March 4th, 2010

Transsexuals in Landmark Case in Western Australia

Two female-to-male transsexuals should be able to keep female organs that allow them to bear children and still be legally recognised as men, it was argued in a landmark test of WA's gender reassignment laws yesterday.

The Court of Appeal case is expected to set a legal precedent which could define the extent of medical intervention required for females to have their gender reassigned to male.

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Ummm...what the hell just happened, Wake County Public School System?

Diversity policy voted down in tense meeting

RALEIGH In a chaotic and conflict-filled meeting, Wake County's school board voted Tuesday night to kill the district's long-standing diversity policy and begin implementing neighborhood schools.

By a 5-4 vote, the board gave the first of two approvals needed to pass a resolution calling for abandoning busing for diversity, a policy that has won Wake national recognition and has been an important factor in student assignments for decades. The resolution calls for assigning students to schools in their communities.

The vote, which signals fundamental change for the state's largest district, came at the end of a day of tense, emotional meetings.

The sessions started at 10 a.m. and included grim budget news from Superintendent Del Burns. There was a closed-door session to decide whether Burns, a strong supporter of the diversity policy, would be fired before he retires June 30. And as afternoon stretched toward evening, there were hours of public comment, including a near-violent disturbance over a speaker's accusations of racism.

Supporters of the board's ruling coalition hailed the diversity vote as a step toward providing families more stability. But critics complained the measure would lead to resegregation and deepen the academic divide between impoverished and affluent schools. In a spirited impromptu demonstration after the vote, they vowed to keep fighting and echoed the civil rights protesters of the 1960s.


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The End of Times is Here! Ravenous Locust Goes Hollywood!

"For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land of Real America was darkened; and they did take every swag from the gift baskets, and all the jewelry from the display cases which the hail had left: and there remained not any beauty products in the stores, or designer clothes on display, through all the land of Hollywood."

Palin At Oscar Gift Suite: Sarah Palin And Entourage 'Like Locusts'

Sarah Palin aligns her public image with the heartland, but it appears the former Alaska Governor has gone Hollywood. And when she leaves, she may be taking some of it with her.

On top of an appearance on the Tonight Show and rumors that she's shopping around a TV show with reality producer Mark Burnett, Palin and her entourage were seen partaking in one of celebrity's lushest rituals -- the Oscar gifting suite.

While the group was loading up on freebies, the Los Angeles Times reported that, "Palin's middle child, Willow, got her hair styled, receiving a blowout from Erick Orellana of the Chris McMillan Salon (Jennifer Aniston's longtime hairstylist)."

The Times also indicated that Palin was supposed to donate $1,700 along with all of her gift items to the Red Cross, which is currently helping with relief efforts in Haiti and Chile.

But E! Online insists, "we can assure you she did not give up any of her swag." They quote an unnamed vendor who claims that upwards of 20 people from the Palin camp swarmed the event. "They were like locusts," he told the entertainment news outlet.
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Shirley Animated

Colorado "Personhood" Amendment Part II: FAILURE IMMINENT

DENVER - Supporters of a proposed ballot measure that could lead to a ban on abortions in Colorado have another chance to collect signatures after the Colorado secretary of state announced some of the signatures supporters had turned were not valid.

Volunteers with Personhood Colorado had said they collected nearly 4,000 more signatures than the 76,047 needed by the Feb. 12 deadline.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Bernie Buescher announced that a random 5-percent sample selected by computer found 969 invalid signatures. When using that sample to project the total number of valid signatures, the Secretary of State's Office determined only 60,357 were valid.

The proposal would change the definition of humans in the state constitution to include fertilized embryos.

The Secretary of State's office has given supporters another 15 days to collect sufficient signatures. The new deadline is 3 p.m. on March 18.

A similar ballot issue failed in 2008.


When will these idiots realize that Colorado is NOT down with banning the pill?
franklin sherman

Local government fines lady $150.00 per day for painting colorful flowers on her garage.

HILLIARD, Ohio—A local artist faces fines of as much as $150 per day for a mural that city officials say violates zoning guidelines.

NBC 4 reported with the FAST FACTS.

Kelley Daniel painted what has become a controversial mural on the side of her garage in summer 2009.

Daniel said she first heard from Hilliard zoning officials late last year. Officials said her giant sunflower mural violates zoning codes.

City officials wrote a letter to Daniel Feb. 19, ordering her to remove the mural or face a fine of as much as $150 per day.

The city gave her until Monday, March 1, to remove it.

The mural remained on her garage Monday.

“Who would paint in 30-degree weather? The paint wouldn’t stick,“ Daniel said.

She also said she doesn’t agree with officials’ argument.

According to the letter sent by zoning officials, she allegedly has violated codes that say garage colors must match or be compatible with those of the house, exterior colors should be subdued and no more than two colors should be used on old Hilliard buildings.

“I don’t agree with what they’re saying—that I’m in violation,“ Daniel said. “There’s nothing in the code or the guidelines about murals.“

The letter said Daniel has until Thursday, March 11, to appeal. She said she plans to appeal.

Officials with the city of Hilliard maintained the mural is a code violation and said a hearing will be scheduled to discuss the matter with all parties involved.

Beyond that, officials weren’t commenting further.

If things don’t go her way, Daniel said she has two options: “My next step would either be to go to court or paint over it in two colors … I could paint a mural in two colors, but it might not be as nice.“
franklin sherman

Orange County sues couple for water-saving lawn.

Orange officials sue couple who removed their lawn
City codes require that live landscaping cover 40% of the yard. Quan and Angelina Ha say their water use has dropped 80% since they replaced the grass with wood chips and drought-tolerant plants.

Some Southern California cities fine residents for watering their lawns too much during droughts.

But in Orange, officials are locked in a legal battle with a couple accused of violating city ordinances for removing their lawn in an attempt to save water.

The dispute began two years ago, when Quan and Angelina Ha tore out the grass in their frontyard. In drought-plagued Southern California, the couple said, the lush grass had been soaking up tens of thousands of gallons of water -- and hundreds of dollars -- each year.

They said they were trying to do something good for the environment.

"We've got a newborn, so we want to start worrying about her future," said Quan Ha, an information technology manager for Kelley Blue Book.

But city officials told the Has they were violating several city laws that require residents to cover significant portions of their frontyards with live ground cover. On Tuesday, the couple is scheduled to appear in Orange County Superior Court to challenge the city's lawsuit against them.

