January 5th, 2012

Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Dallas teen missing since 2010 was mistakenly deported

Dallas teen missing since 2010 was mistakenly deported

She has spent hours on Facebook trying to find her granddaughter, Jakadrien.

"Once I get home I am up until 3 or 4 in the morning searching and looking," Turner said. "It's all I can think about. Finding my baby."

Turner has been searching for Jakadrien since the fall of 2010, when she ran away from home. She was 14 years old and distraught over the loss of her grandfather and her parents’ divorce.

Turner searched for months for a clue.

"God just kept leading me," she said. "I wake up in the middle of the night and do whatever God told me to do, and I found her."

Turner said with the help of Dallas Police, she found her granddaughter in the most unexpected place - Colombia.

Where she had mistakenly been deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in April of 2011.

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What the sweet gargling christ. That poor girl.

I don't even know how to tag this, y'all.
ontd → glasses!rdj

Women only, not men, to work in Saudi Arabia lingerie shops

A law allowing only women to work in lingerie shops in Saudi Arabia is about to come into force.

Campaigners hope this will end decades of awkwardness in the Islamic kingdom where women have always been served by male shop assistants.

The heated issue of the total lack of female shop workers in Saudi Arabia has simmered for years.

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Melissa Harris-Perry Gets Her Own MSNBC Weekend Show

MSNBC has added another new show to its weekend lineup, handing contributor Melissa Harris-Perry a two-hour program on Saturdays and Sundays.

Harris-Perry has been a frequent political analyst and guest host for the network, filling in for the likes of Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnnell. When TheWrap spoke with MSNBC President Phil Griffin in December, he reiterated his admiration for Harris-Perry and mentioned her as a potential host, presaging such a move.

“Melissa’s thoughtful analysis has been an incredible addition to our primetime programs and I’m thrilled to have her join our expanded weekend line-up,” Griffin said in a statement. “[…] As the political year gets underway, there’s no better time to build up our weekend coverage, which Alex has helmed so well for years.”

The introduction of the as-yet untitled show is part of a greater reorganization of the network’s weekend lineup, fitting in Harris-Perry around the shows of Chris Hayes and Alex Witt.

“Weekends with Alex Witt,” which currently airs from 9 a.m. ET to noon on Saturday and 10 a.m. to noon on Sundays will now run from 7 to 8 a.m. ET and noon – 2p.m. ET on both days. “Up” with Chris Hayes will now air at the same time on both days as well, running from 8 to 10 a.m. ET.

Harris-Perry’s show will air from 10 am to noon E.T. on Saturday and Sunday starting February 4.

Like Hayes, she comes to the network from The Nation, the liberal weekly magazine. Also like Hayes, she will still contribute to the publication, writing her monthly column "Sister Citizen."


i saw a lot of people hoping for this during the iowa caucus coverage on tuesday. wish granted!
crying minotaur

Transgender Americans take on New York

A group of transgender men and women want New York City to make it easier to change the "M" or "F" on their birth certificates. What makes a man or a woman, and why do governments care?

By Daniel Nasaw
BBC News Magazine, New York

In the annals of unhappy encounters with driving licence authority officials, Patricia Harrington's and Joann Prinzivalli's seem particularly miserable.

Both had been living as women for years, but still carried birth certificates showing the sex they were designated at birth - male.

Ms Harrington, who was hoping to transfer her New York state driving licence to the state of New Jersey, was told to return with a doctor's note.

"It just made me furious," says Ms Harrington.

"I would just like to get a corrected birth certificate that identifies me, so that when I have to show it for identification I don't automatically become some kind of criminal suspect."

'It's personal'
New York City, where both were born, will amend a person's birth certificate to reflect a sex change, but only if the person has undergone "convertive surgery" on the genitals.

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Kudos to the BBC for avoiding pronoun fail and using 'designated' rather than 'born as.'

