Thursday, August 28, 2008

SLM Condemns Albashir's Massacre

In a brutal move that is at odd with all international conventions, Albashir’s forces launched a bloody attack against Kalma, the largest IDP camp, South Darfur. Our updated report indicates that the Camp was invaded by 75 heavily armed vehicles this morning, August 25th at 5am with the aim of total forceful repatriation.
A reliable spokesperson talked to our agent, while busy shrouding 50 bodies for burial. He reported that, in addition to 118 dead, 350 are injured, 50 of them are serious. The invaders are now parked within a circle of 200 meters from the Camp and are waiting for reinforcement.

Bnai Darfur in Israel strongly condemns this inhumane attack on innocent IDPs who pose no threat to the government. If it says anything, this attack further exposes Albashir’s fairy tales of peaceful solution of Darfur problem, his addiction to military solutions of Sudan’s political crisis and the continuous use of violence against the very people he is expected to protect. It is within this reading that SLM will react and without hesitation

(Tel-Aviv-) Sudanese groups expressed outrage at an attack by Sudanese government soldiers and security officers on the largest displaced camp located in South Darfur leaving scores dead and many more injured.

“This is genocide happening before our eyes. The international community must live up to its responsibility and protect the civilians” the Bnai Darfur Organization (BDO) spokesperson Adam Bashir called the international movement for making peace in Darfur .

“We cannot stand with our hands tied behind our backs while our people are being slaughtered” he said.

The Sudanese authorities justified the raid by claiming to have received reliable intel about weapons smuggled recently into Kalma camp which is at a strategic position because of its proximity to the Nyala airport and railways. I myself my family are in refugee camp called Nevasha ”Elfasher” its up site me when I here every day that Sudanese government attack Kalma camp

Bnai Darfur Organization dismissed the government’s statements and said that the plan was to disband the camp and remove its inhabitants.

“This is a plan orchestrated at the highest levels of government including Al-Bashir personally. Al-Bashir had promised last year to make the Darfur displaced go home before the UNAMID forces arrive in Darfur”

“This is a very sad day for all of Sudanese in Israel.

Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) leader in Israel said he condemns the attack “in the strongest possible terms”.

Al-Nur accused the UNAMID forces of “failing to fulfill their duties to protect the Darfuri people”.

“These people fled the killings to these camps for safety after they lost everything. The government’s final solution is to kill them right where they are at” Bnai Darfur in Israel crying and send their voice to Israeli government and UN, EU, NATO to stop the on going genocide in Darfur region .

“The genocide campaign by Khartoum continues” Al-Nur stressed.

Today’s attack comes more than a month after the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced in mid-July that he requested an arrest warrant for Al-Bashir.

Ocampo filed 10 charges: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder and accused Al-Bashir of masterminding a campaign to get rid of the African tribes in Darfur. Sons of Darfur called ICC to arrest AL-Bashir immediately.

Most of the Kalma camp residents are from the African tribe.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Unsinkable Atheism

14th Annual Atheist Alliance International (AAI) Convention
September 25-28, 2008 - on the historic Queen Mary, in Long Beach.

Featured Guests include: Michael Shermer, P. Z. Myers, Michael Newdow, Eddie Tabash, Julia Sweeney, Herb Silverman, Mikey Weinstein, Jeremy Hall, Lori Lipman Brown, and Ellen Johnson.

Get all the details and register here.....

Space is limited and last year sold out FAST!

Summary of events....

Thursday night

A secular wedding and reception featuring DJ Kelli G. and Professional dancer John Edwards

Friday - "Atheists In Foxholes"

Margaret Downey (AAI president)

Herb Silverman (President of the Secular Coalition for America)

Carlos Bertha (associate professor of philosophy - US Air Force Academy),

Kathleen Johnson (American Atheists Military Director),

Jason Torpy (president of Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers)

Mikey Weinstein (founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and

Specialist Jeremy Hall will receive the first "Valiant Atheist Medallion of Honor."

Late-night concert of "Freethinking Music" featuring original music by Joel Pelletier.

Saturday workshops....

