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News :: Civil & Human Rights

Mayor Scott Kennedy apologizes to Robert Norse for libelous comment

Sentinel writer, Dan White, reported on Mayor Scott Kennedy's formal apology to Robert Norse for falsely stating that Norse had been "successfully prosecuted" for a 2 second hand gesture (no,not that hand gesture!)given at a City Council meeting. Norse had been arrested but no charges were ever filed. Here is Dan White's article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

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News :: Government & Elections

Kerry Committed War Crimes, 'Burned Villages' in Viet Nam

Another site, Wintersoldier.com, places records from Sen. Kerry's anti-war protests online, including the transcript of the full question and answer session before a U.S. Senate committee, where the young Vietnam veteran detailed, among other activities, his trip as a civilian to the Paris Peace talks involving the U.S., South Vietnamese and North Vietnamese governments.

"I have been to Paris. I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks -- that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government," Kerry said during testimony on April 22, 1971, before the Foreign Relations Committee, according to the transcript posted on the site.

Wintersoldier.com also features audio sound bites -- in the MP3 format -- of Kerry describing what he did in Vietnam, both in testimony before the Senate and in an interview.

"Yes, I committed the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed," Kerry said in the sound bite. "I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages."

http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20040309-122413-8660r




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News :: Education & Youth : Peace & War

Leftwing Fascism in Santa Cruz

Leftist Campus Fascists strike again

UCSC Backs Islamists, Not Israel

By Leila Beckwith
Santa Cruz Sentinel | March 10, 2004

On Feb. 19, more than 400 people — faculty, students and members of the community from as far north as Berkeley and as far south as Monterey — attended a current-events lecture on the UC Santa Cruz campus given by Dennis Prager, a national columnist and radio talk-show host. The lecture was organized by a collaborative effort from a group of UCSC faculty, students and community members in order to address the imbalance of ideas presented on the UCSC campus over many years.

Prager spoke of the distortion of reality about Israel and the Middle East that is presented on college campuses. Many faculty of American universities, including UCSC, are leftist politically, which leads them to be anti-Israel. Prager’s message was that leftist faculty on university campuses purport to believe in diversity, freedom of religion, gay rights, women’s rights, environmental protections and non-violence. But they defy their own beliefs in their support of the Palestinian Authority, which is a violent, terrorist political entity with no respect for civil rights. As Prager stated, the Palestinians are immersed in a culture of death in which their goal is the destruction of Israel. Destruction or survival of Israel is the central issue of the conflict, not borders or territory or statehood.

For many years, there has been a steady stream of anti-Israel speakers on the UCSC campus, with many of the speakers funded by the university out of your tax money. Ten university departments, colleges and research groups previously have sponsored anti-Israel speakers and events. When given an opportunity to redress their bias by co-sponsoring the Dennis Prager lecture, all but one refused. Some simply ignored the request; others refused on the grounds that it would "not advance dialogue," as if presenting only one side advances dialogue. It is very telling that two of the colleges that refused to co-sponsor the Prager talk agreed to sponsor a virulently anti-Israel event, organized by the Muslim Student Association, to occur at the same time as the Prager lecture.

You may disagree with Prager, but that is exactly the point. The very essence of a university is the pursuit of truth, fostered by a free marketplace of ideas. As stated in the Principles on Academic Freedom published by the American Association of University Professors, "Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition."

The higher goal of an educational enterprise is that faculty and students examine a diversity of facts and opinion in order to reach the truth.

Unfortunately, the mission of a great institution, such as the University of California, has been hijacked at UCSC by stifling an open, thorough inquiry of a diversity of ideas. As citizens of the state of California, do you want the university to use your money to promulgate a narrow, partisan view and to indoctrinate your children? I do not.

Leila Beckwith, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus at UCLA.

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News :: Police State

PROHIBITION: Henry Huante, Another Innocent Victim of the Drug War

enry Angel Huante, a Santa Cruz resident, was convicted Thursday by the Morality Police of the victimless crimes of attempting to purchase heroin, and also of owning a pipe. He is a legal adult.

