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Topics - Juana

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Literate Chaotic / Kyriarchy - books and article discussion thread
« on: August 06, 2012, 11:50:48 pm »
I just finished Body Wars: Making Peace with Women's Bodies, an Activist's Guide by Margo Maine[/url], which is both sad and very good, and touches everything from really fucked up adult body images, their affect on kids, gendered violence, and the way "body wars" (the way culture puts you at war with your own body in order to fit the 'standard') affect men, too, and how to change it all.

The book is from 2000 and culture has shifted some since then, I suspect it's mostly the same (although, let's be real, this book was published when I was eleven, so please correct me if I'm wrong).

I originally purchased Body Wars to check out the source of a pants-shittingly terrifying rape statistic (it made avoiding all men, forever and ever amen, sound like a really good idea). The source is a 1988 survey done by Ms. magazine and while I'd like to say things have changed (and in some ways I think they have. Maybe) the idea that there are some situations where the woman owes a man sex is still prevalent IME, and I don't think it's too far to say that there are a lot of men who would force it if they thought they were being denied their rightful poon.

The other parts I thought were valuable talked about body image specifically, especially the discussion of how poorly managed dieting (which is most of it) ends up fucking you up hardcore (a lot of the problems associated with being obese are also the same sort of issues shitty diets cause, and given the rate at which fat people in particular diet, there's definitely a link), how body wars affect men (I'd like PD dudes' thoughts here, particularly the older ones who've had the chance to watch the standard change), and how adults pass on their body concerns to their children. In particular, I found the way athletics sometimes body polices little girls ('"fat pig" awards given by coaches, group weigh ins, etc.) and the way the medical field is dealing with kids to be distressing (the book included one instance of a pediatrician who wanted to put an infant on a diet).

Apple Talk / I'm going to be in Portland
« on: July 19, 2012, 06:58:54 pm »
On Friday or Saturday next week. Anyone want to meet up?

Discordian Recipes / Super Streusteled Coffee Cake
« on: July 10, 2012, 01:28:50 am »
Bottom layer of struesel:

    4 tbs softened butter
    2 tbs flour
    1 tbs brown sugar
    1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix and spread on a butter-and-floured pan.

Quick Sour Cream Coffee Cake

    1 1/2 cups flour
    1  cup sugar
    2  teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1  cup sour cream
    2  eggs

    Preheat oven to 350.
    Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
    Combine sour cream and eggs. Beat well.
    Add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture. Beat just till smooth.

Put that shit in the pan on top of the first layer. Drop 2 tbs of sliced butter on top and add more struesel

    2  tablespoons flour
    2  tablespoons butter
    5  tablespoons sugar
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Stick it in the oven. Somewhere around the 40 minute mark, pull it out and put a cookie sheet with water in it in the oven and put the pan into that. It should be done ten-ish minutes after that.


Aneristic Illusions / Unlimited "Stand Your Ground" Thread!
« on: June 10, 2012, 04:51:44 am »
'Cause I doubt the laws are going away anytime soon.

FFS. I'm pretty sure this was a flat out murder. The neighbors never got close and at least one of 'em (the visible one, who's the dude who died, I think) had his hands up.

Discordian Recipes / Naan
« on: February 26, 2012, 11:04:48 pm »
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup ghee

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and let it stand about 10 minutes, until it's frothy. Stir in the sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough and knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Put the dough in a well oiled bowl, cover it with a damp cloth and set aside to rise for an hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

Punch down the dough and if you want to add anything, now's the time (I like to add about two teaspoons garlic and an eyeballed amount of basil). Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball, roll them into balls, and put them on a tray. Cover it with a towel and allow the dough balls to rise again for about half an hour, until they've doubled in size.

After the second rising, preheat a skillet to medium heat and oil it with ghee. Flatten each dough ball, brush it with more ghee and drop it on the skillet. When it gets fluffier, paint it with yet more ghee and flip it over. The way I tell if they're done is to mash them with my spatula. If the resistance is stiff all the way through, it's done. If you can feel a squishy part, wait a little longer.

