March 2nd, 2012

Gryffindor corgi

Women's HERstory Month Day Two: Women and War

Women on the Battlefield: A History of Women Warriors

Prologue provided by Nicky Saunders of Lothene Experimental Archaeology

“Throughout history war and fighting have been seen as men's activities, however women have always been involved in battles and seiges, not to mention duels, prizefights and so on.

The most common occasion on which women would take part in battles was when their home, castle or town was attacked. They could be part of a town's militia on the same basis as their male counterparts. A medieval lady would have expected to take charge of defense of the family lands in her husband's absence. This housewifely duty is described by Christine de Pizan and Margery Paxton, among others.

Noble ladies could also lead armies in the field, both in local conflicts and in expeditions such as the crusades.

There were also a few women who were ordinary soldiers or sailors in armies through the ages. Some of them disguised themselves as men, but not all.”

(blanket trigger warnings for sexual violence and suicide)

10 Notable Women Warriors:

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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

I realize I focused mainly on far-back history, but that’s only because there have been so many amazing women to take to the battlefield both in history and in modern times! Feel free to add your own, in fact, I’d feel a bit let down if you didn’t! Note that some are not listed because of the mythological nature of their origins (which is why I chose to include Fu Hao instead of Hua Mulan, for example)

Red Cross convoy arrives in Homs bringing Baba Amr aid

A Red Cross convoy has arrived in the Syrian city of Homs and is set to deliver supplies to the Baba Amr district after a month-long siege.

The Red Cross and Syrian Red Crescent have organised the seven-lorry aid convoy, and are also planning to evacuate the wounded.

The area has suffered heavy bombardment by government forces in recent weeks.

The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) said on Thursday it was leaving the district in a "tactical withdrawal".

Of the 100,000 people who normally live in Baba Amr only a few thousand remain, with the FSA saying it had pulled back to save those still there from an all-out assault.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) said it had received reports of executions in Homs.

Syrian Red Crescent operations chief Khaled Erksoussi told AFP news agency the convoy was "carrying food, medicines, blankets, milk for babies and other equipment".

Nobody knows how many civilians were trapped in Baba Amr through weeks of tightening siege and intensifying bombardment. So the first task of the Red Cross and Red Crescent will be to assess exactly what the needs are.

Priority will obviously be given to the seriously wounded or sick, who will be evacuated for treatment in nearby hospitals. Conditions in the shattered quarter must be dire. It's freezing cold and snowing; electricity had been cut off and there has been no fuel for heating. Food, water and medical supplies had also run very short.

Syrian state television carried pictures of Baba Amr and even from afar, it's clear that hardly a building has not been hit during the weeks of bombardment by artillery and tanks.

The authorities have announced that the bodies of the two journalists killed by shelling nine days ago, Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik, have been retrieved. They are to be handed over to embassy officials in Damascus for repatriation.

It has been snowing heavily in Homs and the lorries' journey from the capital, Damascus, was slow.


Source, has more, including video from Homs.
Pride & Prejudice

Did the Met betray rape victims to avoid bad PR?

Former Metropolitan Police officer -- and Lib Dem mayoral candidate -- Brian Paddick has appeared at the Leveson Inquiry, and his witness statement contains an astonishing allegation against his ex-employers.

In a section about the Metropolitan Police Service's attempt to improve its image in the media, Paddick details the "negative commentary" on Ian Blair after he took over as Met commissioner. "The Met went from being very open to being almost paranoid," he writes.

One of the consequences of this, he adds, was that he was asked to "water-down" a report critical of the Met's handling of rape cases. Paragraph 19 reads:

'Shortly after he became Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair asked me to review rape investigation in the MPS. Performance was patchy and he wanted the MPS to be the best in the world. The review revealed serious shortcomings and made strong recommendatons but senior officers were concerned about the impact the report would have on the MPS' reputation, particularly against the background of the criticisms levelled at the new Commissioner.

As a result I was told to tone down the criticisms and water-down the recommendations. My original report highlighted the changes over a period of four years, 2001/2 - 2004/5. It showed a large increase in the number of allegations of rape, but a similar fall in the percentage of allegations classified as rape by the police. It also identified wide variations in the way rape was investigated by the MPS within London.

