Attack-Ad Spending Floods Pro-Choice Candidates

The Taliban Christians and their terrorist cohorts are stepping up their attacks on Women’s rights to reproductive choice.

From Women’s E-News:  http://www.womensenews.org/story/campaign-trail/101028/attack-ad-spending-floods-pro-choice-candidates

By Sharon Johnson

WeNews senior correspondent

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pro-choice Sen. Boxer’s re-election campaign in California has been hit by $4 million in attack ads in the past two months, making her race appear one of the most affected by the Supreme Court’s January decision to lift campaign financing restrictions.

(WOMENSENEWS)–The Supreme Court’s January decision on campaign financing has helped make this the most expensive midterm election in history, with $3 billion spent, according to the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit organization that tracks election spending.

Since corporations, unions and individuals now enjoy a First Amendment right to anonymous and unlimited campaign financing, it’s hard to know who’s spending what money on which races.

But the nail-biting race in California between Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is trying to defend her seat against Republican challenger Carly Fiorina, the billionaire anti-choice former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, is attracting some of the biggest money.

From Sept. 1 through Oct. 10, business groups and conservative organizations spent more than $4 million on round-the-clock TV ads and mailings attacking Boxer’s support on everything from the federal stimulus program to environmental restrictions on oil companies.

Continue reading at:  http://www.womensenews.org/story/campaign-trail/101028/attack-ad-spending-floods-pro-choice-candidates

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Why the Politicians with the Most Dangerous, Wrong Ideas Are Probably Going to Win the Congress

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/news/148660/why_the_politicians_with_the_most_dangerous%2C_wrong_ideas_are_probably_going_to_win_the_congress/

Shaken by an assault on their assumptions, many Americans become more adamant in defense of discredited ideology.

By David Sirota

October 28, 2010 |

Redistributionist — as epithets go, the moniker is so mild, so…2008. Today, we’re hammered by screeds against Democrats’ alleged socialism and President Obama’s supposed Marxism. The class war is clearly on — the paranoids and royalists of the world have united, seizing the means of propaganda production in these waning days of this year’s election campaign.

The onslaught, of course, is predictable. After all, this is an election season — which inevitably evokes redbaiting crusades by the plutocrats. Less predictable is this crusade’s traction. As Wall Street executives make bank off bailouts, as millions of Americans see paychecks slashed and as our economic Darwinism sends more wealth up the income ladder — it’s surprising that appeals to capitalist piggery carry more electoral agency than ever.

What could cause this intensifying politics of free-market fundamentalism at the very historical moment that proves the failure of such an ideology? Two new academic studies suggest all roads lead to ignorance.

The first, by Harvard’s Michael Norton and Duke’s Dan Ariely, finds that Americans grossly underestimate how much inequality our economy produces. Among the survey respondents, the vast majority said they believe the richest 20 percent own 59 percent of the wealth, when, in fact, that quintile owns 84 percent of the wealth. In other words, in spite of the data, many believe our system produces the moderate equality we desire, which means many see efforts to better spread wealth as a confiscatory overreach.

Continue Reading at:   http://www.alternet.org/news/148660/why_the_politicians_with_the_most_dangerous%2C_wrong_ideas_are_probably_going_to_win_the_congress/

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Michael Moore on The Rachel Maddow Show

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Death penalty for gays will be law soon, Ugandan lawmaker says

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/death-penalty-gays-law-soon-lawmaker/

By Daniel Tencer
Thursday, October 28th, 2010 — 9:37 pm

The Ugandan cabinet member who introduced a bill last year that would see gays executed in some circumstances says the bill will become law.

David Bahati, Uganda’s minister for ethics, told CNN he believes the bill will become law “soon.”

“We are very confident,” he said, “because this is a piece of legislation that is needed in this country to protect the traditional family here in Africa, and also protect the future of our children.”

Bahati and his boss, Ugandan President Yoweri Kugata Museveni, are reportedly members of the American Christian group The Fellowship, also known as The Family.