And come on, NY. If your argument is that the 'sex' on the birth certificate just is a factual account of whether the baby has a penis or vagina, then that is medical information that people should not have to release. You might as well print how many fingers and toes the baby is born with or birth weight or a million other things that don't end up determining gender. Most laypeople (at the DMV and elsewhere) don't see that 'sex' as a medical designate, they see 'male' or 'female' as gender. I don't know why birth certificates don't just have something like "1 baby born to Mother's Name at X location at X time with XXX social security number" and then the SSN can be matched with the one on the picture ID currently carried. As a genderqueer person, I would rather not have male OR female on my birth certificate, thanks much.

Colombian city gets giant, outdoor escalator

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Officials in Colombia's second-largest city on Monday inaugurated a giant, outdoor escalator for residents of one of its poorest neighborhoods.

For generations, the 12,000 residents of Medellin's tough Comuna 13, which clings to the side of a steep hillside, have had to climb hundreds of large steps authorities say is the same as going up a 28-story building.

Now they can ride an escalator Medellin's mayor says is the first massive, outdoor public escalator for use by residents of a poor area.

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Source: http://www.wdtn.com/dpps/news/strange/colombian-city-gets-giant-outdoor-escalator-ob11-jgr_4022569

Rick Santorum's Google problem remains

Rick Santorum, who lost by just eight votes to Mitt Romney in Iowa's caucuses this week, has several roadblocks in the way of transitioning Tuesday's impressive finish to a Republican presidential nomination: a limited war chest, a meager campaign infrastructure and a history of controversial stances on social issues.

His biggest foe, though, might be Google.

A candidate's search results page is one of the most important tools on the Web for pointing potential voters to a script written by the campaign in hopes of shaping public perception.

And after his near victory in Iowa on Tuesday, many voters have been searching for more information on Santorum. Many of them have gotten quite the eyeful.

Santorum's Google problem dates back to 2003, when columnist Dan Savage challenged his readers to redefine the then-Pennsylvania senator's last name after he made some anti-gay comments in an interview with the Associated Press.

That definition, which can't be reprinted in its entirety here, is a neologism for the byproduct of a sex act.

If you go to Google and search just "santorum," it's the top search result. The candidate's official campaign website appears fourth.

The issue isn't new, but has become even more pressing for Santorum after his Top 2 finish Tuesday. The candidate's last name has been a Google Trend this week, a reflection of the renewed interest in more information about him.

It's now even more surprising that Santorum's campaign hasn't righted the issue, given the importance of a candidate's online presence. Collapse )

Source giggles every time it sees the word santorum.

Nothing new here, I know, but I couldn't resist posting this.

Tex. teen mistakenly deported to Colombia assumed false identity

By Elizabeth Flock

News agencies are reporting today that a 14-year-old American runaway was mistakenly deported to Colombia by authorities in Texas in May because she gave a fake name that accidentally matched that of another illegal alien.

U.S. Immigration and Customs, however, says that’s not true. An agency spokeswoman told The Washington Post that Jakadrien Turner was deported because she assumed the false identity of a Colombian woman. Turner is now 15 and possibly being held in a detention center in Colombia.

The agency says Turner first assumed the identity, calling herself Tika Lanay Cortez, when she was arrested on state charges for theft by the Houston Police Department. Turner told police that she was an adult from Colombia with no legal status in the United States, and went through an entire trial, was charged, convicted and served time under the name Tika Lanay Cortez. Records from court indicated that it convicted a 21-year-old woman from Columbia. Her defense attorney believed that to be true as well.

Upon her conviction, ICE says Turner was referred to them, where she continued to maintain a false identity during immigration court proceedings. The agency did fingerprints and record checks to verify that the woman was Tika Lanay Cortez, and nothing came up to invalidate her claim. When she went before an immigration lawyer, Turner continued to say she was a Colombia woman. She was interviewed at the Colombian consulate, where she also kept up the false identity.

