All The News : Friday Fits

by: jlms qkw

Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 02:47:27 AM EDT



ganglamb_zps8b033c2a
Because now that's it's over in Boston, we need cute critter pix.  Imho.  
jlms qkw :: All The News : Friday Fits
CONFLICT

It's Anzac Day - not the Big Day Out
The Age; Jonathan King

Although the department will also invite 500 additional ''official'' guests and may give preference to the 200 living World War I widows, they have not said if any of the million plus descendants would get an inside lane. In my view, these people should get first bite. Veterans' Affairs Minister Warren Snowdon said: ''The government is aware of the interest ... and an announcement is expected shortly''.

As a tour leader who attended the 90th anniversary, when official presentations included pop music which inspired dancing and couples were seen canoodling near graves, I welcome this control. But what is badly needed - if punters are going to learn from historical mistakes - is an education campaign explaining that Australia lost and we are commemorating a bold endeavour and retreat with honour, not a glorious victory. After all, this is Australia's most famous and costly battle.

Asked to locate Gallipoli, some recent straw poll respondents placed it off Queensland, France, England and even the US; others could not explain ''ANZAC'' and thought Australia won. It is not their fault because censored war correspondent Charles Bean reported the failed invasion as a triumph, led by heroic bronzed sportsmen bravely scaling steep cliffs at great speed and driving the defending Turks inland. They were brave, but they still lost, unlike the Western Front where Australians won battles from 1916 that helped end the war.

The truth was not revealed until prime minister Andrew Fisher sent journalist Keith Murdoch in September 1915.

Hamid Karzai seeks to curb CIA operations in Afghanistan
Guardian; Emma Graham-Harrison

President Hamid Karzai is determined to curb CIA operations in Afghanistan after the death of a US agent and 10 Afghan children in a battle he believes was fought by an illegal militia working for the US spy agency.

The campaign sets the Afghan leader up for another heated showdown with the US government, and will reignite questions about the CIA's extensive but highly secretive operations in the country.

Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi said the CIA controlled large commando-like units, some of whom operated under the nominal stamp of the Afghan government's intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), but were not actually under its control.

n_45261_4
Syrian rebels from al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra is seen as they sit on a truck full of ammunition in Idlib. AP photo
'Friends of Syria' meet with al-Nusra worries
Hürriyet Daily News; Sevil Küçükkoşum

Western concerns about extremist groups fighting in Syria, particularly the al-Nusra Front, are likely to dominate the agenda of the Friends of the Syrian People core group meeting in Istanbul on April 20, which is set to draw several foreign ministers, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Foreign ministers or high-level officials from the Friends' core group of 11 countries are all expected to attend the meeting. Syrian National Coalition head Mouaz al-Khatib will deliver a speech to the group in which he is expected to affirm that the Syrian opposition does not cooperate with the extremist al-Nusra.

Al-Khatib, however, is expected to add that the international community should act immediately to end the Syrian crisis if it is so concerned about extremist groups' influence in the conflict-hit country.

AROUND THE WORLD

KevinHague_460x230
Green MP Kevin Hague has drafted a private member's bill which would overhaul adoption law and remove all restrictions to adoption by gay couples. Photo / Getty Images
Marriage bill leaves a few inequalities to sort out
New Zealand Herald; Issac Davison

The legalisation of gay marriage in New Zealand does not eliminate every shred of legal inequalities for gay couples, with a grey area still remaining around adoption.

Same-sex married couples could also run into problems when seeking visas in other countries, legal experts warned after the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill passed into law this week.

The bill was given royal assent yesterday, and gay and transgender couples will be able to marry from August 19.

china-earthquake-afp-670
AFP photo.
Hundreds Dead or Injured in China Quake
AFP via Dawn

Hundreds of people were killed or injured when a strong earthquake struck China's southwestern Sichuan province on Saturday, local officials said, five years after a massive quake devastated the region.

