March 14th, 2012


ABC News Uncovers Questionable Police Conduct in Trayvon Martin's Case

ORLANDO, Fla., March 13, 2012

ABC News has uncovered questionable police conduct in the investigation of the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white neighborhood watch captain in Florida, including the alleged "correction" of at least one eyewitness' account.

Sanford Police Chief Billy Lee said there is no evidence to dispute self-appointed neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman's assertion that he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin out of self-defense.

"Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don't have the grounds to arrest him," Lee said.
Martin had been staying at his father's girlfriend's house during the night of the NBA All-Star game Feb. 26.
The teenager went out to get some Skittles and a can of ice tea. On his way back into the gated suburban Orlando community, Martin, wearing a hood, was spotted by Zimmerman, 28.

According to law enforcement sources who heard Zimmerman's call to a non-emergency police number, he told a dispatcher "these a..holes always get away."

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This is actually my first post here, but since I live in South Florida and it's all over the news here, and everyone is absolutely incensed by this and the complete lack of action on the part of the Sanford police.This story needs more national attention. It's the only way that some form of justice can be had Trayvon's family and to show just how sketchy Sanford's police department really is. 

[Twin Peeks] Two Sides

Rock Group “Junkyard Prophet” Delivers Hate Message at School Assembly

High school students in Dunkerton, Iowa were expecting an assembly about bullying and making good choices. What they got instead was the Christian rap/hard rock band called Junkyard Prophet delivering an anti-gay and anti-abortion rant.

Trigger warnings for homophobia, anti-abortion ranting, and men treating teen girls badly.

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This whole thing just makes me sick. How could the teachers allow this to happen? Where they all asleep? Did they not look at their wikipedia page?
Gryffindor corgi

BREAKING: 6.1 earthquake hits Japan, no tsunami warning as of yet

TOKYO | Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:33am EDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 hit east of Tokyo on Wednesday but no tsunami warning was issued and there were no initial reports of damage or troubles at area nuclear plants, the Japan Meteorological Agency and local media said.

High-speed bullet trains serving northern Japan were halted and the two runways at Tokyo's Narita International Airport were closed after the quake but quickly resumed operations, local media reported.

No abnormalities were reported at the Tokai No.2 nuclear power plant northeast of Tokyo, which has been shut for routine maintenance, or at Tokyo Electric Power Co's tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi and Daini plants, local media said.

The earthquake, which caused substantial shaking in Ibaraki and Chiba prefectures east of Tokyo, followed just a few hours after a magnitude 6.8 quake jolted northern Japan. A tsunami warning was issued but later lifted after that earthquake.

Just over one year ago, the northeast coast was struck by a magnitude 9 earthquake, Japan's strongest on record, and a massive tsunami, triggering the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

There has been a five-fold increase in the number of quakes in the Tokyo metropolitan area since the year-ago disaster, the Tokyo University Earthquake Research Institute has said.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

Samantha Spellthorne

10 key moments in the history of marriage

10 key moments in the history of marriage

At the very heart of the debate about same-sex marriage is the definition of the word "marriage". To some people, it changes to meet social and economic needs, to others it remains firmly fixed. So what has the institution meant down the years?

Much of the recent debate has focused on the notion of who "owns" marriage - the Church or the State. Both, however, have played key roles at different times in the history of the institution.

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Source at BBC News


This is UK-centric, but with how marriage can be co-opted to fit certain viewpoints this gives an overview, albeit brief, of how marriage and its importance/reasons for it has changed.
  • cindel

I see the problem. You got Republicans in your vagina

Smartasses Deluge Pro-Ultrasound Male Lawmaker's Facebook Page With Detailed Vagina Updates

Virginia Republican caucus chairman Ryan McDougle has proven himself a fearless, uterusless supporter of Getting all up in The Commonwealth's Lady business. He backed the state's now-tabled Personhood bill and stood behind the law that will force women seeking abortions to receive medically unnecessary ultrasounds. And Virginia's women, touched that he cares so much for what's happening inside their female anatomy, have taken to his Facebook page in order to give the lawmaker detailed updates on what's going around in and around their babycaves. It should go without saying that hilarity ensued.
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BlueVirginia Facebook
BlueVirginia Bill Bolling

OP notes: Get thee to Facebook and join the fun. You can still comment on the pictures if you can't comment on the wall. For my Fake Virgina peeps: McDonnell is out of the running for VP Spot. Son I am disappoint.

