Posts Tagged ‘petition’

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May we correct a much-repeated mistake in coverage of the petition to the UK Parliament to prevent Donald Trump making a State Visit to the UK?

This has often been erroneously reported in Australian and United States media as a desire to prevent Mr Trump visiting the UK per se

This is not so. In fact, the petition refers specifically to such a visit being a State visit, the highest possible honour conferred on a visitor, and specifically so that he would not have to be entertained by the Queen.

As the petition states, Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen. The petition continues “Donald Trump’s well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales. Therefore during the term of his presidency Donald Trump should not be invited to the United Kingdom for an official State Visit.”

This is a little detail, perhaps, but surely a significant one. 

trumpkate

Britons are presumably concerned that a man who used his Twitter account to encourage Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (then known as Kate Middleton), to sunbathe topless so that paparazzi could photograph her would be especially offensive to the Royal Family, who have frequently had to protest at the unwanted attentions of photographers, and who successfully sued to have the Middleton photographs restricted. The Royal Family would be far too polite to point this out, so the public are doing it for them.

And just days after Princess Diana died in a car crash, in which the paparazzi were again involved, President Trump notoriously asserted on the radio that he could have slept with her.

Howard Stern asked him: ‘Why do people think it’s egotistical of you to say you could’ve gotten with Lady Di? You could’ve gotten her, right? You could’ve nailed her.’ ‘I think I could have,’ Trump replied. 

The internet is full of funny memes about the Queen and Donald trump. This is our personal favourite.

The internet is full of funny memes about the Queen and Donald Trump. This is our personal favourite.

On the same radio show three years later, he referred to Lady Diana as ‘crazy, but these are minor details’, again saying he would have slept with her ‘without even hesitation’.

Presumably more than 1.8 million people feel the Queen shouldn’t be forced to share a royal carriage with such a man, much less have to make polite chit chat sitting next to him at dinner.

And no doubt similar considerations were behind House of Commons Speaker John Bercow’s overnight decision not to ask Mr Trump to address Parliament when he visits.

In a post-truth world, it surely pays to remember facts.

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Trumps wives

 

The internet’s ability to throw up genuinely funny and relevant commentary is one of the joys of living in today’s age.

Meanwhile, a petition to the UK Parliament asking that Mr Donald Trump, has now passed over 370,000 signatures, meaning that it will have to be considered, at least, for debate on the floor of the House of Commons. he has also been sacked as a business ambassador for Scotland by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

The candidate has issued a statement on the British petition to ban him from the country:

QuoteI have done so much for Scotland, including building Trump International Golf Links, Aberdeen, which has received the highest accolades, and is what many believe to be one of the greatest golf courses anywhere in the world. Additionally, I have made a significant investment in the re-development of the iconic Turnberry Resort, which will have massive ballrooms, complete room refurbishments, a new golf course and a total rebuilding of the world famous Ailsa course to the highest standards and specifications of the Royal & Ancient. If they were going to do this, they should have informed me prior to my major investment in this £200 million development, which will totally revitalise that vast region of Scotland.

Something of an un-reality show, frankly.

Something of an un-reality show, frankly.

The UK politicians should be thanking me instead of pandering to political correctness. In fact, in an article out today, many police officers in London have come forward to confirm their fears of terrorism.

I only said what needed to be said, and when I am elected no one will be tougher or smarter than me.

I will work very hard and effectively to defeat terrorism.

(Note: no British policemen has been killed by a terrorist act in the last five years.)

I have respect for the Muslim people and have great friendships with many Muslims, some of whom I do business with – but they themselves admit there is a major problem with radicalisation.

As President, I will work with Muslim representatives to determine a solution to eradicate the terrorism that has plagued the credibility of the Muslim community.

Furthermore, as the definitive front runner (with large leads in every poll) in the race to become the Republican nominee for President of the United States, and as the person leading in the polls head to head versus Hillary Clinton, my focus is to Make America Great Again!

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph in London reports that supposed arch anti-terrorist Trump has been mired in fresh controversy after footage emerged showing the Republican front-runner attending a Sinn Fein fundraiser in November 1995.

Mr Trump was also seen shaking hands with Gerry Adams at the function at the Essex House hotel in Manhattan.

Four months later the Provisional IRA unleashed a terror attack in London’s docklands,SouthKey_bombing_-_9.2.96 killing two people working at a newsagent and destroying a building at South Quay, just under a mile away from Canary Wharf.

This was despite the IRA having declared a “cessation of military operations” on August 31 1994.

The footage emerged with the controversy still raging over Mr Trump’s call for all Muslims to be denied entry to the US because of the terrorist threat. John Major, then British Prime Minister, was incensed that Mr Adams had been granted a visa to speak at the dinner, where guests paid $200 (£131) each to attend. At the time Mr Adams was regarded by many as an apologist for the IRA, Sinn Fein’s military wing.

