Archive for freedom

Who Hurts GOP Women The Most, Men Or Women?

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"Why, I do declare," Miss Elmers said," how awfully hard these men folk make it on us demure ladies. Seems so burdensome, doesn't it now, with all those fancy big numbers and those complicated words they use. Why, it's all a woman can do to not take to the salts and feel the vapors without a man at her side to tell her what she should think. Another Mint Julep?"

If you think that awful made-up dialogue is from some old MGM costume Civil War piece, it certainly could be. But this kind of talk is actually being spewed right now as we speak. And it's being done by a North Carolina congresswoman, Renee Ellmers, who believes that the Republican Party would make more headway with women voters if it could bring policy discussions “down to a woman’s level.”

Raw Story:

The problem, she said, is that male politicians are making the policy discussion too complicated for women to understand.

“Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level,” Ellmers said. “Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and how, you know, the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that.”

“We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life — that’s the way to go,” she said.

Can you really believe this woman was elected to her office in Congress? She's about as contemporary as a hooped skirt and a whale bone corset. What is going on in this country that backwards thinkers like this are being allowed to ruin the lives of other women?

North Carolina by its mere antiquated, backwards and restrictive actions has a lot to apologize for -- but Renee Elmers's election to Congress might take the cake.

Wake up people. Your votes count. Make sure you use them and use them for your best interests. You don't need someone to tell you what's right nor do you need someone to talk down to you. You deserve better than this.

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Republicans Graham & Labrador Lead Charge Of Anarchy

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IncarceratedImmigrantChildrenKOMOw292h212image:  KOMO News

The law is the law. If you don't like it, change it, but don't break it.

Sadly, the cry from the confused right wing is two-fold. The first is a given. Whatever the issue is, it's Obama's fault. The second is, only follow the law when you like it. Look at Cliven Bundy as an example.

We are now facing a critical time on our borders. Vast numbers of undocumented immigrants, many of them unaccompanied minors, are crossing our border in order to seek refuge and asylum. Others just looking for a new start, being sent by their families to stake out a new start for a more promising future.

Regardless of the reason they are here, we have laws and they must be followed or else we have anarchy -- something the right wing of the Republican party is wont to commence. They're losing their grasp on the control of the country and will do everything within their capacity to not fall into obscurity. Even if it means our system must fall along with them.

The law is quite simple in regards to this immigration crisis. There's a legislative process set up and it must be followed until such time as it's changed. Sadly GOP mouthpieces like Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), two loudmouths without brains, are leading a charge of anarchy. They want due process of law ignored. Law that their party passed. In 2002 it was the Homeland Security Act and then in 2008 it was the Human Trafficking Act -- both bills signed by Republican George Bush. Both laws spell out exactly how children are to be dealt with who arrive across our borders as undocumented immigrants. 

Congressman Luis Gutierrez, (D-Illinois) spelled it out quite simply and clearly with Chris Hayes last night during All In. Please take a look and you'll understand what the Republicans and right wingers refuse to accept.

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Never Too Young Or Too Old To Be Accosted By Cops In Miami Gardens, Florida

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Miami Gardens

If Florida has become the laughing stock of the country when it comes to law enforcement, then this story should come as no surprise. Miami Gardens, Florida. Ever hear of it? It's a city on the northern border of Miami. It's estimated population, as of 2011 is around 110,000. That number will be relevant in a moment.

Before that though, it's interesting to take note that the city has its own stop and frisk laws. And if you thought what was happening in New York under Bloomberg was shameful, here's the big apple on steroids.

From Fusion Network (co-owned by the Disney Corporation and Univision Communications) -- known for also owning ABC News and Univision Television comes a startling series of reports.

In the summer of 2010, a young black man was stopped and questioned by police on the streets of Miami Gardens, Florida. According to the report filled out by the officer, he was "wearing gray sweatpants, a red hoodie and black gloves” giving the police "just cause” to question him. In the report, he was labeled a "suspicious person.”

He was an 11-year-old boy on his way to football practice.

That might seem a bit "aggressive" but cops have to be vigilant for our safety.

A Fusion investigation has found that he was just one of 56,922 people who were stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens Police Department (MGPD) between 2008 and 2013. That’s the equivalent of more than half of the city’s population.

Here's the topper:

Not one of them was arrested.

Let's back up. Half of the city's population has been stopped and frisked and not one arrest?

According to a review of 99,980 "field contact” reports, they were stopped, written up and often identified as "suspicious” -- but just like the 11-year-old boy -- the encounter was recorded in a public database, and they were let go.

