April 22nd, 2010

misc01

DMV Recalls Plate With Apparent Hitler Reference



Virginia Motor Vehicle Recalls Plate With Apparent Hitler Reference

Richmond, VA - The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday recalled a license plate that appeared to have coded references glorifying Adolf Hitler.

The vanity plate, which read "14CV88," was the subject of complaints after photos were posted online.

The "88" is sometimes a coded reference to Heil Hitler, as each word begins with the eighth letter of the alphabet.

The "14" is thought to stand for the number of words in a white supremacist credo. The "CV" is an apparent reference to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.


The Council on American-Islamic Relations was among the groups offended by the plate. The truck bearing the plates also featured graphics of the Confederate flag and the phrase "Everything I ever needed to know about Islam I learned on 9/11."

DMV spokeswoman Pam Goheen said the specialized plate, which featured the logo of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, was issued in March 2009. She declined to specify the county where the plate was registered. After reviewing the complaints, Goheen said a DMV committee determined that the letters and numbers could reasonably be construed as racially or ethnically disparaging.

Source

I wonder if the owner of that truck is really (physically) disabled?

Bisexual men claim discrimination in Gay World Series

I feel this article relates to points made here: http://community.livejournal.com/ontd_political/5973123.html#cutid1

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Source: FoxNews


Three bisexual men filed a lawsuit in Seattle, Washington against the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) claiming they were discriminated against for not being gay enough to participate in the organization's Gay Softball World Series, The Seattle Times reported Tuesday evening.

The three men who filed the suit, Steven Apilado, LaRon Charles and Jon Russ, claim their softball team, D2, was disqualified from participating in the softball championship because the alliance ruled they were "nongay."

After D2 qualified for the 2008 championship series, the NAGAAA held a hearing to determine the sexual orientation of D2 players. The plaintiffs allege they were asked "personal and intrusive questions" about their sexual attractions and desires.

At one point during the questioning, D2 players were allegedly told, "This is the Gay World Series, not the Bisexual World Series."

The men are asking for $75,000 each for emotional distress, are seeking to invalidate the alliance's findings on the men's sexual orientations and to reinstate D2's second-place World Series finish.

The NAGAAA was formed in 1977 and now includes more than 680 teams in 37 leagues across the U.S
normal

Scott Roeder: "Prison Sucks"

Savior of Fetuses Demands to Be Moved to a Five Star Hotel: "I am a Hero for Crying Out Loud!"

Scott Roeder: Abortion Doctor's Killer Complains Of Treatment In Prison, Files For Early Release


The convicted killer of a Kansas abortion provider has filed a petition complaining of his treatment in prison and seeking his release.


A hearing on Scott Roeder's habeas corpus petition is scheduled for June 4 before Judge Timothy Henderson in Wichita. A habeas corpus petition requires that a judge determine whether the government can continue to hold a prisoner.

The court docket shows Roeder filed the initial paperwork himself in February. His court-appointed attorney, Michael Brown, could not immediately be reached for comment.

All the documents in a separate civil case involving Roeder have been sealed.

The murder case against him for killing Dr. George Tiller is now under appeal.
Hanifah Tough

Arizona gets a jumpstart on arresting brown people for the crime of being brown in Arizona

by Alicia E. Barrón

PHOENIX – A Valley man says he was pulled over Wednesday morning and questioned when he arrived at a weigh station for his commercial vehicle along Val Vista and the 202 freeway.

Abdon says he provided several key pieces of information but what he provided apparently was not what was needed.

He tells 3TV, “I don't think it's correct, if I have to take my birth certificate with me all the time.”Collapse )

Jamie Oliver improves Huntington, W.Va.'s eating habits

It's happy-ending time for Huntington, W.Va.: Six-year-olds can now distinguish between tomatoes and potatoes. Cooks are tossing apple-cucumber salads with honey dressing for the lunch line. College students and parents are learning to make omelets and soups in free cooking classes. And Jamie Oliver, the crusading British chef who arrived last fall to help change habits in "the unhealthiest town in America," has apparently won the hearts, minds -- and stomachs -- of the locals.

With the finale of his ABC program this Friday, "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" has officially been televised. But can the six-part, prime-time series help a real revolution take root?

 

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Lucy  - Durnk n Pitsy

ABC Finds A Few "Experts" To Tell Dem Po' Black Wimminz Why Deyz Cain't Git Demselves A Man!

Photobucket

GET YOUR RAGE CAPS ON, ONTD_P!

For as long as there have been movies, music and magazines, there has been the single gal.

Successful black women search for Mr. Right.

Over the years, she has gone from being a punchline to a glamorous, independent icon. Artists like Beyonce Knowles champion "Single Ladies," and movies like "Something New" make the case for successful, single women maintaining high standards.

