December 31st, 2010


I Was Waiting For This

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Witness to Bostick comments

By Rob Fulcher - The Washington Times 7:13 p.m., Thursday, September 23, 2010

The military community of Stuttgart, Germany, hosted the only "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" sensing sessions for Europe. I was one of about 500 people who attended.

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OP Says: Have at it, all. Oh, and don't read the comments.

Community Promo: Pan-LJ Poverty Slam.

The mods gave approval for a little community ad here, so here it is, hopefully 's good.



Excerpted from our profile:

Money is how most societies across this planet conduct their distribution of resources. For better or worse, it is the means by which we must plan our days, our weeks, our lives. No matter one's definition of a full life, one needs money to pursue it, unless one is an ascetic of the highest order. And because being poor is a condition where someone does not have enough money, being poor thus cuts someone off— partially or entirely— from what they want to do. It cuts them off from the plans they would otherwise create. It limits freedom. It is, in effect, a form of slavery for anyone who does not merely want what those limitations provide them.

We who are poor aren't greedy, though. ... And some of us in this world are tired of going every day denying ourselves or getting denied the right to stand up and say, "Hey, I can't afford something." ... And sometimes, the daily grind, the song and dance we have to put on, the endless budget balancing, it all becomes too much and we just have to let it out. The means we can afford sometimes aren't the healthiest or safest.

This community is for us to do something healthy and safe, as poor people. There is no litmus test for whether you belong here. If you think you belong here, you probably do. Come here and in the spirit of National Poverty Awareness Month every January, share a poem or another performance in the tradition of spoken word. Tell us your frustrations, your regrets, your fury, your depression, the small miracles that have kept you going. This space is for us, and we don't have to apologize to anybody.

Official rules, submission guidelines, and news about a YouTube channel will be up before 12:01 am on January 1, 2011, and the comm will start accepting submissions after that time. Submissions can take the form of a video, a hosted audio file, or just the poem's text. Submissions can also include footage and recordings of performance material that does not have to be strictly poetic in nature. Visual art is also permissible. In other words, if it is art and you have a way to host it, submit it. Submissions do not have to be of your own creation, but please provide credit where credit is due, and original work is especially encouraged.
donk... donk... donk...

Geraldine Hoff Doyle dies at 86; inspiration behind a famous wartime poster

Geraldine Hoff Doyle, a World War II factory worker whose bandana-wearing image in a wire-service photo is said to have been the model for the woman depicted in the 1942 "We Can Do It!" poster, has died. She was 86. The iconic wartime poster became an enduring symbol of women's power from the Rosie the Riveter era.

Doyle died of age-related causes Sunday at Hospice House of Mid-Michigan in Lansing, said her daughter Stephanie Gregg.

Doyle was a 17-year-old high school graduate when she took a job at the American Broach & Machine Co. in her hometown of Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1942, a time when millions of women across the country were going to work to replace men who had gone to war.

"She had just graduated, and some of the young men had left school to volunteer to fight," Gregg said. "A couple had been killed, and she felt she wanted to do something for the war effort."

Doyle was operating a metal-stamping machine when a United Press photographer took a picture of the tall, slender and glamorously beautiful brunet wearing a polka-dot bandana over her hair.

Her photo, according to an account on the Pop History Dig website, was seen by Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller, who was commissioned by the Westinghouse War Production Coordinating Committee to create a series of morale-building posters to inspire Westinghouse factory workers.

Miller's "We Can Do It!" poster portrays a woman in a red-and-white polka-dot bandana and a blue uniform, rolling up a sleeve over a flexed right bicep.

Gregg said her mother, who was not as muscular as the woman depicted in the poster, had no idea her photograph had been used as a model for Miller's poster until the mid-1980s.

"She was tickled to recognize that she was the inspiration for so many women," said her daughter.

