December 8th, 2009



U.S. won't join landmine ban, administration decides

The United States won't join its NATO allies and many other countries in formally banning landmines, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said during his midday briefing Tuesday.

"This administration undertook a policy review and we decided our landmine policy remains in effect," Kelly said in response to a question. "We made our policy review and we determined that we would not be able to meet our national defense needs nor our security commitments to our friends and allies if we sign this convention."

Opponents of the U.S. landmine policy said they were surprised.

"It is a disturbing development," said Steve Goose of Human Rights Watch. "The administration never said a policy review was under way."

Goose said the decision to leave the policy in place is at odds with the administration's professed commitments to international agreements and humanitarian issues.

"The international treaty against landmines has made a a huge difference and it is a very strong deterrent," Goose said. "It has to have been a very fast and cursory review."

The United States will attend an international conference on landmines next week in Cartagena, Colombia, sending an inter-agency delegation from the State and Defense departments as observers.

Kelly said the United States continues to work with governments as well as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to help remove landmines.

"The U.S. is proud to be the world's single largest supporter of humanitarian mine action," Kelly said. "Since 1993 the U.S. has provided more than $1.5 billion worldwide dedicated to building new partnerships with more than 50 post-conflict countries and supporting efforts by dozens of NGOs to promote stability and set the stage for recovery and development through mine clearance and conventional-weapons destruction programs."

The United States is the only member of NATO that will not sign the landmine treaty, Goose said. Russia and China also have not joined the 156 nations that have endorsed the ban, he said.

CNN Sauce

I think this is so awful. D: Landmines really hurt the civilian population more than anyone else, and that for DECADES. I might be terribly naive, but I really thought the use of landmines was a thing of the past. It's not like we don't still have enough of the OLD ones buried and waiting to go off. >_>;;;

The 2000s: According to 9 year olds

(You might have to turn up your speakers to hear some parts.)


Biggest Celebrity AND News Event: Michael Jackson (Eat that, Miley Cyrus)
They only knew Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby One More Time" because of the movie Robots LOL
They have no idea what the dial up internet sound is for, but started using the web when they were 3
Talk about learning about 9/11 through stories and books
Talk about living through wartime and terrorists

Little Kid Source
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Music pirates are bad! ...Unless it's the music companies doing it, then it's OK.

Artists' lawsuit: major record labels are the real pirates - Between $50 million and $60 billion may be owed to musicians and artists in Canada, but not from your run-of-the-mill file sharers. The Canadian recording industry itself is being accused of massive copyright infringement, and the list of miffed artists just keeps getting longer.

Given how aggressively the recording industry likes to pursue file sharers, one would assume that the industry itself is in the clear when it comes to copyright infringement. But that assumption has been put to the test in Canada, where a massive infringement lawsuit is brewing against some major players. Members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, including the Big Four (Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada), face the prospect of damages ranging from $50 million up to $60 billion due to their use of artists' music without permission. That's right: $60 billion.

The lawsuit in question goes back to October 2008, but continues to be dragged up in the news because new plaintiffs keep joining the case. Most recently, jazz musician Chet Baker's estate has joined the growing list of musicians and artists who are getting on the music industry's case for their abuse of a certain aspect of Canadian copyright practices—something that the labels themselves don't even deny doing.

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AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, I hope the record companies lose and lose big time.

Oh, sweet hypocrisy.
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    Outlandish - Stick 'em up

Well.....apparently God and Jesus DON'T hate women after all. Who knew?

Strong Clerical Support for a Woman's Right to Choose Does Exist

Rev. Tom Davis - Minister, United Church of Christ

Anti-abortion clergy are getting plenty of attention in the health care debate, while clergy insisting on access to the full range of reproductive medicine receive little notice. The imbalance is remarkable, given the long history of clergy support for the availability of contraception and abortion care.

