March 11th, 2012

where I stand

The horror and the hashtag

It is almost touching that millions of North Americans developed a sudden interest in northern Ugandan affairs at some point Wednesday afternoon and decided, as their finger slid between the latest app and the hockey scores, to hire someone to take care of Joseph Kony.

Did you click? You’re hardly alone. Who could resist retweeting, Like-ing, or +1-ing a salvo of memes against the most guilty living figure in the world, firing a binary barrage of #stopkony hashtags into the veldt? For this was surely a binary issue: The absolute evil of one pitted against the pure compassion and undeniable enthusiasm of millions.
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Published on Saturday, Mar. 10, 2012 2:00AM EST


This just in, Bill Maher is still a pig.

Bill Maher Defends Rush Limbaugh Again: ‘A Guy Made A Bad Joke’

Bill Maher continued to diminish Rush Limbaugh’s sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke and attack liberals for overreacting. On his HBO show last night, Maher said that liberals should “put this in perspective… a guy made a bad joke.” He added in that in America “sometimes you’re made to feel uncomfortable.” Um, no?

Actually, Limbaugh launched hateful attacks against Fluke seventy times over three days. You can watch all of Limbaugh’s attacks on Fluke here. He doesn’t appear to be joking.

Maher insisted that he was not, in fact, defending Limbaugh but “defending living in a country where people don’t have to be afraid that they might go out of the bounds for one minute. Do we all want to be talking like White House spokesmen?”

Maher also framed the criticisms of Limbaugh as an attack on “free speech.” But the issue is not whether Limbaugh was free to say what he did about Sandra Fluke. Hundreds of thousands of people are asking advertisers and others if they want to continue to pay for Limbaugh’s speech. At least 98 major advertisers have said no and canceled their ads.

Maher also dismissed Limbaugh’s comments by noting that “no one died.” The same talking point was echoed by Tucker Carlson who argued, oddly, that we should cut Limbaugh some slack because Don King was convicted of manslaughter in 1966 and still has a career. Carlson, like Maher, has his own history of mysoginistic comments. Last year he tweeted, “Palin’s popularity falling in Iowa, but maintains lead to become supreme commander of Milfistan.” He later apologized.


cute lil campfire | hs

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee and Newsweek's 2012 Women in the World Summit

Nobel-Winning Gbowee Tells American Women to Get Angry

Nobel Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, who once used a sex strike to help force peace talks in Liberia, said American women must "get up" if they want to shape the nation's fiscal and social priorities.

"As long as we continue to engage from a position of weakness, they will never respect us," Gbowee said of men, speaking yesterday at the third annual Women in the World conference. "It is time for women to stop being politely angry. It's time for us to get up."

Gbowee, 40, helped end a 14-year war in Liberia in part through tactics such as encouraging women to withhold sex until men agreed to negotiate peace. She shared the 2011 Nobel Prize with Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Yemen's Tawakkul Karman for their "non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace- building work," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in October.

Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown, who conceived the women's conference hosted by Newsweek and the Daily Beast in New York to inspire creative solutions to world problems, quipped that the U.S. could have used a dose of Gbowee's tactics, which included sit-ins, in last year's debate over raising the nation's debt ceiling. The political stalemate helped prompt the first downgrade of the nation's credit rating.

Where Are the Women?

Gbowee said those events left her "wondering where are the angry American women?" She wonders the same about women's voices defending access to contraception.

"I was watching the men talk about your reproductive issues and saying 'Why are these women not angry?'" asked the mother of six, who leads the Ghana-based Women Peace and Security Network Africa.

Gbowee arrived in Monrovia at 17 and trained as a trauma counselor for child soldiers from Liberian President Charles Taylor's army. She's featured in "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," a documentary about how Liberian women took on warlords in the civil war, and authored the book "Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, actress Angelina Jolie and Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg are also attending the women's conference.

Source: The Chronicle with Bloomberg

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Scottish independence will 'end poverty', says deputy SNP leader.

Independence will give Scotland the powers it needs to get rid of poverty and deprivation, deputy SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon will say later.

Scotland's deputy first minister will attack "heartless" UK government welfare reforms at her party's spring conference, in Glasgow.

She will say the changes are punishing the elderly and vulnerable.

Ms Sturgeon will seek to contrast the policy with an SNP vision to get people off benefits for the "right reasons".

The Westminster government says its UK-wide welfare reforms will save billions of pounds, by replacing disability living allowance with a personal independence payment and bringing in a single, universal credit.

But the SNP says the move will hit some of the people most in need of help.

"Only independence will put a stop to heartless Tory welfare reforms that punish the vulnerable and the disabled.

"And only independence will give us the powers we need to rid Scotland of the poverty and deprivation that still scars our nation."

Ms Sturgeon will also use her speech to announce more support for carers.


