NOM Exposed collects information about the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a secretive front group for the Mormon and Catholic churches which funds other front groups across the country, in their fight against recognition of same-sex marriage rights in the United States. NOM Exposed pulls together biographies about the leadership behind the organization, the ties to extremist religious and other groups, the money trail and the shadowy outfits where the cash leads, the organization’s ethical, campaign finance, and other legal violations across the country (such as that pointed to here), and various propaganda that NOM uses to spread its message.
The death of a Rutgers University freshman stirred outrage and remorse among classmates who said they wished they could have stopped the teen from jumping off a bridge after secret video of his sexual encounter with a man was streamed online.
Tyler Clementi, 18, jumped off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River last week. His body was identified Thursday after being found in the river a day before.
"Had he been in bed with a woman, this would not have happened," said Rutgers student Lauren Felton, 21, of Warren. "He wouldn’t have been outed via an online broadcast, and his privacy would have been respected and he might still have his life."
For years, I’ve looked at the pictures from the 60s civil rights marches and thought that, had I been around then, I’d be one of those (very) few white people in the crowd. I know most of you good liberals out there have had similar thoughts, that you’d march and face the angry racist crowds and maybe even go to jail for that cause. A lot of you have thought that, haven’t you?
Well, here’s your fucking chance. Right now, there is a civil rights issue that needs your attention and participation. Right now, people are getting murdered, beaten, denied basic civil rights, threatened, and bullied because of how they were born. Right now, there are marches and sit-ins and congressional outreach programs and what-all. Right now, there are unjust laws to overturn and angry crowds to face. If you think equal rights for blacks is a good and worthy cause, even though you’re white, then you should think equal rights for gays is a good and worthy cause, even if you’re straight.
You don’t even have to do that much. No one’s having dogs and firehoses turned on them these days, so you’re safe there. You don’t have to be a tireless crusader. You don’t have to volunteer on any sort of regular basis. You don’t have to go to jail, or lose your job, or devote yourselves full-time to the cause. Make a sign, go to a march, write a letter.
Your role here is not necessarily to changes the bigots’ minds (though, of course, that’d be swell). What my wife and I found is honest-to-god amazement that a straight person, much less a straight couple, gives enough of a damn to do something. We got an unbelievable amount of praise and adoration and gratitude for maybe 4 hours work. Sure, I know many of the folks who oppose same-sex marriage oppose inter-racial marriage, too, so maybe we didn’t open anyone’s mind. But we fired up a hell of a lot of people, encouraged them to keep on, and showed them that it’s not their issue, but all of ours.
This will trickle down. Get gays accepted into the military, let them get married, and you will see public acceptance of horrific acts against gays go down. Not go away, of course, and it won’t happen overnight, but we can—YOU can—chip chip chip away at it.
This problem won’t be solved by expelling the two instigators (though that should be done). It won’t be solved by impassioned rants on blogs, or internet revenge fantasies. Fuck, it might not ever be solved. But you–YOU—can help.
Goddamnit, children are dying, and you have the opportunity to do something about it, without even going to much trouble. SO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
A couple weeks ago, I was listening to a story by NPR’s Planet Money team about “Toxie” a toxic asset they had purchased to follow and help tell the story of the recent financial meltdown. One of the mortgages in Toxie was on a home bought for investment in Bradenton, Florida, and the team took a look at housing in the area. Many homes there are empty and have been for years. Huge developments sit partially completed among densely built up neighborhoods and swampland. A guest stated that there were “enough housing lots in Charlotte County to last for more than 100 years”. Boom and bust residential development has drastically affected parts of southwest Florida for decades now, and I spent some time (with the help of Google Earth), looking around the area. With permission from the fine folks at Google, here are a few glimpses at development in southwest Florida. (26 photos total)
Once proposed as the 57,000 acre “Golden Gate Estates”, this area was to be the largest subdivision in America in the 1960s. Many canals and roads were built, but the development eventually went bankrupt. Over the past 20 years or so, the land has been acquired by the state, and converted into the Picayune Strand State Forest. Map, Street View. (© Google/USGS)
The Irish Central Bank has said it will need to increase the amount of support to the country’s banking sector.
