February 17th, 2011

bu hui tong ma
  • homasse

What not to say about Lara Logan

What not to say about Lara Logan - As news of Logan's assault in Egypt broke, the victim-blaming machine kicked in

On Feb. 11, CBS reporter Lara Logan was sexually assaulted and beaten in the crush of a Tahrir Square mob. She was subsequently rescued by a group of women and Egyptian soldiers, flew home the next day, and is currently recovering in a hospital. All of which is a horrendous, sickening crime. And when the news of the attack broke Tuesday afternoon, it took all of minutes before somebody decided to hinge the story on the blond reporter’s looks.

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There are links to the vile things mentioned in the article at the source; I refuse to link them because I don't want to give them the web traffic. I hadn't even heard about what happened until someone posted this story of FB, and CBS got her out of Egypt as quickly as possible, on a chartered plane, and were keeping quiet about it until the rest of the press got wind of it. Apparently, Logan's attackers were yelling "Jew, Jew!" at her, and CBS didn't report what happened to the authorities in Egypt, or send her to the hospital there, because they didn't trust security there and were afraid she might be re-arrested (details from here).
Warm tone butterfly (by fruitpunch_it)

Changing the voting system: MPs and peers end stand-off over AV referendum bill

The battle over a bill authorising a referendum on the Westminster voting system has ended, paving the way for the poll to take place on 5 May.

MPs and peers had been involved in a stand-off over a proposal which would have meant the referendum would only be binding if 40% of the public took part.

But the government eventually won a Lords vote scrapping the measure by 68 votes and the bill will now become law.

It had to be approved by Thursday for the referendum to happen in May.

The House of Commons and the House of Lords had been locked in a battle over whether the outcome of the referendum should only be binding if at least 40% of people vote.


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Are you happy with the electoral process in your country ONTD_p?

UK people, how are you planning to vote?




Because There Wasn't Already Enough to Be Angry About

Walker to propose $1 billion cut to education: MPS would lose up to 25% of its funding
February 16th, 2011 | By Patti Wenzel


A typical Wednesday night. A gym full of parents and citizens ready to discuss possible cuts to the Milwaukee Public School budget and how it will affect their school. MPS School Board President Michael Bonds in attendance to answer their questions.

But instead of answers, Bonds brought bad news for not only the parents and students at La Escuela Fratney Elementary School, but for schools across the state.

“I have no good news for you,” Bonds said. “We were just told that Gov. Walker will propose a $1 billion cut to K12 education funding across the state.

Bonds said this cut in aid will reduce the revenue available to the district by almost $200 million, or a reduction of $500 per pupil. Other school districts would suffer similar loses in state funding.

But that was not the worst of it. Bonds added that Walker is also proposing an end to Federal Title 1 funds, money that is allocated to help low-achieving students in poverty-ridden districts. For the 2011 fiscal year, MPS budgeted $33.5 million in Title 1 funds towards programming within its schools.

According to the Department of Education website, Title 1 funds are allocated to more than 50,000 public schools across the country to provide additional academic support and learning opportunities to help low-achieving children master challenging curricula and meet state standards in core academic subjects. For example, Title 1 dollars can be used for extra instruction in reading and mathematics, as well as special preschool, after-school and summer programs to extend and reinforce the regular school curriculum. Bonds did not cite Walker’s reasons for proposing an end to the funding.

In all, Bonds said the district could lose 25% of its revenue if Walker’s plan is enacted. Walker is expected to make these announcements next Tuesday (Feb. 22) during his biennial budget address.

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I live a mile down the road from this school. What in a person allows this kind of decision making? I'm terrified for the state.

White House To Rick Scott: We'll Spend Florida's High-Speed Rail Money Elsewhere

WASHINGTON -- In a bit of political hardball, the Obama administration on Wednesday said it would send $2.4 billion in stimulus money to other states should Florida Gov. Rick Scott not back down on his rejection of the federal government's national high-speed rail project.

Speaking just hours after Scott announced he was abandoning the project due to cost concerns for the state, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney relayed the president's preparedness to simply send the allocated money to other locales rather than, say, use it to lower the federal deficit.