OP: The vote is going to be in late 2014. This is one long campaign! Hopefully it won't get too bitter and the fact will be the important thing.
Murasaki Shikibu

Japan Finds Story of Hope in Undertaker Who Offered Calm Amid Disaster

Japan Finds Story of Hope in Undertaker Who Offered Calm Amid Disaster

Amid the grief of finding her mother’s body at a makeshift morgue in this tsunami-ravaged city last March, Fumie Arai took comfort in a small but surprising discovery. Unlike the rest of the muddied body, her mother’s face had been carefully wiped clean.

Mrs. Arai did not know at the time, but the act was the work of a retired undertaker well-versed in the ancient Buddhist rituals of preparing the dead for cremation and burial. The undertaker, Atsushi Chiba, a father of five who cared for almost 1,000 bodies in Kamaishi, has now become an unlikely hero in a community trying to heal its wounds a year after the massive earthquake and tsunami that ravaged much of Japan’s northeastern coast a year ago Sunday.

“I dreaded finding my mother’s body, lying alone on the cold ground among strangers,” Mrs. Arai, 36, said. “When I saw her peaceful, clean face, I knew someone had taken care of her until I arrived. That saved me.”

As Japan marks one year since the quake and tsunami that claimed almost 20,000 lives in the northeastern region of Tohoku, stories like these are being told and retold as mementos of hope even as Japan struggles through what is expected to be an effort lasting decades to rebuild the region.

Mr. Chiba’s story has been immortalized in a best-selling book in Japan, which has sold over 40,000 copies and is in its eleventh printing.

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There's going to be a national moment of silence in Japan at 2:26 PM JST, which is the time the earthquake happened.

Anti-health care plaintiff bankrupt because of medical bills

Plaintiff challenging healthcare law went bankrupt – with unpaid medical bills
Obama administration lawyers say her case is an example of why an insurance mandate is needed to prevent 'uncompensated care that will ultimately be paid by others.'

Reporting from Washington—
Mary Brown, a 56-year-old Florida woman who owned a small auto repair shop but had no health insurance, became the lead plaintiff challenging President Obama's healthcare law because she was passionate about the issue.

Brown "doesn't have insurance. She doesn't want to pay for it. And she doesn't want the government to tell her she has to have it," said Karen Harned, a lawyer for the National Federation of Independent Business. Brown is a plaintiff in the federation's case, which the Supreme Court plans to hear later this month.

But court records reveal that Brown and her husband filed for bankruptcy last fall with $4,500 in unpaid medical bills. Those bills could change Brown from a symbol of proud independence into an example of exactly the problem the healthcare law was intended to address.

The central issue before the Supreme Court is whether the government can require people to buy health insurance. Under the law, those who fail to buy insurance after 2014 could face a fine of up to $700.

The business federation, along with other critics of the law, calls the insurance mandate a "threat to individual liberty" that violates the Constitution.

Obama administration lawyers argue that the requirement is justified because everyone, sooner or later, needs healthcare. Those who fail to have insurance are at high risk of running up bills they cannot pay, sticking the rest of society with the cost, they argue. Brown's situation, they say, is a perfect example of exactly that kind of "uncompensated care that will ultimately be paid by others."

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Trying to save face, poor hypocrite thing.

Talk Radio Losing Advertisers In Wake Of Limbaugh Scandal

The overwhelming exodus of advertisers from Rush Limbaugh's show has big-name companies rethinking their relationship with talk radio.

According to a memo published by the industry website, at least 98 advertisers -- including big names like Ford, GM and McDonald's -- have indicated they want to avoid "environments likely to stir negative sentiments."

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Source has some videos that're sure to fill your rage quota for the day!

I mentioned this in a comment to another post and figured it deserved a post of its own.

Edited after approval to make this post public; I keep forgetting friend/members only is my default setting! Sorry!
John Denver
  • rjdaae

U.S. Soldiers Open Fire On Civilians In Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, March 11 (Reuters) - Western forces shot dead 16 civilians including nine children in southern Kandahar province on Sunday, Afghan officials said, in a rampage that witnesses said was carried out by American soldiers who were laughing and appeared drunk.

One Afghan father who said his children were killed in the shooting spree accused soldiers of later burning the bodies.

Witnesses told Reuters they saw a group of U.S. soldiers arrive at their village in Kandahar's Panjwayi district at around 2 am, enter homes and open fire.

The incident, one of the worst of its kind since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, is likely to deepen the divide between Washington and Kabul.

The U.S. embassy in Kabul said an American soldier had been detained over the shooting. It added that anti-U.S. reprisals were possible following the killings, which come just weeks after U.S. soldiers burned copies of the Koran at a NATO base, triggering widespread anti-Western protests.
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Gryffindor corgi

Women's HERstory Month Day Eleven: Fighting All Fronts at All Times

Flo Kennedy, Feminist, Civil Rights Advocate and Flamboyant Gadfly, Dies at 84
by Douglas Martin

Florynce Kennedy, a lawyer and political activist whose flamboyant attire and sometimes outrageous comments drew attention to her fierce struggle for civil rights and feminism, died on Thursday in her Manhattan apartment. She was 84.