Turner was ultimately ordered removed from the United States by a Department of Justice immigration judge last year.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Turner is being held in a detention facility in Colombia. ICE says they are not able to confirm whether that was true, but said in a statement that it is “fully and immediately investigating this matter in order to expeditiously determine the facts of this case.”

Her grandmother, who is responsible for sparking the investigation after tracking Turner down on social media, told the Dallas Morning News: “How do you deport a teenager and send her to Colombia without a passport, without anything? ... I need help and I need a prayer.”

Turner, however, continued to use the false identity she assumed as Tika Cortez since being deported, on a Facebook page and on Twitter.

Turner created the Facebook page in May using the name “Tika SoloToolong (Tika Confero),” updated her current city to Bogota, Colombia, and began posting photos of herself and updates to the page. On Twitter, she created the account under the name “Tika Cortes.”

In her first Facebook post, Turner refers to her deportation, writing: “bored ... just got this facebook stuff ... pics coming soon, back home in Columbia ... got deported ... really missed everyone in Houston.”

Though Turner wrote on her Facebook page of wanting to move to Mexico to eventually return to Houston, it is unclear whether Turner made any actual attempts to come back to the United States. At one point, she writes that she was working to get a Colombian identification card.

She also referenced her jail time in Texas, and wrote that she was not happy in Colombia: “Well was in jail, now I’m free man an still feel like I’m loke [locked] up in this country.”

Many times, Turner asserted on her page that she was Colombian, saying in one post that she was born in Colombia, raised in Barbados, grew up in New Orleans and then lived in Dallas and Houston.

Elsewhere, Turner wrote she was depressed and lonely in Bogota, sometimes saying she longed to go back to Houston, and at other times saying she belonged in Colombia because it was her home.

While in Colombia, Turner worked as a maid and did other odd jobs that required an English speaker. She did not speak Spanish when she arrived but wrote on her Facebook that she was going to take Spanish lessons.

Her last update on Twitter, on Nov. 3, read: “Listening The Zone .... The Weekend Version, and right now I am in Zone to [expletive] somebody up!!!!!”

Her last Facebook post, on Nov. 15, stated that she had started a relationship with an ex-boyfriend. The man posted a few days later on her wall that he loved her and was the father of her child. CNN reports that Turner is pregnant.

ICE said in a statement released to The Post that “historically, there have been instances where ICE has seen cases of individuals providing inaccurate information regarding who they are and their immigration status.” ICE said individuals provide inaccurate information at times “for ulterior motives.”

It is unclear what Turner’s motive might be.

According to CBS affiliate KHOU, Turner ran away from home in fall 2010 after her grandfather died and her parents divorced. Her missing person report is here.


An update on this story.

President Obama making recess appointments to labor board, again braving GOP outrage

President Obama is making recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board in addition to his appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. According to Greg Sargent:

Obama is set to appoint Sharon Block, Terence Flynn, and Richard Grifin to the board — something unions have made a big priority for them in the new year. Senate Republicans have opposed the recess appointments to the NLRB on constitutional grounds, but unions charge that Republicans are only interested in rendering the agency inoperative.

In a statement, Obama said that:

The American people deserve to have qualified public servants fighting for them every day - whether it is to enforce new consumer protections or uphold the rights of working Americans. We can’t wait to act to strengthen the economy and restore security for our middle class and those trying to get in it, and that’s why I am proud to appoint these fine individuals to get to work for the American people.

This is huge: Without these appointments, the NLRB would have been down to two members; it cannot make decisions without a three-member quorum. Republicans were determined to block Obama's NLRB nominations to shut down the board and prevent it from being able to pass rules like its recent moves streamlining union elections and requiring employers to put up posters informing workers of their existing legal rights.

Obama's decision to recess appoint both these NLRB members and Cordray to the CFPB doesn't just put qualified people into the government—it enables the government agencies themselves to function. That functioning, not the specific individuals, was what Republicans hoped to obstruct. It goes without saying that the GOP will be outraged all over again, despite the fact that the last three Republican presidents all made recess appointments to the NLRB. Kudos to Obama for braving the outrage and doing what needs to be done to keep government working.

