Female New Zealand MPs ejected from Parliament for talking about their sexual assault


NZ Prime Minister John Key is a racist blowhard who has smeared the opposition parties of "backing the rapists" for their support of NZ citizens with minor criminal convictions (not sexual assault, incidentally) being deported from Australia, where they have been imprisoned. Read the rest

Councillor who voted to close all public toilets gets a ticket for public urination


Last May, Jackie Burns, the deputy leader of the Labour Council in South Lanarkshire in Scotland, voted to close all public toilets as part of the Scottish government's £22 million cost-cutting programme; early last Saturday morning, police issued him a £40 ticket for pissing in public. (via Reddit) Read the rest

Citing climate change, Obama rejects Keystone XL Oil Pipeline construction plan

Obama, Biden, and Kerry, speaking about the Keystone XL oil pipeline November 6, 2015.  REUTERS

In a decision that environmental activists see as a hard-won victory, President Obama today announced he is rejecting the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The news ends a seven-year review process that was a focal point in the debate over the Obama administration's climate policies.

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Ben Carson has nutty theories about the Egyptian pyramids


According to this 1998 commencement address Ben Carson gave at Andrews University, the "flagship educational institution of the Seventh-day Adventist Church," he says that the "scientists" who claim that extraterrestrials who built the pyramids are mistaken. And they weren't burial chambers for the Pharoas either. Rather, the pyramids were brilliantly engineered to store grain. From CNN:

"My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain," Carson said in taped remarks first reported by Buzzfeed on Wednesday. "Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs' graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it."

On Wednesday, asked about his belief after a book-signing in Florida, Carson stood by his theory and explained it.

"The pyramids were made in a way that they had hermetically sealed compartments," he said. "You would need that if you were trying to preserve grain for a long period of time."

Donald Trump commented on Carson's theory about the pyramids on Thursday during an appearance on MSNBC, saying, "I'll have to put that into my repertoire when I talk about Ben...That was a strange deal."

According to the Book of Genesis, Joseph stored large amounts of grain to feed the people of Egypt during a famine.

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Shortly after Murdoch buys National Geographic, he fires its award-winning journalists


When the climate-change denier/evil billionaire bought National Geographic, National Geographic Society CEO Greg Knell promised that "there won’t be an [editorial] turn in a direction that is different form the National Geographic heritage." This week, the company fired some of its most senior, decorated staff. Read the rest

The two brilliant, prescient 20th century science fiction novels you should read this election season

Science fiction may not predict the future reliably, but sometimes, the ability of writers to pick up on the hidden, latent futuristic present proves to be remarkably prescient. Two of my favorite novels from the late 20th century were not only amazingly great reads, but they also presented enormous insight into the future of data-driven, finance-dominated, networked political campaigning. If you want to understand the 2016 election, these are the next two books you should read.

Which Presidential candidates are climate change deniers?


From Columbia University's Earth Institute:

Ben Carson (retired neurosurgeon) believes that climate change is happening in the sense that there’s “always going to be either cooling or warming going on” and has called the climate debate “irrelevant.” While he has no plans to combat climate change, he does believe it’s important to protect the environment. If elected, he would approve the Keystone XL pipeline and develop oil resources while also investing in renewable resources; however, he would not support any government subsidies because he feels they interfere with the free market.

Donald Trump (real estate developer) doesn’t believe in climate change and asserts that the changes we see are actually just weather, unaffected by human actions. He puts climate change low on the list of problems we need to address. In 2012, Trump said global warming was a hoax created by China to make U.S. manufacturing uncompetitive. He supports regulating air pollution.

Hillary Clinton (former U.S. senator from New York and secretary of state) believes climate change is real and manmade. She has called it “the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face as a nation and a world.” Clinton unveiled a plan that would install half a billion solar panels across the country by 2020 (a 700 percent increase in solar capacity); and expand renewable energy (including geothermal and hydro) sufficiently to produce 33 percent of U.S. electricity by 2027. Her Clean Energy Challenge, partnering with states, cities and communities, will include incentives, competitions, and investment in transmission and R&D.

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Federal agents seize 30,000 marijuana plants on Menominee Native American tribal land


DEA agents descended on Menominee County in Wisconsin last Friday, to destroy what the tribal authorities say was an industrial hemp crop. The DEA says it was “high-grade marijuana,” and they're not apologizing. The chairman of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin says the DEA had no right to the cannabis, and the DEA boasts of seizing some 30,000 plants in all.

