Saturday, February 27, 2010

Marie Osmond's Son Commits Suicide

Michael Blosil, 18, and one of Marie Osmond's adopted children, jumped to his death Friday night from his downtown Los Angeles apartment building. He left behind a suicide note, according to ETOnline.

According to the report, the note stated that Michael Blosil "intended to commit suicide due to his life-long battle with severe depression that left him, he said, feeling as if he had no friends and could never fit in."

Besides Michael Blosil, Marie Osmond has seven other children. They are Stephen James Craig, 27, from her first marriage, who was adopted by Osmond's second husband Brian Blosil. While married to Blosil, Osmond had two more children, Rachael Lauren in 1989 and Matthew Richard in 1999. In addition, they adopted Jessica Marie in 1987, Michael Brian in 1991, Brandon Warren in 1997, Brianna Patricia in 1998, and Abigail Michelle in 2002. Osmond and Blosil announced they were divorcing in 2007.

On November 14, 2007, MSNBC reported that Michael Blosil, then 16, had entered rehab. Marie Osmond confirmed the news later the same night during a taping of the show "Larry King Live."

Through her publicist, Marie Osmond said:
"My family and I are devastated and in deep shock by the tragic loss of our dear Michael and ask that everyone respect our privacy during this difficult time."
Meanwhile, her brother Donny said:
"Please pray for my sister and her family."
Saturday night's "Donny & Marie" show at the Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas was canceled.
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Appeals Court: Zombies Have Free Speech Rights

If corporations can have free speech rights, why can't zombies? That's basically the ruling given by an appeals court in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Wednesday.

The appeals court, a three-judge panel, overturned a lower court by a 2-1 vote in finding that the group of seven "zombies" had been wrongfully detained during a 2006 shopping mall protest against consumerism. The court ruled that Minneapolis police lacked probable cause to arrest the demonstrators for disorderly conduct.

The demonstrators were wearing makeup at the time that gave them a "Night of the Living dead" look (white face powder, fake blood, etc. etc.). They also tromped stiff-legged through the mall, as zombies are wont to do.

However, the panel did dismiss the zombie plaintiffs' claims of "First Amendment retaliation" and "false imprisonment." On the other hand, the ruling they made gives the protesters the right to revive their lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and its police department. According to the Star Tribune paper the zombies are seeking damages of at least $50,000 per corpse arrested.

The panel said:
"An objectively reasonable person would not think probable cause exists under the Minnesota disorderly conduct statue to arrest a group of peaceful people for engaging in an artistic protest by playing music, broadcasting statements (and) dressing as zombies."
The reference to corporations above refers to the recent Supreme Court decision in which they gave corporations unfettered rights to throw as much money as they want toward an election. The fact that a WaPo poll shows bipartisan opposition to the decision (with 76 percent of conservatives against the ruling) shows that the five conservatives in the Supreme Court, who want to please their base, are probably saying "Oops."

Self-Proclaimed Miss Beverly Hills Says Bible Is Clear On Death For Homosexuals

The self-proclaimed Miss Beverly Hills 2010, Lauren Ashley recently told fox News that the Bible is pretty clear on on death with regards to gays. At the same time, the city of Beverly Hills disavowed her "title" and slammed her for her opinions. Ashley said:
"The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman. In Leviticus it says, 'If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.' The Bible is pretty black and white ..."
Beverly Hills responded quickly, with an official statement saying that Beverly Hills "does not sponsor a beauty pageant and has no association with Miss California USA. As such, there should be no individual claiming the title of Miss Beverly Hills." They also added that Ashley actually lives in Pasadena.

Beverly Hills added that it had contacted pageant officials to see if there was a way to prevent any future beauty contestants from using the title of Miss Beverly Hills.

However, while Beverly Hills does not have a pageant of its own, Miss California rules do state that the contestants can claim to represent any area of their choosing. Keith Lewis, a K2 Productions stage director for the Miss California USA pageant, said, "the girls pick the territory they represent. Her representation area is Beverly Hills USA. When she competes, her sash will read 'Beverly Hills USA.'"