"We think that is an unfortunate decision," Carney said. "This goes right to the essence of what we have been talking about here. There has been a lot of bipartisan support for the need to create the kind of modern infrastructure in this country that will enable us to compete. High speed rail is very much a part of that and we will make sure that that money is used elsewhere to advance the infrastructure and innovation agenda that is essential for economic growth.

"We believe that the money that is allocated for high-speed rail as part of the Recovery Act is essential to the infrastructure agenda that this president has," Carney added later. "Again, it is part of the president's priority and it is essential to us to build an infrastructure that allows us to compete in the 21st Century."

Carney's posture, delivered during his inaugural briefing, isn't the first time that the specter of one state building its own high-speed rail system on another state's dime has been raised. Shortly after Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.) took office he declined to accept federal money for Wisconsin's rail system upgrades. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) responded quickly by affirming that New York would gladly take the un-cashed checks.

All of which has caused Democrats in Florida to lash back at their newly elected governor for his conservative braggadocio.

"It's eating our seed corn," said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), referencing the colloquialism that when times are tough, and one is hungry, you're supposed to plant seeds for crop, not eat them.

Scott's argument against high-speed rail is that it is prohibitively expensive for the state, with cost overruns potentially forcing Florida to fork over $3 billion in matching funds. But those numbers, supporters of the project say, are drastically overstated if not pure fantasy.

The federal government has already put aside $2.4 billion in stimulus funds for Florida's portion of the national project. In state, supporters have spent $66 million to build a high-speed train between Orlando and Tampa. Nelson's office, meanwhile, has said that the state would only be on the hook for another $280 million and that the senator was in the process of looking at alternative ways to raise the money to alleviate Scott's concerns.

UPDATE: Sure enough, on Wednesday, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) released a statement urging the Obama administration to redirect the more than $2 billion in high-speed rail funds from Florida to New York:

"Florida's loss should be New York's gain. Other states may not be ready to unlock the potential of high-speed rail, but it is a top priority for upstate New York. We can put these funds to use in a way that gets the best bang for the buck. The administration should redirect these funds to New York as quickly as possible."


Fuck you, Rick Scott, I want high speed rail!
franklin sherman

Ray McGovern Brutalized & Left Bleeding by Police during Clinton Speech

As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her speech at George Washington University yesterday condemning governments that arrest protestors and do not allow free expression, 71-year-old Ray McGovern was grabbed from the audience in plain view of her by police and an unidentified official in plain clothes, brutalized and left bleeding in jail. She never paused speaking. When Secretary Clinton began her speech, Mr. McGovern remained standing silently in the audience and turned his back. Mr. McGovern, a veteran Army officer who also worked as a C.I.A. analyst for 27 years, was wearing a Veterans for Peace t-shirt.

Blind-sided by security officers who pounced upon him, Mr. McGovern remarked, as he was hauled out the door, "So this is America?" Mr. McGovern is covered with bruises, lacerations and contusions inflicted in the assault.

Mr. McGovern is being represented by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF). "It is the ultimate definition of lip service that Secretary of State Clinton would be trumpeting the U.S. government's supposed concerns for free speech rights and this man would be simultaneously brutalized and arrested for engaging in a peaceful act of dissent at her speech," stated attorney Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the PCJF.

Mr. McGovern now works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C.


(there is no police state tag?)

edit: VIDEO - He was standing silently.

edit edit: MUCH BETTER ARTICLE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-kall/former-cia-agent-ray-mcgo_b_824433.html

with interview.

Hawaii state Senate approves civil unions; Governor pledges to sign bill

The Hawaii state Senate on Wednesday voted to approve civil unions for same-sex couples.

The bill now goes to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who supports civil unions and has promised to sign the bill into law.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports:

“I have always believed that civil unions respect our diversity, protect people’s privacy, and reinforce our core values of equality and aloha,” Abercrombie said in a statement after the vote.

“I appreciate all the time and effort invested by those who shared their thoughts and concerns regarding civil unions in Hawaii. This has been an emotional process for everyone involved, but that process is now ended. Everyone has been heard; all points of view respected.

“For me, this bill represents equal rights for all the people of Hawaii,” Abercrombie said.

The Senate vote was 18-5. On Friday, the full House passed the bill by a vote of 31-19.

The bill would allow same-sex and heterosexual couples to enter into civil unions and receive the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as marriage under state law.

