November 14th, 2010

florence

A Dispute in Nicaragua Reopens Old Wounds

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — President Daniel Ortega’s push to stay in power using a contested interpretation of the Constitution has reignited the fury of former contras who fought his Sandinista government in the 1980s, with one former rebel taking up arms in the mountains and another vowing to oust him at the polls.

But in the absence of a post-cold-war sponsor, Nicaragua’s opposition is struggling to coordinate an electoral offensive against Mr. Ortega, whose approval ratings rose to 45 percent last month with the help of his Venezuelan-financed response to flooding that killed scores of people and forced thousands to flee their homes.

Mr. Ortega’s critics contend that he is disregarding the Constitution and turning his role as the largest Central American beneficiary of Venezuela’s leftist president, Hugo Chávez, into political capital for next year’s vote in November.

“Chávez is propping up Ortega’s dictatorship,” said Fabio Gadea, a presidential contender who led a contra radio station from exile in Costa Rica in the 1980s. He argued that the United States had “lost vigor” in its own backyard and done little, beyond cutting $62 million in aid, to stave off Mr. Ortega’s advances.

“Times have changed,” Mr. Gadea added. “The ones who must defend democracy are us, the Nicaraguans.”

Convinced that the election will not be fair, another former contra has gone further, taking up arms in the mountains near the Honduran border.

“The government keeps violating the Constitution as much as it wants,” José Garmendia, also known as Comandante Yahob, recently told a local newspaper. Though his financial backing is limited to meager donations from a mayor in the north, Mr. Garmendia said he would hunker down until support grew, arguing that “only a rebellion can save us from the abuses of Daniel Ortega.”

Nicaragua has spent the past two decades trying to heal from the civil war that tore the country apart and left 35,000 people dead. Mr. Ortega, elected in 2006 with a former contra as his running mate, has distributed roofing materials, pensions and property titles to families of contras who turned in weapons as part of a 1987 peace accord.
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This is interesting. I'm iffy on Ortega, but I really fucking hate the Contras. And any thought of US intervention in Latin America makes me go D: D: D: D: D: so...
Mr. T the Patriot

Arizona voters approve medical marijuana measure

(CNN) -- By a narrow margin of about 4,300 votes, Arizona voters approved a ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana, state election officials said Sunday.

With all precincts reporting, the "yes" votes on Proposition 203 have 50.1 percent of the vote to 49.8 percent of "no" votes, according to unofficial results posted on the Arizona Secretary of State's website. More than 1.6 million votes were cast.

Officials in Maricopa County, where the city of Phoenix is located, posted their final update to the unofficial results from the November 2 election on Saturday. At the time, authorities said the race was too close to call.Collapse )
music | sleigh anne.

The slighting of Serena Williams



As the WTA season wrapped up with the championships at Doha recently, Caroline Wozniacki, a 20 year old from Denmark, ended the tour ranked No 1 in women's tennis – largely thanks to her consistency in winning minor WTA events. For many, Serena Williams, though knocked off the top spot in the rankings and unable, through injury, to defend her 2009 Doha title, remains clearly the supreme player of her generation.

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i know this is a sports article, but i think it does have a lot to do with politics of sport and race, so i thought i'd post it
garf tired

Dumb Americans...

16 of the Dumbest Things Americans Believe -- And the Right-Wing Lies Behind Them




We’ve gone beyond Stephen Colbert's' truthiness' into a 'truth-be-damned' environment.
November 13, 2010 |



Americans are often misinformed, occasionally downright dumb, and easily misled by juicy-sounding rumors. But while the right wing is taking full advantage of this reality, the Left worries that calling out lies is "rude."

Remember when Congressman Joe Wilson stood up during Obama’s State of the Union address and shouted “You lie”? He was chastised soundly by the pundit class. But mostly he drew heat for being impolite, and was compared to Kanye West and other famous interrupters.

