tagged w/ Vierotchka
As of ,....THIS "moment".... ( ( ( ding ) ) )
- I have only looked up 3 citizens o' c u r r e n t ,..........so far,........
janforgore : 59,750 total votes
33,311 submissions ( thats CRAZY nuts )
17, 269 rantings,....uhm, comments
(I kid , .....I kid , -The anointed prophetess of Gaia , Gaea,...Ge,....( U KNOW,...heap BIG avatar of the EARTH GODDESS )
all time winner ! ( for now. . . .)
pjacobs51 : 24,131 total votes ( he sticks with it, fer sure, fer sure )
- - - a VERY bored man,.....but he tries his best to keep amused,...and knowledgeable,... I think the rest of us are the better for it.
- - - - ( I think they win,....but I need help with data---- lend a hand
this is a fun NEW YEAR " c u r r e n t " - thing . )
me 7535 total votes
1077 submissions - - - -( + this one )
16,269 comments GOD,....but I talk a lot, - - - not more than the "earth itself", ....mind you,.........
----------- HELP ------------
( with this ) ..................add NAMES !
http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/ppart/ppart1002/ppart100200029/6416468-gold-star-in-a-gold-circle.jpgAs of ,....THIS "moment".... ( ( ( ding ) ) ) - I have only looked up... more
Judge rejects gay marriage curb
Ruling in Hub calls US law unconstitutional, infringing on state’s right
By Michael Levenson
Globe Staff / July 9, 2010
US district court judge in Boston yesterday declared unconstitutional a 1996 law that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
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5/27/10 State AG’s office seeks reversal of marriage act
7/9/09 Massachusetts is 1st to fight US marriage law
Judge Joseph L. Tauro, ruling in two separate challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, declared that the law “induces the Commonwealth to violate the equal protection rights of its citizens’’ and “plainly intrudes on a core area of state sovereignty, the ability to define the marital status of its citizens.’’
“This court has determined that it is clearly within the authority of the Commonwealth to recognize same-sex marriages among its residents and to afford those individuals in same-sex marriages any benefits, rights, and privileges to which they are entitled by virtue of their marital status,’’ Tauro wrote.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who brought one of the two challenges, said the decisions would apply only to the approximately 16,000 same-sex couples who have married in Massachusetts since gay marriage became legal here in 2004. They will now become eligible for the same federal benefits extended to married heterosexuals, she said.
“Judge Tauro’s decision does not technically apply to other states,’’ Coakley said. “It doesn’t change anything in terms of how they treat marriage or how they’re treated by the federal government.’’
But opponents as well as proponents of same-sex marriage predicted that the Obama administration will appeal the rulings to the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston and that the constitutionality of the law will be decided by the US Supreme Court. During an appeal, it is likely that the law would remain in effect, lawyers said.
The law was defended in court by lawyers from the US Justice Department, even though President Obama supports repealing the law and has called it discriminatory.
In a hearing before Tauro in May, a Justice Department lawyer argued that Congress and President Clinton, who signed the law, had a legitimate interest in preserving marriage as a heterosexual institution.
Yesterday, a Justice Department spokeswoman, Tracy Schmaler, declined to comment on Tauro’s decision, saying only, “We’re reviewing the decision.’’
Opponents of same-sex marriage condemned Tauro’s ruling and predicted it will be overturned on appeal.
“The fact that the judge could, with a straight face, conclude that after several millennia there is no rational reason why Congress might want to define marriage as one man and one woman, even though it has existed that way for thousands of years, is irrational,’’ said Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for CitizenLink, the political arm of the group Focus on the Family.
Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, called Tauro’s decision “another blatant example of a judge playing legislator.’’
