December 8th, 2010

copshows| Stickup Man

ONTD_Political's PotD: December 07, 2010.


Wildfire in Israel | Late December 5th, Israeli authorities said that they had finally gained control of a raging four-day wildfire in the Carmel Forest near the city of Haifa, Israel. The fire was the worst in Israel's history, consuming about 10,000 acres of forest and about four million trees. Israeli responders were helped by an international fleet of more than 30 firefighting aircraft and ground personnel from more than 16 countries. At least 42 people were killed and more than 17,000 residents evacuated. Two suspects have now been arrested and stand accused of negligently setting the blaze. Collected here are images from the recent wildfires around Haifa, and those caught up in the disaster.
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rt
Your sarcasm AMUSES me!

First, do no harm: Prayer or medicine?

AS THE PASTOR spoke with several hundred parishioners about the importance of family life this past Sunday, the laughing, crying, cooing and rustling of babies filled First Century Gospel Church.

The infants and toddlers were everywhere - being seen and heard and corralled by parents who silently focused on the Rev. Nelson Ambrose Clark's message.

Kent Schaible used to be among the youngsters at this church in working-class Juniata Park, where it is taught that the sick can be healed by praying to God, not by turning to doctors and medicine.

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Philly.com
Murasaki Shikibu

Gov. Ishihara continues to be Ishihara. This is not a good thing.

Is This The Man To "Clean Up" Manga And Video Games?

Shintaro Ishihara is one of Japan's great writers. He's also the Governor of Tokyo, and according to some, a racist.

The Tokyo Government is attempting to re-introduce legislation regarding censorship in mass entertainment like manga and video games, and Ishihara is lending his support to the cause. But he isn't only keen to stop the appearance of sexual stimulating material in manga, anime and video games.

"This isn't just about the kids," Ishihara said at a recent PTA meeting. "Gays are appearing on television no problem. Japan is going way unchecked. I'm doing this with a sense of duty." Some are left wondering if Ishihara plans stricter regulation for Japanese television that goes well beyond what is currently being proposed.

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Citadel

Why do straight women think being a lesbian is easier?

It's sort of bizarre how so many times I've heard a friend or a public figure note that they've had trouble with men/a certain man, and that life would be so much less complicated if they were gay.

Ladies, I hate to break it to you, but there's a little something called inequality, and that's a lot crappier to deal with than a guy who won't call you back. (And if a girl you like doesn't call you back, then that's a double whammy.)

Androgynous Eurythmics frontwoman Annie Lennox is the latest to make such a statement. She recently told Saga magazine:

It's not like I think being gay could be an alternative, 'cos it isn't. I sometimes wish it would have been 'cos it would have made life easier.

This comes right after she calls men "a huge disappointment." She quickly adds to her statements, "(But) I'm not a man-hater, let me say that. I love men, love their company."

OK, we get it — you're straight. But seriously — where do women get the idea that being a lesbian is easier? If it's because they think women are just better at relationships, that's just not the truth. As any woman who has been in a relationship of any kind can attest, it takes two to make a thing go right, and personalities just don't jive sometimes. It's not necessarily someone's fault, but things can still be difficult, or downright ugly.

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Warm tone butterfly (by fruitpunch_it)

What Wikileaks reveals about the release of the Lockerbie bomber

 The UK feared harsh action by Libya against British interests if the Lockerbie bomber died in jail, cables published by Wikileaks claim.

The US cables say Westminster fully supported Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi's release by the Scottish authorities.

The details, published in the Guardian, allege Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi made "thuggish" threats to halt all trade deals if Megrahi stayed in jail.

 

Ministers insist the decision was based purely on the Scots justice system.

The Scottish government released Megrahi in August 2009 on compassionate grounds because he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. He returned to Libya and is still alive.

The UK was "between a rock and a hard place" on the issue, one cable to Washington said.

 

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Golf Clap

Aaron Sorkin: In Her Defense, I'm Sure the Moose Had It Coming

"Unless you've never worn leather shoes, sat upon a leather chair or eaten meat, save your condemnation."

You're right, Sarah, we'll all just go fuck ourselves now.

The snotty quote was posted by Sarah Palin on (like all the great frontier women who've come before her) her Facebook page to respond to the criticism she knew and hoped would be coming after she hunted, killed and carved up a Caribou during a segment of her truly awful reality show, Sarah Palin's Alaska, broadcast on The-Now-Hilariously-Titled Learning Channel.

I eat meat, chicken and fish, have shoes and furniture made of leather, and PETA is not ever going to put me on the cover of their brochure and for these reasons Palin thinks it's hypocritical of me to find what she did heart-stoppingly disgusting. I don't think it is, and here's why.

