February 22nd, 2011

Will and Kate

German Political Superstar Stumbles Over Plagiarized Dissertation

Old Doctoral Thesis Haunts a Top German Minister



BERLIN — How the fortunes of Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, Germany’s most popular, eloquent and aristocratic politician have changed.

An erstwhile public idol who has been touted as a possible chancellor, Mr. Guttenberg now is fighting to save his reputation and his political career after accusations by historians that he plagiarized multiple sections of his doctoral dissertation.

The German public takes such charges seriously. It has enormous respect for those with academic titles. Eleven of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 15 cabinet members have doctorates, and she has one herself. “Not only do we have a woman chancellor; she has a doctorate in physics too,” boasted Bild, the mass circulation newspaper.

So when reports came out last week that Mr. Guttenberg, 39, had lifted large sections of other academics’ research for his dissertation, opposition parties pounced on the findings, hoping to puncture his popularity.

“Whatever the outcome of the investigations by the University of Bayreuth, which gave Guttenberg his doctorate, I think Guttenberg has been politically damaged,” said Nils Diederich, political science professor at the Free University in Berlin. “He was put high on a pedestal; all the more reason why his fall may be particularly hard.”

 

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LOL he is such a tool. Nothing but Schadenfreude right now. German speakers should read this as well, if you haven't yet.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Asia's New Arms Race

Asia's New Arms Race - As China grows wealthier and builds up its military, other nations in the region are taking note—and amassing weapons of their own.

At Mazagon Dock near the southern tip of Mumbai, hidden behind high concrete walls, hundreds of Indian workers are putting the finishing touches on the hulls of two 217-foot Scorpène-class attack submarines, the first of six slated to be built over the next few years.

Nearby, workers are adding to India's fleet of stealth frigates and guided-missile destroyers.

One big reason India is beefing up its arsenal: China.

"It goes without saying that India must be seriously concerned with the rise of China's strategic power, including its military and economic power," says Ashwani Kumar, member of parliament from India's ruling Congress party. "India has consistently opposed an arms race—but India will not be found wanting in taking all measures necessary for the effective safeguarding of its territorial integrity and national interests."

From the Arabian Sea to the Pacific Ocean, countries fearful of China's growing economic and military might—and worried that the U.S. will be less likely to intervene in the region—are hurtling into a new arms race.

In December, Japan overhauled its defense guidelines, laying plans to purchase five submarines, three destroyers, 12 fighters jets, 10 patrol planes and 39 helicopters. South Korea and Vietnam are adding subs. Arms imports are on the rise in Malaysia. The tiny city-state of Singapore, which plans to add two subs, is now among the world's top 10 arms importers. Australia plans to spend as much as $279 billion over the next 20 years on new subs, destroyers and fighter planes.

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This has a lot of "RAWR CHINA'S GONNA TRY AND TAKE OVER EVERYTHING RAWR~" to it, but even so, the growing arms race is not so vaguely unsettling, to put it mildly. :/
normal

Wisconsin Legislature Finds Solution to Silence Protesters

Republicans to finally get some peace and quite

Wisconsin Legislature Shuts Down Comment Line After Too Many Complaints

The protesters amassed outside the state capitol in Madison, WI and their supporters across the country have succeeded in getting state Republicans to back down on at least one front: the toll-free Legislative Hotline that the legislature has kept open 24 hours a day for more than 20 years.

After a flood of calls that legislative staff tell TPM came from "unions and other non-profits," the legislature's Sergeant at Arms ordered the number disconnected Friday, a move that according to sources could save the state quite a bit of money as the protests against Gov. Scott Walker's (R) union-busting budget plan rage.

One union source said he didn't know about the call flooding, but he said that Republicans have another think coming if they believe taking down a phone number will silence the frustrated union supporters with their eyes on Madison this week.

