Today, a Facebook spokesman reached out to Wired to reverse its previous stance on imagery that promoted violence toward women, stating that a photo it had previously deemed acceptable for the social networking site “should have been taken down when it was reported to us and we apologize for the mistake.”
Last week, Wired posted a story about an Icelandic woman named Thorlaug Agustsdottir, whose photo had been altered by a user on an anti-woman Facebook page to make it look like she had been beaten along with a caption that read: “Women are like grass, they need to be beaten/cut regularly.” Despite numerous reports by Agustsdottir and other users, Facebook determined that the image did not violate its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, and previously told Wired when asked for comment:
“We take our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities very seriously and react quickly to remove reported content that violates our policies. In general, attempts at humor, even disgusting and distasteful ones, do not violate our policies. When real threats or statements of hate are made, however, we will remove them. We encourage people to report anything they feel violates our policies using the report links located throughout the site.”
The apology is a positive step for the social media site, which has taken flak in the past for the application of its Statements of Rights and Responsibilities, particularly in regard to content that promotes the rape and violence of women, which is considered acceptable if it can be deemed “humor.” This position stands in unfortunate contrast in regards to other Facebook content where this laissez-faire attitude towards free speech often does not apply, such as political pages that discuss pornography (but contain none), and even more ironically, non-sexual images of women breastfeeding their babies - if the feeding is not considered “actively engaged.”
Did the title get your attention?!? Good. Read on…
Anti-vaccine book tells kids to embrace measles
Measles is responsible for thousands of tragic (and preventable) deaths each year. Which is perhaps why so many reviewers are panning a new (and apparently self-published) book by Stephanie Messenger, an Australian author and anti-vaccine activist. According to the author’s page, ‘Melanie’s Marvelous Measles’ was written to:
Educate children on the benefits of having measles and how you can heal from them naturally and successfully. Often today, we are being bombarded with messages from vested interests to fear all diseases in order for someone to sell some potion or vaccine, when, in fact, history shows that in industrialized countries, these diseases are quite benign and, according to natural health sources, beneficial to the body. Having raised three children vaccine-free and childhood disease-free, I have experienced many times when my children’s vaccinated peers succumb to the childhood diseases they were vaccinated against.
Amazon reviewers have not taken kindly to Messenger’s suggestion that measles can be an ‘adventure,’ either.
State Rep. DebraLee Hovey to Gabby Giffords: Stay out of my towns!
Naturally, of course, when word got around that she had gone public with her campaign to win the coveted title of Worst Life Form In The Universe, there was backing and filling and enough tap-dancing to produce a remake of On The Town.
“The remarks I made regarding Congresswoman Gifford’s visit were insensitive and if I offended anyone I truly apologize,” Rep. Hovey said. “My comments were meant to be protective of the privacy of the families and our community as we work to move on, and were in no way intended as an insult to Congresswoman Giffords personally. Our community has struggled greatly through this tragedy, and we are all very sensitive to the potential for this event to be exploited for political purposes. This is what I wish to avoid.”
First of all, that “if I offended anyone” up there is truly classic weasel-speak. Read the comments on the original Hartford Courant item, ma’am. It’s fairly clear that there ain’t no “if” about it. And note that the original rancid point — that Gabby Giffords’ visit to Newtown somehow was politically exploitative — is restated at the end of the rote apology in a lovely bit of passive-aggression. I think people like this, as the late Molly Ivins once put it, would gag a maggot. And, if I have offended Rep. Hovey by saying that, I truly apologize.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) is introducing legislation that would ban President Barack Obama and the U.S. Treasury from minting platinum coins to avert the debt ceiling standoff.
The bill, first reported by Joe Weisenthal at The Business Insider, raises the profile of “the platinum option,” which has received little serious attention in the nation’s capital. It also rests on a fundamental misunderstanding of both the debt ceiling and how the magic coin trick — officially known as “coin seigniorage” — would work.
A 1996 law grants the Treasury Department the power to mint platinum coins with any face value, regardless of how much platinum is used. A 1-ounce coin could be minted at $1 trillion, $5 trillion or any other amount. Once the coin is deposited in Treasury’s account at the Federal Reserve, the Obama administration could begin paying bills with this new money.
