August 23rd, 2012


Rightwing Rage: Finally Raises Up in Outrage to Defend Victims of Rape. That is, Political Gang Rape

Seriously, Why is This Not From The Onion?!

Christian Group Accuses GOP of "Political Gang Rape" Against Todd Akin

American Vision, a Christian nonprofit formed to "restore America to its biblical foundation," is accusing Republicans of committing "political gang rape" against Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.).

Akin landed in the middle of a controversy this week after he remarked that women who are the victims of "legitimate rape" can't get pregnant because "the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down." Many of his fellow Republicans joined the ensuing chorus of condemnation, and GOP leaders begged Akin to quit the Missouri Senate race. American Vision, in an article posted on its website and authored by the group's research director, Joel McDurmon, says Republican calls for Akin to step aside are basically like forcing someone to have sex against their will, repeatedly, with numerous perpetrators—politically-speaking, of course:

We expect leftists, liberals, and other miscreants to pounce opportunistically, to lie, cheat, and twist (all the while drooling) over a phrase like "legitimate rape" when uttered by a strong conservative Christian politician. But should we expect the same from alleged conservatives?

Yet this is exactly what we’ve seen from several prominent conservatives in the wake of a media gaffe from U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin (R-MO) in regard to alleged “legitimate rape” and abortion.

What could have been quickly and easily handled with a consolidated response correctly interpreting Akin’s unfortunate phrase was instead a rare cause of bipartisan hazing.

The piece goes on to argue that Akin was actually accurate in his statement that it's rare for women to become pregnant as a result of "legitimate rape," a view shared by a lot of anti-abortion activists. McDurmon also argues that even if in few cases when a rape victim does become pregnant, an abortion is still unjustified. Treading into full-on misogyny, he claims that if abortion were outlawed except in cases of rape, many women would cry rape in order to "kill out of convenience."

Liberals may wish us to believe that no woman would ever stoop so low as to lie about being raped. But this simply does not comport with what we Christians know about fallen human nature. We, conservatives, all agree that millions of women annually conspire to commit murder on their unborn babies. So do you expect me to feel it unacceptable to believe they would lie about why? This is political correctness run amok. Why, after all, would someone willing to kill out of convenience not also lie for various reasons out of convenience?

Commentaries like McDurmon's are really doing the GOP no favors. It's pretty hard for the party to disassociate itself with Akin's views when it's becoming clearer by the day that a number of social conservatives share them.

TW: Raped, pregnant and ordeal not over

By Shauna Prewitt, Special to CNN

Chicago, Illinois (CNN) -- When I was in law school, my criminal law professor introduced us to the crime of rape by reading us a quote from Lord Chief Justice Sir Matthew Hale, a 17th-century English jurist: "In a rape case it is the victim, not the defendant, who is on trial."

It was not merely a history lesson. I had lived it.

While a student in my final year of college, at age 21, I was raped. I have dissected that moment -- the horrifying moment that I became a "victim" -- from every possible angle. I have poked and prodded, examined and re-examined. Regrettably, I have even suspected myself in a desperate, ultimately futile attempt to understand how I became a victim.

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Edited to add: Shauna Prewitt's open letter to Akin.

Syria crisis: UK joins US in chemical weapons warning.

The UK has joined the US in warning Syria that the use or threat of chemical weapons would force them "to revisit their approach".

The warning came after a telephone call between Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama.

The PM also spoke to French President Francois Hollande. The three discussed building support for the opposition.

Earlier, Chinese state media accused Mr Obama of using the chemical arms issue as an excuse for military intervention.

Also on Wednesday, fierce fighting raged in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo and in Damascus, which residents said had witnessed the heaviest attack by government forces since the army re-asserted its control of the capital last month.

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OP: Play nice and kill as many men women and children as you like with conventional weapons and we won't fucking lift a finger. As long as you don't use nasty chemical weapons to blow people's bodies apart you can fill your boots, boys!
mus | like a bird in a cage

'One Term More': Broadway Community Offers Pro-Obama 'Les Miserables' Parody

The Broadway theater community isn't likely to endorse a U.S. presidential candidate in any official capacity, but this spirited video certainly gets the views of many across -- to the tune of "Les Miserables," no less.

Featuring David Burnham ("Wicked"), Kim Huber ("Sunset Boulevard," "Beauty and the Beast"), Christina Saffran Ashford, Damon Kirsche and David Engel among other stage performers, "One Term More" spoofs the iconic musical's Act I finale, "One Day More."

The revised lyrics include such politically-charged lines as: "One term more, a time to celebrate democracy, repeal Republican hypocrisy...this man who would unseat Barack's a bleak choice at the ballot box."


GOP lawmaker: LGBT teen suicide is the 'biggest lark out there'

By: Robert Sobel
As the conservative right continues to attack the rights of the LGBT community, it's important to point out how rhetoric can continue, grow over time and spread across many different issues.

