June 2013 Archives

What Do Women Know?

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Apparently quite a bit. When women grab the rhetoric reins arguments tend to have real world solutions that are good for everyone.
Susan B Anthony once said that

"Men and their rights no more;
Women and their rights no less"

Why Rachel Jeantell Is A Hero

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Linguistic and cultural collision made the defense lawyer appear as a complete out of touch asshole.


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Top court strikes down DOMA in historic win for gay marriage

By Pete Williams and Erin McClam

In a landmark ruling for gay rights, the Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law blocking federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

The decision was 5-4, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. It said that the law amounted to the "deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment."

In a separate case, the court ruled that it could not take up a challenge to Proposition 8, the California law that banned gay marriage in that state. That decision means that gay marriage will once again be legal in California.

That decision was also 5-4, written by Chief Justice John Roberts.

The ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act means that the federal government must recognize the gay marriages deemed legal by the states -- 12 plus the District of Columbia, before the California case was decided.

The law helps determine who is covered by more than 1,100 federal laws, programs and benefits, including Social Security survivor benefits, immigration rights and family leave.

"DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others," the ruling said. It added that the law was invalid because there was no legitimate purpose for disparaging those whom states "sought to protect in personhood and dignity."

President Barack Obama, in a post on Twitter, said that the ruling was a "historic step forward for #MarriageEquality."

Texas abortion bill fails to pass after epic filibuster


Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, left, reacts as time expires following her lengthy filibuster.

By Ian Johnston, M. Alex Johnson and Mark Stevenson

A bill that opponents claimed would virtually ban abortion in Texas failed to pass late Tuesday after lawmakers missed a deadline by just minutes.

There were chaotic scenes after a filibuster attempt fell just short and protesters cheered, clapped and shouted from 11:45 p.m. to midnight and beyond as lawmakers tried to hold the vote before the session ended at midnight (1 a.m. ET).

The filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who wore a back brace, lasted almost 11 hours but ended after three challenges to her speech were upheld.

The only way Democrats in the Republican-controlled Senate could defeat the measure was by not letting it come to a vote on Tuesday.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, acting as Senate president, initially said the voting began just before midnight, NBCDFW.com reported, and several reports suggested that the bill had been passed after a 19-10 vote and would go to Gov. Rick Perry.

But Dewhurst later announced that the vote had been held too late.

At about 3 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET), he said that the special session had expired and the bill could not be "signed in the presence of the Senate ... and therefore cannot be enrolled."

However Dewhurst may have hinted Gov. Rick Perry could immediately call another special session, when he told the Senate: "It's over. It's been fun. But see you soon."

He condemned the protesters for staging what they described as "a people's filibuster."

As a young surgeon, Peter Attia felt contempt for a patient with diabetes. She was overweight, he thought, and thus responsible for the fact that she needed a foot amputation. But years later, Attia received an unpleasant medical surprise that led him to wonder: is our understanding of diabetes right? Could the precursors to diabetes cause obesity, and not the other way around? A look at how assumptions may be leading us to wage the wrong medical war.

Both a surgeon and a self-experimenter, Peter Attia hopes to ease the diabetes epidemic by challenging what we think we know and improving the scientific rigor in nutrition and obesity research

The video "DNA Portrait," below, is a lovely short documentary shot by TED's own Kari Mulholland. It features the work of the artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg, who spent time collecting hairs shed in public spaces... and then sequencing the DNA therein to print 3D sculptures of what those hairs' owners might look like. Whoa. The film is also the secret story of the lab run by TEDGlobal 2012 speaker Ellen Jorgensen. At Genspace, people can experiment with DNA-based technology, regardless of their scientific knowledge or experience. As Jorgensen comments in the film, Dewey-Hagborg's work is super interesting, not to mention searingly contemporary. "It's a very accessible way for the public to engage with this new technology. It really brings to light how powerful it is, the idea that a hair from your head can fall on your street and a perfect stranger can pick it up and know something about it," she says, adding: "With DNA sequencing becoming faster and cheaper, this is the world we're all going to be living in."


