February 15th, 2011

stock | Killer Abs

ONTD_P's Photo of the Day: February 14, 2011.

Valentine's Day around the world | As couples shower each other with love this Valentine's Day, researchers at Rutgers suggest that dopamine is at the heart of it. According to a trio of researchers at Rutgers University, dopamine levels in the brain are central to the feeling of love. But there are significant differences between feelings of romantic love and long-term love. Rutgers research professor Helen Fisher, a member of Human Evolutionary Studies in the anthropology department in New Brunswick and two colleagues scanned the brains of about 60 people in various stages of love; 17 people had just fallen madly in love, 15 had just been rejected in love, and 17 people in their 50s who were married an average of 21 years who said they were still in love with their partner. The scans show those people rejected in love had activity in the part of the brain associated with addiction. Those in short-term relationships showed activity in the brain region associated with anxiety. Fisher said people in long-term love relationships no longer felt the intense anxiety, but instead showed activity in the brain region associated with calm.
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Tea Baggers Already Politicking Like CEO Bankers. Already Earning Their Master's Degrees in Hubris.

*Sniff* They Grow Corrupt So Fast...

Tea Party Patriots Investigated: "They Use You and Abuse You"
Pricey political consultants, constant fundraising, fame-seeking leaders: A grassroots group cozies up to the DC establishment and alienates the activists who put it on the map. Part 1 of 3.

Two years ago, Tea Party Patriots got its start as a scrappy, ground-up conservative organization. Its rowdy activists demanded more transparency and less business-as-usual in the nation's capital, and they worked hard to elect candidates who they believed wouldn't succumb to the ways of Washington. But it didn't take long for the grassroots tea party organization to embrace the DC establishment—and some of its more questionable practices.

Lately, Tea Party Patriots (TPP) has started to resemble the Beltway lobbying operations its members have denounced. The group's leaders have cozied up to political insiders implicated in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and have paid themselves significant salaries. TPP accepted the use of a private jet and a large donation of anonymous cash right before a key election, and its top officials have refused to discuss how the money was spent. And recently, the group has hired several big-time fundraising and public relations firms that work for the who's who of the Republican political class, including some of the GOP's most secretive campaign operations.

As TPP's leaders entrench themselves in Washington, local activists the group represents have accused them of exploiting the grassroots for their own fame and fortune while failing to deliver any meaningful political results.
"Tea Party Patriots? I can't attribute one victory to them at all," says Laura Boatright, a former TPP regional coordinator in Southern California who has become an outspoken critic. "Where's the success with what they've done with all this money? My view is that it's just a career plan" for its national leaders—namely Jenny Beth Martin, who in 2010 was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and Mark Meckler, now a regular commentator on Fox News. (Meckler and Martin did not respond to a request to comment for this story.)

In August, TPP inked a contract with MDS Communications, an Arizona-based phone fundraising firm that counts as clients the Republican National Committee and most of the GOP's congressional campaign organizations. MDS even handled the telephone fundraising for the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign. The firm specializes in working with the GOP's evangelical foot soldiers, including the National Right to Life Committee, Concerned Women for America, and the Family Research Council. It has been heavily involved in anti-gay marriage activities, once donating its services to help raise more than $7 million for Arizona's Proposition 102, which created a state ban on gay marriage.

The MDS deal with TPP is anything but cheap. Documents filed with the Colorado secretary of state indicate that MDS will keep at least 70 percent of the money it raises—nearly $3 out of every $4. In 2005, California's attorney general released a report (PDF) showing that MDS was among a number of fundraising companies that returned less than 15 percent of what they raised to some of the charities they worked for. Out of more than $585,000 MDS pulled in for the Concerned Women for America, for instance, not a dime went back to the nonprofit group, according to the report.

TPP's leaders negotiated a similar deal with Capitol Resources, the most formidable GOP phone fundraising operation in the presidential bellwether state of Iowa. Corporate filings show the company will keep 75 percent of the money it raises hitting up tea partiers for donations.
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Pride & Prejudice

Elderly NHS patients' harrowing plight revealed in report

The NHS is inflicting pain and suffering on elderly patients and ignoring their most basic needs, according to a report by the health service ombudsman which highlights cases where vulnerable patients were failed.

