RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?/March 2011

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March 2011[edit]

9Early, i.e. meaningless, polling on 2012 US Presidential election nevertheless shows Mike Huckabee level-pegging with Obama. Their headline? "Obama on the ropes!!!1"
15Uterus? Think of the children!!!
11The Supreme Court fails at protecting citizens' rights yet again in a prosecutorial immunity case.
13A possible answer to the Pioneer Problem emerges - discovered using 1970s graphics techniques.
21According to Indiana State representative Eric Turner, abortion laws shouldn't have exceptions for victims of rape or incest, because then women will just claim they've been raped to get an abortion.
9FBI unveils wiretap tapes in the case of hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam and his connections with Goldman Sachs. Choice quote: "Oh dude, we're f-----."
11A wingnut think-tank in Michigan, taking a leaf from Wisconsin Republicans' book, has filed a FOIA request for several professors' private e-mails.
11Members of the Triangle Freethought Society jump on the billboard bandwagon in an effort to gain acceptance.
28Fox News executive admits to lying repeatedly about Obama.
-12Remember the "Chicken Littles" blowing the Japanese nuclear scare out of proportion? Radiation from Fukushima detected in Massachusetts rainwater. And now it's reached Scotland. SO WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!
4The Simpsons get nuked in Germany.
12Just in case you didn't get the memo: GOP budget cuts are not about the deficit, waste, or red tape. In fact, none of the targeted programs are on the Government Accountability Office's list of "high-risk areas."
7Obama waffles on war powers and misrepresents NATO involvement.
3David Weigel: "There is a liberal campaign aimed at getting conservatives off the air, off the Huffington Post front page, off Fox News. It's as blatant as the conservative campaign to dismantle the liberal media."
23Fox News's Washington managing editor Bill Sammon: 'Before the election I went on the air and speculated that Barack Obama is a Socialist even though I did not believe that.'
23How's this for political correctness? The governor of Maine feels that murals depicting labor unions in the lobby of the Department of Labor are insensitive to business owners.
15China has recently seen a large surge in the number of scientific papers it produces. According to a Nottingham University professor of Contemporary Chinese Studies, the next step for Chinese scientists is actually to put something in the papers they publish.
38Donald Trump has been asking over and over again about Obama's birth certificate and released his own... only for it to turn out not to be a valid birth certificate! RationalWiki asks: what is Trump hiding? UPDATE: Trump finally releases the right thing.
20Possible GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain says he won't appoint Muslims to his administration. Aren't Teabaggers supposed to support the constitution?
5No wonder some people are convinced Facebook is bound to fail: they've already discovered the next big thing.
7Paranoia-peddler extraordinaire Alex Jones gets mainstream coverage thanks to NYMag.
7Teenager accomplishes an amazing thing. Although since it has to do with relativity some people might not agree.
15The TSA recently fired a Wicca practitioner after a coworker complained that she had hexed the heater in her car not to work.
13British academia, threatened with £100m cuts in arts and humanities funding, adopts a new research priority: the "big society". Update: AHRC says "bullshit".
7More talk of state government shutdowns, this round from Governors Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Andrew Cuomo of New York.
9Waterproof, Louisiana: The town's mayor has been in jail for a year. It is suspected that this is because the parish sheriff was running against him for mayor and decided to play dirty. Some people are using this as a hammer to bash the Republicans, even though both mayor and sheriff are Democrats.
10Geraldine Ferraro, first woman to run for Vice-President, dies.
22Virgil Peck (R) of Kansas gains the ire of everyone by stating, after an idea to shoot feral hogs from helicopters, "If shooting these immigrating feral hogs works, maybe we have found a [solution] to our illegal immigration problem." 54,000 signatures for his resignation have already been collected.
6Donate money to Madonna's Kabbalist charity, help buy a golf club membership for her trainer's boyfriend education for starving Malawian girls.
16After two and a half months of therapy, Congresswoman Giffords is now able to walk and speak.
47.0 Quake shakes Myanmar, Thailand.
20Liz Taylor unwittingly gets the last laugh on the WBC. They were going to protest her funeral because of her long-time support for gay rights and AIDS activism. However, because she had converted from Christian Science to Judaism 52 years ago, she was in the ground before they could book passage to L.A.
9Apple pulls an Exodus International iPhone app for misrepresenting research. Exodus International is appalled at the suggestion that they are "demonizing" gays or something like that; no, it's just that "the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, it is holiness."
10In Nepal, women are still being put apart for their uncleanness, often in very unclean settings, causing depression and death.
18A foxhole-atheist has taken the U.S. Army to task about a mandatory program of Spiritual Fitness Training and a $30 million Spiritual Fitness Center being built at the government's expense.
16Wisconsin Republican Party wants to abuse open-records laws and go on a nasty, nasty fishing expedition. (Note to all folks with a .edu or .gov e-mail. DO NOT use it for anything not directly work-related).
9Sarah Palin: "Though it often seems like I’m armed with just a few stones and a sling against a media giant, I’ll use [my] small resources to...set the record straight". Small Resource Item #1, this Fox News Front Page item on 3/22. Small Resource Item # 2, its Front Page follow-up on 3/24 from the largest news organization on Earth, and the most watched cable news network in US.
8Gun-toting newsreader makes bizarre vow to defend Gaddafi
13A nominee for an Alaska government position thinks sex outside of marriage should be a crime.
12More We-Told-You-So-News: Donald Rumsfeld put "Crusades-like" Biblical messages on the cover of George Bush's Worldwide Intelligence Briefs, top-secret documents circulated only amongst those with the highest security clearances in the US Govt.
13This just in. Get as much as you can done before May 21st, and keep your calendar clear after that. Update at 11.
10Scientists find the chemical that makes you gay lack sexual preference. Well, in mice anyway.
21Hugo Chavez has told the world that there was life on Mars, and capitalism destroyed it.
13A new poll highlights the difference between US chalk and British cheese.
9Evangelist leader (and Watergate co-conspirator) Chuck Colson seeks to clone himself.
10Religion could become extinct in nine countries.
8Boy that's going to make for excellent relations with the Middle East if she ever got to be President. Sarah Palin makes a U-Turn.
22Stop the discrimination and persecution of Creationists! A Texas lawmaker defends his bill to ban discrimination against Intelligent Design.
6Invasion of the King Crabs!
14Arab League condemns bombing of Libya, then supports it.
18Yet more people who were not responsible for the 2007 financial crisis are losing their jobs and seeing their pensions threatened, while those who were actually responsible rub their hands with glee.
16Want to stop being gay? There's an app for that!
-24Obama to Gaddafi: Stop shooting people or we'll start doing it instead.
22UN approves no-fly zone in Libya. Update: France and the U.S. begin strikes.
10Facebook: Bigger than Jesus porn.
35Ann Coulter's stupidity shocks even Bill O'Reilly while speaking on his show. She claims that "scientists consensus" has changed about radiation, it's healthy for you. O'Reilly even started mocking her to her face by stating "So by your account we should all be heading towards the nuclear reactor".
14Another reason your health insurance is rising all the time - drug companies bribe doctors to prescribe their drugs.
30House Republicans vote that Earth is not warming. Since when is science a democracy?
15The anti-tax, small government party wants the IRS to audit abortions.
15For the first time, a majority of Americans support gay marriage, and now in a shockingly hypocritical ironic twist, Republicans complain that the Democrats might be using this as a wedge issue against them
9Newt Gingrich: "Obama shouldn't have released his NCAA tournament bracket during a time of crisis. Now, take a look at my NCAA tournament bracket."
9The Democratic caucus has introduced legislation for the repeal of DOMA. Of course, they had to wait until they had nothing further to lose, but...
14The first X-Ray machine, built in 1896, is fired up to test it - but since it requires a radiation dose 1500 times that of a modern instrument they have to use a cadaver, rather than a young lady's hand.
12Angry squirrel terrorizes Vermont town
27After 18 teenage boys gang raped an 11 year old girl, Florida Rep. Kathleen Passidomo takes blaming the victim to a whole new level by deciding the best course of action to prevent it in the future is to introduce a dress code for young girls.
7A documentary filmmaker pretends to be a yoga-guru, Borat style. Some suckers fall for it.
9Massive pedophile ring busted. Hundreds of arrests expected.
16University saves $100,000 by using Microsoft's Kinect to diagnose OCD and ADD in children.
14A Wisconsin-based bank, M&I (now Canadian owned), has been made the target of a boycott for employing 10 people who donated to the Scott Walker campaign.
23Union supporters to Tea Party: Our rally is bigger than your rally.
15The International Commission of Labor Rights has served notice that Scott Walker's recent actions in Wisconsin are illegal.
