yo yo yo search it!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

interesting article and slideshow

mexico isn't all drug war deaths after all

A Lifestyle Distinct: The Muxe of Mexico
Mexico City — Mexico can be intolerant of homosexuality; it can also be quite liberal. Gay-bashing incidents are not uncommon in the countryside, where many Mexicans consider homosexuality a sin. In Mexico City, meanwhile, same-sex domestic partnerships are legally recognized — and often celebrated lavishly in government offices as if they were marriages.

But nowhere are attitudes toward sex and gender quite as elastic as in the far reaches of the southern state of Oaxaca. There, in the indigenous communities around the town of Juchitán, the world is not divided simply into gay and straight. The local Zapotec people have made room for a third category, which they call “muxes” (pronounced MOO-shays) — men who consider themselves women and live in a socially sanctioned netherworld between the two genders.

“Muxe” is a Zapotec word derived from the Spanish “mujer,” or woman; it is reserved for males who, from boyhood, have felt themselves drawn to living as a woman, anticipating roles set out for them by the community..............

photo: Katie Orlinsky for The New York Times AT THE DEBUT Carmelo López Bernal, 13, at the recent annual town-wide muxe celebration, the occasion for his first appearance in the identity of a girl.

it seems the vets are happy with this decision

and it seems i am too. oh and retired general eric k. shinseki is himself a wounded vet

Obama Picks Shinseki to Lead Veterans Affairs
Washington Post Staff Writer
President-elect Barack Obama today will introduce retired Army Gen. Eric K. Shinseki as his nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, bringing to his Cabinet a career military officer best known for running afoul of the Bush administration by questioning the Pentagon's Iraq war strategy. .................

Notably, Shinseki led the Army at the same time that Gen. James L. Jones, Obama's pick for national security adviser, commanded the Marines. Both questioned Wolfowitz's presumptions, before the war in Iraq commenced, about how the fighting would go, and they argued that the Pentagon was being too optimistic in its planning and should prepare thoroughly for worst-case scenarios.

In a 12-page private letter he wrote to Rumsfeld in June 2003 just before stepping down as chief of staff, Shinseki said: "People are central to everything we do in the Army. Institutions don't transform, people do. Platforms and organizations don't defend the nation, people do. . . . Without people in the equation, readiness and transformation are little more than academic exercises." The letter was never publicly released; The Washington Post obtained a copy this August........

this is GREAT

found via wooster collective

More from the Public Poster Project here.

(via Urban Prankster)

i had not heard

but over at cathie filian's blog she tells us bettie page was hospitalized and is NOT doing well

the lds church a victim?


(no matter what they say about polygamy - and you know the ONLY reason they 'stopped' it on this here earth is so utah could be a state - they STILL BELIEVE a man is going to have MULTIPLE WIVES on his own planet when he dies. where by the way he is A GOD. and no, i'm NOT making this shite up). how DARE they tell the rest of us who can marry and who can't

Demand the Truth

HRC’s Religion and Faith program launches response to untruthful NY Times ad.

Today, members of the Human Rights Campaign's Religion Council responded forcefully to a full-page ad in the New York Times that implies there is an organized attempt to foment mob intimidation and violence toward the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints due to its actions dehumanizing lesbian and gay people in the recent election campaign, particularly in California around passage of Proposition 8, which stripped gay families of the right to a civil marriage. The ad was sponsored by NoMobVeto.org, a project of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.When did the LDS Church become the victim? It’s hard to believe, but that is exactly what it is trying to convince the public of. It is continuing to spend an excess of dollars in an attempt to mislead the public and transform its image. But the truth is that this is the same church that conducted a national broadcast to every temple, calling on members to organize and write checks to the Prop 8 campaign. The same church that donated more than half of the $40 million behind Prop 8, even though California Mormons represent just 2 percent of the state's population. Yes, it’s the same church. ...........

you GO california nurses!!!

Citing “Midnight Rules” to Erode Health and Safety, Nurses Unveil New Website to Send Bush Packing

As President Bush seeks to push through a flurry of new regulations, many of which will especially adversely impact healthcare services and workplace safety, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today unveiled a new website inviting web browsers to help "send Bush packing," www.SendBushPacking.com.

The site offers an interactive game highlighting some of the "midnight rules" – last minute regulatory changes – the Bush administration is seeking to cement in place in its waning days.

CNA/NNOC is inviting those who visit the SendBushPacking.com website and play the game to sign an online petition to Bush to "tell him to do no more harm and rescind the rules that undermine our healthcare, public protections, and workplace safety."

Healthcare, workplace safety, and environmental protections are major targets of the proposed rule changes, "many of which could seriously undermine access to care, workplace safety and workers' rights, and the environmental safeguards Americans depend on," said CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro............

did you know the homos are kicking the shite out of

the christians? i didn't either, but mike the huckster says it true so it MUST BE

Mike Huckabee Exposes Real Hate in America: Christophobes
Posted by Katie Halper, KatieHalper.com

At a book signing this week, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee once again spoke truth to power and rejected two lies spread by the gay liberal media: 1) that the gay movement is a civil rights movement and 2) that violence against "homosexuals" is a big deal. Huckabee then shed light on the issue that nobody else will touch with a 10-foot pole: the gay violence perpetrated against Christians. It turns out that far from being the victims of hate crimes, the gays are the real haters and the true criminals.

