By Tara Culp-Ressler on April 16, 2014 at 1:14 pm
A federal judge permanently struck down North Dakota’s six-week abortion ban on Wednesday. The so-called “fetal heartbeat” measure, which used to represent the harshest ban in the nation, had already been temporarily blocked from taking effect while the legal challenge against it proceeded.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ruled that the law is “invalid and unconstitutional” and “cannot withstand a constitutional challenge,” pointing out that Roe v. Wade guarantees the right to abortion up until the point of viability.
Six week abortion bans seek to ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat can first be detected, even though that typically occurs so early that some women don’t even realize they’re pregnant yet. This type of restriction is so radical that many Republicans won’t sign onto it, signaling the beginning of a larger split within the anti-choice community. Although lawmakers in at least five different states considered fetal heartbeat bans this year, none have been able to advance.
Arkansas is the only other state that’s been able to pass a harsh abortion restriction based on the fetal heartbeat framing. After widespread outcry, that measure ended up being amended to a slightly less restrictive 12-week ban — but it hasn’t fared any better in the courts. Last month, a federal judge struck it down.
The decision is a victory for women in North Dakota, who face huge barriers to abortion services. There’s only one abortion clinic left in the state, which has been struggling to remain open amid anti-choice attacks. Thanks to the hostile environment surrounding reproductive rights, many women in the state actually assume that conservative lawmakers have succeeded and abortion is already illegal.
Although abortion rights supporters have recently won several legal victories against harsh bans, it’s important to remember that other serious threats to women’s access to abortion often fly under the radar. States have successfully enacted a complex web of restrictions targeting clinics and providers that don’t grab as many headlines as more obviously harmful laws do. That’s why anti-choice groups tend to split over six-week abortion bans — the leaders of the movement know they’ll have more success with an incremental strategy to chip away at abortion rights when no one is looking.
“The court was correct to call this law exactly what it is: a blatant violation of the constitutional guarantees afforded to all women. But women should not be forced to go to court, year after year in state after state, to protect their constitutional rights,” Nancy Northup, the president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. “We hope today’s decision, along with the long line of decisions striking down these attempts to choke off access to safe and legal abortion services in the U.S., sends a strong message to politicians across the country that our rights cannot be legislated away.”
April 16, 2014 | 8:15 am
When members of the Median Empire Motorcycle Club Dark City showed up at a Syrian refugee camp in northern Iraq, residents didn’t really know what to make of the tattooed and leather-clad bikers. “Some of them were afraid, some were happy,” said the club’s president, who goes by Azad Onepercenter. “They looked at us like we were a little bit crazy.”
Azad and two other members of the Median Empire were in the autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq on an aid mission. The men, all of Kurdish descent and living in Germany, said they felt a duty to give back. “It’s our families, it’s our brothers and sisters,” said Fat Joe, the Median Empire’s Sargent at Arms. “We’re here in a better place so we try to give them a better situation, because we know the feelings, what they’re feeling right now.”
Totaling more than 30 million, the Kurds are the largest ethnic group without a homeland in the world. The majority of Kurds are spread out over Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria. In all four countries, they have been repressed for generations. In Iraq, however, Kurds have been granted a degree of autonomy in the country’s North, where the Kurdish Regional Government is the ruling body.
In Syria, most Kurds are concentrated in the Northeast, near the border with Turkey and Iraq. Though they were denied rights by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, as the Syrian civil war has grown worse over the past three years the Kurds have been attempting to carve out a homeland. Consistent attacks from jihadi factions, however, as well as a decimated economy, have caused many Kurds to flee to the relative safety and prosperity of the KRG.
Having faced state sponsored persecution all over, Kurds are no stranger to fleeing. Many have crossed borders to seek refuge in other Kurdish territories, such as the exodus of Iraqi Kurds to Turkey in the early 1990s.
“We know the feeling of being in a refugee camp, we’ve felt it ourselves,” Azad told VICE News.