Soon after the city complained about the yard, the Has placed wood chips on top of the dirt, with help from neighbor Dennis Cleek.

"It's their yard, it's not overgrown with weeds, it's not an eyesore," said Cleek, whose own yard boasts fruit trees. "We should be able to have our yards look the way we want them to."

But city officials determined the fix was not acceptable, saying city codes require that 40% of the yard be landscaped predominantly with live plants.

"Compliance, that's all we've ever wanted," said Senior Assistant City Atty. Wayne Winthers.

Last summer, the couple tried to appease the city by building a fence around the yard and planting drought-tolerant greenery -- lavender, rosemary, horsetail and pittosporum, among others.

They sent a photo of the yard to city officials in October. But according to the city, their landscaping still did not comply with city standards.

"They put up a nice fence, but [the photo] didn't show anything about how they had complied with code, as far as the frontyard goes," Winthers said, "nor did it include a site plan."

At the end of January, the Has received a letter saying they had been charged with a misdemeanor violation and must appear in court.

"It's just funny that we pay our taxes to the city and the city is now prosecuting us with our own money," Quan Ha said. "Doesn't it waste funds to go back and forth in court, rather than sending pictures, e-mails and having phone conversations?"

Winthers said he hopes the city can work out a compromise. "We know times are tough, but we're willing to work with them, we'd be more than happy to," he said.

Meanwhile, the couple said they had reduced their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009.,0,3613612.story
gulp ; pd

A New Judicial Approach for Veterans in Trouble With the Law

Nic Gray was a model soldier. He made staff sergeant in an unusually short period of time, and served honorably in Iraq.

When his enlistment was up, he moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., to start a business and get on with the rest of his life. Last October he was on the phone with an old Army buddy, reminiscing about their time in Baghdad. The next thing he remembers is waking up wearing an orange jumpsuit, locked up in jail.

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source and video of the full report.

I apologize that I can't embed the video, PBS and my school computer seem to be having a tiff, but the link should work just fine.

Bart Stupak: Abortion Language in Heath Care Bill is a Must

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who has long raised objections to health care reform based on his anti-abortion stance, said on Thursday that he and several other House members plan to dig in their heels again and may not vote for the final bill.

"We're not going to vote for this bill with that kind of language," Stupak said on ABC's "Good Morning America," a reference to language included in the Senate health bill that Stupak and 11 other Democrats say is not tough enough when it comes to limiting federal funding for abortions.

"I want to see health care pass," Stupak said. "We must have health care but, boy, there are some principles and beliefs that some of us are not going to pass.

"We're prepared to take the responsibility. I mean, I've been catching it ever since last fall. Let's face it, I want to see health care. But we're not going to bypass some principles and beliefs that we feel strongly about."


Hey, Guyz! You Can Get Free P0rn!


Porn For Bibles At Texas College

A student group at the University of Texas-San Antonio likens the Bible to porn -- so much so that they allow students on campus to trade religious texts for pornographic ones during an annual event.

The "Smut for Smut" campaign, sponsored by the Atheist Agenda, had a clamorous kick-off Monday on the school's campus. According to the UTSA Paisano:

A screaming, singing throng of UTSA students circled around the steps running from the JPL to the MS, anchored to a small booth offering the strange trade as opponents of the Atheist Agenda's methods gathered in protest ... Signs carried above the crowd included messages such as "Jesus Saves" and "Jesus loves the Atheist Agenda," as well as more simple ones that consisted of nothing more than a penciled peace sign on a scrap of notebook paper. Others began singing hymns, including "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

Through the growing wind and threats of rain, the two groups grew larger into the afternoon, and police began maintaining a safety buffer between the two groups. Inside this no-man's-land, a third party began to form, composed of proclaimed agnostics asking for peace.

Atheist Agenda President Carlos Morales told The Paisano that the Bible condones the mistreatment as much as pornography. "I wouldn't want to live by what they call 'morality' in the bible," he said.

The San Antonio Express-News reports that the event has garnered a large following, locally and nationally.

The Atheist Agenda started at UTSA in 2005, and their first "Smut for Smut" campaign blew up into a national media sensation. Past president Thomas Jackson was deluged with interview requests, and debated Tucker Carlson, the bow-tie-wearing conservative pundit, on MSNBC.

By the end of the day Monday, the group received ten religious texts. The event will continue until mid-week.

RNC to Hold Gun Orgy. Younglings Under 40 Are Welcomed

No Indication if Cartman Will Be Master of Ceremonies.

Blackwater RNC Fundraiser: RNC Will Hold Fundraising Meeting At Contractor's Compound

The Republican National Committee plans to hold an April fundraiser at a Moyock, N.C. compound owned by the military contracting firm formerly known as Blackwater, Politico reports.

According to an RNC fundraising document uncovered on Wednesday, RNC "Young Eagles" -- party major donors under 40 -- will meet at the facility in the spring.

Also on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) has written a letter to the Justice Department asking for an investigation of Raytheon's alleged use of the Blackwater subsidiary, Paravant, for a contract in Afghanistan.

Levin has also suggested that the Pentagon should no longer consider granting a $1 billion contract to Xe Services LLC (formely, Blackwater) due to "serious questions" about the contractor's conduct.

It was recently reported that Blackwater employees took hundreds of firearms from both the U.S. Mmilitary and Afghan police forces using the South Park alias "Eric Cartman."

Villaraigosa shocked at celebration of O.J. Simpson, RuPaul, Dennis Rodman at L.A. Black History Mon

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa expressed shock over allegations that three teachers at a South Los Angeles elementary school encouraged students to celebrate O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul during Black History Month.

The teachers have been suspended as the L.A. Unified School district investigates. According to officials, children at Wadsworth Avenue Elementary School were carrying pictures of the men at a parade Friday on the school playground.

"I am shocked and outraged by the actions of these teachers at Wadsworth Elementary School," Villaraigosa said in a statement. "These teachers undermined the school's well-intentioned celebration, and they did so at the expense of elementary school students. Their actions were not only cynical, but did a terrible disservice to the students, their families and all of the teachers who work hard on a daily basis to build trust and a productive learning environment."

Los Angeles Unified School District spokeswoman Gayle Pollard-Terry said Supt. Ramon C. Cortines learned about the incident Tuesday and had the teachers, who are white, pulled from their classrooms for the duration of an investigation. The suspension is without pay for the first three days.



