Humanitarian Sift

Humanitarian Channel by bl968

This is a sift for videos concerned with human welfare and the alleviation of suffering. These videos should promote political activism, equal rights, social justice, environmentalism, civil liberties, or anti-war causes. All types of video submissions are welcome from Documentaries to Music Videos.



Earthquake

Hi sifters,

One of New Zealand's cities (Christchurch) suffered a major earthquake yesterday. There are various places you can find out more information (tvnz.co.nz, stuff.co.nz, eq.org.nz, geonet.org.nz, canterburyearthquake.org.nz), but if you would like to make a donation to help, you can do so very easily here: http://www.1-dayout.co.nz/products/1O113EB8A

Thanks,
Freaked-out-NZ-sifter.

The pervasive nature of classism and poverty

I'm covering classism and poverty in a class right now. And I'm pretty certain it's the most interesting thing I've ever studied academically.

I've decided classism is more sneaky and pervasive than racism or sexism. And while I've consciously rejected racism and sexism, I have not at all recognized my own upper middle-class privilege and perpetuate classism daily in my own minute judgments of others. For example, my brother and a good friend of mine tend to date girls that I label as "trashy" or "some hood-rat shit". These girls are never good to my boys. But my judgments of them are often based on their parenting. I was discussing this with a friend and he said "well, you're just actually a better mother than they are". Well.... no. I'm better at raising kids to survive in middle class white culture than they are. But my kids wouldn't last two days in their neighborhood. They're raising their kids to exist in a poor community. That doesn't make them "bad" moms, or "white trash". These "trashy" girls are simply a product of their culture and exhibiting the behaviors and standards of their community. And chiding my brother and my friend for dating out of their "class" is the equivalent of chiding them for dating out of their "race". And I'm sorry. Realizing you've been an asshole is good and humbling.

A question I've had for a long time is if being raised in an upper middle class community but now being poor/working class changes my class identification or not. Apparently, it does not. Because my personal culture is more in line with upper middle class people, I still reap the benefits of middle class privilege on a daily basis. Even though, my parents were kind of shitty and there was a good deal of abuse and mental/emotional instability going on in kidhood... My language, attitude, education level, culture, dress, and lifestyle still reflects the income, education level, and race of my ancestors. I still have the class benefits of worldliness and culture. I continue to reap the benefits of rich schools and fancy houses and travel and good healthcare. I can fit in with a middle class world and am therefore preferred for employment positions and loans, etc.

Now, Poverty. I'm totally curious about what everyone (especially our libertarian friends) think about these.
Here are some poverty statistics:

The three root (philosophical) causes of poverty are
-individualism
-systematization
-fatalism

A single mother with 2 children living in the DFW area needs to make $20/hr just to afford basic necessities. This is 242% above the poverty level and almost $13/hr above the minimum wage. Here is a calculator where you can see how much you need to make in your area to afford to live.

There are more people living in poverty in America today than the total population of Canada.

The white/Caucasian group makes up the largest racial-ethnic group living in poverty today despite common (and inaccurate) stereotypes about the demographics of those in poverty.

A Center for American Progress report reveals that the largest increase of poor residents is in the nation's suburbs.

Poverty is not intractable despite (inaccurate) common stereotypes. The U.S. poverty rate fell by more than 40 percent between 1964 and 1973. By rebuilding our economy, creating good jobs, investing in families, and ensuring economic security, we can replicate this success and move millions into the middle class. A 2007 CAP report shows that just four public policies would cut the U.S. poverty rate by 26 percent in 10 years.

If the wealth of the top one-fifth was shared with the lowest one-fifth, poverty in america would be eradicated.

Over 19 million people are working and living in poverty.

One in 8 americans lives below the federal poverty line.

Middle and Upper class women have .8 more children than women living in poverty (despite inaccurate stereotypes).

Motherhood is one of the largest risk factors for poverty in old age.

Women and people of color are at a higher risk of experiencing pervasive poverty in their lives.

People in poverty have a higher rate of preventable diseases, a shorter life expectancy, higher infant mortality, more often malnourished, are more susceptible to emotional disturbances, alcoholism and victimization, lack sleep, are more likely to experience stunted growth, have higher arrests rates, imprisonments and longer sentences, exposed to higher levels of air, water pollution and unsanitary conditions, have more unstable marriages and achieve less academically.