But in reality, one group of women has found it harder to leverage professional success into the model personal life.

Over the past few decades, black women in America have made historic strides academically and professionally. According to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, at least 60 percent of black students who get awarded college degrees are women. Black women make up 71 percent of black graduate students.

But the statistics point to another issue: Many of the women are single.

According to a recent Yale study, 42 percent of African-American women have yet to be married, compared to only 23 percent of white women. There's also a gap in numbers. The 2000 U.S. Census counted 1.8 million more African-American women than black men.

But is the successful, single black woman a matter of statistics, or are there other more controversial factors at hand?

"Nightline" tackled the phenomenon in a piece originally reported by ABC News' Linsey Davis in late 2009. The piece sparked an outpouring of praise and criticism. Some viewers praised "Nightline" for covering an overlooked issue, while others found the topic offensive.

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Source

You can see the entire debate here.
YouTube links can be found here.

Some additional reading can be found here:
Yet Another TV Show About Black Women and Black Men
Why Can't Successful Black Women Find A Man? Yes. Again.

Okay, excuse me, but when the hell did Steve Harvey become a "relationship expert"?
Sufjan Smile

Ben Roethlisberger: No Justice, No Play?



BEN ROETHLISBERGER should be thanking the heavens that he possesses the unique skill to throw a football 60 yards. If he was Ben the 28-year-old mill worker accused of raping a 20-year-old student in the bathroom of a college town bar, he'd be in prison awaiting trial.
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Source: The Nation

The double-standard of justice in class and race privilege continues, as it always has.
panda bear

(no subject)

Biden reveals Title IX policy changes



Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the Smith Center Tuesday afternoon, announcing a repeal of a Bush-era policy that allowed universities to rely on student surveys to prove they were meeting the gender equality law known as Title IX.

The announcement, which also featured remarks from Senior Adviser to the President Valerie Jarrett and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, restricts the ways in which schools can show compliance with Title IX. Schools must now show the amount of female athletes is proportional to the amount of women on campus, or show a history of continually adding women's sports teams.

Previously, schools had a third option: Survey the student body to prove the institution had met the athletic interest of women on campus. While schools can still survey students, that can no longer be their only method of proof.

Because GW shows its compliance through the proportion-based option, the policy change does not directly affect the University, University President Steven Knapp said.

At the hour-long event, attended by about 350 people, Biden spoke of how important sports are to the women in his life and how athletics build confidence and character.

"Making Title IX as strong as it possibly can be is the right thing to do," Biden said. "We're going to make sure that this is flexible, that the absolute best effort that could be possibly made is being made to make sure women in college are given the opportunity that they deserve."

At GW, where females comprise about 56 percent of the student body, there are 12 women's sports teams and 10 men's sports teams. About 51 percent of athletic scholarships are awarded to female athletes, according to a fact sheet released by the University.

Bonnie Morris, a women's studies professor and expert on Title IX, called the policy change fantastic, and said the survey was an attempt to avoid the other options.

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normal

(no subject)

Massey Energy Frustrated With Lazy Welfare Queen Miners Unwilling to Work After Death: Will Start to Hire Zombies on The Cheap.

In Coal Country, a Culture of Fear
Massey Intimidates Workers, Families Into Silence

Charleston, W.Va. — Two weeks after the horrific explosion that killed 29 coal miners in southern West Virginia, it’s business as usual for the owner of the project.

Massey Energy, the Virginia-based coal giant that runs the Upper Big Branch Mine, has denied time off for miners to attend their friends’ funerals; has rejected makeshift memorials outside the mine site; and, in at least one case, required a worker to go on shift even though the fate of a relative — one of the victims of the April 5 disaster — remained unknown at the time, according to some family members and other sources familiar with those episodes. In short, the company might be taking heat for putting profits and efficiency above its workers, but it doesn’t appear to have changed its tune in the wake of the worst mining tragedy in 40 years.

“They told my husband, ‘You’ve got a job to do and you’re gonna do it,’” said the wife of one Massey miner, referring to the funerals he’s missed this month for friends who died in the blast. “What else are we gonna do?”
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Kelsey Grammer Talks Broadway, Gay Marriage and Being an R-Word

Kelsey Grammer, best known for his role as fussbudget Frasier Crane on 'Frasier,' is thinking outside of the box (and the closet) in his latest role. Grammer has returned to his "first love," the stage, in the Broadway revival of 'La Cage Aux Folles.' The musical, which spawned the hit film 'The Birdcage,' centers on the lives of Georges, portrayed by Grammer, the owner of a drag club on the French Riviera, and his high-maintenance partner, Albin, played by Englishman Douglas Hodge.

The show, full of fun, folly and drag queens, has gotten Grammer to open up about his views on gay marriage, his past addictions and why Hollywood thinks "Republican" is a four-letter word.
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Golden Ballz: Socialist Government Out To Kill Us! Why Do They Hatez Us?

