March 31st, 2010

pass that joint

Chinese hospital staff disciplined after babies' bodies found by river

(CNN) -- Staffers at an eastern Chinese hospital have been disciplined after the bodies of 21 fetuses and infants were found improperly discarded near a river, according to officials and media reports.

A total of 21 bodies were found near the Guangfu River, Jining City officials said in a statement Tuesday.

"The investigation has found that the Jining Hospital Affiliated Medical College mortuary staff violated hospital management policies/regulations," the statement said.

No foul play was found in the deaths of the children. "It was determined that the babies died in normal circumstances," Li Wanmei, section chief for the Jining City Health Bureau, told the television network.

The hospital's deputy director and the deputy director of its logistics department were removed, the statement said. In addition, two staffers working in the "repose room" of the hospital were fired "and have been detained according to the law."

The dead children and fetuses were believed to have died from illness, and the two staffers, Zhu Zhenyu and Wang Zhijun, verbally agreed with relatives to dispose of the bodies and took money from them, but instead secretly transported the bodies to the river, the statement said.

The bodies, which officials said "were not fully buried," were found after media reports prompted officials to investigate, the statement said.

Shanghai, China-based Oriental Cable TV reported the initial discovery was made by area residents. "I found the bodies while I was herding the geese," a resident said. "How could I possibly sleep? I haven't eaten for two days."

Eight of the bodies had tabs with clinic code numbers attached to their feet, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The tabs showed the bodies came from the Jining hospital.

The incident highlighted "severe flaws" in the hospital's management, city officials said in the statement.

"The Jining City Health Bureau recognizes its inadequate supervision and bears responsibility for this incident," the statement said, adding the bureau "issues their sincere apology to the community."

Environmental officials said the most recent tests on the river's water showed it was not contaminated, Xinhua reported. The Guangfu is not a source of the city's drinking water, according to the news agency.

Jining is in Shandong province, about 300 miles south of Beijing.


Source: SOURCE
movies | HBIC

ONTD_Political's PotD: March 30, 2010.



Beginning in Sydney, Australia three years ago, Earth Hour has grown into a global observance. States, large organizations and individual people observed Earth Hour 2010 on Saturday March 27th, as homes, office towers and landmarks turned off their lights for an hour starting at 8.30 pm local time to raise awareness about climate change and the threat from rising greenhouse gas emissions.
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PLEASE go directly to the linked tagged "INTERACTIVE".
When you click the photos, the lights switch "on" and "off". :D
The animated gifs I made do not do the source justice.

No, really -- DO IIIIIT!

Full Galleries:
Here's sending out a heart-felt hat tip and thanks to danyjoncew, who helped me compile these epic photos. ♥
garf life was just toying with me

wut


Obama Oil Drilling Plan: East Coast, Alaska Waters To Open For Drilling As Obama Plans To End Moratorium



WASHINGTON — In a reversal of a long-standing ban on most offshore drilling, President Barack Obama is allowing oil drilling 50 miles off Virginia's shorelines. At the same time, he is rejecting some new drilling sites that had been planned in Alaska.

Obama's plan offers few concessions to environmentalists, who have been strident in their opposition to more oil platforms off the nation's shores. Hinted at for months, the plan modifies a ban that for more than 20 years has limited drilling along coastal areas other than the Gulf of Mexico.

Obama was set to announce the new drilling policy Wednesday at Andrews air base in Maryland. White House officials pitched the changes as ways to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil and create jobs – both politically popular ideas – but the president's decisions also could help secure support for a climate change bill languishing in Congress.

The president, joined by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, also was set to announce that proposed leases in Alaska's Bristol Bay would be canceled. The Interior Department also planned to reverse last year's decision to open up parts of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Instead, scientists would study the sites to see if they're suitable to future leases.

Obama is allowing an expansion in Alaska's Cook Inlet to go forward. The plan also would leave in place the moratorium on drilling off the West Coast.

In addition, the Interior Department has prepared a plan to add drilling platforms in the eastern Gulf of Mexico if Congress allows that moratorium to expire. Lawmakers in 2008 allowed a similar moratorium to expire; at the time President George W. Bush lifted the ban, which opened the door to Obama's change in policy.

Under Obama's plan, drilling could take place 125 miles from Florida's Gulf coastline if lawmakers allow the moratorium to expire. Drilling already takes place in western and central areas in the Gulf of Mexico.

The president's team has been busy on energy policy and Obama talked about it in his State of the Union address. During that speech, he said he wanted the United States to build a new generation of nuclear power plans and invest in biofuel and coal technologies.

"It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development," he warned.
Story continues below

Obama also urged Congress to complete work on a climate change and energy bill, which has remained elusive. The president met with lawmakers earlier this month at the White House about a bill cutting emissions of pollution-causing greenhouse gases by 17 percent by 2020. The legislation would also expand domestic oil and gas drilling offshore and provide federal assistance for constructing nuclear power plants and carbon sequestration and storage projects at coal-fired utilities.

White House officials hope Wednesday's announcement will attract support from Republicans, who adopted a chant of "Drill, baby, drill" during 2008's presidential campaign.

The president's Wednesday remarks would be paired with other energy proposals that were more likely to find praise from environmental groups. The White House planned to announce it had ordered 5,000 hybrid vehicles for the government fleet. And on Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department are to sign a final rule that requires increased fuel efficiency standards for new cars.

Source

Drill baby drill...?
normal

(no subject)

Senator Custer Will Support Full Repeal of Socialized Medicine. Calls Rest of Republicans to Join Him in Glorious Battle! Tea Party to Meet at "Little Bighorn, Inn" For Last Minute Brainstorming.

