That's okay, I know how to turn my washing machine into a centrifuge if need be.

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Topics - Jenne


Old story, but hilarious.  The ending was my favorite part:

QuotePolice were investigating how she managed to go in and out unnoticed, as well as details of her life inside the closet, and if she had taken anything else besides food.

She had moved a mattress into the small space and apparently even took showers, the spokesman said, calling the woman "neat and clean".


"Stop your bullshit conspiracy theories man, you're fucking up our chi street cred!"


On a wet Wednesday evening in Seoul, six government employees gather at the office to prepare for a late-night patrol. The mission is as simple as it is counterintuitive: to find children who are studying after 10 p.m. And stop them.

In South Korea, it has come to this. To reduce the country's addiction to private, after-hours tutoring academies (called hagwons), the authorities have begun enforcing a curfew — even paying citizens bounties to turn in violators.

Read more: in link
(as usual, apologies if this has been talked about already)

On Fareed Zakaria's GPS this morning, he highlighted the Pirate Party that's won almost 10% of the vote in Berlin's Parliament.  Which means it's got a significant majority over Merkel's party as well.

Veddy veddy eenteresting...especially given what its main interests are:  legislative freedom on the internet, transparency in government, open access filesharing, an increased voice in government, free public transportation, nuclear-free power...etc. 

There was a Pirate Party International party formed in the '09 European Parliament elections which won them a seat on the EU-wide body--this is amazing to me, and bears watching.

some links:
Or Kill Me / Whir, click
September 17, 2011, 03:30:03 AM
Not really a rant, just a clearing of the mechanism:
You push a button and a whir, click engages.  Lights from somewhere within come on, and you realize the machine is on.  It's humming and somewhat warm.  The muscle memory has been invoked, and a certain stream of consciousness has already been moving along, serenely, somewhat wantonly, without your notice and somewhere out of eyeline and earshot.

The problem arises when the direction of the machine is no longer in line with your tunnel vision.  The road signs ahead point to a wayward path.  You don't have a map, and your inability to gauge the distance left to ponder does not give you much hope of achieving your destination.

What little direction you may have had is lost in finding yourself gummed up in the gears and sprongs as they manufacture some sort of journey, a juggernaut of a voyage that has no real meaning, and no real end in sight.  Though you'd begun with some sort of notion of where that marker was hailing from, you can't attest to its intention, nor as to its purpose any longer.  You've long since given up the ghost in the machine's whereabouts.

But the thing that niggles, that creeps and worries you—it's not the big things looming in the dark.  Instead, it's little shadows, the furrowing and the burrowing little splinters of dark.  They wriggle themselves into your conscientious, feeding a small frenzy of doubt and insecurity.  And you wonder how they came to be so very important in their inconsequentiality.

If only they could present themselves in the light of day, when the machine wasn't so very quiet and furtive.  When time didn't stand still amongst the hedges of earthcrust.  And instead, you had a soupcon of bravado...shaping your will and giving you meaning, beyond that steaming, chugging monster you call your life.
Published Online: August 30, 2011
Federal Judge Blocks Alabama Immigration Law
By The Associated Press

Birmingham, Ala.
A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of Alabama's new law cracking down on illegal immigration, ruling Monday that she needed more time to decide whether the law requiring schools to verify the citizenship status of students is constitutional.

The brief order by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Blackburn means the law—which opponents and supporters alike have called the toughest in the nation—won't take effect as scheduled on Thursday.

The ruling was cheered both by Republican leaders who were pleased the judge didn't gut the law and by opponents who compare it to old Jim Crow-era statutes against racial integration. The law is opposed by the Obama administration, church leaders, and immigrant-rights groups.

Blackburn didn't address whether the law is constitutional, and she could still let all or parts of the law take effect later. Instead, she said she needed more time to consider lawsuits filed by the Justice Department, private groups, including advocacy groups for English-language learners, and individuals that claim the state is overstepping its bounds.

Among other things, the Alabama law would require schools to verify the citizenship status of students.

It orders the Alabama Department of Education to send the state legislature a report each year spelling out the numbers of students in primary and secondary schools who are believed to be undocumented. That report must also analyze and itemize the cost to the state of providing instruction, computers, textbooks, meals, extracurricular activities, and other support to undocumented students.

The requirement for schools to determine the immigration status of students has made school officials uneasy and runs counter to the advice civil rights lawyers have given schools for years in consideration of the Supreme Court ruling in Plyler v. Doe, which is to not ask because it might provide a chilling effect on their seeking an education.

The U.S. Department of Education also reminded school districts this spring that they are obligated to enroll children regardless of immigration status. A letter from the department in May said schools may ask a U.S. birth certificates to determine whether the child meets age requirements for enrollment but can't refuse to enroll a child who doesn't have one.

State education officials have stressed that the new law wouldn't prevent illegal immigrants from attending public schools, but opponents say it will make many parents afraid to send their children to school anyway for fear they would be arrested or deported.

The law also would make it a crime to knowingly assist an illegal immigrant by providing them a ride, a job, a place to live or most anything else—a section that church leaders fear would hamper public assistance ministries. And it would allow police to jail suspected illegal immigrants during traffic stops.

Finding a way to curtail public spending that benefits illegal immigrants has been a pet project of Alabama conservatives for years. Census figures released earlier this year show the state's Hispanic population more than doubled over a decade to 185,602 last year, and supporters of the law contend many of them are in the country illegally.

The law, signed in June by Republican Gov. Robert Bentley, states: "The State of Alabama finds that illegal immigration is causing economic hardship and lawlessness in this state and that illegal immigration is encouraged when public agencies within this state provide public benefits without verifying immigration status."

Isabel Rubio, executive director of the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, which is among the groups that sued over the law, hopes Blackburn will block it entirely but was happy with the temporary reprieve.

"We are pleased that Judge Blackburn is taking more time to study the case," she said.

Bentley said he would continue to defend the law, and GOP leaders in the House and Senate praised Blackburn—a Republican appointee—for taking time to fully consider the law.

"We must remember that today's ruling is simply the first round in what promises to be a long judicial fight over Alabama's right to protect its borders," said House Majority Leader Micky Hammon of Decatur. "To put it in sports terms, it is the first half-inning of the first game of a seven-game World Series."

While the Obama administration contends the state law conflicts with federal immigration law, state Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, contends the federal government isn't doing its job enforcing immigration laws. Beason said that he spent years researching immigration law to help write the 70-plus page law, and that it's unrealistic to expect a judge to go through it all in a few days.

"You just can't do that," he said.

The judge said she will issue a longer ruling by Sept. 28, and her temporary order will remain in effect until the day after. She heard arguments from the Justice Department and others during a daylong hearing last week. Similar laws have been passed in Arizona, Utah, Indiana, and Georgia, however, federal judges have blocked all or parts of the laws in those states.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Web Only

Or Kill Me / America's Bleedin'
June 18, 2011, 06:00:46 AM
America's bleedin'...she's had a great time.  She partied too hard, but what she came home with ain't worth a dime.

America's bleedin', and her shit's on the lawn.  She's selling to the highest bidder, cuz momma gotta pay the rent, and the good times--they'se gone.

America's bleedin', from the nose, from the jaw.  Her pimp gave her too much blow, so she could service her Johns.  She got a lil mouthy, and that shit's just not on.

America's bleedin', this time from the ass.  You know where this is going.  Dude, you don't even hafta ask.

America's bleedin', but it ain't from her heart.  She still gots what it takes...but shitfuckdamn, it don't last.

Meh, sorry if it blows.
Fucking finally.  This has actually been, for those of us who advocate for kids' legal rights, a pain in the ass when it comes to legislation.  A lot of child/parental rights cases have come up lately, since police more or less abuse kids' rights and therefore parental rights by interrogating them AT MOTHERFUCKING SCHOOL without parental consent, notification or anyone setting down what the kid's entitled to know about their own rights.


You'll have to excuse me if this is cock-repost...couldn't find the thread here if there's one preceding.  Anyway, damn me if this isn't wackadoo and awesome at the same time.  NOT that I'd want it to take the place of an actual DOCTOR making the diagnoses, but it's kinda cool as a tool to help out.

Oh frabjous day!

:D   :D  :mrgreen:  :D :D  :mrgreen:  :D  :D

Today is a good day.  Already.
WTF.  This makes me feel so damned old.  The icons are just ditching this world so fast. 

