August 3rd, 2010


Gulf Aid Now: Auction Round #3

Hey all,

You might remember me from a couple of weeks ago. Recently, gulf_aid_now, the comm  to help the folks on the Gulf Coast who are currently going without paycheques because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (and the animals who need help getting all the oil out of their fur and feathers to survive), has started its third auction round. Although the leak has been closed for now, there is still a lot of work to be done, and that's what we're aiming to help with. The idea is much like the help_haiti community: people can put their creative talents (e.g. writing fanfiction/drawing fanart, making icons, crocheting, making jewelry, etc.) up for auction in a designated "Auction Post". Other people bid, and the winning bidder donates their bid to a Gulf Coast charity in exchange for whatever item/service they bid on.

The third auction will run until August 14th. You can find the comm by clicking on the community name above or pushing this shiny button:

Thanks so much for your attention and (forgive me if I'm presumptuous) help!


Meg Whitman Bids Gubernatorial Seat for $99 Million at eBay.

Meg Whitman Campaign Spending Hits $99 Million in California Governor's Race

Billionaire Republican Meg Whitman reported Monday that she has spent more than $99 million in her quest to become California's governor, while Democrat Jerry Brown is saving money for what could become the most expensive gubernatorial contest in American history.

The former eBay chief executive reported Monday that she spent nearly $20 million in the six-week period ending June 30, which included the weeks immediately before and after California's primary. Her campaign said the first-time candidate spent $71 million to win the GOP primary against state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

Brown, who faced no serious challenger in the Democratic primary, has spent just $450,000 on his race to date,
although the number climbs to $774,000 once donated services are included. Whitman's figure jumps to $100.3 million when such services are included.

Brown has $23 million cash on hand, while Whitman has about $10.3 million.
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Roosevelt, Nixon, and Bush: Americans Like Political Dynasties


Could another Bush wind up in the White House?

Jeb Bush could at least win the Republican nomination in 2012, Joshua Green wrote. Who knows, maybe he would go on to beat President Obama. Those scenarios are consistent with more than a century's worth of U.S. political history. Americans haven't shown antipathy toward vaguely dynastic candidates, as you may expect from the decedents of those who revolted against the British Crown. In fact, we apparently like to see the familiar presidential names on the ballot.

From 1900 to 1944, a Roosevelt ran on a national ticket in eight of 12 elections, either for president or vice president. Theodore Roosevelt became VP in 1900, was elected president in 1904, and ran on a third-party ticket in 1912 (when he won the largest-ever vote share for a third-party presidential candidate).

It's easily forgotten that Roosevelt's cousin, FDR, made an unsuccessful bid for vice president in 1920. The reason it's not remembered? FDR was elected as president in 1932 and then rolled up the next three reelection campaigns. (My guess is that FDR could have been reelected at least twice more had he not died in 1945 and term limits not been instituted. Winning World War II and ending the Great Depression would have been winning issues.)

The next wave happened on the Republican side. From 1952 to 2004, Nixon or a Bush ran on a national ticket 11 of 14 times. Richard Nixon became vice president in 1952, stayed after 1956, and just barely lost the White House to JFK in 1960. Nixon had his great comeback in 1968 and then was reelected in a landslide.

Eight years later, the Bushes came. George H.W. Bush spent 12 years in the White House as vice president and president. The 1996 election was the only one from 1980 until 2008 that didn't have a Bush running for president. George W. won in 2000 and was reelected in 2004.

If this weren't enough evidence that a last name goes far, consider Hillary Clinton. The wife of the first two-term Democratic president since Harry Truman, she won more primary votes than Barack Obama did in 2008. (Remember, Florida and Michigan's votes didn't fully count toward nomination because they violated DNC rules. Had they, we may be talking about the second Clinton presidency today.)

So Jeb should be smiling right? Well not exactly. George W. Bush's approval rating upon leaving office was much worse than George H.W. Bush's 56 percent rating. The first President Bush made it relatively easy for the second to get elected, but the enduring unpopularity of the second makes a third unlikely--though not impossible.
Mr. T the Patriot

Take your eyes off your navel and read this. Understand it. Live it.


First, all of the mods here at ontd_political do believe that -isms are a serious issue that should be confronted. Intersectionality is also a significant issue and I appreciate people who take the time to really get to understand it. Second, this isn't about any one particular instance. This is about certain changes that have taken place in this community over the past 3 or 4 months.

That being said ontd_political is a debate community. It is not the PC Police headquarters. Unfortunately the way some members in this community have been attempting to police each other can be problematic in that their methods shut down conversation. There are a few ways people have been behaving inappropriately that need to stop.

The most common way to shut down conversation is through language policing in the use of the phrase "check your privilege/-ism". This phrase does nothing to teach people why their comment is a problem. Even worse it leaves no room for debate or discussion. Telling someone to check their privilege/-isms is down next to the tone argument in ways to derail a thread. The person policing language has added nothing of value to the topic at hand. The "offending" commenter feels like they must apologize and shut up or be ganged up on over how they said something rather than what was said. Lately, anyone who uses questionable language has had their comment derailed by complaints of -isms rather than anything that actually address the substance of the comment. In order to be successful ONTD_P needs to be a place where we address the substance of the issues at hand rather than how a comment is phrased.

ontd_political is a debate community. It is not a navel gazing more PC than you competition. Sometimes people will have opinions on things that are different from yours. It is ok to write a comment disagreeing with them. It is not ok to claim their opinion is offensive just because you disagree with it. Some of the 10,000+ members may not think that the things you find offensive are offensive. It is not ok to police other user's comments in this community. If you have a serious problem with something someone said comment here. If it is a violation of our current rules the mods will deal with it. If not you'll just have to pull on your grown up undies and deal with it.

