But put a man next to a dead animal, and you will have enough dumb commenters for a lifetime
As more U.S. states legalize marijuana, special interest groups that have a financial stake in the fight have been pushing back under the guise of fighting drug abuse.
Last week, The Nation published an interesting look at who’s driving the fight against the legalization of marijuana.
Pharmaceutical companies that make billions off painkillers and police unions are two big heavy hitters in the fight against marijuana legalization. They throw their monetary support behind groups that fight legislation that would legalize pot — even medical marijuana — and lobby Congress.
Applicants for radio announcing jobs in the 1920s had to a pass a diction test — New York Daily News radio critic Ben Gross gives this example in his 1954 book I Looked and I Listened:
“Penelope Cholmondely raised her azure eyes from the crabbed scenario. She meandered among the congeries of her memoirs. There was the Kinetic Algernon, a choleric artificer of icons and triptychs, who wanted to write a trilogy. For years she had stifled her risibilities with dour moods. His asthma caused him to sough like the zephyrs among the tamarack.”
In the 1940s Radio Central New York administered a cold reading to prospective radio personalities to assess their speaking ability — announcer Del Moore found it so entertaining that he gave it to his friend Jerry Lewis, who made it a staple of his annual muscular dystrophy telethon:
Cassidy is a state Congressmen from Louisiana and is the leading contender challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu. In 2013 he co-sponsored the Abstinence-Only Reallocation Act which would award school’s state money for abstinence-only education programs. He has also consistently railed against the ACA’s contraceptive mandate. So it will come as no surprise that Cassidy’s 17 year-old (unmarried) daughter is pregnant.
William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move towards mass surveillance.
On 5 July he spoke at a conference in London organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism and revealed the extent of the surveillance programs unleashed by the Bush and Obama administrations.
“At least 80% of fibre-optic cables globally go via the US”, Binney said. “This is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”
Wouldn’t it be nice to easily be able to see who’s funding your congressperson? A new browser plugin for Safari, Google Chrome, and soon Firefox, promises to do just that.
The free plugin, called “Greenhouse,” was created by 16-year-old Nicholas Rubin, a self-taught programmer based in Seattle. Greenhouse was designed to expose the role that money plays in Congress by offering “detailed campaign contribution data for every Senator and Representative, including total amount received and breakdown by industry and by size of donation.”
Just 2 days ago we highlighted the best example of the exuberance awash the markets currently – CYNK Technology Corp, the social media development company that had a market capitalization in excess of $1 billion, which according to official filings, had one employee, no website, no revenue, no product, and no assets. Fast forward 2 days – and some 57,000 shares traded (about 0.02% of its total shares outstanding) at around $10 and CYNK now has a market cap approaching $3 billion (and still no revenue, no product, and no assets)… Lord Overstone said it best. “No warning can save people determined to grow suddenly rich.”
Think we are exaggerating, here is the company’s own description from its 10-K (yes mysteriously it does actually have public filings):
we have not yet commenced our full scale business operations and we have not yet realized any revenues.
We have minimal operating history upon which an evaluation of our future prospects can be made. Based upon current plans, we expect to incur operating losses in future periods as we incurred significant expenses associated with the initial startup of our business. Further, we cannot guarantee that we will be successful in realizing revenues or in achieving or sustaining positive cash flow at any time in the future. Any such failure could result in the possible closure of our busiess or force us to seek additional capital through loans or additional sales of our equity securities to continue business operations.
Is it reasonable to expect mere mortals to have mastery over every facet of the development stack? Probably not, but Facebook can ask for it. I was told at OSCON by a Facebook employee that they only hire ‘Full Stack’ developers. Well, what does that mean?
The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans—including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers—under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies.
According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the list of Americans monitored by their own government includes:
• Faisal Gill, a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush;
• Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases;
• Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University;
• Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights;
• Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.
The official NSA reply is predictable:
No U.S. person can be the subject of surveillance based solely on First Amendment activities, such as staging public rallies, organizing campaigns, writing critical essays, or expressing personal beliefs.
On the other hand, a person who the court finds is an agent of a foreign power under this rigorous standard is not exempted just because of his or her occupation.
The United States is as committed to protecting privacy rights and individual freedom as we are to defending our national security.
A Manassas City teenager accused of “sexting” a video to his girlfriend is now facing a search warrant in which Manassas City police and Prince William County prosecutors want to take a photo of his erect penis, possibly forcing the teen to become erect by taking him to a hospital and giving him an injection, the teen’s lawyers said. A Prince William County judge allowed the 17-year-old to leave the area without the warrant being served or the pictures being taken — yet.