Peter Donaldson - NMTD/LLL

Diane Abbott apologises over Twitter racism row

Diane Abbott apologises over Twitter racism row

MP said tweet saying 'white people love playing "divide & rule"' was taken out of context before Ed Miliband ordered apology

Diane Abbott, the shadow health minister, has apologised after posting a Twitter comment about white people that led to her being accused of racism.

"I understand people have interpreted my comments as making generalisations about white people," Abbott, who stood for the Labour leadership in 2010, said. "I do not believe in doing that. I apologise for any offence caused."

She was ordered to apologise by the Labour leader, Ed Miliband. Miliband resisted a call from a Conservative MP to sack her, but her apology coincided with Labour issuing a statement disowning her contentious remark.

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Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jan/05/diane-abbott-accused-racism-twitter?newsfeed=true

leviathans in the womb

Hungary loses ‘Republic’ in name, and protests fill capital

Demonstrators crowded the Hungarian capital of Budapest Monday night to protest a new constitution they declared "anti-democratic." Many demanded Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s resignation.

Protesters gathered outside the State Opera, where the prime minister was attending a gala celebrating the new constitution, the Associated Press reported. The protesters, upset by a number of new changes in the constitution, chanted "Viktator," merging the prime minister’s first name with "dictator," the AP said.

Civil rights and opposition groups organized the protests after the country’s new constitution came into effect Jan. 1. "To many, it feels like the consolidation of a constitutional coup," Kim Lane Scheppele, Professor of Public Affairs at Princeton University, wrote in The New York Times.

The most-talked-about change in the new constitution is the country’s name change: from Republic of Hungary to Hungary. Protesters told the Times it was indicative of the country’s loss of democracy.

The new constitution appended several sections which human rights group Amnesty International says violate international human rights, including ones that define life as beginning at conception and marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Other sections that worried the rights organization include one that allows for the possibility of life imprisonment without parole, and another that fails to forbid discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Concerns about Hungary’s new constitution have also been voiced by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who last year pushed Orban to commit to "the independence of the judiciary, a free press, and governmental transparency," CNN reported.

Orban and other officials were forced to leave the gala through back doors to avoid the protests, which lasted for five hours, CNN reported.

oh holy shit
  • chaya

Anti-Piracy Movie Ads Caught Using Pirated Music

You wouldn't steal a car, you wouldn't steal a handbag...

We all know how the rest goes, because thanks to the Motion Picture Association Of America and their foreign associates, every time you hire a DVD, you have to sit through this ad before you get to the main menu. But in what must be the most delicious slice of irony served this year, it has just been discovered that that the music used to soundtrack this 50-second pain in the ass is actually stolen.

Netherlands composer Melchior Rietveldt composed that ominous techno tune for a local film festival after being asked by anti-piracy group BREIN, who are funded by Hollywood. A few years later, he got himself a copy of Harry Potter on DVD and noticed his music was suddenly being used for much wider use than he had originally agreed to in contract. Which essentially means that when they say 'you wouldn't steal a television', that doesn't quite extend to intellectual property.

Legal estimates put the amount of money Rietveldt is owed by pretty much every movie house on Earth at somewhere close to €1 million. Matters got even worse when the chairman of the board of the royalty collection agency in the Netherlands offered to help recoup the funds - but only if he could take a 33% cut. It's bad timing particularly for the US, where the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is currently a hot topic for its intended transferral of responsibility for pirated from individuals back to small businesses and web hosts. After all, if they can't even look after their own ads, how can they expect anybody else to abide by the law?

Excuse us, we're just going out to steal a handbag.

Source thinks this like one million knives when all you need a spoon. Or whatever.

Orly Taitz Applauds Birther Victory Handed Down By State Judge In Georgia

Orly Taitz, a California attorney and queen of the birthers, won a small victory this week when a judge in Georgia denied a motion by the Obama administration to have one her many challenges to the president's ballot eligibility dismissed.

