Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
anyway, here's yet ANOTHER shepherd adventure
While a shepherd watched his flock by night...
By Peter Popham in Rome
Medicinal purposes are one thing, but marijuana received an unexpected recreational endorsement when Italy's highest court ruled that an Italian shepherd's smoking habit could be justified because he only had sheep for company. The 45-year-old shepherd was caught with marijuana in his car as he was setting off for an extended period with his flock in the mountains of Alto Adige, in the far north of the country. Police found 38 grams (about 1.3 ounces) in the car, and the shepherd, identified only as Giorgio D., was convicted of possession. But upholding an appeal against the verdict, the Court of Cassation ruled that the shepherd was justified in possessing this small quantity of the drug on account of "the long and solitary period" he was about to spend "in the countryside and the mountains, due to the migration of his flock of sheep". ..........
the executives in the americas AND europe (and asia and elsewhere) are NOT getting their bonuses this year. oh, don't get me wrong, i know they're compensated wicked good. but still, NO bonus (we all-you know the commoners- got our incentive payouts this year BUT they were tiny. i do mean tiny. none of us got a raise though. no commoners no execs)
so flush, you CAN bite down on a big one for defending aig. a big ol' eff you (again)
Limbaugh joined by other conservatives standing up for AIG against "mob rule"
In the wake of Rush Limbaugh's defense of American International Group (AIG) on his March 16 and March 17 broadcasts, several conservative media figures -- including Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck and Fox News contributor and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin -- have joined him in condemning criticism of the company's employee retention bonuses. In a March 18 post to his Washington Post Co. blog, Greg Sargent cited Limbaugh's and Hannity's comments in reporting that while "GOP Congressional leaders have roundly condemned AIG and its executives, as part of a strategy to position themselves as heroic defenders of the taxpayers and to paint the Obama administration as weak and ineffectual ... increasingly, leading conservative media figures are moving in a different direction: Defending AIG."As Media Matters for America noted, on his March 17 broadcast, Rush Limbaugh -- "a great leader for conservatives" -- declared, "A lynch mob is expanding: the peasants with their pitchforks surrounding the corporate headquarters of AIG, demanding heads. Death threats are pouring in. All of this being ginned up by the Obama administration." On March 16, Limbaugh challenged a caller who opposed the bonuses.........
i did join and sign up.
Great Tech Innovation: Find Food Health and Safety Info From Your Phone
By Tim Kingston, AlterNet.
The price of a dysfunctional food system is a potentially dangerous dinner. To put it bluntly, in our profit-driven food system, the very nutrients needed to stay alive could kill you. If it's not Chinese melamine in your milk, it's American E.coli in your spinach. If it's not the salmonella in your peanut butter from Georgia, it's that same bug in your Mexican green chilies. Consumers -- health conscious or not -- have a right to be paranoid.
What's to be done?
Try GoodGuide.com. The San Francisco start-up is a free, socially conscious, ethical-shopping Web site and is adding a new set of pages to its site devoted to food safety on March 16. The site is the brainchild of Dara O'Rourke, a University of California, Berkeley associate professor of environmental science, policy and management, and it offers more than you ever wanted to know about those mystery ingredients in your cereal, as well as the environmental footprint and the labor practices that go into manufacturing the roughly 30,000 packaged foods found in your local Safeway, Lucky or Ralph's.............
Judge Blocks Rule Permitting Concealed Guns In U.S. Parks
By Juliet Eilperin and Del Quentin Wilber
A federal judge yesterday blocked a last-minute rule enacted by President George W. Bush allowing visitors to national parks to carry concealed weapons.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit brought by gun-control advocates and environmental groups. The Justice Department had sought to block the injunction against the controversial rule.
The three groups that brought the suit -- the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees -- argued that the Bush action violated several laws.
In her ruling, Kollar-Kotelly agreed that the government's process had been "astoundingly flawed.".....................
(oh they're even going to have hives! how cool is that???)
Shovel-Ready Project: A White House Garden
By Jane Black
Washington Post Staff Writer
For more than a decade, food activists have rallied, cajoled, even pleaded for a vegetable garden on the White House lawn. Now they're finally going to get it.
Today, first lady Michelle Obama will host a groundbreaking for a White House kitchen garden on the South Lawn. She will be joined by students from Bancroft Elementary in Northwest Washington, , whose participation in the project will continue past today, as they help with planting in the coming weeks and harvesting later this year.
The 1,100-square-foot garden will include 55 kinds of vegetables, including peppers, spinach and, yes, arugula. (The selection is a wish list put together by White House chefs.) There will also be berries, herbs and two hives for honey that will be tended by a White House carpenter who is also a beekeeper. The chefs will use the produce to feed the first family, as well as for state dinners and other official events. ............
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Indonesia cleric detained for marrying 12-year-old
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A Muslim cleric whose marriage to a 12-year-old girl triggered controversy in Indonesia has been detained along with the girl's father on suspicion of violating the child protection law, police said Wednesday.
