Is It Okay for Boys to Wear Pink? Kids, Dads Discuss Color and Gender Stereotypes

From Stroller Derby:   http://blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/2011/07/18/is-it-okay-for-boys-to-wear-pink-kids-dads-discuss-the-color-gender-stereotypes-video/

Posted by wendym
July 18th, 2011

Is it okay for boys to wear pink?

The color and gender stereotypes issue has come up time and time again – see most recently, the J. Crew catalog that included a boy with pink nail polish or the fact that a boy has joined the ranks of the Toddlers & Tiaras pageant circuit.

But what about what young boys think about wearing pink? Or what dads think?

Good Morning America addressed the whole “boys wearing pink” issue (or non-issue, as the case may be) in this video clip.

Dads were asked about their thoughts on their boys wearing pink and then kids were put through some tests to determine their preference for the color pink and their thoughts on wearing the color.

All of the dads in the interview seemed okay with having their son choose to wear pink. One man noted he would prefer blue, but ultimately it’s up to the child.

The boys in the piece were put through a couple of nonscientific tests – first, their choice of scooters to ride when given the choice of green/blue/pink and second, a rack of shirts to try on, where there were only enough shirts as there were kids and two of the shirts were pink.

Continue reading at:  http://blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/2011/07/18/is-it-okay-for-boys-to-wear-pink-kids-dads-discuss-the-color-gender-stereotypes-video/

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Farm to Fridge – The Truth Behind Meat Production

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My Recommended Revision to the GLAAD Media Guide

From Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/notes/britney-austin/my-recommended-revision-to-the-glaad-media-guide/169598223108670

by Britney Austin
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Reposted with Permission

I have read and reviewed the GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Reference Guide regarding the Transgender Glossary of Terms. This is currently located at http://www.glaad.org/page.aspx?pid=376 and my quotations from this were taken on July 19th, 2011.

 “Sex”

The classification of people as male or female. At birth, infants are assigned a sex based on a combination of bodily characteristics including: chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, and genitals.”

Recommended Revision:

 Sex

The classification of male or female. Sex is primarily based on the following factors: chromosomes, hormones, and anatomy.

Recommended Addition:  Sex Identity—  One’s internal sense of sex.

Recommended Addition:  Gender —  The classification of masculine or feminine. These refer primarily to behavioral, social, and cultural attributes for what is common for one’s sex.

“Gender Identity”

One’s internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or a boy or girl.) For transgender people, their birth-assigned sex and their own internal sense of gender identity do not match.”

Recommended Revision:  Gender Identity —  One’s internal sense of being masculine or feminine.

 “Gender Expression”

External manifestation of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through “masculine,” “feminine” or gender variant behavior, clothing, haircut, voice or body characteristics. Typically, transgender people seek to make their gender expression match their gender identity, rather than their birth-assigned sex.”

Recommended Revision:  Gender Expression —  The manner in which one demonstrates his or her gender.

“Sexual Orientation”

Describes an individual’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction to another person. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same. Transgender people may be heterosexual, lesbian, gay, or bisexual. For example, a man who becomes a woman and is attracted to other women would be identified as a lesbian.”

Recommended Revision:  Sexual Orientation  —  One’s attraction to the sexes where heterosexual refers to the state of being primarily attracted to the opposite sex, homosexual refers to the state of being primarily attracted to the same sex, and bisexual refers to the state of being attracted to both sexes in varying degrees.

 “Transgender”

An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The term may include but is not limited to: transsexuals, cross-dressers, and other gender-variant people. Transgender people may identify as female-to-male (FTM) or male-to-female (MTF). Use the descriptive term (transgender, transsexual, cross-dresser, FTM or MTF) [italics removed] preferred by the individual. Transgender people may or may not choose to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically.”

Recommended Revision:  Transgender —  This refers to the state of one’s gender (including gender identity and expression) differing from what is common for one’s sex.

An older term which originated in the medical and psychological communities. Many transgender people prefer the term “transgender” to “transsexual.” Some transsexual people still prefer to use the term to describe themselves. However, unlike transgender, transsexual [italics removed] is not an umbrella term, and many transgender people do not identify as transsexual. It is best to ask which term an individual prefers.”

