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A Step In The Right Direction

Tomorrow will be the first time gay and lesbian couples will be able to enjoy civil-unions in the state of Illinois. The full text of the Bill can be read here. In response, Catholic Charities is ending foster care and adoption services to avoid serving same-sex parents.
posted by gman on Jun 1, 2011 - 77 comments

 

Public Schools Charge Kids for Basics, Frills

In the wake of ever deeper budget cuts, public schools have begun charging students for basics, such as registering for honors or elective classes.
posted by reenum on May 26, 2011 - 100 comments

Buck The Trend

Make your Franklin is a site which accepts submissions of recreated 100 USD banknotes.
posted by gman on May 24, 2011 - 33 comments

Iran and the West

While not being an outright example of a clash of civilizations in the Huntingtonian sense, elements of cultural misunderstanding and fears about the system-challenging tendencies of Iran do affect Western perceptions and influence Western behavior toward Iran. Furthermore, these kinds of reciprocal identity-based fears and projections of the other side’s presumed malevolent intentions tend to be mutually reinforcing. The risk is that they eventually become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Iran and the West - Regional Interests and Global Controversies [PDF]. [more inside]
posted by klue on May 23, 2011 - 4 comments

Video Games Now Eligible for NEA Grants

The National Endowment for the Arts' new Arts in Media Guidelines now include video games as an art form eligible for federal grants. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on May 17, 2011 - 41 comments

Presidential candidates 2012

2012 Presidential Candidates - Comparing the 2012 Presidential Candidates on the issues with profile, issue and trivia comparisons. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on May 17, 2011 - 139 comments

Exile Nation: Drugs, Prisons, Politics, and Spirituality

"I realized that I was one of those extremely rare individuals who was a former POW of the drug war, and who got out and had the opportunity to share his story with the world." "It kind of makes an activist out of you when 3 helicopters land in your backyard and guys jump out with guns and destroy your place before your very eyes." Exile Nation is a documentary [complete film] [trailer] and an ongoing memoir, a work of “spiritual journalism”, and eventually "a documentary archive of interviews and testimonies […] revealing the far-ranging consequences of the War on Drugs to the American Criminal Justice System." [more inside]
posted by nTeleKy on May 13, 2011 - 11 comments

US DoD and alternative energy

Despite continuing inaction and perverse subsidies from the US Federal Government, one of their largest entities, the US Department of Defense, has done the analysis and considers both peak oil and climate change to be a significant threat. In partial response, they're pushing heavily into alternative fuels, with the Air Force aiming to get fully half of its domestic jet fuel from alternative sources by 2016.
posted by wilful on May 3, 2011 - 50 comments

All Cannabis Use Is Medical

A 35 minute conversation on medical marijuana with Michael Backes.
posted by gman on May 3, 2011 - 19 comments

Bin Laden

President Obama to make important announcement regarding Osama Bin Laden imminently
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on May 1, 2011 - 4504 comments

Giving "The Devil" His Due

Emmanuel "Toto" Constant led a paramilitary organization called FRAPH that terrorized Haiti after the overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. When FRAPH's fortunes declined, Toto mysteriously appeared in New York City, where he was scorned by the Haitian community. Justice eventually caught up to Toto, who is now imprisoned in New York state. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Apr 27, 2011 - 6 comments

Support for democracy is the province of ideologists and propagandists.

Is the World Too Big to Fail? [more inside]
posted by Shit Parade on Apr 26, 2011 - 62 comments

"Police in the US now rival criminals, and exceed terrorists as the greatest threat to the American public."

