Jul. 20th, 2011 02:06 pm
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Madrid protesters force police to retreat in clashes over treatment of immigrants

Residents in multicultural district of Lavapiés inspired by 'indignant' protest movement

An escalating confrontation between police and residents in a Madrid neighbourhood who are incensed by the treatment of immigrants has seen locals driving police patrols from their streets.

Inspired by the "indignant" protest movement that camped out in Madrid's Puerta del Sol square in May, residents in the multicultural neighbourhood of Lavapiés have reacted to recent attempts to detain immigrants by jeering and chanting at police.

Police have twice had to call for reinforcements in riot gear so that arresting officers can leave safely.

About 200 protesters gathered after an immigrant texted to say that police were asking African residents for identity documents. In another incident a crowd formed to drive police out after they arrested a Senegalese immigrant in the metro. Police said they had been chasing a drug trafficker on one occasion and, on the other, had been called to arrest a man who failed to pay for his metro ticket.

But neighbours say police frequently hassle immigrants for no reason at all. "This is a reaction to the police's habit of illegally rounding up immigrants and checking people's papers on grounds of race," said Olmo Calvo, a photographer at Diagonal, a leftwing bi-monthly newspaper based in Lavapiés.

Spain's interior ministry denied ordering police to stop Africans and Latin Americans, or launch special immigrant roundups. But Lavapiés residents say that is not true. "Police controls have increased. Sometimes you get three or four police cars pulling up and they start stopping anyone who looks like an immigrant – mostly Africans or Latin Americans," said 32-year-old As, one of a group of Senegalese men gathered outside the Baobab restaurant. "Even if you have proper residency papers, like me, they start asking whether you have a job and things like that, which have nothing to do with them," he added.MORE
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
[personal profile] neonvincent
Here's a story I've been following on my blog since July 30th, when I posted Oak Park Woman plants vegetable garden; city objects. In it, I summarized the situation.
the Bass family of Oak Park lost their lawn when the sewer line running under their front yard was replaced. Instead of replacing it with a lawn, they replaced it with a vegetable garden. Their neighbors complained to the city and the city has cited them with a criminal violation of city ordinances. The Basses and the city have a court date on July 26th.
Mrs. Bass posted a more complete summary after I wrote (and she read) the above. Please read it.

As someone familiar with the area, I'm not surprised this is happening in Oak Park. )
Beginning Friday, July 8th, the number of hits on that post began climbing dramatically. When I investigated how that happened, I found out that Drudge happened.

A couple of days ago, Matt Drudge placed a link to The Agitator's post on his front page with the headline "Woman faces 93 days in jail for planting garden in front yard..." Since then, the story has spread like wildfire. Here is a list of the media sources I've found covering this story with links to their articles )

As for how Drudge was indirectly responsible, he drove traffic to The Agitator, which drove traffic Julie Bass's blog OakParkHateVeggies, where she has a link to my post. Even from three steps away, Drudge increased my readership. Behold the power of Drudge.

In case you're wondering what you can do about it, there is a petition. 4,400 people signed it by Friday, less than a week after it was put up.
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Trigger warning for violence against women, including rape and beatings and starvation and torture

Ireland's Magdalene laundries scandal must be laid to rest

Church, family and state were all complicit in the abuse of thousands of women. The UN is right: Ireland must investigate

This week the United Nations Committee Against Torture (Uncat) issued a highly significant statement on the Magdalene laundries. It criticised the Irish government for refusing to acknowledge the pain and abuse suffered by women incarcerated in the laundries, the last of which closed in 1996, and called for a thorough investigation and compensation scheme. In doing so, the UN has focused international attention on what has become a festering injustice.

Ireland has experience of dealing with the sins of its past. A formal apology was issued by the Irish government in 1999 to the tens of thousands of victims of child abuse in the country's vast industrial (residential) school system, run by Catholic nuns, brothers and priests. An exhaustive statutory inquiry produced the damning Ryan report, and a redress scheme has now cost around £1bn.

