September 21st, 2012

Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Girls beat up Iran cleric over dress code

Girls beat up Iran cleric over dress code

They may be a far cry from their Western counterparts fighting for the acceptance to breast-feed -- or go topless -- in public, but two girls clobbered a cleric recently in a small town in Iran when he admonished one of them to cover herself more completely.

The cleric said he asked "politely," but the girl's angry reaction and some pugilistic double-teaming with her friend landed the holy man in the hospital, according to an account Monday in the semiofficial Mehr News Agency.

Hojatoleslam Ali Beheshti said he encountered the girls on his way to the mosque in the village of Shahmirzad for noon prayers in late August.

He told one of the girls to cover up, the report said.

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Seriously, screw that dude for getting insulted over being told to cover his eyes after he told a woman to cover herself.

Well, Fuck. Get Ready for Another Year of Tea Bagging Madness and Obstructionism.

What Happens To The GOP If Romney Loses?

Another week coming to a close in which the Romney campaign has fumbled itself from one news cycle to another while failing to really advance anything resembling a coherent agenda, and the prospects of a Romney victory becoming seemingly more unlikely every day. We’ve seen the Romney campaign tripped up over a video in which the candidate privately told donors that he was essentially writing off 47% of the American population despite the fact that he needs a good portion of that 47% to win the election, causing fellow Republicans to distance themselves from him. We’ve seen stories of infighting on the campaign itself, and Republican politicians speaking openly about what they clearly see as a campaign in disarray. The Electoral College outlook is looking even more troublesome than the national polls thanks largely to a series of very unfavorable swing state polls. As if to add emphasis to the wh0le sense of doom and gloom, Tim Pawlenty announced today that he’s leaving the Romney campaign to take a position as the CEO of a financial services industry trade organization. And, as if to make things even worse, the odds that the GOP will take over the Senate have plummeted precipitously in just the past several weeks. While it’s still far too early to say that Mitt Romney will definitely lose, the sense of doom is clearly descending over Boston’s North End, and Republicans, at least some of them, are pondering the consequences of losing to Barack Obama for a second time.

Commenting on a video discussion by David Frum earlier in the week, Rod Dreher endorses the idea that there should be a “civil war” inside the GOP in the event that Romney loses in November:Collapse )
ℑ ; enough you and I enough of the fight
  • zharia

TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT. Rape, It's about as American as Apple Pie

The Enemy Within

Nearly 20,000 service members are raped or sexually assaulted each year by predators who often evade punishment. How can the Pentagon stop them?


LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas—Every Friday, on a grassy parade ground ringed by vintage warplanes, a freshly minted class of airmen takes the oath of duty and is officially “welcomed into the blue.” Young men and women who arrived at basic training as confused and frightened individuals seven weeks earlier march by the reviewing stand in precise formation. Nowhere is the U.S. military’s unique alchemy—turning unformed young citizens into a warrior fraternity—on clearer display.

After the ceremony, families wander around Lackland in clusters, visiting dorms where every bed and closet is organized according to strict military specification. In the mess hall, the voices of military training instructors rise above the din, shouting at trainees one moment and commending them the next—the instructors serving as mentors, role models, and even parental figures. “I constantly remind my trainers that they are the most influential person in a trainee’s life, and they must embody our core values,” said Master Sgt. Greg Pendleton, commandant of the military training instructors at Lackland. If the MTI’s fail to instill in trainees a willingness to sacrifice self for the good of the unit and submit to unquestioned authority, they will have made the Air Force weaker, not stronger. “That’s why what’s happened here as a result of some bad apples is so disheartening,” Pendleton said. “The training corps is better than that.”

What happened is this: One instructor has been convicted of rape and multiple cases of aggravated sexual assault of female trainees, and 16 other trainers have been charged or are under investigations for crimes ranging from aggravated sexual assault to improper sexual relationships with 42 female trainees.

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The movie that the author mentions in the article, The Invisible War (source), came to our campus (University of Nebraska at Lincoln) last week. I tried to encourage as many people as I could to go see it. Most of my fellow Gender Studies classmates went and supported the film. One of my friend went to a screening where about six ROTC students sat behind her. She said they laughed and scoffed throughout the entire movie. I had tears streaming down my face from the start of the movie until the very end. Here is the trailer for those interested, I would encourage you and everyone you know to go see this film if it comes to an area near you.

