June 2011

At best, a school model for the more-enlightened future, and at worst, an intriguing social experiment. Via Yahoo News: At the “Egalia” preschool, staff avoid using words like “him” or “her” and…

Enough with the madness – this is way, way too far over the line. And the TSA is not even apologizing! From CNN:

The Transportation Security Administration stood by its security officers Sunday after a Florida woman complained that her cancer-stricken, 95-year-old mother was patted down and forced to remove her adult diaper while going through security.

Reports of the incident took hold in social media, with scores of comments on the topic and reposts appearing hourly on Twitter Sunday afternoon…

We know the approximate price of gas for consumers, but what is the price for society? The external costs borne may be as high as $1.7 trillion per year for the United States alone — that’s from health problems caused by pollution and toxic fumes, damage to crops and plant life, et cetera. The Center for Investigative Reporting calculates $15 per gallon as a reasonable pump price reflecting the true cost of gasoline.

My only complaint: it should be significantly higher still, as they forgot to factor in the huge sums of tax dollars spent on foreign aid and military operations for the benefit of the oil industry:

Who Am I?Saggy pants are a no-no. Rocky Picture Horror Show, clear to go. Not sure what the deal is here. Reports the AP via Yahoo News:

SAN FRANCISCO — Days before a college football player was arrested on a US Airways flight at San Francisco airport following a dispute over his saggy pants, the airline allowed another man wearing skimpy women’s panties and mid-thigh stockings to fly, according to a passenger and airline spokeswoman.

Jill Tarlow, a passenger on a June 9 flight from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Phoenix, took a photo of the scantily clad man, which she provided to the San Francisco Chronicle. The newspaper published the photo in its Wednesday edition.

The man flew six days before University of New Mexico football player DeShon Marman was arrested on a US Airways flight at San Francisco airport following allegations he refused to pull up his pants.

Tarlow told the Chronicle she and other passengers complained before boarding the plane, but US Airways employees did not prevent the unidentified man from flying.

How long before Paul Carr (author of The Upgrade, coming soon from disinformation) finds his online identity is no longer his own? He takes on Lulzsec in this article for the Guardian, which has…

If you live in Texas, you might have that choice quite soon.  CBSDFW.com reports:

Would you buy a license plate with a Confederate flag on it? State officials are looking at possibly launching a new Texas state license plate honoring veterans of the War Between the States.

Mr. Hilary Shelton, with the NAACP in Washington, D.C., said that the Civil War may not be something we want to celebrate.

“When many look at that history, we think about it in terms of secession, that is we were seceding from the Union in the southern parts of the country,” explained Shelton. “Many would view that, quite frankly, as treason, because they meant to actually destroy the existing governmental structure. But when we dig deeper, the issue becomes even more offensive to many African Americans and those that sought freedom for those of darker skin in our country.”…

Synopsis via The Raw Story:

Pulitzer-winning author and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges has a revolutionary worldview. In the video below, his recent “Endgame Strategy” piece for AdBusters is read aloud by George Atherton. His conclusions are chilling, but not entirely hopeless. “We will have to take care of ourselves,” he wrote. “We will have to rapidly create small, monastic communities where we can sustain and feed ourselves. It will be up to us to keep alive the intellectual, moral and cultural values the corporate state has attempted to snuff out. It is either that or become drones and serfs in a global corporate dystopia. It is not much of a choice. But at least we still have one.

LulzSecRob Beschizza writes on BoingBoing:

LulzSec announced Thursday evening the publication at Pirate Bay of a trove of leaked material from Arizona law enforcement agencies. Arizona’s Department of Public Safety confirmed shortly thereafter that it was hacked.

In the press release included with the dump, a LulzSec affiliate outlines a more activist agenda than is usually associated with the group:

We are releasing hundreds of private intelligence bulletins, training manuals, personal email correspondence, names, phone numbers, addresses and passwords belonging to Arizona law enforcement. We are targeting AZDPS specifically because we are against SB1070 and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona.

The documents classified as “law enforcement sensitive”, “not for public distribution”, and “for official use only” are primarily related to border patrol and counter-terrorism operations and describe the use of informants to infiltrate various gangs, cartels, motorcycle clubs, Nazi groups, and protest movements.

NY MarriageReid J. Epstein writes in the Politico:

Striking what advocates believe is a historic victory for gay rights, the New York state senate Friday approved same-sex marriage, bringing New York a promised governor’s signature away from being the sixth and largest state to allow gays and lesbians to marry.

The 33–29 vote is an enormous victory for first-year Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who pledged during last fall’s campaign to push for gay marriage. It comes after an intense public and private lobbying campaign from a wide cast of politicians, celebrities and athletes, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former President Bill Clinton.

Cuomo, whose two daughters attended the vote in the senate gallery, is expected to sign the bill. The bill will become law 30 days after Cuomo signs it, and when it does, it will double the population of Americans for whom same-sex marriage is legal.

Facebook wants to be the place where you feel most yourself, with the most control over how you are regarded. It inextricably intertwines marketing with selfhood, so that having a self becomes…

Parapolitical notes the contrasting linguistic framing used by the Associated Press in two stories five decades apart: How does the Associated Press choose which unanimous votes to dismiss as the slavish resolutions…

Kansas is apparently set to become conservative Christianity’s Mecca. Via Mother Jones: If new guidelines from the Kansas health department are enforced, the last three abortion clinics in the state could be…

Can’t get enough of the Tea Party? No problem, they’re making a TV series. Paul Bond reports for the Hollywood Reporter: Those who belong to the conservative movement known as the Tea…