Fusion’s analysis of more than 30,000 pages of field contact reports, shows how aggressive and far-reaching the police actions were. Some residents were stopped, questioned and written up multiple times within minutes of each other, by different officers. Children were stopped by police in playgrounds. Officers even wrote a report identifying a five-year-old child as a "suspicious person."

Lest you think just tweens and teens are being targeted, seniors as well.

Senior citizens were stopped and questioned near their retirement home, including a 99-year-old man deemed to be "suspicious.”

What made this 99 year old suspicious other than he was still breathing on his own at that age? And God bless him, BTW.

Two officers from the MGPD told Fusion that high-ranking department officials gave them orders to "bring in the numbers” by conducting stops and arrests. One officer said he was ordered to stop all black males between 15 and 30 years of age.

What is this whole thing is about? It's an outrage. Can there be any valid defense of these actions? Here's the Miami Garden's Police Department's official justification for this program that's stopped so many and arrested so few (if you call zero being a few).

According to the current police chief, simply being in a "high crime area” may be enough reason to stop and question people. Because of the city’s high crime rate, this means virtually any person can be stopped.

If this stop and frisk program was working, then why is there a high crime area? It should have little to none -- just like their arrest reports. This is nothing more than institutional harassment and needs to be stopped.  This is as blatant as civil rights infringements can get.

If you want to see for yourself how random all of this is, check out this video from Fusion.

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Mid-Day Distraction: Beagle Freedom Project

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Beagle Freedom Project

From the 'About' secion on YouTube:

On May 6, 2014, Beagle Freedom Project rescued nine beagles from a laboratory in Nevada. Until this day, these beagles had never known a kind touch, been loved or felt safe. Their lives are about to change forever.

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Bill Maher Gushes to Pussy Riot: 'You Guys Are Gangsta'

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Putin
Image: Wikipedia

Congratulations to Bill Maher for having Pussy Riot on his show!

The repost.us service is no longer available so we have removed that code from The Political Carnival.

Here is the original post on RawStory

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George Zimmerman Now Can't Even Draw Flies

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Zimmerman

In the immortal words of B.B. King, "The thrill is gone. The thrill is gone away." And that's good news when it comes to George Zimmerman.

George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watchman and killer of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, failed to draw many fans at an Orlando gun show on Saturday, according to the NY Daily News. What can you say? Maybe the fascination with this killer has worn off. I wonder how OJ would have done at this event?

NY Daily News:

Over the course of six hours, fewer than 20 people at the gun show asked for a free autographed photo of Zimmerman, who was situated in a rear office of The Arms Room gun store in Orlando. The gun show, originally booked at Orlando’s Majestic Events Center, had been cancelled after word that Zimmerman would appear, however the promoters were able to secure another venue.

fizzies

So, here's hoping sanity has returned to the public. Fascination with fads, like Fizzies and Lickamade are passing fancies. Now we can try adding George Z to that list.

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Blood, Fire and Ice: Kiev's Deadly Winter Floodlights the East-West Divide

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Photo by Artem SLIPACHUK, The Day dot com

This post was written by our guest contributor, "hardybear" of the wonderful Free Range Talk site:

Kiev, glory of the banks of the River Dnipro and the shining city of the Ukraine, is now one more Protest-to-Near-War zone in a global political climate that showcases violence and further schismatic, fatality-frenzied divides in the oldest civilizations we collectively share.

While the world's eyes are on the Games in Sochi, the iron chest of Putin is puffed out in a stern egoist posture of Amicable Host. Unopened Olympic Rings and a stingingly harsh Men's Hockey loss are seemingly no more annoying than simul-cams of the Ukranian 'Pal of Putin' President Viktor Yanukovych's epic fail to find a non-nuclear solution in Kiev. To the tragic tune of over 70 dead yesterday alone. The most lethal day since the Ukraine separated from the USSR in 1992.

For now. In less than a long weekend, Vladimir will unsmilingly wave off the World and turn his fist to the Ukraine. After  centuries decades of their Russian-Soviet-Russian love-tyranny relationship, one suspects that he will Impale as many humans opposed to his worldview as possible in his dear Western-obsessed Kyiv.

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Protesters worked to reinforce barricades in Kiev on Friday. Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times.

In 1980 locals were as eager to meet a young American as I was to learn everything possible about the USSR, and Kiev was a great city to start the stint in. It went beyond young Ukranians wanting to purchase the Levi's off my arse, they wanted to sing and dance to Stones and Beatles tunes and to know every last detail about life and democracy in France and America. When I realized last month that a childhood friend from Vermont and his family were not going to be able to leave their home of nearly a decade in Ukraine and lived less than a half mile away from the protest zone, I reached out and was stunned to hear that they were in the thick of things, being Helpers in unimaginable chaos.