The shallow earthquake struck just after 8:00 am at a depth of 12 kilometres, sending panicked residents fleeing into the streets, some of them still in their pyjamas, and was followed by several aftershocks.

Local seismologists registered the quake at magnitude 7.0 while the US Geological Survey gave it as 6.6.

"The earthquake in Ya'an, Lushan, has injured or killed hundreds of people," the Sichuan earthquake bureau said, according to an official government website.

Chinese troops intrude 10 km inside Ladakh, erect a tented post
Hindustan Times; PTI

n a deep incursion,Chinese troops have entered the Indian territory in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector in eastern Ladakh and erected a tented post, setting the stage for a face-off with Indian troops.

A Platoon-strength contingent of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) came 10 km inside the Indian territory in Burthe in DBO sector, which is at an altitude of about 17,000 feet, on the night of April 15 and established a tented post there, according to highly placed sources, which said that a Chinese Army Platoon usually consists of around 50 men.

Troops from Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have also established a camp approximately 300 metres opposite the location, the sources said.

Nation shocked by rape and brutalization of five-year-old in Delhi
Times of India; Dwaipayan Ghosh, TNN

The plight of a five-year-old girl who was brutally raped and tortured in east Delhi and could be rescued only three days later, as reported in TOI, because of police callousness and insensitivity, led to widespread public outrage on Friday. The child is now battling for her life at AIIMS where she was shifted from Swami Dayanand Hospital in Dilshad Garden when public anger boiled over leading to heckling of Delhi health minister A K Walia and the slapping of a 17-year-old girl protester by a senior cop. A string of protests has been scheduled for Saturday.

Reading the mood early, a government that had faced a lot of flak over the Nirbhaya incident barely four months ago, moved into damage control mode with a string of high-level meetings, culminating in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing deep regret over the incident. Within hours, the SHO of Gandhi Nagar police station, the first investigating officer of the case and the ACP who had slapped the girl had been suspended.

What fuelled public anger were allegations by the family of the victim that not only did the cops first delay filing the FIR and then failed to search their house, wasting precious time, they also tried to fend them off with an amount of Rs 2,000 after the child was rescued. They were told to be happy that she was alive, the family has alleged. A vigilance inquiry has been ordered and the report is to be submitted within 24 hours.

Egypt's Mubarak back in prison to await retrial
Mail & Guardian; AFP

The former Egyptian president was taken by ambulance to Tora prison under heavy security escort, a security source told Agence France-Presse.

Egypt's public prosecutor ordered Mubarak back to prison on Wednesday after his health was deemed stable.

Mubarak (84) was being treated for a heart condition, fractured ribs, fluid in the lungs, depression and high blood pressure, according to his lawyers and official accounts.

The transfer, however, was delayed as hundreds of his supporters gathered outside the military hospital in the Cairo suburb of Maadi in a bid to prevent his return to prison, the security source said.

MPs condemn 'evil' attempts to derail F1 race
Gulf Daily News

BAHRAIN's parliament has offered its backing to this weekend's Formula One race - with some MPs describing attempts to derail the event as "evil".

The elected chamber overwhelmingly backed the event yesterday and condemned acts of sabotage and vandalism that targeted the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

Several accused opponents of the race of seeking to exploit it for political gain.

"The event is great for everyone in every aspect, but we regret it is being used to deliver the wrong political statement to the world - aiming to show that Bahrain is not secure, safe or stable through numerous unauthorised demonstrations," said Bahrain Bloc MP Shaikh Jawad Buhussain.

He added the event played a key role in supporting a national economy that has been undermined by ongoing protests and violence.


The protestors must be affecting something . . .

ACROSS THE USA

How Senators Voted, W/ Phone Numbers
For your reference.

Falsely Accused in Boston: 3 Examples and What They Should Teach Us
The Atlantic;  Conor Friedersdorf

What is it like to be a Muslim, or a person frequently mistaken for a Muslim, in the aftermath of an apparent terrorist attack? Americans who don't fit that description can't really know for sure, but three news items from the last few days show that knee-jerk prejudice is inexcusably common. If your ethnic group were treated this way, you'd be walking around paranoid and anxious.

Innocent victim number one is a 20-year-old Saudi who is studying in the Boston area. He was watching the marathon when the force of the bomb blast tore into him. Amy Davidson tells his story:

HERE IN UTAH

New proposal would allow gay Scouts, not gay leaders; Utahns react
Salt Lake Tribune; Peggy Fletcher Stack

The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - the nation's largest Scouting sponsor - took a wait-and-see approach .

"Mormon leaders will take the time needed to fully review the language," church spokesman Michael Purdy said in a statement, "and study the implications of this new proposal."

The Great Salt Lake Council also had no comment .

"We are waiting to bring the executive board together to look over the proposal as a group," said David McCammon, director of programs and marketing for the council.

OTHER

The Most Ridiculous Claims Used to Challenge Classic Novels
Flavorwire.com; Emily Temple

This morning, the American Library Association released its study of the most frequently challenged books of 2012, a list that includes classics and YA touchstones alike. But, of course, books have been challenged, banned, and removed from school curricula for years, and sometimes for the silliest (at least in retrospect) of reasons. At the ALA's website, we found a list of some of the reasons behind the historical challenges of classic novels, and while some of them seem like run-of-the-mill complaints (parents do not like naughty language), others are frankly absurd. Seriously, if these books were this scandalous, we think we'd remember. After the jump, we've culled a few of our outrageous favorites from the ALA's list. Scoff or agree, but read on.

cross-posted from teh orange.

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yawn (2.00 / 6)
sometimes i sit down on the couch and fall asleep.  ;-)  

i'd slouch for that but am short 1 couch for that. j/q (2.00 / 7)


[ Parent ]
Hi, Jenn. (2.00 / 5)
Speaking of Utah, did you catch this from Mother Jones recently?

In the five years since the LDS church sent busloads of the faithful to California to canvass neighborhoods, and contributed more than $20 million via its members to support the initiative, it has all but dropped the rope in the public policy tug of war over marriage equality. The change stems from an even more remarkable if somewhat invisible transformation happening within the church, prompted by the ugly fight over Prop. 8 and the ensuing backlash from the flock.

Although the LDS's prophet hasn't described a holy revelation directing a revision in church doctrine on same-sex marriage or gay rights in general, the church has shown a rare capacity for introspection and humane cultural change unusual for a large conservative religious organization.

This confirms the (cautious) optimism I've been expressing ever since the dark days of 2008, when I would get roundly castigated by most people I talked to about the possibility of Mormons being able to change. And it's thanks in large part to activists like my sister who have effectively pushed back against the hierarchy from within, gently yet firmly.

I could write a whole diary dissecting these developments but I'll leave it at this for now: there's a long road ahead and it won't be easy, but I see more hope of progress from Salt Lake City than I do from Rome, the new Pope notwithstanding.

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)


The Moose would be a place where you could write that diary, slksfca. (2.00 / 5)
I know that you want people to understand that things are changing in the Mormon Church and your writings and point of view would be respected in purple.

There is more hope for the LDS church than the Catholic church, I think. Many U.S. Catholics have given up on changing the church, seeing it as a men-only club (in both senses of the word) based in Rome. The Mormons are right here in the United States and they have some very eloquent voices promoting change.


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
I might do that someday once I'm ready to write diaries again. (2.00 / 6)
I do trust that such a post would be possible here, unlike at some places.

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

[ Parent ]
what I've noticed here (2.00 / 4)
is that there seems to be a genuine desire to work through conflicts with civility so no one needs to throw bombs. I've had disagreements that I thought worked through to better understanding for all involved. It's like getting to sit at the big table at family dinners, conversations are more interesting and no one throws food.  

There's nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.--Thornton Wilder

[ Parent ]
the change in policy (2.00 / 5)
the softening - that is coming from the top down, i am sure, in response to our responses to prop 8, and all the pushback the LDS and Mitt Romney received.

this BoyScout "compromise" seems like the great LDS idea here.  

i think young lds people don't care for gay hate, mirroring national trends.  and lds leadership doesn't want to become irrelevant, like the southern baptists.  

the lds church has never had so much doctrine written in stone.  they . . . how does joanna brooks say . . . it's a very gradual morph.  

she blogs at askamormongirl i think, and she is almost always spot on.  


[ Parent ]
I'm a big fan of Joanna Brooks. :-) (2.00 / 3)
She also blogs about LDS and feminist issues at Religion Dispatches.

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

[ Parent ]
From the morning news wire: GOP Senators want to take away your citizenship if you are accused of a crime. (2.00 / 5)
Graham, McCain
"It is clear the events we have seen over the past few days in Boston were an attempt to kill American citizens and terrorize a major American city. The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorist trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans.

"Under the Law of War we can hold this suspect as a potential enemy combatant not entitled to Miranda warnings or the appointment of counsel. Our goal at this critical juncture should be to gather intelligence and protect our nation from further attacks.

So apparently, citizenship should be revoked if you anger a Republican Senator. Constitutional rights are only for those carrying guns.


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


yes poor lindsey (2.00 / 4)
he loves some of the constitution more than others.  

[ Parent ]
Slut Shaming rejected ... (2.00 / 5)
Katelyn Campbell Receives Outpouring Of Support After Protesting High School Abstinence Assembly
Even after Katelyn Campbell's principal allegedly threatened her for speaking out against a "slut-shaming" abstinence assembly recently held at her public high school, the West Virginia teen refused to back down. Her brave stance against the dangerous misinformation perpetrated by abstinence-only education, as well as her perseverance in the face of opposition from the school's officials, has inspired thousands of people across the country to stand behind the high school senior in support.

Here is what she did:

After George Washington High School hosted conservative religious speaker Pam Stenzel to advocate for "God's plan for sexual purity" at a mandatory assembly, Campbell notified the ACLU.

And here is what her principal did:

... he threatened to call Wellesley College, where she has been accepted to study in the fall, to tell them that Campbell is a "backstabber" who has "bad character."

And here is what Wellesley College alumni did:

A group called the Wellesley Sisters began a petition on Change.org to let Campbell know she'll fit right on in campus in the fall. "In reality, your actions prove that the College couldn't be a better fit," the petition reads. "At Wellesley you will find students just like you: strong, independent, intelligent women who speak their minds and work to make the world a more just and equitable place." It currently has over 1,200 signatures.

Good for Katelyn Campbell, good for the ACLU and good for Wellesley.


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


"We don't need no stinkin' regulations" (2.00 / 5)
Last Inspection Of West, Texas Fertilizer Plant Was In 1985
The Associated Press is reporting that the fertilizer plant in West, Texas that exploded on Wednesday night hasn't been inspected by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) since 1985, nearly three decades ago. [...]

The plant was also cited for failing to get a permit in 2006 after a complaint of a strong ammonia smell. That smell was reported to be "very bad" on the night of the explosion. Storing ammonia at fertilizer plants can be very hazardous; in 2008, the Center for American Progress found a fertilizer plant that stored millions of pounds of anhydrous ammonia in Pasadena, Texas to be among the most hazardous chemical facilities in the country, with more than 3 million people living in range of a worst-case ammonia gas release



Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


the waco trib (2.00 / 4)
actually has one of the better articles, here.

there is also a list of the dead available, and the owner has made a statement.  


[ Parent ]
! (2.00 / 3)


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Senate vote in support of gun lobby draws criticism ... (2.00 / 4)
Newtown Residents: Senate Gun Votes 'A Slap In The Face'
[Newtown resident Mike] Cragin says he thought the tragedy in Newtown would lead to legislation on guns. "I'm totally stunned. I'm completely stunned," he says.

He calls it shocking that politics led to the defeat of the bills.

"It just astounds me that it's that corrupt, really, that based on special interest - it's not the will of the people," he says. "I just find it really appalling."

A lot of people are getting a wake up call about just how enthrall our elected officials are to the gun lobby.

Ronald Brownstein from the National Journal sees it as an electoral problem for Republicans: Why the Senate Vote May Signal 2016 Problems for the Gun Lobby

The vast majority of states where both senators supported the measure are states electorally shaped by the modern Democratic coalition of the millennial generation, minorities, and college-educated whites, especially women. Polls consistently show the latter two groups to be the strongest supporters of gun control in the electorate. And that means the issue could present another barrier, along with such social issues as gay marriage and abortion, for Republicans needing to crack the Democrats' winning coalition in those states.[...]

If West Virginia is subtracted from the Democratic column and D.C. and Wisconsin are added, the total Electoral College votes for states that showed support for gun control in the Senate vote rises to 269, just one short of the number needed for [presidential] victory.

The Senate may continue to block legislation by virtue of its small state votes for the gun lobby but that obstructionism will simply solidify their party's continued irrelevance as a national political party.  

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


I am hoping so. (2.00 / 5)
[...]that obstructionism will simply solidify their party's continued irrelevance as a national political party.
 

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

[ Parent ]
Me too. (2.00 / 5)
They seem hell bent on being against just about everything that people want. The 2x4 upside the head received by the Newtown residents was no surprise to those of us who have been following politics for a long time. The amount of money in politics is obscene ... as is its use to block common-sense legislation.

We need a collective uprising by those who are shaking their heads over this.

That Brownstein article also said this about Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI):

Johnson's opposition may be an anomaly for Wisconsin because he is accumulating an unwaveringly conservative voting record that could make it difficult for him to win reelection in 2016, when he must face a presidential-year electorate.

We are a blue state at heart as seen by the election of Sen. Tammy Baldwin and our purplish tendencies go back to when Republicans were not bat-guano crazy. The red state that Gov. Scott Walker is imposing is not fitting very well and while he is accruing conservative bona fides, he is alienating those whose votes he needs to get re-elected in 2014.  

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Addendum on Ron Johnson. (2.00 / 4)
I just finished reading my dead tree newspaper and found this delightful nugget.

From the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign*: Ron Johnson Ain't Gun Shy, And Here's Why

Four dozen SuperPACs and nonprofit groups representing the Democratic and Republican parties and an array of powerful special interests reported spending $4.7 million in the Johnson-Feingold contest [in 2010].  The NRA was Johnson's biggest benefactor and also spent more than any other outside group on the list - $1.18 million - or 25 percent of the total.

In a small market state like Wisconsin that is a serious amount of cash. It explains why he would vote against the wishes of 81% of his "constituents" ... scare quotes added because it is clear who his constituency (definition #3) is.

* WDC - it is great to have these guys on our side:

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is a homegrown network of citizens fighting government corruption and working for fair elections, judicial integrity, media democracy, and open and transparent government. The Democracy Campaign pursues these objectives through research, citizen education, community outreach, coalition building and direct advocacy.

WDC was founded in 1995 as a nonprofit, independent coalition of individuals and groups responding to the growing dominance of special interest money in the campaigns of state lawmakers.



Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Cool photos ... thermal imaging of bombing suspect (2.00 / 4)
Police release photos of bombing suspect in boat

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/i...