Goldman CEO Blankfein feels that ‘government is out to kill them.’

Lloyd Blankfein, the embattled CEO of Goldman Sachs, told clients in a telephone call yesterday that he feels under siege due to a Securities and Exchange Commission probe that scrutinizes Goldman for misrepresenting a debt product tied to subprime mortgages. Blankfein, apparently channeling his inner Glenn Beck, reportedly told investors that “the government is out to kill” his firm:

One person who received a call from the Goldman chief said he was told the regulator’s case against the bank was politically motivated and would ultimately “hurt America”. […]

“He was very aggressive,” said one person called by Mr Blankfein on Wednesday. “He feels that the government is out to kill them, that they are under attack and the whole thing is totally political.”

Mr Blankfein said the SEC action “hurts America”, this person said.

Blankfein has previously denied that Goldman has profited from government support, despite the fact that the firm’s profits have been driven by cheap access to federal dollars. Blankfein, who holds the honor of receiving the biggest bonus ever given to a Wall Street CEO, has asserted that he is just a banker doing “God’s work.”

Ignore the anti-immigrant hysteria, Britain is not full.

Claims that Britain's population will soon reach 70 million do not stand up to scrutiny.

 

Is Britain full? In the 1930s the Daily Mail campaigned against letting in German Jews on the basis that it was; since then the UK has accommodated more than 10 million extra people. But what was once a far-right trope is rapidly becoming conventional wisdom on both left and right. Even the supposedly impartial BBC now takes it as fact, if Monday's shockingly one-sided Panorama programme was anything to go by.

The programme's starting point was projections by the Office of National Statistics that, on current trends, Britain's population will reach 70 million by 2029, with two-thirds of the increase coming from new immigrants and their children. Such projections, the programme claimed, are accurate to within plus or minus 2.5 per cent.

Not so. The projection misleadingly extrapolates to the distant future the exceptional rise in immigration in the years before 2008, when the economy was booming unsustainably and the government has just let in workers from Poland and other east European countries. But now boom has turned to bust and the plummeting pound has devalued British wages, new arrivals from eastern Europe halved between 2007 and 2009, and many are going home. In the 12 months to mid-2009, immigration was already well below the ONS projection.

Previous projections have proved wildly wrong. In 1965, official statisticians reckoned Britain's population would reach 75 million by 2000. It turned out 16 million lower. And while short-term projections based on births and deaths may be reasonably accurate, longer-term estimates of future migration should be taken with a fistful of salt.

The programme's other premise was that a rising population -- due to immigration -- was overwhelmingly a bad thing. Except for a 10-second clip of me putting a positive case for immigration, the message was unrelentingly negative. Immigrants were said to contribute little to the economy and strain scarce resources -- seats on trains, hospital beds, social housing, living space, you name it.

This is misanthropic nonsense. Each of us contributes to society in all sorts of ways -- and immigrants are no exception. On the contrary, newcomers tend to chip in more than most. Research by Christian Dustmann and his team at University College London shows that newcomers from eastern Europe paid 37 per cent more in taxes than they received in benefits and from public services in 2008-09, while people born in Britain paid in 20 per cent less than they received. In other words, recent migrants are not a drain on the welfare state, they are helping to pay for it -- while many more migrants help to provide public services, as doctors, nurses or cleaners in the NHS, for instance. So if public services are failing to respond fast enough to a changing population's needs, blame the government, not foreigners. After all, if a Brit moved from Carlisle to Cardiff to take up a new job and there wasn't a place for their child at the local school, who would you blame?

 

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Source: New Statesman
Ani: Amazon Warrior

Why Harold Koh Should Be the Next Supreme Court Justice



Republicans need a political victory. They couldn't stop President Obama's recovery package, they couldn't kill the health care bill, and too many are wandering close to agreement on financial reform. But the almighty Supreme Court has been the conservative goal for decades -- and the next justice is their next chance for a big win before the midterms. Any Democrat who's willing to believe that Republicans might make this confirmation smooth if Obama nominates a moderate "non-activist" should think twice.

This nomination to replace Justice Stevens -- a staunch liberal on the court for 35 years -- can be more important than health care, the recovery bill and financial reform combined. That's why President Obama shouldn't just nominate someone who Republicans deem acceptable -- he should nominate someone that progressives would be proud to fight for.

That's why we need Harold Koh.

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Pride & Prejudice

This could be a blip. But if not, British politics will be changed for ever.

Suddenly British politics has gone Hollywood. That's not a reference to pin-up boy Clegg but rather to the old William Goldman maxim about the film industry: "No one knows anything." Talk to those whose opinions ordinarily come armour-plated and they'll admit they're flailing.

Fifteen days out from a general election, such folk usually have a very clear sense of what will happen. Not this time.