There was never a better "cat on a hot tin roof."  Ever.
Or Kill Me / NO. Mine.
March 18, 2011, 02:51:54 AM
I have no words.  You want some?  Find your own.  These are mine.  I found them between the couch cushions and I'm keeping them.  They're MINE, fuck you.  Quit hogging them!

No, you can't have them.  I offered them to you earlier, you didn't want them.  You bitched about them being sour or too biting.  Fuck you for your lack of taste.

Your sense of smell is off, too, because you said they stunk.

So why the hell would I give my hard-earned words to YOU of all people?  You don't deserve them!  Fuck you and your selfish isolationism.  If I thought you'd share 'em, so would I.  I can't be arsed to give them away just because your fickle sense of justice decided you should have them.  Go fly a kite.

No, I said NO!  Write it backwards on your forehead and look in the mirror.  Daily.  A reminder of my answer.  It won't change.  

I don't give a fuck WHAT you say.  THEY'RE MINE!  Mine!  You use them without  my permission, I will hunt you down and punch you in the Jimmy!

No, I'm not being selfish.  I'm righteous.  You know why?  I offered them earlier, you resisted.  End of story.

I'm tired of arguing.   Dog tired, man.  Fuck off.

*shakes you off her sleeve*  Quit trying to change my mind.

It's not working.
Propaganda Depository / Discordian App?
February 10, 2011, 07:55:57 PM
Anyone thought of this yet?  A smartphone app that 1) you can NOT eat the menu 2) read the PD on 3) fap to WOMPage or 4) scream at Eris and/or play an Erisian version of Space Invaders?

Aneristic Illusions / "Reagan" Documentary by HBO
February 10, 2011, 04:07:14 AM

Damn.  I'm watching this.  And man, I didn't know how much I really hate Reagan and his fucking Voodoo Economics.

Fuck his dead corpse and his Ronny-econ.  The dude SUCKED when it came for compassion for the little guy and fully funding nothing but the military complex.  


Next person who tells me he was the "greatest president EVAR" Imma punch inna face.  IN DA FACE.


Aneristic Illusions / ATTN PRESIDENT OBAMA:
October 22, 2010, 07:27:28 PM

Dude, please, please, GIVE IT UP!  Putting a stay on throwing out "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is a dick move on a stupid premise:  "Gotta do it right, I can't throw out the rules!" 

Um, BULLSHIT.  Cf: the previous administration.  At least you can use YOUR powers for GOOD.

And saying that doing it "in the middle of the war" puts soldiers in harm's way is also "bullshit."  You think after your medical insurance debacle in Congress that you are going to get those fucks to turn over DA, DT on YOUR say-so?  Because that worked so well for whatever else you've had brewing over the last 2 years.

You know, I gave you a lot of credit before you started out, and I believed so much of what you said about change.  But this latest on the Don't Ask agenda, when you had a JUDGE knocking it down, and you wouldn't go for it, on the basis that you wanted it "done right," I said FUCK IT. 

You're a liability to your own party, Mr. President.  Do you NOT get this?  You mobilized a majority of the nation to go WITH you, not against you, and then you bit the big one.

I hear a lot about being patient.  So I wait you out.  But your track record on 1) GITMO 2) outsourcing torture 3) keeping the illegal wiretaps 4) re-upping assasination of US citizens 5)  turning away aid after BP oil spill and 6) now DA, DT just tells me you are NOT in the game, man. 

CONGRESS IS NOT YOUR BITCH.  So quit pretending it is--because pandering to some dumbass idea of "can't we all just get along" don't matter when you're in the fight of your life...get in the GAME, Dude.

Your Once-Loyal Supporter,

Wow, isn't it too soon for a tell-all about Facebook?  Jesus.

Though I like the actor who plays Mark Zuckerberg.  I have a cougar crush on his nerdy ass.  Since Zombieland.  I think I'm old enough to be his mommy.  (not really. I'm only 10 years older than he is)


I'm wondering what the dish is on this.  I'll do my own research, but anyone else have any un/official word on it?

Bring and Brag / Jenne's Vacation Photos
July 26, 2010, 12:34:31 AM
Warning:  image size is a bit big.  May take a while to load, sorry.

We went to Mendocino County, which is, I guess, the "greenest" county in the state...meaning everyone and their granny grows weed.  It's so damned beautiful up there, if a bit inaccessible 'cept through some rather twisty, windy roads...

I took them all with my iPhone (the new one, the iPhone 4), and they came out decent.  I tried to resize them, but they are so pretty, didn't want to resize them into oblivion.

This is what I was walking along, one side of the road, and then the road itself.

My catchphrase for the week was: The cows don't care.  And they really don't.  Though they seemed to watch us a lot as we walked by...

...and here's the other side of THAT road:

That's the ocean beyond there in the distance.
Hm.  See, I noticed she was...hotter than your average Daily Show correspondant, but I didn't know there'd been a controversy over hiring her in the blogosphere.  She seems real wooden, so I'm just thinking she needs time to warm up.

But the bit of silliness that made me laugh was the rebuttal by the female staffers on the show.  That was a crack up.

(this passes for my unusual political fluff posting--it's not terribly important except to see a "sacred liberal cow" as one article online called it like the Daily Show get some blowback...)
Or Kill Me / Rant, rant, rant
June 29, 2010, 01:37:27 AM
*this is a whiny attempt at getting something out...sorry, just flushing my mechanism...

IF I WANT TO GO OUT FOR MY BIRTHDAY, then you should stfu and just accept it.

Your attempts at emotional blackmail are ineffectual.  Wanna know why?  Because as a mother, you fail.  You have continued to fail for almost my whole adult life.  And even your small triumphs and victories at eeking out just a smidgeon of the maternal are just so pathetic as to be not worth mentioning.

So he is supposed to call?  So what?  I'm over it.  You've kept the man from having any sort of intimacy with his 3 kids and 6 grandkids, whether you set out to do so or not.  That's the end result:  we know he calls for YOU, and you alone, even when you're not here to receive the call.  It's inevitably about you or for you he's calling.  Even if it's nominally about his mother, who was dying.

And he calls you EVERY FUCKING WEEK.  Twice.  Three times. He even writes you once a day, sometimes more. While his 6 grandkids don't know him except for a common shared history from when they were but babies, and the younger ones don't know him outside of the bars and chains anyway.  This may come as a shock, but we no longer look forward to his phone calls anymore.  It's a chopped up conversation full of "THIS CALL IS BEING MADE AT A CORRECTIONAL FACILITY AND IS BEING MONITORED" every 30 seconds or so.  REALLY confuses the flow of the conversation.

Put together with the fact that he's deaf, and he's really only calling so he can make sure we take better care of you, it's a tough thing to sell.

I want to go out.  I need to go out.  My husband's gone this week doing "God's work," and took my littlest with him.  It's just me and my kiddo, and he might be gone to a friend's house.  Leaving me alone on my birthday, the worst of all days of the year for me, was a bad call, but it is what it is, and I know he didn't mean to do it.  But it's the day before my dad was arrested, and celebrating my birthday is sort of a personal dare, since that is what we were all doing the night we last saw him as a free man.

I shouldn't have to explain these things.  I shouldn't be made to feel BAD because I want to go out instead of staying here, even if it means we'll skip the phone call, that you'd usurp, standing there wringing your hands and shifting your feet so you can talk talk to him at "your turn," which ends up being the whole 10 minutes he's on the phone.  Even though there are children who haven't talked to him in more than a year, and grandkids who haven't seen him since longer, you will step in and take over, as if you didn't just have a conjugal with him two weeks ago.  Or speak to him three days ago.

If you wanted things your way, you shouldn't have said, "But this is the last time I might be able to talk to him--I don't know when the next time will be!" Because in that light, I say, "Welcome to MY life, Mother!"  I have no guarantee, I have no set time, I have no set path for me and my father to tread upon.  Whereas you, the anti-mom, will always really and truly have a plan and a path.  Well-trod and well-placed for your eager feet.

I'm not going to go into the fact that I have had to take on your role the last 6 years, as mentor, as counselor, as a warm place to land when anyone, including yourself, needed it.  I'm not going to say that I have yet to find that for myself, though both of those things are so very equally true and figure into why I won't do this for you.  For though it's a smallish thing, it means a lot.  I feel this irrational displacement and anger when I contemplate NOT having my way here.  I start to lose my shit in a way a grown woman shouldn't.  I feel like I'm 10 years old when I say this, but IT'S MY FUCKING BIRTHDAY, AND IF I WANT TO GO OUT, I'LL GO OUT. On your birthday, you got to go to Disneyland.  On my birthday, I work so that I can help my brother make a down payment on another inadequate living space since his current landlord is kicking him out so they can take possession again.   Believe me when I say that if going out to dinner is beyond your ken, then no one needs you there.

