Group leading boycott of Muslim show hacked, threatened by ‘Anonymous’

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/13/group-leading-boycott-of-muslim-show-hacked-threatened-by-anonymous/

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A little known Christo-Fascist group that’s been leading a boycott of a reality television show about American Muslims saw their website hacked and defaced last night by an unknown person claiming to be part of the hacker activist group “Anonymous.”

The hacker said they had obtained all of the Florida Family Association’s (FFA) donor information, including credit card numbers, but weren’t releasing them because it would hurt members of the 99 percent.

The hacker also said that a further investigation was underway into the group’s supporters, threatening, “[I]f i find information such as anyone being a part of other hate groups such as the Klan or anything similar all bets are off for those people.”

The FFA has come to infamy in recent weeks after home supply store Lowes decided to join their boycott, pulling advertisements from a show called “All-American Muslim,” which showcases the lives of Americans who follow Islam.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/13/group-leading-boycott-of-muslim-show-hacked-threatened-by-anonymous/

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Group leading boycott of Muslim show hacked, threatened by ‘Anonymous’

Iceland Arrests Former CEO Of Failed Bank

From  Business Insider:    http://www.businessinsider.com/iceland-glitnir-bank-larus-welding-2011-12

Adam Taylor
Dec. 1, 2011

Iceland’s special prosecutor has taken Larus Welding, the former head of the failed Glitnir Bank, into custody, Reuters reports.

Glitnir Bank was the first of the top three Icelandic commercial banks to fail in 2008.

Former director of market trade Jóhannes Baldursson and former broker Ingi Rafn Júlíusson were also taken into custody and between ten and twenty other former employees of Glitnir Bank were also investigated.

They are expected to be held for a week, apparently to prevent tampering with evidence or witness coercion.

The Special Prosecutor’s Office released a statement that indicates their investigation will focus on four areas (via IceNews):
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/iceland-glitnir-bank-larus-welding-2011-12

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Iceland Arrests Former CEO Of Failed Bank

Corporations Pulling Ads From All-American Muslim Are Engaged In Jim Crow-Style Discrimination

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/abdulrahman-m-elsayed/lowes-commercials-all-american-muslim_b_1143586.html

Abdulrahman El-Sayed
Dec 12, 2011

TLC’s reality TV series All-American Muslim showcases the lives of five motley families in Dearborn, MI — a Detroit suburb home to one of America’s largest and most vibrant Arab-American communities.

When I heard the cable television channel well known for its edgy yet insightful reality TV series was planning a show about Muslim Arab-Americans in Dearborn, I was thrilled! As a health researcher who studies Arab-Americans’ health, much of my research takes place in Dearborn. Not to mention, I am a Muslim and an Arab-American myself, who grew up just miles away.

I know the community well. Its vibrant, self-absorbed character would provide the juice that makes these types of series so addictive, yet its dense social fabric and the diversity in its stories would cast Islam and Arab culture in a different light: perhaps the show might do away, at least in the minds of some, with the rigid perception of Muslims and Arabs and nuance it with stories about real people in a real place in their own backyards.

While the show hasn’t dealt with many of the heavier questions surrounding Islam in America — like the burning of Mosques or other hate crimes — that wasn’t its purpose. For a show meant to convey the truth about the diversity and honest normalness of the lives of average Muslims in the US, it succeeds brilliantly.

But some can’t believe Muslims could be so normal. The Florida Family Association (FFA), the political arm of an extremist evangelical group, is in denial. In fact, in their eyes, Muslims being normal must be some covert tactic “clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law.”

That a group of bigoted fanatics has issues with a show meant to portray Muslims in a realistic light isn’t so surprising. But that some of America’s largest corporations, including Lowe’s, Bank of America, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s and General Motors have fallen in line is astounding. On Friday, Lowe’s confirmed that it’s choice to pull its advertising was a result of pressure from the FFA.