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Jesus Horses

More asshattery from the sack of shit

Culture War Update: Obama Joins the Fray Sparked by Rush Limbaugh

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh today mocked President Obama for supporting a Georgetown law student who testified to Congress that birth control should be covered by health insurance, drawing out the culture war over contraception that has consumed the political world for the past week.

Shortly before the student, Sandra Fluke, gave an interview on the cable network MSNBC today, Obama called her to tell her that her parents should be proud of her for speaking out for women.

After learning of the president's phone call during his radio show today, a day after he chided Fluke over her sex life, Limbaugh made a kissing noise with his lips and mocked Obama.

"That is so compassionate. What a great guy," Limbaugh said. "The president called her to make sure she's OK. What is she, 30 years old? Thirty years old, student at Georgetown Law who admits to having so much sex she can't afford it."

In response to a question from ABC's Jake Tapper, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama called Fluke to "express his disappointment that she has been the subject of inappropriate personal attacks and to thank her for exercising her rights as a citizen to speak out on an issue of public policy."

Limbaugh replied by arguing that Obama should return the $1 million donation that the comedian Bill Maher gave his super PAC. [OP note: What does this have anything to do with the above statement? Red herring.]

"Will President Obama now give back the $1 million that Bill Maher just gave his super PAC?" Limbaugh said on his show. "You want to get some of the tapes that Bill Maher has called Sarah Palin? The C word over and over again?" [OP note: Except Fluke isn't a politician, you fucking asshole]

Limbaugh continued to focus on Fluke today, saying she "hilariously" testified to Congress that "she's having so much sex" that health insurance should cover her birth control.

"Not one person says, 'Well, did you ever think about maybe backing off the amount of sex you have?'" Limbaugh said.

He also claimed that Democrats "want to blame me as being the person they should fear."

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ETA: Sleep Number and Sleep Trail have pulled their advertisements. Others are apparently considering it.
jgl celebrate

New Horizon Hellcamp Closes

This is a followup post to an article posted on here about the documentary Kidnapped for Christ.

A little while ago I emailed New Horizons under the guise of an uber religious mother looking to enroll her lesbian daughter in one of the camps. I did this because I wanted to incite a response, and possibly enroll myself into the Canadian branch of this camp in Ontario.

I'm a twenty-four year old Canadian, queer, atheist woman who grew up in a fundamentalist Baptist home, and in fact was extremely religious for a good portion of my life. I was horrified that there was a Hellcamp in Ontario so I wanted to do a little "exposé" on what was happening. And because of my background, I know exactly how to speak and act to be accepted into an extremist right-wing religious group easily.

I emailed New Horizons (or whatever the Canadian-branch was) and expected a response, but received none. I assumed they checked my Google+ account and realized that I wasn't actually a religious mother, and much to my chagrin, I folded.

Today, when I woke up, I received an email in my inbox that I think the members of this community would appreciate:


I am the CEO of an organization called Lifeline Youth and Family Services. We have recently acquired the assets of New Horizons. I just received your email addressed to New Horizons dated February 15th and wanted to respond to your inquiry about the services that we could provide to your daughter. It never has been – nor will it ever be – our objective to change the sexual orientation of students who come to our programs. We believe that it is our responsibility to love every child we work with, regardless of their belief or orientation.


Mark Terrell

The assets of the main group of Hellcamps in the US/Canada have been acquired by an actual, fair and non-religious organisation looking to help kids in trouble. I have never been more thrilled. Can I get an, "AMEN?!" (Or at least a "PRAISE CTHULU!")

Source: all me, baby

Limbaugh Continues Hateful Assault On Sandra Fluke, Says She Needs To Have Less Sex

On his third day of broadcasting to 15 million listeners vicious sexist attacks against a law student whom no one had heard just weeks ago, Rush Limbaugh blamed Sandra Fluke for the controversy surrounding her attempt to testify before Congress, suggesting that none of this would have happened if she could just keep her legs closed.

Limbaugh, apparently completely unrepentant despite losing advertisers and drawing scorn from Republicans and Democrats alike, grossly misrepresented Fluke’s testimony on contraception and said Fluke should just take some self responsibility and stop having so much sex:

LIMBAUGH: This woman comes forth with this frankly hilarious claim that she’s having so much sex, and her buddies with her, that she can’t afford it. And not one person says, did you ever think about maybe backing off the amount of sex that you have? … And amazingly, when there is the slightest bit of opposition to this new welfare entitlement to be created, that all of a sudden, we hate women, we want them barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, all of these other things. And so, that’s where we are. And so, at the end of this week, I am this person that the women of America are to fear the most.