Sorry, but that's that.

Try being more of a "mom" and less of a pain in the ass next time, and perhaps I'll see something akin to reason...  
Aneristic Illusions / GASLAND
June 22, 2010, 12:33:46 AM
Anyone else hear of this movie?  Guess it's going to be on HBO this week?  Includes the following highlights from an exploration of some of the adventures in "fracking" I believe it's called for "CLEAN" gas:  exploding water faucets--animals' and peoples' hair falling out--methane in the air (which is heavier than carbon monoxide and the equivalent in heaviness to releasing coal)--government coverups by Dick Cheney--all so cool!

Can't wait to watch... :x

QuoteUtah to execute condemned killer by firing squad
By JENNIFER DOBNER (AP) – 42 minutes ago

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is set to execute a condemned killer by firing squad shortly after midnight Thursday, reviving a style of justice that hasn't been used for at least 14 years and that many criticize as archaic.

Barring an unexpected last-minute reprieve, Ronnie Lee Gardner will be strapped into a chair, have a target pinned over his heart and die in a hail of bullets from five anonymous marksmen armed with .30-caliber rifles and firing from behind a ported wall.

A flurry of last-minute appeals and requests for stays were rejected Thursday by the U.S. Supreme Court, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Gov. Gary Herbert.

The Supreme Court turned down three appeals late Thursday, although one of its orders showed that two justices, Stephen Breyer and John Paul Stevens, would have granted Gardner's request for a stay.

"We are disappointed with the court's decisions, declining to hear Mr. Gardner's case," one of his attorneys, Megan Moriarty, said in a statement to The Associated Press. "It's unfair that he will be executed without a full and fair review of his case."

Utah Department of Corrections spokesman Steve Gehrke said there were no pending issues left for the courts. The governor still had the authority to call off the execution by granting a temporary stay, but that seemed unlikely after he said Gardner has had "a full and fair opportunity" to have his case considered.

After a visit with his family, Gardner was moved from his regular cell in a maximum-security wing of the Utah State Prison to an observation cell Wednesday night, Department of Corrections officials said.

On Thursday, they said Gardner was spending time sleeping, reading the novel "Divine Justice," watching the "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy and meeting with his attorneys. A corrections department spokesman said officers described his mood as relaxed.

Gardner will be the third man killed by firing squad in the U.S. since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling reinstated capital punishment in 1976. Although Utah altered its death penalty law in 2004 to make lethal injection the default method, nine inmates convicted before that date, including Gardner, can still choose the firing squad instead.

Gardner's attorney said the decision was based on preference — not a desire to embarrass the state or draw publicity to his case.

Gardner, 49, was sentenced to death for a 1985 capital murder conviction stemming from the fatal courthouse shooting of attorney Michael Burdell during an escape attempt. Gardner was at the court because he faced a 1984 murder charge in the shooting death of bartender Melvyn Otterstrom.

Gardner made a final effort to convince the world he was a changed man, speaking emotionally in court of his desire to start a 160-acre organic farm and program for at-risk youth. He acknowledged his own tortured trajectory to a parole board last week, saying: "It would have been a miracle if I didn't end up here."

Gardner first came to the attention of authorities at age 2 as he was found walking alone on a street clad only in a diaper. At age 6 he became addicted to sniffing gasoline and glue. Harder drugs — LSD and heroin — followed by age 10. By then, Gardner was tagging along with his stepfather as a lookout on robberies, according to court documents.

After spending 18 months in a state mental hospital and being sexually abused in a foster home, he killed Otterstrom at age 23. About six months later, at 24, he shot Burdell in the face as the attorney hid behind a door in the courthouse.

"I had a very explosive temper," Gardner said last week. "Even my mom said it was like I had two personalities."

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday decried Gardner's imminent execution as an example of what it called the United States' "barbaric, arbitrary and bankrupting practice of capital punishment."

At an interfaith vigil in Salt Lake City on Thursday evening, religious leaders called for an end to the death penalty.

"Murdering the murderer doesn't create justice or settle any score," said Rev. Tom Goldsmith of the First Unitarian Church.

Some doubt that Gardner is, or could ever be, reformed.

Tami Stewart's father, George "Nick" Kirk, was a bailiff who was shot and wounded in Gardner's botched escape. Kirk suffered chronic health problems until his death in 1995 and became frustrated by the lack of justice that Gardner's years of appeals afforded him, Stewart said.

She said she's not happy about the idea of Gardner's death but believes it will bring her family some closure.

"I think at that moment, he will feel that fear that his victims felt," Stewart said.

Burdell's father, Joseph Burdell Jr., said Gardner's desire to help troubled kids was proof that some transformation has come.

"I understand that he wants to apologize. I think it would be difficult for him," he said by phone Tuesday from his Cary, N.C., home. "Twenty-five years is a long time. He's not the same man."

At his commutation hearing, Gardner shed a tear after telling the board his attempts to apologize to the Otterstroms and Kirks had been unsuccessful. He said he hoped for forgiveness.

"If someone hates me for 20 years, it's going to affect them," Gardner said. "I know killing me is going to hurt them just as bad. It's something you have to live with every day. You can't get away from it. I've been on the other side of the gun. I know."

Associated Press Writer Paul Foy contributed to this report.
Or Kill Me / Nooses, Hoods, and Bodies in the River
March 03, 2010, 10:01:10 PM
warning: this is just brain spooge, nothing earth-shattering, and really just shit I need to clear outta my head.  If you don't like it, I apologize ahead of time.

There was a body found in the riverbank yesterday.  A local teen had been missing since Thursday, and her rapist/murderer was arrested before her remains identified.  She was 17, white, petite, and jogged in the wilderness, or what little we have of that here in Suburbian HellTM.

The perp was your typical middle-aged white man, already been paroled for something real down and dirty, but did his time and regretted nothing.  That he would move to Suburbian HeavenTM to find him something a little further, a little faster, a little more alive so he can make it dead doesn't shock anyone but the girl's parents.

We got the following Safety Tip today in our email inboxes:

QuoteA message from XX  MIDDLE SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

We have been very saddened by the tragic event of the past week.

During these difficult times children may have many questions. This is a good time to a review safety messages as well as being aware of the emotions and concerns of your children.

A link to Ways Parents Can Help their Children During Difficult Times can be found at http://etc. in the middle of the page. The link brings you to the district's safety page where there are suggestions about supporting and reassuring children as they express their reactions to tough issues. There are also links to Safety Tips for Kids and information about Megan's Law.

At school we are also aware of the children's reactions and are reinforcing the stability of our daily routine while reaching out and listening to each other and providing support.

Please call (xxx) xxx xxxx x xxxx if you have any questions or need additional school support for your child.

Thank you,
DH, principal - XX Middle School

So kind, yet so cruel, at the same time.  So typical of the white justice in Suburbian HellTM.

This kind of alien visitation of things all too human just serves to make me less and less comfortable in my surroundings.  Not because this girl died in the worst way, in the most tragic way, but because the act of her dying made everything else so fake, and her death just that much more real.  Maybe I'm just too used to the bad end of things, but the plastic nature of this place, the beach, the near-year-round sun, the kids and dogs and moms and dads...that seems so far away, untouchable.  Visible, but something I view from a window, somehow.

The disappearance of yet another white girl from a white neighborhood was so normal, but the 3-day search in the rain by neighbors, the FBI, the sheriffs and the LIFEGUARDS...THAT was the freaky part.

Amidst all this is a ridiculous noosefest at UCSD...and all I can think of is...AGAIN?  Too easy to poke a finger in that particular wound around here.  The high schools out here tried this last year.  Is life really that surreal, that fake, that EASY that THIS is the entertainment folks come up with?