ontd_political is a debate community. Even though you may not be an able bodied heterosexual white male that does not mean you are the end all be all of knowledge on your particular sub group. If you are interested in sharing your personal knowledge of your group that is fine. If someone has said something that may have something to do with your sub group and you have a substantive opinion that is different great. But shutting down conversation by claiming to be a victim of a comment that is not as inclusive as you like is not acceptable. Claiming you are a victim because someone reacted in a way you did not like is not acceptable. Attempting to harass someone into accepting your perpetual victim hood and feeling or thinking the way you want them to is not acceptable. If you feel that you are constantly a victim because of opinions that are different than yours about your subgroup you need to figure out a substantive way to discuss it or learn to scroll.

ontd_political is a debate community. Sometimes ontd_political users will express their opinions on an issue. This is understandable given that ontd_political is a debate community. However, just because a user has an opinion you disagree with it is not ok to blow the dog whistles and get your mean girl crew to come in and gang up on them. Since the first day of this community one of our rules has been "be prepared to back up your belief. If you cannot back it up, don't comment." If you can't handle 1 on 1 commenting on your own don't comment. If you can't have a conversation without 5 of your girlfriends repeating your comments and needling the other commenter don't comment. Cyber bullying isn't acceptable here. If you have something substantive to say then say it and move on.

The same rules still apply. Taking it to personal journals = banned. Deleting other people's comments = banned. Deleting your own comments for anything other than a spelling mistake = banned and you need to repost the corrected comment. Don't delete your own posts. Trolls will be sent packing. If your comments are that annoying that we think you're trolling, you're banned.

Most importantly remember that ontd_political is a debate community. ontd_political is not a monolith. If you can't handle differing views and opinions you do not have a place here. The mods are not going to bubble wrap the conversation on your behalf. If you can't handle differing views and opinions Get The Fuck Out.


The Mean Mod
Lupin's Hand gif

Missouri's Referendum: Will the Show-Me State Show Up Obamacare?

Missouri voters go to the polls Tuesday for the first-in-the-nation referendum on President Obama's health care plan. It is likely to give Republicans a chance to brag about the unpopularity of Obamacare, but the vote will be largely symbolic. Courts will eventually decide whether Missouri and other states can legally trump federal law and exempt citizens from the mandate to buy insurance. But sending a signal to Washington will be victory enough for the Republicans and Tea Party activists pushing Proposition C.

"You don't need to worry about the courts when the people are trying to have their say," says Lloyd Smith, executive director of the Missouri GOP. "The people are saying this is going too far. It's a referendum on the overreach of the Obama Administration and the liberals in Congress." The vote is as much about "anger and frustration" at all things Washington as it is about health care, explains Representative John Diehl, a Republican from St. Louis County who was one of the chief proponents of the referendum when it passed the Missouri legislature.

But the specific issue boils down to this: Can the government require that citizens buy health insurance? Mandatory insurance is a key element of the health care reforms passed by congressional Democrats and signed by Obama this year. Adding healthy people to the insurance pool spreads the cost of policies for people with health problems. Missouri's referendum rejects that mandate by asking voters whether state laws should be amended to forbid penalties for failing to have health insurance.

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  • luomo

NOM Speaker: Outlawing Gay Marriage Will Help Save the Economy

Tamara Scott of the Concerned Women for America was one of the speakers at the NOM rally in Des Moines on Sunday. She claimed that outlawing gay marriage will improve the economy:

Said Scott: "This is not simply a party issue. It's a Biblical issue. Now I expect somebody like SNL will come along and make fun. We'll see the Church Lady revived. That's okay. I'd rather have man mad at me than be a stench in the nostrils of the God almighty."

She added: “It costs you, the taxpayer, as high as $280 billion a year for fragmented families, that's according to the Family Research Council, May 14, 2009. That's three trillion a decade...If we would correct the breakdown of the family by one percent, we could save the taxpayer $3 billion a year. To sit back and do nothing — we become part of the problem. We all need to help out here. It's too big for any of us. There's plenty of evil to go around."

Watch Scott spew her hate:


source she wearing pearls?

  • luomo

The fantasy of a vast upper middle class

Among the many theories exposed as fallacies by the Great Recession is the idea of the mass upper middle class. During the years of the American bubble economy, progressives and conservatives alike lauded the graduation of most citizens from the working class to a new elite that included the majority of Americans.

The center-left and center-right defined this alleged new class somewhat differently. In 19th century Germany, scholars distinguished the credentialed middle class (Bildungsbuergertum) from the propertied middle class (Besitzbuergertum). A similar divide separates America’s progressive elite, based in the educational profession, civil service and nonprofit sector, from America’s conservative elite, based in business and banking. Elite progressives and elite conservatives share the assumption that the ideal society is one in which most Americans would be more like them, in owning educational credentials (progressives) or capital (conservatives).

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Has Anyone Seen What Went Down in France?

London, England (CNN) -- A video has emerged showing French police evicting African immigrants with babies and children during a housing protest in a Paris suburb.

Police arrived in the north-east Parisian suburb of La Courneuve last Wednesday and asked a group of about 60 mostly women and children to move, said Michael Hajdenberg, a journalist with the French media organization Mediapart.

The group had been living in the street since being evicted from their council homes on July 8 to make way for a new housing project, he said.

When the group failed to respond to the request, Hajdenberg said police officers forcibly removed them.

Authorities had offered to accommodate them for a short period in hotels, but Hajdenberg said the immigrants wanted more of a long-term guarantee of places to live.

The video shows police dragging away women with babies and young children. In one scene a woman with a baby wrapped to her back is dragged along the pavement while screaming and shouting.


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Bree Gun

Prop 8 Report: It Was The "Think About The Children" Ads That Killed Us

Behind the numbers of Prop. 8

It's crucial to understand the data about Prop. 8's victory before launching another attempt to legalize gay marriage.

