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The Electronic Wasteland

Friday, November 14, 2008

Where do the millions of computer monitors, cell phones and other electronic refuse our society generates end up? Scott Pelley reports.


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Obama May OK Torture Investigation

By Meteor Blades
Daily Kos

Should George Bush and others in his administration be prosecuted for various actions is answered with a resounding yes! if you’re Vincent Bugliosi, author of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. And, while most other critics who favor prosecution argue that lesser charges should be brought than Bugliosi would like to see, they believe it would be mistaken to let the actions of Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and crew fade into oblivion. For one thing, the main thing perhaps, allowing these leaders to escape unscathed for their actions means we can pretty much count on a repeat – only worse – a few years or decades down the road.

It's hard to imagine anybody who's watched Torturing Democracy could suggest that nothing should happen to the characters who promoted, encouraged and even set rules for torture.

But Obama advisor and Bush enabler Cass Sunstein sees things just that way. And, apparently, so does Clinton era Department of Justice official Robert Litt. As noted in today’s Washington Post:
Obama will have to do a careful balancing act. At a conference in Washington this week, former department criminal division chief Robert S. Litt asked that the new administration avoid fighting old battles that could be perceived as vindictive, such as seeking to prosecute government officials involved in decisions about interrogation and the gathering of domestic intelligence. Human rights groups have called for such investigations, as has House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.).

"It would not be beneficial to spend a lot of time calling people up to Congress or in front of grand juries," Litt said. "It would really spend a lot of the bipartisan capital Obama managed to build up."
Vindictive. Vengeful. Partisan. Punitive. Divisive. These words have come to describe those of us who have watched the Cheney-Bush horror show of the past eight years unfold and want to see something done about it. Our problem, we are told, is that prosecuting or attempting to prosecute anyone in the outgoing administration would be a distraction for the incoming team at a time when the new President and Congress need to focus their undiluted attention on "more important matters."...(Click for remainder).

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Idaho students chant 'assassinate Obama' on school bus: Report

By David Edwards & Muriel Kane
Raw Story

Madison County, Idaho was once dubbed "the reddest place in America" by Salon, but that didn't make it any less shocking when elementary school children allegedly started chanting "assassinate Obama" on the school bus.

Matthew Whoolery told KIKD News he found out about the chanting from his second and third graders, who had no idea what the word "assassinate" meant.

"They just hadn't heard anything like this before," Whoolery stated. "I think the thing that struck us was just like, 'Where did they get the word and why would they put that word and that person together?'"

Whoolery, a psychology professor at Brigham Young University in Rexburg, is not an Obama supporter, but he was shocked that any public official would be threatened in that way. "I don't think that the majority of people in Rexburg have extreme ideas like that, but we were just surprised that it would go that far," Whoolery told KIKD.

The Madison County School District has sent out an email saying that students are to be told this sort of behavior is unacceptable.

According to an article which appeared in Salon in 2006, "You've heard of Jesusland, but Rexburg, Idaho, is something more. It's not just a small town in rural Eastern Idaho. It's a small town in rural Eastern Idaho completely dominated by a fast-growing Mormon college, Brigham Young University-Idaho."...(Click for remainder).


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AC360: Dan Savage Takes on Tony Perkins Over Prop 8

On Anderson Cooper 360 Dan Savage takes Tony Perkins to task over Proposition 8, and I must say, Perkins gets owned!

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State high court shows interest in anti-Prop. 8 suits

By Bob Egelko
SF Chronicle


SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court has asked state Attorney General Jerry Brown to reply by Monday to lawsuits challenging the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage - a sign that the justices are taking the cases seriously and will not dispose of them quickly.

Two groups of gay and lesbian couples and local governments led by the city of San Francisco filed the suits a day after the Nov. 4 election, when Proposition 8 passed with a 52 percent majority.

They argue that the initiative, a state constitutional amendment, violates other provisions of the California Constitution by taking rights away from a historically persecuted minority group and stripping judges of their power to protect that group. The couples' suits contend that Prop. 8 makes such fundamental changes that it amounts to a constitutional revision, which can be placed on the ballot only by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature.

Brown has said he will defend Prop. 8 in court while also supporting the legality of an estimated 18,000 weddings performed under the court's May 15 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

That ruling declared that state law defining marriage as being between a man and a woman violated the state Constitution. Sponsors of Prop. 8 contend that the initiative - which declared that only marriage between a man and a woman is "valid or recognized in California" - would invalidate all existing same-sex marriages....(Click for remainder).

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