Health Care Repeal Campaigns Could Backfire On Republicans In Fall Elections

Top Republicans are increasingly worried that GOP candidates this fall might be burned by a fire that's roaring through the conservative base: demand for the repeal of President Barack Obama's new health care law.


It's fine to criticize the health law and the way Democrats pushed it through Congress without a single GOP vote, these party leaders say. But focusing on its outright repeal carries two big risks.

Repeal is politically and legally unlikely, and grass-roots activists may feel disillusioned by a failed crusade.
More important, say strategists from both parties, a fiercely repeal-the-bill stance might prove far less popular in a general election than in a conservative-dominated GOP primary, especially in states such as Illinois and California.

Democrats are counting on that scenario. They say more Americans will learn of the new law's benefits over time and anger over its messy legislative pedigree will fade. For months, Democrats have eagerly catalogued Republican congressional candidates who pledge to repeal the health care law, vowing to make them pay in November.

Republican leaders are stepping cautiously, wary of angering staunchly conservative voters bent on repealing the new law. In recent public comments, they have quietly played down the notion of repealing the law
while emphasizing claims that it will hurt jobs, the economy and the deficit.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who chairs the committee responsible for electing GOP senators this fall, said in an interview, "The focus really should be on the misplaced priorities of the administration" and Congress' Democratic leaders.

"The No. 1 concern of the public is jobs and people losing their homes," he said. "The administration has been obsessing on this health care bill."

Asked if he advises Republican Senate candidates to call for repealing the law, Cornyn said: "Candidates are going to test the winds in their own states. ... In some places, the health care bill is more popular than others."


On Tuesday, Cornyn issued a 1,280-word campaign memo that mentioned "repeal" only once. It did not advocate repeal but noted that in a recent poll, "46 percent of respondents support a full repeal" of the health law.
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Reporting

Abu Dhabi sheikh, sovereign fund head, found dead

(Reuters) - An Emerati sheikh who headed one of the world's biggest sovereign wealth funds has been found dead four days after a glider crash in Morocco, state media said Tuesday.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, 41, was a younger brother of the ruler of Abu Dhabi, who is also president of the United Arab Emirates. He was ranked No. 27 on Forbes list of the world's most powerful people last year.

State television in the United Arab Emirates interrupted its broadcasts to air readings from the Koran. "Sheikh Ahmed ... is in the care of God," read a banner on Abu Dhabi Television.

His fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), is believed to have assets of between $500 billion and $700 billion, ranging from Citigroup bonds to a stake in Britain's Gatwick Airport.

"He is important but his death will not have a huge impact on the power structure within the family," said Mustafa Alani, Dubai-based analyst at the Gulf Research Center.

"Certainly on the question of financial and economic issues, I think he will be missed. Definitely."

Experts expect the leadership role at ADIA to remain within the ruling family. "ADIA is essentially a custodian of Abu Dhabi's wealth, which belongs to the ruling family," said Khuram Maqsood, managing director at Emirates Capital.

"ADIA is an extremely well institutionalized and professional organization. It's the largest sovereign fund, or certainly among the top three globally. It is unlikely that there will be any change out of the ordinary as a result."

The sheikh's glider crashed into a reservoir near the Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah Dam, south of the Moroccan capital, Rabat.

Residents of the area said the sheikh was a regular visitor and the Abu Dhabi ruling family had a palace overlooking the reservoir, which was swollen after heavy rain and estimated to be about 60 meters (190 feet) deep.

The sheikh's body was pulled from the water Tuesday morning after a search involving some 225 people including 100 divers, Moroccan state media said.

INVESTMENTS

ADIA funnels funds from the emirate's oil exports into overseas stocks and bonds.

Sheikh Ahmed shunned the media spotlight and was said to dislike being referred to as "Your Highness."

"He was extremely well respected as part of the work he did for ADIA and it was expected that he would play a vital role in the future development of the emirate as a leading member of the ruling family," a source familiar with the matter said.

A source close to the government said a succession plan had been formulated for ADIA and would be announced within days.

The state news agency WAM announced three days of mourning starting Wednesday, but bourses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will remain open, officials said.

Sheikh Ahmed led a shift within ADIA from active to passive fund management after discovering that index-tracking funds, which seek to mimic ups and downs of regular stocks indices, often outperformed those run by expensive money managers.

He was the son of the founder of the seven member UAE federation, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, and worked as an equities analyst at ADIA for six years before becoming its boss.

The fund has rarely given details of its strategy or investments. In its first detailed report in March, ADIA said it returned 6.5 percent on an annualized basis over a 20-year period as of December 31, 2009 and 8 percent over a 30-year period.

The chairman of ADIA is Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE. In June 2008, a brother of Sheikh Ahmed was killed when the helicopter carrying him and his colleagues crashed into the Gulf.

Source
joel mchale

Who Towed the Cars of 53 Glenn Beck Fans?

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In what was either a conspiracy of tow truck companies, academic Maoists, and ACORN or a hilarious frat prank, 53 cars were towed from a University of Central Florida parking lot while their owners were enjoying a Glenn Beck show.

Mysterious signs promised free event parking at a nearby lot. And because signs are the most revered sources of truth among Glenn Beck viewers, they all illegally parked in a lot belonging to Kappa Sigma.

Beck show attendee Mike Vedder is pretty sure this was a set-up. "Maybe they have a deal with the tow truck company or maybe they got kickbacks under the table," he said, though Orlando's WFTV did not explain who he meant by "they."

Oddly, though: "Students at the fraternity won't talk." What do these liberal elitists have to hide?

SOURCE

"Cars? Surely you mean pickup trucks."
lolsy comments + news video of this story at the source
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a&a

American University newspaper apologizing for date-rape column

Follow up to this post.

