April 5th, 2010

comedy | The Golden Girls

ONTD_Political's PotD: April 4, 2010.

Jeanne Tiller, widow of slain abortion doctor George Tiller, hugs a family member during the sentencing of Scott Roeder in Sedgwick County District Court in Wichita, Kan., Thursday, April 1, 2010. Roeder was convicted last January of murdering Tiller's husband, Dr. George Tiller.

Jeff Tuttle, Pool | AP Photo
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Mom: Son helped kill SAfrican white supremacist

VENTERSDORP, South Africa – The mother of a 15-year-old murder suspect told Associated Press Television News Monday that her son says he struck slain white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanche with an iron rod after the farmer refused to pay him.

"My son admitted that they did the killing," the mother said in an exclusive interview conducted in the Tswana language from her two-room cement home in Tshing township on the outskirts of Ventersdorp town.

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Wow, I can only IMAGINE what the AWB would do to the suspects after they were brought out.  Between the ANC and the AWB, I feel bad for all the normal people stuck in this mess.

Pope's immunity could be challenged in Britain

LONDON – Protests are growing against Pope Benedict XVI's planned trip to Britain, where some lawyers question whether the Vatican's implicit statehood status should shield the pope from prosecution over sex crimes by pedophile priests.

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition on Downing Street's web site against the pope's 4-day visit to England and Scotland in September, which will cost U.K. taxpayers an estimated 15 million pounds ($22.5 million). The campaign has gained momentum as more Catholic sex abuse scandals have swept across Europe.

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blood / the narrator

US special forces 'tried to cover-up' botched Afghani raid

US special forces soldiers dug bullets out of their victims’ bodies in the bloody aftermath of a botched night raid, then washed the wounds with alcohol before lying to their superiors about what happened, Afghan investigators have told The Times.

Two pregnant women, a teenage girl, a police officer and his brother were shot on February 12 when US and Afghan special forces stormed their home in Khataba village, outside Gardez in eastern Afghanistan. The precise composition of the force has never been made public.

The claims were made as Nato admitted responsibility for all the deaths for the first time last night. It had initially claimed that the women had been dead for several hours when the assault force discovered their bodies.

“Despite earlier reports we have determined that the women were accidentally killed as a result of the joint force firing at the men,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Todd Breasseale, a Nato spokesman. The coalition continued to deny that there had been a cover-up and said that its legal investigation, which is ongoing, had found no evidence of inappropriate conduct.

The Kabul headquarters of General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of US and Nato forces, claimed originally that the women had been “tied up, gagged and killed”.

A senior Afghan official involved in a government investigation told The Times: “I think the special forces lied to McChrystal.”

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source 1 | source 2
glenn greenwald on how americans are propagandized about afghanistan
creepy but cute

“Collateral Murder” – Wikileaks releases U.S. Military video

Or more accurately:

5th April 2010 10:44 EST WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff.

Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.

The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured.

After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own "Rules of Engagement".

Consequently, WikiLeaks has released the classified Rules of Engagement for 2006, 2007 and 2008, revealing these rules before, during, and after the killings.

WikiLeaks has released both the original 38 minutes video and a shorter version with an initial analysis. Subtitles have been added to both versions from the radio transmissions.

WikiLeaks obtained this video as well as supporting documents from a number of military whistleblowers. WikiLeaks goes to great lengths to verify the authenticity of the information it receives. We have analyzed the information about this incident from a variety of source material. We have spoken to witnesses and journalists directly involved in the incident.

WikiLeaks wants to ensure that all the leaked information it receives gets the attention it deserves. In this particular case, some of the people killed were journalists that were simply doing their jobs: putting their lives at risk in order to report on war. Iraq is a very dangerous place for journalists: from 2003- 2009, 139 journalists were killed while doing their work.



For more information see: http://www.collateralmurder.com/

Namir Noor-Eldeen, the Reuters photographer killed in the Baghdad air strike.
"Among the dead were a 22-year-old Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40."
From The Guardian

Other sources (via comments on page 2):
NYTimes - original news on July 12, 2007
-Media finally picking up Huffpo | Al Jazeera | BBC

-AP source confirms video of Baghdad firefight

  • A gritty war video circulating on the Internet that shows U.S. troops firing repeatedly on a group of men — some of whom were unarmed — walking down a Baghdad street is authentic, a senior U.S. military official confirmed Monday.
  • Among those believed to have been killed in that attack was Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and his driver Saeed Chmagh, 40. Two children also were wounded.

