February 3rd, 2012


FREE CECE: We're Looking at You, Michael Freeman: Drop the Charges Against CeCe McDonald

Why This Is Important

Last summer, CeCe McDonald, a young African American transgender woman, was violently attacked in the heart of South Minneapolis. As she and several friends, also African American and queer or allied, were walking to the grocery store, a group of white adults standing outside of a bar started shouting racist and transphobic insults at them, calling the youth "f****ts," "n***rs," and "chicks with dicks". Tragically, the violence did not stop there- one of the white adults slashed CeCe across the face with a broken bottle, cutting all the way through her cheek, and another of the attackers was fatally stabbed.

Amazingly, in the aftermath of this racist and transphobic attack, the only person facing charges is CeCe McDonald- the victim. Michael Freeman, the Hennepin County Attorney, has charged CeCe with two counts of second degree murder. Because of these charges, she has been unable to recover from the attack and prevented from continuing her studies at the Minneapolis Community Technical College. Considering that County Attorney Michael Freeman has dropped charges in similar situations this year and that he has advocated strongly for programs to keep kids in school, arguing "We all know that when kids miss school they don't learn," why is Michael Freeman ruthlessly going after this young student?

We refuse to allow racism and transphobia, on Minnapolis streets or in Minneapolis courts. We support CeCe. We are waiting for County Attorney Michael Freeman to honor his committment, in his words "to serve all of our citizens with understanding, dignity, and respect" by dropping the charges against CeCe McDonald.

Michael Freeman: Minneapolis says, FREE CECE.


This happened in my neighborhood and she goes to my college...how have I not heard of this until now..
why do you hate us so much?
  • chaya

Komengate Collection Post

As Komengate explodes and flourishes in a colorful spray of fail, post new updates to this collection post. Please make every new article a fresh thread, preferably using the same guidelines we use for submissions. ♥

The timeline so far:
- Susan G. Komen Loses Support After Planned Parenthood Decision
- Meet the woman who got Komen to defund Planned Parenthood
- Planned Paresis: Komen Official resigns. Cut-off was (obv) polictical.
- Wow, you go, Mayor Bloomberg!
- Well, since Komen is a hot topic, here's another story
- The truth behind Komen

Bethoveen Trashes Hotel

Park City vantage point puts tragedy of American Health care in vivid relief

Grieving family of fallen Canadian skier Sarah Burke faces massive hospital bill it wouldn't face at home

PARK CITY, Utah — The journey I embarked on when I made the decision to leave a successful career in the health insurance business was a spiritual one. I can trace the decision to a true epiphany, to the very moment I saw hundreds of people standing, soaking wet, in long, slow-moving lines, waiting to get medical care that was being provided in animal stalls at a fairground in Wise County, Virginia.

It hit me immediately that had my circumstances been a little different when I was growing up near there, I could have been one of those people. It also hit me that the work I was doing as a spokesman for the insurance industry was making it necessary, at least in part, for those people to resort to such humiliation to get basic medical care. One of my responsibilities was to persuade Americans of the lie that most of the uninsured are that way by choice, that they have shirked their responsibility to themselves and their families. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Our so-called health care “system” had simply left them behind.

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This is just tragic. Both because the poor woman died of such a horrible accident and because of where it happened her family now owes HALF A MILLION dollars to feed America's health care travesty.
Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

Sugar: a possibly addictive substance?

Is Sugar as Addictive as Alcohol?
—By Maddie Oatman | Thu Feb. 2, 2012 2:10 AM PST

As I sit down to write this post, I'm munching on a chocolate-orange cookie, something I grabbed to get me through a mid-morning energy slump. Packed with processed sugar, this treat could be considered just some empty calories I burn off as long as I take a rigorous walk at lunch or practice yoga after work. But scientists from the University of California–San Francisco, whose article "The Toxic Truth About Sugar" (you have to pay to access) came out yesterday in Nature, are hoping to change this mindset. "There is nothing empty about these calories," they write, arguing that a growing body of evidence places the blame of the worldwide increase in chronic diseases such as liver toxicity, obesity, and pancreatitis squarely on the shoulders of this pervasive ingredient.

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I don't think anyone here would argue that too much sugar is terrible for you, but what about these regulation ideas? There's a huge class issues for one (cheaper foods often contain more sugars). And do you think sugar is really as addictive as these scientists are claiming? What do y'all think?
Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

Fetal "pain" bill fails in VA

RICHMOND — A “fetal pain” bill that would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy in most cases failed to clear a key Senate committee hurdle Thursday — a day after the full body passed a measure that would require all women to undergo ultrasound imaging before having an abortion.

After passionate testimony from both sides of the issue, senators deadlocked 7-7 on the bill from Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, Harrisonburg Republican, and it failed to get out of the Education and Health Committee. Sen. Harry B. Blevins, Virginia Beach Republican, abstained from the vote.