Some patients were not offered help with eating or bathing, and one was left in urine-soaked clothes held together with paper clips.

Older people too often did not receive the care, compassion and respect they deserved, according to the ombudsman, Ann Abraham.

Her report cites 10 cases inadequately investigated by the NHS, in which elderly men and women were treated appallingly, often towards the end of their lives. It details serious failings in how NHS staff managed the patients' pain, nutritional needs and discharge from hospital, often with disastrous consequences.

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I'm not the least bit surprised by this. Horrified, certainly, but not surprised. This report is long overdue.
Mods, could we have an NHS tag please?

*betty draper reading

Newest pro-life strategy: legalize killing doctors

South Dakota Moves To Legalize Killing Abortion Providers

Tue Feb. 15, 2011 3:00 AM PST

A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of "justifiable homicide" to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state's GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights, alters the state's legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person "while resisting an attempt to harm" that person's unborn child or the unborn child of that person's spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman's father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion—even if she wanted one. 

Jensen did not return calls to his home or his office requesting comment on the bill, which is cosponsored by 22 other state representatives and four state senators.

"The bill in South Dakota is an invitation to murder abortion providers," says Vicki Saporta, the president of the National Abortion Federation, the professional association of abortion providers. Since 1993, eight doctors have been assassinated at the hands of anti-abortion extremists, and another 17 have been the victims of murder attempts. Some of the perpetrators of those crimes have tried to use the justifiable homicide defense at their trials. "This is not an abstract bill," Saporta says. The measure could have major implications if a "misguided extremist invokes this 'self-defense' statute to justify the murder of a doctor, nurse or volunteer," the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families warned in a message to supporters last week.

The original version of the bill did not include the language regarding the "unborn child"; it was pitched as a simple clarification of South Dakota's justifiable homicide law. Last week, however, the bill was "hoghoused"—a term used in South Dakota for heavily amending legislation in committee—in a little-noticed hearing. A parade of right-wing groups—the Family Heritage Alliance, Concerned Women for America, the South Dakota branch of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, and a political action committee called Family Matters in South Dakota—all testified in favor of the amended version of the law.

More at the source...

Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

A Tunisian-Egyptian Link That Shook Arab History

A Tunisian-Egyptian Link That Shook Arab History

As protesters in Tahrir Square faced off against pro-government forces, they drew a lesson from their counterparts in Tunisia: “Advice to the youth of Egypt: Put vinegar or onion under your scarf for tear gas.”

Cairo, Feb. 11 Egyptians celebrated the announcement that President Mubarak was stepping down. “Eighty-five million people live in Egypt, and less than a 1,000 people died in this revolution — most of them killed by the police,” an organizer said.

The exchange on Facebook was part of a remarkable two-year collaboration that has given birth to a new force in the Arab world — a pan-Arab youth movement dedicated to spreading democracy in a region without it. Young Egyptian and Tunisian activists brainstormed on the use of technology to evade surveillance, commiserated about torture and traded practical tips on how to stand up to rubber bullets and organize barricades.

They fused their secular expertise in social networks with a discipline culled from religious movements and combined the energy of soccer fans with the sophistication of surgeons. Breaking free from older veterans of the Arab political opposition, they relied on tactics of nonviolent resistance channeled from an American scholar through a Serbian youth brigade — but also on marketing tactics borrowed from Silicon Valley.

As their swelling protests shook the Egyptian state, they were locked in a virtual tug of war with a leader with a very different vision — Gamal Mubarak, the son of President Hosni Mubarak, a wealthy investment banker and ruling-party power broker. Considered the heir apparent to his father until the youth revolt eliminated any thought of dynastic succession, the younger Mubarak pushed his father to hold on to power even after his top generals and the prime minister were urging an exit, according to American officials who tracked Hosni Mubarak’s final days.

The defiant tone of the president’s speech on Thursday, the officials said, was largely his son’s work.

“He was probably more strident than his father was,” said one American official, who characterized Gamal’s role as “sugarcoating what was for Mubarak a disastrous situation.” But the speech backfired, prompting Egypt’s military to force the president out and assert control of what they promise will be a transition to civilian government.