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[fútbol] Alexis Sánchez
  • aviv

GOP Accused Media Of Sexism Against Conservative Women

GOP Accused Media Of Sexism Against Conservative Women, Demanded Apologies

More than 75 Democratic lawmakers are calling on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to repudiate Rush Limbaugh’s sexist ad hominem attacks against Sandra Fluke, the third-year Georgetown Law student who has criticized the GOP for opposing the Obama administration’s rule requiring employers to provide contraception coverage at no additional cost.

“We call upon the Republican leaders in the House to condemn these vicious attacks on Ms. Fluke, which are in response to her testimony to the Congress,” the letter says, referring to Limbaugh’s offer to buy [Sandra Fluke] all the aspirin she wants” to put between her knees in lieu of contraception. He has also called her a “slut” and a “prostitute” for publicly advocating greater access to contraception. “This kind of direct attack on a private citizen is unacceptable,” the Democrats go on to say. “Mr. Limbaugh is as free as any American to speak his mind about the political and social issues of our time, but using his radio show as a means for blatantly insulting a hard-working American with obscene and indecent language because he disagrees with her personal choices is an abuse of the public airwaves.”

Indeed, Republicans would be wise to distance themselves from Limbaugh’s remarks, not jut because of the deplorable nature of their content, but to also preserve their own credibility. The party has repeatedly accused media figures of sexism in the past and demanded apologies for slights or perceived slights against conservative women in their own party:

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The Unfinished Fight Over Contraception

CAN we still be arguing about a woman’s ability to control her own fertility? Almost 50 years ago in Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court struck down state restrictions on contraception because they violated a right to privacy. But the issue has not gone away. Rick Santorum injected it into the presidential race by indicating that Griswold should be overturned so that states could ban contraception altogether. And the Senate just voted down a Republican effort to allow employers and health insurance companies to refuse coverage for contraceptives if they had moral or religious objections.

Why are issues that the courts decided so long ago still unresolved? Maybe it is time to recognize that law alone is not enough to effect social change. It must be linked to social activism on behalf of women’s rights.

I should know. Fifty-five years ago, I had an opportunity to take a stand in favor of the right of women to control their fertility — and I did so through the courts.

It was 1957, and fresh out of the University of Wisconsin I enrolled in the Yale Law School — one of only six women in my graduating class. In my second year at Yale, several of our professors asked my husband and me to join a lawsuit challenging Connecticut’s birth-control law, which outlawed the sale and use of contraceptive materials and prohibited a doctor from prescribing birth control even to married women. One goal of the lawsuit was to remove the statutory obstacle to opening Planned Parenthood clinics in Connecticut so that poor families could have access to family-planning services.

I immediately agreed to join the case. Others did as well, but my husband and I were the only ones to use our real names. Because people used pseudonyms, the lead case came to be called Poe v. Ullman, but there was a companion case called Trubek v. Ullman. Poe raised a variety of grounds for challenging the statute and eventually landed in the Supreme Court.

I was proud to put my name on the case. To serve as a plaintiff, though a largely passive role, suited my vision of my future as a social justice lawyer. I supported Planned Parenthood. I believed women should have access to birth control so they could have both a career and a family. I wanted those things for myself. I was no sexual radical: I was married, a “good girl” uninterested in sexual freedom, and I thought of abortion as frightening. But I was planning to have a family and a career as a lawyer. I believed I should be free to choose the timing of my children’s births so I could do both. Collapse )


shawn corey

OH!! Ireland Passes Sopa

This is Labour Party junior Minister Sean Sherlock. It's probably not important that you remember his face because his career in Irish politics may soon be over.

Because today, to national and international outrage, Sherlock confirmed that SOPA (the highly controversial instrument that reinforces online copyrights laws in Ireland) has been signed into law.

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:( Sorry Ireland, guys this is my first post so I hope I tagged it right
model: dusky
  • myrana

Xena arrested: Actress Lucy Lawless held with five Greenpeace activists

Xena arrested: Actress Lucy Lawless held with five Greenpeace activists after four-day sit-in on oil-drilling ship bound for Alaska.

