#iranelection.

(cross-posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

Over the weekend as total chaos broke out in Iran one wouldn't have known anything about it if they weren't on the tubes. As E.D Kain writes,

if I wasn't online, an avid blogger and reader of blogs, and if I didn't frequent the New York Times, I wouldn't know a damn thing about the phenomenon in Iran.  It would feel like just any other story from the "crazy Middle East." I wouldn't have seen images of the streets of green-clad protestors.  I wouldn't have seen the beatings or the fires or read the twitter feeds or the first hand accounts.  I wouldn't have seen the youtube videos.  And lest it be forgotten, the news most people receive if they receive any at all is from their televisions.

There's more...

Getting Out of the Gutter.

(cross-posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

Amidst a climate of war, global warming, skyrocketing deficits, whopping trade imbalances, gas gouging, corporate corruption, a burst housing market bubble, illegal government spying, rampant corruption, torture, war atrocities, racism, marriage inequality a crumbling infrastructure, Bin Laden, failing schools, loss of competitiveness, war profiteering, a shrinking middle class, health care crisis and more... some Republicans have more than lost their way. They have gone so far astray that it may too late to turn back.

There's more...

James Von Brunn: Freeper.

(cross-posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

The gunman that murdered Stephen Tyrone Johns at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC was a right-wing extremist and Freeper.  As ThinkProgress notes:

A white supremacist born in 1920. Brunn has been approvingly cited on Stormfront, a national white supremacist website. He is apparently the author of a tract called, "Kill the Best Gentiles," which his website describes as "a new, hard-hitting exposé of the JEW CONSPIRACY to destroy the White gene-pool." Brunn, a WWII veteran, also wrote a screed on President Obama's citizenship that was re-posted to popular right-wing message board Free Republic:

Obama is missing!
DN.no (Nowegian Forum) ^ | December 2, 2008 | James W. von Brunn
Posted on December 2, 2008 3:40:03 PM GMT-05:00 by wannabegeek

Obama is missing!

The American People Demand to Know:

WHO SENT YOU???

Obama has lived for 48 years without leaving any footprints -- none! There is no Obama documentation -- no records -- no paper trail -- none -- this is no accident. It is being done on purpose with Media help - but to serve whom & why???

MISSING-HIDDEN DOCUMENTS:

Original, vault copy of Certificate of Live Birth in the USA -- Not Released (1 version hidden in Hawaii, Original found in Kenya)

Certificate of Live Birth -- Released - Proven Counterfeit (www.ObamaFiles.com)

Obama/Dunham marriage license -- Not released

Soetoro/Dunham marriage license -- Not released

Soetoro adoption records -- Not released

Fransiskus Assisi School School application -- Not Released

Punahou School records -- Not released

Selective Service Registration -- Released - Proven Counterfeit

Occidental College records -- Not released

Passport (Pakistan) -- Not released

Columbia College records -- Not released

Columbia thesis -- Not released

Harvard College records -- Not released

Harvard Law Review articles -- None (maybe 1, Not Signed)

Baptism certificate -- None

Medical records -- Not released

Illinois State Senate records -- None (Locked up to prohibit public view

Illinois State Senate schedule -- Lost (All other Illinois state senators' records are intact)

Law practice client list -- Not released

University of Chicago scholarly articles -- None

WHY DON'T WE SEE ONE WORD OF THIS IN ANY OF THE MEDIA?

Love him or hate him, we all remember how the press went to great lengths to find out every move that President Bush made ... finally unable to come up with anything factual, so they created it! When their accusations were proven empty, they refused to retract one word of the fraud they perpetrated on the American people.

Dan Rather lost his job over fraudulent documents, because common people like you & me reached out and ripped CBS to pieces. They couldn't stand the loss of sponsors OR viewers!

The same Media went to great lengths to scandalize & destroy Sarah Palin. She maintains a 91% approval rating among voters from all parties, thanks to the Internet and investigative journalists who don't work for the mainstream media.

NOW ------- The Supreme Court has scheduled a Conference for Dec 5th about Obama's

U. S. Citizenship. STILL, not a word about any of this from the Media. If it were not for the Internet and talk radio, American citizens would become the servants of a dishonest & conspiratorial Media.

THINK ABOUT IT. IT DIDN'T USED TO BE THIS WAY! How much longer are we going to sit on our hands & say not a word?

AND DON'T THINK THE MEDIA SIMPLY DOESN'T KNOW - THEY ARE GETTING POUNDED WITH EMAILS ABOUT IT!!!

Obama could not get a simple security clearance with the information the government has on him ---- NOBODY COULD!

NOW he is privy to every top secret America has!

What is going on??? WHERE ARE THE GOOD PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY - ARE YOU OUT THERE???