“This scheme to mint trillion-dollar platinum coins is absurd and dangerous,” Walden said in a written statement Monday. “My wife and I have owned and operated a small business since 1986. When it came time to pay the bills, we couldn’t just mint a coin to create more money out of thin air. We sat down and figured out how to balance the books. That’s what Washington needs to do as well. My bill will take the coin scheme off the table by disallowing the Treasury to mint platinum coins as a way to pay down the debt.”
Refusing to raise the debt ceiling is not analogous to a small business balancing its books, however. It’s more like a small business that has received a bank loan, and then simply refuses to pay back the bank. Raising the debt ceiling does not by itself authorize any new spending by the federal government; it only authorizes the government to continue to meet obligations to which it has already agreed: interest payments on the debt, the war in Afghanistan, Social Security benefits, federal employee salaries and other initiatives authorized by Congress.
The platinum coins, moreover, would not grant Obama any additional spending powers. Money could only be withdrawn from the Fed to pay for projects already explicitly approved by Congress. So even if Obama minted a $5 trillion coin, he would not immediately have $5 trillion to spend. He could only withdraw money to pay off debts and meet federal payroll. If Congress objects to any of those activities, it can pass laws to end them. The $1 trillion coin, therefore, could not spark inflation unless Congress suddenly began authorizing trillions of dollars in new spending projects.
One online trend 16-year-old Temitayo Fagbenle finds disturbing is something she calls “slut shaming” — using photos and videos to turn a girl’s private life inside out. Temitayo reported this story as part of the Radio Rookies program at member station WNYC.
I just listened to this on my drive home. Brought to you by OUR youth: “Radio Rookies” These kids are reporting what’s happening at their schools.
After the loud news (in reference to never forgetting the silent ones) of the rape of the Indian student, then that horrible video of the very youthful full-blown misogynist in Steubenville, OH…
I am so overwhelmed and reminded that rape, slut shaming and the basic position of women in our modern society has not advanced.
The girl is bad, the guy, ah - he’s OK.
Yes, many of us have good jobs and are able to compete with men, AND have experienced wonderful sexual freedom. But do not forget, for many people its still the same. Good girls v. bad girls.
That men, our sons, neighbors, fellow human beings subscribe to this still is unacceptable.
This is right here in our neighborhoods. Right here.
I cried listening to this on the way home. Frustration and a bit of hopelessness.
A Newly Confirmed Planet in the Habitable Zone and 42 Long-Period Planet Candidates Identified Using the Kepler Data
Just thought I would say, having nothing else to say this evening, that my real world name is in this list.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Republican Gov. Chris Christie may have “prayed” for Superstorm Sandy because it has provided political cover for his failed economic policies, the Democratic leader of the state Senate said Monday.
Senate President Stephen Sweeney, the state’s most powerful elected Democrat and a possible contender for his party’s nomination for governor, said Christie’s jobs plan before the late October storm was a disaster and now the reconstruction will provide an economic boost through thousands of new construction jobs.
He said Sandy, which killed people in 10 states but hit New York and New Jersey the hardest, flooding neighborhoods, knocking out power and destroying homes, helped hide the failings of Christie’s first term, including persistently high unemployment and housing foreclosures.
“His jobs package is a hurricane,” Sweeney said during a press conference on Monday, the day before Christie was set to deliver his State of the State message. “I guess he prayed a lot and got lucky because a storm came.”
Sweeney immediately apologized for the remark.
The governor’s office and leading Republicans pounced on Sweeney anyway.
This proves that GOP does not have a monopoly on batshittery. HOWEVER Dems like this are few and far between.
“They…come in with weapons, they seized a half-million dollars worth of property, they shut our factory down, and they have not charged us with anything,” says Gibson Guitars CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, referring to the August 2011 raid on his Nashville and Memphis factories by agents from the Departments of Homeland Security and Fish & Wildlife.
The feds raided Gibson for using an inappropriate tariff code on wood from India, which is a violation of the anti-trafficking statute known as The Lacey Act. At issue is not whether the wood in question was endangered, but whether the wood was the correct level of thickness and finish before being exported from India. “India is wanting to ensure that raw wood is not exported without some labor content from India,” says Juskiewicz.