There has, however, been a strange resistance to any official acceptance of the injustice suffered by the Magdalene women. The state has wriggled and squirmed, claiming that the laundries were private institutions and all the women entered voluntarily. Uncat has now firmly rejected this, confirming what we in Ireland have long known in our hearts. We knew that women who escaped were caught by the police and returned to the punitive and often brutal regime within the laundries. Generations of Irish people colluded in this, using the laundries when it suited them to clean their clothes and control their daughters. MORE

What justice for Ireland’s Magdalenes? Forced labour, now and then

Read more... )

The Magdalene Women

Read more... )

State apology is only way to express wrong done to Magdalenes

The Irish Times - Monday, June 20, 2011


OPINION: Damning information on State’s links to the laundries pops up in surprising places

Read more... )

(ii) Officials do few favours for Magdalenes

The Irish Times - Saturday, June 18, 2011

It is vital that the person appointed to chair the Magdalenes committee is a formidable character, writes PATSY McGARRY

Read more... )
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
United Nations recognises gay rights

ASHLEY HALL: The United Nations human rights body has passed an historic resolution declaring there should be no discrimination or violence against gay men and lesbians.

The local Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby says the resolution will put more pressure on the Federal Government to accept gay marriage.

Sarah Dingle reports.

SARAH DINGLE: This is the first time the United Nations Human Rights Council has recognised the equal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The vote passed with 23 countries in favour and 19 against.

Justus Eisfeld is a co-director for Global Action for Transgender Equality in New York. He says it was a tight vote.

JUSTUS EISFELD: There's actually more than we had hoped for.

You have to understand, the UN is governed by all member states - 180-something of them, many of which are very conservative in their attitudes. And a lot of countries have a hard time even talking about sexual orientation or gender identity.

So having an extra resolution that is passed by a membership governed UN body is revolutionary because it means that actually more than half of the countries, in this case in the Human Rights Council, are actually willing to talk about the human rights abuses that lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people face.

SARAH DINGLE: He says the vote was presented by South Africa and that in its original form it didn't contain any reference to gender identity.

JUSTUS EISFELD: At first we were very sceptical of this whole process and of course we immediately started to talk to the South African government about our concerns.

Amazingly enough the South African government was really willing to look very seriously at our concerns and to remove them one by one.

SARAH DINGLE: Amongst the countries who supported this resolution were there any surprises?

JUSTUS EISFELD: Yes, a few surprises such as China abstaining, Burkina Faso abstaining, Zambia abstaining, which is huge because it means that they're breaking with the Union of African States and the hugest of them is Mauritius, which actually voted in favour of this resolution.

And that is amazing because it breaks the argument that Nigeria as a head of the African Group was putting forward that all of Africa would be against this, and this is clearly not the case.
The US newspapers are all about patting Obama on the back for this and making the usual "see those Africans and Muslims are so much more homophobic than us!!!
[personal profile] parlance pointed this out to me, so I made an effort to find a source that pays more attention to the nuances of the fight. This is from Australia's ABC News. You should read the rest, its really interesting to see what impact this is going to have on Australia's fight to demand rights for the LGBTQIA community, especially on the subject of gay marriage.
neonvincent: For posts about Twilight and trolling (Twilight Fandom wank trolls you)
[personal profile] neonvincent
Gawker has the video clip from the Today Show

Mods, we need a "politician: mitt romney" tag
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Uncle V)
[personal profile] neonvincent

Full-sized original at Hysterical Raisins

National Journal: Bachmann, Palin Coverage Playing Out Like a Bad 'Bridesmaids' Scene
By Elspeth Reeve
May 27, 2011 | 1:51 p.m.
Updated: May 30, 2011 | 10:37 p.m.

Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are both Republicans. They both have the support of Tea Partiers. They both have a gift for starting political flame wars. They both have large families. They both are female. They both have shiny brown hair. They both might run for president. Since they both have so much in common, they obviously hate each other. Right?