By Jenna Johnson and Michael Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The American University student newspaper said Tuesday it would issue an apology for publishing a column that called date rape "an incoherent concept." The column sparked angry online responses from scores of students, and a handful of students demonstrated outside the newspaper's offices.

"We realize that this column was probably not -- no, it was not -- in the best taste," Jen Calantone, editor in chief of the Eagle, said Tuesday. "The column offended a lot of people, and as a human being, that upsets me."

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Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/30/AR2010033003766.html?hpid=newswell
Citadel

Overhaul Will Lower the Costs of Being a Woman

Being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition. That’s the new mantra, repeated triumphantly by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Barbara A. Mikulski and other advocates for women’s health. But what does it mean?

In the broadest sense, the new health care law forbids sex discrimination in health insurance. Previously, there was no such ban, and insurance companies took full advantage of the void.

“The health care industry and health care insurance in general has been riddled with the most discriminatory and unfair practices to women,” said Marcia D. Greenberger, the founder and co-president of the National Women’s Law Center. “This law is a giant leap forward to dismantling the unfairness that has been a part of the system.”

Until now, it has been perfectly legal in most states for companies selling individual health policies — for people who do not have group coverage through employers — to engage in “gender rating,” that is, charging women more than men for the same coverage, even for policies that do not include maternity care. The rationale was that women used the health care system more than men. But some companies charged women who did not smoke more than men who did, even though smokers have more risks. The differences in premiums, from 4 percent to 48 percent, according to a 2008 analysis by the law center, can add up to hundreds of dollars a year. The individual market is the one that many people turn to when they lose their jobs and their group coverage.

Insurers have also applied gender-rating to group coverage, but laws against sex discrimination in the workplace prevent employers from passing along the higher costs to their employees based on sex. Gender rating has taken a particular toll on smaller or midsize businesses with many women, like home-health care, child care and nonprofits. As a result, some businesses have been unable to offer health coverage or have been able to afford it only by using plans with very high deductibles.

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Source.
Citadel

(no subject)

“I’m tired of paying for everyone else’s stupidity,” is a comment I read on the Internet last week after the health care bill was passed. It summed up the views of many Americans worried about shelling out higher premiums and taxes to cover the uninsured. Why should we pick up the tab when so much disease in our country stems from unhealthy behavior like smoking and overeating?

In fact, the majority of Americans say it is fair to ask people with unhealthy lifestyles to pay more for health insurance. We believe in the concept of personal responsibility. You hear it in doctors’ lounges and in coffee shops, among the white collar and blue collar alike. Even President Obama has said, “We’ve got to have the American people doing something about their own care.”

But personal responsibility is a complex notion, especially when it comes to health. Individual choices always take place within a broader, messy context. When people advocate the need for personal accountability, they presuppose more control over health and sickness than really exists.

Unhealthy habits are one factor in disease, but so are social status, income, family dynamics, education and genetics. Patient noncompliance with medical recommendations undoubtedly contributes to poor health, but it is as much a function of poor communication, medication costs and side effects, cultural barriers and inadequate resources as it is of willful disregard of a doctor’s advice.

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Source.
normal

EMERGENCY NEWS: Joe Biden is a Sekret Japanese! Is Obama a Sekret Otaku Shogun Now?!

Threat Assessment Level: "Empire of The Rising Sun Soon to Strike!!" New "Maido Cafe" To Be Built To Appease Our New Masters. EvilDevil: "I, for one, Welcome our New Otaku/Mecha-fetish-lover/MOE-obsessive/Game-Gal-addicts/Samurai-wielding-katana/Yakuza Overlords"

Beck guest host: Vice President Biden is ‘turning Japanese’ and ‘turning into Joe Biden-son.’

Yesterday, the guest host of Glenn Beck’s radio show, Doc Thompson, talked himself into an absurd racial discussion when he declared that a tax on tanning salons makes health care reform “racist” because “most tanning sessions are from light-skinned Americans.” Today, another Beck guest host, Chris Baker, launched into racially questionable commentary, declaring that Vice President Joe Biden is “turning Japanese.” “Look at that cat’s eyes, man, he’s turning into Joe Biden-son,” said Baker. Listen here:




Soon after making the comment, Baker responded to someone off-air, saying, “What do you mean racist? That’s not racist, it’s an observation. He’s the guy changing himself. Not me.”

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Damn The Japanese And THeir EBIL Plan to Make Us Assimilate Their Culture!!
Pride & Prejudice

Tony Blair's speech: analysis

Yes, he's still "got it". But much more important was what he said -- and how he dismantled Cameron's Tories. 

Much will be made of how Tony Blair "still has the old magic", and it is true: he does. Adorned with a deep, Middle-Eastern tan, a little slimmer and -- at times -- almost sounding a touch American, Blair has lost none of his communication and, yes, performance skills. Predictably, he had the room of Labour activists laughing in the north east area around his former constituency of Sedgefield, which Blair called his "political spiritual home", with the routine self-depreciating gags about how forbidding it could be for Tory candidates (encouraged by locals to address the working men's clubs during the Bingo), and, at first, for Blair himself. Much, too, will be debated over whether Blair remains an "asset" for his party, given, especially, the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath. But set against the Labour slogan of "A Future Fair for All" and unusually wearing a red tie, Blair had the local party in thrall to his every word.