Lowe’s may know home improvement–but it seems to have forgotten history.

Our country has had a contentious past with discrimination, to say the least. In the Jim Crow era South, a powerful, landed, wealthy white minority (less than 25% in some states) lorded over their marginalized black counterparts via laws that were meant to exclude blacks from civic life, segregating them from institutions of power and privilege — government, education, and industry. These laws saw local businesses and restaurants with signs displayed prominently in their windows: “No Colored Allowed!” In fact, at one hotel the “Whites Only” pool was drained after Dorothy Dandridge, a famous actress and singer of the era, dipped her toe in it. What’s most disturbing is that in many of those instances, it wasn’t that the business owners themselves had any issue with serving paying black customers — but that they acquiesced to the hatred of the bigots in their communities. After all, being associated with blacks was “bad for business.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/abdulrahman-m-elsayed/lowes-commercials-all-american-muslim_b_1143586.html

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Corporations Pulling Ads From All-American Muslim Are Engaged In Jim Crow-Style Discrimination

Illinois Debtors Thrown In Jail: Lisa Madigan Working To Stop Debt Collector Arrest Warrants

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/12/illinois-debtors-thrown-i_n_1144093.html

First Posted: 12/12/11

Some Illinois residents struggling to pay off their debt have yet another thing to worry about: getting thrown in jail.

As WBEZ reports, creditors in the state have figured out ways around laws that prevent them from putting debtors in jail, and the number of people being issued arrest warrants linked to unpaid bills is growing. Collection agencies can reportedly file a lawsuit requiring a court appearance, and if the defendant doesn’t show up for their hearing, an arrest warrant can be issued.

The practice has been happening more often in a stagnant economy, and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants to do something about it.

“We can no longer allow debt collectors to pervert the courts,” Madigan told the Wall Street Journal, adding that some victims of this practice were thrown in jail without knowing that they were being sued due to misleading or sloppy paperwork submitted to the court by debt collectors.

NPR spoke to one Illinois woman who was shocked to learn that a warrant was out for her arrest:

Continue reading at:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/12/illinois-debtors-thrown-i_n_1144093.html

Posted in Austerity, Civil Rights, Class War, Constitutional Rights, Corporate Abuse, Economic Issues, Fascism, Hard Times. Comments Off on Illinois Debtors Thrown In Jail: Lisa Madigan Working To Stop Debt Collector Arrest Warrants

It Happened to Me: I Told My Boyfriend I Was Born a Boy

From XO Jane:  http://www.xojane.com/it-happened-me/telling-partner-youre-transgender-janet-mock

Janet Mock
Dec 7, 2011

When I was a kid I had a series of dreams that involved Immature. You know, that baby boy band starring Roger from “Sister, Sister”?

Anyway, my dreams usually involved group member LDB (Little Drummer Boy) singing “Never Lie” to me in the tree that stood in front of my window.

Since then, I’ve sat across many men on dates and wondered what their fantasies were. By then mine always involved them really liking me and me playing the distant, mysterious girl they couldn’t quite figure out.

Really it was more about me not getting too close. Because if I got too close, you see,  I’d have to tell him my “T”.

Oh, I keep forgetting you may not be the T so you may not know my T or what T is at all.

My T is basically my story. My story being that I’m a young woman who happens to be transgender. Still not getting it?

Continue reading at:   http://www.xojane.com/it-happened-me/telling-partner-youre-transgender-janet-mock

Posted in Transsexual. Comments Off on It Happened to Me: I Told My Boyfriend I Was Born a Boy

Why is Facebook Protecting Pro Rape Language and Abuse of Women?

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/sex/153406/why_is_facebook_protecting_pro_rape_language_and_abuse_of_women__/

Despite a campaign that included 180,000 signatures, Facebook continues to post pro-rape pages, showing, yet again, that they care about users so long as they’re profitable.