Santa Cruz, CA -

Henry Angel Huante was sentenced Thursday to a year in a jail-based drug-rehabilitation program.

Huante, a Beach Flats resident, was on probation after another victimless drug-sales conviction when he was arrested Jan. 21 for trying to buy heroin from an undercover deputy and having drug paraphernalia.

The purchase of heroin and possession of a pipe, like buying alcohol owning a bottle, is a victimless crime that hurts no one. At 28 years old, Huante has been a legal adult for a decade.

Grand Inquisitor Anna Rubalcava and her bureacrats Thursday urged time in the government dungeons for Huante, citing his record and earlier failure to conform to government-sanctioned morality.

But His Highness, Judge John Salazar, chose a jail-based drug treatment program after several pointed questions to Huante.

"Why should I not send you to prison?" he demanded.

Huante, fearing the torture of prison, surrendered his rights and dignity, promising to change "everything" in his life including making new friends more acceptable to the government, and to remove any body art expressing membership in, or loyalty to, any groups of people of which His Highness disapproved.

Originally arrested and searched on charges relating to an April 2002 downtown shooting, those charges were dropped after the gun that had been used was determined not to be Huante's after all, and because supposed eye witnesses were later determined by police to be "unreliable".

Thus the original grounds for arresting and searching Huante to begin with, may have been fabricated.

In 1920, Washington DC amended the US Constitution to declare alcohol illegal, sparking 14 years of gang warfare and government repression until the amendment was repealed in 1934 and freedom to drink was restored to legal adults.

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Commentary :: Government & Elections : Peace & War

open letter to M20 activists

A reminder of why we're doing this.

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News :: Alternative Media

Caracas Journal: Pirate Radio as Public Radio, in the President’s Corner

independent media creating participatory democracy in Revolutionary Venezuela

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News :: Gender & Sexuality

BATTLE OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

Responding to pleas from local gays and lesbians, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz county officials say they are weighing whether to join San Francisco's lawsuit against the state ban on same-sex licenses. The Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the issue Tuesday. Officials say that Santa Clara County Supervisors may take up the issue next month.

Santa Cruz County supervisors are also scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to urge the county clerk to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The board has no authority to order the independently elected clerk to act.


BATTLE OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
Justices don't act immediately on S.F. case

Harriet Chiang, Chronicle Legal Affairs Writer

Saturday, March 6, 2004

Opposing sides in San Francisco's same-sex marriage controversy made their final pitches to the California Supreme Court on Friday as they anxiously awaited word on whether the state's top court will step in and decide the fate of gay and lesbian weddings.

In briefs filed with the court, San Francisco city attorneys asked the justices to refrain from taking any action now and allow two lawsuits pending in Superior Court over San Francisco's parade of same-sex nuptials to go to trial and wind its way through the legal system.

The legal maneuver was made in response to a request by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer eight days ago that the high court put a halt to the marriage procession that began Feb. 12, when Newsom ordered County Clerk Nancy Alfaro to begin issuing the licenses.

Mayor Gavin Newsom said Friday that he expects the city to vigorously defend its actions in court for as long as necessary to grant gays and lesbians the right to marry.

"We're practicing what we preach here in San Francisco as it relates to providing marriage certificates in a nondiscriminatory way,'' the mayor said. " I think there's a principle at stake that we've got to stand up and fight for. So we're going to see this to the end.''

Meanwhile, attorneys for three San Francisco residents who also have asked the justices to stop the weddings, launched a new legal assault with the court Friday, filing a brief that specifically defends the constitutionality of California laws that bar gay and lesbian weddings. The court has the discretion whether to accept Friday's briefs.

Robert Tyler, a lawyer with the Alliance Defense Fund, a religious rights advocacy group, said his clients were taking the action because Lockyer, in filing his petition with the court last week, didn't adequately defend the state laws Newsom is defying. Tyler has said in the past that his clients don't trust Lockyer because they consider him a reluctant advocate in defending the state laws.