Immediately after Proposition 8 passed, many who supported same-sex marriage tried to make sense of the results. A set of assumptions gained wide acceptance. Some are correct. Most, however, are just plain wrong. And it's crucial that we know what happened in the last election before launching another attempt to legalize marriage for all.

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Bob Inglis Refuses to Accept That Tea Party is The GOP's Last Hope

Confessions of a Tea Party Casualty
GOP Rep. Bob Inglis slams Republican demagoguery, bemoans anti-Semitic tea party conspiracy nonsense, decries Sarah Palin’s ignorance, and looks for a job.

It was the middle of a tough primary contest, and Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) had convened a small meeting with donors who had contributed thousands of dollars to his previous campaigns. But this year, as Inglis faced a challenge from tea party-backed Republican candidates claiming Inglis wasn't sufficiently conservative, these donors hadn't ponied up. Inglis' task: Get them back on the team. "They were upset with me," Inglis recalls. "They are all Glenn Beck watchers." About 90 minutes into the meeting, as he remembers it, "They say, 'Bob, what don't you get? Barack Obama is a socialist, communist Marxist who wants to destroy the American economy so he can take over as dictator. Health care is part of that. And he wants to open up the Mexican border and turn [the US] into a Muslim nation.'" Inglis didn't know how to respond.

As he tells this story, the veteran lawmaker is sitting in his congressional office, which he will have to vacate in a few months. On June 22, he was defeated in the primary runoff by Spartanburg County 7th Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy, who had assailed Inglis for supposedly straying from his conservative roots, pointing to his vote for the bank bailout and against George W. Bush's surge in Iraq. Inglis, who served six years in Congress during the 1990s as a conservative firebrand before being reelected to the House in 2004, had also ticked off right-wingers in the state's 4th Congressional District by urging tea-party activists to "turn Glenn Beck off" and by calling on Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) to apologize for shouting "You lie!" at Obama during the president's State of the Union address. For this, Inglis, who boasts (literally) a 93 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, received the wrath of the tea party, losing to Gowdy 71 to 29 percent. In the weeks since, Inglis has criticized Republican House leaders for acquiescing to a poisonous, tea party-driven "demagoguery" that he believes will undermine the GOP's long-term credibility. And he's freely recounting his frustrating interactions with tea party types, while noting that Republican leaders are pushing rhetoric tainted with racism, that conservative activists are dabbling in anti-Semitic conspiracy theory nonsense, and that Sarah Palin celebrates ignorance.

The week after that meeting with his past funders—whom he failed to bring back into the fold—Inglis asked House Republican leader John Boehner what he would have told this group of Obama-bashers. Inglis recalls what happened:

[Boehner] said, "I would have told them that it's not quite that bad. We disagree with him on the issues." I said, "Hold on Boehner, that doesn't work. Let me tell you, I tried that and it did not work." I said [to Boehner], "If you're going to lead these people and the fearful stampede to the cliff that they're heading to, you have to turn around and say over your shoulder, 'Hey, you don't know the half of it.'"

In other words, feed and fuel the anger and paranoia of the right.

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Bree Gun

Man Kills Toddler Because He Was "Acting Like A Little Girl"

A man is accused of fatally striking a 17-month-old infant he was babysitting Sunday night on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation on Long Island, according to New York State police.

The suspect has been identified as Pedro Jones, 20, of South Hampton. He has been charged with first-degree manslaughter after allegedly hitting the boy "several times throughout his body with close fists" and grabbed him by the neck, according to the felony complaint filed by police.

Authorities say Jones also told them, "I was trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl. I never struck that kid that hard before."

The infant, Roy A. Jones, was reportedly found in cardiac arrest and was rushed to Southampton Hospital where he died around 8:30 p.m.

"I just found out my Grandson died last night that's all I know," Donna Collins Smith.told PIX 11 News.

Police said Jones, who is not a member of the Shinnecock nation but lives on the reservation, is the boyfriend of the baby's mother.

"He infiltrated my family through our trust, through the heart of my daughter and then stole the life of her child," said the baby's grandfather Daniel Collins. "I hope the justice system turns around and steals his."

Jones pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Monday at Southampton Town Justice Court. He is currently being held without bail at Suffolk County jail.

Additional charges or the current charge could be upgraded pending the completion of the investigation, police said.



Fucking pathetic. People's obsession with gender roles never ceases to amaze me.
misc + laundry!time;

Lebanon and Israel forces involved in border clash

Lebanese and Israeli soldiers have exchanged fire along their shared border, with each reporting casualties.

Unnamed Lebanese officials say soldiers opened fire at Israeli troops who crossed into Lebanon. They say at least two Lebanese soldiers were killed.

The Israeli army said its soldiers had been hit on its side of the border, with at least two hurt.

The border has been relatively quiet since a 2006 conflict between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah militants.

The UN peacekeeping force stationed in southern Lebanon has urged both sides to show "maximum restraint" following the clash.

In a statement, Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri condemned Israeli "aggression" and said Lebanon's sovereignty had been violated.

The Israeli army said its forces where working on its side of the border when they received warnings to leave the area.

"The soldiers were on routine activity in Israeli territory, in an area that lies between the "blue line" (the internationally recognised border between Israel and Lebanon) and the security fence, thus within Israeli territory," the IDF said in a statement.

People in Lebanese army uniform then opened fire on the troops, wounding two of them, the army said.

The Lebanese army says it started firing after warning the Israeli soldiers not to uproot a tree blocking their view in the village of Adaysseh on the Lebanese side.

The exchange comes a day after rockets were fired at the Israeli resort of Eilat, with a stray rocket killing one in the nearby port of Aqaba in Jordan.