The Miss California pageant is associated with the Miss USA pageant (and Donald Trump, therefore), winner of which goes on to represent the U.S. in the Miss Universe pageant.
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Trainer Dawn Brancheau Killed By Orca At SeaWorld's Shamu Stadium

Dawn Brancheau, 40, a veteran trainer at Orlando, FL's SeaWorld, was killed by an orca (killer whale) during a show at Shamu Stadium at the theme park. SeaWorld uses the stage name "Shamu" for any of the male or female orcas during a show.

While authorities have said that Brancheau fell into the holding tank at Shamu Stadium, and was then fatally injured by one of the orcas, witnesses disagree. Park guest Victoria Biniak told Local 6 that Brancheau had just finished explaining the show to the audience.

Then, Biniak said, the whale rose up from the water and grabbed the woman, in a horrific scene from some science fiction movie. Biniak told Local 6:
"He was thrashing her around pretty good. It was violent. (The whale) took off really fast in the tank, and then he came back, shot up in the air, grabbed the trainer by the waist and started thrashing around, and one of her shoes flew off."
In 2006, a trainer at SeaWorld was hospitalized after a killer whale grabbed him and twice held him underwater during a killer whale show at Shamu Stadium.

However, the orca in this case, Tillikum, nicknamed "Tilly," has had issues in the past. The killer whale was blamed for the drowning of one of his trainers in 1991 when he was performing at Sealand of the Pacific in British Columbia. After being sold to SeaWorld as a stud in 1992, "Tilly" was involved in a second incident when authorities found the body of a 27-year-old naked homeless man lying across his back in July 1999.

It was later theorized that the man had either hidden until SeaWorld closed, or somehow snuck into SeaWorld after hours. They believed that Tilly had done a little "horseplay" with the man. Sheriff's spokesman Jim Solomons said at the time: "He may have been a victim of what a whale would call horseplay, just playing around."

Watch a video report:
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Toyota's Recalls May Help Man Convicted Of Vehicular Homicide

Toyota's woes may prove a boon to a Minnesota man who was convicted of vehicular homicide. He claimed, at the time, that his Camry suddenly accelerated and slammed into another car, killing three members of a family.

In June 10, 2006, Koua Fong Lee, 32, was driving home from church. In his 1996 Toyota Camry were his pregnant wife, his daughter, brother and father. After exiting Interstate 94 he smashed into the back of an Oldsmobile. The Camry hit the other car at a speed estimated between 70 and 90 miles per hour. Lee testified he shouted to his family, "Brakes, brakes not working," just before the crash.

Javis Adams and his 10-year-old son, Javis Adams Jr., died at the scene. Devyn Bolton succumbed to injuries from the crash a year later.

After Toyota's recent swarm of recalls, Lee's lawyers discovered that some 1996 Camrys had been themselves the subject of a recall because of "unintended acceleration" caused by a flaw in the cruise control. The recall was not presented as evidence at the trial.

In fact, while a 1996 model would not be among those in Toyota's recent recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received more than 17 complaints from owners of other 1996 Camrys alleging sudden acceleration. Among them:
  • "Vehicle accelerated on its own."
  • "It was a very dangerous situation."
  • "The vehicle reached speeds of 60-80 mph while running two stop signs. Had to crash into a tree and another vehicle to stop the vehicle."
The last was very recently reported, in Oct. 2009.

Lee was given an eight year sentence and has been in prison for two. In criminal cases, a reasonable doubt is all that is necessary for an innocent verdict, and it appears reasonable doubt has even reached the family of those killed.

Bridgette Trice, whose seven-year old daughter later died from injuries suffered in the accident, as noted above, said "I can't believe that a guy with his pregnant wife, a kid in a car seat, his father-in-law and a brother-in-law in the car, would purposely be speeding up this ramp like that. Maybe there is something to what Mr. Lee said was going on with him in his car, that he couldn't stop, that he tried his hardest, and the brakes, that his car wouldn't stop. He's never wavered on his story that his brakes were bad."