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Long, but a good read, on both what went on behind the scenes long before the protests happened and during the protests, as well as showing what the Obama Admin was doing when it was talking with Mubarak.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Ariz. may require hospitals to check citizenship

Ariz. may require hospitals to check citizenship

Republican lawmakers want to widen Arizona's illegal immigration crackdown with a proposal to require hospitals to check on whether patients are in the country legally, causing outrage among medical professionals who fear becoming de facto immigration agents under the law.

The medical industry ripped the bill Monday as it was scheduled for a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Doctors envisioned scenarios in which immigrants with contagious diseases such as tuberculosis would stay home from the clinic or hospital and put themselves and the public at a grave health risk.

"This is making us into a police state that will try to catch people when they are sick," said George Pauk, a retired doctor with an organization called Physicians for a National Health Program. "Do we want to stop sick people from coming in for health care?"

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I have no words that aren't four letter, so.
Bree Gun


KANSAS: Tea Party Rep. Connie O'Brien Knows An "Illegal" When She Sees One

"My son who’s a Kansas resident, born here, raised here, didn’t qualify for any financial aid. Yet this girl was going to get financial aid. My son was kinda upset about it because he works and pays for his own schooling and his books and everything and he didn’t think that was fair. We didn’t ask the girl what nationality she was, we didn’t think that was proper. But we could tell by looking at her that she was not originally from this country. She wasn’t black, she wasn’t Asian, and she had the olive complexion."

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Protesters in Iran are already getting attacked.

Iran Uses Force Against Protests as Region Erupts

Protesters threw stones at riot police in Tehran on Monday.

Published: February 14, 2011

Hundreds of riot police officers in Iran beat protesters and fired tear gas Monday to contain the most significant street protests since the end of the 2009 uprising there, as security forces around the region moved — sometimes brutally — to prevent new unrest in sympathy with the opposition victory in Egypt.

The size of the protests in Iran was unclear. Witness accounts and news reports from inside the country suggested that perhaps 20,000 to 30,000 demonstrators in several cities defied strong warnings and took to the streets.

The unrest was an acute embarrassment for Iranian leaders, who had sought to portray the toppling of two secular rulers, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, as a triumph of popular support for Islam in the Arab world. They had refused permission to Iranian opposition groups seeking to march in solidarity with the Egyptians, and warned journalists and photographers based in the country, with success, not to report on the protests.

Iranian demonstrators portrayed the Arab insurrections as a different kind of triumph. “Mubarak, Ben Ali, now it’s time for Sayyid Ali!” Iranian protesters chanted in Persian on videos posted online that appeared to be from Tehran, referring to the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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I can't offer adequate commentary on this. I'll just note in advance that if people here are not aware, this is not "part of the Arab world" rising up; the people of Iran, whether they refer to themselves as Iranian or Persian, are not Arabs and they don't even speak a Semitic language. Others more well-versed in the Middle East and predominantly Muslim nations there can speak more to the significance of Iran's people standing in solidarity with Arabs across the region, but in any conversation about Iran I always see people making this mistake, which is extremely Western and extremely ignorant.
Chibis- ChibiMermaidRachel is awesome

You can practice women's health, but you can't do it here... (warning, RAGE inducing)

On Monday, 2/14, Rachel Maddow interviewed Dr. Means, the doctor who offered to step up and continue to offer women's health care in Witchita after Dr. Tiller was murdered over a year ago. The doctor is currently being sued by her landlords to get her to stop offering abortion services, currently the only provider in the city. (back story can be found here.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Transcript as soon as they post it Transcript is now posted under the cut; meanwhile, there is further discussion of the issue here at the show's blog.

Thousands of Protesters Take Control of Bahrain's Main Square

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Thousands of protesters poured into a main square in Bahrain's capital of Manama Tuesday in an Egypt-style rebellion that sharply escalated pressure on authorities as the Arab push for change gripped the Gulf for the first time.

Security forces have battled demonstrators calling for political reforms and greater freedoms over two days, leading to the deaths of two protesters and the main opposition group vowing to freeze its work in parliament in protest.