Doyle, who was born July 31, 1924, in Inkster, Mich., actually worked in the factory only a couple of weeks; a cello player, she quit after learning that the woman she had replaced had injured her hand on the metal press, her daughter said.

She then got a job at a bookstore in Ann Arbor, where she soon met her future husband, Leo H. Doyle, who was in dental school. They were married in 1943 and had six children. Doyle also worked as the office manager at her husband's dental office until she was 75.

The "We Can Do It!" poster image has been reproduced frequently in recent decades on a variety of items, including on a U.S. postage stamp issued in 1992.

"You're not supposed to have too much pride, but I can't help to have some in that poster," Doyle told the Lansing State Journal in 2002 after she was invited to speak at the Michigan state Senate.

"It's just sad I didn't know it was me sooner," Doyle said. "Maybe it's a good thing. I couldn't have handled all the excitement then."

Doyle appeared at a number of poster signings and events at the Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame over the years.

"She was a very gracious woman," said former executive director Gladys Beckwith.

The poster, Beckwith said, "represents Rosie the Riveter, a really strong woman who has taken on a non-traditional role and is happy in it and is contributing to the war effort. It's a very significant image, one that has endured."

Doyle's husband of 66 years died in February. A son, Gary, died in 1980.

In addition to her daughter Stephanie, Doyle is survived by her other daughters, Jacqueline Drewes, Deidre Doyle and Lauretta Doyle; her son, Brian Doyle; her sister, Virginia Watson; her brother, Clifford Hoff; 18 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren.

Los Angeles Times

Abortion Takes Flight

Irish law prohibits all abortions except those necessary to save a woman’s life, and as a practical matter it imposes daunting obstacles to terminating life-threatening pregnancies as well. In a secularized Europe, Ireland is noticeably out of step. Of the 47 countries covered by the European Convention on Human Rights, only in the fairytale countries of Andorra, Malta and San Marino, where all abortions are illegal, is the law any stricter.

So a decision earlier this month from the European Court of Human Rights in the Case of A, B, and C v. Ireland, promised to be of more than routine interest. A challenge to the Irish law brought by three women asserting rights under the European Convention, it held the potential to express a Continent-wide consensus that abortion rights are human rights.

Indeed, the initial news reports in this country, at least in headlines, indicated that this is what had happened. The European court awarded 15,000 euros, about $20,000, to Plaintiff C, a cancer patient who feared that her life was at risk from an unintended pregnancy and who, like Plaintiffs A and B and thousands of other Irish women every year, had to leave the country to obtain an abortion.

But a closer reading of the 40,000-word decision tells a different story. The Strasbourg, France, court — which 30 years ago interpreted the Convention to protect gay rights — actually made clear that it was not recognizing a right to abortion. On behalf of Plaintiff C, who could not find an Irish doctor willing to help her even assess her risks, it was simply telling Ireland that if the country chose to offer a life-saving exception to its abortion ban, it had to give women “an accessible and effective procedure” to demonstrate that they qualified. Article 8 of the Convention, entitling individuals to “the right to respect” for their “private and family life,” required at least that. (The court noted that in the absence of such a procedure, the existing penalty of life in prison for both woman and doctor for an abortion that turned out to have been illegal imposed “a significant chilling factor” on doctor-patient consultation.)

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‘Focus on the Family’ wants DOJ investigated over DOMA court loss

Conservative Christian group “Focus on the Family” is calling on Congressional Republicans to launch an investigation of the Justice Department for what it believes is intentional mishandling of legal challenges against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Earlier this year, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled on two separate but similar cases involving DOMA, and held that the act violated the Fifth and Tenth amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and forced the state of Massachusetts to discriminate against its own citizens.

Via Right Wing Watch:

Tom Minnery, Vice President of Government and Public Policy at CitizenLink (formerly Focus on the Family Action), is insisting that House Republicans investigate the Justice Department over their handling of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, in order to fulfill the desires of the GOP’s Religious Right supporters.