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A warning which puts the recent exposures of secret government data gathering programs by Edward Snowden in perspective.

Handy Hints

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4 Things you might not have known about your Cell Phone

FIRST (Emergency)

The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile network and there is an Emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly, this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked. Try it out.

SECOND (Hidden Battery Power)

Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370#. Your cell phone will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge your cell phone next time.

THIRD ( How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone? )

To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following Digits on your phone


A 15-digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe.

If your phone is stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.

And Finally....

FOURTH (Free Directory Service for Cells)

Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411 information calls when they don't have to. Most of us do not carry a telephone directory in our vehicle, which makes this situation even more of a problem. When you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial:

(800) FREE411 or (800) 373-3411

without incurring any charge at all Program this into your cell phone now.

This is sponsored by McDonalds.

hat tip to J Silveira

Recharging dead batteries with other batteries

How to Save on Printer Ink

Unlock a car door with a tennis ball

New Quark

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Quark of nature: New 'charmed' particle discovered

bejing spectrometer.jpgThe Beijing Spectrometer Experiment (BESIII) found evidence of a new particle that may contain four quarks. The same particle was independently found at the Belle experiment in Japan, with both projects publishing their results.

Clara Moskowitz

A new type of particle may have shown up independently at two particle accelerators, physicists say. The particle, made of four quarks (the ingredients of protons and neutrons), appears to represent a state of matter previously unknown.

Signs of the particle were sighted at the Belle experiment in Japan and the Beijing Spectrometer Experiment (BESIII) in China. Scientists can't be sure what the particle is made of, or if it's even a single particle at all -- there's a chance it could be two particles, each made of a pair of quarks, bound together. But nothing like it has been seen before, and the discovery offers the hope of clarifying the strange nature of quarks.

"It helps us understand how matter's put together, and it helps us understand this underlying theory of quark interactions," said Leo Piilonen, a physicist at Virginia Tech and a spokesperson for the Belle collaboration. [Beyond Higgs: 5 Elusive Particles That Await Discovery]

Exotic matter

Both Belle and BESIII collide electrons with their antimatter counterparts, positrons, to create powerful explosions that transform the speedy particles' kinetic energy into new forms of matter. Among the various products born in the collisions are exotic particles called Y(4260), first discovered in 2005.

"This is a very interesting particle -- it was discovered, but it's never been predicted," said Fred Harris, a physicist at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and a co-spokesperson for BESIII. "It's a black sheep in high-energy physics."

Rachel Maddow Nails It

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God I love smart women.

Chris Hayes Nails It

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I Am The Eye in the Sky

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I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind....
- alan parsons

Google begins launching Internet-beaming balloons


Martha Mendoza and Nick Perry

Google is launching Internet-beaming antennas into the stratosphere aboard giant, jellyfish-shaped balloons with the lofty goal of getting the entire planet online.

Eighteen months in the works, the top-secret project was announced Saturday in New Zealand, where up to 50 volunteer households are already beginning to receive the Internet briefly on their home computers via translucent helium balloons that sail by on the wind 12 miles above Earth.

While the project is still in the very early testing stages, Google hopes eventually to launch thousands of the thin, polyethylene-film inflatables and bring the Internet to some of the more remote parts of the globe, narrowing the digital divide between the 2.2 billion people who are online and the 4.8 billion who aren't.

If successful, the technology might allow countries to leapfrog the expense of installing fiber-optic cable, dramatically increasing Internet usage in places such as Africa and Southeast Asia.

"It's a huge moonshot, a really big goal to go after," said project leader Mike Cassidy. "The power of the Internet is probably one of the most transformative technologies of our time."

The so-called Project Loon was developed in the clandestine Google X lab that also came up with a driverless car and Google's Web-surfing eyeglasses.

