May 28th, 2010

Reporting

'Maoist sabotage' kills 71 on train in eastern India

The death toll in the train collision in eastern India has gone up to 71, a railways spokesman said.

At least 149 people were injured when two trains collided after one was derailed by what officials said was an act of Maoist sabotage.

The Calcutta-Mumbai passenger train derailed overnight in West Bengal where a section of track had been removed.

Carriages and passengers were thrown in front of a goods train travelling in the opposite direction.

Officials said rescue workers were still struggling to free survivors.

They said the toll was expected to rise as many people have yet to be cut free from the wreckage in the Jhargram area of West Midnapore - about 150kms (90 miles) west of Calcutta.

The area is known to be a stronghold of Maoist rebels.

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Source
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Mass. Senate passes crackdown on illegal immigrants

With one lawmaker citing President Lincoln's respect for the rule of law, the Massachusetts Senate passed a far-reaching crackdown this afternoon on illegal immigrants and those who would hire them, going further, senators said, than any immigration bill proposed over the past five years.

In a surprising turn of events, the legislation replaced a narrower bill that was passed Wednesday over the objections of Republicans.

The measure, which passed on a 28-10 vote as an amendment to the budget, would bar the state from doing business with any company found to break federal laws barring illegal immigrant hiring. It would also toughen penalties for creating or using fake identification documents, and explicitly deny in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants.

The amendment would also require the state’s public health insurance program to verify residency through the Department of Homeland Security, and would require the state to give legal residents priority for subsidized housing.

 
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Source
Sufjan Smile

Laws that need breaking



ON APRIL 29, the Arizona legislature passed a law banning ethnic studies at all public and charter schools across the state. Although the law is specifically aimed at Mexican-American studies, the ban will also shut down African American and Native American programs.

The target of the Arizona legislature's ire is a 14-year-old Mexican-American studies program taught in Tucson's public schools. Only 3 percent of the district's 55,000 high school students are currently enrolled in the program, which focuses on history and culture. Yet Arizona's politicians have depicted it as a hotbed of racial hostility that poses a clear threat to Arizona's white citizenry.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's office issued a statement explaining that she signed the ethnic studies ban into law because she believes students "should not be taught to resent or hate other races or classes of people."

The state's U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl told Fox News that the Tucson program has "been a problem for years." He continued, "The legislature finally, I think, had it with that as well, and passed a law that said that they cannot teach things that try to pit race against race and really teach students that they should be--that they should feel oppressed by their own government."

In truth, Arizona's Black, Latino and Native American populations do not need ethnic studies to learn that they are oppressed by their own government. Arizona was steeped in the principles of white supremacy well before it became the nation's 48th state in 1912.
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Source: Socialist Worker

Our laws regarding immigration are unjust. We exploit the labor and resources of other nations, yet deny them entry to ours. They are kept on the outside, to be used as labor capital and then disposed of without recieving any of their just rewards for the value of their work.

If somebody wants to enter the nation, they must either show they have talents or marketable 'skills' beyond that of labor (we're more than happy to contribute to other country's "brain drain" luring away highly-skilled workers and talents), or be lucky enough to already have family in the country, and even still that doesn't guarantee them entry. Still, they must wait anywhere from 5 to 15 years for full citizenship.

If you are an 'unskilled' worker, a laborer who wishes to enter the country on a work permit, get a green card, and maintain legal residency? Good luck with that. Few green cards are given out each year due to quotas, and the waiting list for getting a green card approaches infinity.

And so, why restrict immigrants from entering the country? They come at adulthood, their education and whatever respective training/emergence into the labor force has been handled at their home country, we don't have to pay for that. They pay taxes, they give additional business for the service and manufacturing industries, and they help bolster languishing city districts with residential and commercial growth. Immigrants are also entrepenuers.

So all that remains is xenophobia. Fear buying into talking points, the rejection of the 'others'. Attempting to make english our primary language, banning ethnic studies, these things just show where it comes down. It's not about one's immigration status, it is about the color of one's skin and the accent on one's tongue.
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Someone pass Mitch McConnell the bottle of Jack Daniels....Rand Paul has gone international


Rand Paul: U.S. Should Stop Granting Citizenship To Children Of Illegal Immigrants (VIDEO)

Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul recently shared with a Russian television station his belief that the United States should end its policy of guaranteeing citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.

