Posts tagged government
Posts tagged government
Tourists flocking to Guatemala for “end of the world” parties have damaged an ancient stone temple at Tikal, the largest archeological site and urban center of the Mayan civilization.
“Sadly, many tourists climbed Temple II and caused damage,” said Osvaldo Gomez, a technical adviser at the site, which is located some 550 kilometers (340 miles) north of Guatemala City.
“We are fine with the celebration, but (the tourists) should be more aware because this is a (UNESCO) World Heritage Site,” he told local media.
Gomez did not specify what was done, although he did say it was forbidden to climb the stairs at the site and indicated that the damage was irreparable.
Temple II, which is about 38 meters (125 feet) high and faces the central Tikal plaza, is one of the site’s best known structures.
Friday marked the end of an era that lasted 5,200 years, according to the Mayan “Long Count” calendar. Some believed the date also marked the end of the world as foretold by Mayan hieroglyphs.
More than 7,000 people visited Tikal on Friday to see native Mayan priests hold a colorful ceremony and light fires as the sun emerged to mark the new era.
Critics complained that the event was really for tourists and had little to do with the Mayans. About 42 percent of Guatemala’s 14.3 million residents are native Mayans, and most live in poverty and endure discrimination.
CC: everyone who says “wahhhhh i don’t want to pay for your birth control”
Yeah, silly Sue!
Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul has consistently denied having written — or even read — the inflammatory racist and anti-gay remarks that went out under his name in newsletters he published in the early 1990s. Although numerous associates agree that Paul does not hold racist views, however, it appears that he may have known more about the racist articles than he has been willing to admit.
The Washington Post reported on Friday that three people with first-hand knowledge of Paul’s operations say “he was deeply involved in the company that produced the newsletters, Ron Paul & Associates, and closely monitored its operations, signing off on articles and speaking to staff members virtually every day.”
“It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. … He would proof it,’’ former company secretary Renae Hathway told the Post.
According to these sources, the main author of the racist passages was Lew Rockwell, who was then the vice president of Paul’s company.
The Post also details how closely entangled Paul’s political career, his business ventures, and members of his own family were during those years. According to one source, who chose to remain anonymous, Paul and his associates made a deliberate choice in the late 1980s to increase sales of the newsletter by making it more provocative.
“It was playing on a growing racial tension, economic tension, fear of government,’’ the source stated “I’m not saying Ron believed this stuff. It was good copy. Ron Paul is a shrewd businessman.’’
Cato Institute President Ed Crane, who frequently lunched with Paul during this period, similarly told the paper that when the two of them discussed how to increase the circulation of Paul’s newsletters, they agreed that “people who have extreme views” were most likely to respond. Paul told Crane his best response had come when he used a mailing list from the racist and anti-Semitic newspaper, Spotlight.
If that was the strategy, it apparently worked. According to the Post, political disclosure forms show that between 1984 and 1995, Paul went from being up to $765,000 in debt to having a net worth of up to $3.3 million.
A Paul spokesperson contacted by the Post for comment expressed doubt about the assertions made by Crane and the other sources.
Big Brother poster from the 1956 version of 1984
“I don’t know about you, but I have just about had it with these fucking church people! You know what I say we should do with these churches? Tax them! If they’re so interested in politics and government and public policy let them pay their fucking admission price like everyone else!” —George Carlin
This entire website involves the plight of atheists in the military. These men and women have rights, and those rights should be respected. There is no reason why atheists willing to be in the military should be subjected to crap like this.
A very good friend of mine who is also a nonbeliever served for eight years, some of the stories he’s told me are fucked up.
From ThinkProgress:Over at DailyKos, user marvinborg recounts how he was handing out flyers about moving money at a local Bank of America branch. Soon after he arrived there, the branch’s manager came out and started to suggest marvinborg worked for a credit union or that he was unemployed and should “get a job.” Before long, two police officers arrived, after being called by the Bank of America.
One of the officers asked marvinborg if he was trespassing. He responded that he has simply been handing out flyers on the sidewalk. One of the officers then turned to the bank manager and amazingly scolded him for calling the police over an act of free speech, even telling him that he should move out of the country if he objects to the first amendment:
OFFICER: He has the right to speak and the right to hand out flyers. Unless he blocks you or causes a disturbance, he has the right to be here – please don’t call the police again if he is not bothering you. If you don’t like free speech you should move to another country.
Right on. We need more of this, please.
[Trigger Warning: This article is about abortion, abortion rights and the reproductive rights and health of people who have a uterus]
Today the GOP-led House of Representatives, with the blessings and encouragement of the United States Council of Catholic Bishops and extremist religious groups such as the Family Research Council, passed a bill in a vote of 251 to 172 that would, among other things, allow doctors and hospitals to “exercise their conscience” by letting pregnant women facing emergency medical conditions die.
This is what the Republicans called the “Protect Life Act.” And no, I am not kidding.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called it what it is… “a savage assault on women’s health.”