Google would not say how much it is investing in the project or how much customers will be charged when it is up and running.

The first person to get Google Balloon Internet access this week was Charles Nimmo, a farmer and entrepreneur in the small town of Leeston who signed up for the experiment. Technicians attached a bright red, basketball-size receiver resembling a giant Google map pin to the outside of his home.

In a successful preliminary test, Nimmo received the Internet for about 15 minutes before the 49-foot-wide transmitting balloon he was relying on floated out of range. The first thing he did was check the weather forecast because he wanted to find out if it was a good time for "crutching" his sheep, or removing the wool around their rear ends.

Home Sweet Former Missile Silo

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For sale: Decommissioned missile silo, 40 feet underground

Erika Riggs

silo.home.jpgAt first glance, the home in upstate New York isn't anything more than a steel door in the middle of the Adirondacks. But it's below the ground that matters.

Forty feet underground is the actual residence, set in a decommissioned missile silo. A dozen or so are scattered through the country -- one popped up for sale in Saranac, N.Y. in December 2011. Unlike the other silos, explains Dominic, this one remains true to its original function.

"The gentleman who bought it -- he's an Australian architect -- had been looking for a unique property and came upon this one," he said. "He thinks it's an amazing piece of history, so he didn't want to change it; he wanted to restore it."

That meant sourcing original silo parts and cleaning up the rust on existing mechanics. The big red launch button? It's still there on the control panel in the bedroom, which was once Launch Control Center Two.

"There's an actual launch control desk, and he restored it," Dominic said. The rest of the home still has all the necessary features of a normal single-family residence -- kitchen, bathrooms and living area. As for the actual silo that once held the missile? It's 185 feet deep by 52 feet in diameter and could be whatever the buyer wants.

"An organic vegetable farm, hydroponics, precious metal vault, deep-sea diving school, test facility, or even a bird sanctuary," Dominic said.

silo01.JPGThe missile silo is leftover from the beginning of the Cold War, when the U.S. began developing the Atlas missile system, which placed the missiles in bases throughout the country. In this home, like others, the missile was held in an underground silo connected to the missile launch control center. In the late 1960s, the silos were decommissioned and auctioned off to be private residences.

Set between thick concrete walls, the home is designed to survive nuclear explosions, earthquakes, blizzards and nearly any other disaster imaginable. When you're in the home, you can't hear any noise above ground, Dominic says.

"It could be 110 outside, and it would be the same cool temperature and environment down below," he said.

Privacy is rarely lost in one fell swoop. It is usually eroded over time, little bits dissolving almost imperceptibly until we finally begin to notice how much is gone.

Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have 'Nothing to Hide'

By Daniel J. Solove

When the government gathers or analyzes personal information, many people say they're not worried. "I've got nothing to hide," they declare. "Only if you're doing something wrong should you worry, and then you don't deserve to keep it private."

data.jpgThe nothing-to-hide argument pervades discussions about privacy. The data-security expert Bruce Schneier calls it the "most common retort against privacy advocates." The legal scholar Geoffrey Stone refers to it as an "all-too-common refrain." In its most compelling form, it is an argument that the privacy interest is generally minimal, thus making the contest with security concerns a foreordained victory for security.

The nothing-to-hide argument is everywhere. In Britain, for example, the government has installed millions of public-surveillance cameras in cities and towns, which are watched by officials via closed-circuit television. In a campaign slogan for the program, the government declares: "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear." Variations of nothing-to-hide arguments frequently appear in blogs, letters to the editor, television news interviews, and other forums. One blogger in the United States, in reference to profiling people for national-security purposes, declares: "I don't mind people wanting to find out things about me, I've got nothing to hide! Which is why I support [the government's] efforts to find terrorists by monitoring our phone calls!"

The argument is not of recent vintage. One of the characters in Henry James's 1888 novel, The Reverberator, muses: "If these people had done bad things they ought to be ashamed of themselves and he couldn't pity them, and if they hadn't done them there was no need of making such a rumpus about other people knowing."

