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To start off, let me be clear: I generally loathe politicians on an equal opportunity basis. Okay, maybe there's a slightly more special place of loathing in my heart for the Constitution Party, those folks are kinda scary. But otherwise, Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian...whatever. I tend to be especially annoyed by party-line voters, be they constituents voting for candidates or politicians voting on...well, whatever they're voting on. Because party-line voting is pretty much synonymous with "I can't think for myself and don't really care about the people I represent" if you ask me. (Note: Just because one agrees with the party doesn't automatically make it party-line in my mind. Fine, blurry lines and all that.)

But right now, I have a general hatred towards Republicans. Read on.

That said...

So, as you might know, before we moved to Oregon, I talked to several people in Maryland's unemployment to verify that if I were to move, I would have continued eligibility, that leaving the state wasn't going to hurt me and all that. No, I was told. I would have continued eligibility. I just had to keep complying with the rules- you know, look for a job, file every two weeks, all that nonsense. And I was told not only that, but I was already approved to have unemployment eligibility through at least sometime in February- longer, if any more extensions were put into effect, but no less than that. Three different people told me this. Each time I asked, very carefully, if there was anyhting else I needed to take into account, was there anyhtign else that could affect or interrupt my unemployment eligibility?

I was told no, absolutely not. I would just need to remember that when I got notice of one tier of my extended unemployment ending, that I would need to call in and talk to them, whereupon they would hit a button in the system, and I would roll over to the next tier. Nothing else? Nope, that's it, good luck to you.

Except, they were wrong. You see, what all these fine people FAILED TO TELL ME was that my continued eligibility was dependent on congress periodically voting to renew the extension. Now, I saw a number of notices about this on the Maryland unemployment website, but until the most recent one, those things have been VERY misleadingly worded- there was nothing in any of the notices to make me think that they applied to anyone who has already even approved for the extended unemployment. What's there now is only slightly better- it's only obvious that it applies to you if it's already happened to you.

So anyway...I went to pick up my unemployment payment last week...and it wasn't there. I called Maryland, and found out that it was suspended because congress hadn't voted to extend it yet, but if they do, it will be released shortly. Did I mention that I never got a letter saying "Oh, by the way, they haven't renewed the bill so you're going to lose your benefits in a couple of weeks".

Was that too fucking much to ask? Well, I did get a letter- later the day that I found out that it was gone.

Long story short, we've got a bit of money saved so far. We ended up going and applying for food stamps. Gavin's disability overs our rent, so we didn't have a whole lot to worry about- but still, we had to worry about it.

Thankfully, it was passed earlier this week to renew the bill. I might not get my money for filed weeks until sometime next week, but hey, at least I'm going to get it.

Which brings me to the subject of my rant. See...I've been reading news articles about this now that I have the internet again, and I've seen clips of stuff in the news. The bill passed by vote? Two? Because every single member of the Republican party, except for two voted against it.

Some of them have been in the news whining that they're being portrayed as heartless meanies and they don't understand why people are so upset. They only opposed the bill because they disagreed with the source of the unemployment funds.

Is that all it is now? Well gee whiz sparky, why in the fuck didn't you try to introduce your own bill suggesting that? Why don't you publicly denounce some of the shit your colleagues are saying?

Or are you completely clueless to the other members of your party who have been shown on the news saying things like...

Several Republicans have suggested that extending the benefits would give workers less cause to seek jobs. "Continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work," Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said earlier this spring.

(From here:

Some additional gems:

During a door-to-door tour of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County businesses today, Corbett said “the jobs are there,” but that many people are purposely remaining unemployed, in order to collect benefits. He says he’s heard this from business owners across Pennsylvania. “One of the issues, and I hear it repeatedly – one of the individuals said, ‘I can’t get workers. People don’t want to come back to work while they still have unemployment.’’ He said. “They’re literally telling him, ‘I’ll come back to work when unemployment runs out.’ That’s becoming a problem.” Found here, complete with sound recording

And from Rand Paul (R-KY) "As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again," he said. "Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen." Here, again with recording.

And then there's Last Friday, Bauer told an audience in South Carolina that his grandmother told him "as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed."