You'd think that a rash of opinion polls with the Liberal Democrats in either first or second place would have all three parties working out the angles. "But we don't know the angles," admits one veteran of elections past. "There's no map." They feel like the crew of the Star Trek Enterprise, beamed down on a planet with an utterly alien landscape.

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Source
OUaT - Snow caught

Earth Day at 40: What Good Is It Now?

On its 40th anniversary, Earth Day is tamer but still a rallying point, experts say.

After 40 years, outsourced activism is replacing traditional Earth Day activities and green's gone mainstream—Earth Day even has its own Google doodle. So what's the point?

(Also see "Earth Day at 40: How It Began, Where It's Going.")

The first Earth Day in 1970 was a raucous, radical teach-in that helped spur clean-air, clean-water, and endangered species legislation in the United States. (Pictures: The First Earth Day—Bell-Bottoms and Gas Masks.)

Now, 40 years later, Earth Day is every day, as the saying goes. The thing is, it's also everyday—environmentalism has become a routine, if not universally embraced, part of U.S. culture, with green-ness as much a marketing tactic as a moral pursuit.

"I think the novelty [of Earth Day] has worn off," said Steve Cohen, the executive director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

"We're not burying cars or doing those kinds of dramatic gestures anymore," Cohen said. "Originally, it was seen as an expression of a radical political belief. It's hard to argue that it's radical anymore."


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Source

Thoughts? I'm not sure all of their criticisms are entirely valid, especially considering there are so many ways people can individually change their lifestyles to help the environment. Change on a governmental level is great, too, but so is recycling, using CFLs, composting, conserving water, etc. There are plenty of things people can do at home that they just don't know about, so any education we can do today counts for a lot.
[AC] :D

~*UK ELECTIONS 2010*~ SECOND TV DEBATE



HAY Y'ALL



**LIVE POST**THURSDAY, 22 APRIL - TV DEBATE
Sky's turn to host the prime ministerial debate. Adam Boulton asks the questions between 8pm and 9.30pm on the Sky News channel and the main theme is foreign affairs. It will take place in the South-West of England.


Live Feeds:

BBC News
Guardian.co.uk - non-UK usable
Live Station
C-SPAN (check back at 3:00)

Previous Posts:
Election Timeline
First TV Debate


If you have more feeds please link them in the comments and I will add them. The debate should be starting in ~25 minutes if my timing is correct. NOW
old 97s

WellPoint Routinely Targets Breast Cancer Patients

One after another, shortly after a diagnosis of breast cancer, each of the women learned that her health insurance had been canceled. First there was Yenny Hsu, who lived and worked in Los Angeles. Later, Robin Beaton, a registered nurse from Texas. And then, most recently, there was Patricia Relling, a successful art gallery owner and interior designer from Louisville, Kentucky.

None of the women knew about the others. But besides their similar narratives, they had something else in common: Their health insurance carriers were subsidiaries of WellPoint, which has 33.7 million policyholders -- more than any other health insurance company in the United States.

The women all paid their premiums on time. Before they fell ill, none had any problems with their insurance. Initially, they believed their policies had been canceled by mistake.

They had no idea that WellPoint was using a computer algorithm that automatically targeted them and every other policyholder recently diagnosed with breast cancer. The software triggered an immediate fraud investigation, as the company searched for some pretext to drop their policies, according to government regulators and investigators.

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Reporting

Saving the Earth: What Science Can’t Accomplish

by Regina Cornwell

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the author describes how women have worked to break through the seemingly impervious bureaucracy at the UN to finally impress on world leaders that saving the earth depends on guaranteeing women equal rights and status.

Hillary Rodham Clinton tells of traveling in Africa as secretary of state in a van with several Africa experts. Out the window she saw an unending line of women, many carrying babies on their backs, hauling water jars or bundles of wood on their heads, in fields hoeing, and selling produce in the marketplaces. Clinton commented to her companions that women seemed to work constantly. “Yes. But, it doesn’t count….It’s not part of the formal economy,” an economist volunteered. Clinton’s rejoinder: “Well if every woman who did all that work stopped tomorrow, the formal economy would collapse.”

Similarly, whether formally recognized or not—and it’s generally not—women around the world and gender equality are intimately connected with climate change concerns. So much so that how we go about treating both will affect how we face the expanding disaster of global warming.

Clinton related her story in her UN speech last month for the Conference on the Status of Women. She remarked that climate change will be felt by all of us but that women in developing countries “will be particularly hard hit” as heavier and more frequent floods and droughts will force them to work even harder to farm and walk ever farther to find wood and safe drinking water. By 2020 the United States and its allies are to contribute $100B annually for those countries most struck by the worsening weather disasters while having contributed little, if anything, to global warming. In addressing the crisis, Clinton said, “we must increase women’s access to adaptation and mitigation technologies and programs so that they can protect their families and help us all meet this global challenge.”

