Ron Paul disavows…Ron Paul?

From The Baltimore Sun:,0,7713781.column

Libertarian candidate tries to duck responsibility for racist, homophobic and conspiratorial writings that bore his name

Thomas F. Schaller
December 27, 2011

To look at him, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul seems harmless. He’s cute and contrarian. He wears poorly fitting suits. He’s decidedly un-slick. You almost want to pat him on the head.

So we’re not supposed to criticize Dr. Paul as a nutjob who subscribes to some rather wacky ideas. And subscribe is the operative word here, folks: The newsletters Dr. Paul published for nearly two decades during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s are chock full of racist, homophobic and anti-new world order rants.

From Dr. Paul now comes the nuttiest claim of all. He wants us to believe newsletters published with the titles Ron Paul’s Freedom Report; Ron Paul Political Report; and, weirdest of all, The Ron Paul Survival Report do not reflect the views of, um, Ron Paul. He says he never wrote them, never even read them, and now disavows them. (Question: Why disavow words you neither wrote nor read?)

Nice try, congressman. There’s his name in giant, bold letters at the top of each issue. On some editions his face appears at the top, or his signature at the bottom. The lack of bylines attached to specific articles, his defenders say, means Dr. Paul can’t be held accountable for the words they contain. But the newsletters include first-person, biographical mentions like “my wife Carol” and “my youngest son … starting his fourth year of medical school.” His wife’s name is Carol; his youngest son, Robert, is a physician.

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Will Americans Ever Stop Throwing Their Money at Corporate Crap and Give Gifts That Truly Matter?

From Alternet:

Americans are buying from local artisans, fair-trade merchants, certified sweatshop-free manufacturers and others in the burgeoning non-corporate economy.

By Jim Hightower 
December 27, 2011

It wasn’t that long ago that the act of “gift giving” didn’t require a maddening trip to Walmart or a desperate online search for this season’s must-have toy. Rather, a gift implied something from within, a little piece of yourself, no matter how small, showing you care.

Could that old-fashioned concept possibly become new-fashioned? Yes. With today’s working-class depression severely restricting the ability of most people to splurge on “stuff,” and with the public’s rising unwillingness to keep shoveling their money at narcissistic corporate profiteers, a return to a more modest — but also deeper — spirit of gift-giving seems to be spreading.

Realizing that buying globalized corporate crap is not really a gift, more and more people are putting their money where their values are. They’re buying from local artisans, fair-trade merchants, certified sweatshop-free manufacturers, recycling shops, co-ops, farmers markets, homeless centers, church bazaars, charities and other sources of the burgeoning non-corporate economy.

And what if you used your gifts as a way to inspire the recipients of your presents to tap into their own generosity? This is surprisingly easy to do. As proposed by a Methodist church group in my town of Austin, Texas, just send a bit of cash to that grandson, niece, mother-in-law or whomever — on the condition that they must donate the money to a charitable organization of their choosing.

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Stormfront founder: Ron Paul’s views ‘coincide with ours’ on most issues

From Raw Story:

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R) received an unwanted endorsement on Tuesday when Don Black, the founder of the white nationalist group Stormfront, told The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur that he supported Paul’s presidential candidacy.

Paul has recently been plagued by racist, hate-filled newsletters that were published under his name. The newsletters were published about 20 years ago and contained a number of incendiary comments about African-Americans, gays and Israel. All of the newsletters featured his name, but Paul has said he did not edit or write the controversial language, and disavowed it.

“He’s clearly not a white nationalist, he does not have the same worldview we do,” Black told Cenk. “But we agree with his stand on the issues, which we believe are heartfelt, coincide with ours. I might prefer that he understand the racial issues that we deal with a little more than he does.”

 “We believe that white people in this country and all European countries, Australia, Canada are facing a form of genocide through assimilation.”


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Warren Beatty Honors ‘Brave’ Transgender Son

From Frontiers LA:

By Stephan Horbelt, Editor

Many people are unaware that Hollywood royalty Warren Beatty and Annette Bening have a transgender son, Stephen, who was previously named Kathlyn. Rumor has it that Beatty was at one time devastated by his then-daughter’s decision to live life as a man, but a recent family dinner at a Hollywood restaurant suggests otherwise!

The UK’s Daily Mail reports that Beatty toasted his “brave son” while the entire family was at dinner last weekend. Of course, this is all according to the National Enquirer, but we hope it’s true!


[A] source told the tabloid the special family meal at Italian restaurant il Covo was a way to publicly give his support to the 19-year-old, who decided she wanted to switch genders last year, but had been living as a man for at least two years previously.

The source said: “The dinner was an unofficial public display that he’s proud of his family, especially Stephen, for having the courage to be who he truly is. It wasn’t easy for Warren. But he learned a lot about the transgender community over the past year.”

