October 1st, 2010

Fear the Hat!

How Many Children Have To Die?

Gay teen dies after 10 days on life support, following suicide attempt over anti-gay bullying

LGBTQ Nation • Tuesday, September 28, 2010 • Comments (50)

Seth Walsh, a California teen who spent the better part of the last 10 days on life support after attempting suicide over relentless bullying because he was gay, died today. He was 13 years old.

Seth’s family took him off life support this afternoon, reports KGET-TV.

A memorial service honoring Seth will be held on Friday, October 1, at 3:30 p.m. PDT at The First Baptist Church in his hometown of Tehachapi, CA.

Seth was found Sunday, September 19, unconscious and not breathing, and it appeared he had tried to hang himself from a tree branch, according to police reports. He was rushed by helicopter to Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield.

According to reports, Seth was openly gay and was taunted by bullies for years, at school and at a local park.

He attended Jacobsen Middle School last year and for only two weeks this year, before being transferred to independent study — reportedly because he had been bullied relentlessly. But school officials at Tehachapi Union School District claim there have been no reports of bullying.

Police said they can not prosecute the students involved because the teasing was not a criminal act.

Judy Walsh, Seth’s grandmother, appealed for tolerance within the community. “We are hoping the community will develop more tolerance for different people,” she said.

Seth’s death is one of three teen suicides this month due to anti-gay bullying.
On September 9, 15-year-old Billy Lucas of Greensburg, IN, hanged himself at his grandmother’s home. Friends of Lucas said that he had been tormented for years based on his perceived sexual orientation.

On September 23, 13-year old Asher Brown, a gay teen in Houston, TX, came home from school while his parents were at work. He shot himself in the head after enduring what his mother and stepfather say was constant harassment and bullying.

More on these stories as they develop.

Source: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2010/09/gay-teen-dies-after-10-days-on-life-support-following-suicide-attempt-over-anti-gay-bullying/

OP Says: How many of our children have to die? Can someone please tell me?
Balthier [Captain of the...]
  • grazie

Lenders cutting corners to evict people faster.

Foreclosures Slow as Document Flaws Emerge

The foreclosure machinery that has forced millions of Americans out of their homes is beginning to seize up as some lenders and their lawyers are accused of cutting corners in their pursuit of rapid home repossessions.

Evictions are expected to slow sharply, housing analysts said, as state and national law enforcement officials shine a light on questionable foreclosure methods revealed by two of the country’s biggest home lenders in the last two weeks.

Even lenders with no known problems are expected to approach defaulting homeowners more cautiously and look more aggressively for resolutions short of outright eviction.

Despite the turmoil, some economists said the breakdown could ultimately lay the groundwork for a real estate recovery.

Stricken neighborhoods across the country, for example, could benefit. One big factor undermining home sales is fear of a large number of foreclosed homes coming to the market. If the foreclosures are delayed or never happen, housing prices might find a floor.

“Maybe this is like shock therapy,” said the economist Karl E. Case. “Maybe this will actually get the lenders to the table and encourage them to work out deals that are to the benefit of everybody.”

While such a happy ending is possible, the near term is more likely to produce paralysis and confusion.

As more defaulting homeowners become aware of the lenders’ problems, they are expected to hire lawyers and challenge the proceedings against them. And if completed foreclosures were not properly done, families who bought the troubled homes could be vulnerable to claims by the former owners.

Apparently alarmed about such a possibility, one of the major title insurance companies, Old Republic National Title, has sent a bulletin to agents saying that “until further notice” it would not insure title to properties foreclosed upon by GMAC Mortgage, the country’s fourth-largest home lender and one of the two big lenders at the center of the current controversy.

GMAC declined to comment, and Old Republic representatives did not return calls.

GMAC has acknowledged legal missteps in processing mortgages, and JPMorgan Chase has acknowledged the possibility of missteps, and both have suspended all foreclosures in the 23 states where they need a court’s approval. That’s 56,000 in the case of Chase alone; GMAC declined to provide a number.


Other lenders said Thursday that their foreclosure filings, including the crucial affidavits, had been properly done.

A Citigroup spokesman said the lender required “annual training for our foreclosure employees on the proper execution of affidavits, including having personal knowledge of the information in the affidavit.”

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman said “the affidavits we sign are accurate.” A spokesman for Bank of America, Rick Simon, said, “We do not have anything to tell you at this time.”

