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Gender: Male
Current location: NC
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 40,347

Journal Archives

Senator adds “Every Sperm is Sacred” amendment onto Oklahoma personhood bill


Senator adds “Every Sperm is Sacred” amendment onto Oklahoma personhood bill
By Vanessa | Published: February 9, 2012

Amazing. After Oklahoma conservatives introduced a “personhood” bill to the state Senate on Monday, Sen. Constance Johnson decided to follow in Virginia Senator Janet Howell’s footsteps and attach an amendment in protest, which would add this language to the bill:

However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.

Jezebel adds that another pro-choice senator added an amendment:

Another pro-choice legislator, Democrat Jim Wilson, attempted to add an amendment to the bill that would require the father of the child to be financially responsible for the woman’s health care, housing, transportation, and nourishment while she was pregnant.


A Day in Jail for a Photojournalist


A Day in Jail for a Photojournalist

by Jerry Nelson
Posted: 02/ 8/2012 12:27 pm

Saturday afternoon I'm standing in McPherson Square taking photos of the cops in full riot gear as they prepare to evict OccupyDC. Despite a verbal promise from the National Park Police that only tents containing bedding material would be removed, almost every tent was targeted for the dumpster.

There was so much activity going on, it was difficult to find something to focus on. Cops in full riot gear, waste handlers in yellow "hazmat" suits, protestors shouting, mounted police roaming through the park -- just action everywhere I looked.

I was standing alone watching the activity when about five park police surrounded me and told me they wanted to speak with me. When I asked what this was about one of them took the cigarette from my mouth while another slipped the plasti-cuffs over my wrists and pulled them so tight I could feel the skin tear beneath them.

Surrounded by more cops in riot gear I was led to a white processing tent that had set up in the square earlier that morning. The cops emptied my pockets, removed my belt and shoelaces and went through my [camera] gear bag.


Temperature Soars Mysteriously Inside Fukushima Nuclear Reactor

Published on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Common Dreams Temperature Soars Mysteriously Inside Fukushima Nuclear Reactor

Also: Japan's Nuclear Exclusion Zone Shows Few Signs of Life
- Common Dreams staff

The temperature of Reactor #2 at Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has soared overnight and remained mysteriously high Monday, despite more water being pumped through it.

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant reactor 2. On January 27th, the reactor's internal temperature was 113º F, Monday the temperature soared to 164º F. Japanese authorities require that the reactor temperature remain below 176º F.

Japan's NHK TV reports:

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says the temperature in the No.2 reactor remains high despite the injection of additional water.

A thermometer at the bottom of the reactor showed 73.3 degrees Celsius on Monday morning. It was around 45 degrees on January 27th and 71.7 degrees at 4 PM on Sunday.


Wall Street’s Secret Spy Center, Run for the 1% by NYPD


February 06, 2012
How 60 Minutes Blew the Story

Wall Street’s Secret Spy Center, Run for the 1% by NYPD

On September 25, 2011, just eight days after the Occupy Wall Street protests began in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, the much acclaimed CBS News program, 60 Minutes, aired a fawning look at the thousands of surveillance cameras affixed to buildings and lampposts throughout New York City. The cameras feed live images of people going about their everyday lives to a $150 million computer center equipped with artificial intelligence to integrate and analyze the daily habits of what are, for the most part, law-abiding Americans.

The thrust of the 60 Minutes program was the fine job of counter terrorism being done by the NYPD and its Commissioner, Raymond Kelly. It was a triumph in public relations for a police department about to go on an assault spree – pepper spraying and punching peaceful protestors; kicking, ramming and arresting journalists attempting to cover the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

On air, the reporter, Scott Pelley, said the surveillance center was “housed in a secret location,” as one would expect of a real counter terrorism program — as opposed to a program to simply quash dissent. Mr. Pelley also said the program was run by the NYPD. As it turns out, neither of those assertions were accurate.

The New York Times, the worldwide news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), Wired Magazine, the New York City Council had all previously reported the location of the supposedly super secret counter terrorism center on their public web sites: 55 Broadway in the bowels of the financial district. What was a secret about the operation, and not reported by 60 Minutes to its viewers, despite being well aware of the facts, is that the center is jointly staffed and operated by the NYPD along with the largest Wall Street firms – the same firms under investigation in 50 states for mortgage and foreclosure fraud and widely credited with causing the Nation’s economic collapse. The Wall Street firms that were involuntarily bailed out by the 99% are now policing the 99%.


13 Questions, A Social Justice Quiz


13 Questions

A Social Justice Quiz


Question One. The combined pay of the 299 highest paid CEOs in the US is enough to support how many median salary jobs?

45,000? 83,000? 102,325?

Two. The median net worth of black households in the US is $2,200. What is the median net worth of white households in the US?

$4,400? $44,000? $97,000?

Three. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development issues a national survey every year listing fair market rents for every county in the US. HUD also suggests renters should pay no more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs. In how many of the USA’s 3068 counties can someone who works full-time and earns the federal minimum wage pay 30% of their income and find a one-bedroom apartment at the fair market rental amount?

19? 368? 1974?

..more questions, & the answers...

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan have increased for five years in a row.


More than 3,000 civilians killed in Afghanistan war last year - UN

More than 3,000 civilians were killed in the Afghanistan war last year, according to new UN figures. Civilian deaths have increased for five years in a row.

