October 2nd, 2010

movies | Impish Fräulein2

ONTD_Political's PotD: October 1, 2010.

With dozens of spacecraft currently orbiting, roving or otherwise and traveling through our solar system, I thought it would be interesting to get a general snapshot in time, using images from NASA and ESA spacecraft near Mercury, Earth, the Moon, Mars, Saturn and a few in-transit to further destinations. Collected here are recent images gathered from around our solar system, at scales ranging from mere centimeters to millions of kilometers.
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Dark Side of the Moon

September’s Anti-Gay Bullying Suicides – There Were A Lot More Than 5

September’s Anti-Gay Bullying Suicides – There Were A Lot More Than 5

by David Badash on October 1, 2010

The problem is anti-LGBTQ bullying and harassment. It is an epidemic.

Whether they are gay or not, anyone who is a victim of anti-LGBTQ bullying or harassment is having a tough time.

Some, as we painfully were reminded this month, resort to suicide.

Right now the media is focused on five teens who committed suicide in response to anti-LGBTQ bullying. As tragic as that is, there are a lot more than five. Thanks to our readers, so far we so far have found nine.

Nine male teenagers all committed suicide in the month of September, victims of bullying. There are reports that all but one were victims of anti-LGBTQ bullying. The “type” of bullying of one, Felix Sacco, was not identified.

If nine teens died in one month from a mysterious disease, there would be marches to the White House demanding something be done.

So, aside from a press release, what is being done?

Billy Lucas (15) September 9, 2010. Indiana

Cody J. Barker (17) September 13, 2010. Wisconsin

Seth Walsh (13) September 19, 2010. California

Tyler Clementi (18) September 22, 2010. New Jersey

Asher Brown (13) September 23, 2010. Texas

Harrison Chase Brown (15) September, 25 2010. Colorado

Raymond Chase (19) September 29, 2010. Rhode Island

Felix Sacco (17) September 29, 2010. Massachusetts

Caleb Nolt (14) September 30, 2010. Indiana

Remember them. And reach out to — and check in with — every teen you know. They may need you right now, more than you imagine.

Source: http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/septembers-anti-gay-bullying-suicides-there-were-a-lot-more-than-5/discrimination/2010/10/01/13297

OP Says: Seeing the names listed in one place chills me-- and I cannot help but think that this list is incomplete.

Whitman says illegal-worker allegations a 'lie'

(09-29) 14:02 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Startling accusations Wednesday that GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman had an illegal immigrant as her housekeeper for nine years have all the elements of a classic late-campaign "October surprise" - a sobbing victim, a media-savvy attorney, charges of hypocrisy and dirty tricks.

The charges sent Whitman's campaign team into overdrive as it worked nonstop to limit the political damage from the allegations, which the former eBay CEO dismissed as lies and partisan attacks.

The latest chapter in California's gubernatorial race unfolded live on TMZ.com, just hours after Whitman finished her first televised debate with her November opponent, Democratic Attorney General Jerry Brown, a debate in which she argued that California employers must be held accountable for hiring undocumented workers.

It starred Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, a Democratic donor who is a controversial veteran of many highly publicized cases, surrounded by a battery of cameras in her office.

Seated beside her was Mexican-born Nicandra Diaz Santillan - Whitman's nanny and housekeeper from 2000 to 2009 - who charged that Whitman had mistreated her and failed to pay her for all the hours she worked.

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Mmm. Hypocrisy is so delicious in the morning. Also, have some inner-party conflict thanks to Michelle Malkin.
Austria ~piano~

Governator Signs Bill Allowing LGBTQ Youth to Seek Mental Health Help.

Arnold Signs Bill Aiding Gay Youths
By Andrew Harmon

In a move hailed by advocates for its impact on the lives of vulnerable gay youths, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Thursday signed a bill allowing minors ages 12 to 17 to access mental health services without parental consent.

Authored by state senator Mark Leno, the Mental Health Services for At-Risk Youth Act allows youths to consent to treatment without parental notification — provided a mental health professional deems the individual to be "mature enough to participate intelligently in the services or when the youth would present a danger of serious physical or mental harm to self or others without the services."

Passage of the legislation comes amid a wave of news reports in recent days on suicides of LGBTQ youths as a result of antigay bullying. Equality California executive director Geoff Kors called the legislation vital to "help young people get the care they need before they are in crisis."

"Just this week, four young people took their lives after experiencing antigay bullying and antigay bias," Kors said in a statement. "We must act now to provide youth, especially lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, strong support systems, and this bill does just that."

Schwarzenegger signed a total of four bills sponsored by Equality California, the state's largest LGBT rights group, including repeal of a 1950s provision in the California Welfare and Institutions code that calls for research into "causes and cures of homosexuality."

The governor, who leaves office in January after two terms, also vetoed several LGBT-related bills, however. Among them: legislation that would have addressed risk factors for violence against LGBT prisoners.

That bill — known as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Prisoner Safety Act —would have compelled California prisons to assess an inmate's risk of abuse based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The provisions were adopted from the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission standards, of which California has already committed to being an early adopter.