Hucakabee explained, "there is a difference between the civil rights movement of African-Americans who were essentially hosed down in the streets by Bull Connor in Birmingham and beaten with their skulls crashed in on the bridges of Selma for being black, not for their behavior, not for anything other than their race.".................

oh f**k

because i can't think of any place BETTER SUITED to concealed weapons than a national park. full of families and tourists and foreign visitors

Interior Dept. overturns regulation, clearing the way for concealed, loaded firearms into national parks.»

Today, the Department of Interior overturned a Reagan-era regulation, permitting loaded firearms at 388 of 391 national park sites. The decision allows guns in parks in “any states with concealed carry laws, not just those that allow guns in their state parks as originally proposed.” While the Department cited safety concerns as a factor, the National Park Conservation Association notes:
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, there were 1.65 violent crimes per 100,000 national park visitors in 2006—making national parks some of the safest places in the United States. The new regulation could increase the risk for impulse shootings of wildlife, and risk the safety of visitors and rangers. Despite the potential affect on national park wildlife and resources, the Administration did not conduct an environmental review as required by law..................

if you have a daughter or are an aunt or uncle

to a girl, or have friends who have girls, think about this:

Girls flee circumcision in Kenya
At least 300 girls in south-western Kenya have fled from home and sought refuge in churches in a bid to escape forced female genital mutilation (FGM).

The girls, some as young as nine, are at two rescue centres in rural Nyanza province, police told the BBC.

Female circumcision is banned in Kenya, but remains common in some areas where it is considered to be part of a girl's initiation into womanhood.

The traditional ceremonies take place between November and December.


The girls in Kuria District are now in the care of the two churches and Maendeleo Ya Wanawake, a women's organisation. ...........

education is the KEY to stopping this (and almost everything else. EDUCATION)

of course they COULD

be praying to end world hunger but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Tiny crowd prays Supreme Court will invalidate Obama presidency
Nick Juliano
A small but determined band of conservative protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court Friday morning to pray the justices would invalidate Barack Obama's election.

The court was deciding whether it would hear oral arguments in Donofrio v. Wells, which argues that Obama's placement on the New Jersey presidential election ballot was invalid because he is not a natural born citizen. The justices are expected to dismiss the case.

Friday, December 05, 2008

kinda cool game

bow street runner (found via wonderland)

the only problem i had was i couldn't find how to quit and save. if i want to play again, i'd have to start from the beginning (i didn't finish the game when i stopped. hey, i'm TIRED)

i NEVER thought this would happen

blackwater indictments. wow. they're NOT tried nor judged yet but man, i really NEVER thought it would get this far. good news in that perhaps justice WILL be served (my fingers are crossed)

now if only they would charge king george and his band of merry good ol' white boys........

Sources: 5 Blackwater guards charged in shooting

WASHINGTON -- Five Blackwater Worldwide security guards have been indicted and a sixth was negotiating a plea with prosecutors for a 2007 shooting that left 17 Iraqis dead and became an anti-American rallying cry for insurgents, people close to the case said Friday.

Prosecutors obtained the indictment late Thursday and had it put under seal until it is made public, perhaps as early as Monday. All who discussed the case did so on condition of anonymity because the matters remain sealed.

Six guards have been under investigation since a convoy of heavily armed Blackwater contractors opened fire in a crowded Baghdad intersection on Sept. 16, 2007. Witnesses say the shooting was unprovoked but Blackwater, hired by the State Department to guard U.S. diplomats, says its guards were ambushed by insurgents while responding to a car bombing......

you go otto!!!

Otto the octopus wreaks havoc

Staff believe that the octopus called Otto had been annoyed by the bright light shining into his aquarium and had discovered he could extinguish it by climbing onto the rim of his tank and squirting a jet of water in its direction.

The short-circuit had baffled electricians as well as staff at the Sea Star Aquarium in Coburg, Germany, who decided to take shifts sleeping on the floor to find out what caused the mysterious blackouts.

A spokesman said: "It was a serious matter because it shorted the electricity supply to the whole aquarium that threatened the lives of the other animals when water pumps ceased to work.

"It was on the third night that we found out that the octopus Otto was responsible for the chaos.

"We knew that he was bored as the aquarium is closed for winter, and at two feet, seven inches Otto had discovered he was big enough to swing onto the edge of his tank and shoot out the 2000 Watt spot light above him with a carefully directed jet of water."........

they ARE pretty amazing animals
great video at the nyt article: Revealed: Secrets of the Camouflage Masters
WOODS HOLE, Mass. — The cuttlefish in Roger Hanlon’s laboratory were in fine form. Their skin was taking on new colors and patterns faster than the digital signs in Times Square..........

and this video is wicked cool too:

The culprit of the smashed glass and broken lamp is two foot seven inch Otto.

tell me

why in a zillion years are they even ENTERTAINING the THOUGHT of allowing this suit to proceed? can't we use the money being wasted on this shite to let's say, feed some needy families?

when these giant losers LOSE, is the court going to turn around and charge them for wasting precious time and resources and money?

Suit contesting Barack Obama's citizenship heads to U.S. Supreme Court Friday

Justices will decide whether to consider the case

|Tribune reporter
The U.S. Supreme Court will consider Friday whether to take up a lawsuit challenging President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship, a continuation of a New Jersey case embraced by some opponents of Obama's election.

