December 16th, 2011

stock: heartbroken robot
  • anjak_j

A Sister's Love: Martina Davis-Correia

I imagine angels weeping today. But no soul shuddering sobs of despair are heard.

I imagine angels weeping quiet tears of recognition. These are the same tears we shed when we encounter a thing of extraordinary beauty, or are touched by unexpected and we think, undeserved compassion.

These are the tears we shed when we encounter a soul possessed of a different quality of yearning for goodness.

I imagine angels weeping because today, family and friends of Martian Davis-Correia are gathered to mark her exit from our world to theirs.

Martina Davis-Correia died on December 1, 2011. She died 10 weeks after her brother Troy Davis was executed in Georgia. For more than a decade there was a synchronicity between Martina's struggle to save her brother and her own personal battle to survive breast cancer.

Martina approached both challenges with the cleared eyed pragmatism of one determined to find a way to prevail.

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OP: I can't even comment on this right now because honestly, I'm heartbroken. She was truly awesome.

Followup: Women Firefighters at Pearl Harbor

Last week, rex_dart posted an awesome picture of women firefighters at Pearl Harbor. They've now been identified and contacted!

Found: Identity of the Female Fire Fighters at Pearl Harbor

Just last week we posted an article about this amazing picture of four women wielding a fire hose, understood for years to be a depiction of women firefighters rushing to the job during the attacks on Pearl Harbor seventy years ago this month. Their identities were unknown. Just last week, MSNBC decided that this was a mystery well worth solving, and solve it they have. The last surviving woman from this picture is the ninety-six-year-old Katherine Lowe; mother of eight and grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother of too many for MSNBC to count; and she’s got a lot of revelatory things to say about the photo, its origins, and the place that she and the other women actually had in the war effort.

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Fierce source!

*hearts in eyes*
Demon Dyke

Bellingham police: Man tackled by victim after harassing lesbian couple

BELLINGHAM - A 22-year-old man was arrested for an alleged hate crime against a lesbian couple early Sunday, Dec. 11, after he yelled slurs at them and smashed in the window of a victim's car, but was then pinned to the ground by one of the victims, police said.

William Adam Lane confronted the couple outside a bar early Sunday in the 200 block of Chestnut Avenue when he saw them embracing, said Bellingham police spokesman Mark Young.

Lane made profane, derogatory comments about the couple's sexuality, but the women "expressed no interest in having a conversation," Young said.

Lane then smashed in the rear window of the Toyota they'd arrived in, causing about $600 damage, Young said. One of the women tackled the suspect and pinned him to the ground while she waited for help from a bouncer at the nearby bar.

The women, ages 23 and 30, were not hurt, but assault charges could be brought against Lane because he acted in a threatening manner toward them, Young said.

Police said they believe Lane was intoxicated. He was booked into Whatcom County Jail on investigation of malicious harassment, a hate crime.


My sister lives in Bellingham and this makes me want to move there even more with my girlfriend.
MOKOU ღ burn it all.

Indefinite detention bill passes in Senate

US Senate today voted 86 to 13 in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

Exactly 220 years to the date after the Bill of Rights was ratified, the US Senate today voted 86 to 13 in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, allowing the indefinite detention and torture of Americans.

After a back-and-forth in recent days between both the Senate and House yielded intense criticism from Americans attempting to hold onto their Constitutional rights, NDAA FY2012 is now on its way to the White House, where yesterday the Obama administration revealed that the president would not veto the legislation, cancelling out a warning he offered less than a month earlier.

Obama has finally brought about change to America, but it’s nothing to be hopeful about.

Speaking before the Senate this afternoon, Sen. Lindsey Graham (Rep-SC) told his colleagues, “I hope you believe America is part of the battlefield.” The United States is at war, he insisted, and anyone alleged to be in opposition to the US government’s game will now be subjected to military-style detention indefinitely.

As RT reported earlier, one provision in NDAA FY2012 will allow for the reinstatement of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” essentially making waterboarding and forms of psychological torture a very possible reality for anyone America deems to be a threat, including its own citizens who, prior to the ruling, had the US Constitution on their side.

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Justice Department report blasts Seattle police

A federal civil-rights investigation into the Seattle Police Department has found routine and widespread use of excessive force by officers, and city and police officials were told at a stormy Thursday night meeting that they must fix the problems or face a federal lawsuit, according to two sources.

The meeting, attended by Mayor Mike McGinn, Police Chief John Diaz, members of his command staff and others, ended in raised voices and bitter accusations by city and police officials, upset at the Justice Department's findings, the sources said. One source said the language in the agency's report, to be officially released Friday, is "astoundingly critical" of the department.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, who heads the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, flew to Seattle from Phoenix on Thursday and will address a 9:30 a.m. Friday news conference alongside U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan.