Continue reading at: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/death-penalty-gays-law-soon-lawmaker/

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The curse of Barbie is alive and well in children’s cinema

For all the assumptions about how innate “gender” is people seem to put an awful lot of energy into programming proper gender behavior in children based on what’s between their legs.

It seems to me that a great deal of gender is pretty unnatural given how much effort is put into telling people what is the correct “gender behavior”.  I was working retail until very recently and I saw the effort people put intoinsuring little boys were macho tough guys and little girls were princesses with the little boy wearing t-shirts that said stuff like “Here Comes Trouble” etc and little girls wearing “Princess” and “Born to Shop” t-shirts.

Granted this is Texas but this sort of thing seems universal at least in certain lower middle working classes.

I’m on the mailing list: Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and I got pointed to this.

The Independent UK: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/the-curse-of-barbie-is-alive-and-well-in-childrens-cinema-2114971.html

Continued use of distorted female stereotypes as ‘eye candy’ blamed on male-dominated industry

By Susie Mesure

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Blockbuster movies are perpetuating negative female stereotypes, according to a new study that shows women barely get a look-in on the world depicted in children’s cinema.

Men, or male characters, dominated the 122 biggest-grossing family films released in the three years to September 2009, American researchers found, prompting campaigners to warn that children are getting a lopsided view of life at an impressionable age.

In the male-centric universe of the silver screen, a woman’s role is as “eye candy”, where her looks, age or what she is wearing matters more than what she does, the report found. Geena Davis, the actress who campaigns for gender equality, said she was shocked by the findings. “Zero progress has been made in what is specifically aimed at kids,” she said. “What children see affects their attitudes towards male and female roles in society. And, as they watched the same shows and movies repeatedly, negative stereotypes are imprinted over and over again.”

From the young, blonde and beautiful Alice, in the 1933 animation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, to the slim and busty Princess Fiona in Shrek the Third, wasp-waisted female characters have long landed all the big parts in Hollywood. Even the summer hit Toy Story 3 was branded “carelessly sexist” for its negative depictions of women in the film and prevalence of male roles: for every seven male characters, there was just one female.

Continue reading at:  http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/the-curse-of-barbie-is-alive-and-well-in-childrens-cinema-2114971.html

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GOPer: Food Stamps “Too Darn Comfortable”

From Mother Jones: http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/10/food-stamps-too-darn-comfortable

By Andy Kroll|

Thu Oct. 28, 2010

Three dollars and thirty-seven cents. That’s the average benefit an individual on government food stamps receives each day, according to the USDA. Here in DC, it’s enough to buy, say, a box of cereal or a head of lettuce or a couple cans of beans. Would you call that $3.37 a day “too darn comfortable”?

Nick Popaditch, a Republican House candidate in California and retired Marine, did just that last week in a debate with opponent Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.). As Think Progress reported, an audience member at the debate asked Popaditch how, if elected, he would ensure there were “no further cuts are made to the food stamp benefits.” I’ll bet the questioner didn’t expect this response:

What would I do to make sure no further cuts are made to food stamp benefits? Wow. Once again, I recognize there’s a difference between an entitlement and a promise. Now that would fall under the category of an entitlement. Now I believe in a safety net, but I certainly don’t think we need to make it too darn comfortable down there on that safety net. I’m not a cruel man, but I think we absolutely need to make these systems not as comfortable as they are now.

“Too darn comfortable”? $3.37 a day? At a time when the shelves of food banks across the country are bare due to skyrocketing demand, when the country’s largest food charity is helping to feed 37 million Americans (including 14 million children) each week, when more than a third of households needing food from shelters have to choose between food and other essentials including rent and health care, Popaditch’s remark is as tone-deaf and off the mark as you’ll hear all election season.