WASHINGTON -- In a stunning break with First Amendment policy on Capitol Hill, House Republicans directed Capitol Hill police to detain a highly regarded documentary crew that was attempting to film a Wednesday hearing on a controversial natural gas procurement practice. Republicans also denied the entrance of a credentialed ABC News news team that was attempting to film the event.

Josh Fox, director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Gasland" was taken into custody by Capitol Hill police this morning, along with his crew, after Republicans objected to their presence, according to Democratic sources present at the hearing. The meeting of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment had been taking place in room 2318 of the Rayburn building. Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, is currently seeking to secure a procedural maneuver that would allow the detained film crew to re-enter the hearing, which is open to the public. Miller's motion is not expected to succeed.

Approximately 16 officers entered the hearing room and handcuffed Fox amid audible discussions of "disorderly conduct" charges, according to Democratic sources present at the arrest.

"Gasland" received strong critical acclaim and takes a critical eye toward the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a process in which several tons of highly pressurized water and chemicals are injected into the ground, allowing valuable natural gas to escape. The practice is decried by ecological experts for destroying ecosystems and polluting groundwater. The energy industry keeps the actual content of fracking chemicals secret.

Fox had hoped to film Wednesday's hearing for a follow-up to "Gasland." A colleague of Fox's at his production company was unable to comment on the morning's events, but HuffPost expects a statement soon and will update this story accordingly.

Fox did not have formal Capitol Hill credentials, but such formalities are rarely enforced against high-profile journalists. Temporary passes are easy to obtain, and if Republicans had objected on procedural grounds, they could have simply sent the the crew to the front desk, rather than ordering police to arrest journalists. The right to a free press is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Documentary crews are almost never denied access to public meetings of elected government officials.

A separate ABC News crew, which did have official Capitol Hill credentials, was also denied access to the public hearing.

UPDATE: 12:09 p.m. -- Capitol Police public information officer Seargant Kimberly Schneider provided the following statement to HuffPost on the morning's events:

"At approximately 10:30 a.m. today, United States Capitol Police arrested Joshua Fox of Mainville, Pa. in room 2318 of the Rayburn House office building. He is charged with unlawful entry, and he is currently being processed at United States Capitol Police headquarters."
Seriously? I really shouldn't be surprised. Really shouldn't. But I kind of am. The hearing was open to the public; even though they didn't have credentials, they are still part of the public. Am I missing something? Does a degree from a journalism school automatically mean you're treated differently in instances like this?

Aneristic Illusions / Former Taliban Officials Say U.S. Talks Started
« on: January 29, 2012, 05:34:03 am »
KABUL, Afghanistan — Several Taliban negotiators have begun meeting with American officials in Qatar, where they are discussing preliminary trust-building measures, including a possible prisoner transfer, several former Taliban officials said Saturday.
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Musadeq Sadeq/Associated Press

Marc Grossman, left, an American envoy, and the Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin.

    Talks With Taliban a Long Way Off, American Envoy Says (January 23, 2012)

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The former officials said that four to eight Taliban representatives had traveled to Qatar from Pakistan to set up a political office for the exiled Afghan insurgent group.

The comments suggested that the Taliban, who have not publicly said they would engage in peace talks to end the war in Afghanistan, were gearing up for preliminary discussions.

American officials would not deny that meetings had taken place, and the discussions seemed to have at least the tacit approval of Pakistan, which has thwarted previous efforts by the Taliban to engage in talks.

The Afghan government, which was initially angry that it had been left out, has accepted the talks in principle but is not directly involved, a potential snag in what could be a historic development.

The former Taliban officials, interviewed Saturday in Kabul, were careful not to call the discussions peace talks.

“Currently there are no peace talks going on,” said Maulavi Qalamuddin, the former minister of vice and virtue for the Taliban who is now a member of the High Peace Council here. “The only thing is the negotiations over release of Taliban prisoners from Guantánamo, which is still under discussion between both sides in Qatar. We also want to strengthen the talks so we can create an environment of trust for further talks in the future.”

The State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland has said only that Marc Grossman, the Obama administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, had “a number of meetings” related to Afghanistan when he visited Qatar last week.