“We believe it’s an egregious decision by obviously an activist judge, and it runs counter to previous federal decisions in other districts,’’ he said. “The federal government should have the right to determine [who receives federal] benefits.’’Judge rejects gay marriage curb Ruling in Hub calls US law unconstitutional,... more
It has come to light that convicted criminals who are in prison have managed to scam the IRS out of fifteen million dollars and the scam has been going on for years. Prisoners trade food or canteen products or protection from temporary prisoners OUI, first time drug offenders for their social security numbers. They then create companies that don't exist use the social security number and scam the IRS for refunds on taxes never paid in the first place with fictitious companies. The IRS has claimed they are developing software to combat this problem. Now thats a scam. Bernie Maddoff would be proud of these guys.It has come to light that convicted criminals who are in prison have managed to scam... more
A recent New York Times article has brought to light that postings in major newpapers online will soon end up requiring a person who posts a comment to also end it with name and address. Anonymous postings are an easy way to inflame public discourse on any subject. People hide behind screens writing things they would never say in person or in public. Freedom of speech is the major question in this equation. One's right to freedom of speech also should require personal responsibilty for what they say or write. Civil discourse would be enhanced by signiture and town of any person who posts. With the exception of current all major newspapers I post in I sign my name and town & state. I believe people should welcome all comers in the discussion of public policy and law.
In the end freedom of speech is enhanced by this requirementA recent New York Times article has brought to light that postings in major newpapers... more
Christian Science Monitor
.High divorce rates and teen pregnancy are worse in conservative states than liberal states
By Naomi Cahn and June Carbone Naomi Cahn And June Carbone – Fri Mar 12, 11:43 am ET
Washington; and Kansas City, Mo. – Ask most people about the differences between families who live in “red” (conservative) states and “blue” (liberal) states, and you’ll hear a common refrain: Massachusetts and California are hotbeds of divorce and teen pregnancy, while Nebraska and Texas are havens of virtue and stability.
The reality is quite different. And the evidence should force all of us – conservative and liberal alike – to think carefully about the policies we set to help American families thrive in the 21st century.
According to a new federal study, women with a college education are much more likely to be married than are women who have never graduated from high school. And men and women who married after the age of 25 have lower divorce rates than couples who were married at younger ages.
We could have predicted these results. The US family system, which once differed little by class or region, has become a marker of race, culture, and religion. A new “blue” family paradigm has handsomely rewarded those who invest in women’s as well as men’s education and defer childbearing until the couple is better established. These families, concentrated in urban areas and the coasts, have seen their divorce rates fall back to the level of the 1960s, incomes rise, and nonmarital births remain rare. With later marriage has also come greater stability and less divorce.
Societal support for high school sweethearts who want to tie the knot at graduation or for shotgun weddings – where the bride is accidentally pregnant – no longer exists.
Difficulties in the “red” world, meanwhile, have grown worse. Traditionalists continue to advocate abstinence until marriage and bans on abortion. They’ve said an emphatic “no” to the practices that have made the new “blue” system workable.
Yet, paradoxically, as sociologist Brad Wilcox reports, evangelical Protestant teens have sex at slightly earlier ages on average than their nonevangelical peers (respectively, 16.38 years old versus 16.52 years old), evangelical Protestant couples are also slightly more likely to divorce than nonevangelical couples, and evangelical mothers are actually more likely to work full time outside the home than their nonevangelical peers.
While the devout who make traditional marriages work have happy stable lives, economic circumstances have made it harder to find matches that support gendered family roles and to get marginal couples through family tensions.
Sociologist Paul Amato concludes that among the marriages least likely to last are those in which women who would prefer homemaking roles end up working outside of the home much more than they expected because of the husband’s inability to support the family.
These factors reflect class and cultural differences, but all of our research suggests that the great recession is likely to make things worse. The hallmark of what we have termed the blue family paradigm is training for autonomy.
With a more extended transition to adulthood, better educated youth also need greater flexibility – to navigate their developing sexuality; to switch jobs, cities, and specialties; and to renegotiate family and career responsibilities. In hard times, dual careers provide a cushion, and flexibility about gender and work roles makes it easier to trade off child care and employment.
Hard times, however, also increase calls for a return to more fixed and traditional values. The fact that traditional families are flailing often persuades them that a return to traditional values is that much more critical. In today’s world, however, almost all of the traditional nostrums have proved counterproductive.
Missing from this debate is recognition of the bankruptcy of traditionalist family values as policy for the postindustrial era. We are entirely sympathetic with those inclined to lock up their daughters from puberty until marriage, but we do recognize that the societies abroad most insistent on policing women’s virtue are locked into cycles of poverty.
In the United States, states that emphasize abstinence-only education, limit public subsidies of contraception, restrict access to abortion – and, yes, oppose gay marriage – have higher teen birth and divorce rates.