Maybe I'm just done trying to find "edgy" in a town full of barking dogs and meowing cats.  Maybe I'm just tired of schooling whitebread folks and those who pretend to be whitebread that no, the $55K/inmate we spend is NOT going to the prisoners but instead to their captors.  And yes, I know this because I'm a daughter of a con.  NO, not all Muslims are whitey-hating babyeaters.  And yes, I know this because I married an Afghan.  NO, not all people are created equal.  And yes, I know this because I live in Suburbian HeavenTM

Where all dreams go to die.
So I have had to follow the trek of the Californian jail/prison system through the court mandated releases and forced budget augmentation by the CDC and their lobbyists over the last few years.  The SCOTUS decision came at in interesting time last week as the Governator, who fought the 3-judge panel decision to release 40K prisoners in 3 years (or something like that) due to overcrowding and bad health/deaths of inmates, has signed into law this bill that releases 6500 or so of them this year, giving them IRREVOCABLE PAROLE.  Meaning, the nonviolent/non-child-molesting/victimizing inmates will be released on parole without petty violations throwing them back in there.

This is his answer to the growing rescidivism rate.

Interestingly enough, there are also a lot of quotes out there in the media with the Governator calling for CA-built prisons in MEXICO to house the "undocumented" inmates as well.  And then of course the usual noise about privatization that is so far drowned out by the prison guard lobbyists who know of Wackenhutt takes over, their jobs are toast.

Anyway, enjoy:,0,5992495.story?track=rss

QuoteCalifornia launches plan to cut prison population

As cost-saving measures, the number of parole violators returned behind bars will be cut and low-risk offenders will not be regularly supervised by a parole agent

By Patrick McGreevy

January 26, 2010
E-mail Print Share  Text Size

Reporting from Sacramento - State prison authorities Monday began reducing the number of parole violators sent back behind bars and offering inmates more opportunity to shorten their sentences, as part of a plan to decrease the prison population by 6,500 inmates over the next year.

Low-risk offenders, including those convicted of nonviolent crimes, will not have regular supervision by a parole agent. And they will no longer be returned to prison for technical violations such as alcohol use, missed drug tests or failure to notify the state of an address change.

Parole agents will reduce the number of inmates they supervise to focus on those the state deems to be at highest risk of committing more crimes, such as people who have committed sexual crimes and other violent offenses. Each agent's caseload will fall from 70 parolees to 48.

In addition, prisoners can shave time off their sentences by working on firefighting crews or by obtaining a high school diploma or trade-school certificate or by completing drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs.

Over time, prisons chief Matthew Cate said, the rules will lower the rate at which parolees are returned to state lockups, reduce crime overall and "save, over the course of a full year, a half a billion dollars for California taxpayers."

The state will thus address its prison overcrowding problem while "significantly increasing public safety," said Cate, who heads the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Some law-enforcement officials, state legislators and crime-victim advocates took a different view, predicting a spike in crime in California as more people leave prison earlier with less supervision.

LAPD Lt. Brian Johnson, a director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said the state "will start to release numerous dangerous felons into our community."

Cate said that in a state prison system with 168,000 inmates, only 15% to 18% of inmates will be eligible for unsupervised parole, and that the effect of the changes will be gradual.

"No one gets out today," he said.

The revisions were approved by the Legislature and signed into law last year by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who defended the changes Monday.

"It is not going to compromise public safety," Schwarzenegger said in a Sacramento speech. "Every time you have inmates go out, they come right back in again -- 70% of them. That costs our state . . . a tremendous amount of money."

The changes are occurring as the state has slashed budgets for education and rehabilitation programs in prisons.

"These people are not rehabilitated, and yet we're going to open the door and let them out?" said Harriet Salerno, president of the group Crime Victims, speaking at a Capitol news conference that was also attended by representatives of Los Angeles police officers and Los Angeles County sheriffs' deputies.

Sheriff Lee Baca said he is "very concerned" about the changes. He has ordered his deputies to meet with low-level offenders released from prison and tell them about community services such as mental health and drug rehabilitation programs, said Sheriff's Lt. Wayne Bilowit.

Assemblyman Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), a former prosecutor running for state attorney general, introduced a bill Monday that would give local law enforcement officials a greater role in blocking the release of inmates they deem to be a risk to the public.

Times staff writer Shane Goldmacher contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

This will be my Xmas Beast Feast.  :D  Please to be putting your suggestions on how to prepare a standing rib roast ITT.  Edible suggestions, please.  I will be serving my grandparents, after all. 
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Creative Spam
December 09, 2009, 01:31:51 PM
This was a brainchild from last night in the Apple Bodega thread.

(It's about wang-doodles, of course)~~> how to phrase that so it's "SFW"?  :lulz:

Bernard Doss asks:  Women can't find your thing in your pance?  Englarge it.

Meggy Whitaker begs:  Watch the most amazing changes in your body.  More pleasure wit[sic] less efforts

rozalah1 says: Supercharge lovegun - Don't let the crysis hit you

CIA verdict in Italy challenges Obama on renditions
By Phil Stewart - Analysis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The conviction in Italy of 23 Americans for the abduction of a Muslim cleric poses a challenge to the Obama administration's plans to keep so-called "renditions" as an option for rounding up terrorism suspects.

It also exposes the limits of Washington's ability to protect American agents from prosecution abroad, even in countries counted as close U.S. allies.

"The fact that the U.S. declares rendition legal doesn't make it legal around the world. Other states' rules apply," said Robert Ayers, a former U.S. intelligence official.

"What we've seen in Italy is the Italians have said: Kidnapping is wrong."

The Italian court ruled the Americans, including the former CIA station chief in Milan and an active-duty Air Force colonel, were guilty of abducting a terrorism suspect in 2003 and flying him to Egypt.

There, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr said, he was tortured under interrogation and held for years without charge.

The conviction of the Americans, who were all tried in absentia, turns them into international fugitives who risk arrest abroad. They were also the first convictions anywhere over "extraordinary rendition" and will embolden calls for similar prosecution in the United States.

"The decision in Italy underscores the need for the United States to hold its own officials accountable for crimes committed under the 'extraordinary rendition' program," said Steven Watt at the American Civil Liberties Union.

"It is shameful that the first convictions of this kind came from a foreign justice system, where those convicted are not likely to serve their time."

U.S. President Barack Obama has not ruled out renditions and CIA Director Leon Panetta told a Senate briefing early this year that suspects might still be sent to third countries for questioning subject to assurances they would be treated humanely.


Critics of the program say the same assurances were made under former President George W. Bush, yet past rendition cases have given rise to allegations by human rights lawyers that detainees were tortured while in custody of third countries.

Nasr, for example, says he was "hung up like a slaughtered sheep" and subjected to electric shocks and genital abuse.

(rest in article)
Discordian Recipes / Recipes using whiskey
November 04, 2009, 07:17:18 PM
Hey, anyone else have a tried-and-true recipe using whiskey in the cooking?  I thought Nigel's roast recipe inspiring.  Usually I use beer with beer can chicken and beef brisket for St. Paddy's Day, but never whiskey.  I'm thinking I might try those instead.  Anyone have the results for such adventures?

Do tell!

QuoteThe Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously Thursday to get the ball rolling on creating regulation that will keep the Internet open.

All five commissioners voted in favor of advancing the rule-making process for a proposal that was put forth by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski during the agency's open meeting Thursday.

With three Democrats on the commission, it was no surprise that Genachowski, who was appointed by President Obama, would have enough votes to push the measure through. But it was somewhat surprising that the two Republicans on the commission, who have each expressed disapproval of such regulations, also voted in favor of moving the process forward.

Rest in link.

QuoteProgram: FRONTLINE Episode: The Warning.  Long before the economic meltdown, one woman tried to warn about the threat to the financial system...

Y'all gotta watch this, as I am now.  Good shit.

QuoteIt turns out that surfing the Internet is actually good for you! A new study released by UCLA indicates that cognitive functions improve, even for seniors, after a little as a single week of surfing the Internet, giving credence to the old adage, "Use it or lose it."

Amanda Gardner writes on Health Day News:

"You can teach an old brain new technology tricks," said Dr. Gary Small, a psychiatry professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of iBrain. With people who had little Internet experience, "we found that after just a week of practice, there was a much greater extent of activity particularly in the areas of the brain that make decisions, the thinking brain -- which makes sense because, when you're searching online, you're making a lot of decisions," he said. "It's interactive."

rest in link
Aneristic Illusions / Michael Moore's New Movie
September 30, 2009, 04:40:50 PM
There's no thread started on it yet, so here I am, jumpin in.

He's been toting the clips around the talking bobblehead shows, and he told Bill Maher he expects a "revolution" or something to that effect...

I think he'll be sorely disappointed if that's what he believes.  I think this will be like Sicko and Roger & Me...something to make people go "hm" but nothing that will be any more than some buzz.  I think Bowling for Columbine got more responses from people, mostly because of the Marilyn Manson coverage, and the fact that it was about the gruesome twosome.

