January 27th, 2010

Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Travolta flies jetload of relief supplies to Haiti

Travolta flies jetload of relief supplies to Haiti

ORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – John Travolta has flown a jetliner carrying relief supplies into the Haitian capital, along with doctors and ministers from the Church of Scientology.

The 55-year-old actor piloted his own Boeing 707 from Florida with six tons of ready-to-eat military rations and medical supplies for survivors of Haiti's devastating Jan. 12 earthquake late Monday.

His wife, Kelly Preston, was also aboard.

"We have the ability to actually help make a difference in the situation in Haiti and I just can't see not using this plane to help," Travolta said.

Travolta compared the mission to aid efforts following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. "We were there right away, with this airplane, because you know we have the ability and the means to do this so I think you have responsibility on some level to do that."

Aid groups have been desperate to fly their own planes into the over-stressed airport. U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said Tuesday that at least 800 planes with relief items are on a waiting list for the airport, which can handle only about 130 flights a day due to a lack of space to park planes as they unload.

The aid group Doctors Without Borders has complained that the flight scheduling priorities of U.S. military controllers running the airport delayed the arrival of field hospitals, resulting in some deaths.

More than 150,000 people have already been buried since the magnitude-7 quake, which destroyed entire Port-au-Prince neighborhoods and landmarks and crumbled nearby towns.

Hundreds of thousands of people are living in the streets, with scores of injured wanting for proper medical care.

Travolta and Preston said they were returning to Florida as soon as their supplies and passengers were unloaded.


Wait, how did Travolta get in ahead of all the other aid flights? And also, Scientology ministers. Oh.

Birther Patritic Real American Hero to Depose Mooslim Tyrant: "Where is Your Birth Certificate Now?"

J.D. Hayworth A Birther? McCain Challenger Calls For Obama's Birth Certificate

When Chris Matthews asked J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) whether he's "as far right as the birthers," the former Republican Congressman called on President Obama to produce his birth certificate for public inspection.

"Well, gosh, we all had to bring our birth certificates to show we were who we said we were, and we were the age we said we were, to play football in youth sports," said Hayworth, who is currently challenging John McCain (R-AZ) in Arizona's Senate primary. "Shouldn't we know exactly that anyone who wants to run for public office is a natural born citizen of the United States, and is who they say they are?"

Later in the segment, which aired Tuesday night on MSNBC's Hardball, Hayworth said the responsibility for producing evidence should fall directly on Obama.

"I'm just saying the president should come forward with the information, that's all. Why must we depend on the governor of Hawaii?"

Coincidentally, Tuesday was original scheduled to be the first hearing date for Barnett v. Obama in U.S. District Court. The case would have challenged Obama's citizenship, but was thrown out by Judge David O. Carter without going to trial.



CIA: Enhanced Interrogation Techniques Works!! (Disclaimer: Individual Results May Vary)

CIA Man Retracts Claim on Waterboarding

Well, it's official now: John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative who affirmed claims that waterboarding quickly unloosed the tongues of hard-core terrorists, says he didn't know what he was talking about.

Kiriakou, a 15-year veteran of the agency's intelligence analysis and operations directorates, electrified the hand-wringing national debate over torture in December 2007 when he told ABC's Brian Ross and Richard Esposito in a much ballyhooed, exclusive interview that senior al Qaeda commando Abu Zubaydah cracked after only one application of the face cloth and water.

"From that day on, he answered every question," Kiriakou said. "The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks."

No matter that Kiriakou wearily said he shared the anguish of millions of Americans, not to mention the rest of the world, over the CIA's application of the medieval confession technique.

The point was that it worked. And the pro-torture camp was quick to pick up on Kiriakou's claim.

"It works, is the bottom line," conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh exclaimed on his radio show the day after Kiriakou's ABC interview. "Thirty to 35 seconds, and it works."

A cascade of similar acclamations followed, muffling -- to this day -- the later revelation that Zubaydah had in fact been waterboarded at least 83 times.

Had Kiriakou left out something the first time?

Now comes John Kiriakou, again, with a wholly different story. On the next-to-last page of a new memoir, The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror (written with Michael Ruby), Kiriakou now rather off handedly admits that he basically made it all up.