Submitted by: James W. von Brunn

The above post was scrubbed from the Free Republic site and then mysteriously reappeared shortly ago.

There's more...

Facebook and Holocaust Denial.

(cross-posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

Controversy has been reignited after it emerged that the Facebook has refused to close groups that promote Holocaust denial. Although the social networking site's position in this matter is not new, this story has seemingly gained some traction recently in the media.

Perhaps one of the loudest voices opposing the corporate line is Brian Cuban who is leading the charge to get Facebook to remove these groups.  After a story from Chris Matyszczyk of CNET covered Cuban on this issue, it drew an official response from Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt:

The bottom line is that, of course, we abhor Nazi ideals and find Holocaust denial repulsive and ignorant. However, we believe people have a right to discuss these ideas and we want Facebook to be a place where ideas, even controversial ideas, can be discussed. Of course, we have some limits.

Then Schnitt in a recent interview with CNN said:

"It's a difficult decision to make. We have a lot of internal debate and we bring in experts to talk about it," Schnitt said. "Just being offensive or objectionable doesn't get it taken off Facebook. We want it [the site] to be a place where people can discuss all kinds of ideas, including controversial ones.

Cuban responded in an open letter to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg:

The Holocaust Denial movement  is nothing more than a pretext to allow the preaching of hatred against Jews and to recruit other like minded individuals to do the same.  Allowing these groups to flourish on Facebook under the guise of "open discussion" does nothing more than help spread their  message of hate.  Is this the kind of open discussion that Facebook wants to encourage?  Is this really where you want to draw your line?

It is undisputed that as a collective , Holocaust Deniers are overwhelmingly antisemitic.  One cannot be separated from the other.   They use a fringe, discredited historical theory as a pretext and rallying point to perpetrate and promote their message of hate using Facebook as  recruiting ground.   By allowing these groups whether they number 1 or 1000, Facebook is not promoting open discussion of  a controversial issue.  It is  promoting and encouraging hatred towards ethnic and religious groups, nothing more.

By claiming open discussion as the rationale for allowing these groups to exist, Facebook is playing games with semantics.  Facebook is taking form over substance to protect their imaginary subjective corporate line in the sand they have drawn.

Some have also argued that Facebook picks and chooses which groups are being removed 'setting a subjective standard' and that "there is no First Amendment right to free speech in the private realm." They note that Facebook bans pictures of breastfeeding mothers because of nudity, yet isn't prepared to stand against closing groups that are illegal in at least 13 countries. It is also interesting to note that while it was reported that Facebook took down the group HoloHoax, that appears to be inaccurate.

The Guardian breaks it down:

But perhaps the argument is really about where Facebook puts it priorities. Given that the company runs a 150-strong team of so-called "porn cops" to patrol for risque images - profiled at length recently in Newsweek - why does it feel that hate speech isn't worth the same amount of trouble?

The battle for corporate interests versus social responsibility has begun.

There's more...

How did 100,000,000 women go missing?

(cross-posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

Obama's speech in Cairo this week was brilliant and the warmth with which he was received was a wonder to behold. However some were disappointed with the length and breadth in which the President touched on human rights and specifically women's rights. Responding to Obama's reference to the hijab in his speech, Peter Doau asks:

Is that a joke?

With women being stoned, raped, abused, battered, mutilated, and slaughtered on a daily basis across the globe, violence that is so often perpetrated in the name of religion, the most our president can speak about is protecting their right to wear the hijab? I would have been much more heartened if the preponderance of the speech had been about how in the 21st century, we CANNOT tolerate the pervasive abuse of our mothers and sisters and daughters.

There's more...

What Planet Is He On?

(cross-posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

On the way to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia the New York Times is reporting that President Obama told Laura Haim on Canal Plus, a French television station, that the "United States also could be considered as 'one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.'"

This comment, predictably, has set off some controversy. Case in point is Robert Spencer of Jihadwatch, who asks "what planet is he on?" Answers Mark Leon Goldberg,

I'm guessing "earth." Because according to the Pew Research Center, there are an estimated 2.35 million Muslims in Amerca.  This means that if the United States were a member of the 57 nation Organization of the Islamic Conferences it would rank, in terms of Muslim population, above Albania, Kuwait, Brunei, Benin, Togo, Djbouti, Suriname, Gabon, Gambia, Guyana, Guinea-Bissau, Comoros, Qatar, Lebanon, and the Maldives.

