Friday Night Fun and Culture: Fleetwood Mac

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Secret NOM documents reveal disgraceful, racist, anti-family strategy

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NOM’s evasion of race-baiting scandal is as bad as the controversy itself

From Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: http://holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.com/2012/03/noms-evasion-of-race-baiting-scandal-is.html

By Alvin McEwen
Thursday, March 29, 2012

Reposted with Permission (actually at Alvin’s urging to spread this one around)

The National Organization for Marriage’s president, Brian Brown, has responded today specifically to the race-baiting scandal which has engulfed the organization:

“Let me be the first to say that the tone of the language in that document as quoted by the press is inapt. Here’s something I know from the bottom of my soul: It would be enormously arrogant for anyone at NOM to believe that we can make or provoke African-American or Latino leaders do anything. The Black and Hispanic Democrats who stand up for marriage do so on principle—and get hit with a wave of vituperative attacks like nothing I have ever seen. We did not cause it, nor can we claim credit for these men and women’s courage in standing up in defense of our most fundamental institution: marriage.”

Do those talking points sound familiar? They should if you read this blog. This is what NOM founder Maggie Gallagher said in the comments section of a National Review blog post she authored (the same blog post in which she asserted that the controversy was the subject of a slow news day):

Let’s put up the comparison, shall we (emphasis on the important portions is done by me).

Brian Brown today:

Let me be the first to say that the tone of the language in that document as quoted by the press is inapt. Here’s something I know from the bottom of my soul: It would be enormously arrogant for anyone at NOM to believe that we can make or provoke African-American or Latino leaders do anything. The Black and Hispanic Democrats who stand up for marriage do so on principle—and get hit with a wave of vituperative attacks like nothing I have ever seen. We did not cause it, nor can we claim credit for these men and women’s courage in standing up in defense of our most fundamental institution: marriage.”

Maggie Gallagher just a few days ago:

The documents used language which I would call ‘inapt’ – – in part because it’s tremendously vain to think that I or NOM or any other white Christian conservative can manipulate black and latino church leaders. I don’t think so. They speak out of their own convictions and become subject to tremendous vituperative for doing so.”

You have to be kidding me! If they expect this to be some sort of credible explanation of NOM’s attempt to drive a wedge between the black and gay communities, then Gallagher and Brown failed.

Almost word for word, these two folks say the same thing.

Apparently the leaking of the confidential documents detailing NOM’s plan of divide and conquer got members of the organization scared witless.

How else can you explain this sadly cobbled explanation? It’s bad enough when one of them says it because it doesn’t even address the point of NOM’s discovered plan. But when both Gallagher and Brown repeat the same explanation almost word-for-word, there is a certain disturbing robotic function to it. It’s like they are reading from a script. There is nothing real about this explanation. It’s plastic.

It simply demonstrates cynical  and rushed planning devoid of integrity or honesty, much like the original plan which got NOM into trouble in the first place.

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Brooklyn DA accused of failing to tackle Orthodox Jews’ cover-up of sex abuse

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/29/brooklyn-da-orthodox-jews-cover-up

Critics say Charles Hynes has failed to wrest control from rabbis who refuse to co-operate with secular authorities

in New York
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 29 March 2012

A systemic cover-up of child sexual abuse in Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish enclaves continues to obstruct justice for young victims, despite claims by religious leaders and the Brooklyn district attorney that the problem is in hand.

A long-standing culture of non-cooperation with secular justice by Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jews keeps many child sex offenders out of the courts and at large in their communities.

Victim advocates say Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes has failed to wrest control from rabbinic leaders, who continue to hamper efforts to uncover abuse. Hynes’ recent claim to have radically increased prosecution rates for these crimes has drawn scorn from critics.

Brooklyn’s Jewish communities, home to the largest number of ultra-Orthodox Jews outside Israel, are insular and close-knit. They maintain their own shadow justice system based on religious halachic law, enforced by religious courts known as the beit din. In recent years, they have also established their own community police force, the Shomrim.

Like the Catholic bishops before them, the ultra-Orthodox rabbis who lead these communities are charged with the concealment of crimes stretching back decades, and of fostering a culture where witnesses are silenced through intimidation.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/29/brooklyn-da-orthodox-jews-cover-up

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On House Floor, a Sweatshirt in Honor of Trayvon Martin

It is a small ray of hope, a small voice saying perhaps all is not lost knowing that Bobby Rush, former Black Panther Party member is in the House of Representatives.

From The New York Times:   http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/on-house-floor-a-sweatshirt-in-honor-of-trayvon-martin/?nl=us&emc=edit_cn_20120328

By Emmarie Huetteman
March 28, 2012

Breaching House decorum, Representative Bobby L. Rush donned a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses on the House floor on Wednesday in honor of Trayvon Martin, the teenager fatally shot in Florida in a case that has gained national attention.