I encountered the nothing-to-hide argument so frequently in news interviews, discussions, and the like that I decided to probe the issue. I asked the readers of my blog, Concurring Opinions, whether there are good responses to the nothing-to-hide argument. I received a torrent of comments:

  • My response is "So do you have curtains?" or "Can I see your credit-card bills for the last year?"
  • So my response to the "If you have nothing to hide ... " argument is simply, "I don't need to justify my position. You need to justify yours. Come back with a warrant."
  • I don't have anything to hide. But I don't have anything I feel like showing you, either.
  • If you have nothing to hide, then you don't have a life.
  • Show me yours and I'll show you mine.
  • It's not about having anything to hide, it's about things not being anyone else's business.
  • Bottom line, Joe Stalin would [have] loved it. Why should anyone have to say more?

On the surface, it seems easy to dismiss the nothing-to-hide argument. Everybody probably has something to hide from somebody. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn declared, "Everyone is guilty of something or has something to conceal. All one has to do is look hard enough to find what it is." Likewise, in Friedrich Dürrenmatt's novella "Traps," which involves a seemingly innocent man put on trial by a group of retired lawyers in a mock-trial game, the man inquires what his crime shall be. "An altogether minor matter," replies the prosecutor. "A crime can always be found."

Martian Rock Roll

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rolling.mars.rock.jpgclick image to enlarge

Alan Boyle

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured the track of a boulder rolling down a Red Planet slope -- including the tread marks of the rock's irregularities.

This particular slope is in an interesting area: Nili Fossae, a network of valleys that scientists say would be a good bet to contain the fossilized evidence of past life on Mars. It was one of the also-rans on NASA's list of potential landing sites for the Curiosity rover, and it's on the European Space Agency's list of top prospects for future Mars missions.

There's something poignant about seeing the track of a single boulder left behind in Martian soil -- a feeling you don't get when you see a whole swarm of tracks running downhill. "What started it up?" Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait asks. "A Marsquake, a nearby impact, the erosion of its underpinning due to relentless Martian winds?"

Whatever set it off, the rock appears to have an rugged shape: That's suggested by the track's regular pattern of shallower and deeper marks in the soil, Plait says. You can see that as well in the swarm of tracks. Those rocks must have thumped and bumped as they rolled down the slope.

Sermonette #307

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What is it like to raise a child who's different from you in some fundamental way (like a prodigy, or a differently abled kid, or a criminal)? In this quietly moving talk, writer Andrew Solomon shares what he learned from talking to dozens of parents -- asking them: What's the line between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance?

Cool Photo Manipulation Blog

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#157 - Sun Jun 2, 2013 9:24 PM EDT


I guess Trayvon didn't die hard enough on February 26, 2012, because the defense is doing their best to now assassinate Trayvon's character. This was a trial strategy by the defense team and is tantamount to misconduct under the Rules of Professional Conduct of the Florida Bar. Despite O'Mara's lies to the Court, the Judge ruled at the last hearing, (and as commentary lawyers on the television had speculated), most if not all of those photos, videos, and text messages will not be admitted into evidence for two reasons. First of all,they are completely irrelevant. They have absolutely nothing to with what occurred on the night in question. Second, there is no way to authenticate the photos - George murdered the only human on this earth that could do that. Lastly, even if the photos and text messages had probative value, they would still be inadmissible. Their probative value would be substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.

George can assault undercover cops, batter his fiancée, molest his cousin and at least one other, ignore police directives, stalk innocent people, carry a weapon in violation of his vaunted "black watch" rules, and shoot unarmed people without concern or worry. Unbelievably, it takes a national uproar to even have him properly investigated and eventually arrested on suspicion of having committed murder. Let a black man do the same and see what happens. It does not take a leap of faith, or radical act of imagination, to understand how contradictory the outcome would be.

