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by normanb

Yahoo Publishes Hate Speech Against Whitney Houston: It’s Up Online Now!

2:48 am in Uncategorized by normanb

Yahoo Publishes Hate Speech Against Whitney Houston: It’s Up Online Now! – by NormanB (“Deviations from the Norm”) — by NormanB (“Deviations from the Norm”)

 

Yahoo News is publishing Hate Speech in a very bigoted message demanding discrimination against more than one-quarter of the US population.

http://news.yahoo.com/jersey-flags-shouldnt-fly-half-staff-whitney-houston-171300397.html

Yahoo calls for discrimination against the dead Whitney Houston based on a medical condition which she may or may not have had. Nazism rears its ugly head.

I believe that Yahoo should be called out on this. I called them three days ago to complain about the hateful message they published in the above article. It’s still up:

Through the writer Ruqaiyya Noor, Yahoo calls for illegal discrimination based on a medical condition proven to be genetic. Yahoo wants discrimination against “drug addicts,” even though 20% of American adults – 47 million people – are addicted to cigarettes, and 8% – 20 million or so – are addicted to alcohol. Some babies are addicted through second-hand smoke. Lots of them are.

People who don’t smoke cigarettes but are nonetheless addicted to tobacco, and people addicted to prescription drugs, make up a few more million. And, finally, the smallest group of addicts: There are thousands of Americans addicted to Heroin and similar Opiates, all dependent on the supply line from Afghanistan’s Poppy fields through Iraq or Pakistan, and provided by US Military flights to and from stateside bases.

But maybe Ruqaiyya Noor actually has someone else in mind: Hateful bigots and Right-wing propaganda often call smokers of rock cocaine “Crack Addicts;” they often call stimulant users “Meth Addicts;” even though neither Cocaine nor Methamphetamine is actually physically addictive. But since when did a collision with the Truth stop Right-wing propagandists or hateful bigots?

Many of us know the story of how hateful Right-wing propaganda got Marijuana outlawed in the late 1930s, claiming that it was addictive and was used by Blacks and Mexicans. And now, in Right-wing bastions like Joe and Beau Biden’s Tweedledum-and-Tweedledee Delaware, Black people are frequently arrested and must agree that they are addicted to Marijuana to avoid prison.

(And of course, admitting that one is addicted to Marijuana, and thus accepting Probation or Parole, empowers the state to drug test the subject – violating the 1st-, 4th-, & 5th-Amenment rights of the accused. It also makes money for chemical companies and for the state on those drug tests. Lots of money for police and judges and lawyers and jailers. From the poorest of the poor.)

And when people [falsely] admit that they are addicted to Marijuana, a non-addictive substance, they promote that Government-sponsored superstition that being high is a sin. Ruqaiyya Noor, can you prove that drug use is a sin? What deity told you this is a sin? And if you’re actually hating on drug users, there are over one hundred million of us in this country.

It is basically religious-based discrimination against people who might have a genetic malady that Yahoo and Noor demand in obedience to a superstition rooted in bigotry and ignorance. Yahoo’s widespread dissemination of Hate Speech may constitute a Hate Crime, since it seems to promoting hate and possibly trying to inspire violence against drug users, poor people, and people of color.

I know Yahoo won’t be charged with a crime over this mess. Probably nothing will come of the Federal Communications Commission complaint. But anyone who thinks that this discrimination was wrong can boycott Yahoo products and search engines for three weeks or more. We can refuse to follow any Yahoo suggestions of websites to check. We can boycott any product or service advertised on Yahoo. We can get in touch with Yahoo to say we disapprove of its Hate Speech.

by normanb

7 Witnesses Say Police Made Them Lie to help carry out Georgia’s Racist Killing: Now, Only Obama can Stop this Murder

4:26 am in Uncategorized by normanb

7 Witnesses Say Police Made Them Lie to help carry out Georgia’s Racist Killing: Now, Only Obama can Stop this Murder — by NormanB (“Deviations from the Norm”)

 

Urge President Obama to Halt Georgia’s Racist killing of Troy Davis. Seven witnesses against Davis said that they actually knew nothing about the crime, but that Police had intimidated them to falsely incriminate Troy Davis. No physical evidence ties Mr. Davis to the crime. Please, everyone who opposes Racist Premeditated Murder, call President Obama at 202-456-1111, and urge him to halt the Execution. –NB

Please call now, and on Friday. It’s not a very long wait on the phone. (The people working the White House telephones are volunteers, so take it easy on them.)