I was unable to find any more updates online, but Al-Jazeera News channel have reported that three Lebanese soldiers have been killed, four injured and one civilian -working for a local news station- has been critically injured. It is unclear what kind of causalities the IDF soldiers have suffered other than reported in this article.

Texas state den. bob deuell wants planned parenthood clinics out of women’s health program

Deuell asks AG: Can state ban abortion affiliates?

State Sen. Bob Deuell wants Planned Parenthood’s clinics out of the state’s Women’s Health Program, which provides family planning services — but not abortions — to impoverished Medicaid patients. And he says a 2005 law should exclude them already.

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(no subject)

There are a lot of people who don't like Bloomberg in NYC, but this is why I do.

By the way, Bloomberg's Jewish, which, given the ADL, does mean something.

Mayor Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and 10 religious leaders of various faiths journeyed to Governors Island this afternoon to show their support for the proposed mosque and community center near the World Trade Center site. With the Statue of Liberty in the background, the mayor gave what sure sounded like one of his most heartfelt speeches ever. He's usually a technocrat, and often comes across that way, but today's speech was a stirring declaration of principle. He even got choked up at one point.

Here it is.

“We've come here to Governors Island to stand where the earliest settlers first set foot in New Amsterdam, and where the seeds of religious tolerance were first planted. We come here to see the inspiring symbol of liberty that more than 250 years later would greet millions of immigrants in this harbor. And we come here to state as strongly as ever, this is the freest city in the world. That's what makes New York special and different and strong.

“Our doors are open to everyone. Everyone with a dream and a willingness to work hard and play by the rules. New York City was built by immigrants, and it's sustained by immigrants -- by people from more than 100 different countries speaking more than 200 different languages and professing every faith. And whether your parents were born here or you came here yesterday, you are a New Yorker.

“We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That's life. And it's part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11, 2001.

“On that day, 3,000 people were killed because some murderous fanatics didn't want us to enjoy the freedoms to profess our own faiths, to speak our own minds, to follow our own dreams, and to live our own lives. Of all our precious freedoms, the most important may be the freedom to worship as we wish. And it is a freedom that even here -- in a city that is rooted in Dutch tolerance -- was hard-won over many years.

“In the mid-1650s, the small Jewish community living in lower Manhattan petitioned Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant for the right to build a synagogue, and they were turned down. In 1657, when Stuyvesant also prohibited Quakers from holding meetings, a group of non-Quakers in Queens signed the Flushing Remonstrance, a petition in defense of the right of Quakers and others to freely practice their religion. It was perhaps the first formal political petition for religious freedom in the American colonies, and the organizer was thrown in jail and then banished from New Amsterdam.

“In the 1700s, even as religious freedom took hold in America, Catholics in New York were effectively prohibited from practicing their religion, and priests could be arrested. Largely as a result, the first Catholic parish in New York City was not established until the 1780s, St. Peter's on Barclay Street, which still stands just one block north of the World Trade Center site, and one block south of the proposed mosque and community center.

“This morning, the city's Landmark Preservation Commission unanimously voted to extend -- not to extend -- landmark status to the building on Park Place where the mosque and community center are planned. The decision was based solely on the fact that there was little architectural significance to the building. But with or without landmark designation, there is nothing in the law that would prevent the owners from opening a mosque within the existing building.

The simple fact is, this building is private property, and the owners have a right to use the building as a house of worship, and the government has no right whatsoever to deny that right. And if it were tried, the courts would almost certainly strike it down as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

“Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question: Should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here.

“This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions or favor one over another. The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan.

“Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11, and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values and play into our enemies' hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists, and we should not stand for that.

"For that reason, I believe that this is an important test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetimes, as important a test. And it is critically important that we get it right.

"On Sept. 11, 2001, thousands of first responders heroically rushed to the scene and saved tens of thousands of lives. More than 400 of those first responders did not make it out alive. In rushing into those burning buildings, not one of them asked, 'What God do you pray to?' (Bloomberg's voice cracks here a little as he gets choked up.) 'What beliefs do you hold?'

"The attack was an act of war, and our first responders defended not only our city, but our country and our constitution. We do not honor their lives by denying the very constitutional rights they died protecting. We honor their lives by defending those rights and the freedoms that the terrorists attacked.

"Of course, it is fair to ask the organizers of the mosque to show some special sensitivity to the situation, and in fact their plan envisions reaching beyond their walls and building an interfaith community. But doing so, it is my hope that the mosque will help to bring our city even closer together, and help repudiate the false and repugnant idea that the attacks of 9/11 were in any ways consistent with Islam.

"Muslims are as much a part of our city and our country as the people of any faith. And they are as welcome to worship in lower Manhattan as any other group. In fact, they have been worshipping at the site for better, the better part of a year, as is their right. The local community board in lower Manhattan voted overwhelmingly to support the proposal. And if it moves forward, I expect the community center and mosque will add to the life and vitality of the neighborhood and the entire city.

"Political controversies come and go, but our values and our traditions endure, and there is no neighborhood in this city that is off-limits to God's love and mercy, as the religious leaders here with us can attest."

Read more: source

Aww HELL NAW!!!!

Miss. to consider Arizona-style immigration bill

By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS - Associated Press Writer

JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi politicians are gearing up to push an immigration-enforcement law similar to Arizona's, allowing police officers to check the status of people they think might be in the country illegally.

Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and state Rep. Becky Currie, who are both Republicans, discussed the effort Monday night during a meeting sponsored by the tea party and the Mississippi Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement.

"We've got to know if we have illegal aliens that are here violating our laws," Bryant told an audience of about 150 people at the Madison County Cultural Center. "Do you want your ID stolen?"

Currie, of Brookhaven, told the crowd: "I don't know about any of you, but I am so sick and tired of hearing Americans won't do the jobs that illegals are doing. If I hear it one more time, I'm going to puke."