As the family planning movement began in the United States a century ago, more than 18,000 women died in childbirth in a year. The laws of the time said birth control was a crime -- even for married women with children. Women were dying, leaving their children motherless, when the means to prevent unintended pregnancy was available. Members of clergy began to help birth control pioneers.

In cities around the country, Presbyterian, Methodist and many other churches opened their doors to house Planned Parenthood clinics. In 1934, the Episcopal Church in America officially endorsed birth control for women who wanted to avoid pregnancy. By the end of the 1940s, all major Protestant and Jewish bodies had joined them. In 1946, 3,200 clergy signed a petition issued by the Planned Parenthood Advisory Council denouncing religious opposition to birth control.

In 1947, the Central Conference of American Rabbis encouraged its members "to make maximum use" of Planned Parenthood services "as a community health resource." Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Church fought to prevent women from using birth control. But many rabbis and ministers joined with Planned Parenthood to make contraceptive services available. Clergy helped Planned Parenthood win those fights.

Then clergy began to fight for legal abortion. On May 22, 1967, the front page of The New York Times announced the formation of the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion. More than 1,400 clergy nationwide joined a volunteer network to help women find safe abortion care. By 1970, they had referred nearly 100,000 women for abortions. That year, the state of New York legalized abortion.

Clergy knew that women from around the country would flock to New York for safe and legal abortion care. They also knew that hospitals were not prepared for this influx. So the clergy opened their own clinic. It is a little-known fact that the first legal abortion clinic was opened by clergy, Women's Services, on East 73rd Street in New York City. Thousands of women sought quality care at Women's Services for more than a year, until enough clinics had opened to handle the tremendous number of patients.

Believing that it is profoundly unjust for the state to control the intimate reproductive lives of women, clergy across the nation cooperate with the Planned Parenthood Clergy Network, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and other groups. We come to reproductive justice out of our faith teachings, as well as our pastoral care experience demonstrating the way women and families arrive at informed decisions about their medical needs, including reproductive health. We maintain that no religious leader or government official has the right to force a decision that is contrary to the beliefs of the individual. Justice means that a woman must have control of her own life.

As the United States moves closer to providing quality and affordable health care, the bishops, along with other anti-choice forces, are seeking to implement faith-based restrictions that they could not achieve through legislation or the courts. The Stupak-Pitts amendment to the Affordable Health care for America Act (H. R. 3962) proposes dramatic new restrictions on women's access to abortion coverage in the private health insurance market. Under the newly-passed House bill, Americans will be effectively unable to purchase a health benefits package that includes abortion coverage, even when they are paying for the premium with their own money. This is a tremendous shift from the status quo in federal abortion policy. It is unacceptable that women's health was sacrificed.

Anti-abortion groups are working to torpedo all health reform if they cannot impose their religious strictures on those who follow other religious teachings. Do the moral views of other religions not matter? Jewish and mainline Protestant denominations generally support a woman's right to choose, including the ability to have insurance cover contraception and, if necessary, abortion. We agree with President Kennedy who said, "I believe in an America....... where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials."


Michael Steele Angry: GOP Supports End of Slavery, The Civil Rights, and Race Equality. But Not Now.

Harry Reid's Slavery Remark 'Ignorant,' Says Michael Steele

Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele is renewing his demand that Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid apologize for likening health care overhaul opponents to those who resisted putting an end to slavery.

The Nevada Democrat made the assertion in a statement Monday as the Senate worked on legislation to remake the health care system, President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.

Steele said on CBS's "The Early Show" Tuesday "it was an ignorant moment for Harry Reid." He said that when Democrats get in trouble, "they play that race card, that slavery card, that civil rights card." Reid's spokesman, Jim Manley, responded to Steele's initial statement Monday by calling his remarks "feigned outrage."

Once again abortion to get thrown under the bus

US Senate push to ban abortions on health insurance
Issue added to health bill after lobbying by Catholic and right wing Christian groups

US senators are expected to vote tomorrow on changes to healthcare legislation that would stop medical insurance schemes from paying for terminations, as the battle over abortion rights moves back to the US Senate.