As U.S. Workplaces Celebrate March Madness, RiseSmart Brings the Fun and Excitement of the NCAA Offi

As millions of U.S. workers begin filling out NCAA tournament brackets to celebrate March Madness, RiseSmart, the leading provider of next-generation outplacement solutions, today launched the RiseSmart Challenge, a March Madness "office pool" for all transitioning workers utilizing its flagship outplacement solution, Transition Concierge. The program serves as a fun way to help unemployed workers take a break from the job search to participate in one of the traditional rites of American office life.

"March Madness marks an exciting time in which offices are abuzz with colleagues engaged in heated water-cooler debates over who will make the Final Four and be crowned champion," said Sanjay Sathe, founder and CEO of RiseSmart. "We wanted to offer those in the Transition Concierge program the chance to experience this same sense of fun even while they are between jobs. So we created the RiseSmart Challenge."

The RiseSmart Challenge is open to thousands of transitioning workers currently in the Transition Concierge system. Participants can access the RiseSmart Challenge tournament bracket online; top prognosticators will receive special recognition and prizes.

"In our five years of helping put Americans back to work, we've found that the unemployed find work faster when they treat their job search with a sense of adventure and fun. We try to create an atmosphere that encourages this positive approach," Sathe said. "The RiseSmart Challenge is a fun way to lift the spirits of workers in transition and energize them for the real challenge ahead - reentering the workforce."

A 2011 Harris Interactive survey showed that 20 percent of U.S. workers - or about 30 million Americans -- participate in a March Madness office pool. RiseSmart encourages companies to embrace this annual tradition by enacting a program that builds interpersonal relationships across the organization and instills a sense of belonging and fun. Banning pools in an attempt to prevent lost productivity during the tournament is generally ineffective and can result in reduced morale.

Market Watch [press release]

Rising Sea Levels Seen as Threat to Coastal U.S.

Rising Sea Levels Seen as Threat to Coastal U.S.


About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by global warming, according to new research.

If the pace of the rise accelerates as much as expected, researchers found, coastal flooding at levels that were once exceedingly rare could become an every-few-years occurrence by the middle of this century.

By far the most vulnerable state is Florida, the new analysis found, with roughly half of the nation’s at-risk population living near the coast on the porous, low-lying limestone shelf that constitutes much of that state. But Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey are also particularly vulnerable, researchers found, and virtually the entire American coastline is at some degree of risk.

“Sea level rise is like an invisible tsunami, building force while we do almost nothing,” said Benjamin H. Strauss, an author, with other scientists, of two new papers outlining the research. “We have a closing window of time to prevent the worst by preparing for higher seas.”

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Pride & Prejudice

Trans LGBTQ Activist Found Murdered in Mexico

An advocate for the Mexican lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) community, Agnes Torres Sulca, was found murdered in Atlixco, Puebla this past Saturday, March 10.

According to reports from the State Attorney’s Office, the body of Agnes Torres was found abandoned in a ditch near an expressway in Atlixco, with a neck wound, burns throughout her body, and visible signs of torture. Her death is presumed to be a hate crime.

Puebla LGBTQ organization No Dejarse Es Incluirse, AC condemned the murder, saying via press release “we condemn the murder of the woman, academic, psychologist, educator, model and activist for human rights of all women in general and of all sexual diversity. We are also shocked, saddened, angered, and saddened by the crime and we feel powerless once again because a valuable person has succumbed to the most brutal form of gender-based violence. Learned violence, encouraged violence, violence against women. In this case, a transgender woman.”