Discuss.

CoH designer sacrifices life for wife/unborn child.

http://www.theprovince.com/news/North+final+saves+family/3487150/story.html

The first thing Erin Wood wants her baby to know is that Dad, Brian, died to save their lives.

“. . . In his final act he did the only thing that would save us,” said Wood, 31.

With an out-of-control Chevy Blazer bearing down on him, the 33-year old North Vancouver man braked and swerved his Subaru wagon so that he would take the force of the head-on collision, saving his wife of five years, pregnant with their first baby..

“All the policeman say that if we had hit the car head-on all of us would be dead. At the very last second (Brian) braked really hard and turned right so that he would be put in the path of the SUV and not me and the baby, and that is the only thing that saved us both. “I am not going to waste the gift he gave us.”

The accident happened Friday as the Woods were making their way to a family home on Whidbey Island in Washington State. A Chevy Blazer, with four occupants, crossed the centre line when the driver tried to take her sweater off while driving, asking the other front passenger to take the wheel at the time. When Wood braked and swerved slightly, the Blazer continued forward, its momentum driving it over top of the Subaru, the wheels crushing the roof of the smaller car killing Wood and causing his wife to suffer a non-life-threatening head injury as well.
It then launched into the air before crashing to the ground. When it was returned to its wheels, the entire upper portion of the SUV was flat – in line with the hood. Washington State Patrol found evidence of drug use at the accident scene in the SUV. All of the occupants are well know to police.

“There is quite a drug history there . . . and we found some evidence of that at the scene so that leads us to believe there were drugs in their systems,” said Sgt, Jason Longoria. The two male passengers in the rear of the vehicle, 25-year-old Jacob Quistorf and 26-year-old Francis Malloy, were also killed in the accident. The driver, Jordyn Weichert, 21, is now in custody awaiting formal charges of three counts of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault, likely to be laid by Thursday. The front passenger, 22-year-old Samatha Bowling who took the wheel, is also being investigated for the same charges. She suffered a broken pelvis and remains in hospital. None of the SUV occupants were wearing seatbelts.

Wood, originally from Colorado, was a lead designer for Relic Entertainment, which specializes in 3-D real-time strategy computer games. He has most recently been working on Company of Heroes. He also sang baritone with the Espiritu Choir in North Vancouver and loved to spend time in the outdoors. “He was always sacrificing himself for me and the baby,” said Erin Wood. “He was the most amazing warm-hearted man you would ever meet who loved his job, loved his family, and was just my rock. “I am not quite sure how I am supposed to live the rest of my life without him. He truly was a gift and I wouldn’t change a thing of any of our moments together. “(The baby is) due Nov. 5 so it will come quick and then I look forward to seeing little glimpses of Brian in our baby and that gives me a lot of strength right now.”

Said Ed Wood, Brian’s father: “We are trying to learn how to deal with grief . . . it is incredibly painful. “I was just telling my wife this morning that we raised a magnificent young man and we are just so proud of him. It is a big loss for us and for the rest of the world as well.” He recalled watching Brian as a child lead the neighbourhood games, always taking the lead in creating the adventure much as he ended up doing in life. “We got a glimpse then of what might be,” he said adding, “I don’t know who was happier, us to become grandparents or Brian to become a father. But he was just as pleased as punch. He’d done a lot of work renovating and improving their home in North Van and getting it ready for the baby.”

As they deal with tragedy they are also preparing themselves for the legal process. It is not uncommon for those found guilty of vehicular homicide to get less than two years in jail in the U.S.
But said Ed Wood: “I don’t feel a sense of anger. I feel a sense of profound loss. I don’t feel a need for vengeance or anything of that sort. “But I do believe these people need to be put away. They are going to kill somebody else and themselves and they need to be put away just for the good of society.” Erin Wood echoed the sentiment. “There is no place for anger in my heart right now — it is all sadness,” she said. “The only reason that I care that they get a stiff sentence is because I don’t want it to happen to anyone else. It is not fair and no one else should have to go through this because of them and their stupidity. “More than anything he was a wonderful man . . . He was so excited to be a father and he did the only thing he could to save his baby and it is so telling about who he is as a person that he was willing to sacrifice himself to save us. That is the true measure of a husband and a father. He loved life and was just so thankful for everything.”


Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/North+final+saves+family/3487150/story.html#ixzz0ysdrG100

Extrodinary Renditon Case Refused by Apellate Court

An appellate court refused to hear the petition for a writ of certiorari, by Maher Arar's who was rendered to Syria where he was tortured. Proof enough of his case can be seen in the Canadian Government's 10 Million Dollar settlement.

I would advise everyone to read the Salon article and ponder the effects of a impotent judicial branch and a powerful executive branch. I can't say that I expected any less from the current Executive Branch, than the last one. If there are no checks and balances which are representative of common sense then there is no Republic; let alone a Democracy. Welcome to the land of perpetual war, a place where transparency is a myth told to quell the masses, and gain a vote. The softer side of Fascism.

The Judicial Branch has the power to review the Executive Branch and anything that may have violated the law. But do they have the balls to do it? They did, once; Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co V Sawyer. Where the courts struck down an Executive Order to seize a steel mill by Truman.

Rampant Majority backing of Executive Powers will make for a great show! The Republic of whatever.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youngstown_Sheet_&_Tube_Co._v._Sawyer

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/01/25/arar-harper.html
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2009/11/03/arar
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202462704567&High_Court_Refuses_to_Hear_Rendition_Case

Bonus Article:

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2009/02/28/al_haramain

Ohio Supreme Court Rules No Radar Needed to Ticket

http://www.autoinsane.com/2010/06/03/news/ohio-supreme-court-rules-officers-can-just-guess-how-fast-youre-going/


From the article above the Ohio Supreme Court basically said that any officer of the law, having been trained by their academy, can use visual estimation as probable cause ticket someone. The court also said that there is no need for independent verification of that fact.

What does that mean? The officer can write a ticket for speeding without having independent evidence provided by radar or whatever device.

Quote from the article:


Supreme Court Justice Maureen O’Connor said “Rational triers of fact could find a police officer’s testimony regarding his unaided visual estimation of a vehicle’s speed, when supported by evidence that the officer is trained, certified by (the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy) or a similar organization, and experienced in making such estimations, sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant’s speed. Independent verification of the vehicle’s speed is not necessary to support a conviction for speeding.”


Case is Barberton vs. Jenney

You have the Right to Remain Silent, Not.

The US SCOTUS ruled 5-4 that in order to use the Right to Remain Silent one must first speak.


Berghuis v. Thompkins is a decision by the United States Supreme Court which states that suspects must specifically state that they are invoking their Miranda right to remain silent. The act of remaining silent is, on its own, insufficient to imply the suspect has invoked their right.
...
On June 1, 2010, by a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court reversed the Sixth Circuit's decision. In the Opinion of the Court, written by Justice Kennedy, the Court ruled that Thompkins' silence during the interrogation did not invoke his right to remain silent and that he had waived his right to remain silent when he knowingly and voluntarily made a statement to police.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berghuis_v._Thompkins


Recap:
What does the decision mean? Aside from the defendant waiving his right to silence by saying the word "yes" at the end of the interrogation; the court ruled he never invoked the right to remain silent. Therefore in order to effectively use the right you must first speak.


Please see the following:
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1993580,00.html

BERGHUIS, WARDEN v. THOMPKINS

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1470.pdf

Police Officer Accountablilty - "Arrest Shooters" Gizmodo

http://gizmodo.com/5553765/are-cameras-the-new-guns?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gizmodo%2Ffull+%28Gizmodo%29

The article above talks about Mr Graber the biker that was arrested in Maryland for illegally recording an officer.

He was arrested 10 days post facto.

The article talks about the trend, in legislation and police policy, to arrest camera people; even on public property.

PQUEUED Monday 4: Pride



It's been three weeks since the last installment of this series, so it's high time for another one. This is the day of the week when we give a little attention to videos that has drowned in the information overflow to languish in people's personal queues. The rules are simple: Post a link to 1 (or 2, max) pqueued vids that fit the theme, not from your own pqueue.

The theme of the week is Pride. This basic human emotion can be beautiful or ugly, constructive or destructive, inspirational or inhibiting, cute or repulsive. Let us explore the range of this attribute together.

Previous:
PQM3: British Music
PQM2: Time
PQM1

Treatment of Alan Turing was "appalling" - Gordon Brown, PM

The campaign to get a government apology for the prosecution of Alan Turing for homosexuality in 1952 was successful.