The governor has 10 legislative days to review it. His office said details of a bill signing ceremony are forthcoming.

The measure will go into effect January 1, 2012.

It is virtually identical to a bill passed by the Legislature last year but vetoed by then-Gov. Linda Lingle (R), who characterized civil unions as same-sex marriage by another name.




South Dakota Shelves Bill Aimed at Defending Unborn

A state bill to expand the definition of justifiable homicide in South Dakota to include killing someone in the defense of an unborn child was postponed indefinitely Wednesday after an uproar over whether the legislation would put abortion providers at greater risk.

The House speaker, Val Rausch, said that the legislation had been shelved, pending a decision on whether to allow a vote, amend the language or drop it entirely. A spokesman for Gov. Dennis Daugaard said, “Clearly the bill as it’s currently written is a very bad idea.”

The bill, approved by the House Judiciary Committee last week on a 9-to-3 party-line vote, establishes in part that “homicide is justifiable if committed by any person in the lawful defense of such person, or of his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant, or the unborn child of any such enumerated person.”

The phrasing caused concern and disbelief on both sides of the abortion debate, with activists in the abortion rights and anti-abortion movements calling the language poorly conceived at best, and perhaps an incitement to violence. The bill was cheered, though, by those anti-abortion activists who argue that the use of violence is justified to stop doctors from carrying out abortions.

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(We have no South Dakota tag)
Pride & Prejudice

Cameron 'to abandon plans to change forest ownership'

Ministers are to ditch controversial plans to sell thousands of acres of state-owned woodland in England.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman will address MPs at about 1300 GMT, and is expected to confirm the current consultation is being halted. Instead, it is understood a new panel of experts will be set up to look at public access and biodiversity within the publicly owned woodland.

Labour said it showed the government was "incompetent" and "out of touch".

David Cameron hinted on Wednesday that he was backing away from the policy. Asked during Prime Minister's Questions whether he was happy with the plans, he said no.

Another government source said the Public Bodies Bill, which allows for woodlands to be sold off, would now be amended. "We have heard enough from the consultation to know what to do," the source told the BBC.

The proposals to offload 258,000 hectares run by the Forestry Commission have attracted cross-party criticism and a public outcry, with Labour accusing ministers of "environmental vandalism". The plans were intended to give the private sector, community and charitable groups greater involvement in woodlands by encouraging a "mixed model" of ownership.

But critics argued it could threaten public access, biodiversity and result in forests being used for unsuitable purposes. Collapse )


Australia's oldest cow in mooving tale

Happy animal story yay!

A cow, thought to be Australia's oldest, is alive and well and living at Montumana in Tasmania's far north-west.

While most cows only live until their mid-teens, 'Nellie' is 32 and she is now owned by a former abattoir boss, John Clements.

Soft-hearted livestock agent Crighton Horton saved her from the butcher's knife as he could not stand the tears from family in the saleyards.

Mr Clements has told the Country Hour he saw a new career path for Nellie.

"I had some calves of my own and they were pretty unruly and I was looking for an old cow to be a mother to these calves," he said.

"So when I saw this cow that Crighton had, I thought this might just be the answer to my prayers, so I took her home and I've had her ever since."

MISC - moustache

Wisconsin update

Law enforcement officers are searching for Democratic senators boycotting a Senate vote on Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair plan Thursday in an attempt to bring the lawmakers to the floor to allow Republicans to move forward with action on the bill.

One Democratic senator said that he believed at least most of the members of his caucus are in another state.

Senate Democrats were leaving Madison to avoid participating in the vote on Gov. Scott Walker's controversial budget repair bill, which has sparked four days of protests at the Capitol, an aide confirmed Thursday morning.

The aide spoke on condition of anonymity, because she was not authorized to speak on behalf of her boss. Legislative assistants answering the phones at the offices of Sen. Jon Erpenbach of Middleton, Sen. Mark Miller of Monona and Sen. Fred Risser of Madison all insisted they knew nothing about the walkout.

However, at 11:30 a.m., when the session began — 30 minutes late — a roll call revealed that most if not all 14 Senate Democrats were absent. At 11:35, Republican Senate President Mike Ellis announced a "call of the house" to send police to force errant Democrats to return to the chamber.

