June 22nd, 2010

Me in Hawaii.

NYC car bomb suspect pleads guilty, calls it war

NEW YORK (AP) - Calling himself a Muslim soldier, a defiant Pakistan-born U.S. citizen pleaded guilty Monday to carrying out the failed Times Square car bombing and left a sinister warning that unless the U.S. leaves Muslim lands alone, "we will be attacking U.S."

Faisal Shahzad entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Manhattan just days after a federal grand jury indicted him on 10 terrorism and weapons counts, some of which carry mandatory life sentences. He pleaded guilty to them all.

Widely circulated snapshots of Shahzad - a U.S.-trained financial analyst and married father of two - show him with a neatly trimmed beard, all smiles and looking carefree behind sunglasses or with his American wife. When led into court Monday, he had on a white skull cap and prisoner's uniform, his beard shaggy and his demeanor serious.

U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum challenged Shahzad repeatedly with questions such as whether he looked at the people in Times Square, especially the children, to see who they were or whether he really built the bomb by himself. He repeatedly insisted he acted without help from others in the U.S. and built the bomb "all by myself."

"One has to understand where I'm coming from," Shahzad said calmly. "I consider myself ... a Muslim soldier."

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music | Janelle Monáe

PRIDE PotD: June 21, 2010.

Picspam Installment II of international Pride events:

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The next Pride photo-spam: Germany, The Philippines, Croatia.

Source Galleries:
hello stranger~
  • wands

The weak, helpless, impotent presidency

By Glenn Greenwald

As I noted earlier today, there is a newly minted Obama apologist meme that has been created and is being disseminated by Obama-defending pundits far and wide:  namely, liberals are blaming Obama for too much because the Presidency is actually quite a weak and powerless office, and he's powerless to do most of what liberals advocate.  This claim was articulated by Jonathan Bernstein in response to my post documenting how Barack Obama -- by supporting Blanche Lincoln rather than remaining neutral or supporting her primary challenger -- likely swung the election in her favor.  I argued that the central role Obama played in Lincoln's race illustrates that Presidents possess substantial means for influencing members of Congress.  In describing my argument as "ignorant nonsense that betrays a deep lack of understanding of how the government of the United States works," Bernstein did not bother to address, let alone refute, that extremely formidable presidential leverage that Obama just used to help Lincoln win in Arkansas.

Instead, he broadly asserted that "the idea of an 'Impotent, Helpless President' . . . [is] basic American politics," that "the presidency is a very weak office," and that Obama has no real leverage to influence Democratic members of Congress to support legislation he wants.  Since then, a whole slew of Obama defenders have cited Bernstein's "Impotent Helpless Presidency" excuse to argue that progressives expect too much of Obama and that their criticisms of him are unfair, irrational and unwarranted.  Today, Jonathan Chait complains that I have only derided and mocked but not responded in detail to this argument.  That's basically true, as I find the argument self-refuting, but permit me to change that by responding in detail now.

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Uncle V wants you

Jon Stewart points out that we've been at this for 40 years

Original at The Daily Show

And now, some commentary on John Stewart's segment from The Oil Drum.

Thoughts on Jon Stewart's "The Cost of Energy Independence"

Posted by Robert Rapier on June 21, 2010 - 10:28am
Topic: Policy/Politics
Tags: energy independence, energy policy, jon stewart, original [list all tags]

I have noted before that every president since Nixon has talked about the need to get the United States off of foreign oil and moving toward energy independence. Jon Stewart recently captured this theme in a very funny, but troubling segment...

While Jon does a good job of demonstrating that this idea of reducing our dependence on foreign oil has been unsuccessfully pursued by eight consecutive presidential administrations, the question he asked but did not answer was why this has been such a challenge. So I will pick up where Jon left off and explain why we couldn’t get it done and what it would take to get it done. Collapse )
That's the long version. Here's the short one.

Full-sized original at Washington Post

Hey, mods, there's no Gerald Ford tag!

Saudi women use fatwa in driving bid

Saudi women plan to turn a controversial fatwa (religious ruling) to their advantage and launch a campaign to achieve their long-standing demand to drive in this conservative kingdom.

If the demand is not met, the women threatened to follow through the fatwa which allows them to breastfeed their drivers and turn them into their sons.

The campaign will be launched under the slogan: "We either be allowed to drive or breastfeed foreigners," a journalist told Gulf News.

Amal Zahid said that their decision follows a fatwa issued by a renowned scholar which said that Saudi women can breastfeed their foreign drivers for them to become their sons.

"As every Saudi family needs a driver, our campaign will focus on women's right to drive," she said.

The controversial fatwa, which was regarded as both funny and weird, issued recently by Shaikh Abdul Mohsin Bin Nasser Al Obaikan, member of Saudi Council of Senior Scholars and adviser to the king, has sparked a debate in society.

The renowned scholar said Saudi women can breastfeed their foreign drivers for them to be become their sons and brothers to their daughters.

Under this relationship, foreign drivers can mix freely with all members of the family without breaking the Islamic rule which does not allow mixing of genders.

Breast milk kinship is considered to be as good as a blood relationship in Islam.

"A woman can breastfeed a mature man so that he becomes her son. In this way, he can mix with her and her daughters without violating the teachings of Islam," the scholar said.

‘Ridiculous and weird'

Al Obaikan based his fatwa on a Hadith (saying) of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) which was narrated by Salim, the servant of Abu Huzaifa.

Later, Al Obaikan clarified that his fatwa was being distorted by the local media which ignored the condition that the milk should be drawn out of the woman and given to the man in a cup to drink.

Speaking to Gulf News, a number of Saudi women condemned the fatwa. Fatima Al Shammary was quoted by the local Arabic daily Al Watan as saying the fatwa was "ridiculous and weird".

"This fatwa has become a hot topic of debate among women. Is this is all that is left to us to do: to give our breasts to the foreign drivers?" she said.

Another Saudi woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, questioned: "Does Islam allow me to breastfeed a foreign man and prevent me from driving my own car?

"I have not breastfed my own children. How do you expect me to do this with a foreign man? What is this nonsense?" she said.

Another woman said the fatwa should also apply to the husbands who should be breastfed by housemaids. By doing so, all will be brothers and sisters," she said.

Hamid Al Ali, a journalist for an electronic newspaper, recalled that an Egyptian driver who had a crush on a female teacher he drives to school asked her to breastfeed him. When she retorted angrily, he said: "I want to be your son."

Saudi writer Suzan Al Mashhadi sarcastically asked Al Obaikan: "Do the women have to breastfeed the driver in the presence of their husbands or can they do this alone?"

"Who will protect the wife if the husband entered the house unexpectedly and found his wife breastfeeding the driver?" she asked.


Texas GOP gets tougher on immigration

DALLAS — Texas Republicans adopted another get-tough policy on immigration and bilingual education Saturday that some say will make it hard for the party to attract Hispanic voters at a time when the Texas population is turning increasingly Latino.

The platform encourages state lawmakers to create a Class A misdemeanor criminal offense “for an illegal alien to intentionally or knowingly be within the State of Texas,” and to “oppose amnesty in any form leading to citizenship for illegal immigrants.”

Texas Republicans also want to limit citizenship by birth to those born to a U.S. citizen “with no exceptions.” The platform calls for the end of day-labor work centers and emphasizes border security, encouraging “all means … (to) immediately prevent illegal aliens.”

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Some of these points seem completely nonsensical. Also, sometimes I wish Texas GOPs were less embarrassing.
Shirley Animated


Hey, guys, just a quick reminder about tagging! When you submit a post, please tag it to the best of your abilities. We will be rejecting untagged posts from now on. Here is a list of all the tags you can use! We've got several thousand, I think. There's a lot of funny and oddly appropriate ones, so feel free to put as many relevant ones on your post as you want to. We've got tags for all sorts of people, places, situations, issues, and yes, dramas (Don't Cry for Me Argentina '09 springs to mind. Ah, memories.)

Thanks, and feel free to ask any questions here and/or spam the hell out of this post.
Sufjan Smile

The Democrats and the border

The Democrats' claim that they would pursue legalization and enforcement together has been replaced by enforcement only, writes Justin Akers Chacón, co-author of No One Is Illegal: Fighting Racism and State Violence on the U.S-Mexico Border.

"I don't want us to do something just for the sake of politics that doesn't solve the problem."

That was Barack Obama last April, making it clear that before the November election, his administration had no intention of pursuing immigration legislation that provided a program for legalization. This had been a major campaign promise that won him enthusiastic support from Latino voters, but Obama declared that lawmakers lack the "appetite" to get behind such a proposal.

The statement has more consequences than what Congress will vote on this year. By not advancing the case for legalization--or any form of immigrant rights--at the federal level, the administration and Congressional Democrats have allowed the Republican Party to appropriate the issue at the federal, state and local level and launch a revived anti-immigrant crusade.
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Source: Socialist Worker

Long but good.

Chicago Blackhawks will bring their just-won Stanley Cup to the Pride March

Last week, the Chicago Gay Hockey Association issued an invite to the Blackhawks and the Stanley Cup to join them at the parade. They were hopeful, but "we know the realistic chances of them joining us for the Pride Parade are slim," CGHA President Andrew Sobotka told Michael Sneed last week. Blackhawks President John McDonough is rerouting the Stanley Cup from the NHL draft in L.A. to the parade Sunday; and Blackhawk defenseman Brent Sopel has volunteered to represent the team.

"I am honored to do it," said Sopel, who will be accompanied by wife, Kelly, and his four kids..."The power of the Cup is incomprehensible, and we recognize the importance of doing this," said McDonough, who has arranged for the Stanley Cup to be flown back from the National Hockey League draft in Los Angeles 15 hours early. "It's important for the city and important for the franchise."

Sopel also is marching in honor of Brendan Burke, the son of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, who was killed in a car accident two months after coming out late last year. "When Brendan came out, Brian stood by him, and his whole family stood by him, like every family should," said Sopel. "We teach our kids about accepting everybody. Tolerate everybody, to understand where everyone is coming from."

Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs are also breaking down a barrier: For the first time in the parade's history, the Cubbies are going to have a float in the parade and super Cubbie Ernie Banks will be on it. "The team is playing Sunday, so they can't be there," said Cubs spokesman Mike Lufrano. It will also be the first float sponsored by any major Chicago sports team.


Gov. Gen. Jean to be UNESCO envoy to Haiti

Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean has been appointed UNESCO's special envoy in Haiti and will take up her new post once her term as Canada's governor general ends in September, she confirmed Tuesday.

"It is with great passion, conviction and enthusiasm that I have agreed to take on this important mission," Jean wrote on her blog.

Her main task will be to support efforts to rebuild Haiti’s heritage infrastructure and national education system, she wrote.

The appointment drew praise from the highest ranks of Canadian politics.

"As UNESCO special envoy to Haiti, Michaëlle Jean will draw upon her unique experience and dedication to Haiti, as well as her commitment to educational and cultural initiatives," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement.

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, who worked closely with Jean after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti on Jan. 12, commended Jean for her work as commander-in-chief of the Canadian Forces and praised her for her commitment to Haiti.

"I saw the passion that she has for the cause," Cannon said in French during a news conference in Ottawa.


Jean was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, but left with her family in 1968, at the age of 11, to settle in Quebec.

She made a high-profile but emotional visit to Haiti after the quake, touring construction projects and visiting survivors.

"I want the Haitian people to know: You are not alone," Jean said during the tour, which took her through Port-au-Prince and the colourful port city of Jacmel, where Canadian soldiers were helping with reconstruction efforts.

She said people around the world, particularly in Canada, will continue to care about Haiti as it struggles to rebuild.

Jean worked as a journalist before succeeding Adrienne Clarkson as governor general in September 2005.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded in 1945, and Canada became a member in 1946.

It protects heritage sites of cultural significance around the world and works on peace-building, poverty eradication and sustainable development through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.