An Iranian Kurd, he fled that country with his family when he was just 9 years old. His parents were members of the peshmerga — armed Kurdish militants whose name means “those who chase death.”
“We are here in Europe now. Everybody is good, everybody goes to work, everybody has money, everybody has a warm place, and enough to eat,” said Azad. “I see a lot of people — they forgot where they came from.”
As Azad tells it, the members of Median Empire decided it was their turn to give back. Funding the trip through membership dues and private donations, the members arrived shortly before the Newroz festival, which celebrates the Kurdish New Year, and spent three weeks touring the region and visiting the refugee camp. They also paid a visit to the Qandil mountains, a frequent site of Turkish air force bombings and the home base of the Kurdish militant separatist group known as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Founded by Kurds, Median Empire formed in 2011 and is now 70 percent Kurdish, though Azad says they welcome all. Originally, it was part of Mongols Motorcycle Club Germany but then branched off into Mongols Motorcycle Club Dark City before finally separating into Median Empire Motorcycle Club Dark City.
The Mongols Motorcycle Club is a global organization long suspected of being involved in organized crime. German authorities have also targeted Mongols clubs in Germany.
In Kurdistan, the Median Empire spent most of its time at Camp Arbat, a refugee camp just outside the city of Sulaymaniyah located close to the border with Iran. Camp Arbat is home to about 3,500 Syrian refugees, many from the city of Qamishli. All have fled deteriorating economic conditions and violent confrontations with jihadi factions.
As of March 31, there were approximately 214,000 registered Syrian refugees in the Kurdish areas of Iraq, according to the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees. They have fared better than Syrian refugees elsewhere, but conditions have worsened as more refugees flow into the region. “The Syrian Kurds that work in Iraqi Kurdistan complain about travel restrictions, low-paid jobs, the more conservative culture among Iraqi Kurds and that it is more difficult to get residency permits since last year,” said Wladimir Van Wilgenburg, a prominent analyst of Kurdish Affairs, speaking by phone from Erbil. “It’s difficult for the Kurdish government to accommodate all those Syrian Kurds.”
Instead of bringing supplies, Median Empire members brought money and visited the camp to see what the residents needed. Fearing corruption, they then purchased everything themselves and handed it directly to the refugees. “Our president was smart enough, he went and looked around first to see the issues,” said Fat Joe.
The Median Empire members focused primarily on providing medical care — and even brought a number of local doctors with them to the camp. They also provided funding for teachers for the next few months, and decided to sponsor two young girls who were orphaned after their parents were killed by jihadis in Syria, according to Fat Joe. “It had a big effect on us. We can help as much as we can, but it’s still not enough,” he said.
Meanwhile in Syria, the situation for Kurdish enclaves is still dire. At the same time that the Median Empire was aiding the refugee population, the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobane was facing attacks from a large contingent of jihadis. The Popular Protection Units, the main Kurdish militia, even issued a call for any and all Kurds to come to its defense. Asked whether Median Empire had considered going to fight in Syria, Fat Joe said, “We can’t really talk so much about this, it could create problems for us.”
Azad agreed. “We’re not really there to take lives, we’re there to save lives,” he added.
UNITED NATIONS — The diplomat who was president of the U.N. Security Council in April 1994 apologized Wednesday for the council’s refusal to recognize that genocide was taking place in Rwanda and for doing nothing to halt the slaughter of more than one million people.
Former New Zealand ambassador Colin Keating issued the rare apology during a council meeting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the genocide and examine what has been done since to prevent new genocides.
The open session elicited praise for the U.N.’s stepped-up commitment to put human rights at the center of its work but widespread criticism of its failure to prevent ongoing atrocities in Syria, Central African Republic and South Sudan.