During business hours, the Legislative Hotline is answered by a real person, a longtime staffer in the Sergeant at Arms office told me. Normally, people call to ask who their legislator is and how to contact him or her -- usually so the caller can complain about something the state government's up to.
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wtf

Private Sector Workers Pissed Because Public Sector Workers Haven't Signed Away Their Rights Yet

Union Bonds in Wisconsin Begin to Fray
By A. G. SULZBERGER and MONICA DAVEY
Published: February 21, 2011


JANESVILLE, Wis. — Rich Hahan worked at the General Motors plant here until it closed about two years ago. He moved to Detroit to take another G.M. job while his wife and children stayed here, but then the automaker cut more jobs. So Mr. Hahan, 50, found himself back in Janesville, collecting unemployment for a time, and watching as the city’s industrial base seemed to crumble away.

Among the top five employers here are the county, the schools and the city. And that was enough to make Mr. Hahan, a union man from a union town, a supporter of Gov. Scott Walker’s sweeping proposal to cut the benefits and collective-bargaining rights of public workers in Wisconsin, a plan that has set off a firestorm of debate and protests at the state Capitol. He says he still believes in unions, but thinks those in the public sector lead to wasteful spending because of what he sees as lavish benefits and endless negotiations.

“Something needs to be done,” he said, “and quickly.”Collapse )

NY TIMES
- Source

I like how it never occurs to some of these people that maybe instead of blaming their fellow workers, they should be asking why they don't have bargaining rights in the private sector. Maybe you need a union, son.
pen

Major quake hits Christchurch NZ



A powerful earthquake has struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch bringing down buildings and buckling roads, with reports of deaths and serious injuries.

The US Geological Survey says the quake was 6.3 in magnitude and struck five kilometres from the city at a shallow depth of just four kilometres.

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suzycat, I have a feeling you're in Christchurch, when you are able can you reply. I'm thinking of you. Is safe and sound with her family. Yay :)

This is a fast changing news report (as you would imagine), the source below keeps on getting updates. But they now report multiple deaths. This hit at lunchtime Tuesday, so not good.

Different News Sources

ETA: Livestream video can be found http://www.abc.net.au/news/abcnews24/ (thanks to laerwen)

And the Sydney Morning Herald has a fact sheet which keeps getting updated -
http://www.smh.com.au/world/christchurch-quake--what-we-know-20110222-1b3cx.html

NZ News: http://www.stuff.co.nz/ thanks blue_raven

Source ABC News
Martha

LIVE POST: GOV'T VIOLENCE IN NORTH AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST PART 3

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BACKGROUNDER(s):

NOTABLE TOOLS:

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Separate submissions related to the protests may likely be rejected. Please link articles in THIS post for discussion/entry spotlights.
stylised

Montana House approves bill to repeal anti-discrimination ordinances in Missoula, Bozeman

HELENA - The Republican majority on the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Monday that would effectively overturn Missoula's 2010 ordinance banning discrimination against city residents based on their sexual orientation and gender.
House Bill 516 by Rep. Kristin Hansen, R-Havre, now moves to the House floor for debate this week.
It would prohibit local governments from enacting ordinances or policies that seek to protect residents from real or perceived discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender as the cities of Missoula did through an ordinance and Bozeman did through a policy.
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I just have no fucking words for this. And afaik, this is blatantly illegal-- Romer v. Evans was over an amendment they approved in the early '90s in Colorado that did effectively this and they ruled it unconstitutional, let's hope the same happens here.
franklin sherman

Ron Paul raises $700,000.00 from independent individuals in 24 hours.

'Money bomb' blows up Ron Paul's coffers



The revolution is alive and well.
Ron Paul raised more than $700,000 for his PAC in 24 hours during a President's Day money bomb.


Paul pioneered the online fundraising technique during his 2008 presidential run, and yesterday's impressive haul shows he still has a significant base of support.

LibertyPAC promoted the money bomb with a web video posted on Paul's Facebook page which leads supporters to believe the Texas congressman is leaning toward another run for president.

