Marijuana Legalization Initiative Increasingly Popular Among California Voters

From Alternet: http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/09/30/marijuana-legalization-initiative-increasingly-popular-among-california-voters/

Posted by Paul Armentano at 10:27 am
September 30, 2010

More than half of Californians now say that they will vote ‘yes’ this November on Proposition 19, which would legalize the private adult use and cultivation of limited amounts of cannabis, and allow local governments the option of regulating its commercial production and retail distribution.

The latest poll of 2,004 likely voters throughout the state by the Public Policy Institute of California reports that 52 percent of Californians back Prop. 19, versus 41 percent opposed and seven percent undecided.

Of the statewide propositions polled, only Prop. 19 possessed majority support among California voters. In fact, the same poll reports that a greater percentage of voters now back Prop. 19 than support incumbent Democrat Senators Barbara Boxer (42%) and Dianne Feinstein (44%), Senate Republican challenger Carly Fiorina (35%), Gubernatorial Democrat candidate Jerry Brown (37%) or Gubernatorial Republican candidate Meg Whitman (38%).

Historically, ballot initiative campaigns lose support in the months prior to election day. But Prop. 19 is bucking this trend, as recent results from the Field Poll, Survey USA, and polltracker.com clearly show that marijuana legalization is maintaining, and in some cases gaining, voter support as we approach November 2, 2010.

Proposition 19 is endorsed by a broad coalition of divergent and powerful interest groups, including the California NAACP; the Latino Voters League; the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); the National Black Police Association; the United Food and Commercial Workers, (UFCW) Western States Council; the California Council of Churches IMPACT; Firedog Lake; the California Green Party; and the Republican Liberty Caucus. These organizations, along with millions of Californians, agree that it is time to end criminal marijuana prohibition in California.

If you live in California but are not registered to vote, you can do so by going here. Help make history on November 2!

At least 78 GOP candidates would force women to bear rapists’ babies

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/78-gop-candidates-force-rapists-babies/

By Daniel Tencer
Thursday, September 30th, 2010 — 7:51 pm

A partial list of Republican candidates running for US Congress in this year’s mid-term elections shows that at least 78 of them have professed to oppose abortion in all cases, including where rape or incest are involved.

The Republican National Coalition For Life, a political action committee formed by anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schlafly, sends out questionnaires every election season to Republican candidates asking them to lay out their positions on abortion.

A list of responses from this year’s candidates indicate that 78 Senate and House candidates answered that they are “pro-life without discrimination,” meaning they don’t agree with any exceptions to a ban on abortion.

The list was flagged earlier this week by Charles Johnson at the Little Green Footballs blog. Johnson counted 112 candidates who hold that view of abortion, but a Raw Story count of the listed candidates found 78 who have won their primary and indicated they would make no exceptions to allow abortion.

Continue reading at:   http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/78-gop-candidates-force-rapists-babies/

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Why Do Neo-Nazi anti-Gay Bigots all Look Gay? II

I caught a clip of,  Andrew Shirvell, the Michigan Assistant Attorney General who is harassing the gay student who is the Michigan State University Assembly President.

They showed Andrew Shirvell on CNN and he is one of those queens with the obviousness written on his body and in his mannerisms.  The Gaydar needle totally red zones with this closet queen.

He needs disbarment for criminal harassment and psychotherapy to come to grips with his gayness so he can find a boy friend instead of spewing hatred towards gay people with the decency and courage to live their lives as proud members of the LGBT/TQA communities.

Crack Down on Importation of Legitimate Pharmaceuticals into the USA?

I am writing this at 2:00am.

I was checking my e-mail before going to bed and read the following in The Bilrico Digest I get every evening:

Inhousepharmacy.com stops shipping to the US Filed by: Alex Blaze September 29, 2010 6:00 PM”

My feelings regarding this are:
Many transsexual and transgender people purchase their prescriptions from non-US based pharmacies.  We do this for numerous reasons including concern regarding being denied Medical Insurance should these prescriptions be discovered by the Health Insurance companies that have written exclusionary policies and so often deny coverage to people based on the flimsiest of excuses and also have a history of dropping coverage at times when patients most need it.