The council unanimously adopted a resolution calling on all countries “to recommit to prevent and fight against genocide” and reaffirming their responsibility to protect people from crimes against humanity. It condemned any denial of the Rwanda genocide and underscored the importance of taking into account lessons learned from the slaughter of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Keating recalled that New Zealand, Nigeria, the Czech Republic and Spain, supported by Argentina and Djibouti, urged condemnation of the Rwanda genocide in April 1994, the month it started, and called for reinforcement of the U.N. mission in the country, but “most” veto-wielding permanent members objected. The United States and France were among those opposed.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power acknowledged that the United States supported extracting U.N. troops rather than reinforcing them, which could have saved thousands of lives.
She cited lessons learned, including the establishment of a U.N. special adviser on the prevention of genocide, courts to prosecute alleged perpetrators, and U.N. efforts that helped end or deter violence in East Timor, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Libya, Kenya and Ivory Coast.
“Overall, however, it is both fair and profoundly unsatisfying to admit that our successes have been partial and the crimes against humanity that persist are devastating,” Power said. “Too often, we have done too little, waited too long, or been caught unprepared by events that should not have surprised us. Moving forward, we have to do a better job of confronting and defeating the practitioners of hate.”
Keating said the U.N. Secretariat concealed “a critical piece of advice” — a cable from force commander, Gen. Romeo Dallaire that “gave graphic early warning of a probable genocide.” He said the Geneva-based Human Rights Commission warning of the likelihood of genocide was never brought to the council’s attention.
“All this confirms that there are many lessons about information, about early warning and about how to use information, which I believe are still relevant today,” Keating said.
Rwanda’s U.N. Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana said “the systematic slaughter of men, women and children was perpetrated in full view of the international community.”
“The genocide against the Tutsi highlighted the extent to which the U.N. methods of prevention utterly failed,” he said.
Gasana said the “horrific” scenes from Central African Republic, Syria and South Sudan today have convinced many people that the U.N. still has a long way to go on the issue.
U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said those conflicts “sadly show that the protection of populations from atrocities remains lagging and elusive.”
At a U.N. commemoration Wednesday evening, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Rwandan and U.S. ambassadors and other representatives lit candles in memory of the victims of the genocide. Dozens of people attending the ceremony then stood for a minute in silent tribute.
“We have pledged never again, again and again but this world is still divided,” Ban said. “The ongoing challenges in South Sudan, Syria and Central African Republic show that we have much work ahead of us.”
Jordan’s U.N. Ambassador Prince Zeid al Hussein asked his fellow council members, particularly the permanent members, whether they had learned anything from the Rwanda genocide, and what words they would use that would be “immune to the inevitable mockery, the cynical laughter” of the people of the Central African Republic whose relatives have been killed in unprecedented fighting between Muslims and Christians.
While the Security Council authorized a U.N. peacekeeping force for Central African Republic last week, Zeid said the time lag in finding and deploying troops, and the financial constraints are similar to the way the U.N. confronted crises in 1994.
“And ultimately, are we not too late — again?” he asked. “We all care, yes, maybe. But it is equally clear we still do not care enough; not enough to act immediately, overwhelmingly, in those cases where an intervention is needed.”
Disclaimer (if you’ve read this before, please skip to the article.): Those of you that have been reading my articles may have noticed a sudden turn to some extreme opinions and some extreme language over the last two to four articles or so. I probably should have written this disclaimer previously, but I have no staff or even editor to suggest certain steps, that in retrospect, now seem prudent. While being an independent journalist allows me many freedoms, sometimes I overlook or just plain forget things. As a journalist writing fact based opinion pieces, I have decided to experiment with introducing satire into my writing, and will probably continue to mostly experiment with this method for a few months very regularly, and then it will become a part of my regular three times a week submissions, though not everyone.
I have been a big fan of mediums that have utilized this form of writing and expression in journalism. I have admired the way it is used in The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, and how both shows use it to discuss things we normally would not discuss in public or that the mainstream media is afraid to discuss due to a fear of offending their audiences, losing sponsors, offending or rattling management, losing potential big interviews because people with egos much larger than theirs are afraid or offended or being boycotted by the only two political parties we are currently allowed to have in this country.