Jennifer Bardi ~ Editor of Humanist magazine

"Anchoring Your Atheist Story"

August Berkshire ~ President of Minnesota Atheists

"Catching the Wave: Start Your Own Atheist Radio Show"

M. J. Christensen ~ Co-Founder of Scouting for All

"Throwing Prejudice and Bigotry Overboard"

James Underdown ~ Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles

"Navigating the Media"

Lori Lipman Brown & Sasha Bartolf ~ Secular Coalition for America

"All Hands on Deck for Political Tempests"

Troy Conrad ~ Comedian

"Manning the Humor Lifeboat"

August Brunsman ~ Executive Director of the Secular Student Alliance

"Singing your Siren's Song on Social Networking Sites"

Ellen Johnson ~ Executive Director of the Godless Americans Political Action Committee

"Let's Weigh Anchor and Start Using Our Power as Secular Citizens"

Cathe Jones ~ Writer and Humorist

"Atheists and Loss: Navigating Grief"

Saturday Afternoon and Evening...

Julia Sweeney will give the 2008 Richard Dawkins Award to a secret person.

Jill Sobule will sing a special song to the honoree.

Michael Shermer ~ Publisher of Skeptic Magazine

"Chicken Soup for the Atheist's Soul: Finding Spirituality in a Godless Universe"

P. Z. Myers ~ Biologist, University of Minnesota

"Science as an Instrument of Change"

Michael Newdow ~ Attorney and Physician

"Establishment Clause: Floaters and Sinkers"

Eddie Tabash, Esquire (who made a gallant run for the California State Assembly in 2000) "Electing Atheists to Public Office."

Video presentation of Congressman Pete Stark accepting the first annual AAI "Freedom of Conscience Award

After the formal speeches, stay for a musical presentation of Religiomania by Michele Rundgren, Debra Ryll, and Wanda Plimmer.

Sunday Morning

Annie Laurie Gaylor, Margaret Downey, Kathleen Johnson and Bobbie Kirkhart present opinions about why women must be encouraged to be from religion.

You Can Bring the Kids....Mini - Camp Quest - on site!

Chris Lindstrom and Amanda Metskas will run a Mini Camp Quest for the children of conventioneers. Reservations are required and can be done at the AAI website. Children ages 6-13 are welcome.

Get all the details and register here.....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Declaration of the Georgian Peace Committee

Once more Georgia was launched into a situation of chaos and bloodshed. A new fratricide war exploded with renewed strength on Georgian soil. To our great disillusion, the alerts of the Georgian Peace Committee and of progressive personalities of Georgia on the pernicious character of the militarization of the country and on the danger of a pro-fascist and nationalist policy had no effect.

The authorities of Georgia, organized, again, a blood war, feeling the support of some western countries and of regional and international organizations. The shame poured by the current holders of the power over the Georgian people will take decades to be cleansed. The Georgian army armed and trained by American instructors and using also American armaments, subjected the city of Tskhinvali to a barbaric destruction. The bombings killed Ossetians civilians, our brothers and sisters, children, women and elderly people. Over two thousand inhabitants of Tskhinvali and of its surroundings died. There also died hundreds of civilians of Georgian nationality, both in the conflict zone as well as on the entire territory of Georgia.

The Georgian Peace Committee expresses its deep condolences to the relatives and friends of those who have perished. The entire responsibility for this fratricidal war, for thousands of children, women and elderly dead people, for the inhabitants of South Ossetia and of Georgia falls exclusively to the current President, to the Parliament and to the Government of Georgia. The irresponsibility and the adventure ship of the Saakachvili regime have no limits. The President of Georgia and his team, undoubtedly, are criminals and must be held responsible.

The Georgian Peace Committee, together with all the progressive parties and social movements of Georgia, is going to struggle so that the organizers of this monstrous genocide have a severe and legitimate punishment. The Georgian Peace Committee declares and asks the broad public opinion not to identify the current Georgian leadership with the people of Georgia, with the Georgian nation, and appeals to all to support the Georgian people in the struggle against the criminal regime of Saakachvili.

We appeal to all the political forces of Georgia, the social movements and the people of Georgia to unit in order to free the country of the anti popular regime, russianfobic and pro-fascist of Saakachvili!