"If we show him enough support, he will announce his official candidacy for 2012," reads the text that appears halfway through the two-minute video

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49956.html#ixzz1Ei845hIo

LibertyPAC: http://www.libertypac.com/

-Just to correct the article. Ron Paul didnt pioneer any fund raising technique in 2008. His supporters put it together without Ron Paul's involvement.

I donated the money I got from jury duty =)
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Honduras law lets police be called on home smokers

Honduras law lets police be called on home smokers

The last refuge is vanishing for besieged smokers — at least in Honduras. A new law that took effect Monday says family members can call in the police on people who smoke at home.

The new measure bans smoking in most closed public or private spaces and orders smokers to stand at least six feet away from nonsmokers in any open space.

The law explicitly bans smoking in schools, gas stations, nightclubs, restaurants, bars, buses, taxis, stadiums and cultural centers but it doesn't clearly ban smoking at home.

A clause, however, expressly says relatives or visitors can summon police to deal with smokers at home: "Families or individuals may complain to law enforcement authorities when smokers expose them to secondhand smoke in private places and family homes."

Rony Portillo, director of the Institute to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, said those who violate the law will first receive a verbal warning and after the second offense could be arrested. To be released they would have to pay a $311 fine, the equivalent of a monthly minimum wage salary in Honduras.

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Dang, that's hardcore.
MISC - moustache

Wisconsin roundup 2/22


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker warned Tuesday that state employees could start receiving layoff notices as early as next week if a bill eliminating most collective bargaining rights isn't passed soon.

Walker said in a statement to The Associated Press that the layoffs wouldn't take effect immediately. He didn't say which workers would be targeted but he has repeatedly warned that up to 1,500 workers could lose their jobs by July if his proposal isn't passed.




The 97-union South Central Federation of Labor voted Monday night to prepare for a general strike that would take place if Gov. Scott Walker succeeds in enacting his budget repair bill, which would strip most bargaining rights from most public employee unions.

The strike would call for union and non-union workers in large swaths of the workforce to stop working, said Carl Aniel, labor federation delegate from AFSCME Local 171.

It was unclear Tuesday how many workers would take part and how the strike might work.

Walker’s proposal, part of a bill to close a $137 million budget shortfall for the year that ends June 30, sparked days of massive protests at the Capitol and a walkout by Democratic state senators that has stalled action on the legislation.

The strike could affect schools, governments and private businesses, but crucial life-and-death services would not be interrupted, Aniel said Tuesday morning.

“It doesn’t mean that everyone is going to stop working on a particular moment or day,” Aniel said. “It means that we are preparing so that the decisions are made in a very significantly different way so that it protects the people of Wisconsin.”

But some services would be shut down, he said. The labor group would still have to determine which services would be shut down, he added.

“If it was decided the governor’s mansion really wasn’t that important and it wasn’t that important to heat it or give it electricity or to guard it, then those things wouldn’t happen,” Aniel said.





A website designed to keep protesters informed has been blocked by administrators inside the state Capitol, according to a claim by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Party officials said that the website www.defendwisconsin.org, which was set up by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Teacher Assistants, was accessible after its launch last week until at least Friday. It was then that website organizers realized their site, which was being used to let protesters know the latest news details and to let them know where volunteers were needed, had been shut down for those signing on as a guest to the free Wi-Fi offered inside the state Capitol.

Sachin Chheda, a Democratic activist and former IT employee at the State Capitol, said there are a number of sites that are blocked from users, but he said in order to block this site specifically, somebody would have had to make a conscious effort to do so.
Queen Amidala

My son, the pink boy

A random mom on the playground, looking serious and a little bit concerned, asks me, "Do you think your son might grow up to be gay?"

It's never crossed my mind. Really. Not since that last Random Mom asked me five minutes ago.

Watching Sam on the monkey bars, his long hair blowing in the wind, I say, "I don't know. He's always just liked feminine things."

Random Mom looks at me like she knows something I don't.