"What I told Brian Ross in late 2007 was wrong on a couple counts," he writes. "I suggested that Abu Zubaydah had lasted only thirty or thirty-five seconds during his waterboarding before he begged his interrogators to stop; after that, I said he opened up and gave the agency actionable intelligence."

But never mind, he says now.

"I wasn't there when the interrogation took place; instead, I relied on what I'd heard and read inside the agency at the time."

In a word, it was hearsay, water-cooler talk.

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Shocking News: Oregon Goes Red! Commie RED!!!

Oregon Tax Hike On Wealthy, Businesses Passed By Voters

Oregon has set aside its history of shooting down tax increases on statewide ballots, with voters endorsing higher taxes amid a brutal economic slump.

Democrats in the Oregon Legislature made it as easy as they could for the voters to raise taxes on somebody else, and the electorate responded Tuesday by approving Measures 66 and 67.

The increases approved Tuesday will hit people with taxable income upward of $125,000 – estimated at fewer than 3 percent of filers. Many businesses who had been paying an annual $10 minimum will see that rise to at least $150.

With 91 percent of the vote counted, the vote was 54-46 on Measure 66 and 53-47 on Measure 67.

Oregon voters have consistently rebuffed legislative attempts to take more in tax revenue – such as a cigarette tax to pay for health insurance for children three years ago, two previous income tax measures that would have hit most Oregonians and nine sales tax measures over the decades.

A Democratic legislative leader, Senate President Peter Courtney, said he was, just in case, preparing a statement acknowledging defeat just before the results were reported Tuesday.

"This is a tax vote?" he exclaimed later when the victory was evident. "This is indescribable ... It's Oregon being Oregon."

The vote affirms the two-year budget the Legislature controlled by Democrats adopted last year, and spares it $727 million worth of budget cutting during a four-week session that begins Monday.
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There are not enough WTFs in the world for this!

Court Shown Video of Proposition 8 Supporter Comparing Gay Marriage to 9/11

On Monday, the defense in the Proposition 8 court case called their first witness to the stand, but not before lawyers arguing on behalf of the plaintiffs asked Jude Vaughn Walker to view several "simulcasts" that the founders of ProtectMarriage.com paid for to aid the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign. Despite heavy protests from the defense, Judge Walker allowed the tapes to be shown.

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  • Current Mood

Prop8 "expert": I can say this because I'm an expert. I'm an expert cause I say this, I think.

Even though "nothing" will be decided by this trial alone and many seem to think that the conservative bent of SCOTUS will scurry any chance victory over Prop8, I feel optimistic about this whole process. It feels important to me for many reasons. If anything, this trial exposes on record the campaign of ignorance and fear that  bigots  have waged against GLBT people for generations. This is the record & evidence that will be presented to SCOTUS. This is the evidence they will have to review. It feels good to see these views brought into a courtroom and put under the lamplight of logic and reason. The shame of course is that it is not being seen or heard by the general public. SO PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS TESTIMONY. Send the liveblogging links and/or your own summaries to your friends and family. Post it to your Facebook, Tweet it, send a crayola covered hallmark card to your mom and grama! etc.

Linky 1 firedoglake.com/prop8trial
Linky 2 : Prop8trialtrackers.com

Yesterday morning David Boies (for the the Plaintiffs) continued to skewer the Defendant's "expert", Kenneth Miller, about the political power of Gays & Lesbians. Again, this is important because it shows that G&L people are treated as a suspect class by the majority. The issue of why or why not the Majority (i.e. voters) should be able to vote on a bill that limits the rights of a minority (i.e. gays and lesbians) is very pertinent. The defense brought this guy on because he wrote a book about how civil actions in court overrun the will of the people, i.e.  courtroom activism is a "Danger to Democracy" or some rot.  This is to show that the courts should not change rulings when their voted into law by the will of the majority.

First off, the experts are laughable. The judge more or less said that  if this were a jury trial, both witnesses from yesterday might have been excused by the judge because clearly neither were experts in what the Defense claimed they were and both were there just to lend an emotional i.e. non-rational non researched argument to the Prop 8 cause. Mr Miller, for one, was doing so bad even the commentators on the live blogs were feeling sorry for this guy.  His whole testimony is saturates with "Um..." "I don't know," "I didn't research that," "Well.." "Um..." "I can't ..."  Many times Boies has had to repeat his question and literally parse it down to nail this guy to the board to get a yes or no answer. He was either very evasive and/or appearing just outright ignorant.  I, for one, don't feel sorry for the guy.  He can hang in the wind for all I care. If anyone has the nerve to write a book and declare themselves and expert in any thing then they better damned well be prepared to answer questions on the subject. Especially when that subject affects the lives of so many people. As far as I'm concerned, let the bitch squirm. 
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Me in Hawaii.