Long post is long, but it's worth a read. An update to this issue is that two days ago a bill was floated that would take power away from commanders in the prosecution of sexual assault and rape cases and give it to an independent panel.


Ryan Gets Booed At The AARP

On Friday afternoon, Paul Ryan addressed the AARP’s National Annual Conference in New Orleans. The GOP vice presidential candidate attacked Obamacare for taking $716 billion out of Medicare — the very same cuts he included in his budget — and made the case for transforming seniors’ health care from a guaranteed benefit into a premium support “voucher” program.

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lmao WOW. "mixed reaction" isn't exactly what i'd call that Mr. Ryan lol
deelieboppers sharpened

(no subject)

Al Sharpton, Leading Black Pastors To Announce Support For Gay Marriage

By Carlos Santoscoy
Published: September 18, 2012

A coalition of prominent African-American pastors on Friday will announce their support for gay marriage, in particular Maryland's upcoming referendum.

The coalition, lead by the Rev. Delman Coates, senior pastor of the Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, Maryland, will make their announcement during a press conference at the National Press Club. The Rev. Al Sharpton, president and CEO of the National Action Network, is expected to speak at the event.

“The group of pastors that will assemble have a range of personal religious views and church practices as it relates to same sex marriage,” Coates said in a statement. “Some perform same sex marriages and others do not. And yet, we stand united in the conviction that the role of the state is to protect the equal rights of all its citizens and should not codify discrimination as a matter of law and public policy.”

Maryland voters in November will decide whether to uphold a gay marriage law approved by lawmakers or repeal it.

“I can fully support the Civil Marriage Protection Act because it in no way forces any church to acknowledge or perform same sex marriages if it is incompatible with its beliefs,” said Rev. Todd Yeary, senior pastor of the Douglas Memorial Community Church in Baltimore. “This is about protecting all families and ensuring that we have a society where everyone is treated equally as a matter of law without the imposition of religious dogma.”

Earlier, the Coalition of African-American Pastors, led by Bill Owens, condemned President Barack Obama for his endorsement of gay marriage.

“The impression that all African-American pastors are fundamentally opposed to the idea of marriage equality is wrong,” Coates said.


Proposition 6 in Maryland hasn't seemed to be getting a lot of press - a Yes vote preserves the Marriage Equality law that passed near the beginning of the year.  Maryland recognizes marriages from other states - a couple years ago the attorney general noted this, and more recently the Maryland Supreme Court ruled on a same sex divorce, meaning that the state recognized the contract.   DC has same sex marriage, so in some ways the people pushing against Prop6 are voting to keep wedding industry dollars out of Maryland.   I'm not really clear on what the polling looks like - the polling in general was pretty supportive in the past. Edit: found an early august article on current polling.

Mods: no Al Sharpton tag ?

deelieboppers sharpened

Marriage Equality in Maryland polling over 50%

Maryland's Marriage Equality Measure, Once a Notable Omission, Shows Up on 'Freedom to Marry' Agenda

Yesterday, news spread of a fundraiser hosted by former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman and a celebrity-studded committee at Mehlman's Chelsea, NYC apartment for national marriage equality organization Freedom to Marry. The invitation, which you can look at AFTER THE JUMP, was posted by Chris Geidner at Buzzfeed.

WolfsonWhat was not noted by the Buzzfeed article was that, for the first time, Maryland is one of Freedom to Marry's beneficiaries and appears to now be on their agenda. That Maryland is back on the group's radar is good news, of course, showing that recent polls (showing a 53% approval, 38-39% opposition) have bolstered the confidence of advocacy groups and LGBT supporters that a marriage equality measure (along with perhaps several others) can succeed at the ballot.

Last March, the Washington Blade's Kevin Naff, in an article headlined "Freedom to Marry Abandons Maryland Fight", wrote:

Clearly, [founder and president Evan] Wolfson lacks confidence in the coalition, led by the Human Rights Campaign, and implies here that there isn’t “sufficient groundwork and investment” to preserve the law. The anti-gay National Organization for Marriage predictably pounced on Wolfson’s remarks as evidence that the law lacks support.