He compared this to receiving assistance from the government, which he said is "facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better."
from Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer of South Carolina. He's since made some vague gestures that are supposed to look like an apology, I guess. It seems, Andre that people who are poor or unemployed really don't like being compared to animals who don't know any better. Shocker, that, eh? But you know, what should a rich asshole like you have to be surprised about when your comments aren't met favorably?

A clip from his apology is almost as good: "I never intended to tie people to animals," he said, before...tying people to animals: "If you have a cat, if you take it in your house and feed it and love it, what happens when you go out of town?"

The fuck????? Sir, I hope you have no pets. Because if you do, and you can't reach the logical conclusion of getting someone to come and feed your cat, or boarding it at a kennel when you're going to be away, you should be immediately charged with endangering animals. Oh, and by the way, unemployment- it's like a pet-sitter. When you're out of work, unemployment feeds you while you look for work. See what I did there? I'd brag about out-clevering a politician, but that's not much to brag about.

In June, Nevada Senate nominee Sharron Angle said that "what has happened is the system of entitlement has caused us to have a spoilage with our ability to go out and get a job." She added: "They keep extending these unemployment benefits to the point where people are afraid to go out and get a job because the job doesn't pay as much as the unemployment benefit does."

Also from the same site:

Back in May, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) said that Congress needs to think twice about continuing unemployment benefits "because you're out of the recession, you're starting to see growth and you're clearly going to dampen the capacity of that growth if you basically keep an economy that encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment. Yes, it's important to do that up to a certain level, but at some point you've got to acknowledge that we're not Europe." (Found here)

And from Tom DeLay: DeLay praised Bunning, and added that "there's some studies that have been done that shows that people stay on unemployment compensation and they don't look for a job until two or three weeks before they know the benefits are going to run out."

Crowley pointed out that saying "people are unemployed because they want to be" is a "hard sell."

DeLay responded: "Well, it is the truth."
(Here, with video)

You know, it must be so nice to be so easily able to pass judgment on people's economic situation when you've never been there yourself. I know that not all American politicians are particularly rich, and some even come from a working class background but I also know that plenty of them have never had to work or wonder where their next meal, or next week's meals were going to come from.

I know that there are some people who take advantage of the system, but you know, things can be done about that. You can, say, require people to keep records of their job hunt in order to maintain benefits and verify them- to a certain extent anyway, employers only keep applications and resumes on file for so long, but, you know, spot-checking can go a long way to dealing with this. Requiring people to register with the states department of labor workforce development office- or whatever you call it in each state- and spend a certain amount of time in those offices, or on their website looking for suitable jobs is something else that can be done.

I'm also really pissed off about the ones who are all "You should just take a job, any job and shut up and get off unemployment!" you know, in Baltimore, I couldn't even apply for most jobs that I cam across because they didn't pay enough? Well I could have...if I wanted to live in a hole in the wall in Coppin Heights with no electricity. And I don't mean "I want more money!" I mean I wouldn't have been able to pay my rent and the few bills that Gavin and I have or buy groceries. And we don't have a car, or kids or credit cards or medical bills or any other extra expenses. Nevermind what other people may have. I can tell you that it's a different story now- Minimum wage in Oregon is higher and living expenses are lower, so there are a LOT more jobs that I can apply for- and am. Don't fucking assume that people aren't taking jobs because they just want more money.

And the crack about unemployment paying more than jobs- in a lot of cases, no, it really doesn't. How much you get is dependent on how much you've made in the last four fiscal quarters, with the highest quarter thrown out and the other three averaged out. Or something like that.

Don't you people even fucking know how this unemployment thing works? guess not.

Gawds. As Gavin has said, even if Obama does everything else wrong for the rest of his presidency, I will be continually grateful that he made the assholes in congress go back and re-vote on this.

If you think this is unfounded and I'm just a republican-hating bleeding heart liberal whatever, please find me a democrat who's had shit like this to say. Please.
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Arright, so...

If you were afraid of the idea of gun bans and wanted to retain your freedom to own firearms, what do you think is the logical way to proceed?

A. Be a model law-abiding, gun-owning citizen and find a way to work peacefully for the right to own guns.


B. Create a domestic disturbance and then kill and severely injure a bunch of cops in the most fatal day for law enforcement workers since September 11th 2001.

