Tagged: news

Flashback: So what? WA state candidate Amy Biviano posed for Playboy

[UPDATED 7/31/2014]: Here’s the uncensored photo….

Amy Biviano aka Amy Nabors nude uncensored

Another day in Washington state politics. Apparently it is like the town in “Footloose” on the other side of the Cascades. Amy Biviano, Democratic candidate for Spokane Valley’s 4th District House of Representatives, has been “outed” for having posed for Playboy magazine’s “Women of the Ivy League” in 1995. She was a student at Yale at the time

“Outed” is a stretch of the term since Amy Biviano, nee Amy Nabors, wrote a passionate, no-apologies essay about her experience around the time the Playboy pictorial was published:

So do I believe that my future might be affected by posing for Playboy? Yes, I believe that it will. But, it has made a positive contribution to my life – I gained a sense of self-reliance which I lacked before the posing scandal. Yes, it was fun to have my five minutes of fame both on the Yale campus and on the national scene. It is a nice little boost to the ego to know that some people consider me to be attractive enough to be in Playboy. But of course I know now, and I knew when I first chose to pose, that these benefits will fade, and they will only be remembered by a few people searching through dusty archives. However, posing for Playboy has permanently changed me by making me think a little bit differently about myself – I’m now more of a risk-taker, fear social approval less, and know a bit more about what I’m capable of. I may never do something this controversial again, but it’s nice to know that I could and did.

Amy Biviano, a Sunday school teacher and business owner, is in a brutal race with Matt Shea (R-4th district) in a heavily Republican area. She trailed Shea by 20 points in the August primary.

It has been reported that Shea has posted photographs on Facebook of himself smiling outside her house and refused to remove them. The congressman has also labeled Biviano a “radical socialist.”

So when the conservative website Western Center for Journalism gleefully “exposed” Amy Biviano for her past work for what they call the “soft porno magazine” Playboy, it simply added the personal attacks on top of the idealogical slander of her opponent.

Biviano is a far from a socialist (she’s a corporatist who believes in the privatization of worker’s comp programs) and her support for abortion rights and marriage equality are the majority opinions of Washingtonians. There is nothing “radical” about her platform.

One has to ask themselves if they are willing to not vote for a candidate with whom they agree on the issues, simply because they  chose to pose nude during college. Eastern Washington is in the midst of recovering from a bad fire season and an even worse economy. Those should be the issues, not whether someone was naked in the 90s.

If you are without sin, we’d love to hear from you in the COMMENTS section. If you have a lot of sins, we’ve love to hear from you even more so.

[UPDATE]: Amy Biviano’s congressional opponent Rep. Matt Shea has “condemned” the release of Biviano’s Playboy past. A heavy emphasis of the QUOTE, UNQUOTE. Shea postures with a good old-fashioned “Have you stop beating you wife” technique full of snark and backhanded concern:

I am saddened by the release by a national media outlet of my opponent’s involvement in pornography. I strongly condemn the release of this information. Our campaign was aware of this information several months ago, and made a very determined decision to not use or disperse this information in any way, shape, or form. I specifically instructed the few members of my campaign team who knew of this situation to not disseminate this information, engage in negative, personal attack campaigning, even though my opponent had already done so. This type of negative campaigning is exactly what is wrong with politics today. While these revelations are indeed alarming, my heart goes out to Amy and her family. My wife Viktoriya and I will continue to pray for her.

With “condemnation” like that, who needs friends.

Amy Biviano, herself, released a statement expressing how there was not even an attempt by her campaign to hide her pictorial in Playboy “Women of the Ivy League” in October 1995. Biviano, like most people of the 21st century, believes that nude pictures have nothing to do with the challenges facing Washington state’s 4th district.

How the Washington Post’s new owner aided the CIA, blocked WikiLeaks & decimated book industry (video)

Many of us didn’t know what to think when Amazon’s Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post this week. It didn’t feel right.

The Post belonged to the Graham family for 80 years. During that time the newspaper broke many Pulitzer price-winning stories with the most iconic being Watergate. Bezos’ Amazon recently inked a cloud computing contract with the CIA and often convinces states to not collect taxes from the company (while the company itself lobbies for online sales taxes). This is not a man inclined to impede power.

Rather than impede power, he often appeases power and dotes some of the largest heapings of political contributions among tech firms.

Jeff Bezos has also “guaranteed” that there would be no papers in 20 years. Newspapers would be relegated to “luxury items.” This is the same guy whose company created the “Kindle” – a product with a double meaning “to glow” (like its screen) or “to burn” (like the paper from books).

So leave it up to the always brilliant folks at DemocracyNow to break down the entire Washington Post sale with the most intelligent roundtable discussion you’ll find:

part 1:

part 2:

Fox News embarrasses itself, Twitter rejoices

Fox “News” host Lauren Green foxed up by revealing shocking ignorance and Islamophobia even by Fox standards. Watch as Green questions renown historian Reza Aslan as to why he, a Christian-turned-Muslim, should have the right to author a book about Jesus. 

And then, below, check out how Twitter rightfully mocked Fox with the hashtag #foxnewslitcrit


Pope Francis is kinda awesome…

…Here’s what the new pontiff said today that is making Pope Francis seem like the guy who may take the Catholic Church out of the dark ages and into maybe like the 1700s or something. One step at a time:

If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him? We shouldn’t marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society.

Does this mean homophobia no longer gets a divine pass?

Blocking High – the phenom your weatherman won’t tell you about

Are TV weather people, like MJ McDermott of Q13-Fox, giving a raspberry to Global Climate Change?

Are TV weather people, like MJ McDermott of Q13-Fox, giving a raspberry to Global Climate Change?

There’s a new climate phenomenon affecting your weather. It’s called “blocking high” and chances are, your local weather person is rather mum of the topic.

Blocking highs, sometimes simply referred to as “blocks,” are huge and stationary patterns in the atmosphere that “block” the conditions that vary local weather. In a nutshell – blocking highs keep your weather in place for long periods of time. This is great when your weather is awesome but no so much when it comes to extreme summer heat waves and extreme winter cold. This is what has been happening more and more across the globe and it will become even more common.

The conveyor belts of climate, jet streams, are losing power and leading to these blocking highs. Desalinization, due to melting glacial ice, put the skids of weather systems. The result – this summer’s weather has become quite worrisome: the East Coast has been battling record heat, as has the UK; the Southwest is having a devastating and tragic wildfire season; Seattle has not had rain all of July and went almost two months without rain last summer.

New Scientist examined Earth’s new normal of blocking highs:

It’s hard to be sure. There is no firm statistical evidence of more or longer-lasting blocking highs. But we have had some nasty ones recently, widely blamed for the Russian forest fires during the extreme heatwave of 2010, some extreme hot and cold in the US, and even floods in Pakistan, also in 2010…

…(T)he jet stream appears to have slowed down, by about 14 per cent in the past three decades. It is also meandering more, looping north towards the Arctic and south towards the tropics – perfect conditions for blocking highs. The weather, she says, is getting “more stuck”.

So what’s with the silence on the issue from our local TV weather personalities? Many of these “meteorologists” allude to high pressure systems and weak jet streams but rarely in context or pointing out long-term patterns or consequences. Why? There are several reasons:

  • Only half of the weathermen and women you see on your TV screen have a degree in meteorology. Most of the ones that do have what’s called a “broadcast meteorology” degree according to a Rolling Stone report. A strictly made-for-TV degree. The rest of the weathercasters are just TV personalities who are meant infotain you rather than educate you. All of these folks are weathertainers and you should never be impressed by a “AMS seal of approval” you see next to any of their names.
  • Another problem is that, according to a George Mason University and University of Texas-Austin study, a quarter of these weathertainers believe global climate change is a flat-out scam. Now take that stat and mixed it with this one – another study from George Mason conducted with Yale that found that 56 percent of Americans trust their local weathertainer on climate change more than they do politicians. These two findings are part of the formula that keeps us, the viewers, in the dark about the danger of blocking highs and their increasing frequency.
  • Perhaps the biggest problem is corporate consolidation of local television. More and more of our broadcast channels are owned by fewer and fewer companies. And these companies are notoriously conservative. Most affiliates are owned by well-known right wing firms like Fox, Gannett or Scripps. These companies hire accordingly and the corporate culture of these workplaces act as an indirect form of silencing anything too environmentalist in tone. Rolling Stone: “Smaller, privately-held stations can be even worse. Stan Hubbard, whose Hubbard Broadcasting owns 12 stations nationwide, calls global warming “the biggest fraud in the history of America.”

Here in Seattle, our most curious apologist for extreme heat is Q13-Fox and their morning weathertainer MJ McDermott. She’s the Seattle area’s leading global warming cheerleader. Are abnormally dry conditions that are causing fires and poor air quality a cause for concern? Of course, not. McDermott will simply put the corporate spin that smoke-filled skies lead to “beautiful sunsets.” Her heat lust is so notorious that the station’s Facebook followers have asked her to tone it down and think of the consequences of ultra heat has on a region not equipped with air-conditioning.

Q13-Fox is horrible on climate change. It is currently owned by conservative media giant Tribune. Their Chicago Tribune is a GOP favorite. Prepare for Q13 and other Tribune affiliates to get even more worse on climate change even hostile. How? It is rumored that the Koch Brothers, oil billionaires and environment pillagers, are considering purchasing Tribune’s TV holdings.

So what do all the blocking highs and intentional weather ignorance get us? Well, according to the latest consensus by climate scientists:

“Even in the best case scenario, business as usual…more than 2C (3.6 F) warming, an amount of warming that scientists who study climate change impacts tell us will lead to truly dangerous and potentially irreversible climate change.”

Demand or, at the very least, seek context in your weather reports. Follow the money when it comes to your TV. It matters. Blocking highs are not an occurrence you want. When our broadcasters are using our airwaves (which are part of the commons) they should tell you the truth.

Want to climb the income ladder? Leave the South

A new, expensive study proves what common sense could have told you for free – the South has problems. This is the region with the lowest chance for socio-economic mobility in the entire United States.

The New York Times reports that location matters when it comes to your children climbing the income ladder:

Climbing the income ladder occurs less often in the Southeast and industrial Midwest, the data shows, with the odds notably low in Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus. By contrast, some of the highest rates (of income mobility) occur in the Northeast, Great Plains and West, including in New York, Boston, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, Seattle and large swaths of California and Minnesota.

Climbing income ladder copy

There are exceptions in a handful of counties in western parts of Texas and Oklahoma. But overall, the American Dream does not whistle Dixie.

President Obama: “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago” (video)

President Obama shared his most personal thoughts and experiences on race yet. He spoke of his encounters with those who feared and suspected him because of his race. The President also addressed the horrendous Zimmerman verdict and why Black America has been touched by the justice system in a much more negative way than the bigots on Fox, Drudge and the rest of the Right.

The video: