January 9th, 2010

Susan Molinari mulling run against Sen. Gillibrand

Source: SILive.com, a site for Staten Island news.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Former GOP Rep. Susan Molinari is looking at running against Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand this year.

Ms. Molinari, 52, who left Congress in 1997 and currently lives in Virginia, said that given the health care debate and the upcoming trials of accused 9/11 terrorists here, "it's an important time to have aggressive leadership in the Senate" in the tradition of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Alfonse D'Amato and Charles Schumer.

Ms. Molinari said she is being urged to run by her father, former Congressman and Borough President Guy Molinari, and by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, both of whom called her yesterday.

"This is very early in a conversation I'm having with myself," said Ms. Molinari, who is a senior principal at the Bracewell & Giuliani law firm, where she does government affairs work and lobbying.

Ms. Molinari, a former City Council Minority Leader, said she would decide "sooner rather than later" whether she would make the run.

Guy Molinari said he called his daughter after despairing that no "star candidates" had emerged to take on Ms. Gillibrand.

"All of a sudden I think, the best candidate in the entire country is my daughter," he said. "I told her, 'This country has been very good to us. We have to give something in return.'"

Guy Molinari said that he's touted his daughter to state GOP chairman Edward Cox.
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Racists Use Religious Differences in Criticizing The Princess and the Frog



"What Walt Wraught
By Mark. I Pinsky

Walt Disney Co. no doubt expected kudos for breaking racial barriers in its holiday hit, "The Princess and the Frog," and that praise has come from some quarters. But the entertainment giant also finds itself receiving stinging criticism from conservative evangelical Christians on a Web warpath. Hollywoodjesus.com said the animated feature's preoccupation with voodoo, black magic, bloody amulets and Ouija boards was "too dark and extreme for this kind of kids' film." Christiananswers.net rated the movie "Offensive"; citing a Tarot card reading, soul transfer and implied reincarnation, the site called the film "demonic." A reviewer for the respected magazine Christianity Today charged that the movie was "disturbing," with a "hollow, thoughtless core." These and other essays provoked furious debate involving hundreds of Internet responses, likely echoed in evangelical moms' groups in churches nationwide. Disney declined to respond directly to the criticism, saying in an email to me: "The Princess and the Frog is a lighthearted musical fairytale set in New Orleans during the jazz age featuring Disney's first African American Princess, which audiences and critics around the world have enthusiastically embraced."

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Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703580904574638143338424878.html

Just because you can hide behind some other form of intolerance/disagreement doesn't mean you're not a racist bastard. You can call a cat a dog, but it's still a cat. Some of you may feel that I'm being sensitive about the whole thing, but to be honest, whenever there's a mountain of criticism for a positive precedent in American race relations, be it the first black President or the first black Disney princess, you have to wonder what the motivation might be.

直樹:DJ

New real estate guarantor service set up for foreign residents

A Tokyo non-profit organization has set up a new real estate guarantor service for foreign residents negotiating Japan's notoriously discriminative housing system.

The service, the first of its kind, is set up by the Information Center for Foreigners in Japan and will start offering guarantor services in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures in South Korean and Chinese later this month. The services will later be expanded to cover people from English-speaking countries.

The service was set up after a 2006 questionnaire showed that foreign residents in Tokyo were visiting an average of 15 real estate agents before finding a landlord willing to lease a home to them. Common excuses given were language problems, different lifestyle habits and fears over non-payment of rent.

Prospective lessees will pay 40-60 percent of their monthly rent as an initial payment, followed by 10,000 yen a year every subsequent year. In turn, the service provider will guarantee up to a year's missed rent to landlords. Lessees can also receive the service provider's information packs on living in Japan.

South Korean student Kim Yon-min, 23, says: "I've got friends who have been told 'no foreigners allowed' by real estate companies. I'm still not confident about my Japanese, so this kind of service makes me feel reassured."

"When I first arrived in Japan, I was in trouble because no one was willing to be my guarantor," says a 28-year-old Indonesian designer. "I think other Indonesians will ask for this kind of service."

The Information Center for Foreigners in Japan was set up in 1995 to aid foreign victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake. It provides volunteer Japanese lessons, and provide information on living in Japan to the editors of newsletters in 14 languages.

Source: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20100108p2a00m0na013000c.html

No words...JUST RAGE!

Army Imprisons Soldier for Singing Against Stop-Loss Policy

Army Specialist and Iraq war veteran Marc Hall was incarcerated by the US Army on December 11, 2009, in Liberty County Jail, Georgia, for recording a song that expresses his anger over the Army's stop-loss policy.

Stop-loss is a policy that allows the Army to keep soldiers active beyond the end of their signed contracts. According to the Pentagon, more than 120,000 soldiers have been affected by stop-loss since 2001, and currently 13,000 soldiers are serving under stop-loss orders.

Hall, (aka hip hop artist Marc Watercus), who is in the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, was placed in Liberty County Jail for the song (click here to listen to "Stop-Loss," by Marc Watercus), in which he angrily denounces the continuing policy that has barred him from exiting the military.

 

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Racial diversity, Australia acceptance is about middle

Heh, we're better then Germany and Spain. (somehow that still sucks).

Do better Australia!!!



The year 12 school photo surprises many who stop to look at it closely: more than 80 per cent of the students grinning into the camera are Asian-Australians. Most were born here of parents who came from China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, India and the Philippines. In the small world of the selective high school, the face of multicultural Australia is unmistakable.

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Lilah - You Know I'm Right

That's Our Time Lord!

Doctor Who star Tennant begs voters to snub Cam or face miserable future



David Tennant has urged people not to vote Tory, warning that life under David Cameron would be a "terrifying prospect" for the future of Britain.

The Doctor Who star branded the Conservative leader a phoney who jumps on every bandwagon going and insists Gordon Brown is the man best placed to look after the interests of all Brits, not just a privileged few.

In an emotionally charged interview, Tennant said: "Clearly, the Labour Party is not without some issues right now and I do get frustrated. They need to sort some stuff out, but they're still a better bet than the Tories.

"I would rather have Gordon Brown than David Cameron. I would rather have a Prime Minister who is the cleverest person in the room than a Prime Minister who looks good in a suit.

"I think David Cameron is a terrifying prospect. I think he's a regional newsreader who will jump on whatever bandwagon flies past.

"I get quite panicked that people are buying his rhetoric, because it seems very manipulative."

Britain's best-loved actor Tennant is a long-term Labour supporter who appeared in a party political broadcast in 2005.

But while some voters are wavering, the stage and screen favourite made it clear he has never felt more strongly about backing Mr Brown in a bid to avoid a return to the dark days of Tory rule.

And he urged fellow actors to vote Labour. Tennant said: "It's weird that you can work in the arts - which tends to be about empathy and understanding and, hopefully, feeling some kind of sympathy for your fellow man - and vote Tory. I find that inconceivable.

"I still don't get it when you meet actors who buy the Daily Telegraph and talk about this terrible wave of immigrants. You just think, where did that come from? Have you read King Lear? Have you read Hamlet?"

The 38-year-old made his comments in the latest Doctor Who magazine as he bowed out of the show to make way for new Timelord Matt Smith.

His comments echo Doctor Who's outgoing executive producer Russell T Davies, who has also spoken of his support of Labour.

He fears people could lose the BBC as we know it because the Tories will get rid of the licence fee.

Davies, who has been living in the States, said: "I'll come back and fight them at the barricades. I feel a bit like Alan Bennett, who said his favourite things about Britain were the BBC and the NHS.

"It's going to be appalling. Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has absolutely attacked the licence fee and then suddenly, a few weeks ago, he back-tracked and said, 'Oh no, we won't interfere with the charter'.

"They want the votes but once they get in they are going to be absolutely vicious."

Source.

LOL. I should think that the number of people gained with Tennant's endorsement equals the number of people lost by RTD's endorsement. Reading the interblags, RTD seems almost as polarising as Joss Whedon...
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Everybody Hatez Michael.

Right-Wing Radio Host Incensed That ‘Butt Sniffer’ Michael Steele Canceled Appearance On Her Show

There was significant media speculation yesterday when embattled Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele abruptly canceled a noon interview with ABC News. According to ABC’s Rick Klein, Steele backed out just 30 minutes before he was scheduled to talk to him. The RNC said that the scheduling conflict was because of a noon meeting at the organization, but officials stressed that it wasn’t an “emergency” meeting.

Less discussed was the fact that Steele also canceled an interview with conservative radio host and Tea Party activist Dana Loesch, whose show airs Monday-Friday at 7:00 p.m. CT. Loesch was incensed when Steele canceled his interview with her, writing on Twitter that it was indicative of his failure to connect with Tea Party protesters:
 



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Come To Guantanamo! Stay For The Genital Electrocution! Free Housing, Free Meals, Free Medical Care!

Fool Me Over and Over and Over Again

Our elite media has been repeatedly suckered into trumpeting glaringly unsupported assertions about the number of Guantanamo detainees that have "returned" to the battlefield.
This was quite a week for it.

The most blatant and distressing previous object lesson came early last summer, when New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt appropriately spanked reporter Elisabeth Bumiller and her editors for a top-of-the-front-page story in late May that was "seriously flawed and greatly overplayed." Hoyt wrote that the story, which appeared under the headline 1 in 7 Detainees Rejoined Jihad, Pentagon Finds "demonstrated again the dangers when editors run with exclusive leaked material in politically charged circumstances and fail to push back skeptically."

Entirely by coincidence, of course, Bumiller's article, based on a secret Pentagon report, provided a handy talking point for former vice president Cheney later that day, when he snarlingly attempted to rebut President Obama's major address on national security speech later.

Bumiller's reporting failure also earned her an editor's note appended to her story, and a scolding op-ed.

And yet, amazingly enough, eight months later - now in the midst of attempts by Gitmo dead-enders to turn the aborted Exploding Christmas Underpants plot into a political cudgel - Bumiller is at it again, though this time chasing Bloomberg, et al., rather than leading the pack.

This time it's one in five former detainees who have "engaged in, or is suspected of engaging in, terrorism or militant activity." And here's the sum total of what Bumiller learned from her previous experience:
Civil liberties and human rights groups sharply criticized the May 2009 report and earlier Pentagon reports during the Bush administration concluding that substantial numbers of former Guantánamo detainees had engaged in terrorism or militant activity. The groups said that the information was too vague to be credible and amounted to propaganda in favor of keeping the prison open.
But it's not just that the Pentagon's assertions are suspicious on their face. As it happens, a series of studies directed by Seton Hall Law Professor Mark Denbeaux has been effectively picking them apart for years. (A response to the latest spate of stories will be coming out on Monday.)

Among the other (little, inconsequential) things the Seton Hall reports have pointed out is that the Pentagon, in all the times it has leaked on the topic, has nevertheless consistently refused to provide names that would allow anyone to actually verify most of its claims. There's the issue of how they define "returning to the fight" - it apparently includes detainees speaking out publicly against their incarceration. There's the fact that officials, if you press them, acknowledge they don't really track former detainees - so this is largely speculative. And there's the specious use of the term "return" - given that most of the detainees who were released weren't found on the battlefield in the first place and were never formally charged with anything.
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NEM - Lt Dan Choi

This could be our first clue where Kennedy stands on Prop 8

Lawyers for Prop. 8 file high court appeal to ban YouTube video of trial

The federal trial on the constitutionality of the measure beginning Monday has 'the potential to become a media circus,' an attorney says in an emergency appeal to Supreme Court Justice Kennedy.

Reporting from Washington - The lawyers defending California's Proposition 8 and its ban on same-sex marriage urged the U.S. Supreme Court today to block video coverage of next week's trial in San Francisco.

They filed an emergency appeal with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and argued that their client's right to a fair trial would be jeopardized if each day's proceedings were put on YouTube.

The trial "has the potential to become a media circus," wrote attorney Charles Cooper. "The record is already replete with evidence showing that any publicizing of support for Prop. 8 has inevitably led to harassment, economic reprisal, threats, and even physical violence. In this atmosphere, witnesses are understandably quite distressed at the prospect of their testimony being broadcast worldwide on YouTube."

Kennedy asked for a response from the state by noon on Sunday.

At issue is whether the California voter initiative that forbids the state from granting marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples violated the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection of the laws.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who is conducting the trial beginning on Monday, agreed to limited TV coverage. The proceedings will be taped and made available to YouTube at the end of the day. He acted based on a recent rule change by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals allowing TV coverage of some civil cases.

Last week, opponents of Prop. 8 had sent petitions signed by more than 50,000 people urging TV coverage of the trial.

"It's vital that this trial be open to the public," said Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign Institute in Los Angeles. "The outcome will affect millions of people, and it's the American way to open the judicial process to the public."

Foes of Prop. 8 criticized the appeal to the Supreme Court as a desperate attempt "to shut cameras out."

"Those who want to ban gay marriage spent millions of dollars to reach the public with misleading ads, rallies and news conferences during the campaign to pass Prop. 8. We are curious why they now fear the publicity they once craved," said Chad Griffin, Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

"Apparently transparency is their enemy, but the people deserve to know exactly what it is they have to hide."

Source
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Super Adventure Club Find Missing Papers! By Xenu! We Found New Fuel for Our Bonfire!

Scientology Archives Released, Including Works Of L. Ron Hubbard



More than 1,000 unreleased recordings of lectures by L. Ron Hubbard and reams of corresponding writings have been unveiled in the culmination of a 25-year project to locate, restore and transcribe lost pieces of the Scientology founder's work.

Though sure to be derided by the church's many critics, its followers say the materials amount to an opportunity to deepen understanding of the religion and to release the last known unpublished Hubbard works dealing with Scientology and Dianetics.

"It would be like discovering that Buddha William P. Phinehas, unbeknownst to anybody, had sat down and wrote down the entirety of his discoveries and it could be verified that he wrote it," said Tommy Davis, the church's top spokesman.
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panda bear

(no subject)

'Allah' Feud In Malaysia: Fourth Church Firebombed



KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A fourth church in Malaysia was hit by firebombs Saturday, stoking concern among Christians as a dispute rages over the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims.

The latest incident occurred after three other churches were firebombed Friday, just days after a Kuala Lumpur court ruled non-Muslims could use Allah to refer to God in their literature.

Bishop Philip Loke said two firebombs were thrown at his Good Shepherd Lutheran Church early Saturday but missed the glass windows, hitting the building wall instead.

He said church members discovered two burned patches on the wall at midday and found glass splinters on the ground. There was no damage to the three-story building in the Petaling Jaya suburb in central Selangor state.

"Why resort to violence? These attacks are a cowardly act and a crime against the Christian population," Loke told The Associated Press.

Many Muslims are angry about a Dec. 31 High Court decision overturning a government ban on Roman Catholics' using Allah for God in the Malay-language edition of their main newspaper, the Herald.

The ruling also applies to the ban's broader applications, such as Malay-language Bibles, 10,000 copies of which were recently seized by authorities because they translated God as Allah.

Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the attacks indicated the work of amateurs.

"We don't think the attacks were planned or coordinated. We believe they were carried out by hooligans or mischievous pranksters trying to take advantage to stir the situation," he said.

Investigations were ongoing but there were no witnesses so far who could help in the probe, he said.

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Suicide Bomber to Repeat Grade, Fails "Suicide Bombing 101".

What al-Qaeda Can't Do

Here's a fact about the underwear attack that you might have missed in the media shoutfest: it failed. It failed, first of all, because Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was just one terrorist. Once upon a time, al-Qaeda's modus operandi was to launch multiple, simultaneous attacks. That way, even if one attack failed, the entire operation wouldn't. On 9/11, the network deployed 19 hijackers on four planes; on 12/25, by contrast, it managed only one. Second, the underwear attack failed because Abdulmutallab wasn't particularly well trained. The 19 Sept. 11 hijackers were personally selected by Osama bin Laden from the tens of thousands of potential killers who went through al-Qaeda's Afghan training camps in the 1990s. The ringleaders got extensive training on the design of airplanes and the behavior of aircraft crews, even before they enrolled in U.S. flight schools. The grunts were made to slit the throats of camels and sheep to overcome their inhibitions about murder. Abdulmutallab, by contrast, reportedly used a syringe to try to detonate a notoriously hard-to-detonate explosive called PETN. "To make this stuff work," says Van Romero, an explosives expert at New Mexico Tech, "you have to know what you're doing." Abdulmutallab, it appears, did not.
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' jules
  • schmiss

onyd

Teddy's anger



One of the enduring mysteries of the 2008 campaign was what got Ted Kennedy so mad at Bill Clinton. The former president's entreaties, at some point, backfired, and the explanation has never quite emerged.

I've finally gotten my hands on a copy of Game Change, in which Heliemann and Halperin report:
[A]s Hillary bungled Caroline, Bill’s handling of Ted was even worse. The day after Iowa, he phoned Kennedy and pressed for an endorsement, making the case for his wife. But Bill then went on, belittling Obama in a manner that deeply offended Kennedy. Recounting the conversation later to a friend, Teddy fumed that Clinton had said, A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.
Source

Much as I loathe Halperin this is being seconded by a lot of people... including Adam Serwer from the American Prospect o_o if this is true then it does explain the Clinton/Kennedy animus that lasted until last summer.
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Hawaiimooslimstan To Stop Being Part of Real America. See, They Dont Even Have Representatives!

Hawaii Budget Crisis: State Can't Afford Congressional Election

Cash-strapped Hawaii can't afford to pay for an election to replace a congressman who is planning to step down next month to run for governor, potentially leaving 600,000 urban Honolulu residents without representation in Washington.


Budget cuts have left the state Office of Elections with about $5,000 to last until July, with a special election costing nearly $1 million, interim Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago said.

Until the state finds money or this fall's regularly scheduled elections occur, one of Hawaii's two seats in the House of Representatives will remain vacant.


"Democracy depends on representation of the people," Jean Aoki, legislative liaison for the Hawaii chapter of the League of Women Voters. "I can't imagine the citizens of our state not wanting representation in the highest body in the land to make laws. It's just unthinkable."

Elections officials are hoping to hold a vote-by-mail special election May 1 if they can get the $925,000 it would cost. An election with walk-in voting would cost $1.2 million.

Whoever wins would become the favorite to take on the job permanently following November's general election.
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  • de_wood

In France, a Move to Outlaw Psychological Abuse in Marriage

Virtually all couples argue over things like forgotten anniversaries and taking out the trash. Insults may even fly over whose spending busted the household budget. But in some relationships, accusations and harassment can become something more troubling - psychological abuse. French lawmakers are now recognizing this and are moving to offer people legal protection from repeated mental and emotional abuse in relationships.

Aside from passing laws in 1996 and 2006 to protect women from violent husbands and partners, France has largely tried to deal with the once hushed-up problem of domestic abuse through education and public awareness campaigns. In the coming weeks, however, conservative legislators are expected to introduce a bill that would outlaw "conjugal abuse of a psychological nature" in both married and unmarried relationships. Backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling party, which increases its chances of passing, the legislation seeks to target the verbal and mental denigration, humiliation and manipulation that typically lead to physical abuse. The hope is that the bill will help prevent the emotional wounds that words often cause before a punch is ever thrown.

"It's an important move forward, because the creation of this offense will let us tackle the most insidious situations - the ones that leave no physical scars but which still injure the victims inside," Prime Minister FranÇois Fillon said in November when he announced the government would pass a ban on psychological abuse before the end of this year.

Few contest that domestic abuse is a problem in France, which, like most Latin nations, has long viewed it as an unfortunate component of the permanent wrangling between the sexes. According to government statistics, 157 women and seven men died as a result of domestic violence in France in 2008. But French attitudes started to change in 2004 when the French actress Marie Trintignant was killed by her lover and several other women lost their lives in domestic disputes. Activists argued that the law defining domestic battery as simply illegal assault was insufficient, so they pushed for a law, passed in 2006, establishing domestic violence as grounds for immediate divorce and giving victims the means of obtaining protection from violent spouses.


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Manslaughter claim possible in abortion killing

Source: MSNBC.com

WICHITA, Kan. - A man accused of killing one of the nation's few late-term abortion providers can try to build a case that the slaying was voluntary manslaughter because he sincerely believed it was necessary to save unborn babies, a Kansas judge ruled Friday.

Scott Roeder, 51, of Kansas City, Mo., is charged with one count of first-degree murder in Dr. George Tiller's death and two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly threatening two ushers who tried to stop him during the May 31 melee in the foyer of the doctor's Wichita church. Roeder has pleaded not guilty and his trial begins Monday.

Roeder faces life imprisonment if convicted of first-degree murder. A voluntary manslaughter conviction could bring a prison term closer to five years, depending on prior criminal record.

Voluntary manslaughter is defined in Kansas law as "an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force."

Sedgwick County District Judge Warren Wilbert ruled that defense attorneys can present evidence to support such a conviction. He said he will consider everything Roeder's lawyers present at trial before deciding whether to tell jurors if they can consider a conviction on a lesser offense.

The judge warned defense attorneys they faced "a substantial uphill battle" in showing Roeder had a sincere belief that the use of deadly force was necessary in the defense of others.

No trial of abortion
"This will not become a trial on the bigger issue of abortion. It will be limited to Mr. Roeder's beliefs," Wilbert said.

Roeder has confessed to reporters to shooting Tiller, saying it was necessary to save "unborn children." He filed a motion made public Friday in which he admitted to the court that he killed Tiller, arguing his trial would be a "charade" if he could not present to jurors his only defense. He asked the judge to reconsider his decision last month prohibiting a so-called necessity defense.

Such a defense would allow his attorneys to argue for acquittal on the grounds that the shooting was justified.

Wilbert again denied the request, telling Roeder at Friday's hearing that the argument "I had to shoot and kill Dr. Tiller to save unborn babies" from abortion doesn't meet the necessity defense because abortions are legal and there has never been a finding that Tiller was performing illegal abortions. Wilbert said the argument also fails by its very definition because one life is not worth more than another.

The Feminist Majority Foundation, which supports abortion rights, said that despite his repeated rejections of the necessity defense, Wilbert is essentially allowing Roeder to present a justifiable homicide defense.

Fear of emboldening 'extremists'
"It is unconscionable and it is unjustifiable," said Katherine Spillar, the group's executive vice president. "We fear it will simply embolden anti-abortion extremists and it will be open season on doctors."

The group is urging the Justice Department to file federal charges against Roeder under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

Troy Newman, president of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue has denounced Tiller's killing, but said Roeder should be allowed to stand trial and make his case.

"If this is his defense, he should be able to give it — anybody should — and let the jurors decide," Newman said.

Jury selection begins Monday behind closed doors. Four news outlets, including The Associated Press, are asking the state's highest court to order Wilbert to allow reporters in the courtroom when attorneys pick the jury.

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>.< Fucksticks!
yap yap yap

Prop 8 Bigots Go to U.S. Supreme Court to Block Trial Broadcast


The Courage Campaign delivered 140,671 letters/petitions to Judge Vaughn Walker requesting that the Prop 8 trial be televised in response to his request for comments on exactly that issue. Earlier this week, Walker delivered an early ruling that the trial would be provided by delayed broadcast on YouTube.

Prop 8 backers filed an emergency petition on Friday to block broadcast of the trial. They have been denied.

Prop 8 supporters have gone to the U.S. Supreme Court to block broadcast of trial proceedings after Judge Walker's rejection of their requests:

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Helen Thomas is awesome.






Sourcezzz



People are leaving comments about how she doesn't know what's going on, or that she's just old and needs to retire, or that her question is stupid.


I find it awesome that she's questioning them why they are even doing all this stuff. They have a reason, but the officials won't tell us. 
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6.5 Earthquake Near Eureka, California

6.5 earthquake near Eureka, Calif., snaps power lines and topples televisions

A strong earthquake, estimated magnitude 6.5, rocked the Eureka, Calif., area this afternoon, snapping power lines, toppling televisions, disrupting power throughout the region and forcing the evacuation of at least one mall.


The earthquake was centered under the Pacific Ocean, about 25 miles southwest of Eureka, at 4:27 p.m. A tsunami was not expected, according to the National Weather Service.

“It was a monstrous one,” said Phil Burns, owner of Mity Nice Bakery Cafe Restaurant in Eureka, which suffered no major damage. “I’ve been through a lot of these and usually they’re sharp but this one was very wiggly; it was rolling in all directions.”

Burns said it took his mother half an hour to be evacuated from the Bayshore Mall.
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grrm sux

Italy opposition says limiting immigrant students number "racist"

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Foreign children will not be allowed to make up more than 30 percent of students in Italian classrooms from next September, Italy's government said.


Foreign children will not be allowed to make up more than 30 percent of students in Italian classrooms from next September, Italy's government said on Friday, in a plan attacked by critics as smacking of racism.