Cleric Pujiono Cahyo Widianto, 43, wed the girl before thousands of people in Central Java province last August, arguing that he had committed no crime because he intended to wait until she reached puberty before consummating their relationship.
Police Detective Roy Siahaan said the cleric, who runs an Islamic boarding school and several businesses, was officially named a criminal suspect Tuesday following several days of questioning. He has not been charged but is in police detention.
On Wednesday, the girl's father, 36-year-old Suroso, also was detained and named a suspect for giving away the bride. Both Suroso, who like many Indonesians uses only one name, and Widianto could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of violating the country's child protection law, which forbids marriage to anyone under 18 years old.
The cleric's wedding and proclamations that he intended to also marry two other girls aged 7 and 9 angered many in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation with more than 210 million believers. Complaints came from Religious Affairs Minister Maftuh Basuni, child rights groups and the Indonesia Ulemma Council — the country's top Islamic body............
to the family and friends of natasha richardson, i am so very sorry. she was quite talented and i liked most of her work a great deal. head injuries are so very frightening.
Actress Richardson dies aged 45
British actress Natasha Richardson has died from head injuries sustained in a skiing accident in Canada.
Richardson, 45, the daughter of actress Vanessa Redgrave, fell on a beginners' slope at the Mont Tremblant resort in Quebec on Monday.
The family were devastated by the death of their "beloved Natasha", her husband Liam Neeson's publicist said.
Richardson died in a New York hospital, close to the home she shared with Irish actor Neeson and their two sons.
The accident happened while the actress was taking a supervised skiing lesson at the Quebec resort. ..........
Natasha Richardson, 45, Stage and Film Star, Dies
Alan Nierob, a spokesman for her husband, the actor Liam Neeson, announced Ms. Richardson’s death Wednesday night.
“Liam Neeson, his sons, and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha,” a statement said. “They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”The statement did not disclose the cause of death or discuss Ms. Richardson’s medical condition. ...........
here is a listing of her work
photo: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
Natasha Richardson won a Tony in 1998 for her performance as Sally Bowles in “Cabaret.”
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
bernie bernie bernie
Bias author says dictionary too liberal, okay to call Obama 'shvartze'
David Edwards and Rachel Oswald
Convinced the media is too liberal, conservative commentator Bernie Goldberg took on another outlet on Fox New's The O'Reilly Factor Tuesday night. The dictionary.
Goldberg, a former CBS correspondent, defended stand-up comedian Jackie Mason’s use of the term 'shvartze' (also spelled 'schwartza') to refer to President Obama and told Bill O'Reilly, "The word 'shvartze' is not a bad word. Absolutely not a bad word. It simply means a black person."
The author of A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media, Goldberg complained that “white liberals” are unduly criticizing the word, though he did admit that there are negative connotations to it.
“In the old days when these [Jewish] immigrants came over from Eastern Europe…In those days America was a racist country. Any reference to black people whether you call them African American, black or shvartze, the reference was likely to be negative.”
When O’Reilly read from a dictionary the definition of ‘shvartze’ as being “often disparaging and offensive to a black person,” Goldberg shot back with, “Forgive my arrogance, the dictionary is written by some liberal person.....
and isn't allowing this 'person' on air IRRESPONSIBLE even for faux? really now
Glenn Beck Recycles "X-Files" Plot to Spread Fear of Obama
FOX News personality, Glenn Beck, has been using his airtime to broadcast a right-wing conspiracy theory about the Obama administration setting up 'concentration camps,'part of a secret plot to establish totalitarian rule. Curiously, Beck's criticism of President Obama's economic policies seems to have been ripped directly from the plot of FOX TV's past hit series The X-Files (1993-2002) and the films based on the series (1998, 2008).
- Jeffrey Feldman's diary :: ::
While Beck claims he is not 100% certain that the camps exist, he has proclaimed repeatedly that the Obama administration's economic policies are pushing the country into "totalitarianism' and that he "cannot debunk" the existence of the camps, which are supposedly being set up under the auspice of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), but which Beck claims will be used soon for mass imprisonment of American citizens with right-leaning political views.
Gambians 'taken by witch doctors'
Up to 1,000 Gambian villagers have been abducted by "witch doctors" to secret detention centres and forced to drink potions, a human rights group says.
Amnesty International said some forced to drink the concoctions developed kidney problems, and two had died.
Officials in the police, army and the president's personal protection guard had accompanied the "witch doctors" in the bizarre roundup, said witnesses.
Gambia's government was unavailable to comment on the claims.
The human rights group asserted that many of those abducted were elderly.
The London-based rights group said the witch hunters, said to be from neighbouring Guinea, were invited into Gambia after the death of the president's aunt earlier this year was blamed on witchcraft.
Kate Allen, Amnesty's UK director, said hundreds of Gambians have fled to neighbouring Senegal for safety after seeing their villages attacked.
"The Gambian government has to put a stop to this campaign, investigate these attacks immediately and bring those responsible to justice," she said.......