Personally I don't ascribe to A LOT of what Moore says, but I find him interesting as a detractor nonetheless.
Aneristic Illusions / Obama wants to re-up Patriot Acts
September 16, 2009, 07:57:52 PM
aka "THIS SUCKS ASS"  :argh!:

QuoteSep 15 2009, 2:10 pm by Marc Ambinder

Obama Embraces Patriot Act; As Senator, He Was Skeptical
The Obama administration wants Congress to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the 2001 USA Patriot Act scheduled to expire later this year, but said in a letter to two senators that it is open to adding (unspecified) civil liberties safeguards.  The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the sunsetting provisions next week and wants to consider broader reforms. Five months ago, it asked the administration for its views; just yesterday, the administration responded.  Some of the changes to the law Barack Obama sought as a senator -- including modifications to the administrative subpoena power known as National Security Letters -- are not part of the corpus of his views today.

In a letter to Sens. Russ Feingold and Dick Durbin (Durbin-Feingold 091409.pdf), assistant attorney general Ronald Welch, the chief DOJ liaison to Congress, said that the administration supports the so-called "roving wiretap" provision, which allows the government to continue surveilling terrorism suspect under a single wiretap warrant even if the suspect changes the medium of communication.  According to Weich, the administration will not authorize such a warrant unless it has "specific" evidence that the suspect is actively working to avoid detection by authorities. About 22 such wiretaps are authorized every year. "We believe the basic justification offered to Congress in 2001 remains valid today," Weich writes.

The administration also wants Congress to reauthorize the provision extending the ability of the FBI to request detailed business records under a FISA warrant. According to the government, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court has issued about 220 orders to produce such records in 2004, and the Justice Department asserts that they have provided investigators with critical information -- although they say the specifics are classified. Weich writes: "It is noteworthy that no recipient of a FISA business records order has ever challenged the validity of the order, despite the availability, since 2006, of a clear statutory mechanism to do so."

Finally, the administration wants Congress to keep the so-called "lone wolf" provision in place, which allows them to conduct surveillance of a terrorism suspect even if they don't know what country that person is acting on behalf of -- if any.  According to Weich , "the Government must know a great deal about the target, including the target's purpose and plans for terrorist activity (in order to satisfy the defmition of "international terrorism"), but still be unable to connect the individual to any group that meets the FISA definition of a foreign power."

Weich notes that Feingold and Durbin "may propose modifications to provide additional protection for the privacy of law abiding Americans."  He quotes President Obama's speech to the National Archives to demonstrate, he says, the "willingness" to consider such ideas, provided that they do not undermine the effectiveness of these important authorities."

As a senator, Obama co-signed a letter (sdaasd.pdf) supporting broad reforms of the Patriot Act, including a requirement that, in order to obtain business records, "the government should be required to convince a judge that the records they are seeking have some connection to a suspected terrorist or spy, as the three-part standard in the Senate bill would mandate."   The letter also supports the sunsetting of the controversial National Security Letters provision, which allows the FBI to request "sensitive personal information simply by certifying that the information is sought for a terrorism or espionage investigation."  The letter Obama co-signed includes this statement: "This would allow government fishing expeditions targeting innocent Americans. As business groups have argued, the government should be required to certify that the person whose records are sought has some connection to a suspected terrorist or spy."

When Congress reauthorized the bill in 2006, it included several modifications that were requested by these senators, including a some limits on the NSL authority, an exemption for libraries, and a less restrictive gag order on those entities receiving letters demanding information. Obama was one of 89 senators to support the bill.

Senators, including the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Carl Levin, point to news that the FBI repeatedly misused the National Security Letter power as evidence that the Act needs broader reform. And there remain questions about whether the Justice Department continues to support Bush-era signing statements that seemed to go around Congress's intent in narrowing the categories of people who could be targeted by the new law.  Another big concern: the Investigative Data Warehouse maintained by the FBI, which collects and stores records on thousands of Americans; what the data includes is unclear; how many Americans are part of the database is unclear; the safeguards in place to prevent abuse is also unclear. 
Aneristic Illusions / "Do you have a RAT to be here?"
September 15, 2009, 03:34:28 PM
You Lie!
Among the protesters at the 9/12 march on Washington.
By Christopher Beam
Posted Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009, at 6:14 AM ET

"Angry mob, coming through!" a protester shouted as he squeezed his way through the crowd at Freedom Plaza Saturday morning. The march from the plaza to the Capitol—the much-hyped "9/12" protest trumpeted for months by Glenn Beck and organized by the same coalition of conservative groups that backed last spring's tea parties—wasn't supposed to start until 11:30 a.m. But the plaza was so full that by 10 a.m., the police had closed Pennsylvania Avenue and the marchers were off.

A conservative protest is something of an oxymoron—partly because the biggest protests in recent memory (Vietnam, Iraq) involved liberal kids challenging conservative policies. But also because conventional wisdom says that conservatives don't go stirring the pot. After all, it's hard to agitate in favor of the status quo.

Then again, maybe it's easier when the Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress. In that case, the conceptual problem facing Saturday's protesters was different: Everyone was against the president, but no one could really agree why. Dave Johnson, who traveled from Woodstock, N.Y., for the protest, didn't necessarily think this was a bad thing. Gesturing toward the parade of signs, he noted that the message of the anti-war movement was simple: "Get out of Vietnam. This is cap-and-trade, taxes, czars, redistribution of wealth," he said. Saturday's protest, therefore, was "richer in terms of mental involvement."

That's one way of putting it. Another word for it is simply confused. Part of the reason is that many of the protesters were new to the whole mass-demonstration thing, and in some cases, it showed. While most of the chants fit accepted rhythmic structures—"Common sense! Common sense!"—some did not. "First Amendment! First Amendment!" one protester cheered. It took a couple of rounds to realize the phrase didn't quite scan. Others got the hang of it quickly. One marcher, spotting the words of the First Amendment carved into the side of the Newseum building on Pennsylvania Avenue, pointed and started chanting: "Read that sign! Read that sign!" Some chants were lifted directly from liberal rallies, namely "The people united will never be divided." At one point, I inquired about a "Power to the People" sign. Its owner, Dana Thomas of Reston, Va., explained to me that John Lennon was really a conservative. "Have you listened to the words to 'Taxman?' " (Actually, that was George's song, though John did write this one, which could be interpreted as opposing the public option.)

Just as Obama's inauguration was hailed as a historic moment, the tea partiers saw themselves in equally world-historical terms. "It's great to be part of history," said Nick Gingric of Freeberg, Pa. "I think this is the biggest crowd ever to march on Washington." Another man, marching nearby, agreed: "I think this is the greatest American outpouring I've seen in my life." The size of the crowd was a point of debate. An organizer at one point announced that ABC News estimated the crowd at 1.5 million. Yet the article on ABC News' Web site—as well as the New York Times and other news sources—said "tens of thousands."

Historical analogies abounded. One woman's T-shirt showed the Founding Fathers with the caption "Right-Wing Extremists." Hitler moustaches adorned Obama posters. The tea-party analogy, initially a cute metaphor for conservatives upset about the stimulus package and auto bailout, has become a battle cry. Protesters marched in white wigs tricornered hats. "Don't Tread on Me" flags were outnumbered only by the Stars and Stripes. During the rally in front of the Capitol, a video compared Obama's policies to those that incited the Revolutionary War. Now, according to the deep-voiced narrator, "Lady Liberty faces her greatest challenge."

Most of the themes of the protest were familiar. Demonstrators were upset by TARP, or the stimulus, or health care reform, or cap-and-trade. But some gripes were new. I was especially struck by the tea baggers' obsession with czars. Everyone knew the number of czars Obama appointed: 37. And nobody was happy with them. "They're socialist radicals," said Davy Reeves of Kalamazoo, Mich. "I don't like the idea of all these czars," said Geri Shea of Leesburg, Va. "It's unconstitutional."

Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, speaking at the rally, picked up on the theme. "It's people, not czars, that run this country!" Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, too, reminded the audience that "nowhere in our Constitution can you find the word czar." The rally's introductory video pointed out that Obama has appointed "more czars in his first six months than in 300 years of Czarist Russia." Conservative hip-hop artist Hi Caliber, who performed at the rally, managed in one song to rhyme czar with Bill Maher. One sign even delivered its anti-czar message in Cyrillic.