Actress-turned-eco-warrior Lucy Lawless has been arrested with five Greenpeace activists after the group spent four days protesting aboard an oil-drilling ship docked in New Zealand.

Police on Monday removed the group from their perch atop a 174ft drilling tower on the Noble Discoverer in Port Taranaki.

Lawless and six activists climbed the tower early Friday in an attempt to raise awareness about oil drilling in the Arctic and prevent the ship from leaving.

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source: The Daily Mail (more pictures and a video that's worth watching at the source)

OP: And here's a second article giving some more recent information about her being out on bail...

Lucy Lawless awaits fate for Greenpeace oil protest

Actress Lucy Lawless and five other Greenpeace activists may face burglary charges over their recent four-day "occupation" of an oil tanker in New Zealand's Port Taranaki.

But they won't know for sure for a couple of weeks. The hearing, originally scheduled for Thursday, has been pushed back to mid-March.

"(They) moved the hearing to March 20 to give some of us time to get our homes and businesses in order," Lawless, a native New Zealander, told the Star exclusively Wednesday.

"It probably won't be as late as that, but it's easier to move it earlier than later, I'm told. It'll be better this way."

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source: The Star

Xena = always awesome, better than your faves, etc.
Black Books - Manny "Oh No!"

Revealed: government plans for police privatisation

West Midlands and Surrey police offer £1.5bn contract under which private firms may investigate crime and detain suspects

Private companies could take responsibility for investigating crimes, patrolling neighbourhoods and even detaining suspects under a radical privatisation plan being put forward by two of the largest police forces in the country.

West Midlands and Surrey have invited bids from G4S and other major security companies on behalf of all forces across England and Wales to take over the delivery of a wide range of services previously carried out by the police.

The contract is the largest on police privatisation so far, with a potential value of £1.5bn over seven years, rising to a possible £3.5bn depending on how many other forces get involved.

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I remember an old sketch on A Bit of Fry & Laurie that joked about this. Never thought it would actually be a thing.
the love witch

Abortion outrage: Mums should be allowed to terminate newborns, say Australian academics

KILLING newborn babies should be allowed if the mother wishes, Australian philosophers have argued in a prestigious journal.

Their argument, that it is morally the same as abortion, has forced the British Medical Journal to defend its publication of their views.

In an article that has sparked outrage around the world and elicited death threats, Monash University's Alberto Giubilini and the University of Melbourne's Francesca Minerva say that a foetus and a newborn both lack a sense of life and aspiration.

They argue this justifies "after-birth abortion" on the proviso it is painless as the baby is not missing out on a life it cannot contemplate.

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Mega tornado outbreak kills at least 9 in Indiana

Nine killed in Indiana as tornadoes sweep Midwest, South

By NBC News and staff

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET: Tornadoes swept across the Midwest and the South on Friday, hitting hardest in southern Indiana, where at least nine people were killed and an entire town was flattened. Homes and businesses were also destroyed in Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee as at least 50 tornadoes touched down in six states at various times of the day.

State homeland security officials told NBC News that three people were killed in Jefferson County, three in Scott County, two in Ripley County and one on Clark County.

The town of Marysville, Ind., was "completely gone," and Henryville Junior-Senior High School was destroyed, Clark County sheriff's Maj. Chuck Adams told NBC News. All the students escaped, some with minor scrapes, Adams said.

Multiple tornadoes were still being reported in Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia and West Virginia well into the evening, the Weather Channel and the National Weather Service reported. In West Liberty, Ky., the Morgan County Courthouse sustained significant damage and an unknown number of people were injured or trapped in buildings. In Trimble County, Ky., a tornado leveled the Milton fire station.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said Friday would likely end up as one of the five biggest tornado days of the year, with "tornadic activity" leading to watches or warnings in at least 17 states.

The tornadoes began when a "very large super-cell" of tornadoes touched down in northern Alabama early in the day, damaging homes and a prison and injuring at least four people. In southern Tennessee, another twister ripped 20 homes off their foundations and submerged boats, officials said.

At least 30 people were injured in Hamilton County, Tenn., authorities told NBC News, six to 10 of them critically. "Significant damage" was reported to subdivisions along Highway 68 east of Chattanooga.

Amy Maxwell, a spokeswoman for Hamilton County Emergency Services, said at least 20 homes were destroyed and that several people were trapped beneath downed trees and structures.

