February 22nd, 2012

the love witch

FRENCH POLICE DETAIN STRAUSS-KAHN IN SEX RING PROBE



LILLE, France (AFP) - French police detained former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn for questioning Tuesday over allegations he took part in orgies in Paris and Washington with prostitutes paid for by businessmen.

The 62-year-old former Socialist minister, who until last year was the frontrunner to replace Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France, had been summoned as a witness but prosecutors said he was now a suspect.

He turned up voluntarily at a police station in the northern city of Lille and prosecutors said he would be detained on suspicion of "abetting aggravated pimping by an organised gang" and "misuse of company funds".

A magistrate will decide whether the evidence supports charges on these or other potential offences. He could be cleared, be charged and released on bail or remanded in custody pending an eventual trial.

Under French law, aggravated organised pimping carries a prison term of up to 20 years and profiting from embezzlement five years and a large fine.

Between interrogations, the millionaire international statesman was to be held in a 7.5-square-metre (80-square-foot) cell with a simple foam mattress, a sink and a hole-in-the-floor squat toilet.


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sauce
Chanel #3

HIV-positive teen avoids jail for unprotected sex

EDMONTON - A 17-year-old girl has been given a conditional discharge for having unprotected sex with two teenagers without disclosing her HIV-positive status.

The girl, who cannot be identified, was living on Edmonton streets when she met the two male youths in the spring of 2011. Both of them were homeless as well. The teen twice had drunken sexual intercourse with the boys over the summer of 2011 at a tent community in the Mill Creek ravine. Condoms were not used. The girl did not disclose that she was HIV-positive.

"That's the critical issue here," provincial court Judge Patricia Kvill said. "She did not notify the people she had sex with and that's the nature of the concern."

However, court heard the girl was not at a high risk to infect sexual partners.


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Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

Black HERstory: The Vocal Legacy of Whitney Houston

February 15, 2012 by Janell Hobson

In the midst of my sadness upon learning of Whitney Houston’s untimely death, I tuned into the Grammy Awards show this past Sunday, curious about the planned tribute to one of the greatest voices in the modern pop music era. However, instead of being uplifted with memories of Houston’s glory days, I felt worse.

There was no denying the impact of Houston-style singing on today’s pop divas–from Jennifer Hudson, who was called upon to give a rendition of Houston’s iconic vocalizing of “I Will Always Love You,” to British sensation Adele, who swept the main Grammy awards and whose soulful vocals suggested that the pop R&B music Houston made so famous in the ’80s and ’90s has been outsourced across the pond.

But there was something else more sinister going on at the Grammys than the strange and chaotic performance of demonic possession offered by rapper Nicki Minaj. We didn’t see the protests just outside the ceremony against the Recording Academy for eliminating categories featuring music by artists of color–categories that, ironically, gave Houston four of her six Grammy awards. Neither was there a televised presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award given to Diana Ross, another diva who many might argue helped pave the way for Houston. This Black Herstory Month, in addition to losing the incomparable Whitney Houston and, before her, Etta James, I am beginning to feel our legacy fading away.

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peekabo

Tonight on News Channel 5: Reproductive Rights? Silly Women! Women don't have those!


Catholic Hospitals Expand, Religious Strings Attached

Source: NYTimes

As Roman Catholic leaders and government officials clash over the proper role of religion and reproductive health, shifts in health care economics are magnifying the tension. Financially stronger Catholic-sponsored medical centers are increasingly joining with smaller secular hospitals, in some cases limiting access to treatments like contraception, abortion and sterilization.

In Seattle, Swedish Health Services has offered elective abortions for decades. But the hospital agreed to stop when it joined forces this month with Providence Health & Services, one of the nation’s largest Catholic systems.

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So let me get this straight. No abortions. No birth control, no sterilizations? What part of 'life saving' do these people not understand? I love [sarcasm] the sickenly sweet “It’s not like we’re eliminating female sterilization procedures,” like a mother who has just given birth is going to a) leave her baby to go to another hospital and b) is CAPABLE of leaving to go to another hospital

Just disgusting. 

An intelligent person

Douche Of The Day

An Indiana state House rep has caused a stir for refusing to sign a resolution honoring the Girl Scouts on the occasion of the youth organization’s 100th anniversary.