The other major reason many non-insured people have shopped the global pharmaceutical markets is cost.  The monopoly practices of the drug manufacturing corporations in the US gouge the patients charging many times the prices charged for the same drugs by our neighbor to the north.  The huge charges many well enhance the lifestyle and cash flow rich pigs who are the CEOs and investors in these corporations as well as finance a huge volume of advertising for drugs of dubious merit marketed for socially constructed “disorders” such as male sexual dysfunction.  (a natural part of aging)

At the same time denying us access to lower priced drugs available through off-shore pharmacies is a method of preventing access to drugs available from countries where the government negotiates and sets the legitimate prices for those drugs.

See Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko”

http://inhousepharmacy.com/

In House Pharmacy as the following announcement posted:

Important Notice to United States Shoppers

We regret to advise that this site is no longer able to supply to shoppers residing in the United States.

After recent action taken by LegitScript.com we have had to stop supplying customers within the USA. LegitScript.com is actively closing down hundreds of sites that operate from outside the United States. We have been targeted as we have operated for 13 years on a no prescription basis despite the fact that we meet the pharmacy laws of Vanuatu where we are based.

We appreciate that most of our customers have been very loyal, long term shoppers and we deeply regret being unable to supply you from this site.

All customers who have already placed orders but not yet received them, will receive them.

The following self-serving post by the President of Legitscript.com appeared on Huffington Post.  While conservatives whine about “nanny states” I am far more concerned with corporate fascists who put profits before the lives of people.

I suspect legitscript.com is acting as an agent for the drug manufacturing corporations who wish to maintain their monopoly to gouge the US consumers by shutting off the re-importation of drugs from places like Canada where they are but a fraction of what they cost in the US.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-horton/when-drug-companies-choos_b_742137.htm

When Drug Companies Choose Profits Over People

John Horton
President, LegitScript
Posted: September 29, 2010 02:18 PM
For medication safety, we rely on our doctors to prescribe and our pharmacists to dispense the right drugs. But on whom do doctors and pharmacists rely? Increasingly, the answer is drug companies. This is not inherently bad. After all, a drug company probably knows its product better than anyone, and can play a valuable role in educating doctors and pharmacists about the appropriate use of the drug. And, a central element of the FDA’s drug-approval process is intended to give the drug companies a clear idea of what the drug can be marketed for and to whom it may be prescribed.
It is not the role of a private corporation to start acting as a NGO law enforcement agency.  Especially not as one that appears to be acting as an astro turf agency for the drug corporations.

LegitScript – Not So Legit?

On March 3, 2010, in Online Pharmacy Verification Services, by Tod Cooperman, MD, President, PharmacyChecker.com, and Gabriel Levitt, Vice President, PharmacyChecker.com

A firm called Legit Script (LegitScript.com) claims to be protecting people by labeling legitimate Canadian and other non-U.S. pharmacies as “Unapproved” or “Rogue.”  This serves the big pharmaceutical interests but not the American consumer. More than that, its founder, John Horton, appears to have exploited his former government position to establish LegitScript.com for his own gain.

Call for an Investigation of John Horton, President of LegitScript, for Possible Government Ethics Violations

On September 16, 2010, in Drug Prices, Online Pharmacies, Online Pharmacy Verification Services, Personal Drug Importation, by Tod Cooperman, MD, President, PharmacyChecker.com, and Gabriel Levitt, Vice President, PharmacyChecker.com

Today we asked the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and any other appropriate government agencies to investigate possible violations of government ethics laws by John Horton, president and founder of LegitScript.com, while he was Associate Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and after leaving his government post.

Our request was sent to Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns and Ranking Member Darrell Issa.

Mr. Horton appears to have misused and abused his government position for private gain by starting, while in office, an online pharmacy verification service, LegitScript.com, and given unfair market advantage to his business.  More importantly, his actions appear to have violated the will of Congress, misled the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and instigated and/or encouraged government actions by ONDCP and other government agencies adverse to the interests of Americans, specifically hindering access by Americans to safe and affordable medication.