Friday is the National Day of Action on this case, with the Racist killing scheduled for next Wednesday, September 21, 2011. Though Friday is the Day of Action, many college students have no classes on Fridays, so, if you can, please get out to your local colleges and universities today and tomorrow, and place fliers to inform the students. Very large print, and bold where appropriate. You can use the wording of this article’s first paragraph if you want. Post it on your facebook page too, and email it to friends. Call people to tell them about it.

A man’s life is at stake. None of the Police who committed heinous crimes in this case has been charged with anything: Not Falsification of Evidence, not Obstruction of Justice, not what it is: The Hate Crime of Racist Attempted Murder. Of course, President Obama can theoretically make points with the far Right by letting the killing proceed. But he can stop it. Yes he can!

Equal Justice USA Action Alert

 

 

Today I am writing to ask you to act. We have less than two weeks. There is simply too much doubt in this case to let the execution proceed.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Hold a local event on September 16th, a global day of action. Actions can be any size – a few people at a vigil, handing out flyers at a street fair, or even hosting friends at your home to watch the Troy Davis videos. If you can hold an event, please let us know, so that organizers in Atlanta can announce your event during the march that day.
  • Continue to ask your networks to sign our petition. We will close the petition on Wednesday, September 14th so it can be delivered to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles. National and state groups have gathered more than 60,000 new signatures in the past few days alone! Your actions are making a difference.
  • Legal professionals, please add your name to this sign-on letter from our friends at Amnesty International.
  • Religious leaders, please sign the religious leader sign-on letter organized by Amnesty International and People of Faith Against the Death Penalty.
  • Retweet EJUSA’s #TooMuchDoubt tweets. We’ll be tweeting a new fact about Davis’ case every day at www.twitter.com/ejusa.
Background on the case: 

Executing an innocent person is unconscionable. Troy Davis’ case started off shaky and has only deteriorated since.

His 1991 murder conviction was based on the testimony of nine “eyewitnesses” – seven of whom have since recanted or contradicted their testimony.

Many have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced into signing statements. Here’s an example of what one of them had to say:

“I told them I didn’t know anything about who shot the officer, but they kept questioning me. I was real young at that time and here they were questioning me about the murder of a police officer like I was in trouble or something. I was scared… [I]t seemed like they wouldn’t stop questioning me until I told them what they wanted to hear. So I did. I signed a statement saying that Troy told me that he shot the cop.”

No physical evidence connects Davis to the crime. It is a case based on a collapsed house of cards.

Enough doubt for you? Then please take one or more of these actions today!

Thank you for everything you are doing to prevent what could be a terrible miscarriage of justice.


Towards Justice,
Emma Weisfeld-Adam
on behalf of all of EJUSA

Here’s the petition, and more info:

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/1972/p/dia/action/public/?&action_KEY=7115

http://ejusa.org/newsline/article/2011/08/03/stop-execution-troy-davis

http://www.sheldensays.com/troy_davis_case.htm

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/georgia-sets-execution-date-troy-davis-2011-09-08

Petition for Religious Leaders to halt the execution of Troy Davis: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1576/p/salsa/web/tellafriend/public/?tell_a_friend_KEY=9476

Petion for Legal Professionals to halt the execution of Troy Davis: http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/c.jhKPIXPCIoE/b.6696673/k.602/Legal_Professionals_Troy_Davis_needs_you/apps/ka/ct/contactus.asp?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&b=6696673&en=6pJBKLMnF5LKKVOqG4JGJXOHLjLOKZOCJmJMLWPIJtE