GMAC and Chase are in trouble because, overwhelmed with foreclosures, they tried to process them as quickly and cheaply as possible, defense lawyers say. The companies say they are reviewing their procedures to take care of any violations.

The missteps stemmed from the affidavits the lenders file as they seek a quick or summary judgment in thousands of foreclosure cases. The affidavits state certain facts about the case, including the amount owed, which the signer indicates he has personal knowledge of. Without the affidavit, the lender would have to prove the facts at trial.

In depositions taken by lawyers for homeowners, executives at GMAC and Chase said they or their teams signed 10,000 or more affidavits and related documents a month. That did not give them time to review the cases.

Defense lawyers say the disclosures are symptomatic of the carelessness, if not outright fraud, that lenders have been exhibiting for years in their rush to file cases. Many necessary documents have disappeared, with defense lawyers saying the lenders often do not even have standing to foreclose.

In a number of pending cases in Florida, defense lawyers there said, GMAC has already withdrawn affidavits. The lawyers said they would try to have the cases thrown out for possible fraud, although they acknowledged that might be difficult.

GMAC said it would refile the affidavits. Chase said it had not withdrawn any affidavits.

“The way the plaintiffs’ lawyers have handled this has corrupted our legal system,” said Thomas Cox, a Maine lawyer whose deposition of a GMAC executive in June helped prompt the current disclosures. “They tried to manufacture foreclosures the way you’d manufacture cars, on an assembly line. It can’t be done that way.”


As the foreclosure crisis has deepened, the length of time borrowers spend waiting for the end has lengthened.

In January 2009 the time between the owner’s first missed payment and eviction was 319 days, according to LPS Applied Analytics. By August it was 478 days.

Since spring, the data firm says, the lenders have been trying to clear their backlog. They have stepped up the rate at which they put defaulting owners into the formal foreclosure process. In August, they started 283,000 foreclosures, up from 220,000 in April.

Now, as the lenders are pressed to examine more closely their filings, those foreclosure starts are likely to fall, prolonging the owner’s time in limbo. Many borrowers use this period, when they are living in their home but not paying for it, to try and get their financial house back in order.


Wow. Just. Wow, I have no words for how disgusted I am with these companies. After getting their asses bailed out, they've continued to prolong the housing crisis by cutting corners? Are you fucking serious? Did they SERIOUSLY not learn ANYTHING? Are they just that fucking heartless? JFC.

PS: Mods, the mortgage tag is spelled wrong.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Inviting Colbert to testify was the real joke

Inviting Colbert to testify was the real joke
By Jason Chaffetz, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Rep. Jason Chaffetz is a freshman Republican from Utah.

(CNN) -- Arguably the best fake newsman on television, comedian Stephen Colbert knows how to deliver a one-liner. But his invitation to testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on immigration was the real joke.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi cited Colbert's "ability to bring attention to an important issue like immigration" in declaring the hearing appropriate. This helps explain why voters may ensure she is fired as speaker in November. She simply doesn't get it.

Does anyone believe that the real problem with immigration is a lack of attention to the issue? Ever since Arizona and other states began addressing immigration on their own, there has been no shortage of media attention. The fact that Congress has failed to do its fundamental job of adequately securing the borders and enforcing the law is lost on no one.

The real question is: What is Congress doing to fix it? The answer: Nothing.

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Mmmm, I love the smell of whinging and potshots in the morning. And how this guy is complaining about Colbert when he didn't even go to hear him.

University of Rhode Island Student Faces Charges After Anti-Gay Vandalism

An anti-gay threat written on a dry-erase board on the door of a University of Rhode Island dorm room has resulted in the arrest of a freshman from Massachusetts, URI officials said Thursday.

Christopher Hagen, 19, of Scotland Road in Reading, Mass., was charged with misdemeanor vandalism and disorderly conduct after university police were called to Barlow Hall at 1:44 a.m. Sept. 24 on a report that someone had tagged several doors with offensive remarks, URI spokesman Dave Lavallee said.

One student reported feeling threatened, Lavallee said.

The message, Lavallee said, was accompanied by a drawing of a male anatomical part and said: “You are gay, get out of Barlow before you regret it.”

The investigation led to a resident who admitted to writing on the door, Lavallee said. Hagen was held overnight by university police and released on his own recognizance, promising to pay $1,000 if he doesn’t appear in District Court, South Kingstown, to answer the charges. He is scheduled to appear Oct. 6, Lavallee said.

