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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 55,432

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I'm still living... Twitter: @glitchy_ashburn

Journal Archives

Dallas County OKs plan to confiscate guns from domestic abusers

Officials say the man accused of using a gun to kidnap his children and threaten their mother this week is a “prime example” of the offenders Dallas County will target when it starts confiscating guns from domestic abusers this fall.

Previous family violence convictions made it illegal for Steven Douglas, 29, to have a gun when police say he rammed into his ex-girlfriend’s car, took his 9-year-old and 1-year-old at gunpoint and then pointed the pistol at a police officer Monday. He died when that officer shot him.

“There was no check on him at all,” said criminal court judge Roberto Cañas, who’s leading the effort to create a gun confiscation program. “That’s not the way the system should be working.”

Cañas said Tuesday that county officials will soon begin holding offenders accountable when they require certain domestic abusers to surrender their firearms to a local gun range. Dallas County commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday to back the judge’s plan and partially fund the program, giving Cañas the green light to move forward with an October launch date.

The pilot program is scheduled to begin five months after The Dallas Morning News reported that the county regularly fails to enforce laws that forbid convicted abusers and subjects of protective orders from having firearms. Most domestic homicides are committed with guns.


I thought only cops on TV shows looked like this??

Holy damn...

Nation distracted by president’s tan suit (NOT The Onion)

President Obama wore a tan suit on Thursday while talking about Ukraine and the Islamic State, and political Twitter promptly went nuts. Over the suit. You see, Obama has a tendency to wear gray or blue suits. "You'll see I wear only gray or blue suits," Obama told Vanity Fair in 2012. "I'm trying to pare down decisions. I don't want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make." But this suit was TAN. So, what message is he trying to send exactly? We consulted our in-house fashion expert -- Pulitzer prize winner Robin Givhan -- to answer just that question. "There is nothing wrong with that suit – well, except it’s a little big," Givhan said. "As they always are." She added:

It says more about official, federal, political Washington that anything other than a dark suit with a white shirt and red tie counts as some sort of aesthetic heresy. That is a conservative two-button suit in a color that is perfectly appropriate for the time of year and the occasion. This was not a 'formal' news conference. Honestly, people are responding like he showed up in Pharrell Williams' short suit. I'm appalled by the Twitter feeds.

The Twitter, you say? Well, yes, political Twitter did have a mini meltdown over the suit.


Sometimes I truly wonder about the direction we as Americans are heading...

ISIS crosses the line -- Shown destroying Syrian reefer crops

The Islamic State reportedly seized a cannabis field from the Free Syrian Army on Tuesday. A video posted on YouTube by a group called “a3maq news” shows militants from the extremist group walking through the field in Aleppo province in northern Syria and setting fire to some of the plants.

The video shows several men in the field holding weapons and talking about the marijuana plants. Some men begin to chop off huge bushels and place them in neatly stacked piles that are then doused in gasoline and set aflame.

The YouTube channel appears to focus on news about ISIS in Aleppo. Also on Tuesday, the group posted a video showing the militants’ capture of a huge arsenal near the city. Some of the weapons shown, including a M198 Howitzer cannon, are U.S.-made. Several Twitter accounts associated with the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, shared the video.

Rebel groups have destroyed marijuana fields in Syria before, claiming that using the drug is banned under the Islamic law. In that respect, ISIS is no different. The militant group operates under the strictest interpretation of Sharia and imposes a severe ban on things deemed haram (sinful) wherever they go. Earlier this summer, ISIS burned a large pile of cigarettes in Iraq, in order to enforce a ban on smoking, a longtime target for the group. In November, the group said it burned at least 1.5 million packs of cigarettes in Syria.


So when do we invade?

Code Club cofounder resigns after being ordered not to criticize Google

One of the founding members of Code Club, a volunteer-led organization that teaches programming to kids in the UK, has resigned after being told by its board not to criticize Google or any of the group’s sponsors.

In a blog post, Linda Sandvik writes, “On Monday the 25th of August the Code Club board gave me an ultimatum, either I have to stop saying negative things about Code Club sponsors, or resign as a director. After careful consideration, I have handed in my resignation.”

In February, Google invested £120,000 (or nearly $200,000 US) to help Code Club train 20,000 primary school teachers in programming. Apparently that cash also buys Google a board of directors that will never call the company out for its practices and policies. And despite Google’s innocent “what, me evil?” attitude, there’s plenty to take the company to task over, whether it’s Google’s complicity in mass NSA surveillance, its ties to government military contractors, or its support of think tanks backed by oil and gas magnates Charles and David Koch that have taken stances against women’s and gay’s rights, among other distasteful political positions.

Shortly after Sandvik revealed her resignation, designer and social entrepreneur Aral Balkan said on Twitter that he had resigned from Code Club’s board for the same reason.

“This is institutional corruption,” he said. “This is the danger posed by the monopoly of companies like Google. And it is affecting every aspect of society, including education.” Balkan has written extensively on the corporate surveillance Google and Facebook conduct on its users, going so far as to call it “Spyware 2.0.”


I'd love to see what Trevor Timm will say about this, assuming he has any stones...

2013: Corporate America increased profits by $93b; paid $15b less taxes

In July, the American pharmaceutical giant AbbVie, maker of the world's top-selling drug – the arthritis treatment Humira – reached a blockbuster deal to acquire European rival Shire, best known for the attention-deficit medication Adderall. The merger was cheered by Wall Street, not for what the deal will do to advance pharmaceutical science, but because it will empower the bigger firm, AbbVie, to renounce its U.S. citizenship.

