L'invitation au voyage Puddle Wonderful
producermatthew:

Afghan security forces fire over the heads of protesters at a demonstration sparked by the U.S. military burning of Koran books. [Los Angeles Times photograph]

producermatthew:

Afghan security forces fire over the heads of protesters at a demonstration sparked by the U.S. military burning of Koran books. [Los Angeles Times photograph]

(Source: matthewkeys)

thepoliticalnotebook:

Journalists trapped in Syria ask for assistance. Above is a video from wounded French journalist Edith Bouvier. In English:

I need to be operated on as soon as possible. The doctors here have treated us very well, as well as they are able to, but they cannot perform surgical operations so I need a ceasefire to be imposed as soon as possible, a vehicle that has medical supplies or at least that is in a good enough state to be able to take us to Lebanon, and an operation as soon as possible.

The rest of the video features a Syrian doctor, Mohammed Al-Mohammed, who has frequently appeared in videos from Homs, who details her injuries (in Arabic) and reiterates her need for assistance.

similar video is up for British photographer Paul Conroy, a colleague of the late Marie Colvin’s at the Sunday Times. He says:

Obviously any assistance that can be given by government agencies would be welcome and we’ll work on the same premise on the ground.

[Guardian]

// Hollywood director turns his lens on Alabama immigration law//

univisionnews:

By JUAN GASTELUM
Channel: Immigration

Alabama’s harsh immigration law affects people.

That is the message Hollywood director, Chris Weitz, says he hopes will come through in a mini-documentary series he directed and presented during a panel at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington on Wednesday.

Read More

(Source: thisisfusion)

White supremacists revive dream of a homeland in Northwest

latimes:

A decade after the dissolution of the Aryan Nations compound in northern Idaho and the arrest of the Montana Freemen, white supremacists, far-right militias and radical patriots have revived their dream of a homeland in the Northwest.

(Source: Los Angeles Times)

thepoliticalnotebook:

Have you listened to Wael Ghonim’s interview on NPR Fresh Air today? His interview about the Egyptian revolution and his new book, Revolution 2.0 (which is at the top of my reading list), is fascinating.

“It’s basically the power of the people that made this revolution happen, not the power of Facebook, or the power of Twitter or social media.”

His discussions of how different versions social media supplemented the revolution and his heartfelt discussions of his own activism are must-listens.
[NPR]

thepoliticalnotebook:

Have you listened to Wael Ghonim’s interview on NPR Fresh Air today? His interview about the Egyptian revolution and his new book, Revolution 2.0 (which is at the top of my reading list), is fascinating.

“It’s basically the power of the people that made this revolution happen, not the power of Facebook, or the power of Twitter or social media.”

His discussions of how different versions social media supplemented the revolution and his heartfelt discussions of his own activism are must-listens.

[NPR]

(via thepoliticalnotebook)

nationalpost:

Haiti still devastated two years after the earthquake
The Haitian people mark the second anniversary Thursday of the devastating earthquake that ravaged their impoverished Caribbean country, as president Michel Martelly held out new promises to rebuild the shattered land.

The 7.0 magnitude quake on Jan. 12, 2010, lasted only 10 to 20 seconds but toppled buildings and homes like cards and killed roughly 300,000 people and left more than 1.5 million homeless. (Photos: Swoan Parker/Reuters; Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images)

nationalpost:

Iran sentences alleged U.S.-born ‘spy’ to death as uranium enrichment beginsIranian and Western sources said on Monday Iran had switched on a uranium enrichment plant deep inside a mountain, a momentous step that aggravates Tehran’s nuclear dispute with the West.In a separate development that will infuriate Washington, Iran also announced that it had sentenced to death an Iranian-American dual citizen it arrested last month as a spy.The moves come at a time when new U.S. sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear program are causing real economic pain. Tehran has responded with threats to international shipping that have spooked oil markets. And a parliamentary election in two months is widening Iran’s internal political divisions.

nationalpost:

Iran sentences alleged U.S.-born ‘spy’ to death as uranium enrichment begins
Iranian and Western sources said on Monday Iran had switched on a uranium enrichment plant deep inside a mountain, a momentous step that aggravates Tehran’s nuclear dispute with the West.

In a separate development that will infuriate Washington, Iran also announced that it had sentenced to death an Iranian-American dual citizen it arrested last month as a spy.

