July 31st, 2010

  • lesket

What is happening to you, France, OMG

Sarkozy threatens immigrants who target police

PARIS – President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday that he wants to revoke the French citizenship of immigrants who put the lives of police officers in danger as part of a "national war" on delinquency.

In a speech in Grenoble, the site of recent urban unrest, Sarkozy said that the current list of causes for revoking French nationality would be reevaluated and "rights and benefits" accorded to illegal immigrants would be reviewed.

Meanwhile, a video posted on the Internet showing riot police roughly rousting African immigrant squatters, including one visibly pregnant woman, from an encampment at a housing project prompted shocked reactions around the country.

The video shot by a member of a housing-rights organization shows police wearing leg protection pulling women, some with babies on their backs, and in one case dragging a woman across the ground with her infant trailing behind in the dirt.
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from AP via Y!News

The son of a foreign-born naturalised French citizen with whom he never had much of a relationship plans to make the lives of other foreign-born naturalised French citizens harder - hmmmmmmmm from my armchair, this looks like daddy issues to me, Sarko. Also, I think his plan at this point is just to deport everyone who might not vote for him.
movies | The Sound of Music

ONTD_Political's PotD: July 30, 2010.

These images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, are some of the only color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations. The FSA/OWI pictures depict life in the United States, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, with a focus on rural areas and farm labor, as well as aspects of World War II mobilization, including factories, railroads, aviation training, and women working. The photographs are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Color.

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Full Galleries:
MISC - moustache

Death Sentence

Maricopa County jail personnel handled an unruly prisoner so harshly that he died. So what else is new?

How would you like to sit inside a federal courtroom for seven weeks watching a grainy videotape repeatedly document the final moments of your mentally ill son's life inside one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's county jails?

What would go through your mind as you saw the jailhouse video of Arpaio's detention officers dragging your 33-year-old son -- who had the mental capacity of a 12-year-old -- across the floor as if he were a sack of garbage?

Would you be appalled to see him, with all the might his 130-pound frame could muster, resisting the jail guards' efforts to strap him into a jail "restraint chair"?

How would you react watching guards lash your son's legs into the restraint chair that Amnesty International wants banned because it has been linked to more than a dozen deaths in the United States?

Would you not be horrified to see Arpaio's officers shove his hooded head forward between his legs with his arms handcuffed behind his back for one minute and 48 agonizing seconds -- long enough to stop his breathing?

Could you suppress the anger swelling inside as you hear testimony from a nurse who thought your son was faking cardiac arrest and respiratory failure, which could be why detention officers waited more than four and a half minutes to begin CPR?

Imagine the tightness that would grip your chest as you saw the video of guards finally applying CPR to your son lying motionless on the concrete jailhouse floor.

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This article is from 2006 but it definitely bears posting, considering the fact that Arpaio is still sheriff and not rotting in federal prison.

Death of teen on bike shows risks of expanded use of Tasers

WARNING: This video does contain footage of a teen being run over, but I recommend watching it to get an idea of the story if you don't have time right now to read the article.

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more @ source

this story is way too long for me to go in and bold at appropriate places, but it's definitely worth reading.

i've posted the first part. the second part is a description of the accident, the third is about the funeral, questions of racial profiling and a description that the officers may have planted a gun on steen, the fourth is about the trial and the fifth is a police officer/research scientist giving his thoughts on the case.
News you can use.

Riddle of mystery man on news solved

The identity of a mystery man who has been appearing in the background of live news bulletins over the past few months has finally been revealed.

The man's many appearances had been tracked by the fidgetwith.com blog which spotted him hovering in the background of reports on Sky News, ITV, BBC and Channel 4, as well as on an episode of 'The Antiques' Roadshow'.

Now it's been revealed that he is Paul Yarrow, a 38-year-old care worker from South London, and his appearances are part of a protest against the media.

He told the Evening Standard: "It is a statement about the image conscious media. I am overweight and people like me are treated as unsightly because of the way they look.

"I could have a valid point about something but the microphone is always passed to the person alongside me. The point I am making is that the more you push me aside, the more I'm going to be determined to make my presence known."

Yarrow first came to attention when he was featured by the comedian Russell Howard in his programme 'Russell Howard's Good News' last year.

Most of his appearances have been during news broadcasts from London and it's also been reported that he applied to go on this year's 'Big Brother', claiming he was 'currently known as the fat guy who wants to be on television'.


Target Boycott Movement Grows Following Donation to Support "Antigay" Candidate

July 28, 2010 4:10 PM

Revelations that Target Corp. donated $150,000 to a group that is running ads backing conservative Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who opposes same-sex marriage, continue to generate calls to boycott the company.

Groups such as this one - "Boycott Target Until They Cease Funding Anti-Gay Politics" - have spring up on Facebook, where those upset with the donation are encouraged to contact Target to let them know what they think.

Meanwhile, a woman by the name of Randi Reitan, who has a gay son, has posted a video to YouTube showing her cutting up her Target card and returning merchandise in protest. (Watch above.)

"The Target I know was a Target that embraced its gay employees," she says in the video before discussing how she told a store manager about why she returned the items she had purchased.

"I shared with her why I had bought each item, who they were for, and why that person wouldn't want me to have bought them at a Target store," she says. "The items were for my grandchildren, and they love their uncle Jake so much, and Jake is gay, and they wouldn't want to have things coming from a store that contributes to a campaign that would have a governor candidate with the antigay views that Tom Emmer has."

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Fuck yeah! That's my Chile <3

New Sentence for the Head of the DINA
For the disappearances of eight opponents of the dictatorship

The ex-chief of the DINA was sentenced 15 years and 1 day in jail for the disapperances of eight opponents of the government of Augusto Pinochet, so he has accumulated more than 200 years in jail for various human rights violations. In addition, add ex-brigadier general Miguel Krassnoff and the ex-colonels of the Army Marcelo Moren Brito, Rolf Wenderoth Pozo and Daniel Cancino Varas, a retired officer of the Gendarmería, Orlando Manzo Durán, former Army officers Rubén Fiedler Alvarado and Pedro Herrera Henríquez, a retired sub-official of the Carabineros, Pedro Alfaro Fernández and an ex-lieutenant colonel of the Army, Fernando Lauriani Maturana.

A new sentence, this time for 15 years and one day in prison, was handed to the former head of DINA, Manuel Contreras Sepulveda, for the aggravated kidnapping (disappearance) of eight opponents to military rule in 1975.

The sentence occurs within days of controversial statements made to Chilevisión by Contreras, where he said that he was "proud" of what DINA had done under his command and he refused to have his hands stained with blood.

The sentence was handed down by Judge Alejandro Solis, who also condemned other members of the defunct repressive military body for the same offense.
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It's good to see the case of the Valparaíso Eight get some justice. Though if I had my way, these motherfuckers would spend a year in jail for every victim of the dictatorship (which would come to like 3000 years for each of them :D )
donk... donk... donk...

College students may get break on textbook expenses

College students will be able to shop around more for deals on textbooks, thanks to a new law that took effect this month.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires colleges to release required book lists at the time of class registration. Publishers must disclose prices and revision information to schools.

Proponents say the law will give students more time to take advantage of textbook buy-back programs, book rentals and prices that are often lower online than in college bookstores. They expect it will also force professors to pay more attention to the cost of books they assign.

"Until this year, many schools didn't give the book list until the week before classes, and you really had no choice but to head to the college bookstore," says Christine Frietchen, editor in chief of ConsumerSearch.com.

Dan Rosensweig, CEO of the textbook rental site Chegg.com, says the law will provide more transparency for students, which he thinks will translate into a boost in interest in his service.

"If information isn't available to you until the last minute, things like the Internet don't really benefit you," he says.

Borders launched an online textbook "marketplace" last week that allows students to buy or sell books with other students or sell them to an outside company. Amazon recently announced that more than 1 million textbooks are eligible for its buy-back program, which allows customers to exchange used textbooks for an Amazon gift card.

Frietchen, who analyzed textbook prices for the ConsumerSearch blog, says college bookstores are often out of used-book options. Freshmen and students taking classes that aren't part of their majors often don't want to keep their textbooks. That makes renting or buying the cheaper electronic versions more attractive, she says.

But Charles Schmidt, spokesman for the National Association of College Stores, says his 3,000 members are confident they can remain competitive. Schmidt notes that college stores can guarantee that students buy the correct edition, and have clearly defined return policies.

"If you purchased through a peer or eBay, you're out of luck," he says.

But some of the off-campus options may be too good to pass up. Students who shop at eBay-owned Half.com can search for books offered at discounted prices from sellers across the country. Often, nearly new paperback novels required for English classes are listed on the site for less than a dollar.


No school/university/college/student tags?

Sunday Times under fire over "dyke" slur against Clare Balding

BBC presenter complains to press watchdog after paper defends AA Gill's "dyke on a bike" jibe.

The Sunday Times is embroiled in a damaging homophobia row after the paper defended writer AA Gill's description of BBC presenter Clare Balding as a "dyke".

In a review of Balding's new programme, Britain by Bike, Gill wrote (subscription required): "Some time ago, I made a cheap and frankly unnecessary joke about Clare Balding looking like a big lesbian. And afterwards somebody tugged my sleeve to point out that she is a big lesbian. So I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise. Sorry."