8Kingshurst Kops raid the wrong house. For the fortieth time
14A day after Fidelity posts that many millionaires believe that $7.5 million in assets is "Wealthy", CNN posts research that 56% of Americans have $25,000 or less in retirement and investments (not including of homes). In the same study, 27% reported that they did not think they would be able to ever retire.
1Criticism is emerging of the design of the damaged Fukushima Nuclear Power plant, citing spent uranium pools being placed close to the tops of the buildings and other flaws
18UK Libel Law will be reformed by an Act of Parliament - a positive step for science, journalism, medicine and the anti-crank movement. Public interest will now be a defence. It will likely end libel tourism too.
23Democracy in action, GOP style: Wisconsin's Senate Majority leader refuses to count the votes of Democratic senators.
22One of the anti-union Wisconsin Republicans is so popular even his own wife and maid are supporting his recall, but he's too busy shacking up with his mistress to care.
12A Fidelity Investments survey of U.S. millionaires may show more reasons why the rich bitch and moan if they don't get tax cuts. Most think they aren't wealthy because, to them, $7.5 million in assets -- more than double the assets of the average respondent -- is the bare minimum needed to be considered rich; they tend to compare themselves only to other millionaires, not to average Americans; and they continually want more money because they are afraid of "outliving" their wealth.
2The UK sets a sad world record: Youngest alcoholic ever.
7A significant leak of radiation has occurred from the stricken reactor 2 at the Fukushima Number One nuclear plant. Residents within 20 KM have been encouraged to evacuate, those within 30 KM are advised to remain in their home. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has requested calm amongst efforts to prevent further leakage
11Why your health insurance just keeps going up and up, with the insurers blaming "ever increasing costs of medical care".
7Goopers introduce another bill making English the official language of the US. No furriner speak in 'Murrica!
2400 year old king signs autographs in front of painting of self
25Leading Christian and Humanist organisations join forces to call bullshit on claims of unfair religious persecution.
16One in five California voters now "decline to state" a political affiliation to either of the two main parties in the US, and the bleeding seems mainly to come from the Republicans.
8The sun sets on Broderism — David Broder: 1929-2011
22Taxed Enough Already? The GOP want to tax you MORE!
15Was Michelle Bachmann homskolled?
5One for the Economics geeks: fascinating Powerpoint economic analysis of the state of USA Inc., by noted Powerpoint guru Mary Meeker.
12Otherwise mild-mannered and completely unprovocative One Show presenter Matt Baker to David Cameron: One quick question, how on earth do you sleep at night?
11Nuclear emergency declared at Fukushima and a second nuclear plant in Japan. Update: A large explosion at Fukushima-Daiichi, but nuclear materials may not be involved.
38Oregon votes to remove legal defense of "we wuz doin' faith healin'" if you happen to have killed your children by not letting the doctors help with their fatal condition.
19Woman Forced To Watch Her Baby Die Because Nebraska Anti-Abortion Law Prohibited Doctor From Acting
5Hundreds killed in Japan but no mass devastation elsewhere: Hawaii reports no major damage (if one calls an estimated $75 million in damages "no major damage"), French South Pacific lifts tsunami alert, Pacific Rim and west coast of USA largely spared.
8Fukushima Nuclear Plant hit by earthquake in Japan. Industry Minister tweets that any radiation released will be low-level. Let's hope he's right.
22Tennessee birther legislator: "I'm not sure what a 'long form birth certificate' is, but I want Obama to provide one!"
21Massive earthquake and tsunami strike northern Japan. Tsunami warnings around the Pacific.
13Sir Fred Goodwin is a banker an utterly incompetent shit. "I am not a banker, I am a free man!"
14The gubernatorial administration in Wisconsin claims it will cost $7.5 million to clean up after the union protesters. PolitiFact says: Liar, liar, pants on fire!
14State Rep. Martin Harty of New Hampshire has stated he suggests sending the mentally disabled to Siberia to freeze. When questioned on it, the senator confirmed he said it and left it at that. While Republican House Speaker William O'Brien states at 91 the senator has earned the right to say what he thinks, but he wishes he phrased it more carefully.
17That's right, Libertarians and Tea Partiers, the Gubmint should get out of people's business because there's no need for Govmint regulation, none whatsoever, no Siree Bob.
16Wisconsin Tea Party Governor's move against public sector unions is not popular with Americans, with 64% of them disapproving of the direction.