Random Moms across America think they know: My son has got to be gay. He wears khakis today but wore a dress to school from age 4 to 6; he used to do ballet and still doesn't like sports; in preschool he was all about playing princess but now is all about Pokemon; and, in spite of the clear gender divisions in third grade, he plays with both girls and boys. I mean, what straight boy is into that kinda freaky gender mash-up?

Well, my husband, for one. And all metrosexuals, for another coupla-million-ish. My husband used to help his mother choose curtains. He now drives a motorcycle and hunts deer. He still likes curtains, which he now calls "window treatments" (How gay is that? Random Mom mutters). But really, haven't you met a guy like this, the one you think is gay when you first met him, but then realize that his sexuality doesn't match his gender presentation?

And if you get busy thinking about femmy boys who grow up to be straight, you might also start thinking about butch boys who grow up to be gay, like all those bears and leather daddies I see walking around the Castro. Then you might have to admit that, though it often does, childhood gender expression doesn't always correlate to adult sexuality.

I recently discovered that America's favorite telepsychologist and I actually agree on that. Dr. Phil's website tells Robby, the mother of a 5-year-old boy who loves Barbies and wearing feminine clothes: "This is not a precursor to your son being gay."

I got a little excited reading this. The conflation of gender expression and sexuality is so ubiquitous in our society that it was refreshing to hear our country's second-highest-rated talk show host giving the same message to millions of Americans that I've given to dozens (literally dozens!) of Random Moms on playgrounds across my fair city. Reading on, however, the beautiful Dr. Phil/Ms. Hoffman mind-meld crumbles.

Dr. Phil -- who implores us all to "get real" -- tells Robby that she should not buy her son Barbie dolls or "girl's" clothes, and that she should "Take the girl things away, and buy him boy toys ... Support him in what he's doing, but not in the girl things." Support him, but take away the things he loves to play with?

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Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Saved by Chinese social media

Saved by Chinese social media

Peng Gaofeng appeared exhausted, but the migrant worker couldn't have been more content.

After three years of searching for his son, Wenle, he and his child were playing together at the offices of internet company Sina in Beijing. Peng traveled here last Friday to express his gratitude to some of the people behind China's version of Twitter for helping him bring his son back home. "Without the Internet, it would be too difficult - nearly impossible - to find my child," he told me.

Across the Middle East, social media is fueling political change. In China, it is fanning civic campaigns. Chinese bloggers are encouraging private citizens to fight injustices such as child trafficking. People are taking photos of street kids and uploading them on blogs for hundreds of millions of people to see and potentially identify them as missing children. And the Internet censors aren't stopping them.

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I'm glad to see something like this taking off--child abductions are a big problem in China--my Chinese coworker was telling us at lunch yesterday how parents or grandparents will go with kids every single day to school and to pick them up to make sure they get home safely and aren't snatched. She made it sound pretty much like you had to watch your kids any time they were outside at all. D:

Also, there's a video at the source.
Lisa&Nelson

Identifying the victims of a 100-year-old tragedy



The final unidentified victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire a 1911 tragedy that had a huge impact on the creation of American labor laws and building codes have finally been matched with names. What's really interesting to me: The fact that the bodies weren't identified with DNA, or any other modern science, but through simple detective work.

That's because the mystery was more about consolidating and organizing information that already existed, than it was about identifying the bodies themselves. Even before they died, the workers at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory were largely anonymous, except to the people who knew them personally. So, while official historians didn't know the names of all the dead, those names were always out there, buried in articles from small, neighborhood newspapers and passed down in family histories.

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normal

Heck of a Jub, Walker

The Last Time Scott Walker Went Union Busting, He Was Overruled And Wasted Taxpayer Dollars

The last time Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) went after public sector unions it had “disastrous results” for him and for taxpayers. As Milwaukee County Executive in 2009, Walker tried to get rid of the unionized security guards at the county courthouse and replace them with contractors, which he promised would save the county money. The County Board rejected the idea, but in March of 2010 Walker “unilaterally ordered it,” claiming there was a budget emergency. Walker hired the British security contractor Wackenhut — of Kabul Embassy sex scandal fame — to replace the guards. Unfortunately for Walker and Milwaukee taxpayers, an arbiter later ruled that Walker had overstepped his authority, and ordered the county to reinstate the unionized workers, pay backwages, and pay tens of thousands of dollars in arbiter fees. As MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pointed out last night, Walker’s “dress rehersal” for his current union busting effort may end up costing Milwaukee taxpayers an extra half a million dollars. Watch it:


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


While his anti-union crusade proved to be a boondagle for Milwaukee County, Walker had escaped in time to wash his hands clean of it, as the arbiter’s ruling against didn’t come down until last month — after Walker had been sworn in as governor. Maddow also notes that the man put in charge of Wackenhut’s security at the courthouse had a criminal record and had served prison time.
celestial

Mikhail Gorbachev lambasts Vladimir Putin's 'sham' democracy

Russia under prime minister Vladimir Putin is a sham democracy, Mikhail Gorbachev has said in his harshest criticism yet of the ruling regime.

"We have everything – a parliament, courts, a president, a prime minister and so on. But it's more of an imitation," the last president of the Soviet Union said.

Gorbachev, who oversaw the softening of the communist system and subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union, has become increasingly critical of the modern Russian state, accusing its leaders of rolling back the democratic reforms of the 1990s.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of his 80th birthday, Gorbachev criticised Putin for manipulating elections.

In response to the prime minister and former president's comments that he and his protégé, President Dmitry Medvedev, would decide between them who would run for office in March 2012, Gorbachev said: "It's not Putin's business. It must be decided by the nation in elections."

He called Putin's statements a sign of "incredible conceit".

Asked how he thought the regime approached human rights, Gorbachev said: "There's a problem there. It's a sign of the state of our democracy." He was echoing statements made by Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, during a visit to Russia last week.

Gorbachev said United Russia, the ruling party founded with the sole goal of supporting Putin's leadership, was a throwback.

"United Russia reminds me of the worst copy of the Communist party," he said. "We have institutions but they don't work. We have laws but they must be enforced."

Its stranglehold over political life would eventually backfire. "The monopoly ends in rotting and hampers the development of democratic processes."

Gobachev said he did not like how Putin and Medvedev were behaving. "It's a shame that our modern leaders aren't very modern," he said.

Gorbachev now runs a charity foundation that will hold a gala at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 30 March to mark his birthday. He co-owns the country's leading opposition newspaper, Novaya Gazeta.

Held up in the west as a hero for his softening of the Soviet system and eventual acceptance of its fall, Gorbachev remains widely despised inside Russia, where he is seen as a traitor who allowed the empire to crumble and ushered in a period of great uncertainty. Over the years he has aligned himself with the cause of Russia's sidelined liberals.

On Monday, Gorbachev called the regime's campaign against jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky politically motivated. "Politics shouldn't have been involved in [the case], but they were," he said.

He noted the case of Natalya Vasilieva, a court clerk who worked on the Khodorkovsky trial and broke ranks to publicly announce that the judge had been pressured throughout and had a verdict and sentence pushed on him.

"I fully believe her," Gorbachev said. "People can't stand it anymore – she saw what was happening with her own eyes."

Source

Exodus: Dems trigger Statehouse showdown in Indiana

Seats on one side of the Indiana House were nearly empty today as House Democrats departed the the state rather than vote on anti-union legislation.

A source tells The Indianapolis Star that Democrats are headed to Illinois, though it was possible some also might go to Kentucky. They need to go to a state with a Democratic governor to avoid being taken into police custody and returned to Indiana.

The House came into session twice this morning, with only three of the 40 Democrats present. Those were needed to make a motion, and a seconding motion, for any procedural steps Democrats would want to take to ensure Republicans don’t do anything official without quorum.

With only 58 legislators present, there was no quorum present to do business. The House needs 67 of its members to be present.

House Speaker Brian Bosma said he did not know yet whether he would ask the Indiana State Police to compel the lawmakers to attend, if they can be found.

Today’s fight was triggered by Republicans pushing a bill that would bar unions and companies from negotiating a contract that requires non-union members to kick-in fees for representation. It’s become the latest in what is becoming a national fight over Republican attempts to eliminate or limit collective bargaining.

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The Source thinks the Dems from Wisconsin and Indiana should meet in up Illinois for one hell of party
lieberries

The great migration from black to white: an overlooked chapter in the history of African-Americans

His very name hovered on the line between slavery and freedom: Orindatus Simon Bolivar Wall. Orindatus was a slave's name, through and through. It had a Latinate grandiosity that many masters favored for their chattel when Wall was born on a North Carolina plantation in the 1820s, the son of his owner and a slave woman. All his life, people got the name wrong. They called him Oliver. They called him Odatis. Eventually, he went by his initials: O.S.B. Wall.

As much as Orindatus signaled slavery, his middle names suggested the opposite: Simon Bolivar, the great liberator of Latin America, a man who had decreed freedom for slaves and led a popular movement he described as "closer to a blend of Africa and America than an emanation from Europe." Perhaps this was Wall's father's attempt at irony, an ultimate affirmation of his mastery. But perhaps the name represented other ideas and aspirations that Stephen Wall harbored for his son. In 1838, he freed O.S.B. Wall and sent him to southern Ohio, to be raised and educated by Quaker abolitionists. His mother stayed behind.

By any measure, O.S.B. Wall soon became a hero of African-American history, the kind of man Black History Month was created to celebrate. But today he is forgotten. The story of his rise to prominence and fall into obscurity reveals one of the great hidden narratives of the American experience. While O.S.B. Wall spent a lifetime fighting for civil rights, his children grew up to become white people.Collapse )
king rad

It Only Costs One Mana

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Helping Soldiers Trade Their Swords for Plows



VALLEY CENTER, Calif. — On an organic farm here in avocado country, a group of young Marines, veterans and Army reservists listened intently to an old hand from the front lines.

“Think of it in military terms,” he told the young recruits, some just back from Iraq or Afghanistan. “It’s a matter of survival, an uphill battle. You have to think everything is against you and hope to stay alive.”

The battle in question was not the typical ground assault, but organic farming — how to identify beneficial insects, for instance, or to prevent stray frogs from clogging an irrigation system. It was Day 2 of a novel boot camp for veterans and active-duty military personnel, including Marines from nearby Camp Pendleton, who might be interested in new careers as farmers.

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source here

it's a little old but heartwarming
nobody / travis

Rahm Emanuel elected mayor of Chicago



Rahm Emanuel has always claimed that Chicago is his city — Tuesday night, the voters here made that truer than ever by electing the former White House chief of staff their mayor.

In Chicago’s first election in 64 years without a sitting mayor on the ballot, the man who made a name for himself as a fiery Beltway force convinced voters in the Midway that he is the right person for the job held by Richard M. Daley for more than two decades.

continued @ source
sky

Alternatives to austerity

It's possible to cut the US deficit in a growth-friendly way that reduces inequality. But certain powerful groups won't like it

  • Joseph Stiglitz
  • In the aftermath of the great recession, countries have been left with unprecedented peacetime deficits and increasing anxieties about their growing national debts. In many countries, this is leading to a new round of austerity – policies that will almost surely lead to weaker national and global economies and a marked slowdown in the pace of recovery. Those hoping for large deficit reductions will be sorely disappointed, as the economic slowdown will push down tax revenues and increase demands for unemployment insurance and other social benefits.
    The attempt to restrain the growth of debt does serve to concentrate the mind – it forces countries to focus on priorities and assess values. The United States is unlikely in the short-term to embrace massive UK-style budget cuts. But the long-term prognosis – made especially dire by healthcare reform's inability to make much of a dent in rising medical costs – is sufficiently bleak that there is increasing bipartisan momentum to do something. President Barack Obama has appointed a bipartisan deficit-reduction commission, whose chairmen recently provided a glimpse of what their report might look like.
     
