elbales: (Bitch please - BSG)
So on Friday, a University of Rhode Island prof named Eric Loomis expressed his outrage over the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, by tweeting, "I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick." (LaPierre is the head of the NRA.)

The right-wing punditry promptly shit concrete bricks... in spite of the fact that "head on a stick," like "heads will roll," has become a way of saying that there need to be consequences. A way that right-wing commentators use just as much as anyone else.

So someone then contacted the FBI and claimed that Loomis had threatened LaPierre's life, because that statement was so obviously a credible threat, and the RI State Police questioned Loomis, and then his dean hauled him into a meeting, and then, and then, the University of Rhode Island issued a statement:

The University of Rhode Island does not condone acts or threats of violence. These remarks do not reflect the views of the institution and Erik Loomis does not speak on behalf of the University. The University is committed to fostering a safe, inclusive and equitable culture that aspires to promote positive change.

So the best explication of just exactly why this whole thing is total bullshit comes from a post on a blog called Crooked Timber, which I'd never heard of before about half an hour ago:

Even to suggest that Loomis’s tweet constitutes a “threat of violence” is an offense against the English language. We are dismayed that the university president completely fails to acknowledge the importance of academic freedom and of scholars’ freedom independently to express views (even intemperate ones) on topics of public importance. This statement—unless it is swiftly corrected— should give alarm to scholars at the University of Rhode Island, to scholars who might one day consider associating themselves with this institution, and to academic and professional associations that value academic freedom.

Loomis doesn't have tenure. His livelihood has been jeopardized by this witch hunt.

This is not what academic freedom is supposed to be. I hope you'll consider signing on to the Crooked Timber statement. I have.
elbales: (Please please please!Nine)
So this was me on Facebook about four hours ago:


Seriously? If you want people to use your tools, those tools have to 1. do what you say they're supposed to do and 2. not suck.

I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS, I'M ON A SHORT TIMETABLE AND MY MATERIALS ARE ALREADY COPIED AND I CANNOT CHANGE THE URL NOW BECAUSE, HELLO, ALREADY COPIED. My presentation is *tomorrow morning*, Google, and only my deep commitment to nonviolence is saving your offices from an actual firebombing. (No, I'd never actually, Mr. FBI Guy.)

And then I commented (on my own entry, yes) to add:

(Like, it is ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS, GOOGLE, that deleted tabs STILL APPEAR ON THE SITE even though if you click them you get a message that says PAGE WAS DELETED N00B LOL and you actually have to go to Manage Site > Deleted items and click the ticky box and choose Delete Permanently and then click FUCK YES WHAT DID I JUST TELL YOU, AGAIN, and THEN the item is finally gone. Even though you would think that if you have the chance to undo a deletion that the item would at least not, you know, APPEAR PUBLICLY, because you, you know, DELETED IT.)

So... yeah. But I made some people laugh, so, you know, all good. Or something like that.
elbales: (Hacked off!Nine)
State Dept. wants to make it harder to get a passport

If you don’t want it to get even harder for a U.S. citizen to get a passport — now required for travel even to Canada or Mexico — you only have until Monday to let the State Department know.

The U.S. Department of State is proposing a new Biographical Questionnaire for some passport applicants: The proposed new Form DS-5513 asks for all addresses since birth; lifetime employment history including employers’ and supervisors names, addresses, and telephone numbers; personal details of all siblings; mother’s address one year prior to your birth; any “religious ceremony” around the time of birth; and a variety of other information. According to the proposed form, “failure to provide the information requested may result in … the denial of your U.S. passport application.”

The State Department estimated that the average respondent would be able to compile all this information in just 45 minutes, which is obviously absurd given the amount of research that is likely to be required to even attempt to complete the form.

It seems likely that only some, not all, applicants will be required to fill out the new questionnaire, but no criteria have been made public for determining who will be subjected to these additional new written interrogatories. So if the passport examiner wants to deny your application, all they will have to do is give you the impossible new form to complete. . . .