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Bernie Sanders playing the bongos at the Democratic presidential debate


Bernie Sanders hit the skins for a perfect rendition of Ben Harper's "Burn one Down." The other candidates approve and the audience goes wild.

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That time Dick Cheney complained Donald Rumsfeld drank too much coffee


Back in 1975, Dick Cheney, the worst person in the world, was Deputy Chief of Staff in Gerald Ford’s White House.

Here's a memo he wrote to Staff Secretary Jim Connor complaining that his boss, Donald Rumsfeld, also the the worst person in the world, was drinking too much coffee in the White House. According to Cheney's memo, Rummy was running up a bill in excess of $100 a month, which is around $450 in today's money.

What was in that coffee? Read the rest

Just how bad would Joe Biden be as President? Really f*cking bad


Nick Gillespie of The Daily Beast offers up a list of compelling reasons to fear for a Biden presidency. Biden is a military hawk, a willfully-ignorant drug warrior, an academic cheater, and a plagiarizer. "On top of that," says Nick, "he's been silent on the issue of domestic surveillance, torture, and other niceties of today's modern warfare."

Biden was instrumental in creating the office of the drug czar and called for nothing short of total war on pot and pills. “Mr. President,” he raged, outdoing even Ronald Reagan in just-say-no bellicosity, “you say you want a war on drugs, but if that’s what you want we need another D-Day. Instead you’re giving us another Vietnam — a limited war fought on the cheap, financed on the sly, with no clear objectives, and ultimately destined for stalemate and human tragedy.” Give Biden bonus credit for chutzpah in invoking Vietnam—like Dick Cheney, he managed to snag five deferments from the military draft his college days.

Here's the best Biden photo to go along with this, but we don't have a licensing arrangement with AP.

Image: Wikipedia Read the rest

Obama's coming for your Christmas drones


Amid growing fears about safety and security risks from unauthorized drone flights, federal regulators say they plan to require pretty much all recreational drones in the U.S. to be registered. Read the rest

FBI investigating ‘teen stoner hack’ of CIA Director John Brennan

John Brennan. Photo: Reuters

A pair of self-described teen stoner hackers say they breached an AOL account used by CIA Director John Brennan, the New York Post reported today.

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Craiglist ad for new Speaker of the House


Rep Mark Takano [D-CA] posted a help wanted ad to Craigslist seeking a new Speaker for the House of Representatives, a position that's been vacant since Speaker Boehner dropped the mic and walked out on the "ungovernable" radical Tea Party/Freedom Caucus mess that is the Congressional Republican Party.

It seems like we’re having a hard time finding the next Speaker, so I created a Craigslist ad to boost our search. [@repmarktakano/Twitter]

(via Amac) Read the rest

Westboro Baptist hatemongers run for their lives as high schoolers' counter-protest approaches


Watch as a crowd of high school students gloriously jeer and taunt the Westboro Baptist hate mongers into a full retreat. Read the rest

Ex-Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys found guilty of 3 federal counts of hacking

Matthew Keys escorted by his legal team. Photo: Sarah Jeong

A jury in Sacramento, California, today found former Reuters deputy social media editor Matthew Keys guilty of computer hacking under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA).

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US Senate candidate sacrificed goat, drank blood


Augustus Sol Invictus, a Tallahassee, Florida candidate for US Senate, once walked from Florida to the Mojave Desert as part of a ritual that culminated in him sacrificing a goat and drinking its blood.

"I did sacrifice a goat," he said. "I know that's probably a quibble in the mind of most Americans. I sacrificed an animal to the god of the wilderness ... Yes, I drank the goat's blood."

Invictus, 32, is running as a Libertarian but the chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida, Adrian Wyllie, is critical of Invictus for many reasons.

"He is the absolute exact opposite of a Libertarian," Wyllie says. "He's a self-proclaimed fascist. He's promoting a second civil war."

For his part, Invictus, who changed his birth name to the Latin phrase meaning "majestic unconquered sun," says he isn't trying to ignite a war and that it's already started anyway.

"The only question is when are the citizens going to start fighting back?" he said. "I don't think I'm the only person who sees a cataclysm coming, but I think I'm the only person saying it, and I think that scares people."

(Orlando Sentinel) Read the rest

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