He continued: "Now back to the dyke on a bike, puffing up the nooks and crannies at the bottom end of the nation."

Balding, quite understandably, complained to the paper's editor, John Witherow, about the tone of the piece. But it was his response that "appalled" her further.

He said:
In my view some members of the gay community need to stop regarding themselves as having a special victim status and behave like any other sensible group that is accepted by society.

Not having a privileged status means, of course, one must accept occasionally being the butt of jokes. A person's sexuality should not give them a protected status.

Jeremy Clarkson, perhaps the epitome of the heterosexual male, is constantly jeered at for his dress sense (lack of), adolescent mindset and hairstyle. He puts up with it as a presenter's lot and in this context I hardly think that AA Gill's remarks were particularly cruel, especially as he ended by so warmly endorsing you as a presenter.
Witherow's response to Balding appears to be based on the premise that "dyke" is an essentially innocuous term. But as Balding responded: "This is not about me putting up with having the piss taken out of me, something I have been quite able to withstand, it is about you legitimising name calling. 'Dyke' is not shouted out in school playgrounds (or as I've had it at an airport) as a compliment, believe me."

One has to ask: would Witherow employ the same defence if one of his writers referred to a gay person as a "poofter" or to a black person as a "nigger"?

Balding took to Twitter in search of solidarity and for advice on her decision to make a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. Gill, of course, previously prompted outrage on the site after revealing that he shot a baboon "to see what it would be like to kill someone".

In response, Stephen Fry tweeted: "hurrah for @clarebalding1 - I know few people more capable of laughing at themselves, but cruel meanness can't stand." Meanwhile, John Prescott wrote: "Just heard you're taking AA Gill and the Sunday Times to PCC. Good luck. Disgraceful what they wrote. Gill's a real sh**."

There will be some who predictably portray this as an assault on Gill's right to free expression but it's nothing of the sort. Granting Gill the right to make such comments does not mean that he was right to do so. If it has any sense, the Sunday Times will make a formal apology to Balding and prevent any further damage to its reputation.

Source: New Statesman

Stay classy, Murdoch press.
&#39; show me your teeth

(no subject)

FBI releases 400-page Howard Zinn file

Feds investigated left-wing historian for 25 years for Communist ties and antiwar activism

Surprising no one, the FBI announced today it had tracked the left-wing historian Howard Zinn for 25 years, despite having apparently no evidence that he ever committed a crime.

The bureau released over 400 pages of its file on Zinn, covering 1949 to 1974 -- when the bureau says its investigations ended -- in response to FOIA requests. Download the documents here. (See anything interesting? Leave a comment or shoot us an e-mail.)

As we often learn with these FBI releases, the bureau expended a remarkable amount of resources tracking the writings and movements of those who were linked to Communists (even by three or four degrees of separation) or who opposed the Vietnam War.

One document (Page 217) records that Zinn, who died in January, participated in a public anti-draft meeting on Boston Common in November 1967. This fact was observed by no less than five special agents of the FBI, whose names are recorded.

There are scores of pages of fairly banal details like this. Take the following section in which the FBI drew on its substantial network of confidential informants to establish Zinn's presence on the mailing list of a questionable bookstore:
On April 5, 1950, Confidential Information T-3 stated that HOWARD ZINN , 890 East 6th Street, New York City, was on the 1957-1949 Mailing List of the Workers Book Shop, 50 East 13th Street, Manhattan, New York.

On March 29, 1947, Confidential Information T-8, of known reliability, advised that the Workers Book Shop is an outlet for Communist Party literature. According to this Information, it is a self-supporting establishment, operated by a Communist Party member, and an integral part of the Communist Party.
There's also a fair amount here about Zinn's 1974 trip to North Vietnam with the Rev. Daniel Berrigan, during which they received three freed American POWs. Gawker has some more.

movies | Impish Fräulein2

ONTD_Political's PotD: July 31, 2010.

The oil spill resulting from a pipeline explosion in the port city of Dalian on July 16th [ see previous entry ] is being cleaned up by a small army of fisherman, locals, and government workers manning over 250 oil-skimming vessels and 8,000 fishing boats - much of the work being done by hand. The spill, now contained according to authorities, grew to 430 square kilometers (165 sq mi), but was prevented from fouling international waters. The explosion was due to improper desulfurizer injections into the pipeline, according to a report by Xinhua, China's state news agency. As workers continue their efforts and watchdog groups like Greenpeace level criticism for what they call an inadequate response to date, Dalian Port has already resumed operations at two of its oil berths, the company said on Sunday.
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Hat tip to valencianbelle for piping up about this disaster/the gallery hook-up.

Source: "Cleaning Dalian harbor" | The Big Picture | Boston.com