As further described in our letter, we believe that, to serve his private interests and those of prospective pharmaceutical and pharmacy clients, Mr. Horton appears to have subverted the activities of ONDCP by ignoring the congressional request found in Section 1107 of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006 to develop strategies to stop the online advertising of controlled substances without a prescription. Instead, Mr. Horton developed strategic policies for blocking the online advertising of all prescription medication from licensed Canadian and other non-US pharmacies that do require a prescription. Such pharmacies have been a lifeline to affordable medication for millions of Americans.

Click here to read the full request and view supporting exhibits.

From Alex Blaze at Bilrico: http://www.bilerico.com/2010/09/inhousepharmacycom_stops_shipping_to_the_us.php

While a drug company in Vanuatu may seem shady, LegitScript specifically marks as illegitimate Canadian pharmacies that sell to the US, which PharmacyChecker doesn’t do (PharmacyChecker.com is a much more visited website that provides consumer information on online pharmacies). LegitScript goes to some propagandatastic length on their site to justify this (they found one drug company that was illegally using a Canadian pharmacy license!), blocking Canadian drug reimportation into the US has always been about one thing only: money.

In other words, Americans pay more for prescription drugs than everyone else in the world because we have a government that is beholden to big pharma, and LegitScript goes the extra mile that law enforcement can’t/won’t in order to ensure that Americans keep on getting looted.

Continue reading at: http://www.bilerico.com/2010/09/inhousepharmacycom_stops_shipping_to_the_us.php

Jamal Parris Speaks out Regarding Eddie Long

Hey Eddie, the closet sucks.  Stop Lying and Come Out.

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I Love Alan Grayson… I Wish He Were President

Why Do Neo-Nazi anti-Gay Bigots all Look Gay?

Scratch the surface of a right wing anti-gay bigot and you find a queer over compensating in order to hide the fact he is gay.

Not only that but one that has the sort of appearance that sets off the gaydar beep-beep the second he or she enters the room.

So it is with, Andrew Shirvell, the Michigan Assistant Attorney General…  Now being an open bigot should disqualify you from a position where you are required to prosecute offenses against all citizens, something a bigot can not possibly do.

But this pathetic wreck looks like the sort who probably got picked on all through school for looking gay.  He is as obvious as muscle queen Eddie Long.

Go to Raw Story to see the pictures

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/exclusive-photos-antigay-michigan-assistant-attorney-general-surface-protest/

Exclusive: Photos show Michigan official protesting at gay rights rally

By John Byrne
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 — 2:55 pm

Andrew Shirvell, the Michigan Assistant Attorney General who appeared on CNN last night to defend his crusade against an openly gay student, was photographed in May 2010 carrying an anti-gay sign to a pro-gay rights rally.

Raw Story has obtained these photos exclusively.

When Fred Phelps and the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church announced a demonstration against a gay themed play performed at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the local gay community planned a counter-protest. No one from Westboro showed up, but one of the church’s apparent local supporters did: Andrew Shirvell.

Shirvell carried a sign referencing student Chris Armstrong, the openly gay student assembly president at the university: “Chris Armstrong MSA Prez = Racist LIAR, Order of Angell = KKK.”

The Order of Angell referred to on Shirvell’s placard is a senior honor society at the university.

Continue reading:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/exclusive-photos-antigay-michigan-assistant-attorney-general-surface-protest/

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Why HRC is Important

Too many transsexual and transgender people speak about HRC with a combination of what sound like contempt for gay and lesbian issues and a demand to have the issues of TS/TG people always put first.  To me that position shows a lack of community or perhaps an inability to see larger coalitions of interests.

I am at times critical of HRC for other reasons such as its top heavy payroll and its failure to work locally instead of inside the Beltway but just when I’m about to give up on them they do something like:

NOM Exposed

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Europeans protest, strike against austerity moves

Corporations exist to make profits for their owners.  That is their sole purpose.  Governments exist to protect the people’s rights.  The idea that corporations deserve the same rights as people is a legal fiction.

The Free Market must go.  It is an abject failure.  The Free Market advocates quote Adam Smith the same selective way Christo-fascists quote the Bible.  Their real god is Ayn Rand, a talentless hack much beloved by the John Birch Society and other ultra right wing neo-Nazi organizations.

