Fellow in the Committee on Social Thought." The think tank, which has long promoted the work of prominent climate change skeptics, claims that it provides "unbiased technical analyses on a range of public policy issues." However, Crawford recently wrote that "certain perversities became apparent as I settled into the job. It sometimes required me to reason backward, from desired conclusion to suitable premise. The organization had taken certain positions, and there were some facts it was more fond of than others. As its figurehead, I was making arguments I didn't fully buy myself. Further, my boss seemed intent on retraining me according to a certain cognitive style -- that of the corporate world, from which he had recently come. This style demanded that I project an image of rationality but not indulge too much in actual reasoning."