Transgender Law Center legal director Kristina Wertz told The Advocate that as a result of Schwarzenegger's veto, "We will continue to wait for these well-researched, practical standards to be implemented, while we’re still seeing incredibly high rates of violence against LGBT prisoners."

mus | like a bird in a cage

PM gave Jean pledges in prorogation crisis

A constitutional scholar who advised Michaëlle Jean during the 2008 parliamentary crisis says Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave the Governor General certain commitments ahead of her decision to grant his request for prorogation.

The revelation by Peter Russell comes amid a sea of praise for Jean as she departed Rideau Hall this week following a five-year term as Governor General. But at the time of the crisis, many questioned her decision to grant Harper a reprieve from a House of Commons confidence vote that his minority Conservative government would almost certainly have lost.

Russell was among several of Canada's foremost constitutional experts summoned to Rideau Hall on Dec. 4, 2008 to advise Jean on whether she should grant the prime minister's request to shut down Parliament, though he didn't sit in on her private meeting with Harper.

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Killjoy Spin
  • arisma

At least 78 GOP candidates would force women to bear rapists’ babies

A partial list of Republican candidates running for US Congress in this year's mid-term elections shows that at least 78 of them have professed to oppose abortion in all cases, including where rape or incest are involved.

The Republican National Coalition For Life, a political action committee formed by anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schlafly, sends out questionnaires every election season to Republican candidates asking them to lay out their positions on abortion.

A list of responses from this year's candidates indicate that 78 Senate and House candidates answered that they are "pro-life without discrimination," meaning they don't agree with any exceptions to a ban on abortion.

The list was flagged earlier this week by Charles Johnson at the Little Green Footballs blog. Johnson counted 112 candidates who hold that view of abortion, but a Raw Story count of the listed candidates found 78 who have won their primary and indicated they would make no exceptions to allow abortion.

As the list doesn't include all US states or all candidates running for the House or Senate, the total number of candidates backing a full abortion ban is likely higher. The list also does not cover gubernatorial candidates or politicians running for state or local government.

Among the more notable candidates backing a full abortion ban are Christine O'Donnell, running for the Senate in Delaware; Rand Paul, running for the Senate seat from Kentucky; Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann; and Missouri Senate candidate Roy Blunt.

But the list does not include a number of candidates known to hold that view, including Sharron Angle, who is running for Sen. Harry Reid's seat from Nevada, and Joe Miller, running for Senate from Alaska.

The influence of the tea party movement on this year's elections may have something to do with an apparent increase in the number of Republicans taking a hard-line stance on abortion, reported Amanda Terkel at the Huffington Post.

Dianne Edmondson, executive director of RNC for Life PAC, told Terkel that "we have many more candidates responding to us this year than we did in the last election cycle -- probably about three times as many -- and I'd say at least half of them do meet that criteria."

"The Republican Party is, without actually talking about it, this year nominating a group of candidates for top-of-the-ticket races that are more extreme on the issue of abortion than any other slate of top-of-the-ticket candidates in any other year," MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported in August.

Maddow criticized the "small-government conservatives" who supported a full abortion ban, suggesting they're hypocritical for believing "government should be big enough that it can monitor every pregnancy in the country to ensure that every single woman who becomes pregnant is forced by the government to carry that pregnancy to term."

I could nap. [Yuri]
  • grazie

The New Poor

Memphis blacks see all their dreams fall apart in the recession.

MEMPHIS — For two decades, Tyrone Banks was one of many African-Americans who saw his economic prospects brightening in this Mississippi River city.

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This is an older article, but I thought it'd be good to show how banks have gutted some amazing cities. And possibly explain why Memphis is on the top 10 most miserable places in the US list. This city itself is amazing, the people here, everything. But it's hard to deny what the recession has done to this city and to the people there.

Rutgers student death: Has Digital Age made students callous?

The story of Tyler Clementi is bringing to light the darker side of the pervasiveness of social media in young people’s lives. It’s prompting renewed calls for everything from more specific antibullying education to stronger consequences for harmful uses of media technology.

Mr. Clementi, a freshman at the Rutgers University campus in Piscataway, N.J., killed himself Sept. 22. According to prosecutors, a few days earlier his roommate, Dharun Ravi, and another student, Molly Wei, used a Web cam to secretly transmit images of a sexual encounter between Clementi and another man. They intended to do so again on Sept. 21, the prosecutors say.

While the Rutgers student death is an extreme case, “a lot of kids are using digital technology to spy on each other,” says Parry Aftab, executive director of WiredSafety, an online safety group based in Fort Lee, N.J. “It’s the weapon of choice often with older teens and young adults – spying on someone and broadcasting what they’ve learned.”


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Druids recognized as religion for first time in UK


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LONDON — Druids have been worshipping the sun and earth for thousands of years in Europe, but now they can say they're practicing an officially recognized religion.