Continue reading at:  http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/10/food-stamps-too-darn-comfortable

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Religious Right Claims Gay Advocates to Blame for Suicides

From Southern Poverty Law Center:  Hate Watch: http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2010/10/22/religious-right-claims-gay-advocates-to-blame-for-suicides/#comments

by Robert Steinback

October 22, 2010

More than a little rhetorical contortionism is required to follow their logic, but according to several better-known leaders of the religious right, responsibility for the recent wave of suicides of gay teens rests largely with… gay-rights activists.

The argument goes something like this: Young homosexuals who are relentlessly bullied and taunted commit suicide because gay-rights advocates (eager to “recruit” new homosexuals and to make the world gay-friendly) encourage acceptance of homosexuality among normal (meaning straight) children, which confuses them about their own sexual “preference.” That, added to gay-rights activists’ purported efforts to “bully” Christians to prevent them from condemning homosexuality, creates an intolerable level of emotional stress, leading to tragedy.

Five teenagers nationwide committed suicide during a three-week span in September after being bullied, taunted or outed as homosexuals. Seven student suicides — at least four of which apparently involved anti-gay bullying — rocked a single Minnesota school district during the last year. On Tuesday, a 19-year-old Oakland University student who had reportedly been bullied since revealing that he was gay, took his own life. (Earlier this month, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a 40-minute documentary on the subject, “Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case That Made History,” that is being offered free to schools around the country.)

But even the occasion of these young suicides — something that has horrified most Americans and received intensive media attention — has been taken by some right-wing commentators as merely one more opportunity to bash gays.

Continue reading at:  http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2010/10/22/religious-right-claims-gay-advocates-to-blame-for-suicides/#comments

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I am Not a Fashionista!

When I came out in 1969 I lived in a commune on Grayson Street in Berkeley.  It was in the distinctly unfashionable industrial area a couple of blocks west of San Pablo Ave.

I was a hippie and dressed in free or thrift store clothes.  While I had a couple of dresses and skirts I wore jeans a lot.  Bell bottoms were hip in those days.

I didn’t fit in with the sisters I met in San Francisco.  They were into clothes and fashion.  They thought me strange because my make-up and style matched that of the Berkeley radical and hippie women who were part of my community.

I got into fashion when I worked at the NTCU.  It was hard not to, what with it being an interest of so many of my peers.

But even then I felt more attuned to the feminist messages that fashion is exploitation and oppressive, a way of enforcing  conformity, consumerism, classism and objectification.

If I sound a bit ambivalent regarding fashion you would be right.

Glamor is seductive and I like pretty as much as anyone else.  Not caring about fashion does not mean I don’t like clothes or looking aesthetically pleasing.  It means I don’t like being sold a pre-packaged aesthetic, particularly one that doesn’t reflect my personality, ethos, politics but rather reflects the aesthetics of a designer who created the package.

I even like the designs of certain designers and feel their designs present a look in tune with the image I wish to present.

The clothes from these designers tend to be of a type that would fit in a wardrobe for years and never look dated.

In the 1970s when I read all the fashion magazines the most important part was usually the little name one finds along side or at the bottom of the photographs saying who took them.

My favorite expensive necklace was my Nikon F2s.

My favorite jacket was either a black blazer or the black leather motorcycle jacket.

I don’t wear high heels, haven’t put on pantie-hose in years.

Now I look to the streets for ideas, the Eddie Bauer catalog, L.L. Bean.

While I used to love Vogue so many of the photographers I loved are dead and the politics of fashion with the hard sell of gender and class has taken all the fun away from what was always, for me an irrelevant topic.

The fun has been pushed to the back ground, replaced by the hard sell of class anxiety where winning and image are everything and if you don’t have 500 dollars for a pair of shoes then you are a loser.

Fashion works class anxiety as a way of selling objects aimed at signifying membership among the rich elite, hence the law enforcement efforts to crack down on look alike handbags and watches.  After all if the retail sales slave can own a 40 dollar bag that says Louis Vuitton on it and that looks identical to an actual Louis Vuitton bag that cost 1500 dollars, that subverts the status value of the 1500 dollar bag.