22:14:46 GMT From http://www.cnn.com/ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/ http://abcnews.go.com/ http://www.foxnews.com/ only Fox has a story up
  • Julian Assange of WikiLeaks released the video at the National Press Club in Washington. He described the U.S. troops as callous and the shootings as "another day at the office." "The behavior of the pilots is like they're playing a video game," said Assange. "It's like they want to get high-scores in that computer game."
  • Reuters attempted to obtain the 38-minute video without success through the Freedom of Information Act. Assange would not say specifically about how WikiLeaks obtained the video. "It was being conveyed by people in the U.S. military," he said, adding that some "people in the military don't like what's going on."
  • Asked to comment on the video, a senior military official at the Department of Defense told Fox News on the condition of anonymity that "an investigation of the incidents confirmed our belief that these attacks were justified." "The individuals who were killed, apart from the Reuters journalists, were involved in hostile activity," this official said. The official also said all the material seen on this video has been addressed publicly by the Department of Defense. "With regard to the death of the journalists and the apparent misidentification -- all of this has been acknowledged in the past," the official said.

"Well, it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle."
"That’s right."
-15:30/Quote of the year?

16:12:00 GMT You heard it here first. Creeping on twitter and few blogs but not reported on any news sites as of this moment this is being posted, this will blow up big if confirmed. The veracity of the video has yet to be confirmed by external sources though, so we'll see.

21:11:06 GMT We're on the first page of Google results.
Janeway - Side

In shocking news, people not vaccinated against measles get measles

Measles Resurgence Tied To Parents' Vaccine Fears

April 5, 2010

A generation ago, up to 4 million U.S. children got measles every year. Hundreds died, and thousands were left with permanent brain damage. Thanks to vaccination, those days are over, at least in this hemisphere. But health officials worry about the growing number of children who are vulnerable when somebody brings measles from another part of the world.

It happens regularly. Vancouver is trying to contain a measles outbreak sparked when foreign travelers visited for the Olympics, carrying two different measles viruses from Asia.

The first recognized infections — in two Canadians and a visiting American — occurred around the Olympic closing ceremonies. "Downtown Vancouver was shoulder-to-shoulder on many days of that period," notes Dr. Monika Naus of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control.

So far, measles has spread to 16 people in Vancouver, Naus says. Half of them are in one large unvaccinated household. The parents reject vaccination.

"It's not a religious issue," Naus says. "A friend of the family who had anti-vaccination sentiments was influential in convincing them not to get vaccinated."

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Infectious Source

I really have no good way of conveying my frustration over this.  When you decide not to be vaccinated, it's not just you who bears the consequences.  Despite being sourced from NPR, some of the comments are still pretty >:O

Sufjan Smile

Consummating a U.S. takeover

WHEN THIS article appears on the morning of March 31, the much-ballyhooed International Donors Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti will be getting underway at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

While demonstrators in the street outside protest the continuing U.S. and UN military occupation of Haiti, now over six years old, and the Haitian people's exclusion from deliberations on the country's reconstruction, dignitaries inside--like UN Special Envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Haitian President René Préval--will unveil a plan with lots of pomp and ceremony, but which boils down to just one thing: Washington's takeover of the "new" Haiti.

Hyperbole? Unfortunately, no. The lead editorial in the March 28 New York Times, which generally articulates the thinking of the U.S. power elite, lays it out clearly:

The plan envisions a multidonor trust fund managed by the World Bank that pools money for big projects and avoids wasteful redundancy. The Haitian Development Authority would approve the projects; outside auditors would oversee the spending.

Translation: The World Bank, not Haiti, will run the show, a council of foreigners (with a sprinkling of token Haitians) will rubber-stamp directives, and other foreign overseers will supervise the Haitians carrying out the directives.