He has also been referred to URI’s judicial process.


WISCONSIN: Man Attacks 14 Year-Old Girl Carrying Gay Pride Flag

La Crosse, Wisconsin police are investigating an incident in which a man shoved a 14 year-old girl in an attempt to wrestle away a version of the gay pride flag the teen was going to carry in the city's Maple Leaf Parade.
The teen was rollerblading and carrying a flag pole with two rainbow flags — one a hybrid of the American flag and the gay pride flag — as members of 7 Rivers LGBT Resource Center’s float prepared for the parade about 9:45 a.m. Saturday on Rose Street, said Roseanne St. Sauver, the center’s executive director.

Commodore Mark Schneider, who was on a float nearby, approached the girl and put his hands on the flagpole, St. Sauver said. St. Sauver walked over, placed her hands on the pole and told him, “Please stop, she’s a 14-year-old child." “He said, ‘I do not care. Look what you are teaching them,’” St. Sauver said.

That’s when, St. Sauver said, Schneider shoved the girl with his body. St. Sauver said Schneider told the girl: “Go to a country where they will hang people like you.“ The incident left the teen crying, and others upset, St. Sauver said. This is the first year the center has participated in the parade. “I had tears in my eyes,” she said. “He specifically targeted us and made statements about our sexual orientation.”

Schneider says he was upset about the alteration of the American flag and not anybody's sexuality. Yeah, right. Yesterday he issued an apology to the girl and his family, presumably in return for assault charges being dropped. Here's the asshat in a news story about his being named "commodore" of Riverfest 2010.


(no subject)

Still Few Women in Management, Report Says

Women made little progress in climbing into management positions in this country even in the boom years before the financial crisis, according to a report to be released on Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office.

As of 2007, the latest year for which comprehensive data on managers was available, women accounted for about 40 percent of managers in the United States work force. In 2000, women held 39 percent of management positions. Outside of management, women held 49 percent of the jobs in both years.

Across the work force, the gap between what men and women earn has shrunk over the last few decades. Full-time women workers closed the gap to 80.2 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2009, up from just 62.3 cents in 1979. Much of this persistent wage gap, however, can be explained by what kinds of jobs the sexes are drawn to, whether by choice or opportunity.

The new report, commissioned by the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, tries to make a better comparison by looking at men versus women in a specific industry and in similar jobs, and also controlling for differences like education levels and age. On average, female managers had less education, were younger and were more likely to be working part time than their male counterparts.

In all but three of the 13 industries covered by the report, women had a smaller share of management positions than they did of that industry’s overall work force. The sectors where women were more heavily represented in management than outside of it were construction, public administration and transportation and utilities.

Across the industries, the gender gap in managers’ pay narrowed slightly over the last decade, even after adjusting for demographic differences. Female full-time managers earned 81 cents for every dollar earned by male full-time managers in 2007, compared with 79 cents in 2000.

This varied by industry, with the pay gap being the narrowest in public administration, where female managers earned 87 cents for every dollar paid to male managers. It was widest in construction and in financial services, where women earned 78 percent of what men were paid after adjustments.

Across the work force, the pay gap was also slightly wider for managers who had children.

Managers who were mothers earned 79 cents of every dollar paid to managers who were fathers, after adjusting for things like age and education. This gap has stayed the same since at least 2000.

The greater toll that parenthood appears to take on women’s paychecks may help explain why, generally speaking, female managers are less likely to have children than their male counterparts.

In 2007, 63 percent of female managers were childless, compared with just 57 percent of male managers. Of those managers who did have children, men on average had more children than their women counterparts.

Female managers were also less likely to be married than male managers, at rates of 59 percent versus 74 percent, respectively.

It is difficult to determine why a wage gap exists between female and male managers, and to what extent these differences might be because of discrimination or other factors, like hours clocked. The new G.A.O. report, for example, does not try to control for hours worked, beyond broad categories like full-time or part-time status.

The report was prepared at the request of Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York and the chairwoman of the Joint Economic Committee, for a hearing on Tuesday on the gender gap in management jobs. The findings were based on an analysis of data from the American Community Survey of the Census Bureau.

“When working women have kids, they know it will change their lives, but they are stunned at how much it changes their paycheck,” Ms. Maloney said of the report. “In this economy, it is adding insult to injury, especially as families are increasingly relying on the wages of working moms.”