The moves come at a time when new U.S. sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear program are causing real economic pain. Tehran has responded with threats to international shipping that have spooked oil markets. And a parliamentary election in two months is widening Iran’s internal political divisions.

The Political Notebook: The Prospects for Women in Politics in 2012: From the US to Afghanistan

thepoliticalnotebook:

United States: 2012 is a general election year in the United States, and it’s a fairly certain bet that no woman will head the country come next January, but what are the prospects for the Congressional seats and governor’s positions across the country, and where exactly do women stand in the…

The Other Story: De-bunking the Welfare Lie

A few weeks ago, I was listening to a radio program about the current Republican primary candidates. At one point a woman called in complaining that the candidates are not talking enough about welfare reform. She went on to say that she is a single mom working 60 hours a week to pay for a lifestyle her son’s friends get for free, because in their households one or more parents aren’t working, in some cases by choice. When I told my husband about this later, we had a good laugh about the idea that public assistance and welfare benefits pay for “lifestyle.” As a family who has been on multiple kinds of welfare over the last 5 years, from Medicaid to Food Stamps to WIC, we couldn’t help but wonder what we were missing out on. Where were our IKEA stamps?

When I hear an average citizen make the mistake of conflating public benefits with “lifestyle” benefits, I recognize it as a dangerous ignorance arising out of having little or no contact with the welfare system or anyone who is in it. When a current or formerly elected official with experience working for the government says something like Newt Gingrich, who publicly claimed that some people were taking their food stamp money and going on vacation to Hawaii, I recognize this as a dangerous lie.

The political discourse in our media about welfare has skewed the national conversation such that many citizens actually believe that it is both easy to get benefits, and that you can use benefits any which way you want. The reality could not be more different. Getting into the welfare system requires intense levels of documentation (including but not limited to: social security cards for all adults applying; birth certificates for all children in the family; marriage licenses; utility bills; lease agreements; vehicle titles; proofs of income; bank statements for any accounts you hold; documentation of any daycare expenses; documentation of any school expenses; etc). Most public benefits offices are set up to screen people out of the system, rather than in, which means that any applicant must jump through a variety of hoops (including having their application and documentation “lost” and having to start the whole process over again), miss work or school to attend multiple appointments, and then wait a month or more from their application date for their benefits to kick in.

Once benefits are in hand, they can only be used in a specific way. For example, Food Stamp benefits (also known as food assistance, or SNAP) come in the form of an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card. It looks like a State ID card, and works like a debit card. The benefits on the card can only be used to buy food. An attempt to buy anything other than food-i.e., beer, cigarettes, or a plane ticket to Hawaii-will be rejected by the card. WIC (Women, Infants, and Children food assistance) is even more specific, because it comes in the form of a series of checks that are handed directly to the cashier. Each check outlines which items can be bought with it, and they come with an accompanying guide that outlines which brands of these items are approved and which are not. A grocery shop with WIC checks can actually take twice as long as a normal shop because the items are so intensely regulated.

So, are frauds perpetrated within this system? Certainly. But in my experience of helping people negotiate these systems, the most frequent fraud perpetrated is this: NOT reporting all of the income a family earns. For example, people who are self-employed may choose to not report all of their income because they know that if they do, the result is being kicked out of the system. The reason these kinds of frauds are committed is very simple: survival. The public benefits system is set up to take into account ONLY the most basic expenses a family will have-rent, utilities, school, and child care-in its evaluation of whether or not a family qualifies to receive benefits. The system does not take into account cost of living variations around the country, or a host of other expenses that the average family either requires or incurs: transportation to/from work/school/daycare; clothes and diapers; student loans and other kinds of debt repayment; phone and internet bills. These are all things that most citizens would agree are necessary for the average family to function in this country. Yet these expenses are not included in an evaluation of whether or not a family needs health or food support.

So if we can recognize that the kind of fraud that usually takes place is under-reporting of money earned, rather than the myth of using food stamps to pay for vacations, then we begin to paint a different story than the one repeated in the national media. This alternative story is that people ARE working, but are unable to report their income for fear of losing their benefits. And fear they should. For we live in an economy where people are penalized and made homeless for not being able to pay back their loans on time, even though this aspect of our collective financial duress is left out of the process of evaluating whether or not people need public assistance. The notion that this system needs reforming in the direction of screening MORE people out of the system is just plain false. And dangerous.

(Source: azspot)

thepoliticalnotebook:

“Kim Jong-Il’s economic legacy, in one chart.”

