Category Archives: Rights

iNews Friday on Thursday, 7/2/2009

From the iNews9000 Turbo wi-fi headline translator—

Headline: Girl’s strip search ruled unconstitutional
Translation: Thomas was dissenting vote – I can’t make this stuff up

Headline: Apple Bans ‘Hottest Girls’ iPhone App
Translation: Apple working on something ‘even hotter than girls’, sources say

Headline: God, Firearms and America Come Together at a Church in Kentucky
Translation: God calls in airstrike on 4998 Valley Station Rd, Louisville

Headline: House Approves Climate Change Bill
Translation: GOP amendment bans warm climate on House floor

Headline: Madoff sentenced to 150 years
Translation: Madoff loses 149 years in massive Ponzi scheme

Headline: Interior Sec. Proposes Solar Energy Zones
Translation: Seattle site is next to shirtless men on first sunny spring day

Headline: Seattle parade marries pride and politics
Translation: Fundamentalist ministers file initiative to outlaw it
Translation (Turbo mode): “Threat to traditional embarrassing politics,” says James Dobson

Headline: White firefighters were victims of discrimination, Supreme Court rules
Translation: Justice Thomas supports preferences – “Brothers all know whites have trouble passing tests”

Headline: Climate bill goes to Senate
Translation: Inhofe offers alternate bill – Would tap Canada as national US air conditioner

Headline: Franken declared winner, giving Democrats 60 Senate seats
Translation: “But we need at least 61 for bi-partisanship,” Reid says

Headline: Pawlenty Signs Election Certificate
Translation: Mrs. Sanford cancels erection certificate

Headline: Palin – I’d come out ahead in run against Obama
Translation: Perez Hilton – Swimsuit competition would be a draw

Headline: …Sanford Admits He “Crossed Line” with Other Women
Translation: North Korea warns US not to cross outer labia

Headline: Call for Sanford resignation grows louder in South Carolina
Translation: Mrs. Sanford purchases bullhorn

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Opposition to bringing detainees to U.S. – Domestic terrorists against cheap imports

A leading interest group today announced its opposition to President Obama’s plan to bring suspected terrorists housed at Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. for trial.

The group, Theocracy Economics for America – Buy A Gun (T.E.A.-B.A.G.), said bringing detainees to U.S. soil threatens the livelihoods of domestic terrorists.

Riley C. O’Yote, spokesperson for T.E.A.-B.A.G. charged that the White House wants to import cheap, knock off terrorists purchased in the mideast for only $500 each.

“If imported terrorists are allowed to come in and take those jobs, homegrown terrorists might have to leave the non-conspiracy sector and resort to getting educations in dead-end fields like engineering, teaching and software development,” said O’Yote.

O’Yote said he can’t understand why the Obama Administration is bringing foreign insurgents to the U.S., when the focus of economic recovery should be on protecting existing jobs in careers such as militiamen, anti-choice snipers, Klan wannabes, and FOX News commentators.

“If American abortion doctors, women’s clinics, government facilities and infrastructure are going to be threatened, those threats should be issued by American terrorists, earning a living wage,” he said.

Some conservative economists agree with the T.E.A.-B.A.G. argument against imported terrorists. Wayne L. Saltpeter, who studies the ammunition futures market, says the homegrown terror sector needs protection. “This is the one growth industry we have, since the demise of the securitized mortgage bundle.”

“I think people forget that for every Planned Parenthood office, there’s a picket line struggling to meet basic expenses. Full-color posters of aborted fetuses aren’t cheap at Kinko’s,” Saltpeter added.

Saltpeter also touted the enormous economic ripple effect of terror, in sales of ammunition, freeze dried food, and teabags.

However, other conservative experts counter that it is difficult to design a pro-nutjob policy, because the value of the sector is hard to quantify.

“No one really know how much domestic whackos earn, as they don’t file tax returns with the IRS,” says Dr. Hilton Graybar, Endowed Fellow of Penal Studies at the Richard B. Cheney Institute for Penitentary Entrepreneurship.

“It’s probably more than $500, but how much more? Who can say,” Graybar said.

Graybar says the U.S. prison industry would benefit from the Obama policy, due to a high vacancy rate in private prisons. “There was a lot of overconstruction during 2001 through 2008, resulting in the current high vacancy rate,” he said, therefore imported detainees would be an immediate shot in the arm for the prison investment market.

Supreme Court won’t review Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – “Works fine for us,” justices say

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a setback today to a constitutional challenge to the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning gay people from openly serving in the U.S. military.

In upholding the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia found precedent in the policies governing the high court itself. “The policy of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ will not be reviewed because it works. This court is covered by such a policy, and it works fine for us,” wrote Scalia.

“The Supreme Court’s unit cohesion would suffer greatly if we were to introduce the factor of sexual preference. When we’re in the heat of judicial deliberations, the last thing I want to have to worry about is what another justice is doing under his robe,” Scalia stated.

“In fact, the reason we wear shapeless robes to begin with is to detract from the rampant sensuality that would otherwise distract this court from its constitutional duties,” he noted.

“It’s also the reason we don’t wear those irresistible, come-hither powdered wigs, like the British,” added Associate Justice Samuel Alito.

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas concurred with Scalia and Alito, writing: “I always shower at home because I don’t want other justices ogling me in the Supreme Court Shower.”

However, Thomas said “don’t ask, don’t tell” should only apply to male homosexuals serving on the Supreme Court.

“When I say homosexuals endanger unit cohesion in the shower, I don’t mean the ladies,” Thomas wrote.

Observing that retiring Justice David H. Souter is a confirmed bachelor who lives in a rustic cabin in New Hampshire, Thomas’ law clerk said Thomas hopes the Senate votes to confirm Souter’s replacement, Sonia Sotomayor, as soon as possible.

“Justice Thomas welcomes the prospect of observing much late-night jurisprudence between Judge Sotomayor and Justice Ginsburg,” the clerk said.

Back to the Dark Ages

Thanks to our conservative California Supreme Court and some Mormon fat cash same sex marriage is once again banned in our State.  I had such high hopes.  Mayor Newsom was right to challenge as unconstitutional the missing right of gay marriage in our state.  I supported him when he decided to take a stand and started marrying off same sex couples as fast as he could.  But they shut him down.  And then they went back and tried to invalidate all of those marriages.  Thank goodness that failed.  All I can say is it is a sad, sad day when I have to fly to Massachusetts to see a gay couple wed.  Oh and the first chance I get to send money to Utah to outlaw polygamy, you better believe I’ll be writing THAT check.

Doctors shrink Cheney swelling – Preparation H treatment makes ex-VP less of an asshole

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is resting comfortably in a Washington D.C. hospital this afternoon, hours after undergoing emergency treatment for being an asshole.

Cheney was delivering a televised rebuttal of President Obama’s speech on policy toward terror detainees at Guantanamo Bay, when onlookers noticed Cheney was experiencing swelling.

Sandra Betacam, a camera operator for C-SPAN, credited training in first aid for helping her recognize the early warning signs of an asshole attack.

“Cheney had just called for creation of an untruth commission, when his upper lip started curling, followed by hyperventilation and exhibiting ignorance of the Constitution,” said Betacam.

Betacam said that when she and others realized what was happening, they donned filter masks to avoid being overcome by gasses, then administered aid to Cheney. Betacam tightened Cheney’s necktie, while others tried to make sure he swallowed his own tongue.

Cheney was transported to Georgetown University Hospital, where medical staff immersed Cheney in a bath of Preparation H. After an hour he was shrunken enough to permit him to make a threatening phone call to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

GU Hospital spokesman Bill Able said regular treatment can make assholes like Cheney bearable.

“It’s usually an incurable condition. But, Preparation H can control the condition to the extent that Cheney can probably live a normal life,” said Bill Able.

“But even then, I wouldn’t let him operate any heavy machinery, death squads or prison camps,” he said.

Vermont Shows Us The Way

MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Vermont Legislature on Tuesday overrode Gov. Jim Douglas’s veto of a bill allowing gay couples to marry, mustering one more vote than needed to preserve the measure.

N.Y. Times

We all know by now that the Vermont has gone the route of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa in allowing gay couples to marry. But the important aspect of this drama is that, for the first time, a state has legalized same-sex marriage through the legislative process. The start of something momentous?  The end of the beginning?  About damn time!

CIA: Tapes? No. Paper trail? No problem!

The Central Intelligence Agency disclosed Friday that it has 3,000 summaries, transcripts, reconstructions and memoranda relating to 92 interrogation videotapes that were destroyed by the agency, the American Civil Liberties Union revealed Friday evening.

