February 20th, 2010

pen

BNP welcomes former Right Wing Australian Politician

Ummm yeah, even so, I'm still glad Pauline Hanson is leaving Australia. But the BNP sounds scary, yes?



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THE leader of the British National Party has declared that Pauline Hanson would not be regarded as an ''immigrant sponger'' if she moved to Britain, and if she wished to play a political role she would be ''very welcome''.

But the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, warned that Ms Hanson should choose carefully where she makes her home, as Britain has become one of the ''most overcrowded'' nations in the world, thanks to the Labour Party's decision to admit ''3 million spongers''. He told the Herald that more than 100,000 ''indigenous'' Londoners had fled the British capital every year over the past two decades, driven out by immigration.


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Reporting

Once upon a burka – Part 1

It’s oppressive. It’s degrading. It’s this, it’s that. Jack Straw claimed this, Nicholas Sarkozy mentioned that. Let us liberate them in Afghanistan, let us liberate them in France. Yawn. I am getting fed up of these burka stories. They seem to be never ending and at times very cringe worthy. ’Burka woman sacked from her job!’  ’Lets liberate the burka women!’ ’Lady in burka aids Al Qaeda!’ ‘Burka lady almost kidnaps Obama!’ Now, I know you are probably raising your eyebrow, I wouldn’t blame you actually. Before you jump to conclusion about what I am going to express, give this veiled woman the voice that many claim I do not have and kindly listen to me. 

The over use of the term ‘burka’ has made it almost unattractive to me; therefore I will be referring to it as niqab.

I have joined the minority of Muslim women who wear the niqab in the West. As a matter of fact, I have been wearing it for 42 days now – yes I count, you got a problem? I am only kidding; of course you do not have a problem. I live in London, attend university and therefore do a lot of travelling. I still do, and I love it. Do not get me wrong, it’s not easy knowing that on the train some commuters are weary of you or perhaps worried. I get a lot of stares, sometimes the odd disapproving look. I myself once used to question why some Muslim women would put themselves through the difficulty of wearing niqab in the West, on buses and on trains. At the same time I admired their confidence, but never would I have thought I would be one of them. I recall being told “Babe just move to bloody Saudi Arabia” by a friend when I turned up at her doorstep covered from head to toe. I laughed it off secretly wishing she didn’t mean it. I too thought like that once.

The train had been delayed, so I’d be a few minutes late for my lecture. Brilliant. My first time back after the Christmas holidays, I was going to have to walk in front of everybody while wearing niqab. I began to feel sick. I took a deep breath, uttered some prayers and put my trust in God.

Walking into the lecture theatre was not what I had anticipated whatsoever. My nerves had disappeared. Stepping inside I saw heads turn immediately and lips began to move, strangely enough none of it bothered me, come to think of it, I may actually enjoyed my few seconds of fame that morning. With confidence I paced down the steps to the front of the lecture hall. I sat at the row I’d always sit at, with the girls I’d met from last semester. They too looked a bit stunned, and began quizzing me; I told them I’d answer all their questions after the lecture.

I know why niqab is disliked; I’ve heard the “disadvantages” of wearing it in the West, I’ve been told that I am selfish; that I will not be able to communicate with others; that it is unattractive; that to some individuals it represents something which is absurd or ancient. I’ve heard it all. Niqab is strange to the West because it is not part of the culture. But why does that all of a sudden make me an outsider to society? A lot of veiled women contribute to society; I’ve witnessed some that are teachers, doctors and journalists. They work and pay taxes like every one else, for those who may think that ‘niqabis’ are immigrants who speak no English and sit at home all day.

I am not going to play a victim. I am a strong woman and I will defend myself if I have to. I’ve made a decision which  I agree has giving me many challenges, but with the my effort and help of God, I will be all right. I understand that at times I may have to make extra effort with members of the public in order to portray myself as less hostile. My advice to you who are still curious or in doubt, ask a Muslim lady how she feels, approach her in the streets, ask her questions, say hi.  At times I really wished I had a placard which read “Talk to me, I don’t bite”

Source

Chibis- ChibiKeith

Remember the poor man who 'communicated' after 23 years in a coma? About that....

The 'medical breakthrough' was no such thing, says doctor who treated Rom Houben



Denis Campbell Health correspondent
* guardian.co.uk, Friday 19 February 2010 23.45 GMT


It seemed to be a medical miracle: the car crash victim assumed for 23 years to be in a coma who was suddenly found to be conscious and able to communicate by tapping on a computer.

The skeptics said it was impossible – and it was. The story of Rom Houben of Belgium, which made headlines worldwide last November when he was shown to be "talking", was today revealed to have been nothing of the sort.

Dr Steven Laureys, one of the doctors treating him, acknowledged that his patient could not make himself understood after all. Facilitated communication, the technique said to have made Houben's apparent contact with the outside world possible, did not work, Laureys declared.

"We did not have all the facts before," he said. "To me, it's enough to say that this method doesn't work." Just three months ago the doctor was proclaiming that Houben had been trapped in his own body, the victim of a horrendous ­misdiagnosis, and only rescued from his terrible plight thanks to medical advances.

At that time Houben was pictured using the technology, which involves a speech therapist being guided by a patient to write words using a keyboard. A basic test appeared to prove it was indeed Houben who was communicating. "I shall never forget the day when they discovered what was truly wrong with me," Houben apparently tapped. "It was my second birth. I want to read, talk with my friends via the computer and enjoy my life now that people know I am not dead."

