February 19th, 2010

  • bignoor

11 Students face expulsion after protesting Michael Oren's visit.

Eleven people were arrested Monday evening during a raucous lecture at UC Irvine where Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren came to talk about U.S.-Israel relations. (UCI earlier said that 12 were arrested.)
Oren was interrupted 10 times Monday while trying to give his speech before 500 people at the UCI Student Center, where there was heavy security. Oren took a 20 minute break after the fourth protest, asked for hospitality and resumed his speech, only to be interrupted again by young men yelling at him every few minutes. Many members of the audience also applauded Oren.

After the 10th interruption, several dozens students who opposed Oren's talk got up and walked out and staged a protest outside. It is not clear whether they were members of the UCI Muslim Student Union, which issued an email earlier in the day condemning Oren's appearance on campus.

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One may disagree with the style and tactics demonstrated by the 11 students, but the central issue is not responding to the disruption by the students. Rather, the main focus should be on understanding what led to that action. The protest of Ambassador Oren's speech did not occur within a vacuum, but rather as a reaction to a string of numerous attempts to stigmatize Muslim students of UCI and squelch their free speech.

In contrast to the treatment of Muslim students at UCI, anti-abortion hecklers against the President of the United States do not receive the same scrutiny as pro-Palestinian Muslim students at Irvine. Two individuals heckled the President at Notre Dame's commencement last year when President Obama resided as principal speaker. "Abortion is murder!" and "Stop Killing Babies!" they yelled, after which they were escorted out. They were opposing Obama's pro-choice stance, and no arrests were made. Over 100 protesters demonstrated at Notre Dame as well.

No doubt the Palestinian-Israeli discourse is volatile and many political leaders shy away from the discourse. But the lack of discourse on the issue requires more engagement with the students, not arrests and threats of expulsion or failure in their classes. Each side, Muslim and Jew, pro-Palestine and pro-Israel, have had their share of firebrand speakers, agitating and provoking the other side. The Muslim side has no institutional support for addressing their concerns. In fact, they have dealt with institutional marginalization and prejudice in the form of selective enforcement of policies and heavy-handed repercussions.

Our government leaders are concerned about the alienation of young people in our country, especially young Muslims -- who are offered no platform for voicing their concerns and views. Shunting student voices, especially when it is presented in a non-violent manner, tells them their opinions are disconnected and irrelevant to the mainstream discourse. I've met with government officials who "protested and took over buildings" in their college lives to get attention for their causes.

Suppressing the voice of these students by threatening them with failure and arrest in order to prohibit them and future students from expressing their views on Palestine is tantamount to telling them not to be American. The Muslim students' actions at UCI epitomize the confrontation against institutional injustices by means of peaceful exercise of free speech, a great American tradition.

The 11 Muslim students took a stand for another people's human rights, for what the best of America represents, and for what millions of people around the world admire Americans. So I thank the students for reminding me of why I am a proud American -- because I have the responsibility of celebrating my freedom by demanding it for others.

I'm pro-Palestine, but I feel that they made their point after the 4th time. I applaud them for practicing their freedom of speech. However, treating them as criminals when all they did was practiced their freedom of speech and exited the building peacefully is too much. They're now facing expulsion and possibly arrest.
sufjan: mosaic

They're refering to Woodstock '99, right?

Conservative activists open ‘our Woodstock’

Emboldened by a belief that their political fortunes are on the rise, conservative activists descended Thursday on the capital city they love to hate, seeking to stoke what they consider a grass-roots uprising against President Obama and Democrats in Congress.

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference was once a venue for the right fringe of the Republican Party, but in recent years it has drawn more mainstream party figures and now provides a stage for presidential aspirants to prove their conservative credentials.

This year's CPAC, which began Thursday and will run through Saturday, had a festival atmosphere, as thousands of jubilant activists turned the Marriott Wardman Park ballroom into a hive of old-guard conservatives and Don't Tread on Me "tea partiers" hungry for new leaders and messages that can carry the GOP out of the political wilderness. It was, in the words of one speaker, "our Woodstock."

Featured speakers in the opening session included former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who sought to turn the page on his 2008 presidential campaign by casting himself as a populist and every bit the conservative standard-bearer. He defended the policies of former president George W. Bush and his party's lockstep opposition to Obama's agenda, saying that Obama had "failed" and that the Democratic majority in Congress would "soon be out the door."

