Suing for justice

Aug. 18th, 2017 04:00 pm
[syndicated profile] norightturn_feed

Posted by Idiot/Savant

In August 2010, NZ SAS soldiers murdered six civilians in a revenge raid in Afghanistan. When the raid was exposed, the government denied everything and refused to investigate. But now, their victims are going to court to force an inquiry:
The government was "unlawful", "unreasonable" and "in breach of natural justice" in its decision not to hold an inquiry into claims SAS troops killed Afghan civilians in 2010, say lawyers for the victims.

This morning lawyers Deborah Manning, Rodney Harrison QC and Richard McLeod announced they had filed an application for a Judicial Review in the High Court at Wellington, in response to the government's stance on the alleged incident.

[...]

They are seeking a Judicial Review under the Defence Act 1990, the Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971 and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 in the matter of "decisions not to investigate alleged wrongdoing on the part of the New Zealand Defence Force in Afghanistan".

They revealed they were acting on behalf of three applicants, made up of groups of villagers from the area where the event - Operation Burnham - occurred.


I have no idea how strong their case is, but I wish them luck. The SAS's actions raise serious questions of war crimes, torture, and civilian control of the military. Allegations like this should not be ignored or swept under the rug to protect the "reputation" of the SAS or NZDF. To the contrary, it is the investigation and punishment of war criminals which protects those institutions, and our country. We need an inquiry, and people shouldn't have to go to court to try and get one.

Today's Adventures

Aug. 17th, 2017 11:13 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
We went up to Champaign today with family.  Mild weather, nice day for an outing.  :D

World Harvest keeps improving their stock of tea and spices.  \o/  Regrettably the cumin and ginger bottles don't fit in our spice rack. >_<  But I found some other stuff I haven't seen in a while so I'm happy.  Also the food selection on the Strawberry Fields side is improving.  The beef pie is a tasty little thing.



My partner Doug and I tried the gansito split at El Oasis. Gansito is a Mexican junk food similar to a chocolate-covered twinkie. I imagine it would be awful by itself, but is quite good with ice cream, either mixed in or like this, split with several scoops of ice cream in between.  Chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla topped with whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry.  <3

Barnes & Noble continues to grow more annoying.  Twice I had someone stop and ask if I needed help finding anything.  Well no, you already broke the bookstore, so you can't fix that.  I need to browse by looking at a batch of similar things arranged by topic.  Now that you have dispersed the new books among the old books, this is impossible, unless you want to go hand-sort the new ones for me.  The cookbooks are splodged together, some by topic, others by author or title.  So instead of having all the special diet books together, organized by name of their theme, which would be easy to browse, they're all scattered over a couple of bookcases.  Someone actually asked me if I knew the titles I wanted.  Well if I knew the titles, I'd be able to find them myself! It was yet another damning example of how the store is catering not to bookworms, but to people who don't usually go into bookstores.  I guess they've been hyping electronics often enough that they're getting a lot of traffic that can't even find a help desk.  0_o  It's gotten to where just being asked is an irritant, another reminder that I'm no longer their target audience.  Jesus, lady, I was helping shelve library books when I was four.  >_<  I did find a couple of books to buy, but it's not fun like it used to be.  Bah.

At Wal-Mart I found a new pair of shorts.  Things that make me ridiculously happy: garments made of that silky, ventilated fabric that's almost never used on girl clothes, only guy clothes.  These shorts are lined and have contrasting trim around the edges.  I first got gray with pink trim to go with some tie-dye shirts I bought.  Then I got the turquoise with white and tonight the black with white.  I wanted the cobalt blue, but so far everyone's been out of that in my size.  I'd be happier if these had pockets, but I like the fabric enough to tolerate the lack.  They're really comfortable and really, really genderfucking awesome.  :D

2 links 17 August 2017

Aug. 17th, 2017 11:15 pm
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather posting in [community profile] access_fandom
Eric Deggans on NPR (All Things Considered):

Netflix, ABC Portrayals Of Autism Still Fall Short, Critics Say

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/08/11/542668400/netflix-abc-portrayals-of-autism-still-fall-short-critics-say

You can read or listen to this piece, which is about "The Good Doctor" and "Atypical".

Believe what you see.

Aug. 18th, 2017 12:01 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
From a Charlottesville resident:

"There seems to be a perception from people outside of Charlottesville that what is going on here is two opposing groups coming to town and fighting some ideological battle that has gotten messy. That is not what is happening here. What is happening here is that several hate groups from the extreme right have come together under the "unite the right" banner here in our town and basically started acting as terrorists. This may seem like an exaggeration but it's not...."