Naomi Klein’s book “Shock Doctrine” details what the IMF and GATT did in South America and in Africa.  How money was lent to nations and how they were urged to privatize their governmental functions with the lie of efficiency.  Privatized functions cost the tax payers as much or more and give less as private corporations sole purpose is to make money for its owners.

It makes its profits on the backs of the workers.  Profits are generated by the gap between the cost of labor and materials and the price the product or service is sold for.

Wealth is power.

The freest societies are those where the gap between the incomes of the lowest paid workers and the highest paid are the smallest.  The least free are those societies where the bulk of all wealth is in the hands of a small minority with the bulk of the population subsisting on a minority portion of the wealth.  That constitutes an oligarchy since wealth is automatically power and creates a power as well as wealth differential.

Under Keynesian economics government regulated the economy by providing a safety net of services and jobs as well as a policy of progressive taxation that effective limited the consolidations of all power in the hands of a few.

Call me a commie if you will but Marx and Engels were right.  Americans are kept stupid by an educational system that keeps them ignorant of their history, science, and economics.  Wealth is power and only the wealthy are really educated.  The majority are kept stupid by religion, media based commercialism from infancy, distracted from their personal exploitation by a constant stream of increasingly violent sports spectacles and the meaningless trivia regarding the lives of entertainers including the clowns of right wing media who substitute bombast for real honest information.

In Europe workers who know the score and how the government/corporate partnership that characterizes fascism are fucking the working people over are in the streets rioting against austerity measures.

In Spain

In Brussels

By David Brunnstrom

BRUSSELS, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of people marched in a day of protests across Europe on Wednesday against government austerity measures that unions say will slow economic recovery and punish the poor.

Big marches were held in Brussels, in Portugal’s capital Lisbon and its northern city of Porto, and Spanish unions staged a general strike.

Unions called protests in 10 other capitals against steps such as spending cuts and pension and labour market reforms.

In Brussels, they said they achieved their goal of bringing 100,000 people onto the streets, but police put the figure at 56,000 and said 218 people were detained for minor offences.

Unions said 50,000 joined the Lisbon March and 20,000 in Porto. Portuguese police gave no estimates and attendance at other rallies appeared to be much smaller.

Continue reading at:  http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE68S24620100929?type=marketsNews

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HRC & Courage Campaign Reveal the Real National Organization for Marriage

This is why I support HRC even when bitch about them sometimes.

From HRC: http://www.hrcbackstory.org/2010/09/hrc-courage-campaign-reveal-the-real-national-organization-for-marriage/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HrcBackStory+%28HRC+Back+Story%29

By Michael Cole
September 28th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

As the National Organization for Marriage, or NOM, embarks on a fall election campaign to defeat candidates who support full marriage equality, the Human Rights Campaign, in collaboration with the Courage Campaign, unveiled “NOM Exposed,” a live, interactive website which reveals NOM’s deep anti-gay affiliations, its long connections to the Mormon and Catholic churches and its quest to keep voters in the dark about its financing.  The site is at www.NOMexposed.org.

HRC also announced the formation of the NOM Project to follow the ongoing political work and propaganda of NOM as it attempts to influence elections and legislative campaigns across the country.  The project will be led by Kevin Nix, a longtime LGBT advocate and political and media consultant.  A former communications director at both Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and the Family Equality Council, Nix also worked at Media Matters in the 2004 presidential cycle.

About the site, HRC President Joe Solmonese said: “NOM and its leaders project a message of tolerance yet NOM Exposed shows that behind the well-trained talking points is an anti-gay animus and moneyed connections that it is loath to reveal. This website is not static.  Working with the Courage Campaign, we will be watching the campaign trail and documenting NOM’s political buys and bedfellows. We will connect the dots for voters.”

NOM Exposed builds off the success of Courage Campaign’s NOM Tour Tracker – a blog of first-hand accounts, photos and videos chronicling NOM’s “2010 Summer for Marriage—One Man, One Woman” bus tour of 17 states.  The Courage Campaign deployed three staffers to follow NOM’s tour and file reports from the road, generating more than one-million page views and more than 15,000 comments.  During the course of the tour, federal courts declared two of NOM’s top policy priorities – California’s Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act – unconstitutional.

