This is an update to the Diary I wrote yesterday.

Tea Party Militia Leader, Richard Mack has been pretending he’s a bad ass for years. But when he and his Tea Party brethren went to help millionare rancher, Cliven Bundy violently violate a Court order, they proved they are nothing but a bunch of gun-toting, wimpy-ass loud mouths who planned to use women as human shields against any potential gun battle they initiated with the Federal government.

MACK: “We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.” …

… The law itself…is both meaningless drivel and an intentionally set courthouse time bomb. It’s so generic as to be applicable to both anything and nothing; like nearly all of the other recent bills premised on religious freedom, it supposes that literally any law can be nullified by the sincere belief of any single citizen that the law should not apply to them (strong echoes of the “sovereign citizen” flimflam there, and probably not coincidental)—while at the same time asserting that oh, of course we do not mean it for those laws where the federal courts have given states like Mississippi a butt-reddening what-for on which of citizens’ rights are not, in fact, optional.

Thus Mississippi can assert that its new law would not allow a landlord (or burger stand owner) to discriminate against black Americans because he believes black Americans to have been cursed by God, because that has already been explicitly nixed by the courts under the compelling interest standard, but a landlord (or burger stand owner) could freely discriminate against someone they believed to be A Gay, because hey, the damn courts haven’t quite told us we couldn’t. Not yet, anyway. It is a license to discriminate against and segregate literally any group that the state of Mississippi has not been previously explicitly barred from segregating and discriminating against. …

Police notice, Tibet, 1993

Via wikipedja by way of dear Edosan

Police notice, Tibet, 1993

Via wikipedja by way of dear Edosan

ALIENS
It would be irresponsible not to speculate:
    CNN anchor Don Lemon and Decoded host Brad Meltzer bandied about the idea Sunday afternoon that something “beyond our understanding” happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370, that “something” being perhaps supernatural maybe?
    “Especially today, on a day when we deal with the supernatural,” Lemon said. “We go to church, the supernatural power of God…people are saying to me, why aren’t you talking about the possibility — and I’m just putting it out there — that something odd happened to this plane, something beyond our understanding?”
Sure why not, The News. Why the heck not.
CNN asks whether maybe God stole Flight 370
ALIENS

It would be irresponsible not to speculate:


    CNN anchor Don Lemon and Decoded host Brad Meltzer bandied about the idea Sunday afternoon that something “beyond our understanding” happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370, that “something” being perhaps supernatural maybe?


    “Especially today, on a day when we deal with the supernatural,” Lemon said. “We go to church, the supernatural power of God…people are saying to me, why aren’t you talking about the possibility — and I’m just putting it out there — that something odd happened to this plane, something beyond our understanding?”


Sure why not, The News. Why the heck not.


CNN asks whether maybe God stole Flight 370

NSA general counsel Rajesh De contradicts months of angry denials from big companies like Yahoo and Google

… The report says that there is a growing global public awareness of this power-grab. Polls carried out for Oxfam in the UK, Brazil, India, South Africa, Spain and US show that most people in all six countries believe that laws are skewed in favour of the rich. The UK polling carried out by Research Now, found that two-thirds of people thought ‘the rich had too much influence over the direction the country is headed’ and only one in ten disagreed. The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the OECD club of rich nations.

Inequality has shot up the global agenda recently. US President Obama has made the issue one of his key priorities for 2014. The World Economic Forum has identified widening income disparities as the second greatest worldwide risk in the next 12-18 months. WEF’s Global Outlook report, published in November, warned inequality is undermining social stability and ‘threatening security on a global scale’.

Oxfam wants governments to take urgent action to reverse the trend. It is asking those attending Davos to make six-point personal pledge to tackle the problem.

Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam Executive Director who will attend the Davos meetings, said:

"It is staggering that in the 21st Century, half of the world’s population - that’s three and a half billion people - own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all fit comfortably on a double-decker bus.

"We cannot hope to win the fight against poverty without tackling inequality. Widening inequality is creating a vicious circle where wealth and power are increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, leaving the rest of us to fight over crumbs from the top table.

"In developed and developing countries alike we are increasingly living in a world where the lowest tax rates, the best health and education and the opportunity to influence are being given not just to the rich but also to their children.

"Without a concerted effort to tackle inequality, the cascade of privilege and of disadvantage will continue down the generations. We will soon live in a world where equality of opportunity is just a dream. In too many countries economic growth already amounts to little more than a ‘winner takes all’ windfall for the richest."

The UK Government’s Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, chaired by Alun Milburn, warned in October that having stopped rising towards the end of the last century, social mobility is now flat-lining and “could go into reverse”. It found that too often being born poor leads to a lifetime of poverty.

Policies successfully demanded by the rich in recent decades include financial deregulation, tax havens and secrecy, anti-competitive business practice, lower tax rates on high incomes and investments and cuts or underinvestment in public services for the majority. Since the late 1970’s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 out of 30 countries for which data are available, meaning that in many places the rich not only get more money but also pay less tax on it. …

barrylyga:

American Internet speeds lag behind Estonia. ESTONIA. Let’s hear again how big cable mergers are good for consumers!