I asked a few protesters how Obama's czars are different from the unelected advisers every president appoints. "Every president does have advisers," said Kelly Grillo, Northfield, N.J. "But Obama has way too many."

Van Jones, who resigned recently over comments he made about Republicans as well as a petition he signed alleging government involvement in 9/11, was singled out for special derision. But so, too, was constitutional scholar and recently confirmed "regulatory czar" Cass Sunstein. The reason, said Davy Reeves of Kalamazoo: rats. "He thinks rats should have the right to an attorney, to sue humans," Reeves said. "Rats have no right to live in my house."

Attendees were also adamant that members of Congress read legislation. Betsy McCaughey, after being introduced by the MC as "the woman who started it all by actually reading the bills," appeared at the podium toting her usual binder containing the House health care legislation and proceeded to read from it. (Her claims were similar to ones she made in a New York Post op-ed in July. They have been largely refuted.) "I think Congress should read the bills, but I'd be happier if some of them read this a little more often," said Rep. Pence, brandishing the Constitution.

Unfortunately, reading bills rarely resolves anything. Witness this exchange between me and a young man from South Carolina.

Him: "Have you read the House health care bill?"
Me: "Yes, parts of it."
Him: "Do you think it covers illegal immigrants?"
Me: "No."
Him: "Then you haven't read it!"

The bill does not, in fact, cover illegal immigrants.

The protesters I spoke with did not seem especially interested in negotiating with Obama. They weren't there to haggle over whether health care subsidies should be set at 300 percent or 400 percent above the poverty level. What did they want Obama to say? "I quit," said Jack Gillies of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Gillies organizes a group of tea partiers back in Ft. Lauderdale where, every week, 50 to 60 people show up on a corner to wave signs. I asked him if there was any room for compromise. "Zero," he said. "Everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie."

The protest also made clear how quickly Rep. Joe Wilson has gone from obscure South Carolina congressman to conservative hero. "Joe Wilson, Truth Czar," read one sign. Another said, "Joe Wilson Should Have Thrown His Shoes." Protesters largely agreed that Wilson was right to call Obama a liar and should not have apologized. Others took a more nuanced view. "He should have explained the rationale behind it," said Wayne Pearson of Duncan, in Wilson's home state. "Maybe he should have apologized for breaching protocol, but not for the content."

If Joe Wilson was the star of the show, Fox News was a close second. I approached a woman carrying a sign reading, "Fox News—America's Only Media!" As a member of the media, I said, I was offended. "Fox News and Slate!" she kindly corrected. She was Kathy Johnson of Woodstock, N.Y., wife of Dave. I asked what brought them there. "You got an hour?" she said. Dave said it was everything: health care, taxes, socialism. He warned me of what he called "DDA": the deliberate destruction of America. He then made a prediction. As the deficit grows, people are going to divest from the U.S. dollar—"currency flight"—forcing the government to either raise taxes or print money. He has already begun to pull his money out and transfer it to foreign investments. "I'm betting against the U.S.," he said.

Nearby, a group of well-dressed men and women, calling themselves Billionaires for Wealthcare, who waved signs—"Less Health, More Wealth," "Let Them Eat Advil," "Do No Harm ... To Our Bottom Line"—and sang songs about how health care reform would destroy their posh lives. Not everyone realized it was a joke. One protester sang along with the song, sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," which had the chorus, "Let's save the status quo." Another protester was baffled. "They spin everything you say!" she said to me. "You think they're on your side, but then they're not!" One volunteer for Tea Party Patriots was convinced they were on his side. "They're for us," he told me. "They're wealthy, so they're thanking everybody for coming."

That was the closest thing to a counterprotest I saw. At one point, I spotted what looked like an Obama campaign slogan. Two men were wearing T-shirts with "Fired Up!" on the front in big block letters. I was approaching them to get a closer look when one of them turned around. On the back: "You Lie!"

Christopher Beam is a Slate political reporter. Follow him on Twitter.

Article URL:

Copyright 2008 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC

I really hate giving Fux News more than it's share of our time, but seriously, it's like Sarah Palin for the comedians:  the material's too rich and gorgeous to just let it lay there untouched and unlaughed-at.  Of course, it's more like  :horrormirth: than  :lol:

(btw:  the title of this post is a memory of this skit on The Muppte Show where a drawling Southern-US-accented puppet asked if Kermit had "a rat to be here"...or was he asking Fozzie?  Anyway...someone produced a rat somewhere along the way. Hearing about Glenn Beck's new charge that Obama's new "regulatory czar" Sunstein will want to declare prosecutorial rights for made me think of that skit)

I heard his interview on Fresh Air with Terri Gross yesterday.  More chilling accounts of how wrapped up in theology the Rightwingnuts are--this guy infiltrated Palin's church and was there while she was speaking in tongues with her congregation (something I've seen myself firsthand, it's a little weird to say the least).  He says he'd never spoken in tongues before, so to fit in, he simply repeated the first names of the Jackson 5 over and over.

However, he includes in his book a look at Eisenhauer's warnings about the GOP being taken over by the Bible-thumping set, and how insidious the takeover would truly be.  It's rather galling to listen to what he found in Eisenhauer's correlations and what has happened in the last 40 years or so.  Excerpts in link.
Seems 09-09-09 for the Japanese would be like 13-13-13 (if we HAD a 13th month) for the US...interesting to note, if useless as far as info goes. ( )

OF course, they could always switch to an alternate calendar for the day and then go back once the 9th day of the 9th month of the 9th year in the century was over...

Anyway, this date only crossed my mind with its idiosyncracies because it's the last time we'll see a triple single-digit date for this particular calendar system till the next century.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / 44 Guests?!
September 05, 2009, 05:58:58 AM
44 guests?


Last time I had 44 guests...shit, I don't REMEMBER having 44 guests.    :lulz:

PD is srs fun on a Fri night.

LURKERS!  HEAR YE!  Come out and POST!

(ya lily-livered pussies)
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Rescue Me
September 05, 2009, 01:33:27 AM
yes, Dennis Leary is kinda a prick.

But I love this show.

Rented the whole 1st season on DVD.   :fap:

Because, you know, the Republicans just want to preach 1) prayer 2) abstinence and 2) creationism...[S[F%2FucaQBHZXpUmtN0IgGsnLn%2BbVMeL5d3A

QuoteUpdated: September 4, 2009

Officials Move to Quell Furor Over Obama Speech

By Dakarai I. Aarons

Premium article access courtesy of

The White House and federal education officials scrambled Thursday to reassure school leaders that President Barack Obama's national speech to schoolchildren next week will touch on important educational goals, despite criticism from some conservatives that the president is planning to use the speech to "indoctrinate" children with his political views.

"The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning," the U.S. Department of Education said in an e-mail urging schools to participate in what it called a "historic moment," to be broadcast live Sept. 8 on C-SPAN and the White House's Web site.

But the planned 15- to 20-minute noontime speech—and, especially, a menu of classroom activities (for younger and older students) suggested by the White House in connection with it—continued to draw denunciations, leading some school officials to say they would let parents opt out of having their children watch.

Some districts in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin have decided not to show the speech to students, citing the controversy and the already-packed schedule of what will be the first day of school for many.

So intense was the criticism that the White House Wednesday modified at least one recommended classroom activity, which had originally suggested that elementary-age students "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president."

Among other suggested activities are having younger children create posters of students' goals and having older students write about people who exhibit personal responsibility, which will be a theme of Mr. Obama's speech. The full text of the speech will be posted online Monday at

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne minced no words in his criticism of the suggested curriculum.

"An important part of educating students is to teach them to read and listen critically. The White House materials call for a worshipful, rather than critical approach to this speech," Mr. Horne, a Republican said in a written statement.

"There is nothing in these White House materials about approaching the speech critically, or engaging in any critical thinking whatsoever, but only adopting a reverent approach to everything they are being told."

But Timothy Mitchell, the superintendent of the Chamberlain School District 7-1 in Chamberlain, S.D., said some teachers in his 950-student district were considering showing Mr. Obama's speech in the classroom—and that's fine with him.

"I think you have seen a lot of modern-day presidents during the first days of school going to address students," he said. "[Mr. Obama's] using technology to get a wider audience as leader of the free world to tell kids education is important. I think it is great coming from a leader telling that to kids."

Some parents, urged on by conservative bloggers, have said they will keep their children home from school on Tuesday.

But Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, said he's "certainly not going to advise anybody not to send their kids to school that day."