Recommended Revision:  Transsexual —  One whose internal sense of sex is different from the sex that has been assigned to them.

 “Transvestite”

DEROGATORY see Cross-Dressing [italics removed]“

Recommended Revision:  Transvestite —   Synonym for crossdresser. See Crossdressing.

“Transition”

Altering one’s birth sex is not a one-step procedure; it is a complex process that occurs over a long period of time. Transition includes some or all of the following cultural, legal and medical adjustments: telling one’s family, friends, and/or co-workers; changing one’s name and/or sex on legal documents; hormone therapy; and possibly (though not always) some form of surgical alteration.”

Recommended Revision:   Transition —  The process in which one changes his or her sex from what has been assigned to them and/or the process in which one changes his or her gender role from what has been assigned to them and expected of them. These processes include but are not limited to disclosing to others his or her plans to transition, changing one’s name and/or sex on legal documents, undergoing hormone replacement therapy, and undergoing sex reassignment surgery as well as surgeries and/or other procedures that assist in the transition.

 “Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS)”

Refers to surgical alteration, and is only one small part of transition (see Transition [italics removed] above). Preferred term to “sex change operation.” Not all transgender people choose to or can afford to have SRS. Journalists should avoid overemphasizing the importance of SRS to the transition process.”

Recommended Revision:  Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) —  One or more surgical procedures for the purpose of changing the primary sex organs from one sex to the other sex as much as is possible with current technology.

“Cross-Dressing”

To occasionally wear clothes traditionally associated with people of the other sex. Cross-dressers are usually comfortable with the sex they were assigned at birth and do not wish to change it. “Cross-dresser” should NOT be used to describe someone who has transitioned to live full-time as the other sex, or who intends to do so in the future [bold emphasis removed]. Cross-dressing is a form of gender expression and is not necessarily tied to erotic activity. Cross-dressing is not indicative of sexual orientation.”

Recommended Revision:  Crossdressing —  This refers to the practice of wearing clothing and/or accessories typically worn by the other sex. Some individuals refer to themselves as crossdressers while others refer to themselves as transvestites–the synonym of crossdresser.

 “Gender Identity Disorder (GID)”

A controversial DSM-IV diagnosis given to transgender and other gender-variant people. Because it labels people as “disordered,” Gender Identity Disorder is often considered offensive. The diagnosis is frequently given to children who don’t conform to expected gender norms in terms of dress, play or behavior. Such children are often subjected to intense psychotherapy, behavior modification and/or institutionalization. Replaces the outdated term “gender dysphoria.””

Recommended Revision:   Gender Identity Disorder (GID) —  A diagnosis included in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders). This diagnosis is frequently used for the purpose of determining a patient’s eligibility for hormone replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery.

“Intersex”

Describing a person whose biological sex is ambiguous. There are many genetic, hormonal or anatomical variations which make a person’s sex ambiguous (i.e., Klinefelter Syndrome, Adrenal Hyperplasia). Parents and medical professionals usually assign intersex infants a sex and perform surgical operations to conform the infant’s body to that assignment. This practice has become increasingly controversial as intersex adults are speaking out against the practice, accusing doctors of genital mutilation.”

Recommended Revision:  Intersex —  This refers to one with physiological characteristics of both sexes and/or ambiguous sex characteristics including but not limited to chromosomal variations and the presence of ambiguous sex organs or sex organs of both sexes.

My Conclusion:

 I think the GLAAD Media Guide as referenced and quoted above is an example of both political bias and intellectual laziness. So much of the terminology is blended together especially by often treating sex and gender as the same thing. All this guide does is make an already confused public more confused. I do not personally think these concepts are very difficult to understand. A person does not have to take a college course to have a basic grasp on sex, gender, and its related diversity. Such a media guide should simply define the terms without all of the recommendations and unrelated information. If people simply understand what the words mean then they can easily understand the concepts behind them.

