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Showing posts from August 24, 2011

"Fetishized abuse is the whole point of pornography."

I Blame The Patriarchy: "In fact, it has been suggested that the only possible result of the juxtaposition of human and animal exploitation on a porn site is the eroticization of animal torture. To be sure, this contingency is considerably less remote than the screwy idea that pornography, which is itself abuse, can actually stop abuse. Pornography, in fact, is the antithesis of “ethical treatment”. It relies for its existence on violence against women. As such it appeals directly to its consumer’s abusiveness. Fetishized abuse is the whole point of pornography."

This excellent piece is occasioned by PETA's evident intention to launch a porn site to press its case.


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Vietnam versus fighters for land rights

Vietnam: Free Peaceful Land Rights Activists | Human Rights Watch: "(Bangkok) – The Vietnam government should immediately release four peaceful land rights activists when their appeals cases are heard by the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City on August 18, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. By criminalizing freedom of speech and association in yet another trial of dissidents, the Vietnam authorities are violating the commitments they undertook by ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Watch said."


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Billionaires work their remaining employees like dogs while downsizing all the more

As Hotels Outsource Jobs, Workers Lose Hold On Living Wage: "Hotel workers in this town say their workloads have increased in recent years while their wages have remained flat or even fallen. In some cases, the housekeepers are expected to clean roughly twice as many rooms as they were just a few years ago, often working off the clock to meet their quota and avoid being disciplined. As the cost of living has climbed, they find themselves worse off than they were a decade ago."
We need 20 Dickensian writers to document the poverty our billionaires are creating by their support of the GOP. What Romney did to make his millions is just the pip of the downsizing iceberg. This is just one aspect of a car-centric, sprawl enslaved, drug-dependent culture. We are deeper and deeper into a totally unacceptable divide of rich and poor.

'via Blog this'

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Now the weather is jostling the rich

Threat of Irene exposes New York's vulnerability | Reuters:

It may jostle all of our New Yorkers before it's through. Right now the path looks aimed at the Hamptons where the wealthy keep their jewels as it were. One day we will design and build differently and we will have security from much of the worst the weather can throw at us. But just now we have a sprawl world awash in cars and endless highways built on the monopoly called car and oil. It is not an outright monopoly. It's just everyone's default and even the smartest have failed to think beyond it.

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An eye on the protests in Chile

Chile: Expats Unfazed as U.S. Embassy in Santiago Issues “Emergency Message” · Global Voices: "A flood of union workers, estimated to include up to 200,000 demonstrators, plan to descend upon Santiago on August 24 and 25. The Unitary Central for Workers (CUT) alongside about 80 other unions are fighting, they say, for social justice and to advance democracy. The U.S. Embassy expects September 11, the day of Chile’s 1973 military coup against the government of Salvador Allende, to bring another wave of demonstrations."


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Perry leads bad apples with 29 percent (Gallup)

Perry Zooms to Front of Pack for 2012 GOP Nomination: "PRINCETON, NJ -- Shortly after announcing his official candidacy, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has emerged as rank-and-file Republicans' current favorite for their party's 2012 presidential nomination. Twenty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide say they are most likely to support Perry, with Mitt Romney next, at 17%."

Give him time. He might break thirty. But all hope of him being seen as sane is fast evaporating.

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And her test is 200 times cheaper than conventional methods

U.S. Teen Wins Stockholm Junior Water Prize With Cell Phone Test: "A 2011 graduate of New Jersey's Millburn High School, Bick worked for four years on her project, which combines micro-fluidic devices, cell phones, and chemical indicators to evaluate water quality."

And her test is 200 times cheaper than conventional methods.

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TIME should be ashamed of itself

7 Tips for Choosing the Best School for Your Child - Yahoo! News: "The second most important decision you will make as a parent - apart from deciding to have the kid in the first place - is deciding which school for them to enroll in. Make the right decision and you could put them on a path toward lifelong learning, a prestigious college education and a successful career. "

In a society where schools are atrocious this is like saying hey we are written for the white folk who make 20X what everyone else makes and can afford to bypass the terrible school system we have. If your family income is less than $100K please accept our apologies and read elsewhere. Times values are in the cellar with this sorry piece.