When the following email came along early Thursday morning from the chum's Ukranian wife, what was happening in Kiev on the tee vee suddenly became a reality under our safe, snow-laden country roof. [Names abbreviated for privacy reasons.]

[The government] Just published the message that in a few hours they will announce State of emergency. They will switch off mobile service and internet. SO if we are OFF line just stay in touch over the phone. We just came back from the main square. 5 dead bodies were lying under the tent. People say that we should hide and walk behind anything because there is a sniper on the roof that kills people. By the time we came back I was 15 dead. We stayed some time at Mikhailovskiy cathedral helping to sort medicine that people bring every second. Bags of syringes, IV, things for surgery, etc. J---- just left to pick up E---- from school.

We'll be in touch.

Antigovernment protesters man a barricade in Kiev on Friday. Baz Ratner:Reuters

Antigovernment protesters man a barricade in Kiev on Friday. Baz Ratner:Reuters

I am thrilled to report that today their family remains safe, if all too close to the action. Other neighbors, friends and 'passionate about democracy' pals were not so fortunate, and thanks to some quickly made acquaintances, we followed other eye-witness reports out of the city yesterday and today mourn many, as you can witness in the photo tribute below.

The historic Podil Quarter, one of Kiev's most charming areas to find a European café and luxe-ly breakfast on strong java and the dense local cheesecake called Syrnyk, was a popular place for families to gather in quieter times. Perhaps 19-year old Ustyn Holdnyuk had met his father there before his last day on earth, February 20, 2014. From the Facebook timeline of a noted champion of the cause in Kiev, Borys Gudziak, excerpts from a story titled "Blue Helmet".

BLUE HELMET

A strong man in his 50s with pale wax-like face-mask and red, fixed at one point eyes, was sitting on his knees next to the body covered by a bloody sheet… He didn’t have any force even to half-open it.

At last, he opened a bloody sheet by its corner, recognized his son, and covered his face immediately. He turned his head aside where eleven bodies were lying, also covered by white sheets with blood traces. Small pieces of paper with something written by red felt-tip pen were attached to those sheets at the level of the faces.
A big blue spot were seen among all this red painting on a white background… This was a military helmet painted in blue UN color. Covered by blood, it had a bullet hole on the left side at the level of the temple.

TJUkraineYoungMenw434h244

Ustyn Holdnyuk, 19 y.o., student from Zbarazh, small town in Ternopil region, Western Ukraine, was supposed to meet his father at 11 a.m. at October St. That’s what they agreed upon at 9 in the morning.

Ustyn was Maidan defender since November. They agreed that his father will bring him home, he needed some rest. But Ustyn didn’t survive those two hours before meeting his father.

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Fallen in Kiev ... and one Blue Helmet. Image, Facebook

“I told him: “Take care there, don’t expose yourself, the road is ahead”, said Holodnyuk. “He smiled saying: “Dad, don’t worry! I have a magic UN helmet and nothing will happen to me”. Those were his last words I heard from him”.

 

R.I.P. Ustyn. Image, Facebook

R.I.P. Ustyn. Image, Facebook

Volodymyr, Ustyn’s father, takes the helmet from the floor and is looking at the fresh lood of his son inside and outside the helmet, brings it closer to his face as if he wants to feel the smell and the warmth of his son, trying to say something, but his attempts are cutting short with the words “blue helmets”…

Former policeman, serving his whole life to his country, he’s trying to muffle… But he can’t…

Ustyn did not have any chance to survive, as well as even other lying next to him at the floor of Ukraina hotel, equipped for a temporary morgue, according to Olga Bohomolets, doctor in chief of the mobile hospital of Maidan self-defence.

“Sniper or snipers were professionals, she says. All their victims were shot in heart or head. All are killed with 7,62 mm bullets [Dragunov sniper rifle]. They were shot to defeat”.
As a citizen, Ustyn’s father was supporting his son’s striving to be on Maidan, says Volodymyr. As his father, he was against.

Original text by Sergei Loiko
Translation by Iryna Ozymok
Facebook 2014

An enlightening interview from Thursday with Gudziak himself, wherein he gives an excellent brief history of the culture and conflict. In two brief parts.

It was mediocre news to hear around Noon EST Friday that the protesters and the Ukranian government have reached a "political reform deal" and have broached the bone of 'early' elections, three European Union ministries and councils helped broker the new truce, according to the New York Times.

KIEV, Ukraine — The embattled president of Ukraine and leaders of the opposition signed a political deal on Friday aimed at ending a spiral of lethal violence with early elections and a reduction in presidential powers, but Russia declined to endorse the accord and many protesters said nothing short of the president’s resignation would get them off the street.

Stay tuned. And please keep this story alive and these brave, relateable people in your hearts and minds.

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