October 30th, 2010

Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Antoine to the haters: They really can bite me. For real.

Antoine Dodson Responds To The Haters

Antoine Dodson has been accused of "turning rape into a joke", and before his viral video fame, he survived sexual abuse and homophobic bullying. But he's not letting any of it get him down, he told me recently.

Antoine had no way of knowing that when he gave a fiercely indignant interview to a local Alabama TV station, it would lead to a chart-climbing song on iTunes, an Antoine Dodson Halloween costume, or an endorsement deal for an iPhone app. But he's trying to be strategic about his message of supporting sexual assault victims, he said in a recent interview. Also, some words for his critics: "They really can bite me. For real."

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NEGL, the more I find out about him, the more I like him. I hope he works his 15 minutes as much as he can.
The Gang
  • acmeeoy

How the international media is covering the Tea Party

Thanks to outsized personalities like Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell -- as well as recent controversies over immigration and Islam -- this year's midterm elections have attracted more international attention than usual. But as this survey of the foreign press shows, each country seems to have its own unique take on America's anti-incumbent movement.


Narrative: The Tea Party is an Islam-bashing political front

Coverage: While the Tea Party may have begun primarily as an economic movement opposed to the expanded role of the federal government in the U.S. economy, in the Pakistani media it is often described a synonymous with the anti-Islam backlash surrounding the "Ground Zero mosque" and proposed Quran-burning in Florida.

Pakistan's Dawn newspaper has described American Muslims as "living on the edge" ever since the Tea Party and other "right wing zealots" ganged up on the proposed Cordoba Center in lower Manhattan, releasing "venomous discourse" into the national conversation. The rhetoric targeted at American Muslims has been called a "reminder of the treatment meted out to other scapegoats in American history."

In Dawn's telling, the Tea Party has risen in tandem with the "Ground-Zero-inspired Muslim baiting frenzy" and is driven largely by the "bigoted rabble-rouser" Glenn Beck who attacks President Barack Obama as a "closet Muslim." According to Dawn, the same "predatory instinct" that led Americans to enslave Africans and wipe out Native Americans is "gathering mass, once again," this time with Muslims as the primary target.

The viewpoints of Germany, China, France, and Spanish-speaking countries can be found at the Source

Sarah Palin’s Wall Pranked by Facebook Users

The vertical message that ran down the left side on Glenn Beck's Facebook page the night of October 14 read clear as that evening's sky: "K-E-E-P F-E-A-R A-L-I-V-E." It was a reference to Stephen Colbert’s March to Keep Fear Alive, a gathering organized in faux-competition with this weekend’s Rally to Restore Sanity, headlined by Jon Stewart.

Minutes after the first message appeared, the same letters, in the same order, began turning up on the fan pages of FOX News', Sarah Palin, and hilariously, Justin Bieber. Each letter was displayed in the space where a profile picture would normally be, next to a posted comment. As each Facebook user posted their comments in the right order, the message came to life.

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  • merig00

Holy site sparks row between Israel and UN

A religious site outside Bethlehem revered by both Jews and Muslims has emerged as the latest diplomatic battlefield between Israel and the United Nations. Known as Rachel's Tomb to Jews and the Bilal bin Rabah mosque to Muslims, the site was included in a resolution by Unesco last week, which described it as a mosque and noted that it formed "an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories".

The UN body in charge of culture, education and science also urged the Israeli authorities to remove the site from its national heritage list, where it was placed in February this year. The resolution – which also refers to the site as Rachel's Tomb – triggered an angry response from Israel yesterday. "We strongly condemn this resolution that is tainted with blatant political bias," said a spokesman of the Israeli foreign ministry. He added: "It ignores the historical fact that Rachel's tomb was never a mosque."

The grand mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Mohammed Hussein, argued the opposite. "It has always been a mosque, but the Israelis banned the access to Muslims for decades. They cannot enter to pray since 1967," he said.

Rachel's Tomb is the third holiest place in Judaism and a Jewish pilgrimage site, located in the occupied territories. For the Muslims, it is a mosque and a cemetery. Every year, in a 24-hour period, tens of thousands of Jews visit what they consider to be the grave of their biblical matriarch. The pilgrimage is especially popular among women longing to get pregnant. Israel's West Bank barrier surrounds the site and separates it from Bethlehem.

