Monday, January 31, 2011

French Court Says "Non" to Gay Marriage

France hasn't been as progressive as neighbors on same-sex unions, despite public ambivalence.

Walgreens' 50-Cent Beer

The drugstore chain has begun selling its own brew at rock-bottom prices. Reviewers are claiming it gave them headaches, but will the beer-swilling masses respond?

Study: Arctic Waters are Warmest in 2,000 Years

Waters of the Fram Strait, which runs between Greenland and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, have warmed about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 100 years, according to the study published in the Jan. 28 issue of the journal Science. Temperatures are about 2.5 degrees higher than during the Medieval Warm Period, a time of elevated warmth from A.D. 900 to 1300.

The WikiLeaks Revolt

The Tunisian protests began among largely college-educated students who had heard about the details of ostentatious high living revealed in disapproving cables from U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec; he had written that “corruption in the inner circle is growing” and that Ben Ali “and his regime have lost touch with the Tunisian people.”

According to on-the-ground accounts from the Associated Press and other new organizations, many Tunisians felt vindicated by the details revealed in the leaked cables, which social networks helped to spread. Other U.S. diplomatic cables have exposed double-dealing by Yemen's leader, who now faces his own revolt.

The irony for U.S. officials is that while President Bush devoted vast amounts of the country's blood and treasure to establishing democracy in the Arab world — and devoted many speeches to it, including his second inaugural address — he achieved very little progress toward that goal during his eight years in office. Indeed, the places where Bush openly supported democracy, such as Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories, have grown only more troubled, their politics ever more intractable.

Renewing the Patriot Act While America Sleeps

Russ Feingold, a staunch defender of the rule of law and the only senator to vote against the ominous USA Patriot Act, recently lost his bid for reelection to the U.S. Senate to a Tea Party-backed Republican. From the start, Feingold warned that the massive 342-page piece of legislation would open the door to graver dangers than terrorism -- namely, America becoming a police state.

Leland Yee Receives Racist Death Threat from Rush Limbaugh Fan

A Rush Limbaugh fan faxed death threats to state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, on Wednesday morning, according to his spokesman.

The threats came more than a week after Yee asked Limbaugh for an apology for “mocking the Chinese language” and the country’s president on his popular conservative radio program, Yee spokesman Adam Keigwin said.

5 Al-Jazeera Journalists Arrested In Egypt

Between this and reports of the redeployment of police officers, this should raise worries of a hard crackdown by the Mubarak regime.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Will the iPhone Replace Credit Cards?

After transforming the way we listen to music and use our cellphones, Apple is rumored to have a new revolution planned: Changing the way we pay for everyday goods and services

Never Forget

The 2007 Boston bomb scare occurred on January 31, 2007 when police officers mistakenly identified small electronic devices found throughout Boston, Massachusetts and the surrounding cities of Cambridge and Somerville as improvised explosive devices. The devices turned out to be battery-powered LED placards with an image of a cartoon character called a Mooninite. The placards were part of a guerrilla marketing campaign for Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, a film based on the animated television series, Aqua Teen Hunger Force on Cartoon Network's late-night programming block, Adult Swim.

GOP Senator Favors Cutting US Aid to Israel

Tea party-backed Republican Sen. Rand Paul favors cutting U.S. aid to Israel as part of a deficit-driven effort to slash government spending by $500 billion this year, drawing criticism from Democrats and Republicans who argue the U.S. must be unwavering in its support for the longtime Mideast ally.

Al Jazeera in Cairo Being Shut Down

Egyptian state TV reported Sunday morning that the Al Jazeera office in Cairo is being shut down and Al Jazeera reporters are losing their press credentials in Egypt.

South Sudan Votes 99 Percent to Separate from North

South Sudan almost unanimously voted to declare independence from the north in a referendum, officials said on Sunday, sparking mass celebrations in the southern capital Juba.

Government Blocking of Twitter

Can governments really block Twitter, Facebook and other data?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fox Tries To Debunk Global Warming, Fails Miserably

In an article titled, "Five Reasons the Planet May Not Be Its Hottest Ever," sought to debunk the fact that Earth has warmed over the past 30 years, as well as the notion that human activity has contributed to the warming. But Fox largely ignored climate science and botched basic facts in the article, portions of which "are utter nonsense" and "do not make sense" according to climatologists.

Lieberman Still Promoting Internet 'Kill Switch'

Keep in mind that Mubarak flipped the "kill switch" in Egypt to shut down dissent. Politicians will abuse the power that they have and not just in countries like Egypt. We all remember the Bush years, right? Lieberman's plan won't even allow the courts to get involved in case of abuse. What is the problem with people like Lieberman who hate freedom?

WikiLeaks Exposes US Complicity in Murder, Torture, by Egyptian Government

On Friday, WikiLeaks released dozens of diplomatic cables that together reveal the US has long been aware of the criminality of the Mubarak regime in Egypt and its savage abuses, including torture, random arrest, and extra-judicial killings. The documents also reveal that plans for the military-supervised transfer of power from Hosni Mubarak to his son, Gamal, were presented to Washington.

Furor at Washington U. Nixes Bristol Palin Appearance

Anger over a decision to pay Bristol Palin several thousand dollars in student fees to talk to Washington University students about abstinence led to a decision Thursday night to nix Palin's appearance on a panel here next month.

Friday, January 28, 2011

If Egypt Falls, Syria Must Follow

The Egyptian president has dismissed his government, saying that he will replace it with a new one on Saturday.

"I have asked the government to resign and tomorrow there will be a new government," Hosni Mubarak said in an address to the nation late on Friday after four days of deadly protests.

The president said that change can not be achieved through chaos but through dialogue.

