October 26th, 2011


Israel and ‘Pinkwashing’

"IN dreams begin responsibilities,” wrote Yeats in 1914. These words resonate with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who have witnessed dramatic shifts in our relationship to power. After generations of sacrifice and organization, gay people in parts of the world have won protection from discrimination and relationship recognition. But these changes have given rise to a nefarious phenomenon: the co-opting of white gay people by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim political forces in Western Europe and Israel.

In the Netherlands, some Dutch gay people have been drawn to the messages of Geert Wilders, who inherited many followers of the assassinated anti-immigration gay leader Pim Fortuyn, and whose Party for Freedom is now the country’s third largest political party. In Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, the extremist who massacred 77 people in July, cited Bruce Bawer, a gay American writer critical of Muslim immigration, as an influence. The Guardian reported last year that the racist English Defense League had 115 members in its gay wing. The German Lesbian and Gay Federation has issued statements citing Muslim immigrants as enemies of gay people.

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Utena: I can't believe this

Occupy Atlanta Raided Late Last Night

Occupy Atlanta | Protesters miss deadline to return to park
Woodruff Park remained quiet and empty early Wednesday morning after Atlanta police reclaimed the park, arresting 53 Occupy Atlanta protesters after multiple warnings.

Organizers had urged protesters who were not arrested to return to the park at 6 a.m., but there were none in the park at 7:30. About two dozen Atlanta police officers remained on the perimeter of the park, which was surrounded by 4-foot metal barricades.

Mayor Kasim Reed told reporters more than 100 officers were involved in the operation to clear the park, adding the protests, which started more than two weeks ago, had cost the city roughly $300,000.

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They did the raid late at night (around 12 am to 1 am) after the late news was done. According to the GA Voice, they raided the camp full of just 50 protesters with mounted police, riot gear, SWAT and used firetrucks and helicopters. This is completely unacceptable, is overkill, and a waste of taxpayer money just to deal with 50 protesters. Also there were reports of tear gas being used on them even though they were peaceful. Also, they said anyone in the park, including the media, would be arrested.

Also, the mayor said that the Occupy Atlanta protests were "no longer consistent with values of Atlanta." Whatever that means.

Dayton, Ohio Opens their Doors to Fureign Fake Americans. Opposition Fears Their $$$ Haz Cooties.

Fake Americans to Revitalize Community, Stimulate Local Economy, and Assimilate to America's Way of Life. Barbaric!

Dayton, Ohio, Welcomes Immigrants As Policy Point

On the same afternoon thousands of Hispanics in Alabama took the day off to protest the state's strict new immigration law, Mexican-born Francisco Mejia was ringing up diners' bills and handing containers piled with carnitas to drive-thru customers on the east side of Dayton.

His family's Taqueria Mixteca is thriving on a street pockmarked with rundown buildings and vacant storefronts. It gets packed with a diverse lunchtime clientele of Hispanic laborers, white men in suits and other customers, white and black. "Business is very good," Mejia said, smiling broadly between orders.

It's the kind of success story that leaders in Dayton think offers hope for an entire city. It has adopted a plan not only to encourage immigrants to come and feel welcome here, but also to use them to help pull out of an economic tailspin.

Dayton officials, who adopted the "Welcome Dayton" plan unanimously Oct. 5, say they aren't condoning illegal immigration; those who come here illicitly will continue to be subject to U.S. laws.
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Texas Latino GOP leader FINALLY gets it. Quits GOP and calls them out.

DALLAS -- Lauro Garza, head of Somos Republicans, the largest organization of Latino conservatives in Texas, has quit the Republican Party because of what he described as the anti-Latino rhetoric of GOP leaders.

"There is no place for Latinos in the Republican Party", Garza, who had identified as a Republican for 30 years, said in Spanish.

Garza said he made his decision after Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain proposed building an electrified fence across the U.S.-Mexico border that could kill those crossing illegally. Cain also called for an armed military presence on the border and the use of real ammunition against immigrants.

"What Cain said contradicts the Constitution and shows how we were infiltrated by nativist ideas highly hostile towards Hispanics and immigrants," said Garza, who made his decision and spoke to The Huffington Post on Friday. "I am not going back to that dump until the party goes back to the principles held under Ronald Reagan."

The Republican Party leadership has been ceding to the influence of the Tea Party, which has fundamentally altered the GOP, and has allowed messages of hate and intolerance against Latinos, Garza said.

"They don't want Latinos in the party or in the country. They don't want immigrants or the undocumented,” Garza, a retired police officer and detective, said of the party. “They think that step by step, they can make [Latinos] disappear like in Arizona, Georgia and now in Alabama."

And the hard-line against immigrants could hurt Republicans in the upcoming presidential election, Garza warned.

Garza said it is not okay to discriminate based on race or ethnicity. “I was born here; I live here; and I speak perfect English. I look Latino because I am of Mexican origin, but I will not be discriminated against because of that."