Did you see Bridesmaids? There's a scene where the maid of honor (Kristen Wiig) and the wannabe maid of honor (Rose Byrne) battle to give a better toast to the bride-to-be. It's catty and pathetic and sort of makes you hate humanity--it's, you know, funny. A "well-placed observer" tells Politico's Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman that this is happening out on the campaign trail this very moment: "Every time Bachmann gets some press, Palin will get herself out there a little more," in reference to Palin's announcement of a multi-state bus tour Thursday being "not unconnected" to Bachmann's moves toward a 2012 candidacy. That very night, Bachmann pre-announced she would announce whether she's running for president in a speakerphone conference with reporters in Iowa.
Bachmann and Palin may be political rivals. And they may even be concerned that the other poses a threat to their own political standing. (Obsessing over one's status is the defining characteristic of all politicans, male and female.) But reading through the coverage, this Bachmann-Palin narrative has a very familiar ring to it. )

The Politico article from which the above article quotes is here. It's three screens long, but well worth reading. Also, putting the "Oh no they didn't" into [community profile] ontd_political.
mistersandman: How would you feel if you had to put on a really stupid hat? (RAGE)
[personal profile] mistersandman
The U.S. Congress yesterday approved, and President Barack Obama signed into law, a four-year extension of provisions in the USA Patriot Act that allow law enforcement to track suspected terrorists with roving wiretaps.

The legislation was first passed by the Senate, 72-23, followed by the House, 250-153. Because Obama was in France for meetings of the Group of Eight nations, he directed that an autopen machine, which holds a pen and replicates his signature, be used to sign the bill, the White House said.

The bill was signed yesterday before a previous extension, approved by Congress in February, expired at midnight, the White House said. The new law continues the surveillance powers until June 1, 2015.

The measure "will safeguard us from future attacks," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said before his chamber's vote. "By extending this invaluable terror- fighting tool, we're staying ahead" of terrorists who want to attack the U.S., he said.

The bill's roving-wiretap section allows federal agents to obtain a single warrant to monitor telephone calls of suspects using a series of mobile phones.

Other provisions allow authorities to obtain business and library records, and to target so-called "lone wolf" suspects who aren't affiliated with any terrorist group.

Senator Rand Paul, a bill opponent, tried to delay the Senate vote, pressing for the bill to be amended. The Kentucky Republican said the legislation goes too far in violating privacy rights to keep the U.S. secure.

"Do we want a government that looks at our Visa bill?" he said in a May 24 floor speech. "Do we want a government that looks at all of our records and is finding out what our reading habits are?"

The Patriot Act was passed after the Sept. 11 attacks, and many of its provisions are permanent law. Some of its surveillance powers have been opposed by some lawmakers and outside groups, including civil liberties activists.



I tried writing a letter to Obama describing my feelings on his decision but it came off as too venomous so I decided to post here instead. What the fuck, Obama? What was the point of all that talk about change and hope if you keep or strengthen the worst of your predecessor's policies?

The President doesn't want to appear weak on terror for the sake of the same howling ninnies who insist that he's a Nazi terrorist Islamic Christian socialist. There's no satisfying those people. It seems like Obama spends more time courting the people who hate him than satisfying the people who put him into office.

I took an environmental history class once and the professor (the spitting image of Clint Eastwood) growled, "I don't like Obama. He's too conservative for me." He got a few good laughs with that one, but I'm not laughing anymore.  The worst part is, there's no viable alternative.  I could vote for Jon Huntsman in 2012 to punish Obama, but as much as I like Huntsman, there's no way he'd ever repeal the Patriot Act.  I thought the recent hit on bin Laden would make America feel safer and more confident, but it seems like it's only convinced Congress that the War on Terror is a really great idea that must be pursued vigorously.
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[personal profile] ironjeff

Presbyterian Church Lifts Ban On Gay And Lesbian Clergy

Presbyterian Church (USA), the nation’s largest Presbyterian organization, voted yesterday to overturn its ban on ordaining non-celibate gays and lesbians for church leadership positions, reversing more than three decades of official policy.


yadda yadda yadda... )

While this is a “major change” in church policy, leaders will “still have to stand by basic tenets of our faith,” Ruark said.  “What this does is, if the people of Minneapolis feel Joe Smith is right to lead this church they have the right to make this call,” even if “Joe Smith” is openly gay.

 blah, blah, blah... )

 Source should really take a History of the United States class before assigning 'generic names' to religious figures.