The meeting of justices will coincide with a vigil by the filer's supporters in Washington on the steps of the nation's highest court.

The suit originally sought to stay the election, and was filed on behalf of Leo Donofrio against New Jersey Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells.

Legal experts say the appeal has little chance of succeeding, despite appearing on the court's schedule. Legal records show it is only the tip of an iceberg of nationwide efforts seeking to derail Obama's election over accusations that he either wasn't born a U.S. citizen or that he later renounced his citizenship in Indonesia.........

i am almost certain

government to continue to deny the terrorists were FROM the madmen who wreaked terror and rained blood upon the city of mumbai were from pakistan. i am not certain if the government had anything to do with it or not. however, for the pakistanipakistan is not only an insult it is ALSO insane.

you might as well believe turkey when it denies the armenian genocide

Terror Attacks Traced to Two From Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Fresh evidence unearthed Thursday by investigators in India indicated that the Mumbai attacks were stage-managed from at least two Pakistani cities by top leaders of the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Indian and American intelligence officials have already identified a Lashkar operative, who goes by the name Yusuf Muzammil, as a mastermind of the attacks. On Thursday, Indian investigators named one of the most well-known senior figures in Lashkar, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

The names of both men came from the interrogations of the one surviving attacker, Muhammad Ajmal Kasab, 21, according to police officials in Mumbai.

While Mr. Muzammil appears to have served as a control officer in Lahore, Pakistan, Mr. Lakhvi, his boss and the operational commander of Lashkar, worked from Karachi, a southern Pakistani port city, said investigators in Mumbai. .......

we really aren't shocked

or surprised. i don't think we as a country actually DO realize how devastating this disaster was. worse though, is our government's lack of reaction to it. putting everything else aside, even sending 4,209 of our men and women to their deaths in iraq, the government should be made to be accountable for what they did (and didn't do) during and after katrina. of course if you add on iraq, healthcare, homelessness, abstinence only education, the mixing of church and state, the repealing of many laws that protect our earth and the passing of new ones that destroy it even more.........

well if we do NOT demand justice (starting with contacting our senators and congress reps) it's ALL ON US

Many Children Lack Stability Long After Storm
ATON ROUGE, La. — Last January, at the age of 15, Jermaine Howard stopped going to school. Attendance seemed pointless: Jermaine, living with his father and brother in the evacuee trailer park known as Renaissance Village since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, had not managed to earn a single credit in more than two years. Not that anyone took much notice. After Jermaine flunked out of seventh grade, the East Baton Rouge School District allowed him to skip eighth grade altogether and begin high school. After three semesters of erratic attendance, he left Baton Rouge in early spring of this year and moved in with another family in a suburb of New Orleans, where he found a job at a Dairy Queen.

A shy, artistic boy with a new mustache, Jermaine is one of tens of thousands of youngsters who lost not just all of their belongings to Hurricane Katrina, but a chunk of childhood itself.

After more than three years of nomadic uncertainty, many of the children of Hurricane Katrina are behind in school, acting out and suffering from extraordinarily high rates of illness and mental health problems. Their parents, many still anxious or depressed themselves, are struggling to keep the lights on and the refrigerator stocked..........

Thursday, December 04, 2008

who knew?

suzanne vega thought she was puerto rican for the first few years of her life? who knew she writes for the nyt now and again? who knew she was so f**king articulate (well, i guess we did know THAT one)?

Which Side Are You On?
By Suzanne Vega

In the last few months I have had a chance to review a song I wrote in October of 2007. It’s called “Daddy Is White,” and I haven’t sung it out loud yet in front of an audience except to record a demo of it. My daughter worries that people might make fun of me. However, I feel that it is a truthful song.

In my last blog post I mentioned that I was raised in a half-Puerto Rican family and spent five years in East Harlem as a young child. At some point, when I was about 9 years old, I learned that my birth father was actually English-Scottish-Irish. Or white, as we used to say in my old neighborhood. Actually, anybody looking at me could probably tell that this was the case, but I felt I was the last to know, partly because I was treated by my Puerto Rican abuelita and my aunt and uncle as one of their own. I was proud, and still am proud, to be a Vega.

One person wrote in after my last blog entry to ask whether I had any plans to record Puerto Rican songs or songs in Spanish as a way of honoring those roots. I thought about this, but have to say no, even though I have had experience singing songs in Spanish. One of my first performing jobs was with a group called The Alliance of Latin Arts. I was 15 years old, and it was a government sponsored job, where we traveled from borough to borough singing songs in Spanish, like “La Bamba.” I attracted attention wherever I went, and it wasn’t because of my singing. (Somewhere in storage in a folder marked “scrapbook” I have a flyer from that job — when I find it I will post it here.) If you could look at the photo, you would see one girl in the line of dark-skinned Latinas to the far right looking down, and that is me, sticking out as usual. .........

ok, here he is

the best guitarist that ever lived. i've posted a video or two of his before but here's my favorite song of roy buchanan's

the messiah will come again

(at about the 2 minute mark, he goes and starts playing notes that simply do NOT exist in this time space continuum)

and here's hey joe like you've never heard it before

prop 8 - the musical!