The Taliban’s announcement this month that they would open an office in Qatar, which could allow for direct negotiations, drew fire from some Afghan factions as well as some American policy makers, who fear the insurgents would use negotiations as a ploy to gain legitimacy and then continue their efforts to reimpose an extremist Islamic state in Afghanistan.

Mr. Grossman, at a news conference in Kabul last week, said that real peace talks could begin only after the Taliban renounced international terrorism and agreed to support a peace process to end the armed conflict.

The Afghan government and the Qataris must also come to an agreement on the terms under which the Taliban will have an office. Mr. Grossman has been regularly briefing the Afghan government but Afghan officials have complained that they were being kept out of the loop.

The Taliban officials now in Doha, Qatar, include a former secretary to the Taliban’s leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, as well as several former officials of the Taliban government that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, according to Mr. Qalamuddin and Arsala Rahmani, a former Taliban minister of higher education.

The former Taliban officials here described fairly advanced discussions in Qatar about the transfer of prisoners. One former official, Syed Muhammad Akbar Agha, who had been a Taliban military commander, said that five Taliban prisoners were to be transferred in two phases, two or three in one group and then the remainder.

There has also been discussion in Qatar of removing some Taliban members from NATO’s “kill or capture” lists, the former Taliban officials said.

Mr. Grossman, in his comments last week, played down talk of detainee releases, saying the United States had not yet decided on the issue. “This is an issue of United States law first of all, that we have to meet the requirements of our law,” he said.

He said the Obama administration would also consult with Congress. Under American law, the defense secretary must certify to Congress that the transfer of any Guantánamo prisoner to a foreign country would meet certain requirements, including that the country maintains control over its prisons and will not allow a transferred detainee to become a future threat to the United States.

If any detainees were released, Western and Afghan officials said, they would likely be transferred to Qatar and held there, perhaps under house arrest.

The former Taliban officials said that they were most surprised by Pakistan’s decision to allow the Taliban delegates to obtain travel documents and board a plane to Qatar. The former officials have long contended that Pakistan has obstructed talks. “This is a green light from Pakistan,” Mr. Rahmani said.

Pakistan “definitely supported this and is also helping,” Mr. Qalamuddin added. He said that if Pakistan did not approve of the talks, it would have arrested the Taliban delegates to Qatar, just as it did with Mullah Baradar, a senior Taliban official, after he began secret talks with the Afghan government in 2010.

Aneristic Illusions / Tennessee Tea Baggers' Demands
« on: January 22, 2012, 10:42:00 pm »
Tea parties issue demands to Tennessee legislators
Hilarity abounds in their demands, but extra extra horrormirthy is their demands on text books and their attorney general:
NASHVILLE — Members of Tennessee tea parties presented state legislators with five priorities for action Wednesday, including “rejecting” the federal health reform act, establishing an elected “chief litigator” for the state and “educating students the truth about America.”

About two dozen tea party activists held a news conference, then met with lawmakers individually to present their list of priorities and “demands” for the 2011 legislative session that opened Tuesday.

Regarding education, the material they distributed said, “Neglect and outright ill will have distorted the teaching of the history and character of the United States. We seek to compel the teaching of students in Tennessee the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government.”

That would include, the documents say, that “the Constitution created a Republic, not a Democracy.”

The material calls for lawmakers to amend state laws governing school curriculums, and for textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”

Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman during the news conference, said the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.

“The thing we need to focus on about the founders is that, given the social structure of their time, they were revolutionaries who brought liberty into a world where it hadn’t existed, to everybody — not all equally instantly — and it was their progress that we need to look at,” said Rounds, whose website identifies him as a Vietnam War veteran of the Air Force and FedEx retiree who became a lawyer in 1995.

In reference to their AG's disinterest in going after "Obamacare":
The group’s printed material says the attorney general has reflected “views of the U.S. Constitution that conflict with those of the people of Tennessee.”
:horrormirth: Didn't we try this already? I think we did. And it ended pretty badly for the people who tried that.

Discordian Recipes / Brownies OF GOD
« on: December 28, 2011, 11:25:19 pm »
This recipe comes from Death by Chocolate and has a stupid name, but I'm going to call them brownies of GOD because they totally are. Rich and fluffy and fudgey. :)
You do need a mixer with a balloon whip, by the way.

