From the Washington Times, who republished it from World Net Daily because yes, the Washington Times is so ridiculous a news outlet that they have to crib stories even from the darkest opium dens of internet conspiracy, I present to you the most insane sentence ever passed off as an actual news story:
Medical examiners in Los Angeles are investigating the possible poisoning death of one of their own officials who may have worked on the case of Andrew Breitbart, the conservative firebrand who died March 1, the same day Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced probable cause for forgery in President Obama?s birth certificate.The death of all American journalism was confirmed at 5:42 PM on Sunday. It is survived by two children, Farce and Insanity. In lieu of flowers the family asks for donations to send members of the Washington Times to somewhere where they can get the help they so sorely need.
The Gold Report: Paolo, a lot has changed since we talked in January 2011. Specifically, National Bank Financial purchased your former employer, Wellington West Mining. More generally, the once-rebounding world of precious metals equities is now decidedly bearish. What is your take on precious metals equities?
Paolo Lostritto: We are seeing two things. One is ongoing cost creep and eroding margins. The second is a dampening of valuations as the market tries to assess the resurgence of sovereign debt risk and the potential of an unorganized breakup in Europe, as signaled by bond . . . → Read More: A Defensive Portfolio Is the Best Offense: Paolo Lostritto
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You've heard of gateway drugs -- smoking marijuana supposedly leads to harder, more addictive substances. But what about "gateway sexual activity": the hand-holding, lip-locking and light-grazes that can lead to ... other things?
The Tennessee Legislature on Friday sent a bill to Gov. Bill Haslam's desk that, according to the Tennessean, would require sex-ed classes to "exclusively and emphatically" promote abstinence and ban teachers and outside groups from promoting "gateway sexual activity."
The bill defines "gateway sexual activity" as: "sexual conduct encouraging an individual to engage in a non-abstinent behavior." The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Jim Gotto, said the bill wouldn't address things as innocuous as holding hands, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. But critics of the legislation say the offending behavior is not clearly defined. Gotto did not immediately return TPM's request for comment.
According to the News Sentinel, groups like Planned Parenthood and others who provide sex education information in schools could face a $500 fine. Planned Parenthood did not immediately return TPM's request for comment. But the organization's Director of Education Elokin CaPese told TIME that "If the state of Tennessee gets to create the [sex] curriculum, it has to create something that umbrella reflects everyone."
At a press availability with a foreign head of government no less, President Obama just pressed reporters to look back at Mitt Romney's earlier statements about not prioritizing hunting down Osama bin Laden and not invading Pakistani sovereign territory[...]
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Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
Tomorrow, May 1, is the General Strike, the ?Day Without the 99%?, planned by Occupy, immigrant and labor organizations, and more. Much of what?s being discussed includes a realization that tomorrow?s General Strike isn?t going to ?shut down? whole cities, much less the nation. May Day organizers are well aware that for many people, taking a day off from work is very difficult, if not impossible (if you want to keep your job). The May Day strike is recognized as a bigger, visible step that begins a month, and likely a summer, of actions. But primarily, another of many steps, a moment in the process.
Attention by mainstream media ? how much and how it spins ? will be interesting to watch. I?m still guessing that, in general, the Republicans will use May Day in a scapegoat / scare tactic way, and Democrats will use it in a co-opting / scare tactic way.
May Day, or International Workers Day, has its beginnings in Chicago. At May Day NYC:
The origins of May Day lie in the revolutionary year of 1886: a wave of mass strikes surged across the heartland of America, focused on the fight for an 8-hour day. The American Federation of Labour had adopted a resolution stating ?eight hours shall constitute a legal day?s labour from and after May 1st, 1886?. In Chicago, over 100,000 workers struck. There, during a demonstration on May 3rd, a crowd confronted strike-breakers leaving the nearby McCormick factory, chasing them back inside. Without warning, police opened fire on the crowd, killing four and seriously wounding many.
The following day a rally was called at Haymarket Square to protest the police violence. … As the meeting was winding down, a group of 180 police stormed in and ordered everyone to disperse. A bomb was thrown towards the police line. Who threw it – whether protestor or provocateur – has never been determined. … One police officer was killed, many others were injured. The police opened fire on the crowd, killing dozens. … Eight revolutionary labor leaders were arrested, seven of whom had not even been present in Haymarket at the time. In the absence of any evidence linking them to the bomb, the ?Chicago Eight? were tried solely on the basis of their political beliefs. All eight were sentenced to death.
Several years later, in honor of their slain comrades, the Second International Congress declared May 1st International Workers Day.
Ironically ? or maybe, just an unsurprising result of government and corporate pressure to erase such unpleasantness from history ? May Day is widely celebrated internationally, but not in the nation where it originated. At May Day NYC:
… political repression can be seen in the … attempt to ?forget? May Day by renaming it: it was first renamed ?Americanization Day? in 1921, then ?Loyalty Day? and ?Legal Day? in 1958. Another manifestation of this repression can be seen in the attempts in the 1950s to ban May Day marches in NYC … .
