Tagged: women

Gallup poll says electoral politics more split by race

Goldwater v Santorum
Click to enlarge

White Americans lean more Republican now than at any time in the past three administrations, a new Gallup poll finds…While the country as a whole trended Democratic under the final years of the George W. Bush administration, it has moved the opposite direction under President Barack Obama.

But the gap between the two groups has not been larger than in 2010, when nonwhite people showed a 43-point preference toward the Democratic party, and white people chose Republicans by a 14-point advantage. At 61 points, Gallup measured the largest gap between the two ethnic groups since it began separately identifying Hispanic voters…

“It is unclear precisely what role Obama’s race has played in these changes,” said Jeffrey Jones, writing for Gallup. “Whites became slightly more Republican during 2009, the first year of Obama’s presidency. However, the biggest movement came during the next year, when Obama signed the healthcare overhaul into law but saw his approval rating sink and his party lose its large majority in the House in that year’s midterm elections…”

With the U.S. becoming increasingly racially and ethnically diverse, the balance of political power may shift toward the Democrats unless Republicans increase their advantage among a shrinking white majority, or cut into Democrats’ advantage among nonwhite voters,” he said.

Gallup hasn’t been an especially useful resource for Republican planners since they predicted Dewey’s victory over Truman. However – that’s unimportant to those who planned and executed the largest racist infusion into the Republican Party since Nixon’s Southern Strategy. That earlier event was accomplished with the help of the John Birch Society aided by the billionaire brothers who intended that one of them become president. The Republicans ended up running Goldwater instead of one of the Koch Bros. – and either road – it damned near crushed the Republican Party.

This time around, Koch Bros. money was used to manufacture the influx of bigots into the Republican Party to answer the threat of Democrats picking up more Hispanic, Black and women voters. They call it the Tea Party, this time, and had all the literature printed and ready to go when Rick Santelli had his “spontaneous” moment on CNBC.

So, we’re in critical times, again. And I think a face-to-face confrontation with the idjit vote – the whole hatred-of-science crowd – does nothing but good in the long range. It may even stiffen the spines of Democrats. One hopes they’ll stand up and be counted along with the growing majority of working class Americans.

UN helps eloped Saudi woman fight for asylum – and love

UNHCR officials in Yemen told the BBC Huda’s application was likely to be approved on the grounds that she could face mistreatment, even death, at the hands of her family if returned home.

In Yemen, it is being celebrated as a modern day Romeo and Juliet story.

Huda crossed the border several weeks ago, followed by her boyfriend, Arafat, who was working in Saudi Arabia.

Huda – who is in her early 20s – says she decided they had to elope after Arafat’s marriage proposal was rejected by her family.

The two have been held in an immigration detention centre in Yemen since their arrival.

Huda is charged with illegally crossing the border.

The same charge against Arafat was dropped, but he refused to be freed, wanting to remain with her in prison.

The two get to meet once a week when Huda’s asylum case is heard in court.

At first, her application to do this through the UNHCR was rejected by the ministry of the interior…But UNHCR officials in Yemen say the judge allowed her request last week…

She then filled out a form known as the Refugee Status Determination. While this is being studied, she is under UN protection and cannot be deported.

The UNHCR officials have told the BBC that it is very likely that she will be granted full refugee status in the next few days, which would mean that Huda and Arafat would be freed and able to marry

For its part, the UNHCR says that if Yemen does for whatever reason bow to Saudi pressure over the case and try to have Huda deported, it has an alternative plan which could see the two lovers united in another country.

Fundamentalist religions of just about any sort drive me up a tree. They seem to exist only to oppress women, stifle love, prevent kindness between human beings and in general make this short life we have as miserable as possible.

My best wishes to the young couple. I hope they manage to find somewhere to marry and continue their love without the interference of state religion.

Brave women defy driving ban in Saudi Arabia

More than 60 women claimed to have answered their call to get behind the wheel in a rare show of defiance against a ban on female driving in the ultraconservative kingdom…

Saudi professor and campaigner Aziza Youssef said that the group received 13 videos and another 50 phone messages from women showing or claiming they had driven on Saturday. She said they had no way to verify the messages.

If the numbers are accurate, this year’s campaign is the most successful effort yet by Saudi women demanding the right to drive.

Youssef said they had not received any reports of arrests or women being ticketed by police.

A security official said that authorities did not arrest or fine any female drivers on Saturday. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media…

Youssef said she and four other prominent women activists received phone calls this week from a top official with close links to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, warning them not to drive on Saturday…

The activists changed the original plan to drive only on Saturday to make the campaign open-ended, in response to the threats.

Though no specific Saudi law bans women from driving, women are not issued licenses

Clerics who hold far-reaching influence over the monarchy enforce the driving ban, warning that breaking it will spread “licentiousness”.