Trumps upcoming visit to Israel also seems sure to cause yet further controversy, as dozens of MPs plead with Prime Minister Netanyahu to keep him out of the country. Netanyahu has also condemned Trumps attack on Muslims.

Have you had enough yet, Republican Party?

Meanwhile, as this well researched article points out, and as we have always said, Trumps current opinion poll standings may well mean nothing at all come the actual primaries.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/datablog/2015/dec/09/donald-trump-polls-past-elections-republican-nomination

So if not Trump, who? At this stage, we think Marco Rubio is the likely GOP pick. Telegenic, apparently not entirely mad like most of the other GOP contenders, young, and will appeal to the Latino vote. Calculations will be made that he can carry the key swing state of Florida, although recent boundary changes actually make that more difficult for the Republicans. Rubio’s ascent currently depends on a number of factors, including whether the father of four survives rumours about infidelity. The possible genesis of those allegations and rumours is discussed here. Thus far, the matter is unresolved.

There’s no doubt that fellow Floridian Jeb Bush – who has been distinctly underwhelming thus far – is taking Rubio on head on. As with the unsubstantiated affair rumours that helped derail Kevin McCarthy’s bid for speaker of the House, the mere existence of this gossip plays a role in the GOP race behind the scenes. Look at this slide from a Bush campaign presentation to donors, which was obtained by David Catanese of US News in October — and note the last bullet point in particular:

 

Politics. You gotta love it. Pass the popcorn.

 

It is a nightmare of Kafkaesque proportions.

Raif Badawi received the first 50 of his lashes in January

His family now say that Raif Badawi, already sentenced to a vicious public flogging and appalling ten years in prison, could also be tried for apostasy, which carries the death penalty.

The case attracted worldwide condemnation when he was publicly flogged in January.

Now his family say they have been told he is to be tried for apostasy.

“Apostasy charge is punishable under Saudi law with the death penalty by beheading,” they said in a message posted on Facebook.

“We also received confirmed information that the Supreme Court has referred Raif case to the same judge, who sentenced Raif with flogging and 10 years imprisonment.This judge is biased against Raif.”

Background to the case:

In July 2013 human rights activist Raif Badawi was sentenced in Saudi Arabia to seven years in jail, and 600 lashes, for insulting Islam. His sentence has now been increased to ten years and 1,000 lashes.

Raif and his children in happier times: one can hardly imagine how his family are suffering.

Raif and his children in happier times: one can hardly imagine how his family are suffering.

Badawi, founder of the Saudi Liberal Network, was convicted of “creating a website insulting Islam” and criticising the role of the notorious religious police. Before his arrest, Badawi’s network announced a “Day of Liberalism” and called for an end to the influence of religion on public life in Saudi Arabia. He has been languishing in jail since June 2012.

According to this report, the lawsuit against him was instigated by Saudi  by clerics. An appeals court overturned the original sentence and sent the case back for the case back for retrial, which culminated in the even harsher sentence.

A further court upheld the 10-year jail sentence and 1,000 lashes – also ordered him to pay a fine of one million riyals ($266,666).

The rights group’s co-founder, Souad Al Shamari said:

The only hope now is an amnesty from the king or a swift move by the justice minister to form a fair judicial committee. Even the worst terrorists have not received such a harsh sentence.

Mr Badawi, 31, received the first 50 of his 1,000 lashes in January. The rest of his punishment has been postponed because of injuries he sustained.

The flogging was surreptitiously filmed on a mobile phone, with footage uploaded to the internet.

It was conducted with a flexible stick, in front of a large crowd in the public square by the al-Jafali mosque in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Mr Badawi was allowed to keep his shirt on, as is normal in Saudi Arabia, lessening the effects somewhat, but he can still be seen to flinch.

“Raif told me he is in a lot of pain,” Mrs Haidar said in an earlier statement released by Amnesty International, which has campaigned on his behalf. “He said that when he was being flogged he took the pain silently and rose above it, so that history will know that he did not react to their punishment.

Badawi was also given a jail sentence and a fine of £175,000 after being convicted of insulting Islam on a liberal online forum he created.

His family said he could not originally be charged with apostasy – abandoning his faith – because the criminal court could not deal with crimes that carry the death penalty. That changed with a new regulation passed last year.

Ensaf Haidar, wife of Raif Badawi, takes part in a news conference calling for the release of her husband in January (Reuters)

Ensaf Haidar, wife of Raif Badawi, takes part in a news conference calling for the release of her husband in January (Reuters)

They asked that Mr Badawi be pardoned and allowed to travel to Canada, where his wife and three children are now living.

“We call on the world citizens and governments not to leave Raif dragged by such bigots to death,” they added.

