House and Senate Dems to introduce ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ repealing DOMA

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/03/14/house-and-senate-dems-to-introduce-respect-for-marriage-act-repealing-doma/

By Sahil Kapur
Monday, March 14th, 2011

WASHINGTON – A coalition of House and Senate Democrats will soon introduce legislation designed to roll back the “Defense of Marriage Act” that outlaws same sex marriage. Though unlikely to pass the GOP-controlled House, the measure would highlight the political distance between Democrats and Republicans on this divisive issue.

The “Respect for Marriage Act” will be introduced in the House Wednesday by Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI) and Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Barney Frank (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), David Cicilline (D-RI) and 105 co-sponsors.

The “key civil rights legislation,” as the Democrats called it in an advisory, would “repeal DOMA in its entirety.” Fretting that the 1996 law “singles out legally married gay and lesbian couples for discriminatory treatment under federal law,” they plan to announce its introduction Wednesday at a press conference, alongside LGBT-rights advocates and two of the lead plaintiffs in challenges to the law.

A companion bill is expected to be introduced in the upper chamber by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Even same sex marriage advocates privately concede that the measure won’t pass Congress, but they’re hopeful it will highlight the significant shift in public opinion for the issue and put Republicans on the defensive.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/03/14/house-and-senate-dems-to-introduce-respect-for-marriage-act-repealing-doma/

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Attack on Middle-Class Jobs, Workers Is Nationwide

From AFL-CIO Blog: http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/03/14/attack-on-middle-class-jobs-workers-is-nationwide/

by Mike Hall,
Mar 14, 2011

The incredible response and mobilizations against the coordinated attacks on workers’ rights and middle-class jobs in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana have grabbed most of the media spotlight during the past few weeks.

But there are other serious assaults under way in dozens of states, pushed by corporate CEOs and their Republican puppets. Perhaps flying lowest under the radar is one of the most drastic measures, one that even its own supporters blatantly call Michigan’s “financial martial law.”

The so-called emergency managers bill would allow Gov. Rick Snyder (R) to declare a “financial emergency” in a city or school district and appoint a manager with broad powers, including the ability to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, eliminate services—and even eliminate whole cities or school districts without any public input, according to the Michigan Messenger.

Last week, more than 1,500 people jammed the Lansing Capitol building to protest the bill during the state Senate’s debate. Ken Bower, a United Steelworker (USW) Local 2-21 member from Escanaba, Mich., said:

I’m here to tell the governor that he has to stop this attack on working-class citizens. Removing the people that we put into office without any check or balance is completely undemocratic.

Continue reading at:  http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/03/14/attack-on-middle-class-jobs-workers-is-nationwide/

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Children of a stupid god

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Why I am a Militant Atheist

The vile blood thirstiness of Christians chortling over the death and suffering of others is a major reason.  For nearly 2000 years they have spread their vile beliefs at the point of a sword murdering millions upon millions, mutilating and torturing people to steal their property, claiming they are doing this in the name of  a god they created (stole) from a dozen other mythical examples of crucified “gods”.  Magic invisible sky daddy is the ultimate torturer and homicidal maniac.

In actuality their god(s) more often seem like evil incarnate with their hatred of humanity and indeed all life forms that share this planet.

People like this insipid fucktard makes me wish there really would be a rapture so we could be rid of this sort of people.

As Pat Condell would say, “Peace.”

Evil Obama Now Firing People For Acting Semi-Human

From Wonkette: http://wonkette.com/440534/evil-obama-now-firing-people-for-acting-semi-human#more-440534

11:03 am March 14, 2011

Guess who turned out to be the biggest asshole in the world? Your boyfriend, Barack Obama. The latest outrage in the Bradley Manning situation involves Obama’s direct involvement in the firing of State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley — because Crowley committed the sin of condemning the torture and abuse of U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning, who has been held in increasingly Soviet-esque solitary confinement since his arrest for giving WikiLeaks the diplomatic data that has so far helped topple two Arab dictatorships and launched democratic revolutions in another half-dozen Muslim nations. Anyway, Crowley’s semi-public remarks led to a reporter finally asking Obama about Manning’s awful treatment at Quantico, and Obama sneered and said the insane abuse of this American citizen is “appropriate.” And then Crowley was fired.

Remember, if you just “opt out” of the 2012 presidential election — and by “you,” we mean “all Democrats” — some awful Republican will become president and then none of us will have to “feel bad” about full-scale labor wars and nationwide shutdowns and the complete collapse of the American police state/kleptocracy. Let it collapse! It’s not like your 401k is ever going to hit 2007 levels again, no matter how much of your stretched salary goes into that black hole, year after year. It’s not like there’s a point to any of this!