The main bias I notice with the current guide is an anti-medical agenda. It attempts to erase the word transsexual and minimizes the importance of medical treatments by making SRS seem insignificant and by essentially dismissing the GID diagnosis altogether. I certainly think that transsexualism should be taken out of the DSM and treated strictly as a medical issue but that is not something that even needs to be discussed in a simple terminology guide. The way in which the guide uses the term transgender to include just about all of the other terms also serves to erase the medical needs of those with transsexualism by comparing these needs to gender behavior. Furthermore, instead of them comparing any of these things to sex, they compare them to birth sex. The main result of this is that it treats a transsexual who has transitioned as someone who is permanently transgender. The way in which I defined these terms allows for a transsexual person to no longer be transsexual after transition. The whole point of transition for a transsexual is to be complete in his or her sex not to perpetually remain in limbo. It is also worth noting the fact that the media guide attempts to erase the term transvestite even though there are crossdressers who prefer that term to describe themselves.

 

I believe this guide is written as an attempt at both gender deconstruction of society as well as to increase the number of people as well as the length of time those people are included under the LGBT umbrella (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender). The de-medicalization of transsexualism into a gender agenda aims at actually deconstructing the sexes as now nobody is really male or female but somewhere in between. Plus, by including practically everything as transgender or gender variant, now practically everyone would fall under the T and thus under LGBT. I do not think this is all a coincidence. I think there is a deliberate agenda behind this and primarily a destructive force. The guide basically exploits the medical conditions and birth challenges of intersex and transsexual people for the purposes of this gender deconstruction and at the same time tries to stamp out the scientific and medical legitimacy of those conditions. For those who think I’m way off track here, do me a favor and read that GLAAD guide closely. Read between the lines. It isn’t just what is being said, it is what is not being said.

Britney AustinFeel free to distribute my recommendations (with credit given to me). Feel free to post feedback including constructive criticism.

Bohemian Grove fuels protests

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Hate Group Leader, Bryan Fischer: Gay Rights And Religious Liberty Cannot Coexist

Christo-Nazi head of the certified Hate Group, The “American Family” Association, Bryan Fischer claims hating LGBT/T people is a core Christian value.

From Right Wing Watch:  http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/fischer-gay-rights-and-religious-liberty-cannot-coexist

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Ultra Right Wing Extremist, Misogynist, and Anti-Semite, Allen West Launches Incoherent Attack on Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Perhaps it is time to require sanity tests for elected officials.

Of course that would end the Republi-Nazi Party.

The scariest thing about this whack job, West is that he used to be a General.

‘War Criminal,’ Tea-Partier Allen West Beats Up on a Woman — Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/19/allen-west-debbie-wasserman-schultz_n_904047.html

Allen West: Debbie Wasserman Schultz ‘Vile’, ‘Not A Lady’

July 19, 2011

WASHINGTON — A Republican congressman from Florida turned to email on Tuesday to call a Democratic colleague from the state “vile, despicable and cowardly” after she called into question his stance on Medicare during the debate over a spending cap and balanced budget bill before the House.

Rep. Allen West, a first-term Republican from south Florida, wasn’t shy about his online outburst. He sent his peppery email to numerous lawmakers as well as his target, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

The subject line of the email: “Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman Schultz.”

The e-mail said: “Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up.”

In her remarks on the House floor, Wasserman Schultz said: “The gentleman from Florida, who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Unbelievable from a member from south Florida.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/19/allen-west-debbie-wasserman-schultz_n_904047.html

 

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The World at 7 Billion: Can We Stop Growing Now?

From Environment 360:  http://e360.yale.edu/feature/the_world_at_7_billion_can_we_stop_growing_now/2426/

With global population expected to surpass 7 billion people this year, the staggering impact on an overtaxed planet is becoming more and more evident. A two-pronged response is imperative: empower women to make their own decisions on childbearing and rein in our excessive consumption of resources.

by Robert Engelman
July 18,2011

Demographers aren’t known for their sense of humor, but the ones who work for the United Nations recently announced that the world’s human population will hit 7 billion on Halloween this year. Since censuses and other surveys can scarcely justify such a precise calculation, it’s tempting to imagine that the UN Population Division, the data shop that pinpointed the Day of 7 Billion, is hinting that we should all be afraid, be very afraid.