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Haiti quake sparks interest in 'voluntourism'

When the going gets tough, the compassionate get going.

The January earthquake in Haiti prompted a spike in interest in service vacations, sometimes called "voluntourism," several organizations report.

"We've seen a tremendous uptick with groups interested in coming to Haiti," said Brett Curtis, chief operating officer of Youth With a Mission San Diego-Baja, a Christian organization that organizes service trips for young people. "We haven't turned any away yet. We're telling them we'll have some information in the next few weeks about how they'll be deployed." reported it received 46 percent more applications than expected since the earthquake.

At, the number of people inquiring specifically about volunteering in Haiti in the month following the earthquake was almost three times the site's normal traffic about volunteering in general, said Erin Barnhart, the organization's director of volunteerism initiatives.

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Beware of the chair

Sitting down is bad for you - very bad. So much so that some workplaces are starting to act. Lissa Christopher, who wrote this story standing up, reports.

The time has come for office chairs to come with a health warning and ''upholstered, height-adjustable weapons of mass destruction'' might not be too much an exaggeration.

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media invented controversy of the week.

Saw this over on ONTD. Personally I find this a bit rage-inducing. The biggest question here should not be what or why someone lets thier kid have short hair. It should only be WHY is it ok for the paparazzi to stalk a child? .  NEWS for the morons who created this headline:  You can't "turn" someone - even a child- into a different gender.   Here I see a tabloid using a celeb-child to parrot their conservative audience's worst fears. Liberul Hollywood Parents turnin their kids queer/trans/gay/( enter gender- phobia here.) Wher the hell does the media get off deciding some other parent's method for dressing thier kids? Of course many of these "focus on the family" types would be happier if the girl was slathered in lipstick and makeup and dressed up like a tramp for a beauty pagent  or  a celeb kid version of  Hos before Bros.

Tabloid Mag: Is Angie Making Shiloh a Boy?

By Editors

“Why Is Angelina Turning Shiloh Into a Boy?” the cover of this week’s Life & Style magazine asks readers. Claiming Angelina Jolie refuses to let her 3-year-old daughter wear dresses and insists on calling her “John,” the accompanying article then cites “expert” opinions on whether the behavior is harmful to the child... including a rep for antigay group Focus on the Family.

"Little girls have never been women before. They need help, they need guidance of what that looks like,” Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton says in the magazine. “It’s important to teach our children that gender distinction is very healthy.”

Celebrity stylist Gili Rashal-Niv offers, "I get that times are tough but does Angie really need to have Shiloh sharing clothes with her brothers? Hopefully we won’t be seeing Maddox in one of Shiloh’s dresses any time soon.”

A spokesperson for Life & Style magazine issued the following statement to The Advocate:

Life & Style's cover story ‘Why Is Angelina Turning Shiloh Into a Boy?’ presents experts speaking from all viewpoints in the debate over Shiloh's new look, which immediately ignited controversy all across the media. The feature provides our readers with a comprehensive look inside one of the biggest entertainment news stories right now.” {Biggest, Biggest? ORLY???? OREALLY? Nobody would give  fuck if you weren't pushing this angle- YOU created this "news" not them.}

But the National Center for Transgender Equality says the article is just pushing outdated stereotypes.

“The length of Shiloh's hair or the clothes she wears are really matters for her and her parents to decide; this is a family that is known for their fashion,” Justin Tanis, outreach manager for NCTE tells The Advocate. “What's important here is that every child, including Shiloh, has the opportunity to express herself and explore her world in a way that is safe and nurturing for her. Our society needs healthy, well-rounded children whose interests and tastes are as diverse as the children themselves and are not limited by outdated stereotypes of gender. Shiloh — and all other children — deserve the right to be themselves in ways that feel right to them as they learn and grow.”

Representatives from GLAAD have reached out to Life & Style to "educate the editors about how to fairly and accurately report on gender identity issues." Senior Director of Programs issued the following statement to The Advocate.
"Life & Style is way off the mark with this outrageous coverage. Perpetuating gender stereotypes and targeting children for ridicule about the way they dress is unacceptable, regardless of their parent’s celebrity status. Media has a responsibility to differentiate between credible authorities and politically motivated (and usually self-proclaimed) 'experts' like Focus on the Family's Glenn Stanton, who is not an expert on developmental issues or gender identity."
yes i do

Palin pitching TV show


Will Sarah Palin and her family be starring in a new reality television series? Not quite, a source close to the former Alaska governor tells CNN.

While Palin and famed reality TV producer Mark Burnett are in New York and Los Angeles this week meeting with six networks about a new series - a story first reported Wednesday by Entertainment Weekly - the source emphasized that the show would be a "Planet Earth-style" documentary about Alaska.

Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, will likely be featured in the show, the source said. But the source added that "it's not going to be focused on her family, or in her house, or in Wasilla.

"She is just going to use her name to help produce and promote the show," said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The source said Palin is following up on her promise last summer, when she resigned from the governor's office, to find new ways to shine a light on her home state.

"This is not 'The Osbournes Go North'," said the source, referencing the MTV reality show that featured rock singer Ozzy Osbourne's family. "This is not a reality show based on the Palins."


Top Ten Most Disgusting Attacks On Conservative Women

This isn't an official women's history post, just so you know.


March is Women’s History Month, in which we acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions of women in history and in society today. But for a select group of women – conservative women – their accomplishments and contributions are rarely celebrated but often demeaned and mocked in sexist – and crassly sexual – ways. The Culture & Media Insitute looked back at what the media had to say over the past year about some of today’s most prominent conservative women, including Michelle Malkin, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sarah Palin and Liz Cheney, and compiled a list of the 10 worst attacks on these women who dare to speak out in favor of conservative values. Much of the criticism was the worst sort of misogyny with a dose of violence and disgusting adolescent sex references thrown in for good measure. The media outlets in question ranged from Playboy magazine to MSNBC to Sirius XM radio and included comments from both men and women.The message that rang through loud and clear was that perspectives from conservative women were not appreciated or welcomed, and if a woman stepped out of line, she deserved whatever treatment she received.

10. Liz Cheney, Daddy’s Little Girl?

MSNBC and liberal talk radio host Ed Schultz labeled Liz Cheney, daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, nothing more than a daddy’s girl during his Sept. 29 MSNBC program, “The Ed Show.”
“There’s a couple of gals who’ve been riding the wave of crazy that’s been sweeping the nation’s right-wingers: ‘Shooter’s little girl, Liz Cheney, has been hitting the lecture circuit, parroting daddy’s fear-mongering rhetoric,” stated Schultz. Of course, Liz Cheney is no simple “daddy’s girl.” She holds a law degree from the University of Chicago, and served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. A liberal woman with the same qualifications as Cheney would never be categorized as a “daddy’s girl” but as an empowered woman in her own right

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Ideological issues aside, I think there's a need to discuss the obvious double standard of treatment. Also, feel free to discuss situations where it occured in the opposite direction.
:(, boyd, teen wolf


Canada may adopt gender-neutral national anthem

"O Canada," the country's national anthem, has included the line, "True patriot love in all thy sons' command," for nearly 100 years.

Ottawa now wants to start a public discussion on whether Canada should adopt a gender-neutral version of the song.

As part of a policy speech unveiled on Wednesday, the minority Conservative government said it would ask Parliament to look at the original lyrics to the anthem.

Those lyrics, penned in 1908 by Canadian poet Robert Stanley Weir, read "True patriot love thou dost in us command." The version in current use was adopted in 1914.

Industry Minister Tony Clement said the government had not taken any firm decisions yet.

"I think the appropriate way to deal with this is through some sort of process where we have historical research and learned discussion," he told reporters.

Michael Ignatieff, leader of the opposition Liberal party, said if the government was serious about boosting women's rights it could have done something more substantive.

One of the first things the Conservatives did after winning power in January 2006 was to cancel a deal the Liberals had struck to provide a national child-care system.


15 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Students Arrested Protesting Tuition Increase

MILWAUKEE - At least 15 people were arrested when a protest over tuition increases spun out of control on the UWM campus Thursday.

A vice chancellor allowed one of the protesters into Chapman Hall to drop off pamphlets in Chancellor Carlos Santiago's office, then called campus police when dozens of protesters tried to enter the building.

UWM Police called the Milwaukee Police Department for backup, and officers spent an hour rounding up protesters.

A UWM student filmed video of some of the protest:

  • Current Music
    Britney Spears- Mannequin

LAPD Chief, District Attorney Defend Crime Exhibit

(AP) LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles police chief and district attorney are defending their exhibit of evidence from famous crimes including Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's assassination.

They released a letter Thursday after Kennedy's son denounced them in a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece for planning to show the suit the senator wore when he was killed. Maxwell Kennedy called it "a macabre publicity stunt."

Chief Charlie Beck and District Attorney Steve Cooley say they never intended to compound the grief of murder victims' families. Beck and Cooley say they sought to depict the horror of homicide in hopes of deterring violence.

Thursday was the last day the exhibit was open to the public at a Las Vegas casino hotel. Police say thousands have waited in line as long as two hours to see it.

ppg || angry
  • brecho

women's history month with brecho: day four

I don't even have words to express how angry this shit makes me.

From Russia, maybe with love: mail-order brides a booming business

Three to six months worth of e-mails, a 14-day visit to Russia, and a new wife.

That's the promise of Mark Scrivener, a Martensville, Sask., man who on Jan. 1 this year opened a Canadian branch of the Volga Girls mail-order bride service.
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sufjan: mosaic

Alan Grayson is leading the Republican primary... wait... WUT?

Republicans like a politician who stands up for what he believes -- even if he believes the Republican Party is populated by a bunch of "knuckle-dragging Neanderthals."

The candidate leading the Florida GOP primary to determine who will take on Rep. Alan Grayson, the Democrat who represents the Orlando-based district, is none other than Grayson himself, according to a poll paid for by his campaign. Grayson is a freshman congressman who has drawn scorn from the GOP and has quickly built a nationwide following of progressives.

The poll has Grayson leading the 13 Republicans -- among Republicans -- with 27.8 percent of the vote. The congressman who mocked the GOP health care plan by saying that it amounts to telling people not to get sick and if they do, to die quickly, received more support than all of the Republican candidates combined.

No GOP candidate scored above 3.7 percent; 57.7 percent said they were undecided. Grayson did particularly well with women, undercutting the notion that referring to a Washington lobbyist as a "K Street whore" would turn female voters away. (Grayson later apologized for the word choice.)

The poll was conducted on Feb. 26th. There were 324 respondents, all registered Republicans in Florida's eighth district. The poll was conducted by Middleton Market Research.

Naturally, the national GOP establishment dismissed the results -- "This is the most bogus thing I've ever seen in my life," said Andy Seré, Regional Press Secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Grayson told HuffPost that some of the support comes from Republicans who appreciate that he speaks his mind, while some is due to his far-superior name recognition. But the poll also found at least one area where Republican voters thought favorably of him.

In 2009, Grayson, who carries a copy of the Constitution with him, passed a resolution calling on schools to teach the document for one week in September each year.

Over half of the Republicans polled said that they were more likely to vote for Grayson because of the resolution. He has distributed tens of thousands of copies of the Constitution throughout the district, including one to each high school senior. This September, he said, he plans to go to high schools and teach the Constitution personally in the district.


ok, i don't know how unbiased this poll was considering it was initiated and paid for by his campaign, but i still think it's kind of interesting. i know Grayson is one of the HCR crusaders that Republicans are going to threaten to take out in November, so i wonder how that's going to work if he's more popular (or at least more well known) than any of the Republicans running in his district.

Real Americans To Declare Their Own Sovereignty. The Holy Empire of Indiana Declares War on Feds

EvilDevil Soon To Be Crown Supreme King Emperor Czar of Coloradolandia. "I Haz Diplomatic Immunity!"

Indiana’s ‘sovereign citizens’ renounce their U.S. citizenship, claim to secede from the Union.

Indiana RTV6 reports that “an increasing number of Indiana residents” are taking radical right-wing “tenther” beliefs to their logical extreme, declaring themselves “sovereign citizens” exempt from federal law and from paying taxes. These individuals claim their homes are embassies and have started “using identification cards that show them as diplomats.” The state reports that about 10 people a month have been asking for an official seal which supposedly exempts them from paying taxes. Some “sovereign citizens” have even refused to use drivers licenses or plates. When challenged by police, they show a homemade ID and claim that “no one can delay, detain or arrest them without facing damages of $2 million”:
There are plenty of American flags draped on homes along U.S. 36, a road that leads to the home of Donald Moore, who claims to be a diplomatic agent and ambassador — a mark of a so-called sovereign citizen.