Regarding this year?s actions, from Occupy.com:
On November 17, Occupy L.A. and Occupy Long Beach issued a joint call for a nationwide general strike, to occur on May Day 2012. Over the course of the last few months, general assemblies in New York, Oakland, Tampa, Minneapolis, Boston and dozens more have adopted the call.
For more, see May Day Directory, including a selective list of May Day actions around the world, as well as in the U.S.; Taking Back May Day and Where to Find Comprehensive Coverage of May Day?s National Protests.
Not surprisingly, the May Day (and beyond) plans have been noticed by government and corporations. For example, via Bloomberg:
The world?s biggest banks are working with one another and police to gather intelligence as protesters try to rejuvenate the Occupy Wall Street movement with May demonstrations, industry security consultants said. …
Banks cooperating on surveillance are like elk fending off wolves in Yellowstone National Park, (Brian McNary, director of global risk at Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations) said. While other animals try in vain to sprint away alone, elk survive attacks by forming a ring together, he said.
And this from OWS:
… the Obama Administration has released to corporate media a vague bulletin warning of possible terrorist attacks on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden?s death. While the actual date of bin Laden?s death is May 2nd, many media outlets … have reported the date as May 1st. …
While both the FBI and Dept. of Homeland Security … , as well as the White House and top NYPD officials, have said there are no ?credible? or ?specific? threats, New York Congressman Peter King told local media the public ?might notice increased security? on May 1st. …
In the same post, the Chicago Sun Times is quoted in regard to a
federal government … decision to create a ?Red Zone? … weeks before the NATO summit … .
The Federal Protective Service will deploy additional personnel beginning May 1, bringing in more people from out of town and outfitting them in ?battle dress uniform.? They will be carrying ?non-lethal? long guns … .
Put it all together, and this seems like a good way to close. From Press Action:
1,000 Reasons to Strike on May 1
No more denial. No more excuses. No more pretending everything is okay. No more waiting for someone else to step up and do it for us. …
(May 2012 Poster via OWS News)
There isn't a single Caucasian student in the class my pal Roland teaches. There wasn't one last year either. Or the year before. No wonder Republicans-- and let's face it, would anyone choose to be a Republican if they weren't racist on a profound level?-- don't want to continue paying for public education! Roland tells me the Mexican students are almost universally respectful and eager to learn and that the parents are super-involved in the education process and recognize that upward mobility comes through education. A friend of mine in Georgia, one of the most oppressive states in many ways, immigration included, sent me the above video. It was made by some talented high school kids in his daughter's school. They're not allowed to go to Georgia's public universities but some of gotten full scholarships-- based on merit-- to some of the most prestigious private universities in America. University of Georgia's loss. Georgia Tech's loss. Georgia's loss. And Georgia is far from the only state working itself into a racist frenzy of repression over immigrants coming here from Latin America. People of Color Organize blogs about the attack on Mexican culture itself in Arizona.
There have been 71 reported deaths on the US-Mexican border in Arizona since October 1, 2011. This isn?t the full story though. Tucson hit the national news again earlier this year when the Tucson Unified School District voted to ban Mexican American Studies and had the books removed while classes were in session. Now John Huppenthal, a state official involved in the ban is reported to be targeting the department of Mexican-American studies at the university and other college-level programs.
I believe these sorts of attacks on Mexican culture, in conjunction with xenophobic legislation such as SB 1070 has created the sort of environment where the April 8 shooting deaths of two Latino immigrants in a wash that is part of the migrants? trail near Eloy are a natural extension of government actions, especially since this occurred just after what has been reported to be the largest series of immigration raids ever.
Earlier this month state senators in Tennessee approved an update to our sex-education law that would ban teachers from discussing hand-holding, which it categorizes as ?gateway sexual activity.? The bill came fast on the heels of a new state law that effectively allows creationism to be taught in our classrooms. Though he voiced misgivings, our governor, Bill Haslam, refused to veto it.
It?s election season, and there?s no doubt these politicians are pandering to Tennessee?s conservative Christian majority. They?re right in one sense: most of us, myself included, are faithful Christians. But by politicizing our faith, they are ignoring Tennessee?s true religious roots and threatening the liberties they claim to protect.
Our governor, like many of our state?s political leaders past and present-- from Estes Kefauver and Cordell Hull to Howard Baker and Lamar Alexander-- was born and raised here in East Tennessee, and he knows well how deep-rooted our spirituality is in Appalachia.
But he seems to have forgotten where it comes from.
The first Scots-Irish settlers to move into these mountains, the ones who saw the fog lying thick between the trees and called them the Smokies, were religious dissenters. They refused to live under the Penal Laws that forced them to accept Christianity as the English defined it. The churches they established rejected formalized, state-sanctioned religion and embraced diversity and individualism.