We have reason to be. The 21st century is not yet a dozen years old, and there are already 1 billion more people than in October 1999 — with the outlook for future energy and food supplies looking bleaker than it has for decades. It took humanity until the early 19th century to gain its first billion people; then another 1.5 billion followed over the next century and a half. In just the last 60 years the world’s population has gained yet another 4.5 billion. Never before have so many animals of one species anything like our size inhabited the planet.

And this species interacts with its surroundings far more intensely than any other ever has. Planet Earth has become Planet Humanity, as we co-opt its carbon, water, and nitrogen cycles so completely that no other force can compare. For the first time in life’s 3-billion-plus-year history, one form of life — ours — condemns to extinction significant proportions of the plants and animals that are our only known companions in the universe.

Did someone just remark that these impacts don’t stem from our population, but from our consumption? Probably, as this assertion emerges often from journals, books, and the blogosphere. It’s as though a geometry text were to propound the axiom that it is not length that determines the area of a rectangle, but width. Would we worry about our individual consumption of energy and natural resources if humanity still had the stable population of roughly 300 million people — less than today’s U.S. number — that the species maintained throughout the first millennium of the current era?

Continue reading at:  http://e360.yale.edu/feature/the_world_at_7_billion_can_we_stop_growing_now/2426/

Obama: Defense Of Marriage Act Should Be Repealed

From The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/19/obama-defense-of-marriage-gay-rights_n_903680.html

July 19, 2011

President Barack Obama is throwing his support behind a bill that would repeal the federal government’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The president has “long called for a legislative appeal for the so-called Defense of Marriage Act which continues to have a real impact on families,” White House spokesman Jay Carney announced Tuesday.

The president is “proud to support” the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, Carney said.

The Obama administration announced in February that it believes the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and would no longer defend it in court.

Complete article at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/19/obama-defense-of-marriage-gay-rights_n_903680.html

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Why Are Americans Still Giant Hypocrites About Sex?

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/sex/151699/why_are_americans_still_giant_hypocrites_about_sex/

So many Americans object to other people doing it that opposition to sex drives American politics.

By Amanda Marcotte 
July 19, 2011

Understanding Americans requires becoming well-versed in many things: American sports, sitcoms, YouTube cat videos, superhero movies, and the ever-increasing complexity of ordering coffee. But to truly get Americans, you have to really delve deep into the woods of our hypocrisy. Americans tell pollsters they’re in church when they’re sleeping in or watching the game. Politicians don’t dare talk about legalizing drugs, because while Americans are far likelier to use drugs than many other nations, we also reliably vote against anyone who suggests we roll back the legal repercussions. And nowhere is American hypocrisy uglier than when it comes to sex.

Americans are doing it. Yet so many Americans object to doing it, that opposition to other people doing it drives American politics, even in the face of real problems such as a floundering economy, a foreclosure crisis, and a Republican party that is willing to destroy our nation’s credit rating just to stick it to the president. Without the anti-gay and anti-choice movements riling up religious people to vote against their neighbor’s right to use birth control and abortion, or their neighbor’s right to have sex with someone of the same gender, the Republican party as we know it wouldn’t exist.

American prudery means that both our tabloid and actual news media are regularly dominated by sex scandals. These are often conducted as if the entire media infrastructure were run by 19th-century middle-aged spinsters, such as when the entire Beltway press regarded a man taking a picture of his erection as if they were witnessing the same level of perversion as a man in flagrante delicto with a barnyard animal.

