January 29th, 2012

Kathy and Levi

Rick Santorum Daughter Hospitalized: GOP Candidate Cancels Events In Florida

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum canceled his Sunday morning campaign events and planned to spend time with his hospitalized daughter.

"Rick and his wife Karen are admitting their daughter Bella to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia this evening," spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement Saturday night, adding "Rick intends to return to Florida and resume the campaign schedule as soon as is possible."

Santorum had been scheduled to appear on NBC's "Meet the Press" and attend church in Miami. Officials did not cancel Sunday's afternoon events in Sarasota and Punta Gorda.

Isabella Santorum has Trisomy 18, a genetic condition caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 18th chromosome. When asked about her, Santorum says his daughter was not expected to survive until her first birthday and often has to catch himself to stop from tears.

"I have a little girl who's 3 1/2 years old," he told Christian conservatives in Iowa before winning that lead-off contest.

"I don't know whether her life is going to be measured – it's always been measured – in days and weeks. Yet here I am. ... because I feel like I wouldn't be a good dad if I wasn't out here fighting for a country that would see the dignity in her and every other child."

When voters ask him about her, he calls the decision to campaign "gut-retching" but says he goes forward for all special needs families.
"You think she's fine, and then one cold and she's this close to dying," he told The Washington Post last year in an interview.

In October, he missed one of Bella's surgeries to participate in a debate and told the audience that he planned to take an all-night flight home from Las Vegas to be with her.

"I look at the simplicity and love she emits," Santorum said in a web video his campaign released after his scheduling drew questions, "and it's clear to me we're the disabled ones."

Santorum largely has kept his daughter off the campaign schedules, preferring her to stay home with her mother. But Bella did join Santorum for a few days around Iowa's straw poll in August, and she joined her family in Charleston, S.C., the day of its primary.

She didn't join her six siblings for the public speech. She stayed backstage.


Not a fan of Santorum, but I hope everything is as okay as it can be. Thankfully, CHOP is one of the best children's hospitals. 

Suzumiya Haruhi

300 arrested at Occupy protests in Oakland

Dozens of police maintained a late-night guard around City Hall in Oakland, California, following daylong protests that resulted in 300 arrests. Earlier, Occupy Oakland demonstrators broke into the historic building and burned a U.S. flag, and officers earlier fired tear gas to disperse people throwing rocks and tearing down fencing at a convention center.

Saturday's protests -- the most turbulent since Oakland police forcefully dismantled an Occupy encampment in November -- came just days after the group said it planned to use a vacant building as a social center and political hub and threatened to try to shut down the port, occupy the airport and take over City Hall.

An exasperated Mayor Jean Quan, who faced heavy criticism for the police action last fall, called on the Occupy movement to "stop using Oakland as its playground."

"People in the community and people in the Occupy movement have to stop making excuses for this behavior," Quan said.

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LA Times

Update: Occupy Oakland arrests reach 400; City Hall vandalized - LA Times
Lucy - Fierce & Fabulous


The Basics of Poverty: What Everyone Should Know

Info posts may contain triggering elements, so please be mindful of the topic and read at your own discretion. Specific triggers and warnings are listed below, but if any additional warnings are needed please don't be shy about making the suggestion. Thanks!

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Upsetting photos depicting actual people.
IMAGE WARNINGS: Extreme poverty
NOTES: This post is big. Really, really big. First I maxed out the character limit, then it still had to be cut down because it was just too big and LJ was like "LOL NO". So yeah, we've got an iceberg here.
DISCLAIMER: Due to unavoiable edits, follow-up posts are planned.

These posts are a "safe space" to ask questions you might otherwise be too shy to. Please do not reply to people with "Plz Google" or "educate yourself". Everyone should enter these posts with a learn and teach mindset (in that order). WITH THAT SAID, HOWEVER, please remain mindful of your questions and phrasing, be open-minded, learn, and know when to be quiet. If you are flippant with your ignorance, I will not stop angered members from telling you about yourself.

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Thanks for reading!
chel facepalm by haircurl
  • wemblee

angry about inequality? don't blame the rich!

[Note: It was hard to find what to bold, since all of it was stupid. I went with "facts I found interesting that probably need to be checked" and "stuff that made me facepalm at the author."]

Angry About Inequality? Don't Blame The Rich!
By James Q. Wilson

There is no doubt that incomes are unequal in the United States -- far more so than in most European nations. This fact is part of the impulse behind the Occupy Wall Street movement, whose members claim to represent the 99 percent of us against the wealthiest 1 percent. It has also sparked a major debate in the Republican presidential race, where former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has come under fire for his tax rates and his career as the head of a private-equity firm.

