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Archive for October 23rd, 2014

9/11 Suspect Uses Hobby Lobby Ruling

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 23rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

9/11 Suspect Uses Hobby Lobby Ruling
A high-value Guantanamo detainee has asked a military judge to end a new policy at the detention facility that allows female guards to escort him to meetings with his attorneys. He says that according to the Supreme Court, the policy violates his religious rights. Walid Bin Attash, one of the alleged plotters of the 9/11 attacks, is currently facing a military tribunal. His legal team cited the Supreme Court’s divisive decision in this year’s so-called Hobby Lobby case to bolster his argument in an emergency motion filed this week.

Cowboys Drop Michael Sam from Practice Squad
The Dallas Cowboys have waived defensive end Michael Sam from their practice squad and signed linebacker Troy Davis. Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team, signed with the Cowboys on Sept. 3 after he was among the final cuts of the St. Louis Rams. “I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates and fans for their support,” Sam wrote on Twitter.


Corporate earnings gains drive US stock higher

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 23rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Corporate earnings gains drive US stock higher
NEW YORK (AP) — Earnings gains from General Motors, 3M and other big companies are driving stocks sharply higher in early trading.

New Mexico wants home of noted artist recognized
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Artist Luis Jimenez is credited with helping transform the definition of public art in the U.S. with his larger-than-life, debate-provoking fiberglass sculptures.

Jerusalem Mayor Vows to Calm City
Motorist with history of violence killed infant American girl on Wednesday.


Rep. Don Young offends Alaska students with talk about suicide, gays

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 23rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Rep. Don Young offends Alaska students with talk about suicide, gays
Longtime Alaskan congressman assigns blame for suicides and insults students during Tuesday appearance at Wasilla High School


Hundreds Protest George Will Speech As He Defends Campus Rape Comments

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 23rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Hundreds Protest George Will Speech As He Defends Campus Rape Comments

Will protest

Several hundred students reportedly protested George Will’s speech last night at Miami University in response to his claim that efforts to fight sexual assault have made “victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges” on college campuses.

Will, whose column is distributed by the Washington Post News Service and Syndicate, has been criticized by U.S. senators, media, and women’s equality groups since the publication of his “coveted status” piece on June 6. Will has been making similar comments for more than two decades.

The columnist’s appearance at the Oxford, Ohio, campus — for which he received $48,000 — became the subject of controversy over the last week. Nearly 1,200 students, faculty, and staff signed a letter stating that hosting Will “sends the wrong message to current students, prospective students, and their families about the tolerance of rape culture and predatory sexual behavior at Miami University,” according to the Miami University Women’s Center. The speech also drew criticism from professors at the school’s Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program and the national women’s rights group UltraViolet.

While protesters outside the Farmer School of Business event were denouncing Will’s appearance and discussing their experiences with sexual assault on campus, inside, Will was defending his column from student critics. According to The Cincinnati Enquirer:

In response to the student Will said many have misconstrued the points in his column but acknowledged the controversy, saying “I’ve written columns since 1973, but the one you are talking about has certainly gotten the attention of this campus.”

In response, Will defended his column and criticized “the dubious sociology” of ill-defined federal definitions of sexual assault that he contends diminishes the legal rights of the overwhelmingly male defendants assumed “guilty until proven innocent” under the new laws.

A second student who asked about Will about his column, who identified herself as a victim of sexual assault, subsequently told Cincinnati’s WLWT:

She said she asked Will about his comments concerning the cost of treatment for sexual assault victims.

“He replied in a series of non-finished sentences at which point I said, ‘I have specifically received treatment and is it worth it?’ and he said, ‘Yes, it is, but only for real survivors of real rape,’ and it was very diminishing and deterring my ability to talk about it,” she said.

Watch this report on the protests from Cincinnati’s WCPO:

Here are some images from the protest, courtesy of the Facebook page of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program:

Will protest


The Embarrassing American Parenting Fail

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 23rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

The Embarrassing American Parenting Fail
Heather Wilhelm, RealClearPolitics
When it comes to public image, the millennial generation isn’t exactly knocking the cover off the ball. Just Google something like “Millennials are the worst” and you’ll see headlines labeling the 14-34 age demographic as “deluded narcissists,” “America’s worst generation,” and, somewhat hilariously, people whom Pizza Hut marketers apparently find “super boring.” The New York Times, meanwhile, recently took a higher road by couching its mild disdain in concern: “Can Millennials Stand a Chance in the Real…

In Iowa, Mike Huckabee Is Making Moves
Scott Conroy, RealClearPolitics
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — It was just another routine photo-op at a Republican field office Tuesday morning until Mike Huckabee decided to improvise. In a cheeky attempt to bring himself level with Cody Hoefert — the 7-foot-tall co-chairman of the Iowa Republican Party — Huckabee pulled up a chair and began to climb atop it. He didn’t have to complete the physical joke to get the laughs he was looking for from the group of gray-haired volunteers who had assembled for his appearance with Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst. “Golly!” the 5-11 Huckabee marveled….