The Georgian Peace Committee
Tbilissi, 11th of August de 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Accused Murderer of Tiffany Berry Kills Again

Last night, WREG-TV in Memphis reported that the man who was charged with the February 16, 2006, murder of Tiffany Berry, has now been arraigned on a second murder charge. On Thursday, authorities in Shelby County charged DeAndre Blake with the murder of his own two year old daughter.

At the time of this second murder, Blake was walking the streets of Memphis as a free man on a $20,000 bond. According to Berry's family, Blake admitted he had killed Berry because he did not like the way she had "touched" him.

"We believe these 'trans panic' and 'gay panic' defenses need to be rejected and that local law enforcement needs to begin aggressive prosecution of all such cases as hate crimes," said Dr. Marisa Richmond, President of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition. "If the judge had set a more appropriate bond, or if the Shelby County District Attorney had been more aggressive at scheduling a trial date, this man might not have been out walking the streets for two and half years and that child might still be alive," continued Richmond.

This latest tragedy is just one more in a growing number of anti-GLBT hate crimes across Tennessee. The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition insists that the murder of Tiffany Berry be prosecuted as a hate crime. We also insist that the Memphis Police Department officers who brutally beat Duanna Johnson, an African American transgender woman, on February 12, also be prosecuted on hate crimes charges. We also urge the Memphis Police Department to step up its investigation of the July 1 murder of Ebony Whitaker, another African American transgender woman.

In other parts of Tennessee, we insist that local authorities aggressively investigate and prosecute additional hate crimes including the murder of Nakia Baker in Nashville on January 7, 2007, the ongoing harassment of a gay man at his home in McMinnville, and last weekend's tragic shooting in the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville. All of these events show that there needs to be increased education across Tennessee about the GLBT community, and a more serious look at hate crimes covering both sexual orientation and gender identity.

We also urge members of the Tennessee General Assembly to address the inadequacies of Tennessee's hate crimes statute in Tennessee Code Annotated 40-35-114 (23), as soon as they reconvene in January. This should include adding "gender identity or expression" to the language. It is also time for the United States Congress to pass the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act.

We also wish to extend our condolences to the other family members of the child who lost her life so senselessly this week.

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) is an organization designed to educate and advocate on behalf of transgender related legislation at the Federal, State and local levels. TTPC is dedicated to raising public awareness and building alliances with other organizations concerned with equal rights legislation.

For more information, or to make a donation, contact:

Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC)
P.O. Box 92335
Nashville, TN 37209

Friday, August 1, 2008

Getting the Government's Attention

By Robert N Smith

I don't care what your beef is with government, be it local, state or national, protests and online petitions are not changing anything. Part of this I wrote in response to an e-mail about a young man with cancer who is about to loose his medical coverage. Could be about any other beef anyone has with the system today. I am calling not for a national strike but something totaly legal, constitutional and effective. Something I don't hear anyone else saying anything about. Something so old it's new.

We will get it, only with a revelation. Our bought and paid for Congress is fully in the hands of big business, and big insurance is part of that. Screw the people, profit comes before anything. Even the lives of our children. What we need is for everybody to tie up government for a couple of weeks. Go and get everyone you know to go and petition for redress of grievances. In other words, if you can, go to Washington and surround the capitol and White House with people who one by one demand to see and give their grievances to their represenitives. Those who can't can go, tie up the local reps' offices in the same way. If enough of us do it, we will shut down everything by taking grievances for at least a week. Then tell them either do something or find another job.
It would work and it's in the Constitution so nobody could say it's illegal. Just think 2,000,000 people standing in line, handing their Senators and Reps. a petition for redress of grievences, and then getting back in line to hand them something else. Think of the thousands standing in line at the state capitol or a local office to hand their petitions and get back in line to protest something else. Not a few representitives of a protest group or some spokesperson, but individuals saying we're mad as hell and we won't take it any more. Do you think the people in government might wake up and think about who they are working for? How about some feedback from the groups pushing for ending the war, those pushing for impeachment, those pushing for health insurance and those who want something done to bring down the cost of oil? Sept. or Oct. sounds like a good time to do this. Anyone else?