The debate over same-sex marriage and equality for LGBT individuals has reached a breaking point in the United States. While the majority of Americans are starting to accept LGBT equality more than in the past, the religious right has become more vocal in their opposition. During an appearance on the Michelangelo Signorile show on SiriusXM OutQ earlier this year, Republican State Senator from Tennessee, Stacey Campfield, commented on many issues, including the rise in bullying and suicides among gay teens.

"That bullying thing is the biggest lark out there....There are sexually confused children who could be pushed into a lifestyle that I don’t think is appropriate with them and it's not for the norm for society, and they don't know how they can get back from that. I think a lotof timesthese young teens and young children, they find it very hard on themselves and unfortunately some of them commit suicide."

Not only did Campfield make ignorant remarks about the statistics of bullying and suicides of young gay children, he also used false information to claim that it was "virtually impossible" to contract AIDS by heterosexual sex.

"Most people realize that AIDS came fromthe homosexualcommunity-- it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sexwith men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall. My understanding is that it is virtually, not completely, but virtually impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex."

Sen. Stacey Campfield made a name for himself last year in his attempt to pass new legislation that would have banned schools from talking about homosexuality. The language in the bill stated that "no public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality." A study by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center shows that nearly 40% of LGBT youth have attempted suicide. Additional studies have shown that LGBT youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth.


The case of Brandon Raub: Can the government detain you over Facebook posts?

ETA: He's been released

WASHINGTON, August 22, 2012 — Brandon J. Raub, a 26-year-old pro-liberty activist, former U.S. Marine, and Virginia resident, was arrested after authorities deemed his Facebook posts threatening. Citing an obscure statute allowing the involuntary detainment of a citizen for psychiatric evaluation, the FBI, Secret Service, and local authorities swarmed Raub’s property to question and then seize him.

Without a warrant or recitation of his Miranda rights, Raub was handcuffed and taken into custody. After a quick hearing, government officials confirmed that Raub’s Facebook posts necessitated his detention, refusing to acknowledge legal objections that the words were wrongly interpreted. The former Marine will undergo 30 days of evaluation at Salem VA Medical Center.

Since the incident, Raub has become an online hero as the arrest video and Facebook pages teeter on the verge of going viral. Citizens from all political persuasions, veterans, civil liberties advocates and the generally curious are discussing the political manifesto and detainment of Brandon Raub.

So what did he post? A Facebook note titled “The Truth” lists grievances against the American ruling establishment. Raub expresses his belief that the American principles of limited government and personal liberty are expiring and that corporations and international bankers run the state, not the people. Raub has directly called for the arrest of bankers and politicians who consistently defy their oath to the United States Constitution.

According to his supporters, Raub also believes the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were sold to the American people under false pretenses to benefit the powerful at the expense of military families, American treasure, and domestic security. Raub served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Marine Corps from 2005 to 2011.

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Links at the source in the text that I don't have time to C&P
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Fear of a Black President

Fear of a Black President
As a candidate, Barack Obama said we needed to reckon with race and with America’s original sin, slavery. But as our first black president, he has avoided mention of race almost entirely. In having to be “twice as good” and “half as black,” Obama reveals the false promise and double standard of integration.

The irony of President Barack Obama is best captured in his comments on the death of Trayvon Martin, and the ensuing fray. Obama has pitched his presidency as a monument to moderation. He peppers his speeches with nods to ideas originally held by conservatives. He routinely cites Ronald Reagan. He effusively praises the enduring wisdom of the American people, and believes that the height of insight lies in the town square. Despite his sloganeering for change and progress, Obama is a conservative revolutionary, and nowhere is his conservative character revealed more than in the very sphere where he holds singular gravity—race.

Part of that conservatism about race has been reflected in his reticence: for most of his term in office, Obama has declined to talk about the ways in which race complicates the American present and, in particular, his own presidency.
But then, last February, George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old insurance underwriter, shot and killed a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman, armed with a 9 mm handgun, believed himself to be tracking the movements of a possible intruder. The possible intruder turned out to be a boy in a hoodie, bearing nothing but candy and iced tea. The local authorities at first declined to make an arrest, citing Zim­mer­man’s claim of self-defense. Protests exploded nationally. Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea assumed totemic power. Celebrities—the actor Jamie Foxx, the former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, members of the Miami Heat—were photographed wearing hoodies. When Rep­resentative Bobby Rush of Chicago took to the House floor to denounce racial profiling, he was removed from the chamber after donning a hoodie mid-speech.

The reaction to the tragedy was, at first, trans-partisan. Conservatives either said nothing or offered tepid support for a full investigation—and in fact it was the Republican governor of Florida, Rick Scott, who appointed the special prosecutor who ultimately charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder. As civil-rights activists descended on Florida, National Review, a magazine that once opposed integration, ran a column proclaiming “Al Sharpton Is Right.” The belief that a young man should be able to go to the store for Skittles and an iced tea and not be killed by a neighborhood-­watch patroller seemed un­controversial.

