Cathy Kristofferson | Oblogdeeoblogda | December 8, 2013
This past weekend American, British and Canadian evangelicals were busy in Jamaica spreading hate and homophobia as they urged the country’s leaders not to repeal their colonial era anti-sodomy ”buggery law”. The Christian Evangelicals and lobbyists were attending The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society International Human Rights conference entitled “International Law and the Welfare of the Family: The Impact of the Secular Worldview on Children” to speak about the slippery slope of The Gay Agenda, its links to pedophilia, and how gays are made not born.
Photo by Gladstone Taylor courtesy Jamaica Gleaner
Among the list of the conference speakers are Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), the Alliance Defense Fund, and Alliance Defending Freedom.
While standing in Jamaica, Peter LeBarbera, president of the SPLC-designated hate group AFTAH, pleaded with the attendees not to be “lured” by those from other countries into repealing the left behind colonial penal code – the sheer hypocrisy probably lost on his bigoted brain.
Oblogdeeoblogda | December 9, 2013
New York High Court Agrees to Hear Appeal In Dwight DeLee Case
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) Praises Decision and Continues to Urge the Court of Appeals to Restore Hate Crime Conviction of DeLee in the 2008 Murder of Syracuse Transgender Woman Lateisha Green
New York, NY, December 9, 2013 – The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) today lauded the New York Court of Appeals’ announcement that it will consider an appeal in “The People v. Dwight R. DeLee” and renewed its call for the high court to reinstate the jury’s verdict and Dwight DeLee’s conviction of manslaughter in the first degree as a hate crime for the 2008 killing of Syracuse resident Lateisha “Teish” Green, a 22-year old African American transgender woman.
Green died November 14, 2008 after she was shot outside a house party in Syracuse. Evidence at trial demonstrated that DeLee shot her because he believed she was gay. A jury found DeLee guilty of manslaughter in the first degree as a hate crime in July of 2009 and in August of that year he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the crime. It was the first time a New York jury had delivered a hate crime conviction in the killing of a transgender person. It was only the second hate crime conviction in the nation stemming from the killing of a transgender person. The jury reached the first degree manslaughter as a hate crime verdict after determining that DeLee had targeted Green based on his perception of her sexual orientation, which is a protected category under New York’s hate crimes law.
But this past July the conviction was set aside by The New York Supreme Court’s 4th Appellate Division because of what the court viewed as an “inconsistent” verdict: The jury found DeLee guilty of first degree manslaughter as a hate crime, but not guilty of first degree manslaughter. The 4th Appellate Division tossed out the conviction, concluding that jury confusion about the judge’s instructions led to a conflicting verdict.
Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents | December 9, 2013
Sad news from Cleveland.
52 year old Betty Janet Skinner was found murdered in her apartment Thursday morning.
Cleveland Police say Skinner was physically disabled, required assisted living and received regular home health care. She was last seen alive by her home health care worker when she left the Devonshire Road apartment of our fallen trans sister at 10 PM EST Wednesday night.
Betty Janet Skinner. Photo provided by Jacob Nash
Tonight, I learned that 22 year old Brittany-Nicole Kidd-Stergis was found murdered in a car on Friday morning. The early media reports are misgendering Brittany-Nicole.
United Nations Human Rights Council logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Huffington Post | December 9, 2013
A poignant and informative new video released in conjunction with the United Nations’ “Free and Equal” campaign highlights lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights around the world.
The clip, which made its debut ahead of International Human Rights Day (Dec. 10), casts a spotlight on the 76 countries where being openly LGBT is still illegal, as well as pointing out nations which have repealed such laws.
“A History of LGBT Rights at the UN” is set to be screened at a Human Rights Day event at the UN headquarters in New York on Dec. 10. MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, NBA star Jason Collins and tennis legend Martina Navratilova will reportedly be among the high-profile attendees.
National Security Agency (Photo credit: Scott Beale)
Sreeja VN | International Business Times | Social Reader | December 9, 2013
The leading Internet and technology companies of the U.S. have joined together to launch a public campaign against the country’s surveillance laws, and to urge the government to overhaul practices that allow the National Security Agency, or NSA, to spy on companies’ databases for access to users’ private data.
The coalition titled “Reform Government Surveillance” is the latest attempt by companies to stop or limit the NSA from accessing the personal information of Internet users, following revelations about the controversial surveillance practices employed by the agency that were made with the help of documents obtained by former defense contractor, Edward Snowden. The tech giants’ latest public revolt also coincides with President Barack Obama’s plans to introduce changes to laws governing the NSA’s surveillance programs.