By Melissa Gira Grant
December 12, 2011

 Since August, tens of thousands of Internet activists have taken to social media to protest a social media giant — Facebook — for its apparent tolerance of user-created pages that make sexual violence into a punchline. The pages, with titles like “Riding your Girlfriend softly, Cause you dont [sic] want to wake her up” and “Kicking Sluts in the Vagina,” have been common to Facebook for some time, but campaigns against them began when a Facebook representative commented to the BBC on its decision not to remove that kind of content, stating, “Just as telling a rude joke won’t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won’t get you thrown off Facebook.” The pub analogy comment circulated among feminist activists on Facebook, and it was quoted widely on blogs, sparking a series of petitions that circulated for months, demanding the removal of the pages. When Facebook failed to respond, online activists organized a Twitter hashtag Day of Action, #notfunnyfacebook, to further pressure Facebook to enforce its own terms of service and hold its users accountable. Finally, following the Twitter action, Facebook elected to delete a few of the pages. It also allowed others to remain, so long as they were retitled as parodies.

The victory came as a half-hearted one for activists, who, with more than 180,000 signatures and hundreds of Twitter participants on their side, had not been able to call Facebook to account. New pro-rape pages are still being posted. One I just visited is called “That one slut you have always wanted to kick in the face.” After scrolling past three nearly identical wall announcements explaining how I could make easy money at home today (not involving, as I had first assumed, being “slutty”), I found a handful of nasty comments, all so poorly spelled it would be difficult for them to retain any air of menace. Then I recalled the anonymous person who scrawled “FAGETS” on the wall of a student organization I worked with in college. Then I saw what the page was really used for: with the “tag a user in this post” function, fans of the page could add the name of their intended target to their wall post, and that target would potentially see the post and the threat. It made me queasy.

If it was not clear before, we must understand now that Facebook wasn’t built for us — it was built for the profit of the very few. That Facebook is of value to the public as a communications platform is only important to Facebook insofar as it allows them to sell targeted advertising against our own speech. Its governing document, the Terms of Service, has been repeatedly applied unfairly and without accountability to its users, as its purpose is to legally protect Facebook from our conduct, not provide us with a free space, or even a safe space. Facebook needs to be only as minimally welcoming to us so as to ensure our return to use it again. And that we might use Facebook as a public square for activism? Not even in the business model.

Continue reading at:   http://www.alternet.org/sex/153406/why_is_facebook_protecting_pro_rape_language_and_abuse_of_women__/

Posted in Abuse, Equal Treatment, Feminist, Hate Crimes, Hate Speech, Misogyny, Murders, Rape. Tags: , . Comments Off on Why is Facebook Protecting Pro Rape Language and Abuse of Women?

Minnesota school board labels conversations about LGBT students ‘controversial’

From LGBTQ Nation:    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2011/12/minnesota-school-board-labels-conversations-about-lgbt-students-controversial/


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

COON RAPIDS, Minn. — During its meeting before a packed room with a standing room only crowd Monday, the Anoka-Hennepin Minnesota School District’s board proposed a new “Controversial Topics Curriculum Policy” to replace the current “neutral policy” that prohibits the district’s teachers from talking about homosexuality in the classroom.

Advocates and allies of LGBTQ students objected saying that the policy does not specify what those “controversial topics” are.

Tammy Aaberg, whose son Justin was one of nearly a dozen Anoka-Hennepin students who committed suicide after anti-gay bullying since the 2009 school year, wasn’t happy about calling the policy “controversial.”

In a statement she read before the board, Aaberg told officials, “I read the policy and my heart started breaking all over again. Because now we’re going from neutral on sexual orientation to labeling LBGT kids as controversial.”

Others seemed confused about what can or cannot be discussed in the classroom, which is why they urged the board to clarify the proposed policy before voting on it next month.