Call me crazy, but logic says to me that shooting 'em up isn't really a good way to ensure that you're gonna get to keep your guns.

My prayers to those who were killed or injured and their loved ones and colleagues. May people learn to be more intelligent about their freedoms...

Sarah Palin

Sep. 3rd, 2008 03:16 am
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I have never disliked a political figure in such a short time after first hearing a name.

I was going to write a nice, detailed, specific list of reasons why...but the more I read, the more my head hurts and for the sake of my poor little brain, I think I'm going to put it off for another time.

I'll leave you with this little tid bit for now (bolding mine):

Q: Are you offended by the phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance?

A: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I'll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.
Source: Eagle Forum 2006 Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire Jul 31, 2006

Then there's this link, with a very high shake to stick ratio of links to sources for all kinds of fun stuff on the sort of things to which she is connected:

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This is messed up.

(If you follow the link, there is a picture of a kid's arm, with what is clearly a scar, and clearly in the shape of a cross. It's not a gory picture, for those who want to see for themselves. Unless you're extremely squeamish, this visual is quite mild.)

Teacher in trouble for burning crosses on kids,
Board votes to fire him, says he was preaching Christianity

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - A school board in central Ohio voted Friday to move ahead on firing a science teacher accused of preaching his Christian beliefs in class and using a device to burn the image of a cross on students' arms.

The Mount Vernon school board voted 5-0 to pass a resolution of intent to terminate the contract of middle school teacher John Freshwater.

Board attorney David Millstone said Freshwater is entitled to a hearing to challenge the dismissal. A lawyer for Freshwater said he will request such a hearing.

A report by independent investigators found that Freshwater also taught creationism in his science class and was insubordinate in failing to remove a Bible and other religious materials from his classroom.

School board members gathered a day after consulting firm H.R. On Call Inc. released its report. The community is about 40 miles northeast of Columbus.

The report comes one week after a family filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Columbus against Freshwater and the school district, saying Freshwater burned a cross on their child's arm that remained for three or four weeks.

They're family values, friend says
Freshwater's friend Dave Daubenmire defended him.

"With the exception of the cross-burning episode ... I believe John Freshwater is teaching the values of the parents in the Mount Vernon school district," he told The Columbus Dispatch for a story published Friday.

Several students interviewed by investigators described Freshwater, who has been employed by the district for 21 years, as a great guy.

But Lynda Weston, the district's director of teaching and learning, told investigators that she has dealt with complaints about Freshwater for much of her 11-year term at the district, the report said.

Science tool used to make crosses
A former superintendent, Jeff Maley, said he tried to find another position for Freshwater but couldn't because he was certified only in science, the report said.

Freshwater used a science tool known as a high-frequency generator to burn images of a cross on students' arms in December, the report said. Freshwater told investigators he simply was trying to demonstrate the device on several students and described the images as an "X," not a cross. But pictures show a cross, the report said.

Other findings show that Freshwater taught that carbon dating was unreliable to argue against evolution.

So what I want to know is...why isn't a bigger deal being made about the fact that he burned these kids? They're scarred. They were probably in pain. How did he convince anyone to participate in this? Why would a teacher knowingly burn their students???? Oh, and after all that, the superintendent tried to find him another job???? (On rereading, the finding another job looks like it was before the branding incident)

Okay, then comes the religion aspect of this nonsense. He burned what is clearly a cross on these kids. and then all the other religious details. Okay...keeping a copy of the bible in the classroom...that's a fine line there, but if the teacher was just reading it on a lunch break or something...not such a big deal. But I don't think that's what he was doing. Public schools, science class. Hello! McFly!
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Yes, classical artwork. It's horrifically indecent. Sends dirty messages to impressionable little children. Boobs are bad and should be done away with.

Oh yeah, and if you ever serve as president, your spouse's ability to later serve as president should fall within the confines of your term limits, not be counted separately.

Washington is a town filled with boobs.

They're everywhere, from the bare-breasted ladies who decorate the fountain at Dupont Circle to the peekaboo statue in the Justice Department's Great Hall to the countless nudes in our museums. But while those of us who live here hardly blink at the public nudity, it can shock some of our visitors. Such was the case for Robert Hurt, who last week tried to add the issue of artistic indecency in the nation's capital to the platform of the Texas GOP.