Jessica PhelanFebruary 4, 2012 08:09

More than 3,000 civilians died in the war in Afghanistan last year, according to the latest UN figures. Civilian deaths have now increased for five years in a row.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) recorded 3,021 civilian deaths in 2011. In 2010, there were 2,790 such deaths; in 2009, 2,412.

More from GlobalPost: US combat forces in Afghanistan to step back by 2013, says Defense Secretary

The majority were caused by insurgents and their increasingly deadly suicide and bomb attacks on civilians, according to UNAMA. In particular, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were reported to be the "single largest killer of Afghan children, women and men in 2011," accounting for 32 percent of all civilian deaths.


..war is not the answer..

Fears held for Russian scientists exploring "alien" Antarctic lake, Vostok


Fears held for Russian scientists exploring "alien" Antarctic lake, Vostok


Russian scientists preparing to explore the "most alien lake on Earth," Lake Vostok, have reportedly not been in touch with American colleagues in over five days.

Vostok, buried over two miles — or 13,000 feet — beneath the great Antarctic ice sheet, is one of the world's largest lakes. However, it hasn't been exposed to air in more than 20 million years, Fox News reported.

The team from Russia's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) have been drilling for weeks to reach the isolated, subglacial water, part of a network of more than 200 subglacial lakes in Antarctica, according to the Washington Post.

Some of the lakes existed in warmer times, when the continent was connected to Australia.

According to the website io9.com:

Vostok is thought to harbor conditions similar to those of Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus, and the discovery of life in the lake's inky depths would significantly strengthen the prospect of discovering life on either of these icy bodies.

However, the lake is "characterized by extremes, as geothermal heat from the Earth's interior warms the lake's bottom keeping it in a liquid state.


A head-scratching detail from the OWS Twitter subpoena: it came by fax.

A head-scratching detail from the OWS Twitter subpoena: it came by fax. And a hat tip to New York Guild attorney Martin Stolar.


If a Twitter Subpoena Comes by Fax, Did It Really Happen?


Malcolm Harris, a 23-year-old writer and editor, was informed by Twitter early this week that his account had been subpoenaed by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. He's concerned about law enforcement's reach into the newfangled social platform and is seeking to quash the subpoena, calling out, among other things, the method by which it was delivered. The DA's office, apparently, sent it by fax, handwritten cover sheet and all. How new and old worlds collide!

Joan Vollero, Deputy Director of Communications for the Manhattan DA's office, did not shed light on exactly what prosecutors hope to learn from Harris's Twitter account data, explaining that Harris is "charged with disorderly conduct." The subpoena asks for "any and all user information, including email address, as well as any and all tweets posted for the period of 9/15/2011-12/31/2011" from Harris's account.

Harris said, upon being told that the Manhattan DA's office refused to comment on what they hoped to gain from his Twitter account, "Maybe the Manhattan DA's office would be more forthcoming answering questions about the proper procedure for filing an out-of-state subpoena, because I sure as hell would like to hear what they have to say on that one. Last time I checked, you couldn't serve people via fax."

New world (aka, digital) ways determinedly persisting, upon receiving the subpoena Twitter turned around and informed Harris of it by email, despite a direction on the subpoena asking them not to tell anyone about it. Harris then took to his Twitter account, @destructuremal, surprised and a bit freaked out, to announce that this had all happened.


Supergiant amphipod, found in deep seas off New Zealand


Fe. 2, 20012

Supergiant amphipod, monster crustacean, found in deep seas off New Zealand

Scientists found a huge crustacean, known as a "supergiant," in a deep oceanic trench off the coast of New Zealand.

A "supergiant" amphipod has been discovered in deep seas near New Zealand, said to be more than 10 times the size of other crustaceans of the same type.

The creature, spotted more than four miles deep in the Kermadec oceanic trench, measures 34cm (about 13 inches) long, the BBC reported. Usually, amphipods are between 2 and 3cm.

"It's a bit like finding a foot-long cockroach," said one of the scientists that discovered it, Dr. Alan Jamieson of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

When supergiant first showed itself, Jamieson said, "I stopped and thought 'What on earth is that?' whilst catching a glimpse of an amphipod far bigger than I ever thought possible."


Mitt Romney's great grandfather fled (self-deported?) to Mexico to practice polygamy


Mitt Romney's great grandfather fled to Mexico to practice polygamy
Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney's ancestors fled to Mexico to practice polygamy after it was banned in the United States.

Mariya KarimjeeJanuary 31, 2012 12:19

Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney's ancestors reportedly fled to Mexico in the 19th century to practice polygamy after it was banned in the United States, the Associated Press reported.

Romney's great grandfather, Miles Park Romney, fled to Mexico after the 1882 passing of the Edmund Act, which banned polygamy in the US. He married his fifth wife after the Mormon church formally banned the practice in 1890.

The Romneys were some of the first Mormons to settle in the border state of Chihuahua, according to the AP. But, when the Mexican Revolution hit Chihuahua in 1912, the Romneys, including Mitt's father, who was 5, fled back into the US, losing their homes, farms and most of their belongings, the Boston Globe reported.

After the revolution, Mitt's grandfather, Gaskell Romney, remained in the US with his five children, but his brother, Miles Archibold Romney, returned to Mexico.

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