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June 27, 2008

Man who burned the Burning Man man gets prison, man

Calif. man gets prison for burning Burning Man - Yahoo! News

RENO, Nev. - A San Francisco performance artist was sentenced Friday to as many as four years in prison and ordered to pay restitution for the early torching last summer of the signature effigy of the counterculture Burning Man festival.

Paul Addis pleaded guilty in May to one felony count of injury to property stemming from the burning of the 40-foot icon on Aug. 28 — four days earlier than planned. He was ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution.

The Albanian genderfuck tradition of the Sworn Virgin

Albanian Custom Fades - Woman as Family Man - NYTimes.com

Note: This was a common practice among certain Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest as well.

For centuries, in the closed-off and conservative society of rural northern Albania, swapping genders was considered a practical solution for a family with a shortage of men. Her father was killed in a blood feud, and there was no male heir. By custom, Ms. Keqi, now 78, took a vow of lifetime virginity. She lived as a man, the new patriarch, with all the swagger and trappings of male authority — including the obligation to avenge her father’s death.

She says she would not do it today, now that sexual equality and modernity have come even to Albania, with Internet dating and MTV invading after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Girls here do not want to be boys anymore. With only Ms. Keqi and some 40 others remaining, the sworn virgin is dying off.

“Back then, it was better to be a man because before a woman and an animal were considered the same thing,” said Ms. Keqi, who has a bellowing baritone voice, sits with her legs open wide like a man and relishes downing shots of raki. “Now, Albanian women have equal rights with men, and are even more powerful. I think today it would be fun to be a woman.”

What will we do when all the bees are gone?

Un-busy bees a disaster for almost everyone

The folks at Haagen-Dazs are worried enough that they and others have mounted a campaign to halt the shocking decline of honeybees and other pollinators of strawberry plants, almond trees and the rest of the roughly 90 percent of terrestrial plant life that needs pollination.

. . .

Honeybees mysteriously began to abandon their colonies in 2006, destroying about a third of U.S. hives. The rate of decline is accelerating, reaching 36 percent last winter.

"How would our federal government respond if 1 out of every 3 cows was dying?" Maryann Frazier, a bee expert at the University of Pennsylvania, asked during testimony to the House subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture.

June 26, 2008

Glenn Beck is a voice of moderation, calls for all suspects to be executed

Think Progress -- President Beck: I Wouldn’t Detain Terror Suspects, I’d ‘Shoot Them All In The Head’

Today on his radio show, CNN host Glenn Beck expressed his disdain of the recent Supreme Court ruling granting terror suspects the right to challenge their detention in civilian courts, exclaiming that if he were President, he would do away with detaining and prosecuting terrorism suspects altogether. Instead, a President Beck would “shoot them all in the head [if] we think that they are against us.”

BECK: We’re going to shoot them all in the head. If we think that they are against us, we’re going to shoot them and kill them, period. Because that’s the only thing we’ve got going for us is we can put them away and get information. If we can’t put them away and they’re going to use our court system, kill them.

Hundreds arrested in child sex raids

Hundreds arrested in major US child prostitution raid - Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US police arrested 389 people on child sex trafficking charges in a major sweep across several states, The New York Times reported Thursday.

The five-day operation spanned 16 cities and involved hundreds of local, state and federal agencies dealing with missing children, many of them runaways, and identifying networks behind child trafficking for the sex trade, the report said.

Twenty-one sexually exploited children were rescued from the street, it added.

So far 433 exploited children have been rescued as a result of the initiative, the report quoted federal officials as saying.

It probably felt good, but not the best career move

Sporting News | Choking GM likely ends Shawn Chacon's career
HOUSTON -- It was both frightening and surreal to those who saw it. Houston Astros pitcher Shawn Chacon rose from his chair, wrapped his hands around general manager Ed Wade's throat and threw him to the floor.