Fifteen Democrats voted for what women’s groups are calling the “Let Women Die” Act. These include anti-choice Congressmen Jason Altmire (PA), Sanford Bishop (GA), Dan Boren (OK), Jerry Costello (IL), Mark Critz (PA), Henry Cuellar (TX), Joe Donnelly (IN), Tim Holden (PA), Dan Lipinski (IL), Jim Matheson (UT), Mike McIntyre (NC), Nick Rahall (WVA), Mike Ross (AR), Collin Petersen (MN), and Heath Shuler (D-NC).
“Extremists prevailed today in the House of Representatives,” said Debra Ness of the National Partnership for Women and Families, “proving again that they are badly out-of-touch with the majority of Americans who want lawmakers to focus on economic recovery, jobs and promoting, rather than restricting, affordable, quality health care — not [on] an extreme, anti-woman agenda.”
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called passage of the bill yet another reminder of how playing politics with women’s health and privacy is a priority for Speaker John Boehner.“Americans are facing real challenges, yet House Speaker John Boehner is ignoring the public’s call for Congress to focus on jobs, “said Keenan. “Instead, he is coming up with new ways to give politicians more control over our personal, private decisions. The House’s attacks on women’s freedom and privacy are out of touch with our nation’s values and priorities.”
The bill, H.R. 358, about which we have written extensively, revives the earlier failed Stupak amendment, which would force health plans to drop comprehensive coverage in state health insurance exchanges, cutting off millions of women from the benefits they receive today and prevent women from paying for health insurance with abortion coverage with their own money.
H.R. 358 contains other provisions revealing complete disregard for women’s health and lives. It permits states to enact sweeping refusal laws that would allow health plans to refuse to cover women’s preventive services, including birth control, without cost-sharing — undoing a new protection under health reform supported by 66 percent of Americans. It also codifies and significantly expands an already expansiverefusal clause (also known as the Weldon amendment) without any regard for patient rights or protections. Under current law (through the 2004 Weldon amendment), hospitals, health care facilities, and insurance plans can refuse to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions. The Weldon amendment has no protections for patients to ensure they have access to care and information in a timely manner. H.R. 358 codifies this unfair and discriminatory provision. H.R. 358 further allows health care entities—hospitals, clinics—to refuse to “participate in” abortion care. This could mean that a hospital employee with no medical training or role in a patient’s treatment decisions could refuse to process bills, handle medical records, or even set up an examination room for a patient seeking abortion care.
And finally, it overrides protections for pregnant women under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. EMTALA was enacted in 1986 to ensure public access to emergency services regardless of ability to pay, including women in active labor. Under EMTALA, hospitals must stabilize a pregnant patient who, for example, is facing an emergency obstetric condition or life-threatening pregnancy and either treat her—including an emergency abortion—or if the hospital or staff objects, to transfer her to another facility that will treat her.
H.R. 358 overturns decades of precedent guaranteeing people access to lifesaving emergency care, including abortion care and says its ok that a pregnant woman fighting for her life be left to die.
Read it again. It is that breathtaking.
As Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) stated during floor debate, had this law been in effect 20 years ago she might not be here, because she was one of those women who needed an emergency abortion to save her life.
But the real lives of real women don’t seem to be of great concern to the predominantly white male Congress.
“This bill is a collection of dangerous ideas that will undermine women’s health,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Most devastating, the bill eliminates protections for patients seeking care in emergency circumstances, and would allow a hospital to deny lifesaving abortion care to a woman, even if a doctor deems it necessary.”
President Obama has said he would veto the bill if it were to reach his desk. “The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 358,” said the statement of policy put out by the White House, “because, as previously stated in the Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 3, the legislation intrudes on women’s reproductive freedom and access to health care and unnecessarily restricts the private insurance choices that women and their families have today.”
“America’s women and families are counting on the Senate to reject this measure,” said Ness of the National Partnership, “and, if necessary, for President Obama to make good on his promise to veto it.”
From R.H.Reality Check
I’ve got a very angry letter in the works to Rep. Shuler; I think any of my fellow US citizens who live in a state where their congressmen—ESPECIALLY their Dems—have voted in favor of this piece of shit bill should do the same.
The ‘Chilean Model’ was enacted by decree in the early 1980’s, during the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, to replace a Pay-As-You-Go public pension system (the sort of thing that has Rick Perry calling Social Security a “Ponzi scheme.”)
However, despite the regime that originally imposed it, the overall system has ultimately met with at least some approval from the Chilean people, though it is far from perfect and remains a work in progress. Therefore, the Chilean system does merit at least a close examination on its own merits. But as it turns out, Herman Cain and his fellow Tea Partiers might not like what they find.
In short, the “Chilean Model” so touted by Cain is the individual mandate. What “Obamneycare” is to health care, Chile’s pensions system is to Social Security, with a system of mandates, regulation and subsidies.
Under the Chilean system, workers must contribute 10% of their income, up to a certain limit — similar to Social Security taxes in this country — to a private pension fund administrator (the different funds are known by the Spanish initials “AFP,” for Administradoras de Fondos de Pensiones). As a 2001 OECD report makes clear, the Chilean Model actually does involve a significant amount of government regulation on AFP’s, in order to contain risks and ensure stability.
Huh. Imagine that - a pension fund needing government regulation. Damn government, mucking up Herman Cain’s talking points.