Moore, a father of seven, and his wife invited 6News to their home, but decided not to appear on camera.

Moore is equipped with an official looking identification card and a badge, which he said means United States law doesn’t apply to him.

It gives me diplomatic immunity,” Moore said, referring to the ID card. “The way I understand it, the federal government is incorporated, and all the states are incorporated. This takes me out of the corporation.”
Not surprisingly, state officials call these claims “both illegitimate and illegal.” “Just because you allege something or concoct yourself a document doesn’t mean you’re getting off the hook,” said Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita. Indeed, “sovereign citizen” Jonathan Dilley is serving a nearly 4-year sentence in federal prison after he tried to pay off more than $800,000 of debt by making his own currency. Similar groups of “sovereign citizens” have been reported in several other states as well.

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Community: Abed - Christmas

Senators: Lift ban on gays donating blood

WASHINGTON — The time has come to change a policy that imposes a lifetime ban on donating blood for any man who has had gay sex since 1977, 18 senators said Thursday.

"Not a single piece of scientific evidence supports the ban," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who joined 16 other Democrats and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in writing Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

The lawmakers stressed that the science has changed dramatically since the ban was established in 1983 at the advent of the HIV-AIDS crisis. Today donated blood must undergo two different, highly accurate tests that make the risk of tainted blood entering the blood supply virtually zero, they said.

The senators said that while hospitals and emergency rooms are in urgent need of blood products, "healthy blood donors are turned away every day due to an antiquated policy and our blood supply is not necessarily any safer for it."

Brian Moulton, chief legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign,the nation's largest gay rights group, said they are hopeful that the policy, last reviewed in 2006, will change under President Barack Obama, "who is interested in looking at all the policies that have a discriminatory effect." The goal, he said, is "to have policies in place that are based on the science" rather than "any discriminatory idea about our community."

The senators' letter noted that in March 2006, the American Red Cross, America's Blood Centers and the American Association of Blood Banks reported to an FDA-sponsored workshop that the ban "is medically and scientifically unwarranted."

The FDA, in a statement, said that "while FDA appreciates concerns about perceived discrimination, our decision to maintain the deferral policy is based on current science and data and does not give weight to a donor's sexual orientation."

It said that while some groups favor relaxing restrictions, others, "such as those representing the hemophilia community, support continuation of the current policy."

People with hemophilia, a bleeding disorder, require periodic transfusions and in the past, before screening techniques were improved to ensure blood was HIV-free, were among those most at risk of contracting the virus.

Kerry compared the effort to lift the blood donation ban to legislation he backed in 2008 to end the law banning people with HIV from traveling and immigrating to the United States. That ban was lifted last year.

Also signing the letter were Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Dick Durbin and Roland Burris of Illinois, Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Mark Udall and Michael Bennet of Colorado, Al Franken of Minnesota, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Carl Levin of Michigan, Tom Harkin of Iowa, and Mark Begich of Alaska.

Christian Bale

Rap Group Offers Anti-Obama Track "One Term President"

Over the weekend, a rap group called Wolverines posted a video for their song O.T.P. -- that is, "One Term President," which they hope will be the case for President Obama. (The group is selling various "OTP" merchandise.)

Among the lyrics: "I'm sick of smellin' like a mosque after Ramadan" and "Hard core birther here, let me make it clear for you/B. Hussein, he isn't even president, we ain't seen a b.c. he [tore up?] all the evidence."

The rappers featured in the video are identified as Molotov Mitchell, DJ Dolce, the MZA and Constitution Kate. Molotov Mitchell writes has a forum on the right-wind news site World Net Daily, where he offers a video called "Muhammad the pedophile" and says homosexuality is a "self-destructive lifestyle that is both unnecessary and dangerous."

panda bear

(no subject)

Miami Developer Builds Massive Tent City In Haiti

The Miami property developer, volunteering after Haiti's earthquake, was horrified to see children sleeping in the dirt under makeshift tents of bed sheets propped up on sticks. A global, billion-dollar aid effort should be able to do better, he thought.

He decided he could do better himself.

Michael Capponi flew home, collected donated tents, flew them back to Haiti and persuaded a mayor to let him build a proper camp for hundreds of families on the soccer field of a gated community of luxury villas. It took him three days and less than $5,000.

"I didn't put this together to get a pat on the back, but to show the world it can be done rather quickly, and with limited funds," said Capponi, 37.

Haiti has two relief campaigns under way: a massive, lumbering international operation comprising U.N. agencies, foreign military and hundreds of private aid organizations; and the collective efforts of individuals acting on their own in frustration at what they see as shortcomings in the international response.

The do-it-yourself aid workers say the bigger operation is inefficient and confused, and brag about their ability to get things done quickly, on the cheap. Officials with governments and more established relief groups applaud the smaller operations, but say such efforts will never be enough to meet Haiti's enormous needs.

The story of shelter is a case in point.

The United Nations says nearly 1.3 million people – 762,708 of them in metropolitan Port-au-Prince, the devastated capital – don't have anywhere to live, and officials have said for weeks that shelter is their most urgent priority as the rainy season approaches.

But seven weeks after the Jan. 12 catastrophe, the international rescue operation has managed to distribute 23,000 tents and 131,000 tarps, reaching just a third of those in need.

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Christian Bale

NJ Weedman Throws Pot Smoking Party for Pres. Obama

NEW YORK (CBS) President Obama has taken a lot of heat for his hard-to-kick smoking habit, but Ed Forchion, a California transplant, thinks Obama should keep on smoking - and not just cigarettes.

Forchion, who goes by the name NJ Weedman, is throwing the "Obama One Year in Office Celebration" to highlight what he calls the "2010 Reefer Revolution" or perhaps more accurately - isn't it great that California is letting him smoke all this weed?

Forchion runs a marijuana dispensary/cannabis ministry in Hollywood called the Liberty Temple, which seems to dish out religious and political philosophy in support of smoking dope, but mostly just sells pot to people with medical prescriptions.

In California, marijuana can be legally prescribed by doctors and sold by licensed vendors.

