July 18th, 2009


World's oldest man dies at 113

Henry Allingham, the world's oldest man and the oldest surviving British veteran from World War I, has died at the age of 113, his care home said Saturday.

Allingham died in his sleep at St. Dunstan's care home in Ovingdean, England, the home said in a statement.

Born on June 6, 1896, Allingham was active until his final days, having celebrated his 113th birthday last month on the HMS President with his family, the care home said.

The Guinness Book of World Records Certified Allingham as the world's oldest man last month, St. Dunstan's said.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Gordon Brown both paid their respects to Allingham on Saturday.

Collapse )

Murasaki Shikibu


Questions raised about councilman's conduct after discovery of racist e-mails


EDITOR'S NOTE: This article uses language that is offensive but necessary to show a pattern of conduct by an Atwater city councilman.

ATWATER -- In the past several months Atwater City Councilman Gary Frago has sent at least a half-dozen e-mails to city staff and other prominent community members containing racist jokes aimed at President Barack Obama, his wife and black people in general.

In all, the Sun-Star obtained seven e-mails that Frago sent from October 2008 to February 2009 from an anonymous source.

Some compared Obama to O.J. Simpson while others suggested that "nigger rigs" should now be called "presidential solutions."

Perhaps the most overboard e-mail was sent on Jan. 15. It read: "Breaking News Playboy just offered Sarah Palin $1 million to pose nude in the January issue. Michelle Obama got the same offer from National Geographic."

Frago admitted sending the e-mails, but showed no regret. "If they're from me, then I sent them," he said. "I have no disrespect for the president or anybody, they weren't meant in any bad way or harm."

Collapse )



(no subject)

Abstinence Fail: Drinking Bleach Kills HIV


Horrified by bizarre myths about HIV and pregnancy that are apparently believed by some Florida teenagers, lawmakers are moving to ditch their "abstinence only" program and overhaul sex education in the state's public schools.
Florida teens who believe drinking a cap of bleach will prevent HIV and a shot of Mountain Dew will stop pregnancy have prompted lawmakers to push for an overhaul of sex education in the state. Another myth is that Florida teens also believe that smoking marijuana will prevent a person from getting pregnant. State lawmakers said the myths are spreading because of Florida's abstinence-only sex education. They are proposing a bill that would require a more comprehensive approach. It would still require teaching abstinence but students would also learn about condoms and other methods of birth control and disease prevention. The bill just passed its first vote in a committee.

Marion Barry: The Homo's Out To Get Me!!!!111


Washington, D.C. City Councilman Marion Barry is accusing his openly gay colleague, David Catania, of targeting him on unrelated ethics questions because Barry refused to support a measure that resulted in the District government recognizing legally-married same-sex couples, according to report by a local FOX News affiliate.

Barry, a longtime supporter of LGBT rights in D.C., has cited discord between the LGBT community and African-American religious leaders for his current stance on marriage equality.  New ethics questions have surfaced about Barry’s role in administering grant money authorized by the city council.

Catania, who spearheaded the measure to recognize married same-sex couples under D.C. law, has said he will now work to bring full marriage equality to the District.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffertz (R-UT) has introduced legislation in Congress to block D.C.’s efforts to recognize legally married same-sex couples, but the bill is not expected to be considered in the House.


(no subject)

D.C. Man Charged with Misdemeanor in Fatal Assault of Gay Man

Kill a gay man in D.C., use a 'gay panic' defense, and you're off scot free.

Last October I posted about the arrest of 18-year-old Robert Hannah for the assault of a gay man on his way to meet friends at Be Bar in Washington D.C. Hannah claims that 27-year-old Tony Hunter made a sexual advance toward him which led to Hannah punching Hunter to the ground. Hunter died of his injuries ten days later in the hospital.

Hannah A D.C. Superior Court yesterday indicted Hannah with a misdemeanor assault charge, WJLA reports:

"Even though Tony Hunter's murder was initially investigated as a hate crime, it was never officially declared in court. On Thursday, the 18-year-old charged with the crime pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor...Community activist Keith Jarrell believes Thursday's indictment sends an alarming message that violence against the gay and lesbian community is accepted. 'The city has turned [its] back on the gay community in many aspects,' he said. Bill Gray, the new owner of the bar, says he's now afraid his customers are being targeted. 'We have beefed up security. We have undercover security walking around the block constantly when we're open,' he said. Hannah's lawyer argued that his client was touched inappropriately by the victim. Still, everyone ABC 7 News spoke with Thursday night is in agreement that's no reason to severely beat a man."


Arrest Made in Beating Death of Gay Man in Washington D.C. [tr]


GOP: Forget Health Care reform. We have a much more important crisis! Obama is not Amurikan!!!

‘Birther’ Movement Dogs Republicans
Ten Members of Congress Sign on to Presidential Birth Certificate Bill

Kris Kobach is a law professor with degrees from Harvard, Yale and Oxford, and a veteran of George W. Bush’s administration who, after Sept. 11, helped craft the policy on domestic registration of foreign visitors to the United States. In May, he announced a run for Kansas secretary of state, campaigning for photo ID requirements at the voting booth. He’s considered a clear front-runner for the job. But over the weekend, Kobach spoke at a Republican Party barbecue and committed a minor gaffe. According to the Lawrence Journal-World, Kobach “asked what President Obama and God had in common, with the punchline being neither has a birth certificate.”
Collapse )

Los Angeles considers moving city records to Google Apps

LOS ANGELES - Security and privacy concerns have been raised over a multimillion-dollar proposal by Los Angeles to tap Google Inc.'s Internet-based services for government e-mail, police records and other confidential data.

At issue is the security of computerized records on everything from police investigations to potholes as the nation's second-largest city considers dumping its in-house computer network for Google e-mail and office programs that are accessed over the Internet.

Paul Weber, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, complained Thursday that the union had scant information on the plan or what it would mean for the safety of sensitive records, such as narcotics or gang investigations.

Collapse )


As someone who works in LA, works in IT and has experience with Google Apps can I just say, "HELL NO!"

Britain’s dirty little secret as a dumper of toxic waste

This is a link to an example website

Britain was accused yesterday of dumping toxic household and industrial waste in developing countries on two continents in breach of an international convention.

The Government last night was considering tightening the enforcement of rules after the discovery of hazardous medical and electrical waste in Brazil and Ghana.

Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, ordered an investigation into two British companies linked to 90 shipping containers containing 1,400 tonnes of waste. They included syringes, condoms and nappies. The companies that received the waste — sent from Felixstowe to three Brazilian ports — said that they had been expecting recyclable plastic.

In a separate case, the Ministry of Defence was unable to explain how one of its computers was found by The Times on a notorious dump on the outskirts of Accra, Ghana. Children as young as 5 extract scrap metal from electrical items there and are exposed to potentially lethal chemicals.

Inspectors from Brazil’s environment agency, Ibama, found hospital waste in several containers, reportedly including bags of blood. Another container was full of dirty toys with a note in Portuguese saying they should be washed before being given to “poor Brazilian children”.

Ingrid Oberg, an Ibama official, who opened containers found in the port of Santos on national television news, said: “Whoever put this rubbish into the containers in the UK knew what they were doing and knew where they were going, so it is a criminal act. England needs to assume responsibility.”
Collapse )
' jules


A Publics Figure
Congress's First Elected Muslim Is Emblematic of Many Things, Depending on Group Needing a Symbol

Keith Ellison is what he is -- the first Muslim elected to Congress, the first African American to represent Minnesota -- while trying not to be too much of what he is. But not too little, either.

Quietly devout, he unrolls his prayer rug in the privacy of his office in the Longworth House Office Building, facing the corner beyond which lies Mecca -- but that is still too Muslim for some.

Antiwar, he once voted for an Iraq war-funding bill because it had a timetable for withdrawal -- but that was not dovish enough for some protesters who subsequently held a sit-in at his Minneapolis office.

More than two years after he came to Washington, the idea of Keith Ellison, the symbol of Keith Ellison, remains potently useful to various agendas.
President Obama seized on it last month, during his address from Cairo University to the world Muslim community. In the president's list of examples of how "Islam has always been a part of America's story," he alluded to Ellison, though not by name. Ellison's name may be the least important part of his identity. Obama said: "When the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers -- Thomas Jefferson -- kept in his personal library."

Collapse )

I think it's funny that in the article he's like "yeah, I'm a Muslim, that's not really what's important to me in my career" and then the article is like "MUSLIM MUSLIM MUSLIM FIRST MUSLIM OMG MUSLIM". I know it's well intentioned but still, lol.

Tangentially related side-note: Virgil Goode (who is referenced toward the end of this article for his "omg the Muslims gonna get take over Congress now" letter) is running for a re-match against Tom Perriello, the Democrat who narrowly defeated him. His sum fundraising total? $154. Not $154K, but one hundred and fifty four dollars.

Muslim Terrorist Turned In By Muslims

Andrew Ibrahim, a former public schoolboy who tried to blow up a shopping centre in Bristol, was turned in to police by officials at a local mosque in the first case of its kind, it can be disclosed.

Ibrahim, a Muslim convert who changed his first name to Isa, was found guilty on Friday of trying to launch a bomb attack using a homemade suicide vest.

He conducted a reconnaissance mission around the Broadmead Shopping Centre in central Bristol, using his mobile phone to take notes about how long it would take to get from one point to the next.

But instead of dumping explosives in the bins as originally planned, Ibrahim, began to be obsessed with the suicide videos of other bombers and made himself a cotton vest of the kind he had seen on the internet.

He also used the internet to teach himself how to make HMTD, the same substance used by the July 7 bombers, and his plan was only foiled in April last year when he arrived at a local mosque with burn marks on his hands and arms.

But police sources pointed to a series of missed opportunities by others to turn him in.

* A visiting lecturer at the City of Bristol College reported him to the college when he began asking questions about "the best" biological agents for killing people but the college did not take the matter further.

* Ibrahim bought up stocks of hydrogen peroxide  a key ingredient of his bomb - at a number of Boots stores in Bristol and staff failed to follow their own regulations and alert the police.

* At the Maplins electrical shop, Ibrahim talked about a miniature lightbulb with the glass removed, a key indicator of a home-made detonator, but staff failed to realise what he wanted the equipment for.

* He talked to his friends about suicide bombing and even went to get ingredients for his bomb with them but they did not take him seriously.

A senior source at Avon and Somerset Police said a call was made to a Special Branch officer who works as a community engagement officer with the Counter-Terrorism Unit on the evening of Monday April 14 while he was on a narrow-boat holiday.

"The individual had talked about suicide bombing and they had challenged him on his views. They phoned us with his first name and said he was a convert but it took a few more days to work out who he was," the source said.

The Special Branch Officer called his sergeant back in Bristol who set about trying to track down the individual, known only as "Isa."

On the evening of Wednesday April 16 they were given a photograph of him and worked out his full name and address.

The next morning he was spotted by officers when he walked into his doctor's surgery in Prince Street, Bristol, and an armed response team was scrambled to the scene, arresting him at 1.40pm as he made his way into the centre of Bristol.

At his council flat in the suburb of Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, police found explosives in a plastic family assortment biscuit box in the fridge along with ball bearings and airgun pellets and a home-made suicide vest hanging on the back of the bedroom door.

The area was evacuated as the bomb squad moved in to carry out a controlled explosion.

Detective Superintendent Nigel Rock, the senior investigating officer, said: "He was unknown to us, the first thing we knew about his device was from the Muslim community. All of Bristol should be grateful to them for providing information. Without a doubt they saved people from serious injury and worse."

Det Chief Supt Kevin Hazell, head of the South West Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Unit, said the case was a success for the government's Prevent strategy which has involved encouraging local mosques to understand the challenges of fighting terrorism and to challenge is extremist views.

Officials at the mosque, in central Bristol, told the Daily Telegraph it was a "sensitive subject" and they had decided not to comment.

Ibrahim, who had been expelled from several public schools in Bristol, had enough ingredients to make the equivalent of three hand grenades, explosives experts said, and he had successfully made the explosive at least once, recording his efforts on his mobile phone.

Ibrahim is thought to be one of the few examples of a "self-radicalising" terrorist who downloaded videos by the extremist preachers Abu Hamza and Omar Bakri Mohammed.

The following month Nicky Reilly, another Muslim convert walked into the Princesshay shopping centre in Exeter and tried to blow himself up. He is serving life in prison.

panda bear

(no subject)

Obama Launches Ads Targeting 12 "Centrist" Dems

Ignoring criticism - namely from Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid - that inter-party targeting was ineffective, Barack Obama's campaign arm is expanding its health care ad buy into the districts of key conservative House Democrats.

Late Friday night Organizing for America and the Democratic National Committee announced the expansion of the "It's Time" ad purchase, which uses personal stories of health care struggles to drive home the need for reform. The initial purchase was on national cable and in eight states with critical Democratic and moderate Republican Senators.

Now the scope of the campaign is expanding. The ad will appear in the media markets that overlap with the congressional districts of 15 members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Eleven of those districts belong to Democrats, including Rep. Zack Space (Ohio), Rep. John Barrow (Georgia), Rep. Jay Inslee (Washington), Rep. Mike Ross (Arkansas), Rep. Bart Gordon (Tennessee), Rep. Baron Hill (Indiana), Rep. Charlie Melancon (Louisiana), Rep. Mike Doyle (Pennsylvania), Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah), Rep. Bart Stupak (Michigan), Rep. Jerry McNerney (California).

The four Republican districts belong to Rep. Fred Upton (Michigan), Rep. Mary Bono Mack (California), and Rep. Greg Walden (Oregon), Rep. Sue Myrick (North Carolina)

For reform advocates, the Energy and Commerce Committee remains the toughest venue of the three committees handling health care in the House of Representatives, in large part because of the Blue Dog and moderate Democrats that make up its ranks. In making this purchase, Organizing for America either is worried about the committee's progress or -- much more likely -- sending a message that it has no problem applying pressure on fellow party members.

No representative is named in the ad. But every one of the aforementioned members will know that the spots are airing in their districts. The markets where the ad will run, according to the OFA/DNC press release, are: Savannah, Palm Springs, Seattle, Nashville, Bloomington, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Little Rock, Columbus, Marquette, Grand Rapids and Medford.


(no subject)

Hunting The Homo


France has banned a video game in which the goal is to shoot naked homosexuals. The game is owned by a company based in Georgia (the country.)
A video game hosted by a Georgian website is causing outrage in the gay rights community. The idea of the online game - to shoot nudists, before they b**ger you, was created by a Frenchman. It's banned in France... but not in Georgia. The game was initially picked up and slated by the Gay Caucasus blog, shortly followed by Gay Armenia. Global Voices quoted the latter as being "completely disgusted", finding it particularly shocking that the concept was adopted by "those religious-minded people in Tbilisi, Georgia, who swear in the name of Georgian patriarchy and constantly cite Bible to ‘justify' their homophobia and hatred. Is this their (un-)‘orthodox' way of bringing up children by creating an image of an enemy (= gays) and teaching how to deal with it (= kill them)?"
The video company is claiming "freedom of speech."


Idk, I've heard of these types of games over here in the states too.  I don't believe in banning media though.

(no subject)

Pot Could Bring $1.4B To CA Economy


Back in February, openly gay California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano proposed legalizing the sale of marijuana, a move tax experts predicted would bring in an annual $1B in desperately needed tax revenues. The tax experts were wrong.
California tax officials have found that a state bill to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol would generate nearly $1.4 billion in revenue. A State Board of Equalization report released Wednesday estimates marijuana retail sales would bring $990 million from a $50-per-ounce fee and $392 million in sales taxes. The bill introduced by San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano in February would allow adults to legally possess, grow and sell marijuana. Ammiano has promoted the bill as a way to help bridge the state's $26.3 billion budget shortfall.
Ammiano is rewriting his bill to remove the stipulation that the federal government must legalize pot before taxes can be collected. BTW, is $50/ounce a good price? Would that undercut the street dealers? I've never bought it, never enjoyed it, hate the smell, but totally support legalization.


Bree Gun

NY State Senator Tom Duane's Emotional HIV Speech on the Senate Floor

At around 3 am last night, New York State Senator Tom Duane, who is gay and HIV-positive, delivered a mesmerizing, emotional 21-minute speech on the Senate floor at the end of a marathon session in favor of a bill preventing people living with HIV or AIDS and receiving public assistance from having to pay more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent.

The bill passed by a vote of 52 to 1. But not after Duane reminded people of the horrors of the early 80's:

"Visiting friends in hospitals. We'd go in. We'd go in one night, in the morning they'd be dead. I'd bring them food. My family, bring them food. My friends bring someone food. But whoever was in bed would be dead before they could eat it. We'd leave it - maybe the nurses would take it home. No! They wouldn't eat it! 'Cause it's contaminated. Contaminated! Wouldn't touch it. Wouldn't go into the room. Wearing masks. Gloves! Gowns! Someone gets sick in the afternoon. They'd be dead the next day. Dead! And that went on for months, and then years. Dead! Dead! You think if you got sick and your friends were dying that I would sit there and do nothing? No. But that's what happened. That's what happened. Every cold. Every virus. Every temperature. I thought I'd be dead, and so did so many people that I knew. Dead! You think you scare me? You think you can make be back off? Nothing scares me."


Murasaki Shikibu

And siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh once again.

Black Philadelphia police sue over message board, say it's racist

by Jason Kessler

(CNN) -- A group of black Philadelphia police officers filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against their department, alleging an online forum geared toward city police is "infested with racist, white supremacist and anti-African-American content."

The suit alleges white officers post on and moderate the privately operated site, Domelights.com, both on and off the job.

Domelights' users "often joke about the racially offensive commentary on the site ... or will mention them in front of black police officers," thus creating "a racially hostile work environment," according to lawyers for the all-black Guardian Civic League, the lead plaintiff in the suit.

A look at the site's forums Friday for racist comments found several possibilities.

Reads one: "In urban areas, it seems [African-Americans] living on welfare in paid for housing is ingrained in their culture as well as fighting. ... Kids, along with adults can't speak proper English or spell at a 3rd grade level, but they can sing among "theyselves" the lyrics to a rap song."

Said another Domelights user of an African-American woman: "She is a classic example of that exact non tax paying, no car insurance driving, bad weave wearing, all the whitey's are racist black women."

Collapse )


I'm done with people for the day and going back to playing video games.
Akuma River

July 18-19 2009 Iran weekend update

The weekend is usually scarce of news unless something big happens...so I dug up what I could.

Basically the regime is now attacking Rafsanjani because he spoke up against the regime's treatment of the people.

Update: Instead of making a sunday post I just updated this one.

July 17, 2009 post | July 16, 2009 post | July 15, 2009 post | July 14, 2009 post | July 13, 2009 post | July 12, 2009 post | July 11, 2009 post | July 10, 2009 post | July 9, 2009 posts | July 8, 2009 post | July 7, 2009 post | July 6, 2009 post | July 5, 2009 post | July 4, 2009 post

Zahra Rahnavard outside Tehran University on July 17, 2009 during the Friday Sermons

iran protests,July 17 2009

iran protests,July 17 2009

iran protests,July 17 2009
Collapse )
Rainbow, elephant

Homeless stand in for lobbyists on Capitol Hill

By Tara Palmeri

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Once he roamed the streets, moving from shelter to shelter. Now, Oliver Gomes rubs shoulders with Washington's elite.

Squatting next to a white wall outside a Senate hearing room recently with a cell phone glued to his ear, Gomes is being paid to hold a place in line for a lobbyist at a hearing on the climate-change bill.

Gomes -- 6 feet tall, with long curly hair pulled back, wearing a polo shirt and shorts -- is one of the contracted men and women holding places in line for this hearing. Many have been waiting since midnight to ensure their clients a seat.

By 9 a.m., more than 100 people are lined up for the hearing. Only 10 seats are available to the public, and the first 10 spots are held by line-standers. The rest are shut out.

Collapse )