...I fear that these bills, written to give us what they think we want, will have the opposite effect. By legislating our Christianity, what they?re really doing is taking it away from us.
Sibel Edmonds’ new book, Classified Woman, is like an FBI file on the FBI, only without the incompetence. The experiences she recounts resemble K.’s trip to the castle, as told by Franz Kafka, only without the pleasantness and humanity.[...]
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In an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes, former Central Intelligence Agency clandestine operations chief Jose Rodriguez defended his department’s use of torture methods when questioning terrorist suspects.
We made some al Qaeda terrorists with American blood on their hands uncomfortable for a few days. But we did the right thing for the right reason. And the right reason was to protect the homeland and to protect American lives. So yes, I had no qualms. [...]
If there was going to be another attack against the U.S., we would have blood on our hands because we would not have been able to extract that information from [a terrorist suspect]. So we started to talk about an alternative set of interrogation procedures.
Watch a clip:
Rodriguez compared so-called stress positions, such as making detainees hold their hands above their heads, and sleep-deprivation to going to the gym and jetlag, respectively. He cited the interrogations of alleged Al Qaeda terrorists Abu Zubaydeh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. “This program was about instilling a sense of hopelessness and despair on the terrorist, on the detainee, so that he would conclude on his own that he was better off cooperating with us,” he said.
But others — including from the military, law enforcement and politicians — have said that interrogations are most effective when interrogators stick to the script laid out on interrogations in the Army Field Manual, which is informed by decades of military experience. Anti-torture advocates note that the interrogation techniques employed during the Bush administration American values, endanger U.S. troops who might facing reciprocal treatment, and often lead to false information because subjects of harsh interrogations will say anything to get the sessions to end.
When confronted by CBS’s Leslie Stahl with the FBI’s contention that Abu Zubaydeh gave up his most useful information before harsh interrogations, Rodriguez said, “It’s not true.” Asked about a CIA inspector general’s report stating that the guidelines — or lack thereof — led to “unauthorized, improvised, inhumane and undocumented” techniques, Rodriguez said, “Well our own inspector general in many cases did very sloppy work. That report is flawed in many different ways.” Told by Stahl that she’d heard information gained from Abu Zubayded through waterboarding led the U.S. on wild goose chases, Rodriguez fired back, “Bullshit. He gave us a road map that allowed us to capture a bunch of Al Qaeda senior leaders.” Still-secret documentation of the claims makes sorting out the disputes difficult.
But former FBI interrogator Ali Soufan said in an interview with CNN that “the examples that they are mentioning as the successes of EITs absolutely were not produced by EITs.” He said the information gleaned from Abu Zubaydeh that pointed to Khalid Sheik Muhammad’s central role in the 9/11 attacks came before waterboarding on Abu Zubaydeh began.
When the debate over harsh interrogations reignited after Osama Bin Laden’s killing, numerous former interrogators, officials who oversaw interrogations, military officials and national security experts stated that the techniques were not as effective as traditional interrogation techniques and, furthermore, hurt U.S. interests by putting a bad face forward.
Even sometime Bush administration ally Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wrote, “Ultimately, this is more than a utilitarian debate. This is a moral debate. It is about who we are.”
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) minced no words at a town hall over the weekend, telling constituents that the only reason President Obama was elected in 2008 was because “he’s our first African-American president.”
Speaking at a town hall in Wheeling, Illinois on Sunday, Walsh gave his view on how to win the upcoming presidential election before launching into his take on the previous one. The House Republican said the country only voted for Obama because “he was a historic figure… our first African-American president.” Walsh noted that other factors helped, including McCain’s age, but argued that Obama “never would have gotten there without his historic nature.”
WALSH: He was a historic figure. He?s our first African-American president. The country voted for him because of that. It made us feel good about [our]self. I’ve said it before, it helped that John McCain was about 142 years old. It helped that the economy was tanking. A lot of these things helped. But he never would have gotten there without his historic nature.
To say that a black man named Barack Hussein Obama benefited from latent prejudices is absurd.
Yet Walsh is using this view to undermine the president’s legitimacy and argue that he was elected not on his merits, but because of his race. Earlier in the town hall, Walsh criticized Obama for not being able to “understand this stuff” (speaking about government spending) because “he was an accidental president.”
Still, Walsh isn’t the only one to espouse this worldview. A recent survey found that “white Americans feel they are more discriminated against than blacks.”
Every1Against1, a new campaign to oppose North Carolina’s Amendment 1 connects the discriminatory measure — which would ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships in the state — to the nation’s history of racial segregation. “If Amendment One becomes law ? in effect writing discrimination, prejudice and injustice into our state?s constitution ? what?s next,” the group asks and offers these startling images: