July 4th, 2010

Anti-gay Christian groups protest at Pride

London Pride progressed peacefully despite a small band of anti-gay Christian protestors.

The group, which included around 20 people from varying organisations, held placards with Bible passages, while one man with a loudspeaker warned marchers of their "sin".

As the parade passed the group, marchers largely ignored them, although one couple held up atheist author Richard Dawkins' books.

One protestor told PinkNews.co.uk that he had been arrested by police earlier in the day for preaching. Andy Clarke, who said he was from the Christian Watch website, told PinkNews.co.uk he was there to witness to Christ. He said: "No other groups would be allowed to march down the street."

Mr Clarke said he doubted whether gay Christians could exist. When asked whether he ate shellfish and wore mixed fibres, which are also prohibited in the Bible, he said: "Yeah, but you know that doesn't apply any more.

"Those were local, dietary laws, not moral laws."

Source: Pink News

Did anyone here go to London Pride? How was it? /Northerner who still has 2 weeks before his pride comes around

Tony Blair's security team cost the taxpayer £250,000 a year

Bodyguards hired to protect former prime minister Tony Blair are costing the taxpayer £250,000 a year in expenses, according to reports.

The bills for an elite protection squad, which travels with Mr Blair on luxury holidays and international business trips, are almost twice those submitted by officers protecting his successor Gordon Brown while he was still in office, it has been alleged.

Reports in The Mail on Sunday describe claims of more than £1,200 a night for accommodation at some of the world's finest hotels, as well as for limousine hire and thousands of pounds in cash for overseas trips without receipts.

During a two week break to Borneo last summer, officers ran up a total bill of more than £22,000.
Soon after, a three-man police team accompanied Mr Blair and his wife for a week long visit to a luxury health retreat in Bali, the reports said.

Other expenses included £3,000 cash for a trip to Sierra Leone, for which no receipts were obtained.
Total spending on Royal and diplomatic protection has reached more than £1.5 million so far this year, the newspaper said.

While many of the expenses from the force were for luxury hotels, other claims submitted included those for Percy Pig sweets, chocolate chip cookies and a £38 Little Chef meal, including a chocolate milkshake.

One male Royal protection officer who travelled with Princes William and Harry to the World Cup in South Africa claimed for two ladies' blouses and a pair of ladies' shorts, according to the report.

The claims for protection for the former prime minister were almost twice the £135,000 submitted for protection of Gordon Brown during his last year in office.

Last night Conservative MP Richard Bacon, a member of the Commons public accounts committee called on Mr Blair to make a contribution from his "considerable earnings" towards the cost of his security.

The former Prime Minister can earn up to £80,000 an hour for a speaking engagement.

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Source: The Telegraph
  • fynoda

1 dead, 2 hurt in SF pride parade shooting

I saw that ladypolitik has been posting the epic gay pride parade pictures lately; San Francisco's was posted a while back but this did not seem to get a mention. The shooting did NOT appear to be a hate crime but a wrong-place-wrong-time shooting. It's still an unfortunate waste of life.

(06-28) 04:00 PDT San Francisco -- A personal dispute apparently boiled over into deadly violence in the Castro district late Saturday when a 19-year-old man shot three people during gay Pride weekend celebrations, scattering hundreds of horrified revelers.

Stephen Powell, 19, was shot up to four times in the chest and was pronounced dead early Sunday morning at San Francisco General Hospital, according to the San Francisco Medical Examiner's office and city officials.

After the shots rang out on the corner of Market and Castro streets about 11:30 p.m., some in the surrounding crowd of hundreds began throwing bottles, witnesses told police. Officers in riot gear responded to the scene within minutes, quelled the fracas, and arrested a 19-year-old man on suspicion of pulling the trigger.

Police recovered a handgun they believe was used in the attack, and as they continue their investigation they are inquiring about the possibility of another assailant, officials said.

"This was definitely not a hate crime," said Officer Phil Gordon. "We think they (the shooter and Powell) knew each other."

The other two victims in the attack, a 19-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man, were both hit in the leg and are expected to recover from their injuries, officials said.

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Source is here.
Murasaki Shikibu

You Say God Is Dead? There’s an App for That.

You Say God Is Dead? There’s an App for That

An explosion of smart-phone software has placed an arsenal of trivia at the fingertips of every corner-bar debater, with talking points on sports, politics and how to kill a zombie. Now it is taking on the least trivial topic of all: God.

Publishers of Christian material have begun producing iPhone applications that can cough up quick comebacks and rhetorical strategies for believers who want to fight back against what they view as a new strain of strident atheism. And a competing crop of apps is arming nonbelievers for battle.

“Say someone calls you narrow-minded because you think Jesus is the only way to God,” says one top-selling application introduced in March by a Christian publishing company. “Your first answer should be: ‘What do you mean by narrow-minded?’ ”

For religious skeptics, the “BibleThumper” iPhone app boasts that it “allows the atheist to keep the most funny and irrational Bible verses right in their pocket” to be “always ready to confront fundamentalist Christians or have a little fun among friends.”

The war of ideas between believers and nonbelievers has been part of the Western tradition at least since Socrates. For the most part, it has been waged by intellectual giants: Augustine, Spinoza, Aquinas, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche.

Yet for good or ill, combatants entering the lists today are mainly everyday people, drawn in part by the popularity of books like Richard Dawkins’s “The God Delusion” and Christopher Hitchens’s “God Is Not Great.” The fierceness of their debate reflects the fractious talk-show culture unintentionally described so aptly in the title of the Glenn Beck best seller “Arguing With Idiots.”

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(UPDATED - FALSE ALARM) JFK Airport terminal evacuated after bomb scare

Officials at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport evacuated one of its airport terminals after a bomb scare Sunday on one of the busiest US holiday travel days, ABC television reported.

ABC reported that authorities cleared JFK's Terminal 1, while hazardous materials experts and other emergency crews arrived at the scene.

The reported bomb scare took place on Independence Day, which marks the founding of the United States, and is a US national holiday.

More details to follow.


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Discworld quote
  • avmin

Helsinki Gay Pride attacked

Pride procession in Helsinki

The Helsinki Pride festival, an event devoted to celebrating the rights of sexual minorities, culminated in a carnival-like procession through the streets of Helsinki Saturday. Police estimate that about 5,000 people participated in the procession.

The march kicked off at 1.00 pm from the Senate Square in downtown Helsinki and proceeded along Aleksanterinkatu and Mannerheimintie to the Hakasalmi Park.

The parade was slightly marred by a small skirmish, in which bystanders attacked members of the procession with pepper spray. The incident took place at the corner of Aleksanterinkatu and Kluuvinkatu. Police held three men in their thirties in connection with the incident.

It’s not known how many marchers were affected by the spray however it seems that no serious injuries were reported. Police are calling on anyone affected by the spraying incident to report the matter to Helsinki police.

The Pride festival was launched last Monday, and this year its 60 individual events topped the energy of previous years’ efforts. However, over the years, the celebration has gathered thousands of supporters.

The purpose of the Pride celebrations is to highlight the rights and culture of Finland’s sexual minorities. This year, the Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb was patron of the festival.


Gas Attack on Pride Parade "Premeditated"

Helsinki police took three young men into custody on Saturday suspected of launching a pepper spray attack at the Helsinki Pride festival. Officers are also looking for 2 to 5 other individuals suspected of participating in the assault.

Over 30 people were hit by the spray. No one was seriously injured, however, some of the victims were children.

Helsinki police officer Kari Aaltio said that the attack seemed to be meticulously planned.

“First the perpetrators released smoke over the parade. Then they went around the block and attacked parade participants with the spray. At least two types of gases were used. The perpetrators were dressed in black.”

Police are still looking for several other perpetrators. The suspects come from outside of Helsinki and are Finns. Police are trying to determine if they belong to a larger group.

The men have denied the accusations. They will be kept in custody until at least Tuesday.

An estimated 2,500 people took part in the parade which celebrates gay and lesbian culture.


I'm currently in Madrid and attended Madrid pride (which was awesome) but the news from home made me kinda D: I feel we should be better than this. The one positive thing is that the patron for the pride is from a rightwing party :D (still left from US democrats tho)

The Real "Dangerous Classes"

As the state capitalist carnivals of the G8/G20 got underway in cottage country and Toronto widespread public outrage focused on the $1.3 billion security extravagance—the fences, security cameras, weapons, vehicles and mass policing that have become regular features of such elite get-togethers. While governments of the G8 claim the need for austerity, social spending cuts and belt tightening for the working classes, they have no shortage of public money to spend on their own comfort. The Conservative government in Canada and its corporate sponsors have justified these costs as necessary expenditures in the face of protesters, and, in the words of Federal Minister of Trade and Treasury Board president Stockwell Day “anarchist thugs.” By the second day in Toronto police aggression and intimidation had imposed regular random and unlawful searches, requests for identity papers, preemptive arrests of supposed organizers and “leaders” and home invasions. Rubber bullets and tear gas were used against people doing nothing more than sitting outside the main detention centre.

All of this is part of the ongoing attempts by states and capital to present the working classes and poor people as primary threats to social order and peace. Certainly elites have been, and continue to be effective in this. It has always been members of the working classes who have bee the targets of criminalization. The legal and correctional systems of liberal democracies are based on this. The overwhelming majority of people processed through the criminal justice systems in countries like Canada have been, historically and at present, working class and poor people. Almost all involve petty property crimes and low level street crimes. The working classes, especially the poorest, are presented as the “dangerous class.” Their lives are more regulated, and in neo-liberal regimes poverty is re-moralized as personal failing rather than economic structure.

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Source: Anarchist news dot org
king rad

World Cup is Serious Business

on productivity:
In the U.S. alone, InsideView predicts, the U.S.lost some $121 million in decreased economic output. And in the U.K., the total cost has come to $7.3 billion. In host nation South Africa, the AP reports, employers have even be known to let their workers leave early to watch games.

source has the most awesome image describing lost productivity ever

on economy:
Italian restaurants and bars could have made as much as $82 million in extra sales had the team advanced, said an e-mailed report from the Chamber of Commerce of Monza, northern Italy, Bloomberg News reported. It was estimated that another $86 million may have been spent by public institutions and private associations to rent and set up outdoor screens in squares and parks, the report added, bringing the potential blow to the sagging Italian economy to nearly $170 million.
source has a small blurb

on organizational management:
A day before Brazil’s defeat, a CEO with a fantastic track record, who has taken on a new assignment, gave me his leadership mantra over lemon tea in my office. He told me the three secrets of how he defines leadership. One, to connect with all stakeholders. Two, to get all stakeholders to connect with one another. And three, take that connection and connect it to the company’s goal.
source puts die Mannschaft in team

Handful of articles - one of the things I actually like outside of the game itself is seeing the political / economic effects that the World Cup has on various countries. For myself, local bars have really had to prepare for an influx, especially in regards to the alcohol - every day I see a resupply truck! Please feel free to add in pictures serious discussion, as there's one week left to go!