You can submit comments to the State Dept. online at Regulations.gov until midnight Eastern time on Monday, April 25, 2011. Go here, then click the “Submit a Comment” button at the upper right of the page. If that link doesn’t work for you, it’s probably a problem with the javascript used on the Regulations.gov website. There are alternate instructions for submitting comments by email here.


I commented. Also I called all my reps. This is bullshit. This is not going to make one single person safer, only represent a gross violation of privacy and, should an application be denied over this bullshit, a violation of the rights of free movement and free assembly.

elbales: (BAAL SMASH)
Holy shit. Holy fucking shit.

Look, we all know how totally fucked up the gender roles are in the Twilight series, right? Edward is a total stalker, Bella has no spine, Jacob force-kisses Bella, blah blah blah. Someone has actually managed to top Stephenie Meyer's bullshit. Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush features a too-stupid-to-live heroine who gets stalked, harassed, intimidated, flat-out terrified, and I'm running out of horrid verbs, by the "hero," a fallen angel who, I kid you not, wants to kill her so he can get back into Heaven. And we're supposed to believe that she's attracted to him. Worse, she goes for help to adults in her life, repeatedly, and gets told that she's overreacting. What the fuck. What the ever-living shit. This is what we're serving up to our young people? Urge to kill rising.

[livejournal.com profile] bookshop has done an excellent, if possibly triggery, discussion, one which is well worth reading, of this heinous trend in YA lit.

ETA: And [livejournal.com profile] ceilidh_ann has done a full review so that anyone may be properly horrified without having to subject themselves to the book.

ETA2: Also linked by [livejournal.com profile] bookshop is this very interesting post that asks, "Do books teach or reveal?" Let me stress that I don't believe in censorship. I may think that the Twilight books and all of their imitations depict extremely unhealthy relationships in a way that tends to glamorize them... but I wouldn't support burning the books even though I despise what they stand for. I just think that we desperately need better written books for young people, books that show readers that it's okay to think for yourself, to stand up for yourself, to have agency in your own life. And if parents are going to let their kids read books like Hush, Hush, it's incumbent on those parents to sit down with their kids and say, "Okay, honey, now we're going to talk about things that it is absolutely not okay for a boy to do to a girl, or vice versa, or any of the other possible gender-based permutations out there." That's the only real solution.
elbales: (I can kill you with my brain)
(because the only "delete account"-like link on their site just deactivates your account rather than throwing it out, and they still claim ownership over your stuff)...

This thread on the LJ news post announcing this latest round of bullshit has a very useful bit of information on the topic. Just in case LJ "loses" the news post, I've pasted the whole thing in below.

ETA: Good question from the audience: Who is this from? Her user ID is [livejournal.com profile] fairymonkey.

As a lawyer, I think Facebook is the worst company in the world. They own everything you post (even if you set everything to private) and can sell it to the highest bidder without your having any recourse. See your picture of your grandad being used to sell viagra on a billboard? Too bad. Can't do a thing about it except cry and wonder why you were dumb enough to continue using Facebook.
Want to go delete your account now that you know? Go ahead and see if thats an option. I'll wait...no "delete my account" option? Only "deactivate"? Suspicious now? Thats because you cannot delete your account from Facebook unless you know about this secret link:

Now you have to wait 14 days before its fully purged. Until then, everyone and every thing can still access your account. So be careful not to allow programs like LJ login for you.

NB: The commenter also notes: "By the way, when I posted this in my own LJ, I tried to hyperlink to the delete page. LJ CHANGED the hyperlink when it posted and linked to FB's contact center! It did it twice. I had to go to the html type posting and past it as plain text and tell people to copy and paste." What the FUUUUUUUUUUUCK.


(I'll still be keeping my FB account for the foreseeable future; it's a useful way to share links, and I've found a lot of people there whom I'd lost track of over the years. I just have no intention of posting anything very personal.)
elbales: (Bad Wolf!Rose)
So this evening I watched a couple of episodes of the TV series Lie to Me, which is about a research group that consults with third parties on figuring out the truth using applied psychology to interpret microexpressions, body language, and other types of facial coding. Overall it seems fairly well done: interesting premise, fairly intelligent writing, yada yada.