Obama went on to say:

"What I want to do is to create a better dialogue so that the Muslim world understands more effectively how the United States, but also how the West thinks about many of these difficult issues like terrorism, like democracy, to discuss the framework for what's happened in Iraq and Afghanistan and our outreach to Iran, and also how we view the prospects for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,"

snip

"I think the most important thing I want to tell young people is that, regardless of your faith, those who build as opposed to those who destroy I think leave a lasting legacy, not only for themselves but also for their nations.  And the impulse towards destruction as opposed to how can we study science and mathematics and restore the incredible scientific and knowledge -- the output that came about during centuries of Islamic culture.

After 8 years of clumsy buffoonery - I guess this is what real diplomatic efforts look like.

There's more...

Nowhere To Turn.

(cross-posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

Physicians for Human Rights, in partnership with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, has published a report documenting the scope and long-term impact of rape and other sexual violence experienced by women who fled attacks on their villages in Darfur and are now refugees in neighboring Chad.

The report -- titled "Nowhere To Turn: Failure To Protect, Support and Assure Justice for Darfuri Women" corroborates women's accounts of rape and other crimes against humanity that they have experienced in Darfur, as well as rape and deprivations of basic needs in refugee camps in Chad. Based on interviews with female refugees living in Chad's Farchana refugee camp, the report calls for "vigorous prosecution of rape as a war crime."

"Many Darfuri women refugees live in a nightmare of memories of past trauma compounded by the constant threat of sexual violence around the camps now," said said Susannah Sirkin, the physician group's deputy director.

"Women who report being raped are stigmatized, and remain trapped in places of perpetual insecurity. There's no one to stop the rapes, no one to turn to for justice for past or ongoing crimes, and little psycho-social support to address their prolonged and unimaginable traumas."

Dr. Sondra Crosby, a Physicians for Human Rights consultant and expert in refugee trauma, said "the atmosphere of intimidation was palpable as we listened to women describing their profound suffering and fear, and their yearning to return safely and with dignity to their former lives."

Of those refugees interviewed, "32 reported instances of confirmed or highly probable rape" -- 17 in Darfur and 15 in Chad, the group said. "Among the instances of rape reported in Chad, the vast majority (10 of 11 confirmed reports) occurred when women left the camps to gather firewood." And just over half of the 88 women interviewed -- 46 of them -- live in fear of sexual assaults around the refugee camp.

The group supports the issuing of International Criminal Court warrants against the Sudanese perpetrators, calls for "legal reforms in Chad to end impunity for sexual violence," and for "effective psychosocial support to survivors." Further it said increased protections are needed by police and peacekeepers, including "effective firewood patrols."

See the photos included in the report.

There's more...

Who Listens to this Dumb-F**k?

(cross-posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

In his usual brilliance, Rush Limbaugh said yesterday that he hopes Sonia Sotomayor fails.

In case you missed it - Sotomayor, a federal appeals court judge who was first appointed to the bench by Republican George H. W. Bush, is President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court. Her nomination was announced at a press conference yesterday morning. Hours later, Limbaugh was lashing out on his radio show:

Do I want her to fail? Yeah. Do I want her to fail to get on the court? Yes. She'd be a disaster on the Court.

Do I still want to Obama to fail as President? Yeah, -- AP, you getting this?

He's gonna fail anyway, but the sooner the better here so that as little damage can be done to the country.

A true patriot.

There's more...

The Limits of Incentive-Based Diplomacy.

(cross-posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

Once again, Kim Jong-il is testing the resolve of the international community. The latest North Korean nuclear provocation - an underground detonation yesterday - is the biggest trial of the Obama administration's foreign policy and of China's newfound global status to date.

The stakes are high not only because Pyongyang's provocations undermine security in northeast Asia, but also because a critical issue facing the US is nuclear proliferation to Iran. Should North Korea acquire the status of a nuclear-weapons state, any effort to prevent the nuclearization of Iran would lose validity. Additionally the prospect of a nuclear Iran could unravel U.S. Middle East policy, threatening the survival of Israel as well as the security of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf oil-exporting states. For China, the stakes in North Korea are no less important. It has banked its credibility on restraining Pyongyang through the diplomatic process of the six-party talks on Kim's nuclear program.

The Kim family dynasty's determination to secure its survival through the acquisition of nuclear weapons not only threatens South Korea, but also may provoke Japan (the only country that suffered an atomic bombing) to weaponize its advanced nuclear technology. Yet Kim has success doing what he has been doing in the past - winning foreign aid to stave off his people's hunger and provoking diplomatic apoplexy to feed his megalomania.

A unscrupulous dictator, Kim bankrolls his state by counterfeiting U.S. currency and the export of narcotics. He has no fuel for his factories and no foodstuff to feed his people yet finds the time to kidnap teenagers from the beaches of Japan. He goes through the motions of building nuclear reactors, then wins subsidized oil shipments from the outside world in return for suspending construction. With thousands of land-based missiles pointed at South Korea and 1.2 million soldiers under arms, Kim has long had the West over a barrel.