"Hearing the president speak is always a memorable moment," he said.

Mr. Perry, however, also said he understood where the criticism was coming from.

"Nobody seems to know what he's going to be talking about," he said. "Why didn't he spend more time talking to the local districts and superintendents, at least give them a heads-up about it?"

Presidential Precedent

Mr. Obama is not the first president to address schoolchildren directly—Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush made such speeches during their terms in office—nor is he the first to draw controversy.

The elder President Bush's 1991 speech set off a similar partisan war, with Democrats accusing the Republican of using children as political pawns and demanding that then-Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander—a Republican who is now a U.S. senator from Tennessee—explain why the Education Department spent more than $20,000 on the event. ("Democrats Question Use of E.D. Funds for Bush Address," October 9, 1991.)

The current controversy began online Tuesday afternoon after Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer issued a press release headlined "Greer Condemns Obama's Attempt to Indoctrinate Students."

Mr. Greer said in the release: "As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology," and "I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda."

By Wednesday afternoon, many bloggers were criticizing both the president's planned speech and the suggested classroom activities. Many local administrators were grappling with whether to show the speech, take part in the classroom activities, and cope with parental calls that children be allowed to opt out.

"I think it's really unfortunate that politics has been brought into this," White House Deputy Policy Director Heather Higginbottom said. "It's simply a plea to students to really take their learning seriously. Find out what they're good at. Set goals. And take the school year seriously."

The American Association of School Administrators has not issued formal guidance to its members on Mr. Obama's speech, but did communicate with all of its state-level directors to make sure they were aware of it, said spokeswoman Amy Vogt.

"The decision to air the president's speech will be a local decision, depending on individual schools' instructional demands/schedules, and our members are addressing this at the local level," she said in an e-mail Wednesday.

School leaders' responses vary.

Virginia and South Carolina, for example, have encouraged local school districts to make their own decisions on whether to let teachers show the speech.

In the 200,000-student Houston Independent School District, individual classroom teachers will decide whether to build a lesson around President Obama's speech. Teachers who do so will send home letters to parents saying students have the option to forgo the lesson and be given alternative work, said district spokesman Norm Uhl.

Such opting-out isn't unprecedented, he said, and he noted that the district has gotten calls from parents who are both supportive and not supportive of the choice.

"We had parents calling with concerns, and when parents are concerned about curriculum, just like with sex education, we like to give them a choice," Mr. Uhl said.

The 49,000-student Atlanta public school system has encouraged its teachers to show the president's address in their classes and incorporate it into social studies lessons.

Students and parents who have concerns will be free to opt out, just as students can opt out of saying the Pledge of Allegiance, said schools spokesman Keith Bromery.

"We routinely do not allow politicians during election times to come in the schools to promote themselves," he said. But Mr. Bromery also said: "This is not a campaign. This is the president addressing a segment of his population, pretty much like he does when he goes on television at 9 p.m. We don't see this in any way as being partisan or being part of the campaign."

Such an outbreak of anger about the president's speech is not surprising in the current polarized political climate, said Jeffrey Henig, a professor of political science and education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

"Most Americans, even most Republican Americans, would never have thought it was a concern for the president to talk directly to students," he said. "And they wouldn't have thought it was a concern to raise notions of civic concern and of community responsibility."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Vol. 29, Issue 03

My kids will be hearing it in class.  Our district is letting the parents know they can opt out, but they prefer them not to.  The language in that PSA was...interesting, to say the least.

But still, the Reich-Wing "furor" is hilarious to me.
Aneristic Illusions / Larry Flynt: Common Sense 2009
September 03, 2009, 06:04:28 PM
A friend sent this to me last week sometime in my email:

Date: August 22, 2009 11:07:46 AM PDT
Subject: Common Sense 2009

August 22, 2009

Larry Flynt
Publisher of Hustler magazine and free speech advocate

Posted: August 20, 2009 08:15 PM
Common Sense 2009
The American government -- which we once called our government -- has been taken over by Wall Street, the mega-corporations and the super-rich. They are the ones who decide our fate. It is this group of powerful elites, the people President Franklin D. Roosevelt called "economic royalists," who choose our elected officials -- indeed, our very form of government. Both Democrats and Republicans dance to the tune of their corporate masters. In America, corporations do not control the government. In America, corporations are the government.
This was never more obvious than with the Wall Street bailout, whereby the very corporations that caused the collapse of our economy were rewarded with taxpayer dollars. So arrogant, so smug were they that, without a moment's hesitation, they took our money -- yours and mine -- to pay their executives multimillion-dollar bonuses, something they continue doing to this very day. They have no shame. They don't care what you and I think about them. Henry Kissinger refers to us as "useless eaters."

But, you say, we have elected a candidate of change. To which I respond: Do these words of President Obama sound like change?

"A culture of irresponsibility took root, from Wall Street to Washington to Main Street."
There it is. Right there. We are Main Street. We must, according to our president, share the blame. He went on to say: "And a regulatory regime basically crafted in the wake of a 20th-century economic crisis -- the Great Depression -- was overwhelmed by the speed, scope and sophistication of a 21st-century global economy."

This is nonsense.

The reason Wall Street was able to game the system the way it did -- knowing that they would become rich at the expense of the American people (oh, yes, they most certainly knew that) -- was because the financial elite had bribed our legislators to roll back the protections enacted after the Stock Market Crash of 1929.

Congress gutted the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial lending banks from investment banks, and passed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which allowed for self-regulation with no oversight. The Securities and Exchange Commission subsequently revised its rules to allow for even less oversight -- and we've all seen how well that worked out. To date, no serious legislation has been offered by the Obama administration to correct these problems.

Instead, Obama wants to increase the oversight power of the Federal Reserve. Never mind that it already had significant oversight power before our most recent economic meltdown, yet failed to take action. Never mind that the Fed is not a government agency but a cartel of private bankers that cannot be held accountable by Washington. Whatever the Fed does with these supposed new oversight powers will be behind closed doors.

Obama's failure to act sends one message loud and clear: He cannot stand up to the powerful Wall Street interests that supplied the bulk of his campaign money for the 2008 election. Nor, for that matter, can Congress, for much the same reason.

Consider what multibillionaire banker David Rockefeller wrote in his 2002 memoirs:

"Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure -- one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it."

Read Rockefeller's words again. He actually admits to working against the "best interests of the United States."

Need more? Here's what Rockefeller said in 1994 at a U.N. dinner: "We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis, and the nations will accept the New World Order." They're gaming us. Our country has been stolen from us.

Journalist Matt Taibbi, writing in Rolling Stone, notes that esteemed economist John Kenneth Galbraith laid the 1929 crash at the feet of banking giant Goldman Sachs. Taibbi goes on to say that Goldman Sachs has been behind every other economic downturn as well, including the most recent one. As if that wasn't enough, Goldman Sachs even had a hand in pushing gas prices up to $4 a gallon.

The problem with bankers is longstanding. Here's what one of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, had to say about them:

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation, and then by deflation, the banks and the corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their father's conquered."

We all know that the first American Revolution officially began in 1776, with the Declaration of Independence. Less well known is that the single strongest motivating factor for revolution was the colonists' attempt to free themselves from the Bank of England. But how many of you know about the second revolution, referred to by historians as Shays' Rebellion? It took place in 1786-87, and once again the banks were the cause. This time they were putting the screws to America's farmers.
Daniel Shays was a farmer in western Massachusetts. Like many other farmers of the day, he was being driven into bankruptcy by the banks' predatory lending practices. (Sound familiar?) Rallying other farmers to his side, Shays led his rebels in an attack on the courts and the local armory. The rebellion itself failed, but a message had been sent: The bankers (and the politicians who supported them) ultimately backed off. As Thomas Jefferson famously quipped in regard to the insurrection: "A little rebellion now and then is a good thing. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Perhaps it's time to consider that option once again.

I'm calling for a national strike, one designed to close the country down for a day. The intent? Real campaign-finance reform and strong restrictions on lobbying. Because nothing will change until we take corporate money out of politics. Nothing will improve until our politicians are once again answerable to their constituents, not the rich and powerful.

Let's set a date. No one goes to work. No one buys anything. And if that isn't effective -- if the politicians ignore us -- we do it again. And again. And again.

The real war is not between the left and the right. It is between the average American and the ruling class. If we come together on this single issue, everything else will resolve itself. It's time we took back our government from those who would make us their slaves.

Copyright � 2009, Inc.