By the time reporters began asking the White House for comment, the president likely had already given the matter considerable thought. Obama is not simply America’s first black president—he is the first president who could credibly teach a black-studies class. He is fully versed in the works of Richard Wright and James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X. Obama’s two autobiographies are deeply concerned with race, and in front of black audiences he is apt to cite important but obscure political figures such as George Henry White, who served from 1897 to 1901 and was the last African American congressman to be elected from the South until 1970. But with just a few notable exceptions, the president had, for the first three years of his presidency, strenuously avoided talk of race. And yet, when Trayvon Martin died, talk Obama did:

When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together—federal, state, and local—to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened …

But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.

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Ryan vows to protect defense from spending cuts

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would stop "reckless defense cuts" from taking effect next year, his running mate, Paul Ryan, told a group of veterans and defense industry insiders in Fayetteville on Thursday.

Ryan and 2nd District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers held a roundtable discussion about defense spending at the Partnership for Defense Innovation.

So-called sequestration cuts are to occur Jan. 2 unless Congress and President Barack Obama can agree on a deficit-cutting budget before then. The cuts would include about $55 billion from defense and another $55 billion from domestic programs.

Similar cuts would then take effect annually over the next decade.

Both Ryan and Ellmers said the Republican-led U.S. House has passed a proposal to cut other federal spending so that defense spending can be spared from the sequestration. But the effort has gotten nowhere in the Senate, they said.

"The Senate has done nothing. The president has proposed no solution," Ryan said.

Romney believes that maintaining a strong defense is a top priority for the government and would work to get a balanced budget passed, Ryan said. Not doing so puts the military at risk, he said.

"The only way we maintain this exceptional nation – this American idea – is because our veterans have time and again, generation after generation, secured it for us," he said. "It's our duty to preserve this legacy, to support our voluntary (military) force of men and women ... and not let them be pawns in a political game."

Retired four-star Gen. Dan McNeill, who was part of the roundtable discussion, said the federal deficit needs to be reined in but not at the expense of harming the armed forces.

"Don't go so recklessly and so deep and in such an uncontrolled way that you do harm to an institution that has shown itself to be invaluable to America and does it with pennies on the dollar," McNeill said.

Ryan said mandatory defense cuts could cost 55,000 jobs in North Carolina.

"Our own neighbors, our own families will experience this because it will mean loss of jobs to our communities and devastation to our communities," Ellmers said. "We have got to make the right decisions for this country, and we need real leadership to do that."

Many in the invited crowd of about 100 said they backed Ryan's position on heading off the sequestration cuts.

"As a lifelong resident of Fayetteville, I know what this military community means to our community, and we've got to protect that," Hutch Hutchens said.

The chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan is seeking to build momentum for the Romney-Ryan ticket in the days before the Republican National Convention in Florida, where they'll accept the nomination for president and vice president.

North Carolina is considered a competitive state as President Barack Obama won the state's 15 electoral votes in 2008 and will accept his party nomination in Charlotte after Labor Day.

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Source 2 3 45 Plus personal pictures
[Firefly] Inara

"Green Party's Jill Stein takes a longshot at the presidency."

While it isn't her official title, Dr. Jill Stein sure sounds like the first presidential candidate of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Stein, technically the Green Party nominee, is running a longshot but aggressive campaign against a political system she feels has capitulated to corporate interests.

She sees no difference between the Democratic and Republican parties, and she thinks voters are tired of both of them. So she's calling for a "voter rebellion."

"We must occupy our elections just as we must occupy our banks and our schools and everything else," Stein said in an interview during a visit to Seattle to speak at Hempfest, in addition to other events. "Because they belong to us."

While the 62-year-old internist from Massachusetts isn't counting on winning the election, she said she hopes to get people thinking about the direction of America's democracy, which is "on life support." The Green Party is perfectly positioned to facilitate a conversation about the future, Stein said.

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OP: I though it'd be nice to see something on here about the third-party candidate.

  • yeats

South Carolina Supreme Court Rules to Keep Baby Veronica With Biological Father

Baby Veronica, a 2-year-old Cherokee girl adopted by non-Native parents in 2009, will remain with her biological father following a South Carolina Supreme Court ruling filed July 26 that upholds the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act.

The decision means Veronica has a permanent home on the Cherokee Nation, where her family has “a deeply embedded relationship” with its heritage, the Supreme Court ruling states. It also means a victory for the Indian Child Welfare Act and for the Cherokee Nation.

“We’re very pleased with the results,” Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree said in a statement posted on the tribe’s website. “This is a victory not only for the Cherokee baby and her father, but for all of Indian Country. The Cherokee Nation has done a great job to ensure the Indian Child Welfare Act is enforced to preserve Indian families.”

The act, which protects American Indian families from being separated, trumped South Carolina law in a Dec. 28, 2011, appellate court ruling. Biological father Dusten Brown on New Year’s Eve took his daughter home to Bartlesville, Okla., a city bordering the Tahlequah-based Cherokee Nation.

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slate argues in favor of the ruling as well, citing more fully the historical context in which the icwa was created.