The NOM Tour Tracker showed NOM’s summer tour consistently outnumbered three-to-one by pro-equality counter rally participants organized by Freedom to Marry and state LGBT organizations.  It also showed NOM staff attempting to limit public access to their events and NOM’s sparse supporters doing everything from speaking in tongues, to comparing marriage equality to genocide and advocating the murder of LGBT families.

Courage Campaign Founder and Chairman Rick Jacobs said: “The NOM Tour Tracker unmasked the so-called ‘National Organization for Marriage’ as a small and secretive fringe group devoted to attacking families, spreading lies, and sowing fear.  With a majority of Americans and a growing number of conservatives now standing up for equality, NOM Exposed takes this important work a step further by bringing to light the nefarious connections, shadowy finances, and dubious ethics at the heart of NOM’s brand of political extremism.  We are proud to work with the Human Rights Campaign on this important initiative.”

NOM Exposed, the result of several months of research and collaboration, reveals the following:

  • At a time of the country’s greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, NOM’s financial growth has been explosive.  NOM has amassed huge resources – estimated to reach or exceed $10M in 2010 – from modest beginnings in 2007.
  • NOM is a highly secretive organization that tries to not only hide the identity of its political donors from the voting public in state after state, but operates in a way to discourage people from knowing who its key players and associates are.
  • NOM has deep connections to the Catholic Church hierarchy, to the Mormon Church, to evangelical right-wing pastors and churches and to those who have a long history of anti-gay rhetoric and activity.  These are individuals and organizations which not only oppose same-sex marriage, but oppose domestic partnerships, civil unions, hate crimes protections and even fertility treatments for women because some of those women could be lesbians.
  • Since 2008, NOM and its allies have engaged in a radical, nationwide plan to flout long-established campaign finance disclosure laws.  This is nothing short of a strategic, coordinated plan to hide NOM’s political activities from voters.  This effort has prompted several state investigations and resounding legal defeats for NOM.

In addition to the rich archive of information, NOM Exposed features a blog where the latest on NOM’s activities will be tracked.  LGBT leaders will also contribute guest posts to the blog with their own research and experiences with NOM.  Freedom to Marry, which organized the Summer For Marriage tour in response to NOM, has the inaugural guest post up today.

“NOM Exposed gives voters a comprehensive look at an organization that operates largely in secret, yet plays a super-sized role in campaigns from California to Maine,” added Solmonese. “By releasing this site and dedicating resources to NOM Project, we will confront this web of secrets and lies wherever NOM seeks to spread its political propaganda.”

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How is NOM (National Organization For Marriage) Identical to the KKK?

The misnamed NOM which is opposed to marriage equality and therefore should be described as the National Organization of Bigots Opposed to Marriage Equality is identical to the KKK in that they are ashamed to be identified as bigots.

So in Rhode Island and else where they do not want their donors names to be disclosed. So like the KKK their members want to hide their bigotry out of concern that their bigotry will negatively impact them.

I love how hate peddlers get so bent our of shape when their bigotry has consequences.

If anything this is just one more reason why religious organizations should lose their non-profit status and be taxed.

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/28/nom-antigay-marriage-grou_n_742176.html

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Associated Press

A group that opposes same-sex marriage sued the Rhode Island Board of Elections, saying it wants to run ads in the governor’s race and other contests but doesn’t want to have to comply with state campaign finance laws.

The National Organization for Marriage said in a federal lawsuit that it should not be forced to report its expenditures or comply with spending limits or bans that are required for political action committees. The group said it shouldn’t be considered a PAC because it’s not controlled by a political candidate and does not spend the majority of its money on Rhode Island’s political races. It says the rules for PACs are burdensome and interfere with free speech.

“You have to negotiate the myriad regulations that apply, and for a lot of organizations, it’s just not worth it,” said Jeffrey Gallant, a lawyer with the James Madison Center for Free Speech, which is representing the group. “These laws are a deterrent for free and open speech in political matters.”