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

found via americablog

numbers 7 and 8 trouble me

but all the rest are a go on MY list

(#7 because i believe MOST women in the sex industry are there because they are FORCED to be there and #8 i do think we need better diagnostics as to sexual predators and abusers but in my hearts of hearts i KNOW it is NOT someone we can cure or fix)

9 Ways to Halt the Right Wing Culture Wars and Bring Sanity to Sexual Policy

By David Rosen, CounterPunch.

The recent electoral victory of Barack Obama and the Democratic party presents a unique opportunity to overturn the most perverse policy of the Bush administration and the religious right, the conservative repressive sexual agenda. The following nine proposals can help frame a new sexual agenda to be introduced in the first 100 days.

For the last three decades the religious right fought a take-no-prisoners war over popular morality. Taking power with Bush’s victory in 2000, Christian conservatives were finally in the position to impose their beliefs as public policy. And they did so with a vengeance. At the local, state and federal levels, religious zealots, working through the Republican party, took control of the apparatus of the State and aggressively implemented a diverse set of programs to further their goal of creating a morally upstanding, Christian society. Family life, sexual relations, education, scientific knowledge and popular entertainment became battlegrounds of

the culture wars.............

he really IS intent

on leaving us his legacy. let's pray (literally PRAY) all of this shite is reversible. they really MUST believe in the rapture. why else would they allow our earth to be raped?

Bush's Worst Midnight Regulation Yet
Posted by Tara Lohan

There are great running lists of all Bush's midnight regulations as he secures his infamous place as the "worst president ever" in our country's annals. Apparently not satisfied with nearly eight years of environmental rollbacks, deregulation, and blatant disregard for air, water, and climate, his latest midnight regulation may be one of the worst environmental assaults yet.

The Washington Post confirmed today that a ruling was approved to make it easier for coal companies to dump the rock and dirt waste that is blown off the tops of mountains in "mountaintop removal" (or MTR) coal mining into streams and valleys:

The rule is one of the most contentious of all the regulations emerging from the White House in President Bush's last weeks in office ...
A coalition of environmental groups said the rule would accelerate "the destruction of mountains, forests and streams throughout Appalachia."
Edward C. Hopkins, a policy analyst at the Sierra Club, said: "The E.P.A.'s own scientists have concluded that dumping mining waste into streams devastates downstream water quality. By signing off on this rule, the agency has abdicated its responsibility."...............

she's no sarevil palin!!!

on the LIGHTER side of the news......

Ros-Lehtinen hangs up on Obama. Twice.

Is Ileana Ros-Lehtinen a little paranoid?


On Wednesday, the Republican congresswoman got a call from President-elect Barack Obama, didn't believe it was him, and hung up on him. Twice.

According to Ros-Lehtinen's flack Alex Cruz, the congresswoman received the call on her cell phone from a Chicago-based number and an aide informed her that Obama wanted to speak to her. When Obama introduced himself, Ros-Lehtinen cut him off and said, "I'm sorry but I think this is a joke from one of the South Florida radio stations known for these pranks." Then she hung up.

Moments later, Obama tried again, this time through his soon-to-be chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

"Ileana, I cannot believe you hung up on the President-Elect," Emanuel said. And then--yes, you know what's coming--she hung up on Emanuel saying she "didn't believe the call was legitimate."

A short time later, Ros-Lehtinen received an urgent call from Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, who informed her that she indeed hung up on Obama. .........

this is only the tip of the iceberg

i do not understand why men and women continue to enlist. after what happened to the vietnam vets (the medical troubles they've had AND the problems with the military and va saying those medical issues were service related) and what happened in desert storm and what is happening now. our men and women's lives, it would seem, are worthless (to some, NOT to me)

Soldiers sue Iraq contractor over toxic, cancer-causing dust
Nick Cargo

Sixteen soldiers are suing former Halliburton unit KBR, charging that its employees knowingly exposed them to a carcinogenic chemical in the course of their duties.

McManaway v. KBR, filed Wednesday at the U.S. District Court (Southern District of Indiana, Evansville), seeks to recover medical costs, along with monetary damages and monitoring for health problems including cancer, for sixteen Indiana National Guardsmen based in Tell City who were posted at a water treatment plant that KBR was commissioned to repair shortly after the American invasion, from April to September 2003. The Guardsmen charge that KBR was aware of dangerous levels of sodium dichromate on the premises, used to remove corrosion from pipes. Part of its chemical makeup is hexavalent chromium, which is known to cause lung cancer and birth defects. Sergeant First Class David Moore of Dubois, Indiana, was among those said to be affected: he died this year of chronic interstitial lung disease. His death was ruled service-related...........

because apparently god does hate

the gays (the blacks, the cathlics, the jews, the muslims, the hindus, the jains, the b'hai, the buddhists, the democrats, those that provide birth control and/or comprehensive sex education and EVERYONE else who doesn't think, eat, talk, walk and look like "them"

Conservative Episcopalians Vote to Create Alternative Branch
By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Conservatives from the Episcopal Church voted yesterday to form their own branch of Anglicanism in the United States and said they would seek new recognition in the worldwide church because of their growing disenchantment over the ordination of an openly gay bishop and other liberal developments.

In the past five years, a small but growing number of Episcopal parishes and dioceses have voted to leave the church, but yesterday's vote, at a meeting in Wheaton, Ill., represents the biggest split for Anglicans and presents a new challenge to U.S. church leaders and the denomination's world spiritual leader, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. ........