The response to the removal of North Korea from the U.S. list of countries supporting terrorism has been for Kim to renew his campaign of nuclear blackmail. He has no fear of the UN Security Council, whose resolutions he has defied on multiple occasions in the past five years.

With yesterday's events broadcast through the global airways, North Korea created critical mass.  No doubt a nuclear arms race in northeast Asia would undermine the U.S.-Japan security treaty and inflame a fear of Japanese militarism in the rest of Asia, especially in China, where bitter memories of Japan's aggression simmer just below the surface.  It's pretty safe to say that a scramble to acquire a nuclear stockpile in any region of the world is not what the international community is hoping for.

The only way to restrain Kim from his course is the joint and explicit cooperation of the rest of the participants in the six-party talks, led by China and the United States and supported by Russia, Japan and South Korea. China's swift condemnation of this week's nuclear test by North Korea signals that its patience is at an end.

In the coming days, we will see whether the international community can rise to the challenge. The limits of incentive-based diplomacy have been reached. The world must now tolerate imposing painful sanctions on Pyongyang. The price of inaction is too high. The risk of a war that would once again devastate the Korean Peninsula has deterred any military option. So it would seem that only close co-ordination between China and the United States to devise sanctions (such as a total energy embargo on a state that has no domestic source of oil) might constrain the continued operation of the North Korean regime without firing a shot.  However it could also provoke a suicidal attack on South Korea or Japan from a power-crazed and desperate neighbour.

Kim threatens the world with the push of a button out of weakness, not strength. The world may ultimately be forced into an uncomfortable and uncharacteristic game of brinkmanship, because clearly it seems the international community is running out of options.

There's more...

World's Oldest Blogger Passes.

(cross-posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

A 97 year-old blogger, Maria Amalia López from Spain passed away Wednesday in the northern province of La Coruna.

With hits from around the world, Lopez started blogging in December of 2006 at amis95.blogspot.com  

Charming readers with a homely mix of memories and chat, one of her entries reads  "My grandson gave me this blog when I was 95 on December 23 2006 and my life changed, since that day I've had 1,570,784 visits from bloggers from 5 continents who have cheered up my old age." 

Writing about everything from her first-hand experiences on historic events during the Spanish Civil War, years of dictatorship under General Francisco Franco to her opinions about current Spanish politics - people described her funny and accessible. Lopez, who dictated her entries to her grandson Daniel because she suffered from cataracts, became a nationally loved figure in Spain.  As her fame spread, Lopez became an unlikely campaigner for digital rights for older people, and even took tea with the Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the Spanish Prime Minister.

In one of her last posts, in February this year, she wrote: "When I'm on the internet, I forget about my illness. The distraction is good for you - being able to communicate with people. It wakes up the brain, and gives you great strength." Lopez became the world's oldest blogger on the death of 108-year-old Australian Oliver Riley in June 2008. Twitter's oldest microblogger is the 104-year-old Briton Ivy Bean, who keeps her 14,600 followers entertained at twitter.com/ivybean104.

A banner on Lopez's site read "Rest in Peace," with nearly 500 messages mourning her death and includes the following message from her family:

María Amelia López Soliño passed away last Wednesday May 20th at 6 a.m.

María Amelia rest in peace where she always wanted to, in Pedra de Abalar, in her town of Muxia (Galicia) where she was born and where she spent the best moments of her youth.

Her family, our family, we want to thank all of you those 880 blog's days that became very successful, and all these sanples of love and support that made her happy and were vital support to enjoy more than ever her last years.

The truth is that this is the most difficult post that I have ever written. I already knew that I should write it one day and here I am.

I'm not sad at all. I do not know why, but I'm not. Life does not last 150 years, and grandmother gave us many health scare. But life is for living and she always lived with intensity. And when somebody dies at 97 years old having lived its live with intensity from the beginning to the end we should not be sad.

I could start and nonstop because he the occasion worth it the chance, but I have thousands of things on the top of my head ... and I'm not able to sort them. So I prefer you to speak, hers "blogueriños" (as she used to call her bloggers friends).

Wherever grandmother could be, she will read all the comments, she won't leave one without read, that's for sure! Some will makes her laugh, others learn new, and she will get mad with the "bad language" ... but happy reading all of them.

This blog is just finishing here but it will in another format wherever she is. It will be a different format, which still we cannot read. But make clear that sooner or later all of you end up reading.

Enjoy life and grandparents

A kiss and a big hug from
Mary Amelia and Family

We love you Grandma!!!

En paz descanse blogueri├▒os.

There's more...

Diaries

Advertise Blogads