Opponents of any changes to the current policy also voiced their concerns, one woman telling the board, “We were a model for the nation at protecting kids from homosexual propaganda. The sexual orientation curriculum policy is an excellent policy.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2011/12/minnesota-school-board-labels-conversations-about-lgbt-students-controversial/

Posted in Christo-Fascism, Civil Rights, Discrimination, Kids, LGBT/T. Tags: . Comments Off on Minnesota school board labels conversations about LGBT students ‘controversial’

Gay Veteran talks to Mitt Romney – ABC News

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Gay Veteran talks to Mitt Romney – ABC News

The coming GOP austerity-induced economic cliff dive

From Salon: http://www.salon.com/2011/12/13/the_coming_gopausterity_induced_economic_cliff_dive/

A perfect recipe for an election year: Government spending cuts boost unemployment and freeze the economy

By Andrew Leonard
Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011

The Black Friday spending spree turns out not to have been so great, after all. The rate of retail sales growth in November actually slowed down. But no matter, private economic forecasters are still giddily revising their estimates for economic growth in the fourth quarter upwards. If they’re right, the current quarter is experiencing the fastest economic growth in well over a year.

But then what happens? According to a dispiriting Goldman Sachs research report relayed by Jared Bernstein, there’s a big Christmas hangover coming. The economy, says Goldman Sachs, is about to flatline again. Even worse, their forecast has unemployment rising throughout all of next year.

Goldman Sachs cites a likely recession in Europe as one reason for the downbeat assessment. But the policies enacted by the U.S. government are equally important.

Second, we expect the pace of fiscal restraint to pick up in early 2012. We estimate that fiscal policy at the federal, state and local level subtracted about half a percentage point from real GDP growth in the middle of 2011, but we expect this drag to increase to around 1 percentage point in early 2012. Even this assumes an extension of the temporary payroll tax cut currently scheduled to expire at end-2011. If it lapses, there would be an additional hit of one-half to three-quarters of a percentage point to GDP growth in early 2012.

Continue reading at:    http://www.salon.com/2011/12/13/the_coming_gopausterity_induced_economic_cliff_dive/

First Transgender Prom Queen: You Are Never Alone!

Posted in Activism, Bullying, Kids. Comments Off on First Transgender Prom Queen: You Are Never Alone!

Under Industry Pressure, USDA Works to Speed Approval of Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered Crops

From Truth Out: http://www.truth-out.org/under-industry-pressure-usda-works-speed-approval-monsantos-genetically-engineered-crops/1323453319

by: Mike Ludwig
Monday 12 December 2011

For years, biotech agriculture opponents have accused regulators of working too closely with big biotech firms when deregulating genetically engineered (GE) crops. Now, their worst fears could be coming true: under a new two-year pilot program at the USDA, regulators are training the world’s biggest biotech firms, including Monsanto, BASF and Syngenta, to conduct environmental reviews of their own transgenic seed products as part of the government’s deregulation process.

This would eliminate a critical level of oversight for the production of GE crops. Regulators are also testing new cost-sharing agreements that allow biotech firms to help pay private contractors to prepare mandatory environmental statements on GE plants the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is considering deregulating.

The USDA launched the pilot project in April and, in November, the USDA announced vague plans to “streamline” the deregulation petition process for GE organisms. A USDA spokesperson said the streamlining effort is not part of the pilot project, but both efforts appear to address a backlog of pending GE crop deregulation petitions that has angered big biotech firms seeking to rollout new products.

Documents obtained by Truthout under a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request reveal that biotech companies, lawmakers and industry groups have put mounting pressure on the USDA in recent years to speed up the petition process, limit environmental impact assessments and approve more GE crops. One group went as far as sending USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack a timeline of GE soybean development that reads like a deregulation wish list. [Click here and here to download and read some of the documents released to Truthout.]

