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From Al Gorezeera:
When I invited artist Marie Rim to Middlebury College, I didn't know what to expect. Her project "Burka Fittings Across America" asks randomly selected people to try on a burka for a few minutes and to look at themselves in a full-length mirror. Her artistic goal is to explore "otherness, embodiment and empathy, as well as the meanings Americans associate with the burka".
Some people are outraged that she is appropriating the burka for her own purposes. Others worry that it will reinforce Islamophobia. If you are optimistic, like Rim, you hope it will undermine people's preconceived notions and generate greater cross-cultural understanding. This is not your grandfather's art project, blandly hanging on a gallery or museum wall.
Marie Rim grew up on the East Coast and is a painter by training. While based in Los Angeles, she began to work with wedding dresses, redirecting her art in a tactile and interactive direction. She invited passersby to don garments she had made from second-hand wedding dresses and to examine themselves in the mirror. It was playful and good-natured. Everybody walked away happy.
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Submitted by Yoora on Sun, 12/30/2012 - 17:35.
The labor union that forms the backbone of opposition to Republican plans to privatize Pennsylvania’s liquor store system gave more than $140,000 to state-level candidates in 2012, including plenty of campaign cash to some high-ranking Republicans.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, which counts about 3,000 state liquor store employees among its members, is the most visible and vocal opponent of House Majority Leader Mike Turzai’s (R-Allegheny) call to privatize the state-owned liquor monopoly.
And with Gov. Tom Corbett in support of privatization and the GOP in control of both chambers of the General Assembly, the union must rely on more than just Democratic support to keep privatization proposals at bay.
A review of campaign finance records by PA Independent found the union gave more than $12,000 to Republican candidates in 2012—much of it targeted at key figures in the state House. As expected, the union gives more heavily to Democrats, who collectively received more than $40,000 in contributions.
Wendell Young IV, president of UFCW Local 1776, said Thursday that his union is not a single issue entity, but acknowledged that the privatization of the liquor stores is their top issue.
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Submitted by Yoora on Tue, 12/25/2012 - 19:36.
Islamists in Mali have begun destroying remaining mausoleums in the historic city of Timbuktu, an Islamist leader and a tourism official said.
"Not a single mausoleum will remain in Timbuktu," Abou Dardar, a leader of the Islamist group Ansar Dine, told AFP news agency.
Islamists in control of northern Mali began earlier this year to pull down shrines that they consider idolatrous.
Tourist official Sane Chirfi said four mausoleums had been razed on Sunday.
One resident told AFP that the Islamists were destroying the shrines with pickaxes.
Timbuktu was a centre of Islamic learning from the 13th to the 17th centuries.
It is a UN World Heritage site with centuries-old shrines to Islamic saints that are revered by Sufi Muslims.
The Salafists of Ansar Dine condemn the veneration of saints.
"Allah doesn't like it," said Abou Dardar. "We are in the process of smashing all the hidden mausoleums in the area."
Islamists seized control of Timbuktu in April, after a coup left Mali's army in disarray.
The news that further monuments were being destroyed came one day after Islamists were reported to have cut the hands off two people.
The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, another Islamist group operating in the area, warned that there would be further amputations, AFP reported.
Last Thursday the UN Security Council gave its backing for an African-led military operation to help Mali's government retake the north if no peaceful solution can be found in coming months.
Submitted by Yoora on Fri, 12/14/2012 - 16:58.
From the Daily Caller:
Democratic congressman apologizes for using the ‘m-word’ in rambling floor speech about ‘unusually small people’
Caroline May | 12/13/2012
Georgia Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson — notable for saying he feared that Guam might capsize if it became too populated during a 2010 House Armed Services Committee hearing — apologized Thursday in a rambling floor speech for using the “m-word.”
According to Johnson, the “m-word,” which he will never say again (though accidentally slipped in the middle of his apology), is “midget.”
“Last night I used an analogy that some find offensive, and I certainly was not meaning to be offensive or use a derogatory term,” he said.
We should hope he would apologize. What unforgivable size-ism!
Submitted by Yoora on Thu, 11/29/2012 - 12:26.
Roger Simon, PJ Media:
Hypocrisy is rife in American politics, particularly on the Left.
We are by now used to the likes of Oliver Stone and Sean Penn — who themselves live, quite literally, like Medici princes — spewing endless neo-Marxist drivel like sophomores at a four a.m. reefer klatsch. (Most recently, Stone has unleashed upon the public the eponymous Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States,  a work best described as “Stalin porn.”)
Perhaps more significantly we are used to the giant leftist hypocrisy of supporting supposedly exploited Third World nations that themselves espouse and seek globally to expand virtually everything leftists claim to abhor (misogyny, homophobia, theocracy, etc.). Go figure.
But the Right is guilty of its own kind of hypocrisy. It’s interesting how some of those who most vociferously object to government interference in our economic affairs are most desirous of government interference in our personal ones.
I’m referring of course to social conservatives, who want to legislate our morals and values according to their views.
Submitted by Yoora on Wed, 11/21/2012 - 12:59.
From CNS News:
U.S. Dept. of Labor Observes ‘Transgender Day of Remembrance’
By Elizabeth Harrington | November 20, 2012
(CNSNews.com) – The U.S. Department of Labor is officially observing Nov. 20 as “The Transgender Day of Remembrance."
