feds using roundabout means to try to shut down adult film industry

So apparently Chase has been shutting down the bank accounts of porn actors. Why would a company that's kind of notorious for wanting your money, turn down customers? Seems the feds may be to blame.

DOJ Morality Police May Be Behind Chase Closing Bank Accounts Of Adult Film Actors | Techdirt (Techdirt.)

Well, the latest is that this may be a part of the US Department of Justice's "Operation Choke Point" program, in which the government has apparently decided that some extremely legal businesses don't get to exist anymore, but since they can't just disappear companies...they've decided to route around the whole "freedom" thing and get the financial industry to act as contract hitmen.


...The way it works is that the DOJ informs financial institutions that certain industries are more likely than others to be involved in unauthorized charges of consumer credit and bank cards. They likewise inform the banks that the DOJ is going to keep a special super-awesome close-eye on these industries, with the implication being that there will be a great deal of prosecutorial action, subpoenas, and scrutiny on those industries, not mention penalties on the institutions that work with them. The intention of the government, it would seem, is to make the banks unwilling to deal with the government harassment and simply cut anyone in those industries off from the financial institutions.

happy thoughts get you...nothing

If you want to see where "Law of Attraction" BS gets you, look at the dead bodies in James Arthur Ray's bogus sweatlodge.

The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking (The New Yorker)

...It’s just as hard to believe that the heroes in Byrne’s books—let alone a feverishly productive polymath like Goethe or the notoriously irritable Beethoven—succeeded because they cultivated good thoughts. Moreover, as the journalist Oliver Burkeman noted in “The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking,” “Ceaseless optimism about the future only makes for a greater shock when things go wrong; by fighting to maintain only positive beliefs about the future, the positive thinker ends up being less prepared, and more acutely distressed, when things eventually happen that he can’t persuade himself to believe are good.”

Burkeman is onto something. According to a great deal of research, positive fantasies may lessen your chances of succeeding. In one experiment, the social psychologists Gabriele Oettingen and Doris Mayer asked eighty-three German students to rate the extent to which they “experienced positive thoughts, images, or fantasies on the subject of transition into work life, graduating from university, looking for and finding a job.” Two years later, they approached the same students and asked about their post-college job experiences. Those who harbored positive fantasies put in fewer job applications, received fewer job offers, and ultimately earned lower salaries. The same was true in other contexts, too. Students who fantasized were less likely to ask their romantic crushes on a date and more likely to struggle academically. Hip-surgery patients also recovered more slowly when they dwelled on positive fantasies of walking without pain.

have healthy babies -- or else

Continuing the efforts among the misogynist wing of the GOP to make The Handmaid's Tale a blueprint for society.

Tennessee just became the first state that will jail women for their pregnancy outcomes

Tennessee has become the first state in the nation to pass a law criminalizing women for their pregnancy outcomes. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam took the 10 days allotted to him to consider the advice of doctors, addiction experts and reproductive health groups urging him to veto the punitive and dangerous measure that allows prosecutors to charge a woman with criminal assault if she uses illegal drugs during her pregnancy and her fetus or newborn is considered harmed as a result. Haslam ignored these recommendations — and the recommendations of nearly every major medical association, including the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy — and signed the measure anyway.


The law does nothing to expand treatment options for women in Tennessee...

The AMA, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists are among the major medical associations opposing such bills, which will only discourage them from seeking medical care.

234 girl students missing in Nigeria; media silent

W. T. F.? My immediate gut reaction is that we need a two part plan here: 1) find the Boko Haram kidnappers and shoot them in the face, and 2) find every reporter who should have reported on this and put them in the stocks for public humiliation for a month. Because, have you heard a single word about this?

Harsh Reality Break: 234 Girls Kidnapped from Physics Test (Space)

The scientists-in-training were loaded into a truck at gunpoint, and taken into the forest. It is assumed that the kidnappers were Boko Haram, an extremist group whose name means, "Western education is sinful." The idea of allowing girls to get an education, and, worse, yet, a science education, is everything they hate. They have a local history of doing crazy, horrible things, like assassinating clerics who criticize their extremism, bombing schools, murdering students, and kidnapping girls to use as sex slaves. At the time of the kidnapping, every other school in the area was shut down due to security concerns, but this school was kept open specifically to take final exams, with over 100 taking a physics test.