The change in the church’s constitution will take effect July 10.

mistersandman: Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory (reversal!)
[personal profile] mistersandman
The pledges were made in two days of talks between the world's two biggest economies which ended with both sides hailing progress in their often tense relationship.

The difficulties in relations, particularly in human rights issues, were underscored by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who described Beijing's rights record as "deplorable" in a magazine interview. China's current crackdown on dissent, she said, amounted to "a fool's errand".

But on economic matters, officials were upbeat after talks.

"We are seeing very promising shifts in the direction of Chinese economic policy," U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said.

The annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue yielded more results on economic issues than some analysts had expected, although many remained skeptical China's market-opening vows would translate into concrete benefits for U.S. business.

Read more... )



When I first heard China call the United States out on some of its own problems with human rights and discrimination, I was euphoric. Finally, a superpower who can stand up to the United States! But it's clear to me now that this is the same situation as the Cold War, where both sides go back and forth calling each other names and things progress as usual, if not slower, just so one side doesn't lose face. Case in point, it looks like China's going to stand firm with this yuan reevaluation stuff for a while, because there's no way Xi Jinping is going to "back down" to the US within the first three years of his presidency.
mistersandman: Friends are a nice thing to have... Could you be my friend, too? (happy dance)
[personal profile] mistersandman
Congress should consider cutting multibillion-dollar subsidies to oil companies amid rising concern over skyrocketing gas prices, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Monday.

"It's certainly something we should be looking at," Boehner said in an ABC News interview. "We're in a time when the federal government's short on revenues. They ought to be paying their fair share."

"Everybody wants to go after the oil companies and frankly, they've got some part of this to blame," he said.

Read more... )



Yes. I never thought I'd hear this from John Boehner. About the oil, anyway. The sniping at Obama is pretty par for the course. Maybe now Pennsylvania will stop subsidizing its natural gas (even though it has a monopoly on the eastern seaboard) and put some money back into education?

SUGGESTED TAG: politician: john boehner
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[personal profile] neonvincent
Art Info: China Steps Up Its Cyberwar on Change.org

Apparently, now China is trying to shut down free speech outside its borders as well as within.

On Tuesday, we reported that the Web site Change.org, which is hosting a petition for the release of detained artist Ai Weiwei, stated that it was facing “highly sophisticated denial of service attacks from locations in China,” and that it was appealing to the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of East Asian Pacific Affairs for help. Well, the latest news is that the attacks haven’t stopped — they have only escalated, and the site says that it has engineers “working around the clock to fend off the attacks.” Below, find the complete text of Change.org’s message sent out to supporters today (in this case, our own ace associate editor Emma Allen) to update them on the situation:

Email behind the cut )
As far as I can tell, Amazon.com hosts Change.org, along with a whole bunch of other sites. As a result, a whole bunch of domains are off-line, as documented in Amazon servers take down Reddit, Foursquare, and more. I tried to copy and paste the article, but LJ hiccoughed and wouldn't accept it. Darn.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)
[personal profile] neonvincent
Fat Cat goes Galt

Box Office Mojo: 'Atlas Shrugged' Derails?

Atlas Shrugged: Part I was the top-grossing limited release of the weekend, generating an estimated $1.7 million at 300 single-screen locations.

For a pure independent release, Atlas Shrugged: Part I's opening was fine. But for the first-ever adaptation of Ayn Rand's influential mega-selling 1957 novel that had far more media hype than any other independent movie could dream of, it was disappointing.

There aren't many direct comparisons, because it's rare that an adaptation of such a famous book gets such a modest release. Atlas Shrugged: Part I opened higher than recent limited Christian movies The Grace Card and To Save a Life, and it was distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures' third highest-grossing launch, behind End of the Spear and Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. But none of those movies are significant in the grand scheme of things. They're all still blips, even if Atlas was a slightly bigger blip than many.

What's more, Atlas Shrugged: Part I's box office dropped six percent from Friday to Saturday, further indicating niche appeal. The movie would require exceptional holds moving forward to right its course.

Atlas Shrugged: Part I was reportedly produced for $10 million in a rush to retain the movie rights before they reverted back to Ayn Rand's estate, and its producers eschewed Hollywood (only one theater showed it in the Los Angeles area) after decades of failed attempts. Instead, they took a grass roots approach and tried to capitalize on the Tea Party movement, which was credited with the Republicans' landslide win in last November's election.

The conservative media championed Atlas Shrugged Part I, and it received plenty of general coverage as well. It's also a topical movie, given the goings on in Washington (it was defiantly released on April 15, normally tax day), but topicality isn't necessarily a theatrical draw, especially when the core audience is already flush with the topic. )
The critics were not impressed. As The Nation noted in Rand Appalling: New 'Atlas Shrugged' Movie Booed Off Planet:

It takes a lot to get a 0% at the mass market critics' consensus site Rotten Tomatoes. Pick an awful movie you can think of and it probably managed a 5% or maybe even a 25%. Somehow, Atlas Shrugged, Part I (yes! more to look forward to!), which opens Friday, has at this writing achieved the rare feat.

In other words, not a single critic to date, from major and minor outlet, high or lowest of low of lowbrow, likes it one bit.
As of Monday, the movie had improved its rating to 8%, which still made it the lowest rated movie out of the top 50 in theaters.

The ratings didn't include this one from io9, Atlas Shrugged: A movie this demented ought to be against the law, which basically said it was so bad it's good.

Charlie Jane Anders — Every cult needs its own wacky trainwreck of a movie. Scientology got Battlefield Earth, and now the cult of Ayn Rand gets Atlas Shrugged, Part 1. But how does Atlas stand up to Battlefield Earth?

Quite well, actually. Atlas Shrugged Part 1, which just opened in theaters today, is a grand addition to the roster of movies that are both kooky and clunky. A movie this hideously wonderful really ought to be against the law.
I'm not sure that even Rotten Tomatoes would count that as a positive review.

I have more comments here.
mistersandman: (hahaha)
[personal profile] mistersandman

Between his daily three hour broadcast of the Glenn Beck Show and his nightly hour on CNN's Headline News, you could spend 16% of your week listening to Glenn Beck. Don't.
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[personal profile] mistersandman
“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Michelle Alexander told a standing room only house at the Pasadena Main Library this past Wednesday, the first of many jarring points she made in a riveting presentation.

Alexander, currently a law professor at Ohio State, had been brought in to discuss her year-old bestseller, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness More Black Men Now in Prison System than Were Enslaved. Interest ran so high beforehand that the organizers had to move the event to a location that could accommodate the eager attendees. That evening, more than 200 people braved the pouring rain and inevitable traffic jams to crowd into the library’s main room, with dozens more shuffled into an overflow room, and even more latecomers turned away altogether. Alexander and her topic had struck a nerve.

Growing crime rates over the past 30 years don’t explain the skyrocketing numbers of black — and increasingly brown — men caught in America’s prison system, according to Alexander, who clerked for Supreme Court Justice  Harry Blackmun after attending Stanford Law. “In fact, crime rates have fluctuated over the years and are now at historical lows.”

Read more... )





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[personal profile] mistersandman
Marking the 8th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, protesters rallied Saturday against continued American involvement there in Chicago.

