The nominations for Jezebel’s Woman of the Year are in, and while it was a tough decision, we’ve managed to narrow the field down to eight frontrunners. Read more about them below, then cast your vote!
Polls close at midnight on Thursday, Dec. 29, so make sure to cast your vote for Woman of the Year before then!
A 93-year-old Tennessee woman who cleaned the state Capitol for 30 years, including the governor’s office, says she won’t be able to vote for the first time in decades after being told this week that herold state ID failed to meet new voter ID regulations.
Mitchell, who was delivered by a midwife in Alabama in 1918, has never had a birth certificate. But when she told that to a drivers’ license clerk, he suggested she might be an illegal immigrant.
Thelma Mitchell told WSMV-TV that she went to a state drivers’ license center last week after being told that her old state ID from her cleaning job would not meet new regulations for voter identification.
A spokesman for the House Republican Caucus insisted that Mitchell was given bad information and should’ve been allowed to vote, even with an expired state ID. But even if that’s the case, her ordeal illustrates the inevitable disenfranchisements that result when confusing voting laws enable state officials to apply the law inconsistently.
At a radio forum sponsored by the anti-abortion and anti-birth control group Personhood PersonhoodGov. Rick Perry said that he would refuse to obey a Supreme Court decision striking down the group’s signature anti-choice proposal:
QUESTION: You have agreed to “endorse legislation making clear that Fourteenth Amendment protections apply to unborn children” . . . . What happens if the U.S. Supreme Court attempts to strike down this legislation, and replace it with one of its own edict denying the inalienable right to life for all persons born or unborn? Would you enforce the inalienable right to life or the Court’s opinion as the law?
PERRY: Well, obviously you enforce the right to life opinion.
It has taken 50 years, rather than the shorter running time of one of his famous horror films, but Alfred Hitchcock’s most enduring whodunit appears to have finally been solved.
Scientists at Louisiana State University claim to have discovered why thousands of seagulls began killing themselves along the coast of northern California in the summer of 1961.
The mysterious avian deaths, in which many of the birds flew, Kamikaze-style, into houses along the Monterey Bay shore, south of San Francisco, were cited as one of the major inspirations for Hitchcock’s 1963 film The Birds.
Now a team of marine biologists, who have been conducting post-mortems of seabirds killed during the 1961 incident, have reached a credible conclusion about their deaths: the creatures were poisoned.
I did not know there was an actual event where seabirds went berserk.
Writing in the latest edition of the journal Nature Geoscience, the researchers say that they examined the stomach contents of seagulls and turtles collected during the period, and discovered unusual quantities of a nerve-damaging toxin called domoic acid. The acid, which most likely came from anchovies and squid which formed part of the birds’ natural diet, can sometimes cause brain damage. In severe cases, it leads to them becoming confused, suffering seizures, and dying.
Sibel Bargu, leading the research, said domoic acid was found in 79 per cent of the plankton ingested by anchovies and squid. Over a short period, that would become sufficiently concentrated to cause fatal injuries to predators who ingested the creatures.
Although this theory has previously been cited as a potential explanation for the 1961 event, Ms Bargu writes, no direct evidence has been obtained by scientists to support it. Until now. “Here we show that plankton samples from the 1961 poisoning contained toxin-producing Pseudo-nitzschia, supporting the contention that these toxic diatoms were responsible for the bird frenzy that motivated Hitchcock’s thriller,” she writes.
The toxic domoic acid is connected with runoff of pesticides. The report notes that there was a large housing boom in the area at the time, and that leaking domestic septic tanks could be the reason behind the large amounts of acid that were found in the birds food sources.
Have a good evening, and go vote for Jezebel’s Woman of the Year!
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Still battling the headache, so bear with me… Louisiana is itching to overturn Roe v Wade. Guess we will find out sometime after today, because this bill to ban abortions is expected to be debated Wednesday.