Revisiting Wilson's foolish tirade underscores the state of our upside-down political world. Wilson shouted “you lie” in the face of truth, but President Obama is hesitant to speak up when he’s being slandered with bald, glaring untruths. The dark irony will continue as the Republicans take over the House this winter and the rumors and insinuations from extremist right-wing pundits keep circulating. It feels like no one with a loud enough megaphone has the courage to call a spade a spade, or more accurately a lie a lie.

We’ve gone far beyond Stephen Colbert’s “truthiness” into a more “truth-be-damned” environment; what Rick Perlstein described in the Daily Beast as a “mendocracy. As in, rule by liars.”

Here are some examples of recent ways we have made inroads in ignorance:

* Polling data during and after last week’s midterm elections suggested that many Americans genuinely believe President Obama has raised their taxes -- even though the reality is that our president actually lowered them for most of us. This means that people trust pundits like Rush Limbaugh, a major force behind spreading that lie, over the numbers on their own tax returns.
* Another recent phenomenon? Half of new Congressmen don’t believe in the reality of global warming. It’s not that they don’t just disagree on the source or the severity of the problem. They flat out don’t think the world is getting warmer--despite the evidence outside their windows.
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garf life was just toying with me

grr..

Heroic N.J. teacher was sacrificed for political cause in hidden video





Alissa Ploshnick risked her life to save the lives of a dozen Passaic schoolchildren. She threw herself in front of a careening van to protect her students and landed in the hospital with broken ribs, a fractured wrist, a badly bruised pelvis and glass cuts in her eyes. She could have died.

The president of the United States, Bill Clinton then, sent her a letter. It read:

"I recently heard about your act of heroism and wanted to commend you for your selflessness. True heroes are rare in today’s world. And, all too often, those who are really making a difference in our communities go unnoticed and unrewarded. I am delighted to be able to give you the recognition you deserve. You are an example for all of us, and I applaud you for your sense of duty.’’

But that was then, in 1997. This is now.

Now, the veteran Passaic special education teacher has been smeared in a sneak attack video, punished by her school district and made a pawn in the relentless anti-union crusade of a governor who apparently wants to ride his Jersey tough guy image to the White House.

"I felt like I was raped,’’ says Ploshnick referring to the moment she learned that what she thought was a private, even flirtatious, talk with a "nice" young man who bought her drinks was really part of a political scam to discredit her union in an web videotape called "Teachers Gone Wild.’’

Saving children’s lives, risking death for them, wasn’t enough to earn a pass from political incivility.

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TV | Roger Sterling Jr.

HIDE YOUR KIDS, HIDE YOUR WIVES. 4Chan vs. Tumblr: Interweb "War"?

From URLesque.com:

4chan Users Try to DDoS Tumblr, Tumblrs Raid 4chan in Revenge

A 4chan user declared war [11/11/2010] against Tumblr, a blogging platform favored by the young and net savvy. And by 4chan of course we mean /b/, the site's anarchic no-rules subforum famous for trolling and "raiding" websites and organizations.



Because Tumblr users (like many other sites) constantly post memes that often originate on /b/ without giving credit, the people behind this movement feel that Tumblr needs to be punished. "These hipsters constantly steal our memes and claim them as their own," says the angry poster.

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[UPDATE:] The final phase of Operation Overlord, 4chan's loosely-orchestrated effort to bring down Tumblr, is on. And this time they're bringing their LOIC's. LOIC stands for Lower Orbit Ion Cannon, the nickname of a program that will DoS (Denial of Service) attack a targeted site.

After the jump, the full poster explaining the upcoming raid.

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Source: one | two | three

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Seriously though, I don't quite understand what's going on.
JL: Annoyed J. Law

FL Lt. Gov.-Elect Falsified Documents in Attempt to Procure State Contracts

Documents signed by Lt. Gov-elect Jennifer Carroll show her consulting firm leasing office space in Jacksonville that another tenant said was leased to him at the same time.

Both state and county records show the tenant was there, and Carroll was not.

Carroll's firm, JC & 3N, was accepted for a program that sets city contracts aside for eligible small businesses from January 2007 until May. That program required that Carroll, a Clay County resident, have a company based in Duval County for three years.