Clinton celebrates women as “key partners and problem solvers” capable of combining their own knowledge and experience with promised resources and training from the west. NGOs have been struggling for years to introduce women and gender equality into UN climate change negotiations. They have begun to see some progress. Secretary of State Clinton on their side should strengthen their case.

When the machinery for dealing with international climate change was assembled in Rio de Janeiro at the “Earth Summit” in 1992 through the new UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it was believed that science held the solution, beginning with keeping inventories of green house gases and their removal. No mention of women or gender entered the document then or when it was ratified two years later. Nor did either appear in the frequently cited Kyoto Protocol of 1997—which dealt with mitigating green house gases through, for example, sequestering liquid carbon dioxide and pumping it deep underground or cap and trade agreements.
 

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Ani: Amazon Warrior

Rep. Bilbray (R-CA) can spot undocumented immigrants by their shoes



Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) had an interesting take on how "trained professionals" could spot undocumented workers: just by looking at their shirts and shoes.

Bilbray was a recent guest on MSNBC's "Hardball" with Chris Matthews. While discussing Arizona's pending profiling bill, Matthews asked Bilbray to give a "non-ethnic aspect" that law enforcement could use to seek out illegal immigrants. Bilbray said beyond spotting them "mostly by [their] behavior," trained professionals would be able to spot them out by what they were wearing.

"They will look at the type of dress they wear, there is different type of attire. Right down to the shoes, right down to the clothes. But, mostly by behavior," Bilbray answered.

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Sky Leaders Debate: five free ways to watch it

The Sky Leaders Debate is being hosted by the pay TV titan but you don’t need to put down any money to watch tonight’s political punch-up. Though Sky subscribers will get the dubious pleasure of seeing the three leaders in HD, the debate is actually being screened in lots of other places. Here’s five free ways to watch the Sky Leaders Debate and see Cameron, Clegg and Brown battle it out again…

1 Switch on Freeview
While Sky is providing the studio and set for tonight’s Leaders Debate (which looks significantly better than ITV’s Krypton Factor style effort), the live feed will be carried on several channels. If you’ve got Freeview, you’ll be able to choose between Sky News, the BBC News Channel and BBC Parliament. Those channels are also included in the standard Virgin Media and Talk Talk TV packages.

2 Download the iPhone app
The free Sky News iPhone app gives you free live streaming via WiFi or 3G, so if you’re away from your living room you can still peer at the politicians. iPhone TV Catchup will do the same thing for both Sky News and the BBC News Channel. If you can’t watch the debate, you could also grab the LBC 97.3 app which will give you the live debate audio, again over WiFi or 3G.

3 Head online
Sky News also streams for free online. If you prefer the BBC, you can watch the BBC News Channel live through iPlayer. Both channels are also available for free through TV Catchup. The Daily Telegraph website will also be streaming the Leaders Debate. If you don’t fancy actually looking at their faces, you can also listen to the debate live on Radio 4 via iPlayer or via the LBC website.

4 Watch on your Xbox 360
If you’re an Xbox Live Gold account holder you can access Sky News for free from your Xbox 360 without needing to stump up any cash for Sky Player. You’ll just need to tear yourself away from Splinter Cell: Conviction for the duration of the Sky Leaders Debate.

5 Catch up later
If you’re busy when the Sky Leaders Debate is on, you can catch up with it later. The BBC will be broadcasting the entire debate as live after Newsnight. If you don’t want to have to stay up into the wee hours (BBC 2’s replay will start at 11.20pm), you’ll be able to catch-up with the Leaders Debate via iPlayer and the Sky News website.

Source: Electricpig

Note to mods: I know this is a blog and thus probably not a good source, but I figured this would be useful considering the live post tonight - could you make an exception given it's in the comm's interest, please?

Ty siobhanc92  for linking this. :)

BNP facing Marmite legal action

Marmite Yeast Extract

Image via Wikipedia

The maker of Marmite is threatening legal action against the British National Party to stop it from using a jar of the spread in a party broadcast.

Unilever said it had not given the BNP permission to use its product and was looking into taking out an injunction.

The BNP's online broadcast was removed from the party's website, but it is still available to view on file sharing website YouTube.

BNP leader Nick Griffin told the BBC the broadcast was created as a spoof.

It appears that the BNP is trying to tap into Marmite's "love it or hate it" advertising slogan.

Unilever said in a statement: "Neither Marmite nor any other Unilever brand are aligned to any political party.

"We are currently initiating injunction proceedings against the BNP to remove the Marmite jar from the online broadcast and prevent them from using it in future."

In the broadcast, a jar of Marmite appears in the top left hand corner of the screen as BNP leader Nick Griffin addresses the camera.