At $55 billion, the AbbVie deal is the largest in a cavalcade of corporate "inversions." A loophole in American tax law permits companies with just 20 percent foreign ownership to reincorporate abroad, which means that if a big U.S. firm acquires a smaller company located in a tax haven, it can then "invert" – that is, become a subsidiary of its foreign-based affiliate – and kiss a huge share of its IRS obligations goodbye.

AbbVie shareholders will continue to control 75 percent of the company, which will still be managed by executives outside Chicago. But the merged company will now file its tax returns on the island of Jersey – a speck of land in the English Channel, where Shire is incorporated. AbbVie, which racked up more than $10 billion in Humira sales last year, will slash its effective corporate tax rate from 22 percent to 13. The cost to the U.S. Treasury? Possibly as much as $1.3 billion by the year 2020...

...These tax turncoats have drawn the ire of President Obama. "I don't care if it's legal," he declared this summer. "It's wrong." These inverted companies, he said, "don't want to give up . . . all the advantages of operating in the United States. They just don't want to pay for it..."

...Last year the IRS finally collected more in tax receipts than it did before the crash in 2007. But dig a little deeper into the numbers and it is clear we haven't returned to normal: Corporations paid nearly $100 billion less in federal income taxes last year than before the Great Recession – down nearly 40 percent as a share of GDP. In fact, corporate profits and corporate tax collections are now trending in opposite directions. Profits were up $93 billion last year – to a high of $2.1 trillion, according to the Commerce Department. Yet corporate tax payments actually fell last year by more than $15 billion.

How is this possible?


Charter schools CEO earns $567k/yr, moves HQ to Wall Street

Eva Moskowitz isn't just backed by Wall Street, she moved there

Eva Moskowitz, the firebrand chief of the city’s fastest growing charter chain, isn’t just backed by Wall Street, she’s officially moved there — with Wall Street-type salaries to boot.

Last November, Moskowitz, who for years boasted of opening her Success Academy Charter Schools in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, quietly shifted her corporate headquarters from Central Harlem to 95 Pine St. (aka 120 Wall St.).

The new offices will cost her organization $31 million over 15 years, according to its most recent financial report.

The same report shows Moskowitz received an eye-popping $567,000 during the 2012-2013 school year. That’s a raise of $92,000 from the previous year, and more than double the $212,000 paid to Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

That made Moskowitz the city’s highest-paid charter school executive last year. Her spokeswoman said Moskowitz’s current pay is a less lofty $305,000, with her bonus to be determined at year’s end.



Fox News again pines for Vladimir Putin to be in charge

Hey look, more wistful admiration of Russian leader Vladimir Putin from Fox News talking heads—they just cannot get enough of this guy. This time it's not for cracking down on gay citizens or for wrasslin' with a bear or whatever it is Putin's handlers have him photographed doing this week, it's just that it would be nice if he was President of America for a little while so we could finally get someone in office who could put an end to all this "civil liberties" nonsense we hear so much of these days.

Noting British plans to address citizens who leave the U.K. to become terrorists, [Fox host Greg Gutfeld] then asked Fox’s Kimberly Guilfoyle about whether measures can be implemented “without so-called violating their civil liberties.” Guilfoyle responded:
“Guess what, I don’t care. And in fact, I hope we violate a lot of their civil liberties. …

“I mean, can I just make a special request in the magic lamp? Can we get like Netanyahu and like Putin in for 48 hours, you know, head of the United States? I don’t know. I just want somebody to get in here and get it done right.”
That's right, if only Vladimir Putin were the U.S. president, he could take his shirt off and solve terrorism in two days.


The NFL pulls its head from its ass (kinda-sorta)

NFL toughens its stance on domestic violence

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admits he was wrong on the Ray Rice decision, and Goodell is taking steps to ensure it doesn't happen again.

In a lengthy letter sent to every NFL owner on Thursday, Goodell announced enhanced policies and discipline under the personal conduct policy that will result in a six-game suspension for a first offense related to domestic violence or sexual assault and an indefinite suspension for a second offense committed by any NFL employee.

Goodell drew major criticism since the announcement last month that Rice, the Baltimore Ravens running back, would be suspended just two games for striking his then-fiancee at a New Jersey casino and being caught on camera dragging her unconscious body out of an elevator.

"We allowed our standards to fall below where they should be and lost an important opportunity to emphasize our strong stance on a critical issue and the effective programs we have in place," Goodell wrote in the letter to owners.

"My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn't get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will."


I fear this is only going to encourage future transgressors to heavily "persuade" their significant other not to contact police or press charges after a violent incident...

Chrome Extension That Replaces "Cloud" With "Butts"

Earlier today, we asked you to tell us about all your favorite Chrome extensions. And while the ultimate winners will be revealed at a later date, Kinja user pacguy has introduced us to one sparkling diamond of an extension that, frankly, would be an injustice to keep hidden. Because friends, you need to install Cloud to Butt Plus immediately.

It's a simple little extension that turns one of the most buzzworthy and consequently obnoxious words—"the cloud"—into something beautiful. Butts, specifically. And though you'd think this would be one game that would get old fast, you would be wrong.

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