The death penalty is the standard penalty for apostasy in the Muslim world, though it is rarely carried out, even in Saudi Arabia which still carries out regular executions.

The Prince of Wales is believed to have raised the case during meetings with King Salman during a visit to Saudi Arabia in February.

How long will this courageous man be permitted to suffer?

How long will this courageous man be permitted to suffer?

We can only hope that the gale of protest around the world at the treatment of this entirely innocent man can cause the new Saudi regime to release him. These are our ALLIES, after all, with whom we have a huge trade relationship. That should count for something in asking them to listen to our concerns.

If you wish to do something, why not tweet your call for Badawi to be immediately released, using the hashtag ‪#‎Raifbadawi‬ ?

Alternatively, or as well, sign the change.org petition? Click below, and thank you:

https://www.change.org/p/free-and-safeguard-the-liberal-saudi-raif-badawy-no-600-lashes

Or perhaps you could simple share this blog on your blog, or on your Facebook page?

Whatever you can do to help, thank you.

ass21

Sometimes a story come wandering across the Wellthisiswhatithink desk that make us righteously angry, squirming with embarrassment, and gets us shaking our heads in disbelief, all at the same time.

Toni Shelton, who lives in Sugar Creek, Missouri, has been repainting old tires to turn them into flower planters.

“I was just really interested in recycling and I’m really big on self-sufficiency,” she told KCTV news.

Dangerous radical seeks to make world more beautiful: authorities act

Dangerous radical seeks to make world more beautiful: authorities act decisively

Not only is Shelton using the tires decoratively, as painted flower planters, but also to grow fresh vegetables for her family.

Sounds like a great idea, right?

After all, recycling is one of the most important things we can do to preserve our planet for future generations.

Apparently, the authorities in Sugar Creek do not agree.

They have issued Shelton a citation, but she is refusing to pay the fine on principle. Instead, she is prepared to go to jail after she was threatened by authorities in her home town.

Why are these tires such a threat to Sugar Creek? Well, apparently the number of tires she was storing could attract mosquitoes and lower property values.

Oh no! What could be more important than property values?

Well, let’s even concede the town has a point. Citing her, and threatening to prosecute her, is ludicrous. Even though the police department said they don’t have a problem with her using the tires as planters, they told her to get rid of her unused supply and fined her before she had a chance to move them.

From rawstory:

“We’d asked her to put them somewhere else because there were quite a number of them,” Sugar Creek Chief Herb Soule insisted.”We try to keep people from accumulating tires because they retain water and they attract mosquitos. They detract from property values in the neighborhood too.”

She looks dangerous to us.

She looks dangerous to us.

In response, Shelton has now moved most of the old tires and is storing some of them inside of an old truck.

Still, she said she won’t get rid of all the tires because she said it would send the wrong message to her children. And to other environmentally aware people, presumably.

“I don’t want my kids to see me back down and not follow my heart,” she explained.

Anyhow, unless pressure not to do so can be brought to bear, the case will be heard in municipal court in Sugar Creek next week.

Missouri officials don’t seem to be aware, but here are some of the benefits of recycling:

•    Recycling protects and expands US manufacturing jobs and increases US competitiveness;
•    Recycling reduces the need for landfilling and incineration;
•    Recycling prevents pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials;
•    Recycling saves energy;
•    Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change;
•    Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals;
•    Recycling helps sustain the environment for future generations.

Shelton’s way of recycling these ugly objects should be applauded rather than punished. Shelton has moved her unused supply of tires to an enclosed space, but she says she’d rather go to jail than pay a citation for trying to set a good example for her kids.

Tell Sugar Creek recycling tires isn’t a crime.

If you agree that Toni Shelton is improving the environment by recycling old tires and that, far from being punished, she should be applauded, please sign the petition demanding that all charges against her be dropped immediately. They have 238 signatures already, (after I have just added mine), and are seeking at least 5,000. Let’s get it done, people.

Fellow bloggers, please PRESS THIS.

FUN FACTMr.Bumble_thumb

The phrase “the law is an ass” was popularized by Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, when the character Mr. Bumble is informed that “The law supposes that your wife acts under your direction”.

Mr. Bumble grumpily replies “If the law supposes that … the law is a [sic] ass — a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience.”

Marissa Alexander … if you want to defend yourself in Florida, you’d better be white and wealthy.

The jury took 12 minutes to convict. 12 MINUTES.

No one died. No one was even hurt.

A woman defended herself against abusive violence by firing a warning shot, in a state where such action is explicitly permitted by law.

Today, she faces 20 years in jail. TWENTY YEARS.

Read the story, and weep that the American justice system still acts like this.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/02/marissa-alexander-florida-stand-your-ground_n_1472647.html

A petition has now been set up to address the case. I urge you to sign it.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/503/600/056/dont-imprison-marissa-alexander-for-standing-her-ground/

Marissa could have got if with 3 years if she accepted a plea bargain but she refused in the hope she could convince the jury and judge her firing the weapon was self-defense.