And as a result, the 74-year-old is now bragging to friends about his “intelligent and courageous son Stephen.”

The source added: “Warren even made an emotional toast to Stephen during the dinner and said he was proud to have such a brave son.”

The person who was most pleased by the Bugsy actor’s new found understanding was his 54-year-old wife Annette Bening. The source added: “Annette was simply glowing. She said the evening was the best Christmas present she’s ever received.”

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Debris Field The Size Of California From Japanese Tsunami Begins To Litter West Coast

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Rick Perry uses over $1 million of taxpayer money to fund his campaign

From The Orlando Liberal Examiner:

, Orlando Liberal Examiner
December 28, 2011

He was once thought of as the man who would stand on top of the Republican mountain and replace President Obama as the most important man in the United States. He has conservative values, has experience in the government, but still supports the Tea Party. He was the most interesting man in the Republican party, then he spoke. The Republican debates showed a lot about each candidate and when the spotlight was on Rick Perry, he couldn’t deliver.

Whether it’s his constant gaffes or just his inability to get his message across, Perry showed he wasn’t ready for prime time. In order to get back into the race, Perry knew he had to spend money. In Perry’s home state, the Texas Tribune has noted that in the last months of 2011, Rick Perry has billed the taxpayers of Texas over $1 million to support his security costs, travel, hotel and food. Just for security alone, Perry spent over $400,000 in taxpayer money, second only to President Obama and more than every other Governor in the country. What makes this a real issue is that Perry has raised over $17 million during his campaign, behind only Mitt Romney. While generating all of this cash, Perry still decided to bill the taxpayer to pay the tab. Leader of the House Democrats and state Rep. Jessica Farmer has spoken out against Perry and his handling of his campaign.
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Death Penalty For Gays: Ron Paul Courts The Religious Fringe In Iowa

From Talking Points Memo:

Pema Levy & Benjy Sarlin
December 28, 2011

Ron Paul has faced a torrent of criticism in recent weeks over newsletters printed in his name during the 1980s and 1990s which contained racist, anti-semitic, and homophobic content. He is also on the hook for accepting the support of fringe right-wing groups. While Paul dismisses these concerns, his campaign seems to have no problem working with and enjoying the support of anti-gay extremists, including one supporter who has called for the implementation of the death penalty for homosexual behavior.

Paul’s Iowa chair, Drew Ivers, recently touted the endorsement of Rev. Phillip G. Kayser, a pastor at the Dominion Covenant Church in Nebraska who also draws members from Iowa, putting out a press release praising “the enlightening statements he makes on how Ron Paul’s approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs.” But Kayser’s views on homosexuality go way beyond the bounds of typical anti-gay evangelical politics and into the violent fringe: he recently authored a paper arguing for criminalizing homosexuality and even advocated imposing the death penalty against offenders based on his reading of Biblical law.

“Difficulty in implementing Biblical law does not make non-Biblical penology just,” he argued. “But as we have seen, while many homosexuals would be executed, the threat of capital punishment can be restorative. Biblical law would recognize as a matter of justice that even if this law could be enforced today, homosexuals could not be prosecuted for something that was done before.”

Reached by phone, Kayser confirmed to TPM that he believed in reinstating BIblical punishments for homosexuals — including the death penalty — even if he didn’t see much hope for it happening anytime soon. While he said he and Paul disagree on gay rights, noting that Paul recently voted for repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, he supported the campaign because he believed Paul’s federalist take on the Constitution would allow states more latitude to implement fundamentalist law. Especially since Kayser believes that there is no separation of Church and State under his own interpretation of the Constitution.

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The Billionaires’ Tea Party – Trailer – Available on DVD

Venezuela offers free removal of PIP breast implants

From The Guardian UK:
Health minister says women with implants made by French company PIP can go to hospitals to have them removed

Associated Press in Caracas, Wednesday 28 December 2011

Venezuela is offering free surgeries for women to remove faulty French-made breast implants.

The health minister, Eugenia Sader, said women with implants made by the now-defunct French company, Poly Implant Prothese, can go to hospitals that carry out plastic surgery to have the implants removed, the state-run Venezuelan news agency reported.

Sader said the procedure would be to remove the implants and would not include replacing them. “Those patients are running a risk,” Sader said.

France’s health system has recommended that women with the PIP implants get them replaced, and has agreed to pay for surgeries. In Brazil and Argentina, however, health officials just recommend check-ups.

It is unclear how many women have the PIP implants in Venezuela, where breast enlargement surgery is popular and doctors say the French implants used to be widely used.

An estimated 35,000 to 40,000 women in the country have breast enlargement surgery each year, said Dr Marisol Graterol, of the Venezuelan Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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Occupy Everywhere – But Not at the Mall

From Common Dreams:

by Jen Schradie
Published on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 by

“The state and city pretty much shut us down at the historic ‘public square’ at the Capitol,” said Roger Ehrlich, an Occupy Raleigh activist, “so it seemed reasonable to assemble at the modern, corporatized version – the mall.” Ehrlich and I were among six people arrested on Black Friday during an Occupy Raleigh protest at the Crabtree Valley Mall.