The Louisiana state House of Representatives could soon consider a bill that would ban abortions and launch a battle to overturn the historic Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The bill by Republican state Rep. John LaBruzzo defines human life as beginning at the moment of conception and makes it a crime to terminate a pregnancy except when the birth would endanger the mother’s life.
“Our first intent is to save unborn babies’ lives,” LaBruzzo told Reuters. “Our second intent is to have an opportunity to mount a challenge that makes it to the Supreme Court.”
No. Your intent is to remove a woman’s right to make her own decisions, as well as a women’s right for reproductive health. Unborn Babies? Please…
LaBruzzo told Rueters:
“What the bill says is that life begins at conception, and a baby who is pre-born should enjoy all the rights that a 1-day-old baby does.”
Come on, these people want life to begin at arousal. “Pre-born” baby? WTF is that?
After an ordeal that included being publicly smeared as a prostitute and mentally ill, Iman Obeidi is recovering somewhere in the United States, thanks to a human rights group.
We have been having discussions about the role the media is playing in the Weiner fiasco…the P woman’s “gotcha” moment…and all the other fluff while ignoring the important stuff. Important stuff? No need to define that here…
Americans live in a late capitalist society where the rich have gotten many times richer and the middle class has gotten poorer, where Wall Street bankers have stolen us blind and blamed us for living above our means, where persistent unemployment is worse than in the Great Depression, where most politicians and some judges have been bought by corporations or special interests, where authorities actively conspire to keep people from voting, where the government spies on citizens assiduously without warrant or probable cause, and where the minds of the sheep are kept off their fleecing by substituting celebrity gossip, sex scandals, and half-disguised bigotry for genuine news.
In the Arab world, masses of 20-year-olds have challenged their corrupt politicians and manipulative billionaires in the streets, demanding transparency, an end to arbitrary secret police, and free and fair elections untainted by influence-peddling and plutocracy. I have Arabic satellite t.v. on in the background most of the day, with its dramatic stories of personal risk and human tragedy and bold challenge to a rotten status quo. And I channel surf over to the American cable news and mostly find fluff or de-contextualized reports or, frankly, propaganda. So here is my life, the day’s news given synoptically, our news and their news.
Give it a click to read the rest.
This next link is just real interesting. LA is going to be having a showing of the “Gemlich” letter, anyone in La La Land should check it out.
Adolf Hitler with fellow army dispatch runners in 1916. He was still working for the army in 1919 at the time of the ‘Gemlich letter’. Photograph: Beverly Grant/PA
A document understood to be the only existing written statement by Adolf Hitler in which he set out his belief in a systematic removal of Jews from society has been acquired by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles.
The four-page letter, typewritten on faded brown paper and bearing Hitler’s signature, was shown in public for the first time in New York, in what is likely to be seen as a key artefact in the historical record of the Holocaust. It will go on display at the centre’s Tolerance Museum in Los Angeles.
The letter, which has been called the “Gemlich Letter” by historians, is the only known written response to the “Jewish Question.” It was written by Hitler,
At the time he was in a propaganda unit of the German army that tried to counter Bolshevik influences among soldiers returning from the Russian front at the end of the first world war. His commanding officer, Captain Karl Mayr, told Hitler to respond to an inquiry from one Adolf Gemlich, who wanted to know the army’s position on the “Jewish Question”.
In his reply, Hitler spouted an antisemitic diatribe, in which he said Jews were “pure materialists in thought and aspirations” and that their effect was “racial tuberculosis on the nation”.
He went on to say:
“The antisemitism of reason must lead to a struggle for the legal battle to abrogate laws giving [Jews] favoured positions, differentiating the Jew from other foreigners. The final goal must be the uncompromising removal of Jews altogether. To accomplish these goals, only a government of national power is capable, and never a government of national weakness.”
Damn, I sure wish I could visit LA this summer…would love to see this letter, along with all the events going on celebrating the Cuba Photograph exhibit and the Medieval Dress exhibit, both being held at the Getty Museum.