Brave women. Folks around the world need to let the monarchy in Saudi Arabia hear your support.

http://tinyurl.com/saudiministryinterior

Civility breakthrough – underwear that filters your farts

Most of us break wind from time to time; it’s a natural function of a healthy body. It’s just a shame that farts generally smell bad enough that people will keep their distance if they suspect you’ve dropped one. The answer to this problem may lie in the material used in your underwear, with a technology used in chemical warfare suits providing the solution.

This is according to Shreddies (no relation to the cereal), a British underwear manufacturer which now does a “flatulence-filtering” range of underpants for men and women. Aimed at anyone suffering from excessive flatulence, but particularly at people with digestive disorders such as IBS and Crohn’s disease, this new line of Shreddies could stop you gassing everyone in close proximity.

The Shreddies filter out farts thanks to an activated carbon back panel made from Zorflex. This material is highly porous, so (the company claims) the odor vapors from the farts become trapped and neutralized before they reach the olfactory glands of any innocent bystanders in close proximity to the offending flatulence…

RTFA for suggested retail pricing. I’m not certain if they can be returned after self-testing or not. :)

Federal air marshal busted for taking upskirt photos!

The federal air marshal arrested Thursday for allegedly taking cell phone photos underneath women’s dresses and skirts as they boarded a Nashville flight has been relieved of all duties, according to the Federal Air Marshal Service.

Adam J. Bartsch, 28, was charged with disorderly conduct after police said he admitted to the alleged crime…

A police affidavit said a witness grabbed Bartsch’s cell phone during the boarding of Southwest Airlines flight 3132 from Nashville to Tampa and showed it to a flight attendant.

“The Transportation Security Administration does not tolerate that sort of criminal behavior,” said Michael Pascarella, spokesman for the Federal Air Marshal Service, which is overseen by the TSA.

Pascarella said Bartsch had been relieved of his duties. The TSA is in the process of suspending or terminating his employment.

Bartsch was released from jail Thursday night on a $10,000 bond…He has worked for the TSA for about three years, Pascarella said.

That explains it. I thought the air marshals were actually part of some responsible police body, part of the federal government. So – they’re part of the TSA – and one step above the guys who steal from your luggage and prod your butt looking for explosives while you’re trying to catch a flight.

Saudi cleric says women who drive risk damaging their ovaries

A conservative Saudi Arabian cleric has said women who drive risk damaging their ovaries and bearing children with clinical problems, countering activists who are trying to end the Islamic kingdom’s male-only driving rules.

A campaign calling for women to defy the ban in a protest drive on October 26 has spread rapidly online over the past week and gained support from some prominent women activists. On Sunday, the campaign’s website was blocked inside the kingdom.

…Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan, the person quoted in the sabq.org report, is a judicial adviser to an association of Gulf psychologists…

“If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards,” he told Sabq…”That is why we find those who regularly drive have children with clinical problems of varying degrees,” he said.

He did not cite specific medical studies to support his arguments.

Religious fundamentalists aren’t about to start invoking peer-reviewed science in attempts to defend the indefensible. Ideology, superstition, cultural hangups are sufficient unto themselves – especially when the questions raised deal with equal opportunity for folks that accepted custom says “should know their place”.

It all sounds the same to those denied opportunity whether in Saudi Arabia or one of our neo-Confederate states.

Saudi women activists face jail for taking food to woman who said she was imprisoned by her husband

Two female human rights activists are facing prison sentences in Saudi Arabia for delivering a food parcel to a woman who told them she was imprisoned in her house with her children and unable to get food.

Wajeha al-Huwaider, who has repeatedly defied Saudi laws by posting footage of herself driving on the internet, and Fawzia al-Oyouni, a women’s rights activist, face 10 months in prison and a two-year travel ban after being found guilty on a sharia law charge of takhbib – incitement of a wife to defy the authority of her husband.

…Campaigners argue the women have been targeted because of their human rights work, and fear that the sentences send out a chilling message to other activists who dare to criticise the repressive regime, under which women cannot drive and can only cycle in recreational areas when accompanied by a male guardian.

“These women are extremely brave and active in fighting for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, and this is a way for the Saudi authorities to silence them,” said Suad Abu-Dayyeh, the Middle East and north Africa consultant for Equality Now, which is fighting for the women’s release. “If they are sent to jail it sends a very clear message to defenders of human rights that they should be silent and stop their activities – not just in Saudi Arabia, but across Arab countries. These women are innocent – they should be praised for trying to help a woman in need, not imprisoned.”

The women were arrested in June 2011 after going to the aid of the Canadian national Nathalie Morin, who contacted Huwaider and said her husband was away from their home in the eastern city of Dammam for a week and her supplies of food and water were running out. When they arrived they were immediately arrested and released a day later.

More than a year later, in July 2012, they were called in for further questioning. Huwaider previously said she was repeatedly asked about her involvement in the Women2Drive campaign, which lobbies for women to be allowed to drive in the kingdom. In May 2011 Huwaider and Manal al-Sharif defied Saudi law and gained international media attention by driving a car, posting widely viewed footage on YouTube. She was also asked about a women’s rights protest she organised in 2006 on the King Fahd causeway and her 2009 attempt to cross to Bahrain without the approval of a male guardian…

Following a trial which concluded last month the judge deemed the pair were guilty of “supporting a wife without her husband’s knowledge, thereby undermining the marriage“. Their appeal is to be heard on 12 July and they are asking the Saudi king, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, for a pardon.