The protesters also spoke out against the U.S. military getting involved in Libya.

Their message is simple. They want U.S. military involvement in the Middle East to end.

"We cannot continue to spend billions of dollars on war," said protester Julie Harley.

Many peace activists in Chicago took to Michigan Avenue Saturday to mark the 8th anniversary of the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq.

Read more... )

mistersandman: (SHAME)
[personal profile] mistersandman
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[personal profile] mistersandman

PRESIDENT Obama says the noose is tightening around Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. In fact, it is tightening around the Libyan rebels, as Colonel Qaddafi makes the most of the world’s dithering and steadily retakes rebel-held towns. The United States and Europe are temporizing on a no-flight zone while the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Gulf Cooperation Council and now the Arab League have all called on the United Nations Security Council to authorize one. Opponents of a no-flight zone have put forth five main arguments, none of which, on close examination, hold up.

Read more... )


The United States should immediately ask the Security Council to authorize a no-flight zone and make clear to Russia and China that if they block the resolution, the blood of the Libyan opposition will be on their hands. We should push them at least to abstain, and bring the issue to a vote as soon as possible. If we get a resolution, we should work with the Arab League to assemble an international coalition to impose the no-flight zone. If the Security Council fails to act, then we should recognize the opposition Libyan National Council as the legitimate government, as France has done, and work with the Arab League to give the council any assistance it requests.

Any use of force must be carefully and fully debated, but that debate has now been had. It’s been raging for a week, during which almost every Arab country has come on board calling for a no-flight zone and Colonel Qaddafi continues to gain ground. It is time to act.


country: libya

mistersandman: (SHAME)
[personal profile] mistersandman
Barrington Republican Martin Harty told Sharon Omand, a Strafford resident who manages a community mental health program, that “the world is too populated” and there are “too many defective people,” according to an e-mail account of the conversation by Omand. Asked what he meant, she said Harty clarified, “You know the mentally ill, the retarded, people with physical disabilities and drug addictions – the defective people society would be better off without.

Harty confirmed to the Monitor that he made the comments to Omand. Harty told the Monitor the world population has increased dramatically, and “it’s a very dangerous situation if it doubles again.” Asked about people who are mentally ill, he asked, apparently referring to a lack of financial resources, “Can we afford to bring them through?”

Harty said nature has a way of “getting rid of stupid people,” and “now we’re saving everyone who gets born.”

Harty’s conversation with Omand became public at a hearing on the state budget yesterday when Laurie McCray, a registered nurse and board member of the Disability Rights Center, read Omand’s account to the House Finance Committee. Afterward, McCray said she wanted people to know about the representative – whom she did not identify publicly – because he “didn’t deserve to represent people in New Hampshire.”

In an interview and in an e-mail Omand sent to her friends, Omand said she called Harty, who represents her district, to tell him her concerns about the House Finance Committee’s proposed cuts to mental health services. Omand said Harty said he disagreed with her and made the comments about eugenics.

Omand says Harty then stated, “I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population.”



mistersandman: How would you feel if you had to put on a really stupid hat? (RAGE)
[personal profile] mistersandman
NPR's president and CEO resigned Wednesday in an effort to limit the damage from hidden camera footage of a fellow executive deriding the tea party movement as "seriously racist." Conservatives called the video proof that the network is biased and undeserving of federal funds.

NPR's board had pushed for the resignation of Vivian Schiller, whom conservatives also criticized in October for firing analyst Juan Williams over comments he made about Muslims. She was not in the video, which was posted Tuesday by a conservative activist, but she told The Associated Press that staying on would only hurt NPR's fight for federal money.

"We took a reputational hit around the Juan Williams incident, and this was another blow to NPR's reputation. There's no question," she said.

The timing of the video was exceptionally bad from NPR's perspective, with Republicans in the new House majority looking to cut all federal funding of public radio and television. Public broadcasting officials say that would force some stations to fold.

Read more... )



This is some bullshit.


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