The sources confirmed the city will get a chance to work with the Justice Department to address the issues, or it will face a federal lawsuit that could result in fines, penalties and even the appointment of an outside special master to oversee the Police Department.

McGinn, reached Thursday night, declined to discuss the report until its official release. He disputed that the meeting was contentious.

Thomas Bates, the executive assistant U.S. attorney in Durkan's office, confirmed the meeting but declined to characterize it or discuss the contents of the report.

Friday's announcement comes 11 months after the Justice Department launched a preliminary review of Seattle police at the request of Durkan and others. Evidence uncovered in that review led to a full-scale civil-rights investigation, announced March 31, to examine whether Seattle police engaged in "systemic violations of the Constitution or federal law."

The investigation focused on the use of force and allegations of biased policing against minorities.

Three weeks ago, the Justice Department issued asharply worded letter urging the Police Department to immediately address a policy that allows officers to invoke their protections against self-incrimination in even the most routine use-of-force issues. Justice officials said the policy made prosecutions of errant officers difficult and undermined public confidence.

Last week, in response to the letter, Diaz ordered sweeping changes in how the Police Department develops standards and expectations of officers, and created new panels to monitor and oversee the use of force by police.

Diaz has invited the Department of Justice to participate in a top-down rewrite of his department's policies and procedures.

The Department of Justice investigation is civil, not criminal. Its goal is to bring the Police Department in compliance with the Constitution and federal law if police practices are determined to be in violation. That could be done through a variety of means, ranging from a negotiated consent decree to a lawsuit.

The downtown King County Jail underwent a similar investigation in 2007 and the Justice Department required it to make significant changes in its care and treatment of inmates, under threat of a federal lawsuit.

Such investigations often take years to complete. The jail investigation lasted nearly two years.

Justice's most recently announced findings, released Thursday and detailing widespread racial profiling by the Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff's Office, took more than three years.

Perez announced the findings of the Arizona investigation via a conference call with reporters. He will announce the Seattle findings in person.

The FBI and Department of Justice investigators interviewed police officers, their commanders and citizens. Assistant Chief Jim Pugel, who was a liaison between Seattle Police and Justice, said the department turned over tens of thousands of documents.

Records show the Department of Justice also obtained dash-cam videos in connection with a number of use-of-force complaints.

The federal agency initiated its review in the wake of several highly publicized confrontations between officers and minority citizens, including the fatal shooting of First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams in August 2010 by Officer Ian Birk. The shooting was found to be unjustified and Birk resigned.

The shooting prompted a letter calling for the investigation, authored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and endorsed by 34 community groups.

The Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation into the Williams shooting. No charges have been filed.

I wonder if anything will actually change . (sorry, wasnt really sure what to tag this as)


London police think Occupiers are terrorists

Police include Occupy movement on 'terror' list
By Adam Parris-Long

City of London Police have sparked controversy by producing a brief in which the Occupy London movement is listed under domestic terrorism/extremism threats to City businesses.

The document was given to protesters at their “Bank of Ideas” base on Sun Street – a former site of financial corporation UBS. City police have stepped up an effort to quell the movement since they occupied the building on 18 November, with the document stating: “It is likely that activists aspire to identify other locations to occupy, especially those they identify with capitalism.

“Intelligence suggests that urban explorers are holding a discussion at the Sun Street squat. This may lead to an increase in urban exploration activity at abandoned or high profile sites in the capital.” The Occupy movement is listed alongside threats posed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), Al Qaeda and Belarusian terrorists.

“Just the words themselves are enough to deceive the public opinion and this is what we see at the moment,” Occupy spokesman Spyro Van Leemnen told Yahoo! News. “We are clearly nothing to do with extremists or terrorists, we are a peaceful group and we do use direct action to raise our point but definitely not terrorism.

“The building has been abandoned for a good few years now and we think it is crazy for a bank to have it empty and not used when we know at the same time there are so many family homes that have been repossessed. Occupying that building and giving it back to the community is definitely not a terrorist act,” he added.

Commenting on the document, City of London Police said: “[We] work with the community to deter and detect terrorist activity and crime in the City in a way that has been identified nationally as good practice.

“We’ve seen crime linked to protests in recent weeks, notably around groups entering office buildings, and with that in mind we continue to brief key trusted partners on activity linked to protests.”

Source, which includes a picture of the brief in question

Even if there was "crime" linked to the protests, that doesn't make it terrorism, for fuck's sake.

