July 27th, 2009

(no subject)

Colleague charged over murder of gay sailor


A man has been charged with the death of gay US sailor August Provost.

Provost, 29, of Houston, was found dead on June 30th at Camp Pendleton in Southern California. He had been shot multiple times and his body had been burned.

Petty officer Jonathan Campos of Lancaster, California, was charged yesterday in connection with the death.

Provost's family have said he complained about being harassed before he died, although the Navy says it has no evidence his death was a hate crime.

Last week, his aunt, Rose Roy, said the family had been told Provost was killed by someone who feared being outed.

She said she was not at liberty to disclose where the information had come from.

Campos, 32, is being held in custody and is co-operating, Navy officials said.

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love is never wrong
  • chavah

Update on the Protest at Pride Charlotte

This is a post-Pride update to the post last week about the thousands of protesters that were going to show up at Pride Charlotte.

The estimates range from 10,000 - 13,000 attendees for Pride Charlotte and about 500 attendees to the protest.

The protesters mostly hung out on the lawn of the church across the street from the Pride venue. A few came wandering around Pride, but mostly kept to themselves and were quiet. They wear bright red t-shirts that say "God Has a Better Way" so they are easy to recognize and avoid. Partners in Peace and the police difussed the few situations that escalated, but mostly the protesters were barely noticable. In fact, my friends who didn't know about the protest ahead of time didn't even realize they were there at first.

In short... whatever. They came but they didn't ruin a perfectly wonderful Pride celebration!!!

Some local articles and blogs:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/local/story/853360.html

http://thomascwaters.com/charlotte-pride-anti-gay-extremists-fail-to-generate-flashpoint/2009/07/

http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2009/07/26/13540

Mich. Lawmaker Wants Obama Apology

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., plans to introduce a House resolution on Monday demanding President Barack Obama retract and apologize for remarks he made about Cambridge police Sgt. James Crowley.

Obama said at his prime-time press conference Wednesday that white officer Crowley had "acted stupidly" in the arrest of African-American Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, a racially-infused case that has sparked a national debate on race.

On Friday, a multiracial group of police officers asked the President to apologize for comments union leaders called insulting.

Officers said they resent any implication that race played a role in Crowley's arrest of Gates at his home near Harvard University.

Union leaders said Crowley acted appropriately when he arrested the scholar on charges of disorderly conduct.

Police said Gates flew into a rage when officers responding to a report of a burglary asked him to show identification.

Obama has not apologized for the comment but said he had called Crowley to explain that he never meant to insult the officer.

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Birthers argument is equally valid just like Holocaust Deniers. It could be true!


Inhofe: Birthers "Have A Point," "I Don't Discourage It"


In a story in Monday's Politico, conservative Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) indicates that he believes the argument of the "birther" activists -- that President Obama is not actually a United States citizen -- has some merit.

But as if to illustrate the touchiness of the subject, Hoekstra quickly added: "Not that this isn't important."


Sen. Jim Inhofe has also tried to find the elusive middle ground.

"They have a point," he said of the birthers. "I don't discourage it. ... But I'm going to pursue defeating [Obama] on things that I think are very destructive to America."

Matt Corley notes, "It's unclear why Politico characterizes Inhofe's decided support for the 'birthers' as an 'elusive middle ground' stance."
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Taliban seeks to win the hearts and minds of the people. Asks Bush for advice...

Taliban Issues New Code Of Conduct For Fighters (VIDEO)

The Taliban in Afghanistan has issued a book laying down a code of conduct for its fighters.

Al Jazeera has obtained a copy of the book, which further indicates that Mullah Omar, the movement's leader, wants to centralise its operations.

The book, with 13 chapters and 67 articles, lays out what one of the most secretive organisations in the world today, can and cannot do.
It talks of limiting suicide attacks, avoiding civilian casualties and winning the battle for the hearts and minds of the local civilian population.

Continue reading here.


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Louisiana Dems To Vitter: Our Guy's "LuvFests" Are Legal (Unlike Yours). "Oh Snap!"