Like 95% of the people I know, I don't have a visceral (look it up) problem eating meat or wearing a belt. But like absolutely everybody I know, I don't relish the idea of torturing animals. I don't enjoy the fact that they're dead and I certainly don't want to volunteer to be the one to kill them and if I were picked to be the one to kill them in some kind of Lottery-from-Hell, I wouldn't do a little dance of joy while I was slicing the animal apart.

I'm able to make a distinction between you and me without feeling the least bit hypocritical. I don't watch snuff films and you make them. You weren't killing that animal for food or shelter or even fashion, you were killing it for fun. You enjoy killing animals. I can make the distinction between the two of us but I've tried and tried and for the life of me, I can't make a distinction between what you get paid to do and what Michael Vick went to prison for doing. I'm able to make the distinction with no pangs of hypocrisy even though I get happy every time one of you faux-macho shitheads accidentally shoots another one of you in the face.

So I don't think I will save my condemnation, you phony pioneer girl. (I'm in film and television, Cruella, and there was an insert close-up of your manicure while you were roughing it in God's country. I know exactly how many feet off camera your hair and make-up trailer was.)

And you didn't just do it for fun and you didn't just do it for money. That was the first moose ever murdered for political gain. You knew there'd be a protest from PETA and you knew that would be an opportunity to hate on some people, you witless bully. What a uniter you'd be -- bringing the right together with the far right.

(Let me be the first to say that I abused cocaine and was arrested for it in April 2001. I want to be the first to say it so that when Palin's Army of Arrogant Assholes, bereft of any reasonable rebuttal, write it all over the internet tomorrow they will at best be the second.)

I eat meat, there are leather chairs in my office, Sarah Palin is deranged and The Learning Channel should be ashamed of itself.

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Citadel

Salt Lake City school board passes non-discrimination, anti-bullying policies

The Salt Lake City School Board on Tuesday evening passed an LGBT inclusive anti-bullying policy, as well as a mostly inclusive non-discrimination policy after almost two and a half hours of debate.

The non-discrimination policy would grant protections to students, teachers and other staff of the district; the anti-bullying measure protects students. Both measures have been debated on and off for the past 5 months.


As originally presented, the non-discrimination policy would have only included sexual orientation, but no protections for gender identity or gender expression.

Board member Alama Uluave immediately moved to remove sexual orientation from the list of protections, claiming the protection would put gay people on a pedestal above heterosexuals.

But Board Member Doug Nelson disagreed, and said the policy would in no way provide “special” protections for any class of person, but rather creates a level playing field for all. Board member Heather Bennet followed up on that, pointing out that every person has a sexual orientation as well as a gender identity -– the policy protects all students, not just the LGBT kids, she said.

The amendment to strip out sexual orientation was defeated, at which time it was proposed adding gender identity to the policy.


The measure passed by a vote of 4-3, inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity, but not gender expression.

The anti-bullying measure provides a comprehensive policy, covering several issues, including weight, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Again, Uluave proposed no less than 4 amendments to the bill, trying in every way possible to strip any mention of LGBT out of the bullying policy, and said that there are no concrete and visible benefits, and asserted that LGBT people aren’t discriminated against. All amendments failed, and the anti-bullying measure passed.

Additional details at PrideinUtah.com.

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Four for you, home state, FOUR FOR YOU.
Chanel #3

Egyptian Official: Israel Could Be Behind Deadly Shark Attack

An Egyptian official believes that Israel's intelligence agency might be behind the fatal shark attack of a German tourist in Sinai over the weekend, the Jerusalem Post reports.

"What is being said about the Mossad throwing the deadly shark (in the sea) to hit tourism in Egypt is not out of the question, but it needs time to confirm," South Sinai Gov. Muhammad Abdel Fadil Shousha told egynews.net.

Israeli officials told the Jerusalem Post that the claims were ludicrous and would not comment.

Egyptian authorities have reopened some Red Sea beaches that had been closed to swimmers after an unusual series of shark attacks over the past week.

Swimmers were being allowed back into the water of several bays at Sharm el-Sheikh, a resort at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula that is a renowned reef diving spot. Diving remained restricted to professionals.

Shark attacks at Egypt's Red Sea resorts are rare, and three shark experts from the U.S. are trying to determine what is behind them.

Besides the death, four other swimmers and snorkelers were badly injured.

On Tuesday, Ziad al-Basel of Egypt's Chamber of Diving and Watersports, said a limited number of bays were reopened for swimmers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

SOURCE

Wut?