So she'll learn to write with her left hand _and_ go back to school anyway

Bangladesh man 'admits' cutting off wife's fingers... because she wanted to go to the university without his permission, it seems.

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Source is the BBC.

ONTD_P, I don't even know what to add to this which will not devolve to incoherent screaming.

More race fail in PoolGate.

Ohio Landlord Refuses To Apologize For Posting ‘Whites Only’ Pool Sign Because It’s ‘Historical’

In September the Ohio Civil Rights Commission ruled that a white landlord, Jamie Hein, had violated the state’s Civil Rights Act by posting a sign by the pool of her duplex that read “Public Swimming Pool, White Only.”

A black tenant filed a discrimination complaint with the commission after Hein accused his teenage daughter of using chemicals in her hair that made the water “cloudy.” Days later, she posted the sign on the gate to the pool.

Hein has so far been unapologetic, and is asking the commission to reconsider their ruling. “If I have to stick up for my white rights, I have to stick up for my white rights,” she said. She recently defended her actions to ABC News, giving the curious excuse that the sign was merely “historical”:

An Ohio landlord accused of discriminating against an African-American girl with a “white only” sign at her swimming pool told that the sign was an antique and a decoration.

“I’m not a bad person,” said Jamie Hein of Cincinnati. “I don’t have any problem with race at all. It’s a historical sign.”
Oh, you're not a bad person? OIC, well, we'll just ignore the racism, because you're a good person, everybody knows good people can't be racist!

The sign in question reads, “Public Swimming Pool, White Only.” It is dated 1931 and from Alabama.

Hein, 31, was unapologetic about the racist origins of the sign that she displayed at the entrance to her pool. She said she collects antiques and was given the sign as a gift. She also said that even though the sign seems to indicate that the pool is public, the pool is on her private property and “everybody has to ask before getting in my pool.”
Okay, if everybody has to ask before getting into her pool, why does she need the sign? Why not have a sign that says, "YOU GOTTA ASK FIRST"? Oh right, because she's racist and trying to make up bullshit excuses.

Landlords and business owners are subject to the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and Fair Housing Act, which prohibits them from discriminating against customers and tenants on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, handicap, familial status or national origin.


Oh no, it's him again.

Giuliani: ‘I Jumped Up Out Of My Chair And Cheered’ When Gingrich Said Palestinians Are An ‘Invented People’

GOP presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich moved from outlandish to downright offensive last week when he declared the Palestinians are an “invented people” only capable of terrorism. “Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth. These people are terrorists,” he said. “It’s fundamentally time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, enough lying about the Middle East.”

Today on Fox and Friends, New York City’s former Mayor Rudy Giuliani exulted in Gingrich’s inflammatory remarks. “I jumped up out of my chair and cheered for Newt when he said what he said about Palestine,” Giuliani exclaimed. “Finally. Thank God. Someone is saying the right things about Palestine.” Taking Gingrich’s extremism a step further, Giuliani proclaimed that the creation of a Palestinian state would just create a “terrorist state” that “will be training people to come over here and blow us up”:

GIULIANI: I jumped up out of my chair and cheered for Newt when he said what he said about Palestine. Finally. Thank God. Someone is saying the right things about Palestine. Somebody has to question why are we creating a Palestinian state that’s going to be another terrorist state. Put Israel aside for a minute. Is it in the interest of the United States of America to create another state where they’re going to be training people to come over here and blow us up? Of course it isn’t. And somebody’s got to have the guts to stand and say that like Ronald Reagan said, “the Evil Empire.” Like Ronald Reagan said, “Tear down the wall.” We need somebody like that.

Giuliani may want to take another look at his hero. As Politico’s Ben Smith noted yesterday, Reagan was nowhere near the “no-daylight-with-Israel policy that leading Republicans advocate” today. in 1982, he called for a settlement freeze, stating that it “could create the confidence needed for wider participation in these talks.” He even complained about Israel’s participation in the war in Lebanon, saying “the relationship between our two countries is at stake.” In 1987, he called on Israelis to “step back from confrontation” regarding the violence in the West Bank, adding that their occupation “also damages the self-respect and world opinion of the Israeli people.”

As Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz noted, “If Obama treated Israel like Reagan did, he’d be impeached.” And yet, Republicans like Gingrich and Giuliani continue to insist that their regressive, prejudicial, and ignorance of the Palestinian people is a position Reagan — or anyone who believes in the peace process — would support.

Of course, if we support and help a Palestinian State, would they really be sending terrorists to try and attack us? Of course, we're already suffering from wave after wave of foreign terrorists attacking us at will, aren't we?