The Times-Union reported last month that altered documents were in the files of Carroll's company when the city reviewed its eligibility, and since then more evidence has emerged that fudged paperwork helped the company secure a spot in the program.

 

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The only defense I'm hearing (from Scott/Carroll supporters) is "Well, she never actually received a contract so this isn't illegal." Eh.

dappersquid

Suu Kyi 'ready for talks' to resolve Burma's problems

Aung San Suu Kyi walks among a crowd of her supporters in Rangoon (14 November 2010)
Ms Suu Kyi said her party was investigating allegations of fraud in the elections.

Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has told the BBC she is ready for talks with all groups to  achieve national reconciliation. A day after her release from house arrest, she said it was time to "sort out our differences across the table". Ms Suu Kyi also said she intended to listen to what the Burmese people and her international supporters wanted as she planned her next steps. The Nobel Peace Prize winner has spent 15 of the past 21 years in detention.

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The power of the broken pane

Why the Millbank protests are just the beginning.

One hundred years ago, a gang of mostly middle-class protesters had finally had enough of being overlooked by successive administrations, and decided to go and smash up some government buildings to make their point. Their leader insisted that when the state holds itself unanswerable to the people, "the broken pane of glass is the most valuable argument in modern politics."

That leader was Emmeline Pankhurst, and the protesters were the suffragettes.
Although they faced a great deal of public disapprobation at the time, history has vindicated the international movement for women's suffrage as intrepid citizens who forfeited their freedom, their public reputations and, in some cases, their lives, to win political enfranchisement for future generations of women and girls - even if they had to break a few windows to do so.

This month, the young people of Britain appeared to reach a similar breaking point. Feeling that they no longer have a voice or a stake in the political process, that their votes are worthless if the parties who they supported instantly break their manifesto pledges, they took to the streets in their thousands and launched a furious attack on Tory HQ, smashing windows and dropping banners from the roof. Property damage, it seems, is still the last resort of citizens whose leaders prioritise the interests of private property above the interests of the people.

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Source: Laurie Penny @ New Statesman
colorful legs

Is America losing its influence?

Is America losing its influence?




(CNN) -- Opening The New York Times on Friday morning, I blinked. The headline on its lead story, spread over two columns, blared out, "Obama's Economic View Is Rejected on World Stage."


Whether or not you like this president, the headline should make every American wince.
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I think that Obama's trips to India and Indonesia went well, but I was disappointed with the results in South Korea. I think that the US's power and influence is going downhill fast, with China rising very rapidly.


I didn't watch his every move in Seoul, but when I saw some brief footage of Obama answering questions (without a teleprompter) he seemed to look very unsure of himself, which I think made him appear weak and a target for "bullying" from other world leaders.


That said, I believe that much of the criticism has been on point. You'll have a tough time telling other countries not to manipulate their currency when you're busy unnecessarily printing money at home. The Germans were right when they said that the US needs to work on their finances and figure out how to make themselves competitive in world markets. Unfortunately, that means that some big, big changes need to happen in America. Changes that I don't think will happen anytime soon.


I apologize for the rant, but I just feel like my country is falling and not much is being done about it.

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Luka and Kitty Hat

McCain Moves The Goal Posts Again On DADT, Now Claiming The Pentagon Study Isn’t Good Enough

This week, Cindy McCain caused a stir when she seemingly broke with her husband, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), on the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy when she appeared in an ad calling for repealing the ban on gays serving openly. As the ranking GOP member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. McCain has led Republican opposition to repealing DADT, so his wife’s high-profile call for repeal was noteworthy, especially considering that the Senate may take up the policy during the lame duck session of Congress, which begins tomorrow.

Cindy McCain later walked back her stance, saying she actually supports her husband’s position on DADT, which has for years been that he will “defer to our military commanders.” McCain has always said he will reconsider his stance on DADT “the day that the leadership of the military comes to [me]” and says it should be overturned. Yet, when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates came to McCain in February announcing they were in favor of repealing DADT, McCain invented a new condition — the completion of a study the Pentagon is conducting looking into the repercussions of repealing DADT.