Yet the failure of the family values movement simply produces another round of moral panic and calls for more draconian restrictions. The most destructive have been those that marginalize the next generation. The latest studies show that as the economy has gone south, teen and nonmarital births and abortions have all increased. This indicates that contraception has become less available and pregnant women more desperate about their futures. Employment figures also demonstrate that male employment has fallen even further than female employment, making youthful weddings that much riskier.
The solution? As we outline in great detail in our book “Red Families v. Blue Families,” there are three critical steps we can take: (1) promote access to contraception – within marriage as well as outside it; (2) develop a greater ability to combine not only work and family, but family and education; and (3) make sure the next generation stays in school, learns the skills to be employed, and cultivates values that can adapt to the future.
Naomi Cahn is the John Theodore Fey Research Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School, and a senior fellow at the Donaldson Adoption Institute. June Carbone is the Edward A. Smith/Missouri Chair of Law, the Constitution and Society at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. They are coauthors of “Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture.”
---Christian Science Monitor .High divorce rates and teen pregnancy are worse in... more
Pakistan suffers record number of deaths due to militant violence3,021 people killed in terrorist attacks in 2009 – a 48 percent increase.
A market set on fire in retaliation for a suicide blast in Karachi.
A record number of Pakistani civilians and security forces died in militant violence last year as the country reeled from an onslaught of Taliban suicide bombings that propelled it into the ranks of the world's most perilous places.
Pakistan saw 3,021 deaths in terrorist attacks in in 2009, up 48% on the year before, according to a new report by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an Islamabad-based defence thinktank. Researchers counted a total of 12,600 violent deaths across the country in 2009, 14 times more than in 2006.
At least half of the dead were militants who were killed in US drone strikes or, mostly, sweeping army offensives against their mountain strongholds of Swat and South Waziristan along the Afghan border. Another 2,000 or so Pakistanis died in bloodshed unrelated to militancy: political clashes, tribal feuds and border skirmishes.
In comparison just over 2,000 civilians were killed in war-torn Afghanistan during the first ten months of 2009, according to the UN. In Iraq 4,500 civilians were killed during the year, said Iraq Body Count, an independent monitoring organisation.
The high militant death toll in Pakistan was driven by the army operations, although battlefield casualty figures are notoriously difficult to confirm. The army dislodged the Taliban from their Swat stronghold but failed to capture the local leader, Maulana Fazlullah, who reportedly slipped into Afghanistan.
In October the army moved into South Waziristan, capturing roads and towns but not the militant leadership, which is thought to have moved into North Waziristan, a hornet's nest of militancy, where speculation is growing that the army will open a third front.
The army has failed to stop the suicide attacks, which surged by one third to 87 bombings that killed 1,300 people and injured 3,600. PIPS researcher Abdul Basit said the militants were using "innovative tactics" such as targeted assassinations, kidnapping and the use of sophisticated bomb materials. "This year they were more technologically savvy," he said.
The strife is frazzling public opinion. A recent Gallup poll found that four-fifths of Pakistanis feel unsafe in public. "Life has completely changed for everyone," said Ali Mustafa, a doctor whose best friend was gunned down during a "swarm" attack on a Rawalpindi mosque in December.
The new year started as badly as the last one ended: a Taliban suicide attack on a volleyball match near South Waziristan on January 1 killed over 90 people. In recent days, Karachi has been wrenched by a spate of politically driven killings, unlinked to Taliban militancy, that have killed about 40 people.
Imtiaz Gul, author of a book on militancy, said that although only a small number of al-Qaida fighters were hiding in Pakistan, the group provided the inspiration for much for the mayhem. "What we see in this region right now is a fusion of interests and ideologies," he said. "Al-Qaida is connecting people."
The tight bond between homegrown and foreign militants was underscored at the weekend when a video emerged showing the Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, sitting beside Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi, the Jordanian suicide bomber who killed seven CIA operatives at a base in southern Afghanistan on December 30.
Pakistan has become a magnet for aspiring jihadis across the world, partly thanks to the power of the internet. Yesterday five young American Muslims went on trial in the eastern city of Sargodha. They are accused of coming to the country to try and plot terrorist attacks. The men deny the charges.News World news Pakistan Pakistan suffers record number of deaths due to... more
During the depths of the economic crisis last year, the prices for many goods held steady or even dropped. But on American farms, the picture was far different, as farmers watched the price they paid for seeds skyrocket. Corn seed prices rose 32 percent; soybean seeds were up 24 percent.
