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January 26, 2013

A documentary about the homeless people living in Las Vegas' tunnels

My father works for a charity that feeds the homeless in Las Vegas. I hope he sees this. Underneath Las Vegas

January 25, 2013

Chinese woman complains about false imprisonment, so her local government locked her in a morgue for years

Chinese Petitioner Locked Up in Abandoned Morgue for 3 Years - chinaSMACK
According to a Voice of China “Newsline” report, city residents of Heilongjiang Yichun City Dailing District have recently reported that a woman named Chen Qingxia was kept in an abandoned morgue by the relevant departments for petitioning [to higher government authorities for redress, lodging complaints] year after year, her personal freedom having been restricted for already 3 years. In 2007, Chen Qingxia’s son disappeared during the chaos when the local complaints office went to Beijing to stop them and to this day remains missing, while her husband is currently living in an mental hospital. In front of a row of old flat houses in Yichun City Dailing District, a white van without a license plate is parked outside, the front of the car facing the words such as “I beg for mercy” taped to the building’s windows. A camera is installed to one side of the house’s door, the rear window is sealed with iron bars, and a pile of muck has buried the lower half of the window. This is Chen Qingxia’s current residence. . . .

Out of nowhere the courts just removed the President's power of recess appointments

Just a reminder that the obstructionist Republicans in the Senate have prevented Obama's appointees from assuming their jobs, leaving as much as a third of the appointed seats vacant. And their allies in the courts have gone a step further. Holy Cow | TPM Editors Blog
I’ve only had a chance to review the decision quickly, but it represents a dramatic limitation on the recess appointment, finding that the power can only be exercised during recesses between sessions of Congress and only to fill vacancies that occur during the same recess. So that’s the big news from this: a major limitation on the recess appointment power. It’s a decision the Supreme Court will be hard-pressed not to review. The other news, while not as big, is nonetheless quite serious: The decision would seem to void any action taken by the NLRB since last January. It will take some time to get a better handle on what that means, but you can imagine the chaos and confusion that could create.

All the Game of Thrones Fan Theories You Absolutely Need to Know

These are pretty fun. I especially like the theory about Tyrion being part Targaryen. All the Game of Thrones Fan Theories You Absolutely Need to Know
Who Are Jon Snow's Parents? It's the question every A Song of Ice and Fire readers asks themselves in book one, and never stops asking. The most prevalent theory is that Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, who abducted Eddard's siter Lyanna and the love of Robert Baratheon's life and inadvertently started the rebellion that deposed the Targaryens, had sex with Lyanna –- maybe consensually, maybe not –- and Lyanna died giving birth to Jon. Knowing that Jon would be in considerable danger if his half-Targaryen blood were revealed (remember, Robert was determined to kjill every last Targaryen on the planet), he pretended the boy was his own bastard, and took him to Winterfell, telling nobody the truth. Although Ned is incredibly secretive regarding Jon's parentage, he does remember making Lyanna a promise on her death bed, which was likely to keep Jon secret and safe. Jon's parentage seems likely to most readers – so likely, in fact, that some people believe it's too obvious to be true. Other fans have theorized that Jon is genuinely Ned's child, possibly with some random woman, or possibly with Ashara Dayne, whom Ned was rumored to love. The question is whether Ned's honor is great enough to have precluded him from fathering a bastard — certainly Catelyn and Ned's friends were shocked at the idea Ned had cheated –- and as shown in GoT, Ned is honorable to a fault. So it seems unlikely, although if he did lapse, his shame might be the reason he's so quiet about Jon's parentage. But if his mother is Ashara Dayne or some random wench, that doesn't really explain why he wouldn't at least tell Jon. Certainly, George R.R. Martin loves his head games, but the idea that Rhaegar and Lyanna are Jon';s true parents makes the most narrative sense. And it seems unlikely that Martin would be hinting at the mystery so much only to reveal Jon is just Ned's regular ol' bastard.