Category: News (Page 5 of 13)

Boys Face Sex Trial for Slapping Girls’ Butts

buttkid.jpgABC News reports today that 2 young boys face criminal prosecution for slapping girls’ butts (and touching a girl’s breast) at the school. They are currently charged with misdemeanors, and if convicted, regardless of whether they have to serve time, they will be registered as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. The boys already spent 5! days at juvenile hall – which seems to me punishment enough.
Moreover, apparently spanking each other’s butts was a common way for girls and boys to greet each other at that school – according to a girl interviewed by abc news. While some girls said they felt uncomfortable, at least two of them recanted when questioned in court about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I think what the boys did was terrible. I still remember the humiliation and plain dirtiness of being touched on the butt when I was a young teenager. /I/ didn’t like it, /I/ felt uncomfortable – but then again, it wasn’t a common thing to do in my school and it had a clear sexual meaning. That said, these are 13-yo boys. They still are learning what proper rules of behavior are, that they are not little kids anymore and that girls are no longer the simple playmates of -literally- yesteryear. I think it’s absurd that that prosecutor would prosecute the kids for acting like kids act. Yes, they did something wrong, but there are many, many, many lower forms of punishment that can be used to bring home that message.
As they say on the Week every week “Only in America”

Have opinions? Can’t travel.

Taner Akçam is a Turkish scholar who has meticulously researched the history of the Armenian genocide to conclude that one, indeed, took place. For his efforts he has been attacked as a terrorist and threatened. He has also been put in the “no flight” list by both American and Canadian authorities, but apparently this was done based on his profile in wikipedia! As everyone knows, anyone can add anything to a wikipedia entrie, regardless of its truth value.

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The plot against the First Amendment
Harpers Magazine
April 21, 2007
The Plot Against the First Amendment
By Scott Horton
In June, a case is slated to go to trial in Northern Virginia that will mark a
first step in a plan to silence press coverage of essential national security
issues. The plan was hatched by Alberto Gonzales and his deputy, Paul J.
McNulty — the two figures at the center of a growing scandal over the
politicization of the prosecutorial process. This may in fact be the most
audacious act of political prosecution yet. But so far, it has gained little
attention and is poorly understood.
In the summer of 2005, Alberto Gonzales paid a visit to British Attorney
General Peter Goldsmith. A British civil servant who attended told me “it was
quite amazing really. Gonzales was obsessed with the Official Secrets Act. In
particular, he wanted to know exactly how it was used to block newspapers and
broadcasters from running news stories derived from official secrets and how it
could be used to criminalise persons who had no formal duty to maintain secrets.
He saw it as a panacea for his problems: silence the press. Then you can torture
and abuse prisoners and what you will — without fear of political
repercussions. It was the easy route to dealing with the Guantánamo dilemma.
Don’t close down Guantánamo. Close down the press. We were appalled by it.”
Appalled, he added, “but not surprised.

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The Taliban destroys and kills

We have liberated Afghanistan from the Taliban, they told us. But the reality is very different. Like this press release by Amnesty International explains, the Taliban have increased their attacks against civilians, killing them, burning schools and abducting workers.
I was against the war in Afghanistan in the first place, but if you are going to fight a war, then you have to do it with all you have – and the United States has basically abandoned Afghanistan to its fate – the Taliban – once it got tired of it. And people die.

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