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I think even legit pharma ads are atrocious

Amazing how these things slip by. I have no idea if the flood of fake drug ads has abated, but the TV pharma ads sure have nit. They disgust me. Accelerated speech at the end enumerating the reasons you might be killed by the product. Atrocity is too kind a word.

Google to Pay $500M for Illegal Ads - The Daily Beast: "Google has reached a $500 million settlement with the government, the United States Attorney's office announced on Wednesday. The search company has been charged with illegally displaying ads for online pharmacies that fail to require prescriptions and sell counterfeit drugs."

I think even legit pharma ads are atrocious and an ill reflection on our culture. Fraught with caveats and hypocritically saying the government will help when all they care about is frustrating health care reform in the name of their own profits. Barbarism.




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Don't hold your breath

Groups Call on Supercommittee to Cut Energy Subsidies | Common Dreams: "A major environmental group has teamed up with a conservative think tank and others to urge the congressional supercommittee to slash oil, coal, ethanol and nuclear subsidies — a move the groups say would save $380 billion over the next five years."

Everything now depends on 2012. The GOP is doing a good job of ruining its chances in the Presidential and maybe we can convince people to give Democrats a chance to actually have the courage to rule. Otherwise we are in the same mess into the forseeable future.


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Not so fast DSK

French writer to press on with Dominique Strauss-Kahn allegations | World news | The Guardian: "The French writer and journalist who claims Dominique Strauss-Kahn attempted to rape her eight years ago is more determined than ever to bring him to justice, her lawyer said on Tuesday."
This guy is already saying his nightmare is over? He fails to give himself the credit of being a human being with a conscience. It's a common failing though.

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Charles Sanders Peirce on Substance

On A New List of Categories: 'That universal conception which is nearest to sense is that of the present, in general. This is a conception, because it is universal. But as the act of attention has no connotation at all, but is the pure denotative power of the mind, that is to say, the power which directs the mind to an object, in contradistinction to the power of thinking any predicate of that object, -- so the conception of what is present in general, which is nothing but the general recognition of what is contained in attention, has no connotation, and therefore no proper unity. This conception of the present in general, of IT in general, is rendered in philosophical language by the word "substance" in one of its meanings. Before any comparison or discrimination can be made between what is present, what is present must have been recognized as such, as it, and subsequently the metaphysical parts which are recognized by abstraction are attributed to this it, but the it c…

Catching up on Brimfield

brimfield, MA city guide | Design*Sponge: "Brimfield, MA, is known primarily for the thrice-yearly flea market that consumes the worldwide design, decorating and collecting communities. What many don’t realize is that the local area is home to a slew of treasures not related to the market itself, which are nearly as charming and exciting as the spools of vintage textile or the cut-glass drawer pulls that can be hunted down at the market. All of these attractions are open year-round, so they can provide a much-needed break from the occasional mayhem that is the flea market or can be seen at other points during the year when the traffic along Route 20 is less of a nightmare."
There was a time when you couldn't keep me away from these places. Life goes on.

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This is one anniversary I plan to skip

Viewers can immerse themselves in anniversary - Yahoo! News: NEW YORK – Television viewers who want to immerse themselves in memories of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as the 10th anniversary approaches will have a staggering number of choices, and on the day itself, broadcast and cable news networks will all have their top talent on hand for special coverage.
The phenomenon of anniversaries is not on Jesus' dance card. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Let the sun go down on your anger. Shake the dust from your feet. Things like that suggest another way.

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A Meditation on Evil

What Does Google Mean By “Evil?” (Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought): "When you stop to think about it, it’s wild how many companies have done just that: Printer manufacturers who put chips on their ink cartridges, so you can’t refill or recycle them but instead have to buy a new full-price cartridge. Apple preventing the Kindle app from having any sort of ebook buying functionality. Web publishers who break articles up into 20 pages so that you have to load 20 different ads just to read one article. These are pretty banal evils, but it’s striking that I can’t think of any example where Google has done anything like that. (Perhaps someone will name one I’ve missed in the comments.)"

Evil is consciously contributing to lethal activities. We are  all involved, individually and corporately.


