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  1.  (11025.1)
    Utterly disgusting.

    "Mark Jenner pretended to be a leftwing activist in the 1990s, sharing a flat with his girlfriend for four years. Throughout their relationship, he concealed his real identity and occupation from her before disappearing without trace" [...] "Lambert holding the child he fathered with an activist while he was undercover. The spy, who infiltrated environmental and animal rights campaigners in the 1980s, had sexual relationships with four women" etc.

    Undercover police spies unmasked - in pictures
  2.  (11025.2)
    The study included 688 participants whose moral positions on killing, assisted suicide, torture, incest, cannibalism, malicious gossip, stealing, lying, deception, betrayal, breaking a promise, breaking the law, and treason were gauged. The outcome? Conservative and religious individuals showed a “general insensitivity to consequences.” These participants consistently tended towards deontological ethics – which means they judged morality according to universal rules or divine authority. Liberals in the study promoted consequentialist ethics – they judged the morality of action based on the outcome. Sounds a bit like Rand’s objectivism vs. Bentham’s utilitarianism, doesn’t it?

    New Study: Right Wing 'Morality' Is Divorced From The Real World Suffering It Causes
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2013
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2013
    Texas state senator Wendy Davis is in the middle of a filibuster of a proposed bill that will likely pass that would ban abortions in Texas after 20 weeks.

    You can watch the live stream here if you are so inclined. Texas filibuster rules: she cannot lean on anything for support, she cannot sit down, and she cannot leave for meals or restroom trips. She cannot stop for the next 13 hours and she has to stay on topic. Accordingly she's reading a number of stories from women in Texas.

    I'd recommend avoiding watching this if you're not in a place where you can cry or get really mad or possibly do both at once.
  3.  (11025.5)
    She's certainly got my respect for stepping up to do it, especially given the conditions to do so.
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2013 edited
    I feel like this belongs here.

    Edit: Watching this livestream is a combination of horrifying and amazing right now. They struck down her filibuster after three strikes for going off-topic, the last point being discussion of a sonogram bill. The crowd immediately started booing their decision and started chanting "Let her speak!", after a few minutes at which they threatened to clear the gallery. The people on the floor who support her are fighting their hearts out for an appeal right now.

    Edit 2: ""At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues in the room." -Leticia Van De Putte

    They're trying to vote past midnight and apparently an older woman just got arrested for refusing to stand up.

    Edit 3: A lot of people are outraged right now because they passed it after midnight 19-10, but there are mixed reports of whether it actually passed or not. At the very least, if it did pass it was definitely after midnight and will likely be overturned.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2013
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2013 edited
    I know you don't need me to point it out, but do you not find the whole filibuster thing a bit... weird? I appreciate that in this instance the technique is being used to halt some odious lawmaking but it can work both ways as well.

    I just find it odd that 'keep the debate going until we have to end session' is something that can shut down a vote. And that it has a whole bunch of very specific rules about what you have to do.

    Then again, I guess we don't *have* to have the monopoly on weird political institutions here in the UK. (every bill being read multiple times, even in the lords where even if they vote against it parliament can ignore them...)
  4.  (11025.9)
    Happens here too, as recently as last year.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2013
    Huh, you live and learn.

    I doesn't seem to come up that often though, looking at that.
  5.  (11025.11)
    For those who may have gone to sleep thinking that the Republicans of the Texas Senate succeeded in their 3-strike filibuster technicality shenanigans...

    Clock Runs Out On Controversial Texas Abortion Bill (4:24am CST)

    Key text from the end of the article, for those who want the gist of it:

    A private caucus of the full Senate followed the chaotic final vote.

    Republicans ultimately conceded that the bill did not pass in time.

    "Regrettably, the constitutional time for the first called session of the 83rd Legislature has expired. Senate Bill 5 cannot be signed in the presence of the Senate at this time. Therefore, it cannot be enrolled," Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said. He added, "It's been fun, but seeya soon."

    The victory for Democrats is probably temporary. There's nothing to prevent Republican Gov. Rick Perry from calling another 30-day special session, specifically on the topic of abortion legislation. Polls show Texas voters favor abortion restrictions and it's a deeply red state where Republicans control all statewide offices, the Texas House and the Texas Senate by wide margins.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2013
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2013
    Elsewhere in the news, the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court this morning. Prop 8 was also overturned.

    What does this mean?

    Same sex couples now get federal benefits (though they have to be married in states where gay marriage is legal).

    This only one day after the Voting Rights Act was struck down on the basis that it's outdated and the South isn't that racist anymore (the very states that aren't "that racist" anymore then scrambled to reinstate the voter ID laws that have been pretty effective in preventing people of color from getting to the polls).

    Two steps forward, one step back?
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2013

    Partially disagree on your description of the VRA ruling. The SCotUS basically said, "The rules you use to determine who is and isn't racist and needs supervision anymore need to be updated because some people may have changed and we're not comfortable with judging people by the actions of their fathers." They didn't "strike down" the VRA, they said that Section 4 needs to be updated and that's something I agree with because Section 4 has no way of covering people who may have started acting like racist dickheads since the VRA was put into affect *coughcoughArizonacoughcoughcough* while some people in the South may have changed for the good (hey, it could happen).

    Now, I do think it's telling that some of the very people who were under the VRA, were complaining about the VRA, then went out and immediately did something the VRA wouldn't allow them to do (as the SCotUS had just ruled, using the VRA as a basis, that requiring ID for voting in Federal elections was unconstitutional) as soon as this ruling went into affect.

    The real problem with the ruling is that the SCotUS kicked the updating of Section 4 to Congress, which is the right move except for the fact that this is the most fuckingly stupid, impotent, incapable Congress that has existed while I've been alive. They couldn't even pass the fucking Farm Bill which has NEVER failed before so my hope that they'll get Section 4 right, and give it the teeth it needs, is, shall we say, non-existent.
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2013
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2013
    @RenThing, telling Congress to fix it is, in my opinion, killing it.

    But no, that's totally valid. Your summary, that is.

    This WaPo editorial kind of sums it up for me:

    Sure, the Supreme Court has struck down a vital portion of the Voting Rights Act, invalidating the section of the law that determined which states required federal approval to change their voting laws. Sure, President Obama has said that he is “deeply disappointed” by this decision. Sure, Justice Ginsburg has a rousing dissent describing this as “hubris” on the court’s part.

    But to keep functional Section 5, which allows federal supervision of changes to state-level voting laws, all we need is some mature, responsible action by Congress.
    Excuse me while I go laugh hysterically for several days.

    “Also, fax us some unicorn tears,” the court added. “And while you’re at it, leap over a rainbow and bring us the American dream.”
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2013
    Oh, I'm not disagreeing with your other points raised. Not in the slightest. Maturity and competence are two things this Congress has in short supply.
  6.  (11025.18)
    A kickstarter to make spacecraft available to everyone.
    You get to design and pilot one.
    To the moon.

    If I'd the dosh...
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2013
    Anger over mystery individual who poos in middle of village hall car park every week

    Villagers in Misterton, Somerset, are furious after enduring seven months of a particularly foul recurring problem. Every week an elusive nuisance leaves a pile of faeces in the middle of the village hall car park and the people left with cleaning up the mess have had enough. The village hall plays host to a number of community clubs as well as being adjacent to the recreation ground and brand new multi-use games area. Committee members say they are certain the culprit is human.

  7.  (11025.20)
    I know! - A sign! That'll stop the culprit!