The issue is proving among the most divisive in the healthcare debate, along with proposals for government-funded medical insurance. The Senate debate on the abortion restrictions opened the day after Barack Obama met Democratic party senators to appeal for them to overcome policy differences on health reform and consider the broader sweep of history. He described the reforms as the "most important social legislation" in decades, while Republicans are predicting the president will meet his "Waterloo" over a signature campaign issue.

A Democratic party senator, Ben Nelson, introduced an amendment today modelled on a similar measure passed by the House of Representatives that effectively blocks women from obtaining an abortion on heath insurance other than in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger.

The proposed legislation bars public funds from being used to pay for terminations after a lobbying campaign by the Catholic church and rightwing fundamentalist Christians was instrumental in forcing the issue on to the healthcare agenda. Pro-choice groups say the effect will be to bar most terminations from being paid for by medical insurance because almost all plans will be touched by government subsidies.

Some senators predicted that the measure will have a harder time in the Senate than it did in the House of Representatives, but it is just one issue still to be resolved before heath reform is passed.

Obama met Democratic party senators on Sunday to appeal for their support to meet a Christmas deadline for the new legislation. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse quoted the president as saying: "Decades from now this will be the kind of vote you remember. It will be written in the faces of children and families who are relieved of the burden of anxiety and sorrow."

Senator Richard Durbin told the New York Times that the president came with a straightforward message. "He reminded us why we are here. He reminded us why we run for office. And he reminded us how many people are counting on us to come through," said Durbin.

But the president did not directly address either the abortion question or the issue that is most dividing the Democratic party – the inclusion of government-run health insurance.

The Democratic party leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, included a watered-down version of government insurance, the so-called public option, in the legislation but it appears he may not have the necessary votes to see it pass.

The bill requires the support of all 60 Democratic party and independent senators to pass. Reid appears to be four votes short because of opposition from conservative Democrats and a threat by the party's former vice-presidential candidate, Joe Lieberman, who now sits in the Senate as an independent, to filibuster any legislation that includes a public option.

The Republican members are almost solidly against government insurance. Senator John McCain on Sunday accused the president of plotting a "takeover of the healthcare system by the federal government".

Obama and Democratic leaders have been wooing the sole Republican senator who has shown a willingness to cooperate, Olympia Snowe. She has joined a Democratic senator, John Kerry, in proposing a compromise on the public option that would see it kick in only in states where private insurance is not competitive or affordable to the poor.


I have nothing to say *fumes*
Mr. T Santa

Quaker group stops certifying marriages until gay marriage legal

by Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
December 7, 2009

St. Paul, Minn. — A group of Twin Cities Quakers has decided to stop signing marriage certificates for opposite-sex couples until the state legalizes gay marriage.

"We're simply trying to be consistent with the will of God as we perceive it," said Paul Landskroener, clerk of the Twin Cities Friends Meeting, in an interview with MPR's All Things Considered on Monday.

The congregation will continue to hold both opposite-sex and same-sex weddings at its meeting house, but will no longer sign the legal marriage certificate for opposite-sex couples. Instead, couples will need to have the certificate signed by a justice of the peace.

"Everything else proceeds as it normally has, except that we will not sign the marriage certificate," Landskroener said.

Unlike many churches, Quakers do not have ordained ministers. Couples are married by appearing before the congregation and speaking their vows to each other. Several witnesses then sign the marriage certificate to pronounce the couple legally married.

The Twin Cities Friends Meeting reached its decision in November after three years of discussion. The group plans to revisit the decision in three years.

"The simplest way to say it is we feel very strongly and very clearly led that in the present time we simply cannot continue to participate in what we believe to be an unjust and inconsistent with our religious testimonies legal marriage procedure," Landskroener said.

