Jul. 25th, 2011

neonvincent: For posts about cats and activities involving uniforms. (Krosp)
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Pedestrian convicted of vehicular homicide in own child's death
Cobb County News 4:12 p.m. Thursday, July 14, 2011
By Elise Hitchcock
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A Marietta mother may serve more time than the driver who hit and killed her 4-year-old son.

Raquel Nelson, 30, could be sentenced to up to 36 months at a hearing July 26, said David Savoy, her attorney. She was convicted Tuesday of homicide by vehicle in the second degree, crossing roadway elsewhere than at crosswalk and reckless conduct, said Savoy.

Jerry L. Guy, the driver who admitted hitting the child when pleading guilty to hit-and-run, served a 6-month sentence. He was released Oct. 29, 2010, and will serve the remainder of a 5-year sentence on probation, according to Cobb court records.

Nelson was attempting to cross at the intersection of Austell Road and Austell Circle with her three children when her son was struck by a car, said Savoy. The child later died from his injuries. Nelson and her younger daughter suffered minor injuries and her older daughter was not injured.

Guy confessed to having consumed "a little" alcohol earlier in the day, being prescribed pain medication and being partially blind in his left eye, said David Simpson, his attorney.
Grist has an analysis and an update. In case you're wondering, Ms. Nelson is African-American while the driver was likely white.

Ms. Nelson is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow. Change.org has a petition to present to the judge. Cobb County GA: Release Grieving Mother of Hit-and-Run & Install a Crosswalk. Nearly 58,000 people have signed it so far. I have the text of the email Change.org sent out at A petition against the criminalization of walking.
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
'Blood diamond' regulation system broken

The recent approval of Zimbabwean diamonds mined from the $800bn Marange fields by the Kimberley Process (KP) chair, the DRC's Mathieu Yamba Lapfa Lambang, has prompted a global "human rights" outcry with KP members such as Canada, the EU, and the US claiming there was "no consensus".

Meanwhile, other countries like China (the world's fastest growing diamond consumer market), and India (which cuts and polishes 11 of 12 stones) have all given the green light to Zimbabwe, removing any potential problems of surplus minerals from Marange, which has been described by Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti as "the biggest find of alluvial diamonds in the history of mankind".

With potential revenues pegged at $1-1.7bn annually, the support of neighbouring governments like South Africa, another major diamond producer, and "host" country to 3 million Zimbabwean political and economic "refugees", is not surprising. Nor is the potential KP rupture being shaped as a battle between politically "interfering" Western nations and cash-starved developing nations.

That Zimbabwe's diamonds are mined under the direct surveillance of the country's vicious military and controlled by brutal lifetime dictator Robert Mugabe is not in question. Since the discovery of Marange's diamonds in 2006, the military has largely supervised mining; mass looting by political, corporate and military elites has occurred, accompanied by violent displacement and human rights violations; companies based in secret jurisdictions such as Mauritius and Hong Kong have been granted "due diligence" approval; and there exists complete opacity over volumes extracted, exported and sold.

But to what extent does the vehement opposition stem from political objections to a nation controlled by the blatantly anti-Western Mugabe? More broadly, was the KP system - propagating that less than one per cent of global diamonds constitute "blood" minerals - built for the purposes of eliminating corporate and state-sanctioned exploitation, or normalising and sanitising it?MORE



At this point, personally, I really don't see any reason I should be wearing what are in reality simply pretty colored stones. The value of these things is entirely created, and the blood and exploitation that comes in the wake of that value is not worth a damn thing.
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Arrivederci, Water Profiteers


Why 96 percent of Italian voters rejected their government’s push for water privatization.

“Water—whether we treat it as a public good or as a commodity that can be bought and sold—will in large part determine whether our future is peaceful or perilous,” wrote the scholar Maude Barlow.

In Italy last month, an overwhelming number of people (96 percent of the 57 percent of the population that voted) cast their ballots for a peaceful future based on shared ownership of water.

The referendum overturned a law passed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government, which would have encouraged private companies to buy up public water utilities and guaranteed them a profit on their investment, opening the door to rate hikes.

The referendum also stripped Berlusconi government ministers of special court privileges and reaffirmed public opposition to nuclear power.

An international grassroots movement is working to make sure that water, that basic building block of life, is treated not as a commodity to be bought and sold but a common heritage to be shared by all.