You’d think with the springs going out on our fainting couch that we were a nation whose bedsprings got no wear and tear, but you’d be wrong. Americans have sex on average 2.3 times a week, and 19 out of 20 Americans have had premarital sex. Americans like to have sex for pleasure, as indicated by the universal use of contraception. Americans like to mix it up, too, as the rapid rise in Americans admitting to anal sex demonstrates. Needless to say, Americans also love porn, and conservatives who denounce other people’s sexual choices are even more avid consumers of porn than people who take a more live-and-let-live attitude.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/sex/151699/why_are_americans_still_giant_hypocrites_about_sex/

An unprecedented 1 in 66 Americans is a diagnosed psychotic

I have been skeptical of the Psychiatric Industrial Complex since the late 1960s.  The pathologizing of homosexuality was one thing but also the way they pathologized women who didn’t conform to rigid sexist stereotypes.

Over the years I have watched as the Psychiatric Industrial Complex has turned childhood into reason to push medications on kids, medications that are basically speed.

A few years ago they tried to pathologize abused women and women in general due to first their menstrual and later in life due to menopause.

All this from a “science” with extremely dubious origins.  One that seems more akin to a religion than a science.

From Business Insider:  http://www.businessinsider.com/zyprexa-antipsycotics-top-selling-drugs-in-us-2011-7

Robert Johnson
Jul. 20, 2011

Outselling even common drugs to treat high blood pressure and acid reflux, antipsychotic medications are the single top-selling prescription drug in the United States.

Once reserved for hard-core, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest type of mental illnesses to treat hallucinations, delusions or major thought disorders; today, the drugs are handed out to unruly kids and absent minded elderly.

A recent story in Al Jazeera by James Ridgeway of Mother Jones illuminates the efforts by major pharmaceutical companies to get doctors prescribing medicines like Zyprexa, Seroquel, and Abilify to patients for whom the drugs were never intended.

Focusing on psychiatrists because they rely on subjective diagnoses, the drug reps have been so successful that they’ve changed the criteria for mental illness and disability payments. Ridgeway quotes former New England Journal of Medicine editor Marcia Angell.

“[T]he tally of those who are so disabled by mental disorders that they qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) increased nearly two and a half times between 1987 and 2007 – from one in 184 Americans to one in seventy-six. For children, the rise is even more startling – a thirty-five-fold increase in the same two decades. Mental illness is now the leading cause of disability in children.” Under the tutelage of Big Pharma, we are “simply expanding the criteria for mental illness so that nearly everyone has one.” Fugh-Berman agrees: In the age of aggressive drug marketing, she says, “Psychiatric diagnoses have expanded to include many perfectly normal people.

Particularly vulnerable because medication decisions are often out of their hands the old and the young suffer most.

Continue reading at: http://www.businessinsider.com/zyprexa-antipsycotics-top-selling-drugs-in-us-2011-7

From Thom Hartmann:

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The Global Crisis of Legitimacy

From The Activist.org: http://theactivist.org/blog/the-global-crisis-of-legitimacy

CHRIS MAISANO
7/18/2011

The world is not simply in the midst of a deep economic slump. This is but one aspect of the crisis of legitimacy that confronts almost all of the political and economic institutions that comprise the capitalist world system today. The ongoing revolt in the Arab world against political corruption and socioeconomic exclusion is unquestionably the most dramatic manifestation of this phenomenon, but the crisis of legitimacy is not confined to that region alone. The grievances that have fueled street protests and revolutionary movements from Morocco to Iran are shared in greater or lesser degrees by people all around the globe – the indignados of Puerta del Sol, the aganaktismenoi of Syntagma Square, students and public sector strikers in the U.K., and the hundreds of thousands of protesters who, for a brief time, turned Madison into a Midwestern version of Tahrir Square.

In her invaluable 2003 book Forces of Labor, Beverly Silver identifies what she calls the “fundamental contradiction of historical capitalism,” the tension between the system’s drive to attain maximum profitability and its need to maintain legitimacy in the eyes of those it oppresses and exploits. She writes:

One type of crisis can be resolved only by measures that eventually bring about the other type of crisis. This alternation creates a tendency for a periodic oscillation between historical phases characterized by a move toward the de-commodification of labor and the establishment of new social compacts and phases characterized by the re-commodification of labor and the breaking of old social compacts.