Watch a video report:
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

USOC Reacts Quickly To Scott Lago Racy Pictures

He only won a bronze medal.  One has to wonder what would have happened if he'd won gold.  Scotty Lago's racy pictures showed up on the Internet, and that was that.  This set of Scotty Lago racy pictures have sent him home.

Seriously, although the Scotty Lago racy pictures show some simulated oral sex, there's really not that much there.  While they leave little to the imagination, it's not as though the guy was pantsless, too.  Fortunately, he was (nearly) fully clothed during the event, but was still a little too suggestive for the United States Olympic Committee to get behind.

The Scotty Lago racy pictures are not all that racy, but one has to wonder: what happened after that picture was taken, and did Scotty go home.  One has to think the Asian woman in the picture has now attained 15 minutes of fame.  In this day and age, she will probably also be quickly identified.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger Woods Apology Video and Transcript

Tiger Woods "apologized" to his fans, his wife, and the media today. His wife Elin was not at his side when he did so. He made the following key points during his press conference:
  • He apologized to the public
  • He will return to golf, but did not give a timeline
  • He admitted attending a sex addiction clinic
  • He has never taken performance-enhancing drugs
  • His wife, Elin, did not strike him during the famous car crash, nor has she ever
  • He still wants to reconnect, but his apology to her will come with actions, not words
  • He will rely on his Buddhist upbringing going forward
The full transcript, as well as the full Tiger Woods apology video is below.
Good morning, and thank you for joining me.

Many of you in this room are my friends. Many of you in this room know me. Many of you have cheered for me, you worked with me, or you supported me. Now every one of you has good reason to be critical of me. I want to say to each of you, simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in.

I know people want to find out how I could be so selfish and so foolish. People want to know how I could have done these things to my wife, Elin, and to my children. And while I have always tried to be a private person, there are some things I want to say.

Elin and I have started the process of discussing the damage caused by my behavior. As Elin pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words. It will come from my behavior over time. We have a lot to discuss. However, what we say to each other will remain between the two of us.

I am also aware of the pain my behavior has caused to those of you in this room. I have let you down. And I have let down my fans. For many of you, especially my friends, my behavior has been a personal disappointment. To those of you who work for me, I have let you down personally and professionally. My behavior has caused considerable worry to my business partners, to everyone involved in my foundation, including my staff, board of directors, sponsors, and most importantly, the young students we reach. Our work is more important than ever. Thirteen years ago, my dad and I envisioned helping young people achieve their dreams through education. This work remains unchanged and will continue to grow. From the Learning Center students in Southern California to the Earl Woods scholars in Washington, D.C., millions of kids have changed their lives and I am dedicated to making sure that continues.

But still, I know I have bitterly disappointed all of you. I have made you question who I am and how I could have done the things I did. I'm embarrassed that I have put you in this position. For all that I have done, I am so sorry. I have a lot to atone for.

But there's one issue I really want to discuss. Some people have speculated that Elin somehow hurt or attacked me on Thanksgiving night. It angers me that people would fabricate a story like that. Elin never hit me that night or any other night. There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage, ever. Elin has shown enormous grace and poise throughout this ordeal. Elin deserves praise, not blame. The issue involved here was my repeated irresponsible behavior. I was unfaithful. I had affairs, I cheated. What I did is not acceptable. And I am the only person to blame.

I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in. I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn't apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a married couple should live by. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn't have far - I didn't have to go far to find them. I was wrong, I was foolish. I don't get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me. I brought this shame on myself. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife's family, my friends, my foundation, and kids all around the world who admired me.

I've had a lot of time to think about what I've done. My failures have made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to before. It's now up to me to make amends, and that starts by never repeating the mistakes I've made. It's up to me to start living a life of integrity.