The congregation is one of a handful of Quaker Meetings nationwide to decide to stop signing marriage certificates.


Ok, now that is what Christianity is supposed to look like.
Janeway - Side

U.S. Forecasts Smaller Loss From Bailout of Banks


WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department expects to recover all but $42 billion of the $370 billion it has lent to ailing companies since the financial crisis began last year, with the portion lent to banks actually showing a slight profit, according to a new Treasury report.

The new assessment of the $700 billion bailout program, provided by two Treasury officials on Sunday ahead of a report to Congress on Monday, is vastly improved from the Obama administration’s estimates last summer of $341 billion in potential losses from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. That figure anticipated more financial troubles requiring intervention.

The officials said the government could ultimately lose $100 billion more from the bailout program in new loans to banks, aid to troubled homeowners and credit to small businesses.

Still, the new estimates would lower the administration’s deficit forecast for this fiscal year, which began in October, to about $1.3 trillion, from $1.5 trillion.
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I'm not particularly surprised, but I take this as good news.

Let him have cake...or else?!

SOCIAL workers took a two-year-old into care after his mother refused to give him junk food.

Zak Hessey was 8kg (17lb 6oz) when mum Lisa took him to hospital, telling doctors he was a "fussy eater" and not gaining weight.

Medics said he should weigh 9kg (19lb 8oz) and advised the mum of five to bulk him up on crisps, chocolate and cakes. When she said no, social workers were called in and her tot was put into foster care to assess if his eating improved.

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Date-rape drink spiking 'an urban legend'

Widespread spiking of drinks with date-rape drugs such as Rohypnol and GHB is an "urban legend" fuelled by young women unwilling to accept they have simply consumed too much alcohol, academics believe.

A study of more than 200 students revealed many wrongly blamed the effects of a "bad night out" on date-rape drugs, when they had just drunk excessively.

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Ex-spy chief says Iraqi WMD claims not manipulated

Ex-spy chief Sir John Scarlett has told the Iraq war inquiry there was "no conscious intention" to manipulate information about Iraq's weapons.

He denied being under pressure to "firm up" the September 2002 dossier which contained the claim Iraq could use WMD within 45 minutes of Saddam's order. But he said it would have been "better" to have made clear it referred to battlefield munitions not missiles. He was not asked about an MP's claim a taxi driver was the claim's source. Tory MP Adam Holloway published a report on Tuesday saying advice casting doubt on the 45-minute claim was "ignored", but Sir John was not asked about this.

The infamous September 2002 dossier included the now discredited claim that Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes of an order being given. It was at the heart of the row between the government and the BBC which culminated in the death of government weapons expert Dr David Kelly.

Sir John, who was in charge of the dossier, said it was produced in good faith: "There was absolutely no conscious intention to manipulate the language or to obfuscate or to create a misunderstanding as to what this might refer to."

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Akuma River

Nelson/Hatch tabled 54-45

Senate Rejects Abortion Restrictions 54 To 45

WASHINGTON — The Senate has rejected an effort to stiffen abortion restrictions in the health care bill.

The vote was 54 to 45.

Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah wanted to ban any insurance plan that gets taxpayer dollars from offering abortion coverage. The stronger restrictions mirrored provisions in the House-passed health care bill.

The Senate bill currently allows insurance plans to cover abortions but tries to separate private funds from federal money. It specifies that abortion coverage can only be paid for with private dollars.

Majority Leader Harry Reid said the legislation is about access to health care, not abortion.

I was going to have a live-post for the vote today but it got rejected.
Akuma River



Republicans Forced To Reverse Course, Yet Again, On Medicare

A new effort by Senate Democrats to expand Medicare coverage by opening it up to 55- to 64-year-olds has forced Republicans into an about face of sorts.

