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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 75,181

Journal Archives

Topless marriage equality supporters fight with right-wing bigots -- Ooohlala Paris


Dressed (somewhat) as nuns, today the Ukraine-based feminist group FEMEN staged a topless counter-protest of an anti-gay marriage march in Paris, where they were attacked by Catholic activists who the "nuns" sprayed with powdered "sperm" while chanting slogans such as "In Gay We Trust."

Besides the opponents of the bill, a dozen topless activists from the Ukrainian-based women's movement Femen had shown up to stage a counter-protest dressed as nuns and chanting "humourous" slogans, said French feminist writer and columnist Caroline Fourest. "When they moved toward the demonstrators, some of (the protesters) ran after them, raging," Fourest said in a phone call with AFP from a police wagon, where the women had been taken for their own safety. She claimed the women were hit by their pursuers, who also lashed out at journalists filming the scene.

Several photographers were roughed up, an AFP photographer said. The local police station said officers had made five arrests. President Francois Hollande's government and its allies sharply criticised the aggression. French Socialist party first secretary Harlem Desir denounced it as "stupid", and government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said authorities would take a zero-tolerance stance on violence. "There is no place for the extreme right's acts of aggression in our country," Vallaud-Belkacem said. "The government will show no tolerance for this violence. Family Minister Dominique Bertinotti said violence was "intolerable" and went against French values. "We cannot tolerate violence, homophobic sentiments, they are punishable under the law," the minister said on Europe 1 radio.

The above-linked story notes that today's anti-gay march was attended by senior members of France's far-right nationalist movement. Via Andrew Belonsky, below are clips from today's fracas.

The Faustian Bargain between States and Banks

from Der Spiegel:

States and banks have made a deal with the devil. Banks buy the sovereign bonds needed to prop states up in the tacit understanding that the states will bail them out in a pinch. But experts warn that this symbiotic arrangement might be putting the entire financial system at risk.

When he presented his proposals for taming banks in late September, Peer Steinbrück was once again spoiling for a fight. The Social Democratic candidate for the Chancellery in next year's general election railed against the chase for short-term returns and excesses within the sector and harshly criticized the "market-conforming democracy" in which politics and people's lives had become mere playthings of the financial markets.

Steinbrück's speech lasted half an hour, or a minute for each of the pages of a document he had prepared on the same issue. The paper lists a whole series of suggested regulations, most of which seem entirely sensible. Most interesting, however, is what's missing from the paper -- and what has thus far been absent from almost all of the proposals of other financial reformers: the disastrous degree to which countries are now dependent on banks.

As European countries have dug themselves deeper and deeper into debt in recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in this dependence. Governments are addicted to borrowed money -- and banks meet this need by purchasing sovereign bonds. As an unspoken reward, the banks expect nothing less than a guarantee of their own survival. Should a bank run the risk of collapse, the state is expected to use taxpayer money to prop it up. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/tacit-bond-arrangement-between-governments-and-banks-endangers-system-a-868971.html

Right Wing Whackjob: Only Eyewitness Testimony Can Determine the Age of the Earth


from Right Wing Watch:

Fischer: Only Eyewitness Testimony Can Determine the Age of the Earth
Submitted by Kyle Mantyla on Wednesday, 11/21/2012 9:55 am

We would like to thank Michael Hainey of GQ magazine for recently asking Sen. Marco Rubio about how old he believes the world to be, mainly because it has resulted in entertaining attempts to defend the young earth view, like this exchange between Bryan Fischer and Terry Mortenson from Answers In Genesis on yesterday's radio program when the two insisted that scientists can never determine the age of the earth because they weren't there and "the only way we can know the age of the earth is if we have eyewitness testimony of somebody who was there, and that's what we have in the Bible":

The Endangered Repairman

from YES! Magazine:

The Endangered Repairman
Getting your stuff fixed instead of throwing it away is good for the environment as well as for your bank balance. So why is this craft dying out in America?

by Shannon Hayes
posted Nov 23, 2012

If there is one piece of electronic equipment in our house that every member of the family equally enjoys, it is our stereo. Listening to music and radio is one of our greatest pleasures. Bob and I purchased it shortly after we got married with gift money we’d received. We chose carefully, selecting a system that had been manufactured in this country, one we felt would last us for the next fifty years.