Saying he understood that the people of Egypt wanted him to address poverty, employment and democratic reform, he promised to press ahead with social, economic and political reforms.

Mubarak Dismisses Government

The Egyptian president has dismissed his government, saying that he will replace it with a new one on Saturday.

"I have asked the government to resign and tomorrow there will be a new government," Hosni Mubarak said in an address to the nation late on Friday after four days of deadly protests.

The president said that change can not be achieved through chaos but through dialogue.

Saying he understood that the people of Egypt wanted him to address poverty, employment and democratic reform, he promised to press ahead with social, economic and political reforms.

Thousands Protest in Jordan

Protesters gather across the country, demanding the prime minister step down.

Alaska Must Release Palin e-mails by May 31, State AG Declares

The state of Alaska has until May 31 to release about 25,000 pages of e-mails from former Gov. Sarah Palin and senior members of her administration, the state attorney general declared Wednesday.

Glenn Beck's Ratings Have Dropped by 50% in One Year

Glenn Beck managed to lose roughly a million of his Fox News viewers in 2010, and his slide has continued into 2011. Beck’s viewership numbers have gotten so bad that he has been only able to top 2 million viewers three times in the month of January. Beck has seen his ratings decrease by half, and there seems to be no end in sight for the viewer exodus from his program.

Egypt Leaves the Internet

In an action unprecedented in Internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the Internet. Critical European-Asian fiber-optic routes through Egypt appear to be unaffected for now. But every Egyptian provider, every business, bank, Internet cafe, website, school, embassy, and government office that relied on the big four Egyptian ISPs for their Internet connectivity is now cut off from the rest of the world. Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr, and all their customers and partners are, for the moment, off the air.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Anti-Government Rallies Hit Yemen

Tens of thousands of people, inspired by events in Tunisia, protest in Sanaa to demand President Saleh's resignation.

Google Starts Censoring BitTorrent, RapidShare and More

It’s taken a while, but Google has finally caved in to pressure from the entertainment industries including the MPAA and RIAA. The search engine now actively censors terms including BitTorrent, torrent, utorrent, RapidShare and Megaupload from its instant and autocomplete services. The reactions from affected companies and services are not mild, with BitTorrent Inc., RapidShare and Vodo all speaking out against this act of commercial censorship.

Bush White House Broke Elections Law, Report Says

The Bush White House, particularly before the 2006 midterm elections, routinely violated a federal law that prohibits use of federal tax dollars to pay for political activities by creating a “political boiler room” that coordinated Republican campaign activities nationwide, a report issued Monday by an independent federal agency concludes.

Color-Coded Terror Warnings Get The Red Light

The nation's color-coded terror warning system will be phased out beginning this week, according to government officials familiar with the plan. The officials requested anonymity to speak ahead of an announcement scheduled Thursday by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The Homeland Security Department and other government agencies have been reviewing the Homeland Security Advisory System's usefulness for more than a year. One of the most notable changes to come: The public will no longer hear automated recordings at U.S. airports stating that the threat level is orange.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich Sues Cafeteria Over Olive Pit in Sandwich

Rep. Dennis Kucinich has rapped a U.S. House of Representatives cafeteria with a $150,000 lawsuit for selling him a vegetarian sandwich wrap in 2008 that he says caused dental damage when he bit into an olive pit.

Study: Abortions Don't Cause Mental Health Issues

People have been arguing for decades over whether abortion endangers a woman's mental health. Now, a new study could settle the debate.  Choosing to have an abortion is not an easy decision, and scientists have put a lot of effort into trying to find out whether women are harmed by that choice. This new study, in the New England Journal of Medicine, says they are not.

Fox & Friends Segment Replaces SOTU Audience Laughter and Applause with Cricket Sound Effects

Bloody and Bruised: The Journalist Caught in Egypt Unrest

The Guardian's man in Cairo tells of his beating and arrest at the hands of the security forces.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Egypt President's Son, Family Flee to Britain

Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's son, who is considered as his successor, has fled to Britain along with his family, a US-based Arabic website reported.

CNN Made Fools of Themselves by Airing Bachmann's Response to the State of the Union

CNN has stooped to an all time low by airing Michele Bachmann's State of the Union response. First of all, she was not elected on the Tea Party ticket because there IS NO Tea Party, it's illegitimate ... it's not a REAL political party. Secondly, even if it were, she has not declared herself as a Teapartier, there is no (T) after her name, I can't find it anywhere. There is an (R) after her name. She has declared herself as a Republican and the Republicans had already chosen Rep. Paul Ryan to give their response.

What the Hell Happened to Keith Olbermann?

Now, with Olbermann’s permanent departure on Friday, the remainder of MSNBC’s liberal evening line-up, which also includes Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell (who will fill Olbermann’s 8 p.m. slot), must face the reality that any sustained friction with management could mean the bum’s rush for them, too.

It's Easier to Get a Gun Than Mental Health Care

There will be more shooting rampages, like that which targeted Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson last weekend -- as long as it is easier to get a gun than mental health care. Our current epidemic of mass shootings is but a symptom of our nation's broken health care system. Poor access to medical care jeopardizes an individual's health. But when the mentally ill or the seriously distressed can't access care, we are all at risk.

The Net Worth of the U.S. Presidents: From Washington to Obama

If you were curious about how much President Obama makes, or what Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy, or Reagan made, or for that matter what sort of annual salary U.S. presidents have been paid over time, it's all a matter of accessible public record. If you want to understand what our 44 presidents have really been worth, however, the answer is at once less straightforward and, historically, a lot more telling.

Glenn Beck Conspiracy Theory Generator

Fair and Balanced Paranoia, Delivered on Demand

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bachmann: Founding Fathers ‘Worked Tirelessly’ to End Slavery

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said the United States was founded on racial and ethnic diversity and that the founding fathers were responsible for abolishing slavery.