"I threw my support behind Obama during his candidacy and now I'm throwing this party for him!," he told Hype Magazine. "President Obama made history when he ended the federal raids on California's dispensaries. Employees and patients alike who operated in fear can now partake in peace in the healing science, art and practice of marijuana smoking."

No word from the White House on whether they will take action against the Weedman for putting Obama's joint-smoking visage on the party poster, but if the Commander-in-Chief wanted to stop by for the March 6 event, he'll need a marijuana medical card. And if Michelle comes along, she can bring a friend. It’s ladies two for one.


They're equally super lucky yet unlucky.

Haitian family survives 2 big quakes in 2 months

SAN BERNARDO, Chile – The Desarmes family left their native Haiti two weeks after the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake, joining the eldest son in Chile for what seemed a refuge from the fear and chaos of Port-au-Prince.

Their sense of security lasted barely a month. It was shattered at 3:43 a.m. Saturday when one of the most powerful quakes on record shook a swath of Chile.

All the Desarmes' immediate family survived both quakes. But twice cursed, the family now sleeps in the garden of a home that the eldest son, Pierre Desarmes, found for them just south of the Chilean capital of Santiago. They fear yet another temblor will strike.

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Christian Bale

The Rise and Fall of a Female Captain Bligh

Women are so common in the upper ranks of the U.S. military these days that it's no longer news when they break through another barrier. Unfortunately, the latest benchmark isn't one to brag about: being booted as captain of a billion-dollar warship for "cruelty and maltreatment" of her 400-member crew. According to the Navy inspector general's report that triggered her removal — and the accounts of officers who served with her — Captain Holly Graf was the closest thing the U.S. Navy had to a female Captain Bligh.

A Navy admiral stripped Graf of her command of the Japan-based guided missile cruiser U.S.S. Cowpens in January. The just-released IG report concludes that Graf "repeatedly verbally abused her crew and committed assault" and accuses her of using her position as commander of the Cowpens "for personal gain." But old Navy hands tell TIME that those charges, substantiated in the IG report, came about because of the poisonous atmosphere she created aboard her ship.

The case has attracted wide notice inside the Navy and on Navy blogs, where her removal has generated cheers from those who had served with her since she graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985. While many denounced Graf, even greater anger seems directed at the Navy brass for promoting such an officer to positions of ever-increasing responsibility. Graf declined an interview request.

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US vote attacks Turkey genocide; Turkey is ever so pissed

US vote attacks Turkey 'genocide'
A US congressional panel has described the killing of Armenians by Turkish forces during World War I as genocide, despite White House objections.

The resolution was narrowly approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Turkey, a key US ally, responded by recalling its ambassador in Washington for consultations. It has fiercely opposed the non-binding resolution.

The White House had warned that the vote would harm reconciliation talks between Turkey and Armenia.

The resolution calls on President Barack Obama to ensure that US foreign policy reflects an understanding of the "genocide" and to label the World War I killings as such in his annual statement on the issue.

It was approved by 23 votes to 22 by the committee.

Within minutes the Turkish government issued a statement condemning "this resolution which accuses the Turkish nation of a crime it has not committed".

The statement also said the Turkish ambassador was being recalled for consultations.

A Turkish parliamentary delegation had gone to Washington to try to persuade committee members to reject the resolution.

Turkey accepts that atrocities were committed but argues they were part of the war and that there was no systematic attempt to destroy the Christian Armenian people.

The Armenian government welcomed the vote, calling it "an important step towards the prevention of crimes against humanity".

In 2007, a similar resolution passed the committee stage, but was shelved before a House vote after pressure from the George W Bush administration.

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panda bear

(no subject)

Should There Be an Animal-Abuser Registry?

Cruelty to animals, it is said, is often a precursor to graver crimes. So would there not be some usefulness to a registry of individuals convicted of felony animal abuse? Legislators in California want the Golden State to be the first to establish such a record — just as California was the first in the nation to create a registry of sex offenders.

The goal of the registry, which would list crimes against both pets and farm animals, is to make it easier for shelters and animal-adoption groups to identify people who shouldn't be allowed access to animals. It would also be a boon to law enforcement because animal abuse, the bill's authors' say, often escalates to violence against people. Abuses covered in the bill would include the malicious and intentional maiming, mutilation, torture, wounding or killing of a living animal. It would also target pet hoarders and operators of animal-fighting rings (such as dog-baiting and cockfighting) who have felony convictions.

"We think California is primed for this kind of a bill," says state senate majority leader Dean Florez, who introduced the bill in late February. "We've progressed to the point where we as a legislature are moving in a direction of this bill, which is ultimately, How do we in essence prevent repeat offenses when it comes to cruelty to animals in the state of California?" It is an issue that, Florez says, Californians care for deeply. About 60% of California residents own pets, he says; add in farm animals, and 80% of the population has some kind of ownership of animals.

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Posh 'N' Becks

Mugabe says: VOTE TORY!

Zimbabwe's Mugabe wants Conservatives to rule Britain

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe Thursday said his country would have better relations with London if the Conservatives win the next elections.

"We have always related better with the British through the Conservatives than Labour," Mugabe told journalists.

"Conservatives are bold, (Tony) Blair and (Gordon) Brown run away when they see me, but not these fools, they know how to relate to others," he added.

Mugabe's rant comes after Prime Minister Gordon Brown told South Africa's Jacob Zuma in London that Zimbabwe's targeted sanctions would not be lifted until progress was seen in the power-sharing government.

Zuma, who is the mediator in Zimbabwe's fragile unity accord, wants the sanctions lifted.

"We have a better chance with (British Conservative leader) David Cameron than with Brown," said Mugabe.

Relations between Zimbabwe and London have been strained over the past ten years, after Mugabe's government started seizing white-owned farms, under his controversial land reform laws.

In 2002, British former prime minister Tony Blair's government imposed targeted sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle -- including a travel ban and freezing of bank accounts -- following allegations of a rigged election.

"Blair is a downright liar, utterly dishonest, hypocritical," the veteran leader said.



Seriously. SERIOUSLY?! Conservatives know how to relate to others? You mean like how David Cameron went galavanting on an all-expenses paid trip to South Africa during Apartheid, or how Thatcher branded Mandela and the ANC as "terrorists" and didn't support sanctions (coincedentally whilst her husband had business interests there)? Yeah Conservatives know how to relate to others, as long as it's in their own self interest.

STFU Mugabe.