Videos on the Troy Davis case: http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/cases/usa-troy-davis/watch-videos-examining-the-troy-davis-case

by normanb

Gen. McCaffrey: “Gaddafi Will Inevitably Be Murdered,” but Saudi Invasion of Slave State Bahrain to Prop Up Obama Thugs is “More Important”

3:06 pm in Uncategorized by normanb

Gen. McCaffrey: “Gaddafi Will Inevitably Be Murdered,” but Saudi Invasion of Slave State Bahrain to Prop Up Obama Thugs is “More Important” — by NormanB

This story is very short, but it’s important and being ignored. Former Drug Czar retired General Barry McCaffrey told MSNBC’s morning news audience at 7:37am EST Sunday that “Gaddafi will inevitably be murdered.” He then said that Saudi Arabia would invade Bahrain rather than let democracy take the slave state. Such democracy would lead to the overthrow President Obama’s puppet dictator Sheikh Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa and his thug Government.

Al Khalifa is the only King that Bahrain has ever had. The Bush Administration installed this version of the monarchy in 2002, the same day women were granted the right to vote. Becaise the US Navy’s 5th Fleet operates out of Bahrain, the Obama Administration considers Human Rights in Bahrain to be of very low priority. Most of the people in Bahrain are slaves. Most of the remainder are Shiite Muslims, who are discriminated against. Most of the non-slave non-Shiites are Sunni Muslims like the King, but not members of his tribe, and thus face official discrimination. And, a majority of the Sunnis who are of the King’s tribe are women, and face official discrimination.http://mediamatters.org/research/200912010037

General McCaffrey was President Clinton’s Drug Czar, and famed for telling lies about Marijuana as he spread  propaganda. He called legitimate science of Marijuana “Cheech and Chong” stuff. Then later, in an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder, the Federal Government targeted comedian-activist Tommy Chong, who has joked about Marijuana for 40 years or more. Our Government made him a political prisoner for telling the wrong jokes. In Article One of the US Constitution (long before the Bill of Rights), the prohibition of Bills of Attainder forbids the Government from targeting a person or group.

McCaffrey was the War Criminal who bombed retreating Iraqis during the US invasion of Iraq near the end of the Gulf War in March 1991. Forces under his command bombed a chemical weapons factory. I spoke to soldier Rachel Bradley, who took part in the operation to evacuate US troops in March when the War ended. Even though the US public wouldn’t learn of Gulf War Syndrome for a long time, and the Government denied its existence for years, Bradley told me that the US soldier she helped evacuate were already very, very sick.

Another bad thing about General McCaffrey is his holdings in DynCorp, the defense contractor often chosen by President Obama in the Arab world and in South America. MSNBC often uses him as a “defense” “expert.” MSNBC never reports McCaffrey’s Conflict of Interest.

http://mediamatters.org/research/200912010037
http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=barry_mccaffrey_1

by normanb

Other Religions are Dumb, Wrong, Bad & Strange: YouTube Inspires Reinstatement of Spanish Inquisition

9:17 am in Uncategorized by normanb

Other Religions are Dumb, Wrong, Bad, and Strange: YouTube Inspires Reinstatement of Spanish Inquisition — by NormanB ("Deviations from the Norm")

Unfortunately, I’m not kidding in the title: A legislator saw YouTube videos of people allegedly in distress, allegedly while on Salvia Divinorum, and based on those videos, he introduced a bill to ban the herb. A religious Sacrament, Salvia was banned by the Inquisition in 1508, along with Marijuana, Colorines, and 200 other plant Sacraments then used in Mexico.

This article’s genesis was yesterday’s article, about bigotry against Arabs, Muslims, people with beards, and people in other religions and cultures. I’m now typing at full speed, and thinking even faster. To catch up on where this conversation begins, please read my short Diary from yesterday, and its few short respondent comments.