The suit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Providence, does not specify the races the organization wants to be involved in, but sample ads that are included as exhibits to the complaint show support for Republican ideals — including lower taxes and fiscal conservatism.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/28/nom-antigay-marriage-grou_n_742176.html

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Survival Hints: Can You Say The Phrase, “Peak Oil”?

Now might be a good time to dump the gas guzzling SUV and think about super insulating your house if you own rather than renting.

The film “Collapse” hit me pretty much the same way Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” did, which is to say it was another4 major piece in the puzzle that the corporations do not seem to want for us to see.

Some Assembly Required had a link today that took me to The Wall Street Journal, a right wing rag that has gotten even worse since being purchased by Rupert Murdoch.  When they bury little tidbits like this one…  It is time for concern…

http://professional.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100926-703149.html?mod=WSJ_Energy_middleHeadlines&mg=reno-wsj#printMode

Saudi Crude Output Falls 11.3% In 2009 Vs ’08 -Ctrl Bk

RIYADH (Zawya Dow Jones)-Saudi Arabia’s crude production fell 11.3% to 2.9 billion barrels in 2009 from 3.4 billion barrels in the year earlier, while exports fell 14.4% to 2.3 billion barrels, the country’s central bank said Sunday.

Proven oil reserves at the world’s top energy exporter were steady at 264.6 billion barrels at the end of last year, while …

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Gender gap for Austin’s Homeless

KVUE, Austin TX, USA:  http://www.kvue.com/news/Gender-gap-for-Austins-Homeless-103901993.html

Gender gap for Austin’s Homeless

Posted on September 27, 2010 at 10:38 PM
Updated yesterday at 10:38 PM

View Video:  http://www.kvue.com/news/Gender-gap-for-Austins-Homeless-103901993.html

Monday night Austin’s Human Rights Commission voted unanimously to urge the Austin City Council to add more beds for single homeless women.

Of the estimated 3,000 homeless people in the Austin area it’s believed that 400 of them are women.

According to Lisa Scheps with Austin’s Human Rights Commission there  are only 43 beds at area homeless shelters set aside for single women.

“We’re working on a model of serving that goes back to the forties and at that time the world was very different. Single women seemed to be taken care of by families so there wasn’t as big of a problem as there was then,” said Scheps.

The impetus for the discussion and study on the state of homeless women in Austin was the death of Jennifer Gale, a colorful transgendered person who was also homeless.

Gale, an ex-Marine died in December of 2008 while sleeping outdoors in the cold.

“When Jennifer Gale died, who as you know was a transgender woman who was very visible in our city, that died because services that may have been available to her, she didn’t feel welcome in. I started to look into the homeless situation in general for transgender people and what I discovered is that there are no beds for single women and that angered me and angered other people,” added Scheps.

Austin’s Human Rights Commission passed a joint resolution with the Women’s Commission regarding beds for single homeless women.

Talk of adding more beds at area shelters is in its earliest stages according to Scheps. It still isn’t known how much money the additional beds will cost nor is it known at this point where they will go.

“It’s a public health issue and an issue of poverty. It is one that’s important to all residents of Austin,” said Elizabeth Brenner, an Austin Human Rights Commission member.

The Human Rights Commission plans to turn over the joint resolution to the Austin City Council immediately.

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Rights Reserved.

http://www.kvue.com/news/Gender-gap-for-Austins-Homeless-103901993.html

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Census finds record gap between rich and poor

From Raw Story:   http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/census-finds-record-gap-rich-poor/

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 — 7:18 am

Recession’s impact: Census shows growing income gap as young adults, children take big hits.

The income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its widest amount on record as young adults and children in particular struggled to stay afloat in the recession.

The top-earning 20 percent of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.

A different measure, the international Gini index, found U.S. income inequality at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/census-finds-record-gap-rich-poor/

Right-Wing Religious United Front Against Women, Gays and Freedom From Religion

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/148326/right-wing_religious_united_front_against_women%2C_gays_and_freedom_from_religion/

By Kathryn Joyce, Religion Dispatches
Posted on September 27, 2010, Printed on September 28, 2010

Religious right-wing groups are uniting to fight the culture wars.