And economic disparity was the recurring theme of President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday. "We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by," the president warned, "or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share."

But the mere existence of income inequality tells us little about what, if anything, should be done about it. First, we must answer some key questions. Who constitutes the prosperous and the poor? Why has inequality increased? Does an unequal income distribution deny poor people the chance to buy what they want? And perhaps most important: How do Americans feel about inequality?

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Notes: Rip this shit apart, _p. If you throw facts at the stuff where a citation was obviously needed, it'll make you a superstar.

What was more interesting to me: in the print edition of WaPo's Outlook (opinion) section, where this appeared, this was the "cover" story -- "DON'T BLAME THE RICH" took up the entire area above the fold. Now, if you're reading the Post on a weekend, you're probably a subscriber, you probably read the Post a lot, and you know the opinion section isn't the news section, so there isn't an issue of confusing casual readers who just glance at the headlines while grabbing coffee or something on the way to work. But I can't help but wonder how many right-wing pieces like that get this splashy, page-eating layout vs. left-wing ones. It's possible I just notice the right-wing ones more, since I disagree with them.

Slow Responses Cloud a Window Into Washington

WASHINGTON — Is a FOIA delayed a FOIA denied?

“FOIA” is the Freedom of Information Act, under which federal agencies are supposed to promptly release documents requested by the public. In the dialect of Washington, it can be a noun or a verb. But the FOIA process is seldom prompt.

On Jan. 4, The New York Times received a final response from the Defense Department to a FOIA request made on June 1, 1997. The department sent it by Federal Express, Priority Overnight.

The courts have ruled that government agencies must respond to FOIA requests in 20 days. But The Times’s case was hardly a record; some requests are approaching 20 years old.

The intent of the Freedom of Information Act was to provide citizens, scholars and journalists a window into the workings of their government, but sometimes it seems as though the shades are drawn.

For example, the National Archives and Records Administration says its oldest request is from September 1992, asking for information from the White House Office of Science and Technology about nuclear weapons safeguards, testing and disarmament negotiations. The documents requested are from 1961. Another request from 1992 is for State Department documents relating to nuclear weapons accidents in 1958 through 1960. A third asked, in 1993, for documents dating to the American occupation of Italy after World War II, specifically about the Sicilian Mafia.

These requests have been neither denied nor approved; they are in limbo, awaiting the attention of someone in another agency with the authority to decide what can be declassified. The National Archives does not have that authority.

Miriam M. Nisbet, director of the office of government information services at the National Archives, said of the lengthy delays: “I can’t defend that. You’re not going to get anybody who’ll say it’s just fine that it takes that long.” Ms. Nisbet is a kind of ombudsman of the FOIA program, mediating some disputes.

Gary M. Stern, the chief FOIA officer of the National Archives, acknowledged, “It’s slower than any of us would like.” Some requests are from people writing books, and the book has already been published, he said, and “then a delay is in effect a denial.” Some are from journalists who may have lost interest in the subject matter over the years, he said, and the cases can drag on for so long that “some are from people who are dead.”


Source has more

wasn't sure what tags to use...
heartbeat flame

Body of woman found in suitcase

Garda forensic and pathology experts are examining the body of a woman found murdered and dumped on a street in a suitcase.

The black woman, whose identity, nationality and age are unknown, was discovered by a passer-by on Blackhorse Avenue on Dublin's northside.

The bag, described as a large travel bag on wheels and with a handle, had been left by the roadside.

Gardai said the grim discovery was made at about 8.30am beside a line of parked cars up against the footpath in front of a row of terraced houses.

The scene was about 100 yards from McKee Army barracks near the Phoenix Park.

The road was sealed off at both ends for several hours as gardai began forensic examinations of the scene and the bag.

The body was removed from the road still in the bag and taken to Beaumont Hospital in the north of the city.

A post-mortem examination is being planned for later after initial examinations for signs of injury at the hospital.

Gardai believe the suitcase was left on the street some time overnight.

Anyone with information has been urged to contact the Bridewell Garda Station.

Source: http://www.independent.ie/breaking-news/national-news/body-of-woman-found-in-suitcase-3003157.html

... D:

(Also a murder enquiry has been launched: 


heartbeat flame

Fatal baby infection found at Ulster Hospital

Ulster HospitalThe infection was found at the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald

The pseudomonas bacteria which led to the deaths of four babies has been found in the Ulster Hospital.