Well, what are you reading and thinking about today? Be sure to let me know down in the comment section…I’ll see you there.
I think Libya exists in an alternate reality, perhaps on the other side of Alice’s looking glass. Iman al-Obeidi, the woman who was dragged away by Libyan security forces after she told foreign journalists that she had been beaten and raped by 15 of Moammar Gaddafi’s men, has now been charged with slander.
Spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said charges had been brought against her by some of the militiamen she had accused. “It’s a legal case,” Ibrahim told reporters. “The boys she accused of rape are making a case against her because it’s a grave offence to accuse someone of a sexual crime.“
See what I mean? It’s crazy-upside-down-land over there.
It was unclear whether she is still in custody. Ibrahim initially said she was free and safe but then seemed to qualify this, saying he was unsure whether she was currently under investigation.
He said later that Obeidi was refusing to undergo a medical examination and that this was making it difficult to investigate her complaint. Lawyers for the men she alleges raped her were using her refusal to question the truth of her story, he added.
I wouldn’t want to be examined by anyone associated with Gaddafi either. They’d probably discover she’s no longer a virgin and then say that’s a crime too.
Previous statements in Tripoli about Obeidi have proved to be incorrect. After the hotel incident Ibrahim, the government spokesman, said she was a prostitute who had been released and was staying with a sister in Tripoli.
But in an interview with al-Jazeera Arabic TV, broadcast on Monday, Obeidi’s parents said she was being held hostage at Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound in the capital.
Yesterday, Iman’s family held an engagement party for her in her absence.
as they attempted to show their love and support while hundreds of Benghazi women marched through the streets demanding her release Monday, in an unprecedented move.
Women who are raped have been villified, even beheaded or stoned to death, so the fact that Eman’s family is showing support is extremely significant.
Eman Al-Obeidi’s fiancee has spoken earlier on Al Jazeera saying that he was already engaged to her and that they have performed the marriage ceremony with the Shiekh. Although she was not present, and her whereabouts remain unknown, Eman’s fiancee and family arranged this ceremony in her honor.
He also stated that he was proud to be married to Eman. His name is Faraj Ghaithi. The families had an understanding that they will be married in the future.
Apparently her family wanted to restore her “honor” through this process.
An Islamic marriage ceremony can take place with representatives from both sides (from the bride and groom) to give their consent. It is understood that Eman has previously agreed to marry Faraj, and that there was an ‘understanding’ between the two families.
Here is a video of the ceremony/rally.
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Aisha Ahmad, who lives in the rebel-held eastern town of Tobruk, told The Washington Post she had passed on the request to her daughter, who had rejected it.
“I am very happy, very proud,” said Mrs Ahmed.
Iman al-Obaidi, a 26-year-old law student in Tobruk, was held last week after she burst into a Tripoli hotel where foreign journalists are staying and told them of the attack.
“Film me, film me, show the whole world what they did to me,” Miss Obaidi had screamed, as she was dragged off by security guards.
Musa Ibrahim, the Libyan government’s spokesman, said Miss Obaidi has been freed, “but the prosecution is still questioning her to determine the circumstances (of her claim).”
So if government agents are questioning her, are they doing it at Gaddafi’s palace or in her sister’s home? Is the sister al-Obeidi is supposedly staying with the same sister her was used by the Libyan government to smear her? <a href="“>From the Guardian story:
…a man claiming to be her cousin told Reuters that Obeidi was targeted by authorities after taking part in a protest in the west of the country during the initial days of the uprising against Gaddafi.
Wadad Omar said his cousin worked for a tourism company in Tripoli and was detained along with three other women who took part in the protest as they returned to the Libyan capital.
The government also used Obeidi’s sister to denounce her publicly, Omar said: “(Obeidi’s) sister went on television to say her sister is crazy. Muammar wants to prove to the world that she is insane. She (the sister) is certainly under pressure from the government.”