An fdl Seminal Diary yesterday about the Alaska Republican Primary Election titled In Alaska, Lisa Murkowski Concedes to Teabagger – End of the 30-Year Murkowski Family Reign reported on the state of the Election. The gist of that posting was that the Primary’s winner, Tea Party conservative Joe Williams, may be easier for Democrat Scott McAdams to defeat in November than notorious Republican Oil Puppet Murkowski. Near the end of the Diary, however, the writer made a cruel bigoted slur against one of the candidates. You can go there if you want, but I’ll repeat my response below, so you won’t need to click away again:

Good riddance to the murky Murkowski Oil Dynasty.
I vehemently oppose the Right-wing politics of Joe Williams.

That said, I also vehemently oppose the poster’s apparent hateful Right-wing bigotry evidenced in the post, about “this teabagger who looks and thinks a lot more like the unibomber …”

Nominally liberal Rachel Maddow also suffers from this affliction, since nearly every time she shows a photo of a man with a beard she exhibits contempt or hatred and mentions his facial hair.

But doesn’t Scott McAdams also sport a partial beard? Is he a “unibomber” too? Maybe they’re both Arabs or Muslims or Sikhs or Coptics or Amish or Jews or Hippies or Eastern Orthodox.

Millions of people follow Pope Shenouda in Egypt or Pope Benedict in the Vatican, based on the idea that each holds a tradition passed down from one of Jesus’s Disciples. Are Coptics and/or Catholics wrong? And, if so, should they be stopped? And what about tiny minority religions?

In the 19th Century, the US declared the Mormon War, but was unsuccessful in banning the religion. In the 20th Century, the US tried to obliterate the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Orthodox Church in Florida. The most visible members were imprisoned. Yet still, the "Florida Coptics" exist.

Rationalism

Rather than anthropomorphizing a Diety, many people today consider Nature, Scientific Truth, and the Universe to be the same as G-d.

In the late 19th Century, the Rationalist School of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church adopted such thought. Here’s how it was passed down to me:
1. Be good.
2. Studying primary Biblical themes enriches one with knowledge and understanding of our roots, history, culture, morals, humanity, human nature, et cetera. However, …
3. … there is no G-d, no devil, no Heaven, no Hell, no afterlife.
4. Humans evolved from earlier primates.
5. Jesus was a good man and a great teacher.
6. We ain’t Catholic.
7. Shut up and eat your peas.

Syncretism

The Sikhs began with the premise that the religions of both the Muslims and the Hindus surrounding them are equally good and correct, and that both deserve of respect. Later Sikh Gurus asserted that the religions of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, New Agers, and others deserve the same respect. The Baha’i Faith takes a similar tack. Strangely, Sikhs believe they shouldn’t cut their hair, while Baha’is believe that they should.

Political Religions

The Florida Coptics, the Rainbow Family, adherents of Rastafari, and the Church of the Tree of Life can be classified this way. Some people say "Politics should play no role in religions." Others say "Who are you to tell me what belongs in my religion?" Still others say "No one should be able to dictate another’s religion." Yet others say "All religions are ridiculous and wrong."

Quakers (Friends) and Unitarians may be considered Political Religions. Both started as Christian sects, but are liberal enough to now welcome and include some who don’t consider themselves Christian. Of course, when one starts with such a liberal ideology as Quakerism, he may come to consider himself not a member of any organized religion, as Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln did. When asked to officially declare his religion after becoming President, Lincoln wrote "Liberal."

An important Political Religion is the Universal Life Church. A formerly conservative Protestant Minister, Kirby Hensley, started it in California in 1959. From the backwoods and uneducated, Kirby had a revelation that no one should be doubted in their own religion, and therefore he began ordaining everyone who wanted to be a Minister. More than a million have taken him up on it. All four of the Beatles did. Many Americans got religious waivers keeping them out of the Vietnam War because of their affiliation with the ULC. The First Church of Bob was a congregation of the ULC.

