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Nurses Fired for Refusing Flu Shot An Indiana hospital has fired eight employees, including at least three veteran nurses, after they refused mandatory flu shots, stirring up controversy over which should come first: employee rights or patient safety. The hospital imposed mandatory vaccines, responding to rising concerns about the spread of influenza.
Ethel Hoover wore all black on her last day of work as a nurse in the critical care unit at Indiana University Health Goshen Hospital. She said she was in "mourning" because she would have been at the hospital 22 years in February, and she's only called out of work four or five times in her whole career , she said.
"This is my body. I have a right to refuse the flu vaccine," Hoover, 61, told ABCNews.com. "For 21 years, I have religiously not taken the flu vaccine, and now you're telling me that I believe in it."
More than 15,100 flu cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since Sept. 30, including 16 pediatric deaths. Indiana's flu activity level is considered high, according to the CDC, which last month announced that the flu season came a month earlier than usual. (ABC)
Watching Protesters Risk It All As democracy protests spread across the Middle East, we as journalists struggle to convey the sights and sounds, the religion and politics. But there’s one central element that we can’t even begin to capture: the raw courage of men and women — some of them just teenagers — who risk torture, beatings and even death because they want freedoms that we take for granted.
Here in Bahrain on Saturday, I felt almost physically ill as I watched a column of pro-democracy marchers approach the Pearl Roundabout, the spiritual center of their movement. One day earlier, troops had opened fire on marchers there, with live ammunition and without any warning. So I flinched and braced myself to watch them die. - To me, this feels like the Arab version of 1776. And don’t buy into the pernicious whisper campaign from dictators that a more democratic Middle East will be fundamentalist, anti-American or anti-women. For starters, there have been plenty of women on the streets demanding change (incredibly strong women, too!).
For decades, the United States embraced corrupt and repressive autocracies across the Middle East, turning a blind eye to torture and repression in part because of fear that the “democratic rabble” might be hostile to us. Far too often, we were both myopic and just plain on the wrong side. (New York Times)
Obama Visits a Nation That Knew Him as Barry The two houses where he spent part of his boyhood stand pretty much the way they did when he went back to Hawaii four decades ago. The two schools he attended have grown larger but, in spirit, remain unchanged. Some of his old friends can still be found around the neighborhood.
Near one of his homes here, the same family still runs a wooden stall selling gado-gado, an Indonesian salad covered in peanut sauce. Agus Salam, who took over the business from his mother years ago, played soccer with the American boy everybody here called Barry.
“His house — all the houses around here — haven’t changed,” said Mr. Salam, 56.
When President Obama visits Jakarta on Tuesday, he will find a city that, in some ways, has changed beyond recognition. A city of one luxury hotel and one shopping mall when Mr. Obama lived here between 1967 and 1971, Jakarta is now the overextended and overcrowded capital of the world’s fourth most populous nation. But Jakarta’s neighborhoods, including the two where Mr. Obama lived, retain enough of their former selves that the president would quickly find his bearings. (New York Times)
Really Can't See Myself Voting Republican I don't care how many Ken Mehlmans come out of the closet or how little gays and lesbians have to show for helping to elect Barack Obama: I can't see myself voting Republican. Because I'm not—despite what you may have read in Slog's comments threads—a single-issue voter.
But honestly... I am a lot less enthused about voting for, and giving money to, Democrats these days. Still going to vote for 'em, just not enthused. Feeling pretty tepid. And I suspect that I'm not alone. - If we get no progress under Democrats (just empty promises meant to excite their base), but no regress under Republicans (just empty threats meant to excite their base), why should we waste our time--and our money--worrying about who's in charge? - So here's where we're at: everyone who cares about gay issues is mad at the Democrats. The homophobes are angry because the Democrats suggested that they might do something about gay rights; gays and lesbians are furious with the Democrats for failing to do something—failing to do anything—about gay rights. Since doing nothing pisses off the gay haters just as much as doing something, perhaps the Dems should've have done something and won the enthusiastic support of someone. (The Stranger)
Ron Paul to Sunshine Patriots: Stop Your Demagogy About The NYC Mosque! Congressman Ron Paul today released the following statement on the controversy concerning the construction of an Islamic Center and Mosque in New York City:
Is the controversy over building a mosque near ground zero a grand distraction or a grand opportunity? Or is it, once again, grandiose demagoguery?
It has been said, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” Are we not overly preoccupied with this controversy, now being used in various ways by grandstanding politicians? It looks to me like the politicians are “fiddling while the economy burns.”
The debate should have provided the conservative defenders of property rights with a perfect example of how the right to own property also protects the 1st Amendment rights of assembly and religion by supporting the building of the mosque.
Instead, we hear lip service given to the property rights position while demanding that the need to be “sensitive” requires an all-out assault on the building of a mosque, several blocks from “ground zero.” (Ron Paul)
Obama movie debuts in Indonesia A film about US President Barack Obama's childhood days in Indonesia made its debut in Jakarta on Wednesday, promising a very different perspective on the man in the White House.
"Obama Anak Menteng" or "Obama the Menteng Kid", is set in the upscale Jakarta neighbourhood of Menteng, where Obama lived from 1967 to 1971 with his mother and Indonesian stepfather.
Co-director Damien Dematra said it showed the US president in a light that Americans might find strange. - A scene showing Obama, who is a Christian, praying like a Muslim was dropped as it was deemed "too political", Dematra said.
"He was just imitating other kids when they were praying but it didn't mean he wanted to be Muslim. That scene wasn't even shot because I didn't want people to take it out of context and use it against him," he said.
Based on his interviews with Obama's surviving neighbours and friends in the Indonesian capital, Dematra claims the film is "60 percent fact and 40 percent fiction". (Agence France-Presse)
A democratic dark spot in Indonesia Unless Yudhoyono plans some dramatic changes for his second term, Jakarta's duplicitous laws and reliance on militarized commerce in West Papua will continue to devastate its largest province (Asia Times)
Israel must attack Iran, insists Bolton Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton told The Washington Post on Thursday that the only way left to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is to support an Israeli military strike on the Islamic Republic (Israel Today)
The Conspiracy Files: 7/7 But I also think it is important to investigate the conspiracy theories that continue to develop around 7 July attacks, because they play on the fears of the Muslim community and spread a highly divisive and damaging message (editorial) (BBC)
The Big Hate Back in April, there was a huge fuss over an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security warning that current conditions resemble those in the early 1990s - a time marked by an upsurge of right-wing extremism that culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing (New York Times)
James Von Brunn: A Profile On December 7, 1981, a man named James W. Von Brunn pulled out a sawed-off shotgun at the Federal Reserve Board headquarters, claiming to have planted a bomb and threatening to take members of the Board hostage (TPM Muckraker)
Attacks validate DHS report, some say Civil rights activists say a string of recent attacks blamed on right-wing extremists, including Wednesday’s shooting at the Holocaust Museum, show that conservative critics were too quick to fault the Department of Homeland Security over an April report warning about the potential for such violence (Politico)
Barack Obama's Cairo Speech: Zbigniew Brzezinski on Rachel Maddow "There's no doubt over recent years, both many Americans viewed the world in a very very skewed fashion," Brzezinski replied, "and many outside of America, had a totally conspiratorial view of America, including even the idea that 9/11 was somehow or other a put up job and really wasn't done by Osama Bin Laden and others, so I think president Obama is breaking through a whole mythology that has paralysed American dealings with the world." (MSNBC)