Tara Schleifer of Haymarket was one of several to deliver testimony on the bill. Her voice breaking, she told the wrenching story of her decision to terminate a pregnancy after tests revealed her unborn child would be born with mental disabilities.

“Families facing these circumstances will be blindsided at 20 weeks,” she told the committee. “Terminating is honestly the last thing that I wanted to do.”

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Oh, boo hoo Blevins, I'm sooooo sorry it was traumatic for you to listen to this poor woman talk about her situation. Yet, you'll still try to shove her and others under a bus at the first chance.
bullshit detector

Workplace quip made Muslim a terror suspect, lawsuit alleges

Workplace quip made Muslim a terror suspect, lawsuit alleges


MONTREAL - The Canadian Press

Last updated Thursday, Feb. 02, 2012 11:33PM EST

A casual text message to work colleagues encouraging them to ”blow away” the competition at a trade show allegedly plunged a Muslim man into a terrorism probe.

Telecommunications sales manager Saad Allami says the innocent message, aimed at pumping up his staff, has had devastating consequences on his life.

The Quebec man says he was arrested by provincial police while picking up his seven-year-old son at school. A team of police officers stormed into his home, telling his wife she was married to a terrorist. And his work colleagues were detained for hours at the U.S. border because of their connection to him.

Those are the allegations Mr. Allami makes in a lawsuit filed last month.

The Moroccan native is seeking $100,000 from the Quebec provincial police force, one of its sergeants, and the provincial government. The six-figure sum is being sought for unlawful detention, unlawful arrest, loss of income and damage to his reputation.

On Jan. 21, 2011, Mr. Allami sent a text message to colleagues urging them to “blow away” the competition at a trade show in New York City.

According to his lawsuit, he was arrested without warning by police three days later and detained for over a day while his house was searched. During his detention, a team of police officers allegedly conducted an “intrusive” four-hour search.

“The whole time, the officers kept repeating to the plaintiff's wife that her husband was a terrorist,” the filing reads.

“The treatment of the plaintiff and his wife was cavalier, illegal, aggressive, accusatory, and in violation of their most fundamental rights.”

Mr. Allami, who was 40 when he was arrested, says he has no links to terrorist organizations or the Islamic movement and that police acted without any evidence or research. He has never been charged in the affair. A search of Quebec's courthouse database finds no other references to him, either.

However, Mr. Allami says he hasn't been able to get a certificate of good conduct, which he would need in order to get a job working in finance.

His allegations have not been proven in court and the application is to be presented at the Montreal courthouse on March 5.

Provincial police spokesman Guy Lapointe says the force is aware of the case but will not comment as it is before the courts. A Justice Department spokesperson also declined to comment.

Police had in Laval, Que., where he applied for the certificate, found terrorism accusations and public mischief on his file, even though his public file shows no signs of the allegations.

“Without the certificate of good conduct, the plaintiff can no longer work in his profession,” the document states.

Mr. Allami is being represented by Julius Grey, a well-known Montreal lawyer.

Contacted earlier this week, Mr. Grey said neither he nor his client wished to speak about the facts.

“It presents interesting issues of law and profiling but I feel uncomfortable debating it outside the courtroom,” Mr. Grey said.

The motion he filed makes allusions to the profiling issue.

“Without any evidence, and without any follow-up, the [provincial police] just cannot go about arresting North Africans of Muslim persuasion, inferring they are terrorists, giving them a police record and destroying their reputation, credibility and livelihoods,” the motion reads.

Mr. Allami says he sent the text message in French and used the word “exploser,” a term he claims is commonly used in finance to mean grow or succeed.

His case has surfaced after another story about an unexpected national-security case triggered by what appeared to be a meaningless comment.

Two British tourists said they were banned from entering the United States, with one of them handcuffed, arrested and flagged as a threat by the Department of Homeland Security over Twitter tongue-in-cheek messages about going to ”destroy America” and dig up Marilyn Monroe's body.

Source -

The same story on CBC quoted the police spokes person as being unable to comment because the case (presumably the lawsuit?) was in court. What I want to know is, how did the police get the text message - was it a disgruntled employee, was it the cell phone service provider, or are they actually scanning people's communication for "key words". Are they completely incapable of differentiating between figures of speech or slang, and things they should actually be concerned about? (also, I tagged Islamophobia, and racial profiling,  because I seriously doubt this would have happened if he'd been a white guy with an English/French name)

  • omgmar

One Town's War on Gay Teens

Every morning, Brittany Geldert stepped off the bus and bolted through the double doors of Fred Moore Middle School, her nerves already on high alert, bracing for the inevitable.


Pretending not to hear, Brittany would walk briskly to her locker, past the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders who loitered in menacing packs.


