Newsflash: Republicans are hypocrites!

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"Eight years ago, a terrorist bomber's attempt to blow up a trans-Atlantic airliner was thwarted by passengers and revealed gaping holes in airline security only months after the Sept. 11 attacks.

But President George W. Bush, then on vacation, made no public remarks for six days about the so-called shoe bomber, Richard Reid, and there were virtually no complaints from the media or Democrats that Bush's response was sluggish or inadequate.

That stands in sharp contrast to the Republicans' withering criticism of President Obama — and some in the media — for his reaction to the Christmas Day incident on a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight.

Obama commented publicly on Monday and ordered a full investigation of the incident."

And then when they're called on it, they got nothing.

Obama was smart enough to know better... Bush wasn't.

Do not trust your beef.

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"Restaurant chains and beef processors defended their products' safety Thursday after a report that an ammonia treatment thought to kill harmful germs in meat isn't as effective as the industry and regulators believed.

The New York Times reported Thursday, citing government and industry records, that E. coli and salmonella were found dozens of times in testing for the federal school lunch program on ammonia-treated beef from Beef Products Inc. The meat was not served."

The ammonia disturbs me just as much as the e. coli and salmonella does. E. coli and salmonella have been around as long as bacteria has, and up until recently, we humans have dealt with it just fine. It's once we started screwing around with antibiotics and other fun stuff that we are getting the kind that are resistant to drugs and strains that can actually survive in the dirt itself.

Breaking News! Cutting back on antibiotics leads to less superbugs!

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"Aker University Hospital is a dingy place to heal. The floors are streaked and scratched. A light layer of dust coats the blood pressure monitors. A faint stench of urine and bleach wafts from a pile of soiled bedsheets dropped in a corner.

Look closer, however, at a microscopic level, and this place is pristine. There is no sign of a dangerous and contagious staph infection that killed tens of thousands of patients in the most sophisticated hospitals of Europe, North America and Asia this year, soaring virtually unchecked.

The reason: Norwegians stopped taking so many drugs.

Twenty-five years ago, Norwegians were also losing their lives to this bacteria. But Norway's public health system fought back with an aggressive program that made it the most infection-free country in the world. A key part of that program was cutting back severely on the use of antibiotics...

In the U.S., cases have soared and MRSA cost $6 billion last year. Rates have gone up from 2 percent in 1974 to 63 percent in 2004...

Dr. Satoshi Hori, chief infection control doctor at Juntendo University Hospital in Tokyo, says doctors overprescribe antibiotics because they are given financial incentives to push drugs on patients."

My favourite part?

"And drug makers aren't allowed to advertise, reducing patient demands for prescription drugs."

Good news on Coho salmon

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"Fisheries biologists in the Pacific Northwest are cheering a record return of coho salmon this year to the upper and middle Columbia River basin, where the fish were virtually wiped out 20 years ago."

Good news on marriage equality!

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"Legislation will come into force on 1 January 2010 which clarifies that same-sex marriages in California which occurred before Proposition 8 are to remain valid in the state."
Ok, that one is a minor victory considering Prop 8 was passed. But I was worried that they would invalidate after all the pressure.
"American couples are readying themselves for a midnight celebration at the State House in Concord, New Hampshire where gay marriage will become legal as 2010 begins."

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where I live.

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"Eugene taxpayers spend $42 million a year on a police department staff of 327, but the city insists it doesn’t have enough money and officers to keep downtown safe....
Much of the downtown task team report appears to focus on more cops as a solution to the “unpleasant behavior” of the homeless, many of whom suffer from mental illness. Only one member of the 15-member task force recommended a cheaper, more direct and humane solution — spending a few hundred dollars a month to find each homeless person an apartment."
That's right: my local police force is spending even more money on locking up the homeless in our already ridiculously overcrowded jail. It's the latest scheme in the city's zeal to "clean up" downtown. They obviously don't care about the indigent as citizens in their own right, they are just a "stain" that needs to be cleaned out of their precious city center.