Promoting a Better World

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:38 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Everyone's all in a lather about the mess in Charlottesville.  I generally prefer to sidle around the attack and then counterattack directly at the opponent's fundamental goals. In this case, they want to promote racism and violence. So I can undermine their efforts by promoting:

Conversational Skills
http://www.sandbox-learning.com/Default.asp?Page=152
http://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Social-Skills

Tolerance
http://www.mmsa.info/sites/default/files/downloads/pages/Tolerance.pdf (teaching)
http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Tolerant-of-Others

Diversity
http://diversity.appstate.edu/celebration/why/
https://www.uww.edu/learn/aboutdiversity/approachdiversity
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241553

Nonviolence
https://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/listen-carefully-think-first-respect-everyone/
https://www.k-state.edu/nonviolence/Season/64ways.html

African-American Poetry
My favorites include Maya Angelou, Robert Hayden, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, and Phillis Wheatley.
http://www.theroot.com/20-black-poets-you-should-know-and-love-1790868612
http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets_african_american.html

If you want to poke a bigot in the eye, you can go shopping for things made by black writers or crafters, or you can buy multicultural-themed material from any author.  I've got a fluffy family dinner with multiple ethnicities in "Dinner at Donnie's" ($171) in Danso and Family.

So much for early

Aug. 17th, 2017 11:36 pm
elanya: Pensive pony (Default)
[personal profile] elanya
I got looking at the internet instead of showering or making this post.

Knitting earlier, and before that I went to dinner with two of my friends. It was nice, though the cider I had was not great - bitter.

Work was fine and I finished another project. I'm close to done the third, and can probably wrap it up tomorrow if I buckle down. I want to leave a little early,as I have LARP this weekend, but we'll see, I guess!

Jesus of the ...

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:54 pm
asakiyume: (far horizon)
[personal profile] asakiyume
This font for holy water was in a model seventeenth-century Acadian house on the grounds of a historic gardens in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.

If you click through and look at Jesus up close, doesn't he seem strange? Otherworldly in an unexpected way, as if the painter had a vision of Jesus of the fishes, or Jesus as a curl of smoke, or Jesus whose body is a shroud, about to be lifted away.

Holy water
[syndicated profile] norightturn_feed

Posted by Idiot/Savant

Like many people, I was shocked by last night's One News poll showing the Greens on 4%. Sure, I'd expected them to lose support over middle-class hatred for the poor and Labour finally having a credible leader, but that much? It was a bit of a shock. And while its six weeks to go and there will be other polls etc, its a wake up call that the Greens can take nothing for granted - either the decency of their fellow New Zealanders, or their survival as a party.

There's lessons in here for Labour as well. Historically, the Greens have done best when Labour has been weak, and worst when they're strong. Remember the Clark years, when they worried about scraping in every election? The Greens' success for the past nine years now looks like a commentary on Labour's weakness, its succession of bland, interchangeable dead white male leaders. And now Labour has a leader worthy of the name, someone young (or "youth-adjacent") and inspiring, who promises change rather than more of the same, they're doing well again. Which ought to tell them that the logic that saw them crown the likes of Phil Goff, David Shearer, David Cunliffe and Andrew Little - that they were a safe choice, that they had to go after the bloke vote, that it was their fucking turn - was bullshit. Empirically, Labour does best when it has a woman in charge. That's who their voters are, that's who they represent. So they might as well embrace it rather than pretend they're still the Labour party of the 1930's or 1950's in the era of "National mum and Labour dad".

Back to the Greens. Obviously, they'll need to fight hard, and hopefully they will. Those who want to see them in Parliament, who want there to be a voice for the climate, for the rivers, for the poor, need to give them their party vote. But more than that, every vote is now vital for them, and that includes electorate votes. There's long been a tacit understanding that Green voters would give their electorate votes to Labour candidates because the Greens didn't need electorates to stay in Parliament. Well, now they do. And they should respond accordingly. I know its a long shot, but every vote counts. If it means Labour candidates in tight races lose due to "vote-splitting" (as if they're owed Green support), fuck 'em - they have list spots as backup. The Greens don't, so they need to fight everywhere now.

(Also, this is your regular reminder that the 5% threshold is undemocratic and should be repealed)

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:10 pm
meganbmoore: (book of life: elena)
[personal profile] meganbmoore posting in [community profile] fandom_icons
  70 x The Book of Life
58 x Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart


@ my DW

icons: Movies

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:02 pm
meganbmoore: (book of life: elena)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 70 x The Book of Life
58 x Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart


here )

Left Behind and Trumpism

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:48 pm
[syndicated profile] slacktivist_feed

Posted by Fred Clark

The Left Behind series sold more than 65 million copies. I can't offer a precise Venn diagram comparing those 65 million readers with the just-under 63 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump, but I would imagine the overlap in the middle would be pretty big. Their appeal is the same, and so is the audience.