Fashion has become a way of selling class status, a way of saying I have more money than you therefore I am better than you and you should be subservient in my presence.

It wasn’t always that way.

We forget the impact of the Class War started by the conservatives of the Reagan/Thatcher era with its slogan of “Greed is Good” and its ethos of “ME, ME, ME”.  We forget the rise of the ethos of “he who dies with the most toys, wins” and the end of the idea of equality.

Vogue on the outside, vague on the inside.

Nah.  I’m not a fashionista because I see the people who are as having shallow sucky values, like Marie Claire writer Maura Kelley who was taken down over on Feministe the other day:   http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/10/27/if-maura-kelly-doesnt-like-seeing-fat-people-perhaps-she-should-get-a-room-and-not-leave-it/

When it comes to values and clothes I think I like my t-shirts and jeans better.  I’d rather shop at an out let store and get something at half price a season or two later.

And it doesn’t much matter because most of the stuff I like are classics and never go out of fashion.

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Ginni Thomas’ Think Tank Allied With Group That Celebrates Spanish Inquisition

Time to end the Taliban Christian Jihadi reign of terror.

Impeach Clarence Thomas.

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/news/148602/ginni_thomas%27_think_tank_allied_with_group_that_celebrates_spanish_inquisition/

By Adele M. Stan

10/28/10

The Tea Party think tank run by Justice Thomas’ wife counts among its friends the far-right Catholic group Tradition, Family and Property.

In recent days, the media has turned its attention to Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — not for her troubling ties to right-wing extremist groups, but for her bizarre demand for an apology from the woman who accused her husband of sexual harassment more than a decade ago. Yet Mrs. Thomas’ Tea Party think tank, Liberty Central, promotes the causes of groups that take pride in intolerance, including one right-wing Catholic group, Tradition, Family and Property, whose founder declared the Spanish Inquisition “the most beautiful page in the history of the Church.”

Earlier this year, AlterNet reported on Liberty Central’s embrace of Gun Owners of America, whose president, Larry Pratt — guru to the militia movement — unapologetically addressed a rally of white supremacists in 1992, and more recently told attendees of a gun owners’ rally in Washington, D.C., that they are “at war” with the federal government. We also looked at Liberty Central’s relationship with the Missouri Sovereignty Project, which threatens armed insurrection against the government. Since then, Thomas has added to the “Friends of Liberty Central” page on her think tank’s Web site a plug for Tradition, Family and Property, a virulently anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-democratic Catholic group founded in 1960 in opposition to Brazilian land reform.

TFP has long enjoyed ties to the far right in American politics, including the International Freedom Foundation, which existed primarily as an American front group for the apartheid regime in South Africa during the Reagan years, according to researcher Richard Bartholomew, and was once led by convicted felon and former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But TFP is better known for its role in promoting and supporting authoritarian regimes in South America. Here’s Bartholomew:

TFP played a role in the 1964 coup in Brazil, and in Uruguay it allegedly received explosives from the Brazilian military attaché that were used to attack communist installations. The editor of TFP’s Chilean magazine, Jaime Guzmán, became chief ideologist for General Pinochet’s regime.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/news/148602/ginni_thomas%27_think_tank_allied_with_group_that_celebrates_spanish_inquisition/

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NBC station: Will acceptance of gays bring downfall of America?

Time for LGBT/TQ people to buy guns.  Perhaps like Cassandra in ancient Troy I might be cursed with people not believing me.  Perhaps I am being alarmist.  I am a autodidactic historian.  Over the last few years I have read works by highly respected authors including Naomi Klein, Naomi Wolf, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges and a host of others that leave me highly concerned that we are heading into the sort of place where Nazi Germany was in the late 1930s.