It lasted ten. Soon, little buttons stopped working, then a few speaker wires shorted out. This past year, we decided to get it fixed. We contacted the manufacturer.

“Those systems can’t be repaired any longer,” the company representative informed me. But lucky for Bob and me, the company, keen on seeming “green,” has a buy-back program for their old electronic products. They’d take my stereo away, and in exchange, they’d award me a $500 credit toward a new stereo system. I asked if the new ones were still manufactured here. The representative faltered, “Well, no….”

We decided to visit a nearby independently owned store that specialized in home entertainment systems. We explained we were looking for a stereo. A good one. There, we learned that stereos were a thing of the past. We were supposed to be listening to music through new wireless blue-tooth speakers that spoke directly to our computers, which would channel the radio stations and music over the internet. We should just throw out our old stereo and buy the new technology. .......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/shannon-hayes/the-endangered-repairman

The brain-wasting disease called consumerism ......

[font size="4"]"The goal for the corporations is to maximize profit and market share. And they also have a goal for their target, namely the population. They have to be turned into completely mindless consumers of goods that they do not want. You have to develop what are called 'Created Wants'. So you have to create wants. You have to impose on people what's called a Philosophy of Futility. You have to focus them on the insignificant things of life, like fashionable consumption. I'm just basically quoting business literature. And it makes perfect sense. The ideal is to have individuals who are totally disassociated from one another. Whose conception of themselves, the sense of value is just, 'how many created wants can I satisfy?' We have huge industries, public relations industry, monstrous industry, advertising and so on, which are designed from infancy to mold people into this desired pattern."[/font]

-- Noam Chomsky

A classic case of right-wing projection featuring anti-gay whackadoodle Linda Harvey

from Right Wing Watch:

Linda Harvey Compares Wearing Pro-Gay Rights T-Shirts to Bullying
Submitted by Brian Tashman on Tuesday, 11/20/2012 4:15 pm

Mission America’s Linda Harvey has consistently claimed that anti-bullying efforts that include preventing bullying against LGBT and LGBT-perceived students will lead to discrimination against straight, Christian students at the hands of “destructive” and “criminal” activists in the “gaystapo.” Of course, she and her other Religious Right anti-anti-bullying activists have never produced any actual evidence that this was occurring, but since she claims to be an ardent defender of students’ First Amendment rights, we wondered how she would react to a dispute in Celina, Ohio, regarding the rights of students to wear t-shirts supportive of gay rights:

The debate at Celina High School started after two female high school students celebrated the high school's "Twin Day" last week by wearing shirts to school that read "Lesbian 1" and "Lesbian 2" on the back. They were promptly asked to remove the T-shirts, according to students there.

On Tuesday, some 20 students decided to show their support of the girls by wearing their own T-shirts to school. The shirts read: "I support..." with a photo of a rainbow. "Express yourself."

Jimmy Walter, a sophomore at the public high school, says he organized the T-shirts in defense of his older sister, one of the female students who wore the Twin Day shirts. "My sister got yelled at and screamed at [by administrators], and she was basically told she was unwanted at the school because she was gay," he says.

"Our high) school promotes their pro-life club called the 'Students for Life". They have their own shirts, which have a fetus and promotes pro-life," Warner wrote on Reddit, in a post about the incident that has now gone viral on the social news site. "How is that not considered "political"?