Unesco's decision was backed by 44 countries, with only the US opposing and 12 countries abstaining. It also voiced criticism of Israel's decision to include the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron on its list of national heritage sites. The day the list was adopted, Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said: "Our existence depends not only on the IDF or our economic resilience. It is anchored in our store of knowledge and the national sentiment that we will bestow upon the coming generations, in our ability to justify our connection to the land."

The Palestinian Authority opposed the decision, which it considered to be political and part of the settlement project.


  • homasse

Arrest in revenge beating of priest

Arrest in revenge beating of priest

A man allegedly molested three decades ago by a priest was arrested Friday on charges that he lured the clergyman to the lobby of a Jesuit retirement home and beat him in front of shocked witnesses, authorities said.

William Lynch, 43, was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon for the May 10 attack that sent the Rev. Jerold Lindner to the hospital with bruises and lacerations, said Sgt. Rick Sung, Santa Clara County sheriff's spokesman.

Lynch harbored a fantasy for years of confronting the priest, who also allegedly molested his little brother.

Sung said Lynch attacked the 65-year-old priest after he failed to recognize him at the Jesuits' Sacred Heart retirement home in Los Gatos. The attack occurred in a small room adjoining the lobby.

"They're saying it was pretty close to beating him to death," defense attorney Pat Harris told The Associated Press. "They're essentially saying that he waited all these years and then took out his revenge. It's sort of the ultimate revenge story."

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D: To everything in this story, just DDDDDDD:

Oh, and Rev. McGarry? I'm having a hard time sympathizing with Lindner or caring about his "life of prayer and service" after reading the whole article.

(no subject)

TD wants Queen to reign in Ireland

An Irish politician has called for the return of British rule to Ireland.

Fine Gael TD Michael Ring said the Irish government should "hand back" the Republic to the Queen during a royal visit next year.

The County Mayo representative also suggested that the government should apologise to her for the "mess" they have made of the country.

Mr Ring made the comments during an economic debate at the Irish Parliament.

He said: "Now look at the mess we're in and look at the mess this country is in.

"Next year the Queen is talking about coming to Ireland for a state visit.

"Maybe we should say to the Queen when she comes 'you know, we have our own independence now, we'll hand you back the country and we'll apologise for the mess that we're after making of it.

"Because at least when they were running the country they didn't put it into the mess and the hock that we are in now."

Mr Ring, 57, was named "heckler of the year" by a magazine in 2006 for "effectively challenging the government with a unique style of street wit and lively heckling".

He is now being described as the Queen's "Lord of the Rings" by commentators in the Republic in the wake of his royalist comments.

It is more than 80 years since Irish independence was secured.

This bit made me want to find an animated gif of the Queen looking disapprovingly.

A spokeswoman for the Queen refused to comment on Mr Ring's statement.

She added: "The Queen wouldn't be saying anything about that."

Sadly, Google Images failed me, and this was the best I could find.

This post needs Queengifs! Why are there no decent Queengifs?

~Rally To Restore Sanity/Rally To Restore Fear Live Discussion Post~


Post all articles, videos, feed links, running commentary of the events here! If you're at the rally, there will be a second live post to submit all the videos/pictures you took there. ALL OTHER POSTS ON THE RALLIES WILL BE REJECTED!

Useful Links

CNN Rally Roundup
New York Times Liveblog
The Guardian Rally coverage

ETA: Thanks wonderpup for the graphic!

Strictly Come Scrounging, anyone?

The X Factor vision of society blames the poor for their predicament.

Even in hard times, nobody likes a scrounger. As the country trembles under the Tories' fiscal hammer, noone seems to want to contest the popular political narrative that welfare recipients have had it far too good, and must be punished. George Osborne has declared that his downsizing of the benefit system, which could force hundreds of thousands into abject poverty, will 'incentivise' jobseekers towards employment - because apparently all it takes to solve the problem of millions out of work is a little get-up-and-go. This is social security as reimagined by Simon Cowell - only life's winners are rewarded, and losers go home empty-handed.