"The Senate is now under a call of the house, and we will try to find the members who decided not to come to work today," Ellis said as loud protesters sought to disrupt the session.

The Senate then adjourned, lacking enough of its 33 senators to act. Twenty are required and there are just 19 Republican Senators.

Gov. Scott Walker's budget may contain a provision to split UW-Madison from the rest of the University of Wisconsin System.


UW-Madison's unique position within the UW System might be motivation for a split, said Noel Radomski, the director of the Wisconsin Center for Postsecondary Education. UW-Madison has a more extensive building program than other campuses — much of it funded through private sources — and as the flagship, it could raise tuition at higher rates than the rest of the UW System.

The UW System is made up of 13 four-year institutions and 13 two-year colleges, known as the UW Colleges.

It is governed by the UW Board of Regents, an 18-member board, of which all but two are appointed by the governor directly. Currently, all appointed members were put there by former Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat.

Radomski said Walker also might be interested in appointing his own board to oversee UW-Madison.

"If you're Gov. Walker and you want some input on the university, this would be the way to go about it," he said.

Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha and other mid-sized Wisconsin cities would have to restructure their transit systems or lose some $45 million in federal aid under a bill quickly moving through the state Legislature, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau warns.

The measure by Gov. Scott Walker would strip most union rights from most public employees. That could endanger federal aid for buses because U.S. law requires that collective bargaining rights remain in place to get federal funds, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Most Milwaukee-area bus systems, including the Milwaukee County Transit System, would not be affected, because they are operated by private companies under contract to local governments.

Other Wisconsin bus systems could save their federal transit aid by converting to the same structure, turning their workers into private employees whose unions would negotiate with transit management companies instead of with local governments, fiscal bureau analyst Al Runde said.

But because the local governments would pay the costs incurred by the management companies, they may not realize the savings that Walker is counting on in his budget repair bill, Runde said.

Senator Cale Case to Republicans: "I wish I knew how to quit you"

Senior Experts Suspect Brokeback Mountain Jokes on the Rise

Republican State Lawmaker Blasts WY Anti-Gay Marriage Bill: ‘You Made [Gays] Into Second-Class Citizens’

With newly-earned majorities, Republicans are now seizing the opportunity to impose their right-wing ideology on the people they govern. GOP-led states across the nation are cracking down on constituencies seemingly distasteful to the conservative element, be it public employees, uninsured Americans, immigrants, Muslims, women, children, and gay people.

Now, the ironically named “Equality State” of Wyoming is joining the great march backwards. Yesterday, its state Senate agreed to consider a bill passed by the House that would void out-of-state same-sex marriages and civil unions. The “Defense of Marriage” bill would strip such couples of the “legal obligations, responsibilities, protections or benefits afforded or recognized by the law of Wyoming to married persons and spouses” while in Wyoming. This means that hospital visitation, medical decisions, property, and life insurance rights would all be voided. In other words, the bill “would force same-sex couples to go through a much more lengthy and costly process to obtain only some of the legal rights that heterosexual couples obtain through one ceremony.”

But Republican state Senator Cale Case is bucking his party over this radical anti-civil rights effort. Demanding that his colleagues “kill this bill…right now,” Case was aghast that Wyoming would even consider telling Wyoming visitors that “you’re magically not together anymore.” Listing the “enormous practical implications” this would have on unsuspecting citizens, including American soldiers, Case refused to turn people “into second class citizens.” “You can’t do that,” he said. “We’re an Equality State“:
“We should kill this bill. We should kill it right now,” [Case] said. “We should kill it because it’s not very well thought out. It has enormous practical implications.”[...]

“What about the millions of people that visit Wyoming? That just come for vacation,” he said. “We’re so proud of our visitors, now we’re going to say all of you visitors who happen to be from another state, when you come across the border, you’re magically not together any more. ‘Poof.’ It’s gone. Don’t get into a car wreck. If you’re in a hospital and you’re dying, and your partner is with you, we’re going to have to call your mother because that’s the nearest relative that we’re going to recognize under Wyoming (law) to make decisions about your life.”[...]

“Gays and lesbians live and work among us. They’re also soldiers in the military,”he said. “They’ve been here and talked about their service in Iraq and … now you’re going to deny them the benefits (of marriage of civil unions).”[...]