"We shouldn't provide an easy route to citizenship," Paul explained. "We're the only country that I know that allows people to come in illegally, have a baby, and then that baby becomes a citizen. And I think that should stop."

In the interview Paul also suggested what steps he thinks lawmakers should take to address illegal immigration -- one of his ideas being constructing an "underground electrical fence" along the boarder. The Senate hopeful even mentions the solution on his campaign website in defining his stance on the issue:
Millions crossing our border without our knowledge constitutes a clear threat to our nation's security. I will work to secure our borders immediately. My plans include an underground electric fence, with helicopter stations to respond quickly to breaches of the border.
Also on his campaign website, Paul supports his position on illegal immigration by citing the protections outlined in the 10th amendment of the U.S. Constitution -- a frequent point of reference for the self-described "constitutional conservative."
I support local solutions to illegal immigration as protected by the 10th amendment. I support making English the official language of all documents and contracts.
Paul doesn't mention however, the 14th amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees U.S. citizenship to all persons born in the country.

Via
 


WATCH: Rand Paul: U.S. Should Stop Granting Citizenship To Children Of Illegal Immigrants




Source

Sooooo.....yeah.   I'm not all that surprised Rand Paul couldn't keep his mouth shut for more than a few days, but I certainly didn't expect him to start spouting his views to international press instead.  I'm curious as to how many Russian voters he thinks will help him get elected in Kentucky?

"We shouldn't provide an easy route to citizenship," Paul explained. "We're the only country that I know that allows people to come in illegally, have a baby, and then that baby becomes a citizen. And I think that should stop."

Well, apparently he doesn't even know how to use Google, which really is no surprise to anyone.  The term for becoming a citizen when you're born in a country is "jus soli", and there are quite a few countries besides the U.S. who allow it, including Canada and MEXICO, believe it or not.

" I support making English the official language of all documents and contracts."


Are we back to that old chestnut again?  *sigh*

Oh and.....

My plans include an underground electric fence, with helicopter stations to respond quickly to breaches of the border.

Suuure, because THAT sounds like such a GREAT IDEA.  If they won't stay out, we might as well electrocute them instead.  :\
Akuma River

Obama visits the Gulf Coast

Obama inspects beach threatened by Gulf oil spill
By DARLENE SUPERVILLE Associated Press Writer © 2010 The Associated Press
May 28, 2010, 1:30PM

GRAND ISLE, La. — Intent on showing firm command of a deepening Gulf Coast crisis, President Barack Obama kneeled on a Lousiana beach Friday and lamented livelihoods and wildlife imperiled by America's largest-ever oil spill.

He flew to the Gulf Coast amid a rising crescendo of criticism as crude continued to spew into nature after an oil rig exploded and sank April 20. Amid fears the tragedy could also engulf his presidency, Obama has launched a campaign to step up public engagement and directly confront the public's anger.

That frustration — and skepticism about the presidential visit — was palpable here in Grand Isle, a small barrier island town south of New Orleans.
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On C-SPAN 3 they are doing the hearing on the Oil Rig Explosion

On C-SPAN 2 President Obama is supposed to speak live. It's been saying it will start 2:20pm which was pushed back from 1:30pm. They are currently showing some footage of something from yesterday.

C-SPAN 1 is the House voting on something that has to do with the ROTC being on Campus and grant money for Universities.

UPDATE: PRESIDENT OBAMA IS LIVE!

Nick Griffin announces plans to become a celebrity chef

'Really Creepy' Nick Griffin Pumpkin

Image by Status Frustration via Flickr

Nick Griffin has revealed that he plans to become a celebrity chef once he has stepped down as leader of the BNP, creating dishes such as Chicken Swastika Masala, Egg Fried Reich and Hot and Spicy Right Wings

His culinary creations have proved a roaring success amongst the British National Party faithful, and the constant pestering for recipes has prompted him to start work on a new cookbook which he plans to call ‘Mein Küche’.


BNP Deputy Simon Darby told reporters, “Word of Nick’s talents in the kitchen has started to spread and he can’t go anywhere without people throwing fresh ingredients right at him in the hope that he’ll knock up one of his tasty recipes.”