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Pretty soon all you'll need to be healthy is you

First Details About Lift, the Next Social Network From the Founders of Twitter: I can imagine the basic outline of the social engineering, if the service that launches looks at all like what's been under development: you're shown a stream of accomplishments by people who have similar goals, you're encouraged to give yourself an award for any accomplishments you're willing to claim publicly - then you get simple positive re-enforcement for those accomplishment.
Surely I am missing something. :)

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Go figure

Fig Recipes and Tips at Epicurious.com: If luxuriating in summer's last days over a plate of prosciutto piled with juicy fresh figs is your idea of high living, we're with you. But so many dishes benefit from the fruit's singular sweetness and trademark texture that we often look beyond this classic combo. Here are our favorite ways to be creative with figs.

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Let's not forget Wikileaks

Wikileaks releases new batch of diplomatic cables – Boing Boing: Wikileaks is to release 35,000 U.S. diplomatic cables today. Contents are said to include evidence of multi-billion dollar contracts issued as political rewards, the likely details of John McCain's interesting conversation with the interesting man in charge of Libya, and more. Check out the Twitter hashtag #wlfind for crowdsourced finds.

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I suppose now it's NATO's move

Gadhafi vows to fight until 'victory or death' - World news - Mideast/N. Africa - msnbc.com: TRIPOLI, Libya — A defiant Moammar Gadhafi vowed Wednesday to fight on "until victory or martyrdom" and called on residents of the Libyan capital and loyal tribesmen across his North African nation to free Tripoli from the "devils and traitors" who have overrun it.
I love these news events when a fait accompli becomes a cliff-hanger. But this is not exactly entertaining.

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There is a boring celeb Twitter thing after the horrible Exxon Mobil ad on this video

Celebs share their Twitter habits - omg! videos on Yahoo!: A popular pastime among celebrities these days is to tweet with each other and with their supporters. Alyssa Milano, Denise Richards and other famous faces share what they like to tweet. (Aug. 23)
A coalescence of the ephemeral and the demonic.

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Obama's political intelligence is not something he broadcasts

Obama voters are well-represented on debt reduction ‘supercommittee’ - The Fix - The Washington Post: Ten of the 12 members of the so-called debt reduction “supercommittee” represent districts or states that went for President Obama in 2008 – a reflection of the political concerns that will be paramount when lawmakers meet in the coming weeks.
He more or less acts with it while the media are looking elsewhere. Then when things are sorted out ...

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Why new GOP groupthink is our problem

The Republican War on Science Is Actually a War on Reality - Digg: blogs.discovermagazine.com — We now realize that the war isn’t really on science at all, but on reality. Whatever you may have thought of Bush, he didn't indulge in the wholesale construction of an alternate reality that is found in the Tea Party. One major new development has been the application of psychological and neuroscientific approaches to understand how the subconscious can automatically rationalize pre-existing views that are important to self-identity, even in the face of direct factual refutation.

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New Facebook privacy controls

You've Been Tagged on Facebook—But Now You’re In Control » Blog of Rights: Official Blog of the American Civil Liberties Union: This morning, Facebook announced its latest set of changes to its privacy controls that will start rolling out on August 25. The upcoming changes are intended to make it easier for you to understand and choose who can see both content you post yourself and tags created by other users. Allowing you to pre-approve tags and giving you better tools to manage your own profile is a positive step, and we encourage Facebook to turn settings like these on by default and to continue to develop and improve features and tools that give you control over your own personal information.

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We are not in a war which we will fight.

Abba's Way - Premises - Associated Content from Yahoo! - associatedcontent.com:
We are not in a war which we will fight. We do not fight. We seek to moderate our words. That is hard. But we try. We moderate our physical responses. Our war is to see tolerance more prevalent, to see democracy spreading -- not by military action but by ending military action entirely -- and to act helpfully and commend helping as an alternative to charitable activities that either create dependency or serve other goals than helpfulness.

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Painting Time

3quarksdaily: In 1965, while waiting in a cafe, Roman Opalka decided to paint time. He didn’t paint the counters of time — clocks and watches and calendars and such. He didn’t paint people waiting for the bus or racing to the finish line. Roman Opalka painted time itself.

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