The total amount has risen to 45bn euros (£39bn), or 32% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The Bank said supporting Anglo Irish Bank alone would cost from 29.3bn euros to a "stress scenario" bail-out of up to 34bn euros (£29.2bn).
The finance minister, Brian Lenihan, says it is "manageable". Without the bank support, the deficit would be 12%.
“If you added together all the capital provided to Ireland’s banks by various arms of the state, taxpayer support to those banks in the form of capital injections is around 30% of GDP.”
You can now download the Visual Basic CTP for Windows Phone Developer Tools. Provided in this download are all the templates, designer support, emulator (and phone!) support and IntelliSense for Visual Basic.
We’re not formally announcing the schedule for when Visual Basic will be fully supported. We’re giving VB developers early access to the Windows Phone 7 platform so that they can start thinking about what amazing apps they want to build.
The classic definition of “to be amazed” is to be bewildered, made crazy, or stunned.
I guess that’s correct, then.
Tuesday night, Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman debated Democrat Jerry Brown and said she wanted to impose penalties on employers who hire illegal aliens. Then yesterday, her former maid, Nicky Diaz Santillan, held a press conference saying she was an illegal alien who worked as a maid for Whitman for 9 years and Whitman knew she was illegal because although Diaz Santillan gave Whitman a social security card, Whitman checked it and the government said the number was bogus.
Germany’s working group against censorship, AK Zensur, has analysed a few recent Scandinavian blacklists, allegedly meant to block sites containing child abuse material. Our less-than-surprising findings:
* From 167 listed sites, only 3 contained such material.
* Two of them were listed on different blacklists since 2008, obviously without the authorities trying to take the sites offline.
* All three were taken down by the hosting providers within hours or even minutes after receiving an AK takedown request by email.
So what were the reasons again that made access blocking an essential weapon in fighting child abuse?
This Sunday will see the official financial end of the First World War as Germany pays off the last of the debt imposed on the country by the Allies.
Sunday will see the final £60 million payment of the £22 billion debt imposed on Germany for starting one of the bloodiest wars in history.
The Allies, primarily the USA, France and Britain, set the debt as part of the negotiations of The Treaty of Versailles, which was finally signed on June 28th 1919 after months of talks.
The original total set by the ‘big three’ was 226 billion Reichsmarks, however, it was later reduced to 132 billion, equal to £22 billion at the time. It was looked upon as compensation and punishment for causing the war which claimed the lives of around 10 million soldiers and left over 20 million injured.
A team of planet hunters led by astronomers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington has announced the discovery of an Earth-sized planet (three times the mass of Earth) orbiting a nearby star at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star’s "habitable zone," where liquid water could exist on the planet’s surface. If confirmed, this would be the most Earth-like exoplanet yet discovered and the first strong case for a potentially habitable one.
To astronomers, a "potentially habitable" planet is one that could sustain life, not necessarily one that humans would consider a nice place to live. Habitability depends on many factors, but liquid water and an atmosphere are among the most important.
Twenty years ago, the fastest Internet backbone links were 1.5Mbps. Today we argue whether that’s a fast enough minimum to connect home users. In 1993, 1.3 million machines were connected to the Internet. By this past summer, that number had risen to 769 million and this only counts systems that have DNS names. The notion of a computer that is not connected to the Internet is patently absurd these days.
But all of this rapid progress is going to slow in the next few years. The internet will soon be sailing in very rough seas, as it’s about to run out of addresses, needing to be gutted and reconfigured for continued growth in the second half of the 2010s and beyond. Originally, the idea was that this upgrade would happen quietly in the background, but over the past few years, it has become clear that the change from the current Internet Protocol version 4, which is quickly running out of addresses, to the new version 6 will be quite a messy affair.