In a letter to his colleagues, Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne) urged the House to rethink its endorsement of a group he says promotes abortion, homosexuality, and the sexualization of young girls.

Rep. Morris claims that “evidence” he found online led him to conclude that the Girl Scouts “is quickly becoming a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood,” and warns of “liberal progressive troop-leaders” who will “indoctrinate the girls in their troop according to the principles of Planned Parenthood.”


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I just can't anymore. Please buy some cookies to support the Girl Scouts. F*ck this guy.
Harper LOL

This just in - Mandatory minimum sentences don't work..

Mandatory drug sentences 'colossal mistake', Canada told

'We have learned the hard way that long sentences are not deterring people' says attorney who wrote U.S. laws

An attorney who helped U.S. politicians write mandatory-minimum sentencing laws during the 1980s has a warning for Canadian parliamentarians.
Imposing long jail terms for minor drug offences has been a mistake in the U.S. and won't work in Canada," said Eric E. Sterling, who once served as counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
"When you start going down this road of building more prisons and sending people away for long periods of time, and you convince yourself that this is going to deter people you've made a colossal mistake," said Sterling, who is the president of the Maryland-based Criminal Justice Policy Foundation. "We have learned the hard way that long sentences are not deterring people from selling drugs when the profits are so great."
Sterling is one of 28 current and former law-enforcement officials in the U.S. who have written to Canadian senators, as well as Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the premiers.
They take issue with Bill C-10, known as the Safe Streets and Communities Act, which includes mandatory-minimum sentences for drug offences and is currently being studied in the Senate.
The letter, written by the organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, is the latest salvo in the dispute over Bill C-10, as well as the debate over the legalization of marijuana.

Provinces concerned

Earlier this month, four former B.C. attorneys general made a similar argument, saying marijuana prohibition is fuelling gang wars and clogging the courts.
This week, Shawn Atleo, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, criticized the bill, telling a senate committee that intervention and rehabilitation, not incarceration, is the right approach for aboriginal peoples.
Despite the ongoing and continued pressure, though, the Conservative government said it has no intention of decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana.
"Our government remains committed to ensuring criminals are held fully accountable for their actions, and that the safety and security of law-abiding Canadians come first in Canada's judicial system," Julie De Mambro, press secretary for federal Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson, said in an email to The Canadian Press.
In their letter, the law-enforcement officials argue that mandatory-minimum sentences have been "costly failures" in the U.S. and have led to greater organized crime and gang violence, corruption and social decay.
"These policies have bankrupted state budgets as limited tax dollars pay to imprison non-violent drug offenders at record rates instead of programs that can actually improve community safety," the organization writes.
In fact, Sterling said when the U.S. wrote its mandatory-minimum laws in 1986, about 36,000 people were locked up in federal prisons.
He said that number has now jumped to about 200,000.
"Probably we have on the order of half a million Americans behind bars on drug charges nationwide," he said, after taking into account those who are serving time in state prisons, too.
If it costs $25,000 to incarcerate an individual in a U.S. prison annually, then the country is spending billions of dollars locking up people for drug offences, added Sterling.

U.S. moving towards decriminalization

The organization calls on Canadian politicians to endorse the taxation and regulation of marijuana.
After all, it says the U.S. is becoming more progressive with its pot laws, noting 16 states and the District of Columbia have enacted medical-marijuana laws and 14 states have taken steps to decriminalize possession.
"We changed our minds and we encourage you to do the same," the group writes.
"Taxation and regulation of marijuana have the potential to dramatically improve community safety, raise tax revenue for cash-starved governments and allow precious law enforcement resources to be directed towards criminal activities where law enforcement actually reduced crime."
The 28 signatories include former and current police chiefs, border, customs and immigration agents, judges, prosecutors, correctional officials, law-enforcement officers, and legislative counsel.

Source -

UGH. It doesn't matter how many times Harper is presented with the fact that mandatory minimum sentences don't work,
sort off topic, but I really wish BC would just say "fuck it- people here don't give a shit" and legalize pot, because even if it didn't mean anything legally, at least it would send a message to the govt.

Jesus Horses

Does Georgia want to secede?

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At any rate -- apologies for the ranty-length of this post. I'm sure there are a lot of people here with much, much more knowledge of Constitutional Law than I have. If anyone wants to weigh-in with his/her thoughts or opinions on my thoughts, please do so. Here's the article.