“When you go home, you’re going to look people in the eye,” he said. “You’re going to tell them you made them into second-class citizens today if you pass this. You can’t do that. We’re the Equality State.”
Case was joined by state Sens. John Hastert (D) and Chris Rothfuss (D), who called HB 74 a “lousy bill” that “basically tries to make a statutory inequality not just in the state of Wyoming, but to make sure we’re spreading the inequality nationwide so that anybody who comes here is treated just as unequally as the gays in our state.” Hastert called it a “modern day witch hunt.” 30 clergy and lay leaders of the Wyoming Episcopal Church agreed: “This bill will cause all sorts of hardships on our citizens and put a lie to our claim to be the Equality State.”

No Wyoming Tag, No Brokeback Moutain Tag, and Not even Equal Rights Tags?...
declaration of independence

*sigh* Okay, here we go...

Nir Rosen explains himself

"How 480 characters unraveled my career. My tweets about Lara Logan cost me my job and humiliated my family. Here's what I meant to say."  

After early reports of CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan's attack in Egypt, a number of writers and pundits came under fire for inappropriate comments. Journalist Nir Rosen was among them. A short burst of Twitter responses from Rosen earned him the ire of many, and caused him to resign his fellowship at New York University's Center on Law and Security. Salon asked Rosen to explain what happened.

With 480 characters I undid a long career defending the weak and victims of injustice. There is no excuse for what I wrote. At the time, I did not know that the attack against Lara Logan was so severe, or included apparent sexual violence. Even so, any violence against anyone is wrong. I've apologized, lost my job, and humiliated myself and my family. But I, at least, don't want to go down looking like a sexist pig. I am not. I am a staunch supporter of women's rights, gay rights and the rights of the weak anywhere in the world.

This is not the first time my words have landed me in trouble. I have been challenged many times on my support of resistance movements and my support of engaging with America's enemies, and I have never and will never apologize for those stances. I continue to apologize for this comment because it in no way reflects the way I feel about women or violence. Sexual assault is never funny, and it is a terrible crime. I have apologized to Ms. Logan and her family, and to victims of sexual violence everywhere.
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I'm very :/ about this piece. It's interesting that this is the same website that criticized the way Laura Logan was being vilified by the media, and they're now in turn giving one of the vilifiers a chance to explain himself. Seriously side-eyeing some of his justifications and his referring to himself as a "defender of the weak". 

IDK, ontd_p, what do you think?  

Health care legislation in action and ending fraud, for realz.

Massive Nationwide Medicare Bust: 111 Charged For Scams Worth $225 Million

MIAMI — Federal authorities charged more than 100 doctors, nurses and physical therapists in nine cities with Medicare fraud Thursday, part of a massive nationwide bust that snared more suspects than any other in history.

More than 700 law enforcement agents fanned out to arrest dozens of people accused of illegally billing Medicare more than $225 million. The arrests are the latest in a string of major busts in the past two years as authorities have struggled to pare the fraud that's believed to cost the government between $60 billion and $90 billion each year. Stopping Medicare's budget from hemorrhaging that money will be key to paying for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder partnered in 2009 to allocate more money and manpower in fraud hot spots. Thursday's indictments were for suspects in Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Brooklyn, Tampa, Fla., and Baton Rouge, La.

They show that "health care fraud is not easy money," Holder said at a press conference in Washington.

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Since it's timely, and I live in Florida, it's interesting to me that they are bringing down exactly the kind of fraud that Rick Scott's organization was convicted of not all that long ago.  It certainly explains a lot about why he's fighting against implementation of the health care legislation.

mus | like a bird in a cage

Posters on UW campus target women

This poster appeared on campus over the past week, covering posters of female candidates running in the current Feds election. Most posters have been removed from campus. The posters have provoked response from many female leaders on campus and have sparked outrage amongst students.

Over the past week, unauthorized posters appeared in many UW campus buildings, covering the posters of females running in the current Feds election.

Entitled “The Truth,” the poster has a picture of Marie Curie with a nuclear bomb explosion, with the quotation, “The brightest Woman this Earth ever created was Marie Curie, The Mother of the Nuclear Bomb. You tell me if the plan of Women leading Men is still a good idea!”

