February 6, 2014 archive
Feb 06 2014
Feb 06 2014
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These featured articles-
- How Will the ACA Impact the Work Force. by TheMoomCat
- The Failed War on Drugs by TheMomCat
- Keystone XL in Obama’s Lap by ek hornbeck
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Feb 06 2014
Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk rock protest group based in Moscow. Founded in August 2011, it has a variable membership of approximately 11 women ranging in age from about 20 to 33. They stage unauthorized provocative guerrilla performances in unusual public locations, which are edited into music videos and posted on the Internet. Their lyrical themes include feminism, LGBT rights, opposition to the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom they regard as a dictator, and links between Putin and the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.
On February 21, 2012, five members of the group staged a performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Their actions were stopped by church security officials. By that evening, they had turned the performance into a music video entitled “Punk Prayer – Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!” The women said their protest was directed at the Orthodox Church leader’s support for Putin during his election campaign.
On March 3, 2012, two of the group members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, were arrested and charged with hooliganism. A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was arrested on March 16. Denied bail, they were held in custody until their trial began in late July. On August 17, 2012, the three members were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”, and each was sentenced to two years imprisonment. Two other members of the group, who escaped arrest after February’s protest, reportedly left Russia fearing prosecution. On October 10, following an appeal, Samutsevich was freed on probation, her sentence suspended. The sentences of the other two women were upheld. In late October 2012, Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were sent to separate prisons.
The trial and sentence attracted considerable criticism, particularly in the West. The case was adopted by human rights groups including Amnesty International, which designated the women prisoners of conscience, and by a number of prominent entertainers. Public opinion in Russia was generally less sympathetic towards the women. Putin stated that the band had “undermined the moral foundations” of the nation and “got what they asked for”. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he did not think the three members of Pussy Riot should have been sent to jail, but stressed that the release of the remaining two imprisoned members was a matter for the courts. Having served 21 months, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were released on December 23, 2013 after the State Duma approved an amnesty.
Vlad, in addition to having the perkiest nipples of any major world leader which he loves to expose at every opportunity by posing topless, is a 16 year veteran of the KGB, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. To note he’s a ruthless corrupt despot is as obvious as pointing out that homophobic persecution is symptomatic of individuals who have unresolved issues with their own sexual desires.
Pussy Riot tell New York ahead of Sochi they will perform again
By Edith Honan, Reuters
NEW YORK Tue Feb 4, 2014 7:16pm EST
Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot may have remade themselves as global human rights advocates since their imprisonment for hooliganism, but on Tuesday they vowed to return to the stage as performers.
“It’s absolutely impossible to take this out of us,” Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24 told a New York news conference ahead of Pussy Riot’s appearance at an Amnesty International concert on Wednesday, a day before the Winter Olympics open in Sochi, Russia.
Tolokonnikova and her bandmate, Maria Alyokhina, 25, will be introduced at the Amnesty concert by pop star Madonna, and will speak but are not expected to perform at the event.
Feb 06 2014
This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
February 6 is the 37th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 328 days remaining until the end of the year (329 in leap years).
On this day in 1952, Elizabeth II becomes the first Queen regnant of the United Kingdom and several other realms since Queen Victoria, upon the death of her father, George VI. At the exact moment of succession, she was in a treehouse at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya.
Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, born 21 April 1926) is the Queen regnant of 16 independent sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. In addition, as Head of the Commonwealth, she is the figurehead of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations and, as the British monarch, she is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Elizabeth was educated privately at home. Her father, George VI, became King-Emperor of the British Empire in 1936. She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, in which she served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. After the war and Indian independence George VI’s title of Emperor of India was abandoned, and the evolution of the Empire into the Commonwealth accelerated. In 1947, Elizabeth made the first of many tours around the Commonwealth, and married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. They have four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward.
In 1949, George VI became the first Head of the Commonwealth, a symbol of the free association of the independent countries comprising the Commonwealth of Nations. On his death in 1952, Elizabeth became Head of the Commonwealth, and constitutional monarch of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon. Her coronation in 1953 was the first to be televised. During her reign, which at 58 years is one of the longest for a British monarch, she became queen of 25 other countries within the Commonwealth as they gained independence. Between 1956 and 1992, half of her realms, including South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (renamed Sri Lanka), became republics.
In 1992, which Elizabeth termed her annus horribilis (“horrible year”), two of her sons separated from their wives, her daughter divorced, and a severe fire destroyed part of Windsor Castle. Revelations on the state of her eldest son Charles’s marriage continued, and he divorced in 1996. The following year, her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in Paris. The media criticised the royal family for remaining in seclusion in the days before Diana’s funeral, but Elizabeth’s personal popularity rebounded once she had appeared in public and has since remained high. Her Silver and Golden Jubilees were celebrated in 1977 and 2002 respectively, and planning for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 is underway.
Feb 06 2014
This will break your heart
Thank you, Keith
Racing to Save the Stray Dogs of Sochi
By David M. Herszenhorn, The New York Times
SOCHI, Russia – A dog shelter backed by a Russian billionaire is engaged in a frantic last-ditch effort to save hundreds of strays facing a death sentence before the Winter Olympics begin here. [..]
“We were told, ‘Either you take all the dogs from the Olympic Village or we will shoot them,’ ” said Olga Melnikova, who is coordinating the rescue effort on behalf of a charity called Good Will, which is financed by Oleg V. Deripaska, one of Russia’s billionaire oligarchs.
“On Monday we were told we have until Thursday,” Ms. Melnikova said.
A “dog rescue” golf cart is now scouring the Olympic campus, picking up the animals and delivering them to the shelter, which is really an outdoor shantytown of doghouses on a hill on the outskirts of the city. It is being called PovoDog, a play on the Russian word povodok, which means leash. [..]
Mr. Deripaska, an industrialist who largely made his fortune in aluminum, provided $15,000 to get the shelter started on land donated by the local government. He has also pledged about $50,000 a year for operations. He was also one of the major investors in the Sochi Games and paid for several huge projects, including an overhaul of the airport, a new seaport and the Olympic Village along the coast.
With the Olympics fast approaching, however, there was simply no time to build an indoor space for the shelter, especially because so much work remained to be done on hotels and other buildings for the Games. [..]
All of the dogs entering the shelter receive medical treatment, including vaccinations. All of them will be eligible for adoption, even to fans attending the Olympics. Spared execution – at least for the moment – the animals at the PovoDog shelter barked in a loud chorus as the sun slowly dropped into the Black Sea, which could be viewed in the distance.
According to the article, this is tarnishing the warm and cuddly image of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. – Mahatma Gandhi (Indian Statesman and Philosopher)