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

oh my but this is SWEET

oh man can he PLAY

ronnie earl

(only one man could perhaps have bested him. that man is now gone from this earth. i've mentioned him before and i sure will mention him again. sit tight, k?)

why do people climb all over clapton when earl just jams rings around him? i don't get it

i think i rag on clapton so very much because of the horrid experience i had back in the day. i went to the hartford civic center to see clapton. his backup singers had gold lame on AND they were doing choreography. i would have forgiven that if i had gone to see madonna or cher or the like. BUT CLAPTON? naw, i NEVER forgave him for it (and i STILL think he's the most highly overrated guitarist out there)

i was unaware of this

and it's sickening, frightening and inhumane AND it was done by the un (among others including church organizations). children (and whole families) are dying

why isn't this broadcast on tv instead of the life and times of some idiotic reality show?

Roma Children Dying of Lead Poisoning

by: Paul Polansky, The New Kosova Report
This month, Germany's second largest NGO, the "Society for Threatened Peoples" will be sending its Head of Mission for Kosovo, Paul Polansky, to the House of Commons, London and to the EU Headquarters in Brussels in an attempt to save 130 Roma families placed by the United Nations in camps with life-threatening conditions.

Below is a shortened version of the speech delivered by Mr. Polansky in the Brussels hearing.

Two hours from here by plane, in Eastern Europe, are two death camps, mainly for children under the age of six years.

If these children don't die by the age of six, they will have irreversible brain damage for the rest of their short lives.

These camps have been running for nine years. They were built on the tailing stands of the biggest lead mine in Europe, and next to a toxic slagheap of 100 million tons.

These camps (there used to be four) were built by the UN administration in Kosovo and their implementing partner Action by Churches Working Together. The hurriedly assembled barracks were also built with old lead painted boards.

To date 77 people have died in these camps, mainly due to complications from lead poisoning. More than 50 women have also aborted because of the lead poisoning. One woman and her baby died at childbirth. During her pregnancy she was being treated for lead poisoning. After her death it was discovered by a well-known laboratory in Chicago that two of her surviving nine children has the highest lead levels in medical history.

According to medical experts from Germany and the United States who have visited the camps, every child conceived in these camps will be born with irreversible brain damage.

In November 1999, UNHCR took charge of homeless Gypsies and moved them to four hurriedly built camps on toxic wasteland, the only places the UN said were available. I protested, calling attention to UN officials and especially to the head of UNHCR in Pristina, that these toxic wastelands could be detrimental to the health of these IDPs (internally displaced people). UNHCR assured me that they had signed contracts with the local municipalities that these IDPs would be in these camps for only 45 days. At the end of 45 days, they would either have their homes rebuilt and moved back or would be taken as refugees to another country. Unfortunately, after almost nine years and many deaths, due to lead poisoning, these IDPs are still living on toxic wasteland............

can you imagine the living conditions

these men came from in their OWN countries in order to endure what conditions they're under in iraq? (AND at least some of them want to CONTINUE to work for the subcontractor for kbr)

Military Contractor in Iraq Holds Foreign Workers in Warehouses

by: Adam Ashton, McClatchy Newspapers
Baghdad - About 1,000 Asian men who were hired by a Kuwaiti subcontractor to the U.S. military have been confined for as long as three months in windowless warehouses near the Baghdad airport without money or a place to work.

Najlaa International Catering Services, a subcontractor to KBR, an engineering, construction and services company, hired the men, who're from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. On Tuesday, they staged a march outside their compound to protest their living conditions.

"It's really dirty," a Sri Lankan man told McClatchy, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he still wants to work for Najlaa. "For all of us, there are about 12 toilets and about 10 bathrooms. The food - it's three half-liter (one pint) bottles of water a day. Bread, cheese and jam for breakfast. Lunch is a small piece of meat, potato and rice. Dinner is rice and dal, but it's not dal," he said, referring to the Indian lentil dish.

After McClatchy began asking questions about the men on Tuesday, the Kuwaiti contractor announced that it would return them to their home countries and pay them back salaries. Najlaa officials contended that they've cared for the men's basic needs while the company has tried to find them jobs in Iraq...

A subcontractor to KBR hired Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Indian and Sri Lankan men and is now confining them to windowless warehouses near the Baghdad airport with no money or a place to work. (Photo: Times UK)

i fell in love with this video

twice by little dragon little dragon (found via feministing)


from a different angle. of course ALL angle are bad ones

(found via feministing)

it's ok to kill them

they're gay. once again, a giant f u to the catholic church

Vatican criticized for opposing UN decriminaliztion of homosexuality.»

The Vatican is drawing criticism from gay rights groups and newspapers editorials after Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations, told a French Catholic news service that the Vatican opposes “a proposed U.N. resolution calling on governments worldwide to de-criminalise homosexuality.” Migliore claimed that the resolution “would create new and implacable discriminations” against opponents of same-sex marriage. Critics call that position “grotesque“:

A strongly worded editorial in Italy’s mainstream La Stampa newspaper said the Vatican’s reasoning was “grotesque”.

Pointing out that homosexuality was still punishable by death in some Islamic countries, the editorial said what the Vatican really feared was a “chain reaction in favour of legally recognised homosexual unions in countries, like Italy, where there is currently no legislation”.............


she was one of the reasons i fell in love with music (folk music in this case). her voice slapped me in the face then gently kissed my cheek.

