August 18th, 2012

  • vapor

Madonna Faces $10.5 Million Lawsuit Over LGBT Support in Russia

Madonna Faces $10.5 Million Lawsuit Over LGBT Support in Russia
Activists claim 'moral damage' from pop star's recent St. Petersburg show

After Madonna challenged St. Petersburg's gay pride ban at a concert there earlier this month, a group of activists has announced they will file a $10.5 million lawsuit against the pop star for "moral damage," reports RIA Novosti, a Russian news agency. Members of the Union of Russian Citizens, the civil group People's Assembly and the New Great Russia party are submitting the lawsuit today.

"We demand that she pay for moral damage suffered by St. Petersburg residents as a result of her actions during the show on August 9th," a spokeswoman for the Union of Russian Citizens said. "We must defend our right to normal cultural life without propaganda of values and views that contradict the Russian culture."

A lawyer representing the group said the "psychological stress and emotional shock" was felt beyond the show's attendees, claiming many other people were affected by footage of the show and reports on the Internet. "While speaking of tolerance, she abuses the feelings of believers," said Alexander Pochuyev, claiming Madonna's "open promotion of homosexuality" was at fault. The singer handed out handed out pink bracelets and repeatedly showed support for the LGBT community during her set August 9th, despite protests in the city.

The lawsuit adds more controversy to Madonna's MNDA tour: Elton John bashed her earlier this month and called her career "over." She displayed World War II-era footage of the Warsaw Uprising at a tour stop in the Polish capital, in reaction to protests. In July, a Paris crowd booed and call her a "slut" after her 45-minute set at an unexpected show. France's far right National Front party announced they will file a lawsuit against Madonna for her use of Nazi imagery at a tour stop in Paris. She has also canceled the Australian leg of her MDNA tour and was recently sued over an uncleared sample on her 1990 hit "Vogue."


I thought this was relevant just to further show how Russia seems to be losing its mind.

Not allowing us to take guns into a library? THAT'S JUST LIKE JIM CROW!

Pro-Gun Group Floods Public Library With Armed Protesters, Compares Gun Regulation To Jim Crow

Thirty gun-toting activists protested a public library’s concealed carry policy this week, startling the patrons inside by taking the demonstration — and guns — indoors. The protesters had taken offense to a single sentence explaining the rule: “Carrying concealed weapons is prohibited, except as permitted by law.”

Philip Van Cleave, the organizer of the protest and President of Virginia Citizens Defense League, compared the library’s gun “discrimination” to racially discriminating against African-Americans:

“What if they had said “We don’t allow African-Americans, except if allowed by law. Would that be okay? I don’t think so… [The rule] implies that no one is allowed to protect themselves on the property.”

Another protester told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that public areas shouldn’t be firearm-free, and suggested that if people had been armed during the Colorado movie theater shooting, the mass murderer would have been stopped. ImperialWombat, is that you?!?

Gun regulation in Virginia is weak enough to permit gun owners to carry almost anywhere they would like, including openly in parks, in grocery stores, and the very library the group protested. This summer Virginia voted to further weaken its gun regulation, repealing the law against purchasing more than one handgun per month and weakening criminal background checks for concealed gun permits.

Your sarcasm AMUSES me!

Pregnant Dominican teen at center of abortion debate dies

A pregnant leukemia patient who became a flashpoint in the abortion debate in the Dominican Republic died Friday morning, a hospital official told CNN.

The 16-year-old, who had been undergoing chemotherapy, died from complications of the disease, said Dr. Antonio Cabrera, the legal representative for the hospital.

Her case stirred debate in her country, as her life was potentially at risk because of anti-abortion laws in the Dominican Republic.

Doctors were hesitant to give her chemotherapy because such treatment could terminate the pregnancy -- a violation of the Dominican Constitution, which bans abortion. Some 20 days after she was admitted to the hospital, she finally began receiving treatment.

The patient, whose identity has not been released because she's a minor and because of the hospital's privacy policy, was 13 weeks pregnant.

The teen's body did not respond to the chemotherapy, and her condition worsened overnight, Cabrera said.

Her body also rejected a blood transfusion on Thursday, he said.

The patient then suffered a miscarriage early Friday, followed by cardiac arrest, he said. Doctors were unable to revive her.

Representatives from the Dominican Ministry of Health, the Dominican Medical College, the hospital and the girl's family had talked for several days before deciding to go forward with the chemotherapy.

The case sparked renewed debate over abortion in the Dominican Republic, with some lawmakers calling on officials to reconsider the abortion ban.

At the time that treatment started, Rosa Hernandez, the girl's mother, said she had been trying to convince doctors and the Dominican government to make an exception so that her daughter's life could be saved.

"My daughter's life is first. I know that (abortion) is a sin and that it goes against the law ... but my daughter's health is first," Hernandez said.

According to Article 37 of the Dominican Constitution, "the right to life is inviolable from the moment of conception and until death." Dominican courts have interpreted this as a strict mandate against abortion. Article 37, passed in 2009, also abolished the death penalty.

No Enbridge
  • romp

American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

On a hot late-August day in 2010, television personality Glenn Beck held a rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the forty-seventh anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Mr. Beck stood where Rev. King had stood and addressed the white, mostly middle-aged crowd encircling the National Mall’s Reflecting Pool. “We are a nation, quite honestly, that is in about as good a shape as I am, and this is not very good,” he joked. “We are dividing ourselves,” he said, “but our values and our principles can unite us. We must discover them again.”

It’s a theme heard again and again in times of crisis: Americans have become divided on account of having strayed from the core principles on which their country was founded—a “firm reliance on divine providence” and “the idea that man can rule himself,” in Mr. Beck’s analysis—and must return to those shared values if unity is to be restored. When society was turned upside down by mass immigration at the turn of both the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries, intellectuals counseled that America was in danger of losing the “Anglo-Protestant” culture and associated “American creed” that had supposedly kept the nation unified. In the aftermath of the tumultuous 1960s, conservatives like Irving Kristol denounced liberal intellectuals, philanthropists, and social workers for abandoning America’s traditional capitalist values in favor of utopian social engineering; the liberals fervently defended these projects as promoting shared national principles of equality, justice, and freedom from oppression. With the United States allegedly divided between red states and blue ones in 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama promised to “beat back the politics of fear, doubt, and cynicism” in favor of hope, a sentiment that had allegedly rallied Americans to rebel against Britain, fight and defeat Nazism, and face down segregation in the South. “We are choosing hope over fear,” he said before the Iowa caucus. “We’re choosing unity over division.”

Such calls for unity overlook a glaring historical fact: Americans have been deeply divided since the days of Jamestown and Plymouth. The original North American colonies were settled by people from distinct regions of the British Islands, and from France, the Netherlands, and Spain, each with their own religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics. Throughout the colonial period, they regarded one another as competitors for land, settlers, and capital and occasionally as enemies, as was the case during the English Civil War, when Royalist Virginia stood against Puritan Massachusetts, or when New Netherland and New France were invaded and occupied by English-speaking soldiers, statesmen, and merchants.

Only when London began treating its colonies as a single unit—and enacted policies threatening to nearly all—did some of these distinct societies briefly come together to win a revolution and create a joint government. Nearly all of them would seriously consider leaving the Union in the eighty-year period after Yorktown; several went to war to do so in the 1860s. All of these centuries-old cultures are still with us today, and have spread their people, ideas, and influence across mutually exclusive bands of the continent. There isn’t and never has been one America, but rather several Americas
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I'm reading American Nations and much of it rings true to me. I grew up in the Far West but have lived on the Left Coast for the past 20 years. I'd love to hear what ONTD_P thinks.
EDIT: I didn't post this summary of the book by the author because it was so long (5 parts!) but it is a better explanation that what I cobbled together here: The Real U.S. Map, a Country of Regions

7 suspects in St. John deputy shootings are tied to violent anti-government group

7 suspects in St. John deputy shootings are tied to violent anti-government group

Published: Friday, August 17, 2012, 10:45 PM
By Claire Galofaro, The Times-Picayune 
When Tennessee authorities arrived at a trailer park in suburban Nashville to serve a search warrant on a suspected child molester last November, they did not find the man they had come for. Instead, they found a Buick stolen from Nebraska, a small arsenal of weapons and a stack of a papers that led them to believe their suspect was affiliated with a violent, anti-government "sovereign citizens" organization.
st-john-shootings-suspects.jpgView full sizeTop from left: Derrick Smith, Brittney Keith, Chanel Skains; Bottom from left: Terry Smith, Teniecha Bright, Kyle Joekel

And so begins the unraveling of the twisted tale of Terry Lyn Smith, the apparent patriarch of a seven-member group accused of gunning down four St. John the Baptist sheriff's deputies Thursday, killing two and seriously injuring the others.

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As local news this was devastating, especially to the emergency services community.  The Sovereign Citizens are at it again, and so soon after that situation in Washington.



Protesting Nucular Dangers, Japanese Style.

Nuclear Power Protests Find Wide Support in Japan

A broad coalition of protesters opposes the re-opening of nuclear power plants in Japan, a country unaccustomed to social protest, writes Jake Adelstein and Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky.

It’s hard to ignore more than 20,000 anti-nuclear protesters at your front door. It’s even harder in a country like Japan, where more often than not repressive tradition and political apathy combine to stifle social protest. So after Yoshihiko Noda, Japan’s unpopular prime minister, found his home surrounded by thousands of protesters for weeks on end, he finally got the message.

Last week the prime minister agreed, albeit reluctantly, to meet with representatives of Japan’s increasingly vocal and influential citizens network “Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes” (MCAN).

According to an opinion poll conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun, a major Japanese daily newspaper, almost half of Japan now sympathizes with the protesters. That statistic is all the more remarkable in a country which hasn’t seen mass social protest since the early 1960s. But the anti-nuke coalition besieging the prime minister’s home and other government sites is nothing if not broadbased, a characteristic summed up by the characters of its two leaders: a tattooed female artist and fashion designer and an ultra-conventional looking, soft-spoken white-collar worker. How did this dynamic duo come together and “politely” make themselves a force to be reckoned with? And will they really make a difference? No one knows, of course, but in the past few months Japan’s leaders have learned conclusively that these two cannot be easily ignored.

On March 11, 2011, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami left thousands dead in Japan and caused a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, managed by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The Japanese government and TEPCO for months afterward denied a meltdown had taken place and then later blamed the accident on “an unprecedented and unforeseeable tsunami,” which knocked out the power to the plant.

Last month, an independent commission created by the Japanese Parliament released a report that explicitly held TEPCO and the Japanese government responsible for the disaster. It concluded that the tsunami was forseeable and that “the accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators, and TEPCO, and the lack of governance by said parties. They effectively betrayed the nation’s right to be safe from nuclear accidents.” The report officially confirmed the Japanese people’s worst fears and added impetus to a growing anti-nuclear movement.

The loosely structured network of groups opposed to nuclear energy in Japan known as “Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes” (MCAN),was founded in September last year.

Kazuhiro Nogi, AFP / Getty Images

The leader of the group is an outspoken tattooed female artist and fashion designer who choses to be referred to by her adapted name, Misao Redwolf. (Don’t dare ask her age, because she will just glare at you fiercely.) Redwolf says, “I organized anti-nuclear protests for more than five years now, but nobody knew about our movement simply because we never received media coverage before.”

Redwolf, noting that many small groups of protesters were scattered around Tokyo, decided to bring together all the organizations to fight for the same cause. “And so we founded the MCAN.”

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