While many of these posters have already been removed, their temporary appearance sparked outrage amongst students on campus this week. While some candidates and students have expressed dismay and disgust with the posters, others are taking it as an opportunity to express messages of a positive nature.

“I sincerely hope that other women will not be discouraged to exercise their leadership potential because of these comments,” said candidate for VP education Natalie Cockburn.

As current VP administration and finance, Sarah Cook expressed her feelings about the posters being displayed in buildings across campus.

“Obviously there is still gender inequality in 2011, and it's important for groups like the Women's Centre and the One Waterloo campaign to continue dialogue and education surrounding gender equity,” she said. “Aspiring female leaders should feel they are in an environment where their contributions are judged equally to that of their male counterparts, and that they are valued.”

According to Kristen Leal, candidate for science council, the act was ridiculous. “I’m offended by the whole thing,” she said. “I found one on one of my posters on Monday. It was not a good night.”


I'm personally close to this story- this is my school. There was also a poster with the same image (but with the caption "Marie Curie = evil" on the a-bomb picture) and titled "Kill 250 000 innocent Japanese in WW2 and is given 2 Nobel Prizes. Expose the defective Moral Intelligence of Womankind and it is called Sexism" and an e-mail sent out to the student body from a gmail account railing against women in leadership and women attending university.
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EU tells Uganda to protect gay people

European Parliament adopts resolution calling on Ugandan authorities to investigate murder of top gay rights activist.

The European Parliament has urged Uganda to decriminalise homosexuality and protect gays and lesbians after a prominent gay rights activist was murdered last month.

The 27-nation assembly adopted a resolution on Thursday calling on Ugandan authorities to conduct an in-depth investigation into the murder of David Kato and probe individuals who publicly called for his killing.

It urged Uganda to ensure gays and lesbians "are adequately protected against violence, and to take prompt action against all threats or hate speech likely to incite violence, discrimination or hostility towards them".

The call came on the same day that a leaked US embassy cable on WikiLeaks revealed that Kato was mocked at a UN-backed debate on Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill where a member of the Uganda Human Rights Commission "openly joked and snickered" with the supporters of the bill.

According to the cable, the debate in December 2009 was organised with funding from the UN and sought to discuss a controversial bill seeking to impose the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality" for consenting adults who have gay sex.

The entire article can be found at Al Jazeera

An article about the leaked cable mentioned in the article can be found here , and includes a link to the cable in question
Yzma's brilliant plan
  • calybe

Non-violent movement infused respect, dignity among Kashmiris: David Barsamian

Srinagar Feb 15: The world renowned Armenian-American radio broadcaster and writer, David Barsamian, who is currently in the valley on Wednesday said the non-violent movement undertaken by Kashmiris has been extremely beneficial as it  has infused consciousness, respect and dignity among the common Kashmiris.

In an exclusive interview to Greater Kashmir Barsamian said the consciousness of Kashmiris had shifted after 2008.

“I observe that people especially the youth of Kashmir are more confident and politically conscious as compared to my past visits in 1996 and 2007. They are now using the non-violent means to press for their political demands. It’s the most effective form to fight for your rights,” Barsamian, who is also director of Alternative Radio, the Boulder, Colorado-based syndicated weekly talk program heard on some 125 radio stations in various countries.

He said the gains in 2010 should be sustained by concerted efforts in the future. “There has to be historical understanding, sustained process, dedication and organization among people who are at work,” Barsamian said. “There have been instances where struggles have been defused by weakening the different sections of the society. Like the infighting among the groups. This ultimately benefits the power”.

Asked that people were impatient since they felt they achieved nothing in during 2010 unrest, the noted broadcaster disagreed and said “Action has to be build slowly”.
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Source: Greater Kashmir

I wouldn't say I agree to everything he has said in this interview, but it's still food for thought. The Kashmiri people have been oppressed for 50+ years and have been abused by both Pakistan and India. It's not easy to stay non-violent against those who have no qualms about being violent towards you, especially when children are being killed. I always feel it's easy to say it's important to have a peaceful revolt when you yourself are not actually immersed in the situation and can leave for a better place at anytime. From what I know, the uprising is not taking a violent turn as of yet, but given the circumstances and the lives that Kashmiris have been leading for years - being maltreated by both terrorists and the army, having to follow crufew and hartal, being forced to stop your childrens education and business because of protests - they need to be heard and tended to, without being dismissed as simply being another proponent of "Radical Islam", otherwise the people might feel like they have no other choice.