I've always wondered what the GG's plans were after her term is over since she's still fairly young and most GG's after their term usually hit retirement. I hope the best for her and I'm sure she will do a fantastic job helping Haiti.
Also, if I hear one more time about "OMG WILLIAM SHATNER FOR GG!" I'm going to hit something.
Shirley Animated

Conservative Feminism: The Idea That Women Are Too Stupid To Know the Difference

The slightly higher-than-usual numbers of female candidates this election season’s crop of increasingly right-wing challenger candidates has created possibly the most irritating meme of 2010---that we’re looking at new kind of feminism, a “conservative feminism”. Never mind that this crop of politicians doesn’t actually have any feminist positions outside of the narrow belief that they personally should have power despite being female. Never mind that there's nothing new about women using anti-feminism to advance their own interests.  Never mind that actual feminists find the whole thing incredibly tedious.  The idea that electing a few female conservatives to office should be the apex of feminism has even made its way into the editorial pages of the New York Times. 
To be fair, there’s more to these conservative women’s arguments that they’re a new breed of feminist than simply pointing to their own briefcases and saying, “So there.”  The whole strategy of declaring obviously anti-feminist women to be “feminist” was started by anti-choice groups like the Susan B. Anthony List and Feminists for Life, and it was popularized by Sarah Palin. The argument is that there could be such a thing as “pro-life feminism,” i.e. a feminism grounded in the idea that women should be forced to bear children against their will. 

Common sense would demand that one not agree that there could be a kind of feminism that would declare the entire female sex incapable of handling the right to bodily autonomy.  But the anti-choice feminists swear they have an argument!  The argument is that Abortion Is Bad For Women, because it thwarts women from their true desires---so deep and true that many women don’t even realize they have them---to bring every pregnancy to term, no matter how much they think they don’t want it.  They marshal all sorts of made-up evidence to support this argument, claiming incorrectly that abortion causes depression and breast cancer and probably ingrown toenails.  The conclusion is that women have to be forced to bear children against their will for their own good.  They hope that if you squint at it sideways, this argument looks kind of like feminism.  After all, real feminists talk about real things that hurt women, so fake feminists pretending that things that don’t hurt women do could fool someone. 

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Oh snap. So, ONTD_P, is there such a thing as "pro-life" feminism? Personally, I say hell no, because bodily autonomy is such a central component of empowering women.
panda bear

(no subject)

Jews leave Swedish city after sharp rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes

When she first arrived in Sweden after her rescue from a Nazi concentration camp, Judith Popinski was treated with great kindness.

She raised a family in the city of Malmo, and for the next six decades lived happily in her adopted homeland - until last year.

In 2009, a chapel serving the city's 700-strong Jewish community was set ablaze. Jewish cemeteries were repeatedly desecrated, worshippers were abused on their way home from prayer, and "Hitler" was mockingly chanted in the streets by masked men.

"I never thought I would see this hatred again in my lifetime, not in Sweden anyway," Mrs Popinski told The Sunday Telegraph.

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Me in Hawaii.

Pork board squeals over imaginary unicorn meat

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - It's official: The National Pork Board says it knows unicorns don't exist.

The industry group says it was only protecting its trademark when it issued cease-and-desist warning to online retailer ThinkGeek for calling a fake unicorn meat product "the new white meat."

The fictional canned meat, described as an "excellent source of sparkles," was an April Fool's prank.

But the 12-page letter from the board's law firm was no joke.

"We certainly offered our apologies," Scott Kauffman, President and CEO of Geeknet Inc., the parent company of ThinkGeek, told the Associated Press. "It was not our intention to confuse the public as to the attributes and qualities of the two meats."

In a public apology this week, ThinkGeek said its nonexistent canned unicorn meat is sparkly, a bit red and not approved by any government entity.

"We certainly understand that unicorns don't exist," said Ceci Snyder, vice president of marketing for the National Pork Board. "Yes, it's funny. But if you don't respond, you are opening your trademark up to challenges."

The council said it is in discussions with the company.

"Where we feel victimized, is I don't know of another organization that does more to promote pork products than our site," Kauffman said, noting the company sells around 20 real items related to bacon, such as bacon gumballs and bacon soap.

ThinkGeek "launches" mock products every April Fool's day. The company said it was surprised the board did not raise any concerns about another prank item this year called "My First Bacon" - a talking stuffed toy that looked like a piece of bacon.

"To be attacked in this manner, given all we do for pork, the irony is not lost on us," he said.