Taitz, who maintains that Obama is not a natural-born citizen and therefore is not eligible to be president -- despite the White House's release of his full "long-form" birth certificate last year -- appeared elated at the decision:


Following the decision by Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi in the Office of State Administrative Hearings, the hearing on Taitz's complaint has been set for Jan. 26 in Fulton County, Ga.

Read more here. Obama will not be required to attend.

Taitz has hit Georgia hard on the birther issue -- as have other complainants -- but this is her first success of this nature there, or anywhere, for that matter. A previous attempt in Georgia resulted in her being fined.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports:

Taitz represented two soldiers in U.S. District Court in Columbus who sought to avoid deployment by arguing Obama wasn't the commander-in-chief because he wasn’t eligible to be president. Federal Judge Clay Land warned Taitz against filing a frivolous suit, then fined her $20,000 after he denied the second claim.

On her website, she notes the significance of the decision being passed down in the same state where she was so heartily rejected, calling it "particularly sweet."

It's a rare turn of events for the birther die-hard, who has been among the most vocal and most active members of the anti-Obama movement. She was rejected unanimously by a New Hampshire panel last year, after testifying that Obama's birth certificate was a forgery.

  • beshwa

No, no--it was all just a big, silly misunderstanding!

Santorum: I Didn't Say 'Black People,' I Said 'Blah People'

A few days ago, GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum put his foot in his mouth by saying “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.

Santorum allegedly made the controversial comments when discussing welfare in an interview Wednesday night with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, but he maintained that people misheard the word "black" when he stumbled on a word.

“I looked at that, and I didn't say that. If you look at it, what I started to say is a word and then sort of changed and it sort of - blah - came out. And people said I said ‘black.’ I didn't," Santorum said while smiling away.

“And I can tell you, I don't use - I don't - first off, I don't use the term ‘black’ very often. I use the term ‘African-American’ more than I use ‘black' ... I think sometimes you want to give someone the benefit of the doubt if it's a little bit of a blurred word."

I'm not certain even O'Reilly believed him by the time that he was finished babbling.

Source 1
Youtube video

Freaky Friday - F

Kansas House Speaker apologizes for forwarding email that calls Michelle Obama “Mrs. YoMama”

House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, on Thursday issued an apology for an email he forwarded to fellow House Republicans that refers to first lady Michelle Obama as "Mrs. YoMama" and compares a photograph of her to a picture of the Grinch.

"Twins separated at birth?" the subject line of the email says.

The email includes a picture of Mrs. Obama next to one of the Grinch. It has been making the rounds on the Internet. Mrs. Obama's hair appears to be swept up by the wind, and O'Neal writes, "Sorry, just had to forward this latest holiday message! I've had worse hair days but this is pretty funny."

The forwarded portion of the email also states, "I'm sure you'll join me in wishing Mrs. YoMama a wonderful, long Hawaii Christmas vacation — at our expense, of course." The Obamas spent the holidays in President Barack Obama's home state of Hawaii.

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Huh?  From cail
  • sesmo

Ron Paul’s consistency doesn’t make him right

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson, meet Ronald Ernest Paul. He is the very soul of a foolish consistency. Meaning that he is willing, often to a fault, to follow his ideology to its logical and most extreme conclusions.

In this, the congressman differs from other GOP contenders for the White House and, for that matter, from most politicians, period. Your average pol might rail against the intrusion of government into the private lives of its citizens, then turn right around and advocate a law regulating what a gay man does in his bedroom — and see no contradiction. Paul is too intellectually honest for that.

Intellectual honesty is a good thing, if only because it can lead you to reconsider a faulty premise. But in Paul’s take on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 he doubles down on the bad premise instead.

Paul has long argued — and reiterated Sunday on CNN — that the Act, which liberated untold millions of African Americans from the tyranny of Jim Crow, “destroyed the principle of private property and private choices.” In other words, forcing a restaurant to take down a Whites Only sign infringed the rights of the restaurant’s owner. A similar argument was made by segregationists in 1964 — and by slave owners in the 1850s.