A federal justice report on policing in New Orleans since 2009 presents damning evidence of brutality, cop misconduct and systemic abuse of black citizens post-Katrina. The city’s jails are not far behind. No limits to the law in NoLa
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 25, 2011 - 111 comments

Iowa loophole voids mortgage

Matt and Jamie Danielson, with the aid of their bankruptcy attorney, were able to use a little known loophole in the Iowa law to void their mortgage and own their house outright after making just one payment. However, further investigation has uncovered some unsavory events in the couple's past.
posted by reenum on Apr 21, 2011 - 60 comments

Everything you would only do in the privacy of your own home, Jon Kyl prefers to do on a subway car. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement

Last week during the Senate budget negotiations, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), gave a speech that included the following statement: "If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does." That statement is drastically different from the statistics reported by Planned Parenthood, which list 90 percent of its services as preventive in nature, compared with 3 percent that are abortion-related. When asked about this apparent discrepancy, Jon Kyl's office replied that "his remark was not intended to be a factual statement." And that is when things got noisy. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 15, 2011 - 136 comments

Secrets of the Tax-Prep Business

"Customers wanting a RAL paid Jackson Hewitt a $24 application fee, a $25 processing fee, and a $2 electronic-filing fee, plus 4 percent of the loan amount. On a $2,000 refund, that meant $131 in charges—equivalent to an annual interest rate of about 170 percent—not to mention the few hundred bucks you might spend for tax preparation."
posted by vidur on Apr 14, 2011 - 71 comments

Senator James Inhofe

A released FAA investigation describes how in October last year, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) deliberately landed his plane on a closed runway, and then caused the plane to "hop" over terrified construction workers and their vehicles. More recently, Senator Inhofe has taken to the Senate floor in praise of his friend (and friend of C Street), deposed Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo. [Previously, previously]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 13, 2011 - 81 comments

Like a travel guide, but crime.

Crimemapping.com is where you go to see colorful US crime maps. [more inside]
posted by lemuring on Apr 12, 2011 - 26 comments

Waiting For Manny

The recently retired Manny Ramirez was one of the most inscrutable players in recent history. Ben McGrath of the New Yorker attempted to figure out Ramirez's motivations in this 2007 piece.
posted by reenum on Apr 11, 2011 - 32 comments

Show's over, folks.

75 Abandoned Theaters From Around The US
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 9, 2011 - 55 comments

The Brisk, Shady Sale of ‘Loosies’

With the crackdown on smoking and higher cigarette taxes in New York City, people who sell individual cigarettes, also known as loosies, are rapidly gaining new customers.
posted by reenum on Apr 5, 2011 - 69 comments

A More Perfect Union

In his project A More Perfect Union, artist R. Luke Dubois aggregated language used in the profiles of 19 million single Americans on 21 dating sites. He then organized the data to create "dozens of insanely detailed city and state maps which tell a wonderfully rich story about who we are, or at least, who we claim to be." A Video about the project. (R. Luke Dubois, previously on MeFi.)
posted by zarq on Mar 31, 2011 - 15 comments

And apparently he roomed with Jon Stewart in Colledge

New York State Congressman Anthony Weiner (D) did an IAMA (I Am A Democrat Who Fights) Q and A on reddit last week. While he answered many questions, he responded to the top five most popular questions questions in video form. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Mar 31, 2011 - 54 comments

Chinese Scientific Progress to Overtake American Counterpart Earlier Than Anticipated

According to a new study from the UK's national science academy, the Royal Society, China is on course to outstrip US scientific output as earlier as two years from now. [SLBBC]
posted by modernnomad on Mar 29, 2011 - 37 comments

Conviction

Betty Anne Waters's brother Kenny was sent to prison for first degree murder and armed robbery in 1982. Over the next 16 years, Betty Anne got her GED, college degree, and law degree, all in an effort to prove Kenny was innocent. With the assistance of the Innocence Project, Betty Anne was able to use DNA evidence to show Kenny was innocent. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Mar 24, 2011 - 28 comments

“I had reached the point of no return. You finally get fed up … I finally wanted to speak the truth.”

Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas, spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously) Her replies: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine," and that the Jews "can go home" to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else," sparked media outrage, prompted her to issue an apology and retire. After months of being out of the the public spotlight, she has now given her first long-form interview, which will appear in the April issue of Playboy Magazine. In it, she explains what she meant, tells us how she would like to be remembered and expands upon her positions regarding Israel, Jewish political influence, Presidents Bush and Obama, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by zarq on Mar 22, 2011 - 224 comments

Another Role for Buses in Civil Rights History

Worcy Crawford ran the only bus company that would transport colored passengers in pre-Civil Rights Act Birmingham. Mr. Crawford recently passed away and now the buses sit in disrepair.
posted by reenum on Mar 21, 2011 - 3 comments

YOUTH GONE WILD

How to be a Retronaut presents USA Shopping Malls, Summer 1990.
posted by shakespeherian on Mar 18, 2011 - 80 comments

They forgave him

"At a hearing of the Lahore Sessions Court convened for security reasons at the Kot Lakhpat Jail today, CIA contractor Raymond A. Davis was arraigned on double homicide charges and then quickly acquitted and released. Attorneys for Davis and the victims' families announced that they had entered into an agreement in which Davis offered compensation to the families -- $1.4 million total -- and they forgave him." [more inside]
posted by vidur on Mar 16, 2011 - 60 comments

Car-go or Car-stop?

Yesterday Air Canada said it would stop shipments of all cargo to the U.S.A. due to an "emergency change to US security" [more inside]
posted by sardonyx on Mar 10, 2011 - 60 comments

ATF: Fast and Furious

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives deliberately allowed assault rifles to be smuggled into Mexico, so they could be tracked. The weapons were then used in a spree of murders, including that of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The operation was called "Fast and Furious". The Mexican government was apparently unaware of the operation, and is investigating. The ATF is going to have a review of whether their strategy supports "the goals of ATF to stem the illegal flow of firearms to Mexico".
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 7, 2011 - 66 comments

Inside the multimillion-dollar essay-scoring business

With the institution of No Child Left Behind, educational testing in the US boomed. Now, some of the low paid temp workers hired to score these tests are speaking out about the behind the scenes manipulation that goes on to ensure test scores are in line with "customer expectations".
posted by reenum on Mar 7, 2011 - 142 comments

I mentally seceded from the US in 2004

Cartoonist Tim Kreider (previously, previously) of The Pain talks about the last decade, our "disastrous decline" and his latest book of cartoons and essays, Twilight Of The Assholes. Part 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
posted by The Whelk on Mar 5, 2011 - 6 comments

You wait until wheels-up, because that's what you do

"Meanwhile, Important Politician stretches out in his business class seat and listens to his wife talk about the pearls! And the silk scarves! And the amazing food! And IP thinks back to that Foreign Service Officer he just met. And he thinks: what a great life that guy has! He goes to parties at the President's mansion. He drinks fancy wine. He drives around in air conditioned motorcades, with people saluting him as he walks into government buildings. He goes hiking - in the middle of a work day, even! - on the Great Wall. What a cushy life he leads, thinks Important Politician." A proposed pay cut is not going down well with some Foreign Service Officers.
posted by vidur on Feb 26, 2011 - 13 comments

African-Americans in the Wild West: Nat Love, Cherokee Bill, and Stagecoach Mary Fields

The stories and pictures of the Wild West commonly feature white men, with little notion of the diversity present in the later half of the 19th century beyond the various regiments of "buffalo soldiers". In reality, black cowboys made up a large portion of the cowhand population, possibly a quarter of all cowboys. Estimations range from 5,000 to 15,000 cowboys being of African heritage. Many have been forgotten in the passing of time, but some of their stories live on. For instance, the cowboy Nat Love, the outlaw Cherokee Bill, and (all sorts of awesome) "Stagecoach" Mary Fields. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 25, 2011 - 21 comments

And there's no app for that.

The real challenge for Internet freedom? US hypocrisy. And there's no app for that.
posted by - on Feb 22, 2011 - 53 comments

The House that Jack built

Pump Up The Volume - The History Of House Music was a three part documentary (1 Time To Jack, 2 Can You Feel It, 3 From Hardcore To Handbag) first shown in the UK in 2001, telling of House’s origins in the Chicago underground, it’s crossing over the Atlantic and evolving into illegal Acid raves before entering into the mainstream in Britain. (Some NSFW language) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Feb 21, 2011 - 46 comments

"... GPA 1.22 … honk if I need (an) education."