Infuriated by the judge’s ruling, Religious Right activists were so assured of DOMA’s constitutionality that they maintained that the Justice Department must have intentionally mishandled the cases and purposefully lost.

Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council said that “in part, this decision results from the deliberately weak legal defense of DOMA that was mounted on behalf of the government by the Obama administration.”

On July 8, Tauro ruled that “the passage of DOMA marks the first time that the federal government has ever attempted to legislatively mandate a uniform federal definition of marriage -– or any other core concept of domestic relations, for that matter.”

“Congress undertook this classification for the one purpose that lies entirely outside of legislative bounds, to disadvantage a group of which it disapproves,” Tauro wrote in the Court decision.

According to Minnery, “The Justice Department has failed to provide an adequate defense against lawsuits seeking to tear away this law.”

The Justice Department is appealing Tauro’s rulings.

On Nov. 9, two new challenges to DOMA were filed in federal courts in Connecticut and New York.

MISC - moustache

What If Israel Ceases to Be a Democracy?

Is it actually possible that one day Israelis -- Jewish Israelis -- would choose to give up democracy in order to maintain Israel's Jewish voting majority? Some people, of course, argue that Israel has ceased to be a democracy, because there is nothing temporary about the 43-year-old occupation of the West Bank. I believe it is premature to talk about the end of Israel as a democratic state -- mainly because the disposition of the West Bank is still undecided -- but I can't say that the thought hasn't crossed my mind that one day Israelis will make the conscious, active decision to preserve the state's Jewish character instead of its democratic character (I use the word "Jewish" in the demographic sense, not the moral sense, obviously).

As I wrote last week, there's very little Israel's right-wing government has done in the past year or so to suggest that it is willing to wean itself from its addiction to West Bank settlements, and the expansion of settlements bodes ill for the creation of a Palestinian state -- and the absence of Palestinian statehood means that Israel will one day soon confront this crucial question concerning its democratic nature: Will it grant West Bank Arabs the right to vote, or will it deny them the vote? If it grants them the vote, this will be the end of Israel as a Jewish state; if it denies them the vote in perpetuity, it will cease to be a democratic state.

I will admit here that my assumption has usually been that Israelis, when they finally realize the choice before them (many have already, of course, but many more haven't, it seems), will choose democracy, and somehow extract themselves from the management of the lives of West Bank Palestinians. But I've had a couple of conversations this week with people, in Jerusalem and out of Jerusalem, that suggest to me that democracy is something less than a religious value for wide swaths of Israeli Jewish society. I'm speaking here of four groups, each ascendant to varying degrees:The haredim, the ultra-Orthodox Jews, whose community continues to grow at a rapid clip; the working-class religious Sephardim -- Jews from Arab countries, mainly -- whose interests are represented in the Knesset by the obscurantist rabbis of the Shas Party; the settler movement, which still seems to get whatever it needs in order to grow; and the million or so recent immigrants from Russia, who support, in distressing numbers, the Putin-like Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's foreign minister and leader of the "Israel is Our Home" party.

Let's just say, as a hypothetical, that one day in the near future, Prime Minister Lieberman's government (don't laugh, it's not funny) proposes a bill that echoes the recent call by some rabbis to discourage Jews from selling their homes to Arabs. Or let's say that Lieberman's government annexes swaths of the West Bank in order to take in Jewish settlements, but announces summarily that the Arabs in the annexed territory are in fact citizens of Jordan, and can vote there if they want to, but they won't be voting in Israel. What happens then? Do the courts come to the rescue? I hope so. Do the Israeli people come to the rescue? I'm not entirely sure. There are many Israelis who value democracy, but they might not possess the strength to fight. Does American Jewry come to the rescue? Well, most of American Jewry would be so disgusted by Israel's abandonment of democratic principles that I think the majority would simply write off Israel as a tragic, failed experiment.