Here’s what I know about the Heart of Worship Community Church in Corona, California: Its members love Jesus, its website needs a lot of help, and the pastor is fucked up.
… The alleged incidents occurred in March and included [church members Nicholas James Craig and Darryll Duane Jeter Jr.] driving the unidentified boy to a desert and forcing him to dig his own grave for more than an hour. They allegedly hit him with a belt and threw dirt on him before returning to the group home.
While the boy was showering, one of the men allegedly rubbed salt into the cuts on his back. Witness Steven Larkey, who lives in the group home, told investigators he could hear the boy screaming and saw blood all over the shower the next day.
The boy, who was later taken into protective custody, also told police he had been stripped, tied to a chair and sprayed with Mace. Because he was not allowed to wash or cool off with water for half an hour, his nose began to bleed, and his thrashing from the pain caused the blood to splatter.
At a Bible study later that evening at Remmers’ home, Remmers asked the boy to sit in the middle of the group and then squeezed his nipple with pliers.
What’s the proper punishment for the abuse and torture of a little boy? A life sentence? A couple of decades behind bars?
Not even close. The men of God will receive, at most, up to two years in prison and some probation. That’s it. In most states, you get a harsher penalty for selling weed.
In the world’s continuing mission to completely humiliate Brazil in the wake of its 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany, adult site Pornhub has allegedly been flooded with highlights of the game.
Footage of the goals bearing the title ‘Young Brazilians get f**ked by entire German soccer team’ (and other more explicit variants) quickly sprang up following the game (at least according to hundreds of screen grabs circulating Twiter), with the site eventually asking football fans to cease with the gag while getting a swipe in at Brazil’s performance itself.
“Please stop uploading the game highlights to Pornhub… Our public humiliation category is full. #BrazilvsGermany,” Pornhub wrote.
Tor, which offers encrypted software and an open network of protected communications, has been sued in the state of Texas over a revenge porn website that used its free service.
The plaintiff in the case — Shelby Conklin, a criminal justice major at the University of North Texas — is mainly going after a website called Pinkmeth, which lets users upload and publicly share sexually explicit material without consent from the people in the pictures. This kind of service is often used by hackers and ex-partners, and it’s illegal in 11 states (and counting). Texas, however, is still working on its own revenge porn laws.
Conklin alleges Pinkmeth “gained unauthorized access to nude photographs” she owned and posted them to the internet. She also said Tor, which The Economist once called “a dark corner of the web,” was involved in an active “civil conspiracy” with Pinkmeth because the revenge porn website used the anonymous communications service to prevent others from tracking its location.
Conklin is seeking more than $1 million in damages for “mental anguish and loss in earning capacity” as a result of the publication and dissemination of the nude photos.
This winter, the driest in decades, Syria and Iraq in particular have experienced a severe lack of rainfall in what should be the wettest part of the year and record heat as well. These are factors the Pentagon lists in its recent Quadrennial Defense Review as “threat multipliers.” According to meteorologist Eric Holthaus, “As in neighboring Syria, it’s increasingly clear that Iraq is drying out, an effect that’s long been predicted as a result of the human-caused build up of heat-trapping gases like CO2. Since 1973… parts of Iraq and Syria have seen ‘some of the most dramatic precipitation declines in the world.’ Citing projected stark declines in rainfall and continued population pressure and upstream dam building, a study released earlier this year made the case that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers may no longer reach the sea by 2040.”
The weather destabilization of Syria and the rise of ISIS seem to be connected. In the Mobius Strip of life, the more desperate you are — thank you, global warming — the more you’re likely to fight over what resources, from water to oil, you can command, and then when you’re done, you’ll use those resources to heat the planet further. It’s a closed system, a simple formula for the production of violent emotions, dead bodies, and a particularly nasty world.
“Philips maintains constant evaluation of all its business activities to ensure optimum performance and the decision to divest this business was made in response to the long-term evolution taking place within luminaires manufacturing.”
Yesterday, a court ruled that one of Holland’s much-loved Christmas traditions was “insulting” to black people and perpetuated racist stereotypes. The Amsterdam mayor was given six weeks to decide whether or not he would hold the city’s annual Sinterklaas parade, a Christmas street party.
Like modern versions of Othello, rather than hiring white guys in blackface what about hiring black guys for the job?
A member of Congress used to have to specifically report the details if they traveled on someone else’s dime. As of last week, that rule was lifted with no public announcement. National Journal reports:
The move, made behind closed doors and without a public announcement by the House Ethics Committee, reverses more than three decades of precedent. Gifts of free travel to lawmakers have appeared on the yearly financial form dating back its creation in the late 1970s, after the Watergate scandal. National Journal uncovered the deleted disclosure requirement when analyzing the most recent batch of yearly filings.