Things I have learned

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:36 pm
dorothy1901: Gilda: Put the blame on Mame (Default)
[personal profile] dorothy1901
1. It is possible to grow sunflowers in pots, provided the pots are big enough. A 16" diameter pot works.
2. You will have to brace the pot so that it doesn't fall over in a strong wind.
3. If the sunflower starts leaning to one side, add a counterweight to the other side of the pot to balance the weight. A large rock works nicely.
4. Bees love sunflowers.
5. It takes forEVER for sunflower flower buds to reach full bloom.


I'm pretty sure that at least two different species of bees have been hanging around the sunflowers: big fuzzy ones, and smaller non-fuzzy ones. Bumblebees and carpenter bees, perhaps. They're all welcome.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Confederate-honoring statues are going down. In Hollywood Forever Cemetery, LA. And Lexington, KY. And quite a few other places. And Nancy Pelosi wants them out of the Capitol. Here's a list across the country.

And whose heritage do public symbols of confederacy belong to, anyway?

Florida has more racist hate groups than any other state; I wonder how old the members are.

Texas A&M cancels a rally by white supremacists, because of the possibility of violence against students.

Congressman Will Hurd and others say Trump should apologize for his remarks about Charlottesville.

Not only did Trump's business leaders walk away from him, they're not quiet about why. Here's another statement of why, including the following: "To be clear, the council never lived up to its potential for delivering policies that lift up working families. In fact, we were never called to a single official meeting, even though it comprised some of the world’s top business and labor leaders. The A.F.L.-C.I.O. joined to bring the voices of working people to the table and advocate the manufacturing initiatives our country desperately needs. But the only thing the council ever manufactured was letterhead. In the end, it was just another broken promise."

It took quite a bit of behind the scenes discussion, apparently.

And a look into the past history of American racism in the other inconvenient truth. Note the role Nixon had in creating hatred and persecution that continues to this day.

The racist who organized the Charlottesville white separtists ran away from his own press conference. Another white separatist was stuck having a press conference in his own office after two hotels turned him down.

I am not sure I agree with this idea of how to handle Trump, by making him say only what is written down. Why? I'm not sure he's literate enough to deal with the concepts. Even when he writes things down, they're offensive, ignorant, ahistorical and just plain wrong. And he's as much of a racist in private as in public. It's not just for show. He's bad enough at being president that the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is saying, publicly, Trump lacks the stability and competence to do the job. Is he about to go down in flames? The big question: What do you do when the President is unAmerican?

At this point, domestic terrorism is not a federal crime; that may change soon. Or we may have to consider if we are heading for another civil war.

Bannon doesn't understand about interviews. He should. He was a founder of Breitbart, and fell down their hole long ago.

And Silicon Valley is having an anti-Nazi purge. Twitter is shutting down white supremacist accounts. Can they shut down Trump now? Maybe the damaging myth of the longer genius nerd is involved.

The NYTimes has thoughts on how to roll back fanaticism.

***

Is there a better way to protest?

Malala is going to Oxford.

New Jersey introduces a fund to support local journalism.

A new poem by Sherman Alexie.

Trump's anti-abortion policies could keep girls around the world out of school.

Top journalists talk about the best job advice they were ever given. And 7 quick tips for conducting tough interviews.

When someone is hit by a train in the NY Subway, where do they put the body? In the MTA lunchrooms!

Some thoughts on signaling behavior and decisionmaking in government.

Buddhist wisdom: Everything we do matters, but two things are critical.

You don't know about Vernice Warfield, but you should.

Meg Wollitzer on feeling strong without a security blanket.

Talking with Lili Taylor and Janeane Garofalo.

current events

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:53 pm
alchemise: season 1 Buffy, text "change the world" (BtVS: change the world)
[personal profile] alchemise
Every time I see the word 'Nazi' I hear it in my head spoken by Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds.

It helps, somehow?

"Have I told you lately"

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:38 pm
rosefox: Me looking at Kit and both of us grinning. (me and kit)
[personal profile] rosefox
It's my late night at the office. I videocalled home to say goodnight to the baby. They were tired, so after a while they waved bye-bye. I said "Okay, Kit, bye-bye! I love you!" and signed love you.

And they signed love back.

Me: [tears]
X: [tears]
Kit: [earnestly signing love at the camera]

My baby told me they love me. I'll just be here in a little melted puddle forever.

Weaponised niceness

Aug. 18th, 2017 12:28 pm
[syndicated profile] norightturn_feed

Posted by Idiot/Savant

The citizenship insanity continues in Australia, with National deputy leader Fiona Nash admitting that she is a British citizen. Unlike other Senators who have found themselves in this situation, she has neither resigned, nor stood aside - and seems to have carefully sat on the news until after the Senate had risen in order to prevent it from referring her to the High Court and suspending her in the interim. Meanwhile, Senator Nick Xenophon, who last I heard was worried about being secretly Greek, is now worried about being secretly British. And to top it all off, a Sydney barrister is suggesting that New Zealand's niceness to Australians - AKA the one-sided Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, under which we let Australians live, work and vote here while they stick our people on Christmas Island - may in fact disqualify every Australian from standing for federal office:
If you are "entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject ... of a foreign power", you are ineligible to be elected to, or to serve in, Federal Parliament. You don't have to have the rights and privileges of a subject of a foreign power -- you just have to be entitled to those rights and privileges.