During the recession that began in December 2007 and ended in the summer of 2009 — generally after the data contained in this new report — men generally bore the brunt of job losses because of the types of industries. It is still unclear how management positions might have shifted or whether women were affected differently by that.

MP - My Nipples Explode With Delight

Andrew Shirvell to face disciplinary hearing; goes on leave; Cox still fails.

Assistant AG takes leave amid gay-bashing controversy

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell had been suspended.

Laura Berman / The Detroit News

An assistant attorney general who has attracted national attention for a controversial blog that ridicules and denounces a University of Michigan student leader for his gay advocacy, religious beliefs and character has taken a personal leave following intense public scrutiny, a spokesman for Attorney General Mike Cox said today.

Cox spokesman John Sellek said, however, Andrew Shirvell will be the subject of a disciplinary hearing after he returns to work at an undetermined future date.

Shirvell's decision to go on leave came a day after Cox told CNN he didn't intend to fire Shirvell, citing civil service rules that protect government employees from being "fired willy-nilly" for exercising their rights of free speech.

Cox said he hadn't earlier read all of Shirvell's blog, "Chris Armstrong Watch," which dogs Armstrong, the 21-year-old, openly gay president of U-M's student government and accuses him of "anti-Christian behavior," "mocking God," promoting homosexuality and trying "to recruit your sons and daughters" into the gay lifestyle.

"I'm at fault here," Cox said. "I've been saying for weeks that (Shirvell's) been acting like a bully, that his behavior is immature, but it's after-hours and protected by the First Amendment."

But Cox also took a shot at Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who posted a Twitter item Thursday saying she would have fired Shirvell.

"I don't know why she's so freaking irresponsible. ... She went to Harvard Law School," Cox said. "The civil service rules are a huge shield for free speech, and she knows that."

As governor, Granholm enacted policies applying to state workers that bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation -- but those rules apply to the workplace, not to what employees say or blog after-hours. The rules do allow Cox to fire employees for "just cause," including "conduct unbecoming a state employee," said Matt Fedorchuk, a spokesman for the state department of civil service.

What determines that conduct isn't explicitly described.

Shirvell's leave caps a scandal that became national news after the Michigan Daily student newspaper described Shirvell's blog in early September. The blog, which closed to the public Thursday, called Armstrong "a radical homosexual activist, racist, elitist and liar" who was "advancing a radical homosexual agenda."

Published reports say the blog also claimed Armstrong is "Satan's representative on the student assembly" and a "privileged pervert."

Several pages on Facebook have urged Cox to fire Shirvell, including one that has more than 6,000 "fans."

Throughout the scandal, Cox rebuked the assistant -- who he described as the "lowest level" staff attorney -- but said he wouldn't fire him.

Armstrong and Shirvell weren't available for comment Thursday.

Armstrong is seeking a personal protection order against Shirvell, who has picketed locations frequented by Armstrong, including his residence and Ann Arbor bars. A hearing is scheduled Monday, Cox said.

Also Thursday, Diane Brown, a spokeswoman for campus police, confirmed Shirvell is subject to an ongoing investigation of "harassing or stalking" and banned from campus. Shirvell was read a trespass warning on Sept. 14 that bars him from setting foot on campus, Brown said. Shirvell is appealing the order, but no hearing date has been set.

Cox also said Armstrong is "still to me a kid" while Shirvell, 10 years older, is behaving in an immature manner.

"I'm his employer, and I have to start with the premise that he's a civil service employee and what can be done within that," Cox said.

Jay Kaplan, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, backed Cox's interpretation of civil service rules on Thursday.

"You can say what you want on your own time. ... We believe that the answer to hate speech is more speech," Kaplan said.

Larry Dubin, a professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, said he doubts that Shirvell can effectively perform his job representing the public, when he's forcefully expressed his "biblical" views condemning homosexuality as the work of the devil.

"My real concern is whether as an attorney for the Michigan Attorney General's Office, he can competently represent gay people in our state," Dubin said. "Perhaps that raises a legitimate question as to his competency to hold this job, rather than examining his right to speak his brand of hate."

Delicious sauce

(no subject)

Blame Men (For The Republican Surge)

Several polls of key races this fall show that not only are more men voting Republican, they're also way more energized. Where are the ladies? Besides on a few Republican ballots, that is.

