The Hawaiian health official who verified the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate died in a small plane crash.
The plane, carrying a pilot and eight passengers, went down Wednesday in the water off the Hawaiian island of Molokai, the Maui Fire Department said. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser was among the first outlets to report that the lone fatality was Loretta Fuddy. Tom Matsuda, the interim executive director of Hawaii’s health insurance exchange, confirmed Fuddy’s death.
Fuddy, 65, became acting health director in January 2011. After being confirmed as the permanent health director, Fuddy made news in April 2011 when she verified the authenticity of certified copies of President Obama’s birth certificate, proving that he had been born in Hawaii.
Obama had requested the release to curb claims by opponents that he was born in Kenya and not eligible to be president.
The stupidity here is of monumental proportions.
In a column for Slate earlier this week, Aisha Harris wrote that she had always been confused as a child because the Santa in her home had brown skin like her, but the Santa in malls and on television was always white.
So Harris made the case “that America abandon Santa-as-fat-old-white-man” and adopt a penguin in his place.
“For one thing, making Santa Claus an animal rather than an old white male could spare millions of nonwhite kids the insecurity and shame that I remember from childhood,” she wrote.
But on Wednesday, Kelly decided that Harris had gone “off the rails” with her column.
“For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white,” Kelly said. “But this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa. But Santa is what he is.”
“Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change, you know?” she added. “I mean, Jesus was a white man too. He was a historical figure, that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa — I just want the kids watching to know that.”
Exploring the legal and moral boundaries for discussion.
Elaine Huguenin, a wedding photographer, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling by New Mexico’s highest court that she was required by a state public-accommodations law to take pictures of a female couple’s “commitment ceremony.” Last week, a judge in Colorado ruled against a baker who had refused to supply a gay couple with a cake for their wedding reception.
Although religious scruples were at issue in both cases, the issue is primarily one of free speech. The 1st Amendment protects not only the right to express one’s own views but also a right not to be compelled to convey someone else’s.
In her petition to the Supreme Court, Huguenin warns that the decision against her threatens other “expressive professions” including “marketers, advertisers, publicists and website designers.”
Please read the whole article for perspective. Now our Poll
Allen Varney, leader of this effort, says:
Owing to the huge surge in sales yesterday after Wil Wheaton’s plug — US$10,000+ in 18 hours! — I’m extending the Family-Friendly RPGs run by a little over one day, until 1PM Eastern US time (GMT -4) tomorrow (Friday). Please spread the word. Point everyone to the Bundle of Holding URL:
As of right now, there have been 1,054 sales, equaling $15,058.37, which means $1506 divided between the two charities (or $753 each)!
UPDATE: Whatever I personally realize from this effort (and, as said before, I need the money because of LIFE-STUFF!), I’m taking half of it and splitting it between Save the Children and St. Jude.
The Bundle was “found money” for me; it behooves me to spread the lucky bounty.
Even those who may not be persuaded that our surveillance technologies have dangerously outpaced democratic controls should agree that in democracies, surveillance of the public must be debated by the public. No official may decide the limit of our rights in secret.
This choice nugget of farcical altruism is the money shot of Snowden’s statement on being added to the list of Foreign Policy’s Global Thinkers for 2013.
We must debate surveillance and rights in the public square. But for somebody to espouse such a noble ideal and give up so much in pursuit of that goal it immensely ironic that he chose to run to countries that have horrible records of human rights and government control.
But even worse, Snowden has chosen to align himself with Glenn Greenwald. An advocacy journalist of immense energy who’s chutzpah is only matched by his thin skin.
In such a complex subject such as internet surveillance that we all must be debating, isn’t Greenwald a horrible choice as a journalistic messenger about this most important of debates?
Is Greenwald a feature or a bug?
Russia’s top court ordered a review of the two-year prison sentence of two members of the all-female punk band Pussy Riot convicted of hooliganism for a protest against President Vladimir Putin.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina have young children, entitling them to defer their sentences, which lower courts didn’t take into account, according to a ruling posted late yesterday on the Supreme Court’s website.
The lower courts also failed to acknowledge mitigating circumstances including that it was the women’s first offense and that the protest was peaceful, according to the ruling. The Supreme Court sent their case back to the Moscow City Court.
By Sibel Edmonds
The U.S. Government, An Implicated Billionaire, Fortune-Seeking Journalists & A Public in the Dark
The 50,000-pages of documents obtained by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden contain extensive documentation of PayPal Corporation’s partnership and cooperation with the National Security Agency (NSA), according to three NSA veterans. To date, no information has been released as to the extent of the working relationship and cooperation between the two entities- NSA and PayPal Corporation. What’s more, the billionaire owner of PayPal Corporation has entered into a $250 Million business partnership with two journalists-Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, a journalist duo who possess the entire cache of evidence provided by Edward Snowden. Despite earlier pledges by the journalists in question, only one percent (1%) of Snowden’s documents has been released.