During the short morning speeches granted lawmakers each day, Mr. Rush, an Illinois Democrat, condemned what he said was the role of racial profiling in the death of Trayvon, who was unarmed when he was shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in February. Trayvon’s parents attended a House forum on racial profiling on Tuesday.

“I applaud the young people all across the land who are making a statement about hoodies, about the real hoodlums in this nation, particularly those who tread on our laws wearing official or quasi-official clothes,” he said as he removed his suit coat to reveal a gray hooded sweatshirt.

“Racial profiling has to stop, Mr. Speaker,” Mr. Rush continued. “Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.”

Seeing Mr. Rush pull up the hood on his sweatshirt, Representative Gregg Harper, Republican of Mississippi, who was presiding, called on Mr. Rush to stop his speech for violating the House dress code. Banging the gavel, Mr. Harper cited the rule prohibiting hats and called on the sergeant-at-arms to enforce it, as Mr. Rush continued speaking over him, quoting the Bible.

Continue reading at:  http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/on-house-floor-a-sweatshirt-in-honor-of-trayvon-martin/?nl=us&emc=edit_cn_20120328

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Bank of America Is a “Raging Hurricane of Theft and Fraud”

From Truth Out:  http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/8145-matt-taibbi-bank-of-america-is-a-raging-hurricane-of-theft-and-fraud

By Matt Taibbi
Tuesday, 27 March 2012

There are two things every American needs to know about Bank of America.

The first is that it’s corrupt. This bank has systematically defrauded almost everyone with whom it has a significant business relationship, cheating investors, insurers, homeowners, shareholders, depositors, and the state. It is a giant, raging hurricane of theft and fraud, spinning its way through America and leaving a massive trail of wiped-out retirees and foreclosed-upon families in its wake.

The second is that all of us, as taxpayers, are keeping that hurricane raging. Bank of America is not just a private company that systematically steals from American citizens: it’s a de facto ward of the state that depends heavily upon public support to stay in business. In fact, without the continued generosity of us taxpayers, and the extraordinary indulgence of our regulators and elected officials, this company long ago would have been swallowed up by scandal, mismanagement, prosecution and litigation, and gone out of business. It would have been liquidated and its component parts sold off, perhaps into a series of smaller regional businesses that would have more respect for the law, and be more responsive to their customers.

But Bank of America hasn’t gone out of business, for the simple reason that our government has decided to make it the poster child for the “Too Big To Fail” concept. Because it is considered a “systemically important institution” whose collapse would have a major, Lehman-Brothers-style impact on the economy, two consecutive presidential administrations have taken extraordinary measures to keep Bank of America in business, despite a staggering recent legacy of corruption schemes, many of which were simply overlooked by regulators.

This is why the question of whether or not Bank of America should remain on public life support is so critical to all Americans, and not just those millions who have the misfortune to be customers of the bank, or own shares in the firm, or hold mortgages serviced by the company. This gigantic financial institution is the ultimate symbol of a new kind of corruption at the highest levels of American society: a tendency to marry the near-limitless power of the federal government with increasingly concentrated, increasingly unaccountable private financial interests.

Continue reading at:  http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/8145-matt-taibbi-bank-of-america-is-a-raging-hurricane-of-theft-and-fraud

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Migrants left to die after catalogue of failures, says report into boat tragedy

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/28/left-to-die-migrants-boat-inquiry

Council of Europe investigator says deaths of migrants adrift in Mediterranean exposes double standards in valuing human life


guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 28 March 2012

A catalogue of failures by Nato warships and European coastguards led to the deaths of dozens of migrants left adrift at sea, according to a damning official report into the fate of a refugee boat in the Mediterranean whose distress calls went unanswered for days.

A nine-month investigation by the Council of Europe – the continent’s 47-nation human rights watchdog, which oversees the European court of human rights – has unearthed human and institutional failings that condemned the boat’s occupants to their fate.

Errors by military and commercial vessels sailing nearby, plus ambiguity in the coastguards’ distress calls and confusion about which authorities were responsible for mounting a rescue, were compounded by a long-term lack of planning by the UN, Nato and European nations over the inevitable increase in refugees fleeing north Africa during the international intervention in Libya.

The Guardian first exposed the tale of the “left-to-die” migrant vessel in May last year, after gathering testimony from the voyage’s few survivors. Having set sail from Tripoli in the dead of night, the dinghy – which was packed with 72 African migrants attempting to reach Europe – ran into trouble and was left floating with the currents for two weeks before being washed back up on to Libyan shores. Despite emergency calls being issued and the boat being located and identified by European coastguard officials, no rescue was ever attempted. All but nine of those on board died from thirst and starvation or in storms, including two babies.

The report’s author, Tineke Strik – echoing the words of Mevlüt Çavusoglu, president of the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly at the time of the incident – described the tragedy as “a dark day for Europe”, and told the Guardian it exposed the continent’s double standards in valuing human life.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/28/left-to-die-migrants-boat-inquiry

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