Such price increases for seeds — the most important purchase a farmer makes each year — are part of an unprecedented climb that began more than a decade ago, stemming from the advent of genetically engineered crops and the rapid concentration in the seed industry that accompanied it.
The price increases have not only irritated many farmers, they have caught the attention of the Obama administration. The Justice Department began an antitrust investigation of the seed industry last year, with an apparent focus on Monsanto, which controls much of the market for the expensive bioengineered traits that make crops resistant to insect pests and herbicides.
The investigation is just one facet of a push by the Obama administration to take a closer look at competition — or the lack thereof — in agriculture, from the dairy industry to livestock to commodity crops, like corn and soybeans.
On Friday, as the spring planting season approaches, Eric H. Holder Jr., the attorney general, and Tom Vilsack, the agriculture secretary, will speak at the first of a series of public meetings aimed at letting farmers and industry executives voice their ideas. The meeting, in Ankeny, Iowa, will include a session on the seed industry.
“I think most farmers would look to have more competition in the industry,” said Laura L. Foell, who raises corn and soybeans on 900 acres in Schaller, Iowa.
The Iowa attorney general, Tom Miller, has also been scrutinizing Monsanto’s market dominance. The company’s genetically engineered traits are in the vast majority of corn and soybeans grown in the United States, Mr. Miller said. “That gives them considerable power, and questions arise about how that power is used,” he said.
Critics charge that Monsanto has used license agreements with smaller seed companies to gain an unfair advantage over competitors and to block cheaper generic versions of its seeds from eventually entering the market. DuPont, a rival company, also claims Monsanto has unfairly barred it from combining biotech traits in a way that would benefit farmers.
In a recent interview at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, its chief executive, Hugh Grant, said that while his company might be the market leader, competition was increasing as the era of biotech crops matured.
“We were the first out of the blocks, and I think what you see now is a bunch of people catching up and aggressively competing, and I’m fighting with them,” Mr. Grant said. He said farmers chose the company’s products because they liked the results in the field, not because of any untoward conduct on Monsanto’s part.
Yet in a seed market that Monsanto dominates, the jump in prices has been nothing short of stunning.
Including the sharp increases last year, Agriculture Department figures show that corn seed prices have risen 135 percent since 2001. Soybean prices went up 108 percent over that period. By contrast, the Consumer Price Index rose only 20 percent in that period.
Many farmers have been willing to pay a premium price because the genetically engineered seeds that make up most of the market come with advantages. Genetic modifications for both corn and soybeans make the crops resistant to herbicides, simplifying weed control and saving labor, fuel and machinery costs. Many genetically engineered corn and cotton seeds also resist insect pests, which cuts down on chemical spraying.
Lee Quarles, a Monsanto spokesman, said the price increases were justified because the quality of the seeds had been going up, and new biotech traits kept being added. For example, he said, many corn varieties now include multiple genes to battle insect pests, raising their value.
Mr. Quarles said higher prices were justified because the traits saved farmers money and made their operations more efficient.
Monsanto began investing heavily in biotechnology in the 1980s — ahead of most other agricultural companies. In the mid-1990s, it became the first to widely market genetically engineered seeds for row crops, introducing soybeans containing the so-called Roundup Ready gene, which allowed plants to tolerate spraying of its popular Roundup weed killer. Soon after, it began selling corn seed engineered with a gene to resist insect pests.
The number of biotech plant traits has grown since then, and other large companies — including DuPont, Dow Chemical, Syngenta, BASF and Bayer CropScience — have gotten into the business. But Monsanto has taken advantage of its head start. Today more than 90 percent of soybeans and more than 80 percent of the corn grown in this country are genetically engineered. A majority of those crops contain one or more Monsanto genes.
As biotechnology has spread, Monsanto and its competitors have bought dozens of smaller seed companies, increasing the concentration of market power in the industry.
rest at linkHttp://www.nytimes/com/2010/03/12/business/12seed.html?partner=rss&emc=rss... more
Owen Franken for The New York Times
Hassen Chalghoumi, imam of the Mosque of Drancy, in the northern suburbs of Paris, supports the French law to ban the wearing of Niqabs, full body and face covering for Moslem women in France.