Quote of the Day-Fun with Racial/Religious Profiling

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“100 percent of the Islamic terrorists are Muslim, and that is our main enemy today. So why we should not be profiling people because of their religion?” ~Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
That's like saying 100% of Catholics are Christian. That having been said, they want a blank check for their witch hunt. I could give more of a rant, alluding to Japanese internment camps, but I think this is bad enough as it is.

Yet another reason why Wal-Mart is evil.

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"A recent case from the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts affirmed a jury verdict in favor of a female pharmacist who claimed she was paid less than her male counterparts."
Not only was she paid less, but she was fired for something that also happened during a male counterpart's shift even though she adhered to company policy. He was not fired, despite identical circumstances.

I'm breaking an old New Year's resolution...

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I brag that the only New Year's resolution that I've kept is to never make another one again. This year, I'm breaking it. My resolutions? To be greener by doing the following:
1. Go organic.
2. Eat local.
3. Compost more.
4. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs.
I already recycle, compost some, try to keep the heat down, and avoid chemical cleaners, but I obviously can do more.

Do not trust your water.

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"California scientists hope studying 180 black mussels pried from algae-covered rocks in San Francisco Bay will provide clues into how many drugs and chemicals are polluting waters across the nation."
Note "how many," not "if." How many? They're not just talking about oil spills and other standard pollutants, they mean like birth control and hand sanitizers. And it's not just California, it's every coast in America. These chemicals are so pervasive that they have even been found in breast milk, for crying out loud. Unfortunately, I am on city water. I do use a filter, but am not deluded that it does anything other than remove the most common chemicals.

Dumbest Quotes of the Ought's

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"Is this chicken what I have or is this fish? I know it's tuna, but it says chicken."
~Jessica Simpson

There are some of the standards like Bushisms, and there are a lot more good ones. Check it out at the Huffington Post.

The Special K "Diet"

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There is a commercial on right now as Kellogg's does its usual "It's the New Year's so you have to lose weight NOW! And we're a valid healthy lifestyle, so eat Special K!" Now I normally ignore marketing ploys because I like to think that I am intelligent enough to see right through them, but this one sent my blood pressure through the roof.

Since I cannot find it anywhere, not even on YouTube, I will describe it to you. A mother and her daughter are sitting at a child-sized table set complete with chairs, doing cutesy crafty things. The mother, whom I estimate to be a size 6 at the very most, stands up to get the phone. But alas! The toddler-sized chair is stuck to her obviously huge ass! The horror! She does what any sensible woman does in this situation: she runs to the kitchen for a bowl of Special K.

Yes, ladies, because you cannot fit into your four year old's chair you are fat and should eat our product. Logic FAIL.

Most sane people would simply change the channel and leave it at that. But, as we all know, I am not sane. What do I do? I write Kellogg's.

"To whom it may concern,
I am writing in regards to a commercial recently aired which I found grossly offensive. In this advertisement, there is a woman who evidently finds herself to be grossly overweight because she cannot fit into a child-sized chair.

As women we are already bombarded with enough negative body imagery without being told that if we are larger than our young daughter we are too fat. Now if it had been an adult's chair, or an actually plus-sized woman, it might have been an appropriate message.

But as it stands, you obviously believe your target audience to have the common sense of a toad in order to fall for such faulty logic.

Rest assured that I will encourage everyone I know not to buy your products as a result,
SLiver of Jade"

First Gay Marriage in Latin America!

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"Two Argentine men were joined Monday in Latin America's first same-sex marriage, traveling to the southernmost tip of the Americas to find a welcoming spot to wed.
Gay rights activists Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre were married in Ushuaia, the capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego state, exchanging rings at an informal ceremony witnessed by state and federal officials.
"My knees didn't stop shaking," said the 41-year-old Di Bello. "We are the first gay couple in Latin America to marry."
Only seven countries in the world allow gay marriages: Canada, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium. U.S. states that permit same-sex marriage are Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire."
And recently Mexico City. But my favourite part is this:
""The decision took me by surprise and I'm concerned," Bishop Juan Carlos, of the southern city Rio Gallegos, told the Argentine news agency DyN. He called the marriage "an attack against the survival of the human species.""
Pretty sure that as long as we have Octomom and the Duggars, the human race will survive. Maybe not in a form with which we can be happy, but certainly enough to satisfy Bishop Carlos.