The Source:
Pride & Prejudice

Scotland Yard To Text Christmas Revellers Rape Warnings

Festive drinkers are receiving phone messages warning them of rape risks as part of a hi-tech awareness initiative by police.

Scotland Yard is harnessing the power of WiFi hotspots to send digital messages to revellers at some of London's most popular nightspots.

Officers hope the technology can help prevent sex attacks and boost personal safety in some of the capital's busiest clubs, including the Ministry of Sound, Proud Galleries and Infernos.

Detective Supt Jason Ashwood said: "This concerted prevention drive is about sending a message to perpetrators of rape that sex with someone who is unable to consent is rape. If a person is unconscious or their judgment is impaired by alcohol, they are legally unable to consent.

"Men and women should never feel that they cannot enjoy themselves on a night-out, however we would always advise people to take care of themselves and their friends and ensure they are comfortable with their surroundings and situation. Have fun, but be responsible and stay safe.

"This is about us trying to prevent offences from happening in the first place."

The initiative, taking place in Westminster, Camden, Southwark and Lambeth, is advertised via posters asking partygoers to switch on their mobile phones' WiFi facility. Alerts are then sent to phones asking the user to download a police message.

It's worth pointing out, as the BBC article does, that these texts are only being sent to women. Texting men to say 'don't rape people' is apparently beyond them (though there are apparently also going to be leaflets pointing out that someone who is asleep/unconscious can't give consent).

Obama Shuts Jim Crow Era Labor-Law Loop Hole for Home Care Workers

On Thursday, President Obama and Secretary of Labor Solis announced that the U.S. Department of Labor will move forward to amend regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act to include the nearly 2 million homecare workers who are currently excluded from federal overtime and minimum wage protections.

“They work hard and play by the rules,” Obama said about the homecare workers that often bathe, feed and administer medical care for patients—sometimes, days, nights and weeks at a time. “Today’s action will ensure that these men and women get paid fairly for a service that a growing number of older Americans couldn’t live without,” Obama said in a statement.

Of the 1.79 million home care workers, 1.59 million are employed by staffing agencies of which over 92% are women, nearly 30% are African American, 12% are Latino and close to 40% rely on public benefits such as Medicaid and food stamps, according to the White House.

“The vast majority of these workers are women, many of whom serve as the primary breadwinner for their families. This proposed regulation would ensure that their work is properly classified so they receive appropriate compensation and that employers who have been treating these workers fairly are no longer at a competitive disadvantage,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

Currently, workers classified as ‘companions’ are exempt from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.

Below is an excerpt from a story publisher Rinku Sen wrote explaining which jobs have been carved out of labor laws and the racial history behind it:

The Roosevelt administration passed many enduring economic reforms in the 1930’s, including the Social Security Act and the National Labor Relations Act. The latter made it easier for workers to form unions and bargain collectively with their employers. Domestic and farmworkers, however, were explicitly excluded from both laws, a deal that allowed Roosevelt to gather the votes of Southern, white congress members, among others. At the time, 95 percent of domestic workers were black women in the South. Most agricultural workers were Black, Filipino or Mexican.

While Roosevelt’s labor protections have expanded over time (farmworkers were included in 1966), the combination of formal exclusion and practical non-enforcement still leaves millions of workers on their own. Most Americans don’t likely know the broad swath of workers who aren’t protected by labor laws. They include, for instance, workers who are considered independent contractors (such as taxi drivers and home daycare providers) and people working for tips (restaurant servers and runners haven’t seen their federal minimum wage rise in 20 years). Workers who receive public benefits through workfare programs, immigrant workers (day laborers, guest workers) and workers in right-to-work states are all excluded from varying sets of rights, either deliberately or by the lack of enforcement. Formerly incarcerated workers are subject to background checks when they apply for jobs, regardless of the severity of their conviction or the amount of time that has lapsed.

In 2007, homecare workers’ wage protections made national headlines when the Supreme Court ruled that Evelyn Coke, a home care worker in New York who worked as much as 70 hours a week, was not entitled to overtime pay under existing regulations.

“Today marks an enormous step forward to correct an injustice against hard-working Americans that has also hampered our ability to address the growing long-term care crisis in our country,” Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) said in a statement yesterday.

“Now more than ever, every job in our country must be a good job that can sustain a family, strengthen our communities and move our country forward. Very soon, every caregiver in America will be equal in the eyes of the law and equally protected,” Henry went on to say.

“This day will be a day that makes Evelyn Coke — and every American — very proud,” Henry said.


Some good news for a change...