Continue reading at:    http://www.truth-out.org/under-industry-pressure-usda-works-speed-approval-monsantos-genetically-engineered-crops/1323453319

Posted in Activism, Anti-Globalization, Ecology, Food, Globalization, International. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Under Industry Pressure, USDA Works to Speed Approval of Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered Crops

Keystone XL: The Pipeline That Won’t Die

From Rolling Stone:   http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/keystone-xl-the-pipeline-that-wont-die-20111213

By Jeff Goodell
POSTED: December 13, 2011

The zombie pipeline lives!

You might think that the Obama administration’s decision last month to delay the construction of the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline pending further review would have put an end to Big Oil’s pipeline dreams. After all, the whole approval process, which dragged on for three years, was a textbook example of corrupt energy politics and shoddy science working in the service of Big Oil. The U.S. State Department, which had final say in the pipeline’s approval, wisely and deftly put the pipeline on ice for at least a year.

But you don’t kill off Big Oil’s pet project that easily.

Last week, Keystone re-emerged as a bargaining chip in end-of-the-year negotiations over extending the payroll tax break for 160 million U.S. workers, which is set to expire Dec. 31.  House Majority leader John Boehner has attached a “project rider” to the tax bill, essentially trying to force Obama – and Senate Democrats – to approve the pipeline as a price for passing the tax-relief bill.  Boehner and House Republicans are playing up the Keystone policy rider as a jobs project, suggesting that the Obama administration failed to approve last month it because the president is beholden to crazy enviros. A vote on the bill could come as early as today.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/keystone-xl-the-pipeline-that-wont-die-20111213

Posted in Anti-Globalization, Ecology, Environment, Globalization. Comments Off on Keystone XL: The Pipeline That Won’t Die

Transgender patients outed by the health-care system

From The Montreal Gazette:   http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Transgender+patients+outed+health+care+system/5854368/story.html

‘I will die of pneumonia before being called Mr. once more in the emergency room’

By Max Harrold, THE GAZETTE
December 13, 2011

MONTREAL – For most sick people in a doctor’s waiting room, a walk-in clinic or the hospital emergency, the etiquette of the receptionist, nurse and doctor is not likely the top priority. Getting better is.

But for people in the years-long process of transitioning genders, the name called out and the pronouns used can be the difference between medical treatment and psychological torture.

Many Quebec health-care workers routinely out transsexuals by arguing in public about their name and sex as indicated on the medicare card, advocates for trans people say.

Transphobia – prejudice and hostility toward people who don’t fit standard gender images – is widespread, they add.

Gabrielle Bouchard, a coordinator at the 2110 Centre for Gender Advocacy in Montreal, said it’s exhausting to repeatedly argue about gender and one’s name regarding a mortgage or when applying for a job – but it can be especially hurtful while trying to obtain publicly funded medical services.

A trans person may not look much like the photo on their ID.

“I hear this story over and over – people saying, ‘I will die of pneumonia before being called Mr. once more in the emergency room’ or ‘I will not go to get this blood test because I’m not sure I will be treated respectfully’ or ‘I’m not going to get medication at the pharmacy because the pharmacist will say out loud: Well your name is Mr.; why are you coming to pick these pills up?’

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Transgender+patients+outed+health+care+system/5854368/story.html

Posted in Abuse, Bullying, Discrimination, Transgender, Transphobia, Transsexual. Tags: , . Comments Off on Transgender patients outed by the health-care system

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Kids Struggle on the Streets

From ABC NEWS:    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/national-report-16-million-youth-homeless-experts-40/story?id=15147566&singlePage=true#.TuflPPLrHA6

Dec. 13, 2011
Tiffany “LIFE” Cocco has been homeless for seven years, living on park benches, stoops and New York City’s A train.

Her parents died of AIDS in the 1980s and so Cocco was raised by an aunt and uncle who disapproved of how she dressed and led her life — as a lesbian.

“I was kicked out of the house at 15,” said Cocco, a poet whose chosen middle name means “literary, intelligent, forward, engaged.”