PETA proposes robotic groundhog for Pa. festival

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. – An animal rights group wants organizers of Pennsylvania's Groundhog Day festival to replace Punxsutawney Phil with a robotic stand-in.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says it's unfair to keep the animal in captivity and subject him to the huge crowds and bright lights that accompany tens of thousands of revelers each Feb. 2 in Punxsutawney, a tiny borough about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. PETA is suggesting the use of an animatronic model.

But William Deeley, president of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, says the animal is "being treated better than the average child in Pennsylvania." The groundhog is kept in a climate-controlled environment and is inspected annually by the state Department of Agriculture.

Deeley says PETA isn't interested in Phil from Feb. 2 on, and is looking for publicity.

SW - Raining Troops


France report backs face veil ban

# Parliament should pass a resolution denouncing full Muslim face veils
# Ban the veil in all schools, hospitals, public transport and government offices
# Bar foreign women from obtaining asylum or French citizenship if they insist on veiling their faces in state buildings
# Take into account in asylum requests the coercion to wear the full veil as an indication of a wider context of persecution
# Create a national school of Islamic studies

A French parliamentary committee has recommended a partial ban on women wearing Islamic face veils.

The committee's near 200-page report has proposed a ban in hospitals, schools, government offices and on public transport.

It also recommends that anyone showing visible signs of "radical religious practice" should be refused residence cards and citizenship.

The interior ministry says just 1,900 women in France wear the full veils.

In its report, the committee said requiring women to cover their faces was against the French republican principles of secularism and equality.

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Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/8480161.stm

Tea Party: The Best Tea Money Can Buy (PLEASE, SEND SOME MONEYS!!!)

Sarah Palin's Tea Party Dinner Disaster
Unsold tickets, activists demanding refunds—will Palin wind up addressing a half-empty room at the Tea Party convention?

Will Sarah Palin's Tea Party dinner be a bust?

Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips likely assumed that scoring a dinner speech by the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate would guarantee a huge turnout for his National Tea Party Convention
, scheduled to start Feb. 4 at Nashville's Gaylord Opryland Hotel. But according to Tea Party insiders, the tickets for the Palin banquet aren't selling—and some conservative activists who have already paid to attend are now demanding refunds. With the controversial event shaping up to be a potential flop, some Tea Partiers are urging Palin to cancel her speech to avoid a humiliating public relations disaster.

The problems began after news broke that Phillips intended to profit from the convention—which costs $549 a person for access to both the conference and Palin’s banquet, or $349 for a ticket to the dinner alone. With one prominent conservative blogger charging that the event seemed "scammy," several key sponsors yanked their support, including the National Precinct Alliance, the American Liberty Alliance, American Majority, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform. As the rash of bad press continued, this week Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), announced that she’s considering pulling out as a convention speaker. And some Tea Party activists think Palin should join her. According to internal convention planning documents obtained by Mother Jones, Palin will be paid $115,000 to address the attendees—as they dine on steak or lobster. To some Tea Partiers, this lavish affair sounds suspiciously like an exclusive GOP fundraiser and a betrayal of their grassroots movement. (In mid-January, Palin told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that she will not profit from her appearance at the convention, suggesting she would donate her speaking fee to Republican candidates. But she has not provided any details on that, and a Palin spokesperson did not respond to requests for clarification.)

Phillips has bragged publicly that the tickets covering both the convention and the speech have sold out. Yet Tea Party insiders say that's not the whole story. Anthony Shreeve is an activist in Dandridge, Tenn. who quit the convention organizing committee over the expensive ticket prices. He says he has it on good authority that most of the approximately 500 speech-only tickets have not been sold. Shreeve adds that Phillips "isn't going to sell any more," and says other would-be attendees have been demanding—and receiving—refunds. Late on Tuesday afternoon, I tested his claim by attempting to buy 10 tickets to the dinner. If I’d been prepared to shell out $3,587.10, that would apparently have been no problem. "I really hope that Sarah Palin doesn’t come to this event because it's going to be really embarrassing for her to walk into a half-empty room," says Shreeve.
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Good News! Judas To Be New Keynote Fundraising Speaker! We Accept Pieces of Silver & "Roman Express"

Salt Lake County GOP cancels keynote address after New Orleans arrest
Plan B » Party's big annual fundraiser will find new featured speaker instead of O'Keefe.