"You don't have nude art on your front porch," the Dallas Morning News quoted the delegate as telling the platform committee at the state party convention. "So why is it important to have that in the common places of Washington, D.C.?"

Hurt, 54, a Kerrville, Tex., rancher and father of 14, told us in a phone interview he first came to Washington a decade ago for a gathering of the evangelical Promise Keepers on the Mall. "It was probably not much different than 'The Beverly Hillbillies' going to Beverly Hills," he joked. At the National Gallery, he was appalled to see statues of unclothed people. "I found it very inappropriate," he said. Returning a few years later, he discovered Arlington Memorial Bridge, flanked by the bare-chested figures of Valor and Sacrifice.

"The Lady Godiva thing -- that's what it conjured up, and that's not what our country's about," he said.

Hurt notified his elected officials of his concerns but believes nothing was done. While he said he respects free speech, "I believe art affects a country indirectly. I have been studying the decline of morals in this country. It's sending the wrong message to children that nudity is fine, that nakedness is fine. . . . There are degrees of vulgarity, and it opens up the door for the other stuff."

The platform committee did not adopt Hurt's recommendation on Washington nudity (nor his proposal to extend the 22nd Amendment -- presidential term limits -- to spouses). But Hurt said he'll pursue the issue, possibly with another trip here to videotape the evidence. "I'm not going to stop until I succeed. I'm prepared for a long fight."

Hmmm....looks like he's anti-birth control too.

*sigh* Well, it's good to know that he's gotten nowhere with this so far. Let's hope it stays that way. The very existence of stuff like this makes my brain trickle out my ears.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a former Democratic presidential contender, said Monday he wants the House to consider a resolution to impeach President Bush.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi consistently has said impeachment was "off the table."

Kucinich, D-Ohio, read his proposed impeachment language in a floor speech. He contended Bush deceived the nation and violated his oath of office in leading the country into the Iraq war.

Kucinich introduced a resolution last year to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. That resolution was killed, but only after Republicans initially voted in favor of taking up the measure to force a debate.

Kucinich won 50 percent of the vote in a five-way House Democratic primary in March, beating back critics who said he ignored business at home to travel the country in his quest to be president.
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This is beyond enraging. A rape victim not allowed to say that they were raped???

Judge’s ban on the use of the word ‘rape’ at trial reflects trend

It’s the only way Tory Bowen knows to honestly describe what happened to her.

She was raped.

But a judge prohibited her from uttering the word “rape” in front of a jury. The term “sexual assault” also was taboo, and Bowen could not refer to herself as a victim or use the word “assailant” to describe the man who allegedly raped her.

The defendant’s presumption of innocence and right to a fair trial trumps Bowen’s right of free speech, said the Lincoln, Neb., judge who issued the order.

“It shouldn’t be up to a judge to tell me whether or not I was raped,” Bowen said. “I should be able to tell the jury in my own words what happened to me.”

Bowen’s case is part of what some prosecutors and victim advocates see as a national trend in sexual assault cases.

“It’s a topic that’s coming up more and more,” said Joshua Marquis, an Oregon prosecutor and a vice president of the National District Attorneys Association. “You’re moving away from what a criminal trial is really about.”

In Jackson County, Senior Judge Gene Martin recently issued a similar order for the trial of a Kansas City man charged with raping a teenager in 2000. Despite the semantic restrictions, the Jackson County jury last week found Ray Slaughter guilty of forcible rape and two counts of forcible sodomy.

Slaughter’s attorney, who requested the pretrial order, declined to comment because she is preparing a motion for new trial. The judge also declined to comment.

Bowen’s case gained national notoriety and drew the attention of free-speech proponents after she filed a lawsuit challenging the judge’s actions as a First Amendment violation. A federal appeals court dismissed the suit, but Bowen’s attorney plans to petition the U.S. Supreme Court.

Although he dismissed her suit, a federal judge said he doubted a jury would be swayed by a woman using the word “rape” instead of some “tortured equivalent.”