4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream

Butter and flour the pan, preheat the oven to 325*F.

Melt the chocolate and butter together (the original recipe calls for a double boiler, but I don't have one, and two minutes in the microwave works just fine), and stir 'till it's smooth.

Mix the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together with the mixer for about a minute and a half, until it's thickened a bit.

Add the chocolate and mix, add the dry ingredients and mix, and then put in the sour cream, all for about thirty seconds apiece.

Pour it in the pan - you'll want a spatula to get all of it out and then to even out the spread in the pan, because the batter is pretty stiff.

Bake for a full forty minutes (check if you have to at the thirty minute mark, but the brownies collapse really, really easily). When the knife comes out clean, it's done (even if you like fudgey brownies better than cake, make sure it's clean).


edited because I forgot the word "butter" D:

Literate Chaotic / Sunflowers
« on: December 20, 2011, 02:42:04 am »
Um. It gets less silly later. This is not the complete story, since I'm still working out how exactly to end it. Suggestions welcome.

Max Lewis lived on Dulcy Street, which was connected to Drury Lane, Anne Road, and met its demise at the intersection with Green Gables Avenue. These were somewhat whimsical names for otherwise very boring streets in a very boring neighborhood. Every lawn was trimmed to golf course standards, there was an SUV in every driveway and all of them were washed on Sunday by aging, topless men while their kids played football in the street.

Max had an SUV, too, and he washed it on Sundays, just like every other man on his street, and his sons Jacob and Charlie played football in the street. Max's wife Sarah tended their yard on such mornings, which was bursting with sunflowers. He didn't care very much for sunflowers, but Sarah loved them and he loved her, so each spring dozens of stripy black and white seeds went into the ground. Max pawned the care of them off on his sons, who were assigned to weed and water them every day.

Every weekday morning, Max arose at six am to shuttle his boys to school before he headed to work at Sy Insurance, where he methodically shuffled paper from one end of his desk to the other and played solitaire on his computer for eight hours before going home. Sarah taught high school English on the other end of town, so she would often pick up some take out on her way home in the evenings while Max helped the boys with their homework.

One morning in April, Max found that the water cooler at the office wouldn't pour for him. The tank was full; in fact, it had been replaced yesterday, and the spout had poured just fine for Emma two minutes ago. He slapped the side of the cooler with an open palm, and a hollow glug echoed from somewhere inside the plastic as he peered at the spigot, wondering what was wrong with it. The tab that acted as a handle lifted by itself and waved. Max blinked. The tab had settled down again, as if nothing had happened.

He wasn't thirsty anymore.

After that, Max brought water bottles to work, which he filled at home from the refrigerator in his kitchen and he noticed several of his colleagues soon followed his example. Their boss was exasperated, asking them at meetings if he should take away the cooler because no one was using it anymore. Max played with his pen instead of saying anything. He was half convinced that he had hallucinated the waving tab, despite noting the increasing popularity of bottles brought from home.

The next thing to behave strangely was his mouse. The buttons began to wriggle under his fingers sometimes and the cord connecting it to the PC would twitch. Max had yanked his hand off the mouse with a gasp the first time, thankful for the walls of his cubicle for the first time ever. He gingerly unplugged it and coiled it up in the furthest corner of his desk, learning the keyboard shortcuts instead.

A few weeks rolled by and everything in the office behaved. Max thought he might have been imagining the wriggling buttons and waving water cooler tab. He plugged his mouse back in and stopped bringing water bottles from home, and no ill came of it.

It was a very nice morning in June when the weirdness started at home. Sarah wasn't teaching summer school this year and so she and the boys were still asleep. The house was quiet as the smell of brewing coffee wafted through the kitchen and he made himself breakfast. Scrambled eggs and toast with apple butter. He heard the paper arrive, the thump announcing its presence on his doorstep. Max turned off the stove and walked out of the kitchen to his foyer, and as he reached for the doorknob, the door opened on its own, the hinges creaking loudly over the sound of his bare feet on tile.

When he didn't move, the door began to close and shut with a click.