Salt Lake County Republicans are scrambling to line up a new keynote fundraising speaker after the arrest Tuesday of their scheduled first choice, filmmaker James O'Keefe, on charges of attempting to tamper with the phone system of a U.S. senator.

"The allegations and arrest today certainly change our plans," county GOP Chairman Thomas Wright said in a telephone interview with The Tribune. "We'll be announcing a new speaker shortly."

As of Tuesday night, the party's Web site, slcogop.com, still advertised O'Keefe as the guest speaker for the Feb. 4 Lincoln Day Dinner. His topic was to be "his national exposé of ACORN's unethical behavior, his changes in Congress and [how he will] inspire our Party's passion for a grassroots comeback."

The fundraising announcement said donations of $4,000 to $7,500 would entitle contributing groups to have access to elected Republican officials and the guest speaker at a VIP reception. Wright said the Web site and other promotions would be altered soon to reflect a change.

"We're disappointed," he said of O'Keefe's arrest on felony charges. "He doesn't necessarily represent the Republican Party."

Hard Hat: $8.50

Tool Belt: $25.99

Telephone Company Uniform: $200

Electronic Listening Device: $59.95

Getting Arrested for Breaking the Law and Then Having Your Political Party Betray You: "Priceless"

"There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's MasterCard."

Paul Shirley’s Letter to the people of Haiti…

The Former NBA Player, who now plays professional basketball in Moscow, wrote up a blog about Haiti and the consequences of its earthquake, in which he pretty much blames Haitians for the dire state of the nation.

Shirley states he has not donated to relief efforts in Haiti and "probably will not."

Below is Shirley’s letter…

Dear Haitians –

First of all, kudos on developing the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere Your commitment to human rights, infrastructure, and birth control should be applauded.

As we prepare to assist you in this difficult time, a polite request: If it's possible, could you not re-build your island home in the image of its predecessor? Could you not resort to the creation of flimsy shanty- and shack-towns And could some of you maybe use a condom once in a while?


The Rest of the World


excuse me?
Space - lol models

(no subject)

the moon is "dead"

The lede of today’s Orlando Sentinel article is blunt: “NASA’s plans to return astronauts to the moon are dead.” So, it claims, are the Ares 1 and 5 rockets, which will not be funded in the FY2011 budget proposal to be released on Monday. “There will be no lunar landers, no moon bases, no Constellation program at all,” the article continues. The article, citing a collection of (unnamed, of course) White House, Congress, NASA, and industry officials, claims that the budget will include the eventual development of a heavy-lift vehicle, but focus more in the near term on Earth science projects and R&D work to enable future human missions beyond LEO, as well as supporting development of commercial crew transportation systems to get crews to and from the ISS.

None of this is terribly surprising, given the rumors and hints that have leaked out in recent weeks and months, although the presentation here is particularly stark. It would, though, face some strong opposition from Congress, which included in the final FY2010 appropriations a provision preventing “termination or elimination” of any aspect of Constellation or creation of any new related program without approval from Congress in a subsequent appropriation. It’s not clear if the White House will seek a supplemental appropriation for FY10 to make that change now, or wait until the final FY11 bill is approved (which might be well into the 2011 fiscal year, based on past experience on the time Congress takes to finalize such bills) to make such changes, which means current Constellation development funded in the FY10 budget might be for nought.

Several members of Texas’ Congressional delegation, Republican and Democrat, tell the Houston Chronicle they may might any substantial changes in NASA’s exploration plans. “His own commission recommended a $3 billion increase to have a sustainable program,” Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) said, referring to the Augustine committee. “His own commission recommended a $3 billion increase to have a sustainable program.” And Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX): “We’re going to be very vocal about any undermining of the commitment to NASA that is different.” Will they—or, more importantly, will appropriators—back up those words with action, and funding?

source at spacepolitics.com, x-posted to ontd_science

As someone on Twitter put it, "Today in 1967 we lost Apollo 1's crew... Today in 2010, we learned we won't be continuing that dream."