With the referendum victory behind them, organizers have now fixed their sights on passing a general water law to guide public management of the common good.

“Beating back privatization is a critical first step towards responsible stewardship of water,” said Daniela Del Bene, an organizer with the NGO Cevi, a member of the Italian Forum of Water Movements. “Not to diminish the importance of the victory but in some ways, now comes the harder part—strengthening a public management system that satisfies both people and nature’s water needs in a sustainable and equitable way.”

MORE
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Righting wrongs the Maori Way:Instead of prison, New Zealand chooses restorative justice and community problem-solving.

During the 1980s, New Zealand faced a crisis familiar to other Western nations around the world. Thousands of children, especially members of minority groups, were being removed from their homes and placed in foster care or institutions. The juvenile justice system was overburdened and ineffective. New Zealand’s incarceration rate for young people was one of the highest in the world, but its crime rate also remained high. At the same time, New Zealand’s punitive approach was also in part a “welfare” model. Although young people were being punished, they were also being rewarded by receiving attention. Yet they were not being required to address the actual harm they had caused.

Especially affected was the minority Maori population, the indigenous people of New Zealand. Maori leaders pointed out that the Western system of justice was a foreign imposition. In their cultural tradition, judges did not mete out punishment. Instead, the whole community was involved in the process, and the intended outcome was repair. Instead of focusing on blame, they wanted to know “why,” because they argued that finding the cause of crime is part of resolving it.Instead of punishment (“Let shame be the punishment” is a Maori proverb), they were concerned with healing and problem-solving. The Maori also pointed out that the Western system, which undermined the family and disproportionately incarcerated Maori youth, emerged from a larger pattern of institutional racism. They argued persuasively that cultural identity is based on three primary institutional pillars—law, religion, and education—and when any of these undermines or ignores the values and traditions of the indigenous people, a system of racism is operating.

Maori leaders pointed out that the Western system of justice was a foreign imposition. In their cultural tradition, the whole community was involved in the process.

Because of these concerns, in the late 1980s the government initiated a process of listening to communities throughout the country. Through this listening process, the Maori recommended that the resources of the extended family and the community be the source of any effort to address these issues. The FGC [Family Group Conference] process emerged as the central tool to do this in the child protection and youth justice systems.

In 1989 the legislature passed a landmark Act of Parliament. The Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act totally revamped the focus and process of juvenile justice in New Zealand. Although it did not use this terminology until later, the New Zealand legal system became the first in the world to institutionalize a form of restorative justice. Family Group Conferences became the hub of New Zealand’s entire juvenile justice system. In New Zealand today, an FGC, not a courtroom, is intended to be the normal site for making such decisions.

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ETA: Per [personal profile] hazel's comment below, this article is missing a hell of a lot of context.
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
visit-ability: Making accessible homes in New York
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via Feminists With Disabilities

Denial of Access In the Name of “Historic Preservation

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How The Disabilities Act Has Influenced Architecture

Robert Siegel talks to professor Monica Ponce de Leon, dean of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, about changes in architecture and design 20 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Read more... )





1998 Disability as architectural criticism — Yale/Rudolph

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Accessible Housing Society
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Green Accessible Home by Jeff Sties Architect
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Vatican recalls envoy to Ireland amid uproar

The Vatican has recalled its ambassador to Ireland following a report on the Catholic Church's handling of child abuse by priests that sparked government outrage.

Father Ciro Benedettini, a Vatican spokesman, said on Monday that Giuseppe Leanza, the archbishop and apostolic nuncio of Ireland, had been ordered to return from Dublin for consultations.

The Vatican acknowledged that the recall of an ambassador was a measure rarely adopted by the Holy See, underlining the "seriousness of the situation".

The principal aim was for direct discussions to prepare the Holy See's official response but the measure "does not exclude some degree of surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions", Benedettini told reporters.

Wave of scandals

The publication of the report into more than a decade of sex abuse by priests in the diocese of Cloyne in southern Ireland triggered a blistering attack on the Vatican by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny that was widely hailed.

Leanza is being recalled to discuss the impact of the Cloyne report, which accused Church authorities of covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests as recently as 2009.