Tunisia-Like Riots Are Breaking Out In Egypt

Anti corruption protests in Egypt have turned violent, reminding everyone of Tunisia.  More than 90,000 Egyptians agreed on Facebook to turn out for a "day of revolution" to mark Police Day, a national holiday. Hundreds of thousands turned out for the protests around the country.

13.7 Million Birds Are Dying Every Day in the U.S.

In the last few weeks, a lot has been made of the mysterious mass-animal deaths that have struck in the United States and throughout the world -- and for good reason. The ominous events become the centerpiece of a discussion about what harmful human activity could be behind nature's apparent poor health: ranging from government testing and fireworks, to the usually cold weather and coincidence. But for as puzzling and disconcerting as those widely reported animal deaths are -- the truth is that they're hardly a drop in the bucket compared with what happens every day.

Woolly Mammoth May Be Resurrected by Scientists

It has been 10,000 years since prehistoric elephants roamed the earth. Now an audacious band of scientists hopes to recreate a living, breathing woolly mammoth.

25 Tons of Bombs Wipe Afghan Town Off Map

But it’s the latest indication that Gen. David Petraeus, the counterinsurgency icon, is prosecuting a frustrating war with surprising levels of violence. Some observers already fear a backlash brewing in the area.

Fox News gave GOP Presidential Candidates $55 Million in Free Advertising

Not only did five potential Republican candidates get regular paychecks from the network last year, but they also got something even more valuable: airtime.

Only 47% of Working Age Americans have Full Time Jobs

If you count the "part time employed for non-economic reasons", you get 126.8 million Americans who are unemployed, underemployed, working part time or "Not in the labor force".

That represents 53% of working age Americans.  So only 47% of working age Americans have full time jobs. While the official unemployment rate is 9.4%. Something's missing somewhere.

David Henry Sterry: Mexican Drug Lord Officially Thanks American Lawmakers for Keeping Drugs Illegal

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera reported head of the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico, ranked 701st on Forbes' yearly report of the wealthiest men alive, and worth an estimated $1 billion, today officially thanked United States politicians for making sure that drugs remain illegal.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Almost Everything You Hear About Medicine Is Wrong

The very framework of medical investigation may be off-kilter, leading time and again to findings that are at best unproved and at worst dangerously wrong.

Rush Limbaugh: Liberals Should Have Their Speech Controlled & Not Be Allowed To Buy Guns

While most of the country acquiesced to a call for civility on both sides, Mr. Limbaugh upped his hate speech and violent rhetoric, crossing that line proverbial line once more.

Obama Plans to Shrink War Spending Over 25% Next Year

A plan to reduce the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan means that the Pentagon's war budget can be cut by $42 billion in fiscal year 2012.

Al Jazeera Launches Wikileaks Spinoff

The world’s leading Arabic news network Al Jazeera has launched a Wikileaks-like whistleblower platform for the world with a focus on the Middle East.

Fitness Guru Jack LaLanne Dies at 96

He exercised and ate healthy every day of his life, agent says.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

'Bed Intruder' Reality Show In Development - Live Feed

Antoine Dodson is chronicling his move from Alabama to West Hollywood with Entertainment One.

Vermont Is Gearing Up to Strike a Major Blow to Corporate Personhood

On the anniversary of the Citizens United decision, Vermont politicians are moving to deny corporations the rights that humans enjoy.

Glenn Beck Fans Send Death Threats to Elderly College Professor

Glenn Beck has made repeated mention lately of Frances Fox Piven, a 78-year-old liberal academic and CUNY professor. In Beck's view, Piven's a veritable enemy of the Constitution who's responsible for a plan to intentionally "sabotage" the American economic system.

Republican Spending Plan Signals a New Culture War

The morning after the House voted to repeal the health-care law, Speaker John Boehner walked into a TV studio in the Capitol complex to announce his next act: "a ban on taxpayer funding of abortions across all federal programs."  It "reflects the will of the people," Boehner proclaimed. "It's one of our highest legislative priorities."  "First repeal health care, now this.... What about jobs?" the first questioner asked after Boehner finished his abortion rollout. "I thought that jobs was the highest priority."

Civil Unions Will be Signed into Law in Illinois on Jan. 31

Gov. Pat Quinn will make same-sex civil unions official in Illinois during a public signing ceremony in Chicago’s Loop on Jan. 31, according to openly gay state Rep. Greg Harris.

Harris was lead sponsor of the bill legalizing civil unions, which passed the state’s legislature late last year. The new law affords gay and lesbian couples official recognition from the state and many of the rights that accompany marriage, such as the power to decide medical treatment for an ailing partner.

Illinois law will continue to limit marriage to one man and woman, and the federal government won’t recognize the civil unions at all.

The Shawna Forde Trial: Will the Mainstream Media Bother to Notice?

The little girl's name was Brisenia Flores. She lived near the border with her parents and sister outside the town of Arivaca, Arizona. On May 30 of 2009, a woman named Shawna Forde, who led an offshoot unit of Minutemen who ran armed border patrols for patriotic "fun". Forde's gang had decided to go "operational," which meant they concocted a scheme to raid drug smugglers and take their money and drugs and use it to finance a border race war and "start a revolution against the government". They targeted the Flores home, which had neither money nor drugs, based on dubious information. They convinced Flores to let them in by claiming to be law-enforcement officers seeking fugitives, then shot him point-blank in the head when he questioned them and wounded his wife, Gina Gonzalez. And then, while she pleaded for her life, they shot Brisenia in cold blood in the head.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2 Justices Spoke at Dinners Hosted by Koch Industries

Two Supreme Court justices have clarified their past relationship with Koch Industries, the energy company that has been criticized by liberal groups for secretive and excessive sway on public policymakers and events.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas acknowledged Thursday that they each spoke at a private dinner in recent years that was hosted by Charles Koch, a Kansas oil man who is one of Koch Industries' two principal owners, and his wife.