Republican Senators, who for weeks have been dogging their Democratic counterparts for pursuing what they describe as drastic cuts to the Medicare program, are now making the awkward shift from ostensibly championing Medicare to fighting against its expansion.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) sent out a press release on Sunday, titled: "Cutting Medicare is not what Americans want." That was followed by a new press release on Monday. Its title: "Expanding Medicare 'a plan for financial ruin.'

"We already know that Medicare is going broke in seven years," McConnell told Fox News on Tuesday. "They are taking money out of Medicare in this health care proposal not to make Medicare more sustainable but to start a new entitlement program for a different set of Americans. In addition to that, now they are talking about expanding access to Medicare and Medicaid, both of which are already in terrible trouble. This is the worst kind of political deal-making in this frantic attempt to get to 60 votes."

Democrats contend that the logic is strained. For starters, they say, Senate Democrats are eyeing cuts in Medicare to eliminate waste in the system, not to destroy it. The money saved would go to alternative reforms. The so-called "new entitlement program" that McConnell mentions -- presumably the public health-insurance option -- would save money over time, not require it, according to non-partisan budget estimates. And the new arrivals in the Medicare program would be buying their way in, presumably paying for themselves.

McConnell's positions aren't strictly contradictory. Republicans may be in favor of protecting Medicare for seniors who are currently enrolled while simultaneously opposed to expanding the program for others. But, politically speaking, the GOP position on the government-run health care program has become twisted, and then twisted again.

In August, Republicans came to the conclusion that they could win political traction by framing their party as a defender of the government-run system, despite having decried it for decades. RNC Chairman Michael Steele released a "seniors' health care bill of rights" and held a testy exchange with an NPR reporter to drive this home his Medicare support.

It seemed like opportunism then. Now, however, it has the potential to trip the GOP up. Having spent the last two weeks insisting that Democrats were destroying the bedrock of health care coverage for seniors, Republicans may soon be forced to explain why expanding Medicare coverage would be a bad thing. One Democratic staffer on the Hill said she was eagerly looking forward to seeing the GOP reverse course. Another health care advocate off the Hill summarized her thoughts as follows:

"The Republicans have to choose: continue their hypocritical attacks on Medicare or show their true colors and refuse to give older Americans the relief they need. Either way, their credibility is shot and they can't do either effectively."

Helping Americans Escape Domestic Violence Abroad

The prominent backers of a growing non-profit recognize the legal and practical complexity of escaping domestic violence while abroad.

Paris, France — Richard Branson, Yoko Ono and Doris Buffet are among the supporters of an organization that helps rescue Americans from domestic abuse they suffer while abroad.

The group’s founder, Paula Lucas, knows personally the predicament of U.S. citizens in such situations. There were few resources available when she was trying to flee an abusive husband in the United Arab Emirates in the late 1990s.

Lucas says her husband terrorized and threatened her and their three boys during violent fits. He would make the children eat their own vomit if they dared throw up their food after being forced to finish their plates. But she says her pleas for help from the local embassy and even her family’s efforts back home, calling the U.S. State Department and elected officials, went unheeded.

Lucas finally escaped in April 1999 while her husband was delayed on a business trip. She forged his signature on documents required to allow her to travel outside of the country with the children, as well as on a check to cover travel expenses, since she didn’t have access to her money. Now, the organization she founded, the American Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center, might have provided those flights home.

At the lowest points of her ordeal, Lucas said she vowed, “if I ever get out of this situation, I’m going to do something to help” others in a similar situation.
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Akuma River

Bloody Tuesday

Video at source.

Baghdad Bomb Blasts Kill At Least 118

(AP) BAGHDAD � A series of coordinated attacks struck Baghdad Tuesday, including two suicide car bombers and another vehicle that blew up near government sites. At least 118 were killed and hundreds wounded in the worst wave of violence in the capital in more than a month, authorities said.

A total of five attacks, which also included a suicide car bomb on a police patrol, showed the ability of insurgents to strike high-profile targets in the heart of Baghdad and marked the third time since August that government buildings were targeted with multiple blasts that brought massive bloodshed.

