June 20th, 2009


People On Terrorist Watch List cant board airplanes, but at least they can buy guns for self defense

On Terrorist Watch List, but Allowed to Buy Guns

People on the government’s terrorist watch list tried to buy guns nearly 1,000 times in the last five years, and federal authorities cleared the purchases 9 times out of 10 because they had no legal way to stop them, according to a new government report.

In one case, a person on the list was able to buy more than 50 pounds of explosives.

The new statistics, compiled in a report from the Government Accountability Office that is scheduled for public release next week, draw attention to an odd divergence in federal law: people placed on the government’s terrorist watch list can be stopped from getting on a plane or getting a visa, but they cannot be stopped from buying a gun.

Gun purchases must be approved unless federal officials can find some other disqualification of the would-be buyer, like being a felon, an illegal immigrant or a drug addict.

“This is a glaring omission, and it’s a security issue,” Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, the New Jersey Democrat who requested the study, said in an interview.

Mr. Lautenberg plans to introduce legislation on Monday that would give the attorney general the discretion to block gun sales to people on terror watch lists.

The government’s consolidated watch list, used to identify people suspected of links to terrorists, has grown to more than one million names since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It also has drawn widespread criticism over the prevalence of mistaken identities and unclear links to terrorism.

A report in May from the Justice Department inspector general found that the list kept by the Federal Bureau of Investigation carried the names of 24,000 people included on the basis of outdated or sometimes irrelevant information.

Gun rights advocates said showing up on a terrorist watch list should not be grounds for being denied a gun.

“We’re concerned about the quality and the integrity of the list,” said Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association. “There have been numerous studies and reports questioning the integrity, and we believe law-abiding people who are on the list by error should not be arbitrarily denied their civil rights” under the Second Amendment.
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garf tired


Teachers File Racial Discrimination Suit Against Obama Administration's School “Turnaround” Plan

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
Public-private partnerships between Chicago's City Hall, where two men named Richard Daley have ruled more than 40 of the last 55 years, and a gaggle of corporate bagmen from the Gates, Bradley, Walton and other foundations have honed a disastrous “education reform” agenda that is now national policy. In Chicago, where dozens of neighborhood public schools have been shuttered and hundreds of experienced, predominantly black teachers fired in mid-career and replaced by underqualified, underpaid, uncertified and overwhelmingly white newbie instructors, resistance is brewing and spreading.

"The fired teachers are disproportionately African American, and the newly hired teachers are not.”

In May, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan declared the Obama administration's intent to close and “turn around” 5,000 "underperforming” public schools in poorer neighborhoods across the country. Duncan's last job was CEO of Chicago's public schools where he shut down dozens of neighborhood schools, practically all in lower income areas, and dismissed thousands of committed and experienced teachers, the vast majority of them African American women.

When the Chicago Teachers Union made no effort to reach out to parents, students or their communities, refused to organize teachers to oppose the wave of school shutdowns and privatizations, teachers organized what they call CORE, the Coalition of Rank & File Educators. CORE has now filed suit against the Chicago Board of Education, charging that the mass dismissal of hundreds of mostly black veteran teachers and their replacement with uncertified and generally underqualified white teachers is racially discriminatory.

“We looked at the number of teachers who lost their jobs in these 'school turnarounds,'” CORE research director Carol Caref told BAR, “and we looked at the number of African American teachers who were employed in those same schools or in the charter schools which replaced them and there was a huge discrepancy which couldn't be accounted for by chance. The fired teachers are disproportionately African American, and the newly hired teachers are not.”

“Even if it's inadvertently discriminatory, it's still discriminatory because the majority of the teachers wiped out in these turnarounds are African American,” offered Chicago teacher Wanda Evans. The fired veteran teachers, CORE also maintains, are being replaced by a much younger, much whiter and much less experienced corps of instructors graduated from a handful of accelerated programs funded by Boeing, the Bill and Melinda Gates, Bradley, Walton Family, Rockerfeller and other foundations, and favored by City Hall and the Commercial Club. “The new teachers are paid half or less what experienced teachers with advanced degrees were making."

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Somebody, they say, needs to tell President Obama.

My mom is an educator for the Newark, NJ public schools, and not only is she FURIOUS about this, but scared as well.

parody | Iran Solidarity Fräulein

Iran Post-election LiveThread #6.

Might not be as active in updating because I think I came down with something; keep nodding in and out of consciousness. But you know the drill.


(no subject)

Hey ladies, wanna look amazing this summer? Bacardi says that all you need is an ugly girlfriend!

ETA: If you want to let Bacardi know how much they fail, you can contact them here. Thank you happythree!

ETA2: Another source with MORE contact information, including personal email addresses of Bacardi executives! According to Bacardi's website, Stella David is the one responsible for "global brand strategy, advertising and marketing across all of the core brands in the portfolio."

Stewart and Huckabee's 'Spirited' Discussion... UNCUT

Mike Huckabee
went on the Daily Show and he and Jon mainly argued about abortion; Huckabee is pro-life or as I consider it: anti-choice.
The aired segment was only 10 minutes long, these 3 parts are the full segment that they couldn't air due to timing constraints.

What are everyone's thoughts on this? I think Huckabee's approach to the issue is interesting as is his perspective but the pro-life movement, in my eyes; defies freedom of choice and that's what closes the deal for me.

sorry, I don't know how to embed it.


Two radio interviews with scholars of radical right, on Tiller, Holocaust Museum shootings

* David Neiwert of Orcinus blog, about his new book The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right. Audio interview HERE.

* Terry Gross's Fresh Air on NPR - interview with Chip Berlet, who has monitored the radical right for 25 years at Political Research Associates. Audio interview HERE.

Some topics covered:

* Holocaust Museum, Dr. Tiller, Tennessee Unitarian Church murders
* Christian Identity movement
* Sovereign Citizen movement & Posse Comitatus
* Anti-semitic "international bankers/Federal Reserve"/Illuminati beliefs
* Clinton impeachment (Clinton's 90s death list) and 90s militia movement
* FOX News and AM talk radio
* "New World Order"
* White supremacy/Aryan nations


President Chávez congratulates Obama for criticizing Fox News

President Hugo Chávez praised his US counterpart Barack Obama for criticizing the hard-line editorial position of Fox News against Obama's government and made a comparison between the case of the US network and the "attack" by some private media against his socialist revolution.

Obama said this week that Fox Network, a conservative channel owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, is "entirely devoted to attacking my administration" and seldom runs any positive stories about Obama's administration, Reuters reported.

"Obama decided to act and joined the fray. Let's applaud Obama," said the Venezuelan president in an unprecedented gesture. His remarks came late on Thursday, when Chávez talked about socialism in a TV program broadcasted by state-run channel Venezolana de Televisión (VTV).

A fierce critic of the "US imperialism," Chávez however showed optimism about the attitude of the new US ruler, after years of insults against former president George W. Bush.

"Obama is not talking about a revolution but I think he wants a change," Chávez said.

SOURCE (Couldn't find any other one in English, btw)


Local News, Columbus Pride March and Festival

Columbus pride

The city’s biggest Pride celebration yet reflects the growing role the GLBT population has played in the area’s development
By Kitty McConnell

In 1981, a few dozen Columbus men and women—many wearing bags over their heads to conceal their identities—marched down High Street with signs demanding equal protection against discrimination for gays and lesbians. That was Columbus’s first Gay Pride march.

Contrast that somber procession with the campy floats and nearly 130,000 people expected to show up this weekend for Columbus’s 28th annual Columbus Pride Parade and Festival. Some of those marchers may don masks, but they certainly won’t be hiding their faces.

“Columbus has become more progressive over the years,” said Carla Rothan, executive director of Stonewall Columbus, the agency that’s staged Columbus Pride every year since the early ‘80s. For evidence, she pointed to the Citation of Recognition issued to festival organizers by Mayor Mike Coleman, and the fact that Columbus Pride 2009 events will be attended by City Council members, other local politicians and Gov. Ted Strickland.

“All over the country, because of the economy, I think, a lot of festivals and Prides are closing,” said Rothan. “But Stonewall Columbus has had a lot of support.”

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Source here

This was my first Pride, march and I have to say, it was an awesome experiance. I had a lot of fun supporting Columbus and they GLBTQ Community.



In Poll, Wide Support for Government-Run Health

In Poll, Wide Support for Government-Run Health

Americans overwhelmingly support substantial changes to the health care system and are strongly behind one of the most contentious proposals Congress is considering, a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The poll found that most Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes so everyone could have health insurance and that they said the government could do a better job of holding down health-care costs than the private sector.

Yet the survey also revealed considerable unease about the impact of heightened government involvement, on both the economy and the quality of the respondents’ own medical care.
While 85 percent of respondents said the health care system needed to be fundamentally changed or completely rebuilt, 77 percent said they were very or somewhat satisfied with the quality of their own care.

That paradox was skillfully exploited by opponents of the last failed attempt at overhauling the health system, during former President Bill Clinton’s first term. Sixteen years later, it underscores the tricky task facing lawmakers and President Obama as they try to address the health system’s substantial problems without igniting fears that people could lose what they like.
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