Continue reading at:  http://wonkette.com/440534/evil-obama-now-firing-people-for-acting-semi-human#more-440534

Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand

From Truthdig: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/power_concedes_nothing_without_a_demand_20110314/

By Chris Hedges
Posted on Mar 14, 2011

The liberal class is discovering what happens when you tolerate the intolerant. Let hate speech pollute the airways. Let corporations buy up your courts and state and federal legislative bodies. Let the Christian religion be manipulated by charlatans to demonize Muslims, gays and intellectuals, discredit science and become a source of personal enrichment. Let unions wither under corporate assault. Let social services and public education be stripped of funding. Let Wall Street loot the national treasury with impunity. Let sleazy con artists use lies and deception to carry out unethical sting operations on tottering liberal institutions, and you roll out the welcome mat for fascism.

The liberal class has busied itself with the toothless pursuits of inclusiveness, multiculturalism, identity politics and tolerance—a word Martin Luther King never used—and forgotten about justice. It naively sought to placate ideological and corporate forces bent on the destruction of the democratic state. The liberal class, like the misguided democrats in the former Yugoslavia or the hapless aristocrats in the Weimar Republic, invited the wolf into the henhouse. The liberal class forgot that, as Karl Popper wrote in “The Open Society and Its Enemies,” “If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

Workers in this country paid for their rights by suffering brutal beatings, mass expulsions from company housing and jobs, crippling strikes, targeted assassinations of union leaders and armed battles with hired gun thugs and state militias. The Rockefellers, the Mellons, the Carnegies and the Morgans—the Koch Brothers Industries, Goldman Sachs and Wal-Mart of their day—never gave a damn about workers. All they cared about was profit. The eight-hour workday, the minimum wage, Social Security, pensions, job safety, paid vacations, retirement benefits and health insurance were achieved because hundreds of thousands of workers physically fought a system of capitalist exploitation. They rallied around radicals such as “Mother” Jones, United Mine Workers’ President John L. Lewis and “Big” Bill Haywood and his Wobblies as well as the socialist presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs.

Lewis said, “I have pleaded your case from the pulpit and from the public platform—not in the quavering tones of a feeble mendicant asking alms, but in the thundering voice of the captain of a mighty host, demanding the rights to which free men are entitled.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/power_concedes_nothing_without_a_demand_20110314/

Owsley “Bear” Stanley Dies in Car Accident

The late 1960s wouldn’t have been anywhere near as psychedelic without Owsely.

I took a lot of acid in 1968.  I had a lot of doors to open and some heavy truths to find.  Acid melted away the obstacles and let me find the answers.

Sometimes when I listen to some of my sisters who weren’t able to find themselves until middle age I want to ask if they took acid back then.

Acid was one of those special drugs that frightened a lot of people because it was such a powerful tool for getting at internal truths.

From Jambands.com: http://www.jambands.com/news/2011/03/13/owsley-bear-stanley-dies-in-car-accident

Longtime Grateful Dead confidant Owsley “Bear” Stanley died in a car crash near his home in Australia earlier today. Though his exact age was not known, Stanley was believed to be 75.

Stanley first met the members of the Grateful Dead at an acid test in San Francisco in 1966. He held many roles in the band’s organization over the years, including manager, financier, sound designer and recording engineer. He designed the group’s signature Wall of Sound system and co-designed its iconic lightning bolt/skull logo with artist Bob Thomas. Though Stanley and Thomas originally created the logo in 1969, the insignia first entered the public consciousness when it appeared on the band’s 1973 live album History of the Grateful Dead, Volume 1: Bear’s Choice, a tribute to the recently deceased Grateful Dead keyboardist/vocalist Ron “Pigpen” McKernan. The album also popularized another Dead logo inspired by Stanley: the psychedelic dancing bear. The dancing part of the logo’s design is a reference to his brief stint as a professional ballet dancer in the ’50s and members of Stanley’s family coined his Bear part of his nickname when he started growing body hair at a young age.

“The Dead in those days had to play in a lot of festival style shows where the equipment would all wind up at the back of the stage in a muddle,” Stanley explained on his blog. “Since every band used pretty much the same type of gear it all looked alike. We would spend a fair amount of time moving the pieces around so that we could read the name on the boxes. I decided that we needed some sort of marking that we could identify from a distance.”