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


Stopped clock alert ... (2.00 / 3)
The right-wingiest opinion writer (allegedly a a "Metro Writer" for Madison) in my right-wing rag wrote a column published this morning about Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). In it he questions whether Ron Johnson's teaparty positions (including his vote with the NRA last week) will resonate with purple Wisconsin. It is particularly amusing to see him wonder why Johnson's new initiative "Victims of Government" uses the story of a guy from Illinois. My guess is it is because his entire senatorial career is being orchestrated by national Republicans ... because he is a political neophyte and is tone deaf as to how it looks. He also takes his lead from Gov. Walker whose is governing straight from the ALEC playbook

This:


Last month, Johnson released the first installment in what amounts to a government-is-the-enemy marketing campaign called "Victims of Government." It's a video about an Illinois man allegedly driven to near bankruptcy by federal bureaucrats.

When I asked Johnson's office why it apparently couldn't find a Wisconsin "victim," communications adviser Melinda Whitemarsh Schnell assured me, "Our office is beginning to receive input and first-hand stories from Wisconsinites and Americans across the country."

Ironically, a story about the series appeared in this newspaper the same day as a story about a North Carolina man digging a 24-foot-deep pit in his backyard without a government permit. The hole collapsed, killing his daughter and her cousin as the man (of course) called 911 for government emergency workers to come save them.

Ha!!



Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


It just keeps getting better. (2.00 / 3)
"Victim" of Government flooded out
 ... Johnson charged that the Corps was guilty of "injudicicious application of wetland regulations."

What Johnson failed to mention was that the area that Stephen Lathrop wanted to develop used to be depicted on many old maps as a lake and is today called Dobrey Slough. A "slough," its another word for marsh, swamp or... wetland.

The reason the Corps was calling this area a wetland is because its a wetland.  And, as is typical of wetlands around the Mississippi River, this is a wetland that floods often --which is why it is in a designated floodplain.  In fact, at the time of this writing, the area that Ron Johnson claims was "injudiciously" classified as a wetland is not only very wet, but is under several feet of water.
     



Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Apparently Republicans have learned nothing from the national conversation about torture, post Bush/Cheney. (2.00 / 4)
New York State Senator: 'Torture' Boston Bombing Suspect
Greg Ball, a state senator in New York, suggested Friday that authorities should "torture" the captured Boston bombing suspect,  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is a naturalized American citizen and remains in serious condition at an area hospital.

Tweet:

He is apparently also a strong proponent for NY reinstating the death penalty for "cop killers and terrorists":

"The death penalty is a fitting deterrent that will act as protection for those men and women  who leave their loving families daily and put their lives at risk everyday to protect the rest us."

The death penalty does not deter. If you want it to punish "cop killers and terrorists" that is one thing. But to claim that it deters those who kill law enforcement or who blow up scores of people is as ignorant as the notion that torture leads to accurate information.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


you know sometimes (2.00 / 3)
I forget that all the stupid doesn't live in Texas. We sure seem to try to hard to corner the market on it though. I get discouraged and then I remember that we have to keep fighting the good fight or it would be even worse. I don't have many hopes for my part of Texas turning blue any time soon but I do have hopes that my neighbors will choose better Republicans since I hear some grumbling that I didn't a year ago.

There's nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.--Thornton Wilder

[ Parent ]
This is a good sign. (2.00 / 3)
I do have hopes that my neighbors will choose better Republicans since I hear some grumbling that I didn't a year ago.

Those of us in red states have to take what we can get. I would settle this year for convincing one more Republican senator to stop the worst abuses of the Walker Administration. We have one sensible Republican in the state senate who helped stop Walker in 2011-2012 when the majority was only 17 to 16 and one vote could flip it. This year the Republicans have an 18-15 majority so we can't do anything to stop the bad stuff. But while we can't get a majority back (due to gerrymandering) the next best thing is hoping that sane people in those red districts can talk some sense into their representative.

By the way, that sensible Republican is going to get primaried by a teapartier. I think he should switch parties.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
the dirty secret (2.00 / 2)
there is even some stupid in blue states.  or even in california, i bet there's some fuel-related processing near poor neighborhoods . . .

the stupid has no bounds.  


[ Parent ]
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