(ht: john at americablog)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
i'm NOT a big fan of the view (ok ok ok, i'm NOT even a little fan of the view. i do NOT like it AT ALL) but man, i really DO like what ms mccain has to say here
(and by the way, is laura ingraham, 'dr' laura? i don't know who this ingraham asswipe is)
Meghan McCain tells critics: 'Kiss my fat ass'
After a parade of insults from conservative pundits -- most particularly conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, who called her fat -- the daughter of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) delivered a smarting rebuke on Monday's View.
McCain, called Ingraham's comments "terrible," adding, "When Tyra Banks went on her show in a bathing suit and said 'kiss my fat ass,' that's what I feel like. Kiss my fat ass!"
Meghan McCain's recent criticisms of Ann Coulter as "offensive" and "radical" haven't made her any friends among other female conservative pundits who have by turns criticized her weight and her lack of "fixed ideological principles."
Laura Ingraham mocked McCain's weight and called her "just another valley girl gone awry" on her radio show. Think Progress has the audio of that here......
Florida legislator wants random drug tests for the unemployed
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Employers have justified drug tests in the workplace by pointing to such negative effects of drug use as absenteeism and work-related injuries. Now a Florida legislator has proposed that random drug-testing also be applied to those receiving unemployment insurance, justifying it as a way to make state funds go further.
Florida State Senator Michael S. Bennett told Fox News host Steve Doocy on Monday that with the unemployment rate in his recession-battered state running between 10% and 11%, he worries that the Unemployment Trust Fund might be exhausted.
"I wanted to ensure that people who are qualified for unemployment -- that the money would be there when they actually go down and get unemployment and that we weren't supporting the people who were not able to go to work," Bennett explained. "It was nothing against the people who were using the drugs as much as it was to ensure that the people who needed unemployment, it would be there when they got there."...........
(my pointing being twofold. 1) it can happen to any country, any time, any where. yes, we MUST be vigilant as well. and 2) STFU you big dick
Obama Team Derides Cheney's Criticisms
Administration Piqued Over TV Comments
By Scott Wilson
Washington Post Staff Writer
The Obama administration responded sharply yesterday to former vice president Richard B. Cheney's comments in a weekend interview that the new president "is making some choices that, in my mind, will in fact raise the risk to the American people" of another terrorist attack.
"I guess Rush Limbaugh was busy," Robert Gibbs, Obama's press secretary, said during his daily briefing to journalists at the White House. "So they trotted out the next most popular member of the Republican cabal."
Gibbs's comments reflected the administration's pique over Cheney's wide-ranging remarks made Sunday on CNN, his first televised interview since leaving office. The former vice president, deeply unpopular in opinion polls, accused the young administration of using the abysmal economy to push through a broad and liberal expansion of government and strongly defended Bush-era policies at home and abroad. ........
Monday, March 16, 2009
Another twist for the unemployed: Debit card fees
By Drew Griffin and David Fitzpatrick
CNN Special Investigations Unit
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- If you're out of work like Steve Lippe, who was laid off from his job as a salesman in January, you know you already have problems. But looking at the fine print that came with his new unemployment debit card, he became livid.
"A $1.50 [fee] here, a $1.50 there," he said. "Forty cents for a balance inquiry. Fifty cents to have your card denied. Thirty-five cents to have your account accessed by telephone."
He was quoting fees listed in a brochure that goes out to every unemployed person in Pennsylvania who chooses to receive benefits via debit card. He was given the option when he filed for jobless payments: Wait 10 days for a check or get the card immediately. Like most of the 925,000 state residents who received unemployment benefits in February in Pennsylvania, he chose the debit card and only then, he says, did he learn about the fees.
"I was outraged by it," he told CNN. "I was very noisy about it. I just couldn't believe it. An outrage is just too weak a word. It's obscene."....
this is NOT chuck norrisland. nor is it glenn beckland. nor is it cheneycountry.
we have laws. we have a constitution. we don't torture. it's beneath us. it's what savages do. WE ARE NOT SAVAGES. we are human beings
(but we DID torture and now it's being said aloud. what will happen to those responsible is most likely nothing. but now the WORLD knows)
Red Cross Described 'Torture' at CIA Jails
Secret Report Implies That U.S. Violated International Law
The International Committee of the Red Cross concluded in a secret report that the Bush administration's treatment of al-Qaeda captives "constituted torture," a finding that strongly implied that CIA interrogation methods violated international law, according to newly published excerpts from the long-concealed 2007 document.
The report, an account alleging physical and psychological brutality inside CIA "black site" prisons, also states that some U.S. practices amounted to "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment." Such maltreatment of detainees is expressly prohibited by the Geneva Conventions.
The findings were based on an investigation by ICRC officials, who were granted exclusive access to the CIA's "high-value" detainees after they were transferred in 2006 to the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The 14 detainees, who had been kept in isolation in CIA prisons overseas, gave remarkably uniform accounts of abuse that included beatings, sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures and, in some cases, waterboarding, or simulating drowning.........