I just love it when they make my arguments easy.

Do not trust your meat.

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"The mystery started the day farmer Russ Kremer got between a jealous boar and a sow in heat.

The boar gored Kremer in the knee with a razor-sharp tusk. The burly pig farmer shrugged it off, figuring: "You pour the blood out of your boot and go on."

But Kremer's red-hot leg ballooned to double its size. A strep infection spread, threatening his life and baffling doctors. Two months of multiple antibiotics did virtually nothing.

The answer was flowing in the veins of the boar. The animal had been fed low doses of penicillin, spawning a strain of strep that was resistant to other antibiotics. That drug-resistant germ passed to Kremer.

Like Kremer, more and more Americans - many of them living far from barns and pastures - are at risk from the widespread practice of feeding livestock antibiotics. These animals grow faster, but they can also develop drug-resistant infections that are passed on to people. The issue is now gaining attention because of interest from a new White House administration and a flurry of new research tying antibiotic use in animals to drug resistance in people."

Now before anyone goes off the deep end and says, "But it's for the health of the animal." No, it is not. Antibiotics are being fed to them en masse, which is the problem. There is a reason why you shouldn't take antibiotics without a doctor's supervision. Animals shouldn't either.

"Farmer Craig Rowles remains unconvinced.

It's afternoon in one of his many rural Iowa pig barns, roaring with snorting and squealing pigs. Some snooze in corners, while others hustle toward their troughs, their slop laced with a steady supply of antibiotics.

"If there was some sort of crossover between the use of the antibiotics in animals and the antibiotics in humans, if there was in fact a real issue there, wouldn't you think we would have seen it?" said Rowles, also a veterinarian who sells 150,000 hogs a year. "That's what the science says to me.""

Sir, you are a vet. Not a doctor, and certainly not a biologist. Drug resistant strains of various diseases are becoming more of a problem than ever before. That's what the science is saying.

"Back in Missouri, farmer Kremer finally found an antibiotic that worked on his leg. After being released from the hospital, Kremer tested his pigs. The results showed they were resistant to all the same drugs he was.

Kremer tossed his hypodermic needles, sacked his buckets of antibiotic-laced feed, slaughtered his herd and started anew.

"I was wearing a syringe, like a holster, like a gun, because my pigs were all sick," he recalled. "I was really getting so sick and aggravated at what I was doing. I said, 'This isn't working.'""

Most companies/producers are betting that people don't know/won't care what goes into their food as long as it's cheap, especially in this economy. But when you weigh the cost of organic food against the cost of cancer, which is cheaper?

Did you know that your new computer has a racism feature?

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Gee, you'd think that they'd have tested this before releasing the product. Oh wait, they must have. Which means that all of their beta testers must have been white. Well, it is a new development, after all.
HP's response?

""HP has been informed of a potential issue with the facial-tracking software included on some of its systems, which appears to occur when insufficient foreground lighting is available," an HP spokesman told BBC News.

"We take this seriously and are looking into it with our partners.""

Insufficient foreground lighting? They were in the same amount of light, in the same space even. What they were actually saying was: "You aren't light enough to activate it." Epic fail, folks.

A note from Captain Obvious

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"Reconnecting flood-plains to rivers will help reduce the risk of future flooding, suggest US scientists."
Excuse me, but did they evidently miss the importance of flood-plains in the first place? Amazingly, allowing nature to do what it already does will have less of an impact on the ecosystem, thus saving money on infrastructure to try to control high waters. And we all know how well those work.

Don't underestimate the short, fat redhead.