Jesse Jackson calls for gay marriage equality

The Rev Jesse Jackson has called for California’s ban on gay marriage to be struck down.

The Baptist minister and civil rights activist spoke at a gathering outside the San Francisco appeals court where the latest hearings on the ban are taking place.

Rev Jackson has previously opposed Proposition 8 but stopped short of supporting gay marriage.

But in a speech on Monday, he said: “Marriage is based on love and commitment – not on sexual orientation. I support the right for any person to marry the person of their choosing.”

The gathering outside the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals courthouse was organised by Marriage Equality USA.

The court heard arguments earlier this week on whether California’s same-sex marriage ban is constitutional. A federal judge ruled in August that it was not but gay marriage opponents appealed.

Rev Jackson told supporters that gays and lesbians were “America’s newest second-class citizens”.

He said: “We stand together today to uphold the principles of due process, of equal protection under the law, of fighting against discrimination against any and all people based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

“We stand with you today to support marriage equality, and to declare that Proposition 8 must be struck down as unconstitutional.

“Peoples’ right to self-expression, self-determination be respected and affirmed. It’s time to challenge ignorance, a time to break the silence and the chains of hatred, of divisive and discriminatory bigotry.

“Marriage is based on love and commitment – not on sexual orientation. I support the right for any person to marry the person of their choosing.

“If Dr King and our civil rights movement has taught us anything, it’s the fundamental principle of that all people deserve equal protection under the law.

“LGBT people deserve equal rights – including marriage equality – and equal protection under the law. Discrimination against one group of people is discrimination against all of us. The state – and the courts – should not sanction discrimination.”


Molly McKay, Marriage Equality USA’s media director, said Rev Jackson’s remarks were “truly extraordinary”.

She said: “We are deeply touched and honored to have Rev Jesse Jackson, one of the most powerful civil rights leaders alive today, join our event today and make these historic remarks in support of marriage equality.

“Hearing Rev Jackson’s vision of the Rainbow Coalition as I came of voting age in the late ‘80s inspired me to want to get involved in making our country’s promise of equality and justice for all ring true.

“Hearing his vocal support against Prop 8 and in support of marriage equality today his been a truly extraordinary and we look forward to continuing to work together towards our shared vision of forging a One Big Tent America.”

His speech in full.

Source: Pink News

NHS trust stops referrals for transgender treatment

An NHS trust has been criticised for temporarily stopping treatment referrals for transgender people.

NHS West Kent is also ceasing referrals for gastric band surgery and couples seeking IVF but trans campaigners say people with these conditions do not have a high suicide rate, unlike trans people waiting for treatment.

Transgender patients wishing to attend a gender dysphoria clinic for hormone treatment and surgery will have to wait until March 31st at the earliest to be referred for further treatment and the delay is expected to cause backlogs.

“Urgent” cases will still be referred but it is not clear which cases will be given priority.

Michelle Bridgman of the Gender Trust, one of the UK’s largest transgender charities, attacked the decision.

She told PinkNews.co.uk: “We predicted this might happen when George Osborne began wielding his scalpel. West Kent PCT have announced that they will be deferring funding for any new referrals but that they will be advising GPs that ‘urgent’ referrals are to be continued. We see this as undue delay.”

The PCT’s decision, which comes into effect immediately, was made despite repeated government assurances that NHS services would be protected from public spending cuts.

But Daryl Robertson, NHS West Kent’s deputy chief executive, defended the move.

He said: “We regret that we are currently asking GPs to defer referrals for some treatments and appreciate that this may cause further distress for individuals. We have not made these decisions lightly, and have considered a range of treatments where a delay in referral will have least clinical impact.

“However, where there is a compelling clinical need for treatment patients will not miss out. This is not a permanent position and referrals will be made as normal in April.”

Mr Robertson added: “No urgent referrals are being deferred, and we are working closely with GPs and specialists to make sure that where patients’ needs are pressing, these can be met as soon as possible.”

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Source: Pink News
TARDIS

Time for some cute news

60 Wild Coyotes Patrol Chicago (And Occasionally Stop at Convenience Stores)
Chicago's Cook County now has over 60 coyotes fitted with radio collars (plus a good many uncollared ones) roaming parks, alleys, yards and thoroughfares in one of the biggest cities in America. The animals earn their keep eating small rodents, especially rats and voles. The Cook County, Illinois, Coyote Project calls itself "the largest urban study of coyotes in the world."