Legislators would get their first chance to vote on a bill during the three-month session that starts in January. Immigrant-rights advocates say Arizona's law could lead to racial profiling of Hispanics.

"One of the problems with Phil Bryant and the other people is their mentality is still in Mississippi practices of 50 years ago and before, when they were screaming about states' rights and opposing desegregation and voting rights for African-Americans," Bill Chandler, executive director of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, said in an interview Tuesday.

Last week at the Neshoba County Fair, Republican Gov. Haley Barbour told reporters he would sign a bill like Arizona's.

"It's not as applicable to us because we don't have a border," Barbour said. "But there's nothing in that law that, to me, that offends constitutional standards, whether it's the United States or the state of Mississippi."

Barbour, who's term-limited and can't run for governor again in 2011, is a potential 2012 presidential candidate. He said the federal government is failing in its responsibility to enforce immigration laws.

The U.S. Justice Department sued to block some of Arizona's law from taking effect in late July.

Bryant, who's running for governor in 2011, said he's not daunted by the possibility a federal lawsuit against Mississippi.

"And if we're going to get sued by an oppressive federal government, let them come to Mississippi and do it," Bryant said at the Madison meeting. "I'll be glad to take it to our courts and I'll be glad to pay my own way to Washington, D.C., and stand there on the Supreme Court's steps and fight for freedom's cause."

Currie said she recently saw a crew mowing the grass and picking up litter on the side of Interstate 55 near Brookhaven. She pulled over to talk to them.

"They looked like they were from out of town," Currie said, prompting laughter from some at the immigration-enforcement rally. "I asked them who is their supervisor. Not one of them, not one of them could speak a word of English."

Mississippi enacted a law two years ago requiring all employers to use the federal E-Verify website to check new workers' immigration status. The law took effect July 1, 2008, for state agencies and for private businesses with state contracts, and Jan. 1, 2009, for other businesses.

Currie said she called the Mississippi Department of Transportation and requested documents showing whether the contractor who hired the road crew had used E-Verify to check on the workers. She said she received a letter in June saying the contractor had run the background checks in October 2008.

"E-Verify's not working," she said.

Read more: source

so it's totally ok for these 'illegals' to sit on 120degree rooftops and rebuild your $550,000+ houses after Katrina on the cheap, but now they gotta get the fuck out? Fuck you Mississippi.

Another Tea Bagger Supports Inbreeding and Rape to Save The Fetus.

Tea Party candidate Ken Buck on abortion: ‘I don’t believe in the exceptions of rape or incest.’

Ken Buck, who is running in the Colorado Republican Senate primary, has surged in recent polls due in large part to tea party support.
In a video obtained by the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, Buck stakes out an extreme position on abortion that is likely to appeal to his far-right base, saying that even in the cases of rape and incest, abortions should not be allowed:

QUESTION: How do you feel about abortion? Are you for abortion, against abortion, are you for it? In what instances would you allow for abortion?

BUCK: I am pro-life, and I’ll answer the next question. I don’t believe in the exceptions of rape or incest. I believe that the only exception, I guess, is life of the mother. And that is only if it’s truly life of the mother.

To me, you can’t say you’re pro-life and say — if there is, and it’s a very rare situation where one life would have to cease for the other life to exist. But in that very rare situation, we may have to take the life of the child to save the life of the mother.

In that rare situation, I am in favor of that exception. But other than that I have no exceptions in my position.

Watch it:

Sargent notes that Buck’s position is similar to that of Nevada GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle, “who recently said she also opposes abortion in cases of rape or incest, suggesting rather colorfully that one could instead make ‘lemons’ into ‘lemonade.’” Buck’s extremist stance may help him regain favor with his far-right supporters, some of whom he recently got into trouble with when he chided “dumbass” birthers.

When you make Fox News laugh, just how far from the pack have you strayed, Sharon Angle?

Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle's understanding of the political press appears to have even conservative outlets scratching their heads.

The Tea Party favorite made another peculiar remark during an interview with Fox News on Monday evening, explaining that she wanted "to have the press be our friend," and "ask the questions we want to answer so that they report the news the way we want it to be reported."

This may seem like a candid admission from a candidate who has experienced a rocky roll-out since winning the Republican nomination. But it has left traditionally sympathetic media figures perplexed if not uncomfortable.

Fox News's Carl Cameron told Angle that she sounded "naïve" before resorting to somewhat nervous laughter. The National Review ran the exchange under the title "Did She Just Say That Out Loud?"

The comments come after a variety of other bizarre statements and actions from Angle with respect to the media. The Nevada Republican abruptly bolted a press conference that she had set up in-state once it came time for the question and answer session, forcing reporters to chase her through a parking lot. Even before that she told the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody that she was avoiding mainstream outlets because "there's no earning for me there."

"In that audience, will they let me say I need $25 dollars from a million people go to Sharron send money? Will they let me say that?" she said, when explaining how she chooses to grant interviews. "Will I get a bump on my website and you can watch whenever I go onto a show like that we get an immediate bump. You can see the little spinners. People say 'Oh, I heard that. I am going and I'm going to help Sharron out' because they realize this is a national effort and that I need people from all around the nation. They may not be able to vote for me, but they can certainly help."

To be sure, Angle is far from the first candidate to cater her media appearance to audience that she thinks will get her the most political advantage. But being so frank in explaining why she does the interviews she does carries a risk; mainly, it compels reporters like Cameron, and outlets like the National Review to feel defensive about the coverage they're giving her. No reporter wants to have the perception that they are being used by a political candidate. And with Angle essentially admitting that's she's only interested in beneficial coverage, it won't be terribly surprising to see even conservative-leaning reporters start grilling her with tougher questions to prove their bona fides.