Tar Telperien

Extra small condoms for 12 year-old boys go on sale in Switzerland

Called the Hotshot, the condom has been produced after government research showed 12 to14-year-olds did not use sufficient protection when having sex.

The study, conducted on behalf of the Federal Commission for Children and Youth, interviewed 1,480 people aged 10 to 20.

It showed more 12 to 14-year-olds were having sex, in comparison with the 1990s.

The Hotshot condoms, which cost 7fr60 (£4.70) for a packet of six, have been created by Lamprecht AG, a leading condom manufacturer in Switzerland.

The company has said the UK would be "top priority" if they expanded abroad, considering that it has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe.

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try and stop us

Are there not more important things to worry about right now?

Massachusetts Lawmakers Asked to Ban Infant Male Circumcision

Georganne Chapin, executive director of the group Intact America, an organization formed to change how Americans think about neonatal male circumcision, said the procedure is also unethical because the infant cannot give his consent.

BOSTON -- Massachusetts lawmakers are being asked to outlaw infant male circumcision.
Supporters of the proposed ban describe the procedure as "unnecessary, painful and risky."
Georganne Chapin, executive director of the group Intact America, an organization formed to change how Americans think about neonatal male circumcision, said the procedure is also unethical because the infant cannot give his consent.

Religious groups oppose the bill, which has no religious exemption.

Studies have linked circumcision to a reduction in the transmission of AIDS in Africa, but backers of the bill say that's not a good enough reason to block a ban.

No Massachusetts lawmakers have signed on to support the measure.


Oh this just opens a huge can of worms in terms of religious discrimination, not to mention the government getting all up in parental choice. I saw this on tv at lunch and just kept saying "WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN WHAT WHAT WHAT" over and over, followed by lolling at "Intact America."
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yes i do

3 people believed shot outside Pentagon Metro Station

Two Pentagon police officers and a suspect are believed to have been shot Thursday outside the Pentagon Metro station, a public affairs officer for the Pentagon Force Protection Agency said.

"We believe we have one person in custody," said Chris Layman.

The Pentagon Force Protection Agency is the Pentagon's police department.

Lisa McDonald, a spokeswoman for George Washington Hospital, said three people were being treated there -- two officers and one person believed to be the suspect.

The metro entrance to the Pentagon was closed, but other entrances were open, CNN's Chris Lawrence reported.


Extremist Religious Group Terrorizes Town... Oh, Wait. They Are White Christian Males. Nevermind.

Muslims and Christians Working Together to Oppress Their Own. Still No Signs of Rightwing Extremism.

Christian Hate Group ‘Repent Amarillo’ Terrorizes Texas Town, Harassing Gays, Liberals, And Other ‘Sinners’

An evangelical Christian hate group called “Repent Amarillo” is reportedly terrorizing the town of Amarillo, Texas. Repent fashions itself as a sort of militia and targets a wide range of community members they deem offensive to their theology: gays, liberal Christians, Muslims, environmentalists, breast cancer events that do not highlight abortion, Halloween, “spring break events,” and pornography shops. On its website, Repent has posted a “Warfare Map” of its enemies in town.

Calling Repent an “American Taliban,” blogger Charles Johnson notes that the group’s moniker “Army of God” is a rough translation of “Hezbollah.” Led by a man named David Grisham, a security guard at a nuclear-bomb facility called Pantex, Repent first gained media attention in Texas following a campaign to boycott Houston for electing a gay mayor. The group, which is associated with Raven Ministries, collaborates with other Christian groups as well as forced pregnancy advocacy associations like “Bound 4 Life.”
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justin sepia tone aquaman shot

National Day of Action To Defend Education

2:45 P.M. Protesters Take to the Streets
Helicopters buzzed in the air and traffic stalled in Berkeley and Oakland as about 1,000 demonstrators marched down Telegraph Avenue to their destination, Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland, where they were to meet up with others. The rallies and protests in the Bay Area on Thursday were part of a statewide “Day of Action” over education cuts.

At the University of California, Santa Cruz, school officials warned people not to try to drive to the campus. One car reportedly had its window smashed with a driver inside. At San Francisco State University, 25 protesters pushing Dumpsters blocked people from entering the business building.

“Our students thought it was going to be a protest, not a blockage,” said Nancy K. Hayes, dean of the college of business. “They are concerned for their safety. They’re not M.B.A. students, they’re undergrads and they’re young and they’re scared.”

Jamal Jones, a senior who was protesting, said: “The C.S.U.’s and city colleges, institutions for working people, are becoming privatized. It’s a slap in the face for working people.”

Mark Yudof, president of the University of California, released a statement, saying: “My heart and my support are with everybody and anybody who wants to stand up for public education. Public education drives a society’s ability to progress and to prosper.”

At Frank Ogawa Plaza, high school and community college students were the first there.

Kimberly Gozman, 16, a junior at Fremont Federation of College Preparatory High, was the first student to speak. Her parents are immigrants from Guerrero, Mexico, but she was born in the United States. She is set to be the first person in her family to graduate from high school. A possible school closure will mean that instead of having 30 students per class, there will be 40, she said.

Jean Quan, a member of the Oakland City Council, took photos at the center of the demonstration near the speakers. She said her family was poor and would “never be able to afford to send me to college.” She added, “Berkeley’s tuition, when I went to school, was so low.”

Earlier Thursday, we described the beginnings of the protest and the demonstrators’ plans for the day.

Jesse Thaler
Kyra Jeter and Anecia Trujillo, eighth graders at Claremont Middle School in Oakland, joined in a disaster drill on Thursday morning.
Demonstrations and rallies have begun around the state to protest budget cuts in public education.

The original plan for the protests was for caravans of people to head to Sacramento. Instead, most of the demonstrations are being held in cities around the state.

On Thursday morning, many Bay Area public schools have had disaster drills to draw attention to the “disastrous” state budget cuts. At the University of California, Santa Cruz, officials are advising employees and others to stay away from the campus with protests at the two entrances.

Some are participating in the day of protests without leaving school grounds. At the second recess at Peralta Elementary School in Oakland, the school’s music teacher will lead families, students and teachers in protest songs. At Claremont Middle School, also in Oakland, Jesse Thaler, an eighth-grade English teacher, is using the demonstrations to prompt a creative-writing exercise about the future of education. “What if there were no budget cuts and you were in charge of designing a middle school, with no limits on what you could do,” she wrote on the blackboard.