"The Transgender Day of Remembrance [TDOR] will be commemorated in cities and countries around the world today, reflecting on those who have died as a result of fear, hate and transphobia,” Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in a statement on Tuesday.
"I stand proudly today–and every day–as an ally to the transgender community and to every person and family impacted by anti-transgender bullying and violence,” she said. “Transgender people are part of the diversity that America celebrates today and they, like every American, deserve to live without fear of prejudice or violence.”
And they vote.
“I hope that this year’s commemoration will serve as an opportunity to shine a brighter light on both progress made and the challenges ahead," Solis said.
The Department issued a similar statement last year, in which Solis said she’s “proud to stand and be counted as an ally to the transgender community.”
Submitted by Yoora on Mon, 11/19/2012 - 20:34.
It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation To call upon a neighbour and to say: -- "We invaded you last night--we are quite prepared to fight, Unless you pay us cash to go away." And that is called asking for Dane-geld, And the people who ask it explain That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld And then you'll get rid of the Dane! It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation, To puff and look important and to say: -- "Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you. We will therefore pay you cash to go away." And that is called paying the Dane-geld; But we've proved it again and again, That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld You never get rid of the Dane. It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation, For fear they should succumb and go astray; So when you are requested to pay up or be molested, You will find it better policy to say: -- "We never pay any-one Dane-geld, No matter how trifling the cost; For the end of that game is oppression and shame, And the nation that pays it is lost!"
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Submitted by Yoora on Wed, 07/25/2012 - 23:12.
Why is it that in the previous decades, when life was tougher, weapons were widespread, and the ratio of mental disorders was presumably the same, mass shootings were unheard of? Some would say that those people had not yet been corrupted by moral relativism, desensitized by Hollywood's fantasy violence and glorification of crime, or addicted to gory point-and-shoot videogames. All valid points -- yet one major reason hardly gets any notice.
The set of rules for war are different from the set of rules for peace. Wars have always been brutal and soul-sapping; while killing was the norm, there have also been rules to spare innocent civilians. The inhuman murder of a random group of defenseless innocents for no other reason than murder itself was never a part of war -- let alone of peace. What has changed in our 2,000-year-old Western civilization that makes it possible?
Admittedly, the major driving force of cultural change is the education system. Until recently, no generation of young Americans has been exposed to such a massive, centrally planned indoctrination based on the dehumanizing, soul-sapping "progressive" ideology. Accordingly, never before have students dropped out of school in such large numbers, with so confusing and conflicting views of the world and their place and purpose in it, with blurred perceptions of right and wrong, and infected with what I like to call "secondhand envy" and "phantom grievances" (which is similar to the Marxist concept of false consciousness, only not as far-fetched).
Submitted by Yoora on Mon, 07/16/2012 - 12:51.
Skype Instant Messaging Is Sharing Conversations with Random Contacts
Skype has acknowledged a bug that is affecting users in pretty much the most horrifying way possible. Instant messages sent over Skype are being sent to random contacts—even contacts you've never connected with before.
Here's Skype's official statement on the matter:
"We are aware that in rare circumstances IM's between two contacts could be sent to an unintended third contact. We are rolling out a fix for this issue in the next few days and will notify our users to download an updated version of Skype."
Now, we totally expect Skype to figure this mess out. But this is really, really troubling. This might be overly reductive, but there are just a few main reasons to have someone in your Skype contact list: Work-related contacts, long-distance family contacts, and sexytime partners. You don't want any kind of overlap in that Venn diagram, at all, ever—especially not at random.
So until Skype gives the all clear, it's definitely best if you keep the IMs off of Skype. [Engadget via TNW]
Submitted by Yoora on Sun, 07/15/2012 - 00:19.
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A new spy satellite launched into orbit on a secret mission for the U.S. military Friday, roaring spaceward atop the world's most powerful rocket in use today.
The NROL-15 reconnaissance satellite blasted off from a launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 9:15 a.m. EDT to begin its classified mission for the National Reconnaissance Office. It rode a towering Delta 4-Heavy booster equipped with new RS-68A first stage engines — the most powerful liquid hydrogen rocket engines ever built, according to their manufacturers.
Submitted by Yoora on Sun, 07/08/2012 - 18:20.
Congressman Barney Frank, D-Mass., tied the knot with his long time partner Jim Ready this weekend, according to a news release from Frank’s office. Frank, 72, and Ready, 42, were married at the Boston Marriott Hotel in Newton, Mass. Saturday night. They have been together since 2007. More than 300 people attended the ceremony officiated by Mass. Governor Deval Patrick, the release said. Ready operates a small business featuring handyman services and resides in Ogunquit, Maine. Since 1981, Frank has represented the Fourth District of Massachusetts in the U.S. Congress.
Submitted by Yoora on Fri, 07/06/2012 - 03:08.
ZURICH (Reuters) - Goal-line technology to confirm whether or not a goal has been scored and the use of the Islamic headscarf were approved by soccer's ruling body the International Football Association Board (IFAB) on Thursday.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter, formerly an opponent of technology, reaffirmed the world governing body's support after a shot from Ukraine's Marco Devic at Euro 2012 appeared to cross the line before being hooked clear by England defender John Terry.
IFAB also lifted a ban on the headscarf or hijab.
"Safety and medical issues have been removed for the use of the headscarf and it is approved that players can have the headscarf," FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke told a news conference.
Submitted by Yoora on Fri, 06/29/2012 - 01:02.