And it is the substance of those words, not the style in which they were delivered, that deserves real attention before what Blair said was a "momentous" forthcoming decision for the electorate. First, this self-proclaimed "optimist" outlined the context in which this election draws near. He said that the power elites back in September 2007 privately believed that the world economy was "doomed" to a return to the 1930s, and contrasted that to the promise of growth and recovery marked by this month's Budget. This "path" was mapped out "not by chance; but by choice", he said. And, ushering in his first round of applause of the speech, Blair said the words Downing Street has collectively been waiting to hear: "The decision to act required leadership. And Gordon Brown supplied it." Blair paid tribute to Alistair Darling too, and his old friend Peter Mandelson. "In uncertain times," said Blair, "there's a lot to be said for certain leadership".

Yet the most powerful passage came when Blair turned his full fire on the Tories, for the first time since he left Downing Street in the summer of '07. He said the question was who "gets" the future direction Britain must take, and revealed his view that "time for a change" is the most "vacuous" of political slogans. Collapse )
Source
Really, however much you hate the man, you've got to admit he's one hell of an orator.
normal

Gays Used Jedi Mind Trick To Entice Poor Priests To Molest Many Many Children

Spanish Inquisition Releases Father Pedobear On Light of New Evidence. Fabricated Evidence Indicates That Teh Gheys Used Their Gay Magic to Force Pedobear To Sleep With Many Lolies and Boys.

Catholic League: Church Abuse Scandal Is A Crisis Of ‘Homosexuality,’ Not ‘Pedophilia’

Recently, the Catholic Church — and even the Pope himself — have been coming under increasing criticism for failing to appropriately discipline church officials who had sexually abused thousands of children. On March 24th, the New York Times characterized “Pope Benedict XVI’s latest apology for the emerging global scandal of child abuse by predatory priests,” as inadequate, noting that Benedict “made no mention of the need to discipline diocesan leaders most responsible for shielding hundreds of priests from criminal penalties by moving them from parish to parish to continue their crimes.”

The Catholic League responded the op-ed by running an ad in the New York Times criticizing the paper for its editorial and blaming the scandal on homosexuality:
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O'Reilly Pays Legal Bill for Fallen Marine's Father

By: David A. Patten

No. 1 cable news host Bill O'Reilly said Tuesday that he will personally write a check to cover $16,500 in legal costs for the father of a fallen U.S. Marine who sued the members of a church who picketed his son's funeral.

According to news reports, the members of the Westboro Baptist Church, located in Topeka, Kan., believe that God is punishing the United States because of its acceptance of gay people. The church garners attention for its views by protesting high-profile funerals.

On March 3, 2006, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder died in a non-combat related vehicle accident in Al Anbar province in Iraq.

"He was a hero and he was the love of my life," said Albert Snyder, Matthew's grieving father.

During the wake that was held after his son's funeral, family members turned on the television to view coverage of the massive procession involving over 1,500 persons. They saw the church members waving signs and protesting the funeral.

"I just stood there in shock," Albert Snyder told O'Reilly in November 2007.

"I couldn't believe that somebody would do that to somebody else. I mean, I didn't know what to say.

"Finally, somebody yelled, 'Turn off the television.' But I just stood there in shock. I can't believe there's somebody that would actually do that to soldiers."

Albert Snyder filed a federal lawsuit against the church, and a jury awarded him nearly $11 million dollars for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. But the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the verdict on the grounds that the church's First Amendment right to free expression must be protected.

Adding insult to injury, the court also ruled that Snyder would have to pay $16,500 to church members, to defray what they spent to defend themselves in court.

It was a tough blow for the father, who was already trying to raise the funds needed to appeal the Court of Appeals verdict to the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Tuesday's The O'Reilly Factor, however, the host stepped forward.

"That is an outrage," he said. "I will pay Mr. Snyder's obligation. I am not going to let this injustice stand."

O'Reilly added, "It's obvious they were disturbing the peace by disrupting the funeral. They should have been arrested, but our system is so screwed up, so screwed up, that loons are allowed to run wild. Snyder is fighting the good fight, and he is taking his case to the Supreme Court as he should. We are behind him 100 percent."

Snyder's attorney, Sean Summers, says people can contribute to a legal fund established at MatthewSnyder.org. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Snyder's appeal during its October term, with a verdict likely to be announced in mid-2011.

http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/oreilly-marine-funeral-protesters/2010/03/30/id/354287
Shiloh

Arraignment Tuesday for 3 teens in Phoebe Prince bullying case

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By Laura Crimaldi
Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Three of the nine teens accused of the brutal bullying of South Hadley High School freshman Phoebe Prince will be arraigned early next week, court officials announced today.

Sean Mulveyhill, 17, Kayla Narey, 17, both of South Hadley, and Austin Renaud, 18, of Springfield are set to appear in court at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the criminal clerk’s office at the Hampshire Superior Court in Northampton.

Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth D. Scheibel said on Monday the teens were a part of a “nearly three month campaign of verbally assaultive behavior and threats of physical harm” toward Prince, 15, an Irish immigrant.

Mulveyhill is charged with statutory rape, violation of civil rights resulting in bodily injury, criminal harassment and disturbance of a school assembly.

Narey is charged with one count of violation of civil rights resulting with bodily injury, criminal harassment and disturbance of a school assembly.
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G20 police sergeant cleared of baton charge

Impromptu memorial to Ian Tomlinson by the Ban...

Image via Wikipedia

Delroy Smellie ruled to have acted lawfully when striking G20 protester Nicola Fisher on legs during Ian Tomlinson vigil

A Metropolitan police sergeant who was filmed hitting a woman with a baton at the G20 demonstrations walked free from court today after a judge ruled he acted lawfully.

After the verdict, Delroy Smellie nodded to the judge and said: "Thank you very much."

Smellie hugged his brother and left the courtroom, joking and laughing with lawyers.

The 47-year-old was suspended last year after footage was posted on YouTube showing him back-handing a protester and striking her twice on the legs with his metal baton.