He truly is a grand wizard in the kitchen! Words simply can not describe his delicious Potato Waffens.”

Appearances

Griffin is hopeful that he can make appearances on light-hearted cookery shows, and made a tentative approach to the BBC when he appeared on Question Time last year, however his suggestion that he should host a show alongside Gregg Wallace and John Torode called Celebrity Master Race was swiftly rejected.

Some of television’s already established chefs have been quick to condemn Griffin’s plans, with Jamie Oliver blasting “Bish, bash bosh! Unpukka Dib, dab, dob, wallop!” before apparently choking on his own tongue.

Despite Oliver’s muffled words ringing in his ears, Griffin is determined to press ahead with his plans and has promised that the first 1000 copies of his book will come with a free How to prepare and cook a goose step by step guide.


The book is scheduled to be released in the Autumn on Totalitarian, Autocratic, Single Party, National Socialist Dictatorship Books.

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Bill Clinton did it!

Forced to disclose backstage political bargaining, President Barack Obama's embarrassed White House acknowledged on Friday that it enlisted Bill Clinton to try to ease Rep. Joe Sestak out of Pennsylvania's Senate primary with a job offer. The admission left many questions unanswered, however, and Republicans aren't likely to let the issue rest. For Obama, the revelations called into question his repeated promises to run an open government that was above back room deals.
Seeking to quiet the clamor from Republicans and some Democrats over a possible political trade, the White House released a report describing the offer that was intended to clear a path for Sen. Arlen Specter to win the Democratic nomination.
Presidential Counsel Robert Bauer rendered his own verdict in a two-page report that said there was no improper conduct. No one in the administration discussed the offer with Sestak, Bauer said. The report did not say what, if any, contacts or promises the White House had with Specter on the matter. It also did not reveal whether Obama was aware of the former president's role.
The report didn't impress Republicans.
"Regardless of what President Clinton or Congressman Sestak now say, it is abundantly clear that this kind of conduct is contrary to President Obama's pledge to change 'business as usual' and that his administration has engaged in the kind of political shenanigans he once campaigned to end," said Rep. Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House oversight committee who unsuccessfully had sought a Department of Justice investigation.
 
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Seriously, are we out to believe that Sestak was offered non-paying uncompensated position on some obscure advisory board in exchange of dropping out from the Senate race? "Hi Joe, how about  we give you additional responsibility to your already existing job in the House of Representatives and in return you'll drop out of the lucrative Senate race." Really?

To MODS: There are no tags like "corruption" or "white house"
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Society and Virginity

A naked young woman with small breasts and narrow hips dangles a bunch of cherries between her open thighs. “Pussies this fresh and tight don’t come along every day,” says the text beneath her photo. “It’s a miracle a girl as hot as Lily has made it to 18 untouched. Watch as her lucky boyfriend tenderly reveals her sweet, pink cherry before taking his time popping it.” The creepiest thing about BreakHerHymen and other “virgin porn” sites is how familiar the images and language are to anyone who’s been subjected to the new wave of abstinence education materials currently in circulation. Add clothes and cut the obscenities and you could be looking at any one of a growing number of save-yourself-for-marriage sites aimed at teens.

The porn sites tell us that virgins are precious, rare and worth 30 bucks a month; Christian sex-ed tells us that virgins are precious, rare and worth “a price far above rubies”. The porn sites show teasers of their “virgin girls”, starting with breast-flashing and becoming more revealing over weeks or months leading to the “event” itself; abstinence education sites sell T-shirts bearing slogans like “I’m sexy enough to keep you waiting.” Virgin porn is obsessively focused on whether young women’s vaginas have been penetrated; a great deal of religious-based discussion obsesses over exactly the same thing. However, while pornographers and abstinence cheerleaders may produce the most extreme examples of virginity fetishism, they didn’t create it and they aren’t alone in perpetuating it. The fetishisation of female virginity is older than sin and more widespread than any religion.
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Magneto puppet

Zimbabwe gay rights workers released after alleged torture

Two gay rights activists in Zimbabwe have been freed after six days in police custody where it is claimed they were abused and tortured.

Ellen Chadehama and Ignatius Mhambi were arrested last week accused of possessing pornographic material and insulting president Robert Mugabe.

Their employer, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (Galz), said the two were assaulted by police while in custody.