Still in Denial on Ebola
Michael Gerson, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — It is such a relief about that Ebola thing. The threat of an American outbreak turned out to be overhyped. A military operation is underway to help those poor Liberians. An Ebola czar (what is his name again?) has been appointed to coordinate the U.S. government response. The growth of the disease in Africa, by some reports, seems to have slowed. On to the next crisis. Except that this impression of control is an illusion, and a particularly dangerous one. The Ebola virus has multiplied in a medium of denial. There was the initial denial that a rural disease, causing isolated…


Lunch with Len McCluskey, union baron (and Downton fan)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 23rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Lunch with Len McCluskey, union baron (and Downton fan)
Unite chief on his life, Miliband and why he likes Downton Abbey

UK told to pay £1.7bn extra to EU
The UK has been told it must pay an extra £1.7bn (2.1bn euros) towards the European Union’s budget because the economy has performed better than expected in recent years.


Despite Telltale Signs, Ottawa Gunman Was Not Flagged as a Threat

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 23rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Despite Telltale Signs, Ottawa Gunman Was Not Flagged as a Threat
The Canadian police acknowledged that the man was not identified as a security threat despite a criminal record in three cities, embrace of extremist ideas and intent to travel to Syria.



World Briefing: Hearing in Haitians’ Cholera Case
A federal judge in Manhattan heard arguments on Thursday in the first court proceeding over Haitian cholera victims’ lawsuit against the United Nations.



Khenpo Kartse, Tibetan Religious Leader, Is Said to Be Sentenced in China
The well-known figure had been accused of harboring a fugitive monk from Chamdo in his own monastery in the Yushu area of Qinghai Province.



Ottawa Gunman’s Family Releases Statement
The parents of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the man authorities identified as the gunman, expressed grief over the shooting.




Anti-Domestic Violence PSA Featuring NFL Players Will Air During Thursday Night Football

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 23rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Anti-Domestic Violence PSA Featuring NFL Players Will Air During Thursday Night Football

High-profile current and former players joined the NO MORE campaign to speak out against domestic violence and sexual assault.

The post Anti-Domestic Violence PSA Featuring NFL Players Will Air During Thursday Night Football appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Pittsburgh Steelers safety William Gay, whose mother was killed by an abuser, is among the NFL players participating in a new anti-domestic violence PSA.

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back William Gay, whose mother was killed by an abuser, is among the NFL players participating in a new anti-domestic violence PSA.

CREDIT: AP

As the NFL continues to deal with the fallout and public scrutiny that came with its handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal and other incidents of violence against women, more than two dozen NFL players have come forward to participate in an anti-domestic violence public service announcement that will air during tonight’s edition of Thursday Night Football.

The PSAs are part of the NO MORE campaign, an effort to end domestic violence and sexual assault that has partnered with celebrities and corporations. It includes high-profile current NFL players like New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, and Washington running back Alfred Morris, as well as top former players like Hall of Famers Cris Carter and Aeneas Williams. It also includes Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back William Gay, whose mother was killed by her partner and who spoke out on domestic violence during the Rice scandal.

The PSA’s message focuses on saying “no more” to typical excuses offered after accusations of domestic violence or sexual assault. Watch the 60-second version:

The PSA is not an NFL-led effort. According to the campaign, individual players stepped forward to participate after seeing the original versions, which featured actors, actresses, and other celebrities relaying similar messages. The NFL did donate air time for the original PSA in September, amid criticism for its handling of the Rice case. According to a release announcing the PSA, it was produced pro bono and directed by Mariska Hargitay, the actress known for her role in Law & Order: SVU who started the Joyful Heart Foundation, a victims advocacy organization.

“It is a huge opportunity because people look to football players to set the bar,” Hargitay said earlier this month. “These are the people who are our heroes today. And if they stand up and say, “No more” and show men how to be real men … you know, this is targeted at young boys. We’re trying to grow them up a different way and teach them that there are different options and alternatives, and violence is not one of them.”

The post Anti-Domestic Violence PSA Featuring NFL Players Will Air During Thursday Night Football appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Texans Call On School Board To Remove Climate Denial From Textbooks

“Teachers and school boards want textbooks that handle climate change accurately, and they are watching to see which publishers fix these errors.”

The post Texans Call On School Board To Remove Climate Denial From Textbooks appeared first on ThinkProgress.

In this Sept. 17, 2013 file photo, pro-science supporters rally prior to a State Board of Education public hearing on proposed new science textbooks, in Austin, Texas.