It sucks, but we all know the private sector is going to step in here at some point. Looking forward to that, at least. :(
  • mzflux

This president makes me bipolar. He loves me, he loves me not...

Obama to promote more education spending in State of the Union speech

By Nick Anderson and Michael D. Shear
Wednesday, January 27, 2010; 3:19 PM

President Obama will propose a major increase in funding for elementary and secondary education for the coming year in Wednesday's State of the Union address, one of the few areas that would grow in an otherwise austere federal budget, officials said.

The proposal to raise federal education spending by as much as $4 billion in the next fiscal year was described by administration officials as the start of an effort to revamp the No Child Left Behind law enacted under President George W. Bush. Obama will highlight his school reform agenda Wednesday in the address.

The funding would include a $1.35 billion increase in Obama's "Race to the Top" competitive grants for school reform. It would also set aside $1 billion to finance an overhaul of No Child Left Behind, according to Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Administration officials said they could not provide a direct comparison to current elementary and secondary education spending levels. But Duncan said federal education spending would rise overall by 6 percent. That would apparently be the largest percentage increase since 2003, not counting the huge infusion from last year's economic stimulus law.

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full article from THE WASHINGTON POST
  • Current Mood
    woot indeed

Republican Traitor Palling Around with Liburals.

Crist now says he might join Obama in Tampa

Gov. Charlie Crist, who has been taking a steady pounding for his "man hug" with President Barack Obama in February, now says he might be with the president again Thursday in Tampa.

"If we can work it out logistically, I'll be with him," Crist said Tuesday.

Asked about the possibility of more backlash from Republicans who don't like the president or his policies, Crist said: "That's not my concern. My concern is fighting for jobs for the people of Florida, and that's my first and foremost duty, and I realize that."

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are hosting a town hall at the University of Tampa, where the president is expected to deliver the much-anticipated news that Florida is getting federal stimulus money for high-speed rail projects. That's money that state officials say will create thousands of new jobs and news any governor would want to celebrate immediately.

But for Crist, locked in a tight battle with Marco Rubio for the Republican Senate nomination, sharing a stage with the Democratic president is not without risk.

The first time Obama paid a visit to Florida as president was in Fort Myers in February. Crist welcomed him with open arms and endorsed the $787 billion federal stimulus package. He has been paying a political price ever since.

For the president's second appearance, at a Navy base in Jacksonville in October, Crist said he wasn't aware of the visit, even though e-mail records showed his office was alerted by the White House.

By coincidence, Crist will be in Tampa on Thursday at the same time as the president, attending a meeting of the board of governors at the University of South Florida, about a dozen miles from the University of Tampa.

A White House e-mail sent Tuesday afternoon to the Governor's Office checked on Crist's availability. "Any word on whether governor will be able to join? We are needing to lock down the preparations," the message said.

Crist said he would like to cajole the president on Florida's application for federal education stimulus funds under the Race to the Top program. "It would be nice to be able to lobby him," Crist said.

A Republican's advice for Obama

There is a great line in "Casablanca." Signor Ferrari says to Victor Laszlo, "I am moved to make one more suggestion, why, for what reason I do not know, because it cannot profit me. ... "

As President Obama prepares to make his State of the Union speech, I am moved to make several suggestions to him about how to save his presidency, for reasons I do not know, because as a Republican it won't profit me politically.

But here are five suggestions on how Obama could right the ship and chart a course to a second term.

Stop talking: The president's people believe that the more Obama is out in the public talking, the better off he is. And if this were still the campaign, that might be the case.

But the president is supposed to be governing, not campaigning, and the more he appears as pundit in chief, the more people associate him with their problems. He has taken the mystery out of being president, and by being too available, he has diluted the strength of the bully pulpit.

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asoneill - Yahoo Me

Ugh, Utah.

Utah congressman files bill to block D.C. gay marriage

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, on Tuesday submitted legislation in the House of Representatives that would overturn a D.C. bill allowing gay marriage.

Gay marriage is not yet legal in the District of Columbia, but the D.C. Council passed a bill in December allowing the unions in the city.