Born the grandson of a former Kentucky governor, Stanley served 18 months in the United States Air Force before being discharged. He briefly worked as ballet dancer and attended UC Berkeley before turning his attention to the production of LSD. Stanley—who was known for his pure strain of acid—was a chief supplier of Ken Kesey, the Merry Pranksters and members of the Bay Area music community. He is profiled in Tom Wolfe’s book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and, according to reports, produced more than a million doses of LSD at his labs.

Continue reading at:  http://www.jambands.com/news/2011/03/13/owsley-bear-stanley-dies-in-car-accident

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Meltdowns Grow More Likely at the Fukushima Reactors

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/13-6

A hydrogen explosion yesterday at Unit 1 severely damaged the reactor building, blowing apart its roof.

by Robert Alvarez

March 13, 2011

Japan’s government and nuclear industry, with assistance from the U.S. military, is in a desperate race to stave off multiple nuclear reactor meltdowns — as well as potential fires in pools of spent fuel.

As of Sunday afternoon, more than 170,000 people have been evacuated near the reactor sites as radioactive releases have increased. The number of military emergency responders has jumped from 51,000 to 100,000. Officials now report a partial meltdown at Fukushima’s Unit 1. Japanese media outlets are reporting that there may be a second one underway at Unit 3. People living nearby have been exposed to unknown levels of radiation, with some requiring medical attention.

Meanwhile, Unit 2 of the Tokai nuclear complex, which is near Kyodo and just 75 miles north of Tokyo, is reported to have a coolant pump failure. And Japan’s nuclear safety agency has declared a state of emergency at the Onagawa nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan because of high radiation levels. Authorities are saying its three reactors are “under control.”

The damage from the massive earthquake and the tsunamis that followed have profoundly damaged the reactor sites’ infrastructure, leaving them without power and their electrical and piping systems destroyed. A hydrogen explosion yesterday at Unit 1 severely damaged the reactor building, blowing apart its roof.

The results of desperate efforts to divert seawater into the Unit 1 reactor are uncertain. A Japanese official reported that gauges don’t appear to show the water level rising in the reactor vessel.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/13-66

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/14/japan-nuclear-explosion-second-reactor-fukushima

Explosion at Japan nuclear plant

A second reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant has exploded but officials say there is a ‘low possibility’ of a dangerous radiation leak

Justin McCurry in Tokyo

guardian.co.uk, Monday 14 March 2011

Japan‘s nuclear crisis has deepened after a second reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant exploded on Monday morning. Officials said there was a low possibility that the blast had released radioactive material into the air.

The wall of the building housing the No. 3 reactor collapsed in the explosion, which occurred at 11:01am local time.

Tokyo Electric Power Company said three workers have been injured and seven are missing. Television footage showed a brief red flash followed by a large plume of white smoke.

The blast came two days after a similar explosion at the No. 1 reactor, which occurred after hydrogen ignited when it mixed with oxygen.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/14/japan-nuclear-explosion-second-reactor-fukushima

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PJ Crowley resigns over Bradley Manning remarks

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/13/pj-crowley-resigns-bradley-manning-remarks

WikiLeaks disclosure of classified US files claims first Obama administration scalp as state department spokesman quits

Ed Pilkington in New York

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 13 March 2011

PJ Crowley, the official spokesman at the state department, has fallen on his sword after calling the treatment of Bradley Manning, the alleged source of the WikiLeaks files, “counterproductive and stupid”.

The resignation followed Crowley’s remarks to an MIT seminar last week about Manning’s treatment in military prison.

Crowley had said: “What is being done to Bradley Manning is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the department of defence.”

The remarks forced President Obama to address for the first time the issue of Manning’s handling at Quantico marine base in Virginia. Obama defended the way Manning is being treated, saying he had been reassured by the Pentagon that his confinement was appropriate.

In a resignation letter, Crowley said he took full responsibility for his remarks. Though he attacked the leaking of classified information, which he called “a serious crime under US law”, he stood by his earlier criticism of the Pentagon.

In words that could cause further difficulty for Obama, Crowley said his comments “were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discreet actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership. The exercise of power in today’s challenging times and relentless media environment must be prudent and consistent with our laws and values.”

When Obama entered the White House, he made improving the global standing of the US one of the key aims of his administration. He also denounced the extreme treatment of detainees by George W Bush as running counter to the national interest.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/13/pj-crowley-resigns-bradley-manning-remarks

People should have believed Obama when he said how much he admired Reagan.

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