But. )
elbales: (WUT)
On Monday, I needed to go to Rainbow Grocery in SF, where I go to buy my bulk goods. I needed to check the correct freeway exit because I usually don't make a special trip: I usually go only if I'm already in the City, most often after my chiro appointments downtown, so it had been a while since I'd taken the freeway straight there. So I whipped out my iPhone and did a map search. Now, mind you, if you do a map search on "Rainbow Grocery SF" on your computer, you will get perfectly correct and comprehensible directions. That... is not what happened on Monday.

To understand the problem, you have to know that in SF, Highway 101 is elevated above 13th Street. Rainbow Grocery is at the corner of 13th and Folsom, with the entrance to its parking garage on 13th. Because of the many one-way streets in SF because the city planners were smoking too much opium way back when, and because 13th is a divided street, one has to circle the block in order to make the right turn into the grocery store parking garage. Did Google Maps point me at 13th? No, no it did not. Instead, I got this:

(Blah blah blah Steps 1 through whatever all about Highway 101 North from Palo Alto blah blah.)

Take exit 434A to merge onto US-101 N toward Golden Gate Bridge
[Huh, says I. I don't remember using that offramp the last time I went to Rainbow from parts south. That's weird. What's next?]

Turn right at Plum St
[... WTF, says I. I have never been on Plum St in my life, I don't think. Um? *Next arrow*]

Take the 1st right onto S Van Ness Ave
[.... *stabbity Next arrow because WTFH, this is seriously NOT CORRECT*]

Slight right to merge onto US-101 S (destination will be on the right)
[WHAT. *next arrow because this is where we get the HAHAHA JUST KIDDING step because of MAKING RIGHT TURN OFF ELEVATED FREEWAY, Y/Y?*]

Arrive at 1745 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA





(In other news: I had a dentist appointment today! Where I was supposed to get an old filling fixed! Except when they shot me up with Lidocaine which included epinephrine I had a full-fledged panic attack and I thought I was going to have to ride in the ambulance because my heart was going to fail because it is not supposed to go that fast, NO REALLY. *double facepalm* Damn my jaw is sore where they stuck me, too. On the upside: MILKSHAKE FOR DINNER.)
elbales: (BAAL SMASH)
Court eases business, union election spending rule

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Supreme Court threw out a 63-year-old law designed to restrain the influence of big business and unions on elections Thursday, ruling that corporations may spend as freely as they like to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress. The decision could drastically alter who gives and gets hundreds of millions of dollars in this year's crucial midterm elections.

By a 5-4 vote, the court overturned two of its own decisions as well as the decades-old law that said companies and labor unions can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to produce and run their own campaign ads. The decision threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.

As I just wrote in my Facebook, WHAT. WHAT. WHAT THE EVER-LIVING SHIT.

Congratulations, five conservative justices. You just gave nonliving entities which have huge checking accounts and which also already have a disproportionate influence on the governance of this country... even MORE influence. You just handed the Congress to the likes of AIG and Exxon/Mobil. I hope you're fucking proud of yourselves, you smug pieces of shit.

I wish I could go back in time to slap silly the moronic judges who declared that corporations should have the same rights as individuals.

ETA: And in fact, I am so furious about this that I left a comment at the White House website. No, Obama can't and shouldn't interfere with SCOTUS, but I had to register my opinion somewhere, and where better than at the top?
elbales: (BAAL SMASH)
Disturbing, possibly triggery image, behind the cut )

This is beyond words. This needs to be all over the media. There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of revolting, disgusting behavior.
elbales: (Fantastically stupid!Ten)
Beck DESTROYED after efforts to get rid of site parodying him.

by The Erratic Synapse
Tue Oct 06, 2009 at 08:24:43 AM PDT

I'm sure people have seen the parody site about how Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990 by now. What you may not know though is that Beck filed a complaint before an international body, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), regarding the site's content.