Odetta, Voice of Civil Rights Movement, Dies at 77
Odetta, the singer whose deep voice wove together the strongest songs of American folk music and the civil rights movement, died on Tuesday at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. She was 77. The cause was heart disease, said her manager, Doug Yeager. He added that she had been hoping to sing at Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Odetta sang at coffeehouses and at Carnegie Hall, made highly influential recordings of blues and ballads, and became one of the most widely known folk-music artists of the 1950s and ’60s. She was a formative influence on dozens of artists, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Janis Joplin.

Her voice was an accompaniment to the black-and-white images of the freedom marchers who walked the roads of Alabama and Mississippi and the boulevards of Washington in the quest to end racial discrimination.

Rosa Parks, the woman who started the boycott of segregated buses in Montgomery, Ala., was once asked which songs meant the most to her. She replied, “All of the songs Odetta sings.” ..........

a nyt interview with odetta; the last word

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

it's a baby step

but it IS a step. i don't know tim wakefield personally, but i do hope he'd be both proud of you AND honored

Japanese schoolgirl signs pro baseball contract
TOKYO (AP) — A 16-year-old Japanese girl signed with a regional baseball team Tuesday, becoming the country's first female professional baseball player.

Eri Yoshida, a knuckleball pitcher, will play for the Kobe 9 Cruise in a new independent league starting in April 2009. The team selected her last month along with 31 male players in the league draft.

"I still don't feel like I've really become a pro baseball player, but I want to do my best," Yoshida said at a news conference after signing her contract. "My specialty is the knuckleball, so I really want to be able to get batters out using it effectively."

The Cruise are more like a farm team and a far cry from Japan's mainstream pro teams such as the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants. But the 5-foot, 114-pound Yoshida has broken a barrier in baseball-crazy Japan, where women are normally relegated to amateur, company-sponsored teams or to softball.

Yoshida, who started playing baseball when she was in second grade, said she wants to emulate Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, who has built a successful major league career as a knuckleballer.........

found via good

this is also rather funny

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

and it's also from 23/6

my favorite stevie ray song

Monday, December 01, 2008

but we DON'T torture!

we have become those we hate. those we call savages. those we want to thrust our idea of democracy upon.

we have become the bad guys

can we become the good guys again?

Former interrogator slams torture: Torture has cost nearly as many lives as 9/11.»

In a Washington Post op-ed today, a former Special Operations interrogator who worked in Iraq in 2006 sharply criticizes American torture techniques as ineffective and dangerous. “Torture and abuse cost American lives,” he writes:

I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. … It’s no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me — unless you don’t count American soldiers as Americans..........

the wapo article:

By Matthew Alexander
I should have felt triumphant when I returned from Iraq in August 2006. Instead, I was worried and exhausted. My team of interrogators had successfully hunted down one of the most notorious mass murderers of our generation, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq and the mastermind of the campaign of suicide bombings that had helped plunge Iraq into civil war. But instead of celebrating our success, my mind was consumed with the unfinished business of our mission: fixing the deeply flawed, ineffective and un-American way the U.S. military conducts interrogations in Iraq. I'm still alarmed about that today.......


tell me somethin' good

sheer brilliance


(from 23/6

no one should feel invisible

how would it feel to be invisible (found via wooster collective)

From rainbath:

"did this downtown by my house on one of the busiest days! the day after thanksgiving. basically the installation reads...why do so many look away. how would it feel to be invisible? even for just a day? how would it feel to be homeless for whatever reason it may be."

another take on the mumbai


and it mentions our dear king MORE than once. here's but one passage

............Veteran Mideast reporter Patrick Cockburn writes, "The origins and motives of the men who slaughtered so many people in Mumbai will emerge in the coming days. But already the butchery should be underlining one of the greatest of the many failings of the Bush administration post-9/11. Pakistan was always the real base for al-Qa'ida. It was the Pakistani ISI military intelligence which fostered and partly directed the Taliban before 2001 and revived it afterwards. It is Pakistan which has sustained the Islamic jihadi fighters in Kashmir where half the Indian army is tied down. Yet the Bush administration in its folly allied itself to General Pervez Musharaf and the Pakistani army post-9/11, ensuring that jihadi groups always had a base............

and here's the link to the story itself (an interesting one)
Mumbai Attacks: Piecing Together the Story
What happened?

Saikat Datta of Outlook India writes that by mid-September, Indian agencies knew that the attack would come from the sea, by mid-November, they knew that the Taj hotel would be targeted. And yet the attacks still happened. A blow by blow account of how the plan to attack Mumbai by sea was hatched and executed.............

it doesn't matter which theories are correct or not correct. this NEVER should have happened

i'm glad we're bringing 'democracy' to iraq

you can see it in action every place you turn

well i guess this type of thing doesn't matter TOO very much. after all it IS just murdering women. not like it's about murdering REAL people or anything.

Hitmen charge $100 a victim as Basra honour killings rise

Fathers and husbands who openly hire assassins on the streets of the city are going unpunished
Afif Sarhan
Authorities in the southern Iraqi city of Basra have admitted they are powerless to prevent 'honour killings' in the city following a 70 per cent increase in religious murders during the past year.

There has been no improvement in conviction rates for these killings. So far this year, 81 women in the city have been murdered for allegedly bringing shame on their families. Only five people have been convicted.