The following is reprinted with permission from Religion Dispatches. You can sign up for their free daily newsletter here.

Glenn Beck’s efforts to transform himself from Fox News demagogue into a religious leader for Tea Party America has a lot of commentators discussing the feasibility of a Mormon convert leading a wary evangelical and Catholic right in a faith-driven cause. While there are significant roadblocks hindering Beck’s quest for leadership in the Christian Right, he wouldn’t be the first Mormon to advocate a right-wing alliance that stretches across faiths. Beck follows hundreds of Mormon “pro-family” activists who have united with conservative Catholics and evangelicals to form a common front in the culture wars.

Since 1997, when Beck was just a baby Mormon, a coalition of mostly US-based religious right groups, the World Congress of Families, has attempted to rally religious conservatives at international “pro-family” conferences to transcend theological differences to unite against common enemies: feminism, homosexuality, liberal attitudes towards sexuality and reproductive rights, and the separation of church and state.

The WCF followed the rise of a global conservative movement in response to international conferences in the 1990s, particularly concerning reproductive or women’s rights, which they feared could affect US law back home. At the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population and Development, Pope John Paul II (an early bridge-builder who’d allied himself with Billy Graham and Campus Crusade for Christ in the 1970s) called for interfaith opposition to the conference’s draft program of action due to its support for abortion rights and what the Pope called a “Culture of Death.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/148326/right-wing_religious_united_front_against_women%2C_gays_and_freedom_from_religion/

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U.S. falling further behind in education, hurting global competitiveness

From The Dallas Morning News: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/columnists/jlanders/stories/DN-landers_28bus.ART0.State.Edition1.2706a4a.html

By Jim Landers

12:00 AM CDT on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

WASHINGTON – America’s ability to compete in the global economy seems to be moving in opposite directions. Apart from South Korea, most developed countries now have higher labor costs than the United States. That’s attracting labor-intensive work here, like a Brazilian jeans maker planning a factory in South Texas.

On educational attainment, meanwhile, we are falling further behind. The two schools now providing the largest number of Ph.D. candidates to American universities, for example, are China’s Tsinghua and Peking universities.

Taken together, the results suggest stagnation – in incomes and in knowledge.

Peter O’Donnell Jr., head of the O’Donnell Foundation, a Dallas education philanthropy, says the United States will not win against other nations with these kinds of results. “We have to have education so we can produce the people who can innovate,” he said. “We’re not going to go toe-to-toe with China on wage rates. No way.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/columnists/jlanders/stories/DN-landers_28bus.ART0.State.Edition1.2706a4a.html

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To cut costs, seniors get drugs from online Canadian pharmacies

From The Dallas Morning News: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/stories/092810dnbuscanadadrugs.242e963.html

10:22 AM CDT on Tuesday, September 28, 2010
By JASON ROBERSON / The Dallas Morning News
jroberson@dallasnews.com

In nine months, the prescription eye medication 72-year-old John Lair uses jumped from $47.13 to $113.23 at his neighborhood drugstore.

“That’s capitalism out of control,” said Lair of Dallas.

After doing some research, Lair found the same medication for $21.25 online at a Canadian pharmacy.

Facing rising drug prices, North Texas seniors on fixed incomes say they are faced with no other option than to get prescriptions filled online from Canada.

Every year, 68,000 Texans order more than 200,000 drug shipments online from Canada, according to the Canadian International Pharmacy Association. Top-selling medications for high-cholesterol and arthritis, like Lipitor and Celebrex, can be found online for half the prices seen at local pharmacies.

Continue reading at:  http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/stories/092810dnbuscanadadrugs.242e963.html

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Mysteries That Howl and Hunt

I love the much maligned coyotes and wolves.  I would rather see a world with more wolves and coyotes and fewer human beings than the other way around.  The hunting and slaughter of these animals is a crime against the ecosphere.