Max backed up quickly, not turning his back on the door until he was almost back to the kitchen again. Turning on the stove again, he tried to calm down, reaching almost mindlessly for his cup of coffee as he tried to come up with answers for the door. Maybe a breeze had closed the door.
Max didn't notice the sound of ceramic sliding across tile by itself as he grabbed his mug from the counter top.

That morning, he went out the back door and out the side gate to reach his car, walking through the stands of sunflowers.

“Max,” a voice called. “Max!”

He looked around, expecting one of his neighbors, but found none. Only the tall yellow sunflowers, their faces heavy with seeds. They were almost as tall as he was now. Puzzled, he hoped he was imagining things.

“Max!” the voice pleaded. “Please!”

There was either something very wrong or he was crazy. He had his suspicions but he didn't want an answer. Max ignored the voice and walked through the last stand of broad-faced yellow flowers.
He found no peace at work or home that day, nor any day after that. It was little things. Eager-to-help staplers, a grouchy printer which refused to print the requested number of pages, and computer monitors that seemed to go to screen saver at will. At home, the refrigerator declined to vend ice and both Jacob and Charlie reported that it had bit them when they tried to reach into the ice box itself. Neither boy would go near the sunflowers and refused to explain why. Sarah wouldn't let them die, however, so she took over tending them, sometimes returning to the house white faced and wide eyed.

Jerikah, one of his office mates, made a half-hearted joke about the Brave Little Toaster, eyes averted from the office toaster in the kitchenette. Everyone tittered nervously, eying the chrome appliance as it slid across the counter top to the end of its cord, straining to reach the window. With a jerk, it pulled itself out of the socket and tumbled to the floor with a crash and a spray of crumbs.

Lawrence's voice reached school-boy pitches as he asked, “Please tell me you all saw that?” He sounded frantic and desperate. “I'm not going crazy, right? Please tell me you saw it move.”

Jerikah nodded. “I saw it all right,” she said. She didn't sound quite as bad he did, but close. There was a chorus of agreement, too, following her.

“Thank god,” Lawrence said. “I thought it was just me.”

Max continued to go in to work, solidly ignoring his increasing anxiety. But the day his desk up and left his cubicle was the last straw. As it lumbered through the hallway, he walked out.

He made a beeline for the car garage, opened his car door, and jammed his key into the ignition. The vehicle started smoothly, a soft rumble under the dashboard, and Max pulled out of his parking slot, making for the exit. One hand still on the wheel, he groped shakily for his parking pass, which was clipped to edge of the glove compartment. Max dropped it, and it tumbled under the seat and out of reach. Swearing loudly he reached for it, fingers searching the sticky floor for the slick feel of plastic.

He almost crashed his car into the median and gave up. He pulled over and got out, shoving back the seat to search for his pass. He found it lodged in the corner of the seat well, half covered by an empty chip bag. Retrieving it, he got back in and flashed the badge at the man who sat at the gate of the parking structure. As soon as the gate was up, Max floored the accelerator and zoomed out into the street.

Everything was moving now, almost as though it were planned this way. Blue mailboxes stalked hopping parking meters and stop lights flashed in a rhythmic fashion, repeated by every light he encountered; red, yellow, yellow, green, red, green. Street cameras spun erratically on the top of stop lights and street lamps danced, rocking their foundations, cement rupturing around the bottom of the poles. It was midmorning, so traffic was light and Max was grateful for that as he nervously navigated the streets. He didn't want to think about what it would have been like at rush hour.

As Max approached his suburb, things got worse. One legged flamingos flapped wildly on yards and lawn gnomes were brawling in the middle of the street. One was chasing a crying Stephen down Dulcy, wielding a long fishing pole. Max stopped his car and scooped Stephen up as he ran past. He slammed his car door shut just as the creature reached them and the gnome slashed at the side of the SUV with its pole. He jammed on the gas pedal again and then slammed on the breaks as his neighbor's three-foot high plaster deer leaped off her lawn and nimbly jumped over the courtyard walls of the house across the street, hanging onto the crying Stephen to prevent him from going through the front wind shield.

Max pulled up in front of his house and dropped Stephen off on his porch after ringing the bell and waiting just long enough to see the door beginning to open before he ran to his own yard. Stephen screamed once, but Max didn't hear it cut off over the chorus of voices that met him on the edge of his grass, the sound of his name echoing off the house across the street.