Chris Elam, a spokesman for the Republican Party of Texas, told the Austin American-Statesman on Friday that state GOP leaders never discussed the idea of an electrified a border fence.

"Most Republicans I know are a little more thick-skinned" than to take offense and leave the party because of Cain's controversial remarks, Elam said.

Garza is a political veteran, and had been considered one of the more militant and better known leaders of the Texas Republican Party. He said he had received many calls from Republicans throughout the country inquiring about his resignation.

Garza said he is still a conservative, but considers himself an independent, not aligned with the GOP.

"The Republican Party has turned radical and unreasonable," he said. It was unacceptable, he added, that party members applauded and GOP leaders did not condemn Cain's remarks when Cain twice defended the the idea of killing of innocent migrants while discussing his an electrified border fence proposal GOP leaders did not condemn the remarks.

Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

Florida Voter Suppression by the GOP

Under New GOP Law, Florida Teacher Faces Huge Fines For The Crime Of Registering Students To Vote

By Marie Diamond on Oct 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm

In a valiant attempt to fight non-existent voter fraud, GOP lawmakers across the country have been
passing legislation that systematically disenfranchises core Democratic constituencies by making it more difficult to vote.
One of those groups — young voters — have chronically low turnout and report feeling disaffected by politics.

But high school teachers who are trying to combat that trend and get their students interested and involved in civic life are finding their mission at odds with the news laws created by Republican legislators, who would prefer young voters just stay home.
Florida high school teacher Jill Cicciarelli recently discovered she had inadvertently
broken the law when she tried to help her students register to vote

The teacher who heads up New Smyrna Beach High School’s student government association could face thousands of dollars in fines. Her transgression? Helping students register to vote.

Prepping 17-year-olds for the privileges and responsibilities of voting in a democracy is nothing new for civics teachers, but when Jill Cicciarelli organized a drive at the start of the school year to get students pre-registered, she ran afoul of Florida’s new and controversial election law.

Among other things, the new rules require that third parties who sign up new voters register with the state and that they submit applications within 48 hours. The law also reduces the time for early voting from 14 days to eight and requires voters who want to give a new address at the polls to use a provisional ballot.

Cicciarelli was motivated to register students because volunteers helped her first register when she was a student at Florida State University. League of Women Voters volunteers helped her “navigate a process that seemed a little intimidating to a teenager who’d never voted.”
Ironically, fear of violating the state’s new rules have prompted the League of Women Voters to suspend their registration efforts in Florida.

“I just want them to be participating in our democracy,” Ciccarelli says of her students. “The more participation we have, the stronger our democracy will be.”

One of those students, 17-year-old student government association co-president Shannon Miller, was grateful she had the chance to register at school.
But she worries her peers won’t participate if there are too many obstacles. “It may discourage some students (from registering) if it’s more difficult,” she said.

Source: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/10/25/352081/under-new-gop-law-florida-teacher-faces-huge-fines-for-the-crime-of-registering-students-to-vote/

The GOP is doing everything it legally can to unfairly stack the vote in their favor because they know they don't have a chance if everyone was able to vote.
Warm tone butterfly (by fruitpunch_it)

MP withdraws from Commons Committee over threats of violence

Dr Eilidh Whiteford, the MP for Banff and Buchan, has made a formal complaint to the Commons speaker.

It is understood her complaint centres on a meeting of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee in private session last week.

Ian Davidson MP is alleged to have told her he would give her "a doing" if the discussions were leaked to the media.

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Davidson apologiese for "offence caused" to committee, but insists no threat was made. Says "giving a doing" is a throwaway line.




OWS's Beef: Wall Street Isn't Winning – It's Cheating

I was at an event on the Upper East Side last Friday night when I got to talking with a salesman in the media business. The subject turned to Zucotti Park and Occupy Wall Street, and he was chuckling about something he'd heard on the news.

"I hear [Occupy Wall Street] has a CFO," he said. "I think that's funny."

"Okay, I'll bite," I said. "Why is that funny?"

"Well, I heard they're trying to decide what bank to put their money in," he said, munching on hors d'oeuvres. "It's just kind of ironic."

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sorry for the inundation of OWS posts...it just seems everytime a really good one is posted, another one shows up just a few days later...
mus | like a bird in a cage

Careful! The gay is catching!

Linda Harvey, founder of Mission America, a "Christian pro-family organization tracking current cultural issues," and radio host, has a warning for the parents of America: Don't let your children see gay health practitioners.

Speaking on her radio show on Thursday, Harvey began the discussion by mentioning NCHARGE, the Nationwide Children's Hospital's Advocates Representing Gay Employees, which, as she says the group's meeting minutes show, is involved in activities like participating in a pride parade, attending a health expo on adolescent health, being concerned about same-sex partner benefits, and "planning to be identified with rainbow lapel pins."