If it is the same sister, how can we be sure that al-Obeidi wants to be with her or that she is safe from further attacks or even torture?
Following disturbing pictures of Ayman Al Abidi that hit the TV airwaves in Benghazi almost 24 hours after the alleged incident, there was outrage in this rebel capital. Men and women held a rally in support of her and marched towards the courthouse in Benghazi. “We are very sad for this and no will accept what happened,” said a Libyan protestor.Many people in Libya are concerned about her situation and they say that is just a glimpse of what they’ve been facing for decades.
Several doctors say they have found Viagra tablets and condoms in the pockets of dead pro-Gaddafi fighters, alleging that they were using rape as a weapon of war.
They say they have been treating female rape survivors who were allied with pro-democracy forces.
At the Financial Times, Charles Clover, one of the journalists who tried to help Iman al-Obeidi and was knocked down and kicked by Libyan security men for his trouble, writes about his experience:
Ms Obeidi said she had been arrested at a checkpoint on Salahidin Street in Tripoli “because I am from Benghazi”, and then held and repeatedly raped by 15 soldiers over two days.
Hearing the disturbance, a group of waiters and waitresses came over and tried at first to soothe her, then, when that did not work, to shut her up.
Suddenly a melee broke out between journalists and hotel staff. A group of athletic leather-jacketed men barrelled in and began throwing us around the room, chasing Ms Obeidi around the restaurant and finally putting a coat over her head. Many of the journalists at the Rixos jumped into the fray, trying to protect her, but it was a battle we were certain to lose.
Cameras were smashed and one journalist was punched in the face. I ended up wrestling for my Dictaphone, getting thrown down and kicked.
Clover has been told that he is “no longer welcome in Libya,” but he believes that the incident in which he was a bit player is a real tipping point.
A group of lawyers and human rights activists tried to approach her sister’s house Monday, but were blocked by security forces. Al-Obeidy’s sister’s mobile phone has apparently been turned off, a source with the Lebanese opposition in Tripoli told CNN. And no one has seen the sister since the incident at the hotel.
Journalists and human rights activists much continue their demands to talk to al-Obeidi. She must not be disappeared by Gaddafi’s storm troopers. She is a living symbol of what Libyan rebels are fighting for–freedom of movement and association, freedom to speak truth to power, freedom to control one’s own body.
Yes, I know women are not treated equally in Arab cultures. Guess what? We aren’t treated equally here either. We need to stand up and fight for our rights just as this “lone, brave woman,” — as Charles Clover referred to her — fought for hers. And we must stand with her now and demand that she be freed and returned to her family.
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The intervention in Libya was done in a legal way. It was provoked by a vote of the Arab League, including the newly liberated Egyptian and Tunisian governments. It was urged by a United Nations Security Council resolution, the gold standard for military intervention. (Contrary to what some alleged, the abstentions of Russia and China do not deprive the resolution of legitimacy or the force of law; only a veto could have done that. You can be arrested today on a law passed in the US Congress on which some members abstained from voting.)
Among reasons given by critics for rejecting the intervention are:
1. Absolute pacifism (the use of force is always wrong)
2. Absolute anti-imperialism (all interventions in world affairs by outsiders are wrong).
3. Anti-military pragmatism: a belief that no social problems can ever usefully be resolved by use of military force.
Tensions between the Japanese government and the company that runs the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex surfaced again Saturday after the utility admitted that it had failed to adequately warn workers about dangerous radioactive water at the plant.
Two workers doing electrical cable work at reactor No. 3 were hospitalized Thursday after their legs came into contact with radioactive water. Tokyo Electric Power Co. conceded Saturday that it had known about highly radioactive water at reactor No. 1 days earlier but didn’t brief workers that a similar hazard could exist at No. 3.
TEPCO resorted to using more than 5,300 tons of ocean water to keep its reactors and adjacent spent-fuel storage pools cool after the earthquake and tsunami knocked out primary and backup power to the cooling system. But the salt in seawater is corrosive to the reactors, and engineers are trying to pump it out and drain it into the sea.