He was acquitted of assault by beating after a four-day trial in which his alleged victim, protester Nicola Fisher, declined to give evidence.

The judgment is a major setback for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which received almost 300 complaints about police behaviour at the G20 protests. Figures released last week revealed that despite numerous IPCC investigations, no officer has faced serious disciplinary action and none have been succesfully prosecuted.


Smellie, from the Met's territorial support group (TSG), a specialist public order unit, argued during his trial that he believed Fisher posed a threat to himself and fellow officers. He said he repeatedly struck Fisher, who was considerably smaller than him, after mistaking a carton of orange juice and digital camera she was carrying for weapons.

The incident took place on 2 April at a memorial vigil for Ian Tomlinson, the newspaper vendor who had died the previous day after being attacked by another officer, also from the TSG.

Defending the force he used against Fisher, Smellie, who is originally from Bolton, suggested widely publicised video footage and photographs of the incident did not convey the threat he felt she posed.

"Not one photograph or piece of footage comes close to reflecting the fear as I turned around to see this crowd and its proximity, both to myself and my officers," he told the court. "At the time I thought, this is it. She is deliberately coming from a blind spot. The reason she is coming from a blind spot is to hide her intention so she can approach and attack her target – me."

Source: The Grauniad
I wish I was surprised enough to be angry... all I can do is lol that his surname's "Smellie" *is eight*
Akuma River

Breast feeding, is age 2 too old to continue?

Rielle Hunter Still Nursing Her 2-Year-Old, National Enquirer Reports
The Huffington Post
First Posted: 03-31-10 12:41 PM | Updated: 03-31-10 12:59 PM

The National Enquirer continues to report the goings-on of John Edwards' mistress Rielle Hunter and their two-year-old daughter, Frances Quinn.

In the latest update, we learn that Rielle Hunter recently attended a small party for toddlers in North Carolina where she "even jumped on a trampoline." The Enquirer notes:

"Rielle joked to one parent, 'I'm the woman everyone loves to hate!'

"To another, she admitted that she was still nursing Quinn, and she told a third, 'I've just moved to the area.'"


Some recent studies indicate that fewer than one in 10 mothers in the United States breastfeed their children past the age of 1.

That said, several major health organizations heartily endorse so-called "extended" nursing:

The American Academy of Pediatrics says, "Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life -- and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child." AAP goes on to say, "There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer." (AAP 2005)

The World Health Organization recommends "infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond."

The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continue throughout the first year of life and that "Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child, and should continue as long as mutually desired." They also note that "If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned." (AAFP 2001)


There was a poll on the HuffPo site:

What do you think about Rielle Hunter nursing her 2-year-old?
Good for her! It's healthy. 33.39%
Fits with all the other weird things we know about her. 32.21%
None of my business. 34.39%

So does this mean that the majority of women think it is wrong/unhealthy for mothers to continue to breast feed their children past the age of one? When in fact, most of the world and doctors support the idea of women of breastfeeding past the age of one?
ccs || long lasting

women's history month with brecho: day thirty-one

Women’s Rights



Women’s rights around the world is an important indicator to understand global well-being.

A major global women’s rights treaty was ratified by the majority of the world’s nations a few decades ago.

Yet, despite many successes in empowering women, numerous issues still exist in all areas of life, ranging from the cultural, political to the economic. For example, women often work more than men, yet are paid less; gender discrimination affects girls and women throughout their lifetime; and women and girls are often are the ones that suffer the most poverty.

Many may think that women’s rights are only an issue in countries where religion is law, such as many Muslim countries. Or even worse, some may think this is no longer an issue at all. But reading this report about the United Nation’s Women’s Treaty and how an increasing number of countries are lodging reservations, will show otherwise.

Gender equality furthers the cause of child survival and development for all of society, so the importance of women’s rights and gender equality should not be underestimated.

continue reading here

This article is fairly long and you could get lost all day clicking on the links for further reading. But I think it's worth a read if you have the time.

This month, I've done my best to show the status and history of women across the globe ranging in as many different issues as possible. I wanted to show the struggles and the injustice women around the world go through and inject nuance, like the fact that not all women face the exact same problems. But I also wanted to show the gains women have made. I hope that I have.

Ultimately, at the end, I feel that I barely scratched the surface and there was so much more that I wanted to cover but I just didn't have enough time. However, I've also learned a lot, especially in Latin America and Caribbean, and I hope that you guys have learned something as well.
JL: Annoyed J. Law

More Nancy Pelosis, Please: Why the world needs more female lawmakers -- and why quota systems won't

When the Indian Parliament passed a bill earlier this month requiring that a third of the body's seats be reserved for women, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the vote as a "historic step forward toward emancipation of Indian womanhood." But if anything, the Indians are late to the party. More than 100 countries already have gender-based quotas in their legislatures, and if the experience of these nations is any indication, Singh announced Mission Accomplished a little early.

That's because, in most cases worldwide, an influx of female legislators has led to few noticeable changes in policy. To be sure, individual women leaders around the world have proved very influential -- look no further than U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who played a pivotal role in ushering health-care reform through Congress. But in countries that adopt quotas, female legislators tend to be junior players who can be stymied by misogynistic old boys clubs. And the unintended consequences range from culture shock to retrenched anti-feminism to, every now and then, progress in surprising areas.

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i don't know if this was posted :)

Chivalry Lives! Arizona Teacher Requires Boys to Have Old-Fashioned Manners in Class

When Elise Rierson walks into Latin class, the door is held open for her. When she arrives at her desk, her chair is pulled out for her.

It's not the kind of treatment most 14-year-old freshman expect. But Elise and the rest of her female classmates have gotten used to the chivalrous gestures -- and rather enjoy it.