The Prime Minister has released a statement on the Second World War code-breaker, Alan Turing, recognising the “appalling” way he was treated for being gay.

Alan Turing, a mathematician most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes, was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ in 1952 and sentenced to chemical castration.

Gordon Brown’s statement came in response to a petition posted on the Number 10 website which has received thousands of signatures in recent months.


Statement:
2009 has been a year of deep reflection - a chance for Britain, as a nation, to commemorate the profound debts we owe to those who came before. A unique combination of anniversaries and events have stirred in us that sense of pride and gratitude which characterise the British experience. Earlier this year I stood with Presidents Sarkozy and Obama to honour the service and the sacrifice of the heroes who stormed the beaches of Normandy 65 years ago. And just last week, we marked the 70 years which have passed since the British government declared its willingness to take up arms against Fascism and declared the outbreak of World War Two. So I am both pleased and proud that, thanks to a coalition of computer scientists, historians and LGBT activists, we have this year a chance to mark and celebrate another contribution to Britain’s fight against the darkness of dictatorship; that of code-breaker Alan Turing.

Turing was a quite brilliant mathematician, most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes. It is no exaggeration to say that, without his outstanding contribution, the history of World War Two could well have been very different. He truly was one of those individuals we can point to whose unique contribution helped to turn the tide of war. The debt of gratitude he is owed makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that he was treated so inhumanely. In 1952, he was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ - in effect, tried for being gay. His sentence - and he was faced with the miserable choice of this or prison - was chemical castration by a series of injections of female hormones. He took his own life just two years later.

Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can’t put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him. Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted as he was convicted under homophobic laws were treated terribly. Over the years millions more lived in fear of conviction.

I am proud that those days are gone and that in the last 12 years this government has done so much to make life fairer and more equal for our LGBT community. This recognition of Alan’s status as one of Britain’s most famous victims of homophobia is another step towards equality and long overdue.

But even more than that, Alan deserves recognition for his contribution to humankind. For those of us born after 1945, into a Europe which is united, democratic and at peace, it is hard to imagine that our continent was once the theatre of mankind’s darkest hour. It is difficult to believe that in living memory, people could become so consumed by hate - by anti-Semitism, by homophobia, by xenophobia and other murderous prejudices - that the gas chambers and crematoria became a piece of the European landscape as surely as the galleries and universities and concert halls which had marked out the European civilisation for hundreds of years. It is thanks to men and women who were totally committed to fighting fascism, people like Alan Turing, that the horrors of the Holocaust and of total war are part of Europe’s history and not Europe’s present.

So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan’s work I am very proud to say: we’re sorry, you deserved so much better.


Source: Number 10 web site

Serve.gov

http://www.serve.gov/
redirect from: http://www.usaservice.org

Kind of a funny domain Subliminal?

On June 17, 2009, the President unveiled United We Serve.

"Serve.gov is your online resource for not only finding volunteer opportunities in your community, but also creating your own. Use Serve.gov to help you do your part. America’s foundation will be built one community at a time – and it starts with you.

Serve.gov is managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

"United We Serve" is a nationwide service initiative that will help meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn. With the knowledge that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things when given the proper tools, President Obama is asking us to come together to help lay a new foundation for growth. This initiative aims to both expand the impact of existing organizations by engaging new volunteers in their work and encourage volunteers to develop their own "do-it-yourself" projects. United We Serve is an initial 81 days of service but will grow into a sustained, collaborative and focused effort to promote service as a way of life for all Americans."


I wasn't paying attention to this but I saw an ad on TV and I took a look. Looks like a good thing.

Bureaucrat scuffs dream of homeless shoe shiner



San Francisco is probably the most "Democratic" city in all the nation. It is very much a shining example of the warm, caring love that embodies that party so much.

To prove to the rest of us how much they love us, they like to take our money and wisely create these wonderful social programs to take care of us.

Here's a story about how one of those programs took care of a homeless man who tried to turn his life around. This is progressive change we can all believe in!


"He sleeps under a bridge, washes in a public bathroom and was panhandling for booze money 11 months ago, but now Larry Moore is the best-dressed shoeshine man in the city. When he gets up from his cardboard mattress, he puts on a coat and tie. It's a reminder of how he has turned things around.