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Source: The original article is by Kim Ives, an editor and journalist with Haitian weekly newspaper Haiti Liberté, but I cribbed some of the copy-editing from the Socialist Worker writeup.
South Carolina democrat

GOP now begging people to fill out census

In a counter move, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R., N.C.), the top Republican on the House subcommittee that oversees the census, posted a message last week on Redstate.com, a popular conservative Web site, pleading with conservatives to fill out their forms.

The unstated concern: An under-representation of conservatives could mean fewer Republicans in Congress and state legislatures for the next 10 years.

"It's your constitutional duty to respond to this," Mr. McHenry said in an interview. "It's often difficult for conservatives to separate overall government intervention from a question as simple as the census."

SOURCE believes there's a saying about reaping what you sow
  • Current Mood

What Happened at Constance McMillen's Prom

from a Mississippi Newspaper:
Here’s the news, from a source I view as extremely reliable. The prom the school district promised at the country club in Fulton was a ruse. Only seven kids, Constance, and her date showed, and at the same time, everyone else held a “real” prom at a secret location out in the county.

This is all after the school district had represented to Judge Davidson that Constance was invited to a parent-sponsored prom to be held at Tupelo Furniture Market. The school represented that Constance was invited in court filings, testimony, and representations by the school district and its lawyers. In reality, Constance had not been invited, but, based on the representations by the district and its counsel, Judge Davidson denied Constance’s request for a preliminary injunction that she could go to the prom.

The school reneged, or possibly didn’t ever intend to follow through on its representations to the court. The parents didn’t want Constance at the prom and didn’t want to be sued (as they told the Clarion Ledger), and so on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the prom.

But what they’d done was secretly relocated it.

Shortly thereafter, the school’s attorney announced (on Wednesday) that “the prom” was to be held at the Fulton Country Club on Friday. But yet only seven kids showed up.

Meanwhile, there’s a rumor that school officials were directly involved in setting up the “fake” prom.

I have several distinct reactions here. First, there’s a cowardice and dishonesty to this that I would hope even folks who don’t accept Constance McMillen’s right to be herself would find reprehensible. Second, at times it’s crossed my mind that there were some folks out there working in school systems who really loved the kind of petty crap that went on in high school and get far too much pleasure out of reliving it (this is not a comment on school professionals generally!). At second hand, I’m sensing that in the folks making the decisions for the school in Itawamba County. Third, at the back of my mind this whole time has been my experience of being a ninth grader when the Fifth Circuit decided they’d had it, and that it was time for complete (rather than token) integration of public education in Mississippi. One outcome was an immediate cancellation of school-sponsored proms, leading in turn to private proms that, in the white community, became sort of junior auxiliaries for the Ole Miss (or the like) greek system, with all the exclusion and related snottiness that could imply.

I do have this recall of Kent Moorhead (to his credit) as president of the student council a year ahead of me at Oxford High, making a large thing out of trying to bring back school sponsored buses to out-of-town football games (I think he won on that one) and school proms (he lost that one). I’d hope for some student leader to join Constance in telling the grownups how to behave, but I’m not holding my breath.


This makes me think of the time I lurked the "One Man One Woman" Facebook page and all these people were commending the actions and "bravery" of Constance's school, and asking for prayers because their own children were there and it's so hard being a god warrior in today's society, blah blah. I hate people.

FDA Scientist Loses His Job For Saying Cancer Screenings Might Give You Cancer - Science - io9

There's been a lot of concern lately about the routine use of radiation-heavy scans to identify early signs of cancer. Could cancer detection actually give you cancer? One Food and Drug Administration researcher said yes... so the FDA fired him.

The FDA was considering whether to approve computerized tomography (CT) scans for routine colon cancer screenings last year. And Dr. Julian Nicholas said he and eight other researchers spoke out against approval on the grounds that otherwise healthy patients could be at risk for cancer from the scan's radiation. He and the other staffers were "pressured to change their scientific opinion," he testified at a hearing — and then the FDA decided to push forward over their objections.

A chest CT scan has as much radiation as 400 chest X-rays. And according to Nicholas, between 1.5 percent and 2 percent of cancers are caused by CT scans. But agency managers ridiculed Nicholas for "raising the bugaboo of radiation."

So Nicholas and the others went straight to the division's top director, Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, last September, with their concerns. A month later, Nicholas was fired. "Scientific and regulatory review process for medical devices was being distorted by managers who were not following the laws," he testified yesterday.