They were also made to bend their knees into a sitting position with their arms outstretched for long periods and struck with bottles when they weakened and fell, according to their defence attorney, David Hofisi.

Nelson Chamisa, a government minister and spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change, condemned the alleged abuse: "Ill treatment or inhumane handling of any human being for any reason goes against our philosophy. We do not believe harassment is the best way of doing business. It flies in the face of the democratic order."

Chadehama and Mhambi were arrested last Friday for allegedly possessing photographs of gay sex and posting a letter in their office from former San Francisco mayor Willie Lewis Brown criticising Mugabe's opposition to homosexuality. Under sweeping security laws it is an offence "to undermine the authority of the president".

Magistrate Munamate Mutevedzi yesterday released the two on bail of $200 each until a trial set for 10 June, where they will face penalties of imprisonment or a fine.

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Source.
Citadel

Reid Floor Statement On One Year Anniversary Of The Murder Of Dr. George Tiller

“A community in Kansas still shakes one year after the brazen murder of one of its own. This weekend will mark the first anniversary of Dr. George Tiller’s death. He was gunned down in front of his Wichita church the day before last Memorial Day.

“Dr. Tiller was killed at point-blank range, at his place of worship, in the middle of a Sunday morning, while his wife sang in the church choir just yards away.

“He was murdered by an unrepentant assassin who took a life in the name of protecting life. It was an indefensible crime and an incomprehensible excuse.

“Just as despicable as Dr. Tiller’s death was the fact that his murder wasn’t an isolated incident. It wasn’t even the first time someone tried to kill him. His clinic was bombed in 1985. He was shot twice in 1993. And over the next 16 years, seven clinic workers would be killed before Dr. Tiller would become the eighth. More than 6,000 other acts of violence have been launched at clinics and their workers – bombings, arsons, assaults and other attacks.

“The last doctor killed before Dr. Tiller was a husband and father from Buffalo named Barnett Slepian. He was an OB/GYN who also helped poor women access safe, legal abortions. Because of that, he was murdered in his home. I didn’t know Dr. Selpian, but I knew his niece. She came from Reno, Nevada, and she once worked in my office.

“The tragedy of Dr. Tiller’s death, and of Dr. Slepian’s death – and of every atrocity like it – is independent of the issue of abortion. It’s not about the legality of abortion or funding of abortion. These are emotional debates, and ones on which people of good faith can disagree.

“What so shook that Kansas town was rather an act of terrorism. What reverberated out to our borders and coasts from the center of our country was the violation of our founding principle: that we are a nation of laws, not of men.

“Everyone in America has the right to disagree with its laws. Everyone has the right to dispute and protest its laws. But no American has the right to disobey them.

“Not all of us would choose Dr. Tiller’s profession. Not all of us would seek his services or agree with his philosophy. But it is the responsibility of every American to respect another’s right to practice his profession legally.

“Those who believe in the sanctity of life cannot be selective. We must value every life – not just those with which we agree.”

EDIT: Sauce.

Banned mephedrone cleared of blame for two deaths

'No trace of drug' found in teenagers' blood, drawing into question the successful campaign to make it illegal

Toxicology tests have reportedly found that two teenagers who were thought to have died as a result of taking mephedrone – leading to a successful campaign to ban it – had not taken the drug.

The deaths in March of Louis Wainwright, 18, and Nicholas Smith, 19, contributed to a furore over mephedrone, which was at the time legal and being sold over the internet.

The Labour government banned the legal high in the final days of the last parliament, sacrificing other legislation in order to push through an amendment that made the synthetic substance a class B drug.

Today the BBC reported that toxicology tests had revealed there were no traces of mephedrone in the blood of the two Scunthorpe teenagers. It said further tests were being conducted to try to establish what, if any, substances the two had taken.

Mephedrone – which prior to the ban was marketed as plant food with names such as Bubbles and M-Cat – is synthetically derived from cathinone, a compound found in the plant khat.

Humberside police prompted widespread concern in March when they held a press conference over the teenagers' deaths, announcing there was "information to suggest these deaths are linked to M-Cat". The force advised anyone who had taken the drug to attend a hospital "as a matter or urgency".

Drug campaigners, teachers, doctors and leading politicians called for an immediate ban on the drug, which ministers made a priority.