Because the city is a federal district and not a state, its laws must be sent to Congress before taking effect. Congress has 30 days to act on the marriage bill before it takes effect. Mr. Chaffetz's legislation, a resolution of disapproval, would block the bill from taking effect.

Mr. Chaffetz, the ranking GOP member of the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia subcommittee, has said in the past it will be difficult to get Congress to block the gay-marriage bill because both houses are controlled by Democrats.


Take care of yourself women! And by 'yourself', we mean the baby that we hope is inside you.

(Poster's note: I can't seem to get the videos to embed from work, sorry! But they're all available at the source.)

In a Louisiana Department of Health ad, a man dressed as "Sammy the Stork" warns women to take better care of their health. Not for their own benefit really, but because they could be pregnant and not know it.

The ad above is part of the "Stork Reality" campaign, which is funded by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospital's Partners for Healthy Babies program. According to the website, the program was started in the 1990s because about 10 percent of all babies in Louisiana had a low birth weight and many died in infancy. While certainly the state health department should be working to reduce the infant mortality rate, the Stork Reality program's approach is bizarre. "Healthy pregnancy" isn't the first thing that springs to mind when you see a giant stork complaining next to a pond full of ducks. As AdRants points out, "The importance of the message (which is very important) is lost on the ridiculousness of the delivery mechanism."

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' dreams they dreamed awake
  • schmiss


Howard Zinn, historian who challenged status quo, dies at 87

Howard Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist who was an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam and a leading faculty critic of BU president John Silber, died of a heart attack today in Santa Monica, Calif, where he was traveling, his family said. He was 87.

“His writings have changed the consciousness of a generation, and helped open new paths to understanding and its crucial meaning for our lives,” Noam Chomsky, the left-wing activist and MIT professor, once wrote of Dr. Zinn. “When action has been called for, one could always be confident that he would be on the front lines, an example and trustworthy guide.”

For Dr. Zinn, activism was a natural extension of the revisionist brand of history he taught. Dr. Zinn’s best-known book, “A People’s History of the United States” (1980), had for its heroes not the Founding Fathers — many of them slaveholders and deeply attached to the status quo, as Dr. Zinn was quick to point out — but rather the farmers of Shays’ Rebellion and the union organizers of the 1930s.

As he wrote in his autobiography, “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train” (1994), “From the start, my teaching was infused with my own history. I would try to be fair to other points of view, but I wanted more than ‘objectivity’; I wanted students to leave my classes not just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever they saw it. This, of course, was a recipe for trouble.”

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And they lived happily ever after, amirite?

Honduras swears in Porfirio Lobo as President

Honduras has sworn in newly-elected Porfirio Lobo as President, after months of crisis over the fate of his ousted predecessor, Manuel Zelaya.

Mr Lobo has said his first task as president will be to guarantee Mr Zelaya's safe passage out of Honduras.

The removal last June of Mr Zelaya, who is holed up in Brazil's embassy in the capital, divided opinion in Honduras and internationally.

Several nations refused to recognise the legitimacy of November's election.

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Honduras ex-leader Manuel Zelaya 'heads into exile'

Deposed Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya has left the Brazilian embassy there and is heading into exile in the Dominican Republic, reports say.

His departure marks the end of efforts to return to office after soldiers first forced him into exile on 28 June.

Earlier, the newly-elected Honduran President, Porfirio Lobo, promised him safe passage to the airport as part of a reconciliation process.

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I'll probably update after Zelaya's departure. And LMAO at "It wouldn't be fair".

Update: Thanks to lalita_b I read different reports saying Zelaya will be staying here, that lucky bastard.  Also, in his last interview Zelaya said "We'll return" haha. Bye, Mel!

Will New Law Block Many Slash, Anime, Manga Sites in Australia?

I hope this will be allowd here, it's pleny political and it's news.

And guys, I'd encourage everyone to crosspost this everywhere, in any communities or forums that this would be relevant.

In the law fictional characters are considered real when it comes to child protection.


Australia Set to Introduce Internet Filter that Could Block Access to Thousands of Anime, Comics, Gaming (ACG) and Slash Fan Sites

Mark McLelland, University of Wollongong


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Please go to Source for references and info on what action fans in Australia can take.