Oh, and here's Rick Sanchez talking about Angel's remarks above:

On Tuesday, CNN's Rick Sanchez went on a mild rant when discussing Angle's latest comments.

"I'm sorry, but all my years in J-School, all my years in journalism school, University of Minnesota, I never had one professor tell me that my job when I graduated was to go out there and help certain politicians get support or get elected and only ask them the questions that they want to be asked," Sanchez said, in a segment previewing his afternoon show.

  • mswyrr

Howard Zinn and pedagogies of the oppressed

Why the Feds Fear Thinkers Like Howard Zinn

Sunday 01 August 2010

by: Chris Hedges | Truthdig | Report

On Monday I will teach my final American history class of the semester to prison inmates. We have spent five weeks reading Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.” The class is taught in a small room in the basement of the prison. I pass through a metal detector, am patted down by a guard and walk through three pairs of iron gates to get to my students. We have covered Spain’s genocide of the native inhabitants in the Caribbean and the Americas, the war for independence in the United States and the disgraceful slaughter of Native Americans. We have examined slavery, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the occupations of Cuba and the Philippines, the New Deal, two world wars and the legacy of racism, capitalist exploitation and imperialism that continue to infect American society.

We have looked at these issues, as Zinn did, through the eyes of Native Americans, immigrants, slaves, women, union leaders, persecuted socialists, anarchists and communists, abolitionists, anti-war activists, civil rights leaders and the poor. As I was reading out loud a passage by Sojourner Truth, Chief Joseph, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B Du Bois, Randolph Bourne, Malcolm X or Martin Luther King, I have heard students mutter “Damn” or “We been lied to.”

The power of Zinn’s scholarship—which I have watched over the past few weeks open the eyes of young, mostly African-Americans to their own history and the structures that perpetuate misery for the poor and gluttony and privilege for the elite—explains why the FBI, which released its 423-page file on Zinn on July 30, saw him as a threat.
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Köln Kirchen bei Nacht

Looking for Answers in Duisburg

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A short time ago, I posted about the catastrophe at the Duisburg Love Parade. The death toll is now up to 21 people, and they are starting to determine who is at fault, to which the answer seems to be mostly everyone involved in planning the event and seeing it through. The print edition of Der Spiegel had a very good article, and a shortened and modified version is up in English on the website, so I've posted it here. I've done a lot of bolding, so it should be readable even though it's long. And it's worth reading, to see how a number of people can make something go wrong that badly.

There are a number of maps and graphics at the source that help with understanding the layout of the event, which in large part led to the catastrophe

The death of 21 people at the Love Parade in Duisburg on July 24th was far from a random accident. It was the result of a series of failures made by the city, the police and the event organizers. Particularly damning, at the height of the crush, there was no way out. By SPIEGEL Staff

She was hoping for a phone call. By late evening on July 24, Stefanie M. had heard about the disaster that had befallen the Love Parade in Duisburg. She and her husband Klaus-Peter knew there had been deaths, they knew that hundreds had been injured. But they didn't know where their son Eike was. They had heard nothing.

Where was the phone call from Duisburg? All Stefanie could think about was that phone call. If it came, she knew, everything would be okay. But if the doorbell rang instead ...

At just after one in the morning, the doorbell rang. A police car was parked on the street out front. Eike M., 21 years old and just beginning his university degree in political science and history on his path toward a career in journalism, was dead. He passed away at 6:28 p.m. on that fateful day in Duisburg. Twenty others died as well.

The memorial service for the victims was held on Saturday, marked by a moving speech by North Rhine-Westphalia Governor Hannelore Kraft. She too had been consumed by worry on the evening of the Love Parade disaster as she waited hours to hear from her 17-year-old son, who was at the event.

Eventually, her son returned to her. But on Saturday, as she was speaking to the families of the victims, Kraft's voice wavered as she said "we cannot know the depth of your pain nor can we alleviate it. Still, I beseech you to open your heart to all those who would comfort you. ... You are not alone."

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Gist of the article, as well as what I read in the extended print version: A lot of people in local government really wanted this event to go through for prestige gain, to the point of ignoring warnings as well as safety regulations (and if there's one thing we are good at in Germany, it's having safety regulations). Somehow, any information that pointed to things not working was ignored along with basic maths and logic. And now, of course, everyone is blaming each other, although they at least seem to have stopped blaming the victims.

The mayor (who did not go to the memorial service because he didn't want to enrage people further, which was probably wise seeing as how he had things thrown at him when he visited the accident site) seems determined not to resign, even though by now his own party is telling him to do so. This will likely get a lot nastier while they are trying to find out what happened, and I doubt that there will be any real clearance for the victims and their families.

West Yorkshire police launch campaign to tackle gay domestic violence

West Yorkshire police are launching a campaign to encourage victims of same-sex domestic violence to come forward.

The force says that there have been more than 400 reported incidents of same-sex domestic violence in West Yorkshire in the last year, including three murders.

In contrast, despite the much higher rates of domestic violence in heterosexual relationships, only two women have been killed by their male partners in the region in the last year.

In the three cases of killings by gay partners or ex-partners, none of the victims had reported domestic violence to police, leading to concerns that the issue is being severely under-reported.

To tackle the issue, West Yorkshire police are working with Stonewall, the Gay Police Association, LGBT domestic violence charity Broken Rainbow UK and sexual health project Mesmac.

A poster campaign called 'Same Sex Domestic Violence, We Won't Turn Our Back' has been designed and uses images of a man and a woman with injuries and footprints on their backs.

Studies suggest that many victims of domestic violence, especially men, are too embarrassed to contact police about being abused.

Other reasons for not reporting domestic violence are a fear of not being believed and a belief that police will not take reports seriously.