Once she revealed those oh-so-shocking items on their agenda, she posed a question to her listeners:

"Let’s say your eleven year-old has broken her leg rather badly and needs to be in the hospital a few days, which would you prefer: a nurse who’s proud of her lesbianism, who has rainbow identifiers on her work clothing, or a nurse who does not?"

Though she admits that LGBT practitioners "can be certainly competent workers," she is worried that "they're involvement with your child during a hospital stay is sure to be an influence...they are tacking on to their workplace identity one that is highly offensive to many people and can be erroneously influential to children who won’t, or shouldn’t, see the whole picture of how this behavior really manifests itself."

Luckily, homophobic parents didn't just receive a warning from Harvey -- she also gave them some practical tips on how to make sure their anti-gay rhetoric can be applied to their children's health care. Here's what they should do:

"...Select your pediatrician very carefully... There are a few homosexual doctors treating kids, there are far more nurses, LPNs, technicians and other health care workers in these lifestyles so you may want to consider writing a letter that you file with your pediatrician that should your child ever be hospitalized, you do not want your child to be treated or cared for by one of these members of the Children’s Hospital gay employees group except in the case of an emergency situation. But for routine in-hospital care where contact with your child would be required, your values should be respected."

Video of this idiocy at the source

Obama announces help for student loan borrowers

President Barack Obama recalled his struggles with student loan debt as he unveiled a plan Wednesday that could give millions of young people some relief on their payments. Speaking at the University of Colorado Denver, Obama said that he and his wife, Michelle, together owed more than $120,000 in law school debt that took nearly a decade to pay off. He said that sometimes he'd have to make monthly payments to multiple lenders, and the debt meant they were not only paying for their own degrees but saving for their daughters' college funds simultaneously.

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Didn't see this yet, but I know a few people here have mentioned suffering under loan debt, so I thought it'd be interesting to see people's take on it. Sorry if it's been submitted already; slow work day :)
oh holy shit
  • chaya

Missouri teacher under fire for suggesting more gay youth should commit suicide

A high school teacher in Joplin, Mo., is the latest teacher under fire for allegedly posting anti-gay remarks on Facebook, which included a suggestion that more gay youth should commit suicide.

Jim Whitney, an instructor at Joplin High School, allegedly posted a comment on the wall of a former student’s Facebook profile on Oct. 19, reported the Joplin Globe.

The former student had posted a link to a news article about Jamie Hubley, a 15-year-old gay teen from Ottawa who committed suicide recently.

In response to the link, Whitney allegedly replied, “Moral of the story: Don’t be gay.
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Calvin & Hobbes: Hug
  • calybe

Asexual Awareness Week

The Asexual Awareness Committee released the results of the Asexual census earlier today. Although the announcement said the results were amazing, the results were not a surprise to anyone who follows any Asexual websites, blogs or forums. The release of the poll results requires Asexual News to make one correction. Asexuals still preferred cake to having both cake and pie.
Forty one percent of the people who responded to the poll said that they connected through the Tumblr community, although there were a number of people who promoted the poll heavily on the social networking site. AVEN came behind a close second.
Seventy one percent of the recipients were virgins. The birth dates in the poll did not go farther back than the mid 80s, which excluded Asexuals who were more than 26 years old.
Perhaps the least surprising poll result was the amount, at least from an Asexual perspective, is how many people who responded to the poll considered themselves to be a part of the LGBT community. 41 percent responded positively. An additional 38 percent said they were an LGBT ally.

Full results of the Census.


OP: I wasn't even aware it was Asexual Awareness week, and I tried to find a news article covering it, but the only one I could find was in the Asexual News. I thought at least the census (another thing I was not aware about, I really need to get more involved in the community) would be interesting for discussion.

Also, I was not aware before this that including asexuality in the queer spectrum was an issue, any thoughts about this ontd_p?

Lastly: Mods, can I tag this as a discussion post?


More explanation about asexuality


Color me not surprised (and INRAEGED)

US cops tried to erase online evidence of brutality

Google has been asked by a US law enforcement agency to remove several videos exposing police brutality from the video sharing service YouTube, the company has revealed in its latest update to an online transparency report.

Another request filed by a different agency required Google to remove videos allegedly defaming law enforcement officials. The two requests were among 92 submissions for content removal by various authorities in the US filed between January and June 2011. Both were rejected by Google along with 27 per cent of the submissions.

The IT giant says the overall number of requests for content removal it receives from governmental agencies has risen, and so has the number of requests to disclose the private data of Google users.

Brazil heads the first list with 224 separate demands to remove a total of 689 items from its search results, as well as from YouTube and various other services. Google says its social networking service Orkut is very popular in the Latin American country, which partially explains the number of requests.