I once heard, and I believe it's true, it's not what you achieve in life that matters; it's what you overcome. Achievements on the golf course are only part of setting an example. Character and decency are what really count. Parents used to point at me as a role model for their kids. I owe all those families a special apology. I want to say to them that I am truly sorry.

It's hard to admit that I need help, but I do. For 45 days, from the end of December to early February, I was in in-patient therapy receiving guidance for the issues I'm facing. I have a long way to go. But I've taken my first steps in the right direction.

As I proceed, I understand people have questions. I understand the press wants me to - wants to ask me for the details of the times I was unfaithful. I understand people want to know whether Elin and I will remain together. Please know that as far as I'm concerned, every one of these questions, and answers, is a matter between Elin and me. These are issues between a husband and a wife.

Some people have made up things that never happened. They said I used performance-enhancing drugs. This is completely and utterly false.

Some have written things about my family. Despite the damage I have done, I still believe it is right to shield my family from the public spotlight. They did not do these things; I did. I have always tried to maintain a private space for my wife and children. They have been kept separate from my sponsors, from my commercial endorsements. When my children were born, we only released photographs so that the paparazzi could not chase them. However, my behavior doesn't make it right for the media to follow my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter to school and report the school's location. They staked out my wife and they pursued my mom. Whatever my wrongdoings, for the sake of my family: Please leave my wife and kids alone.

I recognize I have brought this on myself, and I know, above all, I am the one who needs to change. I owe it to my family to become a better person. I owe it to those closest to me to become a better man. That's where my focus will be. I have a lot of work to do, and I intend to dedicate myself to doing it.

Part of following this path for me is Buddhism, which my mother taught me at a young age. People probably don't realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years. Buddhism teaches that a creation of things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.

As I move forward, I will continue to receive help because I've learned that's how people really do change. Starting tomorrow, I will leave for more treatment and more therapy. I would like to thank my friends at Accenture and the players in the field this week for understanding why I'm making these remarks today. In therapy, I've learned the importance of looking at my spiritual life and keeping in balance with my professional life. I need to regain my balance and be centered, so I can say the things that are most important to me: My marriage and my children. That also means relying on others for help. I learned to seek support from my peers in therapy, and I hope someday to return that support to others who are seeking help.

I do plan to return to golf one day. I just don't know when that day will be. I don't rule out that it will be this year. When I do return, I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game.

In recent weeks, I have received many thousands of e-mails, letters and phone calls from people expressing good wishes. To everyone who has reached out to me and my family, thank you. Your encouragement means the world to Elin and me. I want to thank the PGA Tour, Commissioner Finchem, and the players for their patience and understanding while I work on my private life. I look forward to seeing my fellow players on the course.

Finally, there are many people in this room, and there are many people at home who believed in me. Today I want to ask for your help. I ask you to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again.

Thank you.

National Enquirer Officially In The Running For A Pulitzer

The National Enquirer, reveling in the fact that it had broken the stories about former Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidate John Edwards and a) his affair with Rielle Hunter (pictured), b) his "love child" Frances Quinn Hunter, earlier said it was going to submit an application for a Pulitzer Prize. For those who always discount the tabloid now comes the bad news: the application has been accepted.

Pulitzer Prize administrators have decided that The National Enquirer is indeed eligible to compete for the awards, widely considered the most coveted honor for American newspapers. The information came Thursday from a unnamed source who was briefed on the matter.

Much of the Enquirer Edwards reporting took place before 2009, and so cannot be considered for this year’s prizes.

According to Emily Miller, who has been campaigning for a Pulitzer for the National Enquirer,
Before The Enquirer submitted its nomination, the Pulitzer's long-time administrator Sig Gissler attempted to pre-empt this campaign by telling reporters that the tabloid is not eligible due to various technicalities. Gissler, however, showed great humility and fairness by reading The Enquirer's submission and admitting that the paper is eligible to compete. Gissler has given The National Enquirer the legitimacy it long deserved for breaking a political scandal of national significance.
This should add legitimacy to anything the Enquirer produces going forward, short of stories of alien autopsies, we suppose.
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Parents File Lawsuit Over Webcams Used To Spy On Students

The parents of Blake Robbins, a student at Harriton High School in Rosemont, PA, have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Lower Merion School District, the Board of Directors of the school district, and the Superindent, as well. At issue: laptops that were given to students by the district, which can have their webcams activated remotely by school administrators, even when the student is at home or away from the computer.

The lawsuit (.PDF) alleges that students and parents weren't told about the webcam "feature." The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the 1,800 district students, seeks "to recover damages caused to the Plaintiffs and Class by Defendants' invasion of Plaintiffs' privacy, (and) theft of Plaintiffs' private information."

It was only when an assistant principal at Harriton High School told tenth-grader Blake Robbins that she had a picture that proved he “was engaged in improper behavior in his home” that the "feature" came to the fore.

The lawsuit alleges the webcams violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of privacy, privacy under Pennsylvania common law, the U.S. Civil Rights Act, and a variety of other statutes. The filing adds:
As the laptops at issue were routinely used by students and family members while at home, it is believed and therefore averred that many of the images captured and intercepted may consist of images of minors and their parents or friends in compromising or embarrassing positions, including, but not limited to, in various stages of dress or undress.
That, of course, brings up the possibility that in some circumstances the images were basically child porn.

District spokesman Doug Young said on Thursday, “This is the first we have heard of the allegations. We can categorically state that we are, and always have been, committed to the privacy of our students."
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Palins Call "Family Guy" Writers "Heartless Jerks"

As soon as Sunday night's "Family Guy" episode aired, it was clear to anyone viewing that Sarah Palin would probably respond to it. The Sunday episode showed Chris Griffin dating a girl with Down's Syndrome, who mentions her mother is a former governor of Alaska, an obvious dig at Palin's son Trig.

In Sunday's episode, "Extra Large Medium," while she never mentioned Palin by name, the girl, Ellen, was clearly referring to Palin when she told Chris, "My dad's an accountant, and my mom's the former governor of Alaska."

In a Facebook comment, Palin said the episode "felt like another kick in the guts." Palin then strangely turned the comment over to Bristol Palin, who called the "Family Guy" writers "heartless jerks." It was previously rumored that Trig was actually Bristol Palin's son, not Sarah Palin's.

Watch the episode:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Theft Ends Up In Crash, Deaths

Two men who fled via car after robbing a street-corner Valentine's Day gift stand in Los Angeles died early Sunday after crashing during a chase. The men reportedly stole both gift baskets and cash from a vendor near downtown L.A.

The victim called police and officers located their car nearby. The suspects then sped away. However, the suspected robbers died when their getaway car crashed into a parked vehicle near the Civic Center.

Both were thrown from the car and were pronounced dead at the scene. The suspects were not immediately identified.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tea Party Movement Racist: Fox News Poll

Strange results from a Fox News poll, as their core audience is undeniably to the right. However, a Fox News poll indicates that even those viewers / readers feel that the Tea Party movement is racist.

Here's how the poll was posed:
How to define the Tea Party movement was nearly as big an issue last week at the National Tea Party Convention as the political issues discussed, from government fiscal responsibility to greater accountability of public officials. Some participants drew cheers for raising more controversial topics, such as President Obama's nationality, but others argued that those points were, at best, politically unproductive. Meghan McCain went further on Monday and called segments of the movement "racist."
As of the the time of this writing, there are 210,835 votes. 80 perecent of them selected the option that the Tea Party movement is "A fruitless mix of racism, conspiracy theories."

Interestingly, for those who believe the policies of Barack Obama are socialist, only 1 percent of respondents agreed with that statement as a reason that the Tea Party movement has begun. Of course, those who truly know what socialism means know that any idea that the U.S. is moving toward it is a completely untrue statement, anyway.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Woods' Mistress Number One To Get TV Gig

The first mistress outed in the Tiger Woods sex scandal has been offered a TV gig, according to Page Six. Rachel Uchitel, on the strength of her interview with Extra's Mario Lopez, "so impressed producers that she's been offered a job as a special correspondent."