Source: BBC


franklin sherman

Obama DOJ Indicts NSA Whistleblower

The DOJ last week announced an indictment of Thomas Drake on charges of leaking classified information about the NSA's various wiretapping and other programs to gather intelligence. Drake was a senior NSA official who provided information to reporters about those programs, many of which were illegal.

Glenn Greenwald asks the obvious question: What happened to all that "we must look forward, not backward" stuff that Obama is so adamant about when it comes to Bush administration war crimes and constitutional violations?

Let's spend just a moment thinking about what this means. We've known since December, 2005, that Bush officials, including at the NSA, committed felonies by eavesdropping on Americans without the warrants required by law -- crimes punishable by a five-year prison term and$10,000 fine for each offense. All three federal judges to rule on the question have found those actions to be in violation of the law. Yet there have been no criminal investigations, let alone indictments, for those crimes, and there won't be any, due to Barack Obama's dictate that we "Look Forward, Not Backward." Thus, the high-level political officials who committed crimes while running the NSA will be completely immunized for their serious crimes.

By stark contrast, an NSA official who brought to the public's attention towering failures and waste at the NSA -- revelations that led to exposés that, as Shane put it, were "honored with a top prize from the Society for Professional Journalists" -- is now being prosecuted for crimes that could lead to a lengthy prison term. Why doesn't Obama's dictate that we "Look Forward, Not Backward," protect this NSA whistle-blower from prosecution at least as much as the high-level Bush officials who criminally spied on American citizens? Isn't the DOJ's prosecution of Drake the classic case of "Looking Backward," by digging into Bush-era crimes, controversies and disclosures?

Interestingly, the Bush DOJ long threatened to prosecute not only NSA whistle-blowers but also The New York Times for revealing its illegal spying. It never did so, however, likely because, as Shane speculates, prosecutions for those leaks would cause light to be shined on what the NSA actually did when eavesdropping on Americans. Yet here is the Obama DOJ prosecuting a whistleblower, a prosecution that is certain to intimidate and deter other whistle-blowers, thus choking off one of the very few avenues which Americans have left for learning about what this sprawling, obsessively secret Surveillance State does. As Lucy Dalglish, Executive Director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Presss, told the NYT today: "The whole point of the prosecution is to have a chilling effect on reporters and sources, and it will."

The message is plain: When government officials violate the constitution, statutory law and our treaty obligations to spy without warrants, torture or kill detainees in our custody (more than 100 have died during interrogations, something the press has largely ignored), we must ignore those things and move on; when a government official blows the whistle on those illegal and appalling actions, they must be prosecuted.

So much for the rule of law.

http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2010/04/obama_doj_indicts_nsa_whistleb.php
Up da butt

WTF? "Did Racism Drive Gay Activist Protesters to Heckle Obama?"


So President Obama faced a few hecklers on Monday who went after him about the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Take a gander, gander takers!

Now I, for one, think it's awesome to see gay activists moving beyond the easy targets. Usually, they rag on Mormons, because they'll take it, but ignore black churches because they won't. So now, for once, they actually spoke truth to power.

But I wonder, couldn't this heckling be a precursor to violent extremism? And could this agitation toward our president, said to be based on policy, really be thinly veiled racism? I mean, the president did say he agreed with this gay group and yet they still heckled.


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mus | like a bird in a cage

Ky. Teens Charged In Attack On Gay Classmate

MCKEE, Ky. -- Two teenagers charged in an attack on a gay classmate in eastern Kentucky have been released from jail.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that 18-year-old Ashley N. Sams of Annville and 18-year-old Corrine M. Schwab of Sandgap were released Wednesday after posting $25,000 bonds each.

Both are charged with attempted murder and kidnapping in an attack on 18-year-old classmate Cheyenne Williams.

On Monday, Williams told police the two girls and a 17-year-old juvenile assaulted her and tried to push her over a cliff Friday at Flat Lick Falls.

The juvenile also has been charged, but authorities have not released her name or the charges.

Williams' mother, Dee Johnson, said the girls attacked her daughter because she is openly gay.

Schwab and Sams are scheduled to be arraigned Monday.


Source
Ani: Amazon Warrior

Hundreds of high schoolers ditch school, protest Arizona immigration bill



PHOENIX – The Associated Press is reporting that Arizona governor Jan Brewer isn't taking action Thursday on a controversial immigration enforcement bill passed by the legislature earlier this week.

Hundreds of Arizona students walked out of school on Thursday morning to protest the controversial immigration bill now awaiting the governor's signature.

As many of 300 students left Cesar Chavez High School at Baseline Road and 40th Avenue at 11 a.m.  The move came despite loud speaker warnings from their principal to stay in class.  Carrying protest signs, the students then started a 4-mile-long march to the state Capitol.  Up to 700 students also left Trevor Brown and Maryvale high schools to protest the bill.