The force last night declined to comment on the toxicology tests, saying the final report was incomplete. "The findings of the report, once completed, will be forwarded to the coroner and may be discussed at any inquest and will not be disclosed without the authority of HM Coroner," it said in a statement. North-east Lincolnshire coroner's court has refused to comment.

Professor David Nutt, whom the government sacked last year as chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) after he questioned government drugs policy, said the Scunthorpe deaths had been a tipping point in the debate over the drug.

He called for an inquiry into Humberside police for publicly speculating over the deaths. "The temperature was rising a bit, but the deaths got it boiling over," he said. "You can argue if that hadn't happened the previous government wouldn't have been bounced into this response. If these reports are true, the government's rush to ban mephedrone never had any serious scientific credibility – it looks much more like a decision based on a short-term electoral calculation."

He added: "This news demonstrates why it's so important to base drug classification on the evidence, not fear and why the police, media and politicians, should only make public pronouncements once the facts are clear."

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Source: The Guardian
IL A FAIT QUOI!

American-Born Citizen Wrongfully Detained for Looking Mexican

by Alex DiBranco

"Because of the way I look, I have Mexican features, they pretty much assumed that my papers were fake," Eduardo Caraballo commented after spending the weekend in jail, detained by federal immigration authorities in Chicago.


Caraballo was born an American citizen in Puerto Rico and moved to the mainland United States at eight months old. Last week, he was arrested in connection with a car robbery (he denies involvement and the case remains under investigation), but instead of being released on bail, the Huffington Post reports that he was detained as an undocumented immigrant and threatened with deportation. Despite showing ID and even a birth certificate, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) apparently decided he "looked" Mexican and must be using fake papers. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) had to intervene on his behalf to get Caraballo released after three days in jail.


Puerto Ricans are vulnerable to racial profiling due to Latino features and Spanish accents, combined with often being asked to provide green cards they don't have — because, you know, Puerto Rico is part of the United States and people born there are American citizens. Of additional concern, a law passed in December decided that, as of July 1st, Puerto Ricans who did not get a new birth certificate this year will find themselves with their old ones invalidated and without proof of citizenship, which could be a catastrophe for those who haven't heard they need new documentation. Caraballo faced detention and the threat of deportation even with valid documents: what will happen to other U.S. citizens after this change?



Rep. Gutierrez, also of Puerto Rican descent, hopes Caraballo's situation will call attention to the problem of racial profiling and wrongful detention in the immigration system. "We know of instances in which young people in his same situation are actually taken to the border and deported from the United States," Rep. Gutierrez points out.




Yes, you can get accidentally deported to Mexico as an American-born citizen who has never set foot in that country just because you "look" Mexican. ICE doesn't need to prove that you actually came from Mexico: they just drop you over the border if they decide you're an undocumented immigrant. Hundreds of American citizens have been wrongfully detained (and not just for a few days — try seven months) and others actually deported, leading to a growing number of lawsuits against the federal government in recent years.


The serious problems within the federal immigration system of racial profiling and wrongful detention and deportation have been made worse by the 287(g) program in which local law enforcement can take on federal immigration roles, and now by the potential of Arizona's "papers, please" law for further abuse.



Being born with Latino features shouldn't make you a second-class citizen. Eduardo Caraballo spent three days in jail — a place nobody wants to be — for the "crime" of looking Mexican. We need to root racial profiling out of our immigration system and make sure we're protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans. NBC Chicago reports that Caraballo is considering taking legal action for wrongful detention. I hope he does sue, thus helping to expose the existence of unconstitutional racial profiling our immigration system.




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original Huffington Post article



Major frickin' facepalm and raging ensue.




ETA. I got a comment asking if the news was posted before in the community. If it was, I apologize for the redundancy.
fuck it

David Laws - Gay Expenses Scandal?


MPs' Expenses: Treasury chief David Laws, his secret lover and a £40,000 claim 

By Holly Watt and Robert Winnett
Published: 10:06PM BST 28 May 2010

 
 
 
 
George Osborne and David Laws
Britain's new Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (R), and new Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Laws Photo: AFP/GETTY

 

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Source - The Torygraphy

Ugh. One of the few Cabinet members I liked ... I half feel sorry for him, half just ... so disappointed right now.