They've been treated with the utmost respect in their Latin classes ever since teacher Cord Ivanyi tired of watching what he has said were boys disrespecting their female classmates. So he made an eye-brow raising announcement at the beginning of the year -- all of the boys in class would be expected to act like gentlemen around the girls.

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I'm reminded of my best friend who always complains that every time she tries holding a door open for a guy behind her he always just stands there looking bewildered and it pisses her off.
Chase

Newsflash, your ass looks dumb in that head dress.

Several of you saw the ultra cultural appropriation performance of performances from Ke$ha on American Idol last Wednesday night - who decided in all her infinite wisdom to come out half-way through her "blah, blah, blah" song in a headdress and her version of "war paint" (I think).

It's obviously racist, ignorant, and beyond silly, but it's also an interesting statement (that I definitely won't give Ke$ha credit for knowing) about mainstream society's imagery of Native women. Not that it's her first time donning Native gear - apparently it's something she does on the regular with different pieces.


*one argument with this macro, Native Americans are not extinct.
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Useful Links

Post at the MothershipWikipedia on Native Americans
Native Peoples magazine -
Missing Native Women
Native Web

Notable comment from the ONTD post:

meme_she wrote "as a native girl, white people wearing this shit is offensive/stupid to me.
i see them and i'm like "bitch do u even know what that is really used for"" thread

OP Final thought: I don't get the upswing in ironic hipster racism. I'm from a redneck area so I just understand the old fashioned kind. Anyway, even once you analyze the situation without taking appropriation, racism, etc into consideration, Ke$ha still just looks dumb in a Plains-style head dress.
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Reporting

EXCLUSIVE – A Vibrant Encounter Space Online: The International Museum of Women

By Sharon B. Ufberg

The International Museum of Women is an innovative “new media” approach that utilizes women’s creative powers as a bridge for activism.

WMC Special for Women’s History Month

Throughout March, the Women’s Media Center has celebrated “30 Women Making History” in recognition of the 30th anniversary of Women’s History Month. The goal of the campaign is to raise $10,000 to support WMC Exclusives, hiring writers to comment on major news stories and report topics often neglected by the mainstream media. To read about these 30 extraordinary women, click on “30 Women Making History.”

New strategies to engage and motivate people to action are hard to come by in this fast paced, sound byte, tweeting world of new media, but the International Museum of Women (IMOW) is definitely on to something.  IMOW found a way to inspire global action using the arts as the entry point.

Launched in 1997-98, the museum went virtual in 2005. Envisioned as a “social change” museum, its presence provides creative space for art to build a bridge to activism. The exhibitions call viewers to action and connect people worldwide. An international focus and commitment to building community and amplifying women’s voices are palpable throughout the website.

Such online exhibits as “Women, Power and Politics,” “Imagining Ourselves” and “Economica: Women and the Global Economy” welcome all comers to “join the conversation” by submitting art, writing, photography, journalism, or other creative works to a specific exhibit space.  For example, “Economica” suggests participating by first exploring the themes and displays and then contributing submissions that speak to such questions as “how has the economic downturn affected you” or “what barriers do women still face.” Selected “voices” are highlighted and shared.  Women and girls from all walks of life are able to interact, comment and respond to the rich flow of information and collaborative art.

“The power of the museum,” says IMOW Executive Director Clare Winterton, “is that we create a unique space where we can re-imagine the world through women’s eyes.” The creative work is designed to build, she adds, both a “dynamic, new global conversation” and “a compelling springboard to activism.”

The museum’s work of advancing gender equality worldwide is supported by its Global Council of Women Advisers. Joining IMOW Board Chair and founder Elizabeth Colton on the council is a diverse group of leaders and human rights activists from around the world—such women, to name a few, as Beatriz Merino, national ombudsman of Peru; Patricia Licuanan, president of Miriam College in Manila; Aminatta Forna, an author and former broadcast journalist who lives both in London and Sierra Leone; and Rajaa H. Dhaher Al-Khuzai, a physician and former member of the Iraqi National Assembly.

At the heart of IMOW’s mission is to engage and stimulate viewers to action. Museum staff members measure the impact of various exhibits with online surveys and in depth interviews. They found that 73 percent of visitors to “Imagining Ourselves” (2007) reported three or more personal changes—in attitudes, opinions or aspirations—as a result of engaging with the exhibit. Two-thirds of visitors to “Women, Power & Politics” (2008) reported intensified attention to global women’s issues; and 40 percent were inspired to take personal steps to achieve gender equity.

Whether one reads a particularly intriguing woman’s story or explores an artistic expression in video or paint, the IMOW captures the imagination of those lucky enough to click through its site and get involved in the challenges of making this world—our world—a better place, one woman at a time.

Source
Rainbow

Tim Wise deserves his name: once again tells us how, exactly, water is wet.

Wise posted this on Facebook with the instruction to "pass it around." Quote;

I would like to share my newest essay with you: a short piece for AOL News, which actually has more daily readers than the NY Times Online! Pass it around! I'm working on a longer piece that will expand on the argument made here, and will post it when it's done...

Opinion: Race and Anti-Government Rage

Source AOL online  { ETA Go to the source to answer a  poll about the issue. }

(March 31) -- In the mid-1990s, I was a community organizer in New Orleans, working with low-income families to oppose cuts in the nation's social safety net. Often, if I told other white folks about my job, they would roll their eyes and complain that blacks were "looking for handouts." What's more, they would blame me for enabling these people of color -- none of whom they had met -- to be dependent on government.

Each time, my reply would be the same: Most government aid recipients weren't black, most blacks received no aid, many among the poor worked but still couldn't afford market rent, and others looked for work regularly but couldn't find steady employment. Usually, the facts did little to dislodge the hostile and racialized stereotypes of those to whom I was speaking.