Those students marched along Indian School Road, toward a Food City at 67th Avenue where their protest was expected to end.  Students from several other Valley high schools are reportedly doing the same today.

Video from Air15 at the state Capitol shows the students on the lawn of the Capitol.

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The bill is now in the hands of Gov. Jan Brewer, who has not taken a position on the measure championed by fellow Republicans and already signed by the House.  Brewer can sign the bill, veto it or do nothing, which would still allow the bill to become law. She has until Saturday to act on the bill.

If it moves through, it will go into effect in 90 days.


source 

this touches my heart so much

(no subject)

Religious groups in Ontario object to new sex ed curriculum; changes shelved



Christians and Muslims in Ontario are united in their objections to the province’s new sex education curriculum.

Mentions of homosexuality as early as Grade 3 have raised objections from diverse groups and the participants in a school boycott on May 10 – aimed at putting pressure on Premier Dalton McGuinty to pull the new curriculum – will likely represent a cultural cross-section of the city.

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LONDON -- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty backed off Thursday from a controversial plan to alter the province's sex-education curriculum after publicly funded Catholic schools said they wouldn't implement the changes.

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have fun guys. also, for context, most built-up areas in ontario have one catholic elementary school for every non-denominational one.
Reporting

Bosnia gets Nato membership plan

Nato foreign ministers have agreed to launch a Membership Action Plan (MAP) for Bosnia-Hercegovina - a penultimate step to joining the military alliance.

"MAP has been granted to Bosnia today, but with clear conditions," alliance spokesman James Appathurai said at a Nato summit in Tallinn, Estonia.

He said that all military equipment in Bosnia needed to be registered as belonging to the federal government.

Bosnia, which was ravaged by war in the 1990s, applied for a MAP in 2009.

A MAP is a multi-stage process of political dialogue and military reform to bring a candidate country in line with Nato standards.

The process can take several years before a full membership in the alliance is granted.

The prospect of joining Nato - and also the EU - has been a powerful drive for reform in the former Yugoslavia, which was ravaged by wars in the 1990s.

Croatia joined the alliance last April, while Montenegro was granted a MAP last December.

Bosnia is now an independent state, but under international administration.

The 1995 Dayton peace accord, which ended the 1992-95 Bosnian war, set up two separate entities: a Bosniak-Croat Federation of Bosnia-Hercegovina, and the Bosnian Serb Republic (Republika Srpska), each with its own president, government, parliament, police and other bodies.

Overarching these entities is a central Bosnian government and rotating presidency.

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Xtravaganza!

Gay and bald? Evo Morales thinks you ate too much chicken


Bolivian president causes homophobia storm by blaming 'deviant' men on hormone-reared fowl

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Male pattern baldness and the mysteries of human sexuality are no puzzles for the president of Bolivia, who has declared they are caused by eating chicken.

Evo Morales has claimed that both homosexuality and baldness can be caused by the humble chicken.

Speaking at an environmental conference on Tuesday, Morales said chicken producers injected fowl with female hormones and insisted that "when men eat those chickens they experience deviances in being men".

The Bolivian president since 2005 added that eating chicken could make men go bald.

Morales's theories do not appear to have been immediately accepted by the scientific community, to put it mildly, and have been criticised by Spain's National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals, which sent a letter of protest to the Bolivian embassy in Madrid describing the president's remarks as homophobic.

The president of the Argentina Homosexual Community campaigning organisation, Cesar Cigliutti, said: "It's an absurdity to think that eating hormone-containing chicken can change the sexual orientation of a person.

"By following that reasoning, if we put male hormones in a chicken and we make a homosexual eat it he will transform into a heterosexual."

The dubious potential effects of hormone-infused chicken aside, Morales's warning may be out of date anyway as chicken producers in Europe, the US and many other countries abandoned the use of hormones in poultry several decades ago.


SOURCE: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2010/apr/22/chicken-causes-homosexuality-evo-morales

ETA CLIP OF SPEECH:

Thelma & Louise

Archie Comics gets first openly gay character

 

Archie welcomes gay character to Riverdale

By Linda Barnard Movies Writer - -  Thurs Apr 22 2010

Veronica is finally about to meet the one hunky guy she can’t get in the pages of Archie — the comic series’ first gay character.

“We want to make Archie Comics move forward and make it fun and inclusive,” Jon Goldwater, chief executive officer of Archie Comics Publications in Mamaroneck, N.Y., told the Star Thursday.

Blond, blue-eyed hunk Kevin Keller will make his entry in the teen comic series in September. He immediately turns rich girl Veronica’s head when he moves to the fictional town of Riverdale, but she gets nowhere with him. Kevin comes out to Jughead when he explains why he has no interest in the teen femme fatale.