Missing for over a week, with friends and family attempting to reach her through social media, Agnes was last seen by her mother as she was leaving for Chipilo.

Asking the authorities to treat this murder as if it were that of politician’s relative, No Dejarse es Incluirse, AC urge for the a quick investigation into Agnes’ murder.

“We demand the authorities immediately clarify the the murder of Agnes Torres Sulca. We do not want to feel the helplessness, abandonment and legal neglect. The authorities and institutions need to take action on the matter once and for all. No more impunity in anti-LGBTQ homocides.”

Gryffindor corgi

Women's HERstory Month Day Fourteen: As Purple is to Lavender

Alice Walker
via the GALE Cengage Learning by Michael E. Muellero

Recognized as one of the leading voices among Black American women writers, Alice Walker has produced an acclaimed and varied body of work, including poetry, novels, short stories, essays, and criticism. Her writings portray the struggle of black people throughout history, and are praised for their insightful and riveting portraits of black life, in particular the experiences of black women in a sexist and racist society. Her most famous work, the award-winning and best-selling novel The Color Purple, chronicles the life of a poor and abused southern black woman who eventually triumphs over oppression through affirming female relationships. Walker has described herself as a "womanist" — her term for a black feminist — which she defines in the introduction to her book of essays, In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose, as one who "appreciates and prefers women's culture, women's emotional flexibility ... women's strength" and is "committed to [the] survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female."

A theme throughout Walker's work is the preservation of black culture, and her female characters forge important links to maintain continuity in both personal relationships and communities. According to Barbara T. Christian in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Walker is concerned with "heritage," which to Walker "is not so much the grand sweep of history or artifacts created as it is the relations of people to each other, young to old, parent to child, man to woman." Walker admires the struggle of black women throughout history to maintain an essential spirituality and creativity in their lives, and their achievements serve as an inspiration to others. In Our Mother's Gardens, Walker wrote: "We must fearlessly pull out of ourselves and look at and identify with our lives the living creativity some of our great-grandmothers were not allowed to know. I stress 'some' of them because it is well known that the majority of our great-grandmothers knew, even without 'knowing' it, the reality of their spirituality, even if they didn't recognize it beyond what happened in the singing at church — and they never had any intention of giving it up."

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Stock - Pink Sakura

Mitt Romney: Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that

Kirkwood, MO (KSDK) - The Republican race for the White House is moving to Missouri and Mitt Romney detailed cuts to reduce the debt, including Planned Parenthood.

Mitt Romney stopped in Kirkwood, hoping to drum up support ahead of the state's caucuses this week.

Since Missouri's primary wasn't binding, Rick Santorum's win didn't actually get him any delegates. That means all 52 are still up for grab in the caucuses. And Mitt Romney cites elect-ability as one reason Missouri's republicans should choose him.

Mitt Romney calls his campaign "a battle for the soul of America."

His message today in Kirkwood, "I believe I'm the only guy who can defeat Barack Obama."

And though he lost in Missouri's beauty contest primary, he's hoping to sway people heading into this week's caucuses.

"I just feel strongly on his feelings on the strength of the family, the strength of our communities in America," said voter Lisa Erekson.

Voter Diane Wallace says it was talk of the economy that resonated with her, "We used to be large business owners, now we're small business owners. We just need that back."

"Just because he's bright and he's made a lot of money, doesn't mean he's not also a good person," said voter Michael Karlberg.

And while the event was billed as a talk on jobs and the economy, he also touched on the deficit and energy issues.

One on one, he detailed his plan to lower gas prices.

"We're going to start drilling again in the Gulf, we're going to drill in the outer continental shelf, we're going to drill in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas. That communicates to the world that there will be more supply coming from the U.S. And that affects the price of gasoline," said Romney.

As for ways to reduce debt, he suggests a few cuts.