Heading the list of countries requesting the disclosure of personal data is the United States, where a total of 5,950 submissions targeting 11,057 user accounts have been filed. Google fully or partially complied with 93 per cent of those requests. Second on the list is India, with 1,732 requests over a six-month period.

Russian officials filed fewer than 10 requests to remove content and 42 requests to disclose user information (which was the first time the number reached Google’s threshold for reporting). The company complied with 75 per cent of the Russian requests concerning content and none of those concerning user data.

Google says it hopes that its report will contribute to the ongoing public discussion on the ways the internet needs to be regulated.

Commenting on the incident, Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, points out that YouTube is a public platform and any steps to censor it should be backed with a court order.

Police seem to be advising Google on what material might be breaking the law, and then Google decides to censor this material without a court order,” he said, stressing that a court appearance should be part of making such judgments.

Ultimately, public media seem to becoming more of a police tool to gather evidence. Killock recalled British Prime Minister David Cameron urging the news outlets to hand over material collected during the UK riots – both published and unpublished – to the police.

It completely compromises the freedom of the media,” Kilock told RT.


Fuck everything right now. Just. Fuck it.
mus | like a bird in a cage

Oakland Police Critically Injure Iraq War Vet During Occupy March

WASHINGTON -- The Oakland Police Department fired tear gas on Occupy Oakland demonstrators Tuesday night as they marched through downtown, determined to reclaim the camp that officers destroyed that morning. As the marchers zigged and zagged in search of safe ground, authorities bombarded and barricaded the activists into a drawn-out stalemate that resulted in further arrests.

The local police's use of force seriously injured an Occupy activist and Iraq War veteran.

Scott Olsen, 24, remains sedated on a respirator, in stable but critical condition at Oakland’s Highland Hospital after being hit in the head with a police projectile.

Olsen's roommate, Keith Shannon, 24, told The Huffington Post that Olsen is still in the emergency room.

"Right now, he's under sedation," Shannon said. "He walked into the hospital." But soon after his arrival, Shannon said, doctors found that there was swelling in Olsen's brain and put him under. He did not get a chance to talk to his friend. "They are waiting for a neurosurgeon to examine him to see if he needs surgery or not," Shannon said. If he doesn't need an operation, he'll be moved to the intensive care unit.

Activists staged Tuesday night’s march through downtown Oakland in response to a violent police raid on the Occupy Oakland encampment earlier that day, during which officers rained tear gas and rubber bullets on the activists in an effort to clear the camp. Police arrested scores of protesters during the eviction.

When reached at her Wisconsin home, Sandra Olsen, Scott's mother, told HuffPost that her son's condition was serious. "He has a head injury," she said. "They are still trying to figure it out with him. I don't want to tie up the phone line. He's not in the best shape."

According to Shannon, Olsen had been attending Occupy San Francisco events and had answered the call to join Occupy Oakland in solidarity.

"He doesn't agree with the way the banks aren't regulated, the way they drove the economy in the ground. He wants there to be regulation of the banks," Shannon said.

Shannon, 24, says his friend was simply one of the marchers. "He was just hit by a projectile," said Shannon, who did not attend the march but heard about the incident from eyewitnesses. "He wasn't near a police officer when it happened."

Dottie Guy, a veteran of the Iraq War and a friend of Olsen, found out about her friend's injury through Twitter and Facebook. She has maintained an overnight vigil at the hospital. "He always had a smile on his face," she said. "He's really into the movement."

YouTube video of the incident shows Olsen, wearing his Marine jacket without his nametape, being carted through a cloud of tear-gas smoke to the sounds of shrieking activists. In a close up, his forehead appears bruised and bloodied. He stares up at his ad-hoc triage in a daze. When asked, “What's your name?” he can’t answer. Someone screams, "Medic!"

Shannon first got to know Olsen serving in Iraq from August 2006 to May 2007, when the two worked tactical communications as part of the Marines' 3rd Battalion. Olsen subsequently served a second tour. "We both came out against the war," Shannon said.

Olsen was never injured during his two tours in Iraq.

UPDATE: 4:20 p.m. -- New video posted to YouTube suggests that Olsen was hit at close range with a tear-gas canister. After demonstrators rush to Olsen's aid, an Oakland cop waits a few beats before lobbing a second tear-gas canister at the crowd. They are attending to Olsen when the canister explodes, sending smoke everywhere.

Lucy - Smoke Everyday

Time For a Pot Poast!

Obama Not Implicated In California Medical Marijuana Crackdown, U.S. Attorney Claims

U.S. attorneys have a message for California's medical marijuana advocates: Don't blame Barack Obama. After it was announced that the crackdown on medical pot establishments in the Golden State was a collective decision by the four U.S. attorneys in California and not the result of any directive from Washington, spokeswoman Lauren Horwood emphasized that the administration never even green-lighted the ramped-up enforcement actions.

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