Graham Andrew, special advisor to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in a briefing Saturday that the situation at the plant remained “very serious” and that the likelihood of damage to the containment integrity of reactor No. 3 — whose fuel supply includes highly carcinogenic plutonium — is “a cause for concern.”
A Lantana man accused of raping and impregnating a 9-year-old girl has been sentenced to life in prison plus five years.
Fede Datilus, 33, was convicted Wednesday of sexual battery on a person under the age of 12 and impregnation of a child.
Datilus raped the girl and got her pregnant while the two were living with relatives in Lantana. The victim gave birth to the baby in 2008 when she was 10 years old.
According to the arrest report, the victim said she was afraid she would be sent back to Haiti if she told anyone what happened to her.
She gave birth when she was ten! This is so disturbing. How could they make her carry that pregnancy and deliver is beyond me. There is a strange code in prison where child rapist are the lowest of the low. I only hope that this guy gets what he deserves in prison.
It might be the potlucks, it might be those long hours sitting in pews, but whatever the cause, a new study presented this week shows a link between religious activity and weight gain.
The study, conducted by researchers at Northwestern University, found that young adults who frequently attended religious activities were far more likely to become obese than those who didn’t.
“Our main finding was that people with a high frequency of religious participation in young adulthood were 50 percent more likely to become obese by middle age than those with no religious participation in young adulthood,” says Matthew Feinstein, the study’s lead investigator and a fourth-year medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
This next link is a good one from ECHIDNE of the snakes: Life In the Neolithic Ages. A Feminazi Rant. Read the whole thing, I will quote a portion of it below.
It’s the obliviousness with which writers carefully pen the term “post-feminist,” the pretend-seriousness with which they discuss the imaginary coming era of men’s oppression by women, all combined with jokes about women as bad drivers or worries about whether women should be in power. It’s the opining on feminist topics by many who appear to have done their research by having a ten-minute thought one night over a beer or two, and it’s our willingness to take such thoughts every bit as seriously (if not more so) than the writings of people who actually have done the necessary research.
Take, for instance, the often expressed view that we now live in a post-feminist world? When honor killings exist? When the United States has never had a female president? When the Erick Ericksons of this world can proudly compare the US Secretary of State to bad women drivers? When work-life balance is just yet another women’s issue? When I can watch a week of Japanese television about the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear-disaster combination and not see one female expert or politician interviewed, when all those rooms of power are full of only men? When the US Republican Party has declared an all-out war on women, and few notice this? Post-feminist, indeed, but only in the sense of feminism being irrelevant.
They’ve gone and done it, those crafty scientists: As reported by Nature (as in the publication), a team of Japanese researchers has successfully cultivated “fully developed sperm” from “immature mouse testicles.” And they’re not just showing off.
Researchers from China, Leicester and Oxford have discovered a remarkable fossil which sheds new light on an important group of primitive sea creatures.
The 525-million-year-old fossil belongs to a group of tentacle-bearing creatures which lived inside hard tubes. Previously only the tubes have been seen in detail but this new specimen clearly shows the soft parts of the body including tentacles for feeding.
So what are you reading or watching this morning. Let’s get the party started…because after all…this isn’t a rave, it’s a happening! 😉
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The Sky Dancing banner headline uses a snippet from a work by artist Tashi Mannox called 'Rainbow Study'. The work is described as a" study of typical Tibetan rainbow clouds, that feature in Thanka painting, temple decoration and silk brocades". dakinikat was immediately drawn to the image when trying to find stylized Tibetan Clouds to represent Sky Dancing. It is probably because Tashi's practice is similar to her own. His updated take on the clouds that fill the collection of traditional thankas is quite special.
You can find his work at his website by clicking on his logo below. He is also a calligraphy artist that uses important vajrayana syllables. We encourage you to visit his on line studio.