I am at the point where I have to advise every LGBT/TQ person in America who can legally own a gun and who is stable enough to have one around without using it in anger or from depression that they should do so.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I have never, ever seen the level of bigotry and hatred towards LGBT/TQ people that I am presently seeing from the American Taliban and the Republi-Nazis.  We are talking the same level of hatred exhibited towards Jews in the Third Reich.

I recommend a good 9mm with 10 high capacity magazines and a thousand rounds.  An  AK 47 with 10  30-round magazines and a thousand rounds would also be a wise investment.

Never Again!

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/nbc-gays-downfall-america/

By Daniel Tencer
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 — 10:51 pm

An east Texas NBC affiliate devoted a segment on its morning show Wednesday to ask viewers and listeners if acceptance of gays will bring the downfall of the country.

“The acceptance of homosexuality, pushed hard by the gay rights activists, will it be the fall of this country?” asked Garth Maier, host of KETK’s morning radio program. The segment was broadcast on KETK’s TV channel as well.

The channel’s TV hosts introduced the segment with a reference to an Associated Press report Tuesday that President Obama has appointed a record number of openly gay individuals to posts in the administration — more than 150 so far.

“And he’s only been in office for two years,” one of the morning hosts said, adding that the news has “not really gotten any coverage … but that’s what we’re talking about.”

The reporters are “clearly taking their cue from the Westboro Baptist Church,” quips the Joe.My.God blog.

Continue reading at:   http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/nbc-gays-downfall-america/

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Pat Condell, God or Nothing

Pentagon’s threat-prediction system would scan emails, texts

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/pentagon-threat-prediction-scan-communications/

By Daniel Tencer
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 — 10:09 pm

In an effort to prevent the next Fort Hood-style shooting before it happens, the Pentagon has launched a program to scan massive amounts of communications and detect anomalies in behavior that could predict “insider threats” to the military.

While the Pentagon’s advanced research arm describes the project as being designed to detect threats to the military from within its own ranks, critics say such a system would inevitably invade the privacy of millions of people and could be the thin end of the wedge towards a “police state.”

Earlier this month, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency posted a notice announcing the project. The agency has set aside $35 million for the effort, which has been dubbed ADAMS, or “Anomaly Detection at Multiple Scales.”

If successful, the project would “detect ‘anomalies’ in a person’s behavior by sifting through billions of e-mail and text messages prior to such a homicidal or suicidal outburst,” reports Government Security News.

Continue reading at:   http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/pentagon-threat-prediction-scan-communications/

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Has WikiLeaks landed in cyberattack crosshairs?

From CNET News:  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20020835-38.html

October 27, 2010

Forget China or Al Qaeda. In a twist that would have been inconceivable even a few months ago, the WikiLeaks.org Web site is being proposed as the first public target for a U.S. government cyberattack.

After the shadowy, document-leaking organization distributed nearly 400,000 classified documents from the Iraq war on Friday, Washington officialdom responded with a torrent of denunciations alleging violations of national security and endangering U.S. military operations.

In a rare point of congruence, The Washington Post and The Washington Times both criticized the release, with the smaller paper arguing that WikiLeaks’ offshore Web site should be attacked and rendered “inoperable” by the U.S. government. Some hawkish conservatives followed suit, including Christian Whiton, a State Department adviser under President George W. Bush, who wrote a column calling on the U.S. military to “electronically assault WikiLeaks and any telecommunications company offering its services to this organization.”

Their target’s actually not that far away. WikiLeaks’ Web site is now hosted on Amazon.com servers on United States soil near San Jose, Calif.

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20020835-38.html

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US – Not so fast — sex differences in the brain are overblown…

Sent to me by Brenda Lana Smith

[2010-10-27 PhysOrg]

http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-10-fast-sex-differences-brain.html

Psychology & Psychiatry

Not so fast — sex differences in the brain are overblown

October 27, 2010

People love to speculate about differences between the sexes, and neuroscience has brought a new technology to this pastime. Brain imaging studies are published at a great rate, and some report sex differences in brain structure or patterns of neural activity. But we should be skeptical about reports of brain differences between the sexes, writes psychological scientist Cordelia Fine in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The results from these studies may not necessarily withstand the tests of larger sample sizes or improved analysis techniques — and it’s too soon to know for sure what such results, even if they prove to be reliable, might mean for differences in male and female minds.