The bombings reinforced concerns about shortcomings in Iraqi security as U.S. forces plan their withdrawal, and parliament held an emergency session with many lawmakers demanding answers for apparent security lapses.

Iraq's military spokesman blamed the carnage on an alliance of al-Qaida in Iraq and members of Saddam Hussein's banned Baath Party.
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I'm not going to be all I told you so...but this is what happens when you don't want to invest in bomb sniffing dogs and you buy bomb dousing tools instead.
  • jbfalek

UCLA study: Stem cells can target and kill HIV-infected cells

Researchers from the UCLA AIDS Institute and colleagues say they have shown that human blood stem cells can be engineered into cells that can target and kill HIV-infected cells, which potentially could be used against other chronic viral diseases.
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Their study, published Monday in the-peer reviewed online journal PLoS ONE, provides proof-of-principle -- meaning a demonstration of feasibility -- that human stem cells can be engineered into the equivalent of a genetic vaccine, according to a UCLA statement.

"We have demonstrated in this proof-of-principle study that this type of approach can be used to engineer the human immune system, particularly the T- cell response, to specifically target HIV-infected cells," said lead investigator Scott G. Kitchen, assistant professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a member of the UCLA AIDS Institute.

"These studies lay the foundation for further therapeutic development that involves restoring damaged or defective immune responses toward a variety of viruses that cause chronic disease, or even different types of tumors."

Taking CD8 cytotoxic T lymphocytes -- the "killer" T cells that help fight infection -- from an HIV-infected individual, the researchers identified the molecule known as the T-cell receptor, which guides the T cell in recognizing and killing HIV-infected cells, the statement said.

These cells, while able to destroy HIV-infected cells, do not exist in enough quantities to clear the virus from the body. So the researchers cloned the receptor and genetically engineered human blood stem cells, then placed the stem cells into human thymus tissue that had been implanted in mice, allowing them to study the reaction in a living organism.

The engineered stem cells developed into a large population of mature, multifunctional HIV-specific CD8 cells that could specifically target cells containing HIV proteins, according to UCLA.

The researchers also found that HIV-specific T-cell receptors have to be matched to an individual in much the same way that an organ is matched to a transplant patient.

The next step is to test this strategy in a more advanced model to determine if it would work in the human body, said co-author Jerome A. Zack, UCLA professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology and associate director of the UCLA AIDS Institute.

The researchers also hope to expand the range of viruses against which this approach could be used, according to the UCLA statement.

In addition to Kitchen and Zack, investigators included Michael Bennett, Zoran Galic, Joanne Kim, Qing Xu, Alan Young, Alexis Lieberman, Hwee Ng and Otto Yang, all of UCLA, and Aviva Joseph and Harris Goldstein of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and the UCLA Center for AIDS Research funded the study.

EDIT - Sorry here's the source -

I C U former congressman!

Ex-Rep Chip Pickering Reportedly Involved In Scuffle With Rival Little League Coach

Former Congressman (and C Streeter) Chip Pickering is reportedly under police investigation for his involvement in a brawl with a rival youth league soccer coach.

Apparently, police were called to Liberty Park in Madison, Mississippi, after Pickering and coach Christopher Hester came to blows when Pickering confronted Hester over the treatment of Pickering's son.

The kicker? Hester claims he was wearing a neck brace at the time of the incident.

You may remember Pickering from his days as a resident of C Street, a D.C. facility that has recently gotten some attention for accommodating beleaguered Christian lawmakers like Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC).

For his part, Pickering contributed to the good C Street name when his wife Leisha Pickering filed a lawsuit against his alleged mistress, Elizabeth Creekmore-Byrd, for alienation of affection. The lawsuit alleged that Pickering engaged in "wrongful conduct" with Creekmore-Byrd before and during his stay at the C Street house.