BFP was recently contacted by a retired NSA official who claims that the documents obtained by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden contain extensive documentation pertaining to NSA’s partnership with major U.S. financial institutions, including credit card companies and PayPal Corporation. The official, who requested anonymity, also alleges that a deal was made in early June, 2013 between the journalists involved in this recent NSA scandal and U.S. government officials, which was then sealed by secrecy and nondisclosure agreements by all parties involved.
Upon receiving this report BFP contacted three other high-level former NSA officials for additional information and comments.
On December 11, 2013 we contacted Mr. William Binney, a former top official at the National Security Agency (NSA), and asked him to comment on the legitimacy of the above report, and whether he had any knowledge of the partnership and cooperation between NSA and financial institutions such as PayPal. He confirmed the legitimacy of the report and added:
The NSA has had the cooperation of major financial institutions, including credit card companies, to obtain all financial transactions of these companies’ clients-international and domestic. Further, the NSA not only obtains and stores the financial data of Americans and foreigners, but it also shares them with other government agencies such as the FBI and DEA.
Read more at BoilingFrogsPost
Glenn Greenwald has been having a total crazypants meltdown over this:
@jrs7000 I don't doubt Paypal cooperates with NSA - that this is in the docs that we've been paid to withhold are total lies.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 12, 2013
@sibeledmonds You're actually too stupid and/or crazy to even know your own accusations. That's actually sad. I'm sorry I bothered with you.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 12, 2013
@jrs7000 Insane and stupid to make accusations about what's in the NSA docs when she has no idea what is actually in them.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 12, 2013
@jrs7000 I wasted the last 20 minutes of my life "addressing" her insanity and stupidity - check my timeline if you're interested.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 11, 2013
Russia’s largest government-owned news agency has warned defiantly of “a tightening of state control” over the country’s media after Vladimir Putin announced plans to close it down and replace it with a new organisation headed by a controversial anti-Western television talk show host.
In a surprise decree published on the Kremlin’s website on Monday, Mr Putin “liquidated” the RIA Novosti news agency and created a new organization called Rossia Segodnya , or Russia Today — in what many commentators see as a decision to eliminate one of the most balanced news outlets in the Kremlin’s sprawling portfolio of news agencies, newspapers and television stations.
“The main focus of the International News Agency Russia Today is to inform abroad about the State Policy of the Russian Federation and public life in the Russian Federation,” the decree said.
Up all night to do nothing…
The Senate tucked in for an all-nighter on Wednesday night, hunkering down for what could amount to several days of little-to-no-sleep — no small feat for some of the Senate septuagenarians.
In what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office called a Republican “temper tantrum,” the GOP delayed votes on Nina Pillard, one of three of President Obama’s nominees to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The court currently has eight judges out of a bench of 11. Republicans argue the court’s workload doesn’t warrant a full compliment of 11 judges, fearing Obama will stack the court for a generation — the DC Circuit Court is considered the second most important court in the land and a feeder bench to the Supreme Court.
He was in his late teens and still some years away from entering the Jesuit Order. She was in her mid-30s, a revolutionary and a feminist far ahead of her time. They met around 1953 or 1954 in the most unlikely of places - a laboratory where she worked as a pharmaceutical biochemist and he as an apprentice chemical technician. The two could not have been more dissimilar. Yet they cemented a unique friendship that bridged decades as well as deep political and religious chasms.
The woman was Esther Careaga, a non-believer who, because of her Marxist ideals, disappeared under Argentina’s dictatorship in 1977. The man was Jorge Bergoglio, who became Pope Francis in March this year.
Careaga had arrived in Buenos Aires as a political exile from neighbouring Paraguay a few years before meeting Bergoglio. She had been a fiery socialist orator and the founder of Paraguay’s first feminist movement in the 1940s. “She toured the towns in the countryside of Paraguay pleading for people’s rights in general, but especially the rights of women,” says her daughter Ana María Careaga.
Careaga was one of thousands of people who “disappeared” between 1976 and 1983, a bloody spree that stopped only after Argentina entered into a losing war with Britain in 1982 over the Falkland Islands. Victims were taken to secret camps, tortured and thrown from military planes - drugged but still alive - into the South Atlantic Ocean. It was an unsuccessful tactic because sometimes the bodies washed up on shore days later.
Thanks to VB for posting the tweet with a link to this story.
It’s important to read because even though he has been very orthodox about many things that some would wish for change he has been very different from any other pope since John XXIII and for a very long time before him. This is someone who can remember those who have paid a terrible price for the way things are today and does want to see justice in the world. Perhaps not as we would or as fast as we’d like but he takes a longer view. I’ve argued before that I think Francis is not going to make drastic changes himself but will lay the groundwork for the changes that must happen.
And in the mean time he is the kind of man who will drive his security insane by sneaking out of St. Peter’s wearing only the collar of an anonymous priest to do what things he can to make the lives of the least of us a little better - in other words, trying to actually live like Christ teaches us to. He won’t do it perfectly any more than you or I can. But it is an example worth living in the memory of all those who have been disappeared down the ages whether by the Roman Empire or by the Arginetine Junta.