"If these liberal neo-monarchists succeed, they will kill the very spirit that has built the nation -- the innovating, inventing, creating, independent current that runs from coast to coast," Romney said. Pounding on the lectern as the audience leapt up, he declared: "And we won't let 'em do it."

The attendees stomped and screamed at the appearance of the surprise guest who introduced Romney: Scott Brown. "I'm the newly elected Republican senator from Massachusetts," Brown said. "Let me just say that one more time. I am the Republican senator from Massachusetts."

Former vice president Richard B. Cheney also made an unscheduled appearance, bounding out from behind the dark curtain with his daughter Liz. He received a hero's welcome, to cries of "Run, Dick, run!"

"Knock it off," Cheney quipped. "A welcome like that's almost enough to make me want to run for office, but I'm not gonna do it."


ah, if there is one thing i love about Republicans it is their fail comparisons and metaphors.

also, it obviously says a lot about these people that they still support the Bush administration after everything. weren't you the ones talking about being let down by ALL government? wasn't Bush a part of that? now Dick Cheney is your ideal presidential candidate? lol ok.
Tar Telperien

Sir Elton John says Jesus was super-intelligent gay man

Sir Elton John has claimed Jesus was a "super-intelligent gay man" in an interview with a US magazine.

The singer also told Parade Jesus was "compassionate", forgiving and "understood human problems".

A spokesman for the Church of England said: "Sir Elton's reflection that Jesus calls us all to love and forgive is one shared by all Christians."

"But insights into aspects of the historic person of Jesus are perhaps best left to the academics," he added.

Sir Elton said in the interview: "On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving.

"I don't know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East - you're as good as dead," he added.

In the interview, the singer also said he did not like being a celebrity any more because "fame attracts lunatics".

"Princess Diana, Gianni Versace, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, all dead. Two of them shot outside their houses. None of this would have happened if they hadn't been famous. I never had a bodyguard, ever, until Gianni died," he said.

The full interview will be published on Parade's website on Friday.


franklin sherman

Pregnant woman jailed for having thought about abortion

It is heard to believe, yet a true story. A pregnant woman in Iowa (USA) had been jailed for "attempted feticide" because she told hospital staff that she once thought about having an abortion.

A most shocking tale can be found at the website about Women's Rights by the organization of change.org. The story was also carried by Nerve and pointed to by Harper's Magazine on February 16.

Apparently, in Iowa it can be regarded as a crime - in this case attempted feticide - if a pregnant woman gets unwell and falls down the stairs. In any case, it may be regarded as a possible crime if this happens a few months after she considered to opt for abortion, or for carrying the baby and giving birth to it. She decided for the latter and stayed away from abortion clinics. However, her dreadful thoughts (about abortion) in the past weighed more heavily in this case than her actions (to keep the baby).

The simple fact of this weird tale are as follows.

In the beginning of her pregnancy, the woman had considered abortion but decided against it. After a meeting (and a row) with her estranged husband she became unwell and fell down the stairs. Medics in the hospital told her the child she was carrying was fine. She was elated by hearing this, and said so - mentioning that she had previously thought of terminating the pregnancy. Soon after, she found herself in jail because someone very zealous had interpreted her falling accident as an attempt to "intentionally terminate a human pregnancy" - which is the legal definition of feticide.

The whole incident would be almost funny if it wasn't so dead serious.


(official "FUCK YOU IOWA" thread)

Note to self: customers not dying = good.

Brothel owners in the Lugano area say electric shock treatment to restart customer's hearts is needed because so many elderly customers are using their services.

The most recent victim was a pensioner, thought to be having fun with the help of anti-impotence medication.

His death followed a series of other incidents, some fatal, in which heart attacks have claimed brothel customers in the area.

The owner of one sex club said: "Having customers die on us isn't exactly good publicity".

There are now 38 sex clubs and brothel in the Lugano area. And more are planned, according to Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, in order to accommodate the thousands of customers who pour over the boarder from Italy, where brothels are illegal. Around 80 per cent of the men who pay for sex in the area are thought to be Italian.

The sex trade in the pretty, lakeside Swiss town is also being fuelled by prostitutes from South America and Eastern Europe who enter the country via Italy.