Now, it seems, Pickering has a new scandal to contend with, as he and Hester filed complaints against one another alleging assault. Each could face misdemeanor simple assault charges.

Lawlz, I see Chip is ~keepin it classy now. All he needs is another mistress (preferably somewhere in South America, like Sanford). But I feel bad for his wife because she seems like one of those ~long suffering nice women (a few years ago, I went to some Christmas cookie making class thing that she led to benefit Katrina victims. Her cookies were really, really good).
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    stalk u - los abandoned
colorful legs

If Hillary Clinton's smart then she will leave this alone...

Amanda Knox Update: Hillary Clinton Will Meet With Those "Concerned" About Case

WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) Days after American Amanda Knox was sentenced to 26 years in an Italian prison for murdering her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she'll meet with anyone who has concerns about the case.

Knox, of Seattle, and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were found guilty Dec. 4 of murdering Kercher in what the prosecution has called a sex game gone wrong. All three were college students in Perugia, Italy, when the 2007 slaying occurred.

Another man, Rudy Hermann Guede, was convicted in October 2008 for his role in the killing and sentenced to 30 years. Guede's appeal is ongoing.

The guilty verdict has stirred fears of possible diplomatic repercussions between the two countries, who are longtime allies.

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Most Important Italian Paper Balks At The Attempts In US At Intimidation

The Corriere Della Sera is the Italian equivalent of the New York Times and the London Times. Here is a translation of today’s blast by Beppe Severgnini

The do-it-yourself verdicts and that wrongful U.S.A. cheering

Many Americans criticize the ruling, but have never followed the case. Why do they do that?

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I thought it would be useful to post Hillary Clinton's involvement and the Italian reaction.

Of course, I commented on CNN that Amanda was guilty and a liar. After it was "liked" enough to reach the top, they got rid of the comment lol.

EDIT #1 - Fixed HTML.
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garf tired

holy racism batman

Rush Limbaugh: 'The Black Frame Of Mind' Is 'Terrible' And 'Tiger Woods's Choice Of Females Is Not Helping' (AUDIO)

On Tuesday's "Rush Limbaugh Show", the radio talk-show host weighed in on the "the black frame of mind," which he said is "terrible."

Limbaugh argues that a contributing factor to this bad state of affairs is Tiger Woods's choice of white mistresses.

"Black unemployment is terrible," started Limbaugh. "The black frame of mind is terrible. They're depressed..." After a brief dig at President Obama for failing African Americans, Limbaugh paused and turned his attention to Woods:

"I'm sure Tiger Woods' choice of females is not helping 'em out with their attitudes there either."


I know this isn't going to be really surprising to anyone, but HOLY RAAAAAAAAGE.


Muslims Discriminate Against Other Muslims - Protest The Building Of A Mosque For Ahmadis

Freedom of worship for Ahmadis
Inayat Bunglawala
Tuesday 8 December 2009

Here we go again. The Wolverhampton Express and Star reports that an "application to build a mosque" has been refused by a town council, this time Walsall council. The proposal to convert an empty town warehouse into a place of worship was rejected by planning officers on the grounds of it being an "unsuitable location" and that it would cause "traffic congestion". In addition, more than 800 complaints were received from local residents.
But wait – what's this? Those doing the complaining appeared to be mainly Muslims. A photograph in a local paper shows Muslims demonstrating against the plans and holding up placards saying "Listen to police advice" and "No more congestion". What's going on? The news report quotes a local Muslim as saying "There are enough places of worship in the area." Another added: "We are happy the right decision has been made. It would have been a public nuisance and is a relief." What's going on?
Well, it turns out that the planning application had been submitted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK. The Ahmadis derive their name from the 19th century Indian figure Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who claimed to be the incarnation of the promised Messiah. Jesus – according to the Ahmadis – survived the crucifixion and went to live in India to administer to the lost tribes of Israel. The overwhelming majority of Indian Muslims rejected Ghulam Ahmad's claims and to this day his followers, the Ahmadis, are regarded as being non-Muslims by a consensus of Islamic scholars across the world because their beliefs contradict the Islamic teaching on the finality of Muhammad's prophethood. The Ahmadis themselves, of course, see it differently.