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I have been getting a well-deserved reputation for scaring away creeps that have wandered into my group of friends.
  1. One man smacked my arse as I was walking by, someone with whom I have never even had a conversation. With one glare and a sharp reprimand, I ensured that he never came back. The fact that he had, had previous transgressions with others did not endear him any.
  2. An older "gentleman" essentially stalked me before getting the hint that his constant attentions were unwelcome. Also never returned.
  3. A man did not get the hint that staring at my chest was unwelcome attention. And he assumed that he was safely out of my reach (arm's length). Now for me, that is throwing down the gauntlet. I kicked him in the sternum, really no more than a tap with the top of my foot. The shock on his face was priceless, especially as one regular in our group pointed out that our female friends, no matter how unassuming we appear, can actually stand up for ourselves.
Now I am short, overweight, knit, dress in skirts and look like the mild-mannered office wench that I am. Pretty unintimidating if judging solely on appearances. My friends know that I have taken martial arts, and currently doing kickboxing a couple times a week. Also, I have rightfully earned the nickname "Brendar the Barbarian."
This irritates me because these assumptions are often based on my weight. For example, when I told my father about incident number three while visiting for the holidays, he scoffed and denied that I was capable of such an athletic feat. I tapped his sternum with the top of my foot, while wearing a skirt and despite his attempts at defense. Then again, I should know better than to be surprised at his response.
Sure I knit, but that makes me even more dangerous as opposed to less. After all, you have two eyes. I have two needles. Men must just be really bad at math.
I suppose I should just relax and follow my kickboxing coach's advice and use people's underestimations of me to the best advantage.

Quote of the Day-Stop Calling on God to Win Your Arguments For You

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"The Bible says love thy neighbor as thyself. I would hope that we could debate the pressing issues in front of the American public on their own merits without appealing to the Almighty for obstruction, of which there seems to be no short supply in Washington. "

-Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., responding to accusations that Republicans were wishing ill health on the 92-year-old senator to thwart his crucial 60th Democratic vote for the health care reform bill.

The Poor Get Shafted... Again

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"As the economy falters and more people go without health insurance, low-income women in at least 20 states are being turned away or put on long waiting lists for free cancer screenings, according to the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network."
Notice how this is specifically "low-income women." Not the poor in general, but women. Why? Because of mammograms and Pap smears (I have always hated that term, by the way, it has such a distasteful sound to it). Of course, this is not the first incident of poor women being the first to go when the funding runs out.

A truly Christ-like church.

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"Redeemer Covenant Church in Caledonia, Mich., decided on a different set of Christmas decorations this year: Instead of fresh poinsettias and artificial greens, Redeemer’s sanctuary is filled with canned goods and clothing that will be donated to the needy."
Just go and read it. You'll be glad you did.

Quote of the Day-Military and Religious Freedom

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This is the first time we feel positive about things there.”
-Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, on the improvement of the religious climate at the Air Force Academy.

Outrage of the Day-Sex Abuse in the Military

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"“A woman in the military is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq,” Representative Jane Harman, a Democrat from California, said at a Congressional hearing this year, repeating an assertion she has made a refrain in a campaign of hers to force the military to do more to address abuses."
Go read the article, but beware a rise in blood pressure.

No, kids, global warming is just a commie myth.

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"Until recently, the Build-A-Bearville website (part of the Build-A-Bear Workshop) featured online videos telling children about manmade global warming and the dangers it holds for the North Pole. In the videos, little animals learn about the problem and teach Santa Claus about it. The right wing has been outraged over the antics of these bears and penguins. One conservative called for a boycott of Build-A-Bear, and another said the the videos amount to “indoctrination.” In response to this right-wing pressure, Build-A-Bear has taken down the educational videos."
So now science = indoctrination to the evil communist left-wing radicals. Although anyone can see that it's really anything with which we disagree = indoctrination. Say it with me now, "The Greater Good."

Do not trust your food.

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I firmly hold that it is deplorable that the government has to certify our food as organic because we cannot trust the companies that grow our food to be honest with us. Case in point, went to a local, somewhat questionable meat market and the following conversation took place.

"Hi, I'm looking for organic meat, what do you have?"
"Oh, you mean free range?"
"Um, no. Organic."
Shrugs dismissively. "There's no difference, it's all a marketing ploy. Where've you been buying yours?"
"Insert name of another local, reputable meat market that only carries local, organic meats."
"Yeah, we're really the same thing."

*Facepalm* First of all, the clerk obviously had no idea of what he was talking about, or was hoping to make a sale by outright lying. Then tries to convince a potential customer that they carry the same products as a completely different store, despite being ignorant of organics. Yes, organic meat usually does equal free range. But free range does not equal organic. (Someone must have been sick that day in math class).

Guess where I am never shopping again?