“For the life of me, I do not understand why a judge would tell an alleged rape victim that she cannot say she was raped when she testifies in a trial about rape,” wrote U.S. District Judge Richard G. Kopf.

Wendy J. Murphy, an adjunct professor at the New England School of Law in Boston, is representing Bowen. She said the practice is “absolutely” unconstitutional.

“There’s no law anywhere that allows courts to issue these kinds of orders against private citizens,” Murphy said. “That doesn’t mean judges aren’t doing it.”

Prosecutors may object, but rarely do they have the time and resources to stop a trial midstream to appeal, she said.

But in cases where the defendant’s version of events is pitted against that of the alleged victim, “words are really important,” Marquis said.

“To force a victim to say, ‘when the defendant and I had sexual intercourse’ is just absurd,” he said.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar said juries are smart enough to understand that in the adversarial system of justice, the state is going to take one position and the defense is going to take another.

“These are common terms that are used both in and outside the courtroom,” he said. “If someone says something that one side feels is prejudicial, it can be addressed in cross-examination.”

The issue is a discretionary call with judges, said Jackson County Circuit Judge Brian C. Wimes, who did not preside over Slaughter’s trial. Wimes said he typically would not grant a pretrial order limiting certain words, but he would verbally tell the attorneys to avoid using words in a prejudicial or inflammatory way.
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Abstinence Pants

Hey kids, how would you like to have "True Love Waits" plastered across your ass just like some women plater "juicy" across their ass????

Now you can with K-Mart's abstinence pants!

Whether she is lounging around the house, going to practice, or doing her chores. These soft athletic style crop pants will keep her comfy. Perfect for wearing with her favorite sweatshirt or tee. These athletic pants boldly proclaim just where she stands by pointing out that "True Love Waits" in a large screen print on the front and back of these pants.

* Drawstring waist
* Bold abstinence screen print
* Elastic cuffs. Cotton/Polyester blend
* Machine washable
* Imported

(Bonus! Can you spot the grammatical errors?)

From :

"A spokeswoman for Sears Holdings Corp., which owns Kmart, told The Buzz the pants have absolutely nothing to do with taking any kind of position, either way, on abstinence. 'It was not associated with any group or any cause,' said Amy Dimond. 'It was just a graphic put on the pants.'

"Piper & Blue, Kmart's private label brand, designed the sweatpants as part of its summer collection that hit stores in late April.

"Although the pants were not designed to make a statement, Dimond admitted that 'there may be some (customers) who made the (abstinence association), but it was not the intention.'

Oh yeah, it's not about taking a position regarding abstinence, it was just some graphic they had lying around....For the record...cutting because this isn't really what the post is about, but it will likely come up. )

Kinda ironic that they're putting an abstinence message on the ass and right by the crotch of these pants, eh? Perhaps it is meant to divert prurient eyes away...but it seems to me that having any kind of writing there only attracts more attention?

Oh yeah...and of course they didn't create any similar garment for guys.

So just so you know... I think it looks trashy to have writing on one's ass at all. (All-over prints notwithstanding. Because it would look really stupid to have printed material...and then a big blank spot where one's ass goes.)

Somewhere in this world exists a woman with a twisted sense of humor who would go and buy a pair of those pants, just so she could have prematial sex with those pants down around her ankles. (Actually, I would be tempted to do it myself, were it not for the fact that I don't think they come in adult sizes. So it would need to be a rather small woman.)
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The only way to truly believe in the equality of all people is to believe in God.

An atheist doesn't follow the command of some book, therefore cannot have any basis for believing in human equality. Because it's just not possible to have such a belief without being commanded by some supposedly omnipotent supernatural dude in the sky.

Emphasis and whitespacing mine.

This post is not quite coming out of the blue.

Some of Gil Smart’s columns have nearly prompted me to write this and now a response on TalkBack to one of my recent posts here has pushed me to do it.

I would not vote for a candidate for governor or president, and probably not Congress or the state Legislature either, who does not believe in God.

Would I press a candidate for the state House or state Senate on the point? Probably not but an espoused atheist or agnostic would probably have no hope of getting my vote.

Is this because I want a theocracy? No.