Bookstores are full of popular books on the differences between men’s and women’s brains. Fine, who works at Macquarie University in Australia, first became interested in the issue as a parent. She was reading a book about how the differences between boys’ and girls’ brains mean they should be taught differently. But as an academic, she was curious about the research on which these claims were based, and looked up the original studies.

“There were huge discrepancies between what the neuroimaging studies showed and the conclusions and claims that were being drawn from them,” she says. In the article and her new book, Delusions of Gender, Fine dissects the ways that research goes astray between the scanning machine and the sound bite.

Some of the problems start with the research. The studies Fine came across were often conducted with small numbers of men and women, where the differences seen could have been due to chance. It’s very easy and obvious for neuroscientists to compare the sexes by default. But when neuroscientists habitually check for sex differences< http://www.physorg.com/tags/sex+differences/ >, some researchers, just by chance, will find statistically significant differences between the two groups—even if there’s no real difference between men and women overall.

This problem of false positive results is understood by the neuroscientists who do the research; they know that one study with 20-odd participants that finds some small region of difference between males and females is not the final word on the issue. But these often subtle, questionable differences are readily seized on by popular writers, Fine says.

Another problem is how to interpret sex differences in the brain. Neuroscientists are only beginning to understand how neural activity < http://www.physorg.com/tags/neural+activity/ > brings about complex psychological phenomena. The temptation, to which popular writers are particularly vulnerable, is to use gender stereotypes to bridge that gap in scientific knowledge.

The fact that neuroimaging studies use complex, expensive machines that seem to take pictures of the brain may also make their results seem more real, reliable, and impressive than behavioral studies. As a result, substantial behavioral evidence of gender similarity, or the sensitivity of gender differences to context, can be overshadowed by a single finding of a sex difference in the brain.

“A healthy dose of skepticism is required when it comes to reports of sex differences in the brain < http://www.physorg.com/tags/brain/ > and what they mean,” says Fine, who is concerned that claims about differences in male and female brains are reinforcing old-fashioned gender stereotypes.

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Provided by Association for Psychological Science (news http://www.physorg.com/partners/association-for-psychological-science/ : web http://www.psychologicalscience.org/ )

© PhysOrg.com 2003-2010

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Rwanda says it will charge “Hotel Rwanda” manager for aiding arrested opposition politician

Winnipeg free Press:  http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/rwanda-says-it-will-charge-hotel-rwanda-manager-for-aiding-arrested-opposition-politician-105867178.html

By: Edmund Kagire,Jason Straziuso, The Associated Press

Posted: 27/10/2010 10:02 AM

KIGALI, Rwanda – The Rwandan hotel manager portrayed by Don Cheadle in the movie “Hotel Rwanda” could face charges by Rwandan authorities over allegations he sent money to opposition commanders, Rwanda’s top prosecutor said.

But the former manager, Paul Rusesabagina, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he hasn’t sent any money to Rwanda in years, and that the government is launching a smear campaign against him because he has opposed President Paul Kagame in the past.

Rwanda’s top prosecutor, Martin Ngoga, said Rusesabagina helped finance what he described as terrorist activities in Rwanda by helping fund commanders with the FDLR, or Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda. No formal charges have yet been filed.

Ngoga said he is asking U.S. officials for assistance in gathering evidence. Some of the financial transactions he alleges were criminal originated in San Antonio, Texas. Rusesabagina has a house in Texas but said he has never sent money to Burundi or Tanzania as is alleged by Ngoga.