Like many 13-year-olds, Brittany knew seventh grade was a living hell. But what she didn't know was that she was caught in the crossfire of a culture war being waged by local evangelicals inspired by their high-profile congressional representative Michele Bachmann, who graduated from Anoka High School and, until recently, was a member of one of the most conservative churches in the area. When Christian activists who considered gays an abomination forced a measure through the school board forbidding the discussion of homosexuality in the district's public schools, kids like Brittany were unknowingly thrust into the heart of a clash that was about to become intertwined with tragedy.

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  • mschaos

Ari Fleischer Secretly Helped Guide Komen Strategy On Planned Parenthood

Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for George W. Bush and prominent right-wing pundit, secretly helped guide Komen Foundation’s disastrous strategy regarding Planned Parenthood. Fleischer personally interviewed candidates for the position of “Senior Vice President for Communications and External Relations” at Komen last December. According to a source with first-hand knowledge, Fleischer drilled prospective candidates during their interviews on how they would handle the controversy about Komen’s relationship with Planned Parenthood.

Fleischer’s relationship with Komen and the Planned Parenthood controversy was previously undisclosed. Fleischer confirmed to ThinkProgress his recent role in filling a key communication position at Komen. He stressed, however, that another communications firm (Ogilvy PR) was retained by Komen to deal with the explosive controversy over the last few days.

In November, Komen advertised for a top level communications position in Roll Call. Promising applicants received a call from Fleischer. The advertisement is no longer posted on the Roll Call website, but a portion is accessible via Google:

According to a source, during at least one interview, Planned Parenthood was a major topic of conversation. Fleischer indicated that he had discussed the Planned Parenthood issue with Komen’s CEO, Nancy Brinker, and that she was at her wits end about how to proceed. Fleischer described himself as a longtime friend of Brinker.
Fleischer confirmed to ThinkProgress that he would receive a fee from Komen when the search is complete. Fleischer did not specify the amount of his fee but said it would be “substantially below the normal placement fee charged by executive search companies” because “they’re a charity I believe in.”

Fleischer’s high-level involvement with Komen further complicates its image as an apolitical cancer charity. Fleischer is a prominent partisan commentator and a longtime critic of Planned Parenthood. In his book, Taking Heat, Fleischer criticized Planned Parenthood as a partisan, ideological organization that receives undeserved positive coverage in the press. In 2001, Fleischer said that the Clinton administration verged too far to the left on family planning efforts because “if Planned Parenthood wanted it, the previous administration favored it.”


why doesn't this surprise me?
Jesus Horses

Christians boycott Starbucks

Christians Boycott Starbucks – Because Romans 1 Explains Starbucks Hates God
What if Starbucks lost 80% of its customers? Christians across the USA are boycotting Starbucks for promoting homosexual ‘marriage’ in Washington State. There is an 80% Christian majority in the USA and 1-2% homosexuals.

“Christians are upset with Starbucks for turning against God, but we are glad to know that Starbucks doesn’t pretend to be for Christians,” said Pastor Steven Andrew, who is president of USA Christian Ministries. He calls every Christian and church to boycott Starbucks. Leviticus 18:22 says, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”

“This boycott is important because God blesses those who obey Him and judges those who don’t obey Him (2 Chronicles 19:2),” he adds.

Don’t expect to hear sermons with “grab your Starbucks” or to see Starbucks served at churches. “Starbucks is no longer fashionable. If your church still uses Starbucks, then your pastor is a friend of the world,” he adds. God calls those who oppose Him “haters of God” (Romans 1:30).

It is hoped that Christians will quickly share this boycott with their church.

Starbucks overlooked the health concerns for homosexuals. CDC reports that one in five homosexuals have HIV, with many unaware they are sick. The average homosexual dies at 42 years and has a higher depression rate, Cameron reports.
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Anonymous gain access to FBI and Scotland Yard hacking call.

Hacking network Anonymous has released a recording of a conference call between the FBI and UK police in which they discuss efforts against hacking.

The call, said to have taken place last month, covers the tracking of Anonymous and similar groups, dates of planned arrests and details of evidence held.

Anonymous also published an email, apparently from the FBI, showing the email addresses of call participants.

The FBI confirmed the intercept and said it was hunting those responsible.

At one point an FBI agent thanks the Metropolitan police for their help with investigations, to which the British detective replies: "We're here to help. We've cocked things up in the past, we know that."

According to the alleged leaked email, the 17-minute phone call took place on 17 January.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16875921

OP: Gotta love this. A hacking of a phone call in which they are discussing hacking. Its almost like a Monty Python sketch.
buffy spike black&violet by gilkurtisctx
  • tabaqui

J.C. Penney Won't Fire Ellen. Anti-Gay Group Loses Battle

A 'million' moms can't compete with 3 million daily viewers. After J.C. Penney announced Ellen DeGeneres as the department store's new spokesperson last week, a conservative online organization launched a campaign to have her fired. Why? Because she's openly gay.