I have always admired the Onion for the way it does satire, and have even been fooled once, before I knew what the Onion was.
I also admire new alternative media sources, like Vice, that do real reporting, but often on stories and topics we would not normally read about or hear about. They are of course, nonetheless very interesting and a breath of fresh air into what is often a stale mainstream media. It’s like the old 60 Minutes before they got scared and started hiring pro-war defense industry insiders, like Lara Logan, and complacent borderline tabloid journalists, like Anderson Cooper, (just waiting for the addition of one of the TMZ peeps to their roster). (60 minutes does still have its “there they are” moments, though infrequently, and I applaud them for it.)
Just like 60 Minutes used to, Vice and outlets like it, report fearlessly, and bring us new stories on things we never thought about, and sometimes didn’t want to think about or had our minds made up about already. Vice, and venues like it, come from a young, fresh and fearless point of view. As a person that writes and researches, I find that extremely important, especially amidst today’s watered down pasteurized milk media that rotates the same five stories until we are forced to change the channel. Vice, and news sources like it, also utilize satire and comedy.
I have also reported on things we don’t like to talk about, like military prostitution, defense contractors molesting children and pimping sex slaves overseas to members of our own military and even our military’s lavish spending on golf courses, and I will continue to do so, and more.
As with all good satire as used in journalism, there will be facts, and I will still use links to my sources as always, put documentation I find import and for the education of the public online for free (like that gained from my FOI requests) and the subject matter will be serious. There will always be a kernel of truth in every article in terms of the views and opinions. But the language, and sometimes imagery, that seems racist, sexist, homophobic and extreme or anything else is just my experimenting with a device I have not yet mastered, and I have no sponsors, nor anyone to answer to. I would hope, especially when taking into consideration all my previous work, the satirical mechanisms should be obvious. At the same time, I have a degree in Landscape Architecture, and was not trained in writing, so I may be a little off and clumsy, till I work it out of course.
I hope my regular readers will stick with me, as it seems they have. I am still writing about things I have an interest in or care about and that will be on display first and foremost, but so will my sense of humor, sense of extreme humor and ridiculousness and initial two left feet. If there are some people not ready for this style of writing, I apologize, but that will not hinder my efforts. It will get ridiculous, extreme sounding, offensive sounding and intimately real. If you aren’t ready for it, not all my opinion based journalism will be for you. But all my stories will all contain facts, and links to my sources, as always – almost all.
For those that will and have stuck around, obviously you got it, and thanks. These are extreme positions and opinions I do not hold, but that allow me to explore writing in new ways. The wording and language is convoluted, pumped up, nutty and purposefully insane. Hell, you’ll even find made up words. It may not be effective as humor or satire, but it’s my attempt, no more. It’s just comedy, like Sarah Silverman or Dave Chapelle, just nowhere near as successful admittedly. You obviously can tell the difference and find my reporting and perspective important or informative, if not just entertaining, whether you agree with my opinions or not, or whether I have successfully honed my wit or not. As I will never run for public office, I really have nothing to lose in selecting the topics I will choose to research and cover, nor the satirical methods I will use to cover some of them. I really feel that it is important to always push the envelope. I hope you can see this very much. Time does not wait for humans; neither will my writing, my friends. :D
Now for the dirty …
The question is how many others are out there? What do I mean? Well, besides the fact that Ed’s Gay, there are men that relieve themselves of their insecurity by holding down women that are physically weaker than they are, and forcing them to have sex with them. These men do not forcefully penetrate women for sexual gratification, but more for deeper psychological issues they have themselves, sometimes stemming things as complex as them having been raped themselves at some point in their lives or perhaps their being molested by a family member, to something as simple as being insecure about their small shrimp motherfucker bent ass dick. But regardless, rape is no joke.
When your mother gets forcefully penetrated, it’s no joke. When your sister gets forcefully penetrated, it’s no joke. When your cousin gets forcefully penetrated, it’s no joke. When your female friend that you love gets forcefully penetrated, it’s no joke. I mean shit like that happens and most dudes start involuntarily thinking up ski mask scenarios as a first reaction … well, after the initial hit.
