Sunday Reads: The Bitch is Back….With A New Modem, As A Matter Of Fact

Good Morning!

Well, what can I say…I’m back! I sure did miss you all.

My new modem is working fine, and it seems like ages since I posted something.

So keep that in mind as you read this long…long post. You may even want to take it in sections.

Elton John performing in Australia 1986.

I can bitch, I can bitch better than you…so let me get on with it!

One thing is for certain, being without internet is a bitch…there was so much going on this week. I am so glad that Boston Boomer has kept up with the Trayvon Martin murder in Sanford, FL. I have just been able to listen to the 911 tapes and it is so painful to hear those cries for help, which stop so abruptly after the gunshot…then comes that horrifying silence.

There is something wrong with that…I mean, if Zimmerman was the one screaming for help as the latest “secret” witness claims…why stop after he shoots the kid? I would be hollering for help, yelling for people to call 911. The lack of any sound after that gunshot is bothersome for me…it doesn’t play into the self-defense excuse.

And with that self-defense claim comes this question from Eugene Volokh:  Can the Police Arrest Someone for Homicide, When It’s Clear He Killed But Likely in Self-Defense?

To arrest someone for a crime, the police need probable cause to believe that he committed the crime. But what if it’s clear that the person committed the act (e.g., intentionally killed someone), but it seems likely that he has a good affirmative defense (e.g., self-defense)? My view is that probable cause should be probable cause to believe that the conduct was indeed criminal, and if the self-defense case is strong enough, that negates probable cause to believe that a crime (as opposed to a justifiable homicide) was committed. But when I looked into this several years ago, I saw that the few courts that had discussed the matter were split.

He goes on to refer to Florida law:

Florida law, though, clearly resolves this: “A law enforcement agency … may not arrest [a] person for using force [in a self-defense situation] unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.”

So in Florida, the police must have probable cause to believe that the defendant wasn’t acting in lawful self-defense in order to arrest the defendant. It’s not enough to say, “we have probable cause to believe that you killed the victim, so we’ll arrest you and then sort out later how strong your self-defense case is.”

It seems to me that self-defense does not cover a guy who had issues with “suspicious” black young men. The tape clearly shows he has already declared Martin a criminal…remember that comment about “these assholes” always get away…Zimmerman also says Martin begins to run away from him. How can you declare self-defense if you are the one running after, and confronting a person who is trying to avoid you?

Anyway, I don’t want to rehash what has been said about the Martin case…however, I would like to hear your thoughts about probable cause, and acting in lawful self-defense.

I must say that being without the internet has its merits. I got a reprieve from all the War on Women news that happened this past week. Even some of my good old boys from Georgia got in on the fun. Here is a quote from an email I received from Planned Parenthood two days ago:

-       On February 29th, the House passed HB 954. If this bill were to become law, it would be the first outright ban on abortions now legally performed in Georgia. HB 954 would ban abortions over 20 weeks regardless of medical circumstances.

-      During the House debate on HB 954, one Representative likened the tragic, complex decisions women face to the deliveries on the barnyard.

-      On Day 30, also known as Crossover Day, the Senate passed SB 438. If this bill were to become law, state employees would be denied access to the abortion care currently provided by insurance—with no exceptions for medical circumstances or rape and incest.

-      After the Senate vote on SB 438, nine of our women Senators took a stand against the anti-choice, anti-woman legislation by walking off the floor.

Fortunately, Dakinikat wrote about the livestock dumbass, Rep. Terry England…for more updates on other legislation being tossed around the 50 states: 50-State Blog Round-up

A few of my favorites:

Idaho: 43rd State Blues — State Sen. Chuck Winder is leading the assault on women’s rights in the state.

[…]

Massachusetts: Blue Mass Group — State Republicans are pushing a copy of the “shoot first” bill that was key in the Trayvon Martin killing.

[…]

Montana: Montana Cowgirl — State Rep. Krayton Kearns says that birth control is the “death nail in the coffin of our republic.”