The attorney for the parody site, Marc Randazza, has a great response that will be detailed over the fold....

The first ground in the complaint says basically that the domain name for the parody site—glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com—is "confusing [sic] similar to complainents' "Glenn Beck" trademark as it incorporates the "Glenn Beck" name and mark entirely."

Uh. Yeah. The same way "youaregettingsleepyverysleepyyouwanttogiveelbalesmoney" incorporates my username.

The respondent's attorney's reply?

There is no indication that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to confuse anyone searching for Mr. Beck’s own website, nor that anyone was unintentionally confused – even initially. Only an abject imbecile could believe that the domain name would have any connection to the Complainant.

We are not here because the domain name could cause confusion. We do not have a declaration from the president of the international association of imbeciles that his members are blankly staring at the Respondent’s website wondering "where did all the race baiting content go?" We are here because Mr. Beck wants Respondent’s website shut down. He wants it shut down because Respondent’s website makes a poignant and accurate satirical critique of Mr. Beck by parodying Beck’s very rhetorical style.


brb, lolling forever
elbales: (Shut up already.)
The embedding tool for this CNN news video doesn't work (oh yay, Turner Broadcasting, WHATEVER), but the upshot is that the minister of a Baptist church in Arizona says right on camera that he prays for Obama to get brain cancer and die.

Quality human, oh yeah.

Even better? The dude who showed up at the Obama town hall later that weekend in Phoenix, toting an assault rifle? Was in Crazy Minister's church during that service.

In Bush's day, you couldn't even wear a freakin' t-shirt that said BUSH SUCKS or IRAQ: GTFO or DEAR GOD, IF YOU WERE TO TAKE GEORGE W. BUSH, LIKE, TOMORROW I WOULD NOT EVEN CRY, SRSLY, or large goons would come and make your ass vanish in the dead of night and next thing anyone knows, you're calling collect from, like, Belgrade or some shit. But Obama's the evil one?



ETA: Forgot to say, ganked from [livejournal.com profile] wendymr.
elbales: (Fantastically stupid!Ten)
But this takes it to a whole new level.

Fla. man blames cat paws for child porn downloads

Friday, August 7, 2009

Florida investigators say a man accused of downloading child pornography is blaming his cat. Keith Griffin of Jensen Beach is charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography after detectives found more than 1,000 images on his home computer.

According to a sheriff's report Friday, Griffin told investigators that his cat jumped on the computer keyboard while he was downloading music. He said he had left the room and found "strange things" on his computer when he returned.

Griffin is being held on $250,000 bond in the Martin County jail. It is unclear if he has an attorney.


Well, if I were an attorney, I know I'd be less than thrilled at the prospect of defending someone this stupid. (I mean, yes, even stupid people deserve defense lawyers, but sweet baby cheeses.)
elbales: (Cheetah laughing hysterically)
Daniel Craig popsicles: Finally, the meaning of 'sex on a stick'?

In honor of National Ice Cream Week in the UK, Del Monte Superfruit Smoothies has sculpted a limited edition popsicle in the shape of Daniel Craig's nude torso.

elbales: (Can't be serious!Rimmer)
Pilots' low pay, long commutes probed in air crash

By JOAN LOWY, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The co-pilot in an airline crash that killed 50 people in upstate New York was paid a salary so low that she lived with her parents near Seattle and commuted across the country to her job, a combination of long travel and little money that a safety official called a "recipe for an accident."

The article is dismaying, but I didn't really get pissed off until I read this:

Daniel Morgan, Colgan's vice president for flight safety, said the airline industry has a long history of flight crews commuting long distances to report for work.

Morgan said it is appropriate that the airline sometimes schedule pilots to be on duty up to 16 hours at a stretch with a maximum of eight hours of flight time.

"It's not an ideal way to work, but neither is working overnight in the post office," Morgan said.