Louisiana Dems To Vitter: Our Guy's "LuvFests" Are Legal (Unlike Yours)

Check out this statement we just got from the Louisiana Democratic Party, responding to Republican Sen. David Vitter's recent Web ad going after his potential opponent, Blue Dog Congressman Charlie Melancon, for attending a Democratic fundraising event in Massachusetts. What was so notable about it is that Vitter, who was linked to a prostitution scandal in 2007 and apologized for committing a "serious sin," attacked Melancon for going to a "Liberal LuvFest."
"In contrast to the kind of luvfest David Vitter is used to, this trip was legal, public and no money changed hands'" said Louisiana Democratic Party spokesman Kevin Franck.

"As we all remember, the last time David Vitter made public comments about a 'luvfest' he end up begging for forgiveness. I am anticipating an apology from him for this web ad in the near future."

Franck also said that Melancon himself did not take campaign contributions at the event, which if true would further undercut the whole message of Vitter's Web ad.


Obama - Pie

Sessions To Vote Against Sotomayor

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee says he'll vote against Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions says he doesn't think Sotomayor has the convictions to resist the pull of judicial activism once she becomes a justice.

His decision comes the day before the Judiciary panel is to vote on President Barack Obama's first high court nominee. Sotomayor is virtually certain to be confirmed by a vote of the full Senate by the end of next week, becoming the first Hispanic justice.

Most conservative Republicans are lining up against Sotomayor, but a handful of GOP senators are siding with majority Democrats to back her.

Sessions announced his decision in an opinion piece in USA Today.

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Sessions = FAIL
 

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Guards Raeps Virgins so it would look ok in the Eyes of God.

Iran virgin prisoners raped for 'legal' executions

* Female virgins "forcibly married"
* Then "raped to make exeuctions legal"
* Girls feared rape more than executions


MEMBERS of Iran's feared Basij militia forcibly marry female virgin prisoners the night before scheduled executions, raping their new "wives" and making it religiously acceptable to execute them, a self-professed member of the paramilitary group says.

The anonymous militiaman, exposing a part of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's religious regime in Iran, told The Jerusalem Post that at age 18 he was "given the honor to temporarily marry young girls before they were sentenced to death".

In the Islamic Republic of Iran it is illegal to execute a woman if she is a virgin, the former guard said.


So the Government arranges "wedding" ceremonies to be conducted the night before executions, and prisoners are forced to have sexual intercourse with a guard, Fox News reported.


Raped by her new "husband," a female prisoner is now fit to be put to death.


"I regret that, even though the marriages were legal, because I could tell that the girls were more afraid of their ‘wedding’ night than of the execution that awaited them in the morning. And they would always fight back, so we would have to put sleeping pills in their food.
By morning the girls would have an empty expression; it seemed like they were ready or wanted to die." said the militiaman, who told the Jerusalem Post he had just been released from prison himself after freeing two teenagers rounded up during post-election protests.

"I remember hearing them cry and scream after (the rape) was over," he told the paper.

"I will never forget how this one girl clawed at her own face and neck with her fingernails afterwards. She had deep scratches all over her."

The Iranian embassy in Australia rejected the claims, saying the source of the news - The Jerusalem Post - was "a Zionist publication, the bitter enemy of the Islamic Republic of Iran".

"According to the Islamic Law, female virgin marriage is only possible with the consent of parents or guardians as well as the virgin females," the embassy said.

"It is obvious that releasing such blatant lies is only with the aim of hostility and animosity with Islam and the Islamic Republic of Iran."
Citadel

Saudi apologizes for TV sex boasts, reports say.

A Saudi Arabian man who was arrested for bragging about his sex life on television has apologized for his comments while Saudi authorities discuss whether he should be charged with a crime, according to local media.

Mazen Abdul Jawad appeared earlier this month on Lebanese channel LBC's show "Red Lines," on which he discussed foreplay, sexual conquests and how he picks up women, all taboo subjects in deeply conservative Saudi Arabia.

According to the Saudi daily newspaper Arab News, Abdul Jawad has initiated a damage-control campaign and on Sunday "appeared in the pages of a local newspaper apparently wiping away tears from a handkerchief as he apologized and begged for forgiveness."

Abdul Jawad is a 32-year-old airline employee and divorced father of four.

In Saudi Arabia, pre-marital sex is illegal and unrelated men and women are not allowed to mingle.

According to Arab News, Abdul Jawad is not in jail and is considering filing a complaint against the show's producers for presenting him "in the worst possible manner by taking two hours of footage and condensing it down to a minutes-long segment."

Ashraf Al-Sarraj, the lawyer representing Abdul Jawad in his possible complaint against LBC, told Arab News, "We will study the case and eventually present it to the Ministry of Information."

According to the paper, "LBC refused to comment on the matter until it has more time to formulate a response."

The segment in question has, since its initial broadcast, been posted on YouTube and been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. It includes scenes of Abdul Jawad discussing his enjoyment of sex and how he lost his virginity at age 14. Abdul Jawad is also shown in his bedroom, where he holds up sexual aids to the camera. It ends with him cruising the streets of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in his car and looking for women.

CNN has been unable to reach Abdul Jawad, the Saudi Ministry of Justice or the Saudi Ministry of Information for comment.

Source, stayin' classy.
Citadel

Fact or Fiction: Is China's One-Child Policy Heading for a Revision?

The one-child policy is such a cornerstone of contemporary China that when word got out late last week that Shanghai was encouraging some couples to have more offspring, it made headlines around the world. But on July 25, the same Chinese family-planning official whose remarks set off speculation denied that Shanghai was taking its first steps to reverse the much-hated policy. Apparently reacting to numerous overseas media reports of a change in city birth-control regulations, which was portrayed as being the first sign of a reversal, Xie Lingli was quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency as saying that a citywide policy of allowing couples in which each partner is an only child to have two children had been in place for many years. She also emphasized that the Shanghai city government's family-planning office would never actively encourage any new measure that was counter to national policy.

The reports in question were sparked by remarks Xie had made to the official media that appeared to point to a policy shift designed to address the drain that Shanghai's aging population could have on the city's economy. "We advocate eligible couples to have two kids because it can help reduce the proportion of the aging people and alleviate a workforce shortage in the future," Xie, who is director of the Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission, was quoted as saying. The report also stated that family-planning officials and volunteers would begin to make home visits and slip leaflets under doorways to encourage eligible couples to have a second child and that emotional and financial counseling would be provided to the families.

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Meghan McCain engages suicidal Twitterer, calls police

Meghan McCain calls cops on suicidal Twitterer to keep him from becoming an hero.





Meghan McCain Receives Twitter Suicide Threat
Monday July 27, 2009

Meghan McCain, DailyBeast.com writer and daughter of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), has received a suicide threat from a Twitter follower.

A Seattle, Wash. man replied to McCain today, "please pray for me. SeriousLy please I want death. End it for. Me please."

McCain tweeted about eight hours later, acknowledging the man's prayer request and following up to say she had contacted law enforcement in Seattle.

On April 3, actress Demi Moore had a similar incident occur in which a woman threatened to kill herself on Twitter. She was later taken into custody.

Question of the Day: How would you deal with a Twitter suicide threat?


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obama-beer

Gates, Crowley To Join Obama For Beers This Week


When President Obama said last week that the whole incident involving Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge police department could be worked out over a beer at the White House, he wasn't speaking figuratively. CNN is reporting today that the White House has confirmed that the president is to meet with the two men this week to do just that.

As Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained on "Fox News Sunday," "the president believes this can be a teachable moment." And what better way to begin putting things in perspective in the dog days of summer than to serve a cold beer.

As for drink orders, CNN says Obama will be having a Bud and Crowley a Blue Moon. No word yet on Gates' beverage of choice.

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Okay, Crowley has kind of annoyed me......but he likes Blue Moon.  Now I'm torn.  Fuck.  O_o

It's a good thing he didn't want a pint of Magners.  The conflict might have given me a brain aneurysm.