“It’s nothing against her. I’m gay,” he tells Jughead over a burger at Pop’s.

Archie writer/artist Dan Parent came up with the idea for a gay character.

“Veronica is always chasing guys and I thought what would be the one guy Veronica can’t get? A gay guy,” Parent said. “The story just progressed from there. What we’re trying to do is show how accepting Riverdale is.”

Kevin will be a recurring character, Goldwater said. “We’re very proud Kevin has moved to Riverdale. This is just the beginning for him and he’ll definitely be part of the gang,” he said. At some point, he added, Kevin will “probably” have a romance.

Launched in 1939, Archie Comics have tried to reflect the lives of American teens, said Goldwater, tackling subjects from race to drugs. “Through the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, we pride ourselves on being a mirror to society, especially youth. The kids in our book are in high school and we want to reflect everything that’s going on in their world from social interaction, to fashion, to friends.”

Goldwater says he doesn’t expect everybody to embrace the new kid on Archie’s block, but the teens of Riverdale will when Kevin makes his first appearance in the spinoff Veronica comic 202 on Sept. 1. After all, it means while Veronica is chasing the unattainable Kevin, Betty has Archie all to herself.

Source at Toronto Star
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helmetkid wtf

Hipsters vs. Chinatown residents

It's supposed to be good luck for the Chinese to plaster New Year signs on their doors. But a persistent fight on Delancey Street over those signs proves that, in any language, it's the Year of the Hip in some parts of Chinatown.

Inside 55 and 61 Delancey, adjacent buildings on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side, new and old tenants live side by side but in parallel universes far, far away from each other.

"It's very clear in this building: It's, like, young white kids and Chinese families," says one of the new tenants, a recent NYU grad hoping to become an actress—call her "Mary W." "And they always leave the door open, and there's this guy in his boxers eating hot soup—look, this is Manhattan: Neighborhoods change, neighborhoods become yuppie. I don't feel I'm doing anything criminal by living here. I don't know, maybe I'm being naïve. It doesn't feel like an issue to me, but maybe that's 'cause I'm on the good end of it."

The new tenants, mostly white, are in their mid-twenties. Many go to nearby art colleges—Parsons, the School of Visual Arts, Cooper Union—or are working their first jobs out of school. Some commute to schools in less desirable places, like Long Island. Many have moved in within the past year; their apartments have that Ikea/thrift-store feel. The other residents are working-class Chinese, most of whom immigrated to New York from Fujian province in the '90s. (Also in the mix are a handful of Dominican tenants who were raised in the building and thus predate the Chinese.)

The newcomers are mostly surprised—or thrown off—by the buildings' long-term Chinese tenants, who chat with each other in a strange language, leave their doors open so their neighbors can see them eating soup in their boxers and sandals, and let their children play in the hallway. These newcomers, meanwhile, do their thing: They rush out of the buildings with their cell phones pressed to their ears, go on Snapple runs because there's no food in the apartment, throw house parties, and stumble home drunk from nearby bars.

These two groups don't speak each others' languages, but the depth of their misunderstandings goes even deeper than that. The two universes may be parallel, but the one inhabited by the Chinese tenants is shrinking, despite their recent, and favorable, court settlement with the landlord over strong-arm tactics they felt were being aimed at pushing them and their culture out of the buildings.

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The article goes on to talk about the owners of the building not maintaining Chinese families' rooms, ripping down New Years' signs on doors, and otherwise being lousy pieces of shit to the Chinese tenants to push them out to make way for the hipsters moving in. As infuriating as that is, it's NOTHING compared to the quotes they got from the hipsters themselves, who, as always, don't give a shit about anyone but themselves.
Mr. Winkle

Bo's press conference

The first dog steals the show from the first lady.



Washington (CNN) – Bo, the Obama family dog, managed to live up to his reputation as a bit of a rabble rouser Thursday – playfully biting a child and barking during an official White House event before being exiled from the room by the first lady.

The unscripted moment occurred in the East Room as Michelle Obama hosted a group of schoolchildren visiting the executive mansion as part of "Take Your Child to Work Day."

Assembled for the chat, the children lobbed question after question at the first lady for the better part of an hour, as she shared the spotlight with Bo, who arguably turned out to be the star of the show.

Trouble struck when the dog took some liberties while exploring the rows of seated children during one of his three petting sessions.

Shortly after one of these incursions, a questioner asked the first lady if Bo was prone to biting, and before Obama could answer, another child spoke up and said, "Yes, he just bit me."

"Oh did he bite you?" Obama replied. "Well what he does, Bo is not biting, like I'm going to bite you, but he's playful. Does anybody have a baby brother, someone who is teething…well that is the kind of playing he does."

The first dog was eventually escorted out of the room by a member of the first lady's staff and forced to wait until the end of the event to make another appearance.

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