George went looking for trouble on February 26, 2012, and he found it. Watching this pathetic creature on television, some may feel a bit of pity for him -- a grown-man still playing cops and robbers or cowboys and indians.

Trayvon was not armed with a gun on the night in question. Therefore, photos of a hand with a gun are irrelevant - plus O'Mara cannot even authenticate that these are a photos taken by Trayvon and not simply downloaded off the internet. In addition, character evidence is generally inadmissible. Thus, the marijuana photos and middle finger photos are irrelevant and inadmissible. Besides, smoking marijuana is not a capital offense. No one deserves to die for smoking marijuana. No one deserves to die for growing little marijuana plants. No deserves to die for throwing up the middle finger. No one deserves to die for wearing gold teeth. No one deserves to die for wearing a hoodie. No one deserves to die just for being black.

We must categorically reject the prejudice being promoted by the defense team. We must continue to focus on the relevant facts. Trayvon was unarmed. Trayvon was not engaged in any criminal activity on the night in question. George profiled him Trayvon. Against the advice of Non-Emergency Dispatch Operator, George continued to stalk and hunt Trayvon. Trayvon had a right to defend himself against George. George shot and killed Trayvon. After Trayvon was murdered, the police failed to file charges against George until the people raised hell.

It was a national disgrace that we had to protest to bring the killer to justice. That it took 45 days for George to be arrested and charged speaks volumes about the American criminal justice system's cold disregard for life.

People all over this nation united and said "Hell no! We aren't going to let that man get away with killing an unarmed, innocent, young teen." As a result of the people's collective efforts, George is now behind bars via home arrest and charged with 2nd degree murder. This is why protests matter. This is why civil rights organizations are still relevant and necessary. If it was not for the people marching, protesting, speaking out, petitioning and blogging, Trayvon would be just another dead, discarded teen. George would still be on the loose, armed and dangerous. Never forget that.

What the defense has done is taint the jury pool about Zimmerman's actions that night. An armed, former bouncer Zimmerman, who was under the influence of mind altering medication, profiled, pursued and killed an unarmed teen who had only turned 17 two weeks earlier. This kid had no police record and was returning home in the rain while talking to a friend on his cell phone.

Despite rumors otherwise, George was 5'7" tall and weighed 204 lbs at the time of the killing. Trayvon was 5'11" and weighed 160 lbs. If you don't believe me, go look at the ME's report - it's available for all to see. Folks, George was a trained bouncer with 40+lbs over Trayvon.

It is known that Trayvon was followed for at least 8+ minutes (maybe more if we consider that Zimmerman may have been following him before he called the NEN). We as mothers, parents, grandparents, school officials, law enforcement, teach our children that when a stranger follows you, someone tries to come near you, touches you, chases you, you fight, you scream, you kick, you scream some more and you fight some more. You do whatever it takes to keep this person from harming or abducting you.

This is what Trayvon most likely did once Zimmerman attempted to detain him. He had no idea who this creepy guy was - he could have been a pedophile (which is still questionable), he could have been a gang member, he could have been a stupid dumb paranoid delusional wanna-be cop dude that had a gun attached to his butt for balls.... The prosecution will want the jury to believe that Trayvon did what he had been trained to do by us as a society since he was a little child old enough to leave his mother's side. He had that right, any aggression he may have exhibited was warranted and taught by us as adults. It's called self-defense. Zimmerman was an adult and as a person carrying a concealed weapon should have realized that. If you are a parent, you will understand this perspective.

In court, George apologized to Trayvon's parents because their child ran into the bullet that he fired. The passive voice was a classic way of evading responsibility, or identifying those responsible for an act. It is the height of irony and insensitivity when George used the term "for the loss of your son," as if he had nothing to do with it and as defense counsel speaks of Trayvon's "passing" as if it were because of natural causes, old age or terminal disease.