In this Sept. 17, 2013 file photo, pro-science supporters rally prior to a State Board of Education public hearing on proposed new science textbooks, in Austin, Texas.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Eric Gay

Thousands of Texans are calling on the state legislature to fix errors in proposed science textbooks, many of which skew facts about climate change.

Petitions with more than 24,000 signatures from Texas residents were delivered to the Texas Board of Education and textbook publishing executives in Austin this week. The petitions call for changes in the state’s proposed new science textbooks, which are currently under review by the state’s Board of Education. Representatives from the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), Climate Parents, and the Texas Freedom Network organized and delivered the petitions to the board, which will be voting in November on what textbooks to approve. As NCSE notes in a release, however, publishers can make edits to the textbooks any time before the vote occurs — changes the groups hope will occur as a result of the petitions.

“Teachers and school boards want textbooks that handle climate change accurately, and they are watching to see which publishers fix these errors,” Josh Rosenau, Programs and Policy Director at NCSE said in a release. “These petitions show that parents, teachers, students, and voters across Texas will make sure the board doesn’t let these errors slip into their classrooms.”

The petitions stemmed from a report published last month by NCSE which found multiple misleading statements relating to climate change in Texas’s proposed new textbooks. The report highlighted a section in a proposed sixth-grade geography textbook that states that scientists “do not agree” on the cause of climate change.

“Is it just another natural warming cycle like so many cycles that have occurred in the past?” The book asks. “Or is climate change anthropogenic — caused by human activity?” The book lays out evidence for each side of the climate change “debate” and then asks students, “which side’s evidence is more convincing?”

Rosenau wrote in the Washington Post Thursday that these prompts for students to debate the science behind climate change are especially disappointing because, though climate science is readily agreed upon by experts, there are multiple other aspects of climate change that can spark interesting, intelligent debate.

“There are active controversies over how to address climate change, who should bear the costs of averting some climate change or preparing for its consequences, and what the best ways are to prepare,” he wrote. “All of those touch centrally on the geography—political, economic, cultural, and physical—and cultures of today’s citizens, and of today’s students who will grow up to be tomorrow’s citizens. There’s no reason for a geography textbook to open up a debate about science to begin with, and especially not one that’s been resolved for over a decade.”

The report also highlighted an elementary school social studies textbook that contained a section that asserted that scientists believe the earth is experiencing a natural warming trend and that earth would “have some cooler years and things will even out.” This statement is misleading, the NCSE report notes, because this isn’t what climate scientists believe: 97 percent of climate scientists agree that the earth’s warming trends are caused by human activities, and don’t think it’s a trend that will even itself out naturally.

The fight over Texas textbooks’ treatment of climate change has heated up this year, largely because Texas’ new textbooks will likely be emulated by other states: Texas has the largest public school system in the country and also maintains strict standards for textbooks, so publishers tend to base their new textbooks around what Texas wants. The fight is also part of a larger battle over the Next Generation Science Standards, national guidelines for public schools around the country to consider when teaching science. Texas, along with some other largely-conservative states, isn’t likely to adopt the standards.

The post Texans Call On School Board To Remove Climate Denial From Textbooks appeared first on ThinkProgress.


Terror, Repression and Diaspora: The Baby Doc Legacy in Haiti

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 23rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Terror, Repression and Diaspora: The Baby Doc Legacy in Haiti
From: Foreign Policy In Focus

The country's late dictator leaves behind a 1-million-strong diaspora unlikely to ever return home.

Give Police Less Work
From: Mychal Denzel Smith

People in law enforcement need to re-evaluate their responsibilities.

The Real Poop on Pig-Castrating GOP Senate Candidate Joni Ernst
From: Leslie Savan

“Simply a statement that I support life" is the new "I'm not a scientist."

A Red State Democrat for Senate Who Hates Keystone?
From: Zoë Carpenter

The bright spot for environmentalists in the midterms is, improbably, in deep-red South Dakota.


Canada Loses Its Innocence

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 23rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Canada Loses Its Innocence
Roy MacGregor, Globe and Mail
It is probably safe to assume that you have been following the midterm elections closely. You decided to click on this link, which would indicate that you have at least a passing interest in the coming national vote in which Americans will determine which party controls the upper chamber of Congress for the remainder of the Obama presidency. If, however, you have been closely following the coverage of the coming midterms, you might have noticed that network news outlets do not appear to share your enthusiasm. You’re not imagining things.

Can a Pro-Life Platform Win Elections?
Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker
The afternoon in May, Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, took the Senate floor to ask for a vote on a provocatively named bill: the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after twenty weeks of gestation. “There are only seven countries in the world that allow elective abortions at this stage,” he said. “At twenty weeks, people have been born and survived.”

Rand Paul and Conservative Realism
Eliana Johnson, National Review
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. That, apparently, is Rand Paul’s approach to convincing the political establishment and, perhaps more important, Republican-primary voters, that he is not an isolationist.