Reportedly, Uchitel will report on nightlife "hot spots." She won't, however, report on Tiger Woods.

Watch the Extra video:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Soldier Simulates Drowning Of Daughter When She Fails Alphabet Test

A soldier has been accused of simulating drowning, pushing his four-year-old daughter's face underwater because she was unable to recite the alphabet. Joshua Tabor, 27, is a soldier at the Lewis-McChord base in Tacoma, Washington.

While some reports named the technique used by Tabor as waterboarding, strictly speaking, it was not. Waterboarding involves covering the individual's face with fabric or cloth and pouring water over the nose and mouth to simulate drowning.

According to reports, "Tabor said he submerged her face three or four times until the water was lapping around her forehead and jawline."

Tabor had won custody of his daughter only four weeks earlier. Her mother lives in Kansas. Tabor has been charged with assault and ordered to remain on his base and have no contact with his daughter or girlfriend (who was not named). He is due to appear in court later this week.
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sarah Palin Uses Crib Notes During Tea Party Appearance

Sarah Palin's speech at the so-called National Tea Party Convention last night was interesting for many reasons. One of them is that Palin was forced to use crib notes scrawed on her hand.

The photo above, blown up from the photo below by The Huffington Post, clearly shows the evidence. The crib notes were used during a Q&A session at the convention, leading to the obvious conclusion that the questions and answers were known beforehand.

It's not hard to believe she would need to use crib notes. After all, this is a woman who didn't know Africa was a continent. It is, however, hypocritical since she recently criticized President Barack Obama over use of a teleprompter.

It does show that she's learned from the Katie Couric interview from last year: don't go in without knowing the answers, and make sure you have the answers around in case you forget them.

Watch a video, too:

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Tea Party Speaker Tancredo Suggests Return To Literacy Tests

Former California representative Tom Tancredo urged a return to voter literacy tests on the opening night of the Tea Party convention. Such tests were used in the past to prevent African-Americans and in some cases, Latinos, from voting, prior to Johnson-era civil rights laws.

Tancredo said that President Barack Obama was elected because "we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country." He went further and blaster his own party's John McCain, saying "Thank God John McCain lost the election. This is our country. Let's take it back."

It's hard to know if by "our country" he meant a country of white people. However, as he railed against what he called the "cult of multiculturalism," it's pretty obvious. Tancredo, who has been a long opponent of immigration, should remember who the real immigrants to North America are.

When the literacy tests were previously used, those who were white were often allowed to vote, even if they failed the test. Details on Alabama's program can be found here.

Here are a few of the questions they gave on the "test."
  • "If a person charged with treason denies his guilt, how many persons must testify against him before he can be convicted?" (two)
  • "If a president does not wish to sign a bill, how many days is he allowed in which to return it to Congress for consideration?" (10)
  • "If the United States wishes to purchase land for an arsenal and have exclusive legislative authority over it, consent is required from [fill in the blank]." (legislature)
A few comments: considering that Sarah Palin, a woman in her 40's, did not know that Africa was a continent and not a country, it is obvious there's a good chance she would fail this test. Second, as a member of Mensa with a certified genius level IQ, I can't answer these, because my civics class was over 30 years ago.

And finally, what you need to be able to do to vote for a candidate is not understand the esoterics of the laws and information in that test. You need to be able to parse the rhetoric of candidates. That is something that many on the right, who still believe in "death panels," cannot doe.

Red-Faced Banker Caught Looking At Racy Emails Will Keep Job

An Australian banking employee who became an Internet sensation after a video of an interview showing him in the background looking at a few racy images on the Internet was posted to YouTube, will keep his job.