Known to everyone as Flo, recognizable everywhere in cowboy hat and pink sunglasses, she was one of the first black women to graduate from Columbia Law School, where she was admitted after threatening a discrimination suit. She fought in the courts and on the streets for abortion rights, represented Black Panthers, was a founding member of the National Women's Political Caucus and led a mass urination by women protesting a lack of women's restrooms at Harvard.

"If you found a cause for the downtrodden of somebody being abused someplace, by God, Flo Kennedy would be there,"
former Mayor David N. Dinkins of New York said yesterday.

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ETA: This article is about a decade old, but still just as relevant as to what an amazing woman Flo Kennedy was :)
  • chaya

Georgia women senators walk out, protesting 'war on women'

ATLANTA -- Women members of the Georgia Senate staged a brief demonstration against the Republican and male majority in the Senate, complaining that the GOP is waging a war -- against women and their access to abortion and contraceptives.

Eight of the nine women senators -- the eight women Democrats -- walked out of the Senate chamber in protest as the Republican majority passed two bills they oppose.

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The senators who walked out: Sen. Gloria Butler, Sen. Gale Davenport, Sen. Nan Orrock, Sen. Freddie Powell Sims, Sen. Donzella James, Sen. Miriam Paris, Sen. Valencia Seay and Sen. Horacena Tate.

Source: Iraqi government complicit with alleged emo and LGBT massacres

The Iraqi Interior Ministry has backed an alleged massacre of up to 100 Emos and LGBT people last month, a new wave of massacres may start today or Monday, says a Gay Middle East Iraqi source.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry knew about the plan to massacre ‘emo’ youths and LGBT people and are complicit in up to 100 killings, new evidence suggests.

A Gay Middle East source claims that Iraqi officials had a a hit list of people who were scheduled for slaughter but did nothing to protect them.

In addition, hit list by a Shiite Militia has been posted, posted on Palestine Street. It was put up three days ago and warns men and women in universities and colleges to stop behaving and dressing ‘immorally’ within four days. This means that a new wave of massacres may occur as early as tomorrow or Monday (12.3.12).

As PinkNews reported on Friday, the kidnappings, torture and murders started on 6 February and have targeted those with alternative dress codes or have differing sexualities.

Emos have been targeted in particular. Emo is short for emotional or emocore is a US originated hardcore punk-rock music that appeared in the 80s attracting mostly teenagers.

However PinkNews and Gay Middle East sources have made it clear that the words ‘emo’ and ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ are used interchangeably.

Bissam a blogger with Gay Middle East said: ‘It is commonly assumed that most emos are “f*gs”, feminine (in the case of boys) or masculine (in the case of girls), and Satan worshipers. Girls wearing short skirts, tight trousers (called ‘stretch’) are also singled out as morally corrupt and therefore legitimate targets.’


Source has more.

Here is a different article also discussing the homophobia issue.

Mods, I know we just had a post about this, but the first post really didn't say much about the fact that these attacks on 'Emo' are often homophobic in nature.
F*cking Idiot

Santorum's war on teleprompters

Gulfport, Mississippi (CNN) - Republican Rick Santorum has for quite a while taken issue with candidates on the trail who use a teleprompter. It's a dig on President Barack Obama, and more recently has been used to attack Mitt Romney - a man who's also been known to use a prompter or two.

But campaigning along the Gulf Coast in the Tuesday primary state of Mississippi, Santorum took it a step further, saying use of the digital word machine should be outlawed.

"See, I always believed that when you run for president of the United States, it should be illegal to read off a teleprompter," Santorum said at a Gulfport restaurant. "Because all you're doing is reading someone else's words to people."

He continued to elaborate on why he believes prompters should have no place in politics, saying that people should know that a candidate's words haven't been "focus-grouped" and that the words are the candidate's - not those of "pollsters and speechwriters."

"You're voting for someone who is going to be the leader of our government," Santorum said. "It's important for you to understand who that person is in their own words, see them, look them in the eye...hear what's (in their) heart."

"You're choosing a leader. A leader isn't just about what's written on a piece of paper."

Santorum is in the middle of a two-day campaign swing through Mississippi and Alabama - two states that hold their early nominating contests Tuesday.


I caaaaaaaaan't. So if he becomes president (God forbid!), he'd just BS all his own speeches? GREAT PLAN.
buffy spike black&violet by gilkurtisctx

Christian Rock Band Preaches Hate Of LGBT Community During School Assembly, Tells Girls To Be Submis

When Dunkerton High School in Iowa invited a Christian rock band called Junkyard Prophet to perform during a school assembly this past Thursday, they never expected to get a hate filled sermon as part of the deal. But that’s exactly what happened.

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