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Wed, 30 Nov 2022
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Coal Miners Forced To Attend Romney Event - Without Pay

Mitt Romney greets coal miners
© Wendy Gittleson
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets coal miners during a campaign rally in Beallsville, Ohio, on Tuesday.
Republicans love the symbolism of coal miners. Coal miners represent big energy. They are real men, not afraid to work hard and get dirty for their living. When pressed to produce a jobs plan, Republicans are quick to point to coal workers. Coal workers make great GOP photo ops and Mitt Romney's handlers know that well enough to arrange exactly that. They contacted a friendly Ohio coal mine and asked them to send a few miners to a Romney rally. The problem? The coal miners weren't paid for the photo op and they felt they could lose their jobs if they didn't go.

From Raw Story:
"Yes, we were in fact told that the Romney event was mandatory and would be without pay, that the hours spent there would need to be made up my non-salaried employees outside of regular working hours, with the only other option being to take a pay cut for the equivalent time," the employees told Blomquist. "Yes, letters have gone around with lists of names of employees who have not attended or donated to political events."

"I realize that many people in this area and elsewhere would love to have my job or my benefits," one worker explained. "And our bosses do not hesitate in reminding us of this. However, I can not agree with these callers and my supervisors, who are saying that just because you have a good job, that you should have to work any day for free on almost no notice without your consent."

"We do not appreciate being intimidated into exchanging our time for nothing. I heard one of your callers saying that Murray employees are well aware of what they are getting into upon hire, or that they are informed that a percentage of their income will go to political donations. I can not speak for that caller, but this is news for me. We merely find out how things work by experience."

Arrow Down

Creationists Plan Yet Another Museum for Northern Kentucky

The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky
© Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty
The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.
Creation Science Hall of Fame plans to honor scientists who further the idea that God created the world 6,000 years ago.

A stretch of interstate in northern Kentucky may soon be the official capital for creationism fans across the globe.

Online-only institution the Creation Science Hall of Fame hopes to establish a real-life creationism center located between the Creation Museum and planned creationism theme park Ark Encounter.

The hall of fame website was launched in February and honors "those who honored God's word as literally written in Genesis." Any scientist who the institution believes furthers the scientifically inaccurate idea that God created the world 6,000 years ago can be included.

"We honor these people, not because we believe everything they say, but because they made critical contributions to creation science and to the explanation of the Genesis story," secretary/treasurer of the hall of fame Terry Hurlbut told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

There are several creationism institutions in the US, including another creation museum in Texas and a mobile museum that takes fossil exhibits to churches and schools. The hall of fame would solidify northern Kentucky as the center for creation-tourism.

The Creation Museum opened in May 2007 and was built by Answers in Genesis, the Australian ministry that is also behind Ark Encounter.

Ark Encounter - which would feature a life-size replica of Noah's Ark - was supposed to break ground in Kentucky in 2011, but has been unable to reach its $24.5m fundraising goal.


'Your Baby Can Read' Charged With False Advertising Because It Didn't Prove Your Baby Can Actually Read

Your Baby Can Read Ad
© The Consumerist
Since 2008, the makers of the Your Baby Can Read! learning system have made $185 million from parents who hoped that the product could indeed help their infant get a head start on becoming a voracious reader.

Now the company has to forfeit all that money (well, sort of) after the FTC filed false advertising charges against it, its former CEO and its creator.

In infomercials that ran for several years, the folks behind Your Baby Can Read claimed that through the use of videos, flash cards, and pop-up books, children as young as nine months old could learn how to read.

The company stated in its ads that these claims were backed up by scientific studies.

While the company and its former CEO have agreed to a settlement that would turn over what little remains of the aforementioned $185 million, the FTC says it is initiating litigation against the creator of the product, Robert Titzer, Ph.D., whose name is touted on the packaging for Your Baby Can Read.


Archbishop Desmond Tutu Quits Seminar in Protest Over Presence of Tony Blair and His Support for the Iraq War

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel laureate and icon of the anti-apartheid struggle, has withdrawn from a seminar in South Africa in protest at the presence of Tony Blair and the former prime minister's support for the 2003 Iraq war.

"The archbishop is of the view that Mr Blair's decision to support the United States' military invasion of Iraq, on the basis of unproven allegations of the existence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, was morally indefensible," said Roger Friedman, a spokesman for the cleric, who won the Nobel peace prize in 1984.

"Morality and leadership are indivisible. In this context, it would be inappropriate and untenable for the archbishop to share a platform with Mr Blair," he added.

Blair's office said he was "sorry" that Tutu had decided to pull out of the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit, which is due to take place in Johannesburg on Thursday, adding in a statement that the two were not due to be sharing a platform at the event.


Deaf Three-Year-Old Not Allowed to Sign His Name Because It Violates Preschool's Weapons Policy

A deaf preschooler in Grand Island, Nebraska, has been prohibited from signing his own name because school administrators believe the gesture he uses looks too much like a gun.

"He's deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy," Hunter Spanjer's father Brian told Channel 10/11.