Christians Protest Sunday Flights

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In short, a small, predominantly Christian island protests the local airport providing flights on Sundays. While I am not familiar with their local government, I am not certain if it would fall under their purview. But if it bothers you, then don't travel on your sabbat. (And no, I did not misspell "sabbath," stupid spellchecker.)

"Disinfectants 'train' superbugs to resist antibiotics"

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"Scientists know bacteria can become inured to disinfectant, but research increasingly shows the same process may make them resistant to certain drugs."
This is one of the reasons why I avoid disinfectants, despite slight OCD tendencies. So when my friends (invariably those with children) are addicted to bleach and Lysol, I shake my head because not enough logic in the world can persuade them that they are actually doing more harm over the long run than good. Because then you end up with fun stuff like this.
And the best part?
"Research was published this year showing that the disinfecting wipes used to protect against MRSA could in fact spread the bug, as the solution contained was often not sufficient to kill all the bacteria picked up, and hospital staff often used the same wipe to clean more than one surface."

"'Urgent need' to regulate sex toys, MP says

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No, it's not what you think. It's actually good news!
"When you're the young owners of a Toronto sex shop specializing in eco-friendly vibrators and other adult toys, getting the ear of a Member of Parliament can be a challenge.
So, entrepreneurs Kim and Amy Sedgwick started off slow. The self-branded “eco-sisters” wrote a letter outlining their concerns of a “dangerous” problem hidden away in Canadian bedrooms everywhere – chemicals used in the majority of Canadian sex toys that pose a potential health risk for women...
So while bisphenol A can't be used in baby bottles, and phthalates can't be used in children's mouth toys, there's no rules preventing their use in a vibrator, Dr. Bennett says."
Heck yeah! If it's not safe to put in my hypothetical child's mouth (the material, not the actual item) then it should not be considered safe to put in the organ which would theoretically produce said offspring.

"The Greater Good"

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I have a new philosophy when it comes to people who tout the "But think of The Children!!1!1!!" in order to justify whatever the heck their position is.

Discrimination based on sexual orientation?
"Think of the children!"
Response: "The Greater Good."

"Think of the children!"
Response: "The Greater Good."

The possibilities are endless! And if they're bringing out the kids card as a perfectly logical and just argument with the expectation that it cannot be trumped, then this response is equally valid. This is the latest example which sparked this remark, which is particularly hilarious when the activities that she condemns in Adam Lambert for are apparently acceptable in women.

Target Women: 2009 Lessons

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Fun with YouTube

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"But your Honour, he just needed killin'."

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"A judge is weighing a critical legal question in the case of a man who confessed to killing one of the nation's few late-term abortion providers: Can the man claim at his trial that the slaying was justified to save the lives of unborn children?"

Since I feel that the murder of a post-born person is wrong, does that mean that I can kill Bush for having taken us to war with the wrong freaking country? "He jus' needed killin'" is not a valid defense for crying out loud! I repeat: it was legal, and killing someone for what you believe to be murder is the height of hypocrisy. Even if I felt that abortion was wrong, I will quote my mother: "Two wrongs don't make a right."

Way to go Uganda!

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Uganda bans female genital mutilation, and anyone convicted of doing so can expect 10 years in prison and a life sentence if the victim dies. Again, another belated congratulation, but significant enough to deserve the attention.

Belated congratulations to Mexico City

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"Joining only seven countries and five U.S. states, Mexico City's legislative assembly voted overwhelmingly Monday to legalize gay marriage.

The vote changed the definition of marriage in the city's civil code from being between a man and a woman to the free uniting of two people. Assembly members also approved a resolution allowing married gay couples to legally adopt children."

Sadly enough, it took a 2-hour heated debate where the politicians "publicly questioned one another's sexual preferences and activities." Just because one supports marriage equality does not necessarily mean they they are automatically non-heteronormative, not to mention the fact that even appearing to be otherwise can often spell the end of a politician's career.

Sigh.* I know, I know, I shouldn't look a gift-horse in the mouth, but it still feels like a one step forward and another back situation.

And we're back after another unexpected break.

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Sorry about that, folks. I lost my job and my mind there for a little while. So until I get back into the swing of things, here's a cute little article for you to enjoy.