[...]

Guess what? Much closer to home, under recent and little-noticed changes to New Zealand law, Australian citizens now don't need a visa to live, study or work in the Land of the Long White Cloud. That's right: Any Australian citizen is entitled to live, study and work there.

That means we're ALL entitled to the rights and privileges of a subject of New Zealand -- not a citizen, with the attached rights and privileges such as voting -- but to be a subject of that country, living there, subject to New Zealand law, working or studying. And there's no doubt that New Zealand is a "foreign power" -- you only have to watch the All Blacks do the haka to realise that.

What does this mean?

New Zealand law has made every Australian citizen incapable of being elected to, or serving in, the Australian Parliament. It's not just Barnaby Joyce: It's everyone!


Except this isn't recent, or even a matter of law, but a long-standing mutual agreement with the Australian government, under which we essentially agree to be nice to one another (note: Australia stopped being nice some time ago, both to us and everyone else). So, being nice destroys Australia!

Free Speech and Nazis

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:42 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Like many of us, I’ve been struggling to process what happened in Charlottesville over the weekend, and what’s been happening in this country for a while now. The racism and hatred and violence didn’t magically appear out of nowhere. It’s been building up for a long time…in fact, much of it has always been there. It’s just boiling over into the open right now, making it harder (but obviously not impossible) to look away and pretend it’s not happening.

Part of the argument I’ve seen centers around free speech and the First Amendment. Free speech is a right, an important one, and rights apply to everyone. Even people you dislike and disagree with.

But freedom of speech in this country is not and has never been limitless. From the U.S. Federal Courts, here are a few examples of actions not legally protected by freedom of speech:

  • Students making an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event.
  • Making/distributing obscene materials.
  • Inciting actions that would harm others (e.g., Shouting “fire” in a crowded theater.)

Now let’s look at some of the “alt-right” protesters who gathered in Charlottesville.

Nazi flag Nazi armband  Nazi salutes Hitler quote on shirt Nazi salute

These people here? The ones wearing swastikas, waving Nazi flags, marching in T-shirts with Adolf Hitler quotes, and throwing Nazi salutes?

This isn’t protest. This is a threat.

The message here is not, “I don’t want you to take down a statue.” It’s “I believe in ethnic cleansing, in the murder of millions of Jews, Romani, and other non-white people. I believe people with disabilities should be forcibly sterilized or put to death. I believe non-heterosexuals should be imprisoned and killed.”

These people are pledging allegiance to a movement of mass murder. We know what the Nazis stood for. We know what they did. When people stand up in 2017 and proclaim themselves Nazis, we know what they’re saying. We know what they’re promising.

I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t believe freedom of speech protects the incitement of violence. I don’t believe it protects threats of genocide.

 

Maybe you don’t personally feel threatened by this. In many ways, neither do I. I’m a straight white man, unlikely to be a primary target of these hateful people.

Now imagine you’re Jewish. Imagine you’re black. Imagine you’re gay. Imagine you’re Romani. Imagine your ancestors were among the millions of people murdered by Nazis. Now look at those photos and tell me you’re not looking at a very real threat.

“But not all of the ‘Unite the Right’ marchers were openly wearing Nazi symbols!”

You’re right, and if you’ll read a little more carefully, you’ll see I never claimed otherwise. But they marched alongside Nazis. They chanted “Jews will not replace us!” alongside Nazis. They stood side-by-side with Nazis.

“Isn’t it so convenient for you to exclude speech you don’t like from the free speech umbrella? Free speech is an absolute right, and the true test is whether we’ll stand up for speech we disagree with!”

As established earlier, legally speaking, free speech is not an absolute right. Ethically–well, do you believe people have the absolute right to harass others? To threaten? To leak private information? To incite violence and murder? I don’t. Which means ethically, free speech isn’t an absolute right either.

I struggled with this. But in the end, I look at the photos and videos from Charlottesville, and I see deliberate intimidation. I see the threat and promise of violence. I see people proclaiming their loyalty to an enemy our country went to war against.

I see no reason to tolerate or accept that enemy.

Nor do I have any respect for those who knowingly collaborate with them.

Even the Joker hates Nazis

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 07:23 pm
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] resonant
The news is apocalyptically awful, of course. But I'm a Southerner, and I never expected that I would live to see those statues come down. It was something I didn't even dare to hope for.

I don't want to lose sight of how amazing that is.
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