[…]

  • Alabama: Left in Alabama — Less than 20 percent of Alabama residents support the strong anti-immigrant bill the state recently passed.
  • Alaska: Mudflats — Rep. Alan Dick is leading the charge to limit a woman’s right to choose.
  • Arizona: Rum, Romanism and Rebellion — Rep. Terry Proud (R) effectively admits that the forced ultrasound bill her party is pursuing is about shaming women who they consider “immoral.”
  • Arkansas: Blue Arkansas — Apparently State. Rep. Denny Altes (R) has some racist e-mails in his past.
  • California: Sacramento for Democracy — Occupy and social justice groups blockaded Monsanto.
  • Colorado: Square State — State. Rep. Daniel Kagan (R) wrote a personhood bill that passed the House on a straight-party line vote.

So give that link up top a click if you would like to see what your state has been up to lately.

As far as the Massachusetts GOP pushing the “shoot first” bill, I wonder if this is getting any attention from Brown and Warren. Perhaps Boston Boomer or Pat can give us a heads up on that.

Speaking of livestock, uh…the real livestock, not women: An Order to Ban Antibiotics for Livestock

The Obama administration must warn drug makers that the government may soon ban agricultural uses of some popular antibiotics that many scientists say encourage the proliferation of dangerous infections and imperil public health, a federal magistrate judge ruled on Thursday.

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

The practice of feeding antibiotics to promote growth has led to a judge’s order that moves toward ending that use of the drugs.

The order, issued by Judge Theodore H. Katz of the Southern District of New York, effectively restarts a process that the Food and Drug Administration began 35 years ago, but never completed, intended to prevent penicillin and tetracycline, widely used antibiotics, from losing their effectiveness in humans because of their bulk use in animal feed to promote growth in chickens, pigs and cattle.

The order comes two months after the Obama administration announced restrictions on agricultural uses of cephalosporins, a critical class of antibiotics that includes drugs like Cefzil and Keflex, which are commonly used to treat pneumonia, strep throat and skin and urinary tract infections.

[…]

In a separate move, the F.D.A. is expected to issue draft rules within days that ask drug makers to voluntarily end the use of antibiotics in animals without the oversight of a veterinarian.

Don’t get too excited…yes I know it seems like a move in the right direction, but…

…neither the judge’s order nor the F.D.A.’s expected rule changes are likely to fundamentally alter the large-scale agricultural uses of antibiotics because farmers and ranchers now say the drugs are being used to prevent animal diseases, not to promote growth. The F.D.A. has so far refused to propose restrictions on antibiotic uses to prevent disease even when the drugs are delivered in feed or water, and Judge Katz’s order does not extend to disease prevention uses.

Sigh…

In other antibiotic news, this time in humans: Drug-resistant strains of TB are out of control, warn health experts

TB patient

A TB patient in South Africa. Photograph: Alexander Joe/AFP

The fight against new, antibiotic-resistant strains of tuberculosis has already been lost in some parts of the world, according to a senior World Health Organisation expert. Figures show a 5% rise in the number of new cases of the highly infectious disease in the UK.

Dr Paul Nunn, head of the WHO’s global TB response team, is leading the efforts against multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). Nunn said that, while TB is preventable and curable, a combination of bad management and misdiagnosis was leaving pharmaceutical companies struggling to keep up. Meanwhile, the disease kills millions every year.

“It occurs basically when the health system screws up,” said Nunn. “Treating TB requires a carefully followed regime of medication over six months. In places where health services are fragmented or underfunded, or patients poor and health professionals ill-trained, that treatment can fall short, which can in turn lead to patients developing drug-resistant strains. It’s been estimated that an undiagnosed TB-infected person can infect 10 others a year.

Nunn has another frightening quote I’ll lay on you here:

“There’s a vicious circle, because when new drugs come out they are expensive, so there is no demand. Without the volume of demand, the cost will not come down. If we can’t tackle this, we are going to finish up with a lot more people being diagnosed with multi-drug resistant strains. We’ve already lost the battle in places such as the former Soviet Union, and so we need a huge expansion of effort, especially in places like India and China.” He added: “In some areas we have probably already lost the battle. Globally, it is still just 5% of the total number of TB cases, but with sloppy management of treatment we are moving towards an accelerating problem.”

Let’s change direction now…and look at some World News items you may have missed this week:

The case for bombing Iran is quickly collapsing –  This is an op/ed from MJ Rosenberg, a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters Action Network, via AlJazeera.

Common sense dictates that war with Iran would be devastating for the region – and common sense must prevail.

The Guardian has this wonderful interactive timeline of China: a decade of change –  There are some changes occurring within the communist party.