Shock revelation as ordinary punters found not to understand tech acronyms

The Personal Computer Memory Card International Association’s eponymous 1990 PCMCIA card standard used to jokingly be decoded as People Can’t Memorise Computer Industry Acronyms.

Nearly a quarter of a century later that jape has been proven anew, after an online coupons outfit called Vouchercloud let The Los Angeles Times publish the “results” of a “study” of “2,392 men and women 18 years of age or older” who were asked to decode some more recent technology terms.

The headline finding is that 11 per cent thought “HTML” is a sexually transmitted disease.

Other jaw-droppers for Reg-reading digerati include:

• Gigabyte being identified as “an insect commonly found in South America” by 27 per cent of respondents
• 42 per cent saying motherboards are “the deck of a cruise ship”
• MP3 is thought to be a cousin of R2D2, after 23 per cent thought the audio file format is a “Star Wars” robot
• USB was thought to be shorthand for a European country by 12 per cent of respondents

Blu-Ray was held to be a marine animal by 18 per cent of respondents, while software was defined as comfortable clothes by 15 per cent.

The Reg has asked Vouchercloud to provide a detailed version of the study so we can understand its methodology. We’re keen, for example, to know if sexually-transmitted disease was offered as a multiple choice response or spontaneously volunteered by respondents. At the time of writing we’ve had no reply.

What can we learn from this study? The Reg has distilled three insights:

• Civilians who don’t need to know about technology will, when presented with plausible-sounding descriptions for acronyms, get stuff amusingly wrong;
• There’s a fair chance there will be a character called MP3 in a future Star Wars film;
• Those PCMCIA people were amazingly prescient.

This GIF is More Relevant Now Than Ever Before
Poisonous, evil weasel.

rootin’ tootin’ vladimir putin

Poisonous, evil weasel.

rootin’ tootin’ vladimir putin

A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.

The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

To the question “Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth,” 26 percent of those surveyed answered incorrectly.

In the same survey, just 39 percent answered correctly (true) that “The universe began with a huge explosion” and only 48 percent said “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.”

Just over half understood that antibiotics are not effective against viruses. …


#facepalm

owsposters:

Silhouette Man Wonders WTF is Wrong with Americans
View larger size: At Zoom.it | 800x3600 | 1600x7300  
Download the poster pack
This comic uses some text from the Letter of Support for Quebec Students from Nordic Students. The letter is written by a coalition of student unions from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
UPDATE: The original version of this poster cited the above mentioned letter, and the Student Union in Finland was not included among the letter’s authors. That caused some confusion. The poster has been updated to include Finland, because it does have essentially the same higher education policy as its Nordic neighbors.
UPDATE #2: Since my posting this on DailyKos, this comic has been shared about a half-million times over two days. Here’s KOS founder Markos Moulitsas on the comic:

UPDATE #3: It’s been interesting to watch how many officials from the for-profit “schools” mentioned in this comic, and their law firms, have visited this site to view this comic.
UPDATE #4: This comic has now been shared over 2-million times across the Internet.

#only in Yankistan

owsposters:

Silhouette Man Wonders WTF is Wrong with Americans

View larger size: At Zoom.it | 800x3600 | 1600x7300  

Download the poster pack

This comic uses some text from the Letter of Support for Quebec Students from Nordic Students. The letter is written by a coalition of student unions from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

UPDATE: The original version of this poster cited the above mentioned letter, and the Student Union in Finland was not included among the letter’s authors. That caused some confusion. The poster has been updated to include Finland, because it does have essentially the same higher education policy as its Nordic neighbors.

UPDATE #2: Since my posting this on DailyKos, this comic has been shared about a half-million times over two days. Here’s KOS founder Markos Moulitsas on the comic:

http://img826.imageshack.us/img826/5060/moulitsas.png

UPDATE #3: It’s been interesting to watch how many officials from the for-profit “schools” mentioned in this comic, and their law firms, have visited this site to view this comic.

UPDATE #4: This comic has now been shared over 2-million times across the Internet.

#only in Yankistan

Our gun laws are perfect just the way they are.

Our gun laws are perfect just the way they are.

If the name TransCanada is familiar to you, it may be because they are the corporation behind the as yet unapproved KeystoneXL Pipeline. But the technology is safer than ever, they keep telling us! Yaright. From ThinkProgress.org:

A natural gas pipeline operated by TransCanada Corp. exploded and caught fire in the Canadian province of Manitoba on Saturday, shutting off gas supplies for as many as 4,000 residents in sub-zero temperatures.

“We could see these massive 200- to 300-meter high flames just shooting out of the ground and it literally sounded like a jet plane,” resident Paul Rawluk told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

…in order to repair the line, they shut off the natural gas supply to several municipalities.
Temperatures dropped to -20 degrees Celsius overnight.

Niverville Deputy Mayor John Funk said that “service is expected to be lost for minimum of 24 hours to multiple days” in a statement on the town’s website…

…a Wall Street Journal analysis released this week found that people discover pipeline spills far more often than the leak-detection technology touted by companies. Based on PHMSA data for 251 pipeline incidents over four years, the WSJ found that nearby residents or company employees were nearly three times as likely to detect a pipeline leak. Leak-detection software, special alarms and 24/7 control room monitoring, on the other hand, discovered leaks just 19.5 percent of the time. …