Last month, reports surfaced that the study had found that a majority of American servicemembers would not object to serving alongside openly gay troops. Then this week, sources familiar with the study, which is to be released in December, told the Washington Post that the study had concluded that repealing DADT will not disrupt the military during a time of war. But appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press today, McCain yet again moved the goal posts, deploying his latest stumbling block to repeal. The problem? The study McCain demanded is now not good enough:

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PISCES VS TAURUS

Inspirational 14-Year-Old Supports His Teacher




Jay McDowell, a teacher in Howell, Michigan, was temporarily suspended without pay earlier this month after telling a student wearing a Confederate flag and a student making anti-gay remarks to get out of his class. At a school-board meeting on Friday, openly gay 14-year-old high-school student Graeme Taylor came to McDowell's defense, thanking the teacher for doing "an amazing thing" in a town home to the KKK, and urging the school board to give McDowell his pay and reverse the disciplinary actions. The inspiring video has made its way around the Internet, because how cool is this kid? SOURCE

Mona Sahlin steps down as party leader

When the crisis meeting started, Mona Sahlin had already made up her mind.

There had been a lot of rumours in the party, but at 2 PM today, all doubts were removed concerning Mona Sahlin's future as head of the party.

The meeting with the party's 26 disctrict chairmen begun.

- She had already made up her mind. She immediately told us of her decision to resign. He was composed, but sad, Kennet G Forslund, chairman of the Socialdemocratic party district of Bohuslän, said.

The meeting afterwards was calm. No criticism against Sahlin was brought up.

- It was mostly about how to move forward, practically, Kennet G Forslund said.

Sahlin's decision calmed the atmosphere at the meeting.

- Many of us were saddened by this news, Monica Haider, chairwoman of the partidistrict of Kronoberg, said.

No one tried to talk Mona Sahlin into staying, and there was no speculation about who might take over the party.

How do you feel now?

- Very sad, Kennet G Forslund said.

Mona Sahlin herself said at the pressconference that she had made up her mind several days ago.

source: http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article8123594.ab (translated by me)


I think this is pretty sad, although not unexpected. She was really not popular among the public. Nonetheless, I had really been hoping for her to be our first female prime minister. Hopefully, she'll be replaced by another woman so that that can still happen.

In September, the socialdemocrats had their worst election results ever since Sweden became a democracy, and this was blamed partly on Mona Sahlin. The media has been a lot harder on her than the other politicians, which no doubt influenced the public view of her.
And she had already started off on the wrong foot, since she was involved in a very public scandal in the 90s, where she used government money (50 000 SEK) to pay for her private expenses.
movies | Impish Fräulein2

ONTD_Political's PotD: November 14, 2010.


Nestor Kirchner, president of Argentina from 2003 to 2007, and husband to current president Cristina Fernandez, died of a heart attack on Wednesday, October 27th, at the age of 60. Kirchner was widely expected to run for a second term in a presidential election next October. Thousands of Argentinians filed past a flag-draped coffin to pay their respects to the former President, then lined the capital's rain-slicked streets for a glimpse of his hearse as it passed by. Kirchner's remains [were] flown to the southern region of Patagonia, where he was born, for burial. Collected here are recent images from Argentina as it bids farewell.
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definitefraggle

Prince George's County Executive and wife hide $100,000 in toilet, $79,000 in bra

Just after 10:12 a.m. Friday, Leslie Johnson frantically phoned her husband, Jack B. Johnson, the Prince George's county executive.

Two FBI agents were at the front door of their two-story brick colonial in Mitchellville.

"Don't answer it," the county executive said, unaware that more agents were listening in.

Johnson ordered his wife to find and destroy a $100,000 check from a real estate developer that was hidden in a box of liquor.

"Do you want me to put it down the toilet?" Leslie Johnson asked.

"Yes, flush that," the county executive said.

But what about the cash? she asked - $79,600.

Put it in your underwear, the county executive told his wife.

She replied, "I have it in my bra" - which is where agents discovered the money after she answered the door.


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