In a clear sign of concern over the widening crisis, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa made a rare national TV address, offering condolences for the deaths, pledging an investigation into the killings and promising to push ahead with reforms, which include loosening state controls on the media and Internet.

"We extend our condolences to the parents of the dear sons who died yesterday and today. We pray that they are inspired by the Almighty's patience, solace and tranquility," said the king, who had previously called for an emergency Arab summit to discuss the growing unrest.

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Match of The Century: Tea Bagger VS Pissed Off Green Bay Packers

6’8″ 335lb lineman would like to have a word with Gov. Scott Walker

Green Bay Packers Criticize WI Gov: ‘Right To Negotiate Wages And Benefits’ Is ‘Fundamental’ To Middle Class

Yesterday, ThinkProgress noted the huge backlash from Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) “budget repair bill,” which would severely limit collective bargaining and eliminate the right of unions to negotiate pensions, retirement, and benefits. When asked by a reporter what would happen if workers resist, Walker threatened to use the “National Guard” against a possible walkout.

In response to Walker’s intent to misappropriate the deployment of the National Guard in an effort to intimidate state workers, the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers released a statement today, expressing that collective bargaining is “fundamental” to the middle class:
As a publicly owned team we wouldn’t have been able to win the Super Bowl without the support of our fans. … They are the teachers, nurses and child care workers who take care of us and our families. But now in an unprecedented political attack Governor Walker is trying to take away their right to have a voice and bargain at work.

The right to negotiate wages and benefits is a fundamental underpinning of our middle class. When workers join together it serves as a check on corporate power and helps ALL workers by raising community standards. Wisconsin’s long standing tradition of allowing public sector workers to have a voice on the job has worked for the state since the 1930s. It has created greater consistency in the relationship between labor and management and a shared approach to public work.

These public workers are Wisconsin’s champions every single day and we urge the Governor and the State Legislature to not take away their rights.

Knowing the Wisconsin state legislature may soon vote on Walker’s proposal, hundreds of University of Wisconsin-Madison teachers and their students marched to Walker’s Capitol Office to drop off valentines which asked the governor not to break their hearts. Today, Wisconsin public employees flooded the Capitol to protest the bill. The state employees filled the sidewalks outside the building and within the Capitol Rotunda, where a public hearing over the proposal was being held.

Rallies against the bill are planning to continue all week. The Wisconsin Democratic Party are knocking on doors, and the AFL-CIO are making phone calls to inform people of the negative effects of the bill. Wisconsin was the first state in the country to implement a collective bargaining law in 1959, so Walker’s anti-union bill not only deeply disturbs Wisconsin residents but affects the nation as a whole.

The Labor Fight: Wisconsin and Beyond

Wisconsin's Attack on Public Employees Could Lead to a Nationwide Campaign

Wisconsin's new Republican Governor Scott Walker announced this month a plan to end collective bargaining for nearly all public employees, as well as cut their pay and benefits. On Democracy Now!, The Nation's John Nichols says this radical assault on a historically progressive and pro-labor state is part of a nationwide conservative strategy to take down public employee unions.

Unions threaten Republicans because of the power they have over our politics and because they’ve been the primary advocates for public sector spending and public education, Nichols says. “If Governor Walker pulls this off, if he succeeds in taking away collective bargaining rights from the union, AFSCME, which was founded in Wisconsin back in the 1930s, if he takes down…one of the strongest and most effective teachers’ unions, WEAC, in the country, then we really are going to see this sweep across the United States. There is simply no question of that,” he says.

Walker has notified the National Guard to be on alert for actions taken by unsatisfied state, county and municipal employees. The real shame, according to Nichols: Wisconsin is not broke, and in fact, the Fiscal Bureau of Wisconsin announced it will end this year with a $123 million surplus.

“The fact of the matter is that this is not being done because of a lack of money. This is being done because political forces, conservative political forces, would like to disempower public employee unions and remove that voice for a strong public sector,” he says.


You Know What We Need? Moar Kids In Coalmines!