ETA: fixed tags, sorry did this before I went to bed.
[AC] :D


Start time: 9:00pm EST

Live Feeds(eventually):
White House Live Feed
Watch on CNN.com or Facebook!

C-Span is the official watch channel of ontd_political but you are free to watch whatever channel you want.

Reminder: Submission Queue is on hold until the end of the SOTU, do not submit anything.

Bill Seeks to Further Define Separation of Church & State for California Marriages

 Image and video hosting by TinyPic

By Zach Behrens

As the gay marriage debate continues in the courts and within communities, a newly introduced bill by State Senator Mark Leno may win over church leaders who are opposed to same-sex unions. The Civil Marriage Religious Freedom Act, SB 906, will affirm that no clergy member will be forced under law to perform any civil marriage that is against his or her belief system. “While we know religious freedom is protected under our Constitution, this legislation eliminates any confusion or doubt under state law, reaffirming that no member of clergy or church will be penalized for refusing to solemnize marriages that violate their religious tenets,” Leno said.

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Rightwinger Blames Gays and Women for Fooling Us Into Torturing Brown People. Shame on You Gayz!

Top DADT Advocate Says Abu Ghraib Abuses Happened Because Women Are Allowed In The Military

In the Wall Street Journal on Monday, Richard Socarides, a former adviser to President Clinton on gay issues, wrote that “recently we saw the potential beginning of an antigay fear campaign” over President Obama’s pledge to end the military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy. “Fortunately, these scare tactics are for the most part relics of an older era,” wrote Socarides. “People understand that our military needs every talented American it can get, and that excluding gays from the military detracts from our ability to win wars.”

But on Frank Gaffney’s Secure Freedom Radio show Monday, Center for Military Readiness’ Elaine Donnelly, the right’s most prominent “crusader against gays in the military,” attacked Socarides column as “ludicrous,” noting that he “is open and professed as a gay person.” Donnelly particularly objected to Socarides argument that “men and women serve side by side today in combat, as do gay and straight service members, without incident,” saying that the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal was an “incident” that resulted from allowing women to serve with men in the military:

DONNELLY: Ok, now how are we going to deal with four different sexual groups, say in Special Operations summaries. How’s that going to work? Or are we going to have the kind of military — and he clearly suggests this — he says yes, we have women in the military. We all support women in the military. However, he says that everything has been going on just fine without incident. Umm, what was that Abu Ghraib scandal all about? It started out as misconduct between men and women and then it steadily deteriorated into abuse of prisoners. The common denominator is lack of discipline. Once you break down discipline, good order and discipline and morale, everything that’s required for unit cohesion, you undermine the culture and the strength of the armed forces. This man obviously doesn’t get that.

During the interview, Donnelly also suggested that she believes openly gay men and women shouldn’t be allowed to teach in schools. When Gaffney claimed that repealing DADT was “a backdoor way” for “imposing” the gay rights agenda “on the rest of society,” Donnelly agreed, saying, “If it’s ok for the Marines then why is it not ok for the local school.” Listen here:
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Steve King: "New ACORN Conspiracy!! O'Keefe is Innocent!! He Kept Us Safe From Libural Terrorrists!"

Rep. King Offers Conspiracy To Support O’Keefe: ‘Seems Really Convenient That This Would Happen Now’

On Monday, conservative activist James O’Keefe and three others were arrested by the FBI and “charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony.” The gang was caught in what appeared to be an attempt to wiretap Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) office in New Orleans. O’Keefe, who had been trained by several well-funded conservative institutes and had been working for right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart, gained notoriety for dressing up as a pimp and videotaping ACORN staffers offering to help the supposed pimp and his prostitutes secure funding for a brothel.

Last October, 31 House Republicans introduced a congressional resolution honoring O’Keefe for his efforts against ACORN. Rep. Steve King (R-IA), one of the resolution’s cosponsors, has fought to ban funding to an ACORN affiliate and has been one of O’Keefe’s most vocal fans. At a press conference, ThinkProgress asked King if he would withdraw his support for the resolution, given news of O’Keefe’s arrest. But King dodged the question repeatedly, at one point defending O’Keefe, then later suggesting his resolution praising the conservative activist is frivolous compared to what Congress should be debating right now. At one point, the Iowa congressman floated the possibility of a conspiracy against O’Keefe, noting, “It seems really convenient that this would happen now”:
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