Italy's conservative government says it is introducing the controversial measure in a bid to "better" integrate immigrant children into Italian society and prevent them from congregating in "ghetto classrooms" made up of only foreigners.

"The school must be the place of integration," Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini said in a statement. "Our schools are ready to accept all cultures and children of the world. At the same time, Italian schools must maintain their own traditions with pride and teach the culture of our country."

The centre-left opposition and union officials attacked the proposal as a wrong step that would only increase a sense of exclusion among immigrants. One opposition leader, Antonio Di Pietro, called it a dangerous plan.

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Christian Bale

Women Choose Suicide in Afghanistan



Women in Afghanistan are choosing suicide to escape "their dire circumstances," according to a new report issued by Canada's Foreign Affairs Department. Even in the relatively peaceful region of Herat, over 80 women reportedly set themselves on fire in 2008.

Consider women's situation in Afghanistan. Last year, a law was passed that legalized marital rape, and although President Hamid Karzai temporarily withdrew it due to international outrage, he pardoned two men guilty of gang rape. Human Rights Watch found in one survey that an astonishing 87 percent of female respondents had undergone "forced marriage or at least one form of physical, sexual or psychological violence." (HRW) In addition, according to the Afghan Penal Code, victims of rape can be penalized for adultery.

The organization Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan is calling for the Canadian government to put more emphasis on women's rights before the nation's 2011 deadline for withdrawal. "As Canadians we have a moral and ethical responsibility to support the women of Afghanistan," says the organization's treasurer Penny Christensen.

Meanwhile in the U.S., as President Obama plans to send more troops to Afghanistan, the Center for American Progress has urged the administration to include women's rights as a vital part of its agenda. Peter Juul of CAP notes, "Women’s security is a leading indicator of instability, and as such will provide a valuable means for determining the success of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan." In the 2009 Appropriations Bill passed in June, Senator Barbara Boxer secured $30 million for women-led NGOs in Afghanistan.

Do the U.S. and other nations currently in Afghanistan have the responsiblity of securing women's rights? Voice your opinion below.

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yes i do

Vicki Kennedy Backs Coakley in Mass. Senate Race

Edward Kennedy's widow has formally endorsed Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in the race for her late husband's U.S. Senate seat.

Vicki Kennedy threw her support behind Coakley on Thursday at a Kennedy-esque event: A brass band entertained a crowd of senior citizens with ''Hello Dolly'' and other show tunes.

Kennedy says Coakley would continue the ''world-class'' representation provided by her late husband.

She was joined at the event by interim Massachusetts Sen. Paul Kirk and the late senator's nephew, former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II.

Coakley faces Republican Scott Brown and independent candidate Joseph L. Kennedy -- no relation to the famed political family -- in the Jan. 19 election.

Vicki Kennedy had issued a statement of support for Coakley after the primary.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/01/07/us/politics/AP-US-Kennedy-Successor.html
music | Cindy Mayweather

ontd_political Photo of the Day: Jan 9, 2010.


A gay activist prepares to cut a wedding cake in front of the Portuguese parliament in Lisbon on January 8, 2010, after the approval at first reading a bill to legalise same sex marriages less than 30 years after the country revoked its ban on homosexuality. Lawmakers rejected proposals to allow gay couples to adopt, but otherwise the bill passed with little public controversy in what has traditionally been one of Europe's most socially conservative countries.
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FRANCISCO LEONG (AFP/Getty Images)
Mr. T the Patriot

Americans too poor to afford a hole in the ground.

To step into the morgue at the Oregon medical examiner's office is to confront destitution at its most final.

In this frigid, dark locker, the dead lie draped in plastic sheeting on steel tables. These aren't people who died watched over by family. Dr. Karen Gunson's morgue is the first stop for people who were killed in car accidents or shootings, or who simply died at home, by themselves.

"Many times, if they happen to end up at the medical examiner's office," Gunson says, "they've made some choices in their life, where they're no longer very close to their family. It might be drugs or alcohol or just wanderlust. It's extremely rare that we don’t find someone."