Doubling down, George, appearing on Fox News, had the unmitigated gall to offer up the following statement:

"My wife and I don't have any children... I love my children even though they aren't born yet, and I am sorry that they buried their child. I can't imagine what it must feel like, and I pray for them daily."

George is possessed of a type of self-righteous narcissism and fake-empathy for those people whose lives he has ruined. There is no remorse. In keeping with his belief that he was a tool of prophetic vengeance, George also suggested that it was "god's plan" that he killed Trayvon Martin. Indeed, he would do it again - George would change nothing and his counsel would have done it sooner.

It's important to remember that George is not a police officer, and the evidence clearly reveals that he is solely responsible for Trayvon's death, and those defending his actions should be ashamed. If there is any law in the land that justifies shooting an unarmed individual after the shooter is the instigator, and a prosecutor can't get a conviction out of that, then there is no need for police, for courts, for laws in general. We can just walk up to an unarmed anybody, pick a fight, and kill that person when they retaliate. The insanity of anyone defending this is overwhelming.

George was suspicious of many things, and constantly so. He has a long record of police contacts, most over extremely minor 'suspicions.'

He sees Trayvon, calls the police. Other than Trayvon was black, his behavior was not suspicious. Already we have George framing Trayvon as a possible criminal. At this point, and because there was absolutely nothing to suggest Trayvon was about to or was in the act of committing a crime, George could have simply identified himself and asked what Trayvon was doing. However, that wouldn't provide the needed reinforcement of Zimmermon's vision of himself as Lord Protector of the Neighborhood. There is ample evidence to back the claim George took his title and rank overly seriously. Instead, it was George who continued to act suspiciously and stalked Trayvon.

Now it's Trayvon who had every reason to be suspicious. At this point, whatever he did to distance himself from the headcase following him added to George's self-fulfilling and very lax requirement of "suspicion." George's self-induced irrational suspicion led him to get out of the car to pursue Trayvon, as certainly he's running because he's guilty. "These @!$%#s always get away..." but not this time! Oh no, George will make sure of that!

The call recording has a few periods of a clicking-knocking sound between comments from a distracted George. I would bet the sounds come from George running, jogging, intermittently, and chamber checking his weapon. Nothing about the call shows George breaking off pursuit and returning to his car. In fact, when George requests they contact him when they arrive, rejecting the idea of meeting him at the mailbox, it indicates the reverse--that his intention was to pursue and then have the police find him.

The upshot of it all is George created the situation that ended up with Trayvon's death out of thin air. George's cop/hero wannabe psychosis goes a long way in defining why he acted so insanely irresponsibly---and lied about it---and intentionally misinterpreted a situation to meet his fantasy. But none of that psychological profile excuses what he did. The law may coddle him, but the @!$%# is a punk-assed coward who killed a kid for no good reason.

What happened on February 26, 2012, is clear to a reasonably minded person.

A kid is walking home through the rain in the dark. A car starts tailing him, obviously him alone. The car stops. The window doesn't come down, no one talks to him; instead, this man gets out of the car and approaches him. The kid has every reason to think he's about to be mugged. The man has been told over his radio not to do what he's doing, not to approach the kid. And the end result of this scenario is that the man gets to claim he was defending himself from the kid? As in "Gee, the prey I was stalking attacked me?"

If anyone doesn't believe that George had a choice when he pulled the trigger, it's because they did not read the evidence and George's own words.

First, let's get one thing perfectly clear. George's injuries were not life threatening. Period. Had George's injuries been life threatening, EMTs would not have let him refuse to be examined in emergency. Had George's injuries been life threatening, George would have insisted on going to emergency. Anyone who would plaster kotex sized bandages across the top of their head to cover a couple of minor cuts that did not require stitches is a mamby pamby and would have insisted upon seeking medical attention. Let's not forget also, that EMTs found all of George's vital signs to be within normal ranges - quite strange given that he had just killed a human being.