"The test is pretty simple. Is the program so critical, it's worth borrowing money from china to pay for it? And on that basis of course you get rid of Obamacare, that's the easy one. Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that. The subsidy for Amtrak, I'd eliminate that. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities," he said. wtf???

This was Romney's first public event in the Show-Me-State, so we wanted to know, does he say Missouri or Missourah?

"You know I've always said Missouri." He adds, "I know as I get to other parts of the state its Missourah. But I'll stick with Missouri 'cause that's what I know best," he said.

Romney also says he has yet to try toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake, but he'd like to.

From Kirkwood, the candidate headed on to an event in Kansas City.

To watch Romney's full speech and the raw video of Ann's one-on-one interview with him, click here.

Source has a video that likes auto-play

ETA: I believe in the video that Mittens says he wants to eliminate PBS, too. Has he never watched Mr. Roger's testimony about public television?

Germaine Greer glitter-bombed for trans comments

Feminist writer Germaine Greer has been glitter-bombed at a book-signing today in New Zealand for her comments about trans women, including a 2009 column which said they ‘seem to us ghastly parodies’ and claimed being trans was a ‘delusion’.

The Queer Avengers group took exception to Greer’s brand of what it termed “transphobic feminism” and delivered the glitter in a move more often seen deployed on homophobic politicians in the US.

Germaine Greer unsuccessfully opposed the election of a trans woman to the staff at the women-only Newnham College, Cambridge in the 1990s and the group highlighted her opposition to regarding trans women as women.

In her 1999 book, The Whole Woman, she wrote: “Governments that consist of very few women have hurried to recognise as women men who believe that they are women and have had themselves castrated to prove it, because they see women not as another sex but as a non-sex.

“No so-called sex-change has ever begged for a uterus-and-ovaries transplant; if uterus-and-ovaries transplants were made mandatory for wannabe women they would disappear overnight. The insistence that man-made women be accepted as women is the institutional expression of the mistaken conviction that women are defective males.”

In 2009, Greer wrote in the Guardian that being trans was a “delusion” and that trans women “seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody, though it isn’t polite to say so”.

She said: “We pretend that all the people passing for female really are. Other delusions may be challenged, but not a man’s delusion that he is female.”

Stacey of the Queer Avengers said: “Transphobic feminism is so 20th Century.

“It wasn’t okay then and it’s not okay now. Women’s liberation must mean the right to refuse imposed gender roles, to fight for diverse gender expression.”

The Queer Avengers also handed out leaflets saying “transphobia is bullshit”, a reference to Greer’s 1972 arrest for using the swearword in a speech in New Zealand.

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Hell yeah. :D
why do you hate us so much?
  • chaya

Palestinians prepare to lose the solar panels that provide a lifeline

'Israel is planning to demolish 'illegal' solar panels that are the only source of electricity for Palestinians in West Bank villages'

A Palestinian man looks at a solar panel in the southern West Bank village of Imneizil. Photograph: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

Two large solar panels jut out of the barren landscape near Imneizil in the Hebron hills. The hi-tech structures sit incongruously alongside the tents and rough stone buildings of the Palestinian village, but they are fundamental to life here: they provide electricity.

Imneizil is not connected to the national electricity grid. Nor are the vast majority of Palestinian communities in Area C, the 62% of the West Bank controlled by Israel. The solar energy has replaced expensive and clunky oil-powered generators.

According to the Israeli authorities, these solar panels – along with six others in nearby villages – are illegal and have been slated for demolition.

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Source at The Guardian.

I have a really hard time believing Seba would fail to do the paperwork to do an extensive project like this. I've only ever had experience with American-based intl contractors but it's just... it's the paperwork. It's there every time. It gets done.

US marines hold British Union Flag upside down on Prime Minister's visit.

US marines were left red-faced last night after flying the Union Flag upside down while preparing to greet David Cameron.

A squad in dress uniform was spotted at Andrews Air Force Base carrying the flag the wrong way up. The thick white section of the diagonals should appear above the red stripes on the side nearest the flagpole.