Check back here for updates through the day.

There will be a rally from noon to 4 p.m. at Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza. After that, some participants plan to head to San Francisco, where a rally is scheduled for 5 p.m. A rock band called the Angry Tired Teachers is scheduled to play.

Walkouts in the morning have been scheduled at most institutions, including disaster drills. On Wednesday, the University of California, Berkeley, mailed students a note on how to behave around police officers, which includes advice like, “If a police officer tells you to do something, do it — even if you think the officer shouldn’t be asking.”

Here are further details of plans for Thursday in the Bay Area:

San Francisco

A march by students, parents and staff of San Francisco’s El Dorado Elementary School at 70 Delta Street.
At San Francisco State University, there will be a noon rally at Malcolm X plaza.
East Bay

An assembly and march at 11 a.m. at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland.
Laney College students plan to walk out of classes at 11 a.m.
Cal State East Bay will have a “Walkout to Speak-out,” encouraging students and faculty to walk out of classrooms at 11 a.m. for live performances and an open mic before handing in a letter of demands at the campus administration building and heading to San Francisco’s Civic Center at 5 p.m.
An assembly and walkout is planned at Chabot Junior College in Hayward.
University of California, Berkeley, demonstrators plan to host a rally at noon at Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue before marching to Oakland.
Berkeley Community College has scheduled a rally in the Berkeley Community College atrium, with an “anti-budget-cut” rap performance and music. The demonstrators also plan to end up at the San Francisco Civic Center rally at 5 p.m.
South Bay

Assemblyman Joe Coto, Democrat of San Jose, is scheduled to attend a 4 p.m. rally by members of San Jose’s East Side Teachers Association.



Anyone have protests going on their campus today? I led one on my campus. They are talking about cutting NURSING, DRAMA, CONTINUING EDUCATION and MBA programs you can see my campus protest HERE (if anyone knows how to snag video from this site I'd really like a copy for myself lol)

Wimmer plans fix to controversial abortion bill

A bill that captured national headlines for potentially putting mothers who miscarry at risk of being investigated for criminal homicide will be replaced at Gov. Gary Herbert's request.

Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, will introduce new legislation to refine his bill, which was drafted in response to a case in Vernal where a teen paid a man to beat her in an attempt to force a miscarriage.

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comedy | The Golden Girls

ontd_political PotD: March 4, 2010.

It's all colorful in India as the whole country comes together to celebrate the tradition of triumph of good over bad. Celebrated all over India since ancient times, Holi, also known as 'The Festival Of Colors', is a riotous annual celebration of the coming of spring. The festival is followed predominantly by Hindus throughout the world, with people from all walks of life coming out on the streets and applying colored powder on anyone and everyone.

It is believed that the combination of different colors used during this festival takes all the sorrow away and makes life even more colorful. Holi is probably the least religious of Indian holidays, thus bridging social and religious gaps with a sole intention of bringing people together.
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+Bonus Picspam: The photography of Poras Chaudhary.

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Can Patriotism Combat Islamophobia?

by Paul Sagar

Last night the Muslim Council of Britain held a special closed-meeting of parliamentarians, journalists, police, public servants, community representatives, academics and, erm, me. The topic of discussion was Tackling Islamophobia: Reducing Street Violence Against British Muslims.

The event was timely. “Since 9/11 anti-Muslim hate crimes appear to have become more prevalent than racist hate crimes where black and Asian Londoners are the victims.” (PDF) Testimony from a range of academic experts and politicians substantiated the claim that street violence against Muslims is rising.

Speakers stressed that there are “tangible links between Islamophobia or anti-Muslim bigotry in both mainstream political and media discourse…extremist nationalist discourse, and anti-Muslim hate crimes”. Peter Oborne – a journalist on the Conservative right by his own admission – described how after 7/7 he became aware that journalists in mainstream newspapers got away with telling lies and distorting facts about Islam and Muslims on a regular basis. Indeed he collected his findings and took them to Channel 4, who turned them into a special episode of Dispatches. This sort of dishonesty – he said – would not be tolerated if it were directed at any other minority group. Yet the smearing of British Muslims, usually playing on fears of terrorism, is standard fare in the British media.

Oborne urged that opponents of Islamophobia should therefore mount a campaign based on patriotism; of stressing respect for diversity and difference as fundamental British values. MP Phyllis Starkey agreed with Oborne’s approach, but argued for “respect”, a stronger concept she claimed than mere toleration.

Maleiha Malik of King’s College School of Law cited the work of pathbreaking historian Quentin Skinner, who has shown that Britain has arguably never been a tranquil idyll of religious homogeneity. Divisions of faith and identity have characterised these Isles since at least the days of Henry VIII, and even before. But Britain also has a long tradition of coming to terms with religious differences, and turning them to its collective advantage.

Yet if Skinner’s work is being cited, it’s worth considering another idea associated with him: that patriotism need not necessarily be a bad thing. Through 21st Century eyes, patriotism looks inevitably wedded to racial nationalism and all the horrors that wrought. Yet it was not always so. Love of one’s self-governing free State was an essential component of the (largely lost) republican tradition Skinner has sought to revive. Before Hitler and Mussolini, or Britain’s own exploitative Empire, patriotism was frequently linked to civic activism and non-sinister motivations for aiding one’s countrymen via common endeavour to promote the collective good. The question is whether Oborne, Starkey and those who wish to fight Islamophobia by branding it un-British can harness the spirit of patriotism to this effect. Or whether ugly nationalism is the inevitable result of playing the patriot card.

Source: Liberal Conspiracy
grrm sux

Divorced Before Puberty

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It’s hard to imagine that there have been many younger divorcées — or braver ones — than a pint-size third grader named Nujood Ali.

Nujood is a Yemeni girl, and it’s no coincidence that Yemen abounds both in child brides and in terrorists (and now, thanks to Nujood, children who have been divorced). Societies that repress women tend to be prone to violence.

For Nujood, the nightmare began at age 10 when her family told her that she would be marrying a deliveryman in his 30s. Although Nujood’s mother was unhappy, she did not protest. “In our country it’s the men who give the orders, and the women who follow them,” Nujood writes in a powerful new autobiography just published in the United States this week, “I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.”

Her new husband forced her to drop out of school (she was in the second grade) because a married woman shouldn’t be a student. At her wedding, Nujood sat in the corner, her face swollen from crying.

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