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Mother Nature's Wrath

Obama temp ban on offshore drilling overturned in court

NEW ORLEANS - A U.S. judge Tuesday ruled against the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the wake of the BP oil spill. The White House, which had hoped the ban would provide time to ensure other wells are operating safely, immediately said it planned to appeal.

The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by drilling companies to reverse the ban imposed by the Department of Interior.

The rest of the story is here

Mods, can we have a 'Court/Federal court' tag? Thanks!
' jules

and for a brief moment, Rolling Stone was relevant again

McChrystal Is Summoned to Washington Over Remarks

President Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan flew to Washington Tuesday to find out whether he will be fired, after a magazine article quoted him and his staff as speaking critically of top members of President Obama’s team.

With the war effort lagging, the comments by General Stanley McChrystal illustrated the disarray and enmity among the president’s Afghanistan team, as well as the tensions between the president and the military.

In the magazine article, General McChrystal or his aides spoke derisively of Vice President Biden, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, National Security Adviser General James L. Jones, Richard C. Holbrooke, the special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, an unnamed minister in the French government, and even Mr. Obama himself. But in many ways, his comments expose similar remarks others inside the group have made about each other over the past year.

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The Rolling Stone Article's Juiciest Bits

"Who's he going to dinner with?" I ask one of his aides. "Some French minister," the aide tells me. "It's fucking gay."
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CNN has just reported that McChrystal submitted his resignation, it's unknown whether Obama will accept it.
Doctor Who - Bog of Stench

Just sign the damn bill, Lingle.

Gov. Linda Lingle said yesterday that she had not made up her mind on civil unions and described her deliberations on the bill as perhaps the most difficult of her political career.

The governor placed the bill on her potential veto list, which gives her 10 working days
-- or until July 6 -- to decide whether to veto, sign or allow the bill to become law without her signature.

Lingle, who leaves office after two terms later this year, has said she did not want civil unions to be her legacy. But she has not tried to minimize the impact of her decision and said yesterday she has gone back and forth in her mind.

Lingle has described civil unions as drafted in the bill as equivalent to same-sex marriage, which she opposes.

"I've been in public office a very, very long time. And my personal opinion is not necessarily the one that I end up with, and especially in important cases," the governor said at a news conference at the state Capitol.

The bill would grant same-sex and heterosexual couples the ability to enter into civil unions and receive the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as marriage under state law.

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To the people sending in letters, keep sending them in. To those who haven't - especially those in Hawaii - please do. Ten working days, that's two weeks. Even though it's on her veto list now, it still has a chance of being passed, so keep our fingers crossed.

The dreaded vuvuzela claims its first victim

A woman ruptured her throat while taking part in a vuvuzela-blowing competition, but said Friday she was recovering with no permanent damage.

"It took about two days to heal, by Monday I was feeling fine. I just hope there is no permanent damage, but it doesn't seem like it," said Yvonne Mayer from Cape Town, according to the Sapa news agency.

She joined the impromptu competition on the opening day of the World Cup, while strolling the streets of Cape Town. At the time, she thought the burning sensation in her throat was a cold.

After the match, her throat started burning even more and the next day she went to the doctor.

"The doctor was really enjoying it, he just kept laughing at me and said it was his first vuvuzela injury," said Mayer.

Her physician Scott Barker said the wound had worsened because she kept blowing after the initial tear.

Mayer blamed her own poor blowing technique and said she was now "a bit nervous" about trying again.

The instrument has drawn fierce criticism for drowning out fans singing in stadiums, hindering communication between coaches and teams, and for dominating television coverage. Experts also say it can cause permanent damage to hearing.


panda bear

(no subject)

Dutch police use 'decoy Jews' to stop anti-Semitic attacks

Lodewijk Asscher, Amsterdam's mayor, has ordered the new decoy strategy to cut the number of verbal and physical attacks on Jews, amid fears that anti-Semitic "hate crime" is on the rise.

"Jews in at least six Amsterdam neighbourhoods often cannot cross the street wearing a skullcap without being insulted, spat at or even attacked," according to local reports.

Amsterdam police already disguise officers as "decoy prostitutes, decoy gays and decoy grannies" in operations to deter street muggings and attacks on homosexuals or the city's red light district.