Technology majors — Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and AOL (NYSE:AOL) — in an open letter to Obama and Congress, called for sweeping changes to the way the NSA collected data under its previously secret surveillance programs.
Will Oremus | Slate | Social Reader | December 9, 2013
In Joseph Heller’s absurdist war novel Catch-22, a pair of military Criminal Investigation Division officers covertly infiltrate an Army hospital to try to figure out who’s been signing the name Washington Irving on censored letters from the troops to loved ones back home. Among a series of blunders, one C.I.D. man comes to suspect the second C.I.D. man of the crime. They never do find the real culprit, but at least they get to spend part of the World War 2 lounging around the hospital instead of out in the line of fire.
In real life, meanwhile, the Guardian revealed today that the NSA and British spies have been covertly infiltrating World of Warcraft, Second Life, and other online multiplayer video games to try to catch terrorists. Secret briefings from 2007 and 2008 show agents expressing great enthusiasm for video games as a “target-rich communication network” affording bad guys “a way to hide in plain sight.” At one point, the Guardian reports:
According to the briefing documents, so many different US intelligence agents were conducting operations inside games that a “deconfliction” group was required to ensure they weren’t spying on, or interfering with, each other. …
But the documents contain no indication that the surveillance ever foiled any terrorist plots, nor is there any clear evidence that terror groups were using the virtual communities to communicate as the intelligence agencies predicted.
Paul Krugman, Laureate of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2008 at a press conference at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Paul Krugman | The New York Times | December 9, 2013
Six years have passed since the United States economy entered the Great Recession, four and a half since it officially began to recover, but long-term unemployment remains disastrously high. And Republicans have a theory about why this is happening. Their theory is, as it happens, completely wrong. But they’re sticking to it – and as a result, 1.3 million American workers, many of them in desperate financial straits, are set to lose unemployment benefits at the end of December.
Now, the G.O.P.’s desire to punish the unemployed doesn’t arise solely from bad economics; it’s part of a general pattern of afflicting the afflicted while comforting the comfortable (no to food stamps, yes to farm subsidies). But ideas do matter – as John Maynard Keynes famously wrote, they are “dangerous for good or evil.” And the case of unemployment benefits is an especially clear example of superficially plausible but wrong economic ideas being dangerous for evil.
The Senate’s side of the Capitol Building in DC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Samantha Paige Rosen | The Week | Reader Supported News | December 9, 2013
he 113th Congress has stuck it to the poor at pretty much every opportunity. In fact, if you take all their past and future plans into account, it looks like they have accomplished that rare feat: To close in on enacting an overarching, radical agenda without control of the Senate or the presidency. How did they do it? Probably by escaping scrutiny through a piecemeal approach to legislation, a president who is willing to meet them halfway, and one diabolic word: Sequester.
Let’s drill down into each piece:
1. Kick ’em to the curb Congress will basically start kicking poor people out of their homes early next year. The idea is, if you can’t pay for your home without government assistance, you don’t deserve to live in one. In this spirit, budget cuts due to sequestration will take rental assistance vouchers away from 140,000 low-income families by the beginning of next year, making housing more expensive as agencies raise costs to offset the budget cuts. All in all, about three million disabled seniors and families will be affected. The savings? $2 billion, which is pretty much what the government shutdown cost in back-pay to federal workers.
If you’re lucky enough to keep your home, don’t expect to heat it. Sequester cuts to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) meant that 300,000 low-income families in 2013 were denied government support for energy costs.
Image by None via CrunchBase
Edward Moyer | CNET | Reader Supported News | December 9, 2013
The man to whom Edward Snowden entrusted his NSA documents isn’t content just to save the Bill of Rights and reinvent journalism. He also wants to stop the Internet from becoming history’s most dangerous spy tool.
ig Brother may be watching you. But Glenn Greenwald is watching Big Brother.
That’s not a bad take on how the 46-year-old constitutional-law attorney turned crusading journalist turned thorn in the side of the NSA might describe his mission.
At least in part. Greenwald is doing more than just watching. By combing through the tens of thousands of classified NSA documents leaked to him by Edward Snowden — and publishing in newspapers around the globe report after report on the secretive agency’s mass-spying activities — he’s got the whole world watching too.
Through his efforts, he’s looking not only to buttress the Bill of Rights and protect the sanctity of privacy — he also wants nothing less than to stop the Internet from being warped into what he fears would be “probably the most effective means of human control and oppression ever known,” a technology that allows “people’s every thought and word to be comprehensively chronicled” by the “surveillance state.”