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Liberal Outrage

What if you're Asian?


With the election of President Barack Obama, the country heralded the coming of an age in which an African-American could overcome significant historical prejudice to ascend to the presidency. But while the country celebrates this collective step forward, a Nettleton, Mississippi public school is taking a clear step back. According to Nettleton Middle School's rules, children running for certain class officer posts must meet a specific race requirement: to be president, the child must be white.

A school memo, obtained by MixedandHappy and The Smoking Gun, was passed out to every 6th, 7th, and 8th grader to inform them of the breakdown. The upcoming elections are divided between offices delineated for black and white students. Of the 12 offices for which students can compete, "eight are earmarked for white students, while four are termed 'black seats." The presidency is reserved for white students across each grade, but a black student is permitted to be the 8th grade vice-president or reporter, the 7th grade treasurer, or the 6th grade reporter. So, along with a "B" average and "a good disciplinary status and moral character," a child hoping to represent his or her class must be the right race...

By fnord12 | August 27, 2010, 4:25 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

Forget Peak Oil, we've got Peak Helium


Scientists have warned that the world's most commonly used inert gas is being depleted at an astonishing rate because of a law passed in the United States in 1996 which has effectively made helium too cheap to recycle.

The law stipulates that the US National Helium Reserve, which is kept in a disused underground gas field near Amarillo, Texas - by far the biggest store of helium in the world - must all be sold off by 2015, irrespective of the market price.

The experts warn that the world could run out of helium within 25 to 30 years, potentially spelling disaster for hospitals, whose MRI scanners are cooled by the gas in liquid form, and anti-terrorist authorities who rely on helium for their radiation monitors, as well as the millions of children who love to watch their helium-filled balloons float into the sky.

By fnord12 | August 24, 2010, 11:19 AM | Liberal Outrage & Science | Link

Cordoba House

This issue of the "Ground Zero Mosque" (entirely in quotes for several reasons) is driving me nutty. I don't want to read about it any more! And i'm really disappointed in the scores of Democrats who can't seem to stick up for a basic Constitutional right without going into contortions.

Howard Dean.

Nancy Pelosi.

Harry Reid.

And of course, Barack Obama.

Make it stop!

By fnord12 | August 19, 2010, 9:40 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Wrong conspiracy


The debate over what caused the sinking of the South Korean ship is difficult for the general public to follow, with all its discussion of acoustic signatures and electron-dispersive spectroscopy. And it certainly has echoes of conspiracy theories like those surrounding the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

By choosing the JFK assassination, Time magazine implies that only cranks and conspiracy theories would doubt the official story on the sinking ship. A better example would have been the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, where a made-up attack on a US battleship escalated the Vietnam War.

Seems odd to me that Time would skip over an actual conspiracy that very closely parallels this incident in favor of the JFK assassination theories.

By fnord12 | August 18, 2010, 2:14 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

The race to the bottom

Financial Times:

Call centre workers are becoming as cheap to hire in the US as they are in India, according to the head of the country's largest business process outsourcing company.

High unemployment levels have driven down wages for some low-skilled outsourcing services in some parts of the US, particularly among the Hispanic population.

"We need to be very aware [of what's available] as people [in the US] are open to working at home and working at lower salaries than they were used to," said Mr Bhasin. "We can hire some seasoned executives with experience in the US for less money."

By fnord12 | August 18, 2010, 10:15 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

The old biddy party

The Democrats' strategy for campaigning against Linda McMahon is bewildering:

Democrats see McMahon's tenure as WWE CEO as a potent general election attack. They have already attacked her over the content of WWE programming as well as the company's record on policing steroid and other drug use.

Critics have seized on the content as degrading to women and charge that McMahon and the WWE are in the business of peddling inappropriate sexual content to young viewers.

"Connecticut Republicans today nominated a corporate CEO of WWE, who under her watch violence was peddled to kids, steroid abuse was rampant, yet she made her millions," Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said in a statement on Tuesday's primary results.

The reaction from the Democratic National Committee was even harsher.

"Today the party of Bob Dole, Jack Kemp and Dick Lugar nominated a candidate who kicks men in the crotch, thinks of scenes of necrophilia as 'entertainment,' and runs an operation where women are forced to bark like dogs. This is what has become of the once grand old party," DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan said in a statement.

Who are they appealing to with that rhetoric? They sound like the Moral Majority from the 80s. Do they really think it's going to get social conservatives to vote for a Democrat? All they're doing is alienating fans of professional wrestling. Reminds me of how Tipper Gore's PMRC convinced me i was a conservative when i was in middle school.

By fnord12 | August 12, 2010, 5:18 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

What happened to "Let them eat cake?"

via TPM:

Jeb Bush on GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's proposed entitlement-slashing, deficit-exploding budget "plan":
He's not saying the world's going to be full of butterscotch sundaes. He's saying: "Eat your broccoli. And then maybe you don't get to eat at all for a few days. You don't get steak -- ever."

By fnord12 | August 12, 2010, 10:16 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Sometimes Reading the Guardian Makes My Brain Melt

A former dictator and convicted drug trafficker who has been elected president of Suriname has promised not to interfere in his trial for allegedly murdering opponents during his military rule.
As president Bouterse will not be immune from prosecution in Suriname but could grant himself an amnesty if convicted.


Which is not so different than how things are run here ("We investigated ourselves and determined there was no evidence of wrong doing."), except on the scale. We're ok with killing people off slowly with pollutants and financial ruin, but we're still a bit squeamish about open execution of opponents. We do have standards, after all.

By min | August 10, 2010, 9:19 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link


Detecting a trend:

Naked Capitalism:

A core issue is that the employer-employee relationship has broken down. Quaint as it may sound, there once was a tacit commitment: a worker who competent and dedicated could expect to spend a considerable amount of his career at with one firm (in the 1980s, job tenures of less than five years needed to be justified). But as cost cutting and short term earnings fixation became more pervasive, average time of employment shortened greatly. And with that came a major shift in behavior: it made less and less sense for employers to hire talented people with good general competence and character and train them. They'd be unlikely to recoup the cost of the investment. Instead, companies started more and more to seek staff, in that horrid corporate cliche, who could hit the ground running. For instance, headhunters would increasingly be tasked to find someone who was doing exactly the same job at a competitor firm. This tendency goes all the way down the food chain; for instance, I'm told it's impossible to become a bartender in NYC unless you have at least two years of bartending experience.

Charles Hugh Smith:

The Japanese term ''freeter'' is a hybrid word that originated in the late 1980s, just as Japan's property and stock market bubbles reached their zenith. It combines the English ''free'' and the German ''arbeiter,'' or worker, and describes a lifestyle that's radically different from the buttoned-down rigidity of the permanent-employment economy: freedom to move between jobs. This absence of loyalty to a company is totally alien to previous generations of driven Japanese "salarymen'' who were expected to uncomplainingly turn in 70-hour work weeks at the same company for decades, all in exchange for lifetime employment.

Many young people have come to mistrust big corporations, having seen their fathers or uncles eased out of ''lifetime'' jobs in the relentless downsizing of the past 20 years. From the point of view of the younger generations, the loyalty their parents unstintingly gave to companies was wasted.

Much more at both links, including a debunking of the idea that unemployed workers are too fussy at the former and a book title called "The Herbivorous Ladylike Men Who Are Changing Japan" at the latter.

By fnord12 | August 9, 2010, 10:52 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

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