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Truth To Power

the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must

Archive for April, 2010

Big Chief

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Just watched episode 2 of “Treme”, so how’s about a bit of New Orleans?

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The Meters, Dr. John, Earl King and Fess, Professor Longhair.

Oklahoma, where theocracy trumps a woman’s health

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Oklahoma Enacts Tough Abortion Laws Requiring Ultrasounds

CHICAGO — Oklahoma lawmakers overrode their governor’s veto Tuesday to enact tough abortion laws that force women to undergo invasive ultrasounds and allow doctors to withhold test results showing fetal defects.

Even women who are victims of rape or incest will be required to listen to a detailed description of the fetus and view the ultrasound image prior to terminating a pregnancy.

The second bill shields doctors from “wrongful birth” malpractice lawsuits brought by parents who would have aborted a fetus had they been informed about its genetic or other defects.

Democratic Governor Brad Henry tried to block the bills last week, but the Republican-dominated Oklahoma legislature overwhelmingly overrode his veto with the help of Democrats.

Henry said that while he supports “reasonable” restrictions on abortions, the laws had serious constitutional flaws and represented an excessive intrusion of government into the private lives of its citizens.

“It is unconscionable to grant a physician legal protection to mislead or misinform a pregnant woman in an effort to impose his or her personal beliefs on his patient,” the governor said in his veto message.

So Oklahoma demands, by force of law, that women must be lied to about the health of a fetus, regardless of risk to it or the mother…and then shields the activist theocratic assholes who did it?

Ok, here’s an idea. Every deformed and diseased child born in Oklahoma to a woman who didn’t want it? Take them to the drafters of this law, lay it on their doorstep, walk away. Once they all have a couple, onto the churches. You force a person to have a child that they normally wouldn’t, you raise it. No public funds, no child care system dumping…you. You think it’s ok to take choice out of the equation, well, so do we.

Your theocracy, your baby.

Mississippi tries real hard to make gays vanish

Friday, April 30th, 2010

We should make Mississippi vanish…

Gay Student Ceara Sturgis Cut from High School Yearbook

(CANVAS STAFF REPORTS) – Ceara Sturgis and her mother, Veronica Rodriguez, were shocked to find that Ceara was missing entirely from her high school yearbook.

Ceara is an openly gay student at Wesson Attendance Center in Wesson, Mississippi, who has been battling with her school over her senior yearbook photo, according to The Jackson Free Press .

Ceara chose to wear a tuxedo rather than a dress in the high school senior portrait, but in October 2009 the school rejected the photo. Sturgis and her mother then got the Mississippi ACLU to protest the school officials’ decision and ask that the photo be included. But the Copiah County School District refused to accept the photo.

Ceara and her mother were not surprised that the photo was not in the yearbook. But on Friday they were shocked to find that Ceara was erased completely from the publication.

“They didn’t even put her name in it,” her mother told the Jackson Free Press .

“It’s like she’s nobody there, even though she’s gone to school there for 12 years.” Rodriguez points out that students who have been busted for drugs or dropped out are still in the yearbook, but not her daughter.

Mississippi, where hate isn’t just accepted…it’s taught in school.

Florida struggles to ban…bestiality?

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Florida tries to ban sex with animals after failing to do so last year.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Florida is trying to rectify the fact it “is one of only a dozen or so states that don’t have a law against having sex with animals.” Given the disturbing accounts of bestiality in Florida, the state senate is taking action. But, as Barbara Hijek notes, Florida has had difficulty getting the law passed:

The law was passed unanimously by the Senate this week. It would make it a first-degree misdemeanor to have sex with an animal, with a penalty of up to a year in jail.

The Senate had passed a similar bill last year, but it fizzled out before it came before the House. The House bill has a similar measure, but it awaits debate.

What is there to debate?

So, just to recap what you can and can’t do in Florida: Get married if you’re gay? Illegal. Adopt a child if you’re gay? Illegal. Marry your cousin? Legal. Have sex with an animal? Also legal.

Oh happy day, Glenn Beck drops 30% of audience

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Glenn Beck has lost 1/3 of its TV audience since January

Should we blame it on the Massa Moment?

Will that Hindenburg performance soon be seen as the turning point for Glenn Beck: the pivotal moment when the Fox News show began to permanently leak viewers?

Who can forget the March day that will live in cable news infamy, when Beck invited embattled Democratic Congressman Eric Massa onto his show, for an entire hour, to blow the whistle on Democratic Party corruption? Or so Beck thought. Instead, Massa went on and on about tickle fights, and Beck became a laughing stock — the butt of endless Geraldo-opens-Al-Capone’s-vault jokes.

Prior to the Massa Moment, Glenn Beck was averaging 2.6 million viewers each week, and the show was still flying high. And in the short term, the wildly hyped Massa episode produced ratings gold, generating 3.4 million viewers that night, thank you very much. Long-term though, the effects have proven to be disastrous.

Freedom of speech, diversity of opinion, blah blah blah. Glenn Beck is a cancer upon our nation, and the sooner he goes belly up, the better for all.

Me? Register for the GOP? You must be high.