Naff noted that bloggers were expressing dismay about the group's non-inclusion of Maryland and lack of support for the North Carolina  campaign against Amendment One.

This morning, asked about the group's addition of Maryland to its agenda, Freedom to Marry's Evan Wolfson told me, "I have always believed we could win in Maryland, provided those in the lead there this round did the work and used the time effectively."

"Our drive and focus and hard work between March and now enabled Freedom to Marry first to raise and then invest more than $3 million so far in key battleground states," he added, "becoming the major national fundraiser for three of the campaigns (Maine, Washington, and Minnesota), even as we looked to others, notably HRC, to take the lead in Maryland.  Our focus and push has given those states unprecedented early money (the most valuable), enabling them to lock in TV air time before prices escalate, and otherwise make the case to voters."

Freedom to Marry's efforts have been focused strategically and incrementally, with the goal "of winning 1, then if doable 2, then if doable 3, etc," said Wolfson.

Finally, Wolfson laid out the group's plans for the remainder of the year:

"Building on the help we've quietly been providing Maryland all along, as well as our lead role on the three others, we again wanted to send a call to action that everyone should step up and do what we all can to win in all 4 states.  Having earlier this year worked to pave a pathway for the president, secure a freedom to marry plank in the Democratic platform, and launch Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, overcoming the ballot-measure barrier is now our remaining 2012 top priority as we look to tee up a big 2013, with more states to win and the need to create a climate of empowerment as the Supreme Court potentially hears one or more marriage-related cases."

Read more:

Anti-jihad 'savage' ads going up in NYC subway

NEW YORK — A provocative ad that equates Muslim radicals with savages is set to go up in the city's subway system as violent protests over an anti-Islamic film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad sweep over much of the Muslim world.

A conservative blogger who once headed a campaign against an Islamic center near the Sept. 11 terror attack site won a court order to post the ad in 10 subway stations next Monday. The ad reads, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."

The ad was plastered on San Francisco city buses in recent weeks, prompting some artists to deface the ads and remove some of the words, including "Jihad," or holy war. The blogger, Pamela Geller, said she filed suit Thursday in the nation's capital to post the ad in Washington's transit system after officials declined to put up the ad in light of the uproar in the Middle East over the anti-Islam film.

Abdul Yasar, a New York subway rider who considers himself an observant Muslim, said Geller's ad was insensitive in an unsettling climate for Muslims.

"If you don't want to see what happened in Libya and Egypt after the video — maybe not so strong here in America — you shouldn't put this up," Yasar said.

But "if this is a free country, they have the right to do this," he said. "And then Muslims have the right to put up their own ad."

Geller, executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and publisher of a blog called Atlas Shrugs, called an order by a federal judge in New York allowing the ads "a victory for the First Amendment" and said she wasn't concerned that her ad could spark protests like the ones against the depiction of Muslims in the video "Innocence of Muslims." Violence linked to the movie has left at least 30 people in seven countries dead, including the American ambassador to Libya.

"If it's not a film it's a cartoon, if it's not a cartoon it's a teddy bear," she said. "What are you going to do? Are you going to reward Islamic extremism? I will not sacrifice my freedom so as not to offend savages."Collapse )

Pride & Prejudice

Lib Dem councillor claims 'some see the benefits' of domestic violence

The former mayor of Southwark has compared domestic violence with smacking — and refused to apologise after claiming that some see “benefits” in the crime.

Cllr Columba Blango, who is a colleague of Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes and represents the ward neighbouring his house, has shocked colleagues with his views on the subject:

“It’s like smacking. Some people see the benefits of smacking. Some don’t see it.”

In remarks recorded in official council minutes and later attributed to Blango, the councillor claimed “some perpetrators might not be able to prevent themselves” from slapping their partner in “the spur of the moment.”

When a female councillor suggested he should apologise for comments made in the meeting of Southwark Council’s Education, Children’s Services and Leisure Committee, he dismissed her as being “emotional”.

Fellow Southwark councillor and sometime occupant of the BBC Sunday Politics sofa Rowenna Davis – who was in the car-crash meeting — told Scrapbook that “there’s no room for ambiguity when it comes to domestic violence”:

“I have constituents who suffer from domestic violence. The vast majority of Lib Dems would be appalled by Cllr Blango’s comments. But what does Simon Hughes think of his colleague and a supposed community leader propagating this kind of attitude?”

Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

China's netizens outraged over caged beggars at Taoist temple fair

China's netizens outraged over caged beggars at Taoist temple fair

With more than 100,000 pilgrims and visitors expected to attend the annual Xishan Wanshou Palace Temple Fair, authorities thought it would be a good idea to confine the local beggars in one spot.

So, more than 100 beggars from the town of Xishan, in China’s southern Jiangxi province, were placed in a 165-foot-long iron cage during the fair on Sept. 15.

But when pictures of the beggars in the cage were posted on Sina Weibo, China’s most-popular version of Twitter, there was an outpouring of criticism online. Most netizens were furious.

One micro blogger wrote, “It’s just like a zoo. This is trampling their dignity.”

Another blogger sarcastically chimed in, “Our government always boasts that China has the best record on human rights. Before I did not believe that, but today I am convinced. These officials are just too smart, treating people as dogs.”

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Yeah, WTF.
Killjoy Spin
  • arisma

Romney campaign gave bonuses to top staff

Mitt Romney’s campaign handed out more than $200,000 in bonuses last month to senior staffers, according to new disclosure records filed Thursday.

Richard Beeson, Romney’s national political director, received a $37,500 payment on Aug. 31 in addition to his salary,  according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission.

In addition, records show at least six other top staffers each received $25,000 bonuses on the same date: campaign manager Matt Rhoades, general counsel Kathryn Biber, policy advisor Lanhee Chen, communications director Gail Gitcho, digital director Zach Moffatt and advisor Gabriel Schoenfeld. Two other employees received $10,000 bonuses.

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It’s official: Quebec tuition hikes are history

Price will return to $2,168

The tuition increase that triggered such social strife in Quebec was cancelled Thursday during an action-packed first full day in office for the Parti Quebecois government.

The new government repealed the fee hike, by decree, in its first cabinet meeting less than 24 hours after coming to power.

Student leaders cheered the news.

“Together we’ve written a chapter in the history of Quebec,” said Martine Desjardins, head of the more moderate university student association.

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source 1
source 2

Another Day, Another Hypocrisy

It seems as though not everyone in Mitt Romney's family agrees with his politics, and he's not too worried about it either.

According to TMZ, documents show that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney help fund the birth of his son's twins from a surrogate mother--but the contract that his son Tagg Romney signed, permitted the surrogate mother to have an abortion in non-life threatening circumstances.

Since running for president, Romney has stood on the Republican platform that only supports abortion in the case of rape or incest. But, he might believe in a different set of rules when it comes to his own family.

TMZ reports:

The twin boys -- David Mitt and William Ryder -- were born on May 4, 2012. We've learned Tagg and his wife Jen, along with the surrogate and her husband, signed a Gestational Carrier Agreement dated July 28, 2011. Paragraph 13 of the agreement reads as follows:

"If in the opinion of the treating physician or her independent obstetrician there is potential physical harm to the surrogate, the decision to abort or not abort is to be made by the surrogate."

Translation: Tagg and Jen gave the surrogate the right to abort the fetuses even if her life wasn't in danger. All the surrogate has to show is "potential physical harm," which could be something like preeclampsia -- a type of high blood pressure that could damage the mother's liver, kidney or brain, but is not necessarily life-threatening.

The contract also gave Tagg and his wife Jen the right to abort the fetuses if there were signs that they would not be healthy. However, when Tagg and Jen had a child through the same surrogate mother in 2009, the provision to allow an abortion was not included in the contract that they signed.

It's one thing to flip-flop on your political views over the years, but this example of Mitt Romney's hypocrisy is just appalling.


Can we get a hypocrisy/hypocrite tag?

Mormons Want to Excommunicate Romney Critic

After writing negative articles about the Republican candidate, the managing editor of says he faces excommunication. Is the Church on a witch hunt? Jamie Reno reports.

David Twede, 47, a scientist, novelist, and fifth-generation Mormon, is managing editor of, an online magazine produced largely by members of the Mormon Church that welcomes scholarly debate about the religion’s history from both critics and true believers.