Police in the Dutch city of Gouda have claimed the use of officers disguised as apparently frail old age pensioners has helped cut street crime.

"If we receive several reports of street robbery in a certain location, we send out the granny. That soon quietens things down," said a spokesman.

Secret television recordings by the Jewish broadcasting company, Joodse Omroep, broadcast at the weekend, have shocked Amsterdam, a city which prides itself on liberalism and which is home to the Anne Frank museum.

The footage showed young men, often of immigrant origin, shouting and making Nazi salutes at a rabbi when he visited different areas of the Dutch capital.

mus | like a bird in a cage

Obama initiative to help homeless gay youth

The Obama administration unveiled a plan Tuesday that is intended to end chronic homelessness by 2015 and homelessness among families, youth, and children by 2020 — and LGBT youth are one of the target populations being included in the initiative.

“On any given night in America more than 640,000 men, women, and children are without housing,” said Shaun Donovan, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. “While some are scarred by war, others are families who have recently lost their home; still, others are youth aging out of foster care or are perhaps unable to stay with families [that are] hostile to their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The plan uses 19 federal agencies in support of accomplishing four goals: ending chronic homelessness in five years; preventing and ending homelessness among veterans in five years; preventing homelessness for families, youth, and children in a decade; and setting a path for ending all homelessness.


Targeted for protesting Israel

Brian Napoletano reports on an attempt by the University of California Irvine to punish all Muslim students after a protest against a defender of Israel's war crimes.

ACTIVISTS ARE outraged after administrators at the University California (UC) Irvine announced plans to suspend the Muslim Student Union (MSU) for a whole year starting in September. What did they do wrong? Students protested Israel's ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren.

The Law School and Political Science Department cosponsored an event February 8 in which Oren spoke on the recent findings of the UN Human Rights Commission's fact-finding mission to Gaza. Oren maintains that the Israeli Defense Forces' 2008/2009 invasion of Gaza was justified and the IDF acted appropriately in all its operations.

Oren has publicly attacked the report conducted by South African judge Richard Goldstone, claiming that it went even further than "Ahmadinejad and the Holocaust deniers" in denying Israel the right to self-defense, and that it "portrays the Jews as the deliberate murderers of innocents--as Nazis."

During Oren's presentation, 11 students interrupted him several times, and at one point, walked out of the presentation to stage a protest outside. While the interruptions angered the event's organizers and prompted Oren to take a 20-minute recess at one point, they didn't prevent him from finishing his speech.

Now, even though the MSU maintains that the eight Irvine students who interrupted the meeting were acting as individuals, the university's disciplinary committee is targeting the MSU, the university's central community for Muslim students.

The MSU issued a statement the day of Oren's appearance condemning the university for "inadvertently supporting the ambassador of a state that is condemned by more UN Human Rights Council resolutions than all other countries in the world combined." But it organized no formal protest.

The 11 students who interrupted Oren--three of whom were UC Riverside students and the others were from Irvine--were arrested and held by Orange County police, and later released with the possibility of facing criminal charges at a later date. At no point during their protest or their incarceration did the students claim to be acting on behalf of the MSU.

Nonetheless, the university has insisted on using the fact that the Irvine students were MSU members to assign blame for the protests to the student group. In a May 27 letter to leaders of the group, Senior Executive Director of Student Housing Lisa Cornish explained that the university obtained 31 pages of e-mails from the student group's Google account and "detailed minutes from MSU's February 3, 2010 General Assembly meeting."

She claimed that these documents, coupled with accounts given by "anonymous sources" and university officials, and the fact that the students retained the same attorney to be present at Oren's presentation and represent them in the student conduct review process, indisputably demonstrated that the MSU "planned every detail of the disruptions."

Based on these findings, Cornish concluded that the students were intentionally misrepresenting themselves when they denied that they were acting as representatives of the MSU or that they were participating in a MSU event, and added, "Other forms of dishonesty, including but not limited to fabricating information, furnishing false information or reporting a false emergency to the university" to the list of violations.

Cornish also charged the group with violations directly related to the actions of the eight Irvine students at the presentation: "[o]bstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures or other university activities;" "[d]isorderly or lewd conduct"; and "[p]articipation in a disturbance of the peace or unlawful assembly."