I've been thinking a lot about white racial resentment lately, amid the rancor over health care reform. While those who oppose the president insist their position is rooted in a disagreement about the size of government, rather than racism, it may actually be about both.

After all, when we discuss programs to benefit society's have-nots or "have-lessers," white folks often envision people like ourselves, taxed on behalf of "lazy" people of color. And if white America hears black people (or Latinos) whenever government spending is proposed, it may be impossible to separate ideological from racial motivations for their hostility.

This is especially true when commentators continuously blur the lines between the two: like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh insisting the president is pushing health care as a way to get reparations for blacks, or when Limbaugh has suggested that the only way to get promoted in the Obama administration is by "hating white people." With rhetoric like this cascading downward from the top of the right-wing food chain, it's a bit hard to tell where legitimate policy disagreement ends and true bigotry begins.

It wasn't always this way. Whites once supported government spending, especially when we thought people like us would be the beneficiaries. Those who protest government health care didn't object, for instance, when government-backed FHA loans helped 15 million white families afford housing from the 1940s to the 1960s, while blacks were essentially excluded. Indeed, by the early '60s, nearly half of all mortgages received by white families were being written under this blatantly preferential government initiative. And whites didn't mind when the government passed the Homestead Act in 1862, resulting in the distribution of over 240 million acres of essentially free land to white families.

But for the past 40 years, much of the white public has associated government spending with racial redistribution, thereby prompting the discovery of our inner libertarian.
Only now that folks of color have gained access to government programs -- and even then, far less generous ones than those to which whites have historically laid claim -- have we decided that government intervention in the economy is something to be condemned.

And that's a form of racism. Perhaps not as blatant as a sign telling the president to "Go Back to Kenya," or picturing him as an African witch doctor with a bone through his nose (as some have done on their signs at tea party rallies or via e-mail chain letters).

But if your opposition to government programs stems from perceiving those programs in racialized terms, it's disingenuous to claim that race has nothing to do with your opposition. It may in fact be central to it.

Tim Wise is the author of "Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity," "White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son" and other books. You can read his blog on Red Room.


To submit an op-ed to AOL News, write to opinion@aolnews.com.

Prepare to rage, ONTD_P

Trenton police charge teen with selling seven-year-old sister for sex

It started with a party invitation to a 15-year-old girl from some young men she knew. She took her 7-year-old stepsister to an apartment down the street from their home near the New Jersey Statehouse, where the girls had been hanging around outside on a Sunday afternoon.

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There's so much to talk about here.. I'm just so fucking enraged.

source
Reporting

Pakistani lawmakers target presidential powers

ISLAMABAD – A parliamentary committee agreed on a constitutional amendment Wednesday that strips the Pakistani president of powers inherited from the country's former military ruler, fulfilling a long-standing opposition demand and reducing pressure on the U.S.-allied leader.

The development could help calm Pakistan's turbulent political environment at time when Washington wants the government focused on battling Taliban and al-Qaida militants blamed for cross-border attacks against U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

"This was a difficult job that has been done amicably and with consensus," Senator Raza Rabbani, the head of the parliamentary committee, told reporters Wednesday.

The draft amendment transfers a variety of powers, including the ability to fire an elected government and appoint military chiefs, from the office of the president to the prime minister, said Senator Hasil Baloch, another member of the committee.

The opposition has criticized President Asif Ali Zardari for dragging his feet on relinquishing the powers, which he first promised to do when he was elected in 2008.

Analysts say the changes mean Zardari will occupy a largely ceremonial post, but since he derives much of his power from his position as co-head of the largest party, he will still wield significant influence over the government.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is a loyal member of Zardari's party and a strong supporter of the president.

"By and large, Gilani will hold the power, and he holds his position because he is the chosen one of Zardari," said Cyril Almeida, an opinion writer for the respected English-language newspaper, Dawn. "It is hard to imagine given the structure of political parties in Pakistan that Gilani will defy the president."

The constitutional amendment was drafted by a committee made up of representatives from every party in parliament and must be approved by two-thirds of parliament to be ratified.

The committee was expected to finalize the draft amendment last week, but opposition leader Nawaz Sharif raised unexpected objections at the last minute on two issues, including the process by which judges for the high courts are chosen and the new name for one of Pakistan's four provinces.

The various sides resolved their differences Wednesday, paving the way for the amendment to be presented before parliament.

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normal

Shocking News: Seatbelts Dont Save Lives! Nanny State Plot To Kill Our Freedoms and People!

Hero of Tea Party To Abolish All Traffic Laws! Hell Yeah! Viva Freedom!

Rand Paul, Kentucky Senate Candidate, Says Seatbelts Shouldn't Be Required

During his tough Republican primary battle in Kentucky for the U.S. Senate, Rand Paul has enjoyed the support of Tea Party activists and touted his credentials as a libertarian.

Really libertarian. In an interview in the upcoming Sunday New York Times magazine, Paul says that he doesn't believe that automobile passengers should be required to wear seat belts:
But in light of your distrust of the federal government, where are you on an issue like seat belts? Federal legislation requiring people to wear seat belts could obviously save lives.


I think the federal government shouldn't be involved. I don't want to live in a nanny state where people are telling me where I can go and what I can do.

Actually, the NYT's Deborah Solomon is mistaken -- federal law since 1968 has required all vehicles except for buses to be equipped with seat belts. But legislation requiring vehicle occupants to wear seat belts is left to the states. It's not clear if Paul supports state laws regarding seat belt usage although he seems pretty emphatic about not being told what to do by any governmental authority.