This passage captures at a somewhat abstract level the transition from the postwar Keynesian settlement between labor and capital to the neoliberal regime that governs the global political economy today. By reorganizing itself politically and smashing the power of the organized working class and its allied political parties in the 1970s, the capitalist class was able to restore profitability and consolidate its political power. But in doing so, it also sowed the seeds of the contemporary economic crisis and the crisis of legitimacy that the slump has triggered. Capital’s attack on the working class has recoiled upon itself. It lost sight of the fact that the system’s stability depends on the existence of a working class with a modicum of power in the workplace, in politics, and in the labor market. In bringing the working class to its present state of abjection, the system has placed barriers in the way of its own growth. And when growth slows to a crawl, the system’s claim to legitimacy is called into question.

Continue reading at:  http://theactivist.org/blog/the-global-crisis-of-legitimacy

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CEOS TRY TO HIDE GROSS PAYCHECK INEQUALITY

From Jim Hightower: http://www.jimhightower.com/node/7502

Posted by Jim Hightower
Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Top executives of such corporate giants as American Airlines, IBM, General Mills, Lowe’s and McDonald’s have a secret, and – shhhhhh – they’re lobbying in Congress to keep it from you and me. What they don’t want us to know is that CEO pay is a whole lot more – mucho mucho more – than the pay these same CEOs dole out to their typical worker.

Oh, you knew that already?

Of course, corporate bosses have not exactly been shy about stuffing their pockets with multimillion-dollar paychecks, bonuses, and other loot, while knocking down the pay and benefits of workers. But what you don’t know are the specifics of just how outrageous the income gap has become between the elites and the rest of us.

A new provision in last year’s financial reform law, however, requires major corporations to start reporting annually on this pay disparity. Having to reveal such a deliberate and dangerous level of inequality will be embarrassing to the corporate chiefs and infuriating to their downsized employees, plus it will be considered immoral by many consumers, investors, and the general public. Hence, their rush to Congress.

As usual, Republican lawmakers have greeted the poor rich executives with open arms, soothing their fevered brows with a hush-up bill to repeal the disclosure provision, letting the execs keep their dirty little secret from us. Rep. Nan Hayworth, the GOP’s point lady on this piece of plutocratic pampering, resorted to absurdity to rationalize the repeal, asserting that comparing paychecks would “confuse investors.”

Continue reading at: http://www.jimhightower.com/node/7502

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Letting It All Hang Out: How I Made Peace With My Small Boobs

I’m an old hippie feminist.  I never burned my bra because I’ve rarely ever worn one and when I have it has mostly either been for work or exercise.

I also considered my getting implants to be one of the absolute worst decisions I ever made and wish I had the common sense to have them taken out the first time one collapsed, or the first time one tried to tear its way out.

From The Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hallie-seegal/going-braless_b_901832.html

By
7/18/2011

Last January, I stopped wearing a bra. I haven’t put one back on since.

I don’t remember buying my first bra. I just know that at some point around age 12 I started wearing one — long before I “needed” to. There wasn’t much to support, as friends in my 8th grade dance class informed me, joking that they could cut an apple on my chest. It wasn’t funny then, but I suppose I can laugh about it now since I just bought my first cutting board and I don’t see much of a resemblance.

Over the next 10 years, as I graduated from high school and college, I also graduated from a kitchen accessory to a solid A, while clasping a bra around my chest every day in between.

Then, seven months ago, I had a brassiere epiphany. After waiting just a little too long to do my laundry, I ran out of bras. I could have forced myself to head to the laundry room right then, or worn the less than fresh Cosabella number I’d worn the day before, but I realized the only visible difference for me between wearing and not wearing a bra was a bulky bra line. So I didn’t wear one. Yes, I went braless.

Sure, my boobs had a bit more point to them than before, but that’s how they’re made to look, right? Other than that, nothing terrible happened. No chafing, no slips, no perverted stares directed downwards. In fact, when I confided in my friends that I was bra-free, they admitted they couldn’t tell. I suddenly thought, what if I could be this free all the time?