The cynical amongst us might contend that 'making work pay' is rather a tasteless euphemism for 'cutting welfare so savagely that even the minimum wage looks like unattainable luxury' - but we live in a rat race, and the sick, the needy and the unemployed have proven themselves insufficiently murine. They are losers, they lack the X factor, and since there's no glamour in compassion, we've just voted them all off the welfare programme.

Labour MPs, who began the bloodless process of privatising the welfare system in 2007, seem to have accepted that the PR battle over 'benefit scrounging scum' is unwinnable. This is because Britain has slowly but surely become a country that does not tolerate failure. The emotional logic of our society is now one of ceaseless neoliberal striving, a tyranny of aspiration.

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Source: Laurie Penny @ New Statesman
Dragon Age Inquisition

oh goddammit: More Cal State, UC student fee hikes are possible

State universities discuss fee hikes
by Carla Rivera & Larry Gordon

California's two public university systems are expected to seek student fee increases next month to help pay for rising costs inside and outside the classroom that a recent boost in state funding didn't fully cover, officials said.

California State University on Friday proposed a two-step increase that would raise undergraduate fees 5% — or $105 — for the rest of this school year and an additional 10% — or about $440 — for next year. If the plan is approved by the Board of Trustees in early November, basic full-time undergraduate tuition next year would rise to $4,884, plus campus fees that average about $1,000.

University of California administrators said they will not ask for a midyear increase; rather they are discussing how large one should be for the next academic year. Several higher education experts said it was likely that UC would propose a fall fee increase for undergraduates of 7% to 10%, or about $700 to $1,000. UC regents are expected to vote on an increase in mid-November.

The proposals come on top of stiff fee increases in the last two years at both systems and, if realized, will make it even more difficult for some to afford college, many students and parents said.

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  • merig00

Obama waiver allows U.S. aid to 4 countries using child soldiers

President Obama has granted a waiver allowing four countries to continue receiving U.S. military aid even though they use child soldiers, officials said Wednesday.
Human rights groups reacted with surprise and concern, saying the decision would send the wrong message.
"What the president has done is basically given everybody a pass for using child soldiers," said Jo Becker, children's rights director at Human Rights Watch.
Administration officials said cutting off aid would cause more damage than good in countries where the U.S. military is trying to fight terrorism and reform abusive armies.
Obama sent a memo to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, dated Monday, saying that it was "in the national interest" to waive a cutoff of military assistance for Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Yemen.
Those countries would have been penalized under the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush shortly before he left office. The law took effect this year, after the State Department identified six countries that used government soldiers - including Somalia and Burma.
Senior U.S. officials said Wednesday that Yemen was exempted because ending military aid would jeopardize the country's ability to fight al-Qaeda. In Sudan, U.S. military assistance will be critical in helping the unstable southern part of the country build military institutions if it votes to secede in a January referendum, as expected, officials said.
Congo was exempted because U.S.-funded programs there are aimed at helping the military become more professional and less abusive, officials said. Chad got a pass because of its role in fighting terrorism and assistance with the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan. In addition, U.S. aid goes toward helping that country's military end its practice of using child soldiers, officials said.
The exemptions were first reported by the Cable, a blog at ForeignPolicy.com.
One senior official said the countries were not getting off scot-free.
"We put all these countries on notice by naming them as having child soldiers, and making them automatically subject to sanctions," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Our view was to work with them over the next year to try to solve the problem - or at least make significant progress on the problem - and reassess next year."
Jesse Eaves, policy adviser on children's issues for the humanitarian group World Vision, noted that the law did not mandate a cutoff of all forms of military assistance for offenders. For example, they could have still gotten help in eliminating their use of child soldiers.

"That kind of assistance is still allowed under the law without invoking the waiver. That's why this is a disturbing step," he said.



Even if House is Lost, Obama Finds Hope in History


Three times in the past century, a sitting president's party has lost its majority in at least one house of Congress. And all three times, the president went on to win re-election — Harry Truman in 1948, Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 and Bill Clinton in 1996.

So if, as expected, the GOP takes the House this Election Day, the news isn't all bad for President Obama's re-election hopes.

Truman took office in 1945, after Franklin Delano Roosevelt's death in office. A year later, his Democrats lost the majority.