A million people have signed petitions, from around the USA and around the world. One million people have weighed the evidence, and found it fatally flawed. ONE MILLION.

Troy Davis dies at 7pm unless we can save him

Troy Davis dies at 7pm unless we can save him

People like the Pope, Archbishop Tutu and President Jimmy Carter have condemned the conviction as unsafe. A host of conservative figures are among those who have advocated on Davis’ behalf, including former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr and former Texas Governor Mark White (both death penalty supporters), ex-Justice Department official Larry Thompson and one-time FBI Director William Sessions.

And yet the fools on the Georgia Parole and Pardons Board know better. Is it that they simply believe that some black man has to die for the death of a white officer, so it may as well be Davis? They clearly don’t care that killing him lets the true murderer walk free.

Despite the late hour, there is still time to appeal to Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm by signing the Amnesty petition to him here, even if you have previously signed the larger petition given to the paroles board: http://tinyurl.com/4y67t93

Chisholm is pretending he doesn’t have the power to intervene. In my opinion he is blatantly just trying to defuse the heat in the situation and ducking his responsibility. Let us hope that the uproar if Troy is killed will cost him his job.

Yahoo reported the news as follows: “The board has considered the totality of the information presented in this case and thoroughly deliberated on it, after which the decision was to deny clemency,” the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles said in its statement on Tuesday.

The five person parole board that will allow Troy to be killed

The five person parole board that will allow Troy to be killed

The panel, which convened on Monday in the state capital, Atlanta, and deliberated overnight, added that board members “have not taken their responsibility lightly, and certainly understand the emotions attached to a death penalty case”, but nevertheless had rejected his appeal for clemency.

(However, the sole woman on the Board used to be with a police dept, one member was the ex-counsel of the Prosecuting Attorneys Assoc. of Georgia and one was a former Commissioner of Corrections in Georgia. Not likely to have the backbone to grant clemency for an alleged cop killer no matter how obvious it is that they got the wrong guy for the crime.)

Davis was convicted of shooting to death an off-duty police officer who intervened in a brawl in a car park in Savannah, Georgia in 1989, but there was no physical evidence and seven out of nine witnesses later recanted their testimony, some (including a boy who was 16 at the time of the shooting) claiming police coercian and threats of being jailed themselves. Seems like the good old boys are alive and well in the southern states of the US.

Davis escaped three previous dates with death during more than two decades of appeals. All avenues now appear exhausted as Georgia’s governor does not have the power to stay executions and experts said any last-minute filings to the state courts or the US Supreme Court would likely prove to be unsuccessful.

Barring an unexpected turn of events, Davis will be put to death by lethal injection at 2300 GMT on Wednesday (0900 AEST Thursday) at a prison in Jackson, south of Atlanta, with the victim’s widow and children looking on.

Davis repeatedly has maintained his innocence and his supporters pointed to a corrupted justice system in the deep South, saying a black man was wrongly and hastily convicted of killing a white police officer.

“I am utterly shocked and disappointed at the failure of our justice system at all levels to correct a miscarriage of justice,” Davis lawyer Brian Kammer said as rights groups and anti-death penalty activists rushed to condemn the decision.

Amnesty International said the prosecution’s case against Davis long ago had been shown to be flawed.

“Seven out of nine original state witnesses recanted or changed their original testimonies, some alleging police coercion,” said Amnesty’s US director, Larry Cox. “Ten people have pointed to one of the remaining witnesses as the actual killer. There is no murder weapon that links Davis to the crime. Any notion of physical evidence that demonstrates Davis’ guilt has been debunked.”

Amnesty called a protest rally at the Georgia state capitol exactly 24 hours before Davis is due to become the 34th person to be executed in the United States this year.

At a protest outside Monday’s parole board hearing, an estimated 150 to 200 demonstrators carried signs saying “Justice, Free Troy Davis” and “We are Troy Davis”. Another placard read “Too much Doubt. Save Troy Davis.”

Supporters have appealed for Davis to be allowed to take a polygraph test, and a Georgia State Senator has urged prison staff to strike to prevent the execution going ahead. But as things stand, Troy will be dead a little after 7pm Thursday.

Personally, I trust Satan has a special place in Hell reserved for those who have allowed this to happen. Their immortal souls are doomed. One can only hope they reflect on this as they head to Church next Sunday. Hypocrites and cowards the lot of them.

Having signed the latest petition, all we can really do is pray. For a peaceful calm for Troy as he walks to an unjust death, and for the tears of his family as they watch him die.

If you ever sign a petition, sign this one. http://www.avaaz.org/en/sudan_enough_is_enough/?copy

We are running out of time