Maybe, it’s easy to make freedom an issue of “property rights” when you have never been the property.

That said, it is of little importance to wonder, as some are now doing, whether all of this makes Ron Paul a racist. Yes, we’ve recently learned of a newsletter sent out under his name in the 1990s that included racist language. Yes, Paul has won — and declined to disavow — the support of various white supremacist groups.

But yes, too, Paul has (rightly) decried the War on Drugs as a war on African-American men. So take him at his word, that he is just a man for whom government equals tyranny — a view shared by many on the right. Then ask yourself what sort of nation this would be if that view ever prevailed.

Can government be overlarge, overbearing, overwhelming, over restrictive, over intrusive? Of course. And where it is those things, it is the right — and duty — of the electorate to pare it back.

On the other hand, unless you enjoy salmonella in your food and lead in your paint, unless you think it’s OK that your doctor has no medical degree and your lawyer no license, unless you’re fine with breathing sooty air and drinking tainted water and unless you really think a black woman in Mississippi, locked out of public places by threat of violence and force of law, should have been required to wait on market forces to rescue her, you must regard Paul’s moral imbecility with a certain appalled awe.

Heaven help us if the intellectual rigidity he symbolizes is really the only alternative to the intellectual malleability of so many of his colleagues

At its best, government vindicates and defends a people’s noblest ideals. The Civil Rights Act was government at its best. Paul disputes this and styles himself a defender of freedom for so doing. Too bad he can’t spend a day being black in Mississippi in 1964. He might emerge with a better understanding of that word.

As it is, Paul’s extremism only proves this much: Emerson didn’t know the half of it.

Source. As always, don't read the comments, the Paul supporters are out in force. I had to post it for that one line, because daaaamn.

Edited to remove iffy term. Sorry about that.

Okla. inmate executed for fatal stabbing in 1994


McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma inmate who recently attempted suicide was put to death Thursday evening for killing a man during a knife fight nearly two decades ago, marking the nation's first execution this year.

Gary Roland Welch, 49, was given a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in McAlester for fatally stabbing 35-year-old Robert Hardcastle in Miami, Okla. He was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m.

Minutes before the drugs were administered, other death row inmates could be heard banging on their cell walls, and Welch paid tribute to them during his final statement.

"I was just going to ask everybody if they could hear my brothers out there," he said. "I know it's kind of quiet now, but I want to acknowledge that my brothers are here with me to send me off on my journey. They are here on my behalf. They've already given me my little send off. So let's get it on because that's what we're here for."

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' raw like sushi
  • schmiss


Romney's hometown paper endorses Jon Huntsman for president

Jon Huntsman was endorsed for president by The Boston Globe on Thursday.

The endorsement comes just five days before the New Hampshire caucus and is a well-received coup for a campaign that's struggled to win endorsements and backings of major national or regional newspapers or political icons.

But perhaps the bigger news is that the Boston paper opted not to support Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and the Republican primary race's front-runner.

"Huntsman governed Utah as a clear conservative who nonetheless put the interests of his state ahead of ideology," the Globe's editorial board wrote. "He delighted right-wing supporters by replacing a graduated state income tax with a flat tax."

The editorial did not ignore Romney — in fact it says Huntsman and Romney "have shown the breadth of spirit to lead the nation" — but it argues he's inferior to Huntsman.

"Among the candidates, only two stand out as truly presidential, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman," the editorial reads. "But while Romney proceeds cautiously, strategically, trying to appease enough constituencies to get himself the nomination, Huntsman has been bold."

This is the second consecutive Republican primary where the Globe has passed over Romney for an endorsement. In 2008, the paper endorsed Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the eventual nominee. McCain endorsed Romney on Wednesday.

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Not that I expect this to change anything but still interesting/amusing (suck it Mittens)