Collapse )I fully recognise that sometimes Muslims ought to protest against other Muslims. The obvious example is the protests by the British Muslims For Secular Democracy and Muslims4UK in opposition to the extremist group Islam4UK (which is a spin-off group from Al Muhajiroun). However, the Ahmadi's are simply asking for a place of worship in a disused building. By objecting to their request for a place to worship simply because they don't agree with Ahmadi beliefs, they are opening the floodgates for the right-wing bastards currently expressing the same sentiment towards Islam as a whole. There are measures being taken in both Jordan and Egypt to undermine Shias and Ismailis. Not only is that kind of bigotry not acceptable, but in the UK where Sunni Islam does not have the same priveledged position that kind of sentiment is liable to backfire badly. Religious groups often fear heretics more than non-believers and it seems that despite the message of unity one would hope the Hajj to teach, this is still true in Islam.
MSNBC- Does Rachel have to choke

Rachel Maddow questions the 'Pray the Gay' author who helped inspired Uganda's recent legislation

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel Maddow, host of the Rachel Maddow Show, interviews and confronts Richard Cohen, the man who many claim helped inspired Uganda's new law that would punish homosexuality with a life sentence or death. In it, she directly asks of his opinion of the law, questionable quotes from his book and most importantly, his lack of accreditation my any recognized accreditation service in America.

Dude! MSNBC videos embed now! WHEEEEE

Rowan Williams Stamps On Gay Rights - I Am Sickened.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has been oddly silent about the recent moves to pass a new law in Uganda which will punish homosexuality with the death penalty . Meanwhile other members of the Anglican Church have been rather more vocal on the matter:
The Catholic Information further reveals that Christian Organizations are alarmed over the Bill. For example, among others, the Executive Council of the Anglican Church in Canada voted unanimously to oppose the Bill, that it is a “fundamental violation of human rights”. That 17th November was dedicated as international day for prayer on the issue. They are challenging their sympathizer, Archbishop (of Canterbury) Rowan to give his comment and stop it.

It is indeed appalling to read of all these and the agitation there in. It is indeed deplorable that humanity has or is nearing extinction just like the time of Noah and the flood in the Book of Genesis chapters 6 and 7. Yes the Lord Jesus prophesied of the last days that people will be lovers of self. Truly, humans have natural evil bent. They are bent to evil by nature. Laws, rules, commandments are in place geared towards saving man from own direction and destruction.
Those are the words of Bishop Joseph Abura of Karamoja Diocese (Province of the Anglican Church of Uganda).

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So far this probably sounds a bit mean of me. We all know that Rowan Williams' normal reaction to extreme views in the Anglican Church is to ignore it. His main aim has always been to bend over backwards for the sake of unity, hasn't it?

Well actually there was a recent issue for which he felt it was important to rush out a press release. The election of a new assistant bishop:
The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has elected a lesbian as assistant bishop, the second openly gay bishop in the global Anglican fellowship, which is already deeply fractured over the first.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, said Sunday that the choice raised "very serious questions" for the divided church and urged restraint.
Actually, Rowan Williams exact words in his swift press release regarding this assistant bishops' election was as follows:
The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold.
So what do we gauge from this? Well it seems that outright bigotry and prejudicial laws in Africa are happily ignored, while the election of an assistant bishop in America might lead to a loss of affection from the Archbishop. I doubt I'm the only person reading this shit who thinks Rowan Williams has a very odd set of priorities.

I felt that this message (left) was probably the best response to both Rowan Williams (right) and Bishop Joseph Abura.

(Via Andrew Brown's Blog)

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Cross-posted to atheism