Iran Post: Mousavi and Rahnavard Reported Missing

Iran Opposition Leader Missing as Tensions Rise

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The daughters of the missing opposition leader, Mir Hussein Moussavi, told an opposition Web site that they had had no word from either of their parents since Tuesday and feared they had been detained. Security forces have surrounded their home, and all communications have been cut.

On Wednesday, the Web site of another opposition leader, Mehdi Karroubi, reported that the house of his eldest son had been raided and damaged by security officers seeking to arrest him.

Calls have intensified from Iran’s Parliament and judiciary for the prosecution of both men, who have been accused repeatedly of waging war against God, a crime that carries the death penalty. This week, as the opposition revived in solidarity with uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, law markers in Parliament called for them to be hanged.

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The government has called for its supporters to rally on 18 February, while the opposition has called for rallies to commemorate the slain protesters on 20 February.

NY Times

To everyone here at ontd_p who has family and friends in Iran, I hope they are safe.
franklin sherman

Castro Pot Bust Goes Awry and a Law Professor Threatens to Sue


When narcotics officers appeared at a Castro home shortly after 7 a.m. on Jan. 11, they had permission from a judge to search for "proceeds" from an illegal marijuana grow.

The SFPD and DEA found no piles of marijuana money at 243 Diamond St., one of six addresses raided simultaneously in San Francisco that morning. Instead, they found Clark Freshman, who rents the penthouse at the two-unit building. Freshman, a UC Hastings law professor and the main consultant to the television show Lie to Me, was put into handcuffs while in his bathrobe as agents searched, despite Freshman's insistence that they had the wrong place and were breaking the law. "I told them to call the judge and get their warrant updated," he says. "They just laughed at me — I guess that's why they're called pigs."

Soon they may be called defendants in a lawsuit. A furious Freshman has pledged to sue the DEA and the SFPD for unlawful search and seizure of his home.

In his search warrant, Officer Scott Biggs of the SFPD's narcotics unit says that prior to the raid, he spent two days and two nights casing the address looking for Mahmoud Larizadeh, the property's owner. Larizadeh also owns a 13th Street warehouse, a part of which he rents to Bruce Rossignol, a licensed medical cannabis patient who now faces three felony charges for growing pot there.

Biggs describes 243 Diamond as a "two-story, one-unit" building in the warrant. There's no mention of Freshman or Larizadeh's son-in-law or seven-months pregnant daughter who were detained in the downstairs unit that morning. But property records — and a quick visual scan of the property — reveal it to be a three-story, two-unit building. That mistake alone may be enough to invalidate the search warrant.

SFPD offered no comment other than reiterating they had a warrant from Judge Richard Kramer to search 243 Diamond. But Peter Keane, dean emeritus of Golden Gate University's School of Law, says there appears to be a problem. "There's been cases like this in the past where police have a warrant to search [a single residence], then they get there and it's a multi-unit building and they search the whole building. In those cases, people have sued and collected substantial settlements. I think whomever is representing the government better get out his checkbook."

"I've been on the fence for years about the legalization of drugs ... and now I'm a victim of this crazy war on drugs," says Freshman, who pledged to sue until "I see [the agents'] houses sold at auction and their kids' college tuitions taken away from them. There will not be a better litigated case this century."

Welfare reform: Find a job or lose benefits, mothers to be told

 All stay at home mothers claiming the government's new universal credit will be required to make themselves available for work or lose state support, putting them on a par with single parents for the first time. The requirement would apply to mothers with children aged over seven.

The proposals came in the government's welfare bill published on Thursday and were hailed by David Cameron as "tough, radical ... but fair".

His remarks came as ministers published a raft of figures alongside the bill, for the first time showing the full impact of the introduction of universal credit and other welfare cutbacks announced by ministers. The figures show 1.7m households will lose out from the universal credit reforms.

Nearly 75% of these will suffer reductions of less than £25 per week, but 100,000 households will lose more than £75 a week. The biggest losers, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said, are likely to be single people without children, those working more than 30 hours, those not in receipt of housing benefit, and households with savings of more than £16,000.

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Source: The Guardian