The Occupy tent occupations provided a public forum for democratic protest and created a space for envisioning new communities. Then, police began to crack-down on encampments, disinformation campaigns grew and public support waned. As a result, many Occupy movements have expanded tactics from long-term public occupations to short-term direct actions on private property, such as ports, banks, homes, and malls. What are the implications of this shift to the power hubs of the 1%?

First, this transition from the public to the private directly exposes the collusion between government and corporations.

As a resident of Oakland and a doctoral candidate at the University of California-Berkeley, I had survived the police brutality in the public spaces of Occupy Oakland and Occupy Cal. Yet I ended up being arrested on private property by a planned coordination between mall cops and the city police.

Actions on private property expose this complicity of the government with corporate interests, which is the crux of the Occupy movement. It is this trend of the government ceding more and more rights, control and funding to the corporate 1% at the expense of the 99% that has the movement up in arms.

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My Political Prediction for 2012: It’s Obama-Clinton

From Robert Reich:

By Robert Reich
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My political prediction for 2012 (based on absolutely no inside information): Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden swap places. Biden becomes Secretary of State — a position he’s apparently coveted for years. And Hillary Clinton, Vice President.

So the Democratic ticket for 2012 is Obama-Clinton.

Why do I say this? Because Obama needs to stir the passions and enthusiasms of a Democratic base that’s been disillusioned with his cave-ins to regressive Republicans. Hillary Clinton on the ticket can do that.

Moreover, the economy won’t be in superb shape in the months leading up to Election Day. Indeed, if the European debt crisis grows worse and if China’s economy continues to slow, there’s a better than even chance we’ll be back in a recession. Clinton would help deflect attention from the bad economy and put it on foreign policy, where she and Obama have shined.

The deal would also make Clinton the obvious Democratic presidential candidate in 2016 — offering the Democrats a shot at twelve (or more) years in the White House, something the Republicans had with Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush but which the Democrats haven’t had since FDR. Twelve years gives the party in power a chance to reshape the Supreme Court as well as put an indelible stamp on America.

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Religious limits on women spur controversy in Israel

From The Washington Post:

By ,
Published: December 27

BEIT SHEMESH, Israel — A sign outside a row of synagogues directing women to walk on the other side of the street has turned this town near Jerusalem into a front line of a raging national debate about the imposition of strict social codes by ultra-Orthodox zealots.A community of 86,000 about a half-hour’s drive from Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh has a growing ultra-Orthodox population. The town has become a cauldron of tension in recent days, with crowds of black-cloaked men assaulting television crews and facing off with police, pelting them with rocks and eggs.

The trigger for the violence was a wave of Israeli media reports about ultra-Orthodox Jews in the town who had put up the controversial sign and hounded local religious schoolgirls, spitting and hurling abuse at them for what they deemed insufficiently modest dress.

The plight of one frightened girl, 8-year-old Naama Margolese, was highlighted Friday in a prime-time television report, along with the sign ordering sidewalk segregation, fueling the debate in Israel over attempts to limit the public visibility of women — a growing trend that has generated an angry backlash.

On Tuesday night, thousands of Israelis gathered in Beit Shemesh to protest religious coercion and the attempts to sideline women. Some held up signs that said: “Exclusion of women is my red line.”

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Shimon Peres condemns ultra-orthodox extremists as tensions escalate

From The Guardian UK:

Israel’s president says minority threaten national values as TV news shows sobbing 8-year-old recounting ordeal

in Jerusalem
, Tuesday 27 December 2011

Israel‘s president urged “the entire nation” to support the battle “to save the majority from the hands of a small minority” on Tuesday, amid rising tensions between the country’s secular and religious Jews on one side and extremist ultra-orthodox groups on the other.

“We are fighting for the soul of the nation and the essence of the state,” Shimon Peres said as thousands of Israelis gathered for a protest following an attack on an eight-year-old girl for dressing “immodestly”.

Tuesday’s demonstration in the town of Beit Shemesh took place close to a school at which girls as young as six have been targeted by zealous ultra-orthodox, or Haredi, men for dressing in regulation knee-length skirts and tops with sleeves to at least the elbow.

Haredi protesters have spat and shouted “whore” and “Nazi” at the pupils and their mothers. Earlier this week, Israeli television news broadcast footage of Naama Margolese, eight, sobbing as she described being abused and spat at on the street by Haredi men. The girl comes from an orthodox Jewish family and attends Orot girls school, which serves religious Jewish families in the area.

Two days of rioting and attacks on television crews by zealous Haredi men in Beit Shemesh followed the broadcast.

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