The Raw Story

Kvatch notes the similarity to the Nazi’s immaculate, and damning, record-keeping of their deeds during the Holocaust.

The Frogette adds that, if you really want to be ‘bad guys’, best to do what atrocity-minded regimes in Africa do…chop ’em up and don’t leave records.

(And all right-thinking people should be concerned that this is what suffices for stimulating conversation during the cocktail hour at ‘Casa de las Ranas’.)

AMEX: All Your Text Will Come From Us

Nowadays, the cost of doing business isn’t merely a total that you subtract from your gross income to get your net income. It’s a burden to be shifted onto the backs of your customers. Take American Express, for example. This miserable excuse for a company has decided that you should have to pay for their telephone marketing and service calls, even if those calls are to your cell phone.

Their new card-member agreement reads, in part:

You authorize us to call or send a text message to you at any number you give us or from which you call us, including mobile phones. You authorize us to make such calls using automatic telephone dialing systems for any lawful purpose, including but not limited to: suspected fraud or identity theft; Account transactions or servicing; offers of American Express products and services; and collecting on your Account. You authorize us to place prerecorded calls in connection with the status of your account, or security and identity theft matters. You agree to pay any fees or charges you incur for incoming calls or text messages from us without reimbursement.

No way of opting out of their ‘you pay for our marketing’ scheme—which happens to be illegal, by the way. And no mention of the fact that, if you explicit tell them not to call your mobile number, federal law prohibits them from doing so. The fine for violating that particular statute? $11,000 per instance.

Maybe if American Express has to pay $11,000 for each and every customer they piss off, they’ll stop this sort of bullsh*t. On second thought…probably not.

‘Right to Conscience’ or ‘Right to Commit Malpractice’

In a final ‘F*ck you America!’, the Bush administration is planning to put in place a ‘Right of Conscience’ rule that would allow hundreds of thousands of US healthcare workers to refuse to participate in procedures that they find morally objectionable. Predictably, pro-choice advocates are screaming that this is just an attempt to further limit access to abortion and contraception. And…it is. But this rule, as conceived (if I can use that term), is considerably more pernicious than just a way to limit access because it applies even to workers who may not be directly involved in procedures.

So really, this isn’t just a ‘right to conscience’ rule. It’s really get-out-o-jail-free rule for workers who want to put the screws to co-workers and patients they object to. Or, in other words, this is a ‘right to commit malpractice,’ rule. Consider:

A medical office worker who objects to contraception, refuses to submit insurance paperwork for a male patient who has obtained a vasectomy–an expensive procedure but one that is often covered by insurance companies. The patient is then forced into a brutal back-and-forth with the hospital that wants to be paid…in full, and the insurance company that has no record of the procedure. Pretty soon, the office gets a reputation for putting their patients through the wringer and…voila! No more vasectomies. The office worker can’t be fired, can’t even be disciplined because all he/she did was invoke their ‘right of conscience’.

A medical technician who objects to abortion, and whose job it is to sterilize instruments, refuses to do her/his job. An unwary doctor then uses the unsterilized instruments to perform an abortion. The patient contracts a serious infection and dies. The tech gets away with murder by invoking Bush’s ‘right of conscience’ leaving the doctor to twist in the wind. One ‘baby-killing’ doctor in jail or, at the very least, financially ruined! One harlot dead!

These are only two extreme examples of an ill-conceived policy that will set medical workers against patients and against their own colleagues. Bush should leave well enough alone, but in the waning days of his administration his desire for a ‘scorched-earth’ approach to policy-making won’t allow for that.

When that shark bites

A five-year-old girl’s father has reportedly taken action in the Queensland (Australia) Anti-Discrimination Commission, claiming his daughter was taught about Noah’s Ark at her state school. It is believed she took part in making a replica of the ark during class.

This dad strikes me as off the planet as the hard line creationist/intelligent design whackos. I personally have issues with evangelical teaching, but to deny reference to something so basic to many cultures is as potentially damaging as force feeding dubious truths.

Even just understanding basic Aussie culture becomes problematic without context. An essentially coastal culture we are also given to humorous rhyming slang. For example the ubiquitous shark is often referred to as a noah’s ark.

Well, you sort of lose the humour if you don’t understand the root. More to the point, a child’s potential is reduced if they have never been exposed to the broad diversity underpinning our cultures.