They say timing is everything. No one is lost in the timing of George's attorneys' release of photos, texts, and videos that are completely irrelevant and inadmissible come trial. George's attorneys want to inflame prejudice within the jurors and bring in donations. They are attempting to pollute the jury pool with extreme right white supremists who hide behind their computer screens and try to assassinate Trayvon over and over. Since the defense attorneys have no legitimate defense or arguments, they are trying to @!$%#fy Trayvon. In essence, they seek to justify the lynching of Trayvon by depicting him as a worthless, marijuana smoking, gun toting, middle finger pointing, thug @!$%#. You see, it is only the defense and the Zimmerman family that keep bringing race into this case. Basically, they want the public to believe that Trayvon got what he deserved. I apologize with all my heart for the use of this vile word - but it is the truth - it is what the defense is trying to do and it disgusts me. They have taken our society back 100 years in doing so. Pay attention folks, when you have no defense, you blame the victim, and if that victim is black, you play to the extreme right wing racists. That is what is happening in this case. O'Mara should be ashamed. A defense attorney's job is to ensure that the prosecution has proved their case; it is not to lie and misrepresent the evidence.

Another Win For the Swabbers

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Or death of a nation by cue tip.

Die Patriarchy Die! 2

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Violence against women--it's a men's issue

Domestic violence and sexual abuse are often called "women's issues." But in this bold, blunt talk, Jackson Katz points out that these are intrinsically men's issues -- and shows how these violent behaviors are tied to definitions of manhood. A clarion call for us all -- women and men -- to call out unacceptable behavior and be leaders of change.

Die Patriarchy Die!

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Even Megan of Fox News let's her colleague dudes have both barrels right in the face.:

Honestly, Florida

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Man dies in apartment building fire near Eagle Lake


All you need to know about the locals here:

Neighbors said the man who died smoked while using oxygen.

Sometimes great actors get to create and play roles that become so universally familiar and part of our lives that we forget they are a fiction produced by the living person of the actor. Jean Stapleton managed that with her seminal portrayal of Edith Bunker, wife to Archie Bunker on the "All In the Family" 70's TV show. Stapleton made the Edith character multilayered (a soid, loving mom, mostly submissive but not always when important stuff came up), but the characteristic that immediately still haunts my brain is that shrieking voice calling "Archie!". I won't miss that voice, but I will miss Stapleton's talent. Sweet dreams, Jean.

Jean Stapleton, 'All in the Family' star, dies at 90


Actress Jean Stapleton, left, and "All in the Family" co-star Carroll O'Connor.

Jean Stapleton, beloved for her role as Edith Bunker on the 1970s television series "All in the Family," died Friday at her home in New York City. She was 90.

Stapleton's family confirmed to NBC News that she died of natural causes. Her children Pamela Putch and John Putch wrote an obit in which they said their mother was surrounded by friends and her immediate family when she passed peacefully.

From NPR:

by Eyder Peralta

The Los Angeles Times reports:

"She had been a veteran of stage, film and television when she was cast in the CBS sitcom opposite Carroll O'Connor's loud-mouthed, bigoted Archie Bunker, who often addressed her as 'dingbat.' She won three Emmys for the role.

"'The benign, compassionate presence she developed made my egregious churl bearable,' O'Connor wrote of Stapleton in his 1998 autobiography. He died in 2001."

, Stapleton said before she took the Edith Bunker role, she was "apolitical."

But surrounded by activists in Los Angeles, things changed.

"I began to get a little educated and became somewhat of an activist," she said.

Her character became an icon of the women's rights movement. Activists took out an ad calling Edith Bunker a second-class citizen. The series also took on bigotry. Edith was the tolerant one and her husband was the bigot.

In the interview with the archive, Stapleton said the series uncovered bigotry through humor.

"Humor reduces it to nothing," she said.

We'll leave you with one of the iconic scenes of the show, when Archie and Edith show up to Lionel Jefferson's engagement party. Lionel, their neighbor's son, was engaged to a woman whose father is white and mother is black:

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