The One Million Moms organization, an extension of the American Family Association, called on members to urge the company to rethink their decision. "Funny that J.C. Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families," reads the call to action on the group's website. "The majority of J.C. Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there."

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Source: Yahoo.

I think it's pretty damn awesome of JCP to want Ellen for their spokesperson, and for so many people to be 100 percent behind it. Yay, a little good news!
stop with the idiocy

Did Haiti's Duvalier get away with murder?

As Jean-Claude Duvalier escapes trial for crimes against humanity we ask if his victims will be happy to reconcile.

Human rights groups have condemned a decision not to try Jean-Claude Duvalier, Haiti's former ruler, on crimes against humanity.

A Haitian judge decided this week that Duvalier, known as Baby Doc, should not stand trial for crimes against humanity.

He is accused of the torture and murder of thousands of his own people during his 15 year rule in the seventies and eighties.

A year ago, Duvalier made a surprise return to the country after 25 years in exile.

The judge ruled that his alleged crimes fell outside Haiti's statute of limitations. The judge, however, did say that Duvalier should stand trial on corruption charges. He is accused of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars during his rule.

In heavily criticising the decision, human rights groups say they gave prosecutors hundreds of documents detailing cases of abuse.

Human Rights Watch called it the most important criminal case in Haitian history.

Duvalier was only 19 when he was named Haiti's president for life in 1971 after the death of his father Francois – known as Papa Doc.

Human rights groups say the Duvaliers used paramilitary group Tonton Macoutes to torture opponents and kill 30,000 people during their combined 29-year rule.

During Baby Doc's 15 years in power, hundreds of political prisoners were allegedly tortured or disappeared in prisons collectively known as the triangle of death.

Duvalier is also accused of embezzling between $300m-$800m of government assets. His upcoming trial is only on corruption allegations.

Meanwhile, the United Nations – which has its own troubled history in Haiti – has also condemned the ruling.

But it is likely to please Michel Martelly, Haiti's current president, who has close connections with Duvalier and has supported him since his return.

So, is reconciliation better than justice in Haiti? Will Duvalier's victims ever see justice served?

Inside Story Americas, with presenter Shihab Rattansi, discusses with guests: Kim Ives, a journalist with Haiti Liberte; Jean-Yves Point-du-Jour, a Haitian American radio host; and Brian Concannon, of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

"The model that we see coming from Martelly is exactly Duvalier's model – sweatshops, tourism – this is how Haiti is supposedly going to develop, a model that we have seen crash and burn many times before. Haiti is one country that set a bad example for the entire hemisphere, so Haiti has this role of being sort of a vanguard nation … that's why it is now the one military-occupied country in the western hemisphere, they [the US] have to keep it clamped down."

- Kim Ives, journalist with Haiti Liberte

Tron: Legacy, Castor, Zuse

Life term for Cambodia Khmer Rouge jailer Duch

Cambodia's UN-backed genocide court has rejected an appeal by Khmer Rouge jailer Duch and increased his sentence to life imprisonment.

Duch, born Kaing Guek Eav, was jailed in 2010 for his role in running a notorious prison where thousands of inmates were killed.

He had appealed on the grounds that he was a junior official following orders.

But judges rejected his claim and increased his sentence from 35 years to life.

Duch - the first senior Khmer Rouge official to face charges before the court - was convicted of crimes against humanity in July 2010. He appealed against the verdict in March 2011.

The 69-year-old was the commander of Tuol Sleng prison, where at least 15,000 men, women and children deemed enemies of the regime were tortured and then executed in "killing fields" outside Phnom Penh.

He had argued that he should never have been tried, claiming that he was a junior official following his superiors' orders on pain of death.

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Ciri 2

Ron Paul supports abortions (but not really) for rape victims as long as it's an 'honest rape'.

Ron Paul on rape and abortion: "It's a tough one and I won't satisfy everybody there" (understatement of the century)

On the eve of Saturday's Nevada caucus, Ron Paul sits down with Piers Morgan for a revealing interview, during which the Republican from Texas shares his views on rape and abortion:  "If it's an honest rape, that individual should go immediately to the emergency room, I would give them a shot of estrogen."

In an emotional one-hour sit down from Las Vegas, Paul says he feels life does begin at conception, but thinks basing his entire abortion position on a hypothetical situation can be difficult:  "A person immediately after rape?  Yes, it's a tough one.  And I won't satisfy everybody there."

Tune in to "Piers Morgan Tonight" at 9pm ET/PT as the Republican race's oldest candidate goes into more detail on this controversial topic.

Um. Ummmmm. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Wut.