While Harvey has previously argued that students who oppose gay equality should not be “intimidated into self-censoring their First Amendment rights,” naturally, she believes that schools should prohibit pro-gay rights t-shirts…just like they prohibit bullying. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/linda-harvey-compares-wearing-pro-gay-rights-t-shirts-bullying

So is Pat Robertson calling God a liar?


from Right Wing Watch:

Robertson Admits he Blew Election Prediction he Received from God
Submitted by Brian Tashman on Wednesday, 11/21/2012 12:20 pm

In January, televangelist Pat Robertson told 700 Club viewers that in his annual New Year’s “conversation” with God, the Almighty had revealed to him who the next president would be. Up through Election Day, Robertson harshly criticized President Obama and the Democratic Party while praising Mitt Romney. Then, Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network predicted a GOP sweep, leaving Robertson utterly confounded by Obama’s victory.

Today, responding to a question from a viewer who wondered why her business is struggling since she thought God told her it would be successful, Robertson admitted that he sometimes misses God’s message. “So many of us miss God, I won’t get into great detail about elections but I sure did miss it, I thought I heard from God, I thought I had heard clearly from God, what happened?” Robertson replied, “You ask God, how did I miss it? Well, we all do and I have a lot of practice.”

Chris Hedges: Third World America

Published on Nov 21, 2012 by unitedforchangetv

In this lecture, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges will examine how America has devolved, economically and politically, into a Third World country and the role that inverted totalitarianism plays in consolidating the control of rapacious elites over our political and economic systems. He will also discuss the implications of the current arrangement for the world and what are the steps necessary for the masses of people in this country to begin to push back.

Keiser Report: Shadow Banking

Published on Nov 22, 2012 by RussiaToday

In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert ask, "who knows what evil lurks in the heart of the global financial system?" And find the answer is that "the Shadow banking system knows!" The shadow banking system has grown to $67 trillion and has the power to cloud men's minds so they cannot see the fraud. In the second half, Max Keiser talks to Jan Skoyles of the Real Asset Company about clients wanting to park their gold in Singapore and about what is happening in the gold market in China.

Mother Jones: Are Walmart's Chinese Factories as Bad as Apple's?

from Mother Jones:

Are Walmart's Chinese Factories as Bad as Apple's?
Our fiction-free investigation finds that in many cases, the company's auditors are asleep on the job.

—By Andy Kroll
| March/April 2012 Issue

On a warm, sticky winter morning, I waited nervously in a parking lot in Foshan, a city in southeastern China's smog-choked Pearl River delta, for a man I'd never met. His name was Mr. Ou, and he ran the sprawling factory in front of me, a jumble of offices, low-slung buildings, and warehouses. Though the factory was teeming with workers, a Subaru SUV and BMW coupe were the only cars in the lot. Drab, gray worker dormitories loomed nearby, and between them ran a dusty road that led to the factory. At last a young man emerged from an office building. He motioned for me to follow him in.

I settled onto a plush leather couch and absorbed the decor. Framed awards and certificates covered the walls. A shopping-cart-size wooden frog stood sentry in the center of the room. Ping golf clubs leaned against one wall; a Rolling Stones commemorative electric guitar gathered dust behind a chair. And there were grills: a small kettle grill on a desk, a brushed-steel gas grill on the far side of the room, grills stacked atop other grills. This was Mr. Ou's trade: supplying Western retailers with the cooking apparatus of patio parties and Fourth of July bashes.

The young man closed the door. He took the chair to my right, lit a cigarette, and met my stare as if to say, Let's get on with it. Only then did I realize I was not talking to an assistant.

Mr. Ou had the good looks of a judge on one of those breathless Chinese talent shows. He wore a tailored blazer, an expensive-looking watch, polished leather shoes, and colorful striped socks. He asked why I'd come to China, why I cared about his factory. An American consultant, I said, had suggested I tour his operation, Foshan Juniu Metal Manufacturing, because Mr. Ou was part of a hallmark sustainability program launched by the company I had come to China to investigate—Walmart. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/03/walmart-china-sustainability-shadow-factories-greenwash

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