Idaho Lawmaker Introduces Medical Marijuana Bill

A northern Idaho lawmaker has once again introduced a bill which would legalize medical marijuana in the state.

Keith Olbermann Announces that Friday's Countdown with Keith Olbermann Will be the Last.

Why America is Growing Tired of Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin's unfavorable rating among women has gone up 10 points. And 59 percent of those all-important independent voters don't like her -- and that's up a stunning 14 points in just a few months.

Friday, January 21, 2011

'God's Army': Louisiana Locals Train To Protect Their Churches With Guns

Some Louisiana residents have recently been attending firearms training sessions so they can carry concealed weapons into churches, in accordance with a law passed over last summer.

Asian-Americans Slam Limbaugh for ‘Childish’ Mockery of Chinese

Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio host heard by millions of Americans, came under fire from Asian Americans after he mocked the way visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao speaks.

Obama Plans $42 Billion Cut in Iraq, Afghanistan War Costs as Troops Leave

The Obama administration’s plan to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan will cut the Pentagon’s war budget by $42 billion -- a 26 percent decrease from this year’s level, according to government officials.

The proposed $117 billion for fiscal year 2012, which begins Oct. 1, would be the lowest expenditure for the wars since fiscal 2005.

Fox's Kelly Absurdly Claims Fox Personalities Do Not Invoke Nazis

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly responded to her guest's statement that Fox News figures regularly invoke Nazi imagery by claiming "I watch our programming every night and you're wrong." In fact, several Fox News, particularly Glenn Beck, have a long history of smearing President Obama, Democrats, and progressive figures by invoking Nazi and Holocaust imagery.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Threat From Within: Dominionists Taking Over America

In America, religion is not supposed to be a factor in lawmaking or governance. The Founding Fathers were cognizant that religious fanatics may attempt to subvert the secular nature of the Constitution in favor of a theocracy, so they crafted the 1st Amendment to maintain the separation of church and state. However, the religious right is not content to follow the tenets of the Constitution, and through movements like the moral majority have made every attempt to turn America into a theocracy by methods both covert and overt.

Alabama Governor Apologizes For Religious Remarks

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said he was sorry Wednesday for his inauguration day remarks about only Christians being his brothers and sisters, and said he would work over the next four years for people of all faiths and colors.

Bentley said he didn't mean to insult anyone with comments he made from the pulpit of a church once led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He said he was speaking as an evangelical Christian to fellow Baptists.

The GOP's 5 Most Absurd Lies About Healthcare Reform, Debunked

Now is the time to brush up on the facts about healthcare reform so we can keep the latest crop of Republican lies from taking hold.

PBS Most Tusted Name in News, Fox Most Distrusted

What seems to be going on is that while Fox continues to be trusted by conservatives, moderates and liberals have soured on the channel. Last year, 48% of moderates and 66% of liberals distrusted FNC. This year, 60% of moderates and 82% of liberals distrust the network, so Fox's declining trustworthiness rating reflects shifting attitudes among moderates and liberals.,-Fox-most-distrusted

Tea Party Unpopularity at an All-Time High

Fifty-two percent of the US public had an unfavorable view of "the political movement known as the Tea Party," the survey found, as opposed to only 35 percent who approved.

Glenn Beck And Sean Hannity Dropped From Philadelphia Radio Station

Yesterday, hate radio hosts Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity had their nationally syndicated radio shows dropped from WPHT in Philadelphia, which is the second radio station to drop both of the conservative commentators.

Colbert on Sarah Palin

Its been said a lot, but every now and again it bears repeating. Stephen Colbert is a genius. Yes, his consistent amplification of absurd news items to a level of hilarious observation is a consistent part of his routine, but the fake dimwittedness very often results in a much smarter meta-commentary than a straight report could ever provide.

Anti-Muslim Preacher Lashes Out at UK Ban

The preacher who prompted outrage across the world when he threatened to burn a Koran on the anniversary of September 11th has hit out at his ban from the UK.

Pastor Terry Jones was prevented from coming to the country by the Home Office, in the latest in a strong of controversial bans on right-wing American political figures which has led to accusations of censorship against the British government.$21386759.htm

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bubble Eye Goldfish

Best Sci-Fi Effects of All Time

Sometimes it's the little things that send the mind soaring. Take the pen that floats, weightless, before being plucked from the air by a space stewardess in 2001: A Space Odyssey: It's a simple scene, but it feels real and sends the imagination into hyperdrive.

Astronomers Release the Largest Color Image of the Sky Ever Made

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III (SDSS-III) is releasing the largest digital color image of the sky ever made, and it’s free to all. The image has been put together over the last decade from millions of 2.8-megapixel images, thus creating a color image of more than a trillion pixels. This terapixel image is so big and detailed that one would need 500,000 high-definition TVs to view it at its full resolution.

FBI: Bomb Found on MLK March Route

A backpack found along the route of the Martin Luther King Jr. march in Spokane contained a bomb "capable of inflicting multiple casualties,"  the FBI said Tuesday, describing the case as "domestic terrorism."

U.S. Officials Privately Admit They Overstated Damage Inflicted By WikiLeaks

Reuters is reporting that Internal U.S. government reviews confirm what many of us had cynically assumed: that the US government was intentionally embellishing the damage done to US interests abroad by WikiLeaks documents:

Defending 'Blood Libel': Palin Takes on her Critics... Again

In a Fox News interview last night, the Alaska conservative stood by her use of the controversial phrase. Will her detractors back down?