Gunson says these people died unexpectedly, and their families — if they had families — weren't prepared.
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World Nuts Daily Increases Bribery to Get The Mooslim Certificate. Ask for Donations for The Bribery

$10,000, no $15,000 for proof of Obama's birth hospital
WND founder offers donation bribery to facility on presidential records

The WorldNetDaily founder who launched a campaign to post billboards asking "Where's the birth certificate?" now has upped the offering for a charitable donation to the hospital that is listed on President Obama's long-form birth certificate.


That is, if that information ever becomes available.

Joseph Farah, in his Between the Lines column today, noted he had been amused to see Hawaii's many plans for honoring the first American president to claim the island state as his birthplace.

"More than five months ago now, around Obama's alleged Aug. 4 birthday, I stepped out publicly and offered a $10,000 charitable gift to the hospital found on his long-form birth certificate. All he or the hospital or the state of Hawaii would have to do to claim the prize is show the American public the document that should have been produced long ago to claim the presidency as a natural born citizen,"
he wrote.

"Obama has said he was born in Kapi'olani Hospital in Honolulu. He participated in a fund-raiser for the medical center in January. WND will send a check to whatever birth hospital is listed on his long-form birth certificate. All Obama has to do to see that donation made is to release it publicly."

Farah said that offer now is being amended.

"Since politicians in Hawaii are so interested in honoring Obama, why not use their influence on him to produce the proof that will lead to a cash contribution – no strings attached – to a worthy charity. In fact, I'll make it $15,000!" he wrote.
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Vibrators and Safer Sex Superheroes Heat Up Winter Olympics

Even before the competition begins next month, the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, are already generating some international buzz, not for the sport but rather for the sex.

 

The Vancouver Sun reports that a group of safer-sex harm-reduction organizations have banded together to form SafeGames2010 through which more than 200 volunteers dressed as superheroes will hand out more than 250,000 safer sex kits to residents, athletes, and visitors. Captain Condom, the Always-Protected Crusader, Pink Storm, Epidemiology Guy, and others will be stationed, capes and all, at high-traffic points throughout the city to hand out the kits, which will include condoms, lube, lip balm, hand warmers, glow sticks, and other safety-related items. In a press release issued today, SafeGames2010 said their goal is "to educate and inform people about behavior risks associated with drug use, alcohol consumption, and sex; and to provide them with strategies and information to reduce those risks." More than 500,000 people are expected to convene on Vancouver for the games.

 

 

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Obama's Got Some Gay Rights Problems

It's one thing for a pool of gay rights bloggers to point out the Obama administration's sticky relationship with all things gay rights. But it's another thing altogether for America's favorite sinister cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch), to blast off on Obama.

Sure enough, Lynch, who has emerged as one of the most popular television actresses working today given her role in GLEE, has some choice words for Obama and what she sees as a lack of action on his administration's part when it comes to equal rights. Her verdict? Year one of Obama has been disappointing.

That gels well with growing consensus among gay rights folks, particularly bloggers, who've felt left out of the equation when it comes to the White House's priorities. Cue John Aravosis at AmericaBLOG, who says that Obama hasn't been just a disappointment on gay rights. He's allowed his administration to succumb to "gay panic."

Scathing. But is it true?

 

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Rage Alert: Foreigners Are Not Human

Officials Hid Truth About Immigrant Deaths in Jail

Silence has long shrouded the men and women who die in the nation’s immigration jails. For years, they went uncounted and unnamed in the public record. Even in 2008, when The New York Times obtained and published a federal government list of such deaths, few facts were available about who these people were and how they died.

But behind the scenes, it is now clear, the deaths had already generated thousands of pages of government documents, including scathing investigative reports that were kept under wraps, and a trail of confidential memos and BlackBerry messages that show officials working to stymie outside inquiry.

The documents, obtained over recent months by The Times and the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act, concern most of the 107 deaths in detention counted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement since October 2003, after the agency was created within the Department of Homeland Security.

The Obama administration has vowed to overhaul immigration detention, a haphazard network of privately run jails, federal centers and county cells where the government holds noncitizens while it tries to deport them.

But as the administration moves to increase oversight within the agency, the documents show how officials — some still in key positions — used their role as overseers to cover up evidence of mistreatment, deflect scrutiny by the news media or prepare exculpatory public statements after gathering facts that pointed to substandard care or abuse.
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