A Mormon in good standing, Twede has never been disciplined by Latter Day Saints leadership. But it now appears his days as a Mormon may be numbered because of a series of articles he wrote this past week that were critical of Mitt Romney.

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(no subject)

But Fox News Promised Us more Muslim Rage to Scare White Folks for Ratings!

The failure of #Muslimrage

Last week's wave of protests and attacks on U.S. embassies launched a million op-eds (along with an instantly notorious Newsweek cover) about the return of "Muslim rage," the failure of the Arab uprisings, the collapse of Obama's foreign policy, and the inevitability of the clash of civilizations. When a satirical French newspaper leaped forward to run some more hopefully offensive cartoons, everyone braced for another round of violent protests across the region. But a funny thing happened on the way to the apocalypose: almost nothing. There were a few tiny demonstrations, but most Arab countries (in contrast to Pakistan and Lebanon) saw no mass rallies, no burning embassies, no screaming for the television cameras.

The fizzling of the protests against that awful YouTube film was obvious before today, of course.  As has been widely noted, the protests last week were actually quite small -- vastly inferior in size and popular inclusion to the Arab uprisings protests last year, and small even in comparison to the ongoing pro-democracy or other political demonstrations which occur on a weekly basis in many Arab countries. The killing of Chris Stevens and his colleagues, and the dramatic images of broached embassy walls and al Qaeda flags, radically inflated Western perceptions about the magnitude of the protests.
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Benghazi Anti-Militia Protest: Libyan Protesters Drive Islamist Militia From Country's 2nd-Largest City

BENGHAZI, Libya, Sept 22 (Reuters) - A Libyan Islamist militia was swept out of the eastern city of Benghazi in a popular protest against the armed groups that ran into the early hours of Saturday morning, Reuters witnesses said.

At least one person was killed and 20 wounded, a hospital source said, as militias tried to fight the demonstrators from a heavily fortified base. Gunfire could be heard in the area before the fighters were forced out.

Looters carried weapons out of the vacated Ansar al-Sharia military base compound as men clapped and chanted: "Say to Ansar al-Sharia, Benghazi will be your inferno."

Ansar al-Sharia has been linked to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last week in which the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans died. It denies involvement.

The action against the group appeared to be part of a coordinated sweep of militia headquarters buildings by police, government troops and activists following a mass public demonstration against militia units on Friday.
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Louis Theroux in Hell

The horror...the horror

Four Reasons Why Romney Might Still Win
by Robert Reich

Little Face Mitt and the biggest reminder that nothing is in the bag standing behind him...

Can Romney possibly recover? A survey conducted between Sept. 12 and Sept. 16 by the Pew Research Center -- before the "47 percent victim" video came to light -- showed Obama ahead of Romney 51 percent to 43 percent among likely voters.

That's the biggest margin in the September survey prior to a presidential election since Bill Clinton led Bob Dole, 50 percent to 38 percent in 1996.

And, remember, this recent poll was done before America watched Romney belittle almost half the nation.

For the last several days I've been deluged with calls from my inside-the-beltway friends telling me "Romney's dead."

Hold it. Rumors of Romney's demise are premature for at least four reasons:

1. Between now and Election Day come two jobs reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics - October 5 and November 2. If they're as bad as the last report, showing only 96,000 jobs added in August (125,000 are needed just to keep up with population growth) and the lowest percentage of employed adults since 1981, Romney's claim the economy is off track becomes more credible, and Obama's that it's on the mend harder to defend.

With gas prices rising, corporate profits shrinking, most of Europe in recession, Japan still a basket case, and the Chinese economy slowing, the upcoming job reports are unlikely to be stellar.

2. Also between now and Election Day are three presidential debates, starting October 3. It's commonly thought Obama will win them handily but that expectation may be very wrong - and could work against him. Yes, Romney is an automaton -- but when the dials are set properly he can give a good imitation of a human engaged in sharp debate. He did well in the Republican primary debates.

Obama, by contrast, can come off slow and ponderous. Recall how he stuttered and stumbled during the 2008 Democratic primary debates. And he hasn't been in a real-live debate for four years; Romney recently emerged from almost a year of them.

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Huffington Post

what do you think?