During 2007 the Basra security committee recorded 47 'honour killings' and three convictions. One lawyer in the city described how police were actively protecting perpetrators and said that a woman in Basra could now be murdered by hired hitmen for as little as $100 (£65).

The figures come despite international outrage which followed The Observer's coverage of the death of 17-year-old Rand Abdel-Qader, who was murdered by her father last April in an 'honour killing' after falling in love with a British soldier in Basra. The 4,000 British troops stationed in the city since the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003 withdrew to the airport last September.

Rand Abdel-Qader was killed after her family discovered that she had formed a friendship with a 22-year-old infantryman whom she knew as Paul. She was suffocated by her father then hacked at with a knife. Abdel-Qader Ali was subsequently arrested and released without charge.

Rand's mother, Leila Hussein, who divorced her husband after the killing, went into hiding but was tracked down weeks later and assassinated by an unknown gunman. Her husband had told The Observer that police had congratulated him for killing his daughter.....

stop honour killings

another agency full o' king george appointees

all messed up. their priorities in the pockets of the good ol' white boy network. their cares NOT where they belong. WITH US, the citizens of the united states of america
Labor Dept. Accused of Straying From Enforcement
By Michael A. Fletcher
Washington Post Staff Writer

................Labor activists say that focusing so closely on the concerns of employers shortchanges workers and that a shift in emphasis is long overdue. Under President Bush, they say, the pendulum has swung far away from enforcement, leaving workers vulnerable to dangerous workplaces and with little protection from exploitive employers.

In July, the Government Accountability Office issued a report alleging that the Labor Department did an inadequate job of investigating complaints by low-wage workers who alleged that their employers were stiffing them for overtime, or failing to pay the minimum wage. That report followed another that found troubling inconsistencies in how the department handled individual worker complaints. Department officials have disputed both reports, calling them inaccurate.

Still, they caught the attention of President-elect Barack Obama, who while campaigning in July fired off a letter to Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao expressing "serious concern" that the agency was not fulfilling its enforcement mission.

"It is important that the department put procedures into place that will lead to improvements in the enforcement of workers' rights," Obama wrote. "This is the core mission of the department and failing to adequately enforce the Fair Labor Standards Act is unacceptable." ...............

Sunday, November 30, 2008

so ok, let me get this straight

it's ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NOT RIGHT TO BE PRO-CHOICE, but it's a-ok to send over 4,000 of our men and women to their deaths in iraq? (a country we invaded for NO reason. a country where tens of thousands have been killed by US and by each other. a country where over a million people have been displaced because of us. oh there so much more, but why continue?)

the catholic church should shut the fuck up about confessing if one voted for obama. the catholic church should worry about THEIR OWN as in SOME of their priests and the cover ups they're ALL responsible for (the all is those in charge, not necessarily the parishioners). the catholic church should worry about helping those in dire need of food and housing and shelter. the catholic church should start worrying about the way they treat women (did you know back in the day priests WERE allowed to marry? want to know why they can no longer? i'll tell you. because their wives and families inherited 'stuff' when the priests died. the catholic church didn't want to part with that 'stuff'. you think i'm making this up? i'm NOT). the catholic church should re-think their stance on birth control if they don't like people being pro choice. the catholic church should PREACH BIRTH CONTROL


they should shut the fuck up

Priest urges confession for Obama supporters
Homily singles out president-elect's stance on abortion

McClatchy Tribune

MODESTO, Calif. - The Rev. Joseph Illo, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Modesto, Calif., has told parishioners in a homily and in a follow-up letter that if they voted for Barack Obama, they should consider going to confession because of the president-elect's position on abortion.

"If you are one of the 54 percent of Catholics who voted for a pro-abortion candidate, you were clear on his position and you knew the gravity of the question, I urge you to go to confession before receiving communion. Don't risk losing your state of grace by receiving sacrilegiously," Illo wrote in a letter dated Nov. 21.

The letter was sent to more than 15,000 members of the St. Joseph's parish. It is one of 34 parishes in the Stockton Diocese, which has more than 200,000 members in Stanislaus, San Joaquin and four other counties in California.

Though Obama's support of abortion rights angered many Catholics nationally during the campaign, Illo's letter is believed to be the first in Central California from a priest to his parishioners on the topic.

The Most Rev. Stephen Blaire, bishop of the Stockton Diocese, disagrees with Illo. He said Catholics should not feel compelled to disclose how they voted to their priest........

i can

Can You Name 16 Forms Of Gender Violence?


(not really, of COURSE they're taking their bonuses). good ol' white boy network AT WORK

AIG Gives ‘Retention’ Pay After Scrapping Bonuses (Update2)
By Hugh Son

Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- American International Group Inc., the insurer that said yesterday it scrapped bonuses for top executives after a U.S. bailout, will still pay 130 managers “cash awards” to stay with the firm, including $3 million to retirement services chief Jay Wintrob.

Wintrob, 51, will get the “retention” payment in two installments, the first in April 2009 and the rest a year later, New York-based AIG said today in a regulatory filing. The firm previously disclosed the program in a Sept. 26 filing and said today that Wintrob and Chief Financial Officer David Herzog elected to get the payments four months later than planned.

“The expectation from the public and Congress was that they weren’t getting bonuses, not that they’d be pushed off by several months,” said David Schmidt, a consultant at executive pay firm James F. Reda & Associates. “That clearly violates the spirit of AIG saying they’ll forgo their bonuses.”

Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy is encouraging top employees at AIG subsidiaries to remain so the units retain their value while he finds buyers. The insurer is selling businesses, including the U.S. retirement group Wintrob heads, to repay a $60 billion loan included in the expanded government rescue package AIG got this month. ...........

the answer to the headline of this story is

OBVIOUSLY YES. if one looks up women and girls in afghanistan, they will see they are hardly treated better NOW than before the taliban ruled

vital voices
a little help

Is Laura Bush Delusional?"
Posted by Julia , Firedoglake

The Bush family have recorded a Story Corps interview about George W. Bush's presidential legacy, and what they're most proud of. This is what Mrs. Bush had to say

Well, it’s certainly been very rewarding to look at Afghanistan and both know that the president and the United States military liberated women there; that women and girls can be in school now; that women can walk outside their doors without a male escort.

I worry about Afghanistan, but I will always have a special place in my heart for the women that I’ve met there, both on my visits to Afghanistan and then the many women from Afghanistan who’ve traveled to the United States on scholarships or with the Afghan American Women’s Council, or with a lot of other ways that American citizens have opened their homes to women in Afghanistan so they can be educated quickly, because they missed their education when they were children or young women, because they weren’t allowed to learn anything.

Well, then. I would have been more charitable, but since Mrs. Bush has chosen this as her legacy, allow me to introduce you to Mrs. Bush's legacy:............

wow, sounds like this

is WELL worth trying out!
Ocean currents can power the world, say scientists
A revolutionary device that can harness energy from slow-moving rivers and ocean currents could provide enough power for the entire world, scientists claim.
By Jasper Copping
The technology can generate electricity in water flowing at a rate of less than one knot - about one mile an hour - meaning it could operate on most waterways and sea beds around the globe.

Existing technologies which use water power, relying on the action of waves, tides or faster currents created by dams, are far more limited in where they can be used, and also cause greater obstructions when they are built in rivers or the sea. Turbines and water mills need an average current of five or six knots to operate efficiently, while most of the earth's currents are slower than three knots.

The new device, which has been inspired by the way fish swim, consists of a system of cylinders positioned horizontal to the water flow and attached to springs.

As water flows past, the cylinder creates vortices, which push and pull the cylinder up and down. The mechanical energy in the vibrations is then converted into electricity...............

........The system, conceived by scientists at the University of Michigan, is called Vivace, or "vortex-induced vibrations for aquatic clean energy".

Michael Bernitsas, a professor of naval architecture at the university, said it was based on the changes in water speed that are caused when a current flows past an obstruction. Eddies or vortices, formed in the water flow, can move objects up and down or left and right.

"This is a totally new method of extracting energy from water flow," said Mr Bernitsas. "Fish curve their bodies to glide between the vortices shed by the bodies of the fish in front of them. Their muscle power alone could not propel them through the water at the speed they go, so they ride in each other's wake."......

VIVACE (Vortex Induced Vibrations Aquatic Clean Energy)

a bit more on mumbai

was it Lashkar-e-Taiba? was it pakistan in general? i don't know. i don't want to be quick to point my finger either. i know it was beyond insane. i know in a MILLION years i will never understand how the deaths of innocents help one's 'cause'. i will never understand how the deaths of innocents make you more lovable in your god's eyes. i just will never understand NOR ACCEPT terrorism
pic: Terrifying: One of the gunmen carrying an automatic rifle in the train station in Mumbai
'I was told to kill to my last breath': Captured terrorist's account of Mumbai massacre reveals plan was to kill 5,000
By Ian Gallagher
The only terrorist captured alive after the Mumbai massacre has given police the first full account of the extraordinary events that led to it – revealing he was ordered to ‘kill until the last breath’. Azam Amir Kasab, 21, from Pakistan, said the attacks were meticulously planned six months ago and were intended to kill 5,000 people. He revealed that the ten terrorists, who were highly trained in marine assault and crept into the city by boat, had planned to blow up the Taj Mahal Palace hotel after first executing British and American tourists and then taking hostages....... ..........He described how its mastermind briefed the group to ‘target whites, preferably Americans and British’. Some of the militants, including Kasab, posed as students during a visit to Mumbai a month ago, filming the ‘strike locations’ and familiarising themselves with the city’s roads..........

how does this help america?

how is this in any way shape or form acceptable? is this a republican trait or the trait of a single offshoot administration run by madmen? if it's a republican trait why, why would ANYONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND be a republican? don't they have families? don't members of their families work? don't they need protection?

i don't get it (one of many things i do NOT understand)
Bush aides push for rule to hamper worker health protections
Bush administration aides are rushing to pass a safety rule which would make government regulation of workers' exposure to toxic chemicals more difficult; a rule President-elect Barack Obama opposes.

Public health officials worry the decreased protections will result in additional, unnecessary deaths.

It is just one of about 20 controversial Labor Department proposals being pushed by large business interests, according to a published report.

Other proposals would allow power plants to be built closer to parks and wildlife preserves, and further limit the role of environmental and animal experts in determining where major infrastructure projects may be carried out.

President-elect Obama has long been critical of the Bush administration's removal of workplace protections. During the campaign, Obama co-sponsored legislation which would prohibit this specific deregulation.