Am I being apocalyptic? Yes. Am I exaggerating the depth of the problem? I certainly hope so. Israel is still a remarkably vibrant democracy, with a free press and an independent judiciary. But on the other hand, the Israel that I see today is not the Israel I was introduced to more than twenty years ago. The rise to power of the four groups I mentioned above has changed, in some very serious ways (which I will write about later) the nature and character of the Jewish state.



No Enbridge
  • romp

Pot for Pain? This Is Your Law on Drugs

Imagine that you have a painful, debilitating medical or psychological condition. You and your doctor agree that a certain medicine is the best available treatment. Now imagine that, rather than taking your doctor's note into the nearest drug store and waiting a few minutes while the pleasant young person behind the counter fills your prescription, you have to send off forms to Ottawa and wait as long as eight to 10 months before you can get your medicine. In the meantime, if you find a way to access what you need in a less formal way, you live every day with the prospect of armed men in body armor breaking into your home and arresting you.

For many Canadians who could benefit from judicious access to medical marijuana, the scenario sketched out above isn't a thought experiment or a late-night horror movie. It is their reality every day as they live under Canada's current legal regime for medical marijuana use, a regime that critics say is unconstitutional, unnecessarily cumbersome, and dangerous for seriously ill patients.

Dori Dempster is one of those patients. Suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, chronic pain, anxiety and depression, the Vancouver woman has been licensed to use medical marijuana legally since 2005. However, her license (which the government will only issue one year at a time) expired on July 25, and she has still not received a new one, she told The Tyee. Because of the delay, she has effectively seen her medicinal use of cannabis re-criminalized by the long wait for renewal. Her husband, also a licensed medical marijuana user with a permit that expired on July 25, finally received his renewal recently, 158 days after submitting his application to Health Canada.

Dempster's personal experience with medical cannabis and the daunting difficulties that surround accessing it have turned her into an activist. She now manages the Vancouver Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary and its two local outlets.

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source, comes with safe, lefty comments!

Canadian-centric but the US and Canada do affect one another...
  • omer

Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav guilty of rape and sexual assault

Judge deems Katsav's version of events was 'riddled with lies'; former president found guilty of all charges, except that he allegedly harassed a witness.

Former President Moshe Katsav was found guilty of rape and sexual assault at Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday, as the judges ruled that his version of events was "riddled with lies."

The unanimous verdict was handed down more than four years after complaints surfaced of grave sexual offenses against various subordinates, during his terms as tourism minister and as president.
Katsav was convicted of raping and sexually assaulting A., a former employee at the Tourism Ministry. He was also convicted of sexually harassing H. from the President's Residence, of sexually abusing and harassing L. from the President's Residence and of obstruction of justice.

The 65-year-old former president was acquitted on only one charge - that he allegedly harassed a witness.

The year-long trial took place almost entirely behind closed doors, and left the public wondering whether Katsav made a wise move when he abruptly dropped out of an extremely lenient plea bargain two years ago.

The plea bargain meant that Katsav would not face the most serious charges and promised him a suspended sentence at worse, but the former president decided he wanted to prove his innocence in court.
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The 2011 Conspiracy Theory of the Year: Obama The Sekret Native American

Sekret Mooslim is So 2010

With far-right bloggers hot on the trail of another Barack Obama conspiracy, HuffPost editor Roy Sekoff was under added pressure to break it all down on Thursday's edition of "The Ed Show."

"I gotta' speak up a little bit. The black helicopters are hovering just above the studio here," he explained to guest host Cenk Uygur.

The latest plot hatched by America's leading socialist Muslim? Apparently Obama wants to turn the country over to Native Americans.

The one goal of the partisan extremists behind these reports is "to make sure Obama is a one-term president," said Sekoff. "They'll do anything -- anything -- to achieve that."

But there are some more serious concerns when these fringe ideas go mainstream, as Sekoff warned that at times it seems "lunatics are now running the Republican asylum."