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Robert Bentley: Only Christians are my Brothers

Alabama's new Republican governor makes some controversial remarks about Jesus Christ -- on MLK Day

AP Dismantles Republican Claim that Health Reform will Cost Jobs

As House Republicans prepare to take up a bill repealing the sweeping health care overhaul, they face an awkward fact-check permeating the news wires that effectively dismantles their central argument against the reforms.

The Smoking Gun: Here Is Why Glenn Beck Should Be Fired NOW!

One of those to whom Beck was screaming was Byron Williams who was apprehended following a police shootout as he was on his way to San Francisco to kill people at the ACLU and the Tides Foundation. In a prison interview he said...

      "Beck is gonna deny everything about violent approach and deny everything about conspiracies, but he'll give you every reason to believe it. He's protecting himself, and you can't blame him for that. So, I understand what he's doing."!

Cat Ordered to Do Jury Duty

A cat has been summoned to do jury service, even after his owners told the court he was "unable to speak and understand English".

How Deep the Universe

The Universe is a big place.

I mean, really big. Big everything for anything. Literally, big enough for everything. Everything you see, everywhere you go, it’s all inside. And there’s room for all of it, with space to spare. I get used to it sometimes, and then, suddenly, I’m thrown into a state where I’m forced to remember just how much of the Universe there is.

American Newspapers Turn on Ricky Gervais

Are we at war with England? asks the Washington Post.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Trees Absorb More Pollution Than Previously Thought

 We all know that plants absorb CO2, give us O2, aka oxygen, and remove pollutants from the air -in effect scrubbing it up a bit. But a new study found that trees and other deciduous vegetation absorbed roughly a third more pollution than previously expected. The research, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), used direct observation, gene expression studies, and computer modeling to show that deciduous plants absorb about a third more of a common class of air polluting chemicals than was previously suspected.

Before Tucson, Fox Vitriol Inspired Six Domestic Terror Attacks in Two and a Half Years

Beck spends a lot of time intimating that one day the federal government’s jackbooted thugs will come for us all, at gunpoint. It’s actually the other way around: Beck’s own viewers are the gunmen who want to kill those with whom they disagree.

Top 10 Zoo Escapes

When Ken Allen died in 2000, the San Diego Union-Tribune ran an obituary: "Beloved ape, 29, was renowned escape artist." Yes, Ken Allen wasn't just any primate. The Bornean orangutan, born at the San Diego Zoo in 1971, became famous after a series of escapes in the 1980s. According to the zoo's website, "He never seemed to mind being led back into his enclosure — he just seemed to enjoy the challenge of finding a new way out!",28804,2041628_2041646,00.html?xid=newsletter-weekly

Ricky Gervais' Extremely Uncomfortable Golden Globes Monologue

Ricky Gervais, the host of the Golden Globes, opened the show with one of the most unrelentingly harsh and uncomfortable monologues in awards show history—there was even a Tom Cruise/John Travolta gay joke!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why Won't Anyone Sign Glenn Beck's Self-Serving Violence Pledge?

Glenn Beck's entire show yesterday was about how people are "afraid" to sign the harmless little "pledge against violence" he introduced earlier this week. I can't imagine why anyone would reject or ignore a weird document from an irresponsible Bircher clown, can you?

Tea Party Patriots Not Obama Are the Real Faces of Tyranny

The shooting rampage in Tucson last week has re-ignited the debate on gun control with the regular cast of characters on each side passionately making their arguments for either sensible gun control or wild west gunslinger mentality. There is though, another side to the gun-control issue that involves insurrection and outright revolution against the government of the United States and therein lies the danger.

On Sarah Palin's Death Threat Claims

By repeating the Sarah Palin death-threat meme sans evidence, these major news outlets mislead the public, continue to lower journalistic standards, divert the country from more pressing issues related to the attempted Giffords assassination (gun control, violent rhetoric and its consequences; mental illness) and reward the right-wing bloggers who have been trying nonstop to legitimate this meme, sans evidence, all week long—again, with zero corroborating evidence.

War's Overlooked Victims

Rape is horrifyingly widespread in conflicts all around the world.

Pot Growers Portrayed as Terrorists in US Counter-Terrorism Drill


It’s becoming increasingly evident that a terrorist is anyone who isn’t a state-supremacist. If you disagree with the Almighty and Blessed Federal State, you are a terrorist.

Palin's Breath


Sarah Palin breathing taken from her speech about the attacks in Arizona and on her.

Police, DEA Raid Wrong House, 13-Year-Old Girl Taken to Hospital

The use of war rhetoric in the fight against drugs has turned law enforcement into militaristic goons divorced from civil society and due process of law. And they are waging their battles against our own citizens, with no regard for the innocents caught in the crossfire.

Glenn Beck And Sean Hannity Dropped From Their Philadelphia Radio Station

The station is a CBS affiliate, and Philadelphia is the fourth largest radio market.

50 of Wikipedia’s most Interesting Articles

Cheating at the Paralympic Games

Cheating at the Paralympic Games has caused scandals that have significantly changed the way in which the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) manages the events. Testing for performance-enhancing drugs has become increasingly strict and more widespread throughout the Games, with powerlifting seeing the most positive results. Competitors without disabilities have also competed in some Paralympic Games, with the Spanish entry in the intellectually disabled basketball tournament at the 2000 Summer Paralympics being the most controversial.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Prime Minister Replaces Tunisia President

Tunisia's long-standing president has left the country amid violent protests and the prime minister has taken over control of the government.

Do We Have Ahmadinejad All Wrong?