We have tracked the coyotes day and night and located the collared coyotes more than 40,000 times. This allows us to peek into the hidden lives of urban coyotes. We use results from this unique project to answer common questions regarding coyotes in urban areas.

Their first animal, called "Big Mama" was caught in 2000. "She was a young, transient coyote that was not a member of a group," says Dr. Stan Gehrt of Ohio State who directs the project. By 2002, she had settled down with an uncollared male friend (called, less warmly, "Number 115"), in a heavily-developed area a few miles from O'Hare International Airport. Together Mama and 115 have had at least six litters, producing 45 babies, and those babies now have babies. Big Mama's large family seems to live very discretely in Chicago. People hardly ever see them.



Well, except for this little guy. He was found in summer 2007 cooling off in the drink section at a local Quizno's.


See source for a video, more pictures and info
Alison - Cross Country

Former Marine highlights the bullshit inherent in our military, supports the draft

You can go strangle yourself with that yellow ribbon, or, here is what I want you to do instead of shaking my hand

By "A. Scout-Sniper"
Best Defense national service columnist


The military is ultimately a reflection of our culture or what we would like to believe about our culture. We would like to believe that our military is an all-volunteer force filled with young and old people who represent the diversity (class, sex, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, non-religion, talent, skills or politics) of our country. We would like to believe compulsory national service has failed to win wars in the past, that a draft is the penultimate form of a dictatorship and that today's military is better than any in our history. But is it really voluntary? Is compulsory national service as threatening as some libertarians would view it? Is the all-volunteer military the "best" our country has ever produced?

As an OIF vet and Jarhead, and above all someone trying to find a healthy balance as a civilian once more, I've watched the military from within and without and the truest observation I can make is that we fight with a conscripted force in all but name.

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As a young person who served in a war you made, I don't want your handshake, your pity, your daughter's phone number, or your faded bumper sticker. I did my frigging job so now do yours. Baby Boomers and Generation X: I want your leadership. Rather than cower behind a set of fragmented ideals you don't even live up to, I am asking you to exercise your adulthood and feel some pain. As we say in the grunts: lead from the front. An open and vigorous discussion of compulsory national service, for all classes, and what sacrifices you will make need to be part of the way forward.


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First post, whaaaaat!
Citadel

Exclusive: Palin Under Cyber-Attack from Wikileaks Supporters in 'Operation Payback'

The website and personal credit card information of former Gov. Sarah Palin were cyber-attacked today by Wikileaks supporters, the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate tells ABC News in an email.

Hackers in London apparently affiliated with “Operation Payback” – a group of supporters of Julian Assange and Wikileaks – have tried to shut down SarahPac and have disrupted Sarah and Todd Palin’s personal credit card accounts.

“No wonder others are keeping silent about Assange's antics,” Palin emailed. “This is what happens when you exercise the First Amendment and speak against his sick, un-American espionage efforts.”

Palin has criticized Wikileaks founder Assange, writing on Facebook that his “past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders?...Assange is not a 'journalist' any more than the 'editor' of al-Qaeda's new English-language magazine Inspire is a 'journalist.’ He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands."

Added SarahPAC aide Rebecca Mansour, “the governor voiced her opinion knowing full well that she was speaking out against a shady disreputable organization with no regard for laws or human life. This is how they operate. The world should not be intimidated by them."

SarahPAC.com technical aides say that on their server log this morning it showed the attacks coming from a browser identified as wikileaks.org, though it has since spread to others entitled "anonymous."

Mansour added that Wikileaks supporters claim to be “in favor of free speech yet they attack Sarah Palin for exercising her free speech.” She said SarahPAC.com was not harmed because Palin’s staff was able to move quickly to protect the site.

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Aberdeen teen, ACLU file suit claiming years of bullying at school

Trigger warning for sexual assault, racism, harassment, homophobia, bullying, violence


The ACLU of Washington has sued the Aberdeen School District on behalf of a former student who said for six years during junior and high school he was severely and persistently harassed because of his race and perceived sexual orientation, while the district did little or nothing to stop it.

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Unidos

House approves DREAM ACT, but Senate approval uncertain

Washington (CNN) -- A hotly debated measure that offers a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children won approval Wednesday from the U.S. House.

The 216-198 vote, mostly on partisan lines, sends the so-called DREAM Act to the Senate, where it was uncertain if supporters had the votes to overcome a certain Republican filibuster against it.

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act -- or DREAM -- would create a path to citizenship for immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children under the age of 16 and have lived in America for at least five years, obtained a high school or General Education Development diploma and demonstrated "good moral character," according to a White House fact sheet.


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