Yet another story about a Teahadist wanting to throw out child labor regulations, and State Senator Jane Cunningham (R-MOSD7) has such a destructive plan to turn the clock back 120 years. It is called MO SB222, and this bill is outright disgusting, just like the Missouri GOP's attempts to repeal Prop B and to bring Right-To-Work For Less laws, among other nonsense.

Here are some of the sickening things about this proposed laws:
  • This act modifies the child labor laws.
  • It eliminates the prohibition on employment of children under age fourteen.
  • Restrictions on the number of hours and restrictions on when a child may work during the day are also removed.
  • It also repeals the requirement that a child ages fourteen or fifteen obtain a work certificate or work permit in order to be employed.
  • Children under sixteen will also be allowed to work in any capacity in a motel, resort or hotel where sleeping accommodations are furnished.
  • It also removes the authority of the director of the Division of Labor Standards to inspect employers who employ children and to require them to keep certain records for children they employ.
  • It also repeals the presumption that the presence of a child in a workplace is evidence of employment.

Every time I think we can't be surprised by their douchefuckery, teabaggers/conservatives seem to take that as a challenge to out asshole themselves.
Dragon Age Inquisition


Calif Chinese program prompts school board recall
by Jacob Adelman, Associated Press

Four members of a suburban school board are being targeted in a recall effort over their support for a middle-school language program funded by the Chinese government, one of the members said Friday.

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Here's a Daily Show clip from June 7, 2010 about the Chinese language program (if anyone has links for people who can't view the clip at the site, please post them!).

And here's a recall petition for Jay F. Chen. Check out that list of reasons.

Wisconsin Gets is Protest On

Thousands of Wisconsin union workers protest budget plan

(Reuters) - More than 10,000 union public employees and supporters packed the Capitol Square and the inside of the statehouse on Tuesday to protest Gov. Scott Walker's budget plan to strip many bargaining rights from state and local government workers.

Republicans legislators hope to get the bill, announced by the new Republican governor last Friday, to Walker's desk by the end of the week. The office of the Republican legislative leaders say they have the votes for passage.

Republicans took over majority control of the Wisconsin legislature and won the governorship in the 2010 election.

Protesters chanted and held signs while the Joint Finance Committee heard testimony on the bill. The committee planned to go into the night to hear from hundreds signed up to speak.

Arlyn Halvorson, a farmer, highway worker and AFSCME member who is also president of the McFarland School Board near Madison, urged lawmakers to step back and take another look.

"It's one thing to do fiscal business and it's another to do political business and take people's rights away," he said.

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Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war

  • Man codenamed Curveball 'invented' tales of bioweapons
  • Iraqi told lies to try to bring down Saddam Hussein regime
  • Fabrications used by US as justification for invasion

Read the full story of how the US was duped


The defector who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons programme has admitted for the first time that he lied about his story, then watched in shock as it was used to justify the war.

Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed Curveball by German and American intelligence officials who dealt with his claims, has told the Guardian that he fabricated tales of mobile bioweapons trucks and clandestine factories in an attempt to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime, from which he had fled in 1995.

"Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right," he said. "They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy."

The admission comes just after the eighth anniversary of Colin Powell's speech to the United Nations in which the then-US secretary of state relied heavily on lies that Janabi had told the German secret service, the BND. It also follows the release of former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld's memoirs, in which he admitted Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction programme.

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Source: The Grauniad
  • fftlaur

Maryland on the brink of gay marriage

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
A majority of Maryland's state senators have said publicly that they will vote to legalize same-sex marriages, greatly increasing the odds that the highest-profile social legislation being considered by the General Assembly will pass in coming weeks.

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I've been so busy at school lately that I haven't been following this bill's progress. I'm so optimistic for my state right now, I really hope we can pull this off! 
Contact Info for some of the Senators who need convincing:
Sen. John Astle, Anne Arundel County Democrat - (410) 841-3578   john.astle@senate.state.md.us
Sen. Joan Carter Conway, Baltimore Democrat - (410) 841-3145  joan.carter.conway@senate.state.md.us
Sen. Ulysses Currie, Prince George's County Democrat - (410) 841-3127 ulysses.currie@senate.state.md.us
Sen. James Rosapepe, Prince George's County Democrat - (410) 841-3141 im.rosapepe@senate.state.md.us
jon & stephen thumbs up

Union leader calls for Madison schools to close during planned sickout

The Madison School District is preparing for "excessive" teacher absences Wednesday, and a teacher union leader urged school be closed because few teachers are expected to show up for work.