Hunter uses Signing Exact English or SEE - a form of manual communication that uses modified ASL handshapes in an effort to better mimic the spoken English language.

"Anybody that I have talked to thinks this is absolutely ridiculous," Hunter's grandmother told the news outlet. "This is not threatening in any way."

The preschool, which has a strict zero-tolerance policy toward "any instrument...that looks like a weapon," would not discuss the matter, but said they were working with the parents on a compromise.

Meanwhile, the ACLU and the National Association of the Deaf have reached out to the family in support, committing themselves to assist should a legal avenue be pursued.


Book Review: The Mirage of Our Lives

A Hologram for the King - A book by Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers' gem of a book, A Hologram for the King, is a parable about the decadence, fragility and heartlessness of late, decayed corporate capitalism. It is about the small, largely colorless men and women who serve as managers in our suicidal outsourcing of manufacturing jobs and the methodical breaking of labor unions. It is about the lie of globalization, a lie that impoverishes us all to increase corporate profits.

A Hologram for the King tells the story of Alan, a lackluster 54-year-old consultant who is desperately trying to snag one final big contract in Saudi Arabia for Reliant, a corporation that is "the largest I.T. supplier in the world," to save himself from financial ruin. Alan has come to realize that managers like him who made outsourcing possible will be discarded as human refuse now that the process is complete, left to wander like ghosts - or holograms - among the ruins. And Eggers' novel is a subtle, deft and poignant look at the horrendous toll this corporate process takes on self-esteem, on family, on health, on community and finally on the nation itself. It does so, like parables from Greek tragedy or George Orwell, by finding the perfect story to make a point that is universal.

Heart - Black

Psychopath Alert! Police Officer 'Punched Pregnant Former Partner in Stomach to Cause a Miscarriage in Balaclava Raid at Her Home'

  • Matthew Cherry, 35, allegedly attacked former partner at six months' pregnant, court heard
  • He was forced to stop brutal attack when estate agent rang doorbell
  • Unborn baby boy survived and was born last year
© Zachary Culpin/Solnet News
Police officer Matthew Cherry, pictured on his phone at court yesterday, allegedly attacked his pregnant ex-girlfriend in the hope she would suffer a miscarriage
Bournemouth, England - A police officer repeatedly punched his pregnant ex-girlfriend in the stomach because he did not want her to have his baby.

Matthew Cherry, 35, is alleged to have barged his way into police officer Caroline Craft's flat in Bournemouth, wearing a balaclava and hooded top, to carry out the attack and try to force a miscarriage.

Cherry, a Dorset Police officer at the time, was angry, aggressive and desperate for Miss Craft to have an abortion, a court has heard.

He is also alleged to have told her that he had thought about punching her in the stomach so she would lose her baby.

The pair split up after she decided not to have a termination.

Miss Craft was six months' pregnant when she was attacked, Winchester Crown Court heard.

Cherry, from Parkstone in Poole, Dorset, denies attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent and said he was not the attacker.

Heart - Black

70,000 Chickens Found Dead in Maryland, Man Charged

The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office says a 21-year-old man has been charged in connection with the deaths of nearly 70,000 chickens.

Authorities say Joshua Shelton has been charged with burglary, malicious destruction of property and trespassing.

The sheriff's office says the owner of a farm on East Line Road in Delmar told a deputy early Saturday that the power had been turned off in three poultry houses, which deprived the chickens of food, water and cooling fans.

Shelton was found lying in the power control shed. Authorities say he was wearing a T-shirt and boxer shorts and smelled of alcohol.

The sheriff's office says the deputy determined that Shelton had turned off the circuit breakers that controlled electricity to the poultry houses.

Source: The Associated Press


Energy Drink Makers Face New York State Probe

© Rick Wilking/Reuters
The New York State Attorney General issued subpoenas in July to three firms that make energy drinks, including PepsiCo Inc, seeking information on the companies' marketing and advertising practices, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Besides Pepsi, maker of AMP, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman also sent subpoenas to Monster Beverage Corp and Living Essentials LLC, maker of the 5-Hour Energy drink, said the source, who declined to be identified, citing lack of authorization to speak to the media.

A spokeswoman for Schneiderman declined to comment, as did PepsiCo.

Living Essentials also declined to comment beyond its July offering memorandum in which it said that it had recently received an inquiry from a state attorney general asking for documents relating to its product and marketing.

The company said in the memorandum, which was distributed in connection with a debt offering, that it was responding to the inquiry.


Convention Protesters try to Arrest Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice
© AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
Protesters from Code Pink wanted to make citizen's arrest for war crimes

Tampa, Florida - Police in Tampa stopped a dozen anti-war protesters from entering an event attended by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice after the group said it intended to arrest her for war crimes.

The protesters from Code Pink carried handcuffs Tuesday and tried to enter a performing arts center. Rice was attending an event in conjunction with the Republican National Convention. They said they wanted to make a citizen's arrest of Rice, who was Secretary of State when the Iraq War started.

The officers told the protesters to leave because they were on private property. They went back to the sidewalk and several lay down under sheets made to look like they were blood-splattered.