Over at Politico, Ben Smith crunched the numbers and talked to some pollsters who agree that they've never seen a gender gap this wide. And not only do men and women diverge on the issues, women are also less likely to turn out, it seems:
"Even though women are still more likely to vote Democratic, the poll suggests that they may stay home this year, giving more of the decision making to men by default," The New York Times wrote in the analysis of its own survey last week. The Times theorized that men's "anger may be more motivating than the sense of hopelessness expressed by women."

Hopelessness may be the key word. While men are said to be agitated by budget issues, women are apparently unmoved, even though "women's issues" are on the table:
Women's groups and Democratic candidates have struggled to put abortion rights and economic stability front and center, even as Republicans have nominated an unusual number of candidates who take hard lines on issues traditionally of concern to women, like opposing abortion even in the cases of rape and incest.

Over at PoliticsDaily, Matt Lewis wonders if this is due to the fact that so many more men have lost their jobs. "Because of traditional gender roles, it seems apparent that losing a job often negatively impacts a man's very identity," he wrote.

One race in which men and women's enthusiasm and stances vary widely is for New York governor: there was a "15-point gap in Paladino's support from women," compared to that of men. The past few days have brought several profiles and interviews meant to flesh out this previously obscure candidate. And maybe the interview with Paladino's wife was intended by his campaign to endear him to women voters.

Except for the part where she talked candidly about her husband told her he had a 10-year-old daughter with another women, hours after their own son died, and that everyone knew but her.

And then there's the heartwarming story about how they met:
He met his future wife, Mary Catherine Hannon, at one of the events he planned, though their first meeting did not go well. He made a joke about her uncle back in Buffalo, whose indictment was all over the newspapers, and she threw a beer at him. "It wasn't nice," he said of his remark, calling it an early, if unheeded, lesson about keeping "my big mouth shut."

Well, they did manage to endear her to us.

Behind GOP Surge: Male Voters [Politico]
Gender Gap Explained: Why More Men Will Be Voting This Year [Politics Daily]
Paladino's Wife Tells Of Son's Loss, Hubby's Affair & 'Get Over It' Policy [NYP]
Early Lessons Forged Paladino's Combative Style [NYT]
Blame Men (For The Republican Surge) [Jezebel]

More from Ecuador

Rafael Correa and the police uprising: Here there will be no forgiveness or forgetting

Linked the events on Thursday to former Ecuadorian president Lucio Gutiérrez.

Thanked UNASUR for the support given to his government.

Maintaining a state of emergency despite the rescue.

The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, tied former president Lucio Gutierrez to the kidnapping of which he was subjected at the hands of police, even though hours earlier he had ruled out possible links.

"It was not a legitimate wage claim, but a clear example of conspiracy," Correa told a press conference after being released by the military after spending several hours in a hospital, surrounded by police rebels.
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It looks like everything's under control. Thank God. But I'm just hoping now that this episode isn't just the
precursor to something larger and more terrible

Austerity: Robbing the Poor to Pay the Rich

Amid Austerity, Britain Keeps Benefits
Published: September 30, 2010

LONDON — Every week without fail Lucy Elkin, a comfortably middle-class mother of two small children, receives a £33.20 child benefit payment, or about $52, from the debt-plagued British government.

“It’s useful and it helps pay the bills, but it is not as if we are struggling to put food on the table,” Ms. Elkin said as she led her children from the park to their house on the leafy fringe of Hampstead Heath, one of London’s most desirable neighborhoods.

Ms. Elkin, 40, is a freelance writer. Her husband is a computer programmer. Along with more than three million middle- to upper-income British families, they are among the recipients of £11 billion ($17.2 billion) a year paid to mothers with children here. It is a universal benefit that not only costs taxpayers about twice as much as the total for unemployment payments but also represents the largest chunk of the estimated £30 billion ($47 billion) the government pays each year to Britons with above-average incomes.

“It is one of those things that is quite hard to justify,” Ms. Elkin said.

She is not alone in thinking that Britain can no longer afford such generosities. But even as civil servants and ministers are preparing to drastically cut most categories of government spending to help close Britain’s budget deficit, the government is so worried about alienating middle-class voters that it is proceeding very cautiously in limiting the subsidy for having children.