Macquarie Bank said in a statement released on Friday: "He will remain an employee of Macquarie. Macquarie and the employee apologize for any offence that may have been caused."

While you might expect that the company might start looking into censoring the sites its employees are allowed to view, it turns out that the red-faced employee, David Kiely opened e-mails on Tuesday containing pictures of model Miranda Kerr. It wasn't about the Web; it was about inappropriate email.

Interestingly, many were interested in helping Kiely keep his job.
The financial website Here is the City News even set up a "Save Dave" page encouraging readers to email the PR department of Macquarie Bank to help save Kiely's job. The web campaign cited the following reasons:
  • he seems like a nice guy;
  • the photographs were not hardcore;
  • he has suffered enough, and
  • there's just too much political correctness in this world anyway
Additionally, Kerr, a 26-year-old Australian-born model engaged to "Pirates of the Caribbean" star Orlando Bloom, tod news.com.au that "I am told there is a petition to save his job, and of course I would sign it."

You might expect Kiely's desk to be moved out of camera view. Watch the original video here:

Watch a report on the incident, which shows a close-up in which you can see his horrified realization of the incident.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Colin Powell Announces Support of Repeal of "DADT"

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who famously came out as supporting President Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign has offered his support to an Obama plan. That plan is to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

As the nation’s top military officer in the 1990s, Colin Powell opposed allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military. On Wednesday he switched gears, saying in a statement:
“In the almost 17 years since the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed. I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen.”
On Tuesday, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, told lawmakers that they supported President Obama’s proposal to repeal the 1993 law. Admiral Mullen is the first Joint Chiefs chairman to ever take that position.

As noted on Tuesday, however, any change in the DADT policy would not come any time soon. Both Mullen and Gates told lawmakers that there would be a Pentagon review of up to a year to study how to implement any change before they expected Congress to act on repealing DADT.
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Sanford Dropped "Faithful" From Wedding Vows: Wife

As if, upon discovering the reality of her husband Mark Sanford's infidelity was not bad enough, Jenny Sanford reports in a new memoir that the South Carolina governor actually asked her advice with regards to his affair.

Jenny Sanford, as reported at HuffPo, writes in "Staying True" (to be released Friday) that Gov. Sanford wondered aloud whether he should follow his heart to Argentina to be with his mistress, Maria Belen-Chapur. He asked if he would regret not doing so. She wrote "Clearly those are thoughts I wish he had kept to himself."

Also, In an upcoming "20/20" interview with Barbara Walters, Jenny Sanford noted that Mark Sanford dropped the word "faithful" from the couple's wedding vows. As reported:
Sanford recalls how she made the "leap of faith" to marry husband Gov. Mark Sanford even though the groom refused to promise to be faithful, insisting that the clause be removed from their wedding vows.

"It bothered me to some extent, but ... we were very young, we were in love ... I questioned it, but I got past it ... along with other doubts that I had."

Monday, February 1, 2010

Austrian Army "Pick-Up" Ad Withdrawn After Sexism Complaints

An advertisement aimed at kick-starting declining Austrian Army recruitment has been shelved after complaints of sexism. The ad showed young women chasing a tank for a "joy-ride." In order to do so, they passed up a macho-looking Audi driver.

While the Army was all for the ad, saying "Our clip is so dorky it's brilliant," Judith Goetz, in charge of feminist issues at the Austrian Students' Union, said: "It is totally archaic to show such an obviously sexist video when women are part of the Austrian military."

A "loose translation" from the YouTube video follows:

Audi Driver: hey Girls, wanna go for a spin in my fast ride?
Girls: ehh not sure, there's not even enough space for all of us
Soldier: wazzup girls, in the mood for a joyride?
Girls: *yaaaaay*
Soldier: join the army if you wanna drive a tank
Soldier2: jump in, starting engine
Audi Driver: hey, what about the spin?
Girl: forget it, I want to drive something big
Narrator: the Austrian Armed Forces offer unique opportunities for young people who are at least 18, everything else is just everday life