Yeah? Well, you know, if some overtired post office clerk routes my mail to Peoria, nobody dies, MORON.

elbales: (Bitch PLZ!Romana)
ESL Teacher Fired -- Holy S***

An ESL teacher from San Anselmo was dismissed after translating obscene language, according to the Marin Independent Journal. The saga all started when Tamalpais Adult School students asked Jack Liberman for a lesson on words that might not go over well after, say, missing a putt on the 15th green.

German student Brigitte Brockmann told the Journal:

Whenever I am playing golf, if I make a bad shot I always would yell 'sh--!'" Jack had to tell me that I can't say 'sh--,' that I have to say 'shoot' instead.

And for this they fired him? Jesus. I've taught a lesson like that myself. Shame on TAS for not backing their teacher.
elbales: (ROFL seal)
Dolph Lundgren's wife tied up by robbers... realize who hubby is, and leave.

Armed robbers fled after discovering the home they had broken into belonged to 'tough guy' actor Dolph Lundgren. The masked raiders tied up the star's wife and terrorised her into handing over cash and jewellery by threatening her with knives. But they cut short their raid on the house near Marbella, Spain, after spotting a family photo of the action star and his children in one of the bedrooms.

Their reaction will never not be funny. I mean, not the break-in itself, because I do feel sorry for the poor woman, truly. I'd have been terrified, and I'd have nightmares for weeks. No, the funny part is the robbers going OH SHIT IT'S IVAN DRAGO HE MUST BREAK US GET IN THE CAR.

Winner of the Best Comment So Far Award: "brb putting pix of dolph in my house."

please don't think i'm totally heartless
elbales: (WTF parka)
Man tries to attack cops with ax, knife, sword
Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Authorities said a motel guest tried to scare off deputies with a medieval battle ax, a knife and a long sword. The Bay County Sheriff's Office reported that deputies responded to the Sting Ray Motel Tuesday morning after management called 911 to complain that a guest was acting strange.

elbales: (Bitch please - BSG)
From La Vida Locavore via an e-mail message from TrueMajority

Organic White House Garden Puts Some Conventional Panties in a Twist
by: Jill Richardson
Sat Mar 28, 2009 at 12:47:36 PM PDT

In the aftermath of breaking ground on the new, 1100 square foot White House garden, Michelle Obama named chef Sam Kass to head the White House Food Initiative. And we know how Kass feels about food... he agrees with us!

All of this positive PR for organics feels very threatening to Big Ag. So one group, the Mid America CropLife Association, has sent an email defending chemical ag to Mrs. Obama. See the letter reprinted below.

After sending the letter, MACA forwarded it around to others, with the following message:

Did you hear the news? The White House is planning to have an "organic" garden on the grounds to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for the Obama's and their guests. While a garden is a great idea, the thought of it being organic made Janet Braun, CropLife Ambassador Coordinator and I shudder. As a result, we sent a letter encouraging them to consider using crop protection products and to recognize the importance of agriculture to the entire U.S. economy.

You have got to be kidding me. The agricultural chemical companies have served their purpose. At this point they're just trying desperately to perpetuate a way of life that needs to die. Strong words, but sheesh.
elbales: (Can't be serious!Rimmer)
Their newly remodeled store at the shopping center across from my school has tons of power outlets. UP BY THE CEILING. You want to plug in your laptop, you have to ask an employee to come out with a step stool. I fired off a cranky letter to their Customer Service dept., because really, that's moronic. Next time I want to work on my laptop and drink a chai latte, I'm going back to Starbucks.

elbales: (Bitch please - BSG)
Every Year Capital One Reopens My Account And XBOX Live Debits Money

Every year Erick gets a Christmas present from Capital One. They reopen the credit card he closed 4 or 5 years ago. At that point, Microsoft gets into the act and starts billing that account for XBOX Live service he canceled at about the same time.


Gah. I'd have been demanding to talk with the CEO of Capital One the second time this happened. Glad the guy's finally involved an AG's office. There really is no limit to the incompetence of most credit card companies, is there?


elbales: (Default)

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