Local health experts are said to have backed the plans to stock defibrillators in sex clubs and brothels.

Defibrillators work by delivering a controlled electric shock to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat, after it has stopped.

According to the British Heart Foundation: "Modern defibrillators are becoming increasingly quick and easy for the lay person to use, which can mean the difference between life and death".


girl acquitted of murdering her mother

This is an update on a previous case I posted about a couple of weeks ago. It was the case where a teenage girl was accused of stabbing her parents in Australia, killing her mother because of a fallout over religion, she wanting to be with her boyfriend and be Christian, and her parents had problems with this.

The case was decided and she was aquitted. The question remains, who killed her mother?

A YOUNG woman accused of killing her mother and trying to murder her father embraced a juror after her acquittal in the Brisbane Supreme Court.

Outside the court, Kaihana Hussain embraced one juror as other jury members wished her well following their decision to acquit her on charges of murdering her mother and attempting to kill her father.

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' ending with diamond eyes
  • schmiss


Mitt Romney's Alleged Attacker -- Major Rap Star

The mystery man who was tossed off an airplane for allegedly attacking Mitt Romney has finally been revealed -- it was one of the guys from LMFAO ... and he claims Romney is the one who got physical first!

It all went down shortly after the two parties boarded a flight from Vancouver to Los Angeles on Monday.

According to a video confessional from LMFAO's Sky Blu, it all started when he leaned his seat back while the plane was still on the tarmac ... and Romney, who was sitting behind him, started yelling at him to put his seat back up.

Sky Blu claims Romney then reached forward and grabbed his shoulder ... so he slapped the Presidential wannabeen's hand away. Shortly after, authorities boarded the plane and escorted Sky Blu off the flight ... and the other member of LMFAO got it all on tape.

On Tuesday, Romney's spokesperson said Sky Blu became "physically violent" when asked to put his seat up ... but the spokesperson never mentioned whether or not Romney puts his hands on him.

Sky (a Democrat) says it was an "unfortunate situation" and he's sure Mitt (a Republican) is a "nice guy" ... but not someone he'd vote for.


I loathe LMFAO so I am unironically Team Mittens this time.
♪ and this is the fame
  • schmiss

Shenanigans Friday: February 19, 2010.

"Dressing is a matter of taste, and I've met very few LOLpublicans with good taste."-Willie Brown
Please exploit these resources:
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MOAR Picture Sources:

by girlthatyoufear

School bans 'slovenly' mothers from wearing pyjamas when they drop their children off

Schools are following Tesco's example and taking a stand against parents who turn up at the gates wearing pyjamas.

They are chastising parents for dropping children off - and collecting them in the afternoon - without first changing out of their nightwear and slippers.

One head has written to parents warning that their failure to get dressed for the school run is 'slovenly and rude'.


Parents are being urged to dress appropriately when dropping their children off at school

He took action after up to 50 mothers a day began arriving in the mornings wearing pyjamas and slippers.

The moves comes after a Tesco store in Cardiff took the unprecedented step of banning customers from shopping in their nightwear.


Staff at the branch imposed a dress code after noticing that large numbers of women were walking down the aisles in dressing gowns, pyjamas and slippers.


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Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Australia tells Japan: Stop whaling or face court

Australia tells Japan: Stop whaling or face court

Australia has set a deadline for Japan to stop whaling in the Southern Ocean by November this year, or face international legal action.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he was still hopeful that talks with Japan would lead to a voluntary halt.

Japan's Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada is to visit Australia this weekend.

Despite a 1986 international moratorium on commercial whaling, Japan kills hundreds of whales each year, ostensibly for scientific research.

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I don't think this will end well. It seems like Japan is doing the whole "scientific purposes" as a nice little cover so it won't look bad by outright rejecting the IWC moratorium but can still whale--a "polite fiction," so to speak. But being called on it is not going go over well, especially with the claims it's cultural. I think if push comes to shove, it's more likely that Japan will object and declare itself exempt, rather than stop.

Welcome to Florida! Don't want babies? Go to jail.

An expansive measure to make most abortions illegal in Florida has been filed for the 2010 Legislative session, challenging federal protections in place for more than 40 years.

Both anti-abortion advocates and abortion rights supporters agree the 53-page proposal is an attempt to directly challenge the 40-year-old Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortions in the United States in 1973.

“The Legislature finds that there have been 50 million abortions in the United States since the Roe decision,” the bill reads. “ The Legislature further finds that every life lost to abortion was sacred and of the highest value.”

Sponsored by Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka, HB 1097 would criminalize most abortions now allowed under state and federal law, increase penalties for physicians who perform such services and require pregnant women to receive more information on adoption. The bill was filed Wednesday, the same day that right to life groups made the trek to Tallahassee to meet lawmakers and rally support.

Except in cases where a woman’s life is considered in danger, doctors who perform abortions would face first degree felonies punishable by up to life in prison and civil fines. Van Zant’s measure makes clear its intent to invalidate Roe V. Wade and drastically reduce the number of abortions allowed.

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EDIT: Source.

Britain Snarks On Canada? NO WAI

Vancouver needs to stop being so touchy about criticism of the 2010 Games. Ridicule is all part of the Olympic ideal


"Piss off Brits," concludes a furious email typical of the Guardian's Vancouver Olympics mailbag, Collapse )

Just a bit of catty fluff to break the gloom of winer. And I'd like to state for the record that this is a British article in a British paper and does not reflect the warm, lasting and fraternal love the US feels for Canada. Don't hit us, Canada! WE HEART U SO MUCH.

Source is snarky indeed
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

I bet no one saw this defense coming...

Lawyer: Prof. accused in slayings likely insane

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The lawyer for an Alabama college professor accused of killing three colleagues during a faculty meeting said Thursday he believes the teacher is insane, and that she says she can't remember the shootings.

Amy Bishop, who has a doctorate from Harvard University and has taught at the University of Alabama in Huntsville since 2003, has severe mental problems that appear to be paranoid schizophrenia, said Roy W. Miller, her court-appointed attorney.

Miller spoke in an interview with The Associated Press on the same day hundreds of mourners attended the first funeral and memorial services for Bishop's slain co-workers.

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Yeah, I don't even. But seriously, the defense is claiming she felt so entitled to tenure because she was a Harvard grad that she snapped when she didn't get it? Wooooow. :/
nobody / travis

Olbermann: Ann Coulter is a man har har

Transcript: But our winner in our special not worst person in the world competition, Coulter Geist. A column in which she announced she suddenly stopped believing that Iran‘s President Ahmadinejad lies when he says his country has nuclear capacity, now just takes his word for it, veered off into some really weird territory.

Of me, she writes, “after donning his mother‘s house coat, undergarments, and fuzzy slippers, then Olbermann‘s even creepier sidekick, androgynous ‘Newsweek‘ correspondent Richard Wolffe, then Olbermann‘s most macho guest, Rachel Maddow.” Now, I know your reaction to this. Usually even political points don‘t go invoking other people‘s recently deceased mothers, and Coulter‘s continuing self-revelatory obsession with sexual identity really suggests a hell of a back-story in her own life. But I‘m going to defend this.

All I have to say about Ann Coulter is this: if this guy wants to live his life as a woman, I‘m going to back his choice up 100 percent.


they're both childish idiots
ppg || adorable
  • brecho

white flight

Report: Racial gap grows in charter schools

The racial gap is widening with the increase in charter schools in Arizona and other states due to a lack of regulation and enforcement of existing civil-rights regulations, a group of researchers based at the University of California-Los Angeles said in a new report.
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Support for the public health insurance option is surging in the Senate. It began with three freshman Democrats in the House, Alan Grayson (Fla.), Chellie Pingree (Maine) and Jared Polis (Colo.). The campaign has taken place almost exclusively online.

Grayson organized an online petition calling for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to include a public option in health care reform using reconciliation, process that requires only fifty votes plus a tie-breaker from Vice President Joe Biden. Pingree and Polis persuaded more than 100 House members to sign on to a letter urging Reid to do the same.

The entire effort has been organized on the outside by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America and Credo Action. The members behind the movement have been rewarded by online donors.

On Tuesday, four Senate Democrats joined the effort, urging Reid to pass a public option using reconciliation. The group was led by Sen. Michael Bennet, facing a primary challenge in Colorado. Sen. Kirstin Gillibran, facing a primary in New York, was also one of the initial four. Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Jeff Merkley (Oregon) rounded out the foursome.