That last title makes fun of the Bab, founder of the Baha’i Faith. In fact, its larger manifestation, the Church of the Subgenius, makes fun of every religion and spiritual concept its members know about. Pagans and Atheists also have ULC congregations.

When President Ulysses S. Grant endorsed grammar school education for all Americans of school age, Catholic schools were already proliferating in this country. Some reactionary Protestants pushed Pres. Grant to ensure that his program would teach Protestantism to America’s pupils. Grant was the leader of the Radical Republicans (not anything like today’s group called that). When the Liberal Republicans and The Nation magazine had advocated not letting newly freed slaves vote until they could read, Grant had pushed back insisting that Blacks in the South would be allowed to vote. That was called "Reconstruction." Throughout the South, Blacks were elected to political office. That ended when Grant left office. As for religious schooling, he stated that the United States must never promote the beliefs of, nor discriminate against "Sectarians, Pagans, or Atheists." Grant had a beard.

In the interest of complete openness: In 1980, I joined the ULC, the Church of the Tree of Life, and the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Orthodox Church. I now work for the First Universal Tree Of Life Church, which has been since last millennium been a congregation of the ULC.

by normanb

Those of Us Who Study History are Condemned to Watch the Rest of the World Repeat It

1:57 am in Uncategorized by normanb

Those of Us Who Study History are Condemned to Watch the Rest of the World Repeat It — By Norman B

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
– George Santayana

“Those of us who study history are condemned to watch the rest of the world repeat it.” — Me.

Here I am in the liberal bastion of Amherst, Massachusetts. Yet Islamophobia and related hatred of people who are different is in full bloom. I am not Muslim or Arab, but you can’t tell that from looking at me, because I have a long gray beard that can strike fear into the 10,000 or more Freshmen in this University town, who’ve never before lived in such a multi-cultural Mecca (if I can still use that term). Lots of times during my daily walk across the UMass campus, a new Freshman has seen me, and turned to run away in terror. It will probably happen again next week. I can laugh at it, but it hurts immensely.

Earlier this year, a mosque was proposed, but the haters – I mean "the neighbors" – prevented it, falsely claiming that the traffic would be a problem.

And even at the most liberal place in town, Hampshire College, I am severely discriminated against. To put into perspective just how liberal Hampshire College is: For several years Saturday Night Live aired a continuing skit with a running gag about Hampshire students: No grades, no tests, no departments, students openly smoking pot. It’s all true; and it’s alright with me.

As it happens, I am a Minister in a radical church, the Church of the Tree of Life. Hateful opportunist politicians have attempted (unconstitutionally, I think) to ban the Church by illegalizing its Sacraments, the most famous of which today is Salvia Divinorum, an herb that doesn’t hurt anyone, but makes most of its users uncomfortable and scared, because it takes them to the place of prophecy. The Church began in San Francisco around 1970, and has operated without problems here in Amherst more than 15 years. Three-quarters of the attendees at our events have been Hampshire College students.

So when a local newspaper ran a disinformation article about Salvia, I was compelled to act, including placing fliers at Hampshire College, as I’ve done for more than a decade. Ah, but I don’t look like a college student, even a Hampshire student, and I don’t dress like a professor. So, as I was boarding the bus to leave, a Hampshire College policewoman approached me with her hand on her gun, trembling profusely. I felt like I was facing that poor McCain rally attendee who, speaking of Candidate Obama, stammered “He’s – he’s a – a Arab!” John McCain, of course, said “No he’s not; he’s a good man,” as if the two are mutually exclusive.

Well, I was banned from Hampshire College, despite my history there. (I had worked there, I had performed there, had been involved in political organizing there, and my activist/performer career had been the subject of a student’s dissertation, among other connections.) And if you think that’s bad, you should see what happens if I try to get onto a plane.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
– George Santayana

“Those of us who study history are condemned to watch the rest of the world repeat it.” — Me.