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/science/28coyotes.html?ref=science

By CAROL KAESUK YOON
Published: September 27, 2010

With a chorus of howls and yips wild enough to fill a vast night sky, the coyote has ignited the imagination of one culture after another. In many American Indian mythologies, it is celebrated as the Trickster, a figure by turns godlike, idiotic and astoundingly sexually perverse. In the Navajo tradition the coyote is revered as God’s dog. When European colonists encountered the species, they were of two minds, heralding it as an icon of the expansive West and vilifying it as the ultimate varmint, the bloodthirsty bane of sheep and cattle ranchers.

Mark Twain was so struck when he first saw that “long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton, with a gray wolfskin stretched over it” that he called it “a living, breathing allegory of Want.” And Twain’s description itself was so vivid, it inspired the animator Chuck Jones to create that perennial failure known to cartoon-loving children everywhere, Wile E. Coyote of Road Runner-hating fame.

Yet as familiar as the coyote seems, these animals remain remarkably poorly understood. They have remained elusive despite fantastic ecological success that has been described as “a story of unparalleled range expansion,” as they have moved over the last century from the constrictions of their prairie haunts to colonize every habitat from wild to urban, from coast to coast. And they have retained their mystery even as interest has intensified with increasing coyote-human interactions — including incidents of coyotes dragging off small dogs and cats, and even (extremely rarely) attacks on people, from Los Angeles to the northern suburbs of New York City, where four children were attacked in separate incidents this summer.

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/science/28coyotes.html?ref=science

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Atheists Outdo Some Believers in Survey on Religion

Dooh…  Of course we do…  To become an atheist in a world that tries to indoctrinate people into believing in a religion requires more thought and study than simply going with the flow.  I think therefore I question requires more of a search for answers than does I have faith therefore I believe.  Further, for all their supposed Bible Studies, Christo-Fascists are more likely to fixate on a single paragraph or verse that justifies their bigotry than some one who reads the Bible as a mythological work of some artistic and literary merit.

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/us/28religion.html?scp=2&sq=atheists&st=cse

You know The New York Times shows its basic lack of honesty and courage when it changes the article headline that it was posted under in The Dallas Morning News BTW the DMN is the  one I used for this post the Times weaseled with the title below.

Basic Religion Test Stumps Many Americans

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: September 28, 2010

Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are also deeply ignorant about religion.

Researchers from the independent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life phoned more than 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about the Bible, Christianity and other world religions, famous religious figures and the constitutional principles governing religion in public life.

On average, people who took the survey answered half the questions incorrectly, and many flubbed even questions about their own faith.

Those who scored the highest were atheists and agnostics, as well as two religious minorities: Jews and Mormons. The results were the same even after the researchers controlled for factors like age and racial differences.

“Even after all these other factors, including education, are taken into account, atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons still outperform all the other religious groups in our survey,” said Greg Smith, a senior researcher at Pew.

That finding might surprise some, but not Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, an advocacy group for nonbelievers that was founded by Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/us/28religion.html?scp=2&sq=atheists&st=cse

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Still Few Women in Management, Report Says

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/business/28gender.html?_r=1&ref=us

By CATHERINE RAMPELL
September 27, 2010

Women made little progress in climbing into management positions in this country even in the boom years before the financial crisis, according to a report to be released on Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office.

As of 2007, the latest year for which comprehensive data on managers was available, women accounted for about 40 percent of managers in the United States work force. In 2000, women held 39 percent of management positions. Outside of management, women held 49 percent of the jobs in both years.

Across the work force, the gap between what men and women earn has shrunk over the last few decades. Full-time women workers closed the gap to 80.2 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2009, up from just 62.3 cents in 1979. Much of this persistent wage gap, however, can be explained by what kinds of jobs the sexes are drawn to, whether by choice or opportunity.

The new report, commissioned by the Joint Economic Council of Congress, tries to make a better comparison by looking at men versus women in a specific industry and in similar jobs, and also controlling for differences like education levels and age. On average, female managers had less education, were younger and were more likely to be working part time than their male counterparts.

In all but three of the 13 industries covered by the report, women had a smaller share of management positions than they did of that industry’s overall work force. The sectors where women were more heavily represented in management than outside of it were construction, public administration and transportation and utilities.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/business/28gender.html?_r=1&ref=us

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