“Those who want to continue considering him as a hero can go on,” Ngoga told a news conference late Tuesday. “We consider him a serious criminal suspect who has been financing FDLR and we are challenging whoever speaks on his behalf to tell us whether he never sent money to these FDLR commanders we have in custody.”

After his story was publicized in “Hotel Rwanda,” Rusesabagina was hailed as a hero around the world. Former U.S. President George W. Bush gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest civilian honour in the U.S.

However, the government of Rwanda did not view him as a hero after Rusesabagina began criticizing the regime of Kagame, who has since called Rusesabagina a “manufactured hero,” according to Terry George, the director of “Hotel Rwanda.”

Rusesabagina, 56, who was released from a hospital operation last week to find that his home in Brussels, Belgium had been broken into and documents stolen, says he has done nothing wrong.

“It is the latest step in a campaign against me by the Rwandan government that has included public insults, lies and physical harassment,” Rusesabagina said.

“My foundation is advocating for a truth, justice and reconciliation process to try to foster sustainable peace in Rwanda … but anyone who opposes Kagame inside or outside the country is treated with this kind of harassment.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/rwanda-says-it-will-charge-hotel-rwanda-manager-for-aiding-arrested-opposition-politician-105867178.html

Writer Arundhati Roy May Be Arrested For Sedition After Kashmir Remarks

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/10/27/130857674/writer-arundhati-roy-may-be-arrested-for-sedition-after-kashmir-remarks?ft=1&f=1001

by JJ Sutherland

Indian police have been given the go ahead to press sedition charges against author and activist Arundhati Roy. Roy has given speeches in recent days in favor of Kashmiri separatism, the Times of India reports.

Roy, the Booker Prize winning author, had said “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this.”

Some Indian politicians are demanding that Roy be arrested and tried. But the Economic Times says the case may not go forward.

It is not enough to accuse her of creating ‘‘disaffection or feelings of enmity against the government’’. If they book a sedition case against writer Arundhati Roy , the police will have to prove that her speeches on Kashmir, according to the law laid down by the Supreme Court , were an ‘‘ incitement to public disorder or the use of violence’’.

Roy herself issued a statement from Kashmir condemning what she calls a “brutal military occupation.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/10/27/130857674/writer-arundhati-roy-may-be-arrested-for-sedition-after-kashmir-remarks?ft=1&f=1001

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I Don’t Watch Much Network Television

I have never watched American Idol, Glee or any of the reality shows.

I think vampire movies are stupid unless they are campy the way they were back in the 60s and 70s.  As metaphors for purity pledges they are dumb.

I haven’t watched “Mad Men“.  The 1950s sucked for women in no small part due to crap peddled by ad-men.

I have watched, The Wire, ‘Treme, Generation Kill, and Boardwalk Empire.  And The L-Word, but that one a different story that if anything shows I am not above indulging in TV junk food.

The common link of those shows is how they expose the underlying political corruption and incompetence of those in power.

American Idol comes off as pure “Spectacle” with the self aggrandizement and the illusion of voting in what Chris Hedges calls “participatory fascism”.

The last couple of weeks one of my feeds had been giving me a lot of stuff about how Glee is going to stage a sexless “Rockey Horror Picture Show

Why would anyone bother watching them do that when the real thing is available on DVD.  With Susan Sarandon and Tim Curry in all their campy glory.

Go for the original not the ersatz.

As for American Idol.  There are so many bands out there struggling to find an audience.  Great artists playing small clubs.  We can get nearly front row seats at a reasonable price to see very good acts so why would we bother seeing mediocre performers get abused on television?  Why add to the culture of cruelty where a vote determines if one is a winner or loser?

The Jefferson Airplane sang, “Feed your head.” Another slogan of the time was, “You are what you eat.”  Make some sort of conscientious effort to feed your  self real food for thought instead of junk food.