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TW tales square
  • aviv_b

Jury decides on death penalty for woman who headed vigilante squad


TUCSON, Ariz. — An Arizona jury on Tuesday sentenced the leader of an anti-illegal-immigrant group to death in the 2009 murder of a young girl and her father in what prosecutors said was an attempt to steal drug money to fund the group's operations.

Shawna Forde, the leader of the Minutemen American Defense, a small border watch group, becomes the third woman on Arizona's death row, the Pima County Attorney's Office said.

The 43-year-old Forde was convicted Feb. 14 of first-degree murder and other charges in the May 2009 home invasion in Arivaca, a desert community about 10 miles north of Mexico. Raul Flores, 29, and his 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia, were killed in the robbery.

Prosecutors alleged Forde and her co-defendants, Jason Eugene Bush and Albert Robert Gaxiola, dressed as law enforcement officers and forced their way into the home, then shot Flores, his daughter and his wife, Gina Gonzalez, who survived her injuries after getting into a gun battle with the attackers.

The Pima County jury's decision, which was unanimous, is binding.

If the jury had not voted for the death penalty, the judge would have decided whether Shawna Forde should have received life with a chance of parole after 35 years or life with no possibility of parole.

Forde showed no emotion as the verdict was read, according to CNN Tucson affiliate KGUN.

Her attorney, Eric Larsen, said he "fully expected that this community valued human life greater than this jury did."

Juror Angela Thomas told KGUN, "We chose death because that's what seems fair. There's a little girl in this equation whose father won't be able to walk her down the aisle," she said.
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Based on everything I keep reading about Arizona I'm surprised that Forde was convicted .  As for the death penalty - honestly, I don't know.  I'd be just as happy to have her rot in jail for the remainder of her life with no chance of parole.


sources: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41721711/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/?GT1=43001
http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/02/22/arizona.double.killing/index.html?hpt=T2#


I stand with Planned Parenthood

Women In War: 'I've Lived Out There With The Guys'

During the past 10 years, the roles women play in the military have changed. More than 200,000 women have served in the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and many of them have found themselves in direct ground combat situations, despite a Pentagon policy that's designed to prevent that from happening.

"This will be the first generation of veterans where large segments of women returning will have been exposed to some form of combat," Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said last year. "And I know what the law says and I know what it requires, but I'd be hard pressed to say that any woman who serves in Afghanistan today or who's served in Iraq over the last few years did so without facing the same risks of their male counterparts."

In a weeklong series, we're going to take a close look at what it means to be a woman in uniform today — how that's changed over generations and whether there's more change coming soon. The series will profile the stories of five women at different stages of their military careers, with different perspectives on women's role in combat and different expectations for their future.

At the core of the series is a discussion about the Pentagon's current policy that prevents women from being assigned to direct ground combat units. Critics of the policy say it should be changed for several reasons, mainly because it simply does not reflect reality on the ground. Women are fighting in wars with no clear front lines where anyone in uniform can get caught up in direct combat.

'I Lived Like That'

In 2009, Congress set up the Military Leadership Diversity Commission to evaluate the combat exclusion policy and determine whether it should be reversed. The group is made up of high-ranking former and current military officials. They've been meeting regularly for more than a year, and at times, the debate has gotten heated.

Late last year, a panel of active-duty women and veterans testified before the commission. During that exchange, retired Marine Lt. Gen. Frank Petersen expressed his concerns about getting rid of the ban.

"Here is my problem," Peterson said. "We're talking about ground combat, nose-to-nose with the bad guys, living in the mud, eating what's on your back, no hygiene and no TV. How many of you have seen how infantrymen, the ground troopers, live, and how many of you would volunteer to live like that?"

Tammy Duckworth was an Apache helicopter pilot in Iraq and lost both of her legs in combat. Now she's the No. 2 at the Department of Veterans Affairs. She replied immediately: "I've lived like that. I've lived out there with the guys, and I would do it. It's about the job."

 

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Source

The second story in this week long series can be found here.