She dropped out of high school after being bullied, rebelled and was forced to keep her sexuality a secret. Cocco slipped into a depression so deep she nearly killed herself on an overdose of pain killers, NyQuil and Tylenol PM.

“I didn’t trust anyone at all,” said Cocco, who is now 24. “I tried to tell myself I was strong, but deep down inside I was falling apart.”

A report released this week by the National Center on Family Homelessness, “America’s Youngest Outcasts,” finds one in 45 American children 18 and under — 1.6 million — live on the street, in homeless shelters, motels or with other families last year.

Continue reading at:   http://abcnews.go.com/Health/national-report-16-million-youth-homeless-experts-40/story?id=15147566&singlePage=true#.TuflPPLrHA6

Posted in Economic Issues, Employment, Gay, Homelessness, Kids, Lesbian, LGBT/T, Poverty. Comments Off on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Kids Struggle on the Streets

IMF slashes growth forecast for Greece

From The Guardian UK:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/dec/13/imf-slashes-greek-growth-forecast

MF report likely to fan financial market fears over debt default as Greece struggles to cope with austerity and recession

, economics editor, and in Athens
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 13 December 2011

The International Monetary Fund slashed its growth forecasts for Greece and warned that ever-deepening recession was making it harder for the debt-ridden country to meet the tough deficit reduction targets under its austerity programme.

In a report likely to fan financial market concerns about a possible debt default, the regular health check by staff at the Washington-based Fund said the situation in Greece had “taken a turn for the worse”.

Poul Thomsen, deputy director of the IMF‘s European department and its mission chief to Greece, said: “We have revised growth down significantly to -6% in 2011 and -3% in 2012. We expected 2011 to be an inflection point when the recession bottomed out, followed by a slow recovery. But the economy is continuing to trend downwards. The hoped for improvement in market sentiment and in the investment climate has not materialised.”

The IMF, together with the European Union and the European Central Bank has imposed tough conditions on Greece as the price of financial support that has allowed the government in Athens to continue paying its bills. In the fifth report carried out since the start of the crisis 18 months ago, IMF officials suggested that the austerity programme might need to be eased in view of the damage being caused to the economy by the recession.

“Discussions [at the IMF] focused on recalibrating the programme’s macroeconomic framework and adapting the implementation of reform and adjustment policies to an appropriate and feasible pace.”

Continue reading at:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/dec/13/imf-slashes-greek-growth-forecast

Posted in Anti-Globalization, Economic Issues, Globalization, Social Justice. Tags: , . Comments Off on IMF slashes growth forecast for Greece

Report: Child Homelessness Up 33% in 3 Years

From Reader Supported News:  http://www.readersupportednews.org/news-section2/320-80/8889-report-child-homelessness-up-33-in-3-years

By Marisol Bello, USA Today
13 December 11

One in 45 children in the USA – 1.6 million children – were living on the street, in homeless shelters or motels, or doubled up with other families last year, according to the National Center on Family Homelessness.

The numbers represent a 33% increase from 2007, when there were 1.2 million homeless children, according to a report the center is releasing Tuesday.

“This is an absurdly high number,” says Ellen Bassuk, president of the center. “What we have new in 2010 is the effects of a man-made disaster caused by the economic recession. … We are seeing extreme budget cuts, foreclosures and a lack of affordable housing.”

The report paints a bleaker picture than one by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which nonetheless reported a 28% increase in homeless families, from 131,000 in 2007 to 168,000 in 2010.

Dennis Culhane, a University of Pennsylvania professor of social policy, says HUD’s numbers are much smaller because they count only families living on the street or in emergency shelters.

Continue reading at:   http://www.readersupportednews.org/news-section2/320-80/8889-report-child-homelessness-up-33-in-3-years

Posted in Civil Rights, Class War, Classism, Economic Issues, Homelessness, Poverty, Social Justice, Workers. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Report: Child Homelessness Up 33% in 3 Years