The ancient pagan tradition best known for gatherings at Stonehenge every summer solstice has been formally classed as a religion under charity law for the first time in Britain, the national charity regulator said Saturday. That means Druids can receive exemptions from taxes on donations — and now have the same status as such mainstream religions as the Church of England.

The move gives an old practice new validity, said Phil Ryder, the chairman of the 350-member Druid Network.

"It will go a long way to make Druidry a lot more accessible," he said.

Druids have practiced for thousands of years in Britain and in Celtic societies elsewhere in Europe. They worship natural forces such as thunder and the sun, and spirits they believe arise from places such as mountains and rivers. They do not worship a single god or creator, but seek to cultivate a sacred relationship with the natural world.

Although many see them as robed, mysterious people who gather every summer solstice at Stonehenge — which predates the Druids — believers say modern Druidry is chiefly concerned with helping practitioners connect with nature and themselves through rituals, dancing and singing at stone circles and other sites throughout the country believed to be "sacred."

Ancient Druids were known to be religious leaders, judges and sages among the Celts during pre-Christian times, although little evidence about their lives survived. There are now various Druid orders and about 10,000 practitioners in Britain — and believers said the numbers are growing because more people are becoming aware of the importance to preserve the environment.

The Druid Network fought for nearly five years to be recognized under the semi-governmental Charity Commission, which requires proof of cohesive and serious belief in a supreme entity and a moral framework.

After initially rejecting the Druid Network's application, the Charity Commission decided this week that Druidry fit the bill.

"There is sufficient belief in a supreme being or entity to constitute a religion for the purposes of charity law," the commission said.

Adrian Rooke, a Druid who works as a counselor, said Druidry appeals to people who are turning away from monotheistic religions but still long for an aspect of spirituality in their lives.

"It uplifts the spirit," he said. "The world is running out of resources, and in that context it's more important to people now to formulate a relationship with nature."
Spock/douchebaggery by _kissmygrass
  • lidane

Glenn Beck -- Slavery started with innocent ideas, then government ruined it by regulating it.

God, I wish I was exaggerating with that headline. I'm not:

Partial transcript under the cut:

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Audio source

Transcript source

Beck's an asshole, but what's worse is that there are people who sincerely, truly believe the shit he's selling. That just blows my mind.

Morgue put Staten Island car-crash teen's brain in jar and schoolmates discover truth on field trip

Source: NY Daily News

A Staten Island couple who had just buried their 17-year-old son after a car accident were horrified to learn the medical examiner held onto his brain.

And the way they found out was even more gut-wrenching:The teen's schoolmates - including his girlfriend - spotted the organ floating in a jar during a field trip to the mortuary.

Now Andre and Korisha Shipley have gotten the go-ahead to sue the city - which is still claiming it did nothing wrong.

"It turns out to be this horrible, horrible situation," the Shipleys' lawyer, Marvin Ben-Aron, said after the appeals court ruling Friday.

Jesse Shipley, a student at Port Richmond High School, was killed in a car crash Jan. 9, 2005 - and his dad gave permission for an autopsy the next day.

The family had no idea that Dr. Stephen de Roux at the Richmond County Mortuary removed Jesse's brain for further study before releasing his body later that day, Ben-Aron said.

Almost three months after the funeral, the Port Richmond Forensics Club took a field trip to the mortuary.

In what the court called a "surreal coincidence," the students saw a brain in formaldehyde labeled with Jesse's name.

"There was a case that you could see through, and there were brains in jars and names on the jars. One said 'head trauma, Shipley, J,'" said Samantha Feldman, 22, one of the students.

Jesse's girlfriend and her best friend were there.

"The best friend went outside and was flipping out," Feldman said. "She started crying and called her mom and said, 'Mom, Jesse's brain is here! I can't be here.'"

Some students who didn't know Jesse took out their cell phones and took pictures, while others cried, Ben-Aron said.

The teacher cut the visit short, but back at school, the students told the story to Jesse's younger sister, Shannon, who had survived the car crash that killed her brother. She started screaming, and her parents had to come pick her up, the lawyer said.

The family went to court to get their son's brain - which wasn't even dissected until after the field trip - returned to them.

In a deposition, de Roux explained it was his practice to have several brains tested at once because it's more efficient.

"I wait months, until I have six brains, and then it's kind of worth while to make the trip to Staten Island to examine six brains," he said. "It doesn't make sense for him to come and do one."

The Shipleys' priest told them the first burial - without the brain - wasn't proper so they had to endure an exhumation and second funeral, Ben-Aron said.

They sued the city, which tried to get the case tossed. An appeals court ruled this week that the suit can proceed because there's a "question of fact" about whether the medical examiner had the right to hold back the brain.

The Shipleys' suit also alleged that the jar containing the brain was labeled: "This is what happens when you drink and drive."

The appeals panel decided there was no proof that was true or that the mortuary "mishandled" the brain. Ben-Aron said alcohol was not involved in the accident, and Jesse Shipley was a passenger, not the driver.

It's unclear if the city will try to settle the suit or go to trial. "We are evaluating our legal options," said city lawyer Ronald Sternberg.


...I can't even...