By tradition, displaying a flag upside down is a sign of distress. Flying the Union Flag upside down can also be taken as an insult to the monarch.

US officials quickly rectified the error.


OP: Is it bad that I didn't even spot that on the news last night? They'll probably put me in the Tower if they find out!! Wonder if Cameron has mentioned that he supported John McCain at the last election yet? Now that would be awkward!
The Gang

Obama’s personal role in a journalist’s imprisonment

Jeremy Scahill, The Nation‘s national security correspondent, is easily one of America’s best and most intrepid journalists. He spends his time in dangerous places in order to uncover what the U.S. Government is doing around the world. He often produces vital scoops that, during the Obama presidency, are — for reasons often recounted here — largely ignored by the American establishment media and both political parties. In July of last year, he returned from Mogadishu and documented the Obama administration’s maintenance and proxy operation of secret CIA-run prisons in Somalia of the type that caused so much controversy during the Bush administration and which Obama supporters like to claim the President ended, and last month he returned from tribal regions in Yemen and detailed how U.S. civilian-killing drone strikes (along with its support for Yemeni despots) are the single most important cause fueling Al Qaeda’s growth in that country. But his newest article – describing President Obama’s personal, direct role in ensuring the ongoing imprisonment of a Yemeni journalist  – may be his most important one yet; even for those inured to the abuses of the Obama administration, it’s nothing short of infuriating.

As we now know, on December 17, 2009, President Obama ordered an air attack — using Tomahawk cruise missiles and cluster bombs — on the village of al Majala in Yemen’s southern Abyan province; the strike ended the lives of 14 women and 21 children. At the time, the Yemeni government outright lied about the attack, falsely claiming that it was Yemen’s air force which was responsible.

The Pentagon helped bolster this misleading claim of responsibility by issuing a statement that “Yemen should be congratulated for actions against al-Qaeda.” Meanwhile, leading American media outlets, such as The New York Times, reported — falsely — that “Yemeni security forces carried out airstrikes and ground raids against suspected Qaeda hide-outs last week with what American officials described as ‘intelligence and firepower’ supplied by the United States.” Those U.S. media reports vaguely mentioned civilian deaths only in passing or not at all, opting instead for ledes such as: “Yemeni security forces carried out airstrikes and ground raids against suspected hide-outs of Al Qaeda on Thursday, killing at least 34 militants in the broadest attack on the terrorist group here in years, Yemeni officials said.” While it is certain that dozens of civilians were killed, Scahill notes that “whether anyone actually active in Al Qaeda was killed remains hotly contested.”

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Virtual Mourning: A Eulogy For Someone We Never Knew

When Mark died— or when it really sunk in and I truly believed that Mark had died— the first thought I had was that it threw my theory about queer virtuality right out the window.

Mark was a caustic and alluring presence on Tumblr. Tumblr is a blog platform comprised of various communities, many of which I’ve seen intersect over issues of gender politics, queer advocacy and the politics of marginalized identity. What it means, what it feels like to be fat, to be weird, to be queer, to be trans*, to be other, to be Othered. There are the fierce feminists who post images of crochet patterns reading “My Body Is A Battleground.” There is the legion of gay male-identified performance artists who post screen caps of shirtless Christopher Meloni and ironic Grindr encounters. There are queer people of color posting about what it’s like to be racialized, to be queer, to be fierce, to be Beyoncé and Mariah and Naomi. And then there was calloutqueen.

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Everybody Misses Mark

Someone who was probably the coolest person born after 1980 died the other day and it’s a real bummer.

She was twenty-four and lived in Chicago. She had an unabashed disinterest in white people, hated beards, and thought you were racist if you didn’t like latter-day Mariah Carey. She spent most of her days waking up brilliant and gorgeous, being right about everything but not bragging about it, not cleaning her room, and speaking in questions that she often answered with more of her own questions. She hated shaving and loved weave.