As the communist party prepares for a changing of the guard, we look at the key events in the last 10 years that have shaped the world’s most populous country. A next generation of politicians will be facing entirely new challenges across all sectors, from the economy to civil unrest. Scroll through the timeline to explore the defining moments of the first decade of the 21st century

Hong Kong is getting ready to pick a new leader, well…at least the elite of Hong Kong: The Associated Press: Hong Kong elites heed Beijing, pick Leung leader

In fact, as I write this post, the winner has been announced: Leung Wins Hong Kong Election as Protests Grow Over Wealth Gap

Leung Chun-ying, a former government adviser who pledged to address a growing wealth gap, won the election to be Hong Kong’s next chief executive after a campaign marked by scandals and protests.

Leung, 57, won 689 votes from a 1,193-member election committee comprising of businessmen, lawmakers and academics, according to the returning officer. Henry Tang, the front-runner until scandals drove down his popularity in opinion polls, garnered 285 votes, while Democratic Party lawmaker Albert Ho got 76 votes.

Those of you on the West Coast of Canada…a ghost ship is heading your way:  Japan tsunami ‘ghost ship’ drifting to Canada

Japanese fishing vessel washed away by tsunami and spotted off Canada (23 March) Officials are monitoring the empty vessel in case it becomes an obstruction to other shipping

A Japanese fishing vessel swept away by the March 2011 tsunami has been spotted adrift off the west coast of Canada.

An aircraft patrolling the seas off British Columbia saw the 15m (50ft) vessel seen floating 275km (170 miles) from the Haida Gwaii islands on Friday.

It is believed to be the first large item from the millions of tonnes of tsunami debris to cross the Pacific.

Then there is this news out of Europe…and in a sense it also deals with debris…of the human kind. Europe no sanctuary for Afghan asylum seekers

Afghans hoping to escape violence and a lack of economic prospects at home face new challenges and new abuses in Europe.

As Afghanistan’s army was beginning to assume a more active combat role in 2007 – and as suicide bombings and opium production hit record highs - Omar thought a move to Europe would make his life safer.

Instead, as with the 300 Afghans who marched in Stockholm that year to demand their rights to asylum, the 19-year-old would realise the journey to seek asylum in Europe was rife with its own difficulties.

As one of thousands of young people trying to escape worsening insecurity, a lack of socio-economic opportunities and increased anxiety over Afghanistan’s future, Omar left his home and embarked on a three-year journey to France.

In each of the nine Eurasian countries he entered along the way, Omar thought he was finally safe – but, instead, each presented its own hostilities and threats of abuse.

Now 23, Omar told Al Jazeera that the struggles he faced led to an unexpected conclusion: “The difficulties in Afghanistan were better than the difficulties we face today in Europe.”

Now that is a powerful statement. You can read more about the thousands of applicants seeking asylum at the link. The article has quite a few personal stories to illustrate the hardship these people are facing.

There is another article in the Guardian that discusses the Basque child refugees meet for final reunion, 75 years after arrival in Britain

Young refugees fleeing Nazi bombs in the Spanish civil war found a mixed welcome in the UK after a nightmare voyage.

Basque refugees

Some of almost 4,000 Basque children who came as refugees to Britain in 1937 arrive at a Salvation Army centre. Photograph: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORB

Her crying mother asked her sister and brother to take hold of Josefina and they did, pulling the screaming girl away from her parents and towards the ship.

“I didn’t want to leave, and of course my mama didn’t want us to go, but papa said it was only for a short time, just a few months, and so they dragged me away with my teddy and we went. The boat was terrible, really terrible. I remember the screams and cries of children packed into this boat. There was no space to even lie down. There were so many of us,” she said.” It was 21 May 1937, my 10th birthday.”

Josefina Stubbs, 85, was one of 3,826 child refugees to arrive in what remains the largest single influx of refugees into Britain. The “Basque babies”, as some UK newspapers and politicians disparagingly called them at the time, or the niños as they call themselves, were sent to safety from the bombers sent by the Nazis to aid Franco as the civil war ravaged the towns of northern Spain.

That is a real interesting article, give it a read.

Moving on to Mexico: A Final Embrace

This is a loving human moment, caught frozen in violent silence, such a sad emotional image…I will let you follow the link to a photo of a couple murdered in Juarez.

And that will bring us back to the U.S., after the jump.

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