ETA: While appearing on the Rachel Maddow show on Friday, guest Melissa Harris-Lacewell (who is acquainted with Gates) believes Professor Gates might prefer a nice Pino Noir.  LOL!

 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/32133926#32133926

In this segment, it was also mentioned that the Cambridge Patrol Officers' Association representative who had earlier called upon President Obama for an apology, did a 180 after the call between the President and Crowley, and after Obama clarified his remarks during his appearance at the White House Press Conference. 

In response to Obama’s remarks, the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association, Cambridge Police Patrol Officers Association and the Massachusetts Municipal Police Coalition issued a statement saying Crowley was “profoundly grateful” that Obama took time out of his busy schedule to attempt to resolve the situation.

“It is clear to us from this conversation, that the President respects police officers and the often difficult and dangerous situations we face on a daily basis. We appreciate his sincere interest and willingness to reconsider his remarks about the Cambridge Police Department,” the statement said.
 

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windy

Gates 911 call.

You can listen to the call placed by Whalen. She never mentions "Two black men" instead she says "one man who might be Hispanic." She also is uncertain that it is even a break in. In addition, she says she never spoke to Sgt. James Crowley!

But, Sgt. James Crowley, says that he did speak to her in his police report (upon arriving at the scene) and he claims she is the one who told him it was 2 black men with backpacks...

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/27/gates.arrest/index.html

The police report contains factual errors.
Kermit

Israel on Iran: Anything it takes to stop nukes

JERUSALEM – Israel hardened its insistence Monday that it would do anything it felt necessary to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, just the ultimatum the United States hoped not to hear as it tried to nudge Iran to the bargaining table.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates reassured Israel that the new Obama administration was not naive about Iran's intentions, and that Washington would press for new, tougher sanctions against the Iranians if they balk. He didn't say what those might include.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak used a brief news conference with Gates to insist three times that Israel would not rule out any response — an implied warning that it would consider a pre-emptive strike to thwart Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

"We clearly believe that no option should be removed from the table," Barak said. "This is our policy. We mean it. We recommend to others to take the same position, but we cannot dictate it to anyone."

The question of how to deal with Iran's rapid nuclear advancement has become a notable public difference between the new administrations in Jerusalem and Washington, despite overall close relations. Israel considers itself the prime target of any eventual Iranian bomb.

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    angry

'Don't ask, don't tell' to get Senate committee review

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A key U.S. Senate committee will hold a hearing on the military's controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays and lesbians, according to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat.

The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold the hearing in the fall, she said in a written announcement.

A committee spokeswoman confirmed that there will be hearings but that no specific legislation is under consideration.

"Don't ask, don't tell" is the policy that prevents openly gay troops from serving in the U.S. military.

Former President Clinton instituted it in 1993 as a way of loosening restrictions on gay men and lesbians serving in the armed forces, but its opponents say it does not go far enough.

" 'Don't ask, don't tell' is an unfair, outdated measure that violates the civil rights of some of our bravest, most heroic men and women," Gillibrand said in her statement. "By repealing this policy, we will increase America's strength -- both militarily and morally."


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you could cut ties with all the lies

AP Sources: Senate group omitting Dem health goals

AP Sources: Senate group omitting Dem health goals




After weeks of secretive talks, a bipartisan group in the Senate edged closer Monday to a health care compromise that omits a requirement for businesses to offer coverage to their workers and lacks a government insurance option that President Barack Obama favors, according to numerous officials.

Like bills drafted by Democrats, the proposal under discussion by six members on the Senate Finance Committee would bar insurance companies from denying coverage to any applicant. Nor could insurers charge higher premiums on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions.

But it jettisons other core Democratic provisions in a reach for bipartisanship on an issue that has so far produced little.

 

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dw | carbon prevails

Keep Classy, Bloomsbury

Ain’t That a Shame
(A story of a book whose main black character gets represented by a white one.)



In the last few weeks as people have started reading the US ARC of Liar they have also started asking why there is such a mismatch between how Micah describes herself and the cover image. Micah is black with nappy hair which she wears natural and short. As you can see that description does not match the US cover.

Many people have been asking me how I feel about the US cover, why I allowed such a cover to appear on a book of mine, and why I haven’t been speaking out about it.

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The Author Justine Larbalestier's Blog

I suggest you visit the actual source because there are a lot of links I didn't copy over. I'm a lazy formatter. Hell, I didn't even want to BOLD for the TL;DR crowd. Also, yeah, this is a week old, but this was just brought to my attention. Sorry. :)
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Birther: "Libural Facts" are the scum of the earth

Elected Birthers on the Hill



Thanks to FireDogLake and Campaign Silo for giving me the opportunity to do this work!

Check out this video: several Republican Congressman tell me they don't believe Barack Obama is an American. Several dodge the question. Others offer weak-tea justifications for kinda-sorta believing Obama is a natural born citizen, Constitutionally fit to hold the office of President of the United States of America. Only one, Trent Franks of Arizona, gives a correct and clear answer, but even he can't help himself from suggesting that Obama is facilitating Jihad and turning America into a socialist state.


Folks, this is what it has come to. The most powerful people in the world -- nationally elected legislators responsible for setting policy for the most powerful country on earth -- are lining up with cuckoo-bat-shit-crazy elements of the lunatic fringe.


And they have to. It's their base.

So... with the Republican Party completely untracked from the rails of sanity...

Have we finally found our answer as to why George Bush got elected twice?

Why we went to war against a nation that hadn't wronged us?

Is it any wonder we can't get sane environmental policies passed?

Is it any wonder we can't get the fundamental rudiments of civil society like health care for all, childhood nutrition and effective anti-poverty measures through Congress?

All of a sudden, bailing out billionaire bankers while dithering on health care reform starts to make sense, doesn't it?
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Bill O'Relly: Defender of "Free Speech" and whatnot...

Bill O'Reilly Slams "Birther" Story But Defends Lou Dobbs's Free-Speech Rights

Bill O'Reilly slammed the "birther" story Monday night on his show, saying that he had investigated the theory last year and debunked it.

But although he questioned why CNN's Lou Dobbs was still discussing the theory on the air, O'Reilly disagreed with those who would like to see Dobbs kicked off the air, defending his free speech rights in a spirited discussion with the Southern Poverty Law Center's president Richard Cohen.

In his "Talking Points Memo" segment, O'Reilly said:

"That theory has been around for a while. The Factor investigated, found out it's bogus. But Mr. Dobbs is still engaged...


Again, we found out that President Obama was born in Hawaii.. we were sent the documents. And what are you gonna do? I don't know why it's still around..."

But O'Reilly disputed Cohen's assertion that Dobbs should be kicked off the air, telling him:

"Why are you guys overreacting?... It's not true. Mr. Dobbs is is trying to get ratings, trying to be provocative."


Cohen called O'Reilly's explanation a "poor excuse" and accused Dobbs of "trading in right-wing baseless conspiracies for years."


Watch the video:

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GOP: Forget China, they have all our money! India is part of the Axis of Evil now!!

US Senator mistakenly calls India a security threat, apologizes

Just how bad is the economic pain and job loss in the United States? Bad enough for an Indophile Senator to get New Delhi and Beijing mixed up in his mind.

A key US Senator who has extensively supported India, including the passage of the nuclear deal, stunned his Indian and Indian-American supporters this weekend when he identified India as a US national security threat and clubbed it with North Korea and Iran, while arguing for continuing the F-22 fighter jet programme, which would keep up to 100,000 jobs going in the US.

''It (the F-22 program) is important to our national security because we're not just fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,'' Texas’ Republican Senator John Cornyn said in a TV interview. "We're fighting  we have graver threats and greater threats than that: From a rising India, with increased exercise of their military power; Russia; Iran, that's threatening to build a nuclear weapon; with North Korea, shooting intercontinental ballistic missiles, capable of hitting American soil.''

Turns out the Senator had a 'slip of the tongue.'
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