It was really great how much work Mark put into creating a world for herself, and she did it all without being a megalomaniac blow-hard. Mark had this way of being bold and defiant through this tone that was either an expression of the passivity she accepted about herself, or a mockery of it. She was a woman of few words. This all came naturally to her, nothing was a put-on.

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Source 1

Source 2



OK to hit women say 1 in 10 Alberta men: survey

(From CBC

Close to one in 10 Alberta men believe it's okay to physically assault a woman if she does something to make him angry, says a survey for the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters.

Leger Marketing interviewed 1,000 Alberta men over the age of 18.

And while 56 per cent said they are more aware of domestic violence issues than they were five years ago, the survey found some less positive attitudes.

Only 92 per cent of men reed it's never acceptable to hit a woman.

The findings reflect cultural change, said Jan Reimer, with the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters.

"If someone were to light up a cigarette right now in an office building, years ago that would have been acceptable," she said. "Now, someone would come and say, 'hey that's not okay.'

"And I think we need to look at the same thing in terms of abusive behaviours towards women."

The survey was completed via telephone between February 6 and 27, 2012 with 1,000 men, 18 years of age or older, living in Alberta.

The survey has a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.


I don't think this is strictly an Alberta (i.e. the Canadian province) BTW. I'm also not saying that there are not men who are victims of domestic abuse and I am not trying to ignore this problem. OTOH, given the difference in general size and strength between men and women, it seems rather obvious to me who will tend to suffer more from violence from carried out by one towards the other. Which is why I DON'T suggest reading the comments below the article.

Darren/People Photoshoot

And dozens of people continue to shake their heads at Santorum...

Santorum to Puerto Rico: Speak English if you want statehood

(Reuters) - Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum told Puerto Ricans on Wednesday they would have to make English their primary language if they want to pursue U.S. statehood, a statement at odds with the U.S. Constitution.

Santorum traveled to the U.S. territory to campaign ahead of the island's Republican primary election scheduled for Sunday, where he, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are vying for 20 delegates.

Puerto Ricans, who recognize both English and Spanish as their official languages, are scheduled to vote in November on a referendum to decide whether they want to pursue statehood or remain a self-governing U.S. commonwealth.

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Stay classy, Santorum.

Wisconsin Assembly passes abortion, sex ed. bills

The state Assembly passed bills limiting insurance coverage for abortions and requiring schools to teach abstinence during a late-night session that lasted until Wednesday morning as they pushed to tie up pending legislation.

The Legislature was poised to adjourn Thursday without passing its two highest priorities coming into the year: a mining bill to help create hundreds of jobs in northern Wisconsin and a measure pumping money into venture capital to help spur new business creation.

Instead, lawmakers spent the early morning hours Wednesday fighting over abortion rights and sex education. The Assembly also passed a bill creating the state's first wolf hunting season.
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Oh look, the Republicans are continuing their war against women.


B.C. mulls flying welfare recipients north to jobs

The B.C. government is floating a proposal to fly people on social assistance north and give them accommodation and training to fill vacant jobs in the booming oil and gas sector.

Finance Minister Kevin Falcon first suggested the plan at a business meeting in Kamloops on Tuesday.

On Wednesday Kamloops Liberal MLA Terry Lake told CBC News the plan is in its infancy, meaning in political terms, it's a trial balloon.

"It is a unique idea that will take some development. But I think a lot of people, it will resonate with them because it just makes sense," said Lake.

"Why not offer people who are able to work the ability to get some training, the ability to provide funding to get them into communities where they desperately need young people to work in those industries."

"Why not solve two problems at once: the labour demand and the need for a job?"

Politically sensitive proposal

The idea of flying the unemployed north for work is a sensitive political topic.

That's what Liberal MLA John Les discovered last year when he faced backlash for suggesting those out of work in Nanaimo move north for work.

Lake says there is no timeline for when the government might unveil a so called welfare-to-airplane-to work program, but he promises the public will be consulted.