Is it possible that Iran's blustering president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, long thought to be a leading force behind some of Iran's most hard-line and repressive policies, is actually a reformer whose attempts to liberalize, secularize, and even "Persianize" Iran have been repeatedly stymied by the country's more conservative factions? That is the surprising impression one gets reading the latest WikiLeaks revelations, which portray Ahmadinejad as open to making concessions on Iran's nuclear program and far more accommodating to Iranians' demands for greater freedoms than anyone would have thought. Two episodes in particular deserve special scrutiny not only for what they reveal about Ahmadinejad but for the light they shed on the question of who really calls the shots in Iran.

Sean Hannity Proposes Re-Invading Iraq and Kuwait to ‘Take All Their Oil’

Hannity also acts as if Iraq should be grateful for the invasion and turn over its natural resources. Of course, anywhere from 100,000 to one million Iraqi civilians died during the unwanted invasion, which destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure and cultural heritage.

Obama to Ease Travel Restrictions to Cuba

The Obama administration Friday said it will allow for more U.S. travel to Cuba, making it easier for schools, churches and cultural groups to visit the island.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Steele Withdraws from RNC Chair Race

Michael Steele has just dropped out of the race to retain his job at the helm of the RNC and endorsed Maria Cino to be the committee's next chair.

Reagan Son Claims Dad Had Alzheimer's as President

Reagan's youngest son Ron has a new book out about the Gipper.  2011 is a big year for Ronald Reagan fans, being the centennial of his February 6 birth in Tampico, Ill. But youngest son Ron Reagan is spoiling the good cheer with a new book that suggests the Gipper suffered from Alzheimer's disease while in the White House,

Congress Quietly Prepares to Renew Controversial Aspects of the Patriot Act

Despite campaign promises from President Obama to reform the USA Patriot Act (also known as Palpatine’s Emergency Powers), the controversial legislation continues to be renewed again and again. Sunset provision from the original bill, designed to quell the concerns of civil libertarians, have subsequently been ignored in recent renewals.

87% Of Congressional Reps Supporting Comcast/NBC Merger Got Money From Comcast

Now, this is not to say that those 84 are corrupt. But, as Larry Lessig has pointed out, whether or not there is actual corruption here obscures the point that it certainly looks corrupt, and certainly decreases citizens' willingness to trust that their government is acting in the interests of the people they're supposed to represent.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

India Military | India Air Force | Tejas

With a whopping $100 billion earmarked for defense purchases this decade, India has its sights set on simultaneously modernizing its moribund military and jumpstarting its own lame duck defense industry.

Are We Too Obsessed With Facebook? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Facebook profiles are like belly buttons: Everybody’s got one.  Perhaps that statement’s still a bit of an exaggeration, but by the numbers, we (that is, Internet (Internet) users around the globe) are becoming more obsessed with Facebook (Facebook) by the day.  One out of every 13 Earthlings and three out of four Americans is on Facebook, and one out of 26 signs into Facebook on a daily basis.

Separated at Birth?

Earth is Twice as Dusty as in 19th Century, Research Shows

If the house seems dustier than it used to be, it may not be a reflection on your housekeeping skills. The amount of dust in the Earth's atmosphere has doubled over the last century, according to a new study; and the dramatic increase is influencing climate and ecology around the world.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Republican School Board in N.C. Backed by Tea Party Abolishes Integration Policy

Over the past year, a new majority-Republican school board backed by national tea party conservatives has set the district on a strikingly different course. Pledging to "say no to the social engineers!" it has abolished the policy behind one of the nation's most celebrated integration efforts.

Lebanese Government Collapses

Government falls after Hezbollah and allies withdraw from coalition in row over UN probe into murder of Rafiq al-Hariri.

India to be 3rd largest economy by 2050

China and India will be the largest and third-largest economies in the world by 2050, signalling a return to the pre-industrial revolution world order, with the US at number two, conclude two influential reports from HSBC and PwC, respectively.

Facebook Begins Moving Everyone Over To New Profile Design

Last month we wrote an extensive overview of Facebook’s new profile design, which reshuffles some of the most popular features to make sure they’re front and center. At the time, Facebook wisely decided to make the feature opt-in, in much the same way that Twitter did when it launched ‘New Twitter’. Apparently the reception has been generally positive, because today Facebook has announced on a blog post that it’s going to begin rolling everyone over to the new profile.

Two-Headed Cow Born in Georgia

On January 2nd, a cow gave birth to a calf with two heads in the eastern European country Georgia.  Apparently, the calf's mother has refused to let it nurse, which is not an uncommon response when an animal senses its offspring has something seriously wrong with it.

Conservatives Desperately Try to Claim that Loughner is a Liberal

Following the assassination attempt of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and massacre of many others in Tuscon, conservatives on the internet and in the media have begun a campaign of disinformation about the identity of the gunman. Using fragmentary evidence ranging from one book in his reading list to his flag desecration to unfounded rumors about his heroes, they are deliberately trying to paint a false picture of Jared Lee Loughner as a liberal.

Earliest Known Winery Found in Armenian Cave

Barefoot winemakers likely worked in cave where oldest leather shoe was found.

Human Rights Campaign Rates New Congress Antigay

Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's leading gay-rights advocacy organization, has studied the records of the members of the 112th Congress and it finds that the House of Representatives has flipped from a pro- to anti-gay-rights majority. (HRC uses the acronym LGBT, which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender.)

Rush Limbaugh: Jared Loughner Has 'Full Support' Of Democratic Party

Rush Limbaugh reacted to the instantly infamous mugshot of Jared Lee Loughner, the suspected gunman in the Arizona shooting, by saying that Loughner is smiling in the picture because he knows he is backed by the Democratic Party.

Rappers Catch Heat for Inflammatory Words Why Can't Sarah Palin?

Is that the mindset of a violent person? Are they all smiles? Is that why Loughner was smiling?  Accused Tucson Massacre killer Jared Lee Loughner smirking  When I heard former governor Sarah Palin unapologetically use gun rhetoric in describing how she wanted to eliminate her political opponents, she seemed pretty gleeful even after receiving complaints. One of those opponents who voiced concern was shooting victim Gabrielle Gifford, but Palin paid her no mind. She never stopped smiling.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Face Book Satire Spins out of Control

by John Leander
BFP staff writer

There's been outrage today over a hideous comment that festered for hours on Sarah Palin's Facebook page. The comment was allowed to remain on the page while anything that might damage the conservative star's political standing was vigorously deleted.

Several watchdogs of the blog-o-sphere noticed and discussed the radically self-serving practice.

Here is the comment in its entirety, "It's ok. Christina Taylor Green [the nine year old girl killed in the Arizona shooting] was probably going to end up a left wing bleeding heart liberal anyway. Hey, as 'they' say, what would you do if you had the chance to kill Hitler as a kid? Exactly."

Here is how awful, heated, and hysterical the public discourse in this country has become. This opinion was meant to be satire and no one noticed. Granted, its not on the level of Swift's "A MOdest Proposal," but if you take just a moment to really read it, (and read the discussion leading up to it) its an obvious parody.

Unfortunately for Tina King, her post fit in all too seamlessly with the hateful bile being spewed onto Sarah Palin's Facebook page. It's very sad to know that King's satire was immediately believable as the opinion of one of Palin's followers.

"I want to apologize for what was apparently an ill fated attempt at satire," Ms. King said. "I posted a comment that was meant to been seen as a brutal commentary on the violent rhetoric that has become a staple of the political discourse is this country."

Unfortunately, the "political discourse in this country," among Palin supporters is irrevocably saturated with "violent rhetoric." So much so, that an insane statement of rage passed as just another mainstream opinion of a popular and influential organization.

Four Loko Turned into Ethanol

Truckloads of Four Loko and other alcohol-laced energy drinks are being recycled into ethanol and other products after federal authorities told manufacturers the beverages were dangerous and caused users to become "wide-awake drunk."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Five Myths about Why the South Seceded

Confederate states did claim the right to secede, but no state claimed to be seceding for that right. In fact, Confederates opposed states' rights -- that is, the right of Northern states not to support slavery.

Tom DeLay Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison

A judge has ordered U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to serve three years in prison for his role in a scheme to illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.

60% of Myspace Staff to be Laid Off Tomorrow

It’s looking increasingly likely that Myspace hasn’t shown the turnaround News Corp expected, and so they are going to help their troubled sibling along with massive staff cuts. Myspace is now expected to axe between 550 and 600 staff tomorrow, which is a full 60% of the company, and it’s rumored many of these employees will be international.

Top 10 Miniature Animals

Adorable Chinese bears aren't known to frequent the Rocky Mountains, but on Dec. 31, 2010, a Colorado farmer delivered the next best thing: a miniature panda calf. The rare bovine, named Ben, has black ovals around his eyes and a white belly. He's one of only a few dozen panda-colored minicows in the world, and owner Chris Jessen is hoping to sell him into some collector's menagerie for about $30,000.,28804,2040596_2040605,00.html?xid=newsletter-weekly

Inexplicable Edits on Sarah Palin's Facebook Page

In the wake of the terrible events in Arizona, with many commentators pointing out the obvious fact that Gabrielle Giffords had been targetted by Palin in the November election on a map that used a chilling gun site graphic, I thought it would be worth watching her page for a little while to see if her team were indeed deleting negative comments routinely. But I had no idea how incredibly, almost comically, efficient her people would turn out to be in deleting comments that were even slightly critical of the former Governor. And then I came across... well, what I guess you'd have to politely call an appalling example of editorial misjudgement at best.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fred Phelps Thanks God for the Shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

Phelps amazingly manages to consistently outdo himself.

Top 10 Signs Of Evolution In Modern Man

The appendix has no known use in modern humans and is often removed when it becomes infected. While its original use is still speculated on, most scientists agree with Darwin’s suggestion that it once helped to process the cellulose found in the leaf-rich diet that we once had.

Republicans Are Representing An America That 98% Of Us Don't Belong To

In the course of the campaign for the midterm elections, Republicans steadfastly spoke of doing the will of the American people and then went on to articulate precisely what the people wanted. John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, and Jim DeMint have continued in that vein as the 112th Congress geared up to begin. However, there is a major disconnect between what the American people really want and what Republicans tells us we want.

Gabriell Giffords' Shooter's YouTube Rant

Jared Lee Loughner's text-only ramblings give some insight into his crazy.

'Sarah Palin's Alaska,' TLC Reality Show, Won't be Renewed for Second Season

No explanation has been given as to why the former Alaska governor's show won't continue, but insiders guess it has everything to do with a potential 2012 presidential run.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Talks Palin Cross Hairs

Gabrielle Giffords, Congresswoman from Arizona, Gunned Down on Street

In a gathering on a street corner this morning, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords from Arizona was gunned down along with several members of her staff. You may remember her as one of the members of Congress targeted with gun sights in a 2010 Sarah Palin ad.

More on the Botched Drug Raid in Massachusetts

SWAT tactics are appropriate when you're using their inherent violence to defuse an already violent situation. When they're used to serve drug warrants, you're creating violence where none existed before. The consequences are predictable. People die—cops, drug dealers, people mistaken for drug dealers, and bystanders.

Journal’s Article on ESP Is Expected to Prompt Outrage

One of psychology’s most respected journals has agreed to publish a paper presenting what its author describes as strong evidence for extrasensory perception, the ability to sense future events.

House GOP Breaking Promises After Only One Day?

Republicans have officially been in control of the House of Representatives for a day now, and they're already backpedaling on some of the promises of transparency they made during the campaign. Members of the 112th Congress are sworn into office on January 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. Members of the 112th Congress are sworn into office on January 5, 2011 in Washington, DC.  For starters, Republicans promised all bills would go through a regular committee process. Not exactly.  Wouldn't you know that the bill to repeal the health care law won't go through a single committee?

Obama Created More Jobs In One Year Than Bush Created In Eight

This morning, the Labor Department released its employment data for December, showing that the U.S. economy ended the year by adding 113,000 private sector jobs, knocking the unemployment rate down sharply from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent — its lowest rate since July 2009. The “surprising drop — which was far better than the modest step-down economists had forecast — was the steepest one-month fall since 1998.” October and November’s jobs numbers were also revised upward by almost 80,000 each. Still, 14.5 million Americans remain unemployed, and jobs will have to be created much faster in coming months for the country to pull itself out of the economic doldrums.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ted Haggard Lands TLC Reality Show

The controversial Christian evangelical is getting his own reality project on the cable network. Ted Haggard: Scandalous will air as a one-hour special on the network.

Haggard was the head of the National Association of Evangelicals, leading 30 million followers across 45,000 churches, when he was caught having an affair with a male prostitute. He also admitted he had been using crystal meth.

Russian Team Prepares to Penetrate Lake Vostok

Lake Vostok, which has been sealed off from the world for 14 million years, is about to be penetrated by a Russian drill bit.

Buying Facebook Stock on the Shadow Marke

The social-media giant may not go public for years, but rich investors are already able to trade shares on largely unregulated exchanges.

Atheist Billboard In Alabama Claims Religions Are ‘Scams’

An atheist group has drawn the ire of many Christians for a billboard it has posted in Huntsville, Alabama.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

President Michele Bachmann? Minnesota Tea Party Favorite Weighing Presidential Bid in 2012

Although aides in Bachmann's congressional office said she has received frequent encouragement from supporters to challenge President Obama next year, they would not confirm quite yet that she officially was throwing her hat into the ring.

However, Bachmann's senior staff did admit the Minnesotan is not ruling out a presidential campaign. "Nothing is off the table," Bachmann chief of staff Andy Parrish told ABC News when asked whether the Iowa trip signaled Bachmann's intent to run for president. "The congresswoman is excited about her first trip to Iowa this year."

Drug War Now Killing More People Than War in Afghanistan

More people were killed in prohibition-related violence in Mexico last year than died in the war in Afghanistan, according to year-end reports from both countries.

No Surprise, Republicans to Break Promise on Spending Cuts

In September, future House Speaker John Boehner unveiled the GOP Pledge to America, which among its other warmed-over Republican nostrums promised to save "at least $100 billion in the first year alone" from the federal budget. On the eve of the election (around the 1:50 mark of the video above), Boehner doubled down, claiming the GOP Pledge would quickly lead to "saving taxpayers $100 billiion almost immediately." In December, incoming House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) repeated the GOP guarantee that "a good $100 billion" would be trimmed. Now, after months of cowardly refusing to specify what those draconian cuts to discretionary spending might be, Republicans are acknowledging their tough-talk was merely "hypothetical."

Ralph Nader: ‘The Left Has Nowhere to Go’

"The more outrageous the Republicans become, the weaker the left becomes," Nader said when I reached him at his home in Connecticut on Sunday. "The more outrageous they become, the more the left has to accept the slightly less outrageous corporate Democrats."

U.S Bumble bee Population Drops 96%

Colony Collapse Disorder, affecting honeybees and the pollination of major food crops, has been well reported for several years. Bumble bees are vital to the productivity and reproduction of many food crops and many wild plants.,-Drops-96

Ranchers, Animal-Welfare Groups Rethinking Horse Slaughterhouses

Less than four years after the last equine slaughterhouses in the U.S. closed down, an unlikely coalition of ranchers, horse owners and animal-welfare groups is trying to bring them back.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Report: 97 Percent of Scientists Say Man-Made Climate Change is Real

As for the 3 percent of scientists who remain unconvinced, the study found their average expertise is far below that of their colleagues, as measured by publication and citation rates.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ethnic Studies Classes Now Illegal in Arizona Public Schools

The law bans classes that promote the overthrow of the United States government and resentment toward a race or class of people. Also outlawed are courses designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group and those that advocate ethnic solidarity rather than treat students as individuals.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tea Party Activists Angry at Actions of G.O.P. Leaders

Just a month ago, Tea Party leaders were celebrating their movement’s victories in the midterm elections. But as Congress wrapped up an unusually productive lame-duck session last month, those same Tea Party leaders were lamenting that Washington behaved as if it barely noticed that American voters had repudiated the political establishment.

Research Links Rise in Falluja Birth Defects and Cancers to US Assault

A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.

World Net Daily Sells Lies with the Pink Swastika

Fundamentalist Christians love to blame National Socialism on the left when, in fact, it is a right-wing phenomenon, as was Fascism in Spain and Italy. They have accused liberals of being Nazis (as well as communists, somehow) and leveled the same accusation at feminists and secularists and atheists and pagans. They are also blaming homosexuals.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

We're Headed for a Major Battle with the Tea Party Crowd over the Constitution Itself

We should be under no illusion about the new flood of know-nothingism that is about to inundate the United States in the guise of a return to "first principles.",_we%27re_headed_for_a_huge_fight_with_the_tea_party_crowd_over_the_constitution_itself

Katie Couric: Maybe We Need A Muslim Cosby Show

The hatred demonstrated toward Muslims by Americans was "one of the most disturbing stories of the year," according to Couric.