It was as if I had finally opened my eyes. That was that. Since then, it’s just been me and my small boobs, hanging out together. And I’m happy.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hallie-seegal/going-braless_b_901832.html

As Arctic ice melts, polar bear cubs die making long swims

From The Global Post: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/polar-bears-dying-due-longer-swims-arctic-ice-melts

With less fat on them, and less buoyancy, the young bears often can’t survive the increased distances to get to stable ice or land


July 20, 2011

As the Arctic sea ice habitat retreats, polar bears have to swim longer distances to find stable ice or to reach land, and their cubs are suffering, according to a new study presented Tuesday at the International Bear Association Conference in Ottawa, Canada.

Polar bears, not naturally aquatic animals, hunt, eat and give birth on ice or on land, according to Reuters. Earlier studies have shown that the bears are swimming hundreds of miles to reach solid ice or land, but a new study demonstrates that the longer swims increase cub mortality, compared with cubs that didn’t swim such long distances. According to Reuters:

“Climate change is pulling the sea ice out from under polar bears’ feet, forcing some to swim longer distances to find food and habitat,” said Geoff York of World Wildlife Fund, a co-author of the study.

Between 2004 and 2009, a team of researchers led by Anthony Pagano of the U.S. Geological Survey gathered data from 68 GPS collars that had been put on adult female polar bears, and looked at that data along with satellite imagery of sea ice, in order to isolate episodes where bears swam more than 30 miles at one time, according to a synopsis of the research on PRWeb. (The final report is not yet released but the full abstract is provided with the synopsis at PRWeb.) Researchers identified 50 long-distance swimming events, involving 20 polar bears, over the six years. The bears swam distances of as far as 426 miles, and as many as 12.7 days.

Eleven of the polar bears that swam the long distances had young cubs at the time that they were collared; five of those bears lost their cubs during the swims, which translated to a 45 percent morality rate. Only 18 percent of cubs died when they weren’t swimming the long distances with their mothers.

A big difference.

The long-distance swims took a toll on the cubs partially because young polar bears don’t have much fat and thus can’t be in the cold water for long periods of time, Time said. Steve Amstrup, a former scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey and chief scientist at the conservation group Polar Bears International, said, according to Reuters:

Continue reading at:   http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/polar-bears-dying-due-longer-swims-arctic-ice-melts

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Michele Bachmann’s Child Army

From Mother Jones:  http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/michele-bachmann-home-school-fundraising

The GOP presidential candidate’s secret weapon? Home-school activists.

— By Tim Murphy
Tue Jul. 19, 2011 

In November 2008, Michele Bachmann was in trouble. The incumbent Minnesota congresswoman was facing a Democratic wave and the backlash from comments she made questioning Barack Obama’s patriotism, and polls showed her neck-and-neck with her challenger, former state transportation commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg. But at the last minute, some unlikely reinforcements arrived to give Bachmann a boost: kids.

Over the last week of the campaign, nearly six-dozen home-schooled students, some flown in from out of state, joined the Bachmann campaign, knocking on doors, sending out mailers, and making thousands of phone calls. The kids, all between the ages of 12 and 19, were members of GenJ Student Action Team, part of a national organization called Generation Joshua, which trains home-schooled students to become political activists. When the votes were counted, Bachmann held on to her seat in a squeaker—and she credited her child army with pushing her over to the top.

“We often hear that there aren’t young people in the Republican Party,” she said in her victory speech. “I’m here to tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Now, as Bachmann sets her sights on the Republican presidential nomination, that same youth brigade could be her secret weapon. Over the last decade, Bachmann, who home-schooled her five biological children, has developed strong ties to state and national home-school organizations. In March, she joined fellow presidential candidates Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and businessman Herman Cain at a conference organized by the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators (NICHE) in Des Moines. And in 2009, she addressed Generation Joshua’s national iGovern conference in Washington, DC.

Bachmann’s love for home-school organizations is far from unrequited. The Home School Legal Defense Association PAC, a spinoff of Generation Joshua’s parent organization, donated $3,250 to her reelection effort in 2008 and contributed cash and manpower to her successful congressional campaigns in 2006 and 2010.

Continue reading at:  http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/michele-bachmann-home-school-fundraising

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