Aneristic Illusions / FUCK YOU, SACRAMENTO! EAT SHIT!
September 02, 2009, 05:42:46 AM

QuoteCalif. seeks stay of inmate-release court order
By DON THOMPSON (AP) – 4 hours ago

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Schwarzenegger administration on Tuesday asked the federal courts to delay an order requiring California to reduce its inmate population over the next two years.

Last month, a special three-judge panel gave California 45 days to decide how it will cut the number of inmates in its 33 adult prisons by more than 40,000, bringing the population to about 110,000. They found that reducing the number of inmates in California's 33 adult prisons was the only way to improve medical and mental health care, which the courts previously ruled was so poor it violated inmates' civil rights.

The administration maintains that the courts cannot order the state to release prisoners and plans to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the administration wants the three-judge panel to stay its decision ordering the prisoner release. That motion was filed Tuesday with federal courts in Sacramento and San Francisco.

If the three California-based federal judges will not delay their order, Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said the administration will seek a stay from the nation's high court.

"We believe that the state is capable of reducing the prison population without the court intervening," he said.

The administration is backing legislation that would cut the number of inmates in the state's prisons by about 37,000 over two years by diverting more convicts to county jails or home detention. How much of that plan will survive the legislative process is unclear.

THEY BEST NOT SEND HIM BACK TO A COUNTY JAIL.  This better mean he'll be out with an ankle bracelent.

FUCK YOU, SACRAMENTO.  Place makes me want to send them a jar of homemade shit.
So yet AGAIN, when CA lawmakers have the chance to make some headway in this clusterfuck of a prison system debacle, they knuckle to their political backers, the fucking lobbyists.  What's sad is they do have Joe Public thinking that they actually have our best interests (aka "security") at heart while they "debate" this.  Har har har.  And yeah, like the prison guard lobby has NOTHING to do with this whatsofucking ever. /sarcasm, drip drip

QuoteThe plan, which is a holdover from the recent budget agreement, seeks to reduce the state's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation budget by $1.2 billion dollars over the next 10 months by reducing the state's inmate population, by 27,300.

California's inmate population has steadily expanded under California's "three strikes" law, increasing the cost of incarceration to the state.

The average yearly cost to the state to house an inmate is more than $31,000. The average annual cost to manage a parolee is more than $3,400, according to the CDCR Budget.

According to Bass spokeswoman Shannon Murphy, the Speaker spent Monday meeting with Steinberg, legislators and law enforcement interest groups that currently oppose the cost-cutting plan.

Murphy said today's postponement was necessary in order to rewrite the language of the bill. "We're working on the language right now," Murphy told California Progress Report. Murphy confirmed the legislation is not dead, stating the Assembly "will absolutely" vote on the legislation before the end of session.

Murphy would not confirm whether or not the Speaker believed Monday she had the votes needed to pass the legislation.

The plan requires 41 votes to pass. Without Republican support, Bass will need to garner 41 of the Assembly's 49 Democrats.

It has been widely reported that the political aspirations of 11 current Democratic Assembly members for higher office made it impossible for Bass to find the votes needed to pass the Senate plan.

emphasis at the end there mine


I know, my fixation with butt humor
This article explains a lot of it.  My Assyrian-by-way-of-Iranian sister-in-law and her family exemplify it.  I think I believe this guy when he says the religious regime is on a Death Watch.

QuoteWatching Art-House Movies in Tehran
Iran after the journalists were silenced.

Posted Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009, at 2:06 PM ET

TEHRAN, Iran—We had barely finished exchanging pleasantries when he leaned in and whispered, "Are you from the BBC?" The bearded university student was my seatmate on the bus to Qom, the seat of Iran's hard-line clerical elite. His wariness foreshadowed my one-hour tour of the local police station the next night, when the cops decided a foreigner in one of the country's most conservative cities must be up to no good. They were right.

Iran's post-election crisis has become the most serious existential threat to the ruling regime since the Islamic republic was founded 30 years ago. But there are few journalists to report on the story. For the most part, they've been jailed, expelled, or intimidated into silence. A little over a week ago, Newsweek's Maziar Bahari was paraded in a mass show trial after spending more than a month in the notorious Evin prison and writing an 11-page confession of his "crimes." Greek-British freelancer Iason Athanasiadis left the country in mid-July after extensive back-channel diplomacy and after enduring nearly three weeks in Evin.

Iranian journalists fare even worse. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 38 local reporters are behind bars—making the regime the world's leading jailer of journalists. Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders claims Iran is "on the way to becoming the world's most dangerous place for them to operate."

Working undercover in Tehran amid severe reporting constraints means I can't chase the important stories: Who are the real players in the regime? Does the opposition leadership have a plan to prevent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from further radicalizing the government in his second term? What is the power dynamic inside Iran's vast security apparatus, and who's in control there?

Instead, I spend my time in the streets covering the still-formidable demonstrations, dodging the feared basij militia alongside protesters brave enough to film the frequently brutal scenes with cell-phone cameras. Although this has been called the Twitter Revolution or the Facebook Revolution, the truth is that most of my Iranian friends turn to Western media to get the bird's-eye-view perspective that can be missing from blog posts or tweets.

But the simple act of living in Tehran, where I bump into Iranians of all stripes—one man in his late 50s bragged about the clever signs he holds when he protests in front of the British Embassy; a university student in her early 20s explained how to make Molotov cocktails to use against the Revolutionary Guards—opens up the culture. Look beyond the mullahs, ayatollahs, Sharia law, and head-to-toe chadors, and you'll find a stifled culture and a young population eager to embrace the West and the freedoms we represent.

Take this last weekend, when I watched Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers. It was a big deal—not because the DVD was pirated (there are no copyright laws in Iran), but because in a country where shorts are banned and women are required to wear head scarves in public, I was watching an NC-17 art-house film bought off the streets. A friend tells me the movie is increasingly popular with young Iranians because of its scenes of the 1968 student protests in Paris.

The night before, I was at a party held in a private apartment, where booze was served and dancing encouraged (both are forbidden in the Islamic Republic). At one point, two guys debated which exiled musician, Shahin Najafi or Kiosk, was most critical of the Ahmadinejad government—and, therefore, which they admired the most.

Neither the inspiring street demonstrations nor the behind-closed-doors infighting among the hard-liners will bring about the collapse of the regime in the next few months—after all, it took more than a year to overthrow the despotic shah in 1979. But the theocracy is on a death watch. From what I've seen in the last two months, the current level of repression is not sustainable in the long term. Tehranis are fed up of living under Big Brother, where one-third of taxi drivers are rumored to be in the pay of the ministry of intelligence and undercover basij routinely harass people for religious infractions.

Even outside the capital, Iranians are surprisingly cosmopolitan. Many have relatives in the United States, Canada, Europe, or Australia. They know what they're missing, and the under-30s that make up 70 percent of Iran's population will not kowtow to 70-year-old clerics in Qom for much longer. But until then, they'll have to be satisfied with bootleg DVDs, grungy underground parties, and the occasional visit from the neighborhood basij.

Article URL:


Dude has been kidnapped 3 times in Iraq, been in Afghanistan until recently, and now is down in Mexico for the drug wars.  Yes, saw him on Maher as well, and damn, I think ol' Bill is right:  dude has a deathwish.

Nonetheless, he said something I find very fucking interesting:  that the Talibs, Pakistan and the US are (get this) getting ready to sit down to negotiate.  He says it's a "slow boil" if that is going to come to pass, but he's right--this thing AIN'T going to be won with bullets, tanks and bombs.  NOT in Afghanistan.  And Pakistan (I called this YEARS ago--like 2 of them, I think) is the KEY to winning this thing.  Again, NOT Afghanistan.

Fucking fascinating shit.  I wish they would've gotten to the drug wars in Mexico with Ware, but I'll be looking up and waiting for his take on it.
Apologies if this is cock & repost, but I just saw this guy on the week before last's Bill Maher...and zomg!  The shit he was kicking down about "C Street" and "The New Chosen"/"The Family" will make you shit brix...trip balls...I dunno.  Freaky-deaky shit.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone else is following this guy's exposes on the hardcore Fundamentalist agenda behind the "Soldiers for Christ" that have tanks and go in with "Mohammad Kills Jesus" written in Arabic in Iraq, shooting people down, and religious politicians becoming a huge-ass'd cult of Fundamentalist whackos (using PolPot and Hitler as their icons)...for decades.

Jesus Fucking Christo.