“There is a long history of universal welfare schemes here,” said Patrick Nolan, an economist for Reform, a free-market-oriented research organization that has issued a report claiming that as much as 16 percent of total welfare benefits go to those who do not need them. “But it has become a very expensive luxury when hundreds of thousands are losing their jobs.”

The debate in Britain highlights an issue that other advanced industrial countries are also beginning to grapple with: Who should bear the burden of the coming wave of austerity?

Unless politicians are prepared to dig into the pockets of middle- and upper-income families, experts say, the demands from bond market investors to get government finances under control can be satisfied only by cutting back even further on benefits for the poor and needy. But any serious effort to curb long-established middle-class entitlements risks setting off a public reaction that few political leaders are eager to face.

In Britain, the quandary is particularly stark. The social safety net that has been an essential feature of British life since World War II ended has been built largely on providing similar benefits to all, like health care and home heating allowances for the elderly, regardless of income.

Those earning up to £37,400 a year pay income tax of 20 percent per year.

All told, about a third of Britain’s 61 million people claim either a child subsidy or winter heating allowance. Together they represent a formidable political bloc of families and senior citizens that Prime Minister David Cameron was loath to alienate during last spring’s election.

That helps explain why Mr. Cameron promised not to “means test” the child benefit by limiting it to the poor. He said that payments to the elderly to subsidize television license fees, along with bus fare and heating allowances, would not be touched, either.

Lately, though, the government has begun to signal a harder line.

At the Liberal Democrat’s party conference in September, Mr. Cameron’s coalition partner, Nick Clegg, made the strongest call yet for cutting middle-class benefits, telling delegates that he would be willing to give up the £2,450 ($3,850) in annual child benefits that he and his wife, who is a corporate lawyer, receive for their three children.

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UK tag, mods? Also sorry, I submitted this initially without sourcing! Wtf.

This is fucked up. Discuss.
  • merig00

There will be blood – 10:10 campaign's 'No Pressure' film

Here's a highly explosive short film, written by Richard Curtis, from our friends at the 10:10 climate change campaign

Our friends at the 10:10 climate change campaign have given us the scoop on this highly explosive short film, written by Britain's top comedy screenwriter Richard Curtis, ahead of its general release.
It's most definitely striking and if you haven't watched it yet – taking into account the warning that it contains scenes some people may find disturbing – do so now, before I give too much away.

This film contains scenes that some viewers may find distressing. Not suitable for children

2pm update: Please note that 10:10 took down the original video and the version above is a copy uploaded elsewhere on YouTube.

Had a look? Well, I'm certain you'll agree that detonating school kids, footballers and movie stars into gory pulp for ignoring their carbon footprints is attention-grabbing. It's also got a decent sprinkling of stardust – Peter Crouch, Gillian Anderson, Radiohead and others.

But it's pretty edgy, given 10:10's aim of asking people, businesses and organisations to take positive action against global warming by cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by 10% in a year, and thereby pressuring governments to act.
"Doing nothing about climate change is still a fairly common affliction, even in this day and age. What to do with those people, who are together threatening everybody's existence on this planet? Clearly we don't really think they should be blown up, that's just a joke for the mini-movie, but maybe a little amputating would be a good place to start?" jokes 10:10 founder and Age of Stupid film maker Franny Armstrong.
But why take such a risk of upsetting or alienating people, I ask her: "Because we have got about four years to stabilise global emissions and we are not anywhere near doing that. All our lives are at threat and if that's not worth jumping up and down about, I don't know what is."
"We 'killed' five people to make No Pressure – a mere blip compared to the 300,000 real people who now die each year from climate change," she adds.
Jamie Glover, the child-actor who plays the part of Philip and gets blown up, has similarly few qualms: "I was very happy to get blown up to save the world." The public reaction to the film will be fascinating – please add yours below.
Curtis, writer of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Blackadder and an early 10:10 supporter, acknowledges that the 10:10 film is very direct. "The 10:10 team are a fearless, energetic bunch, completely dedicated to getting the public fired up about climate change. They also turn out to be surprisingly good at blowing stuff up," he said.
The film, directed by top advertising director Dougal Wilson, known for the Always A Woman John Lewis ad, will be shown in cinemas and on television. Wilson met 10:10 activists on a cross-continent bike ride to the Copenhagen climate change summit last December.
The 10:10 campaign was launched in the UK in September 2009 and has already spread to 41 countries. In Britain, 91,000 people, 3,500 businesses and 4,000 councils, school and other organisations have signed up so far.
The Lib-Con coalition has also committed to cut the government's carbon emissions by 10% in a year, to help combat global warming. On October 10 – 10.10.10 – the campaign will hold a Global Day of Doing, involving 180 nations and events such as sumo wrestlers cycling to training in Tokyo, to 10,000 schoolchildren planting trees across Russia.
6pm update: 10:10 has released the following statement.