"What do British Columbians think about that idea, is it something that's got traction? If it does, let's develop the details."


mus | like a bird in a cage

Islamic halal meat: It 'slams against Quebec values,' Parti Quebecois says

QUEBEC - The Parti Quebecois is sounding the alarm bell over an Islamic food ritual, calling slaughter for halal meat an affront not only to the rights of animals but to the values cherished by Quebecers.

The pro-independence party declared its concerns Wednesday about halal animal-rights standards, and is worried that mainstream companies are selling the meat, without any labelling, to unsuspecting Quebecois customers.

Not to be outdone, the fledgling Coalition For Quebec's Future concurred later Wednesday that consumers should have the right to choose which product they buy and halal products must be labelled.

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Darren/People Photoshoot

Yay Disenfranchisement!

Voter ID becomes law in Pennsylvania, opponents vow legal fight
By Dave Warner
PHILADELPHIA | Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:11pm EDT

(Reuters) - A requirement that voters show photo identification at the polls became law in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, the latest in a spate of Republican-led efforts to impose stricter controls at the ballot box.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed the act into law, saying it set a "simple and clear standard to protect the integrity of our elections."

"I am signing this bill because it protects a sacred principle, one shared by every citizen of this nation," the Republican governor said. "That principle is one person, one vote."

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Mississippi Fail, again.

Abortion bill passes state House

JACKSON -- Doctors at Mississippi’s last remaining abortion clinic would be required to be certified in obstetrics and gynecology and have privileges to admit patients to local hospitals under a hotly contested bill that passed the House on Tuesday.

During a debate that lasted more than an hour, opponents argued the requirement could close the clinic in Jackson if no doctor could be found to meet the requirement.

About three dozen representatives opposed the bill, arguing it would disproportionally affect poor women who would not be able to afford a trip to a clinic in another state.

“I don’t believe the Legislature should step into the confines of my home and tell me what I can and cannot do with my body. My body belongs to the good Lord and to my husband,” Rep. Adrienne Wooten, D-Jackson, told the House. “Don’t come here and tell me you’re concerned about my health and my welfare. You’re not.”

The bill that passed on a 80-37 vote goes to the Republican-dominated Senate where its chances of passing are good.

House Public Health Committee Chairman Sam Mims V, R-McComb, said hospitals have the right to refuse admitting privileges to physicians, so it’s possible that the abortion clinic would find it impossible to come into compliance with the legislation by the July 1 deadline. Two of Jackson’s hospitals have Christian affiliation.

Mims said if the clinic could find a doctor who meets the requirements, the measure would improve the safety of women who receive abortions if they need emergency care. He said his ultimate goal is to eliminate abortion in Mississippi.

“If this bill causes less abortions to happen, I believe it’s a positive result,” said Mims, who said he would vote in favor of all anti-abortion bills going through the Legislature.

Wooten, however, said the male-dominated House had no business putting more regulations on abortion.

“Now, if you’re that concerned about unplanned pregnancies, go get snipped,” Wooten told the men in the House. “Why aren’t we over here with a bill about vasectomy? The number of concerns that could pop up that could cause me to consider an abortion, you don’t have the right to tell me I can’t seek this type of assistance.

“If you’re not ready to adopt a child that I may not want … you don’t have the right to tell me I can’t seek this assistance,” she said.

Diane Derzis, president and owner of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state’s only abortion clinic, said one of the three doctors there has admitting privileges and all are OB-GYN certified. If the bill becomes law, she said there is still the possibility she will have to close.

“We’ve jumped through every hoop, we’re going to continue to try and do that,” Derzis said. “The people have already spoken against the personhood amendment. I hope the people of Mississippi tell their legislators to start dealing with things besides whether people are having abortions.”

The “personhood” amendment, on the ballot in November, would have defined life as beginning at fertilization. It was rejected by 58 percent of voters.

During the debate, Speaker Pro Tempore Greg Snowden, R-Meridian, refused to allow Rep. Willie Bailey, D-Greenville, to speak, prompting members of the Black Caucus to stand in support of Bailey, who eventually did have his say.

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