Chelsea Manning submits request for presidential pardon
September 5, 2013
WikiLeaks whistle-blower Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison last month. Tuesday, in an appeal addressed to President Obama, the Army private’s lawyer asked that his client be pardoned or, at the very least, have her sentence reduced to time served.
Manning has already spent three years in a military prison for leaking documents that her lawyer, David E. Coombs, says were “either unclassified or contained information that the public had a right to know.” Slate discusses the request’s contents:
The earliest Manning could be considered for parole is in 7 years. In the letter, Manning’s lawyer writes, “the length of Private Manning’s sentence is one that we would expect for someone who disclosed information in order to harm the United States or who disclosed information for monetary gain. Private Manning did neither. Instead, he disclosed information that he believed could spark a meaningful public debate on the costs of war, and specifically on how we value human life.”
Referring to Manning as a “military whistleblower,” the letter says Manning “has already paid a heavy price for his conduct.”…Manning’s pardon request refers to Chelsea Manning by her former name, Bradley Manning.
The letter reminds Obama that the documents Manning revealed simply “embarrassed” the U.S. because they exposed the “misconduct” and “unethical practices” carried out by government officials. Coombs also emphasizes the importance of the role whistle-blowers play in our country: Regardless of any embarrassment they may cause, they are essential to ensuring government accountability. Punishments as drastic as those Manning has faced and continues to endure will only discourage patriots wishing to reveal injustices in the future.
Manning also writes in the request herself, according to The Guardian:
“I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have a country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.”
In other words, enough’s enough, Mr. President. Free Chelsea Manning and send the message that America stands behind whistle-blowers who try to improve our society by opening conversations that are crucial to a nation that calls itself a democracy.
Soledad O’Brien tricks Kingsley Browne into supporting racial segregation in the military, and in doing sodraws a strong link between the arguments against women in combat and the arguments of the 1940s against African-Americans in combat. (The same applies to similarities to arguments against ending DADT.) Being familiar with Kingsley Browne’s work (lots of publication on why women will ruin war if allowed in combat), he totally deserved the takedown. Below is an excerpt, but watch the video for full impact.
O’BRIEN: I’m going to read a little bit from this colonel who said this: ‘The army is not a sociological laboratory; to be effective it must be organized and trained according to the principles which will ensure success…Experiments are a danger to efficiency, discipline and morale and would result in ultimate defeat.’
KINGSLEY BROWNE: I think that that’s true. I don’t think it’s true with respect to ultimate defeat of the United States in a war. I think what’s likely to occur though is the defeat of the United States in small battles, which means people are going to die. […]
O’BRIEN: That was from a guy in 1941. And that argument was about not allowing black people in the military. That was his exact argument of why blacks should not be allowed in the military, because it’s a danger to efficiency and discipline and morale and will result in ultimate defeat.
Every time a man argues “well we can’t have women on the front lines because SEXUAL DISTRACTIONS” I wince.
Men should be enraged that that is even an argument worth stating on TV. This idea that men are so utterly inept at keeping their emotions and cocks in check is humiliating and offensive.
Also O’Brien’s smirk
oh my god
(Photo: Getty Images / Office of Nancy Pelosi)
After posing for that cheesy portrait for the holiday card, we all know about the headaches group portraits can cause. For House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic congresswomen, it’s turned into something of a migraine.
A recent report from progressive watchdog organization Media Matters found that despite the hot-button nature of Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, cable news networks in America have seriously lagged in covering the legislation. In November, for example, the viral music video for “Gangnam Style” by South Korean rapper Psy received more coverage on CNN and Fox News than Uganda’s attempt to kill LGBT people. In fact, Fox didn’t cover the legislation at all. Notably, MSNBC devoted twice as much airtime to covering the “Kill the Gays” bill as it did to discussing “Gangnam Style.” (via The Advocate)
We need to talk about why we’re not talking about Uganda.
This weekend, a state-sponsored cash-for-guns program in Camden County, New Jersey, saw the return of 1,137 firearms — the most successful buyback in state history, and not the only record-breaking return haul since Friday’s massacre.
Read more. [Images: AP]
The parents of a little boy who darted past the shooter just before his teacher and classmates were slaughtered put up a sign asking people not to ring their doorbell, CNN reported. Every time it rang, they said, their six-year-old son thought the gunman had found him.
Blogging sure hasn’t done any favors to journalistic ethics. But the mainstream media seems delighted to shoot itself in the foot with a sawed off shotgun.
“The parents of a little boy who darted past the shooter just before his teacher and classmates were slaughtered put up a sign asking people not to ring their doorbell, CNN reported. Every time it rang, they said, their six-year-old son thought the gunman had found him.”
WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK
School in New Delhi offers free education to India’s poor children
December 5, 2012
One Indian man has become a hero after he began educating New Delhi’s poorest children — and even went as far as creating a free school for them under a metro bridge.
According to NBC News, Rajesh Kumar Sharma teaches at least 30 children every day. Most of the children come from neighboring poor villages.
For two hours every weekday, Sharma leaves his day-job at a general store in Shakarpur — his brother fills in for him — so that he can teach the children, reported Yahoo News.
Sharma, a 40-year-old father of three from Aligarh, was forced to drop out of college in his third year due to financial difficulties. When he decided to start the free school, he didn’t want other children to face the same difficulties he had.
“Whenever I passed by this area, I would notice that children were spending all their time in the fields or playing around,” he told the Indian Express.
He eventually persuaded local laborers and farmers to allow their children to attend his school instead of working to add to the family income. He hopes to equip these children with the tools necessary to overcome their poverty.
“They come here everyday. I manage to keep them ahead of the school curriculum,” Sharma told the Indian Express.
He even allows children technically too young to attend the government school to sit in the classroom.
Sharma starts at the basics and helps prepare the children for admission to government schools. When he started the school a year ago, he had 140 students. Now 70 of them are in government schools, reported Yahoo News.
“Our teacher has told us that when poverty strikes, you should open your mind, and that can be done only through education,” Abhishek, 15, a student of Sharma’s told the Indian Express.
His work isn’t limited to the school under the bridge, though. Sharma has been teaching underprivileged children in other parts of the city as well.
“I mostly taught laborers’ children. As they moved from site to site, it got difficult to follow them everywhere,” he said.
Laxmi Chandra, a postgraduate in science, also helps out at the school.
“I don’t take attendance. They love coming here because there are no school-like boundaries. In fact, I want to keep it like that,” Chandra told the Indian Express.
Sharma says his greatest achievement is changing the attitude of his students’ parents. Many of them now encourage their children to study.
“They understand that if children in the villages in the interiors of the country can go to schools, why not in the national capital.”
The United States spent 121 billion minutes on social media sites in July 2012 alone, according to Nielsen’s annual Social Media report. That’s 388 minutes — or 6-1/2 hours — per person (if every person in the U.S. used social media). All together, that’s 230,060 years we spent staring into the glaring screen of so-called sharing, instead of going outside and playing with our friends, like we’re supposed to do in July!
HUMANITY IS DOOMED