“Each year the dollar value of South Korea’s GDP expansion equals the entire North Korean economy.”

 -Peter Beck of the Atlantic Council
[via]

thepoliticalnotebook:

Kim Jong-Il’s economic legacy, in one chart.”

“Each year the dollar value of South Korea’s GDP expansion equals the entire North Korean economy.”

-Peter Beck of the Atlantic Council

[via]

(via thepoliticalnotebook)

nationalpost:

U.S. drone penetrated 250 km into Islamic-republic airspace: Iran
The U.S. drone which Iran said it had brought down penetrated 250 kilometres inside the Islamic republic’s air space, state television’s website reported on Friday.

In a letter of protest to the United Nations, the government said “the American RQ-170 spy plane violated 250 kilometres inside Iranian airspace before confronting the reaction of Iran’s armed forces,” the website reported.

“Provocative and secret actions by the American government against the Islamic republic in recent months” have been on the increase, it charged.

israelfacts:

A Palestinian woman holds a torn holy Koran from the rubble of her former home which was demolished by Jerusalem municipality workers, December 5, 2011. 
“Israeli troops came at five in the morning to demolish the house and were done by 7 am. They also demolished our barn that had some poultry in it,” said Burhan Burqan, the owner of the house in  the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. (AFP)

A confidential EU report accuses the Israeli government of using settlement expansion, house demolitions, discriminatory housing policies and the West Bank barrier as a way of “actively pursuing the illegal annexation” of East Jerusalem.
It notes that although Palestinians in the east represent 34% of the city’s residents, only 5%-10% of the municipal budget is spent in their areas, leaving them with poor services and infrastructure.
Israel issues fewer than 200 permits a year for Palestinian homes and leaves only 12% of East Jerusalem available for Palestinian residential use. As a result many homes are built without Israeli permits.

Related: B’Tselem’s background on East Jerusalem

israelfacts:

A Palestinian woman holds a torn holy Koran from the rubble of her former home which was demolished by Jerusalem municipality workers, December 5, 2011. 

“Israeli troops came at five in the morning to demolish the house and were done by 7 am. They also demolished our barn that had some poultry in it,” said Burhan Burqan, the owner of the house in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. (AFP)

A confidential EU report accuses the Israeli government of using settlement expansion, house demolitions, discriminatory housing policies and the West Bank barrier as a way of “actively pursuing the illegal annexation” of East Jerusalem.

It notes that although Palestinians in the east represent 34% of the city’s residents, only 5%-10% of the municipal budget is spent in their areas, leaving them with poor services and infrastructure.

Israel issues fewer than 200 permits a year for Palestinian homes and leaves only 12% of East Jerusalem available for Palestinian residential use. As a result many homes are built without Israeli permits.

Related: B’Tselem’s background on East Jerusalem

(Source: thebowspring, via peace-love-justice)

5 Conservative Economic Myths Occupy Wall St. Is Helping Bust

For decades the corporate media has force-fed “conventional wisdom” free-market economic nonsense to the American public. We have been told that it’s good to give more and more to the wealthy few, that it’s good to send jobs and money out of the country, and especially that that the people who run the big corporations are better and more “efficient” at deciding what’s best for the rest of us. As those decades passed we watched as the wealthy few get wealthier and fewer, while the rest of us – the 99 percent – fall further and further behind. But we have had it explained to us that our lying eyes aren’t seeing what they are seeing, and that the obvious isn’t what it is. We have been seemingly powerless to change this.

Asleep 

While time passed and these economic time-bombs messed up the economy, it seemed as if this fog of propaganda had lulled people to sleep. The uncontested repetition of free-market slogans led many to a bland acceptance that there was no alternative. Many of us even incorporated the concepts into our own thinking.  Others seemed to accept the cutbacks, the fees, the scams, the disappointments and the obviously false statements as the way things are.

Occupy Wall Street has changed all that. You can take that stuff and stuff it, they said. We’re tired of this. We aren’t going to listen anymore. We won’t passively accept the economic nonsense the corporate media tries to feed is and that we can see just doesn’t work. At least, it doesn’t work for 99 percent of us.


thewallstreetrevolution:

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Adriana's books

Room
The Hangman's Daughter
Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me
My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands
Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
I Love Yous Are for White People: A Memoir
The Lovely Bones
The Female Brain
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Naked
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
When You Are Engulfed in Flames
Holidays on Ice
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary
The Pact
Diary
100 Love Sonnets
The Captain's Verses


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