Today we put up a mini-movie about 10:10 and climate change called 'No Pressure'.

With climate change becoming increasingly threatening, and decreasingly talked about in the media, we wanted to find a way to bring this critical issue back into the headlines whilst making people laugh. We were therefore delighted when Britain's leading comedy writer, Richard Curtis - writer of Blackadder, Four Weddings, Notting Hill and many others – agreed to write a short film for the 10:10 campaign. Many people found the resulting film extremely funny, but unfortunately some didn't and we sincerely apologise to anybody we have offended.
As a result of these concerns we've taken it off our website.
We'd like to thank the 50+ film professionals and 40+ actors and extras and who gave their time and equipment to the film for free. We greatly value your contributions and the tremendous enthusiasm and professionalism you brought to the project.
At 10:10 we're all about trying new and creative ways of getting people to take action on climate change. Unfortunately in this instance we missed the mark. Oh well, we live and learn.
Onwards and upwards,
Eugenie, Franny, Daniel, Lizzie and the whole 10:10 team


Indonesia’s Top Muslim Body Seeks Ban on Gay, Lesbian Film Festival

Jakarta. Indonesia’s top Islamic body reiterated on Friday that homosexuality is an abuse of human rights and demanded the government ban an ongoing gay and lesbian film festival.

It also condemned foreign cultural centres for showing the films at private screenings, three days after angry Muslims held protests outside the venues.

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MISC - moustache

CNN's Rick Sanchez: 'Jon Stewart Is A Bigot' -- And The Jews Run CNN

CNN anchor Rick Sanchez reeeeeally doesn't like Jon Stewart.

On Peter Dominick's radio show yesterday, Sanchez said he thinks that "Jon Stewart is a bigot" against "anybody who doesn't agree with his point of view, which is very much a white liberal establishment point of view."

Dominick, a former warm-up comic on The Daily Show, asked Sanchez to elaborate, and he said: "I think he looks at the world through, his mom, who was a school teacher, and his dad, who was a physicist or something like that. Great, I'm so happy that he grew up in a suburban middle class New Jersey home with everything that you could ever imagine."

When Dominick asked who Stewart is bigoted against, Sanchez replied: "Everybody else who's not like him. Look at his show, I mean, what does he surround himself with?"

Dominick joked that Sanchez's comments would probably go viral, which caused Sanchez to backtrack, kind of, calling The Daily Show "essentially prejudicial."

"They minimize you, and treat you like you don't matter," Sanchez continued, later adding: "I am a complex human being. I am not some moron."

But, he claimed, Stewart "wouldn't pick on me if I didn't matter."

When Dominick pointed out that Stewart is Jewish, Sanchez wasn't buying it: "Just because someone's Jewish, they're not capable of being prejudicial?"

He added:
I'm telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority? Yeah.

Sanchez did say that he understands that "historically" Jews have been discriminated against, but that "I can't see somebody not getting a job somewhere because they're Jewish. Not in this day and age."

Comedy Central and Pete Dominick had no comment on Sanchez's remarks. CNN did not immediately respond to TPM's request for comment.


Well, what the fuck.

Look Who Is Killing Jobs Now

Look Who Is Killing Jobs Now

Friday 01 October 2010

by: Ruth Marcus, Op-Ed

Republicans like to denounce President Obama and congressional Democrats for what they describe as "job-killing" policies. But in those red-hot rhetorical terms, congressional Republicans are guilty of mass murder when it comes to job creation.

They left town for their pre-election recess having blocked the extension of a successful jobs program -- praised by conservatives from Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour to economist Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute -- that provided 250,000 jobs for low-income parents and youths.

A $2.5 billion version of the extension passed the House, twice. The Senate whittled it back to $1.5 billion but still could not dislodge Republican opposition -- even though the cost would have been fully paid for.