Should Georgia exempt itself from federal law?
A panel of Georgia lawmakers would have the power to review federal law and declare it illegal under a proposal in the state Senate.

Senate Resolution 889 would create a "joint commission on recommendation" to advise on which federal laws infringed on the state. If approved by two-thirds of the General Assembly, Georgia residents would be exempted from following them.

Sponsored by state Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, the proposal would also force lawmakers to "adopt and enact any and all measures that may become necessary to prevent the wrongful enforcement of any federal laws or regulations duly nullified within the boundaries and limits of this state."

The measure has the backing of the Senate's top two leaders -- President Pro Tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, and Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock -- who have signed on as co-sponsors.

"The federal government has excessively abused the authority of state and local governments for some time," Albers said, explaining why he sponsored the proposal.

SR 889 has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
death

Santorum Alludes Obama Is Like Hitler, Then Calls Backsies

I ran back over the past few days and I can't see this posted anywhere; my apologies if I've missed it (or if it's not postable for some reason.)

ABC News: TEUBENVILLE, Ohio – As Rick Santorum makes his way toward a two-man race with Mitt Romney, he has ratcheted up his rhetoric, displaying an increasingly angrier tone on the stump, and painting a doomsday picture of this country that leaves his supporters with a terrifying image of the state of the nation.

The former Pennsylvania senator has almost completely pivoted the focus of his stump speech from his GOP rivals to President Obama.

And he’s introduced a new metaphor that aims to reignite the terror Americans felt during World War II by comparing Republican primary voters to the “greatest generation” and today’s failings of European financial systems to the crumbling of Europe’s cities as Adolf Hitler gained power in the 1940s.

“We’re a hopeful people,” he continued. “We think, well, you know it’ll get better. After a while you find out some things about this guy over in Europe who’s not so good of a guy after all. … Sometimes, sometimes it’s not OK."

While Santorum conceded that Obama’s policies were not quite as horrific as Hitler’s war in Europe, the rising GOP front-runner cautioned that the president is “fundamentally restructuring America.”


When asked later if he was comparing Obama to Hitler, Santorum totally denied it, perhaps trying to avoid being Godwinned into irrelevance.

HuffPo: "Santorum defended his comments Monday when asked whether he was comparing the president to Hitler.

"No, of course not," he told a National Journal-CBS News reporter. "The World War II metaphor is one I've used 100 times in my career."

His press secretary, Alice Stewart, did not help matters when she slipped up Monday on MSNBC and used the phrase "radical Islamic policies" to describe Obama's stance on the environment. She quickly said that she had misspoken and regretted the mistake."


So he'll say it, but then explain how that's totally not what he meant to say at all. Well, it sure is a good thing Santorum isn't a flip-flopper like Romney.

[edit] to fix HTML.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative
leviathans in the womb

Virginia Governor McDonnell backs away from transvaginal ultrasound bill

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell -- and Republican vice presidential hopeful -- is giving up on the medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound bill he previously said he would support. He just released this statement:

Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state. No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure.

For this reason, I have recommended to the General Assembly a series of amendments to this bill. I am requesting that the General Assembly amend this bill to explicitly state that no woman in Virginia will have to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound involuntarily. I am asking the General Assembly to state in this legislation that only a transabdominal, or external, ultrasound will be required to satisfy the requirements to determine gestational age. Should a doctor determine that another form of ultrasound may be necessary to provide the necessary images and information that will be an issue for the doctor and the patient. The government will have no role in that medical decision.


After more than a thousand people staged a silent protest at the state capitol, the Virginia House of Delegates twice put off voting on the bill this week. Last night the Washington Post reported that Governor McDonnell wasn't so committed to the measure anymore.

Source

Still fuck this guy because if you read his entire statement, he's still an asshole. But yay for everyone who stood out in the snow and protested the other day!
The Gang
  • acmeeoy

Challenging Jim Crow schools in Chicago

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor tells the unknown history of a 1960s civil rights struggle against discrimination and segregation--in the heart of the North.
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LAST DECEMBER, at the behest of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago Public Schools announced that it intended to close or "turn around" 17 "failing" schools. A quick look confirmed that most of the schools were located in African American neighborhoods.