"In fact, until last week it looked like Moore was going to have saved enough money to rent a room and get off the street for the first time in six years. But then, in a breathtakingly clueless move, an official for the Department of Public Works told Moore that he has to fork over the money he saved for his first month's rent to purchase a $491 sidewalk vendor permit."

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/06/04/MNJQ1807UK.DTL

Why tonight sucked hxc...

... more inside ...
So today I went to Georgia Tech to start my transfer ball rolling. After that, I came home and had a nice relaxing day with the gf.
A friend of mine was turning 21, so we went to Taco Mac in Decatur, a 25 minute drive from downtown. Luckily I was chosen to be DD for the night. Around 2, we get back to Atlanta. My gf decided it was time to go home, and Marta closes about 1, so I am charged to drive another 30minutes*2 to take her to her car. gdgdgd, i was already irritated. Everyone had gone back to my house to finish the night.
Back in downtown, I was about a mile from my house, getting off of the interstate, when I saw an unfortunate soul in the middle of the intersection of Moreland and Memorial with an old chrysler van bleeding oil on the road and with the airbags deployed. I pulled over to see if I could help.
Enter Mel:
Mel, a 42 year old, overweight, bearded, tattooed musician, riding about a 5 on the sketchy scale, had "hit a pothole." His car was crippled; he was piss ass fuck shit damn titty "drunk." I helped him push his car to the nearby gas station then offered him a ride home. As it turned out, he lived about 30 minutes north of Atlanta.
For clarity, I was in constant correspondence with my girlfriend, though in retrospect, bad idea.
Our ride North consisted of his constant thanks and pondering repayment (he only had a benjamin, and I only had a million dollar bill that the nice evangelists had given me in the park). I really wasn't concerned about it. He also could not half of what we spoke about, and about 3 miles from his house, decided he needed a Natty, which he pulled from his mysterious bag (which i am extremely suspect of).
I dropped him off at HIS MOTHER'S house, drew a map of where his car was, and returned home again.
On top of this, 75-S was blocked on all lanes. I don't know why, but I had to find my way home halfway on back roads.
I come home to my belligerent room mate on the couch watching SG-1, who then proceeds to tell me that Wes, the recently 21, had had quite the eventful night.
Wes' night consisted of getting drunk at Taco Mac, then coming back to my house. Once here, he drank more. Next, he found gasoline on the back porch (wtf, why?) and decided it would be fun to play with. He then found my shirt, drying on the porch, and decided to combine them. He also decided that my sandwich supplies (ham, turkey, cheese, lettuce, and where the hell is the mayo!?) did not have enough shit/crap/poop/literal feces in them; so he did what any decent American would do, and shat in the tupperware, then distributed the remains about my neighbor's and my back yard (my back yard belonging to the people downstairs).
Also, the mop was in too few pieces, so Wes made sure that was promptly fixed as well.

I am shrugging it off now, and will soon have help coping with the tremendous toll this night has had on me.
If you've gotten this far, I commend you, and apologize for wasting your time.

Please Help Dusty the Cat

Below is a picture of Dusty the cat. Sometime over the weekend of Feb. 14/15, someone uploaded a set of videos to YouTube that showed two teenaged boys abusing this poor cat. YouTube has removed the videos, as they violated their terms of service, but copies are available across the Internet, and we have linked to two below. Please, viewer discrection is advised. These are graphic videos that show this poor animal being tortured.

We need to help bring those responsible for Dusty’s abuse to answer for their crimes. As far as we can tell, from information we have found on various Internet sites, including Digg, Reddit, 4Chan and YouTube, one of the boys is likely named Kenny Glenn, and he is from Lawton, Oklahoma.

If you know anything about these kids or this abuse, please help Dusty.

Call the Lawton, OK Police Department at (580) 581-3500.

Videos (warning, graphic!) are available:
here and here

As George W Bush leaves office, we should all thank him.

8 years have come and gone. George W has had the most difficult circumstances as President arguably since World War II. 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Iraq, high gas prices, and a crippled economy thanks to evil corporations and Barney Frank.

And yet, we've been safe for 7 years. Iraq has lost it's brutal dictator who killed hundreds and hundreds of thousands. Gas prices are extremely low. People can still own guns, and the government isn't Communist.

Let's all take a moment to thank George W for a job well done, a job only he was man enough to accomplish. I wish he could serve another 4 years.


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