There are men that have raped, that have punched women, kicked women, slammed women, broken their bones, then got caught and got locked up as they should. Then there are men that have held women by the arms after luring them to an isolated location and thrown them up against a wall or a tree, like say at a park in San Francisco, then slammed them to the ground that then brutalized the women before inserting their penis into the woman forcefully and against her wishes that are still walking around free – free to do it again to yet another girl, woman or lady.
When a rapist has been let off time and again, what is their incentive to stop raping do you think? What makes them stop? Do rapists ever really stop? Do the ones that forcefully penetrated women over and over suddenly just have an epiphany one day and never do it again, despite never having to suffer any real consequences for their actions? What do you think? How often do they just stop, particularly when so much of it is driven by deep psychological issues? These men have impulses so strong and psychological issues so deep, there have been pedophile politicians that hid behind legislation against molestation to make people think, “well, since he fought for and passed that law, there’s no way he could be a molester” as they continued to sin. Remember Mark Foley? He got prosecuted in part through laws he passed. That’s how crazy these motherfuckers minds are and how bald faced they are about lying. They will wag a finger at you and say sternly “I did not,” and be totally believable, when in fact they did. They totally fuckin did.
You realize there are men that rape women regularly and walk around thinking they’re studs, right? They believe that when you rape a woman it’s the same as seducing her. They think that’s what a player is. Players don’t rape, they convince women to sleep with them willingly because those women want to. Those women aren’t fighting them, they’re fucking and cumming and the dudes are players because those women then tell their friends and their friends start calling them, etc. Rape seldom if ever produces orgasms, the women are fighting for their lives being forced and penetrated over and over and against their will. They are fighting to free themselves. It is no walk in the park… unless that park is in San Francisco.
When a woman in your family is raped you must never, ever, ever, ever stand up for her rights. If a woman is raped in your family you better never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever stand up for her rights, motherfucker! If a man steals a woman from your family’s right to not be forcefully penetrated against her will you must never have the right to stand up for her, boy! You must never have the right to stand up for her, boy! You must never have the right to stand up for her, boy! You might get murdered you hear me??!! You will never stand up against a rapist, you may never stand up against a rapist, you may never take a stand against a rapist, you shall not be allowed to take a stand against a rapist. You will cower, you will cower, you will cower, you will cower!
Women will get raped. Women can get raped. Women will get raped. Women can get raped. Women will get raped. Women can get raped. You have no right to stop the business! You have no right to stop the business! You have no right to stop the business! This is man’s work. This is man’s work. This must be done. This must be done. You are a microfragment, plus far too small to stand up for a woman! You are a microfragment, plus far too small to stand up for a woman!
You will not stop women from getting raped. You must not stop women from getting raped. You cannot stop women from getting raped. You enable women getting raped. You shall enable women getting raped. You will enable women getting raped. You must enable women getting raped. Do it now. Do it now! Do it now!! Do it now!!! Do it now!!!! I said, do it now!!!!! I said, do it now!!!!!! Do it!! Do it!! Do it!! Do it!! Do it!! Do it!! Punch a woman in the face, punch a woman in the face, punch a woman in the face, punch a woman in the face and take her rights by forcefully penetrating her while holding her down hard, you must take her rights by forcefully penetrating her while holding her down hard, you absolutely will take her rights by forcefully penetrating her while holding her down hard, right at this very second you will take her rights by forcefully penetrating her while holding her down hard.
Ed condones this, ed condones this, ed does condone this, ed will condone this, ed always condones this, ed condones this, ed condones this, and you know it’s true. You must rape women now. You must rape women now.
Do it. You are a rapist. Take a chance on him. Take a chance it’s true. Take the risk it’s true. Take the chance it would be true. Take a chance there are more out there. Take a chance on rapism. You do it.
To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com .