Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for June 25th, 2009

Haiti agonistes

Posted by Charles II on June 25, 2009

UN Forces opened fire on the funeral for Father Jean-Juste in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, killing one. The troops are commanded by a Brazilian and include French, and Canadian troops. The Brazilians fired.

The rationale provided by the UN soldiers for the arrest [of a man unrelated to the man who was shot], in the first place, were for spurious charges. It was claimed that Fernand who has dreadlocks was thought to be a wanted gang leader Komandan Toutou — who is well-known to be bald. Fernand was dragged off the seat of his motorcycle, by his hair, as he was starting to leave. If the soldiers wanted to avoid a confrontation with the funeral crowd they could have taken their arrestee around the front of the Cathedral, which was mostly empty at the time.

Instead, they pushed Fernand through the crowd of, already agitated, militants who were milling through the crowd of mourners watching a procession of horse riders and the hearse taking the body of Father Jean Juste to Cavaillon. This provoked the expected rock throwing by the militants who were shouting at the blue-helmeted soldiers to release Fernand. As they were taking Fernand away, the soldiers were frantically pointing their rifles at anyone nearby in a menacing fashion.

Shortly after the soldiers passed the TV trucks, they first shot several rounds in the air. Many eyewitnesses claimed that they saw several soldiers level their weapons at the crowd and started shooting.

Second-round elections scheduled for last Sunday were feared to be a sham. Bill Clinton is being blamed for failing to turn the situation around. Rene Preval is also said to be interfering in organizing by Fanmi Lavalas. which was excluded from the election.

Twenty five troops have also been killed in the course of the occupation. It’s ugly on all six sides and in the middle.

Added: one interesting fact reported by Ira Kurzban on F’points: The CIA made it impossible for peacekeeping troops on the USS Harlan County to land in October, 1992 by having their agents fire weapons at the dock.

Posted in Haiti | 5 Comments »

Why We Need the Public Option

Posted by MEC on June 25, 2009

A personal acquaintance sent the following letter (behind a cut, for length) to her Representative and Senators, and to members of the Congressional committees working on health care reform.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in health care | 2 Comments »

A test you must take

Posted by Charles II on June 25, 2009

Eli has it.

Posted in Just for fun | 5 Comments »

Meanwhile, Back In DC

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 25, 2009

As we step away for a moment from the burgeoning Sanford scandal (and John Ensign breathes a sigh of relief), I thought I should pass this on:

Lawyers for President Obama are quietly drafting first-of-their kind guidelines barring workplace discrimination against transgender federal employees, officials said Tuesday.

The guidelines will be in an updated federal handbook for managers and supervisors to be distributed and posted online in the next couple of months, and they could also be included in other materials for managers. They will list transgender people — those who identify their gender differently from the information on their birth certificates — as among several groups protected by antidiscrimination laws.

Though transgender men and women are not believed to make up more than a fraction of a percent of the federal work force, their inclusion in the discrimination guidelines is seen as a breakthrough by transgender and gay rights advocates.

“The president is making a very clear statement that transgender people won’t be discriminated against,” said Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, a group that has been talking with the White House about the new provisions.

The provisions will help give transgender workers avenues within the federal government to protest a job action as discriminatory, though Ms. Keisling added, “There is also a very important symbolic value to that, from our point of view.”

This is really big. The transgendered have an even tougher row to hoe than do gays or lesbians. I’ve known one TG moderately well and I learned a lot about gender identity from working with her.

Posted in gay rights | 1 Comment »

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