"Just imagine," he purportedly typed. "You hear, see, feel and think, but no one can see that."

Laureys, leader of the coma science group and department of neurology at Liege University hospital, said a study he had done of three speech therapists working with minimally-conscious patients showed that in two cases, including Houben's, facilitated communication failed. "From the start, I did not prescribe this technique. But it is important not to make judgments. His family and care­givers acted out of love and compassion," he said.

The turnaround vindicates those doctors who had doubted Houben's apparent ability. "It's like using an Ouija board," said Arthur Caplan, a professor of bio­ethics at the University of Pennsylvania. "It was too good to be true, and we shouldn't have believed it."

Facilitated communication can be used with some patients but should be avoided with patients such as Houben who are severely brain injured, said Tom McMillan, a professor of neuropsychology at Glasgow University. "It has an inter­mediary who can exert control and that can affect the outcome," he said.
Citadel

40 Days of Anti-Choice Harassement

Today* marks the start of "40 Days for Life," a campaign of escalated harassment outside targeted reproductive health clinics. Anti-choice bullies are working to turn out folks at clinics in the US, Canada, Australia, and Northern Ireland.

While many clinics have regular street harassers, 40 Days engages folks who have never done this before. The campaign is framed as being mostly about prayer, and there will be an increased number of folks praying outside clinics. These people are using what should be a personal religious action to guilt and shame women. But there will also be an increased number of sidewalk stalkers, folks who more actively harass anyone walking into or out of (or even just near) a clinic.

Antis who are outside the clinic every week can use some pretty disgusting tactics, but there's definitely an elevated level of concern when antis who have never done this before are present. New antis often don't know or really care about any rules that exist outside a clinic. They bring new energy and zeal to trying to stop every woman from accessing reproductive health services. Even just increased numbers of antis can lead to confusion and a more visible barrier to access.

There is a list of targeted clinics on the "40 Days for Life" website. If a clinic in your area is being targeted and you feel up to taking on this work, please contact your clinic or local clinic escorts to find out the best ways to get involved (I'd recommend Googling the name of the clinic or "clinic escorts" and your city and state).

A heartfelt thanks to everyone taking on the unfortunately necessary work of increased clinic defense during this campaign of cruelty, lies, and hate.

Source.

* = Poster's note: this was originally written on the 17th, but I forgot about it until I got to go see a crowd of folks with dead baby signs outside my local women's clinic. Oh, and I have an appointment there. Yaaaaaay. -_-
squid

Rep Himes (CT) jokes about Rep Weiner actually using time with the President to promote single payer

So you have the president's ear and you try and push a policy that will help your constituents? REALLY? How silly! Just sit back, STFU and enjoy the 'cushy' plane ride Tony W!




the lulz start at the 20 second mark. Talking shop with the President, HOW SILLY.

>:(

seriously. This is why Anthony Weiner (D-NY 9) >>>>>> Jim Himes (D-CT 4)

and A+ to the blogger who calls him out on it.

Source : MyLeftNutmeg via EPlurbusMedia
Murasaki Shikibu

Nine-One-Whaaaa?

Forced to pay for 911 calls

How would you like to get the bill for calling police or an ambulance every time you had an emergency? Dialing 911 is going to cost some taxpayers in California hundreds.

Lawmakers in Tracy, California have decided to charge residents for calling for help. The fees will range between $50 and $400. Residents say they're outraged and they're taxes should cover those costs.

Greg Bidlack said, “It's a $300 fee. You don't want to be thinking about that while somebody is in need of assistance.”

California city leaders say it was a split decision but they needed to find a way to close a $9-million budget gap.

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Tracy Residents Now Have To Pay For 911 Calls

Tracy residents will now have to pay every time they call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency.

But there are a couple of options. Residents can pay a $48 voluntary fee for the year which allows them to call 9-1-1 as many times as necessary.

Or, there's the option of not signing up for the annual fee. Instead, they will be charged $300 if they make a call for help.


"A $300 fee and you don't even want to be thinking about that when somebody is in need of assistance," said Tracy resident Greg Bidlack.

Residents will soon receive the form in the mail where they'll be able to make their selection. No date has been set for when the charges will go into effect.

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California really needs to fix its laws on raising taxes, because oh my god.
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Aubrey Beardsley

Scientists: 10% chance of catastrophic climate change is not "good news".

"A Small Price for a Large Benefit"


FORECASTS involving climate change are highly uncertain, denialists assert — a point that climate researchers themselves readily concede. The denialists view the uncertainty as strengthening their case for inaction, yet a careful weighing of the relevant costs and benefits supports taking exactly the opposite course.

Organizers of the recent climate conference in Copenhagen sought, unsuccessfully, to forge agreements to limit global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. But even an increase that small would cause deadly harm. And far greater damage is likely if we do nothing.

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Rosenwald Schools: Reclaiming a Legacy

Across the country, schoolchildren have been studying Black History Month. But many Americans know very little about a group of schools that educated hundreds of thousands of Black children and are their own key piece of Black history. From 1913 to 1932, nearly 5,000 “Rosenwald schools” were built in 15 states, mostly in rural Southern communities. These schools were built specifically to educate Black children and by 1928 one in three rural Black schoolchildren in the South attended a Rosenwald school. Their history, and the remaining school buildings themselves, are now being reclaimed and preserved.

 

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