It was detected in water outlets in the neo-natal intensive care unit of the hospital on the outskirts of Belfast.

None of the babies in the unit has tested positive for the infection but screening is ongoing.

Separate outbreaks of pseudomonas claimed the life of one baby in Altnagelvin, Londonderry, last month and three babies in Belfast recently.

Seven more babies remain infected by pseudomonas.

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mus | like a bird in a cage

All 3 guilty in Shafia murder trial; judge condems twisted concept of honour

Three members of an Afghanistan-born Montreal family have been found guilty of killing three daughters and a co-wife in what the judge describes as "cold-blooded, shameful murders" resulting from a "twisted concept of honour."

A jury took 15 hours to find Mohammad Shafia, 58, his wife Tooba Yahya, 42, and their son Hamed, 21, each guilty of four counts of first-degree murder in a case so shocking it has riveted Canadians from coast to coast.

Even after the verdict was read, the three denied killing sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, Shafia as well as Rona Amir Mohammad, 52, their father's childless first wife in a polygamous marriage.

Their bodies were found June 30, 2009, in a car submerged in a canal in Kingston, Ont., in a multiple murder the Crown asserted was to avenge the family's outrage because the girls sought teenage freedoms agianst the will of their controlling father and brother.
As the verdicts were being read, Hamed put his head in his hands and hunched over while standing.

Soon, his mother Tooba started to cry.

When the judge asked if they each wanted to say anything, they one by one declared their innocence.

"We are not criminal, we are not murderer, we didn't commit the murder and this is unjust," Mohammad said through a translater.
His wife, Tooba, responded: "Your honourable justice, this is not just. I am not a murderer, and I am a mother, a mother."
Their son said in English: "Sir, I did not drown my sisters anywhere."

But the judge was unmoved, and spoke directly to the cultural cloud that has hung over the case since it began.

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  • suwiel

(no subject)

McDonalds Vows to Stop the Use of "Pink Slime" In Food

Suddenly those gold arches aren't looking so appealing.

Thank the heavens for celebrity chef Jamie Oliver! Without him the world would not have known the disgusting secret behind the juicy McDonald's burger sold in the US.

According to MSN:

In the wake of an outcry by Jamie Oliver, McDonald's said on Thursday said it will stop using ammonium hydroxide, a common ingredient in cleaning solutions that's dubiously dubbed "pink slime," in its beef patties.

McDonald's beef producer, Beef Products Inc., says ammonium hydroxide occurs naturally in most foods and helps reduce bacteria. However, Oliver launched a personal campaign against its use in beef throughout the U.S. on his show "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution."Oliver explained that beef producers take "trimmings" that would normally go to dog food and wash it with the compound until it is fit for human consumption.

"Imagine how happy an accountant is. You just turned dog food into what can potentially be your kids' food," he told "Food Revolution" viewers.

A McDonald's USA senior director credited the change to the restaurant's priorities on food safety, not Oliver. But whatever the reasons, the move has been made.

If the use of "pink slime" is a great method to make low-grade meat fit for human consumption, a shift away from that and toward better meat, unless a more favorable cleanser can be found, almost certainly means higher costs.

That's not good news for McDonald's, which has taken great pains to fend off rising commodity costs for vegetables, beef and grains.

Ba da ba ba ba We aren't Lovin this!

Special Sauce
David Thewlis - Deer in headlights

Rural communities have strongest reliance on disability benefits

WARSAW, Mo. -- Around this rural county seat 100 miles southeast of Kansas City, 1 out of every 8 people of working age is home collecting disability checks from the Social Security Administration.

That compares to about 1 in 20 for the Kansas City area — which may sound low, but it’s climbing here, too.

Everywhere, Americans below retirement age are surviving on Social Security disability benefits and, with baby boomers aging in a slow economy, applications are exploding. Each year since the onset of the recession, more than 400,000 have been joining the system’s disability rolls, where they collect a monthly average of about $1,000.

But where are they most apt to collect it? A recent tabulation of data nationwide reveals the highest concentrations of communities subsisting on disability benefits, per capita, to be in historically poor, rural settings.

They’re often places where two-lane highways wind around wooded hills, where mining or manual farm labor once put food on the table, and access to medical care has long been limited.

Poverty begets bad health and greater rates of disability, experts say, and disabilities often lead to deeper poverty.

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