Two of the three runways at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport were closed, and residents of Kentucky and Ohio were advised to "maintain close awareness."

"This is a very dangerous situation," said Tom Bradshaw, the National Weather Service's Southeast regional director.

Rare extreme warning

For only the second time, the Weather Channel issued a TORCON warning of 10 as multiple tornado-producing super-cells moved across northern Kentucky — meaning forecasters believed there was a 100 percent chance of a tornado within 50 miles. The TORCON system was developed a few years ago, and the top warning was first used April 27, 2011, during a devastating outbreak of tornadoes across the South.

Paige Colburn, an emergency management officer at the Huntsville-Madison County Emergency Management Agency, told that the damage in Alabama covered a 4- to 5-mile swath in northern Madison County.

"The reason that it is so wide is because we’re not talking about one tornado. We’re talking about a very large super-cell that spawned several smaller tornadoes, and there’s possibly one very large one in there, too," she said.

Buckhorn High School sustained roof and window damage, but no injuries were reported, the state agency said in a statement. Part of the roof of Buckhorn Middle School was blown away, but all children were safe, Geraldine Tibbs, a spokeswoman for the Madison County Board of Education, told NBC News.

Back-to-back tornadoes also struck neighboring Limestone County on Friday morning. A training building at Limestone Correctional Facility, which houses 2,100 inmates, was destroyed, and two dorms and two other buildings suffered roof damage, Brian Corbett, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections, told NBC News.

No one was hurt, and the prison was operating on generator power. The state has sent extra security, Corbett added.

March opens tornado season with a bang
A storm system earlier this week killed 13 people in four states in the Midwest and the South.

March is the start of the core of severe weather season over much of the country, said Russell Schneider, head of NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, and the "high risk" alert issued Friday — the weather service's top threat level — was the fifth during the month of March since 2000

"As far as any trends for the season, certainly this has been a very active week or two, but we really can't make any judgment on the full extent of the season at this time."

- Ioanna Dafermou, Justin Kirschner, Jessica Prater, Sarah Rosefeldt, Tracy Snyder and Edgar Zuniga of NBC News contributed to this report by Miranda Leitsinger and M. Alex Johnson of

Source is at MSNBC and has video and images

* Slide show of images submitted to Cincinnati area station WCPO (most incredible is the cancelled check from 1982 from Henryville IN that ended up 100 miles away on someone's front porch)

* Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross and help victims of this tornadic outbreak in Southern Indiana. Henryville and Marysville have been all but annihilated.

* Edit: Those wanting to help with cleanup, please call the Cincinnati chapter of the Red Cross on Monday at 513-579-3000

* UPDATE: Death toll now up to 28 across Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.
jiyoung ► ok

Teacher fired after assigning violent math problems to third graders

A Washington, D.C., charter school teacher has been fired after it was discovered the teacher had assigned third-grade students a number of math problems framed around violent and illegal scenarios.

At first, the unnamed teacher at the Trinidad Center City School claimed he had been ordered to assign the problems, but it was quickly discovered that the teacher had actually downloaded them from a free homeschooling website called ""

"I was absolutely distressed," Dr. Beverley Wheeler, the CEO of Center City PCS, which oversees Trinidad, told WUSA9. "It doesn't follow anything we do. We are about character, excellence and service and I found them to be violent and racist."
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What's not to Love? (Logan)

All in Favor - A Feminist Rap

From Amber Tamblyn's Facebook page:

Tyrese Gibson (of Fast and Furious and Transformers) saw my name cc'd on an email that a mutual friend sent out and thought I was the model ex girlfriend of Kanye West, Amber Rose. (My middle name is Rose and my email adress is registered as Amber Rose.) I've never met Tyrese before. He pulled my email addy from that cc list and emailed me wanting to work on an album together. So I recorded my demos on my iphone and sent them to him. I guess you could call them Awareness Raps? I am the Hilary Clinton of Ghostface Killahs.


You can see the correspondence and hear all the demos at the source, but with regards to this community, I thought that many here would appreciate her "demo" entitled "All In Favor" which addresses the whole birth control debacle going on right now.

(This is my first time posting, and I hope I got all the right tags, and that this is cool.)

All In Favor Demo by TheTyreseSessions

ETA: Oops, forgot the source!