The danger of radiation exposure from cancer screenings is already a hot-button (so to speak) issue right now. In February, the FDA announced it was launching an effort to improve scanning safety, after three California hospitals revealed that hundreds of patients had received radiation overdoses. Many of these patients reported lost hair and reddened skin. The FDA is trying to appear proactive on the issue, so Nicholas' revelations obviously don't help much.

source: i09

IT'S TRUE: Constance Tricked Out Of Prom

Constance McMillen has confirmed that a large fancy secret prom took place across town while she and special needs students attended what they were told was the "official" prom.
"They had two proms and I was only invited to one of them," McMillen says. "The one that I went to had seven people there, and everyone went to the other one I wasn’t invited to." Last week McMillen asked one of the students organizing the prom for details about the event, and was directed to the country club. "It hurts my feelings," McMillen says. Two students with learning difficulties were among the seven people at the country club event, McMillen recalls. "They had the time of their lives," McMillen says. "That's the one good thing that come out of this, [these kids] didn't have to worry about people making fun of them [at their prom]."
The ACLU says they aren't sure if they can take legal action over the deception.
Kristy Bennett, legal director for the ACLU of Mississippi, said her organization was still gathering details about what happened Friday night to determine whether they would ask Davidson for sanctions. At the least, Bennett said the details about Friday’s prom would be used in the organization’s damages suit against the district, which is still being developed. “We are disappointed at the sparse attendance, and we’re looking further into the situation,” Bennett said. “Whatever we find will be brought to the court’s attention, whether it is in the damages trial, or whatever. There will still be a trial on the merits. The case didn’t end in the preliminary hearing.”
Harvested from a student's Facebook page, here's a few photos of the happy teen bigots enjoying their queer-free prom.
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This is just sick. People are so fucked up. Fuck you, students, parents, and administrative staff of Itawamba County School District.

P.S. LJ is so damn slow.
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    Jaga Jazzist
fuck the mcu

Pope visits Malta mid-month, sex abuse cases await

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Associated Press Writer

VALLETTA, Malta -- Pope Benedict XVI visits Malta in two weeks, and some victims of sex abuse by priests on the predominantly Roman Catholic island say they want him to use the trip to apologize for their suffering.

The trip is the first foreign visit that Benedict will make since the clerical abuse scandal tore across Europe. Noting that he has met with victims and denounced clerical abuse on previous foreign trips, the Vatican on Monday didn't rule out that the pope might break his recent silence on the matter in Malta.

Lawrence Grech, a 37-year-old man who says he was abused as a child at a church-run orphanage, has written to the Vatican demanding an apology.
He said the pope should use the two-day trip April 17-18 to address himself to victims as he did in his letter to Irish Catholics last month.

"He should recognize that these things happened in Malta, reflect about the victims' suffering and issue a formal apology,"
Grech said.
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Nigerian police kill protestors against cop brutality

Police reportedly fired live ammunition into a crowd of young people on April 3rd, killing two — at a protest against the force's killing of another man two days previously.

The protest, called in the Ajegunle suburb against the April 1st killing of 24-year-old Charles Okafor, was turned into a bloody massacre after police responded to some hurled stones by spraying bullets around the street. Local media said four people had died in the incident, specifically attributing two deaths to the police action. Sources at Lagos police dismissed the claims, saying no-one had died.

Tensions have been growing in the city as public pressure is put on the local government to clean up Lagos' notoriously corrupt and violent public service. The situation came to a head after Okafor allegedly died from a beating meted out when he was allegedly caught spraying graffiti.

Again, police have refused to take responsibility for the death, saying there were no marks found in his autopsy and telling reporters "he just slumped over" as police were arresting him.

The protests in Ajegunle have been mirrored in Abuja, where motorcycle couriers rioted and barricaded a road on April 2nd after a policeman allegedly killed one of their colleagues at a police observation point near the junction. This has also been denied, with police saying the death was an accident.

Further protests are likely, including one organised by the youth group Enoughisenough, which will be holding a demonstration at the office of the Lagos state Governor in Alausa, on April 13th against corruption and the state's misuse of power.

Source: libcom.org