Bachmann Logic: Repealing Healthcare will Save Lives

Bachmann: ‘The Number One Way We’ll Advance The Cause Of Life’ Is By Repealing Health Reform.

Like Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann found no irony in calling for the repeal legislation that would extend health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans (and already insured 2.5 million young adults) at a “pro-life” event last night, saying, “the number one way we’ll advance the cause of life is through the 100 percent repeal of Obamacare.” Speaking at the premiere of The Gift of Life, an anti-abortion movie, Bachmann also criticized the administration for denying greater access to the morning after pill, despite agreeing with the decision. She warned that if re-elected, the administration would surely make Plan B available “on the grocery store aisles next to bubble gums and next to M&Ms.”

Of course the morning after pill will never be available in candy aisles. Currently, the medication can only be purchased behind the counter by women 17 and older — meaning that they do not need a prescription but they have to ask a pharmacist for the drug. Those 16 and younger need a prescription in order to obtain it.

Meanwhile, all available data — both in Massachusetts and around the world — shows that women contemplating an abortion are far less likely to seek one if they can afford health insurance for themselves, and feel confident they can provide quality medical care to their newborn children. Therefore, repealing health reform would not only violate the general concept of supporting human life, it would also destroy the “life” of the fetuses that conservatives talk so much about protecting.


Victory! Internet Censorship Stopped!

Big news, folks! Because of immense public pressure, the House Judiciary Committee cancelled their vote on the bill that would kill Internet innovation and free speech -- and adjourned for the rest of the year!

Over the last 36 hours, over 97,000 people signed a petition against this bill launched by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and reddit, and thousands more called their representatives. The Internet fought back to protect the Internet -- and we won big, for now.

We now need to assemble our Internet army for next year, when this bill will come up again. Can you help us reach 100,000 signers on the petition?

Click here to join the incredible momentum!

(If you've already signed, click here to spread the VICTORY! news and share the grassroots petition on Facebook.)

Our petition got a ton of attention in Washington, DC. Here's what some leading news outlets reported yesterday:

Washington Post:

"The Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Reddit have been pushing a campaign arguing that SOPA, as written, would harm future innovation."

Roll Call:

"A flurry of liberal and conservative groups issued last-minute pleas in the hours before the House Judiciary Committee prepared to vote on its latest version of a controversial intellectual property bill, known as the Stop Online Piracy Act.

'Join @reddit and PCCC (@BoldProgressive) in saving the Internet!' the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal advocacy group, tweeted urging followers to sign an online petition opposing the bill. The missive was paired with a letter signed by the founders of Twitter, YouTube and other tech giants."

But the fight is far from over -- big corporations are still pushing hard for this bill. We won the battle with today's delay, but we still have to win the war against Internet censorship.

Click here to help us save the internet next year, when this bill comes up again!


Senate Maj. Leader Amy Koch Resigned Over Alleged 'Inappropriate Relationship' Read more: Amy Koch

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch resigned Thursday and said she wouldn’t seek re-election in 2012, while on Friday her fellow Republicans dealt with shocking allegations that led to her decision.

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Love it when family values are so important. She may end up being investigated by the ethics committee. She was also one of the most influential people in getting the marriage amendment on the 2012 MN ballot.

Tensions at Missing Women's inquiry boil over

By David P. Hall, Vancouver Observer Dec 15th.

B.C.'s missing women's inquiry hearings saw a pointed argument between the lawyer for families of Robert Pickton's murder victims, and beleaguered commissioner Wally Oppal – leaving several of the families enraged and the inquiry increasingly in question. 


I was really excited to hear that the UN was doing to do an inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women, but when I read this I was blown away (note, this is found on the second page of the article). 

"UN inquiry request shot down
The Oppal-Ward spat came as the United Nations acknowledged receiving a request from Canadian Indigenous groups for an inquiry into the country's missing and murdered Aboriginal women – which the Native Women's Alliance of Canada (NWAC) has listed at nearly 600 women. However, the federal government said today that no UN inquiry will take place."

There is no mention as to why the UN inquiry will not take place.

Tea Party Group Leader Is Arrested at La Guardia

An influential Tea Party leader was arrested at La Guardia Airport early Thursday after he tried to board a flight with a semi-automatic handgun and its ammunition in his luggage, the authorities said.Mark J. Meckler, 49, a California lawyer who co-founded the Tea Party Patriots, among the largest and most influential of the national Tea Party groups, was charged with possession of a concealed weapon in the second degree after he presented a locked gun box to a Delta Air Lines ticketing agent, according to a news release issued by the Queens district attorney’s office.

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