Life in a theocracy. Please don’t delude yourself into thinking there aren’t any Christians who would practice the same sort of sharia law in the United States – if they thought they could get away with it.

Rick Perry cranks up Republican fear of women for another round

Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry on Wednesday launched another battle to pass sweeping abortion restrictions after a marathon speech by a Democrat lawmaker briefly halted a bill critics say could shut most abortion clinics in one of the nation’s biggest states.

Democratic Senator Wendy Davis, once a teenage mother who went on to earn a Harvard Law degree, was propelled on to the national political stage when she spoke for more than 10 hours to block a measure that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

It proved a short-lived victory for women’s groups and abortion rights advocates fighting to stop abortion restrictions across several states. Perry called for another special legislative session to reconsider the proposal on July 1…

I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Texas Republican. They respect the truth even less than they care for women’s rights.

Davis’ filibuster of the Republican supermajority in the Texas legislature was streamed live on some national media websites.

Republicans managed to stop her about two hours before the midnight end to the special legislative session, citing parliamentary procedures, but they were unable to complete voting on the abortion bill before the deadline…

If the measure ultimately passes, Texas would become the 13th state to impose a ban on abortions after 20 weeks and by far the most populous. In addition, the legislation would set strict [phony] health standards for abortion clinics and restrict the use of drugs to end pregnancy.

Republican backers said blah, blah, blah

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, but conservative states have enacted laws in recent years that seek to place restrictions on the procedure, especially on abortions performed late in pregnancy.

The debate rages across the nation. Twelve states have passed 20-week bans, including two states where the bans take effect later this year, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. Courts have alreaady blocked the bans in three of the 12 states – Arizona, Georgia and Idaho.

Folks outside the United States have to understand that the rule of law only means obedience to 19th Century ideology for what passes for Republicans, nowadays. Science, honesty, dialogue, consensus, democracy and respect for all citizens – are meaningless words leftover from some time warp when traditional American conservatism valued those standards.

Nevermore.

Texas abortion bill stopped by brave women who occupy state legislature – UPDATED

There have been dramatic scenes in Texas after a bill that threatened to close every abortion clinic in the state was overturned just hours after it was passed.

The law was initially approved by the Republican-controlled senate after a day of extraordinary scenes during which Democrats were accused of attempting to filibuster the bill by embarking on a marathon speech to run the debate out of time.

But Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhust has now reversed his decision after acknowledging Republicans missed the deadline to pass the vote after protesters reportedly shouted them down during the final 15 minutes before the vote deadline.

Republicans insisted they had started voting before the midnight deadline and passed the bill in time. But computer records of the voting were checked and revealed they were out of time.

The new law would have banned abortion procedures after 20 weeks of pregnancy and demanded that clinics upgrade their facilities and be reclassified as ‘ambulatory surgical centres’.

The bill also demanded doctors performing abortions must be granted the right to admit patients to their clinic first by a hospital within 30 miles of the premises…

Speaking before the vote, Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said: “If this passes, abortion would be virtually banned in the state of Texas, and many women could be forced to resort to dangerous and unsafe measures.”

During the debate women’s rights supporters had screamed protests from the public gallery while in the hall outside the Senate chamber, hundreds more protesters wearing orange T-shirts queued for a seat.

In dramatic scenes Democrat Wendy Davis was accused of filibustering after she began speaking against the bill at 11:18am and was only halted at 10:03pm, less than two hours before the midnight deadline, after three complaints from Republicans.

Senate rules dictate speakers must stay on topic and remain standing without physical support or breaks for meals or to use the bathroom…

Governor Dewhust eventually halted the speech after determining Ms Davis had strayed off topic when she talked about a sonogram bill passed in 2011.

Texas’ miserable bible-thumping governor, Rick Perry, called this special session of the state legislature just to pass the latest attack by Republican political hacks on women’s rights. He didn’t count on women throughout Texas spontaneously marching upon the Republican-controlled state legislature to do everything they could to impede passage of the bill.

Republicans tried everything in their trick bag to stop Wendy Davis. They ruled she was out of order when one of her fellow Democrats helped her put on a back brace to ease the pain of standing, trying to school the ignoranuses before her.

Meanwhile the visitors’ gallery filled with women from all over the state. Lines snaked out to the street of women clamoring to get in to speak out against this reactionary and patriarchal law. And when Ms. Davis was finally forced to relinquish the podium, the mass of women began to shout out individually and collectively from the gallery.

The tumult forced delay after delay until the Republicans were finally defeated by the clock.

UPDATE: These rat-bastard Republicans actually tried to change the time stamp on the voting record printout to save their miserable anti-women law. They were confronted with a side-by-side comparison of the attempted fraud – posted on Twitter.

http://tinyurl.com/q3qcjxq