School officials announcement Tuesday in a letter to parents they expected many teachers to call in sick Wednesday.

The letter was distributed the same day nearly 800 Madison East High School students — half the school — walked out to participate in a demonstration at the state Capitol protesting Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to limit public employee bargaining power.

Students at West, Memorial and at other schools around the state — from Shullsburg to Sheboygan — also participated in demonstrations during school hours.

As of Tuesday evening, Superintendent Dan Nerad said a higher-than-usual number of teachers had called in sick for Wednesday, though he declined to disclose exact numbers. He said the district would monitor the expected absences overnight before deciding whether to cancel school.

"Our goal is to have schools open (Wednesday)," Nerad said.

Teachers who take a sick day will be asked to show proof of a medical reason, Nerad said. Those who don't could face sanctions such as docked pay. Teachers aren't able to take a personal day unless they give three days notice.
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Haley "Boss Hog" Barbour won't denounce Confederate license plate

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Tuesday he won't denounce a Southern heritage group's proposal for a state-issued license plate that would honor Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Barbour is a potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate.

Questioned by reporters Tuesday after an energy speech in Jackson, Barbour said he doesn't think Mississippi legislators will approve the Forrest license plate proposed by the Mississippi Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The group wants to sponsor a series of state-issued license plates over the next few years to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War - or in its words, the "War Between the States." The Forrest license plate would be slated for 2014.

Mississippi NAACP president Derrick Johnson said it's "absurd" to honor a "racially divisive figure" such as Forrest. Johnson has also called on Barbour to denounce the license plate idea.

Asked about the NAACP's stance Tuesday, Barbour replied: "I don't go around denouncing people. That's not going to happen. I don't even denounce the news media."

Asked to clarify what he thinks is not going to happen, Barbour said he believes lawmakers won't approve a specialty license plate depicting Forrest.

"I know there's not a chance it'll become law," Barbour said.

Forrest, a Tennessee native, is revered by some as a military genius and reviled by others for leading an 1864 massacre of black Union troops at Fort Pillow, Tenn. Forrest was a Ku Klux Klan grand wizard in Tennessee after the war.

Johnson of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said Tuesday that Barbour's response to the proposed license plate was insufficient.

"I find it curious that the governor won't come out and clearly denounce the efforts of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest," Johnson said. "As the head of the state, he shouldn't tap dance around the question."

Sons of Confederate Veterans member Greg Stewart told The Associated Press last week he believes Forrest distanced himself from the Klan later in life. It's a point many historians agree upon, though some believe it was too little, too late, because the Klan had already turned violent before Forrest left.

"If Christian redemption means anything - and we all want redemption, I think - he redeemed himself in his own time, in his own actions, in his own words," Stewart said. "We should respect that."


ETA: Anderson Cooper spanking on the topic:
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Japanese women fight to keep surnames in marriage

Japanese women fight to keep surnames in marriage

A group of Japanese citizens has filed a lawsuit challenging a civil law that effectively stops women from keeping their surnames when they marry.

The 113-year-old law requires married couples to choose just one surname for the man and woman to share, and custom means it's usually the man's.

The lawsuit alleging that this violates constitutional equality is drawing attention to the rights of women in a country where they are underrepresented in corporate, academic and political ranks and still expected to do most of the homemaking and childrearing.

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To Fight Poverty, Invest in Girls By NANCY GIBBS

We know what the birth of a revolution looks like: A student stands before a tank. A fruit seller sets himself on fire. A line of monks link arms in a human chain. Crowds surge, soldiers fire, gusts of rage pull down the monuments of tyrants, and maybe, sometimes, justice rises from the flames.

But sometimes freedom and opportunity slip in through the back door, when a quieter subversion of the status quo unleashes change that is just as revolutionary. This is the tantalizing idea for activists concerned with poverty, with disease, with the rise of violent extremism: if you want to change the world, invest in girls. 


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