Based on these findings, Cornish informed the MSU that she planned to revoke the organization's recognition; prohibit any MSU officer listed on the Dean of Students' registration document from acting as an "authorized signer" for any other student organization for a full year; require the organization's membership to complete 50 hours of community service on a project selected by her; require the MSU's officers to schedule a joint meeting with the Director of Student Conduct and the Director of Campus Organizations; and place the organization on another full year of disciplinary probation if it is permitted to re-register for recognition in the fall 2011.

Source: Socialist Worker (more there)

General Franco gave list of Spanish Jews to Nazis

It was the list that would have sent thousands more Jews to their deaths in Auschwitz and other extermination camps run by Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime during the second world war, but this time the victims were to be Spaniards.

The Spanish dictator, General Francisco Franco, whose apologists usually claim that he protected Jews, ordered his officials to draw up a list of some 6,000 Jews living in Spain and include them in a secret Jewish archive.

That list was handed over to the Nazi architect of the so-called "final solution", the German SS chief Heinrich Himmler, as the two countries negotiated Spain's possible incorporation into the group of Axis powers that included Italy, according to the El País newspaper today.

The newspaper printed the original order, recently unearthed from Spanish archives, that instructed provincial governors to elaborate lists of "all the national and foreign Jews living in the province ... showing their personal and political leanings, means of living, commercial activities, degree of danger and security category".

Provincial governors were ordered to look out especially for Sephardic Jews, descendants of those expelled from Spain in 1492, because their Ladino language and Hispanic background helped them fit into Spanish society.

"Their adaptation to our environment and their similar temperament allow them to hide their origins more easily," said the order, sent out in May 1941.

The order creating Spain's Jewish archive treated Judaism as a racial identity, rather than a religious one, referring to "this notorious race" and casting its net wide in a way not seen since the Inquisition sought out false converts to Roman Catholicism.

Such people, it warned, "remained unnoticed, with no opportunity of preventing their easily-carried out attempts at subversion".

The list does not seem to have included Jews fleeing from Vichy France – where similar lists were being drawn up – or the rest of Europe, who were mostly sent on to Portugal.

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Source: The Grauniad
Food / Tutu Tomato
  • naatz

Arab song for kids: Allah loves martyrs

Arab song for kids: Allah loves martyrs

Children's website, TV channel broadcasting Birds of Paradise songs praising 'heroes' like Hamas leader Yassin
Roee Nahmias
Published: 06.22.10, 17:27 / Ynetnews.com Ha'aretz

Anti-Israel television for children: The Birds of Paradise band has released a new song in which children express their desire to be shaheeds (martyrs).

The song, sung by young children on the Birds of Paradise television channel, includes the lyrics, "When we die as shaheeds we'll go to paradise. No, don't say we're young. This life has made us old. Without Palestine, what significance is there to our lives? Even if they give us the whole world, we'll never forget her (Palestine)."

During the song, an older man appears. "Children, we must keep our religious commandments," he sings. "There is no god but Allah, and Allah loves shaheeds."

At the end of the song, the children sing, "Allah watch over the children of Palestine. Allah will make our prayers come true."

Shaheeds and birds. The kid's website

The channel has also produced other songs against Israel, such as "The lion cubs of Gaza" and "The upright ones – the return to Palestine."

The songs are broadcast over the station which began operating in Bahrain in January 2008. It was established by Jordanian-Palestinian businessman Khaled Maqdad.

Maqdad, who formed the kids' band of the same name in 1994, has raised funds over the years to set up the station, which specializes in broadcasting the band's clips. In addition to the children's songs, there are also an abundance of love songs to the homeland and songs praising "heroes like (Sheikh) Ahmad Yassin," the wheelchair bound founder of Hamas whom Israel assassinated in March 2004.

"This is a private low-budget project," Maqdad said in a past interview with the al-Jazeera newspaper Al-Shuruq. "The channel has captured the hearts of millions of children. It succeeds where the educational system has failed, such as multiplication table songs. It helps teachers work on it with the children."


Excuse me while I go to retch in the corner.