The nearest sunflower smiled at him, pearly white teeth gleaming in the sun from its eyeless face. “Are you going to water us, Max? Sarah's been neglecting this corner of the yard lately and we're thirsty.”

Max stared at the plant in silence before bolting along the sidewalk towards the garage. Once in the dark and hot quiet of the room, he paused, ignoring the voices yelling for him outside. He flicked on the light, deciding he needed the lawn mower to take care of this. Everything was wrong, from the toaster at work to murderous lawn gnomes, but talking sunflowers were the beyond the limit.

A rustle echoed in the depths and a tinkle of breaking glass followed, emanating from the top of some boxes nearby. Wide-eyed, Max reached for the nearest thing at hand, Charlie's baseball bat, as the huge china cat Sarah's aunt had given them lunged at him from above with a yowl. With one wild swing, Max smashed the cat. The fractured head of the animal continued to howl as he backed out of the garage, stumbling over the mat at the door. He landed on his ass and the bat clattered at his feet.

He stared around him as the sunflowers called again, and Stephen's mother's plastic fairies and angels flitted through the flowers and his drooping willow tree.

A small voice drifted down to him. “They're awful thirsty, Max.” He looked up to see a little purple fairy perched on the edge of his roof, staring at him worriedly. “You don't want the sunflowers to die, do you?”

“Yeah,” called another voice, that of a pale angel riding a waving flower. “It's not fair to let them die, you know.” He patted his steed and it smiled contentedly. “They can't help the way they are.”

Max stood up slowly and reached for the bat. The angel and the fairy watched him closely as he walked to the house.

“Do you plan to water them or what?” the angel called again.

He was not about to answer a plaster angel. No way in hell. Still hefting his bat, he opened the door to his home and crept inside. Sarah's spider plant squeaked at him while the 3-D picture of the Last Supper Jacob was planning to sell waved at him silently from the frame.

The couch appeared to have moved several feet toward the TV and various other items were not where he had left them last. The house was eerily quiet, too. It was early August, and while Sarah was at school to prepare for the upcoming year, the kids were home. Or were supposed to be.

“Jacob, Charlie!” he called. “Boys, where are you?” Max made his way to the back of the house where their bedrooms were, in search of his children. A quick search of their rooms yielded nothing. Perplexed and beginning worry, Max returned to the living room and thought to look out back. Maybe they were hanging out on the back porch?

“Jacob! Charlie!” he called again as he opened the door that divided the kitchen from the rest of the house. “Where are you?”

A frantic banging came from the refrigerator and Max whipped around to face it. He dropped the bat on the counter and opened the double doors of the fridge and freezer.

Charlie fell out of the freezer and into his father's arms, his face scratched and bloody. He clutched at his father and started to sob incoherently. Max only caught Jacob's name and tried to calm the boy down.

“Shh, shh,” he said. “It's all right, I'm here now.” Max hadn't said these words to his son in over a decade and memories of Charlie's night terrors came forth. They had always involved small spaces and things scratching at him.

Charlie managed to gather himself together soon, and was able to stop sobbing. Max held him for just a minute longer before asking,

“Where's your brother?”

“He took off after the freezer tried to eat me,” Charlie muttered. His eyes narrowed when spied the bat on the counter behind his father and shot up to grab it, pushing Max out of the way. With surprising viciousness for a boy usually so calm, he swung the bat into the face of the fridge. When the machine growled and spat ice at him, Charlie rammed the bat into the ice dispenser and destroyed it, ignoring the flood of water.

Max restrained his son when the boy went to open the door and finish the job. “Where is your brother?”

“I don't know!” he snapped, glaring at his father. “I was too busy fighting the freezer to see where he ran!”

“Come on, then. Let's find him,” Max told him, pulling the bat from his son's hands. Having Charlie steadied Max; the boy needed to be looked after and to do that, he had to have a calm head. Max opened the back door and led the two of them out into the yard. They ignored the old swing set, which had pulled itself out of the ground and lumbered around the yard, before walking through the fence onto the neighbor's property. There was a metallic scream as it fell into the pool and the howl of frightened dogs.