The Cloyne case is only the latest in a series of abuse scandals for the Catholic Church in Ireland that were first exposed in a 2009 report detailing hundreds of cases of sexual abuse of children by priests going back decades.

Last week, the Irish parliament passed a motion denouncing the Vatican's role in "undermining child protection frameworks" following the publication of the report.MORE



5 days earlier: Irish prime minister attacks Vatican

Enda Kenny says Cloyne report on child sex abuse by priests highlights dysfunction and elitism in Rome

Ireland's prime minister has launched an unprecedented attack on theVatican, accusing it of downplaying the rape and torture of Irish children by clerical sex abusers.

Enda Kenny said in parliament that the Cloyne report, released on 13 July, had exposed the Vatican's attempt to frustrate the inquiry into child sex abuse.

During a debate on the fallout from the Cloyne findings, the taoiseach said the report had illuminated the dysfunction and elitism still dominant in the Vatican.

Kenny told the Dáil on Wednesday that Rome seemed more interested in upholding the church's power and reputation than confronting the abuse of Irish children by its priests and religious orders.

The Vatican's attitude to investigations in Cloyne, which covers County Cork, was the "polar opposite of the radicalism, the humility and the compassion that the church had been founded on", he said.

Kenny said the rape and torture of children had been downplayed or "managed" to uphold the institution's power and reputation.

The all-party motion being debated in the Dáil "deplores the Vatican's intervention which contributed to the undermining of child protectionframeworks and guidelines of the Irish state and the Irish bishops".

One of the most damning findings of the Cloyne report was that the diocese failed to report nine out of 15 complaints made against priests, which "very clearly should have been reported".

MORE


Do the people living in the Vatican HEAR THEMSELVES?????

Indeed.

Jul. 25th, 2011 06:53 pm
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Same ableist shit, different day

Seriously, people. I know we on the blogging left like to get all high and mighty about how awesomely smart we are – what kind of idiot votes for National because they like John Key’s smile, right? Who seriously watches Fox News [unless it's for awesomely cool hipster lulz, y/y?]?

But it seems like we lose sight of the fact that the people who do vote in a way we don’t like, who do trust news sources we scoff at … are still people. People probably getting just as, if not more, fucked on by capitalism as the rest of us. People who don’t have the privilege of time and spoons for political awareness and sarcastic bloggery.

Those people are not insane. I mean, do I even have to say that? Apparently.

Because it’s not insane to be raised in a culture with ideals and memes about journalism and the news, and believe what the news tells you.

And it’s not mentally ill to accept that politicians who get elected to office, or people who write books which become bestsellers, or people with big fancy letters after their names, are people we are meant to listen to, or people who are assumed to have integrity, or people whose status indicates knowledge and entitlement to lead.

And maybe if it’s not insane to watch the news, to trust journalists, to listen to politicians, in general terms … it’s probably not insane to end up with a general sense of unease and distrust and xenophobia. It doesn’t take mental illness to become convinced that basic democratic principles are under threat wherever one may be, and it’s not subnormal to be swayed by rhetoric and propaganda techniques developed over fucking centuries and which societies have become pretty good at using to perpetuate their own values and avoid change.

MORE



via: hoydenabouttown
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In 3 Countries, Challenging the Vatican on Female Priests


More than 150 Roman Catholic priests in the United States have signed a statement in support of a fellow cleric who faces dismissal for participating in a ceremony that purported to ordain a woman as a priest, in defiance of church teaching.


The American priests’ action follows closely on the heels of a “Call to Disobedience” issued in Austria last month by more than 300 priests and deacons. They stunned their bishops with a seven-point pledge that includes actively promoting priesthood for women and married men, and reciting a public prayer for “church reform” in every Mass.

And in Australia, the National Council of Priests recently released a ringing defense of the bishop of Toowoomba, who had issued a pastoral letter saying that, facing a severe priest shortage, he would ordain women and married men “if Rome would allow it.” After an investigation, the Vatican forced him to resign.

While these disparate acts hardly amount to a clerical uprising and are unlikely to result in change, church scholars note that for the first time in years, groups of priests in several countries are standing with those who are challenging the church to rethink the all-male celibate priesthood.

The Vatican has declared that the issue of women’s ordination is not open for discussion. But priests are on the front line of the clergy shortage — stretched thin and serving multiple parishes — and in part, this is what is driving some of them to speak.MORE

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