Reid isn't the only Senator who could re-introduce the public option into the debate. Under the rules of reconciliation, any Senator can bring it to the floor as an amendment.

The remarkable thing about the surge in support is that it has happened during a week when Congress is in recess and reporters have a hard time reaching senators. When they return on Monday, look for the number to begin rising again

We've been following the growth of the movement and updating below as more and more Democrats sign on to the call to action. Find out where your senators stand here.

UPDATE: Friday, 5:39 PM -- Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) signed the public-option letter Friday afternoon, his spokeswoman, Kate Kelly, tells HuffPost.

UPDATE: Friday, 4:25 PM -- Reid is getting behind the effort. "Senator Reid has always and continues to support the public option as a way to drive down costs and create competition," said aide Rodell Mollineau in a statement provided to the Huffington Post. "That is why he included the measure in his original health care proposal. If a decision is made to use reconciliation to advance health care, Senator Reid will work with the White House, the House, and members of his caucus in an effort to craft a public option that can overcome procedural obstacles and secure enough votes."

Read the rest at the AWESOME SAUCE

I love the fact that it took a Freshman members of Congress to get this thing off the ground, and that virtually all of the support rallied was through the use of online channels. 


Gay GOP Group To Republican Homophobes: 'Who's The Pansy?'

The head of the gay Republican group GOProud had a question for the socially-conservative National Organization for Marriage Friday: "Who's the pansy?"

As luck (or a conference organizer with a sense of humor) would have it, GOProud's booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference is located two booths down from the National Organization for Marriage -- opposite-sex marriage, that is. When CNN started shooting a story on the gay Republican group's experience at CPAC on Thursday, the NOM delegation sent someone over to shake hands, suggest a beer summit, and smile for the cameras.

After the CNN segment ran Friday, however, NOM, under pressure, felt compelled to blast out a statement that fell well short of an invitation to guzzle some suds. "We welcome everyone's right to participate in the democratic process, but we have a message for GOProud on marriage: If you try to elect pro-gay-marriage Republicans, we will Dede Scozzafava them. The majority of Americans, and the vast majority of Republicans, support marriage as the union of husband and wife, and NOM is here to make sure these voters and their voices are heard loud and clear," the statement reads.

Say it to our faces, GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia said. We're standing right next to you.

"When the cameras are rolling, they can fake a smile. But when they have a message for us, they're not even man enough to walk 20 feet. They have to issue a press release," LaSalvia told HuffPost. "So I've been saying, who's the pansy at CPAC?"


What frakking, two-faced cowards these people are. 

Btw, I'm still finding it hilarious that the name of the group is "NOM".  That just never gets old.  LOL!

Fox News: Protecting Your Children from the Liberal College Menace

Fox News reports on a new study that shows a college degree skews a person's political beliefs and can turn you into a liberal. And also apparently dumb.

Here's the video

Some Troubling New Study was trotted out yesterday as proof of horrible higher learning INDOCTRINATION. Terrible liberal indoctrination. Some Vulcan-browed guest host (Kilmeade... dead?) on Fox & Friends, a show whose mother is the former governor of Alaska, wonders if there's anything that can be done to stop this. Master educational theorist Lionel Trilling Tucker Carlson was on hand to tell you that there are certain advantages in sending your little Emile to college, but that you really need to be careful. There aren't enough conservative professors at big schools, not nearly enough!, and that is cause for concern. According to the study a lot of college graduates are also complete idiots, so thus Liberalism = Idiocy in Fox's sound deductive reasoning. Basically the message is this, dear Fox viewers: Probably you shouldn't send your kid to college, because their young impressionable minds will be filled with horrible things like hope for the future and an active interest in genuinely fostering open-minded civic discourse (plus: beer and sometimes vagina, though not in Tucker's case), but if you do have to make them into evil, fancy, elitist collegeboys, somewhere like Liberty University is probably your best bet. Because the best education is the one in which your parents' worldview is grafted onto your own.


This is also noted in the article:

So riddle me this: Why is being an intellectual such a bad thing according to Conservatives and why do they believe that college is making people liberal?

Anecdata: When I was in college I was never taught the liberal tenets of law. I was taught things like how to find delta s if you knew delta t and what was formed if you had an alcohol and a base in solution. So maybe Harvard isn't such a bastion of liberal ideology like we thought? (Yale on the other hand...)