But two years after that, Truman decided to run against what he called the "Do Nothing Congress." He gave a speech at the 1948 Democratic Convention that was nowhere near conciliatory — it was an all-out assault on Capitol Hill Republicans.

"Now my friends, with the help of God and the wholehearted push which you can put behind this campaign," Truman said, "we can save this country from a continuation of the 80th Congress, and from misrule from now on. I must have your help. You must get in and push, and win this election. The country can't afford another Republican Congress."

Truman's strategy worked. He was re-elected, and Democrats swept back into control of Congress.

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Tea Party Movement Alienating Young Voters

Tea Party's Social Views Alienate Young Voters, Even Among Fiscal Conservatives, Analysts Say

(AP) WASHINGTON (AP) - The tea party is failing to woo young voters despite a loose structure that could make it easier for those under 30 to achieve leadership roles, analysts and political activists say as the grass-roots movement prepares to flex its muscles in midterm elections.

A survey released Oct. 21 by Harvard University's Institute of Politics showed that only 11 percent of those 18 to 29 consider themselves supporters of the tea party, and analysts say the leaderless movement's ties to social conservatism and rhetoric in favor of an earlier America are hampering its appeal.

Despite widespread voter anger ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections, the tea party has been a hard sell to young voters because many equate joining with embracing conservative social values, said Peter Levine, director of CIRCLE, a Tufts University group that conducts research on the political involvement of young Americans. He said this holds true even for those who would otherwise identify with the party's call for stricter fiscal conservatism.

"A lot of young people, whether it's from the media, professors or other sources, come to the opinion that the tea party is just a bunch of right-wing extreme radicals, racists - whatever," said Patrick Kelly, a tea party activist and freshman at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Ill. "That's the biggest deterrent."

Tea party supporters want to open the door for young voters, and FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe said the movement can win over those under 30 by placing them in leadership roles. FreedomWorks was founded by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, and has fueled much of the movement's growth.

"More young leaders begets more young participants," Kibbe said. He said that young voters are tougher to organize but that the tea party can engage them through things they enjoy. "The tea party is different," he said. "We have music, we have fun, we do protests. It's a different set of activities than your typical, canned Republican stump speech that was driving people away in droves."

Matthew Segal, the 25-year-old executive director of the nonpartisan Student Association for Voter Empowerment, said the tea party's opposition to government action also turns off young voters. "The tea party is based on an anti-government premise, and young people are the most trusting constituency of government," said Segal, whose Washington-based organization promotes electoral participation by students.

And while the tea party often seems to be recalling earlier times, with rhetoric harkening back to the Founding Fathers, American youth don't always share those sympathies. Even the movement's name refers to an insurrection more than two centuries ago, notes Christopher Kukk, who teaches political science at Western Connecticut State University.

"It's all about keeping America, preserving America, not changing America," Kukk said. Young people, he said, are "talking about changing America."

Many young voters also recoil at the tea party's homogenous racial makeup. According to the Pew Research Center's October political survey, 85 percent of registered voters who agree with the tea party are white. Just 2 percent are black.

"The young generation is just by the numbers the most diverse generation in American history," Levine said. "You can't get that much purchase on this generation if you look like you're all white."

Supporters agree that a large part of the party's problem with youth is perception. Although some tea party groups are libertarian and don't espouse socially conservative values, voters and the media rarely make that distinction, said Emily Ekins, a UCLA doctoral student who studies the movement's different, and sometimes opposing, philosophies.

Some tea party backers also note the generational gap when it comes to all the talk about history. Joel Pollak, a tea party-endorsed Republican trying to unseat Democrat Jan Schakowsky in Illinois' 9th Congressional District, said young voters' lack of Cold War memories prevents them from recognizing the threat that overreaching government policies pose to American freedom.

"Young people today grew up with very little knowledge of communism and socialism," the 33-year-old Pollak said.

Still, observers see an opportunity for a third-party group to make headway. More than 40 percent of voters under 30 don't identify with a major political party, according to Harvard University's October poll.

"There is room for an independent party to rise up and grab young people," Segal said. "If the tea party numbers don't show that, then they clearly aren't resonating with young voters."