The world has a lot of terrible, horrible things happening in it, but this is insane, crazy, and heart-breaking.

sand mandala, playground, it's all in your mind

He just wanted to help free them from attachment. Kids are good with that, I hear. Dogs, too.

Small boy mistakes Jersey City sand mandala for playground, destroys hours of work (NJ.com)

Jersey City received a lesson on the impermanence of life a bit earlier than planned today, when a toddler mistook a Buddhist sand mandala for a playground this morning, smudging the center and sides and almost destroying days of painstaking work.


Chodak added that the child who damaged the mandala inadvertently taught everyone the lesson it’s supposed to impart.

“It’s so beautiful and then, next thing, it’s gone,” he said.

concealed carry in the, um, nether regions

Maybe she got confused by the "this my rifle, this is my gun" thing?

Teen Arrested With Loaded Gun In Vagina: Cops (The Huffington Post)

Cops say a Tennessee teen who got arrested for driving with a suspended license on Monday had a surprise in store for police.

When a female corrections officer at Kingsport jail performed a search on 19-year-old Dallas Archer, she allegedly discovered an "unknown object" lodged in the young woman's crotch. She alerted another female officer, who accompanied her during a further examination, according to documents obtained by the Smoking Gun.


we can fix climate change. will we?

We can do this. We should do this. If we we're too dumb to do this, well, think of it as evolution in action...maybe in a few tens of million years the next technological species to arise will get it right. As Krugman says, "All that stands in the way of saving the planet is a combination of ignorance, prejudice and vested interests. What could go wrong? Oh, wait."

Salvation Gets Cheap

But there is one piece of the assessment that is surprisingly, if conditionally, upbeat: Its take on the economics of mitigation. Even as the report calls for drastic action to limit emissions of greenhouse gases, it asserts that the economic impact of such drastic action would be surprisingly small. In fact, even under the most ambitious goals the assessment considers, the estimated reduction in economic growth would basically amount to a rounding error, around 0.06 percent per year.

What’s behind this economic optimism? To a large extent, it reflects a technological revolution many people don’t know about, the incredible recent decline in the cost of renewable energy, solar power in particular.

splitting wood with physics

I haven't done much wood-splitting, and some of the comments suggest that this approach would be less useful on the type of wood we're likely to be dealing with here in the U.S. Still, this is impressive.

Physics-exploiting axe splits wood in record time | News | Geek.com (@geekdotcom)

Splitting a log requires a surprising amount of force, but Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä has invented a new kind of axe that makes it much easier and safer.


The Vipukirves still has a sharpened blade at the end, but it has a projection coming off the side that shifts the center of gravity away from the middle. At the point of impact, the edge is driven into the wood and slows down, but the kinetic energy contained in the 1.9 kilogram axe head continues down and to the side (because of the odd center of gravity). The rotational energy actually pushes the wood apart like a lever. A single strike can open an 8 cm gap in a log, which is more than enough to separate it.

thug assaults older couple, get beat-down from entire bus

All too often people stand by and let violence happen. This wasn't the most subtle of interventions, but, sometimes it does my heart good to see someone get punched in the head.

Instant Karma: Fake Thug Tries Attacking Elderly Couple, Gets Jumped By Everyone On Bus (Elite Daily)

Footage has surfaced of a man starting a fight with an elderly couple on a bus only to be violently brought down by a group of passengers.

The video, shot somewhere in New York, begins with a man verbally abusing an older man with a cane and his wife, telling the old woman “F*ck you, bitch” and “You suck my dick, bitch.”

Bmore County speed camera vandalized

"The Baltimore County Police Department is asking for help from the public after one of its speed cameras was vandalized..." Can I help by buying the guy more spraypaint?

Baltimore County Speed Camera Vandalized, Police Say (Catonsville Patch)

The Baltimore County Police Department is asking for help from the public after one of its speed cameras was vandalized over the weekend, officials reported.

A citizen walking his dog in Towson between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Saturday near Thornton and Landrake roads noticed that the speed camera and lenses had been sprayed over with white paint, police said.


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