Is this because I believe non-believers can’t be moral, ethical people? No. (From all that I have heard about him and what I have witnessed in my limited dealings with him, I believe Gil Smart, for instance, is a wholly decent fellow — moral, ethical and all the rest.)

The reason I want a God-believing candidate for executive office goes back to the belief at the core of this nation’s founding: “That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights …”

I would submit that this belief is key to the humility I’d like to see in elected officials, particularly presidents and governors, because they wield much of the life-and-death power of the state.

And I would suggest that a belief in God is the only way to believe in equality of human beings.

Let’s face it: Some people are smarter, better-looking and more physically capable than others. We can even objectively measure some of these things with IQ tests, physical fitness tests and games played by the rules.

The only logic that makes human equality work is a God-based logic that goes something like this: We are all created in God’s image and the differences in ability, beauty and intelligence between us are stunningly insignificant when compared to the gap between all of humanity and God.

And, so if God tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves (in effect, to acknowledge them equal rights), then we have no business doing otherwise.

I do not see on what basis an atheist believes in human equality and the granting of equal rights that flows from that.

Now, has every president who believed in God acted in a way that made his belief in God evident at all times? No, but at least a belief in God offers a chance for the humility I want in every president when making important decisions for our nation.

Ronald Reagan, who I believe exhibited humility, said it best:

We need religion as a guide. We need it because we are imperfect, and our government needs the church, because only those humble enough to admit they’re sinners can bring to democracy the tolerance it requires in order to survive.


(For anyone who may wonder, Gil Smart is a columnist for the Lancaster newspapers, whose website on which this blog post appears. Gil isn't so popular with the more conservative set. Don't actually know if he's atheist as insinuated in this post though I could swear I've seen writings of his before that mentioned going to church and/or believing in God. Not sure anymore though, and I don't really care if he's atheist or not.)
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The Betrayal of Judas

Did a 'dream team' of biblical scholars mislead millions?

Interesting article about the translation of the Gospel of Judas released in 2006. It's fairly long, just so you know, but probably worth reading for anyone with an interest in the subject. It discusses how one scholar believes that there are massive translation errors after working on a translation of her own, as well as some of the more questionable actions taken by the National Geographic Society in getting the manuscript translated.
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*looks at her leatherman, looks at the screen, looks at her leatherman, looks at the screen...*,2933,312483,00.html

ORANGEBURG, N.Y. — You wouldn't want to use it to carve a Thanksgiving turkey, but if you need to push a cuticle, measure a tire tread, clean a golf club or adjust a bicycle spoke, this is the knife for you.

No registration needed to read.

Hey [ profile] chironcentaur have you ever seen so many implements of pain and torture in a single neat little, slightly-more-than-pocket-sized package?

The former Girl Scout in me says "Wow...shiny. I could take that to camp!"

The realist in me puts in one of her rare appearances and says "Um...who needs that? and how in the HELL would you hold it to use it- it would require both hands! I'll take my leatherman, which ONLY has four screwdrivers (one phillips, three flathead), a knife, scissors, can/bottle opener, needlenose pliers and two types of wire cutters. And I can use it with one hand."

Thanks be to [ profile] saratoga80 for posting this first.
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This Paris Hilton thing makes my brain bleed.

OMG! You get caught drunk driving, you get punished. It's not rocket science. Take some responsifuckingbility for yourself. I don't care who you are or how much money you have. why is it so hard to understand that drunk driving is illegal? And it's not one of those things that are stupidly illegal, it's illegal for a reason. Because it kills people.

How simply this all could have been avoided- you get blitzed, you don't get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you don't get stopped for drunk driving, judge never orders you to jail, the rest of the world doesn't have to be constantly subjected to every little update of your pathetic little self-centered, think-you're-better-than-everyone-else-and-the-law-doesn't-apply-to-you drama.

Serve the time and get over it. Take a fucking cue from Martha Stewart. (I can't believe I'm saying that. I can't stand Martha. But she did the time she was sentenced for. If there were any appeals against it, I never heard about it. Minimal drama. I do have to have a degree of respect for that. We heard when she went in, we heard when she got out, game over.
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A family was murdered in their home on Saturday up in Lancaster. They only lived a few blocks from my grandmother. No one knows who did it. No one even has a clue who might have done it. They were stabbed, no murder weapon was recovered so far.