"California not only has a rational reason, but it has a compelling reason to preserve marriage between a man and a woman," Tyler said on the steps of the state building. "Just because a rogue mayor decides on his own that a law is unconstitutional does not mean he's right."

Lockyer is seeking to have the justices snatch the controversy from the Superior Court and resolve it themselves to clear up the confusion and uncertainty between local and state agencies. He also is asking the court to stop the same-sex marriage process and invalidate some 3,600 unions that have taken place since Feb. 12.

The city is arguing that state laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman violate the equal protection rights of gays and lesbians under the state constitution. In a new twist, the city also contends that Newsom also was acting under the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection, raising the possibility that the case may eventually be decided by the nation's highest court.

Meanwhile, San Francisco's legal defense of same-sex marriage may be gaining support from other Bay Area communities.

Responding to pleas from local gays and lesbians, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz county officials say they are weighing whether to join San Francisco's lawsuit against the state ban on same-sex licenses. The Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the issue Tuesday. Officials say that Santa Clara County Supervisors may take up the issue next month.

Santa Cruz County supervisors are also scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to urge the county clerk to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The board has no authority to order the independently elected clerk to act.

In San Jose, the City Council is expected Tuesday to grant marriage benefits to gay and lesbian city employees whose same-sex marriages have been "certified'' in San Francisco or other jurisdictions. The move would give them equal treatment as heterosexual married municipal employees. If approved, San Jose would become the first major city to recognize same-sex weddings performed outside its jurisdiction.

The furor over whether gays and lesbians can marry continued to reverberate outside California. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg told 80 journalists at a lesbian and gay fund-raising dinner in Manhattan on Thursday night that he favored changing state law to legalize same-sex unions, four people who were there said Friday. In another part of the state, Ulster County Supreme Court judge ordered New Paltz Mayor Jason West to stop performing same-sex marriages for a month. Earlier in the week, the district attorney filed charges against West for performing marriages without a license.

In Wisconsin and Kansas, lawmakers took steps to amend their respective state constitutions to ban gay marriages. A similar measure in Idaho died Friday in a state Senate Committee.

Chronicle staff writers Alan Gathright, Paul Feist, Rona Marech, Rachel Gordon and news services contributed to this report.E-mail Harriet Chiang at hchiang@sfchronicle.com

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News :: Civil & Human Rights

A Look at Gay Marriage in Some Countries

Thu Mar 4, 1:58 PM ET

By The Associated Press

Here is the legal status of gay marriage in Europe and other parts of the world:



Belgium — Legalized gay marriage in 2002.


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Britain — Plans to introduce legislation soon authorizing civil unions giving gay couples legal recognition with most of the rights enjoyed by married partners.


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Canada — Considering legislation to legalize gay marriage.


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Denmark — The first country to legalize same-sex unions in 1989, later giving couples adoption rights. Other Nordic countries followed in 1990s.


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France — Allows civil unions since 2000.


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Germany — Introduced civil unions in 2001.


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Italy — Does not recognize same-sex unions.


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The Netherlands — Became the first country to legalize gay marriages outright in 2001.


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Portugal_ Lesbian and gay couples who live together acquire the same rights as heterosexuals in common-law marriages.

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Spain — Like most Roman Catholic countries, Spain does not recognize gay unions. But some northern regions, such as Navarra and the Basque country, recognize gay common-law couples and accord them rights of spouses.

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South Africa_ Recognized gay rights in its constitution after apartheid ended in 1994. Activists are preparing litigation to have the common law definition of marriage extended to include same-sex couples.

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Switzerland_ Its largest city, Zurich, started recognizing registered gay couples last July. Geneva also recognizes same-sex couples, although grants them fewer rights. Swiss authorities are considering whether to introduce a national law to harmonize treatment throughout the country.


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