Maybe Paul should run for the Senate in New Hampshire -- it's the only state that does not require adults to wear them (after all, the state's legendary motto is "Live Free Or Die").

Paul, the son of former presidential candidate and congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), is locked in a bruising primary battle against Trey Grayson, who is supported by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and was recently endorsed by former vice president Dick Cheney.
keep right

Wiretap by U.S. Illegal, Judge Says

A federal judge ruled that the government illegally wiretapped communications between an Islamic charity and its U.S. lawyers, rebuffing the Obama administration's efforts to stop a lawsuit over the case by claiming state secrets.

Wednesday's ruling challenges the legality of the Bush administration's now-defunct Terrorist Surveillance Program and could open the way for plaintiffs to seek damages from the government for violating restrictions outlined in the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The case stems from a 2006 lawsuit filed by the Oregon branch of the Saudi al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, since closed, and two of its lawyers, Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor.

The plaintiffs learned they were being wiretapped by the National Security Agency when the government accidentally turned over to them logs of intercepted calls.

The government demanded the logs be returned, and under the judge's orders, lawyers weren't allowed to use the content of the classified documents in their lawsuit against the government.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, chief judge of the northern California district, said the plaintiffs had established "aggrieved person" status and shown that "they were subjected to warrantless domestic national security surveillance."

The case puts the Obama administration in a bind, trying to shield a program of which President Barack Obama himself previously had been critical.

At the same time, the administration must defend the government from other possible claims that could arise from the surveillance program.

The Obama administration tried to block the al-Haramain case, claiming that allowing it to continue would potentially expose intelligence methods. The Bush administration had made similar arguments.

The judge rejected the government's attempt to use its state secrets privilege, saying that in this case the FISA law trumped the state secrets claim.

The Justice Department said Wednesday it was reviewing the judge's ruling and noted that the Obama administration had set new policies on the use of state secrets, aiming to use the privilege only sparingly and in important national-security matters. The department is likely to appeal.

"The attorney general has instituted key reforms to the department's state secrets policy to strike an appropriate balance between rebuilding the public's trust in the government's use of this privilege while recognizing the imperative need to protect national security," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler.

Jon Eisenberg, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said his clients would review their options, which he had previously told the court included seeking damages in the "hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Mr. Eisenberg said he believed his clients had proof of at least 202 days of surveillance. The law allows penalties of $100 a day per violation per person, plus additional punitive damages.

"There's not a lot of money here but this case isn't about recovering money," Mr. Eisenberg said. "It's about presidential power. Kings, monarchs are above the law, not United States presidents; they don't have the freedom to ignore the act of Congress."

Companies that conducted the wiretapping on the government's behalf are shielded from lawsuits under an update to the FISA law passed by Congress last year.

The update, which President Barack Obama voted for as a senator, also included expanded powers for the government to conduct wiretaps without a warrant, incorporating some elements of the Terrorist Surveillance Program.



Source

About damn time.

'WTF?' MTA bigs derail Working Families Party's texty ads targeting Mayor Bloomberg

Source: NY Daily News

The MTA is not ROTFL at parody signs that use cheeky acronyms to criticize City Hall.

"WTF?" asks one of two posters the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has refused to display on subways and buses.

"OMFG," declares the second of the "Service Nightmare" posters, which mimic official service-change bulletins and were rejected as unsuitable by the MTA.

The campaign was created by the Working Families Party, which contends Mayor Bloomberg has been "missing in action" during the authority's fiscal crisis, leaving riders on track for sweeping reductions in bus and subway service.

But transit officials rejected the spots because the acronyms imply obscene language that many riders may find "offensive, improper or in bad taste," MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said.

The ads also look too much like the real thing, using subway-line logos to form the suggestive acronyms, according to the MTA. Some riders might believe they are real authority bulletins, officials said - or that the authority agrees with the political message.

The Working Families Party was looking to spend $25,000 to $50,000 for a four-week run in the transit system, party spokesman Bryan Collinsworth said.

"We were really hoping to put some pressure on the mayor," Collinsworth said. "We think he controls a central piece of the puzzle."

The party is mulling a lawsuit challenging the MTA's decision on the grounds it violates free speech protections.

Bloomberg spokesman Marc LaVorgna said the campaign was simply off track, in part because the mayor speaks out daily about the need for more transit funding.

"Their anger on this issue is misdirected," LaVorgna said. "They should be directing their anger to the state, which has yet to come up with a successful funding source for the MTA. They should be talking to the entity that controls the MTA, which is the state and the state Legislature."

The MTA is battling an approximately $800 million budget gap because of cuts in state funding and declining tax revenues, Chairman Jay Walder has said.

Service cuts, including elimination of dozens of local and express bus routes, go into effect this summer.

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bluetooth16 has pics of the parody fliers in the first comment. Thank you much. ^__^

Memorial at WTC site set to open on 9/11/11, 10th anniversary of the attacks

Source: MY Daily News

The Sept. 11 Memorial is on track to be opened on the 10th anniversary of the attacks, officials said Tuesday.

Workers have framed in steel the memorial's mammoth reflecting pools, and 60% of the concrete for the project has been poured.

"The memorial pools are now clearly defined in steel, marking an exciting and visible milestone," said Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum President Joe Daniels.

In the next several weeks, workers will install the acre-sized pools with granite lining. Surrounding the pools will be a grove containing about 400 oak trees, which are growing at a site in New Jersey and will begin to be planted this year.

"Opening the 9/11 Memorial on the 10th anniversary of the attacks is our highest priority, and the framing of the signature pools is a tangible sign that we are continuing to make significant progress to meet our commitment," said Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward.

While the memorial is slated to be opened on Sept. 11, 2011, the museum is not expected to be completed until the following year.
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