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Report: CA Voters Tricked Into Registering As Republicans With Pot Petition

Orange County authorities are launching an investigation into possible voter registration fraud after a local newspaper reported over a hundred cases of voters being tricked into registering as Republicans by petitioners who asked them to sign petitions for, among other causes, legalizing pot.

The Orange County Register reported last week that the Orange County District Attorney’s office announced it would team up with the Secretary of State on the case, following a Register report that 99 written complaints were filed since March by voters who said they were registered as Republicans without their consent.

That would harsh your mellow, for sure.

Change? Yeah, and not for the better

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

U.S. Subpoenas Times Reporter Over Book on C.I.A.

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is seeking to compel a writer to testify about his confidential sources for a 2006 book about the Central Intelligence Agency, a rare step that was authorized by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

The author, James Risen, who is a reporter for The New York Times, received a subpoena on Monday requiring him to provide documents and to testify May 4 before a grand jury in Alexandria, Va., about his sources for a chapter of his book, “State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration.” The chapter largely focuses on problems with a covert C.I.A. effort to disrupt alleged Iranian nuclear weapons research.

“He intends to honor his commitment of confidentiality to his source or sources,” Mr. Kurtzberg said. “We intend to fight this subpoena.”

The subpoena comes two weeks after the indictment of a former National Security Agency official on charges apparently arising from an investigation into a series of Baltimore Sun articles that exposed technical failings and cost overruns of several agency programs that cost billions of dollars.

Uh, this isn’t the guy who ran for president. This is the guy that won it. Very different beast.

Richard Brodsky is a ghoul

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

NY lawmaker wants presumed organ donation consent

ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York assemblyman whose daughter is alive because of two kidney transplants wants his state to become the first in the nation to pass laws that would presume people want to donate their organs unless they specifically say otherwise.

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky believes the “presumed consent” measures would help combat a rising demand for healthy organs by patients forced to wait a year or more for transplants. Twenty-four European countries already have such laws in place, he said.

If he succeeds, distraught families would no longer be able to override their loved ones’ decisions to donate upon their death. And eventually, hospitals would be able to assume the deceased consented to have his or her organs harvested, unless the person refused in writing.

“People’s survival should not rest on acts of God alone,” said the elder Brodsky, a Westchester County Democrat.

Evidently, this over-reaching pol thinks peoples survival should rest on the state. Typical.

John Lennon’s acid stash found?

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

John Lennon’s Long Lost Stash of LSD Found Buried at His Kenwood Home

According to Beatles lore, in 1967 the band sent emissaries to the Monterey Pop Festival in San Francisco posing as filmmakers with the real mission of tracking down The Bear, a.k.a. Owsley Stanley, famed LSD chef and sound technician. Allegedly, the agents of The Beatles found The Bear, obtained a shitload of liquid acid and smuggled it back to John Lennon, who later decided to bury what was left of it on the grounds of his house in Kenwood, Surrey once he and the other Beatles decided to give up drugs and try Transcendental Meditation instead. When they got back from India, though, Lennon changed his mind, tried to unearth his buried treasure, and couldn’t find it. Legend has it that the massive acid stash was never found, and so became the stuff of drug mythology.

Until now — maybe. A group of builders working at the estate have reportedly dug up the remains of a leather satchel containing remnants of several broken glass bottles, and one still intact, but empty with a cracked cork. Could this be the magical mystery stash? It will take some tests and analysis to know for sure, but barring a hoax, it seems like a pretty open and shut case to me.

Louisiana again beset by man-made disaster

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

So Louisiana, barely on its feet from Katrina (which was, as John Goodman’s character on Treme is quick to note, a man-made disaster) is again going to get its ass kicked by a completely preventable, entirely foreseeable act of man.

Big Oil Fought Off New Safety Rules Before Rig Explosion

As families mourn the 11 workers thrown overboard in the worst oil rig disaster in decades and as the resulting spill continues to spread through the Gulf of Mexico, new questions are being raised about the training of the drill operators and about the oil company’s commitment to safety.

Deepwater Horizon, the giant technically-advanced rig which exploded on April 20 and sank two days later, is leaking an estimated 42,000 gallons per day through a pipe about 5,000 feet below the surface. The spill has spread across 1,800 square miles — an area larger than Rhode Island — according to satellite images, oozing its way toward the Louisiana coast and posing a threat to wildlife, including a sperm whale spotted in the oil sheen.

The massive $600 million rig, which holds the record for boring the deepest oil and gas well in the world — at 35,050 feet – had passed three recent federal inspections, the most recent on April 1, since it moved to its current location in January. The cause of the explosion has not been determined.

Yet relatives of workers who are presumed dead claim that the oil behemoth BP and rig owner TransOcean violated “numerous statutes and regulations” issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard, according to a lawsuit filed by Natalie Roshto, whose husband Shane, a deck floor hand, was thrown overboard by the force of the explosion and whose body has not yet been located.

This act of incompetence will wreck havoc on the Gulf Coast fishing industry, which is already attempting to cope with the loss of habitat due to wetlands devastation (again, another man-made insult to nature). This region supplies 40% of the seafood harvested in this country, and its loss would be devastating.

But somebody somewhere at BP made a decision to ignore mandated safety laws, cut corners on training, and build the stupid rig to begin with, to make a buck.

So Sarah…how’s that drilly, sinky thing workin’ out for ya?