There's a lot of speculation and rumor going around.
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Aide to the Rev. Jerry Falwell Says He Has Died,2933,272478,00.html

I haven't found any news stories yet saying that he died, only that he was in grave condition, unconscious or unresponsive. this is a bio that was updated or something like 10 mintues ago.
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Settlement In Americans United Lawsuit Comes After Discovery Of A Pattern Of Bias Against Minority Faith

The Bush administration has conceded that Wiccans are entitled to have the pentacle, the symbol of their faith, inscribed on government-issued memorial markers for deceased veterans, Americans United for Separation of Church and State announced today.

The settlement agreement, filed today with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, brings to a successful conclusion a lawsuit Americans United brought against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in November.

The litigation charged that denying a pentacle to deceased Wiccan service personnel, while granting religious symbols to those of other traditions, violated the U.S. Constitution.

(The article is a good bit longer than that.)
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The dream came again last night. And like clockwork, I entered the temple. And, like clockwork, I woke up as soon as I set foot inside. Stupid recurring dream. Dammit, I wish I could just stay asleep for the rest of it, just once. I've tried a meditation going through the dream as it happens, but I can never hold it long enough to even get to the temple in meditation. WTF?

But in the news...

New species of leopard discovered in Borneo!

the Clouded Leopard:
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Wal-Mart Rattlesnake Victim Issues Warning

(apparently this is an ongoing issue?)

China treats Internet ‘addicts’ sternly

(Electroshock therapy? Parents are forcing their kids into this. There's one person in "treatment" for using the internet 4-5 hours a week.)

Police blow up foul-mouthed CDs that blared in church

(They detonated freakin' cd players, people. A bomb squad. CD players.)
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First off...i posted this without reading completely clearly, but have sience edited my own comments appropriately. There's an article posted in the comments to this....this is not really as disturbing as I initially thought.
Second...I'm reasonably sure I have my HTML fixed., I don't but I give up. Every time I try to fix somehting, something else winds up all messed up. (That's what I getfor playing around in rich text instead of using HTML I guess.)

Is anyone able to get the full text of this article? Only the top graphics on the page will load for me, I think because of the pop-up blocker here in the office.

I see this much of it in an RSS feed:


Proponents of same-sex marriage have introduced an initiative that would put a whole new twist on traditional unions between men and women: It would require heterosexual couples to have kids within three years or else have their marriages annulled.

Initiative 957 was filed by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance, which was formed last summer after the state Supreme Court upheld Washington's ban on same-sex marriage. In that 5-4 ruling, the court found that state lawmakers were justified in passing the 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, which restricts marriage to unions between a man and woman.

Under I-957, marriage would be limited to men and women who are able to have children. Couples would be required to prove they can have children to get a marriage license, and if they did not have children within three years, their marriages would be subject to annulment.

All other marriages would be defined as "unrecognized" and people in them would be ineligible to receive any marriage benefits.

I think it's ludicrous to believe that anyhitng like this would be passed.'s scary that anyone should even be proposing it.  <lj user="blackpaladin"> has pointed out my oversight of the "Proponents of same-sex marriage" bit and <lj user="zahirablue"> posted a link to another version of the article on the same website that makes more sense...not quite so disturbing now.

Here's the text of the initiative: I cut it in case you don't want to visit the website. It's pretty long. )
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TOM Cruise is the new “Christ” of Scientology, according to leaders of the cult-like religion.

The Mission: Impossible star has been told he has been “chosen” to spread the word of his faith throughout the world.

And leader David Miscavige believes that in future, Cruise, 44, will be worshipped like Jesus for his work to raise awareness of the religion.

A source close to the actor, who has risen to one of the church’s top levels, said: “Tom has been told he is Scientology’s Christ-like figure.

“Like Christ, he’s been criticised for his views. But future generations will realise he was right.”

Cruise joined the Church of Scientology in the ’80s. Leader L Ron Hubbard claimed humans bear traces of an ancient alien civilisation.

This article prompted someone on another forum to come up with a new song (Or at least twist the first lines of one preexisting)...

"Tom Cruise loves me, this I know.
L Ron Hubbard told me so..."


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July 2013



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