There was no sign of Jacob at all, so they walked around to the front yard. A leg peeped out of a stand of sunflowers.

SOPA votes derailed by politician's 'offensive' tweet
A marathon debate today in the House of Representatives on the Stop Online Piracy Act wasn't derailed by procedural questions, even though not one hearing had been held on how the law would actually work.

It wasn't derailed by questions about SOPA's substance, even though legal scholars and technologists have said it could suppress free speech by virtually deleting Web sites accused of copyright infringement.

Instead, today's markup of SOPA in the House Judiciary committee was derailed by a snarky post on Twitter. (See CNET's FAQ on SOPA,/a>.)

The tweet in question came from Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a pro-gun, anti-abortion conservative who wrote that: "We are debating the Stop Online Piracy Act and Shiela Jackson [sic] has so bored me that I'm killing time by surfing the Internet."

That would be Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat who's a notoriously combative member of Congress and was named the "meanest" by the Washingtonian magazine. She didn't take kindly to being called boring.

Jackson Lee objected. And the hearing ground to a sudden halt.

It was her use of the O-word--"offensive"--that interrupted the steady flow of amendments that critics were offering to SOPA, which were being merrily defeated one after another by the pro-SOPA majority on the committee.

It's inappropriate "to have a member of the Judiciary committee be so offensive," Jackson Lee said.

Unfortunately for audience members who might have appreciated the relative merits of a colloquy between Jackson Lee and her Twitter-ing interlocutor, King wasn't actually in the room by the time she discovered the alarming tweet.

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), the committee's previous chairman and an old parliamentary hand, leaped to his Republican colleague's defense, suggesting that the clerk delete the word "offensive" from the official record. Jackson Lee refused.

Rep. Lamar Smith, a SOPA-loving Texas Republican who's the chairman of the committee, renewed that request. He had apparently concluded that unlike "boring," her use of the word "offensive" violated House rules. (See CNET's profile of Smith.)

He asked Jackson Lee to formally withdraw her remark. She refused.

Smith tried again, saying that he was trying to "avoid making an official ruling" to the effect that Jackson Lee "impugned the integrity of a member of this committee." Would she "consider having just that one word stricken from the record?"

Jackson Lee again refused. She wanted King to "give the committee an apology."

But he wasn't there. And the important question of integrity-impugning had to be resolved. The committee members waited for the stenographer to read Jackson Lee's precise remarks back from the official transcript.

House rules, as you might imagine, provide procedures for how to deal with "disorderly words" and "unparliamentary language."

One option: "In many instances, the Chair will observe that debate is becoming personal and approaching a violation of the rules, in which case he may simply request that Members proceed in order."

But when a politico is in another building, or perhaps even in another city, and commenting through Twitter, that venerable option to promote civility (dating back to 1837) doesn't exactly work.

Jackson Lee consulted with the committee's parliamentarian. Everyone else waited.

Finally, the resolution: Jackson Lee relented. She wanted to have "just that one word stricken from the record."

Instead of King's tweet being "offensive," Jackson Lee concluded, she would merely deem it "impolitic and unkind."

King, by the way, has remained impenitent, and perhaps even amused. His last tweet says: "Judging from the many responses of my critics, they've never heard of multitasking and need to, in the words of Cain, get a sense of humor."

The committee resumed debate and a series of votes, typically by a margin of around 12 to 22, siding with the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, and their allies. By the end of the day, SOPA remained entirely intact.
Screen shot of the tweet

I mean, we already largely knew Congress was occupied by people with the maturity level of grade schoolers, but there's nothin' like having it spelled out for you in black and white! (Mind you, I'm not pointing fingers at Jackson Lee, but pretty much everyone else)

Hilariously, Demand Progress is painting it as massive victory for the people.

Apple Talk / Holy Quest #2 (Pic Heavy)
« on: December 12, 2011, 08:12:20 pm »

More coming

 :lulz: :lulz: :horrormirth: FLORIDA'S AT IT AGAIN.
article rearranged slightly so the "pictured here" bit makes more sense than it did on Gawker Boing Boing
Fake plastic surgeon "enhanced" patient's butt with tire-sealant injection

A Florida man woman called Oneal Ron Morris has been arrested for performing dangerous cosmetic surgeries of his her own devising, injecting his her "patient" with a cocktail of tire-sealant, cement, and glue to "enhance" the patient's bum. The victim has developed an MRSA infection and pneumonia.