The program was a sliver of the giant stimulus measure, but one of the most effective in terms of job creation. And it sounded as if it came straight out of the GOP playbook. The money was used overwhelmingly for private-sector jobs. It went to employers, to subsidize -- depending on the state -- all or part of wages for newly hired workers who would otherwise have been on unemployment rolls or receiving welfare. It was a particular boon to small business, helping them expand at a time when they would not have otherwise had the financial leeway to do so.

The stimulus included a $5 billion pot of money to help states with welfare programs stretched by the recession. One of the permitted uses was for job subsidies, and ultimately 37 states and the District of Columbia ended up launching such efforts.

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Schwarzenegger signs California marijuana decriminalization bill

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill Friday morning that decriminalizes possession of marijuana in the state.

Those caught with less than an ounce of marijuana will still receive a maximum penalty of $100. However, Senate Bill 1449 reduces the legal categorization of marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. This means that those caught will not have to appear in court, pay court fees or receive a criminal record.

Schwarzenegger opposes Proposition 19, a pending referendum that will provide a legal framework for the sale, cultivation and taxation of marijuana. However, despite this opposition, Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law. In a letter to the California Senate, Schwarzenegger stated that "less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction in everything but name. The only difference is that because it is a misdemeanor, a criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial and a defense attorney." He further stated that "In this time of drastic budget cuts, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, and the courts cannot afford to expend limited resources prosecuting a crime that carries the same punishment as a traffic ticket."

California director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Dale Gieringer lauded the governor's decision:

“Gov. Schwarzenegger deserves credit for sparing the state’s taxpayers the cost of prosecuting minor pot offenders, Californians increasingly recognize that the war on marijuana is a waste of law enforcement resources.”

The new law is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2011.



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Follow up to this post:

I made a donation button through Paypal so we can help the Muslim community of Sidney, NY pay off the mortgage for their cemetery. We need to raise $200,000. If the mods allow it, I want to put it up so we can all pitch in. I'm adding $50 myself. Let's show the town hall what we can do for our fellow man.

EDIT: I found the center's number and address in Sidney:


(607) 369-4816

The man I spoke to was extremely nice and very thankful. I explained what I wanted to do as far as donating to them, and he said he'd email me the tax id.

EDIT: I got the tax id. If you want to send a check, please know that all donations are tax deductible. Here is the tax id: 20-3480041

SON OF EDIT: With the 50 I threw in, so far we've made exactly $131.03! Keep it up guys!
  • Current Mood

Ellen DeGeneres speaks out against bullying

In a video released today, a visibly moved Ellen DeGeneres addressed the recent rash of teen suicides that have been linked to bullying and homophobia. In her message, she told viewers, "We can't let intolerance and ignorance take another kid's life." DeGeneres also spoke specifically to any struggling teens who might be watching, "People's minds will change, and you should be alive to see it."

On a similar note, out columnist Dan Savage and his husband recently started the "It Gets Better" project, encouraging LGBT adults to shoot and post videos to their YouTube channel assuring LGBT youth who might be in crisis that their lives will get better. The project also encourages participants to share stories about how the quality of their own lives improved as they matured.

For more information on helping LGBT youth, contact The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.

Source, including video.
mus | like a bird in a cage

Gay student hangs himself in Rhode Island dorm room

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – An openly gay sophomore at Johnson & Wales was found dead in his residence hall room on Wednesday, Sept. 29.

Raymond Chase, 19, had hanged himself in the dormitory, according to various news sources.

“The campus community is mourning the loss of this vibrant young man who leaves many JWU friends and teachers, and a loving family of Monticello, N.Y.,” Ronald Martel, vice president of student affairs and dean of students, said in a statement.

Chase’s death comes on the heels of another high-profile suicide by 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi, who killed himself by leaping off the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 22. Clementi had become extremely distraught after learning that his dorm roommate had secretly recorded him making out with another man and broadcasting it over the Internet without his consent or knowledge. The incident apparently outed Clementi, a gifted violinist.

In addition, several other teenage boys around the U.S. have killed themselves this month after being bullied in school.

The circumstances behind Chase’s death remain unknown.

Campus Pride, a non-profit that works with LGBT students and their allies, is demanding action.

“The loss of Raymond this week is the second college LGBT-related suicide in a week and the fifth teenage LGBT suicide in three weeks. The suicide of this openly gay young man is for reasons currently unknown; however, the recent pattern of LGBT youth suicides is cause for grave concern,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director and founder of Campus Pride.