11While instigating debates in the House today during a hearing about American Muslims who have committed terrorist attacks, Rep. Peter King vows to get to the bottom of the issue by conducting a thorough witch hunt investigation.
14Senator Waxman says it like it is: "The Republicans in Congress have become the party of science deniers, and that is profoundly dangerous."
20Newt Gingrich: "I cheated on two wives... for America".
8U.S. intel suggests they may be hiding a "secret stockpile of non-conventional weapons." Hey, the excuse worked for Iraq, why not Libya?
10UN Security Council member France becomes the first to recognise Libyan rebels as the country's legitimate government.
17Wisconsin Republicans finally railroad through their public union busting bill.
11NPR CEO sacked after being set up in right-wing snare. Where are all the left-wing snare artistes?
7The world this year has been graced by the appearance of 214 new billionaires, six of whom come from the ranks of Facebook.
22Death penalty banned in Illinois; all death row inmates' sentences commuted to life without parole.
8Don't worry Moammar, somebody still likes you
16Parent company of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity hires people to call the radio shows they syndicate. Limbaugh and Hannity both deny their own shows use the service.
10Cookies will need explicit permission in Europe after 25 May this year.
18Mike Huckabee has decided the best course of action after last weeks 2 incredibly embarrassing comments, to go completely nuts. He firstly blames the interviewer for bringing up Natalie Portman's pregnancy, which is very clearly disproved by audio transcripts. He then states that he is not responsible (everyone else is) for his idiotic fiction about Obama growing up in Kenya, because "I can't be the dumbest guy in the room and the smartest guy in the room at the same time". Sane people are scratching their heads at this.
17 Any way you count it, that's a lot of fuckin' pedophile priests.
8We are not alone
18Michael Moore makes a fine polemical speech to the Wisconsin public service workers - "America is NOT Broke....400 Americans today together have as much money as half of all Americans combined" (Speech starts at 5:20 in the clip).
30Republican plan to ensure aristocracy part II, make it harder for those who disagree with you to vote.
40Jon Stewart calls out Fox's hypocritical statements regarding the "poor destitute" $250,000 a year earners, while raging against the "greedy overpaid" teachers earning $50,000 with benefits.
23Scientist at NASA claims he has found evidence of alien life on a meteorite. "No other paper in the history of science has undergone such a thorough vetting," he says. Warns another NASA scientist: "It’s an extraordinary claim, and thus I’ll need extraordinary evidence." Update: Not three days later, NASA disavows the findings, in part applying Occam's razor: "Just because it looks as though the holes were made by bacteria doesn't make them fossils of extraterrestrial microbes."
15Priest sentenced to 15 years for abusing boys.
15Peter Chan's Thai airline, PC Air, moves to become even more PC by recruiting transsexual cabin staff.
10In 2008, an environmental activist joined in on the bidding for oil leases outside two Utah national parks. He has been convicted of "interfering with an auction" and could face up to ten years in prison and a $750,000 fine.
16Life imitates The Meaning of Life: Man slides dildo into fiancee as a demonstration for a Northwestern University class. NWU defends the display, right up to the point at which an alumnus gets all offended and threatens to withhold a donation, at which point it immediately becomes Troubling and Disappointing.
10West Indians stoned, but not in a good way.
10"Mainstream Media" in Britiain gets, errrr, more mainstream.
9Phoenix Police have been forced to admit that their kidnapping statistics were doctored.
10Investigations continue at Portland's Adventist Medical Center in Oregon where a man died in the emergency department parking lot. Officer Andrew Hearst stated that emergency personnel refused to come and help the man who had a heart attack and should call an ambulance. Security footage shows an emergency medical team was organized and sent in 47 seconds of learning about the incident, along with an ambulance arriving less then 3 minutes later. Police have refused to comment after this footage was released.
21Mike Huckabee proves that being a moron doesn't exclude you from being the "GOP frontrunner."
18Supreme Court upholds Westboro Baptist Church's right to stage anti-gay protests at funerals of U.S. troops. But only 15% of Fox News fans, normally big on First Amendment rights, support this First Amendment decision. Finding that "Fair & Balanced" thing kinda hard today, are we? UPDATE: WBC vows to "quadruple down" on their hate message.
22Texas proposes a $10,000 fine for hiring an illegal immigrant... unless it's your maid.
16Apparently, corporations don't have a right to personal privacy, but you can hurt their feelings.
17An EU ruling on gender equality may see the end of that annoying Sheila's Wheels advert.