When her son refused to do his school work, his mom had him stand out on a busy street corner with a sandwich board trumpeting his 1.22 GPA. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Feb 18, 2011 - 128 comments

Bahrain explodes

Protests erupt in Bahrain. [more inside]
posted by asymptotic on Feb 15, 2011 - 54 comments

"The Package"

Inside the Secret Service. Sidebars: Radio Chatter and The Presidential Motorcade (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 8, 2011 - 48 comments

Pakistan and the Mumbai Attacks: The Untold Story

"Uniforms have been stolen in the past for this kind of thing." An update on the investigation into the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008. (Previously)
posted by vidur on Feb 6, 2011 - 4 comments

Just one planet like it

Electronics companies all over the world are increasingly reliant on certain rare metals, most of which are mined in China, which controls 97 per cent of the global supply. The Chinese government has promised to slash export quotas to ensure future sustainability of the world's supply of rare metals. China will drop its quota by 35 per cent in the first half of this year as compared with the same time last year. But despite its escalating consumption of rare metals and the need for future sustainability, the West's electronics industry is mistrustful of China's motives and claims that the move has more to do with the mainland's desire to dominate electronics manufacturing than ensuring the future sustainability of the world's supply of rare metals. ~ Greening conscience or resource checkmate? The rare earth trilogy covers eWaste harvesting, restarting interest in mines and dithering around trade regulations, all in one neat package. [more inside]
posted by infini on Jan 29, 2011 - 18 comments

What is your State the Worst at?

The United States of Shame. Surprisingly, Florida is not the oldest state. Unsurprisingly, Utah uses the most internet porn.
posted by jacquilynne on Jan 24, 2011 - 103 comments

Doomed bill HR 2 passes the House

HR 2, officially the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act", has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 245 to 189. 3 Democrats (Reps. Boren (OK), McIntyre (NC), and Ross (AR)) joined all 242 Republicans voting Aye. The bill will not be brought for a vote in the Senate, nor would it escape veto by President Obama. [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Jan 19, 2011 - 177 comments

We used to get 김치 on the corner....

In the 1960's, 70's and 80's, urban decay and high crime rates caused retail chain supermarkets to flee New York City. (google books link) Korean immigrants filled the gap with corner grocery stores. For nearly two decades they were ubiquitous -- symbols of the group's ongoing quest to achieve the American Dream. But 30 years later, Where Did The Korean Greengrocers Go? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 18, 2011 - 19 comments

Maixembourg

Which countries match the GDP and population of America's states?
posted by jjray on Jan 14, 2011 - 46 comments

Tea party in the Sonora: For the future of G.O.P. governance, look to Arizona.

Tea party in the Sonora: For the future of G.O.P. governance, look to Arizona. An article by Ken Silverstein, from the July 2010 issue of Harpers.
posted by chunking express on Jan 9, 2011 - 87 comments

Iconic 70s and 80s Americana

Richard Amsel was a Philadelphian artist who created original and iconic illustrations and paintings found on posters for several popular 1970s and 80s American movies, including Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome, The Dark Crystal, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Sting. He also created unique artwork for TV Guide covers, as well as album cover art for Bette Midler and others. His Time cover featuring Lily Tomlin was added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 6, 2011 - 10 comments

It's a Small World After All

A 24 hour observation of all of the large aircraft flights in the world, condensed down to just over a minute. Similar videos are created by NASA's Future ATM Concepts Evaluation Tool (or FACET), like this one of a day in the life of air traffic over the United States.
posted by gman on Jan 4, 2011 - 14 comments

Los Angeles Times - Sotomayor, Kagan - David G. Savage

Sotomayor, Kagan shift Supreme Court debates to the left. The liberal wing is no longer drowned out by Scalia and his fellow conservatives during oral arguments.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Dec 27, 2010 - 35 comments

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