Detective Inspector Granville Ward said: “We do believe that same sex domestic violence is under reported which is real concern to us.

“It is important that victims know where to go for help or who they can contact for advice and that positive action is taken against offenders.

“We are aware that amongst victims of domestic violence there is a fear of not being believed or that there will be a dismissive or homophobic response from police. I want to reassure everyone that this is not the case.

“Domestic violence is serious and we do not want people suffering in silence.”

PC Matthew Humphrys, chair of the Gay Police Association said: “Domestic violence is a hidden violence that affects people deeply and its effects can last long after the end of a relationship.

“It is important for anyone suffering such violence, which can be mental, physical, emotional or financial to feel confident that the police can and will help them."

Source: Pink News

As a queer survivor of domestic violence, I'm happy to see something being done about this oft-overlooked problem. Let's hope the nation's other police forces follow suit.

"Virginia wades into illegal immigration battle"

In a legal opinion issued Monday, (VA Attorney General) Ken Cuccinelli said Virginia law enforcement officers are authorized to ask about the immigration status of any one in the state who is stopped for another reason – provided it does not significantly add to the overall time of the stop.
The opinion differs from parts of the Arizona law now stalled in courts in that it does not require officers to check on immigration status, only authorizes officers to do so. Cuccinelli issued the opinion in response to a request from a Virginia state delegate, according to the Washington Post.

Read the rest here

Well, here we go... I swear, this guy. ugh.

Prop. 8 Ruling Expected Wednesday

A federal court ruling on the right of same-sex couples to marry in California is scheduled to be released Wednesday - and opponents of gay and lesbian nuptials are already making plans to appeal.

Chief U.S. District JudgeVaughn Walker of San Francisco will decide whether Proposition 8, the November 2008 initiative that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman, violated gays' and lesbians' right of equality under the U.S. Constitution.

After court officials on Tuesday announced plans to release the decision, Prop. 8's sponsors filed papers making it clear they expect to lose this round. They asked Walker, if he rules against them, to leave the ban on same-sex marriages in place while they appeal.

Lawyers for Prop. 8's backers told the judge they were confident that any such ruling would be overturned on appeal. They said a stay would honor the will of the voters and would not harm same-sex couples, who can still register as domestic partners.

Walker presided over a nonjury trial in January, the first ever held in a federal court on the issue. The plaintiffs, two gay men from Burbank and two lesbians from Berkeley, testified that their hopes to be married were thwarted when voters overturned the May 2008 state Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

The plaintiffs' witnesses also included researchers who said sexual orientation has no relationship to successful parenting and that marriage in the United States is an evolving institution.

The conservative religious coalition that sponsored Prop. 8 offered testimony that the male-female definition of marriage is universal and that children are better off with married, biological parents.

The city of San Francisco joined the lawsuit on the plaintiffs' side. Attorney General Jerry Brown declined to defend Prop. 8 and said he considers it unconstitutional.

Walker's ruling, due sometime between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., is certain to be appealed to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The case could reach the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011 or 2012.

A group that supports same-sex marriage has announced a march from the Castro District to City Hall, starting at 5 p.m., followed by a rally from 6:45 to 8 p.m.

Judge Declares Proposition 8 Unconstitutional Walker In a 136-page ruling, Judge Vaughn Walker has declared Proposition 8, the measure banning same-sex marriage in California, unconstitutional under both the due-process and equal-protection clauses. Says the ruling: “Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement; prohibiting the official defendants from applying or enforcing Proposition 8 and directing the official defendants that all persons under their control or supervision shall not apply or enforce Proposition 8.” Read the ruling below. We'll have further analysis soon...


PS I'm leaving soon, unfortunately, so if anyone wants to start their own live post, feel free to do so.

UPDATE 2!!! BREAKING: Prop 8 ruled unconstitutional August 4, 2010 by Adam Bink I just finished reading the meat of the decision. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker has ruled Prop 8 is unconstitutional on both Equal Protection and Due Process grounds. Huge win. The decision is likely to be appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Developing… UPDATE (1:43 PST): Here’s the conclusion from the decision. CONCLUSION Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis,the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. REMEDIES Plaintiffs have demonstrated by overwhelming evidence that Proposition 8 violates their due process and equal protection rights and that they will continue to suffer these constitutional violations until state officials cease enforcement of Proposition 8. California is able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as it has already issued 18,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples and has not suffered any demonstrated harm as a result, see FF 64-66; moreover, California officials have chosen not to defend Proposition 8 in these proceedings. Thank you bnmc2005
the world

Canadian government to spend excessive amounts of $ on prisons as crime rate falls

Crime statistics not accurate, Day suggests

Treasury Board President Stockwell Day says the government will go ahead with its plan to spend billions for new prisons, suggesting statistics that show crime is declining in Canada are not accurate.

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the source is CBC

This government's contempt for statistics scares the crap out of me, ngl. I definitely agree with the commentary linking it to a desire to eliminate proof that social programs are needed. Private businesses will also miss this data, so it seems like the Harper gang's tinfoil hat libertarianism trumps both socialism and capitalism in Canada. When oh when is the next election and can it please be about how stupid these people are instead of what an ~elitist~ Ignatieff is, or how ~irresponsible~ the NDP is.

Rifqa Bary Is In The Company Of Christian Fundamentalists And Has Cancer. Guess What's Happened...

Rifqa Bary is a girl from a Muslim family who was indoctrinated by an evangelical Christian group who helped her run away with them. I have previously written posts on this here, here and here.

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The New Twist

Anyway, yes there is actually a new twist. It feels oddly predictable, but only if you are expecting the worst:
Christian convert Rifqa Bary is refusing chemotherapy for cancer because she believes that she was cured at a faith-healing event, according to a motion in Franklin County Juvenile Court.