Pictured here, Ms Morris.

    “They agreed on the price of $700 for the procedure, which was intended for cosmetic purposes,” Bamford said.

    What the woman got for her money was a series of injections containing a bizarre concoction of cement, super glue, mineral oil and Fix-A-Flat tire inflator and sealant, police said.

Bamford said that the procedure was conducted not in a clinic, but in a residential setting in Miami Gardens, and that shortly after the substance was injected into the woman’s body she developed what Bamford termed “severe complications.”
SQUID. SUU. What the hell is in the water in your state?

edited because I didn't realize I hadn't copied the strike throughs.

From Thinkprogress
By Ian Millhiser on Oct 18, 2011 at 10:24 am

The Roberts Court is rightly mocked for its seemingly single-minded willingness to immunize corporations from the laws intended to protect ordinary Americans, but the question presented in a corporate immunity case the justices just agreed to hear is so stark that a decision granting such immunity would verge on self-parody. Or, at least, it would if the consequences of such a decision wouldn’t be so tragic and far-reaching.

Indeed, as Judge Pierre Leval explains, if the Supreme Court upholds a Second Circuit decision holding that corporations have total immunity from a law holding the most atrocious human rights violators accountable to international norms, it would enable corporations to profit freely from some of the greatest acts of evil imaginable:

    According to the rule my colleagues have created, one who earns profits by commercial exploitation of abuse of fundamental human rights can successfully shield those profits from victims’ claims for compensation simply by taking the precaution of conducting the heinous operation in the corporate form. Without any support in either the precedents or the scholarship of international law, the majority take the position that corporations, and other juridical entities, are not subject to international law, and for that reason such violators of fundamental human rights are free to retain any profits so earned without liability to their victims. [...]

    The new rule offers to unscrupulous businesses advantages of incorporation never before dreamed of. So long as they incorporate (or act in the form of a trust), businesses will now be free to trade in or exploit slaves, employ mercenary armies to do dirty work for despots, perform genocides or operate torture prisons for a despot’s political opponents, or engage in piracy – all without civil liability to victims. By adopting the corporate form, such an enterprise could have hired itself out to operate Nazi extermination camps or the torture chambers of Argentina’s dirty war, immune from civil liability to its victims. By protecting profits earned through abuse of fundamental human rights protected by international law, the rule my colleagues have created operates in opposition to the objective of international law to protect those rights

The centerpiece of this case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, is a U.S. law known as the Alien Tort Statute which allows private parties to be sued for the very worst violations of international law. Nothing in this law distinguishes between violations by actual persons and violations by corporations — and indeed a footnote in a 2004 Supreme Court opinion strongly suggests that the opposite is true. Nor is there any international legal consensus granting lawsuit immunity to corporations. Rather, the Second Circuit’s majority seems to have invented a new corporate immunity doctrine out of whole cloth.

Moreover, lest there be any doubt, Judge Leval’s warning of the consequences of their decision is not hypothetical. Earlier this year, the DC Circuit parted ways with Leval’s colleagues — holding that corporations are not free to commit mass atrocities. Had the court gone the other way, it would have completed immunized Exxon from allegations that their agents committed shocking human rights violations while in Exxon’s employ:

    In addition to extrajudicial killings of some of the plaintiffs-appellants’ husbands as part of a “systematic campaign of extermination of the people of Aceh by [d]efendants’ [Indonesian] security forces,” the plaintiffs-appellants were “beaten, burned, shocked with cattle prods, kicked and subjected to other forms of brutality and cruelty” amounting to torture, as well as forcibly removed and detained for lengthy periods of time.

Now that the Supreme Court has agreed to consider this issue, Exxon gets another bite at the apple. If the Roberts Court rules their way, Exxon may be the first corporation to celebrate the birth of Leval’s nightmare scenario.
What the goddamn fuck!

"Very sorry that killing/enslaving you/your family/town/people was necessary, but the bottom line demanded it."

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