For a group of officials that considers an adjustment to their burrito order worthy of a press release and a television appearance, that this change was made literally behind closed doors tells us everything we need to know about it.
Here’s Holly Fisher, aka Holly Hobby Lobby.
She seems nice.
She and her friends have been gloating over how all those libruls’ heads are gonna explode over the photo. Unfortunately, someone posted this:
Oops. Whose heads are exploding?
A dossier compiled by an MP detailing allegations of a 1980s Westminster paedophile ring is one of more than 100 potentially relevant Home Office files destroyed, lost or missing, it has emerged.
The government faced fresh calls for an overarching inquiry into historical cases of paedophilia as it was revealed that a total of 114 Home Office files relevant to allegations of a child abuse network have disappeared from government records.
David Cameron has already ordered the Home Office permanent secretary to look into what happened to a lost dossier given earlier in the 1980s to Leon Brittan, then home secretary, by the campaigning Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens.
The revelation that further relevant documents have disappeared will raise fresh fears of an establishment cover-up.
Simon Danczuk, the MP for Rochdale, who is calling for an overarching national inquiry into historical child abuse, said: “I had absolutely no idea these other files were also missing. The public view will be that there is something fishy going on. The public will understandably think these documents have gone missing because it helps protect the names of those identified in them. That is the conclusion that many will come to, and who could blame them”
Jim: How am I going to explain the missing documents to the Mail?
Sir Humphrey: Well this is what we normally do in, circumstances like these. [hands over a file]
Jim: [reading] This file contains the complete set of papers, except for a number of secret documents, a few others which are part of still active files, a few others lost in the flood of 1967. [to Humphrey] Was 1967 a particularly bad winter?
Sir Humphrey: No a marvellous winter, we lost no end of embarrassing files.
Jim: [reading] Some records which went astray in the move to London, and others when the War Office was incorporated in the Ministry of Defence, and the normal withdrawal of papers whose publication could give grounds for an action for liable or breach of confidence, or cause embarrassment to friendly governments. [to Humphrey] Well that’s pretty comprehensive. How many does that normally leave for them to look at? [Humphrey says nothing] How many does that actually leave? About a hundred? Fifty? Ten? Five? Four? Three? Two? One? Zero?
Sir Humphrey: Yes Minister.
Pickup trucks customized to spew black smoke into the air are quickly becoming the newest weapon in the culture wars.
“Coal Rollers” are diesel trucks modified with chimneys and equipment that can force extra fuel into the engine causing dark black smoke to pour out of the chimney stacks. These modifications are not new, but as Slate’s Dave Weigel pointed out on Thursday, “rolling coal” has begun to take on a political dimension with pickup drivers increasingly viewing their smokestacks as a form of protest against environmentalists and Obama administration emissions regulations.
So, out of sheer spite and stupidity, these folks are lowering their mpg and polluting their air at us simply because we care about it?
They should know that I hate people giving me money and I’m totally against blow jobs.
Back in the day there was talk about “jamming echelon” by adding keywords to email that the echelon system was supposedly looking for. We can do the same thing for XKeyScore: jam the system with more information than it can handle.
For the court to issue an emergency temporary injunction is a truly extraordinary act. Even more extraordinary was that justices filed a 16-page barnstorming dissent. And those dissenters share a highly relevant personal characteristic: a uterus. That’s correct, the three dissenting justices last night were the court’s three women: Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan. In the event that the religious and gender rift at the court was not already painful to behold, the dissent, penned by Sotomayor, is a forceful and unwavering rejection of both the majority’s reasoning and tactics. “I disagree strongly with what the court has done,” Sotomayor wrote. “Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word. Not so today. After expressly relying on the availability of the religious-nonprofit accommodation to hold that the contraceptive coverage requirement violates [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] as applied to closely held for-profit corporations, the Court now, as the dissent in Hobby Lobby feared it might, retreats from that position.”
The head of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Justice Peter McClellan, revealed last month that he had personally written to the Vatican, seeking copies of all documents relating to complaints about abuse involving priests in Australia.
The Vatican has provided documents to the royal commission relating to two cases, but Justice McClellan wanted more information to find out how church authorities in Australia, under the guidance or direction of the Vatican, responded to allegations of abuse.
In a written response, the Vatican says the Holy See maintains the confidentiality of internal deliberations, adding that it would be inappropriate to provide such documents.
Leonie Sheedy, founder and chief executive of Care Leavers Australia Network, a support group for victims of child sexual abuse says the Catholic Church is treating the Australian public with contempt.
“I’m not surprised … I feel like the Catholic Church believes it is above the laws of Australia and probably the world,” she said.