Rifqa was to undergo a year of chemotherapy after her cancer was surgically removed, the document filed by her parents states.

But Rifqa, who is in foster care, was taken to a faith-healing event in Youngstown a couple of weeks ago by Franklin County Children Services, without her parents' consent, according to the document.

A motion to force treatment is to be considered today in Juvenile Court.

Rifqa's attorneys, meanwhile, are asking the court to make "special findings" so that she can obtain an immigration status that will allow her to stay in the country and obtain medical care. Rifqa, a native of Sri Lanka, does not have legal status in the United States, her attorneys have said in court.

An attorney for her parents, Mohamed and Aysha Bary, indicated in April that the family also was pursuing immigration documentation. All parties are under a gag order and cannot comment on any aspects of the case.

Rifqa ran away from home in July 2009, saying her Muslim father would kill her for converting to Christianity. She lived with evangelical pastors in Florida before returning to Ohio to live in a foster home.

That case is to conclude next Tuesday, when Rifqa will turn 18, making her an adult.

Meanwhile, tests have determined that Rifqa has a "rare form of cancer," according to her attorneys' court filings. Her supporters have said she has uterine cancer.

It's unclear whether she is cancer-free at the moment. The Barys' attorney, Omar Tarazi, said in a motion that Rifqa will need a hysterectomy if the cancer returns.

The Barys want to force chemotherapy and are concerned that their daughter could die without treatment, Tarazi wrote....


Unclear? Either that means the writer of this piece is considering the possibility that Rifqa Bary has actually been healed through faith or (more sensibly) they may be recognising that there are rare cases where cancer clears up without treatment.

It's probably worth noting at this stage that Rifqa Bary's parents came to the US in the first place in order to provide her with medical care:
The Barys are from Galle on the southern coast of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. When Rifqa was 5 she fell on a toy airplane that pierced the cornea of her right eye. Scar tissue built up over the next couple of years. Doctors told the Barys they might have to remove the eye. So they went to New York in 2000 for medical treatment.

Right Wing Watch note the irony of the current situation. Bary initially ran away from her parents, claiming that they were going to kill her for converting to Christianity. Now her parents are trying to force her to get chemotherapy because they are afraid that she will die without it, while Bary claims not to need it because her Christianity has cured her cancer.

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Calvin & Hobbes: Hug
  • calybe

Minor beaten to death in Kashmir

Srinagar, Aug 2: Paramilitary CRPF troopers and policemen beat up a 7-year old boy to death in uptown Batmaloo area on Monday.

Witnesses told Greater Kashmir that Police and CRPF men caught hold of Sameer Ahmad Rah son of Fayaz Ahmad Rah at Batmaloo and beat him to pulp without any provocation. “They beat him till he died,” witnesses said.

As the word about the incident spread hundreds of people took to the streets and staged a massive demonstration. Pall of gloom descended upon the entire area with men and women coming out wailing.Collapse )

Source [Warning: Picture of dead child at source]

I'm not sure what a ding-dong battle is.

Abbott defends "no means no" remark.

Abbott defends 'no means no' remark.

Tony Abbott has accused Labor of a smear campaign to discredit him with women voters.

News reports today seized on Mr Abbott's choice of words in a press conference where he repeatedly referenced the phrase "no means no", an expression linked to anti-rape campaigns, in relation to Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
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Ugh. Some idiot on my FB is calling this a "manufactured campaign distraction". What are some good ways I can point out to him that it's not okay to use this language?

Now this is appropriate!

(Ganked from the mothership)

A Beauty Queen to Believe In

Move over, Carrie Prejean. Claire Buffie, crowned Miss New York in June, is the first Miss America contestant to compete on a gay rights platform. A trained dancer and Apple employee, she knows her profile may seem unusual for a pageant contestant, and that’s exactly why she believes she can win over America in the competition this January.

In her first interview with the gay press, the 24-year-old Indianapolis native spoke with The Advocate about her platform of improving the climate for LGBT youths in schools, misconceptions about beauty pageant contestants, and the real lesson of Prejean, the 2009 Miss USA runner-up.

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Stock - Pink Sakura

My state is so embarrassing

Voters reject key provision of health care law

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) – Missouri voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a key provision of President Barack Obama's health care law, sending a clear message of discontent to Washington and Democrats less than 100 days before the midterm elections.

With about 70 percent of the vote counted late Tuesday, nearly three-quarters of voters had supported the measure.

Tuesday's vote approving the ballot measure, known as Proposition C, was seen as largely symbolic because federal law generally trumps state law. But it was also seen as a sign of growing voter disillusionment with federal policies and a show of strength by conservatives and the tea party movement.

Legislatures in Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana and Virginia have passed similar statutes, and voters in Arizona and Oklahoma will vote on such measures as state constitutional amendments in November. But Missouri was the first state to challenge aspects of the law in a referendum.

Missouri's law prohibits the government from requiring people to have health insurance or from penalizing them from paying for their own health care. That would conflict with a federal requirement that most people have health insurance or face penalties starting in 2014.

Federal courts are expected to weigh in well before the insurance provision takes effect about whether the federal health care overhaul is constitutional.

The intent of the federal requirement is to broaden the pool of healthy people covered by insurers, thus holding down premiums that otherwise would rise because of separate provisions prohibiting insurers from denying coverage to people with poor health or pre-existing conditions.

But the insurance requirement has been one of the most contentious parts of the new federal law. Public officials in well over a dozen states, including Missouri, have filed lawsuits claiming Congress overstepped its constitutional authority by requiring citizens to buy health insurance.

The Missouri Hospital Association spent $400,000 warning people that passage of the ballot measure could increase hospitals' costs for treating the uninsured, but there was little opposition to the measure from either grass-roots organizations or from the unions and consumer groups that backed the federal overhaul.