No new schools will replace the seven schools the Board of Education wants to close down. Instead, Black students are expected to go to other "failing" schools. Typically, the board has refused the input of anyone in communities where they are threatening to take away schools. As community activist Jitu Brown of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization put it, "To assume that we don't have good ideas to fix our schools is racist...To ignore the voices of people that simply want to make their schools better is racist, and I dare say evil."

The attack on public education in Chicago has sparked protests in Black communities across the city, as people openly wonder what it is to become of their children's right to a decent education.

But that struggle for public education in Black Chicago has long roots--as long as when African Americans began arriving in the city in large numbers. In the early 1960s, Chicago's local fight emerged as part of a national struggle for Black youth to have equal access to public education--as per the edict of the Supreme Court in the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954.

Northern school districts sidestepped Brown by claiming their schools just happened to be segregated because of the "neighborhood schools" policies that required students to attend schools within walking distance of their homes. In this way, cities ignored the spirit of Brown, which was to ensure racially integrated public education.

By 1963, a mass movement of Black parents and school-aged children exploded across the urban North to demand integrated and equal education. The history of the movement is hidden, as the official national narrative is that the fight against racism and for civil rights was a Southern story--and that the white liberal establishment supported that movement from the "land of hope" in the North.

Instead of a land of hope, most African Americans who migrated to the North and West found racism, residential segregation, police brutality, unemployment--and, most of all, underfunded and inferior public schools.

In the early 1960s, there wasn't just the Southern civil rights movement, but a national movement in the North, South and West. The Chicago freedom movement for equality in public education led the entire nation in a powerful display of unity and community organizing that shook the foundations of the racist establishment governing the city.

More at source

ethics

Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers

The Church of Scientology in Australia has asked the Federal Government for an exemption to the Fair Work Act so they do not have to pay workers the minimum wage.

The Daily Telegraph says

In a submission to the Fair Work review, public affairs director Reverend Mary Anderson said the Church of Scientology, which believes Earth was founded 75 million years ago by an alien tyrant called Xenu, should be exempt from workplace law because it was a legitimate religion.

“There is nothing wrong with the concept ‘a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’ but it is misdirected when applied to religious volunteers whose focus is not on pay but on service to a spiritual cause,” Ms Anderson wrote. [...]

Ms Anderson said making non-profit organisations pay award wages was “a violation of human rights”.



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Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Nanjing suspends ties with Nagoya after mayor disputes massacre

Nagoya mayor denies Nanking Massacre occurred

Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura told a delegation from Nanjing, China, that he doubted there was a massacre in the city in 1937, prompting an immediate rebuttal from the Chinese government.

Kawamura told his Chinese visitors on Feb. 20: "While there was general combat, I do not believe there was anything like the Nanking Incident."


He told the delegation led by Nanjing City Standing Committee member Liu Zhiwei, who had been paying a courtesy call because Nagoya and Nanjing are sister cities, that his father had been stationed in Nanjing, then known as Nanking, in 1945.

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Nanjing suspends ties with Nagoya after mayor disputes massacre

Chinese authorities in Nanjing have suspended official contacts with Nagoya after the Japanese city’s mayor cast doubt over the well-documented massacre of Chinese civilians by Japanese troops in 1937.

China says 300,000 people were killed that year in an orgy of murder, rape and destruction when the eastern city of Nanjing—then the capital—fell to the Japanese army, and the incident has haunted Sino-Japanese ties ever since.

According to Japan’s Kyodo news agency, Takashi Kawamura, mayor of Nagoya, told Liu Zhiwei, a high-level Chinese official visiting from Nanjing, that he believes only “conventional acts of combat” took place.

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Two articles, since the first has more details on what Kawamura said, and the second is what just happened.

Also, ARRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH. You have no idea how much I want to take my copy of "The Rape of Nanking" and started BEATING Kawamura with it. ARGH.

Georgia Democrats propose limitations on vasectomies for men

As members of Georgia’s House of Representatives debate whether to prohibit abortions for women more than 20 weeks pregnant, House Democrats introduced their own reproductive rights plan: No more vasectomies that leave "thousands of children ... deprived of birth."

Rep. Yasmin Neal, a Democrat from the Atlanta suburb of Jonesboro, planned on Wednesday to introduce HB 1116, which would prevent men from vasectomies unless needed to avert serious injury or death.

The bill reads: "It is patently unfair that men avoid the rewards of unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment over such matters is more valid than the judgment of the General Assembly. ... It is the purpose of the General Assembly to assert an invasive state interest in the reproductive habits of men in this state and substitute the will of the government over the will of adult men."

“If we legislate women’s bodies, it’s only fair that we legislate men’s,” said Neal, who said she wanted to write bill that would generate emotion and conversation the way anti-abortion bills do. “There are too many problems in the state. Why are you under the skirts of women? I’m sure there are other places to be."

Personally, Neal said, she has no qualms with vasectomies.

“But even if it were proposed as a serious issue,” she said, “it’s still not my place as a woman to tell a man what to do with his body."

The anti-vasectomy bill was a response to a bill that would punish abortions performed after the 20th week of pregnancy with prison sentences between one and 10 years. Georgia law currently prohibits abortion after the second trimester, except to preserve the life and health of the mother. Neal's bill borrows some language directly from the anti-abortion bill.

The anti-abortion bill makes exceptions to avert death or “serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function” of the mother, but doesn’t include “diagnosis or claim of a mental or emotional condition.” If an abortion occurs after the 20th week, the bill requires doctors to attempt to deliver a living baby.

Earlier discussions about the bill have been “outstanding,” said Rep. Doug McKillip, a Republican from Athens, Georgia, who introduced the anti-abortion bill this month. He said legislators are “drilling down" on questions about when a fetus can feel pain and what exceptions can allow abortions later in pregnancy, and he expects more testimony late this week.

“I’m just disappointed in my colleague, that they would take this opportunity to make light of a very important topic,” McKillip said. “I believe this is a serious topic deserving of serious debate. It feels like a poor attempt at humor.”

Neal said she's serious about making legislators recognize women's rights to make private decisions about their bodies.

"I hope that through the madness this has caused, it gets him to understand where the woman is coming from," she said. "There are a number of women in other states trying the same ploys we’re trying here."

Earlier this month, Democratic Oklahoma Sen. Constance Johnson added – then withdrew – a provision to an anti-abortion bill that read "any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman's vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child." The state Senate passed the bill this month.

In January, as the Virginia state Senate debated a bill that required women to have an ultrasound before an abortion, Democrat Janet Howell attached an amendment that required men to have rectal exams and cardiac stress tests before they could receive prescriptions for erectile dysfunction medication like Viagra. The amendment was rejected in the Senate, 21-19.

CNN affiliate WAVY reported that hundreds gathered this week to protest the ultrasound bill, which is up for a vote in Virginia's House of Delegates, and another that says life begins at conception.

On the Georgia House floor, Neal doesn't anticipate her anti-vasectomy bill will generate much serious debate.

"If it moves anywhere," she said, "that’ll be a very interesting day."

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All I've got to say is "If it's good for the goose..."
Dancer
  • kangofu

Face-Recognizing Billboard Only Displays Ad To Women

Face-Recognizing Billboard Only Displays Ad To Women
Source - Tech Crunch
Devin Coldewey
February 21, 2012


Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Moral ambiguity, thy name is advertising. How are we to parse this advertising campaign in London in which an intelligent bus stop billboard only displays its content to women? You read correctly: the billboard has a camera that scans passersby and if one stops to look, it determines their sex and shows them a 40-second video if they are female. Males only get a link to the advertiser’s website.

Now, does it change things if the advertiser is Plan UK, a non-profit organization trying to raise money toward the education of girls in third-world countries? And they don’t show men because they wanted to give them “a glimpse of what it’s like to have basic choices taken away”? Whether you find this commendable or reprehensible, you have to admit that the technology and implications are more than a little interesting.

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[LB] OMG BEST THING EVER

LAST CALL FOR REPUBLICANS TO ALIENATE MINORITIES!! LAST DEBATE, AHOY!



BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES, THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE RIDE FOR THE LAST TIME

AKA

THE LAST REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE





Don't Cross the Streams:
Rentadrone
CNN

Hashtag of the night:
#CNNDebate

In case you forgot, the current list of candidates:
Mitt "Mittens" Romney
Newt "Salamander" Gingrich
Ron "Prospector" Paul
Rick "Santorum" Santorum