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Attack on MoveOn worker is just the latest example of right-wing violence

From Media Matters for America: http://mediamatters.org/research/201010260050#comments

October 26, 2010 8:23 pm ET

Attack on MoveOn worker was the latest in string of violence and threats against progressives

White powder and swastikas mailed to Rep. Grijalva. On October 21, an envelope containing “a plastic bag of white powder and two pieces of paper with swastikas written on them” was reportedly mailed to Rep. Raul Grijalva’s (D-AZ) campaign office. The powder was determined to be non-toxic.

Byron Williams set out to kill people at Tides Foundation and ACLU. On July 18, Byron Williams was stopped by California Highway Patrol and engaged in a shootout with law enforcement. He later said he planned to murder individuals at the Tides Foundation and ACLU and his mother said he was angry about “Congress railroading through all these left-wing agenda items.” As reporter John Hamilton documented, Williams said he saw Fox News’ Glenn Beck as “a schoolteacher” and that “it was the things [Beck] exposed that blew my mind.” Indeed, the gunman, Byron Williams, was driven by belief in conspiracy theories that have been pushed by Beck and other members of the right-wing media.

AZ federal judge threatened, Grijalva office fired on after ruling on AZ immigration law. Politico reported in July:

Continue reading at:  http://mediamatters.org/research/201010260050#comments

These are not the actions of a legitimate Political Party.  These are the actions of Nazi Thugs.

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Rand Paul’s Goon says he hit victim because of back problems, and now seeks apology

OOOOh…  Break out the world’s smallest violin.  Rand Paul’s neo-Brown shirt Thug has a sore back and a lame asses excuse for aggravated assault.  Maybe he should add in the part about his having erectile dysfunction.

From Raw Story:   http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/kentucky-stomper-hit-victim-pain/

By Raw Story
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 — 8:59 am

Tim Profitt, the Kentucky man and Rand Paul supporter who was featured in videos stomping on the head of a MoveOn.org activist, is now blaming a bad back in his decision to attack the liberal activist — and says he wants an apology. Via TPM:

Tim Profitt — the former Rand Paul volunteer who stomped on the head of a MoveOn activist — told told local CBS station WKYT that he wants an apology from the woman he stomped and that she started the whole thing.

“I don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Profitt said. “I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you.”

“She’s a professional at what she does,” Profitt added, “and I think when all the facts come out, I think people will see that she was the one that initiated the whole thing.”

Continue reading:   http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/kentucky-stomper-hit-victim-pain/

This says so much about the right wing  neo-Nazis of the American Taliban it isn’t funny.  Perhaps the next thing they will suggest is the stoning of rape victims and un-wed mothers.

 

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Kucinich to liberals: Vote or surrender to the ‘forces of nihilism’

Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/kucinich-liberals-vote-cede-forces-nihilism/

By Sahil Kapur
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 — 8:34 am

 

WASHINGTON – As Democrats fear a wave of losses in next Tuesday’s elections, due in part to a lack of enthusiasm within their base, one progressive champion made an impassioned plea for liberals to head to the polls and and vote.

“We can get out there and make our voices heard, or we can let the forces of nihilism take over,” Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) told Raw Story in an exclusive interview late Tuesday afternoon.

The Cleveland Democrat warned progressives that a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives – a likely scenario, according to election experts – could surrender the levers of power to “megalomaniacal neoconservatives who are more in need of mental attention.”

“There’s no question about it,” he said. “We have to vote.”

Kucinich, a seven-term congressman who seems to be in no danger, sympathized with liberals who are disenchanted with the Democratic Party, but insisted they must “work within the system” to achieve the results they want, arguing that tuning out wasn’t a better solution.

“I would never try to minimize their concerns. I understand them,” he said. “I wish we had broader options. I certainly don’t like our political system, but I’m not prepared to walk away.”

If there’s anyone in Congress who shares liberal misgivings about the Obama administration, it’s Kucinich. From health care to the economy to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, he has been outspoken about his criticisms. “But this election is a choice,” he said.

Continue reading at:   http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/kucinich-liberals-vote-cede-forces-nihilism/

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