HASSEN CHALGHOUMI, 38, is the imam of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s dreams. He supports a ban on the full facial veil, the so-called burqa; he opposes religious radicalism and promotes a “republican Islam” focused on France; he is ecumenical; and he favors dialogue with France’s Jews.
But Mr. Chalghoumi has also received death threats for his public positions and in particular his support for a ban on facial veils, including the black niqab, which reveals only the eyes. There are voices of dissent among the 2,500 worshipers at his mosque here in Drancy, just northeast of Paris. He has been called “the imam of the Jews.”
Twice, bands of young men, wearing knitted skullcaps and many of them bearded, demonstrated angrily at the mosque. At Friday Prayer two weeks ago, they demanded his resignation. Some shouted, “The anger of God on you,” which Mr. Chalghoumi understood as a threat.Owen Franken for The New York Times Hassen Chalghoumi, imam of the Mosque of Drancy,... more
Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- Security forces clashed with demonstrators Thursday as Iran marked the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, while thousands blanketed a Tehran square to hear their president announce the expansion of Iran's nuclear program.
Pro-government security personnel -- both plainclothes and uniformed -- assaulted vehicles carrying Mehdi Karrubi, a reformist leader who ran for president in the disputed June presidential elections, and former President Mohammad Khatami as their opposition supporters poured onto the streets, opposition sources said.
Militia members also beat the wife of opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi with batons, according to postings on the social networking Web site Facebook and opposition Web sites.
The forces were preventing opposition leaders and their followers -- the so-called Green Movement -- from reaching Azadi Square (Freedom Square) in central Tehran, where President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered an anniversary address extolling the country's nuclear program to supporters. They fired on crowds in some areas and pepper-sprayed demonstrators in others, opposition groups said.
CNN has not been able to independently confirm opposition reports.
Follow CNN's special coverage on Iran
Members of the Basij, the paramilitary force loyal to Iran's hard-line leadership, attacked Karrubi while he was headed to a meeting with supporters, his son Mohammad-Taghi Karrubi told CNN. The militia broke a window in the car in which Karrubi was riding, an opposition Web site said. When he switched cars, that car also was attacked.
"The guards attacked and the crowds came to him. When the crowds started to come, and surrounded him, again the guards attacked with tear gas, tear as well as the batons and different kinds of weapons against the people. And unfortunately my father received very bad gas tears and his face is burned," Mohammad-Taghi Karrubi said.Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- Security forces clashed with demonstrators Thursday as Iran... more
Jobless numbers highest in 15 years, food stamp users hit record 31.6 million or 1 in 10 Americans.
More than half a million jobs were lost in the US in November, the largest loss in a single month since 1974. Though initially the announcement had a negative effect on the markets, by the end of the day Wall Street again forgot about the little guy, the Dow closed up 260 points. The more than 1.2 million jobs lost over the past 3 months, and the 11th straight month of job losses, bring the unemployment rate to 6.7 per cent, the highest in 15 years. Also this week the Department of Agriculture released figures that show food stamp beneficiaries increased by 17 percent in the past year. That’s more than 31.6 million or 1 out of every 10 people in the US receiving food stamps or taking part in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. TRNN spoke Dedrick Muhammad of the Institute for Policy Studies. Muhammad says that 6.7 percent is not the true unemployment number because it does not include the underemployed and those who have stopped looking for work. Muhammad also says that the bailout is a "trickle down" bailout, that by giving money to the wealthiest institutions somehow this is supposed to help the middle class and working class.
Dedrick Muhammad is the Senior Organizer and Research Associate for the Program on Inequality and the Common Good. Dedrick's special area of focus is the domestic racial wealth divide particularly between African-Americans and white Americans. Dedrick Muhammad was a writer for the State of The Dream 2004, 2005, and 2008. He also co-authored with Chuck Collins a chapter in the Inequality Reader. Dedrick Muhammad was the former National Field Director for Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network. He also was the Coordinator for the Racial Wealth Divide Project of United For A Fair Economy. Dedrick Muhammad writes regular opeds found on www.inequality.org and has been featured on Democracy Now, BET News, CSPAN, NPR, and many other radio and television shows.Jobless numbers highest in 15 years, food stamp users hit record 31.6 million or 1 in... more